MOSP returns to Second Life

MOSP 2018

Chic Aeon has re-opened her Machinima Open Studio Project (MOSP) for machinima makers and photographers. First seen in 2012, MOSP has been through a number of iterations – as my past posts on the project will hopefully show. Offering indoor and outdoor film sets, studio facilities for filming shows and the like.

In this latest iteration, which is still under development, MOSP opened its doors in mid-January, offering – as a start – a ground-level location, based on her installation A Steamy Mystery at Terradale, with some additional element, and a city setting up in the sky, someone reminiscent of the original city setting from MOSP’s original iteration.

MOSP 2018

It is at this latter location that people first arrive. This offers outdoor night setting with a parking lot, façades for tower blocks, backed by surrounding backdrops of city high-rises seen against a misty night sky; so using the local windlight or setting your viewer to a cloud night setting is recommended for a visit, although with careful filming, daylight settings should work on the space as well.

The landing point faces a resource centre, which includes teleports to other set locations (again, only the ground level being open at the time of my visit although others provide hints as to what is coming). not far from this is a series of small stage sets, one of which is outfitted as a photography studio with backgrounds and green screen as well as pose balls. There is also a classroom / meeting area. Further afield, but still within the surrounding high-rises are further lots, apparently awaiting building-out. With cars parked around the lot, the building shells and the entrance to a subway station, the setting offers a fairly simple location for filming, which I assume will be added to over time.

MOSP 2018 

“This all new build offers full sim-sized environments for ease of shooting and continuity,” Chic says of the facility. “There is flow. There are surprises and plenty of details. Builds have been optimized for LOD2 to ease the drain on computer systems and let those with mid-level machines still turn on shadows or depth of field when needed.”

For those needing an outdoor small-town style of location for filming, the ground level “Terradale” set might fit the bill. “Obvious steampunk references have disappeared,” Chic states, “and many new buildings have been added. Structures are clustered for better filming and photography and ‘clutter’ has been added to private areas for a more realistic feel.” There is also an information centre inside one of the buildings, again offering teleports between the different stage / set levels.

MOSP 2018

Chic also notes, “While the infrastructure and many of the furnishings and props have been made by myself, the work of other content creators is also featured. Artist buildings are noted with name plaques; gacha collections with buildings have markers. If in doubt, right-click and inspect to note who to thank for bringing this sim to life.”

In previous designs, MOSP gradually developed a wide range of film sets and opportunities, from rural to city through outdoor settings to sci-fi, so it will be interesting to see how this iteration is developed and what additional resources are provided. In the meantime, the current facilities are open for people to use, and specific enquiries or questions should be directed to Chic Aeon.

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2018 viewer release summaries week #4

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, January 28th

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version 5.1.0.511732, dated January 9th, promoted January 16th formerly the Alex Ivy Maintenance RC – no change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Voice RC viewer updated to version 5.1.1.511952 on January 23rd and then to 5.1.1.512121 on January 26th.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5-style

V1-style

  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • MetaChat updated to version 1.2.21 on January 22nd, 2018.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Journeys into darkness, fantasy and the future

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

 

Monday, January 29th 19:00: The Wolfen

Whitley Strieber is perhaps best known for his book for Communion, a non-fiction account of his alleged experiences with non-human entities. However, his is also a writer of horror fiction, with The Wolfen being his first published novel (1978).

When two New York Police Department uniformed officer are violently killed, detectives Becky Neff and George Wilson are tasked with investigating the incident and bringing the perpetrator/s to justice. The evidence reveals the two uniformed officers were quickly and brutally attacked by some kind of animal – so rapidly, in fact, neither were able to fire their service handguns – one even had his hand and gun ripped from his arm before having time to open fire on his attacker. Worse, both men were disembowelled, their organs devoured.

Gathering the evidence from the crime scene, Neff and Wilson start their investigation by trying to understand what kind of animal might have left the bloody paw prints around the bodies. This leads them down a path that touches on the issue of police corruption which involves Neff’s policeman husband is taking money from certain groups. As more bodies are discovered, Neff and Wilson are drawn into a world where the natural meets the supernatural: the forgotten parts of New York where the abandoned of the city live – and are preyed upon by the Wolfen.

Join Gyro Muggins as he reads the conclusion to Neff and Wilson’s investigations.

Tuesday, January 30th 19:00: 21 Balloons

Faerie Maven-Pralou reads from William Pène du Bois’ 1947 children’s classic, The Twenty-one Balloons.

A steamship en route across the North Atlantic comes across the strange wreckage of twenty deflated gas balloons and rescue, much to their surprise, a lone man – one Professor William Waterman Sherman.

The professor had last been seen some three weeks previously, departing San Francisco aboard a giant balloon, determined to spend a year aloft and drifting on his own.

Now, as word spreads that the professor has been found alive and well – and in completely the wrong ocean to the one he had last been seen flying towards – the world awaits the story of how he came to circumnavigate the globe in record time, only to be fished from the wreckage of twenty balloons when he had started with just the one. When he has sufficiently rested and recovered after receiving a hero’s welcome on his homecoming, the good professor tells a tale most fantastic…

Wednesday, January 31st 19:00: Fractured Symmetry

In the future and 1,000 light years from Earth, a woman of action works for a reclusive, enigmatic genius…

Blair MacAlister is an expert at Judo, a credible AI hacker, and a certified pilot of craft atmospheric and interstellar. Her favourite weapon is sarcasm, or failing that, her ever-present blaster. Her boss is Terendurr the Black Stone: technical wizard, expert in the ethnography of myriad races, fancier of rare foods and wines, and even rarer fractalites. An Entharion Quadromorph, exiled from his homeworld and under constant threat of assassination, he is also somewhat irritable.

Together they investigate mysteries based on science, in a setting that brings them into contact with all the main races of Civspace: The mysterious Junn, the affable but biologically intense Raylics, the chaotic and powerful Oro-Ka, the commercial minded Keret, and the cynical Phair.

At the centre of their cases are transformative genetic therapies, unlikely fossils, the linked neurology of symbiotes, and more. Terendurr is over 300 years old and has seen and endured the worst and strangest the galaxy has to offer. Will Blair prove as durable as her boss?

Join Corwyn Allen as he reads from Fernando Salazar’s 2017 novel.

Thursday, February 1st 19:00: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

With Shandon Loring. Also presented in Kitely (hop://grid.kitely.com:8002/Seanchai/144/129/29).

 

 


Please check with the Seanchai Library’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule.

The featured charity for January / February 2018 is Reach Out and Read, giving young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into paediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

Space Sunday: rockets, exoplanets landers and asteroids

Fire in the hole! the Falcon Heavy’s 27 Merlin engines are test-fired on Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, January 24th, 2018. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX faces a busy couple of weeks for the end of January and the start of February 2018. On Tuesday, January 30th, the company is set to launch Luxembourg’s SES-16/GovSat 1 mission on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40 at Canaveral Air Force Station on Florida’s coast. As is frequently the case with SpaceX missions, an attempt will be made to return the booster’s first stage to a safe landing  – this time at sea, aboard the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean.

Then, if all goes according to plan, on Tuesday, February 6th, SpaceX will conduct the first launch of the Falcon Heavy booster which should be a spectacular event. As I’ve previously noted in these updates, Falcon Heavy is set – for a time at least – to be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle by a factor of around 2, and capable of lifting up to 54 tonnes to low Earth orbit, and of sending payloads to the Moon or Mars. The core of the rocket comprises three Falcon 9 first stages strapped side-by-side, two of which have previously flown missions.

For its first flight, the Falcon Heavy is set to send an unusual payload into space: a Tesla Roadster owned by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. It’s part of a tradition with SpaceX: mark a maiden flight with an unusual payload; the first launch of a Dragon capsule, for example, featured a giant wheel of cheese. If all goes according to plan, SpaceX hope to recover all three of the core stages by flying them back for touch downs; two of them on land, and one at sea using an Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship.

The Falcon Heavy is raised to a vertical position on December 28th, 2017 in a launch pad “fit test”. Credit: SpaceX

As part of the preparations for any Falcon launch, SpaceX conduct a static fire test of the rocket’s main engines.For the Falcon Heavy, this took place on January 27th, 2018. These tests have come in for criticism from some quarters as a high-rick operation. However, to date, SpaceX has not suffered a single loss as part of such a test, although in September 2016, a Falcon 9 and its payload were lost while the vehicle was being fuelled in preparation for such a test. For the Falcon 9, the test involves firing the 9 Merlin main engines for between 3 and 7 seconds; with the Falcon Heavy test, and possibly to obtain additional vibration and stress data ahead of the launch, all 27 engines were fired for a total of 12 seconds – almost twice as long as the longest test of a Falcon 9.

Assuming the launch is successful, it will pave the wave for Falcon Heavy being declared operational. The second launch will most likely carried a Saudi Arabian communications satellite into orbit, and the third flight of the Heavy undertake the launch of multiple satellites. All three launches will be watched closely by the US Air Force, who are considering using the Falcon Heavy as a potential launch vehicle alongside the Falcon 9, which was added to the military launch manifest in 2016.

TRAPPIST-1: Further Look At Habitability

Since the confirmation of its discovery in February 2017 (read more here), the 7-exoplanet system of TRAPPIST-1 one has been the subject of much debate as to whether or not anyone of the planets might be habitable – as in, have suitable conditions in which life might arise.

As I’ve previously reported, while some of the seven planets sit within their parent star’s habitable zone where liquid water might exist, there are some negative aspects to any of the Earth-sized worlds harbouring life or having the right conditions for life. In particular, their parent star is a super cool red dwarf with all internal action entirely convective in nature. Such stars tend to have violent outbursts, so all seven planets are likely subject to sufficient irradiation in the X-ray and extreme ultraviolet wavelengths to significantly alter their atmospheres and rendering them unsuitable for life. Further, all seven are tidally locked, meaning they always keep the same face towards their parent star. This will inevitably give rise to extreme conditions, with one side of each world bathed in perpetual daylight and the other in perpetual, freezing darkness, resulting in atmospheric convection currents moving air and weather systems / storms between the two.

Artist’s concept showing what each of the TRAPPIST-1 planets may look like. A new study suggests TRAPPIST-1d and 1e might be the most potentially habitable. Credit: NASA

However, on the positive side, TRAPPIST-1 is sufficiently small and cool that, despite their proximity to it, the sunward faces of the planets won’t be as super-heated as might otherwise be the case. This also means that the extremes of temperature between the lit and dark sides of the planets aren’t so broad, reducing the severity of any storms some of them might experience. Now a team of researchers have identified the more likely planets within the seven which might have conditions conducive for life.

This involved certain assumptions being made, such as all the planets being composed of water ice, rock, and iron, and – given some of the data concerning the planets, such as their radii and masses, are not well-known – a range of computer models having to be built.

In putting everything together, the team concluded that TRAPPIST -1d and TRAPPIST-1e might prove to be the most habitable, with TRAPPIST 1d potentially being covered by a global ocean of water. The study also suggests that TRAPPIST-1b and 1c have have partially molten rock mantles, and are likely to be heavily volcanic in nature.

In publishing their work, the team are reasonably confident of their findings, but note that improved estimates of the masses of each planet can help determine whether each of the planets has a significant amount of water, allowing better overall estimates of their compositions to be made.

Continue reading “Space Sunday: rockets, exoplanets landers and asteroids”