Bid a Linden Bald for RFL in Second Life

via the Relay Rockers

A traditional event during the RFL season is the Bid Me Bald challenge organised by the Relay Rockers. As the name suggests, people are invited to bid (make donations to RFL) to see a well-known Second Life resident go bald for a period of time in-world. First held in 2007, Bid Me Bald is presented as a means to honour those who have lost their hair as a result of their cancer treatment, with those volunteering to participate going bald for one day for each L$5000 raised through donations.

In 2017, to mark the 10th anniversary of Bid Me bald, a new twist was added to the mix when three teams from Linden Lab put themselves up for bidding / donations in Bid A Linden Bald. Their willingness to participate saw a total of L$1,478,599 (approx. US $5686) raised, and members of the Concierge Team went bald for a total of 297 days afterwards.

For 2018, the Lab is again participating in Bid Me Bald, with three teams once more joining in – Product Operations, Support Leaders, and Support Agents. The team raising the least amount of money will once again go bald for the amount of days equal to the total of the team raising the most, with the time shared among the losing team members.

The donation Kiosks for Bid A Linden Bald, a part of the Relay Rockers Bid Me Bald event
Product Operations Support Leaders Support Agents
Alexa Linden Ami Linden Corky Linden
Ekim Linden Garry Linden Evie Linden
Grumpity Linden Keira Linden Ginger Linden
Oz Linden Tommy Linden izzy Linden
Patch Linden Kristin Linden
Madori Linden
Sparky Linden
TJ Linden
Vix Linden
Vanessa Linden

Bid A Linden Bald this year takes place between Monday, April 30th 2018 and  Wednesday, May 9th 2018, and coincides with the Relay Rocker’s multi-team fund-raising even, Relaystock. Held between Friday May 4th, through Sunday May 6th, 2018 inclusive, RelayStock will feature entertainment and live performances provided by individual Relay For Life teams for the entire Second Life community to enjoy, and you can find out more about it on the Relay Rockers website.

To join in the fun of Bid a Linden Bald, visit the bidding kiosks in-world and make a donation to the team you’d like to see win (or against the team you’d like to see lose!).

The Relaystock event area being set-up

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2018 SL project updates 18/1: Simulator User Group meeting

Green Story; Inara Pey, April 2018, on FlickrGreen Storyblog post

The following notes have been taken from the Simulator User Group, held on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018.

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates.

  • The was no deployment or restart for the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, May 1st. The channel remains on server maintenance package 18#18.04.13.514504, containing internal fixes and a fix for BUG-214702.
  • On Wednesday, May 2nd, the simulator release candidate channels should be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel should receive server maintenance package 18#18.04.20.514703, which includes two new LSL functions: llRequestUserKey and llName2Key –  see below for more.
    • Magnum and LeTigre should receive server maintenance package 18#18.04.30.515008, which includes updates to simulator communication protocols aimed at improving region crossings and teleports, deployed for the last week to a number of selected regions on Blake Sea via the Snack RC channel.

LlRequestUserKey and LlName2Key

The Lab has released two new LSL functions: llRequestUserKey and llNameToKey, both of which are in connection to the upcoming return of Last Names (see this blog post and this blog post for more):

  • llRequestUserKey:
    • Requests the Agent ID for the agent identified by name from the dataserver. The name given may be either the current name of an avatar or a historical name that has been used in the past. If no agent can be found with the supplied name this function returns the value NULL_KEY.
    • It returns a handle (a key) that can be used to identify the request when the dataserver event is raised.
    • Note that agent being searched for with this function does not need to be signed on to Second Life.
    • See the llRequestRequestUserKey wiki page for more.
  • llName2Key:
    • Returns a key the Agent ID for the named agent in the region. If there is no agent with the specified name currently signed onto the region, this function returns the value NULL_KEY. Names are always provided in the form “First[ Last]” or “first[.last]” (first name with an optional last name.)
    • If the last name is omitted a last name of “Resident” is assumed. Case is not considered when resolving agent names.
    • Uses a different mechanism to look up agent information to the older llKey2Name().
    • See the llName2Key wiki page for more.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current SL viewer pipelines, leaving them as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.3.513644, dated March 27th, promoted April 13th – formerly the media update RC.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Ouzo Maintenance RC, version 5.1.4.514802, dated April 27th.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 5.1.4.514788, dated April 25th.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th November 2017 – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

Environment Enhancement Project (EEP)

Rider Linden re-confirmed that while EEP will allow different Windlight settings at altitude above a region / parcel, the zones will be set at 1000 metre intervals (1,000, 2,000, 3,000 and 4,000) and set by the simulator – they will not be user-configurable as can be done with Firestorm (viewer-side only). His hope is also to have scripted per-agent Windlight settings as part of the initial deployment of EEP; however, this is TBC.

The return of The Shire in Second Life

The Shire; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrThe Shire – click any image for full size

We were delighted to receive an invitation from Ima Peccable to visit the newly re-opened The Shire, the enchanting Tolkien-themed region designed by Chocolate Aftermath, and which Ima is now helping to run. As it’s been over two-and-a-half years since our last visit, we grabbed the first eagle flight across the waters and dropped in for a visit.

For me, the great attraction with this region has always been the way it blends considered region design with a very Shire-like feel, where hobbits and Big Folk can mix.

The Shire; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrThe Shire

The new design for the region retains this feel, although the landscape is perhaps further removed from Tolkien’s Shire, being somewhat rugged and suggestive of a coastal region of Middle Earth, complete with multiple small islands lying off the main bulk of the land. There’s also more of an elven feel to the place than perhaps on our last visit, which harkens back to the time of my first visit in March 2015, when the region originally captivated my eye and heart.

I’m not sure whether it is merely a matter of the intervening years playing tricks on me or not, but this new iteration of The Shire seems to have more rental properties on offer than previous iterations. Nevertheless, it still has plenty for the casual visitor to see and appreciate, and the overall design means that it is hard to accidentally transgress into someone’s private space.

The Shire; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrThe Shire

A good many of the rental parcels are located on the outlying islands or on small headlands extending from the main bulk of the land, with its public upland areas located atop the tall cliffs. It is here that the landing point sits within a pair of tree houses linked by a rope bridge and which is home to the rental map for the region. It shares the plateau with a garden area and a windmill, with different paths leading down from the plateau offer assorted ways to explore the region along its public paths.

The rental properties are a mix of hobbit holes and regular houses, while two towers suitable for wizards overlook the land. There aren’t intended for rent (as far as we could tell at least, but appear to offer high perches from which to look out over the land. Also to be found along the paths and trails leading around the region are elven-like gazebos offering places to sit under crystal domes – and in one case at least, a feast fit for a … hobbit; while out on a tongue of land stretching out into the water sits a larger structure, set for weddings or other celebratory events.

The Shire; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrThe Shire

These seeking a place to live in Second Life that has its roots in fantasy but without overburdening rules might want to give The Shire a look; the mix of accommodation is rich and – for those wanting a little extra privacy – extends into the sky, where houses float serenely on little airborne islands of their own. Also scattered around the region are little reminders of Tolkien – such as the spider’s webs to be found here and there providing little echoes of a certain journey through Mirkwood, while mushrooms can also be found, offering another reminder of a path trod by a certain group of hobbits.

The public area of the region seems to be a little more limited that in previous iterations, and the outlying islands, while offering those renting them an added level of privacy, do tend to break up the land somewhat – there’s no direct route from them to the public places should residents wish to enjoy them. However, this doesn’t detract from the peaceful beauty of the region nor the opportunity to take photos or simply relax with a visit. Certainly, for those who wish to rent a parcel within The Shire,  the region has a lot to offer by way of finding a Homely House.

The Shire; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrThe Shire

With thanks to Ima for the invitation.

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