2019 SL User Groups 6/1: Simulator and Governance User Groups

[Valium]; Inara Pey, December 2018, on Flickr
[valium]blog post

Server Deployments

  • On Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 19#, comprising internal fixes.
  • On Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 the RCs are likely to be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel should receive EEP update server maintenance package 19#
    • Magnum and LeTigre should receive server maintenance package 19#, comprising further internal fixes.
  • There is currently a small Cake RC on Agni that is being used to iron out some transient network issues with the newest server operating system update, prior to it being move to a full RC for testing. Cake may grow a little larger before this happens.

SL Viewer

There have been no viewer updates at the time of writing, leaving the current pipelines as:

  • Current Release version, dated December 5th, promoted December 13th. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – 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):
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version, January 23rd. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version, January 23rd.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version, January 16th.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version, 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, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Other Items

Name Change Issue

A creator preparing for the upcoming Last Names / name changing capability has encountered an issue that may have broader ramifications. In sort, one of their customers was forced to take a new user name (their original name was considered “objectionable” by the Lab). However, the creator found that when sending information to an external HTTP request (object UUID, object name, owner name of the object, etc.), the object (in this case a HUD) was sending the original (objectionable) user name, not the updated user name. This suggests the user name is being caches somewhere within SL, and not being correctly overwritten if replaced.

Effort are on-hand to try to trace down the issue, but the problem is also a demonstration if why agent UUIDs should be used to trace avatars now and going forward, and not user names, particularly in light of the upcoming Last Name changes.

Governance User Group

Governance User Group (GUG) meetings are generally held on alternate Tuesdays at 13:00 SLT. They are intended to provide a forum for the discussion and education of issues involving Governance.  They are chaired by the GTeam supervisor, Kristen Linden and are open to the public. Details on dates, times and location can be found on the Governance User Group wiki page.

The Governance Team is responsible for dealing with Abuse Reports, in-world abuse, forum reports, Marketplace reports, etc. It is not responsible for issues with accounts being compromised, account subscription delinquency, fraud, IP infringement, etc.

  • These matters cannot be discussed at the GUG meetings.
  • Issues relating to them should be reported through the recommended channels (e.g. Support for account-specific issues, via the DMCA process for IP infringements, content theft, etc).

Similarly, individual cases involving Governance issues (e.g. the outcomes of abuse report filings), cannot be publicly discussed.


Meeting CliffsNotesTM

  • Are weapons testing sandboxes given more lenience by Governance WRT reports of harassment? Generally, yes, simply because these are environments designed for testing objects that can affect others. However intentional attempts to harass or grief will be responded to.
  • If someone is griefing / harassing a private region and is booted by the region owner, can they still be reported? Yes, just make sure the Abuse Report has all the necessary information as is correctly filed.
  • Objectionable names / Display Names: Governance will handle reports of offensive / objectionable user names, but are slightly more relaxed on Display Names. The latter is because users can disable the displaying of Display Names in their viewers. However, reports of intentional offensive or objectionable Display Names will be investigated.
  • Date of Next meeting: Tuesday, February 19th, 2019.


Thoughts on VR and AR, part 2: AR, MR and beyond

via proximie.com

This article is designed to be the second part of a short series offering personal thoughts on the broad state of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR, together with mixed reality, or MR) as they appear to stand at the end of 2018, and where they might be going over the course of the next few years.

In doing so, I’m not attempting to set myself up as any kind of “expert” or offer predictions per se; I’ve simply been gorging myself on a wide range of articles and reports on VR and AR/MR over the last few weeks to make sure I’m caught up on things. In part one, I covered VR; This part therefore examines AR/MR, with an emphasis on headset / eye wear, as it is these tools that particularly interest me.

Compared to VR, AR/MR has been much more a slow burner in terms of press interest. The reason for this is simple: outside of a few headliners like the original Google Glass, Microsoft’s HoloLens and, most recently, Magic Leap One, AR/MR eye wear hasn’t really caught the media’s attention. However, in assessing the state of the VR and AR/MR markets over the next 3 years, SuperData predicts something of a rapid rise in AR/MR adoption, which could see the technology generate revenues very slightly in excess of those predicated by SuperData for VR by the start of 2022.

AR / MR revenue trends, 2018-2021. Credit; SuperData

Even allowing for these figures including smartphone AR applications, this forecast might seem optimistic, but there are reasonable grounds to suggest they are not beyond the realm of possibility – if, perhaps a slightly holistic view is taken. I say this for a number of reasons: the increasing use of AR/MR in a range of workplace  / service environments; the release of development platforms for AR on smartphones and mobile devices; and availability / development of new headsets; although there are some caveats.

I’d like to examine these ideas in turn, starting with adaptation of AR/MR in enterprise-type environments. In doing so, I’m limiting myself to briefly covering just three examples: Google’s Glass Enterprise Edition, Microsoft’s HoloLens and a company called Osterhout Design Group (ODG).

  • Using the basic Google Glass concept (2013-2015) Glass Enterprise Edition re-lunched in mid-2017 with 50 US companies using it in engineering, training and services including GE Aviation, Boeing, Volkswagen, AECO, and DHL, and with a range of healthcare uses, including Augmedix and Brain Power (see Google Glass: The Comeback?, July 2017 for more).

  • Microsoft’s HoloLens has been similar adopted by a range of companies including Volvo Cars, Japan Airlines, BlueScope Buildings and Trimble (architecture and building design), Autodesk, together with widespread adoption in healthcare from training through to major aspects of surgery in hospitals around the world. Most recently, the US Army has given Microsoft US $480 million to develop the HoloLens for troop training and combat missions, while NASA utilises it both on the International Space Station (Project Sidekick) and as a mission / prototyping visualisation tool (projects OnSight and ProtoSpace).

  • Osterhout Design Group (ODG) – a company that potentially help Microsoft develop the HoloLens when they sold 81 patents related to AR and head-worn computers to the software giant for US $150 million in 2014. Have released a family of AR glasses, the R-7 and R-7HL (“hazardous locations”) specifically designed for use across business and industrial applications, providing heads-up information displays and overlays. In 2017, ODG launched the R-8 and R-9 glasses, utilising Qualcomm’s more powerful Snapdragon 835, with R-8 intended to start bridging the gap between “enterprise” and consumer use.
The ODG R-8 and R-9 headsets, launched at CES 2017. Credit: Engadget

There are other examples of AR headset use in business (and entertainment) to be sure, but I hope the above are enough to make the point. Highlighting the use of AR systems in the workplace is important (as it is with VR – see part 1 of this series) because familiarity with them in the workplace could help spur people’s  willingness to bring it into the home as affordable consumer systems start to appear, because: because a) they have experienced it within their workplace and have seen it benefit them; b) the hardware involved is (more-or-less) the “same” as the hardware they are buying (familiarly encourages both trust and experimentation).

Continue reading “Thoughts on VR and AR, part 2: AR, MR and beyond”

Silence and Freedom: the art of Anke Zamani

Flossify Gallery: Anke Zamani

Just off Route 9 as it passes over the Silvercreek Bridge in the north-west of Jeogeot, sits a small island shoulder between the mainland and the largest island within the continent’s great bay. Among the buildings snuggled into the island’s small space is Flossify Gallery, owned and curated by Joss Floss (Jossinta).

The gallery is devoted to promoting “the work of SL photographers working in a naturalistic or experimental style,” with exhibitions generally running through each month. On Saturday, February 2nd, the latest of these exhibitions opened, featuring the work of Anke Zamani.

Flossify Gallery: Anke Zamani

Spread across the three floors of the gallery, Anke presents a series of 27 photographs, predominantly landscapes / nature or studies of art. The majority of the pictures appear to have had little or no post-processing, which in this era of PhotoShop, GIMP et al, makes for a pleasant change, presenting as they do images witnessed as with the eye itself.

This makes for a charming, quite natural exhibition, with each of the pieces offers catching a moment in time to which we can all relate, from sunrises / sunsets through to reflections of time in solitude and / or meditation. Several of the images focus on the work of Mistero Hifeng, and I found these to be particularly captivating; no doubt in part because of my own bias towards Mistero’s work – but it is also very much also due to Anke’s skill in capturing the pieces and their surrounding emotion.

Flossify Gallery: Anke Zamani

An attractive exhibition that can be visited directly (and you can keep up with news on exhibitions at the gallery by joining the Flossify group through Joss’ profile) or as a part of a trip around the highways and byways of Jwogeot.

SLurl Details