Sansar: live from the Official Star Trek 2019 Convention

Sansar brings you Star Trek Las Vegas

I make no secret of the fact that I’m a Star Trek fan. I started on a diet of re-runs of The Original Series (which remains my overall favourite, simply because I started watching it at an impressionable age, my early teens), and quickly got hooked on The Next Generation. Within Second Life, I’ve reflected this interest by writing about various Trek-related events or activities (see A Starship Enterprise in Second Life big enough for an avatar crew and Having a little fun with starships for example).

However, when it comes to Star Trek, Sansar is perhaps the place to be. I’ve written in the past about the reproduction of the bridge of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701. It’s not entirely accurate, but it is nevertheless impressive. There’s also the Roddenberry Nexus.

Sansar: Roddenberry Nexus; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrSansar: Roddenberry Nexus

These experiences reflect a partnership with Roddenberry Entertainment, which has also seen the broadcasting of the Roddenberry Entertainment’s mission Logs podcasts into Sansar, trivia competitions, and Q&A events with acknowledged Trek experts.

This involvement with Trek continues this weekend with Sansar providing access to Star Trek cast members and guest stars who are attending the Official Star Trek Convention taking place in Las Vegas.

Suzi Plakston – one of the STLV convention guests who can be seen via Sansar

These events comprise:

  • “Live From” on Thursday, August 1st, Friday, August 2nd, Saturday, August 3rd and Sunday, August 4th from 09:00 PDT, with guests:
    • Suzie Plakson (K’Ehleyr / Lt. Selar, M.D. in Star Trek: The Next Generation; Female Q, Star Trek: Voyager, Tarah, Star Trek: Enterprise).
    • John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox, Star Trek: Enterprise).
    • Jeffrey Combs (Brunt/Weyoun/Tiron, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine;  Penk, Star Trek: Voyager; Shran;  Krem, Star Trek: Enterprise).
    • Casey Biggs (Damar, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).
    • Tim Russ (Devor, Star Trek: The Next Generation; T’Kar, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; Commander Tuvok, Star Trek: Voyager; USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B Bridge Officer (/”Tuvok”) Star Trek: Generations).
  • “Meet-and Greets” 30-minute sessions with:
The Roddenberry Theatre, by C3rb3rus, location for the Star Trek Las Vegas events

So, if you are a Trek fan (and have a PC!), make a note of the dates and times, and join the fun – I might even see you at some of the sessions 🙂 .

 

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A return to Grauland in Second Life

Grauland, July 2019 – click any image for full size

In March we visited Grauland, the homestead region held by JimGarand and home (in the sky) to his M-1 Art Poses (see: Art as a landscape in Second Life). At that time, I noted that the region was one of the more unusual design we had visited.

Since then, Jim has redesigned Grauland to present a new look and theme, as Shawn Shakespeare nudged me about. So we hopped back to take a look at how things have changed, and whether the beautiful minimalism and artistic expression that was so attractive in March has been retained.

Grauland, July 2019

In terms of the minimalism of the region, this is still very much still in evidence. Now forming a C-shaped island surrounding a shallow bay, Grauland is low-lying and marked by a handful of buildings, most of them looking somewhat the worse for wear. They are scattered around the open ring of the island in such as way as to encourage visitors to step out and explore.

There are some carry-overs which help give a feeling of continuity for those familiar with the March design: the basalt columns, so mindful of the Giant’s Causeway on Northern Ireland’s northern coast remain, for example. There are also touches that offer familiarity by with a twist, such as the ranks of rock-like rectangles marching ashore from the small centre islet of the bay. These echo the concrete cubes once present in the courtyard of the gallery from the March design.

Grauland, July 2019

The gallery itself is no more, sadly, but the buildings replacing it offer a curious mix. There’s a cannabis farm within one, another looks to be the remains of what might have been an industrial unit, filled with assorted detritus (including some with adult poses). Alongside the landing point there is what appears to be the skeleton of a theatre, bare stage with graffiti filled back wall, wooden seats still ranged before it, while elsewhere, smaller buildings simply offer views across the water, both within the bay and out to sea.

Other places to sit can also be found scatter across the landscape, including the little islet in the bay, reached via an ageing board walk. This offers a good view of the trawler edging its way into the bay, ready to manoeuvre between some of the rock pillars and come alongside the island’s single pier.

Grauland, July 2019

I confess to missing the slant towards accommodating art that was far more present in the March build, but there is no denying Grauland in this latest iteration offers many opportunities for photography, and for simply relaxing, be it on the beach or elsewhere.

No actual landing point is enforced, so I’ve arbitrarily set the SLurl in the piece to a point in the north-west of the region, simply because it is there that the region’s gust book Flickr link and primary tip jar can be found, and because it perhaps offers the best point from which to start exploring the region.

Grauland, July 2019

Finished with a sound scape that includes the cry of gulls as they circle overhead or vie for space on the beach and which is mixed with the softer song of birds (some of whom add their own splash of colour for those who look closely enough), together with the plaintive warning chimes of a buoy at the neck of the bay, Grauland retains its delightful minimalist feel whilst still offering a lot so see and take in.

SLurl Details

Linden Lab in wrongful termination lawsuit over alleged cybersecurity law violations

©, ™ and ® Linden Lab

Linden Lab has been hit by a wrongful termination lawsuit by a former employee, Kavya Pearlman, in which allegations are made over potential violations of cybersecurity laws.

A security expert, Kavya joined Linden Lab in August 2017, and worked to develop information security strategies, advising on state and international information security regulations, managing IS systems, and more. Her employment with the Lab was terminated in March of 2019.

She publicly announced her lawsuit via a 12-point Twitter thread. In it she states that her employment came at a time when she was engaged in a risk assessment exercise involving the New York State Department of Financial Services, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and the European General Data Protection Regulation, which came after a period when “the company treated me with hostility when I raised concerns about potential violations of cybersecurity laws.

The allegations would appear to encompass work related to the Lab’s subsidiary, Tilia Inc., and potentially both Sansar and Second Life – but Ms. Pearlman makes it clear that during her tenure at the Lab as Information Security Director, there were no security breaches.

Within the Twitter thread – and apparently within the lawsuit – she additionally alleges discrimination and retaliation on the basis of her gender and religion.

Given this is a lawsuit, and the fact I am neither a lawyer nor have I had any sight of the papers that have been filed, further comment on the lawsuit itself would be inappropriate, and I doubt that the Lab will reply to enquiries simply because this is a legal matter.

That said, and if and when possible, I’ll continue to watch this situation as it develops.

With thanks to John Brianna for the pointer.