Speedlight: access SL via a browser (incl. mobile devices)

via the Speedlight website

During the Open-Source development meeting on Wednesday, February 12th, my ears picked up at the mention of Speedlight, a browser-based means of accessing Second Life from different devices and with the need for any downloads. Curious, I trotted off to find out more.

Developed by long-term Second Life resident Glaznah Gassner, who is responsible for the SmartBot group / bot management application, SpeedLight potentially offer users an alternative means of accessing Second Life from the browser of their choice, and which has been optimised for both statics and mobile displays, making it an entirely OS agnostic means of accessing Second Life to carry out various tasks.

At the time of writing, the core functionality offered by Speedlight comprises:

  • View a map of your current location and list all nearby avatars.
  • Send and receive local chat and IMs (and view your IM history when off-line).
  • View your friends list, groups, and avatar profiles.
  • Search for other avatars.
  • Use group chat.
  • View your inventory, and carry out basic inventory tasks.
  • Send / L$ amounts amounts to others and view your recent transaction history.
  • Teleport via SLurls.

In addition, Speedlight offers two account types:

  • Free – all of the above capabilities, but:
    • Users are limited to 1 hour on-line, after which a re-log is required.
      • Note that this can be avoided, if preferred, by paying for additional hours at the rate of L$10 per hour from within the service.
    • Avatars are automatically logged out if the browser is closed.
      • Note that closing the active Speedlight browser tab will not log you out, only closing the browser as a whole.
  • Gold monthly subscription: all of the above capabilities plus:
    • Avatars can remain on-line for an unlimited time.
    • Avatar can remain on-line even if the browser is closed.
    • Send “mass” IMs.
    • Further Gold capabilities as they are added.

The application’s website also notes that capability availability for each account type may change any any time, and also lists planned enhancement to the service. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Group notices: regular and scheduled Status: alpha, the regular notices.
  • Group chat moderation.
  • 3D world view in a browser.

The ability to send regular group notices and the 3D world view are both defined as being in an “alpha” state, although the latter doesn’t render avatars at this point.

The rest of this article is designed to provide a general overview of Speedlight and its available functionality at the time this article was written.

Sign-up and Accessing Second Life

Sign-Up

Signing-up to use Speedlight  is a two-stage process:

  1. Create a Speedlight Account, requiring a user (avatar) name, e-mail address and acceptance of the Speedlight Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
  2. Link an avatar to your Speedlight Account – a step that requires acceptance of the Speedlight Terms once more.
    • Note that you can link more that one avatar to your Speedlight account if you wish. Click or touch the +panel in the pre-log-in avatar list in order to do so.

Accessing Second Life

Once you have linked one or more avatars to Speedlight, and you have one or more avatars linked to your Speedlight account:

  1. Go to you Speedlight Account page (logging-in to the service if required).
  2. Click / touch on Avatars in the top left of the page to display the avatar panels for all of your linked avatars.
  3. Click /touch the log-in button associated with the avatar you wish to log-in.
  4. Supply you avatar log-in credentials (you can have Speedlight optionally save these).
  5. Confirm you are not a robot (one time only).
  6. Click / touch the Login Now button.
  7. You will be returned to the avatar panel – click / touch Open to access the Speedlight display for that avatar.
When you have linked one or more avatars to your Speedlight Account, you can log into SL using any of them by clicking /touching the Login button on the avatar’s panel (l), then entering your log-in credentials (c), then clicking the Open button when you are returned to the avatar button (r). Note that the button with the gear icon of the avatar panel (outlined in red on the left) accesses the SL settings you’ve set for Speedlight (e.g. your default log-in location, shown in the avatar log-in credentials panel (c)).

The Speedlight Display and Options

When you are logged-in to SL, the Speedlight display can be split into three sections:

  • The options menu on the left, providing:
    • Access to all of your available in-world options: avatar search, Friends list, Chat, IM, Groups, Inventory, L$ and transactions.
    • An option to purchase additional hours for Free account use or to sign-up for a Gold subscription.
    • An option to access or Speedlight account settings for the avatar (default log-in location, etc.).
    • An option to log-out of SL.
  • A central information display. By default this displays the Avatar Summary providing:
    • Your avatar’s name, account balance and location at the top,
    • A map of the region showing your avatar’s position and direction of view.
    • A list of nearby avatars and their distance from your avatar.
      • Note that clicking / touching an avatar name will open the avatar search display, with the avatar in question selected and their profile displayed.
  • Two options on the right:
    • A modal displaying the avatar’s name, on-line status and the current time in SL (closed by clicking / touching the X in the top right of the modal).
    • A Wish List tab:
      • When opened, displays a list of user-requested enhancements to Speedlight, which can be voted up or down, and the option to add further ideas for enhancements.
      • Includes two additional tab – IM and Inventory, which I admit to not experimenting with.
      • Click / touch the X in the top right of the Wish List panel to close it.
The Speedlight application window, as it should appear in any browser, and with the Avatar Summary option selected

Search

Search allows avatars to be searched via a full or partial name.

  • A full name search, if valid will display the avatar’s Profile.
  • A partial name search will return an unsorted scrollable list of potential matches. Clicking / touching a name in the list will open the corresponding profile.
Speedlight Avatar Search

Continue reading “Speedlight: access SL via a browser (incl. mobile devices)”

Previewing One Billion Rising in Second Life 2020

One Billion Rising 2020

One Billion Rising in Second Life will once again be taking place in Second Life on Friday, February 14th, 2020. The event will officially commence at just after midnight SLT on the 13th/14th February with a live performance by Holly Giles. Activities will then run right through the 24 hours of February with music, dancing, art and events.

When launched in the physical world on Valentine’s Day 2012, One Billion Rising (OBR) was the biggest mass action in human history; a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls who are at risk. OBR aims to bring people together, raise greater awareness of the plight of those at risk the world over, and bring about a fundamental change in how vulnerable and defenceless women and girls are treated.

One Billion Rising 2020

This year follows the established format for OBR in Second Life, with four regions laid out to offer a central music / dance arena, around which sets and music sessions will move throughout the 24 hours of the event. In the surrounding parkland, and linked to the central stages and one another by trails and paths, are the landing points (with information givers), art exhibits, gardens, and additional event areas, such as the Poetry and Prose area.

Art installations this year include works by Instituto Español SL, Daark Gothly, iSky Silverweb, 2Lei, Jaz, Fran Gustav, Fifi Oh, Marcel Mosswood, FionaFei, Solkilde Auer, Ilyra Chardin, BB Woodford, Burners Without Borders in SL, Isadora Alaya, Campbell Hero Walk, Pixxe Snowpaw, and Darkstone Aeon.

In addition for 2020, there is a special exhibition: the OBR I Rise Campaign. In January 2020, Second Life artists and photographers were invited to produce original images for display at OBR in SL 2020. All of the images have been created from the heart and are intended to support the message of One Billion Rising: educating people about the plight of women. However, survivors may find some of the images uncomfortable. If this is the case, they are asked to reach out to event organisers if they feel they need support. All of the photographs can additionally be seen on the Campaign’s Flickr group.

One Billion Rising 2020

In addition, the four corners of the OBR estate offer park areas, two of them with elevated aspects that offer views across the regions, while the #MeToo Forest on the Unite region presents a place of retreat and meditation / contemplation. Also within Unite is the Heroes’ Pavilion featuring inspirational stories about women from many different cultures and communities.

The full schedule of events is now available, covering all live performers, DJs, dance performances and poetry.

One Billion Rising 2020

Why Dance?

A critique sometimes levelled at OBR / OBR in SL is that the issues it raises cannot be solved by dance. Well, that’s absolutely true, just as marching through the streets carrying placards and banners is unlikely to have a lasting impact on whatever it is people might be marching about.

But – like marches and protests, dance and music does serve to draw attention to matters. It provides a means by which people are encouraged to stop and think, and for information and ideas to be disseminated. What’s also important is that it’s a lot harder to see dancing as a threat than might be the case with an organised march or protest – something to take into consideration given there are countries where the right to march or protest freely does not exist. Hence why, as well, OBR in Second Life is marked each year with a dance video to the OBR theme song.

Practical Support

OBR in SL is not itself a fund-raising event, but exists as a means of raising awareness of violence against women and girls. If you’d like to show your support for organisations that work tirelessly throughout the year to bring about change, please visit the OBR in Second Life Non-Profits page for a short list of organisations.

One Billion Rising 2020

One Billion Rising in Second Life 2020 will open its doors to the public shortly before midnight SLT on the 13th/14th February 2020. Do consider popping along and showing support during Friday, February 14th.

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