An Authors Point in Second Life

Authors Point; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrAuthors Point – click any image for full size

Miro Collas suggested we pay a visit to Authors Point, a Homestead region designed by Xarl Bombastic (Xariell) and Weed Bombastic as both a region open to visitors and a residential offering. Rugged and rural, it offers a mixed landscape with some interesting quirks.

The island forms a table-like plateau, most of it raised well above the surrounding sea by cliffs, and split almost in two by a narrow gorge running from the south to the north-west to where it forms a pool. Part of the plateau top to the west sits a little higher than the rest, grass dried to gold by a summer’s sun, a flat head of hair for the rock, broken only by the occasional bent tree, knots of scrub hedge and a single, old warehouse building that listens the turning wheel of a wooden windmill and the gentle chimes of bottles strung from rope lines.

Authors Point; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrAuthors Point

Two sets of stone stairs lead down from here. The first drops to the lower step of the plateau, home to more grass and an old piano , sheet music upon its stand. The second, longer stairway drops down to where a grass glade sits just above the waters of the sea and cosseted by the protective arc of rocky cliffs. Here can be found one of several places scattered around the region where quit times can be enjoyed.

Across the watery chasm cutting into the island, itself spanned by an old bridge, the larger part of the plateau stands as another flat head of grassland, this rich green and dotted with tall trees. A track loops around it,, running from and to the bridge, roughly following the line of the cliff edge.

Authors Point; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrAuthors Point

On its way along the south-east cliffs, the track passes a second path, this one winding it way down the rock to coastal lowlands. Here sit five rental properties – so do be aware of people’s privacy should you follow the path downwards. A sixth rental unit faces them across the entrance of the gorge that cuts into the island. The fact the rental units are separated from the rest of the land by cliff and path means it is reasonably easy to avoid trespassing into people homes.

I say “reasonably”, because there is an exception: a tree house sits over the grassy table of rock, close to several point of public use. As such, it is easy to miss the fact is also a rental unit. However, stray too close and you will be curtly warned that it is by a security orb allowing you five seconds to move away. It’s an abrupt discovery that can be off-putting given the nearby carousel and other locations to sit scattered across the island’s top.

Authors Point; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrAuthors Point

This is also a place of change – although how frequently this might be is hard to tell: on our first visit, we found a small Alice In Wonderland-esque tea party setting, complete with a hare (although not the March Hare) accompanied by a chipmunk standing-in for the dormouse. On my return 24 hours later to take photos, the tea party had been replaced by a collection of books, some of them suspended in the air under the spreading branches of a tree.

More stone steps descend down a cutting to the north, offering the way to a cinder beach and another cosy hideaways for couples or those wanting to be alone. Follow the beach westwards around a headland and you’ll come upon  another of the region’s secrets, again hidden from the land above by the curving arms of cliffs.

Authors Point; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrAuthors Point

Two more houses sit on the northern side of the island. The first, mounted on stout wooden legs that presumably protect it from high tides that might otherwise sweep over the low-lying headland, does not appear to be a rental – but perhaps caution should be employed when exploring it, just in case. The second sits offshore, and appears to be a private home for Xarl and Weed.

Aside from the risk of bumping into the slightly abrupt security orb as a result of mistaking the tree house as a part of the public space, Authors Point is a pleasant, photogenic visit that may well stir the urge to write. Photographs are welcome at the region’s Flickr stream for those so minded.

Authors Point; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrAuthors Point

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2019 SL User Groups 12/1: Simulator User Group

The Missing Whale; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrThe Missing Whaleblog post

Server Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news.

  • On Tuesday, March 19th, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 19#19.03.07.525089. Previously deployed to BlueSteel and LeTigre, this update contains:
    • Internal fixes.
    • The Environment Enhancement Project code and all bug fixes for it.
  • On Wednesday, March 20th, the server RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre will remain on server maintenance package 19#19.03.07.525089.
    • Magnum will update to server maintenance package 19#19.03.15.525315, containing:
      • The new operating system update.
      • The Environment Enhancement Project code and all bug fixes for it.

These deployments will mean that server-side support for EEP will be grid-wide. However, the viewer is still at RC status and awaiting some final updates (including the Chrome / Chromium / CEF) fix noted below). The version with the fixes is due to go to the Lab’s internal QA later on March 19th.

SL Viewer

There have been no official viewer updates at the start of the week, leaving the current pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.1.0.524670, formerly the BugSplat RC viewer February 13, promoted February 28. No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Chrome and Chromium Exploit

As noted in my TPV Developer meeting summary, an exploit within Chrome / Chromium which affects all versions except the very latest, 72.0.3626.121. This is being addressed by Linden Lab, but it will take time for the patch to filter out to all viewers – both the Lab’s own and TPVs (note that neither the Linux Spur viewer and the obsolete OS viewer will not be updated with a patch to fix this issue).

In the meantime, the current internal SL web browser is potentially vulnerable; do not use it to browse non-LL websites on it, and avoid using media on a prim from untrusted sources.

Inventory Maintenance

There will be a period of scheduled inventory maintenance between 05:00 and 07:00 SLT on Wednesday, March 20th, 2019:

During this time, residents may have issues with any inventory related activities including building, logging in, as well as avatar and object rezzing. Please refrain from rezzing in-world, in addition to transacting in-world, on the Marketplace, or on the Lindex during this time.

– SL Grid Maintenance notice

Adi Frith at Artful Expressions and a visit to the beach

Artful Expressions: beach

Currently on display at Artful Expressions Gallery, curated by Sorcha Sanvean (Sorcha Tyles), is an exhibition of images by Adi Frith (Adiuvo), a photographer whose work I had not previously encountered.

Once again, this is a small exhibit offering just six images, all of which are avatar studies featuring – I assume – Adi herself as the model. All are all very individual pieces, ranging from a deeply voyeuristic view of a couple engaging in adult play (Found) through to what might be seen as a simple, casual capture (Just Away). Between these are moments of contemplation (Tied) and what might be a reflection of love (Rose), with what might be a further moment of adult intimacy (Strapped) and another suggestion of voyeuristic opportunity (Give Up), although this might also be characterised as a moment of thoughtful reflection.

Artful Expressions: Adi Frith

All six images are finely cropped and post-processed to present captivating scenes, each with a story to tell – or a mystery to be explored (who does the languid, leash-holding hand belong to in Found? What thoughts are present within Give Up and Tied – and what preceded these moments? These are questions and stories only those who view the images can answer – and thus a visit very much is in order.

As well as the gallery space, Sorcha also provides a ground level garden and beach space, reached via the teleport within the gallery – although on my visit I found it dropped me a little too neatly into the foamy wash of tide. The beach area offers deck seating and a short garden walk up to a small café, making it an ideal place it catch your breath and perhaps sit and think about the art you’ve just seen up at the gallery.

Artful Expressions: beach

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Fantasy Faire 2019: a region teaser and a call to bloggers

via Fantasy Faire

Fantasy Faire, the largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, opens its portals on Thursday, April 18th and runs through until Sunday, May 5th, 2019 inclusive. It will bring together everyone with a love of fantasy  – enthusiasts, creators, performers and designers  – for eleven days of commerce, special events, live music concerts and more, all to help raise funds for Relay for Life of Second Life.

All of the sixteen regions and their designers have yet to be announced in full, but nine have been outlined as a teaser:

  • Bayounimba  by Sweetgwendoline Bailey and Mondi Beaumont: a place that has gone from art and light within a forest to a place of darkness and swamp, where half-remembered echoes might still be found.
  • Department Discarded Curiosities by Mayah Parx: a place of whimsical clutter, collected and tossed aside, where colour and curiosity reside.
  • The Light of Valoth by Kilik Lekvoda: a once glorious city once protected by Nature, but now reclaimed by her.
  • Midas by Alia Baroque: where rivers meet, the jewel of the ancient world is born. Follow the trail of incense through baths and gardens to meet the one that will touch your heart of gold.
  • Nightshade Blossoms by Rowan Thursday and Kylie Todriya: a window on a land forgotten by time lit by lanterns and starlight.
  • Sanguinely Garden by Eldowyn Inshan and Katz Republic: humanity destroys its own environment. and the animals and plants are building a new home. The garden with its inhabitants shows them a new way.
  • The Shrine Tree by Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee: a place of Dark Mystical Fantasy where sunset colours the world and the occult, mystical, Gothic and spiritual might be found.
  • Tensors’ Flying Market by Lrriven: a place of endless antiquities and curiosities,  one of the Dreaming’s most wondrous of destinations.
  • Twilight Spring by Searlait Nitschke:  a place of worship for Dark Elves and Drow, where dance, music, and celebration might be found.
Fantasy Faire 2018: Erstwhile

Call to Bloggers

On Monday, March 18th, 2019, applications to be a 2018 Fantasy Faire blogger opened, with the announcement reading in part:

Faire blogging should stem from the same source the Fairelands do: inspiration and imagination. There are no obligatory assignments. Instead there are challenges. We do not want to force anyone to do anything, we want to inspire, dare, encourage: challenge.

We are looking for bloggers that genuinely love the Faire and cherish the fleeting time the Fairelands visit our realm. Since the application is mostly about getting into the early access, we are focusing on bloggers who take pictures in the sims, or of the sims. Studio-work is not dependent on if the sims are laggy or not, after all. We are also searching for bloggers with strong ties to RFL, who are passionate about the Relay and willing to write about it. I am also always, always looking for and favouring good writers and storytellers.

If you would like to chronicle the Faire, make sure you complete the blogger application form (also produced below) BUT! – don’t hurry there right away; as with past Fantasy Faires, there are a few little extra things to consider!

Bloggers are additionally invited to participate in one or more challenges. These are not obligatory, and anyone  – official blogger or otherwise – is free to participate in them. They are:

  • Faire Folk – create a Fairelands character based on one of the Faireland region themes, and bring that character to life through photography and / or writing
  • My New Shiny – merchant-focused blogging from a personal perspective.
  • I Remember – write about your favourite Fairelands of the past.
  • Faire Life – get involved in a Faire event – roleplay, literary workshop, attending a dance or other performance – and write about it.
  • Why I Relay – share a personal reason why you Relay.

Those applying can also apply to write for the official Fantasy Faire website. This has no influence on the actual blogger selection for the Faire, and should be filled only if you are truly interested.

So, if you are interested, make sure you check-out all the information for bloggers and that you complete the application form, either below or on the official Fantasy Faire website.

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Additional Links

2019 viewer release summaries week #11

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

Updates for the week ending Sunday, March 17th

This summary is generally 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.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version 6.1.0.524670, formerly the BugSplat RC viewer February 13th, promoted February 28th. No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5/V6-style

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

A return to Alpha Tribe in Second Life

Alpha.Tribe

Miro Collas recently pointed out to me via Twitter that it’s been over three years since I’d last visited Alpha Auer’s region, Alpha.Tribe (see Finding fool’s gold in Second Life for more), and suggested a return visit might be in order – and he was right!

From the region description, it would seem the current region design is a follow-on from the one I visited back in 2015, and carries a number of echoes of that build whilst presenting something new as well. Captain Nemo remains well represented, for example, with not one but two copies of his Nautilus present – both of them serenely circling the sky, making an interesting trio with a steampunk airship.

Alpha.Tribe

This time around I wanted to build a sim that (unlike the previous version which was around for a very long time) did not have any gold whatsoever – at least on the ground level, since the golden Blueprint City is still around on one of the sky levels. While the previous rez was called “fool’s gold” this one now is called “The Straits” because of the strait that runs through it. I am not sure that it has a theme, as did “fool’s gold” but I know that you folks will be spinning your own tales as you wander around.

– Alpha Auer describing the current Alpha.Tribe

Part of the ground area is an amusement park – the rides can be tried and Alpha recommends the visitors “thoroughly plunder the grab a duck kiosk”, but I’d caution on using the bumper cars: when I tried, the ride was … bumpier … than might be expected.

Alpha.Tribe

Also to be found on the ground level is the aqua gym, located within a floating geodesic dome, which Alpha notes goes all the way back to aqua gym that dates all the way back to her Syncretia region. Close by is a “chemistry garden” (look for the departing galleon), while towards the centre of the region is another reminder of the previous build: the crazy cat parlour.

Island float above, and in sight of, the ground level, while higher up, alpha has retained her Blueprint City, together with a new build, Midnight Wastes, which Alpha recommends viewing into the altitude windlight (Wastes Midnight). This is a stunning city-style environment built on a glass platform, its “reflection” visible below, ornate buildings and structures raised on stilts and platforms.

Alpha.Tribe

Getting around the builds is best achieved by walking / flying at ground level, and using the teleport cylinders that are scattered around to reach the sky builds (and which also connect to the ground-level areas). As with past builds this incorporates elements by Arcadia Asylum, which Alpha has re-textured and re-purposed to  suit her design and which share the region with works by other Second Life creators.

Always fascinating, rich in curios, Alpha.Tribe remains an artistic expression and pleasing visit. However, do be aware the region can impact viewers that are running with high draw distances, shadows enabled, etc.

Alpha.Tribe

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