The basic SL News is here; servers and viewers. But, there isn’t much to say about those so I’ve mixed in the bits an pieces of news from around the grid.
Second Life will be down for an hour on Thursday, 22 May beginning at 7am PDT. If you are in-world you won’t be ejected. But, you won’t be able to do much. Avoid pulling things out of inventory or changing outfits. Of course don’t attempt any Linden$ transactions. Building is probably out of the question.
This has something to do with the assets database and backend systems. Firestorm will have the grid status on screen as usual. I’m not sure how many people will notice. I’ll have to see if the SL Viewer’s splash says anything about it.
If the SL Forum is working (I suspect it will be), we’ll see a load of people asking why they cannot login.
The main channel will get a roll Tuesday. This will be the maintenance release that was running in Magnum this past week. This is a fix for a network issue occurring in busy simulators.
The Blue Steel and Le Tigre channels will continue to run the AISv3 update package for Server Side Avatar baking. The Sunshine viewer is getting updates and hopefully went into QA today.
Magnum is getting a package that has parts of the Advanced Experience Tools project. We haven’t heard much about these tools for some time. We still aren’t hearing much. The release notes describe this package as having infrastructure changes for the Experience Tools project. Doesn’t tell us much. I doubt there will be any changes we can see.
I suspect the underlying permissions system in SL is being reworked. The ever cautious Lindens are likely working to make a hot change over and taking small steps.
The main viewer is now version 3.7.8-289922. This is called the Winter’s excellent Maintenance Fixes including:
- lots of crash fixes
- performance improvements
- GPU table updates
- Multiple fixes to Mac viewer
- Help system update
- fixes in Recent tab, Chat, LSL editor, land management, etc.
Today there are only two RC Viewers. Expect the Sunshine RC to come back soon.
MemPlugs Viewer version 188.8.131.529942 – This viewer release contains a variety of fixes to address memory leaks. The Lindens hope to see improved performance and lower crash rates.
SL Share Viewer version 184.108.40.2069775 – This the Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter sharing version.
Expect these RC’s to get an update from the main viewer’s code, but otherwise stay pretty much the same.
Zipper Viewer version 220.127.116.118507 – This is the fast install experimental viewer.
We will see little news in the coming weeks or releases as the Lab moves into vacation season. Oz is leaving to go rafting. That means no TPV Meeting, which is often a burst of new information.
Tomorrow and Thursday we will hear more about the server packages… but that is going to be a pretty small ‘more’. We may luck out and hear a bit about the Experience Tools. But, I wouldn’t count on it.
Oculus Rift is saying they plan to ship DK-2 in July, still. That has me wondering if they can get a mass produced retail version out there year… See: Oculus On DK2 Shipping Date.
Wireless VR – Zero Latency
Sony Morpheus will be demo’d at SVVR Conference & Expo next week (21). They appear to be showing mass-produced models. (Reference)
Firestorm did another Q&A meeting Saturday 17th @ 8AM SLT. According to Feedly they announced that just about the time the meeting started. I expect a video to pop up in a day or two.
Gaia Clary has a post up explaining what ‘mesh’ is… I’m not sure it is that helpful for the novice new to 3D modeling. But, it is better than nothing and a decent starting place. See: What is Mesh?
NiranV has an experimental release of the Black Dragon Viewer out. I’m not into trying to learn NiranV’s ever changing UI, but that is what the experiment is about, finding better user interface ideas. See: BD 18.104.22.168.
CtrlAltSutio released a viewer with an interface for the XBOX controller. See: 1.2.1 Release: Oculus Rift; Stereoscopic 3D; Variable Walk & Fly Speed; Xbox Controller, Kinect. (this link will show different content after some time.)
Jo Yardley on the new Starter Avatars. See: An alternative to starter avatars. Her idea is to have avatar creation be part of the signup process. I suspect that idea will be rejected as complicating the signup process. Since last names were apparently too much for the process and removing them seems to have created some significant up tic in stats for signups completed, adding avatar creation would be seen by the Lab as counterproductive.
There is a long thread over on SLUniverse about the Starter Avatars. The opinion is running very negative. Several people are commenting about anticipating problems for new users trying to start out with these avatars.
Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference and Expo (SVVR) starts Monday May 19, 2014. We should get some idea of where Second Life and High Fidelity are heading as Philipe Rosedale and Ebbe Altberg will be speaking. I expect to hear new things about Oculus Rift type head sets. Honour McMillan in her blog anticipates interesting news coming from the conference. See: Radicalizing the Metaverse, Bring Your Daughter to a Conference in Second Life. She points to an image of crowd associated with SVVR being mostly male, if not all male. Her idea of radical change is to include this crowd’s daughters and other females interested in technology. OK, I’m into politics and was expecting something entirely different.
Inara Pey is reporting that some of the SVVR presentations will be streamed into Second Life. See: Upcoming SVVR conference to be streamed in-world in SL for the details.
It is going to be interesting to see how Oculus and Glass work out with the female audience for VR. We have seen predominantly male programmers repeatedly miss how tech will play out in SL; mesh as clothes vs buildings and fitted mesh’s poor fitting clothes. So, a headset that messes up my hair… are you serious?
With SL Go I can use a stylist to work the interface on my S4 phone. I would not consider shorter nails to use SL Go. With nails I have to flatten my finger to get skin touching the capacitive surface of my screen. My nail and finger hide the controls that are so tiny on my phone. I can tell exactly where I am touching and the small control result in a frustrating experience. That isn’t an SL Go problem. Be clear, I am using SL Go in a way that was not intended by the designers.
I would simply not use SL Go if I had to cut my nails shorter. But, in a pinch I can use my phone with a stylist and get by. But, how am I going to use a headset without messing up my hair?
I’ll often drop into an SL user group meeting and as soon as it is over or shortly after, I am off to some RL task outside my home. That means my hair has to be good. I won’t be using a headset for those visits. If I am exploring in SL before going to bed, it doesn’t matter. So, I expect there to be changes in how I use SL and when that use may include using a headset. But, the guys don’t seem to be anticipating that problem.
Loki Eliot makes a good case for comparing SL to AOL and possibly suffering the same fate as AOL. See: The future of my virtual reality. The idea is AOL was a closed Internet-like system. As the open version, the WWW – World Wide Web, took over people moved to it. If virtual words are as easy to put up as a WordPress site and as easy to access by the public, we might see a similar scenario for SL vs AOL.
I think that ignores the very necessary aspect of community and individual social reactions. But, I will concede there is some possibility for such a scenario playing out.
For that matter the Maintenance RC Viewer now the Main Viewer 3.7.8 (289922) with the NIVIDA 22.214.171.12423 (335.23) is having problems. The viewer can run about an hour and half then starts doing mini-freezes, black screens, and eventually crashing the viewer. An error message about the video driver crashing pops up from NIVIDA.
I then restart the viewer and get 2 or 3 FPS. I have to shut down the viewer and relog again to get reasonable FPS performance.
Also, if I do not leave the Chose an Avatar panel open when reclogging that panel often never populates.