Second Life Residents Start To Pay Their Respects To Sir Terry Pratchett

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One of the first things I did when I joined Second Life was to look up a group for Discworld, thinking that Second Life would be an ideal venue for such a group. Alas that didn’t go very far, despite there being many fans and surnames of Weatherwax and Morpork not being uncommon.

In October 2008 Terry Pratchett visited Second Life. The visit was to promote his book of Nation, but many people wanted to talk about Discworld. A couple of Lindens sneaked in to listen to him, he arrived on stage :

TerryPratchett Morpork: Hello everybody! Sorry, I’m new at all of this kind of stuff and so can anyone tell me how to get the rocket launcher? …and I’m not really into all of this YourTube into MyFace kind of stuff!

Michaelx Beerbaum: Question is if Second life will appear in one of the books?

TerryPratchett Morpork: As far as I am concerned, my books are Second Life.

Having thought long and hard, a quiet voice piped up :

Ciaran Laval: Do you think Moist Von Lipwig would have managed the banking system better than those currently in charge?

TerryPratchett Morpork: It seems that, primitive as it is, the Discworld economy is considerably more stable than the one here. And, come to think about it, Moist’s solution to the problem was not a long way from what has been done over here…

He was talking about real world economies not Second Life. Upon hearing of Sir Terry’s death today I decided to visit a location where fans do gather, the Time and Space sim and already they have start to erect a tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett.

Tribute To Sir Terry Pratchett

They are also getting plenty of visitors, whom like me, want to visit locations whereby fellow fans may be around.

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Using Open Broadcast Software & SL Go To Record Videos In Second Life

Open Broadcast Software is free and Open Source software for recording or streaming video. The software is available for Windows, OSX or Linux. I’ve tried to use it before to record video in Second Life and my creaking PC couldn’t handle it. The results were crashtastic.

However I decided to give it a go using SL Go from OnLive and found, well it works, to a degree at least. Now I should point out here that I have pretty much no experience whatsoever in recording video footage from Second Life, so the results are not spectacular by any stretch of the imagination.

I was taking a look around A Tattered Page, from Cursed Events, when I decided to give it a whirl. By the way A Tattered Page is an interesting event, currently on round three with a theme of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, it combines literature with Second Life events and is therefore very worthy.

Now what I did here is pretty raw, I’ve engaged in no editing and just dumped the footage to a file.

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Second Life Residents Start To Pay Their Respects To Mr Spock

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Spock On The Map

I can remember being in Second Life one evening when there was a lot of kerfuffle going on in group chat urging people to look at Sandbox Cordova on the map. These things happen, I wasn’t taking much notice and then I decided to take a look. The above image was a genuine view of the Second Life map at that time.

The above golden moment was captured by Imnotgoing Sideways. There’s another example over at SLUniverse complete with a little bit of commentary from the moment. The Lindens may not have found it quite as funny as we did.

The Second Life Science Fiction Convention, which runs until March 1st have started to pay their respects to Leonard Nimoy, forever known as Mr Spock.

Farewell Mr Spock

The United Federation Of Planets are putting up signs to mark the memory of Spock.

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Valve To Demo Previously Unannounced SteamVR Hardware System At GDC 2015

A good place to follow all things VR related is at The Road To VR. This is an informative site that carries news and developments rather than trying to be funny and clever like far too many sites. The site has recently posted an interesting article regarding a VR initiative from Steam : Valve to Reveal “SteamVR Dev Kit” Next Week at GDC 2015 :

Gaming giant Valve has announced that they’ll be revealing a “previously-unannounced SteamVR hardware system” at GDC 2015. The company has been actively engaged in R&D in the AR/VR space but hasn’t previously broken into the hardware market. This new information makes it look like they might be gearing up to do just that.

Valve were at one stage expected to enter the VR hardware market, but then some of their staff moved to Oculus and things went quiet on the Valve front, very quiet. However the latest news suggests that Valve are very much interested in sharing a piece of the VR hardware pie.

Valve are also reaching out to VR content creators, as they explain on the steampowered site :

With the introduction of SteamVR hardware, Valve is actively seeking VR content creators. Are you a developer or publisher interested in experiencing the new SteamVR hardware? We’ll be giving scheduled VR demos during the week of GDC, March 4th-6th, 2015, at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

This is a very interesting development to say the least.

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Linden Lab’s Callum Prentice Makes The News Over His Flight Stream Code

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Flights In The Sky

Who is Callum Prentice I hear you ask, well it’s what I heard myself asking when I saw an article in, of all places, The Daily Mail : Watch the world’s ‘swarming’ flight paths in action: Beautiful multicoloured visualisation reveals air traffic across the globe.

So the answer as to who Callum Prentice is comes in the article :

The British-born developer currently works for 3D Virtual World Second Life in California and has released the code for his Flight Stream design, as well as his other interactive projects, on his website.

Then we land at the website, we finally find out who Callum Prentice is! Hurrah!

British bloke, in San Francisco via London, Singapore, Barcelona, and Hong Kong ● Second Life developer during the day since 2004 ● Enthusiastic WebGL hacker in the evenings ● Founder of Industrial Might and Logic Combat Robots ● Eager traveller ● Crossfit and indoor rowing aficionado ● Insanely happy husband and father.

As Callum has been at Linden Lab since 2004 he’s an oldbie, he’s been there for a long time, seen a lot of changes and I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t know what Callum Linden does. However it appears he was involved at some point in bringing HTML on a prim to Second Life. Callum has a strong interest in WebGL.

However back to his flight stream, as that’s what’s making the news :

The site was created as an ‘experiment to map many of the airline flights between world airports,’ explained Mr Prentice.

Tools on the site let visitors control the opacity of the individual flight tracks, change the size of the airports as well as adjust the speed of the animation.

The animation has been designed for desktop browsers, but Mr Prentice has also created a video for people on mobiles to be able to view the animation.

Mr Prentice told MailOnline the visualisation was just a hobby, and admitted that there is so much data around major airports, ‘it just blurs into a mess’, but the visualisation was fun to do and ‘looks pretty.’

However besides looking pretty, flight stream is fascinating as it shows just how many flights are in the sky.

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