Rolling Eyesores

Here is a post (and the pic above) from Shigeko Tachikawa on My Second Life (here) that I think everyone should read. Shig started …

The bus got stuck there several days ago. Contrary to AnnMarie’s claims, it did not auto-destroy itself either after becoming stuck. [x] AR filed (SLurl)

shigeko.tachikawa By the way… I wonder why there’s no response from the lab yet about her (self-replicating in order to circumvent the auto-return) bus stop signs which she dropped at all rez zones all over the mainland.

vick.forcella Since those zombie vehicles run just about everywhere, since she rezzes them from her own land (she must own quite a lot of land), since she attends quite a lot of Linden Lab meetings, I suspect she is Uber FIC and above the TOS.

vick.forcella I guess Noobs will like them, residents that like to explore and drive don’t.

shigeko.tachikawa She does not rez them from her own land most of the time. There are her “Bus Stop” signs now all over the mainland and they are self-replicating to make sure there will be a new one in place as soon as the old one is about to be auto-returned. Worthy an AR for abuse of region resources and littering, if you ask me.

vick.forcella Oh. I haven’t noticed she uses/ abuses the rezz zones. Worthy of an AR, next time I see one.

uccello.poultry May I publish this thread on my blog, Vick and Shig?

shigeko.tachikawa @uccie: Sure, but it’s probably even better to point to the ongoing discussion at SLU, where AnnMarie is even commenting on a few things:

vick.forcella I’m ok if you publish Uccie.

vick.forcella She makes monies from those zombie vehicles:

uccello.poultry Thanks, y’all!

Stillman Sim is GONE

Screen Cap with notation of the Stillman region as seen from the current map rendering.

Renowned Second Life explorer Kennylex Luckless reported about an hour ago as I write this that the historic Stillman region has been wiped (Web). It is simply called Land now, is owned by Governor Linden as of today at 2:37AM, and there have been 14 visitors in about 8-9 hours since then. Could this be a mistake due to the current rolling restarts (Web)? I can confirm reports that items are being returned after sims have restarted as I had my house and some other objects returned from Bay City – Dennis – or so the message indicated. No new items are in my Lost and Found folder.

Update: Marianne McCann reports that Stillman was restored as of about 6:45PM SLT (Web).

Mesh Tease [Updated]

I finally got to the Beta Grid after numerous tries and I was immediately griefed with objects that took my name, spammed chat with racist hate speech and offers to open Web sites to learn about avoiding griefing, but were, in fact, advertising pages. Later, I got to see some mesh objects.

This is one of them and I’m not floating above it. Apparently mesh objects have collision planes much like sculpted objects do … physical bounding boxes that control how close an avatar can get to it. If the object is phantom, that’s not an issue. If it is solid, you can stand on it and be seen as standing above it as you are really on the bounding box. This little beauty is by Drongle McMahon and I call it Mesh 60 Prims in 1 because the Edit pane indicated it was but one prim working as if it was 60 prims.

I won’t bore you with tons of pix, but I will tease you by saying I saw marvelous applications of 3D cartography, clothes, fantasy avatars, landscape elements, and an detailed “Model-A”-style truck that should have been 41 prims but was really just one. I’m looking forward to mesh. You?

Alright. Just one more.

The Not-42-Prims truck by Alzahra Ames

UPDATE: 23 August 2011; 7:57pm SLT – The Lab has an official announcement on their blog, “Mesh goes gridwide: Create, sell, buy & enjoy all-new things in SL” … with a nice picture. You can download the required viewer here.

Eating Up The Sims

Something I totally forgot about until I helped someone get to the Beta Grid to test Display Names is the bonus space bux one gets there. On the Main Grid I had just under L$2000 and when I logged into the Beta Grid I had some L$13,000 in my account. No, you don’t get to keep it, most stores are not accessible on the Beta Grid, and anything you buy is more of a rental since you can’t keep it. So here I am in my L$1000 flying suit from Cubey Terra, hanging over a sandbox and wondering why a region doesn’t seem very big at times.

A well-landscaped region can seem endless, like Misty Mountain (SLurl). A flat sandbox seems like a postage stamp, especially when you have a flight-speed boosted rig like I bought. Just about the time I hit a good speed I had to cross a sim border or I hit the sim wall. Since even the best sim crossings are still full of hiccups (though they have greatly improved, for the most part, lately), what we need are double-sized sims. Or maybe The Lab can market a single region the size of four sims at a special price. For folks like me who love flying that would be heaven. Or motor sports enthusiasts could go for a nice long drive without having that strange “flying in limbo” effect when taking a crossing in a physical vehicle. Look at the vehicle sandboxes sometime and you’ll see that nearly all the courses require a sim crossing. I suppose that is good for testing purposes, but certainly not for pleasure trips.

The Disappearing Grid

Standing security watch at the Isle of Lesbos means I get to see plenty of pretty girls but I also see plenty of Tester bots (Web). When one appears it is a sure sign to check the Grid Status Reports (Web). Many recent reports are about region visibility issues, something that the Isle has long complained about with little attention and no remedy. From the main entrance of Lesbos three of the six regions can easily be seen so when they “turn off” it is very obvious. What is really happening is that it is the Isle itself, more often than not, that disconnects. The Minimap flickers red indicating a change and in an instant the other regions disappear or appear from view. Teleports work to them but teleports back are hit or miss.

The other night I teleported to the mall region to check on it while it was gone from view then teleported back. I could see the Isle from the mall so thought nothing was wrong. But once again my avie got stuck (Web). I saw myself on the Isle but I couldn’t stand on the ground without sinking. And while others could see my chat as if I was on the Isle, I saw chat as if I was on the mall. In effect, my camera moved to the Isle with my body but my actual presence was still in the mall. Eventually my two halves snapped back together, but it was annoying.
And I imagine it is playing havoc with traffic numbers and in-world commerce. Despite assurances that teleports aren’t affected, I often hear from others that they couldn’t directly access the Isle but had to pass through an adjacent region. While grid stability is vastly improved over the last two years it is clear that more work is needed.

My own personal grid

Yesterday, the Linden Lab® blog featured a post by Amanda Linden that rather got my hopes up about having my own personal grid (Web). “Today, we’re pleased to share that the stand-alone version of Second Life solution is currently in the alpha phase,” she wrote. Imagine, being able to build while completely disconnected from the Interwebs and from servers lagged by the presence of others. No more watching moved prims snap back because of server hiccups. No more paying L$10 to upload a texture just to find it doesn’t quite work so you can try again, texture after texture. Imagine being able to finalize a build in a fast, reliable workspace then move it in-world.

Maybe I’m making some wish-based assumptions, but it sounds like a personal grid could be a boon for builders. And landscapers! I love to terraform but don’t have my own sim to try new designs. It is easy to imagine having a personal grid living on my iMac with a full parcel of region-sized land to play upon. erm . . to work. Right, work.
Would much time elapse before the Lab or others find a way to connect these stand alone installations? Probably not. And I suspect that a distributed grid platform is a possible goal. It makes too much sense to not spread the construct across multiple sites.