Announcing: Bay City Prim Drop

Bay City, Second Life's® city by the bay, is once again preparing for their annual "Prim Drop" on the evening of the 31st of December, with festivities commencing at 11:30 pm SLT within the Bay City Fairgrounds in North Channel.

The party will include a two-hour set of DJed tunes presented by Marianne McCann, as well as fireworks and other festive fun. Food, drink, and other party favors will be provided for all attendees.

The event is presented as an outdoor, high-class, wintertime soirée, and black tie attire and/or full dress is requested. All Second Life® Residents are welcome to attend and ring in the New Year with the Bay City community.

This will also be the last event within Bay City this year for donating to Child's Play Charity (www.childsplaycharity.org).  Child's Play is a 501c3 non profit organization offers online communities such as ours an opportunity to help seriously ill children around the globe during their hospital stays with the purchase of games and gaming equipment. 

The venue is set for the Annual New Years Eve Prim Drop on 12/31 at 11:00 p.m. SLT. The only thing missing is you! 

Let's anticipate 2021 and send off 2020 in style! Remember: the event is presented as an outdoor, high-class, wintertime soirée, and black tie attire and/or full dress is requested. 

Also, the photo wall is up now, so you can take your 2021 pix in advance!

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab® and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest group for Residents of Bay City.

For more information,  please contact Marianne McCann.

Reporters Dakota Schwade, Marianne McCann
20201230

Announcment: Tree Lighting Event

Coming to Second Life® for the eleventh year in a row is Bay City's annual annual Tree Lighting event on Sunday, 6th December 2020 from 1-4 pm SL. 

The event will be held at the Bay City Fairgrounds, in North Channel ( http://slurl.com/secondlife/North%20Channel/128/128/24/ ) and will feature GoSpeed of KONA stream and live performances by Maximillion Kleene and Wolfie Starfire. The event will also feature ice-skating, dancing, refreshments and plenty of fun for everyone!

As part of the event, a silent auction will again be held to support Child's Play Charity (www.childsplaycharity.org). We are asking Second Life® designers and artists to participate by providing fun, interesting, unique, or other transferable items (or a no-copy object that the auction winner can give to you to redeem their prize, if the item(s) have to be no transfer). Please contact Marianne McCann to participate. 

Auction will end at the conclusion of the event. All proceeds from the silent auction and from donation bins at the venue will go to Child's Play Charity. Child's Play is a 501c3 non profit organization offers online communities such as ours an opportunity to help seriously ill children around the globe during their hospital stays with the purchase of games and gaming equipment. Bay City has raised over US$3000.00 for Child's Play at the tree lighting and at charity car washes held in Second Life®

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab® and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest group for Residents of Bay City.

For more information, or to participate in the event, please contact Marianne McCann.


Reporter Dakota Schwade
20201204

Lead Editor Of The Bay City Post Back On-line


The Lead Editor of the Bay City Post (Vick Forcella, me) has been off-line for about four weeks. Many were worried, have send me questions, so I will explain how and why hoping it will answer your questions.

With doing so I will break two rules, using the Bay City Post for something personal and giving away private information that could potentially be abused to identify my RL identity. I do this totally in the spirit of Ever who agrees with me in doing so.

Sit down and enjoy the following story.

One Sunday afternoon, the beginning of August this year, the weather prediction was good. No winds, some sunshine and it looked like it would be the last mild day with a heat wave following. A great day for a walk into nature for me, my wife and the dog. I selected a patch of nature I had not visited before.

After walking for about an hour I woke up. Something was pushing me down with great force. I started breathing but I only managed to inhale short puffs of air and say "help" while I exhaled. I wiggled my left toe, right toe, left hand, right hand. Nothing broken so far. I could not get up.

After some time I heard a male voice saying my name. You are under tree. Don't worry, we will get you out soon. 

I hear a helicopter landing, I hear a chainsaw. I see my left shoe to the right of my face, I realise my foot is inside. I fear that the chainsaw could cause something to break ripping me in two.

Next I know I am in an ambulance, racing. Racing towards the University hospital. There I go in/out scans and receive a welcome dosage of morphine.

My wife had heard a strange noise. Shouted Run! She went one way, I went the other. She had lost me, the dog found me under a fallen tree. She pushed away some branches and found me face down, mouth in the sand. She tilted my head and removed the sand. I started breathing and calling for help. She removed as much as she could but could not free me.

My phone was down somewhere. She ran away and found people with a phone and willing to help. They called the emergency services. and ran to the road to wait for the ambulance, point them towards me. 

My wife became very scared when she found my left foot to the right of my head and observed from a distance as the fire fighters started working. Last thing she recalls is me shouting I love you as I was lifted into the ambulance. (not the helicopter)

My time in the University hospital was a bit weird. Besides of the opiates and the scans they continued to ask me my name, where I am and what day it was. Silly hospital, don't they have a calendar?

I spend about a week there. Not sure if I ever was able to come out of the bed by myself. I think it was there that I have send a text to a very good friend in SL and asked to inform Marianne.

Next I was raced to my local hospital. There I was able to leave the bed and walk with a cart in front of me. 

The verdict.
Besides "should have been dead" and "most luckiest guy in the world" my ribs are giving pain while breathing. They tell me it's not broken, I do not believe them. 

Two of the bones in my back are broken. The fractures are on the inside and not where there is great risk of a spinal injury, loosing control over breathing or loosing control over my lower body. It's stable.

I have had bleeding inside my head. My brain should be famous with three pictures taken. The pictures reveal it was healing quite good.

I had a bleeding wound on my head and had stitches. 

After the local hospital I went to a revalidation home. Much freedom, pure luxury. 

My wife wanted me home, and so did I. She had to twist the arm of someone to get a hospital bed at home for me so she could care for me.

I'm at home now.

I can not twist my back, bend down, pick up anything from the floor. It's painful and quite risky.
I can not breath deep as my ribs will hurt me.
I can not sleep on my side, only on my back and that hurts too. I sleep in slices of one hour, wake up with pain, walk around, eat something, then go back to bed. I have been lucky a few times with a slice of two hours.
I should not go tired. My brain will do very weird things when I go tired. It hasn't happened for a week now so I am hopeful but I better be careful. It is one of the reasons why I can not go on-line and pretend nothing has happened.
I am very emotional and I'm crying about just anything.

Though I am trying to reduce my usage I am using various painkillers.

I try to walk, behind a cart, for half an hour every day. The cart is needed for when and if I loose balance and I can sit when I'm tired.

The doctor removed my stitches yesterday and nothing fell out.

Strange things.
Even though my left leg pretended for a week not to be mine it is fully back to normal. No pain at all.
There is a video on-line (that I am not sharing) that shows the tree that fell on me. A 50 year old oak tree. It shows THE OTHER HALF OF THAT TREE still standing. I must presume that the tree once has been struck by lightning, split in half, top/down, and was waiting for me to pass by, and then fall down.

No idea what is next. According to several wiki entries I should be in hospital being monitored. According to the same wiki pages it takes one and a half year at minimum to heal. I told myself I have to be extra careful another month, then have a talk with a doc.

The Bay City Post will be published. As long as there is a community there will be a Bay City Post. Don't pin me down on a publication date.

Don't send me plants or shrubbery, they can attack.

Editor Vick Forcella
20200828

Linden Research, Inc. to Be Acquired

Blatantly stealing the headline from the Linden Lab website.
Short version. The parent of Second Life and Tilia, Linden Research Inc., will be bought by two investors, Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager.

Please read the original publication and let it sink in.

Reading Inara's blog it looks like these two are Good (tm) people.

So, what will they do?

First lets see what it will mean to us, the residents of Second Life?
Short and simple, nothing!

From here on remember, I have no documentation! I am 100% guessing!!

It's not like we see Mitch Kapor banging on doors all around Second Life so there is no reason to expect any different from Randy and Brad.

Linden Research Inc. is the investment vehicle for Linden Lab. That is why most of us have never heard of it. When Philip Rosedale wanted to start Second Life he walked door to door to find investors. He found a few and with that capital he could buy stuffs and rent a poor peoples apartment on Linden Street, San Francisco.

Of the original investors, I think there were five, Mitch Kapor is the one best known. (There was a Judy?) Philip had some cash with him coming from RealNetworks. The capital was combined and legal things were documented.
It's a private company. The capital was divided into owner shares and based on that the investors would receive a percentage of the profit. The shares can not be freely traded, if an investor wanted to un-invest the only way to do that is to sell the shares back to Linden Research Inc.

When profits began to flow in and the break even point was passed the employees received, besides pay, shares in the company. These shares are more limited as the investment shares. They pay out, but don't give any voting rights.

Linden Research Inc. (the money) appoints the Board of Directors of Linden Lab. These define the strategy, check accounting and appoint the CEO.

The value of the company roughly can be divided,
5% Offices
10% Hardware
15% IP rights (protected software)
70% Clients and goodwill
Add to that the value of the potential of Tilia.

Who owns the stock
80% original investors
20% (former) employees

How well is Second Life doing? There are two answers to that.
1/ The investors are making profit, they have received more as their original investment.
2/ Second Life is no longer the money maker as it used to be. Income has dropped significantly but is stable the last few years. It is making good profits.

So why then sell off to two investors?
The answer could be as simple as. A few of the original investors want their stock converted to money.
Problem is, the (book) value of Linden Research is so high that the other investors can't match that and can't (or don't want to) increase their investment. Getting a normal loan from a bank would not be a good idea.

Another, more exciting, answer could be. There are plans to do something that costs a lot of money. For instance, set up an owned cloud.

There is a risk that Randy and Brad will be doing the hedge fund thing. However, when you look at the (assumed) distribution of value, there isn't much that can be sold off and rented back (since that is what the hedge funds do, and then let it die).

Sure it's possible to sell up the competencies (IP) of running Second Life and Tilia. But that would create competition reducing the value.
Sell off Second Life as a whole would be possible. But that would scare away clients and goodwill. Nobody wants an ad during log-in or while exploring the world. Nobody wants their userdata to be exploited by some sugar mountain.
Sell off the servers, well, that will happen when our bunny knows how to tweak things and puts us all in the cloud. The servers could be rented out to Amazon and become part of the AWS cloud, or be sold to them. It's just a bunch of machines with cables around them.

What will be sold to Randy and Brad? Not sure. I find it hard to believe that all original investors will hand over their stock. Philip selling off his stake in his brainchild? No way. Can they get their hands on the stock owned by (ex) employees? Unlikely.

I have to assume that Randy and Brad will get a majority stake in Linden Research because of the word acquired and the regulatory things. They will not get complete ownership, as is reflected by the board of directors that doesn't change except that Randy and Brad will be part of it. If they had full ownership they could/ should push them out.

They key words in the publication are "to help Linden Lab achieve new heights in distribution, scale, and quality while remaining true to the original vision, creativity, and community that makes Second Life unique and special" also "continue growth and expansion".

I am sure things will change. I find it unlikely that those changes would hurt the community. It could be possible that a localized Second Life could spring up, only for one language/country on a localized, faster, cloud. Would create competition and would break up the communities but it could be a specialized world, for education, museum or training ground separate from Second Life but controlled by Linden Lab, from a distance.

From my point of view, no time to call it quits. I'm not selling of my lands.

Randy and Brad will get an account. Be Lindens, and we, as a community, will make sure they will only do good for us. We are the value of Second Life, that won't change.
Reporter Vick Forcella
20200710

Bay City Post, Edition 89

Welcome to the eightyninth edition of the Bay City Post!
Keeping you updated on the best city on the grid!

Your reporters went out through hail and rain, thunderstorms and tsunamis, sunshine and droughts, to bring you the news and latest gossip from our Fine City.

In this edition we have for you,


Second Life 17th birthday
SL17B is open till July 10. Now is a great moment to visit. Not many visitors so less lag.
We have visited many places but had to make a selection on what to report about.
Thank you Fenix for helping out!

The previous edition is available in our archive.
RacerX Gullwing, the one and only, has made a video of the parade of the 12th anniversary of Bay City. Enjoy!

Draxtor has given special attention to the SL railroads. He made 5 videos one of them featuring Bay City and the Bay City Post.

Screenshot, no need to click play
A complete list of all the videos can be found here.
Railroads Made in Second Life 5 parts and an interview between Draxtor Despres and Patch Linden, Athos Murphy (fka Michael Linden), Hrdtop75 Deluxe, and Zen Swords-Galway.
Sheree Honeyflower challenged the SL gods and entered the Hairy Hippo's Lollercoaster.

Editor Vick Forcella
20200708


(advertising)
Tear and tier are pronounced the same
Tear and tear are pronounced differently
Read the Bay City Post!

Strict No Machinima Policy Eyed By City Council

Mayor supports new privacy laws.

The Bay City council has been discussing the current machinima policy that allows people to create machinima in our Fine City. After several video directors created machinima in our Fine City there has been a call from fractions to tighten the current policy only allowing to make machinima after consent from the land owners.
They motivate this policy change with the argument that machinima can invade the privacy of people and homes and that machinima creators make profits from house and landowners.
They proposed a contract between the citizen and the machinima creator before machinima is made. In that contract it should be made clear what percentage of profit will flow towards the citizen.
Without a contract machinima creators should defer making machinima at that place.

As expected the Mayor supports the implementation of such strict rules.

During the discussions between the different fractions it became clear that a policy change is only possible after implementing a city wide covenant for all the regions with the help and support of city workers.

After long lasting elaborations it was decided not to change the current policy. To change it would be nearly impossible.

Right after the council meeting the mayor was asked what the consequences would be.

"I'll have to remove my toys" was the reply as the mayor quickly moved away from the microphone.
Shortly after this explosions were heard.

More information about the machinima policy can be found here.

This article might have been inspired by the image of the Bay City Post in one of Draxtor his videos.
Reporter Vick Forcella
20200708

Police and Fire Blotter

June 12th
Bay City Police and Fire responded to reports of an accident along Route 66 after traffic was backed up for regions. After arriving on scene, the First Responders discovered the backup to be caused by a massive flock of seagulls. Police discovered that a resident had mistakenly tried to feed a single seagull, and was not prepared for the onslaught of the rest of the flock from the Bay.

June 20th
A team from the Sansara National Guard was seen inspecting the Lollercoaster at the Hairy Hippo Fun Land after receiving reports of the ride being dangerous. City officials declined to comment, though an anonymous source cited regular testing using Moles.

June 27th
Bay City Police encountered several individuals who were seen impersonating police officers. An undercover BCPD officer followed the suspects from a distance, though lost track of them when they crossed into Nova Albion. It is believed that the suspects may be related to the incident with another impersonator during the Bay City Anniversary. The investigation is still ongoing.

June 27th
During a routine patrol, a Bay City Coast Guard helicopter experienced engine trouble. The pilot was forced to make an emergency landing at the Bay City Municipal Aeroport. The Bay City Fire Department quickly responded, and was able to extinguish the engine fire before any avatars were harmed. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
BCCG helicopter on fire after emergency landing
 
Reporter Thomas Hooker
20200708

Our Emperor Needs A Face

Michael the First, Emperor of Bay City, also known as Emperor Michael, also known as Michael the Moleman, also known as Your Highness, has so far shown that his heart is in the right place with his statements and proclamations.

Since his crowning he has called for the abolishment of security orbs and ban lines, he ordered the installation of public safety shelters, he reached out to the city workers Xiola and Strawberry, he shared his worry about the Arch District, he expressed his care about the Bellisseria community and he loudly requested (nearly demanded) to receive a Bellisseria content pack.

I have yet to meet a citizen of our Fine City that doesn't have feelings about Emperor Michael I. Most have met this scruffy man with his feathered hat, scribbling his lists, listening to upset citizens, selling prim boxes, smelling like an open sewer.

Despite him being well known he manages to evade the equipment to make snapshots. Even distant methods to make a snapshots have so far been unsuccessful.
No idea how he does that.

Since so many have seen him, since we have in our Fine City so many talented creators, I call upon the citizens to send me an artist impression of Emperor Michael the First.

Your sketch/ painting/ drawing will be used for future publications about Emperor Michael the First in your favourite newspaper, the Bay City Post.

Since it is quite hard to motivate volunteers to do something I (Vick) will personally donate L$10.000 to Child's Play (through our local Bay Resident) in the name of the artist that makes the best impression of Emperor Michael the First.

Send me your artwork! vickforcella (at) gmail -dot- com

If your artwork is chosen you will receive eternal bragging rights and will become absolutely famous, since it will appear here in your newspaper with almost each publication about Michael I.
Small print. If you send your artwork you know the above and agree with it.

Send in your artwork! Give Michael I a face.
Reporter Vick Forcella
20200708

Bay City Cruis'n

Some days I think to myself, "I need a new car."

Which is usually followed by, "I need a new car?"

After a bit of back and forth in this manner I typically give in and wander about "window shopping" to see what is available.

What's on the other side of these windows?
Who: sumire Papp
What: SUMI Vehicles
Where: Bay City - Mashpee
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bay%20City%20-%20Mashpee/74/123/25

Two wheels. Three wheels. Four wheels. Amphibious. Somewhat military. I like the Boogie Buggy the most.

The manufacturer promises high quality, low land impact and smooth cross-border performance.

And there's a rezzer for test drives, along with a small cafe in the back so you can have a place to calmly decide which vehicle suits you.
The SUMI Vehicles cafe provides mostly donuts. However, I was looking for something else to help my thought process. What's this nearby? Ah, just the thing!
Who: Naughty Mole
What: Talpa's Ice Creams
Where: Bay City - Mashpee
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bay%20City%20-%20Mashpee/73/154/25

This is an LDPW (Linden Department of Public Works) municipal structure, providing vital services to our fair city.

Vital ... I could not agree more ... Banana Sundae, Raspberry Ripple, Strawberry Surprise ... Mint Chocolate Chip. Sold!
That's it for this cruise through Bay City.

I hope to see you on the road. Happy motoring!
Reporter Dakota Schwade
20200708

CEF, New Media, and Old Videos

Recently (June 23rd), the Linden viewer released with an important update to "CEF" - the Chromium Embedded Framework that's used for viewing web pages and -- crucially -- media. At the time of writing, only the Linden viewer has this support, but third party viewers will likely adopt this feature very soon.

Support for the new CEF version first surfaced in a project viewer that used streaming media for the Adult Swim "The Shivering Truth" event, in May.

But there are broader benefits of the enhanced media support. Notably, other video services and formats are now supported that before would give a blank screen (at best). One such service is Vimeo, fairly widely used in entertainment and, specific to SL, the home of an exhaustive archive of old Designing Worlds videos that were once hosted by Treet TV.

Unlocking these Vimeo-based archives needs a bit of tweaking on in-world video players. It's actually possible to play these videos on either "Shared Media" surfaces (aka "Media on a Prim") or Parcel Media. Both will use a custom URL that embeds Vimeo's proprietary streaming player to see the video directly instead of a web page surrounding the player. The basic player URL is offered as a way to "Share" the video from the regular Vimeo web page, but there are a lot of confusing options. What I've found to work best is to copy the number in the Vimeo webpage URL (call that VIMEO_NUMBER), and splice it into an address as follows:
https://player.vimeo.com/video/VIMEO_NUMBER?autoplay=1&loop=1
which sets it to autoplay and loop by default. (Note the "player" in that address.)

Both Shared and Parcel media also face a quirk of the Vimeo player: it displays the video in the center 56.25% of the vertical surface texture - a huge "letterbox" effect. To get around this, a script can scale the texture to stretch out that strip to span the whole height of the surface, or you can do this manually in the editor. (To get a black letterbox, include "&transparent=0" in the URL.)

When presented in Shared Media, the user can interact directly with the viewer by clicking on it (or using the keyboard with the surface selected), so you'll likely want to turn off the Shared Media control options that hover above the display. Unlike Shared Media, Parcel media has no means of interacting directly with the viewer, so using "&controls=0" will hide the Vimeo player scrollbars, etc. (Some Parcel media players have their own controls, *some* of which will operate the Vimeo player stream.)

Here's a little script that does what's described here for both Shared and Parcel media, using a couple different Designing Worlds episodes of personal interest.

==================
Vimeo Media Script
==================

string VIMEO_NUMBER = "427716338";
integer MEDIA_FACE = 1;
mediaError(integer num)
{
list MEDIA_ERRORS =
[ STATUS_MALFORMED_PARAMS, "Function was called with malformed parameters"
, STATUS_TYPE_MISMATCH, "Argument(s) passed to function had a type mismatch"
, STATUS_BOUNDS_ERROR, "Argument(s) passed to function had a bounds error"
, STATUS_NOT_FOUND, "Object or other item was not found"
, STATUS_NOT_SUPPORTED, "Feature not supported"
, STATUS_INTERNAL_ERROR, "An internal error occurred"
, STATUS_WHITELIST_FAILED, "Whitelist Failed"
];
llWhisper(DEBUG_CHANNEL, "Shared media error encountered: "
+ llList2String(MEDIA_ERRORS, llListFindList(MEDIA_ERRORS, [num])+1));
}
default
{
state_entry()
{
integer errNum = llClearLinkMedia(LINK_THIS, MEDIA_FACE);
if (errNum)
{
mediaError(errNum);
return;
}
string html = "https://player.vimeo.com/video/"
+ VIMEO_NUMBER
+ "?autoplay=1&loop=1";?
llScaleTexture(1.0, 0.5625, MEDIA_FACE);
errNum = llSetLinkMedia(LINK_THIS, MEDIA_FACE,
[ PRIM_MEDIA_AUTO_PLAY, TRUE
, PRIM_MEDIA_CURRENT_URL, html
, PRIM_MEDIA_HOME_URL, html
, PRIM_MEDIA_PERMS_CONTROL, PRIM_MEDIA_PERM_NONE
]);
if (errNum)
mediaError(errNum);
// parcel
// return; // to prevent setting PARCEL media
html = "https://player.vimeo.com/video/"
+ "375405889"
+ "?autoplay=1&loop=1&controls=0&transparent=0";
llParcelMediaCommandList([ PARCEL_MEDIA_COMMAND_STOP]);
llParcelMediaCommandList([ PARCEL_MEDIA_COMMAND_UNLOAD]);
llParcelMediaCommandList(
[ PARCEL_MEDIA_COMMAND_URL, html
, PARCEL_MEDIA_COMMAND_TYPE, "text/html"
]);
llParcelMediaCommandList([ PARCEL_MEDIA_COMMAND_PLAY]);
}
}


==================

All the scripted operations can be done manually, too, and may work in existing in-world media players. Note that a parcel media script must be owned by the landowner, so on group owned land it must be deeded to the group. And remember that you'll need a viewer supporting the CEF updates to actually watch the videos.
Reporter Qie Niangao
20200708

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