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Damani Mediaplayers down 
Sadly, we're suffering from a server crash, causing all mediaviewers to no longer function.
We are working hard to restore functionality, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


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Winter time at Damania and Elonia 

Winter has come to Damania and Elonia, and we have special things waiting for you! Including a wonderful free seasonal gift.







Damani WeatherSystem deLuxe - Free 'Filigree Butterfly' gift
The Damani WeatherSystem deLuxe is the absolute best way to experience winter (brrrrr..) in SL. You can have gently falling snow covering your land or a blizzard! As you walk through the snow, you'll hear it crunch beneath your feet. For more information about how the weather experience in Second Life™ has been taken to a whole new level with theDamani WeatherSystem deLuxe.

For a limited time, you will receive our beautiful Filigree Butterfly spawner as a free gift. These gentle fluttering snow butterflies will leave a trail of snow in their wake. These butterflies will add something special to your winter landscape.






Snow Sculpts
Our snow sculpt package will give you snow sculpts and icicles galore! These are the same high quality snow sculpts included in our WeatherSystem deLuxe. Also included is an incredible ice texture. This package is perfect for those of you who have the standard WeatherSystem or simply need snow drifts (sculpts) to enhance your land. The snow sculpt package is available in our store for 195 $L.






Fireworks - 50% Off
Thinking ahead to your New Years party? Come and try out the Damani Fireworks. You'll experience fireworks in SL like you never have before. You can use the automatic option or be creative and create your own patterns and effects. Hundreds of colours and patterns, multiple effects, and as easy to use just rez and light for a full show. Complete system (copyable, configurable). To make sure your New Years Eve party is perfect, the Damani Fireworks is on sale now for 395L$. That is a 400L$ savings




Mechanical Reindeer game - 50% Off
Want some fun and games this Winter season? The Damani Mechanical Reindeer game is a great way to have fun, laughter and competition among your friends and family. Who can ride the reindeer the longest? Will it be you? Come and try the reindeer game today .. one ride and you will be hooked. The Mechanical Reindeer is on sale for 250$L through the New Year. That's a 250$L savings.




Free seasonal gift
Wondering about free seasonal gift? Come to Damania today to receive a beautiful snowglobe. Gently falling snow in lands on the roof of a very cozy looking house in the snowglobe. This is a great accent piece for your holiday decorating!



Happy winter from the Damani Collection!


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SL, Youtube and you 


UPDATE: Youtube is now working on all mediaviewers!

After getting many responses that people really didn't like the flash viewer options, and didn't mind me taking the risk. I have decided to let you make the choice yourself:

Either activate 'Youtube Streaming' in settings and have the same experience as all other youtube streaming TV's.
Or stick with Viewer 2/Snowglobe and the official youtube player, the more future proof, but less easy option.

The choice is yours.


You might have noticed, for a week or so, your Damani Mediaviewer (or any media device in SL) went to 'black' when trying to play Youtube Videos.

In their infinite wisdom - or more to the point; corporate greed - Youtube has blocked the way that videos were originally played in Second Life.

Why?
YouTube exists of showing you advertisements. If you don't use their official viewer (whether it's on their site, or embedded in a web page), you deny them the opportunity to show you those ads, directly cutting into their revenue model.


So why does this affect SL?
The current SL clients (1.23, Emerald etc.) are not able to use the Adobe Flash plugin. As Youtube needs Flash to actually display the videoplayer, Youtube simply doesn't work on those clients.
The only thing that works is a technique used by all the youtube download sites: A server grabs the youtube page, and figures out the location/url of the real (MP4) video stream. Then this server sends this location to all the SL clients which then play that stream.

As said, youtube doesn't like people downloading/streaming clips directly, outside of their control, so this is now blocked in the following fashion: If you grab the webpage, you need to now do this on exactly the same computer as you are going to view the video. If these machines differ, as they do with the separate server, the video simply doesn't play.


Can't you fix it?
Sadly, it is currently not possible to 'fix' this.

This is not a 'bug' or a technical issue. Youtube is actively blocking the access from 3rd party servers.
The only way to 'fix' is by illegally cracking or circumventing Youtube's security and encryption scheme. Besides this being very very complex and taking a huge amount of processing power, it is also illegal.


But, other TVs have fixed it.
There are TV makers that sell working Youtube TV's, even on old clients.
They have not 'fixed' anything. It is still possible to play a Youtube video on any sl client, just by putting a streaming server between youtube and the clients playing the videos.

You can download the video from youtube onto the streaming server, then upload/stream it from the server back again to all the people watching. Basically, your server is now playing both the youtube user and youtube itself, both downloading and streaming every video.

As you can imagine, this process eats TONS of bandwidth (double the amount for each and every video watched per person). My calculations, after some tests, came to having to need over 5TB (5000 GIGABYTE!) of bandwidth each month.

To buy these amounts of bandwidth/servers, would require dedicated servers costing 100s to 1000s of dollars per month. That is a cost we sadly can't make, while still selling the viewer for only 495L$.

We would have to raise prices extremely, just to break even, and basically we would have to have all new customers pay for everybody else watching Youtube on their already purchased MediaViewers.

We think this would be a bit unfair too.


So how about these other TVs... did they really buy all that bandwidth for hundreds of US$?

They are often using cheap 'unlimited bandwidth' hosting sites. These sites offer the option to use as much bandwidth as you want as a marketing ploy, knowing that most simple websites only consume a minute fraction of their bandwidth.
They sadly often do not allow 'proxying' in their small print either (the process you need to copy the videos).

These hosting companies are generally pretty unwilling to pay for your bandwidth needs in the end, if you go start using huge amounts of it.
So most of them often close down accounts/sites that do proxy, or at least block them from doing so. We know this for a fact, as we tested this.

It is sadly a slippery path to take, and there is the continued risk of needing to switch hosts.


So what now?
Luckily LL already made SL viewers that CAN play Flash. We changed our TV to use the youtube player full screen, and all Youtube videos play fine on these clients. (Except for the amount which you can only see on the youtube site itself.)

To watch these videos you need to switch to SL Viewer 2 BETA or SnowGlobe 1.3.x of 2, which allows you to watch the videos in the youtube Flash player:

SL Viewer 2 Beta
SL Viewer 2 Beta has a completely new interface, some people prefer it, some people don't.
You can find more info and download SL Viewer 2 BETA here: https://secure-web31.secondlife.com/beta-viewer/.

SnowGlobe 1.3.2
SnowGlobe is an open-source browser, which is an enhanced version of the current SL client 1.23+, use this if you want to keep everything the same, just with youtube playing.
Download for:
Windows,
Mac, or
Linux.

Adobe Flash Plugin
You also need the Adobe flash plugin installed. You can download it here: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/otherversions/
Make sure to select the correct operating system and select: Flash Player 10 for Windows - Other Browsers (the bottom option).

This will allow you to see almost all videos again. (The exception are videos which can only be viewed on youtube site itself)


Due to the completely new display/video type, making an auto playlist do not function correctly right now. Everything else works fine, including full screen, youtube etc.

Sadly there are some other issues/bugs in the beta which hopefully will be fixed soon. For more info, see the FAQ





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After months, a new house: The Bellmare 
It has been rezzed on my work platform for months, while I was busy with 1001 other things.
Luckily, the last few days I went through the pain of finishing it up, putting it into a rezzer, and making it available for sale.

So here it is, the Bellmare...




The Bellmare is a custom shaded and textured design in woods and stone.
It offers two large floors, decks, a lot of (tintable) large windows, including a skylight, built in atmospheric lights and a lot more nifty little things.

All in 109 prims. And now during the first few weeks, for under a 1000L$.

Visit it here in second life.
And on xstreet.


Specs:

- Autorezzer and easy placement (although the rezzer says 'no modify',the rezzed house is fully modifiable
- Medium prim (109, including fireplace & lights) 2 floor modern house
- medium footprint (30m x 30m) to fit a 1024m2+ plot
- An open plan on the ground floor, a large room with a sliding divider (built-in control system) and a large deck on the first floor
- Great all around view
- Shelving included (place where you like and copiable)
- Built in TP system between floors
- Built in advanced security system
- Built in privacy system
- Built in lights, integrated in control system and auto night mode!
- Built in fireplace (touch in fireplace to activate/deactivate)
- All the textures used in the house are included so you can easily modify the house







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Damani MediaViewer 


A few days ago I released a mediaviewer for SL.

So, first question... with the 3 zillion media players already in SL...WHY?

Well, because SL now allows a lot more stuff to be done with external servers, media and prims.

So, second question... what stuff?

Well, it's now possible to display web pages as media, it's possible to register positions of touches on prims, it's possible to play MP4 etc, with the latest quicktime.

And?

Well, it allows me to create a system that basically works like your set top box at home, or your browser. By combining server input and media display of web pages, it's possible to completely control the media from the 'screen'.

So, third question, why would I want this?

Well, because it then allows you to finally make an EASY system. No complex controls, no commands, no blue menus to select stuff etc. And full support for Youtube, Shoutcast, Google search, Notecards, Bookmarks etc. etc.

Ok... final question... a lot of words... but can I actually see what you mean?

Yes... simply go to the link below...

SLURL:Damania

Remember, you do need the latest SL client (1.21+) for touch coordinates registration goodness... or the mediaviewer won't work ;(

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Weather System v2 
It's been a while since a last update, but meanwhile we've been very busy with developing a new version of the weather system.



So what does the v2 version got that the v1 version doesn't?

New weather effects:
1. blood rain, including special clouds, and blood on the ground

2. hellfire, including burning fires on the ground, flames from the sky and falling meteors

3. tornadoes

Improved weather effects:
1. Snow: the snowcover has been majorly improved using sculpted prims and now adds lot more coverage on large areas (still all without adding to prim-count of parcel)

2. Thunder & lightning: the lightning has been reworked and is now no longer showing weird artifacts, thunder sounds are much clearer
3. Rain: rain now has growing puddles and wet spots on the ground
4. Fog: fog now comes in multiple levels, from a morning ground mist to full fog

Improved interface:
1. A complete restyle, no more confusing 'on/off' switch, but much clearer
2. A HUD will now be available to control system. Initially within the sim, for the rezzed system, in future versions, allowing complete control of multiple systems spread over multiple sims
3. Rezzing control panel. When you don't need it, it's not there. Reducing the prim usage of the weathercontrol to a single prim.
4. Interface sounds

Backend support:
1. All systems register to a server backend, allowing you to in the future control all systems from one central place. Also this will be used to generate grid wide 'weather reports'

So, quite an update.
It will take a while before the whole thing has been finished, but i hope to have it finished before the holidays. ;)
People who bought the v1 version will have an easy option to upgrade to v2.



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The Ghotik Mansion 
A week or so ago, Damani released a new prefab, the "Ghotik Mansion"



Based on old english manors, the ghotik mansion is a big 2 floor open dwelling, with archways and staircases.
The house is not made to be low prim or as a first house, a lot of time has been spent on adding little details.

New sound effects have been added, like the sound of stone when you step on the steps and stairs.

Also, this house is the first featuring complete autorezzing. I will add autorezzers to all multi-part houses in the coming period. The bigger ones will have priority in this though.



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Damani featured on secondlife.com main page 
Since a while already, one of the rotating pictures, shown when going to the Second Life homepage has been the Damania sim.


By the way, if anybody recognizes her (or himself) as the angel shown in the picture, please send me a mail or comment. I'll put in a free damani roadster for the first who comes up with the avatar name ;)


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