The on-demand Kitely grid announced the start of hypergrid delivery testing today. The Kitely Market  currently has over 2,000 different product listings, about half of which are marked with the “export” permission, allowing buyers to take the content off the grid — or, once hypergrid delivery is implemented — getRead More →

I first wrote about wanting a content management system for a virtual environment in 2009, when I was just getting started in OpenSim. I’m revisiting the topic now because I’ve continued to think about it ever since, because nobody has built one yet, and because the imminent arrival of the OculusRead More →

Folks disappointed with the standard 16-acre region size can now have variable-sized regions in OpenSim, as long as they are comfortable running experimental code, and are using the latest viewers. Those using the official release of OpenSim, will have to settle for megaregions for a while longer, however, as wellRead More →

Celebrate Mardi Gras on Virtual Highway As usual, the Virtual Highway calendar is packed with DJ parties and live music every single day this month, with at least two events every day. This includes a Mardi Gras celebration on Monday, March 3 at 1 p.m. and a grand ball on Tuesday, MarchRead More →

Not too many people saw the 2009 movie Surrogates in which Bruce Willis plays both his old, gnarly self as well as a plastic, youthful-looking robot version of himself. In the still above, Bruce Willis is sitting in a recliner, wearing a comfy bathrobe, about to lie back and put onRead More →

The U.S. Army, with its MOSES grid, is one of the more high-profile users of OpenSim. But the military gives back, as well. The Army’s Research Laboratory Simulation and Training Technology Center has been expanding Intel’s SimianGridFrontend for OpenSim, and, this month, has made their version — the MOSES Grid Manager, orRead More →

New grid owners who skimp on sales and marketing often rely on word-of-mouth to bring in users. But what many don’t realize is that word-of-mouth usually doesn’t just happen by itself. Here are some ways to help create and growth word-of-mouth buzz for your grid. 1. Have stuff worth talkingRead More →

There’s been a lot of bad news about Bitcoin in the media recently — the problems at the Mt. Gox exchange, regulatory action in China and Russia, the Silk Road arrests and, more recently, a $2.7 million Silk Road hack. This is on top of the more endemic problems ofRead More →

Last updated Feb. 19, 2015: Please click here for latest list of Metaverse Communities. Staying on top of metaverse news and developments is hard. And getting help when you need it can be even harder. Fortunately, there are several online communities where OpenSim users share information and advice. Join in,Read More →

Over the weekend and the previous week I must have looked at hundreds of grid websites for the February stats and grid news report. And I’m seeing a lot of grids — a whole lot of grids — that haven’t put any effort at all into their websites. This isn’tRead More →

The past four weeks have been slow for OpenSim, with the top 40 grids gaining only 153 regions. This is the first time the growth has been under 500 regions since last April. OSgrid was the major culprit this month, losing 133 regions — as well as 318 active usersRead More →

As part of my New Year resolutions — and in response to the growing interest in OpenSim — I’ve been planning a couple of ebooks, to sell through this website, on Amazon, and through other channels. The goal is to make OpenSim more accessible to a wider audience. Please helpRead More →

It’s the time of the year again, the time when lonely people all over the world feel even worse about themselves than normal. If you’re one of those people, then you’ll have a lot of places to avoid in February, since OpenSim grids are gearing up for Valentine’s Day. VirtualRead More →

The U.S. Army’s Atropia simulation build — all nine regions of it — is now available for anyone to download and install on their own grid. The work is released under a Creative Commons license that allows people to use the build for any purpose, including commercial, to adapt itRead More →

These scripts are for people who are thinking to themselves — now that Maria is hiring a researcher and putting them to work on updating the Hyperica directory, wouldn’t it be nice if I could just grab content from there for my own gates. Well it would be nice, andRead More →

Nothing gets the juices going like a little friendly competition. In updating our advertising demographics and getting our Google analytics for 2013 — we had over 125,000 unique readers! yay! — I got curious about how Hypergrid Business stacked up against other publications that cover OpenSim and the hypergrid on aRead More →

Chances are, there are few regular readers of Hypergrid Business who aren’t aware that we’re at the dawning of the age of virtual reality. The metaverse is coming. We’ll all soon be regular visitors to the Matrix. Snow Crash will be crashing. Our virtual streets will be paved with goldRead More →

Dear Linden Lab board of directors: I just heard that CEO Rod Humble is stepping down. I guess you guys will be looking for a new chief? I’d like to suggest some questions to ask yourselves as you decide the future direction of the company. Now, you might think thatRead More →

UK-based virtual currency exchange Podex has teamed up with Last Vegas-based OpenSim hosting company Zetamex to offer a new currency option for OpenSim grids. Today, grids have three choices for in-world payments: a local currency that they create and manage themselves, the multi-grid, hypergrid-enabled OMC — Open Metaverse Currency — fromRead More →

The multi-grid, hypergrid-enabled OMC — Open Metaverse Currency — from Austrian currency exchange Virwox had its best year ever in 2013. The total value of transactions conducted in the virtual currency reached OMC 6.5 million in 2013, up three and a half times from OMC 1.8 million in 2012. That is equivalent to anRead More →

I am my own boss, and probably many of you are, as well. And even if you aren’t doing this virtual world stuff full-time yet, you might be planning to, or running a grid, consulting company, or virtual products store as a side business. And you know how hard itRead More →

Cloud Party, a mesh-based virtual world that runs in a browser, announced that it will close on February 21 and provided instructions for exporting meshes and images. “The time has come for the Cloud Party team to start our next adventure,” the company said in an announcement today. “We areRead More →

Every month, when I do the grid survey report, I mentioned that all I can report on is the stats from those grids that are reporting those numbers. Some public grids don’t report their stats, and many grids aren’t open to the public at all, but are run by companies,Read More →

I love promoting the hypergrid, so if you have an event, store opening, land sale, or anything else of potential interest to hypergrid travelers, I can run a free ad for it on the Hyperica website. Here’s what you have to do. Create a lively image The ad should beRead More →

This year begins with an anniversary celebration on Dorena’s World,  rapid growth on the newly-opened Great Canadian Grid, and a positive reaction to pricing changes on Kitely. The top 40 OpenSim grids by land area reported 31,136 total regions this month, a new record high. The total number of registeredRead More →

It’s the start of a fresh year, and some Hypergrid Business readers are finally taking the plunge and starting their virtual world businesses. The first question many of them ask is, “I much should I charge?” The following are some rules of thumb. How much to charge for region rentalsRead More →

Bitcoin’s network effect got a big boost today, since the nation’s second largest pure-play e-tailer, Overstock.com, began accepting it as payment for all purchases. “We just went live minutes ago,” Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne told Hypergrid Business. According to Byrne, Overstock will accept only Bitcoin, and not other cryptocurrencies. AsRead More →

OpenSim hosting company Zetamex has announced an award for anyone who finishes up work on the Mumble-Whisper open source voice system for OpenSim. Currently, the two main options for OpenSim voice are Freeswitch, an open source platform, and Vivox, a commercial service that also provides voice to Second Life. VivoxRead More →

The new year begins with both good news, and bad news. The bad news, first. Haven, a small commercial grid, closed as of December 27.  According to a letter by the founder, health issues have cut into both the time and the financial resources she is able to dedicate toRead More →

2013 was a busy year for virtual worlds in general and Hypergrid Business in particular. According to Google Analytics, over 125,000 different people visited the site this year. About 44 percent were new visitors, stopping by just for one story that caught their attention. The rest, 56 percent, visited moreRead More →

Last month, I suggested that one problem with Bitcoin is that anyone can set up an alternative currency similar to it, and there is no practical obstacle to people switching over. By comparison, there are lots of practical obstacles to switching from other currencies. If, say, you decided one dayRead More →

I understand that virtual worlds are a new thing, and that companies need to experiment with business models and pricing structures to see what fits the market best. And I’m totally in favor of lowering prices, simplifying pricing structures, or providing more options for customers. But I don’t understand whereRead More →

Today, OpenSim development moves along at an uneven pace, with an estimated 1,200 bugs that need to be fixed before OpenSim can get to a stable, reliable version 1.0 release and get out of “alpha.” Development is mainly driven by three groups — large organizations like Intel who have paidRead More →

US$13 (12 Euro) a month for a 15,500-prim region that can hold up to 80 avatars, with no setup fee on on OSgrid, Metropolis or other OpenSim grid.Read More →

OpenSim’s 40 largest grids passed the 30,000 region mark this month, with a new total of 30,214 regions, a record high. The number of registered users on those grids reached 324,021 — with more than 4,000 new registrations over the past four weeks. Active users numbered 18,615. The non-profit OSgrid was theRead More →

Update 4: We’re back on Google! Yeay! The problem turned out to be in the htaccess file, which had mysteriously mutated so that it was blocking search engines. So, overall, I’m happy with my experience with Dreamhost. The first few solutions they offered didn’t work, but each time I came backRead More →

The results of the 2013 OpenSim hosting  are in, and the biggest surprise was the lack of votes for SimHost, once one of the leading vendors in this space. Another surprise? Vehicle physics tops the list of wanted OpenSim features, just as it did in 2011. Overall, 53 percent ofRead More →

AviWorlds, a Brazilian OpenSim grid with a history of trouble, seems to be on the outs again. The grid went down on Tuesday night and is officially closed, according to hosting provider Zetamex. “The owner just told us to shut down,” Zetamex founder Timothy Rogers told Hypergrid Business. “Real lifeRead More →

If you’re planning to create a new grid website, or redesign an old one, a great place to start is WordPress themes. WordPress is a popular blogging platform, so it’s easy to update. You can create accounts for all your grid administrators and volunteers so that they can upload newRead More →

OpenSim grid owners are busy people and, sometimes, the website is an afterthought. Many grids simply go with the default website created by the Diva Distro or New World Studio, which is usually the grid stats, an image, and links for creating accounts. In fact, you don’t need to have aRead More →

Virtual reality design firm specializing in custom design and development for medical training games and simulations.Read More →

US$15 per month, no setup fee, for a 15,000-prim region. $1 a month per every 1,000 additional prims. Hypergrid enabled.Read More →

The OpenSim grids are getting ready for the winter holidays this month, with calendars full of Christmas and winter-themed events. Holiday freebies, contests and music on Virtual Highway Virtual Highway, a closed commercial grid known for its music scene, is going all-out for the holidays this year. “Two stunning winterRead More →

I just got back to my computer from a big, turkey-filled family dinner, taking a quick break before settling in for a marathon session of Arrow episodes and writing a book chapter about the Chinese economy. And, reflecting on the current status of the hypergrid, there’s quite a bit toRead More →

Press release: Cyramix the new hosting service for your virtual world Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) with the help of WonderBuilders, Inc. has been using Open Wonderland, a Java-based open source virtual world platform initially developed by Sun. For the past two years, the college has run an English asRead More →

I heard that Walmart is making its employees work on Thanksgiving this year, because the poverty-level wages they’re paying out, at a time of record corporate profits, aren’t making employees suffer enough. Do companies have to be this way? Callously disregard people’s needs in favor of the all-mighty bottom line?Read More →

Bitcoin, a virtual currency, was recognized by the US Department of Justice as a “legal means of exchange” last week, and the number of companies accepting it in payment continues to grow. The most recent additions to the Bitcoin club include Virgin Galactic and Europe’s University of Nicosia. A number ofRead More →

The results of the 2013 Hypergrid Business OpenSim Grid Survey are in, with 654 votes cast. Just over 90 percent said they would recommend the grid to others, a slight increase from last year’s 87 percent, 8 percent said “maybe” and less than 2 percent said they would not recommendRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 29,617 regions, an increase of 912 regions since this time last month. They also reported 319,872 total registered users and 19,527 active users this month, a total of 3,675 new registered users and 1,052 new active users. All three numbers were record highs for OpenSim. Kitely, a cloud-based,Read More →

Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey was in Cambridge Saturday, at the Microsoft NERD Center, for a recruitment event and mini virtual reality conference. If you couldn’t make it, you missed three different tracks of presentations, running from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., plus demos of several Oculus Rift games. MostRead More →

The OpenSim grids are getting ready for the holiday season, with themed events and special promotions. Littlefield Grid celebrates Dr. Who anniversary, Thanksgiving and Homecoming Littlefield grid is celebrating a number of holidays this month, staring with the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who on November 23. There will be aRead More →

Today at the SAP TechEd conference I got a change to try out Google Glasses in conjunction with an SAP-powered warehouse application. Up to now, I haven’t been a big fan of Google Glass. If you need to know something, how hard is it to pull out your phone andRead More →

Hypergrid Business articles and other content — except where noted — is copyright protected and cannot be cut-and-pasted to other sites. Though I don’t mind people using excerpts or quotes. There are both good and selfish reasons for this. The good one is that we might have made a mistakeRead More →

As the editor of Hypergrid Business, I regularly hear from people with stories of projects that failed. Most of these don’t make it into print — nobody wants to go on the record in a story about things going wrong, no matter how useful or enlightening it may be forRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 28,705 regions, a new record high and an increase of 578 regions since this time last month. They also reported 316,197 total registered users and 18,475 active users this month, a total of 6,405 new registered users and 33 new active users. Virtual Worlds Grid andRead More →

Press release: New Device to Revolutionize Gaming in Virtual Realities How is it possible to walk through 3D virtual realities while staying in one place? Engineers from the Vienna University of Technology have solved this problem and are now introducing their “Virtualizer”. VIENNA — Head-mounted devices, which display three dimensionalRead More →

Capitalizing on the excitement generated by the Oculus Rift, several other companies, both big and small, are jumping into the virtual reality headset market. There’s a product that projects 3D images onto a special screen in front of you, one that projects 3D virtual reality right into your eyeballs, andRead More →

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told me he was excited about the potential of virtual reality. “I’m bullish and predict a huge future for it,” he said. “Not only that, but it’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurs.” He said he can see a lot of uses for it. “Especially for games, butRead More →

Press release: PPD and ProtonMedia Recognized for Advancing Clinical Research Associate Training Brandon Hall Gold Award honors innovation in employee learning and development WILMINGTON, N.C. & LANSDALE, Pa.–Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (PPD) and ProtonMedia today announced that PPD® 3D earned the Gold Award for Best Use of Virtual Worlds forRead More →

A new official release of the OpenSimulator server software was released yesterday, version 0.7.6, with out-of-the-box support for groups and profiles, many scripting improvements, better teleports, better voice, materials, and the new hypergrid export permission. A Diva Distro version of the new release is also out but, as of thisRead More →

InWorldz announced the beta version of a  new mobile fitness app this week, called InWorldz InShape. Participants will download a smartphone application which will allow their real-world movements and activities to be mirrored by their avatars in-world. The Android app will be available for download within the next two weeksRead More →

Update: Read Kitely’s announcement about listing fees and merchant exports here Kitely continues to roll out improvements to its marketplace, with listing fees eliminated as of tomorrow, and a plan to allow merchants to export their store listings. Today it costs 100 Kitely Credits (about US $0.50)  to add aRead More →

Amiryu Hosoi has earned over $200 since starting to list items on Kitely Market last Tuesday. This is the story of how this well-known designer decided to try out this platform. Hosoi started out in Second Life, with six regions on Japan Kanto, supported by her Hosoi Ichiba Second LifeRead More →

Currently, the New World Studio distribution of OpenSim — the single easiest way to get an OpenSim mini-grid up and running — only runs in standalone mode. This means that your region, or group of regions, is not connected to any grid, but exists all by its lonesome. If youRead More →

October promises to be a busy grid on the OpenSim grids, with German residents celebrating Oktoberfest, some grids celebrating their anniversaries, and everyone celebrating Halloween. If you’re looking for a group to get you comfortable with hypergrid travels, check out the Hypergrid Adventurers Club, which started up up again lastRead More →

In researching today’s news story about Linden Lab terms of services change, content seemed to be the main topic. Protecting it, licensing it, controlling it, owning it. Everyone wants content. Creators make content, then content attracts users. Without any content, there is no grid. Or is there? Is content reallyRead More →

Regions on Second Life are going black, creators pulling out, Renderosity and CG Textures forbidding the upload of their content to Second Life, and a new survey of content creators indicates they expect things to get worse, while OpenSim grids stand ready to welcome another crop of fleeing content creators.Read More →

If anyone has visited Hyperica lately — hypergrid teleport to  hg.hyperica.com:8022 — you might have noticed many of the gates not working correctly. The scripts keep requiring manual restarts because they keep doing weird things, and I haven’t been able to track down the problems. But it’s all a mootRead More →

A public version of the browser-based PixieViewer will be available by Christmas, German-based PixieTec announced earlier this month, as will the source code for the project. Currently, the preview version of the viewer only works on the company’s own grid (read more about the preview release here). PixieTec is also working onRead More →

It’s been more than four years since the hypergrid was invented, and the “4096 bug” has plagued hypergrid travelers for all that time, preventing users from jumping more than 4,096 regions in any direction. The problem involves both viewer and server code, and is a legacy of the Second LifeRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 28,186  regions, a new record high and an increase of 578 regions since this time last month. They also reported 309,792 total registered users and 18,442 active users this month, a total of 281 new registered users and 520 new active users. Some of theRead More →

Over the course of the past week, I attended two very different technology conferences. One was a virtual conference, last weekend’s OpenSimulator Community Conference 2013. The other was a traditional conference, held in a hotel complex in the Chicago suburbs, the Unisys Universe conference. Both included participants from around theRead More →

The Kitely Market is significantly different from Second Life’s Marketplace. Not only because it will soon allow delivery of items to foreign grids – that’s just the biggest and most obvious difference. But there are a number of other areas where, according to Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner, the new platformRead More →

The Kitely Marketplace is now open for business to residents of the Kitely grid with over 700 items listed. The web-based platform allows users to buy items for either Kitely Credits or real money, using PayPal. Payments made via Kitely Credits help preserve the anonymity of the buyers, while PayPal paymentsRead More →

CtrlAltStudio released a viewer yesterday that can be used to access Second Life and OpenSim grids with an Oculus Rift. This is a preview viewer, which can be used to walk and look around inside the virtual world, but is missing user interface functionality. It works both in standard mode,Read More →

The folks behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset announced an app store yesterday, called Oculus Share. The site is intended for developers at first, but the company plans to grow it into a full-scale gaming marketplace. Oculus Share is already up and running. “With Share, you can host Oculus-readyRead More →

I recently read Eric Ries’ book The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses and as I was reading it, I kept thinking, “This would be great advice for grid owners!” Ries was the co-founder and CTO of IMVU, which I’ve never used, butRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 27,608  regions, a new record high. They also reported 306,942 total registered users and 17,922 active users this month. This is 709 more regions than on the Second Life grid. Meanwhile, of the 266 currently active public OpenSim grids, 214 reported their statistics this month,Read More →

At some distant point in the future, virtual reality will be good enough and immersive enough that we can telecommute to our jobs by simply stepping into some version of a Holodeck or plugging into some version of the Matrix. Today’s virtual reality has only very limited use for theRead More →

If you’re an educator considering taking advantage of Second Life’s newly-restored educator discount, but wondering about what else is out there, check out some of these OpenSim-based alternatives. You typically get much lower prices, more control and privacy and — best of all — ability to back up entire regionsRead More →

Linden Lab has restored the 50 percent discount for educators and non-profits last month, but some educators are wary of taking the company up on its offer. “Our IT [information technology] folks, like many who once supported experiments in Second Life, have moved on,” said Joe Essid, who directs the WritingRead More →

The promise of virtual reality was all the rage in the 90s, but didn’t go anywhere because the headsets were laggy, low-resolution, had small fields of view, and made their users sick. Today, the Oculus Rift is ushering in a new wave of virtual reality technology, with over 17,000 developmentRead More →

Train wreck image by Wystan via Flickr

Whenever a grid closes unexpectedly, there are always some users who are surprised and unprepared. They didn’t make offline backups of their builds, didn’t get their OAR or IAR exports, didn’t move their in-world social networks to a more permanent — or, at least, different — platform like an emailRead More →

Linden Lab has cut its land and setup prices in half for educators and non-profits, the company announced this morning. “We’re pleased to announce an update to Second Life pricing for educational and nonprofit institutions,” the company said. The offer is effective immediately, and applies to any accredited educational institution.Read More →

AviWorlds, a commercial grid which allowed people to connect self-hosted regions, went down yesterday. At the time, it had 138 regions and 319 active monthly users. Many of the grid’s regions, as well as centralized grid services, were hosted by Zetamex. “The owner has just contacted and left me,” ZetamexRead More →

The land area of the top 40 OpenSim grids continued to grow, with the number of regions now at 25,783 — an increase of 535 regions compared to the same time last month. This is another record high month for OpenSim region totals. ScienceSim saw the most growth, with 512Read More →

InWorldz, OpenSim’s most popular grid, has made it possible for OpenSim users to have well-fitting mesh clothing. The grid hired former Second Life developer Karl Stiefvater — known as Qarl Fizz in-world — to finish work on his mesh deformer project, which began with a $5,555 crowdfunded project on Indiegogo. TheRead More →

The Oculus Rift is coming to Second Life. It’s already available for the Unity platform. Other virtual world platforms and games are rapidly signing on, including the Unreal engine, Valve, Bioshock, Hawken, Minecraft, Portal, and many, many more. This 3D headset — and the flood of competitors soon to comeRead More →

Vivox may be the gold standard of voice in video games, and be the best integrated with Second Life and OpenSim viewers, but it isn’t the only game in town.  TeamSpeak, for example, is another commercial voice product used on some grids. However, like Skype, it requires users to haveRead More →

The Vivox voice platform is currently used on more than 500 OpenSim grids, according to Vivox co-founder and CTO Jim Toga. The vast majority do not pay for the service, and do not need to, because they are non-profits, educational grids, or personal hobby grids. The large commercial OpenSim gridsRead More →

San Francisco-based virtual worlds developer David Rowe has released a 3D viewer for OpenSim and Second Life, based on the Firestorm Viewer. The CtrlAltStudio Viewer works in conjunction with active shutter glasses and high-end graphics cards to create a 3D effect. “With the CtrlAltStudio Viewer, the display effect is that the virtualRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 25,248 regions, a new record high. They also reported 295,411 total registered users and 19,505 active users this month, both of which are also record highs. The previous record high was last October, when the 40 top grids had 25,202 regions. The numbers dropped dramaticallyRead More →

Stand4Love, an annual event in support of marriage equality, has expanded beyond its traditional base in Second Life to include an OpenSim grid, Avination, in this year’s celebrations. “This event is actually our first Stand4Love event in a different grid other than Second Life,” said Stand4Love founder Editorial Clarity. “Our mainRead More →

Avination donated code to the OpenSim project today intended to reduce viewer disconnects, crashes, server instability, and teleport failures. According to the company announcement, the technology is called “HTTP-inventory throttling.” What happens is that when an avatar first appears in a new location, the user’s viewer requests information about theRead More →

Second Life customers who have difficulty buying Linden Dollars from the official LindeX exchange — your voices have been heard. When Linden Lab shut down all third-party currency trading in early-May, there was a mass outcry that included two public petitions. Linden Lab reversed course ten days later,  allowing approved outside exchangesRead More →