Avination, a commercial grid running on the OpenSim software, donated its multi-attachment code today to the OpenSimulator project. Avination rolled out the multiple attachment feature on its grid earlier this month. “Avination’s developers worked hard to clean up and test this code for integration with OpenSim and so it’s possible to makeRead More →

In virtual worlds, the question of free stuff — free content, free software, free land — comes up a lot. Some people love free stuff. Some people hate it. Some people say that all content should be free because there are no distribution costs. Some people say that content should cost moneyRead More →

Sick and tired of the inaccurate statistics in Hypergrid Business every month? You know who you are. You’re sure you can do better. Well, I’m going to help you out. We’re running far behind on updating the Hyperica directory and I was thinking of automating some of the tasks, suchRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained 1,458 regions this month, for a new total of 24,040 regions on these grids, the second highest total since we began tracking these numbers in the summer of 2009. These grids also reported a total of 18,061 active users.  A total of 224 gridsRead More →

Looking for an immersive platform for your company, non-profit, educational institution, or government agency? Start with the following list of vendors, all of which have a successful history of serving enterprise customers. Browser-based platforms Running a virtual world in a browser does impose some limitations on the environment. But, onRead More →

With PixieViewer, we’re closer to the dream of a Web-based viewer for OpenSim than we’ve ever been before. This particular viewer, which is built using HTML 5 technology, solves the biggest usability problem that OpenSim has. It requires no download — no plugins, no Java, no configuration, nothing. You goRead More →

PixieTec, a virtual worlds development company based in Germany, released the preview version of its browser-based PixieViewer today, which allows users to visit OpenSim grids without installing any software or plugins. PixieViewer is based on HTML 5 technology, and runs in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and other modern browsers. It loadsRead More →

Avination announced support for multiple attachments today, a feature previously available only in Second Life. Avatars can now wear up to five attachments at each attachment point. “We have long heard from our users that this feature was sorely missed,” said grid founder Melanie Thielker. “Especially non-human avatars were severely limitedRead More →

On Saturday, in the story  OpenSim grids still adapting to mesh, a couple of folks mentioned that OpenSim offers some advantages over Second Life when it comes mesh. According to OpenSim core developer Melanie Thielker, it’s about more than just not having to pay upload fees. “In Second Life, meshRead More →

The question of avatar rights may seem to simply be a special case of the consumer rights discussion. But the areas in which avatar rights are different from generic consumer rights is where the biggest problems arise. Many consumers feel that they are in an inferior position – they haveRead More →

Olivier Battini, the creator of New World Studio, has resumed work on the project. It will soon be available as a free download and as a paid, premium version. New World Studio is the hands-own easiest way to set up an OpenSim mini grid. (My review of it here.) LikeRead More →

Even though OpenSim had mesh support the very next day after Second Life did — and, in fact, one branch of OpenSim, realXtend, had mesh since 2008 — OpenSim users have been slower to adopt mesh than residents of Second Life. One reason is that most grids do not dictateRead More →

OSgrid has been incorporated as a non-profit and registered with the state of Texas, grid treasurer J. D. Celko announced Thursday on the grid’s forums. Celko, who is also known as Amy Storm in-world, said that the grid has also received its federal tax ID, and are currently applying forRead More →

As the number of people using OpenSim grids rises, emotions seem to be rising, as well. I’ve been seeing it the comments on posts lately, and have had to moderate comments or close comments altogether. I want Hypergrid Business to be a place where people debate things in a nice,Read More →

There was a cover story in Wired recently about how robots are going to take all our jobs. Since I started covering virtual worlds, I’ve been wondering what work was going to look like in the future. I had imagined it to look much like the work we do  now,Read More →

Hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine has added out-of-the-box support for groups and offline messages to OpenSim. Previously, grids that needed groups functionality had to install one of two separate third-party groups modules, Flotsam or Simian. “For both Flotsam and Simian you haveRead More →

In the wake of a massive data loss and ensuing grid shut down at What Virtual World, InWorldz announced yesterday that it will begin offering encrypted inventory backups to its residents. The two events were not connected, InWorldz CTO David Daeschler told Hypergrid Business. He is also known as Tranquillity Dexler in-world.Read More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained 1,756 regions this month, the largest one-month increase since last September. It was also the second-largest increase overall, since we started keeping track in August 2008. There are now 22,582 regions on the top 40 OpenSim grids, 269,310 registered users, and 17,602 active users. The number ofRead More →

Press release: CyberLightning and StockSmart Collaborate on ‘Visual Finance,’ 3D Internet Tool Will Empower Individual Portfolio Management Oulu, Finland and Cambridge, MA – CyberLightning Ltd. and StockSmart today announced a collaboration that will bring the power of 3D visualization to investors using StockSmart Apps. StockSmart plans to launch “Visual Finance”Read More →

Avination, a commercial grid running on the OpenSim software, announced the donation of 800 lines of physics code today, which will help OpenSim users simulate bouncing balls, reindeer pulling sleds, and feathers lightly floating down through the air. The code was pushed to the OpenSimulator core repository on Friday, theRead More →

Yesterday, I wrote about why sales are important to a company, and, more than that, are a good thing. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t bad ways of doing sales. And some of the worst techniques can actually work. Does that mean that you have to become evil inRead More →

Update: James Stalling has provided more information about the recent administration changes to the I Live on Science Land blog. And member albertlr Landar has provided a nice overview of the non-profit situation on his forum post, Non-Profit Tax Deductible status of OSgrid & other matters. As we mentioned last month, OSgrid has hadRead More →

Many regular people have a negative view of the sales and marketing profession. And no wonder. Most of our experience with sales is negative — intrusive telemarketing calls, annoying commercials, rude clerks. It’s no surprise that many beginning entrepreneurs think of sales as either unnecessary — “If someone wants something,Read More →

OpenSim hosting company SoftPaw Estates announced that it is rebranding as Zetamex, and has launched a new grid running on the Aurora-Sim version of OpenSim. In addition to traditional single-region and mini-grid OpenSim hosting, Zetamex now also offers dedicated server packages. “Dedicated packages are for people who want direct controlRead More →

Image courtesy curtfleenor.com via Flickr.

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2075 Worst day ever. Got hit by a bus yesterday, body a total loss. Now I’m online full time, instead of just visiting. The worst part? All the “little improvements” I’ve had done over the past few years, a little plastic surgery here, a little tinkering withRead More →

A couple of people have asked me by email what what my definition of a grid is, and there was also some discussion of this in the comments of previous posts, and on other blogs, such as the Elf Clan Social Network. There seems to be a lot of confusionRead More →

I recently needed an estimate for how many times OpenSim has been downloaded. Unfortunately, the main OpenSimulator.org site only began keeping statistics a couple of months ago. All we have is Diva Distro stats and Sim-on-a-Stick stats. The total number of Diva Distro downloads to date are about 19,000. TheRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids put an end to a two-month slide in region counts, gaining 28 regions. There are now 20,826 regions on the top 40 OpenSim grids. During the previous two months, there were a couple of major cleanups on OSgrid, the largest OpenSim grid, as well asRead More →

Sex has helped drive many recent technological innovations, from printing to VHS tapes to the Internet itself. Second Life has been a big beneficiary of the interest in virtual sex, as has Utherverse. But  there hasn’t yet been a commercial OpenSim grid dedicated solely to virtual sex. That changes withRead More →

The volume of transactions using the multi-grid OMC currency from Virwox rose by 36 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, and the total amount of the OMC in circulation rose by 26 percent. However, the number of avatars using the multi-grid OMC currency dropped dramatically in 2012. During the monthRead More →

A new paper published this month in the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research listed a few reasons why business users are hesitant to embrace virtual environments: The main reasons were: Technical difficulties: “Due to frustrating first-hand experiences, professionals predicted that high technical requirements, slow system performance, and the inability toRead More →

The number of public OpenSim grids has more than doubled in 2012, from 98 at the start of the year, to 232 grids active this month. Here are some reasons why this is happening. Easier setup from established hosting providers Companies like Dreamhost Metaverse, SimHost, Virtual Reality, and many othersRead More →

OpenSim hosting company Virtual Reality is taking over support and development of the Phoenix viewer, the company announced today. The previous development team, Phoenix Firestorm Project announced the end of their support for the v1-based Phoenix viewer, earlier this month, so that they could focus on the Firestorm viewer. The PhoenixRead More →

Interested in celebrating the holidays by playing with some free land on an OpenSim grid? There are plenty of options this holiday season, with many commercial grids rolling out promos, in addition to special events and celebrations. Interested in checking out InWorldz, the most popular OpenSim grid? West Wind Estates offers freeRead More →

Island Oasis, a commercial social grid, is inviting other grid owners to a grid summit to discuss griefing, copyright protection, creating an association for grid owners, and other issues. The First Annual Live Summit of Virtual Worlds will be held on March 15, 2013 on the Island Oasis grid, theRead More →

The Association of Virtual World Educators is looking for $54,750 to develop a package of virtual environments designed to teach lessons in science and social studies. The group has created a Kickstarter page and a video to promote the project, which has a funding deadline of December 31. The educationalRead More →

I’m still playing around with textures. After learning how to make seamless textures in GIMP with one click and a different kind of seamless texture with Texture Studio last weekend, I’ve been seeing potential textures everywhere. For example, I want to have stone walls in my build, but am worriedRead More →

AvaCon, the non-profit best known for organizing the Second Life Community Conventions, is now seeking volunteers, presenters, and partners for a new series of metaverse-related events. On Friday, the group announced the launch of the Metaverse Cultural Series. These events will take place in multiple virtual worlds and will showcaseRead More →

The total regions on the top 40 OpenSim grids continued to fall this month, though not as badly as last month after OSgrid’s big cleanup. The total number of regions fell by 1,566 to 20,629 since mid-November, due to the suspension of a couple of major grids, a continuation ofRead More →

Kitely — the low-cost, cloud-based OpenSim grid — is planning to launch an online content marketplace, and is looking for content creators to provide input about what features they would like to see. Discussions began at in-world meetings on November 28 and December 4, and have since continued online, onRead More →

After learning how to make seamless textures yesterday, I became a bit obsessed with it, taking pictures all over the place and trying to turn them into textures. And I discovered that that turning bricks and boards — anything with a large, regular pattern — into a seamless texture isRead More →

This is probably already known to everybody else, but either I’m an idiot, or I missed the day that everyone learned about it, but there’s a very quick and easy way to create seamless textures. Now that I’m thinking of sharing the stuff that I make, I’ve become absolutely paranoidRead More →

Update Apr. 25, 2023: It looks like I ran out of the free trial credits on the Google App engine, and my original app no longer works. You can create your own, however — instructions at the bottom of this article. Plus, the folks at Outworldz have put up theirRead More →

Update Aug. 2016: DigiWorldz is now registered. Do you own a grid? Do you allow other users to upload content to your grid? Do you have legal license agreements on file for every script, texture and object on your grid? If your answers are yes, yes, and no, then get outRead More →

When most users first make the move from Second Life to OpenSim, they have two main concerns: will they be able to find a community, and will they be able to find the stuff they want? When an organization — a school, a company, a government agency — makes theRead More →

In the face of recent grid outages and terms of service changes, it doesn’t just make sense to back up your content, as I urged content creators to do  so in my column on Sunday — it also makes sense to back up your customers. No, that was weird. IRead More →

I read a great article by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, “Start With a Business Model, Not a Business Plan,” in today’s Wall Street Journal. It reminded me of entrepreneurs I have known who spent ages creating a business plan, only to have it fall apart the minute they tried toRead More →

There have been a series of grid outages lately — InWorldz was down for a day during a server move, JokaydiaGrid moved hosting companies, ReactionGrid shut down altogether. And now SpotON 3D has been down for a few days, blaming server problems. Plus, I’ve been reading about OpenSim users beingRead More →

Bullet physics is ready for testing, and is now part of the OpenSim core code, according to Intel’s Robert Adams. Turning on Bullet physics is as simple as changing the OpenSim.ini file, replacing the line “”physics = OpenDynamicsEngine” with “physics=BulletSim”. It does require access to the OpenSim region server, soRead More →