PODEX, the Wilmington, Delware-based virtual currency exchange, announced today that it now has a presence in Avination and is offering their services for business and residents of that grid. PODEX, an established Linden dollars brokers began offering their services in Avination on July 12., the company said. Avination is the third-busiestRead More →

I love Cloud Party. I love the responsive, 3D graphics. The cute tutorial. The in-world building tools. The free house.  I even love the Facebook integration. Most of all, though, I love the fact that it’s WebGL. It runs natively in modern browsers like Chrome and Firefox and Safari —Read More →

Kitely, the OpenSim grid that charges people for the time they use rather than how much land they have, announced a dramatic price cut today, reducing the cost of its unlimited use plan from $100 to just $35 a month. The company also added a new feature where region ownersRead More →

Note: See comments below for some warnings. It’s been in the works for a couple of years now, and finally launched quietly last month — now the Free Open Grid project from Free Open University hopes to get 200,000 schools into OpenSim. As part of its initial push, the groupRead More →

I just checked out the beta test of the 3Di Cloud, a browser-based social world platform. And though the two share some surface similarities, 3Di Cloud is no Cloud Party. In fact, as of right now, 3Di Cloud barely looks like a product. Japan’s 3Di, Inc., best known for their browser-based OpenSimRead More →

The hypergrid continued to grow this month, with the Hyperica directory now covering 100 grids and dozens more waiting to be indexed. But even as the number of grids continued to grow, the core top 40 grids that we’ve been tracking since 2009 grew as well. There are now 20,637 regionsRead More →

Japen’s 3Di, Inc., best known for their browser-based OpenSim viewers, will be testing a new, free, public, Unity-based virtual world this weekend, called 3Di Cloud. According to 3Di senior manager Norman Lin, individuals and groups will be able to embed a window into their private virtual world right onto their websites, likeRead More →

SpotON3D has been having server issues this week — and that has set off another round of rumors that the company is closing, as in this post by Vanish Seriath: SpotON3D at an end? But the company, known for its clever browser-based viewer launcher plugin, and its controversial stance onRead More →

If you’re a tech-savvy grid owner, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Bitcoin, a new virtual currency that’s completely private, untraceable, and isn’t backed by any company or government. For some, Bitcoin is the future of online payments, an alternative to our current, outmoded, failing financial system. But before youRead More →

If you are a grid owner, you’ve probably already considered creating a virtual currency for your residents. Virtual currencies make it easier to have an in-game economy, have lower transaction costs than PayPal or credit card payments for small payments, and can bring in additional revenues for the grid operators.Read More →

In December 2009, Germany’s Talentraspel virtual worlds Ltd. set a world record by squeezing 500,000 prims into one OpenSim region. That record stood for two and a half years until Ener Hax decided to see if she could beat it — and was quickly followed by OSGrid president Michael Emory Cerquoni — alsoRead More →

For most people, NPCs — non-player characters — are the princesses you need to save in video games, dragons you need to defeat, and shopkeepers who give advice about how to proceed in your quests. But for David Prior, CTO at Simudyne , NPCs are a way to model emergency evacuation plans forRead More →

SoftPaw Estates announced a free land give-away on OSGrid today, where residents can get free parcels for personal use. The parcels are located on regions were landscaped by well-known OpenSim designer Linda Kellie and OSGrid resident Raz Welles, to provide a interactive community atmosphere. According to SouthPaw Estates founder Timothy RogersRead More →

The big spinning V is the OMC in-world payment terminal. (Image courtesy Speculoos.)

The Belgian Speculoos grid is adopting the OMC virtual currency from Virwox. “It is crucial that users can use their money outside of our single small world,” said grid owner Gudule Lapointe in an announcement today. “It is also important for us that money is backed by a specialized company, thatRead More →

Content creators may worry about preserving their content in an era of ubiquitous hypergrid connectivity, but most users have a different worry — preserving their stuff. Hypergrid 1.5 rolled out security measures that protect rogue grid owners from dipping into the inventories of hypergrid visitors and causing trouble. But thereRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids reported a total of 19,926 regions this month, up slightly from last month’s 19,668 regions — despite another round of housekeeping on OSGrid. OSGrid, the largest grid on the OpenSim platform, dropped from more than 9,000 regions earlier this week to under 7,000. According toRead More →

Firestorm will have support for OpenSim grids, the developers announced today. Firestorm is a third-party viewer that can be used to access Linden Lab’s Second Life grid, and which also has some existing support for OpenSim grids, as well. However, licensing issues have forced Linden Lab to restrict third-party usersRead More →

OSGrid president Michael Emory Cerquoni — also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world — set a new world record today by putting a million cubes on a single OpenSim region. The previous record, of 576,000 cubes was set earlier today by Ener Hax., using her Sim-on-a-Stick distribution of OpenSim. She hadRead More →

Kitely continues to move ahead with its infrastructure improvements. Just a few days after telling me the details of how they planned to roll out in-world payments, they announced today that they’ve done it. Kitely users can now buy and sell things with the Kitely Credits virtual currency, and trackRead More →

Metaversum, the developers of the 3D mirror world Twinity, today announced their acquisition by 3D Internet company ExitReality. Twinity has been having some problems recently. It hasn’t had any news announcements since May 2011, and only two blog posts this year — in one of which, the CEO attempted to dispelRead More →

Update: In-world payments have been enabled. Kitely, the on-demand OpenSim hosting company, will be enabling in-world payments this month, both for resident-to-resident sales and for hosting fees. “There are already thousands of dollars sitting around in people’s accounts in unused Kitely credits, burning a hole in their pocket,” Kitely CEORead More →

I was recently a guest on Designing Worlds, discussing virtual projects that got real money from Kickstarter — or are trying to. Fellow guests included  Zayn Till and Wynx Whiplash, Tinies from Raglan Shire, who just successfully raised $11,112 on Kickstarter for their JazzPaws project, handily exceeding their original goal ofRead More →

One of the worries for customers of Kitely‘s pay-by-the-minute OpenSim platform has been that an avatar accidentally logged into the grid could drain a user’s account. This is a particular issue for owners who opt to pay for their visitors’ usage time. Kitely addressed this problem today with a newRead More →

I frequently want to know if some far-away region is up or not.  Say, for example,  I have a blamgate up to my favorite shopping mall. I want the gate to be nice and bright when the destination region is up, and go dark if the destination region is down.Read More →

There was a lot of turmoil on the hypergrid this past month, as many smaller grids disappeared, and OSGrid did another round of cleaning. As a result, the total number of regions on the top 40 grids fell to 19,668, a drop of 491 regions. In addition, the total numberRead More →

If you work in Second Life, you don’t have to worry about provenance. The Lindens take care of it with their permissions system. Or, at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. And you already know that you can’t bring anything from Second Life to OpenSim unless you’ve checked withRead More →

There’s an old saying that 90 percent of new businesses fail within a year, and they fail because of a lack of capital. Fortunately, that’s a myth. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 70 percent of new businesses survive at least two years, and more than half were stillRead More →

An English teacher based in southern China has launched an OpenSim grid for English students. Currently, over 100 of his college-age students are using the grid, as well as students from Italy, Russia, and Japan. They practice English, and interact with English speakers who teleport in from other grids —Read More →

Kitely, the OpenSim grid offering on-demand and easy region setup, has added support for groups and profiles, the company announced today. With groups, Kitely users can specify who can enter individual regions, and who can build on them. Groups can also be used to send out instant messages to allRead More →

Some grids reported an increase in logins or registrations yesterday during Second Life’s protracted network outage. According to InWorldz co-founder David Daeschler, also known as Tranquillity Dexler in-world, the grid saw a peak of 352 simultaneous users on Thursday afternoon, at a time when the grid normally averages between 200 andRead More →

Tor Books, the largest science fiction publisher in the world, just announced that it will be removing digital rights management — DRM — from its ebooks. “Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time,” said president and publisher Tom Doherty in the announcement. “They’re aRead More →

With the recent explosion in new OpenSim grids, it will get harder and harder to get noticed. I’ve been talking about this to new gridmasters, and thought I’d share the advice a bit more widely. While I’m specifically writing for hypergrid-enabled grids, some of the same advice will apply toRead More →

There are two approaches to hypergrid content security currently being discussed by OpenSim developers and grid owners — the first, using the existing permissions system, is embraced by grids like Kitely looking to roll out something quickly. But the other approach — to create a brand-new permission that allows contentRead More →

The cloud-based, on-demand Kitely grid has added support for non-player characters (NPCs) and instant teleport gates as part of its upgrade to the latest version of OpenSim, the company announced today. NPCs — also known as bots — are useful for creating automated tour guides, robot receptionists, and, in roleRead More →

In light of several griefing incidents on OpenSim grids over the past few days, grid owners are starting to consider taking proactive steps to protect themselves against future attacks. Multi-grid nuisance On FleepGrid, a griefer dropped colored spheres all over the grid, which brought down the entire world. “It’s takenRead More →

Georgia’s Forsyth County Schools plans to triple the number of its OpenSim regions next year, the district’s coordinator of online education, Steve Mashburn, announced at Friday’s Non-Profit Commons meeting in Second Life. The school district deployed a 16-region grid, hosted by Dreamland Metaverse, earlier this year. The same vendor will be usedRead More →

The number of small OpenSim grids continued to climb this month, as companies, schools and individuals continued to strike out on their own. We’re tracking 285 grids, of which 169 are currently active — an increase of 26 grids from last month’s 143 active grids. Meanwhile, the top 40 public OpenSimRead More →

Linden Lab has issued new guidelines for third-party viewers who wish to include advanced new features that use the proprietary Havoc physics engine. Of most interest to OpenSim users, the guidelines require that the viewer be “primarily focused on Second Life as a target market, and have a significant baseRead More →

Companies interested in the cost-savings and productivity benefits of immersive virtual environments but put off by the cartoony avatars may soon have another option, according to LA-based Integrated Virtual Networks. IVN’s patented “Silhouette” technology uses standard cameras to capture the user’s image, isolates it from the background, and converts it intoRead More →

The premise: As the number of grids proliferates, so does the number of destinations not safe for children. Schools and parents can install software that protects children from inappropriate websites — similar software designed for the hypergrid could protect children from grids dedicated to gambling and adult activities. The business TheRead More →

[CORRECTION: I removed a line about bottlenecks that specifically mentioned the InWorldz asset server. See discussion in the comments for the full details.] InWorldz is celebrating it’s third anniversary in Las Vegas this weekend (livestream here, schedule here). I’m listening to the keynote presentation right now by grid founder BethRead More →

InWorldz co-founder David Daeschler, also known as Tranquillity Dexler in-world, announced plans for marketing and expansion at the InWorldz Convention in Las Vegas today. The grid, now celebrating its third birthday, will begin doing advertising for the first time, Daeschler said. He did not specify a time frame. And new mentorsRead More →

I am going to build my dream woman. Or maybe a man. Someone who will greet me warmly when she sees me. She’ll take messages for me, tell me if there’s someone waiting for me in my office,  send me a teleport request, greet visitors by name, give landmarks toRead More →

Kitely, the cloud-based, on-demand OpenSim grid, announced today that in-world teleports and choice of viewers are now supported. Previously, the only way to move from one Kitely region to another was to shut down your viewer, and load the new region from the website. And the only viewer you couldRead More →

Hypergrid inventor and UC Irvine professor Crista Lopes — also known as  “Diva Canto” — has added a feature to OpenSim where you can invite someone to be your friend even if they’re not on your grid. In fact, they don’t even have to be logged on — they’ll get the inviteRead More →

We surveyed the biggest OpenSim hosting providers last week to find out how many private grids they were running for clients. Only three vendors responded — and some big, well-known vendors declined to provide data. However, between those three vendors, there were a total of 58 private grids, 13 forRead More →

For the longest time, I avoided the official Second Life viewers like the plague. There was always some update they wanted me to do when I had the least time to do it. There was no grid selection at startup, and, compared to Hippo, everything was in the wrong placeRead More →