Last night, hanging out on OSGrid waiting for the ball to drop on New Year’s Eve, I resolved — among other things — to exercise more. But I’m the kind of person who thinks of herself less as a fitness freak and more as a … bookworm. Couch potato. DeskRead More →

New Voice — the company that brought us $5.95 regions on OSGrid and its own Nova grid — just dropped the starting price for regions even lower. To zero. That’s right. These are full regions. On the Nova grid, which runs the Aurora-Sim version of OpenSim, they can hold 80,000Read More →

I’m tired of naysayers complaining that Second Life — and, by extension, OpenSim — has no mass appeal. That it’s too hard to use. That regions take too long to load. That there’s never anybody there. Or if they’re there, they’re rude and annoying. That it’s all sex and gambling.Read More →

We’re running a survey today about OpenSim hosting providers, and I’m getting the sense that there’s a lot of confusion about OpenSim hosting when it comes to renting land on a grid, versus buying hosting from a third-party vendor. Part of it is understandable — there are a lot ofRead More →

There are a lot of stargates floating around OpenSim. Most are copies of one of the gates that show up in the StarGate movies or television shows. Others are unrecognizable as gates — they’re disguised as teleport boards, spinning globes, and weird shapes. After all, a hypergate is just a script — it canRead More →

Vehicle physics topped the list of missing features in our survey of OpenSim hosting providers this week. Because of the holiday — and the short notice — only 70 people responded to the survey, compared to last year’s 114. Of those, 52 percent said that vehicle physics was among theRead More →

Open Wonderland — an open source, Java-based alternative to OpenSim — is now available on a tablet. According to WonderSchool, a subsidiary of Germany’s THINSIA, clients can now access the platform on an iPad by having their user session streamed to the device. The streaming is not cheap, however. WonderTablet,Read More →

Now that Vivox voice is available for free to small grids and to non-profit grids, there’s going to be less pressure on the OpenSim developers to finish integrating Whisper voice. And that’s a shame, since only two major issues need work. One is that Whisper isn’t currently integrated into existingRead More →

Note: Vivox now has an online form that OpenSim grid owners and hosting providers can use to request access credentials. Merry Christmas, grid owners — Vivox is now available, for free, to any grid owner. You get the same voice as in Second Life — with lip synching and directionality and speech indications.Read More →

First of all, an apology. In May, we wrote that Redwood City, California-based virtual worlds company Teleplace, Inc. open sourced its platform in order to grow its market — and that the company would continue to offer paid hosting and support, and continue working on new features. At least, thatRead More →

Kitely became the second commercial OpenSim grid to roll out Vivox voice today. Boston-based Vivox Inc. is currently the gold standard of in-world voice, used in Second Life, EVE Online, EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, DC Universe Online and in many other massively online multiplayer games. The company reported 60 millionRead More →

Second Life had the potential to be the 3D AOL, to usher in a new age of immersive 3D environments. It failed not because it was too complicated or difficult to use or tried to do too much at once. After all, AOL also was a one-stop-shop: shopping, forums, email,Read More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained 915 new regions since this time last month, bringing the total number of regions on these grids to 21,595, a new record high. OSGrid was the single biggest gainer. The non-profit grid, which allows users to connect regions running on home computers at noRead More →

Two new social worlds announced launches today — SmallWorlds, which is live, and Interactive City, which still seems to be the process of getting off the ground. SmallWorlds is a cartoonish, Flash-based, 2.5D, Lively-style virtual world more closely akin to Farmville than of Second Life. Built by New Zealand’s Outsmart,Read More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

I belong to a business group in my area that recently expressed interest in setting up a virtual space for its members. The idea is that they could have meetings there, and individual members could get office space to use for their own projects and collaboration. I was pleasantly surprisedRead More →

The results of the 2011 Hypergrid Business grid survey are in, with mid-sized grids serving language communities dominating the rankings. A record 459 people submitted responses this year, with a total of 63 different grids visited — up from 194 respondents and 35 grids last year. The most surprising resultRead More →

Cloud-based OpenSim vendor Kitely Ltd. rolled out two features today aimed at improving the social aspects of the grid — a list of publicly-accessible regions, and a maturity ranking system. “While many people use their virtual worlds for private activities, almost a third of all the Kitely worlds people haveRead More →

ReactionGrid was the early favorite in the race to provide a stable and safe OpenSim environment for educators and corporations. Over the last couple of years, however, the company has been falling behind the rest of the OpenSim universe, sticking with an old version of OpenSim as newer versions cameRead More →

Three years ago today, on Oct. 26, 2008, Crista Lopes fired off the email that marked the birth of the hypergrid. Lopes, an OpenSim core developer, is also a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, and came up with a peer-to-peer system that allowed people to teleport fromRead More →

The Island Oasis social grid has rolled out a custom fishing game, a vampire role playing game, an urban combat system and a speedway, and turned on hypergrid connectivity last week as part of a grid-wide revamp. That’s a lot of activity for a small grid — Island Oasis isRead More →

Today’s OpenSim grids all have a static idea of a world map. So does Second Life. There’s nothing wrong with that — I love having a virtual environment that I can navigate, that makes geometric sense. Room-based environments, where any room can connect to any other room, and all theRead More →

OpenSim developers are discussing ways to combat damaging patent litigation, including changing the OpenSim license to deter potential patent trolls. The Overte Foundation, which holds the OpenSim licenses, recently released a contributors’ license agreement for its developers. One possible anti-troll protection measure would be to change the agreement so thatRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Back when I incorporated my first company a few years ago, I tried to learn as much as I could about the entrepreneurial process and mind set. I joined entrepreneurial organizations and attended events and seminars. One tool that stuck with me after all this time — and which IRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Freebies are plentiful throughout OpenSim grids, where uploads are free and land is cheap — anyone can put up a freebie store. But most freebie stores can’t guarantee the provenance of their content. Grid owners and content creators fight to remove infringing content, but that’s no comfort to a businessRead More →

On-demand hosting provider Kitely Ltd. has eliminated a major OpenSim scalability obstacle by moving its asset database to the Amazon storage cloud. “This is the most significant change we’ve made to our system since our beta started,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. Because of the upgrade, Kitely wasRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Several major OpenSim features, including mesh, which were previously available only in experimental releases of OpenSim are now part of the standard OpenSim release, numbered 0.7.2. “Despite having a minor point release number, it actually contains a very large number of features and fixes,” said OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey inRead More →

According to statistics released Friday by InWorldz co-founder Beth Reischl, in-world residents have been cashing out, on average, more than $15,000 a month over the past year. “Overall, I’m really pleased with the numbers, and while this is supposed to be fun, and hence our lower prices, it’s nice to seeRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Second Life has recently rolled out support for mesh objects. One key benefit is realistic clothing and accessories. However, Second Life’s implementation of mesh does not automatically adjust to the size of avatar bodies — and OpenSim, which is still heavily dependent on Second Life-compatible viewers — is limited inRead More →

There’s a new immersive platform in town. HostaVirtualEvent.com is focused on business users — like Venuegen and Web.alive. But it’s based on Unity, like ReactionGrid’s Jibe and Second Places’ Unifier. The advantage of Unity is that millions of people already have the Unity plugin, there’s no need to open portsRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering products andRead More →

We are going to have a metaverse of interconnected virtual worlds. Whether it evolves out from the current OpenSim and the hypergrid, or from the new crop of Web-based virtual platforms, or some combination, but we’re going to get there. Folks who got their hopes up with the VRML standards,Read More →

Back before I became a business journalist, I was a war correspondent. And I accumulated a few psychological scars as a result. In the past, I deal with some of my ghosts by lighting candles in church — I’m baptized Russian Orthodox — but multiple relocations and other changes inRead More →

Viewer developers are no longer restricted from working on OpenSim server code, OpenSim core developer and Overte Foundation president Justin Clark-Casey announced Friday. Previously, viewer developers had to wait six months after working on viewer code before they could work on OpenSim. The Overte Foundation — which oversees OpenSim developmentRead More →

As the number of Unity-based virtual platforms proliferates, and a decent viewer for OpenSim and Second Life still remains a pipe dream, we’re getting close to the point where the center of gravity will shift over. And the future of the metaverse — or, at least, the first few yearsRead More →

The OpenSim hosting industry is still young, and, though it is developing quickly, still lacking in experience and maturity. But it doesn’t mean that customers have to settle for substandard service. I’ve tried out several vendors in the past, and will continue to do so for both public and privateRead More →

I am a big fan of the hypergrid. I love logging into my personal grid. Then teleporting to my company grid, or visit friends on OSGrid, or go shopping on GermanGrid. But I don’t have any illusion that the hypergrid will replace the Internet. Instead, I believe that the hypergridRead More →

All existing OpenSim viewers are based on the GPL-licensed open source version of the Second Life viewer. All derivative viewers also have to be open source — which makes it hard to build a business here. So it makes sense that we don’t have companies coming in and investing aRead More →