Update: See end of story for new pricing information. Two of the world’s largest German grids — Grid4Us and GermanGrid — are merging this week, in order to provide a richer — and more populated — world for residents and visitors. The merger is scheduled for August 13 through 15,Read More →

Second Life released Viewer 2 in February and, though many complained that the new interface was confusing and less efficient it did offer a significant new benefit to enterprise and education users: the ability to show websites and other media on any in-world surface. However, the new viewer — commonlyRead More →

Linden Lab developer Qarl Linden reported that he was laid off yesterday. The developer — known as Karl Stiefvater outside of Second Life — was responsible for such innovations as scupties and flexi prims, making the in-world environment richer and more realistic. “He is widely recognized as a competent andRead More →

A mini-grid is a small, standalone OpenSim grid that doesn’t require a separate grid administration server. How small? Small enough so that all its regions can be run on a single computer. For a typical home computer, four regions is plenty. For a high-speed computer or server, you can getRead More →

A couple of days ago, Second Life merchant Darrius Gothly proposed a plan to reinvigorate Second Life’s land market by  zoning regions residential or commercial. Today, Second Life does have some zoning. Content aimed at teenagers is confined to the Teen Grid, for example, and adult content to the ZindraRead More →

ReactionGrid no longer offers $25 regions, offering only entire servers starting at $150 a month, with a $500 setup fee. Each server can handle four regions, and there is a discount for educators — to $75 a region with a $220 setup fee. “The price for a $75 four-sim dedicatedRead More →

Back in February, the Virtual Edge Institute — a virtual events consulting firm — conducted a conference for virtual event organizers. Some 400 attendees went to Santa Clara to attend in person. Another 1,500 attended virtually through a variety of channels — the VirtualU immersive environment, the Unisfair and theRead More →

A recent Wall Street Journal article proclaimed, Fraudsters Like Virtual Goods: Fast-Growing E-Commerce Segment Seems More Vulnerable to Cyber Criminals based on research from CyberSource Corp., which processes credit cards for online merchants. The article makes it sound that virtual goods sales are more prone to fraud than physical products.Read More →

Enterprise virtual world vendor added support for the Microsoft Sharepoint service, the company announced today. Teleplace is one of the leading providers of enterprise-grade, behind-the-firewall, fully immersive virtual collaborative environments. It counts “hundreds” of corporations as customers – some of them big names, including Chevron, BP, Lockheed, Intel, and Fidelity.Read More →

Earlier this year, Linden Lab released Second Life Viewer 2 which, though it had a large number of usability problems, also offered one huge advantage for business and education users: the ability to put a live webpage or any other media onto any in-world surface. This means that a groupRead More →

The OpenSim community is currently in the process of upgrading to Hypergrid 1.5, a more secure version of the hypergrid protocol that allows teleportation between different grids. However, Hypergrid 1.5 isn’t compatible with the previous Hypergrid 1.0 standard, according to hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the UniversityRead More →

The top 40 public grids lost 20% of their reported area this past month — from 11,717 to 9,343 regions –  due to summer cleaning at OSGrid. The largest OpenSim-based grid lost more than a third of its land area, falling from 7,530 to 4,962 regions as grid administrators clearedRead More →

For the past year that I’ve been attending meetings in Second Life and OpenSim, I’ve been thinking of the virtual platforms as another kind of collaboration tool. I compare it to Web-based conferences and seminars. A few days ago, however, I read a blog post by Avril Korman, where, inRead More →

The New York-based Fashion Research Institute, Inc. is giving away five copies of its ground-breaking butterfly exhibit to researchers or educators. The exhibit, available in the form of an OpenSim archive file (an OAR) includes a copy of the entire Shengri La Chamomile region from Intel’s ScienceSim grid, with overRead More →

According to information presented at a recent U.S. International Trade Commission hearing, piracy may be hurting companies less than previously though. Fritz Foley, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, told the commission that content producers often assume that a pirated copy of a product blocks the sale of anRead More →

Avination, a new OpenSim-based role playing virtual world focusing on combat play, has chosen the XR JEVN e-commerce platform from Extreme Reality, Inc., the companies announced today. Philadelphia-based Extreme Reality acquired the JEVN networked vendor system earlier this month. The platform is already widely used in Second Life, where itRead More →

Press Release: Merck and ProtonMedia Win Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award 2010 Microsoft Recognizes Merck’s Industry-First Scientific Poster Session Held in ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere 3-D Virtual Environment LANSDALE, Pa.–Microsoft Corp. has named Merck and Company, Inc. and ProtonMedia winners of the company’s Life Sciences Innovation Awards 2010. The awards, announced atRead More →

Tokyo-based 3Di Inc., will release the new version of its OpenSim server software on June 25, and the new release will allow the use of separate account registration systems. For example, if a retail company, say, allow customers to register on its website, those same registrations can be used toRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids totaled 11,717 regions this month, a respectable 4 percent increase over last month’s 11,240. However, adjusted growth is up a record-high 1,377 regions — an increase of 13.3 percent. Why adjusted? ScienceSim has been running scalability tests, loading up 1,024 regions on a single serverRead More →

Press Release: Citizant and Cranial Tap Partner to Develop 3-D Environments for Collaboration, Training and Data Visualization In Federal Agencies Second Life environments will add new dimension to transparency and performance CHANTILLY, Va. — Citizant, a leader in federal information sharing and business modernization solutions, has partnered with Cranial Tap,Read More →

Yesterday, Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon promised that Linden Lab is going to develop a Web-based viewer for Second Life. This is, potentially, a major turning point for the company. It could become a portal to the broader 3D Web — or just another closed virtual world, one of thousandsRead More →

Tokyo-based 3Di, a leader in developing commercial viewers for Opensim, today announced a viewer that will run on Android smartphones. The company is currently recruiting industry partners to develop practical applications of this technology, and will share its platform with them. The platform can be used to develop online games,Read More →

Linden Lab announced 30 percent staff cuts today, and also promised a Web-based viewer for Second Life. While a Web-based viewer would be a significant benefit for companies interested in using virtual worlds for quick meetings and public conferences, a more sobering note is that the announcement of  “strategic restructuringRead More →

(Image courtesy)

Hollywood celebrities can now get their own virtual islands — at no cost — through Virtual Celebrity Islands, launching at this Sunday’s 2010 MTV Movie Awards. Between 70 and 80 celebrities will be able to get their islands at the Virtual Celebrity Gifting Lounge, sponsored by Los Angeles-based GBK Productions,Read More →

Hypergrid travelers are more likely to be looking for shopping than any other kind of individual destination, according to May visitor statistics of the Hyperica hypergrid destination directory. The top five pages viewed overall were the full list of hypergrid-enabled grids, the hypergrid-enabled regions on OSgrid, the list of hypergrid-enabledRead More →

Virtual events platform provider On24 has rolled out a suite of social networking tools this week, including integration with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. “We have a standard Twitter widget that can be embedded in a virtual event,” said Denise Persson, On24’s chief marketing officer. “You can see the conversation goingRead More →

The Second Life and OpenSim platform are the best bet for educators, according to a white paper released today by virtual worlds research firm Daden Limited. “It is the only one offering reasonable graphics with in-world building tools, and as a result high levels of flexibility,” wrote author David Burden.Read More →

Japan’s PR News, a press release distribution service, will hold free virtual seminars this summer on how to use Twitter and other social media for marketing and promotion, the company announced today (English translation here.) The seminars will be conducted in a virtual world — OpenSim — and accessed viaRead More →

Developers released a new version of OpenSim this week, with support for group management of land, the ability to offer teleports to other avatars, and other minor improvements and bug fixes. Many OpenSim users would already have seen these features on OSGrid, the Diva Distro, and other grids running theRead More →

Altadyn, the developer of 3DXplore, a Web-based virtual world platform, announced this week that its immersive worlds can now run in the cloud, allowing users to scale up conferences quickly to handle thousands of simultaneous attendees. Today, the company also integrated a voice platform into its system. Previously, customers hadRead More →

There are three ways in which a particular platform or service can be considered to be “open.” One is whether it runs on multiple systems, or is locked into a system from one particular vendor. For example, Apple’s Leonard operating system only runs on Apple computers. The Windows operating systems,Read More →

The world’s top public OpenSim-based grids slowed their growth rate this month, possibly due to the growing popularity of standalone grids. As of today, the top 40 grids totaled 11,240 regions, up 7.2 percent from 10,588 regions in mid-April. However, half of that growth was due to ongoing scalability testingRead More →

Today, Web space is free. Almost. You can get free accounts for blogs on Blogger.com and WordPress.com — among many others. And storage space is so cheap that some Web hosts offer virtually unlimited storage. At Dreamhost, for example, you can add new sites to your hosting package for noRead More →

Virtual events platform provider InXpo rolled out a suite of social networking features last week – including built-in support for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – as well as a social gaming platform. InXpo is a “pseudo 3D” virtual meeting platform. InXpo’s Web-based virtual meeting platform combines multimedia – video, presentationsRead More →

Second Life has rolled out some great features recently, such as media-on-a-prim, which are great for business. And chief product officer  Tom Hale’s promise of mesh imports in the second quarter of this year is also great news. As a business user, both of these features promise to be veryRead More →

Virtual worlds have been offered up in recent weeks as alternatives to physical events because they are disaster-proof. No volcano or tsunami can take down the whole Internet. And virtual events are particularly budget-friendly during that other kind of recent disaster — a financial crisis. But virtual worlds are proneRead More →

The owner of the Aesthetica sim — a rich and detailed artistic build created over the course of several months — learned on Monday that his region was gone for good. And five months of scheduled nightly backups? Never happened. What happened to his region could happen to other regionRead More →

Virtual worlds run by non-profit organizations focus on providing a low-cost platform for other non-profits and individuals. To many in the non-profit sector, in-world economies belong on for-profit grids like Second Life and Blue Mars. However, some non-profits running grids on the OpenSim platform are beginning to embrace in-grid paymentsRead More →

Two more grids have switched to the recently-released hypergrid-enabled OMC (Open Metaverse Currency) from Virwox, FrancoGrid and Avatar Hangout, bringing the total number of grids using the currency to six. The other four grids supporting the currency are Grid4Us, GermanGrid, OpenNeuland, and WilderWesten. Between them, the six grids total overRead More →

If you’re a business manager considering rolling out virtual workspaces, you may think that an avatar identity is nothing more than yet another user account, the login credentials for a particular piece of virtual world software. At second look, you might think that avatar identities are closer to email addresses.Read More →

The world’s top 40 OpenSim-based grids gained 1,055 regions over the past month, from 9,533 to 10,588, an increase of more than 11 percent. By comparison, Second Life grew just 1.4 percent during the same time period, according to data from Grid Survey. As usual, OSGrid was the single biggestRead More →

There are few things worse than making a large investment in technology only to find out a couple of years later that the rest of the world has decided to go in a different direction. Not only do you now have to put in the time and money to ripRead More →

Former Linden staffer Meadhbh Hamrick has vowed to continue her fight for virtual worlds interoperability. However, the commitment on the part of Linden Research is unclear, and the project is currently being overshadowed by the success of the hypergrid, an alternative method of bridging worlds. Hamrick — also known asRead More →

Last week, I surveyed the state of OpenSim commerce, in the column Business in OpenSim. This included the beginnings of in-world retail shops, OpenSim hosting providers, and design and development services. These are new industries, only really born last year, when OpenSim became stable enough for deployment and hypergrid-enabled. ButRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations.] Is it too early to start doing business in OpenSim? We are certainly not in an age of v-commerce, though we can see itRead More →

Clever Zebra is about to roll out its Campus toolset for educators in OpenSim, company president Nick Wilson tells Hypergrid Business, with work already underway for the first beta customers. OpenSim is an open source platform for creating and serving virtual worlds, which uses the same viewers and interface asRead More →

The Internet is a wide, and anonymous place. For me, it’s always a slight shock when I comment on someone’s blog post — and they comment back, or send me a personal “thank you” email.  Except for these blogs, most Websites are run by anonymous Web administrators, and when I’mRead More →