Category: Maria’s Worlds

2

Do good guys always finish last?

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...

1

I tried the Rift, and I liked it

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...

1

How to re-post our articles

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...

33

Content is not king

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...

47

Help me fix my ugly hyperport

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...

3

A tale of two conferences

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...

10

The lean startup and the grid founder

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...

Train wreck image by Wystan via Flickr 37

5 warning signs your grid may fold

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...

6

5 magic tools for UI designers

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,...

14

Why do I blog?

I love participating in online conversations, so here’s my take on the “Why do I blog?” meme which recently showed up on New World Notes and Journey To The Center of the Metaverse and Daniel...

4

Big things on the horizon

These last few weeks, I’ve felt a feeling of foreboding. Like there were big things looming on the horizon. Big things that would change the world as we know it. These big things are...

4

7 website mistakes of social grids

The following mistakes are totally and completely a matter of my opinion. I don’t expect grid owners to rush out and redesign their websites because I didn’t like some aspect of it. However, if...

10

Can 3D save the PC industry?

Yes, it can. I really think it can. So here’s the deal. Personal computer sales are going down the toilet. According to IDC, total sales are down 14 percent for the first quarter of...

5

Moon sale brings in cash, marketing

Last month, Entropia Universe “discovered” a new moon. Today, the company announced that the moon “sold” for $150,000 to a player-led group of investors. This isn’t the first time the company has “sold” virtual...

2

4 Lessons in GIMP

When it comes to graphics, I’m not much of a power user. I mostly stick with cropping and scaling in Paint. People who know what they’re doing using Photoshop or its free, open source...

2

5 reasons why stuff should be free

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...

2

HG Status Checker script

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...

9

Wish list for a Web viewer

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...

19

Quick note about comments

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...

0

5 tips for non-evil sales

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...

Image courtesy curtfleenor.com via Flickr. 6

A page from my private diary

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...

26

What is a grid?

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...

3

Why businesses avoid going virtual

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...

2

The joy of public domain textures

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...

5

Seamless textures take two

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...

5

How to create seamless textures

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...

22

File this form. Now.

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...

2

Own your own customers

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...

5

5 backup options for OpenSim

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...

4

Screen sharing for OpenSim

I mentioned yesterday in an article about Utherverse that those guys have application sharing for their virtual world platform, but that there’s nothing equivalent for Second Life and OpenSim, except through third-party services. By...

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Lack of marketing budget biggest mistake for VWs

According to virtual worlds research firm KZero, the lack of a marketing budget is the single biggest mistake made by virtual world startups. “Virtual worlds and MMOs with insufficient marketing budgets are floating around...

3

7 tips for holding Kitely events

Let’s say you want to hold a virtual event — a class, an exhibition, a support group, a virtual tour, what have you — and have picked Kitely because it’s a low-cost, easy-to-use platform....

6

Hypergrid permissions need viewer change

Last month, Linden Lab decided to cut OpenSim off  from its viewer, and, last spring, to force third-party developers to choose between OpenSim and getting the new proprietary Havok pathfinding code. Viewer developers had...

3

How to choose a content license

As more and more people explore OpenSim, the content licensing issue comes up over and over again. It may be quite a puzzle for folks used to Second Life, where licensing is taken care...

2

ON24’s sexy-and funny-media win

Last week, I’ve been following a media storm of coverage surrounding ON24, a virtual events company. A couple of years ago, I covered the company, as well as its competitors InXpo and Unisfair (now InterCall),...

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Navigation versus immersion

My long-time readers probably know that I pretty much only use virtual worlds for work. I don’t play role playing games. I don’t go to social events. Meanwhile, I keep saying that if you...

1

10 ideas for a press release

Congratulations, you have a new grid or hosting company. And you have 200 competitors — and the numbers are only going to keep rising. You need to find a way to get your name...

4

Virtual worlds and The Innovator’s Dilemma

This week, ReactionGrid has all but abandoned OpenSim in favor of its proprietary, Unity-based Jibe virtual world platform. And Linden Lab has also distanced itself from OpenSim, removing support for the “-loginURI” feature which...

2

Should we gamify the hypergrid?

As of today, there are 100 grids in our Hyperica directory, all accessible – at least some of the time — by hypergrid teleport. That’s over 15,000 regions. My researchers and I have visited...

12

5 ways to fund a WebGL viewer

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...

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5 reasons grids should avoid Bitcoin

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...

8

Five tips for better provenance

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...

4

7 ways to bootstrap a VW business

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,...

4

Tor Books drops DRM

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...

9

Marketing your new grid

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...

6

HG Biz Plan: Safety Viewer

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...

124

InWorldz at 3: Turning point or more of same?

[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...

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HG Biz Plan: Virtual Train Set

The premise: There’s something addicting about putting together a virtual train set, getting the scenery just right, assembling the train itself. Even better is when you get to share it with people, or see...

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Second Life, Facebook, and OpenSim

When asked about the difference between Second Life and OpenSim I frequently explain that, for enterprise users, having a region in Second Life is a lot like having a page on Facebook — and...

32

The hypergrid is a social web

I’ve been listening to Vanish Seriath’s interview with OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey today and I was struck by Clark-Casey’s pessimism about the growth of the hypergrid. He was worried about scalability, security, and...

20

Free OpenSim in a snap

Running OpenSim on your home computer in, in theory, a great way to have as much virtual land as you want — for free. In practice, it can take quite a bit of time...

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Hyperica hyperport conquers 4096 barrier

It’s been years in the making. Literally. I’ve been slowly collecting scripts and destinations — with the help of a lot of other folks — and Hyperica is finally open for business. The hyperport,...

13

Welcome region checklist

With some help from scripters, designers, and other hypergrid travelers, we’ve been bringing the Hyperica directory up-to-date. As part of the process, I travel to a lot of grid welcome regions — there are...

26

Is OpenSim usage falling?

Today, Hamlet Au wrote a column suggesting that the OpenSim user base is shrinking — and used Hypergrid Business numbers to support his position. The short answer to his question is: No, OpenSim usage...

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SOPA, PIPA, and OpenSim

There’s been a lot written lately about how SOPA and PIPA would affect virtual worlds including Second Life. The legislation would allow copyright holders to shut down access to Internet domains where pirated content...

8

Can people steal my stuff in OpenSim?

A few days ago I saw a Tweet, that said something like, “I looked at OpenSim, but some guy said he would steal all my stuff. So, no thanks!” In fact, that attitude comes...

3

Virtual fitness resolution

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...

17

Yes, it does have mass appeal

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...

1

Renting land versus buying hosting

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...

17

Can you draw a hypergate?

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,...

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5 reasons we still need Whisper

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,...

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Free Vivox for all

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...

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How to scale Second Life

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...

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HG Biz Plan: Hypergrid Post Office

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...

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All the pieces are there

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...

8

Neighbor me!

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...

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HG Biz Plan: Language school

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...