The 2018 OpenSim Community Conference. started off with a bang this morning with an announcement of a new virtual reality viewer for OpenSim. OpenSimulator core developer Melanie Thielker — also known as Melanie Milland in-world — announced that she is releasing her virtual reality OpenSim viewer to the open sourceRead More →

Nearly 800 responses came in for this year’s Seventh Annual OpenSim Grid Survey, and after 31 were deleted as invalid, DigiWorldz came out with the most responses, while AllCity received the highest scores, followed by FrancoGrid, Virtual Highway, DigiWorldz and Lost Paradise. People rated 51 different grids, of which 19 made it pastRead More →

OpenSim developers are getting ready to release OpenSim 0.9.0, and some grids are already experimenting with the new features by downloading the experimental version of the new release — and they are running into some problems. The problem is specific to grids using the new ubOde physics engine, which is includedRead More →

Adapting OpenSim to work on virtual reality headsets will require a substantial amount of work on both server and viewer code. Is this something that OpenSim users want to see happen? According to a survey conducted on this site this week, 79 percent of OpenSim users think that VR isRead More →

I got into writing about OpenSim back in 2009 because it seemed to be, at the time, the best path to an open-source, peer-to-peer metaverse. I want to see a future where anyone could put up a virtual environment, and have people teleport in and out from other people’s environments. ARead More →

More than 100 people responded to our survey of how people use OpenSim, and the results are in — the majority of people use OpenSim for work and for creative self-expression. The first question of the survey asked people who they were. The single biggest group of respondents, or aboutRead More →

Today, many virtual reality applications and experiences are distributed as stand-alone downloads, which makes sense for many types of content and particularly for mobile-based virtual reality headsets with slow connections. But as broadband speeds improve, cloud delivery offers a number of benefits to virtual reality projects, including scalability, monetization, reducedRead More →

It’s been another record-breaking month for OpenSim, with new heights reached in land area, registered users, and active users. OSgrid, Kitely and DigiWorldz were the biggest gainers in land area, with 678, 340 and 255 regions added, respectively. There are now the equivalent of 68,941 standard regions on OpenSim’s 302Read More →

Dahlia Trimble, an OpenSim core developer who’s been with the project since the summer of 2008, announced today that she is leaving. “I am sad to announce that I will be leaving OpenSimulator Core,” she told fellow developers. “I’ve been finding lately that I no longer have a use forRead More →

For many years, former IBMer Justin Clark-Casey has been the eternally-youthful face of OpenSimulator development and the president of the Overte Foundation which oversees OpenSim licensing issues. Then, on Sunday, the Justin Era ended with a post on his blog, Everything that has a beginning has an end, in which he saidRead More →

Someday soon, we will have a virtual reality metaverse. A fantastical place, limited only by our imaginations, where time and space mean nothing and experiences are shared as easily as bit and bytes are today. What technology will form the basis of this metaverse? Will it be created by Facebook?Read More →

Second Life is a killer app for Oculus Rift. Here are ten reasons why — and why OpenSim will get there first. 1. Quality, content and creativity Now, before you skip ahead to post a comment about how Second Life has been overrun by furries and 14-year-olds, take a moment toRead More →

First impressions of Oculus Rift: Architectural Visualization, Second Life, and beyond I wish I had more time to write out a more extensive review of the Rift, but here are my first impressions: You absolutely feel as if you are transported to another place, to the point where it’s almostRead More →

I’ve written about Bitcoin before, warning that I was worried about volatility and botnets. Bitcoin has been on my mind again, lately, due to a big bubble spurred in part by the Cyprus financial crisis, worries that Linden Dollars might see increased regulation, and a Kaspersky Labs report about botnets beingRead More →

Vivox continues to expand OpenSim support, after offering their voice service for free in December of 2011., when grid owners were asked to personally contact Kamal Jain, Vivox’s director of network operations. Last summer, Vivox set up a dedicated team and email address for OpenSim queries. Now, Vivox has an onlineRead More →

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 property — a virtual setting called “Treasure Island” went for $26,500 in 2004. In 2005, “ClubRead More →

I beta-tested the latest version of the New World Studio today. It took me exactly five clicks to have a new OpenSim-based world up and running on my computer. And the whole process took five minutes. Though probably half of it was spent taking pictures of my computer screen, resizingRead More →

Metaverse security took a big step forward today as Avination donated OpenSim code implementing an “export” permission setting. The company also worked together with Singularity viewer developers to add support for this new permission to the viewer. Today, OpenSim has three permissions — copy, transfer, and modify — that determine whatRead More →

Only 65 out of more than 110 participants were able to log into an OpenSim scalability test conducted last Friday by the U.S. Army Simulation & Training Technology Center. “Real-time inspection of the logins indicated messages were queuing — getting backed up — by the firewall,” said Douglas Maxwell, the center’s science and technology managerRead More →

OpenSim hosting company MyOpenGrid has released the preview version of its free, open source front end for OpenSim grids, called Mwi. It is designed to more easier to install than most other web front ends available today, but with more functionality than the Diva Distro WiFi interface. Mwi is a content management system,Read More →

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 →

Starting a new company doesn’t have to take a lot of money, and you don’t have to make the big splash on your first day of operations. Instead, you can apply these tips from the world of lean business to start small and grow fast. 1: Identify a market needRead 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 →

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 →

Today, we counted exactly 200 public grids running on some version of the OpenSim software that were active this month, totaling 23,190 regions, 269,783 registered users, and 18,217 active monthly users.  This does not include regions and users on about a quarter of these grids that didn’t publish any statistics, nor on the unknownRead More →

As John Rogate pointed out today, the 4096 bug — which limits hypergrid teleports to no more than 4,096 regions in any direction — is a significant impediment to hypergrid travel and to the growth of the metaverse as a whole. But, as several people commented, there is another impedimentRead More →

Hypergrid is probably one of the greatest and unifying features for OpenSim, and virtual worlds in general. Basically, virtual worlds cannot be what they should be without the hypergrid. It is the same unifying feature and innovation as the hyperlink was – and still is – for the unification ofRead More →

Second Life builders and designers coming over to OpenSim might think that it’s the same thing, except for the lack of support for some high-end vehicle physics scripting commands — and bigger prims. In fact, OpenSim actually offers some unique benefits that designers should be ready to take advantage of.Read More →

Image by jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I attended UMass in the early eighties when access to DARPAnet first became available to students. In the beginning, all we had was terminal-based FTP access to download TeX markup documents that we could send to the batch printers. It wasn’t until almost ten years later that Mosaic based graphicalRead More →

SpotON3D will address the patent issue in a discussion on the first day of its Content Creators Expo in Second Life. Philippe Pascal, SpotON3D’s developer program manager, invited Hypergrid Business readers to attend the Expo, including those concerned about reports that SpotON3D has filed for five patents on OpenSim-related technology. ThoseRead More →

I have been using OpenSim since October, 2008. The software is still in an alpha stage of development, but it has come a long way, and its usage has exploded, and will continue to do so. Linden Labs has basically stopped focusing on education — which has also included droppingRead More →

Thanks to a “small bounty” from Birmingham, U.K.-based Daden Limited, OpenSim has new NPC functionality — otherwise known as non-player characters or bots. “Having this functionality broken was becoming a real pain for us, as having NPCs and autonomous avatars in virtual worlds is a lot of what we are about,” DavidRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids now have a total of 18,498 regions — up by 1,539 regions from a month ago. Meanwhile, total registered users grew by almost 12,000 to 206,098. Avination, InWorldz lose ground Both of the top commercial grids — Avination and InWorldz — lost regions over the past month.Read More →

SpotON3D attempted to address the controversy over its plans to patent technology for putting an OpenSim viewer on a webpage in an outreach event this morning, but some of the company’s toughest critics failed to show up, the company failed to answer key questions about its technology, and the meetingRead More →

Image: maple / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In recent months, the amount of innovation coming out of the OpenSim community has been staggering. Hypergrid travel is not only more secure, but now supports cross-grid friendships, messages, and landmarks. OpenSim providers are hosting their regions on-demand and in public (and private) clouds, offering full regions for under $10Read More →

AvWorlds has announced that the company will be releasing a Facebook plugin this week, allowing users to quickly create avatars based on their existing Facebook identities. Those without Facebook accounts — or who don’t want to expose their identities — will also be able to use Yahoo and Google logins,Read More →

A lot of folks sit around complaining about not having a decent Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life. (Okay, maybe just me.) The existing stand-alone viewers require that users download and install the software. There’s nothing wrong with installing software, but as more applications migrate to the Web, folksRead More →

There have been several attempts over the past year to create a viewer for Second Life and OpenSim based virtual environments that would run in a browser. I’ve tried to write about them all, from Linden Lab partnering with GaiKai to provide a server-side rendered and streamed experience of SecondLife to TipodeanRead More →

Aurora-Sim is a hot, fresh, new distribution of OpenSim that promises some nice features for grid managers (see story here) but, until this weekend, its users were cut off from the rest of the metaverse. That compatibility problem has been solved, and residents of OSGrid, FrancoGrid, and most other gridsRead More →

Update: Please people, stop linking to this post! Unless you are actually an OpenSim user this is not relevant to you at all! This article is about a very, very, narrow niche use of Unity that’s only relevant to a small handful of people. I understand that Unity is not aRead More →

It’s been a record-breaking months for OpenSim, with the top 40 grids passing 16,000 regions and 200,000 users for the first time in history. The total number of regions on these 40 largest public grids was 16,959, an increase of 1,669 regions since mid June — the biggest single-month increaseRead More →

If you’re launching a new grid, your number one problem is lack of content. Whether your grid is a corporate office complex for your employees, a campus for your students, or a large social and roleplaying world for your residents, they all need clothes, skins, hair, shoes, furniture, productivity tools,Read More →

Japan’s 3Di Inc., the first vendor to release a business-friendly Web-based viewer for OpenSim, has cut back its development work on the platform in favor of Flash-based virtual environments. “Apart from our existing deployments, we’ve scaled back new development on OpenSim,” 3Di technical group manager Norman Lin told Hypergrid Business.Read More →

The number of OpenSim grids accepting the multi-grid, hypergrid-enabled Open Metaverse Currency (OMC) has continued to grow in the first half of this year, now at an all-time high of 29 grids. Meanwhile, the number of registered users has tripled since the start of the year. In addition, the totalRead More →

OpenSim’s volunteer developers have launched a foundation, the non-profit Overte Foundation, which expected to solve the licensing problems that keep OpenSim server developers from talking to viewer developers. “One of the main reasons for creating such a foundation is so that we can drop the six month contribution barrier between OpenSimulatorRead More →

I subscribe to a lot of virtual world-related blogs in my RSS reader (click here for the bundle) , and follow a lot more on Twitter (click here for the list). Here are the five that I check in on daily. i live in science land Ener Hax posts daily (with a littleRead More →

Jibe is a new, Unity 3D-based virtual environment created by ReactionGrid, one of the leading OpenSim hosting vendors. Many people confuse the two platforms, but they are very different environments. In fact, Jibe has very little in common with OpenSim, and quite a bit in common with other browser-based virtualRead More →

Press release: Intel Announces New Research and Partnership Efforts at Annual R&D Event Will release open source packages: To increase avatar capacity on an OpenSim region 20 times, allowing thousands of simultaneous visitors To accelerate rendering of photo realistic images by 100 percent on Intel systems MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. –Read More →

We all remember the Microsoft-Netscape battle. Okay, maybe some people don’t, so here’s the summary: Netscape was a company that made a free Internet browser and and a not-free commercial Web server. (The latter has since been bought by Sun, and open sourced.) Microsoft built their own version of aRead More →

I am looking for volunteers for an OSGrid Academic Consortium — somewhere between four to eight schools who want to have free regions in an education-oriented community located near to one another on the non-profit OSGrid. Here is how it will work. I will take care of the setup —Read More →

Hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine called today on big public grids to begin a mass migration to lower regions. The reason is that Second Life-compatible viewers don’t handle jumps of more than 4,096 regions in any direction — causing problems both forRead More →

You cannot compare Second Life and OpenSim. One is a social world. The other is an open source piece of server software. You can’t even compare Second Life to individual grids using OpenSim as their backend software. Second Life has around a million users logging in each month, while theRead More →

With OpenSim hosting prices dropping fast and features and stability improving, it surprises to me that people still ask why anyone should pay for OpenSim. Yes, OpenSim is free. You can go to OpenSimulator.org and download the software and run your own world, at zero cost. But, like much openRead More →

Netflix now accounts for the largest share of Internet traffic. According to a new report from Sandvine, Netflix movies and television episodes are now more than 22 percent of the stuff traveling through the Intertubes — finally knocking peer-to-peer filesharing networks out of first place. The reason isn’t that peopleRead More →

Press Release: Daden creates World Finder, a virtual world selection tool Birmingham, U.K. — A simple virtual world selection tool, World Finder, has been created by virtual world specialist’s Daden Limited to help businesses and organisations choose between competing platforms for their projects. World Finder is based around 12 key virtualRead More →

The last four months have been tumultuous ones for our university. With the end of educational discounts for our island in Second Life, we faced a tough decision. Second Life’s steep learning curve and our local system of incentives and rewards for faculty had discouraged any use of virtual worldsRead More →

I’ve been reading lately about how great mesh will be for Second Life. But I’m wondering whether it won’t actually be better for OpenSim, instead. Off-world content versus in-world content In Second Life, the most common imported content is textures. But it costs money to bring them in — anRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained a total of 1,199 new regions over the past month, for a new record total of 15,765 regions. The biggest growth was on OSGrid, the non-profit grid which allows people to connect regions for free — or rent them from hosting companies for asRead More →

Educators looking for OpenSim alternatives to Second Life are currently limited to ReactionGrid or Jokaydia Grid, which is operated by ReactionGrid — unless they want to set up their own grid or join a multi-purpose grid that’s about more than just education. That changed this week when Houston-based FireSabre Consulting,Read More →

A reader asked me today about the OpenSim business case — are there enough users on any of the grids to make it worthwhile for a business to set up a presence there instead of in Second Life? The short answer is: no. Second Life’s average concurrency is around 50,000.Read More →

OpenSim’s new 0.7.1 release supports meshes, media-on-a-prim, and adds additional security features for grid owners and content creators. The upgrade also promises increased stability and less lag. However, hypergrid teleports are not backwards compatible to previous versions of OpenSim. Many large public grids have already upgraded to the new version,Read More →

A researcher at the University of California in San Diego is seeking participants for a large-scale study of avatar movement in Second Life and OpenSim. The study involves both online questionnaires and in-world movement tracking. The researcher, Jean-François Lucas, is a graduate student at the Department of Anthropology and SociologyRead More →

Second Life is a tipping point, and has been precariously balanced there for months. Average daily concurrency has been slipping since the start of 2010, according to data from Metaverse Business. In fact, according to Tateru Nino, concurrency in Second Life is at its lowest level in two years. TheRead More →

Ten Kitely users lost 13 regions this week because of a bug in the company’s software. The bug has been fixed, users compensated for their losses, and a new automated backup system is in the works. Kitely is a new company with software that they’re still testing — and aRead More →

The developers behind the realXtend branch of the OpenSimulator virtual world platform announced the formation of the realXtend Association today. “The purpose of the association is to be a place for realXtend users and developers to give feedback and steer together the platform development,” said association chairman Jani Pirkola. “TheRead More →

(Last updated April 26, 2013) There are plenty of reasons to run OpenSim on your own computers. If you’re a content creator, you can have as many regions as you want, for free, and load them up when you need to work on them. There’s no lag due to connectivityRead More →

The top 40 public OpenSim grids gained more than a 1,000 new regions since this time last month, propelled partly by low-cost cloud-based regions from a new hosting provider, Kitely. There are now a total of 14,566 regions on these grids alone, an increase of 8 percent since this timeRead More →

Latest update: April 8, 2013 This is a primer for folks considering moving into OpenSim who have never used OpenSim before and who don’t have much of a technical background. First look at OpenSim If you want to get into OpenSim in the quickest, easiest way possible, just follow thisRead More →

Update: There are now two marketplaces, Cariama and HGExchange, that deliver items to multiple OpenSim grids. Read more here: Where to get content for OpenSim. As a business owner — and someone who is very concerned about inadvertently violating copyright, having recently done so to my great chagrin — I’ve beenRead More →

Kitely offers OpenSim hosting in the cloud — ridiculously easy to use and ridiculously cheap for low-traffic regions. Now, anyone can have their own sim up and running in less than two minutes, at a cost of $0.10 per region per month — yup, ten cents — with an extraRead More →

Kitely may be turning the OpenSim hosting model upside down with its metered pricing, but other OpenSim hosting providers have already embraced the cloud. “We already utilise cloud based resources to allow for dynamic commission and decommission of region servers, both in our private cloud and [Amazon] EC2,” PioneerX ownerRead More →

With Kitely‘s bill-per-minute, cloud-based OpenSim hosting service now available, non-technically inclined folks now have a real choice in what kind of hosting they’d like to have. Here is a breakdown of common use cases of virtual environments, and whether Kitely makes sense, or whether you should go with Second LifeRead More →

How’s this for a match made in heaven: One company has a Web-based viewer for OpenSim. Still in early, experimental stages, but fast and responsive. Add avatars, voice, and the ability to sit down and they’ve got themselves a big winner. The other company has a Web-based front end forRead More →

San Francisco-based Tipodean Technologies launched a public beta today of its BuiltBuy.me Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life. The viewer, formerly known as Canvas, is free, and can be embedded inside a Website, YouTube-style. The latest update includes several improvements over the private beta release in December, including speedRead More →

A lot of debate about open source code versus proprietary code these days centers on the personalities of the folks involved, or on the politics behind the idea of open source. But, from a business perspective, the availability of open source alternatives is a net positive for enterprise — andRead More →

In a major step forward for usability of OpenSim, Israel-based startup Kitely has created a Website that allows any Facebook user to create, load and enter an OpenSim world in less than two minutes. The world owner can then invite other individual Facebook users to visit, invite an entire group,Read More →

Avination grid owner Melanie Thiekler rolled out Vivox voice to her grid today — at no extra cost to residents or land renters. Residents immediately began trying it out, and it sounded great. Those who had good microphones came through crystal-clear, without any of the cutting in and out andRead More →

InWorldz has taken a further step way from mainline OpenSim Tuesday with the announcement of a proprietary scripting engine, called Phlox, which is expected to enter beta testing this week. The new scripting engine promises to support 99 percent of existing Second Life scripts, with increased speed and stability. ScriptsRead More →

Yesterday, I posted a story (yes, a little on the long side) about a new services from PioneerX Estates where they manage your whole grid for you. Everything — estates, land rentals, voice — all the tech stuff for a ridiculously low price of $41 a month. (No, they areRead More →

Back when 3rd Rock Grid first launched in the spring of 2008, it was one of the earliest OpenSim grids and the owners had to figure out everything on their own. The grid’s managers had to learn how to install the software and maintain it, manage upgrades, backups, modules, land,Read More →

Resellers of open source software survive by making life easier for their customers. For example, Website hosting providers handle the setup, backups, updates, load balancing and server management for you. Yes, you could run Apache for free on your own servers — but would you really want to? Those thatRead More →

The world’s top 40 public OpenSim grids gained 424 regions and 12,746 registered users since the middle of February, a slightly slower than usual growth rate. However, we’re continuing to see growth in private and mini-grids. For example, 466 new copies of the Diva Distro were downloaded last month.This doesRead More →

OpenSim’s largest commercial grid, Avination, announced a major new milestone today — it will be offering in-world Vivox voice at no charge to its residents and region renters, as well as to customers who host private grids with the company. Vivox is currently the gold standard of in-world voice, usedRead More →

OpenSim grid owners now have another option for their grid server software — Aurora-Sim. This branch of OpenSim, still in “pre-alpha” stage of development, promises more security features and better vehicle physics than mainline OpenSim, but it is still too early to tell whether it will be able to deliver.Read More →

The number of regions of the 40 largest OpenSim grids went down this month for the first time since July, from 15,623 to 13,069, a loss of over 2,300 regions, a result of a long-overdue housekeeping on OSGrid. But the big story was from Avination, which rocked to second place thisRead More →

In the past year, the OMC virtual currency has gained both popularity and usefulness, with both the total currency in circulation and the number of grids it’s available for use on growing. The OMC, or Open Metaverse Currency, is a virtual currency from Austria-based VirWoX  that can be used to buyRead More →

Changchun is a city in northeast China known for its auto plants. “We’re the Detroit of China,” said David Deeds, IT manager and teacher at the Changchun American International School. “Except that they’re still making cars here.” The school, which was founded four years ago, is affiliated with an autoRead More →

OpenSim grid developers Powersynch, LLC — the folks behind the SpotOn3D group of grids — launched a certified developer program today. The program is “somewhat comparable” to the Second Life solution providers program, Philippe Pascal, the company’s developer program manager, told Hypergrid Business. “We plan to offer a certification processRead More →

Many grids today have hypergrid turned off, for fear that content will be taken from their grid to a less secure grid, copied, and distributed illegally. OpenSim developers are working to create a hypergrid-wide permission system for content that will help abate this fear, and open more of the OpenSimRead More →