The top 40 OpenSim grids gained 529 regions since mid-December, to reach a new high of 15,623 regions on January 15 of this month. The monthly growth rate, 3.5 percent, was the second-lowest since we started gathering the statistics in the summer of 2009, a possible indication of a seasonalRead More →

Virtual environments are changing rapidly, and it’s sometimes hard to keep up with everything that’s going on. Here is a quick round up of the best options for the most common uses of virtual worlds for various types of enterprise needs. If you’re looking for a high-end, Fortune 500-caliber virtualRead More →

Press Release: Novell Announces Winners of First Annual ‘Dister’ Awards Radical Breeze’s ‘Illumination Software Creation Station’ and Anderware’s ‘Hypergrid to Go’ win $10,000 prizes in showcase for creating innovative software appliances WALTHAM, Mass. — Novell today announced the winners of its First Annual ‘Dister’ Awards, handing out two $10,000 grandRead More →

SpotOn3D will hold a benchmark test on Wednesday, December 15 to determine the difference in performance of OpenSim version 0.7.1 and OpenSim 0.6.9 when they run in the cloud. According to SpotOn3D co-founder and COO Tessa Kinney-Johnson, the test will be conducted from 2 to 3 p.m. SLT (Pacific time)Read More →

San Francisco-based Tipodean Technologies will open its Canvas Web-based viewer next week to a select group of beta testers, but Hypergrid Business got a sneak peek this week. A test version of the viewer will go live on Monday. “We will see how big of a load it is,” saidRead More →

ReactionGrid released a groups module for OpenSim this week and announced plans to upgrade to the next version of OpenSim “early next year.” According to its announcement, ReactionGrid’s group module will be rolled out to all region on ReactionGrid over the next two weeks. ReactionGrid doesn’t just run its oneRead More →

Press Release: Tipodean launches Canvas, a Web-based viewer for Second Life and OpenSim, which is built using Unity 3D Tipodean Technologies is pleased to announce the preview launch of Canvas, a web-based viewer for both Second Life and Opensim. Licensed from IBM, Canvas is unique in that it is highlyRead More →

The OpenSim economy continued to grow this month, with both the OMC currency and the I’z currency from InWorldz growing in users and transactions. The OMC, a convertible currency from Austrian virtual currency exchange operator Virwox, is now accepted on 18 different grids — AnSky Grid, Avatar Hangout, FrancoGrid, GermanGrid,Read More →

Investors in virtual companies listed on the Second Life Capital Exchange lost most of their money, according to a new research report. The report, which covered the time period between May 2007 and December 2009, showed that investors bought US$145,000 worth of shares in initial public offerings of virtual companies.Read More →

OpenSim grid hit a new peak this month, with 13,564 regions on the top 40 grids, a 9 percent increase from last month’s 12,425 regions — a gain of 1,139 regions. Meanwhile, total registered users on these grids grew 8 percent from 129,797 in mid October to 140,053 today. OSGridRead More →

The Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable, a group of educators working in Second Life, is expanding to a new grid on the OpenSim platform. The group — originally called the Second Life Education Roundtable — began looking for expansion locations earlier this fall after Second Life announced the shut down ofRead More →

I spent the last few days reading Virtual Justice by Greg Lastowka. Lastowka outlined some legal issues that arise in virtual environments. Who owns what? What rights — if any — do you have when buying or creating digital content? It is important reading for anyone involved in virtual digitalRead More →

Ever since Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine invented the hypergrid in 2009, people have been debating whether grids should be on or off the hypergrid. On the one hand, the hypergrid is very cool. You can teleport from one grid to another, hopping aroundRead More →

The majority of OpenSim grid residents said that their grids were “excellent” overall, with community and support getting the highest marks across the grids. Technology and content of the grids scored slightly lower, however, with the majority of users rating these two factors “pretty good” or “just okay.” In addition,Read More →

Exactly how many people can a region in OpenSim support? How many people could meet for business meetings or presentations in an OpenSim region? Allow me to illustrate with this piece of string and a tape measure. There are unfortunately many variables to consider, so much so that it isRead More →

OpenSim users overwhelmingly said that they would “absolutely” recommend the platform to others. Out of 114 people who responded to our survey this week and answered this question, 84 percent said they would “absolutely recommend” it, with only 1 percent saying they would “absolutely not recommend” the platform. Of theRead More →

OpenSim hosting company New Voice offers full OpenSim regions for just $9.90 per month. So what do you actually get for this amount of money? A region in Second Life, after all, costs $300 — not to mention a $1,000 setup fee. There are no setup fees with New Voice.Read More →

Here at Hypergrid Business, we’re in the process of launching a virtual events directory (now that the vendor directory is up and working). And the question comes up — what times do we list events under? The Second Life events directory shows everything as SLT time — which is theRead More →

A new book by Coventry University professor Maggi Savin-Baden offers practical advice to educators interested in virtual worlds. According to Coventry University, professor Savin-Baden is one of the UK’s leading academics on the subject and has used virtual technology extensively as a teaching resource. Some recent developments in Second Life,Read More →

Now that we’ve got our new vendor directory ready to launch (see the test page here and give us your opinions!) we’re taking a second look at what exactly customers are looking for when they’re deciding on an OpenSim hosting platform or design vendor. With the recent changes at LindenRead More →

I have lost track of the number of times over the last few weeks that I have been somewhere in the OpenSim grid and heard someone say “This is like Second Life in the early days – I love it.”  This resonates for me – and I have been thinkingRead More →

Like the World Wide Web that preceded it, the new 3D Web has its own vocabulary. We try to make it easier to keep up. [anchor id=”avatar”]avatar A representation of a user, usually as a three dimensional cartoon character. Avatars can be realistic, based on actual photos of the user,Read More →

Teesside University is piloting a quarter million pound (US $400,000) citizenship education project in OpenSim this year. The project, which will eventually involve as many as 900 high students in the UK, will be officially launched in January. The entire project is scheduled to run for 18 months and isRead More →

The Immersive Education Initiative, a Boston-based non-profit coalition, announced today that it will offer free land, and free migration services, for educators working in Second Life’s Teen Grid. The Initiative currently provides thousands of OpenSim regions to members around the world through its Education Grid project,  Aaron Walsh, founding directorRead More →

Just a day after Second Life launched its mesh beta, OpenSim already has experimental mesh in the latest test release, and people have begun trying the technology out on OSGrid’s experimental Danger Grid. According to OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey, the OpenSim implementation of mesh leverages the work done byRead More →

This month, the Youth for Christ charity celebrates its second year in Second Life. But the big party will be held in OpenSim, the charity’s new home. The reason? The Second Life Teen Grid, where the YFC has been offering support and mentoring programs for at-risk youth, is closing atRead More →

There are a lot of different kinds of OpenSim grids out there — it can get a little confusing. Well, a lot confusing. Here’s a quick primer. Social grids Social grids attempt to replicate the experience of Second Life. They don’t make up the majority of grids running on theRead More →

In response to rising land prices at Second Life — and a need for increased control and scalability — the MuniGov association of local governments has launched the GovGrid project, and OpenSim-based virtual world environment for local government agencies. Prices start at just $25 a region, with a $50 setupRead More →

NASA’s OpenSim-based Moon World — a quarter-million-dollar project —  will go live on December 1, allowing students to experience what it’s like to live and work on a NASA moon base. “It helps students understand the geography of the moon,” said Charles Wood, executive director for the Center for EducationalRead More →

Marketing guru Seth Godin wrote a short piece today about the five stages of users, which applies to OpenSim as well as to any other product or technology: Novice: wants to be given a manual, told what to do, with no decisions possible Advanced Beginner: needs a bit of freedom,Read More →

I was a guest on Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe on Sunday, October 10 and had a great time talking about hypergrid and OpenSim. Other guests that night included singer-songwriter Senjata Witt, who performed live,  and Dusan Writer, CEO of Remedy Communications and prolific blogger about Second Life.

UPDATE: TalentRaspel has lowered its price for exporting Second Life regions. It now starts at US $273 (200 Euros)  per region, and is based on the complexity of the build. Vendors are offering full-region migrations from Second Life to OpenSim at prices starting at as little as $80 a region.Read More →

In the wake of the closing of Second Life’s Teen Grid, and the price hike to educators and non-profits, many organizations are considering moving to OpenSim. The first question they usually ask themselves is, “Which grid should we join?” But the more important question should be: “Should we join aRead More →

• Clients three times as likely to complete virtual treatment program as face-to-face program • Outcomes ‘as good or better’ as at physical treatment centers • Private OpenSim grid operated by ReactionGrid, more stable than Second Life Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc., is a substance abuse treatment organization with headquarters inRead More →

When I first rezzed in January 2007, educators were investing heavily in Second Life, both its Teen and Main Grids. Throughout the “hype” era that ended the next  year, and amid the inevitable backlash against SL by mainstream media, many of us in education defended Linden Lab and its platform.Read More →

Updated May 4, 2013 Yes, you can run OpenSim for free on your own computer –  you can even run it on a USB stick. But do you want to? Here’s a question — would you run your own Apache Web server for your website, or would you use aRead More →

Today, Linden Lab announced that the price of land for educators and non-profits will double in January. As a result, the price differential between Second Life land and OpenSim becomes even more significant. You can pay as little as $10 for a single region, but for the highest performance andRead More →

Press release: NYIT Receives $1 Million Grant from the National Science Foundation Project to Enable Teachers to Use Information and Communications Technologies in the Classroom New York, N.Y.  – New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) was awarded with a grant for $1 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) forRead More →

I’m ending it. Beset by criticism on all sides — okay, just one side — I am officially going cold turkey on “real life.” The phrase, that is, not the living itself. I’ve never been a big fan of the wording “in real life,” but haven’t noticed to what extentRead More →

Last week, Laura Crane Trust, a non-profit which provides support to teenage and young adult cancer patients in the U.K., had decided to build its virtual world in OpenSim. Jonathan Tyreman, the charity’s online development coordinator, originally wanted to go with Second Life but decided to recommend OpenSim to theRead More →

Press Release: Virtual World Campus for OpenSim HOUSTON, TEXAS  — FireSabre Consulting, a virtual world developer focused on educational clients, responded this week to the announcement by Linden Lab that the Teen Second Life virtual world product was to be discontinued. FireSabre has launched a program to help K-12 institutionsRead More →

The lack of mesh imports has long been a problem for enterprise users of OpenSim and Second Life. But Second Life is about to start open beta testing of mesh — and OpenSim won’t be far behind. According to OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey, the OpenSim team will adapt theRead More →

Update: The Chat-World project has moved back to Second Life. According to the Laura Crane Trust, cancer is the most common form of non-accidental death in teenagers and young adults in the UK. The Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to funding research specifically into cancers affecting young peopleRead More →

Last week, InWorldz became the second-largest grid running on the OpenSim platform, after shooting up the charts over the course of just the past three months. Between April and September 15, the grid grew from 130 regions to 531 regions. In addition, the grid now has over 15,000 registered usersRead More →

I regularly hire people I’ve never met in real life. We cover international business, and we like having correspondents and editors around the world — and with today’s economy, we just don’t have the budget to fly out and meet everyone in person. So we make do. We review resumesRead More →

Many virtual designers are wary of coming to OpenSim because of worries about content protections. One virtual worlds company is bending over backwards to alleviate these concerns and to create a safe and supportive social environment. But the security comes at a cost, that of heavy restrictions on enterprise users.Read More →

The world is about to turn nasty. I don’t mean the world is about to turn nasty on you, personally, but its going to be a much harder world to do business in, as economic disruptions throughout Europe make strikes much more likely. Greece already is as close to aRead More →

Mike Treder, the managing director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, recently asked a loaded question: If you could live in a world that was just the way you wanted it to be, with specifications you’d chosen, customized and personalized to meet your every need and fulfill yourRead More →

Update: I still recommend the OMC currency, which has grown substantially since this article was first written and now used on 30 OpenSim grids. The two other currencies I mentioned — V$ and G$ — have not been getting much traction in OpenSim, and have pretty much faded away. SomeRead More →

Utherverse, a proprietary virtual world platform known for its adult content, has launched a virtual casino targeting US customers. While the winnings cannot be converted into cash today, that might change if a new gambling bill is able to make its way through Congress. Meanwhile, Utherverse hopes that casino operatorsRead More →

Hosting providers with previous experience in Second Life are bringing some Second Life terminology with them into OpenSim. For example, Coral Estates draws a distinction between “owning” a region and paying “tier” — and “renting” land. “All of the land in this section of the web site is non rentalRead More →

Correction: Coral Estate regions start at $20, not $10. OpenSim hosting prices have fallen to a record-low, with providers like New Voice offering regions for just $10 per month — though the performance of such low-cost regions may be in doubt. New Voice on the map If you’ve glanced atRead More →

Business users choosing virtual environments usually focus on particular features — does it support mesh imports? Are there in-world editing tools? How good is the voice? Is the a web viewer? However, most of these features are time-dependent — eventually, every virtual world platform is going to have mesh importsRead More →

My company is a small, enterprise user of virtual worlds. Over the past year, we’ve used them for meetings with partners, new hires, internal collaboration, and external business networking. There were plenty of virtual worlds to choose from. But since we wanted to be able to customize our environment ourselvesRead More →

Tonight’s meeting of the Hypergrid Entrepreneurs Group was an eye-opener for me and several other attendees — well, ear-opener. We got a chance to try out the new Whisper directional voice system for OpenSim, and it was amazing. Not amazing as the way in Freeswitch was amazing, in that youRead More →

Update: “As Philip has mentioned, Linden Lab has discontinued the Second Life Enterprise development program,” Adam Nelson, Linden Lab’s Executive Director of Monetization, told Hypergrid Business. “We will continue to honor our beta customer commitments and contracts, but will not be accepting new customers for the beta product. Second LifeRead More →

CyberCoinBank’s G$ is taking an early lead over the OMC multi-grid currency from Virwox. Although G$ is only accepted on 8 grids, compared to 14 grids for OMC, there is over 63 million G$ (US $210,000) in circulation, compared to just 302,037 OMC (US $1,045). There are several reasons forRead More →

The latest versions of OpenSim support Second Life Viewer 2 and, over the next couple of months, grids and hosting providers will be upgrading their OpenSim server software to make Viewer 2 usable everywhere on the hypergrid. I’ve spent the last five weeks heavily using SL Viewer 2 in SecondRead More →

Today, vComm Solutions of Switzerland released Whisper, a high quality voice solution for OpenSim based on the popular Mumble open source VoIP client. The key feature of this solution is that it enables avatar lip sync and speaker indication to work correctly, in addition to providing very stable, high qualityRead More →

The TeenGrid has low traffic compared to Second Life’s mainland, and its primary renters — educators — pay half of what Second Life’s other customers do for land. It makes sense for them to close it down, from the standpoint of basic economics, but bad in another sense. The educationalRead More →

Would be sim-commerce millionaires gathered at the Hypergrid Entrepreneurs Group meeting Thursday night on the Trombly Grid to discuss recent innovations in OpenSim hosting, currency systems, and selling real homes and real furniture in virtual environments. Towards the end of the meeting, the conversation somehow turned to virtual sex (okay,Read More →

Wagner Au and Gwyneth Llewelyn have recently posted thought-provoking pieces about how to make virtual worlds more engaging. Au proposed an achievement system to encourage new users to make friends and visit new locations. “Turning social networking more competitive resulted in people getting more engaged with it,” added Llewelyn, explainingRead More →

There is a ton of debate and discussion and information Out There about why virtual worlds are, or aren’t, or might someday be, important for business. Important, that is, to people who are wearing their money-making hats to know about, or to use, or to invest time or effort orRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Today, Hypergrid Business officially launches the Hyperica directory of hypergrid regions, covering more than 200 destinations on 47 different grids. “We’re seeing the beginning of the 3D Web,” said Hypergrid Business editor Maria Korolov. OpenSim, though still considered “alpha” software by core developers, became stable enough for non-mission-critical applications lastRead 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 →

Press Release: Virtual Runway Helps Fashion Designers Accelerate Their Sales and Marketing Fashion Research Institute launches immersive, interactive runway show for apparel industry NEW YORK —  This month, fashion leaps forward at warp speed as Fashion Research Institute launches Virtual Runway™, a 24/7 on-demand 3D runway show service for fashionRead 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 →

Educators in primary schools, colleges, and other institutions looking for lower costs, better controls, and no age restrictions are considering switching from Second Life to its open source alternative, the OpenSim virtual world server platform. The OpenSim server software can be used to power an entire public grid, or aRead 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 →

Press Release: The Hypergrid Worlds directory of hypergrid-enabled destinations indexes 100th regions yesterday The Hypergrid Worlds directory of hypergrid-enabled destinations has indexed its 100th regions yesterday. The directory, a service of Hypergrid Business, is a hierarchical, categorized listing of sites accessible via hypergrid teleport in more than 30 worlds runningRead More →