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 →

Back in the early days of Internet technology it was feasible to have “security by obscurity” — putting up a document on the Internet, say, but making the address so complicated that nobody would be likely to stumble upon it by accident. That was in the days before decent searchRead More →

One of the common complaints enterprises have about OpenSim is that if they set up a private grid, they’ll have to create all the content from scratch. Employees will have to create their own hair, fashionistas will have to make their own shoes, teachers will have to create their ownRead More →

The world’s top 40 OpenSim-based grids gained over 900 regions over the past month, from 8,626 to 9,533, an increase of more than 10 percent. As usual, OSGrid was the single biggest gainer, with 609 new regions. The biggest growth was at OSGrid, which gained 847 regions. OSGrid allows anyoneRead More →

Enterprises rolling out new OpenSim grids are often concerned about security issues of running OpenSim, and justifiably so. OpenSim is alpha software and still poses some security challenges. However, the security level of a particular OpenSim deployment depends quite a bit on how it is configured. Here are the mostRead More →

OpenSim moved one step closer to full support for Second Life Viewer 2 media on in-world surfaces this week, with the completion of an extensive project to rearchitect the way the open-source software works. Last week, Linden Lab released a new viewer for Second Life — and compatible worlds likeRead More →

In a move which may be followed by other current and future private world operators, the Italian Cyberlandia grid has switched from a centralized to a distributed architecture model. The result? Lower stress on central servers, and better scalability. With traditional grid architecture, a virtual world is composed of manyRead More →

Press Release: ThinkBalm’s “The Distillery” — an immersive technology selection experience Source: ThinkBalm What do whiskey and enterprise immersive software have in common? Not much, unless you’re on ThinkBalm Island in Second Life (or, shortly, the ThinkBalm region of ReactionGrid). We are excited to announce that construction on The DistilleryRead More →

Two major things happened before the World Wide Web took off in a big way. One was the fact that individuals were able to create Web sites and link them to other Web sites. Once individuals did it — individual researchers, individual teachers, individual hobbists, individual company employees — theyRead More →

Last summer I decided to open a virtual office for my company. I don’t just write for Hypergrid Business — I run a company with staff in China and India, among other locations, providing outsourced editorial services to U.S. business magazines. Basically, we run foreign news bureaus for our clients.Read More →

OpenSim users will have to wait before they are able to use the new Second Life viewer on their grids because the core OpenSim software is currently being rebuilt, developers say. The are compatibility issues between Second Life Viewer 2 (Beta) and the current OpenSim virtual world server software, butRead More →

I recently saw the Michael Douglas/Demi Moore 1994 movie called “Disclosure.” In the movie (which explores sexual harassment in the workplace), Michael Douglas was working for a computer company that created a 3D virtual reality database. The user would put on special glasses and he was literally inside the database with the data. HeRead More →

Virtual world users continued to show their love of OpenSim this month, with a record-breaking increase in total regions counts on the biggest public grids. The top 40 OpenSim grids reached a total of 8,561 regions — up almost 8% from 7,942 in January. However, these numbers are distorted slightlyRead More →

Sun’s open source virtual world platform — Project Wonderland — will not be receiving any support from Oracle, which is currently in the process of acquiring Sun, according to the developers. “We found out on Friday that development resources are no longer being applied to Project Wonderland,” said Nicole Yankelovich,Read More →

As OpenSim continues to enjoy a sky-high growth rate and alternatives lose ground, a new gold rush may be in the works — to patent as many key technologies as possible, before other companies do. That doesn’t make OpenSim core developers very happy. “Infrastructures must by owned by everyone andRead More →

When most people compare virtual worlds, they do so from a technical perspective — how many concurrent users, what kind of interface is being used, what data standards are supported. Too often, however, general business requirements are overlooked. This is a pity, because from a technical perspective there are fewRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained approximately 500 regions this month, maintaining the growth rate set in the last quarter of 2009. OSGrid gained almost 600 regions, for a growth rate of 17%. But OSGrid — which normally leads the rankings every month as the largest grid on the OpenSimRead More →

Total regions on the public OpenSim grids increased from 5,613 in September to 7,246 in December — a growth rate of 29% for three months, or an annualized growth rate of 177%. By comparison, resident-owned regions in Second Life reached 23,900 in December 2009, up 6% over December 2008. AtRead More →

Press Release: 3Di, Inc. LAUNCHES FREE “3Di IMMERSIVE SEMINAR ” PUBLIC BETA SERVICE 3Di, Inc. Opens Online Seminar Service Using Avatars And 3D Virtual Worlds Free For Beta Testers 3Di, Inc., which offers 3D Internet solutions, announces the public beta release of “3Di Immersive Seminar,” a next-generation online seminar serviceRead More →

The dawn of the 3D age is upon us. Over a dozen immersive virtual world platforms are competing for our attention — and that’s just in the business sector. Our kids and teenagers are already fully immersed in any of hundreds of different 3D gaming and social worlds. What willRead More →

Press Release: ThinkBalm Publishes Enterprise Immersive Software Selection Guide Today, industry analyst firm ThinkBalm published “The Enterprise Immersive Software Decision-Making Guide.” This report is a use case-based guide designed to aid business decision makers in the enterprise immersive software selection process. The report covers nineteen vendors and presents “if/then” scenarios,Read More →

I just got off the phone with a company building an educational grid for a company in China — in OpenSim. They picked the platform not for its cheapness, but it’s feature set. This too often gets missed in the hype surrounding the various virtual worlds, but OpenSim is actuallyRead 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] We’ve covered this topic before, but OpenSim is constantly evolving, so we need to bring our instructions up toRead 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] The following is a list of currently active hypergrid destinations. It’s not an inclusive list — there are hundredsRead More →

Second Life is being held back by an “elite group” of users, according to Forrester Research, Inc. analyst Tom Grant. There is an ” Iron Law of Oligarchy,” Grant wrote this week. “Over time, a subset of customers emerge who participate regularly in user group meetings, discussion forums, the commentsRead More →

Training company Immercio Ltd. is launching a full-service corporate training and meeting facility this month for small and medium-sized businesses on January 17. The facility has two locations – in Second Life, and on the OpenSim-based Reaction Grid – comes with pre-configured buildings and presentation rooms, as well as round-the-clockRead More →

The great advantage of using OpenSim is that a grid owner can leverage all the work done by the open source community. The OpenSim server platform is updated continually, with new bug fixes and new features coming out almost daily. And the viewers — also open source — are steadilyRead More →

As OpenSim-based social grids continue to grow, Second Life content designers are understandably worried about the free content floating around these grids — content which may have been ripped off from Second Life. Part of this is accidental. Users copy their bought-and-paid-for inventories from Second Life to their OpenSim regions,Read More →

Germany’s Talentraspel virtual worlds Ltd.  announced they reached a record number of prims this week, with half a million separate objects in a single OpenSim region. According to the company, the objects were mathematically-generated  “Menger sponges,” or fractal shapes. And the region wasn’t killed by the load, said company directorRead More →

The choice of OpenSim hosting companies has grown a bit but is still very limited, due to the fact that the OpenSim platform has only become stable — and grids hyperlinked — at the start of this year. If you’re looking for a free alternative to a paid hosting services,Read More →

I love Google Analytics and use it to track visitors to my Websites — and where they come from and how they leave. It would be great to have this same information for my grid. This could be a gadget that I place on each region I need crawled, possiblyRead More →

The largest social OpenSim-based grids have gained over 1,000 regions since our last count in early September, bringing the total regions on these grids to over 6,500. These are grids that allow anyone to register for free. In addition, social interaction is a significant aspect of the grid’s activity.  InRead More →

This article is now out of date. Lots of new material is now available! Read more here: Where to get content in OpenSim. One of the great advantages of using OpenSim as a virtual world platform is the availability of free or low-cost ready-made worlds. OpenSim allows world owners toRead More →

Jeff Lowe, consultant and immersive tool architect with Immersive Life, demonstrated the second version of his BrainBoard three dimensional collaboration tool today on ReactionGrid. The tool allows users to create visual representations of flowcharts, diagrams, and brainstorming sessions and integrate it with a Web-based hosted database or a private server-basedRead More →

Over 300 grids run on the OpenSim open source virtual world platform today, a dramatic increase over the last few weeks, mostly due to the release of Crista Lopes’ Diva Distribution of OpenSim, and to the efforts of a growing number of OpenSim vendors. However, this number does not includeRead More →

OpenSim worlds will soon be able to have 1,000 avatar visitors to a single location, according to ReactionGrid CEO Kyle Gomboy. Gomboy, who was speaking Thursday in front of a live Second Life audience on the Train for Success program hosted by the Gronsted Group , said that Intel hasRead More →

Getting free OpenSim land is a great way to test out the OpenSim platform, or to have a home base for exploring the social aspects of OpenSim-based virtual worlds. Free land can also be used as a location on which to design objects for distribution or sale elsewhere. Freeland typicallyRead More →

Intel CTO Justin Rattner introduced OpenSim superstars Shenlei Winkler and Crista Lopes to the world yesterday at the at the SC09 supercomputing conference in Portland, Ore. According to Rattner, super computers can make three dimensional worlds richer and more immersive, creating a potential new driver for supercomputing sales in theRead More →

As my staff and I begin building out our third — third! — company grid it’s becoming apparent how much manual labor is required in creating office space and landscapes. The first time we set up offices, it was fun. Playing with landscaping, designing buildings, arranging furniture in offices —Read More →

Normally, creating an OpenSim grid requires not just downloading and running the grid software but also setting up a MySQL database, configuring firewall ports, editing an initialization file, and editing region files. And upgrading the OpenSim software is a hassle almost as major as installing it in the first place.Read More →

Offered Under Developer-Oriented BSD License and Aimed at Driving Industry Adoption of 3D Internet TOKYO — 3Di, Inc., which develops and offers 3D Internet solutions, has today launched an open source project, named 3Di Viewer “Rei”, for viewing and interacting with OpenSim-based(*1) 3D virtual worlds in web browsers. With thisRead More →

Australia’s DeepThink Pty Ltd. has launched an OpenSim hosting company, founder Adam Frisby announced today. Adam Frisby is DeepThink’s co-director and the company’s head of research and technology, and he is also a core developer of the open source OpenSim virtual world server software The new hosting company — SimHostRead More →

Japan’s 3Di, Inc. announced a cloud-based offering for enterprises looking to deploy OpenSim virtual worlds. 3Di currently offers a server-based software solution, as well as a Web-based browser for its enterprise customers. “Cloud computing services would allow enterprises to deploy 3D virtual worlds without needing to invest In their ownRead More →

SecondLife currently has around 23,000 user-owned regions, with another 5,000 regions owned by Linden Lab. However, OpenSim-based grids seem to be catching up in total land area, with over 5,600 regions on the public social grids alone, up from around 5,000 from our last count earlier this summer. This numberRead More →

Manchester-based virtual world development firm Second Places helped two U.K. universities with an immersive art installation which ran through this past weekend. The installation, produced by the University and Salford and Liverpool’s John Moore University, was part of the ISEA2009, and international electronic art symposium in the U.K. and Ireland.Read 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] According to a recent Piper Jaffray report, US virtual good sales will total $621 million in 2009 — upRead More →

3Di Inc. releases “3Di Immersive Banner”, the latest and the world’s first technology for Internet advertising that realizes virtual experiences by banner ads on websites 3Di Inc., which develops and offers 3D Internet solutions, has developed 3Di Immersive Banner, the latest and the world’ first Internet advertising technology that canRead More →

Press Release: Starting Today: 3Di, Inc. Enables 3D Virtual Internet Shopping Experiences by Deploying 3Di OpenSim Enterprise to SANWA 3D INTERNET LAB TOKYO — 3Di, Inc., which develops and offers 3D Internet solutions, is proud to announce that 3Di OpenSim Enterprise, 3Di’s server software for construction of 3D virtual worldsRead More →

A Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life is a Holy Grail for business users: it would make it easier for employees, customers and business partners to access virtual platforms. That would make for easier meetings, easier conferences, easier product demonstrations, easier training seminars, virtual tours, showrooms — all theRead More →

In recent years, companies have begun using virtual worlds such as Second Life, OpenSim, Forterra and Qwaq to hold virtual meetings — and employees have begun using avatars, or cartoonish animated online characters, to represent themselves in these meetings. Some companies and employees pick avatars that reflect their real identitiesRead More →

Guess what, the below is not security! “If we want to put a life-size prototype of our super-secret product in Second Life, then there are many creative ways we implement extra layers of security such as making it invisible unless we’re in the room.” Really? Did you just say that?Read More →

Whenever I interview a Wall Street executive, or a technology expert, I have to ask for a photograph.  I often joke that we already have a lot of headshots of guys in suits — what I really want to see is some variety. Maybe a photograph of them on 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] New OpenSim grids pop up all the time — and old ones change their hypergrid coordinates. It doesn’t helpRead More →

Companies looking to have a virtual world running behind a firewall now have another option – today, Altadyn Corp. released its  3DXplorer enterprise platform. A web-based version of the product, hosted on Altadyn’s servers, has been available for about a year. The company claims SAP, Orange, Bayer, and Glaxo-Smith-Kline asRead More →

Now that you have your own virtual world (go back and read Virtuation 101 if you don’t), you might be finding yourself standing in a barren landscape — or on a little pimple of an island in the middle of an empty ocean. What’s next? DO IT YOURSELF The basicRead More →

Here is what you will need to know if you decide to have a virtual world. First, you need to decide where your virtual world will be. Do you want a private world accessible only by you? Or a public one, accessible by millions? For a one-person world, go withRead More →

In conjunction with its two year anniversary, the folks behind OSGrid — the largest grid running the OpenSim open source virtual world platform — have added new functionality to the grid, including a social network, a general store, and an automatic region creator. SOCIAL SIGNALS The OSGrid administrators have integratedRead More →

Crescendo Design, an architecture firm based in Madison, Wisconsin, is doing some innovative work in virtual worlds, using the OpenSim offspring RealXtend. “The virtual experience isn’t right for every client, but for those who are more tech-savvy and have newer computers, the virtual experience can provide an invaluable means ofRead More →

As the virtual worlds grow and develop — and evolve into the next 3D Web — the issue of copyright is being debated again. In some ways, virtual worlds copyrights may require changes in the way we think of and use copyrights. But, in most respects, virtual worlds copyrights areRead More →

Just as colleges and universities were among the first to embrace the World Wide Web, educational institutions are now in the forefront of those embracing innovative uses of OpenSim and other virtual worlds platforms. For example, the CSI project from the Kansas-based Greenbush Education Service Center is an interactive crime-solvingRead More →

OSGrid — the biggest and oldest virtual world running on the OpenSim platform — celebrated its second birthday July 22. The celebration included several days of events, including a presentation on the history and future of the grid, live music, and dance parties. Since it first launched two years ago,Read More →

I do love OpenSim. But, as a business journalist — I try to be open minded. And, as a business owner, I’m always looking for a faster, cheaper, easier way to do things. This week, I heard from a couple of experts about another way of doing virtual worlds —Read More →

It will take at least six months to get the Xenki OpenSim viewer ready for public use, according to the new lead developer on the open source project. Kevin Tweedy, founder and head of Philadelphia-based Extreme Reality, a virtual reality technology company, said he took the project over in March.Read More →

Japan’s 3Di Inc. has been working hard lately on making OpenSim more appealing to business customers — at least, to business customers in Japan. This spring, they came out with a Web viewer for OpenSim worlds designed to intergrate with the firm’s back-end OpenSim-based server software, and a demo websiteRead More →

Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland will become the first UK university to offer a comprehensive virtual world creation course, the institution announced this summer. The course, available to fourth-year computing students, will cover the design and development of 3D virtual worlds, using the OpenSim and Second Life platforms. Creative computingRead More →

The battle for the future of the 3D Web is about to get hot… and steamy. Utherverse CEO tells us that he’s planning to launch an all-out attack against the other virtual world platforms out there, with free hosting and a set of free building tools designed to attract businessRead More →

The $50,000 price tag might scare off smaller customers, but IBM’s Lotus Sametime 3D product is designed to help large enterprises start holding virtual meetings. The product – released at the end of June — includes integration with corporate directories, with the Lotus Sametime chat service, and includes conferencing toolsRead More →

If Opensim is the Apache of the Metaverse, then what will be the Joomla of the Metaverse?  This isn’t a idle or rhetorical question, it’s something which has to be answered if Metaverse solutions like Opensim are ever going to truly become the next incarnation of the Web. While itRead More →

IBM officially released its Lotus Sametime 3D collaboration product this week. The product is based on the OpenSim opensource virtual world server software, an IBM spokeswoman confirmed to Hypergrid Business today. This is the first serious use of the OpenSim platform as part of an established and popular enterprise productRead More →

Having a held a few business meetings in OpenSim over the past few weeks, several staff trainings, I’m getting a better idea of the features I would like to see added to OpenSim. I’m not complaining about what we have so far: it is already making a big difference toRead 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.  Full, up-to-date list of OpenSim hosting providers is here.] There are a lot of different OpenSim versions flying around,Read 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.  Full, up-to-date list of OpenSim hosting providers is here.] There are plenty of virtual worlds out there, floating, isolatedRead More →

An unknown hacker took down more than a hundred OpenSim regions this weekend, as well as over a hundred thousand websites. This is bad news for some OpenSim hosting companies who relied on low-cost virtual shared servers to host their regions. Chris Greenwell, for example, lost 41 regions total, includingRead More →

Update: Full, up-to-date list of OpenSim hosting providers is here. The choice of OpenSim hosts is still very limited, due to the fact that the OpenSim platform has only become stable — and grids hyperlinked — in the last couple of months. In theory, anyone can host their own OpenSimRead More →

ReactionGrid, headquartered in Fort Pierce, Florida has been working in virtual worlds for years. The founders – Robin and Kyle Gomboy – produced three-dimensional models of aircraft and chip parts for Florida manufacturers as part of their work on automating production facilities. “We thought that if we put it intoRead More →

More than a dozen entrepreneurs got together Thursday night — or Friday morning, depending on their time zone — in OSGrid’s Business Center to discuss entrepreneurship on the emerging 3D Internet, or the hypergrid. Those attending included “Richardus Raymaker,” Jim Siler (“Omar Abdelrahim”), “Vette Chrome”, “RetroDan Dezno”, “Zauber Paracelsus”, “SimRead More →

One of the biggest obstacles to enterprise adoption of the OpenSim virtual worlds platform has been the lack of a decent behind-the-firewall solution. There are some hosting companies running OpenSim projects, but if you wanted to install it and run it yourself, you would need to invest serious time andRead More →

Grid A horizontal map composed of one or more regions, similar to the way that a chessboard is made up of individual squares. A grid is normally identified by a URL and a port number, for example, the OSGrid is located at osgrid.org:8002. Hypergrid All grids that are linked toRead 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] What is the hypergrid? And why should business care? Because it’s starting to look as if this is theRead More →

Virtual worlds can be difficult to access, with most of the popular ones — such as Second Life and games like World of Warcraft — requiring the installation of special software. The new OpenSim-based virtual worlds are no exception, requiring that users install software and then struggle to  figure outRead More →

Few companies today actually need a virtual world — but yours could be one of them. Here’s how to tell. Are you in the education business? Take for example, Tom Hood, president of the Maryland Association of CPAs. His group has conducted about a dozen events in Second Life overRead More →

Update: Full, up-to-date list of OpenSim hosting providers is here. Running an OpenSimulator instance is a challenging prospect for many — there are a number of important criteria you should be looking at before purchasing, but the single most important question is: “Will I be managing this myself?” “Do itRead More →

When it comes to virtual world real estate and design, DeepThink has been a big player, operating one of the largest continents in Second Life. But in recent months, the Shanghai-based company has been refocusing on OpenSim, the open-source platform that’s rapidly becoming the standard for enterprise virtual worlds. OpenSimRead More →