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 Runwayâ„¢, 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 →