Second Life “financial institutions” such as virtual banks and stock exchanges have historically been magnets for fraud and mismanagement. But the Capital Exchange — formerly the SL Capital Exchange, now under new management — promises to change that. Carmen Dubaldi, who bought the exchange this January, has actual business experienceRead 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 →

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 →

Virtual worlds like Second Life can successful be used for creative learning activities but only if the students understand the purpose of their activities in the virtual world, and aren’t overwhelmed by the learning curve, according to a researcher at Indiana’s Ball State University. Otherwise, students will feel frustrated withRead 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 →

Immersive virtual environments are helping to transform storytelling. The new technique – immersive, collaborative storytelling – can be used to expose people to the reality of living life a different way, for education and for community story telling. One company doing just that is Toronto-based Startled Cat. “Startled Cat isRead 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 →

Press Release: The University of Central Florida Deploys Virtual Training for Accountancy Tools Birmingham, UK – The University of Central Florida (UCF), commissioned Daden Limited (Daden) to develop several accountancy orientation exercises in Second Life on UCF’s campus “ReallyEngagingAccounting.” Dr Hornik, an early adopter of virtual worlds for education has been using SecondRead More →

Machinima, once banished to the realm of the basement dwelling geek, is now being let out of the closet and into the company of professional society. No longer relegated to fanboys, the cinematic art is finding a new life as a highly effective method of marketing. A few factors haveRead More →

The evolution of the Linden Dollar from a strictly virtual currency and economy to a currency that intertwines with recognized currencies and economies has created many issues that need to be addressed in order for Second Life to continue to flourish as a developing world and be a viable blueprintRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

What would happen if at a school’s talent show some parents stood up and started heckling the child playing the piano or dancing in front of them? “You’re awful!” or “You call yourself a dancer?” For one thing, it would never happen. And if it did, the rest of theRead 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 →

It was an honor to present to the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life. A wide range of organizations were represented by their avatars in the central arena. There to discuss signage, I discussed tips and ideas for how they can improve their signage overall. Although most of the organizations, unfortunately,Read 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: Second Life’s New Leader: Rod Humble Becomes CEO of Linden Lab MMO and Gaming Industry Visionary to Bring New Life to Second Life SAN FRANCISCO — Linden Lab®, creator of 3D virtual world Second Life®, today announced that Rod Humble has become the company’s Chief Executive Officer. HumbleRead More →

Press release: Languagelab.com students spend 15 hours a week in English City Outside of Class time. Languagelab, creator of English City based in Second Life, have found that students spend on average 15 hours a week practicing in English City excluding scheduled class time. Languagelab, creator of English City basedRead More →

Here at Hypergrid Business we spend a lot of time touring virtual environments, and we often find them difficult to navigate, inconsistent, and hard to use. But one of the world’s biggest corporate users of virtual worlds — IBM — is hoping to change that. With a new set ofRead 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 →

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 →

A virtual mine in Second Life is a compelling educational experience. (Image courtesy Sand Castle Studios. )

Press Release: Using the Virtual World to Explore the Real World Problems of Fossil Fuels Environmental Documentary Deep Down Launches Interactive Virtual Mine in Second Life for Communities and Educators to Take Action in Solving the Power Crisis Virtual worlds can provide a comprehensive environment for education, storytelling, collaboration, andRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

The power of first impressions is either ignored or overlooked. Perhaps the poor state of design in Second Life is due to myopia—no one can see his or her own face objectively. A stroll around the Aloft group in Nonprofit Commons is a lesson in visual frustration. (Because the 30Read 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 →

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 →

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 →

How do you keep up with industry trends?  You hear from the people setting the trends.  On September 24th, FountainBlue held its annual virtual worlds conference on Cisco’s campus in Milpitas, CA.  The event featured a session titled “Trends in the Virtual Worlds Industry: An Update on What’s New andRead More →

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 →

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 →

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 →

In a recent post, I wrote about how the Club One Fitness program in Second Life helped me lose 20 pounds, lower my blood pressure, and make permanent changes to my lifestyle. A skeptic might read that and say: “Well, sure, you spent four hours a week in support sessionsRead More →

Today, my scale shows that I’ve lost 20 pounds over the past three months. In addition, today at my doctor’s office, I learned that, my blood pressure was down, and so was my body mass index. But this wasn’t on a diet or exercise plan. I didn’t stop eating carbsRead 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 →

Last month, Linden Lab announced that the Teen Grid was shutting down at the end of the year, sending many educators into a panic at the prospect of losing their virtual projects in the middle of the school year. To partially offset this loss, the Lindens also lowered the minimumRead More →

How do you keep up with industry trends?  You hear from the people setting the trends. On September 24th, FountainBlue held its annual virtual worlds conference on Cisco’s campus in Milpitas, CA. The event featured a session titled “Trends in the Virtual Worlds Industry: An Update on What’s New andRead More →

Press Release: Daden selected for new genetic screening virtual application Virtual world solution specialists Daden have been awarded a contract to create the laboratory functionality to enable scenario-based training as part of the University of Leicester’s SWIFT project in Second Life. Based on Daden’s open-source award winning software PIVOTE, theRead More →