Blog Archives

Google+ ends real name policy – good news for the Second Life community and OpenSim communities


Google+ communities I've joined

Google+ communities I’ve joined since 2011

This week Google+ ended it’s real name policy after 3 years which is excellent news for the Second Life community and OpenSim communities. During the past 3 years Google prevented people using fake names on Google+ when signing up. In recent years there have been reports of Second Life resident Google+ accounts flagged up and suspended. Hopefully that won’t happen anymore with this new policy change and I think it’s a good move forward in the right direction.

This is the official announcement made on the official Google+ page.

When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile. This helped create a community made up of real people, but it also excluded a number of people who wanted to be part of it without using their real names. 

Over the years, as Google+ grew and its community became established, we steadily opened up this policy, from allowing +Page owners to use any name of their choosing to letting YouTube users bring their usernames into Google+. Today, we are taking the last step: there are no more restrictions on what name you can use. 

We know you’ve been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users. For this we apologize, and we hope that today’s change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be. Thank you for expressing your opinions so passionately, and thanks for continuing to make Google+ the thoughtful community that it is.

I agree this is certainly good news for virtual worlds users in general and virtual businesses that would like a strong presence on Google+. I think in the coming months and years the Google+ communities (shown above) will grow and become more active.

Yay!

OSGrid hits 100, 000 registered total users milestone


OSGrid hits 100, 000

OSgrid hits 100, 000 total users milestone

Great news for OSgrid today, the grid reached a new milestone of 100, 000 total registered users. OSgrid is the 2nd OpenSim grid to reach the 100, 000 total user’s milestone. This is a great day for the OSgrid community and for the founders too. Wooot!!!

OSgrid is the second largest grids by land size and it’s one of the oldest OpenSim grids today that’s still active. OSgrid will be celebrating it’s 7th birthday on 26th-27th July 2014. I’ll be blogging and sharing snapshots during the birthday weekend. Stay tuned for that.

See here for my previous OSgrid blog coverage.

Video of Ebbe Linden talking about a next generation virtual world


Here is the full video of Ebbe Linden at the Third Party Viewer meeting this week talking about Linden Lab working on a next generation virtual world. The meeting was done using voice and live text chat lasting for 2 hours. The next Third Party Viewer meeting is scheduled for 18th July 2014. 

  • Featuring Jessica Lyon, Oz Linden, Dolphin Linden and many more giving out important updates during the meeting 
  • Skip to 51 minutes and 19 seconds to listen to Ebbe Linden. 
  • Latest reactions to Ebbe Linden skip to 1 hour and 39 minutes

It’s really worth watching from start to end to hear all the latest updates and latest feedback on the breaking news from Ebbe Linden.

Linden Lab working on a next generation virtual world


On 20th June 2014 Ebbe Linden went to the TPV developer meeting with some rather interesting news which is that Linden Lab are working on a next generation virtual world and that it will be in the spirit of Second Life. Apparently during the past year or so Linden Lab development team have been working already on the new project. The next generation virtual world will be closed sourced and will not be backward compatible with content from Second Life. Linden Lab believes this is a massive and exciting opportunity ahead in having a new generation virtual world. The lab are now hiring new developers to help out with the next generation virtual world.

The new next generation virtual world will be in beta sometime in 2015/2016. More details will be announced in the next few months or so. It’s still early days! 

Oz Linden with the dev team will remain working on Second Life and Linden Lab have made clear that they are not giving up on Second Life after 11 years so there is no need to panic. Second Life still has many years ahead of it and the platform will continue to develop.

Here is the official statement by Linden Lab about the next generation virtual world.

Linden Lab is working on a next generation virtual world that will be in the spirit of Second Life, an open world where users have incredible power to create anything they can imagine and content creators are king. This is a significant focus for Linden Lab, and we are actively hiring to help with this ambitious effort. We believe that there is a massive opportunity ahead to carry on the spirit of Second Life while leveraging the significant technological advancements that have occurred since its creation, as well as our unparalleled experience as the provider of the most successful user-created virtual world ever.

The next generation virtual world will go far beyond what is possible with Second Life, and we don’t want to constrain our development by setting backward compatibility with Second Life as an absolute requirement from the start. That doesn’t mean you necessarily won’t be able to bring parts of your Second Life over, just that our priority in building the next generation platform is to create an incredible experience and enable stunningly high-quality creativity, rather than ensuring that everything could work seamlessly with everything created over Second Life’s 11 year history.

Does this mean we’re giving up on Second Life? Absolutely not. It is thanks to the Second Life community that our virtual world today is without question the best there is, and after 11 years we certainly have no intention of abandoning our users nor the virtual world they continually fill with their astounding creativity. Second Life has many years ahead of it, and in addition to improvements and new developments specifically for Second Life, we think that much of the work we do for the next generation project will also be beneficial for Second Life.

It’s still very early days for this new project, and as we look ahead in creating the next generation virtual world, we’ll share as much as we can.

If we had one message to share with Second Life users about this new project at this point, it would be: don’t panic, get excited! Again, Second Life isn’t going away, nor are we ceasing our work to improve it. But, we’re also working on something that we think will truly fulfill the promise of virtual worlds that few people understand as well as Second Life users.

OpenSim

For OpenSim this could mean that many OpenSim users may switch to the new platform or leave OpenSim altogether. There might be a slow down in new users joining OpenSim grids when the new generation virtual world arrives. It’s a possibility and don’t forget Philip Rosedale is working on High Fidelity so many may switch over to that when it comes into the beta/public phrase.

Hopefully OpenSim will continue to grow like it is today and continue to invest in new technologies when the new virtual world comes online. There is a strong opensim community for sure with a growing active user base.One thing is for sure OpenSim/Second Life will be still around in some shape or another.

More blog coverage

Have something to say about this then please feel free to comment below. Thank you! :)

Kitely new changes to Metered Worlds


Daniel Voyager

Restricted Access

The Kitely team sent out this email today regarding the new changes to Metered Worlds which will come into effect on 1st July 2014. See Removing Metered Worlds and Introducing Premium Worlds blog announcement for the FAQ and for the latest feedback from the Kitely community. There does seem to be some confusion in comments and some positive feedback too.

As you can see above my access to this virtual world is restricted because I’m not Premium and due to the fact I don’t have any Kitely Credits. Personally I like to explore the worlds on Kitely for free and not have time constraints etc which has been the case in previous months. I do have a Regular Free Account and I don’t have any interest in upgrading to Premium. This applies to all other OpenSim Grid and the main Second Life grid.

Kitely pricing plans

Kitely Account Monthly Plan

Kitely Credits

Kitely Credits

Q: When does this change take effect?

A: Users with a Regular Account can’t create new Premium Worlds: this change is effective immediately.

However, users with a Regular Account that have existing Premium Worlds in their account have a grace period until July 1, 2014. During this grace period, Regular Account and Hypergrid users will still be allowed to visit these worlds. On July 1 the full rules described above will take effect, so Regular Account and Hypergrid users will no longer be able to visit these worlds.


 

Changes to Metered Worlds

On July 1, 2014 Kitely will be making a change to its services that may affect you. We’re renaming Metered Worlds to Premium Worlds, and only users with a Premium Account will be able to use Premium Worlds. This means that if you currently have a Regular Account, and you’re using Metered Worlds, then starting July 1 you will no longer be able to visit your Premium Worlds nor allow other Regular Account or Hypergrid users to visit them. In order to keep accessing these worlds you’ll need to either upgrade to a Premium Account, or change the worlds to be Fixed-Price Worlds.

If you already have a Premium Account then this change won’t affect you. (Grandfathered Silver Plans and Gold Plans are also considered Premium Accounts.)

If you don’t care whether people can visit your worlds or not then you can ignore this email; you don’t have to take any action.

For details see this blog post.

Other Updates

Here are some of the advances we’ve made in Kitely lately:

March 2014 – Kitely Cuts World Startup Time in Half, and Improves Performance

We upgraded the servers that we use to host OpenSim worlds, and this has improved performance significantly. This upgrade is available automatically to all Kitely users at no additional cost. For details see this blog post.

March 2014 – Kitely Market Delivers to the Hypergrid

You can now buy items from Kitely Market and have them delivered to your avatar in any Hypergrid enabled grid. For details see this blog post.

May 2014 – Kitely Enables Hypergrid Access with Strong Content Protections

You can now allow Hypergrid users to visit your Kitely worlds, or use your Kitely avatar to visit other grids on the Hypergrid. Kitely respects content creators’ rights, so content that isn’t allowed to be exported out of Kitely can’t be taken to other grids. For details see this blog post.

Sincerely,
The Kitely Team


 

New Kitely homepage is here


Check out the new look Kitely homepage which went live this week and now it’s easier to understand what Kitely does. The new Kitely homepage now shows many screenshots on what you can do in Kitely and why you should choose Kitely.

The new Kitely homepage is very nice, clear and more appealing than ever before I think. I also love the new Kitely logo in the left hand corner which has been revamped during the past month.

Congratulation to all those that worked on the new homepage.

New Kitely Homepage

New Kitely Homepage

See the latest Kitely blog announcement for recent improvements and bug fixes.

Great work!

2nd Annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014


Chris Collins who is the conference organizer released a new press release this week for the 2nd Annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014 which officially starts on 8th November until 9th November 2014. This is good news that a second conference will take place this year and its set to take place on the Open Simulator Conference Center grid.

OpenSim Community Conference 2013

Snapshot from last year’s OpenSim Community Conference 2013

What is the OpenSimulator Community Conference ?

The OpenSimulator Community Conference is an annual conference that focuses on the developer and user community creating the OpenSimulator software. Organized as a joint production by AvaCon and the Overte Foundation, the virtual conference features two days of presentations, workshops, keynote sessions, and social events across diverse sectors of the OpenSimulator user base.

The first OpenSimulator Community Conference last year was a “terrific success with more than 350 attendees from 45 unique grids and over 1000+ commits to the core code”, says Chris Collins.

This year the conference will be even more successful with more “opportunities for the community to be involved and doing more outreach to attract new users.  With all the hype surrounding the Oculus Rift and other virtual reality technologies, we want the VR community to know that OpenSimulator is a great platform for building the open metaverse.”

See full press release for more details…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Announcing the 2nd Annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014

June 3, 2014 – AvaCon and the Overte Foundation are pleased to announce the second annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014 (http://conference.opensimulator.org), to take place virtually on the OpenSimulator Conference Center grid on November 8-9, 2014. The OpenSimulator Community Conference is an annual conference that focuses on the developer and user community creating the OpenSimulator software. Organized as a joint production by AvaCon and the Overte Foundation, the virtual conference features two days of presentations, workshops, keynote sessions, and social events across diverse sectors of the OpenSimulator user base.

“Last year’s conference was a terrific success with more than 350 attendees from 45 unique grids and over 1000+ commits to the core code, which made OpenSimulator a much more stable and scalable platform,” said conference organizer Chris Collins.  “This year we hope to build on that success by offering more opportunities for the community to be involved and doing more outreach to attract new users.  With all the hype surrounding the Oculus Rift and other virtual reality technologies, we want the VR community to know that OpenSimulator is a great platform for building the open metaverse.”

Based on feedback from last year’s successful conference, this year’s program includes four tracks to showcase the variety of uses of OpenSimulator, including Business & Enterprise, Content & Community, Developers & Open Source, and Research & Education.  In addition, a new Learning Lab area will be available for hackerspaces, speed builds, and workshops for hands-on learning experiences guided by experts in the OpenSimulator community.  The Call for Proposals for all four tracks and the Learning Lab is now open, and proposals are due July 1, 2014.

Due to the “alpha” nature of the OpenSimulator software, the annual conference is an experiment in capacity testing for OpenSimulator in addition to being a community event. Since seats are limited, registration will open on a first-come-first-served basis on September 15, 2014 until the maximum number of virtual conference center tickets is reached.  At that point, community members will still be able to register for the live streamed version of the conference that will be available for free via UStream.

For more information please see the conference website at http://conference.opensimulator.org.

ORGANIZATION INFORMATION:

OpenSimulator is an open-source platform that supports the creation of collaborative, immersive, distributed and social 3D virtual environments over the Internet. OpenSimulator software is now the basis for many “grids” of varying sizes and purposes.  http://opensimulator.org

AvaCon, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the growth, enhancement, and development of the metaverse, virtual worlds, augmented reality, and 3D immersive and virtual spaces. We hold conventions and meetings to promote educational and scientific inquiry into these spaces, and to support organized fan activities, including performances, lectures, art, music, machinima, and much more. Our primary goal is to connect and support the diverse communities and practitioners involved in co-creating and using virtual worlds, and to educate the public and our constituents about the emerging ecosystem of technologies broadly known as the metaverse.  http://avacon.org

The Overte Foundation is a non-profit organization that manages contribution agreements for the OpenSimulator project.  In the future, it will also act to promote and support both OpenSimulator and the wider open-source 3D virtual environment ecosystem.  http://www.overte.org/

CONTACT:

Chris Collins, Vice President

AvaCon, Inc.

c/o OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014

275 Winthrop Street

PO Box 618

Rehoboth, MA 02769-1819

(774) 654-0010

http://avacon.org

Email:  opensim@avacon.org

Web:  http://conference.opensimulator.org

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/opensimcc

Hashtags:  #OSCC14 #OSCC #opensim

Chris Collins (Avatar: Fleep Tuque)

Vice President, AvaCon, Inc.

275 Winthrop Street

PO Box 618

Rehoboth, MA 02769-1819

(774) 654-0010

info@avacon.org

http://avacon.org

 

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