Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Remedy will supply the resources to extend Metanomics’ role as the leading source of insight into online virtual worlds. Metanomics, hosted by show founder Professor Robert Bloomfield of Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management, will continue to focus on best practices for the swiftly evolving enterprise, educational and social opportunities of online three-dimensional web content.
"The partnership with Remedy Communications is a valuable resource as Metanomics strives to enrich its substance, reach and influence. I am impressed by the energy and talents of both the Remedy creative staff, and the virtual world development team that will promote and operate the Metanomics show,” said Professor Bloomfield. "We want Metanomics to be the most trustworthy portal to access the latest and best in virtual world practices and potential."
Metanomics has charted, analyzed and assessed the growing commercial and consumer importance of virtual worlds, using Second Life as its "home base". For Metanomics, virtual worlds "are serious business".
Many businesses, small to multi-national, are looking for solutions to remain competitive in a global market with limited resources. "In an economic period where cost-savings are critical for large corporations, virtual worlds offer advantages that are not fully realized by alternative bleeding-edge internet solutions," said Sandy Adam of Sigma-Aldrich Chemical. "For example, Sigma-Aldrich uses virtual worlds for cost-effective 3D collaboration, as well as for product demonstrations that would not be possible at customer sites. Enterprises that benefit from 3D visualization, global intra-communications, or effective social networking, rely on the weekly Metanomics show to keep up-to-date with timely and in-depth coverage of virtual world opportunities."
Erica Driver, co-founder of ThinkBalm, an independent analyst firm focused on enterprise use of the Immersive Internet, and formerly a strategic advisor at Forrester, said that: “The Metanomics show is a futuristic combination of traditional lecture, TV talk show, massive group text chat, and weekly gathering of friends and associates from around the globe. In just a year, the Metanomics show has evolved into an invaluable source of information about immersive internet trends, developments, and announcements."
In recent Metanomics programs, attorney Benjamin Duranske considered how the creation of virtual worlds might alter intellectual property law, architect Jon Brouchoud explained how virtual worlds could provide cost-saving collaborative and integrated practice in the building industry, and Dahlia Khalifa of the World Bank emphasized the value of reaching a large world audience through virtual worlds as part of their "Doing Business 2009" report.
"Remedy believes that virtual worlds hold real practical and commercial potential for a vast range of business, non-profit and social organizations," said Doug Thompson, CEO, Remedy Communications. "Much like the first Internet revolution, use of 'virtual worlds' can assist collaborative business practices, save money, and build revenue. The Metanomics program is dedicated to showing businesses and others how to step into this brave new world."
Additional information about Remedy and Metanomics, along with the full press release and related contact information, can be found here: http://metanomics.net/PressRelease121508
Sunday, November 09, 2008
"A lot of the public was still uncomfortable with virtual worlds and where surprised that people from around the globe would login and stand on a virtual see-saw with them. We had a lot if fun explaining, playing with them and in and introducing people to SL in this manner.
We have talked about how things could be improved, I think more modes of interactivity/communication would improve the experience. The 20 second video delay makes it disjointed experience."
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
FEEL the presence of virtual world avatars in a cross-world interactive installation, connecting virtual life to our physical world.
On saturday the 1st of november, visitors of the NEMO Science Center in Amsterdam will be physically connected to inhabitants of the virtual world Second Life through an intervirtual balancing plateau.
The total weight of avatars standing on the virtual side of the plateau will be calculated and processed along with the weight of all people standing on the physical side of the plateau. This outcome will trigger the synchronised real-time movement of both the hydraulic powered and script controlled side of the plateau, resulting in an experience of indirect physical contact between real and virtual beings.
A two way videoprojection will visually connect the virtual and real-life participants standing on the installation.
physical location: Science Center NEMO, Oosterdok 2, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
virtual location: Brooklyn is Watching project space in Second Life. http://slurl.com/secondlife/Popcha/72/140/27
Date/time: saturday 1st of november 2008
18:00 - 1:00 GMT
19:00 - 2:00 CET
10:00 - 17:00 PST
Saturday, October 25, 2008
In the Leeuwarden district court two boys, aged 14 and 15 where sentenced to community service for forcing a other boy to transfer Runescape items to the attackers accounts. The 2 boys punched, kicked and threatened the victim with a knife.
The most interesting part of this case was that the issue isn't the assault but if virtual items should be considered goods that can be stolen. The lawyer defending the 2 boys argued that legally the items don't exist and can't be stolen.
The court doesn't agree with that defence and cited a earlier ruling that electricity can be considered a a material object in criminal law and stealing electricity is theft. The same principle applies in this case and stealing virtual items is theft, the court rules.
Metaverse TV is hosting what will probably be the most interesting in-world debate in Second Life® — a face-to-face between a Democrat and a Republican, discussing the US Presidental elections. If you can manage to attend today (October, 25th) at 2 PM SLT, be there :)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
"This is probably the first you’ve heard about Imprudence, so I’ll take a moment to explain it. Imprudence is (or rather, will be) a major fork of the open source Second Life Viewer. Our aim is to greatly improve the usability of the Viewer through community involvement, thoughtful design, modern development methods, and a pro-change atmosphere.
Why are we doing this? Because we, the Second Life Residents, need a better Viewer, and Linden Lab isn’t getting it done — not fast enough, anyway. "
To give their ideas shape and direction they created a manifesto. It explains more precise why they are doing this and what the goals and methods will be for this project.
"The primary goal of Imprudence is simple: to greatly improve the usability of the Viewer. In particular, there are 3 aspects of usability that we intend to address:
- Approachability. Improving comfort and ease of use, especially for new or non-technical users.
- Efficiency. Improving speed and ease of common tasks and workflows.
- Satisfaction. Improving the emotional effect of the software on the user. "
In many ways this is very exciting, reminding me of my early days in SL, when the scent of change was in the air. They are inviting everyone to help whatever your skill level or expertise. Non programmers are specifically invited, tell them what you think is important, or comeup with a new UI design, etc.
Though a project like this stands or falls by the community involvement and the original creators capability and desire to let it grow beyond themselves. But it seems like they are aware of that and have set it up in a way that it is very easy to continue or split off if so needed.
Let's welcome their intentions, energy, hard work and help out where needed, and who knows what wonders will await us.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I'm looking forward to some great submissions and seeing you there.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
VR-Wear is about to change that, they have been working for several months now to integrate signal processing capabilities in the Second Life Viewer. The VR-Wear team is now able to connect a web cam and analyze your head motions in real-time and have them acted out in Second Life.
VR-Wear has released a short YouTube video showing the tracking of a head gesturing Yes and No. Their software will be released in September with a load of emotions and motions filters that will make your Avatar behave more like you. Maybe even exactly like you, but if really would want that is up for debate.
For the programmers amongst us will be the opportunity to participate and create their own versions. The project will be released under a dual license (GPL-like for non-commercial applications).
Monday, August 11, 2008
Mono is coming: at the latest Volunteer Meeting, Periapse Linden has announced that Mono and llDetectedTouch() would be rolled out this Monday as SL server 1.24 is going to be deployed on the grid!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Of course there are some limits to this, most notably that you don't see the 3D world. Functionally you can do lot, for example chat, teleport, pay and tranfer inventory. This is usefull if you need to login to SL from a computer that doesn't has or can't run the Viewer.
To bring this functionality to even more devices and locations a iPhone version has been released. Though this version does not has as much functionality as the web app yet. So far you can Chat, send IMs to your your friends List and recieve IMs. This is a cool and quick way to say hi to a friend or answer a customer while you are on the road, or when you are at a boring movie for example.
To use it you can browse with your iPhone or iPod touch to http://ajaxlife.net . Or if you don't have a iPhone you can use http://iphonetester.com/ (seems to work best in Safari) and browse to ajaxlife.net/?iphone in it.
There was some trouble with posting this and had to redo it 2 times, my apologies for the repeats in your rss readers.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
I like the idea of removing menu items, to make SL looks less daunting for the new User. It seems though that the change is unpopular with and it is going to be changed back in the 1.21 viewer. For the people who can't wait to have it back, Jacek explained on her blog how to have the Tools menu back permanently with just some simple copy and paste.
This trick is a simple one. Since SL looks for the Tools menu by name to find which menu to hide, all you have to do is change its name, and SL won’t find it, and it’ll stay visible all the time!
The really easy way (download the replacement file):
- Download my pre-chewed XML file to “Second Life/skins/default/xui/en-us/”, replacing the existing one. On OS X, go to Applications, ctrl-click on “Second Life”, choose “Show Package Contents”, then put the file in “Contents/Resources/skins/default/xui/en-us/”.
- Restart SL, enjoy.
The slightly less easy way (edit the file yourself):
Voila, your Tools menu will now be visible all the time. Piece of cake
- Open up “Second Life/skins/default/xui/en-us/menu_viewer.xml” in your text editor. On OS X, go to Applications, ctrl-click on “Second Life”, choose “Show Package Contents”, then open up “Contents/Resources/skins/default/xui/en-us/viewer-menu.xml” with TextEdit (or your favorite text editor).
- Search for:
name="Tools"(it’s on line 590)
name="Toolz"or some other non-Tools word.
- Save the file, restart SL, enjoy.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
What I really am hoping for is some sort of scripting tools to make interactive objects. That would really open up the possibility space.
I'm excited though, some people see it as yet another dress up virtual world. But I think with Google backing it has a lot more potential by the simple fact alone of the amount attention this will get. Add to that possibilities of Google earth and Sketchup mashups.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
As part of the SL5B celebrations, Dizzy Banjo and Lillie Yifu are creating “A Message to Second Life”.
We have created a giant bottle, which we want to fill with all your messages to Second Life. What would you like to say to the entire SL community on its 5th birthday ?
You can submit your message in two forms :
- What does Second Life mean to you ?
- How has your Second Life affected you ?
- What hopes do you have for the future of Second Life ?
Once we have recieved your messages they will all go into the bottle and spill out intermittently as part of a fun interactive sound and music installation celebrating the Second Life spirit!
- An uploaded audio recording of you speaking your message (PREFERRED OPTION! ! )
- A text based message in a notecard
At the end of the 2 weeks of birthday events the bottle will be sealed and cast off into the SL ocean, perhaps it will be found again at SL10B …
Vint Falken put the instructions for this initiative in multiple languages.
Monday, June 02, 2008
This is realy a great story:
A paralysed man using only his brain waves has been able to manipulate a virtual Internet character, Japanese researchers said Monday, calling it a world first.
The 41-year-old patient used his imagination to make his character take a walk and chat to another virtual person on the popular Second Life website.
The patient, who has suffered paralysis for more than 30 years, can barely bend his fingers due to a progressive muscle disease so cannot use a mouse or keyboard in the traditional way.
In the experiment, he wore headgear with three electrodes monitoring brain waves related to his hands and legs. Even though he cannot move his legs, he imagined that his character was walking.
He was then able to have a conversation with the other character using an attached microphone, said the researchers at Japan's Keio University.
This is very amazing news, and something many people have hoped that virtual worlds could be used for. I wonder if the man feels like he has gained some freedom back.
Friday, May 23, 2008
The popular tabloid "The AvaStar", which was released every week in PDF format, now turned into a blog, using Typo3 as the CMS engine.
Friday, April 11, 2008
3 months ago they started to work on this idea, they modified the open source client to support a 3D camera as a input device. This following YouTube movie demonstrates the possibilities:
It is pretty good what they already got done, but one does wonder how comfortable it is to navigate this way, it might be fun for a presentation, but I'm skeptical if this really is a superior control system. Besides they don't show a example of building, which I'm more interested in. I can envision something where you pick up prims and mod them with your hands.
They mention that 3D cameras aren't available for the mainstream yet, but I would think a larger screen or a beamer would be needed to, to better see where you are.
It is a cool development, and it is only the first phase. Now we have to figure out how this could be best used.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Disappointingly they didn't actually used Second Life for the in world reporter bit.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Dubbed "DOA for a Day", it should not only end the small two-episode series about Second Life® in CSI:NY, but also be the farewell of the long months of the CSI:NY islands in SL. Some observant residents have noticed that the Electric Sheep Company has once again increased the number of Orientation Areas for CSI:NY.
Let's hope that the rolling upgrade to Havok™ 4 that is currently going on will help out the many new users to feel comfortable with a (hopefully) more stable and improved Second Life®.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
The reason it isn't possible at the moment, is because we can't determine where is being clicked on a prim, only just that it is being clicked. Qarl Linden is working on new LSL functions that will give us the needed information, and more! Qarl talked about it on the latest Mono Office Hour. Qarl is thinking of a rough timeframe of about a month, until we can test it on the beta grid.
Colourised transcript for the parts about the new functions:
Periapse Linden: Ok, so our special guest today is Qarl.
Periapse Linden: The Linden who brought you sculpties
Periapse Linden: He's back with a great new idea he'd like to get feedback on.
Qarl Linden: so i have to give credit where it's due -
Qarl Linden: Seifert originally asked for this feature a year ago.
Qarl Linden: i got sidetracked and didn't get to it 'til now.
Qarl Linden: https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/LSL_Touch_Position
Seifert Surface: i think people have been asking for it from waaay back in the day
Qarl Linden: yeah, true.
Vincent Nacon: yeah I've been wondering how that will work
Qarl Linden: what we've got here is the ability to get more information about touch events.
Vincent Nacon: by polygon?
Qarl Linden: you get to know where on the surface, and where in world the touch occurs.
Qarl Linden: you get the face number as well.
Vincent Nacon: err... how many faces are there?
Qarl Linden: it's continually updated as the mouse is held down - so you can implement dragging.
Qarl Linden: 6 faces on a cube - etc.
Seifert Surface: vincent: faces as in faces on a prim
Chance Abattoir: Where on the surface, that's rad!
Seifert Surface: 1 face on a default torus
Qarl Linden: and the POSITION, as well.
Vincent Nacon: oh was thinking about sculpty part
Mbrb Rau: If our AV was a prim it's probably a sculptie.
Qarl Linden: texture coordinates, etc.
Mbrb Rau: and uses llTakeControls
Qarl Linden: right now we're asking for feedback - make sure we don't miss anything important.
Seifert Surface: presumably if we ever get 2 sided planar sculpties, theyd have 2 faces
Qarl Linden: presumably. :P
Seifert Surface: :P
Vincent Nacon: wait... didn't we already have something like that
Vincent Nacon: the drag I think
Qarl Linden: there's a similar call: llDetectedGrab().
Vincent Nacon: yeah
Qarl Linden: but it's not so good for a variety of reasons...
Vincent Nacon: yeah, tried to make a joystick imput by using that
Vincent Nacon: input*
Qarl Linden: it reports movement relative to the camera position...
Vincent Nacon: yeah
Qarl Linden: not so useful.
Vincent Nacon: it was neat at first but meh
Qarl Linden: now you'll be able to put an entire GUI into a texture, and determine with the position info which button was clicked.
Qarl Linden: chess boards, for instance - won't need 64 prims.
Seifert Surface: the continual updating works with the touch event firing lots right?
Siann Beck: That's awesome. A lot of vendors can be re-designed.
Qarl Linden: exactly.
Vincent Nacon: so... if we're going to have touch_position on surface, what does it means for html-on-prim?
Seifert Surface: right
Mbrb Rau: 1 prim vendors...
Qarl Linden: yes - that's one of the motivations for this work -
Qarl Linden: so that prim web browsing will be easier for us to implement.
Vincent Nacon: yeah, figured
Vincent Nacon: well that's good, hope it won't be much of a problem with flash
Rex Cronon: could it be possible for a script to load a notecard that has html code on a specific face?
Qarl Linden: flash is hard because mozilla has a truly horrible plugin interface.
Vincent Nacon: now that's a thought
Qarl Linden: we're looking at webkit and others for that...
Qarl Linden: maybe notecard->html ... but that's not REALLY useful...
Vincent Nacon: so how the position will work? gobally or local?
Seifert Surface: rex: really you want to be able to alter the webpage on the fly from a script
Qarl Linden: only if you can't get your own webpage.
Seifert Surface: say for a scoreboard or something
Qarl Linden: yes. exactly.
Qarl Linden: but you can do a LOT by passing parameters to a webpage in the URL.
Rex Cronon: i want to have display that is not connect to a web page
Vincent Nacon: and for non-flat surface... how will that set the local position? based on UV map maybe?
Seifert Surface: html file in a string?
Qarl Linden: i've seen an example where HTML is in the parameter...
Qarl Linden: yes - it's the UV map.
Vincent Nacon: ah ok perfect
Chance Abattoir: When will this script go into testing?
Chance Abattoir: function
Qarl Linden: soon - i've got the implementation finished - just a couple more tweaks.
Qarl Linden: a month timeframe, i think.
Qarl Linden: but no promises.
Vincent Nacon: oh about the touch position.... how will you set the unit
Qarl Linden: for llDetectedTouchPos() - the units are region coordinates.
Qarl Linden: for llDetectedTouchUV() - the units are 0 to 1, in UV space.
Vincent Nacon: yeah... for UV one I mean
Qarl Linden: we're also adding a function to return the TEXTURE coordinates...
Qarl Linden: its units will depend on how many repeats are in the texture.
Seifert Surface: i was just reading that bit on the wiki qarl
Seifert Surface: seems useful.
Qarl Linden: yeah - there's been a bit of discussion about it.
Seifert Surface: err, jira i mean
Qarl Linden: clicking on a moving monkey.
Qarl Linden: again - it's a case where it could be implemented by a resident-written function...
Qarl Linden: but it's so useful, we kinda have to put it in.
Seifert Surface: interactions with texture animation?
Qarl Linden: Seifert - yes - that's an important factor. the new call will properly get the texture coordinate from an animating texture.
Seifert Surface: whats the precision like on the returned data from the new functions? presumably its at pixel size?
Qarl Linden: it will be pixel level, yes.
Qarl Linden: we're using a raycast to compute the values.
Seifert Surface: so zoom in closer and you get better numbers
Qarl Linden: yes, because the mouse position is quantized...
Seifert Surface: good thing uv coords are floats
Periapse Linden: We aren't adding functions yet that are Mono only
Simil Miles: Except the touch thing ?
Qarl Linden: no no - the touch stuff is in old LSL.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The interesting bit is that this is not "just another media splash project" in Second Life. The consultants for MMC/RTV Slovenija, Artesia, are long-time experts in developing online communities profesionally. Both IYan Writer and iAlja Writer know fully well how to funnel people to get together online — and they know very well how to do the same in Second Life. So this is one of those projects "done right". Granted, a working knowledge of Slovenian might be helpful to visit the events on MMC island, but all information there is bilingual (Slovenians tend to read, write, and speak English fluently). Gadgets abound, but it's the island as a gathering place, where residents will work with the MMC technicians to build together some of the event spaces, which will catch people's attention. In fact, Artesia is employing "crowdsourcing" on this project as well — involving the vibrant online community of "Moj Splet" in building things together in Second Life.
Users from the "Moj Splet" portal can even 'pair' their Second Life avatars with their "Moj Splet" account names. There is a fantastic HUD which allows that pretty easily. The HUD is also available in English for non-registered users and will still work, allowing cool things like staying in touch with the event list at MMC Island, a timezone converter (useful when the US and Europe cannot agree on daylight savings!), and a L$-to-Euro conversion tool.
Official press release available here.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Philip Rosedale: We also use anonymous spot surveys for a lot of stuff. So I send out surveys saying, like, "Should we get rid of me as CEO?" Or I send out several options: "We should get a new CEO: now; when we have 200 people; when we have 500 people; never."That shines a bit of a different light on his stepping down as a CEO. Has he simple been voted out internally, and how fine is he really with it? Of course he could have simple changed his mind, the interview is over a year old. But it is fun to speculate.
There were some nevers. I think people didn't figure I was good for a thousand-person company. I actually think I am, but I'd be fine not doing it, either.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
The International Justice Center, a virtual clearinghouse for public education and action in support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and related human rights concerns. Based both on the web and in the virtual world of Second Life, the International Justice Center will host news, information and live events in support of the ICC.
Today they will be hosting a series of events as part of our official launch, featuring an address by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo. After an introduction by Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, the former foreign minister of Canada, the prosecutor will appear "in-world" in avatar form to address the virtual audience, followed by a Question and Answer period.
Schedule of Events
- 3:00-4:00 PM EST: In-world remarks and Q&A with ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, former foreign minister of Canada, will introduce the Prosecutor.
- 4:30-6:00 PM: Panel discussion by major human rights officials on the topic of “The Emerging International Justice System”. Featuring :
- Jonathan Fanton (President, MacArthur Foundation)
- Moderator: Lloyd Axworthy (President, University of Winnipeg)
- Louise Arbour (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights)
- Francis Deng (United Nations Special Adviser for Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities)
- Juan Mendes (Director, International Center for Transitional Justice)
- Allan Rock, Former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations
- Kenneth Roth (Executive Director, Human Rights Watch)
- Luis Moreno-Ocampo (Prosecutor, International Criminal Court)
- 9:00-9:40PM: Award ceremony and keynote address by Mr. Kofi Annan
How to Participate
- Via Second Life: Teleport to the International Justice Center, on the Justice Commons sim at this link
- Via the Web: Click on this link to view on the web live.
- Via the Web: streamed video during the event.
- Via There.com: Sign up here and attend the event at the stage zone.
- Via Whyville: you can attend the event live in the Greek Theater.
You can read more about the event and the International Justice Center on their website, Justicecenter.net
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Statistics compared to Wednesday, February 20th:
Peak concurrency dropped 460 users, a decrease of 0.78%.
Minimum concurrency grew 317 users, a increase of 0.96%.
Median concurrency grew 51 users, a increase of 0.11%.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Statistics compared to Tuesday, February 19th:
Peak concurrency dropped 332 users, a decrease of 0.56%.
Minimum concurrency grew 286 users, a increase of 0.87%.
Median concurrency grew 551 users, a increase of 1.22%.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Statistics compared to Monday, February 18th:
Peak concurrency dropped 1,900 users, a decrease of 3.09%.
Minimum concurrency grew 168 users, a increase of 0.50%.
Median concurrency dropped 993 users, a decrease of 2.14%.
The entrance is free but there is limited availability. To guarantee access please RSVP ASAP to: EdSymp@eduverse.org (as of Thurs. 21.2.08, there is still space available). Dinner is not included. Also please note that the Symposium will be in English only
If you have a specific question which you would like to have answered, please include it in your response.
The event will be streamed on the web at: http://streams.live.nu (UK) http://www.debalie.nl/live (NL) and will be viewable afterwards from De Balie archives
The event will also be available to be seen live in Second Life at these locations:
Should you wish to stream it yourself, then it is possible using this url:
It will also be streamed live simultaneously with the following codecs for low speed internet connections:
http://live.nu/1.ram ( RealVideo)
http://live.nu/1.m3u (Mp3 audio mono)
http://live.nu/1.jpg > http://cam.live.nu ( image refresh 'webcam')
Time of the event: 15:00 - 22:00(GMT +1) / 6:00 am to 1 pm (SLT)
Monday, February 25, 2008
A new Sunday a new record.
Statistics compared to Sunday, February 17th:
Peak concurrency grew 896 users, a increase of 1.41%.
Minimum concurrency dropped 454 users, a decrease of 1.30%.
Median concurrency dropped 253 users, a decrease of 0.53%.
The open source community's reaction was mixed. The strong supporters of open source software in the corporate environment were thrilled with the strong support given by IBM — they had seen IBM's previous support to things like Apache, for instance — which would give Linux an even higher credibility than what it enjoyed. The unthinkable became true: not many years afterwards, IBM, HP, Sun, and others started to ship their servers with Linux as an option, which was completely unthinkable in the late 1990s.
The die-hard open-source left-thinkers were not happy. They felt that IBM was "swallowing" them up, and turning into money the dozens of thousands of hours of labour and millions of lines of code put into a free product. They felt soiled and cheated. Ultimately, however, I believe that they were mostly unhappy because it was easier to complain about the "enemy" when it was "outside". Today, corporations, universities, and naturally enough, individual volunteers, all work together to make Linux a better and better operating system — and everybody has to agree that the way it works is the best way. Nobody — not even Microsoft, who have a Linux Division — can afford to shun Linux these days. It's "part of the establishment". Even if it's not popular on desktops, it still continues to dominate the server-side market.
Now IBM apparently is doing the same with Second Life!
According to Virtual World News, IBM has started to do a remote viewing application for data centres in 3D, using Second Life, as a prototype. This would basically allow system administrators to quickly have a visual look of how the data centre is performing, by getting extra clues (sounds, particle effects) if there are network or server issues. Getting better tools for system administrators to quickly locate the hotspots in the hardware is crucial. Virtual worlds are one of the ways for that, and IBM is definitely doing a great job at trying these out.
The most interesting aspect of that article is that IBM is now using the same concept, but using OpenSim. OpenSim is open source, of course, but it's as SL-compliant as possible (you use the same set of SL viewers to access it). This is actually good news. IBM could obviously develop a completely new virtual world for their experiments, or use any of the many that are freely available and tweak them for their use. They could also work together with LL to further develop LL's own server software — but this would make LL "dependant" on a strong agreement with IBM. Instead, they opted for the best of both worlds. They embraced the OpenSim project, like they did embrace Linux a few years ago. What they develop using OpenSim could be implemented on LL's own grid — but the point is, IBM can correct bugs and expand functionality using OpenSim pretty easily. They don't need to wait for LL's slow development cycles to get the functionality they need.
This makes me think about what it means for "the metaverse". Unlike many others, who expect that competition will pop up from every corner, now that metaverse-building worlds are "mainstream", I'm rather more skeptical, and the more time passes without anything being launched (we'll see if Sony Home launches in March...), the more skeptical I remain. Things like Kaneva are even more overhyped than SL was — and they're basically cutting corners to have a faster-rendering engine, at the cost of dropping unlimited user-created content. SL remains the leader in that area, and LL is the only company crazy enough to allow user-created content.
So what I think that will happen is something quite different. People love the concept of SL; but not the way LL handles all issues. The trick, then, is to get the code and tweak it, and run it under a different ToS (either more or less conservative, depending on your political agenda :) ). With SL, we can do that — or we can almost do that with OpenSim. IBM apparently spotted the opportunity. They don't want to create "another metaverse". They want SL. But SL run "the IBM way". With OpenSim, they can have both things :)
Now imagine what happens if "everybody" starts doing the same. Oh yes, there are already a handful of OpenSim-run grids — some already with several hundred sims! — and these will grow over 2008, as OpenSim slowly advances towards implementing all features that LL's own server has. And corporations planning to launch their own virtual worlds, what will they do? Start from scratch on a new project? Or download OpenSim for free, place a dozen programmers tweaking it, and launching something SL-compatible but run by someone who understands what users want? If I were in the business, I'd certainly go for the latter. In fact, almost two years ago, I started doing a business plan to run my own sub-grid, connected to LL's — and asked them how much the license for the servers costed. They said it was too early, they weren't prepared to license the code yet. Well... now I could do the same... and use OpenSim, and spare the costs of buying licenses by hiring developers instead to finish up the work.
So what I think will happen is something akin to what happened with the NCSA web server and Apache. NCSA launched the "first" web server, ages ago, when the first graphical web clients appeared as well. Everybody used the NCSA server and Mosaic as a client. But the programmers were tired of dealing with NCSA's slow response in developing additional features on their server software. It worked, yes, but the Web was new in 1993, and there was so much that could be done, and which NCSA didn't really plan to integrate on "their" server. The talented programmers switched over to launch a new project — Apache — which was mostly NCSA-compatible at start, but evolved hugely afterwards. In the end, at the non-Microsoft camp, there is only Apache left (except, of course, for very specialised cases) — because it encompassed the vast majority of programmers and system administrators that wanted a full-blown web server that worked well, was infinitely expandable and scaled well, and that had all the nifty features added as modules...
And what happened in the industry? People like IBM dropped their own in-house web servers, and simply started to use Apache instead. They understood that their revenue came from their applications and the services — not from licensing their own web server. As soon as that happened, they also started to contribute code (and debugging effort) to the core Apache code, making it even more robust. Today, excluding Microsoft, almost nobody uses their own proprietary web server any more — and few even know what "NCSA" stands for.
The OpenSim might very well become the "Metaverse Apache". We all want SL — users, universities, corporations. We don't want "limited-content" systems, even if they look nice and run faster. We don't want to place the content censorship in the hands of a company which might have popped up from nowhere and disappears after a few years. We want to capitalise on the 12 million or so who downloaded the SL client and have seen how it works. We want to use the 3 billion lines of code written in LSL, or the 0.5 Exabytes (that's a billion Gigabytes) of assets that are in SL. We don't want to waste that!
On the other hand, LL might also wish to get more programmers to make their own grid better — and not pay for them.
So what seems to be the natural progression here? Linden Lab might not release their own server software after all! In fact, a far better strategy would be to invest their time in developing OpenSim instead — and at some point in the future, simply switch over to OpenSim :) Sure, right now, LL is able to be the "technology pusher" — they show what is possible, document it, release the SL client code — and the communications protocol between the client and the server gets "absorbed" by the OpenSim team which reverse-engineers the process. But by doing so, they're working with fresh, clean, new code — which is easy to expand and maintain, unlike what happens with SL's own code.
LL might learn from the NCSA experience (who, btw, obviously run Apache too) and continue their official help to the OpenSim team, and, when OpenSim replicates all functionality of LL's own server software, simply move over to it.
Remember that OpenSim is just the server software: you need to add the "glue" to make the individual sims behave like they're on a continuous grid. That's the job of the asset servers. Right now, every OpenSim-based grid uses their own system (often they publish how it works, too), and, naturally, LL uses their own. LL will still remain the biggest SL-compatible grid ever — but I wouldn't be too surprised to see Zero Linden's prediction of having LL as a "central hub" for many interconnected grids and draw a revenue from interconnection fees — something like what Central Grid is experimenting with.
The future looks bright for Second Life — I mean, SL-compatible virtual worlds :)
[EDIT: Thanks to SignpostMarv Martin for the original tip and correcting some spelling and grammar errors]
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Another currency record. First time we break the 60k on a Saturday as well.
Statistics compared to Saturday, February 16th:
Peak concurrency grew 1,299 users, a increase of 2.18%.
Minimum concurrency grew 983 users, a increase of 2.79%.
Median concurrency grew 1,043 users, a increase of 2.12%.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
First time that we peak over 60 thousand users on a Friday.
Statistics compared to Friday, February 15th:
Peak concurrency grew 2,222 users, a increase of 3.81%.
Minimum concurrency grew 693 users, a increase of 2.12%.
Median concurrency grew 3,034 users, a increase of 6.75%.
Friday, February 22, 2008
This book has been a labor of love by Sean Percival (SL avatar: Sean Voss) for some time. We've conversed several times in world, and (far too briefly) at the 2007 Second Life Community Convention, and he has mentioned it. It is clear that he is a lover and believer of virtual worlds, and wants to be a curator of the transient beauty that often exists in them.
Many of the books I have read about virtual worlds, or Second Life in particular, tend to focus on success stories: how to make money, how to do things within virtual worlds, or extremely general overviews. This book has a very different dedicated focus: must-see locations within the Second Life virtual world that are some of the most impressive uses of the blank virtual canvas we call "the grid." It is laid out much like one would lay out a tour guide to any major metropolitan area, creating a format which can be recognized by most people.
The book is 6 inches wide, 9 inches high - it literally looks like any other travel guide for a foreign country I've seen. This isn't a coffee table book - while printed in friendly, brilliant color, it isn't quite as big as "The Official Guide to Second Life." It clocks in at 190 pages, and many feature color photos, which are clearly the highlight of the book. This book has the clearest, most color-true screenshots of Second Life I have seen from the over ten Second Life books I own. The publisher, Que, deserves a lot of credit for giving the same treatment to Second Life that they would to any other travel guide. The quality given to the screen shots is the same a real life travel guide would give to the world's greatest cities. The book contains eight chapters, and some very valuable extras.
One of the strengths of the book is the breadth of subjects covered. While nothing is presented in much detail, a good overview of Second Life as a whole is presented. The different chapters cover shopping, entertainment, education, real life inspired locations, places for "mature" audiences (or should that be immature?), as well as a guide on where to live depending on your interests.
Everything I've mentioned above is fantastic, so I don't have too much to add, but I'll go into a few specifics.
One of the best parts of the book is the first chapter, which I didn't mention above: Virtual Boot Camp. In about six small pages, with plenty of handy photographs, Percival presents you with everything you need to know to be the next grid explorer. He covers the basic topics: moving, using the map, using the camera, and a few other very basic topics. I couldn't help by remember the travel guides I had during high school and college which covered foreign culture in a few pages: how do you get a beer, how do you find a toilet, how do you find a place to crash?
Second Life and virtual worlds have a very different local culture, and this crash course can get the n00biest new resident ready to explore in a very short time. He is also extremely friendly; before the book's introduction, is a "I Want to Hear From You!" page.
What's Not So Good?
It is the nature of the beast: Second Life changes so rapidly, that by press time, Second Life has already changed significantly. All tech books suffer from this: I'm pretty sure the IBM DOS 3.0 manual I have is only worth the laughs I get. The "Black Swan" sim, which I consider the most incredible piece of art I've seen in Second Life, was in development at the same time as the book, and thus is an notable omission. Maybe in the second edition? Percival should author a follow up, dedicated to hidden gems that older residents may not have seen, perhaps presenting us with the top 100 locations that not many people in Second Life know about.
Who Should Buy It?
Wide eyed new users: absolutely. This will show you some awesome locations.
Jaded old users who don't hang out much: yes. This will show you places that might bring back your spirit.
Users over two years old who still are frequenting SL: probably not. You've seen these locations.
Old users who want to show new users what SL is all about: yes. This is the book we've been waiting for that answer the annoying questions we all get from our friends and family.
Never logged in, or curious: maybe. This book cuts through the hype and shows what virtual worlds, and Second Life in particular, are actually about, regardless of interest type.
Non-English speakers: no. Sorry, but these things take time, as with SL itself!
This book will be a worthy addition to my increasing shelf of virtual worlds books, which I started back in 1994, with the book, "The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality." Over the past year, it has becoming quite a collection, but this is the first book I can show my mother that she would actually understand. I've already shown it to friends of mine who aren't of the geek persuasion, yet are curious about these virtual worlds I'm constantly babbling on about. The quality of the photographs and the descriptions included with them pique curiosity and make this a winner. If you are a new user, a curious onlooker, or a hard core user who finds yourself trying to explain what the hell we're all so interested in is, this is a book for you.
Over and out!-FlipperPA Peregrine
Not surprisingly, keeping with the current trend, 59,187 is a new Thursday peak concurrency record.
Statistics compared to Thursday, February the 14th:
Peak concurrency grew 2,382 users, a increase of 4.19%.
Minimum concurrency grew 1,526 users, a increase of 4.83%.
Median concurrency grew 1,473 users, a increase of 3.35%.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
This is a peak concurrency record for Wednesdays.
Statistics compared to Wednesday, February 13th:
Peak concurrency grew 1,906 users, a increase of 3.35%.
Minimum concurrency grew 2,172 users, a increase of 7.01%.
Median concurrency grew 1,954 users, a increase of 4.53%.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tonight I read about a new First Look Viewer for Second Life, Dazzle, downloaded it and played around with it a bit. (Picture to the right by Torley Linden.) First Look clients are not Market Research. All of the features, Linden Lab releases with First Look Viewers so far, have been incorporated into the main version later. Scary ... read on!
I was very much excited to test this out, as this new version was announced with words like:
We’re pleased to announce First Look: Dazzle, a “refresh” for the Second Life viewer’s appearance which makes the UI (User Interface) more accessible and pleasing.
It is my strong belief, that the shortcomings of the current user interface of Second Life are one of the major issues leading to the extremely low user retention especially in the first 30 - 90 minutes. Learning Second Life is NOT easy for the average internet user. ANY improvement of the client's usability would be extremely welcome to me. Alas ...
... after playing around with Dazzle for 30 minutes I can only say: deeply disappointing!
What has happened is basically nothing more than the application of a new skin and color scheme. Cosmetic changes. Pure facelifting. Some icons have been changed. The style of windows, buttons and other interface elements is now basically that of a "polished Windows NT/XP" and everything has been made a little brighter.
Nothing else was changed in a substantial way! The illogical grouping of commands into menus with arcane or misleading names is still the same. Some important commands are still well hidden, rarely needed ones appear in the menu top levels. I wonder, how one can say, that any of these changes improved usability or accessibility at all (some texts are more readable maybe; stronger contrasts).
This leads me again, to question the way this company, Linden Lab, is doing user experience design. I honestly wonder
- Have the interim versions been tested with real users (especially newbies) in a controlled environment?
- Was there any comparative testing (old and new versions with different groups)?
- What were the goals of this project?
- Which measurable performance indicators have been defined to check, if (which) goals have been achieved?
To be honest, I very much doubt that anything like this happened. This looks like a bunch of enthusiastic engineers got together and attacked some weaknesses of the current viewer/client - guided by their own taste or suggestions in publicly available literature and eager to demonstrate the relatively new feature of "XML-based customizability" introduced to the SL viewer last year. Disappointing. Deeply disappointing.
As reported on the Second Life blog, during 5:20pm and 5:45pm PST the concurrency reporting services where updated which caused a drop in the concurrency numbers, but not to the actual online residents.
Edit: This was a Tuesday concurrency record as well.
Statistics compared to Tuesday, February 12th:
Peak concurrency grew 2,454 users, a increase of 4.31%.
Minimum concurrency grew 2,261 users, a increase of 7.40%.
Median concurrency dropped 269 users, a decrease of 0.59%.
There where several issues last week which affected the concurrency services, a big chunk of stats during the daily low weren't retrievable. This skewed last weeks median upwards, this explains that Yesterday the minimum and peak concurrency both were considerable higher and the median slightly lower then last week.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
This Monday's peak is a record for Monday, once more it shoots above 60k. This is still relatively rare, Sundays and Mondays are the only days that have peaked above the 60 thousand users.
Statistics compared to Monday, February 11th:
Peak concurrency grew 2,840 users, a Increase of 4.84%.
Minimum concurrency grew 124 users, a increase of 0.37%.
Median concurrency grew 1,408 users, a increase of 3.13%.
Monday, February 18, 2008
As you can see, again a new peak concurrency record.
Statistics compared to Sunday, February 10th:
Peak concurrency grew 214 users, a increase of 0.34%.
Minimum concurrency grew 457 users, a increase of 1.32%.
Median concurrency grew 368 users, a increase of 0.78%.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday's Peak was a new Saturday peak concurrency record.
Statistics compared to Saturday, February 9th:
Peak concurrency grew 125 users, a increase of 0.21%.
Minimum concurrency dropped 75 users, a decrease of 0.21%.
Median concurrency grew 4,992 users, a increase of 11.33%.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Statistics compared to Thursday, February 8th:
Peak concurrency dropped 592 users, a decrease of 1.03%.
Minimum concurrency grew 1825 users, a increase of 6.13%.
Median concurrency grew 1017 users, a increase of 2.37%.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Here's the transcript of tonight's event, in full. A lot of ground was covered, and we're excited to have panels covering specific topics in more detail in the future!
[14:57] Extinct Darwin: Hello Everybody, we'll get started momentarily
[14:58] Akasha Wachmann: this room wouldbe a good bomb target, too many VIPs
[14:58] Jessica Holyoke: woo hoo made it to VIP
[14:58] Ina Infinity: rezzing...
[14:59] Henri DeCuir: Is this going to be audio? Visual? Text?
[14:59] FlipperPA Peregrine: We're going to do it all text
[14:59] FlipperPA Peregrine: We're both fast typists
[14:59] Tigerlily Koi: thank you!!
[14:59] Ina Infinity: hey eirynnes ;-)
[14:59] Jessica Holyoke: yes thank you
[14:59] Eirynne Sieyes: Yes!
[14:59] FlipperPA Peregrine: And this way, we can log it :)
[14:59] Henri DeCuir: Ok.
[14:59] FlipperPA Peregrine: I'm going to be very disappointed if we don't get griefed by the PNs.
[15:00] FlipperPA Peregrine: And Jessica, I hope this is is fully misrepresented in the Herald! :)
[15:00] Jessica Holyoke: griefers? what are those? and is there some paper that deals with the?
[15:00] FlipperPA Peregrine: We'll give it about 3-4 minutes for late arrivals to get here.
[15:00] Jessica Holyoke: I'm fairly good lately
[15:01] FlipperPA Peregrine: We'll do some opening remarks, very briefly, and then I'll take IMs from people - I'm playing moderator.
[15:01] FlipperPA Peregrine: I've never been good with asking questions. I'd do stuff like ring Live Help and ask how to ring live help.
[15:01] Jessica Holyoke laughs
[15:01] Tigerlily Koi: should we start IM'ing now or wait?
[15:02] FlipperPA Peregrine: We'll wait a few minutes :)
[15:02] FlipperPA Peregrine: Okay, we can get rolling. Anyone who arrives afterwards can read the transcript, after all!
[15:02] FlipperPA Peregrine: So, without further ado ... WELCOME!
[15:02] FlipperPA Peregrine: This is the first in what I hope becomes a series of these events to hopefully educate content creators better about their rights in SL.
[15:02] FlipperPA Peregrine: To my left, you'll see Extinct Darwin, aka Frank Taney.
[15:03] Extinct Darwin: hello there
[15:03] FlipperPA Peregrine: Frank Taney is a partner at the law firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll, & Rooney
[15:03] Tigerlily Koi: hi!
[15:03] FlipperPA Peregrine: Frank has argued several virtually famous cases - including Stroker's case, and the Neph / Munchflower / Rebel / et al case you have probably read about.
[15:03] FlipperPA Peregrine: Frank is going to make a few brief comments about the categories of IP rights, and how they pertain to SL, then we'll open the floor to questions.
[15:04] FlipperPA Peregrine: So enjoy this - I mean, how often do you get FREE LEGAL ADVICE?!
[15:04] FlipperPA Peregrine: Take it away, Frank!
[15:04] Extinct Darwin: Thanks Tim. First I want to lay out the four categories of IP that are likely to be at issue in SL
[15:05] Extinct Darwin: THe First category is copyrights. Copyrights apply to original works of authorship
[15:05] Extinct Darwin: IN SL, the works of authorship that are most likely to be relevant are the graphics that appear on the screen, and any underlying code.
[15:06] Extinct Darwin: IN addition, to the extent that anyone is including sounds in their creations, that is potentially copryrightable as well.
[15:06] FlipperPA Peregrine: That would include builds, textures, animations, scripts - basically anything you can create for SL. :)
[15:06] Extinct Darwin: Copyright law protects expression of ideas, rather than the ideas themselves.
[15:07] Extinct Darwin: Second, we have trademarks. Trademarks are symbols, words or phrases that identify the source of goods or services.
[15:08] Extinct Darwin: Third, we have patents. Patents protect inventions, which under U.S. law can apply to articles of manufacture, compositions of matter, and business processes a mong other things.
[15:08] Extinct Darwin: The most likely subject matter for a patent within SL would be a business process that includes software.
[15:09] Extinct Darwin: Finally, we have trade secrets. Trade secrets are processes, techniques and know-how not generally known to the public at large that give the owner an advantage in his or her trade.
[15:10] Extinct Darwin: Trade secrets differ from patents primarily in that they are kept secret while patents are made the subject of public filings.
[15:10] FlipperPA Peregrine: Feel free to start IMing me questions now :)
[15:11] Extinct Darwin: WHile I'm waiting for questions, I will start disucssing the role of the DMCA in IP protection.
[15:11] Extinct Darwin: THe DMCA is an act that does several things relative to copyright. It does not apply to trademarks or other kinds of IP.
[15:12] FlipperPA Peregrine: Henri DeCuir: can Frank talk about the logistical process of registering a SL trademark at the PTO? costs and what not?
[15:12] Extinct Darwin: I'll address Henri's questoin first.
[15:13] Extinct Darwin: You first identify the mark at issue, which might be a symbol, word or phrase.
[15:13] FlipperPA Peregrine: I'm trademarking the word "rez"! :) Just kidding.
[15:13] Henri DeCuir: genericide. ;)
[15:14] Extinct Darwin: You then identify the area of commerce in which you want to use the mark. (THis is in connection with the application).
[15:14] Ina Infinity: you mentioned DMCA has to do with formal copyrights... so if you don't apply for a copyright, can you still bring it to court?
[15:14] Ina Infinity: also, what is the difference between ideas themselves and expressing them?
[15:14] FlipperPA Peregrine: Ina: I'll ask Frank that in a second when he's done with trademarks :)
[15:14] Extinct Darwin: You also have to give an affidavit stating that you either have been using the mark in commerce or intend to do so.
[15:15] Extinct Darwin: You send the application with the filing fee to the PTO in D.C.
[15:15] Extinct Darwin: THen you wait. Right now the PTO is taking 4 to 6 months to respond initially.
[15:16] Extinct Darwin: THe PTO often responds with what is known as an office action, outlining issues they want addressed before they approve the application.
[15:17] Extinct Darwin: If they approve the application, they publish the application, which will eventually become effective if no objection is received and sustained.
[15:17] FlipperPA Peregrine: Jayson Watkin: Ok, so how much of a legal market is there for specializing in Virtual worlds if someone were to say go solo?
[15:18] Extinct Darwin: It depends on what areas in which you have legal expertise.
[15:19] Extinct Darwin: IN my experience representing SL and virtual world clients, they need contract help, IP advice, sometimes corporate help, and when they become big enough, help with things like employee issues (NDA's, noncompetes).
[15:19] Extinct Darwin: As a solo you may need to have a referral relationship with others if you do not have expertise in all of those areas.
[15:19] Object does not appear to be for sale.
[15:19] FlipperPA Peregrine: Ina Infinity: you mentioned DMCA has to do with formal copyrights... so if you don't apply for a copyright, can you still bring it to court? Also, what is the difference between ideas themselves and expressing them?
[15:20] Extinct Darwin: You can file a DMCA notice with LL without registering the work in D.C. You cannot file a lawsuit for copyright infringement without filing an application.
[15:21] FlipperPA Peregrine: Nyte Caligari: I was told by my own IP lawyer that LL isn't exactly following the DMCA by not removing the texture or whatever from the offenders inventory. How valid is that statement?
[15:21] Extinct Darwin: I can only speak from my personal experience . . . .
[15:22] Extinct Darwin: Which is that they have not gone into inventory. I don't think that is living up to the requirements of the DMCA.
[15:23] Extinct Darwin: It sounds like you are essentially asking them to agree to the SL equivalent of a click wrap.
[15:23] Amon Eames: Are there other methods rather than using the PTO that can show a record for oriiginal work that dont take 4-6 months?
[15:24] FlipperPA Peregrine: Amon: I'll put that in the question queue so we stay on topic :) We'll get to it in a few seconds.
[15:24] Extinct Darwin: This would give you a contractual right to object to copying. YOu would not necessarily have to prove that the work is copyrightable.
[15:25] Extinct Darwin: SO, I do see that as potentially giving you a leg up as a merchant.
[15:25] FlipperPA Peregrine: Pukk Abel: How do we decide which "area of commerce" to aply for a trademark under? When looking at the categories offered I was unsure what "clothing and accesories within Second Life" might be filed under.
[15:26] Extinct Darwin: This will depend on the precise use you are making in commerce, but I think that the software categories cover a lot of intended uses. (I should have brought the list of categories with me.)
[15:26] FlipperPA Peregrine: Amon Eames: Are there other methods rather than using the PTO that can show a record for oriiginal work that dont take 4-6 months?
[15:27] FlipperPA Peregrine: Amon: could you explain your question a bit more?
[15:27] FlipperPA Peregrine: The 4-6 months is talking about filing for a trademark - copyright doesn't take nearly as long.
[15:27] Amon Eames: how long does it tsake for copyright
[15:27] Henri DeCuir: (the pto handles patents and trademarks, not copyrights...)
[15:27] Extinct Darwin: Copytright can take as long.
[15:28] Extinct Darwin: There is a procedure to get expedited processing if you're going to sue somebody, however, which costs more money.
[15:28] FlipperPA Peregrine: Tigerlily Koi: Re: Linden Lab does not remove infringing content from user's inventories, only in the virtual world. This means, even if Linden Lab acts on a DMCA takedown notice, and removed the content from within Second Life, that the thief still has a copy and can set up shop again in under five minutes. I don't think that is living up to the requirements of the DMCA, which requires removal from servers. What can we do?
[15:29] Extinct Darwin: I agree. . . .
[15:30] Extinct Darwin: Judging from the commentary accompanying LL's DMCA policy, they reserve the right to terminate accounts if they observe repeated posting of infringing material . . .
[15:30] Extinct Darwin: I think that following up on the infringer with repeat notices is one way to escalate the issue in LL's mind . . .
[15:31] Extinct Darwin: YOu can also, UNder the DMCA, issue a subpeona to LL requesting personally identifying information . . . .
[15:31] FlipperPA Peregrine: ...and then send the New York Post after them to take photos like they did with Rase Kenzo, to put on the front page. :)
[15:31] FlipperPA Peregrine: THAT'LL LEARN 'EM!
[15:31] Henri DeCuir laughs
[15:31] Eirynne Sieyes: Lol!
[15:31] Henri DeCuir makes a note not to hire FlipperPA as his lawyer. ;)
[15:32] Extinct Darwin: This may or may not help if the person is using fake information, however. If that is the case your option would be to institute a lawsuit.
[15:32] pup Witherspoon: but isn't that putting the responsibility back on the creators to run about and find these people, when Linden Labs has the capability, and responsibility, to deal with it from the first filing of a violation ?
[15:33] Extinct Darwin: IN the normal context, you could also sue the ISP (in this case LL) for failing to take reasonable steps to address the infringment . . .
[15:33] Extinct Darwin: HOwever, given that LL is the God of this virtual world, in practical terms that would probably be counterproductive, for obvious reasons.
[15:33] Hikaru Yamamoto is Offline
[15:33] FlipperPA Peregrine: Henri DeCuir: Frank, can you comment the conflict between the TOS (not allowing us to pursue IP conflicts against each other by granting a patent to all creations to all users) and filing DMCA notices against other SL users for purely-SL-infringing content?
[15:34] pup Witherspoon: clarifying, LL is notified that Avatar A has x items for sale that are copybot of your original items, you file the proper paperwork with LL, Avatar A moves the shop to a new location and starts up all over again, and LL says, file a new report ?
[15:34] Extinct Darwin: Interesting question . . .
[15:34] Extinct Darwin: LL views patent disputes as fundamentally different from copyright disputes, and they are right to a degree
[15:35] Extinct Darwin: WIth copyrights, independent creation is a defense to a claim for infringement . . .
[15:35] Henri DeCuir: wait wait, that wasn't my original question.
[15:35] Henri DeCuir: Flipper, I'm afraid your rewording changed the spirit. My concern is about how we're not supposed to pursue ANY IP claims against eachother.
[15:36] Extinct Darwin: by which I mean that if two people in different cities happen to come up with the same copyrightable work, independently, neither could sue the other for copyright infringment
[15:36] FlipperPA Peregrine: Sorry Henri, did I edit it wrong? I thought you were referring to the patent clause :)
[15:36] Henri DeCuir: And that we sacrifice IP rights against other users when we create in here.
[15:36] Henri DeCuir: No, I was mostly on copyright, still. Hence the DMCA.
[15:37] Extinct Darwin: With patents, the first to invent wins. So, especially in the area of software code, one could never know for sure that he or she was free from the danger of being sued for patent infringement . . .
[15:37] Henri DeCuir nods.
[15:37] Extinct Darwin: IN LL's judgment, this would create a cloud of potential litigation that might stifle the incentive to create within SL, hence the restrictions on patent claims
[15:38] FlipperPA Peregrine: Tigerlily Koi: Re: So, I do see that as potentially giving you a leg up as a merchant (agreements included with purchases). - Do they need to agree to the usage agreement PRIOR to purchase?
[15:38] Henri DeCuir: Thank you, Extinct. Very good summary. :)
[15:39] Extinct Darwin: TO increase the chance that the agreement will be enforced by a court, you should make them agree beforehand. Courts like to see offer and acceptance, in basic contract terms.
[15:39] FlipperPA Peregrine: Ina Infinity: a while ago i heard of a case where an author distributed her novel in the form of notecards. in order for a SL notecard to be readable, it has to be "copy". so, as you can imagine, someone took her work and sold it without her permission. iirc, the court ruled *against* the author, because the notecard was distributed as "copy" ... to me, this is clearly a misunderstanding of SL permissions, and the fact that certain Sl intricacies distort the usual words. but, even if copy/mod/transfer were properly explained, would the courts actually respect them?
[15:40] Extinct Darwin: THe permission system is a licensing system. . . .
[15:40] Extinct Darwin: IN copyright law terms, a license is simply permission to do something . . ..
[15:40] FlipperPA Peregrine: We'll also give Frank's email at the end - so if you have questions about a specific case like the one just asked, you can follow up with more details so Frank can analyze :)
[15:41] Extinct Darwin: SO, by making something copy permitted or mod permitted or transfer permitted, you cannot complain if someone does just that . . .
[15:41] Eirynne Sieyes: ouch
[15:41] Ina Infinity: wow...
[15:41] Extinct Darwin: however, if you withhold those permissions, then unauthorized copying, for example, would be outside the scope of the license and therefore infringing conduct
[15:41] FlipperPA Peregrine: Amon Eames: i think GNU makes a public license for copyrighting software, could youu use their license?
[15:42] Ina Infinity: ok, here is the issue -- +copy/-trans ... does the "trans" only apply in SL? i think the issue had to do with people stealing content from SL and reselling it in RL
[15:42] Extinct Darwin: I think you're referring to the GPL open source license. . . .
[15:42] Extinct Darwin: Open source software is still made available pursuant to a license . . .
[15:43] Ina Infinity: (meh.. still on my old question... basically, is there a limit on the domain of the "licensing system"
[15:43] Aldon Huffhines: I got here late, so if this has been covered already, I apologize, but what about Creative Commons licencing on objects?
[15:43] Extinct Darwin: The GPL requires that if you combine your code with GPL code, when you distribute the combined work, you must make the source code available . . .
[15:44] Extinct Darwin: this may or may not be consistent with your business model, so tread carefully
[15:44] FlipperPA Peregrine: Aldon, we'll address that now since it is somewhat similar to GPL :)
[15:44] FlipperPA Peregrine: Same ballpark, heh.
[15:44] Extinct Darwin: I regard CC as a form of open source licensing . . .
[15:45] Extinct Darwin: Open source licensing may or may not be consistent with your business model . . .
[15:45] Extinct Darwin: one needs to read the particular CC license one wants to use carefully, to make sure that you are not granting permissions beyond that which you intend
[15:46] FlipperPA Peregrine: Eolande Elvehjem: What i've seen in other issues that become too troublesome for Linden Lab, is that they just ban the activity in question altogether. Is it reasonable to fear that Linden Lab just does away with DMCAs and complaints of stolen designs and textures altogether because they don't want to deal with it? Based on your experience with Linden Lab, can you comment on whether Linden Lab would rather wash their hands of this or do you think they are willing to work to allow us more protection?
[15:47] Extinct Darwin: THe DMCA applies to internet service providers such as LL. As long as it is technically possible to post on their site they would be very ill-advised to ignore the DMCA . . .
[15:47] Extinct Darwin: this would expose them to copyright infringement lawsuits . . .
[15:47] Extinct Darwin: as for doing away with creators' rights, that would be so contrary to the ethos of SL that I really doubt that we will see that
[15:48] FlipperPA Peregrine: Jessica Holyoke: How do you handle conflicts in a world where many people have multiple accounts with fake information registered?
[15:48] FlipperPA Peregrine: I'll start with this one, technically
[15:48] FlipperPA Peregrine: Then let Frank comment
[15:48] FlipperPA Peregrine: Linden Lab has many ways of tying accounts together... granted, none are perfect
[15:48] FlipperPA Peregrine: They can match IP ranges, do geographical matches, hardware hash matches to see which different avatars are logged in from the same house / etc
[15:48] Jessica Holyoke: wait, that's not what I meant
[15:49] FlipperPA Peregrine: Go ahead and explain? I was trying to clarify alts :)
[15:49] FlipperPA Peregrine: <--- over edits sometimes :)
[15:49] Jessica Holyoke: say I have frank represent me, then he's asked by someone else to sue a third person
[15:49] Jessica Holyoke: by that Third Person is really me
[15:49] Jessica Holyoke: but that
[15:49] FlipperPA Peregrine: aha, great question.
[15:49] Extinct Darwin: i see . . .
[15:49] Jessica Holyoke: so if he sues that third person that's a conflict
[15:50] Extinct Darwin: that is governed by the professional rules of (lawyer) conduct . . .
[15:50] Extinct Darwin: I can't be on both sides of the same lawsuit . . .
[15:50] Jessica Holyoke: right
[15:50] Extinct Darwin: So, if the person who asked me to sue your alt gave me confidential information, that would put me in an untenable position . . .
[15:51] Extinct Darwin: I would have to decline the representation from the second client, most likely . . .
[15:52] Henri DeCuir: I smell the next generation of conflict screening software... scan for alternate online accounts. :)
[15:52] Extinct Darwin: and under some circumstnaces might have to decline to represent you against the second client . .
[15:52] Extinct Darwin: it is very fact specific, however
[15:52] FlipperPA Peregrine: Tigerlily Koi: If LL "should" be removing the infringing content from the servers, and they obviously don't do that at this point, what action can we take to get LL to actually DO that?
[15:53] pup Witherspoon: thank you Tiger, the meat of the matter
[15:53] Extinct Darwin: Unfortunately, your options ar eto keep asking them . .
[15:53] Extinct Darwin: or sue them
[15:54] Tigerlily Koi: class action then?
[15:54] Extinct Darwin: class actions or collective actions are a potential procedural mechanism . . .
[15:55] Extinct Darwin: they are tougher to bring than people may think . . .
[15:55] Tigerlily Koi wonders if the babbler translates from lawyer
[15:55] pup Witherspoon: can we expand on the potential of a class action lawsuit please ?
[15:55] Extinct Darwin: Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (governing federal lawsuits) sets forth a nubmer of requiremnets a putative class action must meet before it is certified as a class action by a court
[15:56] Henri DeCuir: There aren't a lot of simpler ways to say what he just said... you guys could team up to bring a suit, but it's very complicated.
[15:56] Tigerlily Koi: but with this many people, and this many DMCA's filed repeatedly for the same content, how much more would we need?
[15:57] Extinct Darwin: generally, to be viable class actions, the issues to each plaintiff class member must be common, and involve common legal and factual issues . . .
[15:57] Extinct Darwin: the common issues must predominate over the individual issues, in other words, . . .
[15:58] Extinct Darwin: it musth not appear to the court that there'd be a multitude of individual trials . . .
[15:58] Extinct Darwin: to fully go through all of the requirements as the pertain to this situation would take a while indeed
[15:59] FlipperPA Peregrine: Okay, we're going to take a couple more - but we'll stop taking questions now.
[15:59] FlipperPA Peregrine: Never fear, we'll do this again, maybe on more specific topics :)
[15:59] FlipperPA Peregrine: Archan Allen: In France, when we create an object/ design/ any creation, we own it. we just need to prove we created it and own it. We do not need to make official papers. Do the French copyright is valid on SL or do french people need papers?
[16:00] Justin708090 Alter: how do you unholster a un?
[16:00] Justin708090 Alter: gun*
[16:00] Justin708090 Alter: ?
[16:00] Tigerlily Koi: wrong meeting Justin
[16:00] FlipperPA Peregrine: Justin: Right click it and select DETACH. :)
[16:00] FlipperPA Peregrine: We're in a meeting, feel free to grab a seat.
[16:00] Extinct Darwin: one can obtain recognition (in the US) of materials created abroad, so yes that is possible . . .
[16:00] Justin708090 Alter: nsry
[16:00] Extinct Darwin: to file a DMCA you need not obtain a US registration
[16:01] FlipperPA Peregrine: Aldon Huffhines: Concerning the transfer issue, what are your thoughts about, I guess, licencing use of an object across multiple grids (Second life, Central Grid, OpenLifeGrid, etc.)?
[16:02] Extinct Darwin: use of material in each grid or virtual world will be governed by the terms of service applicable to each grid or world . . .
[16:02] Extinct Darwin: if the grid or world takes the position that the platform owner owns the IP in content created or posted in-world, then stay away if it is important to you to retain your IP . . .
[16:03] Extinct Darwin: also, if your content is potentially significnt to the owner, you should probably try to negotiate a separate deal . . .
[16:04] Extinct Darwin: in other words, if your content will drive traffice to the grid, then that should be a win-win for you and the platform owner . . .
[16:04] Extinct Darwin: most things are negotiable in life
[16:04] Henri DeCuir: says the lawyer. :)
[16:04] FlipperPA Peregrine: Nyte Caligari: Do the creators from Canada or other countries have the same legal protection then those from the states?
[16:05] Extinct Darwin: painting with a very broad brush, yes as long as the material is copyrightable in the US
[16:05] FlipperPA Peregrine: Okay, final question - then we'll give you Frank's contact info in case you have anything to follow up with - or need to get out of jail.
[16:05] FlipperPA Peregrine: Infiniti Mirihi: So, all creators/designers in SL that have filed a DMCA that have had to file a second (or more) for the same content, could potentially sue LL in a Class Action lawsuit to remove the content from the thief's inventory?
[16:06] Extinct Darwin: that is a question that requires more thought and study than I can give in this forum . . .
[16:07] Extinct Darwin: standing here taking questions on the fly
[16:07] FlipperPA Peregrine: Class action lawsuits are all incredibly complex and unique - that's a toughie :)
[16:07] FlipperPA Peregrine: SO I think we're going to wrap up - we ran a little late - but we'll do this again in the future.
[16:08] FlipperPA Peregrine: If you have an suggestions for future topics
[16:08] Tigerlily Koi: Any chance you do class action suits? Or should we check with someone else?
[16:08] Henri DeCuir grins.
[16:08] FlipperPA Peregrine: Feel free to email Frank or me with them, so we can go more in depth on specific topics.
[16:08] Extinct Darwin: yes I do :-)
[16:08] FlipperPA Peregrine: Frank Taney is email@example.com and I'm flipper@PeregrineSalon.com
[16:08] FlipperPA Peregrine: He's also reachable at 215-665-3846 on his bat-phone.
[16:08] Infiniti Mirihi: but if LL repeatedly does the same... simply removing an item, and designers are repeatedly asked to file new DMCAs, would it not be a potental liabilty for LL?
[16:09] Eirynne Sieyes: Philly, huh...
[16:09] Jessica Holyoke: philly represent
[16:09] Jessica Holyoke smiles
[16:09] FlipperPA Peregrine: I'm not sure if you all know, but Frank represents many Second Life companies and content creators, large and small
[16:09] Extinct Darwin: but with all due respect, I'm not going to discuss that topic further in this forum
[16:09] FlipperPA Peregrine: These include The Electric Sheep Company, Eros (Stroker Serpentine), Nephilaine, Munchflower, Crucial Creations, and many more :)
[16:09] Eirynne Sieyes: Excellent.
[16:10] FlipperPA Peregrine: Eirynne: yep, we're in Philly. In fact, we're having people over for beers after we're done with this!
[16:10] Chez Nabob: Thanks much for the time Flipper and Frank. Definitely educational, and very much appreciated.
[16:10] Eolande Elvehjem: thank you very much Frank
[16:10] pup Witherspoon: Tiger, if I'm not mistaken, and there are a lot of folks who are interested in this but were not able to attend today, we'd have a group of more that say 500 content creators interested in a class action lawsuit if that is what it's going to take to get LL to begin more vigerous enforcement ?
[16:10] Tigerlily Koi: thank you both
[16:10] Eirynne Sieyes: Yes, thank you so very much.
[16:10] FlipperPA Peregrine: Here's the problem with a class action suit against LL - for many of us, they hold all the cards. I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me a class action suit isn't the way to go. There are other ways to get their attention :)
[16:10] Nyte Caligari: Thanks very much for taking the time to do this!
[16:10] Eolande Elvehjem: thank you Flipper!
[16:10] Archan Allen: Thanks a lot, i will email you if i am jailled in second life
[16:11] Eirynne Sieyes: Lol!
[16:11] Web Page: can we stand outside and picket?
[16:11] Henri DeCuir lowers his voice, "one person who gets an injunction would probably suffice..."
[16:11] FlipperPA Peregrine: I don't think LL are evil, or bad people - in fact, I think they're nice, genuine people. There's just too much hippie juice in their water cooler!
[16:11] Web Page likes to picket
[16:11] Henri DeCuir: hey! watch the Bay Area references.
[16:11] Henri DeCuir: :-p
[16:11] Tigerlily Koi: pup, I agree, I think there are a lot more than what's here. looks like a group is in order, or a forum or something
[16:11] Extinct Darwin: he who sets out to do revenge should dig two graves
[16:11] FlipperPA Peregrine: We've seen that LL prefers to react once they get a ton of negative press about something - crisis maintenance instead of preventative maintenance.
[16:11] Web Page still has some tie died t shirts
[16:11] FlipperPA Peregrine: But these are my comments - Frank is the attorney.
[16:12] Jessica Holyoke: you mean like the Herald?
[16:12] FlipperPA Peregrine: loves the Herald :)
[16:12] Extinct Darwin: Thanks everyone, I have to get back to take care of the kids. . . .
[16:12] Chez Nabob: No...mainstream negative press
[16:12] FlipperPA Peregrine: Mainly 'cause Uri throws great parties.
[16:12] Jessica Holyoke: he hee
[16:12] Tigerlily Koi: Thanks again Frank
[16:12] FlipperPA Peregrine: I'll edit the chat log and post a transcript on SLOG
[16:12] Eolande Elvehjem: kids + beer = ....?
[16:12] Extinct Darwin: I enjoyed talking with you all and would be happy to field follow up questions offline . .. you have my contact information I hope
[16:12] FlipperPA Peregrine: http://secondslog.blogspot.com
[16:13] Jessica Holyoke: thanks Frank
[16:13] Pukk Abel has to run off and get some dinner
[16:13] pup Witherspoon: nodding.. when they start to see this issue in the tech journals, and picked up by trade papers and some mainstream blogs
[16:13] FlipperPA Peregrine: firstname.lastname@example.org
[16:13] Jayson Watkin: thanks for doing this
[16:13] Eolande Elvehjem: thank you very much
[16:13] Henri DeCuir nods.
[16:13] FlipperPA Peregrine: If you want to read more about Frank...
[16:13] Akasha Wachmann: **claps**
[16:13] FlipperPA Peregrine: ...and see his pretty little face...
[16:13] FlipperPA Peregrine: See here: http://www.buchananingersoll.com/professionals.php?PeopleID=501
See you all next time, and thank you to everyone who packed the sim to capacity!