Thursday, February 28, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 27-Feb-2008

SL Stats 27-02-2008

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

Second Life Statistics: 26-Feb-2008

SL Stats 26-02-2008

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

Second Life Statistics: 25-Feb-2008

SL Stats 25-02-2008

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%.

Virtual Web Symposium

Eduverse flyerThere will be a Virtual Web Symposium Wed. Feb. 27th, 15:00 - 22:00(GMT +1) at De Balie (Leidseplein) in Amsterdam. The event will include Scientists, Educators, Web Specialists, 3D Designers and Technicians. There will be demonstrations, lectures and discussions (both live and virtual) about Education and the Future of the Virtual Web For a list of participants and more detailed info see

The entrance is free but there is limited availability. To guarantee access please RSVP ASAP to: (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: (UK) (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: ( RealVideo) (Mp3 audio mono) > ( image refresh 'webcam')

Time of the event: 15:00 - 22:00(GMT +1) / 6:00 am to 1 pm (SLT)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 24-Feb-2008 - New Concurrency Record

SL Stats 24-02-2008

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%.

IBM Puts Data Centre in OpenSim

Around the beginning of the millenium, IBM had announced that they would start providing services using Linux (similar to what HP and Sun also did). As part of their effort, of course, they would release a lot of new code to the Linux kernel and drivers, make it more robust and stable, and make sure that Linux became a valid alternative as a corporate-grade operating system in the years to come.

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

Second Life Statistics: 23-Feb-2008

SL Stats 23-02-2008

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

Second Life Statistics: 22-Feb-2008

SL Stats 22-02-2008

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

BOOK REVIEW: Second Life: In-World Travel Guide

by Sean Percival aka Sean Voss

ISBN 0-7897-3730-2


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.

What's Good?

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!

Final Thoughts

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

Second Life Statistics: 21-Feb-2008

SL Stats 21-02-2008

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

Second Life Statistics: 20-Feb-2008

SL Stats 20-02-2008

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

User experience design at Linden Lab - deeply disappointing

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.

Second Life Statistics: 19-Feb-2008

SL Stats 19-02-2008

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

Second Life Statistics: 18-Feb-2008

SL Stats 18-02-2008

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

Second Life Statistics: 17-Feb-2008 - New Concurrency Record

SL Stats 17-02-2008

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

Second Life Statistics: 16-Feb-2008

SL Stats 16-02-2008

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

Second Life Statistics: 15-Feb-2008

SL Stats 15-02-2008

Second Life Statistics: 14-Feb-2008

SL Stats 14-02-2008

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

Transcript from Frank Taney's Q&A in Hawthorne

The simulator was packed for the entire event - so we'll be making this a regular occurrence focused on more specific topics! Frank Taney, a partner at Buchanan, Ingersoll, & Rooney did a question and answer session with over 40 content creators in Second Life. His avatar is "Extinct Darwin."

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!

Enjoy! -Flip

[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.
[15:22] FlipperPA Peregrine: Tigerlily Koi: Does putting in a copyright/DMCA/terms of use notice in our products give us any protection? Do they have to agree to it prior to purchase, or does buying and/or using the item constitute agreement of terms? Or is it more of a "CYA" thing that won't do much more than let people know they shouldn't infringe?
[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 and I'm
[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:
[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:
[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:

See you all next time, and thank you to everyone who packed the sim to capacity!

Intellectual Property Rights in Second Life: Q & A With Attorney Frank Taney

Today at 3pm SLT, Frank Taney and FlipperPA Peregrine will host an event to answer questions and dispel common misconceptions about intellectual property law and how it pertains to Second Life. Frank Taney is a partner at the law firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, and has a lot of experience with intellectual property in virtual worlds, especially Second Life. He has represented the plaintiffs in the two highest profile Second Life intellectual property lawsuits, spoken on numerous panels, and continues to share his vast wealth of knowledge with the Second Life community. We will cover various topics including an overview of the Second Life Terms of Service, how to properly file a DMCA take down request, and much more.

The event is free, and will happen in the Hawthorne sim at (31/106/501). Here is a slurl:

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 13-Feb-2008

SL Stats 13-02-2008

Statistics compared to Wednesday, February 6th:
Peak concurrency dropped 779 users, a decrease of 1.35%.
Minimum concurrency grew 749 users, a increase of 2.48%.
Median concurrency grew 528 users, a increase of 1.24%.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 12-Feb-2008

SL Stats 12-02-2008

Yesterday was fraught with web related issues for Second Life, which affected concurrency as well as stats retrieval. Several DNS problems occured during the day, followed by voice server problems , support being unavailable and other aspects of the Second Life website being down.

Statistics compared to Tuesday, February 5th:
Peak concurrency dropped 712 users, a decrease of 1.23%.
Minimum concurrency dropped 860 users, a decrease of 2.74%.
Median concurrency grew 1.736 users, a increase of 3.98%.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Other Platforms: MetaPlace Stress Test

Metaplace is the in development virtual worlds platform, that will let you make your own virtual world for any platform. They are still in Alpha but slowly ramping up to a Beta.
2 weeks ago they had a Public developer chat, which they held in world via a web client. Next Friday 5pm PST they will be doing a stress test to see how well it can handle many users and instances.

Their Announcement:
We’d like to invite you for a public test of a puzzle game that we’ve created called Wheelwright! This test is not to focus test the game itself (it is not in a complete or polished state) but to test our platform technology. We will be testing our platform’s ability to create and maintain a large number of singleplayer game instances. Additionally, we will be testing chat between instances and persistence.

The link to visit will be:

We hope to see a large number of participants help us with this stress test. Please join us on Friday, February 15 at 5pm PST for a brief chat before playing the game, then followed up by a short wrap-up chat. See you there!

Should be cool to see how well it performs.

Second Life Statistics: 11-Feb-2008

SL Stats 11-02-2008

A small unreported drop happened during peak concurrency.

Statistics compared to Monday, February 4th:
Peak concurrency grew 1,166 users, a increase of 2.03%.
Minimum concurrency grew 1,477users, a increase of 4.64%.
Median concurrency grew 773 users, a increase of 1,75%.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 10-Feb-2008 - New Concurrency Record

SL Stats 10-02-2008

Login issues during peak times prevented concurrency to reach a even higher record. Normally peak concurrency is a hour later around 14:40.

Statistics compared to Sunday, February 3rd:
Peak concurrency grew 2,283 users, a increase of 3,75%.
Minimum concurrency grew 1,568 users, a increase of 4.75%.
Median concurrency grew 2,296 users, a increase of 5.09%.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 09-Feb-2008

SL Stats 09-02-2008

The statistics where unreliable Saturday, from 15:50 to 22:05 we only gathered one or 2 results a hour. Totally for the day it was about 70% of what we normally get. This was the result of more website issues at Linden Lab. Even though, 59,479 is a Saturday concurrency peak record.

Statistics compared to Saturday, February 2nd:
Peak concurrency grew 1,020 users, a increase of 1.74%.
Minimum concurrency grew 2,224 users, a increase of 6.72%.
Median concurrency dropped 4,149 users, a decrease of 8.61%. The median is very much influenced in the gap of results because it happened right after peak concurrency.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 07-Feb-2008

SL Stats 07-02-2008

The drop after peak concurrency shows that logins where unavailable for a short period last night.

Statistics compared to Thursday, January 31st:
Peak concurrency dropped 554 users, a decrease of 0.96%.
Minimum concurrency grew 1,266 users, a increase of 4.44%.
Median concurrency grew 1.293 users, a increase of 3.10%.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 06-Feb-2008

SL Stats 06-02-2008

Yesterday's peak concurrency was a Wednesday peak concurrency record.

Statistics compared to Wednesday, January 30th:
Peak concurrency grew 304 users, a increase of 0.53%.
Minimum concurrency dropped 1466 users, a decrease of 4.62%.
Median concurrency dropped 1586 users, a decrease of 3.59%.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 05-Feb-2008

SL Stats 05-02-2008

Statistics compared to Tuesday, January 29th:
Peak concurrency grew 974 users, a increase of 1.72%.
Minimum concurrency dropped 291 users, a decrease of 0.92%.
Median concurrency grew 424 users, a increase of 0.98%.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 04-Feb-2008

SL Stats 04-02-2008

Statistics compared to Monday, January 28th:
Peak concurrency dropped 335 users, a decrease of 0.58%.
Minimum concurrency dropped 453 users, a decrease of 1.40%.
Median concurrency grew 232 users, a increase of 0.53%.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 03-Feb-2008

SL Stats 03-02-2008

No concurrency record this Sunday.

Statistics compared to Sunday, January 27th:
Peak concurrency dropped 1.351 users, a decrease of 2.17%.
Minimum concurrency dropped 453 users, a decrease of 1.35%.
Median concurrency dropped 1.991 users, a decrease of 4.22%.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 02-Feb-2008

SL Stats 02-02-2008

Statistics compared to Saturday, January 26th:
peak concurrency dropped 108 users, a decrease of 0.18%.
Minimum concurrency dropped 1.288 users, a decrease of 3.74%.
Median concurrency grew 407 users, a increase of 0.85%.

Second Life Statistics: 01-Feb-2008

SL Stats 01-02-2008

You can see from the time of Fridays minimum that it was still influenced by the troubles of the day before. Regardless, Fridays peak was a Friday peak concurrency record.

Statistics compared with Friday, January 25st:
Maximum concurrency grew 735 users, a increase of 1.27%.
Minimum concurrency dropped 3250 users, a decrease of 10.19%.
Median concurrency dropped 273 users, a decrease of 0.61%.

-ps: yes this post was a bit late. :P

Saturday, February 02, 2008

From to and back again to

Oops... someone at Linden Lab is more confused than us poor residents.

Late Friday, when logging in to Second Life, I was presented with the nice image that was available. Strangely, Linden Lab's blog did not make any announcement. I downloaded it and tried it out — I'm always afraid about future releases of the SL viewer that may make my poor one-year-old iMac run incredibly slow and like to know in advance if I'm running "obsolete" hardware, like with the WindLight viewers — and so I was intrigued because of the lack of information on this one.

The first thing that captured my attention was the immensely long list of new bug fixes! Tateru Nino was clever enough to make a copy of the release notes. It includes a record number of them, and this boded well. Lots of fixes are related to adding voice support for Linux and to fix several compile bugs. Several are of the class "obscure, but annoying".

Logging in was a new experience — nothing on the release notes said as much, but has the same new interface than the Mono Beta viewer. Nicer icons, and a different arrangement of the troublesome "Communicate" box (it'll take some time to get used to the Release Keys button on the far left) which is now much more conveniently smaller and wasting less space on the screen. I like the cool icons (if you never saw them before, try the Mono Beta viewer) although I have some doubts on the layout/arrangement... but one thing that was re-enabled again was the ability to load the XML for the UI, so I guess some people will tweak that again.

I was also expecting that included WindLight on the Release Candidate series, which would make some sense. In spite of its incredible lack of performance on the Mac/ATI combination (you have basically to turn everything off to get as much performance as on the regular series of SL viewers), Linden Lab announced that WindLight was soon going to be integrated in the RC, as Havok and Mono enter their "alpha" stage of development. Alas, it seems that will be still a non-WindLight release; we'll have to wait for 1.20.X I guess.

Friday was also the day when two major submarine cables connecting Europe and Asia went down, and with the traffic re-routing, I was not too surprised with the sudden lack of performance on But then again... what was going on? On a region where I usually have 10-12 FPS with the RC or regular viewer, I was getting 4-5 as an average, dropping often to 2.4, sometimes jumping to 10. I thought it was the connection so I asked my roomie what the performance was on her PC — she was at a rock-solid 10 FPS on the same region. Hmm. Well, I'm on wireless, although the antenna is less than half a metre away, so that might have been a temporary interference... even if I just had 0% packet loss.

After an hour or so... FPS jumped suddenly to 30, or even slightly more, and I was not doing anything! I couldn't believe my eyes, so I turned the camera a bit, saw the FPS decline as new textures were loaded, but it crawled back to 30 again. Wow, now that was impressive! And as suddenly, it went down to 2-5 again for a minute or so. Then back to 30 for another minute. And back to 2... and so on. Very, very annoying.

I had to attend a meeting at that time and was actually quite unusually tired, so I did not make more tests with Something was going on, and I was willing to investigate, using different sims, trying a few settings out, tweaking Preferences... alas, big mistake: when finally on Saturday I logged in back again, Linden Lab had just announced that this was a premature launch by mistake. Aww!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Second Life Statistics: 31-Jan-2008

SL Stats 31-01-2008

Yesterdays rolling update got aborted again, fixed and restarted, caused some concurrency drops and might have influenced the minimum, looking at the steep drop towards midnight. Without that drop minimum concurrency would have been around 32000 as it should have been.
Despite those troubles, today's peak was a Thursday peak concurrency record.

Statistics compared with Thursday, January 24th:
Maximum concurrency grew 1,025 users, a increase of 1.80%.
Minimum concurrency dropped 2718 users, a decline of 8.70%.
Median concurrency dropped 1852 users, a decline of 4.26%.