yes we most certainly are discussing the facebook/oculus deal however maria korolov from hypergrid business is also in the house.
she gives us a fab history lesson [AND advice for the future ] in regards to open source worlds and leadership in digital platforms [is linden lab listening?].
this big hour is filled to the brink, so enjoy:
below some linkage [use your regular glasses to read this, not the ski goggles]:
– donors are outraged at fb deal
– minecraft’s markus persson don’t like fb
– cheap shot against sl in light of fb/oculus deal
– hitler reacts to fb/oculus deal [of course he does!]
– john swords sent us this one: “white guys wearin’ oculus” [oh my…]
– david rowe releases next version of his sl/oculus viewer ctrlaltstudio
– robertus reminded us that there is more than oculus and castar out there: behold = meta!
– our leap motion give-away winner scethi blaisdale = congratzzzz [if you want one call skype “draxfiles” and tell us why fb/oculus is good, bad or ugly!]
– philip rosedale’s high fidelity will be oculus ready out-of-the-box & he also got some more dough recently too…..
– our guest jon brouchoud & interview mentioning his work on wired dot com
– our other guest maria korolov [she recommends new world studio for open sim beginners]
– jo is off to pilgrims progress
– munchflower zaius needs your help:
– buttcoin on bitcoin and the irs
the drax files radio hour [with jo yardley] is a weekly production of basicdrax entertainment.
the show is supported by leap motion, kahruvel design, vika creations, humanoid animations, escapades,botanical, death row designs, nantra, angel red cotoure, and landscapes unlimited!
music by bd
special thanks to one anonymous customer [ who does not have a facebook account] from pavel’s bakery gettting us into the show today!
contact the show via skype draxfiles, avatar draxfiles or email email@example.com.
38 Comments Add yours
I’m pleased to see that Munchflower Zaius’ plight is being covered (also, please correct that typo). A link to her fundraiser would be most helpful, too. Also, regarding Oculus backers arming themselves with their proverbial torches and pitchforks… I’ve already dealt with this topic. Yesterday, as a matter of fact. Oh well, now Palmer Luckey gets a chance to see a glimpse of the “I use your stuff, so I’m an investor in your company” drama-whoring we get so much of in SL.
That’s it for now. I’ll get back to you when I’ve listened to the entire show.
Eventhough I am very excited about VR Headsets and can’t wait to use one with Second Life, somehow the Oculus Rift suddenly stopped being cool. I hope they will get a lot of competition and we get a lot more products to choose from.
Also we really need to push and focus on OpenSim, because with this recent VR hype, Second Life may eventually be sold to a big corporation like Yahoo or Facebook and become a lot more restrictive. Lovers of virtual worlds really need a plan B and with Cloud Party gone, OpenSim is the only option currently.
Yahoo! already has Cloud Party and they closed it down. Perhaps they’ll bring it back in two decades, with complete View-Master integration.
As for Second Life, it is not an attractive proposition for a buyer, because it’s too old and too much of its server and viewer code will need to be rewritten. That’ll cost an awful lot of money, on top of the corporate buyout.
“Virtual Venice is just going to have to wait …”
No ones gonna buy Linden Lab for the legacy baggage that is Second life, they would acquire the IPs and experience then throw away Second life. High Fidelity is prime choice for buying now, it’s new, full of promise and is not having to be retrofitted for new hardware.
Plus, there’s no old content in it that might break. Oh, and they just got an extra $2.5M in investment capital, right?
Also Oculus and High fidelity are noticeably doing innovative things, Linden Lab arnt doing anything new
Right now, the only thing Second Life (and its OpenSim knock-offs) can do is evolution rather than revolution, and understandably so.
Evolution to be part of the revolution!
The world is made by the people who inhabit it: the residents 🙂 Without culture & people there is only technology!
depends whats of more value to those making the purchase
I concur with Loki.
*cough* Facebook already HAS the audience. And audiences like Shiny not “has-beens” with baggage.
True but what SL does have is a decade of experience and a pile of users and sims ready to be explored.
Sure it will take a lot of work, but there is something there.
Maybe they should just buy SL AND HF and make something new with it.
“…but what SL does have is a decade” … of server code that is monolithic, hard to maintain, requires projects measured in the years in order to be updated (Sunshine: 2 years; HTTP: two years and counting; region crossings: ongoing for at least three years; rendering and object caching: two years). In some cases, it is next to impossible to update without a significant overhaul of the entire platform or major parts thereof which LL themselves deem as not being cost-effective.
Then there’s the UI side of the equation. A tool which is again monolithic and labour-intensive to manage and maintain. What’s worse, even by those who use it, it’s perceived as unfriendly, having a steep learning curve and as standing as a significant barrier of entry into the the platform.
Loki hits the nail right on the head where SL is concerned: it has a lot baggage, particularly in terms of media / public perceptions. The only thing that is there is the IP and the expertise.
Frankly, it’s doubtful that a juggernaut like FB or Google would see the IP as sufficiently attractive (or significant a threat) to warrant the effort. As to the expertise, well, that can be obtained a lot more cost-effectively, as needed, and with less hassle through direct hiring than by corporate acquisition.
High Fidelity, on the other hand, is starting from a clean slate. It’s vapourware with hip, able (apparently) to latch-on to emerging technologies as they happen – “right out of the box” (to quote a certain P. Rosedale, esq). It’s capable of drawing-down $5 million in capital investment in 12 months without really appearing on the technology radar. It’s also small and self-contained and liable to remain that way for the foreseeable future, which adds to its attractiveness as a possible acquisition down the road.
I’ve covered some of the reasons why HF might be attractive to FB here. And several of those observations potentially apply to anyone else looking to get into the VW space.
The code for the viewer alone has more than one million lines. As Inara pointed out, it’s monolithic, it’s very hard to maintain, and updating it takes an awfully long time. As for the UI, suffice it to say that CHUI (the new comms UI in the official viewer) required a major refactoring of the viewer code and was, due in no small part to the monolithic nature of the code, tied to seemingly unrelated parts of the code: Firestorm’s team had a very “interesting” time merging SSB/A and materials to their viewer, because they were also tied to the CHUI-mandated refactoring (and one of the reasons why I use Firestorm is that I loathe CHUI).
So, forget any thoughts of Facebook acquiring Linden Lab and Second Life. It makes no technical sense. And as for the IP that comes with Second Life… Sorry, that’s not attractive or threatening enough for Facebook either. In purely technical terms, Jo, Second Life is viewed as older than a ’20s radio (and equally irrelevant). The build floater’s capabilities are terribly limited (Hell, my fiancé has been laughing at the build floater for 8 years now and he still doesn’t see any reason to change his attitude).
As for voice in Second Life and OpenSim… Second Life relies on a third-party service: Vivox. And this service sucks arse, especially when it comes to multi-platform support and fixing security holes. It’s got more holes than a bank whose systems rely on Windows 2000.
Another reason why anyone with at least half a brain should forget that Facebook might even want to consider acquiring Linden Lab is the tarnished reputation of Second Life and the Lab. Acquiring LL would be the mother of all PR suicides and, if Zuckerberg were to lose enough brain cells to do this, he’d be ordered by the Board to commit seppuku – and without a kaishakunin.
Hey I have a 1920s radio!
You’re right though, although I do think that as a company with a certain history it can have some value.
By the way, do you think LL may own some copyrights regarding virtual worlds?
I know of many companies that have loads of history (Lancia, for instance), but that means nothing to the Board of whatever conglomerate they belong to. In the highly competitive word that is any industry that’s hot on technology, if you rely on others for your tech and/or you miss one or two trains, you end up becoming a logo without any intrinsic value (except to your fanboys, which are not the fanboys that call the shots) and your days on the market will be numbered.
I don’t know how much value Linden Lab may have at the moment. $1 billion? $2 billion? The thing is, it’s no longer the hot stuff on the market. Its reputation is tarnished, its technology is old, bringing in new capabilities is a pain in the arse, and much of its community is the kind of people any sane person would prefer to keep at a comfortable (read: a few time zones away and with no means of communication) distance.
As for LL’s copyrights… Do you mean patents? If yes, I’m sure they have. However, how many of them would be relevant today? Or threatening to someone who wants to start anew, especially given that they can very well bypass it and build something on OpenSim code, IF they want a degree of SL/OpenSim compatibility? They can even tell LL’s lawyers “sod off, we’re basing our server code on some OpenSim concepts and on open source stuff, so you can take a long walk off a short pier.”
High-fidelity is interesting. How many ex lindens are in Philips new team? linden lab are an investor, why? What do they get out of investing in future competition? If linden lab agree that high fidelity is the future platform what does that mean for us SL users?
I hope… that the plan secretly is to one day replace SL with HF, allowing us all to move to a better virtual world with just the click of a button.
I guess one can dream right?
If its to replace SL, then we could expect LL not to wonna invest to much in anything new for SL, and be just in maintenance mode.
I found what that guy said about needing to do more than SL would allow interesting. I have unity3D on my computer for that exact same reason. Every now and then I hit the creative wall. I feel I can’t do what I want to do, I can’t reach the amount of people I think my ideas could reach and I see what others are doing beyond SL I get temped , very tempted.
Have you seen the new pricing for Unreal Engine 4? The problem I have with Unity and Unreal is that I can’t do everything, in Second Life I can easily get those missing resources, in the other engines it is more difficult.
I have it on my computer, but i don’t know how to use it. second Life for now manages to keep me away from leaving unity3D.
“By the way, do you think LL may own some copyrights regarding virtual worlds?”.
Yup. And design rights, patients, etc. Hence Section 2.2 of the ToS and the fact that LL grant *you* a licence to use the service. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to log-on.
How much commercial value might be placed on such IP, however, is questionable, and noted.
Sad to see this discussion focus sooo much on the tech part as if there are no people involved! I have seen folks with crappy computers enjoy SL, I have seen 6-year olds learn the UI in 20 minutes [not to mention 86-year olds]. I think this is a pathological obsession with new and shiny instead of going deep. Interesting also that I as a transplanted European would argue much more towards the keeping, nourishing and maintaining culture than just up and go [something that IS very very American and which I like in certain regards – not in the Silicon Valley version where everything NEW is sooooo fetishized 🙂 I myself like to live in the moment & I enjoy doing that in regards to SL: at this point in time I have made only 18 episodes of human interest stories and I could make 1000 more and I would still have only scratched the surface of SL’s vibrant culture. A culture that has grown on a piece of technology but is dependent on the people who contribute. If I were not interested in that and purely in let’s say experience creation: I would leave today and get Unity 3D, an Unreal license or whatever else is needed. I heard the frustration expressed often within the Machinima community: “SL sucks, the lighting OMG, what a PAIN blablablabla…” Well: then why not do an animated movie SOMEWHERE ELSE? Alone? In Blender? There are plenty of options for technical 3D tools and they are marvelous and efficient and advanced and have better UIs etc etc etc…what keeps these folks? I wonder! Maybe the same thing that keeps me plucking away at my violin – it is a very tough piece of technology with a terrible UI but beautiful stuff comes out when I keep working at it 🙂
addendum in anticipation of replies: I am VERY aware that not EVERYONE wants to learn the violin or that a world to be enjoyed should not have the high barrier of entry that a violin/trumpet/olypmic bob-sledding has. To those I say: 6-year olds and 86-year olds HAVING TONS OF FUN + yesterday I taped 5 random folks on the street who never heard of Second Life, good bad OR ugly but understood what a virtual world can provide [you will listen next week I hope] so that’s my response to the tarnished reputation, which exists in SOME circles BUT NOT EVERYWHERE!
“Sad to see this discussion focus sooo much on the tech part as if there are no people involved”
Err… in all the coverage of the Oculus Rift, TDFRH has primarily focused on the technology – how wonderful things look through the headset, all the wonderful supporting gizmos people are rushing to build and push out, etc.
And in terms of the discussion here, it is technology that’s being discussed, as it is the value of the platform, not people. Frankly, in terms of Facebook, SL’s users are a drop in the ocean – so it’s not the people per se that are going to be of primary interest. They’re a nice-to-have in encouraging others to give it a go (were FB to purchase SL), but in terms of why FB might buy SL, they are secondary to other considerations.
Which leaves the rich cultural diversity of SL. Yes, this is worthy of study and understanding. But FB or Google or whoever don’t need to acquire the platform to do that (and the majority of this thread has been on the merits of SL as acquisition fodder). All they need to do is hire a small team of ethnographers, given them computers and access to the SL and say, “Go study and report!”
Love Inara 🙂 Just venting not specifically at all on your accurate analysis but in general just had to say this because I read everywhere else the discussion comparing SL with mere technological platforms and evaluating chances in the marketplace. In case listeners have not noticed I am a fan of sustainability and careful curation of culture rather than throwing everything out and going with productivity and efficiency and and and…that narrow focus does not produce a rich and diverse culture. Rant over! Onward!
I do have to agree with you of course: Linden [or anyone in VW space] must hire folks who know how to deal with complex societies rather than complex code. Reason by the way I am so giddy about VR hardware is simply because WE HAVE CULTURE and PEOPLE to interact with. No other reason!
“I am so giddy about VR hardware is simply because WE HAVE CULTURE and PEOPLE to interact with. No other reason!”
Yes, but the SL culture and people don’t actually “need” VR. It’s simply another layer of tech (and cost) which isn’t actually vital to the overall experience.
The Rift isn’t simply about how cool SL looks, or even the useability of the UI. Far more is involved that is simply being taken for granted. Matters of economics and cost-effectiveness; genuine usage within and beyond SL, and so on.
On the broader front, the majority of people may opt to take a wait-and-see approach and skip any involvement in the first generation release of the Oculus Rift simply because it *is* the first, and so might quickly be bettered. It also has almost zero ergonomic appeal, so people might opt to wait until small, lighter, sexier headsets appear. Then there is the matter of capabilities. Why leap into VR now when in 6 months you might be able to have VR and AR? this is why I keep pointing to things like the castAR – because there are people out their already looking to integrate both, and in much more compact headsets.