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Is that the other shoe I hear dropping? FYI


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I can't see anywhere that anyone has reported this. I am amazed really.

I had been thinking of late that the promises by the CEO to "rework the TOS language" had been going on for WAY too long. Not a unforseen really. 

 

And then we have this post from a prominent blog:

http://modemworld.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/ebbe-confirms-were-working-on-a-next-generation-platform-with-audio/

 

I don't imagine that many of us are terribly surprised :D

 

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I don't really mind a new, much more advanced platform as long as the current one keeps working for long enough AND there's ample time and resources to migrate at least a good deal of what people have invested in SL into the new world. I understand that some things won't, it's a necessary evil because retrocompatibility is a b*tch and shouldn't really stop advances.

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I'm not really seeing much linkage between this and the lack of progress on ToS, except maybe that counsel is busy with other stuff.

This is also a kinda weird subforum to post about the ToS thing, but on the other hand, the overall "next gen virtual world" thing could be pretty relevant to the SL land market, I suppose, eventually, if it's not a total flop.

And that would be a very big "if", IMHO. I mean, nothing else remotely like SL has succeeded (except arguably some low-rent knockoffs). It's possible that lightning may strike twice at Linden Research, and to be fair, they have more experience than anybody in the business of virtual worlds, so they may succeed again where others have failed, but nonetheless the odds are very much against them.

Still, it's a hopeful development, I think. Better to cannibalize one's own business than to lose it to competitors. And it's certainly good news that this won't be High Fidelity (which has an even lower probability of success because its basic architecture depends on widespread high quality broadband -- which can't happen in North America for the foreseeable future).

Also, there was simply no way they could replace content -- the junkpile that is the SL avatar, for example -- and maintain any meaningful backwards compatibility, so may as well just start the whole world from scratch. (This does of course mean that those longing for the mythical "Avatar 2.0" will be learning a new virtual world, too. If it comes.)

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AbsoLUTEly the wrong forum. I meant to post in General --  not Land > General.  Too tired.

 

I do agree that there are some issues with High Fidelity. From the films that I have seem it appears to be somewhat based on the Open Sim concept of running off of everyone's computers and with lots of "gear". Doesn't work for me but maybe for others.  But a long time off.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Qie Niangao wrote:

 
it's certainly good news that this won't be High Fidelity
(which has an even lower probability of success because its basic architecture depends on widespread high quality broadband -- which can't happen in North America for the foreseeable future).

We are heading into OT, but the point is made and I feel I must answer it.

I run a number of OpenSim regions and I run a HiFi domain and I have my regions here. To be honest I also have accounts in most MMOs as well, including SOE's new voxel world Landmark. I've not yet seen SLV2 but I would hope to get intot he Alpha to look :)

HiFi is an interesting beast as it's a distributed server model with it's domains and it can also be a distributed asset model. To me it's potentially different from OpenSim which has a centralised Robust Server per grid (although recent commits by the core devs have indicated this might change a little to optionally also allow asset storage per region should that be chosen)... in that Robust is often running on less networking bandwidth than an SL SIM.

Sure it's early days for HiFi but what I have seen is that speeds seem very good, certainly much better than SLV1 because they have avoided the choke point of one data centre servicing 50,000 concurrent users, even with a corel cache of assets. 

An SLV1 sim has a limited bandwidth - a few 1GBe or 10GBe ports of bandwidth to handle all the data from the Sim in and out, and we are talking about a lot of CAPs per user per Sim. Get 50 people into the Sim or maybe a mall with a bajillion huge textures and even with corel that centrallised model really clogs up - AS WE ALL KNOW, heh grey lag.

HiFi's completely different architecure reduces that. Rather than one central point it's spread out. In theory you can then go ahead and grab data at the maximum speed your connections allows. In terms of ping lag (you press a key to turn and turn 600ms later) HiFi is by far superior to SLV1. You can set up a local domain and be in your city, a few milliseconds ping which is an absolute boon for anyone who normally gets by on 320ms to the USA and 320ms return times.

Oh what a joy it is living down here and playing SLV1 for 9 years where your every movement happens 6/10th of a second after you do it! So yeah, even from Australia talking to a HiFi domain in the USA and jumping to a HiFi domain in England then one in Europe I didn't notice anything like what you suggest. At all times the performance seemed equal or better to SLV1.

Sure, ping iterpolation in SLV1 helps with this, but try walking next to an American, hehe. Weirdness happens.

You are in the Alpha too I gather to speak with the knowlege you suggest you have, so your comment makes me curious to have a look... let me know the domain you see are slow so I can check too, I can likely rally a chunk of TPV people to look what is going wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I am sure SLV2 will be great, especially now Ebbe has clarified his words and will be aiming for as much backwards compatibility as possible. At the same time I think HiFi and OpenSim and SLV1 all have their place too in a few years time. They are all very different beasts.

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Callum Meriman wrote:

You are in the Alpha too I gather to speak with the knowlege you suggest you have, so your comment makes me curious to have a look... let me know the domain you see are slow so I can check too, I can likely rally a chunk of TPV people to look what is going wrong.


Heh, certainly not in the Alpha; pretty much everything about HiFi is public. Philip is known for saying everything he knows -- and then some.

Anyway, it's not about slowness, it's about scalability. But you know as I write this, I've been thinking that this might be more clever than I thought. Nothing to do with performance (other than some regional distribution which might be more accidental than not), it could be a smart play that benefits from the failure of Net Neutrality in the US and Canada. By spreading out the network demands to a large number of service points owned by fat-pipe participants, he may be able to hide just how large the distributed service has become, and thus avoid paying the carriers their ransom for acceptable last-mile delivery to normal end-users.

That might actually work for quite a while.

(What can't work is true peer-to-peer distribution, which is what I was fussing about originally. At least not in the US and Canada, where the carriers collude with regulators to overcharge consumers for very poor bandwidth.)

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Qie Niangao wrote:

it could be a smart play that benefits from the
failure
of Net Neutrality in the US and Canada. By spreading out the network demands to a large number of service points owned by fat-pipe participants, he may be able to hide just how large the distributed service has become, and thus avoid paying the carriers their ransom for acceptable last-mile delivery to normal end-users.

That might actually work for quite a while.

(What can't work is true
peer-to-peer
distribution, which is what I was fussing about originally. At least not in the US and Canada, where the carriers collude with regulators to overcharge consumers for very poor bandwidth.)

Oh we go further into off topic, but this is a dead OP topic I think, so hehe, does anyone mind?

It's weird to me how the internet is structured in America so I can see both sides of this argument.

Playing the devil's advocate side here as it's likely opposite to most decent people on the street there. Again, I see the validity of both sides of this.

All in all most people seem to pay a montly flat fee for an all you can eat buffet - then on the other hand find that the major providers like T3 want to ensure their paying customers have the best service. They of course want to do this to get more customers, and thus make a profit.

In almost the entire rest of the world we pay by the megabyte - I pay AUD$120 a month for 300GB - and that seems to remove this slowdown (as far as I can tell). I know my connection hits LA and from there peers, it quickly jumps onto the correct network of Google or Netflix or SL and runs at full speed, net nuetrality or not. Even my torrents don't get slowed.

Now the unpopular thought, hehe, sorry:

Possibly if people in the USA accepted a fee per GB of data they consume then the companies who actually pay for the electricity and the interconnect points and the cables in the ground wouldn't mind everyone freeloading on their equipment as they would all be paying?

 

But to the point. I'm not sure of Philip's reasons for this model, but it's truely wonderful in terms of ping. As your ping is local to the domain, as your movements are local to the domain there is no real issue in practice with the SLV1 lag. Even when you have a person in Australia and one in the USA on a server in the middle of Europe it seems to be no worse than SLV1.

But the real benefit is what you can see in the opensource Github area, the example scripts like the SpaceInvaders one clearly show something quite great  https://github.com/highfidelity/hifi/blob/master/examples/spaceInvadersExample.js#L85 ) --- and flipping this back into topic... how that would translate into the TOS is quite interesting. What happens when a texture licensed for use on XYZ grid might actually not even be on the grid but in the content creator's firm control. Something happens that they don't like, would they have the power to pull that texture and redo it elsewhere. Time will tell here, I'm less interested in the legal side of content than my current task in there, hehe, now that is a fun task!

 

It's a fun time right now, this is for sure. We have HiFi, we have the PG rated Landmark, we have SLV2 as well. And I think it's becoming clear that none of these will impact SLV1 that much. This V1 world will be one where we have Prims, and LSL, and friends and who knows what else... heavily chomping the strongest video cards to give 30 fps.

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Callum Meriman wrote:

Possibly if people in the USA accepted a fee per GB of data they consume then the companies who actually pay for the electricity and the interconnect points and the cables in the ground wouldn't mind everyone freeloading on their equipment as they would all be paying?

I don't think that would matter too much. It's true that in the US and especially Canada, the standard metered data fees that regular broadband subscribers pay in other countries would be such a massive improvement that we'd all be thrilled. That's certainly relevant to the ability of consumer-level broadband users to participate in distributing services such as HiFi, but those aren't the fees affected by the dismantling of Net Neutrality. Rather, what's threatened is tiered service for content providers to get access to those local, "last mile" pipes. (That's distinct from the peering arrangements and other fees those content providers pay to get their content on the internet at their access points.)

Maybe you already know that and are suggesting that the metered data fees would incentivize proper service. I'm not seeing how that would work, but I may just be too cynical about our situation here in North America. I'm not sure it's possible for outsiders to appreciate just how corrupt and collusive the industry has become, behind the veil of utterly fictitious "competition" and "deregulation" overseen by regulators completely owned by the industry they're pretending to regulate.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

I'm not seeing how that would work, but I may just be too cynical about our situation here in North America. I'm not sure it's possible for outsiders to appreciate just how corrupt and collusive the industry has become, behind the veil of utterly fictitious "competition" and "deregulation" overseen by regulators completely owned by the industry they're pretending to regulate.


I've been trying to do exactly this - as an outsider to the US (but someone whose own broadband fees rely heavily on US pricing/infrastructure) I consider it an essential exercise.

It's interesting that telecomms and Internet service suppliers now spend more on lobbying than defence/weapons suppliers - for the first time in US history. Even going backward, anti-neutrality lobbying has far bigger cheques written to it. Obviously a background knowledge of political influences within the US helps as well.

All this information has helped me understand the financial/political side, while I already have a good understanding of the technical. But.. is there anything I'm missing politically?

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FWIW, I lived most of my life in the US, part of the time in the telecom industry. For my sins, I moved to Canada, where I was shocked to discover it's actually even worse. (And don't get me started on wireless telecom up here!)

There's a strange difference, however, in that the tech community in Canada seems to be uniformly disgusted by the mess our government has made of this. (This all notwithstanding Harper's truly bizarre advertising campaign, griping ineffectually about the same scummy wireless providers. The mystery is why the Tories thought it would advance their cause to demonstrate how helpless they've been to fix what everybody -- including themselves -- recognizes is indefensible.)

In contrast, US techies include a hyper-Libertarian faction that is outspokenly against Net Neutrality because it involves government in the Internet -- as if the US government has ever not been intimately involved in the business of the Internet!

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Thanks, Qie.

I'm very familiar with telecoms in Canada, the majority of the longer-range infrastructure was modelled after the UK. You have my condolences!

I'm always entertained by exactly which decisions by the US government merit the zealotry typical of a libertarian response. They appear late to the game in this one, ICANN's been around for a while. >.>

I'll keep reading. :P

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