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Linden Lab is building a NEW virtual world

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No, please explain, because I don't pretend to know anything about the hardware.

What's the difference, in terms of where the signal goes and whose equipment processes it, between my connecting to SL from my PC in the regular way and my connecting to SL on my tablet via SLGo ?  You seem to suggest that it requires something extra on LL's part before OnLive can do their bit.

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It is not so much where the signal goes, as it is to the very substantial cost you add to the equation.

1. A normal SL session has a bandwidth requirement of 50-200 Mbyte/hour depending on how much the avatar moves around and how dynamic the environment around it is.

2. Streaming the same session from SLGo would add 2Gbyte+ per hour for reasonable quality (more than 800x600)

Scaling this up to even a concurrency of a few thousand would put a massive strain on any datacenter network connection and is something you only would see from CDNs like Akamai delivering canned content like movies or music to end point consumers. 

 

Data center server don't have more graphics processing capability than what is required to run a low rez admin or terminal session. These servers are packed as densely as possible in the datacenter to reduce (bulding) cost. 

To be able to stream the SLGo session, not only must the data center run and render the scene but it must also compose, comress and stream it to the network. The scene cannot be rendered on the blade server CPU, and there is not room in the chassis to place graphcis cards, so

1. They will have to install server hardware that takes 3-4 times the space as the normal server, meaning significantly higher space cost

2. The power consumption for the server goes up perhaps 6-8 times per served endpoint

3. The data center needs to cool off 6-8 times as much heat as before which adds to the power requirements and is problematic in multiple ways in terms of space efficiency in the data center

Who will pick up all this additional cost? - That's SLGo's problem?

To propose a business plan like that to be board of any sensible company would get you fired in a second. It may work for very small scale deployments. For a scalable solution, not a chance. 

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Techologically speaking Gavin, your assessment of the needs for a Datacenter to support a VW like (we imagine) SL2 will require may be a bit too pessimistic. Already the computing hardware manufacturers are producing massive numbers of laptops and tablets with an incredibly low component count, very high processing power and a host of other peripherals beyond the basics.

I can envision a time in the very near future where the primary components for a true "Visual Render Farm" blade server fit into 1/4th or 1/8th the form-factor of today's blade servers. With the processing and display power of up to eight tablets on a single card, and without the need to play stupid slow-down games to preserve the battery, it's entirely possible that each of those Servers could reduce the bandwidth for a live, fully interactive SL1 or SL2 session to something on the order of a similarly sized video .. or smaller.

I grant you that it's still probably 3-5 years down the road, but with the spread of fiber in many areas, the astronomical growth in bandwidth demand for mobile devices, and the customer base's growing addiction to their hand-held mobile devices .. imho the future for an SL2 like offering that works on your phone will be .. possibly attractive.

It is my belief that details and projections such as the above were in some fashion part of Ebbe's presentation to the BoD. I'm also willing to bet that the "potential target user" profiled in that dog-n-pony show were a luscious hybrid of the rabid SL1 hard-liners and the spend-money-like-water FB and video game users. I am NOT saying all FB users or all gamers have deep pockets and careless money habits, but there IS a large population of them in both markets and anyone trying to sell an idea would likely use them as the ideal user template to build into the financial projections for SL2.

I can also say, with an equal level of personal certainty, that the blind spots and failings of today's Linden Lab were NOT part of that presentation. It would be stupid of Ebbe to include in that presentation the fact that they suck at Retention and Customer Satisfaction. They fail at these because they fail to realize that one of their essential expenses is to keep the customers they have AND to keep them happy, spending and bringing their friends.

Projections are just that: darts thrown at The Future's Dartboard. Depending on who is presenting those projections, they will be "slanted" some to help support the presenter's argument or goal. Based on my own personal experience with such presentations, the word "slanted" is way too meager.

SL2 was probably already on the BoD's minds when they hired Ebbe. I wouldn't even be surprised if their interview process included a question like "would you be willing to repurpose the existing staff and company to develop and sell SL2?" Probably Ebbe was the only one with the willingness to say "Yes" while also confident enough in himself to believe it was possible.

Personally I have a very low expectation of success. It's just never been my experience that a company unwilling to fix their current product line will NOT succeed just by introducing yet another product with all new technology, all new software .. and all new problems to solve in both the implementation and the use. Considering that LL (and many other companies like them) have not yet taken on the truth that "Customer Issues" are never exclusively "Customer Faults", they will have seriously underestimated the real cost in making SL2 work, will be blind-sided when it doesn't sell .. and will eventually consign themselves to supporting TWO crippled and marginally popular Virtual World platforms populated by a very small segment of the public that suffers and tolerates .. until the power goes off.

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I agree with you that tech development will bridge the envelope, but so much so that this is also the case for mobile devices where the maker of the GPU for Apple's A-series processors a few days ago announced a moblie GPU with 512 execution units, again significantly increasing the graphcis processing pwoer over the A7 and A8 processors. 

What is currently possible on the A8 can be seen in this video 

In my opinion, it is therefore a better business plan to move the bulk of the processing to the mobile client, even though the envelope is a little bit narrow at the moment. 

The risk of moving into the mobile space is of course the competition for attention is fierce + when entering the Andriod space, the platform is highly fragemented and is full of underpowered systems. The willingness (and ability) of Android customers for payments for services are significantly lower than for iOS customers. 

The financial risk of moving into iOS is lower, but the investment in client development is substantial in that all client side code essentially have to be rewritten in Swift + Metal, and the abysmal state of this can be witnessed in the state of the Mac viewer which is till being built with a compiler Apple deprecated 4 major operating system version back. One of the latest "features" of the 3.26.x version of the LL viewer was the ability to build it with Xcode 6.1 while we are on 6.3 for latest mobile development. It is still built with a hack to get GCC running in that environment. 

Early on in this thread (maybe page 10 or so) I have outlined an alternative to build on the current SL and widen both the use case, base and still make it scale reassonably well. 

I share your view that they may be on a path of throwing the baby out with the bathwater by defocusing on SL proper wile offering little to no migtation to SLv2, essentially asking the customers to hit the reset button. 

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From what you say, Gavin, it sounds like LL have to choose between a platform where a satisfactory product might be developed, but for which the market is unlikely to pay a price acceptable to LL, or a platform where the market might pay the price, but on which the product could not be satisfactorily developed.

I wonder how Ebbe is going to be able to justify that to the board.

Particularly given his track record on groundbreaking product development. Remember Vizact2000?

[No, nobody does.]

 

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LlazarusLlong wrote:

From what you say, Gavin, it sounds like LL have to choose between a platform where a satisfactory product might be developed, but for which the market is unlikely to pay a price acceptable to LL, or a platform where the market might pay the price, but on which the product could not be satisfactorily developed.

 

The risk of entering the iOS market is low(er) both because there is significant unified volume (100 mill devices per quarter) and the willingness to pay is quite high. The offset is development cost and time to market. Siginficant portions of the development cost would have to be absorbed by that market alone since the reuse of all interface code + a renderer written in metal could not be reused for Android development. It could, however be used in the Mac market, but the volume is only around 25 million units/year at the moment. On the other hand the halo effect btween iOS and OS X is significant. 

The risk of entering the Android market is too high as it stands in my opinion, and going to consoles would be pointless.

It is a fact that PC volumes have been declining year over year, and the gamer portion of the market has probalby largely been absorbed by SecondLife and OpenSim in combination, but OpenSim is lacking in content.

Horizontal scaling of SecondLife and opening up to Hypergrid transfers would transform the system substantially to both make it more attractive for commerce, creation and cultural scaling while also lowering cost (see my early posts for explanation.) It would also preserve the current user and content base. 

 

 

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One of the (mostly) unstated factors in increased phablet use is that people are "Target Locked" on any one function/app for a very short time. They routinely must go through their task list and stop a whole ton of apps that they used a few days ago but haven't returned to since. If they do leave something running for long periods of time, it is typically a background type app that can run and do its thing without needing a lot of interaction.

But SL is something that requires being Target Locked for long stretches. I would even argue that the amount of dedicated attention it requires is just one of its allures for us die-hards. That's why so many people are looking for ways to be invisible, or operate in stealth mode .. or at least just get the background din to drop into the tolerable range.

As a result, I would argue that the technical roadblocks, the monetary requirements, the need to actually develop the app .. all of these other concerns drop to insignificance. I will even go so far as to believe a long-term attention span application like SL or any other Virtual World will NEVER find a stable happy customer base in the flighty and distracted mobile market.

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I think a mobile app that would satisfy the instant need for presence and attention that many need inside a virtual world would be a good starting target. That would of course be for the current SL/OpenSim type virtual worlds and not a version 2. 

To create a (version 2) virtual reality that is relevant throughout the day of everyone is close to impossible simply because people have enough with filling their first reality. Virtual realities are first and foremost something you can engage in if you have a surplus, or lack of ability to realize first realities for whatever reason. 

Were we may see a wider market is for agumented realities and also for produced realities that takes a movie or TV type production to the next level with virtual presence in the scenes. 

The dynamic nature of SecondLife / OpenSim may lend itself to such use with some enhancments such as flexible rigging, better geometry and enhanced UV mapping for the avatar. I am of the opinion this can be done without breaking current content significantly.  Content also needs to be scaled to realistic dimensions, but that are minor adjustments in the big picture. 

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.. and to Gavin Hird as well ..

The people that said that mobile markets have no future whatsoever were a choir among which I did not sing. I had already seen a number of apps and functions on Desktops that were nearly a perfect fit to mobile "Hit-n-Git" operation; Instant Messengers being just one of them.

Today I find that people either use their mobiles for quick needs (much like some of us put special glasses on just to read the tiny print .. then quickly snatch them off again once we're done reading) or for staying in contact with someone or something they care about (friend, family member, chat room, news feed, etc.).

My wife falls outside this generalization because she will sit with her phone in her hand for extended periods of time, playing a small subset of games .. while also "watching TV", talking with the kids (when they are in earshot), petting the cats and just generally filling empty brain space.

But those games are also the type that she can get up and walk away from .. or even close out .. without even a second thought. I would argue that very few of us can instantly respond to a RL interrupt while we are "Immersed" in SL. (Except when it arrives via flying cooking utensils.)

Technology moves on though, and once the "Bleeding Edge" passes and the "Leading Edge" has almost washed over us, I think people will shift their mobile use between the two distinct modes (snap! or lingerrrrrrr) based on their RL time and attention span availability. But when?

Hmm ... come to think about it .. LL might just finish the first release in time for us to have "Computer-Brain" interfaces built in to our mobile devices ...

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Sometimes, with a whiskey glass in one hand, and an Android phone in the other, paying bills and checking the status of my Laithwaite's account, I think that LL (and some of you) tend to overcomplicate things, as what I WOULD pay for, (and I don't believe I am alone in this) would be an app that would allow me to manage my SL inventory.

Just that; my avatar on a pose stand modelling whatever was in the confusingly titled items hidden in the darkest niches of my inventory tree, so I could delete, or transfer from my "Gigolo" costumes to "Mardi Gras" say.

I am a great believer in single purpose apps, and this is the main thing I think could be taken out of the social environment to provide a beneficial use of time sitting on a train, for example, when there aren't any pretty girls to look at.

If this deconstructionist attitude were taken to the extreme, a VERY different experience could be developed, with various elements of the whole offered on platforms of varying functionality..

This thought has been provoked by the recent discussion above, but might be worth examining in a separate thread?

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Actually the Blue Mars mobile app kindoff did that. It would be more fun though if others could observe you while doing that. 

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LlazarusLlong wrote:

Sometimes, with a whiskey glass in one hand, and an Android phone in the other, paying bills and checking the status of my Laithwaite's account, I think that LL (and some of you) tend to overcomplicate things, as what I WOULD pay for, (and I don't believe I am alone in this) would be an app that would allow me to manage my SL inventory.

Just that; my avatar on a pose stand modelling whatever was in the confusingly titled items hidden in the darkest niches of my inventory tree, so I could delete, or transfer from my "Gigolo" costumes to "Mardi Gras" say.

I am a great believer in single purpose apps, and this is the main thing I think could be taken out of the social environment to provide a beneficial use of time sitting on a train, for example, when there aren't any pretty girls to look at.

If this deconstructionist attitude were taken to the extreme, a VERY different experience could be developed, with various elements of the whole offered on platforms of varying functionality..

This thought has been provoked by the recent discussion above, but might be worth examining in a separate thread?

I absolutely adore (but .. y'know .. in the MANLY sense) your idea LlLl. Like you, I am a big believer in targeted solutions embodied in small specialized modules. I am decidedly not a fashion model, clothes rack or even someone with multiple colors of socks (RL or SL), but I would use the living snot out of an App that allowed me to do what you describe. Expand that to the population of female avatars that are clothes conscious, it positively sings to me.

And for those more "modest" female avis .. it would be a fantastic way to try on all the stuff in the closet to get JUST the right look .. but without that annoying and sometimes embarassing need to "TP somewhere else" to get dressed. Just log off, fire up your "SL Fashion App", select the right look and .. log back in to SL. And no one .. but NO ONE will be able to cam around, sneak a peek .. or in any other fashion invade your privacy.

Yup, I do believe you've hit a winner with this idea. I suppose you'll want a cut of my proceeds now too, huh? *grin*

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Darrius Gothly wrote:
 I suppose you'll want a cut of my proceeds now too, huh? *grin*


Nah, I got the fortune already; I'd like another of Mr Warhol's fifteen minutes of fame.

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Gavin Hird wrote:

Since when did Europe only consist of the EU? You left out closer to 200 million Europeans from your chart..

Well, only if you include the like of Asian countries such as Ukraine who would like to be in Europe.

I blame the Eurovision Song Contest - mainly for Israel and Dana International.

[by the way, what is the UK doing on that map? Just because we're a member of the EU doesn't make us part of Europe.]

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Russia has about 152 million or which the bulk lives in Europe, Ukraine has 46 million not part of the EU, shall we go on...?

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LlazarusLlong wrote:


Gavin Hird wrote:

Since when did Europe only consist of the EU? You left out closer to 200 million Europeans from your chart..

Well, only if you include the like of Asian countries such as Ukraine who would like to be in Europe.

I blame the Eurovision Song Contest - mainly for Israel and Dana International.

[by the way, what is the UK doing on that map? Just because we're a member of the EU doesn't make us part of Europe.]

@Gavin: I didn't say say that Europe consists only of the EU countries. (The data I showed was available only for EU countries, not for the whole of Europe.)

List of countries in Europe

Totally now Europe includes 51 independent states. Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are the transcontinental countries, partially located in both Europe and Asia. Armenia and Cyprus politically are considered European countries, through geographically they are located in the West Asia territory.

In alphabetical order:

 

    A

    Albania

    Andorra

    Armenia

    Austria

    Azerbaijan

    B

    Belarus

    Belgium

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bulgaria

    C

    Croatia

    Cyprus

    Czech Republic

    D

    Denmark

    E

    Estonia

 

    F

    Finland

    France

 

    G

    Georgia

    Germany

    Greece

 

    H

    Hungary

 

    I

    Iceland

    Ireland

    Italy

 

    K

    Kazakhstan

    Kosovo

 

    L

    Latvia

    Liechtenstein

    Lithuania

    Luxembourg

 

    M

    Macedonia

    Malta

    Moldova

    Monaco

    Montenegro

 

    N

    Netherlands

    Norway

 

    P

    Poland

    Portugal

 

    R

    Romania

    Russia

 

    S

    San Marino

    Serbia

    Slovakia

    Slovenia

    Spain

    Sweden

    Switzerland

 

    T

    Turkey

 

    U

    Ukraine

   United Kingdom

 

    V

    Vatican City (Holy See)

Europe.jpg

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Excuse me, but you have omitted both the Principality (like Monaco) of Wales (which has its own parliament) and the Independent Republic of Milton Keynes, which owes no man fealty and only pays taxes so that it can dump its garbage on the rest of England.

And then there's Reunion, which is politically Europe's most southern and eastern point, and Saint Martin, which is its westernmost.

And of course, if you're working by geographical proximity, Iceland might be considered an island off the Americas, rather than Europe.

We won't even mention Greenland, the only country ever to leave the EU. Well, you didn't . . .

[Greenland is bigger than Austria, and is the largest island on Earth; do you know what the largest island was before the Vikings discovered Greenland? It was still Greenland.]

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Coby Foden wrote:

Ok, for any possible inaccurancies, you can blame the data sources where I copied the information.

Or my warped sense of humour . . .

[On the up side, there will be a load of Yanks reading this forum thinking: "Damn, I thought the Vatican was an island in the Holy Sea.]

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         Into It with a Drink & Popcorn.jpg

I'm loving the current geo-political geography lesson.

BTW, A lot of us "Yanks" understand the historical importance of and the sovereignty of the Holy See versus the geographic boundaries of Vatican City which is a relatively new entity. Just saying. 

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