There are now over 6 million residents now in Second Life since yesterday. Again, no big press release, nada, zip, nothing. I wonder...
The number of undersigners of the Open Letter grows at great speed. Yesterday there were perhaps around 1500 undersigners on it - now there are already 2541 underwriters on it. Well, it had some kind of effect already, the Lindens replied in their blog to it.
Their response at the moment is like this: we're working on a detailed response, in the meantime please look there and there for more information, and oh, by the way, we're going to hold a new town hall meeting soon
The responses vary, I think, it is too early to judge since they are still working on their real reply.
There's a new open letter in town of people who try to persuade Lindenlabs to stabilize SL. So far 569 Avatars undersigned it, a nice idea, at least.
There is one thought that hit my mind when I read again the news about the possible opening of the server side software of Lindenlabs: it would really, really nice to have regional datacenters at least. Ok, having the possibility to host the servers on your own would be even better, but at least this step would be really nice in addition to the two datacenters in the USA.
Why? Simple: physics at work. What we all dislike is the almighty lag. Though the internet has become very fast, the connections between the continents are very fast, too, they still cannot beat physics.
But how does the lag involve physics? Well, even if the internet is fast, the maximum speed data can be transferred theoretically is light speed (roughly 300.000 km/s). You cannot cross that border. This means, the longer your connection gets, the longer it takes for the data to reach you. That's quite simple physics.
The time packets need in the network to reach their host is usually measured in milliseconds. When people play at LAN-parties they usually have ping times < 20 ms, so that's a very good time. Of course, when the way of your connection is, let's say, 10.000 kms long, the information alone needs about 0.033 seconds to reach it's target - one way, roughly estimated, that's still less than from Paris to San Francisco, for example and this still doesn't take into account the latency that several routers are adding up on the way. Of course, this means also no satellites!
But when your customers come from many different countries it's sooner or later better to have a regional data center in that region to give them better access to the data, which means less delay and a much smoother and faster experience. Since in the top 10 of the origin of the SL players 43.24% are coming from Europe (more than from the USA), the installation of such a regional data center would be the next logical step for LL to give customers better service.
I mean, when you look at other popular online games, they usually have one-two server locations in the USA (West- and East-coast), one in Europe and one in Asia. That's exactly because of the physics I explained earlier, and that's why I'd like to see the openings of those regional data centers. The company needs to move where its customers are.
Of course, when then again they are going to open up the server side part and you can host a simulator on your own, this would not be really necessary anymore. You just get a rental machine somewhere, where it's near your customers, get it up running and that's it. Well, we are going to see where the future leads us.
Another unplanned downtime, again. That's a good time to move on the voice beta grid and have some fun. Today there were many people at Ahern and Morris, so it's always good to move to another sim.
I was at Pulveria, there was a Linden and some other guys, but not so much as in the laggy welcome area and he spoke to us and with us. No better way to meet the Lindens in world than on the beta grid at the moment.
So... one asked the question, why a region sometimes gets better when restarted. Seems it depends on the neighboring regions, when you're restarting a region it could be moved dynamically to another CPU, so that's why it can become better, again. Interesting detail in the architecture.
Today I tried to teleport in the sim of Wales. Yes, that's the sim which had Sinners Paradise in it and closed in January for the public due to massive and repeated griefer attacks. There's now also a new, adjacent sim in the making, Welsh Falls.
Well, I tried the teleport, it worked - interesting, since it was closed for so long. Seems it is open again for the public, the entrance area has changed, landscape looks more or less the same like before, now I wonder if this is wanted, and if it is really back in business again, how long it takes before this place kicks ass again.
Here's a little photo of me made today sitting in the entrance area of the teleport at Wales. Enjoy.
Eric Kintz, the vice president of global marketing strategy and excellence for HP, is running a very critical blog entry about second life. Taglein: Top 10 reasons as why I still need to be convinced about marketing on Second Life.
While he raises right points there, there's one point missing: this is going to be the next big thing[tm], if done right, the start of something new in that kind of matter, if done right, so getting experiences in SL will help you adapt later to other virtual worlds more easily.
Since I've got again too much ideas for blog entries in my mind and don't want to post them all as separate articles, I'm doing another roundup. Here it comes:
- Pham Neutra is discussing the population growth of Second Life with a graphic from Chromal Brodsky. Thesis there: growth is still there, but it slowed down already in March, it's not exponential anymore. So it will be interesting to watch the statistics of April, when the month is over.
- There's an article made by a law professor about taxing virtual worlds. In essence it's this: players should be taxed like in the real world for commercial activity, but not game play.
- There's an article in Wired about the Nasa activities in SL, especially CoLab.
- A German article, tagline "Second Life is not going to be better than the first life".
- A gallery of RL brands in Second Life. Very interesting to get a picture which companies are already involved in SL. Big brands listed only!
- A very critical article about the so called casino investigations. Thesis: the FBI looked at one thing, but nothing seemed to happen at all, so where's the meat? Then again, Lindenlabs seems to be reacting before FBI is doing anything and installing a new registration/confirmation system.
- A new photo book named "Avatar Expression" has been released.
Well, that's it for the moment, more to come shortly.
Simple: it is a big laboratory for trying out new approaches, getting new experiences that can be transferred to other, future projects, too. Though Second Life is not perfect, it is still going to be thrilling in the future and that is why it matters.