08 October 2010

Pick your jaw up from the floor, Div ... twice!

Jaw-dropper #1 is Linden Labs' bizarre asinine moronic obscene and I think self-destructive decision to double sim prices for nonprofit organizations and educational institutions, which (more or less by definition) are not major moneymakers yet are (more or less for the same reason) fonts of creativity. It's hard to imagine what LL's forecast is -- that these groups are heavily invested enough in SL that they'll choke down the additional US $150/month? Well, maybe a bunch of them will. My own university isn't doing squat in SL, but given its two rounds of layoffs, drastic cuts in the library acquisitions budget (ca. 40%), elimination of travel funds for professional (non-faculty) staff, etc etc, I doubt it would consider SL a great use of its cash. But maybe other schools are doing work in distance learning or other activities that would make the increased cost tolerable. It seems like a stretch to me. More endangered is involvement by nonprofits, many of which are small and often desperately underfunded; yes, there are a few enormous and essentially corporate foundations like the American Cancer Society, but it seems like time and again, LL's decisions favor the big guns and let the small players hang.  People keep saying small businesses generate the most jobs, maybe that should be a clue to what LL should really support....

Jaw-dropper #2 is a post John "Pathfinder" Lester (formerly Linden) wrote describing how people are already able to run OpenSim and Imprudence on a USB key. Yes: an entire virtual world and the ability to inhabit it, all on a single thumb drive, and all of its contents your own -- not rented, not reliant on someone else's servers. And since a viewer like Imprudence can be used with more than one virtual world, in principle it should be possible to seamlessly travel from OpenSim to Second Life to Inworldz and on. It's a declaration of Virtual World Independence. Go plug in.

1 comment:

  1. Hai, Dividni, my own thought was to lambast LL for the simplest business reasons: schools and universities introduce hundreds of students to new things every year.., perhaps including SL. This is why college campuses are awash in recruiters for credit cards...

    Re: Sim on a stick: since the first Portable Apps came out, this is the direction I believe the future to be going. For many reasons, including privacy and security, I believe this will become the way for most people who do not need huge personal processing power; You will carry your own desktop with you, and merely rent hardware/net connection. We've come a long way since the first Portable versions of PDF readers, Thunderbird and Mozilla/Firefox.