Archives for August 2012

ReactionGrid retreats from OpenSim

Hypergrid Business has an interesting piece on the change in direction for ReactionGrid. We’ve followed them closely over the years (including our distinctly retro interview with CEO Kyle Gomboy back in 2009 and our Jibe walkthrough from earlier this year).

The changes aren’t a great surprise and funnily enough reflect my own thinking for my own studies where I’m pretty firmly in the Unity3D camp for what I need to achieve.

Here’s a snippet of what ReactionGrid have had to say:

Florida-based ReactionGrid, a pioneer in OpenSim hosting for corporations and educators, is scaling back on its OpenSim business in favor of its Unity-based Jibe platform, and considering closing down its namesake grid.

“We will focus on very high level OpenSim work only,” ReactionGrid co-founder and CEO Kyle Gomboy told Hypergrid Business.

However, the company will continue to provide hosting for JokaydiaGrid, which is focused on serving educators.

“We are pushing educators to Jokaydia,” Gomboy said.

Meanwhile. the company’s view of its namesake grid is “evolving,” he added, and the grid might even be closed.

“We’re debating that now,” he said. “I’d like to keep it up as a portal of sorts for a bit but we’ll be deciding that soon. The push is to promote Jokaydia Grid as our choice for educators which is who primarily use ReactionGrid the world.”

ReactionGrid was one of the first companies to offer OpenSim hosting, with brand-name customers like Microsoft.

You can read the full article from Maria at Hypergrid Business here.

As mentioned, it’s no great surprise but definitely an end of an area.

What’s your take on things?

The future of the Metaverse: If there has been a failure, it is ours on Linden Lab’s recent moves:

Fleep Tuque posted a fascinating essay yesterday with the provocative title, “Why Anyone Who Cares About the Metaverse Needs to Move Beyond Second Life; Now, Not Later.” It was a lucid and heartfelt account of Linden Lab’s transition from an ideal-driven group of Metaverse enthusists, to a market-driven corporation going after the gaming market. She also did a great job describing the impact that the corporate changes had on the Second Life community, of which she has been a long-term leader.


I was one of the Metaverse idealists she described so well. I thought that there would eventually be a seamless integration between Second Life and OpenSim that would eventually be extended to other platforms via open standards. I also believed that virtual worlds would soon move into the mainstream and be commonly used in people’s business and personal lives. I was wrong.


Linden Lab is now actively working to distance Second Life from OpenSim. One of the leading OpenSim grids recently announced that they’re abandoning the platform to focus on its own Unity-based product. Although there seems to be some growth in hypergrid compatible OpenSim participation, proprietary 3D chat room and social gaming platforms like IMVU to have a lot more momentum.


Unlike Fleep, I’m not convinced that Linden Lab is the main cause of the virtual world’s failure to actualize our idealistic vision. Sure, they would have been more successful if they hadn’t wasted so much time and resources on their ill-conceived forays into chasing the corporate market; if they had communicated well and reached out positively to the Second Life community over the years; if they had not pulled the rug out from under us so many times, such as the OpenSpace fiasco and the elimination of educational discounts. But even if they had done everything right, I don’t think the Metaverse ideal would have been embraced now outside of the current small niche.

Project to Improve Graphics Rendering in Second Life

Via Linden Lab


One of the challenges that virtual world creators face is the trade-off between rich visual detail and geometric complexity. Ideally, by adding more and smaller faces to an object, a designer can model different surface textures and create realistic variations in the interplay of light and shadow. However, adding faces also quickly increases the size of the model and its rendering cost. Normal and Specular Maps are ways to address this by allowing for the appearance of a complex surface without actually modeling fine scale geometry.

A Normal Map is an image where the color codes indicate how the renderer should reflect light from each pixel on a surface by modifying the direction that the pixel “faces” (imagine that each pixel could be turned on tiny pivots). This means that pixels on a simple surface can be rendered so that they appear to have much more detail than the actual geometry and at much lower rendering cost. Light and shadow are rendered as though the surface had depth and physical texture, simulating roughness, bumps, and even edges and additional faces.

Similarly, a Specular Map allows each pixel to have its own degree of reflectivity, so that some parts of a single face reflect sharply, while adjacent pixels can be dull.


The open source developers of the Exodus Viewer are contributing Viewer support for Normal and Specular Maps, as well as some additional controls for how light reflects from faces. Linden Lab is developing the server side support so that this powerful tool will be available in Second Life.


Design and development are under way. Watch this blog and the Snowstorm Viewers page for information on when test Viewers with these new capabilities become available.


For additional information, or to learn more about how you can participate in the open source program, please contact

The Lamest Bar Jokes Ever

1. -A panda walks into a bar, sits down and orders a sandwich. He eats the sandwich, pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter dead. As the panda stands up to go the bartender shouts “Hey! Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn’t pay for your sandwich!” The panda yells back at the bartender “Hey man, I’m a PANDA! Look it up!” The bartender opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda: “A tree dwelling marsupial of Asian origin characterised by distinct black and white colouring. Eats shoots and leaves”.

2. -A man walks into a restaurant with his pet alligator under his arm. “Do you serve tax collectors?” he asks the barman. “Of course” says the bartender. “Well” replies the man “I’ll have a beer and my alligator will have a tax collector!”

3. -Bacon and eggs walk into a bar after a long day of being Bacon and Eggs. They walk up to the bartender and ask for a beer. The bartender takes one look at them and says “Sorry fellas, we don’t serve breakfast”.

4. -A chicken walks into a bar. The bartender says “I’m sorry we don’t serve poultry”. The chicken replies “That’s okay, I only want a drink”.

5. -A man walks into a bar, climbs up on a stool, opens a bag and proceeds to stuff his ears with whipped cream and to spread strawberries in his hair. The bartender watches this performance with amazement before asking “What would you like to drink?” “You’ll have to speak up” replies the man. “I’m a trifle, hard of hearing”.

6. -A man walks into a Chinese restaurant but is told by the maître d’ that there will be at least a twenty minute wait and would he like to wait in the bar. He goes into the bar and the bartender asks “What’ll it be?” The man replies “Give me a Stoli with a twist”. The bartender squints at him for a few seconds, then smiles and says “Once upon time was four little pig”.

7. -185 cakes walk into a bar. The bartender shouts “Get out! We don’t serve your kind here!” To which the cakes reTORT “Where else should we go?” And don’t move an inch. The bartender, tired of being egged on, replies “I don’t care, I think there’s a place yeast of here!”

8. -So, a snake slithers into a bar and the bartender says “I’ m sorry but I can’t serve you”.”Why not?” asks the snake. The bartender says “Because you can’t hold your liquor”.

9. -Drunk guy is sitting in a bar. There is a ‘very’ buxom lady a few seats down. A fellow at the end of the bar calls for a beer. The bartender fills the mug and slides it down the bar. It hits the lady’s breasts and spills all over them. The bartender goes over, retrieves the glass and licks the beer off of her breasts. This happens a couple more times. The next time, the drunk jumps up and starts to lick her breasts. She decks him. He’s lying on the floor and moans “Why do you let the bartender do it?” “Because he has a liquor license!”

10. -This duck walks into a bar and orders a beer. “Four bucks” says the bartender. “Put it on my bill”.

11. -Two cartons of yogurt walk into a bar. The bartender says to them “We don’t serve your kind in here”. One of the yogurt cartons says back to him “Why not? We’re cultured individuals”.

12. -I walked into a bar the other day and ordered a double. The bartender brings out a guy who looks just like me.

13. -A mushroom walks into a bar and the bartender says “We don’t serve your kind here”. The mushroom replies “Aww c’mon. I’m a fungi”.

14. -A doctor made it his regular habit to stop off at a bar for a hazelnut daiquiri on his way home. The bartender knew of his habit, and would always have the drink waiting at precisely 5:03pm. One afternoon, as the end of the work day approached, the bartender was dismayed to find that he was out of hazelnut extract. Thinking quickly, he threw together a daiquiri made with hickory nuts and set it on the bar. The doctor came in at his regular time, took one sip of the drink and exclaimed “This isn’t a hazelnut daiquiri!” “No I’m sorry” replied the bartender “It’s a hickory daiquiri, doc”.

15. -A man walks into a bar, sits down and tells the bartender “Hey give me a free drink”. The bartender looks at him and asks “Why should I give you a free drink?” The customer reaches into his pocket and pulls out a tiny, 10 inch man and sets him carefully on the counter. The bartender is amazed and says “Okay that’s worth a free drink” and proceeds to pour him one. After the customer finishes, he asks for another free drink. The bartender tells him his little man was really cool but was only worth one drink. The customer then reaches into another pocket and pulled out a tiny piano and a bar stool and the 10-inch man sits down and plays a beautiful melody. The bartender listens and says “That’s great, but it’s not worth a free drink”. “Okay” the customer says and pulls out a genie lamp. “Rub this and you can have any wish you want”. He does, the genie appears, and the bartender asks for a million bucks”. Suddenly a million ducks appear. “Hey! I asked for a million bucks, not a million DUCKS!” “That’s okay… I didn’t ask for a 10-inch pianist either!”

16. -A baby seal walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a drink. The bartender asks the seal what he would like. The seal responds “Anything but Canadian Club on ice!”

17. -A termite walks into a bar and asks “Is the bar tender here?”

18. -A dog limps into a bar and says “I’m looking for the man who shot my paw!”

19. -Two men walk into a bar. You would have thought the second one would have seen the first one do it.

20. -A duck walks into a bar and asks “Got any crackers?” Bar tender says no. Duck walks out. Duck walks in the next day and asks “Got any crackers?” Bar tender says no. Duck walks out. Duck walks in the next day and asks got any crackers? Bar tender says “I told you yesterday and the day before that I don’t and if you ask that one more time I’ll nail your beak shut!” Duck walks out. Duck comes back the next day and asks “Got any nails?” bar tender says no. Duck says “Good. Got any crackers?”

21. -A football and a baseball walk into a bar. The football says “You’re round!”

22. -A grasshopper walks into a bar and asks the bartender if he could have some vodka and orange juice. The bartender brings the drink back to the grasshopper and says “You know, we have a drink named after you”. The grasshopper says “You have a drink named Irving…?”

23. -Man walks into a bar and shows the bartender a mouse and a frog. He tells him that the frog plays the piano and the mouse sings. A man sitting nearby overhears this and tells the man he will buy the frog and the mouse for $50. The man accepts, the second man takes the frog and the mouse and leaves. The bartender says “You sold that pair for only 50 bucks? That’s too little, you’re a loser!” The man snickered and said “Nahh I’m not, he is, the frog is a ventriloquist”

24. -A guy walks into a bar and orders three beers. He takes a sip from each of them in order. The bartender says” Why don’t you have one at a time, they begin to go flat as soon as I dispense it?” “Well” the guy says “When my brothers and I split up we promised to always drink like this to remember the times when we used to drink together”. The bartender thinks this is a nice tradition and doesn’t say any more. The guy becomes a regular always ordering 3 beers. Then one day he orders only 2. The bartender doesn’t know what to say but then says “My condolences on your loss”. “Why do you say that?” “Well” the bartender replies “I had thought something may have happened to one of your brothers. I feared the worst!” The guy laughs and says “My brothers are fine… it’s just that my wife made me quit drinking!”

25. -A group of blondes walk into a bar shouting and cheering “Yeah, 31! Let’s hear it for 31!” They order a round of drinks, continuing toasting each other and the number 31. After about 15 minutes of this the bartender is starting to get really annoyed. “What’s the deal about 31?” he asks the girls. One of them turns to him and says “We bought a puzzle that said 2-4 years and we finished it in 31 DAYS!!!”

Older Parents

With all the new technology regarding fertility recently, a 65-year-old friend of mine was able to give birth. When she was discharged from the hospital and went home, I went to visit.

“May I see the new baby?” I asked.

“Not yet” She said “I’ll make coffee and we can visit for a while first”.

Thirty minutes had passed and I asked “May I see the new baby now?”

“No, not yet” She said.

After another few minutes had elapsed. I asked again “May I see the baby now?”

“No, not yet” replied my friend.

Growing very impatient I asked “Well, when can I see the baby?”

“WHEN HE CRIES!” she told me.

“WHEN HE CRIES?” I demanded. “Why do I have to wait until he CRIES?”


ABC Island to Close in Second Life

It’s not surprising but sad all the same: the wonderful community-driven project that is ABC Island in Second Life, is to close on the 22nd of September.

The island has been a staple of the Australian Second Life scene since March 2007, and it’s undergone a number of iterations since then (check out a lot of them here).

Given the relatively small number of Australian visitors the sim gets compared to its heyday, it’s not a shock that the ABC are redirecting the funds. That doesn’t make it any easier for the small and dedicated bunch of volunteer admins of the sim.

We’ll have more details on farewell arrangements / spontaneous wakes etc as we find out ourselves.

Sperm Sample

An 85-year-old man was requested by his doctor for a sperm count as part of his physical exam. The doctor gave the man a jar and said, “Take this jar home and bring back a semen sample tomorrow.”

The next day the 85-year-old man reappeared at the doctor’s office and gave him the jar, which was as clean and empty as on the previous day.

The doctor asked what happened, and the man explained, “Well, doc, it’s like this … first I tried with my right hand, but nothing. Then I tried with my left hand, but still nothing. Then I asked my wife for help. She tried with her right hand, then with her left, still nothing.”

“She tried with her mouth, first with the teeth in, then with her teeth out, still nothing. We even called up Arleen, the lady next door, and she tried too. First with both hands, then an armpit, and she even tried squeezin’ it between her knees, but still nothing.”

The doctor was shocked! “You asked your neighbor?”

The old man answered, “Yep, none of us could get the jar open.”

Post Office Job

A guy goes to the Post Office to apply for a job.

The interviewer asks him, “Are you allergic to anything?”

He replies, “Yes, caffeine. I can’t drink coffee.”

“Ok, have you ever been in the military service?”

“Yes,” he says, “I was in Iraq for one tour.”

The interviewer says, “That will give you 5 extra points toward employment.” Then he asks, “Are you disabled in any way?”

The guy says, “Yes. A bomb exploded near me and I lost both my testicles. I have a limited physical disability.

“The interviewer grimaces and then says, “Okay. You’ve got enough points for me to hire you right now. Our norml hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00pm. You can start tomorrow at 10:00 am, and plan on starting at 10:00am every day.”

The guy is puzzled and asks, “If the work hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00pm, why do you want me here at 10:00 am?”

“This is a government job”, the interviewer says. “For the first two hours, we just stand around drinking coffee and scratching our balls –No point in you coming in for that.”

Poker Buddies

Six retired Italian guys were playing poker in their Florida condo clubhouse when Guido
loses $500 on a single hand, clutches his chest, and drops dead at the table.

Showing respect for their fallen comrade, the other five continue playing, but standing up.

At the end of the game, Giovanni looks around and asks, “So, who’s gonna’ tell his wife?”

They cut the cards. Pasquale picks the low card and has to carry the news.

They tell him to be discreet, be gentle, don’t make a bad situation any worse.
“Discreet? I’m the most discreet person you’ll ever meet. Discretion is my middle name.
Leave it to me!”

So, Pasquale goes over to the Guido’s condo and knocks on the door.
The wife answers through the door and asks what he wants?

Pasquale declares: “Your husband just lost $500 in a poker game and is afraid to come home.”

“Tell him to drop dead!” yells the wife.

“I’ll go tell him.” says Pasquale.

Restaurant Cover-Up

A very attractive young lady was sitting in a fine restaurant one night.

Waiting for her date as she was, she wanted to make sure everything was perfect. So, as she bends down in her chair to get the mirror from her purse, she accidentally farts quite loudly just as the waiter walks up.

Sitting up straight now, embarrassed and red faced, knowing everyone in the place heard her, turns to the waiter and demands “Stop That!”

The waiter looks at her dryly and says “Sure lady, which way was it headed?”

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