OpenSim and the Future

Its a sad fact when some of the things we enjoy in life start to fade away.  When that favorite item is not made anymore, and we can’t replace it, or in this case when development seems to stop on an important project.

OpenSim is not dead.  It will likely live on for decades but I am not convinced that this will be with active development.  Without active development it is also quite likely that it will become insecure as security issues are discovered and not plugged.   As OpenSim runs on either .Net or Mono, it may also be that in years to come it does not run on later versions of these and unless development updates the software it could simply become unsafe to run.

Over the years the number of commercial grids running OpenSim (and forked projects like Halcyon) has fallen.   There is not the money to be made with this that there used to be – less content creators are happy with their content on these grids as more and more stolen content is appearing everywhere.

All these things add up and now with the closing of Inworldz grid I question the future of OpenSim.   For reference, I am including Halcyon in this as while it forked off the OpenSim project a few years ago I believe it still shares a common ancestry and shares the problems I am discussing.

It came as a surprise to many when Inworldz announced it was going to close down – with about 3 days notice, a GoFundMe was started to save it but that looks to have been badly thought out and was closed down despite nearly reaching its goal.

Many have quoted bad management as a reason for the latest closure.  I cannot comment on that personally but it does seem to be a pattern.   Often people are attempting to run grids as an “easy commercial venture” without the business acumen to manage the project robustly.  Running an OpenSim grid is hard!  It is expensive and due to the ever increasing resource requirements, the project itself is designed to become unmanageable from the very start.

Just taking one aspect of running an OpenSim grid – assets.  These grow.  Assets are immutable.  This means that every asset lives in your asset server forever.  When you upload a script it is in the asset server.  When you edit that script – the new version is also in the asset server.   if you edit that script 100 times – there are 100 copies of that asset. Only one version of the script may work – but that just means there are 99 dead versions still in the asset server.   You may not have them in your inventory – but they are still in the asset server and there they will stay.  Imagine an asset server after 10 years of being an active grid!  It is huge. You cant “shrink it” easily it WILL grow out of the servers you have it running on.  It costs more and more to keep the grid just running.

These things run away with people and suddenly the grid is massively larger than they originally planned.  People often do not have the business knowledge to deal with these things either.  Decisions are made that do not respect ownership of assets – assets are swapped between companies without thought for who owns the assets etc

The other worry is the apparent lack of development.  I remember a few years back regularly looking at the progress and changes documented by Justin Clark-Casey on an almost weekly basis.  Now, Justin has left for pastures new a few years ago, visible development seems thin on the ground and version 0.9 seems to have been with us far longer than any other version.  Critically Open Simulator has never managed to get to the golden version 1 stage.

Combine all these together with the snowballing intellectual property theft that seems to be everywhere, causing valued creators to back away, and I do not see a healthy future for Open Simulator.  I think it’s a sad state of affairs but I think the technology has had its day.  It wont suddenly go – but I think it will be on the decline very shortly if not already.

Current Location…….

As is my way, I have not updated this site for a long time.   In fact I deleted it a couple of months ago – and only just reinstated it now from backups.  Actually I even deleted backups when I took it down as I had no intention of using it again.   However as my backup system gives unlimited versioning of backups online – I found I could just go back to a time before I deleted the backup – and there it was again!

During this time, I have pretty much left Open Simulator alone.   I do still have my regions that were on Metro, but I now have them on a private grid on an ESXi Virtual Server that is not even powered up.   I have them there – and if I want them I can access them but generally they will be left powered down as I don’t use them.

I don’t much go to Second Life either – I think I have logged in about 3-4 times in the last couple months.  My virtual presence has pretty much gone.

Personally (and this is very personal – but that’s what I consider this blog for) I have finally taken the plunge and ordered myself some adult nappies (diapers for you US people).  I have always been interested in this and wetting so I am looking forward to trying these when they arrive in the next couple of days.    I have marked this post as “Adult” but this isn’t really even a sexual thing.  I mostly just find the idea incredibly comforting.

In addition to this a few weeks ago I had to make a trip to a nearby town but due to sudden snow – the 30-40 min journey ended up taking over 2 and half hours!   I started to need to pee about 15 mins into the journey and while I did not “burst” – I definitely leaked significantly on my journey.   My jeans were pretty wet – but not soaked when I got there.  Fortunately they were black jeans and not easy to see but when I finally managed to get to a store with a bathroom I was VERY aware of walking past people with wet pants!

Although the idea of being forced to wet myself did have a certain amount of excitement to it – I did think it would be good to prepare for this.   I am planning to keep some nappies hidden away in my car where if the worst happens to traffic – if I can get off the road to a service station where I can go to a bathroom – I can put one on to save any embarrassment (providing I havent already leaked by the time I can get to a bathroom!).   I have ordered some pull ups and all in ones (traditional disposable nappies).   I think the all in ones will be better to keep in the car as they can potentially be put on without getting undressed completely – and therefore easier to put on in a service station bathroom.  Of course, I will have to give both types a complete testing to see how they feel when used – which I am totally looking forward to!

I have also thought about having one of my Second Life avatars wearing nappies which would be interesting talking point probably.  I am not sure what to do with her though.   As I say I am not really talking about anything sexual – but I am not sure about wear nappies in PG areas.

Basically then – that’s it for me at the moment.   Getting into something I have wanted to for a while – not doing anything in OS, not doing much in SL but considering it.

 

Grids and “Sub” Grids.

Question:  When is a grid not a grid?

Answer:  When its a sub-grid.

Lately an issue has been raised on Hypergrid Business about a service offered by a opensim hosting company.  This post was about a service offered by Digiworldz which is being called “Grid within a grid”.   I cannot determine if this is the name that Digiworldz are calling it – or if this is a name that Hypergrid Business has called it.

The resulting discussion around it however has been interesting.   Apart from the few personal attacks on people for their opinions that is common on these forums, there is an important theme in my mind.   “When using services like this, do people really know what they are getting?”

There seems to be some disagreement about the validity of a “grid” that is part of another grid.   Some have postulated that as this “grid within a grid” gets its own login page it IS its own grid.  Others have maintained that as it is still connected to the same grid, can access the same map, connects to the same robust type services, uses the same currency settings as the main grid, and is bound to the same TOS as the host grid, then it is in fact nothing more than an Estate (or Estates) on that grid with a bit extra fancy front end.

I would say the latter is the case.   Going slightly mathematical on you all now, look at the image at the top of this post.   It describes two sets.   One set (B) is a subset of set (A).  Now think of this as grids.   The “host” grid is the set (A).  the numbers inside the circle for (A) are users on that grid.  Set (B) is a “grid within a grid”.  Clearly it is totally enclosed by (A).  While it would be possible to move (B) out of (A), it would mean that users in grid (B) could no longer communicate DIRECTLY with users on grid (A).   They could do so – but that would involve the hypergrid.   If Grid (B) was separate from grid (A) then every communication between A and B would have to go through hypergrid.

In the case of a grid within a grid, there is no need for hypergrid to be involved when comunicating between A and B, why?   Because they are all in the same grid.   Everything that is in B, is ALSO part of A.  It’s a subgrid, and everything that applies to A, also applies to B.

Does this matter?   Possibly not.   I am not criticizing the service, I am sure it is exactly what some people want.  It gives them a coherent estate they have a lot of control over – but that control is limited by the TOS and settings of the host grid.    If people know this, accept this, and want this – then no problem.   It’s a solution that will be useful to some.

However, I feel that services like this should be more clearly advertised.  It should be made clear you are not getting a standalone grid – but an area of another grid.    In some cases this will be preferred.  Personally I would not want to deal with my own asset server – I have no problem with simulators but for an active grid, an asset server is a beast!

I cannot see anything on Digiworldz website advertising any grid within a grid – but I may have missed it so I think it likely this is a term defined by someone else.  I hope however that in any service Digiworldz DO market that is along these lines they do make it clear what the limitations are.  In particular ensure that customers know they are going to be limited by Digiworldz TOS.

 

Jessica Random Designs – Houses

Front view of green shuttered house

I have been making my houses available free of charge for some time now.  My latest is a weathered wooden house with two colours and multiple options.

The house consists of a main building with front and rear steps, and a selection of 4 different extensions that fit behind the main house.  With the extension fitted there is also a patio area with a pool that slots in the space between the house and extension.

Various extensions can be added to the house
Enclosed Patio with Pool

A great deal of flexibility can be achieved with this design, but the one downside to it is that when I built it I worked at a scale that made the house much larger than some people will want.   The doors in fact were twice as high as an average avatar.

With this in mind I have made a smaller version of the buildings and reset the door scripts.

Small single room building available with smaller version of house

If you pick up the package of this house now from the Clutterfly region of discovery grid, you will find all versions of the house – original and smaller version.  With each you will get the blue and green shutter versions, and all four extensions.   You will also get the steams and patio area in two sizes together with pool water.

Blue Shutter version – front view
Rear deck area
Large main living area – bedroom kitchen and bathrooms are off this room
Upstairs there is a wide mezzanine level with two more bedrooms

Moving on again…..

Life is full of change.  It is what defines us.   Change can make us stronger, or it can destroy our soul.   Change is one of the constants of the universe (however weird that sounds!).  Sometimes it comes with a strong emotional event.  It can make us sad or happy.  Sometimes however change is just “fun” and nothing more.

Once again, I have moved grids.  While I am still present on Great Canadian Grid, I really do not have much time to be online so I gave up my region.   At the same time  my best friend Linda Kellie expanded onto Discovery Grid.  She still has her store with Kristin Nightfire (Fairy Dreams) in Great Canadian Grid but they have now expanded their store onto Discovery Grid and Linda has let me have some space on one of her regions there.

I have my prefabs available in both places – and I have Linda to thank for making them known in both grids (http://fairydreams.world/2017/06/22/jessica-random-free-prefabs/).   Please help yourself to these free prefabs.  I reserve the right to sell future houses, but these ones will always remain free.   I plan on making more and making a home area in Disvovery Grid.

My time hasnt grown more flexible though, I seem to only managed to get online for about a couple of hours, once or twice a week.   It’s just hard for me to get online at the moment unfortunately.   This doesn’t mean I am “giving up” OpenSim though – just vastly reduced.

My current plans are to build houses (when I get time) and make a nice home area.   I would love to “live” in OS again but I don’t know if I will have time.  So many things I would do if time wasnt the issue.

I don’t know where this road will take me, life is an adventure so live it looking forward to the future.

Heat of the Action

For me, the words heat and action probably should never be in the same sentence.  While others are running to the beach (if close enough) or other sun traps, I am wondering how I can keep cool.   I am just not “built” to enjoy the sun and prefer to just sit as still as possible with as many fans pointed at me as I can!

Sure I like to look out and see a bright sunny day, I don’t even mind being in it – so long as it isn’t HOT.   There is nothing that saps my energy as much as being too hot.

Sleeping is difficult.   I like the comfort of my duvet over me, and my supportive body pillow between my knees and cuddled up to my chest.  I feel like something’s missing if I don’t have these things.   In the hot weather though, I have to sleep naked on the top of my duvet with a fan faced toward me.   Sometimes I have to wear bedsocks though because while all the rest of me is FAR too hot, my feet feel cold and ache!   Of course it’s more difficult to fall asleep when feeling like you have no air and are too warm, and even more so when you don’t have the comforts (duvet etc) you are used to sleeping with.   It takes longer to fall to sleep.  That’s not the end of it though.  Of course it gets colder during the night – not cold but colder.   However it is often cold enough to wake me up and then I put the duvet over me…. and then that’s too warm…. and then I take it off again… and then I’m too cold….. so I go turn my fan off….. so then I’m too warm without the fan even naked on top of the bed.    I toss and turn for a couple of hours and then fall asleep about an hour before I need to get up for work.

I almost forgot….. Being over-tired because of not sleeping properly seems to make me more sensitive to the heat so another rollercoaster ride of joy!

I was thinking about this while walking into the City this lunchtime.  It was sunny but not too hot.  When I came back to the office I did some googling and found a few interesting sites.  One is called “15 things you only know if you hate hot weather” (http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/01/15-things-you-only-know-if-you-hate-hot-weather-5275160/)  I can definitely sympathise with most of these!   This one at https://www.buzzfeed.com/katieheaney/what-every-summer-is-like-for-people-who-hate-it?utm_term=.icPQMQMzD#.moZJoJoXL made me laugh too.

People who love the sun probably can’t understand the difficulties of those of us they just cannot deal with it.  Believe me, I would love to love the sun, I just can’t.    Just as one of those articles said, I DO find myself checking the forecast and planning as much as I can.  Do I have enough cold drinks in my fridge?  What can I do that confines me to my room so I can just spend as much time naked in front of a fan as possible?

Just a rant really – but I can see the hot weather coming and its only early/mid May…….

 

 

A new look (virtual nudity)

I’ve decided to go for a Faerie look at the moment.   I won’t use this all the time – but I love the whole Faerie theme, and I’ve gone for a more “naughty” Fae look without wearing much (or anything).  My new Random World in Great Canadian Grid is going to have a Faerie and Fantasy theme.  As it’s going to be clothing optional and as I love showing off, here are my latest snapshots!

Not really much to say about these, they speak for themselves.   I find this liberating to be honest, and now I have accepted that I really will not have time to devote to being Miss to another submissive as my online time is too limited, I don’t need to worry about anything making me look less dominant.  I can look as I please and anyone who says otherwise can say what they like….. I won’t be listening.    I have my fingers in my ears in a very mature way and singing “lalalalalalalalala”……

 

Amazon Echo Look: Let “Alexa” tell you what to wear?

Introducing the Amazon Echo Look.  This is the latest addition to the Amazon Echo line powered by Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant.   It is interesting because now for the first time Alexa can listen to you and watch you.

With the Echo the device constantly listens to everything that goes on, and keeps 2 mins (I believe) in its buffer that is constantly being overwritten.   This is so it can recognise the “Alexa” wakeup call, and keep track of conversations you may have with it.   Will the camera have anything similar?   Will the camera be able to record you even for a moment when you do not know it?  What about apps developed by Third parties that are somehow approved and enabled on the device?   Is there any possibility (however remote) that someone could “hack into” the Amazon Echo Look and access the video feed when you are not watching?

The very fact that it’s designed and marketed for looking at what you are wearing means that it’s incredibly likely you would be getting dressed in view of it, so the potential for embarrassment could be large!

I have to admit though, there is a certain voyeuristic (or exhibitionist?) appeal to the idea of having a camera facing you that you do not know “for sure” is safe.   That slight uncertainty that someone may see you can be quite scary, and that scary can be exciting.   It makes you feel a little vulnerable and that can be appealing to some (it is sometimes to me).   This is interesting to me as feeling vulnerable is a submissive trait and I do not feel submissive.  I tried it, and I failed!  I like to be in control too much.  I think with this though it’s maybe more of the fact of the uncertainty.   You do not know for certain…. although you are pretty sure that no-one is watching.   The fact that if someone IS watching, you have no idea who it is, means you are not really submitting to anyone so it seems different.  It is still a weird feeling though.

Maybe it’s just me.  Maybe most people will either simply be horrified about the idea of a camera potentially watching them, or maybe some will simply love having another social media outlet “Hey, look at my outfit for today!”.   I am somewhere in between I guess.

I think if I am honest, I would be totally fine with an “intelligent”  camera watching me all day and potentially conversational with me.   What about if you are just getting on with what you need to do, changing clothes and the device suddenly chimes up with “Hey, nice ass!” or “Sexy panties!”  would that be scary, boring, or just plain weird?  Having said that I might even be ok with that but the big question is, where is that data stored, and how is it processed?  Is that locally dealt with (on the device itself) or is it processed by an external service?  How secure is that external servce and WHO has access to that data?  Do I TRUST this service?

With the original Echo Dot I currently have I have decided I probably DONT trust the service, but as it is just voice data I am not really worried.  I am not going to be discussing illegal things where it can hear (or anywhere else actually), so I am not worried about that.   I guess the worst possibility would be recording more personal sounds.  So bluntly, what if it records the sound of an orgasm or something personal like that?  Honestly I don’t care, it’s not something that is easily going to be associated with me by any real person and if it means that someone, somewhere gets to learn I might have an orgasm…… big news?   With a camera, the question of if I trust the service becomes more important (maybe) as I may care more if I don’t trust them.   Well its the same people, so no, I don’t trust them.   Do I care?

What about if I thought there was a possibility of a real person looking at that video feed?  Am I as accepting?    Honestly, I believe I would be ok with it if I was sure it would NOT be seen by anyone I know.    If people get to watch the video feed of me, then to be honest, if they choose to watch it then they deserve what they get!   I guess the worry would be that the feed is passed along till someone I know DOES see it!

 

Moving on: Great Canadian Grid

I have moved grids. I have moved grids several times. I reserve the right to move grids as many times as I like! There is always a newness when starting out again so I do enjoy moving around to some degree.

For now though, I am on Great Canadian Grid. I have just started putting all my houses up for people to come and get if they wish. Currently my items are full perm, but newer items may have different permissions.

My region (Random World) is open to any resident on Great Canadian Grid, as well as my houses and component store there will be some areas for people to sit, chat, cuddle etc. Currently the region is set to Moderate but this may change to Adult at some point.

I’m not really sure what I am going to do in world however, I have less time available in world for various reasons. I think I will build more houses, and if I get chance I hope to get back into Blender a bit (I haven’t touched blender since I left Digiworldz over a year ago – or was it longer?). I may start selling some of my items if I actually do start making things and if so they will of course be no-trans. I may sell them for gloebits, or I may just sell them directly on Great Canadian Grid in which case they will only be available to other residents of that grid.

If you notice something of an uncertainty, you would not be wrong. When I have been in Second Life or OpenSim before, I have simply had more time or at least predictable time. The lack of the latter really causes problems as unpredictability means unreliability. While it’s unlikely to happen in OpenSim anyway (yes I know it does happen but its far more rare), in SL I have sometimes been involved in the BDSM community. I have kept submissives which has been an assortment of rewarding and highly frustrating. One of the important requirements for this however is predictability. There is no way for a submissive to really respect and trust her dominant if her dominant isn’t online regularly and predictably. This of course means that this is almost certainly not possible for me now in OS as I cannot provide that. In this case, its ok I am not really upset about this (partly because I do not think it is likely I would find a submissive girl in OS I wanted to take on) but the point remains: With unpredictable online time – comes difficulties in regular contact with anyone else.

So I will just play things as they come. I will not make grand plans. I will do what I enjoy for my own sake.

I will sometimes, be shopping for clothes. It seems to be taking ages to put outfits together at the moment. I have really just started with my GCG avatar. My Metropolis girl was far better set up but thats just a matter of time.

Sometimes I will build. Sometimes I will build in the nude – it’s not even a sexual thing (well not entirely) but being nude makes me feel good. Of course, this may have been considered an issue if I was being a dominant for a submissive. It’s considered more of a submissive thing to do, but I decide what I want to do – not anyone else.

Sometimes I will just chat to people (but I will not voice and that causes me some problems and cuts my interaction down a little. I may be wrong but I have noticed more people requiring voice in OS, than I did in SL).

Having read this post, you may wonder: “What was the purpose of that blog?” Well basically there isn’t one – I just wanted to throw some words out.

About this blog, this time now, this author, and chocolate!

This blog has had a number of purposes over the years, and most recently its purpose has been to sit there unattended feeling lonely and sorry for itself! Originally I created it as a forum to publish the Open Simulator regions I had put together using items I had found around OSGrid in the main. I didn’t pay much attention to content ownership at that time – the message I got from the people I spoke to was mainly that there isn’t much great content available as those who make it, do so with the knowledge it will be copied everywhere so if they don’t want people to do that they don’t put it into Open Simulator. It didn’t take me too long to realise that this was a naive view and I should care more about what I get from where – especially for items I then passed on to others.

Anyway, I digress! This was my primary purpose for this site, but over time it became a more personal forum for gender related issues as I identify as bi-gender. This site, and Open Simulator and Second Life all helped me cope with a very difficult stage in my life when I was constantly confused, often hurting, and mostly feeling totally alone and isolated. This has settled down to a point where I don’t really think of it anymore more of the time – I am just who I am. I am comfortable in myself knowing I am somewhat different and that’s ok.

At some point I stopped making personal posts and was going to go back to using the site just for publishing things I did. I moved the name of the site to virtualme.org and changed who I posted as. It wasn’t long though before I reversed this and moved back to this being Jessica’s blog.

This is really where we are now. I stopped posted really when I was in Second Life for a while and while I made (or at least started) several draft posts, I never posted anything. My last post was really at the height of Second Life for me. It is possible I posted after that but I don’t think so. My uncertainty lies in me only finding a database backup from the time of the last post so if I posted anything after that – its gone now. I think though I just stopped posting so this was the last post.

Since that last post a lot of things have changed. I got bored with Second Life (or rather bored with the limitations of land cost and prim allowances) and moved to several different Open Simulator grids, went back to Second Life twice, and most recently Metropolis and Great Canadian Grid.

At the moment, my plans are to play what comes around. I cannot be in world as often as I used to, so time commitments are difficult so I will just see what happens and play accordingly. I will use this blog for whatever comes to mind.

This means you can expect everything and anything on this blog.
There may be rants, product postings, reviews, opinion, gender issues, sex issues, and lastly opinion. Yes, a double dose of opinion – this is MY blog and I will post my opinion without any qualms!

Oh lastly, sorry there is no chocolate in this post… I lied!