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Thursday, March 06, 2014

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Ms. CC Creeggan (CronoCloud Creeggan)

What I want to know is what kind of hardware they're running the SL client on...dual Nvidia Titans or something?

While I feel for SL users on low end machines, OnLive isn't a long term solution to their problems (unless OnLive drops the price). They'd be better off taking that money and picking up a nice video card/doing system upgrades

Though perhaps it is time that LL raise the system requirements...again The minimum for Linux is a NVidia 6600 (which should run SL "ok" at Medium settings, but you aren't going to want to turn on DoF/Shadows)

The minimum for windows is an i945! That's a recipe for a slideshow I think.

I run a GT220 (had to RMA my recent purchase of a GT640 rev2 it never ran properly/had issues). I can and do run Ultra on that GT220 with draw at 256, AA at 4x, Anisotropic filtering on, shadows/DOF off, framerates in the teens to low 20's, depending. Turning on shadows will drop the frame rate to 6 -12, which is okay for still photos, but I'm not going to run like that all the time. My loading performance is usually better than most of my friends, having a greater than 15Mbps download can do that.

Adeon Writer

Ctrl+F "Lumiya"

Not found. Yet again.

Makes me think it was part of the agreement.

Iris Ophelia

@Adeon In an earlier draft of this article I mentioned Lumiya several times, but in revision I decided to broaden that and use "mobile viewers" instead. In part this was because I didn't want it to seem like I was targeting Lumiya (or talking shit about it) in a post reviewing a competing product (see paragraph 2 for example). Furthermore, Lumiya is not the only mobile SL client that people use, and I wanted the language of the post to reflect that better.

I also played around and took several screenshots in Lumiya and at one point planned to do a more direct comparison between the two viewers, but ultimately I chose to cut that as well. Again, I didn't want this to come off like some sort of conspiracy to bash Lumiya and inflate SL Go just because I personally didn't find the comparison between the two favourable. Instead, I chose to focus more or less on the viewer at hand.

Hopefully that clears things up.

Draxfiles

Sigh.....I do hope people take the opportunity to try it for themselves rather than comparing streaming from high-end machines that can render better than my 2k PC to Lumyia which is an amazing little app [especially given that one dedicated person programmed what Linden should have done a long time ago..] SL GO shows SL as it should look all the time = truly immersive and truly a pleasure to spend time with friends in-world!

Adeon Writer

I'm sure it's impressive. But remember, even if the rest of us want to try it out, we're only going to get 20 brief minutes before we need to front up the cash for it. And trust me, it could be 25 cents an hour and I still wouldn't. I'd never consider metered SL use. Flat fee, maybe, if it's cheap enough, but I hate feeling like I'm on the clock when it's supposed to be my leisure time.

As for all the Lumiya comparisons... I think it's being brought up primarily because it's a point that seems oddly missing from all the blog posts that seemed to spring up... simultaneously. A fair review would almost certainly bring up the point that an absolutely free alternative is available...

Ezra

@Drax

How often do you plan to use it when it's no longer free for you?

I think everyone gets that it looks great, is the best SL experience around, but it's just not going to be worth $2.50 an hour for most people.

I really hope everyone that got free time with it and can give feedback now isn't telling OnLive or Linden Lab that the pricing is ok...it's not. It's not in the ballpark of being ok. It's likely a dead product unless something is done about the pricing judging by the reviews its already getting on the Play store.

A.J.

I'm anxious to read more about SL Go from people who are actually paying for the service.

On many blogs, it's difficult to tell how much of the giddy excitement is really about the product or whether it's about getting free front row seats and a backstage pass for the show.

TracyRedAngel

The pricing model will work itself out one way or another. Technology is always ridiculously overpriced coming out of the gate. But the more users, the price usually goes down.
The important thing to pay attention to, is what Iris said about it not just about how it runs on tablets, but desktops.
I have a 4 year old iMac that is pretty much maxed out in upgrades. I can run SL...fair to good. I can run shadows for pictures fine enough. My husband has an expensive custom built gaming PC that runs SL like a champ. I can run SL on Ultra with shadows, ambient occlusion and run around the world at between 30-60 frames easily. In a quiet sim it's much higher. But the lag monster still hits. If you go to crowded sims with several avatars (which are the largest contributor to lag) it STILL can bring things to a crawl. I think this technology is a start of something. So if OnLive can run SL even better than mid grade machines and even higher-end machines, doesn't it make sense to want to expand the service so all SLers can have that experience?

Adeon Writer

I used up my 20 free minutes.

Quick facts:

-Runs at 720p. You cannot run higher resolutions.
-It is impossible to judge FPS, since the in-viewer readout will tell you the client FPS, not the fps of your video stream. The client ran at around 15 fps in normal areas, though.
-In extreme conditions on maximum settings, the viewer dropped to only 10 FPS. I could not get it any lower. This was in Luskwood in a pile of 30 furry avatars running shadows, AO, and DoF, with 4x AA and maximum detail settings at 512m draw distance. Though I'd need more than 20 minutes to test how the viewer's memory leaks eventually effect performance.
-The world rendered very fast. I assume they must have some kind of premium access to LL's services as I've never seen the world render quite that quickly.
-LL's CHUI gui is bulky even at 1080p, so having 720p forced on you, the GUI will often take up most of the screen. Then again, I'm a V1 luddite with Singularity, so I'm one of those weird guys that likes actually seeing the world, not dialog boxes. >_>;
-The mouse cursor had notable latency in movement since it was being rendered on the client machine.
-Keep in mind I was running this on my own Windows 8 PC. I don't own a tablet, so cursor movement would not be a issue on tablets.
-Debug settings appear locked out, probably so you can't mess with the client machine too much and cause havok. Reasonable.
-During moments of broadband connection, the screen will drop to compression levels that are too hard to see, but they restore themselves quickly. Over G3 data, I imagine 720p would either become overly compressed or the FPS would need to drop considerably. I was using a Comcast cable connection, however, so I wouldn't know.

Hitomi Tiponi

Thanks to Iris for a good review, and to Adeon for another real situation test.

And maybe Adeon's figures highlight something that is difficult for us to know - just how much hardware is OnLive throwing at this? For the bloggers test I imagine each one would have no trouble getting entirely dedicated hardware for themselves. When you get two people sharing the resources of a top-end GPU (as maybe Adeon's test found out) the frame rate must slow quite a bit. You could say that OnLive will then throw more hardware at it - but will they unless the service shows it will make them more money to do that?

I am hoping that OnLive's test figures suggested that it would cost them more to run this service than it does when real users who just want to visit their island and go shopping, rather than load testing it, use it. We all know the prices have to come down.

For me they have to come down to a dollar a hour, or 30 dollars a month to make it interesting. But I am also thinking of buying a decent gaming computer instead, so if prices don't drop soon I won't be bothering with it at all, at any price.

DontGetHairy

1. Use Case Structure:

The FAQ remedies previous gaps in eCommerce and Consumer Protection regulations.

Nonetheless, Buyer's need to be aware of Online Shopping Assistant from eConsumer.gov as adopted by 28 countries.

http://www.econsumer.gov/english/resources/shopping-assistant-text.shtm

Complaint Trends

These are the latest trends observed from complaints received through econsumer.gov. The following data was released in March 2013 from the Federal Trade Commission. The data is based on information collected between January - December 2012.

http://www.econsumer.gov/english/resources/trends.shtm

It's a Buyer's market, and not a Seller's market!

2. Value-add Chain:

This is actually a double-whammy compounded scam deal...

- If you use this tool, you also get LL's predatory August 2013 Terms of Service 2.3 with Vendor Lock-in + Intellectual Property Piracy.

- The JIRA agreement terms goes a step further with predatory Patent terms...

http://wiki.secondlife.com/w/index.php?title=Linden_Lab_Official:Contribution_Agreement

You pay a double-whammy to get your content ripped off in the final!!

3. Competitive Benchmarking:

Cartoon Class versus Cinema Class

Forget cartoon-class Second Life with US$295 monthly tiers, use cinema-class Garry's Mod 13 (for one-time 20 Euros - no monthly tiers) on Steam's FREE mobile viewer http://store.steampowered.com/mobile

Success Factor MOOC

Educational MOOCs require "Massive" as feature:
- SL can handle 25 avatars without lag and crashing,
- Opensim can handle 60 avatars,
- GMod 13 can handle 140 avatars.

How to step into 3rd Life cinema platforms + get Garry's Mod 13
http://ht.ly/nii0Y

Garry's Mod 13 Terms of Service
http://www.garrysmod.com/terms/

DontGetHairy

4. Outlook:

It would be a better idea for the value-add chain to have an Opensim Mobile App...

DontGetHairy

Salahzar Stenvaag writes in Facebook:

More over, I tried to sign up just for curiosity and found out some very bad things:

1\ it seems that my country "Italy" is unlisted in the allowed one,

2\ the sign up page is a total mess, if you fail something you don't have a clue and moreover your email/display name is consumed

3\ If you asked to have it back it doesn't send the password email.

At the end, even if I was eager to accept this offer I was prevented to exploit it.

Esusia Frevet

The price for a powerful computer is still less expensive than it would be using this app.
At least for the amount of time I use SL.
While many use SL to make money or create for fun a good portion only goof around and would find themselves in no real need to use SL GO but rather just not log in anymore.

Account Deleted

Well if the app is in the cloud then its time to use cloud servers for the everyday experience.

If this is so good imagine a home pc able to explore in the cloud it would slow a lot of new resident turn over because they would see the world as expected not disappointed

Put the regions in the cloud.make them offline until someone needs to teleport in that would save them 80 to 90% costs.

Lets get with the program people and join the cloud

cathartes aura

@Esusia. You are absolutely right about this app. Who beyond a handful of insiders is going to use this thing? Who beyond a handful of 1%'rs has the money to use this thing? And why is this little app getting so much SL Media play when there are much more pressing issues that need to be addressed? Like for instance the "Atlas Land Program". Unequal tier should have been the 1st item on Eb's checklist of things to eliminate but it isn't. Which tells everyone exactly where the VC's, the top landbarons, the SL insiders, and most importantly the SL Media's priorities lie. It isn't with the average Joe Resident. Its simply a continuation of all the failed policies implemented since 2006. One more dead carcass on a long SL road filled up with dead carcasses.

Iggy

Path, I tried it. Glad you found it "beautiful."

For me, what a disaster, even on my high-end Mac laptop and a sterling connection (which are better than any of my students would bring to bear). If SL Go aims to add gaming-style experience, rather than just walking around and looking great as Iris did in her test, I'm not seeing it. I couldn't even drive a vehicle in SL Go.

I've 17 free minutes left and will try, try again. Which is way more than many first-time users of SL via SL Go would do.

Pussycat Catnap

Dead in the water until it goes to flat fees rather than metered.

I'm intentionally NOT looking so I don't have to be frustrated over that cost.

A.J.

I recommend the free trial just to get it out of your system. The newness wears off fast. It puts everything into perspective in 5 minutes and you can save the other fifteen minutes for a rainy day.

Everyone should try it and it will cease to be SL as you've never seen it.

It might make SL look a little more real, but it makes the sales job on this look a lot more fake.

Laurence Simon

I think the Drax&Jo Show provides a good view of what OnLive was thinking and who they're targeting for this client.

Looks cool, but so did the Mercedes SL600 I test drove the other day. Still won't buy one.

I've heard "It's beta!" a lot. Okay, well, usually people compensate beta testers, not the other way around.

Good luck to them for trying, maybe some good concepts from their viewer can be used to improve/simplify the SL UI. (Sadly, the extremely clever Quick Preferences pad with Windlight settings from Phoenix days still hasn't made it to official SL Viewer after how many years?)

Just not sure if it will pay off for them, but they can always repurpose their colo render engines for other projects and shift support staff to other products/services.

At least all the teasing and misplaced hype over a coming announcement led to a lot of people calling out for their pet projects and hopes and wishlist for fixes and changes to SL... that's a goldmine for Ebbe to determine what his customers *really* want and need.

-ls/cm

ZZBottomHL

Does any was able to use SL Go to travel between sims in a way that does not involve teleport?
Meaning is it possible to go to mainland, blake sea or whatever group of sims that are connected and open using a boat a bike a plane or whatever veihcle?
Cause cloud hosting as Kitely well knows, will never allow the use of Sl as many do, to travel and explore endless regions using a vehicle!
That is some that was acheived under Rod Humble's management and its some that no other virtual world allows!
Mainland Sl is unique, if SL Go forgets about that, then is not the pricing that it is a problem but the way they are perceiving Sl, just as another virtual world and forgetting what makes it still unique!


Dirk

OK, there is a far cheaper solution - I use Splashtop, which does the same thing, except you access your own desktop computer running SL. If you want to access it from outside your own local network there is a subscription fee of $1.99/month for the personal use plan. Splashtop is VERY fast and carries audio channel as well. The iPad client has arrow keys for moving your SL avatar about. The iPad app is fairly inexpensive (as all are) and the streaming server (for your computer) is free.

Frans

SL Go should come included in SL's yearly subscription.

Phadrus Karu

During my time as a content creator in Blue Mars, one of the most promising features I looked forward to was the upcoming cloud streaming technology through OTOY. Ultimately, OTOY’s inability to deliver and Blue Mars’s poor performance with respect to attracting a larger audience derailed any potential that could have otherwise been realized.

With cloud streaming once again on the news front, it appears as though discussions regarding the validity of the business model has overridden the more important narrative of what cloud streaming offers not just for end-users, but most especially content creators.

The ability to run Second Life on high graphical settings through almost any device regardless of the specifications is monumental. However, the best case to be made in favor of cloud streaming is its effect on in-world content theft.

OnLive encapsulates the virtual world experience into a video stream. Due to the insular nature of such a delivery method, this effectively nullifies the harmful effects of copybot clients as no data, xml or otherwise, is sent to the end user. There is simply nothing to capture other than by way of analogue. For the very first time, texture artists, modelers, animators, musicians and sound designers can now benefit from the same level of server-side protection already enjoyed by programmers.

Moreover, Linden Lab is afforded the rare opportunity to hit the proverbial reset button, if you’ll forgive the recent political pun, on their past decision to opensource their client viewer. As everyone is well aware, this resulted in the spawning of many variants that were used for malicious purposes. An official viewer-only policy through the gateway that is OnLive would help limit the capacity for a user with ill-intent to disrupt the experience for others.

The caveat? Safeguarding in-world content in this way requires an all or nothing approach - accessing Second Life through the cloud would thus, have to be mandatory for all users.

Naturally, the way is barred by a number of issues; cost being chief among these. The current pricing structure will simply not work.

- It wouldn’t be out of the question to surmise that processing the vast amount of unoptimized content and compressing it into a video stream requires no trivial amount of resources. One possible measure for minimizing the impact would be to adopt standards which promote responsible content creation. Criteria such as triangle count, textures and memory usage for scripts can factor towards the total “render weight” calculation. When exceeding past a certain threshold, mesh/sculpt geometry and texture resolution would be forcibly reduced or not rendered altogether if no suitable LOD is found. The threshold in question should probably be more generous than current-gen standards for commercial games but still remain within a reasonable limit. This way, processor overhead will be more manageable and thus, lower operating expenses – the primary driver of the current pricing scheme (I think). The result should be appropriate adjustments for a more competitive package, as opposed to the rate of $2.50 per hour. Ideally, it should be free lest the userbase shrink dramatically.

- Options should be available to save text logs, screen captures and even brief video recordings to disk. Automatic publishing to popular social networks would be a plus for the more casual userbase. Needless to say, the resolution for the latter two should exceed the quality of the video stream.

- Content creators need to retain the ability to backup their own work locally for objects under which they have full permissions. Import and export options should be made available to help facilitate this.

- A lightweight text-only client will be necessary for users who want to manage their inventory, estate, groups, contact list, communications and financial transactions with others while keeping bandwidth consumption to a minimum.

- The lack of any rigging capabilities for mesh objects has forced content creators to emulate animation by creating multiple instances that act as keyframes from which the visibility of textures are swapped. This is commonly done for vehicle components and limb attachments and the result is a substantial increase in rendering cost. Prior to enforcing rendering cost measures, Linden Lab should consider introducing features like object rigging to provide content creators with the freedom to innovate without having resort to extreme methodologies.

Unfortunately, there does exist a set of issues for which I have no workable solutions for:

- The double-edged sword that is a single proprietary client that, while providing an added margin of security, is also devoid of the innovation stemming from third party viewer development teams.

- Opensim solutions, important for the academic sector, will not benefit from further technological gains made by Linden Lab.

- A video stream-only method of delivery is not compatible with external peripherals such as the Oculus Rift.

- Commercial viewers such as Lumiya will be adversely affected; depriving the authors of any further income.

- A sizable amount of legacy content will be disqualified if rendering cost measures are enforced.

- Bandwidth caps will prove problematic for those who do not have access to unlimited packages. Being a resident in North America, I’m familiar with this predicament all too well.

Were I to speculate, Second Life will likely never see the day where access via content streaming becomes mandatory. The stiff resistance to such a dramatic change in conjunction with the mass amount of incompatible legacy content may prove to be too insurmountable an obstacle to overcome (to say nothing of paying by the hour).

What is truly needed is a new platform, one that is unencumbered by 11 years of political baggage – a clean slate if you will. Something like High Fidelity….

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