Google+ Is Walking Dead

This is interesting, at least I found it so:  Google+ Is Walking Dead.

Vic Gundotra, the brains behind Google+, is leaving Google. This raises questions about Google+’s future. Add to that management’s decision to move staff working on Google+ to other teams, like Android. Rumor is something like 1,000 employees have been moved to other teams. Now that is a move.

Take away the brains and muscle (engineers) and it is a pretty good indication the product is being abandoned.

The word is Google’s goal is to have every Internet/Google user be a ‘signed in user’ via Google. It appears G+ wasn’t getting them there. Plus Facebook has pretty well captured that market. The attempt to push G+ on everyone was apparently creating blow back. Have you tried a Nexus phone? The recommended way to move your contacts is to put them into your Google login and them download them to your phone.

Of course Google would never read your email or addresses. Nor would the NSA…

 

 

 

WordPress Updating 3.9

WordPress has been releasing several updates. Today I see they have released version 3.9. If you are a WordPress user, this is an interesting update for you. This update has lots of improved editing features. There are lots of people writing nice reviews of this release. So, I’ll only link to those:

If you use Ultimate TinyMCE, you won’t like the new editing window. Version 3.9 basically trashes its interface. 3.9 does not provide all the bells and whistles that Tiny MCE has. So, Tiny MCE users lose some functionality.

Second Life and the Mac WebKit Problem

Me... a Protester?

Me… a Protester?

 My readers will know Mac users have a problem. There is no near term solution to the problem for several reasons. Even more confusing is there are multiple problems. And today a group approached me hoping to put together a movement to show Linden Lab the extent of the problem and the interest in getting it fixed.

So, I’m scratching my head wondering if the Lab is in a position to fix the problem… and which problem are we talking about? Since I’m not a Mac user, I’m probably not the best one to write this, but no one else seems to be covering it.

I’ve touched on Mac issues in the past; Second Life News 2013-11, Firestorm Viewer News 2014-7, Viewer Release Pipeline Update, and others. The SL Viewer and Third Party Viewers are moving to support Apple’s Cocoa frame work or may be I should say did so move in 2013. But, that has left Apple users on older operating systems behind. SL apparently has problems running in the older Apple OS’s. This has resulted in Apple users staying with older viewer versions.

As we near another release of the Firestorm Viewer those issues are coming to a crisis point for some users. The recent blocking of Firestorm 4.4.0 is bringing home the point of the team only allowing 3 versions to run on the SL grid and blocking older versions. People are getting the idea the team is actually blocking older viewers.  Continue reading

Second Life and HeartBleed

The media is trying for ratings. To get them, they over hype things. I am also convinced that journalist become journalist because they cannot do math or understand science, which to some degree means technology. So, they have little understanding of HeartBleed, what it does, how it does it, or what it means.

HeartBleed

HeartBleed

To put things in some perspective check out: Answering the Critical Question: Can You Get Private SSL Keys Using Heartbleed?

The quick explanation of HeartBleed is that it is an exploit run on SERVERS that use the OpenSSL code and only certain versions of it. Anti-virus and anti-malware software cannot fix or protect you from such a problem.

So, if someone is selling protection, they are selling into the hype-generated fear. They are opportunists, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But, if they are providing software for your computer they are only providing some people peace of mind. You can get peace of mind for free from understanding the reality.

Cloudflare’s explanation is what I’ll call medium level technical. It is readable and I think SL users will probably understand it. But, the TL;DR is:

The exploit in the server code will allow a hacker to trick the server into sending them the code they need to decrypt HTTPS encrypted network packets. When you browser talks to a bank or other server using OpenSSL the network packets traveling back and forth are encrypted. To date no one has been able to break that encryption. So, your conversation is secure.  Continue reading

Philip Speaks at VWBPE 2014

This morning Daniel Voyager has a link to this video, which is about 33 minutes. Daniel also has an index to the video: VWBPE 2014: Philip Rosedale Keynotes – Live Updates. It is based on time-of-day rather than minute marks. But, you can get a sense of where in the video things are.

I didn’t hear much new information in this speech/video. Drax, or at least some Draxtor… and it sounds like a question the world famous Drax we know would ask, asks if High Fidelity (HF) will make Second Life™ obsolete. In answering Philip sounds a bit like a politician. Meaning I didn’t really hear an answer. There is no yes or no or may be or what would have been most accurate: I don’t know. He does point out that Linden Lab is an investor in HF. He expects HF technology to make it into Second Life.

But, the question is valid. Think about it. If HF can eliminate lag then Second Life will have to eliminate lag or I believe it will die. Which would you rather use? A laggy world or a highly responsive one? We already know lag is a major objection that new users of Second Life have.  Continue reading

Facebook Chat

It seems to me Facebook is all about the money and market share. Businesses do have to compete and Facebook is the big kid in the room, king of the mountain so to speak. Lots of people are trying to knock Facebook out of that position. In the latest European battle to be your text messaging service Facebook is shifting tactics.

If you use a mobile app for Facebook, you know it has had a text chat app built in. Now it is being removed. You either download Facebook’s chat app or do without FB chat.

Get the details on what’s happening here: Facebook Is Forcing All Users To Download Messenger By Ripping Chat Out Of Its Main Apps.

When I read Zuckerberg quotes I don’t see concern about FB customers. I get a sense that it is all about maintaining market share. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Businesses do have to compete. But, it is possible to get it wrong.

The quote I’ve seen from Zuckerberg is:

“ And the reason why we’re doing that is we found that having it as a second-class thing inside the Facebook app makes it so there’s more friction to replying to messages, so we would rather have people be using a more focused experience for that.”

The underlining is my emphasis.

I point this out because I am already thinking about what a FB virtual world might be like. I believe that the fundamental nature of any Facebook world is going to be set by Zuckerberg and the Facebook corporations business needs. My thinking is getting the nuances of the nature of both accurate will improve my predictions.

Oculus Competition

A company named True Player Gear, based in Canada, is making a competing or what will be a competing VR headset.  They call theirs Totem, which is a name taken from the movie Inception.

Totem VR Head Set

Totem VR Head Set

It looks neat.  The show Road to VR has an interview with the companies CEO, Bertrand Nepveu. Check it out here: Exclusive: ‘Totem’ VR Headset to Compete with the Oculus Rift, CEO Shares Inside Details.

The specs for this head set are similar to Oculus’ DK2. However the field of viewer is only 90 degrees. We have recently heard developers talking about how important it is to have a wide field of view. So, that may be a slight disadvantage.

They are going for the 1080p screens. That should give good resolution. Still, it is at the limit of what Michael Abrash thinks is acceptable for a good immersive feel. They say they are low persistence, but they don’t put a number on it.

They are planning to do a Kickstarter and put out a development kit.

Their claim to fame right now is they are  not owned by Facebook. Those that are abandoning Oculus because of the FB purchase now have a place to run to.

Microsoft VR Headset

Yeah, you knew this was coming, right? Well, there were two versions announced on April 1st  about Microsoft putting out home and enterprise version VR headsets. The enterprise version would be named:  Microsoft Office© Oculu 2014 Enterprise Edition™, yeah… that is a name the MS people would come up with. The home or consumer version is named Project Neo. OK, that is a bit more user friendly.

What supposedly leaked about Project Neo is:

  • 640×480 LCD Screen
  • 37 degrees Field of View
  • Custom 2DOF Tracking System called “DOF Mode”.
  • Exclusive to the Xbox One
  • Minesweeper VR to be launch title

I suspect using a Project Neo headset with specs like these would be like looking through a tube.

The enterprise version Oculu would be more Oculus Rift like. But, they tell of some nutty idea that looking at a flat Excel spreadsheet in a virtual environment is going to get an accountant’s panties…  er… heart throbbing. It’s not gonna happen. OutlookVR 2014… I don’t think so. Continue reading