Archive for the ‘SpotON3D’ Category

Join me at SpotON3D’s Content Creators Expo

SpotON3D is organizing a Content Creators Expo on August 19, 20 and 21. This expo and conference will be held each of these days from 11am slt till 6pm slt. I myself will be there several times throughout these days  and I’d like to invite you to come join me for my developer discussion group.

My Developer Discussion group will take place Friday August 19th from 1pm till 2pm slt. I’ll be there to talk and take questions about the SpotON3D Developer Program, and about developing for/in SpotON3D’s Web Worlds.

If you can’t make it, no problem. Drop me a message at phil[@] – I’m happy to answer your question by e-mail or to schedule another time/place to meet.

Place to be:

Hope to see you there!


My personal view of the storm around SpotON3D

I know it’s been a long time, not to say way too long, since I wrote on this blog. Not because I ran out of stuff to talk about, not by far, but mainly because the sorts of projects I’m involved in these days require me to sign an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement). So where I used to be able to shout out about a lot of stuff, there’s not a lot of thrilling new things I could share. However, the recent happenings in the Open Sim Scene which put the company I work for (SpotON3D®) in the midst of a storm, have made me think about my blog again and how I could use it.

Before reading any further in this first-post-after-two-years-of-silence, it’s important for all of you to know a few things; A) this is my personal blog, not a company blog – and all of the stuff I (will) talk about is only my personal vision and commentary, B) if you should quote me, *always* clearly note that it’s only my personal vision and C) mentioned before but it’s  good to point out again; I do work for SpotON3D®, so some would consider me “biased”.

It’s been today’s post at Hypergrid Business by Lawrence Pierce, and the first comment that were the trigger for me to write up this post.

More in particular, the sentence “When a company, such as SpotOn3D, comes along and threatens small businesses then that company needs to be made accountable for its conduct.” was something that quite surprised me, and made me wonder how smart and intelligent people like Ilian Torchner could feel that way. (And to perfectly clear about this; I’m not into guerilla PR. So no – smart and intelligent is not meant sarcastically in the previous sentence. )

I don’t see how SpotON3D has ever threatened any company by openly explaining what we were doing. To me, this has always shown the transparency and openness SpotON3D wishes to communicate with.  If we wanted to use these developments to stab you in the back, we wouldn’t have talked about them in the first place. We would have sat back while our patent was pending, hoping you’d all develop something that would fall under the patent we were filing for, then hit you with huge fees and law suits once the patent was granted.

As I see it, the fact that SpotON3D has very openly announced what it was doing, and what patent it was filing for, has been an invitation to talk and to work together. There’s nothing as beautiful as the ideal of people working together with closed wallets – Communism worked in theory, but did anyone with personal experience like it? I’m not saying open source is the same as communism, not by far – but there is a point in open source projects where you’ve reached the open source ceiling. To take it to the next level, there’s cold hard cash needed. The idea behind the potential licensing fees the patent would bring, is to fund further development of features everyone could enjoy and which would make all of our Open Sim Grids stronger and better. I think this whole point was obviously missed, and it doesn’t matter if you’re one of those that believes in patents, or that says patents are a bad thing – you cannot deny that this is a good intention.

And although I’m under NDA, and not allowed to go into detail (please do remember this when posting comments), the “potential fees” I heard in our board meetings are very, very reasonable and much cheaper than any grid having to invest in the research and development themselves – the more mature the product becomes, the more money you’ll save compared to when you had to develop it yourself. Why would you use your lighter to try and warm up a bucket of water, when there’s warm water coming out of the faucet? Yes, the water coming out the faucet will cost you something, but it will still be cheaper than those dozens of lighters you need.

There’s also been quite some feedback on the fact that we preferred to speak to people in our Web Worlds on Skype or through E-mail instead of using all of the blogs and forums on which there’s been numerous posts about this matter. Again I can only say I was surprised by the negative feedback, and I was happy to read that at least one blogger (thank you Lawrence) did see our intentions properly when we did our “reach out” meeting. We wanted to talk to all of you people with concerns, whether they were legal, technical or whatever-you-might-have concerns.

It frazzled me to read some claiming “we will be kicked and muted” – You could at least have given it a chance, no?

There’s been one guy that’s ruled a great part of the world that used to put it this way; “Divide and conquer”. From his point of view, it worked. But his point of view ain’t ours. I’m a Belgian guy, and I think there’s a lesson in the history of my country. Just like the Open Sim world, our country is divided amongst many cultures, and although we’re only a small piece of land on an enormous planet, we do exist and we’re able to live amongst the great economical powers. It’s all brought together in our national weapon, “L’union fait la force” or “United we stand strong( er)”.

If we want this medium to break through, and if we want this medium to gather mass adoption, we’re sentenced to each other. Google took over the world, and in that kind of project, you can be sure there’s been some difference of opinion… though I strongly doubt Google would have been what it is today if Sergey Brin and Larry Page rolled over in the streets fighting. Yes, back in the days their technology was revolutionary, just like ours is today – but no one is going make a risk investment (because that still is how we’re seen… as a new technology with potential, but who says it will ever make its full potential?), if those behind it can’t make their minds up and worse – are fighting each other using guerilla PR rather than by competing on service and quality.

The Open Sim scene is already pretty scattered – We have many small to mid-sized companies battling for the same market. There’s really no need for us to make the puzzle even more complicated for potential investors and early adopters. I’m a believer of the doom scenario that if we do not unite and work together, an alternative for Open Sim worlds will pop up one day and laugh about all of us fighting each other like children. They’ll use the same battle theory as Julius Caesar or Napoleon (which ever you prefer) once did – “Divide and rule”.  Victory will come for them with very little effort, as we’re setting ourselves up. Surely – we got a do a better job at making it harder for these potential competitors, no?

I’m not a technical nor legally educated person – I’m a marketing troll; Gimme ice, and i’ll sell it to eskimos. So although I do encourage you to leave your thoughts and comments, I do hope you’ll understand (above all, because this is just my personal blog), that I cannot comment or give feedback on questions you might have about the used technology or applicable licenses. One thing that I can answer though, is that the patent number, that so many asked for, is only released after 18months, when the patent application goes public.

I do invite all of you, even our strongest critics like Ilian Tochner and Rob Knop (who in spite of the posts about SpotON3D that I didn’t agree with, has a pretty nice blog going), to get in touch with us and come talk. That way, we can highlight our points, you can highlight yours – and who knows; if you prefer the whole internet to know what we talk about, we can maybe even issue a statement together. And well; if you don’t feel “safe” enough in SpotON3D’s Web Worlds, I think I might state that we all like a field trip – so how about firing up your own Open Sims and having us there? You’ll need to rez the coffee in that case…

And although all of the above is merely my personal venting, I’m pretty sure that the invite to come and talk to SpotON3D still stands.