The Innovation of Insecurity

A week or so back I read a post over on the Cybergate9 blog (Link) and was tempted to jump in with a comment. But I was busy. Soon after I happened across a post on 3pointD (Link) and got off a short comment, but didn’t have time to follow it up because it was really the same thing as the other comment, which was actually an extension of a comment I’d previously made on Cybergate9 (Link) and have also brought up somewhere on here before (probably around the time of the Multiverse announcement). Confused yet?

Well, here’s the thought I’ve been recently incubating: Linden Lab is already planning another virtual platform {or rather an upgrade version of their current platform}. Here’s why I’m thinking this:

1) – Decisions were made in early development which Rosedale or Ondrejka have said they regretted and which were currently inhibiting Second Life‘s development.

2) – Linden Lab has stated that they intend to release Second Life into the open source community. Not any time soon according to the comment I heard, but then who knows.

3) – The best way to move Second Life into a position for possible use as a future web 3D platform (perhaps one of several) is to open it up, which Linden Lab has recently done against the wishes of the SL community.

4) – Instead of worrying about grid crashes or griefers, it’s actually in Linden Lab’s interest to have a bit of chaos on the current grid because that generates a need (or perceived need) for security.

5) – With Second Life released to open source, Linden Lab can move into the “secure virtual host” mode; perhaps focusing on enterprise islands. If you were going to set up a continent like Anshe has done, would you want to handle that on your own? I wouldn’t.

6) – As originators of Second Life, likely minders of the open source platform development, and a 3D world hosting service, Linden Lab could roll out another platform that would be compatible with the original, but which was improved in a number of ways – from better graphics to improved physics to mixing parametric data with mesh data.

In effect, open source Second Life would morph into being a kind of plug-in platform. It could interface with any number of other platform technologies if that interface were kept relatively simple. For example, imagine hooking up Multiverse to Second Life. How might that work? Well, they’d have some kind of “portal” that allowed an avatar to faze out of one and into another, but beyond that I’d venture they’d mostly only need Profile information; the kind of Profile information being kept by Xfire and XBox Live perhaps. In some ways, it could be almost as seamless as jumping from one webpage to another. With Web2.0 functionality, the analogy would be more like me jumping from my Google homepage to GMail. That’s what a universal, standardized profile system could do (wonder if/when we’ll see that).

And what would drive people to Linden Lab’s new platform besides a nicer world? Security. Security for world builders and for those who want to engage in real world interactivity.

There was an interesting post this past weekend (I forget where I first saw it) about how World of Warcraft users were using Second Life to plan their raids. Last year I suggested something to another SL resident similar to that, but a bit more compelling and along the lines of what StarbaseC3 is doing.

All this connectivity is coming and Linden Lab is in a nice position if they play their cards right. And sometimes that means letting the table win a few hands.

4 thoughts on “The Innovation of Insecurity

  1. Actually, it wasn’t on your blog. Sorry, dude. If it had been yours, I’d have said so.

  2. Pingback: Velcro City Tourist Board » Blog Archive » Links for 27-09-2006

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