Friday, August 17, 2012

They're here...

Kitely’s new and improved mega/multi-regions are up and running. That’s all I’ve got for now. Off to play!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kitely cuts prices, adds cover charges – Hypergrid Business

Oops! In my excitement over the price change, I missed part of the story. As Maria Korolov explains on Hypergrid Business, the new plan also allows world managers to charge or pay visitors for visiting their worlds.

More time, less money at Kitely with new plans

Kitely has changed it's payment plans, allowing more time in world for less money. They eliminated the Platinum Plan and reduced the Gold Plan from $50 to $35 with unlimited time in world and 20 free regions. The Silver Plan now allows 120 hours per month and 10 free worlds for $20. The Bronze Plan costs $5 per month and provides 30 hours each month, with two free worlds. The Free Plan has two hours per month and one free region. There are still worlds in Kitely where world managers pay for visitors and therefore visitors time in those "free" worlds doesn't count against their plan minutes. Each region still has 100,000 prims per world. If 20 regions aren't enough, additional worlds can be added for as little as $1 per month.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cool new SL, OS viewer app for Android

I found a link on a facebook friend's post (thanks James :)) to a handy little app called the Lumiya 2 Viewer. I've used other Android apps for SL before, but this is the first one I've seen that can sign onto other grids. I used it to sign on Second LifeInWorldz and Kitely. You can also use Lumiya with OsGridNew World Grid and FrancoGrid. There is an option to add other grids with their name and the Login URL.
The viewer does a pretty good job (on my phone at least) of rendering area objects and also interacts with scripts. It doesn't render terrain textures, but I had a pretty good idea of where I was at when in familiar areas. In Lumiya my avatar looks like a brawny, grey, man, but at least I have an avatar.
Sending and receiving messages was easy on all three grids. It was fun on InWorldz and a little irritating on Second Life when four of my groups were particularly chatty at the same time. My phone was dinging like a slot machine. Finally, I figured out I could "close and mute" them. Had to do it again the next time I signed onto SL.
I was able to teleport through teleporters or landmarks in all three worlds. It was a little more complicated signing onto the Kitely grid. I had to sign on through my computer and then through my email address on the phone. If I chose to "stay signed on" to Kitely through my email, that might take care of the signing on problem.
Through Contacts I could see which friends were online, send them messages and look at their profiles. I could also see who was nearby through the Contacts menu and look at their profiles or send messages. Through the group tab I could choose a group and send a group message.
The Inventory has all the inventory folders and items.  The menu has Copy, Rename, or Delete item commands and Asset info. Under Asset info, if you are the creator, you can edit the asset permission. I might have to take a crack at organizing my inventory next time I'm stuck at an airport or in a waiting room. Wonder how long my battery would last with that sort of activity or if the phone would get too hot to handle before the battery ran out of juice?
There are settings for Start location, Draw distance, several Sound preferences and more. There may be more you can do with the Lumiya 2 viewer. That's what I found during my first few times using it. Every time I've signed on, I've found another layer. It's easily the most robust SL viewer for the Android I've seen to date.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Improvements to Kitely since April 2011

Since Oren Hurvitz and Ilan Tochner launched Kitely in early 2011, there have been a lot of changes. Some of those changes have been gained through improvements to the OpenSim platform. Many were the result of work done by Hurvitz and Tochner. Almost all of this information can be found on the Kitely blog. I wanted a relatively short reference that I could update easily and see most of the changes/additions to Kitely in one place. I won’t add every item listed in their blog, but I’ll try to list changes that might be important to users without listing items that are no longer relevant.

Mesh was available on Kitely before the public beta began.

Major update made service more robust and manageable
Kitely’s first blog
Support site
Twitter account
Contact page
Announcements added to top of webpage
Kitely messages to connected users
Content protection including Abuse Report and DCMA Takedown notice and procedures to deal with copyright infringement.
Ability to set access of a world to “My Friends” restricting world entrance to facebook friends only.
Many bug fixes

Kitely released their Terms of Service

Opensim update allowing Shared Media (Media on a Prim) with a V2 viewer.

Kitely virtual world descriptions upgraded to allow hyperlinks, images, separators and text formatting options.

Added ability to choose viewer along with support for Safari on Mac
Digitally signed plug-in, plus notification of new plugin versions
Ability to export worlds to OAR files as backup for 10 KC.

Faster script loading
Exported OAR’s with creator information
Direct URL for downloading Kitely Plug-in

Faster loading of complex worlds
Buttons added allowing Kitely homepage or individual world pages to be shared with social networks
Improved IE9 support

Copy world allows multiple copies of a world on Kitley or export as OAR. Objects with insufficient permissions will not be copied/exported.

See visitors to your worlds and your visits to other worlds in History Panel.

Directory of all public worlds added showing visitors, with keyword search ability and common categories of virtual worlds.
World Maturity ratings: General, Moderate, Adult
Procedure for reporting worlds violating Kitely TOS
Added ability for World Managers to decide if KC’s are deducted from their account or visitor account at a rate of 1 KC for each minute in the World Manager’s world.
Kick users from your world

Improved world ranking search making it easier to find high quality worlds.
Sharable URL’s from search
Permanent World URL’s for easier sharing

All Kitely worlds are voice-enabled using Vivox with public voice and private calls.


Billing System with several payment plans added
Ability to buy KC’s: 1,000 KC - $5 / 5,000 KC - $20 /15,000 KC - $50
Ability to allow others to access your world for free
History Table showing minute and KC usage

Ability to add a Kitely account using Twitter or an email account
Some OSSL scripting functions enabled

Teleporting between Kitely worlds enabled
Nine viewers supported. Viewer selection available on the Settings page
Viewers able to start automatically or manually

OpenSim and Mono updated for faster more stable performance
More OSSL functions including NPC functions  (bots)

OpenSim groups supported.
User Profiles avaiable
Offline Instant Messaging added
Security enhanced to allow only world manager to build in the by default. Can enable building by other avatars inside viewer. Pushing also disabled by default.
Updated OAR format to save region’s Telehub

Replace existing worlds with OAR files
Automatically disconnect yourself and others when idle for more than 30 minutes

Kitely Credits  becomes working virtual currency
Ability to send message to users from Kitely Website

New subscription plans
Price changes for storing and creating worlds.
Increase in amount of KC's that can be purchased - up to $500 worth.
More free time for free plan users during their first month.
Ability to pay monthly Kitely charges with Pay Pal and/or Kitely Credits.
Ability for World Managers to set a price for world visitors.
Ability for World Managers to pay others for their time in world.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New and improved Kitely Credits

When I tried to sign on very early this morning to work on my BlamGates, Kitey was down for maintenance. They weren't down for long, especially considering the big changes made during that time. When I was able to sign on, I noticed that I had KC's showing in the top right hand corner of my viewer! I was tempted to try out the newly improved Kitely monetary system right away, but decided maybe I should wait for the announcement and instructions.
I wasn't disappointed when I checked the Kitely Blog this afternoon. Not only did they get the KC changes started, they added in world messaging, changed their groups policy and added and yet another browser I know nothing about.
Click for more details on the changes on the Kitely Blog and Hypergrid Business.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More on Kitely and megaregions

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Kitely will soon take the first steps to make KCs (Kitely Credits)  a viable virtual currency. If all goes as planned, Kitely residents should be able to exchange KCs with each other within the next week or so.

They’ll have the ability to give KCs to others, tip and buy items. The ability to exchange currency for cash will be added in the future, after internal anti-fraud mechanisms are in place. Many Kitely users have already accumulated a large number of KC’s. Varying amounts, depending which plan is used, are earned monthly and accrued by paying members.

How about those megaregions?

Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner recently talked about preliminary plans to implement megaregions in the near future, after introducing exchangeable KCs for residents. Tochner wanted to make clear that the plans are not written in stone and could change before megaregions are introduced.

As it stands now, there will be varying sizes of regions depending on the level of Kitley plan. On the Free Plan, Kitely users would still receive one full sim, 65,536 sqm. Bronze Plan worlds ($5 per month) would also remain the same size and number with two full sims, 65,536 sqm each. Megaregions on the Silver Plan ($20 per month) would be the size of four normal regions, 262,144 sqm. Gold Plan ($50 per month) megaregions would equal nine regions 589,824 sqm. A megaregion world on the Platinum Plan ($100 per month) could be as large as 16 regions, 1,048,576 sqm. Each world, would have a 100,000 prim limit regardless of size.

Sixteen new sims in "Map" view.

Consider 16 regions and a comparable prim limit in Second Life. Four Full Regions, with a prim limit of 15,000 each (60,000), at $295 a month each, equals $1180. A little over ten (10.26) Homestead Regions, with a 3750 prim limit each (38,475), for $125 a month each, equals $1282. Two Openspace Regions, with a 750 prim limit each (1500), for $75 per month each is $150. Add that together and the monthly fee for an almost 100,000 prim limit, and just a little over the same virtual land area, would cost $2613 per month to maintain in Second Life. That’s without Second Life set-up fees. Now multiply that by 100.
Tochner is considering providing not just one 16 sim size megaregion to his Platinum Plan members. He spoke about the possibility of allowing 100 megaregions, each the size of 16 regions and each with 100,000 prims for the Platinum Plan. The Gold Plan would have 30 megaregions the size of nine regions. The Silver would have 10 megaregions the size of four normal worlds.

Most recent improvements
Kitely world access settings.

Last week Kitely added the ability to upload oar files to replace existing worlds. They also updated their system to automatically disconnect avatars who are idol for more than 30 minutes. World Managers can choose to enable or disable the automatic disconnect using their world settings.