Second Life Founder Outlines Plans For Global Domination

Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Lab, talked about the company and service's open source plans, future business model, and stability problems, and he fielded questions about whether Linden Lab is open to being acquired by Google or anybody else.

Linden Lab keeps logs of all chats and instant messaging in-world for several weeks, to comply with legal requirements and help resolve disputes between members. In the future, Second Life will have distributed chat repositories.

Linden lab is developing voice chat for Second Life; it's currently in beta. Rosedale said he's uncertain whether Linden Lab will keep recordings of voice chats. "I don't think so," he aid. "I'm not sure. But obviously that represents a heck of a lot more data than text chat. I can see that logically being a feature that people could potentially enable." The recording would need to be enabled or disabled by users.

One of the more exciting developments in Second Life will be the inclusion of a Web browser in-world, Rosedale said. Right now, there's no good way to display Web pages inside Second Life; there isn't even a good way to display text in-world. But Linden Lab is working on technology to allow developers to display HTML in Second Life.

Rosedale said Linden Lab hopes to open a family-friendly area where parents and their children can use Second Life together. Right now, Second Life itself is forbidden to children and teens, while Teen Second Life is open to teens but forbidden to adults.

Rosedale said that Second Life was the fulfillment of a childhood dream, conceived when he started programming and using computers.

"It seemed to me that when you think about programming computers and building things with computers, the ultimate thing you'd want to build would be a world," he said.

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