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Mycosm. Wonderland. Project Darkstar. Metaplace Unveiled. Call it Second Life on the web, call it an MMO markup language, call it the most powerful open-standards, web-driven game platform ever made public — however you end up describing it, we finally have the main details to go on.

Metaplace Unveiled

After a year of rumors and terse venture funding announcements around Raph Koster’s new San Diego-based startup, Areae, his stealth Internet project is finally public. Hours before he went onstage at TechCrunch 40 to officially introduce Metaplace, Areae’s metaverse for the web, Koster’s publicists finagled me an extensive interview and first look at the platform. Formerly Sony Online’s creative director, Koster also directed the Star Wars Galaxies MMO and led design on the groundbreaking MMO Ultima Online.

So everyone in the online game/virtual world industry has been eagerly waiting to see just what he was planning. To be honest, I’d expected a user-created online world built on top of a Java platform or something. Gaming the system: Koster eats his dog food. Metaplace deconstructed. So, Areae finally announced Metaplace , their web based virtual world construction service. Based on the conversation I had with John and Raph a few months ago I think they have the whole "game world as canvas" domain sewn up. I'll be a user as soon as they ship, though they haven't released a target date to the public.

Some things to keep in mind: Metaplace is a service with an open API, formats, and protocols, but the announcement doesn't mention open source. So, if we like their style we can build our own clients or servers which talk the Metaplace talk, but that's not the same thing as being able to boot the latest, professionally developed Metaplace server on a local machine (or EC2 cluster). Metaplace is "like the web", but also not like the web. Metaplace is for game worlds , which means that it has hard agreements about the server as Ground Truth so that cheats don't immediately kill all fun. More on that (and a new company site) in the coming week. Wonderland. Project Looking Glass. Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010, and since that time Oracle's hardware and software engineers have worked side-by-side to build fully integrated systems and optimized solutions designed to achieve performance levels that are unmatched in the industry.

Project Looking Glass

Early examples include the Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-8, and the first Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, both introduced in late 2010. During 2011, Oracle introduced the SPARC SuperCluster T4-4, a general-purpose, engineered system with Oracle Solaris that delivered record-breaking performance on a series of enterprise benchmarks. Oracle's SPARC-based systems are some of the most scalable, reliable, and secure products available today. Sun's prized software portfolio has continued to develop as well, with new releases of Oracle Solaris, MySQL, and the recent introduction of Java 7.

Oracle invests in innovation by designing hardware and software systems that are engineered to work together. Ogoglio.