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Posted: Sep 2nd 2009 12:46PM (Unverified) said

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It's usually sufficient to meet the spirit of the specs if you can't meet the letter of them. So for instance a proposal to do the initial build in the Second Life main grid, with the intent of moving it to a behind-the-firewall SL instance at some point before the high security is required, might well be acceptable.

(Note that I have no specific knowledge about this request for tenders, or about any specific possible tender; I'm just speaking generally from prior experience with vaguely-similar things. And that was the US government rather than NATO, although I would guess that they're rather similar in this respect.)

Posted: Sep 2nd 2009 1:02PM Rihahn said

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Mmm, RFPs...

Usually, the way this works is that they already know who will be doing the work, they are just bound by law to get three bids for the job... Even if someone is half the price of the others, it's a simple matter to justify the winner as far as the paperwork is concidered. :)

Posted: Sep 2nd 2009 3:16PM (Unverified) said

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Yea, Nebreska might be secure enough.

Posted: Sep 2nd 2009 6:37PM (Unverified) said

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Other tough requirements for SL:
• Have the ability to display and read documents in common formats such as MS Office and Adobe.
• Support up to 200 avatars in the same area.
• Access the virtual world by allowing phone based attendees (those without access to a PC) to hear and be heard in-world. Full record and playback of all activities conducted in-world
• Import own 3D objects. Supports large area and multi-resolution terrain data in a WGS-84 compliant, geospatially-referenced format

Posted: Sep 2nd 2009 6:49PM (Unverified) said

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In related news, the US Army is asking the public to help the government use virtual worlds for training and analysis.

http://www.betterverse.org/2009/09/federal-virtual-world-challenge-launched.html

Posted: Sep 3rd 2009 12:52AM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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Have to laugh at a few things.

A clause labeled "Termination for Convenience.". This is the USA/NATO we are speaking about, so if you don't do exactly what they say they will come get you.

A clause stating "all equipment, materials and articles incorporated in the work covered by this contract are to be new and of the most suitable grade of their respective kinds for the purposes intended. " Heaven help you if you use a recycled prim!

However I do worry about something too, are these worlds inherently secure enough to host a symposium of 200+ people with incoming voice? Would not a meeting of NATO in the virtual realm be a nice juicy target for spies, especially as the packet structure for at least one of these worlds is actually known.

This is not Macdonalds secretly discussing their new Angus beef burger... this is a military organisation with quite a few dirty secrets.

Posted: Sep 3rd 2009 10:35AM (Unverified) said

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From the questions that were submitted to NATO and the PDF they published with the answers, I'd say that at the very least one SL developer — and very likely more — have indeed submitted proposals, or are intending to do so, since many of the SL-related questions are quite thorough and pragmatic, and so are the answers: SL is definitely allowed as a solution, and seems even to be "preferred".

@Jay, I very much doubt that any of the top secret talks will be held in SL :) After all, the military have their own Internet; and NATO does waaaaaay more things than "top secret" meetings...

Posted: Sep 12th 2009 10:49AM (Unverified) said

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I reviewed the RFP, and submitted the questions toward the end of the deadline that pointed out Second Life’s inability to meet some of the original technical performance requirements: single port through firewall capability, vendor required hosting, SSL. I also pointed out to my team that a large majority of these technical requirements were taken directly from OLIVE’s own website, almost forcing the hand of NATO to either remove SL as a viable solution, or adjust their requirements. This work led to the final Q&A answers that cleared up SL’s ability to offer a competitive solution. Yet, we see who still won the contract--Nexus

While ACT has a sim within SL, it was not suitable for this RFP for many reasons including originally not meeting the RFP’s technical requirements. SL in general fell short on many other aspects compared to OLIVE and Nexus solutions including native support of MS Office documents and competitive HTML support in-world (in addition to some of the other advantages of Nexus represented above in earlier comments).

Second Life, in the real world, still has many obstacles to overcome if it wants to be USED as a successful platform for immersive meetings/training. A majority of the real life companies using Second Life still make use of the word “experiment” when referring to their sims while other organizations leave this word out when they’ve chosen OLIVE or Nexus. Unfortunate, but true for Linden Labs if this is a strategic direction and competitive landscape they see in their future.
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Posted: Sep 3rd 2009 6:22PM (Unverified) said

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1. Must run fully behind or through firewalls using a single open port of choice

Um ... Doesn't OpenSIM already offer this? I'm sure I'm doing this on my own sim as I had to open a specific port on my firewall (that i defined myself) to allow people to get into it.

2. Should be able to run SSL encryption if desired for increased security

I may be wrong, but I believe there is already encryption capabilities with SSL built into OpenSIM. I'll have to look into it to see if it is possible to make use of it and purchase a certificate.

Posted: Sep 6th 2009 10:38PM (Unverified) said

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I downloaded the RFP and addendum..You are right the advanced features required are a stretch for SL at least at this date & time. I will be curious to know who wins the bid and the amount of the contract award which will be decided in Mid September. I hope you can follow up and that this information will become public knowledge.

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