Just a quickie to highlight the speed of change in SL. The Voice facility recently announced is already in beta testing. SLNN has a thorough article on it.
Highlights include (and apologies to SLNN for quoting this verbatim):
- The audio stream will mimic speech in the real world, adjusting the volume of voices heard relative to the distance and direction of the speaker. What users hear will be controlled by their camera, so users can zoom in on someone nearby and their conversation will become louder.
- It will be possible to have group audio of up to 100 people instead of only group textual chat. Group settings and permissions will allow certain people in a group to initiate audio and control the number of speakers.
- Privately owned land will have the option to toggle voice. Estate level land controls will not only be able to toggle voice, but to also indicate the radius of how far a voice can be heard. Whether on public or privately voice-enabled land, two individuals will always be permitted to have a private conversation with each other.