Second Life

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Another NSA Target: World of Warcraft

Agents saw games as a 'target-rich communications network'

(Newser) - It's not just us humans who have faced NSA surveillance: Orcs and elves were also among its targets. The agency, along with its British cousin GCHQ, did some of its spying in the virtual world, through games like World of Warcraft and Second Life, the Guardian reports, based on... More »

Got a Tech Hunch? Use 'Milkshake Test'

Thought exercise helps predict a new technology's popularity

(Newser) - Five years ago, everyone was ready for a Second Life revolution—but the virtual world has largely fizzled. Google and iPods, on the other hand, have lived up to the hype. How do we know when to believe in lofty tech expectations? At Slate , Dan and Chip Heath propose a... More »

Disney Site Brings Social Networking to 10-and-Under

Togetherville allows parents to moderate kids' activities

(Newser) - It's like Facebook, but with training wheels. Disney has bought the company that makes Togetherville , a social network that caters to the 10-and-younger set, reports TechCrunch . Togetherville is similar to other social networks but with a layer of parental oversight—parents oversee their kids' friends and edit or delete items... More »

Player Makes $335K in Virtual Real Estate Deal

"Neverdie' busts record for real profit on single virtual sale

(Newser) - Afraid to speculate in the real estate market just now? Try the unreal real estate market instead, where one lucky player of the Entropia Universe virtual reality game is $335,000 richer thanks to sound virtual investments that earned him some real money. Entropia player Jon Jacobs—known online as... More »

Virtual Business Yields Real Profits

Second Life hosts $567M economy

(Newser) - The real economy is mired in recession, but on sites like Second Life, the virtual economy's booming. Thanks to opportunities for entrepreneurs in everything from hats to land, user-to-user transactions totaled to over $567 million in real dollars last year. "The barriers to entry are really, really low for... More »

How to Manage Your Passwords From the Grave

From Facebook to bank accounts, online afterlife a thorny legal area

(Newser) - These days grieving relatives have a new problem to contend with: managing the Facebook, Flickr, and eBay accounts of the dead. As people trust ever more of their lives to the Internet, from email and online banking to identities on Second Life, very few have considered what exactly will happen... More »

Ditch Your Trashy Avatar

Businesses who use virtual worlds need 3-D dress codes

(Newser) - With businesses increasingly making use of virtual worlds like Second Life for long-distance training and conferences, it’s important for employees to show a little discretion with their choice of avatar, warns a report from tech advisory firm Gartner. “Because 3-D environments add the visual dimension, they will need... More »

Real-World Lawyers Set Up Shop in Second Life

(Newser) - A bed designed for avatar sex? That's intellectual property. An agreement between virtual real estate developers? It's an oral contract. Or so say some lawyers, who are opening offices to handle disputes in the virtual, online world of Second Life, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "It's an emerging area... More »

Virtual Affair Ends in Real Divorce

Digital cheating destroys UK marriage

(Newser) - When a UK woman discovered that her husband had fallen for another woman, she took the not-so-unusual step of filing for divorce. The kicker here, reports the Guardian, is that the cheating took place not in real life, among real people, but in the virtual world of Second Life. The... More »

Your Pal in Second Life May Be a Robot

Researchers use virtual world to test AI creations

(Newser) - Scientists are creating virtual robots in a virtual world with the hope of simulating real people. Got it? Second Life is prime testing ground for artificial intelligence because it allows experts to exert more control over their creations. “It’s a very inexpensive way to test out our technologies... More »

Spain Opens Second Life Clinic for Teens

Virtual doctor's office welcomes those who hate the real thing

(Newser) - Spanish health officials are opening a virtual clinic in the popular online world Second Life, where they plan to advise teens who are too shy to consult flesh-and-blood doctors, the Guardian reports. It will appear as a consultation room for now, but officials hope to expand the service and eventually... More »

Growing Pains Yield Virtual Reality Check

Second Life founder answers critics, promises improvement

(Newser) - The paparazzi have left, but the party isn't over for Second Life, the virtual world's founder says in a combative interview with Der Spiegel. Philip Rosedale acknowledges that the media hype has all but dried up but says he hopes new voice and education tools will turn the spotlight back... More »

Even the Real Economy Isn't This Bad

'Second Life' bank shutdown causes all-too-real investor run

(Newser) - The subprime crisis has nothing on the economic implosion hitting Second Life’s virtual economy, the Wall Street Journal reports. Linden Labs has shut down most of the banks in its online game, cutting users off from real-life cash they'd invested. That caused a very real bank run, with avatars... More »

Second Life Offers Aid for Asperger's

Online virtual world helps socially awkward patients pick up, practice skills

(Newser) - Sufferers from Asperger’s syndrome, characterized by an inability to pick up social cues, are getting an unlikely assist from the virtual world Second Life, ABC News reports. Researchers have found that the site, in which users communicate through online avatars, is more effective than other therapies for guiding patients... More »

Ghosts and Ghouls Invade Virtual Worlds

Digital realms like Halo and Second Life are getting in the Halloween spirit

(Newser) - Take a break from scarfing candy to join in silly spookiness online. Wired gives you the inside scoop on special events and areas in your favorite virtual worlds dedicated to the holiday:
  1. Halo 3: A seasonal addition to the matchmaking playlist should keep players entertained for the 27 hours surrounding
... More »

Insurer Opens (Virtual) Island Getaway

Another corporate marketing scheme pops up on Second Life

(Newser) - Cruising over to Insurance Island might not sound like the most fun thing to do with your virtual life, but Assicurazioni Generali SpA is dedicated to being the rare corporate Second Life island that works, offering a car chase game, and manning the island with real employees. The 176-year old... More »

Sony Delays Answer to ‘Second Life’

Former trailblazer's ‘Home’ won’t drop now until spring

(Newser) - Adding to a string of setbacks, Sony today delayed the release of its competitor for virtual world touchstone "Second Life," until next spring. The interactive world "Home"—made for PlayStation 3—has been demonstrated several times, the AP reports, and was to land before year’s... More »

Virtual Bank Collapse Causes Real Pain

$750K losses in Second Life prompt calls for federal regulation

(Newser) - Ginko Financial, an unregulated investment bank that promised returns of up to 60%, collapsed recently, costing its customers 200 million Lindens—the currency of online virtual universe Second Life, where the bank existed. While the bank, managed by a mysterious, anonymous owner, catered only to computer-generated avatars in its 3... More »

Museum Looks Picture-Perfect Online

Dresden gallery gets virtual replica in Second Life

(Newser) - Dresden’s Old Masters Picture gallery is the first museum to create an online clone, now appearing in all its glory—down to the trash cans and fountains—as a location in the virtual reality game Second Life. The building’s 750 paintings have been reproduced digitally, as have the... More »

Man Treats Virtual Wife Better Than Real One

Second Life getting in the way of first lives

(Newser) - A man who spends up to 20 hours a day playing the virtual-reality video game Second Life may be getting more fulfillment from his online wife than his real one—and his non-cyber-spouse isn't feeling fulfilled at all. Ric Hoogestraat, a 53-year-old ex-teacher, says his virtual matrimony is only a... More »

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