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Deviant lifestyles in fragrant surroundings are always a bit of a shock. One afternoon I knock on the door of a Victorian semi in a desirable street in north London, average house price £700,000, all period features and private schools. A middle-aged sex maniac answers the door; she is the author of graphic, no-holes-barred (sorry) erotic memoirs and she looks frankly disappointing. Not a love bite or a stocking top in sight. Instead a long, flowing skirt, subtle make-up, curly blonde hair strictly tamed, and covered for our pictures with a dark wig. The only giveaway (but not really) is a low-cut top from which breasts – for which she receives the gratitude of many – threaten to spill. Does she have a parking voucher, please? Leggi il seguito di questo post »

Thanks to IsometricBacon

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There are quirkier items on the agenda than stock market sturm und drang and terrorism at the 38th annual World Economic Forum in Davos. On Saturday, one of the presentations, ‘Virtual Worlds – Fiction or Reality’, muses on the impact of virtual worlds on different generations, and asks how this world of immediate access, limitless social skills and unrestrained behaviour influence our moral framework. Leggi il seguito di questo post »

Thanks to ITN

 

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Steam of consciousness is not the easiest thing to read, I admit, and I apologize for this in advance. But today I had allergies act up and my nose has been running like a faucet so sleep is sort of out of the question until the combination of my body and some OTC meds clear me up. Confession: I think non-stop. Stress makes me think deeper and harder, as well. Today I read a story on the BBC online about sensory deprivation, and one former hostage said when you’re alone you have to depend on you having “enough in your head” to get by, or something. I guess it’s like that. The mind is the ultimate get-away. And, unlike TV, movies, or video-games, as thought-provoking and interactive as those may be, the mind has a way of urging you to churn out its contents into creative forces. Like this blog entry, for example. Leggi il seguito di questo post »

 

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Like all the other fanboys, I was fawning over the new MacBook Air. So sexy, so svelte. But Mac-user Second Lifers like me want to know, will it run Second Life? Based on the SL tech specs, it looks like the MacBook Air meets some requirements, including the processor (Intel Core 2 Duo processor) and included RAM (2 gigs). The problem starts with the operating system. The Air comes loaded with Leopard (OS X 10.5). The forums and blogs are reporting lots of problems with how SL runs on the new OS. There are tweaks to your settings you can do, but generally performance is sub-par in comparison with older versions of OS X. And as usual, SL runs fastest on Windows. Sigh. Leggi il seguito di questo post »

Thanks to the Author

 

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Among them is whether use of a trademark exclusively in a virtual world can be ‘use in commerce.’ The adult entertainment industry is responsible for bringing many of the seminal cases that have shaped intellectual property law on the Internet, from Playboy Enterprises Inc. giving rise to the “initial interest confusion” test for trademark infringement, to Perfect 10 shaping the contours of search engine liability. And now a company named Eros LLC is seeking to join their ranks. Leggi il seguito di questo post »

Thanks to ATINILEM

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In real life, he is a successful 35-year-old business owner and husband-to-be. However, on Second Life, the virtual fantasy world with 11 million “residents,” his avatar, Lugh Dragonash, is a cyborg, or human machine, which can make it difficult to meet women, he says. Not that he’s looking. However, he could, because in Second Life, you build your perfect pretend life, down to property, skin tone and a dream spouse. Even Dragonash’s fiancee, who is 29 and unemployed but works as a go-go dancer in Second Life, has a boyfriend. She engages in cyber sex with him and, before you ask, Dragonash doesn’t watch. No, he adds, it doesn’t bother him. Leggi il seguito di questo post »

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Last night at 8:15 someone began banging on the front door to my house. My family wasn’t home at the time, but we rent the downstairs, and our tenant was in. David was in his pajamas, however, and decided to ignore the door. The man persisted. Then, after a few minutes, he moved to the side door and began banging away there. Getting no response, he walked around the house, ascended the rear stairs and began banging on the upstairs door. When he once again returned to the downstairs and resumed banging on the front door, David finally got dressed and opened it. Leggi il seguito di questo post »

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The number of people actively exploring an alternate existence in a virtual world just keeps on growing. With last weekend’s release of The Burning Crusade – an expansion pack for the online role playing game World Of Warcraft – the number of current users of the game has just topped 10 million; in terms of population, that puts World Of Warcraft somewhere between Serbia and Hungary. The makers of the game also stress that these figures exclude all free promo subscriptions and dormant users. Leggi il seguito di questo post »

Thanks to M4771 

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With last week’s stock market sputter and re­­newed warnings of a recession, policymakers and presidential candidates are hawking countless plans to jump-start the economy. These proposals are often complex, sometimes controversial, and almost always conjectural. If only there were a way to take them for a test drive. Leggi il seguito di questo post »

Thanks to CrystalStudio

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The Albion Park section of Second Life is generally a quiet place, a haven of whispering fir trees and babbling brooks set aside for those who “need to be alone to think, or want to chat privately.” But shortly after 5 pm Eastern time on November 16, an avatar appeared in the 3-D-graphical skies above this online sanctuary and proceeded to unleash a mass of undiluted digital jackassery. The avatar, whom witnesses would describe as an African-American male clad head to toe in gleaming red battle armor, detonated a device that instantly filled the air with 30-foot-wide tumbling blue cubes and gaping cartoon mouths. Leggi il seguito di questo post »

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Chennai: When our Internet connection or LAN (local area network) is running slowly or malfunctioning, we immediately call the IT (information technology) staff and ask for attention. Similarly, if the human connections are faltering, we must take up the issue just as seriously, indeed more so, argue Susan Bloch and Philip Whiteley in How to Manage in a Flat World (www.pearsoned.co.in). Leggi il seguito di questo post »

Thanks to the Author

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Contribute’s Janet Rae-Dupree created a digital “self” — an avatar called Scoop Raymaker — to enable her to explore Second Life and interview its first philanthropist, virtual real estate tycoon Anshe Chung. Rae-Dupree was typing into Second Life from a PC in Los Angeles; Anshe Chung’s real-world persona, Chinese businesswoman Ailin Graef, was typing into Second Lifefrom her computer in Wuhan, China. They met in a virtual art gallery in Second Life for a recent interview. What follows is an edited transcript of that other-wordly exchange: Leggi il seguito di questo post »

 

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The virtual world Second Life has had a lot of bad press recently in Australia that has focused on the narcissistic and unprincipled behaviour of some of its inhabitants. Nearly six million people have joined Linden Lab’s Second Life since it went public in 2003 and there are currently 1.75 million ‘active’ members who have logged on in the last two months. Leggi il seguito di questo post »

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