Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Apple’s big event, Deutsche Bank resignations, Turkish elections, mini-frogs

The company’s weeklong developer conference kicks off today in San Francisco with a highly anticipated keynote address. Apple is also expected to announce new versions of Mac OS for personal computers, iOS for iPhones and iPads, and perhaps a new watchOS for its latest electronic device. The last survey showed a modest rise in wages and expectations of soft inflation due to cheaper gas prices.

Sports history was made. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

Day two of the G7 summit. Activists, including members of a teachers’ union, burned ballots and ransacked offices, calling for an end to teacher testing and demanding answers for 43 students who disappeared last year.

Omar Mohammed on foolish hopes that FIFA’s overhaul will return football back to Europe. In more than two months of fighting between the coalition and rebels, more than 2,000 have been killed and about half a million displaced.

Deutsche Bank’s chiefs abruptly resigned.

Universities are becoming multinational corporations. And those who do escape are often caught shortly thereafter.

Saudi Arabia shot down a missile. New features could lead to more apps that can be enjoyed without even opening them.

Violence also rocked elections in Mexico. The party of president Enrique Peña Nieto is expected to keep a narrow majority in Congress after Sunday’s vote. A brief cursory glance at the top leagues shows just how non-European the game has become.” Read more.

What to watch for today. One startup founder shares her life hack for getting things done: forego dating.

The “female Viagra” drug doesn’t live up to the hype. One of the announcements, confirmed ahead of time by Sony Music’s chief, will be a new product to rival Spotify and other subscription music services. Unlike home births, there’s the risk of over-intervention, such as unnecessary C-sections.

Not having it all might not be so bad. President Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP won a plurality of seats but still lost its majority in parliament, according to early projections of Sunday’s election. The countries could be stripped of their hosting rights in 2018 and 2022, respectively, if there is evidence of bribery.

Matters of debate

Quartz obsession interlude

Hospitals might not be the best place to have babies. On the other side of the world, Swiss tennis player Stan Wawrinka defeated Novak Djokovic in four sets to win the French Open, completing a career grand slam.

…and improvements to its operating systems. The giant German bank has been trying to overhaul operations in an effort to rehabilitate an image hurt by a bevy of regulatory fines, legal problems, and financial missteps. “Football’s spirit has not been purely European for a long time now. Deutsche Bank’s current co-CEOs, Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen, are stepping down in phases: Jain will leave on June 30, and Fitschen will depart next year, at which point Cryan will become the lone CEO.

Turkey’s ruling party was rebuked by voters. Kurdish opposition party HDP, which had been subject to violence ahead of the vote, also appeared to have secured its first seats in Turkey’s parliament.

Yes, money brings happiness. The racehorse won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday after earlier victories at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Heads of state convened Sunday in a Bavarian castle for the annual summit. The party has ruled by itself for 13 years but will now need to build a coalition. Leaders, including German chancellor Angela Merkel and US president Barack Obama, remain firm on sanctions against Russia, which is absent from the summit after getting booted from the G8 last year.

Surprising discoveries

GE sells its huge private-equity lending unit. But so does old age.

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Scientists have found frogs the size of MMs. GE has been trying to get out of banking by selling off most of GE Capital to interested buyers.

Over the weekend

US consumer expectations. Yemen’s Shiite rebels, the Houthis, fired a Cold War-era Scud missile across the border. The Yemeni military was believed to hold about 300 Scud missiles, most of them in possession by rebels, but a coalition of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia reported that most of the Houthis’ Scud missiles have been destroyed. It’s likely a relaunch of Beats Music, which Apple acquired last year.

The prison population is up, but the number of escapees has gone down. American Pharoah won the first triple crown, the highest achievement in horse racing, since 1978. More institutions are creating branch campuses in foreign countries.

Russia and Qatar’s World Cups are at risk. On the agenda: Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, Greece’s economy, global warming, and public health. The buyer of about $11 billion worth of assets is Canada’s largest pension fund, according to reports (paywall). Please send any news, comments, MM-sized amphibians, and home-birthing tips to hi@qz.com. Unlike the little blue pill, the new drug alters women’s brain chemistry instead of a creating an immediate physical change.

Apple unveils its streaming music app… The New York Fed releases its monthly report on sentiments about inflation, job prospects, and future spending. Measuring between 9 and 13mm, the new species is among the smallest vertebrates on the planet.

Our best wishes for a productive day. John Cryan, a member of the bank’s supervisory board and the former chief financial officer of UBS, will take over

FORTUNE: Legal pad

What would keep me from creating my own SL “avitect” and selling virtual design services (heck, virtual design and construction services!) to other SLers? If I set my virtual fees correctly, then I earn virtual dollars, convertable into real US dollars.

I don’t understand why people would spend real world money in a virtual environment. She was paid the value by a sympathetic member – but not the point. This is another bubble in the making, rest assured, and it will likely be one of the most spectacular crashes of “Web 2.0″ when it bursts. At the time I wrote my article in November 2005, Chung was developing private islands and setting up communities restricted to, for instance, East Asian, Victorian, or Gothic architecture, or to French-speakers, or to gays and lesbians, or to fuzzy avatars known as “furries.” Because Linden Lab has added simulation servers more slowly than it has accumulated subscribers, virtual property values have soared.

Your thought on the legal liability issues of “crashing” property in 2nd life leads to a fairly simple and ultimately profitable solution, Selling property and casualty coverage.

What was this all about? Several geeks playing an online game? Give me some real news over this garbage. But I sure do have a good time.

Hello,

although I haven’t read your prior articles, I have been trying to keep aware of the buzz and discussion of the virtual to reality property/money exchange issues of online gaming over the past year. I think it’s the next great generation gap concept that older people (like myself) will have trouble understanding and relating too. I do wonder – would recognition of digital property rights also pave way toward recognition of violations of personal rights by other users?

WorldofWarcraft.com is running a story about a couple that met and got married as a result of their game. The appreciation that will occur is not a real appreciation, but the user refunding the ‘virtual property’ of other users who have transferred their virtual property to the one who is cashing out.

I’m a real architect and very intrigued by all this virtual real estate. Clearly the comments made already show many people do not understand or appreciate the significance of this trend.

What are virtual worlds composed of? You got it — energy.

I think that people in the US are more likely to be lonely than in many other countries… I find it even more disturbing that people waste their time with this virtual nonsense considering all the real world problems that could be addressed with that many man hours wasted in gaming.

I do also do some RL photography and of course enjoy visiting interesting architecture and going to museums to see beautiful art of all kinds. Anshe is most likely the most famous rags-to-riches story to ever come out of SL, though she’s been known to deny her “humble” beginnings in SL.

I know people who build houses and design clothing, and some of them are very talented. People are making real money and supplementing their real incomes with virtual businesses. Fad indeed.

Reminds me of the VMRL days of 1996.

The Chung story really goes to support my thesis that virtual-world property is headed toward this critical mass where it will become impossible to argue that there is no legally protectable property at stake.

One can catch my article on the subject, Owned: Finding a Place for Virtual-World Property, in the Michigan State Law Review as soon as it hits shelves sometime in the next couple of months.

“Buyer beware!”

Everyone would be interested to see a legal precedent set that would value the land and goods in some RL way, but so far, only nuisance lawsuits have been launched on LL by people who actually exploited and stole their virtual goods.

Couldn’t Second Life be used as a way to transfer large sums of cash from one player to another without having to worry about taxes? What about laundering?

I have been in SL for a little over a year, and I am not surprised to hear Anshe has hit a million. If I compose an electronic song, distribute it on the net, and make a profit, then I just made wealth with virtual goods. They are as much a medium of learning as of entertainment, often combining both in ways that prevent even the player from detecting the learning aspect until they realize, down the line, that they did obtain invaluable experience through fictional circumstances.

I agree with comments above regarding value. But unless these virtual properties start to grow fruit that one could buy at walmart, owners should realize that what they own is worth only what the next sucker is willing to pay. I find it ironic that as real estate in the world as I know it is becoming next to impossible to purchase in so many “real” cities, is apparently is the same problem in virtual cities. They aren’t going to have a legal ground to stand on.

Do you need an real or virtual attorney to verify the property rights of the virtual properties you are buying and selling? Do they need pass a virtual or real bar exam? Can you buy and sell based on virtual inside information in this virtual world? If so, would the SEC or NASD have regulatory jurisdiction? Sounds like Second Life is violating anti-trust laws if they have “virtual” control over availability of all virtual assets. There was as much real value then as there is with Second Life and its ilk now. Each of Linden Lab’s servers simulates about 16 acres of in-world property. They are more like going down to the pub to shoot pool with friends. And he angrily quit the world when it became more important to get a “virtual” lap dance than celebrate our anniversary. When you buy a DVD of your favorite movie what the heck are you buying? It is a recorded artistic performance. A Harvard lecture could take place here and be just as effective as in “real” life. At least when you virtual house comes crubling down you only get virtual wounds.

Much of the discussion has abandoned the topic of virtual property and defaulted to the “sin” of online human interaction (we’re doing that with this discussion aren’t we?). Responsibility for this risk could be taken up by the corporate side of Second Life, but I don’t reccomend it.

I think that just like real-world real estate, the savvy buyer will know how to risk-adjust his investment. In a virtual world there is no way for everyone to gain; for one to gain it is because others lost money when they paid for nothing. As TV has gotten duller, SL has gotten more interesting. Instead, Anshe saw the opportunity to buy as much land as possible and resell it at a premium. Only more immersive and easier to break into with a small investment.

We obviously know about the IT industry’s excitement over the prospects of Second Life, and we are beginning to hear about the retail industry’s initial forays as well. It sounds like most of the folks who left comments here aren’t “getting it”. If you are a shut in and have 20 hours a day that you want to spend on it and that is your life… But I am not here to judge. does the fellow who parlayed a paper clip (albiet a red one) into a house on ebay play Second Life? I’ll bet he does and is right behind Anshe.

I agree with S Gabo. He is currently serving in Iraq, using experience gained from games to keep his subordinates alive.

It is certainly welcome news to see the legal world waking up to what the digital revolution brought to us in terms of enriching our lives in yet another way. The time is now to re-write the law of the virtual world as it becomes more a part of our daily world, as the virtual world is rather new (only about 15 years old as we currently know it). I’ll be online later tonight to play.

I take comfort in the fact that the players of SL will not reproduce and will remove their flawed genes from the race. If this person has become (truly) rich (that’s what I gather from the article, unless I misread it), then it comes at the expense of others who are participating in this undertaking. Get a life!!! Internet real estate. If Google or a rival pays big dollars to acquire Linden Labs, it seems that the property owners would be entitled to a share of Linden’s earnings. Or to astronauts on epic, multi-year journeys to Mars and beyond.

There are other virtual experiences. Someday virtual worlds will become indistinguishable from our own. Indeed, I actually do think the time is coming when “virtual” property is given a legal value and therefore, a true physical presence. Unlike the real world, virtual worlds have backup copies. There will be many more millionaires made in Second Life and other virtual worlds. that occured after that period of backup would probably be lost or damaged. Further, savvy investors will be just as underwhelmed at this dubious accomplishment. My final question: how long before the poor of Second Life begin solidarity movements and demand distribution of wealth?

Douglas said, “I’m a real architect and very intrigued by all this virtual real estate. If you believe that Second Life and its ilk represent some new representation of the world that supercedes the real one….Well then I have a file on my laptop that I say is worth $1M, anyone want to buy it. Sure, some people sit down and play these games for hours at a time, but how often do you sit down to watch somebody else’s life on TV as you waste away on the couch?

Anshe Chung: First Virtual Millionaire

I think a lot of the answers would reside in the TOS the users have agreed to.

I think this is great! Capitalism at its best! Since Second Life is artificially keeping virtual real estate prices up by adding more players then servers, what would happen if there were a sudden influx of server capacity? Would this woman then be ruined? Could you borrow real money from real banks against the virtual land that has real value? Great debates are yet to come!

The legal question of virtual property also brings to mind the American’s With Disabilities Act. The majority of residents are some of the most creative people I have ever met.

All value is virtual. She was in early and has made a decent return on her high risk investment, but make no mistake. Ownership of real estate has value because of a certain desirability to live there or produce goods or services from. Do you go to sports games? I actually participate in them (what a thought). This is an amazing virtual world. Now, the real question is: What if the contract you sign when you join second life specifically says “WE OWN THE GAME AND CAN DO WHAT WE WANT,” leading to a day where $3 million of property in the game could be cancelled if the game shuts down. It is a way to communicate and interact with other real people, much like the World Wide Web. It also gives them a chance to earn some extra income, if they have skills that can generate in-world pay.

Wow, These people need to get a “REAL” life!

The legal implications (to get back on topic) are as clear as the TOS would be. As an IT professional in the real world, Second Life gives me a chance to utilize both my technical and creative sides at the same time. In the log run the average user gets more bang for the buck and not everyone (as in the real world) manages to become a millionare.

As someone who develops elearning for government agencies and commercial companies, I started to explore Second Life and have found that it can be a very effective training environment if utilized properly. Some online game companies have attempted to prohibit, through click-through agreements, the real-world buying and selling of online property created by players, which the companies maintain remains the company’s intellectual property–indeed, just graphical manifestations of data entered into company-owned spreadsheets on company-owned servers. Think about it, this is diversification into ANOTHER WORLD.

If you think this is real world vs virtual world, then you are certainly missing the whole picture and what is coming at ya.

The big issues facing Linden Labs right now are not legal, they are technical. If a user can find a way to manipulate that product into a real world application, there’s some worth, but again the worth is totally dependent on the demand for the product.

The SL system is weak and has many exploits, I would wonder how long before more hackers try to make quick money.

Second Life players are earning Linden Dollars and/or realizing a monetary appreciation on their virtual property. Sure, your spending real money to purchase a virtual outfit for your virtual charecter, but at least your online persona is dressed well. Though a friend has a photography studio in SL and is very big on it. For anyone who pays attention to the MMO/entertainment industry, the buying and selling of in game currencies is years and years old, and I know some people who have posted SIX figure annual incomes off of games such as Ultima Online, Asheron’s Call, Everquest, Star Wars: Galaxies, Eve Online, World of Warcraft to name just a few. By fixing the exchange rate, Linden is setting itself up for an inevitable “run” on its virtual currency at some point in the future.

I think, “Tough beans”. The topic of RL taxes comes up on a regular basis on the forums and thus far we are expecting at some point that the way things will fall out is that anyone who “cashes out” more than $600 a year will likely see a 1099 in the coming years. The L$ is worth 2 nickels…

In the case of 2nd life, perhaps a virtual funeral could be attended by virtual children.

Maybe I’m not hooked on MMORPG types of GAMES, but I’m not about to waste money for this chance to have a 2nd life. for them to do anything! ;-p

Have you heard of server mirrors and backups?

So, when are you going to cover the true Second Life crowd. Now the domain name market has made many millionaires. Congrats to Anshe. But, as I explained in my earlier feature story, the whole topic of buying and selling “virtual” property does raise legal issues. However, the vast majority of players are there during whatever free time they have, which others might use to play golf or go to a football game, or more likely, watch TV. He was in this virtual world 10-14 hours a day. You folks have have way too much time on your hands and have watched Kenau Reeves movies way too often. The middle-man is everything and the potential for economic growth i virtually unlimited as more players will introduce more money into the system. Courses on using the in-game modeling tools and scripting language are offered. Each player buys/trades/sells property (even if the property is virtual in nature) in order to grow his or her investment. She figured out how to make it work for her.

**What!!? What happens if the wheels fall off that there horseless carriage? NO THANK you. Linden Lab converts currency at a floating rate that, at the moment, is about 257 Linden dollars per U.S. But that’s not a reason to denigrate those who do enjoy it.

I always find it interesting when people complain of virtual worlds and the amount of time, money, and energy other people invest in them. Science fiction has written about the upcoming virutalization of life some time now, and SL is simply a manifestation of that existence. Second Life is in my mind the leading edge of a change in our view of social interactions, in that the folks we talk with online may be separated by thousands of miles. All power to her for extracting this cash from them voluntarily. Its not just these Second Life people that are “wasting” money. I doubt it has the propensity to continue on as a viable source for income. My first life and second one.

Sounds like they need Virtual Property Casualty Insurance!

Given that a single person could accumulate such wealth, I wonder how well a team of real estate developers would perform in Second Life.

Second Life, itself, offers an environment where there are practically no boundaries…except one’s lack of imagination. I bet many of those folks that find it so hard to understand people may pay $15 a month for to play a game will not hesitate to pay $50 or $100 to watch OTHER people run around a football field or basketball court. But once you use it for its intended use you are in a virtual world and you are paying real dollars to be in it. Even at a 300 to 1 rate, this lady is sitting on over $30,000 of value. Moby Dick, for example, is not simply a story about some guy trying to kill a big fish. Since there is no “work” or added value created in SL, there is a wonderful opportunity to study supply and demand at work, with some monetary policy insights. Who would be responsible for breaking them up? My guess is the Eliot Spitzer is virtually all over already.

Though, in order to do this, you’ll most likely have to buy your own land (which is one of the primary reasons people want land in SL) in order to show off your work.

The social nature of these “games” is what is most often overlooked. A hype will develop as people jump on board to get rich and the majority of them will end up very poor as a result.

I am amused at the negative comments above – “ridiculous”, “waste of time”, etc. For some, these routine activities can be very painful. I’m content with just living my life while independently supporting myself.

I can’t wait to securitize the mortgages into bonds on these babies! All we have to do is get our lawyers to put together a nice prospectus (and believe me, they will make it happen) and project the future cashflow and prepayment speed and we are set (Ok, maybe we need to take care some of those virtual dollar related risks too, but there’s nothing a few SWAP or derivitives can’t handle). This “Second Life” however confuses me greatly. So what’s real and what’s virtual is more a matter of perspective. Good article to keep us informed about a “new world”.

Because it’s fun! All this “get a real life”, stuff is just crap. If you think about it, it’s not much different than the stock market where, and correct me if I’m wrong), much of a stock’s value is based on perception. Do something for humanity, not virtual humanity, there is a difference.

“I just want to say one word to you – just one word. Companies introduce products — a hotel chain is building virtual versions of future hotels to get feedback.

Posted By Anonymous : 11:26 AM

Heck, at the rate we’re going virtual worlds may be the only hope that our grandchildren will ever see and experience trees, blue skies, wolves, bears, birds, fish…

Barring any legal issues associated with the exchange of virtual property while all servers are up and running, liability due to “loss” associated with a server going down is negligible, assuming regular back-ups are made of the servers. So who cares if Anshe Chung is an online real-estate tycoon who claims to have made $1 Million. Many people there have no food and we spend hundreds on pixel property. In the meantime, however, those of us who see through this nonsense “just don’t get it,” just as we “didn’t get” the “New Economy” in 1999.

That’s my 2 cents on this blog

I think this is the future of entertainment.Finally some sort of answer for artists in the computer world.

This is the future of the Internet and world wide economy. The stock market in real life had its second worst day of the year today…Second Life grew by over 10,000 “residents” and some made thousands of dollars. What if large corporations begin playing the game for profit? Should this happen, I think the corporations would want a legal assurance that they will not lose profit because a real server crashed. I have SimCity, The Sims, The Sims2 and even Flight Simuatior X. It won’t be too many years before we all (in the industrialized world) “live” through an avatar in a virtual world to shop for RL houses, check our RL bank accounts, buy RL clothes, enjoy RL entertainments and meet RL mates.

Do you have to mow your lawn in the virtual world? Or replace shingles or major appliances for that matter? How about taxes??? I’ve just gone through property reevaluation on my real house and if this virtual world is all it’s cut out to be I might be able to my wife and kids that this is a pretty cool place.

Capitalism is only one of the myriad ways in which to use Second Life and anyone who expects to walk in the door and start earning cash is greatly mistaken.

She bought and sold these virtual plots of land, and likely they were bought and sold a few times again after her. Anyone who has ever tried to sell something at a tag sale will understand why. I love my RL job and the people that I work with, but I don’t have a lot of opportunity there to create something of beauty. Where will she be in 5,10,15 years?

The day she or any other online gamer makes the “real” worlds richest list via their virtual holdings is the day I start paying attention to virtual worlds as money making opportunities. I think you mean “dearth” instead of “dirth.” Since “dearth” typically denotes a scarcity of something, I also think that your word choice in this instance belies your vocabulary ignorance.

As for the article, I think the issue surrounding rights in virtual property raised by the article are interesting, indeed. It’s not a ‘game’ where you walk in, pay for land, and instantly the money comes rolling in. Do I play Second Life? Yup. What do people think?”

I think that the $1M figure probably is more complicated than it sounds, and I think Second Life’s economy probably could crash also.

I play SL in my spare time and also build houses (to populate the virtual landscape) and for me it is a creative outlet. If they make a million bucks so be it.

If the servers crash and these people lose their real money, then they deserve it. Ms. I cannot comprehend the concept of paying real dollars for make-believe land. However, I see the cashing in of the virtual dollars more like a regular refund for the product because if the user cashes in all of his virtual property he will have nothing. How many people can say the same from watching “Dancing with the Stars” or “Grey’s Anatomy?”

Posted By Anonymous : 3:02 PM

If we didn’t want to scrutinize each transaction made in the virtual world — as a daytrader would be responsible for reporting on his/her tax return — we could at least consider the game as a single investment. The only reason they try to “stop” it is is because they need to “appear” to keep their intellectual property rights if something ever does arise that requires legal action.

I agree with those whom condemn the SL players. Fighting monsters is one thing but just going online to experience life seems alittle…stupid. Or what about the war or should I say struggle in Iraq. I’d be interested in some non-Linden legal opinions.

Here’s a thought…. Could this lead to the corporate world attempting to shape the future of such online virtual realities? If so, which sectors of the corporate world would take the lead?

Listen to these naysayers whine about how another person should spend their disposable income. And it is no more or less obscene to spend enormous time and money on movies and sports and music than on this entertainment. If participating in a virtual world doesn’t interest you, then by all means don’t. Since these are, as mentioned in this article, convertable to US Dollars, does Second World not run afoul of the new US prohibition against online gambling?

Anshe Chung, a real-estate tycoon in the digitally simulated world known as Second Life, has apparently become the first virtual millionaire–i.e., someone whose holdings in a make-believe world are legally convertible into genuine U.S. In SL, I can do that using tools that I am comfortable with after having worked with them in my play time for a few months and combining them with some of my RL talents (Photoshop, etc.). And she ended up increasing her wealth to over a million times what she started with? Wow. Many of those people have cleverly found ways to turn their love for sports into profitable ventures. If you want to spend a few hours a week or month and listen to some live music with some friends (or make some and gain an audience) this too can be done. She was completely blown off about this by everyone (except for the other resident). From imvu with 3d chatting and developing to a simple charater/fishing blogging site like gaia. That is, if a major catastrophy did occur they would be able to rebuild the system as it had existed 24 to 36 hours prior. Therefore, I would expect that only “in-world” disasters would present a threat to these investors. The “real” we experience is just a perspective. If I could sit in my cubicle with my ‘real job’ and make millions, I would. There mere physical tangibility has no bearing on this.

There being no meaningful distinction between assets in a virtual or real world, I?m in favor of applying the full plethora of social and legal constructions to this new frontier of value. No difference if you want to have a better experience by paying real dollars. Those people do not necessarily have the resources to pursue those dreams in the “real” world.

Just FYI, the title of your blog or whatever “Anshe Chung: First Virtual Millionaire” is misleading. In the event a server should crash, or an earthquake should wipe out a server farm, the virtual property can simply be restored.

Now if the virtual property can be restored, could it be “hacked”, such that duplicates of the virtual property could be established at counterfeit, copy-cat, competition? Wonder what the liability would be at that time, especially if the servers were established in a country that did little to discourage cyber-crimes.

For anyone trying to understand what this is all about or why anyone would spend time on Second Life, etc, keep in mind that players are usually substituting for other entertainment and social activities.

The best games can combine the social element of chatting on the phone with friends (including live voice), the long-unfolding story lines of a TV series, the great visuals of an action movie, the self-controlled pace of reading a book, and the interactivity of browsing the Internet.

Some interesting comments indeed.

There are lots of typical knee-jerk technophobic reactions from people who are threatened that the world is progressing without them, and some of these comments are intriguingly hostile.

What makes Second Life any different then a website? Websites make money, so why is ‘Virtual Reality’ supposedly just a “fad”

One thing I can tell you with 100% confidence, there are a lot of lonely, introverted, desperately seeking acceptance losers in these worlds and they spend an ungodly amount of real life money there. I’m guessing the people who say it’s stupid to have real value for ‘virtual’ product would also be against applying ‘real’ value to a great bottle of wine (it’s for drinking really), or to a fine painting (it’s a picture and nothing more), or to fashion clothes (it’s only a dress). If there are nerds out there that want to play computer games all day and night and live in their own little virtual world, go for it. As millions begin to have a stake in environments such as SecondLife–even relatively small interests–an event that destroys data could erase real money from people’s assets.

I’m happy that someone saw potential, jumped in on the ground floor and made a million bucks at it. A lot of money. What is Linden’s position on this particular issue?

Although I do agree that, ostensibly, this is a waste of time, it is, however, no more of a waste of ‘time’ than sitting in a cubicle punching in numbers into a computer all day for what a lot of us call a ‘real job in the real world’. That should be considered a good indicator of how lucrative this virtual “waste of time” (as some have deemed it) can be.

Can the real people behind the characters really cash-in at any moment? If so, why doesn’t this guy get some of his equity out now? You got to diversify that retirement fund Mr. In fact, the first major donation from community fundraising was given to the Red Cross and they refused the donation because they had no idea who or what Second Life was. What matters is that someone has invested time and resources into creating something that exists. Maybe we should all give Life a second chance.

I think a lot of people here are really missing the point of Second Life. What a bunch of hypocrites, as if any one of you critics would be so critical if you came up with an unconventional way of making $1M. Buying a XBox is real and if you hit someone hard enough with it they will bleed. Some are just augmenting parts of their RL or engaging in activities that they are not able to in real life for whatever reason (I’m certainly not going to design and build a ‘real’ house in my spare time).

This arguement that no real wealth can be created virtually is hogwash. Spending ones assets on a real house is just as ridiculous or wasteful as spending ones assets on a virtual one. Now that same script is on the internet for anyone to use. etc.

Can someone explain to me why this is legal, yet I as an American can no longer play the game of poker online for money?

The mantra about real-estate used to be “they are not making any more land” – but that’s not the case here, where add a few hundred more servers, and we all can have palatial estates.

One of my instructors in college once said “Something is worth what you can get people to pay for it.” As an IT guy I always preach in favor of backups. This woman bought zero additional Linden Dollars? So, say she started with 257 LD – ~1 dollar US. If someone steals someone else’s “SWORD” in World of Warcraft, or finds a glitch to steal someone’s property in Second Life, should they have a way to be made whole in our legal system? I argue that they should, no matter what people think personally about online worlds, etc. In this case off site backups would be preferred.

I love these pathetic chumps who are complaining that Second Life users aren’t “buying anything real” and are “wasting your time.”

When you paid money to see James Bond this weekend, did you believe you were actually watching a real superspy defeat real terrorists and evildoers? What? You knew it wasn’t real? And you paid money anyway? My God, you movie watchers need to GET A LIFE. It is everyone. Such people should educate themselves on modern avenues of entertainment and interaction or be left in the past.

How ridiculous. And if so, are there (should there be) real-world tax implications?

It adds new meaning to the term network security. But, obviously, that depends on the server and critical risk management protocols/processes setup and inacted. The first documented millionaire from Virtual holdings was John Yantis. And pretty much anything in between. you (or CNN) must have some vested finanical interest in this company with the dirth of articles that you print about them.

Amazing! The hostility shown here toward virtual environments and gamers. People on Second Life are interacting with other people – just through their computer. It’s a virtual world where everything inworld is created by it’s residents, including it’s culture…the nice thing is that you can make a real life living in SL, IF that’s what you want to do.

SL is a joke, it is just an online porno chat with graphics. Her holdings are only worth as much as the market will bear, so her worth, if liquidated, would probably be significantly lessened. Companies like IGE were founded off of individual efforts of off the above games, but grew in such a manner, that help was hired which changed them to big businesses operations as they are now. All of this stuff is something less than tangible, but people pay tons of money for CDs and DVDs. She isnt the FIRST per se. This would allow you to be reimbursed in real dollars if your virtual assets are destroyed. Chung and anyone else who spends any time in Second Life….

Until such time as you stop going to sporting events and concerts, buying or renting movies, going to the movie theater, watching anything on TV other than the news, or reading any books that are works of fiction, your opinions on virtual reality are not worth hearing. It all comes down to how much you want to risk of your own investments. With real money on the table the potential for real losses exists.

I’ve been a resident for years in SL. Period. I also believe that Linden Labs should have to report any and all “escrow” they earn throughout a given year for tax purposes. You can be factually correct but miss the much larger picture.

Tulips

Some of the people here responding have alot of nerve.

Do they not have any hobbies?

And I think virtual lawyers and virtual insurance agents with virtual cases and contracts are at least just around the corner, if not already in operation.

Buying and selling virtual real estate? Insuring the same? Converting non-real currency to dollars?

As Slavoj Zizek would say, it doesn’t get any more post-industrial. She was essentially doing the same thing, and, well, making money doing it. In the real world years ago we had beanie babies with people buying and selling them for thousands of dollars.

Is it worth a financial investment? That’s for you to decide. Many are critiquing the differences of those living in the “real” and those living in “fake” worlds and jumping quickly to the conclusion that something like “Second Life” is as disconnected as you can get from “real life.”

I think people who collect stamps are dislocated from real life. The recent bot that is able to immediately clone anything your avatar wants will certainly test intellectual property rights in ways we’ve never dreamed. Games of wealth are such–virtual or real.

I suppose if there were an earthquake, Virtual FEMA would show up 5 days late with virtual trailors and $2000 virtual debit cards, and half the population will have relocated to SimCity.

What a complete waste of time and human experience. “Virtual” is very different from real, you can’t pull the plug on real. To me this kind of thing encourages a resource drain of people and materials into a virtual world that profits us nothing. Where there is any demand and finite supply, there is value. It’s a social tool, it’s really an advanced graphical chat. Now who’s the fool?

I see the legal question you pose, and think you are rather ingenius for finding this. Hey , why not write a story about it?

I think you writing about the article is fine…I just can’t believe that this “game” is becoming popular enough to write about. Most of us, however, funnel our business profits back into SL – which Anshe has done by buying more islands. The islands that make up Anshe Chung’s dreamland cost a pretty penny, yes, that’s why she has a million dollars worth of virtual land. Not my thing, but cool none the less. Their latest version rivals Second Life graphics and is only 70 dollars a year. this will fall and when it does i pray for anche….and for your reputation

I’m still shocked that people would page any “real world dollars” for a virtual reality let alone “property”.

I’m a HUGE fan of Simutation type programs. It’s not real, after all.

Real world musicians play concerts introducing new people to their music. I’ve met few, if any people who were able to function well in both worlds.

From what I have seen, Linden Labs is still caught up in the mentality of a startup company, and needs to make the leap to being a “real” company that provides a stable platform for the buisiness they have courted to SL.

An important aspect many of you knee-jerk Luddites are missing: SL contains real people that will buy real stuff. Attack by theives or by crackers. That is why we have the SEC right?

Anyway, I have never used Second Life, but what I see from what i have read here and elsewhere is something like the movie industry in 1915, or the written novel industry in the early 1700s, or the pop music industry of the late 19th century/early 20th century, or even the internet in 1992. Rather sickening.

I think it’s each to his/her own. That story is available here. Not everything is about real world productivity. Finally, a disclaimer certainly must be in the terms and conditions to which the “players” agree when they decide to enter their virtual world. I don’t play this game with the idea of making money. I am sure that is as good as real insurance these days. They are somewhat safer in the virtual reality, and turn it into their life.

I think the pseudo-random aspects of most games mean that Linden Labs is in violation of UIGEA.

What’s the difference between playing a game that is a mixture of skill and chance (like poker on PokerStars) and playing a different game that is a mixture of skill and chance (like Second Life)? Both are played with virtual money that is explicitly convertible to real money.

Why, you may wonder, do I consider Chung’s achievement to be a suitable topic for a legal affairs blog? Well, it’s a bit of a stretch. Not everyone in SL is there to have virtual sex, though the more normal social interactions (conversation, discussion, negotiation, etc.) are certainly an important part of the community. After all, someone is making money; a lot of it.

I had an employee who rooted himself to his seat playing MMORPG’s during worktime.

This is sounding very much like we’re heading towards the question of “Can I have a Real World Insurance policy placed against my Virtual World property and holdings?”

That, however, is another can of worms that we may be forced to deal with.

Mankind is truly a perverted creature. How is this different than your so called money existing in the virtual bank server as data? It’s not, I just wouldn’t trust my assets to game programmers though ;-)

Unless you have done the research and/or have participated in this or other massively-multiplayer environment, you really don’t know what you are talking about.

“Scurting” and “dirth”? The only thing more surprising than the lack of ability to spell (or use a spell checker) is the venom for which some of those here apparently hold SL in disdain.

Like it or not, and though early in development, this is the future. Many colleges and businesses use simulations to train people in situations. And I probably don’t need to carry virtual professional liability insurance, either! Hmm….

Legally, I can imagine a field to facilitate transactions, as well as to moderate companies, so that they don’t suddenly flood their market with new land/goods and ruin the assets of their existing users.

What happened with the copy cat script that was used by hackers, they copied all the virtual stuff, how does this effect the users that made those objects. Or talk it over with your real world psychologist…

I think that I am going to invest in real estate in earthquake proof data storage centers.

So let them sue over virtual deals gone virtually bad. If we stopped the war for two days we could send that $350 million dollars that would have been spent those two says and do something about poverty, aids, massacres, and global warning that go on around the world. Some of the skeptical comments may turn out to be correct, but at this point, it is real money that is being invested and made. And, so what if someone else makes money selling these “places” to meet? How is this so different than any number of web site creators who made money having people come to their site to share things – such as MySpace, IVillage, WebMD, etc etc.

And, as to them “wasting” their time – who cares? What about people who play fantasy sports? Should they abandon that hobby so they can better contribute to real society? Heck, that’s so popular ‘stats are published during the games!

If you can make one million dollars playing a fantasy game, without investing real money in it, that can’t be a bad thing, and I’d say you’re pretty clever.

People saying how ‘pitiful’ Ms. However, to each his own.

Like allot of the above comments…

Much more fun to communicate with virtual friends then it is to go outside and play in a park or go for a walk etc.

. One is reminded of a Simpsons episode where they lampoon an internet company that has their stock certificates rolled up to be used as toilet paper. He and I are split now and I’d love to say that it was Second Life that caused it. The only value in this “real estate” is created artificially by limiting space. I bet it’s a roughly Total Land Value = Total Amount of Currency available.

The blend of real world time and resources invested into virtual activities is quite fascinating. The only reason “virtual” has any value is because millions of people are in agreement that it has value. Are there insurance agents and policies in Secone Life. Second Life while well publicised is the new kid on the block. Her presence in the world is very pervasive.

I do own land in SL, although I realize that owning is really renting from Linden Labs, and if they go under or I am banned for some reason I am out of luck.

If you put $$ into “virtual property” which just like real property can be lost, too bad. So regardless whether I agree, the implications and trickle down effects of other peoples’ hobbies will eventually reach me.

How about “virtual pathetic”? Go marry a virtual person, eat a virtual meal and live in a virtual house. I think it’s cool. Why? Why not use Second Life to create a simulation of a building you are designing for someone and walk them through it completely top to bottom before doing a single thing in the real world? There are immense marketing and business possibilities merging the real and virtual worlds and that is why there is so much press about Second Life lately and there will be more about newer possibilities of the Metaverse. To sum up this comment, “welcome to last week”

Second life is just a fad. This is directly analogous to the work of a daytrader, who certainly pays taxes on capital gains.

The Linden Dollar will crash as soon as the buzz wears off…. But don’t waste my time reporting on them.

Why don’t people use this anger and questioning of why people people spend money on this Second Life or should I say Get A Life and instead question people who spend money on useless crap such as fancy cars or high tech electronics when they can barley feed there children or pay their rent. You still have to work for the money. They are losing the opportunity to better their own lives in the process. And people who watch reality TV. To the others, get a life…..

I just wonder how much of this “Second Life” money is going to Neal Stephenson, since it sounds exactly like the concept detailed in his book Snow Crash – over 10 years ago!

It’s all very interesting. For others, such as musicians, they can provide performances and reach out to audiences they never had access to before. Wants to know what steps she can take. I think it will be interesting to see if some form of insurance will become available to “residents.”

Sooner or later a person has to look himself in the mirror after 60-70 years of living and hopefully he or she will feel proud of what they have accomplished.

poop

It doesn’t make sense to me that people would have such reactions as “live in the real world!”

The reason is, we live in a world of information. The information and emotions one gets from a virtual world or no less real than what one feels in the “real” world. Sure, someone may be able to turn a buck, but the resources wasted by those who didn’t makes it easy to see why we have global warming. They just need to go get a cat orsomething.

People who make real US dollars in these games are just entertainers and those who facilitate the entertainment. If you dont like it, go play golf or something.

Wake up and smell the bytes, we’re headed towards a civil war between the online and the offline societies.

In a normal economy, this would devalue a currency relative to other currencies. And that includes of course lawyers.

So now they have the clothes people are selling, but they get them for free.

What I find surprising is how resistent some folks are to the very idea that such an environment can ever exist, and successfully. In addition to building things (everything in the Second Life world is user-created), I can write scripts to bring action to these items. It might come in handy should they contract virtual AIDS from having Virtual Sex in a virtual world with a virtual infected lover….

TAXES?!?!

Second Life is rife with casinos where one may bet, win or lose, Linden Dollars.

I’ll be interested to see how long the popularity lasts, as well as what imitators SL spurs.

I think the legal issues that arise are numerous.

Such as oversight on Linden dollars. Any input would be appreciated. Hurricanes or computer crashes. The stamp collectors and Republicans are so far removed from what I believe to be reality still have an economic impact in some way or another. The supply is (by design of Second Life) fixed. Aside from the casual socializing “playing in SL”, SL is used in several ways…Education: several universites teach courses in SL, ranging from basic 3D modeling to other fields like sociology, anthropology, architecture design; Medical studies: SL provides a safe creative environment for adults who suffer from conditions/disorders like autism, cerebral palsy or who’re paraplegic, giving them the ability to communicate, socialize intermingle in ways they never could in real life.

When disasters like the ’04 San Bernidino fires Hurricane Katrina occurred, residents sold merchandise, held fundraisers and other events to raise money, donating 100% of the proceeds to organizations like Red Cross, Toys-For-Tots during X-Mas Kava.org. I’ve seen some of the criticism thrown about SL, yet it’s obvious they’ve never tried it. It’s full of freaks.

http://www.somethingawful.com/index.php?a=4230

Just like the dot.com bust – real things are real, and when the electricity goes down for whatever reason, the unreal things vanish and are worth nothing. If the amount of time and money spent on “virtual” were actually put to a good use, maybe this “real” world would actually be a better place to live.

Real estate rental is a very high risk business venture, even in Second Life. All the power to her and the other entrepreneurs of secondlife who can make a simple social venue into a profitable experience as well. ‘Real’ money too has only subjective value, but at least more people believe in it and it is not only on a server some where on the West Coast (I assume). These people who escape reality through drugs and VR escapades, etc. Perhaps more effective than what online courses are like now.

I just have one thing to say to this article and the comments posted…Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

You haven’t even scratched the surface of the legal issues I believe SecondLife has been scurting. Anybody want a free subscription?

Interesting times!

As an avid user of Second Life, I can tell you that Anshe Chung is indeed the most notable real estate tycoon, far outweighing any others. He developed relationships with women who also didn’t have “real” jobs or were housewives. (They could singlehandedly wipe out the economy of the virtual world, or artificially inflate the values of properties or the monetary exchange rate.)

However, having said all that, all the fat losers of America can play in that world all they want. The key is the dont publicize their earnings. Is SL a game any more? Or a virtual economy that may drive the real economy soon?

Good for her…SL is amazing.

Imagining serving a warrant to a notorious “flamer” or one of the many “l33t d00dz” is quite an amusing, and very highly appealing, thought.

I just have one thing to say to this article and the comments posted…Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe Locke’s unadulterated, “Life, Liberty, and Property” fits better in this context

To Anonymous (the first post). Are you listening? ‘Furries.’ There’s a great future in furries. Many residents cried foul, but she wasn’t violating the terms of service…she was merely doing what others were too scared of doing themselves or never dreamed of doing. What if someone becomes an in-world real estate agent and recommends a property buy? Are they then liable if property values decline? Eventually, you will see all the same methods of making money in the real world being copied in-world and all the scams and get-rich-quick schemes.

I am a strong supporter of doing what you feel, as long as others are not hurt in any way, shape or form. Anshe Chung has invested LITERALLY hundreds of thousands of dollars to realize a million in actual currency. She would like to regain her property and make sure doesn’t happen again – the principle of it.

Thanks so much.

In order to get around the potential liability, they should offer virtual insurance. Will you think about it? Shh! Enough said. Second Life, on the other hand, openly authorizes and facilitates exchanges between its currency and real-world currencies, so that particular legal issue does not arise. If you prefer socializing online with people from around the world more than say, drunks in some bar up the street, then so what? Your also apt to meet a more diversified collection of individuals than you would find there. A piece of land, a book, a car, a stock, a painting, any good or service you can name? it doesn?t matter whether it actually exists or not. It is the ultimate in sad.

The more interesting issue is whether income taxes are being collected and paid on the income earned.

All the “Real World” bigots should pick up a physics book and read about String Theory. One thing to consider — I have known several disabled people who spent most of their time in Second Life, and I think it does add considerably to their overall quality of life. Do you watch TV? I don’t even own one. it is evident that this is earth shattering..well not for me of course, but to the clueless laggers out there.

I wouldn’t say that I agree with a person committing their life efforts to “artificial” results, but I cannot say I disapprove of it. If that sucker one day realizes he’s buying really much of nothing, then that person is SOL.

Understand that Second Life is a virtual community, and that it was established as a kind of reflection of reality. They are not like normal video gamespeople play to “win”. The only difference between ‘real’ and virtual product is you can touch real product. When land was first being auctioned, residents were merely bidding for land parcels for their own personal use. At least this is an “active” pastime where you participate, as opposed to watching TV, which is a “passive” activity. Should we hold this virtual marketplace accountable for this? Southwest, Amazon and others have. Additionally, Second Life can take steps (international back-up servers) that can reduce some of those risks. I prefer a fixed fee unlimited building environment such as Activeworlds.com . Very interesting.

You could argue that players are each running their own home business, in a 1099 sense. The question is, how will they go about getting their fair share?

I think it’s funny how the majority of comments here can look down on the people that choose to play this game with their free time.

My biggest question concerns Linden Labs’ value in the marketplace vs the rights of the landowners which give it it’s value. They also get a small quantity of Linden dollars to start out with, enabling the participant to buy additional tools and objects within the world itself. Enough money to get her on CNN. If I’m not mistaken, the software for the game is not compatable with speech reading software, limiting access of the blind to “property” that conducts commerce, therefore establishing the requisite requirements for the act to apply. They are part of companies that deal in the entertainment industry. They lack in physical presence, but allow people who are scattered far apart to spend time together.

My first impression of this article is it is a “calling all ambulance chasers” siren. All businesses who rely on web pages have the same risk if ever the servers were to shut down. When you open a real factory you can create real things that help produce real value for you and for the person buying what you create. In addition to building a house, playing with my son and wife, running an actual business and a VIRTUAL one. It?s canned drama. People showed up – threatened her – then her home was “gone” – some connection with the landlord apparently by the “robbers”:, Linden Labs apparently refused to do anything about it and told her to get a lawyer. dollars, which was then donated to several other charities…but what a loss for the Red Cross because they lacked the ability to do research and find out what Second Life was all about. She has literally has made a “Second Life” for herself that will make her real life better than her virtual life. We know that. We could think of the US dollars pulled out of the game minus the US dollars invested into the game as one big capital gain — and tax it accordingly.

Many people do not like the idea of this, it seems silly. There have been huge growing pains in SL recently, including attacks, bugs, network problems, and database slowdowns, which have resulted in either downtime or degraded performance on a very frequent basis. The objective for most people in SL is not to amass a fortune, but to have fun. Both have value and risks, both had to be constructed over time, both provide something desirable, both will be bought and sold. (A spokesperson for Linden Lab told me she could not immediately verify Chung’s claim, because Chung’s property is held in many different names, but hopes to have the information by later today.)

And about Anshe Chung, she may have been an early adopter, but it’s never too late for another person to do what’s she’s doing. Btw, before she became the famous land baroness she is today, she worked in SL as an escort for a famous club in SL. A person can make money playing it all the time and selling their stuff. Maybe a person can get virtual insurance. And yes, the trend is just starting!!

-Steven Burda

The line of reality and unreality is drawn between those who are involved in one world and not another, and critique the differences. Think of the potential benefits to the physically disabled. But I can’t, so kudos to her for finding a way.

This is nothing more than a pyramid scheme. At some point, the game stops being a hobby and turns into addiction. If these are tomorrow’s leaders, then I fear for our future.

Who knows what new technologies and opportunities will be spawned from such creative thinking.

There is little difference between this and the situations which preceded the massive devaluations of tech stocks in 2000. Good for her – I assume she’ll list it on her income tax forms, seeing she’s a “real” businessperson and all. Some people with businesses in SL are happy to make the game pay for itself – more correctly, to get others to buy enough of their creations that the cost to the business owner for the game is zero. Otherwise it’s just a nice nitch market for a few individuals willing to spend their time and resources on what some would consider foolish.

However, despite my personal experience, I can’t see how there aren’t going to be imitators, mergers, Google buyouts (as mentioned below), MySpace tie-ins, more and more promotion, more and more customers and more and more and incentives to birth a virtual alter-ego.

Posted By Anonymous : 7:47 PM

In my opinion, that form of entertainment and subsequent profiteering is in no way different than the topic presented here.

Okay, wow.

Better to live and create in the real world.

What I see as an interesting discussion would be the liabilities of “crime” happening in such a virtual place.

This Anshe Chung however seems like a brilliant person. However, to have this you would have to pay in real dollars. Still, you might ask whether Linden Lab is courting legal liability if its servers should suddenly go down one day, destroyed, say, in some real-world earthquake, leaving Second Life denizens devoid of “property” or at least expectations in which they’ve invested so much real time and money. it can happen. Especially if real life hunters move into a “Second Life.”

These companies should be ecstatic that so many people want to play that their members are deciding it’s worth it to spend that much time in their game to actually sell things and make cash.

It is so interesting that so many people felt that this is not the real world and it does not matter. Perhaps “value” is better defined by time and effort.

Posted By Anonymous : 6:50 PM

I think SL is a wonderful social experiment, and the only people here naysaying it are those that don’t truly understand the nature of it. I commend her and envy her foresight.

I ran a similar business in a competing online world. (pfft)**

I wrote about Chung a little bit in a Fortune feature story in November 2005, called “From Megs to Riches,” which focused on the broader phenomenon of people earning real money from activities they engage in while playing online games. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage.” ? Charlie Chaplin

Personally i feel stories like this are full of BS. What would keep me from creating my own SL “avitect” and selling virtual design services (heck, virtual design and construction services!) to other SLers?”

Lots of people in SecondLife do that very thing right now. And if any of you have ever spent any time in message boards or chat rooms, then you really ought to shut up, because, well, SL amounts to a sort of 3D chat room on steroids (and Viagra ;) )… And as far as clogging the courts, I’d rather see how the courts handle artificial realty than, as per today’s headline, a murder trial over a guy who shot his friend over a $20 college football bet.

Are there virtual terrorists in the virtual world? What steps has virtual Homeland Security taken to prevent virtual terrorist attacks? Can you create virtual war? …can you tell me how one might get back his virtual change from the virtual vending machine that stole his virtual bag of chips? So, how was everyone’s virtual Thanksgiving? Do you have virtual holidays???

Should Second Life not serve the purpose to explore, innovate, refine and intrigue while gathering information about everything that is out ‘there’? Should Life itself not serve the same purpose. Think about it. The donation amounted to several thousand U.S. Companies like IGE and its founder would be the “first virtual millionaire”. I utilize my real education and experience in a the virtual world. But in fact, it was his antics in the Virtual World that were more than I could handle. He did not spend time with his daughter or his wife. Remember, our technological laws are based mostly on telephone and telegraphs, radios and TV’s. She is not new to the site – has been there for some time. There are no solid objects in our shared reality — it’s all energy — the air, earth, and water are all highly organized forms of energy.

Welcome to the future (if you want to see it more clearly, read Neal Stephensen and Tad Williams).

It’s a fascinating comment on the direction of our society in general. Everything in the SL world is made by residents (Aka “users”) in world. Besides the fact that people may lose all there Linden dollars to some catastrophe affecting servers in the real world, what about losing Linden dollars in-world. In a simple economy like the one in SL the relative value of items in SL can be easily derived by dividing the total amount of currency in circulation divided by the amount of commodity present. Of course it’s a risk. What a collosal waste of talent!

how dare you CNN,writing articals like this GLORIZING someone without facts about LL currency system- it means nothing, the value of a dollar is little compared to things now aday and yet you write articals about this and name someone this…. I have all expansions of each programs and enjoy them very much. We also know that, for the most part, we are playing with money that would go towards other entertainment concerns. There are risks inherent in any kind of investing, real world, or virtual.

After reading many blog comments, it is clear that since so many dont even have a clue about what is going really in virtual environments, what are the various applications etc…, and not realizing that activities in virtual environments are real and productive… The moment I see someone trying to sell me thier creation, will be a breaking point for me. This story is Second Life spin at it’s finest.

I think that denizens of that universe should look at it like they do real property or personal property…GET INSURANCE!! It seems to me that persons occupying that world, if they have convertible Linden dollars should ask their insurance companies about coverage, given that the Linden dollars have translatable value. Or their preference for virtual life over real life. The concept of virtual realities having real world connections has been made by numerous science fiction writers in the recent past. I have a small business there making houses, my virtual business nets me about $200 USD each month, enough to pay the monthly charges (tier) for the land that I own. Unfortunately, digital as a second language types (those raised prior to the introduction of home computers and cellphones) just can’t seem to move beyond their ignorance to see some of its potential uses. Is it really irresponsible to run from the first life into a second? Video game designers are people. This would only be news if someone actually converted it to ‘real’ money and ‘real’ assets. and sold … It’s a heck of a lot healthier than many of the other hobbies we as Americans (and people in general) like to have.

Players of “Second Life” are the bread and butter of hard-working game designers, just as viewers provide the bread and butter to producers and directors in the movie industry.

It would seem that on-line poker players who parlay an on-line tournament win into a seat at a real tournament, then proceed to win a million or more at the real tournament would also be virtual millionaires. It’s apparently important enough now that Reuters has opened up a news bureau IN Second Life, and that the governments of Australia, Britain and the US are viewing the earnings made in Second Life as real, taxable income. The biggest issue I have is it seems I was the only one reporting earnings to the IRS.

These people who keep cashing out and laundering the money to avoid taxes will soon wake up to the harsh reality of life or behind bars.

People need to wake up!!! What kind of sick, sad people would pay real money to get something that is not real? If these people have so much extra cash that they can throw it away on buying virtual real-estate, perhaps they should start using that money to do something good, like feed a homeless person, or donate that money to AIDS research. (In all candor, at this point, every major news organization has written at least one such story, and a fair number of those were published before mine.)

Sounds like its time for virtual property insurance companies to spring up.

Second Life = Second Hype. This is a great opportunity to study speculative asset bubbles as well.

The demand for Virtual Land is largely linked to the number of subscribers, with their $100 Linden Dollars, as well as whatever people have brought into the system using real dollars. It’s not just nickels and dimes anymore.

Regardless of whether you think this is an entertaining activity or a waste of time, this is a very interesting and useful tool for Economic simulation and research. Set up shop there and pimp your real world services or products.

Also, SL may well be a precursor to a future internet interface. Also, why would someone want to invest in real estate in a “world” in which a single company has control of literally every aspect of the “world”.

Wouldn’t a simple disclaimer or an agreement to the terms of playing the game take care of that? Just goes to show how much money is in this country, as I return from a 2 month stay in Eastern Europe. Even if players’ earnings and gains are in a “foreign currency,” that currency is directly convertible into USD (and vica-versa).

This is starting to sound like real-world income… Earthquakes or viruses. If you don’t buy the insurance, too bad, you lose, no liability for the company – just like in real life.

And as for the people who variously said things about touching/loving real people, spending time with real friends, etc. Why? Because life is fun. dollar.

Buying and selling of stocks is just as virtual as these online games. With that being said, if Linden Lab were have a disclamer, not holding them (Linden Lab) liable for disasters such as you name, then I have no objections to it whatsoever. But she can rent this land to people and make several hundred dollars per month per island.

For other people, it’s not about buying and selling land. The question is whether or not an actual, real world value can be placed on it. An “Island” now costs well over $1,000 RL dollars – not including any development.

Jason said, “What is interesting to me is whether the IRS should step up and start requiring one to report earning made from such enterprise.”

Actually, the US Congress is in the preliminary stages of probing virtual economies. If you are spending thousands on virtual property, I would hope you have at least spoken with the Second Life company in person, and verified independently the security features on their server systems, the threat of natural disasters where the company resides, competing programs, etc. currency, Chung says she has made all her additional Linden dollars via in-world buying, building, trading, and selling. This is merely the fulfillment of the move towards quaternary occupations, a service based economy where no raw materials are produced or crafted into consumer goods. Thats refreshing! To everyone whining about this being a waste of time: What exactly do you think you’re wasting to come up with the judgement of OTHER PEOPLES TIME?

If it make them happy, does it really matter if you approve?

I personally find this exercise in creating a “virtual” economy to be fascinating study in how people create and perceive value. They attempt to avoid liability since the gambling systems are setup by the virtual owners of the gambling devices.

This article provides the details on their response. When you create a virtual factory you only pretend to help people in exchange for money. Well, let me tell you it was boring as crap.

Nothing beats real sex, real food, real drinks, and having face to face conversations in the real world. What happens then? All very interesting questions.

I agree that Second Life presents a plethora of new legal issues. This is not the first.

Engaging in creative ventures inside of Second Life comes along with certain practical risks (like a real earthquake) that individuals should take into account before they decide to engage in a venture. Anshe Chung is currently making a real life living in an online arena, whether this can be maintained long term is irrelevant, shes making some decent cash right now. These people have lost touch with reality. It all depends what you want to do in SL. She will give a press conference about her achievement tomorrow (November 28) at 9:00 a.m. currency worth more than $1 million.

Chung is the nom de keyboard of Ailin Graef, a former schoolteacher who says she was born and raised in Hubei, China, and is now a citizen of Germany. We are no doubt on the verge of disputes over Second Life property and avitar identity theft.

Let’s hope there are no precedent-setting legal blows to the possibilities this environment has to offer.

May I suggest someone developing a judicial process within the Second Life world where participants agree all such disputes involving the simulation are brought and resolved?

It sounds like their may be a virtual world opportunity for someone to offer property insurance to protect against the loss of virtual property to a real world catastrophe.

Maybe some people don’t WANT to add to the real world.. Ownership of a stock has value because it might be expected to provide dividends. No, he did not have a “real” job but managed to become somewhat successful in Second Life. Of course, someone above said it all with his one-word post: “Tulips.” We’ve seen this all before…from the Dutch Tulip Bubble of the 1630s, through the speculative build-up preceding the 1929 Market Crash, to the Internet Bubble of the late 1990s. Everyone wondered why you would by virtual real estate during the birth of the internet. I’ll keep my horse…horseless carriages are a FAD…a FAD, I tell ya!!… She may be a millionaire in virtual holdings, but her ability to liquidate those virtual assets is suspect at best. If this artificial landscape grew in scope and applicability, then perhaps they could acquire some legitamate value as platforms for advertising or some other creative money making scheme. And to those of you who believe we should be spending that money helping others through charitable contributions, until you stop eating out and start fixing your own food at home instead, same for you. Truly, the interesting thing about SL is that it really can be whatever you want to make of it. And, as another reader pointed out, if more virtual property were added, her holdings would decrease in value.

This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Anyone with half a brain an a little patience could put the same into a much safer mutual fund, twiddle their thumbs and be worth 10 million in a few years – without a single hour spent on virtual buying, developing and trading.

And although virtual worlds are less sophisticated than our own they continue to evolve, grow and become more complex. Who controls the exchange rate and infuses capital into the “virtual world” that could directly impact your financial stake in the “real world”.

“How ridiculous. I can see by the postings of many here that they don’t have the slightest idea what Second Life is and how it’s a platform not game. Virtual product has the same tangible benefits and value. Because of that, some enjoy “playing” that they have a life… And people who wait in 10 hour lines for a video game system. I’d be interested to see economic data for SL. And out of all these people some are making money and some are spending it. SL has essentially adopted an inflationary monetary policy by steadily increasing the supply of currency by new subscribers. The nexus between the web and the real world has been held pretty tight in district courts regarding the ADA and a “physical” place, this isn’t much of a stretch to hold that the nexus includes “virtual property” where commerce is conducted.

Sure they can ban accounts but that isn’t helping anyone. In my RL job, I work for a large bank. I could probably make $1M too if I could “earn” and turn in enough Monopoly money down at the recycle shop. Come on ppl are u for real? Go outside and do something with yourself.

One persons foolishness is another persons money making opportunity. I’ve already “wasted” time with these games I’m hooked on now.

For me, I’m an artist, and SL is just another way for me to express my art, and make a little extra money on the side.

My biggest fear is that people are giving up their real lives to persue a life online. Some nations are already considering taxing convertible money earned in such games, and there are questions about related issues, such as money laundering. Linden Lab didn’t start cashing out their currency until late last year.

This reminds me of the value placed on Beany Babies, Pet Rocks and other assorted junk. Graef! Virtual real estate is the classiest oxy-moron I’ve ever heard.

I would just like to say thanks for all of your hilarious comments. I pity those who live a “virtual life”…imagine what their “real” lives must be like.”

Hmm…sounds like fear of the unknown.

Personally, I found Second Life a bit boring. i am suddenly reminded of another prospect for this: the sudden boom of websites a few years ago… These are everywhere! It is a tend that has been going on for years and years now. All of these form part of the fabric of a capitalist society, and support for capitalism implies support for any crazy idea, product or service that people are prepared to pay for.

Those people who suspect SL is simply a fad should take a quick history lesson – look at the ‘fads’ that are now endemic in our society: the car; mobile phones; computers; skateboards; etc.

What folks need to understand is that from the residents perspective, it’s hardly a waste of time and there’s more to it than just making a buck. I pity those who live a “virtual life”…imagine what their “real” lives must be like.

Very good read! Thank you. What do people think?

Perhaps they should start teaching virtual law in schools now to deal with the inevitable tide of virtual slum lords–maybe start with virtual tenant rights and rent control, good grief.

I don’t do any of the above things, but, live and let live. SL tried to downplay the whole thing…

But this caused the linden vs USD to drop, so people rushed to convert linden money to real USD, and this caused a major loss of linden value.

Also, many are scamming the buying system, they wait in virtual clothing stores and try on clothes or wait for others to, and then they just grab the image file from their hard drive, all images on stored in a cache folder.

So you see… In 2002 he sold his virtual property to IGE for an undisclosed figure rumored to be just shy of 8 figures.

Please correct your article.

Anshe didn’t start as a RL wealthy person, she was merely a part-time school-teacher and homemaker, like many of the women making money in SL – it is a miracle for female entrepreneurs.

When the stock market crashes, you lost..You knew it was a gamble when you bought it! no brainer.

For those of you who have read *The Tipping Point*, I believe Second Life has recently tipped. It’s a fun place to float around and meet people, but the incredible irony is that people are spending so much RL (“Real Life”) time in virtual environments – they could be just as productive, if not more so, and make far more money doing it.

I personally challenged myself to recover my $100 RL investment for a year’s members in in SL. But yes, let’s play devil’s advocate and say that such a total devistation did still occur and that there was no way to recover the data. In Second Life, subscribers get a tool kit that enables them to build and create an avatar (a character in the world). I cannot disapprove. We pay for services now that 20 years ago we would think ridiculous to pay for. Matter doesn’t exist — it tends to exist. Which raises a question: do in-world investors insure their virtual property with real dollars?

I’m sorry, what????

I read this article twice and still have no idea what any of it means.

Second Life’s creators and denizens do not like it to be called a game–you don’t shoot at monsters while you’re there, for instance–but it might be categorized nonetheless as a special variety of so-called massively multiplayer online role-playing game (or MMORPG for relatively short), albeit one that is more akin to SimCity than to World of Warcraft. If some virtual world wheeler-dealer thinks their virtual real-estate is more terra-firma than New Orleans they ARE living in a fantasy world. Now get off your butt and do something. If you’re just looking at the money side of things, you’re being ignorant towards the rest of what SL has to offer.

Land is wealth everywhere.

Fake money, real money, what is the difference? Is not all money fake, is not life game? By server or God via crash or cataclysm we are at the mercy of the World and not it’s master. It does pose some interesting legal issues, however!

Though you can buy additional Linden dollars from Linden Lab by paying U.S. LOL. Dont you ever get the feeling that you were born on the wrong planet?

You’re incorrect. The “Real World” doesn’t seem so real after you do, especially the part about they aren’t sure strings would exist if they didn’t vibrate. To point the most drastic example – one of my friends, who had for several years played on-line first person shooters, became squad leader in basic training within several days due to the leadership skills he developed cooperating with other players on daily basis. If that business fails (or in the case of Second Life, the servers crash), well, it’s a shame, but you’ve lost your investment. Well, at least if you lose your virtual millions when the virtual real estate market goes bust and can take a jump off your virtual skyscraper that’s now worth virturally nothing and still live to tell the tale. Learning to build a business, even if virtually in SL, could be argued to be a better learning tool than reading a book on the subject, but nobody is going to say reading a book is a waste of time…..

The other MMORPG’s have attempted to stop the sale of virtual items for cash however they forget one simple thing and that is the fact that I am allowed to sell my time and effort.

This is why sites like www.playersauctons.com have not been shut down legally by the makers of these games.

This certainly raises the question of a viable and profitable market for cyberspace insurance with real reimbursement!

you guys are all crazy

While I do not personally play these online games I do see the appeal of them. Virtual World Real People.

A few months ago, I was curious and logged in to SL after paying a 1-month subscription. The only real transaction should be buying the real product or buying expansions of the real product. So what if they spend money to join clubs, or buy “permanent residence” on an island for people having similar ideas, or whatever.

You bring up a very interesting point or a start down a slippery slope. A Linden official responded to questions regarding the Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Well I hate to say this but this is not the first site that you don’t fight monsters in and spend real life monrey in and buy realastate. You think nobody will buy these bonds? Show them the cashflow and they will buy ANYTHING. Even you…

I took a final on this very subject in my Cyberlaw (Internet Law) Class in law school 2 semesters ago. Here is Chung’s announcement, which has additional details. If people lose or make money from it, then great, but if it disappears overnight from some disaster that is the risk you take.

I find it ironic that so many mark SL as a waste of time or unproductive to society. She may be the first most successful land baron of SL, but not the first to attempt to be one. A person should do what makes them happy. How much a month do we all pay for cable/satellite? It is the same exact thing. Are we supposed to clog the courts with cases because someone tripped over a power cord and your virtual world and everything in it went “zap”? I hope not. It is probably very analagous to investing in a highly speculative foreign country’s stock.

I think what many people seem to be missing in their responses is that like it or not, virtual communities have been around in one form or another for over 20 years and will continue to grow and expand for that segment of the population that finds escapism in it and to be and do things that are impossible for them in the real world. I mean, who uses computers or any other form of digital entertainment anyway?

Furthermore, why don’t the SL players just blow people up for their resources and wealth…like the RL players.

I’ve written about *how* Anshe made her million here:http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2006/11/the_anshe_chung.html

I wonder if Lloyd’s of London would insure my virtual estate empire in Second Life? Probably not, because the Lindens drop down a TOS — which has become more and more refined as time wears on — saying that basically, our holdings have no intrinsic value, the currency is merely a license to use the scrip inworld for microtransactions, and we can be expelled “for any reason or no reason” and all our property and belongings deleted without compensation.

Need to look up Yantis, one of the first major sellers in the secondary market of MMO’s, this person is DEFINLTY not the first millionare in online game profits.

I assume they could add some servers and her cool mil could be a not so cool 50k in as long as it took them to plug them in.

Thanks, Amy from Philly. Some have described SL as a 3D chatroom, others have called it a virtual world of Lego where one can create anything they’d like. Insurance, liability, property rights, theft, and taxation will all be expanded into the virtual realm over time.

Property or any other asset in the real world has value only because it inherently has something to offer.

I know people that buy season tickets to sporting events, parking, beer, food, etc, in order to watch other people run around and to socialize with like-minded individuals. There does not seem to be any inherent value in virtual real estate except to those in the queer niche of die hard gamers. I don’t see why not.

Congratulations to Anshe Chung. But questions could also arise over the time it takes for full recovery and whether Linden Labs is responsible for lost revenue to Second Life ‘businesses’.

Is the money taxed?

It amuses me to hear so many people’s comments draw firm distinctions between “real world” and “virtual worlds” — many with sarchasm and contempt.

Physics and many religions teach that what we perceive as the “real world” is an illusion.

I think the whole thing is ridiculous. What does matter is if people want it, and what they will pay for it.

Geez, what a bunch of sour grapes whiners here. Clearly these folks don’t have a clue about SecondLife.

Personally, I find it fascinating that someone had the vision to create such a place and attract over 1 million subscribers. The lion’s share of it, she says, has been made by buying, developing, and then renting or reselling “land”–i.e., control over the virtual real estate simulated by Linden’s servers. I think many people want to “poo poo” the very idea of SL because they’re ignorant to what SL is and has no become.

The world (real and virtual) is insane…..

Same with property values, due to supply and demand; and the owner of the company is in full control of supply and demand. All transactions, building, destroying, etc. I have spent a fair amount of my own money to enhance this experience, but anyone can use all the tools available in Second Life for free. In fact, it was IGE Gaming Open Market that first traded in Lindens, not Linden Lab itself. I may prefer to interact with other people; love, touch and feel real lovers and hold and help real people. But what about the economic crashes that have happened repeatedly in the real world? What about 1929, and 1987, and 2000? People will hopefully continue to learn from these mistakes. We pay $20 for a DVD, when the value is not in the 10-cent disc, but in the content on the disc, and the same with music, so is this much different? I don’t see why.

I find it very interesting that so many people here seem to think that it is wrong for people to pay money for virtual product (in the case of SL, this includes real estate, cars, clothing, houses etc). Value is subjective.

“The cinema is little more than a fad. I don’t really care. (The term was first coined by Neal Stephenson in a 1992 book entitled Snow Crash which was the foundation for Second Life and a few other virtual communities like The Palace)

Still, most people suspend disbelief in the fragility of the world and spend and make money with relative ease. Strange it may be….nonsense it is not. But most people can make more money working the same number of hours. We have plenty of dumb real life lawsuits in the court system already, what’s a few more going to do?

On-line creation/exchange of digital goods is the wave of the future and there is nothing legally wrong about it.

“Still, you might ask whether Linden Lab is courting legal liability if its servers should suddenly go down one day, destroyed, say, in some real-world earthquake, leaving Second Life denizens devoid of “property” or at least expectations in which they’ve invested so much real time and money. She made $1M, good for her! I’m sure she’ll manage to handle the ‘get-a-life’ criticism here if she can in fact deposit $1M in a real bank.

Why are their hobbies more “important” than someone who enjoys playing a MMORPG?

On a lighter note, if the IRS were to tax gamers for capital gains made in this virtual world and in this fictitious currency, should the income be considered foreign or domestic?

it is a bit of a stretch .. I think there are certainly those who will take something like SL too far and probably DO need to get a real life. But to your point, I think the next big industry to awake to this phenomenon will be the legal world. With all the sprawl, I prefer to make fake skyscrapers than contribute to urban sprawl and disposable electronics that polute our enviroment. Groups do fundraisers for a variety of real world causes exchanging Lindens for real world donations. Fun to read about.

People who parachute, why should the courts and insurance companies be hindered with the cases of people jumping out of perfectly good airplanes?

I’m sorry……Get a real job and make a real $1,000,000,000.00 and then I’ll tell you congratulations on a job well done!!!

If she was real smart, she’d put up virtual billboards on her virtual real estate and sell virtual advertising space to real world businesses? If this game has that many players than maybe she could turn a buck or two doing that.

There have been some comments here disparaging the time/efforts of people in a virtual world. If the worst thing someone does with their life is toss away some money in a virtual world, so be it. The only value they have is that which the collective give them. Wake up and smell the coffee writers and fellow readers. Chung is, how ‘stupid’ Second Life is, etc., should look at themselves and see if they’ve got $1,000,000 too…

I’m not interested in going back to SL. I needed a a good laugh

If I choose to sell 5 hours of my time and “give” you whatever I happen to obtain during those 5 hours. Though I do believe virtual world economics could be a viable business.

On December 2 the New York School of Law is having a panel on the tax implications of such “gaming” (IIRC it is part of a larger conference). One buys a game or joins Second Life, and plays or interacts in that world. But most of us are happy to simply have fun and watch you media mouthpieces gush about things you know little about. The fact is, most items for sale range from 50 virtual dollars to a few hundred. Whether it’s a sewn sweater existing in the physical world, or a real-estate empire in Second-life, if the real world assigns monetary value to both, then we should protect someone’s right to own both in a legal sense. As a techie, a gamer and a member of the legal industry I’ll throw in my 5 cents on the question. The Lindens started giving away free accounts a few months ago to people without even asking for any kind of vertification of age, in what I believe was a push to boots their user numbers for PR purposes (one of their spokepeople made the ridiculous claim that they will have more users than WoW eventually). a 3D chat room in which it is actually possible to make some money. People who really need help would not be amused with the amount of money spent on “virtual reality” while they watch their children starve. If a plot of virtual land is suddenly not there anymore, do you go back to the last seller and demand your money back? If so, couldn’t that seller just demand their money back from the person that sold it to them and so on? There is no end to this and no one is going to give money back, so caveat emptor.

What is interesting to me is whether the IRS should step up and start requiring one to report earning made from such enterprise.

I am an avid Second Lifer (as Zelator Baphomet) and although I love SL, I would never personally invest any money in Second Life. Using virtual worlds as education, simulation, creativity etc I think has real value, and therefore should be encouraged. not EVERYONE in SL is actually missing out on anything RL.

There’s no guitar you can hold on to, no drumset to touch, no vinyl to put on your recordplayer. Unfortunately is will probably end up being just another reason that people hurt one each other.

I’ve been a resident of Second Life for about two years and must repeat what someone said up thread about it being an entertainment replacement. XBox is hardware and software, Second Life is purely software and the distinction is not all that great.

Posted By Anonymous : 3:36 PM

Posted By Anonymous : 4:18 PM

my daughter is a resident of second life and just had her home “stolen” in a home invasion situation on Sunday. You are not paid anything near RL wages but with perseverence you can make a profit.

The whole concept of her earnings is as frail as any capitalist venture. After almost two straight weeks of night and day plotting, building, trading and exploring, I was up to about a thousand US SL dollars – or about 30 bucks. The great thing is that Linden Lab gives one IP rights and one can sell their creations, as well as cash out one’s Linden earnings to US$ if one cared to. For a few to get rich, many more will have to give up their real money. Also, I would think that Linden Labs does A LOT of backing up of their universe to avoid just that sort of problem. As you say- what would happen if the servers or programs were corrupted or destroyed somehow?

I would say that people should be allowed to convert their virtual treasure into real world hard cash, as what they’re selling is entertainment essentially. Buying a bond has value because it is expected to pay interest. Players of SL encompass all types and classes, from professional types, to the disabled shut in’s. I’m no Anshe Chung and will never get rich selling real estate. Some folks may make as little as US$5 a month, others make hundreds of thousands.

So, yes, you can play a “game” in SL, as well promote any artistic project you can dream up, socialize with others around the world, use SL to create 3D models of your home/room to help you remodel or redecorate, or one can merely fly around explore the world that makes up SL. I do it because I am forging relationships with friends that have a visual component that typical chat room does not. The $20 you spend on a meal in a sit-down restaurant rathe than cooking the same meal at home for maybe $5 is just as much keeping food out of the mouths of hungry children in another country, which you think my money should be used for helping with, as the same $20 spent on Second Life.

I think participants in Second Life who invest real money are ina similar position to someone who invests in a business (either brick mortar, or on line). PST, although it will occur in-world, i.e., to attend you will need to have downloaded Second Life’s software from the company that created and maintains it, Linden Lab. It’s an interesting phenomenon. It’s still “speculation” so be warned.

Wheres the check system to determine if anyone is cheating? btw back-up servers is what you use when main servers are destroyed.

Given disaster recovery standards and requirements for IT shops these days, full recovery of Second Life ‘assets’ should be an expectation for users. But the bottom line here is that SL is here for our entertainment, and many are being entertained. After all, their stake was virtual money.

My estranged spouse spent many long days in Second Life.

In summary, Anshe Chung was ALREADY a real world millionaire with time and money to blow. He accumulated quite a reputation, and a small fortune in his online world, but in the process lost his realtime job. If everyone starts with 100 Linden dollars, what prevents you from creating multiple users? Buy and trade with yourself and make yourself a millionaire…hummm? Sounds like the internet version of Star Trek’s Borg. Most companies do have offsite and redundant backup and mirror sites to allow partial if not complete recovery of data to a certain point. In the case of SL, land is rare, and everything else is fairly plentiful. And Republicans.

Why are so many comparing investments in Second Life to real world real estate? Isn’t it much more logical (and less pessimistic) to compare it to investments in domain names and web sites? Second Life, as I have experienced it, is not a game nor a “waste of man-hours”. The world, real and virtual is a dangerous, risky and unfair place.

I think that Second Life is destined to become part of the Google Empire…

Without experiencing first hand, “Second Life”, there is no way to have a valid take on it. I wanted to see what the hype was about. Linden Labs committed a huge error in allowing free accounts, and we are all going to pay the price for the Linden’s marketing practices.

There is a risk of loss with everything in life virtual or real. I wonder how long it took her and how many hours per day she averaged to get this sort of return. Second Life is an ongoing unrepeatable mulitidimentional artistic expression and or performance.

First of all, Second Life is a game. You could even demo real-world ideas and floorplans by building them in SL and showing them to customers, either in world or at your office.

Also some users make object that slow down the server on purpose and others have exploited the grey goo, by making object self replicate when anyone touches them in game.

You express concern over investors losing everything if the servers are destroyed. This “virtual” reality isn’t. One of the responders here said he was an architect and he could design virtual buildings in Second Life. I’m sure there is someone who could claim they were the first beanie baby millionaire. So to all the people that are saying that online games are ridiculous are just that…ridiculous!

By the way, I have never taken part in these online games…

To all those who deride ms. No real wealth can be created in a virtual world. I imagine, that if we all were not intrigued in some way, we would not be commenting. are missing out on the greatest show on Earth – that is a fulfilling, interactive life with all the consequences that go with it.

I find it interesting that so many said something along the lines of “get a real life” regarding those who play SL. Are there any contracts/agreements one makes when buying virtual real estate? If so, I hope they say you must sue in Virtual Court, which would be another application I wrote … That’s a deal.”

Looks like an opportunity for insurance

This is big business (World of Warcraft gets something like $15 per month for each of 5 million subscribers), and as more kids grow up with broadband and PS3′s, and the IRS looks towards the enormous income on gray markets, this may be the biggest growth area for new law.

SL is basically a simulation game, whether you use it just to meet people or try building a business. Chung’s virtual holdings have as much value.

It won’t take a virtual disaster, If you’d bothered to read the term of Service agreement, rgar tou must accept to play the game, er, “access their service” ; they claim no respobsibilities, confer no rights, and can eliminate entire accounts “for any or no reason.”

Caveat extremis emptor.

I think anyone who spends that much time and energy to accumulate virtual wealth deserves to be left out in the cold in the case of a real world earthquake. In short, if the vibrations stop, the material world goes poof! It’s a bit like smoke and mirrors. Now if only we could get religious fanatics to start playing….

As an avid gamer, I am amazed at the prevailing ignorance of what games truly amount to. Unfortunately,

this has also had a big, very negative impact on those of us who pay to use the service.

While Second Life is a very clever way to create an opportunity for those unable to accomplish the same things in the real world, I believe it is only a matter of time before the “Real World” rules and regulations apply. The rate of population increase is far outstripping the ability of Linden Labs to support users, and the quality and performance of the world will continue to degrade. I set up an account, dressed my character, flew around the new member island and never went back. Franky, making money in the VR world is not why I go there because I have to do that in real life. Your comment about loosing a server and all it’s “properties” is very interesting. For instance, many users participate in online gambling using Linden dollars that are readily convertable to and from your local currancy using PayPal. I am sure the SEC and other governmental agencies around the world have had this on their radar for some time now. Then it would, indeed, be, in terms of time, energy and emotion collateral, a loss

Does the blackjack chart work for online casinos?

There are 2 things I can promise if you play blackjack long enough:

#2 – You WILL LOSE more money than you ever win. As long as you got the chart from a reliable source, Basic Strategy is the mathematically best way to play any hand of Blackjack.

Yes, you would see the dealer’s up card. Yes, you could then use a chart to show you the best way to play the hand.

Understand one thing above all else – Even if you play Basic Strategy PERFECTLY, the casino still has an edge over the player! The only thing that playing perfectly will do for you is to allow you to lose less money than if you did not play perfectly.

Those Blackjack charts are called “Basic Strategy”. No matter how perfectly you play, in the long run, the casino WILL have your money. Only a fool believes otherwise.

Final word specifically in regards to these on-line casinos – These websites were set up and created for ONE REASON ONLY – that is to TAKE your money, not to give you any. #1 – You WILL WIN sometimes! It’s always more fun when you win.

Oscar nominations expose Academy’s lack of diversity

Martin Luther King Jr., but he was also left off of too many ballots to make the final cut.

This year’s crop of Oscar contenders reveals a stunning lack of diversity that is certain to reawaken complaints that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is tone deaf when it comes to issues of race and gender.

DuVernay seemed to take it in stride, emphasizing “Selma’s” Best Picture and Best Song nods and tweeting, “Happy Birthday, Dr. “Possibility number two: You’re all racists.”

DuVernay wasn’t alone. A Los Angeles Times article from 2012, revealed that Oscar voters were 94% white, 77% male and only 14% under the age of 50.

To its credit, the Oscars have made efforts to diversify, appointing African-American Cheryl Boone Isaacs as president in 2013, for example. To SELMA cast + crew led by our miracle David Oyelowo! To Common + Legend! Kudos! March on!”

Who’s laughing now?

“Possibility number one: ’12 Years a Slave’ wins best picture,” DeGeneres said. King. In the supporting actor categories, Carmen Ejogo’s sensitive portrayal of Coretta Scott King in “Selma” was ignored, as was Miyavi’s frightening work as an abusive prison guard in “Unbroken.”

Past reports on the makeup of the Academy’s membership have exposed a disturbing level of racial and demographic homogeneity. It has also rewarded black actors such as Forest Whitaker and Octavia Spencer in recent contests, and last year handed its top prize to “12 Years a Slave.”

But Thursday’s nominations represent a step back. It’s the kind of monochromatic constellation that flies in the face of a moviegoing public that is becoming more multi-cultural by the day.

Oscar voters had a chance to make history by nominating the first African-American woman in the Best Director category with “Selma” helmer Ava DuVernay, but instead they opted to reward a contingent that was all-male and heavily white. An Oscar gift for you. Oscar voters ignored “Unbroken” director Angelina Jolie and “Citizenfour” director Laura Poitras (although the film was nominated for best documentary). Host Ellen DeGeneres kicked off last year’s Oscars telecast with a joke that read as a warning, noting that the night could end two ways.

. All of the acting categories on Thursday were dominated by white performers and no female writers or directors were included in the Oscar race. Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, rewarded for “Birdman,” was the sole instance of diversity in that category. 

Moreover, “Selma” star David Oyelowo has earned raves for his work as Dr

Obama proposes shifting funds from nuclear nonproliferation to nuclear weapons | The Center for Public Integrity

(Work on the facility and its equipment was well along when DOE abruptly realized it would not be large enough to accommodate needed machinery, forcing a costly redesign and lengthy delays.)

The department also needs more funds than anticipated for improvements to the W76 warhead, which is carried by Trident submarine-based missiles.

But then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, after hearing from aides that these overruns were due in part to poor management and inaccurate cost accounting at DOE, initially said the department would not provide any new funds to DOE, on top of the $4.5 billion it previously promised to cover earlier overruns, according to two government officials privy to the deliberations.

The department’s nonproliferation programs, aimed at diminishing the security threat posed by fissile materials in other countries that can be used for nuclear weapons, would be cut by roughly 20 percent, or $460 million, below the current level of $2.45 billion, the officials said.

The plant is about 60 percent completed, but one senior administration official called it “managerially and programmatically, a nightmare,” with continuously rising costs.

The Center for Public Integrity has previously reported administration officials had agreed that the number of nuclear warheads the U.S. because our national security depends on it.”

The Obama administration will propose a deep cut in funding for nuclear nonproliferation programs at the Energy Department largely so it can boost the department’s spending to modernize its stockpile of nuclear weapons, according to government officials familiar with the proposed 2014 federal budget to be unveiled Wednesday, April 10.

Secretary of Energy nominee Ernest Moniz, speaking at a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, ducked multiple questions from Sen. But that still left a $4 billion gap between DOE’s nuclear weapons-related promises to the military and its ability to complete that work, forcing a scramble during the department’s budget deliberations to cut from other programs, officials said.

The Energy Department needs at least $3 billion to $5 billion more to upgrade the B61 nuclear bomb – meant for deployment aboard strategic and tactical aircraft – than it initially expected, and several billions of dollars more to cover cost overruns in construction of the uranium processing facility. “I will certainly look into this with high priority” if confirmed, he told Scott.

To cover the $10 billion total cost overrun, the Energy Department and its National Nuclear Security Administration agreed to transfer roughly $3 billion into weapons work from management accounts and other internal savings. Sam Nunn, said “the U.S. But he said officials may have calculated that they cannot win congressional support for further cuts in nuclear arsenals with Russia without spending billions more to refurbish America’s remaining stockpile of nuclear weapons, under a bargain Obama struck during his first term.

As recently as December 3, President Obama described the government’s nuclear nonproliferation efforts – including some directed by the Defense Department – as “one of our most important national security programs.” Speaking at the National Defense University, Obama said the effort was “nowhere near done. That plant was initially budgeted at $1.8 billion, but the pricetag has ballooned to at least $7.5 billion, provoking widespread criticism and allegations of mismanagement.

But several officials and other sources familiar with the administration’s budget deliberations this year said the DOE nuclear weapons-related cost overruns and the new austerity climate gripping Washington – including the demand under so-called “sequestration” legislation for $54 billion in national security spending cuts each year until 2021 -had upended the administration’s plans to spend more on nonproliferation.

Moniz, in his confirmation hearing, tread carefully around the topic of what the department should be spending on nonproliferation. Not by a long shot.” He also proudly said the government has been “increasing funding, and sustaining it … It then asked the Pentagon to provide the additional $7 billion.

Under the 2014 proposal, the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons activities funding — which includes modernization efforts for bomber-based and missile-based warheads – would be increased roughly 7 percent, or around $500 million, above the current level of $7.227 billion for these activities.

Much of the reduction in nonproliferation spending – around $183 million – would come from a controversial plant designed to transform excess plutonium from the U.S. But Democrats on Capitol Hill and independent arms control groups predicted the decision will provoke controversy and a substantial budget fight this year.

One, who asked not to be named, said the DOE shortfall had set off “months of wrangling” about the issue, not only within the department but at the highest levels of the administration. These programs have experienced billions of dollars in cost overruns in recent years, forcing the administration to look elsewhere in the DOE budget to find the money it needs to keep them alive.

Under the Obama proposal, the budget for other DOE work related to nuclear nonproliferation would also be curtailed by about $277 million. military deploys could be cut by at least a third, below a limit of 1550 established in a treaty with Russia in 2010. At the end of it, a $250 million DOE “nuclear counterterrorism incident response” program previously considered a weapons activity was shifted to the nonproliferation budget account, a change that has the effect of making the bottom line for that account look better than it otherwise would have.

Asked for comment, NNSA spokesman Robert Middaugh said he could not respond until the budget has been formally released. Under the Obama administration’s proposal for fiscal year 2014, spending for the MOX plant would be around $330 million, or 47 percent of the budget it was supposed to get next year. “If confirmed, I intend to make sure that [DOE laboratories and intelligence experts] … The officials have also decided to discuss a potential agreement for such reductions with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Tom Collina, research director for the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based nonprofit group, said “in a way,” it seems inconsistent for the administration to promote arms control while cutting the DOE’s nonproliferation budget. That would include a 16 percent cut in spending on efforts to halt the use of fissile material in civilian nuclear reactors and collect or secure weapons-usable fissile materials in other countries; an 8 percent cut in spending on policy to control the spread of nuclear weapons-related technologies; and a 36 percent cut in efforts to monitor potential illicit commerce in fissile materials.

Only one category of Energy Department nonproliferation work would be increased – research and development, mostly to finance work on a new nuclear detonation sensor to be placed about Air Force satellites.

In the end, the Pentagon was cajoled into contributing $3 billion more. programs for securing, reducing and eliminating weapons usable nuclear materials are a critical part of our strategy for combating nuclear terrorism and preventing the proliferation of these deadly dangerous materials…A decision to significantly cut these programs, including our near-term ability to dispose of excess plutonium, would be a setback to our ability to reach critical security goals.”

The priority shift “is going to be a disaster,” said a Democratic congressional aide, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the budget before its official release. continue to sustain the nation’s nuclear security,” he said, without delving into budgetary issues or specific programs.

Joan Rohlfing, president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit arms control group founded by Ted Turner and former Sen. “These cuts are going to be huge,” and will be particularly problematic amid budget boosts for weapons programs that many lawmakers believe “have been mismanaged for the last five to six years.”

Specifically, officials said, the Energy Department determined in consultation with the Pentagon that it would likely need $10 billion in new funds to fulfill all of its promises to the military for the production of modernized warheads, over the next decade alone.

The half-billion-dollar shift in spending priorities reflects an administration decision that nuclear explosives work the Energy Department performs for the military should be both accelerated and expanded. Tim Scott (R.-S.C.) about whether he supports completing the MOX plant. The study determined that the modernization program was underfunded, and steps have been taken to ensure adequate funding for essential modernization needs moving forward.”. A Pentagon spokeswoman, Jennifer D. nuclear weapons arsenal into fuel for reactors that generate electricity, known as the Mixed-Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication plant in Savannah River, S.C. Its construction would be greatly slowed, while the Defense Department and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration study alternative ways to safeguard tons of the excess plutonium.

The new weapons-related spending would expand efforts to upgrade the W76, W88, W78, and B-61 warheads, and help fund construction of a new facility in Tennessee for processing uranium, a nuclear explosive used in these and other warheads. Elzea, declined to address the issue in detail but confirmed that “over the past year DOD and DOE carried out a joint study regarding DOD’s nuclear weapons requirements and funding options for those requirements

The Impending Dangers of Nuclear War: America’s W88 Thermonuclear Warhead is 30 Times a Hiroshima Bomb | Global Research

It is not easy to face up to the implications of these arsenals especially if you bear the primary responsibility. The suffering would be indescribable and for many would go on for months and years before death. But these 9 are outnumbered by 20 to one. The existence of nuclear weapons means they could be used by accident, by misunderstanding or by malicious intent.

And finally there is hope. Ray Acheson, in her closing statement on behalf of ICAN to the Second Conference included the words ‘The claim by some states that they continue to need these weapons to deter their adversaries has been exposed by the evidence presented at this conference and in Oslo as a reckless and unsanctionable gamble with our future’.

2.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W88

This ground-breaking and historic conference was attended by delegates from 127 countries and 70 nongovernmental organizations. Is it possible to imagine the degree of paranoia represented by such a standing threat? The UK government has started to spend one hundred billion pounds on rebuilding its Trident fleet of nuclear submarines, each one with the capacity to incinerate over 40 million people. By focusing attention on the humanitarian consequences of their use they are well on their way to doing so.

The risks of ‘accidental, mistaken, unauthorised or intentional use is growing significantly due to more countries holding weapons on higher levels of combat readiness’. As awareness of the humanitarian impact grows hearts and minds are being changed worldwide. The world has moved on.

 Furthermore decent people round the globe know that the existence of nuclear weapons is a brooding evil which undermines the moral integrity of humankind. Our belief is that this process should comprise a specific timeframe, the definition of the most appropriate fora, and a clear and substantive framework, making the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons the essence of disarmament efforts. In a limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan 20 million people would die from the nuclear blasts, fires, and radioactive fallout. Due to ‘…proliferation, the vulnerability of nuclear command and control networks to cyber-attacks and to human error and potential access to nuclear weapons by non-state actors, in particularly terrorist groups’ the risks are ‘growing globally’. No emergency services could begin to cope There would be no relief. And rather than focus on the numbers and ‘yields’ of the weapons it was wisely decided to concentrate on the effects on humanity of the use of nuclear weapons. The nuclear states have become a sorry sight. She insisted that we must act to get rid of them or they will be used by accident, misunderstanding or malicious intent. He called for a ‘legally binding instrument’ and declared that the, ‘time has come to initiate a diplomatic process conducive to this goal. The other weapons of mass destruction have already been banned. It included delegations representing 146 States, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement and civil society organizations.

The US, the UK, Russia, China and France are rebuilding or upgrading their arsenals of nuclear weapons. This is enough to wipe out the entire population of the planet many times over together with all other life forms. The security of the non-nuclear states is threatened by the irresponsible and self-focused behaviour of the 9 others. The non-nuclear majority which do not feel the need for a lethal ‘security’ crutch have decided to take the initiative. It is time to take action 7.’

It is ironic that the worst offenders are the five permanent members of the ‘Security’ Council of the United Nations. India and Pakistan sent observers.

There are 9 nuclear states and there are 183 non-nuclear states.

She went on to explain that the use against cities of less than one percent of existing weapons would put billions of lives in jeopardy and have a long lasting detrimental  effect on both the planet’s climate and agriculture. These weapons must be outlawed; ‘in the past, weapons have been eliminated after they have been outlawed. The nuclear states were invited but declined to attend. They have had 69 years to get rid of their nuclear weapons while all that the citizens of the world hear from them are windy speeches around purported good intentions which never come to fruition. She concluded ‘It is time to change the status quo. Frozen in a realm of outdated thinking which was always inhuman; their leaders frightened and paranoid and prepared to put the survival of humanity in jeopardy simply in order to feel important and powerful as they strut, uncomprehending, on the world stage.

File:W-88 warhead detail.png

5.    http://wagingpeace.org/articles/db_article.php?article_id=417

The situation is being rendered even more dangerous by the US and Russia who keep 1,800 weapons on high alert atop long-range ballistic missiles that are ready to launch 5 to 15 minutes after receiving an order!

The Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was held in Nayarit, Mexico, on 13 and 14 February 2014. It is time we ban nuclear weapons.

1.     http://www.scribd.com/doc/168600341/Bulletin-of-the-Atomic-Scientists-2013

8.    http://www.icanw.org/campaign-news/ican-closing-statement-to-the-second-conference-on-the-humanitarian-impact-of-nuclear-weapons/

A single W88 could completely destroy London, Moscow or New York. Humanity owes a great debt to Norway for this initiative.

The W88 is over 30 times more destructive than the bomb which wiped out Hiroshima. This is being done at a time when many citizens are suffering from inadequate defences against flooding and when the social services are being radically cut back. 

Mexico offered to host a follow-up meeting to this conference and such is the vital importance of this approach that other states declared their intention to organise additional events on this subject.

The nine nuclear states have over 10,000 nuclear weapons in their stockpiles1. What sort of people would do such a thing? What kind of human would threaten such an atrocity?   .

Notes

3.     http://www.psr.org/chapters/washington/energy-and-peace/trident.html

The US government has 5 nuclear submarines on patrol at all times carrying 1000 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb3. How can we ever be sure that some deranged psychopath will not gain power in one of the nuclear states and deceive him/herself into believing that it is in their best interests to make a first strike? How can we ever be sure that some terrorist organisations will not hack into the electronic control systems and carry out the launching themselves? And we now know that even a small nuclear exchange could be a lethal threat to everyone on the planet. As the great moral leader Desmond Tutu wrote “Nuclear weapons are an obscenity. The next logical development, as the nuclear states continue to deny their obligations to shed their arsenals, is for the non-nuclear states to proceed independently to enact a treaty outlawing these weapons internationally.

6.    http://thebulletin.org/mexico-preview-humanitarian-approach-disarmament

4.      http://www.good.is/post/what-the-volcano-can-teach-us-about-nuclear-war/

Is this sane? Has the human race lost its senses? A single United States thermonuclear warhead, designated W88, has an estimated ‘yield’ of 475 kilotons2.  The ‘yield’ is the destructive power expressed in tons of TNT equivalent. It is the turn of the last and most destructive of them all.

The International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)8 is a coalition of over 350 organisations in 90 countries. And the fallout would have global consequences that would kill millions of people, disrupt climate patterns, and threaten global agricultural collapse4.

7.    http://www.sre.gob.mx/en/images/stories/cih/ci.pdf

After hearing presentations from a wide range of experts on the various effects of nuclear weapon detonations the conference concluded that “it is unlikely that any state or international body could address the immediate humanitarian emergency caused by a nuclear weapon detonation in an adequate manner and provide sufficient assistance to those affected.” Conference members also agreed that the effects of a nuclear weapon detonation will not be constrained by national borders but will produce significant negative regional and global effects6.

The Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons will be held in Austria later this year.

Their brief and nightmarish ascendancy is over. The huge burgeoning of awareness in the citizens of the world is bearing fruit.

Citizens of the world have simultaneously become aware that the nuclear states do not intend to get rid of their nuclear weapons and that their existence imposes a permanent and intolerable threat to us all. They are the very antithesis of humanity5…’

 So with these and other major forces at work there is an unstoppable movement towards banning these Armageddon machines. The other four nuclear states(Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea) too are ‘improving’ their arsenals. Getting rid of them will take courageous leadership by states but such leadership will have the support of civil society. We believe this is the path to achieve a world without nuclear weapons’. Each bomb on a major city would kill millions of people; women, children, babies, old people, everyone. As we discuss the statistics and strategies of ‘nuclear arsenals’ and ‘nuclear deterrence’ it can be hard to keep in mind the reality underlying the abstract discussions.

The first International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was held in 2013.

The powerful summary statement of the conference Chair pointed out that the broad participation of states and civil society reflected the burgeoning awareness that this issue is of the utmost importance to all the peoples of the world. The movement for an international ban is unstoppable.

The only remedy is an enforced world ban on the existence of nuclear weapons

CNN – Report: Stolen data gives China advanced nuclear know-how

design information during the next decade, according to a congressional report on Chinese nuclear espionage that will be released officially Tuesday.

External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

“… nuclear labs, stealing secrets about the U.S. nuclear secrets is directed toward the Clinton administration and how slowly it reacted when word of the espionage surfaced.

Details of the Cox report have been trickling out for weeks amid a growing criticism of the Clinton administration’s response to fix the security lapse after it was exposed in 1995.

All of the weapons could target the United States.

The report credits Energy Secretary Bill Richardson for making long-needed security improvements to the nation’s vulnerable nuclear labs, run by the Department of Energy.

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window

The CIA later determined that the person who turned over the document worked for Chinese intelligence.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — China could begin production of advanced thermonuclear weapons based on stolen U.S. submarine radar technology and illegally obtained secrets about U.S. “Ballistic and space launch programs have long been intertwined.”

According to the Cox report, China penetrated U.S. satellite manufacturers Loral Corp.

May 24, 1999

Web posted at: 10:42 p.m. insatiable’

RELATED SITES:

Chinese Embassy to the U.S.

Office of the Director of Central Intelligence

Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China

China Today

Department of Energy

Department of Justice

  • Attorney General Janet Reno

The White House

  • National Security Council

  • Biography of Samuel Berger

Los Alamos National Laboratory

In March, Richardson fired a longtime scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, Wen Ho Lee, because of security violations as well as suspicions of espionage.

The sharpest criticism for the theft of U.S. nuclear arsenal — including those for the MX Peacekeeper and Minuteman III missiles.

US

Bob Franken and Pierre Thomas contributed to this report.

Also among the purloined blueprints for weapons of mass destruction: the W-88 warhead, described as “the most sophisticated nuclear weapon the United States has ever built.”

The report by his committee said “China’s appetite for information and technology appears to be insatiable and the energy devoted to the task enormous.”

“Some of the most significant thefts have occurred during the last four years,” Cox said.

But following the failures of some of those launches, U.S.

“It means that in addition to paying for our own defense, we are actually paying to arm a potential adversary,” Cox said.

. “The world is a lot less safer today as a consequence of these thefts.”

Those weapons “may be tested in 1999 and could be deployed as soon as 2002,” the report states.

Chinese knowledge increased by decades

“There are a number of reasons that intelligence services direct information this way,” Cox said. missile guidance systems through satellite launch deals with American companies.

Cox also has accused China of obtaining information through the use of “front companies” in the United States — a method he said is “far broader than previously realized.”

‘It’s not good news’

The report concludes: Chinese “penetration of our national weapons laboratories spans at least the past several decades and almost certainly continues today.”

“It does make one wonder how it is, how others who possessed this information could so readily have dismissed it, or not acted upon it,” Cox said.

According to the report, U.S. companies seeking waivers to launch satellites on Chinese rockets.

“What the PRC (People’s Republic of China) has stolen has enabled them to jump over decades of incremental development that were necessary, for example, for the United States,” said Cox.

According to investigators, the CIA first learned of the extent of the Chinese espionage in 1995 when a Chinese national approached the agency and turned over a secret Chinese government document.


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May 12, 1999

U.S. EDT (0242 GMT)

“It’s not good news,” he said. intelligence has determined the technology espionage by the Chinese, dating back to the late 1970s and continuing through the 1980s and ’90s, “has leaped, in a handful of years, from 1950s-era strategic nuclear capabilities to the more modern thermonuclear weapon design.”

“In many cases, a little piece of information might seem innocuous, but if you collect enough of them through the so-called matrix technique … Such information would likely find its way into the PRC’s ballistic missile program,” the congressional report said. “To advertise in some cases something about their strength that they want you to know; in other cases, to promote disinformation.”

The House investigative committee was formed in the wake of accusations that campaign contributions might have influenced the Clinton administration to give favorable trade treatment to U.S. Christopher Cox (R-California), chairman of the House select committee that conducted the year-long investigation.

The report also reveals allegations that China stole design information about U.S. State Department issues travel warning for China

May 10, 1999

“It means that we’re going to be preparing ourselves to defend against American technology used against us,” said Rep. you can learn a great deal about military matters in the United States,” Cox said.

‘China’s appetite … and Hughes Electronics allegedly gave China unauthorized design information. neutron bomb and every warhead in the U.S

Obama proposes shifting funds from nuclear nonproliferation to nuclear weapons | The Center for Public Integrity

A Pentagon spokeswoman, Jennifer D. But that still left a $4 billion gap between DOE’s nuclear weapons-related promises to the military and its ability to complete that work, forcing a scramble during the department’s budget deliberations to cut from other programs, officials said.

Much of the reduction in nonproliferation spending – around $183 million – would come from a controversial plant designed to transform excess plutonium from the U.S. But he said officials may have calculated that they cannot win congressional support for further cuts in nuclear arsenals with Russia without spending billions more to refurbish America’s remaining stockpile of nuclear weapons, under a bargain Obama struck during his first term.

The new weapons-related spending would expand efforts to upgrade the W76, W88, W78, and B-61 warheads, and help fund construction of a new facility in Tennessee for processing uranium, a nuclear explosive used in these and other warheads. Tim Scott (R.-S.C.) about whether he supports completing the MOX plant. nuclear weapons arsenal into fuel for reactors that generate electricity, known as the Mixed-Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication plant in Savannah River, S.C. (Work on the facility and its equipment was well along when DOE abruptly realized it would not be large enough to accommodate needed machinery, forcing a costly redesign and lengthy delays.)

The priority shift “is going to be a disaster,” said a Democratic congressional aide, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the budget before its official release. programs for securing, reducing and eliminating weapons usable nuclear materials are a critical part of our strategy for combating nuclear terrorism and preventing the proliferation of these deadly dangerous materials…A decision to significantly cut these programs, including our near-term ability to dispose of excess plutonium, would be a setback to our ability to reach critical security goals.”

Asked for comment, NNSA spokesman Robert Middaugh said he could not respond until the budget has been formally released. That would include a 16 percent cut in spending on efforts to halt the use of fissile material in civilian nuclear reactors and collect or secure weapons-usable fissile materials in other countries; an 8 percent cut in spending on policy to control the spread of nuclear weapons-related technologies; and a 36 percent cut in efforts to monitor potential illicit commerce in fissile materials.

The Obama administration will propose a deep cut in funding for nuclear nonproliferation programs at the Energy Department largely so it can boost the department’s spending to modernize its stockpile of nuclear weapons, according to government officials familiar with the proposed 2014 federal budget to be unveiled Wednesday, April 10.

The Energy Department needs at least $3 billion to $5 billion more to upgrade the B61 nuclear bomb – meant for deployment aboard strategic and tactical aircraft – than it initially expected, and several billions of dollars more to cover cost overruns in construction of the uranium processing facility. That plant was initially budgeted at $1.8 billion, but the pricetag has ballooned to at least $7.5 billion, provoking widespread criticism and allegations of mismanagement.

The half-billion-dollar shift in spending priorities reflects an administration decision that nuclear explosives work the Energy Department performs for the military should be both accelerated and expanded. “I will certainly look into this with high priority” if confirmed, he told Scott.

Moniz, in his confirmation hearing, tread carefully around the topic of what the department should be spending on nonproliferation. Only one category of Energy Department nonproliferation work would be increased – research and development, mostly to finance work on a new nuclear detonation sensor to be placed about Air Force satellites.

Joan Rohlfing, president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit arms control group founded by Ted Turner and former Sen. Elzea, declined to address the issue in detail but confirmed that “over the past year DOD and DOE carried out a joint study regarding DOD’s nuclear weapons requirements and funding options for those requirements. “If confirmed, I intend to make sure that [DOE laboratories and intelligence experts] … “These cuts are going to be huge,” and will be particularly problematic amid budget boosts for weapons programs that many lawmakers believe “have been mismanaged for the last five to six years.”

The plant is about 60 percent completed, but one senior administration official called it “managerially and programmatically, a nightmare,” with continuously rising costs.

But then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, after hearing from aides that these overruns were due in part to poor management and inaccurate cost accounting at DOE, initially said the department would not provide any new funds to DOE, on top of the $4.5 billion it previously promised to cover earlier overruns, according to two government officials privy to the deliberations.

In the end, the Pentagon was cajoled into contributing $3 billion more. At the end of it, a $250 million DOE “nuclear counterterrorism incident response” program previously considered a weapons activity was shifted to the nonproliferation budget account, a change that has the effect of making the bottom line for that account look better than it otherwise would have.

To cover the $10 billion total cost overrun, the Energy Department and its National Nuclear Security Administration agreed to transfer roughly $3 billion into weapons work from management accounts and other internal savings. It then asked the Pentagon to provide the additional $7 billion.

Secretary of Energy nominee Ernest Moniz, speaking at a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, ducked multiple questions from Sen. because our national security depends on it.”

One, who asked not to be named, said the DOE shortfall had set off “months of wrangling” about the issue, not only within the department but at the highest levels of the administration. The study determined that the modernization program was underfunded, and steps have been taken to ensure adequate funding for essential modernization needs moving forward.”

The department’s nonproliferation programs, aimed at diminishing the security threat posed by fissile materials in other countries that can be used for nuclear weapons, would be cut by roughly 20 percent, or $460 million, below the current level of $2.45 billion, the officials said.

Tom Collina, research director for the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based nonprofit group, said “in a way,” it seems inconsistent for the administration to promote arms control while cutting the DOE’s nonproliferation budget. Not by a long shot.” He also proudly said the government has been “increasing funding, and sustaining it … continue to sustain the nation’s nuclear security,” he said, without delving into budgetary issues or specific programs.

Under the Obama administration’s proposal for fiscal year 2014, spending for the MOX plant would be around $330 million, or 47 percent of the budget it was supposed to get next year. The officials have also decided to discuss a potential agreement for such reductions with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Specifically, officials said, the Energy Department determined in consultation with the Pentagon that it would likely need $10 billion in new funds to fulfill all of its promises to the military for the production of modernized warheads, over the next decade alone.

As recently as December 3, President Obama described the government’s nuclear nonproliferation efforts – including some directed by the Defense Department – as “one of our most important national security programs.” Speaking at the National Defense University, Obama said the effort was “nowhere near done. These programs have experienced billions of dollars in cost overruns in recent years, forcing the administration to look elsewhere in the DOE budget to find the money it needs to keep them alive.

Under the 2014 proposal, the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons activities funding — which includes modernization efforts for bomber-based and missile-based warheads – would be increased roughly 7 percent, or around $500 million, above the current level of $7.227 billion for these activities.

The Center for Public Integrity has previously reported administration officials had agreed that the number of nuclear warheads the U.S. Its construction would be greatly slowed, while the Defense Department and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration study alternative ways to safeguard tons of the excess plutonium.

But several officials and other sources familiar with the administration’s budget deliberations this year said the DOE nuclear weapons-related cost overruns and the new austerity climate gripping Washington – including the demand under so-called “sequestration” legislation for $54 billion in national security spending cuts each year until 2021 -had upended the administration’s plans to spend more on nonproliferation.

The department also needs more funds than anticipated for improvements to the W76 warhead, which is carried by Trident submarine-based missiles.

Under the Obama proposal, the budget for other DOE work related to nuclear nonproliferation would also be curtailed by about $277 million. Sam Nunn, said “the U.S. But Democrats on Capitol Hill and independent arms control groups predicted the decision will provoke controversy and a substantial budget fight this year.. military deploys could be cut by at least a third, below a limit of 1550 established in a treaty with Russia in 2010

What are your best frugal living tips? (Weekly Topic Inspiration)

By not going to the store for these items you will make better use of your time, energy and ingredients.

Bake your own items – bread, cakes, pies etc. Make a ‘hobby’ of it.

Look for the discounted items.

Ask for discount.

Look for the ‘free’ items. Make a philosophy of it.

. I agree with the hubber who says – write down every single penny spent. Everything homemade tastes better, so therefore, i believe, your needs are more satisfied.

Re-vamp old items into ‘new’ furniture, clothes, curtains, cushions. you will feel the ‘pain’ of the immediacy of that money spent.

Buy as many items ‘on sale’ or ‘reduced’ as possible. Make it a festive occasion.

Live on less. Get ideas from magazines, online.

Discard the credit card – use a debit card, if needed. Make a hobby of it.

Swap unused items with friends, neighbors etc. That way you can ‘track’ your money.

Grow your own veg, fruit, keep hens, ducks, poultry – even in a small space. for things you want