Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
IBM The Internet Entertainment Games

IBM to Regulate Employee Second Life Behavior 165

Posted by Zonk
from the no-furry-costumes-during-work-hours dept.
mytrip writes "In hopes of avoiding potentially embarrassing incidents, IBM is taking the unusual step of establishing official guidelines for its more than 5,000 employees who inhabit Second Life and other virtual worlds. 'IBM appears to be the first corporation to create rules governing virtual worlds. The move has critics, who say that mandating behavior for the so-called "metaverse" is unlikely to reform impish avatars. They also question why IBM would add a layer of buttoned-down bureaucracy to this relatively rollicking corner of the Internet. IBM executives counter that having a code of conduct is akin to a corporate stamp of approval, encouraging workers to explore more than 100 worlds IBM collectively calls the 3D Internet.'" This regulation may be coming from more than self-interest: IBM sees these environments as management training courses in some ways; working inter-personal skills via chat and human resources via guild activities.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

IBM to Regulate Employee Second Life Behavior

Comments Filter:
  • Um... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dragonshed (206590) on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:05PM (#20017127)
    So IBM sanctions playing Secondlife while on the clock?

    This, I have to see for myself.
    • Apparently. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:14PM (#20017211)
      From TFA:

      IBM, whose 20th century employees were parodied as corporate cogs in matching navy suits, doesn't have an avatar dress code. But guidelines suggest being "especially sensitive to the appropriateness of your avatar or persona's appearance when you are meeting with IBM clients or conducting IBM business."

      Okay, aside from the concept of "meeting with IBM clients" in Second Life ... why not just go all the way and license something unique for your company sponsored avatars? Then, if you're representing the company, you use a company avatar.

      When you're on your own you can whatever you want to be.

      Seriously, anyone who needs to be told what is appropriate for meeting clients really should NOT be meeting clients. In real life or online.
      • Re:Apparently. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by karmaflux (148909) on Friday July 27, 2007 @07:42PM (#20018065)

        Seriously, anyone who needs to be told what is appropriate for meeting clients really should NOT be meeting clients. In real life or online.
        And what happens if someone slips through the radar, gets hired, and conducts IBM business dressed as a flying phallus? Do they fire him? Get sued for discrimination, because there's no written dress code? Not IBM. They've been in the game too long to make naive mistakes like the one you're advocating. It's a litigious society; if you expect something from someone, put it in writing. That's all they're doing here.
        • And what happens if someone slips through the radar, gets hired, and conducts IBM business dressed as a flying phallus?

          Then couldn't they be fired for conducting IBM business through a non-company avatar? Sidenote: Does the company you work for have a written policy against flashing clients?
          • by jimpop (27817) *
            Does the company you work for have a written policy against flashing clients?

            Isn't that already covered by existing laws? Companies don't normally setup corporate regulations/requirements for existing case law. YMMV.
      • Okay, aside from the concept of "meeting with IBM clients" in Second Life ... why not just go all the way and license something unique for your company sponsored avatars? Then, if you're representing the company, you use a company avatar
        You mean like the prototypical IBM outfit - dark blue suit and black wingtips?
    • Re:Um... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by JustNiz (692889) on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:14PM (#20017217)
      I admit up-front that I don't 'get' the whole second-life thing. It only took me about 20 minutes to realise how dull and pointless it is. There's nothing going on, loads of places you can't go, and its totally boring just wandering around. Also even on broadband the crappy world graphics update so slowly its painful. Literally. You can bump into walls even minutes before they get drawn.

      So I wouldn't classify second life as a game as there is no fun or objectives and its very clunky so 'playing' it isn't accurate.
      • Re:Um... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by timster (32400) on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:20PM (#20017301)
        Years after most people had figured out that the Internet wasn't a virtual world, the idiot media was still going on about "cyberspace". So somebody figured out that if you actually developed the product that the idiot media imagined, you'd get loads of free PR. It doesn't matter that the product is useless.
        • Re:Um... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Arthur B. (806360) on Friday July 27, 2007 @07:19PM (#20017851)
          I wish I could mod you up. The vision of Internet as a 3D cyberworld completly lacks of imagination, it reuuses what we have to try and predict the future... The internet forum for example has evolved to a specific form which is extremely efficient to handle its task. Absolutely nothing looked like an internet forum 50 years ago...

          A cyberspace import limitation of the physical world that get in the way... brought to you by the same people who imagined giant network of tubes to deliver mails.
        • So this means:

          • now that IBM can make money off gambling, or other tax-manuever VR biz epmployees need to watch themselves. So much for making money on company time off customer's high charge rate.
          • You must wera the trademark blue, short sleeved shirt for now on
          • I have to admit IBM is a great company for the virtual world to create virtual apps (or is it that's what they do in the real world?).

          • by Criterion (51515)
            "now that IBM can make money off gambling"

            Since LL have just banned gambling I surely don't see a point here.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by xednieht (1117791)
        Short-term technical limitation aside it seems that you actually do get it quite well... It is a game only to the extent that life is a game. Therefore you are quite right when you say "'playing' isn't accurate."

        Never-the-less interacting with digital representations of physical objects is a lot more intuitive than 'click this' or 'click that' blah blah blah that you get on current websites. Consider the possibility of an integration of something like SecondLife with something like Google Earth and re
        • Never-the-less interacting with digital representations of physical objects is a lot more intuitive than 'click this' or 'click that' blah blah blah that you get on current websites.

          ...what makes "digital representation of physical objects" so different from a "Buy it now!" button? The button is just that; a digital representation of a "real" button.

        • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
          Never-the-less interacting with digital representations of physical objects is a lot more intuitive than 'click this' or 'click that' blah blah blah that you get on current websites. Consider the possibility of an integration of something like SecondLife with something like Google Earth and replace all those web servers on the Internet with 'web servers' that can model the objects and then you would truly have the real Web 2.0.

          The "clicking" interface is actually pretty consistent, unlike a simulation of

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sgant (178166)
        Don't worry, I'm right with you. And I seriously doubt there are 5000 IBM employees playing this. There's not even 5000 people in the world playing this. Ever go there? I log on every once in a while just to look and it's a ghost town. Every time I go there, I never ever see anyone else in the actual world. The only time you actually see other people is at the starting island where you make your character and learn how to move. Other than that, it's a virtual ghost town....filled with buildings that you hav
        • by Criterion (51515)
          Ah, the mindset that wants SL to be a game, and for everything there to have some relevance to them. Thats just not how it works, and there are certainly way more than 5000 people there. That you have not found your place there does not take away from the fact that many others have.
      • by mwvdlee (775178)
        It just a 3D version of IRC.

        You can chat (or interact) with anybody in the channel (piece of 3D land) you're in and you can build objects (like colored text) and script (like bots). Second Life basically caters to the same audience that IRC does.

        If you prefer not to speak to people on the internet or if you prefer being entertained as opposed to creating your own entertainment, Second Life is not for you. If chatting, painting, programming, moddeling or making music is boring to you, Second Life will be too
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Stalus (646102)
      IBM isn't sanctioning 'playing' Second Life. They're sanctioning business activities in Second Life, hence the guidelines. They're going to have guidelines for anything where employees are doing things on the clock in a public space. Plus, if some guy is burning half his time in some virtual dance club, he's probably not going to look so great when it comes around to evaluations.

      But, yes. IBM is a tech company. They have islands in Second Life, and there are certainly people who have legitimate reasons
  • When logged onto Second Life at work (or presumably using the same account you use at work), they want you to project the corporate image. This seems reasonable, although perhaps overly anal.

    • It's reasonable only when you say in game that you work for IBM other then STAY THE F*** OUT of my home life. You job does not take full control of your life and they should not be able to tell you what you can do on your time off there is one place that tried to fire people who where smoking in there off time It is ok to say no smoking at the office but at home? Also what is next beer, types food that they don't like, pop, and other things you do on your time off.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You'd better hope that your company doesn't start cracking down on grammar in internet posts you make on your off time.

        I'm not even sure what your first "sentence" is supposed to mean.
      • I know, I know: RTFA is a joke. RTFS is dead. RTFT happens on occasion. But would you mind RMFP (My F* Post) before replying. They want the avatars you use on company time to adhere to some decorum. Even if you use them also at home. TFA doesn't say explicitly, but implies these are IBM's avatars you may use from home (RTFA for context, I don't feel like retyping it here.) So, yes, they are saying in the game they work for IBM.

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          I know, I know: RTFA is a joke.
          How about Read the Fine Road Signs? Can you name one instance where a corporate policy used to regulate the workforce has ever been lessened? Am I the only person who looks to the future?
          • Can you name one instance where a corporate policy used to regulate the workforce has ever been lessened?

            Trivial. The payment of workers in company script, which allowed companies to regulate how the workforce spends their money, has been entirely elimiated.

      • Also what is next beer, types food that they don't like, pop, and other things you do on your time off.

        Ever have to take a urine/blood test for work?
    • Re:So...? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) * <lajollahomeless@hotmail.com> on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:20PM (#20017307) Homepage Journal
      There are political considerations, of course.

      Say, for example, the guys down the hall have been at the company for ten years, and you're a new hire, and they issue to you a challenge to be able to code $something, or find a bug in a particular process, or prove to them how a particular bug can be turned into an exploit. And they're all be-boppin' 'n' scattin' all over you every time they see you, frat boy hazing style, and constantly giving you digs about how,"If you were any sort of real programmer you'd have it done by now" while, in private, constantly reassuring you that it's impossible because they have never been able to do it.

      Then, one day, you pull it off. And all of they're be-boppin' 'n' scattin' and taunts and hazing comes back on them from the people in the other building who've been quietly hoping to hell you'll pull off the challenge because, several years back, their department got their budget slashed because the guys down the hall (who issued the challenge and followed it with taunting) managed to come up with a miraculous save on one of their projects and have been egotistical knuckleheads about it ever since. At least until you showed up and put their challenge right back up their nose (where it needed to be).

      So now you've become the unwitting participant in a five-to-ten year running ego war between two prominent researchers, both from lengthy lines of prominent publishing research groups, both managing groups of thirty to fifty people with budgets figured in the tens of millions.

      Kind of an awkward position, isn't it? Okay, but you're still proud of yourself that you managed to accomplish the $challenge.

      Then, one day, when you log on to Second Life... you find yourself surrounded by griefers who never go away and, the day you finally tell one of the griefers to "Shove it!" using rather colorful language, that day is immediately followed the next morning by a reprimand from corporate for not observing the corporate image online.

      And then you begin to get snyde in-the-hall comments from the be-boppin' 'n' scattin' hazing frat boy fanclub down the hall that, yes, they're the griefers who've been trolling you on Second Life... but there's nothing you can do about it because they turned you in to HR first, and anything you say now will need to go both against their collective reputation (which, given they came up with the miraculous breakthrough five years ago, is pretty darn big) and the impression that you're just a malcontent who's retaliating against "The Man" and with some psychotic conspiracy theory.

      No. No, and No. It is not a good idea for an employer to have any legal authority, either inside or outside the workplace, to observe, monitor, or check on anything you do once you leave their doors.
      • Re:So...? (Score:4, Informative)

        by EvanED (569694) <evanedNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:35PM (#20017445)
        I have to say that this is one of the more.. fanciful... posts I've read here in a while.
        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          What kind of company do you work in? In every company I've worked in that sort of game has been the rule of play. Always put the new guy in the middle of political power struggles--that way the major combatants don't get their hands dirty.
  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by bomanbot (980297) on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:15PM (#20017245)
    No flying genitalia in IBM business attire then, eh?
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt&lynx,bc,ca> on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:19PM (#20017289) Journal
    Are they suggesting that they should be able to govern how their employees spend their spare time, or are they just expecting their employees to play the game when they are supposed to be working?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheAwfulTruth (325623)
      Obviously you didn't RTFM

      They are both giving good advice to their potentially noob employees about how to interact on line at ANY time, but then have specific guidlines that must be followed "When representing the company in a virtual world".

      It was all very straight forward looking.

    • A friend's sibling was telling us at diner last night that IBM (their employer) encourages them to use Second Life for virtual meetings, hence these guidelines.

      IBM has always had strict guidelines about how IBM employees relate to the rest of the world, but at least in the last two decades (the main time I've had any involvement with them, including time contracting there) I have not been aware of them ever crossing the line you're asking about. At any ate, I haven't seen any evidence they are in this case
      • IBM (their employer) encourages them to use Second Life for virtual meetings
        Do they have some kind of private area? If not, what's to stop a competitor sending someone to spy on them, or virtually disrupting the meeting? That would be kind of fun, busting in on them and kicking their asses...
    • by jimpop (27817) *
      Are they suggesting that they should be able to govern how their employees spend their spare time, or are they just expecting their employees to play the game when they are supposed to be working?

      First, Second Life isn't a game, it's a metaverse. Secondly IBMers are IBMers 100% of the time. That is 24x7x365 they represent the company and are expected to do so with good taste. There is no 9 to 5 mentality at IBM, you get paid well to live and perform well, all of the time.

      Finally, IBM isn't governin
  • I'll see that Huh?, and raise you a WTF?
  • Rule number one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bender Unit 22 (216955) on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:23PM (#20017327) Journal
    1) Don't use Second Life. It is embarrassing and no one in the real world cares besides the news media and misc. company bosses.

    (it is kinda like the "news media" just discovered that you can make a virtual world online)
    • by Adambomb (118938)

      (it is kinda like the "news media" just discovered that you can make a virtual world online)
      Nail on head sir.

      MUDs, MUCKs, BBS's, and my alltime nostalgia favorite Quantum Link using ye old accoustic coupler.

      Yeah second life requires a whole new train of thought because we must keep control of these newfangled virtual wo...wait what?
    • It is embarrassing and no one in the real world cares besides the news media and misc. company bosses.

      People are making money in SL. This is the biggest differentiator between SL and previous virtual worlds. As soon as profit enters the picture, everyone starts paying attention.

      Your comment reminds me of comments in '94/'95 about the Web. That flash in the pan has carried on pretty well, I'd say.

      • by drsquare (530038)
        People make money in pyramid schemes, this is nothing different. Expect a mini dot-com crash when the fad dies off and people have invested in effectively nothing.
        • by Infonaut (96956)

          People make money in pyramid schemes, this is nothing different. Expect a mini dot-com crash when the fad dies off and people have invested in effectively nothing.

          There may indeed be a crash in the SL market. Already the mainstream media has caught onto the fact that too many marketing dollars are chasing too few players. However, that doesn't mean people are making money in pyramid schemes. There is nothing nefarious about it, nor are there multiple layers of sellers, all skimming off those below them

  • by mugnyte (203225) on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:30PM (#20017405) Journal

      IBM would like to discourage employees from

        aimless wandering around
        dressing up as a flying phallus (without a tie)
        crowding around the "hot looking"
        starting conversations with "check out my new script" ...oh and there's new rules for Second Life too.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by f1r3f0g (879606)

      starting conversations with "check out my new script"
      Is that the geek equivalent of "Hey Y'all! Watch this!"?
  • Is it even legal? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ElGanzoLoco (642888) on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:31PM (#20017413) Homepage
    Honest question here (IANAL): can it even be legal for the employer to issue guidelines/codes of conduct for activities that are presumably not happening at the workplace?

    • can it even be legal for the employer to issue guidelines/codes of conduct for activities that are presumably not happening at the workplace?

      Most corporations already have an Employee Code of Conduct which includes admonitions for behavior outside the workplace. The enforceability of these is similar to EULAs: a million people never contest it, so it must be okay. If one person should ever contest it there's both an enormous legal hurdle (ie. the company can afford more lawyers than you can) and the precedent set by,"Those million people over there don't have a problem with it."

      Case closed.

      • by Restil (31903)
        The difference between a code of conduct and a EULA is that most codes of conduct are signed by the employee either at, before, or very shortly after getting hired. There IS a contract in place there. And as far as it being legal, there is a specific list of things that a company can't discriminate against, but how you choose to behave in public is not part of that list. It's also not helpful that challenges to codes of conduct only come about after said code of conduct has been violated and appropriate
    • Ever heard of random drug testing?
      • by geekoid (135745)
        Which means you can do what every your weant, as long as you pass the test while at work.

        'Drugs' have a special evil status now, so rules to apply when going after 'them'.

        Fucking Reagan
        • by Ajehals (947354)
          I wouldn't want a doctor / a pilot / a bus driver stoned whilst working, those are public safety related and there are laws against that kind of thing, enforcement and detection can be left up to people with the relevant powers.

          Saying that, I wouldn't want anyone who has any responsibility or access to anything remotely sensitive within my organisation to use drugs (all sorts of risk, from instability to susceptibility to blackmail or other pressure). I would however hope that my management team would det
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            I wouldn't want a doctor / a pilot / a bus driver stoned whilst working,

            Why not? Have you smoked marijuana on a regular basis for any length of time? Do you personally believe that everyone suffers the same weakness which is exploited in government reports? How about doctors, pilots, or bus drivers working at high altitudes? Shouldn't the lack of oxygen predispose them to weakness? What? Oh... you mean they grow accustomed to it? Is that even possible in nature? *gasp* Shock and awe... I thought nobody would ever think of it.

            those are public safety related

            So is driving with one hand, listening to th

            • by Dhalka226 (559740)

              big bad self

              You really shouldn't talk. Your entire post smacked of ego. It was one pure ad hominem attack wrapped in a lame attempt at sarcasm, and with absolutely no substance.

              You don't think marijuana is a problem? Fine. How about some research? How about some reasonable points to debate? Hell, how about anything other than the self-righteous crap you decided to spew instead?

              Nah. Much easier to just walk around in your sarcastic holier-than-thou way.

              • You don't think marijuana is a problem? Fine. How about some research?

                Because, if it were truly dangerous to human life, then humans would avoid it the same way we avoid other poisons and strong hallucinogens. If it truly were evil then it wouldn't have a world-wide reputation (among actual users, as opposed to ignorant witch-hunters) as a peaceful drug, as a way to relax, and as a way to enjoy life.

                What is it about ten thousand years of historical record that is wiped away by eighty years of government lies?

                • Because, if it were truly dangerous to human life, then humans would avoid it the same way we avoid other poisons and strong hallucinogens.

                  You were doing so well right up until you crossed this line... at the beginning of your post. *sigh*

                  Not like drugs are ever laced with anything... and you completely dismiss the fact that a lot of people actually ARE taking poisons. Some people avoid these things, but others actively seek them out.

                  I'm not pro- or anti-drug. I think people should be allowed to do what

                • Because, if it were truly dangerous to human life, then humans would avoid it the same way we avoid other poisons and strong hallucinogens. If it truly were evil then it wouldn't have a world-wide reputation (among actual users, as opposed to ignorant witch-hunters) as a peaceful drug, as a way to relax, and as a way to enjoy life. What is it about ten thousand years of historical record that is wiped away by eighty years of government lies?

                  Would you be alright with me cutting, pasting, and attributing yo

                • Because, if it were truly dangerous to human life, then humans would avoid it the same way we avoid other poisons and strong hallucinogens. If it truly were evil then it wouldn't have a world-wide reputation (among actual users, as opposed to ignorant witch-hunters) as a peaceful drug, as a way to relax, and as a way to enjoy life.

                  Just because the government lies about the harmful effects of marijuana does not mean that it's a good idea to be high all the time. There are two very real side effects of mari

            • by Ajehals (947354)

              Sorry for the late reply - I've been a little busy.

              Setting aside the personal attacks (as clearly this topic is one that you feel fairly strongly about) I think I can address your serious points.

              Firstly, with regard to the Doctor, Pilot, Bus Driver scenario, the question whether it would be acceptable for them to use drugs is fairly clear cut. Would you allow a doctor to treat you if he was a heavy heroin user? I assume here that the risks would be multiple, anything from the fact that his mental process

      • by SeaFox (739806)

        Ever heard of random drug testing?

        There's a [i]slight[/i] difference between your employer catching you doing substances (which may effect your performance on the job), and trying to dictate how you behave outside the workplace when you're doing nothing illegal.

        Frankly, if I'm having to follow someone else's code of conduct 24hrs a day, I expect to be compensated for it 24hrs a day.
    • RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

      by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:46PM (#20017557) Homepage
      The whole point of the rules is that IBM is using Second Life for business purposes. It's a no-brainer, really: if you're doing business in SL from the office during work hours then obviously you should act like it.
      • The only problem where this falls over is after hours.

        The way the SL system is set up is you pick ONE character who represents you. If you want a second avatar you have to pay for both.

        So your employee in work using a work account is logged in on a free SL account (does IBM even supply SL accounts?). They do their job and go home.

        At home they log in on their own machine using the same free account are they still expected to behave as if in work?

        I think IBM would have a case if they supplied their employees
    • by Wordplay (54438)
      As stated, this is more of a business thing.

      That said, "lifestyle discrimination" is legal in most places. More accurately, companies can discriminate based on anything not defined as illegal, and most states don't have any laws against discrimination aside from the usual protected classes (race, religion, medical, sexual preference (that's relatively recent, etc.).

      This is a particular problem for smokers and other people with unpopular habits. I once had a company threaten to fire me if I didn't quit, be
  • Guidelines (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:32PM (#20017425)
    I'd love to see the IBM Employee Handbook section on yiffing etiquette.
    • If you know enough about that scene you could write up such a section as a humor article.

      And maybe some clueless IBM HR drone would buy it to use for real!
  • attempt to justify their existence.
  • Damn, all this world needs is another 5,000 people in blue suits.
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      Damn, all this world needs is another 5,000 people in blue suits.

      It's OK, I'm releasing 5,000 'bots in ninja suits to show their kung-fu skills. "My kid beat up your honor student." Oh, and a few dozen Daleks to randomly roll around and exterminate things...

      -b.

  • I see a number of people raising concerns about IBM's guidelines and what they mean for employee's personal time.

    For those that are interested, you can read IBM's Business Conduct Guidelines, specifically the section On Your Own Time [ibm.com], as well as IBM's Blogging Policy and Guidelines [ibm.com] and the Virtual World Guidelines [ibm.com].

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fonik (776566)

      Your private life is very much your own. You are, however, an IBMer both on and off the job and a conflict of interest may arise if you engage in any activities or advance any personal interests, at the expense of IBM's interests.
      Nice. "Your free time is very much your own as long as you aren't doing anything we don't like."
      • Basically, it looks like you can do whatever you want (within reason) as long as you don't talk about IBM or identify yourself as an IBMer.

        The second IBM gets involved in the conversation, though, you gotta follow their rules.
        • by fonik (776566)
          Yeah, it looks like you're right. The business conduct guidelines are written in very terse legalese to keep themselves covered. The blogging guidelines, which are written more informally, seem perfectly reasonable. "Don't be a dick while representing our company to the public."
  • If they are, then Big Blue has every right to tell them how to behave. After all, they are at least in some small way representing the company.

    If they are not, then IBM's rights are much more limited: They have only as much right to dictate behavior in the game as they do real-life off-hours behavior. This is usually limited to not violating confidentiality, not doing anything illegal, or not doing anything that would violate a reasonable "morals clause" you see in some employee handbooks. For example,
  • ...retroactively, please. Sometime pre-Neuromancer would be nice. Bonus: You'd prevent Pattern Recognition while you were at it!

    These journalists! They try too hard to be hip; they pretend to be well-versed in technology -- and yet they coin nonsense phrases like "Cyberspace!" It is they who are responsible for this! (Regina Lynn on Wired: I'm looking at you too. At least Gibson wrote some Cyberpunk.) So, while -- fine -- shooting might be a bit harsh, I do think the pillory could be in order...

    [

    • by rkanodia (211354)
      and after you write something as mindshatteringly awesome as Cryptonomicon, you can get away with a lot ... which apparently includes traveling backwards in time to write a novel about 'the metaverse'.
    • by Warin (200873)
      What I find amusing about your post is that Stephenson's "Metaverse" looks a whole lot more like Second Life than Gibson's virtual world. As such, I figure Neal is far more responsible for shaping ideas within Second Life than William Gibson is. Sadly, Gibson gets the most guff because he did it first, and far better, than anyone else.

      Plus, I think it is super awesome that Neuromancer was written on a typewriter.
  • A company that restricts your off-hours activities is way out of bounds. Yes, i know it happens all the time, but that doesn't make it right by any stretch of the imagination.

    Now if they are talking on-hours, then thats a bit different as you are on their dime. I cant get to the story to see which we are talking about.
    • A simple quote can make a lawyers day if IBM is ever sued.

      Also press leaks on secret projects are big deal too.

      I worked for a temp agency for a major gaming company and to this day I can not tell you where I worked. I can mention it on a job app or something but not on the web.

      Reason being is the media and competitors will do anything to get trade secrets. So yes if your sallaried your always on the clock and if not then signing a document should be required for employment.

      What if an IBM employee told a sec
      • by nurb432 (527695)
        If you identify youself as an employee, then you really arent on your own time at that point. Telling/selling secrets doesnt ecen come into the 'my time / your time' debate.

        I dont agree with the statement 'if you are on salary you are always on the clock'. If you are at home watching tv you are on your own time. They dont own you 24/7. If you go back into the office at 2am to fix a problem, or start doing some work at home, sure you are 'back on the clock', but sitting at dinner? Nope, there are limits.
  • Dr. Bob Sutor, IBM VP for Standards and Open Source is a keen Second Lifer. He refers to it quite often in his blog. Recently he has discussed the problems of getting the latest version running on Ubuntu Feisty on his laptops in his blog here:

    http://www.sutor.com/newsite/blog-open/?p=1633 [sutor.com]

    Where he posts an image of Second Life running under Feisty. Since the image apparently shows his avatar we now know what the IBM dress code is in virtual worlds - Muscle Tee shirts and sunglasses.

    • Hmm... I wonder if that's an IBM issued laptop that he's running an unauthorized software build on?

      If so, I bet that he's breaking a ton of IT security regulations!
  • block it from work.

    it's completely unecessary.

    Anyone who uses it is a co-dependent basket case.
    • Wow, someone else that missed the point utterly...

      Did even one single person RTFM?

      Dude, IBM is USING SL as a buisness tool, they HAVE to have employees going there. They are regulating what the employees are allowed to do there when on as emploees doing their job and representing IBM as a company.

      There also apparently happened to be some no-nonsense "good advice" for people tjhat were otherwise completely new to this kind of thing which might help them /if they choose/ when they get on as alternate private
  • They also question why IBM would add a layer of buttoned-down bureaucracy to this relatively rollicking corner of the Internet.

    The real question, of course, is to ask why they only added one layer of bureaucracy. IBM manages to add twenty layers of it to everything else they do, to the extent that working in a tech job there just is not even vaguely interesting.


  • 1. Have never tried Second Life

    2. Tried it for 20 min and declared "The graphics suck, the game sucks" (even though technically it's not a "game")

    3. Hate Second Life (or any other tech that is popular) and love being "Devil's advocates"

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

Working...