CNET News.com editor Leslie Katz recently became a resident of "Second Life," a three-dimensional digital universe built and owned by its inhabitants. Here, Leslie's avatar, named Amelia, hovers near a waterfall on Sala, one of the continent's islands and a favorite destination of Amelia's.
Joining Linden Lab's virtual world is free, but once inside, there are multiple opportunities to spend money on clothes, real estate, art, furniture and more. While it's easy to score garb for free, Amelia splurged and bought herself this fancy dress for 300 Linden dollars (about $1).
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.