Friday, October 24, 2008

Woman jailed after "killing" virtual husband

I came upon this when diverted back to the main page after checking mail. Neat!

TOKYO - A 43-year-old player in a virtual game world became so angry about her sudden divorce from her online husband that she logged on with his password and killed his digital persona, police said.

The woman, who has been jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his ID and password to log onto the popular interactive game "Maple Story" to carry out the virtual murder in May, a police official in the northern city of Sapporo said Thursday. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of department policy.

"I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry," the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.

The woman, a piano teacher, had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.

She has not yet been formally charged. If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison or a fine up to US$5,000.

Players in "Maple Story" create and manipulate digital images called "avatars" that represent themselves, while engaging in relationships, social activities and fighting monsters and other obstacles.

In virtual worlds, players often abandon their inhibitions, engaging in activity online that they would never do in the real world. For instance, sex with strangers is a common activity.

The woman used login information she got from the 33-year-old office worker when their characters were happily married to kill the character. The man complained to police when he discovered that his online avatar was dead.

The woman was arrested Wednesday and taken 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) from her home in southern Miyazaki to be detained in Sapporo, where the man lives, the official said.

The police official said he did not know if she was married in the real world.

Bad online behavior is usually handled within the rules set up by online worlds, which can ban miscreants or take away their virtual possessions.

In recent years, misbehavior in the virtual world has in some cases had consequences in reality.

In August, a woman was charged in the U.S. state of Delaware with plotting the real-life abduction of a boyfriend she met through the virtual reality Web site "Second Life."

In Tokyo, a 16-year-old boy was charged with stealing the ID and password from a fellow player of an online game in order to swindle virtual currency worth US$360,000.

* What's Next?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not progressing much

I have approximately two weeks before my finals. Yet I am still moving at sloth pace. What is with me and this sloth pace anyway? Being unwell is probably one of the reasons that is slowing things down. It's like virus spreads faster when the exam draws closer. Everyone turns into an incubus of virus. Being contained in a air conditioned room together for hours worsens things. Instead of sharing knowledge, we share virus and germs. Being exploited is another thing that makes life less rosy. Life could never be rosy because of thorns. Someday, there ought to be a new breed of thornless roses. Ok, now back to work. Have to get my engines started. Probably need a hybrid engine now (for environmental purposes). Before I can do that, I will need to find my socks, and keys.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?'

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze.

'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked.

She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...'

'No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.'

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ' We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.'

She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.'

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

'Good friends are like stars....... You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.'

*Apparently not many people grow up

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Amazing Race

Why bother to sign up for a race around the world when your life is already one? Why sign up to be tortured and push over your limits when it greets you in the face everyday from the minute you open your eyes? The only difference is, you don't get the prize money in the end.

My life has been the live version of "The Amazing Race" right from the beginning. There are roadblocks after roadblocks. One barricade after another. Just when you think you have reached the pit stop, the torture starts all over again. And the amazing thing is, I didn't even sign up for it.

There is not just one mastermind in "my" race. There are infinite numbers of them. And you will never know when they will launch attack at you. There is no dodging as you never know which direction they will come charging. When you finish one lag of the race, you do not get words of praise or a pat on the back for doing a good job. Instead you hear insults and words that bring you down.

Why do people find pleasure in the suffering of others? Well that's because they are sore losers that find gratification in bringing others down. They are failures in their own lives and the only way they can console themselves of their pathetic existence is through bringing others down. Sadly though, karma does not apply to this ever multiplying species. Karma only applies to those who have a good heart. They don't even know what karma is. All they know is kurma. With more joining the pack, "The Amazing Race" will never come to an end. More rice to go with the kurma!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Skinny T

Frontal view

Rear view

The latest addition to the cybershot family. Aptly named Skinny T, this touch screen camera is only 13.9mm in width,has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels and like previous versions have smile detector. It will automatically snap a photo when a smile is detected. Trust me I tried it and it worked. It also comes equipped with "Creative Paint" that enables users to decorate their photos in the camera itself. I suppose you can erase the unwanted people that appears in the photo when they are not supposed to. That is just my thought. Not too sure whether it can be done. Can only tell when I get to try it.

The different colours that Skinny T is available in.

Skinny T for skinny me. Haha. Sony designers are always thinking of me when they design their cameras. How touched. Dying to get one.