Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

IBM to Regulate Employee Second Life Behavior

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-furry-costumes-during-work-hours dept.

IBM 165

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.

cancel ×

165 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017121)

first post

*ahem* (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017123)

...

Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrddddddddddddds!

Um... (4, Funny)

Dragonshed (206590) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017127)

So IBM sanctions playing Secondlife while on the clock?

This, I have to see for myself.

Apparently. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#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. (3, Insightful)

karmaflux (148909) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Apparently. (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018253)

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?

Re:Apparently. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018353)

Do people really do that? Why the hell would someone meet with clients in Second Life?!
Its a video game. Just because it doesn't have any entertaining aspect doesn't change that fact. And, it being a freaking game aside, why would you pick Second Life to meet clients. I mean, why not, say, World of Warcraft? What really separates the two? The fact that one's actually fun? Fantasy elements versus fake daily life? Furthermore, why would anyone waste their time with virtual real life instead of actually living real life or playing a game that involves doing something you can't do in real life (like casting spells, shooting aliens, ect.)?
Maybe I'm just stupid, but I don't get it.

Big Blue Uniform? (1)

dakirw (831754) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018405)

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?

Pretty much, yep. (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018481)

You mean like the prototypical IBM outfit - dark blue suit and black wingtips?

Pretty much. They'd have a selection. Male and female of different appearances. So you can sort of match it to you. And so you don't look like Agent Smith when a group of five of you show up.

And they'd hire people to polish them. You want to present the most professional appearance possible (if you're IBM). So spending money on getting the textures and shadows right is important. It's all about paying attention to the smallest details.

You'd all have the same "look" and that "look" would be "polished professional".

Re:Apparently. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018487)

From TFA:
IBM, whose 20th century employees were parodied as corporate cogs in matching navy suits,

"Parodied" might be putting it too lightly. Friend of mine worked for big blue back in the paper tape day. He was walking out of a meeting in an American office when some manager suddenly demanded to know if he was "wearing garters." Friend of course said, "Pardon me?", upon which the management weirdo bent over and yanked up my friend's pant leg to see that he was in fact wearing the sock garters specified in the IBM dress code.

It probably shouldn't be underemphasized just how crazy IBM was about these things.

Re:Um... (3, Interesting)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#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... (5, Insightful)

timster (32400) | more than 7 years ago | (#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... (3, Insightful)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Um...Thuddite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017971)

"Years after most people had figured out that the Internet wasn't a virtual world"

And the internet wasn't mocked-up text and graphics either, until the Nexus browser brought us the World Wide Web

Re:Um... (1)

AIM_is_t3h_sux (891192) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018017)

How is a virtual world useless? It cuts a given company's travel expenses while maintaining some of that "personal touch" so many customers look for in the real world. I agree with you that the "idiot media" does hype up that which it does not understand. However, this "Second Life" product is useful in so many different situations (making telecommuters feel like they are right there in the office, to teaching kids in remote parts of the world with a more personal touch, etc.) that to discredit it is to go against the grain for the sake of going against the grain.

Re:Um... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#20019011)

How is a virtual world useless?

It emulates a world, and it requires undivided (or nearly so) attention while being "in" the world. The Internet and Internet messaging media are very useful _because_ you can multi-task whilst using them. Second Life/Metaverses/whatever seem like they'd be *more* time consuming than operating in the real world.

-b.

Re:Um... (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018649)

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?).

Re:Um... (2, Interesting)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017677)

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 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.

I believe IBM has it right and have a big stake in it. If they integrate the Linden technology into Websphere.... wow that would be awesome.

Re:Um... (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017847)

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.

Re:Um... (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018333)

You will see precious, oh yes!!! you will see...

Re:Um... (2, Interesting)

Stalus (646102) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017345)

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 to be exploring and doing things there on the clock, so why would it be a surprise that they'd sanction this?

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017479)

> So IBM sanctions playing Secondlife while on the clock?
>This, I have to see for myself.

Q: What do you get when you cross Second Life with IBM?
A: Solutions for a small planet: Charlie Chaplin dressed up a Big Blue fursuit.

No, I do not want to see for myself.

So...? (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017151)

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.

Re:So...? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017215)

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:So...? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017317)

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.

Re:So...? (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017469)

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:So...? (0, Troll)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017491)

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?

Re:So...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017595)

Am I the only person who looks to the future?
If you've been looking to the future, how come you didn't see yourself being homeless for eight months and find a solution to prevent it? Or is that where the conspiracies come in to makeup for your failures?

Re:So...? (-1, Flamebait)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017645)

Once again demonstrating that you know nothing of the situation.

Can you supply any details about why I left my job? Do you know any of them? Can you tell me the first day that I began sending out resumes? What "failures" are you referring to? What on-the-job failures have I had?

How come nobody mods you troll? Why hasn't your IP been banned yet? Are you in Slashdot corporate? Maybe you're on AOL--that would explain a lot. You haven't offered a single fact to support your harassment yet.

Re:So...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018131)

You left your job because you weren't able to play well with others, simple as that. The "failures" I'm referring to are your inability to obtain shelter and your habbit of substance abuse.

How come nobody mods you troll?
Quite simply because I'm not. You're modded as a troll because you are one.

Why hasn't your IP been banned yet?
Why would I be banned?

Are you in Slashdot corporate?
Yes.

You haven't offered a single fact to support your harassment yet.
How have you been harassed? No one is forcing you to respond. Set your threshold to +1. It's that simple.

Re:So...? (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018369)

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.

Re:So...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017985)

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.


Have a toke and find out.

Re:So...? (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018513)

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...? (3, Insightful)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017307)

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...? (4, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017445)

I have to say that this is one of the more.. fanciful... posts I've read here in a while.

Re:So...? (0, Troll)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017543)

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.

Re:So...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017683)

Your line of work must not have been that important if you've had time for all the politics you've claimed to be a victim of.

Re:So...? (0, Flamebait)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017711)

Can you back that claim up? Do you know what my line of work was? What politics was I involved in?

Do you know anything of what you're talking about or do you just come around to monitor and harass me?

Why isn't your IP banned?

Re:So...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018003)

Taking into account the amount of bitching you do over trivial situations, I'd say your own character is substantially more backup to what I've said than any backup you've provided for your statements.

Do you know anything of what you're talking about or do you just come to Slashdot to troll?

Why isn't your IP banned?

Re:So...? (2, Informative)

fonik (776566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018313)

I seem to be having the same problem today. I think Slashdot is getting "raided" by idiots from 4chan or something. Either that or the mods are all on acid.

So... (5, Funny)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017245)

No flying genitalia in IBM business attire then, eh?

which is odd (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017627)

because so many IBM consultants are dicks.

So...Overexciting IBM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017827)

Lends new meaning to the phrase "blue balls".

One has to wonder, however.... (3, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017289)

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:One has to wonder, however.... (2, Informative)

TheAwfulTruth (325623) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017489)

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.

No, one knows... (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018087)

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.

mrrrph? (1)

Lije Baley (88936) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017319)

I'll see that Huh?, and raise you a WTF?

Rule number one (4, Insightful)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017327)

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)

Yep. It's teh latest Intarwebs buzzword. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017563)

What's next, YouTube? Facebook? MySpace?

Re:Rule number one (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018747)

(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?

"Second" Life? (4, Funny)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017405)


  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:"Second" Life? (2, Funny)

f1r3f0g (879606) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018367)

starting conversations with "check out my new script"
Is that the geek equivalent of "Hey Y'all! Watch this!"?

Is it even legal? (4, Interesting)

ElGanzoLoco (642888) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017413)

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?

Re:Is it even legal? (0)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017459)

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.

Re:Is it even legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017629)

Case closed.
Thanks for your pseudo-analysis of the situation. What law school did you go to? Oh, that's right, you have no knowledge, background or experience in U.S., or any legal system. Thanks for your input, I'll take it as seriously as I would any other homeless persons'.

Re:Is it even legal? (0, Redundant)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017671)

Oh, that's right, you have no knowledge, background or experience in U.S., or any legal system
Can you offer any details to support this? How do you know I have no knowledge or background? Can you tell me of any prominent cases where EULAs have been ruled definitively invalid, and the ruling used to uphold other cases? Can you point to any cases where an employee has both won a case against an employer who was overbearing in regulating off-hours behavior and that case was used to set a precedent to tell other employers to back off?

No, of course you can't, because you're just coming up with blanket questions to harass me, which you've been doing for eight months. How come nobody ever mods you the troll? How come your IP isn't banned? How come nobody ever questions your knowledge, experience, or your derogatory claims against me?

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

XorNand (517466) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017989)

I recently met a person who works for the American Cancer Society and we got to talking about her job. They are explicitly prohibited from smoking on or off the job. They even sign a contract consenting to occasional searches of their personal effects for cigarettes (she didn't say if/how often that occurs though). I also remember reading about a private sector employer who enacted similar measures about a year ago. In Ohio I think? I'm sure a bit of googling would turn something up; it made quite a bit of press.

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

Anarchitektur (1089141) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017553)

Ever heard of random drug testing?

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017573)

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

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017741)

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 detect any strange behaviour (never mind coming in stoned) and to deal with it, help where appropriate, disciplinary action or dismissal where necessary. In house drug testing however? No way - it violates privacy and destroys trust, especially if that testing does not include testing the board and senior staff.

It is similar to alcohol in this regard (although not wholly). I don't care if you got drunk last night but it had better not impair your ability to work today, anybody failing to come back to work after a work function, or is late due to a hangover shouldn't bother coming back at all (if you really cant work with a hangover don't drink so much, or book a day off in advance.

Re:Is it even legal? (1, Insightful)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017795)

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 the radio, talking on the cell phone, dealing with kids in the back seat...

I would however hope that my management team would detect any strange behaviour
You mean the classical management behavior of being high-handed, abusive, derogatory, self-important, and dismissive of the concerns of the employees beneath them? Oh, you mean that's the acceptable "strange" behavior? Let's be honest with ourselves about this.

It is similar to alcohol in this regard
No, it's not, but you keep telling your ignorant, big bad self, that so that you can continue to spread the government line about the evils of that terrible plant.

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017891)

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.

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017905)

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?

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

magictiger (952241) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018259)

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 whatever the hell they want as long as it does not potentially impact me. Should someone be allowed to smoke up as long as they do it in private and stay in private until the effects have worn off? Yes. Should someone be allowed to take something that will drive them into a rage and potentially cause them to break into my home? Hell no. Should someone be allowed to drive while intoxicated? HELL no.

Keep me (and others) out of it, and do whatever you want.

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018355)

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 your comments in response to a thread about tobacco elsewhere on the tubes? Although, I would like to trade 80 to 60, as I believe that will be accurate.

Re:Is it even legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018407)

Just make sure you are willing to give him a six figure job on a silver platter, else prepare for the ad hominem attacks.

Re:Is it even legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018479)

Sorry, your arguement is baseless. Human life has seen human sacrafices, warfare, and slavery consistantly for over ten thousand years. Infact, they've been crucial points in our history. Why should we let government lies prevent these lifestyles? They are afterall done with the intention of relaxing and enjoying life.

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018377)

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 (3, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017557)

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.

Re:Is it even legal? (1)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017759)

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, because another employee with smoke allergies complained that the smoke clinging to my clothing was causing issues. BS or not, I don't know, but it would have been perfectly legal for them to can me over it.

Guidelines (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017425)

I'd love to see the IBM Employee Handbook section on yiffing etiquette.

Opportunity, dude! (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017803)

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!

HR Drones (1)

Trailwalker (648636) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017447)

attempt to justify their existence.

Acceptable Second Life Behavior (2, Funny)

Derek Loev (1050412) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017565)

Damn, all this world needs is another 5,000 people in blue suits.

...for business purposes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017575)

The IBM worker homepage links to this article [usatoday.com] . Basically, it's due to the fact that IBM uses tools like Secondlife to conduct business. A lot of us use virtual offices anyway, and the guides for IM, et. Al are out there already: what's the difference really? In the scope of things: if you represent the company, you are (if you value your job) liable to uphold the ethics and code you agreed to. So if you use the same avatar for both work and play, you're just courting trouble.

Re:...for business purposes (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017619)

Basically, it's due to the fact that IBM uses tools like Secondlife to conduct business.
So, if business lunches are often conducted at the local DuClaw's, you're automatically banned from playing pool there? If some drunk idiot starts taunting you and getting in your face, in your off hours, with the blessing of the pub owner, you're just supposed to shrug it off because "We might tell your Mommy if you say anything back"? What's to stop IBM from conducting business _everywhere_ on the web and using that as justification to monitor all employees at all times?

Do authoritarians ever draw a line when pursuing their own power?

Re:...for business purposes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017997)


What's to stop IBM from conducting business _everywhere_ on the web and using that as justification to monitor all employees at all times?

Look at this from a different angle. IBM isn't monitoring or policing every employee's WOW or Myspace activities. What they are doing is giving fair warning that if you attract negative attention for these activities you will be let go.

Which is completely fair IMO. They don't want the term "IBM employee" to be included in a news story about this or that online scandal (and this reaches far beyond the obvious illegal ones.)

That was close (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017731)

Looks like fur parties are still in!

IBM guidelines (1)

thpr (786837) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017783)

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:IBM guidelines (2, Insightful)

fonik (776566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018019)

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."

Re:IBM guidelines (1)

supremebob (574732) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018587)

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.

Re:IBM guidelines (1)

fonik (776566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018665)

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."

"other virtual worlds"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20017801)

This mean I'm going to have to run the destruction of Matari terrorists by my boss now? :P

Are these employees IDing themselves as IBMers? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017831)

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, some companies have rules against disparaging their competition on or off the clock. Others have rules against gambling for employees in sensitive positions. These rules would apply in-game the same as out-of-game.

Frankly, a bigger problem for IBM and the rest of Corporate America is probably bleary-eyed employees who spend too much time fighting and not enough time sleeping.

Re:Are these employees IDing themselves as IBMers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018449)

More or less.. if you know where to look you can identify all the IBMers in SecondLife, as we are all required to belong to certain groups, (some very obvious and some not so obvious). As far as afterhours, most IBMers only camp ....

Somebody shoot William Gibson... (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 7 years ago | (#20017995)

...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...

[Neal Stephenson gets off the hook completely, 'cus even though he had a "Metaverse" in Snow Crash, he at least (1) clearly knows what he's talking about, and (2) wrote Cryptonomicon (and after you write something as mindshatteringly awesome as Cryptonomicon, you can get away with a lot.)]

EOF.

Re:Somebody shoot William Gibson... (1)

jne_oioioi (890078) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018119)

(and after you write something as mindshatteringly awesome as Cryptonomicon, you can get away with a lot.)
You don't read much now do you ?

Re:Somebody shoot William Gibson... (1)

rkanodia (211354) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018565)

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'.

Re:Somebody shoot William Gibson... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018609)

Oh for godsakes, do you know what "fiction" is? Gibson has never made any bones about that. Here, from the man himself [in 1993, already well into the second trilogy]: "If I could send them a message... If Mister Gibson could send a message to the boys on the InterNet I'd tell them to go and get a dictionary and look up the word irony."

fuck second life, fuck IBM, fuck you (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018163)

you're all a bunch of cocksuckers. when i find out that you're using second life (or any other game), i'll rm -rf your warez. gamers should all be rm -rf. This is the least they deserve for their contribution to computer science. they will all be dealt with the same way. when i find your zip files, they will feel the rm -rf ripple effect. they all will cease to exist. you have been warned. do not keep your warez on my /16.

Re:fuck second life, fuck IBM, fuck you (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018925)

NO U!

Off hours restrictions (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018197)

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.

Re:Off hours restrictions (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018807)

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 secret that MS got ahold of? OR what if he identified himself as an IBM employee and then did something illegal like hit up on a minor. Could IBM be sued? If he identified himself as an IBM employee then possibly.

I work for IBM and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018371)

all they are doing is making sure that employees don't reflect badly on the company. Imagine if a Microsoft employee started spouting negatively and inaccurately about a non-MS product in SL. Or Slashdot. Instant flame and bad rep for MS. Also, consider the litigation opportunities.

IBM's pretty permissive in what it allows its employees to do on work time. Little Internet port blocking. No onerous logging. For me it makes for an innovative environment where I feel I can relax and try stuff out. I'd recommend IBM as an employer at least for that aspect.

Re:I work for IBM and... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018775)

I used to work for a gaming company and I almost got fired on my first day for mentioning where I worked on my livejournal. THe market department flipped out and called my bosses and boss. Ouch.

I turned the entry friends only.

They are obsessed with media misquoting even a lowly temp help desk worker. I had to sign a legal document saying I can tell my friends where I work and used to work but not anywhere on the internet. Especially /. :-)

I no longer work there but I can still be sued for giving out any information on how our servers work or rumors of upcoming projects. It was strange but I guess the major game publisher had bad press releases and lawsuits where /. ers who worked there quotes were actually used in court.

If I were IBM I would make any remark that I even work there on the net a firable offense.

IBM VP keen Second Lifer (1)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018567)

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.

Re:IBM VP keen Second Lifer (1)

supremebob (574732) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018679)

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!

It's A Fucking Game! (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 7 years ago | (#20018615)

block it from work.

it's completely unecessary.

Anyone who uses it is a co-dependent basket case.

tu3Girl (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20018923)

invit3d baclk again.

Bureaucracy? (1)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | more than 7 years ago | (#20019099)

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.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>