Feeds

Picketers maul IBM in Sadville

One virtually out - all virtually out!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

"I can't believe that governments are going tolerate these changes in power balance that online communities create," gasped Brian Eno last week, in conversation with Clay Shirky. The two were at the ICA in London, marvelling (picture below) at the "emergent" power of networks *. But will global corporations soon be cowering before the mighty, virtual mob too?

We'll soon find out. Italian IBM staff are once again staging industrial action in Sadville, Linden Labs' pyramid scheme online virtual world today. The Rappresentanza Sindacale Unitaria (RSU), which represents 9,000 Italian IBM staff and their avatars, is taking the action in protest against an outsourcing deal with AT&T.

Last autumn, RSU members picketed virtual islands in Sadville, depriving IBM of literally tens of cents of revenue. It looked a bit like this:

IBM staffer pickets IBM's Sadville HQ

IBM staffer pickets IBM's Sadville nerve center - click to enlarge

This time, union activists have organised a striker's kit for would-be virtual pickets.

Not surprisingly, the "virtual" industrial action has already been lauded by outlets traditionally sympathetic to employers. The Economist credited last autumn's Sadville action for a swift reversal in policy.

Reuters' Sadville news section today

It's almost as if IBM prefer its staff's industrial action remains in the land of the Furry and Flying Penis. It's taking place, literally, on "Union Island".

Cross-furry interoperability

IBM's involvement in Linden Labs is the legacy of its chief space cadet Irving Wladawsky-Berger, who threw millions of dollars of resources into building up a presence. Wladawsky-Berger has now departed, but his successors at Big Blue have continued to give the virtual world, which most of the real world safely ignores, a high priority.

Clay Shirky and Brian Eno, ICA

Brian Eno and Clay Shirky at the ICA last week Credit: Morgan Tepsic

Last autumn, IBM announced a joint agreement with Linden Labs to "drive open standards and interoperability to enable avatars - the online persona of visitors to these online worlds - to move from one virtual world to another with ease, much like you can move from one website to another on the Internet today."

And that folks, is why you pay your IBM Software Maintenance fees. ®

*Bootnote:

Poor beleagured governments - they've only got the guns, tanks and tear gas. And your ID.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.