Virtual Bank, Real Scam?

    Second Life is a popular “virtual world” in which people across
the real world interact with each other using “avatars.” [1]  Avatars
are three-dimensional alter-egos that can be completely customized;
users can change their avatar’s clothing, height, weight, and even add
features like wings. [2]  Unlike other virtual worlds, which are
basically interactive computerized versions of fantasy role-playing
games, Second Life is not a game in the traditional sense. [3]  It does
not have goal or end; there are no monsters to fight, mysteries to
solve, or princesses to rescue. [4]  Rather, Second Life provides its
users with a toolkit with which they can create items within the
virtual world. [5]  Users can create pretty much anything they want:
buildings, vehicles, clothing, even games. [6]

  Much of the activity in Second Life centers on commerce with users
“buying” and “selling” “land” and each other’s creations. [7]  … Read the rest

The Online Movie Rental Battle

I. Introduction

the concept of movie rentals via the internet be protected by a
patent?  Netflix, Inc. seems to think so.  That is what prompted them
to sue Blockbuster, Inc. for infringing their patents by starting up
Blockbuster Online.  But Blockbuster thinks Netflix has invalid patents
and that the monopolization of the online movie rental business would
not be fair.  These are the issues that recently came up in Netflix,
Inc. v. Blockbuster, Inc.  [1].

II. Analysis

Netflix is suing Blockbuster for infringing their patents by
starting Blockbuster Online which also allows consumers to rent movies
through the internet, similar to what Netflix offers.  [2].  Netflix has two patents that describe methods for renting items for ordering digital video discs (DVDs) via the internet.  [3].  Blockbuster feels there is nothing original about renting movies to customers through the internet.  [4]
To obtain a patent, the patentee

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Is the Internet Replacing Real Estate Agents?

Before the Internet became popular, homebuyers had to spend days touring dozens of homes pre-selected by their real estate agent, and were often forced to settle on a home that was merely satisfactory.  Now individuals can shop online for homes, take virtual tours of homes, and even list their homes for sale online without ever stepping foot inside an agent's office.  The Internet provides what previously could only be provided by an agent:  a direct connection between buyers and sellers, thus eliminating the need for a middleman that charges a pricey commission.  In this age of technology though, some argue that the middleman can never be entirely replaced by the Internet.          

The Internet offers a variety of sources for people searching for homes for sale.  One type of site is the "real estate portal."  [1]  This type of site offers searchable listings, where buyers can choose their

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