Second Life obsessed parents starve two-year-old child



Online gaming Is fun and an escape from reality, but when it becomes your reality at the expense of you family Its an issue that needs to be dealt with. When it becomes life threatening then its a crime. No child should be neglected because you cant drag yourself away from the computer to see to their basic needs.

US couple obsessed with a video game have allegedly let daughter starve


A Couple have been accused of starving their two-year-old daughter after becoming obsessed with the online video game Second Life.

Mark Knapp, 48, and wife, Elizabeth Pester, 33, from Tulsa, USA, were charged with child neglect and abuse after the girl was rushed to hospital weighing just 5.8 kilograms. The average two-year-old should weigh between ten and fifteen kilograms, depending on their height.

The girl was admitted to St Francis Hospital in a critical condition on Tuesday, with detective Denielle Bishop telling Newson6 that on top of being severely underweight, she could not walk, move or talk.

“My gut feeling is the child probably never left the apartment” she said.

“She can’t walk, they claim that she can crawl, the back of her head is completely flat.”

Hospital staff alerted authorities after Knapp and Pester told them they would be back on Thursday to check on the girl, despite living just around the corner. When local police arrived at the house, Knapp reportedly asked them if they were there because their daughter died. They were found playing Second Life.

The couple are previously known to authorities, having had their daughter taken from them in June 2012 for being underweight. She was returned to them in July 2012 on the condition that she would attend weekly weigh-ins, which did not happen.

Pester, whose avatar is a blonde DJ, allegedly rescheduled her daughter’s appointments around her performances as a virtual DJ in Second Life.

The couple are being held in Tulsa county jail on a US$50,000 bond each. The little girl is still in hospital in a critical condition.

The case is eerily similar to the 2010 case involving Korean couple Kim Yoo-chul and Choi Mi-sun, who raised an avatar baby through their profiles on a Second Life-style game called PRIUS. They were both charged with child abuse and neglect when their obsession with another world lead to their real daughter dying at three months of age.

Facebook removes search restriction


FACEBOOK is changing again. This time it is getting rid of a privacy feature that lets users limit who can find them on the social network.

Facebook Inc said on Thursday it is removing a setting that controls whether users could be found when people type their name into the website’s search bar.

Facebook says only a single-digit percentage of the nearly 1.2 billion people on its network were using the setting.

The change comes as Facebook is building out its search feature, which people often use to find people they know – or want to know – on the site.

Facebook says users can protect their privacy by limiting the audience for each thing they post about themselves.

Meet the American ‘Siri’

She helps you get to meetings on time, tells you what the weather is like outside, and the best restaurant to go to for dinner.

And until now, her identity has remained a mystery. But the voice behind the American Siri, Apple’s first voice-activated “virtual assistant”, has finally been revealed, reports CNN.

Her name is Susan Bennett. She’s a voiceover artist from suburban Atlanta who’s been working in the industry since the 1970s.

Bennett (who refuses to name her age) fell into voice work by accident, but is now heard all over the world. She speaks in countless commercials and on phone systems. She spells out directions from GPS devices and addresses travellers in Delta airport terminals.

In July 2005, she spent four hours every day laying down audio for a client in her home recording booth. She read out hundreds of nonsensical phrases, words and sentences for the mysterious “ubergeeks”. Back then, this was just another recording job. Siri was six years away from being invented so she had no clue about how the words would be used. Little did she know they would be spoken to over 100 million people through a yet-to-be-invented phone.

Siri debuted in October 2011, when Apple released the iPhone 4S. Bennett hadn’t purchased the phone, but those close to her did.

“A colleague e-mailed me [about Siri] and said, ‘Hey, we’ve been playing around with this new Apple phone. Isn’t this you?'”

Bennett went to Apple’s website and listened to video clips announcing Siri. The voice was unmistakably hers.

Siri’s identity has remained unknown up until now. Apple is notoriously secretive about its inner workings but the veil was lifted after tech news site The Verge recently posted a video How Siri found its voice , igniting speculation about the real person behind the voice of Siri.

Apple wouldn’t confirm reports Siri was Bennett, so CNN hired an audio forensics expert to verify the claim. He says he is “100 per cent” certain the two are the same.

Bennett has also been tight-lipped about her secret fame. So what made her change her mind and go public?

“I really had to weigh the importance of it for me personally. I wasn’t sure that I wanted that notoriety, and I also wasn’t sure where I stood legally. And so, consequently, I was very conservative about it for a long time,”

Sometimes it’s a good idea to dump someone by text message.

Sometimes, it’s OK to dump someone by text message. We think this is one of those moments.

Quin Woodward Pu, 26, a blogger and “memoirist”, met a guy during a big drunken night out. He was a “rando” but they had drinks later that weekend and things seemed pretty good.

They had dinner the following weekend and even planned another date — a day trip to a wine region a short drive away.

Until he had second thoughts. And gently let her know he just wasn’t feeling it in this text message:



Ms Woodward Pu was mortified. So she blew up, posting his text message — and her brutal response — on her well-read Washington DC blog, Little Black Blog.

“I was stunned into paralysis. I had no words … and I just felt short of breath,” she said. “I was still so agitated 10 hours later that I had to leave opera rehearsal early. This is a serious no-no, given that opening night is Saturday at the Organisation of American States.”

“Then I realised: I am on the eve of my 26th birthday. Why am I stewing instead of just expressing what I really feel? There is practically nothing to lose from just telling the truth.”581634-7ac276d4-2649-11e3-abe3-b1f1d77b1129

Can’t see why he would be too scared to talk to her in person.

Despite posting her fire-breathing take-down for the world to see while she was consumed with rage, Ms Woodward Pu also assured readers the relationship was never that serious.

“(After dinner with him the second time) I actually headed out to a bar to meet up with a former lover from 2012, with whom I may or may not entertain a few exchanges here and there.”