Check out this mind-blowing story on Second Life, the simulated online world where people socialize, shop for actual products, attend legitimate university classes, even buy virtual real estate -- using real-world money. This head-spinning enmeshing of online/off-line interaction represents a new model for our Internet-addled society. It's like "The Matrix" (Version 0.1).
Now this is a cool sign of the times: Musicians are playing "live" concerts streamed through virtual reality environments like "Second Life." Above, the avatar of Suzanne Vega plays in what was billed as "the first time a major recording artist performed live in avatar form."