Meta 2 AR Headset Impresses Crowd at Ted

Augmented reality is one step beyond virtual reality, with popular VR hardware like the Oculus Rift or even Google Cardboard looking to put you into the action, there is something missing from that Iron-Man experience. This is where Meta wants to surpass everyone else by not only letting you see images in 3D but also by letting you manipulate them.

We’ve seen augmented reality in a million movies and TV shows, the ability to create a 3D image and then using your physical body manipulate the digital image, from dancing with your favourite stars on a holodeck to crafting a vase on your table ready for printing.

We’ve commented on the Meta Spaceglasses before but they’ve come a long way since then. At a demo in Vancouver, Canada, Meron Gribetz, the founder and CEO of Meta, demoed just a few of the features that could soon see it become a must buy. On stage he was able to pick apart an object and manipulate it, work with a colleague somewhere else in the world by telepresence and then creating virtual computer monitors.

Being able to create something with your own hands is always rewarding, and can be easier than attempting to draw the object using a pen of some kind for your computer to interpret. The ability to create virtual screens will be a live saver for anyone who works on the go and needs access to private screens to get the most out of their work.

I personally can’t wait to see what Meta have accomplished with the Meta 2, but I guess we will only find out when the countdown reaches zero.

Is Google Messing With Your Shopping Search Results?

Do you use Google as your default search engine? You do? Have you ever thought that everything you read, stumble upon or even buy are just imposed on you? Well, it might be true! At least according to the EU’s antitrust commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, who plans on fining the search giant for its manipulative approach.

Vestager seems to be convinced that Google is intentionally manipulating search results to redirect and serve its own interest rather than give back relevant search results that users seek when they use the search giant. To make things clear, the EU is not interested in the company revealing its secret search algorithm, but wants to make sure people get what want, not what they are fed.

“We don’t want to interfere with screen design, how things are presented on the screen as such or the algorithm. What we are concerned about is that people see the most relevant shopping results,” Vestager stated.

There have been some allegations that Google is on the anti-competitive run with its Android operating system as well, but the EU is more focused on its search engine due to the fact that it received a formal complaint regarding the accusations.

“Smartphones, tablets and similar devices play an increasing role in many people’s daily lives and I want to make sure the markets in this area can flourish without anticompetitive constraints imposed by any company,” said Vestager.

Google apparently finds this as “very disappointing news” and is now seeking to reassure the antitrust commission it is within legal boundaries with its operations. But let’s think about it, Google really reached a position where it can even dictate how people think or feel everyday. I mean, what’s the first page loaded by every browser nowadays? I’ll give you a hint. It starts with G and ends with E and sometimes it drops on you when you hit this link.

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information

Facebook Policy Agreement Allowed Emotional State Study on 600,000 Users

When signing up for a Facebook account, the majority of users do not read the Facebook Data Use Policy and consider that their private user data is secure. While this is true, this does not mean that Facebook itself can’t use the data you post. This is where Facebook has gathered some data from random account feeds in order to use it in a little social experiment.

Facebook apparently has tweaked the content seen by more than 600,000 users in order to determine whether or not it would affect their emotional state. The study paper has been published under the name of “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” at The Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. Users who like to view it would find how Facebook data scientists tampered the algorithm managing which posts appear on users’ news feeds, having it manage the number of negative and positive posts appearing on users’ news feed. Future posts from users ‘participating’ in the experiment were then analysed over the course of one week in order to determine if they would respond with increased positivity or negativity of their own and thus determining whether emotional states could be transmitted over a social network.

The result turned out to be positive, having users respond to the negativity or positivity of the content manipulated. The scientists have proved that the ‘mood’ can be changed over a social network and the overall point about modern psychology. Also, for concerned Facebook users, the paper states that the data gathered has been within the “internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.” agreement which everyone had to agreed with before signing up for a Facebook account. In addition to the latter, all personal and private data gathered has been done using the policy’s liberal constraints, having a machine analyse and pick out positive and negative posts.

Adam Kramer is listed as being the lead author for the paper, having him state in an interview that the reason he had joined the social network is that “Facebook data constitutes the largest field study in the history of the world.”. The latter statement proves the sad truth that while users view Facebook as a fun and loving place to post pictures, quotes, places you have been to and personal experience, it is without question a huge ‘research lab’ for some higher-ups as well.

Thank you A.V. Club for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of A.V. Club