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Facebook’s Oculus Rift is Going to Change Everything

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The Oculus Rift headset is well on its way to revolutionize Virtual Reality (VR) and immersive gaming. Earlier this year Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook for US$2 billion in cash and Facebook stock, leading to speculations that Facebook may soon launch VR applications and virtual worlds.

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When you put the headset on, you step into an immersive VR world where you are surrounded by computer-generated scenery and sound. Plenty of immersive video games already exist in which you can move around entire cities and interact with hundreds of characters. The Oculus interface is powerful enough to persuade the user to suspend disbelief and accept the virtual world as real. If the virtual world is well designed, users feel a powerful sense of “being there.”

Writing on Business Insider, Nicholas Carlson describes his experience with the newest version of the Oculus Rift and says that it is going to change everything. In the next decade or so, Oculus, or a similar product from another company, is going to radically change gaming, commerce, education, sports, narrative, sex, and even aging and sense of self.

How can a gadget change all that?

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Oculus porn is going to be far more immersive than the static images people used to look at in magazines or even videos on the internet. Not everyone is going to be comfortable with how immersive. [S]ometime in the not-too-distant future, you will be able to put on a headset, a pair of gloves, and a body suit and feel as if you are a different person in a different place.

Virtual Reality Will Be Used for All Sorts of Activities from Gaming to Business and Education

Oculus VRIn the science fiction novel Ready Player One (2011), Ernest Cline imagines OASIS – a massively multiplayer, high fidelity virtual world used by most of the world’s population for all sorts of activities from gaming to business and education. Palmer Luckey, the main creator of the Oculus Rift, recommended that everyone working at Oculus read Ready Player One. “I’d love to see us build something quite similar to what [Ready Player One] describes,” said Second Life creator Philip Rosedale.

Rosedale is developing his next project, the next-generation VR platform High Fidelity, currently in alpha testing, which will support the Oculus Rift.

Images from Barone Firenze and Shutterstock.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Bitcoins and Gravy

    December 14, 2014 at 5:08 am

    I’ve got two work benches and a lot of great old and new tools. I’d rather be hammering, drilling, sawing, shaping and fabricating real world materials into beautiful or useful items.
    You can keep your rift if you catch my drift. Using your hands is using your gift!

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Artificial Intelligence

Students Create Doom AI Which Learns Visually and Kills Humans in Deathmatch

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Two students from Carnegie Mellon University recently placed second in an artificial intelligence competition for their submission of a program that was able to learn the game Doom the same way humans do – by playing.

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Communication

Sony Introduces 2FA for PlayStation Users

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In a long-awaited and overdue move, Sony has finally introduced two-factor authentication to PlayStation users who can now enable the security feature on their PlayStation Network (PSN) accounts.

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Five years after suffering a devastating hack that compromised the user details of some 77 million PlayStation Network users, Sony has introduced two-factor authentication (2FA) on PSN accounts. Sony confirmed the news with a tweet last night, explaining how the feature works.

“By requiring two forms of identification for sign-in, your account and personal information will be better protected.” Sony wrote in its blog.

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Users will be asked to provide a verification code that will be texted to their mobile phones at the time of signing into their PSN account. While the feature isn’t hack-proof (nothing is, really), it provides a much-needed extra layer of protection that a large platform like the PlayStation Network, with over 100 million uses, deserves.

Sony PS 2FA

Sony added:

Passwords can be compromised if you use the same password for multiple accounts, click on malicious links, open phishing emails and other methods.

If your password is compromised and becomes known to someone other than yourself, your account will still require a verification code to gain access when you activate 2-Step Verification.

With the feature, Sony caught up with its console rival Microsoft. The Redmond-based software giant had introduced 2FA for Xbox back in 2013, during the days of Xbox 360. Other platforms which sees millions of users such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and others have been offering 2FA security for years.

It is perhaps baffling that Sony took as long as it did to introduce 2FA security, after the 2011 breach. At the time, the hack had Sony admitting that names, email addresses, billing addresses, account passwords and some credit card numbers were all exposed. The fallout saw Sony fined by the UK government. Furthermore, Sony also agreed to a settlement in a class action lawsuit, worth millions, granting PSN users in the United States the means to claim damages if they suffered identity theft as a result of the data breach.

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Fun Hacks

British Whizz Kid Hacks Pokemon Go; Catches Monsters Without Breaking a Sweat

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Pokemon Go

A 25-year-old British former computer science student has discovered a loophole in the popular Pokemon Go allowing him to catch Pokemon without leaving the comfort of his home.

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According to reports, players of the game have resorted to donating thousands of pounds to keep Mark Gore’s ‘bot’ running. Five lawyers are alleged to have urged him to remove the programme.

Mr Gore has stated that his loophole wasn’t designed to take the fun out of the game, which is reported to have seen users harassed by police for walking into restricted areas, according to the British tabloid newspaper, the Sun.

He stated that it was easy exploiting the game, which was created by Niantic. Gore said that over 24,000 people worldwide had been using his site to take advantage of his ‘bot’.

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He said:

I don’t think I’m spoiling people’s fun. If you look at the age bracket of people playing this game, it’s not all teenagers playing. There are a lot of people who work all day and don’t have the time to spend hours each day going out and catching Pokemon.

He added that those who want to can run the program in the comfort of their own home for two hours a day and still maintain the same level of fun to those who walk around collecting Pokemon.

While it certainly adds a level of safety to the game, does it not take away the authentic feel of it too?

Featured image from Matthew Corley via Shutterstock.

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