Faraday Cage or localized jamming?
Knocking all public wireless services offline to stop exam cheats seems like a bit much. Haven't they heard of a Faraday cage or localized jammers?
India's government has announced it will permit upgrades of mobile networks from 2G to 4G in regions claimed to be hotbeds of a Maoist insurgency. The nation's Ministry of Home Affairs prefers the term "left-wing extremists" but says the dominant ideology among such groups is a form of Maoism that "glorifies violence as the …
Opinion Consulting giant McKinsey & Company has been playing a round of MythBusters: Metaverse Edition.
Though its origins lie in the 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, the metaverse has been heavily talked about in business circles as if it's a real thing over the last year or so, peaking with Facebook's Earth-shattering rebrand to Meta in October 2021.
The metaverse, in all but name, is already here and has been for some time in the realm of online video games. However, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg's vision of it is not.
A smattering of big and not so big tech companies have linked arms to shape the emerging industry known as the metaverse.
Although the metaverse has been around for a considerable amount of time, it gained much more attention and nurturing in the past year, particularly with Facebook's October 2021 rebrand to Meta.
But many questions have remained over how an disjointed heap of technologies developed in different corners of the world could eventually become compatible or daresay interoperable.
Facebook owner Meta's pivot to the metaverse is drawing significant amounts of resources: not just billions in case, but time. The tech giant has demonstrated some prototype virtual-reality headsets that aren't close to shipping and highlight some of the challenges that must be overcome.
The metaverse is CEO Mark Zuckerberg's grand idea of connected virtual worlds in which people can interact, play, shop, and work. For instance, inhabitants will be able to create avatars to represent themselves, wearing clothes bought using actual money – with designer gear going for five figures.
Apropos of nothing, Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg is leaving the biz.
Sometimes it takes research to prove what was already suspected, like how utterly uncomfortable it would be to work in the metaverse.
An international team of researchers conducted a study [PDF] to just such an end, putting participants in VR headsets and taking an inventory of their self-reported physical and mental states throughout a five day, eight-hour-a-day period spent in headsets and a virtual "office".
Unlike a real job, participants were allowed to set their own work agendas and didn't perform standardized tasks yet even still had trouble undertaking these.
The metaverse already has privacy problems, and efforts to address them are disconcertingly hard to find, argued panelists at a Singapore conference yesterday.
Many metaverse technologies – think AR, VR, NLP AI, and 3D graphics – have been around a while but are coming together for the first time, explained Pankit Desai, CEO of cloud security company Sequretek on Tuesday at the Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG).
"These technologies were built at different points of time by different sets of people without an understanding of what the end use would be," said Desai, adding "to me the security risk is a big risk."
If you want to place a bet on the winner of 2022's weirdest corporate rebranding, here's one likely to make the shortlist: an announcement titled "Accenture Announces Accenture Song".
No, dear reader, that missive does not mean that Accenture has penned a corporate anthem. Which is a shame because The Register quite fancies the notion that the consulting firm's ~700,000 employees might be asked to start their working days with a rousing rendition of a company song, hands on hearts, before turning their minds to value-adding strategic consultancy.
Rather, the title serves to announce that Accenture Interactive – the limb of the organization dedicated to technology implementation – has renamed itself Accenture Song.
In a move sure to reassure those pushing for an all-virtual future, Facebook-owner Meta has announced it's opening its first physical store.
Opening May 9 at Meta's campus in Burlingame, California, near its Menlo Park headquarters, the Meta Store will be an interactive demo space where visitors can experiment with the US giant's Portal smart home devices and Quest 2 VR headsets as well as Ray-Ban Stories. Unlike the Portal and Quest 2 kit, the Ray-Ban-branded gear won't be sold at the Meta Store, though, and users will be directed online to purchase them. Meta also announced the addition of a Shop tab on its meta.com website.
The Meta Store, and its showcasing of VR equipment, follows the Facebook parent blowing billions of dollars on developing metaverse-related virtual-reality technology. Its red-ink-stained Reality Labs unit helped fuel an early-February stock slump that erased nearly two years of growth, and from which Meta has yet to recover. Meta Store head Martin Gilliard's announcement this week indicates the internet goliath is unperturbed.
The state of the metaverse, says Forrester, is that there isn't one. Yet.
In a report out now, the analyst house concluded hype, and corporate fears over being left out, are the only elements of the metaverse that have actually emerged. At the same time, Forrester also warned businesses to be ready just in case this thing takes off: "Technology vendors are racing to build the metaverse, and brands are looking to exploit it."
The metaverse is a fairly nebulous concept. It's supposed to be a galaxy of connected 3D virtual-reality worlds in which people can communicate, work, and play: it's not just about escaping to fantasy realm in which you interact with others through avatars, it's also supposed to be a space in which business can be done, and stuff can be designed and simulated collaboratively. The way the worlds are structured and defined can be as realistic or as fantastical as you like. Offices or star ships.
China's top government officials have a new space to meet and "build the [Chinese Communist] Party": a custom-built metaverse.
According to one of the bespoke metaverse's technology providers, virtual reality firm Mengke VR, the system will host virtual events like meetings, conferences, courses and history lectures. 3D avatars will be able to roam exhibits and observe cultural relics.
The available metaverse courses have titles like "A Hundred Years of Stories - Party History Micro Classroom" and "The Great New Era – Major Achievements of the Party and the Country Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China".
Analyst firm Forrester Research has had a look at Web3 – the buzzword describing blockchain-powered decentralized metaverse-y stuff – and decided there's not a lot to like.
The firm this week issued a pair of documents assessing Web3.
The first, titled "Web3 And Web 3.0 Are Synonymous Today – But This Wasn't Always True", points out that the term "Web 3.0" was first used in the mid-2000s, when it was used interchangeably with Sir Tim Berners-Lee's vision of a "semantic web". The term re-emerged in 2014 when Ethereum cofounder Gavin Wood suggested the Ethereum blockchain become the foundation for a decentralized web.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022