back to article The Metaverse is the internet no one wants

The Metaverse, as the company formerly known as Facebook defines the term in its financial filings, is "an embodied internet where people have immersive experiences beyond two-dimensional screens." It's more or less another stab at Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), a standard file format for 3D graphics that dates back …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    No second life for Second Life?

    Good article. And there was me holding out for a second life for Linden Labs utter waste of time Second Life. Though, it being completely useless didn't stop marketing agencies convincing companies to spend money on it.

    As with most of the internet, until the porn industry finds a use for it, it's probably not worth bothering with. And I think they're probably more interested in AI generated photos and videos than expensive headsets for wankers, because people will pay for things like Kim Kardashian + Paris Hilton + Marilyn Monroe lovefest®.

    1. Ryan D

      Re: No second life for Second Life?

      Sound application of rule #34 I suppose.

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: No second life for Second Life?

      VR porn already exists, you can find examples on PornHub, etc. There are even VR web cam sites.

      The porn industry does not need (and probably doesn't want) Meta and Zuck.

      1. Evil Scot
        Coat

        Re: No second life for Second Life?

        I guess there are worse ways to mention Zuck and porn in one sentence.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No second life for Second Life?

        I am a little surprised that pr0n hasn't had the same boosting effect on VR as it did on Polaroid photos, VHS tapes, and the internet. The remote haptic devices just don't seem to be getting developed for a general market.

        Possibly the relevant generation had all they could handle in a more liberal society - and apparently the latest generations are going celibate.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: No second life for Second Life?

          The answer is it's not got there yet and is still pretty shit. VR porn still looks like early 2000 video games and probably only appeals to the people who wanked over Lara Croft clips. That doesn't hold a candle to the stuff that people are prepared to do in their own homes.

          I expect that to change once photorealistic images can be combined with storyboards.

        2. teebie

          Re: No second life for Second Life?

          I think it was Dara Ó Briain that explained why VR headset porn won't catch on - nobody is sufficiently confident that nobody else can walk into their home to give it a go.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: nobody is sufficiently confident that nobody else can walk into their home to give it a go.

            If the virtual environment consists of a room with people in it, how do you know whether the other people in that room are not proxys for other people logged in at the same time as you? If they are then people can spy on the commands you make to your proxy. So if you say "tie me up and beat me" then it is conceivable that someone you know could be witness to that exchange. The world is a big place, sure, but it depends how Meta segments its rooms as to the likelihood of a privacy breach.

            I would imagine the holy grail for Meta would be to feed on adolescent fantasies of the cute blonde who lives opposite logging on to the site and indulging her fantasies, whilst the painfully shy adolescent is able to watch/participate without fear of rejection, or the breaking of any voyeurism laws. To do this, each cell/room would be defined by Meta to incredibly tight geographic parameters. Don't forget that Facebook is part of the Meta empire, so this would be easy to achieve.

            Disregarding the fact that men and women's ideas of eroticism can arguably be streets apart, meaning for the most part that there is "nothing interesting to see here", the dangers of privacy erosion need to be properly flagged up as people login.

        3. CRConrad

          You almost got it

          The remote haptic devices just don't seem to be getting developed for a general market.
          ...the relevant body parts.

          There, FTFY.

    3. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: No second life for Second Life?

      Yup, they'll need a few more... attachments... developed before VR porn can get a third leg up on the world.

    4. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

      Re: No second life for Second Life?

      For real though, if you look up the old articles on Sadville on El Reg, SL has had since about 2005 (and continue to have) being able to create items and give or sell them, either transfer once or re-transferable (so you could sell it to someone else). You have land that you can buy from SL or buy from someone else, you can subdivide your land down to I think 1 meter interval, avatars have clothing and all that and there are people in there making clothing and such for sale, jewlery, artwork, etc.. There's road and rail networks in there which made land near the roads more valuable if someone wanted to use a car or train to travel (or wanted to put up billboards to advertise to those on the road or train), although since you can fly or teleport anyway. (edit: Also scripting and pulling in data from outside -- like I was in a space area and the Earth wasn't a generic earth, it used live satellite photos clouds and all so it was like a live view of Earth.)

      They don't have blockchain, you have a Lindens at 250 Lindens per dollar exchange rate, and since free accounts only get a 1-time 250 lindens there's not some huge amount of them floating around with no currency spent on them.

      My understanding is, given all this, what keeps SL afloat is in-SL casinos, SL gets a 5-10% cut on that, and pornography (like strip clubs and such).

      I'm not excited about a re-implementation of SL where Facebook (I mean "Meta") is hovering up all my personal data. But I guess we'll see.

      Edit: Unfortunately for them, the code base still uses OpenGL 2.1, and it's virtually impossible to update since the whole system of retreiving textures and meshes, etc., is all tied tightly into the OpenGL code and it'd be like a from-scratch rewrite to seperate them.

    5. btreynolds
      Happy

      Re: No second life for Second Life?

      "until the porn industry finds a use for it"

      I'm guessing you don't have a VR headset?

  2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    It's a vision born out of the need to sell investors on growth

    It's a vision born out of the need to sell cannibals an evening meal - FTFY

  3. Teejay

    I agree with the sentiment of the article.

    Why, however, is every link now underlined, like in crappy web design from the early 2000s?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Blue text is too expensive these days.

      1. Trigun Silver badge

        Yep, red is defo cheaper :)

    2. BenDwire Silver badge

      And there was me thinking that I thought I'd stuffed up my browser somehow. Like many of the recent changes at El Reg, I don't think this was very well thought out.

      1. DLSmith

        It's fine with me

        As a person with moderate color blindness, I like the underlined links better, because I can see them much more clearly.

        I wish more web sites would take up the practice.

        1. Steve Button Silver badge

          Re: It's fine with me

          Surely there's an extension, or accessibility setting for that in your browser?

          Then your wish could come true.

        2. iron Silver badge

          Re: It's fine with me

          You have been able to change the colour of links using browser settings since the days when Netscape was a company.

          1. eromana

            Re: It's fine with me

            Rather, an option to change links or blue colored text to links as black underlined text.

    3. Steve Button Silver badge

      Just be grateful they don't put <flash> FLASHING </flash> text, and a nice animated icon with "email us" along with "Designed for Internet Explorer 6". And a grey background.

      1. A. Coatsworth
        Megaphone

        Well, the other day there was an autoplaying ad at the top of most pages.

        No amount of dancing baby is more annoying than that.

        Edited to add:

        Who would have guessed!

        The same god dammed video just popped while I was writing this! It consumes half the page, so it makes everything else jump up and down. That is in NO WAY irritating at all!

        And before and editor jumps in and points to the contact links for errors or problems. I already did. On Wednesday. Still waiting for an acknowledgement.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          I'm not sure what your policy on blocking ads is. I know that I had The Register allowlisted for a while because I valued them so much, but if this keeps going, I'd consider removing that. I can't remember exactly why I removed them from the allowlist a while back, but the ads here are once again not getting to my screen.

          1. A. Coatsworth

            Unfortunately that happened on a work computer over which I have very limited control, so the only ad policy possible is to suck it up or stop visiting the site... Tough decision, as this is honestly one of the very few sites I care about.

            On mobile (where I am right now) the ads seem to be a lot less intrusive, so I have the site whitelisted, for now.

        2. ICam

          Disable JS

          I've installed a Firefox add-on that can selectively disable JS. I have www.theregister.com disabled, but not other sub-domains, so JS is still enabled for forums.theregister.com, for example.

          I can still see adverts if they're images and I'm cool with that, but annoying things that make the page jump up and down are no longer present while I'm reading articles.

          I experienced the page jumping issue quite a while ago now and it's the reason I no longer have JS enabled for reading articles on The Reg. It works fine for me - embedded YouTube videos just show a link to YT proper. The occasional embedded polls require hitting the JS button, which reloads the page, where I can vote in the poll and see the results, then hit the same button and JS is disabled again.

          An additional bonus is that without JS, page loading times are *much* quicker.

        3. martinusher Silver badge

          They aren't the only culprits. Its particularly annoying with a tablet because the active area jumps about. I just leave the site.

          Although web development is generally regarded as programming of a sort I tend to look down on these developers. Its not the lack of skill -- they seem to have skill and enthusiasm a plenty -- but rather the total disregard for behavior on anything other than a limited set of systems that probably includes the developer's machine and an iPad or two. At no time during my entire career did I send out code that malfunctioned like this -- its partly professionalism but also a decent test group who's job was to keep us developers honest.

          Anyway, a lot of web design is going backwards but I think it might be something to do with ADA compliance and the threat of a significant financial shakedown if the site is deemed to be out of compliance.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: the active area jumps about

            If it were me, and the adverts were essential (ugh), then I would pre-define fixed size windows for each advert, so that the screen does not jump about.

            But to maximise advert clicks, you would want someone clicking on a link in the text to potentially hit an advert instead when a refresh occurs, Surely advertisers are not that stupid to think that all clicks it receives are intended?

            The world has lost sight of the primary purpose of the web. Information search and retrieval.

            Imagine going to the British Library and the librarian keeps coming up to you every few minutes, throwing the books you are perusing onto the floor, and suggesting you might consider buying <$item$>.

    4. CB__

      Completely appreciate DLSmith's comment, but imho the whole look and feel of a website shouldn't need to be compromised in order to satisfy the affected few -- as noted, there are built-in browser tools these days to improve accessibility, and the considerate website designer may also add such features by choice.

      We could make everything black and white, but without meaning to sound inconsiderate, that's not much fun for everyone else.

    5. ICam

      The Reg techies might reconsider if you contact them

      I recently emailed The Reg techies because during the site redesign, visited links were no longer distinguishable from unvisted links (both were black). To their credit, I got a reply the next day and they'd fixed it.

      Not being certain of a response or action, I'd already taken care of things myself with a Firefox CSS add-on and a tiny bit of CSS to fix it for me, but as it was fixed on the site, I subsequently removed the add-on.

      For anybody who wants their own style, e.g. colours, underlined or not underlined, etc, find such an add-on for your browser and do what you want. You don't really need to be a CSS expert - I hardly know much CSS myself - you can find answers online to do what you want with a quick search.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: The Reg techies might reconsider if you contact them

        This is an excellent reminder. However, for myself, i prefer old school html ... yes i am old

        . Underlined, blue=unvisited, purple=visited, the web as it was intended.

        Now get off my lawn, most of it's dead due to the drought

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >It's a vision born out of the need to sell investors on growth

    Strong disagree here. It's a vision born out of a complete dereliction of the normal principles of corporate governance. Zuck's shares in the company are worth 10x more votes than normal shares, and as such he has effectively absolute control despite owning only something like 15% of the company. He doesn't have to sell investors on shit.

    This is a vision born out of a company that doesn't *have* to do anything. It's his personal plaything and it does what he likes. That's all well and good as long as low interest rates kept the ad revenue flowing in unlimited quantities, but now there's a crunch on you can expect these companies, devoid of innovation for nearly a decade, to be forced to make drastic changes to their operations or fall like dominoes.

    These perverse governance structures are common across Silicon Valley, where many worship at the Church Of The Founders to the exclusion of all rational thought.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      And silicon valley would be so much better if all the tech companies were run by an MBA from their owners at Vanguard or Blackrock or Goldman ?

      1. Justthefacts Silver badge

        Alternative…..

        The problem here is “big organisation thinking”. One big idea, sane or not, driving tens of thousands of engineers. How many great *new* things have been designed by tens of thousands of people? None. Ever. In fact, thousands or even hundreds? None.

        Facebook as we know it was fundamentally done and dusted by tens of engineers within a couple of years. Instagram ditto. The rest of the workforce are just working on nothing, clinging to the coat-tails.

        And yes the aerospace and banking industries are the same. Sorry, they are.

        My modest proposal is to make organisations of *any* type over 500 people illegal.

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: My modest proposal is to make organisations of *any* type over 500 people illegal.

          Having companies that have a market capitalisation of more than the GDP of the country they reside in is asking for trouble.

          Mind you, the way our country is heading at the moment, Patel's Corner Shop will be worth more than UK GDP. (One of my clients, a family business, back in their heyday would occasionally get a phone call from their local bank branch, asking if they were contemplating lodging any cash that day "as we are running a bit short").

        2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

          Re: Alternative…..

          An interesting example of of Big Organisation Thinking. In the 60s, various companies were looking at ways of allowing consumers to watch recorded content at home. RCA decided the world needed a way for consumers to buy TV programmes and films so they could watch them at home. They weren't looking at a way for users to record their own content. That would not be as profitable.

          In 1964, they came up with the idea of the Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED) . Thanks largely to the amount of people who developed some admittedly very impressive technologies they wanted to include in CED, the first consumer players were ready in 1981. Obviously by this time, video cassettes (in various formats, including VHS and Beta) were a thing, and and also had the advantage that consumers could record their own content, recording over if they wanted to re-use the tape.

          Ultimately, that delay cost RCA their own existence as a corporation.

          It is rather a geeky series on a rather geeky channel, but Technology Connections has a good series on the CED, and how it failed.. It's a five part series though.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnpX8d8zRIA

    2. RPF

      Let's not forget Zuckerberg created those special shares in order to screw over his co-founder.

  5. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    The legs were fakes, done with motion capture.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2022/10/14/mark-zuckerbergs-metaverse-legs-demo-was-staged-with-motion-capture

  6. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Call me old fashioned

    but if I want to be in a totally immersive world different from the one I usually live in, I'll read a good book. The images are better and I don't get eye strain or motion sickness.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Call me old fashioned

      But suppose you had the opportunity to pay $20/month for a cooler bookmark (non-transferable and only valid for one book naturally)

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Call me old fashioned

      I agree, but the fatal flaw with books is they can't stuff adverts down your throat and thus will not benefit the FAANGs.

      So books must be done away with, otherwise where are all the C suits bonuses going to come from?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Call me old fashioned

        >the fatal flaw with books is they can't stuff adverts down your throat

        Oh you poor innocent child, The time Terry Pratchett’s German publisher inserted a soup ad into his novel.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Call me old fashioned

        "he fatal flaw with books is they can't stuff adverts down your throat"

        Some cheap paperbacks had adverts in them back in the '70s and early '80s. Prior to that, ACE (especially their "ACE Double" line) often had adverts in them in the 1950s. In the Great Depression (1930s (ish)), some book publishers managed to help stay afloat by inserting ads in books. I have a bible from this era, printed in Wisconsin, with ads (and recipes) for Gold Medal Flour and milk, cream, butter and eggs of a local dairy bound in. The mind boggles ...

        We're past overdue for a new wave of adverts in books ... but that's probably because today's kids can't read and thus have no use for books.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Call me old fashioned

          > have a bible from this era, printed in Wisconsin, with ads (and recipes)

          Take 4 loaves and fishes....

          Feeds 5000

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Call me old fashioned

            Actually, it's mostly cookies, cakes, pies and breads. And unlike the "native" bible recipes[0], they are all actual recipes that will work as advertised[1]. Apparently God can do proper math(s) for bake sale goods, but doesn't bother for bedtime stories for children.

            [0] Did you mean the 5,000 or the 4,000? Did you know there are two different versions?

            [1] Intentional. So shoot me.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Call me old fashioned

              > Did you mean the 5,000 or the 4,000

              Inflation, although I thought it was 5000 in the original comic?

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: Call me old fashioned

                Apparently it was 5loaves, and 2 fishes (he obviously didn't do English at school, just woodwork)

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Call me old fashioned

            Yeah, ok, but is that focacia, whole wheat or something unleavened made with yogurt? Is the fish cajun style or just lightly poached with some lemon and herbs? Some recipes and shopping suggestions as to what's on sale at the local market might be helpful. A market with Archangel Foster's seal of approval, obviously.

        2. Trigun Silver badge

          Re: Call me old fashioned

          Same with adult (I don't mean porn) "comics" in the late 80's & early 90's, if memory serves. Usually the pack few pages.

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Call me old fashioned

          today's kids can't read

          Statistically, "today's kids" are by a considerable margin the most literate generation of humans ever.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Call me old fashioned

      "The images are better and I don't get eye strain or motion sickness."

      Indeed. And the concept translates nicely to the online world ...

      You are in an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.

      There is a small mailbox here.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Call me old fashioned

        I think the online world concept you mention probably ends up looking a lot like the metaverse concept:

        > open mailbox

        The mailbox cannot be opened.

        > x mailbox

        The small mailbox is a metal box with a door.

        > unlock mailbox

        The mailbox has no lock.

        > check mail

        I don't understand that sentence?

        > read mail

        You don't have any mail. Maybe check the mailbox?

        > look in mailbox

        The mailbox cannot be opened.

        > use mailbox

        To use an item, use a specific verb.

        > hit mailbox with hammer

        Nothing happens.

        > hit author of text adventure with hammer

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Call me old fashioned

          "> hit author of text adventure with hammer"

          I'd rather ply the author with hookers and blow so he'll write some more. I miss the old text adventures. I'd rather be forced to think than to kick, punch and fart.

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: Call me old fashioned

            I miss the old text adventures.

            Have you seen Andrew Plotkin's page?

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Call me old fashioned

              "Have you seen Andrew Plotkin's page?"

              I have now. Thanks Arthur!

          2. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Call me old fashioned

            There is also the interactive fiction archive where you can find a bunch of emulators and adventures. I'm not sure if people still developing them put them up there, but it's got thousands of older titles at least and is the logical place to put new ones.

            I can't say I have the same feelings toward these that you do. I've spent plenty of time playing these when I was younger, but I kept finding things that annoyed me. The example of fighting to do something that is clearly required and would be simple in the real world crops up far too often. Similarly, I found that few adventures have any level of realism (so the character needs something to stab something, only a fork will do, the only fork in the game was found in your kitchen at the start of the game, a few dozen rooms ago, and you can only carry ten items before you have to drop them, and also this place has a kitchen so can you give me one good reason they don't have any forks or why the person who needs the item couldn't have found something sharp before I turned up). There's also the ones that strictly count moves for timing of something and wouldn't distinguish between a fast action (examine oven) or a slow one (hijack moving train) and/or effectively required frequent use of the undo command to squeeze actions in. I truly enjoyed some of them, but there were more which sent me on one too many pointless missions and eroded my faith that starting a new one would be worth it.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Call me old fashioned

              I don't play text adventures very often – it's been a number of years since I've done one – but the IF community has created some interesting tools and quite a bit of interesting narrative theory around them. It's one of the more interesting areas within Electronic Literature.

          3. Woza

            Re: Call me old fashioned

            http://discworld.starturtle.net/lpc/

            Discworld-themed text-based adventure. I used to write code for them 20-odd years ago, still seems to be chugging along.

    4. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Call me old fashioned

      Ok, you are old fashioned.

      I like audiobooks as I can listen and get other things done at the same time. I still like dead trees, but I get cramped up if I try to hold a book for hours.

      If there were a metaverse like in Ready Player One or Snowcrash, I might be in trouble. Not likely to be an issue in my lifetime. What I can see are more augmented reality tools for designing things that people interact with. I have an idea for a wrap around desk that would be easier to develop if I could tweak the design in VR rather than through building models.

      1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: Call me old fashioned

        "I still like dead trees, but I get cramped up if I try to hold a book for hours."

        Metaverse to the rescue! You can hold a virtual book with your virtual hands and never get tired.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Call me old fashioned

          "Metaverse to the rescue! You can hold a virtual book with your virtual hands and never get tired."

          I point back to my reason for liking audiobooks. I guess in the metaverse if I needed to have a pee while reading, I could also imagine a more muscled physique and something really impressive for the ladies as I'm standing there in the long term contemplation room but I digress.

  7. genghis_uk
    Pint

    Sounds familiar

    Dabbsy had a missive about this a while ago...

    As it's Friday, think of it as something for the weekend ;)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there a problem with VR?

    Yes....it can do games.

    Yes....it can help architects (or other designers) display the next new thing.

    *

    But can it replace the lowly email? Do we need (or want) gigabytes of software to replace Thunderbird?

    But can it replace the lowly PowerPoint? Do we need (or want) gigabytes of software and headsets all round the meeting room table?

    *

    And there's the question of network capacity, and the question of huge databases.......

    *

    Yup......unless someone can tell me about a compelling mass market application which makes the VR headset REPLACE the flat smartphone or the smart laptop.....the Metaverse looks like another nightmare from the inventor of FB!!!

    1. a pressbutton

      Re: Is there a problem with VR?

      I can think of 2

      - the chance to look around a new building / car before it is built (sensible but pretty niche)

      and

      - porn (mainstream but not sensible)

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Is there a problem with VR?

        >- porn (mainstream but not sensible)

        Tricky unless it's CGI

        If you are filming a live actor you can only VR to the view recorded by the camera.

        I can't see the value in being able to experience the 'performers' POV and have them turn round and see the crew (although rule 34) but to do this you would need another crew recording the first crew....

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Is there a problem with VR?

          "If you are filming a live actor you can only VR to the view recorded by the camera."

          There's the "Bullet Time" technique of multiple cameras, but that would be a very big file and only good for a limited change of perspective.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Is there a problem with VR?

            To be honest, I feel I've already been sufficiently screwed over by the Matrix films.

            (And I only watched the first one in its entirety, at that.)

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Is there a problem with VR?

        the chance to look around a new building / car before it is built

        I saw this sort of thing at SIGGRAPH in the late 1980s (I forget the year; it was in Boston), and it didn't do anything for me, personally. It was less appealing than looking at usual plan & elevation drawings and some static renderings and using my imagination to visualize it in other perspectives.

        What I remember liking from that SIGGRAPH was a 3D molecule visualization system for chemical engineers. That seemed like it would occasionally be handy, and you work with it in 2D until you wanted to be able to visualize in 3D, when you'd put on the glasses and enable the 3D hardware and software. (It used orthogonally-polarized lenses in the glasses for separation.) That was niche, but worked well and seemed like it would actually be useful. But a VR equivalent of that would just mean wasted time fooling with the headset. That seems to be the typical result of VR: a hassle for a negligible benefit.

    2. Ozan

      Re: Is there a problem with VR?

      I was a kid when architects used VR to show how the buildings will look when finished. Right now, industry more for smartphone/tablet with argumented reality it seems. Everybody has a smartphone now so you dont have to deal with giving people VR headsets at all.

      So only porn can move it. I mean porn moves SL now.

  9. LDS Silver badge

    If you wish to see a "metaverse" that brought together games...

    ... look at IVAO, for example. They do support both MSFS (and its variations) and X-Plane. Participants see each other and interact in the simulated world. So it can be done and was done already. as long as an API and a communication system is available.

    Just you are an active participant and not just a spectator funneling money into somebody else's coffer, just in a more complex and expensive way.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: If you wish to see a "metaverse" that brought together games...

      "Participants see each other and interact in the simulated world."

      A bit but not in the same way. One of the components that is missing from virtual meetings is being able to catch somebody's eye or pick up on all of the cues thousands of years of human evolution has instilled in us. If you aren't too clueless, you can pick up on a room of people getting bored and fidgeting or if they are very interested. A virtual room full of avatars is going to be different.

  10. Steve Channell
    Gimp

    Zuckerberg in a dipper

    People think they'll choose their avatar in the "metaverse", and Mark fancies a spaceman outfit.

    In reality, the first hack will be to choose the avatar for others, and Mark will almost always end-up as a baby in a dipper, and Putin in BDSM gimp suit.

    1. CB__

      Re: Zuckerberg in a dipper

      Got to love a dipper. How about a nappy instead?

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Zuckerberg in a dipper

        Will it be a Big Dipper? I suspect Zuck fancies he deserves a place among the stars.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. adfh

    Greeeeeat...

    ... so I can briefly visit a website in a Google hit, then be stalked by its chatbot asking if I want to buy their tat until I tell it to bugger off.

    "It looks like you looks like you glanced in my direction, I'll follow you to keep asking to spam you"

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Greeeeeat...

      Until they forget to block the typical actions library, you at least have the option of taking out your massive sword from a game and stabbing the chatbot. I don't expect they'll be courteous enough to include textures for the injured chatbot running away, but you can always hope that the unexpected reaction confuses it in a funny way.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legs akimbo

    Sorry Zuck, I don’t use your old product, won’t use your new product.

    May schadenfreude be your guide.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They will be after every single scrap of information to mine

    In the Metaverse, you won't be able to move your eyeball without that being logged and then analysed with AI. Every single thing you do, on a level even more intrusive that the Web, will end up being scrutinised to build behavioural profiles... They will mine every single last scrap of information. Wherever there's an information side-channel, no matter how feint the signal is, they will go after it. Because there will be some intelligence in that. And they will use it for targeted advertising. And pass it to third parties, where it then will be bought by the government.

    It is all too much nowadays, how about we all pull the plug and drastically reduce our connected tech usage? We still keep it for essential work related tasks and find better things to do with our remaining time? Such as creative persuits? That provide far more long-term satisfaction and happiness?

    The opportunity cost of this Internet junk consuming all our time is staggering. Imagine all the other things we could have done?

    The Internet turned into garbage, an Orwellian nightmare, something that should have remained dystopian science fiction.

    1. IceC0ld

      Re: They will be after every single scrap of information to mine

      [quote]In the Metaverse, you won't be able to move your eyeball without that being logged and then analysed with AI. [/quote]

      in that case, the AI better get ready for an overload of quality and not so good pron

      and when I DO find it, my eyes ain't moving LOL

  15. captain veg Silver badge

    Metaverse?

    Seems to be lacking a couple of letters.

    Mentalverse.

    -A.

  16. Plest Silver badge
    Gimp

    Take it and shove it!

    As someone who's dedicated their life to exiting new tech this is the most disturbing thing I've seen in years.

    For a start, there won't just be one metaverse, they'll many and none will interoperate unless they submit to Facebook's ( calling them Meta, yer arse! ) protocols. The whole thing will be a mini-internet, swamped with the lowest common denominator shite and advertising you can possibly imagine. Remember the early internet and now the mess, where simply opening a website fires up 17 videos and tons of flashing bollocks ads trying to sell you some mindless shite you don't need? Now imagine it in full VR!

    I have no wish to lose myself in full VR should such a thing be available, sure I like to escape life's pressures but I go and play outside or failing that a few games on a the TV while things are calm in the house. I have not wish to sit there, eyes, ears, mouth or any other orifices plugged up like some some sort of techno geek S&M sub enjoying their hobby!

    Zuck, you may be close to Bond style super villany, attempting to enslave the human race in your Matrix style VR prison but this is one human being who's tell you to shove your VR, Matrix style alt-universe so far up your output port we'll able to open your mouth and use it as projector!

    "I am not a number. I am a free man!".

  17. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Seeing the picture at the top...

    Made me think: what's the point of tidying up the place before inviting friends over? Just give them headsets when they walk in the door.

    Some of the cinema clubs*, back in the day, I got the impression they never cleaned the seats between sessions, with the thinking that who cares if the place is filthy, we're not going to switch the lights on?

    *ISTR the Electric was the main offender at the time, so not some seedy Soho haunt which some of you might otherwise suggest. Some Night Clubs were very grubby too. You can tell a good night club by the taps in the gents being marked C and F (tongue in cheek disclaimer).

  18. IceC0ld

    Red Dwarf'ers will know

    it's all very nice I'm sure

    BUT

    is it Better Than Life

    I rest my case :o)

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: is it Better Than Life

      Anyone else remember the graffiti:-

      Nicholas Parsons is the neo-opiate of the working classes

      (I'm surprised google can't find a photo of it).

      ===

      Rearranging the company name Met Averse seems to indicate that meeting people is no longer a thing.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: is it Better Than Life

        Sever mate?

        -A.

  19. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Clippy!

    It's baffling that anyone would want to experience any Microsoft software through a Meta Quest headset

    Clippy: Let me be your guide...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MEAT you in META

    Fail writ large

  21. Tim 49

    UI elements annoying Oi

    Why oh why oh why do UI elements that require a Yes/No answer no longer use checkboxes/radio buttons? Looking at the Devclass article on Go on this very site, the cookie selection thing offers a load of horizontal sliders whose only selection state indication is to have the background in one of two slightly different shades of grey.

    I can not determine whether I've turned them "on" or "off". Would some young person here care to explain why this is better than a checkbox or radio button. Is it simply because oldies did it one way, therefore it was obviously useless to the next lot, who needed to "refresh" it?

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Would some young person here care to explain why this is better than a checkbox or radio button.

      Whilst they are at it, can we have a +10 Upvote button, so that I can use it on your post.

    2. teebie

      Re: UI elements annoying Oi

      For cookie selection its a dark pattern designed to make you go 'sod it, they can have my cookies'

      You sound like you are in the market for a browser extension like consent-o-matic, which will fill in them forms for you.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: UI elements annoying Oi

      Yes, this is absolutely the worst single UI "innovation" of the past decade. "Let's take a skeuomorphic, widely used UI control of long standing which is recognized by essentially all users and has completely clear and obvious visual feedback, and replace it with a completely arbitrary and unfamiliar one!"

      Whoever came up with that one can, frankly, burn in hell.

  22. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Unwanted

    The Metaverse itself isn't bad. It's just that everyone expects AR and VR to be eventually used to deliver advertisements to the user, which is why they're avoiding it.

    Can you imagine a Facebook AR goggle serving you an ad every time it detects you looking at someone? The horror! To me that would be a complete turn-off.

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