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Richard Anthony Hein Richard.Hein Stay on Target
  • Oculus joined Facebook ... wut

    @Bas: Yeah, I am sure that Facebook and Oculus together could make some amazing VR stuff.  That I don't doubt.  Do I think it's bad for games?  No.  Do I think it's bad for social experiences.  No.  Do I think it's bad for consumers who companies love to manipulate with targeted advertising?  Hell yeah.  I really despise modern marketing tactics.

  • Oculus joined Facebook ... wut

    , Bas wrote


    People have webcams in their face many hours a day. On their phones, their tablets, and their laptops. If you're looking out the window, that's not useless - that's data. You are apparently uninterested in whatever is onscreen. Facebook could require your webcam to record when you visit their website, or require your phone and tablet to track your eyes when you use their apps. Undoubtedly somebody at Facebook already looked into it. But they aren't tracking your eyes. It's not happening. Why would the rift be different?


    Good point, but at the same time: "social networking/communication" is a far broader scope than "nefarious eye tracking". Yet everybody suddenly seems to define it as solely the latter.

    VR is different because it (potentially) offers the user something compelling that they will sacrifice their privacy to obtain.  Oculus is different b/c at this time, no competitor has the level of realism they have obtained, and will patent various parts of their tech to ensure they have a competitive edge.  And Facebook is different because they are totally 100% based on collecting personal data.

    As far as I know, I'm the only one speculating that eye tracking will become a norm in such technology, although some have said the same thing about head tracking.  As I said, it seems like an obvious progression to me:  head tracking + eye tracking and full body tracking are all components that will become part of VR.  In general, people are concerned that FB would collect data for their social network and become a communications giant with the tech they are acquiring and use that for targeted marketing, and there is less discussion about exactly how they may obtain that data or specifically use it.  So, I am stretching things to what I think is the worst case scenario, but I think that's important because if you don't look ahead, you'll look back and wonder why you didn't see it coming.

  • Oculus joined Facebook ... wut



  • Oculus joined Facebook ... wut

    , Bas wrote


    ...but you don't need virtual reality for any of that. This has already been done using simple webcams that are in everything.



    I don't understand why everybody would assume they would make a purchase like this in order to keep doing what they were already doing. If Nokia had never expanded into the electricity business, they'd still be making rubber boots.

    Yeah, but people don't have web cams on their faces for potentially hours at a time, that has a direct relationship to the application being used (i.e. immersed in a VR environment, with the screen right in your face, there is no chance that a persons eyes are looking at something unknown, like a random web page if you just have a web cam sitting on a desk).  You could be looking out the window and not the screen and the web cam data is useless.  But in a VR context, that data is invaluable.  Also, web cams aren't sending data back to Facebook, and even though this thought about how such tracking may be used is only a possibility, if I came up with it, I'll bet someone at Facebook sure did.  It seems obvious to me. 

    As for your second point, you are right, they may want to do something completely different and not connect this to social networking or communication ... except that's exactly what they said they were going to do.

  • Oculus joined Facebook ... wut

    , magicalclick wrote

    Seriously guys, the level of FB hate is screaming troll behaviors. Just because FB bought it, it is now crap? This is low, very low.

    Do you have any idea how Oculus came about?  They were funded by a Kickstarter and one of the most successful ones at that, and espoused certain values, which this purchase just spits on.  Facebook is all about collecting and mining information about its users to sell that information to the highest bidder, and now they own one company that promised to make VR real for everyone, and we supported them in that mission.  Now the mission will be to make the Facebook social network grow in VR. 

    VR has huge potential, and I can't understate it.  When it gets to the point that you can record in 3D, anywhere, anytime, and share and play back 3D in VR, and post that stuff to Facebook, they will have a massive amount of data to use to manipulate/market things to people.  For example, it's early and they only have head tracking, but eye tracking is inevitable.  With eye tracking you can do things like depth of field adjustments (i.e. the angle of the eyes shows the depth you are looking, so one could focus/blur the target area).  Such data collected could show just what and how long you looked at something.  Even head tracking can do that, with less precise results.  Then, add pupil dilation data.  What's the value of that?  Well, you can control the amount of light in response to pupil dilation which would be useful for VR.  But now you have things like stimulation detection, and can tell when a person is aroused, stressed out and so on, and get a high probability result to determine if someone is lying.  Then add neurolinguistic programming to the mix that uses feedback from your eyes to determine what is working and what is not and you can make advertising that establishes long term suggestions overtime.  Yeah, I am not joking.  Marketing already uses whatever data they have to perform neurolinguistic programming on consumers.

    So yeah, I don't like it, and it's not "low, very low" to be pissed off at Oculus for selling out, it was "low, very low" of them.

    Let's say that Facebook has no intention of using this technology for marketing ... then how are they going to make money?  Mark is just interested in VR?  How do they justify it to the investors?  Do you really believe they won't use WhatsApp for marketing?  They don't need ads in the product to collect data about who's talking to who and for how long and who else they contact around a certain time frame, and they don't need to give you ads to mine your conversations.  They don't need direct ads in games to get valuable data about people, either.  I am sure there are tons of possibilities here that Facebook would employ, that I haven't thought of.

  • Oculus joined Facebook ... wut

    Imagine for instance, if Facebook just "anonymously" collected eye tracking data.  What it would do for product placement, determining user interest, and essentially, reading their minds to find out what they want?  I haven't been interested in Google Glass for precisely this kind of reason.  Companies that only make money on marketing and advertising, I simply don't trust to wrap something around my brain and intercept my senses all day.

  • Oculus joined Facebook ... wut

    Wow, I don't know how to feel about this except for the fact that it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/oculus-joins-facebook/

    I think the network effect gives Facebook too much power, and maybe that's why I'm concerned.  If they get into the hardware that I want to use, then they have that much more power over me.  It's just ugghh.  Imagine Facebook taking in information about everything you do with Oculus to "improve Facebook products and services".  Oh, yeah, sure ... it's all private and safe in their NSA loving hands. 

  • Windows Azure -> Microsoft Azure

    Seems like a waste of time and money to me.  What's the big deal?  Suddenly everyone is going to understand that Azure can host Linux VMs?

  • Humans Can Discriminate More than 1 Trillion Olfactory Stimuli

    According to this http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6177/1370, humans can distinguish between over 1 trillion different smells ... so in the category of crazy ideas, how can we use smell to improve programming, and bring new meaning to "code smell"?  :)  Are humans able to distinguish, meaningfully, combinations of smells?  Could you understand what some code does, on any level, by smell?  :)

    EDIT:  Obviously I am asking tongue-in-cheek, but it's interesting because scent "far outperforms the other senses in the number of physically different stimuli it can discriminate"; so what can we do with it?

    EDIT2:  But if we were really that good at discriminating smells, how come I am unsure if this cream is sour or not?

  • convert from VB6?

    And here's the link to the MSDN landing page for the VBUC:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/ff793478.aspx