S3E22: Virtual and Augmented Reality Travel

S3E22

Want to see the Podcast Live? Go here!

https://youtu.be/_6LHEpBL3kE

Want to go to Europe but you just can’t afford it? Yeah, me neither.

So imagine you could be at your favorite place in the world in a matter of minutes. Or maybe you have a “list” of places you have always wanted to go. Well, Tech is working to give you ways to go all over the world and beyond via virtual reality or augmented reality. Say what?

https://www.morningbrew.com/emerging-tech/stories/2021/07/30/mixed-reality-transform-travel-industry-unexpected-ways-heres

So here are your buzzwords for this episode: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and Extended Reality. VR, AR, MR, and XR (I guess ER doesn’t sound right so they call it XR).

So VR, virtual reality-A computer simulation of a three dimensional world

Augmented Reality- when technology super-imposes computer images on top of your reality. My favorite example is Pokemon Go` or Google Lens, which is my favorite use of it so far, where it translates street signs in real time. Very cool.

Mixed Reality- a combination of a virtual world and a real world using computer imagery. 

Now combine all of this and the experience is called Extended Reality, XR. 

So our world hunkered down and we all hid in our houses and didn’t go anywhere for months. So tech companies started working on how they could make a way for us to go places without leaving our homes. Facebook bought Oculus (a VR headset company) back in 2014 for $3billion (US). So far other than releasing headsets and making folks lives difficult when they have issues with their Facebook accounts when using VR. By the way, want to speak to a human at Facebook and get help with your account? Buy a Oculus VR headset. They actually have human customer service and will help with a Facebook account, only cost you $300 US.

Anyway, companies want to give you a way to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, all without you leaving home. 

And as we rush out to go visit everything now that Covid is over. Hahahahaha Anyway, so the issue is we are suddenly “over visiting” things such as the Great Barrier Reef, Coliseums of Rome, and National Parks in the US. This means we are accidentally destroying these places or we are leaving so much trash behind when visiting these places

https://www.emarketer.com/content/pandemic-pushed-xr-use-beyond-gaming?utm_source=morning_brew

https://www.comparethemarket.com.au/travel-insurance/vr-travel/?utm_source=morning_brew

These technologies may not completely replace travel but it can enhance our travel. We can learn so much about the places we visit using augmented reality. . Imagine seeing people dressed in time period specific clothing in augmented reality while we walk about great places. Or information bubbles pop out telling you about an artist or a work as you look at works of art in museums. Sadly I think of dystopian worlds where we are unable to go anywhere and this is our only way to “travel”.

Apple wants to scan your photos on your phone for Child abuse images. 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/07/week-in-patriarchy-apple-privacy

So remember Apple’s iPhone is the privacy phone, right? So Apple wants to use artificial intelligence to scan your phones on your phone for child abuse and child sexual abuse images based off of a database of images given to it by authorities. While on the surface this sounds amazing and hopefully will help prevent child abuse of all forms, the concern of privacy advocates is, how does it make sure it doesn’t find false positives? What can go wrong? And worse, the bigger worry is this technology could fall into the wrong hands of bad actors. How do we do the right thing and at the same time prevent it from turning into a Big Brother scenario? How do we stop child abuse (and for that matter so many other forms of abuse) and yet not wrongly accuse people? Apple’s approach is to use a database of images supplied by legal authorities and Apple themselves would not actually see the photos but instead use an algorithm to compare images. So there won’t be anyone viewing the images to confirm except maybe the police when they get a warrant to search your phone. For me, I am okay with this but it is easy to say that when you know you have nothing to worry about. And if real abusers are captured and legally prosecuted, then again I am in favor of this. But again, if hackers can get their hands on this tech and use it for wrong. It feels a little like a cross between Big Brother and the movie “Minority Report”.

Google has released a new USB C version of their Titan Key. 

I have talked about Titan as my favorite way to secure my login with various sites especially Gmail. So you basically enable two factor and then this is your hardware way to do a code to get logged in.

https://9to5google.com/2021/08/09/new-titan-security-key/

Once I get my hands on one I will do a review.

S3E14: Big Tech Monopoly and The Great Resignation

Podcast The Big Tech Monopoly and The great ResignationChapter 1

Big Tech Goes to Washington

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/06/11/antitrust-legislation-curbs-silicon-valley/

So are Big Tech companies like the monopolies of old? The House is looking at five different bills in hopes of regulating Tech companies.

These bills while not naming specific tech companies would attempt to enact several requirements:

  1. A company can’t recommend their products above their competitors. Example: Google couldn’t on purposely suggest their Google Cloud storage over say Dropbox or another cloud storage competitor. Or Amazon suggesting their Amazon Basics brand batteries over Duracell. Also Apple would not be able to force developers to use their App store. It would also potentially force Microsoft to allow other options besides Teams be tied into the Office platform so Zoom or Slack could have one click options inside of Office
  2. They could set the bar higher on mergers. Meaning if Google wanted to buy say Twitter, Google would have to offer a lot more evidence that buying Twitter wouldn’t harm consumers.
  3. It would allow people to download and delete their data so they can do whatever they want. You can already download your content and even delete it but are you really deleted?
  4. It may also mean that Facebook and What’sApp have to break out, Google and YouTube, and Amazon’s store and their Cloud Services. 

All of these things have positives and negatives but would majorly disrupt our Internet lives. Are these tech companies too big? Yes but they also provide a lot of benefits. 

The winner in all of this, my vote, The Lobbyists. Tech Companies during the 2020 Election spent $124 million in lobbying and campaign contributions. Tech companies spent more than oil companies ( a group that has been the biggest spenders in the past). Last year Facebook and Amazon were the biggest spenders.

Chapter 2

The Big Resignation

https://www.axios.com/resignations-companies-e279fcfc-c8e7-4955-8a9b-47562490ee55.html

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/06/remote-workers-burnout-covid-microsoft-survey/

Surveys are claiming between 25 and 40% of workers say they will quit their current jobs if their current employers require them to return to the office full time. While a survey is well a survey and it shows perhaps what people hope or wish for, do you think people will really leave their jobs if it requires them to return to work? You would think people trapped at home for the last year would be tired of seeing their loved ones day in and day out but it has a lot of people thinking about work-life balance which until the pandemic sent a lot of us home we didn’t know it was a real thing. In fact we thought it was as rare as a Bigfoot sighting. So what do you think? If you were lucky or unlucky enough to be able to work from home, do you want to stay there? What about those folks who had to go into work day in and day out because there wasn’t any other choice, work, get paid, feed your family. Some companies are looking at this as a win-win (I love those business phrases like that) as they shrink their office spaces and sell open space for top dollar in this overheated real estate market. And folks are finding they don’t have to stay in the same old city to work if they can work remote. I know a guy who is living in Germany because the job can be done from practically anywhere. But it also means employers can find job candidates who are just about anywhere so you don’t even have to be geographically close to apply for a job.

Chapter 3 

Choose your own adventure

Do you want to hear about Twitter’s subscription service or Microsoft Windows 10 Support going away? 

Twitter Blue subscription service coming soon

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/03/twitter-blue-paid-subscription-service-launches-with-special-features.html

So for approximately $3.99 a month you will be able to subscribe to Twitter Blue. It will let you Undo a Tweet. Wow, we could have used that during the last presidency, manage Bookmarked content, and change your Twitter icon. Plus you will get some support from Twitter’s support team. 

Microsoft has announced in 2025 they will no longer support Windows 10. 

https://beebom.com/windows-10-sun-valley-21h2-update/

Why? Because Windows 11 is coming soon okay, since you are my friends I can tell you. It comes out October 2021. June 24 Microsoft will officially announce Windows 11 (which is technically Windows 10 21H2 but who’s counting) also aka Windows Sunvalley as opposed to Stardew Valley. The next version the interface gets rounded corners (actually just go look at MacOS Big Sur and well a lot of what Apple already does Microsoft is playing catch up with). Also we will get a floating start menu because well, why not. And it gets easier to reach settings from the tray for Sound and Network so you don’t have to fiddle around so much. All good things right?

That is this week’s show. If you would please Like and Subscribe. Hit that bell so you will know when I am causing trouble online.