S3E33: What is the Facebook Metaverse?

Facebook is changing its name and we will all get to live in the Metaverse. 

What is the Metaverse you may ask?

According to Definition.com it is,

The Metaverse is a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet. The word metaverse is a portmanteau of the prefix “meta” and “universe” and is typically used to describe the concept of a future iteration of the internet, made up of persistent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe. The term was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a three-dimensional space that uses the metaphor of the real world. Stephenson coined the term to describe a virtual reality-based successor to the Internet. Concepts similar to the Metaverse have appeared under a variety of names in the cyberpunk genre of fiction as far back as 1981 in the novella True Names.”

Wow, what a long definition. 

Basically think of it as being like the movie “Ready Player One”. Facebook wants us to all live in a virtual world and they are the interstate highway that allows us to get to everywhere and everywhere is right. Retailers are working to build their virtual world so you can buy real things in a virtual store and have it shipped to your house. Video game companies will have gateways that you can “gather” up with your friends and you all “walk” together through Epic’s Fortnite portal to go play together. 

Facebook wants to be at the forefront of that. So it has announced a new API (Application Programming Interface) that they are calling OpenXR. Previously all of the virtual reality headset makers developed proprietary standards and games they made would only work on their headset. The same with Facebook’s $19 Billion (US) purchase of Oculus a few years back. The investment hasn’t paid for itself yet but with this move to an open standard, Facebook is wanting other headset vendors to join their plans. But do we want Facebook to be the gateway to the future? 

Facebook has pushed the ideas of virtual workspaces such as Horizon Workrooms, where you and your co-workers avatars can join to meet and collaborate, or Horizon Worlds which is essentially Facebook’s portal for gaming and watching concerts. Facebook is paying $10 billion (US) this year to keep building out the world. 

Are you ready for a virtual world? Facebook thinks anyone 30 years old and under will be. Let’s see.

Facebook is also renaming themselves, or actually they are going to create a parent company and put all of their other entities underneath this. I joked that Facebook should call their parent company, The Oasis (from Ready Player One) or buy out Second Life and use it. 

Here are links to the news that added to this article.



Oh, and Amazon Alexa makes a play for your next hospital stay. It could work.







S3E31: Regulating Tech Algorithms and X number of days until…

The Al Gore Rhythm



Facebook and Instagram use artificial intelligence to try and find what it thinks it should show you. This AI is an algorithm that tries really hard to find what might provoke you to respond. The intent originally wasn’t evil but to make sure you stayed on the site and that you interacted. You can’t show ads to people who aren’t there so 

But Algorithms control our lives. Algorithms are used for keyword search in resumes. Gone are the days when HR read over every single resume. Now an algorithm searches for keywords they are looking for and resumes missing the keywords get passed over before they are even reviewed. Go with the fancy paper if you want but probably doesn’t matter much any more. 

Supply Chain Christmas

PSA: So if you know what you want to buy for loved ones for Christmas (if you celebrate Christmas), you need to buy those gifts now. Wait what? Yes, basically we have ships at works that are unable to unload ships fast enough so many ships with supplies are stuck waiting at ports and then there are driver shortages as well. And this is affecting shipping all over the world. 



Between the slowing down of the US mail service, lingering Covid-19 issues, and so many other crazy things, expect your packages to take longer to arrive. So ordering early may mean the difference between arriving by Christmas or by Valentines if it arrives at all.


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