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Meta employees disapprove of the Metaverse app

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Meta employees have given the metaverse app a thumbs down

Meta insiders have given its Metaverse app the big thumbs down amidst the company launching its new Quest Pro virtual and mixed reality headset this week.

Horizon Worlds, Meta’s flagship Metaverse app has been reported as buggy and is barely being used by the development team hired to create it.

In a leaked memo, Vishal Shah, the VP of the Metaverse instructed the development team that the app would remain in a “quality lockdown.”

The lockdown will remain in place until at least the end of 2022, in a bid to iron out issues.

It revealed Horizon Worlds would be made accessible to a larger audience for further testing, once the problems are resolved.

The app aims to facilitate users in building avatars so they can interact within virtual worlds.

Meta unveiled its Quest Pro virtual and mixed reality headset this week. However, the device has been criticised for its $1500USD price tag.

Virtual reality headset

Its design has also come under fire. Some users complaining that the headwear is uncomfortable to wear for an extended period of time.

Once it is available for purchase, the device can be used in Meta’s Horizon Workrooms, and by some developer apps.

The device does not work with Meta’s flailing Horizon Worlds app.

The general public is continually sold the utopian concept of the wonders of its Metaverse by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

It does not seem Meta’s current rate of technological development is in line with the bold claims being made.

The reality of the Metaverse seems to be much further away than Meta leads the public to believe.

Tech giants like Bill Gates are predicting “most meeting will take place in the Metaverse within the next three years.” However, others beg to differ.

Even when the technology of Meta’s version of the Metaverse is ready, mainstream adoption may be a highly optimistic concept within the timeframes being suggested.

By Dr Karen Sutherland, University of the Sunshine Coast and Dharana Digital

Dr Karen Sutherland is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast where she designs and delivers social media education and research. Dr Sutherland is also the Co-Founder and Social Media Specialist at Dharana Digital marketing agency focused on helping people working in the health and wellness space.

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The #SunburnChallenge has been blocked on TikTok Australia

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TikTok Australia has partnered with Melanoma Institute Australia for a new campaign to stop glamourising tanning

As Australians prepare for warmer temperatures, TikTok Australia is seeking to put an end to the viral #SunburnChallenge.

The challenge has led to users uploading videos of their sunburned bodies onto the platform.

However, the video-sharing app will begin removing these videos under the ‘Tanning. That’s Cooked’ campaign.

The initiative is targeted at 20–39 year old Australians who are partaking in the trend.

It will use humour to throw shade at tanning, and turn Australia’s tanning culture on its head.

Lee Hunter is the general manager at TikTok, who said humour is the key to shaping this demographic rather than serious corporate or health messages.

“The campaign is inviting TikTok creators to use humour and throw shade at tanning in their own authentic way, helping to spread the word and change the perception of tanning.”

LEE HUNTER, TIKTOK AUSTRALIA

Skin cancer is the most deadly form of the disease for Australians. It is typically caused by an over-exposure to the sun and ultra-violet radiation.

While it is preventable in most cases, the disease is the most common cancer among 20–39 year olds.

“Everyone who searches for a hashtag related to summer sun, tanning and many other summertime phrases, will see the ‘Tanning. That’s Cooked.’ banner and will be provided with information that outlines the dangers of tanning, with links to Melanoma Institute Australia,” Mr Hunter said.

The plea was made by Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), who have pushed for social media stars and influencers to stop glamourising tanning.

Matthew Browne is the chief executive at MIA, who said the TikTok partnership will help to strengthen the message for younger Australians.

“One Aussie is diagnosed with melanoma every 30 minutes and it claims more lives than the national road toll. Tanning is actually skin cells in trauma.”

MATTHEW BROWNE, MELANOMA INSTITUTE AUSTRALIA

“There is no safe way of sun tanning, including the concept of getting a protective ‘base tan’ at the start of summer.”

“That’s like saying smoking a few cigarettes a day will protect you from developing lung cancer,” he explained.

TikTok has recently stepped up its social responsibility commitments. In October, the platform said it intends to “drive a deeper understanding and awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing”.

According to a recent poll, of over 1,000 participants, 23 per cent of Australians believe mental wellbeing is more important than physical wellbeing.

TikTok has developed wellbeing guides, which share practical advice for people to be more considerate about what they share online.

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EU sets out its new Twitter rules

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A clash may be brewing between Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk and the European Union

EU officials warning that the site could be blocked, if it doesn’t make a commitment to moderate its content.

According to the Financial Times, Breton said Twitter needed to make a number of changes to meet the DSA’s requirements.

It wants Twitter to “aggressively” tackle disinformation, submit to an audit and provide clear criteria about which users are at risk of being banned.

The EU also wants Twitter to carefully consider how it lifts bans in the future.

Breton posted a full “DSA Checklist,” via his Mastodon account, containing the rules he said Twitter will need to abide by.

Failing to comply with the DSA can result in an EU-wide ban or fines of up to 6 percent of global turnover when it comes into force, which Politico reports may not happen until early 2024.

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The new tech to trap fare evaders

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New tech to catch fare evaders is set to be deployed across Britain’s second-largest train operator.

The system is installed at barriers to automatically detect whether a ticket is valid.

If it isn’t, it sends an alert to Northern staff to see if additional checks are required.

These additional checks include whether a passenger has the appropriate rail card or is eligible for a child discount.

During a trial of the technology at a station last month, almost 180 fare dodgers were caught on one day alone.

Northern serves more than 500 stations across northern England.

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