Cybersickness Could Spell an Early Death For the Metaverse

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Daily Beast: Luis Eduardo Garrido couldn’t wait to test out his colleague’s newest creation. Garrido, a psychology and methodology researcher at Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic, drove two hours between his university’s campuses to try a virtual reality experience that was designed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and different types of phobias. But a couple of minutes after he put on the headset, he could tell something was wrong. “I started feeling bad,” Garrido told The Daily Beast. He was experiencing an unsettling bout of dizziness and nausea. He tried to push through but ultimately had to abort the simulation almost as soon as he started. “Honestly, I don’t think I lasted five minutes trying out the application,” he said.

Garrido had contracted cybersickness, a form of motion sickness that can affect users of VR technology. It was so severe that he worried about his ability to drive home, and it took hours for him to recover from the five-minute simulation. Though motion sickness has afflicted humans for thousands of years, cybersickness is a much newer condition. While this means that many of its causes and symptoms are understood, other basic questions — like how common cybersickness is, and whether there are ways to fully prevent it — are only just starting to be studied. After Garrido’s experience, a colleague told him that only around 2 percent of people feel cybersickness. But at a presentation for prospective students, Garrido watched as volunteers from the audience walked to the front of an auditorium to demo a VR headset — only to return shakily to their seats. “I could see from afar that they were getting sweaty and kind of uncomfortable,” he recalled. “I said to myself, ‘Maybe I’m not the only one.'”

As companies like Meta (nee Facebook) make big bets that augmented reality and virtual reality technology will go mainstream, the tech industry is still trying to figure out how to better recruit users to the metaverse, and get them to stay once there. But experts worry that cybersickness could derail these plans for good unless developers find some remedies soon. “The issue is actually something of a catch-22: In order to make VR more accessible and affordable, companies are making devices smaller and running them on less powerful processors,” adds the report. “But these changes introduce dizzying graphics — which inevitably causes more people to experience cybersickness.”

“At the same time, a growing body of research suggests cybersickness is vastly more pervasive than previously thought — perhaps afflicting more than half of all potential users.” When Garrido conducted his own study of 92 people, the results indicated that more than 65 percent of people experienced symptoms of cybersickness — a sharp contrast to the 2 percent estimate Garrido had been told.

He says that these results should be concerning for developers. “If people have this type of bad experience with something, they’re not going to try it again,” Garrido said.

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Source: Slashdot – Cybersickness Could Spell an Early Death For the Metaverse

Newsom Vetoes 'Premature' Crypto Oversight Bill For California

California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would require crypto financial-service businesses to get a special license to operate, calling it premature and costly. Bloomberg reports: Newsom on Friday declined to sign the legislation known as the Digital Financial Assets Law, which was passed by the state assembly and senate last month. While the governor said he shares the bill’s intent to protect Californians from financial harm and provide clear rules for the industry, his administration has been conducting research and gathering input on the right approach. The bill would require a loan of “tens of millions of dollars” from the general fund during the first several years, a “significant” commitment that needs to be accounted for in the state’s annual budget process, Newsom added.

“It is premature to lock a licensing structure in statute without considering both this work and forthcoming federal actions,” Newsom said in a statement. “A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Newsom Vetoes ‘Premature’ Crypto Oversight Bill For California

Elon Musk Says He’s Activating Starlink in Iran After U.S. Eases Restrictions on Tech Companies

SpaceX chief Elon Musk said he was activating his company’s Starlink internet service in Iran, which cut off web access to its more than 80 million citizens this week, after the U.S. Treasury Department eased sanctions to help support the free flow of information in the country.

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Source: Gizmodo – Elon Musk Says He’s Activating Starlink in Iran After U.S. Eases Restrictions on Tech Companies

AI Vision dev kit based on Allwinner V853 SoC includes 7″ LCD and dual cameras

Crowd Supply recently featured an open-source V853 Development board accommodating the high-performing V853 System-on-Chip (SoC). This device provides a 7” MIPI LCD, dual camera modules and many other peripherals to target AI-Vision applications. The V853 Dev board comes in a 4-layer PCB featuring a Cortex-A7 core (up to 1GHz), a RISC-V E906 core (up to […]

Source: LXer – AI Vision dev kit based on Allwinner V853 SoC includes 7″ LCD and dual cameras

DOT To Map Out Nation's Time Zones After Report Shows No Official Map Exists

A person may take knowing the local time for granted, but an official review revealed that there is no single, accurate map showing the nation’s time zones and local observance of Daylight Saving Time. CNN reports: Federal transportation officials are now at work creating an accurate map of the nation’s time zones, according to a report by the inspector general for the Department of Transportation. The issue came up, the inspector general’s office said, after the US Senate passed legislation this year to end the biannual time turn by making Daylight Saving Time permanent.

Investigators found no single map accurately showing the boundaries nationwide and said several sources of time information on the DOT website contained errors, such as inaccurately noting the time practices in some localities. For example, one map incorrectly identifies a deviation in Nevada: “Elko County, NV is shown as the location that changed time zones rather than the correct location, the city of West Wendover.”

“The official boundaries are narratively described [in federal regulations] with various types of coordinates and geographic features such as lines of longitude, State or county lines, and rivers,” the report stated. The inspector general report said the Transportation Department is responsible for keeping the clock because of the importance of time to travel. It said the original five time zones have expanded to nine.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – DOT To Map Out Nation’s Time Zones After Report Shows No Official Map Exists

Drop your database for PostgreSQL

Databases are tools to store information in an organized but flexible way. A spreadsheet is essentially a database, but the constraints of a graphical application render most spreadsheet applications useless to programmers. With Edge and IoT devices becoming significant target platforms, developers need powerful but lightweight solutions for storing, processing, One of my favourite combinations is the PostgreSQL database and Lua bindings, but the possibilities are endless.

Source: LXer – Drop your database for PostgreSQL

Is Plant-Based Meat Fizzling In the US?

Citing McDonald’s shelved meat-free burger trial and a 70% dip in Beyond Meat’s stock, The Guardian suggests plant-based meats may not interest Americans as much as investors thought. From the report: Getting meat eaters in the US to adopt plant-based alternatives has proven a challenge. Beyond Meat, which produces a variety of plant-based products, including imitations of ground beef, burgers, sausages, meatballs and jerky, has had a rough 12 months, with its stock dipping nearly 70%. Multiple chains that partnered with the company, including McDonald’s, have quietly ended trial launches. In August, the company laid off 4% of its workforce after a slowdown in sales growth. Last week, its chief operating officer was reportedly arrested for biting another man on the nose during a road rage confrontation. It’s a dramatic reversal of fortune. Just two years ago, Beyond Meat, its competitor Impossible Foods and the plant-based meat industry at large seemed poised to start a food revolution.

For a time, Wall Street went vegetarian. In 2019 Beyond Meat was valued at over $10 billion, more than Macy’s or Xerox. The most bullish investors believed that plant-based meat would make up 15% of all meat sales by 2030. But the reality of Americans’ interest in plant-based meat has proven more complicated than investors thought, and the adoption of meat alternatives has been slower than what was once hoped. Today Beyond Meat is valued at just over $900 million. The sobering story is similar to those experienced by many new ventures that see exhilarating hype after a flood of Silicon Valley venture capital cash, fueled by excitement about innovation. Bill Gates backed Beyond Meat, and a number of venture capital firms that typically invest in tech startups funneled money to startups making plant-based meat. Even the meat industry’s biggest players have, ironically, invested in companies coming up with plant-based meat. While eating plant-based meat (or no meat at all) has been shown to be the most effective thing individual consumers can do to fight climate change, “consumers seem hesitant to adapt their behavior when the environment — not their health or wallets — is the sole beneficiary,” reports The Guardian. “Despite the increasing alarm over climate change, the number of Americans who are vegetarian or vegan has remained relatively stable over the last 20 years.”

“Even when participants in a study conducted at Purdue University in Indiana were given information about the carbon footprint of meat production, participants were more likely to go with regular meat over a plant-based alternative.”

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Source: Slashdot – Is Plant-Based Meat Fizzling In the US?

AV1 Update Reduces CPU Encoding Times By Up To 34 Percent

According to Phoronix, Google has released a new AOM-AV1 update — version 3.5, that drastically improves encode times when streaming, rendering, or recording from the CPU. At its best, the update can improve encoding times by up to 34%. Tom’s Hardware reports: It is a fantastic addition to AV1’s capabilities, with the encoder becoming very popular among powerful video platforms such as YouTube. In addition, we are also seeing significant support for AV1 hardware acceleration on modern discrete GPUs now, such as Intel’s Arc Alchemist GPUs and, most importantly – Nvidia’s RTX 40-series GPUs. Depending on the resolution, encoding times with the new update have improved by 20% to 30%. For example, at 1080P, encode times featuring 16 threads of processing are reduced by 18% to 34%. At 4K, render times improved by 18% to 20% with 32 threads. Google could do this by adding Frame Parallel Encoding to heavily multi-threaded configurations. Google has also added several other improvements contributing to AV1’s performance uplifts in other areas – specifically in real-time encoding.

In other words, CPU utilization in programs such as OBS has been reduced, primarily for systems packing 16 CPU threads. As a result, they are allowing users to use those CPU resources for other tasks or increase video quality even higher without any additional performance cost. If you are video editing and are rendering out a video in AV1, processing times will be vastly reduced if you have a CPU with 16 threads or more.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – AV1 Update Reduces CPU Encoding Times By Up To 34 Percent

How to Install Neos CMS on Debian 11

Neos is an enterprise content management built-in with custom content modeling that provides an effective way to edit and manage content, SEO optimization such as automatic redirects and SEO metadata, and powerful roles and user management. In this tutorial, we will explore how to install the latest version of Neos CMS on a Debian 11 server. For this example, we will set up Neos CMS with the MariaDB database server, PHP 8.1, and the Apache2 web server.

The post How to Install Neos CMS on Debian 11 appeared first on Linux Today.



Source: Linux Today – How to Install Neos CMS on Debian 11

NVIDIA CEO Declares Moore's Law Dead And Details GeForce RTX 40 Series Cost Challenges

NVIDIA CEO Declares Moore's Law Dead And Details GeForce RTX 40 Series Cost Challenges
Moore’s Law has been at the beating heart of technology advancement ever since it was first posited in 1965. Gordon Moore coined the golden rule which observes and predicts that the number of transistors in a microchip double roughly every two years. This is largely accomplished by making transistors ever smaller, but eventually the physics

Source: Hot Hardware – NVIDIA CEO Declares Moore’s Law Dead And Details GeForce RTX 40 Series Cost Challenges

Netflix’s adaptation of 'The Three-Body Problem' will arrive in 2023

At its Tudum event today, Netflix shared an update on its highly-anticipated adaptation of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem. First announced in 2020, the upcoming live-action series from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will arrive sometime next year. Netflix shared a behind-the-scenes teaser showing off a few character moments.

Some of the actors set to star in the project include Benedict Wong (The Martian, Doctor Strange), Eiza González (Baby Driver), as well as John Bradley and Liam Cunningham of Game of Thrones fame. Considered a modern sci-fi masterpiece, The Three-Body Problem was first published in China in 2008. It took another six years before the novel arrived in the west, and it subsequently became the first Asian novel to win a Hugo Award. Cixin and Ken Liu, who translated two of the novels in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy into English, are consulting on the live-action adaptation.

Netflix signed Benioff and Weiss to a lucrative $200 million deal in 2019. The 3-Body Problem is the first project the duo is writing for the company – though they also produced a series with Sandra Oh. Netflix is likely to share more information about the 3-Body Problem in the coming months. 



Source: Engadget – Netflix’s adaptation of ‘The Three-Body Problem’ will arrive in 2023

Controversial Artist Matches Influencer Photos With Surveillance Footage

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Smithsonian Magazine: It’s an increasingly common sight on vacation, particularly in tourist destinations: An influencer sets up in front of a popular local landmark, sometimes even using props (coffee, beer, pets) or changing outfits, as a photographer or self-timed camera snaps away. Others are milling around, sometimes watching. But often, unbeknownst to everyone involved, another device is also recording the scene: a surveillance camera. Belgian artist Dries Depoorter is exploring this dynamic in his controversial new online exhibit, The Followers, which he unveiled last week. The art project places static Instagram images side-by-side with video from surveillance cameras, which recorded footage of the photoshoot in question.

To make The Followers, Depoorter started with EarthCam, a network of publicly accessible webcams around the world, to record a month’s worth of footage in tourist attractions like New York City’s Times Square and Dublin’s Temple Bar Pub. Then he enlisted an artificial intelligence (A.I.) bot, which scraped public Instagram photos taken in those locations, and facial-recognition software, which paired the Instagram images with the real-time surveillance footage. Depoorter calls himself a “surveillance artist,” and this isn’t his first project using open-source webcam footage or A.I. Last year, for a project called The Flemish Scrollers, he paired livestream video of Belgian government proceedings with an A.I. bot he built to determine how often lawmakers were scrolling on their phones during official meetings. “On its face, The Followers is an attempt, like many other studies, art projects and documentaries in recent years, to expose the staged, often unattainable ideals shown in many Instagram and influencer photos posted online,” writes Smithsonian’s Molly Enking. “But The Followers also tells a darker story: one of increasingly worrisome privacy concerns amid an ever-growing network of surveillance technology in public spaces. And the project, as well as the techniques used to create it, has sparked both ethical and legal controversy.”

Depoorter told Vice’s Samantha Cole that he got the idea when he “watched an open camera and someone was taking pictures for like 30 minutes.” He wondered if he’d be able to find that person on Instagram.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Controversial Artist Matches Influencer Photos With Surveillance Footage

The Visitor From the Future Does Sci-Fi Comedy, and Zombies and Drama, Right

Time-travel, zombies, action, comedy, drama, The Visitor From the Future has it all. Co-written and directed by François Descraques, the film is based on a popular online French web series and both start very much the same way: a disheveled rogue (Florent Dorin) travels back in time to save the world. The film goes…

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Source: Gizmodo – The Visitor From the Future Does Sci-Fi Comedy, and Zombies and Drama, Right

Crypto-Mixing Service Tornado Cash Code Is Back On GitHub

Code repositories for the Ethereum-based mixer Tornado Cash were relisted on GitHub on Thursday. CoinDesk reports: The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC) banned Americans last month from using Tornado Cash, a decentralized privacy service that mixes cryptocurrencies together to obfuscate the original address. The mixer was blacklisted and designated under the Specially Designated National list because the North Korean hacking group Lazarus had used it in the past.

GitHub is a centralized internet hosting service for software development often used by Ethereum developers. Within hours of the OFAC announcement, GitHub, along with other platforms, removed Tornado Cash from their sites in order to comply with the new U.S. regulation. Ethereum developers — believing that computer code is protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution — have called for platforms that host the Tornado Cash code to reverse their bans. In particular, Ethereum core developer Preston Van Loon asked for GitHub to relist the mixer’s code on Sept. 13. Further reading: Treasury Says Sanctions On Tornado Cash Don’t Stop People From Sharing Code

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Crypto-Mixing Service Tornado Cash Code Is Back On GitHub

An AI program voiced Darth Vader in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ so James Earl Jones could finally retire

After 45 years of voicing one of the most iconic characters in cinema history, James Earl Jones has said goodbye to Darth Vader. At 91, the legendary actor recently told Disney he was “looking into winding down this particular character.” That forced the company to ask itself how do you even replace Jones? The answer Disney eventually settled on, with the actor’s consent, involved an AI program.

If you’ve seen any of the recent Star Wars shows, you’ve heard the work of Respeecher. It’s a Ukrainian startup that uses archival recordings and a “proprietary AI algorithm” to create new dialogue featuring the voices of “performers from long ago.” In the case of Jones, the company worked with Lucasfilm to recreate his voice as it had sounded when film audiences first heard Darth Vader in 1977.

According to Vanity Fair, Jones had signed off on Disney using recordings of his voice and Respeecher’s software to “keep Vader alive.” Lucasfilm veteran Matthew Wood told the outlet that James guided the Sith Lord’s performance in Obi-Wan Kenobi, acting as “a benevolent godfather,” but it was ultimately the AI that gave Vader his voice in many of the scenes.

While there’s something to be said about preserving Vader’s voice, Disney’s decision to use an AI to do so is likely to add fuel to disagreements over how such technology should be used in creative fields. For instance, Getty Images recently banned AI-generated art over copyright concerns. With Jones, there’s the possibility we could hear him voice Vader long after he passes away. 



Source: Engadget – An AI program voiced Darth Vader in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ so James Earl Jones could finally retire