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Facebook is now Meta! Metaverse good or bad?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gElfIo6uw4g
Mark Zuckerberg announcing new company name

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday at his company’s Connect event that its new name will be Meta. “We are a company that builds technology to connect,” Zuckerberg said. “Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.”

Mark Zuckerberg revealing Meta

“To reflect who we are and what we hope to build,” he added. He said the name Facebook doesn’t fully encompass everything the company does now, and is still closely linked to one product. “But over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company.”

Social media has had an adverse effect on the way we communicate and interact with people over the years. Physical connections have become virtual. The society is changing rapidly and Meta is just about that. Augmented reality and the way people communicate in the future is about to change. A few points to consider before voting for Meta.

  • Online vs Reality. Social media itself is not the problem. It is the way people use it in place of actual communication and in-person socializing. “Friends” on social media may not actually be friends, and may even be strangers.
  • Increased usage. The more time spent on social media can lead to cyberbullying, social anxiety, depression, and exposure to content that is not age appropriate.
  • Social Media is addicting. When you’re playing a game or accomplishing a task, you seek to do it as well as you can. Once you succeed, your brain will give you a dose of dopamine and other happiness hormones, making you happy. The same mechanism functions when you post a picture to Instagram or Facebook. Once you see all the notifications for likes and positive comments popping up on your screen, you’ll subconsciously register it as a reward. But that’s not all, social media is full of mood-modifying experiences.
  • Fear of Missing Out. FOMO has become a common theme, and often leads to continual checking of social media sites. The idea that you might miss out on something if you’re not online can affect your mental health.
  • Self-image issues. Social media sites provide tools that allow people to earn others’ approval for their appearance and the possibility to compare themselves to others. It can be associated with body image concerns. The “selfieholics” and people who spend most of their time posting and scrolling are the ones most vulnerable to this. In fact, most college girls who use Facebook at least five times a day are likely to link their self-worth to their looks. That doesn’t mean that the main problem is social media; it only provides a medium for it, which further elevates the problem. It also promotes the same sort of behaviour to others.

Social media and bullying

Sadly, there is an ugly side to all that technology offers. While bullying is not a new concept, social media and technology have brought bullying to a new level. It becomes a more constant, ever-present threat — cyberbullying. The State of Rhode Island anti-bullying laws & regulations define bullying and cyberbullying as follows:

“Bullying” means the use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof directed at a student that:

  • causes physical or emotional harm to the student or damage to the student’s property
  • places the student in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property
  • creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or abusive educational environment for the student
  • infringes on the rights of the student to participate in school activities
  • materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school

“Cyberbullying” means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, texting or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.

There is a good Hindi blog on the Facebook Papers leak to consider before making your decision:

Conclusion:

I would wait before I start sharing my information on Meta, to create another sponsored based AD fest for Meta to make billions off by completing invading into our lives. What’s your take on the Meta’s approach? Let us know in the comments’ section below.

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Games

Ubisoft NFTs, called 'Digits', launch for in-game items – BBC News

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Game titan Ubisoft has announced its new system to bring NFTs to its in-game items, starting this week.
Non-fungible tokens have exploded in popularity, and are widely used for digital art collectibles.
Ubisoft's system – called "Digits" – will be offered as in-game digital items with one-of-a-kind serial numbers, which can be bought and sold.
Critics argue NFTs are bad for the environment, while offering little benefit over traditional systems.
Ubisoft – famous for games such as the Assassin's Creed, Far Cry and Rainbow Six series – is the most significant game developer and publisher to launch an NFT project yet.
The company claims it has addressed the environmental problems associated with blockchain technology.
Its in-game NFTs will be stored on the Tezos blockchain, which it claims is far more energy-efficient than other options.
But the use of NFTs in gaming remains controversial, with many players and designers believing they are only considered as a way to make money, rather than providing players with any benefit.
Ubisoft's first batch of Digits will launch with "limited editions" – of a fixed number of in-game digital items – for the company's game Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, on Thursday. They can be paid for with crypto-currency, but only in the launch countries of USA, Canada, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Australia and Brazil.
Many games – especially free-to-play ones such as the popular Fortnite or Warzone titles – make a large chunk of their money through selling in-game cosmetic items or "skins" that change the look of characters or items.
Ubisoft is applying the NFT technology to this game mechanic, and calling its overall ecosystem "Quartz".
NFTs are always unique in some way, but in-game cosmetics are identical for every player who gets a copy. Ubisoft's solution is to put a unique serial number on these digital items.
In one example shown by the company, a digital helmet worn by a character appears to have a serial number "stamped in" to the metal in its appearance – a number Ubisoft says will be different for every owner.
That serial number will be visible in-game to other players, and each player can only own one of each "Digit" NFT, Ubisoft said.
These Digits can then be bought and sold with crypto-currency like any other token on the blockchain – even for those who do not own or play Ubisoft's games. The items will also list previous owners in-game, it said.
"With Digits, items are no longer bound to a player's game inventory since they can be put on sale for other eligible players to acquire on third-party platforms outside of the Ubisoft ecosystem," it said.
But it is unlikely the items would ever be able to be used in non-Ubisoft games.
Some NFTs give the original creator a "cut" of the sale every time it changes hands. Ubisoft has not said if it has set up the system in that way.
The company is characterising the entire release as a "large-scale experiment" and says it has been exploring blockchain technology for four years.
Ubisoft says it is using the Tezos blockchain because it requires "exceedingly less energy" than other systems used to mine Bitcoin or Ethereum crypto-currencies.
Traditional crypto-systems use what's called "proof of work" which involves powerful computers doing extremely intense calculations to verify transactions. Tezos uses a different system, called "proof of stake".
But the whole idea of including NFTs in games is controversial in itself, despite interest from another large gaming firm, EA.
Steam, the largest PC gaming platform, has banned NFT and blockchain games from being listed on its store – which resulted in the removal of some early NFT-based games.
One popular Twitter thread from a game designer on the topic, arguing that NFTs "are harmful to games" and that things are not "made any easier or better by building them with NFTs and blockchain tech", has been retweeted thousands of times.
The trading of cosmetic items for real money has also been proven to work without blockchain technology – by Steam, which released a system for buying and selling in-game skins in 2012.
But Ubisoft said its NFT system is a first step towards "developing a true metaverse". The metaverse concept sometimes includes the idea of digitally-owned items transferring between different digital worlds. Some enthusiasts believe NFTs offer a clear mechanic for doing so.
"Our long-term efforts led us to understand how blockchain's decentralised approach could genuinely make players stakeholders of our games, in a way that is also sustainable for our industry, placing back into their hands the value they generate through the time they spend, the items they buy or the content they create online," argued Nicolas Pouard from Ubisoft's innovation team.
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This Custom Miles Morales PS5 Controller Looks Incredible – GLITCHED

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A custom Spider-Man: Miles Morales PS5 DualSense controller is making the rounds online, and it looks incredible. Created by digital artist Giuseppe Spinelli in collaboration with LetsGoDigital, the striking controller is simply a concept artwork that coincidentally arrived with the launch of the first trailer for Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Part One).
The Miles Morales-themed DualSense controller was originally created to celebrate the launch of Insomniac’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on the PS5, but only surfaced recently. Spinelli also revealed that he had been working with airbrush artist Enrico Bertagnoli (aka Berta) to create more Spider-Man themed PS5 controllers too, apart from this Miles Morales controller.
This custom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense sports a striking red and black web design around the frame of the controller, with the game’s slogan “Be Yourself” plastered on the touchpad. The lighting around the touchpad was even changed to a more thematic red instead of the usual blue. The controller was made as a showcase piece, since it’s not actually a licensed Sony product (though it would be great if PlayStation took a few hints). Check out the images below:
Custom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller SpinelliCustom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller Spinelli
Custom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller SpinelliCustom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller Spinelli
Custom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller SpinelliCustom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller Spinelli
Custom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller SpinelliCustom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller Spinelli
Unfortunately, the controller is not for sale right now. Spinelli and LetsGoDigital aren’t entirely against the idea of mass producing them in bulk, though it comes with its own set of issues. Thanks to a combination of supply chain issues and having to painstakingly paint each controller manually, it will not exactly be cheap or speedily available. Alternatively, you can DM or email Berta on his social media channels if you’re interested in getting your hands on one. It’s not entirely guaranteed, though.
The few custom Miles Morales controllers that Spinelli and Berta did create are currently being preserved as memorabilia, with one of them residing in Bonami Gaming Console Museum in The Netherlands.

Source: Giuseppe Spinelli
Writer | Geek | Aspiring Novelist | Will probably ruin your kitchen | Legend has it Sam beat Dark Souls while skydiving (he didn’t)



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Google Pixel 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S21: Which affordable flagship should you buy? – XDA Developers

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Samsung has established itself as one of the leaders of the Android smartphone space. Barring an occasional misfire, the company has consistently produced some fantastic flagship smartphones. So whenever another Android manufacturer produces a flagship, it gets compared to the Samsung flagship. As a part of the same tradition, now it’s the turn of Pixel 6 to get this treatment with the Galaxy S21.
This article will pit the Google Pixel 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 to see how the two flagships stack up against each other.
Navigate this guide:
Google Pixel 6
There is nothing extraordinary about the design of either Pixel 6 or Galaxy S21. But both smartphones look great and have a premium look. While the Pixel 6 is a glass sandwich, Samsung has opted for a plastic back on the S21, unlike other S21 series phones.
The plastic back of the S21 has a matte finish and doesn’t look cheap. While glass certainly looks better, plastic has an advantage in terms of durability. And as most people use a case with their phone, the back is anyway going to be hidden. While we are on the topic of cases, make sure to check out our handpicked best Pixel 6 cases and Galaxy S21 cases if you end up buying one of these phones.
Although the Pixel 6 is the smaller phone in the Pixel 6 series, it’s still a massive phone with a 6.4-inch screen. On the other hand, the S21 feels reasonably smaller with its 6.2-inch screen and better screen-to-body ratio. Thanks to its plastic back and smaller overall footprint, the Samsung phone is also over 35 grams lighter than the Pixel.
While both the Pixel 6 and the Galaxy S21 use AMOLED panels, Samsung has gone with a 120Hz screen, whereas the Pixel 6 has a 90Hz display. In addition, the S21 screen gets slightly brighter than the Pixel 6.
Overall, the Galaxy S21 has a slight advantage on the display front with its higher refresh rate screen and brightness. That said, most people won’t be able to tell the difference between a 90Hz panel and a 120Hz panel.
Samsung Galaxy S21
Instead of relying on Qualcomm for a smartphone chip, Google developed its own chip this year based on Samsung Exynos 2100. This Tensor chip powers the Pixel 6, and it’s a pretty good first attempt. Like all flagship-grade chips, it can handle everything with ease, and you won’t have to worry about lag or stuttering. The chip also helps Google offer several machine learning and artificial intelligence-backed features right on the device, which won’t be possible on other smartphone chips.
Samsung has gone with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC in the US, and other markets get the Exynos 2100 SoC. Snapdragon 888 is a top-notch processor, and we have already seen its excellent performance in several phones this year.
In addition, both phones have 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage.
Google Pixel 6
The Pixel phones are known for their prowess, but Samsung flagships aren’t slackers either in this department. As a result, both the Pixel 6 and Galaxy S21 take amazing photos, and picking between them depends on which aesthetic you prefer. For example, the Pixel 6 photos have high contrast and a cooler white balance, whereas the Galaxy S21 photos have an oversaturated look and high brightness.
In terms of raw camera specifications, you get a 50MP primary shooter (takes 12.5MP photos), a 12MP wide-angle camera, and an 8MP selfie shooter. The Galaxy S21 has a 12MP primary camera, a 12MP wide-angle shooter, a 64MP telephoto shooter, and a 10MP selfie camera.
All in all, S21’s telephoto shooter gives the phone one advantage over the Pixel 6, which, unlike the Pixel 6 Pro, doesn’t have a telephoto camera. So if you like to take a lot of photos with the telephoto camera, you are better off with the Samsung phone.
Samsung Galaxy S21
The Pixel 6 houses a 4,614mAh battery, whereas you get a 4,000mAh battery with the S21. This difference in the battery size impacts how long the two phones last. While both phones will easily power through an entire day on a single charge, the moderate user will be able to steal another half day on the Pixel 6, which is harder on the S21.
The Galaxy S21 has a slight edge in fast charging capabilities as the phone supports 25W fast charging. While the Pixel 6 comes with an advertised fast charging speed of 30W, the phone can only charge up to at 21W. Meaning the S21 will charge quicker than the Pixel 6 with a compatible fast charger.
In terms of connectivity, the S21 supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G on all three major operators—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon—in the US. On the other hand, Pixel 6 supports mmWave 5G only on AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile users get stuck with sub-6GHz 5G support.
On the software front, the Pixel 6 runs stock Android 12 out of the box. The Galaxy S21 comes with Android 11 with One UI. But it is already receiving the Android 12 and One UI 4.0 update.
In addition, the Pixel 6 and the S21 will both get three years of Android updates. But the Galaxy S21 will only get four years of security patches, compared to five years for the Pixel 6.
Google Pixel 6
Google has priced the Pixel 6 quite aggressively. It starts at $599 for the 128GB version. On the other hand, the S21 retails beginning at $799. This difference in pricing gives Pixel a significant edge over the Samsung phone.
There are three color options for the Pixel 6—Stormy Black, Kinda Coral, and Sorta Seafoam—whereas the S21 comes in four colors—Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom White, and Phantom Pink.
Given the price difference between the Galaxy S21 and Pixel 6, the Google phone certainly seems like a better purchase. But if you prefer a 120Hz display or telephoto shooter and can snag the Samsung phone for cheap during a sale, it’s also an excellent buy. On the other hand, if you don’t care for these two things, the Pixel 6 is a pretty well-rounded package at a great price.
Which of the two phones are you planning to buy? Let us know in the comments section. Meanwhile, don’t forget to check the best deals on the Pixel 6 and the Galaxy S21 to save some money. We’ve also picked the best screen protectors for the Pixel 6 and the Galaxy S21, which can help you safeguard those AMOLED displays from scratches.


XDA » Buying Guides » Google Pixel 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S21: Which affordable flagship should you buy?
Gaurav has been covering technology for over a decade now. He has done everything from blogging about Android to reporting the latest from the world of Internet giants. When he is not writing about the tech companies, he can be found binge-watching new TV series on the web. You can reach Gaurav at [email protected]
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