Facebook whistleblower 'extremely concerned' by metaverse as deals worth billions emerge

Asia's Tech News Daily

Facebook whistleblower 'extremely concerned' by metaverse as deals worth billions emerge

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen on Wednesday said she was “extremely concerned” about the company’s plans to build a “metaverse” — a virtual reality version of the internet — because of privacy problems.

Faced with a barrage of bad publicity due to Haugen’s revelations, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans late last month to create a digital world where people feel as if they are face-to-face using virtual reality technology.

Speaking to the French parliament on Wednesday during a European tour, Haugen said that she was “extremely concerned about the metaverse”.

Facebook “wants to fill our environment with sensors, microphones, other kinds of ways of monitoring us” and the adoption of the technology by companies would be “super problematic”.

“Let’s imagine you work from home and your employer decides ‘I want to be a metaverse company’,” she told lawmakers.

“You don’t get to decide if Facebook can spy on you like you can opt out from using Facebook in your personal life,” she added.

The former Facebook engineer leaked a trove of internal documents to the media that have sparked weeks of criticism of the social media giant over its impact on fragile democracies and vulnerable teens.

During her testimony to American and European lawmakers over the last month, she has insisted that Facebook chooses profit over curtailing toxic content and that the company cannot be trusted to change its ways.

Zuckerberg has hit back, saying that “the argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical”.

Haugen, a 37-year-old data scientist, also told the French parliament about how she had coped with the scrutiny and public exposure since identifying herself in early October as the main source of a series of explosive reports by the Wall Street Journal.

“Providing psychological support is critical for many whistleblowers,” she said, adding that she had been lucky to move back to live with her mother last year because of Covid-19 lockdowns.

“My mother is a priest and I received countless hours of counselling and therapy,” she said.

“Most whistleblowers don’t have that level of support. Making sure that there is someone that can coach them through the process is vitally important.”

Facebook reported profits of $9 billion in the July-September quarter of the year.

Peter Jackson sells special effects firm in $1.6 bn ‘metaverse’ deal
Wellington (AFP) Nov 10, 2021 – New Zealand film director Peter Jackson on Wednesday announced the sale of his Oscar-winning Weta Digital special effects business to a US software firm intent on using it to develop the virtual-reality “metaverse”.

San Francisco-based Unity Software said the US$1.6 billion acquisition would “shape the future of the metaverse”, an immersive 3D version of the internet tipped to transform workplaces and online interactions.

The firm said Weta’s technology — used in blockbusters such as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “Avatar” — would allow its subscribers to create their own ultra-realistic corner of a virtual world.

“We are thrilled to democratise these industry-leading tools and bring the genius of Sir Peter Jackson and Weta’s amazing engineering talent to life for artists everywhere,” Unity president John Riccitiello said in a statement.

Under the deal, Unity takes over Wellington-based Weta Digital’s technology and engineering assets while Jackson retains majority ownership of a standalone film effects company called WetaFX.

Jackson said the opportunity to use Weta’s ground-breaking programmes was a “game-changer” for those working in creative industries.

“Together, Unity and Weta Digital can create a pathway for any artist, from any industry, to be able to leverage these incredibly creative and powerful tools,” he said.

The metaverse is expected to develop into an online platform that makes virtual experiences — such as chatting with a friend or attending a concert — feel face-to-face.

It grabbed headlines last month when Facebook changed its parent company name to “Meta” to reflect founder Mark Zuckerberg’s commitment to the concept.

Zuckerberg’s firm has announced plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to build the metaverse, but other tech players are also scrambling to stake a claim in the online world.

The technology might, for example, allow someone to don virtual reality glasses that make it feel as if they’re face-to-face with a friend — when in fact they are thousands of miles apart and connected via the internet.

“The metaverse has the potential to help unlock access to new creative, social, and economic opportunities. And Europeans will be shaping it right from the start,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Zuckerberg predicted in July that Facebook will transition from “primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company” over the next five years.

Facebook bought Oculus, a company that makes virtual reality headsets, for $2 billion in 2014 and has since been developing Horizon, a digital world where people can interact using VR technology.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

NASA awards contract for bed rest studies

NASA has selected Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft-und Raumfahrt (DLR) of Cologne, Germany, to provide use of its facility to support long-duration bed rest research. The $49.9 million Bedrest Studies Contract ... Read more »

Magellanic Stream arcing over Milky Way may be five times closer than previously thought

Our galaxy is not alone. Swirling around the Milky Way are several smaller, dwarf galaxies – the biggest of which are the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, visible in the ... Read more »

Research in Brief: First-ever interior Earth mineral discovered in nature

UNLV geochemists have discovered a new mineral on the surface of the Earth. There’s just one catch: it shouldn’t be here. The mineral – entrapped in a diamond – traveled ... Read more »

Crew operations aboard Space Station return to normal

NASA and U.S. Space Command continue to monitor the debris cloud created by a recent Russian anti-satellite test. The International Space Station and crew members are safe and have resumed ... Read more »

Aerospike engine from Pangea Aerospace trialled on DLR test stand

Unique test stands, comprehensive expertise and decades of experience – the Lampoldshausen site of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) specialises in developing and testing ... Read more »

Solar Orbiter returns to Earth before starting its main science mission

Solar Orbiter is returning to Earth for a flyby before starting its main science mission to explore the Sun and its connection to ‘space weather’. During the flyby Solar Orbiter ... Read more »

Maritime Launch Services announces Nanoracks as payload provider; Unveils Spaceport Nova Scotia design

Maritime Launch Services, one of Canada’s leading aerospace firms and the owner of the country’s first commercial spaceport, announced that Nanoracks, a Voyager Space company and the leading commercial payload ... Read more »

Satellite operator Telesat goes public

Telesat Corporation announced today that it is now a public company and will begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ... Read more »

China launches new satellite

China launched a new satellite from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in the northern province of Shanxi on Saturday. The satellite, Gaofen-11 03, was launched by a Long March-4B rocket ... Read more »

Stanford researchers are using AI to create better VR experiences

Virtual and augmented reality headsets are designed to place wearers directly into other environments, worlds and experiences. While the technology is already popular among consumers for its immersive quality, there ... Read more »

Bezos' Blue Origin hires lobbyist after 'Space Tax' proposed

This year, the company spent over $1.3 million on lobbying, in addition to $2 million in 2020. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin hired Mac Campbell from Capitol Counsel – a lobbyist ... Read more »

Decisions from the ESA Intermediate Ministerial Meeting 2021

Government ministers in charge of space activities in ESA’s Member States today met at an Intermediate Ministerial Meeting held in Matosinhos, Portugal. The Council of Ministers unanimously adopted a Resolution ... Read more »

Turning space junk into rocket fuel

While SpaceX is working hard to make reusable rockets a new reality, the launches still leave behind massive amounts of debris in orbit, posing a potential hazard to communication satellites ... Read more »

BlackSky set to expand its EO constellation for real-time global intelligence

BlackSky’s latest satellites reached orbit and delivered first insights within 14 hours of launch. The company’s constellation growth signals a return to space and an increased capacity for global customers. ... Read more »

Japanese space tourists arrive at launch site ahead of ISS trip

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa arrived at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday for training ahead of his flight to the International Space Station on a Russian-operated spacecraft. Maezawa’s mission ... Read more »

Bacteria may be key to sustainably extracting earth elements for tech

Rare earth elements from ore are vital for modern life but refining them after mining is costly, harms the environment and mostly occurs abroad. A new study describes a proof ... Read more »

ESA selects revolutionary Venus EnVision mission

EnVision will be ESA’s next Venus orbiter, providing a holistic view of the planet from its inner core to upper atmosphere to determine how and why Venus and Earth evolved ... Read more »

Meet VMS - the briefcase-sized chemistry lab headed to Venus

Short for Venus Mass Spectrometer, VMS is one of five instruments aboard the DAVINCI descent probe. Launching in 2029, DAVINCI will be the first US probe mission to enter Venus’ ... Read more »

Scientists eagerly await James Webb telescope to discover stars, exoplanets

Scientists around the world eagerly await discoveries of early galaxies and exoplanets after the James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful telescope ever conceived, is launched Dec. 18, a panel ... Read more »

US still characterizing damage of satellite struck in Russian missile test

The United States is still characterising the damage from an anti-satellite missile test allegedly conducted by Russia earlier this week, US Space Command Deputy Commander John Shaw said on Wednesday. ... Read more »

SES orders 2 new sats for Prime TV Neighbourhood serving 118 million homes

SES has ordered two geostationary (GEO) Ku-band satellites for its prime orbital slot at 19.2 degrees East to maintain the premium services it provides to its European video customers and ... Read more »

When debris disaster strikes

In 2021 so far, some 2467 new objects large enough to be tracked have been added to world catalogues of orbital objects, out of which 1493 are new satellites and ... Read more »

Astronomical object found by amateur identified as new dwarf galaxy

Enthusiast Giuseppe Donatiello spotted the galaxy while scrutinising publicly available data and his finding was investigated by professional astrophysicists, led by Dr. David Martinez-Delgado from the Instituto de Astrofisica de ... Read more »

Hubble Takes a Grand Tour of the Solar System

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has completed its annual grand tour of the outer Solar System. This is the realm of the giant planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune ... Read more »

Teledyne e2v HiRel offers new radiation dosimeters for space applications

Teledyne e2v HiRel has announced availability of 3 new radiation dosimeter models that further broaden its popular range of radiation measurement devices. Aimed at high altitude aerospace applications and all ... Read more »

Planetary defenders: after NASA's DART comes ESA's Hera

The world will be watching the milestone launch of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, DART, spacecraft on Wednesday, 24 November, intended to alter one small part of the Solar System ... Read more »

RocketStar gets SBIR contract to develop new plasma thrusters

RocketStar, an industry leader transforming access to space with fully reusable rockets, has announced that the company has been selected by the U.S Air Force to participate in a Small ... Read more »

CGI selected for GSA's ASTRO space and development IDIQ contract

CGI has been selected by the General Services Administration (GSA) for the multi-award ASTRO Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract. This 10-year award provides CGI the opportunity to compete for task orders with ... Read more »

First all-private space station mission to include two dozen experiments

A private space company that’s planning to send the first all-private crew to the International Space Station announced on Wednesday that they will conduct medical and scientific experiments during their ... Read more »

Arianespace to launch Australian satellite Optus-11 with Ariane 6

Arianespace and Australian operator SingTel Optus signed the launch contract for the Optus-11 communications satellite. The launch, scheduled for the second half of 2023, will use the Ariane 64 version ... Read more »

Rocket Lab launches 107th satellite; Tests helicopter recovery operations

Rocket Lab has successfully deployed two satellites to orbit for real-time geospatial monitoring company BlackSky. Rocket Lab also successfully introduced helicopter operations to a recovery mission for the first time, ... Read more »

Latest Vega launch paves way for Vega-C

Arianespace announced liftoff of Vega’s twentieth flight from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana at 9:27 GMT (10:27 CET; 06:27 local time). Vega delivered three CERES payloads for the French Ministry ... Read more »

Pangea Aerospace hot fire tests the first MethaLox aerospike engine in the world

Pangea Aerospace, a company from Barcelona (Spain), has fired several times the first MethaLox aerospike engine in the world in their first try, at DLR Lampoldshausen facilities. The company has ... Read more »

PLD Space exhibits the first privately-developed Spanish rocket

PLD Space has achieved a new milestone with the official presentation in Madrid of its MIURA 1 rocket, that has been exhibited fully assembled for the first time in the ... Read more »

LeoLabs Australia's Space Tracking Centre releases first images of Russian space debris field

As reported, the Russian Federation tested a probable ‘Nudol’ direct ascent anti-satellite missile yesterday at 150250Z from Pllesetk, Russia with the target a defunct Russian satellite called Cosmos 1408. The ... Read more »

The worlds next door: Looking for habitable planets around Alpha Centauri

A mission to discover new planets potentially capable of sustaining life around Earth’s nearest neighbor, Alpha Centauri, was announced this week by Sydney University. The proposed telescope project will look ... Read more »

"Alien" invasions and the need for planetary biosecurity

The era of space exploration brings with it a new risk: invasion. The peril comes not from little green men arriving on flying saucers but, rather, from microbiological contamination of ... Read more »

Research casts new light on processes behind solar eruptions

Their work could provide a key piece to help solve a puzzle which solar astronomers have been aiming to solve for decades – what is the origin of magnetic twist ... Read more »

Alien organisms - hitchhikers of the galaxy

Scientists warn, without good biosecurity measures ‘alien organisms’ on Earth may become a reality stranger than fiction. Published in international journal BioSciences, a team of scientists, including Dr Phill Cassey, ... Read more »

NASA's next steps to return Hubble to normal operation status

The Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys has continued collecting science data as NASA works to address the anomaly that started Oct 25. Missed synchronization messages halted science production ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic