Thursday, June 21, 2018

Microsoft says no to VR gaming on Xbox

Back in March 2017, Microsoft announced at the Game Developer’s Conference that it would bring mixed reality experiences to its Xbox consoles in 2018. It’s walking back that promise, as it wants to focus on MR for PCs instead. Speaking to at E3 last week, Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Mike Nichols said, “We don’t have any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality.” That’s a shame, because one of the big draws to the company’s powerful Xbox One X console was that it’d come with hardware capable of driving “high-fidelity VR” fidelity experiences, in addition…

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

How technology has made the World Cup seem unnatural

You may have noticed something different in the 2018 World Cup. For the first time ever, the Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) system is being used to help make decisions during games. And already we are seeing it cause controversy. It’s no surprise that VAR has caused debate, considering the furor that surrounded VAR in the English FA Cup and the Bundesliga. But although VAR receives huge attention, we should not forget that it is only the most visible example of the digitalization of football, where data and technology are used to improve performance and decision-making. And digitization is already transforming…

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Facebook climbs a mountain of suck with new autoplaying Messenger ads

Facebook is testing autoplaying video ads inside of Messenger, and holy crap this is a bad idea. The context: Facebook confirmed to Quartz yesterday it was rolling out the ads next Monday to a small group of users. While a spokesperson insisted the user would be “in control” of their ad experience, that basically means you can hide and report ads of your choosing. You can’t opt out of it. Stefanos Loukakos, Messenger’s head of ad business, told Recode he’s waiting to gauge audience reaction on the ads before he passes judgement on their value, and I’m just going to let this…

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Tether taps ex-FBI director’s law firm for yet another phony ‘audit’

It appears controversial cryptocurrency issuer Tether (USDT) is yet again trying to prove its legitimacy to the larger blockchain community. The company has hired a law firm co-founded by former FBI director Louis Freeh to look into its financial situation. “Earlier this year Tether engaged Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan LLP (FSS) to review bank account documentation and to perform a randomized inspection of the numbers of Tethers in circulation and the corresponding currency reserves,” Tether wrote in a statement on its website. For the record, while Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan LLP had access to Tether accounts at two banks for weeks,…

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Amsterdam Airport now has a Bitcoin ATM

The main international airport of the Netherlands will now let you convert those “leftover euros” at the end of your Eurotrip to cryptocurrency. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol announced today that it has installed a “Bitcoin ATM” to let passengers convert euro to Bitcoin and Ethereum. The ATM is installed for a six-month trial period — to gauge demand for the service among passengers. Schiphol says that it is the first European airport to offer such service to travellers. “Schiphol is constantly looking for ways to innovate and provide optimum service to passengers,” Tanja Dik, director of Consumer Products and Services at Schiphol…

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