Saturday, April 17, 2021

 

QPORIT XR NEWSROOM 2021


 QPORIT XR

THE XR NEWSROOM

EXTENDED REALITY
TECHNOLOGY, CULTURE, ISSUES

 Quick Previews ORandom Interesting Things 

***

ABOUT:

Our Meetups:
https://qporit.blogspot.com/2021/04/nyxr-new-york-extended-reality-meetup.html

Editor/Publisher
https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/11/eric-roffman-bio-notes.html


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2021-04-17 (SAT APR 17, 2021)


COVID-19 WORLD


WORLDWIDE DAILY NEW CASES OF COVID-19 REACHES A NEW HIGH
  • More than 843,450 new cases world-wide were reported in one day. 
  • This is higher than the previous peak recorded in January.
  • Yesterday, India had the highest number of new cases, with 233,943.
    • The US was second.
COVID-19 US


US DAILY NEW CASES OF COVID-19 GROWING
  • More than 82,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday in the US 
    • with more than 850 deaths.
  • Largest number of new cases yesterday
    • 9,850 Michigan
    • 7,296 Florida
    • 6,736 New York
    • 5,547 Pennsylvania
    • 4,381 New Jersey
    • 3,866 Illinois
    • 3.030 Texas
    • 2,904 California
  • With 
    • so many new cases
    • less than half the country vaccinated
    • new strains that are more contagious
  • it is crazy for governors to
    • remove restrictions on masks
    • remove restrictions on indoor dining
    • remove restrictions on crowd events like
      • sports
      • concerts
      • film and theater.
  • Every life matters.
  • GET VACCINATED; WEAR A MASK; AVOID CROWDS; AVOID TRAVEL
  • The life you save may be your own
    • or a grandparent
    • or a parent
    • or a child
    • or a spouse
    • or a friend
    • or a stranger.

***

2021-04-16 (FRI APR 16, 2021)


XROGRAPHY


KANDAO 12K x 12K 3D 360 VR OBSIDIAN PRO CINEMATIC CAMERA

***

2021-04-16 (FRI APR 16, 2021)


XR - FILM


THE TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL- June 9 -20, 2021
  • has announced that Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jon M Chu's film
  • IN THE HEIGHTS
  • will be the opening night film.
  • https://tribecafilm.com/

***

2021-04-12 (MON APR 12, 2021)


XR - LIVE


THE REAL TIME CONFERENCE (RTC) - April 26-28, 2021
  • is a 3 Day round-the clock conference on technology that supports Real Time processing, events, and more, such as...
    • theater, live broadcasting, autonomous vehicles, photo-realistic avatars, holographic projection, virtual production, design, 3D-Commerce, neural rendering, e-sports and more...
  • The theme is "The Rise of the Metaverse!"
  • Among the topics, speakers and companies participating are...
    • UnReal Engine, MetaHumans and other digital humans
    • Digital Domain
    • Social remote connections
    • XR and Live Broadcast Shows
    • Storytelling in real time across platforms
    • LED Video wall
    • Volumetric VR
    • NVIDIA
    • NASA
    • and more...
  • I attended the last RTC and it was excellent!

***
***

2021-04-08 (THU APR 8, 2021)


XR, BLOCKCHAIN, NFT'S


INSIDE 


US - POLICY


PRESIDENT BIDEN 

US & THE WORLD - COVID-19


VACCINATIONS
  • in the US are going very well.
  • However, cases, hospitalizations and deaths are RISING not FALLING.
    • We are NOT yet at "herd immunity".
    • The effect of viral mutations is not well known.
    • It is PREMATURE to allow maskless crowds.
  • New York and New Jersey are among the worst hotspots currently.
  • In the rest of the world, Brazil is doing extremely badly, with almost 4,000 deaths in one day.

XR, HMD'S


THE HP OMNICEPT - DEVELOPER EDITION 

***

2021-04-05 (MON APR 5, 2021)


XROGRAPHY, SCIENCE & THE SUN


NASA

***

2021-04-03 (SAT APR 3, 2021)


SILLY DATES

4/3/21

***

2021-04-02 (FRI APR 2, 2021)


HOLIDAYS


TODAY IS GOOD FRIDAY. SUNDAY IS EASTER. 


RECENT HEADLINES

  • There is an incident at the Capitol.
    • A car rams into a barrier.
      •  One policeman and the driver are killed. One policeman is injured.
  • MS scores a $22 Billion contract for Mixed Reality, with the Army.
    • This is a huge commercial success for Mixed Reality.
  • President Biden proposes a badly needed multi-trillion dollar infrastructure project
  • The Trial of a policeman for murdering a handcuffed man by pressing his knee on the man's neck for almost ten minutes, while other policeman prevented bystanders from aiding the victim, is ongoing. 
  • The long awaited FRIENDS reunion to be shot next week. 

***

2021-04-01 (THU APR 1, 2021)


HOLIDAY


TODAY IS NOT APRIL FOOL'S DAY. 
  • April fools.
***


2021-03-30 (TUE MAR 30, 2021)


XR TECHNOLOGY, NFT'S EXPLAINED!


FROM SNL


***

2021-03-29 (MON MAR 29, 2021)


XR TECHNOLOGY, US & THE WORLD


SOME HEADLINES (and some comments):
  • Dr. Birx said on CNN that deaths after the Spring of 2020 could have been "mitigated" if the Trump Administration, (and the panel She was on) had used what had been learned in the Spring surge.
  • Meanwhile... As hospitalizations rise, with more contagious and more lethal variations emerging, the current director of the CDC fears "doom" from another wave, with people partying, traveling, gathering in large groups without masks and without social distancing, before the country is much more fully vaccinated.
  • The trial of Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd has begun.
    • Many people, including police, watched as he was killed.
      • There must be national laws requiring policemen to intervene when another policeman is behaving dangerously and improperly.
      • There must be national training and monitoring of police.
      • Police are absolutely necessary.
      • Most policemen are heroes.
      • They must all be the people we can trust to help us -- every single one of us and every single one of them -- in an emergency.
  • The cargo vessel that was blocking the Suez Canal has been freed.
    • Technology is changing exponentially.
    • The supply chain is a world wide interconnected support system.
    • The world is too complicated and intertwined for nationalism to be good for anyone.
  • Counting has begun for the quest to unionize Amazon warehouses.
    • Technology is changing exponentially.
    • Unions must be a force for flexibility and progress, not for a status quo, as they fight for the health and compensation of workers.
    • It is not acceptable for companies and owners to become wealthy at the expense of their workers, their customers, their suppliers the environment, the public and others.
    • The government must adjudicate a fair balance for capitalism to thrive.
  • Microsoft has issued an interesting report on trends and the state of work as we begin to enter a hybrid work environment.


***

2021-03-27 (SAT MAR 27, 2021)



HOLIDAY

PASSOVER

 BEGINS AT SUNDOWN WITH THE SEDER

***



GEORGE SEGAL (FEB 13, 1934 — MAR 23, 2021)
  • I did not know George Segal well.
  • He did say 6 words to me.
  • I was on a movie set as a journalist, one of my first times ever.
  • He was playing a junkie, potentially dangerous.
  • I was standing on the side, watching.
  • As the the camera was about to roll, he came strait toward me and said, quietly but menacingly, "You're in my line of sight."

***


2021-03-26 (FRI MAR 26, 2021)


US


VOTER SUPPRESSION LAWS
  • More accurately, "black, minority, financially hard-pressed, and non-GOP voter suppression laws", in GOP run states appear to be clearly unconstitutional:
  • Amendment XV Section 1:
    • The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. 
      • These "laws" abridge the ability of black and minority citizens to vote.
  • Amendment XXIV Section 1:
    • The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
      • Making it more expensive to vote is a poll tax.



    ***



    XR - THEATER


    MARK BLUM (MAY 14, 1950 — MARCH 25, 2020)
    • a gentle, caring, thoughtful actor, director and teacher was one of the first tragic victims of COVID-19.
    • He played the "union rep" in Mozart in the Jungle; (he was also active in the real SAG); he appeared in Playwrights Horizons' Gus and Al for which he won and Emmy, and on Broadway in Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers, among many credits, and he taught at HB Studio.
    • His wife is sponsoring a scholarship at HB Studio, where he taught, and contributions are possible on a GOFUNDME campaign:
    • I met him when I did a story, including a video interview, about an OOB production of a French play, translated into English and performed by two of his students, which he directed. 
      • Note: the actress, Constance Labbe, has recently been cast as the new lead of Balthazar, a popular French TV drama.
    • Here is the video of the interview:

    ***


    2021-03-25 (THU MAR 25, 2021)


    US


    PRESIDENT BIDEN
    • Gave an intelligent, thoughtful, caring, knowledgeable discussion of current issues and problems, and how his administration is addressing them in order of their priorities for the United States.
    • He continued to explain that his notion of bi-partisanship involves serving the interests of all Americans, not letting the GOP obstruct progress.
    • He is particularly angry at GOP attempts around the country to obstruct the ability (and right!) of voters to cast their votes.
      • He called these efforts un-American and "sick!".

    ***


    XR AND US PUBLIC POLICY


    CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS ON MISINFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA
    • did not seem helpful at all.
    • The Questioners seemed interested only in promoting themselves and their policies.
    • The expert witnesses, CEO's of Facebook, Google, and Twitter, were rarely given any opportunity to actually answer any questions. 
      • Most questions were of the following sort:
        • You did something terrible. "When did you stop? Answer Yes or No."
    • It is hard to see how this format for Congressional investigations (5 min per long winded person) can accomplish anything.
    • The target was how to revise section 230, which provides protection from liability for Internet Companies.
    • Here is the full 230:
    • Here are two of the critical paragraphs:
    • (1)Treatment of publisher or speaker

      No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

      (2)Civil liabilityNo provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—
      (A) 
      any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; ...
    ***


    2021-03-24 (WED MAR 24, 2021)


    US


    IMMIGRATION
    • Vice President Harris has been given the task of sorting out the issues of dealing with the large wave of immigrants arriving at the border.
    • If she does well, she is very likely to be the next President, and the first female President.
    • Immigration has always been a source of contention in the US, despite its importance, and the fact that almost all of us in the US are only a few generations away from an immigrant ancestor.
      • While many new waves of immigrants were opposed by previous waves of immigrants, in fact immigration has always been a very important part of the US economy.
      • Immigration is an essential source of seasonal workers, entrepreneurs, workers in jobs inadequately staffed by residents, and many other positions.
      • Immigrant workers are so important that some immigrants were even brought here against their will (and made slaves).
    • Originally, in fact, at the very birth of the US,  the problem was that there were not enough immigrants:
    • From the Declaration of Independence:
      • "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. ...
        • (Fact #7): He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither..."
       
    ***


    2021-03-23 (TUE MAR 23, 2021)


    US


    8 + 10 = 2 MANY
    • Eight people killed in Georgia.
    • Ten people killed in Colorado.
    • Second Amendment:
      • A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    • The killers did not belong to a "well regulated Militia".
    • "Militia's" involved in the Jan 6 attack on democracy were not well regulated.
    • It is time to enforce the 2nd Amendment and regulate Militia's well, preventing any rogues from committing offenses and killing again.


    ***


    2021-03-22 (MON MAR 22, 2021)


    THE WHOLE EARTH


    29 VOLCANOES (at least) ARE CURRENTLY ERUPTING
    • including
      • Mt Etna in Italy
      • Mt Kilauea in Hawaii
      • Klyuchevskoy in Kamchatka, Siberia
      • Sangay and Reventador in Ecuador
      • Sakrajima in Kyushu, Japan
      • Fagradalsfjall in Iceland.
    • according to 
    • Several volcanoes have plumes that may extend into flight patterns for aircraft.

    ***


    2021-03-21 (SUN MAR 21, 2021)


    THE WHOLE EARTH


    SPRING
    • Today is the first full day of of Spring.
    • The Vernal Equinox (when the sun "crossed" the equator going North) occurred at 5:37 AM EST yesterday.
    ***


    2021-03-20 (SAT MAR 20, 2021)


    US - COVID



    SPRING BREAK
    • at Miami Beach has become so crowded that the Mayor has declared an emergency and ordered a curfew and shut the bridges that lead to the beach. 
    THE LEGACY
    • of efforts by the GOP and the previous president (and Putin? -- see the story from 3/16 below) to downplay the seriousness of the virus and promote distrust of Biden continues to result in unsafe behavior (as in the story above), and aversion to vaccination, resulting in more illness:
      • Cases and hospitalizations have been rising. 
      • New mutations are spreading.
    • Until most of the population of the US is vaccinated (against all mutations) and cases start dropping (and cases in the rest of world are controlled, so it does not spread back to the US!)
      • WEARING MASKS
      • SOCIAL DISTANCING
      • GOOD VENTILATION
      • HAND WASHING
        • ARE ESSENTIAL
    • Currently
      • WORLD: 123.4 Million cases; 2.7 Million deaths and growing
      • US: 30.5 Million cases; 555 Thousand deaths and growing.

    ***


    2021-03-17 (WED MAR 17, 2021)


    HOLIDAY

    HAPPY ST PATRICK'S DAY

    ***


    2021-03-16 (TUE MAR 16, 2021)


    US



    THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (ODNI)
    • Has issued an unclassified summary of classified intelligence entitled:
    • One sentence, in particular, stands out:
      • Newer sociopolitical developments—such as narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol, conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and conspiracy theories promoting violence—will almost certainly spur some DVEs to try to engage in violence this year.
    • The report also explicitly calls out Russian attempts to promote disinformation, and calls out those in politics and the media who have echoed and amplified the Russian disinformation campaign (The GOP and Fox Media would be examples). 
    • Editorial note: Clearly, for prominent current or former elected officials, or news media, to promote false statements, or to directly or indirectly condone violence, is completely irresponsible, and seriously dangerous.
    • Lies are the foundation of autocracy and corruption. Truth is the guardian of democracy. 
    ***


    2021-03-15 (MON MAR 15, 2021)


    XR - FILM



    THE ACADEMY AWARDS: APRIL 25
    • Best Picture nominees:
      • "The Father"
      • "Judas and the Black Messiah"
      • "Mank" (Most nominations)
      • "Minari"
      • "Nomadland" (Big winner at the Golden Globes)
      • "Promising Young Woman"
      • "Sound of Metal"
      • "The Trial of the Chicago 7″
    • Chadwick Boseman was nominated posthumously
      • as Best Actor in a Leading Role
      • for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom".
    • Chloe Zhao, Golden Globe winner for "Nomadland", was a nominee for Best Director.
    • "Mank" had the largest number of nominations, with ten
      • for Best Film, Supporting Actress and Actor, Director, Cinematography, Score, and four craft nominations.
    • Here's the complete list of nominees:

    • Here's where you can stream (some of) the nominated films:
      • NETFLIX
        • Mank
        • The Trial of the Chicago 7
        • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
        • The White Tiger
        • Over the Moon
        • Crip Camp
      • AMAZON
        • The Sound of Metal
        • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
        • One Night at Miami
        • Promising Young Woman
      • DISNEY +
        • Onward
        • Soul
        • Mulan
        • The One and Only Ivan
      • HULU
        • Nomadland
        • The United States Vs. Billie Holiday
      • APPLE
        • Wolfwalkers
        • Greyhound
    • Other films may be available for purchase or rent on streaming services. A few films are available currently in some theaters, but not for home streaming.




    ***


    2021-03-14 (SUN MAR 14, 2021)


    HOLIDAY

    HAPPY PI DAY!

    • PI ~ 3.14  OR MARCH 14!
    • PI day is a day to celebrate all things:
      • mathematical
      • scientific
      • truthful
      • futuristic
      • XR
      • and cultural too!
    • PI is an irrational number, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, and approximately equal to 3.14159265...
      • a rational number is the ratio of one integer to another, such as 13/7.
      • an irrational number cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers; it can be expressed (approximated) as a decimal of an unlimited number of essentially random digits.
    ***


    2021-03-12 (FRI MAR 12, 2021)


    US


    JULY 4 -- SMALL OUTDOOR BARBECUES?
    JUNE    -- ENOUGH  VACCINE AVAILABLE FOR EVERYONE?
    MAY 1 -- ALL ADULTS ELIGIBLE FOR A VACCINE?
    • These are hopeful dates, offered by President Biden in a Prime Time address.
    • The July 4 date depends on the cooperation of the virus and all Americans.
      • If the virus mutates to resist the vaccines, the date may not hold.
      • If Americans violate CDC recommendations with respect to wearing masks and social distancing, then we could see another spike in the spring and summer, instead of a decline in illness.
    • Currently the number of new cases and new deaths each day is too high.
    • The number of deaths is over 1,500 a day, and roughly constant.
    • The number of new cases is over 60,000 a day and may even be rising.
    • The number of hospitalized patients seems to be dropping.
    • New York and New Jersey have a large number of new cases.
    ***

    2021-03-12 (FRI MAR 12, 2021)


    XR - $$,$$$,$$$


    THE LATEST NFT AUCTION OF A JPG
    • SOLD FOR
      •  $69,346,250. (SIC)
    ***


    2021-03-11 (THU MAR 11, 2021)


    US


    THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021
    also known as the COVID-19 RELIEF BILL
    • was signed into law today by President Biden.
    • It is a sweeping measure that provides 
      • direct support for financially struggling Americans
      • support for the infrastructure to fight COVID
      • support for challenges to economic stability
        • including help for governmental units.
    • The law passed with NO GOP votes.
      • (Editorial note: The shocking irresponsibility of the GOP, including the former president; including challenges to the election culminating in an armed attack against the government of the US aided and supported by the GOP and the former president; and including the disastrous no-mask and relaxed no-congregating policies of GOP governors and the former president; continuing now with NO support from the Congressional GOP for this critical law, is a disgrace and an attack on American health, democracy, and values.) 
    • Here is the complete (628 page) bill.
    • President Biden will give a Prime-Time address tonight at 8 PM.


    ***

    2021-03-11 (THU MAR 11, 2021)

    2020-03-11 (WED MAR 11, 2020)


    ONE YEAR AGO:

    The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19  a global pandemic.  

    NYC schools shut down the following Monday.

    TODAY:

    WORLD:

    Cases: 119,045,095

    Deaths:   2,639,708

    US:

    Cases:    29,909,175

    Deaths:       543,277


    ***

    2021-03-11 (THU MAR 11, 2021)


    XR - $$,$$$,$$$


    THE LATEST NFT AUCTION OF A JPG
    • SOLD FOR
      •  $69,346,250. (SIC)
    • AT CHRISTIES AUCTION HOUSE.
    • Here's the tweet:
    • . 's 'The First 5000 Days', the 1st purely digital NFT based artwork offered by a major auction house has sold for $69,346,250, positioning him among the top three most valuable living artists. Major Thanks to + . More details to be released shortly
    • (A question: How much will the NFT of that tweet sell for???)
    • Here's the official press release:
      • https://www.christies.com/about-us/press-archive/details?PressReleaseID=9966&lid=1

      ***


      2021-03-10 (WED MAR 10, 2021)


      US - CONGRESS - COVID


      THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021
      also known as the COVID-19 RELIEF BILL

      ***


      2021-03-09 (TUE MAR 9, 2021)


      XR - TV - GAMES


      FROM BOBBY TO BETH
      • Today is Bobby Fischer's birthday.
      • He was the most interesting American chess player in the last hundred years or so, and probably the best chess player ever, up until the time he lived.
        • As he, himself, said though, he learned from the earlier players.
      • He was haunted and frustrated by the difficulty of earning money as a chess player at that time (~ 1958 - 1870's and after),
        • and upset that the Russian players at the time were supported by the government, and working together to help each other.
        • It was a time of paranoia, and conspiracy ideas, and he became increasingly disturbed and fearful of Russian "cheating" that would affect his play in championship matches; and he also had a dose of anti-semitism. 
        • Neither did his anti-semitism prevent him from having Jewish friends, nor did his anti-Russian feelings prevent him from a very friendly relation with Boris Spassky, the Russian World Champion that he defeated for the World Chess Championship.
        • His demons did, however, coalesce when he held a match in Yugoslavia in violation of US sanctions, resulting in charges from the US that prompted rather despicable outbursts from him, and prevented him from ever returning to this country.
      • Now, Beth Harmon, of Queen's Gambit, has resulted in a burst of popularity of chess in the US, with an apparent rise in interest among girls.
      • And several chess players have begun to make serious money playing chess live on Twitch.
      • Queen's Gambit is a terrific series on Netflix. It is set roughly in the period when Bobby Fischer was active, and reflects (somewhat mildly) the feeling American players had at the time of the Russians.
        • Spoiler alert: skip this next sentence if you have not watched the Queens' Gambit yet:
        • In fact, the last episode in the series does reflect something quite like what happened in the sixth game of the World Championship Match between Fischer and Spassky.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv52uwNfFZg)
      • Many of the games featured in the series are actually real, historical games, and even the current World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlson, has watched the series and has published analyses of the games.
      • The story telling, and especially the character of Beth Harmon and the performance by Anya Taylor Joy (and Isla Johnston as the young Beth) are terrific.
      Here's Bobby Fischer on TV with Johnny Carson.  Both at their best.
      youtube.com/watch?v=QxvnEw
      ***


      2021-03-07 (SUN MAR 7, 2021)


      XR - AI - US


      THE NATIONAL SECURITY COMMISSION on AI (NSCAI)
      • has published its final report describing the urgency of developing US capabilities in AI as a matter of National Security.
      • It has proposed billions of dollars of expenditures to improve the ways that the US is creating and managing AI.
      • The Report is the result of two years of study.
        • It is 756 pages long.
      • The Commission is chaired by Eric Schmidt, former CEO and Chairman of Google.
        • Most members of the Commission have experience in the military, government or big tech.
        • Four of the fifteen members of the Commission are female. 
          • One of the female members appears to be the only black or non-white member.
      • In a discussion of the report on "GPS" with Fareed Zakaria on CNN, Eric Schmidt said that China is the country whose developing work in AI (and 5G) is most likely to pose a potential future threat to the US in the next five to ten years.
      • There will be an event next week from a different organization to discuss AI and government services:
      • Here is the full 756 page report:
      • Editorial note: For any study of XR Technology and Public Policy, AI must be part of the discussion.
      • This study is an essential contribution, but it is only part of the picture.
      • The study does consider issues like privacy. 
      • The study takes a very broad view of the initiatives that must be undertaken.
      • How AI is deployed however, is also very important.
        • As this report's focus is "National Security" and its Commission membership is essentially tied closely to the military-industrial-governmental complex, there may be a need for contributions from the small business, non-military, non-governmental, independent, public, arts & cultural, multiracial, multi-economic segments of the public.
        • AI affects everybody 
          • (which I think may be a point made in the study which, Schmidt suggested on CNN, predicts AI to be a 50 TRILLION dollar part of the economy within ten years).
        • As Facebook suggested once, in a second-day Keynote on F8, every choice of data -- or choice of algorithm used to analyze data for AI -- is political.
      ***


      2021-03-06 (SAT MAR 6, 2021)


      US


      THE COVID RELIEF BILL
      • passed the Senate by a vote of 50-49.
        • all Democrats voted for the bill
        • all Republicans voted against it except
          • Dan Sullivan who was absent, attending a funeral in Alaska.
      • The House must now pass the bill, because it was amended in the Senate.
        • Passage by early next week seems certain.
      ***


      2021-03-05 (FRI MAR 5, 2021)


      XR - BLOCKCHAIN MUSIC


      KINGS OF LEON
      • a rock band
      • is releasing (and promoting) a new album with an NFT auction on OpenSea.
        • An NFT (non-fungible token) is like a "certificate of authenticity" certified by being inscribed in the records of a blockchain. 
        • A blockchain is a system of storing information with the information distributed around the internet, with metadata available to prove the identity of the stored information, and the information itself protected by encryption and a password.
      • More information is available at 
      • We will be following cryptocurrency, NFTs and other applications, possibilities, and hazards of blockchains, as this field develops, so
        • PLEASE FOLLOW US, TO GET THE LATEST INFORMATION!
      ***

      XR - TECH AND PUBLIC POLICY

      TIM WU
       

      ***

      2021-03-02 (TUE MAR 2, 2021)


      XR - MIXED REALITY


      MICROSOFT
      • introduced MS MESH, an expanded set of tools for Mixed Reality, at MS IGNITE, one of several tech conferences MS holds each year.
      • Some of the most significant features of this technology are that:
        • It is a social space -- people can join from different places
          • They can share 3D VR objects that have been imported and work on them together.
          • People can join as avatars or (to some extent now, and better later) as holographic characters -- such as volumetric video live streamed images.
            • With MR devices like the HoloLens, holographic participants do not block their faces completely (as current VR headsets like QUEST do).
        • Virtual spaces are persistent: You can leave them, return, and they will still be there.
        • Because this is Mixed Reality, virtual spaces can also be fixed in real space, and tied 
          • to the location of real places - like an ad or a picture on the side of a building, or
          • to real things like a logo on a handbag, or a truck.
        • The Mesh works with a variety of HMD's and a variety of MR software (and more are coming).
      • We will be reporting in much more detail soon on MS MESH.
        • PLEASE FOLLOW US, TO GET THE LATEST INFORMATION!
      ***


      2021-02-28 (SUN FEB 28, 2021)


      FILM & TV

      THE GOLDEN GLOBES


      ***


      2021-02-15 (MON FEB 15, 2021)


      HOLIDAY

      PRESIDENTS' DAY!



      An excerpt from the Address:

      The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

       

      All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

       

      However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

      G. Washington

      September 19, 1796


      ***


      2021-02-14 (SUN FEB 14, 2021)


      HOLIDAY

      HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

      ***


      2021-02-13 (SAT FEB 13, 2021)


      US - NEWS AND OPINION

      TRUMP
      • was acquitted of the Impeachment charge of Inciting Insurrection.
      • Neither Trump's counsel, nor Mitch McConnell, speaking for himself and presumably many of those who joined him in voting to acquit, disputed the basic facts, nor did they condone them.
        • They used the "off-ramp" of procedural and jurisdictional issues to defend their vote.
          • Although assumed to be a "defender of the Senate" and the Constitution,  MM voted to acquit despite the binding vote in the Senate declaring the process of Impeaching the President and trying him after he leaves office to be Constitutional, and the fact that the assault was a direct attack on the Congress, its Constitutional duties and its members.
      • I suspect that MM hopes for support from both Trumpers (he voted to acquit) and anti-Trumpers (he expressed outrage). He will discover the opposite. Trump hates partial supporters. Supporters of democracy think him a hypocrite toadie. 
      • The experience of Trump shows that US democracy needs stronger guardrails against an autocratic President (or a runaway Congress, or a seriously out-of-touch Supreme Court).
      For "unity" to be possible, non-extremist Republicans need to be convinced en-masse that the election was fair: the count is accurate, and that Trump knowingly lied (or is dangerously delusional).

      Pelosi has called for study and hearings; Cruz called for a study of the election; McConnell called for a criminal investigation. There should be hearings, criminal investigations when needed, and a study of the election, and of all the major issues facing the country, looking squarely both at what needs to be done in the future and what Trump did during these last years. There should be a new look at the Mueller Investigation and what Mueller could not do because of restraints on his investigation.
      ***


      2021-02-12 (FRI FEB 12, 2021)


      US - EDITORIAL

      COUNSEL FOR TRUMP
      • have argued that Trump's speech on Jan 6, and in tweets before and after show that Trump was telling his supporters that he wanted peaceful demonstrations, and an election that is fair to all sides.

      In my opinion that is like arguing that Marc Antony's appearance before the crowd in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar was in support of Brutus and the assassins.

      Antony did say, Brutus is an honourable man.  He did say, Brutus said 'Caesar was ambitious.'

      He did say, I rather choose
      To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
      Than I will wrong such honourable men.

      He did say, Let but the commons hear this testament--
      Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read--
      ...

      I must not read it;
      It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.
      You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
      And, being men, bearing the will of Caesar,
      It will inflame you, it will make you mad:


      So, "clearly," Antony is trying to calm the mob: not reading the will which would inflame them; praising the assassins as honourable men. So he is not inciting the mob, he is on the side of calm deliberation of the acts of honourable men.

      Here's the whole text - 
      A section of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: Act III Scene II

      ANTONY
      Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
      I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
      The evil that men do lives after them;
      The good is oft interred with their bones;
      So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
      Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
      If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
      And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
      Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest--
      For Brutus is an honourable man;
      So are they all, all honourable men--
      Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
      He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
      But Brutus says he was ambitious;
      And Brutus is an honourable man.
      He hath brought many captives home to Rome
      Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
      Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
      When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
      Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
      Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
      And Brutus is an honourable man.
      You all did see that on the Lupercal
      I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
      Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
      Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
      And, sure, he is an honourable man.
      I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
      But here I am to speak what I do know.
      You all did love him once, not without cause:
      What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
      O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
      And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
      My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
      And I must pause till it come back to me.
      First Citizen
      Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.
      Second Citizen
      If thou consider rightly of the matter,
      Caesar has had great wrong.
      Third Citizen
      Has he, masters?
      I fear there will a worse come in his place.
      Fourth Citizen
      Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown;
      Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious.
      First Citizen
      If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
      Second Citizen
      Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.
      Third Citizen
      There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.
      Fourth Citizen
      Now mark him, he begins again to speak.
      ANTONY
      But yesterday the word of Caesar might
      Have stood against the world; now lies he there.
      And none so poor to do him reverence.
      O masters, if I were disposed to stir
      Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
      I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
      Who, you all know, are honourable men:
      I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
      To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
      Than I will wrong such honourable men.
      But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar;
      I found it in his closet, 'tis his will:
      Let but the commons hear this testament--
      Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read--
      And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds
      And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
      Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
      And, dying, mention it within their wills,
      Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
      Unto their issue.
      Fourth Citizen
      We'll hear the will: read it, Mark Antony.
      All
      The will, the will! we will hear Caesar's will.
      ANTONY
      Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;
      It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.
      You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
      And, being men, bearing the will of Caesar,
      It will inflame you, it will make you mad:
      'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs;
      For, if you should, O, what would come of it!
      Fourth Citizen
      Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony;
      You shall read us the will, Caesar's will.
      ANTONY
      Will you be patient? will you stay awhile?
      I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it:
      I fear I wrong the honourable men
      Whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar; I do fear it.
      Fourth Citizen
      They were traitors: honourable men!
      All
      The will! the testament!
      Second Citizen
      They were villains, murderers: the will! read the will.
      ANTONY
      You will compel me, then, to read the will?



      ***


      2021-02-10 (WED FEB 10, 2021)


      US

      THE IMPEACHMENT MANAGERS
      • have given a compelling exposition on how Trump spent months promoting his lie  that the election was stolen, and his meme, "Stop the Steal" in order to steal the election, himself;
        • and when all else failed, he incited the violent groups he had been cultivating to storm the Capitol in a last ditch attempt to delay or prevent the certification of Biden.
      • It was an attack on democracy:
      When the President lies
      Democracy dies.

       (THU JAN 28, 2021)


      US - XR - $$$

      GAMESTOP: FACTS, FAKES, FICTION, & REAL LIFE
      • Chatter on Reddit has apparently been the factor sending the stock price of several stocks, notably GAMESTOP, soaring amidst wild volatility.
      • Chatter on social media sites, some public, some secretive, helped fuel the January 6 assault on the Capitol with false narratives that the election was "stolen".
      • Years ago, Orson Welles' radio production of "War of the Worlds", presented as if news commentators were actually describing a real invasion of Earth, terrified many who believed it was real (at least until the commercial break).
      • FACTS are what happens - whether you know about it or not.
      • FICTION is the stories we tell, sometimes to understand facts, sometimes to imagine what would happen if something was a fact.
      • FAKES are statements or media designed to convince people that something is a fact, when it is not a fact, and they know it is not a fact.
        • FICTION and FAKES influence how we react to our experience. 
        • FICTION prepares us to act wisely. FAKES prepare us to act badly.
      • We need to know and understand FACTS in order to make good decisions about real life. 
      • Although Orson Welles knew he was doing a fictional story, and said so at the beginning of the broadcast, people who missed that notice were affected in Real Life.
        • (Orson Welles, by the way, later made a movie called, "F for Fake".)
      • The Internet has proven to be a very efficient method of spreading FAKES.
      • People who believed the narrative that the election was stolen were the victims of a FAKE. Those who promoted (or continue to promote) the FAKE were (are) deliberately generating bad consequences in Real Life.
      • The motives and story behind the chatter on buying and selling stocks like GAMESTOP are not known, but IF people think they are getting good information, and they are actually being fed FAKES, it could have very serious $$ consequences for some people in Real Life.
      ***


      2021-01-27 (WED JAN 27, 2021)


      US

      HOMELAND SECURITY
      • has issued a nation-wide alert:
      • "The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin due to 
        • a heightened threat environment across the United States, 
        • which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration. 
        • Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition,
          •  as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives,
        • could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence. "
      • Link:
      • https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/ntas/alerts/21_0127_ntas-bulletin.pdf

      ***


      2021-01-21 (THU JAN 21, 2021)


      US

      ON THE FIRST DAY
      • President Biden
        • Rejoined the World Health Organization (WHO) and is sending Dr. Fauci to the next meeting as head of the US Delegation.
        • Rejoined the Paris Climate Accord.
        • Directed non-citizens to be included in the census.
        • Changed immigration policies, creating a path to citizenship for many immigrants.
        • Ended restrictions on travel from "Muslim" countries.
        • Canceled the "1776 Commission" and changed some regulatory procedures.
        • Halted construction of the "border wall".
        • Had a genuine, old-fashioned Press Briefing, handled by the new Press Secretary.
      • Vice-President Harris 
        • Presided over the Senate for the first time.
        • Swore in three new Senators.
          • Thereby making the Senate 50-50, and with her tie-breaking vote making the Democrats the majority party in the Senate.
            • That made Senator Schumer the Majority Leader, able to set the agenda and schedule for the Senate.
      ***


      2021-01-20

      WED JAN 20, 2021

      12:01 PM 

      PRESIDENT JOSEPH R BIDEN






      ***

      US

      PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION 

      ***


      2021-01-14 (THU JAN 14, 2021)


      US

      IT'S JUST TWO WEEKS!  HERE'S A RECAP 
      • 01 FRI - HAPPY NEW YEAR'S DAY!
      • 02 SAT - President Trump calls the Secretary of State in Georgia and pressures him to "find" enough votes to to flip the state from Biden to Trump.
      • 03 SUN - The recording of Trump's call is released to the public.
      • 04 MON - Biden, Harris, Trump and others campaign in Georgia before the Senate runoff election.
      • 05 TUE - Runoff election in Georgia. Very close, but both Democratic candidates win. The Senate will be 50R - 50D. With Kamala Harris breaking the tie, the Democrats will narrowly hold control of the Senate.
      • 06 WED - As a joint session of Congress is counting the electoral votes a mob, incited by a Trump speech falsely claiming the election was stolen and asking them to "fight" and march to Congress, overwhelms the police and storms through Congress.
        • At least 5 people die
          • One is a female rioter trying to break in.
          • One is a policeman murdered by someone in the crowd.
        • There are cries of "Hang Pence".
        • There are anti-semitic and white power extremist slogans worn on people's clothing.
        • American flags are used as weapons.
        • Trump calls the rioters "patriots" and says he "loves" them.
          • Trump does nothing for hours to stop the rioters.
        • Congresspeople are ushered to safe rooms in the building.
          • Some Republican congressmen refuse to wear masks
          • Subsequently, several Congresspeople develop COVID .
        • After several hours, police reinforcements arise and expel the rioters.
      • 06 WED - After the rioters are expelled, BIDEN and Harris are certified by Congress as the President-Elect and Vice-President Elect.
        • A large group of Republican Congresspeople and a small group of Senators try to postpone the certification with specious denials of the validity of Biden's election.
      • 07 THU - As more and more information about the riot is revealed, the seriousness of the attack, the amount of deliberate planning that went into it, and the danger the Congresspeople faced becomes more and more evident.
      • 08 FRI - Senator Lindsey Graham, who expressed (mild) displeasure with the President and an acceptance of the result of the election is accosted by an angry mob at the airport.
      • 09 SAT - The House drafts an Article of Impeachment for "Incitement of Insurrection".
      • 11 MON - THE CORONAVIRUS
        • has caused more than 90 million cases world-wide;
        • has caused more than 1.9 million deaths world-wide;
        • has caused more than 22 million cases in the US;
        • has caused more than 383 thousand deaths in the US;
        • is getting worse.
      • 12 TUE - The House considers an Article of Impeachment,'
      • 13 WED - Donald J Trump is impeached for Incitement of Insurrection.
        • He is the only President to be impeached twice.
        • 10 Republicans join the Democrats in passing the resolution of impeachment
      • 14 THU - President-Elect Biden proposes an expansive stimulus and relief bill as millions remain unemployed, and unemployment filings are increasing.
      • Meanwhile, the stock market is doing well.

      ***


      2021-01-06 (WED JAN 6, 2021)


      US

      COUNTING! THE CONSTITUTION: from ARTICLE II SECTION 1
      • "The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President"
      • The Congress is not given the opportunity here in the Constitution to change the vote.
      • The President of the United States in the last few days
        • Cajoled, bullied, pressured, and tried to convince the Secretary of State in Georgia to change the vote count, citing "rumors" but no evidence to invalidate the election of the Biden electors.
        • Has been trying, according to reports, to invalidate the electoral college victory of Biden when the vote is counted in Congress, with action from Pence (the President of the Senate) and other Congresspersons and Senators.
      • Attempts by anyone, including a sitting President, to change election returns, or to circumvent the Constitution to change the results of a Presidential election, should be treated as an attempted coup and an attack on the United States, its Constitution, and on democracy itself.
        • In the case of a President, it would be a violation of the Constitutional Oath to "faithfully execute the office of President of the United States" and to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States".
        • It should be treated seriously, 
          • with consequences for anyone who participated in the attempted coup;
          • with legislation or constitutional changes to prevent any future similar attempt from even being contemplated.

      ***


      2021-01-05 (TUE JAN 5, 2021)


      US

      KENOSHA
      • No charges were filed against any police officers in the shooting of Jacob Blake.
      • This once again re-emphasizes the necessity of appropriate and stricter national standards for the use of guns, deadly force, no-knock warrants, and other tactics and violence by police on civilians, including easier prosecution and a wide range of measures to deter these tragedies.
      ***
       
      2021-01-01
       
      FRIDAY, JANUARY 1, 2021


      HOLIDAY

      HAAPPPPY NEW YEAR!!!

      A Happy New Year XR(tm)(card)

      https://www.qporitxr.com/hny

      This link should work in 2D in any browser.

      It should work in 3D VR in any VR headset,
      when viewed in a webXR enabled browser.

      It is optimized for the QUEST, viewed with the
      Oculus Browser or Firefox Reality.

      ***

      FOR EARLIER POSTS
      PLEASE SEE

      https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/10/qporit-xr-newsroom.html




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