Sunday, September 27, 2020
QPORIT XR DAILY NEWS - SEPTEMBER 2020
QPORIT XR DAILY NEWS
EXTENDED REALITY: TECHNOLOGY, CULTURE, WORLD
Quick Previews Of Random Interesting Things in XR News
2020-09-27 (SUN SEP 27, 2020)
- the Jewish Day of Atonement, a chance to start the Jewish Calendar new year with a clean slate,
- begins tonight at sundown.
2020-09-27 (SUN SEP 27, 2020)
THE NEW YORK TIMES
- has published a detailed analysis of Trump's tax returns.
- Among many findings: Trump has lost a lot of money, and is approaching a date for repaying a substantial amount in personal loans.
2020-09-25 (FRI SEP 25, 2020)
- has released a large collection of updates to its appliance products.
- The most noteworthy is an in-the-home robotic surveillance drone.
- Here's a video:
- Here's a story on other new products form Amazon:
2020-09-18/19 (FRI-SAT SEP 18/19, 2020)
- the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown on Fri, Sep 8 and continues through the following day. For Orthodox communities, the holiday is observed until sundown, Sep 20.
2020-09-18 (FRI SEP 18, 2020)
RUTH BADER GINSBERG RIP
No man (or woman) is an island
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each person's death diminishes me
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls...
It tolls for thee.
John Donne, 1624 (with modern edits in honor of RGB, a pioneering jurist)
2020-09-18 (FRI SEP 18, 2020)
- has gone public.
- Their initial IPO opened with a stock price of about $76, considerably higher than the pricing of about $52.
- That puts their current market cap at over $13 billion.
- Unity makes an engine to create interactive 2D and 3D applications and graphics, including games.
- Programming in Unity is with C#.
- The primary current target for applications made with Unity is mobile.
- EPIC's UNREAL ENGINE (UE) is the closest competitor to UNITY.
- UE is programmed with C / C++.
- UE applications tend to have higher resolution, be "bigger", more complex, more expensive to create, and have better graphics than Unity.
- UE applications' primary targets are PC's, console gaming, and Hollywood level media.
- Parenthetically, EPIC Games is the maker of the mega-hit Fortnight.
- They are also in an "epic" battle with Apple's and Google's charge to Epic for selling on the App Store (Apple) and the Play Store (Google).
- Epic currently has a market cap of more than $17 billion.
2020-09-17 (THU SEP 17, 2020)
- Americans have died from COVID-19.
- source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
- Trump's lies and misinformation, bad advice,
- mass election events without masks or distancing,
- encouragement of gun-toting demonstrations against masks and distancing,
- failure to contain infections from China, Europe, and elsewhere, arriving with travelers,
- pressure on science services to water down health recommendations,
- pressure to contain and hide accurate reporting,
- pressure to open schools and businesses before even watered-down recommendations were followed,
- and efforts to suppress testing
- were among the major factors facilitating the preventable deaths of many, many, many Americans.
- This would be terrible if Trump were just incompetent.
- But Trump knew. Pence knew. They were warned. Trump understood.
2020-09-16 (WED SEP 16, 2020)
FACEBOOK CONNECT (UPDATE)
- CONTINUES as I write this! Carmack will present at 5:30 Pacific 8:30 EST.
- The keynote
- confirmed everything good that was leaked about the Oculus 2;
- it is available now for pre-orders; October 13 for release;
- confirmed that Zuckerberg understands and appreciates the profound potential of XR;
- confirmed that Facebook Reality Labs is working hard on AR / MR.
- "VENUES", the next generation of Oculus Venues was available today to watch the presentations.
- The most disappointing aspect of today's presentations was that none was in VR.
- Venues allowed watching 2D framed presentations from a VR auditorium; but the presentations, not even those about live performance in VR, were in VR themselves.
2020-09-15 (TUE SEP 15, 2020)
ISRAEL and the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE)
- signed a peace agreement, normalizing relations.
- Israel previously had normalized relations with Egypt and Jordan.
- This agreement is part of a pattern of shifting alliances in the middle East.
- Iran is the center of the opposition to this new alliance.
- The Palestinians are opposed to the agreement.
- Saudi Arabia seems to tacitly support the agreement.
- Middle East diplomacy bristles with so much tension that even Wikipedia is having a dispute on the title of the article about the agreement.
A request that this article title be changed tois under discussion. Please do not move this article until the discussion is closed.
- held its Fall event today.
- It was a beautiful masterpiece of production.
- There was impressive, but for me a bit too much, self-congratulation.
- The event described updates in the Watch and the iPad.
- Other products, including the iPhone were barely mentioned.
- They will be describing updates to the operating systems tomorrow.
- The most interesting item was the announcement of an oxygen monitor in the new watch (Series 6).
- Oxygen monitoring is important because COVID-19 can create oxygen deficiencies without terribly obvious symptoms;
- some people have reportedly been seriously ill, with severe lung damage but an unrecognized oxygen deficiency, before they realized they were ill at all;
- many other oxygen monitoring systems that can be purchased online do not work well.
- The lineup of iPads and Watches also benefited from significant power boosts due to new chip sets.
- The new A14 chip in iPad Air uses 5 nanometer technology, which is cutting edge chip technology.
- Apple also introduced a new service, Fitness+, which provides custom training coupled to watch apps.
- Pricing seems generally modest.
- Apple now has a bundle, allowing several Apple services, including TV+, to be paid for all together.
- Here is a replay of the Apple event:
2020-09-14 (MON SEP 14, 2020)
- holds its Fall event tomorrow, Tuesday (2020-09-15 - 10 AM PDT, 1:00 PM EST).
- Usually, new iPhones, iPads, watches, and other hardware and software will be announced.
- Two of the most interesting announcements would be 5G on their iPhone, and any word of their plans for XR.
- Apple seems most interested in AR (currently with AR software for iPads and iPhones), and MR, (with new glasses reportedly in development).
- They seem less interested in VR.
- Apple's branding seems to be. to call this "Simulated Reality" , or (SR).
- AR software from Apple includes
- Reality Composer and
- Reality Converters
- Also, Apple recently purchased NEXT VR, a pioneering company in webcasting live events in VR.
- holds its annual
OculusFacebook Connect event on Wednesday (2020-09-16).
- Facebook is starting to bury the "Oculus" Brand, which it now applies only to the headset devices (if at all).
- All XR activities are now included (subsumed) in FACEBOOK REALITY LABS (FRL).
- They are phasing out Oculus logins, with Facebook logins required for all new users and all new headsets.
- Software features that may be announced include:
- A new VENUES.
- A new VR social space: HORIZONS.
- There will be a major new headset release: the QUEST 2 has been leaked ahead of Connect 7. It features
- upgraded resolution ("almost" 2k x 2k per eye) and
- a very powerful new chip (Qualcomm Snapdragon XR 2)
- backward compatibility
- old QUEST games will still play on QUEST 2
- and for now the old QUEST can use (most?) QUEST 2 apps
- the possibility of new apps that utilize the special power of the XR 2 chip.
- a low price, $299; up to 256 G storage at a higher price.
- Here's a video that describes the new QUEST 2:
2020-09-09 (WED SEP 9, 2020)
- has released excerpts from his new book, including recordings of the President on-the-record.
- Trump states that he deliberately misled the public on the severity of COVID-19.
- In other public statements Trump has said he deliberately impeded the development of testing procedures.
- He has publicly praised demonstrators openly carrying guns who have demonstrated against social distancing and against masks.
- His own rallies feature no social distancing and few masks.
- As of today, more than 6.5 million people in the US have been confirmed to have been sickened.
- Accurate testing would confirm many, many more (since spot checks indicate that in some areas at least 4 to 25% of the population would actually test positive if tested).
- According to one report, more than 70,000 children have been sickened.
- Schools, camps, and colleges opening without enough protection have been, and continue to be a major source of possible new infections.
- At the current mortality rate, within a week, there will be more than 200,000 Americans dead of COVID-19.
- Is this criminal negligence?
- Every life matters.
- Every American should be outraged at this threat to American health, life, and national security.
- "...Any man's death diminishes me... -- John Donne (~1624)."
- Trump seems not to care about US.
2020-09-09 (WED SEP 9, 2020)
UPDATE: THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES
- has published the new rules for the BEST PICTURE Oscars:
2020-09-08 (TUE SEP 8, 2020)
THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES
- has established some new rules for the Oscars:
"The Academy will encourage equitable hiring practices and representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the film community. To ensure more diverse representation, and in collaboration with the Producers Guild of America (PGA), the Academy will create a task force ... to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by July 31, 2020. Eligibility for films in consideration for the 93rd Academy Awards® (2020) will not be impacted.
Beginning with the 94th Academy Awards (2021), the Best Picture category will be set at 10 nominees, rather than a fluctuating number of nominations from year to year. The Academy will also implement a quarterly viewing process through the Academy Screening Room, the streaming site for Academy members, also starting with the 94th Academy Awards. By making it possible for members to view films released year-round, the Academy will broaden each film’s exposure, level the playing field, and ensure all eligible films can be seen by voting members."
2020-09-07 (MON SEP 7, 2020)
HAPPY LABOR DAY!
- TRADITIONALLY, Labor Day marks the end of "summer" and the next day is the beginning of the Fall Season, for school, for film & theater, and - every four years -- for the home stretch of the Presidential election.
- Vote early (if possible), vote once (no more, no less!)
- And... Be sure to BE COUNTED IN THE CENSUS.
2020-09-05 (SAT SEP 5, 2020)
IT'S THE FIRST SATURDAY IN
MAY (oops) SEPTEMBER
KENTUCKY DERBY DAY
- *** ***
- UPDATE (2020-09-06)
- AUTHENTIC, leading from shortly after the start to the finish, held off the favorite, TIZ THE LAW, to win the Kentucky Derby.
- It was the third Kentucky Derby win for Jockey John Velazquez.
- It was the sixth! Derby win for trainer Bob Baffert.
- TIZ THE LAW finished second.
- Long shot MR. BIG NEWS finished third.
- *** ***
- The Kentucky Derby, postponed from its normal date, will be held today.
- Post time is about 7:00 PM ET.
- The heavy favorite is TIZ THE LAW.
- Quick, make your Mint Julep before the race starts.
I've always tried to have a mint julep (MJ) on KD day. That's how I discovered Ruth Reichl (for a while the NYT food critic). In the early 90's she was a food critic in LA. On a business trip I knew I would be somewhere south of LA on derby day. I needed my MJ. I noticed an article she had written in the LA Times Magazine about new fine restaurants in California, and I found one that was near where I'd be. When I went there on KD day, they didn't know how to make a mint julep, but they were nice enough to try to follow my instructions, and when the first one didn't quite work, tried again and came up with something memorable, together with a really good meal. I've followed R Reichl ever since.
Here's how you make a wicked MJ. Boil a little bit of water and then put it in a cup with some washed and dried, torn up, fresh, nice looking mint leaves, to create a strong mint tea. (Note: Mint leaves are not always that easy to get, and when you get a bunch, many leaves are often wilted, or blackened. It's important to select the best leaves even if that is only a fraction of the bunch of mint in the package.)
(Experimental Note: This year I am going to try to make the crushed ice from frozen mint tea!)
Add quite a bit of sugar. (Optionally -- ideally, in fact -- some sugar could be substituted with a half jigger of a sweet liqueur like Cointreau, Drambuie, or Grand Marnier.) Add about a half jigger of a good Kentucky Bourbon. (After trying quite I few, I found that my favorite is definitely Maker's Mark.) Add this mixture with some additional torn up, fresh, nice looking mint leaves to ice in a crusher.
Crush the mixture of sweetened mint tea, and bourbon to make a tall glass worth of flavored crushed ice. Take a tall, chilled glass, add a long straw, fill the glass with the crushed ice, and then pour in a jigger more bourbon to fill up the cracks. Turn on the pre-race show, and enjoy it!
(Note: Don't drive or ride a horse or car or operate heavy machinery after this (it's strong); don't ingest with anything that will exceed your tolerance for total number of chemicals in the body! If you drink, substitute the driver!)
It's matter of taste what you eat with the drink, if anything. My own preference is Greek or similar appetizers. In the New York area, Molyvos probably has the best selection of appetizers I know of. Near Carnegie Hall, they do provide food to go if that's how you want to enjoy the Derby.
I enjoy the race, by the way, but to make the race better (since it only lasts two minutes, after all), enhancing it with slow motion replays and particular horses isolated in the picture (the more the better) is a way of greatly extending the experience. I hope the TV broadcast does a lot of that.