Breaking Reality: The future of perception

I am. I call VR and AR “almost teleportation devices”.  Just imagine what it would be like to instantaneously experience something happening on the other side of the world. Maybe it’s something beautiful, like cherry blossoms blooming in Tokyo. Or maybe it’s something difficult, like befriending a family in poverty in Africa. You will be able to “transport” yourself to places we now only see on the news through video. They will be rendered and interacting with us in holographic form in our living rooms, as we will in theirs.

I wonder, will we continue to tolerate suffering or brutality of any kind when it’s happening in our living room? Will we be able to demonize people who we are sharing tea with in our kitchen? Or at least meeting with (dancing with) at citywide sister-city gatherings? Will AR/VR help us understand each other better? Will we empathize more?

It’s not difficult to pretend that children from other cultures aren’t like our children, but I believe It is hardly possible if you watch them growing, see their parents loving them, and understand how they come to be who they are.

via Breaking Reality: The future of perception.

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Jealousy, Greed, and Soccer Moms: Exploring the ‘Great Beanie Baby Bubble’ of the 90s | VICE | United States

What happened? What caused these people to think Beanie Babies were so valuable?
Ty had been a very successful toy salesman. In 1994, he released the first Beanie Babies. And at first, nothing happened. Retailers thought they looked cheap. They worried that they were too inexpensive and would cannibalize sales. So at first it was very, very hard for [Beanie Babies] to get it going at all. But Ty Warner was just really convinced that this was the product that was gonna put him on the map. The guy who did his distribution in Canada remembers Ty summoning him into his office in Westmont, Illinois. Ty reaches into his desk and pulls out the prototype for Legs the Frog, and says, “From now on, every dime we have goes into this.”

When I first heard that, I thought it was fake, like a line from a movie. But other people said the same thing. His girlfriend at the time recalled him showing Legs the Frog to her daughters and throwing it in the air, saying, “Can you believe how fun this is?” He’d bring prototypes to their family dinners and ask the daughters to name them. His girlfriend would say, “We’re just trying to eat dinner,” and Ty would say, “We can eat after the toys have names.” So nothing really happened with them at first, but Ty was just… very perfectionistic. He’d spend several hours over every animal. He used to brush the hair on each toy before it shipped. And that obsession didn’t change after a piece was released. He would take an animal after it had been released, and he’d change the design on it because he decided it didn’t look right. Peanut the Elephant, in 1995, was this royal blue color. They shipped a few thousand, not that many. Then Ty decide that instead of this royal blue color it should be a baby blue color. So Ty started to change stuff, and no one really cared.

Then, all of a sudden, Beanie Babies started to develop a following among kids from suburban Chicago. The mothers started collecting them; a lot of this was tied into this soccer mom culture of the 1990s, much of which was centered around consumerism. The Beanie Babies were sort of the apotheosis of this. These women started to get really into it, started trying to assemble complete sets of Beanie Babies. As they went from store to store, calling around, they started to realize there are all these weird variations. Like they would find that he had changed the design on Teddy the Bear. So they started to pay higher prices for the variations. And the word of these higher prices got out. An economist once said that “there is nothing so dangerous to one’s sense of self as to see a good friend get rich.” And so it was that these stories of a relatively small group of people paying increasingly higher prices for the rarest Beanie Babies turned this into a phenomenon with no major marketing and no major stores.

via Jealousy, Greed, and Soccer Moms: Exploring the ‘Great Beanie Baby Bubble’ of the 90s | VICE | United States.

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Augmented Reality Helmet Startup Daqri Nabs Former SpaceX, Qualcomm And Virgin Group Execs | TechCrunch

Daqri, an AR smart helmet startup, is growing its leadership board significantly today while it continues testing its device. The company is adding three new executive positions today: Mike Lynch, who most recently tackled talent acquisition and human resources at SpaceX, will be joining Daqri as chief human potential officer; Roy Ashok, a former product management leader at Qualcomm, will be coming aboard as chief product officer; and Patrick Alo, a marketing leader from Virgin Group, will be appointed as chief marketing officer.

These latest hires will give Daqri improved flexibility as it looks to aggressively hire top talent and expand the company’s brand presence in the enterprise community.

via Augmented Reality Helmet Startup Daqri Nabs Former SpaceX, Qualcomm And Virgin Group Execs | TechCrunch.

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BofA: The Oil Crash Is Kicking Off One of the Largest Wealth Transfers in Human History – Bloomberg Business

Economists are still hotly debating whether the oil crash has been a net positive for advanced economies.
Optimists argue that cheap oil is a good thing for consumers and commodity-sensitive businesses, while pessimists point to the hit to energy-related investment and possible spillover into the financial system.
A new note from Francisco Blanch at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, however, puts the oil move into a much bigger perspective, arguing that a sustained price plunge “will push back $3 trillion a year from oil producers to global consumers, setting the stage for one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history.”

via BofA: The Oil Crash Is Kicking Off One of the Largest Wealth Transfers in Human History – Bloomberg Business.

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From Kasserine to Tunis: Protests spread across Tunisia

TUNIS – Police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters demanding jobs in the impoverished Tunisian city of Kasserine on Wednesday, as smaller demonstrations broke out in the capital and at least eight other towns, residents said.

Crowds burned tyres and chanted “Work, freedom, dignity” during a second day of demonstrations that erupted in the central city after an unemployed man killed himself, apparently after he was rejected for a job.

The death evoked memories of Tunisia’s 2011 “Arab Spring” uprising that broke out when a struggling young market vendor committed suicide, unleashing a wave of anger that forced longtime leader Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali to flee and inspiring mass protests across the Arab world.

On Tuesday, authorities declared a curfew in the city of Kasserine. The Interior Ministry said 20 protesters and three police officers had been injured in the clashes.

Residents said young people also took to the streets on Wednesday in Seliana, Tahala, Feriana and Sbiba, El Fahs, Kairouan, and Sousse, as well as the capital Tunis, where several hundred marched on the city’s central Habib Bourguiba Avenue.

Despite a shift to democracy since the toppling of Ben Ali, many Tunisians worry more about unemployment, high living costs and the ongoing marginalisation of rural towns – all factors that helped fuel the 2011 uprising.

via From Kasserine to Tunis: Protests spread across Tunisia.

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Internet of Things in 2016: 6 Stats Everyone Should Know — The Motley Fool

Networking giant Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) estimates that the number of connected devices worldwide will rise from 15 billion today to 50 billion by 2020. Intel is even more bullish, claiming that over 200 billion devices will be connected by then.

All those connected devices will need optimized networking hardware, software, and processors. Cisco has introduced scalable solutions for deploying IoT systems, created analytics systems that analyze the accumulated data, and beefed up its cybersecurity portfolio to counter new threats. Intel and Qualcomm have both launched low-power IoT chips for wearables, drones, and other connected devices.

via Internet of Things in 2016: 6 Stats Everyone Should Know — The Motley Fool.

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Iran sanctions: Middle East stock crash wipes £27bn off markets as Tehran enters oil war – Telegraph

Stock markets across the Middle East saw more than £27bn wiped off their value as the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran threatened to unleash a fresh wave of oil onto global markets that are already drowning in excess supply.
All seven stock markets in the Gulf states tumbled as panic gripped traders. London shares are now braced for a second wave of crisis to hit when they open on Monday morning after contagion from China sent the FTSE 100 to its worst start in history last week.
Dubai’s DFM General Index closed down 4.65pc to 2,684.9, while Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index, the largest Arab market, collapsed by 7pc intraday, before recovering to end down 5.44pc at 5,520.41, its lowest level in almost five years.

via Iran sanctions: Middle East stock crash wipes £27bn off markets as Tehran enters oil war – Telegraph.

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