Nvidia’s GTC conference is over, but if you want to see what’s coming with AI, including generative AI like ChatGPT, robotics, autonomous electric cars and the metaverse, it’s worth watching the keynote by CEO Jensen Huang. Is.

A large part of Nvidia’s success comes from its work on Metaverse, which comes at a time when Facebook, which has changed its name to Meta, has largely failed to bring a successful Metaverse product to market.

Let’s take a look at why Nvidia’s metaverse effort was wildly successful, while Facebook turned out to be one of the costliest failures in tech history. We’ll end with our product of the week, a Chromebook from HP that just might be the best Chromebook ever.

Nvidia’s Metaverse Success

Nvidia has been working on elements of the Metaverse for about 28 years. It has focused almost exclusively on the commercial market as the business sector would derive significant financial benefits from the Metaverse. Not only is the commercial market more willing to pay for an expensive device, but the resulting potential savings will also substantially offset the initial high price of any new technology.

After all, to begin with, there were corporate devices on PC volumes. Initially due to their high cost, the consumer market for PCs did not emerge until much later. Microsoft did something similar with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and HoloLens, which initially allowed it to outperform peers like Google Glass.

Nvidia – whose metaverse tool is called Omniverse – also quickly realized that it could not build its own metaverse tool alone, so it partnered with several companies to build both specialized workstations and servers and deploy the results. critical services required for

Whenever Nvidia talks about its ubiquitous success, the conversation involves the vast number of partners that were, are and will be necessary to ensure positive results for an offering that is highly integrated with the real world.

Mainly through its GTC events, Nvidia has fueled interest and training in this area. Over time, it has built a comprehensive set of tools that help developers create their own metaverse instances and populate them with content. Regarding that material, Nvidia has piloted a universal design language to enable high-speed creation of virtual objects to fulfill Nvidia’s Metaverse vision.

Facebook’s Metaverse Failure

Facebook didn’t really start to ramp into the metaverse until 2019, nearly 25 years after Nvidia began its effort. Facebook seems to be focusing more on consumers than businesses with its approach. Consumers are very cost- and material-oriented. You can deploy a corporate tool with some uses, but consumers want value and breadth, and unlike businesses, they can’t offset the cost of the product with the cost savings, at least not in this area.

To be successful, Facebook will need to be more comprehensive in terms of content, cheaper in terms of price and related services, and better than Nvidia in terms of ease of use compared to those used by consumers. more for those who are interacting as part of the technology. their job.

Facebook mostly tried to go it alone and quickly incurred the exorbitant costs associated with building a metaverse, which appeared to drive down Facebook’s valuation and eventually led to mass layoffs.

The company demonstrated that the cost of creating a new market is too high for any company to go it alone, even one that was once as profitable as Facebook. You need partners, developers, and others to help cover development costs because no single company has the resources or money needed to build an ecosystem, and the metaverse requires a deep ecosystem.

Since Facebook is primarily funded through advertising, it should be, but it is not a marketing specialist. It doesn’t seem like it’s been able to create demand for its products, which should be a huge red flag for other advertisers because it means Facebook isn’t good for marketing. It is like a toolmaker who never used the tool he made.

This lack of capacity not only crippled efforts like Facebook’s Metaverse, but it also hurt related efforts like VR headsets. What amounts to a marketing superpower but not understanding how or when to use it would be uniquely silly of Facebook if it weren’t for the fact that Google has the exact same problem.

While companies that don’t use their own technology are anything new, they usually fail, but even when they underperform, these companies make crazy profits.

wrapping up

So, nvidia was successful, and facebook/meta not. Nvidia worked on the effort for decades, building a strong and deep partner system encompassing all aspects of the product, co-developing with the customers who would use it, and using it heavily during the development process itself. Thus, when the Omniverse came out, it was a winner because the company had rigorously developed a foundation for that success.

Facebook’s failure resulted from the company trying to go too fast and alone. It never felt like it tried to offer a product that would be acceptable to its consumer audience, development costs overwhelmed the company’s resources, and it seemed to be losing track of its destination .

Launching a marketplace isn’t quick or easy. It may seem like it in the end, but it takes decades of work to ultimately ensure success. It took Nvidia time, effort, and an ecosystem-building strategy that resulted in its massive success. Facebook missed that meeting, and even though it knew better than it did for a more consumer-oriented metaverse, it failed to execute.

Comparing the two companies shows a long-term strategic plan, partners and a clear idea of ​​where you want to be. It also shows that for technologies like the metaverse, the commercial market is a far better place to start than the consumer market.

tech product of the week

hp dragonfly pro chromebook

Last week I talked about the HP Dragonfly Pro Windows notebook, but today, I want to talk about its counterpart, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook.

This Chromebook is arguably the successor to the older Google Pixelbook, which didn’t sell well, but focused on providing a premium Chromebook for those who wanted a more Apple-like experience, but with ChromeOS, not macOS.

Created in close collaboration between Google and Intel, this Chromebook is a one-of-a-kind offering. It’s an Intel Evo device which means fewer problems and higher reliability due to the extra quality control steps the Evo promises.

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook, ChromeOS, 14-inch, Touch Screen, Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, WQXGA, Sparkling Black

The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook in Sparkling Black features a 14″ touch display, 16GB of memory, and a 256GB SSD. (Image credit: HP)

Externally, the sparkling black colored Chromebook looks almost identical to the Dragonfly Pro Windows product we covered last week. It’s got a similar finish, built with a heavy focus on sustainability, as well as:

  • long battery life;
  • Good performance – although the Windows AMD-based offering has more power;
  • a high-quality, backlit keyboard;
  • fingerprint recognition;
  • 1,200-nit outdoor viewable display; And
  • The same new high-performance charger seen on Windows laptops. (Be aware that these chargers work poorly on airplanes, and you’ll want a three-prong extension cord for use on an airplane.)

HP’s Dragonfly Pro Chromebook has longer battery life and a far brighter display than its Windows peer, but lacks facial recognition, which is common in most mid- to high-end Windows laptops.

This device is for those who really like the ChromeOS experience but are tired of the cheap hardware that surrounds that platform. As a result, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook, with a list price of $999.99, is my product of the week.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

Meta is taking a law enforcement intelligence company to court for collecting data about users of its Facebook and Instagram properties.

The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, alleges that Voyager Labs, an international scraping and monitoring service, improperly collected data from those properties through fake accounts that flouted the terms and conditions for use of the platform. is a violation.

In a January 12 post on Meta’s newsroom site, Jessica Romero, director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation, explained that Voyager’s proprietary software uses fake accounts to scrape data accessible to a user who is logged in to Facebook.

They said Voyager used a diverse system of computers and networks in different countries to hide its activity and thwart Meta’s efforts to verify fake accounts.

Romero wrote that Voyager did not compromise Facebook; Instead, it used fake accounts to scramble publicly viewable information.

“Web scraping is legal — if you’re scraping publicly available information,” observed Liz Miller, vice president and a principal analyst at Constellation Research, a technology research and advisory firm in Cupertino, California.

“In Meta’s case against Voyager Labs, the issue is the creation of a fake Facebook account, which was used for the purpose of data collection,” Miller told TechNewsWorld.

scrapping industry

Romero wrote that Meta is seeking a permanent injunction against Voyager to protect people from scraping-for-hire services.

“Companies like Voyager are part of an industry that provides scraping services to anyone, regardless of the target users and for what purpose, which includes profiling people for criminal behavior,” he continued.

“This industry secretly collects information that people share with their community, family and friends, without oversight or accountability, and in a way that can affect people’s civil rights,” she said.

“These services operate across multiple platforms and national borders and preventing the misuse of these capabilities requires a collective effort from platforms, policy makers and civil society.”

Voyager was not immediately available for comment on this story. However, a spokesperson told The Guardian in the past: “As a company, we comply with the laws of all countries in which we do business. We also trust those with whom we do business to comply with the law.” There are public and private organizations that follow.”

Meta Business Matters

While META emphasizes its efforts to protect people, it also has business ideas that need to be protected.

“Sadly, from Meta’s point of view the problem is not really about data scraping. The point is that Voyager did not pay Meta to do this,” KnowBe4, a security awareness training provider in Clearwater, Fla. Roger Grimes, a defense campaigner for the U.S., argued.

“If Voyager had paid, the meta would have been very happy,” Grimes told TechNewsworld.

Vincent Reynolds, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Emerson College in Boston, explained that data is at the heart of the business model for social media companies.

“The data that users produce is reused by these platforms for advertising,” Raynauld told TechNewsWorld. “It’s at the core of their business model.”

“With this lawsuit,” he continued, “they are trying to protect their business model. They want to take control of the data they have and prevent other companies from using the data.”

“When they see researchers or other companies scraping data, they see business opportunities go away,” he said.

Raynauld said, “There is a clear intention by the Meta to protect its assets here.” “It’s a shot across the bow of marketers and researchers.”

common practice, common problem

Scraping social media sites for data is a common practice.

“It is common for social media sites, from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter or LinkedIn, to scrape publicly available and viewable data,” Miller said.

“Advertisers and marketers commonly use it to track trends, target audiences, or create audience profiles,” she continued. “If you’ve ever compared prices on a site so that you can get a product at the best price, you’ve likely benefited from bot-based web scraping.”

Miller said most social scraping is for rather benign uses, but exceptions exist, such as bots deployed for ad fraud, traffic scams, identity takeover and account hacking.

“The scraping is probably much worse than anyone realized, including Meta,” Grimes said. “I’m sure hundreds if not thousands of data scraping operations are targeting social media sites every day.”

“It’s probably so bad,” he continued, “that Meta only has time to worry about the biggest and most revenue-damaging examples.”

Minimizing Unethical Scraping

Grimes said combating shady data scraping is a big problem. “It’s like phishing and password-guessing,” he said. “Vendors can’t hope to stop it. The best they can try to do is identify the easiest and stop the most prominent examples.

Miller said that most social media platforms have placed constraints through their terms and conditions of use to reduce malicious scraping.

“But what many want to subtract is non-malicious scraping, which forces organizations to turn to, for example, Meta, some of the insights that social scraping can provide,” she said.

Romero wrote that meta is one of the tools used to combat scraping. “We have also invested in technical teams and tools that monitor and detect suspicious activity and use unauthorized automation for scraping,” she explained.

“This focus on scraping is part of our ongoing work to protect people’s privacy,” she said. “In the coming months, we plan to discuss some of the other measures we are actively using to prevent scraping.”

legal whack-a-mole

Until those additional measures are disclosed to combat malicious scraping, litigation may be the most effective means of cracking down on the practice.

“Being sued is a huge motivator not to do it,” Grimes observed. “Who wants to be sued by a tech giant? You can spend millions for the first day of a court hearing, even if you did nothing wrong and are completely in the right.

“That’s the nature of lawsuits, especially in the US, where the loser often doesn’t have to pay the winner’s fees,” he said.

“Lawsuits are like getting a big hammer when playing whack-a-mole,” Miller said. “You can take one out of the game, but another malicious mole will likely pop back up.”

“But, in the absence of a law or a rule making scraping publicly available data illegal,” she continued, “the goal is to reduce them with litigation costs.”

Meta on Tuesday took a step towards abandoning its policy of removing misinformation about COVID from its platform.

The company, which owns Facebook and Instagram, is asking its oversight board for an advisory opinion on whether measures to eliminate dangerous COVID-19 misinformation should be continued or revised.

In an online posting, META’s president for global affairs Nick Clegg explained that the company’s harmful information policies were expanded at the start of the pandemic in 2020 to remove entire categories of false claims worldwide. Prior to that time, content was removed from Meta’s platform only if it contributed to the risk of imminent physical harm.

“As a result,” Clegg wrote, “meta has removed COVID-19 misinformation on an unprecedented scale. Globally, more than 25 million pieces of content have been removed since the start of the pandemic.”

However, Meta suggests that it may be time to change its COVID misinformation policy.

“We are requesting an advisory opinion from the Oversight Board as to whether META’s current measures to address COVID-19 misinformation under our Harmful Health Misinformation Policy are appropriate, or whether we should be able to disseminate this misinformation through other means. should be addressed, such as labeling or demoting it, either directly or through our third-party fact-checking program,” Clegg said.

fading emergency

Meta’s COVID misinformation policies were adopted during a state of emergency that called for drastic measures, said Will Duffield, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a Washington, DC think tank whose vice president, John Sample, oversight on the board. Yes, explained. “Now, three years later, the spirit of emergency has faded,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“There’s a lot of health information out there,” he said. “If people believe ridiculous things about the efficacy of vaccines or certain treatments, it’s more on them now and less of a consequence of a mixed information environment where people don’t yet know what’s true.”

“This was an unprecedented step to entrust the policy to global health organizations and local health authorities,” he said. “At some point, some of them had to be clawed back. You can’t have a state of emergency that lasts forever so it’s an effort to start unwinding the process.”

global impact

Is the opening process starting too soon?

“In the developed world, vaccinations are almost universal. As a result, while caseloads remain high, the number of serious illness and deaths is quite low,” said Dan Kennedy, a professor of journalism at Northeastern University in Boston.

“But in the rest of the world, where there are countries where Facebook is a bigger deal than the US, the emergency is nowhere close to being over,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“While many countries are taking steps to return to more normal lives, this does not mean the pandemic is over,” said Beth Hoffman, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Public Health. .

“A major concern is that removing the current policy will particularly harm areas of the world with low vaccination rates and fewer resources to respond to the rise in new forms or new forms,” ​​she told TechNewsWorld.

Clegg acknowledged the global implications of any policy changes META makes. “It is critical that any policy meta-implementation is appropriate to the full range of circumstances that countries find themselves in,” he wrote.

Sand. line in

Meta wants to draw a line in the sand, maintained Karen Kovacs North, director of the Annenberg program on online communities at the University of Southern California. “They say there is no imminent physical harm, the way there was at the beginning of the pandemic,” she told TechNewsWorld.

“If there is no imminent bodily harm, they don’t want to set a precedent for stern action,” he said.

Clegg noted in his posting that Meta is fundamentally committed to free expression and believes its apps are an important way for people to make their voices heard.

“But resolving the inherent tension between free expression and security is not easy, especially when faced with unprecedented and rapidly growing challenges, as we have lived in the pandemic,” he continued.

“Therefore we are taking the advice of the Oversight Board in this matter,” he wrote. “Its guidance will also help us respond to future public health emergencies.”

Meta says it wants to balance free speech with the spread of misinformation, so it makes sense that it would rethink its COVID policy, said Mike Horning, an associate professor of multimedia journalism at Virginia Tech University. Told.

“While they remain concerned about misinformation, it is also good to see that they are concerned about how the policy could affect free speech,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Backlash from content removal

Horning said removing Covid misinformation could improve Meta’s image among some of its users. “Removal policies can be effective in slowing the spread of misinformation, but it can also create new problems,” he said.

“When people have deleted their posts, more conspiracy theorists see that as confirmation meta is trying to suppress some of the information,” he continued. “So removing the content may limit the number of people viewing the misinformation, leading some to view the company as unfair or biased.”

The effectiveness of removing COVID misinformation may even exceed its expiration date. “One study found that when COVID misinformation controls were first implemented, there was a 30% reduction in the distribution of misinformation,” Duffield said.

“Over time, misinformation peddlers shifted to talking about other conspiracy theories or found coded ways to talk about COVID and COVID skeptics,” he continued. “So initially it had an effect, but over time that effect lessened.”

North notes that some methods of controlling misinformation may seem weak, but may be more effective than simply removing the content. “Removing content can be out-of-the-box. Content is removed so people try to post it in a different way to trick the algorithms,” she explained.

“When you de-index it or reduce its exposure,” she continued, “it’s very hard for a poster to know how much exposure it’s getting so it can be very effective.”

profiting from misinformation

While META declares the noblest objectives to be to change its COVID misinformation policy, there may be some bottom-line concerns influencing the move.

“Content moderation is a burden for these companies,” said Vincent Reynolds, an assistant professor in the department of communication studies at Emerson College in Boston.

“Any time you remove content from your platform, there’s a cost associated with that,” he told TechNewsWorld. “When you drop content, you are more likely to get more content creation and engagement with that content.”

“There are a lot of studies showing that misinformation generates a lot of engagement, and for these companies, user engagement is money,” he said.