Websnare Blog
Virtual reality is a computer-generated environment that lets you experience a different reality. A VR headset fits around your head and over your eyes, and visually separates you from whatever space you're physically occupying. Images are fed to your eyes from two small lenses. They can be powered by an app on your phone or hooked up to a computer. Now here is something to get excited about. Through VR you can virtually visit different countries, encounter dinosaurs and animals in the wild, and experience a movie or video game as if you were part of it.
 
VR has become a place to view films, concerts and theatrical experiences that surround you. New cameras are being created to capture these stories. Obviously, video games are one of the main applications for virtual reality as of today. But, VR will give game designers the freedom to take games to to the next level. Players can just reach out and touch things, and turn their head to look, instead of mastering a complex controller. Consumers can view properties or go shopping for clothes without leaving their home. Students could take a class trip to 'virtually' anywhere, or try an open-heart surgery without any risks. These simulations could offer practice runs at techniques, designs and ideas.
 
Virtual tourism is the next best thing to being there. You could visit Europe, the Moon, or the bottom of the ocean. The technology used is 360-degree video from multiple angled cameras that someone shot, or a computationally generated 3D simulation, One day, you may be able to explore your own memories as well — imagine recording them with a 360-degree camera, then looking around to see what you missed in the moment.
 
Have you tried VR? 
 
 

The 2016 U.S. presidential campaign taught us all a lot about how the web can influence people's opinions. Misinformation is fast, easy, and cheap to produce; super profitable; and capable of severely impacting public perception of candidates.  

Obviously not something that we at Websnare, who create and distribute web content, were excited to see revealed.

But every problem represents an opportunity. And true to form, web designers, product designers, and developers worldwide have jumped at the opportunity to fix this particular broken window. Here's just a small sampling:

  • Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg called the percentage of fake news “relatively small,” but went on to outline 7 steps Facebook is taking to help fight misinformation.
  • A group of university students has built a Chrome plugin called FiB that labels news stories as “verified” or “unverified” right inside the Facebook UI.
  • Google and Facebook have both stated that they’ll limit the flow of ad dollars to fake news sites via their advertising tools.
  • Popular Twitter account Saved You A Click launched a spinoff called Saved You A Trick to identify fake news stories.

Ultimately, the more programmatic methods and monetary methods proposed by Facebook, Google, and the FiB team will prove the most scalable and effective. But more human methods like a stronger commitment to journalistic ethics and tools and resources designed to help people be better readers will undoubtedly be needed as well.

Because as with any attempt to control the flow of information, there’s always the possibility of control being exercised the wrong way. And that means it’s ultimately up to us to stop the creation and spread of misinformation.

 

A conversational interface is any UI that imitates chatting with a real human. Right now, there are two basic types of conversational interfaces. There are voice assistants, which you talk to, and there are chatbots, which you type to. 

Almost every major tech company has its own voice assistant. Apple has Siri, Google has OK Google, Amazon has Echo, Microsoft has Cortana, and so on. All of these voice assistants allow you to do things like play music, do a search, call someone, set an alarm, and more—just by speaking. Facebook has M, a human-assisted chatbot who lives within Messenger and can do anything for you from book a dinner reservation to buy you a car. 

Conversational interfaces work well everywhere, including smartphones, desktops, smartwatches, and even devices without screens at all. They can integrate with services like Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat, or run just in a text message window. Conversational interfaces also mean that every single function in an app or service no longer needs to be buried in a menu, or represented by an icon.

In the past, we would point at a symbol representing what we want a computer to do, and then it does it. For example, clicking an icon to open an app. With conversational interfaces, computers and humans can finally speak the same language.

The use of smart devices is projected to reach 50 billion by 2020, according to Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group. With so many smart devices and the availability of easy to use hacking software, home-targeted cybercrime is a growing problem.

 

Here are tips on how you can protect yourself from cyber scum:

1. Change the default setting on your smart device.

Manufacturers add convenience by shipping devices with default settings enabled. When enabling a new smart device, change the default settings at initial start-up.

2. Update passwords at least once a year.

Multiple passwords are unavoidable. Make sure to change your passwords each year. Never use names, address or birthdays, or easy to guess passwords. While it is easy for you to remember, it's also easy to hack. It is equivalent to leaving the key under your mat.

3. Add an extra authentication protocol.

Bulk up your security with an extra step for gaining access. The added security layer could be a one-time pin you receive by text. Or, it could be biometric authentication, which relies on a unique thumbprint, eye-scan or user's unique keystrokes.

4. Check your smart devices for firmware updates.

While updates are annoying, and notification of updates equally as annoying, keeping your software loaded with the latest fixes helps keep out hackers.

5. If you experience a security breach, immediately take action.

Update passwords, notify credit card companies and file a police report. Never use public Wi-Fi networks and don't keep smart devices on the same network as your PC. This will minimize hacking across different devices.

Be as vigilant about smart device security as they are with credit cards, computers and locking the house when you're away.

 

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