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Business

Jaron Lanier on Facebook and the Creepy Possibilities for Virtual Reality

When Facebook announced last week that it had agreed to acquire Oculus VR, “the leader in virtual reality technology,” for $2 billion, techies and journalists everywhere wondered: What does Jaron Lanier think of this? Lanier, the dreadlocked futurist now working at Microsoft Research, was a virtual reality pioneer—he coined the term. More recently, he’s been a prolific critic of so-called Web 2.0 companies like Google and Facebook, bucking very publicly against their business models in books like "Who Owns the Future?" The Fiscal Times spoke with Lanier this week to get more of his thoughts about the deal, Mark Zuckerberg’s vision, and the future of virtual reality. Among his insights: “The biggest variable as to how creepy Facebook will be in the future is whether Zuck has kids or not.”   More

Business

Surround Computing Is About to Change Our Lives

Computing is in upheaval. After 40 years of microprocessor improvement, an even more fundamental advance is underway, with enormous implications for how we will live. We are uniting traditional central processing units (CPUs), the "brains" of computers, with graphics processing units (GPUs) to enable much easier information processing with faster performance and better energy efficiency. In fact, the changes in computing chip architecture underway today may be the most significant since the 1970s. We need this advance. More data will be created in the next three years than in all of human history.   More