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Exclusive: Meta rolls out Horizon Home, making it easier to meet up in the metaverse

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Meta rolls out Horizon Home, making it easier to meet up in the metaverse

#Meta #rolls #Horizon #Home #making #easier #meet #metaverse

Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that Horizon Home will roll out as part of a new update to the Quest 2 headset.

Despite Meta’s insistence that virtual reality is the future of social networking, the Quest 2 hasn’t supported a straight-forward way to socialize so far. You could join a party with friends and galavant across Horizon Worlds, its social platform, or you could play a game together, but it hasn’t been very simple to just … hang out. Now, as promised this past fall, the Horizon Home feature will let friends come visit you in your virtual home.

Image Credits: Meta

Your home is where you find yourself when you first put on your headset, which you can choose from pre-made options like a space station, a Japanese inn or a patio overlooking a mountainous sunset (say what you want about Meta, but these environments are actually impressive). With a bit of unlicensed finagling, you can even upload your own environments — one user designed the home from “The Simpsons.” In the future, Meta plans to roll out functionality for creating your own environments without using third-party apps.

Zuckerberg demonstrated the new feature in a video with free climber Alex Honnold. They met in Zuckerberg’s home environment (which is the same as mine — what does that say about me?), then jumped into a 360-degree video that Honnold uploaded while free climbing 1,000 feet up on a cliff in the Dolomites.

Watching Alex climb with Alex’s avatar in VR was pretty meta,” Zuckerberg commented on his own Facebook post.

Avatars of Mark and Alex watch a video of Alex climbing a cliff

Image Credits: Meta

As Meta tries to build a new way of socializing online, its VR apps have come under fire for not effectively mitigating harassment, which is unfortunately inherent in any digital forum but is especially prevalent when placed in an immersive space that lacks the same real-world consequences. Despite its new name, Meta isn’t the first company to dabble in the metaverse — in other immersive games like Second Life and Roblox, users have experienced sexual harassment and assault so it’s important that Meta bakes in comprehensive safety features from the get-go. But historically, the company has prioritized shipping products over ensuring user safety.

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TechCrunch asked Meta what safety features are built into Horizon Home as it launches on the Quest.

“Party leaders can unilaterally remove guests from both the Party and Meta Horizon Home,” a Meta spokesperson said. Any user can use the system-level block option or submit a report. Also, like other Horizon apps, guests can exit a social situation in one click to immediately disconnect from voice chat and the general environment.

“Additionally, Meta Horizon Home utilizes hotspot locomotion versus free locomotion to reduce the likelihood of users’ VR avatars colliding with one another,” the spokesperson added.

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Exclusive: Why I’m skipping the iPhone 14 and holding onto my mini for another year – TalkOfNews.com

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iPhone 13 mini cameras

#skipping #iPhone #holding #mini #year

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Exclusive: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Opening Titles Still Somehow Rule as an N64 Game – TalkOfNews.com

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Opening Titles Still Somehow Rule as an N64 Game

#Star #Trek #Deep #Space #Nine039s #Opening #Titles #Rule #N64 #Game

Star Trek has had an up-and-down history with video games, sometimes managing to succeed in gaming genres it arguably shouldn’t, while never managing to quite succeed in the ones it should. There’s been plenty of great ones, but now a very cool little animation imagines one of its finest entries getting a ‘90s tie-in that never was.

Twitter user SpinaSanctuary’s hypothetical title screen for a mid-’90s Deep Space Nine game on the Nintendo 64 imagines a sideways glance where the platform that gave us Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire instead took a visit to the Gamma Quadrant for some licensed gaming goodness, essentially riffing on the opening moments of Deep Space Nine’s own title sequence, but in a gloriously polygonal retro style.

What could’ve Star Trek 64: Deep Space Nine even been? An adventure game aboard the station? A starship strategy game set during the Dominion War? A retail management sim dedicated to the Promenade á la Roller Coaster Tycoon or Theme Park World? A first person shooter like Voyager got with the Elite Force games, that shouldn’t make sense, but totally does? Whatever it would’ve been, this cute little “demake” has me wishing we could’ve found out.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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Exclusive: Amazon Prime subscribers now get GrubHub Plus free for a year – TalkOfNews.com

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Amazon Prime subscribers now get GrubHub Plus free for a year

#Amazon #Prime #subscribers #GrubHub #free #year

Amazon Prime subscribers in the US are getting a new benefit as part of their subscription, the company has announced. From today, they’ll be able to redeem a free year of Grubhub Plus, the monthly subscription service that offers free food delivery on orders over $12 from participating restaurants. Grubhub Plus normally costs $9.99 a month.

According to Amazon, free deliveries associated with Grubhub Plus are available from hundreds of thousands of restaurants across over 4,000 cities in the US. After the year is up, Grubhub will automatically start charging $9.99 a month for continued access. Existing Grubhub Plus subscribers can still make use of the promotion, which will be applied from the start of their next billing cycle. Canceling Prime automatically cancels Grubhub Plus.

The deal comes just a few short years after Amazon shut down Amazon Restaurants, its own attempt to compete in the takeout delivery market. The service was live between 2015 and 2019 but faced stiff competition from the likes of Uber Eats and DoorDash.

Since then, the e-commerce giant has mainly focused on grocery deliveries, but has kept a toe in the takeout delivery market through partnerships with other firms. It announced an investment in Europe-focused Deliveroo in 2019, and started offering access to its Deliveroo Plus subscription service as an additional perk for Prime members in the UK last year.

“Amazon has redefined convenience with Prime and we’re confident this offering will expose many new diners to the value of Grubhub Plus while driving more business to our restaurant partners and drivers,” Grubhub CEO Adam DeWitt said in a statement. The company, which is owned by Just Eat Takeaway.com, says it expects Grubhub Plus subscriptions to rise as a result of the deal.

GrubHub Plus isn’t the only additional benefit Amazon is announcing for Prime members today. The e-commerce giant is also making a short teaser trailer for its upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power available exclusively to Prime subscribers for 48 hours. Members can watch the teaser over on the show’s Amazon page. The trailer ends by promising yet another teaser is coming on July 14th ahead of the release of the series on September 2nd.

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