News of Facebook working to create its own operating system has probably raised a lot of eyebrows and ruffled many feathers. The social giant made no secret that its goal is to be independent of Google and its ecosystem, particularly Android. At a time when Huawei is trying and struggling to do the same due to political circumstances, there will definitely be doubts about whether Facebook can pull it off. It definitely can and that’s the most frightening part about it.
Facebook needs Facebook OS
Although it could arguably continue operating without it, Facebook’s ambitions have no room to grow in anything other than its own house. While it will continue to cater to users on Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, Facebook will always feel stifled in others’ platforms. And it’s not because it doesn’t trust the marketplace or competitors to give it space. It’s because it knows its definition of growth goes against those platform’s values and rules.
As the creator and master of its own operating system, Facebook will no longer have to worry about paying its users to answer surveys or hand over their location on a regular basis. It no longer has to worry about its partners having to go through backdoors or secret APIs to gather the data they need to improve services and advertisements. Sure, Facebook still has to follow laws, especially in an increasingly antagonistic US, but it has been able to get away with what it could in the past.
Some might scoff at Facebook’s delusion of grandeur. After all, making an operating system is no small matter. Other companies have been at it for years and they still get it wrong. Even if it were just for VR and AR devices, such a Facebook OS would still be quite an undertaking. The reality, however, is that the company is completely capable of pulling it off.
Some might see Facebook simply as a social media company but the technical knowledge to even make that business run smoothly is no small matter. Over the years, Facebook as acquired companies and talent from all over the technology industry and has had connections and contributions in almost every computing area. Hiring Window NT co-author Mark Lucovsky is just the latest addition to that army. Suffice it to say, it wouldn’t be too difficult for it to make one today, especially with the wealth of tools and software at its disposal.
Facebook has recently been painted as the tech industry’s bad boy in light of revelations about privacy and political involvement. Despite that, only a few major brands have pulled away from the platform. To date, Facebook and its properties, including Instagram and Oculus, remain one of the biggest names in the industry, especially when it comes to advertising. And that’s because, despite the scandals, Facebook is still home to tens of thousands of users, a treasure trove of data for these companies.
Operating systems live and die by the software available to them and Facebook may indeed struggle for a while. Unlike Huawei or even Samsung, however, it won’t have much problem getting developers and their apps on board. Being on Facebook ensures they will reach thousands of users. There will be technical hurdles to overcome, for sure, but Facebook may not be too worried about some of those. It will be playing to its strengths, focusing on apps and experiences that will enhance its social network experience. Eventually, it will have enough weight to get even bigger names and apps to its OS and the rest will be history.
Social Media Engineering
Social engineering is usually defined as the use of psychological tactics to get people to divulge some otherwise private information about themselves. That is almost the definition of the terms of service that people agree to on almost all Internet services and Facebook is the master of that. It is definitely familiar with all the strategies and tactics to get users to agree to this or that new feature without really knowing, much less understanding, what’s at stake.
It may have seen an exodus of a number of users but the users that remain and get added year after year still outnumber those that left. It has become almost impossible to escape Facebook these days, even just by association. That’s why, despite all the bad publicity, Facebook still enjoys the support of a good number of brands and companies, because it remains a lucrative business especially when it comes to ads.
Facebook has everything it needs to make Facebook OS real and make it even succeed. It has the technical know-how to make platforms, the support of brands and developers to populate the platform, and the users that will give all these companies the incentive to get on board. That doesn’t speak of the quality of what this Facebook OS may have, but no 1.0 release was ever perfect anyway.
That, of course, paints a rather worrying picture of the future. A platform where Facebook writes (and rewrites) the rules to its own benefit is going to be a platform where it will be able to operate largely unchecked. A platform where its core business of advertising practically means that users are the commodity, not the customer. Facebook OS’ success will largely depend on how much users trust Facebook and the sad reality is that the majority of the world does.
Nintendo's Switch Online N64 and Sega Genesis games cost $64 for 12 months in Canada – MobileSyrup
After revealing that N64 and Sega Genesis titles were coming to its Switch Online services through an ‘Expansion Pack‘ subscription tier a few weeks ago, Nintendo has confirmed pricing and availability for the service.
An Individual Membership costs $63.99 for 12 months, while a Family Membership costs $99.99 for 12 months. The service officially launches on October 25th. This is a significant jump in subscription pricing from Switch Online’s current $24.99 yearly cost that includes NES/SNES games and cloud saves.
The additional subscription tier gives players access to retro Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis titles. For example, Mario Kart 64, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Mario Tennis, Super Mario 64 and more are coming to the N64 catalogue. Nintendo has confirmed that games like Banjo-Kazooie, Pokémon Snap, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and Paper Mario are coming in the future.
On the Genesis side, notable titles like Shinobi III, Streets of Rage 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Golden Axe, Eco the Dolphin and more are coming to the platform.
While expensive, this moves the cost of Switch Online more in line with Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus.
During its presentation today, Nintendo also confirmed that the Expansion Pack cost includes Animal Crossing: New Horizons‘ upcoming DLC, Happy Home Paradise.
In other Switch-related news, Nintendo’s N64 and Genesis gamepads are now available to order in Canada for $64.99 each.
Image credit: Nintendo
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will have a New Horizons update themed event, features Lottie from Happy Home Paradise DLC – Nintendo Wire
It has been a big day for Animal Crossing fans! Today’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct showed off what’s coming to the Nintendo Switch title next month, as well as the announcement of paid DLC, details on the next series of amiibo cards, and more. Not everything made it into the presentation, as noted by the official Japanese Nintendo site. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, the mobile Animal Crossing game, is joining in with an event to celebrate the new update. Lottie from Paradise Planning is ready to party too!
So far we know that the event login bonus will be your new work uniform from Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise (the paid DLC). Nintendo is also teasing that we might see new Villagers roaming around the campgrounds (possibly the “new” Villagers being added to New Horizons)! This lines up with the first New Horizons-focused event that Pocket Camp had way back in March 2020. Lottie’s integration hasn’t been clarified yet – as the monthly event representative at your campsite or as a purchasable NPC via Leaf Tickets. At least, given the render, we know she’ll be included somehow.
Expect more details from the official Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Twitter account later this month as we quickly approach Thursday, October 28th.
Amazon-owned Twitch says source code exposed in last week's data breach – Reuters
Oct 15 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc-owned (AMZN.O) Twitch said on Friday that last week’s data breach at the live streaming e-sports platform contained documents from its source code.
Passwords, login credentials, full credit card numbers and bank details of users were not accessed or exposed in the breach, Twitch said in a statement.
The platform, which is used by video gamers for interacting with users while live streaming content, had blamed the breach on an error in the server configuration change.
Server configuration changes are performed during server maintenance. A faulty configuration can expose the data stored in the servers to unauthorized access.
Twitch said it was “confident” the incident affected only a small number of users and that it was contacting those who had been directly impacted. The platform has more than 30 million average daily visitors.
Video Games Chronicle had reported that about 125 gigabytes of data was leaked in the breach, including details on Twitch’s highest-paid video game streamers since 2019.
Reporting by Chavi Mehta and Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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