Twitter Suspends Accounts That Posted Trump Advisor Stephen Miller’s Phone Number

Twitter temporarily suspended user accounts that either posted Trump advisor Stephen Miller’s cell phone number, or that linked to an article in Splinter magazine that included the number, including the Splinter Twitter account. The total number of suspensions is unknown.

In explaining the suspensions, a Twitter spokesperson said, “It’s against our policies to share other people’s private information on Twitter, including directly linking to that information. Today, we temporarily blocked accounts that shared this information until they deleted the Tweet that violated our rules.”

Posting sensitive personal information about an individual or organization, especially a home address and direct phone number, is known as “doxing.” It can be judged as abusive behavior by social networks and websites even if the information is available publicly online with little effort required beyond searching.

What was rare in this case was Twitter suspending accounts that linked to a news site that contained the phone number in an article, as opposed to posting the information directly in a Twitter messages or via a screenshot. Twitter’s enforcement of its rule has been criticized as uneven, with many users noting that Donald Trump had in 2015 posted the personal numbers of Sen. Lindsey Graham and Jorge Ramos, an anchor at Univision. Most recently on June 19, Twitter suspended @iceHRgov, an account that was tweeting out a list of information about ICE employees scraped from publicly available LinkedIn biographies.

Splinter, part of Univision’s Gawker Media Group, published the phone number in an article mid-day Tuesday. Twitter users began tweeting the phone number directly and linking to Splinter’s article. The number was then posted in articles at other sites, such as The Wrap, and by other journalists at Splinter and partner publications, some of whose Twitter accounts were suspended, as well as those by unrelated journalists, such as David Klion.

Miller’s number was ostensibly provided through a reporter who had previously been in touch. The number was changed later in the day. The article remains active.

Twitter has multiple forms of account suspension, and it appeared to invoke one that locks an account and hides tweets that Twitter marked as violating its rules until the account owner agrees to delete the tweet. There is typically a 12-hour delay that follows before the user can then resume normal use of the account.

Later in the day, Twitter stopped suspending accounts, although it appears earlier suspensions remain in effect or are counting down the 12-hour ban. A spokesperson explained, “At this time, the number that was previously being shared is no longer a valid number and, as such, we are no longer enforcing our policy against individuals Tweeting or linking to that information.”

Facebook is Testing Subscriptions, but Only for Private Groups

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has shied away from offering a paid version of his social network that is ad-free, for users who worry about their online activities being tracked. But there’s at least one area where the company is willing to experiment with subscriptions: private Facebook Groups.

Facebook announced the subscriptions a blog post that said administrators of certain Facebook Groups could begin charging $4.99 to $29.99 a month for memberships. Administrators of groups that are currently free won’t be affected, although some will have the option of creating subscription-supported groups in the future.

“Group admins build safe and supportive communities that people come back to every day,” the blog post announcing the change said. “We know that admins invest their time and energy to maintain their groups, and some have told us that they would like tools to help them continue to invest in their community and offer more to members.”

Facebook doesn’t allow ads in its groups, and, for now, the company won’t take a cut of the subscription revenue that administrators choose to introduce. The social network’s sales depend almost entirely on ads, a model that has landed the company in a number of controversies, such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal that prompted Congress to summon Zuckerberg to give testimony in April.

When asked during that testimony whether Facebook would transition from ad revenues toward a subscription-based model, Zuckerberg replied,

A number of people suggest that we should offer a version where people cannot have ads if they pay a monthly subscription, and certainly we consider ideas like that. I think that they’re reasonable ideas to think through. But overall, I think that the ads experience is going to be the best one. I think in general, people like not having to pay for a service. A lot of people can’t afford to pay for a service around the world, and this aligns with our mission the best.

Facebook’s announcement today doesn’t mark an abrupt shift from that thinking, but it does suggest that the company is willing to experiment with subscriptions in places where it believes it makes sense.

Amazon Wants Alexa to Act as Your Hotel Room Butler, Starting With Marriott

People at home are increasingly using their voices to ask digital assistants for the latest weather report, to hail an Uber ride, or to play their favorite songs. Now, Amazon wants to help people do the same thing while traveling.

The company said today that it would make its voice assistant, Alexa, available in hotels, vacation homes, and other kinds of rentals, starting with Marriott International hotel chains. Only two individual hotels will initially offer Alexa, but that number will grow over the next year to other properties including Aloft, Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott Hotels, St. Regis, and Westin Hotels, according to Yahoo Finance.

Alexa, available via Amazon’s Echo voice-controlled speaker, can answer trivia questions, control smarthome appliances, and shop at Amazon.com. The version for the hospitality industry lets guests ask questions about where they’re staying, control music, and connect with services offered in the hotel—including, one hopes, room service. Depending on room features, Alexa could control lights, heat and cooling, TV sets, and window shades.

The new service, called Alexa for Hospitality, doesn’t require or yet allow guests to login with an Amazon account, though the company said that would be available later as an option. After that is implemented, guests would be able to use music and audiobook subscriptions and purchases in compatible services, like Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and Audible.

For now, Echo can play music from services the hotel provides and from a guest devices via a Bluetooth wireless connection. But guests can’t shop at Amazon until they’re able to log in with their account.

Amazon notes that hotel managers, for example, would be unable to listen to what guests say to Alexa or its replies. The company says all data traveling between the Echo and its servers is secured, as well as any data stored on its servers, just like with its consumer offering.

Hoteliers can customize Alexa “skills,” the set of things that the service can provide answers for or actions.

Amazon, Apple, and Google are battling over primacy of their voice-based recognition systems, although Amazon and Google have been widely seen as ahead in sophistication and accuracy. Reuters reports that Marriott had considered both Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. A Marriott spokesperson told Reuters that the test wasn’t head to head.

While the service will be an amenity for guests, it also has features that property managers may enjoy. For one, the maximum volume level can be set, ostensibly to keep a guest from saying, “Alexa, set your volume to 11,” bothering other guests. And the system can provide “administrator notifications if a device goes offline,” perhaps a polite way of describing a guest who finds the Echo so appealing that he or she takes it with them at check out.

Australia Fines Apple Millions for Refusing To Repair Bricked iPhones

The Federal Court in Australia ordered Apple to pay a fine of Au$9 million (U.S.$6.6 million) due to misrepresentations to at least 275 Australian iPhone owners about repairing their phones after a late 2015 software update disabled some phones that had been repaired by parties other than Apple.

This became known as the “Error 53” problem, as that message appeared in iTunes after an affected iPhone became unresponsive or “bricked” after certain third-party repairs replaced or disturbed the portion of an iPhone 6 or later that contained the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. When this happened, the sensor could become “unpaired” for security reasons, as it could indicate tampering by another party attempting to unlock the phone without authorization. However, prior to a software update in 2015, phones would continue to work without Touch ID.

Apple took months to reply to the initial reports as they grew worldwide, and then issued a statement blaming repairs in early February 2016 without offering any relief to customers. After an outcry, the company backpedaled and apologized a week later, offered reimbursement for repairs iPhone owners had paid for in the meantime, and released a software update that eliminated the problem.

That wasn’t enough for the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), as it filed suit related to Australian iPhone owners who Apple initially told weren’t eligible for any kind of help from as far back as February 2015 through the February 2016 update in policy and support. The ACCC says after it contacted Apple about an investigation, the company changed its policy, ultimately contacting 5,000 affected iPhone owners. (The Federal Court filing is not yet posted.)

The ACCC also says Apple provided refurbished goods as part of its program to repair affected phones, when it should have been obliged to offer a new unit. Outside of the suit, the ACCC says Apple agreed to provide a new phone to any customer who requested one.

In the company’s global apology in February 2016, it said “Error 53” was a manufacturing test that should only be triggered in a factory. Apple’s software update allowed its customers worldwide to restore their phones, but the Home button’s fingerprint sensor still had to be replaced by Apple directly in order to re-enable Touch ID unlocking.

At least two class-action lawsuits were filed in the U.S. almost immediately. One was thrown out in June 2016, while Apple settled the other in September 2017 with what the firm that filed the case described as “full replacement costs and additional compensation” to all those it represented.

Senate passes defense bill, battle looms with Trump over China's ZTE

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate passed a $716 billion defense policy bill on Monday, backing President Donald Trump’s call for a bigger, stronger military but setting up a potential battle with the White House over Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE Corp (000063.SZ).

FILE PHOTO: The logo of China’s ZTE Corp is seen on the building of ZTE Beijing research and development center in Beijing, China June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 85-10 for the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which authorizes U.S. military spending but is generally used as a vehicle for a broad range of policy matters.

Before it can become law, the bill must be reconciled with one already passed by the House of Representatives. That compromise measure must then be passed by both chambers and signed into law by Trump.

Considered must-pass legislation, the fiscal 2019 Senate version of the NDAA authorizes $639 billion in base defense spending, for such things as buying weapons, ships and aircraft and paying the troops, with an additional $69 billion to fund ongoing conflicts.

This year, the Senate included an amendment that would kill the Trump administration’s agreement to allow ZTE to resume business with U.S. suppliers, one of the few times the Republican-led Senate has veered from White House policy. That ZTE provision is not included in the House version of the NDAA.

While strongly supported by some of Trump’s fellow Republicans as well as some Democrats, the measure is opposed by the White House and some of its close Republican allies, who control the House as well as the Senate.

It could face a difficult path to being included in the final NDAA, especially if Trump lobbies the Republican-led Congress against it, as he is expected to do.

Republicans and Democrats have expressed national security concerns about ZTE after it broke an agreement to discipline executives who had conspired to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

The U.S. government placed a ban on ZTE earlier this year, but the Trump administration reached an agreement to lift the ban while it is negotiating broader trade agreements with China and looking to Beijing for support during negotiations to halt North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Republicans Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio and Democrats Chuck Schumer and Chris Van Hollen, who led the Senate push for the ZTE provision, said in a joint statement after the vote that they were “heartened” by support, adding: “It is vital that our colleagues in the House keep this bipartisan provision in the bill as it heads toward a conference.”

But the final NDAA could include only a much less stringent provision, included in the House bill, that would bar the Defense Department from dealing with any entity using telecommunications equipment or services from ZTE or another Chinese company, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd HWT.UL.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT RULES

The Senate version of the NDAA also seeks to strengthen the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which assesses deals to ensure they do not compromise national security.

The bill would allow CFIUS to expand the deals that can be reviewed, for example making reviews of many proposed transactions mandatory instead of voluntary and allowing CFIUS to review land purchases near sensitive military sites.

The Senate NDAA also includes an amendment prohibiting sales to Turkey of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) unless Trump certifies Turkey is not threatening NATO, purchasing defense equipment from Russia or detaining U.S. citizens.

Senators included the legislation because of the imprisonment of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson and the purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Russia.

The measure also includes an amendment to bar the U.S. military from providing aerial refueling support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen unless Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certifies that Saudi Arabia is taking urgent steps to end the civil war in Yemen, ease the humanitarian crisis there and reduce the risk to civilians.

Shipbuilders General Dynamics Corp (GD.N) and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc (HII.N) could benefit from the bill’s authorization of advance procurement of materials needed for the Virginia class nuclear submarines.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle an Mike Stone; Additional reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Chris Sanders and and Peter Cooney

Tesla's Musk alleges 'extensive' employee sabotage

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk accused an employee of “extensive and damaging sabotage” to the company’s operations in an email sent on Monday to company employees.

FILE PHOTO: SpaceX founder Elon Musk listens at a press conference following the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Musk said an employee had made code changes to the company’s operating system and exported “large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties,” according to the email, which was obtained by Reuters.

The company is investigating whether the employee “was working with any outside organizations,” the email said.

“As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die,” Musk wrote, listing Wall Street short-sellers, oil and gas companies, and car company rivals.

A company spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

The accusations of sabotage come a week after Musk announced layoffs for 9 percent of the company’s workforce. Although Musk said the reorganization does not impact production associates and is not expected to delay manufacturing targets, thousands of employees lost their jobs.

Tesla has struggled to ramp up production of its Model 3 sedan, which is intended for mass production and critical to helping the company achieve long-term profitability.

Tesla’s stock price slipped 53 cents to $370.30 in after-hours trading.

Reporting by Salvador Rodriguez; Editing by Bill Berkrot

Musk's Flamethrower Warning Would Have Saved The Shorts Over $2.8 Billion

Elon Musk attends the premiere and Q&A for ‘Do You Trust This Computer?’. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Two days after Tesla announced its March quarter results on May 2 CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to tease the investors that have shorted the company’s stock that they were about to lose a lot of money. He was about a month too early. Tesla’s stock fell from $301.15 on the day that the company announced its results to $284.45 the next day. It was then flat for the rest of the month as it closed at $284.73 on May 31.

Twitter

Elon Musk flamethrower tweet

While short interest is reported on a delayed basis twice a month, S3 Partners uses an algorithm based on data from multiple sources and discussions with investors to calculate how much a company’s shares are shorted on a daily basis. Without getting into specifics, in talking with Ihor Dusaniwsky, S3 Partner’s Managing Director of Predictive Analytics, it appears that the calculation has a small enough margin of error to provide a good read on the amount and trend of a stock’s short position.

Dusaniwsky estimates that the shorts had gains of around $570 million from January 1 to May 31 this year. The gains have evaporated with the losses incurred in just the past 15 days. This is another tweet from Musk on May 4.

Twitter

Elon Musk’s carnage tweet

In just two weeks the shorts have “lost” over $2.8 billion

For the first 15 days of June Tesla’s shares have taken off rising to close at $358.17, up 26%, on Friday. Dusaniwsky calculates that through this past Tuesday, June 12, the shorts were down $2.3 billion .

I’ve utilized his analysis to apply it to the last three days of this week, which includes Thursday’s $13 gain. Over these three sessions, the shorts lost, on paper, about $600 million, for a total of over $2.8 billion .

Tesla shorts are a hardy bunch (or do they just not get it?)

Over the past year between 27 to 39 million of Tesla’s 168 million or so shares have been shorted per Nasdaq, with the second highest number of 39.08 million at the end of May. Dusaniwsky does not believe the stock’s increase over the past two weeks is due to a short squeeze. He estimates that less than 2% of the shares have been covered through June 12, even as the stock increased over 20%.

The stock has gotten to an overbought condition as can be seen in the RSI, or Relative Strength Index, in the top portion of the graph below. Given the strong run, the stock has had the past two weeks, I would not expect it to threaten the $385 all-time high on September 28 last year unless Tesla announces very impressive production numbers when it provides preliminary June quarter results in early July.

StockCharts.com

Tesla 3 year price chart

Brexit And UK Fintech Investment: Two Years On From The EU Referendum

, Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

</div> </div> <p>Days before the second anniversary of the EU Referendum vote, UK International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox launched an initiative that aims to bring together academics, experts and businesses and in turn, attract investment into the fintech sector.</p> <p>This came after Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that more than 1,600 jobs will be created in addition to the &pound;2.3 billion ($3bn) of private investment into the technology industry as a whole, as an attempt to showcase the UK as the best country in the world to run tech.</p> <p>Dr Liam Fox MP said: &quot;The UK is a world leader in the FinTech sector, thanks to our highly-skilled and creative workforce, fair regulatory system and ease of doing business.&quot;</p> <p>He continued: &quot;The sector has already attracted &pound;1.8 billion ($2.4bn) worth of investment in 2017 – a 153% increase on the previous year and as an international economic department, DIT [Department for International Trade] is putting technology and innovation at the heart of the UK’s global growth.&quot;</p> <p> </p> <p>So, has Brexit increased or decreased investment into UK fintech and is the UK government being forced to channel the country’s own cash into the financial and technology industries after a lack of funding from other countries?</p> <p>In March 2017, the <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/madhvimavadiya/2018/05/30/pleo-investment-denmark-biggest-series-a-funding-round/" target="_self" rel="noopener noreferrer">aftermath</a>, or afterglow, of the decision to leave the European Union started to occur with Deutsche Bank announcing that it would be committing to a new office in London. Ahead of the <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/madhvimavadiya/2017/03/20/fintech-france-brexit/#12d21f1b7e4a" target="_self" rel="noopener noreferrer">Article 50 trigger date</a>, this decision was particularly poignant during a time in which many financial institutions were contemplating moving out of the <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/madhvimavadiya/2017/03/26/fintech-uk-brexit/#53abf68564de" target="_self" rel="noopener noreferrer">UK</a>.</p>

<p>Rumored to have entered into a 25 year lease on a new building, the German bank’s UK CEO Garth Ritchie said at the time that this plan &quot;underlines the bank’s commitment to the City of London&quot;. This was thought to be the first of many other traditional banks setting up in the UK capital and in turn, minimize the impact Brexit will have on London fintech.</p>” readability=”49.1405460061″>

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Days before the second anniversary of the EU Referendum vote, UK International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox launched an initiative that aims to bring together academics, experts and businesses and in turn, attract investment into the fintech sector.

This came after Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that more than 1,600 jobs will be created in addition to the £2.3 billion ($3bn) of private investment into the technology industry as a whole, as an attempt to showcase the UK as the best country in the world to run tech.

Dr Liam Fox MP said: “The UK is a world leader in the FinTech sector, thanks to our highly-skilled and creative workforce, fair regulatory system and ease of doing business.”

He continued: “The sector has already attracted £1.8 billion ($2.4bn) worth of investment in 2017 – a 153% increase on the previous year and as an international economic department, DIT [Department for International Trade] is putting technology and innovation at the heart of the UK’s global growth.”

So, has Brexit increased or decreased investment into UK fintech and is the UK government being forced to channel the country’s own cash into the financial and technology industries after a lack of funding from other countries?

In March 2017, the aftermath, or afterglow, of the decision to leave the European Union started to occur with Deutsche Bank announcing that it would be committing to a new office in London. Ahead of the Article 50 trigger date, this decision was particularly poignant during a time in which many financial institutions were contemplating moving out of the UK.

Rumored to have entered into a 25 year lease on a new building, the German bank’s UK CEO Garth Ritchie said at the time that this plan “underlines the bank’s commitment to the City of London”. This was thought to be the first of many other traditional banks setting up in the UK capital and in turn, minimize the impact Brexit will have on London fintech.

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Want to Build Elon Musk's Mars Rocket? Make Sure You Don't Have This One Key Thing Before Applying

Elon Musk and his rocket company SpaceX have big plans to send humans to the moon, Mars and beyond that you’ve probably heard about. This grand vision all hinges on a massive new rocket and spacecraft system called “BFR” for “Big Falcon Rocket” or “Big F***ing Rocket.”

Following the successful test launch of the company’s huge Falcon Heavy rocket, Musk is charging ahead with plans to start building BFR at a facility at the Port of Los Angeles. It’s also advertising a job opening for a “BFR Build Engineer” to lead the effort.

Not surprisingly, the role requires a lot of experience in various aspects of aerospace, mechanical and materials engineering.

For example, does your work experience include “exposure to advanced NDE methods such as phased array ultrasonics, eddy current arrays and digital radiography?” Mine sure doesn’t, but if you’ve got those words on your resume (or even know what they mean) then perhaps you’re the person that can take us to Mars.

The role also requires some background leading a team and a little technical drafting experience, but there’s one and only one “additional requirement” listed in the job description and it’s a doozy:

“Must be available to work long hours and weekends as needed.”

In other words, those with a life need not apply. Applying to build Elon Musk’s Mars rocket means your soul belongs to Elon.

Or from a less cynical standpoint, you will be devoting your being to the mission of making humans a multi-planetary species.

That sounds a little better.

This kind of requirement in a job listing isn’t actually that unusual, but kudos to SpaceX for being upfront about it. And it also helps the company attract the kind of motivated and mission-driven people it wants for its team. Transparency is a win-win here.

So if you have no life or are comfortable giving your life over to the future of a Martian sub-species, apply now.

My Beef With XR

When Venture Capitalist, AR thought leader, and Executive Producer of Augmented World Expo (AWE) Ori Inbar kicked off the event on May 29th with the phrase: “Go XR or go extinct!” I knew it was over. I had officially lost the war of words. As my old boss Ted Leonsis used to say, “it is better to win than to be right.” So, to the winners, I say I am dropping my objection to the use of “XR”, or “X-Reality”. I was even wearing my XR t-shirt the last day of the AWE Conference. But I still think XR is an annoying made up word that conveys only the agony of our confusion.

Michael O’Donnell

Ori Inbar’s opening of AWE 18, the 9th annual conference, at the Santa Clara Convention Center of May 29th. “Go XR or Go Extinct!”

Making a counterpoint to Stephanie Llamas, VP of XR for Superdata Research, who wrote the first chapter of my book, Charlie Fink’s Metaverse, An AR Enabled Guide to VR & AR, I objected to the new acronym “XR” then, which has replaced “MR” as the umbrella term for immersive computing, including mobile AR, MR, and VR. I’m not exactly sure who is to blame for all this confusion but my top suspects are Microsoft and Qualcomm, which actually sought to trademark XR last fall. Microsoft is guilty of an earlier sin, torturing the word hologram, which by definition must be seen with the naked eye (look it up). It is quite a stretch to call The HoloLens a Holographic Computing. My friends at Microsoft are slightly embarrassed when I explain this because the people I interact with are basically nice, guileless people. Still. Who owns the unintended consequences of decisions made by the marketing department?

Richard Cray

In my “I [heart] XR” T-shirt on June 1st, the last day of AWE.

Llamas correctly pointed out in the book that consists of language is critical in the developing consumer market for VR in my book about VR and AR, to which she contributed the first of several chapters. We have to agree on what to call things. Microsoft put MR out there as the name for the concept in 2016, appropriating the Milgram scale, created in 1994 by two academics, Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino. Convenietly, on either side of the new “Microsoft Mixed Reality Spectrum”, where the company’s HoloLens and fully occluded Windows MR VR device. Microsoft was immediately accused of seeking to brand the VR world with WindowsMR. Since WindowsMR headsets are not exactly flying off the shelves, despite attractive pricing, it doesn’t really matter anymore. That was almost ten months ago, for god’s sake.

Charlie Fink

Created in 1994 by two academics, the Milgram Mixed Reality Spectrum sought to explain the relationship of Virtual and Augmented Reality. By conflating VR and AR, they failed. Miserably.

My objections to the appropriation and misuse of the of the words MR and XR are well known. Until my formal surrender today, I insisted on using the more cumbersome AR and VR, keeping them separate. One of the key points of my book is that AR and VR do not belong on a spectrum of immersion. While VR is for immersion. AR is a tool, like the club and the wheel and the steam engine, that makes humankind better, faster and stronger. Both the quest for immersion and the need for augmentation are deeply rooted in humans. VR is spiritual and experiential. It demands a willing suspension of disbelief, while AR needs the real world to exist, otherwise, there would be nothing to augment. It is true both run on computers and require optics, bandwidth, and storage, but computers do a lot of things. Also, this doesn’t account for the vast majority of AR today, which is Heads Up Displays, mobile phones, and monocular microdisplays. My biggest complaint at about XR is that it conflates AR and VR.

“It’s just too nuanced not to combine VR and AR into one term. Consumers just will not understand those differences,” Llamas says. “We need to have a unifying terminology that makes it easy for consumers to understand. Until the separations are clearer, X (standing in for an unknown, or variety of variables) Reality serves as a simple way to encompass everything that digitally alters reality.”

Manomotion

Thanks to Manomotion and others, we can interact with AR objects inside the camera in real time for a true MR experience in AR

Second, both MR and XR redefine important terms. MR previously referred to mixing reality, so when your hand hits a virtual ball, it has real physics and bounces, or when, in VR, smell, heat, smoke or other elements are added, mixing reality. XR has long referred to bio-augmentation, which is the sort of thing Patti Maes does at the MIT Media Lab. What are we to call these now? So. Objection #2: Redefinition and Appropriation.

Objection #3, Dishonesty. In January, 2017, the companies discussed in this story approved a press release from the technology committee of the Consumer Technology Association, which provided definitions of AR, VR, and MR, and accounted for their distinctions. These definitions have been ignored since the day they were was released, with Microsoft almost immediately following with an announcement that appropriated Windows MR. Which is a fully occluded VR headset. Raise your hand if you are not confused.

Taeyeon Kim/Behance

Consumers are going to be talking about iGlass, not XR or AR, says Writer & Producer Michael Eichenseer.

Finally, Objection #4: Market confusion. Since there’s no real consumer market here to confuse, we’re mainly still talking to ourselves. “While there are benefits to unifying definitions, I’m not convinced the benefits would be noticed as the market develops. It’ll be brands that mold the minds of consumers,” said writer and producer Michael Eichenseer. “It won’t be Apple’s AR/MR/XR Glasses, it’ll be iGlass. User’s won’t refer to iGlass’s AR/MR/XR display, it’ll be iGlassOS.” Eichenseer is right, of course, but what about the hundreds, maybe millions of people who are studying what we do. This is the Internet in 1993. What we call things is going to matter, and soon. Maybe they are the most important audience now.

“What I have noticed is that those of us in the industry are using XR, but I see very few people outside of our industry using XR. Whenever I bring up the term XR at a marketing conference (most often than not), I would say 90% of folks have never heard the term,” Says Kathy Hackl, Futurist at You Are Here Labs and co-author of Marketing New Realities. “I’m all for using XR within our industry, but I’ not sure the mass market is ready for XR as a term. While it provides clarity for our industry, I worry it might make it harder to comprehend for the mass market.”

Bring on the XR!

You see my point? XR is the devil. It should never have been invented. Long live XR.

Therefore, this is the June 2018 Fink “official” definitions of XR, AR, MR, VR, and bioaugmentation. I reserve the right to be defeated again in the future.  

Virtual Reality – A fully occluded world in which the digital completely replaces the physical world.

Augmented Reality – Any technology that adds digital content to the physical world. There are many modes of AR. Some of them are Heads Up Displays (HUDs), Reflective AR (Lenovo/Disney Jedi Challenge, Mira Prism), Mobile (ARKit and AR Core), Monocular Microdisplays (Glass, Kopin, RealWear, Toshiba), Waveguide (HoloLens, ODG, Vuzix)) and Lightfield (Magic Leap) devices. Sound plays a role as well. Vuzix and ODG incorporate Alexa.

Mixed Reality – Any virtual or augmented reality where the real and digital worlds interact. Example 1: through the camera, on your cell phone you see a ball. You hit it with your free hand, and it appears to bounce off the real wall. Example 2: when temperature changes, wind, smell, touch and/or physical props are incorporated into full occluded VR experience, usually in a public installation like The Void, Zero Latency, and Dreamscape.

XR – The VR and AR industry, taken as a whole, including research into wearables, bioaugmentation, and invisible computing.

Bio and Experimental Augmentation (BA and EA) are not yet widely known outside academia but will probably replace the previous uses of XR.