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For its AR/VR push, Apple is apparently seeking game developers

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According to Mobilegamer.biz, Jack Schulze and Timo Arnall, two of Playdeo’s co-founders, are now working for Apple, thus shuttering the business.

According to Companies House, Playdeo is still a functioning business, however it is said to no longer have any employees. Nick Ludlam, the third co-founder of the studio, reportedly declined an offer from Apple.

The most well-known iOS game from Playdeo is Avo, in which users guide a sentient avocado around a variety of real-world locations by sketching lines for it to follow:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Fuy-PgEdFY&ab_channel=Playdeo

With an average rating of 4.3 across almost 1600 reviews, the game has primarily gotten positive reviews on the App Store.

Schulze and Arnall are reportedly currently engaged in mixed reality projects at Apple, according to the information provided by Mobilegamer.biz. According to the article, Apple previously employed Jonathan Topf, the design lead for Avo, in 2019.

The appointment of Schulze and Arnall implies that Apple’s aspirations to eventually enter the VR/AR industry are still very much in effect, which is consistent with reports that have been circulating for a number of years.

According to a 2021 Bloomberg story, Apple was developing a premium VR headset and intended to deliver it as early as 2022. While it is obvious that this timescale is no longer plausible, mitigating circumstances like the ongoing global chip shortage might have caused a delay in these plans.

The article claimed that the headset manufactured by the iPhone maker, code-named “N301,” was in a late prototype stage as of January 2021 and was supported by sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans.

The gadget was referred to as “a expensive, niche predecessor” to a more ambitious pair of augmented reality glasses that Apple is rumored to be intending to release in the upcoming years.

 

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

Medicine and Health

Scientist Investigating SARS-CoV-2 Virus Suggests Possible Indications of Simulation Existence

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A physicist specializing in the study of mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus has put forward intriguing evidence supporting a potential new law of physics known as the “second law of infodynamics.”. This discovery raises fascinating questions about the nature of our reality and the possibility of living in a simulated universe. In addition, he suggests that the study seems to suggest that the theory of evolution is incorrect, as it challenges the notion that mutations are completely random.

There is a great deal of complexity to delve into in this situation. It is important to note that making extraordinary claims necessitates providing extraordinary evidence. However, as Dr. Melvin Vopson elucidates in his research, we currently lack such evidence. Actually, we are far from reaching that point. Nevertheless, the concepts and findings presented are captivating and thought-provoking, even if additional research or examination may later disprove them.

In his most recent study, Vopson examined mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus from a unique perspective, focusing on information entropy rather than the traditional concept of entropy.

“The physical entropy of a given system is a measure of all its possible physical microstates compatible with the macrostate,” Vopson explained in the paper. “This is a property of the microstates in the system that do not carry any information.” Given the same system and the ability to generate N information states within it (such as by encoding digital bits), creating N information states results in the formation of N extra information microstates that overlap with the existing physical microstates. These extra microstates contain valuable information, and the increase in entropy they bring is known as information entropy.”

According to Vopson, there is a tendency for entropy to increase over time, but interestingly, information entropy tends to decrease. Consider the heat death of the universe, where the entire cosmos eventually reaches a state of thermal equilibrium. At this stage, the maximum value of entropy has been attained, although not in terms of information entropy. During heat death (or just before), the temperature range and potential states in any part of the universe become extremely limited. As a result, the number of possible events decreases and the amount of superimposed information decreases, leading to a decrease in information entropy.

Although it may offer an intriguing perspective on the universe, can it provide us with any novel insights, or is it merely a secondary and insignificant approach to describing entropy? According to Vopson, the concept has the potential to be a fundamental law that could impact a wide range of fields, including genetics and the evolution of the universe.

“Based on my research, it seems that the second law of infodynamics is an essential principle in cosmology.” According to Vopson’s article in The Conversation, this has broad applicability and significant scientific implications. “It is understood that the universe undergoes expansion while maintaining a constant total entropy, without any heat loss or gain.” However, it is important to note that entropy always increases according to the principles of thermodynamics. This indicates the presence of an additional form of entropy, namely information entropy, that serves to counterbalance the increase.

With the expertise of a seasoned scientist, Vopson observed the ever-changing SARS-CoV-2 virus throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular sequencing of the virus has been conducted to closely monitor its changes, primarily with the aim of developing new vaccines. Examining the RNA instead of DNA, he discovered a gradual decrease in information entropy.

One fascinating example of a rapidly mutating organism is a virus. According to Vopson, the pandemic has provided an exceptional opportunity for research, with the numerous variants of SARS-CoV-2 serving as an unprecedented test sample. The amount of data available is truly remarkable, as stated in a press release.

The COVID data provides strong evidence for the second law of infodynamics, and this research has the potential to unlock countless possibilities. Imagine examining a specific genome and determining the potential benefits of a mutation before it occurs. This technology has the potential to revolutionize various fields, such as genetic therapies, the pharmaceutical industry, evolutionary biology, and pandemic research.

According to Vopson’s perspective, this implies that mutations are not haphazard but rather subject to a governing principle that dictates that information entropy should either remain constant or decrease over time. If this discovery is verified, it would be truly remarkable, as it challenges our current understanding of evolution. Vopson draws attention to a previous experiment conducted in 1972, where a virus unexpectedly experienced a decrease in its genome over 74 generations under optimal conditions. He argues that this observation aligns with his second law of infodynamics.

“Mutations occur randomly and are then subject to natural selection, which determines their impact on an organism,” he explained. What if there’s an underlying process that fuels these mutations? Whenever we encounter something beyond our comprehension, we tend to label it as ‘random’, ‘chaotic’, or ‘paranormal’, when in reality, it is simply our own limitation in explaining it.

By adopting a deterministic perspective, we have the potential to harness the laws of physics to anticipate and forecast genetic mutations, or even their likelihood, prior to their occurrence.

Vopson suggests that the law could potentially provide an explanation for the prevalence of symmetry in the universe.

“A high level of symmetry is associated with a state of low information entropy, which aligns with the requirements of the second law of infodynamics,” stated Vopson in his paper. “Therefore, this fascinating observation seems to provide an explanation for the prevalence of symmetry in the universe; it can be attributed to the influence of the second law of information dynamics.”

The audacious assertions (with their need for additional evidence) don’t end there.

“According to Vopson in The Conversation, the second law of infodynamics is a cosmological necessity and seems to have a universal application. This suggests that the entire universe might be a simulated construct or a massive computer.”

“In order to efficiently run a simulation of our incredibly complex universe, it would be necessary to incorporate data optimization and compression techniques. This would help reduce the computational power and data storage requirements needed for the simulation.” This is precisely what we see happening everywhere, from digital data and biological systems to mathematical symmetries and the vast expanse of the universe.”

Confirmation of the “second law of infodynamics” wouldn’t necessarily imply that we are living in a simulation. It’s important to consider that the theory could still hold true even if that scenario isn’t the case. There are additional quantum mechanical effects that seem to indicate that we are not.

So, what are the next steps for testing this further? According to the principles of infodynamics, it is believed that information possesses mass, enabling it to interact with all other entities. There are indications that this might be true, as suggested by a study conducted in 2012 that found that irreversible erasure of information seems to release heat. According to Vopson’s findings, it suggests that this energy needs to be converted into mass before it can be erased, essentially treating information as a distinct form of matter that is on par with mass and energy.

Experimentally determining whether information possesses mass may not pose a significant challenge. Performing a basic experiment involves measuring the mass of a hard drive both before and after irreversible information erasure. Regrettably, our current capabilities are insufficient to handle the minute mass change anticipated.

However, if this theory holds true, it is highly probable that elementary particles would contain valuable self-information, as suggested by Vopson. For example, consider the fascinating process of informing an electron (perhaps the sole electron in the entire universe) about its unique characteristics, such as its charge and spin. An interesting experiment involves colliding particles and antiparticles at high velocities.

“The experiment entails eradicating the information stored within elementary particles by allowing them and their antiparticles (mirror images of the particles with opposite charge) to annihilate, resulting in a burst of energy known as ‘photons’ or light particles,” explained Vopson. “I have accurately determined the anticipated range of frequencies for the photons that will be produced using principles from information physics.”

Although the concept may not align with conventional thinking, the experiment comes at a relatively affordable price of $180,000 (which is insignificant for advocates of simulation theory like Elon Musk) and can be tested using existing technology. Indeed, it may provide valuable insights into the validity of the concept. Exploring this idea could prove to be intriguing, as we aim to either dismiss it or determine its significance in terms of mass.

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Space Exploration

The first-ever X-ray image of a solitary atom

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Recalling X-rays may bring back memories of fractures or routine dental examinations. However, this highly intense light has the ability to reveal more than just our skeletal structure. It is also employed to investigate the intricate realm of molecules, including real-time analysis of biochemical reactions. However, a significant challenge arises as scientists have yet to examine a solitary atom using X-rays. Up until this point,.

Scientists have successfully characterized a single atom using X-rays. They were able to distinguish the type of atoms they observed, as there were two different ones. Additionally, they successfully studied the chemical behavior exhibited by these atoms.

Scanning probe microscopes are able to capture images of atoms, but it’s impossible to determine their composition without the use of X-rays. With our advanced technology, we have the ability to precisely identify the specific type of an individual atom and analyze its chemical state simultaneously,” stated Professor Saw Wai Hla, a senior author from the University of Ohio and the Argonne National Laboratory.

Once we achieve that, we can track the materials all the way down to the smallest possible unit of just one atom. This will have a significant impact on the environmental and medical sciences and potentially lead to groundbreaking discoveries that could greatly benefit humanity. This discovery has the potential to revolutionize the world.

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Through careful analysis, the study successfully monitored the movement of an iron atom and a terbium atom, which belong to the group of rare-earth metals. Both of them were placed within their respective molecular hosts. An ordinary X-ray detector was enhanced with an additional, unique one. This particular one featured a specialized, sharp metal tip that needed to be positioned in close proximity to the sample in order to gather the X-ray-excited electrons. By analyzing the measurements obtained from the tip, the team was able to determine the composition of the substance, and that’s not the end of it.

“We have also been able to detect the chemical states of individual atoms,” Hla explained. When you look at the chemical states of an iron atom and a terbium atom in their molecular hosts, it is clear that the terbium atom stays alone and its chemical state does not change because it is a rare-earth metal. On the other hand, the iron atom exhibits strong interactions with its surrounding environment.

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The signal observed by the detector has been likened to fingerprints. Researchers can gain a comprehensive understanding of a sample’s composition and explore its physical and chemical properties. This has the potential to greatly enhance the performance and application of a wide range of materials, both commonly used and more obscure ones.

“The technique employed and the concept demonstrated in this study have made significant advancements in the field of X-ray science and nanoscale studies,” stated Tolulope Michael Ajayi, the first author of the paper and conducting this research as part of his PhD thesis. Furthermore, the utilization of X-rays for the detection and analysis of individual atoms has the potential to bring about significant advancements in research and pave the way for innovative technologies in fields like quantum information and the identification of trace elements in environmental and medical studies, among others. This accomplishment also paves the way for cutting-edge instrumentation in the field of materials science.

The study has been published in the prestigious journal Nature.

A previous iteration of this article was published in May 2023.

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Android

TikTok Shop is now introducing its collection of pre-owned high-end fashion items to customers in the United Kingdom

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TikTok Shop, the social commerce marketplace of TikTok, is introducing a new section dedicated to secondhand luxury items in the United Kingdom. This move positions TikTok Shop in direct rivalry with existing platforms such as The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, Depop, Poshmark, and Mercari. The offering has been present at TikTok Shop U.S. for a duration exceeding six months.

The addition of this new category enables clients in the United Kingdom to conveniently buy second-hand luxury garments, designer purses, and various accessories from within the TikTok application. Upon its inception, the platform offers a selection of only five British brands, namely Sellier, Luxe Collective, Sign of the Times, HardlyEverWornIt, and Break Archive.

Since its introduction in 2022, TikTok Shop has generated sales of approximately $1 billion or more in merchandise value. Nevertheless, despite its triumph, some contend that TikTok Shop is undermining the short-form video-sharing platform, alleging that counterfeit and substandard merchandise are inundating the market. The purchase of pre-owned luxury goods online carries the greatest danger of encountering counterfeit products, even for major e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and others, which also struggle with ensuring authenticity.

TikTok Shop, like other resale marketplaces, implements an anti-counterfeit policy that ensures a complete reimbursement in the event that a seller is verified to have sold a counterfeit item. Bloomberg has disclosed that the corporation is engaged in discussions with luxury goods company LVMH to enhance efforts to combat counterfeiting.

Every secondhand brand on TikTok Shop in the U.S. must possess certificates from third-party authenticators. TikTok collaborated with authentication providers Entrupy and Real Authentication to verify the authenticity of designer handbags available on the platform.

Concurrently, a representative from TikTok informed me that the five British brands each possess their own internal verification procedure. They declined to provide the commencement date for accepting secondhand brands other than their own.

TikTok Shop’s introduction of a used luxury category is a calculated maneuver to access the expanding market for previously owned high-end goods. The secondhand luxury market is a prosperous industry valued at around $49.3 billion (€45 billion) in 2023, with global sales of pre-owned designer items.

Moreover, this expansion is in line with the growing inclination of individuals towards adopting preloved fashion, and it creates new opportunities for secondhand brands in the U.K. to access a broader client demographic. The prevalence of secondhand fashion on TikTok is apparent, as seen by more than 144,000 TikTok postings utilizing the hashtag #secondhandfashion, resulting in nearly 1.2 billion views.

Today’s statement follows closely after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill mandating that ByteDance sell TikTok or else risk a ban in the U.S. This bill seems to be gaining favor in the Senate. An embargo would have a significant impact on American merchants who sell their products on the application. As per the company’s statement, the brief video-sharing application produced a total of $14.7 billion in revenue for small- to mid-size enterprises in the year 2023.

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