Facebook Swallows Up Oculus Rift

Tom Novak

So today we learned that Facebook bought Oculus VR for $2 billion.  That’s a lot less than the $19 billion Facebook paid for WhatsApp, and in my opinion Oculus Rift is a much more exciting product than WhatsApp with a lot more long term potential. I’m just not super excited that it’s Facebook that now controls Oculus Rift.

Oculus-RiftWhat does Zuckerberg have in mind?  In a statement, he talks about immersive gaming (let’s hope he isn’t thinking VR Farmville!) but goes on to say “after games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.”

But is Zuckerberg implying we can all look forward to spending time in virtual reality…

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Depressed by Facebook and WhatsApp

Tom Novak

I find Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp to be incredibly depressing. While you can argue that Facebook is paying “only” $42 for each of WhatsApp’s 450 million plus users, paying $19 billion for a 55 employee company that runs a messaging app just smells … very wrong.

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The first thought that comes to mind is, Facebook – why couldn’t you have figured this out yourself? This isn’t rocket science. Facebook has evolved into a bloated mess that ignores the concepts of usability. I see little resemblance between my desktop, iPhone, and iPad Facebook experiences. Facebook doesn’t guarantee that your friends will see your posts (in fact EdgeRank guarantees that most of your friends won’t see your posts) so now you have the added insult of Facebook asking you to pay to ensure that your posts will be seen. I don’t even enjoy using Facebook anymore. So why be surprised…

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My First Robo-Newspaper – Today’s Social Tech News

Tom Novak

logo-paper-liI just set up my first paper.li robo-newspaper, “Today’s Social Tech News” at TodaysSocialTech.com.  This newspaper is refreshed every morning, and brings in links from a set of 25 social media and technology Twitter feeds. These are the same feeds I access on my iPad through Flipboard, but paper.li produces a  Web page that organizes recent content from the 25 feeds into a nice-looking news format.

Right now I’m working with the free version of paper.li, so my domain name TodaysSocialTech.com redirects to a generic paper.li URL. A $99/year “Pro” upgrade will remove the fairly minor ads from the site, let me use my custom domain name, and give me a bit more control over the look of the newspaper and some other bells and whistles.  But for $99/year, I’d like to see more than 25  feeds as well as the ability to create more than one “Pro” newspaper…

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