ShinyShiny snippets: Metaverse app lets kids into virtual strip clubs

Image: BBC

Some apps in the virtual-reality metaverse are “dangerous by design”, the NSPCC has warned in response to a BBC News investigation. A researcher posing as a 13-year-old girl witnessed grooming, sexual material, racist insults and a rape threat in the virtual-reality world. The children’s charity said it was “shocked and angry” at the findings. Head of online child safety policy Andy Burrows added the investigation had found “a toxic combination of risks”. The BBC News researcher – using an app with a minimum age rating of 13 – visited virtual-reality rooms where avatars were simulating sex. She was shown sex toys and condoms, and approached by numerous adult men. BBC 

Scientists have accidentally recorded the most complex human organ as it shuts down – providing an insight into what might happen in the moments before we die. A study, published in Frontiers In Aging Neuroscience, focused on an 87-year-old man being treated for epilepsy. The man was hooked up to an electroencephalogram, which records brain activity, when he had a sudden heart attack and died. But the electroencephalogram continued recording his brain activity, including during the 15 minutes around his death. Scientists saw that, in the 30 seconds either side of the man’s final heartbeat, there was an increase in a certain type of brain wave. Sky News

Image: Sony

Sony has officially revealed its design for the PlayStation VR 2 headset. In a detailed blog post, Sony showed off the PSVR 2 in all its glory, along with the updated and final design of the PlayStation VR2 Sense controller. “You’ll notice the PSVR2 headset has a similar shape as the PSVR2 Sense controller, taking on a matching ‘orb’ look. The circular orb shape represents the 360-degree view that players feel when they enter the virtual reality world, so this shape captures it nicely,” Nishino wrote. In addition to this, Nishino also revealed that the design was inspired by the “look of the PS5 family of products”. Eurogamer 

As it marks its fourth anniversary as a standalone performance brand, Cupra has detailed an ambitious plan to double its sales and expand its global presence. The Seat-owned performance brand sold 79,300 cars worldwide in 2021, a 189% increase over 2020, and plans to double this to nearly 160,000 units in 2022, which would be more than a third of the volumes of its parent company. The ambition forms part of an overarching strategy called Cupra X2, which will also see Cupra double its sales network and, ultimately, its turnover. Autocar 

Earlier this week, we had reported some Galaxy S22 Ultra units showing an odd display issue. More such instances have come to light as more people have started getting their hands on their pre-orders. Now, Samsung has acknowledged the problem and promised to fix it soon. Some Exynos 2200 variants of the Galaxy S22 Ultra are riddled with a bug that shows a horizontal pixelated line across the top portion of the display (where the clock widget is placed). This issue only occurs when the device is set to QHD+ resolution and Natural color mode. The line disappears as soon as the color mode is switched to Vivid. SamMobile

President Joe Biden highlighted his efforts to counter China’s dominance of the electric battery market on Tuesday as he touted domestic efforts to mine and process lithium and rare metals necessary to create the technology that powers cars, electronics, wind turbines and more. The Democratic president announced his administration is giving $35 million to MP Materials, a company that mines rare earth metals near the Nevada border in Southern California…He also touted efforts to extract lithium from geothermal brine found around California’s Salton Sea. Biden said U.S. demand for such materials will grow by 400% to 600% over the next several decades. AP News


Chris Price