Weekly Digital News Roundup: Dec 3 – Dec 7
Virtuality Reality And The Future Of Music
- According to Techcrunch, pretty soon, you’ll be able to strap on a headset and spend a day immersed in the life of almost anyone on earth. Want to be Kanye West for a few hours, performing for a crowd of tens of thousands or hanging out with your beautiful family? Just pop on a pair of virtual reality goggles and get ready to live a superstar’s life. Tantalizing, isn’t it?
- Of course, virtual reality (VR) can be used for much more than living out a fantasy. The New York Times recently partnered with Google Cardboard to distribute headsets and allow users to spend virtual time in refugee camps around the world, which proved to be a shocking and sobering experience for many. You can watch as many videos and read as many articles as you like, but nothing comes close to be able to virtually walk around in someone else’s shoes for a period of time (short of actually being there). Hopefully, applications like this will foster a greater sense of empathy for people in tragic situations and compel more people to take action.
- VR has a ton of applications in music, ranging from educational to purely enjoyable. A few areas where VR could be massive in the music space in the next few years are music education, live music, and virtual A&R.
New York Looks Into ‘Speculative’ Ticket Resellers
- According to the New York Times, tickets for Bruce Springsteen’s 2016 tour will not go on sale until Friday, but hundreds of seats have already been listed for up to $5,000 or more on StubHub and other resale sites — listings that have drawn the attention of the New York attorney general in the latest volley over the $8 billion ticket scalping business.
- On Monday, letters from the office of the attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, were sent to StubHub and two other popular resale sites, TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats, asking about “speculative” ticket listings — offerings of seats on secondary markets when the seller may not actually possess the advertised tickets. Such listings are common in the online ticketing world, but the attorney general believes that they may constitute deceptive advertising, which would violate state business laws.
- “Speculative tickets harm both consumers and the ticket industry,” says the letter, signed by Jordan Adler, an assistant attorney general in the office’s Internet bureau. “In many cases, consumers who purchase a speculative ticket do not receive the seats that were advertised and paid for. In some cases, consumers receive no tickets at all. Speculative ticket sales also drive up prices for consumers, and often cause widespread confusion and frustration among consumers, who wonder how tickets can appear on the resale market before tickets are released to the public.”
Mercedes-Benz adds lane changes to its autonomous driving offerings
- According to the Washington Post, The auto industry took a small step toward autonomous driving when Mercedes-Benz announced Wednesday that it will automate some lane changes on its new E-Class next spring. Drivers at highway speeds will only need to activate a turn signal, and the car will then switch lanes, provided it determines it’s safe to do so. The new feature from Daimler — which some have called the leader in autonomous driving — is similar to a feature in Tesla’s autopilot that arrived in October.
- For the automated lane change to work, the car must be traveling between 50 mph and 112 mph and having steering assist activated. (That feature keeps the vehicle in the center of the lane.) Once the turn signal has been on for two seconds — and the car’s sensors determine a safe change can be made in three seconds — the vehicle will change lanes. The E-Class will rely on a camera and radar to ensure there isn’t a car in its path and to identify lane markings. Mercedes-Benz says the system will only work on multi-lane highways.
- Earlier this year Mercedes-Benz unveiled a concept car of an autonomous vehicle in which the driver’s seat could pivot and face passengers in the back seat. It also showed off a self-driving truck at the Hoover Dam in a push to encourage regulators to prepare for autonomous vehicles.