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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday April 14 2019, @02:54PM   Printer-friendly
from the conspiracies-everywhere dept.

Creepy Messages Will be Found in Facebook's Oculus Touch VR Controllers

Facebook has revealed that hidden messages were inadvertently printed inside VR controllers that will be shipped to customers soon:

Facebook said it accidentally hid bizarre and "inappropriate" messages inside "tens of thousands" of virtual-reality controllers, including "Big Brother is Watching" and "The Masons Were Here." Nate Mitchell, the cofounder of Oculus, the Facebook-owned VR company, said on Twitter on Friday that the company inadvertently printed some unusual messages in its Touch controllers, handheld devices for playing games and navigating VR environments.

These messages were intended only for prototypes, but a mistake meant they were included in regular production devices, he said. Some messages were included in developer kits for people building software for the product, while others made their way into consumer devices in significantly larger numbers. While there should have been no internal messages of any kind in any of the devices, a Facebook representative told Business Insider that the company would not recall them.

"Unfortunately, some 'easter egg' labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of Touch controllers," Mitchell wrote. "The messages on final production hardware say 'This Space For Rent' & 'The Masons Were Here.' A few dev kits shipped with 'Big Brother is Watching' and 'Hi iFixit! We See You!' but those were limited to non-consumer units," he said. iFixit is a tech repair company known for publicly deconstructing new gadgets and posting photos of their innards online.

Also at Road to VR.

Related: Facebook Announces a New Standalone VR Headset: Oculus Quest; HTC Releases Vive Wireless Adapter
(nobody made a submission about Rift S because it is boring)


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  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 14 2019, @08:06PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 14 2019, @08:06PM (#829469)

    As a SW engineer, I say that implementing an Easter egg is cool and finding one is even cooler.

    As a grown up I say that any organization that lacks sufficient QA to prevent Easter eggs getting out of the door is an organization that can't be trusted. Sure, this particular set of eggs doesn't do any real harm, but remember that this is Facebook. They are sitting on a megaton of personal data. For them to not have Easter eggs under control, says a lot about what else they might not have under control.

    I "grew up" the day I put an Easter egg in a SW tool used for E-CAD and released the new version. One of the steps for triggering the egg was to check the environment for a particular variable and its value. As it happens, there was a bug in that check that caused the tool to crash at start in some cases on some platforms. We supported 5 different UNIX & Linux versions back then. Everything was working fine on the platform I used for development - with the egg inadvertently half enabled during pre-release testing: the environment variable was set to one of the special values. The pre-release test cases also worked on all other platforms with no partial egg activation in place - but only by coincidence, as I would later learn. So I released... And then came the user complaints....

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  • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Sunday April 14 2019, @10:03PM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Sunday April 14 2019, @10:03PM (#829500) Homepage

    These aren't easter eggs though (as in, they weren't intended to exist in the final version nor intended to be found as a pleasant surprise). It's more like if lorem ipsum accidentally shipped into a final build of a game/prod website in a deactivated portion of the game/website.

    Obviously having sufficient QA would have caught this, but I don't think it's worth the investment (Pareto principle: catching 80% of the most common/important bugs costs 20% of the budget, catching the remaining 20% of corner case/insignificant bugs costs 80% of the budget).

    --
    Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @12:42AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @12:42AM (#829548)

    I "grew up" the day I put an Easter egg in a SW tool used for E-CAD and released the new version. [snip] As it happens, there was a bug in that check that caused the tool to crash at start in some cases on some platforms.

    So allowing a reckless, unskilled programmer with no concept of QA program everything other than Easter eggs is OK? Just not an Easter egg? You being bad at what you were being paid to do shouldn't shit on the entire concept of Easter eggs.