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posted by martyb on Tuesday November 13 2018, @11:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the reality,-virtually dept.

Ex-Facebook exec ousted from company sparked controversy with pro-Trump views: report

A former top executive at Facebook who was ousted from the company may have been fired over his support for Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reported Sunday that Palmer Luckey has recently told people that he was fired for supporting Trump before that year's presidential election. Luckey's donation in September 2016 to NimbleAmerica, a group that funded ads attacking Hillary Clinton, reportedly sparked backlash within Facebook.

Six months after making that donation, Luckey was no longer at the company. The Journal noted that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress this year that Luckey's departure had nothing to do with his political beliefs.

According to the Journal, Luckey was first put on leave and later fired. In the fall of 2016, Zuckerberg pressured Luckey to voice support publicly for Gary Johnson, the libertarian nominee in that year's election, the Journal reported, citing internal emails and sources familiar with the conversations.

"Zuckerberg lied to Congress" could become a bipartisan statement.

Palmer Luckey.

Also at NBC.

Previously: Founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, Departs Facebook
Oculus Co-Founder Pitches Virtual Border Wall

Related: Oculus VR Founder Palmer Luckey on the Need for "Unlimited Graphics Horsepower"
Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax
Palmer Luckey Donates to CrossVR Patreon
Oculus Co-Founder Brendan Iribe Leaves Facebook


Original Submission

Related Stories

Oculus VR Founder Palmer Luckey on the Need for "Unlimited Graphics Horsepower" 34 comments

Tom's Hardware conducted an interview with Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR. The defining takeaway? Virtual reality needs as much graphics resources as can be thrown at it:

Tom's Hardware: If there was one challenge in VR that you had to overcome that you really wish wasn't an issue, which would it be?

Palmer Luckey: Probably unlimited GPU horsepower. It is one of the issues in VR that cannot be solved at this time. We can make our hardware as good as we want, our optics as sharp as we can, but at the end of the day we are reliant on how many flops the GPU can push, how high a framerate can it push? Right now, to get 90 frames per second [the minimum target framerate for Oculus VR] and very low latencies we need heaps of power, and we need to bump the quality of the graphics way down.

If we had unlimited GPU horsepower in everybody's computer, that will make our lives very much easier. Of course, that's not something we can control, and it's a problem that will be solved in due time.

TH: Isn't it okay to deal with the limited power we have today, because we're still in the stepping stones of VR technology?

PL: It's not just about the graphics being simple. You can have lots of objects in the virtual environment, and it can still cripple the experience. Yes, we are able to make immersive games on VR with simpler graphics on this limited power, but the reality is that our ability to create what we are imagining is being limited by the limited GPU horsepower.

[...] The goal in the long run is not only to sell to people who buy game consoles, but also to people who buy mobile phones. You need to expand so that you can connect hundreds of millions of people to VR. It may not necessarily exist in the form of a phone dropping into a headset, but it will be mobile technologies -- mobile CPUs, mobile graphics cards, etc.

In the future, VR headsets are going to have all the render hardware on board, no longer being hardwired to a PC. A self-contained set of glasses is a whole other level of mainstream.

[More after the Break]

Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax 6 comments

Mark Zuckerberg's first courtroom testimony hasn't gone over so well. A jury has awarded ZeniMax Media Inc. $500 million in damages in the Oculus Rift case:

The virtual reality headset maker that Facebook Inc. bought in 2014 for $2 billion used stolen technology, a jury said in awarding $500 million damages to ZeniMax Media Inc.

Jurors in Dallas federal court on Wednesday sided with ZeniMax in its trade-secrets case over the Oculus Rift, the device that has put the social media giant at the forefront of the virtual reality boom. The verdict is a rebuke of Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, who isn't a defendant but who told jurors in his first-ever courtroom testimony that it was important for him to be there because the claims by ZeniMax Media Inc. were "false."

The case is ZeniMax Media Inc. v. Oculus VR Inc., 3:14-cv-01849, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas). Not to be confused with the Eastern District of Texas. From a 2013 article in Dallas News:

Judges in the Northern District, which includes Dallas and Fort Worth, saw an 18 percent increase in patent cases filed. And legal experts expect that number will significantly increase in 2013 now that three judges in Dallas have committed to focusing more of their time and expertise on intellectual property disputes.

Also at The Verge.

Previously:
Facebook to Buy Rift Maker Oculus VR for $2bn
Mark Zuckerberg Will Testify in Oculus VR Trade Secrets Trial


Original Submission

Founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, Departs Facebook 5 comments

Palmer Luckey has left Facebook:

Palmer Luckey, a founder of the virtual-reality technology company Oculus, has left Facebook three years after the social network acquired his company for close to $3 billion. Mr. Luckey's departure was announced two months after a trial in federal court over allegations that he and several colleagues had stolen trade secrets from a video-game publisher, ZeniMax Media, to create the Oculus technology. A jury found Facebook liable for $500 million in damages, in part for Mr. Luckey's violation of a confidentiality agreement.

"Palmer will be dearly missed," Tera Randall, an Oculus spokeswoman, said in a statement. "His inventive spirit helped kick-start the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry." Ms. Randall declined to disclose the terms of Mr. Luckey's departure. [...] In January, Facebook appointed a new leader, Hugo Barra, to head up the company's virtual-reality efforts, including Oculus.

Will the first Palmer Luckey documentary be compatible with the next Oculus headset?

Also at TechCrunch, CNBC, and UploadVR.


Original Submission

Oculus Co-Founder Pitches Virtual Border Wall 61 comments

Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, who left Facebook in March, wants to build a wall... with LIDAR sensors:

Palmer Freeman Luckey was the kind of wunderkind Silicon Valley venerates. When he was just 21, he made an overnight fortune selling his start-up, a company called Oculus VR that made virtual-reality gear, to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014.

But the success story took a sideways turn this year when Mr. Luckey was pressured to leave Facebook months after news spread that he had secretly donated to an organization dedicated to spreading anti-Hillary Clinton internet memes.

[...] And he has a new start-up in the works, a company that is developing surveillance technology that could be deployed on borders between countries and around military bases, according to three people familiar with the plan who asked for anonymity because it's still confidential. They said the investment fund run by Peter Thiel, a technology adviser to Mr. Trump, planned to support the effort.

In an emailed statement, Mr. Luckey confirmed that he was working on a defense-related start-up. "We are spending more than ever on defense technology, yet the pace of innovation has been slowing for decades," he wrote. "We need a new kind of defense company, one that will save taxpayer dollars while creating superior technology to keep our troops and citizens safer."

Also at BBC, CNET, Boing Boing, PCMag, and Engadget.


Original Submission

Palmer Luckey Donates to CrossVR Patreon 12 comments

http://www.pcgamer.com/oculus-rift-creator-palmer-luckey-kicks-in-2000-to-crossvr-patreon/

Here's an unexpected twist: Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Oculus VR and the creator of the Oculus Rift, recently pledged $2000 per month to the Patreon for the CrossVR project that's developing Revive—the software that enables the use of Oculus-exclusive software of the HTC Vive headset.

[...] Luckey's support of the project could be seen as an amusing finger in the face of the company he founded but left (under under[sic] less-than-ideal circumstances) earlier this year, but as UploadVR reported in February, Oculus head of content Jason Rubin said at the 2017 DICE Summit that Oculus was not doing anything to stop Revive-type hacks from working, and was actually taking steps to enable them to run more effectively.


Original Submission

Oculus Co-Founder Brendan Iribe Leaves Facebook 11 comments

Oculus co-founder is leaving Facebook after cancellation of 'Rift 2' headset

Brendan Iribe, the co-founder and former CEO of Oculus, announced today that he is leaving Facebook, TechCrunch has learned.

Iribe is leaving Facebook following some internal shake-ups in the company's virtual reality arm last week that saw the cancellation of the company's next generation "Rift 2" PC-powered virtual reality headset, which he had been leading development of, a source close to the matter told TechCrunch.

Iribe and the Facebook executive team had "fundamentally different views on the future of Oculus that grew deeper over time," and Iribe wasn't interested in a "race to the bottom" in terms of performance, we are told.

[...] The cancellation of the company's next-gen PC-based "Rift 2" virtual reality product showcases how the interests of Facebook's executive leadership have centered on all-in-one headsets that don't require a connection to an external PC or phone. In May, Oculus released the $199 Oculus Go headset and plans to release the $399 Oculus Quest headset sometime next spring.

Update 1: Oculus reconfirms "future version of Rift" amid PC cancellation rumors

Update 2: John Carmack: 'I Intend To Stay At Facebook After Oculus Quest Launch'

Also at CNBC, The Verge, and Gizmodo.

Previously: Founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, Departs Facebook
Instagram Co-Founders to Step Down From Facebook

Related: Facebook Launches Oculus Go, a $200 Standalone VR Headset
Facebook Announces a New Standalone VR Headset: Oculus Quest; HTC Releases Vive Wireless Adapter


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13 2018, @11:32PM (12 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13 2018, @11:32PM (#761498)

    I wonder if the subsequent years led Luckey to regret his decision or if he remained crazy.

    More importantly though FB should be sued into the ground if they fired him over political affiliations.

    But hey, I mean if Kavanaugh, Pai, Scott and so many others get to blatantly lie to Congress why crucify Zuckerberg? Good for the goose good for the gander right? I find the hypocrisy here a little much, but not enough to make me give up on the idea of justice.

    Any Trumpettes around here agree with my statement? Should we hold Zuckerberg accountable along with Trump's swamp creatures? Additionally, if Trump is found guilty of breaking the law will you rise above your partisan anger? Or will we kick off the stupidest civil war ever?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13 2018, @11:40PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13 2018, @11:40PM (#761501)

      No one who voted for Trump regrets anything except that he doesn't seem to have done anything about the rampant corruption of his supposed opponents and their apparently failed coup attempt. I didn't vote for him btw.

      • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @12:28AM (7 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @12:28AM (#761526)

        Plenty of people have Trumpgret. I don't blame people for hoping he would shake things up and make some good changes, but 2 years later that was obviously just more of his lies. You can keep burying your head in the sand, whether you voted for him or not, but the facts are pretty clear.

        Coup attempt??? Lol, you realize all the coups have come from Republicans stealing elections right?

        Woops, there I go again, trying to explain reality to someone who doesn't wanna hear it.

        • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @12:53AM (6 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @12:53AM (#761535)

          I was going to explain the coup but if you are talking about Trump and still think it has something to do with "republicans" its a waste of time. Some names Peter Strozk, James Comey, James Clapper, Hillary Clinton, Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr, Joseph Mifsud, Christopher Steele (and all his "russian sources"), Stefan Halper.

          I would start with the OIG report and then go on to read the various indictments. Here is part of the same crew trying to avoid investigating Hillary Clinton:

          The case agent told the OIG that no one had contacted him about the laptop
          and, as the case agent, “the only person who has the authority to release that
          laptop’s image is me.” The case agent explained his growing concern by stating:

          The crickets I was hearing was really making me uncomfortable
          because something was going to come crashing down.... And my
          understanding, which is uninformed because...I didn’t work the Hillary
          Clinton matter. My understanding at the time was I am telling you
          people I have private Hillary Clinton emails, number one, and
          BlackBerry messages, number two. I’m telling you that we have
          potentially 10 times the volume that Director Comey said we had on
          the record. Why isn’t anybody here? Like, if I’m the supervisor of any
          CI squad in Seattle and I hear about this, I’m getting on with
          headquarters and saying, hey, some agent working child porn here
          may have [Hillary Clinton] emails. Get your ass on the phone, call
          [the case agent], and get a copy of that drive, because that’s how you
          should be. And that nobody reached out to me within, like, that night,
          I still to this day I don’t understand what the hell went wrong.

          The case agent told us that he scheduled a meeting on October 19 with the
          two SDNY AUSAs assigned to the Weiner investigation because he felt like he had
          nowhere else to turn. He described AUSA 1, the lead prosecutor, as a friend. He
          added, “I felt like if I went there and [AUSA 1] got the attention of Preet Bharara,
          maybe they’d kick some of these lazy FBI folks in the butt and get them moving.”
          The case agent stated that he told the AUSAs in detail about the emails he had
          seen between Clinton and Abedin. He continued:

          And I told her, I’m a little scared here. I don’t know what to do
          because I’m not political. Like I don’t care who wins this election, but
          this is going to make us look really, really horrible. And it could ruin
          this case, too. And...I said the thing that also bothers me is that
          Comey’s testimony is inaccurate. And as a big admirer of the guy, and
          I think he’s a straight shooter, I wanted to, I felt like he needed to
          know, like, we got this. And I didn’t know if he did.

          The AUSAs both told us that the case agent appeared to be very stressed and
          worried that somehow he would be blamed in the end if no action was taken. AUSA
          1 stated that the case agent worried that the information relating to the Clinton
          emails had not been provided to the right people and AUSA 2 observed that the
          case agent “was getting, for lack of a better word, paranoid that, like, somebody
          was not acting appropriately, somebody was trying to bury this.”

          https://www.justice.gov/file/1071991/download [justice.gov]

          Don't bother trying to continue the conversation with any fake news wild speculations. Only reliable sources (direct quotes from people and gov documents). Also, Trump has acted pretty much as expected besides not seeming to drain the swamp quick enough, so I don't see what people who voted for him would be upset about.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @12:56AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @12:56AM (#761536)

            Crap, forgot Andrew McCabe and his redacted $75k table. Someone should be in court for that as well.

          • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @02:24AM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @02:24AM (#761553)

            Sky is green, roses are blue, trump is an idiot and so are you!

            For all the claims of Trump Derangement Syndrome around here the HDS has been going strong for years even after "winning". Is your copy of COINTELPRO you stole from the CIA outdated? Whataboutism is out of style and only still works on the cultists who joined Trump in crazy land.

            Even if your accusations have merit they have zero to do with Trump at this point. Don't think people have reason to be mad at Trump? You're a total idiot, like epic.

            What is the proper slang in Russian for epic?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @02:28AM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @02:28AM (#761555)

              Too bad I guess. Maybe a non-rabid (there must be a better term for the opposite of rabid...) person will come across the info and find it useful.

              • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @04:11AM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @04:11AM (#761590)

                Your reply simply reeks of whataboutism and distraction from the point.

                I guess you're right, the most insecure people in the world believe all the lies told to them and revere Trump because he is an obnoxious self-important asshole. They believe the lies so why should they be angry? The insecure desire that which they lack and revere Trump despite his beyond flagrantly immoral nature. He is an asshole to the people they don't like so they don't care about anything else and forget to really check the truth. He dropped a phat one on some poor city, he acts like an asshole to allies and sucks up like a fat pig to countries very hostile to the US. He is THEIR asshole. Even when he stabs them in the back they will die a happy death knowing they died for the cause.

                "We demand you let us discriminate against 'the gays', control other people's bodies and women's in particular, and ignore all the atrocities of prejudice."

                I doubt you're intentions are pure, but if so then your citation is off-topic and should be filed under "Case 1,832,922 of the corrupt officials investigations."

                I have no problem with you trying to root out corruption, but given the thread's start it seems more likely you're only trying to pivot the discussion. May I assume you are the same AC I'm replying to? If so then "No one who voted for Trump regrets anything except that he doesn't seem to have done anything about the rampant corruption of his supposed opponents" is the most batshit crazy statement trying to shift the blame immediately despite overwhelming evidence... I mean... just wow shill. Just wow.

                I guess it helps if your readers are psychologically vulnerable when certain topics are brought up.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @04:33AM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @04:33AM (#761601)

                  Sorry, forgot to sign the above post:
                  ~~Aristrachus

                  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Wednesday November 14 2018, @05:15AM

                    by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday November 14 2018, @05:15AM (#761608) Journal

                    Sorry, forgot to sign the above post:
                    ~~Aristrachus

                    Nope, wasn't me! And, oh, if you are going to deal in fake news and false attribution, you should learn to spell correctly. Proper names, at least.

                    Signed, Anofibulous Cowinkle

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by NewNic on Tuesday November 13 2018, @11:47PM (2 children)

      by NewNic (6420) on Tuesday November 13 2018, @11:47PM (#761503) Journal

      More importantly though FB should be sued into the ground if they fired him over political affiliations.

      And nothing to do with having to pay ZeniMax $500M?

      --
      lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday November 14 2018, @12:10AM (1 child)

        by edIII (791) on Wednesday November 14 2018, @12:10AM (#761520)

        Yeah, that alone is why it isn't mystical, requiring the tossing of the bones, to figure out why Luckey was fired. You have to cost the company more than $1 billion, and have the executive keys to the right bathrooms before you can escape consequences.

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @12:30AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14 2018, @12:30AM (#761528)

          Now I'm torn. I'd really like to see the hurt put on FB but not at the cost of justice. Thanks for the info, now I can respond factually to the inevitable crying about this.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday November 13 2018, @11:57PM (2 children)

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday November 13 2018, @11:57PM (#761508)

    I wonder if this quiet wee corner of the Internet will fill up with ill-informed shouting? The odds are pretty good.

    Palmer Luckey was sacked for losing Facebook lots and lots of money. Turns out he stole trade secrets from someone else, and the court wants Facebook to pay up.

    I would fire him and so would you, but not because he says he likes Donald, but because he has no value anymore. He should retire somewhere nice and enjoy his money.

    The "fired for political opinions" thing will be a story planted by Palmer's PR company to try to screw some extra dough out of Facebook.

    Good luck to him.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by schad on Wednesday November 14 2018, @01:25AM (1 child)

      by schad (2398) on Wednesday November 14 2018, @01:25AM (#761541)

      What was his personal involvement with that whole trade secrets dispute?

      My understanding is that the trade secrets came with John Carmack (of id, which was later bought by Zenimax). Even if Palmer hired Carmack specifically with the intent of using Carmack to steal Zenimax's trade secrets, it's hard to see how most of the blame for that wouldn't rest with Carmack -- who, by the way, still works for Facebook, as far as I know.

      • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Wednesday November 14 2018, @01:56AM

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Wednesday November 14 2018, @01:56AM (#761543)

        I checked again, and it turns out that Luckey violated the NDA he had with ZeniMax.

        Either way, he cost Facebook money and showed poor judgement.

        Anyway, firing people because of their political beliefs is illegal and Facebook are not stupid.

  • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Wednesday November 14 2018, @02:15AM (5 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Wednesday November 14 2018, @02:15AM (#761548)

    The whole situation bums me out. The Oculus Rift is cool technology and so much better than the much more expensive headsets that came before it (Sony, etc.) All the old stuff felt like looking through toilet paper tubes. I got a DK1 and later a DK2. Oculus gave me a production Rift for free for being one of the original backers.
    As the Oculus library software evolved though I felt they made many bad choices, and it was obvious they were heading towards the black box mentality and shoving in network code for future required network connections and online storefront stuff. It was still very fun writing some basic demos and exploring the hardware, even on the DK1.
    When the sold the facebook it was an obvious cashout and the end of the line for the hardware. Certainly it doomed any hope of an open and documented hardware system. After that I didn't really care what happened.
    In general though I'm all for holding him accountable. Although, all anyone was talking about was his donations and political beliefs during that 6 months. To say it was irrelevant to what happened seems somewhat disingenuous.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday November 14 2018, @02:46AM (4 children)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday November 14 2018, @02:46AM (#761567) Journal

      There are plenty of competitors and much better hardware coming out down the line (better resolution, wider field of view, foveated rendering, etc.).

      The important part is the content. If Faceboculus grows the VR market with Go/Quest and encourages the creation of a lot of content, and most of that content can be played/viewed on other devices, then it is a good thing.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Wednesday November 14 2018, @03:48AM (3 children)

        by deimtee (3272) on Wednesday November 14 2018, @03:48AM (#761585) Journal

        I want one that has two cameras placed directly in front of your eyes, as close as the hardware allows, that just pump video straight in with minimum lag and maximum field of view. The video screens should have a maximum brightness that is incapable of hurting your eyes, and the cameras should be able to tolerate up to arc welding levels of light input. Bonus points for including focus adjustments so that you don't need prescription glasses, and magnification modes for fine work.
        Would make welding easier, and playing with lasers much safer.

        --
        No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
        • (Score: 2) by tibman on Wednesday November 14 2018, @04:26AM (2 children)

          by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 14 2018, @04:26AM (#761598)
          --
          SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
          • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Wednesday November 14 2018, @05:29AM (1 child)

            by deimtee (3272) on Wednesday November 14 2018, @05:29AM (#761615) Journal

            The hardware is getting there, but that isn't quite what I want. Probably something designed for augmented reality rather than VR. I want a high res high frame rate view of reality, with enhancements like eye protection and magnification. Wider spectrum, colour enhancing, and IR options would be nice too.
            Data overlays/modifications on real video, not a reimaging of a computer model, even if it is generated from the cameras. I want to operate in the real world with eye protection and extra data. Hmm. Thinking about enhancements, I wonder how tough it would be to do sonar with one of these.

            And so we are not completely off-topic, Fuck Zuckerberg. If he lied to Congress, chuck him in prison for perjury.

            --
            No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
            • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday November 15 2018, @06:12PM

              by Freeman (732) on Thursday November 15 2018, @06:12PM (#762268) Journal

              Yes, I would love some sci-fi goggles too, please. Preferably ones that are nicer than my prescription glasses and will stop me from having to get new prescription glasses every couple of years.

              --
              Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
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