Facebook’s Zuckerberg is on DC’s hot seat; is it time for data and privacy laws?

It’s time for The (Facebook) Talk

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in Washington D.C. today and tomorrow for what should be some interesting, tense and apologetic moments before members of Congress. We all know why he’s there: There’s been no escaping the ongoing – and enlarging – Cambridge Analytica scandal, and before that, there was the concerted effort by foreign powers to sway voters via Facebook in the last US presidential election – and perhaps in other political contests elsewhere.

But what it really comes down to is this: Your data. Yes, all the information about you, that you gave to Facebook, both when you signed up, and over time as you used the social network. Not long ago, Facebook seemed like simple fun, and if you were into tech stuff and were targeted with ads for, say, tech stuff, was that such a bad thing? But it turns out ad targeting was the least of what was going on. Your data, clearly, was for sale.

Now, there’s a growing movement behind a simple solution: Creating “opt-in only” rules – maybe even laws – for personal data protections. If Facebook – or any business – wants to collect and sell your data, you should have the option to just say NO. And if you opt in, it should be your call and a clear one at that, not an automatically marked check box buried somewhere in a legal dictionary of a EULA. That’s the opinion of DT’s Editor in Chief, Jeremy Kaplan, and you can read more about his thoughts on the whole Facebook debacle here, and as always, we welcome your comments on the matter.

Now that’s augmentation

We’ve been having a lot of fun with the new HTC Vive Pro, but the question as to whether virtual reality or the more ‘transparent’ augmented reality is the future of all these digital realities remains. Now, motion tracking specialists Leap Motion has developed a prototype headset that features some super-precise hand tracking and it can do some amazing stuff.

Called Project North Star, the headset features Leap Motion’s already well-known hand tracking system and a pair of semi-transparent displays each with 1600 by 1440 resolution – and a wide 105 degrees of total visibility. There are even a few videos showing how the system might be used, including the hand motion tracking system, a user “holding” a virtual cube and check out the “info tab” that tracks with your hand motion.

Leap Motion told the Verge that they’re really not a “headset” company, but that their goal is to get their technology built into AR systems built by other companies. Check out more information and videos at the link.

Coming soon: The new wave of found (4K) footage thrillers…

Amateur cinemaphiles, budding Spielbergs and video aficionados in general got a welcome surprise yesterday: A new 4K cinema-quality camera from Blackmagic Design that has all the goodies demanding video pros need – and one in particular.

Let’s hit the highlights of the new Pocket Cinema 4K Camera: Full cinema 4K capture at up to 60 frames per second, 13 stops of dynamic range, 12-bit Cinema DNG RAW mode, 10-bit Apple Pro-Rez 4-2-2 mode, ISO up to 25,600, a big 16:9 touchscreen out back, outputs for recording to high-speed SSD drives, XLR audio input, and it even uses widely available Canon camera batteries.

And that one big feature? The price: Just $1,295 for the body. You’ll have to pony up for lenses if you don’t already have some. If all those tech terms have you reaching for your wallet, we understand, but you’ll have to wait just a bit as it’s going to be September before you can start practicing some movie black magic of your own. We hear it even takes photos.

Video hat-tip: cinema5D on YouTube

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.