Facebook gets caught red-handed with Cambridge Analytica, HTC releases a premium VR device that asks you to break the bank, and YouTube lets everyone in the world go live with just the click of a button.

Dark clouds are approaching and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to be just watching.
Dark clouds are approaching and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to be just watching. (Getty Images)

Just like every other week in tech, we've again seen something crazy come out of a tech company. This time, Facebook. The whole scandal, that we'll explain here, caused the company to lose $50 billion in market value — that's more than Tesla's entire market cap — in just two days.

The scandal

In 2014, when Facebook was more liberal with its users' data, Cambridge Analytica (CA), a political marketing company, worked with an academic to conduct an online psychological quiz. Users were asked to sign in with their Facebook information. Users, knowingly, accepted the terms that allowed the academic and the data company to access their profiles. But, here's the catch: Facebook's APIs allowed developers to access those users' friends' profiles. Since 270,000 people signed up for this quiz, and they all had friends, CA was able to gather info from 50 million people's profiles.

So here's the deal.  Though what Cambridge Analytica did was technically possible through the public APIs provided by Facebook, it wasn't allowed under their terms and conditions (the legal stuff that no one really reads). Facebook noticed this breach of rules and asked CA to delete the data. They said they did, but guess what? They didn't. Oops. Later on, CA used this data in order to target various audiences for their marketing campaigns.

If you find our explanation of the data scandal boring, you can watch this video explaining the whole scandal.

YouTube lets everyone go live

If you've been dreaming of becoming famous but never had the chance, YouTube is now giving you one.  A new feature the company is rolling out will allow any video creator to start a live stream, or as we'd like to call it here at TRT World, Go Live. All the complicated things like setting up encoding software are eliminated so that you can broadcast your life to your mom and her friends. 

It only works on Chrome (surprised?), but will be expanded to other browsers in time.

Joking aside, YouTube is making access to live streaming easier in order to gain an advantage in an already crowded and heated live stream market. So, how will this new feature pan out against rivals like Periscope, Twitch and Facebook Live?

You can try it out from this link. Please share your broadcast with us, we'd love to watch it.

We are so interested in your lives on Live.
We are so interested in your lives on Live. (Youtube)

HTC Vive Pro headset is killing it, with its over-priced device

HTC's new virtual reality, a.k.a. VR, device costs $799 and guess what? It doesn't even have controllers. It will begin shipping starting on April 5, 2018. The device happens to be one of the priciest VR headsets out there and the full package, with sensors and controllers, might take the price all the way up to $999.

For reference, Oculus Go is only $199 and has no cords. It comes with some disadvantages, but it's hard to justify paying the same price you'd pay for an iPhone X to basically a gaming headset you'd rarely be using. 

The premise of Vive Pro is that it sports better performance and higher video quality. It's also one of those new VR headsets without cords shackling you to your computer. But maybe it's good to keep those cords — they keep you tethered to the real world.

So beautiful. So expensive. Welcome to the world of VR.
So beautiful. So expensive. Welcome to the world of VR. (HTC)


Speaking of Virtual Reality, we can't resist a plug for our very own and (we think) very cool VR game. Launched by TRT World's R&D labs team, Blackbox is an emotional rollercoaster ride through the childhood memories of Sami, a Syrian boy, who shares personal stories of happiness and joy, of sadness and remorse, of his life in war-torn Syria.

I would strongly suggest you try Blackbox with a Vive Pro, because why not? You won't be disappointed.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies