Oculus Quest 2-Standalone VR; Google “Nearby” Search Filter for COVID Safety; AT&T Considering Cell Plans Subsidized by Ads; Library of Congress-AI Tool Searches 16 Million News Articles for Photos

Facebook has announced the Oculus Quest 2 at the Connect conference. According to engadget.com, the new unit has sharper displays…50% higher resolution than the prior model, and it also features smoother 90Hz refresh rates. Most importantly, the 2 starts at $299…a nice drop in price point for standalone VR. The 2 is 10% lighter than before, according to Facebook, and the head strap is a more flexible material. They will also offer different face plate options for wider and narrower heads. The Quest 2 will be available October 13th. For $299, you get 64 gigs of storage, and for another hundred, 256 gigs of storage.

Google has showed off a couple new features, including a “nearby” filter to determine if a product you are hunting for is available near you. 9to5google.com reports that the feature will also help you find in-store pickup, curbside pickup, and delivery options from stores. The features should be available soon, and Google isn also adding new features to its Merchant Center to help businesses optimize product listings to display the new features. This is all in response to what Google says has been a hefty spike in the past few months of people looking for ‘safe shopping’ and curbside pickup due COVID-19.

In the continued search for more money, AT&T is considering offering wireless plans subsidized by ads…maybe by next year. Reuters.com says it could mean a $5 or $10 cheaper phone bill per month. Although this has been tried before by Sprint’s Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, AT&T thinks better targeting will be the key to success with this plan. It ties in with the ad-supported version of AT&T’s video streaming service HBO Max.

The Library of Congress (LOC) had put out an AI search tool that lets you comb through some 16 million old newspaper pages for historical images. According to thenextweb.com, you just enter a keyword in the Newspaper Navigator, and the AI will surface matches with a data set of 1.56 million newspaper images. You can then narrow things to a date range and state where the paper was published. The images are clickable, and you can download them, plus read the article it is in…or even view the full issue of that paper.



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