Apr 18, 2017

Facebook brings hanging out to virtual reality with Spaces

Combining its roots as a social network and its recent interest in virtual reality, Facebook unveiled Spaces for Oculus at its annual developer conference in San Jose, Calif. on Tuesday.

Virtual hanging out: Facebook Spaces lets users create an avatar (using suggested features that resemble their Facebook photos), connect with friends on the social network, and hang out in a virtual environment. The company has been interested in virtual reality socializing for some time: CTO Mike Schroepfer showed off an early version at last year's conference, though it was not a publicly available product at the time.

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Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syriaโ€™s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the warโ€™s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow20 mins ago - World

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Fear of coronavirus pandemic escalates

Photo: Abdulgani Basheer/AFP/Getty Images

In the blink of an eye, we've entered a new phase on the coronavirus.

The big picture: Italy, Iran and South Korea are at "decisive" points in their responses, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health