Meta loses money in the metaverse, video games do not harm mental health, and Microsoft releases its earnings report.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday, July 29, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

Despite the hype around the metaverse, it’s still a nascent technology and profitability just isn’t there yet. As Meta’s Q2 results showed, the company’s VR division took a $2.8 billion loss in the second quarter although its VR hardware sales grew. The company’s vision of a complete metaverse where people would work and play in a fully immersive VR environment is far from complete. With that said, the metaverse is making some money. Meta Reality Labs generated $452 million in revenue, up from $305 million just a year ago. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg reassured investors in the Q2 earnings call, describing it as a “massive opportunity.”

New research will have worried parents breath a sigh of relief: no, video games do not harm mental health. The survey study, which involved nearly 40,000 gamers and both competitive and casual games, found no causal link between gaming and poor mental health. However, just like everything, gaming should be taken in moderation. The researchers warned that while gaming can be fun, it can become an issue if the players feel compelled to play them. Although this study is one of the largest to ever be conducted on gaming, researchers say it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the data available. There are over one billion gamers worldwide and more than 3,000 games on Nintendo’s platforms alone.

Microsoft has released its Q4 2022 data, reporting a $51.9 billion revenue, representing an increase of 12 per cent. While its Surface line of devices is doing great, increasing in revenue by 10 per cent, the demand for Windows has slipped due to what Microsoft describes as production slowdowns and a deteriorating PC market. Cloud services revenue climbed by 40 per cent. Despite the impressive number, this is still the slowest pace of growth for Microsoft’s cloud business in 15 quarters. Overall, the company just missed analysts’ predictions of $52.3 billion in revenue for Q4.

When BMW announced that it plans on soft-locking heated seats as subscriptions, it’s no surprise that hackers have begun tinkering their cars to unlock the feature for free. In South Korea, BMW is charging $18 a month to enable the feature, or a one-time $415 fee to keep it on permanently. It’s even offering a free trial to let drivers see if it’s actually worth it. The path to free heated seats may lie in the vehicle’s electronic control unit, although BMW is making it increasingly difficult to break since it controls several critical functions. But that certainly isn’t discouraging people from trying.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.


The post Hashtag Trending July 29 – Metaverse profit; videogames harmless in moderation; Microsoft earnings report first appeared on IT World Canada.

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