Xbox 360 – What Does "360" Mean?

The first time the Xbox 360 console was released, only a few questioned what the number is all about. Gamers only cared of getting their hands on the new console. But if you think that the number “360” was only placed there because it sounds good, well think again.

The meaning of 360 is that they will experience different game styles depending on their preferences and not depending on the game. Technically the number means a total turn around which is also applied on the Xbox 360 console. It moves away from traditional settings of game consoles. Usually players only rely on what is set on the game console and they cannot do anything about it. They would just have to go with the setting of the game. But with the 360, the players are able to specify the things that they want the game to do for them which gives the players a chance to experience different game plays. To add to that, they can also create their own game strategy and not just choose the options from the menu. 

Players have come to appreciate the meaning of 360. Though it is not perfect, it is definitely the next generation for video games. The game revolves around the player and everything relies on them. This kind of control is what every player needs without it they will just get bored and move on. Having total control is what makes the Xbox 360 console the top choice for video game consoles. Is there a next 360? Well, we just have to wait and find out.

How Samsung is leveraging VR to manage pain

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Pediatric patient using Samsung hardware to view AppliedVR program

As legislation at the state and federal level seeks to curb opioid prescriptions, providers are keen to find alternatives to such medication that alleviates patient anxiety and chronic pain symptoms but can be addictive.

Virtual reality could very well be that alternative.

Los Angeles-based startup AppliedVR has developed a platform with a library of interactive games and relaxing landscapes to draw users attention away from their pain, reducing dependence on pain medications with Samsung’s virtual reality hardware Gear VR.

Together, Samsung and AppliedVR are working with a group of hospitals to validate the technology for children and adults. In one randomized controlled trial, the two have collaborated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to evaluate the clinical utility of VR for inpatient pain management and its effect on narcotic use, length of stay, and patient satisfaction. The study is currently recruiting up to 120 hospitalized adults, according to the description on ClinicalTrials.gov’s website.

Dr. David Rhew, who is Samsung’s chief medical officer and head of healthcare and fitness, noted that virtual reality is commanding respect for its ability to relieve patients’ stress, anxiety, and pain before and after a procedure.

“Clinical findings from Cedars-Sinai and AppliedVR have shown that VR results in a 25 percent reduction in pain, in many cases obviating the need for narcotics, and a 60 percent reduction in stress and anxiety,” he said in a phone interview.

AppliedVR positions its technology as the first VR platform geared for clinical settings. The challenge of designing a product for clinical settings is that the company had to consider many more factors for how the company’s technology could be integrated into and optimized for clinical workflows, Josh Sackman, AppliedVR president, observed in a phone interview.

“You have to think way beyond product development,” Sackman said. Patient profiles, sanitary issues — how can the company resolve this to satisfy epidemiologists? All of these issues come into play.

“The biggest differentiator is the standard of care and getting patients to accept something new, Sackman added.

What’s interesting about AppliedVR’s approach is the diversity of partners and case studies it has amassed so far. The company’s website is peppered with them.

At Buena Vista Ambulatory Surgery Center, a child scheduled for the removal of a tumor from his hand put on the VR headset instead of the usual pre-surgery dose of Versed to reduce anxiety and cause drowsiness. It entertained him and negated the need for the drug, which has side effects that can persist throughout the day.

Although pediatrics is a significant area of interest, underscored by partnerships with Boston Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, AppliedVR is working for adult patient applications as well.

At Cedars-Sinai, a woman suffering debilitating abdominal pain from an undiagnosed gastrointestinal malady has not had much relief despite pain meds. Using Applied VR’s tech took her mind off of her pain and improved the patient’s physical state and mood, according to one use case, although it didn’t help the patient’s chronic condition.

Having a committed partner has been critical for the company’s advancement of its the VR platform in clinical settings, Sackman noted.

“It really does take a village to make something like this work. That is why Samsung is so important to us,” Sackman said. “Samsung is one of the only companies in VR to have a chief medical officer.”

Rhew said he’s excited by the potential of VR beyond alleviating anxiety and pain. There are also applications for training and extending the full potential of reading and interpreting medical images to give clinicians views, angles and information they need to make more informed treatment decisions. For instance, U.K.-based Medical Realities wants to use the power of VR to train doctors even in surgery. 

But, potential aside, clinical validation holds the key to the success and adoption of VR.

“Samsung is exploring pilots with other hospitals and healthcare organizations,” Rhew said.”Our hope is that as we continue to validate the clinical utility for VR and the 360-degree VR camera, we will see greater adoption of this technology and improved outcomes.”

Photo: AppliedVR

Facebook to Rank “Authentic” Content Higher on the News Feed

Facebook is updating its News Feed algorithm in an effort to rid its site of spam and click-bait.

The social network’s content clean-up process began in earnest in 2014 but was renewed in August of last year when it developed its own take on a click-bait targeting system akin to an email spam filter. The move pre-empted the company’s broader strategy to tackle fake news, kicked off in late 2016.

On Tuesday, Facebook announced it is adding signals to its News Feed algorithm to identify “authentic” posts from people and pages. The implementation process saw Facebook categorize Pages it identified as posting spam or trying to directly ask users for likes, comments and shares in order to boost content. The company used this data to train a model that continuously detects whether posts from other Pages are likely to be authentic. Facebook claims one indication that a publisher may be posting misleading items is if people keep hiding its posts.

More: Virtual phone number app Burner teams with Nomorobo to block spam calls

“We anticipate that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed,” writes Facebook in its blog post. “Some Pages might see a small increase in referral traffic or outbound clicks, and some Pages might see minor decreases. Pages should continue to post stories that are relevant to their audiences.”

As a result of the changes, “authentic” content could rank higher in your feed. The social network already ranks items in regards to whether they are “newsworthy” and of interest to users based on personal activity (such as likes, reactions, comments, and shares).

Facebook is also adding real-time signals to its ranking system to help it to spot relevant trends. Now, if a topic or post from a Page is gaining a lot of engagement from users in your network, the News Feed will be able to understand that in real-time and temporarily prioritize it. This could result in major breaking news and events posts being shown higher up in the News Feed due to the amount of chatter relating to them. The change builds on Facebook’s recent updates to its Trending feed, which saw it move away from individual posts to focus on improved topic identification.