Zuckerberg’s remarkable ‘metaverse’ announcement, explained

Zuckerberg’s remarkable ‘metaverse’ announcement, explained

by Patrick

On October 28, Mark Zuckerberg and Meta announced the astounding creation of the ‘metaverse’. This remarkable world is set to be a second reality to our lives, using various technological devices, such as a pair of glasses with augmented reality. This means we can see virtual objects in our vision while still interacting with the real world.

Meta insists, “3D spaces in the metaverse will let you socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what we can imagine.”.

Zuckerberg gave examples of what could happen in his world. The entire keynote was performed in a simulation of the ‘metaverse’, as everything he describes surrounds him, such as “an incredibly inspiring view, of whatever you find most beautiful.””.

During the presentation, he gets a call from a coworker & joins a group of people virtually. They play cards with their three-dimensional characters while floating above Earth, in a spaceship.

There are many aspects of this world. You may be able to play pickup basketball with people from the other side of the world. You can virtually be at your desk job while being at home, but also be able to focus on your work by loading up a tropical beach to sit on.

Zuckerberg explained that having the metaverse to work in, will be very important for people going into the workforce soon, such as teens, who might grow up working from home. He explained that working from the metaverse will, “be very positive for our society, and economy.” and using the metaverse we will likely see it, “Dropping our daily commutes, and [we can spend] more time doing things that matter.”.

Second realities with economies, characters, and worlds, are gradually becoming more adopted in society. Earlier this week a 3D modelled yacht sold for $650,000 on a game, similar to the ‘metaverse’, that hasn’t been released to the public yet.

Unfortunately though, it won’t all be here soon. Mark believes that the tools to make this happen might take over five to ten years to complete. Fortunately, his products such as Meta’s Oculus Quest, allow you to take a step into what it could look like, with many apps already available for some awesome experiences.

Meta spoke much about privacy, an idea they might have a rough time being responsible for. They have been under fire recently for their controversial privacy and algorithm policies. Zuckerberg assured everyone that, “Privacy, and safety need to be built into the metaverse from day one.” Mark & Meta are obviously trying to rebuild their corporate ethical reputation.

The demand for this product may be infinite. Luckily for Meta, the content will not be financially overwhelming, as a lot of it will be created by the community around it, for free. However, expect to be paying for a lot of these experiences, as Mark mentioned there will be much monetization.

Overall, this announcement should have many excited. There is no doubt that whether it is Meta, or somebody else, we will be in these worlds very soon.

The Effects Technology Has On Our Environment

by Nicolino

Air and Water pollution

The Effects Technology has on our environment. Air pollution happens once harmful or excessive quantities of gases comparable to carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, gas, and alkane series are introduced into the earth’s atmosphere. This air pollution is caused by producing and using technology. Water pollution is also caused by technology most electronics include non-biodegradable substances, heavy metals, and poisonous substances like cadmium, lead, and mercury.

Over time, those poisonous substances can leak into the ground, which could contaminate the water we drink, the flora we devour, and the animals that stay across the area.

Depletion of natural resources

Resource depletion is some other poor effects technology has on the environment. It refers to the intake of a useful resource quicker than it can be replenished. Natural assets include the ones which are in lifestyles without people having created them, and that they may be both renewable and non-renewable. There are numerous styles of useful resource depletion, with the maximum excessive being aquifer depletion, deforestation, mining for fossil fuels and minerals, infection of Assets, soil erosion, and overconsumption of assets. These especially arise because of agriculture, mining, water utilization, and intake of fossil fuels, all of that has been enabled with the aid of using improvements in Technology.

To keep producing this technology, we all use it daily, it takes lots of materials from all over the world, and to get most of these materials they come from mining. Mining comes with a high carbon cost, huge machinery usually powered by fossil fuels leading to the use of water and is massively polluting. In conclusion, If we stopped relying on technology so much, we would not have this need to constantly keep producing new tech, maybe we could find a new way to produce this technology without having so many effects on the environment.

Billionaire Space Race

by Sofia & Leah

The biggest billionaires of the biggest companies in the world, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson, are racing to see who can profit from space the fastest. Bezos and Branson have already had trips into space, only lasting a few minutes each and costing several billion dollars. The end goal of this race is to see who can get suborbital space tourism the fastest. Maybe someday we will all be taking vacations in space.

Each billionaire has its own space company. Musk’s company is called  SpaceX, Bezos has BlueOrigin and Barson is VirginGalactic. The highest rocket in space right now is from Bezos and is 100 kilometres in altitude. Branson and Bezos have been to space on short trips, making them the first private space tourists. So how much money did they spend? Well, the amount of money that just Bezos spent on a 4-minute trip could have saved 37.5 million people from hunger (the approximate population of Canada). Or he could fully fund COVAX and vaccinate two billion people.Space tourism

The US Government helped these massive corporations with the race and the large-scale capitalism through grants. This impacts local citizens because some of these massive companies don’t pay their share of taxes and are spending tax money on things that might not benefit them. Billionaires are also known for not paying as much in taxes as they should. 

 Rockets in general use a lot of fossil fuel which turns into carbon dioxide. That carbon dioxide goes to the atmosphere and speeds up global warming. It’s our world that these companies are changing for their profits.

This race has not ended yet, there is still no winner clear and determined. There is still no idea when this race will end and what is going to happen after or during the race. The winner since it is not clear and determined it could be any of the three men, what do you think? What is your opinion about the space race?

Positive & Negative Effects of Technology

by George

During the COVID-19 pandemic, electronic devices were used more often which has positive and negative effects.

Teenagers learned in a quadmester system in the 2020/2021 school year which was created by the Toronto District School Board. The students had two classes each semester and they were in class every other day. Teachers would assign virtual activities or require the children to work on a project when they were not at school. On the other hand, the mode of instruction in the 2021/22 school year is beginning to resemble pre-COVID-19 years. However though Mrs. Wolfe has something else to say. “The pandemic made phones and computers, iPhones and iPads critical to our social and academic connections and learning and so the habits and practices that kids learned through the pandemic remain with them now but because we are back in the classroom whether being able to pay attention and be present in the discussion and studies in the classroom is so important and so children right now are on their phones too much in the classroom. It is distracting them from immersing themselves in the learning experiences. They are missing a lot.”

This shows us the importance of a strong academic background when children and teenagers are not receiving them and are suffering the consequences which will impact them negatively in three ways. Firstly, some students may not be able to study properly in their post-secondary courses and be able to understand the material and apply it effectively in real life. Secondly, soft-skill such as collaboration, motivation and problem solving will not be life skills and will also not be developed which means that these future employees will have difficulty relaying information in a company which can cause delays in a project and lost money. Finally, the health effects of uncontrolled exposure is beyond calculation because children might not be able to tolerate not being on their devices which will impact every part of their body including the eyes. All this will create opportunities for businesses.

Many companies that offer blue light glasses such as EssilorLuxottica (EPA: EL) will benefit by having an increase in their income. This could allow them to raise the salary for their employees which could act as an incentive to be motivated to work more and better in order for the company to prosper. Furthermore, the increased income will drive the price of a stock upwards which will please those who have invested in the company and it will also give it a good reputation that could motivate others to look into it.

Though, there are ways to reduce the number of hours on your phone. One of them being that you can stop notifications from social medical websites that distract you from working which leads to staying up late in the evening. Rather, you can call the person that you would like to connect with. This way, you can also improve your social skills. This is one way to reduce time on a device.

Suez Canal: The most expensive or cost-effective?

by Varshini & Ziva

In a time where COVID-19 has made our economy fluctuate every day, the last thing we needed was a supply chain disturbance. In the Suez Canal, that issue was delivered by a 200,000 tonne Ever Given Ship carrying 18300 containers blocking the slim canal. This overall, created a massive impact globally, creating a challenging obstacle to business while also creating learning experiences we can put to use today.

On March 23 – 26, the world was shocked as the massive Ever-given ship was lodged diagonally in the Suez Canal. With the Suez Canal being a large trading route with almost 19,000 ships passing by, an incident like this caused a major setback in our supply chain. As the blockage slowly carried on over the 3 days, the global trading industry was hit hard as $5.4 billion in the trade were we’re lost. With this, it could be felt even through the biggest companies such as IKEA. For Ikea, they had almost $100,000 of product stranded on the Ever Given, even working paired as during the time of the. In the end, it showed how even the biggest business we’re not spared. 

Looking back now from the present, we continue to see the rise and fall of businesses. Now as young business students looking towards the future, we started asking “how is the incident relevant if it took place almost 10 months ago?”. Well, in short, it gives us an important lesson on the inconsistency of the business industry. As stated before, the Suez blockage was a huge deal, creating a stoppage of transportation holding millions of essential goods. With this, for those looking into starting a business or helping manage one, it is important to not be dependent on a singular supply chain. Instead, diversifying sources of supply will better provide backups during problems such as these. Not only that but having additional supplies in your community will add to your corporate social responsibility. From this, it allows a better reflection on your company while still helping others stay afloat in these tough times.

Now although this type of problem happened a while ago, a spitting image of this today can be found in the BC floods happening in Canada right now. In this situation, BC has been damaging impacts on their infrastructure such as their highways, railroad tracks and regional oil pipeline, all-important to both Canadians and Us businesses. These floods have disrupted supply chains, specifically towards the farmer business as many livestock were lost to floods. In total the entire situation cost an estimated 1 billion dollars, along with a shortage of food such as Freshslice Pizza in Calgary and Owl’s Nest Books. Overall, it goes to show how one supply chain issue can have a massive effect if only focusing on that supply service.

In short, it teaches us a valuable lesson about the business industry’s unpredictability. As a result, it is critical for people considering starting a business or helping in its management to not be reliant on a single source of supply. The total cost of the crisis was about 1 billion dollars. Diversifying supply sources, on the other hand, will better provide backups when difficulties like this.

How students have gained a deficient addiction to technology

by Ore, Emilie & Maddy

65.5% of junior high school students belong to the internet addiction-risk group. Why is this happening? Approximately a year and a half of online learning and periodical lockdowns are to blame. Students from all schools, especially North Toronto, have gained a deficient addiction to technology significantly affecting their mental health and quality of school work this year.

Approaching the end of the 2019-2020 school year, school abruptly went online due to the excessive transmission COVID-19. For the rest of the year, students participated in mandatory online learning.

Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, students began participating in in-person-learning. Due to the rapid increase in cases at times, students shifted from in-person to online learning a total of three3 times. They participated in online learning for about half of the school year. When they were online, they’d spend an average of 6 hours online daily. This time was spent attending a class wide Zzoom or google classroom call, or completing online work.

The significant amount of time spent in front of a screen, created unhealthy habits affecting mental health and an addiction to technology. This addiction was caused by relying on technology for necessary tasks. It is even said by Newport Technology that “Numerous studies over the past decade have shown that tech dependence has the same effect on the brain as drug addiction”.

The reward system in the brain releases dopamine in reaction to a joyful experience or hyperarousal, video games can be immensely addictive. When a person is overly engaged when playing video games, the brain correlates the activity with the release of dopamine. Video games are addictive because they cause a person to acquire a strong desire to seek out that same pleasure over and over again.

A North Toronto grade 10 student, Ray Macaulay, shared his thoughts regarding technological addiction.  His response was, “The reason why I think the internet is so influential and inspiring is because I can make positive elixir trades in Clash Royale which I find to be quite satisfying” He also mentions that he has an addiction to technology.

Despite many positives that come with modern technology, it can also lead to addiction and overpower one’s life causing it to be harder to focus on more important tasks like school work. This would partially explain why numerous students’ grades are decreasing during and after online learning. 

Another North Toronto grade 10 student, Chloe Nakamura, shared how she feels influenced by technology and if she believes she has an addiction. She answered as follows, “It definitely influences my daily life because it makes life a lot easier, but also has some negative impacts on my mental health, and yeah.”  Technology addictions can go either way, making a positive impact on one’s life or being detrimental to one’s mental health. 

Technology is tailored in a way, as Chloe and Ray have stated, that makes tasks in our everyday life more efficient and enjoyable, with potential negative impacts. Tasks as small as contacting a friend or searching facts on the internet become second nature, further influencing us to develop an addiction. 

How Sales and Discounts Influence Us

by Jack

Who doesn’t love a discount? For those unaware, discount pricing is a promotional pricing strategy where the original price of a product or service is reduced. Discounts can be a heavy influence on what products one buys. Let’s explore the world of discounts from all angles, both for sellers and buyers, and delve into why discounts influence us. 

First, let’s examine the seller or company’s point of view and reasoning. Companies place discounts on products for multiple reasons according to Profitwell, such as “increasing traffic, moving inventory, and driving sales.” For example, a food and beverage company might need to move its products as they may soon expire. A date code provides both sellers and buyers with a transparent process. But, they may also relocate these products to the front of the store, near the checkout counter, and try to increase buying with a discount like “Buy one, get another 50% off!” This discount marketing strategy is meant to catch your eye because it’s next to where one pays and seemingly a deal. The discount may cause one to also impulse purchase, something we will delve in a moment.

Pricewell identifies three types of discounts: “seasonal, clearance, and volume.” The seasonal discount occurs during “specific seasons or for seasonal products.” Clearance discounts are used to “liquidate what’s left in stock” by offering an unusually large discount. Ever heard “everything must go?” Volume discounts encourage buyers to purchase multiple products, with an example being bundling or bulk. Companies that most often use these discount strategies are retail (clothing, beauty, sporting goods and more) and ecommerce (online sales.)

But why would companies want to make their products cheaper? For one, to appeal to their target buyers, especially first time buyers. However for companies, discounts can be a double-edged sword as they can result in increased revenue, but can also lower profitability. When pricing and volume are predictable, one can project the growth of a company. But with discounts, one must factor them into the income statement. Yet discounting creates activation energy. This means, according to Campbell, that a consumer may place less focus when thinking whether to buy a product. 

Enter buyer psychology. A brief way to sum up why we can be influenced by discounts is simply psychology and especially the feeling of “scoring a good deal”. Let’s consider the perspective of the everyday person. Some people buy because “it was on sale”. Others buy on impulse. However in a recent 2021 Black Friday Survey, 75% of the North Toronto Students we surveyed did not buy on impulse during this triple discount holiday. But discounts may not always bring pleasure to consumers, for example, one may be introduced to a company’s product through a sale, but when price returns to normal, one may become disinterested.

In the end, discounts are a crucial part of the world of business, and are a primary factor of why people buy and how people sell.  

Fall Investment Contest Winners

The Finance Club held its first investment contest of the year as part of Junior Achievement’s Investment Simulation Program.

Andrew T. won with a 24.4% return on investment in the month of October. Nikola K. finished second with a return of 11.0%.

To join the next contest in December-January, contact the Finance Club.

The Endeavor of Quarantine: Succeeding In Remote Learning

How to stay motivated and advance your mark at home

by Dylan

Three hundred and eighty nine days, the amount of time since life was normal, schools were mask free and the worry about learning online was out of question.

The formulation of quarantine and the implementation of online learning globally has strongly impacted our schooling today, connecting with teachers miles away and learning trigonometry over a screen. However the latter factors also resulted in the fall of motivation.

I interviewed North Toronto’s own Tait O., the question asked was; What have you done to stay motivated whilst in online school? “The biggest work incentive for me has been finding the right setup” said Tait, “The past year I have rearranged my computer 3 times and I think I got it right, having everything where I need it has made my classes far easier”. Continuing on with what Tait has said, I too believe organization is a key factor to succeeding this year. The next point of view will come from myself, The term I would use to describe what motivates me is engagement, through all online and in class lessons, being part of the conversation has been something that urges me to work as I am more invested in the said topic. I have always been taught that speaking what you have learned is the best way to remember it and I feel remote learning is the best location to apply this principle.

The final piece of advice comes from another North Toronto student, Ralph. “The problem I had with working online was how fast everything was moving” Ralph stated, “To combat my problem, the most helpful tactic I used was persistence and routine”. Ralph’s solution is also a subfactor of what Tait said about organization and I too believe persistence is a keystone of virtual school.