Northeastern University targeted by anti-VR bomber

Northeastern University has been the victim of an unusual technology-related bomb attack. CNN reports that someone sent a bomb-like package to Boston University’s virtual reality lab in Holmes Hall on September 13, inflicting hand injuries on the man who opened the container. There is no evidence of a greater threat and the school resumed Classes after campus was determined to be safe.

The currently unidentified attacker seems to hold a grudge against VR and meta in particular. CNN Sources claimed the “rambling” note in the package slammed Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg as well as the connections between science and VR developers. There were no explosives in the container, one of the sources said. Instead, it was depressurized with violent force. Nor was it sent to the university.

Although the damage is limited, law enforcement is taking the case seriously. The FBI, in coordination with local police, has offered the full assistance of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and other entities in the investigation.

Meta has been criticized for its decision to rebrand and focus on the Metaverse. It began turning its attention to VR when whistleblower Frances Haugen shared documents that she says highlighted Facebook’s failures in dealing with misinformation and other problems on social media. In other words, VR can serve as a distraction from meta’s shortcomings. Privacy and security were also concerns in VR. While it’s not clear that the attacker had any of these problems in mind, there’s little doubt that Meta’s approach to VR has had its critics.

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