Thursday, October 29th 2020

VR - Less Facebook With My Oculus: Jailbreak Efforts Succeed in Freeing Oculus Quest 2 From Facebook Requirement

We've recently reported on how the Facebook account requirements that have been built-in into the latest Oculus Quest 2 could render your VR headset an expensive paperweight. The Oculus Quest 2 is one impressive piece of VR material, with the specs - and perhaps more importantly, pricing - to bring a high quality VR experience to the masses, democratizing what will someday - and without a doubt - the premier way in which we interface with the digital world. However, those same Facebook account requirements were standing in the way, for some privacy-conscious users, in actually buying or using the device. Now, jailbroken efforts have been met with success - researchers report that they've been able to strip an Oculus Quest 2 from its Facebook account requirement.

The effort, led by XRSI - a non-profit organization with the goal for promoting privacy and security in the XR space - has announced they have verified a jailbreak method for the Oculus Quest 2. This was done by achieving root access to the device. According to XRSI, there are a number of researchers and hobbyists alike working on these jailbreak procedures for the latest Oculus device, but they've been met with legal quandaries surrounding the Right to Repair (essentially, establishing the ownership of hardware and contained software by users once they acquire a technological device) and whether or not their efforts are covered under it. The efforts were somewhat bolstered by Mozilla WebXR developer Robert Long offering $5,000 to anyone capable of freeing the Quest 2 from Facebook services - an offer later matched by Palmer Luckey, Oculus' departed founder. XSRI is working hard to insert AR/VR headsets into the Right to Repair provision.
Sources: XSRI @ Ready Hacker 1, Road to VR
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15 Comments on VR - Less Facebook With My Oculus: Jailbreak Efforts Succeed in Freeing Oculus Quest 2 From Facebook Requirement

#1
windwhirl
Some people on the Internet right now:

"Well, I hope somebody picks up that phone, because I f***** called it!"

Not surprising though, lol
Raevenlord- an offer later matched by Palmer Luckey,
That is surprising, though it's not like there was a huge amount of money involved anyway.
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#2
Raevenlord
News Editor
Mandatory Facebook integration is the main motive for me not to make the plunge (70%; the other 30% is from absence of story-based VR games I actually want to play).
Posted on Reply
#3
kapone32
RaevenlordMandatory Facebook integration is the main motive for me not to make the plunge (70%; the other 30% is from absence of story-based VR games I actually want to play).
Exactly the point. if this jailbreak works though it makes the Quest2 a semi affordable VR headset.
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#4
Vayra86
RaevenlordMandatory Facebook integration is the main motive for me not to make the plunge (70%; the other 30% is from absence of story-based VR games I actually want to play).
Well played sir and keep up the good work.

If it has a social media sticker, erase it from your life. I'm dead serious. It will bite you in the ass. So far every single prediction I've made on social media and its progression has come true. It is power, and power corrupts and is already corrupted beyond recognition. Big data and big tech are in a free-for-all zone dominating political systems comprised of people with zero digital knowledge. The fact that governments are only NOW starting to get that memo speaks volumes - its been happening for two decades.

Its going to fall upon normal people to let the market share talk loud enough - or some cataclysmic event...

Note, that if I had said this a few years ago I'd have been relegated to tin-foil hat territory... But really, ever since Snowden you should simply know better. We have powerful technology and we don't respect it enough.
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#5
Mindweaver
Moderato®™
RaevenlordMandatory Facebook integration is the main motive for me not to make the plunge (70%; the other 30% is from absence of story-based VR games I actually want to play).
Great write-up! I think you would be very surprised at how good the Quest 2 is if you decide to get one. It's crazy at the amount of hardware you get for $299. The Facebook integration is really pretty barebones atm. Check out the integration FB option below. It's by far the cheapest and one of the best ways to play Half-Life: Alyx. It is the best way to play HLA wirelessly and costs less than the wireless adaptors for the HTC Cosmos or Vive/pro. Also, I can't say enough about SideQuest. It's an Unofficial store that is filled with games. One great game on SideQuest is Pavlov Shack. It even has the best way to play Half-Life VR using motion controllers. There are a ton more great games on SideQuest.

SideQuest is so good that Palmer Luckey has invested in it.

Quest 2 Privacy settings
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#6
Dammeron
So how does it work? Does the app store for Quest 2 still requires a FB account to buy games, or the Oculus account will suffice? Otherwise only desktop streaming will be left.
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#7
Khonjel
Now this, this is great for VR in general. All the good things about Oculus with none of the bad ones. I'd urge people to quickly pull the trigger, otherwise FB will just fix the loophole in the next hardware revision.
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#8
lexluthermiester
RaevenlordMandatory Facebook integration is the main motive for me not to make the plunge (70%; the other 30% is from absence of story-based VR games I actually want to play).
For me it's 100%.

I have to say that effort is wonderful! Jailbreak that beotch!

Just for the record folks, the FCC already issued a statement years ago verifying a persons right to unlock/jailbreak any device they own, with or without the blessing of the manufacturer.
www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/cell-phone-unlocking-faqs
They may have been specifically discussing phones, but there has already been court rulings that state the rules apply equally it any electronic device a citizen owns that might be or is otherwise locked to a specific platform or service that the user/owner of the device does not wish to use.
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#9
Turmania
good news, but I will never support facebook in any form.
Posted on Reply
#10
robot zombie
Vayra86Well played sir and keep up the good work.

If it has a social media sticker, erase it from your life. I'm dead serious. It will bite you in the ass. So far every single prediction I've made on social media and its progression has come true. It is power, and power corrupts and is already corrupted beyond recognition. Big data and big tech are in a free-for-all zone dominating political systems comprised of people with zero digital knowledge. The fact that governments are only NOW starting to get that memo speaks volumes - its been happening for two decades.

Its going to fall upon normal people to let the market share talk loud enough - or some cataclysmic event...

Note, that if I had said this a few years ago I'd have been relegated to tin-foil hat territory... But really, ever since Snowden you should simply know better. We have powerful technology and we don't respect it enough.
Its weird to me that this was ever tinfoil hat territory. I was a freshmen when facebook was becoming big and even then it creeped me out. Its easy to work out. If the potential is there, it will be seized. Its not that power corrupts. Power attracts corruption. People vulnerable to corruption seek that kind of power. Decent people just want to live. They don't think to seek that.

The thing that KILLS me is we KNEW! We ALL knew. In the year 2000, there were info campaigns stressing the utter importance of protecting your information. They would call the internet the "Global Public Bulletin Board." There was quite an attitude of trepidation towards it. People were more concerned about data then, than they have ever been since. But they still got soothed into it. People are overconfident. They really believe they control their own minds... that they can will good decisions in everything... that they can watch ads and be immune so long as they know. But that's not how our minds really work. The vast majority are naturally far more impressionable than they realize. That's kinda the point behind the word. Thats the danger. You may have the sense that you're being influenced, but that won't save you.

Our minds are just too good at taking information and integrating it. It happens fast. Reptile-brain impulses. It is a natural function, and it's not a consious process. We'd have died out if auto mode couldnt handle as much as possible. The level of control you have is less like driving a car and more like caring for a garden. Social media takes advantage of this to shape thoughts and behaviors in ways that suit them. People still sometimes scoff at me when I tell them they can't avoid it.

Media literacy is a big part of the problem, I think. Part of how they get this power is by people being ignorant to the weaknesses and pitfalls of their own minds. Being hip to it is like a point of pride... thinking they're in control. Says nothing for the fact that believing that's even possible is akin to believing you can casually do heroin and be okay because you already know it's addictive.
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#11
Vayra86
robot zombieIts weird to me that this was ever tinfoil hat territory. I was a freshmen when facebook was becoming big and even then it creeped me out. Its easy to work out. If the potential is there, it will be seized. Its not that power corrupts. Power attracts corruption. People vulnerable to corruption seek that kind of power. Decent people just want to live. They don't think to seek that.

The thing that KILLS me is we KNEW! We ALL knew. In the year 2000, there were info campaigns stressing the utter importance of protecting your information. They would call the internet the "Global Public Bulletin Board." There was quite an attitude of trepidation towards it. People were more concerned about data then, than they have ever been since. But they still got soothed into it. People are overconfident. They really believe they control their own minds... that they can will good decisions in everything... that they can watch ads and be immune so long as they know. But that's not how our minds really work. The vast majority are naturally far more impressionable than they realize. That's kinda the point behind the word. Thats the danger. You may have the sense that you're being influenced, but that won't save you.

Our minds are just too good at taking information and integrating it. It happens fast. Reptile-brain impulses. It is a natural function, and it's not a consious process. We'd have died out if auto mode couldnt handle as much as possible. The level of control you have is less like driving a car and more like caring for a garden. Social media takes advantage of this to shape thoughts and behaviors in ways that suit them. People still sometimes scoff at me when I tell them they can't avoid it.

Media literacy is a big part of the problem, I think. Part of how they get this power is by people being ignorant to the weaknesses and pitfalls of their own minds. Being hip to it is like a point of pride... thinking they're in control. Says nothing for the fact that believing that's even possible is akin to believing you can casually do heroin and be okay because you already know it's addictive.
What's striking is that it seems to turn out to become a generational problem, at least in part, and also a matter of intelligence. Its going to create a new divide that is going to be within the same generation as well. Kids at school these days do learn forms of media literacy, and also regarding the internet. I'm just worried because schools generally trail reality by a half dozen years at least. They're not into the newest developments as they should be, I reckon and easily 'wowed' by something new. But still. The smart guys and girls will figure it out, and I think growing up with no reality other than one with internet, they will treat it more as a source of information much like we watched TV. Did that really brainwash us so badly? I spent a godawful number of hours in front of it... At the same time though... these smart guys still didn't figure out that the best path to sanity is simply staying far away from the service. Using it, is being used by it. That is also why I'm not a big fan of this jailbreak. I mean cool, we can hack it! But on principle you shouldn't even want to.

That same divide exists in our current generation I think. There's a group of people that gets it, and can still use it and separate reason from internet reality - but even they are helping the market share to exist. There's a group of people that THINK they get it, but they're the sheep being led by the wolves, thinking they're not sheep but wolves themselves. And then there's a group that's agnostic. They'll believe everything - that group isn't new. They're the 'could be true, tell me more' type of people. Susceptible to deception in everything, and too kind-hearted, naive.

The problem with the internet though is that those groups mingle and social media algorithms go for the largest common denominator, ergo, some weird mix of utter stupidity and being misled. That's exactly the rhetoric you see in certain political camps. A blind faith coupled with an inability to reflect. Its like the religion of stupid. A horrible combination - there isn't even a holy book to 'interpret differently' - all bets are off.

About those generations though... it seems elderly are pretty keen to fall in the agnostic camp too. They're already overjoyed being able to use those services, having the window to easy social contacts, etc.
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#12
Octavean
Turmaniagood news, but I will never support facebook in any form.
Its widely believed that the new Oculus Quest 2 is sold at a loss. If true, buying an Oculus Quest 2 and using it having never purchased the subsequent walled garden games or conceding to the compulsory draconian FB integration would therefore mean a subsequent loss for the company.

Under those conditions buying an Oculus Quest 2 isn't supporting the evil empire, its hurting it.
RaevenlordMandatory Facebook integration is the main motive for me not to make the plunge (70%; the other 30% is from absence of story-based VR games I actually want to play).
I don't disagree with this sentiment. However, I think the credibility of such a statement has some degree of variation depending on who is saying it and under what circumstances.

The mandatory FB account is a very recent 2020 occurrence, whereas, Oculus products started hitting the market in something like,...... ~2015?

There is a horse before the cart issue here if the statement is taken at face value.

To be clear, like many others here, I was hesitant with respect to buying an Oculus Quest 2 due to FB restrictions and still am. However, I have an Oculus Rift (CV1) and an Oculus Quest (v1) both of which I've been able to use without FB interference.

The point being that some people take the plunge and some people make excuses not to. FB is a credible excuse not to take the plunge but it clearly wasn't always. So for the time frame where FB wasn't an excuse either an earlier model Oculus product was purchased, a competing VR HMD was purchased or some other excuse was in place,.....

If it was some other excuse was one just exchanging an excuse for another excuse,....?
Posted on Reply
#13
Raevenlord
News Editor
OctaveanIts widely believed that the new Oculus Quest 2 is sold at a loss. If true, buying an Oculus Quest 2 and using it having never purchased the subsequent walled garden games or conceding to the compulsory draconian FB integration would therefore mean a subsequent loss for the company.

Under those conditions buying an Oculus Quest 2 isn't supporting the evil empire, its hurting it.




I don't disagree with this sentiment. However, I think the credibility of such a statement has some degree of variation depending on who is saying it and under what circumstances.

The mandatory FB account is a very recent 2020 occurrence, whereas, Oculus products started hitting the market in something like,...... ~2015?

There is a horse before the cart issue here if the statement is taken at face value.

To be clear, like many others here, I was hesitant with respect to buying an Oculus Quest 2 due to FB restrictions and still am. However, I have an Oculus Rift (CV1) and an Oculus Quest (v1) both of which I've been able to use without FB interference.

The point being that some people take the plunge and some people make excuses not to. FB is a credible excuse not to take the plunge but it clearly wasn't always. So for the time frame where FB wasn't an excuse either an earlier model Oculus product was purchased, a competing VR HMD was purchased or some other excuse was in place,.....

If it was some other excuse was one just exchanging an excuse for another excuse,....?
It's not a matter of excuses, it's a matter of pricing. Before, the cost of entry was just too much for me to justify spending the amount of money required for a decent VR experience on what is - for me - a non-critical (at all) addition to the way I enjoy content. It's a luxury.

Now, I have a VR headset with credible specs AND a very reasonable pricingm with good hands-free capabilities. However, to get it, I have to provide (even more of, even though I don't use my set-up account) my data to Facebook. And that one, for me, is a huge deterrent in the sense that I don't want to give Facebook my blessing for that behavior (with my money).

Of course... jailbreaking tips the scales significantly.
Posted on Reply
#14
Octavean
RaevenlordIt's not a matter of excuses, it's a matter of pricing. Before, the cost of entry was just too much for me to justify spending the amount of money required for a decent VR experience on what is - for me - a non-critical (at all) addition to the way I enjoy content. It's a luxury.

Now, I have a VR headset with credible specs AND a very reasonable pricingm with good hands-free capabilities. However, to get it, I have to provide (even more of, even though I don't use my set-up account) my data to Facebook. And that one, for me, is a huge deterrent in the sense that I don't want to give Facebook my blessing for that behavior (with my money).

Of course... jailbreaking tips the scales significantly.
Jailbreaking a relatively high spec, cost effective and reaily available VR HMD certainly does change the status quo.

I didn't mean to suggest that everyone who doesn't buy a VR HMD make excuses only that some subset of people who don't but claim to want to do. Not everyone is honest with themselves and others on this matter.

Cost is an issue that many of us have to contend with. So for example my last video card purchase was a GTX 1060 not a 1070 or 1080 class card. I was considering buying a RTX 2060 but decided to wait to see what 3070 and 3060 class card price / performance was like (and availability). I could have bought higher end cards, I've done so in the past, but decided to compromise.

People tend to prioritise and compromise where and when they want.
Posted on Reply
#15
robot zombie
Vayra86What's striking is that it seems to turn out to become a generational problem, at least in part, and also a matter of intelligence. Its going to create a new divide that is going to be within the same generation as well. Kids at school these days do learn forms of media literacy, and also regarding the internet. I'm just worried because schools generally trail reality by a half dozen years at least. They're not into the newest developments as they should be, I reckon and easily 'wowed' by something new. But still. The smart guys and girls will figure it out, and I think growing up with no reality other than one with internet, they will treat it more as a source of information much like we watched TV. Did that really brainwash us so badly? I spent a godawful number of hours in front of it... At the same time though... these smart guys still didn't figure out that the best path to sanity is simply staying far away from the service. Using it, is being used by it. That is also why I'm not a big fan of this jailbreak. I mean cool, we can hack it! But on principle you shouldn't even want to.
My observation with Gen Z is that they are becoming a lot more careful and skeptical when it comes to information. They don't believe what they read nearly as easily, because they know how to fact-check and it's kind of a 'cool' thing to do. They're disenfranchised with older generations, who have sort of let them down big time with the whole internet thing. They live in the inescapable aftermath of our follies and they hate it. Of course, a lot of them still buy into all of these "Web 3.0" institutions, but it also seems like when things go wrong, they're the first to criticize. And due to their natural affinity and skill with these platforms, they're really good at making things move. I think as time goes on they will shape how the internet works. The skepticism is on a gradual slope upwards. In my internet heyday, we were all partially riding that Web 2.0 high... it symbolized sort of a libertarian utopia, free from all of the laws and rules governing society. We love IoT with it's Silicon Valley sheen. We didn't want to acknowledge the risks, but we definitely saw them. As time went by, that all died anyway, as huge corporations moved in and took over. The dream is over. Things have changed. And now it's to a point where people are looking at revising the laws that provided that freedom, in order to keep these monolithic agents corrupting and monopolizing everything in check. Facebook is getting to be as big as the internet itself. These guys claim libertarian ideals, but only when it applies to them. Our freedom would get in their way. I don't think that's lost on as many people as before, when we thought they were more on our side.

I may just be projecting my own experience, though. I'm a millennial, but also a first generation internet kid. I was 8 when I first got exposed to it. There really wasn't much in the way of rules or understanding in 1998. I had free reign. I saw a lot of damaging stuff. I saw how crazy things could really be. By the time 2010 was here, I felt like I knew intuitively where we were going, and here at 2020, I don't think I was far off. So my hope is that as 'plugging-in' becomes increasingly more normalized, awareness across generations will go up. I can say, the newer generations at their age, seem to have a better grasp than I or my peers did at the same age. They're a lot more concerned with how interactions with and on the internet affect people, and talk about it all the time. They are very concerned with looking critically at how things should be done. It's a mix of utilitarian, deontological, and virtue morality. They're playing with the different methods and trying to find better outcomes. Some of it is hokey, but other times, things advance pretty quickly and overnight certain things don't fly anymore and get relegated to little corners where they fester and eventually implode. That's happening with political cloisters all over the net, now. It will not be sustainable. It's too much and people are emotionally exhausted. Heroin again. For a while, it feels amazing. But as tolerance builds you start to become sick and use just to feel normal, at which point all you want is to be off the ride. You keep coming back, but you resent it for that, and you resent yourself for sticking with it. That insight only requires adequate amounts of suffering in order to manifest.

The same thing sort of happened with TV, when you think about it. Generation by generation, perceptions shifted to the point where it became so toxic and not worthwhile that we lost interest. How many millenniasl watch TV anymore? How about Gen Z?

TV, to me, was a different, but similar creature. Its effect on psychology was there, but going back to the heroin analogy... if TV was heroin, internet is fentanyl. And it's not about the bad information, but rather its influence on how your brain works. It's everywhere, unlike TV. You can be just always interacting with it. It's been engineered to have a stronger effect than TV ever could. It can profoundly reshape how you process emotions and from there alter your whole decision-making process into something that hides your will from you and leads to choices not in your best interest. And then it feeds you the cure. To me, it's much more profound than say, TV, or video games. It's not the same conversation had by boomers and gen X regarding what they see as deleterious effects of video games and TV. Those effects are largely self-insulating. Whereas new media comparatively has no limits. It's much more potent in nearly every regard. Stronger drugs means not only stronger, less manageable side-effects, but new, unforeseen ones, as well.
That same divide exists in our current generation I think. There's a group of people that gets it, and can still use it and separate reason from internet reality - but even they are helping the market share to exist. There's a group of people that THINK they get it, but they're the sheep being led by the wolves, thinking they're not sheep but wolves themselves. And then there's a group that's agnostic. They'll believe everything - that group isn't new. They're the 'could be true, tell me more' type of people. Susceptible to deception in everything, and too kind-hearted, naive.
You hit on something big there. I think that was us, circa 2005. Older generations, I think might now be the most vulnerable in the sense that they are not as hardened to the effects, because it hasn't been in their world they way it has been in ours. They haven't been in it long enough to get severely burned. Funny how the tables have turned. When smartphones took off, these were the same people saying they were stunting us. Now they are the greatest example of how bad it can be, and more of us are just shaking our heads at the double-standard that is these generations getting swept-up in the same social media they claim is damaging our culture and society. They're the very poster children for the notion! I can personally say I want no part in any of this crap, but at the same time recognize that you can turn away from massive cultural shifts. To make them better, there have to be those who are willing to try to navigate the new, dangerous waters. But you're also quite apt in pointing out that simply by doing even that, you're feeding the toxic cycle. It sort of hard to picture what comes next. Though there's more of a push for accountability. Again, I really doubt that the current state of things is going to be sustainable for much longer. I think giants are cresting the hills they'll tumble down, and they won't be able to avoid it because they themselves are in a different, even more insular reality than the regular folk down below. They didn't see how things shifted, and it shows in how they handle everything. They're slowly digging their own graves, whilst still thinking they haven't been compromised in any way.
The problem with the internet though is that those groups mingle and social media algorithms go for the largest common denominator, ergo, some weird mix of utter stupidity and being misled. That's exactly the rhetoric you see in certain political camps. A blind faith coupled with an inability to reflect. Its like the religion of stupid. A horrible combination - there isn't even a holy book to 'interpret differently' - all bets are off.
That is the real monster. I try to be optimistic about it. Culturally we are reaching a turning point where increasingly more people are supremely pissed at the way this technology is manifesting and being used. I highly suspect a silent majority is simply distancing themselves. They still engage with the platforms (~70% of millennials are still on Facebook,) but to me that number doesn't say much about the qualities of that engagement, which I believe are fundamentally changing to those of fear and distrust. People are running out of corners to be complacent in. People are no longer joking when referencing dystopian sci-fi. The trades are not as good as they used to be. We see it and unplug. We keep more distance from social media. I don't deal with it at all anymore. And I feel better. That is a commonly talked about experience at this point. I think the louder minority most falling pray are the ones who lagged behind previously. They piled-in over the last 7 years, as we hit a point of exponential growth in engagement. The fallacy of that exponential growth was the idea that it could go on indefinitely, when anywhere in the universe, it tends to fall to entropy as resources cap-out. This iteration of the web is a bubble culture, waiting to pop. It was a given when integration hit that critical point where you would be socially excluded by not being involved in some way. Now, that is plateauing and new attitudes are taking hold... much more cynical ones. People are questioning if we really need this, or if it really does any good. I think the answer to both is 'yes' but these are tools that will take generations to learn how to use properly. Right now, we are witnessing another turning point in the development of them, like many before, going back to the 90's. The difference between then and now is that the internet isn't invisible and its effects on the real world are truly unavoidable, forcing people to face that, which is bringing a lot to the surface that was really always a problem.

This whole situation is really case in point, just another example among thousands of the push to 'break out' of the grasp of these companies and re-envision what they are as entities in the eyes of both the people and the law. Changes are a comin...
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