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Big Revolution - Maps as social media

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Welcome to Tuesday's Big Revolution. It's a little later than usual due to other commitments, but her
 
November 27 · Issue #275 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Tuesday’s Big Revolution. It’s a little later than usual due to other commitments, but here nevertheless!
Martin

Big things you need to know today
  • The Chinese scientist who says he’s working on DNA-edited babies is under investigation. After news broke about He Jiankui’s work, he issued a video saying he was already responsible for a pair of twins being born with resistance to HIV. The Shenzhen City Medical Ethics Expert Board isn’t happy.
  • A huge ad fraud scheme involving popular Android utility apps has been uncovered, BuzzFeed reports.
  • Half of all phishing sites now use HTTPS, meaning the old ‘look for the padlock to check the site is authentic’ advice is now totally useless.
  • US electric scooter company Lime has launched in the UK… but only with bikes. Electric scooters are illegal on UK public roads. The service goes live in Milton Keynes today. Chinese bike hire operators like Mobike already operate in other cities in the country.
The big thought
Credit: Google
Maps as social media
I’m a big fan of Google Maps, but I’ll admit the news that it now has support for hashtags made my heart sink. Hashtags? In a maps app? Why?!
The reason is because that’s just what people want these days, and even though they’re almost never used for discovery on Twitter (where they evolved), hashtags have become key to exploring apps like Instagram.
In the case of Google Maps, it’s all about reviews. As TechCrunch explains:
“For example, if you’re reviewing a restaurant that would make an excellent #datenight spot, you can simply add the appropriate hashtag. Or if the business is #familyfriendly or #wheelchairaccessible, you can note those sorts of things, too.”
Given people use all sorts of different, arbitrary hashtags to mean the same thing, this might not be as uniformly useful as a centralised set of tags dished out by experts, but it reflects what Google Maps is becoming – an interactive (perhaps even social!) platform for discovery.
Google is adding features to Maps at a fair old clip right now, and they’re often focused on interactivity. Just this month, it added the ability to send messages to businesses.
There’s a real risk for Google that the more Maps can do, the more complicated it becomes to use, pushing people crave a simpler, more straightforward map… like Apple Maps.
But I get a feeling that hashtags aren’t the end of Google Maps’ transformation into an unconventional kind of social media platform – one that also tells you when your next bus is and how to get to your next meeting.
One big read
Elon Musk should just admit it when his companies are in trouble — it would make supporters love him even more Elon Musk should just admit it when his companies are in trouble — it would make supporters love him even more
Could ‘the cult of Elon’ stand a bit more honesty?
One big tweet
John Collison
New emojis are a huge boon for security, pushing consumers to upgrade to the latest OS release.
10:55 PM - 26 Nov 2018
As Collison followed up, “manufacturers should keep a stockpile of new emojis for when they patch a 0-day.”
That’s all for today...
That’s it for today. Don’t forget, if you enjoy Big Revolution, please share it with a colleague or friend and encourage them to subscribe. Thank you!
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