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Big Revolution - Reading foldable tea leaves

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Welcome to Thursday's Big Revolution.
 
November 8 · Issue #256 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Thursday’s Big Revolution.

Big things you need to know today
  • Facebook has delayed the UK launch of its new rules for political ads, The Guardian reports. This comes after Vice and Business Insider showed how you could write anything in the field that shows who paid for an ad – including ‘Islamic State’ or 'Cambridge Analytica’ – and Facebook would approve it regardless.
The big thought
A Google illustration of 'foldables'
Reading foldable tea leaves
It’s easy to look at foldable displays and dismiss them as a novelty. I was at Mobile World Congress the year phones with 3D displays were the big story, and they’d all been forgotten within months. Aren’t phones that unfold into tablets the same kind of thing – totally unnecessary and not requested by anyone?
I’m going to reserve my judgment until we see what devices like Samsung’s foldable device and the Chinese Royole FlexPai are actually like to use. Google is supporting ‘foldables’ at operating system level in Android, so we may well see more examples in the future.
Anything that breaks the monotony of phones that are just black slabs of glass sounds good to me. It’s encouraging that manufacturers are trying new things.
Beyond that, how else might foldable displays be useful? Could they wrap around the books of the future and display up-to-date contextual information about the book’s subject, or even just an animated cover to attract the eye?
Could they become foldable interactive notepads for healthcare professionals – more malleable and (literally) flexible than a tablet computer?
Who knows what this tech could be used for, but don’t write it off just because you can’t immediately see a use for a foldable smartphone. There’s at least a little more potential here than there was in 3D displays.
One big read
Why the Google Walkout Was a Watershed Moment in Tech Why the Google Walkout Was a Watershed Moment in Tech
Tech workers may not be traditionally unionised, but that doesn’t mean they can’t stand up for what they believe in.
One big tweet
The internet hasn’t just affected people’s ability to read books…
Marie Le Conte
writing something as long-term as a book is really making me realise how screwed up and praise-seeking your brain becomes as a mostly online journalist, I keep writing 800 words and expecting attention, I feel like a labrador going "but? I sat? the treat? where? my treat?"
11:46 AM - 7 Nov 2018
That’s all for today...
See you in your inbox tomorrow for more Big Revolution.
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