Crypto Currency

StreetCred Is Challenging Google Maps—and It Wants Your Help

New York City, and Christiana Ting didn’t realize just how many urgent care facilities there were until the app told her to start looking for them. “They were giving extra points for medical offices, and I found them, I think, on every block,” she says. “I’m not sure what that says about the neighborhood where…


New York City, and Christiana Ting didn’t realize just how many urgent care facilities there were until the app told her to start looking for them. “They were giving extra points for medical offices, and I found them, I think, on every block,” she says. “I’m not sure what that says about the neighborhood where I work.”

Ting was one of 761 New Yorkers who downloaded, played with, and occasionally became obsessed with an app called MapNYC this fall, vying for their share of an 8-bitcoin prize (worth about $50,000 at the time). The month-long contest, run by a new mapping startup called StreetCred, was really an experiment. StreetCred’s main research question: How do you convince regular people to build and verify mapping data?

It turns out that the maps that guide you to the nearest Arby’s, or help your Lyft driver find your house, don’t just materialize. “I took mapping for granted until I started the competition,” Ting says, even though she pulls up Google Maps at least twice a day. “But it’s such an inconvenience if the info on the map is wrong, especially in a place like New York, that’s changing all the time.”

For regular folk, detailed, reliable mapping info is helpful. For businesses, it can be crucial. Some want to be found when a map user searches for the nearest sandwich shop. Others use products that rely on base maps—think Uber, the Weather Channel, your car’s navigation system—and require up-to-date location data. “One of the huge challenges to any geographic database is its currency,” says Renee Sieber, a geographer who studies participatory mapping at McGill University. That is to say, yesterday’s map is no good to anybody doing business today.

Validated and unvalidated data points in Queens, New York, a few weeks before the conclusion of the MapNYC contest. StreetCred CEO Randy Meech says he suspects Uber and Lyft drivers were adding this data as they picked up, dropped off, and waited for fares near John F. Kennedy International Airport.

StreetView

StreetCred sees that as an opportunity. “There’s a lot of companies, none of whom I can name, who have location data, and that data needs improvement,” says

Read More

Be the first to write a comment.

Leave a Reply

Crypto Currency

How much do you know about blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin?

How much do you know about blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin? mashable.com


How much do you know about blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin? mashable.com
Read More

Continue Reading
Crypto Currency

The trailer for ‘CRYPTO’ just dropped, and cryptocurrency is good now

With all the exit scams, weird meat obsessions, and cantankerous fan-boy culture, the world of cryptocurrency is kind of a drag. And that’s without even touching on the current and persistent bear market.  But all that has changed, denizens of the internet. Cryptocurrency is good now, and we owe it all to the trailer for…


With all the exit scams, weird meat obsessions, and cantankerous fan-boy culture, the world of cryptocurrency is kind of a drag. And that’s without even touching on the current and persistent bear market. 

But all that has changed, denizens of the internet. Cryptocurrency is good now, and we owe it all to the trailer for the upcoming crypto-themed action flick starring none other than Snake Plissken himself. Say hello toCRYPTO, the film that, like its eponymous subject matter, features a bunch of idiots fighting over bullshit and terrible security practices. 

The trailer for the film, featuring an appropriately bedraggled Kurt Russell, hit the internet on March 11 and oh boy did it get our blood flowing. Go ahead and take a peek. We’ll wait. 

Breathtaking, right? Did you take a moment to bathe in the reflected glory of Luke Hemsworth and Alexis Bledel. Yes? Good, let’s move on.

The story, as much as there appears to be one, follows an anti-money laundering expert’s trip to small town America and a subsequent run in with the Russian mob. But put that aside for a moment, and let’s focus on the verisimilitude of the thing. 

It can only go up.

It can only go up.

Image: screenshot / “crypto”

From the amazing file labeling system (hello “KICKBACKS”), to the apparent Coinbase knockoff DELTA COIN listing bitcoin cash at $983.74 (which, LOL),CRYPTOproves that the true cryptocurrency

Read More

Continue Reading
Crypto Currency

9 Questions for Facebook After Zuckerberg’s Privacy Manifesto

presented an entirely new philosophy. For 15 years, the stated goal of Facebook has been to make the world more open and connected; the unstated goal was constructing a targeted advertising system built on nearly infinite data. Yesterday, though, Zuckerberg pronounced that the company is reversing course. The social network of the future won’t be…


presented an entirely new philosophy. For 15 years, the stated goal of Facebook has been to make the world more open and connected; the unstated goal was constructing a targeted advertising system built on nearly infinite data. Yesterday, though, Zuckerberg pronounced that the company is reversing course. The social network of the future won’t be one where everyone connects openly together, as in a town square; it will be one where more connections happen one to one, as in a living room. Instead of data permanence, data will disappear.

Facebook isn’t putting the current platform—worth roughly half a trillion dollars—in the garbage disposal. As Zuckerberg made clear in a Wednesday afternoon interview with WIRED, Facebook as we know it now will still exist. But it will change. And there will also just be something new.

It’s unclear the extent to which Facebook will ultimately push users toward privacy, and in what exact ways. But Zuckerberg controls Facebook, and his manifesto will make its gears start to turn in different directions. As that begins, here are nine important questions the company will have to think through.

1. Facebook knows how to make money in the town square. How does it make money in this new living room?

Private, encrypted messaging is hard to monetize. In our interview, Zuckerberg demurred when asked what the new business model will be after clamping down on the data firehose. The company would, he said, build the product first and figure out the financials later. Facebook does have nascent efforts in commerce and cryptocurrency, but there’s no question that figuring out revenue on the new platform will be a hard problem for Dave Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer. A former Facebook employee told me last night, “Mark is like a cartoon character who walks through a bunch of dangerous situations and always comes out on top. Dave is the guy running behind him catching the cat, stopping the ladder from tipping, deflecting the flying axe with a manhole cover.”

2. What does this do to safety on the platform?

Facebook rightly faces endless criticism for all the data it collects. But there are benefits to data collection as well. It can help stop bullies, or even potential suicides. Once those communications become private, Facebook no longer has the same powers to track and moderate. The public—from the media, to nonprofits, to academics, to individuals, to the government—also uses the public nature of Facebook to track bad behavior. If Russian intelligence operatives had just used private encrypted messaging to manipulate Americans, would they have been caught? As Facebook knows from running WhatsApp, which is already end-to-end encrypted, policing abuses gets ever harder as messages get more hidden.

In our interview, Zuckerberg explained that this, not fears about the business model, is what keeps him up at night. “There is just a clear trade-o

Read More

Continue Reading
Crypto Currency

Cryptography experts are already laughing at ‘Facebook Coin’

Facebook’s rumored cryptocurrency project hasn’t even launched, and yet it’s already a punchline for the tens of thousands of security professionals, cryptographers, and researchers gathered at the annual RSA conference.  On March 5, in the San Francisco Moscone Center, the hotly anticipated Cryptographers’ Panel met to discuss the future of cryptography, the internet, and e-commerce.…


Facebook’s rumored cryptocurrency project hasn’t even launched, and yet it’s already a punchline for the tens of thousands of security professionals, cryptographers, and researchers gathered at the annual RSA conference. 

On March 5, in the San Francisco Moscone Center, the hotly anticipated Cryptographers’ Panel met to discuss the future of cryptography, the internet, and e-commerce. Of course cryptocurrency came up, with a mention of the so-called Facebook Coin drawing perhaps the biggest laugh of the talk. 

Speaking of the problems inherent in putting even great research ideas into practice, panelist and cryptography expert Paul Kocher (known for, among other things, co-discovering Spectre) told attendees that the blockchain only makes things trickier. 

“[The] idea of combining Bitcoin’s theft mitigation and Facebook’s privacy seems particularly toxic for users.”

“When you add the froth of blockchain into there, these just sort of things that seem crazy just keep amplifying,” he explained. “I think the latest one that I saw is one where you can take Bitcoin where you can lose your money, Facebook you can lose your privacy, and now t

Read More

Continue Reading