Twitter Wants You to See Who’s Tweeting Around You

Tech

Twitter is quietly exploring the use of geolocation with a new “Nearby” feature on its mobile app.

This week some users — who allow Twitter to access their location — have spotted the new feature that reveals nearby tweets regardless of whether you follow a user, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

“Nearby”  includes a map on the upper-half of the screen with a blue dot marking the user’s location, while the bottom half reveals a feed of recent local tweets, using icons marking their location on the map.

Twitter declined to comment on the recent testing but the new feature may help with local discovery in real-time, infringing on Foursquare’s domain.

The social media giant has enabled geolocation since 2010, but a user must manually switch on the setting to allow Twitter to access locations. The strategy could also prove to be a boon to advertisers, who could…

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The Hunger Games Conundrum

The Book Wars

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            George Orwell and Aldous Huxley imagined two very different dystopias. In 1984 (1949), Orwell depicts the forces that held people captive as fundamentally external: coercion, espionage, laws, institutions, and threats, lies told by the powers-that-be (or, the state? government?). The vision of freedom that Orwell presents is primarily socio-political, with the greatest threat to humans being other humans, whether the Nazi, the slave-owner, or the autocrat etc… Oppression comes through pain, not pleasure; the essence of liberty is to be without external constraint. By contrast, Huxley’s Brave New World (1934), published just after the Wall Street crash had turned the excess of the twenties into the Great Depression of the thirties, portrays a future in which people are enslaved to forces within themselves: desire, inanity, hedonism, egotism, ignorance. Humans are free if they are able to choose, to will their own future, to decide for themselves what they will…

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