Although this gives you a better insight into the characters, a lot of them are very one dimensional, everyone is hiding things and playing their parts, they are just going through the motions without really feeling anything, like they are stunted. As a dystopia novel, this is an interesting look at human nature and interactions of society, views to survival and food sources. It can also be seen from an environmental angle of sustainability and maintaining food sources as a population grows beyond the life it can support.
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Thank you. Took me a little while to get into this book but then was hooked and cannot wait for what must surely be the sequel. Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book. The Road Cormac McCarthy A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind.
They have nothi Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels ag Metro Dmitry Glukhovsky 9. The year is The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boun Swan Song Robert McCammon 9. Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack.
America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen — from the Pres Oryx and Crake Margaret Atwood 9. Snowman may be the last man on earth, the only survivor of an unnamed apocalypse. Once he was Jimmy, a member of a scientific elite; now he lives in bitter isolation and lo We should adapt to them, not the other way around. Well, but then you need a special webpage made by the emergency services. They didn't have that; they just had what3words. You don't get to disparage things that exist in favour of things that don't exist.
You could of course try to build that page for emergency services, sell it to them, and have them maintain it. Or, you know, the dispatcher could just tell the person to open what3words You are correct. I took their press release to mean that they had a special page for emergency services. As it happens, I did build a similar site many years ago when working for a telco. I'll see if I can drag out the code. Assuming the Or, why not have Google and Apple make it so that calls to emergency services from a mobile device automatically report the device location?
Wot, you mean something like this? Most mobile phones that have some form of Gps chip and access to fairly accurate coordinates from built in applications. There are now several different services in use by emergency services that send a text to a lost person, person clicks on link and that automatically sends location to emergency services. You can send SMS messages to if you pre register with them. I suspect they plan on being bought up by a google or such like so holding onto the copyright until then. Are you emergency services available over WhatsApp?
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I expect the answer today is "no", and there are arguments to be made both for and against having state-funded services made available on a private platform like WhatsApp When people meet me for the first time they often say "Oh, you're the guy who hates What3Words", because I blog and tweet about them a lot, e. It may seem that they are the only ones in my firing line, but that's because they spend so much on public relations that they seem to be constantly in the media who, as you say, then report uncritically what has been spoon-fed to them. It would be great if once, just once, they would ask the opinion of address experts before publishing But anyway, there are actually a lot of these algorithm-based systems around, too many of which are looking not to solve any real addressing problems, but to make a quick buck.
If you're interested, I analysed those systems I know about and compared them to traditional street addressing.
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Open Location Codes solve this problem. It works out much better with scale, and it's open source. We remember words better than random letters. Might also be able to deal with things like elevation what floor of the building are you on. You have to engage the locations independently from the W3Ws service. I mostly agree with the OP's gripes, but at the same time acknowledge that some form of projection from decimal degree coordinates to an equivalent tokenized form, whether it be 3 words or something else, can be useful.
For instance, in some places in Dubai my family have recently moved there there are simply no street addresses.
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Directions are very much like "down the hill, to the right, near the clump of trees, 50m onwards and near the green bin outside the iron gates opposite the ditch". Conceptually at a high level it's intentions seem good, but the way it's implemented is not particularly useful - to my mind anyway. Promoting it as something useful to emergency services Location of fire hydrants or trees or something, or just a rough address of a property - yes perhaps. But it should not be so guarded and shrouded in proprietary secrecy - as the OP says, if it's of any use, open source it.
Stop this possessive behavior and attitude of "I've reinvented the world and it's mine mine mine" Granted, this could be related to the browser or ISP but not always. Still, I admire their tenacity for trying to map out the world in a more humane manner. Are you getting your location from GPS data and using that to put yourself in the w3w grid? Far from that.
It turns out on closer inspection not to be such a great idea, even idiotic. W3W is an atrocious waste of space and effort. It fell down on every point, especially that of having multiple ways to describe a single location, and that of having no inherent indication of distance between two points. The very randomness of the wordlist makes it impossible, indeed it also requires a live connection at all times which is frequently unavailable or of low bandwidth in the field.
A service which has no unique usecase. Read their website. It uses the GPS in your phone and as such available offline. Is Apple open source? But people still use them and pay for them. Why do people feel that in the Internet-age everything should be available for free? If you already have the app, it doesn't require a live connection. If you don't have the app, you'll need to download and install a 50MB file.
I think it is entirely reasonable to say emergency services should be free to use gratis. It is also prudent that safety critical software should be free libre. It is important that we can examine the code to make sure it doesn't contain any nasty surprises. We're back to use cases, yet again. In some use cases you'd have access offline -- but there are lots of use cases, including those W3W themselves tout like being given a W3W location in lieu of an address, or emergency services asking for your W3W location where there's no reason to assume the consumer would have an app pre-installed.
This is because the actual product that W3W sells is basically a database -- you can download it, or you can make lookups over the network, but because it's a closed product, it's never going to be included especially offline in the mapping software you're already using. Other location encoding systems can be generated offline as well. And, guess what — apps to do them already exist.
Even better — there are multiple apps to do all of these.
So you can pick the one you like the best. Nobody else can write an app, or any other code to generate the words. Only W3W is allowed to do that. Do you really want to rely on that in a safety critical scenario? But the formats they read and write are published and available, and anyone can and plenty of people do write alternative software some of it free, some of it paid for that can read and write Word and Excel documents. The key thing here is not the software that does the job, but the formats used by the software.
The problem is that it uses secret, proprietary algorithms that nobody else is allowed to replicate. But it is true that the Internet is built on a set of agreed, published, open standards, that anyone can hook into — either with free software or proprietary software. A location encoding system, to be useful, also needs to be based on a published, open standard that anyone can use.
Some people will create free software to do that, some will create commercial software to do it. The commercial software may well be better. But there will be multiple competing providers, and you can pick the one you want. They are perfectly entitled to keep their code closed. We just want their system to be based on a published standard rather than a secret. I saw a good post about this a while back, that referenced Cory Doctorow's concept of Adversarial Interoperability. Basically, by making their product data -- i. They have a monopoly over the addressing scheme, and interoperability is impossible.
I think it gets straight to the heart of the problem. By that I mean, given two addresses, there's no way to guess where they are or compare them and determine how far away they are. Addresses obviously have this property. Even postcodes - while not deterministic - often cluster together. With w3w though, where is levels. How far is it from fork. It's a total mess. I lived in west Texas for several years. I vote for the military grid reference system and to be done with it.
Oh, and it can be overlaid on any UTM map in the world. MGRS does have some locality but takes practice to understand, because it interleaves latitude and longitude so you have to do some mental acrobatics to figure out if two points are near one another, outside of the first 3 characters top level grid. What are we doing with this point reference? Reading three syllable? Plus Codes could arguably be better though I think it can have the same phonetic-alphabet problems with a useful location in about 7 characters, assuming both parties know the general area being referenced.
Do I actually want the easiest system for remembering an address? Could be completely different. If I understand the maths correctly, it would require a character string to achieve comparable accuracy. Is it easier to tell somebody, or write on a form? Postal addressing doesn't map onto geographic coordinates anyway - sometimes, you can have multiple addresses sharing a set of coordinates eg, apartments in a tower block while at other times, a single postal address can cover a very large geographic area eg, a university campus.
Traditional postal addressing systems have pretty much cracked that for established populated areas, with the use of street addresses, postcodes and zip codes, etc.
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The big value for location encoding is in places that don't have a postal address - up a mountain, in the middle of moorland, on a clifftop, out at sea, on a rural highway, etc. If I was reading one out over a phone or a radio, which is what it was originally designed for , I'd use the phonetic alphabet for the letters, but that's not essential. In all the articles I've read it's pitched as being used for addresses outside the "traditional postal addressing" system, in the developing world, where mail gets sent to "the third house on the right after the blue one by the gas station" or whatever.
I would contend that "apple. I started to write that if it's being used for post , not GPS navigation, it's also reasonable for a university campus, because you don't address letters to "Unseen University", you address them to a single person, office, or building there But then I realized, how many universities don't have a traditional street address in the first place?
W3W's sole redeeming use case, as far as I can figure, is for places whose central government can't or won't set up an authoritative naming scheme, or whose layout just doesn't lend itself to such. Also, re Maidenhead, look at the use case again -- if you're trying to come up with a system that suits the developing world's postal system, hopefully anybody can remember words especially if using a localized version in a language they speak , but your average bloke in an off-grid tin shack is not necessarily going to know that his address is always letter-letter-number-number-etc.
To be fair, I guess it would catch on pretty quickly, but it's still not nearly as memorable as the three-word thing. Regarding the emergency services sending a link and the location being sent back to them. A system achieving this is successfully in use by UK Mountain Rescue and other UK emergency responders and has been rolled out globally to emergency responders.
The only time What3Words would make work easier would be if no data connection existed and only voice or text messaging could be used. But in this instance the app would already have to be pre-installed on the user device. Even then, the only benefit would be the ability to phonetically spell words more easily than numbers via a bad line or the ability of W3W to ensure that misspelled words in a text are still pointing to a relevant location. All in all — as you say W3W are producing a great example of faking Openness and trying to sell people a solution to a problem that by and large does not exist in most developed western nations.
I love maps and I regularly use over 18 map and GPS apps on my phone. Having just spent months translating the poor addresses of over National Trust properties in my home State into coordinates I find it annoying that anyone would think this is good. Having been bombarded with w3w adverts, mainly on YouTube, I was pondering whether w3w was really that useful, at a casual glance it seems like a good idea.
I also wondered how closed it was as a standard, and found it looked entirely proprietary and secret. A bit more searching and I found this blog, confirming my suspicions. I beleive one of the European Directives requres phones and cars to be able to transmit their current location to emergency services. In the case of cars this would be done automatically when the car detects a crash. I am not sure how this will work in the case of a phone presumably there will be some provision to transmit your position and also the nature of the emergency from a menu.
Implimentation of this is waiting for final commisioning of the European Galileo navigation system as the EU do not want to be dependant on US or Russian technology that can be turned off any time they like. It is not clear what the UK position will be post Brexit as we will not have access to the Galileo system due to security concerns. The emergency services will already have a pretty good location, obtained by triangulation from any available mobile phone masts.
Another problem with W3W is that it assumes that all the words at least in the English version will be spoken in the Queen's English. For example, frog. But imagine them being read out by someone with an Ulster accent, a Texas accent and an Australian accent, and consider how easy it would be to tell them apart or not, as the case may be.
The only way to be certain would be to spell the word out. I have just written this in the Wikipedia artikkel about W3W: In a multi linguistic environment, or for people with limited vocabulary skills, it would be easier to say and understand the 10 numbers used in traditional coordinate systems than thousands of words used in this method. How about bit. If agreed to omit "bit. For technical guys this discussion is much more interesting, than for average people like me , enjoying usability of what3words.
I wish I could say it's surprising that a tech company launched a product like this without an established process to replace accidental use of derogatory words or slurs, but it's not. I can understand how it happens -- maybe they used a semi-automated process for building the word list and it included things that were considered "safe" years ago.
But once somebody informs them of their oversight, to continue just blithely using a word that as I understand it is widely accepted to be an offensive slur You built your software in such a way that replacing a "bad" word is technically challenging? Well, that was dumb, I guess you need to spend your time and treasure fixing it the hard way, because you can't just ignore it and hope it goes away. If nothing else, the fact that one such word got through the process strongly suggests that there will be others in the future.
Imagine if tomorrow, someone decided the number 7 was offensive and could no longer be used. Annnnd go! Now, why would they risk breaking things that depend on that word? The analogy doesn't really make sense because W3W isn't on "any system that supports updates" or "anything that generates or consumes mapping data".
The whole point of most of this discussion is that it's a proprietary database that they only share via online services or licenses with applications. If w3w needed to change a code for a particular location, say because one word in the triple became offensive, there's no reason they couldn't keep the old triple as a hidden value so that old references still worked.
Still, w3w is a poor solution to a problem which has many better solutions. Plus, it fails quite a few use cases. Can you buy a paper map of your locality with all the squares listed, and, an index to help you find a square because w3w essentially scrambles the word to location association? I agree with all of your concerns of W3W. But one additional issue I have with it is that although remembering three words may be easier than a string of numbers, its too easy to confuse the words with other words.
See below:. If you are lost and have to read these out over a radio, I doubt I could tell the difference between them! Even in a quiet room I may have trouble. I think that is the essence of the matter. Whatever system is used needs to be equally functional both with electronic and paper equipment. Google maps. That tells where you are. I fail to see the benefit of this. If you do there are various ways to get you location.
Better to use maidenhead Grid. More or less the same as W3W, but uses a universal method of description, and is actually shorter and far easier to remember, its scalable and relatively easy to relate to in terms of direction and vicinity.. From GD18BH. Absolutely nothing new here, not sure why novelty… 1.
Ham-radio operators use a locator system which narrows the area a bit but was never meant to be so precise that could be used by emergency services. In UK services and military had a ces for years to a grid reference system, open, a de-facto standard, proven — just Google it. You can find grid refs on maps as well, at least some. Most importantly emergency services know this system and can readily use it. Biggest problem of w3w is that it requires use of GPS, at this point I can just as well run Google maps and be given also approximate location to know which neck of woods in in.
Take situation from last week — I spotted fire from the train, dropped pin on Google maps, called and described location using landmarks and map, with w3w if be guessing which square that is — not as efficient as good old map. Good blog post. Bit disappointing, I liked the idea. Why are they using three words? If they used two, one for each the horizontal rings of three meter squares. Starting at the top of the globe, with a new word for each successive ring. Then one word for each of the vertical rings, say starting in Greenwich, and working its way around the globe.
Oh wait, that would be the latitude and longitude already in place! Seems to be a marketing ploy to me. I have a problem with the use of words in this instance. Words are designed as a communication tool to be spoken or written in a fantastic variety of ways that reflect all human characteristics and every part of our world.
W3W frighteningly close to WW3!! They are randomly selected and assigned to a square without any relevance whatsoever. I know we are entering a very self destructive world but this callous disregard for the quality and emotion that words convey is tantamount to anarchy and anhialism of our own social order. The obvious abstract tools used in computers such as numbers and letters which have no associations with our world would have been a better choice to my mind.
The argument supporting words is that they become more memorable than a series of numbers. Well, how on earth do we currently manage our own telephone numbers, pin numbers, other security pass codes of letters and numbers for access to various devices?? If you desire to locate about 20 people for some function there is no way the 3 word descriptions are going to be committed to memory. The Geohash system is very much more interesting and completely open.
So if you have a ten digit geohash and only share the first six digits of it, you'll still be in the basic same area. But on the plus side…. Or W3W could sell highly desirable names for locations. If someone requests one, auction it to the highest bidder as a replacement for some current name. Of course W3W would need to refrain from using desirable combinations so they would be available for auctions. This is the worst idea ever There's a problem though, more than one Lazy Sunday morning reading all of these comments about W3W and yes some are valid, some are technical limitations, but what I find most interesting of all is a the resistance to financial cost and b Its proprietary.
You forget, many systems we use are proprietary in some way or another — The excel licence where you store your GPS locations, the Android licence that runs google maps worked into your phone purchase price , the GPS satellites and downlinks are owned by countries, not small companies — these can be switched off, limited and manipulated at their will GPS aurally. Yes it does have limitations in some cases. Very little ever solves all the applications. It may not work for pinpoint GIS, military grade applications, but it DOES work for high density, informal and rural population distribution.
It may need bit of polish, but can you discount it so quickly?