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Today’s cache | Location sharing using Plus Codes, and more

Today's cache is your daily download of the top 5 updates from the world of technology.

Most of us would have faced the issue of searching for a location without proper address on Google maps. Now, with a single tap on the blue dot, you can get the location code to an address, and share the alphanumeric code with others.

The Cybercrime Support Network and Google have partnered to develop an initiative to educate users on identifying and stopping online scams.

The Family Link app has two new improvements all with the latest Chrome OS update.

Microsoft and Google have collaborated to improve the spell check experience of Chrome and Edge browser users.

And lastly, Trump vs Twitter battle continues.

Share your location using Plus Codes

There have times when the address of the particular is not available. Lack of address information makes it hard to get products delivered to some locations.

Plus Codes was launched to solve that challenge. They are simply digital addresses formed using latitude and longitude coordinates. They reveal the location as an alphanumeric code.

You can now share your location information using Plus Codes on the Google Maps.

On the map, you will find a blue dot, which represents your current location. A tap on the dot, reveals the alphanumeric code. That can be copied and shared with others, like giving your phone number.

The codes will look similar to a regular address, except it won’t have street name or number. Instead of it, it will have a code followed by city and state names.

In case you wish to know the code for another location, you have to move the blue dot to that place on the map. After placing there, just tap for the code.

These location codes can be accessed on regular search and on the map.

Plus codes are generated using open source software, and they are free to use, available offline, and can be printed on paper.

To use plus codes, update your Google Maps Android app in the next few weeks.

Stopping online scamsters

Consumers lost over $1.9 billion to online scams in 2019, according to US Federal Trade Commission. This means that about $3,600 is conned away every minute to scammers who hunt for victims with calls or emails.

In 2020, scammers are expected to steal over $2 billion, according to Scam Spotter, an initiative designed to help scam victims.

The scammers use different identities ranging from health experts to romantic partners, to lure consumers into sharing personal information or giving away cash.

That is why Scam Spotter is spreading knowledge on how people can identify scams, and stop them. The initiative is supported by Google and Cybercrime Support Network.

The team gets information from Google on common patterns adopted by scamsters, and provides practical advice to users on how not to fall prey to attacks.

Using that information, Scam Spotter has categorised scams and crafted three simple rules: to slow down, spot check, and don’t send.

These golden rules help users to know what to do when they encounter an online scam.

While online scams are most prevalent among millennials, the biggest losers are seniors, with a median loss of double the average, Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, said.

Chrome’s new OS update for Family Link app

Google has made two updates to its Family Link app for Chromebook users. These improvements will be part of the new Chrome OS update.

Family Link app helps parents manage their children’s screen time, particularly on Google. The app gives parents control to set rules on screen time on phones, tablets and Chromebooks.

With the new OS update, Google will allow kids to download extensions from Chrome Web store. It will also set an option to limit usage time on apps downloaded from Play Store.

Parents can control what their wards download and the amount of time they spend of each app from the Family Link app.

The downloads happen after parents approve apps from Google Play Store for their child’s account.

These improvements help children to browse and look up apps that might be of interest to them. And at the same time, parents hold the final okay for app to be installed on the Chromebook.

The in-app time restriction update will help parents to make their child’s screen time in balance. This means they can allocate time for both educational and fun activities.

Approving extensions is simple. Parents just need to type in their password on the supervised Chromebook.

Trump vs Twitter continues

The short messaging platform Twitter has become a battleground lately, where 280 character-tweets are fired by President Trump.

Since Trump’s mail-in ballots tweets were fact checked by Twitter, the President has taken it upon himself to remove the protection social media firms have under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

In the most recent issue, Twitter has marked Trump’s tweet on violence at Denver, Colorado as ‘glorifying violence.’

“…These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you,” the president tweeted.

That tweet can be seen by twitterati; but can’t be retweeted or replied to directly.

The tweet can be retweeted with a comment, which means the message’s reach will be limited.

Microsoft, Google collaborated to improve spellcheck

Microsoft and Google partnered to improve the Chrome and Edge browsers’ spellcheck experience, TheVerge reported.

A built-in Windows spellcheck feature now powers the latest versions of Edge and Chrome browsers.

The built-in feature will provide better support for URLs, acronyms, additional languages and dialects, a shared custom dictionary, and email addresses.

Earlier version of Windows spell check used open-source proofing tools, which lack the above benefits.

“This feature was developed as a collaboration between Google and Microsoft engineers in the Chromium project, enabling all Chromium-based browsers to benefit from Windows Spellcheck integration,” Microsoft said in a blog post.

The new spellcheck feature is available in Microsoft Edge starting with version 83, it added.

For most users, no action is required to set up spell checking as it will automatically update based on preferred language settings from Windows.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 8:23:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/todays-cache-location-sharing-using-plus-codes-and-more/article31707757.ece

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