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Apple, Google release their joint technology for pandemic-tracking apps –



Apple and Google released long-awaited smartphone technology Wednesday to notify people automatically if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.

The companies said 22 countries and several U.S. states are already planning to build voluntary phone apps using their software. It relies on Bluetooth wireless technology to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for the virus.

Many governments have already tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to roll out their own phone apps to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of those apps have encountered technical problems on Apple and Android phones and haven’t been widely adopted. They often use GPS to track people’s location, which Apple and Google are banning from their new tool because of privacy and accuracy concerns.

Public health agencies from Germany to the states of Alabama and South Carolina have been waiting to use the Apple-Google model, while other governments have said the tech giants’ privacy restrictions will be a hindrance, because public health workers will have no access to the data.

The companies said they’re not trying to replace contact tracing, a pillar of infection control that involves trained public health workers reaching out to people who may have been exposed to an infected person. But they said their automatic “exposure notification” system can augment that process and slow the spread of COVID-19 by virus carriers who are interacting with strangers and aren’t yet showing symptoms. 

The identity of app users will be protected by encryption and anonymous identifier beacons that change frequently.

“User adoption is key to success and we believe that these strong privacy protections are also the best way to encourage use of these apps,” the companies said in a joint statement Wednesday.

New technology to work across borders

The companies said the new technology — the product of a rare partnership between the rival tech giants — solves some of the main technical challenges that governments have had in building Bluetooth-based apps. It will make it easier for iPhones and Android phones to detect each other, work across national and regional borders and fix some of the problems that led previous apps to quickly drain a phone’s battery.

The statement Wednesday also included remarks from state officials in North Dakota, Alabama and South Carolina signaling that they plan to use it.

“We invite other states to join us in leveraging smartphone technologies to strengthen existing contact tracing efforts, which are critical to getting communities and economies back up and running,” said North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican.

North Dakota had already launched a location-tracking app that about four per cent of state residents are using, higher than other U.S. states with similar apps but falling far short of the participation rate that experts say is needed to make such technology useful. 

Canada mostly manual

Tim Brookins, chief executive of ProudCrowd, a startup that developed North Dakota’s app, said Wednesday that North Dakotans will now be asked to download two complementary apps — his model, to help public health workers track where COVID-19 patients have been, and the Apple-Google model, to privately notify people who might have been exposed to the virus.

So far in Canada, tracing has mostly been done manually, other than Alberta’s ABTraceTogether app. Other provinces have expressed interest in similar programs, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Radio-Canada talk show Tout le monde en parle he hasn’t seen the right technology “so far,” for a national contact tracing strategy.

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Nintendo will release a free version of 51 Worldwide Games on the eShop – Video Games Chronicle



Nintendo” href=””>Nintendo has announced a free ‘Pocket Edition’ of 51 Worldwide Games.

Pocket Edition will be available to download alongside the full game on Friday, June 5 and allow users to play locally with another player who owns the full version of the game.

The Pocket Edition will also include four single-player games for free: Dominoes, Four in a Row, President and Slot Cars.

51 Worldwide Games (or Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics as it’s known in the US) is a compilation of classic games such as Chess and Solitaire, regional oddities such as Nintendo’s heritage game Hanafuda, and modern 3D takes on the likes of Bowling and Darts.

In VGC’s 51 Worldwide Games review, our critic called the Switch exclusive “a polished package of classic and modern games the entire family will enjoy.”

“If you’ll forgive us for digging out a tired cliché, there really is something for the whole family in this Nintendo Switch” href=””>Nintendo Switch package and it’s expectedly presented with the level of polish, clarity and warm personality that has become synonymous with the Japanese giant.”

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Successful investors are using big data and machine learning—now you can, too – Financial Post



This article was created by StackCommerce in partnership with Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division. While Postmedia may collect a commission on sales through the links on this page, we are not being paid by the brands mentioned.

The concepts of “Big Data” and “Machine Learning” can be intimidating for beginners, especially if you don’t have a background in complex math and programming.

But if you’re thinking about investing in stocks, it’s time to learn about these important tools for investing.

Interpret data for smarter investments

Together, big data and machine learning have become the backbone of the financial sector. Investors use big data analysis to find patterns within massive amounts of data on an ever-increasing scale. In turn, big data analytics uses machine learning algorithms to enable machines to come up with smarter decisions.

Successful financial firms know how to utilize big data and machine learning. Now you can start learning what they already know with The Complete 2020 Big Data and Machine Learning Bundle. This 10-course bundle is $39.99 and comes with entry-level courses like the Machine Learning For Absolute Beginners-Level 1 and The Keras Bootcamp for Deep Learning and AI in Python. After completing these courses, you’ll be familiar with the basic definitions of these concepts and ready to apply your knowledge.

Avoid the herd market mentality

It’s human nature to be influenced by others’ opinions. Unfortunately, just listening to others won’t help you with your investing decisions.

It’s important to come up with your own conclusions about what to invest in, using data, and then ask around for opinions. Try taking the Taming Big Data with MapReduce and Hadoop, included in the bundle, to learn more about data management concepts. This course will help you quickly learn these two technologies fundamental to big data and you’ll walk away with mastering the art of framing data analysis problems.

Remember, only use opinions to verify that your decision is solid, or if you’ve missed something in your analysis. Don’t fall victim to the herd mentality or else you’ll most likely be investing in market bubbles and crashes.

Understand global trends

Using data to identify trends can yield high profits. Once you can see a clear trend around consumer habits or supply and demand, for example, then you can make educated inferences. Spotting these trends early can give you superior returns on your investment.

While some trends are harder to see than others, learning Elasticsearch, Keras, and Apache can prepare you to find the sweet spots ripe for investing. These hot and highly valuable skills, and more, are all available to you in The Complete 2020 Big Data and Machine Learning Bundle, now just $39.90.

Prices subject to change.

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Sonos Arc is available to buy in Canada on June 10th – MobileSyrup



Sonos has just released its latest soundbar the Arc, alongside a new Sonos Five speaker and Sub. below is when they’ll become available to purchase in Canada.

You might start seeing more and more reviews popping up about the speaker, and if you want to order one right now, you can pre-order them on Sonos’ website.

All speakers come in either ‘Black’ or ‘White’, and they go on sale on June 10th. They’ll also run on Sonos’ new S2 app platform, which you can learn more about in our explainer.

Sonos Arc

Arc is the latest and greatest in Sonos soundbars and includes a vast soundstage and Dolby Atmos.

The Arc costs $999 CAD. The company also sells an optional wall-mount that costs $89.

Sonos Sub

The tricky part about the new Sonos Sub is that it looks exactly like the older model, but it has an updated chipset. Therefore the new one should get software support for a longer time.

If you have a Sub, it handles the low-frequency sounds allowing your other speakers to provide more range within the mids and high notes. If you want a full Sonos surround sound system, the Sub is part of that.

The Sub costs $899 in Canada. 

Sonos Five

This is the company’s studio-quality speaker that’s aimed music lovers. This is also one of the only speakers with an Aux port so you can plug in an outside source of media and play it via the Sonos Five

The Sonos Five costs $599 in Canada.

You can learn more about the Sonos Five and Sub by reading our prior report, and you can read my hands-on review with the Arc, which is live now.

Source: Sonos Store 

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