Fitbit’s activity-tracking wearable devices are already being used by a number of academic institutions to determine if they might be able to contribute to the early detection of COVID-19 and the flu, and now Fitbit itself is launching its own dedicated Fitbit COVID-19 Study, which users can sign up for from within their Fitbit mobile app.
The study will help the company figure out if it can successfully develop an algorithm to accurately detect a COVID-19 infection before the onset of systems. In order to gather the data needed to see if they can do this, Fitbit is asking users in either the U.S. or Canada who have either had or currently have a confirmed case of COVID-19, or flu-like symptoms that might be an indicator of an undiagnosed case, to answer some questions in order to contribute to its research.
The answer to these questions from participants will be paired with data gathered via their Fitbit to help identify any patterns that could potentially provide an early warning about someone falling ill. Pre-symptomatic detection could have a number of benefits, most obviously in ensuring that an individual is then able to self-isolate more quickly and prevent them from infecting others.
Early detection could also have advantages in terms of treatment, allowing health practitioners to intervene earlier and potentially prevent the worst of the symptoms of the infection. Depending on what treatments ultimately emerge, early detection could have a big impact on their efficacy.
Fitbit is asking those who would take part in the study to answer questions about whether or not they have or have not experienced COVID-19 or the flu, or its symptoms, as well as other demographic and medical history info. Participation in the study is voluntary, in case you’re not comfortable sharing that info, and once in, participants can decided to withdraw whenever they want.
COVID-19 early detection could be a big help in any safe, actually practical return-to-work strategy for reopening the economy. It could also serve as a means of expanding diagnosis in combination with testing, depending on how accurate it’s found to be across these studies, and with what devices. A confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis doesn’t actually have to mean a test result; it could be a physician’s assessment based on a number of factors, including biometric data and symptom expression. Depending on what a comprehensive mitigation strategy ends up looking like, that could play a much bigger role in assessing the scale and spread of COVID-19 in the future, especially as we learn more about it.
Xiaomi Redmi 9 specs, design and pricing revealed by online retailer – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com
The Xiaomi Redmi 9 reportedly arriving on June 25 has been listed on online retailer Lazada’s Filipino site with its images, specs, and pricing.
The specs listed on the e-commerce website align well with previous rumors, meaning the Redmi 9 comes with a Helio G80 SoC under the hood and has two memory versions – 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB. There’s also a dedicated microSD card slot for storage expansion.
The Redmi 9 is built around a 6.53″ FullHD+ display that has a notch up top for the 8MP selfie camera. The back of the smartphone, that has a textured finish and looks like a combination of the Redmi K30 and Redmi Note 8 Pro‘s back panels, is home to a quad camera setup comprising a 13MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 5MP macro and 2MP depth sensor units.
The Redmi 9 comes in three colors and packs a 5,020 mAh battery which draws power through a USB-C port at up to 18W.
Other highlights of the Redmi 9 include a rear-mounted fingerprint reader, AI Face Unlock, IR Blaster, dual SIM support, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The 3GB/32GB version is priced at PHP6,990 ($140/€125) and the 4GB/64GB at PHP7,490 ($150/€135). At the time of writing this, the 32GB version is available for purchase in a flash sale.
That’s surprising since Xiaomi’s Philippines branch hasn’t made any official announcements about the Redmi 9 at the time of writing this, meaning the retailer likely jumped the guns and an official announcement isn’t too far away.
Thanks for the tip!
Montreal weather: A good day to stay inside with the windows open – Montreal Gazette
Isn’t that rain refreshing? Yeah, it’s putting a damper on the weekend, but it’s not like you can do much out there these days.
Today’s forecast calls for the rain to continue until the morning, then maybe come back in the mid-afternoon as we hit a reasonable high of 20 C. (Sunday will be better — sunny and 21.)
We apologize, but this video has failed to load.
Tonight: Chance of rain. Low 12.
Don’t forget to submit your photos of Montreal via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by tagging them with #ThisMtl. We’ll feature one per day right here in the morning file. Today’s photo was posted on Instagram by @tinmarieb.
Quote of the day
The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles. — Ayn Rand
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Apple iOS 13.5.5 Can’t Come Soon Enough: Here Are 3 Reasons Why – Forbes
The next updates for Apple’s iPhone and iPad will be iOS 13.5.5 and iPadOS 13.5.5 (unless a bug appears that needs squishing quickly before then). They can’t be far off, because the first developers’ betas and public betas have appeared, but along with bug fixes there are features which are going to be highly useful.
To get new features at this stage in an OS’s cycle is pretty rare, so here are the three standouts which it’s worth looking out for.
Sure, it’s only days since the latest iOS update dropped – iOS 13.5.1, which was also when iPadOS 13.5.1 arrived. But that update had one specific purpose: to patch a vulnerability which allowed anyone to jailbreak their iPhone – and risked bad actors exploiting the weakness, too.
So, the last new features came with iOS 13.5, back in May. Here are the three headline extras of iOS 13.5.5. that we know about – or think we do.
News+ to gain audio
How do you consume your news features?
For a lot of people it’s a combination of radio, TV, online newspapers, apps and podcasts. Ah, yes, podcasts. The Apple News+ subscription service could do with some of those. The subscription price of $9.99 a month is good value for so many magazines and newspapers, but even so, shouldn’t you expect audio as well?
The iOS 13.5.5 beta shows a new tab in the Apple News app that reads “Audio”. Because it’s only in beta, there’s no actual playable content just yet, even for those signed up for the public beta.
When it’s live, it will almost certainly mean there will be audio versions of curated articles from publications available in Apple News+.
It will have an interface similar to the Podcasts app, according to Jeff Benjamin from 9to5Mac.
It seems that non-subscribers will be able to access little bits of audio but you’ll need the full subscription to hear everything.
Apple is doubtless still sorting licensing issues for this right now. Choosing the articles, employing the actors to read them and recording the audio versions will take time, so don’t expect a full library of audible goodness on day one. But it will be a big step forward for the News+ platform. After all, it’s believed that Apple News+ hasn’t taken off quite the way the company would have liked. Which brings us to the second feature I’m looking forward to.
Apple News+ and other services bundles
Forensic examination of code in iOS 13.5.5. beta by Filipe Espósito at 9to5Mac suggests that we may soon be able to buy Apple services together for a lower price.
This is something that’s been rumored since 2019, but references to a “bundle offer” and to a “bundle subscription” appearing in the code are new, apparently.
It’s not clear when this might come – some sources say not until 2021 – or which services might be included. After all, although Apple launched TV+ alongside the Apple Arcade games subscription, that wouldn’t be the best fit, perhaps. Either Apple Music ($9.99 a month) or Apple TV+ ($4.99 a month) could make a tempting combo with Apple News+, especially if the price is right.
iPad Keyboard backlighting
The third feature is something I think about, well, every time I use my iPad Pro with its spectacular Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard, unlike Smart Keyboards from Apple that have preceded it, is backlit. So you can use it in a dark room without squinting crazily or tipping the iPad screen toward the keys to try and make out which key is which.
But adjusting the brightness of the keyboard isn’t quite as simple as it might be. I mean, it’s designed so it adjusts the brightness automatically based on the lighting conditions, but your idea of what’s right and the keyboard’s aren’t always the same thing.
There’s no row of function keys on the Magic Keyboard, you see, so that’s not where you go to adjust brightness as you might on a regular laptop. Instead, you need to stop what you’re doing, open the Settings app, go to General, then Keyboard and then Hardware Keyboard.
Only then do you reach a screen where you can adjust the brightness.
According to 9to5Mac, iPadOS 13.5.5 has references in the code which suggest that there will be keyboard shortcuts to offer the capabilities which would normally fall to the function keys.
It looks like the shortcuts will allow simple, quick adjustment of the Keyboard backlighting, iPad display brightness and more.
They’re not active in the software beta so it’s not clear if they will be customizable or exactly how they will work.
It’s also worth noting that it’s not clear whether, though the code is in place in iPadOS 13.5.5, if that’s when it will debut or whether we’ll have to wait for iPadOS 14. Let’s hope it’s coming soon.
The final release of the software is imminent. When it launches, I’ll report on exactly what is, and what isn’t, included.
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