Connect with us

Tech

Germany flips to Apple-Google approach on smartphone contact tracing – The Journal Pioneer

Published

on


By Douglas Busvine and Andreas Rinke

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany changed course on Sunday over which type of smartphone technology it wanted to use to trace coronavirus infections, backing an approach supported by Apple and Google along with a growing number of other European countries.

Countries are rushing to develop apps to give a detailed picture of the risk of catching the coronavirus, as the chain of infection is proving hard to break because it can be spread by those showing no symptoms.

Chancellery Minister Helge Braun and Health Minister Jens Spahn said in a joint statement that Berlin would adopt a “decentralised” approach to digital contact tracing, thus abandoning a home-grown alternative that would have given health authorities central control over tracing data.

In Europe, most countries have chosen short-range Bluetooth “handshakes” between mobile devices as the best way of registering a potential contact, even though it does not provide location data.

But they have disagreed about whether to log such contacts on individual devices or on a central server – which would be more directly useful to existing contact tracing teams that work phones and knock on doors to warn those who may be at risk.

Under the decentralised approach, users could opt to share their phone number or details of their symptoms – making it easier for health authorities to get in touch and give advice on the best course of action in the event they are found to be at risk.

This consent would be given in the app, however, and not be part of the system’s central architecture.

APPLE REFUSED TO BUDGE

Germany as recently as Friday backed a centralised standard called Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT), which would have needed Apple in particular to change the settings on its iPhones.

When Apple refused to budge there was no alternative but to change course, said a senior government source.

In their joint statement, Braun and Spahn said Germany would now adopt a “strongly decentralised” approach.

“This app should be voluntary, meet data protection standards and guarantee a high level of IT security,” they said. “The main epidemiological goal is to recognise and break chains of infection as soon as possible.”

Bluetooth-based smartphone contact tracing operates by assessing the closeness and length of contact between people and, if a person tests positive for COVID-19, telling recent contacts to call a doctor, get tested or self-isolate.

Early results in countries such as Singapore are modest, however, especially when set against the technology’s potential to redefine the relationship between state and individual.

An open letter from hundreds of scientists published last Monday warned that, if the contact tracing data was centralised, it would allow “unprecedented surveillance of society at large”.

The tide was already running against PEPP-PT and its main backer, German tech entrepreneur Chris Boos, as collaborators pulled out, faulting its methodology and its slowness to open up its work to wider scrutiny.

“GRAVE ERRORS”

One of the members of PEPP-PT, Germany’s Fraunhofer HHI research institute, was told on Saturday that it had been taken off the project, correspondence seen by Reuters showed.

“A series of grave errors were made by PEPP-PT regarding communication that, at the end of the day, caused serious damage and led to this decision,” Fraunhofer HHI head Thomas Wiegand said in a message to colleagues.

Germany’s reversal brings it into line with a proposal by Apple and Google, who said this month they would develop new tools to support decentralised contact tracing. In Europe, France and Britain still back centralisation.

Centralised apps would not work properly on Apple’s iPhone because, for Bluetooth exchanges to happen, the device would need to be unlocked with the app running in the foreground – a drain on the battery and an inconvenience to the user.

But the iPhone will integrate with decentralised protocols such as DP-3T, which has been developed by a Swiss-led team and has been backed by Switzerland, Austria and Estonia.

Backers of DP-3T, short for Decentralised Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing, say it is still possible for users voluntarily to opt in to sharing their phone number in order to pass epidemiologically useful data – although not location – to authorities to aid contact tracing. But this would be part of an app, not of the system architecture.

DP-3T, in a statement, welcomed Germany’s change of heart. PEPP-PT did not respond to requests for comment.

(Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Poll: Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics Is Out Today On Switch, Are You Getting It? – Nintendo Life

Published

on


Today sees the latest Nintendo-published title, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics (or 51 Worldwide Games as it’s known in Europe) launching on Switch, so we thought it’d be nice to see just how many of you lovely lot are thinking of picking it up.

As you may be aware, the game is actually a successor to Clubhouse Games (known as 42 All-Time Classics in Europe) on Nintendo DS. This new entry includes 51 games, obviously, as well as a piano for some reason, all of which are listed below.

Clubhouse Games 51

In our review, we highlighted the fact that the new game contains such a wide enough variety of board, card and action games that you’re sure to find a number that will appeal to you. The presentation is perhaps the icing on the cake, too, going well above and beyond what you’d usually see in what is essentially a minigame compilation-style release.

So, over to you. Are you planning on buying Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics?

If you haven’t yet ordered your copy, you can grab a physical version of the game below. Feel free to expand upon your answer in the comments!

Please note that some links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you click them and make a purchase we may receive a small percentage of the sale. Please read our FTC Disclosure for more information.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

iPhone 13 design kills the notch and adds USB-C — but don't get too excited – Tom's Guide

Published

on


A iPhone 13 prototype has supposedly been leaked. But while this 5.5-inch device looks interesting, one prominent leaker has already slapped down the report’s accuracy.

The original source is MacOtakara, which published a story about some alleged iPhone 13 3D printed mockups, which allegedly shows what a 2021 iPhone could look like. It’s this story that leaker Jon Prosser responded to on Twitter with the fantastically blunt answer: “lol no.” 

MacOtakara claims that the designs for these 3D prints came from a source at online retailer Alibaba. This particular model has a 5.5-inch display, and is supposedly the successor to this year’s smallest iPhone 12 model, which measures 5.4 inches according to leaks.

The clearest change here is that there is no longer a front camera notch, which has been present from the iPhone X to the iPhone 11, and is likely coming to the iPhone 12, too. MacOtakara suggests that there will be an under-display selfie camera instead, as well as potentially a camera at the bottom of the screen.

(Image credit: MacOtakara)

We know under-display cameras are on their way, with Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi all looking into the technology for their 2021 phones. But we’d be surprised if Apple immediately adopted this new tech as well.

If Apple was to move its cameras beneath the display, it would have to factor in how it would affect Face ID. The infrared sensor could be located in the bottom camera previously mentioned, or Apple could decide to go for an under-display fingerprint scanner like many of its rivals. But we definitely don’t see Apple abandoning Face ID.

iPhone 13 mockup

(Image credit: MacOtakara)

A shot of the mockup phone’s bottom shows that the Lightning connector has been swapped for a more standard USB-C one. This is in contradiction to other rumors that have claimed that one iPhone 13 will be Apple’s first portless phone, with the company looking to avoid using USB-C on iPhones.

The back of the phone shows a very odd camera bump with five tiny holes. MacOtakara explained that this is likely a modular system to help designers test multiple camera designs more easily. Rumors for the iPhone 13’s camera array seem to be split between whether it will have four cameras – like the iPhone 12 Pro is expected to have – or if Apple will try and add more sensors outside of the main square patch.

iPhone 13 mockup

(Image credit: MacOtakara)

MacOtakara did say that this is only a prototype model and therefore could be very different from the real iPhone 13, if it does indeed exist. However, the fact this prototype differs so widely from other leaks we’ve heard makes it hard to believe.

It’s still over a year until we’ll likely see the iPhone 13 debut in fall 2021. However the iPhone 12 is expected to be revealed around September or October this year. 

We know a lot more about the iPhone 12 than next year’s model, including its four different models, 5G connectivity, OLED displays (with 120Hz refresh rates on the Pro models), new A14 chipsets and camera arrangements – two rear cameras on the iPhone 12 and 12 Max, and four on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, including a LiDAR sensor like the one seen on the iPad Pro 2020.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Highlights of the day: YMTC said to enter SSD brand business – Digitimes

Published

on


Highlights of the day: YMTC said to enter SSD brand business

DIGITIMES staff

Friday 5 June 2020

China-based NAND flash maker YMTC reportedly is looking to cross into brand SSD business in the third quarter and will focus on supplying the devices to PC makers. Meanwhile, Apple’s new iPhones using OLED panels for 2021 may adopt LTPO backplane in order to reduce their power consumption. With Huawei under the US’ new sanctions, Taiwan’s IC substrate makers have begun turning to strife for more orders from other clients particularly those in the US.

YMTC may unveil own-brand SSDs in 3Q20: China-based Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) reportedly will in third-quarter 2020 launch its own-brand SSDs adopting in-house-developed 64-layer 3D NAND flash, with target outlets including PC OEMs, according to industry sources.

OLED screens of iPhones may adopt LTPO backplanes in 2021, say sources: Apple has yet to introduce its 5G iPhones for 2020, but its supply chain is already developing OLED screens using LTPO (low temperature polycrystalline oxide) backplane technology for next year’s premium iPhone models, according industry sources.

IC substrate makers shifting focus to US clients from Huawei: Taiwan-based IC substrate makers including Unimicron Technology and Na Ya PCB are gearing up to strengthen business ties with US clients seeking to offset expected losses of orders from China’s Huawei/Hisilicon subject to tougher US trade sanctions starting September, according to industry sources.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending