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Google and Apple team up to create a new way to track Covid-19 – Barrie 360 – Barrie 360

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With community transmission being such a huge problem when it comes to Covid-19, Google and Apple are collaborating on new transmission tracing technology that will help people, governments, and health authorities track transmission using Bluetooth technology.

The app will store data (locally) so when someone tests positive for Covid-19 and reports it using the system, the app will notify those who have been in contact with that person.

Privacy will obviously be a big concern but Apple has a very solid track record when it comes to protecting user data so having them on board should definitely ease some concerns. A few ways they are ensuring privacy are:

  • This system does not collect location data from your device and does not share the identities of other users to each other, Google, or Apple.
  • Bluetooth privacy-preserving beacons rotate every 10-20 minutes, to help prevent tracking.
  • Exposure notification is only done on-device and under the user’s control.
  • Google and Apple can disable the system on a regional basis when it is no longer needed

Most importantly, the entire process is voluntary and you can easily opt-out by deleting the app and turning off exposure tracking settings, although hopefully, most people will be using it.

The release of this technology will begin in May with both companies releasing programming interfaces to allow health authorities to develop their own apps. In the coming months, Google and Apple will start rolling the tech into system updates so the maximum amount of users can access the system.


Featured image courtesy of Gabriel Freytez via pexels.com

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Residents being advised of potential coronavirus exposure at Halifax store – Globalnews.ca

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NSHA Public Health is advising customers of a building supply store of potential exposure to COVID-19.

They say the risk of contact with the virus happened at Rona on 6055 Almon St., Halifax on May 23, 25 and 28.

“Public Health is directly contacting anyone known to be a close contact of the person(s) confirmed to have COVID-19. While most people have been contacted, there could be some contacts that Public Health is not aware of,” NSHA said in a statement on Saturday.

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READ MORE: Nova Scotia reports 1 more death at Northwood, 1 new case of coronavrius

According to NSHA, anyone exposed to the virus on the announced dates at this location may develop symptoms up to 14 days from the last date they were at this location. This would be up to, and including, June 11, 2020.

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People are being asked self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever (chills, sweats, etc.)
  • Cough (new or worsening)
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle aches
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Hoarse voice
  • DiarrheaUnusual fatigue
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Red, purple or blueish lesions, on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause

If an individual has any COVID-19 symptoms, they are being asked to call 811 for assessment, to self-isolate until they receive 811 advice on what to do next and not to go directly to a COVID-19 assessment centre without being directed to do so.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Sony CEO Opens Up on PlayStation 5 Pricing Strategy – Essentially Sports

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Sony is finally opening-up on its next-gen console, PlayStation 5, after having kept mum for most of the year. With a game reveal showcase now confirmed for June 4, we can expect further news to start flowing in. While next week’s showcase is sure to give us something about the console itself, do not expect too much. Sony is bound to continue keeping its cards close to its chest. However, Sony PlayStation’s CEO, Jim Ryan, did touch upon a few elements regarding the console in a sit-down with gamesindustry.biz.

The reports, mostly unconfirmed, about PlayStation 5 have surely given the console’s loyal community a bit of anxiety. The first half of the year has more or less been about how Sony has run into trouble due to the pandemic ravaging our globe. Be it a possibility of a delay, or the disturbance in the production capacity of the new console, the news was pretty grim until this month.

The biggest letdown was perhaps the news report claiming the launch price of the console could be around $450-500. A Bloomberg report claimed the high production cost of the units would force Sony to hike up the launch price. But would that work for them? After all, back when it hiked up the launch price for PS3, it suffered dearly.

However, this month has brought in a much-needed sense of relief among the fans. The tech giant’s financial reports confirmed the console launch was on track. Moreover, we also got an official word of a “compelling lineup of games.”

PlayStation 5 CEO assures “best possible value proposition”

In his chat with gamesindustry.biz, Jim Ryan did brush upon the subject of the price, unsurprisingly, though, refrained from giving us an estimate. He did admit that times are a bit unusual, and vowed to offer the “best possible value proposition.”

“Now, who knows how this recession is going to look, how deep it will be and how long it will last.

“I think the best way that we can address this is by providing the best possible value proposition that we can. I don’t necessarily mean lowest price. Value is a combination of many things. In our area it means games, it means number of games, depth of games, breadth of games, quality of games, price of games… all of these things and how they avail themselves of the feature set of the platform.”

While this sounds quite noncommittal, let’s hope the PS3 debacle compels them to keep the price on the lower end of the spectrum. However, there is a good possibility that Sony will hike the price up from the PS4 launch ($399). Unless, of course, it is ready to bear some significant initial losses.

“Increase in development budgets”

Ryan admitted that the new-age graphical capabilities of the PlayStation 5 will also increase the game-development costs.

“I think, to the extent that the technology enables the graphics side of it to become more interesting and life-like, (the games) will become slightly more human-intensive and capital intensive to produce. So yes, we think there probably will be an increase in development budgets. We don’t see it as being a massive increase, and that’s why we want to do more faster than we have ever done before, to provide a fertile install base for people who make games to be able to monetize against.” 

We better expect the next-gen console and games to put a strain on our wallets. Well, at least in the initial phase. But then again, it has never really been all that cheap, has it?

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Microsoft 'to replace journalists with robots' – BBC News

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Microsoft ‘to replace journalists with robots’ – BBC News


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PA Media

Microsoft is to replace dozens of contract journalists on its MSN website and use automated systems to select news stories, US and UK media report.

The curating of stories from news organisations and selection of headlines and pictures for the MSN site is currently done by journalists.

Artificial intelligence will perform these news production tasks, sources told the
Seattle Times
.

Microsoft said it was part of an evaluation of its business.

The US tech giant said in a statement: “Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, redeployment in others. These decisions are not the result of the current pandemic.”

Microsoft, like some other tech companies, pays news organisations to use their content on its website.

But it employs journalists to decide which stories to display and how they are presented.

Around 50 contract news producers will lose their jobs at the end of June, the Seattle Times reports, but a team of full-time journalists will remain.

“It’s demoralising to think machines can replace us but there you go,” one of those facing redundancy told the paper.

Some sacked journalists warned that artificial intelligence may not be fully familiar with strict editorial guidelines, and could end up letting through inappropriate stories.

Twenty-seven of those losing their jobs are employed by the UK’s PA Media,
the Guardian reports
.

One journalist quoted in the paper said: “I spend all my time reading about how automation and AI is going to take all our jobs – now it’s taken mine.”

Microsoft is one of many tech companies experimenting with forms of so-called robot journalism to cut costs. Google is also investing in projects to understand how it might work.


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