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Coronavirus contact tracing Apps: Why you should stand against it

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Coronavirus contact tracing Apps: Why you should stand against it 1

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted a lot of industries all over the world.

So many countries are experiencing unprecedented economic meltdown leading to calls to find a way to salvage whatever is left.

This has led to different suggestions with one being the implementation of contact tracing apps to checkmate the virus spread whilst effectively maintaining social distancing.

NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app

The NHS UK Covid-19 contact tracing app beta

Countries are rushing to develop mobile tracing apps, hoping that the smartphone technology could help to reopen borders without unleashing a second wave of the pandemic.

But in the midst of all these easy-peasy split decisions, can we all just stop for a second and consider the threats that comes with implementing this?

A penny for your thoughts on the privacy breaches and long government surveillance that will ensure even after the virus crisis has eased.

It must be debated that we’ve already lost a sizeable amount of our personal data to leading tech giants so what’s the cause for alarm?

But then, are we going to give in so cheaply and allow more of our data aunctioned with ease on the dark web?

Who is making these Apps?

Apple and Google clever contact tracing app

Google and Apple Inc. are the frontrunners for developing these apps.

Public health authorities, developers and the entire tech ecosystem all also working on apps to help us keep track of who we came in contact with and where we’ve been to aid in Covid-19 contact-tracing efforts.

The apps is understood to use Bluetooth short-range wireless to identify those who have come into contact with people infected with the virus.

The problem is that both Google and Apple restrict how apps can use Bluetooth in iOS and Android.

They don’t allow developers to constantly broadcast Bluetooth signals, as that sort of background broadcast has been exploited in the past for targeted advertising.

As per reports, iOS apps can only send Bluetooth signals when the app is running in the foreground while latest versions of Android have similar restrictions, only allowing Bluetooth signals to be sent out for a few minutes after an app has closed.

We definitely acknowledge that contact-tracing apps aim to help health authorities trace paths of infection, and in many cases, to notify users that they’ve been near a person infected by Covid-19.

But asides the privacy and security concerns, here’s the many logical downsides…

Conflicted approach to Covid-19 contact tracing apps

  • One, the app’s location and proximity systems — based on GPS and Bluetooth — just aren’t accurate enough to capture every contact.
  • Two, the app won’t be aware of any extenuating circumstances, like walls or partitions in buildings. This alone might result in the App inability to register a contact when I occurs.

Imagine you walk into Everyday Supermarket and the app alerts you of a possible contact. What should you do?

I’ll like to hear your take and possible decision in this kind of scenario…

Subsequently, what if you walk in on same store and it doesn’t alert you of any contact. Does that imply you’re all clear?

Of course not! You might probably have no idea you’re infected already.

Yet we should have in mind they while the entire world is trying to solve one big problem, they might just be creating a lot more small ones.

In the end, the only real tool we have is quarantine; the main question facing us is how to use it most efficiently, to maximise the cost/benefit balance.

It’s possible that the virus contact tracing apps can be great complementary tools and will play a small role in that, though not in the simple way that you and I imagine.

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Mediatek unveils Helio G95 gaming Processor for budget smartphones, could debut on Tecno Camon 16 or Realme 7

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Mediatek unveils Helio G95 gaming Processor for budget smartphones, could debut on Tecno Camon 16 or Realme 7 6

Adding to its ever-growing portfolio and stern competition to it’s Qualcomm counterpart, Taiwanese chipmaker, Mediatek has announced a new gaming Chipset for the Helio G90 series. The Helio G95 SoC offers a 5% boost in GPU performance over the G90T though the rest of the feature set is identical to the latter.

With the G95, MediaTek aims at closing the huge gap existing between the mid-range and flagship gaming smartphone segment and the first phone to use this processor could be the Tecno Camon 16 or Realme 7 with both due for official releases on September 3.

The G90T ended up on phones like the Redmi Note 8 and Note 9 Pro and Realme 6 , so the odds are on we likely get to see more phones with the G95 chip launch in the final lap of the third quarter of the year.

Here’s everything the Mediatek Helio G95 has on offer

Mediatek Helio G95 Features

Essentially, it would be best to understand that the Helio G95 SoC is an overclocked G90T processor, in that it comes with an upgraded Mali-G76 GPU running at 900MHz. The G90T, on the other hand, is equipped with a Mali-G57 GPU that’s running at 800MHz.

Features like HyperEngine game technology, multi-camera support of upto 4 sensors and an APU (AI processing unit) are also very much welcome. The chip also supports upto HDR10+ enhancement quality in real-time.

The G95 processor is manufactured using the 12nm fabrication process and has two Cortex-A76 cores running at 2.05GHz while the six power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores can run upto 2.0GHz.

MediaTek’s famed HyperEngine game technology is responsible for optimizing the gaming experience to provide the best connection speed, picture quality and ensures a smooth gameplay experience on budget devices. There are several customisation options that users can fine-tune further.

Furthermore, Helio G95 chipset supports upto 10GB LPDDR4x RAM, UFS 2.1 storage, upto Full HD+ displays with 90Hz refresh rate and dual 4G SIM cards.

Additionally, the chip can be paired with upto 64MP cameras with upto 4K UHD rerecording.

Mediatek unveils Helio G95 gaming Processor for budget smartphones, could debut on Tecno Camon 16 or Realme 7 7

The MediaTek Helio G95 will power many phones set to launch in September. The first of such as confirmed by Naijatechguy could be the Tecno Camon 16 set to launch on September 3 in India.

The smartphone has been teased with stunning bezeles display, a 64MP camera unit with Samsung’s GM1 or Sony’s IMX686 sensor here which could all play into the hands of the new Helio G95 processor.

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“Fitbit of tiny wires in your skull” – Elon Musk set to define future of Neurotechnology with landmark Neuralink chip unveiling

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"Fitbit of tiny wires in your skull" - Elon Musk set to define future of Neurotechnology  with landmark Neuralink chip unveiling 8

In case you missed it probably you’ve been living under a rock or something incredibly heavy, a major global announcement was passed on couple hours ago which could well determine what value our lives still hold here on Earth

Naahh, definitely not another wave of Coronavirus but

Research nerd and Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s neuroscience startup Neuralink on Friday unveiled a coin-sized computer chip that could provide the age-old solution to treating brain and neuro-ailments.

"Fitbit of tiny wires in your skull" - Elon Musk set to define future of Neurotechnology  with landmark Neuralink chip unveiling 9

The move is regarded as another giant stride though early step taken toward the goal of curing human diseases with the same type of implant.

Co-founded by Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc and SpaceX CEO Musk in 2016, San Francisco Bay Area-based Neuralink aims to implant wireless brain-machine interfaces that include thousands of electrodes in the most complex human organ to help cure neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia and spinal cord injuries and ultimately fuse humankind with artificial intelligence.

Though the mighty risks of artificial intelligence can’t be understated, Neuralink implant’s most important achievement beyond medical applications would be “some kind of AI symbiosis where you have an AI extension of yourself.”

This practically would mean having small-smart devices that electronically stimulate nerves and brain areas to treat hearing loss and Parkinson’s disease have been implanted in humans for decades.

"Fitbit of tiny wires in your skull" - Elon Musk set to define future of Neurotechnology  with landmark Neuralink chip unveiling 10

Brain implant trials have also been conducted with a small number of people who have lost control of bodily functions due to spiral cord injuries or neurological conditions like strokes.

“An implantable device can actually solve these problems,” Musk said on a webcast Friday, mentioning ailments such as memory loss, hearing loss, depression and insomnia.

Musk did not provide a timeline for those treatments, appearing to retreat from earlier statements that human trials would begin by the end of this year. Neuralink’s first clinical trials with a small number of human patients would be aimed at treating paralysis or paraplegia, the company’s head surgeon Dr. Matthew MacDougall said.

For the Friday Neuralink webcast, Musk presented what he described as the “three little pigs demo.”

"Fitbit of tiny wires in your skull" - Elon Musk set to define future of Neurotechnology  with landmark Neuralink chip unveiling 11

Gertrude, the pig with a Neuralink implant in the part of its brain that controls the snout, required some coaxing by Musk to appear on camera, but eventually began eating off of a stool and sniffing straw, triggering spikes on a graph tracking the animal’s neural activity.

Musk said the company had three pigs each implanted with the chip for the past couple months, and also revealed a pig that previously had an implant. They were “healthy, happy and indistinguishable from a normal pig,” Musk said. Musk said the company predicted a pig’s limb movement during a treadmill run at “high accuracy” using implant data.

Furthermore, the Neuralink’s chip, is roughly 23 millimeters (0.9 inch) in diameter which Musk described as “a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires” making it relatively minute in size.

"Fitbit of tiny wires in your skull" - Elon Musk set to define future of Neurotechnology  with landmark Neuralink chip unveiling 12

“I could have a Neuralink right now and you wouldn’t know,” Musk said. “… Maybe I do.”

We hope you don’t for now though Mr Musk!

Stanford University neuroscientist Sergey Stavisky said the company had made substantial and impressive progress since an initial demonstration of an earlier chip in July 2019.

“Going from that to the fully implanted system in several pigs they showed is impressive and, I think, really highlights the strengths of having a large multidisciplinary team focused on this problem,” Stavisky said.

Neuralink’s chip could also improve the understanding of neurological diseases by reading brain waves, one of the company’s scientists said during the presentation.

Though some researchers however opined longer studies would be required to determine the longevity and lifespan of the device.

Also, Startups such as Kernel, Paradromics and NeuroPace are trying to exploit advancements in material, wireless and signaling technology to create devices similar to Neuralink making it really a race in time to create an actual feasible device.

Though another question which albeit could be on the lips of users will be about personalization of data. We are not envisaging a Google Ad kind of scenario here, but with the extent user data is been mined and misused, you can only prepare for the worst nowadays.

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