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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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Social

What Facebook’s $400M Giphy deal means for Gif and it’s users

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What Facebook's $400M Giphy deal means for Gif and it's users 4

Facebook on the 15th of May sealed the acquisition of Giphy, a popular GIF bank site , for a reported price of USD 400 million with futurist plans to integrate it’s massive GIF library into Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

On any other day, this would call for some champagne and wine toast but those might have to be put on ice just yet.

What Facebook's $400M Giphy deal means for Gif and it's users 5

There are host of other apps and services which are direct Facebook competitors that rely on Giphy’s API for supplying Gifs on their platforms, including Twitter, Pinterest, Slack and more.

What does this mean for them? How about the creators? Is there a way they could come to a truce? What is Facebook going to do with 700million Giphy users?

Or better still put, Facebook’s terms for usage could now really kick them out without kicking ’em out…

Here’s how the problem might possibly set off

What Facebook's $400M Giphy deal means for Gif and it's users 6

With the new change, some of the other popular apps that rely on Giphy to let users share and post GIFs, including Apple’s iMessage, TikTok and Twitter, might not want to have a Facebook-owned platform integrated with their products moving forward.

Besides not wanting to rely on major competitors, Facebook has had issues with privacy and
reliability.

You don’t want to get your hands dirty with a Cambridge Anytica-kindof issues right…

Vishal Shah, Instagram’s VP of product already confirmed “People will still be able to upload GIFs; developers and API partners will continue to have the same access to Giphy’s APIs; and Giphy’s creative community will still be able to create great content,” but it’s only a case of when not if the vote of assurance really has an endpoint.

What Facebook's $400M Giphy deal means for Gif and it's users 7

Some companies are already closing the door

It’s quite obvious Twitter and Facebook has had a long rivalry for a while now.

For example, Instagram cut off Twitter’s ability to display its photos inside of tweets back in 2012, so sticking with Giphy might not even be in the cards for the social media app.

Besides Giphy, Twitter also relies on Tenor for GIFS. There could be a possibility that they could rely on that instead of Giphy.
Other apps like iMessage, Snapchat, TikTok, Tinder, Pinterest, Reddit and Trello hasn’t yet made statements regarding plans to change how they work with the GIF site.

However, apps like TikTok and Tinder offer the option to log in with your Facebook account so they might not be too concerned about Facebook’s acquisition.

Moving forward…

GIPHY for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Let’s be honest, ever since the
coronavirus outbreak, many OEMs have been on the lookout for any clear strategy to knock competitors off there peach.

Now social channels like Twitter, telegram and even Snapchat could drop support for the service at any moment after Facebook’s acquisition.

Besides not wanting to rely on a major competitor, Facebook has had issues with privacy and
reliability right from the off to the Cambridge Analytica issue .

The implications are very much evident but, who knows, this might be Facebook’s biggest win in 2020 yet or just one of those that gets thrown in the trashcan.

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Twitter announces new “Retweets with comments” feature for iOS

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Twitter announces new  "Retweets with comments" feature for iOS 8

Twitter is making it easier to keep track of quoted tweets by announcing a new way for its iOS users to see how people are reacting to their tweets.

In a tweet , Twitter announced the launch of the new feature. It said, “Now on iOS, you can see Retweets with comments all in one place.” To view them, tap on Retweets under your tweet.

Here, you will see two sections, one with comments and the other without comments. It will make it simpler for people to respond to their followers who used the “Retweet with comment” button on their tweet.

Known reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong had written just days ago that the feature was being tested on Android by Twitter.

Her post had displayed that the number of retweets and the number of retweets with comments will be shown separately under a tweet.

However, in the update shared by Twitter, it can be seen that the number of both types of retweets on a tweet is shown together under a tweet and segregation is done after tapping on the Retweets button.

This new feature comes 5 years after the Retweet with comment feature was launched to allow users to quote-tweet by embedding another tweet under their post. Before that, we all had to copy-paste the tweet URL that they wanted to quote.

Good old days though…

Twitter announces new  "Retweets with comments" feature for iOS 9

Now all you have to do is simply tap on Retweets under your Twitter post after which you will be able to see a list of all the retweets with comments making it easier for you to interact with your followers.

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