Contact tracing apps are finally coming
Contact tracing is a popular method to track who’s been exposed to Covid-19. It’s been done manually, up to this point; however, several months ago Google and Apple announced that they were joining forces to create technology that automates the process. Netform is one company that creates exposure notification technology that uses Bluetooth to track who you’ve come across and whether or not they’ve tested corona-positive. Netform’s app has been successful in the UK and is coming to America next month.
The Oracle of Tiktok
Tiktok chose Oracle as it’s “technology partner” in an attempt to avoid being banned by the Trump administration. Why Oracle? It could be because Oracle already has a large database infrastructure and a deep pedigree in software applications. It could also be because Oracle executives are ultra buddy-buddy with Trump. Either way, Tiktok sees an Oracle partnership as the best chance to not be deported (virtually speaking). The deal still has to be approved by federal regulators so we’ll see what happens.
Biden/Trump auto-complete controversy
Google has removed autocomplete functionality for Biden and Trump. Google’s auto-complete feature attempts to predict what you’re going to search for based on the popularity of searches that start with similar words. They’ve removed this feature, exclusively for Biden and Trump, to avoid being seen as attempting to influence the election. Users can still search for whatever they want…Google just isn’t going to make any suggestions through auto-complete.
Portland bans facial recognition
Portland became the strictest US city to ban the use of facial recognition. Facial recognition software is widely used and highly controversial. The technology attempts to identify people through facial characteristics but the algorithms have been proven to have a racial bias, particularly towards people with darker skin. Portland’s law bans the use by law enforcement as well as by private businesses.
Do your kid-less co-workers resent you?
The current work-from-home climate has forced “office people” to adapt to environments that are different, to put it mildly. People with kids that are schooling-from-home have to deal with challenges that their kid-less peers aren’t experiencing (no, a barking dog isn’t the same as a 4-year-old throwing a temper tantrum in the background of your Zoom presentation). Parents feel judged by their co-workers for having to juggle these obligations and it’s affecting work performance. A Care.com survey revealed that 52% of people hide their child-care challenges from their peers and 45% believe they won’t get promoted because they have kids.