How much would you pay me to develop a COVID tracking app that actually works?
£37Bn in used notes and subject to Baroness Dido Harding being appointed CEO ... she might even do a rendition of Thank You. Oh wait, not that Dido.
"Congratulations, Mrs Necessity, you have a child. Have you thought of a name? Really? Hmm, unusual. Is that Slavic?" Sure enough, a year of lockdowns has produced some amazing inventions resulting from extraordinary feats of human ingenuity. Future generations will learn how this was an exciting time of fast-tracked anti- …
Ah yes, that highly reliable and "world beating" Test and Trace system that failed to deliver data to eight local authorities for three weeks. Which in turn may have contributed to the spread of the Indian variant in the UK.
The privatised / farmed out definitely NOT NHS managed 'NHS Test and Trace'* 'service' headed by Dido Baroness Harding has been blamed for being too inefficient to curtail the recent so-called 'India' variant of Covid-19 currently troubling the UK in a few specific areas (but likely to visit a town near YOU soon).
*It does actually work, just not quite quickly enough to really constrain the virus propagation.
The very biggest part of the £37 billion is thrown at the cost of tests, PCR and LFT which are being liberally hurled at as many people as possible. Not this app thing, which is a small sliver of that budget.
And after I tested positive but my partner didn't (I never had symptoms and never got ill) the app, correctly told me to isolate when I gave it my details. Where it failed massively is the app then never pinged my partners phone to tell her to isolate.
I got calls from the track and trace people and told them about this. They took notes and said they'd pass info on. Put the issue on the play store for the review. Kept getting the bullshit excuse that the phones need to be within range for it to register. We fucking live together, the phone is within range all fucking day.
We both isolated but anyone else may have said "Well my app hasn't told me to isolate so I'm off out".
The fact they tried to sneak a cheeky update recently that was blocked by Apple and Google on Android means its now uninstalled.
Sounds a lot like the 70 million euro and increasing cost "Corona Warn App", thats a mere bloatware frontend for the haphazard google ENF.
Instead of fixing the still not working warning function, the creepware will get the spyware tracking "contact tracing" Luca-App implemented and is rumoured to get another privacy invasion, the so called digital vaccination pass also plugined "soon" (tm).
While the official laudatio promotes the "Corona Warn App" as something useful, non privacy invading and functional, the reliance on googles untrustworthy ENF as well as the user complaints about lack of functionality, regular data loss and general inability to work on non googled phones also show that the free variant of this pocketfillware is not only free but also excels in the very core functionalities - privacy and reliable (warn) functionality where the official app blatantly and consistently fails.
The £37 billion is a nice large headline number that is latched onto for test and trace and then used to claim that this is the cost of the App
Whilst I agree the initial attempts at the App and the subsequent one we have may not have offered value for money, most of the funding is actually being spent on delivering everything to do with the testing and the manual elements of trace. The £37 billion is also an allocation, not what has been spent.
If the source is correct:
Test and trace App development ant running £43 million
Overall expenditure £5.7 billion to November 2020.
Other sources also come up with very similar numbers.
Now I know when the debacle of the App first surfaced there was significant criticism on this forum, and rightly so but there needs to be a greater sense of perspective with how much has actually been spend and where. Allegations that Serco have been given £37 billion are just wrong.
> Rozier didn't have one but that didn't stop him creating reportedly highly effective software.
Yeah but the point isn't "efficient", it is "to specs": Bureaucracy creates rules which create more bureaucracy, efficiency isn't required or even wanted. Bureaucracy thrives on inefficiency.
"Works" is easy to define this days.
It "works" if the company employing him for nothing gets a nice big fat payment from the NHS, no need to worry about functionality or any bugs, the tracking app can be updated every few days and the NHS charged again.
Was that an actual "influencer" doing that video? Because I found her annoying to listen to for more than a few seconds.
'influencer' is still an 'influencer' even if the only influence they might have is to not watch anything else by them.
Still an overrated label, but I think the only people that get excited about it is advertisers.
Knew a couple that both of them were third generation Canadian from British parents.
Husband insisted on a test taste of his tea making skills, compared with his wifes more conventional approach.
His solution was to boil water & teabags in a saucepan, the stewed beverage he served up in a mug, was rejected without tasting.
First was a crime against British culture in calling that British tea ( I suspect she couldn't point to Britain on a map if it was union jack coloured).
Second was crime against humanity, whatever that was in that bowl it was not a tea, possibly it consituted a threat to US national security.
I can only feel sorry for the child following her instructions.
The video may not be a joke. I might have posted this before, but it deserves repeating as a cautionary tale. My (now sadly dead and still very much missed) friend talked of how his mother (from Manchester, UK) made tea. Those of a sensitive disposition should look away now:
1. Two-thirds fill mug with cold water
2. Insert teabag (more likely than not from the pile of dried, already used, bags by the sink)
3. Microwave for exactly two minutes on full power
4. Remove teabag back to drying area
5. Add skimmed UHT milk to brim
6. Add sugar as required, but don't stir (because it would slop over the side of the mug, obviously)
My friends wife, not blessed with the sort of humour that would make it easy for her to go along with the joke with a straight face, claimed it was true, and, when I had a chance to talk to some of my friend's siblings, they maintained it was true in every detail. Whether it was a very well-worn joke in the family, or really the way the lady made tea, I will never know.
I visit lots of IT clients in my job.
The variety of methods and results are....mixed, but this one about ten years ago took the biscuit (which was stale).
1) Put Earl Grey teabag in mug.
2) Pour hot water from tap into mug.
3) Put mug in microwave to heat it a bit more.
4) Remove from microwave to test heat.
5) Return mug to microwave if heat not deemed sufficient.
6) Add tinned Carnation milk to taste.
7) Dip biscuit in liquid and suck noisily.
Funnily enough I found enough urgent things to do that I wasn't able to finish mine.
When I had a commute I passed the time reading the newspaper from cover to cover, and enjoyed feeling enlightened when something that had only got a few column inches came up in the pub's quiz.
With that gone I've been able to enjoy music, comedy, and documentaries as before but with (nearly) no overhead transferring between formats/devices intermittently. This has enhanced the enjoyment greatly.
I may not have achieved anything "productive" with my time either (compared to some people writing blog articles about what they've managed) but I've staved off cabin fever by and large, and I'm calling that a win whatever anyone else thinks.
I propose the term HOLI - Having missed Out on Lockdown self Improvement, with the alternating capitals appropriately forming a four-letter word that bears a resemblance to, but isn’t quite, an english word, however suggestiviely and capriciously holding some impossibly ephemeral middle ground between being a religious trope, a designation of constructive imperfection, not quite an Americana-infused meme substitute, and pop-art, while simultaneously and with equal probability being the utterance of an intensely constipated pseudo-bureaucratic but selfproclaimed creatively expressive mind, or equally likely the intersected brainchild of a console addict and your father-in-law’s imaginary version of 1337speak. Or maybe both.
Here in soggy Cymru, we have our own Covid data hero - Lloyd Warburton from Aberystwyth, who basically did exactly the same thing to make statistics accessible for Cymru, months before Welsh Government got sorted. He was 15 when he started. He's still doing it (and has added vaccine stats) while doing his A-levels.
His website is at https://coronaviruscymru.wales/
We also have https://portalcovidcymru.co.uk/least_map.html which is an excellent data-crunching site developed by Dr. Lowri Williams, a data scientist in Caerdydd who's done a lot to break down and map the data to local levels so we can easily see how far away the nearest cases are.
Cymru leading the world!
Welsh Development Agency advert...
Whatever happened to... Sony in Wales? Should be familiar to Reg readers who tinker...
Unfortunately, there is also the NTNON take on it. Referencing that here as I am sure someone is bound to mention.
Still, hope and optimism is what the original is about
What he has shown is that he can build a useful and usable app, and meet needs that aren't being otherwise addressed.
That's a great ability, practically a superpower in itself - if he decides to set up his own business. But it's a very different skill set from what most employers want, and it would definitely be wasted in the public sector (where the obsession from public watchdog types is not "is he doing something useful?", but rather "is he doing what he's told?").
A government job is probably the last thing he wants.
This, just this, in large amounts ----------------------------------------->
The site is brilliant, the guy seems rather modest and in his description actually speaks French instead of using "Big Data" (traitement des masses de données). My hero.
I'm happy this young talented fellow will have been a fellow citizen, if only for a few years.
Because no doubt he'll soon be nabbed by some US borg company with Deep Pockets and fly away to California (or, these days, more likely Texas/Florida).
I hope he's really bad in English. Or can't live without his raw milk Camembert.
He's likely to be sucked into a corporate black hole where meetings, evaluations and recriminations work to abolish all hope of real work.
I just landed a gig where I am supposed to become an "expert resource" on an obscure application framework supporting legacy this and that in one of those businesses where salesmanship trumps common sense. I await my list of meeting obligations.....
"Or can't live without his raw milk Camembert."
Some of the best Camembert (and Brie) I've ever had was made right here in Sonoma County, California. Made in the French style, with bugs imported from France over 150 years ago.
They ship. Try it before you poo-poo it.
Most people (including Yanks!) don't know it, but California is a big Dairy state, the number one milk producer in the nation ... producing nearly a third more milk than #2, Wisconsin.
I guess your downvotes come from French readers... They are very peculiar about their star products, and can't stand the idea other countries can also have excellent wines and cheeses...
I'm going to share in your downvotes by narrating that I heard about a french cheese maker who had spent a year in the US to learn how to make a specific niche french cheese! Seems the ancestral know-how is slowly lost in France, probably due to the industrialization of the sector, while passionate "roots" cheesemakers in other countries still keep it alive.
Last time I saw an US "camembert" it was in a metal box akin to the ones sardines com from...
Go to Camembert village so see their "museum of horrors" (but don't try the ones they offer there, they have only industrial ones from Lactalis, where the only difference between brands is the packaging...).
Note that Camembert is not one of the best cheese in France, only the most known, especially since the name is not protected meaning that you can produce it anywhere, the recipe being rather basic.
Some of the best Camembert (and Brie) I've ever had was made right here in Sonoma County, California.
Funny, I'm just reading an old James Bond novel (Live and Let Die). Apart from the stereotypical (for the time) descriptions of black people that would give the PC crowd conniptions, it contains a scene with Bond and Solitaire having dinner, where he orders "some of the domestic Camembert that is one of the most welcome surprises on American menus", and that was in the 1950s.
Several countries have avoided total lockdowns. although they have had regional isolation zones - China for one. Kampuchea and Laos had regional closures. All land gateways were closed
VietNam had a "lockdown" for a couple of weeks after travelers and some illegal Chinese border crossers infected areas of the country. There are several "flying squads" who vigorously stamp out outbreaks by isolating areas using road and water / river closures.
The big difference has been attitude and compliance. Mask usage was without complaint; large screen video screens were connected to thermal cameras (for all to see); temperature monitoring occurred at smaller venues, and spray bottles were available everywhere.
Instead of using Plod to harass / arrest people, the Cong An (Peoples Police) handed out masks and bottled water to poor people unable to afford masks. If a motorcyclist was seen without a mask a blast of a whistle or the honk of a horn was sufficient to ensure compliance.
People here can't understand why protests and violence was vented against mask use in the USA and Europe.
Mass vaccinations have just commenced this month, but given the population is around 190-million souls, it will take a while to complete.
Are totally destroyed by having to admit that the non-government employee, M. Rozier has been far more effective than HMG or French government in producing efficient and useful technology for communicating useful information concerning Covid-19 to the general public.
You clearly wouldn't get that sort of service from the people who gave you the Home Office's e-borders IT system (cancelled), the Post Office's Horizon (led to hundreds of people being falsely accused and convicted of false accounting and fraud) or the Child Support Agency's IT system (a complete farce which ignored existing arrangements for child support agreed by courts and took one father to court to insist that he pay £100 *less* per month than he already was to support his ex-wife and children).
(Actually my 'hard left' credentials are having voted for a Labour Party candidate who got elected to parliament only twice in the last 40 years, so I'm pretty much the saggy-jumper-wearing, tree-hugging, bleeding-heart, soggy liberal who dithers over everything and is therefore the worst of all political sub-types. I may have a minor breakdown while my deeply held political beliefs are rebooted, please be patient with me.)