How Restaurants Can Use iOS 14 App Clips During COVID-19

Calvin Carter writes how restaurants can use iOS 14 App Clips to revamp the dining experience and keep customers safe.

If a restaurant uses kiosks for ordering, which the pandemic made essentially unusable, they can easily replicate that kiosk experience in an App Clip, allowing the customer to make and pay for their order without touching anything other than their phone.

For restaurants not wanting to invest in tabletop tablets or deal with the risk of infection, QR codes can instead be printed onto a bill to enable fast payments via Apple Pay integration in App Clips.

I look forward to see how businesses enhance their digital presence with tools such as App Clips.

Here’s How to Disinfect Your Apple Card

Brittney Myers wrote a guide on how to disinfect your Apple Card and other credit cards. I think it’s useful in situations where you’re unable to pay contactless with Apple Pay. We’ve heard for years that our smartphones are dirty, with some saying they can be dirtier than a toilet. I expect that credit and debit cards will have a similar level of uncleanliness.

According to Harvard Health, the coronavirus can live on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days, and the CDC advises that frequently touched objects and surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized at least once a day. In addition to copious handwashing, cleaning your frequently used items can help keep your home germ-free.

Connecting COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps Across Europe is Starting to Work

The first stage in making COVID-19 contact tracing apps work across different European countries has been achieved. The Scottish contact tracing app, which was built using the Apple/Google API, now also works in both Northern Ireland and Jersey.

The shared code is what also enables interoperability between apps used in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware … The Scottish app should also work in England and Wales within the next few weeks, and then across Europe. This is all part of a wider European interoperability project intended to ensure that all contact tracing apps work across the continent. The app was developed by NearForm, which first created the Irish contact tracing app before rolling out versions for Scotland, Jersey, and the four US states. All the apps share the same core code.

New York Launches its COVID-19 Contact Tracing App

COVID Alert NY is the official app of New York State that will hook into Apple’s exposure notification system you can find in Settings > Exposure Notifications. It alerts you if a sick person spends 10 minutes or more within six feet of you, and will do the same for others if you test positive. Using the app you can also contact a health advisor to request a conversation. The app’s source code is open source and has been vetted by privacy and security experts. The only personal information it collects is your phone number, but that’s only if you explicitly share it if you want a health advisor to call you back.

Glenn Fleishmann Introduces Free Book ‘Take Control of Zoom Essentials’

Glenn Fleishman has released a free version of his book called “Take Control of Zoom Essentials” as well as updated the paid version called “Take Control of Zoom”. Take Control shared the news in a blog post:

Yesterday, we released two Zoom-related books by Glenn Fleishman: a new, free book called Take Control of Zoom Essentials and a gigantic version 1.1 update to the comprehensive Take Control of Zoom. We know a lot of people are using Zoom for work and school, and we hope you find these books helpful.

Zoom usage has skyrocketed now that more people have been working and learning from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider these books to know everything you want to know about using the video sharing platform.

APHL Wants to Build Central Server for COVID-19 Data

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) wants to build and host a national server to hold data collected from exposure notification apps. It’s partnering with Apple, Google, and Microsoft to do so.

Rather than each state and territorial public health agency bearing the burden of building and hosting its own key servers, a national server can securely host the keys of those affected users, eliminate duplication and enable notifications across state borders. APHL is also championing the effort to build and host a national key server on behalf of the public health community. This will allow users to continually benefit from exposure notifications as they travel across state lines, and help state and territorial agencies deploy their apps quickly.

Just two days ago, Trump removed control of public COVID-19 data from the CDC, and now someone wants to build a national server? What could go wrong?

Science Communicator Dr. Kiki Sanford (#9) - TMO Background Mode Interview

Dr. Kiki Sanford makes her ninth appearance on Background Mode. Kiki is a neurophysiologist with a B.S. in conservation biology and a Ph.D. avian neurophysiology from the University of California. She’s a popular science communicator and creator/co-host of This Week in Science (TWIS) podcast and radio show.

In this episode, we spend the first segment clearing up some confusion about COVID-19. Mask theory of use, the value of lockdowns, how the U.S. is doing compared to Europe, how blood type affects the body’s response, presymptomatic vs. asymptomatic, and what we know about how the virus survives on surfaces. In part II, we discussed how computer neural networks trained to learn like developing human brains also need something akin to sleep. Also, how dogs have a genetic desire to save their owner from trouble. And more. As always, Kiki is delightful as she makes science both fun and interesting.

UK Government Releases NHS COVID Contracts With Private Companies

Faced with pressure, the UK government has released its contracts with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Faculty, Palantir, and others.

The contracts show that companies involved in the NHS datastore project, including Faculty and Palantir, were originally granted intellectual property rights (including the creation of databases), and were allowed to train their models and profit off their unprecedented access to NHS data.

The REAL reason why they wanted to avoid Apple and Google’s privacy solution.

Mythic Quest: Quarantine Coming to Apple TV+ on May 22

Sound the horn! As noted on Instagram Friday, Mythic Quest: Quarantine will drop on Apple TV+ on May 22. The trailer tells you all you need to know. You’ve got time to binge the Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet series (again, obviously). See you on the other side!