In This Issue


COVID-19 exposure logging/notification APIs from Apple & Google are now live

Apple and Google have made their COVID-19 exposure logging/notification API available on people's devices. The new iOS 13.5 update has the exposure logging feature in the settings for you to enable if you wish. On Android 6.0+ it'll filter through via an update to the Google Play service, which itself is updated via Google Play. When enabled these services work in the background logging devices you encounter, but to actually get the data out and shared with authorities, the authorities need to make apps that utilise Apple & Google's API.

The Australian government has made noises about using this new API (mostly so iPhone users get proper background scanning as right now COVIDSafe is practically useless on iPhone) but Apple and Google require that apps wanting to access the data its API collects to make personal data like phone numbers optional, which COVIDSafe currently makes mandatory. Buzzfeed has a good article explaining the differences between what Apple & Google's "exposure notification" system and government "contact tracing" apps.

US college entry exams stifled by form that doesn’t recognise HEIC images

Kids in the USA are currently doing college entry exams online due to the rona. They can type up their essays and submit them as text, or hand write them, take a photo and send the photo to be assessed by the College Board (some sort of clearing house for college entry exams I think). Sounds easy but many students have hit a snag - the form accepting images doesn't recognise the HEIC image format that's native on modern iOS devices. If you submit a non JPEG image the form just goes "oops, sorry" and won't let you resubmit! The exams aren't taken by all students simultaneously, so those doing it now are presented with instructions on how to change the image format settings from HEIC to JPEG on their iOS device and they introduced a backup email submission workflow - but the early submitters are going to have to re-study for a make-up exam.

Facebook Shops is an end to end Facebook based retail solution

Facebook has launched a thing called Facebook Shops. It's pretty much an online store built in to Facebook and Instagram. Instead of setting up a website to sell stuff, you can use Facebook's platform to sell things to Facebook users, on Facebook. Inventory, checkout, advertising and support all takes place within Facebook and links to Instagram and Whatsapp. Soon they're going to create "Live Shopping" where you can do a live stream in Facebook and Instagram featuring your store's products and have a button to buy the thing you're talking about directly in the app. Think Human Centipede, with people surgically sewed together, arse to mouth, swallowing each other's shit, digesting it and then shitting it out for the next person to eat, digest and shit, but with Facebook and the retail sector. That's Facebook Shops.

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