Issue 1419 - Friday 30th July, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Unredacted report on COVIDSafe use is public, doesn't contain anything we didn't already know

An un-redacted report on COVIDSafe has finally been released by the Health Department. We now know that there was 7.6m app registrations between April 2020 and May 2021, but no info on how many are still active (I don't know anyone still running it on their phone, been deleted ages ago). The report also states that "779 people who tested positive for COVID-19 had the app and consented to do this, revealing 1.65 million “digital handshakes” with other COVIDSafe users and 2,827 potential close contacts being identified from 37,668 encounters". Which sounds useful, but "only 17 of the contacts were not already identified by manual contact tracing and that all of these contacts were in New South Wales in 2020".

403 rapid EV chargers funded by federal government to be installed across the country

ARENA has announced the winners of funding to install rapid EV charging stations across Australia. A total of $25m will be spent ($8m more than they originally planned due to the quality of applications) to install 403 chargers in the nation's capital and large regional cities. All the chargers will be able to supply more than 50kw to two cars at once, making them useful for a relatively quick 20-30 min charge on most EVs. Existing EV charging networks Evie, Chargefox & Electric Highways Tasmania got about half the funding, with the remaining half going to French electricity giant Engie and petrol retailer Ampol. The rollout starts now and should be completed over the next 3 years.

Jetstar & Qantas will use IATA's Travel Pass app to make sure passengers are vaccinated

Qantas and Jetstar are going to use an app called Travel Pass, developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to provide a "convenient and secure method to verify COVID test results and vaccination information with border or health officials and airline staff". Here's a video explaining how the app works. Looks like vaccination and negative test info is added automatically, as long as the source (i.e: Medicare or a laboratory) is registered to provide it. I'm not exactly cool with Yet Another App and I don't entirely trust the fact that "all data is kept on the device" but it's probably the best way to verify someone has been vaccinated. Paper results probably aren't enough - you know someone is gonna forge it. At least the stakes to forge an app are higher than a print out.

Something I Saw On The Internet

We should use the powerful computers in modern cars to do something useful when idle

Wired raises an interesting question - wouldn't it be cool to use the "supercomputers" in modern vehicles to do other computing tasks when they're not being driven? The article raises it as "USE A TESLA TO MINE BITCOIN" but that's fucking dumb. What I would like to do instead is to use the pretty high-spec computer currently sitting idle in the Model 3 currently hooked up to a charger in my garage to do something useful like Folding@Home or participate in other grid scale research programs. Tesla's custom made SoC is 14nm, has 12x ARM A72 cores running at 2.2GHz and a GPU capable of 600 GFLOPS - and there's two SoCs (redundant system). The Model 3 even has wi-fi built-in to handle transferring data. Assign an engineer to it, knock it out in 3 months, easy brownie points for Elon.


The End

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