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LATEST TECH NEWS: Turkey to track COVID-19 patients with smartphone. 4 other stories and a trivia you need to know today, April 10, 2020

LATEST TECH NEWS: 5 things you need to know today, March 10, 2020

These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.

1. COVID-19: Turkey govt to track patients with smartphone application

The Erdoğan’s presidency has, on Thursday, April 9, announced its intent to embark on the use of smartphone technology to trace COVID-19 patients in Turkey. The idea, which is to deploy the use of smartphone application, will see to how a preinstalled application on confirmed cases’ phone will serve as an alarm system to notify authorities when a patient attempts to leave isolation facilities or spaces. This effort, according to the presidency, would go a long way to reduce the spread of the virus as the alarm system will ensure that coronavirus patients and those they have been in contact with remain at home in self-isolation.

Series of reports from the press in Turkey have indicated that the App initiative, named the “Pandemic Isolation Tracking Project”, is being developed by the health ministry to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, further explaining that once patients step outside regulated areas, the ministry receives a text warning which will be acted upon by placing a call through to patients ordering them to stay back or risk prosecutions. Critics say Turkey seemed prepared but fear breach of privacy with possible mis-use of data collected from the App.

2. TikTok joins other tech companies on charity, pledges $250m for COVID-19 relief

Chinese mobile video-App platform, TikTok, has tolled the way of Facebook, Twitter, Apple and other technology companies responding to the pandemic with a large heart. The video platform on Thursday, April 9, announced pledging the sum of $250 million towards the support of coronavirus relief efforts around the world. According to TikTok, the funds would be for “front line medical workers, educators, and local communities deeply affected by the global crisis.”

While this is coming on the heels of supports announced by industry leading companies and personalities like Google, Facebook, Netflix, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos Jack Dorsey and Jack Ma; a statement from TikTok President, Alex Zhu, on Thursday, noted that the company acted in a bid to play it part in supporting communities affected by the outbreak. He said: “We are committed to playing our part in that global outpouring of mutual support and giving. We want to magnify all we are seeing across our community and translate it into concrete relief for those most affected by this crisis.” The company further commented on the donation, explaining that $150 million of the funds would be allocated for medical staffing, supplies, and hardship relief for health care workers through various authorities working towards the ending of the pandemic.


Tech Trivia

As of 1984, there were 1,000 Internet devices. By 1992, what count did it reach?

A. 100, 000
B. 1 Million
C. 6.42 Million
D. 100.42 Million

Answer: See end of post.


3. Disney+ records new highs, hits 50 million paid subscribers

Hackers compromise 10m Disney+ accounts, soon after debut

Video on-demand streaming network, Disney+, has in 5 months after launch pulled in 50 million paid subscribers worldwide. The media giant announced this on Wednesday, April 8, in a statement released by Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International where he expressed the company’s excitement, describing it as a humbling to say the least. The chairman noted: “We’re truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe.”

Read also: LATEST TECH NEWS: Twitter CEO spends 28% wealth on coronavirus. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, April 8, 2020

On how the company achieved the feat, the chairman explained that “Great storytelling inspires and uplifts, and we are in the fortunate position of being able to deliver a vast array of great entertainment rooted in joy and optimism on Disney+.” This tremendous growth, according industry reviewers, was expected given the fact that Disney+ has been expanding quite sporadically since its launch. Just 2 weeks ago, the video on-demand service launched in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland. Growth index from the company further revealed that after launch in India last week, Disney+ pulled 8 million paid subscribers in just 7 days.

4. South Africa’s startup Play Sense raises $458k to launch online

South African education-solution startup, Play Sense, has on Thursday, April 9, announced raising $458,000 in funding to take its in-home, pre-school learning model online. The company, which develops a unique play-centric curriculum for young children, will go digital after securing an investment fund from Enygma Ventures, a US-based VC firm founded by award winning entrepreneurs Sarah and Jacob Dusek.

According to co-founder Meg Faure, a qualified occupational therapist, childhood development expert and author, Play Sense aims to equip parents with the knowledge they need for raising their children. Industry reviewers have noted that Play Sense is one of the startups that greatly benefited from the woes of the coronavirus pandemic. They say this because, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the startup transformed into a digital entity, making its curriculum and pre-school format available online to users around the world.

5. Facebook reacts to Apple’s new feature, launches ‘Quiet Mode’ option to turn off app’s push notifications

Facebook trying to steady ship after losing 6 key execs in 2018

Social networking platform, Facebook, has, on Friday, April 10, announced the launch of an in-built “Quiet Mode” feature that allows users to minimize distractions by muting the app’s push notifications for a time frame so specified. According to the Mark Zuckerberg company, the new feature will enhance productivity of its users as it permits them to set boundaries around how they spend their time on Facebook.

Although Facebook has linked the need for the feature to ensuring users adjust to new routines as many now have to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic; analysts, however, have noted that this new feature comes as a response to Apple’s feature where its iPhone can automatically turn off push notifications from Apps to enhance user productivity and manage time more efficiently. They argued that since Facebook had built its “kill distraction” wall itself, Apple’s feature can be rendered useless especially if Facebook promotes and popularises its feature over that of Apple’s as it might be a revenue killer for Facebook should Apple’s feature gain a higher usage.

Tech Trivia Answer: 1 Million

Data from the tech industry revealed that in 1992, when it was still less than 10 years after reaching the 1984 milestone of having 1,000 devices connected, the Internet was populated with 1 million devices. And only 6 years later (1998) that figure blossomed to 50 million. This somewhat aggression led the growth to reach 1 billion in 2009 with an ever-increasing pace today as we trend toward the ‘Internet of Things’ -phones, PC, cars, watches, etc. Going by data fetched from research firm IHS, the number of connected devices well-exceeded 17 billion in 2016 with a projection to reach more than 30 billion this year (2020).

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