Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Warning issued over dangerous video on TikTok

<p>Parents have been issued a warning about a sick video circulating on multiple social media platforms, including TikTok, that is luring children through puppy videos.</p> <p>While it seems innocuous at first, towards the end the video shows graphic footage of a man taking his own life.</p> <p>Dozens of Australian schools have emailed parents warning them of the video, which was live-streamed on Facebook and is now making the rounds on TikTok and Instagram.</p> <p>The video was reportedly made by a man from Mississippi last week, and was first discovered on TikTok on Sunday.</p> <p>Speaking to Buzzfeed News, a spokesperson for the app said they were investigating the matter.</p> <p>“We are banning accounts that repeatedly try to upload clips,” spokeswoman Hilary McQuaide told the publication.</p> <p>“Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide.”</p> <p>CEO of Safe on Social Kirra Pendergast told ABC News that these types of videos on the internet was not uncommon.</p> <p>“It’s like what we called Elsagate — which was when Elsa from Frozen got some full-on treatment with people posting two minutes into a video some obscene things happening to Elsa,” Ms Pendergast said.</p> <p>“It’s a kind of trolling. They’re luring kids in with videos of kittens and puppies, then it goes to this very, very graphic video.”</p> <p><strong>Advice for parents and grandparents*:</strong></p> <p>1. Secure household devices by setting passcodes and restrictions on all devices</p> <p>2. Supervise children online and monitor the material they are accessing</p> <p>3. Sit down and have an open conversation with your child about the material they may see online</p> <p><em>*Courtesy of Act for Kids</em></p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Four easy ways to tell if you’ve been blocked on Facebook

<p>Facebook can sometimes feel like the world’s best reunion party. You run into people you haven’t seen in a long time, share favourite throwback photos, and heart one another’s most uplifting memes.</p> <p>Other times it can feel like a battlefield. Conflicts of interest can send tensions high, with arguments about to erupt at every turn.</p> <p>You’ve probably blocked (or at least “snoozed for 30 days”) someone you disagree with, so it’s equally likely that at least one “friend” has you blocked.</p> <p>Here’s how to tell if someone has blocked you on Facebook.</p> <p><strong>Method 1: Scroll through your friend list</strong></p> <p>You can tell if someone blocked you on Facebook by scrolling your friend list. Social media professional Chad R. MacDonald manages Facebook pages with tens of thousands of followers and is highly experienced with handling Facebook privacy. MacDonald tells us that deactivated accounts’ profiles and profile photos “will still be visible on your friends list, although you can’t click on them anymore. Someone who has blocked you won’t show up at all.”</p> <p><strong>Method 2: Search for their Facebook profile</strong></p> <p>If you’ve recently gotten into a Facebook kerfuffle with your great-aunt Nora, you might want to check if things are still okay between the two of you. Do a general search for her name in the Facebook search results bar at the top of the page. If Auntie Nora shows up as a friend, you’re still on good terms, and there’s no need to worry.</p> <p>However, if the widget on her search result reads “Add friend,” this means that she has unfriended or blocked you. A simple unfriend is less worrisome than a block, and you can take it as a sign that there’s room for the two of you to rebuild your relationship. If you’re still able to see her public posts, you have not been blocked.</p> <p><strong>If they don’t show up in search results…</strong></p> <p>If the person doesn’t show up in search results at all, the user has either deleted their profile or has blocked you. And let’s be frank, if the two of you were arguing it’s more likely to be the latter. To double-check, ask a mutual friend to search the person’s name in their Facebook search bar. If the person shows up in their results but not yours, you have some relationship mending to do.</p> <p>“If the search yields a result with an active page, it’s clear that you’ve gotten the chop,” says Krystin Dunbar, Senior Campaign Strategist at digital agency Union. But Dunbar cautions this could also mean the person has just changed their privacy settings. “Privacy settings can be changed so that accounts don’t show up in a [Facebook] member search – so this isn’t a foolproof method.”</p> <p><strong>Method 3: Check your Facebook memories</strong></p> <p>The “Memories” feature, which shows you old posts, “including everyone who has commented on or liked them,” says MacDonald, is another place to check.</p> <p>“People who have blocked you can still show up on your posts in Memories,” he explains. “Their profiles will show their names in black font that you can’t click on, as opposed to the normal blue font for profiles that you can click through.”</p> <p>A very long scroll through your news feed may serve the same purpose. Or a much faster way would be to simply <a href="http://www.deleted.io/">use this app</a> to see who unfollowed you on Facebook.</p> <p><strong>Method 4: Check your Facebook groups</strong></p> <p>A final method is to check your mutual groups. If you are an administrator on a Facebook group, such as a town or school community page, “you can see all profiles that interact there, whether they’ve blocked you or not,” says MacDonald.</p> <p>In these groups, you will be able to view the posts of all users, even if you are not friends on Facebook, and here again any profiles with their names in bold, black font indicate that “the user has blocked you (or you have blocked them) and you won’t be able to view those profiles.”</p> <p><strong>How to tell if someone blocked you on Facebook Messenger</strong></p> <p>It is possible for someone to block you from messaging them on Facebook Messenger even if they haven’t blocked your profile on Facebook, and this would indicate they are unwilling to be more than just a social media acquaintance.</p> <p>To check if someone has blocked you on Facebook Messenger, try sending a message to their profile. If you get an error message that reads “This person isn’t available at the moment,” then the person has either blocked you or deactivated their account.</p> <p><em>Written by Dani Walpole. This article first appeared on </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/how-to-tell-if-someone-blocked-you-on-facebook">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.com.au/subscribe">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Heartwarming footage of Princess Anne's fumbly Zoom call with the Queen

<p>It appears that everyone is having trouble adapting to our new normal, including the Queen herself.</p> <p>As the coronavirus pandemic has forced many to isolate, many have used Zoom to communicate with their loved ones.</p> <p>However, it can be tricky to use, which the Queen quickly found out and her daughter Princess Anne had to guide her through it.</p> <p>In a preview for a new ITV documentary about Princess Anne, which is airing in celebration of her 70th birthday, footage of a video conference is included with the Queen and Princess Anne herself.</p> <p>"Can you see everybody? You should have six people on your screen," the Princess royal tells her mother.</p> <p>The Queen, who was tuning in from Windsor Castle tells her: "Yes, well, I can see four anyway."</p> <p>"Ok fair enough. Actually, you don't need me," Anne then jovially adds.</p> <p>"You know what I look like."</p> <p>The sweet clip was shared by ITV royal correspondent Chris Ship.</p> <p>"Watch how Princess Anne tried to teach her elderly mother about @zoom_us. But her elderly mother is, err, the Queen," he joked.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">NEW: A first look behind the scenes of those royal video calls 💻 <br />Watch how Princess Anne tried to teach her elderly mother about <a href="https://twitter.com/zoom_us?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@zoom_us</a>. <br />But her elderly mother is, err, the Queen.<br />🎥 A great clip from tomorrow’s documentary ‘Anne: The Princess Royal at 70’ on <a href="https://twitter.com/ITV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@itv</a> 9pm 👇 <a href="https://t.co/duHzozH2x5">pic.twitter.com/duHzozH2x5</a></p> — Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) <a href="https://twitter.com/chrisshipitv/status/1288164903111602176?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 28, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Royal fans loved the new clip.</p> <p> "I want to see the Queen with an accidental tropical island backdrop," one joked.</p> <p>Another fan wrote: "I love it! The whole world deals with zoom in the same way: 'Can you see me?' 'Can you hear me?' 'Am I on?' 'Is my background neat &amp; tidy?' Love their humanity, their humility, and their graciousness."</p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

“Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over”: The iPhone shortcut that lets you record police encounters

<p>Amid worldwide protests against police brutality, an iPhone shortcut that allows people to record their encounters with authorities has gained traction.</p> <p>The shortcut, which must first be <a href="https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/cc95be30b285469ea22b7cff11ce0737">installed on the device</a>, is activated by saying: “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over”. It will then pause any music, dim the brightness of the phone, turn on the Do Not Disturb mode, open the device’s front camera to start a video recording, and send your location in a message to a predesignated contact.</p> <p>Once the recording stops, it will send a copy of the video to the predesignated contact and give you the option to upload the clip to iCloud Drive or Dropbox.</p> <p>The “I’m getting pulled over” shortcut was created by Robert Petersen in 2018.</p> <p>Petersen said the feature could be “a very huge help” for those experiencing “improper police interaction”.</p> <p>“I just wanted a way for anyone to have proof of their version of events in the unlikely scenario that something unexpected happens during a police interaction,” he told <em><a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/apple-siri-shortcut-ios12-lets-you-secretly-record-interactions-with-police/">CBS News</a> </em>in October 2018.</p> <p>“And if one in 10,000 people find my shortcut useful at all I’d be glad.”</p> <p>Petersen recommended <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/shortcuts/comments/9huqiw/getting_pulled_over_by_police/">putting the phone on a dashboard mount</a> when using the function.</p> <p>The feature has been brought back into the spotlight on social media amid protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.</p> <p>Taking pictures or videos of police carrying out duties in any public place is legal in <a href="https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2019/12/is-it-legal-to-film-police-officers-in-australia/">Australia</a> and <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/109993747/police-apologise-after-officer-threatens-to-ticket-filming-teenager#:~:text=Filming%20police%20carrying%20out%20duties,complaint%20was%20passed%20to%20police.">New Zealand</a>.</p> <p>Here’s how to install the shortcut on your iPhone device:</p> <ol> <li>Download the Shortcuts app.</li> <li>Open <a href="https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/cc95be30b285469ea22b7cff11ce0737">this link</a> in the Safari web browser.</li> <li>Once it opens, scroll down and select “Add Untrusted Shortcut”.</li> <li>Select a contact whom you would like to send your location and video recording to.</li> </ol>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Aussie mum’s game-changing ALDI Special Buys hack

<p>ALDI’s weekly Special Buys usually causes a frenzy amongst shoppers, with people travelling to multiple stores to grab a bargain.</p> <p>But one woman has shared a “secret” tip to help you locate the deal you’re after.</p> <p>The mum revealed you just need to type two words “Get started” into a chat box on the ALDI Australia Facebook page, answer a few prompts, and it will tell you which stores within a 20km radius to you have the item you’re after in stock.</p> <p>“Not sure if any of you know but if you message ALDI on Facebook and type ‘Get Started’ it’ll bring up a few weeks of special buy catalogue dates,” she wrote on the ALDI Mums Facebook page.</p> <p>“Just click what you want and type your postcode, it’ll see if any stores within 20km have stock.</p> <p>“Managed to get some goodies I couldn’t find a few weeks back!”</p> <p>The nifty hack left many people gobsmacked, saying they had “no idea” of the online feature.</p> <p>“Love it, I checked with this function and got something I wanted today,” one said.</p> <p>“Soooooooooo awesome!!,” another wrote.</p> <p>“That’s a great idea, I used it and went to the store where stock was available …” someone else added.</p> <p>While the helpful feature is not widely known, it is clearly listed on the German Supermarket’s website under the tab “Check Stock Availability”.</p> <p>“We want to save you time. That’s why we’ve created a chatbot that checks Special Buys stock availability,” the description reads, adding it made it “easier than ever to find your dream Special Buy”.</p> <p>Speaking to news.com.au, ALDI Australia said the recent addition had received “positive feedback”.</p> <p>“We recently expanded our customer service offering with a chatbot function for Messenger, to make it easier and quicker for our customers to check Special Buys stock availability in their area,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p>“We hope the chatbot experience continues to make it even easier for people to shop with us and locate their favourite Special Buys products.”</p> <p>As one mum said, it’s a game-changer.</p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Online calculator reveals how likely you are to die from coronavirus

<p>A team of scientists in the UK have built a calculator that can predict a person’s risk of dying from COVID-19.</p> <p>The <a href="http://covid19-phenomics.org/PrototypeOurRiskCoV.html">online tool</a>, developed by researchers at University College London, predicts a one-year mortality rate based on factors such as sex, age, and underlying conditions as well as the levels of coronavirus infection in the population and strain on the health service.</p> <p>The calculator is a part of <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(20)30854-0.pdf">a study</a> involving 3.8 million health records from England, which concluded that “stringent” restrictions must be sustained to prevent excess deaths.</p> <p>Lead author Dr Amitava Banerjee said older people, particularly those with underlying conditions, were asking what easing coronavirus restrictions could mean for their health.</p> <p>“For example, we show how a 66-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has 6 per cent risk of dying over the next year and there are 25,000 ‘patients like me’ [men of the same age with the same condition] in England,” he said.</p> <p>“The calculator estimates 164 excess COVID-19-related deaths on top of the expected 1,639 deaths over a year in patients in a similar situation.</p> <p>“Our findings show the mortality risk for these vulnerable groups increases significantly and could lead to thousands of avoidable deaths.”</p> <p>The calculator works using a given age, sex, and underlying health condition along with the level of suppression measures in the area using a mortality impact of 1.5 per cent.</p> <p>The tool then calculates the one-year mortality rate, or the number of people with similar characteristics in England who would have died pre-coronavirus from other causes.</p> <p>It also forecasts the excess mortality under the COVID-19 emergency – that is, the number of additional deaths among the group of people due to coronavirus.</p> <p>The study’s co-author Professor Harry Hemingway told <em><a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-death-risk-calculator-uk-university-college-london-study-a9511591.html">Independent.co.uk</a></em>: “Our findings emphasise the importance of delivering consistent preventive interventions to people with a wide range of diseases, who are cared for by a wide range of clinical specialties.”</p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

"Absolute idiot": Grand slam birthday stitch-up puts Nick Kyrgios on the back foot

<p>It may not have been the 25th birthday Nick Kyrgios had in mind, but it went from bad to worse on Monday night when a fellow tennis star posted a particular photo.</p> <p>As countless people wished the talented Aussie a happy birthday, Greek tennis champ Stefanos Tsitsipas decided to go down a different path with his Instagram upload.</p> <p>Tsitsipas’ post was an image of himself holding up a cardboard sign which he captioned: “Lift others up”.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_eouG8DHie/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_eouG8DHie/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">‎Lift others up 🙌🏼 . . . . . . . . 💭: @dudewithsign | #dudewithsign</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/stefanostsitsipas98/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Stefanos Tsitsipas</a> (@stefanostsitsipas98) on Apr 27, 2020 at 2:07am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The only problem was, the sign contained a mobile number, which fans quickly realised belonged to the one and only Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios commented on the post: “You are an absolute idiot, everyone stop calling me!!!!!”</p> <p>The number was quickly disconnected after what most likely was a never ending hoard of phone calls and text messages.</p> <p>Of course, not all of the birthday wishes directed towards him caused a headache, as many took to social media to say happy birthday in a much more conventional way.</p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Tennis fans shred Rafael Nadal over blunder in Roger Federer chat

<p>Throughout his incredible career, it has taken a pretty special opponent to make Rafael Nadal worry, but the Spanish great met his match in the form of Instagram Live on Monday.</p> <p>The 33-year-old can make any of his rivals break into a sweat. Whether that’s with his wickedly spinning forehand or backhand, everyone in the tennis world fears his name.</p> <p>But fans on his social media witnessed a completely different side of the Mallorcan as they eagerly awaited his live chat with Swiss legend Roger Federer.</p> <p>He may have 19 Grand Slam titles, one shy of Federer’s all-time men’s record, but when it comes to IT skills, he resembled a Sunday morning park hacker crumbling under pressure.</p> <p>With 40,000 viewers tuning in, a confused Nadal blankly stared into cyberspace, as he tried to work out why Federer, who is currently isolating at home in Switzerland, refused to appear.</p> <p>Eventually to Nadal’s obvious relief, the tennis champion popped up to speak briefly about how he’s dealing with the shutdown amidst the pandemic.</p> <p>“Finally!” said Nadal.</p> <p>Federer revealed he had been practising against a wall, when not spending time with his four children. But Nadal admitted that he hadn’t been training at all. “Perfect! You won’t be able to play tennis any more when you come back,” said a laughing Federer.</p> <p>Federer said the extended lay-off has meant he has had time to rehab his right knee after surgery in February.</p> <p>“I’ve got plenty of time, there is no stress, no rush, if there is a positive that’s it,” he said.</p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Oscar winner plays bingo with nursing home residents

<p>Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey has hosted a game of virtual bingo for residents living in a senior nursing home in Texas, U.S on Sunday.</p> <p>The A-lister was joined by his wife, Camila Alves and mother, Kay as they led a game of bingo for seniors currently residing at The Enclave at Round Rock senior Living in Round Rock, Texas.</p> <p>A clip of the event was shared to social media, where the 50-year-old star was recording saying: “We got I-24!</p> <p>“Richard is waving a hammer up high, we got Charles with the iPad up high. We got two winners!”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTheEnclaveatRoundRockSeniorLiving%2Fvideos%2F652315845592481%2F&amp;show_text=1&amp;width=560" width="560" height="508" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>The clip also showed Camila taking pictures of the bingo participants who were all turning in through Zoom, along with two of their three children peeking in behind McConaughey’s shoulder.</p> <p>The caption of the clip which was posted by the facility’s Facebook page read: “Ever play virtual bingo with #MatthewMcConaughey? You'd be a whole lot cooler if you did! The residents at The Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living got to play virtual bingo with #MatthewMcConaughey and his family!</p> <p>“Thank you to Matthew, his wife Camila, and his mom Kay for hosting our residents for a few rounds of virtual bingo! Our residents had a great time playing, and they loved talking with Matthew about his family heritage and his favourite drink.”</p> <p>A second piece of footage from the virtual bingo game was also shared onto Facebook, with one of the facility’s employees thanking the award-winning actor for his support.</p> <p>“I wanted to say, from all of us, we want to continue to turn a red light into a green light.”</p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

How to seek medical advice from the comfort of your own home

<p>Australians can now seek medical advice from their GP or mental health professional from the comfort of their living room without being left out of pocket. </p> <p>They can phone or video call their medical professional and bulk bill as part of new Government measures to try and contain the coronavirus, a move very much needed, that will also change the way many view telehealth.</p> <p>The list of medical professionals people can now access for bulk-billed telehealth consultations includes - GP’s, midwives, psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists, paediatricians, speech pathologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists for services for children with developmental delays. Also Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners as well as social workers and dieticians for eating disorders.</p> <p>You may be surprised to know telehealth has been in existence for over a decade yet the uptake has been slow and fragmented in this country. </p> <p>This is despite its success to date  - it improves access to health care for those in rural and regional areas, it’s more affordable, reduces the risk of infection spreading and there’s less strain on hospital emergency departments.</p> <p>People think of telehealth as simply enabling people to seek medical help and advice via phone or online using video technology such as FaceTime and Skype, but it has gone beyond just this. </p> <p>New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence can help clinicians vastly increase their patient risk assessments by helping to automatically assess data providing key indications that may flag issues missed in traditional testing methods.</p> <p>As Australians start using telehealth, and we expect unprecedented numbers will, and they witness first hand how effective it is we will see it start to become the norm. </p> <p>This is not the first time telehealth has been used in disaster situations before - Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the 2011 earthquake in Japan as well as the Boston Blizzard in 2014. In the 2003 SARS outbreak, one-fifth of reported infections were in health-care workers. Healthcare systems are easily stretched beyond their limits and it’s critical the health-care workers are kept well, so they can attend to the surge in required services. </p> <p>As patients get access to expert medical advice while maintaining social distancing ..this shift will start to change the mindset of both the clinical and patient community, helping normalise the remote delivery of gold class clinical care.</p> <p>Our work at <a href="https://maxwellplus.com/">Maxwell Plus </a>in the diagnosis of prostate cancer is fully remote for the vast majority of our patients. We centralise the clinical expertise and use telehealth and other technologies to make that widely available. </p> <p>At the same time, we utilise the excellent existing infrastructure through partnering with pathology and radiology services all over the country. </p> <p>I think patients everywhere are starting to understand that top quality care can be delivered in many different ways.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835444/headshot-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c83ceb8eea9140dcb99123a18c388fee" /></p> <p><em>Written by Dr Elliott Smith.</em></p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

High tech shortages in the future as coronavirus shuts down manufacturers

<p>There are now <a href="https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200212-sitrep-23-ncov.pdf?sfvrsn=41e9fb78_2">more than 45,000</a> confirmed cases of the coronavirus dubbed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, and the disease has caused at least 1,115 deaths. The impact of the virus is now reaching way beyond public health: China is at the heart of global manufacturing, and as supply chains suffer, <a href="https://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/coronavirus_and_the_global_supply_chain_rising_panic_part">panic</a> is beginning to set in.</p> <p>In many provinces across China the government has urged hundreds of millions of workers to <a href="https://www.afr.com/world/asia/virus-death-toll-above-900-as-workers-told-to-stay-home-20200210-p53zbr">stay home</a> to help reduce the spread of the virus. As a result, many factories have stayed closed since the Lunar New Year holiday in late January, halting the production of products and parts destined for countries around the world, including Australia.</p> <p>Apple is one of the most high-profile companies affected, with its <a href="https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/rapid-spread-of-coronavirus-tests-apples-china-dependency-11580910743">manufacturing partner Foxconn hitting a lengthy production delay</a>, but they are far from alone.</p> <p><strong>Global supply chains, global problems</strong></p> <p>The sectors hit hardest <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2020/02/10/global-high-tech-supply-chains-disrupted-by-the-coronavirus/amp/">appear to be</a> high-tech electronics, pharmaceuticals and the automotive industry.</p> <p>Globalised supply chains and just-in-time manufacturing mean many seemingly unrelated products are vulnerable to pauses in the flow of goods from China.</p> <p>It only takes one small missing part to bring entire supply chains to a standstill. If a tyre manufacturer in the United States doesn’t receive valves from a supplier in China, a car plant in Germany won’t receive any tyres, and therefore can’t ship finished cars to its customers.</p> <p>Something similar happened to automotive giant Hyundai, which had to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/04/business/hyundai-south-korea-coronavirus.html">suspend all operations</a> at its manufacturing plant in South Korea due to a lack of parts from China.</p> <p>Even tech companies such as Samsung, Google and Sony, which have moved their factories out of China in recent years, are <a href="https://qz.com/1800540/how-coronavirus-is-upending-the-tech-industrys-supply-chain/">being affected</a>. They still rely on China for many components such as sensors or smartphone screens.</p> <p>It is not just large businesses that will feel these effects. Many small businesses around the world also source products and parts from China.</p> <p>The supply of these is now uncertain, with no sign yet as to when normal service may resume. For products and parts that are still being manufactured in China, new enhanced screening measures at all Chinese border crossings are likely to cause further delays.</p> <p><strong>How will Australia be affected?</strong></p> <p>The effects of the coronavirus are also being felt in Australia. China is our largest trading partner for both imports and exports. According to the United Nations Comtrade database, <a href="https://tradingeconomics.com/australia/imports/china">Australian imports from China</a> were valued at A$85.9 billion in 2018. The biggest product categories were electronics and electrical equipment, making up A$19.8 billion, and machinery, which accounts for another A$15.7 billion.</p> <p>Moreover, <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook44p/China">90% of all Australia’s merchandise imports</a> are from China, and half of those are engineering products such as office and telecommunications equipment.</p> <p>Besides the well-publicised impact on airlines, universities and tourism, Australian construction companies are warning clients of upcoming project delays as a result of forecast disruptions in materials sourced from China. Aurizon, Australia’s largest rail operator, has said the coronavirus will delay the arrival of <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/retail/coronavirus-fallout-hits-australian-companies-20200210-p53zfc">66 new rail wagons</a> being made in Wuhan, the city at the epicentre of the outbreak.</p> <p><strong>Expect shortages of high-tech goods</strong></p> <p>Product shortages could also soon be visible on retailers’ shelves, with electronics stores such as JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman expected to experience <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/12/coronavirus-fallout-could-leave-australian-tourism-and-retail-sector-in-the-doldrums">significant disruption</a> to their supply of computers, televisions and smartphones.</p> <p>When shortages like this occur, customers will struggle to buy the products they want, when they want them. The only channels available might be third-party resellers offering highly inflated prices. In extreme cases, supply shortages like these can also lead to <a href="http://personal.cb.cityu.edu.hk/biyishou/Consumer_panic_buying.pdf">panic buying</a> and stockpiling.</p> <p><strong>More uncertainty ahead</strong></p> <p>It is commonly said that “when China sneezes, the world catches a cold”. So what is the long-term diagnosis for the coronavirus breakout, and what will the economic symptoms be?</p> <p>As so much is still unknown about COVID-19, with no vaccine or formal means of preventing it spreading having emerged yet, it’s too early to predict what the full impact will be.</p> <p>For many industries the next few months will bring high levels of uncertainty, with disruptions certain to continue, before recovery programs can start to gain traction.</p> <p>This is obviously a worry for many organisations, but could also be a period of new opportunity for others, as the world comes to terms with this latest global health crisis. Supply chains that are agile enough to react quicker than their competitors’, or those with more robust risk management plans, might find themselves gaining greater market share as a result of this crisis.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/131646/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/john-l-hopkins-255434">John L Hopkins</a>, Theme Leader (Future Urban Mobility), Smart Cities Research Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swinburne-university-of-technology-767">Swinburne University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/high-tech-shortages-loom-as-coronavirus-shutdowns-hit-manufacturers-131646">original article</a>.</em></p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Charging your phone using a public port is dangerous

<p>Have you ever used a public charging station to charge your mobile phone when it runs out of battery? If so, watch out for “juice jacking”.</p> <p>Cybercriminals are on the prowl to infect your mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers and access your personal data, or install malware while you charge them.</p> <p>Specifically, <a href="https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/2732198.2732205">juice jacking</a> is a cyber attack in which criminals <a href="https://securelist.com/wired-mobile-charging-is-it-safe/74804/">use publicly accessible USB charging ports or cables</a> to install malicious software on your mobile device and/or steal personal data from it.</p> <p>Even a <a href="https://media.blackhat.com/us-13/US-13-Lau-Mactans-Injecting-Malware-into-iOS-Devices-via-Malicious-Chargers-WP.pdf">60-second power-up</a> can be enough to compromise your phone’s data. This is because USB cables allow the transmission of both power and data streams simultaneously. Victims can be left vulnerable to identity theft, financial fraud, and significant stress.</p> <p>USB charging stations are a common sight in shopping centres, airports, hotels, fast-food restaurants, and even on public transport. While juice jacking is neither <a href="https://securelist.com/wi-fi-security-and-fake-acdc-charges-threaten-your-data-at-the-2014-world-cup/63759/">new</a> nor particularly widespread so far, it was recently highlighted by <a href="http://da.lacounty.gov/about/inside-LADA/juice-jacking-criminals-use-public-usb-chargers-steal-data-ff">Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office</a> as a significant threat, especially to travellers who can easily find themselves caught short and in need of a battery boost.</p> <p><strong>How does it work?</strong></p> <p>First, the attackers tamper with the charging stations or cables in public areas, and install malicious software on them. This software then infects the phones of unsuspecting users who subsequently plug into the tampered charger.</p> <p>The software can invade, damage or even disable your phone. It can also steal or delete data from your phone and possibly spy on your usage activity, to the extent of transmitting your personal information such as account numbers, usernames, passwords, photos, and emails to the perpetrator.</p> <p><strong>How can I tell if I’ve been juice jacked?</strong></p> <p>Hacked mobile devices will often go undetected. But there are a few telltale signs that your device may have been hacked. These include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>a sudden surge in battery consumption or rapid loss of charge, indicating a malicious app may be running in the background</p> </li> <li> <p>the device operating slower than usual, or restarting without notice</p> </li> <li> <p>apps taking a long time to load or frequently crashing</p> </li> <li> <p>excessive heating</p> </li> <li> <p>changes to device settings that you did not make</p> </li> <li> <p>increased or abnormal data usage.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>How do I protect myself?</strong></p> <p>The tampering of USB charging stations or USB cables is almost impossible to identify. But there are some simple ways to guard against juice jacking:</p> <ul> <li> <p>avoid USB power charging stations</p> </li> <li> <p>use AC power outlets rather than USB ports</p> </li> <li> <p>use a portable battery power bank (your own, not a borrowed one!)</p> </li> <li> <p>carry your own charging cable and adaptor</p> </li> <li> <p>use a data-blocker device such as <a href="http://syncstop.com/">SyncStop</a> or <a href="https://www.amazon.com.au/Juice-Jack-Defender-Security-purchased-employees/dp/B00XYTQ4Q8">Juice-Jack Defender</a>. These devices physically prevent data transfer and only allow power to go through while charging</p> </li> <li> <p>use power-only USB cables such as <a href="https://www.4cabling.com.au/portapow-fast-charge-micro-usb-cable-300cm.html">PortaPow</a>, which don’t pass any data.</p> </li> </ul> <p>And finally, if you must use a charging station, keep your phone locked while doing so. USB ports typically don’t sync data from a phone that is locked. Most mobile phones will ask your permission to give the USB port access to your phone’s data when you plug in. If you’re using an unknown or untrustworthy port, make sure you decline.</p> <p><strong>I think I might have been juice jacked – what can I do?</strong></p> <p>If you suspect you have fallen prey, there are several things you can do to protect your device’s integrity:</p> <ul> <li> <p>monitor your device for unusual activity</p> </li> <li> <p>delete suspicious apps you don’t recall installing</p> </li> <li> <p>restore your device to its factory settings</p> </li> <li> <p>install anti-virus software, such as <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.avast.android.mobilesecurity&amp;hl=en_AU">Avast Antivirus</a> or <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.antivirus&amp;hl=en_AU%22">AVG AntiVirus</a></p> </li> <li> <p>keep your mobile device’s system software up to date. Developers continually release patches against common types of malware.</p> </li> </ul> <p>A lot of data is stored on our mobile devices these days, and protecting our privacy is crucial. While juice jacking may not be a widespread threat, it is important to ensure the safety of our mobile devices. So, the next time you consider using a public USB charging station or cable, ask yourself if it is worth it, particularly as your personal information is at stake.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/130947/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ritesh-chugh-162770">Ritesh Chugh</a>, Senior Lecturer/Discipline Lead – Information Systems and Analysis, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/charging-your-phone-using-a-public-usb-port-beware-of-juice-jacking-130947">original article</a>.</em></p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Posting about politicians? The NSW Police Force may have you in their sights

<p>A Blue Mountains man was arrested<span> </span><a rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/6328433/fixated-persons-unit-investigates-winmalee-man/" target="_blank">in August last year</a>, over allegations that he’d been harassing the local mayor and a NSW Labor MLC. The 37-year-old was charged with a number of offences, including<span> </span><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/domestic-and-personal-violence-act/stalking-or-intimidation/">stalking or intimidation with intent to cause fear of physical or mental harm</a><span> </span>and<span> </span><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/criminal-code-act/use-carriage-service-to-menace-harass-or-cause-offence/">using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence</a>.</p> <p>The charges related to claims the man had been making<a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/false-sexual-assault-allegations-ruin-lives/"><span> </span>false allegations about sexual assault</a><span> </span>and child abuse. And this decade-long intimidation campaign was carried out via email, social media, text and phone messages.</p> <p>The investigation leading to the arrest was carried out by detectives from the NSW Police Force Fixated Persons Unit, which is a specialist investigation team comprised of police officers and government mental health workers that was formed in the wake of the Lindt café siege.</p> <p><strong>Identifying pre-criminals</strong></p> <p>The Fixated Persons Unit commenced operations<span> </span><a rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.westernadvocate.com.au/story/4627585/new-police-unit-deals-with-obsessed-individuals-video/" target="_blank">on 1 May 2017</a>. NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller referred to the Martin Place shootings, when announcing its formation. And he said it would target “lone actors”, who are obsessed with public figures, as well as ideologies or beliefs.</p> <p>The state’s top cop outlined that the unit would focus on non-terrorist suspects, who threaten public officials. However, the unit also has a focus on proactively locating individuals<span> </span><a rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-26/police-strike-force-to-target-people-who-make-violent-threats/8472280" target="_blank">vulnerable</a><span> </span>to becoming involved in this sort of behaviour before it develops.</p> <p>And that’s where the scope of these operations becomes worrying. If detectives aren’t responding to reports of threatening behaviour being carried out by fixated persons, then how are they locating those who pose a potential threat?</p> <p>At the time the unit was formed, NSW police said it had up to<span> </span><a rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/nsw/up-to-50-wouldbe-extremists-assessed-by-new-police-fixated-persons-unit-20170426-gvsldb.html" target="_blank">50 people</a><span> </span>on its radar who could potentially be targeted, which included one man who’d fallen short of the law due to shouting anti-war slogans during the minute’s silence on Anzac Day in Martin Place.</p> <p>And by October 2017, it was reported that<span> </span><a rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/10/05/cops-and-health-professionals-can-decide-if-youre-too-obsessed-with-a-public-official/?fbclid=IwAR0MrgLNBOAoHvqutMTXWjm-aMg0qB06f5g5FJgXGsMWuVh2zAQxYDDVh1U" target="_blank">six people</a><span> </span>in this state had been charged in relation to the unit.</p> <p>A Blue Mountains man was arrested<span> </span><a rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/6328433/fixated-persons-unit-investigates-winmalee-man/" target="_blank">in August last year</a>, over allegations that he’d been harassing the local mayor and a NSW Labor MLC. The 37-year-old was charged with a number of offences, including<span> </span><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/domestic-and-personal-violence-act/stalking-or-intimidation/">stalking or intimidation with intent to cause fear of physical or mental harm</a><span> </span>and<span> </span><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/criminal-code-act/use-carriage-service-to-menace-harass-or-cause-offence/">using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence</a>.</p> <p>The charges related to claims the man had been making<a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/false-sexual-assault-allegations-ruin-lives/"><span> </span>false allegations about sexual assault</a><span> </span>and child abuse. And this decade-long intimidation campaign was carried out via email, social media, text and phone messages.</p> <p>The investigation leading to the arrest was carried out by detectives from the NSW Police Force Fixated Persons Unit, which is a specialist investigation team comprised of police officers and government mental health workers that was formed in the wake of the Lindt café siege.</p> <p><strong>Identifying pre-criminals</strong></p> <p>The Fixated Persons Unit commenced operations<span> </span><a rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.westernadvocate.com.au/story/4627585/new-police-unit-deals-with-obsessed-individuals-video/" target="_blank">on 1 May 2017</a>. NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller referred to the Martin Place shootings, when announcing its formation. And he said it would target “lone actors”, who are obsessed with public figures, as well as ideologies or beliefs.</p> <p>The state’s top cop outlined that the unit would focus on non-terrorist suspects, who threaten public officials. However, the unit also has a focus on proactively locating individuals<span> </span><a rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-26/police-strike-force-to-target-people-who-make-violent-threats/8472280" target="_blank">vulnerable</a><span> </span>to becoming involved in this sort of behaviour before it develops.</p> <p>And that’s where the scope of these operations becomes worrying. If detectives aren’t responding to reports of threatening behaviour being carried out by fixated persons, then how are they locating those who pose a potential threat?</p> <p>At the time the unit was formed, NSW police said it had up to<span> </span><a rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/nsw/up-to-50-wouldbe-extremists-assessed-by-new-police-fixated-persons-unit-20170426-gvsldb.html" target="_blank">50 people</a><span> </span>on its radar who could potentially be targeted, which included one man who’d fallen short of the law due to shouting anti-war slogans during the minute’s silence on Anzac Day in Martin Place.</p> <p>And by October 2017, it was reported that<span> </span><a rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/10/05/cops-and-health-professionals-can-decide-if-youre-too-obsessed-with-a-public-official/?fbclid=IwAR0MrgLNBOAoHvqutMTXWjm-aMg0qB06f5g5FJgXGsMWuVh2zAQxYDDVh1U" target="_blank">six people</a><span> </span>in this state had been charged in relation to the unit.</p> <p><strong>The future crime regime</strong></p> <p>“The creation of this unit forms part of the reengineering process for the NSW Police Force moving forward,” commissioner Fuller told reporters. Although, he didn’t elaborate on what that actually meant.</p> <p>However, one could posit that this “reengineering” is a further step into the realm of policing future crimes, or what NSW police refers to as<span> </span><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/systemic-unlawfulness-an-interview-with-dr-vicki-sentas-on-police-powers/">proactive policing</a>. This is part of a global trend towards trying to sniff out criminals before they commit any offences as its seen as being more cost effective.</p> <p>An example of this is the NSW police<span> </span><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/nsw-police-future-crime-program-an-abuse-of-power/">Suspect Target Management Plan (STMP)</a>, which is a secret list of individuals subjected to intensified monitoring due to their assessed potential to commit crimes in the future. Those on the list don’t even have to have been convicted of a crime in the past.</p> <p>And while these developments are occurring,<span> </span><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/predicting-and-preventing-crime-an-interview-with-ctdss-dr-roman-marchant/">there’s research being carried</a><span> </span>out with the aim of being able to predict the level of criminality present in urban areas by analysing socioeconomic factors, so as to better allocate policing resources to prevent crime before it happens.</p> <p>Of course, as yet, no one has turned up to parliament with a bill that puts thoughtcrimes on the law books. However, proactively locating individuals before they perpetrate any criminal acts certainly sounds a lot like Orwell’s dystopian vision.</p> <p>“The creation of this unit forms part of the reengineering process for the NSW Police Force moving forward,” commissioner Fuller told reporters. Although, he didn’t elaborate on what that actually meant.</p> <p>However, one could posit that this “reengineering” is a further step into the realm of policing future crimes, or what NSW police refers to as<span> </span><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/systemic-unlawfulness-an-interview-with-dr-vicki-sentas-on-police-powers/">proactive policing</a>. This is part of a global trend towards trying to sniff out criminals before they commit any offences as its seen as being more cost effective.</p> <p>An example of this is the NSW police<span> </span><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/nsw-police-future-crime-program-an-abuse-of-power/">Suspect Target Management Plan (STMP)</a>, which is a secret list of individuals subjected to intensified monitoring due to their assessed potential to commit crimes in the future. Those on the list don’t even have to have been convicted of a crime in the past.</p> <p>And while these developments are occurring,<span> </span><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/predicting-and-preventing-crime-an-interview-with-ctdss-dr-roman-marchant/">there’s research being carried</a><span> </span>out with the aim of being able to predict the level of criminality present in urban areas by analysing socioeconomic factors, so as to better allocate policing resources to prevent crime before it happens.</p> <p>Of course, as yet, no one has turned up to parliament with a bill that puts thoughtcrimes on the law books. However, proactively locating individuals before they perpetrate any criminal acts certainly sounds a lot like Orwell’s dystopian vision.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/posting-about-politicians-the-nsw-police-force-may-have-you-in-their-sights/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></em></p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Chinese residents threatened with jail for sharing news about coronavirus on social media

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chinese people are being threatened with seven years in prison if they share news about what is happening in their country about the killer epidemic of the coronavirus on social media.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The punishment has been introduced as a measure to stop information and images being leaked that show the true extent of the virus as well as the desperate attempts to keep it under control.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The ruling Chinese Communist Party wants to control just what the world knows about their attempts to control the coronavirus.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The country’s state-controlled </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">People Daily</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> newspaper ran an article warning people against spreading “rumours” on social media.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The article said that those who “disrupt social order” by posting information that doesn’t come from official sources risked up to seven years behind bars.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">China’s massive censorship system is used to block any information that the government deems to be a “rumour” or not from an official government source.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, footage has been leaking out with hospital workers posting traumatic clips where they are struggling to cope with the outbreak.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Other footage has been filmed by concerned citizens that shows people violently being forced to wear masks as well as being barricaded inside their own homes to stop the spread of the bug.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The whistleblowers from Wuhan have since been detained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another man who showed the true scale of the coronavirus as body bags piled up inside a Wuhan hospital has also been tracked down and arrested for posting the video on social media.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Human Rights Watch said that police across China have detained dozens of people for posting what is really happening in the country and their response to the coronavirus on social media.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Authorities should recognise that censorship only fuels public distrust, and instead encourage civil society engagement and media reporting on this public health crisis,” Human Rights Watch China researcher Yaqiu Wang said to </span><em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/censorship/china-cops-threaten-to-jail-people-for-seven-years-for-sharing-news-on-social-media-about-coronavirus-spread/news-story/de61e5b20f32ddf2b2f7fa6f878db51b"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The coronavirus outbreak requires a swift and comprehensive response that respects human rights.”</span></p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

7 hidden iPhone hacks you never knew about

<p>It can be really frustrating when it seems to take forever to write a text message, not to mention finding there’s no available space for that quick snap you want to take. Luckily, there are lots of little tricks and tips to make things that littler bit quicker.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/17-hidden-iphone-hacks-you-never-knew-about"><strong>1. Get a faster charge</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/17-hidden-iphone-hacks-you-never-knew-about"> <p>Few things are worse than watching your phone charge at a glacial pace – especially when you’re short for time. For a faster way to top up, turn on Airplane Mode. Doing so will temporarily pause your phone’s background noise (such as random notifications and GPS roaming), which tend to drain the battery as it charges. While the extra juice won’t be much, a little can go a long way.</p> <p><strong>2. Set a timer for your music</strong></p> <p>Long gone are the days when you nodded off to your favourite snoozing tunes, only to wake up at 3am with the music still blaring. Believe it or not, your phone’s timer can turn off the music whenever you want. Go to Clock &gt; Timer &gt; When Timer Ends, tap the ‘Stop Playing’ option, and select the amount of time you want the music to play. Your phone will automatically turn off the tunes (on both Apple Music and Spotify) when the timer runs out.</p> <p><strong>3. Take a hands-free photo</strong></p> <p>You don’t need two empty hands to snap a photo on your phone. Just plug in a pair of compatible headphones and hit the volume button, and your iPhone will capture the moment.</p> <p><strong>4. Shave seconds off your typing time</strong></p> <p>If you still shift back and forth between keyboards to type numbers and symbols, you’re wasting your time. All you need to do is hold your finger down on the ‘123’ button, drag it over the number or symbol you want, and then let go. Voilà! No screen-switching necessary.</p> <p><strong>5. Make the screen smaller</strong></p> <p>If you’re a one-hand texter, you probably know the struggle of stretching your thumb across the phone’s wide screen. Try moving the keyboard closer to your left or right palm by holding on the Globe icon and selecting one of the keyboards that are positioned to either side. You can also get to this by going Settings &gt; General &gt; Keyboard &gt; One-Handed Keyboard. Or, tap (not press) on the home button twice to shift the entire top of the iPhone screen down. Both tricks will make the entire screen much more accessible for the average-sized hand.</p> <p><strong>6. Press one button to make a call</strong></p> <div id="page15" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Don’t waste time digging around your contacts for the last person you chatted with on the phone. Simply tap the green call button, and your phone will redial the last number you called.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/17-hidden-iphone-hacks-you-never-knew-about"><strong>7. Get more storage space</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/17-hidden-iphone-hacks-you-never-knew-about"> <div id="page17" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Storage space is a hot commodity for the average iPhone user. To make the most of yours, hold down the ‘Power’ button, wait until you see the option to slide and power off your phone, and then hold down the ‘Home’ button. Doing so will clean out your phone’s RAM, which reduces the amount of space your apps might be taking up.</p> <p><em>Source: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.rd.com/culture/iphone-hacks/" target="_blank">RD.com</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Written by Brooke Nelson. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/17-hidden-iphone-hacks-you-never-knew-about"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p> </div>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Juries need to be told how they're allowed to use the internet to ensure fair trials

<p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jemma-holt-940717">Jemma Holt</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brendan-gogarty-146584">Brendan Gogarty</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></span></p> <p>Juries are supposed to consider evidence without influence or bias from the outside world. However, the <a href="https://www.consultancy.com.au/news/616/9-out-of-10-australian-citizens-now-own-a-smartphone">widespread access to and use of the internet and social media</a> threatens to undermine this, with significant consequences for our criminal justice system and those within it.</p> <p>Given courts cannot effectively police smart-phone use they must adapt to it. This week the <a href="https://www.utas.edu.au/law-reform">Tasmania Law Reform Institute</a> completed its <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/842/Jurors_and_Social_Media_FR_A4_04_secure.pdf?1579503016">year long inquiry</a> into courts and the information age, and has recommendations as to how they can adapt.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RxmrZ7y9cwg"></iframe></div> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><strong>The right to a fair &amp; unbiased trial by your peers</strong></div> <p>An accused person’s right to a fair trial is the most fundamental principle of our criminal justice system. It is a phrase that describes a system that affords an accused person many protections. That system relies on jurors being impartial and returning a verdict that is based solely on the evidence that is presented within the courtroom.</p> <p>In the past this was readily easy to achieve. Juror communications during trial hours and even after them could be controlled. News about the trial was generally a local affair, and even when it attracted national attention, the journalists needed to be in the court’s jurisdiction to report, so they and their employers were subject to the court’s authority.</p> <p>The shift in the way people access news, information and communications in the modern age has changed this reality.</p> <p>Almost every Australian has access to the internet via their smartphone or other devices, social media use is habitual among much of our population, and the internet is a ubiquitous source of information for most people.</p> <p>Jurors are no different – in fact, they represent the wider Australian community these statistics describe. While jurors’ smart phones are removed from them during trial, they cannot be before or after the trial period, nor at the beginning or end of the day. As a result jurors may intentionally, or simply by habit seek out or communicate information about the trial.</p> <p><strong>Use and misuse of social media</strong></p> <p>Between 2018 and 2020 the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute conducted an inquiry into juror misuse of the internet and social media during trials. The institute concluded there is likely to be a high, but unquantifiable and undetectable level of misuse.</p> <p>However, there is evidence across Australian jurisdictions that jurors have used their internet connected devices to:</p> <ul> <li> <p>research legal terms or concepts or other information relevant to the trial. A West Australian juror in a drug-related trial obtained information online about <a href="https://www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/calls-to-overhaul-wa-jury-system-after-juror-dismissed-for-facebook-post-20161012-gs0wwa.html">methylamphetamine production</a></p> </li> <li> <p>research the accused, witnesses, victims, lawyers or the judge. Two South Australian jurors sitting in a blackmail trial against multiple defendants conducted online searches about the accused which disclosed <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-22/jurors-fined-for-contempt-of-court/7533472">past outlaw motorcycle gang affiliations</a></p> </li> <li> <p>communicate with people involved in the trial. Multiple New South Wales jurors on a long-running fraud trial <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/jury-getting-off-their-facebooks/news-story/26e2549a7d9063ae9dae0e2a27683dce">became Facebook friends</a>, sharing posts such as a digitally altered photo of one of the jurors wearing a judge’s wig</p> </li> <li> <p>publish material about the trial on the internet or social media. A NSW juror sitting in a sexual offending trial posted on Facebook <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/facebook-post-sparks-probe-into-jury-conduct-in-sex-crime-trial-20190414-p51dz4.html">the day before the guilty verdict was returned</a>: “When a dog attacks a child it is put down. Shouldn’t we do the same with sex predators?” This post was accompanied with a photograph that showed images of rooms and implements by which lawful executions are carried out.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Misuse is under-reported. In those few instance where reports are made, fellow jurors, rather than court officers, tend to be the ones who raise the issue. Indeed, it is an important part of their role.</p> <p>While jurors across Australia are currently told not to conduct online research, wilful disobedience is only part of the problem. It can also involve unintentional acts by jurors who believe they are doing the right thing.</p> <p>For instance, jurors accessing online news, entertainment or social media sites can be passively influenced by information relevant to the trial. Jurors often misunderstand their role and conduct independent research in the genuine belief their actions are in the pursuit of “fairness” or discovering the truth.</p> <p><strong>Educate, inform &amp; encourage self-regulation</strong></p> <p>The law reform institute ultimately concluded it is impossible for, and beyond the capacity of courts to completely police juror internet use. It has thus recommended not reforming the law, but rather strengthening and standardising juror education and directions. These recommendations are divided across two stages of jury selection, as part of an overall strategy:</p> <ul> <li> <p>pre-selection: prospective jurors should receive improved training and information about the role of the juror and the risks of internet use</p> </li> <li> <p>post-selection: once a jury has been selected, judges need to explain to jurors what dangers arise from using the internet to access and publish on social media, seeking information about the case, parties, court officers, lawyers, and self-conducted research into legal concepts or sentences. The report has recommended the court adopt minimum standard directions, but also have the flexibility to make specific directions relevant to any particular trial.</p> </li> </ul> <p>The report recommended certain current practices and laws should remain unchanged, including:</p> <ul> <li> <p>removing phones from jurors while they are in court (even though the effect is limited it avoids juror distraction)</p> </li> <li> <p>leaving contempt (punishment) laws in place for those jurors who intentionally ignore court training and directions. That might include monetary fines and, in severe cases, imprisonment.</p> </li> </ul> <p>This process is aimed at encouraging self-regulation among jurors, by educating them how to curtail their internet use and why it’s so important.</p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jemma-holt-940717">Jemma Holt</a>, Research Fellow/ Acting Executive Officer (Research), Tasmania Law Reform Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brendan-gogarty-146584">Brendan Gogarty</a>, Senior Lecturer / Clinical Director / Director (Acting) Tas Law Reform Institue, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/juries-need-to-be-told-how-theyre-allowed-to-use-the-internet-to-ensure-fair-trials-130127">original article</a>.</em></p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Social media might make us lonely, but it depends on how you use it

<p>Humans are <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/471264/iot-number-of-connected-devices-worldwide/">more connected to each other than ever</a>, thanks to smartphones, the web and social media. At the same time, loneliness is a huge and growing social problem.</p> <p>Why is this so? Research shows social media use alone can’t cure loneliness – but it can be a tool to build and strengthen our genuine connections with others, which are important for a happy life.</p> <p>To understand why this is the case, we need to understand more about loneliness, its harmful impact, and what this has to do with social media.</p> <p><strong>The scale of loneliness</strong></p> <p>There is great concern about <a href="https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/letter/articles/vh-letter-47-loneliness">a loneliness epidemic</a> in Australia. In the 2018 Australian Loneliness Report, more than one-quarter of survey participants <a href="https://psychweek.org.au/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Psychology-Week-2018-Australian-Loneliness-Report.pdf">reported feeling lonely</a> three or more days a week.</p> <p>Studies have linked loneliness to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25910392">early mortality</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21044327">increased cardio-vascular disease</a>, <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8930743_Popularity_Friendship_Quantity_and_Friendship_Quality_Interactive_Influences_on_Children's_Loneliness_and_Depression">poor mental health and depression</a>, <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0044118X03261435">suicide</a>, and increased <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31119308">social and health care costs</a>.</p> <p>But how does this relate to social media?</p> <p>More and more Australians are becoming physically isolated. <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1440783316674358?journalCode=josb">My previous research</a> demonstrated that face-to-face contact in Australia is declining, and this is accompanied by <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1440783316674358?journalCode=josb">a rise in technology-enabled communication</a>.</p> <p>Enter social media, which for many is serving as a replacement for physical connection. Social media influences nearly all relationships now.</p> <p><strong>Navigating the physical/digital interface</strong></p> <p>While there is evidence of more loneliness among heavy social media users, there is also evidence suggesting <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1745691617713052">social media use decreases loneliness among highly social people</a>.</p> <p>How do we explain such apparent contradictions, wherein both the most and least lonely people are heavy social media users?</p> <p>Research <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1745691617713052">reveals</a> social media is most effective in tackling loneliness when it is used to enhance existing relationships, or forge new meaningful connections. On the other hand, it is counterproductive if used as a substitute for real-life social interaction.</p> <p>Thus, it is not social media itself, but the way we integrate it into our existing lives which impacts loneliness.</p> <p><strong>I wandered lonely in the cloud</strong></p> <p>While social media’s implications for loneliness can be positive, they can also be contradictory.</p> <p>Tech-industry enthusiasts highlight social media’s benefits, such as how it offers easy, algorithimically-enhanced connection to anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time. But this argument often ignores the <em>quality</em> of these connections.</p> <p>Psychologist Robert Weiss makes a distinction between <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Loneliness_the_Experience_of_Emotional_a.html?id=KuibQgAACAAJ&amp;redir_esc=y">“social loneliness”</a> – a lack of contact with others – and <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Loneliness_the_Experience_of_Emotional_a.html?id=KuibQgAACAAJ&amp;redir_esc=y">“emotional loneliness”</a>, which can persist regardless of how many “connections” you have, especially if they do not provide support, affirm identity and create feelings of belonging.</p> <p>Without close, physical connections, shallow virtual friendships can do little to alleviate emotional loneliness. And there is reason to think many online connections are just that.</p> <p>Evidence from past literature has <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1745691617713052">associated heavy social media use with increased loneliness</a>. This may be because online spaces are often oriented to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563219303073">performance, status, exaggerating favourable qualities</a> (such as by posting only “happy” content and likes), and frowning on expressions of loneliness.</p> <p>On the other hand, social media plays a vital role in helping us stay connected with friends over long distances, and organise catch-ups. Video conferencing can facilitate “meetings” when physically meeting is impractical.</p> <p>Platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be used to engage with new people who may turn into real friends later on. Similarly, sites like <a href="https://www.meetup.com/">Meetup</a> can help us find local groups of people whose interests and activities align with our own.</p> <p>And while face-to-face contact remains the best way to help reduce loneliness, help can sometimes be found through online support groups.</p> <p><strong>Why so lonely?</strong></p> <p>There are several likely reasons for our great physical disconnection and loneliness.</p> <p>We’ve replaced the 20th century idea of stable, permanent careers spanning decades with flexible employment and gig work. This prompts regular relocation for work, which results in disconnection from <a href="http://rpatulny.com/2017/04/06/flexible-work-and-gender-inequities-in-work-and-care-lets-fix-the-incentives/">family and friends</a>.</p> <p>The way we build <a href="http://rpatulny.com/2017/04/20/the-mcmansion-the-small-idea-with-the-big-cost/">McMansions</a> (large, multi-room houses) and <a href="http://rpatulny.com/2017/05/05/australias-east-coast-exopolis-the-post-sustainable-sprawl/">sprawl our suburbs</a> is often antisocial, with little thought given to developing <a href="http://rpatulny.com/2017/05/27/utopia-can-we-plan-future-cities-for-tomorrows-families/">vibrant, walkable social centres</a>.</p> <p>Single-person households are <a href="https://mspgh.unimelb.edu.au/ageing-industry-network/newsletter-issue-12-may-2019/the-challenge-of-social-isolation-and-loneliness">expected to increase</a> from about 2.1 million in 2011 to almost 3.4 million in 2036.</p> <p>All of the above means the way we <em>manage</em> loneliness is changing.</p> <p><a href="https://www.routledge.com/Emotions-in-Late-Modernity-1st-Edition/Patulny-Bellocchi-Olson-Khorana-McKenzie-Peterie/p/book/9780815354321">In our book</a>, my co-authors and I argue people manage their feelings differently than in the past. Living far from friends and family, isolated individuals often deal with negative emotions alone, through therapy, or through connecting online with whoever may be available.</p> <p>Social media use is pervasive, so the least we can do is bend it in a way that facilitates our real-life need to belong.</p> <p>It is a tool that should work for us, not the other way around. Perhaps, once we achieve this, we can expect to live in a world that is a bit less lonely.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/128468/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/roger-patulny-94836">Roger Patulny</a>, Associate Professor of Sociology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-social-media-make-us-more-or-less-lonely-depends-on-how-you-use-it-128468">original article</a>.</em></p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Australia's national digital ID is here, but the government is keeping quiet

<p>The Australian government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has <a href="https://www.itnews.com.au/news/australias-digital-identity-bill-tops-200m-535700">spent more than A$200 million</a> over the past five years developing a National Digital ID platform. If successful, the project could streamline commerce, resolve bureaucratic quagmires, and improve national security.</p> <p>The emerging results of the project may give the Australian public cause for concern.</p> <p>Two mobile apps built on the DTA’s Trusted Digital Identification Framework (TDIF) have <a href="https://www.itnews.com.au/news/ato-set-to-launch-mygovid-on-android-devices-531544">recently</a> been <a href="https://www.itnews.com.au/news/ausposts-digital-id-accredited-by-government-528637">released</a> to consumers. The apps, <a href="https://www.mygovid.gov.au">myGovID</a> and <a href="https://www.digitalid.com">Digital ID</a>, were developed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Australia Post, respectively.</p> <p>Both apps were released without fanfare or glossy marketing campaigns to entice users. This is in keeping with more than five years of stealthy administrative decision-making and policy development in the National Digital ID project.</p> <p>Now, it seems, we are set to hear more about it. An existing digital identity scheme for businesses called <a href="https://www.abr.gov.au/auskey">AUSkey</a> will be retired and replaced with the new National Digital ID in March, and the DTA has <a href="https://www.innovationaus.com/digital-id-gets-a-pr-makeover/">recently</a> put out a contract for a “Digital Identity Communication and Engagement Strategy”.</p> <p>The DTA’s renewed investment in public communications is a welcome change of pace, but instead of top-down decision-making, why not try consultation and conversation?</p> <p><strong>We fear what we don’t understand</strong></p> <p>Ever since the Hawke government’s ill-fated Australia Card proposal in the 1980s, Australians have consistently viewed national identification schemes with contempt. <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3224115">Some</a> have suggested that the DTA’s silence comes from fear of a backlash.</p> <p>History provides insight into some, but not all, of the numerous potential reasons for the DTA’s strategic opacity.</p> <p>For example, people do not respond positively to what they do not understand. Surveys suggest that <a href="https://www.innovationaus.com/2019/11/Digital-ID-gets-a-poor-focus-reception">fewer than one in four Australians</a> have a strong understanding of digital identification.</p> <p>The National Digital ID project was launched more than five years ago. Why hasn’t the public become familiar with these technologies?</p> <h2>What is the TDIF?</h2> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/311035/original/file-20200121-145026-iufjxx.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/311035/original/file-20200121-145026-iufjxx.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Part of an overview of the TDIF available on the DTA website.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.dta.gov.au/our-projects/digital-identity/trusted-digital-identity-framework/public-consultation-4th-release-tdif" class="source">Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF)™: 02 - Overview © Commonwealth of Australia (Digital Transformation Agency) 2019.</a>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" class="license">CC BY</a></span></p> <p>The TDIF is what’s known as a federated digital identification system. This means it relies on multiple organisations called Identity Providers, who act as central repositories for identification.</p> <p>In essence, you identify yourself to the Identity Provider, which then vouches for you to third parties in much the same way you might use a Google or Facebook account to log in to a news website.</p> <p>The difference in this case is that Identity Providers will control, store and manage all user information – which is likely to include birth certificates, marriage certificates, tax returns, medical histories, and perhaps eventually biometrics and behavioural information too.</p> <p>There are currently two government organisations offering Identity Service Providers: the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and Australia Post. By their nature, Identity Providers consolidate information in one place and risk becoming a single point of failure. This exposes users to harms associated with the possibility of stolen or compromised personal information.</p> <p>Another weakness of the TDIF is that it doesn’t allow for releasing only partial information about a person. For example, people might be willing to share practically all their personal information with a large bank.</p> <p>However, few will voluntarily disclose such a large amount of personal information indiscriminately – and the TDIF doesn’t give the option to control what is disclosed.</p> <p><strong>Securing sovereignty over identity</strong></p> <p>It might have been reasonable to keep the National Digital ID project quiet when it launched, but a lot has changed in the past five years.</p> <p>For example, some localities in <a href="https://digitalcanada.io/bc-orgbook-tell-us-once/">Canada</a> and <a href="https://procivis.ch/about-us/">Switzerland</a>, faced with similar challenges, chose an alternative to the federated model for their Digital ID systems. Instead, they used the principles of what is called Self Sovereign Identity (SSI).</p> <p>Self-sovereign systems offer the same functions and capabilities as the DTA’s federated system. And they do so without funnelling users through government-controlled Identity Providers.</p> <p>Instead, self-sovereign systems let users create, manage and use multiple discrete digital identities. Each identity can be tailored to its function, with different attributes attached according to necessity.</p> <p>Authentication systems like this offer control over the disclosure of personal information. This is a feature that may considerably enhance the privacy, security and usability of digital identification.</p> <p><strong>Moving forward</strong></p> <p>Based on the idea of giving control to users, self-sovereign digital identification puts its users ahead of any institution, organisation or state. Incorporating elements from the self-sovereign approach might make the Australian system more appealing by addressing public concerns.</p> <p>And self-sovereign identity is just one example of many technologies already available to the DTA. The possibilities are vast.</p> <p>However, those possibilities can only be explored if the DTA starts engaging directly with the general public, industry and academia. Keeping Australia’s Digital National ID scheme cloaked will only increase negative sentiment towards digital identity schemes.</p> <p>Even if self-sovereign identity proved appealing to the public, there would still be plenty of need for dialogue. For example, people would need to enrol into the identification program by physically visiting a white-listed facility (such as a post office). That alone poses several technological, economic, social and political challenges.</p> <p>Regardless of the direction Australia takes for the Digital National ID, there will be problems that need to be solved – and these will require dialogue and transparency.</p> <p>Government and other organisations may not support a self-sovereign identity initiative, as it would give them less information about and administrative control over their constituents or clients.</p> <p>Nonetheless, the implementation of a national identity scheme by stealth will only give the Australian public good reason for outrage, and it might culminate in intensified and unwanted scrutiny.</p> <p>To prevent this from occurring, the DTA’s project needs to be brought out of hiding. It is only with transparency and a dialogue open to all Australians that the public’s concerns can be addressed in full.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/130200/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dr-patrick-scolyer-gray-936770"><em>Dr Patrick Scolyer-Gray</em></a><em>, Research Fellow, Cyber Security, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></span></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/australias-national-digital-id-is-here-but-the-governments-not-talking-about-it-130200">original article</a>.</em></p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Apps may soon be able to predict your life expectancy, but do you want to know?

<p><em>When will I die?</em></p> <p>This question has endured across cultures and civilisations. It has given rise to a plethora of religions and spiritual paths over thousands of years, and more recently, <a href="https://apps.apple.com/us/app/when-will-i-die/id1236569653">some highly amusing apps</a>.</p> <p>But this question now prompts a different response, as technology slowly brings us closer to accurately predicting the answer.</p> <p>Predicting the lifespan of people, or their “Personal Life Expectancy” (PLE) would greatly alter our lives.</p> <p>On one hand, it may have benefits for policy making, and help optimise an individual’s health, or the services they receive.</p> <p>But the potential misuse of this information by the government or private sector poses major risks to our rights and privacy.</p> <p>Although generating an accurate life expectancy is currently difficult, due to the complexity of factors underpinning lifespan, emerging technologies could make this a reality in the future.</p> <p><strong>How do you calculate life expectancy?</strong></p> <p>Predicting life expectancy is not a new concept. <a href="http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170807-living-in-places-where-people-live-the-longest">Experts do this</a> at a population level by classifying people into groups, often based on region or ethnicity.</p> <p>Also, tools such as <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-23534-9">deep learning</a> and <a href="https://mipt.ru/english/news/scientists_use_ai_to_predict_biological_age_based_on_smartphone_and_wearables_data">artificial intelligence</a> can be used to consider complex variables, such as biomedical data, to predict someone’s biological age.</p> <p>Biological age refers to how “old” their body is, rather than when they were born. A 30-year-old who smokes heavily may have a biological age closer to 40.</p> <p><a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2227-7080/6/3/74/htm">Calculating a life expectancy reliably</a> would require a sophisticated system that considers a breadth of environmental, geographic, genetic and lifestyle factors – <a href="https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/oatsih-hpf-2012-toc%7Etier1%7Elife-exp-wellb%7E119">all of which have influence</a>.<span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-vector/healthy-lady-run-away-angel-death-329261456" class="source"></a></span></p> <p>With <a href="https://builtin.com/artificial-intelligence/machine-learning-healthcare">machine learning</a> and artificial intelligence, it’s becoming feasible to analyse larger quantities of data. The use of deep learning and cognitive computing, such as with <a href="https://www.ibm.com/watson-health">IBM Watson</a>, helps doctors make more accurate diagnoses than using human judgement alone.</p> <p>This, coupled with <a href="https://www.cio.com/article/3273114/what-is-predictive-analytics-transforming-data-into-future-insights.html">predictive analytics</a> and increasing computational power, means we may soon have systems, or even apps, that can calculate life expectancy.</p> <p><strong>There’s an app for that</strong></p> <p>Much like <a href="https://www.mdanderson.org/for-physicians/clinical-tools-resources/clinical-calculators.html">existing tools</a> that predict cancer survival rates, in the coming years we may see apps attempting to analyse data to predict life expectancy.</p> <p>However, they will not be able to provide a “death date”, or even a year of death.</p> <p>Human behaviour and activities are so unpredictable, it’s almost impossible to measure, classify and predict lifespan. A personal life expectancy, even a carefully calculated one, would only provide a “natural life expectancy” based on generic data optimised with personal data.</p> <p>The key to accuracy would be the quality and quantity of data available. Much of this would be taken directly from the user, including gender, age, weight, height and ethnicity.</p> <p>Access to real-time sensor data through fitness trackers and smart watches could also monitor activity levels, heart rate and blood pressure. This could then be coupled with lifestyle information such as occupation, socioeconomic status, exercise, diet and family medical history.</p> <hr /> <p><em> <strong> Read more: <a href="https://theconversation.com/your-local-train-station-can-predict-health-and-death-54946">Your local train station can predict health and death</a> </strong> </em></p> <hr /> <p>All of the above could be used to classify an individual into a generic group to calculate life expectancy. This result would then be refined over time through the analysis of personal data, updating a user’s life expectancy and letting them monitor it.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/308303/original/file-20191230-11891-nswi58.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /> <span class="caption">This figure shows how an individual’s life expectancy might change between two points in time (F and H) following a lifestyle improvement, such as weight loss.</span></p> <p><strong>Two sides of a coin</strong></p> <p>Life expectancy predictions have the potential to be beneficial to individuals, health service providers and governments.</p> <p>For instance, they would make people more aware of their general health, and its improvement or deterioration over time. This may motivate them to make healthier lifestyle choices.</p> <p>They could also be used by insurance companies to provide individualised services, such as how some car insurance companies use <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/dec/16/motoring-myths-black-boxes-telematics-insurance">black-box technology</a> to reduce premiums for more cautious drivers.</p> <p>Governments may be able to use predictions to more efficiently allocate limited resources, such as social welfare assistance and health care funding, to individuals and areas of greater need.</p> <p>That said, there’s a likely downside.</p> <p>People <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/11/the-existential-slap/544790/">may become distressed</a> if their life expectancy is unexpectedly low, or at the thought of having one at all. This raises concerns about how such predictions could impact those who experience or are at risk of mental health problems.</p> <p>Having people’s detailed health data could also let insurance companies more accurately profile applicants, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-08/fitness-tracker-used-to-set-health-insurance-premiums/11287126">leading to discrimination against groups or individuals</a>.</p> <p>Also, pharmaceutical companies could coordinate targeted medical campaigns based on people’s life expectancy. And governments could choose to tax individuals differently, or restrict services for certain people.</p> <p><strong>When will it happen?</strong></p> <p>Scientists have been working on ways to <a href="https://towardsdatascience.com/what-really-drives-higher-life-expectancy-e1c1ec22f6e1">predict human life expectancy</a> for many years.</p> <p>The solution would require input from specialists including demographers, health scientists, data scientists, IT specialists, programmers, medical professionals and statisticians.</p> <p>While the collection of enough data will be challenging, we can likely expect to see advances in this area in the coming years.</p> <p>If so, issues related to data compliance, as well and collaboration with government and state agencies will need to be carefully managed. Any system predicting life expectancy would handle highly sensitive data, raising ethical and privacy concerns.</p> <p>It would also attract cybercriminals, and various other security threats.</p> <p>Moving forward, the words of Jurassic Park’s Dr Ian Malcolm spring to mind:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/129068/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></em><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> </blockquote> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/james-jin-kang-903030">James Jin Kang</a>, Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-haskell-dowland-382903">Paul Haskell-Dowland</a>, Associate Dean (Computing and Security), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/dont-die-wondering-apps-may-soon-be-able-to-predict-your-life-expectancy-but-do-you-want-to-know-129068">original article</a>.</em></p>

Technology