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Technology 17 August 2020

The Week in Internet News: Smart Phones for Online Education

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

More phones, more access: Chinese smartphone major Xiaomi has announced that its Indian subsidiary will distribute 2,500 phone handsets to support online education of students who are most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, India Times reports. Teach for India says one smart phone can support the education of up to seven children, if they use the device in shifts.

Tracking the pandemic: The U.K. has launched a limited trial of a COVID-19 tracking app, the BBC reports. The app, which will be available on the Apple and Google online stores, will include an alert system that informs users of the coronavirus risk level close to their home. It also has a QR barcode scanner, allowing users to check in when they visit a venue and be told if others there later tested positive.

Weird pandemic effects: Parent company Facebook is blaming COVID-19 for a lapse in its ability to moderate nudity and other content on Instagram, The Independent writes. Facebook sent content reviewers home in March due to COVID-19, and those employees didn’t have adequate work-from-home systems. Facebook relies “heavily” on human intervention to remove offending content, the company said.

Faking it: One guy decided he’s had too many Zoom meetings during the pandemic, and he prerecorded himself on a loop that made it appear he was attending the meetings in person. He writes about how he did it on CNet. “I wanted to see if I could appear as a fully engaged employee without actually being in the meeting at all. So I set out on an experiment to see if I could automate my presence in video meetings for an entire week without my co-workers or supervisors noticing.”

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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