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Contact tracing: A guide to one possible pandemic solution

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What is contact tracing? Should I be concerned about it? How does it work? With the coronavirus pandemic perhaps showing signs of letting up in some countries throughout Europe and beyond, you might have heard a good deal of conversation around contact tracing. Particularly, in the context of reducing lockdown and stay at home measures as countries look toward life after COVID-19. But what is contact tracing? How does it work? What's that thing Apple and Google are doing? Should I be concerned about my privacy? For answers to all these questions and more, check out our deep dive into the world of contact tracing. Tracing contact In essence, contact tracing does exactly what it says on the tin, it traces contact. It's used the world over to chart and manage the spread of infectious diseases (including sexually transmitted ones) by establishing who an infected person has had contact with. This, in turn, allows people who've potentially been exposed to a disease or viru

NASCAR's virtual race was the most-watched esports TV show to date

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NASCAR and Fox Sports might have started airing virtual races out of pandemic-induced necessity, but it appears their efforts paid off. Fox has revealed that the inaugural eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race on March 22nd drew 903,000 viewers on FS1, making it the highest-rated esports TV program to date. It was also the most-watched broadcast on FS1 since mass sports event cancellations on March 12th and the most-watched sports broadcast on cable that Sunday, although those last two feats weren't too difficult given the dearth of live sports. Accordingly, Fox has committed to cover the rest of the season, starting with a race at a simulated Texas Motor Speedway on March 29th at 1PM Eastern. It'll air on both the Fox broadcast network as well as FS1 and the Fox Sports app. There's little doubt that NASCAR and Fox had the advantages of both an audience with nowhere to go as well as a bevy of real-world pro drivers, including race winner Denny Hamlin. Viewershi

New coronavirus research suggests vaccines developed to treat it could be long-lasting

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A new study from Italian researchers suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is the cause of the COVID-19 disease currently causing a global health crisis, is relatively slow to mutate – meaning that any effective vaccine that is developed to prevent people from getting infected should be broadly effective across geographically separated populations over a relatively long period of time. The research, conducted by two independent teams working separate from one another, including scientists at the “Lazzaro Spallanzani” National Institute for Infectious Diseases (IRCCS) in Rome and the Forensic Division of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health (DSBSP) at Ancona University Hospital, performed genetic sequencing tests using tech developed by Thermo Fisher Scientific on samples of the virus taken from Italian patients. They then compared these samples to a reference genome that was sequenced from a sample of the virus taken from the original Wuhan outbr

Irish Apple HQ employee contracts coronavirus

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A worker at Apple's European headquarters in Cork, Ireland has reportedly been tested positive for the coronavirus, a medical situation that has prompted the iPhone maker to perform a deep clean of the offices and to warn employees to self-isolate. An employee who worked out of the Cork offices was tested in early March for the virus, promptly after feeling unwell and departing the building. In a statement to the media and in an internal memo, Apple has confirmed the staff member was infected with covid-19. Apple told employees in an email it was working "closely" with the Health Service Executive of Ireland, reports the Irish Examiner. While the HSE believed the risk to other employees was low, Apple has still informed some who worked "in the immediate working environment" of the person to self-isolate and "not come into the office for an initial 48-hour period." It was also advised Apple will be "continuing our deep cleaning protocols o

Apple sells fewer than half a million iPhones in China in February

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The impact of the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in Apple selling 494,000 iPhones in China in February, around 60% fewer than in the same month in 2019. The effects of the coronavirus with Apple closing Stores in China, and the government there limiting travel, has severely hit the company's iPhone sales for February 2020. While January had seen Apple claiming double-digit growth, new figures for February say that iPhone sales dropped almost 60%. According to Reuters, Apple sold approximately 494,000 iPhones across China in February 2020, compared to an estimated 1.27 million in the same month last year. The figures come from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), which reports that all mobile phone sales are significantly down. While Apple's iPhone sales represent a drop of around 60% year on year, Android phones have seen a fall of 45%. Collectively, CAICT says that 12.72 million Android phones were sold in February 2019, compared

Apple product launches face months of delays over supply chain backlog

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Multiple supply chain analysts suggest future iPhones may see release dates slip by as much as two months due to coronavirus concerns. In an investor note from Bank of America, it is suggested the "iPhone 12" that may feature 5G will be delayed by a month. The information comes from supply chain expert Elliot Lan, who also suggests delays of up to two months for the unannounced "iPhone SE 2." Another analyst at Bank of America, Wamsi Mohan, says that launch timing will depend on the production ramp-up between now and May. The investor note contents were detailed in a report from Bloomberg which does not offer much more information on the subject. The COVID-19 coronavirus has continued to spread over the past few months, and has since reached a global infection total of over 100,000 people. The CDC says around half of those infected have recovered, however. Coronavirus cases versus deaths The news of supply chain restraints and delayed shipments is nothing

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