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CORONAVIRUS PART II

CORONAVIRUS PART II

Old Oct 6th 2020, 9:07 am
  #4426  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
As well as the obvious threat to health and lives this has caused, it's also excrutiatingly embarrassing. At least it should be but I'm not sure that shame is part of this government's collective psyche.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 10:54 am
  #4427  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
So, SERCO's world beating Track and Trace uses Excel for their database, knowing them it was the one designed for the Spectrum. and guess what, it 'lost' 15,000 positive cases, which have just been added to the numbers. How many more mistakes can this incompetent government make FFS.
Not looking to defend the shambles, but the frustration should probably be directed at PHE. Heavens forbid anyone criticises a public sector body though.

The badly thought-out use of Microsoft's Excel software was the reason nearly 16,000 coronavirus cases went unreported in England.And it appears that Public Health England (PHE) was to blame, rather than a third-party contractor.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 11:18 am
  #4428  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Not looking to defend the shambles, but the frustration should probably be directed at PHE. Heavens forbid anyone criticises a public sector body though.



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What were they using Excel for? Everyone knows Access is the tool of choice.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 12:39 pm
  #4429  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

We are no longer the only county in Florida that has lifted it's mask mandate (Our county lifted it eleven days ago), Lakeland 's has gone and a few other counties will probably follow soon as their mandate term limits are unlikely to be pushed forward.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Not looking to defend the shambles, but the frustration should probably be directed at PHE. Heavens forbid anyone criticises a public sector body though.



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"There's no such thing as bad men, only bad officers." - My BIL' s brother, career officer.

When something absolutely cannot go wrong, and I would say test and trace qualifies, there should be oversight. "Don't blame your staff, blame yourself for not checking." - Me.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 12:56 pm
  #4431  
 
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by zzrmark View Post
We are no longer the only county in Florida that has lifted it's mask mandate (Our county lifted it eleven days ago), Lakeland 's has gone and a few other counties will probably follow soon as their mandate term limits are unlikely to be pushed forward.
Still mandatory here, in shops, public places etc. People seem largely fine with it in this part of the world though.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 1:45 pm
  #4432  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
"There's no such thing as bad men, only bad officers." - My BIL' s brother, career officer.

When something absolutely cannot go wrong, and I would say test and trace qualifies, there should be oversight. "Don't blame your staff, blame yourself for not checking." - Me.
As inspiring as these quotes are, I was only responding to the other comment about who was 'to blame'.

"I couldn't give a **** how passive aggressive you are or how many people you copy in to try and get me to do your job for you, your email is getting ****ing deleted and I'll smile as I do it" - Scamp, 2020, learning about big corporates the hard way.

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Old Oct 6th 2020, 2:11 pm
  #4433  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
So, SERCO's world beating Track and Trace uses Excel for their database, knowing them it was the one designed for the Spectrum. and guess what, it 'lost' 15,000 positive cases, which have just been added to the numbers. How many more mistakes can this incompetent government make FFS.
Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Not looking to defend the shambles, but the frustration should probably be directed at PHE.
Stroke of genius though.
I mean the UK was breaking records in terms of new cases, shockingly hitting 6,000 daily and then 7,000, being the highest numbers since the early days.
Then it hit 12,000 and 23,000 and to blow the staggering figures off the front pages they announce that the figures are a bit higher than they should be because 16,000 went missing over the last few days.

Well in my book that means that if 16,000 were missing over a week then that turns the shocking 7,000 over a couple of days into an even more shocking 9,000 minimum for a whole week. Or if it was less than a week, the shocking 7,000 was probably nearer 12,000 over several days.

But let's be generous and say that all 16,000 were included in the 23,000, that still means the shocking 7,000 turned into a more shocking 12,000 the day before and then again because 12,000 was just announced for a second time.

But instead, the talk is not of the figures doubling an already shocking set of figures but about the error. Genius.

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Old Oct 6th 2020, 2:30 pm
  #4434  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Well even of this amount is a large mistake now the WHO says that its much larger world wide and that one in 10 people have had or have SarsCov2! Seems everybody everywhere is making big mistakes estimating this pandemic.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 2:37 pm
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
As inspiring as these quotes are, I was only responding to the other comment about who was 'to blame'.

"I couldn't give a **** how passive aggressive you are or how many people you copy in to try and get me to do your job for you, your email is getting ****ing deleted and I'll smile as I do it" - Scamp, 2020, learning about big corporates the hard way.
Yes I know. I wasn't picking on you. More like agreeing really.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 5:29 pm
  #4436  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
I read a bit more about this app. Apparently, it makes no attempt whatsoever to track anyone's physical location; all it does is sense proximity to other phones, and tracks 'close encounters' with other phones that last longer than some duration (so a chance passing in the street would not be tracked, but a 15 minute 'stay' in a cafe would).
So it's using Bluetooth?

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
So it tracks all the encounters between any two 'enabled' phones. This information is stored and essentially lies dormant.
'Enabled' means Bluetooth paired? Dormant means a list of MAC addresses that tried to pair? If your mobile isn't 'discoverable' on Bluetooth .... ???

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
So if you are an app user, you may get an alert saying '2 days ago you were in close proximity with a person who tested positive for Covid-19', presumably this being your cue to go get tested.
Which is presumably what is being asked by agreeing to install the app. Still awfully hit and miss, I reckon.

I'm not knocking the idea, just trying to figure out if it's viable.

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Old Oct 6th 2020, 7:23 pm
  #4437  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy View Post
So it's using Bluetooth?


'Enabled' means Bluetooth paired? Dormant means a list of MAC addresses that tried to pair? If your mobile isn't 'discoverable' on Bluetooth .... ???


Which is presumably what is being asked by agreeing to install the app. Still awfully hit and miss, I reckon.

I'm not knocking the idea, just trying to figure out if it's viable.
Yes, I believe it is using bluetooth exclusively.

By 'enabled', I meant, cooperating phones; any two phones that have this app installed/running. I can only imagine that when you install the app, bluetooth will be enabled if not already. It makes little sense to agree to install the app and then decide to disable bluetooth. So - you install the app, which makes sure bluetooth is enabled, and from that point forward the app, via bluetooth, is looking for other phones (similarly enabled/having the app installed and running) in the vicinity. I don't believe 'bluetooth pairing' is involved. Pairing requires active user intervention and that would make zero sense in this context.

When I said 'dormant', what I meant was, any and all encounters between two phones (where both phones have this app installed) will be uploaded and stored somewhere, but no further action will be taken at that point; it's just 'data waiting to be used' (UPDATE - after reading more, the data is not uploaded at this point - see article below). If and when any one user is found to be +ve for Coronavirus, they are given a code, and that code is entered in the app, which then causes a search backwards of all encounters that occurred. Encounters more recent than 'x' days, and possibly longer in duration than 'y' minutes, will become relevant objects, and notifications sent to all associated phone holders.

Activating bluetooth is obviously a fundamental requirement for this app to work. The concepts of 'pairing' and 'discovery' are not directly relevant, I don't believe. This article describes it to some extent - https://www.wired.com/story/apple-go...cing-covid-19/ "The API will let those apps use a phone's Bluetooth radios—which have a range of about 30 feet—to keep track of whether a smartphone's owner has come into contact with ..." "Their phone would then constantly ping out Bluetooth signals to others nearby while also listening for communications from nearby phones." "If two phones spend more than a few minutes within range of one another, they would each record contact with the other phone, exchanging unique, rotating identifier “beacon” numbers that are based on keys stored on each device." "If a user is later diagnosed with Covid-19, they would alert their app with a tap. The app would then upload their last two weeks of keys to a server, which would then generate their recent “beacon” numbers and send them out to other phones in the system. If someone else's phone finds that one of these beacon numbers matches one stored on their phone, they would be notified". "What the app uploads instead of any identifying information is just this random number that the two phones would be able to track down later but that nobody else would, because it's stored locally on their phones".
Apple are notorious for not allowing apps to interact with the hardware directly. "Until now, however, Bluetooth-based schemes like the one ... described suffered from how Apple limits access to Bluetooth when apps run in the background of iOS, a privacy and power-saving safeguard. It will lift that restriction specifically for contact-tracing apps."

Last edited by Steerpike; Oct 6th 2020 at 8:22 pm.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 7:30 pm
  #4438  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Not looking to defend the shambles, but the frustration should probably be directed at PHE. Heavens forbid anyone criticises a public sector body though.



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Interesting how everyone is so eager to attack the UK government! The article you link clearly shows the issue is not with the contractor but with the government agency. Further, they aren't using Excel as the core repository, but rather, they are using 'csv' files (very common in such endeavors) and then - mind-bogglingly - using 'xls' format files somewhere in the process. 'xls' was replaced in 2007 by 'xlsx' format. Had they simply switched to using 'xlsx' format, the problem would not have occurred. Quite amazing. They probably didn't want to upgrade licenses to allow them to use the more up-to-date format.

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Old Oct 6th 2020, 7:49 pm
  #4439  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Interesting how everyone is so eager to attack the UK government! The article you link clearly shows the issue is not with the contractor but with the government agency....They probably didn't want to upgrade licenses to allow them to use the more up-to-date format.
I haven't read it in all the detail but I'm willing to bet that it is entirely reasonable to blame the government.

In days of old when these things were done exclusively by government departments, failures like this would be down to government under funding. The experts tell them how much something would cost, the government pays less and it doesn't get done properly.

In present day many of these things are put out to contract to people and organisations (usually with connections to government - there's a current controversy on exactly that issue) who say they can do something cheaper (G4S, Carillion, A4e and so on) and the only way they can is by doing it badly, on the cheap. And the government keeps giving these badly performing, target failing, agencies more contracts.

There are loads of examples in the 'chaos' thread and elsewhere.

I just copied this over to the political/covid thread https://britishexpats.com/forum/take.../#post12919411

Last edited by BristolUK; Oct 6th 2020 at 8:05 pm.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 8:41 pm
  #4440  
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Default Re: CORONAVIRUS PART II

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Yes, I believe it is using bluetooth exclusively.

By 'enabled', I meant, cooperating phones; any two phones that have this app installed/running. I can only imagine that when you install the app, bluetooth will be enabled if not already. It makes little sense to agree to install the app and then decide to disable bluetooth. So - you install the app, which makes sure bluetooth is enabled, and from that poin forward the app, via bluetooth, is looking for other phones (similarly enabled) in the vicinity. I don't believe 'bluetooth pairing' is involved. Pairing requires active user intervention and that would make zero sense in this context.

When I said 'dormant', what I meant was, any and all encounters between two phones (where both phones have this app installed) will be uploaded and stored somewhere, but no further action will be taken at that point; it's just 'data waiting to be used' (UPDATE - after reading more, the data is not uploaded at this point - see article below). If and when any one user is found to be +ve for Coronavirus, they are given a code, and that code is entered in the app, which then causes a search backwards of all encounters that occurred. Encounters more recent than 'x' days, and possibly longer in duration than 'y' minutes, will become relevant objects, and notifications sent to all associated phone holders.

Activating bluetooth is obviously a fundamental requirement for this app to work. The concepts of 'pairing' and 'discovery' are not directly relevant, I don't believe. This article describes it to some extent - https://www.wired.com/story/apple-go...cing-covid-19/ "The API will let those apps use a phone's Bluetooth radios—which have a range of about 30 feet—to keep track of whether a smartphone's owner has come into contact with ..." "Their phone would then constantly ping out Bluetooth signals to others nearby while also listening for communications from nearby phones." "If two phones spend more than a few minutes within range of one another, they would each record contact with the other phone, exchanging unique, rotating identifier “beacon” numbers that are based on keys stored on each device." "If a user is later diagnosed with Covid-19, they would alert their app with a tap. The app would then upload their last two weeks of keys to a server, which would then generate their recent “beacon” numbers and send them out to other phones in the system. If someone else's phone finds that one of these beacon numbers matches one stored on their phone, they would be notified". "What the app uploads instead of any identifying information is just this random number that the two phones would be able to track down later but that nobody else would, because it's stored locally on their phones".
Apple are notorious for not allowing apps to interact with the hardware directly. "Until now, however, Bluetooth-based schemes like the one ... described suffered from how Apple limits access to Bluetooth when apps run in the background of iOS, a privacy and power-saving safeguard. It will lift that restriction specifically for contact-tracing apps."
An excellent answer, thank you for that. I'll have a read of the linked-to article and come back with any supplemental questions if I may.

My understanding of Bluetooth obviously needs a bit of work: back in "the day" it was pushed as being secure, by which I understood 'mutual consent via pairing' and wasn't aware of anonymous ad-hoc peer to peer potential.

Jg, you can stand down with the whip and boots, if it looks to be getting nerdy we'll take it elsewhere.
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