Zoom- Encryption for All; Lyft-100% EVs by 2030; UK Switches to Google/Apple Contact Tracing App; Stanford Wizards Re-Engineer Facemasks for COVID-19Posted: June 18, 2020
Zoom has backpedaled, and will now bring end to end encryption to all users. 9to5mac.com notes that previously, they had said it wouldn’t be offered to free users. At that time the platform claimed they wanted to prevent ‘illegal use.’ Free users will get the E2EE in a beaty release coming in July, along with paid accounts. Zoom will use AES 256 GCM transport encryption as the default…one of the strongest encryption standards in use right now.
Lyft has announced that every vehicle on its ride-hailing and rental car platform will be and EV by 2030….but unbelievably, they won’t be providing direct financial support to drivers to switch from gas to electric. Reuters.com reports that the company will push competitors, lawmakers, and automakers to make it easier for drivers to switch to EVs by creating financial incentives. Right now, the Lyft fleet is less than 1% electric cars. Lyft claims that if policy makers ‘do their part,’ over the next few years, EVs should reach parity with gas vehicles by mid-decade.
The UK has had a change of heart on contact tracing for the coronavirus, and will now use the Apple and Google API. According to engadget.com, the Brits had planned to use a centralized model so that researchers could get more data, that could be better used to fight the virus. the decentralized method used in the Google/Apple API protects the users’ identities. No word yet on when the updated app will be released in Britain. So far, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have not signed on to the initiative.
A couple of bright minds at Stanford have come up with an advancement that will make wearing N95 masks over long hours, as many pros have been doing, safer and healthier. Research Scientist John Xu has teamed with mechanical engineer Friedrich Prinz on a mask that is fed through a tube with oxygen gleaned in a waist mounted device. the N95 masks filter out 95% or more of small particulate matter, including the COVID-19 virus…but it’s a trade off. In a piece from stanford.edu,
it is pointed out that in filtering those particles, the mask also makes it harder to breathe. N95 masks are estimated to reduce oxygen intake by anywhere from 5 to 20 percent. That’s significant, even for a healthy person. It can cause dizziness and lightheadedness. If you wear a mask long enough, it can damage the lungs. For a patient in respiratory distress, it can even be life threatening. The device generates clean, pure oxygen via an electrochemical process to supplement loss of oxygen caused by wearing the mask over long hours. They hope to get the mask and generator into the hands of first responders doctors, nurses, and the like as soon as possible.