Another week with holidays, which is perceived anyway as a forced confinement in isolation. Usually you wait for the May holidays, as this is a small vacation, an opportunity to reboot, this year nothing like that happened. Alas. But there are so many events in the world that you only have time to turn your head. But globally, there is a feeling that we live in a looking glass, when in fact one thing happens, and something completely different is being put into the information agenda. This is clearly seen in the American stock market, perhaps, we will begin with this topic. Go!
- Corporations of America in Crisis – Why the Stock Market Is Rising
- Google and Apple Team Up Against Pandemic – User Tracking
- SpO2, blood pressure measurement on the Galaxy Watch – the era of coronavirus
- Clicking AirPods Pro – Apple’s solution
- Social monitoring application – continuation of the story
Corporations of America in Crisis – Why the Stock Market Is Rising
I just can’t bring myself to get used to the fact that there are many artificial structures in the world that refute common sense and are praised as something revolutionary, changing the way of life and creating a different kind of economy. From the very first day of Uber’s existence, it was not clear to me what prospects a company that burns money at such a speed could have. Books about Uber written by former employees are more detective fiction than manuscripts describing the business component, it remains behind the scenes, since it is an ephemeral thing. But America’s myth-making is so powerful that almost everyone knows that Uber has changed the transportation market, a revolution has occurred. They love to perform about the same motive in our latitudes, saying that this is the future of any economy and that we do not have such companies, this is a huge minus.
It is very easy to explain the absence of such companies in our Palestinians with such a scale of spending, we do not have such a developed stock market and an army of private investors who can be easily deceived. Part of the success of hyped companies with an investment business model is cheap money in unlimited quantities, multiplied by private investors, who then pay for the holiday of life when the new unicorn goes public.
Let’s take a look at Uber, the company is not only about travel, but also food delivery, which in these difficult times should give a new impetus to business. Last year, Uber lost $ 8.5 billion, and by the end of the year, management promised that the break-even point would be reached at the end of 2020. To understand the business model of Uber, it should be noted that the company was losing money from the very beginning, it never knew how to make it. And no changes, reorganizations have fixed this key moment – they are losing money, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. And if a few years ago at Uber they told the tale that autopilots would make the company’s business completely different, today even this myth has receded into the background, it has become boring for everyone. I love reading Uber’s quarterly reports because they are soothing, there is something constant in this world, in particular, the company’s losses.
In April, the number of trips fell by 80%, but this is just one of the numbers announced during the report, we are being prepared for difficult times. Quarterly, the first quarter was a completely different matter, with revenues of $ 3.54 billion and losses of $ 2.9 billion (this time it was a write-off of “minor investments”). Interestingly, the company’s financiers do not show much ingenuity and almost always bury losses in technology costs.
But do you know what amazes me about the history of Uber? The fact that the king is naked, everyone knows about it, but a huge mass of people believe that everything will be fine in the end, and these smart guys will figure out how to do the impossible – to become a strong player and come up with a model in which all investors will start making money. In a conversation with an American friend of mine who had a decent investment in Uber shares, I heard an explanation that struck me: “If they can’t find a way to make money, they will die. But they definitely don’t want to die, so they’ll tense up and do it. ” Some kind of Hollywood approach to business, through overcoming to victory. This confuses me very much, as it looks at least strange.
But a huge number of people are quite seriously talking about the fact that everything in the market is great and therefore the stocks of companies are not just growing, they are playing back previous falls and are now trading at levels similar to those before the pandemic. For example, Apple shares soared again, the company’s capitalization exceeded a trillion, analysts predict a bright future and say that everything turned out to be not so scary and everything is fine in the world.
Last week, the unemployment rate in the US grew a little more, during the week 3.2 million people filed applications. The total number of applications reached 33.5 million, which is about 15% of the number of working people. There has never been such a level of unemployment in the United States, including during the Great Depression, although here you probably need to compare relative values, talk about the size of the economy then and now. These are unprecedented numbers, nothing like this has ever happened in the world’s largest economy. Against this background, it is interesting to read good news from analysts, the unemployment rate is not so high, everything turned out to be much better, and therefore they assess the prospects of the companies as bright.
The money allocated in the United States to support the business is used by many companies for other purposes, for example, Apple seized the moment to raise $ 8.5 billion at minimal interest, this money will be used to pay dividends, as well as to buy back shares. Of course, there is no question of saving Apple, the company’s finances are in order, it has long turned into a financial instrument in which products play a secondary role. And many American corporations do exactly the same.
To assess the real state of the economy, you need to look at the basic types of business with state participation, they reflect what is happening and are a kind of indicators of the situation. For example, the US Postal Service has never been a business that makes money, but in the first quarter, losses doubled, losses were $ 4.5 billion, they doubled. In the first quarter of 2019, compensation to employees of the company reached $ 771 million, which is more or less the usual amount of mail costs. In the first quarter of this year, due to the pandemic, compensation rose to $ 2.99 billion! It’s not hard to calculate how this affected the company. Top executives at the company say the pandemic will wipe out about $ 2020 billion in revenues in 13, and the negative impact will spread to at least the next 18 months.
One gets the impression that state-owned companies are whipping up negative pressure because they want additional funding, and this is understandable. While corporations, on the other hand, try to ignore the impact of the pandemic, pretend that it does not affect them as much. The reality is nevertheless closer to the assessments of state-owned companies, since they are also overly optimistic about how this crisis will go.
It’s nice that there is a place on the planet where they believe that this crisis does not play any role, almost does not affect the market and people’s ability to buy goods, from phones to planes. But this is just a utopia that does not find a single confirmation in reality. It’s like the history of Uber, but taken to a fundamentally different level. People believe that there are unshakable things, for example, the economy cannot fall so much that sales of leading corporations will fall. It is just a belief, not supported by facts. Roughly the same degree of madness was during the US mortgage crisis, but then both the crisis itself and the fall of companies were not as noticeable as today.
The spell that we see today from American companies is very dangerous in the medium term. They simply do not have time to prepare for how this crisis will develop. And if in Asia companies begin to downsize their staff, cut production and supply chains, put in order finances, then the corporate world of the United States lives as if there are temporary difficulties and a growing market awaits us. In the long term, this approach will weaken all American companies, there will be no exceptions. Someone will suffer more, someone less, but it will hit everyone. Why is it important? The answer lies on the surface – in a US trade war against China, this will provide the latter with an advantage and possibly even victory.
This realization is gradually coming to a number of politicians in the United States, and in the coming months we will see attempts to play back many situations, for example, to find ways to resolve the conflict over Huawei. They themselves made this porridge and themselves will try to disentangle it. The piquancy of the situation is given by the fact that Huawei is in full swing implementing the replacement of American technologies in its products and is doing it quite successfully, they have chances to become a competitor to Google in their part of the world (this is not only China, but also India, Russia and a number of other countries). … A successful competitor. And in the field of infrastructure, they, as they were, remain the leaders. The world of technology has always depended on politics, but today the future of technology depends directly on politicians and nobody else. We live in interesting times, and then it will only get more interesting.
Google and Apple Team Up Against Pandemic – User Tracking
A month ago, both Google and Apple announced that they would create special APIs on their platforms to track those with COVID-19 and alert other users. Later, these technologies will become part of iOS and Android, that is, they will be implemented at the system level. There was a lot of enthusiasm about the fact that two direct competitors united around a problem affecting all of humanity, I did not want to express my opinion until recently, since it lies in a different plane and I consider this initiative pointless.
But first, let’s take a look at what the companies offer. First of all, the user is asked to install an application from the Play Store / App Store, in which he will track the state of people around. That is, participation in the program is absolutely voluntary, there are no obligations forcing you to install such an application, it is your choice. And this makes such an approach already questionable, because not all residents of a particular country will install such an application, not everyone will want to see what is happening around them.
The next moment, which seems strange to me. The person himself must mark in the application that he is sick. Can you imagine what kind of consciousness a person should have? So that he noted himself as sick and at the same time unconsciously continued to move along the streets of cities, having the opportunity to infect other people. The creators of this approach live in a fictional world, this story has nothing to do with reality. Alas, this is so.
Technically, catching patients looks very simple – your smartphone constantly scans the environment via Bluetooth, if a patient who has marked his status in the application is next to you for five minutes, then your application notes that you have a danger of infection and suggests switching to quarantine mode ( here, of course, it all depends on the application itself and how the developers created it). Each country assumes that there will be only one application so as not to create confusion.
Apple and Google do not want to create a centralized storage system, warnings that someone is sick must be private. That is, they are stored exclusively on users’ phones. No servers, no personal information disclosure. Let’s pretend for a second that you are a bully who wants to annoy the people around you. You install the application, indicate that you are sick, and just lead your usual lifestyle. The number of potentially infected people around you begins to grow daily! You do not bear any responsibility, you are anonymous, and companies do not have the right to disclose your data to anyone. This is hooliganism that can make many people nervous, make them go to the doctors or even go into quarantine. As you can see, it is very easy to break the system, it will not be difficult.
It is another matter if such a system is created with the support of states, when the “infected” status is issued by medical workers, it will not be possible to enable it on its own. That is, it will be a confirmed diagnosis by the state. But this means the end of privacy, the transfer of all user data to the address of the states, which neither Apple nor Google simply can do. Both companies have driven themselves into a trap, their current approach simply does not work, and neither corporation is capable of giving up privacy, this will be a blow to all their services. One of the Russian companies did not hesitate at all when it began to cooperate in a similar way with the state; as part of a pilot project, it transmits all data about its users that they have an order to stay at home. That is, the state reports some data about people, and the company then monitors users and their movements. All this is happening within the framework of a pilot project, affecting “a small part of people in one region”. This topic is interesting to me, and I would like more technical details, details. Therefore, if you have them and you are ready to share them, then write. As always, we protect the sources of information, so you don’t have to worry about it. Information about a taxi and tracking movements in it is not very relevant, since it is clear how everything works in this case.
A special charm of the situation is given by the fact that European countries have introduced strict standards of user privacy, have repeatedly punished American companies for collecting personal data. And now privacy advocates, on the other hand, are demanding that Apple and Google give up this privacy in order to search for those who are infected or could potentially become infected. This proves once again that for Europeans, privacy was an excuse to get additional income from IT companies in America. But in any case, the approach of Apple and Google is such that it will not work in practice. There are too many flaws in the idea inherent in the approach itself, and contradictions that cannot be easily resolved. Be sure to read the continuation of the story about the Social Monitoring application, hell goes on there, you can’t put it any other way.
This article contains all the applications from different countries that track those infected with the virus.
SpO2, blood pressure measurement on the Galaxy Watch – the era of coronavirus
At the same time, several people wrote with about the same question, how much you can trust the SpO2 level measurements (blood oxygen saturation) taken by a watch or a smartphone. The answer is clearly useful to many, since the threat of infection with the virus and complications from it has awakened not only fears, but also the desire to protect oneself from this, to catch the disease at home. An obvious device for this is an oximeter, it allows you to measure the saturation of blood with oxygen. The less oxygen there is in the blood, the potentially worse the lungs work and there are some problems.
Such devices have been known for a long time, they are widespread. An oximeter (often called a pulse oximeter) shines through the skin on a finger, measures the reflected light, and determines the shape of the hemoglobin. It is a non-invasive, simple way to measure blood oxygen saturation. And at first glance, the number of medical devices is huge, the cost of oximeters starts from 3-4 thousand rubles and rises to 30-40 thousand for professional models. The problem lies in the fact that the structure of the skin is different for everyone, someone has a rough epithelium, someone is covered with scars, or, on the contrary, constantly uses creams. All this gives a noticeable error in measurements; it is impossible to achieve absolute accuracy in simple instruments. It should also be understood that when measuring in bright light, you can introduce an additional error, therefore, all measurements are recommended to be carried out in a darkened room. Such a device may indicate a trend, but not be the ultimate truth. In everyday life, the SpO2 indicator is important only for professional athletes and those who have problems with blood, lungs, but they will certainly use other, not the most popular solutions.
In the line of Samsung smartphones, sensors appeared a long time ago that allow you to measure the SpO2 parameter, up to the Galaxy S10 line, inclusive, such sensors can be found on the back of the smartphone, next to the camera.
Then they refused from the hardware sensors, and a little earlier in S Health the SpO2 measurement card disappeared. Throughout my life, I really needed these sensors in the Pamirs, when we drove at least 400-500 kilometers a day and constantly changed altitudes. Mountain sickness overtook quickly, it was difficult to prepare for it. The measurements made it possible to assess how critical everything is or not, my Galaxy helped with this and made it easier to make decisions. Yes, for sure it was not the most accurate data, but they were useful in order to understand what was happening and how.
The reason for the disappearance of both the sensors and the measurements themselves is that the scientific community considered smartphones to be unable to measure SpO2 correctly. In 2015, there was a lot of work and discussion about how accurate such data are. The answer was the same – they are exactly as wrong as most inexpensive devices that do not have medical certification. Suddenly it turned out that in addition to the measurement algorithm, which is available to everyone without exception and is very simple, you need to have a large set of statistical data, take into account the patient’s skin type, his nationality and much, much more, for example, age. It was impossible to do all this in conventional household appliances.
Samsung was afraid to come under fire and therefore removed this parameter. Instead, there is an indistinct stress level that is derived from SpO2 and other parameters such as heart rate.
Unfortunately, with the help of the stress level, it is impossible to directly understand what the level of oxygen in the blood is. If you have Samsung smartphones with an SpO2 sensor, then in this section you will find this measurement, it was returned back some time ago (and all this is thanks to the epidemic, oddly enough).
But if you have new smartphones, then there is no such sensor. Samsung smartwatches are able to measure this parameter and even do it, but you won’t be able to see it explicitly in the application. You need to enable constant measurement of stress level in the settings, and then download your data to your smartphone, you can find the SpO2 measurement in the files. Alas, there is no easy way to read them, I hope someone will write an application that can decrypt personal data received from S Health, give statistics in a digestible form. Someone claims that SpO2 appears on the card automatically with constant stress measurement, but this did not happen for me. Alas.
The company was clearly burnt on the fact that the method was not medically accurate, and therefore hid it from users. After all, a smartphone is not a medical device, and attempts to certify it in this quality are very difficult, as well as the inability to sell it after that in regular stores. The legislation of most countries lags far behind, hence the impossibility to widely offer also the measurement of pressure on watches.
Answering the question with which our excursion began, I want to say that the SpO2 sensor in mobile devices is a very relative thing, it definitely lies. Someone has this lie in a few percent, somewhere even more (it just shows the level of 95-99%, although the real level may be 80-85% and the person does not feel well). It is not necessary to assume that this is an accurate instrument, but it can show a trend. And in this capacity, such sensors can and should be used, on Samsung they are more or less accurate. We had material comparing different bracelets, but there were no measurements under load (breath holding), there was no oximeter to compare the readings with the medical level of the device. Therefore, this is just a comparison with each other, and even in such material, discrepancies between different models are visible. Let me remind you that many smart bracelets and watches measure the heart rate for sausages, potatoes and other inanimate objects, this is how the algorithm works (shows the latest measurements to demonstrate that it works).
Speaking about measuring body indicators, I want to talk about the ability to measure blood pressure on the smart watch Galaxy Watch Active / Active 2. Samsung originally planned to make this function available to everyone in the first quarter of 2020, but now the plans have been postponed. And the reasons lie exactly on the same plane, there are too many questions, research is needed to confirm the accuracy of such measurements. Samsung selected the University of California, San Francisco and the non-profit research company Sage as research partners.
Unfortunately, the My BP Lab 2.0 application is not available in Russia, it can be officially downloaded in five countries of the world. But taking out the SIM, erasing all of the app store data from Samsung, and logging in with a VPN and pretending to be in the US will put it on. This is a research project, and you will be asked to answer questions, constantly observe yourself, and the registration itself is furious, albeit uncomplicated.
I don’t really need the application on my smartphone, rather the settings of the application for the watch are important. Once you set it up, you can measure your blood pressure without using your smartphone. The main thing is to calibrate the watch during the initial setup, for this you need any tonometer, which will give you the measurement results. And that’s it! After that, you can measure your pressure from the watch at any time; this cannot be done in automatic mode. Also, do not move, as a failure will occur and you will have to start all over again.
And my attitude to this possibility is exactly the same, not very accurate data, but the ability to measure pressure on the go is good. This is rather a starting point, and nothing more. I hope that in the future such measurements will receive medical justification and in watches they will become the norm. While the laws of different countries are an obstacle, manufacturing companies do not risk opening these opportunities to the public, although they are physically present in the devices. The described workaround allows you to get this opportunity, albeit crookedly, but you may find it useful.
Clicking AirPods Pro – Apple’s solution
Beginning in November 2019, some AirPods Pro buyers were faced with clicks in their headphones, or one of the headphones was making such unpleasant sounds, or both. The company is silent about the fact that one of the headphones can “fall off”, the volume of the sound walks in it. But after the massive requests for clicks went, Apple still acknowledged this problem. Let me remind you that headphones cost 21 thousand rubles, this is a rather expensive accessory.
You can find a description of the actions here.
The problem can sometimes be that the headphones are dirty and need to be cleaned, this also happens. But I would venture to suggest that, as usual, there was a manufacturing defect, but they prefer to keep silent about this. At the moment, the headphones are produced in several factories, due to the fact that the demand for AirPods Pro turned out to be higher than planned in November, their production was expanded to another Chinese factory. Clicks appeared around the same time on new headsets. It is clear that only Apple can tell by the numbers which factory this problem came from, but it is not software in most cases, but is exclusively related to the build quality, the quality of components. And that is why, when dealing with this problem, headphones are replaced with new ones.
Moreover, this is also supported by the fact that they want to leave the AirPods Pro in one factory in China, but move the younger model to production in Vietnam. The shuffling of factories is clearly related to build quality as well. If such headphones do not work for you, then bring them to Apple’s service, they will be replaced for you. In any case, until it becomes a mass story, the company replaces the marriage, and what will happen next is unclear.
Social monitoring application – continuation of the story
Last week I talked about the situation with the Social Monitoring application, published a letter from Alexander, I advise you to read the plot of the story if you haven’t read it.
At the end of the week, Alexander called and said that the circus continues, he received fines that he cannot dispute until they come in paper form. The situation is grotesque, in which fines are written out regularly, but in fact they cannot be substantiated. And these are not isolated cases. The continuation of Alexander’s story can be read here.
On the other hand, most of those who did not get into this situation do not give a damn about everything that happens from the high bell tower. Here is one of the comments from the post:
Eldar, read Spillikins and about the application of the Moscow mayor’s office. But first about myself. I live in Moscow, rent an apartment, my family is from Taganrog. We’ve been here for almost ten years. You urge to spread a link to your text, describe how the mayor’s office is wrong. You may have nothing to lose, but I have something. The City Hall will probably count all the protesters and then arrange a fun life. Do you believe you can change something? Level XNUMX naivety. I don’t know Alexander exists or he is invented, but it is irresponsible to urge people to risk themselves and their families. Easier to find money and pay.
You know, I do not know the person who wrote to me, he did not leave his phone number, and does not answer letters. But it looks like a mockery, I can’t find another word. This position is not close to me at all, and the fact that the inoperative application of the mayor’s office brings pain and suffering to people, I see from the dozens of stories and letters that I receive. And this is a small part of everything that happens. I will publish two letters to give you an understanding of the hell that has created in the Moscow mayor’s office and how they harm the citizens of their own city. The first letter from Alexander (this is another Alexander).
Eldar, good afternoon.
They write on the Internet that you are preparing an article about Social Monitoring.
Perhaps I am one of the victims of the miracle of the Social Monitoring application. I am at home in quarantine, with covid, I received a message about the need to install this application. As I put it, the phone began to overheat, slow down, consume the battery. From time to time, the application asked to send a photo, then it stopped, but SMS came with the text “You have been sent a request for mandatory identification. To pass identification, open the Social Monitoring application. Technical support phone number +74958707296. ”, While in the application itself the photo did not allow sending and there was no push. At the moment I have four fines of 4t.r.
I managed to get through to the Glavkontrol in Moscow, where the woman sent me with my claims to the “electronic reception” or go to the post office to send a paper letter. They said that maybe the application was installed late, so get fines. Pneumonia, fever, this is not the main thing, but you need to follow the phone turns out.
And here is a letter from Alexey Puzanov, the text is given unchanged:
Good afternoon. I want to share with you how I quarantined at home. On April 25th I felt really bad; it was difficult to breathe, my chest and back were very painful. It became so hard that I had to call myself an ambulance. At about 23:XNUMX an ambulance arrives, measures my body temperature, my temperature is normal. The ambulance doctor offers to do a computed tomography in the nearest place where there is for this. I was being taken, as I found out later, to the city polyclinic No. 64 of the Health Department of the city. Moscow In the polyclinic, they measure my temperature again, do a computed tomography of the chest cavity organs, take smears to test for the presence of coronavirus, ask questions to which I can hardly answer because of the pain. In this state, I sign a decree on the isolation of a person suspected of a new coronavirus infection with a diagnosis of acute respiratory disease. Half past three in the night I find myself on the street with a quarantine order in my hands and not knowing how to get home. I return to the clinic and find out the address. I call myself a taxi. A taxi arrives. The taxi driver asks me for a digital pass, it’s good that I had one. I get home. I am in quarantine, I do not leave the house. The decree says that I give my consent to the processing of data in order to control the movement of people in isolation at home by installing the Social Monitoring mobile application. 26.04.2020/XNUMX/XNUMX as soon as I get home I install this application for myself. The attachment says that a confirmation request should come, where I should send a photo of my location. There is no reaction until April 29. I uninstall the app and reinstall it. All these actions are confirmed by SMS passwords that I send to install the application. I never received a request to send my position. In the afternoon of March 30, a miracle happens to me, I receive a call that I must confirm my position. I am sending my photo through the application. After about an hour, I get another call to confirm my location, about three hours later again. In total, on April 30, I confirmed my location 3 times. And at this time, my chest continues to hurt and pains appear in the region of the heart. On May 1, not a single call was made to confirm my position. On May 2 at 11:42 am I receive an SMS with the text “Attention! You have violated the isolation mode. We ask you to stay in quarantine and not leave your place of residence. ” The application counts the time for me how long the coordinates are updated. I immediately send an email to the technical service that the application does not work for me. I call different numbers to find out the phone number of the technical support service, as a result, the telemedicine dispatcher gives the phone number of this service +7 495 870 72 96. Only on May 3, by the middle of the day, the application was remotely corrected for me. Since all this time I have severe pains in my heart and chest, I call an ambulance. The ambulance doctors give me an EKG and say that I have an exacerbation of osteochondrosis, give me an injection of ketorolac and leave. Honestly, I don’t get up practically all these days. And so I continue, on May 4 and 5, the application works fine. On May 6, the application once requested to take a photo and broke. On May 6, I go to public services, I get two fines of 4 thousand rubles each. rubles. I am a lonely person, unemployed, my life has been turned into hell, this is not a treatment, this is a direct mockery of a person. Please look at the Play Store reviews of the Social Monitoring application, where people just scream out of their indignation and the fines coming to them. I ask for your help in covering this outrage. All documents related to this event are ready to provide you in electronic form. Help us please. PS
How do you like this story? And this is just a part of the letters that I received.
In technical support, they say in a voice that due to a failure, all fines will be removed, but at the moment there is simply no confirmation of this information anywhere. The mayor’s office creates a mess with fines, people are nervous and worried, they already have enough problems to add these because of the inoperative application. This is wrong, this is bad. And I will not tire of repeating it.
Perhaps I am an idealist. But I believe that we need to do everything possible to change such situations and achieve justice. And I believe that it is possible. To do this, you need just a little so that you stop shaking because of the imaginary problems that can cause you, because of the inconvenience that you need to say something publicly under your name. And just saying that I don’t like it is the wrong approach. And if you are not up to it, then what can you basically talk about? Everything will remain unchanged, and your contribution to this will be maximized.
PS Have a good working week, a peaceful sky over your head. And with the last May 9! I wish you and your children always have a peaceful sky overhead. Good luck in good deeds!
Back to content >>>
we are in social networks:
Anything to add ?! Write … firstname.lastname@example.org