At least seven million people will need to download the new NHS Test and Trace Covid app for it to start reducing the spread of the virus, according to government estimates.The new smartphone app was finally launched on Thursday, after months of setbacks, to allow users to find out quickly if they have been within close proximity of anyone with coronavirus and whether they need to get a test.It will also allow the public in England and Wales to scan for QR codes in specific locations such as pubs and restaurants, to make it easier if they need to be traced following any outbreaks.Developers of the app are working on the assumptions in Oxford University research which suggests that a minimum of 15% take-up is needed in a population in order to have any “meaningful impact” on the reproduction or ‘R’ number of the virus.With 49 million people over the age of 16 eligible to use the app in England and Wales, that means roughly seven million users will be required in order to affect the spread of the disease.The ‘R’ has risen above 1 in recent weeks, meaning the virus is now spreading rather than shrinking. Latest estimates are that cases are doubling every seven days. Other similar apps in Germany and elsewhere have seen take-up rates of between 10% and 30% and the UK’s pilot schemes in Newham and the Isle Of Wight have seen results within that range.However, earlier this year an Oxford University team had estimated that 56% of the general population must use an app to halt the outbreak - equivalent to 80% of all existing smartphone owners.The launch of the new technology will be accompanied by a primetime TV advert on Thursday night, with the slogan “Protect your loved ones. Get the app”.Most shops and restaurants will be required by law to display the official NHS QR codes in their premises. So far, more than 160,000 businesses have already downloaded the codes to help customers “check in” through their phones.The app’s contact tracing feature works by using low-energy Bluetooth to log the amount of time users spend near other app users, and measures the distance between them.Anyone who has spent more than 15 minutes less than two metres from someone else who later tests positive for Covid will then be alerted - even if they don’t know each other.The app will then advise on 10 or 14-day self-isolation and allow users to check symptoms, book a free test if needed and get their test results. Once a user is told to self-isolate, a timer feature will help count down the days left in quarantine and give access to relevant advice.New cash payments to the low paid are designed to remove fears the public may have about losing wages from self-isolation.In a bid to protect personal data, the app does not hold names, addresses or dates of birth, and only requires the first half of a user’s postcode to ensure local outbreaks can be managed. No personal data is shared with the government or the NHS.The app will be available in nine languages initially: English, Welsh, Urdu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Romanian, Arabic and Turkish.The app uses an Apple and Google-developed system, using Bluetooth to keep an anonymous log of people a user has been close to.The UK’s major network operators - including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, giffgaff, Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and Virgin Mobile - have agreed to “zero-rate” data charges incurred by all in-app activity, meaning they will not be charged for using it.Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are at a tipping point in our efforts to control the spread of this virus. With infection rates rising we must use every tool at our disposal to prevent transmission, including the latest technology.“Today’s launch marks an important step forward in our fight against this invisible killer and I urge everyone who can to download and use the app to protect themselves and their loved ones.”Dido Harding, the head of NHS Test and Trace, added: “The features of this app, including QR code check-in at venues, work alongside our traditional contact tracing service and will help us to reach more people quickly in their communities to prevent further spread of the virus.”Insiders said that the trials in east London and the Isle of Wight showed that word-of-mouth recommendation was a powerful driver in take-up of the technology.Related...
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People in Louisville, Kentucky, cried out upon hearing there would be no murder charges for the police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor — and then they marched. Early Wednesday afternoon, a Kentucky judge read out the charges in the Taylor case: Det. Brett Hankison, one of three officers involved, was charged with “wanton endangerment” — notably, for shots fired into neighbouring apartments, not Taylor’s. None of the three was charged with murder. As people who were gathered in Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park heard the announcement, some cried out “what the hell” and one woman burst into tears, saying, “They murdered her.” Dozens began marching in the downtown streets, with the crowd soon growing to hundreds. Some chanted: “If we didn’t get it, burn it down.”Within hours of demonstrations starting, videos showed police arresting protesters. Police also appeared to be firing munitions at protesters, which one reporter at the scene described as “pepper balls.”In March, Louisville police executed a warrant at the apartment of 26-year-old Taylor, who was Black, where she and her boyfriend were asleep. The warrant was for a narcotics investigation not involving Taylor or her boyfriend. Three officers, who were white, fired more than 20 gunshots, several of which hit Taylor, killing her. Her boyfriend, who said he didn’t hear police announce their presence before breaking into the apartment, shot one of the officers once in the leg. On Wednesday, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron spoke about the indictment, saying the other two officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were “justified in their use of force.”Taylor’s family attorney Ben Crump called the lack of charges “outrageous and offensive,” adding that Hankison’s charge “should have been ruled wanton murder.”“It’s yet another example of no accountability for the genocide of persons of colour by white police officers,” he said in a statement.Now women leading the crowd in #breonataylor march that started in downtown louisville. pic.twitter.com/Gmoe8lwFrA— Shay McAlister (@ShayMcAlisterTV) September 23, 2020Reactions in Downtown Louisville after the grand jury announced charges against just one of three officers involved in killing Breonna Taylor. pic.twitter.com/pNvNEphIjE— Charlie Gile (@CharlieGileNBC) September 23, 2020Huge crowd on the move in Louisville right now, several hundred taking to the streets in the wake of the Kentucky Attorney General’s announcement in the Breonna Taylor case #BreonnaTaylor#Louisvillepic.twitter.com/69W0HtrpoS— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) September 23, 2020Fists raised, #Louisville protesters take Kentucky St and Hancock St intersection following #BreonnaTaylor announcement. pic.twitter.com/HIrurV0PJe— Rae Hodge (@RaeHodge) September 23, 2020Two of the officers, Mattingly and Cosgrove, were placed on paid administrative leave, and Hankison was fired more than three months after the killing, following widespread protests. On Tuesday, Louisville’s mayor declared a state of emergency and blocked off part of downtown, and on Wednesday set a curfew and called in the National Guard, in anticipation of the announcement and the public unrest that was expected to follow. After another Black person, George Floyd, was killed by police in Minneapolis in May, protests spread nationwide against racism and police violence. Many activists swiftly called for renewed attention on Taylor’s death, noting Black women often don’t get the same level of public outrage as men. People have been protesting in Louisville for months calling for justice for Taylor, including murder charges for the officers involved.Related...
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Ellen DeGeneres said she “takes responsibility for what happens at my show” as she addressed the reports of a toxic work environment on her US talk show live on air.The presenter discussed the claims with viewers as The Ellen DeGeneres Show returned for a new series on Monday, vowing to “start a new chapter”. She has previously apologised to staff after an internal review found “deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management”.Addressing a virtual audience in the studio and those watching at home, Ellen said in her opening monologue: “If you’re watching because you love me, thank you. If you’re watching because you don’t love me, welcome.”After joking she had had a “great, super terrific” summer, Ellen continued: “I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected.“I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realise that with that comes responsibility. I take responsibility for what happens at my show.“We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future, we have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.”Of the claims she is not who she appears to be on TV, Ellen went on: “I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things...“Being known as the ‘be kind lady’ is a tricky position to be in,” she said, describing herself as a “work in progress”. Claims of an alleged toxic work culture on the daytime talk show were made in a Buzzfeed News investigation earlier this year. The outlet spoke to former employees who made allegations of racism, unfair dismissal, intimidation and an overall toxic environment, perpetuated by the show’s senior producers.Ellen added: “My intention is always to be the best person I can be and if I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that.“If that is ever the case I have let myself down and I’ve hurt myself as well because I always try to grow as a person.”Three of the show’s producers, Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman, “parted ways” with the show last month, according to CNN. Ellen also apologised to staff in an email, saying: “As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. “That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”READ MORE:
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(University of Colorado Denver) By studying 488 public airports in the United States, University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs researcher Serena Kim, PhD, found that 20% of them have adopted solar photovoltaic (PV), commonly known as solar panels, over the last decade.
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The AirPower wireless charging mat will probably be a source of shame for Apple for quite a while, at least until it finally launches its own official wireless charger. Until then, other companies will try to hit it while its down with their own versions of a three-in-one wireless charger. mophie has long been launching such accessories and it wasn’t … Continue reading
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