Uganda Starts Mass Production of its First Smartphone | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Gadgets Africa.

Uganda will begin manufacturing its first smartphones through SIMI – a brand of smartphone makers that are said to have the average customer specifically in mind. The phones currently focus on one major aspect, battery life. The ‘regular’ non-smartphones can last up to at least two weeks and can charge via Solar power too.
The smartphones have a battery capacity of at least two days. Currently, SIMI has the capacity to make 2000 phones a day. SIMI has already flagged off an 18,000 phone consignment that Uganda is exporting to Morocco sometime soon.
The company also wants to involve university students in the development of apps and software for the handsets.
Together with the production of the smartphones comes new regulations in the country, where phone importers should start preparing themselves for a new 10% tax an all internationally imported smartphones. This is in a bid to limit the importation of the handsets and increase the purchase of smartphones being manufactured locally, such as those that SIMI is producing.

According to Evelyn Anite, Minister of Investment and Privatisation in Uganda, the government is going to start giving incentives and priority to firms that produce products or components needed by the government such as computers and smartphones.
Gadgets Africa writes that the minister is claiming that Ugandans are importing up to 5 million phones a year alone, and without paying tax on them. Thus, to promote the sale of ‘African phones’, the government is looking to slap a 10% tax on foreign phones.
“It is now 10% but will shoot to 25%. This is because we want to create demand for these phones. We have been donating jobs and money to other nationals. As Ugandans, we must embrace our products,” Anite says.
However, some Ugandan citizens are against this new policy. That increasing the already-expensive prices of some smartphones will only increase the digital divide in the country.

Smartphones are already incredibly expensive. This will only lead to an increase in the digital divide. Who advises these MPs.?
— Ayella Brian | 老人 🇺🇬 (@AyellaBryan) May 24, 2020

Edited by Luis Monzon
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Estonia starts testing digital immunity passport for workplaces – Security – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

TALLINN (Reuters) – Estonia has started to test one of the world’s first digital immunity passports, created by a team including founders of global tech startups Transferwise and Bolt, seeking a safer return to workplaces following the coronavirus lockdown.
A digital immunity passport collects testing data and enables people to share their immunity status with a third party, like an employer, using a temporary QR-code generated after digital authentication.
“Digital immunity passport aims to diminish fears and stimulate societies all over the globe to move on with their lives amidst the pandemic,” said Taavet Hinrikus, founder of Transferwise and a member of Back to Work, the non-governmental organisation developing the passport.
Many countries and businesses are rushing to develop apps for contact-tracing.
In addition to technology entrepreneurs, Back to Work includes local medical experts and state officials. Radisson hotels and food producer PRFoods are among the first companies that have started to test the passport.
“We are seeking every solution to have our employees back to work and clients sleeping in our hotels again,” said Kaido Ojaperv, CEO of Radisson Blu Sky Hotel at Tallinn.
Estonia, which has so far recorded 64 deaths due to COVID-19 and 1,791 infections, has started to ease the lockdown measures this month, and opened last week with Lithuania and Latvia the first “travel bubble” within the European Union.
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Fitbit starts study to test if devices can detect irregular heart rhythms – Benchmarking Change- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Fitbit Inc on Wednesday launched a virtual study to test if its wearable devices can detect irregular heart rhythms or atrial fibrillation.
The hardware to detect irregular beats is present in FitBit’s devices, but is not available to consumers. Device users who enroll in the study will be allowed to test it in order for Fitbit to seek regulatory review.
Fitbit, which , said in October that it planned to develop a method to detect irregular heartbeats that would match the feature available on rival Apple Inc’s Watch.
At the time, Fitbit said it would partner with the Bristol-Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance on how to communicate with patients about the condition, but did not say when it would begin trials to gain approval from health authorities in the United States and elsewhere for its detection algorithm.
Fitbit said the study announced Wednesday will fill that purpose and generate data for its regulatory submissions around the world. The study will be led by Steven Lubitz, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
It is open to individuals in the United States who are over 22 years of age over and own Fitbit devices that can track heart rates, such as the “Ionic” and “Versa” models. Fitbit aims to enroll hundreds of thousands of people for the study.
Atrial fibrillation, the most common form of heart rhythm irregularity, increases the risk of stroke and is usually prevalent among people above 65 years.

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Aussie Broadband starts rolling its own fibre to NBN POIs – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Aussie Broadband has started work on its own dark fibre network that will ultimately connect to over 75 NBN points of interconnect and 24 data centres across Australia.
Managing director Phillip Britt said that construction on stage one is underway, which comprises a 20km fibre loop around the Melbourne CBD and Port Melbourne, worth $1.8 million.
“The purpose of this project is to transition our connectivity to NBN POIs onto our own fibre network,” Britt said in a statement.
“This will provide additional benefits such as faster capacity upgrades, improved redundancy, and the opportunity to develop new products.”
In addition to connecting the Exhibition and Port Melbourne NBN POIs, the Melbourne loop will also “pick up key data centres including Interactive, NextDC M1, Equinix ME1, and two data centres in 530 Collins Street,” Britt said.
The Melbourne loop is expected to be completed by the end of July 2020.
Britt said on Whirlpool that the timing for future phases of construction is still being worked through.
“We plan to build fully diverse routes to over 75 NBN POIs and 24 key data centres across Australia,” he said.
The project is being built using 720-core optic fibre manufactured in Australia by Prysmian. 

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Intuit QuickBooks starts program to help small businesses & accountants in India during COVID-19- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Intuit QuickBooks today announced that it is starting a program called Consult an Expert to support small businesses and accountants in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is the world’s online leading financial management solution for small business owners and accountants.
The Consult an Expert program will provide free, timely, relevant and virtual advice from a pool of experts to small businesses and accountants in the country. Small businesses can now connect with an Intuit QuickBooks’ verified expert and get advice on tax filing, managing a virtual business, collaborating with an accountant and financial planning for the new fiscal. Accountants can leverage the advisors to learn about on managing a virtual firm and consulting plus supporting their clients during this time.
Talking about the program, Aditi Puri Batra, Country Manager, Intuit QuickBooks India, said, “At Intuit QuickBooks India, we recognize the challenges that confront small businesses and accountants from the constantly changing COVID-19 situation. They have to quickly adapt to new ways of working and maintain their financial health as well. This program aims to help them run their business, serve their customers, and manage their employees more effectively in today’s environment. This includes how they can continue running their business in a virtual environment, best practices for working remotely and getting ahead on their financial situation. We have brought on board professionals with expertise in accounting, taxation, budgeting, payroll, cloud accountings, Goods and Services Tax, management reporting, compliance, to cover a number of aspects of financial management relevant to our customers. Along with this these experts are also early adopters of technology and have a wealth of experience in managing their practice virtually.
 Apart from the Consult an Expert program, Intuit QuickBooks India has created a COVID-19 microsite to equip small businesses and accountants with important and relevant information on how they can prepare for business continuity, communicate with their customers and support their employees during the virus outbreak. The content ranges from useful tips on financial preparedness, workplace prevention, best practices for remote work, boosting employee morale among others. Links to Indian government resources like the Ministry of Health and Family welfare along with links to articles from the QuickBooks India blog have also been provided. The content on the microsite is periodically updated.

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NBN Co starts testing feasibility of mmWave for future fixed wireless – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

NBN Co has commenced feasibility trials for the delivery of broadband services in millimetre-wave spectrum, which it sees as a potential long-term upgrade path for its current fixed wireless footprint.
The company said in a heavily-redacted regulatory filing [pdf] that it is “undertaking trials to validate the feasibility of using the 26GHz and 28GHz band spectrum over very long ranges (approximately 10km)” for the delivery of fixed wireless broadband services.
“Our studies, and those of our technology partners provide high levels of confidence that the long-range use would allow NBN Co to have significant flexibility to maximise our deployment and upgrade options,” it said.
“This long-range approach is enabled by our unique network topology with 100 percent external CPEs [customer premises equipment], and largely line of sight deployment in regional and rural areas.”
NBN Co first flagged millimetre-wave (mmWave) – a type of 5G – as an upgrade path for fixed wireless back in mid-2018.
It started laying the groundwork to be allocated enough mm-Wave spectrum at the end of 2018.
The public-facing documentation does not reveal how far into feasibility trials NBN Co is, though much of the detail is redacted.
NBN Co argued that “any allocation” of mmWave spectrum to it would improve services for customers and “facilitate competition between all NBN Co’s fixed wireless retail service providers in downstream markets”.
It said there are currently “more than 20” retail service providers in the market competing for NBN fixed wireless users.
“Competition will be enhanced and driven where we provide a quality fixed wireless network that efficiently uses spectrum and is upgradable where required,” NBN Co said.
“We anticipate that the outcome of our long-range trials will verify that NBN Co is able to utilise the acquired spectrum in an economically efficient manner.”

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Half-Life: Alyx pre-loading starts Friday, here’s how to score a free copy – Blog – 10 minute

Bottom line: Virtual reality hasn’t exactly caught on as rapidly as some anticipated due to several factors. A quality game from a flagship franchise like Half-Life, however, could go a long way to help further the movement.
The first official Half-Life game in well over a decade is set to arrive early next week and in a matter of days, you’ll be able to start pre-loading it.
Valve in a recent Twitter post said Steam pre-loading will begin this Friday, March 18, ahead of the game’s launch on March 23 at 10 a.m. Pacific.
Half-Life: Alyx is set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2 and tells “the story of an impossible fight against a vicious alien race known as the Combine.” Curiously enough, it’s a virtual reality exclusive meaning you’ll need some sort of VR headset to play it. Fortunately, it is compatible with most major offerings including the Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest and Windows Mixed Reality devices.

Interested parties can pre-purchase the game as of writing with a 10 percent discount, bringing the cost down to just $53.99.
Worth mentioning is the fact that Valve Index buyers will get the game for free. What’s more, it was revealed today that the Vive Cosmos Elite will also ship with a free copy of Half-Life: Alyx.
In addition to a VR headset, Valve recommends a PC with at least a Core i5-7500 / Ryzen 5 1600 CPU, 12GB of RAM and a GTX 1060 / RX 580 – 6GB VRAM graphics card.

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NBN Co starts connecting up Australian airports – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

NBN Co is now deploying infrastructure to three airports – Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney – and negotiating site access to a fourth in Brisbane as part of its work connecting up more complex premises to the network.
Executives told a senate estimates hearing on Tuesday night that domestic and international airports were among 100,000 premises where the build was so complex that works would continue after the completion of the “volume rollout” in mid-2020.
“We’re working on very complex premises at the moment,” chief network deployment officer Kathrine Dyer said.
“For example we’re constructing [the network] to Canberra Airport, Melbourne Airport and Sydney Airport. 
“We’re still having negotiations with Brisbane Airport – we haven’t started construction on that airport.”
Dyer said that NBN Co was unable to use land access powers contained in federal telecommunications laws to complete the airport works. 
“We very much need to work in collaboration with the airports to construct to those premises,” she said.
Dyer said that for any rollout work performed “beyond June, the intention is to have a construction plan and a date, so if something is not able to connect to the NBN there’ll be a reason for that with a construction plan of when they’ll be able to connect.”
CEO Stephen Rue said in his opening statement that around 4500 premises “in the heart of Parramatta” in Sydney’s west were roughly in the same boat, with work in the area subject to NBN Co securing an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit (AHIP).
The City of Parramatta council notes that its geographic area has “places and items that are important to the local Aboriginal community or Aboriginal people of NSW. These are places or objects that people have a connection to, both physically and spiritually.”
“We need to step through the required controls and approvals and adopt the correct culturally-sensitive approach to the design and construction of NBN infrastructure,” Rue said.
“We simply can’t complete the build before June. These are complex and sensitive sites and really can’t be rushed.”
Target tussle
Last night’s hearings were more animated than usual as NBN Co was quizzed on missed annual revenue and activation targets laid out in successive corporate plans.
The line of questioning led to political sparring between Labor and Coalition representatives.
Rue, however, said that individual “line item” misses were less important than whether or not the company would meet its overall objectives.
Additionally, he said, NBN Co had set aside several billion dollars in contingency funding that it could call upon to cover any missed projections.
“When you look at any long-range plan you’ve got to look at where you will be at the end of the project,” he said.
“There will be intermediary steps but it’s where you will be at the end of the project.”
Rue said that the project would land “within a [cost] range of $46-56 billion and with the volume part of the rollout completed by mid-2020.
“When you look at any individual line item over multiple years there’ll always be variations,” he said.
“When you lay out a long term plan a contingency is in place for things that move within year by year. “What’s actually important is where you end up.
“The way you must look at this is how much the build of NBN cost over a period of time and what’s the timeframe in which the build will be completed. 

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Ruptly starts year by topping global YouTube rankings- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Award-winning international news and media agency, Ruptly, has announced two milestones for its YouTube channel – it has secured one million subscribers and been named number one on Tubular Labs’ recent ranking of the top 30 global news agencies on YouTube in January.
The agency beat big-name incumbents, including Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Europa Press and CCTV+ to the top spot and the accolade highlights the appeal of Ruptly’s video offering and its ability to captivate audiences with its raw news content.
Industry-leading social media benchmarking company, Tubular Labs compiled its rankings, in which Ruptly amassed a total of over 32 million views across all of its YouTube content in January.
This places Ruptly ten million views ahead of its close rival, TNAMCOT.
The most popular video from Ruptly’s recent line-up received over 800,000 views and depicted the funeral of Iranian General, Qassem Soleimani, in the city of Tehran. The footage captures tens of thousands of people flooding the city’s streets to pay their respects to Iran’s former Quds Force General and other militia leaders, who were killed in a US airstrike.
Other top-viewed videos from Ruptly include: further footage from General Soleimani’s funeral, this time depicting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as he tearfully led tribute prayers (over 500,000 views); footage capturing the moment a Ukraine International Airlines plane crashed minutes after take-off with at least 170 people on board (over 400,000 views); and a dramatic rally in Virginia’s state capital led by opponents to the gun control regulation proposed earlier that month (over 400,000 views).
Laura Lucchini, Ruptly’s head of news, says: “I’m proud to see Ruptly’s content attracting the attention it deserves. These new figures are testament to newsworthiness of the content we deliver for clients and of its clear public appeal – clients and new partners alike can be sure that our content will generate results on their channels and platforms too.
“Having come in at number three on the same report last year, there is nothing better than to lead the industry at the start of 2020.”

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eHealth NSW starts brokering AWS, Azure in public cloud push – Strategy – Projects – Cloud- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

eHealth NSW has started brokering public cloud services from hyperscale providers Amazon Web Services and Microsoft to streamline the adoption of cloud services by NSW Health organisations across the state.
The digital arm of NSW Health established the brokerage service late last year to provide the state’s 15 local health districts (LHDs), as well as the department itself, with a standard model to consume public cloud services.
eHealth NSW service delivery executive director Farhoud Salimi told iTnews the service – effectively a catalogue offering that can be selected through the SARA [Search and Request Anything] portal – gave NSW Health organisations that ability to create a self-managed cloud.
“We’ve created the service offerings, what’s called a self-managed cloud, which allows LHDs to consume public cloud offerings, whether its infrastructure and/or software services that lie in that provider, in a more secure and controlled manner,” he said.
The initiative is tied to the department’s $286 million infrastructure refresh program, which is focused on enhancing the IT infrastructure that sits behind the state’s clinical and other health-related systems.
Salimi said the service takes care of everything from “the billing, charging and the contractions” to “laying down the networking infrastructure” and “certifying the core services from a security standpoint”.
One of the ways eHealth NSW is securing the public cloud services is by routing them through the NSW government’s GovDC data centres, which NSW Health became a primary anchor tenant of back in 2012.
While currently limited to AWS and Azure, Salimi said the service had been setup to ensure consistency, particularly around security and governance, with both the adoption of public and private cloud services.
He said that, like with the spread of virtual machines and VMware infrastructure a decade ago, there had been a “proliferation of cloud subscriptions”, and the service was “about getting that spawn under some sort of governance control”.
“What we decided to do is actually look at how we effectively provision both public and private cloud services … for both the infrastructure refresh program to consume, but also for the LHDs to start to consume for their data centre reform program and all new business,” Salimi said.
Another aspect the service intends to improve is the ability for LHDs to provision infrastructure or software in a “more timely fashion”.
“We find building, racking, stacking can take somewhere between two to six to eight [months] to actually buy the stuff, rack it, back it and do all that provisioning for them, whereas this particular offering is very much automated,” he said.
Salimi said this would allow the state’s health bodies to “focus on delivering that solution to the business, rather than having to do technical design, architecture design and security”.
Already on their way
While the brokerage service is expected to help NSW Health organisations transition to the public cloud, both the department and LHD are already on their way, having adopted Azure and AWS for a number of applications.
“At the moment we have about, on the infrastructure as a service side of things centrally, we probably have about 10 to 15 applications of different sizes, some pretty significant applications and some smaller applications running in either Azure of AWS,” Salimi said.
Azure – which is also behind a trial data sharing system to provide point-of-care clinical and pathology results in close to real-time – is being used for an influenza immunisation scheduling application.
“If we had to actually host that application internally and RPC on our infrastructure, it would have taken us a significant amount of time to actually stand up infrastructure design, deploy a test and so on,” Salimi said.
“But because a whole bunch of the plumbing and components were done it was really just a matter of spinning up the servers – or the virtual data centres that they needed – and basically deploy that application in a pretty fast timeline.”
AWS, on the other hand, is being used to host NSW Health’s new state-wide rostering system HealthRoster, which narrowly avoided a multi-million dollar blowout last year.
“By deploying [the system] in AWS, and getting away from our physical infrastructure environments, we’ve been able to pretty much automate – with the vendor – the deployment of the application and the versions,” he said.
Next stop, private cloud
Salimi also said that eHealth NSW was in the early stages of building a private cloud within GovDC to complement the two public cloud offerings.
“We’re currently working with our incumbent hardware and software providers to create a private cloud, which is due to be released later this year as well,” he said.
Both public and private cloud will be used depending on the “workload and what makes sense both from a security standpoint, but also from a cost application fit and a whole raft of other factors that we have in what we call a workload placement framework”.

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