Monday technical: Go analogue, young man.

There are a lot of companies selling smartphones and smartwatches. I like new, bright and shiny things, but in the current COVID situation cash will be king. A watch is to tell the time — an old Citizen solar watch (mine is 20 years old) or a cheap mechanical watch from a good manufacturer (Seiko or Timex) will do the trick.

I am using my smartphone more and more. Since I phone am working from home, I need to have something to dictate into, and Siri on an apple does the job, integrating with word, which allows me to generate the requisite documents.

It is from work, work maintains it, including a whole pile of specailized software and they will probably mandate that we have the new bluetooth tracking software.

Not that this is without problems. You will lose your privacy. It will be automated, and (given that we are being told we have to note whom we are with for contact tracing purposes) it may be mandatory in NZ. I wait, with bated breath, the Jacinda Phone: I’m sure Google will bid on that contract.

Those are all good questions – it seems to me, however, that the app cannot have privacy protections. The WHOLE IDEA is that the app will communicate with other versions of itself and with the whole world advising that you are not diseased.

As to it not being mandatory – well, it won’t be. The government will never tell you that you have to download the app. But … your employer might require you to have the app before returning to work. An airline might require you to have to app before allowing you to board a plane. A shopping mall may require you to have the app before allowing you into the mall, and so on. So, no. Not government mandatory requirement at all. Just discrimination.

All those people mocking the Chinese social credit system? Saying it could never happen here? So January 2020.

Nokia 9 pureview.
And Android One Phone.
Expect something similar to be mandated.

Look, it’s very simple: don’t take your smartphone out with you. I don’t most of the time. Even better, don’t have a smartphone. Because they’re the opposite of smart. My old Blackberry works just fine. Pulls the chicks too.

Adam is correct about needing an old (pre 2016) blackberry. Because otherwise you are just carrying a fancy google phone.

The brand keeping BlackBerry phones alive across most of the globe, TCL Communications, plans to stop selling BlackBerry phones later this year. In a tweet this morning, TCL announced that it “will no longer be selling” BlackBerry-branded phones as of August 31st, 2020, because it will no longer have the rights to design and manufacture them. Existing devices will continue to be supported.

BlackBerry decided in 2016 to stop making its own phones, after years of failures, and to license its brand out instead. The biggest licensing deal was with TCL, which since December 2016 has had the near-global rights to design and sell BlackBerry-branded phones. It’s done a decent job of it, pairing classically BlackBerry-style designs with the functions of modern Android phones.

What to do? Well, unless the government provides us all with phones, we can subvert this. Keep our old phone, get a Nokia 3110, or a Pinephone. There are ways to harden phones if you have to. However, the government is trying something else. To get the joke, you need to know that Nicky Hagar is an investigative journalist who generally releases a book around some kind of scandal (involving, whenever possible, right wing politicians and pundits) about three months before the election, and that he has been monitored by intelligence services.

Newsroom reports:

A private sector proposal to produce and distribute five million Bluetooth-enabled credit card-sized contact tracing tools at a cost of $100 million is one of “a wide variety of technological solutions to contact tracing”, a spokesperson for the All of Government Covid-19 response team has confirmed.

The idea, branded CovidCard, is one of a handful that the Government is considering as it moves to settle on a digital solution for contact tracing.

Carry around a card that will let the Government see where you’ve been and who you’ve met.

Sure I’ll carry that around, once the Government convinces Nicky Hager to carry one also.

David Farrar

I leave my work phone at home outside of work hours. So should you. And if you are offered a trust card or instructed to install an app, do not comply. The stores and services that refuse your entry have simplified your shopping. Besides this, if you open schools, you have stopped social distancing.

And my next phone I buy will be very low tech. Work can acquire the expensive stuff: it’s time to go analogue.

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1 year ago

The toughest part for me would be my music and podcasts. My iPod crapped out a few months ago but my phone has a memory card that will carry my whole collection. I also like listening to podcasts and although they can be downloaded manually and transferred to iPod (if I got a new one) it is work. Lists can go on paper although a single list in an app is nice. Talking to customers while I’m driving back and forth is nice. Finding customers’ houses with the mapping app is nice instead of having directions written on a piece of paper.

I do have a Motorola Razr which still works, but it would cost me extra $$ to add it to my plan.

Hmmm. I guess we’ll see which direction this goes. I suspect that Americans will be far more resistant to any sort of “let me see your papers” plan, even if electronic.

We had a three week lengthening of the lockdown with slight lift off — tradesmen can work, and you can get takeaway but retail and hospitality are shut. The mood is changing here. But the government wants safety over all, and to hell with the economy. They want control.

Yes, I use my phones and computers for music. Still have an old system that has .flac versions of CDs on it, but generally use what I’ve got around.

In general, I don’t listen to music while walking or cycling. I need to hear the cars coming behind me, particularly as I live in an epicenter of the methamphetamine scene in NZ