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Are you Going to use the COVIDsafe App?

serfty

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I did research this a fair bit and I decided I was happy to:

 
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RooFlyer

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I'm a bit bemused by those who call out the app's failure, while saying of course they didn't download it (talking about the wider discussion, not what people are saying here). The thing had no chance of working if enough people didn't have it on (even with the Apple limitations); bit of self fulfilling prophecy going on. This is a combination of the anti-government mob who, if drowning, wouldn't take a literal lifeline from the government if they were drowning, the 'privacy' twits who think that the gov'mint cares where they are every second of the day and the tech cock-sure lot who simply always know better.
 

nutwood

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I'm a bit bemused by those who call out the app's failure, while saying of course they didn't download it (talking about the wider discussion, not what people are saying here). The thing had no chance of working if enough people didn't have it on (even with the Apple limitations); bit of self fulfilling prophecy going on. This is a combination of the anti-government mob who, if drowning, wouldn't take a literal lifeline from the government if they were drowning, the 'privacy' twits who think that the gov'mint cares where they are every second of the day and the tech cock-sure lot who simply always know better.
Interesting viewpoint. I would have thought that the 30% download would have been sufficient to prove the worth of the app. Obviously, for maximum health benefit, 60% would have been great but, realistically, bugger all functionality at 30% download tells the story.
With regard to the apparent villains in the scenario, I was trying to place myself. I lean towards the anti-government mob but in truth, I'm actually very pro-government; just very anti career politicians. I have no privacy concerns as I'm fully aware that if the State is interested, my life is an open book. I'd prefer it otherwise, but what can one do if you own a smart phone?!
Tech cock-sure? Hmmm, as a professional engineer I am more aware than most the limits of my knowledge but might be guilty as charged when it comes to stuff I genuinely know about.
Appreciate the self fulfilling prophecy argument but I'm not sure it's applicable in this situation. People who knew what they were talking about questioned this app but the Government threw mega dollars at the marketing and lots of well meaning people downloaded it. The cynics were never in a position to influence the prophecy.
 

RooFlyer

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Interesting viewpoint.

Thank you. I aim to provide interesting content for you.

I would have thought that the 30% download would have been sufficient to prove the worth of the app. Obviously, for maximum health benefit, 60% would have been great but, realistically, bugger all functionality at 30% download tells the story.

I did a Google trying to find the target download % and only figure I saw was 40%. I haven't seen the 30% download number, but don't dispute it - but there's little doubt that many of the downloads would have been deleted and/or turned off by now as the threat from the virus decreased (ex-Victoria) and the cynicism got around. Once I found that I didn't have the app open on my phone - don't know how it got turned off (probably consequent of a restart or OS upgrade??) or how long it was off. With no COVID in Tas, I knew it was pointless turning it back on, but I'm a team player :) :rolleyes: ;) . If even 20% of phones currently had the app open, I'd be amazed.

I'm not tech enough to know if the scheme was flawed from the outset (the iOS thing seemed to be a major limitation) or if it just didn't improve along the way as it was hoped or whatever. My point was that its success was limited from the start by the factors I mentioned above, and I still don't admire the smug satisfaction many seem to find in its lack of efficacy. Maybe if we had the virus getting around in Australia as it is in the US, Europe etc now, it might have a) more active users and b) more success (remembering that it was only ever touted as an adjunct to other contact tracing methods, not a replacement).
 

jb747

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...the iOS thing seemed to be a major limitation) or if it just didn't improve along the way as it was hoped or whatever. My point was that its success was limited from the start by the factors I mentioned above, and I still don't admire the smug satisfaction many seem to find in its lack of efficacy.

The IOS thing is such a major limitation that it effectively makes it unworkable on any idevice. Apple provided a total fix, but the people in charge of the app never took them up on it. At that point, there's no reason to have it on the phone. If they had used the Apple API, then I would have happily left it running.

As for smug satisfaction...I don't know. I think it's more resignation to ongoing failure of any expensive government software programs. There must be one out there where we've had success, or even value for money, but I can't think of it.
 

nutwood

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Thank you. I aim to provide interesting content for you.

(remembering that it was only ever touted as an adjunct to other contact tracing methods, not a replacement).
I appreciate your efforts to divert me and have to agree with the general "adjunct" statement as I opined something similar in the early stages of the Covid app debate. Something along the lines of good stick, poor crutch. My issue has always been that it was sold to us (and we definitely paid!) less as a crutch and more as a magic carpet. "Download the app to save the country" .
I'm still of the belief that using technology to monitor interaction between people is a great way to combat a virus. It'd be great to clear the politicians out of the room and look at the question properly.
 

drron

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It is crazy people talking about invasion of their privacy.Sydney comes in at number 36 in cities with the highest number of CCTV cameras per head of population.
 

TheRealTMA

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I'm a bit bemused by those who call out the app's failure, while saying of course they didn't download it (talking about the wider discussion, not what people are saying here). The thing had no chance of working if enough people didn't have it on (even with the Apple limitations); bit of self fulfilling prophecy going on. This is a combination of the anti-government mob who, if drowning, wouldn't take a literal lifeline from the government if they were drowning, the 'privacy' twits who think that the gov'mint cares where they are every second of the day and the tech cock-sure lot who simply always know better.
No, with respect the millions spent on the app have been badly spent on an app that the developers actually knew, or should have from overseas experience, that the software model was broken. It’s beyond me why someone in government didn’t have the skills to work this out and procure an app that did work?
 
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TheRealTMA

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RooFlyer

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Looks like I was wrong to nay-say iOS above - I fell victim to the common so-called wisdom of those more tech savvy than me. Have a look at the table below, esp. from May (top bit) sourced from the well-known pro-government rag, the Guardian Australia. I recall seeing somewhere that iOS is about 25% of mobile phones (either in Oz or globally, can't remember).

1604006760623.png
 
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suze2000

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Well with the return of full staffing to my workplace this week (I work in a hospital), the occasional dropouts I'd been experiencing in my Bluetooth audio became a veritable tsunami and with disgusted resignation I deleted the COVIDSafe app off my phone. It wa spending its whole life pinging other phones! Until the govt can optimise it - or until I get in my next cab, I won't be reinstalling it.
 

jb747

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Looks like I was wrong to nay-say iOS above - I fell victim to the common so-called wisdom of those more tech savvy than me. Have a look at the table below, esp. from May (top bit) sourced from the well-known pro-government rag, the Guardian Australia. I recall seeing somewhere that iOS is about 25% of mobile phones (either in Oz or globally, can't remember).

In August 2020, iOS held a 52.84 percent share of the mobile operating system market in Australia. (Wikipedia)

The issue is the locked/locked scenario. That is, the application is not in the foreground, and the phone is locked. That's probably the situation very close to all of the time for most phone users. We aren't given a decode of what "moderate" means, but I'd suspect it translates as a 'hardly ever'.
 
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RooFlyer

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We aren't given a decode of what "moderate" means, but I'd suspect it translates as a 'hardly ever'.

Its at the bottom of the table above.

The point of showing the table was to show that the app's performance was improved over time (contrary to what was assumed by many, including me) and that, overall, its performance over the vast majority of phone combinations was good enough not for it to be summarily dismissed as many have done.
 
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Its at the bottom of the table above.

The point of showing the table was to show that the app's performance was improved over time (contrary to what was assumed by many, including me) and that, overall, its performance over the vast majority of phone combinations was good enough not for it to be summarily dismissed as many have done.
Perhaps the actual cost cannot so easily be summarily dismissed.
 

jb747

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25% to 50% would be a total fail in any exam I ever did. So for half of the phones, it would work somewhere between a quarter and half of the time.

I wouldn't consider that worth any money, especially when the alternate solution was available.

Mind you, we'll have another opportunity to see government app development run amok soon, with Victoria going off on its own tangent for a QR app.
 
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Re QR code use at the restaurant table - Malwarebytes sent a warning brief :

"The next time you dine out, think twice about that QR code taped to your table. Those little squares you point your camera at may help prevent the spread of disease, but they aren’t entirely safe. It’s all too easy for criminals to replace a legitimate QR code with a code that links to a phishing site designed to harvest your logins, passwords, and financial info".
 

RooFlyer

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Perhaps the actual cost cannot so easily be summarily dismissed.

Well, I reckon it can. Within the overall cost of the pandemic, the cost was tiny. Minute. Think back to when it was brought in - the panic and unknown descending on us - "Oh, we are going to put this App thing out to tender; a review board will look at it, then we'll leave time for public consultation and expert opinions, etc etc etc ..." I'm not one to waste taxpayer's hard earned on anything, but given the circumstances & urgency at the time, I reckon its not the worst expense we are going to have borne, by a long shot.

25% to 50% would be a total fail in any exam I ever did. So for half of the phones, it would work somewhere between a quarter and half of the time.

I agree re the 255 to 50% fail - if it was an absolute thing, like an exam. But the app was never designed to stand-alone, but only as an adjunct to conventional tracing. Half the phones (iOS), if locked and contacting other locked phones would fail under your definition. In other situations, they don't, according to the table above. Not perfect, sure, but not as direly bad as you seem to make out. Again, it was never designed to be a complete answer, just an adjunct tool.
____________

Hey, I don't have any royalty stream on the damn thing - but judge it for what it is (better than how it started), the circumstances at the time it was developed and what it was actually designed to do, not as if it was flogged as a cure for the whole damn pandemic.
 

nutwood

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I'm finding the QR code for entering businesses interesting. I was in Sydney last week and my client took me out for lunch. Nothing flash but the whole eating out thing was new to me. Since February, I've been avoiding the scenario. I cover too much ground and really don't want to be a super spreader who just infected three States!
Anyway, I had to use my camera to do a QR scan. That was easy I thought, then realised I had a form to fill in. Standing there, tapping away on my phone. I appreciate the privacy angle but really, I'd much rather fill out a visitors book. People focus on someone seeing their name in a book. I focus on entering a bunch of personal details electronically and who knows where it ends up?
For those who worry about infected pens, I've noticed hotels with a bucket of pens. You take it, use it and drop into the "used" bucket. My cynical mind says that they probably just swap buckets every so often but ideally, they'd sanitise the used pens.
 

TheRealTMA

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I'm finding the QR code for entering businesses interesting. I was in Sydney last week and my client took me out for lunch. Nothing flash but the whole eating out thing was new to me. Since February, I've been avoiding the scenario. I cover too much ground and really don't want to be a super spreader who just infected three States!
Anyway, I had to use my camera to do a QR scan. That was easy I thought, then realised I had a form to fill in. Standing there, tapping away on my phone. I appreciate the privacy angle but really, I'd much rather fill out a visitors book. People focus on someone seeing their name in a book. I focus on entering a bunch of personal details electronically and who knows where it ends up?
For those who worry about infected pens, I've noticed hotels with a bucket of pens. You take it, use it and drop into the "used" bucket. My cynical mind says that they probably just swap buckets every so often but ideally, they'd sanitise the used pens.
The PITB about QR codes for the customer is that one has to fill out the bloody form anew each time. Convenient for business but less so for customers.
 
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