Will the pandemic crash the Internet?
Verizon reports that voice usage on its network was up 25% the week of March 12th, and total web traffic was up 22%. Usage of streaming media services was up 12%, VPN usage jumped 30% and online gaming spiked up 75% while social media remained stable. So far, the Internet appears sturdy and robust, despite the claims by a few analysts who believe the infrastructure will not be able to handle more traffic. CNET
dis-rup-shun: The internet has performed beautifully under the strain of WFH and School from Home (SFH), by informal accounts. The service providers, often bashed for a litany of issues, should be commended for building robust, stable, and scalable networks that are, quite frankly, the most important resource, other than food and water, for the continuous functioning of our shelter-in-place society. Perhaps we can look at all of those government mystery fees on our bills with a little less disdain.
covidnearyou.org site built in one week by volunteers
Covidnearyou.org created a website to help people map where the virus has been confirmed, helping close the gap of inadequate testing facilities and capabilities. The site was the idea of Rem Ramaswami, the head of product at Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs when he and his wife felt sick. Rem knew he could not build the site without help, so he gathered the support of friends who work for Apple, Amazon, MongoDB, CloudFlare, Alphabet and other tech firms. Together, working through the nights, they built the site in about seven days. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Community spirit, innovation and creativity will enable our culture to soar despite the current hurdles. Expect to see a number of impressive collaborative efforts bringing people together to do good. We learned from 9-11 that hard times bring out the best in people, and some great stories are already circulating.
Oura ring may help detect illness early
Our bodies send signals before we become ill, but we don’t often have ways of detecting the warning signs. Oura makes a ring that is a sensor that detects changes in temperature and sleep patterns and may be able to detect changes that signal illness, like coronavirus. Oura is working with UCSF to outfit 2,000 healthcare professionals to determine the effectiveness of the rings. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: Collecting and building large sets of data is critical for applying data analytics and AI, and is difficult to do given HIPPA regulations that ensure privacy. Wise tech firms, like Google, have been able to collect data sets through partnerships with hospitals and academic institutions. Commercial and academic partnerships will build the empirical evidence required to lead healthcare providers and payers to adopt new technologies for the betterment of our care systems.
Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp enjoy surge
It’s not just Zoom and Microsoft Teams that are enjoying unprecedented volume. Facebook products Messenger and Instagram Live usage have doubled over last year in certain regions, especially Italy. CNET
dis-rup-shun: Socializing over the internet works. It is definitely not as good as being in someone’s presence, but it enables people to make eye contact and see each other’s faces and feel the warmth of their presence. Video chats will keep the fabric of our culture intact until it is safe to high five, shake hands, hug and kiss.