Social networks may be the future of epidemic tracking
Carnegie Melon University is working to use self-reported personal data to Facebook and Google, about COVID and statistics on doctor visits to build a data map of the pandemic, which may be a powerful predictive tool for future outbreaks. Wired
dis-rup-shun: This is a great example of how using your data and mine can help scientists identify movement of diseases from region to region, perhaps better preparing communities for what is coming, and understanding what actions may be taken to curtail outbreaks. This data is provided by willing volunteers, so if it seems creepy or “overstepping” consider that individuals have decided to make a contribution, using the new currency of personal information. After all, you are already contributing every day, thanks to your smartphone.
Facebook adds video calling for 50 to Messenger
Facebook won’t get left out of the video conferencing boom. The company will begin, this Friday, enabling free video calling for up to 50 through Messenger rooms over which the host can control access and invite people without having Facebook accounts. Video call traffic in WhatsApp and Messenger has more than doubled since the beginning of the global pandemic. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: First there was the telegraph, and a company called ITT dominated. Eventually the telephone replaced the telegraph, and calling was dominated by AT&T. Then, of course, there were mobile phones dominated by a company called Cingular Wireless, and then there was the Internet, dominated by Google for search and Facebook for social networking. Will Zoom become the dominant video conferencing provider of the next era, controlling the majority of video conference calls? Not if Facebook can stop them with WhatsApp and Messenger. Leadership is changing quickly with the world turning to virtual communities and Facebook knows that an opportunity lost may not ever be regained.
Fortnite in-game concert event attracts 12.3 million players
Epic Games’ Fortnite property hosted a live, in-game concert by rapper Travis Scott. The psychedelic event was a debut for new music from the rapper. The event follows prior events featuring a never before seen clip from Star Wars, and Chance the Rapper’s Quibi debut. Event attendees received special Fortnite loot. CNET
dis-rup-shun: An alternative reality is not complete without an alternative economy, and attracting players with big name live events does a good job of pumping up the latter. Epic is creating buzz for Fortnite and, just like a live concert, gets a bump from selling special items within the event. And you thought there was nothing to do during quarantine?
Airtime app creates a YouTube viewing party
The new Airtime app from YouTube enables a group of friends, families, or associates to experience a curated set of video together, in a private viewing room on YouTube. Once friends are alerted and invited, then sign in to a private room where they can, together, watch a movie of show, watch and video chat with one-another, and pause the video as desired. CNET
dis-rup-shun: Forget homework — every night is now a Friday night sleepover with this app. This blend of YouTube and Zoom takes virtual community building to a new level. Expect group activities such as going to a mall, a movie theater or a frozen yogurt shop to be permanently impacted by increasingly better ways to hang out without every leaving home.