COVID enables tech to crush the college experience

Virus-fighting technology likely to change college forever

Thousands of colleges and universities across the globe announced their closure — some for weeks, others for the duration of the semester. Most all closing institutions will rely on online learning to substitute for people gathering in classrooms, labs and lecture halls. USA Today

dis-rup-shun:  Will academic institutions ever go back to a classroom setting after their abrupt shifts to online education? The late Steve Jobs suggested that college classrooms would someday be replaced by computers and live gatherings would be only for the purpose of holding study groups and help sessions. Perhaps to justify large tuitions and preserve tradition, many high ranked private colleges have employed online learning only minimally. This is now changing in response to COVID-19, and institutions large and small will find that it is easier and less costly to operate a virtual college. Suspended extracurricular activities, sports teams and aging facilities may not be resumed and the collegiate college experience may forever change, especially if quarantines drag on beyond a few weeks.

Stop touching your face! There’s an app for that

If you are following hygiene instructions and washing your hands frequently and trying not to touch your face, you are now aware of how frequently you do it. Slightly Robot, a startup, has created the Immunotouch wristband that buzzes every time your hand approaches your face. And yes, there is an app that enables you to track your retraining progress. The device was originally designed to assist those who have developed the bad habit of pulling their own hair out, but has been opportunistically re-purposed to assist in the battle against coronavirus. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: While an interesting solution for those really determined to keep their hands off of their face, it seems likely that smartwatch makers may quickly respond with an app that takes advantage of the existing accelerometer in the device. China has deployed a number of apps to track one’s proximity to people who have tested positively for COVID-19. Leveraging technologies to assist in controlling pandemics makes perfect sense, and tech companies that do so will endear themselves to the public.

Chip Wars: The (Intel) Empire Strikes Back

After years of attempts, AMD’s 3rd generation Rizen CPUs, the Zen 2,  beat the performance of Intel’s Core i5 9500. A new Intel chipset, the Core i5 10400, will put Intel back on top, at least until AMD rolls out Rizen Gen 4. Forbes

dis-rup-shun: It is tough to stay on top, and after several decades of dominance, Intel is being attacked on many fronts. ARM processors won the mobile race, with Qualcomm a big winner. Nvidia bested Intel with its GPUs for superior graphics in in-car displays such as those in VW and Audi, and now AMD is edging Intel in its core market, the consumer PC. Competition is good for the consumer, and it is certainly giving Intel a thorough run.

Quibi launch mired by lawsuits and coronavirus

What is Quibi? It is a new video subscription service that displays only on smartphones, uses original content no longer than 10 minutes, and is backed by a number of high-level celebrities and business moguls, who are taking a BIG gamble that their exists an appetite for this unusual service. Another unique-ness is that you can rotate the phone and get a completely different camera view of the action — letting you, the viewer, determine the best angle for the action. The service is set to launch in a few weeks, but coronavirus fears prohibit public launch events, and a company called Eko has claimed that Quibi, and several of its executives who came from Snap, who discussed, under NDA, the possibility of using Eko’s technology, have stolen the screen flipping technology. Gizmodo

dis-rup-shun: Foretelling demand for Quibi is tough. On the one hand, it seems that we all have too many video sources to watch and too many monthly subscriptions to pay. On the other, it seems that if really compelling content is offered by Quibi, and everyone starts talking about it, the urge to spend just a few more dollars per month will be irresistible, just so we can join the conversation.