The Make-the-Change Edition Friday, June 5, 2020

More Countries Adopting Or Switching To Apple/Google Contact Tracing API, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The Apple/Google coronavirus contact tracing API hasn’t seen widespread adoption to date, but does now appear to be gathering pace, with more countries adopting it and others switching to it.

Finland, Ireland, and Portugal are adopting it; Austria is switching to it; Singapore and Australia are both considering making the change.

Apple TV Plus, Other New Streamers Are Looking To Crash The Emmys Party, by Michael Schneider, Variety

The Daytime Emmy nominations were finally announced last month by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences after a monthlong delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Apple TV Plus scored an impressive haul for a first-timer. Even though the service has been streaming for only six months, its four kids shows (“Ghostwriter,” “Helpsters,” “Snoopy in Space” and “Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10”) landed a total of 17 nods — placing it ahead of networks like HBO (with 14) in total daytime noms.


Now comes the Primetime Emmy race, which is administered by NATAS’ L.A.-based counterparts at the Television Academy. Apple TV Plus is once again looking to make history by landing a major category nomination in its first year of existence and Emmy eligibility — something that even Netflix, Amazon and Hulu couldn’t do.


Become A Videoconferencing Pro With These Tips, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

Millenia of civilization never prepared human beings for spending hours a day staring at tiny dots of light and assembling them into pictures of other people with whom we had to pretend to be having real conversations. We can admit it: videoconferencing is literally unnatural, and our brains—our souls, maybe—aren’t made for it. But by putting your best face forward, you might ratchet down the stress and discomfort of an always-on-video workstyle. And we can all hope the necessity and frequency of such sessions lessen over time.


Apple Offering Covid-19 Testing To Staff Returning To Offices, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple began bringing some workers in to the main Apple Park office in May, including some hardware and software engineers. When they arrive, they’ll have the option of taking a nasal-swab test to check for the virus, according to people familiar with the process. Temperature checks are required.

As the building gradually reopens, some employees are working from the Apple campus only a few days a week. Apple is also limiting the number of people allowed in confined spaces at its offices. For example, as few as two are permitted in elevators at the same time, which normally would fit as many as 10 employees. The company has also closed many break-room kitchens and has posted signs asking employees to wear masks.

Apple's Attempts To Automate Product Assembly Have Met With Limited Success, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The Information today published a detailed look at the difficulties Apple has faced trying to assemble its products with robots rather than humans.

The report claims that, beginning in 2012, Apple assembled a team of robotics and automation specialists at a secret lab in Sunnyvale, California to search for ways to reduce the number of workers on its production lines. However, the team is said to have quickly encountered challenges designing some of these automated systems.

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Today, my step-count was even higher than when I was out and about before these... interesting times. Why? Because I've been walking to-and-fro while on conference calls, and I've been on a lot of conference calls today.


Thanks for reading. Stay safe.