Forth week under COVID-19 lock-down in Austria (13. April)

General Situation

Four weeks under lock-down have passed. Numbers show that the curve of infected persons has flattend. Starting with 14. April some stores will be allowed to open again. This are good news, but in general it will still be forbidden to access public space, excpet for 1) work, 2) shopping, 3) helping others and 4) sport activities.

COVID-19 infected and increase rate
COVID-19 Infected and increase rate

Right now nobody knows how many people are really infected. This is because tests are generally only done when people report symptoms. People without or with less symptoms are not recognized. Therefore, a study was conducted where random people were tested. When the study was conducted app. 10.000 people were tested positive. The study suggested that based on the randoms, app. 28.000 were infected. These are good and bad new. Good news, Corona did not spread very much, the lock-down is working. Bad news, only a few numbers of people have been through the invection (0.3% of the population) and almost everyone and everywhere can and will get it as soon as the lock-down is lifted. It is said that 60% + of infections are required to gain population wide immunity, and with 0.3% we are miles away.

Will infections increase after lock-down?
Are we doomed for an eternal lock-down?

Stopp Corona App

The Corona app got an update this week. While in the first version a digital handshake had to be done manually, the app now can track other phones running the app. If the other device is within a few meters for a longer time (app. 15 minutes), both devices exchange eachothers ID. IMHO a very usefull feature because hardly anyone I know did initiale a manual handshake. The app uses Bluetooth and Ultrasonic via microphone to find other phones nearby. The manual handshake is still possible and the auto-handshake feature can be turned off. However, in the last weeks the app has been discussed in a very controversal way.

Suspicious Stopp Corona app
Two phones performing an automated hand shake

Although the app is promoted by the Red Cross, it is financed by Uniqa (insurance company) and developed by Accenture. While most people trust the Red Cross, many are sceptical about a private a insurance company and a consulting firm. The app is still not open source, although this is requested from many sides. Accenture only devlivers questionable excuses, like it is not documented well enough to put it open source.

Stopp Corona app not open source because not documented?
App is not Open Source because it is not well documented ?
https://www.roteskreuz.at/site/faq-app-stopp-corona/ (13.4)

Instead, they provide the source code to a limited number of experts which are allowed to look at the source code and draw conclusions. Even more suspicious is the fact that the Android version requires the rights to access the phones location if the automatic handshake feature is active. Accenture states that this is due to Android security architecture. Although the app can access the location they claim they don’t process or store it. As long as there is now way to build, deploy and compare the binaries with the official ones there is no way to tell what gets installed on the phone and if the source code provided to experts is really the one used to build the app.

Stopp Corona app wants access to location
Stopp Corona app wants to access the phones location as well

Also very disturbing is the fact that politicans thought about making the Stopp Corona app mandatory. After a intense discussion and reports in the media, it is now common sense to keep the app optional.

There are two additional topics regarding the Stopp Corona app. First, what about people without smart phone? The idea is to use Bluetooth beacons that can be attached to e.g. the keys. Question is, how do these people get notified when they have been in contact with a sick person? It reminds me of a dog tag and linked with a person related ID like the phone number it opens all doors for tracking and surveillance.

Local news paper explains Bluetooth beacon
https://www.krone.at/2133367 (13.4)

Second topic regarding the app is to implement the PEPP-PT standard and make it interoperable with apps from other countries. Right now borders are almost closed, but in the nearer future when we are allowed to travel there have to be compatible apps.

Azure Europe & UK

Azure regions Europe + UK are still at its limit. The configuration dialog of new VMs prompts a waring that the deployment may fail. It is recommended to use another region. This is not a big issue now, but hopefully our region will get more resources when businesses open again.

Azure region europe off limits, no new deployments
Deployment in Europe / UK region may fail

As much as I know, already depolyed services dont face downtimes or other troubles. With one exception, we are running all our customers Dyanmics 365 Finance / SCM instances in the european regions and did not face issues related with the currently higher utilization. Our Blockchain workbench and Blockchain Service instances are performing well.

Climate Crisis

While Corona crisis takes almost all space in the media, the climate crisis is still there. We had an unusal long lasting period of sunshine with temperatures up to 25 °C. This in combination with many people at home lead to the situation that Wolfsberg had to ration water supply. Washing cars, watering the lawn and filling up swimming pools is forbidden. A strang situation since we are in spring and summer is months away.

Climate crisis, water usage limited
Dramatic water situation in Wolfsberg (13.4)

Even more cooking

Spaghetti with pesto genovese, Geschnetzeltes (stripes of meat in creamy sauce), Tiramisu, Cordon Bleu, Toast with ham and cheese, Burger, another Kaiserschmarrn, Chocolate Pudding

Spaghetti, Geschnetzeltes, Tiramisu, Cordon Bleu, Toast, Burger, Kaiserschmarrn

About erpcoder
Azure Cloud Architect and Dynamics 365 enthusiast working in Research & Development for InsideAx

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