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Watching the Dutch government trying to get through the public procurement process for a "corona app" is equal parts hilarious and terrifying.

7 large IT firms screaming that they're going to make the perfect app.

Presentations with happy guitar strumming advertisement videos about how everyone will feel healthy, picnicking on green sunny meadows with laughing families, if only their app is installed on every citizen's phone.

Luckily, also plenty of security and privacy experts completely body-bagging these firms.

"It will connect people to fight this disease together" -- "BUT HOW" -- "The magic of Bluetooth. And maybe... machine learning. Oh! And blockchain!" -- "BUT HOW" -- "Shut up give us money, we promise, our app is going to cure the planet"

You got salesmen, promising their app will be ready in 2 weeks, although they can't even show any screenshots yet.

You got politicians mispronouncing technical terminology, trying hard to look as informed as possible.

You got TV presenters polling population support for "The App" by interviewing the most digitally oblivious people.

One of the app development firms (using some blockchain-based crap) promised transparency about their source code for auditing.... so they committed their source, including a backup file from one of their other apps, containing 200 emails/passwords to Github.

It's kind of entertaining... in the same way as a surgery documentary about the removal of glass shards from a sexually adventurous guy's butthole.

Imma keep watching out of morbid fascination.... from a very safe distance, far away from the blood and shit that's splattering against the walls.

And my phone -- keep your filthy infected bytes away from my sweet baby.

I'll stick with social distancing, regular hand washing, working from home and limited supermarket trips, thank you very much.

Comments
  • 13
    But if you have the app you might get privileges! And that's not discrimination!
  • 22
    @epse This is the nightmare scenario to be honest.

    You only get to buy food at the supermarket if you have the leaky app which stores medical data and location history.

    Well, I guess I'm eating my stored catfood 🤷‍♂

    Luckily, the public opinion seems to be swinging hard towards cynicism though, I get the feeling it will end with a bunch of ashamed politicians giving up with their tails tucked between their legs.

    The interesting result might be more cynicism against "appifying" everything in general. I think this might be the point where people realize that "let's make an app for it" isn't the answer to every problem.
  • 5
    That's just wonderful how things go on. I don't want to be bad but an entire company took time to make a mobile app(awesome presentations) to calculate your infection (true or false) just by you answering some questions asked to you in the app. Looks like trash. But I am totally confused. - should I make trash too or something that will really help. Can't believe a company makes such trash instead of making a software that will help in this social distancing. 🤯🤯
  • 3
    @bittersweet totally right .... Eating cat food 🤯 ?
  • 6
    @bittersweet "I don't have a smartphone" done. They can't do shit to you then
  • 7
    @JosiasAurel

    I personally think we don't need more software to get the virus under control.

    You don't need an app to keep your distance, you just need to use common sense -- enjoy the spring sun in your garden, or on a remote parking lot, not on the most popular beach.

    You don't need an app to identify illness, you need to mass-produce nitrocellulose ELISA tests.

    What we do need is education -- You can contact schools to see if they need help. I donated two old laptops which got sent to students so they could follow online classes.

    Lots of people also losing their job, so check if you can make someone in your environment happy with a crate of groceries on their doorstep.

    Lots of people are lonely, so call your family and friends often.

    I love the power of software and the internet, but I think this is a time to realize that the solutions are more about humans doing the right thing, than it is about solving things with apps.
  • 13
    @bittersweet

    Seven (7) companies compete for bullshittery without any clue what the very basics of app development are ?!
    Pah !
    Come on Germany level.

    We got about ten (10) per Land. That's right. Roundabout 160 companies spilling customer data all over. Even the principal administration can not hide their utter fuckery!
    Before, we were just doomed.
    But now! We're being raped by privacy issues on live stream doomed.

    Zoom ftw! All universities in Northrhine-Westphalia go for its PROVEN privacy issues.
    And I'll have to clean them up later.
    I might be an ESSENTIAL WORKER for all those senile business blabbering INCONTINENT POLITICIANS.
  • 3
    @bittersweet that's right. If the government of this country and politicians and those guys living well in their big houses with rooms filled with money could make a charity (humanic) that will be good. Even after I made an app to inform the spread of virus in my f*** country. People are still not convient of what is happening. No help. No respect of Instructions - it's like the cases of infections are multiplying everyday. Let humans become humans not theives or theives
  • 4
    @hash-table hurts
  • 5
    Does the happy guitar strumming video show the white van screeching up, door sliding open, two burly dutch boys dragging one the picnickers into the van which drives off to an undisclosed location whilst the other three look to one another then burst into laughter and continue merrily merrying?

    Because that commercial should win the bid.
  • 2
    @hash-table
    In 2020, I dunno about that. There's a lot of world leaders who also happen to be drool-cup-official retards.
  • 2
    I shoulda known nothing good was going to come of it when I saw that headline a few weeks ago in the post. Something about white house schedules meeting with top tech companies, facebook, google, etc to discuss what they can do to help. I was honestly hoping it would only be a simple inquiry, maybe donate some funds or time to help fix failing systems or something and that the media was just running out of things to sensationalize.

    But no, we're really putting our bets on communication and entertainment platforms to fix a medical problem aren't we 🙄
  • 4
    The holy grail of software development companies is to get a government contract. Then they can milk the fuck out of it. Its never been about building usable software.
  • 2
    @bittersweet if Solutions rely on humans doing the right thing then we're all fuuuuuuucked.
  • 3
    @scor and all this intentional "incompetence" will be blamed on "anyone being allowed to code." Like they've blamed problems with jets on.

    Digital certification to even touch a compiler or interpreter professionally, and a fee to release something that *may* be used in a commercial setting even if it's open source.. It's coming. Maybe not soon, but in two decades tops.

    There are too many opportunities to make MAJOR fucking money via being first to market by seriously cutting safety and corners and blaming it on "it's because anyone can become a programmer."
  • 4
    Just wait till dat 'hacker chick' shows up that wrote that bullshit book, then we good 😀 I forgot her name but it was on zondag met lubach once
  • 2
    @karma Oh god please no 😂 (Rian Rijbroek or something?)
  • 2
    @linuxxx yeah that snob 😭 omg this country can go to shit so fast
  • 3
    @epse "I don't have a smartphone"

    The Austrian government proposed to give out bluetooth key fobs for the elderly and other people without smartphones 🙄
  • 1
    @systemctl why no free raspberry pie?
  • 1
    @hash-table what a surprise
  • 1
    Just don't install that crap and maybe leave your house once in a while without your phone
  • 2
    @Yggdrasil

    The issue would be that governments might install checkpoints you can't pass without the app, have patrols who fine people who can't show their smartphone.
  • 0
    @bittersweet Well then you answer that you don't own one, they can not force you to
  • 1
    @Yggdrasil When a population is asked "what do you want, longer lockdown, or mandatory app", laws might change quick.
  • 0
    @Yggdrasil Austria's government wanted to force you to wear a bluetooth key fob that it gives out for elderly and other people without smartphones 🙄
  • 0
    @hash-table Very glad I use a custom rom WITHOUT google services framework now 😅
  • 0
    @systemctl well then just don't. Why do so many people just accept surveillance as some kind of natural progression in a society? They can not force you to do anything the likes, and if they try to would be time to rise against.

    Currently the greatest danger to humanity is not the Virus. But people letting themself observe by the state, because of the current circumstances.

    Subscribtion models work the same way, abuse the client into the need for something, then normalise the fact that they pay monthly/yearly. They will soon have forgotten how convinient it was before the subscription.

    Once the crisis is over you need to demand your privacy back.
  • 1
    @Yggdrasil They wanted to implement the same utopia that they have in China: You cannot go to any shop, your workplace, public transport, etc... without your proof of not having had contact with any infected person. People accept that because "it's for their security". The current party pulled in some great simulated election results by just having press conferences constantly where they first fan fear and later declare that THEY have done everything so well and that the country's safer now becaue of them.

    People can be manipulated easily, but it's especially trivial if you put them into an constant state of fear. When you control the media it isn't an challange anymore. The parliamentary opposition hasn't had any major presence since the state of emergency has been declared.
  • 0
    @hash-table I really hate apple in general but their continual refusal to bend the need to fucking government overreach is making it harder not to like their approach.
  • 1
    ... and you haven't even engaged with the morons making crowdfunding campaigns for these kinds of apps.

    i have.

    and i can sum it up in one word:
    waterseer.

    i can add two more for those who don't get it:
    solar roadways
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