A weekly summary of what I’ve found interesting at the intersection of economics, finance and technology.
Obviously COVID-19 and its economic impact still dominated the week, so this is another light edition. It’s also somewhat focused on more in-depth pieces, assuming many of you have extra time these days, with all the social distancing measures.
We Need To ‘Flatten the Curve’ of the Economic Recession — “It will take a few weeks before we get the first indicators that show the true impact to the economy of the COVID-19 related measures, but that doesn’t mean we can sit idly by until then. While it is practically impossible at this stage to quantify the impact to GDP, it stands to reason that it will be significant.” Read (Malay Mail)
Singapore Launches a Contact Tracing App for Phones —
The COVID-19 pandemic provides a justification for tracking people through their phones, for contact tracing most notably. This understandably leads to privacy concerns, and for sure it will require careful monitoring to ensure any more invasive measures are only temporary and even then better regulated.
Interestingly, the app Singapore launched, which is mentioned in this article, is quite clever: it doesn’t track a users’ location, but uses Bluetooth to log everyone who the user may have been in contact with. The Singapore government also went to some lengths to emphasise the data stays on your phone and is used only if you’ve come in contact with someone who tested positive. All in all an interesting implementation. - Read (LATimes)
ProtonVPN Discovered iOS 13 Does Not Encrypt All Traffic — The VPN provider discovered that traffic to the servers who send push notifications, for example, is not encrypted. Sounds bad at first, however an interesting discussion on Twitter unfolded, with the main conclusion that this may in fact be intentional, and not necessarily a bad thing. (MacRumors, Twitter)
On the back of Apple’s announcement of the new iPad Pro and especially the Magic Keyboard, the creator of the Microsoft Surface Steven Sinofsky penned an interesting look at the evolution of computer hardware. He argues that rather than recreate what came before (e.g. “the iPad is now a laptop”), the process reinterprets and reinvents the interaction model to arrive at better, more natural results. Read (Medium)
That’s it for this week’s edition. As always, thanks for reading and please forward this to anyone who you think might be interested, it would be much appreciated.