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Dyson and Gtech answer UK call for ventilator design and production to support COVID-19 response

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Companies around the world are shifting production lines and business models to address the needs of governments and healthcare agencies in their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Two companies answering that call are Dyson and Gtech, both of which are working on ventilator hardware, leveraging their experience building vacuums and other motor-driven airflow gadgets to spin up new designs and get them validated and produced as quickly as possible.

Dyson, the globally recognized appliance maker, is working with The Technology Partnership (TTP) on a brand new ventilator design called the CoVent. This design is meant to be made quickly and at high volumes, and leverages Dyson’s existing Digital Motor design, as well as the company’s air purification products, to deliver safe and consistent ventilation for COVID-19 patients, according to an internal email from founder James Dyson to Dyson employees and provided to TechCrunch.

Dyson was reacting to a request from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson for ventilator supplies, and intends to first fulfill an order of 10,000 units for the U.K. government. Its ventilator still needs to be tested and its production process approved by the government and the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (the MHRA, its FDA equivalent), but Dyson says in the email that “the race is now on to get it into production.” The company notes that experts from both the U.K.’s national healthcare agency and the MHRA have been involved throughout its design process, which should help expedite approvals.

The CoVent meets the specifications set out by clinicians for ventilator hardware, and is both bed-mounted and portable with a battery power supply, for flexible use across a variety of settings, including during patient transportation. Because it uses a lightly modified version of Dyson’s existing Digital Motor design, the company says that the fan units needed for its production are “available in very high volume.”

“I am proud of what Dyson engineers and our partners at TTP have achieved. I am eager to see this new device in production and in hospitals as soon as possible,” Dyson wrote in his email. “This is clearly a time of grave international crisis, I will therefore donate 5,000 units to the international effort, 1,000 of which will go to the United Kingdom.”

Meanwhile, Gtech, another U.K. home appliance and vacuum maker, has likewise done what it can to answer the government’s call for ventilator hardware. The company’s owner Nick Grey said that it received a request to build up to 30,000 ventilators in just a two-week span, which promoted them to quickly set about figuring out what went into the design of this medical hardware.

Gtech’s team developed a ventilator that can be made from parts easily obtained from abundant stock materials, or off-the-shelf pre-assembled parts. The company says that it can spin up production of around 100 per day within a week or two, so long as it can source steel fabrication and CNC machining suppliers.

In addition to its own production capacity, Gtech is making its ventilator designs available for free to the broader community in order to ramp production. The company says that “there’s no reason why thousands of emergency ventilators can’t be made each day” in this way, according to an interview with Grey and CTV News. Like the Dyson model, Gtech’s design will need assessment and certification from the U.K. government and regulators before they can be put into use.

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Google releases location data from billions to show if coronavirus lockdowns working

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Alphabet Inc’s Google has published charts showing how the coronavirus has brought hard-hit Italy to a standstill, led to runs on grocery stores around the world and prompted a stark drop in going-out between Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day.

The analysis of location data from billions of Google users’ phones is the largest public dataset available to help health authorities assess if people are abiding with shelter-in-place and similar orders issued across the world to rein in the virus.

The company released reports for 131 countries with charts that compare traffic from Feb. 16 to March 29 to retail and recreational venues, train and bus stations, grocery stores and workplaces with a five-week period earlier this year.

READ MORE: Countries opt for phone tracking amid coronavirus — should Canada?

Google said it published the reports to avoid any confusion about what it was providing to authorities, given the global debate that has emerged about balancing privacy-invasive location tracking with the need to prevent further outbreaks.

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The data often correlated with the severity of outbreaks and the harshness and breadth of orders imposed by governments.

Italy and Spain, two of the hardest-hit countries, both saw visits to retail and recreation locations such as restaurants and movie theaters plunge 94%. The United Kingdom, France and Philippines had declines of more than 80% while India, which went into a sudden 21-day lockdown on March 25, was also notable at 77%.

In the United States, where state responses have varied greatly, and in Australia, where good weather initially prompted many people to go the beach before social distancing measures were ratcheted up, the drops were less steep at under 50%.

Coronavirus outbreak: Is Canada considering using phone tracking to enforce social distancing?
Coronavirus outbreak: Is Canada considering using phone tracking to enforce social distancing?

In contrast, in Japan and Sweden, where authorities have not imposed harsh restrictions, visits to retail and recreation sites fell by roughly only a quarter. While in South Korea, which has successfully contained a large outbreak through aggressive testing and contact tracing, the decline was just 19%.

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The data also underscore some challenges authorities have faced in keeping people apart. Grocery store visits surged in Singapore, the United Kingdom and elsewhere as travel restrictions were set to go into place. Visits to parks spiked in March in some San Francisco Bay Area counties under lockdown in California, forcing them to later put the sites off limits.

The data also underscores how the mood of people around the world has shifted. In New Orleans, during its annual Mardi Gras celebrations Feb.16-25, which has with hindsight been criticized for helping spread the virus, there were off-the-chart increases in traffic to transit stations, parks and businesses.

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But three weeks later in Dublin, heart of St. Patrick’s holiday celebrations, traffic was down at retail and recreational venues as the country ordered big events canceled.

READ MORE: Is giving up your phone privacy a fair trade if it slows coronavirus spread?

Within countries, there were wide gaps in behavior by region. California, which was the first in the U.S. with a statewide lockdown, cut visits to retail and recreation locations by half. In New York state, the slide in such visits was gradual as officials waited to impose strict curbs but they eventually fell 62%. By contrast, Arkansas, one of the few states without a sweeping lockdown, had the smallest decline at 29%.

The coronavirus has infected more than 1 million people globally, and COVID-19, the respiratory illness it causes, has killed 52,000, according to a Reuters tally.

There were no reports for China and Iran, where Google services are blocked.

BALANCING PRIVACY

Data in Google’s reports come from users who enabled Google’s “Location History” feature on their devices. The company said it adopted technical measures to ensure that no individual could be identified through the new reports.

“These reports have been developed to be helpful while adhering to our stringent privacy protocols and policies,” Dr. Karen DeSalvo, chief health officer for Google Health and Jen Fitzpatrick, senior vice president for Google Geo, wrote in a blog post.

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Why contact tracing is so important for tracking the coronavirus
Why contact tracing is so important for tracking the coronavirus

China, Singapore, South Korea and other countries have asked residents to use apps and other technology to track their compliance with quarantines, but privacy activists argue such measures can compromise individual liberties.

Infectious disease specialists have said analyzing travel across groups by age, income and other demographics could help shape public service announcements.

Google, which infers demographics from users’ internet use as well as some data given when signing up to Google services, said it was not reporting demographic information. The company said, though, it was open to including additional information and countries in follow-up reports.

Google said consultations with officials in the U.S. and the World Health Organization helped inform the data shared.

The company declined to comment on whether it has received any legal requests to share more detailed data to help with efforts to tackle the pandemic.

Facebook Inc, which like Google has billions of users, has shared location data with non-governmental researchers that are producing similar reports for authorities in several countries. But the social media giant has not published any findings.

© 2020 Reuters

Source: Global News

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Apple ‘iPhone SE 2020’ tipped for imminent launch as more details emerge

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BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 16: A visitor tries out an Apple iPhone 7 on the first day of sales of the new phone at the Berlin Apple store on September 16, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. The new phone comes in two sizes, one with a 4.7 inch display, the other with a 5.5 inch display. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
The iPhone SE may have a similar design to the iPhone 7 pictured here (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The launch of a brand new version of Apple’s smaller, low-cost iPhone seems to be imminent with various tech insiders claiming a new iPhone SE is on the way.

A report appearing in Apple website 9to5Mac says Apple could announce the phone and start accepting orders from today, April 3.

The original SE was a smaller handset based on the iPhone 5S design that launched in 2016 and has carved out a sizeable fan base amongst those who want good specs in a small case.

9to5Mac’s report suggests the new phone will also just be called the iPhone SE and will come in a choice of white, black or red. The design will be based on the iPhone 8 and have a 4.7-inch LCD screen.

It will be available with three different levels of storage: 64GB, 128GB and 256GB and could use the same internal processor as the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 19: A shopper ltries out the new Apple iPhone 6 at the Apple Store on the first day of sales of the new phone in Germany on September 19, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Hundreds of people had waited in a line that went around the block through the night in order to be among the first people to buy the new smartphone, which comes in two versions: the Apple iPhone 6 and the somewhat larger Apple iPhone 6 Plus. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
The iPhone SE 2020 will offer a lower priced option for those that want an iPhone (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

While there’s no real information surrounding price yet, analysts believe Apple could sell the 2020 iPhone SE with a starting price of $399 – which would likely translate directly to £399 in the UK.

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Yesterday, a leak emerged from case manufacturer Urban Armor Gear showing a packaged shell case for the new iPhone SE.

Science 8172271 iPhone
This iPhone case has apparently been built to house a new ‘4.7-inch iPhone’ (Twitter)

Apple, like other tech companies, does sometimes give accessory makers an early look at prototypes so that when the phone is unveiled to the public, there are already accessories ready to buy to go with it. In this case, the image was shared by a consumer at a Best Buy – a chain of gadget shops in the US.

Whether or not the iPhone SE 2020 is revealed today remains to be seen, but given the huge mounting speculation online it seems more a case of when rather than if this new iPhone gets the green light.

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Source: Metro News

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Paintings found inside coffin of a 3,000-year-old mummy

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EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY MARCH 3 Undated handout photo issued by Perth Museum and Art Gallery showing conservators at Perth Museum and Gallery cleaning a 3000 old mummy Ta-Kr-Hb. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday April 3, 2020. Conservators have discovered paintings inside the coffin of the Egyptian mummy after she was lifted out of it, for the first time in more than 100 years. See PA story HERITAGE Mummy. Photo credit should read: Julie Howden/Perth Museum and Art Gallery/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Cbonservators at Perth Museum and Gallery cleaning a 3000-year-old mummy Ta-Kr-Hb (PA)

Conservators have discovered paintings inside the coffin of an Egyptian mummy after she was lifted out of it for the first time in more than 100 years.

They made the discovery during work to conserve Ta-Kr-Hb, believed to be a priestess or princess from Thebes, before she is displayed in the new City Hall Museum in Perth.

The mummy, which is nearly 3,000 years old, was in fragile condition after being targeted by grave robbers in ancient times.

Work was needed to ensure her condition did not deteriorate further.

Conservators were surprised to discover painted figures on both the internal and external bases of the coffin trough when they lifted her out.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY MARCH 3 Undated handout photo issued by Perth Museum and Art Gallery showing paintings of the Egyptian goddess Amentet discovered inside the coffin of an Egyptian mummy . PA Photo. Issue date: Friday April 3, 2020. Conservators have discovered paintings inside the coffin of the Egyptian mummy after she was lifted out of it, for the first time in more than 100 years. See PA story HERITAGE Mummy. Photo credit should read: Perth Museum and Art Gallery/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Paintings of the Egyptian goddess Amentet discovered inside the coffin (PA)

Both figures are representations of the Egyptian goddess Amentet or Imentet, known as the She of the West or sometimes as Lady of the West.

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Dr Mark Hall, collections officer at Perth Museum and Art Gallery, told the PA news agency: ‘It was a great surprise to see these paintings appear.

‘We had never had a reason to lift the whole thing so high that we could see the underneath of the trough and had never lifted the mummy out before and didn’t expect to see anything there.

‘So to get a painting on both surfaces is a real bonus and gives us something extra special to share with visitors.’

EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY MARCH 3 Undated handout photo issued by Perth Museum and Art Gallery showing conservators at Perth Museum and Gallery cleaning a 3000 old mummy Ta-Kr-Hb. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday April 3, 2020. Conservators have discovered paintings inside the coffin of the Egyptian mummy after she was lifted out of it, for the first time in more than 100 years. See PA story HERITAGE Mummy. Photo credit should read: Julie Howden/Perth Museum and Art Gallery/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
The mummy hadn’t been removed for over 100 years (PA)

Conservators Helena and Richard Jaeschke have been working closely with Culture Perth and Kinross on the project, with work starting in late January.

Further research will be carried out on the paintings to find out more about the history of the mummy.

The painting on the interior base of the coffin trough was previously hidden by Ta-Kr-Hb and is the best preserved of the two.

It shows Imentet in profile, looking right and wearing her typical red dress.

Her arms are slightly outstretched and she is standing on a platform, indicating the depiction is of a holy statue or processional figure.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY MARCH 3 Undated handout photo issued by Perth Museum and Art Gallery showing conservators at Perth Museum and Gallery cleaning a 3000 old mummy Ta-Kr-Hb. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday April 3, 2020. Conservators have discovered paintings inside the coffin of the Egyptian mummy after she was lifted out of it, for the first time in more than 100 years. See PA story HERITAGE Mummy. Photo credit should read: Julie Howden/Perth Museum and Art Gallery/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Conservators at Perth Museum and Gallery (PA)

Usually, the platform is supported by a pole or column and one of these can be seen on the underside of the coffin trough.

The mummy was donated to Perth Museum by the Alloa Society of Natural Science and Archaeology in 1936.

It was presented to the society by a Mr William Bailey, who bought it from the curator of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

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Dr Hall said: ‘The key thing we wanted to achieve was to stabilise the body so it didn’t deteriorate any more so it has been rewrapped and then we wanted to stabilise the trough and upper part of the coffin which we’ve done.’

He added: ‘Doing this means everybody gets to find out a lot more about her.

‘One of the key things is just physically doing the work so we have a better idea of the episodes Ta-Kr-Hb went through in terms of grave robbers and later collectors in the Victorian times so we can explore these matters more fully and we can share that with the public.’

Culture Perth and Kinross is campaigning to raise money for the conservation of Ta-Kr-Hb as she prepares to go on display at the City Hall Museum in 2022.

She even has her own JustGiving page.

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Source: Metro News

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