Tech

Tech

‘This is 2020’: Japan lampooned for filing Covid-19 cases by fax
Japan’s stubborn reliance on the fax machine has been hit by a storm of ridicule after a frustrated doctor went on a Twitter tirade about the legal requirement that hospitals complete paperwork on coronavirus cases by hand then fax it to public health centers so they can compile statistics. The doctor, apparently a specialist in respiratory medicine at a public hospital, wrote: “Come on, let’s stop this.” “Reporting cases in handwriting? Even with the coronavirus, we are writing by hand and faxing.” He added that the practice was “Showa period stuff,” referring to the imperial era that ran from 1926 until the death of Emperor Hirohito in 1989. Yet fax still reigns supreme in Japan, with a re
Hackers target Beijing and WHO amid pandemic, reports say
Hackers targeted Chinese agencies and diplomatic missions in a coordinated cyber espionage campaign, according to a report by a leading Chinese internet security provider. Both domestic Chinese agencies and Beijing’s diplomatic missions in countries including Italy, the UK, North Korea and Thailand have been attacked, according to a report by Qihoo 360. It speculated in the report that the East Asia-based DarkHotel hacking group attacked Chinese operations for reasons linked to the pandemic. The group is also suspected to be behind recent cyberattacks against the World Health Organization, according to a Reuters report. Officials and cybersecurity experts warn that hackers of all stripes are
How food delivery became backbone of China’s coronavirus fight
When Liu Yilin, a retired middle school teacher in Wuhan, first heard rumors of a highly contagious disease spreading in the central Chinese city, he started to stock up on supplies such as rice, oil, noodles and dried fish. These preparations spared the 66-year-old from some of the early panic when the city went into lockdown in late January and shoppers flooded to the markets and malls to snap up supplies. But as time went on, and with residents banned from leaving their homes, he became increasingly concerned about getting hold of fresh supplies of vegetables, fruit and meat.  Thankfully, the nation’s vast network of delivery drivers came to the rescue. “It was such a relief that several
The coronavirus has forever altered how China studies and works
With the coronavirus outbreak crippling normal life in China, technology has rushed to the fore on many fronts as a literal lifesaver. Robots in hospitals, health code apps, online education and remote working all played crucial roles in keeping the country operational with most of the population trapped in self-isolation. But as the devastating outbreak starts to ease within China, and life gradually returns to normal, many are asking whether the pandemic will leave a permanent mark on the way people work and live. The pandemic may even accelerate long-term trends such as the digitalization of education, work and even people.  Xu Yuting, an 18-year-old high school student in eastern China’s
Huawei says it’s coping with coronavirus and US sanctions just fine
While the coronavirus pandemic may have forced many companies in China and around the world to hit the pause button on business operations, engineers at Huawei Technologies have been working round the clock to combat the crisis. The world’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier and China’s biggest smartphone maker has been motivated by a sense of mission, said Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive of Huawei, as he sat down for an interview with the South China Morning Post this week. “Over 20,000 scientists, experts and engineers worked overtime during the Lunar New Year holiday, because we’re racing to develop new [technologies],” Ren said, referring to the work in progress as “
Virus outbreak gives China a convenient reason to collect more data
The coronavirus outbreak has allowed Chinese authorities and companies to scoop up an ever-expanding set of data on citizens, raising questions about privacy and the protection of personal information. “I have no excuse to reject requests by the authorities to share my personal data when it is done in the name of public safety,” said Wang Junyao, a 29-year-old engineer in Shenzhen. “But what about when the virus ends? Surely the conflict between data collection and privacy will only intensify.” While real-name registration and facial recognition were commonplace in everyday life in China before the epidemic, the practices are being extended to over-the-counter purchases of medicine and all f
‘Big data’ segregates millions in China’s coronavirus fight
On Valentine’s Day, a 36-year-old lawyer in eastern China discovered he had been coded “red.” The lawyer, Matt Ma, was effectively put in chains. The color, displayed in a payment app on his smartphone, indicated that he needed to be quarantined at home even though he was not sick.  Without a green light from the system, he could not travel from his home village to the eastern city of Hangzhou, or make it past the checkpoints that have sprung up across the city as a measure to contain the new coronavirus.  Ma is one of the millions of people whose movements are being choreographed by the government through software that feeds on troves of data and spits out orders that effectively dictate wh