As we are all getting used to the new teleworking, for those who have kids at home, the #TechAways team wanted to highlight My WoW! Time – a free bulletin of positive news, an antidote to the grim diet of much of the media.
WoW! is being produced in Brussels with a European and global flavour. It is the first media for 8-12 year-olds to focus on real people finding real solutions to the real problems we all face, from personal troubles, to difficulties in our communities and threats to planet Earth.
We recommend you check it out – and to share this widely with people who you think would appreciate it. You can read their latest issue (about people recovering from COVID-19) in English or in French or subscribe to the newsletter. You’ll also find links to their podcasts on Spotify and iTunes.
Any other Brussels-based projects you would like to share? Let the Cambre team know!
Fighting the virus with medicine, labs and data [Wall Street Journal]
While the race for a cure is on around the world, the other main tool to fight this virus is data. How does it work? Step one: gather all the meta-data related to the virus, including contamination, movement of people, level of medical supplies and services. Step two: use algorithms to recognise patterns and process the data. Step 3: use the data-driven forecast to predict new contaminations, helping hospitals to estimate the number coming their way. It’s not perfect, because the data is also incomplete, but every bit helps in fighting this pandemic.
You have all probably heard it by now – or perhaps been at the receiving end – of the rapid spreading of false rumours, misinformation and straight-out lies that are making the rounds since the outbreak of the coronavirus. Much of the information is obvious in its deception, but some of it is more devious and looks genuine. However, we can be thankful for the Avengers-esque alliance of tech giants consisting of Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Reddit who are teaming up to combat this fraud and highlight authoritative content on their platforms.
Printing the fight against COVID-19 [The Verge]
When a medical device supplier told an Italian hospital it wouldn’t be able to manufacture a crucial valve for respirators quickly enough, the hospital started looking for someone to 3D print them. Italian startup Isinnova swiftly offered its services. Despite some drama around patents for the valve, this is a remarkable example of startups and SMEs stepping in to help out wherever possible during this crisis. Hopefully, companies, organisations, and countries worldwide follow Isinnova’s example of finding creative solutions in difficult times.
From vodka to handsanitiser [TechCrunch]
While some were profiteering from the Coronavirus pandemic by picking up hand sanitisers in cheap stores and selling them online at multiples higher, vodka startup Air Co. has committed to producing 1000 50mL bottles of hand sanitiser per week for donation. Built to fulfil a mission of social good, the startup developed a net carbon-negative technology which produces vodka with carbon dioxide extracted from the air. With the rapid spread of the virus, Air Co. decided to redirect its entire production capacity towards producing hand sanitiser, every bottle of which will be donated. This is one of many examples of social solidarity out there right now.
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In case you haven’t had enough…
Covid-19 is tech’s big moment – but we still miss real life (Financial Times)
To track virus, governments weigh surveillance tools that push privacy limits (Wall Street Journal)
Over 24,000 coronavirus research papers are now available in one place (Technology Review)