It’s the rise of 3D-printed ventilators, drones are being deployed and programmed to yell at people not practising social distancing, and a story about targeted ads blows up on Reddit.
A TechCrunch story about hundreds of engineers coming together to design and produce an open-source ventilator using 3D-printed materials continues to make its rounds on social media. Ventilators are in short supply in several nations across the world as the spread of COVID-19 continues. The story goes on to say that the ventilator design will soon enter the validation process in Ireland. Hopes are that it serves as a stepping stone for adoption in other countries. The group, called the Open Source COVID19 Medical Supplies community, is also turning its attention to designs for other badly needed medical equipment like masks and sanitizers.
Despite public health officials recommending social distancing policies and governments outright banning large events to stop the spread of COVID-19, some people still aren’t listening. Enter the drones. Stories about police drones in various countries that monitor streets and issue stern reminders for people to stay at home continue to pop up on social media. One example comes from Spain, where Spanish authorities are using speaker-mounted drones to find and promptly yell at people still congregating in the streets. Additional reports have surfaced of similar tactics used in China and Italy.
And lastly, a story from Wired about banning targeted ads entirely in the U.S. has exploded on Reddit with more than 21,000 upvotes and 1.5 thousand comments in less than 24 hours. In addition to describing a world where brands don’t follow you around for days after you order something from Amazon, the article goes on to highlight the mad scramble companies like Google and Facebook would be in as they seek new revenue streams. Can businesses function without targeted ads? Experts suggest yes, especially the big companies like Google and Facebook with their enormous user bases. But, the article concludes with a quote that notes one of the biggest changes we would notice if such a policy were to exist. It reads: “The thing that won’t exist is this weird anomaly where some advertising companies—which is what they are—are the biggest, most powerful companies on the planet.”
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