Will you install the NHS COVID-19 track and trace app on your Smartphone?

It’s a decentralised “application”, meaning it’s not installed centrally on a single instance, but instead is installed ‘decentrally’ on multiple devices.
By that definition then any smart phone app could be classified as a decentralised application. Heck even any react app web app could even fit that term. It doesn’t actually make it one ;)
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
By that definition then any smart phone app could be classified as a decentralised application. Heck even any react app web app could even fit that term. It doesn’t actually make it one ;)
Correct, so it is ‘decentralised’, in the sense of a ‘decentralised application’
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
LOL No it is isn’t. It’s just mis appropriation of a term. But let’s not bore everyone else and agree to disagree.
Considering the thread was talking about whether the NHSX and Apple/Google apps have backends (which they both do), the question of the application being installed on multiple endpoints (decentralised) is largely irrelevant anyway :smashin:
 

maddy

Well-known Member
The differentiator is (I think) that one does the matching on the decentralised device (phone) and the other does is centrally on a server-based system.

Terrible nomenclature.
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
The differentiator is (I think) that one does the matching on the decentralised device (phone) and the other does is centrally on a server-based system.

Terrible nomenclature.
The main different between the two apps are how the devices are identified and how a positive identifier is uploaded. The NHSX app uses IP address/device ID, and the Apple/Google app uses a randomly generated token for each device, that changes throughout a 24 hour period, so is considerably more unique and unidentifiable. The NHSX app also allows end users to self-report a positive result, whereas the other app uses an actual positive test to report.

The backend matching is done at at the server level with both apps as far as I’m aware.
 

maddy

Well-known Member
I suppose all this missed the point anyway, the real question is whether or not contact tracing via BT is a feasible solution out in the wild. Deffo worth investigating, though I'm skeptical it'll worth in practice.
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
I suppose all this missed the point anyway, the real question is whether or not contact tracing via BT is a feasible solution out in the wild. Deffo worth investigating, though I'm skeptical it'll worth in practice.
I agree that, technically at least, Bluetooth isn’t necessarily accurate enough to identify individual devices that are within the specified 2m range (BLE is rated up to 400m). Therefore, it could report someone sitting at the other end of the bus from you, as being in contact with you for more than 15 minutes, when the reality is that they were 50ft away (sitting upstairs) and you never even saw them.

The question is, is over-reporting better than just asking someone who they’ve been in contact with, within the last 14 days, and what are their contact details.
 
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GarryF

Well-known Member
I recall Switzerland trialling the google/apple model last month, searching for it not much info, this article says

A pilot in Switzerland has had positive results, particularly on the privacy settings, and the authorities expect to roll it in out next week.
 

rfield

Well-known Member
News update - it keeps getting better!

Despite Downing Street proudly announcing they were working closely with google and apple to get this supposed hybrid app framework in place .... they haven't actually mentioned it to them.

Apple have just stated they know nothing about the hybrid plans at all ; plus "It is difficult to understand what these claims are [about bluetooth distance issues] as they haven't spoken to us."

Pretty sure our government is being run by Monty Python.
Apple 'not told' about UK's latest app plans
 

Tight Git

Distinguished Member
No wonder Matt Hancock didn't take the briefing today, also no scientists were willing to put their head above the parapet!

The government were lucky this mornings newspapers were full of Vera Lynn's passing.

They'll be hoping for a similar distraction tonight!
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
News update - it keeps getting better!

Despite Downing Street proudly announcing they were working closely with google and apple to get this supposed hybrid app framework in place .... they haven't actually mentioned it to them.

Apple have just stated they know nothing about the hybrid plans at all ; plus "It is difficult to understand what these claims are [about bluetooth distance issues] as they haven't spoken to us."

Pretty sure our government is being run by Monty Python.
Apple 'not told' about UK's latest app plans
I can't believe you'd disrespect Monty Python this way!
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
Here was me thinking we only blew a few million quid on the mythical app, seems it was closer to £11m.

I hope we can see the receipts.

Minus the redactions of course.
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
More likely they'll test the Apple back end with their front end and it won't work, Then test their back end with the Apple front end and it won't work,. Then they'll put the Apple back and front end together and announce they have found the best combination. :D
And I thought you were joking...

Failed test-and-trace app cost more than £11m, Government figures show

Mr Hancock told the Downing Street briefing that developers had been working on both the NHSX app and the design offered by Apple and Google since May, but the former had hit a “technical barrier” during testing on the Isle of Wight.

He said: “We found that our app works well on Android devices but Apple software prevents iPhones being used effectively for contact tracing unless you are using Apple’s own technology.”

Mr Hancock said the solution was to work together to overcome the problems, adding: “We have agreed to join forces with Google and Apple to bring the best bits of both systems together.


Ignoring the fact £11m has been funnelled into a single app (well, into someone’s bank account anyway), the fact that it’s taken nearly 4 months for Hancock to announce that an app can’t access the BLE background process on Apple devices, something which pretty much everyone else said from day one, is far from funny though.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
It isn't funny at all. But as is often commented on here, the government spin machine tries to make light of every failing now. To the point that it just fades into the background along with everything else and becomes almost like a part of everyday life. Like it's not that important.

The old, "Oh it's just Boris being Boris," syndrome. A larking around to be laughed at.

It's shameful to be honest.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Various technical groups pointed this out early on but...

Oh, and that Bluetooth doesn't work for determining distance. In fact the directors where I work decided to base a product on that and thy didn't list to anyone who disagreed with them including the technical director.
Guess what happened to the project.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
Various technical groups pointed this out early on but...

Oh, and that Bluetooth doesn't work for determining distance. In fact the directors where I work decided to base a product on that and thy didn't list to anyone who disagreed with them including the technical director.
Guess what happened to the project.
They spent £11m before canning it? ;)

Reading into it earlier, this really does stink to be honest. Not least because of how important it is right now.

Also everyone in here practically called it, as did probably most of the rest of the country. But knowing that everyone knows doesn't even bother this lot either.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Remember that big NHS IT project? With a budget of about £10 billion, spent £6.4 billion and produced precisely nothing?
The same people in NHSX were in that.
 

maddy

Well-known Member
They spent £11m before canning it? ;)

Reading into it earlier, this really does stink to be honest. Not least because of how important it is right now.

Also everyone in here practically called it, as did probably most of the rest of the country. But knowing that everyone knows doesn't even bother this lot either.
I very much doubt that £11m was spent. These contracts are structured around making payment when hitting agreed milestones and full payment on delivery. There would likely be a level of support/maintenance built into that £11m for the duration of the contract.

Remember that big NHS IT project? With a budget of about £10 billion, spent £6.4 billion and produced precisely nothing?
The same people in NHSX were in that.
The amount of guff written about that programme is sky high. The contract was always payment on service, not on development so the risk was on the prime contractors during development. Loads of systems went into the NHS, they're still running them.

 

fat jez

Well-known Member
^
That's not far off the reality of the systems underpinning the running of most UK banks.
When I joined a bank, I assumed they would have the latest and best IT infrastructure. Boy was I wrong! It was all held together with batch scripts and automated jobs and if one of them ran the slightest bit too long, you were in trouble!
 

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