Over thinking it

“You know how many people we come across every day?! Cycling into work, that is about 30 of ‘em. You get a coffee, with your keep cup of course because that is good for the environment, but going into the cafe is another 10. With a bit of luck there is just one other person standing next to you in the lift once you get to your building, but often you feel like sardines in a tin. During work itself, things are fine, it is always the same people, but they meet all these people during the day that you don’t come across.”

“Anyway that was only the morning, but just think about it. All those people you might come too close to… Yes, the app will know who has it and things, but when I meet different people every day, just by going to work… It must be so easy to still get it. And then when you get it again, because they still don’t know whether you become really immune, it might mean another two weeks of isolation.”

“I can imagine employers are not too keen on having people isolate so regularly, it will drop their productivity. So I understand that people break the rules, get an extra version of the app on a different phone, or turn it off when they are outside. To make things looks better than they are, or to make sure that they don’t get fired because they have to isolate after going to the pub. But, you know, I’m an honest person. I really struggle to go against rules that I know make sense. Yes, I wish I could break them so that I can let myself go once in a while. But I just don’t want to be the one that gets found out, and loses its job, which means that I won’t be able to pay my mortgage, and then all turns to the you-know-what. Sure, I know, rationally, that the chances are small of getting caught and I should just go out and meet some people outside of work and get an extra phone like everybody else, but still, … can you imagine.” 

By Anne Spaa (@SpaaAnne)

Back to Business

‘I hate this’ Dave told himself. He was only going into Canary Wharf because this was a big account and asking them to hop on the Jubilee Line these days would have been like suggesting they eat off the floor. Business development just wasn’t what it used to be, back then. The airport was offering meeting rooms where you could fly in, then take a meeting behind glass doors and a conference call with your contact without having to quarantine but that was proving too depressing for most people. Better to stay in a hotel for a couple of weeks, brushing up on his Mandarin and then go meet Pete in person. This was billions we were talking about and Dave’s boss wanted to make sure things were going smoothly.

The DLR from the airport hotel was mostly empty at 11am, but then once he got to the Jubilee Line, things were getting busier. Everyone had been staggered to start work between 6am and midday so you could self distance but you were constantly on edge. It was mad to have to travel with so many people at this time. Everyone queued up quietly along the stickered grid system TFL had installed. A red square meant you couldn’t stand there and arrows moved you along like the Japanese do on the Shinkansen. Eventually Dave got to Canary Wharf station, flashed his Oyster card embedded with his temperature taken 2 minutes ago to the bored member of staff. Barriers had all been left open since it started. Too many people were skipping them anyway. That’s what happens when there’s a pandemic and a recession. Everything goes to pot. 

He got to the lobby and waited his turn on another stickered grid. The pleasant looking lobby assistant waved him over, gloves, mask and all from behind her closed cubicle. The audio came in:

– Good morning sir, who are you here to see?

– Morning. Rob M. please, in Insurance.

– One moment please… Ah, it looks like our system is down again. I’m so sorry, this has happened twice this morning. I can’t let you into the building but you can call your contact and have him meet you outside the building. Our insurance policy doesn’t cover meetings in the office without app approval anymore.

– Ah, I see.

– I’m really sorry about that sir. Here’s his desk number.

– Don’t worry, I’ve got his mobile. I’ll give him a call. 

– Thank you sir. If you’d be so kind as to wait outside, we can’t let unapproved guests wait in the lobby anymore. 

– That’s fine. Thanks. 

– No, thank you sir.

She waved the next person along and he stepped back outside into the sun. It was pleasant enough when you ignored the grid-locked traffic. All the bankers had invested in a full-time driver. Uber had gone bankrupt anyway. Nobody wanted to ride in a car used by strangers anymore. He dialed Rob’s number.

– Hey man, I’m downstairs, the app reader doesn’t work. 

– Hiya mate, oh no worries. I’ll come straight down. 

They talked over sushi in the sun on elongated tables with sound barriers. You couldn’t talk business openly anymore so everyone was using code names and euphemisms as it was impossible not to overhear your immediate neighbours.

They finished at around 2pm.

– Fancy a quick pint before you head out asked Rob?

– Yeh why not. But where would we go? Aren’t the pubs still closed?

– Oh the office set up this 24h outdoor bar at the back of the building. I’ll pop in and get us some. What do you want?

– Half a pale ale. Thanks!

By Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (@iotwatch)
Author of ‘Smarter Homes: how technology will change your home life’ (http://www.designswarm.com/book) and founder of the Low Carbon Design Institute lowcarbondesigninstitute.org

Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting 

Date: 21/06/2020

Reporting Officer: J. Stephenson

Incident: Assault

Detail of Event: At approximately 01:43 on 21/06/2020 local authorities were alerted to an incident via street noise within the downtown area. The officer on duty investigated, and found two men having an altercation outside the Green Bear pub. After de-escalating the situation, the officer learned the fight had broken out after one of the men involved in the fight had realised that they had left their tracking app off. After turning it on, all attendees at the pub were instantly notified via their own tracking apps that they had been in contact with a potential carrier of covid-19 for an extended period of time, and were advised to self-isolate for two weeks. The offending individual then approached the assailant, demanding to know why he had chosen to attend the pub despite this knowledge, as his employment for the next two weeks was compromised. When he did not receive a satisfactory answer, the fight ensued until the officer on duty intervened. This report has been forwarded to the local police commission for advice on how to proceed with investigation and charges, given the isolation requirements of all parties. The officer on duty has since been advised to self-isolate.

By Kiersten Hay | @sayhayday

There Was an Old Lady Who Downloaded an App

 

There was an old lady who downloaded an app,

For covid she’d trap if she ‘loaded the app – there’d be no gap.

 

There was an old lady who used an iPhone;

That her daughter’s daughter had given on loan

 

She used the iPhone to download the app,

For covid she’d trap if she ‘loaded the app – there’d be no gap.

 

There was an old lady who used it as given,

She needed it for livin, for the bus (to be driven)

 

She used the iPhone as it had been given,

She used the iPhone to download the app,

For covid she’d trap if she ‘loaded the app – there’d be no gap.

 

There was an old lady who did not update,

She could not relate, for the need to update.

 

She used the iPhone with no update,

She used the iPhone as it had been given,

She used the iPhone to download the app,

For covid she’d trap if she ‘loaded the app – there’d be no gap.

 

There was an old lady who received some malware

She didn’t know where she got the malware!

 

She used the iPhone and got malware,

She used the iPhone as it had been given,

She used the iPhone to download the app,

For covid she’d trap if she ‘loaded the app – there’d be no gap.

 

There was an old lady who had a KNOB attack,

The update lack was the cause for attack.

 

She used the iPhone and was KNOB attacked,

She used the iPhone and got malware,

She used the iPhone as it had been given,

She used the iPhone to download the app,

For covid she’d trap if she ‘loaded the app – there’d be no gap.

 

There was an old lady whose iPhone was old,

New iOS could not be sold, for her phone was old.

 

She used the iPhone whose iOS was old,

She used the iPhone that was KNOB attacked,

She used the iPhone and got malware,

She used the iPhone as it had been given,

She used the iPhone to download the app,

For covid she’d trap if she ‘loaded the app – there’d be no gap.

 

There was an old lady who had data stolen,

Her accounts withholden, for her data was stolen.

 

She used the iPhone from which data was stolen,

She used the iPhone whose iOS was old,

She used the iPhone that was KNOB attacked,

She used the iPhone and got malware,

She used the iPhone as it had been given,

She used the iPhone to download the app,

For covid she’d trap if she ‘loaded the app – there’d be no gap.

 

There was an old lady filled with remorse;

…she fell through the gap, of course!

By Kiersten Hay | @sayhayday

The Hook-up

Kevin

21, London

Beer, bants, and bikes. Always down for a laugh. I know every word in Love Actually. Work in Finance. A bit wild, but would isolate for the right lioness. Feminist.

Hermione

22, Brighton

Yes, like the Harry Potter character. I love art, music, and sunlight. Guaranteed covid-fee since 06/03! Pretty sure I’m half mermaid. Own a black belt in karate and the receipt to prove it. What’s your favourite pizza topping (swipe left if pineapple)?

Sven

19, London

Here for a good time, not a long time. Yes, that’s a real tiger. No, that’s not a roll of coins in my pocket, but I’d be happy to see you 😉 Currently self isolating but would love to chat and see where things grow ;P

Sarah

23, Oxford

“I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it” ― Rita Mae Brown

Hedonist. Philosophy MA. Not looking for a relationship or quarentime together. Pic 3 is covid-19 status (updated 14/06/2020). Let’s have some good, clean fun.

By Kiersten Hay | @sayhayday

SKATTER Startup

In these challenging times, do you wish you could push your best deals to meet the needs of rising customer foot traffic, while also keeping your employees safe? Don’t push your marketing, SKATTER it!

SKATTER is a new, easy to use marketing tool that allows you to deliver coupons and other promotional materials directly into the pockets of potential customers. In the wake of covid-19 and the rise of the competitive online sales market, SKATTER uses bluetooth technology to create a new, engaging public information distribution channel. Simply choose from one of our SKATTER devices, available with a 10m or 100m delivery radius, to be delivered to your point of sales. Then, download the SKATTER app on to your phone or computer, upload your materials, and choose your distribution distance and time period. From there, SKATTER will deliver you materials directly to any smart device within the distribution parameters that has bluetooth enabled.

SKATTER is even better when you work with your local community! You can link SKATTER account with other account holders to increase your distribution radius. Great for local business districts, shopping malls, and franchises, increase your sales by working together.

Use SKATTER to distribute more for people, without people.

By Kiersten Hay | @sayhayday

COVID Theatre

Listen right, it’s all about making people feel safe. It was the same after nine eleven. Flying felt really dangerous, so they put in security measures and yeah it was about screening people but it was also about making people feel safe. Same after Manchester, they did bag searches so everyone could feel safe to go back to theatres. Thing is with covid is that it’s everywhere, so you need to make people feel safe everywhere and that is what the app is designed to do. This app is the same as not carrying liquids or having your bag searched, it’s so we feel safe to go back to doing whatever we were doing before. Obviously, I don’t buy it, I work in tech and I know a few things — I mean don’t get me started on bluetooth — but I still downloaded it. How else are we going to get back to normal?

By Cally Gatehouse | @callygraphy

Spice World

I can’t fucking believe this. It was only gone for one night out. I mean, it was freaking Victoria Beckham. No one was going to believe I saw Posh Spice at the pub—I mean, would you?? Here? I had to get a picture; I’ve been the biggest Spice Girls fan since I was, like, 10. Proper legends. And then, my phone’s out of storage, right? So I had to delete a couple of things; so I deleted the app. My battery was running low anyways—you know, with the bluetooth on… I added it again this morning though, honest; on my way to work. It was just me and my mates last night, well, and Posh… still can’t believe it; mental. Still buzzin. But then when I got into work they wanted to know why it’d been deleted. I told them, even showed them the picture, but they said I need to be on a two week probation in isolation. I need this week’s shifts for rent mate! I don’t know what I’m going to tell my housemates… can’t fucking believe this…

By Kiersten Hay | @sayhayday

Be there in a minute

Harry… Harry please. You know I have to go to work. We’ve been through this. Daddy’s going to play with you later, but you need to be a good boy when he’s in the office, okay? I’ll be home by 7. Harr— hold one a second. H-Hello?… Hi Mom… No, no we’re fine. Harry just pressed the button… No, no he’s fine—he’s fine mom. Don’t worry. He just wants me to stay home… Yeah, I know… I’m trying mom… I know mom; I’ll make him change it…. because I want him to learn to be responsible mom, okay? You can’t just take away ….yeah, I know… I’ll bring you your cake tin back on my way home, okay? …Okay… love you too… bye… Now Harry, you know I need to go to work. Just—oh who’s this now; Hello? Hi Sarah… I’m on my way in—I have the files on us, I’m just trying to get Harry to change his status on the app… Oh, no! No, he’s fine… I’m fine… he just really wants me to work from home today… Yes, I know I can still work from home, but this is a big project and it’s the first time I’m lead so… Yes, I know it’s all the same to attend online, but we all know what that makes the client think… Yes, yes I’m perfectly healthy… Don’t worry, I’ll make him update the status before I’m in the office; It won’t alert anyone… I’ll see you soon, alright? Okay… See you then, bye. Harry. Harry please…

By Kiersten Hay | @sayhayday