Links for 2020-08-24

  • Interchange fee

    TIL about credit card “interchange fees” — an additional fee levied by credit card companies and banks, roughly 3%, mainly in the US (the EU regulations cap it at 0.3%). ‘Imagine a consumer making a $100 purchase with a credit card. For that $100 item, the retailer would get approximately $98. The remaining $2, known as the merchant discount[13] and fees, gets divided up.’

    (tags: fees credit-cards interchange-fees us money)

  • How I helped fix Canada?s COVID Alert app

    Nice writeup of using mitmproxy to detect unwanted accesses to a Google endpoint in an iOS app

    (tags: mitmproxy mitm https ios apps reversing)

  • interesting results on children and COVID-19 — high asymptomatic infection rate

    ‘METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study of children and adolescents (<21 years of age) with a SARS-CoV-2-infected close contact. We collected nasopharyngeal or nasal swabs at enrollment and tested for SARS-CoV-2 using a real-time PCR assay. RESULTS: Of 382 children, 293 (77%) were SARS-CoV-2-infected. SARS-CoV-2-infected children were more likely to be Hispanic (p<0.0001), less likely to have asthma (p=0.005), and more likely to have an infected sibling contact (p=0.001) than uninfected children. Children ages 6-13 years were frequently asymptomatic (39%) and had respiratory symptoms less often than younger children (29% vs. 48%; p=0.01) or adolescents (29% vs. 60%; p<0.0001). Compared to children ages 6-13 years, adolescents more frequently reported influenza-like (61% vs. 39%; p<0.0001), gastrointestinal (27% vs. 9%; p=0.002), and sensory symptoms (42% vs. 9%; p<0.0001), and had more prolonged illnesses [median (IQR) duration: 7 (4, 12) vs. 4 (3, 8) days; p=0.01]. Despite the age-related variability in symptoms, we found no differences in nasopharyngeal viral load by age or between symptomatic and asymptomatic children.'

    (tags: covid-19 sars-cov-2 papers preprints kids children)

  • Children in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 were not contacted for nine days

    ‘Children who came into close contact with a confirmed case of the coronavirus at a summer camp run by Ireland’s lead sporting authority were not contacted by the HSE regarding the issue for nine days, it has emerged. Sport Ireland, the State authority charged with the development of sport in Ireland, has been running childrens’ summer camps at the National Aquatic Centre campus in Blanchardstown, Dublin, where SI itself is headquartered, since June 29th. At one such camp on Friday, 14 August, a nine-year-old boy participating apparently came into close contact with a case of the virus. However, he heard nothing about the contact until nine days later on August 23 when his mother received an automated text message stating that the contact had occurred and that he had been referred for a Covid-19 test.’

    (tags: sport-ireland ireland contact-tracing covid-19 kids hse children)

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  1. Nix
    Posted August 26, 2020 at 12:35 | Permalink

    Still better than the UK system. Two friends of mine have had covid-19 confirmed by test within a week of meeting me. None of our alleged army of centralized usual-suspect-contractor minimum-wage contact-tracers ever got in touch, even though I have multiple trivially-findable points of contact on the Internet and am hardly ever away from them. When I got (very likely) covid-19, two weeks ago, the only option available for non-drivers was a home test kit (massively unreliable if you live alone and have to give the test to yourself), and when I sent off for it first I got a bunch of 404s trying to do it, and then I got an empty box left outside in the rain!

    Now, two weeks later, they’re in the headlines for having run out of test kits entirely (and taking weeks to return positive results when they do have any to send out and get returned).

    The UK’s governmental response to all of this has been stunningly incompetent (like the current UK government’s response to everything), where it hasn’t been outright wrong (anything to do with Dominic Cummings). Small wonder people have moved from compliance to “why bother when the people in power can’t get their act together”: it’s irrational and harms yourself and everyone else, but it’s still completely understandable.

  2. Posted August 27, 2020 at 15:35 | Permalink

    Agreed, Nix! Hope you’re feeling better by now, that does not sound like fun.