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dave s

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About dave s

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  1. News reports of this go back at least to mid April. The government statements at the time said you WOULD be taken to an isolation center, no option, and you WOULD be given a real corona virus blood test there, no choice, where you would remain until your lab test results came back. No "ask", no "possibly", no "self isolation": detention, contacting you is not something you can just ignore if you please, they plan to come and get you. The trouble with that is, reports of repatriation flights arriving mentioning lab tests usually say something like "results expected sometime next week": it takes Thailand days to resolve a test, during which you will sit in detention staring at the wall. And it's been really vague about cost: the most definitive statement I've heard is that confinement will be free for Thais, varying figures up to several thousand baht per day for foreigners. Now, when Central Phuket re-opened, the press person was bragging that the daily capacity of Festival was about 9,000 customers per day, and of Florestra about 26,000. As a worst case, one infected customer would mean tracking down and isolating 35,000 people -- where the hell would they put them all? And how many years would you wait for your lab results, if Thailand cannot expeditiously handle a few tests from repatriation? A second wave would mean many such instances every day, day after day. The Google API went through revision after revision, not only because of privacy concerns, but to reduce the volume of data. The type 2 Bluetooth in most cell phones can be heard for 8 to 10 meters max, but varying environmental conditions make accurate distance measurement infeasible. Still, constant Bluetooth broadcasting to nearby phones, measured as "can I hear the other phone or not, yes or no?" could approximate the standard of 2 meters or closer and 15 minutes of contact before worrying about infection. You need an app to do this; the web pages of Thaichana cannot access Bluetooth or GPS circuitry. This would give an enormous reduction in the amount of data that need be considered compared to an "everyone who was anywhere in the complex during the infected visit", in a place the size of Central. And Thailand's Thaichana app does ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THIS DATA REDUCTION, or anything else that came out of the Google reviews and the Google API. In a busy second wave, it would collapse completely. It's fake, feel-good, purely for show, face saving to claim they are doing something. It carries a heavy cost if you are selected erroneously as infected, and offers no offsetting benefit if the whole system collapses under heavy load.
  2. The app is worthless if you do not have a smart phone. The paper sign up sheet is useless if you do not have a phone at all, and therefore do not have a phone number. What about tourists, if they ever are allowed to return, who don't have a Thai SIM plus a data plan, don't want one for just a two week or less trip, don't want to pay expensive roaming from the home country, don't have a fixed local address where the police can come and put them in quarantine by looking up the phone number that does not exist? Don't spend any money in Thailand: we'll make sure you don't, by not letting you into any store!!!. The assumption that all people are identical in a trivially simple way, and conform to arbitrary requirements, not for a good reason but because the designer doesn't want to consider all use cases nor think too hard about solving the problem, leads to unworkable situations that serve only the lowest common denominator of users. All too common around this place. A technical "solution" that doesn't consider reality, is antisocial, leaves lots of people out, and is even impossible for some, is stupid, useless ..... and typically Thai.
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