The European Commission published a report on the EU Digital COVID Certificate and its implementation across the EU.
The report shows that the certificate has been a crucial element in Europe’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 591 million certificates generated.
The certificate, which covers COVID-19 vaccination, test and recovery, facilitates safe travel for citizens, and it has also been key to support Europe’s hard-hit tourism industry.
It has set a global standard and is currently the only system already in operation at international level.
“The EU Digital COVID Certificate system has helped mitigate negative economic effects during the pandemic. It gave travellers the confidence to travel safely in the EU and boosted travel this summer. Europe has swiftly and successfully set an innovative, privacy-friendly global standard, in times of crisis, with many countries around the globe interested in joining the system,” Commissioner for Justice, Didie Reynders, said.
43 countries across four continents are already connected into the EU Digital COVID Certificate system, and more will follow over the coming weeks and months. Of the 43 countries that are already connected, 27 are EU Member States, 3 European Economic Area (EEA) countries, Switzerland, plus 12 other countries and territories.
Altogether, 60 countries expressed interest in joining the EU system. Beyond the ones already connected, technical discussions are ongoing with 28 of these countries. The EU did not specify which countries those were.
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google and parent company Alphabet Inc., said the U.S. government should take a more active role in policing cyberattacks and encouraging innovation with policies and investments.
In the wake of recent cybersecurity breaches attributed to Chinese and Russian hackers, Mr. Pichai said the time had come to draft the equivalent of a Geneva Convention for technology to outline international legal standards for an increasingly connected world.
“Governments on a multilateral basis…need to put it up higher on the agenda,” Mr. Pichai said in a recorded interview for The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference on Monday. “If not, you’re going to see more of it because countries would resort to those things.”
The year is not yet over, but already gun seizures at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport checkpoints are at record highs. As of October 3, TSA officers had stopped 4,495 airline passengers from carrying firearms onto their flight this year.
The TSA has discovered 11 firearms in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints per million passengers screened so far in 2021. This compares to five firearms per million passengers in 2019
“The number of firearms that our TSA officers are stopping at airport checkpoints is alarming,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Firearms, particularly loaded firearms, introduce an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no place in the passenger cabin of an aircraft, and represent a very costly mistake for the passengers who attempt to board a flight with them.”
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China has the world’s largest digital surveillance system. The state collects massive amounts of data from citizens in an effort to control behaviour. Critics call it “the most ambitious Orwellian project in human history.”
In the so-called “brain” of Shanghai, for example, authorities have an eye on everything. On huge screens, they can switch to any of the approximately one million cameras, to find out who’s falling asleep behind the wheel, or littering, or not following Coronavirus regulations. “We want people to feel good here, to feel that the city is very safe,” says Sheng Dandan, who helped design the “brain.” Surveys suggest that most Chinese are inclined to see benefits as opposed to risks: if algorithms can identify every citizen by their face, speech and even the way they walk, those breaking the law or behaving badly will have no chance. It’s incredibly convenient: a smartphone can be used to accomplish just about any task, and playing by the rules leads to online discounts thanks to a social rating system.
The new processors, the M1 Pro and M1 Max, are 70% faster than the M1, its original self-designed silicon for Macs, and are the “most powerful chips Apple has ever built,” the company said.
At its third launch event of 2021 on Monday, the company unveiled a new MacBook Pro. The 14-inch model will be powered by M1 Pro, which has a graphic processing unit that is two times faster than the original M1 and bigger memory bandwidth. Meanwhile, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro will be equipped with the M1 Max chip that features an even faster GPU and larger memory bandwidth.
From Apple to Google to Tesla, tech companies are increasingly choosing to develop semiconductors in-house, giving them greater control over their supply chain and the ability to tailor chips for their specific products.
Intel processors had been the “brain” of Mac for years, but it started replacing them with its own chips last November, beginning with the launch of the M1-powered MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. The company continued the transition by introducing a new iMac desktop with an M1 chip in April and said it would take two years to fully move from Intel chipsets to its own.