Law and Legal
CNET – Screenshots, trackpad, better battery charging – “Apple’s iOS 13 software for iPhone and iPad keeps getting incrementally better. The latest boost comes in the form of iOS and iPadOS 13.4. One favorite new feature brings us iCloud folder sharing, a Dropbox-like experience for Apple storage on your iPhone, iPad and Mac… From the first celebrated features in iOS 13 to the new crop, we also like to call attention to the lesser known gems, from a new type of voice search to a much-needed volume control and a new Audio Sharing feature for AirPods owners. You can fine out about them all below. Also check out more common tools such as dedicated dark mode, a new-look Maps app and a gesture-based keyboard. If you’re still holding off on installing the update, now’s a good time to make the jump. Just make sure you get your phone or tablet ready first…”
Chicago Tribune: “In the past week, publishers and audio entertainment companies have offered a deluge of free e-books and audiobooks to keep readers of all ages engaged while they’re hunkered down at home. Parents, teachers and kids can choose from electronic editions of beloved stories such as Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” Ann McGovern’s “Stone Soup,” Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” and Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.” For audiobook fans, Penguin Random House Audio is among those offering free listens for families, including “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. “As a mom myself, I know how challenging it can be to balance working from home and remote learning with kids home from school as well,” said Amanda D’Acierno, president and publisher of Penguin Random House Audio. “So many parents and teachers are looking for enriching indoor activities for kids right now.” Libraries in Southern California may be closed but they still provide online access to a multitude of e-books, audiobooks and other materials at no charge. Novelists, poets and children’s book authors are using social media to share readings and favorite stories. Here’s a roundup of where you can find free books and listens from home in the weeks ahead…”
tom’s guide – “Zoom has quickly become the go-to resource for people who want to communicate with colleagues, family members, and friends. But for many, it’s also a new tool that has features you might not easily know how to use. With more people using Zoom than ever before, we’ve put together a general how to use Zoom guide and more specific step-by-step guides on how to set up a Zoom meeting, how to join a Zoom meeting and how to see everyone on Zoom. One of the most important features in Zoom is the ability to share your screen with others. It allows you to collaborate with colleagues on something you’re working on or illustrate an activity or anything else you want to show those who are on the other side of the call…”
Modeling and Analysis of Conflicting Information Propagation in a Finite Time Horizon, published in the journal IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking. The paper was co-authored by Cliff Wang of the Army Research Office.
NC State: “Researchers from North Carolina State University and the Army Research Office have demonstrated a new model of how competing pieces of information spread in online social networks and the Internet of Things (IoT). The findings could be used to disseminate accurate information more quickly, displacing false information about anything from computer security to public health. “Whether in the IoT or on social networks, there are many circumstances where old information is circulating and could cause problems – whether it’s old security data or a misleading rumor,” says Wenye Wang, co-author of a paper on the work and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State. “Our work here includes a new model and related analysis of how new data can displace old data in these networks.” “Ultimately, our work can be used to determine the best places to inject new data into a network so that the old data can be eliminated faster,” says Jie Wang, a postdoctoral researcher at NC State and first author of the paper. In their paper, the researchers show that a network’s size plays a significant role in how quickly “good” information can displace “bad” information. However, a large network is not necessarily better or worse than a small one. Instead, the speed at which good data travels is primarily affected by the network’s structure. A highly interconnected network can disseminate new data very quickly. And the larger the network, the faster the new data will travel.
“In the trying days of quarantine, you might want to jot down “seek delight” on your to-do list. I’ve gathered some potential sources as starting points, with the help of my colleagues at Quartz…”
Via Dennis Kennedy – Project #keeplawopen 30-60-90 facilitated by #makelawbetter dot org
Overview – Project #keeplawopen 30-60-90 is a proposal to:
- Make courts, lawyers, and law schools aware that we are here, we are available, and we are capable of providing them with solutions;
- By designing tangible recommendations for each group to continue functioning as optimally as possible — possibly even thriving — during the disruption of COVID-19;
- Including recommendations that can be implemented now (the next 30 days) and over time (the next 60 days, and the next 90 days).
Right now, we seek:
- People to sign up according to which group (courts, lawyers, law schools) they would like to help;
- People interested in organizing these groups, coordinating their efforts, and ensuring the work gets done as soon as we are able…”
EdSurge: “The first image many people have of school is a circle of small children, sitting cross-legged, paying attention (or not) to an adult reading a book aloud and showing pictures to the class. Indeed, presidents and sports stars choose exactly this photo op when visiting schools. And teachers across the country reenact the scene daily—or did until a few weeks ago. As schools, teachers and families face the shock of abruptly shifting to online education, one small question has been how to shift these read alouds to Zoom, Facebook, Google Hangouts and YouTube, the spaces where many classes continue to meet. A second question has been given almost equal importance: Is reading a book to students online even legal? The short answer is, well, yes. While many well-intentioned commentators have warned teachers against this practice, the fact is that copyright law—specifically fair use—permits many read-aloud activities online. As instructors and learners adapt to new educational environments, copyright concerns about reading aloud need not be among the challenges they face…”
Frontline Foods – “The idea is simple: Support local hospital clinicians who are working in wartime-like conditions and support local restaurants who have been impacted by the COVID crisis. 100% of your money goes directly to restaurants serving hospital workers.”
Federal Government Invests $50M in Museums, Libraries to Address Digital Divide: “The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced that the President has signed the CARES Act, which designates $50 million in coronavirus response funding for IMLS. Following passage in the House of Representatives earlier today, both chambers of Congress approved of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion response to the growing pandemic. The emergency investment allocated to IMLS will enable libraries and museums to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including by expanding digital network access, purchasing Internet accessible devices, and providing technical support services to their communities…
AFF will be offline permanently March 31, 2020. “There are now a nice set of short tutorial and long webinar recordings at …It facilitated teaching the economic and business datasets more than data.census.gov does IMO.) Via Steve Cramer, Business & Economics Librarian, Associate Professor | Coleman Fellow for Entrepreneurship Education , University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
“The American Bar Association has posted an ABA Legal Fact Check that answers a question that has been raised frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic: Who has the legal authority to order such stringent actions as quarantines and stay at home directives. In recent days, both the president and individual governors have asserted that power. While the federal government can issue guidelines, the legal fact check shows that the legal authority to take such actions within a state belongs to the governor while the president has the authority to close the U.S. borders to foreign travelers. The fact check notes that some legal experts believe the president also has the power to regulate travel between states through the Commerce Clause although that has never been affirmed by the courts.
- ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues.
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Seattle Washington:
- The charts on this site projected hospital resource use based on COVID-19 deaths.
- The projections assume the continuation of strong social distancing measures and other protective measures.
- To view the methods used to produce the projections click here.
- On April 15 – Hospital Bed Shortage 61,509
- On April 15 – ICU Bed Shortage 15,103
- On April 15 – Invasive ventilators needed 26,753
- Total COVID-19 deaths projected to August 4, 2020 in United States of America – 82,141
Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues March 28, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: The battle against disinformation is global; Report: “‘Zoombombing’: When Video Conferences Go Wrong”; Could President Trump end lockdowns? Three legal issues; Putin’s Secret Intelligence Agency Hacked: Dangerous New ‘Cyber Weapons’ Now Exposed; and AG Shapiro: Amazon, Facebook, Ebay, Walmart, Craigslist Must Stop Site Price Gouging by Online Sellers.
US Conference of Mayors – “The survey described in this report illustrates the scope and severity of the need for COVID-19 emergency equipment in this nation’s cities. It shows that, despite their best efforts, most cities do not have and cannot obtain adequate equipment and supplies needed to protect their residents. This is a life-threatening crisis that will continue unless the federal government does everything in its power to help us safeguard our first responders and health care workers – our first line of defense – and the millions of other public servants in our cities whose work today puts them at risk.
- 91.5% (192) of the cities do not have an adequate supply of face masks for their first responders (including police, fire, and EMTs) and medical personnel.
- 88.2% (186) do not have an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) other than face masks to protect these workers.
- 92.1% (186) do not have an adequate supply of test kits.
- 85% (164) do not have an adequate supply of ventilators for use by health facilities in their city or area.
- 62.4% (131) have not received emergency equipment or supplies from their State.
- Of those receiving help from their State, 84.6% (66) say it is not adequate to meet their needs.
For emergency equipment, analysis of these responses by city size found little variation from largest to smallest cities in the percentages of adequacy of supplies. While a somewhat higher percentage of larger cities reported receiving equipment and supplies from their State, cities reporting inadequacy of these supplies did not vary by size. Across the survey cities able to provide estimates, needed are:
- 5 million face masks;
- 4 million PPE items;
- 9 million test kits; and
- 139,000 ventilators.”
“Great music. No limits. Now the longest-running music series in American television history, ACL showcases popular music legends and innovators from every genre. In addition to being honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum as a rock and roll landmark, ACL is the only television program to ever receive the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest award for artistic excellence.”
JD Supra – “If you’re looking for a single place to find information concerning the federal government’s response to the coronavirus that impacts contractors, the General Services Administration (GSA) recently uploaded a webpage on the acquisition.gov website that aims to deliver: https://www.acquisition.gov/coronavirus. While it is not a comprehensive source, the site includes selected links to guidance and memoranda issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as links to other helpful sites…”
CRS Report – Federal Reserve: Emergency Lending, Updated March 27, 2020. “The 2007-2009 financial crisis led the Federal Reserve (Fed) to revive an obscure provision found in Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 344) to extend credit to nonbank financial firms for the first time since the 1930s.”
See also CRS Report – Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund and COVID-19, March 26, 2020. “As part of the U.S. government’s economic response to the corona virus disease 2019(COVID-19), the“third” COVID-19 stimulus package (H.R. 748), as passed by the Senate on March 25, would appropriate $500 billion to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) to support loans, loan guarantees, and investments for businesses affected by COVID-19.In addition, the legislation would temporarily permit the use of the ESF to guarantee money markets, as occurred in the 2008 financial crisis. ESF assets have already been pledged in 2020 to backstop several emergency lending facilities created by the Federal Reserve (Fed) in response to financial turmoil caused by COVID-19.
EveryCRSReport – COVID-19: State and Local Shut-Down Orders and Exemptions for Critical Infrastructure, March 26, 2020 – “Since the onset of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States, public officials have issued numerous emergency directives closing non-essential businesses and facilities and instructing non-essential workers to stay home. However, these directives have generally included exemptions for essential businesses and other facilities if they are part of a critical infrastructure sector or provide essential services. Some business leaders have invoked federal authorities and guidelines when contesting state or local orders that would affect their operations. Uncertainty about what systems, assets, and facilities are part of a federally recognized critical infrastructure sector, and what (if any) official status is conferred to a company that is a participant in such a sector, may complicate both administration of emergency directives and impact private-sector management of critical infrastructures and workforces. This Insight provides an overview of the federal critical infrastructure protection and resilience policy framework and discusses its relevance and potential application to the management of essential systems, assets, facilities, and workforces subject to state and local emergency orders.”