beSpacific - Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Subscribe to beSpacific - Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002 feed
Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002
Updated: 36 min 18 sec ago

Social distancing strategies for curbing the COVID-19 epidemic

Sun, 03/29/2020 - 15:41

Social distancing strategies for curbing the COVID-19 epidemic – “The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is straining healthcare resources worldwide, prompting social distancing measures to reduce transmission intensity. The amount of social distancing needed to curb the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in the context of seasonally varying transmission remains unclear. Using a mathematical model, we assessed that one-time interventions will be insufficient to maintain COVID-19 prevalence within the critical care capacity of the United States. Seasonal variation in transmission will facilitate epidemic control during the summer months but could lead to an intense resurgence in the autumn. Intermittent distancing measures can maintain control of the epidemic, but without other interventions, these measures may be necessary into 2022. Increasing critical care capacity could reduce the duration of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic while ensuring that critically ill patients receive appropriate care…” This article – CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license. It is made available under a author/funder, who has granted medRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. The copyright holder for this preprint

See also the WSJ [paywall] – Government Tracking How People Move Around in Coronavirus Pandemic – “Goal is to get location data in up to 500 U.S. cities to help plan response; privacy concerns call for ‘strong legal safeguards,’ activist says.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Zoombombing, data privacy, webcam backdrop, virtual town hall

Sun, 03/29/2020 - 15:34
Categories: Law and Legal

Opinion – A Silent Spring Is Saying Something

Sun, 03/29/2020 - 15:14

Roger Cohen’s essay in the NYT: A Silent Spring Is Saying Something – The eerie inhumanity of Donald Trump. “This is the silent spring. The planet has gone quiet, so quiet you can almost hear it whirling around the sun, feel its smallness, picture for once the loneliness and fleetingness of being alive.This is the spring of fears. A scratchy throat, a sniffle, and the mind races. I see a single rat ambling around at dusk on Front Street in Brooklyn, a garbage bag ripped open by a dog, and experience an apocalyptic vision of vermin and filth. Scattered masked pedestrians on empty streets look like the survivors of a neutron bomb. A pathogen about one-thousandth the width of a human hair, the spiky-crowned new coronavirus, has upended civilization and unleashed the imagination. From my window, gazing across the East River, I see a car pass now and then on F.D.R. Drive. The volume of traffic reminds me of standing on the Malecón, the seafront promenade in Havana, a dozen years ago and watching a couple of cars a minute pass. But that was Cuba and those were finned ’50s beauties!

This is Trump’s world now: scattered, incoherent, unscientific, nationalist. Not a word of compassion does he have for America’s stricken Italian ally (instead the United States quietly asks Italy for nasal swabs flown into Memphis by the U.S. Air Force). Not a word from a United Nations Security Council bereft of American leadership. Not a word of plain simple decency, the quality Camus most prized. In their place, neediness, pettiness and boastfulness. The only index Trump comprehends is the Dow. I have experienced physical shock in recent weeks watching leaders like Angela Merkel in Germany, Justin Trudeau in Canada and Emmanuel Macron in France speak about the pandemic. We Americans do not grasp how insidiously Trump has accustomed us to malignancy. A germophobe, he has spread the germ of untruth. That self-satisfied, nasal and plaintive presidential voice has become a norm. And so merely to hear a sane, caring, scientific response to the virus from other leaders is riveting and reorienting…”

  • See also “The US response will be studied for generations as a textbook example of a disastrous, failed effort. What’s happened in Washington has been a fiasco of incredible proportions.” The Guardian: The missing six weeks.
  • See also The Atlantic – The Curve Is Not Flat Enough – “Hospitals are poised to face the kind of life-and-death decisions that industrialized countries typically encounter only in times of war and natural disaster.”
Categories: Law and Legal

HBR free access to coronavirus coverage

Sun, 03/29/2020 - 14:22

Special Coverage – Coronavirus – Leading and working through a pandemic. The Harvard Business Review is offering free access to its coronavirus coverage.

Categories: Law and Legal

LC Coronavirus Resource Guide

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 22:47

Coronavirus Resource Guide – March 20, 2020 by Margaret Wood – “This is intended as a guide to laws, regulations and executive actions in the United States, at both the federal and the state level, and in various countries with respect to the new coronavirus and its spread. We are also including links to Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that provide information to Congress about the novel coronavirus. In addition, we provide links to relevant federal agency websites. We intend to update this guide on at least a weekly basis for the immediate future.”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Law and Economics of Online Republication

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 22:44

Perry, Ronen, The Law and Economics of Online Republication (March 10, 2020). Iowa Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

“Jerry publishes unlawful content about Newman on Facebook, Elaine shares Jerry’s post, the share automatically turns into a tweet because her Facebook and Twitter accounts are linked, and George immediately retweets it. Should Elaine and George be liable for these republications? The question is neither theoretical nor idiosyncratic. On occasion, it reaches the headlines, as when Jennifer Lawrence’s representatives announced she would sue every person involved in the dissemination, through various online platforms, of her illegally obtained nude pictures. Yet this is only the tip of the iceberg. Numerous potentially offensive items are reposted daily, their exposure expands in widening circles, and they sometimes “go viral.”

This Article is the first to provide a law and economics analysis of the question of liability for online republication. Its main thesis is that liability for republication generates a specter of multiple defendants which might dilute the originator’s liability and undermine its deterrent effect. The Article concludes that, subject to several exceptions and methodological caveats, only the originator should be liable. This seems to be the American rule, as enunciated in Batzel v. Smith and Barrett v. Rosenthal. It stands in stark contrast to the prevalent rules in other Western jurisdictions and has been challenged by scholars on various grounds since its very inception..”

Categories: Law and Legal

5 Remote Work Resources to Work From Home Productively

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 22:36

Make Use Of: “If you’re new to remote working or trying to figure out how to work from home, the internet has your back. These tips, tools, and articles will help you be productive from anywhere. The Coronavirus threat has led to a surge in the number of people working from their homes. It’s not a normal environment for many, but hey, remote working isn’t a new concept. People have been doing it for a long time, and you can draw upon their experience and advice. In fact, even if you have been a non-office worker for some time, you can still gain a lot from the new tools and tips cropping up in the wake of this outbreak.

The WFH Manual is a newly put-together website aimed at helping those who have no prior experience of remote working. It aims to get the best guides on the web, robust tool and resource kits, and it also highlights the best tweets. Since the outbreak, experienced remote workers have been sharing many of their best tips and tricks through Twitter. From setting up workstations to forming productive habits and routines, the WFH Manual has curated insightful tweets and threads. The page only has the first tweet in the chain, so make sure you click to read the full thread and check comments from other users for additional tips. WFH Manual has two other sections: Practices and Resources. In Practices, you’ll find articles and guides by both managers and employees about working remotely and staying productive. Resources focuses on app curation and software stashes, along with a few tweets gathering recommendations for apps…”

Categories: Law and Legal

How to Talk to Coronavirus Skeptics

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 22:29

The New Yorker – A Guide to the Coronavirus

Categories: Law and Legal

Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 22:22

The New York Times: Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis – “If your income has fallen or been cut off completely, we’re here to help. This guide will connect you to the basic information you’ll need to get through this, including on government benefits, free services and financial strategies.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Worldometer COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 22:18
Worldometer COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic: “Confirmed Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance – The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 199 countries and territories around the world and 1 international conveyance (the Diamond Princess cruise ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan). The day is reset after midnight GMT+0.”

Case GraphsDeath GraphsCountriesDeath RateIncubationAgeSymptomsNews

Categories: Law and Legal

Law in the Time of COVID-19

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 22:07

Law in the Time of COVID-19 / Mary Whisner – “This guide collects resources to support Law in the Time of Coronavirus (LAW 599, a special topics class offered Spring 2020) and to inform anyone interested in the wide array of legal issues related to COVID-19. Because of limitations on visiting libraries in person, the guide emphasizes resources that are available online. Some resources are limited to UW users. Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and Westlaw are licensed only for the UW Law community…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Rules for Going Outdoors During Coronavirus

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 19:15

Outside –  How to recreate responsibly and safely through the COVID-19 pandemic: ““This disease is hyper-infectious; we haven’t seen anything like it in recent history,” says Global First Ladies Alliance Cora Neumann, who is advising Montana state heath authorities on their handling of the COVID-19 crisis. “We need to flatten the curve,” she says. By slowing the rate of infections, we can avoid overwhelming our nation’s healthcare system. The slower the rate at which people become infected and are hospitalized, the lower the fatality rate will be. Doing that requires the participation of every American. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can spread the disease to others.  That’s why we’re all being told to stay at home and stay at least six feet from other people if we must go out. The trouble is, staying indoors can get really boring, really fast. And, with layoffs and offices closures, many of us are choosing to spend time outdoors. That’s already leading to problems. Los Angeles just closed hiking trails and other outdoor areas due to overcrowding, and many National Parks are closing their gates for the same reason. Many areas of the country are also seeing local parks, beaches, and trails overwhelmed with visitors.  “Your behavior can saves lives,” Neumann emphasizes. Here’s her advice…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Nurses Share Coronavirus Stories Anonymously in an Online Document

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 19:06

The New York Times – “More than 1,200 health care workers have used a private online document to share their stories of fighting the coronavirus pandemic on the front lines. In their accounts, they say the outbreak has turned American hospitals into “war zones.” They talk about being scared to go to work and anxious that they will become infected. They describe managers who seem to not care about their plight. “But we show up and have to keep showing up,” one nurse wrote, “and we have to test ourselves.” The document was created on March 19 by Sonja Schwartzbach, a nurse in New Jersey who is studying as a doctoral student. She said she had started compiling the accounts after she determined that hospital conditions were “far worse” than most people realized and that her fellow health care workers needed a place to share what they were seeing. “There was such desperation,” she said in an interview. “And it wasn’t being adequately addressed in the news media.”  Ms. Schwartzbach, 34, asked contributors to provide their accounts anonymously, so that they could be candid without fear of losing their jobs. “There’s also a history within nursing of retaliation,” she said. At the top of the document, Ms. Schwartzbach made an appeal to anyone in the field who had something to contribute: “This isn’t a polite request: This is an urgent demand. Tell me your story. Share your situations. I understand that it can feel challenging to be candid as a health care provider, but this is the difference between life and death.”

Ms. Schwartzbach said she had created a Google document titled “Covid-19: Mission for Masks” after fielding hundreds of messages from nurses and physicians on Instagram, where she has more than 47,000 followers…”

Categories: Law and Legal

CRS – Federal Workforce Statistics Sources: OPM and OMB

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 10:11

Federal Workforce Statistics Sources: OPM and OMB – Julie Jennings, Senior Research Librarian; Jared C. NagelSenior Research Librarian – Updated March 25, 2020 – “This report describes online tools, reports, and data compilations created by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that contain statistics about federal employees and the federal workforce. The report also describes key characteristics of each resource and briefly discusses selected methodological differences, with the intention of facilitating the selection of appropriate data for specific purposes. This report is not intended to be a definitive list of all information on the federal workforce. It describes significant and recurring products that contain data often requested by Members or congressional staff.”

Categories: Law and Legal

IBM and The Weather Channel debut coronavirus map

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 09:54

Fortune: “IBM and its subsidiary, The Weather Channel, have created an online map that tracks the spread of U.S. coronavirus cases. The new map, which debuted nationwide on Wednesday after a few days of testing, shows a state-by-state and county-by-county breakdown of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related deaths. People can see specific information from their counties that includes the percentage increase of new COVID-19 cases from the previous week and a graph detailing the daily progression of new cases and deaths. The service, which can be accessed from the Weather Channel’s website or mobile app, also features safety tips from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as news articles.  Cameron Clayton, the general manager of IBM Watson Media & Weather, said his team gathered data from state and local governments. To do so, the Weather Channel staff used software that scans government websites for information, like updated COVID-19 cases and fatalities…”

Categories: Law and Legal

WaPo Live Coronavirus Updates – US and around the world

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 23:37

Access to these Washington Post updates is free – Live updates: Confirmed coronavirus cases approach 500,000 worldwide; Senate passes stimulus, but new U.S. jobless claims shatter decades-old record – “Much of the world’s population is now living under some sort of coronavirus-related restrictions as the total number of confirmed cases worldwide approaches 500,000. In Washington, the Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion emergency relief package late Wednesday [H.R. 748 – Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019], concluding a grim day in which health departments around the country reported more than 200 coronavirus-related deaths. Meanwhile, the weekly U.S. tally of new jobless claims was historically bleak, with a record 3.3 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits. That shattered the old record of 695,000, set in 1982. Here are some significant developments…”

Note – the link to the full text of the House bill – H.R. 6321 – Financial Protections and Assistance for America’s Consumers, States, Businesses, and Vulnerable Populations Act is here


Categories: Law and Legal

Trump team failed to follow NSC’s pandemic playbook

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 23:06

Politico – “The 69-page document [embedded in this article], finished in 2016, provided a step by step list of priorities – which were then ignored by the administration. “The strategies are among hundreds of tactics and key policy decisions laid out in a 69-page National Security Council playbook on fighting pandemics, which POLITICO is detailing for the first time. Other recommendations include that the government move swiftly to fully detect potential outbreaks, secure supplemental funding and consider invoking the Defense Production Act — all steps in which the Trump administration lagged behind the timeline laid out in the playbook.

Each section of this playbook includes specific questions that should be asked and decisions that should be made at multiple levels” within the national security apparatus, the playbook urges, repeatedly advising officials to question the numbers on viral spread, ensure appropriate diagnostic capacity and check on the U.S. stockpile of emergency resources.”…

 “Each section of this playbook includes specific questions that should be asked and decisions that should be made at multiple levels” within the national security apparatus, the playbook urges, repeatedly advising officials to question the numbers on viral spread, ensure appropriate diagnostic capacity and check on the U.S. stockpile of emergency resources.

Categories: Law and Legal

Earthwatch Institute concluded that bees are the most important living being on the planet

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 22:42

The Bee Is Declared The Most Important Living Being On The Planet  – “Earthwatch Institute concluded in last debate of Royal Geographical Society of London that bees are the most important living being on the planet, however, scientists have also made an announcement: Bees have already entered into extinction risk. Bees around the world have disappeared up to 90% according to recent studies, the reasons are different depending on the region, but among the main reasons are massive deforestation, lack of safe places for nests, lack of flowers, use uncontrolled pesticides, changes in soil, among others…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Governments could track COVID-19 lockdowns through social media posts

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 22:23

CNET – A research group scrapes more than 500,000 Instagram profiles in Italy to see if people are abiding by the quarantine. “Your posts on social media have been harvested for advertising. They’ve been taken to build up a massive facial recognition database. Now that same data could be used by companies and governments to help maintain quarantines during the coronavirus outbreak. Ghost Data, a research group in Italy and the US, collected more than half a million Instagram posts in March, targeting regions in Italy where residents were supposed to be on lockdown. It provided those images and videos to LogoGrab, an image recognition company that can automatically identify people and places. The company found at least 33,120 people violated Italy’s quarantine orders. Andrea Stroppa, the founder of Ghost Data, said his group has offered its research to the Italian government. Stroppa doesn’t consider the social media scraping to be a privacy concern because researchers anonymized the data by removing profile and specific location data before analyzing it. He also has public health on his mind. “In our view, privacy is very important. It’s a fundamental human right,” Stroppa said. “However, it’s important to give our support to help the government and the authorities. Hundreds of people are dying every day.”..

Categories: Law and Legal

COVID-19 Pushes Up Internet Use 70% And Streaming More Than 12%

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 22:03

Forbes: “The first internet streaming and usage figures are coming in as the coronavirus pandemic places a quarter of the world’s population under lockdown. As millions of people go online for entertainment and more, total internet hits have surged by between 50% and 70%, according to preliminary statistics. Streaming has also jumped by at least 12%, estimates show. While an increase is not surprising with so many people ordered to stay at home, streaming of many planned sporting and musical events is impossible as they are cancelled. They have been replaced by some stars such as Coldplay’s Chris Martin, John Legend, U2’s Bono, Yungblud and Christine & The Queens offering impromptu home concerts. Still, the largest increase comes from other movie and music streaming…”

Categories: Law and Legal