President Trump called Floyd's death a "grave tragedy" that "should never have happened." But once he was back on Twitter, he again inflamed tensions, with machismo and politics at the forefront.
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Gov. Ned Lamont says it's too soon, but the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes say they are taking numerous steps to ensure that Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun are safe for patrons.
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How do you share your car, home or clothing with other people during a pandemic? Companies from Airbnb to Rent The Runway face big challenges convincing customers their services are safe.
(Image credit: Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Rent the Runway)
Among the main targets are requirements such as signing a ballot envelope, or getting a witness or notary to sign it. Small details matter a lot and could affect the outcome in November.
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In Minneapolis, where Floyd died, a semitractor-trailer drove into a crowd of peaceful protesters marching on an interstate. Elsewhere, there were reports of police firing tear gas and rubber bullets.
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Axios: “The ways Americans capture and share records of racist violence and police misconduct keep changing, but the pain of the underlying injustices they chronicle remains a stubborn constant.
Driving the news: After George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked wide protests, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said, “Thank God a young person had a camera to video it.”
Why it matters: From news photography to TV broadcasts to camcorders to smartphones, improvements in the technology of witness over the past century mean we’re more instantly and viscerally aware of each new injustice.
- But unless our growing power to collect and distribute evidence of injustice can drive actual social change, the awareness these technologies provide just ends up fueling frustration and despair…”
CRS report via LC – Digital Contact Tracing Technology:Overview and Considerations for Implementation, May 29, 2020: “Contact tracing” is a public health measure used to control disease spread. Trained public health workers assist patients with an infectious disease recall their close contacts within a given time frame, notify them of potential exposure, and provide advice to patients and contacts. Given the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, some public health authorities are automating part of the tracing process with smartphone applications (apps). Some apps take advantage of Bluetooth signals to track individuals proximity to one another, otherwise known as “digital exposure notification (DEN)” Bluetooth allows short-range wireless communications between electronic devices. Apps may also be used by public health authorities to enable “digital contact tracing” (DCT), which may also use location data…Discussion of U.S. digital contact tracing has identified a number of challenges related to its use, including Bluetooth limitations, app effectiveness versus personal privacy, interoperability,and coverage. Each poses a different challenge to effective use of digital tracing capabilities…”
Police Accountability Tool – “Use the data on this page to hold Police Chiefs and Mayors accountable for ending police violence in your city. The charts below use data from January 2013 through December 2019 to show which police departments are most – and least – likely to kill people. You can also compare police departments operating in jurisdictions with similar levels of crime to show that, even under similar circumstances, some police departments are much more likely to kill people than others. And after you’ve explored this tool, click here to learn about police violence in your state…”
Popular Science: “Social media networks know a lot about you. In fact, that’s their primary job. They want to collect information about you and use that to sell advertisements that you can’t resist. In return for your data, these companies give you a chance to interact with other users and share your life no matter how interesting or banal. Recently, instructions have been floating around the web about how to see the secret interests Instagram thinks you want to see ads about. The results are sometimes hilariously wrong, but they can also be worryingly accurate. Your information is a product that companies leverage. In a perfect world, this exchange would result in a harmonious civilization in which people find others with similar interests and we enjoy our hobbies in peace. In real life, however, our information crawls around the dark corners of the web where it’s compromised, sold, leveraged, and otherwise abused. And that’s not even mentioning what happens when one of these social media sites flickers out of existence and takes all of your stuff with it. This article provides a quick primer on how to see what data sites have collected about you, as well as how to download and delete it. It’s handy information to have before the next site shuts down or accidentally tells a bunch of bad guys your favorite movie and your cellphone number…”
Science: “Artificial intelligence (AI) just seems to get smarter and smarter. Each iPhone learns your face, voice, and habits better than the last, and the threats AI poses to privacy and jobs continue to grow. The surge reflects faster chips, more data, and better algorithms. But some of the improvement comes from tweaks rather than the core innovations their inventors claim—and some of the gains may not exist at all, says Davis Blalock, a computer science graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Blalock and his colleagues compared dozens of approaches to improving neural networks—software architectures that loosely mimic the brain. “Fifty papers in,” he says, “it became clear that it wasn’t obvious what the state of the art even was.” The researchers evaluated 81 pruning algorithms, programs that make neural networks more efficient by trimming unneeded connections. All claimed superiority in slightly different ways. But they were rarely compared properly—and when the researchers tried to evaluate them side by side, there was no clear evidence of performance improvements over a 10-year period. The result, presented in March at the Machine Learning and Systems conference, surprised Blalock’s Ph.D. adviser, MIT computer scientist John Guttag, who says the uneven comparisons themselves may explain the stagnation. “It’s the old saw, right?” Guttag said. “If you can’t measure something, it’s hard to make it better.”…
The killing of George Floyd has sprung a global movement against inequality and racism; protests were seen over the weekend in the U.K., Germany and Canada.
(Image credit: Matt Dunham/AP)
Bookmarkos – “The following is an attempt to categorize every bookmark manager ever made into the following categories: visual-based, list-based, start pages, search-based, tag-based, tab management, read it later, image bookmarking, privacy focused, sync-based, offline downloadable solutions, and other…”
Politico – Test counts inflated, death tolls deflated, metrics shifted: “Federal and state officials across the country have altered or hidden public health data crucial to tracking the coronavirus’ spread, hindering the ability to detect a surge of infections as President Donald Trump pushes the nation to reopen rapidly. In at least a dozen states, health departments have inflated testing numbers or deflated death tallies by changing criteria for who counts as a coronavirus victim and what counts as a coronavirus test, according to reporting from POLITICO, other news outlets and the states’ own admissions. Some states have shifted the metrics for a “safe” reopening; Arizona sought to clamp down on bad news at one point by simply shuttering its pandemic modeling. About a third of the states aren’t even reporting hospital admission data — a big red flag for the resurgence of the virus…”
See also BuzzFeed news – “The CDC Released New Death Rate Estimates For The Coronavirus. Many Scientists Say They’re Too Low. Public health experts are accusing the CDC of bending under political pressure to say the coronavirus is less deadly…”
EFF: “As part of EFF’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve edited and compiled our critical thoughts on digital rights and the pandemic into an ebook: EFF’s Guide to Digital Rights and the Pandemic. To get the ebook, you can make an optional contribution to support EFF’s work, or you can download it at no cost. We released the ebook under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits sharing among users…”
Newsweek: “The video-conference app Zoom plans to strengthen the encryption of its service for paying customers, but the upgrade will not be available to users of its free service. The tech company discussed the encryption boost on a call with civil liberties groups earlier this week. Zoom security consultant Alex Stamos later confirmed the details of the reported move in an interview with Reuters, which first reported the changes on Friday. But he also told the news outlet that Zoom’s plans could still change…”
The artist Christo died at his home in New York City on Sunday. He's known for major outdoor art installations that often involved wrapping buildings and elements of nature in fabric.
(Image credit: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
BuzzFeedNews – By Digital Contact Tracing Apps – “Imagine you arrive at work. Before you’re allowed to clock in, you have to complete a quiz on your phone that asks if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. If you’re healthy, you get to walk in. Once inside, you go about your day while your phone uses Bluetooth beacons, GPS tracking, or both to determine the people you have been near. If one day you do come down with symptoms, the app alerts HR, which then alerts the people you’ve been in contact with. This is already a reality for thousands of workers around the world — in particular, those working in sectors like mining, energy, manufacturing, field services (like appliance installation or repair), construction, or hospitality. Digital contact tracing — using an app or another form of technology to track who you’ve been in touch with, with the goal of stopping the spread of the coronavirus — isn’t mandated by any states or governments in the US. But there’s nothing stopping private companies from encouraging or even requiring workers to participate…”
Survey of 1,400+ Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses participants highlights status of loan funds and that COVID-19 will change how they operate their businesses – “The impact of COVID-19 on small businesses and communities all over the world is significant. Consistent with our firm’s purpose of advancing sustainable economic growth and financial opportunity, Goldman Sachs is committed to supporting relief efforts, elevating the voices of our small business community to policymakers, and working across sectors on innovative sources of funding…”
Former Vice President Joe Biden left his house for the second time in a week to visit the location of protests last night. Posting about the unannounced trip, Biden wrote "We are a nation in pain."
(Image credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
COVID-19 – New tools aim to tame pandemic paper tsunami, Jeffrey Brainard, Science 29 May 2020: Vol. 368, Issue 6494, pp. 924-925. DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6494.924. “Timothy Sheahan, a virologist studying COVID-19, wishes he could keep pace with the growing torrent of new scientific papers related to the pandemic. But there have just been too many—more than 5000 papers a week. “I’m not keeping up,” says Sheahan, who works at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “It’s impossible.” A loose-knit army of data scientists and software developers is pressing hard to change that. They are creating digital collections of papers and building search tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that could help researchers quickly find the information they seek. The urgency is growing: The COVID-19 literature has grown to more than 31,000 papers since January and by one estimate is on pace to hit more than 52,000 by mid-June—among the biggest explosions of scientific literature ever. The volume of information “is like what you would get in a medical conference that used to happen yearly. Now, that’s happening daily,” says Sherry Chou, a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center who is studying COVID-19’s neurologic effects…”