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After Arizona summer school teacher dies of COVID-19, DeVos says 'good hygiene' will save schools

Daily Kos - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 13:31

An Arizona teacher died after returning to the classroom during the coronavirus pandemic, but that’s not stopping Education Sec. Betsy DeVos from blindly championing reopening schools. Arizona teachers Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd, Jena Martinez, and Angela Skillings shared a classroom with each other in a rural community to lead remote learning sessions, according to CNN. They wore gloves and masks, used hand sanitizer, and practiced social distancing, but that didn't stop all three teachers from contracting COVID-19, and Byrd, 61, died of the virus June 26, the news network reported.

"I think that's really the message or the concern that our staff has is we can't even keep our staff safe by themselves ... how are we going to keep 20 kids in a classroom safe,” Jeff Gregorich, the superintendent of Hayden Winkelman Unifed School District, asked. “I just don't see how that's possible to do that," he said.

Categories: Politics

DNC and RNC Warn Campaigns About Using TikTok

Slashdot - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 13:25
The Democratic and Republican national committees have warned their staffs about using the Chinese-owned app TikTok. From a report: The Democratic National Committee warned Democratic campaigns, committees and state parties Friday to take additional security precautions when using TikTok. In the email, the DNC security team wrote, "We continue to advise campaign staff to refrain from using TikTok on personal devices. If you are using TikTok for campaign work, we recommend using a separate phone and account." Republican National Committee national press secretary Mandi Merritt said Saturday the RNC had longstanding guidance on TikTok. "The RNC has advised employees and stakeholders to not download the TikTok app on their personal devices," she said, citing "security concerns." The DNC had suggested to campaigns in a memo in December not to use TikTok, citing concerns about the app's "Chinese ties and potentially sending data back to the Chinese government."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Microsoft Worked With Google To Bring Progressive Web Apps To the Play Store

Slashdot - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 12:50
Microsoft has been collaborating with Google to ensure that their tools interoperate and can help developers get their Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) into the Play Store. From a report: "We're glad to announce a new collaboration between Microsoft and Google for the benefit of the web developer community," Microsoft's Judah Gabriel Himango announced. "Microsoft's PWABuilder and Google's Bubblewrap are now working together to help developers publish PWAs in the Google Play Store." As Himango explains, PWABuilder is a Microsoft tool that helps developers build PWAs from existing websites and publish them in app stores, while Bubblewrap is a Google tool and library used to generate and sign Google Play Store packages from PWAs. After months of collaboration, the two firms have made some interesting progress towards integrating the tools. Now, PWABuilder utilizes Bubblewrap "under the hood," as Himango puts it, allowing developers to package PWAs for the Play Store with PWABuilder that support the new web shortcuts standard. (On Windows 10, web shortcuts appear as jump lists.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

The Underdogs return in a new short film promoting Apple products while working from home

iDownloadBlog - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 12:43

Apple has released a new short film starring The Underdogs, but this time it's all about working from home.
Categories: Geek

‘We’re Not Going to Use Our Children as Guinea Pigs’

Balloon Juice - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 12:41

In case you want to know what a rational school re-opening plan looks like, here’s the one Cuomo announced today.

  • The region must be in Phase 4 of re-opening (right now, NYC is 3, the rest of the state is 4).
  • The 14 day rolling average of positive tests must be below 5%. (Currently, every region is under 2% on the rolling average, most closer to 1%)
  • If the regional positive rate is over 9% using a 7 day rolling average, schools will close.
  • Specifics are up to the school districts, but the State Departments of Health and Education are publishing guidelines that were developed through collaboration between teachers, administrators and health professionals.
    • Guidelines include recommendation for distancing, prioritizing in-person education for kids who need it most, and universal masking, with regular mask breaks.
    • Guidelines recommend using cohorts, screening for temperature and symptoms daily, and the availability of contact tracing.

The key point about all of this is the screencap above – if the virus is out of control, nothing else matters. Also, a few minutes of Cuomo banging on Trump is classic Cuomo.

“Nobody died in the Watergate scandal.” I like the framing as a “scandal,” because it is.

Also, he announced that every out-of-state traveler from 18 states where the virus is out of control who arrives at an airport will have to fill out a form detailing where they’re from and where they’re going. If they don’t provide that information they can be be fined $2,000, issued a summons, and subject to mandatory quarantine. (These people are already subject to 14 day quarantine.)

This is what not fucking around looks like.

The post ‘We’re Not Going to Use Our Children as Guinea Pigs’ appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

American Airlines 'investigating' Ted Cruz after maskless flight images go viral

Daily Kos - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 12:35

On Sunday, a Twitter account posted an image showing Republican senator and failed presidential candidate Ted Cruz sitting on a plane, looking at his phone, and not wearing a mask. According to the original poster, this was an American Airlines commercial flight around 10:45 AM. On Thursday, days before the photo was taken, American Airlines announced that it would require passengers to wear masks in flight. This makes a ton of sense in places like Texas, where COVID-19 infection rates are growing.

Some people argued that Sen. Cruz had his mask off because he was enjoying a morning coffee, and American Airlines does not require people to wear a mask while they are eating or drinking. However, the original poster was then able to provide an image reportedly showing Cruz waiting, maskless, outside the gate of the flight—sans food items. Sen. Cruz did not respond right away to these reports and American Airlines told The Daily News that the senator was flying on a “partner airline,” and they were still looking into whether or not Cruz had violated the airline’s rules.

Categories: Politics

State, local governments fight over scraps left over in federal COVID-19 aid, desperately need more

Daily Kos - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 12:32

Cities and states, scrambling again for adequate personal protective equipment and medical supplies to meet the resurgent coronavirus, are also having to scrap for dwindling federal funds. The $150 billion passed in the CARES Act back in March was not large enough and had too many restrictions, and since April, Sen. Mitch McConnell has refused to consider any further aid, blocking the follow-up HEROES Act the House passed in May. So states and localities, which have experienced massive declines in revenue with shutdown economies, are fighting with each other for what's left over from March.

State and local leaders say they need a minimum of $500 billion and as much as $1 trillion to operate without the restrictions put on the first round of funds. The $150 billion passed in the spring was limited to spending on coronavirus-related expenses, so it couldn't be used to help fill funding gaps. The formula used to allocate spending also limited aid to smaller cities, not providing them adequate funds. The scarcity of funds has led to states hoarding, and about $18 billion has been put aside by state officials for the smallest localities—an inadequate pot even for those entities. "They've sat on this for months. They've cut it into pieces so there's only a third left coming to local government," said Brad Cole, the executive director of the Illinois Municipal League. "How do you think we feel about it?"

Categories: Politics

‘The Beginning Of A Horror Movie’? Disney World Slammed As They Reopen

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 12:28

Florida just might have the worst outbreak of COVID-19 on the planet, but that didn't stop Disney World from reopening. Their 'Welcome Home' video was widely ridiculed online over the weekend, with parodies popping up everywhere.

Source: Market Watch

Florida on Sunday broke the national record for the biggest single-day number of positive coronavirus cases in any state since the beginning of the pandemic, following a week in which the Sunshine State saw 514 people die of the disease, or 73 each day, on average.

Also, Disney World is now open!

The idea that the park would open in the face of a raging outbreak in the area sparked backlash across social media. The critiques really began to pile up after the company’s official “Disney Parks Job” account posted this short video promoting the big event on Instagram.

read more

Categories: Politics

As Trump tanks, many Democrats press Biden to aim for an electoral rout beyond the battlegrounds

Daily Kos - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 12:25

As Donald Trump sags in the polls and his campaign conducts triage in states no one imagined would be in play, many Democrats are lobbying the Biden campaign to seize on what they see as an historic opportunity.

Lawmakers from Texas, Georgia, and Ohio are hardcore pressing Joe Biden and his aides to expand beyond the six battleground states they are focusing on: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida. 

Categories: Politics

Ron DeSantis Fiddles While Florida Burns

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 12:12

Ron DeSantis "governs" to stroke Trump's ego instead of caring for his constituents.

After declaring everything was great in Florida weeks ago, Florida has become a raging hot bed of coronavirus cases.

News reports blared Sunday and Monday, as The Orlando Sentinel writes, "Florida reported 15,300 new COVID-19 cases, the highest-single day total in the U.S. since the pandemic began. In all, the state now has reported 269,811 cases."

DeSantis, like many Trump sycophants, fudges statistics to defend his lack of action.

The median age has dropped from the 60s to the 30s as more people have been tested, and younger people are much less likely to die from the disease, DeSantis said. The amount of testing has surged as well, contributing to the increase in overall cases, although the positivity rate has risen as well.

Florida’s per capita death rate of 19 for every 100,000 in population is 25th among states. Moreover, reverting back to shutdown orders would bring its own negative consequences, for the economy and mental health of residents, he said.

Instead of trying to contain the outbreak of the pandemic he's fueling this latest explosion.

read more

Categories: Politics

Apple Puts $400 Million Toward Affordable Housing

Slashdot - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 12:08
Apple announced Monday that it is allocating $400 million toward affordable housing and homeowner assistance programs in California this year, as part of the $2.5 billion commitment announced in November. From a report: The housing crisis has worsened in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing states and cities to pause spending on affordable housing projects. Big Tech's wealth has been blamed by some for driving up housing prices in the San Francisco Bay Area and making it unaffordable for teachers, firefighters and other workers who support the region. Apple, along with Facebook, Google and Microsoft, committed a collective $5 billion to support affordable housing initiatives, but it ran into the reality that money alone can't solve the problem without changes to zoning and financing restrictions.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

White House Phase 4 Rescue Plan: Save the Rich

Kevin Drum - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:56

With two weeks left until the Phase 3 coronavirus rescue package ends, the White House is still dithering over Phase 4:

Return to work bonuses? As COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing? That’s insane. But perhaps not quite as insane as a capital gains holiday, which would—

Do what? Literally nothing except help rich people. Do Republicans just pick this stuff out of a hat every time there’s some opportunity, regardless of what problem they happen to be facing? What else could explain this?

Out of this whole list, the only thing that would directly help the 17 million unemployed is the $600 bonus UI payments, so naturally that’s the one thing Trump wants to cut back. Naturally.

Categories: Politics

Daughter slams governor after father dies of COVID-19 in state that reopened too early

Daily Kos - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:47

As the nation continues to face the novel coronavirus pandemic with almost no guidance on the federal level, states grab at various approaches to keeping the public relatively safe and healthy. In some states, like Arizona, there is no statewide mandate requiring people to wear masks or other face coverings, and the state began reopening too early in the pandemic. That’s part of why Kristin Urquiza, who is grieving her late father, Mark Urquiza, slammed politicians in his obituary, which was published last Wednesday in Arizona Republic, as reported by CNN. Urquiza says her father died of COVID-19 after spending several weeks in the hospital, noting that, “like so many others, should not have died from Covid-19."

In a letter to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, Urquiza calls out politicians specifically, saying her dad “contracted the virus during the period when you forbade local governments from implementing their own safety measures, such as mandating the wearing of masks, to protect the public from the spread of COVID-19 through Executive Order 2020-36.” She added that she can ”attest that poor policy and terrible leadership was responsible for his death." Urquiza also invited Gov. Ducey to her father’s burial. 

Categories: Politics

Bottleneck for US Coronavirus Response: The Fax Machine

Slashdot - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:32
Public health officials in Houston are struggling to keep up with one of the nation's largest coronavirus outbreaks. They are desperate to trace cases and quarantine patients before they spread the virus to others. But first, they must negotiate with the office fax machine. From a report: The machine at the Harris County Public Health department in Houston recently became overwhelmed when one laboratory sent a large batch of test results, spraying hundreds of pages all over the floor. "Picture the image of hundreds of faxes coming through, and the machine just shooting out paper," said Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of the department. The county has so far recorded more than 40,000 coronavirus cases. Some doctors fax coronavirus tests to Dr. Shah's personal number, too. Those papers are put in an envelope marked "confidential" and walked to the epidemiology department. As hard as the United States works to control coronavirus, it keeps running into problems caused by its fragmented health system, a jumble of old and new technology, and data standards that don't meet epidemiologists' needs. Public health officials and private laboratories have managed to expand testing to more than half a million performed daily, but they do not have a system that can smoothly handle that avalanche of results.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Complaint alleges 'negligent' care at ICE jails as officials refuse to release families together

Daily Kos - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:29

Leading advocacy groups have filed a complaint against the Trump administration saying that poor medical care at three Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) migrant family jails is endangering the well-being of children and parents. "From the beginning, medical care at Dilley, Karnes and Berks has been substandard at best, and negligent at worst," the complaint said, according to NBC News.

The complaint filed with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Office comes as advocates and administration officials are set to go to court today for an ongoing lawsuit that could decide whether federal immigration officials must release children and their parents together amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, or whether they will be able to continue to separate even more families.

Categories: Politics

Idris Elba has signed a first-look deal with Apple

iDownloadBlog - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:25

Idris Elba, and his production company Green Door Pictures, has signed a first-look deal with Apple to bring new content to Apple TV+.
Categories: Geek

MAGA Couple Who Defaced Black Lives Matter Mural Charged With Hate Crime

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:22

The Trump supporters who defaced a Black Lives Matter mural last week may not have to worry about rent for the next year, as they may gain jail accommodations courtesy of the county. The DA issued this press release:

Today, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office charged Nicole Anderson (42-years old Martinez resident) and David Nelson (53-years-old Martinez resident) with three misdemeanor counts, including a hate crime, for their alleged actions on Saturday, July 4, when defendant Anderson covered up a Black Lives Matter mural with black paint. Nelson directly aided in the alleged criminal conduct. The incident was captured on video by witnesses.

On July 1, a local Martinez resident applied for a permit to paint a Black Lives Matter temporary mural in downtown Martinez in front of the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse. The permit was approved by the City of Martinez and the painting was done on July 4.

Nelson and Anderson arrived at the scene of the mural after it was completed with paint supplies. Anderson started to paint over the yellow letters “B” and “L” in the word “Black.” She used black paint and a large paint roller to do so. The video has been shared widely by witnesses and shared on social media.

read more

Categories: Politics

Ted Cruz Caught On Commercial Flight Not Wearing A Mask

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:07

We'll see if there's more to this story than it appears because there's really no excuse for this sort of behavior, least of all from a United States senator.

Source: The Independent

Texas senator Ted Cruz appeared to contravene an airline’s mandate on masks this weekend when he was pictured without one.

In a picture shared online on Sunday, Mr Cruz was onboard an American Airlines departure when he was seen unmasked.

The airline’s own mandate on masks says all passengers should wear one, unless when eating and drinking onboard.

Mr Cruz, who was pictured with a coffee in hand, was said to have “not worn a mask once”.

“Captured today at 10:45am – Ted Cruz on a commercial flight, refusing to wear a mask,” wrote Twitter user Hosseh Enad with the picture.

He added: “This was on an American Airlines flight — their policy clearly states that masks should be worn on the flight.”

read more

Categories: Politics

The Data-Driven Tech Engine at the Heart of Hollywood's Content Factories

Slashdot - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 10:43
America's studios, creators and marketers are relying, more than ever, on digital platforms that allow them to gauge what audiences like-- and would like to see more of. From a report: They're not just looking for test screenings, either. They're looking to check in with potential audiences at every stage of production, from before a script is written until the moment their new TV show, film or music video debuts. Ever since George Lucas ushered in the era of endless sequels (and prequels), Hollywood executives have tried to capitalize on the success of the Last Big Thing by churning out more of it. But content budgets are increasing far faster than established franchises can keep up. Netflix is projected to spend more on new and acquired content in 2020 -- $17 billion -- than Apple spent on research and development in 2019. With stakes that high, minimizing risk when creating new content "at scale" means treating it like any other mass-market product. Executives, producers, writers, directors and marketers need to be able to consistently craft programs that are more likely than not to find their target audiences. Critical approval and industry awards -- even box-office blowouts -- while nice, aren't the endgame for most.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Coronavirus Growth in Western Countries: July 12 Update

Kevin Drum - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 10:42

Here’s the coronavirus death toll through July 12. It looks like Wave 1.5 is well underway.

The raw data from Johns Hopkins is here. The Public Health Agency of Sweden is here.

Categories: Politics

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