The business plan for any new tech device, or a new technology or infrastructure for supporting that device, directly depends on a strong and growing economy. The ecosystem of premium smartphones and tablets and all those new Internet-of-things devices rely upon robust employment levels and the abundance of disposable income. The systems and networks required to support those devices -- most notably 5G Wireless and Wi-Fi 6 -- need regular cash infusions from enthusiastic customers to justify the manual labor required to prop up their infrastructure. That labor includes digging up the planet Earth by city blocks, laying down thousands of miles of fiber optic cable, and supplementing the endcaps of millions of traffic poles and stoplights. Consider whether the space program would have come to fruition had it all been kept secret from the public. … [Read more...] about Aftershock: COVID-19’s permanent impact on tech supply chains
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Now, that’s an alternative universe of its own. The well-accepted methods employed by the San Diego State University team are standard for economists to use when trying to answer questions about the societal impacts of a sudden event. But that doesn’t mean that they were the right methods for answering this question, nor that the study is without its flaws. In particular, Jha takes issue with a lack of so-called falsification analyses. These tests are a way to check your work, to make sure it is measuring what you think it is. One way to do that is to imagine a world in which the rally happened three weeks earlier than it actually did, and run the models again. If the rally (the actual rally) really was the thing driving coronavirus spikes, an analysis using this fictive Sturgis date shouldn’t turn up any changes in case rates—because in this analysis the real rally is still three weeks in the future. If you do see a change, then you know something other than … [Read more...] about How does a Sturgis-sized crowd affect COVID-19? It’s complicated
ScienceInsider spoke with George Annas, a lawyer and bioethicist at Boston University, whose research addresses ethics and human rights in clinical trials, and Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, a sociologist and epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who studies management of infectious disease and substance abuse in incarcerated people. Both have published about health and ethics in holding facilities during the pandemic: In July, Annas wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine about inhumane medical practices in immigrant detention centers and, and in August, Brinkley-Rubinstein and colleagues argued in JAMA that prisoners should be included in vaccine trials. … [Read more...] about Ethical or exploitative—should prisoners participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials?
Don’t we all! At this point in the pandemic, I would welcome some strict daddy energy from the federal government that would force people indoors if they had coronavirus. Instead, we have a less-than-half-assed approach where small businesses stay shuttered forever and universities welcome students back on campus only to send them home a few weeks later. Because they were throwing parties. Because they are college students. … [Read more...] about A new coronavirus scam targets people who’ve ‘violated quarantine’