Daily Archives: March 28, 2020

For NYC students without technology: Whats in supplemental learning packet? – SILive.com

Posted: March 28, 2020 at 1:46 pm

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- With New York City still working to distribute necessary technology to an estimated 300,000 students who currently lack an internet-connected device, the Department of Education (DOE) has provided supplemental learning materials to keep students engaged during the transition to remote learning.

The grade level-specific instructional resources, which were sent home with students in grades pre-K through fifth grade, are available on the departments Learn at Home website.

Due to the inconsistent availability of access to internet-enabled devices among the citys student population, the work will not be graded, but rather used to prevent the loss of learning, according to the DOE.

The supplemental learning materials provided by the DOE are separate from students remote learning assignments being administered on a daily basis at the discretion of the individual school.

The materials on the Learn at Home pages are designed to provide supplementary learning resources to students in the event that students may need to be home from school. We encourage you to use this time to continue your students learning while they are at home, according to the DOE website. These materials do not replace what your child has been learning at school, but during this unusual time it is important that students continue to read, write, do social studies and science activities, and work on math problems.


Included in the supplemental learning materials, with activities geared for grade levels through high school, are suggested daily study schedules, guides and materials for instructional activities, recommended educational television shows and links to various books, magazines and websites.

Materials are available for a range of subjects, including math, English language arts (ELA), science, social studies, health and physical education, with specialized instructional resources available for students with special needs.

Each grade level and subject includes worksheets for in-home activities featuring instructions, information about the content and one or more focus or discussion questions to complement the activities.

Heres a look at some of the content.


The Kindergarten mathematics packet includes five activities focused on students ability to add and subtract numbers under 5. The activities should take approximately 40 to 60 minutes, but information on how to extend the activities is included.

Heres a sample activity:

Activity: More or Less

Description: A partner game that builds fluency in recognizing numbers and comparing their value.

Materials: One coin, deck of cards (number cards only), scratch paper, pen and pencil.

What to do: Two players will play a card game where each will draw a card. The players will compare cards to see who wins that round. Before you begin, flip the coin and call heads or tails to see if the winner of each round will be the person with a greater value card (heads) or a smaller value card (tails).

1. To begin the game, divide the cards evenly between the two players.

2. Place the cards face down. Each player turns over one card at a time and compares: Is mine more or less? How many more? How many less? The player with the greater or smaller value card (depending on whether heads or tails was tossed) takes both cards.

3. The winner of the game is the player with more cards when all the cards are gone from the stack.


The Kindergarten ELA packet includes 10 days worth of instructional materials with students tasked with listening to, reading, writing and illustrating their own short stories.

During the first two days, students are tasked with listening to and reading along with a short story and then drawing four illustrations showing what occurred during various parts of the story.

During days three and four, students are tasked with writing and illustrating their own short story using as many details as possible.


The third-grade mathematics packet includes five activities focused on students ability to add and subtract numbers under 1,000 and multiply and divide numbers under 100. The activities should take approximately 40-60 minutes, but information on how to extend the activities is included.

Heres a sample activity:

Name: How Close to 100

Description: This game is played in partners. Two children share a blank 100 grid. The first partner rolls two number dice. The numbers that come up are the numbers the child uses to make an array on the 100 grid. They can put the array anywhere on the grid, but the goal is to fill up the grid to get it as full as possible. After the player draws the array on the grid, she writes in the number sentence that describes the grid. The second player then rolls the dice, draws the number grid and records their number sentence. The game ends when both players have rolled the dice and cannot put any more arrays on the grid. How close to 100 can you get? Each child can have their own number grid. Play moves forward to see who can get closest to 100.

Materials: Two players, two dice or 1-6 cards (included), recording sheet (included), 2 colors of crayons or markers

Questions for parents to ask while playing: How did you figure out the product? Did you just know it? What did you learn about multiplying? How can arrays be used to help you with multiplication?


The third-grade ELA packet includes 10 days worth of instructional materials with students tasked with reading and writing content ranging from folktales to informational articles.

During the first two days, students are tasked with reading two folktales, with links provided within the packet. While reading the materials, students are asked to consider the following:

During days three and four, students are tasked with writing their own folktale that expresses the wishes, hopes, fears, or values of a group of people and includes a lesson to be learned (the central message).


The seventh-grade mathematics packet includes 10 activities focused on ratios and proportional relationships. The activities should take approximately 40-60 minutes, but information on how to extend the activities is included.

Heres a sample activity:

Activity: Track Practice

Description: In this task, students are asked to solve a problem using ratio reasoning.

Scenario: Angel and Jayden were at track practice. The track is 25 kilometers around. Angel ran 1 lap in 2 minutes. Jayden ran 3 laps in 5 minutes.

Questions: How many minutes does it take Angel to run one kilometer? Show how you know. What about Jayden? Show how you know. How far does Angel run in one minute? Show how you know. What about Jayden? Show how you know. Who is running faster? Explain your reasoning.


The seventh-grade ELA packet includes 10 days worth of instructional materials with students tasked with reading and writing content ranging from poetry to pro/con articles.

During the first two days, students are tasked with reading at least two poems each day, with links provided within the packet. While reading the materials, students are asked to consider the following:

During days three and four, students are asked to write their own poems that tell an important story from their lives.


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For NYC students without technology: Whats in supplemental learning packet? - SILive.com

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Reusing N95 masks in coronavirus pandemic possible with this technology – Fox Business

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Duke Health has formulated a technology that decontaminates medical masks for re-purposing. FOX Business' Ashley Webster with more.

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Researchers from Duke Health are spreading the word about a new way to decontaminate N-95 masks, key personal protective equipment that's been in short supply as the number of coronavirus cases confirmed in the U.S. grows.

They say that N-95 masks can be safely reused after being decontaminated with hydrogen peroxide vapor, a process that pharmaceutical companies and researchers have used onother kinds of equipment.

"We do not want our health care employees getting sick," Dr. Wayne Thomann of Duke University School of Medicine told FOX Business. "This is intendedto conserve a critical resource, which is our people who support the enitre health care process."


The Duke researchers hope pharmaceutical companies can help hospitals put the decontamination technology into practice. The process takes about four to five hours and involves hanging the masks in a room to be sprayed with the aerosol.

N95 respiration masks at a laboratory of 3M in Maplewood, Minn,m that has been contracted by the U.S. government to produce extra marks in response to the coronavirus outbreak. (REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi)

The Duke team has been answering many hospitals' questions about the process, Thomann said.


"Were working on this as a technology that allows us to fill the gap until the number of cases go down or productioncapability goes up," said Thomann, who specializes in both family medicine and occupation and environmental medicine.


Doctors and nurses throughout the U.S.are sharing about stretching their supplies by reusing masksas they take precautions against catching or spreading the virus. Other methods of decontaminatingequipment that are being tested includeultraviolet light and dry heat.

"Just finished up a busy emergency department critical care shift, and hoping I stay healthy enough to go back for another,"Dr. Kelly Wongof Brown Emergency Medicine in Rhode Island wrote onTwitterlast week."This mask and these safety glasses went into a paper bag with my name on it so that I can reuse them tomorrow on shift... and maybe the next shift... and maybe the next shift #GetMePPE."


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Reusing N95 masks in coronavirus pandemic possible with this technology - Fox Business

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What COVID-19 tells us about technology and human behaviour – RTE.ie

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Opinion: we are witnessing some smart thinking during the current crisis when it comes to technology, but will such flexibility continue afterwards?

The coronaviruscrisis reflects a dichotomy of the human condition, one which we have long been aware of. Charles Dickens summed it up nicely in his 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities:"it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom." We have so much technology, yet still we wage battle with the forces of nature and human behaviour.

Stories of hard-working nurses, doctors and the people still at work to keep society moving standinstark contrast to the pictures of supermarkets looking like the zombie apocalypse and people crowding in parks and on beachesrather than staying at home. To continue with Dickens, "it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity."

Our societies are globally divided: rich and poor, urban and rural, the technologically advanced and deprived, socially-minded and libertarian. In this particular moment of history, amidst the fourth industrial revolution, we are faced with an existential crisis that may finally force us to change and reengineer society rather than simply automate it.

From RT Radio 1'sToday with Sean O'Rourke, tech tips for working from home from Ciara O'Brien from The Irish Times

The grand ideas of the "gig economy" and work/life balance are about to be tested like never before. Will people be able to work as flexibly as surveys suggest? A 2019 Amrach Research survey for Three Ireland revealed that 59%of workers in Ireland claimed they would be more productive if they were able to work remotely or from home. Will they say the same when this crisis is over?

There is an opportunity to use technology to change our individual habits and how society operates, and we should take it. The present reality is that we have too much of a garbage in, garbage out economy. At both individual and societal level, our use of technology is less intelligent than it should be, while at the same time our expectations of what we think technology can do outstrips its capabilities.

If we look at the infrastructure of our society, there are 1.5 million people worldwide moving to cities everyweek in search of a better life. As a result, 54% of the global population lives in urban areas, with the United Nations estimating 60% by 2030, which is driving a move toward creating "smart cities".McKinsey Global Institute estimated that US$3.3 trillion must be spent annually through 2030 to support such expected global rates of demographic change and growth.

From RT News, Eileen Magnier reports on howMoville Clothing in Co Donegal has completely turned production over to making scrubs for front-line healthcare workers

Cities cannot absorb this growth, but the idea of telecommuters, working where you want and environmentally sustainable ways of economising still fails to take hold. This crisis offers an opportunity to reimagine these questions, and perhaps find better answers. If we do not, technology will drive the divisions further. In Ireland and across the world, we may seea technological divide between smart cities asislands of connectivity and struggling rural communities who are set adrift.

Surely what we need to create is a smart society? To have a smart societymeans smart thinking.Consumer use of technology has been high on entertainment and distraction, but low on mature use of technology. In this crisis, we are witnessing some smart thinking such as manufacturers retooling production lines to make respirators, distillers turning out hand sanitising geland people finding creative ways to live and work in a self-distancing and isolating environment. Will such flexibility continue after this crisis?

Rather than complaisant technology use, we should seize this moment to reengineer. If you automate dysfunction and poor processes, you end up with a faster automated mess, albeit a more efficient mess than before. We need a greater sense of urgency if we are to learn from this unprecedented global crisis. Albert Camus wrote in The Plague that being alive has always been an emergency, a truly inescapable "underlying condition." In the Bible, Luke 12:20 records a similar point of crisis, as does Nietzsche in his writing on the "eternal recurrence".In other words, we know this.

There is an opportunity to use technology to change our individual habits and how society operates, and we should take it

However, the problem is not technology per se, but human behaviour and how we manage innovation and change in society. The confrontational dialectic of past revolutions and economic cycles offer a poor blueprint for where we need to go. Leaders in society need to do two things. Learn to be collaborative across divides and disciplines, and to stop looking in the rearview mirror as they try to navigate our future.

If we are to learn anything from this crisis, it is that we are in need of a new social contract for the political management of a society produced by the fourth industrial revolution. If we fail in this then we will look back on this crisis, to conclude with the Dickens quote, as "it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us."

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views of RT

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What COVID-19 tells us about technology and human behaviour - RTE.ie

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31 Technology Job Positions Hiring During the COVID-19 Crisis – Dice Insights

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Were beginning to see theeconomic consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic, including across the technology industry. More than three million unemployment claims were filed in the United States last week, the highest ever (the previous record, 700,000 claims, occurred in October 1982). As cash-starved startups shut down and businesses everywhere recalibrate to the new reality, its natural for technologists everywhere to be concerned about the employment landscape.

Even as many industries contract, theres still a pressing need for technologists who can do everything from keep cloud infrastructure running todesigning e-commerce portals. Millions of employees working from home will mean that systems engineers, business analysts, and product managers must recalibrate companies operations to deal with new, widely dispersed teams and networks. Technology is more vital than ever as the world (and the global economy) wrestles with this crisis.

As a result, companies are still hiring for many technology roles, including the following. These are the top positions on Dice at the moment; click through to see whats available and where:

Its okay during this uncertain time for technologists to be worried about virus-related layoffs. Indeed,new survey data from Blindfound that57.1 percent of surveyed technologists feared layoffs due to COVID-19.Some 24.9 percent of surveyed technologists are looking for new ways to supplement their income, and 40.2 percent believe it could take anywhere from six to 12 months for life to return to normal.

If youre unsure of how to adjust to this new reality, perhaps its time for a brief refresher on best practices forremote workandvideo conferencing, since those are key to the way most of us will work for the foreseeable future. And if youre on the hunt for a new job, take the time to give your rsumand other materialsa quick polish. Times are stressful, but well make it through!

Membership has its benefits. Sign up for a free Dice profile, add your resume, discover great career insights and set your tech career in motion. Register now

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31 Technology Job Positions Hiring During the COVID-19 Crisis - Dice Insights

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New Research and Technology Ministry Consortium to Assist Covid-19 Task Force – Jakarta Globe

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Jakarta. Indonesia's Research and Technology Ministry has formed a consortium of local research institutions and universities to work on a Covid-19mitigation programthat will include identifying compounds that can inhibit the spread of coronavirus,developing a vaccine for the virus and implementingartificial intelligence for faster diagnosis of the disease that has already killed more than 24,000 people around the world.

The consortium will provide assistance forthe government's Covid-19 Task Force, especially in testing for the SARS-Cov-2 virus, Research and Technology MinisterBambang Brodjonegoro said.

"The consortium will focus onresearch, development, assessmentand implementation of various aspects inCovid-19 mitigation,"Bambang said on Thursday duringa virtual press conference.

The consortium is partly made up ofnon-ministerial government agencies includingIndonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), Technology Assessment and Application Agency (BPPT), Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan), Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan)and Eijkman Molecular Biology Institute (LBM Eijkman).

It also includes universitiessuch asBandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), University of Indonesia (UI), Airlangga University and Gajah Mada University (UGM).

Bambang said the ministry has reallocated money from its own budget to fundthe consortium.

"Forthisfirst stage, we've reallocated Rp 20 billion ($1.2 million)from thebusiness trip budget,"he said.

Earlier, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said the government would divert Rp 40 trillion from itstravel budget for Covid-19 mitigation.

The pandemic has infected 893 people in Indonesia and killed78, with only 35 recoveries so far.

Short-Term Plans

The Research and Technology Minister said the consortium officially called the Covid-19 Consortium has been researching the possibility that consumption ofred guava might boost the body'simmune systemand preventCovid-19 transmission.

It has also beendeveloping a disinfectionchamber prototype.

"We've also been designingpersonal protective equipmentand makinghand sanitizers,"Bambang said.

The head of IPB's Tropical Biopharmaca Study Center, Irmanida Batubara, said researchers from IPBand the University of Indonesia have found that red guava and honey contain a flavonoid compound that could potentially be developed into anantivirus for Covid-19.

"The flavonoid compound might be able tostopthe virus from replicating orobstructthe virusfrom attaching itself tothe human body's protein receptor,"she said.

Irmanida said the researchers will testthe effects of consumingred guava juice, honey andguava leaf extracts.

Meanwhile, LIPI head Laksana Tri Handoko said his institution is collaborating withITB to create an ozone-based disinfectionchamber.

"We've developed an ozone-based disinfectionchamber that's safer for the human skin and eco-friendly. Other producers will be able to use the technology, too,"he said.

Mid-Term Plans

One of the consortium's mid-term plans, Bambang said, is to study imported Covid-19 testing kits with a view to produce them domestically. The study is led by the BPPT.

BPPT headHammam Rizasaid the consortium will also develop a non-polymerase chain reaction(PCR) test for Covid-19, usinga dipstick and a microchip, and a PCR diagnostic test that can detect thevirus' latest mutations.

He said the consortium will also research the use ofartificial intelligence inCovid-19 mitigation efforts.

"Artificial intelligence can be used to produceCT scans and X-rays from suspect Covid-19 patientsthat will help doctors see if someone has beeninfected by the virus or not. The process will involvemachine learning and deep learning,"he said.

Long-Term Plan

In the long term,the consortium wantsto develop aCovid-19 vaccine, which it said wouldtake at least 12 months.

LBM Eijkman chairmanAmin Soebandriosaid the vaccine would be designed toprotect people from further coronavirus infectionssince Indonesia has already experienced three pandemics involvingdifferent strains of the coronavirus:MERS-Cov, SARS-Covand now the SARS-Cov-2.

"The vaccine will stimulateantibodiesthat will protect us fromthe virus. Even if someone still getsinfected by the virus, the effects would not be severe. We hope thevaccine will workfor other coronaviruses too,"he said.

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Captains using technology to bond with teammates during pause – NHL.com

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Mark Giordano is doing his best to remain in contact with his teammates during the NHL pause, but the Calgary Flames captain knows some things are out of his control.

The Flames defenseman was one of seven captains among the eight players who each represented his Pacific Division team during one of two video calls organized by the NHL on Friday, the 15th day since the League announced March 12 it would pause the season because of concerns about the coronavirus.

"I'd say Zac Rinaldo and big [Milan] Lucic are the two who get the chat going every day and once one guy starts it never stops," Giordano said. "The phone just buzzes the whole day. I've been having trouble keeping my phone alive because there are so many texts coming in and buzzing my phone, but it's great we have this.

"We have this technology now where you can FaceTime and do all this stuff and at least somewhat stay connected. We have what the team updates through emails ... to keep us posted. But not much has been changed, so it's been weird, but at least we can do things like this and stay connected a little bit."

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, whose 97 points (34 goals, 63 assists) are second in the NHL behind teammate Leon Draisaitl's 110, said players remain in contact with each other, but he prefers other activities.

"There are a couple of guys left in Edmonton and I've gotten together with (defenseman) Darnell Nurse and gone outside for runs ... we keep our 6-feet distance and don't get any closer than that," McDavid said. "We can still go outside for a run. It's not exactly Arizona (weather) here yet, but at least we can go outside and get a workout in."

Video: Pacific Division stars discuss NHL Pause

San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture said he's been texting 40-year-old forward Joe Thornton regularly to check up on him.

"I don't know how he's surviving," Couture said. "He's got ADD (attention deficit disorder), for sure, and when he can't go to the rink, he's lost."

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat, who is third on the Canucks in goals (22) and tied for third in points (53), said he's involved in several group chats with players.

"We have 100 chats that keep getting started and restarted, so I have a lot of messages on my phone coming from everywhere," Horvat said. "There are a lot of chirps and joking around like we would in the locker room. Everybody is missing the game, wanting to get back and play hockey as soon as possible. Everybody is trying to do what's best for their families, keeping them safe and ride this thing out until everything is safe and ready to go."

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, and father of four, is busy enough even without arranging chat sessions with teammates. Getzlaf was busy making sure his kids were safe while on the video call after they took the family golf cart into the backyard of their California home to check out the chicken coop that dad is building from scratch.

"[The chat sessions with teammates] only stays serious for about two questions and then someone starts being a you-know-what," Getzlaf said.

Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson is not a fan of group texts.

"We haven't had any FaceTime sessions or anything, it's more group chat and texts, and there's a lot of chirping going on in that group chat," he said. "I'm actually thinking about deleting it because there's a lot of weird pictures and stuff like that.

"It's a lot of fun though. It keeps you busy and you can stay connected."

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How Alternative Dispute Resolution and Technology Can Keep Your Cases Moving in the Face of Court Closures – JD Supra

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Updated: May 25, 2018:

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How Alternative Dispute Resolution and Technology Can Keep Your Cases Moving in the Face of Court Closures - JD Supra

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The history of technology is about to change radically. India must seize the moment. – YourStory

Posted: at 1:46 pm

There are no atheists in foxholes, and there appear to be no capitalists in a global pandemic either. The head of Honeywells billion-dollar GoDirect Trade platform, which uses a permission-based blockchain to buy and sell aviation parts, declared on March 20 that American corporations had a walled-garden approach to data. They need to start sharing data, a huge paradigm shift, said Lisa Butters. Only a couple of weeks ago, Honeywell had been defending the virtues of a permission-based system, saying enterprises needed some constraints to operate in.

What a difference a few days can make.

Historically, the aviation industry has been one of the most secretive among Big Tech sectors, with its evolution tied intimately to the Second World War, and the US-Soviet Cold War rivalry that followed soon after. Concerns around Chinas theft of aerospace IP was among the foremost drivers behind the Obama administrations negotiation of the 2015 agreement with China to prohibit economic espionage.

It is the ultimate winner-takes-all market but Boeing, its lynchpin, has now approached the US government for an existential bailout. Honeywells call for a paradigm shift is proof that the sector is not thinking in just hand-to-mouth terms. The aviation sector may get a lifeline for now, but as an industry forged by a global war, it knows more than most that a transformational moment for technology is upon it, which needs to be seized.

As the economist Branko Milanovi has highlighted, the correct metaphor for the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing crisis is not the Great Recession of 2008, but the Second World War. To win WWII, and retain its military superiority, the United States pioneered technology complexes that placed innovation at the trifecta of university lab, government, and market. (The blueprint for this model was drawn up in 1945 by Vannevar Bush, founder of Raytheon and director of the Office for Scientific Research and Development, and presented to the US government. The document was titled, Science: The Endless Frontier.) This was by no means a Western endeavour alone. Several countries, including India, followed suit, trying to perfect a model of organised science.

In India, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research was the totem for this effort, and created a centralised network of national labs. The primary difference between Western models and ones in developing countries like India was the role of the state. In the US, the state retained regulatory agency over the process of technological innovation, but gradually ceded into the background as the Boeings, Westinghouses, GEs, Lockheed Martins, and IBMs took over. In India, the state became both the regulator and purveyor of technology.

Indias attempts to create national champions in frontier technologies (think Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd, Electronics Corporation of India Ltd., Defence Research and Development Organisation, etc) failed because the state could not nimbly manufacture them at scale. Even as India pursued moonshots, those businesses in the United States that were incubated or came of age during the Second World War, began to occupy pole positions in their respective technology markets.

Once those markets matured, it made little sense for America to continue creating organised technology complexes, although research collaborations between universities and the federal government continued through the National Science Foundation. The banyan-isation of the internet and Silicon Valley both seeded by generous assistance from the US Department of Defence into a market dominated by the FAANG companies affirms this shift.

The United States has often sought to repurpose private technologies as public utilities at key moments in its history. Communications technology was built and moulded into a public good by the American state. It was US law that enabled patent pooling by Bell Labs in the 19th century, leading to the creation of a great new corporate power in telephony. A few decades into the 20th century, American laws decreed telephone companies would be common carriers, to prevent price and service discrimination by AT&T.

Meanwhile, both railroads and telecommunications providers were recognised as interstate services, subject to federal regulation. This classification allowed the US government to shape the terms under which these technologies grew. It is precisely this template that Trump has now applied to tele-health technology in the US. Tele-medicine services could not previously be offered across state lines in the US, but the US government used its emergency powers last week to dissolve those boundaries.

And on March 18, President Trump invoked the Defence Production Act, a legislation adopted during the Korean War and occasionally invoked by American presidents, that would help him commandeer private production of nearly everything from essential commodities to cutting-edge technologies.

Invoking the law is one thing, executing it is another. Rather than strong-arming businesses, the Trump administration is now trying to bring together private actors to create multiple playgrounds with an underlying public interest. The Coronavirus Task Force was the first of its kind. The Task Force brought together Walmart, Google, CVS, Target, Walgreens, LabCorp and Roche, among others to perform singular responsibilities aimed at tackling the coronavirus pandemic. Walmart would open its parking lots for testing, Google would create a self-testing platform online, Roche would develop kits, LabCorp would perform high-throughput testing, and so on.

The COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium, created on March 23, is another such playground. It includes traditional, 20th century actors such as the national laboratories but is doubtless front-ended by Microsoft, IBM, Amazon and Google Cloud. The Consortium aims to use its high computational capacity to create rapid breakthroughs in vaccine development. Proposals have been given an outer limit of three months to deliver.

In some respects, the United States is turning to an approach that India has advanced. To be sure, we may not currently be in a position to develop such a playground for vaccine R&D and testing at scale. But India is well-positioned to create the digital playgrounds that can help manage the devastating economic consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic.

There is universal acknowledgement that Indias social safety nets need to be strengthened to mitigate the fallout. One analyst recommends a direct cash transfer of 3,000 a month, for six months, to the 12 crore, bottom half of all Indian households. This will cost nearly 2.2-lakh crore and reach 60 crore beneficiaries, covering agricultural labourers, farmers, daily wage earners, informal sector workers and others. The same estimate suggests a budget of 1.5- lakh crore for testing and treating at least 20 crore Indians through the private sector.

The digital public goods India has created Aadhaar, UPI and eKYC offer the public infrastructure upon which these targeted transfers can be made. However, cash transfers alone will not be enough: lending has to be amplified in the months to come to kickstart small and medium businesses that would have been ravaged after weeks of lockdown. Indias enervated banking sector will have meagre resources, and neither enthusiasm or infrastructure to offer unsecured loans at scale.

Playgrounds offers private actors to realign their businesses towards a public goal, and for other new ones to come up. Take the example of Target, which is an unusual addition to the Coronavirus Task Force, but one whose infrastructure and network makes it a valuable societal player. Or Amazon Web Services in the High-Performance Computing Consortium, which has been roped in for a task that is seemingly unrelated to the overall goal of vaccine development.

In the Indian scenario, a lending playground would have UPI players, account aggregators, lending service providers, technology providers and underwriter modellers, among others. Of course, it will also feature traditional interlocutors like lenders and credit bureaus, but they are the only actors who exist in this framework today! The rest of the playground is waiting to be built, but there is no need for a paradigm shift as Honeywell has sought in the US, because these digital playgrounds are not winner-take-all markets.

Account aggregators are cast as fiduciaries in India, empowered by the user to share data with other actors in the playground. The Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA) of India Stack animates the Cash Flow-based Lending playground as well. Those who bring the players to the market by tethering them to the underlying digital infrastructure should be treated as public utilities, and their profits capped. If a Target can be part of a Coronavirus Task Force, why cant a Swiggy be a Lending Service Provider, offering low-value, short-term loans?

If digital playgrounds are so obvious a solution, why has India not embraced it sooner? None of this is to discount the deficit of trust between startup founders and the public sector in India. Founders are reluctant to use public infrastructure. It is the proverbial Damocless sword: a platform or business association with the public sector brings it instant legitimacy before consumers who still place a great deal of trust in the state.

On the other hand, reliance on, or utilisation of public infrastructure brings with it added responsibilities that are unpredictable and politically volatile. To illustrate, one need only look at the eleventh-hour crisis of migrating UPI handles from YES Bank in the light of a moratorium imposed on it earlier this month. On the other hand, the government retains a strong belief that the private sector is simply incapable of providing scalable solutions. In most markets where the India government is both player and regulator, this may seem a chicken-and-egg problem, but cest la vie.

Nevertheless, there are milestones in history where seemingly insurmountable differences dissolve to reveal a convergence of goals. India is at one such moment. A leading American scientist and university administrator has called the pandemic a Dunkirk moment for his country, requiring civic action to step up and help. By sheer chance and fortitude, Indias digital platforms are poised to play exactly the role that small British fishing boats played in rescuing stranded countrymen on the frontline of a great war: they must re-imagine their roles as digital platforms, and align themselves to strengthen the Indian economy in the weeks to come.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

How has the coronavirus outbreak disrupted your life? And how are you dealing with it? Write to us or send us a video with subject line 'Coronavirus Disruption' to editorial@yourstory.com

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The history of technology is about to change radically. India must seize the moment. - YourStory

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Dell Technologies World 2020 Rescheduled To This Fall – CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution providers

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Dell Technologies World 2020, which was changed to a virtual event due to the coronavirus pandemic, will move from May to October in order to focus on helping customers in this time of need.

Three weeks ago, with the information we had at the time, we made the decision to take Dell Technologies World virtual. Much has changed in those three weeks, said the company in a blog post on Friday. And its clear to us that we need to stay focused on supporting our customers and partners with their most immediate needs.

The $92 billion Round Rock, Texas- based infrastructure giants flagship virtual event will be held in October, although a specific date has yet to disclosed. Dell Technologies said customers and partners should still expect news from the company to be released over the coming weeks and months.

[Related: Dell Donates Millions To Fight Coronavirus: We Are All In This Together]

Our innovation engine, portfolio development and services capabilities will press on to ensure we meet those needs, said Dell. Our top priority, in addition to the health and safety of our team members and communities, is to ensure we meet customers needs in this moment.

Dell Technologies World 2020 was initially scheduled to take place in Las Vegas from May 4 to7 but shifted to a virtual event due to the coronavirus outbreak that is having a dramatic impact across the IT world.

In terms of the virtual Dell Technologies World event in October, all registrants will automatically be registered for the virtual experience at no charge. However, registrants also can choose to roll over their conference pass to Dell Technologies World 2021 or request a full refund.

In an interview with CRN this month, founder and CEO Michael Dell said it is the first time in the companys history that Dell Technologies World will be a virtual event.

The show must go on, said Dell. What we do know from internal events that we move from physical to virtualand weve learned a lot about that just in the last few weekswell make it incredibly compelling and engaging.

In addition, this week Dell Technologies and VMware withdrew their initial fiscal year 2021 guidance because both are unable to predict the extent of the coronavirus that could adversely impact business.

Dell Technologies is providing millions of dollars to fight the coronavirus on several fronts including donating IT infrastructure valued at more than $850,000 to the Hubei Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China to help upgrade its technology to enable the center to respond to the epidemic more effectively. Dell Technologies has also set aside $3 million in funds and technology to help meet the greatest needs of our communities and front-line organizations working to treat and contain coronavirus across the globe.

We must protect each other and especially our most vulnerableour elderly and those with underlying conditions, said Michael Dell. At the same time, we are managing the impact on our own business and supply chain operations, so we can take care of you. Whether enabling a remote workforce, ensuring business continuity, powering the technology for infectious disease prevention and control, or providing simple, human advice, support and friendshipwe are here to help.

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Dell Technologies World 2020 Rescheduled To This Fall - CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution providers

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Office Movers Now Come Strapped With Tracking Technologies – Bisnow

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Moving is among the most stressful of life events, and that goes double for moving offices. In a survey,more than three-quarters of leaders of small and midsized businesses said they found the idea of moving offices so stressful that they have been delaying the process, 78% of managers said they prefer staying in a cramped space to avoid the hassle.

Jim Durfee knows that many people believe that the office moving process is invasive, disruptive and time-consuming, but he also believes he has a solution: technology.

One of the greatest fears in life is the fear of the unknown, and that is especially true during moves, said Durfee, who is vice president and general manager at Office Movers Express, styled as OMX. Were using newly developed technology to stay connected to our clients and remove that fear, they always know where we are, what were doing and where their items are at all times."

Durfee and his team at OMX have been using technologies like tablets, GPS and tracking software to make the moving process more efficient and give clients peace of mind. Bisnow recently sat down with him to learn more about how OMX plans to take the stress out of one of the most infamously stressful parts of life.

Bisnow: How have office moves changed?

Jim Durfee:Office moves used to be a big deal in terms of volume, furniture and general 'stuff.' To move an office was a huge undertaking requiring vast resources of labor and time. But that world has changed, and the modern office is more efficient. The main focus is on technology and keeping it safe, both the equipment and the information stored inside of it.

Bisnow: How are you using technology to change how you move offices?

Durfee: In both small and large ways. Take note-taking, for example. A mover 10 years ago might have just written down that one conference room had five tables, but we have higher-touch service. We record it on our tablets and take pictures to corroborate the number and keep track of the conditions of the tables.

We also track everything on tablets on the day of the move, from when the crew arrives, to when they left, to what they charged, so everything remains transparent and at the clients fingertips.

Bisnow: How do you use technology to keep clients' items safe throughout the move?

Durfee:The first step is taking an inventory using a portable, handheld device, which is faster and more accurate than previous methods. We are able to capture images, assess volume and organize the process in a manner that helps develop a sensible and logical move plan. When the move actually occurs, additional technology allows us to identify and tag key items and assure they receive special attention or priority status. We can include critical information to identify information such as value, function, departmental assignment and final placement.

For highly sensitive items, we have access to digital locators that allow us to track them from origin to destination. A client could be sitting on the beach viewing the item on their cellphone as it exits its current space and arrives in the new office. All of this helps us maintain the chain of custody, tightly control the relocation process and assure a positive experience.

Bisnow: What are the benefits of working with a mover who only handles commercial moves?

Durfee: It all comes down to business continuity. When youre moving a household, you usually have a large window of time to complete the move. Office moves need to happen as seamlessly as possible so that a business only experiences minimal downtime.

Another major difference is the handling of technology. While a household may have a few laptops and one computer, offices have whole server rooms that need to be handled carefully. Office movers are specifically trained to handle the types of materials you only find in a business environment, like large pieces of technology that carry sensitive information.

Bisnow: What are some preparations you wish more company owners would make before a move?

Durfee: I wish they would do a little extra homework to find out what they can expect. People can contact us in advance and we can offer them a budget figure and tips for how to go about preparing for the day. Company owners should also contact building management to learn what they can do to help, and also ask their movers if they have any experience with their new building and can offer any strategic moving advice ahead of time.

As it gets closer to the moving day, things tend to change. Often, these changes are not communicated to movers until the day arrives, which can lead to delays, so I always recommend that people err on the side of over-communicating with their movers and providing them with every last detail.

This feature was produced in collaboration between the Bisnow Branded Content Studio and Office Movers Express. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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Office Movers Now Come Strapped With Tracking Technologies - Bisnow

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