Nevada’s Democratic Party said Thursday it plans to use iPads loaded with survey app Google Forms to calculate voting results in next week’s caucuses. The system is an effort to avoid a repeat of the Iowa caucus chaos.
The app will be loaded onto 2,000 iPads purchased by the party and distributed to precinct chairs, according to a memo signed by party Executive Director Alana Mounce seen by the Associated Press Thursday. Google’s app will calculate and submit results electronically, while a second step will rely on submissions also being made by phone.
“In choosing the best path forward our guiding principles have been security, efficiency and simplicity,” Mounce said in the memo. “We understand just how important it is that we get this right and protect the integrity of Nevadans’ votes.”
The new process was hastily constructed after use of an app during the Iowa caucus caused confusion that delayed the announcement of a winner in the Feb. 3 Iowa caucus, the first nominating contest of the 2020 US presidential election. Many people blame the Iowa Democratic Party for what appears to be a botched rollout of an app on such a big stage.
A company called Shadow, which describes itself as a creator of “political power for the progressive movement” was commissioned to build the Iowa caucus app. That state’s party chairman, Troy Price, said the problem was a “coding issue” with the system, which caused the app to only report partial data. Price later resigned his position on Wednesday.
As a fifth death is announced, South Korea’s president authorizes bold measures.
President Moon Jae-in on Sunday put South Korea on the highest possible alert in its fight against the coronavirus, a move that empowers the government to lock down cities and take other sweeping measures to contain the outbreak.
“The coming few days will be a critical time for us,” Mr. Moon said at an emergency meeting of government officials to discuss the outbreak, which in just days has spiraled to 602 confirmed infections and five deaths. “This will be a momentous time when the central government, local governments, health officials and medical personnel and the entire people must wage an all-out, concerted response to the problem.”
Mr. Moon did not announce any specific measures to fight the virus. But by raising the alert to Level 4, or “serious,” he authorized the government to take steps like banning visitors from specific countries and restricting public transportation, as well as locking down cities, as China has done.
Many of South Korea’s coronavirus cases are in the southeastern city of Daegu, which has essentially been placed under a state of emergency, though people are still free to enter and leave the city.
On Sunday, a spokesman for Shincheonji, Kim Si-mon, said the church had cooperated fully since the first infection of one of its members was confirmed, handing over the names of thousands of members who had attended services in Daegu. He protested what he called negative news coverage of the church, which many mainstream churches in South Korea consider a cult.
“We, too, are citizens of this country and victims of the disease originating in China,” Mr. Kim said. “In fact, we are the biggest group of victims.”
The spike of cases in South Korea, along with rising numbers in Iran and Italy, has added to fears that the window to avert a global pandemic is narrowing. The World Health Organization has warned African leaders of the urgent need to prepare for the virus; it identified 13 African countries as priorities because of their direct links to China, which still accounts for the vast majority of confirmed infections and deaths.
On Sunday, China raised its official numbers to 76,936 cases and 2,442 deaths.
Despite a ban, rallies in Seoul show no sign of ending.
In Seoul, South Korea’s capital, large demonstrations of all political stripes are a routine fact of life. But with the country’s coronavirus cases soaring, the authorities say that needs to stop, at least for now.
Updated Feb. 10, 2020
What is a Coronavirus? It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
How contagious is the virus? According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
How worried should I be? While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
Who is working to contain the virus? World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
What if I’m traveling? The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
How do I keep myself and others safe? Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.
In a televised address on Saturday, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun urged people to comply with a ban on large protests in the capital, warning that the government would deal “sternly” with people who participate in “massive rallies,” as well as those who hoard goods or interfere with quarantine efforts.
But thousands of Christian activists defied the ban that same day, gathering in central Seoul for their weekly protest against President Moon Jae-in, whom they accuse of coddling North Korea and mismanaging the economy.
Police officers were deployed in large numbers but made no attempt to disperse the crowd. Most of the protesters wore masks, but they booed Mayor Park Won-soon when he asked them to leave for the sake of public health.
“We care more about the country and our fatherland than our own lives,” the Rev. Jun Kwang-hoon, who organized the rally, shouted at the cheering crowd. He vowed to hold another rally next Saturday.
The State Department raises its travel advisories for Japan and South Korea.
The advisories said that while many Covid-19 cases have been associated with travel to and from mainland China, or contact with someone who had recently been there, South Korea and Japan were now reporting “sustained community spread.” That means it is not known how or where people became infected, and the spread is ongoing, the advisories said.
Japanese officials said Saturday that 23 of the Diamond Princess passengers had mistakenly been cleared without a recent valid test. Those passengers have since been tested and posed “no risk of infection,” the Japanese Health Ministry said.
A vast American containment effort relies on local officials.
Local health officials check in daily by email, phone or text. They arrange tests for people who come down with symptoms, along with groceries and isolated housing, in some cases. There is no centralized tally in the United States of people being monitored or asked to remain in isolation, and they are scattered across the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health jurisdictions.
People arriving from mainland China are added each day, while those who have completed 14-day “self-quarantine” periods are released from oversight. In California alone, the department of public health has been monitoring more than 6,700 returning travelers from China. Health officials in Washington State have tracked about 800, and officials in Illinois more than 200.
So far, officials say, the containment effort has been largely orderly. The only known transmission of the virus in the United States has involved people in the same household. But no matter how effective health workers are in monitoring their charges, “there will always be some leakage,’’ said John Wiesman, the secretary of health in Washington State.
“There is no way, with something this large, that you can make it seal-proof,’’ Dr. Wiesman said. While enforcing total compliance with isolation orders may not be possible, he said, “We have to try for 80 to 85 percent, and hopefully that will work.’’
Russian disinformation blames the U.S. for the virus.
State Department officials say that thousands of Russia-linked social media accounts are spreading disinformation about the coronavirus, including a conspiracy theory that the United States is behind the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Russia’s intent is to sow discord and undermine U.S. institutions and alliances from within, including through covert and coercive malign influence campaigns,” said Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia.
“By spreading disinformation about coronavirus, Russian malign actors are once again choosing to threaten public safety by distracting from the global health response.”
The effort was described as being carried out by several thousand Russia-linked accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, which post similar messages at similar times in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian.
Misinformation about the virus — whether shared purposefully or unwittingly — is so rife that the World Health Organization has called it an “infodemic.” The W.H.O. has been working with big tech companies to try to quell the flood of rumors and falsehoods.
Reporting was contributed by Choe Sang-Hun, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Austin Ramzy, Amy Harmon, Farah Stockman and Edward Wong.
Outlook February 23, 2020 12:26 IST Kerala school students to learn English at hi-tech IT labs
Kerala school students to learn English at hi-tech IT labs
Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 23 (IANS) The Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) has launched E3 (Enjoy, Enhance & Enrich) an ambitious project for enhancing and enriching the English language proficiency of students by making use of hi-tech lab facilities in schools, said an official.
This programme is apart from the Kerala government”s Public Education Rejuvenation Mission, as successive governments in the state have been working on it.
K. Anvar Sadath, CEO, KITE, said, the project aims to enhance and enrich English learning of students in an enjoyable atmosphere effectively making use of technology in schools.
“This is achieved using three components – Samagra e-Library, e-Language lab and e-Broadcast. One lakh school teachers will be trained during the summer vacation and the project will be implemented in the new academic year,” said Sadath.
Samagra e-Library is a digital repository of international standard digital books which will be available to students in audio and video formats.
The second is e-Language lab, which will have language lab software that will provide opportunities for students to enhance their listening, speaking, reading, writing, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary.
The third component is e-Broadcast which includes multimedia programmes. The broadcast lessons will help learners use English in conversational and academic contexts in an interactive mode.
The Director of General Education will monitor the implementation of the project in schools by teachers.
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: IANS
Samsung’s new folding Z Flip has impressed us in our full review process. CNET editor Jessica Dolcourt even went so far as to call it “the best foldable phone I’ve ever used.” Big words, when the competition is heating up with the likes of the Motorola Razr, Huawei Mate X and Samsung’s own Galaxy Fold. But if you’re sold on this new bending technology — and you can stomach the $1,380 (£1,300) price — here are six things you should keep in mind before splashing your cash.
1. People will ask you about it
The Z Flip is arguably the best-looking folding phone so far, particularly in the flashy purple color option. It folds into a lovely neat square and transforms into a vibrant, full-screen phone. That sort of thing catches the eye and I’ve already had multiple people asking me about it when I’m out and about, and I’ve overheard several whispers of, “Oh, that’s that new folding phone.”
Does that matter? Well, depends on your sensibilities. On the one hand, if you’re the shy, retiring type then you may find this a little embarrassing. However, you probably don’t spend that sort of cash on new technology without wanting to show it off a little, so my suggestion would be to embrace it and use it as a conversation starter. See if you can impress a barman enough to get a free drink.
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Galaxy Z Flip is the best foldable phone so far
2. The camera is only OK
The camera is, for me, one of the more disappointing aspects of the phone. With such a high price, I’d expect every element of the phone to be absolutely cutting-edge, with camera capabilities equalling any of today’s top-end phones. That’s not quite the case with the Z Flip.
Its dual rear cameras offer a standard and a superwide view, and while both are fine for everyday snaps, they aren’t up there with the best. Colors often look very oversaturated and the lack of a zoom lens means if you want to get close-up of your subject, you have to use the digital zoom — at a huge cost to image quality.
It lacks the dual-aperture mode of even last year’s most affordable Galaxy S10E and at 12 megapixels, its superwide lens is lower-resolution than the S10e’s 16 megapixels. It’s not a bad camera by any means, but it’s worth keeping in mind that you’re not getting flagship-level photo capabilities for the flagship-level price.
3. You need to be careful of dust and water
Many recent flagships — the Galaxy S10 and S20, the iPhone 11 and various others — have earned IP ratings that mean they’re protected against dust and water. The folding mechanism of the Z Flip, however, means that no such protections are claimed here. We’re back to the old days of having to obsessively protect your phone from the elements.
That means you should think twice about taking that call in the rain, and it’s worth making sure you don’t have any general detritus in the pocket where you keep your phone. A recent test by iFixit showed that it’s easy to get dust clogged up inside the Z Flip. Something to keep in mind once you’ve unboxed your pricey new gadget.
4. The outside screen is a bit annoying
The Z Flip has a small pill-shaped display on the outside of the phone. It’s designed to show you incoming notifications when the phone is closed, and can even act as a small camera viewfinder for taking selfies.
As Jessica puts it: “Unfortunately, it’s too small, squat and narrow to really do anything meaningful with” and it’s awkward to properly read any notifications on the tiny screen, making it much easier to just open the phone instead. As a camera viewfinder, its small size means it doesn’t show the whole image you’re taking, so composing a group selfie is difficult.
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Galaxy Z Flip screen reportedly has problems
5. Battery life isn’t great
In our looping video battery rundown tests, the phone achieved 15 hours of run time from a full charge. That’s on the lower end of what we’d expect from a phone. By comparison, the Galaxy S10 Plus achieved 21 hours in the same test, as did the Galaxy Note 10 Plus.
With careful use you may be able to get a full day out of the phone, but if you’re planning on hitting the town right after work, make sure you’ve given it a top-up if you want enough power to call a cab home at the end of the night.
6. There’s no 5G
While 5G may still be a year or more away from becoming the standard network connection for all our phones, it’s becoming increasingly widespread around the world. You may not be bothered about 5G right now, but when you’re spending so much money on your phone, it’s likely you’ll want to hold onto it for at least a couple of years.
Will you be so ambivalent about superfast 5G at the end of 2020? As you enter 2021, will you look down at your pricey folding phone and wish that it could stream games as smoothly as your friends on their 5G connections? Maybe, maybe not. I won’t say it’s a deal-breaker but it’s certainly worth considering, particularly as Samsung’s 5G-enabled S20 Ultra is only marginally more expensive.