To Track Virus, Governments Weigh Surveillance Tools That Push Privacy Limits

We're Not Going Back to Normal ; Could Trump Delay the November Election? ; and More Picks

coronavirus, government, privacy
The authors write, “As the country scrambles to control the rapidly spreading coronavirus, government agencies are putting in place or considering a range of tracking and surveillance technologies that test the limits of personal privacy. The technologies include everything from geolocation tracking that can monitor the locations of people through their phones to facial-recognition systems that can analyze photos to determine who might have come into contact with individuals who later tested positive for the virus, according to people familiar with the matter.” Photo credit: Jason Thibault / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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We’re Not Going Back to Normal (Chris)

From MIT Technology Review: “As long as someone in the world has the virus, breakouts can and will keep recurring without stringent controls to contain them. In a report [Monday], researchers at Imperial College London proposed a way of doing this: impose more extreme social distancing measures every time admissions to intensive care units (ICUs) start to spike, and relax them each time admissions fall.”

Could Trump Delay the November Election? Not Without Inviting ‘President Pelosi’ (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Under the U.S. Constitution, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence cannot stay in office past their four-year terms without being reelected. If the election does not happen for any reason, constitutional rules of succession kick in. That would mean President Nancy Pelosi. Installing the Democratic House speaker in the White House is not an outcome Trump or any partisan Republican seeks.”

Federal Judge Orders Emergency Hearing Over Coronavirus Threat to LA’s Homeless People (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The federal judge who forced the opening of new homeless shelters in a landmark Orange County case has called for an emergency hearing in Los Angeles this week, citing the risk of people living on the streets during the coronavirus outbreak. The hearing, set for Thursday, is on a case filed last week alleging that the city and county of L.A. have failed in their duty to protect public health and safety and to provide shelter to people living on the streets.”

How Returning to a Prior Context Aids Memory Recall (Mili)

The author writes, “Whether it’s the pleasant experience of returning [to] one’s childhood home over the holidays or the unease of revisiting a site that proved unpleasant, we often find that when we return to a context where an episode first happened, specific and vivid memories can come flooding back. In a new study in the journal Neuron, scientists from the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT are reporting the discovery of a mechanism the brain may be employing to make that phenomenon occur.”

PHOTOS: The ‘Icing’ on These Lakeside Homes Is Actual Ice (Chris)

From Atlas Obscura: “Last [month], homes along Hoover Beach in the town of Hamburg, New York, looked like gingerbread houses, polished off with a generous spackling of sugar icing. The reality was less dreamy: They were caked with thick layers of actual ice from nearby Lake Erie. … This was caused by an unfortunately perfect storm — a combination of high water levels and limited ice cover, coupled with very cold temperatures and biting winds.”

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