Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Daily Archives: November 4, 2020

New on LLRX for October 2020

  • Why there’s so much legal uncertainty about resolving a disputed presidential election – As stated in this article by Richard Pildes, Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University – the Constitution does not create rules or an institutional structure for resolving a modern, disputed presidential election. It provides a fail-safe mechanism for only one situation, which has not happened since 1824: If no candidate gets the necessary majority of votes in the Electoral College, then the House picks the president from the top three Electoral College candidates. But that’s not the path the most disputed presidential elections have taken since 1824. Nor is it the likely path if this year brings us to that dark place.
  • COVID-19 masks FAQs: How can cloth stop a tiny virus? What’s the best fabric? Do they protect the wearer? – Face masks reduce the spread of viruses passed on from respiratory secretions. While cloth masks are imperfect, widespread use of an imperfect mask has the potential to make a big difference in transmission of the virus. Professors Catherine Clase, Edouard Fu and Juan Jesus Carrero started reading the research on cloth masks and face coverings at the start of the pandemic, looking for ways to protect our vulnerable dialysis patients and our dialysis staff. We found a total of 25 studies, advocated for mask use and summarized our findings in a peer-reviewed publication. We also created an evidence-based, plain-language website to help people navigate this area. Although mask use has been widely adopted, many people still have questions about them, and we provide answers in this guide.
  • Until a coronavirus vaccine is ready, pneumonia vaccines may reduce deaths from COVID-19 – Prof. Robert Root-Bernstein is an immunologist and physiologist interested in the effects of combined infections on immunity vaccines. Two vaccines – pneumococcal vaccine and the Hib vaccine – protect against bacterial pneumonias. These bacteria complicate both influenza and COVID-19, often leading to death. Root-Bernstein’s examination of disease trends and vaccination rates leads him to believe that broader use of the pneumococcal and Hib vaccines could guard against the worst effects of a COVID-19 illness.
  • Blogger-gamer-techie Chris Meadows mixed brains and kindness: “How can I make your day better?” – David Rothman, TeleRead Founder and Editor-Publisher has written as about his friend and colleague, Chris Meadows, who passed away from injuries sustained in a hit and run accident on October 8, while riding his electric bike. Rothman writes that “several people died later in the hospital – The blogger. The gamer. The documentation writer. And the ultimate tech support guy. Chris won a National Merit Scholarship in high school and read two books a day when in the mood, and he typed more than 120 words per minute. On deadline for the TeleRead blog on ebooks and related topics, he might race along at that speed or close to it. As “Robotech_Master,” Chris was internationally known to thousands in the games world. He wrote The Geek’s Guide to Indianapolis: A Tour Guide for Con Gamers and Other Visitors and hosted strangers who found themselves without another place to stay in Indy. But ten words from his life stand out most of all: “This is Chris. How can I make your day better?”…”
  • Increased ebook lending popularity leaves publishers worried, librarians still dissatisfiedChris Meadows was Editor and Senior Staff Writer at TeleRead, a site focusing on e-book and library news. It is with sadness that I share one of his last articles – he passed away on October 14, 2020 after being struck by a hit-and-run driver as he rode his bicycle. Chris was an expert on all facets of digital content issues, and the son of two librarians.
  • Pete Recommends – 5 new columns – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues

Evaluating the fake news problem at the scale of the information ecosystem

Evaluating the fake news problem at the scale of the information ecosystem. Science Advances 03 Apr 2020: Vol. 6, no. 14, eaay3539 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay3539 “Fake news,” broadly defined as false or misleading information masquerading as legitimate news, is frequently asserted to be pervasive online with serious consequences for democracy. Using a unique multimode dataset that… Continue Reading

ProPublica’s Guide to 2020 Election Laws and Lawsuits

ProPublica – “Regardless of who wins the presidency, courtroom battles seem almost certain. Here’s a layperson’s look at the states and laws that may determine the outcome. The run-up to Election Day this year has seen records for early voting (nearly 100 million people as of Monday) — and for the volume of election-related litigation.… Continue Reading

In hunt for virus source W.H.O. let China take charge

The New York Times: “…Nine months and more than 1.1 million deaths later, there is still no transparent, independent investigation into the source of the virus. Notoriously allergic to outside scrutiny, China has impeded the effort, while leaders of the World Health Organization, if privately frustrated, have largely ceded control, even as the Trump administration… Continue Reading

Biden-Harris Transition Official Website Launched

Biden-Harris Transition – “The American people will determine who will serve as the next President of the United States. Votes are still being counted in several states around the country. The crises facing the country are severe — from a pandemic to an economic recession, climate change to racial injustice — and the transition team… Continue Reading

Phone and email scammers have pivoted during the pandemic

Washington Post – Here’s how to protect yourself. “If there has been any upside to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that robocalls practically stopped for a time. Unfortunately, the ringing has returned. On average, the American public fields about 5 billion spam calls per month, according to call-blocker app RoboKiller. However, the company noticed a 40 percent drop… Continue Reading

The State of Race, Police Brutality and Gun Violence in America

Free ABA Webinar [this link includes list of speakers]- “George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many victims have died because of police brutality and gun violence. The surge in police brutality and gun violence against the Black population recently led all people to come together to peacefully march against these tragedies. This moderated… Continue Reading

Vaccine Safety in the United States: Overview and Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccines

CRS report via LC – Vaccine Safety in the United States: Overview and Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccines, November 4, 2020: “Widespread immunization efforts have been linked to increased life expectancy and reduced illness. U.S. vaccination programs, headed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),… Continue Reading