CDC monitored cell phone location to perform analysis of compliance

Isaiah 1:23 “Your rulers are rebels, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe, And chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow’s plea come before them.

Important Takeaways:

  • CDC Tracked Millions of Phones to See If Americans Followed COVID Lockdown Orders
  • Newly released documents showed the CDC planned to use phone location data to monitor schools and churches, and wanted to use the data for many non-COVID-19 purposes, too.
  • (CDC) bought access to location data harvested from tens of millions of phones in the United States to perform analysis of compliance  with curfews, track patterns of people visiting K-12 schools, and specifically monitor the effectiveness of policy in the Navajo Nation
  • SafeGraph, the company the CDC paid $420,000 for access to one year of data, includes Peter Thiel and the former head of Saudi intelligence among its investors. Google banned the company from the Play Store in June.
  • Zach Edwards, a cybersecurity researcher: “The CDC seems to have purposefully created an open-ended list of use cases, which included monitoring curfews, neighbor-to-neighbor visits, visits to churches, schools and pharmacies, and also a variety of analysis with this data specifically focused on ‘violence.’”

Read the original article by clicking here.

COVID-19 often goes undiagnosed in hospital workers; virus may impair heart functions

By Nancy Lapid

(Reuters) – The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

COVID-19 often undiagnosed in front line hospital workers

A high proportion of COVID-19 infections among U.S. healthcare personnel appear to go undetected, according to a report on Monday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between April and June, among more than 3,000 front line workers in 12 states, roughly 1 in 20 had antibody evidence of a previous COVID-19 infection, but 69% of those infections had never been diagnosed. Among those with antibodies to the novel coronavirus, about one-third did not recall having symptoms in the preceding months, nearly half did not suspect that they had been infected, and some two-thirds had never had a positive COVID-19 test. Infections among front line healthcare personnel may be going undetected, the study authors say, because some infections may be only minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic and also because personnel with symptoms may not always have access to testing. COVID-19 antibodies were less common among workers who reported using a face covering for all patient encounters and more common among those who reported a shortage of personal protective equipment. The researchers call for more frequent testing of healthcare personnel and universal use of face coverings in hospitals.

Virus may impair heart’s beating, contracting

Following recent reports that the new coronavirus can invade heart muscle cells comes the discovery that infected cells show impairments in function. In test tube experiments, researchers infected “myocytes,” or heart muscle cells, with the new coronavirus and found that before the infected cells die, they progressively lose their “electrophysiological and contractile properties.” This means they have trouble transmitting the electrical impulses that regulate heartbeats and shortening or lengthening their fibers so the heart can expand and contract to pump blood. In a paper posted online Sunday on bioRxiv ahead of peer review, the researchers note that their test tube experiments likely do not exactly replicate what happens with cells in the body, and more research is needed to confirm their findings. Still, they say, their results suggest that cardiac symptoms in COVID-19 patients are likely a direct effect of the virus and warn that “long-term cardiac complications might be possible … in patients who recover from this illness.”

Eye symptoms common in children with COVID-19

Children with COVID-19 often have non-serious eye symptoms like itching, discharge, or pink eye, a study from China suggests. Among 216 children hospitalized with COVID-19 in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak there, 23% had these kinds of eye issues, doctors found. Eye problems were more common in children with other symptoms such as cough or fever. In all cases, the eye problems were mild and eventually went away either without treatment or with “minimal” eye drops, researchers reported in JAMA Ophthalmology. It is reassuring that most of the children had other symptoms first, said Dr. Douglas Fredrick, chief of pediatric ophthalmology at the Mount Sinai Health system in New York City, who was not involved in the study. If conjunctivitis, or pink eye, were always among the first symptoms, “we’d be more worried that children could spread this by pink eye from one child to another,” he told Reuters. Still, he said, the study doesn’t completely rule out that type of transmission.

Cell phone activity may predict COVID-19 spread

Cell phone use patterns suggest that when people stay home, coronavirus infection rates go down, researchers say. For a study published on Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, they analyzed publicly available de-identified cell phone activity and location data collected between January and May from 2,740 counties across the United States. After mid-February, when the coronavirus outbreak began, cell phone activity declined significantly in workplaces, stores and restaurants, and mass transit stations and increased in homes – with the greatest initial changes seen in areas with higher rates of COVID-19. Two weeks after cell phone activity shifted away from workplaces and retail locations, the counties with the most pronounced changes had the lowest rates of new COVID-19 cases. “Perhaps reassuringly,” the researchers said, cell phone activity at grocery stores and in areas classified as parks was not strongly associated with rates of growth in COVID-19 cases. They speculate that publicly available cell phone location data might help health offices better predict COVID-19 growth rates and inform decision about where to implement shutdowns and re-openings.

(Reporting by Nancy Lapid and Linda Carroll; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

PTL Television Network, the Voice and Platform of the Prophets, now on your phone! Be one of the first to have it!

The PTL Television Network is expanding with more incredible Christian programs and ways to watch for you and your family!  Today we are thrilled to announce that PTL Television Network has created a free Mobile App just for you!

The growth of our network is incredible and we have you to thank for tuning in!   

We offer classic and current Jim Bakker Show programs, Life with Lori and so many other presentations by some of the most influential teachers and prophets of today. Check out our programs with Perry Stone, Joel Richardson, Rick Joyner and so many more that will bring you updates on the Biblical world today!

PTL Television Network will help your family discover Biblical insights and prophetic revelation, strengthen your faith, live healthier lives, and experience the power of God’s love and restoration in an ever-changing world. Our Network aims to draw from all aspects of life, from music to the prophetic, from laughter to tears, from cooking to living, from the highs to the lows, all designed to bring Jesus into your life on every level. As the Word of God declares in Colossians 3:17 –

“Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”

Get your app today and bring inspiration with you wherever you go!  Simply go to the Apple App Store, Google Play, or Kindle’s App Store; type in PTL Television Network under the search and get your free download today!  

 How to download the PTL Television Network App

Go to where you download apps

  1. On iPhones, the “App Store” a blue box with an A
  2. On Android, it is the Google Play icon a white box with a multi-colored play button.  
  1. Search for “PTL Television Network”
  2. Download
    1. Your phone may ask you to enter a password or use a different verification method. This is normal.
  3. Once you have downloaded, press “Open”
  4. It will ask you if you want notifications. 
    1. If you want to hear about new things we are doing at Morningside, press “Allow”
    2. If you don’t want notifications, press “Don’t Allow”
  5. The app will ask you if you want to share your location. Choose “Enable” or “Skip”

Congratulations! You can now watch The Jim Bakker Show, Life With Lori, and all the PTL Television Network has to offer on your cellphone!

FAA approves AT&T drone in Puerto Rico for cellular service

(Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Friday said it had approved a request by AT&T Inc to use a new drone known as the Flying Cow or Cell on Wings to help restore cellular service in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The Pulse Vapor 55 drone functions like a cell tower in the sky, providing voice, data and internet service, the FAA said. It flies up to 200 feet above the ground, covering an area of 40 square miles.

Puerto Rico’s wireless and broadband communications networks, along with its power grid, were devastated after Hurricane Maria made landfall in September. The U.S. territory has struggled to regain communications services. As of Thursday, 39 percent of cell sites remained out of service, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said.

The drone resembles a miniature helicopter and is fitted with LTE radios and antennas and is tethered to ground-based electronics and power systems, the FAA said.

The FAA exemption was needed because the drone exceeds the 55-pound weight limit required to operate under the government’s small drone rule. AT&T will use the drone as a temporary cell service solution while it rebuilds permanent infrastructure on the island.

In another innovative effort to restore communications in Puerto Rico, experimental communications balloons provided by Alphabet Inc, in collaboration with AT&T and T-Mobile US Inc, began operating in October.

The “Project Loon” balloon project is delivering limited internet connectivity to LTE enabled phones in the hardest-hit areas of Puerto Rico and Alphabet said on Nov. 9 the project had delivered basic internet connectivity to more than 100,000 people on the island.

The FCC approved Alphabet’s application to provide emergency cellular service to Puerto Rico using up to 30 balloons.

The company said it did not expect to use that many, however, since each balloon can provide internet service to an area of roughly 5,000 square kilometers, or 1,930 square miles. Puerto Rico’s area is 3,515 square miles.

The Loon project is part of an innovation lab within Alphabet that the company calls X, previously known as Google X.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Tom Brown)

Apple sees its mobile devices as platform for artificial intelligence

An Apple employee showcases the augmented reality on an iPhone 8 Plus at the Apple Orchard Shop in Singapore September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

By Jess Macy Yu

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Apple Inc  sees its mobile devices as a major platform for artificial intelligence in the future, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said on Monday.

Later this week, Apple is set to begin taking pre-orders for its new smartphone, the iPhone X – which starts at $999 and uses artificial intelligence (AI) features embedded in the company’s latest A11 chips.

The phone promises new facial recognition features such as Face ID that uses a mathematical model of a person’s face to allow the user to sign on to their phones or pay for goods with a steady glance at their phones.

“We think that the frameworks that we’ve got, the ‘neural engines’ we’ve put in the phone, in the watch … we do view that as a huge piece of the future, we believe these frameworks will allow developers to create apps that will do more and more in this space, so we think the phone is a major platform,” Williams said.

He was speaking at top chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s 30th anniversary celebration in Taipei, which was attended by global tech executives.

Williams said technological innovations, especially involving the cloud and on-device processing, will improve life without sacrificing privacy or security.

“I think we’re at an inflection point, with on-device computing, coupled with the potential of AI, to really change the world,” he said.

He said AI could be used to change the way healthcare is delivered, an industry he sees as “ripe” for change.

Williams said Apple’s integration of artificial intelligence wouldn’t be just limited to mobile phones.

“Some pieces will be done in data centers, some will be on the device, but we are already doing AI in the broader sense of the word, not the ‘machines thinking for themselves’ version of AI,” he said referring to the work of Nvidia Corp, a leader in AI.

Global tech firms such as Facebook, Alphabet Inc, Amazon, and China’s Huawei are spending heavily to develop and offer AI-powered services and products in search of new growth drivers.

Softbank Group Corp, which has significantly invested in artificial intelligence, plans a second Vision Fund that could be about $200 billion in size, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

At Monday’s event, TSMC Chairman Morris Chang described his company’s relationship with Apple as “intense.”

Williams said the relationship started in 2010, the year Apple launched the iPhone 4, with both parties taking on substantial risk.

He credited Chang for TSMC’s “huge” capital investment to ramp up faster than the pace the industry was used to at the time. Apple decided to have 100 percent of its new iPhone and new iPad chips for application processors sourced at TSMC, and TSMC invested $9 billion to bring up its Tainan fab in a record 11 months, he said.

 

(Reporting by Jess Macy Yu, additional reporting by Eric Auchard, Editing by Miyoung Kim and Adrian Croft)

 

Driver in deadly Tennessee bus crash was speeding, holding phone

Johnthony Walker, 24, is seen in a booking photo released by the Chattanooga Police after being taken into custody and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide in connection with a school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennesse

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE (Reuters) – The driver of a school bus that crashed in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last month, killing six children, was speeding and holding a cellphone while he drove, police said on Thursday.

Johnthony Walker, 24, who police have said was driving the bus on Nov. 21 on a winding road well above the speed limit of 30 miles per hour (48 kph), has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

A Hamilton County Criminal Court judge on Thursday said there was enough evidence to send the case to a grand jury.

“I do find the conduct to be reckless,” Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Lila Statom said. “There was a conscious disregard for the risk in this case.”

The bus veered off the road, flipped on its side and smashed into a tree, injuring over a dozen children in addition to the six killed, police have said.

Officials said on Thursday that Walker had been videotaped on the bus holding his cell phone while he drove, which is illegal for school bus drivers in Tennessee.

Electronic evidence, including readings from a GPS unit and engine monitor on the bus, shows the bus was traveling between “50 and 52 miles an hour,” (80 to 83 kph), Chattanooga Police Department traffic officer Joe Warren told the court on Thursday during a court appearance by Walker, who did not speak.

In addition, there were several caution signs saying that the road’s curves need to be negotiated at 20 mph, Warren said.

Warren described a video showing Walker holding his cell phone while he drove. Warren did not say whether Walker was using the phone at the time. The video was not shown in court. Warren said it was recorded by a camera inside the bus.

No drugs or alcohol were found in Walker’s system.

Walker’s attorney, Amanda Dunn, could not be reached for comment. She refused to comment to local reporters as she left the courtroom Thursday.

According to court records, Walker remains in jail on $107,000 bond.

(Writing by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Leslie Adler)