Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for March 20, 2020

in STEMGeeks6 months ago (edited)

Whitehouse promotes machine learning for coronavirus solutions; Security advice for the emerging work-from-home employers; Chloroquine and hydrochloroquine may offer low cost and effective treatment against COVID-19 and other viruses; How the coronavirus pandemic is permanently reshaping the business landscape; and a Steem essay acknowledges limited data, but argues that - at the moment - coronavirus infections are not growing at an exponential rate

Administrivia:

This post is being scheduled on Thursday, March 19, but it won't post until after the Hive fork on Friday. I'm still deciding on a post-fork strategy for this series, and I may just take a break from posting for a week or two to let the dust settle.

If there is an interruption in posting after Friday, March 20, that's probably why. If so, I apologize in advance.


Fresh and Informative Content Daily: Welcome to my little corner of the blockchain

Straight from my RSS feed
Whatever gets my attention

Links and micro-summaries from my 1000+ daily headlines. I filter them so you don't have to.

First posted on my Steem blog: StemGeeks, SteemIt, SteemPeak*.

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  1. White House urges researchers to use AI to analyze 29,000 coronavirus papers - As discussed in Wednesday's post, Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for March 18, 2020, the Whitehouse has worked with the tech industry to establish a database of metadata from 29,000 coronavirus papers along with full text from 13 000 of them. Today's post notes that Microsoft and Google were also involved in the project, and adds that the Whitehouse hopes that machine learning can uncover and aggregate useful information from the dataset more quickly than human researchers. The dataset is hosted by Google's Kaggle service. One obstacle noted by the article is that machine learning often requires analysis of millions of similar training documents, so a mere 13,000 full text papers may not be sufficient. -h/t Communications of the ACM: Artificial Intelligence

  2. Work-from-Home Security Advice - Bruce Schneier draws attention to five potential problems that arise when the workforce starts to work from home. In particular:

    • If employees are using their home networks and home computers, many devices are likely to be unpatched and out of date.
    • Sensitive data is likely to migrate out of network
    • Employees are likely to use insecure methods for accessing the corporate network
    • Employees who are using new and unfamiliar tools, like Zoom, are likely to set them up in an insecure manner.
    • The general chaos from large scale change may open vectors for attack

    Schneier also links to the SANS Security Awareness Work-from-Home Deployment Kit

  3. Chloroquine May Fight Covid-19—and Silicon Valley's Into It - On March 13, MD and Bitcoin investor, James Todaro, Tweeted about a promising drug for COVID-19. In that Tweet, he linked to a document about the drug, chloroquine. Chloroquine, it turns out, is an 85 year old malaria drug that seems to be having promising results against COVID-19. Since the drug has been in continuous use since 1945, it is known to be safe, and it is off patent, so it can be produced at a relatively low cost. It turns out that chloroquine has been pitched as an anti-viral drug for years, and the article notes that,
    Chloroquine and an alternative version called hydroxychloroquine seem to work on viruses by inhibiting a process called glycosylation, a chemical transformation of the proteins in the virus’ outer shell that’s part of the infection process.
    Chinese researchers have initiated a number of randomized trials on the drug, and French infectious disease researcher, Didier Raoult reviewed the works and recommended that both an increase in human trials and use in clinical settings should begin quickly. In addition to the recommendations by Todaro and Raoult, President Trump mentioned the drug in a press conference on Thursday, and many physicians have apparently already begun using it for treatment of COVID-19.

  4. How the Coronavirus Is Already Rewriting the Future of Business - Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge asks its experts how the ongoing pandemic will reshape business. Here are some of the answers:

    • Organizational cultures will be converted towards "trust-based cultures" with their employees
    • Businesses will help customers to help each other
    • A remote work capability will be strategically important
    • Leadership will learn to encourage creative collaboration
    • Standard Operating Practice will become more important
    • Supply chain management is becoming more difficult to support a need for resilience
    • The best leaders will improve workplace culture and break through the silos
    • Buildings and employees will be healthier
    • In person meetings will lose some importance
    • Employees will reprioritize their work activities
    • Supply chain strategy will be reimagined

    Click through for more details on each of those topics.


  5. Steem @mcsvi: A fact about Covid-19 nobody is talking about. - In this post, the author takes a look at the numbers and finds that although novel coronavirus infections may appear to be growing at an exponential rate, this might not actually be the case. In fact, the author argues that the reason that infections appear to be growing exponentially is because the number of tests is growing exponentially. As a percentage of tests, during the last two weeks, the rate of positive results declined rapidly from 30% to 10% and then remained flat at that value. The author concludes:
    We see NO exponential growth here. We would expect this however, if COVID-19 was spreading exponentially. For the moment it is not.
    The post also provides a link to the source data, which is in Google Docs, here.

    (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @mcsvi.)


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