New York calls for tech volunteers to fight COVID-19

New York State has put out a call for volunteers with technology expertise to create “technology SWAT teams” to boost the state’s response to COVID-19. 

The official site for the COVID-19 Technology SWAT Team, as it’s called, is light on details but broad in scope. The state seeks volunteers with a wide range of tech skills: “professionals with experience in product management, software development / engineering, hardware deployment and end-user support, data science, operations management, design, or other similar areas.”

[ Also on InfoWorld: Kaggle calls data scientists to action on COVID-19 ]

While individuals can and are encouraged

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600 scientists oppose UK’s use of behavioral science to fight coronavirus

The UK government’s handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic has come under serious criticism, not just from citizens, but from leaders around the world. One of the reasons for this is because the government is using behavioral science to decide how to coordinate its response to the pandemic.

In fact, more than 600 academics recently signed an open letter “expressing concern” about the UK government’s use of behavioral science in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. This letter did not reject the use of behavioral science as part of the response, but simply called for the government to release the

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Track and analyze the COVID-19 pandemic with KNIME

We are all familiar with this chart by now.

knime covid 19 figure 01 KNIME

Figure 1. Cumulative numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths due to COVID-19, and recoveries by day worldwide. 

With the increasingly rapid spread of COVID-19 all around the world, we have read and heard much about how contagious it is; its impact on China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, and elsewhere; and the severe containment measures adopted. And we have seen many versions of this chart, monitoring the spread of the disease daily by counting the cumulative number of confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries all over the world.

An informative breakdown of

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Git 2.26 fetches faster by default

With the recent release of Git 2.26, the open source distributed version control system uses version 2 of Git’s network fetch protocol by default.

This protocol, introduced in 2018, addresses a problem with the old protocol, whereby a server would immediately list all of the branches, tags, and other references in the repository before the client could send anything. Use of the old protocol could mean sending megabytes of extra data for some repositories, even when the client only wanted to know about the master branch.

Git’s new network fetch protocol begins with the client requests and offers a way

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TensorFlow deepens its advantages in the AI modeling wars

TensorFlow remains the dominant AI modeling framework. Most AI (artificial intelligence) developers continue to use it as their primary open source tool or alongside PyTorch, in which they develop most of their ML (machine learning), deep learning, and NLP (natural language processing) models.

In the most recent O’Reilly survey on AI adoption in the enterprise, more than half of the responding data scientists cited TensorFlow as their primary tool. This finding is making me rethink my speculation, published just last month, that TensorFlow’s dominance among working data scientists may be waning. Neverthless, PyTorch remains a strong second choice,

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The horrifying story of how we learned to keep organs alive outside the body

Organ transplantation is one of the success stories of modern medicine. Around 139,000 transplants are performed annually across the world. One of the most recent success stories is a double-lung transplant for a patient with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in China.

Successful organ donation is a fairly recent phenomenon, still only decades old. The first successful kidney transplant was performed by a group of surgeons led by Dr Joseph Murray in Boston in 1954 between the identical Herrick twins – the recipient lived for eight years.

But the story does not really begin there. As a concept,

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