California must fund independent science research


This year, California broke a sad record. We had the largest wildfire in modern history, burning more than 1 million acres over seven counties and sending choking smoke across the state. Recently, 90,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Southern California. The untold level of destruction has yet to be fully quantified or understood. One thing we do know is that the wildfires and COVID-19 have underscored the growing complexity of California’s disaster landscape. 

While addressing these issues remains a top priority in Sacramento, according to a new report from the California Council on Science & Technology, our capacity for doing so is limited by a concerning inability to accurately account for the full costs associated with the damage. The council’s report finds that our standard means of calculating wildfire costs do not provide sufficient data, leading to widespread unquantified losses such

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BasisAI included in Responsible AI Solutions New Tech report by Independent Research Firm

Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

SINGAPORE, Nov. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — BasisAI, a provider of scalable and responsible artificial intelligence (AI) software, today announced that it has been recognised in Forrester’s New Tech: Responsible AI Solutions, Q4 2020, report.

As the use of AI becomes more pervasive within enterprise organisations, executives are becoming increasingly concerned with mitigating the unintended consequences of the technology. Using systems which mimic human intelligence and decision-making processes calls into question how decisions are being made and whether they are transparent, explainable, fair, and ultimately responsible. Executives looking to accelerate AI productionisation within their organisation need to focus on minimising risks and ensuring the applications they develop are working as intended. Robust AI governance is key to building trust in AI amongst stakeholders, regulators and society as a whole.


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Ada Developers Academy going independent in hopes of expanding its tech diversity impact

Ada Developers Academy graduates at a graduation event Jan. 7, 2019. (Jenny Crooks Photo)

Ada Developers Academy, the Seattle-based tuition-free software development boot camp for women and underrepresented sexual, gender and racial minorities, is spinning out from its parent organization and going independent.

Ada announced Monday that it is growing at a scale where it will serve more students, expand its impact and implement new support for programs. The organization has launched a fundraising drive to support that growth, and is looking to raise $25,000 between now and Jan. 2 to build up its cash reserves and a six- to nine-month fiscal runway.

Founded in 2013, Ada’s mission is to diversify the tech industry. Its program provides six months of classroom training followed by a five-month internship at one of its corporate partners. It runs two 48-person cohorts per year and has graduated hundreds of students.

Originally a project of

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Independent Market Drayton opticians’ new scanning technology

Newbold Opticians. Photo: Google Maps

Newbold Opticians, on Cheshire Street in Market Drayton, has put the optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan in practice, an eye scan that allows optometrists to see below the surface of the eye.

The OCT equipment provides a 3D scan of the layers of the back of the eye and enables practitioners to gain a much clearer picture of the health of patients’ eyes.

James Heath, optometrist and partner, said: “Our priority has been to ensure that patients in the local community continue to receive a high standard of eye care.

“Everyone who comes through our doors will receive a caring and personalised service, that is tailored to their needs, with the newest technology and most sought-after brands. We have a great team in place to ensure we can achieve this.”

Partner Jill Heath said: “After we purchased the practice last year, we felt it was

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Independent panel recommends delaying Mars Sample Return missions

WASHINGTON — An independent review panel created by NASA to examine its plans to return samples from Mars endorsed the overall campaign, but recommended that the agency delay two upcoming missions to provide a more realistic development schedule.

NASA established the Independent Review Board (IRB) in August to provide an outside assessment of its overall Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign, which started with the launch of the Mars 2020 mission in July. That mission’s Perseverance rover will cache samples of Martian rock and soil that will be returned to Earth no earlier than 2031 by two subsequent missions that NASA is planning in cooperation with the European Space Agency.

The board, in a report released Nov. 10, supported the overall effort. “We unanimously believe that the Mars Sample Return program should proceed,” David Thompson, former chief executive of Orbital ATK and chair of the board, said in a call with

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Post-COVID fatigue is independent of severity of initial infection — ScienceDaily

More than half of people with acute COVID-19 infection continue to have persistent fatigue 10 weeks after their initial illness, according to a new study published November 9 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Liam Townsend of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and colleagues.

Fatigue is one of the most common initial presenting complaints of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The long-term consequences of COVID-19 have not been well-studied and concern has been raised that the virus has the potential to trigger a post-viral fatigue syndrome.

In the new study, researchers tracked fatigue, as well as patient characteristics including COVID-19 severity, laboratory markers, levels of inflammatory markers and pre-existing conditions, in 128 study participants who had previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2. The participants, all recruited from a post-COVID-19 outpatient clinic at St. James Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, were 54% female and averaged 49.5 years old (standard

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UK Independent Bookshops Go Online To Reach New Audiences

Faced with closures because of coronavirus measures and fierce competition from retail giant Amazon, 250 independent UK bookshops have banded together on a new online platform.

“It’s important to support independent booksellers,” Anna Henrikson, 54 and a regular customer at Primrose Hill Books said as she collected her most recent purchase.

The north London bookshop is one of those to join the platform, which started in Britain on November 2 after being launched in the United States.

Its arrival could provide a lifeline to small bookshops, particularly as England has effectively gone into lockdown again for a month to cut virus infection rates.

The arrival of could provide a lifeline to small bookshops that must compete with Amazon The arrival of could provide a lifeline to small bookshops that must compete with Amazon Photo: AFP / Hollie Adams

Unlike other European nations such as Belgium, authorities in Britain, where more than 48,000 people have died in the outbreak, have deemed books non-essential items.

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NASA Invites Media to Briefing on Mars Sample Return Independent Review Board Report

NASA Invites Media to Briefing on Mars Sample Return Independent Review Board Report

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2020

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — NASA will host a media teleconference at 11 a.m. EST Tuesday, Nov. 10, to discuss the findings and recommendations of the report by an agency-commissioned independent board about NASA’s plans with ESA (European Space Agency) for a Mars Sample Return mission.

NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) (PRNewsFoto/) (PRNewsfoto/NASA)
NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) (PRNewsFoto/) (PRNewsfoto/NASA)

NASA established the Mars Sample Return (MSR) Independent Review Board (IRB) to evaluate the agency’s early concepts for an international partnership with ESA to return the first samples from another planet. The report will be released at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, on the agency’s Reports and Transcripts webpage and includes the MSR IRB’s findings and recommendations and NASA’s responses.

During the teleconference, NASA science leadership and MSR IRB members will discuss the IRB’s findings and

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Uber and Lyft Drivers in California Will Remain Independent

OAKLAND, Calif. — Drivers and other workers for so-called gig economy companies in California will not become their employees.

California voters carried Uber and Lyft to victory, overwhelmingly approving Proposition 22, a ballot measure that allows gig economy companies to continue treating drivers as independent contractors.

Uber, Lyft and the delivery service DoorDash designed the measure to exempt the companies from a state labor law that would have forced them to employ drivers and pay for health care, unemployment insurance and other benefits. As a concession to labor advocates, the initiative offers a wage floor and limited benefits to drivers.

The Associated Press projected early Wednesday that Prop. 22 had carried 58 percent of the vote. Prop. 22 faced the strongest opposition in San Francisco, where Uber and Lyft are headquartered, with more than a 19 point deficit.

The vote resolves the fiercest regulatory battle Uber and Lyft have faced

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Polls close in California on Proposition 22 on allowing Lyft and Uber drivers to be independent contractors

  • Polls have closed in California on Proposition 22, which would allow companies to hire app-based drivers as independent contractors instead of employees of the company.
  • A recent study from the University of California, Santa Cruz shows that over 70% of gig workers work more than 30 hours a week but do not receive most employee benefits.
  • Insider will have live results on the propositions as soon as they come in.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

California’s 2020 ballot includes Prop 22, which would allow app-based drivers and delivery workers to work as independent contractors instead of company employees. State law currently requires rideshare and delivery companies to hire drivers as employees, not independent contractors.


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A recent study from the University of California, Santa Cruz shows that over 70% of gig workers work more than 30 hours a week but do not receive most employee benefits. If

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