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This Is How We Can Beat the Coronavirus


While many watched the coronavirus spread across the globe with disinterest for months, in the last week, most of us have finally realized it will disrupt our way of life. A recent analysis from Imperial College is now making some Americans, including many experts, panic. The report projects that 2.2 million people could die in the United States. But the analysis also provides reason for hope—suggesting a path forward to avoid the worst outcomes.

We can make things better; it’s not too late. But we have to be willing to act.

Let’s start with the bad news. The Imperial College Response Team’s report looked at the impact of measures we might take to flatten the curve, or reduce the rate at which people are becoming sick with COVID-19. If we do nothing and just let the virus run its course, the team predicts, we could see three times as many deaths as we see from cardiovascular disease each year. Further, it estimated that infections would peak in mid-June. We could expect to see about 55,000 deaths, in just one day.

Of course, we are doing something, so this outcome is unlikely to occur. We’re closing schools and businesses and committing to social (really, physical) distancing. But as the sobering charts from the analysis show, this isn’t enough. Even after we do these things, the report predicts that a significant number of infections will occur, that more will need care than we can possibly provide in our hospitals, and that more than a million people could die.

Why does the Imperial College team predict this for the west when things seem to be improving in Asia? Because we are taking different approaches. Asian countries have engaged in suppression; we are only engaging in mitigation.

Suppression refers to a campaign to reduce the infectivity of a pandemic, what experts call Ro (R nought), to less than one. Unchecked, the Ro of COVID-19 is between 2 and 3, meaning that every infected person infects, on average, 2 to 3 others. A Ro less than 1 indicates that each infected person results in fewer than 1 new infection. When this happens, the outbreak will slowly grind to a halt.

To achieve this, we need to test many, many people, even those without symptoms. Testing will allow us to isolate the infected so they can’t infect others. We need to be vigilant, and willing to quarantine people with absolute diligence.

Because we failed to set up a testing infrastructure, we can’t check that many people. At the moment, we can’t even test everyone who is sick. Therefore, we’re attempting mitigation—accepting that the epidemic will grow, but trying to reduce Ro as much as possible.

Our primary approach is social distancing—asking people to stay away from each other. This has meant closing schools, restaurants, and bars. It’s meant asking people to work from home and not meet in groups of 10 or more. Our efforts are good, temporizing measures. By slowing the growth of the infection, it improves the chance our health-care system will be able to keep up.

But these efforts won’t help those who are already infected. It will take up to two weeks for those infected today to show any symptoms, and some people won’t show symptoms at all. Social distancing cannot prevent these infections, as they’ve already happened. Therefore, things will appear to get worse for some time, even if what we’re doing is making things better in the long run. The outbreak will continue to grow.

But buried in Imperial College report is reason for optimism. The analysis finds that in the do-nothing scenario, many people die and die quickly. With serious mitigation, though, many of the measures we’re taking now slow things down. By the summer, the report calculates, the number of people who become sick will eventually slow to a trickle.

On this path, though, the real horror show will begin in the fall and crush us next winter, when COVID-19 comes back with a vengeance.

This is what happened in 1918 with the flu. The spring was bad. Over the summer, the numbers of sick dwindled and created a false sense of security. Then, all hell broke loose. In late 1918, tens of millions of people died.

If a similar pattern holds for COVID-19, then while things are bad now, it may be nothing compared to what we face at the end of the year.

Because of this, some are now declaring that we might be in lockdown for the next 18 months. They see no alternative. If we go back to normal, they argue, the virus will run unchecked and tear through Americans in the fall and winter, infecting between 40-70 percent of us, killing millions and sending tens of millions to the hospital. To prevent that, they suggest we keep the world shut down. That will destroy the economy and the fabric of society.

But all of that assumes that we can’t change. It’s based on the assumption that the only two choices are millions of deaths or a wrecked society.

That’s not true. We can create a third path. We can decide to meet this challenge head on. It is absolutely within our capacity to do so. We could develop tests that are fast, reliable, and ubiquitous. If we screen everyone, and do so regularly, we can let most people return to a more normal life. We can reopen schools and places where people gather. If we can be assured that the people who congregate aren’t infectious, they can socialize.

We can build health-care facilities that do rapid screening and care for people who are infected, apart from those who are not. This will prevent transmission from one sick person to another in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. We can even commit to housing infected people apart from their healthy family members, to prevent transmission in households.

These steps alone still won’t be enough.

We will need to massively strengthen our medical infrastructure. We will need to build ventilators and add hospital beds. We will need to train and redistribute physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists to where they are most needed. We will need to focus our factories on turning out the protective equipment—masks, gloves, gowns, and so forth—to ensure we keep our health-care workforce safe. And, most importantly, we need to pour vast sums of intellectual and financial resources into developing a vaccine that would finally bring this nightmare to a close. An effective vaccine would end the pandemic and protect billions of people around the world.

All of the difficult actions we are taking now to flatten the curve aren’t just intended to slow the rate of infection to levels the health-care system can manage. They’re also meant to buy us time. They give us the space to create what we need to make a real difference.

Of course, it all depends on what we do with that time. The mood of the country has shifted in the last few weeks, from dismissal, to one of fear and concern. That’s appropriate. This is a serious pandemic, and it’s still very likely that the rate of infection will overwhelm the surge capacity in some areas of the United States. There will likely be more seriously ill people than we have resources to care for, meaning that health-care providers will have to make decisions about whom to care for, and whom not to.

They may, explicitly or implicitly, have to decide who lives and who dies.

If we commit to social distancing, however, then at some point in the next few months the rate of spread will slow. We’ll be able to catch our breath. We’ll be able to ease restrictions, as some early hit countries are doing. We can move towards some semblance of normalcy.

The temptation then will be to think we have made it past the worst. We cannot give in to that temptation. That will be the time to redouble our efforts. We will need to prepare for the coming storm. We’ll need to build up our stockpiles, create strategies, and get ready.

If we choose the third course, then when the fall arrives, we will be ahead of a resurgence of the infection. We can keep the number of those who are exposed to a minimum, targeting our actions at those who are infected, and enacting more stringent physical distancing only when, and in locations where, that fails. We can keep schools and businesses open as much as possible, closing them quickly when suppression fails, and then opening them back up again once the infected are identified and isolated. Instead of playing defense, we could play more offense.

We need to keep time on the clock, time to find a treatment or a vaccine.

The last time we faced a pandemic with this level of infectivity, that was this dangerous, for which we had no therapy or vaccine, was a 100 years ago and led to 50 million deaths. The coronavirus pandemic isn’t unprecedented, but it’s not anything almost anyone alive has experienced before. We, are, however, much more knowledgeable, much more coordinated, and much more capable today.

Some Americans are in denial, and others are feeling despair. Both sentiments are understandable. We all have a choice to make. We can look at the coming fire and let it burn. We can hunker down, and hope to wait it out—or we can work together to get through it with as little damage as possible. This country has faced massive threats before and risen to the challenge; we can do it again. We just need to decide to make it happen.

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9 days ago
Pittsburgh, PA
9 days ago
Pittsburgh, PA
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Working and Learning from Home with Young Children

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My partner and I both work from home, and here are the most important things I’ve learned as we’ve attempted to balance two careers and an inquisitive, extremely energetic child with much less than full childcare coverage, first in NYC and now in rural Oregon. 

NB: I drafted this very quickly, there are probably mistakes. (Also the rest of this site is an ancient blog and probably full of broken links and pitfalls, good luck.)

Plan for chaos

Your WFH days are never going to go as planned and your school-at-home days aren’t either. Resilient rhythms and routines will help you recover faster. Treat it like you’re in a new time zone in which you are only available for certain hours of the day, and remember that the whole world is dealing with this right now—your employer will get it soon, if not right away.

Don’t be Captain Homeschool on day one

Especially if you’ve never been home with kids before or if you kids are used to school schedules, just spend the first week or two of your kid shifts playing and hanging out and making things together. Make whatever you and your kid(s) like—crafts, models, block buildings, Lego, pies, art, videos, beats. (If you have tiny kids this is the time to bust out the fingerpaints in the bathtub.) Building routines and tolerance for extended time together is way more important than doing worksheets or rolling out a math curriculum right away.

Our all-time most important homeschool resources have been alphabet magnets, number cards with simple operator symbols, and a million books.

Load up on handwork and books

Paper, paints, craft boxes, puzzle books, reference books, LOTS OF BOOKS, small scissors, a case of scotch tape, glue sticks, pipe cleaners, wooden beads, googly eyes, popsicle sticks, stickers, more paper, cardstock. Circuit kits and robots are great for slightly older kids as well.

Gradually add in learning stuff that suits your actual kid(s)

Falling behind is truly not a thing to worry about for the first couple of weeks of school closures. If your school is running online learning, be supportive of your kids while they do it. It can be weird and isolating for them, too.

Especially if your kids are younger than middle-school age, especially, you probably have enormous freedom in HOW you help them learn, so this is your chance to play to their strengths rather than holding them to strict expectations. There are a million curricula and resource sets, but I strongly recommend adding in one thing at a time, watching how it works, and adjusting from there. 

If the worst thing that happens in a global pandemic is that our kids get more time doing creative play and get a little off Common Core, we’re going to do great.

When you’re with your kid try to be with your kid

We’ve found that switching parents and managing routines works better for everyone if the person running kid-watch at any given point is cognitively and emotionally present with the kid. That means not looking at phones except in emergencies, using do not disturb mode, and maintaining parental focus and brain health by working together on projects we all enjoy and spending a lot of time outside—in city parks, in yards, in trees.

Rhythms > schedules

For meetings, you’re probably going to have to schedule things on the clock. For almost everything else, I’ve found that rhythms are better than timed schedules, in large part because a simple rhythm is resilient, so when something goes sideways, recovery is much simpler.

Our rhythm is based on a two-parent household and attempts to alternate periods of big expanding energy and calm contracting energy so no one burns out on a single mode. Single parents or families with at least one person who will be out of the house are playing on Max Difficulty, I salute you.

Here’s a rhythm we use, as an image and as an ugly table I haven’t had time to format.

Work triage for parents for child emerges
Food, coffee, showers, morning meetingAll fam
Playing, making, learning together (outdoors if it’s nice)One parent
Lunch (noon), followed by quiet time (45-60 min of quiet alone time for everyone)One parent
Afternoon snack, regroupOne parent
Playing, making, learning together (outdoors if it’s nice)One parent
Tidying, screens or reading, cookingOne parent
Dinner (6pm) and Bedtime routine (7pm)All fam
Cleanup, parent working and human time

I’ve found it helpful to actually write out our rhythm on a big piece of paper and post it somewhere central.

Dividing up the one-parent slots is something that takes trial and error, but I’d highly recommend trying to give each parent at least two slots in a row when possible to consolidate brain focus. Calls will move things around, as will surprise barfing, poop incidents, emergencies, etc. 

Hold a morning household meeting

After coffee and first breakfast, we circle up, get scheduled things on the whiteboard for the day, assign child-captain shifts, and list 3-5 top priorities for the day for each person. Over the course of the day, we look at the whiteboard to remember important timings and try to make sure everyone gets their top priorities taken care of. 

Once one parent heads off to work/go for a run/stand alone in the woods and scream, it’s useful to revisit the rhythm and priorities with the kid(s) so that everyone’s aware of what’s happening next and what’s coming up later.

Time your screen time carefully

For us, screen time works much better in afternoon than in the morning (when it results in crankiness that goes for hours) or evening (when it makes spinning down for sleep harder). This varies by kid, but if you notice post-screentime crabbiness or spaciness, maybe try moving that in the routine.

Build household work into kid time

This is super obvious for people who don’t have much childcare, but maybe less for other people: Some things you can learn to do with kids, depending on age and temperament. Exercise, collaborative cooking, tidying and household chores, video calls with friends and family—shifting your expectations for those things to include kids will open up time for more solo-focus things in the day. Our six-year-old cuts veg and fruit with her own real knife, knows how to mop, can load the dishwasher, and is getting real good at surface disinfection protocol, so we can work together. Getting a kid involved takes longer but makes our home happier.

Resources I love

How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin

I hate this book’s title, but the contents are wonderful. This isn’t a homeschool book, but it’s the first one I recommend to parents with kids younger than 5-6 who are looking at learning more at home. We’ve especially benefited from the Montessori emphasis on work as a big part of a stable routine for children—the idea that play is real, valuable work, that kids should mostly have simply designed toys and real tools, and that including children in the physical upkeep of a household and family is helpful for everyone.

Exploring Nature with Children by Raising Little Shoots

Web-based resources for looking and learning outdoors with kids—you can even run this as a curriculum, gently adding in age-appropriate reading and STEM activities as you go, or do nature journaling, or just add some structure to daily walk outside. (FYI: These resources are connected philosophically to Charlotte Mason methods of homeschooling, which are informed by a Christian philosophy, but the Raising Little Shoots resources have not been weird for our non-Christian household to use, and there’s no anti-science bias.)

Lavender’s Blue Homeschool resources

So, Waldorf schools and Waldorf-inflected homeschooling both need disclaimers about their link with anthrosophy and a lot of extreme woo, but I’ve found the overall emphasis on rhythm, nature, storytelling, and a peaceful home to be A+++ for keeping our family life uncomplicated and our household of high-strung people emotionally healthy. Lavender’s Blue has a lot of great, chill resources for structuring family life with young children who are not in school, and I’ve used some of the curricula, though I mostly tend to roll my own.

Children’s audiobooks are lifesavers for keeping frenzied small brains occupied while hands are tidying or drawing or bathing. Our favorites include Pippi Longstocking, the Narnia books, Paddington Bear, and Fortunately, the Milk.

Adventure Academy and ABC Mouse

The learning in these learning apps is alllll over the place in terms of interface quality, but ABC Mouse comes highly recommended by friends and Adventure Academy is largely friendly, fun, and solid for kids over the age of about six or seven, and the RPG experience is fun for screen time.

The Raising Free People podcast by Akilah B. Richards

For something complete different and wonderful, check this out. Deschooling and liberation centered on BIPOC families, an absolute brain-rinse. We don’t do what I think of as traditional unschooling (although I was raised that way myself) but I get so so much out of Akilah’s work and perspectives. 

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13 days ago
Pittsburgh, PA
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Videocall, Group Chat, and Information Tools

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As large groups rapidly adapt to online learning/working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom/Google Meet and Slack are turning into unexamined defaults. I recommend these useful alternative online collaboration tools for groups:
  • Indie groupchat (special cheap/free hosted plans available for open source projects, nonprofits, groups of friends, & other noncommercial entities): Zulip. [Disclaimer: I have worked (paid) for Kandra Labs on Zulip.]
  • Indie-ish videocalling (works in the browser, no need to install new software, guests don't need a login): Whereby.

Also: right now, I am appreciating the women who wrote and maintain:

  1. "Flatten the Curve", a go-to resource on why and how we need to slow down the epidemic, by Dr. Julie McMurry (Twitter, GitHub), an academic researcher/technologist (who works on genetics analysis software and wrote about identifiers in life science data)
  2. A list of events/competitions/conferences being cancelled/postponed, maintained by Sarah Evans, a public relations consultant
  3. A list of academic conferences being cancelled/postponed, maintained by Anne Marie Gruber, an academic librarian
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17 days ago
Pittsburgh, PA
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[$] The costs of continuous integration

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By most accounts, the (fd.o) GitLab instance has been a roaring success; lots of projects are using it, including Mesa, Linux kernel graphics drivers, NetworkManager, PipeWire, and many others. In addition, a great deal of continuous-integration (CI) testing is being done on a variety of projects under the fd.o umbrella. That success has come at a price, however. A recent message from the X.Org Foundation, which merged with fd.o in 2019, has made it clear that the current situation is untenable from a financial perspective. Given its current resources, X.Org cannot continue covering those costs beyond another few months.
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24 days ago
Pittsburgh, PA
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24 days ago
For all the good things about it, CI is a way of making you forget computing has a cost. CircuitPython is a modest project, just a few hundred thousand lines of C (not even C++) code; but it has grown to have (I think) over 1000 build artifacts for over 100 boards (# boards × # translations + a few extras and oddballs). I think each iteration of a pull request burns multiple core-hours. But, because github's new CI service is unmetered for open source projects, ... who cares? The total elapsed time matters a little bit, but only a *little* bit.

Edited to add: read the article today with this link:
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm

Some Election-Related Websites Still Run on Vulnerable Software Older Than Many High Schoolers


ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

This story was co-published with The News & Observer and The Herald Sun in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Richmond, Virginia, website that tells people where to vote and publishes election results runs on a 17-year-old operating system. Software used by election-related sites in Johnston County, North Carolina, and the town of Barnstable, Massachusetts, had reached its expiration date, making security updates no longer available.

These aging systems reflect a larger problem: A ProPublica investigation found that at least 50 election-related websites in counties and towns voting on Super Tuesday — accounting for nearly 2 million voters — were particularly vulnerable to cyberattack. The sites, where people can find out how to register to vote, where to cast ballots and who won the election, had security issues such as outdated software, poor encryption and systems encumbered with unneeded computer programs. None of the localities contacted by ProPublica said that their sites had been disrupted by cyberattacks.

ProPublica also spotted files that should have been kept hidden because, when identified, they could give hackers a roadmap to the computer system’s weaknesses. Some election websites shared the same computer server with many other local government sites, magnifying the potential repercussions of an attack. “Shared hosting environments are rarely appropriate for critical infrastructure,” researchers Bob Rudis and Tod Beardsley of the security firm Rapid7 wrote in a February report for ProPublica.

At a time when cybersecurity concerns have come to the forefront of American elections, ProPublica’s findings reveal the frailty of some local computer networks. Fake Election Day information could disenfranchise voters by sending them to the wrong polling place. Tainted results could stall a campaign, since primary wins drive momentum with financial contributions and political support.

After the Iowa caucuses fiasco, in which a mobile app’s flaws apparently unrelated to security delayed results for days, any security breach could test voters’ confidence in the integrity of the election process. Counties and towns increasingly seek the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s assistance in scanning their systems for security problems, but the federal government can’t make them do so.

“Public websites are an area of concern as we look at county-level election offices,” especially those that lack financial resources and expertise, said a senior U.S. official, who wasn’t authorized to speak on the record. The federal government isn’t aware of specific plans by foreign adversaries to attack county websites, the official said, but “we know it’s in the playbook.”

Three localities — Barnstable, Johnston County and Sebastian County, Arkansas — said they would fix their systems after ProPublica notified them of their vulnerabilities last month. At least three other sites examined are still powered in part by software from the early 2000s, contrary to guidance from the government and industry. Besides Richmond, they include Belchertown, Massachusetts, and Virginia’s King and Queen County.

“It’s not surprising to me at all that these platforms haven’t been updated in more than a decade,” said Sara Moriarty, a Richmond voter who works for a local nonprofit. “I don’t think they have the resources to think about how their systems could be hacked or turned against them to spread disinformation.”

Election security concerns have focused at times on machines used for voting and tabulating at polling places. But localities often publish unofficial results and provide other election-related information on their own sites. Districts with problematic sites ranged from rural areas such as King and Queen County, with about 5,000 registered voters, to cities such as Richmond, with more than 153,000. Smaller counties and towns may lack the IT staff and financial resources to operate the most up-to-date computer systems.

Senate Democrats have proposed several bills that would appropriate $1 billion for local election security and set federal guidelines for websites that publish voting results, but they haven’t gained traction. “We have to focus holistically on the security of our voting systems, ranging from voting machines to registration databases to election-results reporting systems,” said Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, vice chair of the Senate’s intelligence panel. “Nothing less than voter confidence in the integrity of our elections is at stake.”

ProPublica uncovered the problems by using software that scans websites for vulnerabilities. Although such scanners can produce false-positives, ProPublica confirmed its findings through interviews with government officials or additional reporting.

At our request, Rapid7 independently examined a broad swath of municipal websites, including some that don’t publish voting results, since they could be hijacked to provide election misinformation. It declined to provide specifics on individual websites but said smaller counties and towns tended to run “dangerous or inappropriate” software. Those districts, Rapid7’s Rudis and Beardsley wrote in their report, “certainly could use help securing election-related websites. This help should come from their states, their higher-population neighbors, or the federal government.”

Security flaws caused hiccups during the 2018 midterms. In one case, a flood of internet traffic briefly brought down Knox County, Tennessee’s, website that published primary-night returns. A security consultant later said that the problem may have stemmed from a software glitch on the website.

Lawrence Norden, the director of the election-reform program at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, said experts have already seen attacks on election-reporting systems abroad, such as in Bulgaria. “It seems, unfortunately, an easy way to undermine voter confidence,” he said.

Johnston County, a reliably Republican district about 40 minutes southeast of Raleigh, has roughly 131,600 registered voters. Its site lists polling place addresses and election results. ProPublica found it was running software that, in late 2019, reached what is known as its end of life. (Like milk or medicine, software often carries an expiration date when manufacturers no longer sell or support it.)

Jeff Howard, Johnston’s IT manager, said that in response to ProPublica’s findings, his staff updated the obsolete parts of the website, which primarily helps residents research septic tank permits. He said updates must be done carefully. Rushing to install the latest software to fix critical security problems can backfire because newer versions may lack features that the website relied on to function. At worst, such a change would require revising thousands of lines of computer code.

Barnstable in Massachusetts and Sebastian County, Arkansas, ran an even older version of the same software used by Johnston County. Barnstable IT Director Dan Wood said that the software — which expired in September 2015 — was removed from the town’s website after our inquiries. Officials in Sebastian County said they would also turn off the software, and ProPublica confirmed the website has been fixed.

Johnston’s was also one of about two dozen Super Tuesday sites that ran file-sharing software, which security experts say could act as a gateway for hackers to acquire key details of a server’s operating system and exploit its weaknesses. Lu Hickey, a county spokeswoman, said it hasn’t been a problem.

Richmond, Virginia’s capital, tends to vote Democratic and is roughly 48% African-American. It still uses the Windows Server 2003 operating system, which the U.S. government has warned hasn’t received “automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance” from Microsoft since July 2015. “Running an unsupported operating system carries security and compliance risks. Therefore, we don’t recommend that users run their apps on Windows Server 2003,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement.

J. Kirk Showalter, Richmond’s elections chief, said her website publishes PDFs of state and federal election results about one to two weeks after Election Day, although city council and school board results are usually posted online election night or the next day. Showalter said her systems passed security tests as recently as December. Richmond IT officials said their website still receives periodic “out of band” security updates from Microsoft — meant to plug significant, ad-hoc security holes — and stressed that officials have spent millions of dollars to safeguard and upgrade the city’s IT infrastructure. Only 2% of city servers still run Windows 2003, they said.

“We are absolutely prepared to protect the integrity of our elections and have taken significant steps to do so. The technology that supports and secures our information systems has been regularly updated and is continuously tested, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to be prepared and make sure these systems are protected,” said Richmond spokesman Jim Nolan.

Besides Richmond, Belchertown, Massachusetts, and King and Queen County, Virginia, are also Super Tuesday locales that run Windows 2003. The two areas account for about 15,600 registered voters. King and Queen elections director Diane Klausen said she was unaware of the outdated operating system until ProPublica notified her office about it. Klausen said she hopes that the server will be updated this year, adding that the county recently underwent a cybersecurity review by Virginia’s elections department and that she feels confident that its site is reliable. Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Christopher Piper said his state’s elections site “remains the source of truth for all election activities and information.”

Kevin Hannon, Belchertown’s IT director, confirmed that its server is running Windows 2003, and that “there are vulnerabilities.” He said an upgrade will be in place by the general election in November. Still, he said, the server is not “at great risk” because it’s behind a firewall, and is isolated from the rest of the network. “I am not concerned that while we are waiting on the updated server that information … will be compromised,” he said.

Erroneous or delayed results could sour the public’s trust even if voters don’t visit the websites themselves. Local journalists often rely on the kinds of county websites ProPublica investigated to inform their readers about election results, newspaper archives show. The Associated Press’ vote count draws from multiple sources, including stringers, state data feeds and tallies from local government websites, AP spokeswoman Lauren Easton said.

Last month, ProPublica discovered that the mobile app used during the Iowa caucuses was so insecure that vote totals, passwords and other sensitive information could have been intercepted or even changed. Veracode, a security firm that reviewed the software at ProPublica’s request, said the lack of safeguards meant phone transmissions were left largely unprotected. There’s no evidence that hackers intercepted or tampered with the Iowa results.

“Think #IowaCaucus meltdown is bad?” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the chamber’s intelligence committee, tweeted. “Imagine very close presidential election. Russian or Chinese hackers tamper with preliminary reporting system in key counties. When the official results begin to be tabulated, it shows a different winner than the preliminary results online.”

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has said his agency “fully expects” Russia to attempt to interfere in this year’s elections. The government’s concerns echo a Senate intelligence committee report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which warned that county officials could be outgunned against nation-state hackers.

“America is facing a direct assault on the heart of our democracy by a determined adversary,” the report concluded. “We would not ask a local sheriff to go to war against the missiles, planes and tanks of the Russian Army. We shouldn’t ask a county election IT employee to fight a war against the full capabilities and vast resources of Russia’s cyber army.

“That approach failed in 2016,” it continued, “and it will fail again.”

Do you have access to information about election security that should be public? Email Here’s how to send tips and documents to ProPublica securely.

Jessica Huseman and Derek Willis contributed reporting.

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26 days ago
Pittsburgh, PA
26 days ago
Pittsburgh, PA
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Simone Weil vs the Existentialists

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Description: Sartre, de Beauvoir and Camus are sitting at a table drinking wine and having dinner, Simone Weil approaches.

de Beauvoir: \
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26 days ago
Pittsburgh, PA
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2 public comments
26 days ago
Oh god, I feel this in my bones...
Melbourne, Australia
26 days ago
> Last time I was on the show to discuss Sartre and Camus's split, I briefly mentioned that Simone Weil was the one who lived the real existential life. That's because she had the rarest trait that I know of among humans: she behaved as though she actually believed her ideas.
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