Built with privacy potection in mind, and using technology developed by Apple and Google, the COVIDWISE app will alert you if you have encountered someone who later reported testing positive for Coronavirus. If lots of people use this or other interoperable apps from other states, it will enable easy contract tracing and allow people to more quickly quarantine, thus slowing the spread.
The app will work outside of Virginia, but only users verified by the Virginia health department will be able to input a Covid-positive status. Per the Virginia Department of Health website, “There have been discussions regarding a federal database for positive diagnosis verification which would greatly simplify interoperability of exposure notification apps between states. It is not currently certain when this will be available.”
UPDATE: If you do every get a positive COVID test result, be sure to ask for the 6 digit pin so that you can enter your positive result into the COVIDWISE app. You need that to alert others of your result. Sadly, this isn’t given to you by default. That fact, and the lack of universal usage of the app, have limited its usefulness thus far.
Comcast has cheap internet for people who get government housing or food assistance, and now also offers this for Veterans. For $10/month you get 15Mbps/sec download and 2Mbps/sec upload. This is 10x faster than the old DSL speeds and more than fast enough for streaming HD video. There are no charges for setup or equipment (modem/wifi router). If you qualify, it’s a great deal.
To qualify, you can’t have had Internet through Comcast in the last 3 months and you can’t have another Internet service.
I only wish this was promoted more, as there are lots of qualified people who have big $100/month bundle deals because they don’t know other options exist.
Through the Internet Essentials website from Comcast, customers can also order $150 computers. These are slower desktops and laptops (currently with Core 2 Duos and i3 CPUs) but they come with Windows 10, Office, and Norton Antivirus preinstalled. This is also a great deal if you qualify. Each household has up to 2 years to purchase the computers and can purchase up to 3 computers. CDI is the partner that runs the computer sales and they can be reached at 888-234-4272.
It’s clear why people torrent. But it took me a while to figure out why HBO does not offer HBO GO, their internet video streaming service, as a stand-alone option outside of cable, even for a high fee like $40/month. HBO’s co-president Eric Kessler said that they would never offer HBO GO for sale to non-cable subscribers.
The reason is that HBO is owned by Time Warner Cable. They want to keep the existing cable TV model going. Time Warner doesn’t want to become a “dumb pipe” for TV programming streamed from others.
An independent HBO would clearly find that it makes business sense to offer HBO GO for sale and bypass the cable/satellite providers. So Time Warner created a content/distribution cabal that unfortunately limits the options to consumers. Comcast purchased NBC for the same reason.
Congress today is working to pass SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act). SOPA would empower music and movie companies to essentially turn off sites deemed to be “enabling or facilitating” copyright infringement. This is broad language. Google, Facebook, Twitter and many others are trying to stop this from passing.