scharrison's blog

The Internet is struggling under COVID 19 traffic

That band is not quite as broad as we thought:

In late January, as China locked down some provinces to contain the spread of the coronavirus, average internet speeds in the country slowed as people who were stuck inside went online more and clogged the networks. In Hubei Province, the epicenter of infections, mobile broadband speeds fell by more than half. In mid-February, when the virus hit Italy, Germany and Spain, internet speeds in those countries also began to deteriorate.

And last week, as a wave of stay-at-home orders rolled out across the United States, the average time it took to download videos, emails and documents increased as broadband speeds declined 4.9 percent from the previous week, according to Ookla, a broadband speed testing service. Median download speeds dropped 38 percent in San Jose, Calif., and 24 percent in New York, according to Broadband Now, a consumer broadband research site.

I am not a tech person (by any stretch of the imagination), so I won't preach too much about the types of activities that may be clogging the system. But I do know this: The gaming industry plays a pretty big role here. My son recently bought a used video game (physical disc), but before he could play it on his platform (physical console), he had to download some massive updates. We started it, went to dinner in a restaurant that was busy, and when we got home it was just finishing the downloads. Hello, 1992. Anyway, don't be surprised if the quality of videos on Netflix and Youtube seems to deteriorate:

NC's unemployment benefits are a national disgrace

hungergames.jpg

The NC GOP should be ashamed when articles like this are published:

Because it’s administered by the states, the generosity of UI varies widely. Most states offer up to 26 weeks of UI, but some offer far less: Florida and North Carolina offer only 12 weeks currently, though their generosity increases with the state unemployment rate. Missouri offers only 13 weeks per statute, a number that doesn’t increase with the unemployment rate.

There’s similarly large variance in the recipiency rate — the share of unemployed people getting UI — and benefit size as a share of the average weekly wage. The highest recipiency rate is in Massachusetts, where 57 percent of unemployed people get benefits. In North Carolina, only 10 percent do.

Get that? Only one out of every ten unemployed North Carolinians receive benefits, which means they are out of work a hell of a lot longer than the paltry 12 weeks we offer. Said differently, the draconian measures Republicans enacted 7 years ago are not pushing people back to work, they are pushing families out of their homes. But that 2013 bill did something else, too, which was beyond idiotic:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This needs to be fixed, like yesterday:

There are some 3 million sets of personal protective equipment in the national stockpile. It's not enough, but most of those should have already been deployed to shortage areas. Somebody needs to ask Trump about this during his daily circle-jerk press conference.

Join the fight against COVID 19

mandycohen.jpg

Dr. Mandy Cohen is calling for volunteers to bolster health care staffs:

North Carolina has built a medical response capability through our state’s Health Care Coalitions (HCCs) that can augment all levels of care to citizens affected by a disaster event. The capability includes medical supplies and equipment, as well as volunteer health care and medical professionals who are willing to deploy to affected areas or facilities to provide patient care. This response is provided through the State Medical Response System (SMRS), which recruits and manages volunteers in the following areas:

•Clinical (physicians, advanced care providers, nurses, EMS)
•Clinical Support (pharmacy, imaging and respiratory care)
•Non-clinical support (facility maintenance, safety, and administrative)

Here is the portal for you to register as a responder, or get additional training to be able to do so. North Carolina has an incredibly strong and diverse population of medical caregivers, including many who are currently retired. We need all of you right now.

Bank Run Burr is back, warning private donor group about COVID 19

burrgrin.jpg

Three weeks ago Burr was speaking to a private (elite) group of NC donors called The Circle (more on them later), and his warning to this group was dire indeed. He told them this wasn't just another virus, it was more akin to the 1918 Flu pandemic, which killed some 50 million worldwide. A few days after that private meeting, he issued a press release which included this message to his not-elite constituents: "The U.S. is in a better position than any other nation to handle a public health emergency like the Coronavirus." There are Two Americas, and no doubt about which one Burr really cares for. Circling back to the Circle:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - scharrison's blog