After an unprecedented offseason, the Saints are back. How’d we get here? It’s a long story. | Saints

Elroy Mariano

Sean Payton felt chills — and not the good kind.

Paired with a low-grade fever and body aches, the New Orleans Saints skipper likened his symptoms to influenza. Instead, on March 19, he became the first known person within NFL circles to test positive for the coronavirus.

Payton, 56, acknowledges he was one of the lucky ones. He never felt any of the respiratory symptoms that are commonly associated with COVID-19, and he didn’t require hospitalization.

When Payton received his results, there had been only 392 documented cases of COVID-19 in the state of Louisiana, and 249 in Orleans Parish. Less than six months later, the numbers painted a different picture altogether. As of Sept. 12, nearly 160,000 Louisianans have tested positive — including Saints owner Gayle Benson.

Benson didn’t need to be hospitalized with her bout in August either, but the 73-year-old did receive daily medical care for her

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Rivian to test its electric pickup’s ‘adventure’ capability in Rebelle Rally

Elroy Mariano

Rivian is going to test its claim that its R1T electric pickup is adventure-capable in the Rebelle Rally next month.

Ever since coming out of stealth mode with their electric vehicles, Rivian made it clear that they are targeting people who get the most out of their trucks: People who like to go on adventures.

They specifically call their R1T pickup and R1S SUV “electric adventure vehicles.”

Rivian already tested the R1T’s mantel as a support vehicle on The Long Way Up trip in Harley Davidson’s Livewire.

Now they are going to put it to the test in the Rebelle Rally, a 2,000-km (1,243-mile) rally across California and Nevada:

The Rebelle Rally is the longest competitive off-road navigation rally in the United States. The remote rally will take place over 10 days and 2,000 kilometers of stunning roads, dirt roads, trails, dunes, and designated open off-highway vehicle areas across Nevada

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Behind the scenes of the US Air Force’s second test of its game-changing battle management system

Elroy Mariano

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. — It’s Sept. 2, the day before the U.S. Air Force’s second test of its new developmental battle management system. Tomorrow, troops will attempt to defend the American homeland against a simulated cruise missile attack using air- and ground-launched missiles as well as a high-velocity bullet.

But the success of the experiment ultimately rides on a makeshift control center set up at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, which Defense News and several other media outlets were invited to see on Wednesday. The control center displays a digital picture of the battlefield that seems to give an almost omniscient view of both American and adversarial capabilities.

In the movies, this is how command-and-control systems work: Troops toil on modern computers with stylish-looking graphic interfaces that, with a click of a button, pull up real-time maps of Russian missile sites or live data on the availability of fighter

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Riverside School District works to add web connections

Elroy Mariano

Officials in the largely rural Riverside School District north of Spokane are exploring a wide variety of options to get high speed internet access for their students, including recruiting parent volunteers to staff community sites where students could go to complete their online schoolwork.

“It’s just one strategy of many,” said Riverside Superintendent Ken Russell. “It’s not final. We’re still working on it.”

Several churches and other locations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Elk, have called the school district to offer their buildings and internet access to small groups of students. Russell said the district is still figuring out if such sites will be necessary.

“We’re using our school district first,” he said. “You can’t just have a walk-in environment. It has to be scheduled.”

Parents interested in volunteering to be an internet site supervisor can send an email to A background check is required.


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Trump Holds Indoor Rally as White House Officials Try to Defend His Virus Response

Elroy Mariano

Yet many are taking the virus restrictions seriously. Oxford University and other colleges have experimented with asking students to sign “responsibility agreements,” and Yale University set up hotlines for reports of risky activity.

Though many students have said the idea of blowing the whistle on their classmates makes them uncomfortable, more than 4,000 people signed a petition started by students to revoke the admission of a first-year student at Cornell University after she posted a video from a party mocking safety precautions.

The president of North Georgia Technical College, a public two-year college in Clarkesville, Ga., with about 2,700 students, has died “after losing his battle with Covid-19,” the school announced on Sunday.

Mark Ivester, who was 57 (not 58, as an earlier version of this briefing stated) and had served as the college’s president since 2016,

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Resilience Is the New Black: The Lessons of Covid-19

Elroy Mariano

For years it can seem as if the world is predictable, and then all at once, everything changes.

Most of us have been blown away by the speed at which the coronavirus, Covid-19, has swept the world. But 2020’s pace is more comprehensible if you see the pandemic as an exponential phenomenon.

When spreading unchecked, coronavirus infections were doubling over a short time frame, and the doubling time itself was decreasing. This made for a classic exponential curve in which small doublings seemed harmless enough, but then in a blink, they exploded into a worldwide pandemic.

We find it challenging to plan for exponential growth, as our brains are primed for linear growth, where each step is equivalent in size to the last. Lacking planning or foresight, we’re left flatfooted. The exponential growth of the pandemic has taken far too many lives and livelihoods. Its social and economic consequences will

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Our quantum internet breakthrough could help make hacking a thing of the past

Elroy Mariano

(MENAFN – The Conversation) The advent of mass working from home has made many people more aware of the security risks of sending sensitive information via the internet. The best we can do at the moment is make it difficult to intercept and hack your messages – but we can’t make it impossible.

What we need is a new type of internet: the quantum internet . In this version of the global network, data is secure, connections are private and your worries about information being intercepted are a thing of the past.

My colleagues and I have just made a breakthrough, published in Science Advances , that will make such a quantum internet possible by scaling up the concepts behind it using existing telecommunications infrastructure.

Our current way of protecting online data is to encrypt it using mathematical problems that are easy to solve if you have a digital ‘key’

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Secretive Pentagon research program looks to replace human hackers with AI

Elroy Mariano

The Joint Operations Center inside Fort Meade in Maryland is a cathedral to cyber warfare. Part of a 380,000-square-foot, $520 million complex opened in 2018, the office is the nerve center for both the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency as they do cyber battle. Clusters of civilians and military troops work behind dozens of computer monitors beneath a bank of small chiclet windows dousing the room in light.

Three 20-foot-tall screens are mounted on a wall below the windows. On most days, two of them are spitting out a constant feed from a secretive program known as “Project IKE.”

The room looks no different than a standard government auditorium, but IKE represents a radical leap forward.

If the Joint Operations Center is the physical embodiment of a new era in cyber warfare — the art of using computer code to attack and defend targets ranging from tanks

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100-odd candidates take architecture aptitude test

Elroy Mariano

PANAJI: On Saturday, at least 100 students from across Goa appeared for the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA), held for admissions to degree programme architecture seats. While 47 students appeared for the exam at the centre at MICE, Margao, 52 answered at the Don Bosco College of Engineering, Fatorda.

Besides these, some students chose to take the test from their home.

This is the first time that the entire test was held in the online mode. There were some minor glitches , but everyone was able to complete the test, members of the Council of Architecture said.

“The exam has two parts, the Part 1 is of 45 minutes for General Aptitude and Logical Reasoning and Part 2 is of 72 minutes for cognitive skill test,” said architect Chandan Parab, member of the Council of architecture.

He said that the part 2 includes questions with high resolution images which

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Liftoff! SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink internet satellites to orbit aboard the Falcon 9 rocket

Elroy Mariano

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation grew a little larger Thursday morning, as the firm added 60 more devices to the network.

The Falcon 9 rocket took off at 8:46am ET from Launch Complex 39-A at Kennedy Space Center carrying the new batch of broadband satellites.

The mission was originally set for Sunday, but was unable to get off the ground due to poor weather plaguing the Florida coast.

Filled with one million pounds of kerosene, Falcon 9 took over the launch countdown with just 60 seconds on the clock and at 30 seconds, all systems were go for launch.

The rocket successfully soared into space, marking its 12th Starlink mission that brings the mega constellation to 713 internet-beaming devices.

SpaceX also revealed that its satellites have shown ‘super low latency and download speeds greater than 100 mbps,’ but the speeds are still off from what the firm had originally promised.


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