Day: September 15, 2020

One in nine pupils absent from school as lack of testing drives fears of ‘lockdown by default’

Absence rate more than double pre-Covid times last Thursday (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)
Absence rate more than double pre-Covid times last Thursday (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

More than one in nine pupils were absent from school last week, government figures show, as teachers and unions warned a lack of available coronavirus tests meant more schools would be forced to close, leading to “lockdown by default”.

After schools reopened in England following six months of closure during the pandemic, education secretary Gavin Williamson touted the fact that 99.9 per cent of schools were open to at least some pupils.

But absence rates were more than double that of pre-Covid times, with Department for Education (DfE) statistics suggesting 12 per cent of pupils were not in attendance on 10 September.

Some 92 per cent of state schools were fully open, the DfE estimates, providing face-to-face teaching for pupils all day with no groups self-isolating. In these schools, 90 per cent of pupils were in

Read More

Scam ads on Google target the vulnerable, indebted and stressed

Google's pay-per-click service allows businesses to pay for prominent spots on search results (Getty Images)
Google’s pay-per-click service allows businesses to pay for prominent spots on search results (Getty Images)

Scam ads for debt charities, car insurers and investment firms make looking for money advice on the world’s biggest search engine a risky business.

An investigation of Google’s pay-per-click service, which allows businesses to pay for prominent spots on search results, found scammers have effectively hijacked searches for financial services to advertise fake and fraudulent websites.

Which? found the search results for common saving terms such as “top Isa”, “best bonds” and “best fixed rate bonds” were dominated by dubious ads for “investment finder” services that encouraged prospective investors to fill in their details.

In a bid to discover exactly what happens when the unsuspecting public clicks through, one Which? investigator posing as a novice investor completed a form on a suspicious ad for fixedrates4u.com. They were contacted by someone claiming to be from SGZ

Read More

To be a great innovator, learn to embrace and thrive in uncertainty

<span class="caption">Innovators are comfortable dealing with uncertainty. </span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/lost-and-confused-businessman-walking-in-meadow-royalty-free-image/1181272310?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Gremlin/E+ via Getty Images">Gremlin/E+ via Getty Images</a></span>
Innovators are comfortable dealing with uncertainty. Gremlin/E+ via Getty Images

Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, was America’s first female self-made millionaire. She pioneered a line of hair care and beauty products for people of color early in the 20th century, and the recent Netflix series “Self Made” details the story of this talented innovator and the challenges she overcame on the way to her success.

To accomplish her goals, she had to face overwhelming uncertainties. How would she finance her business? Would her partnerships fail? Would her products sell? Would ruthless competition and racism get in her way? Madame Walker’s future was far from certain when she began her journey, but that did not dissuade her.

A historical photo of Madam C.J. Walker
A historical photo of Madam C.J. Walker

It is tempting to think that innovators are a breed apart or perhaps lucky to be in the right place and time. But research shows this

Read More

Online learning provider Everfi makes $100 million commitment for curriculum that pushes for social change

Education has been a hot topic lately. There are questions about the impact remote learning will have on kids, and controversy swirling around President Donald Trump’s recent calls to end racial sensitivity training across federal agencies and clamp down on a New York Times initiative called the 1619 Project, used by some schools to teach the history of slavery and its far-reaching consequences. In short: There’s lots to talk and worry about. 

To be sure, this is also an opportunity to rethink and revamp how and what we teach, for those who seize it. Online learning platforms are seeing a boom, and technology in general is being incorporated in unprecedented ways, which is actually helping to broaden the reach of educators in some regions of the world. What’s more, despite the rhetoric from the White House, the current racial reckoning is leading many in the private sector to up their

Read More

Bolsonaro Scraps Plans for Social Program Amid Budget Woes

TipRanks

Oppenheimer: 3 Stocks That Could Surge Over 100% From Current Levels

So far, September has been a wild ride of ups and downs. Following the recent bout of volatility, stocks have ticked higher again. But as uncertainty regarding another rescue program and the presidential election continues to linger, where does the market go from here? Weighing in for Oppenheimer, Chief Investment Strategist John Stoltzfus argues that any market dips appear “relatively contained and orderly,” and present longer-term investors the chance to find “babies that got thrown out with the bathwater.” He noted, “For nervous investors the recent downdraft has presented opportunity to take some profits without FOMO (fear of missing out).”As for the tech heavyweights that powered the market’s five-month charge forward, the strategist believes “current expectations that technology stocks will remain under pressure for some time seem exaggerated.” Stoltzfus adds that the “core of technology stocks did not

Read More

Apple Fitness+ subscription service unveiled alongside Series 6 Watch

Apple has unveiled a new personalised workout subscription service alongside new smartwatches and tablet computers.

Fitness+ collects health data gathered by an Apple Watch and then displays it alongside workout videos shown on a larger display.

The platform will compete with existing fitness apps on iOS from Peloton, Les Mills and Fiit.

It also poses a challenge to Fitbit, whose wearables benefit from their own health-coaching subscription service.

As many had forecast, Apple decided to hold back details of its next iPhones for a separate event.

Yoga and dance

Like some of its rivals, Fitness+ also allows competitive users to see how their own efforts compare with others who have completed the same fitness routine previously.

“Health-tracking continues to be a major focus for Apple, and its new Fitness+ service signals its intent to generate more revenue from its products in this area,” commented Leo Gebbie from the consultancy CCS

Read More

Google grilled on ad business dominance by U.S. Senate panel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> Google faced a bipartisan buzzsaw of tough questions about its ad business in a hearing on Tuesday, with a particular focus on whether it misused its dominance in online advertising to drive profits.

Senator Mike Lee, a Republican and chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, pressed Google’s Don Harrison, who testified remotely, on the company’s dominance of the interlocking businesses which connect advertisers with newspapers, websites and other firms looking to host them.

“As that business has grown, so too have complaints that Google – which both operates the ad selling and buying platforms, and sells its own inventory through those platforms -has conflicts of interest and has manipulated or rigged online ad technologies and auctions to favor its own interest,” Lee said.

He and others pressed Harrison on advertiser complaints that Google was opaque where ad dollars went; specifically how

Read More

Thinking About Adopting the Neighborhood Stray Cat? We Asked a Vet For Advice!

British Shorthair cat lying on the gray chair. Copy-space
British Shorthair cat lying on the gray chair. Copy-space

As someone who has taken in five stray cats over the last decade, I’m aware of how deeply rewarding the process can be. Although adopting a wayward kitty might seem like a tall order at first, people are often surprised at just how quickly they assimilate in their new surroundings. Currently, approximately 3.2 million cats in the United States need forever homes, which means there’s no shortage of four-legged friends to love.

Obviously, families who are considering taking in the neighborhood stray should be certain it’s not someone else’s pet first. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to tell if the kitty already has an owner. “Not all outdoor cats will wear a collar, but many will,” Zay Satchu, DVM, Bond Vet’s cofounder and chief veterinary officer, told POPSUGAR. “You can also look at their physical appearance. Do they look

Read More

The Education Gap Was Shrinking Before Covid-19

(Bloomberg Opinion) — As students head back to school — virtually or in-person — parents are legitimately concerned about the effects on children of distance learning. Evidence on how children fall behind over summer breaks suggests that the harm from missing in-person instruction will be larger for low-income children, exacerbating educational gaps across socioeconomic status. A bit of good news comes from an important new analysis suggesting that, prior to the pandemic and contrary to popular perception, those gaps had been narrowing in the U.S.

From kindergarten to college, schools are balancing pandemic risk against educational need with wildly varying approaches to in-person classes, virtual instruction, mask-wearing, and keeping students in bubbles. For schools with extensive online learning, the question is how much it might weaken educational performance.

The best guide is probably what happens over summers: Researchers have documented a substantial “summer slide” while students are out of school.

Read More

‘Grim on so many levels’

A fashion blogger and influencer is facing backlash online after taking part in a photo shoot on a California beach while the state is engulfed in a raging wildfire.

Influencer Colette LeClair, who has more than 30,000 followers on Instagram, decided to bid adieu to San Francisco before she moved down to Los Angeles with a series of photos at the beach. In the photos, she wears a bright orange tulle dress, which matches the dystopian sky tinted orange by forest fires raging across the Pacific Northwest.

“My last day here! Wanted to say goodbye to the ocean and beach and do something I used to enjoy so much here for years — TRIPOD PHOTOS,” she initially captioned the photos. “Currently gathering a lot of clothes to donate — yay! This one will not make it with me to L.A., but there is someone here who will adore it.”

LeClair’s

Read More