Napa County Students May Have To Go Back To School Online

NAPA COUNTY, CA — If Napa County is still on the state of California’s COVID-19 coronavirus watchlist when the fall semester begins, Napa Valley Unified School District and other districts within the county will have to start the school year with online classes, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday.

Counties where schools are not able to start the 2020-2021 school year in physical classrooms must be taken off the watchlist and remain off the list for two weeks before schools can return to on-campus learning, Newsom said.

The news comes as the Napa Valley Unified School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year. The plan includes an initial online learning element with intent to phase into in-person learning when safe, according to the district’s website.

Whether online or in the classroom, Aug. 20 is the first day of school for students in the

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Theme Parks Face Tough Tech Investment Choices

Disney’s Epcot park and Hollywood Studios in Florida reopened their doors to visitors on Thursday, after the company’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened on July 11 in Orlando. The moves symbolized a broader reopening by theme parks in countries worldwide.

The reopenings dovetail with hard decisions. Cash-strapped theme park owners must evaluate which technological investments they can afford and which will deliver the best long-term return.

“It’s a tough time right now for any theme park to be thinking about capital investments,” said Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider.

“Many chains have had to rush forward development of new apps to support mobile ordering, advance reservations, and other customer service features that they needed to promote safe physical distancing in the parks,” Niles said. “But the lack of income over the past several months, coupled with much lower than expected income over the year ahead, will keep most

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More than 1,000 aspiring surgeons couldn’t take a critical online exam after the system failed. Now, they’re left worried if it’ll ever happen.


HRAUN/Getty Images

  • An exam taken by surgeons in the US saw its online system fail Thursday, leaving more than 1,000 aspiring surgeons in the dark on when — or if — they will take the test.

  • The test is a critical and costly part of transitioning from medical resident to a board-certified surgeon. 

  • The American Board of Surgery runs the tests and used a virtual proctor company called Proctortrack to give the test. 

  • Four aspiring surgeons, speaking anonymously to Business Insider, said they are frustrated with the lack of transparency and incompetence from the organization. The unknown delay could make it difficult for them to take the exam later, which requires weeks of intense studying beforehand.

  • “I have to start working,” one said. “I don’t have the financial security to sit back for a month and not be paid.”

  • For more stories like this, sign up here for our

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Chinese executives get ‘pre-test’ injections in vaccine race

BEIJING (AP) — In the global race to make a coronavirus vaccine, a state-owned Chinese company is boasting that its employees, including top executives, received experimental shots even before the government approved testing in people.

“Giving a helping hand in forging the sword of victory,” reads an online post from SinoPharm with pictures of company leaders it says helped “pre-test” its vaccine.

Whether it’s viewed as heroic sacrifice or a violation of international ethical norms, the claim underscores the enormous stakes as China competes with U.S. and British companies to be the first with a vaccine to help end the pandemic — a feat that would be both a scientific and political triumph.

“Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the new Holy Grail,” said Lawrence Gostin, a global public health law expert at Georgetown University. “The political competition to be the first is no less consequential than the race for the

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A guide to text-to-speech, the popular accessibility feature that lets your computer, phone, or tablet read to you

There are many different types of text-to-speech.
There are many different types of text-to-speech.


  • Text-to-speech (TTS) is a popular feature that lets your computer or phone read text aloud to you.

  • Text-to-speech is commonly used as an accessibility feature to help people who have trouble reading on-screen text, but it’s also convenient for those who want to be read to.

  • You can find text-to-speech features in many places today, including ebook readers, word processors, internet browsers, and more. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Text-to-speech, sometimes abbreviated as TTS, is a feature on your computer or phone that reads on-screen text aloud to you. 

Depending on how it’s used, text-to-speech can be a convenience feature, or an accessibility feature that helps people who need additional assistance to hear text that’s printed on-screen. 

Though TTS systems rely on a computerized voice speaking to you, in recent years these voices have become much more natural

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Why international students may have Big Tech to thank for the US’s visa reversal

Sometimes, it helps to have friends in high places.

A coalition of powerful U.S. technology companies and trade organizations threw their support behind a legal challenge — launched by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — to block the federal government from banning international students from attending online only classes on U.S. soil in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. And Big Tech’s involvement may have been a key factor behind the administration’s last minute about-face on Tuesday.

Revocation of the rule means that the U.S. Department of State may again issue visas to international students enrolled in U.S. schools for the fall semester. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection no longer has authority to deny those students entry to, or continued residence in, the country.

Yet the Trump administration’s aborted effort was noteworthy for the big guns that joined forces to block the move. A coalition

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California unemployment falls, but virus surge likely to reverse job gains

California added 558,200 jobs from mid-May to mid-June and state unemployment fell from 16.4% to 14.9% — but don’t start celebrating yet. The numbers don’t account for the resurgence of COVID-19 cases throughout the U.S. and in California in the last half of June or the retreat in plans to reopen the economy. The numbers were released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which slightly revised the earlier jobless figure from 16.3% to 16.4%.

Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs, at 292,500, benefiting from statewide reopenings of bars and dine-in restaurants, according to the California Employment Development Department. As of mid-June, that sector had regained more than a third of job losses from March and April. Construction jobs had the highest percentage gain, clawing back 68% of jobs lost during the pandemic. Government suffered the largest decline in jobs, at 36,300.

But the dial-back is bound

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The 5 most important steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft

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Here's how to empower yourself to protect your personal information online. (Photo: Getty)
Here’s how to empower yourself to protect your personal information online. (Photo: Getty)

We’re all extra vulnerable these days, and I’m not just talking about COVID-19 itself. Online data breaches have escalated during pandemic-related lockdowns, according to Tech Republic, and everything from your financial information to your identity could be at risk. 

“We’re now in totally uncharted waters, especially when it comes to hacking and identity theft,” Adam Levin, cyber security expert and founder of Cyberscout, tells Yahoo Life. “Breaches have become the third certainty in life behind death and taxes.” He says that identity thieves “prey on vulnerability and distraction,” like working from home while running a household and other major upheavals in routine.


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Twitter Doesn’t Need Web 3.0 to Solve Its Identity Problem

Preston Byrne, a columnist for CoinDesk’s Opinion section, is a partner in Anderson Kill’s Technology, Media and Distributed Systems Group. He advises software, internet and fintech companies. His biweekly column, “Not Legal Advice,” is a roundup of pertinent legal topics in the crypto space. It is most definitely not legal advice.

Among the libertarians, I am something of an odd duck in that I am not a journalist, yet I have a blue check mark. 

I am proud of my blue check mark. I’m not sure how I got it. Back in the day, Twitter had a form you could fill in with links to press coverage if you wanted a blue check mark. I did so. One day, months later, a lot of my friends and I in fintech and Crypto Twitter suddenly had blue check marks next to our names. 

Related: Twitter Hacker Is Mixing Bitcoin Loot Using

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Should you delete TikTok?: Tech Support

Welcome to Tech Support, a segment where I, Dan Howley, serve as your intrepid guide through the sometimes confusing, often frustrating, world of personal technology.

Here, I answer all of your most pressing questions about the various gizmos, gadgets, and services you use in your everyday life.

Have a question of your own? Reach me on Twitter at @danielhowley or email me at

Now, on to your questions. This week’s dilemma:

‘Should I delete TikTok?’

If you’ve used the internet in the past year, then chances are you have some passing understanding of TikTok. And if you’re a teen or tween, you’re probably already shooting a video for the app instead of reading this.

But the explosive growth of the hottest social media platform has given rise to a new kind of panic beyond the usual hand wringing over too much screen time.

See, because TikTok, which is based

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