Remote bar exams for aspiring attorneys are a terrible and dangerous idea

Due to the ongoing pandemic, many jurisdictions—except those plunging ahead with superspreader events—are opting to hold a remote bar examination. Passing the bar exam is currently required for a law school graduate to practice law in most cases. But it is extremely unlikely that jurisdictions have the ability to build out the infrastructure to securely administer a remote bar exam, especially on only a few months’ notice.

Just last week, the American Board of Surgery had to cancel the remote administration of a qualifying exam part of the way through after issues in presenting the questions. There have since been so many reports that examinees' credit card information and personal data were compromised during the exam that the ABS is launching an investigation into the breach. Because it is standard for remote proctoring software to require a high level of access to the examinee’s computer, potential lawyers will be forced to make themselves and their data extremely vulnerable in order to take the exam.

Beyond just the possibility of hacking, some remote exams are proctored using facial recognition software, raising serious concerns about the privacy of examinees biometric information, algorithmic bias, and misidentification. And when human proctors have been used, there have been isolated reports of stalking and harassment of examinees. For a huge cohort of would-be attorneys, including the entire class of 2020, exposure to these dangers is not optional if they wish to practice law.

Remotely proctored bar exams are not the solution to the current crisis. Read the rest

Dave Eggers on getting a COVID-19 test

From Boing Boing pal Dave Eggers' pitch perfect opinion piece in the New York Times:

Q: I think I have it.

A: Have what?

Q: It. I’ve got extreme fatigue, migraines, chills, aches, nausea and a fever of 102.

A: Are we talking about coronavirus?

Q: We are. I’m worried. I’m 50. People my age are dying.

A: That does sound concerning. Let’s get you tested.

Q: OK, I’m ready.

A: You mean now?

Q: Of course.

A: Oh, you can’t do one now.

Q: Why not?

A: How’s late next week look for you?

Q: Late next week? I’m sick today.

A: We have three appointments in mid July. Wait. Those were just taken. How’s your end-of-month?

Q: We’re four months into the pandemic. It still takes that long to get a test?

A: It depends. Looks like Tulsa has a drive-through thingie tomorrow. Are you anywhere near Tulsa, Okla.?

Q: No.

A: Keystone, S.D.?

Q: No.

A: Well, then it could take longer. Where are you?

Q: San Francisco.

A: Oh, then it’ll be a lot longer. Let me make sure … Let’s see … Typing in ‘San Francisco’ … Is that two S’s or two C’s? No, I got it. Whoa, looks like a lot of people want tests where you are.

Q: And you don’t have enough?

A: Oh, we have plenty of tests. We just don’t have appointments. You need an appointment to get a test, and the appointments — these we don’t have.

"Testing, Testing" (New York Times)

image: US CDC's COVID-19 laboratory test kit (public domain) Read the rest

Satisfying video of the world's fastest shopping cart smashing into a wall

Dynamic Test Center, a provider of engineering and safety tests of all kinds, rolled a shopping cart into a wall at 75 miles per hour. Apparently that's a new world record. That clip is preceded by a shopping cart smashing into a car at 11 mph. It's oddly even more satisfying to watch, particularly because it isn't my car.

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