Providence Technology Group

Wastewater Monitoring for COVID-19 Expanding in Davis

Healthy Davis Together wastewater monitoring operations, led by UC Davis researchers with support from the city’s Department of Public Works, has deployed newly arrived wastewater sampling equipment to 15 additional sample collection locations (nodes), expanding monitoring to more neighborhoods served by the city wastewater collection system. The virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) can be shed in the stool of infected individuals, including individuals who do not yet have symptoms or who never have symptoms. Regular testing of wastewater can detect spikes and be used as an early warning detection system so that action can be directed to individual testing efforts that help prevent spread. Keep reading this article at ucdavis.edu.

These ‘vaccine hunters’ are chasing down appointments for people who need them most

As the United States ramps up COVID-19 vaccine production during the largest vaccination campaign in American history, millions of people are still struggling to get vaccine appointments even if they qualify. So far, nearly 84 million U.S. adults have gotten at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. President Joe Biden said there will be enough vaccine doses for every U.S. adult by May 1, but getting people immunized takes more than manufacturing vials of vaccine. Keep reading this article at pbs.org

Covering California’s Canals With Solar Panels Could Solve Two Crises at Once

A new analysis finds that covering water canals in California with solar panels could save a lot of water and money while generating renewable energy. Doing so would generate between 20% and 50% higher return on investment than would be achieved by building those panels on the ground. The paper, published Thursday in Nature Sustainability, performs what its authors call a techno-economic analysis, calculating the impacts and weighing the costs and benefits of potentially covering the thousands of miles of California’s open irrigation system. Keep reading this article at gizmodo.com

How Google’s New Career Certificates Could Disrupt the College Degree

This morning, Google is announcing the next steps in its plan to disrupt the world of education, including the launch of new certificate programs that are designed to help people bridge any skills gap and get qualifications in high-paying, high-growth job fields–with one noteworthy feature: No college degree necessary. The new tools could be a game changer for a growing number of people who consider the current educational system broken, or for the millions of Americans who are currently unemployed, much due to fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. “The pandemic has led to a truly horrible year,” Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai tells Inc. in an interview. “But it has also created profound shifts along the journey to digital transformation in ways no one could ha...[Read More]

You’re Thinking About Home Heating Wrong

Getting rid of your car is one of the best things you can do for the climate, and also that you will never do it. This is a car-oriented country, and a car-oriented time. But in 2019, the private cars and light trucks that ordinary people drive for work and shopping and leisure were responsible for about 15 percent of U.S. fossil-fuel-energy use. Depending on your geographic location and the age of your home and its systems, those fuels might include distillate fuel oil (mostly still used in the Northeast), propane (common in rural areas), or natural gas (common everywhere else). Every one of these releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned. At least 7 percent of U.S. fossil-fuel energy is used for something fairly banal: residential space and water heating. Put differently, m...[Read More]

California Gov. Newsom Makes 3 Top Tech Appointments

The appointments of three key leaders in state IT governance were announced Tuesday evening by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office. Liana Bailey-Crimmins has been named state chief technology officer in the California Department of Technology (CDT). Bailey-Crimmins, an award-winning veteran of state service, most recently served as chief information security officer for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System since 2019, where she had previously served as chief health director from 2017 to 2019 and chief information officer (CIO) from 2013 to 2017. She was CIO for California Correctional Health Care Services from 2010 to 2013, and before that she was deputy CIO from 2008 to 2010. Keep reading this article at govtech.com

Best Cities for Women in Tech – 2021 Edition

# 12. Sacramento, California may not stand out as an obvious destination for tech workers, but women make up 37.8% of its tech workforce, the third-largest in our study. That said, pay equity isn’t as high, as women in the industry earn only 88 cents for every dollar that men make. The Sacramento tech workforce has grown 32% in the three years from 2016 to 2019, the ninth-highest increase across all 63 cities in the study. Women tech workers in the city have an income of $46,289 after housing. Keep reading this article at smartasset.com

CPUC Requires 3 Days Of Backup Power For Some With Wired Phone, Internet Service

Some California residents with landlines and wired internet service will have power for three days in a power outage following a decision Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission. The decision affects residents and others such as firefighters and hospital patients in areas of high wildfire risk. In eight months, wired service providers must meet the backup requirement for hospitals, fire departments and other critical facilities. The same applies to facilities that provide service for wireless networks and communities not well-served by wireless services… Keep reading this article at sfgate.com.

Locast TV Service Now Available in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Locast, a nonprofit, free local broadcast TV streaming service, has announced that it has launched in Sacramento, making 60 local TV channels available over the internet on the phone, tablet, laptop or streaming devices of more than 4 million residents in the Sacramento market. Keep reading this article at tvtechnology.com

Technical Glitches Keep Newsom’s Dream of High-Tech Government on Hold

Like millions of Californians, Mary Montgomery turned to unemployment insurance in recent months to help make ends meet, as the Sacramento sushi restaurant where she worked opened and closed during the pandemic. She considered herself lucky. Sure, there were long hold times when she called the state’s hotline for assistance. But her benefits were deposited on time, and she wasn’t swept up in the growing backlog of claims. Then last month, the state Employment Development Department (EDD) froze her benefits without warning. “It says that I have over five thousand dollars that I should be able to use, but there’s no way for me to use that money,” she said. Keep reading this article at capradio.org

UC Davis Licenses Novel COVID-19 Lung Treatment Using Inhaled Statins to InVixa, Inc

The University of California, Davis and InVixa Inc., a biopharmaceutical startup, have executed a licensing agreement for a novel method using inhaled statins to treat the severe respiratory disease known as COVID-19. The license, negotiated by the InnovationAccess team within the UC Davis Office of Research, provides exclusive access for InVixa to commercialize the technology developed at the university for COVID-19. While statins are one of the most prescribed drugs on the market, typically used to treat cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease and stroke by lowering cholesterol levels in the blood, some studies have demonstrated a potential link to improved outcomes in some lung diseases due to statins’ immune-modulatory properties. Dr. Amir Zeki, associate professor in t...[Read More]

Growing Network of Weather Stations and Fire-Watch Cameras Provide PG&E Meteorologists, Outside Agencies with Hyperlocal Data on Extreme Weather

In 2020, 400 New Weather Stations Brought PG&E’s Network Total to 1,000 Installed and Operational, and the Number of High-Definition Cameras More than Doubled with Over 300 in Operation Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) expanded network of enhanced weather technology, including weather stations and high-definition fire-watch cameras located in areas of elevated or extreme fire risk, helped reduce the size of each Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event in 2020 on average by 55 percent. As of the end of year, PG&E had 1,000 weather stations and 340 cameras in operation throughout Northern and Central California, providing more precise weather data to the company’s team of meteorologists and outside agencies. The weather stations, along with sectionalizing devices that i...[Read More]