Saturday, August 12, 2017
Friday, August 11, 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017
"It will probably soon be possible to use the Echoes as multiroom speakers, the music is then synchronized on several loudspeakers," Caschys wrote Monday (read the translated blog post here). Reportedly, owners will be able to "group" Alexa speakers, too, so that multiple devices can listen and respond to a single command or question. .."
Amazon Echo multiroom audio not far off, report says - CNET
Wednesday, August 09, 2017
"Nguyen's complaints are comprehensive and wide-ranging. He points to Verizon temporarily blocking the Nexus 7, third-party iPhone 6s, and third-party Nexus 6s. He brings up Verizon charging people more for bringing their own phones to the network. He argues Verizon compelled phone providers to disable FM radios. He also mentions Verizon blocking PayPal, OneDrive, Samsung Pay, and other built-in apps.
Altogether, he alleges, Verizon has violated openness rules in six different ways, ranging from discriminatory pricing, to limiting customer choice, to simply lying about its network.
"Carriers have been doing this forever," Nguyen said. "Verizon, in particular, has been one of most brazen."...
As net neutrality dies, one man wants to make Verizon pay for its sins - The Verge
"WASHINGTON — The impending release of a key government report on climate change will force President Trump to choose between accepting the conclusions of his administration’s scientists and the demands of his conservative supporters, who remain deeply unconvinced that humans are the cause of the planet’s warming.
A White House official said on Tuesday that it was still reviewing the draft document that was written by scientists, some of whom have said they fear Mr. Trump will seek to bury it or alter its contents before it is formally released. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said the administration would not comment on the report before its scheduled release this fall.
But the looming publication of the climate report — which concludes that “evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans” — once again raises a contentious policy issue that has deeply divided Mr. Trump’s closest advisers since he arrived in the Oval Office.
Like his June decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Mr. Trump’s response to the scientific conclusions in the forthcoming Climate Science Special Report will have broad implications for the American scientific community; local and state governments; and the global effort to combat the effects of rising temperatures that are already unfolding.
“We’ll be watching the administration very carefully on this,” said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity, which sued President George W. Bush after his administration repeatedly stalled the release of a previous climate change assessment. Ms. Siegel said her group would be “assessing all legal options, and returning to court at the earliest possible time to ensure that this essential report is released as required.”
The special report is part of the National Climate Assessment, which presidents are required by law to conduct every four years. The assessment details the risks that climate change poses to the United States, so as to inform federal agencies and local policy makers as they prepare for droughts, rising sea levels and other effects. But presidents have historically had wide latitude in how to play the findings."
Climate Report Could Force Trump to Choose Between Science and His Base - The New York Times
Tuesday, August 08, 2017
"James Damore, the Google engineer identified as the memo's author, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for "perpetuating gender stereotypes," according to Bloomberg, which reported the news late Monday.
Google representatives declined to comment on the report, citing employee confidentiality.
Earlier in the day, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees that the memo's author violated company rules by penning and publishing the controversial memo. The wording of Pichai's memo to workers seemed to suggest the employee's actions could result in dismissal, something people inside and out of the search giant have been calling for.
"Portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace," Pichai wrote in a memo to employees. "To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK."
Pichai's memo, titled "Our words matter," addressed the controversy that erupted over the weekend following the publication of a manifesto written by a senior engineer that criticizes the company's efforts to improve workforce diversity and its "left leaning" bias. The employee's 10-page memo went viral after being posted to an internal network, sparking outrage among Google employees.
Titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber," the employee argues that women are underrepresented in tech not as a result of bias and discrimination. Instead, "the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership."
Google fires employee behind anti-diversity memo - CNET
Monday, August 07, 2017
"Google has fired a senior software engineer for authoring a 10-page screed condemning the company’s diversity efforts and claiming men are biologically more predisposed to working in the tech industry than women, Bloomberg reports. The engineer, James Damore, confirmed his firing in an email to Bloomberg, saying he was terminated for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”
Damore’s so-called “manifesto,” which went viral internally at Google this past weekend, was first reported by Motherboard, leading to Gizmodo’s publishing of the full text of the document. From there, intense debate ensued surrounding Damore’s viewpoints and the extent to which they undermined Google’s and other tech companies’ continued efforts to increase the representation of women in tech.
DAMORE SAYS HE WAS FIRED FOR “PERPETUATING GENDER STEREOTYPES.”
The crux of Damore’s argument was that biological differences between men and women are the cause of the gender gap at Google and the broader tech industry. He also said that efforts to remedy the gap are drowning out “ideological diversity” and creating a culture that discriminates against conservative viewpoints."
Google fires employee who wrote anti-diversity memo | The Verge
"A software engineer’s 10-page screed against Google’s diversity initiatives is going viral inside the company, being shared on an internal meme network and Google+. The document’s existence was first reported by Motherboard, and Gizmodo has obtained it in full.
In the memo, which is the personal opinion of a male Google employee and is titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” the author argues that women are underrepresented in tech not because they face bias and discrimination in the workplace, but because of inherent psychological differences between men and women. “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism,” he writes, going on to argue that Google’s educational programs for young women may be misguided.
The post comes as Google battles a wage discrimination investigation by the US Department of Labor, which has found that Google routinely pays women less than men in comparable roles."
Exclusive: Here's The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google [Updated]
"Internally shared document argues that women make up less of tech's workforce because of biology, not bias. AFP/Getty Images Google employees are reacting with outrage to a manifesto written by a senior engineer that criticizes the company's efforts to improve workforce diversity and its 'left leaning' bias.
The 10-page treatise, titled 'Google's Ideological Echo Chamber,' argues that women are underrepresented in tech not as a result of bias and discrimination but rather biological difference between men and women. The document, which was first reported by Motherboard, reportedly went viral inside the company after being posted on an internal network.
'We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism,' reads the document, a copy of which was obtained by Gizmodo.
Several Google employees took to Twitter on Friday to criticize the document and its author.
Write a doc about how inferior women are, then try to be a hero by offering help to save the *vulnerable* 🤢🤢🤢 Still shaking in anger.
— Jaana B. Dogan 👀 (@rakyll) August 4, 2017 Today's rage-read (at work): doc essentially saying that women are unsuited for tech because they like people, whilst men like things.
— Aimee (@aimeeble) August 4, 2017
The controversy comes as Silicon Valley companies grapple with how to increase workforce diversity in an industry dominated by white men. Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other tech companies now regularly release diversity reports, highlighting low percentages of women and minority employees, with few moving up the management chain.
Google is also being sued by the US Labor Department, which accuses the search giant of systematically paying its female employees less than it pays men. The company strongly denies that assertion.
The document also calls on the company to 'stop alienating conservatives.'
'In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves,' the author goes on to say.
Motherboard didn't identify the document's author, but said it was written by a senior software engineer.
Danielle Brown, Google's recently hired head of diversity, responded to the document in an internal memo.
'Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul,' Brown wrote in a memo obtained by Recode.
Solving for XX: The industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about 'women in tech.'"
Sunday, August 06, 2017
Google staffer's hostility to affirmative action sparks furious backlash | World news | The Guardian
"A Google software engineer’s polemic against diversity efforts has left female staff “shaking in anger” and forced the tech giant to defend its patchy record on racial and gender equality.
The 10-page “manifesto”, which Google executives acknowledge was written by a company software engineer, initially circulated internally but was leaked to the public. The author’s identity remains unknown.
The manifesto argues that the lack of women in tech and leadership is the result, at least in part, of innate differences between in men and women. “I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership,” the author writes.
After a number of female staff described their disgust at the document on social media, Google sent out a company-wide memo saying it did not represent the company’s views.
The document’s author claims that the company’s problem is “left bias”, but the row will raise questions about attitudes to women among some members of staff and force Google back into uncomfortable discussions of its record on gender equality, which progressive critics say is poor.
The US Department of Labor found in April that there were systemic issues with equal pay across the company, and described discrimination there as “quite extreme”.
Google staffer's hostility to affirmative action sparks furious backlash | World news | The Guardian