Displaying items by tag: tech

Google Has Fired The Employee Who Wrote An "Anti-Diversity Manifesto"

  • Published in U.S.

The engineer had written a lengthy memo titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" that spread quickly among employees before being leaked to the press.


Google has fired James Damore, the software engineer who wrote a manifesto against the company's diversity policies that went viral within the company over the weekend.

 

Brian Snyder / Reuters

 


Damore was fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes," he told Bloomberg on Monday night. Damore later confirmed his dismissal to BuzzFeed News.

"Google has super flexible (illegal) policies that they can twist to fire anyone they want," he said.

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

On Saturday, a lengthy memo titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" written by Damore spread quickly among employees before being leaked to the press.

The document argued in favor of a biological basis for the difference in the number of men and women in the tech industry based on pseudoscientific statistics and assertions such as women suffering from "neuroticism" more than men. Damore's LinkedIn profile says he has received advanced degrees in biology.

Damore argued that the company should not offer programs for racial minorities or women and that "ideological diversity," — including more conservative viewpoints like Damore's — was more important than hiring more people of underrepresented racial minorities or women. Damore wrote that politically conservative Google employees faced discrimination.

"We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism," he wrote. "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."

Google executives said on Sunday that they do not "endorse, promote or encourage” the author's viewpoint. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that Damore had violated the company's code of conduct.

Damore's opinions garnered both support and disagreement on Twitter:

Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer whose blog post ignited an investigation into sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the rideshare company, tweeted her disappointment with his supporters

Some of Google's own engineers tweeted their disgust with Damore's opinions

Silicon Valley, and Google in particular, has faced increasing scrutiny for its treatment of women. The search giant is currently under investigation by the US Department of Labor for gender discrimination in the workplace.

One department official testified in court that the federal agency has found "systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce." Google has denied the allegations.

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Survey shows outdoor athletes love listening to music but hate their earbuds

  • Published in Tech
by Kraig Becker/ www.digitaltrends.com
 
 
 
 
WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU 

Looking for a pair of earbuds for use in action sports? A survey has found that many athletes have trouble finding adequate earbuds.

Do you like to listen to music or podcasts while taking part in your favorite outdoor activities? Do you find that your earbuds aren’t especially well-suited for those outings? If you said yes to that last question, it turns out you’re not alone. A recent survey of more than 400 “weekend warriors” who enjoy action sports like mountain biking, trail running, and skiing shows that most of us aren’t very happy with our options when it comes to earbuds built for use outdoors.

The survey was conducted by a company called Earshot and reveals some interesting insights into how action sports athletes view their headphones. For instance, 72 percent of those surveyed indicated that they prefer to listen to music while participating in their sport of choice, although nearly 20 percent who chose not to listen to music said it was because earbuds aren’t built for use in their favorite activity. Another 16 percent claimed that their existing headphones aren’t very good or are just downright awful. And while 40 percent indicated that they had spent $100 or more on a set of earbuds, nearly half (49 percent) said the would spend even more if they could find a set better suited for their needs.

The biggest complaints that outdoor athletes had with their existing headphones were that the cords often get in the way (33 percent), they are uncomfortable to wear (23 percent), and they don’t fit properly (17 percent). The athletes involved in the survey also indicated that fit and functionality are the most important aspect they look for in their earbuds, with comfort and sound quality coming in second and third. Twenty-five percent said that they felt that most earphone manufacturers simply didn’t understand their specific needs.

In a press release revealing the results of the survey, James Bell-Booth, Earshot co-founder, said: “To me, the most important finding from our research is that 35 percent of action sport athletes said they’re at least somewhat likely to abandon their activity if their headphones don’t work properly. As a community, we need to take more seriously the headphone requirements of action sport athletes, and get to work making products that meet their needs better.”

Of course, Earshot had ulterior motives in conducting this survey. The company has designed a line of earbuds that it expects to launch on Kickstarter later this month. With a magnetic locking system to hold them in place, long battery life, and completely wireless operation, they apparently have been designed with action sports in mind. They are also waterproof and rugged enough for use in demanding environments like those favored by outdoor athletes.

The new earbuds are expected to sell for $136 when they become available, although anyone interested in grabbing a pair can register now for a 40 percent discount.

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First robotic cop joins Dubai police

  • Published in Tech

After bringing in Lamborghinis and Ferraris to patrol roads, Dubai police have enrolled a robotic officer, the first in a unit that aims to make up a quarter of the force by 2030.

The robotic cop stood to attention Wednesday night at the foot of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, as tourists and passersby snapped selfie souvenir photos by its side.

Wearing a police cap and moving on wheels, the robot features a computer touch-screen on its chest that can be used to report a crime or inquire about speeding tickets.

At 5ft 5in tall and weighing 100kg, it can speak six languages and is designed to read facial expressions.

"Our aim is to raise the number of robots to 25 percent of the police force by 2030," said Brigadier Khaled al-Razzooqi, head of Smart Services at Dubai police.

CREDIT: AFP

The robot, to be deployed mainly at tourist spots, is equipped with a camera that transmits live images to the operations room and it can identify suspects wanted by police.

The main purpose is to "find a new way to deal with people", said Razzooqi, while acknowledging that robots could not replace humans on tasks such as making arrests.

Police in Dubai, a growing tourism hub which attracted nearly 15 million visitors last year, have previously attracted media attention by parading expensive luxury cars as patrol vehicles

 

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