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The Verge

Surveillance company harassed female employees using its own facial recognition technology

A surveillance startup in Silicon Valley is being accused of sexism and discrimination after a sales director used the company’s facial recognition system to harass female workers. Verkada, which was valued in January at $1.6 billion, equips its office with its own security cameras. Last year, the sales director accessed these cameras to take photos of female workers, then posted them in a Slack channel called #RawVerkadawgz alongside sexually explicit jokes. The incident was first reported by IPVM and independently verified by Vice. “Face match… find me a squirt” Employees told IPVM that a group of men in leadership positions on the sales team, many of whom grew up in Danville and played football together in high school, contributed to a culture of sexism. “Face match… find me a squirt,” the sales director wrote in Slack, according to the Vice report. The post was shared alongside images of employees taken from Verkada security cameras. “‘Face search,’ as it’s called, can pinpoint an individual in a sea of faces,” reported Vice. “The pinpointed face, in this instance, belonged to a Verkada employee, her mouth wide open.” After the Slack incident was reported to HR, Verkada CEO Filip Kaliszan gave employees in the Slack channel a choice: leave the company or have their stock options reduced. All of them chose to stay and take the stock option cut, according to Vice. “I was shocked. To me that’s not just a fireable offense, that’s a career-ending offense,” one employee told IPVM. On October…Continue readingSurveillance company harassed female employees using its own facial recognition technology

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Engadget

California Uber drivers sue company over Prop 22 app notifications

Uber didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But the company isn’t the only one to face criticism for its lobbying for Prop 22. DoorDash, which also relies on gig workers, has been criticized for requiring its drivers to deliver orders in “Yes on 22” takeout bags. Update 10/22 4:23pm ET: In a statement, an Uber spokesperson called the lawsuit “absurd.” “This is an absurd lawsuit, without merit, filed solely for press attention and without regard for the facts. It can’t distract from the truth: that the vast majority of drivers support Prop 22 and have for months because they know it will improve their lives and protect the way they prefer to work.” Source linkContinue readingCalifornia Uber drivers sue company over Prop 22 app notifications

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The Next Web

6 things you should know before choosing a web hosting company

Designing and developing websites is becoming increasingly easier and more accessible thanks to an expanding array of web development tools and a growing demand for businesses and organizations to have an online presence.  But finding the right place to host your website can be a daunting task, especially as there are a number of reputable services, each with their own benefits and tradeoffs. You might end up paying too much for things you don’t need or missing out on things that are vital to your business. Here are five questions that will help you evaluate the services of web hosting platforms and find one that fits your needs. Which content management systems are supported? One of the key things you should know before signing up with a web hosting company is the content management systems (CMS) they support. Depending on your purpose and available assets, you might want to set up a WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal website. But your needs might shift in the future and you will need to transition to another CMS.  “A good web hosting platform should allow you to set up any number of sites with the CMS of your choice in an easy-to-use interface like a step-by-step wizard,” says David Foster, a software engineer at web hosting company HostGator. “Ideally, it should have extra tools to help tailor your website’s structure to your specific needs—such as an ecommerce website or a discussion forum—and customize it for your company with minimal effort, such as adding links…Continue reading6 things you should know before choosing a web hosting company

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The Verge

Verizon acquires rural Kentucky wireless company Bluegrass Cellular

Verizon said Monday it is acquiring “certain assets” of Bluegrass Cellular, a wireless service provider in rural Kentucky. According to a news release, Bluegrass Cellular was the first wireless provider in central Kentucky, launching in 1991. It serves 210,000 customers in 34 Kentucky counties. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it’s still subject to FCC approval, but is expected to close later this year or early in 2021, according to Verizon. The companies have had a working relationship for several years; in 2012 Bluegrass launched LTE service in Kentucky as part of Verizon’s LTE in Rural America program. As part of that program, Verizon leased some of its spectrum in rural areas. And in July, Verizon announced it was launching new home internet on its 4G LTE wireless network in some rural communities not served by its Fios or 5G Home options. The communities included Savannah, Georgia; Springfield, Missouri; and the Tri-Cities region of Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky. Bluegrass is Verizon’s second acquisition in as many months; in September the company announced it was buying Tracfone in a deal worth more than $6 billion. Tracfone is the largest reseller of wireless services in the US, with 21 million subscribers; before the deal, more than 13 million Tracfone customers were already relying on Verizon’s wireless network since Tracfone doesn’t have its own physical network in the US. The deal adds to Verizon’s lead over rivals T-Mobile and AT&T as the largest carrier in the US; at the end of…Continue readingVerizon acquires rural Kentucky wireless company Bluegrass Cellular

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The Next Web

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei confirms he’s leaving the company

Carl Pei has in many ways been the public face of OnePlus, along with fellow co-founder Pete Lau. But today, after seven years with the company, Pei announced he was leaving in a blog post on OnePlus’ community forums. It’s unclear if there’s any specific reason for his departure. Rumors have suggested Pei is moving on to a new venture. It’s not unreasonable to assume he might do so eventually, but Pei’s own post doesn’t suggest that’s a primary reason his reason for leaving: “I’ve never regretted trusting my gut feeling, and this time it’s no different. These past years, OnePlus has been my singular focus, and everything else has had to take a backseat. I’m looking forward to taking some time off to decompress and catch up with my family and friends. And then follow my heart on to what’s next.” Other, unsubstantiated rumors have suggested there was a falling out with Lau, but Pei thanked him in his post: I am eternally grateful to Pete for taking a chance in this kid without a college degree, with nothing to his name but a dream. The trust, mentorship, and camaraderie will never be forgotten. Thanks for the opportunity of a lifetime. Pei helped start OnePlus when he was 24 and has been one of the major players responsible for building the company’s brand, most recently spearheading the launch of the Nord line. Corporate gossip aside, I look forward to seeing where Pei ends up, but I hope he does…Continue readingOnePlus co-founder Carl Pei confirms he’s leaving the company

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The Verge

The company formerly known as WeWork will be known as WeWork again

The We Company, which was once known as WeWork, will change its branding back to WeWork, Reuters reports. It is part of a larger reckoning, as the company recognizes it is in the real estate business, and somehow, nebulously, “tech.” “We want to be strategic. We want to be innovative. We want to be impactful. We want to be WeWork,” wrote the new CEO of the once and future WeWork, Sandeep Mathrani, in the memo Reuters obtained. Unless the last thousand years of pandemic have somehow rendered you amnesiac, you may recall that The We Company filed documents to go public in 2019, and got laughed at so hard its founder and CEO Adam Neumann had to quit. Also, the IPO was canceled. But before all that, in January 2019, the company was known as WeWork, and it occupied the most real office estate of any private company in Manhattan. A whole WeBrand lifestyle In January 2019, WeWork announced a rebrand: it would become The We Company, which was meant to reflect that WeWork was only one of three business lines. (The other two were WeLive, a communal apartment space, and WeGrow, for elementary schools, a particular pet project of Rebekah Paltrow Neumann, co-founder of WeWork, cousin of Gwyneth, and wife of Adam.) The We Company rebrand suggested larger ambitions than just a coworking space — a whole WeBrand lifestyle. Perhaps to credulous investors, this looked like an IRL Facebook. But from the IPO documents in August 2019, the public…Continue readingThe company formerly known as WeWork will be known as WeWork again

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TechCrunch

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei leaves the company to start a new venture – TechCrunch

Carl Pei, who co-founded the smartphone giant OnePlus in his 20s, has left the company, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. Pei played an instrumental role in designing the OnePlus smartphone lineup over the years, including the recently launched OnePlus Nord, which has been the company’s biggest hit to date. Outside Shenzhen, China, where OnePlus is headquartered, Pei has also been the face of the Chinese firm, appearing at trade conferences, interacting with loyal customers and giving interviews to the media. In the early years of OnePlus, Pei devised various marketing strategies for best positioning the company’s products and creating hype about them. In 2014 and 2015, when OnePlus struggled with scaling its inventories, the company sold its phones through invites and several other clever marketing techniques, including one in which people were required to destroy their current phones to buy a new OnePlus smartphone. Also in the early years of the company, Pei lived almost exclusively in low-cost hotels in China and India to better understand the market and easily travel to new cities. OnePlus is now one of the most successful premium smartphone makers in India and several other markets. “We didn’t have proper product management. What we lacked in experience, we made up in hours,” he said in an earlier interview. He talked more about the company’s early days and the state of the smartphone market at Disrupt 2019. Once he publicly asked Samsung to hire him so that he could learn more about overseeing…Continue readingOnePlus co-founder Carl Pei leaves the company to start a new venture – TechCrunch

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The Next Web

Kylie Jenner’s make-up company apologizes to customers for Shopify’s data breach

Kylie Jenner’s make-up company has notified users of a security breach that might’ve compromised their data, including names, addresses, and the last four digits of their credit cards. The blunder was only partially the fault of Kylie Cosmetics, though. In fact, Shopify has clarified the breach stems from two “rogue” employees from its support team, who nipped customer data from over 100 sellers (or “less than 200” in Shopify‘s own words) on the platform. Jenner’s company was among the list of exploited sellers, BBC reports. Ironically, Kylie Cosmetics is already tempting customers to continue shopping from its Shopify-powered site, assuring them the issue has since been resolved. “Your trust is so important to us,” the company said in an email to customers. “And we wanted to let you know we’re working diligently with Shopify to get additional information about this incident and their investigation and response to this matter.” “Shopify has assured us that they have implemented additional controls designed to help prevent this type of incident from recurring in the future,” the statement continued. Shopify first disclosed the breach a week ago on September 22. In a blog post, the company said the two employees had been “immediately terminated” and the case had been “referred the incident to law enforcement.” “While we do not have evidence of the data being utilized, we are in the early stages of the investigation and will be updating affected merchants as relevant,” the company added at the time. Source linkContinue readingKylie Jenner’s make-up company apologizes to customers for Shopify’s data breach

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Tech Radar

This company you’ve never heard of sells the world’s cheapest 18TB HDD

When Western Digital introduced its latest WD Red Pro hard drives featuring 16TB and 18TB capacities earlier this week, the company said that the products would be available sometimes in October.  As it now turns out, the HDDs for 24-bay enterprise-grade NAS are already available at Amazon, but they are rebadged and come under a little-known brand. Good news is that they cost less than $500.  Western Digital’s WD Red Pro 16TB and 18TB HDDs are based on the same 6th Generation HelioSeal platform that is used for the company’s latest Ultrastar HC550 and WD Gold drives.  These platform features Western Digital’s energy-assisted magnetic recording (EAMR) technology (a type of conventional magnetic recording (CMR) technology that ensures predictable read and write speeds), nine platters, and triple-stage actuators (TSA).   The new hard drives are equipped with a dual-attached 7200-RPM motor, a 512 MB cache buffer, and feature a SATA 6 Gbps interface. From performance point of view, the 18TB part is said to offer an up to 272 MB/s host to drive transfer rate, whereas the 16TB model is slightly slower at 259MB/s. A cheap 18TB HDD? Like other hard drives for enterprise-grade NAS with up to 24 bays, the new WD Red Pro HDDs are designed for 24/7 operation and feature similar reliability technologies found in enterprise-grade nearline drives to provide steady performance in highly-vibrating environments. Meanwhile, the drives come with special firmware optimizations for enterprise-grade NAS RAID environments designed for automatic error recovery, quicker RAID array rebuilds and expansions, and lower noise…Continue readingThis company you’ve never heard of sells the world’s cheapest 18TB HDD

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The Next Web

The worst technology company in the world

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here. Hola pandemic pals,                                    The absolute hardest thing about writing a weekly coronavirus newsletter is coming up with the lede paragraph. I always spend more time than I should trying to come up with something emotional and honest that’s also hopeful and bright.  But it never quite works out that way. Not only is polite small talk not in my wheel house, but I don’t feel hopeful and bright and none of the news I have to share can back up those tones.  And that means more doom and gloom. But I think it’s necessary. Our biggest failures during the pandemic, globally, haven’t been technological or scientific ones. We have everything we need to end the pandemic whenever we, the global community, choose to.  Want to be done with lockdowns and COVID-19? Wear a mask, social distance, and encourage everyone else to do the same. Countries that have been successful at this are already starting to open.  The biggest problem we face is human ignorance. Evil takes a close second, but for evil to have any influence ignorance must thrive.  Take for example the most evil company in the US right now: this disgusting “gig economy” startup that purports to hire people as process servers to evict US renters…Continue readingThe worst technology company in the world