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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Google and Facebook Backed an Event Denying Climate Change

Three tech giants, including Microsoft, sponsored a libertarian conference that included attacks on the science of climate change.
Source: Wired

Boeing’s Flying Taxi Prototype Takes to the Air (Briefly)

The company is one of the partners in Uber’s bid to fly the skies.
Source: Wired

Oracle says racial discrimination lawsuit is ‘meritless’

Oracle says the racial discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is “meritless.” This comes after Oracle declined yesterday to comment on the OFCCP’s filing that alleges Oracle withheld $400 million in wages from underrepresented employees.

“This meritless lawsuit is based on false allegations and a seriously flawed process within the OFCCP that relies on cherry picked statistics rather than reality,” Oracle EVP and General Counsel Dorian Daley said in a statement to TechCrunch. “We fiercely disagree with the spurious claims and will continue in the process to prove them false. We are in compliance with our regulatory obligations, committed to equality, and proud of our employees.”

In a filing yesterday, the OFCCP alleged Oracle withheld $400 million in wages from racially underrepresented workers (black, Latinx and Asian) as well as women. The department argues that Oracle’s “stark patterns of discrimination” started back in 2013 and continues into the present day. More specifically, the OFCCP alleges Oracle discriminated against black, Asian and female employees. This has all ultimately resulted in the collective loss of more than $400 million for this group of employees, the suit alleges.


Source: TechCrunch

Verizon Media Group is laying off 7 percent of its workforce

The Verizon division formerly known as Oath is laying off 7 percent of its workforce, which amounts to roughly 800 employees.

Oath was created after Verizon acquired AOL, followed by Yahoo, bringing them together two years ago as a combined digital media entity with a new name. However, it seems that the organization hasn’t performed as well as Verizon executives had hoped, with layoffs, the departure of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and Verizon’s recent $4.6 billion writedown on the media business — it announced a “voluntary redundancy” program, a.k.a. buyouts, at the same time.

Plus, Verizon decided to retire the Oath brand at the end of last year. (TechCrunch was part of AOL, then Oath, and is now part of Verizon Media Group.)

“Our goal is to create the best experiences for our consumers and the best platforms for our customers,” a Verizon spokesperson said in a statement. “Today marks a strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future.”

In an email to employees, Verizon Media Group CEO Guru Gowrappan also positions the cuts as part of a broader strategy, with the company focused on three core areas in the first quarter of this year: growing the “member-centric ecosystem,” increasing usage/spending on its B2B products and increasing video supply and distribution.

“I want to be clear that we will continue to scale, launch new products and innovate,” he wrote. “We are an important part of Verizon and the $7+ billion in revenue we generate through our member-centric ecosystem puts us among the top tech/media companies in the world. Now is the time to go on the offensive, go deep on our big priorities and do everything we can to advance the business.”

You can read the full email below.

Team –

Last quarter, our leadership team worked to create the strategy that will propel Verizon Media. We honestly assessed where we are and outlined ambitious but achievable goals that poise us for growth. We shared it broadly with you, and together committed to deliver on our OKRs with meticulous planning, collaboration and rigorous execution.

As hard as it may have felt at times, we’ve made some great strides to serve our customers globally – from consolidating ad platforms, to expanding the Microsoft partnership, growing live programming and content offerings for our Supers, and prioritizing and launching 8 new or substantially updated products at Build It 2018.

In Q1, we’ll have 3 priority areas: first, grow our member-centric ecosystem with must-have mobile and video products and stem desktop declines; second, increase usage and spends flowing through B2B platforms; third, expand our video supply and overall distribution through partnerships. As we work to deliver on both short-term objectives to stabilize our business, we are also focused on long-term strategies that will accelerate distribution, growth and innovation as part of Verizon.

This week, we will make changes that will impact around 7% of our global workforce across the organization, as well as certain brands and products. These were difficult decisions, and we will ensure that our colleagues are treated with respect and fairness, and given the support they need. Resources and other career support will be provided to help our team members navigate the transition.

In addition, we’ve completed an exhaustive review to prioritize the programs that are currently in our portfolio – consumer products, ad products, platform features, partnerships and data centers.

While every business unit has to manage their P&L, these decisions are being made to streamline resources and invest in opportunities that will help us grow. You all know by now that I deeply believe in an owner mindset and focus as a key ingredient for success – going deep on fewer, key things that will have the greatest impact on our customers and business, and doing them exceptionally well.

I want to be clear that we will continue to scale, launch new products and innovate. We are an important part of Verizon and the $7+ billion in revenue we generate through our member-centric ecosystem puts us among the top tech/media companies in the world. Now is the time to go on the offensive, go deep on our big priorities and do everything we can to advance the business. We will talk more about this and answer questions Friday at Open House.

Our world continues to evolve at a faster pace, and we need to leap ahead of consumer trends. We are reimagining our future, and building new products that will become invaluable to consumers today and in the years to come. That’s the spirit of our company and the spirit we all embody as its Builders.

Best,
Guru


Source: TechCrunch

Aibo learns to be a better watchdog

I wanted to love the new Aibo. Really, I did. But once I actually spent some time with it, it turned out that it was a $3,000 dog with only a handful of tricks. It seems the days of buying true robot dog companionship are still a long ways away.

A few months after bringing the pup to market, Sony’s announced a few updates that should rekindle some interest. First, there’s a new paint job. Aibo now comes in Choco Edition — a dark brown and bronze edition that makes it look a bit more like a real dog. That version is going to cost the same as its white-coated counterpart.

More importantly, Aibo’s finally set to learn a few new tricks. Most notable among them is the addition of a security package that utilizes on-board sensors to keep your home safe. It’s one of the features the company suggested early on, making use of the dog’s face tracking and 3D mapping technology.

In Japan, the deal comes courtesy of a partnership with home security firm Secom. Like everything else in Aibo land, however, it will cost you — in this case, an additional $13.50 a month for paw patrol. All of this likely isn’t enough to get too many people on board with the robot, given the price point, but at least Sony’s sticking to its promise of supporting the pup. 


Source: TechCrunch

Super Bowl 53: How to get your TV ready to watch – CNET

Whether you’re just in it for the commercials or you’re a hardcore fan of the Rams or Patriots, here’s a few ideas to improve your big game experience.
Source: CNET

The Barisieur alarm clock brews coffee bedside to wake you up – CNET

No need to hit snooze.
Source: CNET

Oops, Toyota sold too many special-edition Supras in the UK – Roadshow

A computer glitch is to blame, and Toyota is trying to make everyone happy.
Source: CNET

Google, Facebook and Amazon spending more than ever lobbying Congress – CNET

Combined, the tech giants paid more than $65 million for lobbying efforts in 2018.
Source: CNET

Xiaomi shows off foldable phone that bends on both sides – CNET

Yet another flexible phone debuts. Xiaomi exec calls it “double folding.”
Source: CNET

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