Bruce Schneier writes in the New York Times that banning facial recognition (as cities like San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Brookline and Somerville have done) is not enough: there are plenty of other ways to automatically recognize people (gait detection, high-resolution photos of hands that reveal fingerprints, voiceprints, etc), and these will all be used for the same purpose that makes facial recognition bad for our world: to sort us into different categories and treat us different based on those categories.
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It is sad that any institution, especially such a revered sandwich shop as Langer's Deli, would behave so terribly.
A famous Los Angeles sandwich shop, Langer’s Deli, is facing calls for a boycott after the owner kicked out two women for kissing in his restaurant.
The woman and her date who experienced aggressive discrimination at Langer’s Deli have chosen to remain anonymous but gave friends permission to share their story. One friend, writer and critic April Wolfe, took to Twitter to share what happened to her friends, posting a screenshot of the Facebook post that details how they were kicked out.
“My date and I had finished eating and we shared a kiss in our booth. Suddenly a man with a walkie-talkie was standing at our table. He introduced himself as Norm Langer and told us that he ‘can’t have this in his restaurant because some of the customers don’t understand.’” When the woman told him that she lived nearby and used to love this deli but would never eat there again, Langer told her she was being “selfish and inconsiderate of how other people felt.”
Image via Josh Lim/Wikipedia Read the rest
NDAs were once used exclusively to protect bona fide trade secrets, but today's Big Tech companies force new hires to sign far-ranging NDAs that exceed the law in many ways (for example, by banning employees from discussing illegal workplace conditions), as a means of "terrorizing" employees into keeping their mouths shut, lest they face threats from the company's high-powered lawyers.
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Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, just started a new job this week. She's an art teacher at a Christian school that makes job candidates sign a pledge not to engage in homosexual activity. Gay kids, you're not welcome either. Read the rest
[Update 5/20/2018 2:05pm PT: An earlier version of this story said the child “was refused service.” An IHOP spokesperson says, "the guests were not refused service. The mother chose to leave the restaurant on her own accord."]
A 3-year-old armless kid who learned how to eat with his feet was forbidden to feed himself at an Arkansas IHOP by a disapproving IHOP manager.
His mom said the general manager told her he could not sit on the table and touch the syrup containers because it was a health department issue.
"When we got there, I carried him in, took him to the bathroom and washed his feet so he could eat," Bancroft said. "I asked her, 'Do you ask all of your customers if they washed their hands before they touch them [syrup containers]?'"
Bancroft said the manager later apologized, but the damage was already done.
"She was the one who discriminated against my son for having a physical disability," she said.
The family got up and left without paying for their drinks.
Bancroft then took to Facebook to explain the situation. Her post has since gone viral.
Several servers messaged her that they were "deeply ashamed" of what happened and "completely shocked" that their manager did that.
The manager even messaged her, saying in part, "I really think this was all a misunderstanding. I would never do that to your son intentionally or otherwise. That's not what I was trying to do."
A spokesman from the corporate offices of IHOP said the manager is on leave and that the staff will be given sensitivity training. Read the rest
Starbucks, LA Fitness, Chevron Gas and Food Mart... Nordstrom Rack is one of the latest in a rash of corporations to publicly get called out for racially profiling black customers.
Three young black men were shopping for prom clothes at Nordstrom Rack in Brentwood, Missouri, when an employee called the police, accusing the men of shoplifting. When the cops approached them, the men showed the cops receipts for what they had bought, and the cops let them go. Now the president of Nordstrom Rack, President Geevy Thomas, has asked to meet with the boys and the company has made a public apology. Deja vu.
According to KMOV.com:
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Mekhi Lee, Dirone Taylor and Eric Rogers II were all shopping for prom clothes at Nordstrom Rack when they started noticing several of the employees watching them and following them around the store.
"I was nervous the whole time," said Lee, "Every time we move, they move. when we looked up, they looked up."
After all three left the store they were surrounded by Brentwood Police in the parking lot. Police told them the store had accused them of theft. After an investigation on the spot, police let the three go without charges.
"The police were actually good. They understood where we were coming from and they showed us that they were just doing their job," said Rogers.
In addition to the theft accusations, the teens said a customer in the store called them punks and asked them, 'Are your parents proud of you for what you do?'
I don't want to alarm anyone, but it sounds like maybe some ICE agents are, I dunno, a shower of bastards.
According to Syracuse.com, New York state dairy farmer John Collins was doing his thing when he heard screaming. When he ran out to see what was happening, he found that his hired hand, Marcial de Leon Aguilar, was being pinned to the side of his farm's milk house by armed men. Aguilar is from Guatemala, and had all of the paperwork required to work in the United States. He'd been employed by Collins for just under a year.
When Collins confronted the armed men about what they were doing with his employee, they stated that they were ICE agents. As the goons slapped a set of handcuffs on Aguilar, Collins demanded to see the warrant that allowed ICE to come on to his property. You'll be shocked to know, I'm sure, that the agents stated that they had none.
It gets better. As the agents dragged Aguilar across the road to their waiting vehicle, Collins continued to demand that they produce paperwork on why they were taking his employee or show the authority that allowed them onto his land. As he did so, he began filming the exchange with his smartphone. Collins alleges that, at this point, one the agents grabbed the phone out of his hand, handcuffed him and threatened to arrest him for hindering a federal investigation. In the end, Collins was released, but Aguilar was carted away. Read the rest
During a sumo tournament yesterday, Mayor Ryozo Tatami of Maizuro in the Kyoto prefecture was making a speech in the sumo ring when he suddenly collapsed from a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Women and men from the spectator seats rushed to help, and in the video below it looks like it was a woman who was giving him CPR.
But then an announcement over the loudspeaker by a referee said, "Ladies, please leave the dohyo." Apparently, the ladies were in the sumo ring, of which they are barred from entering. Even saving a man's life wasn't a good enough reason to let the inferior sex into the sacred space.
According to The Asahi Shimbun:
At least two women climbed into the dohyo and administered cardiac massage to Tatami.
During the emergency, the women were ordered to leave at least three times in announcements made over the public address system.
The gyoji also said, “Gentlemen, please climb up (to the dohyo),” according to municipal government sources and others.
The Japan Sumo Association chairman later apologized for the referee's idiocy, but only after public criticism. “We would like to offer a profound apology. This instruction was inappropriate under such life-and-death circumstances. The gyoji did it because he was upset.”
The mayor was taken to the hospital, where he'll undergo surgery, and was "conscious and talking," thanks at least in part to the women who rush to help him.
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Great news from New Zealand this morning. According to the BBC, the nation's government has passed legislation that will allow individuals who were charged under the country's old laws against homosexuality to have their records wiped clean.
Homosexuality was illegal in New Zealand up until 1986. Up until that time, it was possible for men who wanted nothing more than to express their love or to enjoy one another to be slapped with charges with names such as "sodomy, indecency between males and keeping a place of resort for homosexual acts." Anyone charged with these offense before 1986 still has the charge on their official police records. According to the BBC, around 1,000 individuals will have the option to scrub these bullshit charges from their records next year:
Justice Minister Andrew Little said the legislation "sends a clear signal that discrimination against gay people is no longer acceptable, and we are committed to putting right wrongs from the past".
"I would like to apologize again to all the men and members of the rainbow community who have been affected by the prejudice, stigma and other negative effects caused by convictions for historical homosexual offenses," Mr Little said.
In instances where an individual charged under the old laws has passed away, the New Zealand government is making it possible for the families of the deceased to apply to have their charges expunged as well.
Given that New Zealand passed laws banning discrimination against homosexuals in 1993, the official apology from the government and the olive branch of purging the records of those charged under the country's old discriminatory laws has been a long time coming. Read the rest
Ohio State sociologist Natasha Quadlin set out to study the effect of high academic achievement on women's employment, so she created 2,106 fictional job applicants, half male, half female, across a spectrum of GPAs and college majors, and submitted them via common recruiting sites.
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A trans woman in North Carolina says she was called "it" and "thing" by co-workers and fired when she complained about it, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
Bost, who’s now 46, said she was repeatedly harassed by a man who became her direct supervisor when he was promoted to assistant manager in 2014. The lawsuit said he called her “it” in front of other employees, made off-color jokes and initiated unwanted physical contact.
According to the suit, the assistant manager also was involved in fabricating written infractions against Bost that led to her firing.
A spokesman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the parent company of Sam’s Club, said the company doesn’t agree with Bost’s account.
“We disagree with the claims raised by Ms. Bost. Her termination was for performance reasons,” said spokesman Randy Hargrove. He said that the company “maintains a strong anti-discrimination policy.”
"Performance reasons" is the sort of comically vague euphemism that happens when honesty is impossible. If specifics existed that they could justify, they would state them. Read the rest
A Propublica investigation (ed: I am an annual donor to Propublica and urge you to support their work) found dozens of companies who placed help wanted ads on Facebook that used ad-targeting to exclude older workers, a practice that an employment law specialist called "blatantly unlawful."
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Randy Gamel-Medler, his husband, and their son moved to a small town in Oklahoma. Town leaders treated them abusively and threatened them on a number of occasions.
The threats were made good when Gamel-Medler's home was vandalized, set aflame, and then Fire department did not react. The home was located just a few blocks from the Station, but burnt to the ground.
Gamel-Medler is suing the lot of them in Federal court.
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Randy Gamel-Medler, his husband and their 7-year-old adopted African-American son moved to Hitchcock, Oklahoma in August 2016. Roughly a month later, Gamel-Medler was threatened by a town trustee at a town council meeting after he learned that Gamel-Medler, a white man, had a son who is African-American, according to the complaint. “What’s going to happen when your house burns down and we don’t send out the fire trucks?” Meradith Norris, a defendant in the lawsuit, asked. Town officials ignored the police report Gamel-Medler filed.
In May, Gamel-Medler was assaulted by defendant Jonita Pauls Jacks, who called him a “fucking queer” and threatened his son, saying that she was going to grab his son and “rip his nigger head off and shit down his throat.” The town deputy sheriff refused to allow Gamel-Medler to file a police report and chalked up the incident to free speech.
On May 28, the complaint describes an incident in which Gamel-Medler called the sheriff’s office to report a burglary after he heard glass breaking in his garage. He then called the fire department to report a fire in his garage.
Unable to secure equal pay, Hawaii Five-O stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park have quit the show.
Members of Hollywood’s small but vocal Asian-American community are speaking out in support of former Hawaii Five-0 stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, who have left the series after failed contract negotiations with CBS and CBS Television Studios.
“Unfortunately, the racial hierarchy established in the original 1968-1980 series remained intact in the 2010 reboot: Two white stars on top, two Asian/Pacific Islander stars on bottom,” Guy Aoki, founding president of Media Action Network for Asian Americans, wrote in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
News of Kim's and Park’s departures broke Friday before the Independence Day holiday, with sources confirming to THR that Kim and Park had requested and been denied pay equity alongside fellow original castmembers Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. In a lengthy Facebook post Wednesday, Kim noted that he based his decision to leave on the inability to reach an agreement on a new contract, and added, “The path to equality is rarely easy.” Sources say that Kim and Park asked to be compensated on par with leads O’Loughlin and Caan, who also receive a cut of the series’ back-end profit.
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Since the earliest days of ecommerce, analysts have predicted that retailers would use their estimations of their customers' willingness to pay to invisibly, instantaneously reprice their goods, offering different prices to each customer. Read the rest
Sarah Safi of Gary, Indiana was kicked out of a Family Dollar store by an assistant store manager who cited the woman's traditional Muslim dress, a niqab and hijab, as being threatening. Ms. Safi, 32, recorded part of the manager's tirade on video. Read the rest
Two Muslim-American women were kicked off an American Airlines flight this week, basically for flying while Muslim. Read the rest