Googlers circulate petition demanding a moratorium on contracts with US border agencies

Despite the departure of its most prominent leaders amid claims of harassment and retaliation, the Googler Uprising lives on, with Google employees circulating an internal petition demanding that the company not contract with US border agencies to provide any kind of services, on the grounds that US immigration authorities are notorious abusers of human rights. Read the rest

Deep look at the Googler Uprising, drawing on insider interviews

In May 2018, Google faced a series of public resignations and scandals over a secret internal project to supply AI tools to the Pentagon's drone warfare project; then, in August 2018, scandal hit again with the news that Google was secretly developing a censoring, surveilling Chinese search-tool; then came the news that the company had secretly paid Android founder Andy Rubin $90m to quietly leave the company after credible accusations of sexual abuse and assault. Read the rest

Teenaged girl becomes a resistance symbol for her peaceful reading of the Russian constitution to a Putin goon-squad (they beat her up later)

Article 31 of the Russian constitution guarantees the right to peaceful political assembly, which is why Russian opposition protesters like to wave copies of the constitution around as Putin's goon-squads descend on them to dole out savage beatings and mass arrests. Read the rest

Many of the key Googler Uprising organizers have quit, citing retaliation from senior management

The Googler Uprising was a string of employee actions within Google over a series of issues related to ethics and business practices, starting with the company's AI project for US military drones, then its secretive work on a censored/surveilling search tool for use in China; then the $80m payout to Android founder Andy Rubin after he was accused of multiple sexual assaults. Read the rest

Lulzy Instagram memers are organizing a deadly serious trade union

The IG Meme Union Local 69-420 is pretty damned lulzy, but the organizers are dead serious about creating a union that will negotiate on behalf of memers with Instagram and other tech platforms that exploit them by alienating their labor. Read the rest

Googler uprising leads to shut down of AI ethics committee that included the president of the Heritage Foundation

This week, thousands of googlers and many others (including me) signed an open letter objecting to the inclusion of Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James on the company's Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC), on the the grounds that James had frequently evinced viciously transphobic, racist, anti-immigrant sentiments. Read the rest

Kickstarter employees want to unionize under OPEIU and have formed Kickstarter United to make that happen

Kickstarter United is organizing Kickstarter employees under the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153, joining other tech startups like Gimlet and Vox in a bid to unionize. Read the rest

Google ends forced arbitration contracts for workers after googler uprising

The waves of protests and walkouts that swept Google last year had many grievances and concerns, from the company's Pentagon contract to supply AI for drones to the secret creation of a censored search tool for the Chinese market, but one central flashpoint was the revelation that the company had paid Android exec $90 million to quietly leave the company after a string of disturbing sexual harassment and abuse incidents came to light. Read the rest

Even as Google was making nice during employee walkout, it was secretly asking the Trump administration to ban email labor organizing

Last year, Google was rocked by a string of employee uprisings: first over selling AI tools to the Pentagon for use in drone development; then over the clandestine development of a censored Chinese search-product, the over the revelation that Android founder Andy Rubin was given a $90 million payoff to get rid of him after repeated sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations. Read the rest

In America, the young find distinguishing fact from opinion easier than their elders

A recent Pew poll challenged subjects to distinguish between factual statements and statements of opinion in news articles; it found that there is a large gap in accuracy between 18- to 49-year-olds (32% of whom correctly labeled 100% of the facts, and 44% of whom correct labeled 100% of the opinions) and those aged 50 and up (20% correctly labeled all facts; 26% correctly labeled all opinions). Read the rest

Victory! Google will not bid on $10B Pentagon cloud computing contract

When Google's engineering staff staged an uprising over the company's "Project Maven" to supply AI tools for the Pentagon's secretive drone-based killing program, many observed that the project was just a prelude to bidding on JEDI, the Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, a $10B project to supply cloud services to the entire US military. Read the rest

Tech workers are downing tools and refusing to work on unethical projects

Tech workers are in demand: companies find it easier to raise cash than to hire engineers; this gives workers enormous bargaining power, and they're using it. Read the rest

Chinese students, made to study Communism, are rising up for workers' rights

In 1989, the Chinese government slaughtered pro-democracy student activists whose commitment to justice swept the nation; now they're facing a new student uprising, one comprised of ardent Communist youth whose state-mandated education in the works of Marx, Lenin and Mao have prompted them to stand up for oppressed workers who labor in the for-profit factories that have flourished since the Deng reforms. Read the rest

Developers are worth more to tech companies than cash

Researchers from Stripe surveyed "thousands of C-level executives and developers across five different countries" and found that companies finding hiring qualified developers harder than anything else -- even raising cash ("Access to developers is a bigger constraint than access to capital"). Read the rest

Leaked memos reveal the deep divisions within Google over Pentagon contract

Google's decision to provide AI tools for use with US military drones has been hugely controversial within the company (at least a dozen googlers quit over it) and now the New York Times has obtained internal memos revealing how senior officials at the company anticipated that controversy and attempted (unsuccessfully) to head it off. Read the rest