Google releases pay methodology in an attempt to prove no gender gap exists

Google releases pay methodology in an attempt to prove no gender gap exists

Google releases pay methodology in an attempt to prove no gender gap exists

Google has published a new response to Department of Labor claims that it systematically underpays its female staff members. The statement once again denies that any pay gap exists within the company, explaining the “gender-blind” way the company makes its salary calculations, which it says is based on “role, job level, job location as well as current and recent performance ratings.”

Once a salary is calculated by analysts — who Google says have no access to the gender information of the employee in question — it’s then fed into the company’s pay equity model. This is a four-stage process that compares suggested compensation amounts between genders, and theoretically prods the company to make adjustments if any statistical gap is observed.

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Steve Ballmer’s new project: find out how the government spends your money

Steve Ballmer’s new project: find out how the government spends your money

Steve Ballmer’s new project: find out how the government spends your money

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has launched a new project aimed at providing a comprehensive database of government revenue and spending. The website, called USAFacts, brings together a wide range of financial data from various US government sources, compiled by a team of economists, professors, and researchers over the last three years. The site went live on Tuesday.

In an interview with The New York Times, Ballmer said USAFacts aims to “figure out what the government really does with the money,” describing the site as “the equivalent of a 10-K for government.” The former Microsoft chief and current Los Angeles Clippers owner spent more than $10 million on the project, according to the Times, which was used to assemble a team of researchers in Seattle and provide a grant to the University of Pennsylvania.

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The US military can now shoot down consumer drones it considers a threat

The US military can now shoot down consumer drones it considers a threat

The US military can now shoot down consumer drones it considers a threat

The Pentagon has approved a new policy allowing military bases to shoot down private and commercial drones that are considered a threat. As reported by Military Times, the policy was first sent out in July, and though the exact contents are classified, it contains details on how to engage with drones when they are approaching or enter a military no-fly zone.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis says the infringing drones can be seized and that “the new guidance does afford of the ability to take action to stop these threats and that includes disabling, destroying, and tracking.” How a base responds to a drone “will depend upon the specific circumstances.”

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It’s official: your internet provider can share your web history

It's official: your internet provider can share your web history

It’s official: your internet provider can share your web history

In a major blow to consumer privacy, President Trump signed a resolution today reversing an Obama-era rule that restricted what internet providers could do with their customers’ data.

Most notably, the privacy rule would have prevented internet providers from using, sharing, or selling a subscriber’s web browsing history without first getting their explicit permission. The rule also required internet providers to take “reasonable” steps to secure data from hackers and to notify customers in the event of a breach.

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Here are the tech companies speaking out against a DACA repeal

Here are the tech companies speaking out against a DACA repeal

Here are the tech companies speaking out against a DACA repeal

In response to the announcement that the Trump administration will be shutting down the Obama-era “Dreamers” immigration program, Silicon Valley companies are speaking out. Otherwise known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Dreamers program enables nearly 800,000 undocumented individuals who came to the US as children to continue to live, study, and work in the United States. To qualify as a Dreamer, individuals must have come to the country when they were younger than 16, and continue to meet a series of stringent rules.

Though during the campaign Trump vowed to shut down DACA on the first day of his presidency, the administration has wavered on that commitment. In a February press conference, Trump said, “We are gonna deal with DACA with heart. The DACA situation is a very difficult thing for me, as I love these kids, I love kids. I have kids and grandkids, and I find it very, very hard doing what the law says exactly to do and, you know, the law is rough.” Trump has not clearly indicated when or how he would rescind DACA, but observers speculate that a decision is imminent. Earlier this morning, Trump tweeted:

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Here are the tech companies speaking out against a DACA repeal

Here are the tech companies speaking out against a DACA repeal

Here are the tech companies speaking out against a DACA repeal

In response to the announcement that the Trump administration will be shutting down the Obama-era “Dreamers” immigration program, Silicon Valley companies are speaking out. Otherwise known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Dreamers program enables nearly 800,000 undocumented individuals who came to the US as children to continue to live, study, and work in the United States. To qualify as a Dreamer, individuals must have come to the country when they were younger than 16, and continue to meet a series of stringent rules.

Though during the campaign Trump vowed to shut down DACA on the first day of his presidency, the administration has wavered on that commitment. In a February press conference, Trump said, “We are gonna deal with DACA with heart. The DACA situation is a very difficult thing for me, as I love these kids, I love kids. I have kids and grandkids, and I find it very, very hard doing what the law says exactly to do and, you know, the law is rough.” Trump has not clearly indicated when or how he would rescind DACA, but observers speculate that a decision is imminent. Earlier this morning, Trump tweeted:

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FCC ignored your net neutrality comment, unless you made a ‘serious’ legal argument

FCC ignored your net neutrality comment, unless you made a ‘serious’ legal argument

FCC ignored your net neutrality comment, unless you made a ‘serious’ legal argument

The FCC received a record-breaking 22 million comments chiming in on the net neutrality debate, but from the sound of it, it’s ignoring the vast majority of them. In a call with reporters yesterday discussing its plan to end net neutrality, a senior FCC official said that 7.5 million of those comments were the exact same letter, which was submitted using 45,000 fake email addresses.

But even ignoring the potential spam, the commission said it didn’t really care about the public’s opinion on net neutrality unless it was phrased in unique legal terms. The vast majority of the 22 million comments were form letters, the official said, and unless those letters introduced new facts into the record or made serious legal arguments, they didn’t have much bearing on the decision. The commission didn’t care about comments that were only stating opinion.

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Satya Nadella and Microsoft take strong stance against reported end to DACA

Satya Nadella and Microsoft take strong stance against reported end to DACA

Satya Nadella and Microsoft take strong stance against reported end to DACA

Following reports that the Trump administration may soon end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said in a blog post that “changes would not only negatively impact thousands of hardworking people across the United States, but will be a step backwards for our entire nation.”

The statement was one of two quickly issued by the company after Fox News reported that Trump may roll back the Obama-era program, which allows immigrants who came to the United States as children to stay if they meet certain requirements. After suggesting at various points that he would end the program, Trump, more recently, seemed to back away from the suggestion. If reports are accurate, he could now be moving ahead with changes.

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Apple paid Nokia $2 billion to escape fight over old patents

Apple paid Nokia $2 billion to escape fight over old patents

Apple paid Nokia $2 billion to escape fight over old patents

Apple’s latest patent spat with Nokia resulted in a $2 billion up-front payment from the iPhone maker, a colossal sum that seems to indicate Apple was eager to avoid a protracted and ugly dispute that could rival the one it had with Samsung. The new details of the settlement, which was first announced back in May without the disclosure of a financial amount or the new licensing terms, were spotted in Nokia’s second quarter earnings release by the blog Nokiamob.

“We got a substantial upfront cash payment of €1.7 billion from Apple, strengthening further our cash position. As said earlier, our plans is to provide more details on the intended use of cash in conjunction with our Q3 earnings,” reads the official transcript of Nokia’s quarterly earnings call with investors yesterday. Neither Nokia nor Apple have disclosed the terms of the new licensing deal, including whether it involves recurring payments or how many years it will be in place.

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Apple faces French criminal probe over iPhone slowdown

Apple faces French criminal probe over iPhone slowdown

Apple faces French criminal probe over iPhone slowdown

Apple is facing a French criminal probe after allegations from consumer groups that it’s slowing down old iPhones on purpose. Paris prosecutors confirmed the probe today, as first spotted by Bloomberg.

Apple apologized to customers on December 28th for intentionally slowing down the processors used in the iPhone 6, 7, and SE through iOS updates to address aging lithium-ion batteries. The change was meant to reduce random shutdowns by throttling the phone’s CPU, but that also leads to slower performance. As an apologetic gesture, the tech giant is offering $29 battery replacements, instead of the usual $79 replacement fee.

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