Hashtag Trending – Alleged discrimination at Google; AT&T employees bribed; Japan offers $1B grant

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A memo alleges Google is discriminating against a pregnant employee, AT&T employees took bribes to plant malware across the network, and Japan offers a grant for $1B towards cyborg technology research.

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An employee memo is alleging that at least one manager made discriminatory remarks about pregnant women, according to reporting from Vice. The memo, which is 2,300 words long, says she reported the manager to human resources, which then led to retaliation in the form of angry chats and emails, vetoed projects, and public shaming. The story, which is trending all over LinkedIn, says that more than 10,000 people across Google have viewed the memo. It was two years ago when another, significantly different, memo went viral at Google. The 10,000-word document, largely absent of the well-documented reporting around systemic sexism in the tech industry, argued that biological differences between men and women “might explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.”

Moving on to a trending story on Reddit – ever heard the saying ‘humans are the weakest part of a company’s security strategy?’ Well, it’s the one of the truest phrases ever uttered. The U.S. Depart of Justice says AT&T employees took bribes to unlock millions of smartphones, and to install malway and unauthorized hardware on the company’s network. The bribery scheme lasted from at least April 2012 until September 2017, and involved two Pakistani men who recruited others across AT&T. The two men, according to the Department of Justice, paid more than $1 million in bribes to AT&T employees, and successfully unlocked more than 2 million devices. AT&T told ZDNet that the incident did not involve customers’ personal data.

And lastly, also trending on Reddit – a lot of buzz around the Japanese government’s latest call to action. The country is offering researchers up to $1 billion to develop, among other things, human augmentation and cyborg technologies. The Japanese government is seeking proposals in 25 areas ranging from tech that can keep our aging bodies from withering away, to solutions that tackle industrial waste – these are challenges that Japan has been facing for years. Japan’s population, for example, is stagnant – growth has been reduced to -0.27 per cent, so technology that can keep the existing workforce in place until the next generation is ready to take over is crucial. Deadlines for completion of the projects range from 2025 to 2060.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Alex Coop, thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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