Google sued by shareholder alleging sexual misconduct coverup

Posted On Sep 10 2019 by

first_imgGoogle’s board of directors and executive leadership have been accused of covering up allegations of sexual harassment against former executives. Getty Images A Google shareholder has filed a lawsuit against the company’s executive officers and board of directors, alleging the company concealed sexual misconduct allegations against former executives.The lawsuit, filed by shareholder James Martin, stems from hefty severance packages Google reportedly gave executive Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile operating system, and Amit Singhal, head of Google’s search unit until 2016. Allegations of sexual harassment against the two men were found to be credible by company investigations, according to the lawsuit.”Rubin was allowed to quietly resign by defendants Larry Page and Sergey Brin after an internal investigation found the allegations of sexual harassment by Rubin to be credible,” according to the complaint, filed Thursday in California state court. “While at Google, Rubin is also alleged to have engaged in human sex trafficking — paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to women to be, in Rubin’s own words, ‘owned’ by him.”The lawsuit comes during a period of prominent figures in industries ranging from politics to entertainment being toppled by revelations of sexual harassment or sexual assault. In the tech industry, companies like Uber have wrestled with accounts of work environments fraught with varying degrees of sexual harassment. High-profile venture capitalists like Chris Sacca and Dave McClure have been unseated, as well, over sexual harassment allegations. Google paid Rubin $90 million after Page asked for his resignation following an allegation Rubin coerced a female employee into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013, according to a New York Times report in October.  Singhal stepped down as Uber’s senior vice president of engineering in 2017 after the ride-hailing company discovered he’d allegedly been accused of sexual harassment while he was employed at Google. He resigned from Google in 2016 after reportedly being accused of sexually harassing a female employee in a different department at Google.Rubin and Singhal have denied the allegations. The lawsuit accuses the board and executives of breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, abuse of power and corporate waste. Defendants include Page and Brin, former Chairman Eric Schmidt, CEO Sundar Pichai, former human resources director Laszlo Bock, chief legal officer David Drummond, Rubin and Singhal, among others.A similar lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Northern California Pipe Trades Pension Plan and Teamsters Local 272 Labor Management Pension Fund.In November, Google employees around the world staged a coordinated walkout to protest the company’s handling of the sexual harassment allegations. The walkout’s organizers said more than 20,000 full-time workers and contractors participated in the Nov. 1 protest.Some of the Google employees involved in the walkout released a statement Thursday in support of the lawsuits.”We have all the evidence we need that Google’s leadership does not have our best interests at heart,” they said.Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 0 Post a comment iHate: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet. Solving for XX: The industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about “women in tech.” Tech Industry Tagscenter_img The top 10 products of CES 2019 Share your voice 10 Photos Googlelast_img read more


Tesla shows interest in building large ebattery plants in India

Posted On Sep 5 2019 by

first_imgTesla Electric CarTesla MotorsMajor companies like Tesla and Amperex Technology Co. Ltd have shown interest in India’s plan to build large factories to produce lithium-ion batteries. The Indian government had earlier announced an investment of Rs 50,000 crore to build battery manufacturing plants in the country.Narendra Modi-led BJP government’s initiative to make India a global manufacturing hub for electric vehicles and their components has been luring the global investors. India is currently the world’s third-largest crude oil importer. If India can slash crude consumption it can save precious foreign exchange, besides controlling pollution in major cities.As per the LiveMint report, the expenditure finance committee (EFC) has approved the proposal to set up 50-gigawatt hour factories. The final tender is expected to be declared by February. The successful completion of one such project can power 50 million homes for an hour and around 1.5 million electric vehicles. Representative ImageReutersTesla is the world’s largest maker of electric vehicles. According to a report in Forbes, the market share for EVs is stagnant without the inclusion of Tesla auto. But the Elon Musk-run company is still stepping back when it comes to a launch in India, citing reasons like ‘challenging government regulations’ and extremely high import duties in the country.The federal policy think tank, Niti Aayog, has been pushing the idea to build the plant to achieve similar results as of Tesla through its Gigafactory in Nevada, US. The project aims at releasing the technology in the market and let the users decide what’s best suited for them.  Tesla GigafactoryReutersThe report clarifies that the programme aims at building 12 gigawatt-scale facilities, having a potential of 10GWh each by 2030. It further states that the government will be focusing on tax incentives for manufacturers and a basic customs duty safeguard from 2021 to 2030 to encourage private sector investment for making advanced chemistry cells and batteries in India.The 2019 budget proposed by Nirmala Sitharaman has already announced tax rebates of up to Rs 1.5 lakh for customers on interest paid on loans to buy EVs, with a total exemption benefit of Rs 2.5 lakh over the entire loan period to encourage the sales of electric vehicles. The Goods and Services Tax Council has also announced the tax cuts on electric vehicles and chargers from August 1.last_img read more


Dengue patients exceed 50000

Posted On Sep 3 2019 by

first_imgThe pediatric ward at Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital in Dhaka is overcrowded with dengue patients. In this picture taken on 16 August 2019 children are seen at the corridors of the hospital. Photo: Dipu MalakarThe number of dengue patients in the country has exceeded 50,000. Hospitals are overflowing with this unprecedented influx of dengue patients.Last year a total of 10,148 dengue patients had been admitted to hospitals all around the country. That record was broken in July this year with the admission of 16,253 patients to various hospitals. And just in the first 16 days of August, over 31,500 patients were admitted.Dengue season begins in April and ends in October, with the highest number of patients generally being affected in September. Given the present weather conditions, entomologist Manzur Chowdhury told Prothom Alo, “It is not likely that the incidence of dengue will decrease any time soon. All measures must be stepped up to keep people away from mosquitoes.”The health directorate’s health emergency operations centre and control room has said that according to information from 10 government and semi-government hospitals, 30 private hospitals and civil surgeons around the country, a total of 1719 dengue patients were admitted to hospitals on Friday. They put the number of dengue patients this year at 49,999. Of the, 42,243 have been released from hospital after treatment.Given the burgeoning number of patients, the health ministry has opened a special dengue ward at the national orthopaedic hospital (better known as pangu hospital).Coordinator of the ward AHM Akhteruzzaman on Friday, speaking to Prothom Alo, said, a 14-year-old girl with dengue was admitted to the ward on that day. Two children with dengue were admitted to Mahanagar Shishu Hospital on Friday too.These two hospitals are not on the government’s list. Referring to this, assistant director of the health emergency operations centre and control room, Ayesha Akhter, told Prothom Alo that the number of dengue patients in hospitals exceeded 50,000.The actual number of patients, however, is much higher. Not all information from hospitals around the country comes to the health emergency operations centre and control room in Dhaka.There is also no record of how many patients are being treated at physicians’ private chambers. Almost all government and semi-government hospitals are providing outdoor treatment to dengue patients too.At Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University alone, this year 5,300 dengue patients have been treated so far at the outdoor department. There is no collective record of all this information.According to government records, so far 40 patients have died of dengue this year. However, Prothom Alo reports put this number at 145, based in information from various hospitals, civil surgeons and families of the patients.Of the 40 persons who died of dengue according to official records, 27 died of dengue shock syndrome. Last the year the main cause of dengue deaths was dengue haemorrhagic fever. This year it is dengue shock syndrome.Dengue has increased exponentially this year due to the failure of the two Dhaka city corporations to tackle the Aedes mosquito menace.Virologist Nurul Islam, speaking to Prothom Alo, said, “This is the first time in Bangladesh’s history that so many people have been admitted to hospital for a disease in such a short span of time.”* This report appeared in the print edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabirlast_img read more


Undercooked food on Duronto Exp rly to end caterers contract

Posted On Aug 31 2019 by

first_imgKolkata: Passengers of Puri-Sealdah Duronto Express today complained of “undercooked” food served by the onboard caterer, following which the IRCTC decided not to renew its contract with the company responsible for supplying food in the train. Stating that strict punitive action will be taken against the caterer, IRCTC group general manager (east zone) Debasish Chanda said an enquiry has been ordered into the complaints by the passengers of the train, which arrived at Sealdah this morning. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed “The food was served in the south central zone of IRCTC at Puri. On receiving complaints over the quality and standard of the food served last night, we have decided to not renew the contract of the catering company,” Chanda said. He said the contract of the company to supply food in Puri-Sealdah Duronto Express was due to expire within a few days and owing to the complaint, it would not be renewed. “Passengers complained of undercooked chicken served to them in the train for dinner last night,” said the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) official. The 22202 Puri-Sealdah Duronto Express is run by the Kolkata-headquartered Eastern Railway.last_img read more


The Drone Industry Thoughts From an Outsider

Posted On Aug 30 2019 by

first_img I’ve always loved technology and recently became one of the growing number of Americans to buy a drone. Like many drone operators, I marvel at the current commercial and recreational applications as well as the potential for the future. The FAA estimates there are 1.9 million drones used by hobbyists in the U.S. today. By 2020, this number is expected to rise to 4.3 million, showing the huge growth potential for this fledgling industry.Related: Walmart Wants Drones in Stores Shopping for YouBut before this industry expands further, there are a few very valid concerns we need to address. Even as a newcomer, I can immediately recognize the responsibility drone operators need in regards to safety and privacy. As unmanned aerial vehicles become ubiquitous, the technology will move faster than the laws meant to regulate the industry. Thus, it’s crucial that the drone industry is proactive at self-regulation. This includes collaboration between manufacturers to create an industry standards board to oversee the implementation of enhanced safety software, as well as the education for drone operators, and the public, about drone usage.This may create more obstacles for the industry’s short term profits, but its long-range sustainability will be given the chance to flourish when the public sees drones as a beneficial tool, not some snooping eye in the sky.We’ve all heard the stories of drones spying on sunbathing women. As cliché as it is, this happened to my wife while she was on our “private” deck and a drone suddenly appeared above her. While Americans recognize the benefits of drones, especially when used for search and rescue purposes or safety inspection, privacy infringement concerns remain due to misuse of the technology.The government is trying to keep pace. There are state laws in place that outlaw using a drone to capture images of either a nude or partially nude person. But the keywording in these laws is “capturing images” because states can’t dictate where drones can legally fly. These flight path regulations are determined by the FAA, which doesn’t deal with privacy issues, only airborne safety.These sets of guidelines and state laws are inconsistent across the country and lack enforcement, which opens the door for non-compliance. With these challenges comes opportunity. If the drone industry can be proactive by rolling out systems that protect public privacy and safety, it can avoid public backlash as widespread drone usage increases.Related: UPS Tests Drone-Based Package DeliveriesTo keep hobbyist and commercial drones seen as a positive tool, the industry needs to add software that makes it readily apparent when a drone is filming. This could include loud beeps every 10 seconds while recording or every time a drone takes a photo, as well as including bright flashing lights to make it more visible to anyone on the ground. While this does not address government or law enforcement surveillance, it’s a step in the right direction for privacy protection in the hobbyist and commercial markets.While peeping on women dominates the headlines, there is also the potential for much more serious safety concerns. Manufacturers have taken some initiative on protecting public safety by installing collision avoidance algorithms. But the current technology only works if the drone is flying forward, not while ascending, or flying sideways or backwards. Perfecting this safety system will help alleviate concerns regarding collisions with aircraft, people, powerlines and other drones.Geofencing software is also currently available in most high-end consumer drones to limit flying in restricted airspace. DJI, the market leader in the recreational sector, has led the charge with this technology, due in large part to a DJI drone crashing on the White House lawn in 2015. By perfecting this technology and making it ubiquitous across all models, the industry can keep critical airspace uncrowded and decrease public safety concerns.  One other major challenge we face is getting drone pilots, young and old, to think and act like commercial airline pilots. These pilots follow safety procedures that have been honed over the past 100 years, including a keen understanding of how human factors, technological limitations and safety systems are interrelated. While the FAA does require drone operators to pass a series of exams for commercial use, the same is not required for hobbyists.The lack of proper training leads to major safety concerns. If any teenager in America (and beyond) can get a drone for Christmas or their birthday, what systems are in place to ensure they use it safely? I’m not trying to suggest that every single drone owner needs to take extensive FAA courses in order to fly. But we do need a standardized training course of high-level safety points as well as a primer on local, state and federal laws.Related: Drone Accidents: Not Your Fault?The sky is the limit for the growth of the drone industry. The issues that could lead to public backlash or government intervention are known. Now it’s up to us as pilots — and the industry as a whole — to prevent this from happening by self-regulating while the government plays catchup.With improved hardware and software that’s pervasive across different manufacturers and models, we can ease privacy and safety concerns. Meanwhile, standardizing basic education will help bring a sense of professionalism and accountability to all new pilots. This is not something we do soon, this is something we need to do now to ensure this transformative technology continues to grow and improve virtually every aspect of our work and lives. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 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