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Tag Archives: Silicon Valley

And You Thought “Pharma-Bro” Was an Idiot

The amazing part to me here – Is WHO is supplying this guy investment money? I mean …Usually investors avoid walking lawsuits like thei like the plague.

Somebody also needs to look into the judge who let this dude go.

‘N**ger, n**ger, n**ger’: Tech bro CEO insulted employees and beat multiple women, says lawsuit

A new lawsuit alleges that Silicon Valley CEO Gurbaksh Chahal routinely used racial slurs when speaking to subordinates, physically attacked two women and fired a male employee who tried to prevent him from striking a third woman.

The Daily Beast reported Sunday that Chahal is the subject of a lawsuit which alleges that he called workers his “n**gers” and took out his violent rages on employees. Two other pending lawsuits against Chahal accuse him of misleading investors, hiring women based on their looks and making death threats against one employee of his multiple tech companies.

In 2013, Chahal briefly stepped down as CEO of his ad tech company RadiumOne after a vicious attack on his then girlfriend in a San Francisco penthouse.

Police examined surveillance video and determined that during the attack, Chahal punched and kicked the woman he was dating 117 times. He then tried to smother her with a pillow for 20 seconds. Court records show that microphones caught Chahal telling the woman “I’m going to kill you” four times as he beat her.

Nonetheless, he resumed his position at RadiumOne after he was able to get the 47 felony counts against him dropped by a judge who ruled that the video was inadmissible as evidence. Chahal crowed online that he was innocent and accused his former partner of having sex with other men for money.

The RadiumOne board ousted Chahal, but he formed a new company called Gravity4 and has continued to helm new ventures including trying to raise $100 billion to start a new Bitcoin-like crypto-currency, the Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill wrote. Former reality TV star and hotel heiress Paris Hilton has given her imprimatur to the project.

“He’s the biggest liar I’ve ever met in my life,” said one former employee to the Daily Beast.

Gravity4 chief of staff Ali Al-Ansari filed a new suit alleging that Chahal is shockingly sexist, detailing a series of remarks he made against women’s rights and equal pay for men and women.

Other pending lawsuits accuse Chahal of forcing alcohol on women, attacking another girlfriend and then pressuring an employee to help him evade charges, as well as asking male coworkers if women job applicants’ breasts were attractive enough to hire.

Al-Ansari alleges that Chahal described to him in lurid detail how he wanted to further harm the two women he’d attacked, who he saw as trying to “ruin his life.”

The final straw for Al-Ansari came in a Miami apartment when Chahal attempted to attack a woman and Al-Ansari physically prevented the assault.

According to the lawsuit, “Al-Ansari was forced to interpose himself between the woman and Chahal and physically intervened to defend this woman to block Chahal from hitting her. Chahal nonetheless managed to hit this woman. Al-Ansari repeatedly told Chahal ‘don’t touch her!’”

When Al-Ansari took out his phone and began to record the altercation, Chahal reportedly fired him on the spot. The lawsuit further alleges that after the firing, Chahal tried to illegally access Al-Ansari’s personal laptop and destroy incriminating data.

Chahal was freely racist and open about his contempt for black people, the lawsuit says. He used the “N-word” frequently and was resentful and defiant when called out about it.

“I’m not going to stop the n-word,” Chahal said in a discussion transcribed in the suit. “Dude, do you want me to go ahead and say n**ger, n**ger, n**ger? I don’t give a fuck. Martin Luther King might not like that, but he’s a n**ger, too.”

 

 

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Breaking Racial Discrimination in Hiring For Tech Jobs

This one has been a long time coming. Discrimination(race, age, sex) is rampant in the Tech industries – especially in Silicon Valley.

Breaking up Silicon Valley’s white boy’s club, one interview at a time

‘Blind interviews’ force companies to consider applicants based on their merits, not their names or profiles. They’re showing promise in the tech industry.

Stephanie Lampkin, a petite black woman, was once told during a job interview that her background wasn’t “technical” enough for software engineering jobs. She was told this despite a software engineering degree from Stanford University and stints working for Microsoft and Deloitte.

“So I made an app,” she quipped while presenting at an inclusive innovation showcase at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last month.

Specifically, she created Blendoor, a platform that matches up companies and potential workers, Tinder-style, and scrubs the name and photo from a job candidate’s résumé. If employers who subscribe to the service like what they see otherwise, they can request more information or set up an interview. It’s geared at bolstering the chances of qualified minority candidates to break into homogeneous industries, inspired by numerous studies, like this one, showing that résumés with names like Jamal and Lakisha were far less likely to lead to in-person interviews than those with names like Emily or Greg.

Blendoor, which launched in beta at South by Southwest in March, and is being tested by the likes of Twitter, Google, and Airbnb, is part of a bumper crop of startups jockeying to be the go-to tool for making hiring more democratic.

They may tackle the problem in many different ways, but the operating principle is the same: Making structural tweaks to the screening process for job candidates is a more effective way of ensuring a diverse workforce. Placing the onus on even the most well-intentioned hiring managers to overcome their own ingrained biases or, even more likely, avoid falling back on already-established social connections to make a hire, is less so.

Whether or not an objective, skills-based hiring process can work for non-tech careers, or change the calculus for higher-level jobs that require more nebulous qualities like “leadership,” and “creativity” remains to be seen. But at the very least, supporters say, the approach goes a long way toward fixing the broken process that initially introduces employers to potential employees.

“I don’t know if we should get rid of them entirely, but résumés as a first-pass filter should be completely done away with,” Aline Lerner, creator of Interviewing.io, says.

Virtually nonexistent two years ago, the market for startups that match companies with qualified candidates via a blind screening process is growing by the minute. GapJumpers, an emerging leader, compares its method to the “blind auditions” on the TV singing competition “The Voice.” A candidate completes a series of tasks related to a job and is given an anonymous scorecard, which serves as her first introduction to the hiring company. GapJumpers has matched candidates with tech, financial, and media firms and counts hiring managers from Google and Dolby among its users.

Ms. Lerner created her job-matching and interview prep platform, Interviewing.io, after a few stints in recruitment for the tech industry.

“When I was hiring there was a strong preference for a very specific type of candidate,” she says. Too often, she saw worthy candidates overlooked because firms wanted hires “who went to the same five schools or worked for the same five companies.”…More Here

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Silicon Valley Funds CBC Parties for “Diversity”

Perhaps I am a bit too cynical, but HTF does funding yet another cabaret make jobs for underemployed, and unemployed black tech workers?

And HTF is it that with 12% of the graduates in Computer Engineering being black, there is a “shortage in the school pipeline”?

Bullshit!

The way things are done in the tech business is you hire some competent recruiters (“headhunters”) to go and get what, and who you want to hire. There is no shortage of minority middle managers, tech staff, and senior tech staff – although you may have a hard time getting them to move to the West Coast whitopias anymore. That shouldn’t be an issue – because most of these companies have data centers and offices all over the east coast, and a lot of companies hire “virtual” workers…

I been in this business over 20 years, working in senior positions for startups, as well as big players and hold patents in the technology…I haven’t heard jack shidt from these people – although I do get calls from big eastern based companies.I know a couple of guys who read my blog are senior techies like myself…When exactly was the last time you got a recruiting call from Google or Amazon?

But I guess it is just easier to buy off the CBC with a couple of parties.

Under diversity pressure, tech courts minority groups in D.C.

Congressional Black Caucus chairman G.K. Butterfield warned that “talk is not enough,” in diversity in tech.

Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies are quietly funneling money to minority groups in Washington, including those affiliated with black and Hispanic lawmakers — a move that comes as the firms face growing criticism about the lack of diversity in their workforce.

The donations, known as “honorary expenses,” fund events like dinners and cocktail receptions where members of Congress and federal regulators are the guests of honor. The leader of the pack is Google, which spent a record of more than $490,000 on such expenses last year — devoting most of it to minority groups like the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, according to newly filed federal ethics reports.

Apple chipped in $1.2 million for an awards gala for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and Uber wrote a $10,000 check to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the disclosures show. It marked the first time either Apple or Uber reported any honorary expenses.

The recent uptick in these donations coincides with growing political pressure on the tech industry over diversity, as companies struggle to address complaints that their employees are largely white and male. The debate has taken root in Washington, including with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, which sent a delegationto Silicon Valley in August to demand that the industry recruit more African-Americans.

The tech industry’s newest tactics don’t appear to have quelled the outcry from Capitol Hill, and they don’t sit well with some diversity advocates.

“We’ve had years now of campaigning and advocacy around the diversity problem … [but] the only thing that’s gotten better with these companies are their talking points,” said Rashad Robinson, the executive director of ColorofChange, a nonprofit that works on civil rights issues. The problem, he added, is “not going to be solved by throwing money at the CBC and other institutions.”

Asked about their spending, Apple and Uber declined to comment for this story. A Google spokeswoman said the company believes it’s important to “help policymakers understand our business and the work we do to keep the Internet open and encourage economic opportunity.”

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute serve as the educational and policy arms of their respective caucuses on Capitol Hill. While they’re technically separate organizations, many black and Hispanic lawmakers serve as board members for the nonprofit groups. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, meanwhile, is a nonprofit that provides scholarships and other support for African-American students at historically black colleges and universities.

The CBC Foundation, for one, stressed that the tech industry’s donations have gone to a good cause. They’ve allowed for “professional development briefings for our interns offering them real-world, first-hand exposure to careers” in key tech fields, Shrita Sterlin-Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the group, said in a statement. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund did not comment for this story.

But the checks can also double as powerful forms of leverage in Washington, where influence often is measured in dollar signs. “There are many ways companies and other organizations can establish a presence in Washington, and gain access to politicians. And one way to do that — that some people pay less attention to — is by giving money to a charitable cause that a politician is associated with,” said Viveca Novak, a spokeswoman for the Center for Responsive Politics.

Such contributions are a “well-trodden path,” in the words of Novak, for established industries in Washington, from big tobacco companies to telecom giants like AT&T and Comcast. The donations, in addition to supporting nonprofits, provide lobbyists with greater access to lawmakers and regulators.

And Silicon Valley certainly could use more allies in Washington when it comes to diversity issues.

Apple is almost 70 percent male globally and 54 percent white in the U.S., according to the company’s most recent diversity report, though the company emphasized that many of its new hires have been women, Asian, Hispanic and African-American. Google’s workforce is also 70 percent male globally and 60 percent white in the U.S., despite its own efforts to diversify. Uber, for its part, has not released a report detailing the composition of its employees.

Those poor report cards prompted the Congressional Black Caucus last May to launch an initiative dubbed Tech2020, hoping to pressure tech companies to add more African-Americans to their ranks. The CBC later dispatched top lawmakers to the Valley — including its chairman, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) — to make that point directly to executives at Apple, Google, Intel and other firms.

Butterfield sounded the theme again in September at the CBC Foundation’s annual legislative conference, where he warned that “talk is not enough. And we need more than an amen from the choir. … We want to see results.”

Tech companies have pledged to fix the problem, but as they invest in hiring initiatives, they’re also pumping big money into Washington. Over the course of last year, Google covered $150,000 in honorary expenses for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and provided an additional $95,000 in multiple checks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, according to an analysis of the ethics records.

Another roughly $150,000 in spending went to “various vendors” that aided events with women, black and Latino lawmakers, the records indicate. At the CBC Foundation’s annual legislative conference in September, Google played a key sponsorship role at a reception that featured FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, according to an invitation for the event.

Google has donated to the CBC Foundation before, but its “honorary expenses” for the group and other minority organizations have increased in recent years. Asked whether this amounts to a form of lobbying, the CBC Foundation stressed in a statement that the support benefits the organization’s mission: “Our sponsors and partners provide support to our organization because they share our goals of providing important opportunities for the communities we serve.”…More

 

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Congressional Black Caucus – Silicon Valley

This one from the guys who brought you the doctored Shirley Sherrod video, and the white pimp, James O’Keefe doctored videos on Acorn. So what I mean is, these guys aren’t exactly legitimate news people…Or legitimate much else for that matter.

In this article the Congressional Black Caucus is “threatening” Silicon Valley.

CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS THREATENS SILICON VALLEY ON ‘DIVERSITY’

On Monday, the Congressional Black Caucus sent members to Silicon Valley to bully high-tech companies into hiring more blacks as part of their Tech 2020 Initiative.

According to KQED, North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield, chair of the caucus, intoned, “Their Equal Opportunity Employment reports are embarrassing. It should be embarrassing to all of them. They have acknowledged they have shortcomings and want to partner with us to improve the results.  But all of them have a long way to go with diversity.”

Butterfield joined Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) at various companies, including Apple, Google, Intel and SAP; on Tuesday they visited Pandora. On their tour, they spoke with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich.

Apple acknowledged in 2014 that its employee base was 55% white, 15% Asian, 11% Latino and 7% percent black, prompting Cook to moan, “As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page.” KQED reported that 2% of Google Employees are black.

Jeffries threatened, “Many of these companies have issues before the Congress of the United States, and the relationship needs to be one of partnerships. We’re open to hearing the issues that they need to get resolved in order to put their businesses in the best possible position to be successful, but we want to make sure that everyone in this country has the opportunity to robustly pursue the American Dream.” Butterfield argued that the high-tech companies also function as federal contractors, adding, “And as such they have a responsibility first of all to be accountable to the federal government and also to be diverse in their workforce. We’re going to continue to challenge these companies until they get parity.”

Lee had already claimed the companies were federal contractors in May, stating, “Many of these companies are federal contractors, first of all, and they have an obligation to be inclusive. We want to see [diversity] plans from each company, and see how they’re going to invest.”

Google, Apple and Intel issued the necessary statements to appease the caucus; Yolanda Mangolini, Google’s director of diversity and inclusion, asserted, “We look forward to continuing conversations we’ve had in Washington with the Congressional Black Caucus and we welcome their visit. We share their commitment to enhancing the diversity of our organization and the tech industry more broadly.”

An Apple spokeswoman wrote, “We believe diversity is critical to making the best products in the world. It’s the reason we’re focused on changing the pipeline for the future workforce with programs like ConnectEd and also working to find the most diverse talent with programs like National Center for Women & Information technology and Thurgood Marshall College Fund. We look forward to continuing our work with the Congressional Black Caucus towards our shared goal of equal access to opportunities in technology.”

Now, to me at least – if you want those Tech Companies to hire black folks – you need know only three things. First, looking at the graduate degrees in Computer Sciences, black folks now graduate with about 12% of all Phd’s in the field… The problem?

Top universities turn out black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering graduates at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

Technology companies blame the pool of job applicants for the severe shortage of blacks and Hispanics in Silicon Valley.

But these findings show that claim “does not hold water,” said Darrick Hamilton, professor of economics and urban policy at The New School in New York.

Meaning Apple’s line about the lack of talent and needing to “change the pipeline” is complete and utter bullshit. Why exactly didn’t these exalted Representatives “of the people” call them on it? Of course, with school segregation firmly in place in California under the guise of Prop 209, the vast majority of those black grads are coming from eastern schools, which don’t practice segregation.

Lastly – where are those jobs going? Try the H1b Program, where jobs which cannot be filled by the supposedly nonexistent Minority Graduates…

Are filled by Ivan from Russia, Wan from China, or Vishnu from India…At roughly 1/3 the salary.

So if the Congressional Black Caucus actually had anyone smart enough to diagnose the problem – or the cajones to do something about it… The solution is real easy.

Kill H1b. And watch the Republicans whine.

Come on down and get your black Yellowback Donkey Award!

Demo Yellow Donkey

Yellowback Donkey Award presented to the most cowardly and useless Democrats

 

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The Thugs of Silicon Valley

Bunch of strange stuff has been going on in High-Tech for the last 5-10 years. I have discussed previously the use of H1 Visa employees from other countries to steal American engineering jobs, paying H1’s  half or less than what a qualified American Engineer would get.  Resulting in several hundred thousand American kids who did the right thing, and got a college education in the Tech field…Being unable to get a job.

Then there was the outright age/salary discrimination against experienced and older workers. Resulting in the strange situation where the very guys who invented much of the current technology in the first place…becoming pariahs in the view of company HR.

If that wasn’t criminal enough, now we find that some of the biggest names in the Tech business have participated in a conspiracy, the result of which is to eliminate the ability of American workers to find a new job.

One of the things Unions did back in the days of the Robber Barrons was to break this sort of “restraint of free trade” up. One of the reasons conservatives are so anxious to destroy unions is they know if Unions move from the manufacturing of physical devices into the High-Tech development world…

Theirr clients won’t be able to get away with this shit.

The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages

In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple’s Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google’s Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators. On February 27, 2005, Bill Campbell, a member of Apple’s board of directors and senior advisor to Google, emailed Jobs to confirm that Eric Schmidt “got directly involved and firmly stopped all efforts to recruit anyone from Apple.”

Later that year, Schmidt instructed his Sr VP for Business Operation Shona Brown to keep the pact a secret and only share information “verbally, since I don’t want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later?”

These secret conversations and agreements between some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley were first exposed in a Department of Justice antitrust investigation launched by the Obama Administration in 2010. That DOJ suit became the basis of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of over 100,000 tech employees whose wages were artificially lowered — an estimated $9 billioneffectively stolen by the high-flying companies from their workers to pad company earnings — in the second half of the 2000s. Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied attempts by Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe to have the lawsuit tossed, and gave final approval for the class action suit to go forward. A jury trial date has been set for May 27 in San Jose, before US District Court judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the Samsung-Apple patent suit.

In a related but separate investigation and ongoing suit, eBay and its former CEO Meg Whitman, now CEO of HP, are being sued by both the federal government and the state of California for arranging a similar, secret wage-theft agreement with Intuit (and possibly Google as well) during the same period.

The secret wage-theft agreements between Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Pixar (now owned by Disney) are described in court papers obtained by PandoDaily as “an overarching conspiracy” in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act, and at times it reads like something lifted straight out of the robber baron era that produced those laws. Today’s inequality crisis is America’s worst on record since statistics were first recorded a hundred years ago — the only comparison would be to the era of the railroad tycoons in the late 19th century.

Shortly after sealing the pact with Google, Jobs strong-armed Adobe into joining after he complained to CEO Bruce Chizen that Adobe was recruiting Apple’s employees. Chizen sheepishly responded that he thought only a small class of employees were off-limits:

I thought we agreed not to recruit any senior level employees…. I would propose we keep it that way. Open to discuss. It would be good to agree.

Jobs responded by threatening war:

OK, I’ll tell our recruiters they are free to approach any Adobe employee who is not a Sr. Director or VP. Am I understanding your position correctly?

Adobe’s Chizen immediately backed down:

I’d rather agree NOT to actively solicit any employee from either company…..If you are in agreement, I will let my folks know.

The next day, Chizen let his folks — Adobe’s VP of Human Resources — know that “we are not to solicit ANY Apple employees, and visa versa.” Chizen was worried that if he didn’t agree, Jobs would make Adobe pay:

if I tell Steve [Jobs] it’s open season (other than senior managers), he will deliberately poach Adobe just to prove a point. Knowing Steve, he will go after some of our top Mac talent…and he will do it in a way in which they will be enticed to come (extraordinary packages and Steve wooing). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in American Greed

 

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