Remember how Eric Schmidt spent years sitting on the Apple board, quietly learning everything about the iPhone — and then, presto, Google suddenly came out with Android and it looked a whole lot like the iPhone operating system and Steve Jobs went nuts on Schmidt for being such a sneaky, backstabbing son of a bitch?
Stephen Hawking sees the danger of artificial intelligence. So does Elon Musk. Oxford professor Nick Bostrom, head of the Future of Humanity Institute, has written a whole book about it. Even the scientists at Google DeepMind, who are developing artificial intelligence, seem a little spooked about it.
Yesterday twelve U.S. Congressmen signed, sealed, and delivered a letter (embedded below) to members of the European Parliament lobbying their counterparts to leave Google alone. According to the Financial Times, at least three letters from American legislators were sent as part of a "rare and concerted public intervention" on Google's behalf.
Just over two years ago, Google's Sergey Brin was on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week, taking a bow following fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg's Google Glass-studded show. Back then, Google Glass was riding a high wave of positive press: The New York Times proposed it was "the future of technology" and fashion critic Vanessa Friedman mused that Glass was "the next big accessory." But Glassholes have since turned face computing into a social malfunction, and now Reuters is reporting the project's future is in jeopardy.
Google has become the latest tech company hit with a lawsuit for exploiting contract workers. Reuters reports that a class action suit has been filed against Google, alleging the company misclassified employees as independent contractors. The plaintiff behind the suit also alleges he was refused the overtime wages and was not paid for all the time spent working.
Google caused a sea-crazed frenzy when the press discovered mystery barges floating off both US coasts. But the company dismantled the giant showrooms before their public unveiling over pesky public safety regulations: Google had no good answer when authorities asked if their retail barges were floating fire hazards.
We already know tech's diversity reports are dismal. Now a black female engineer who works at Google adds a narrative to the corporate numbers that are so easy to dismiss. In eight years at the company, she has cycled through harassment, isolation, being passed over for promotions, and surrendering her identity to fit in.
A few weeks in the White House has imbued chief technology officer Megan Smith with a newfound respect for Silicon Valley's number one enemy: regulation. While Larry and Sergey try to dismantle healthcare law, the former VP of Google X is complimenting "talented regulators" in The New York Times Magazine.
Tech's biggest players have been clamoring for the federal government to reform their immigration policies, demanding the expansion of the H-1B visa program. But tech's current crop of immigrant workers often find themselves "trapped" by "labor trafficking" rings that are rarely held responsible for abuses.
In recent months, companies like Facebook, Google, and Yahoo have dialed back their most egregious political donations, pulling support from climate change-denying groups like ALEC and the Chamber of Commerce. But tech firms continue funneling money into right-wing campaigns, and the Silicon Valley liberals who financed them are pissed.
European regulators are once again scrutinizing Google as complaints mount that the search giant is diverting traffic away from competitors in favor of their own services. But Eric Schmidt insists the only ones calling Google a monopoly are jealous haters who want to see the internet go back in time.