When is it not free speech?

A vehicle plowed into a group of people protesting the white nationalist march through downtown Charlottesville, Va., on August 12.

I have previously written about the extent of free speech, as defined by the law, and indicated my disagreement with protesters at the University of California, Berkeley, over the shutting down of far-right hate-speech figure Milos Yiannopoulos.

▸ Read more. “When is it not free speech?”

“Hey Siri. What is an Indian?”

Photo by Tom The Photographer on Unsplash

This morning, BuzzFeed News reported that some iPhone users have noticed Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, gives an “odd and offensive response when asked ‘What is an Indian?’”

Siri would respond with a Wikipedia page extract for Indian, but say “They are a bit brown and they smell like curry and eat it.”

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A few points about gender diversity in tech companies

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

  1. In 1984, 37% of computer science graduates were women; in 2016, the number was 18% (Quartz)

  2. The idea that computer work is for men can be traced to marketing by computer game manufacturers in the 1980s and video game manufacturers in the 1990s, who were desperate for sales and game stores shelved products by gender (Quartz)(Polygon)

  3. Only 38% of women in the US get their ideas endorsed by leadership, compared to 44% of men (Quartz)

  4. In engineering roles, Google employs 20% women and 80% men, based on its own diversity report (The report does not specify how transgender or gender nonconforming individuals were counted.)

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“Thank you” to the LGBT community?

Photo by Christopher Skor on Unsplash

In three cruel tweets, the commander-in-chief of the United States military declared he was banishing transgender individuals from service.

On the same day, the Department of Justice filed court papers arguing that Title VII, which prohibits discrimination by employers on the basis of an “individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” does not protect employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

▸ Read more. ““Thank you” to the LGBT community?”

A poster for the new International System of Units

Don’t worry: it probably won’t affect you.

As a species, we’re redefining the system of measurement units used by billions of people across the world.

The proposed change, expected to be adopted by the General Conference on Weights and Measures (a big meeting of government delegates to deal with this kind of thing) in November 2018, will firmly base the International System of Units on the rules of nature.

▸ Read more. “A poster for the new International System of Units”