Mark Wilson

Internal training documents reveal how Facebook tackles diversity, bias, and discrimination

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Workforce diversity is something that has been brought into sharp focus in recent months as companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook reveal the make-up of their staff. White, middleclass, male employees dominate the world of technology, and this is certainly the case at Facebook -- even if a redesigned icon was an attempt to bring women to the fore.

Now the social network is embarking on something of a PR campaign, desperate to prove that it is doing everything it can to develop as diverse a workplace as possible. Today Facebook publishes sections of its employee training program that aims to eradicate the 'unconscious bias' that leads to -- in Facebook's words -- 'black sounding names' getting fewer callbacks than 'white sounding names'.

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Facebook told to allow the use of fake names

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Facebook comes in for a lot of criticism, but one thing that managed to rub a lot of people up the wrong way is its real names policy. For some time the social network has required its users to reveal their real name rather than allowing for the adoption of pseudonyms. This has upset many, including musicians and the drag community.

Now a German watchdog has told Facebook that its ban on fake names is not permitted. The Hamburg Data Protection Authority said that the social network could not force users to replace pseudonyms with real names, nor could it ask to see official identification.

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Obama administration rules out pardoning Edward Snowden

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The US government will continue to pursue Edward Snowden with a view to prosecuting him on espionage charges. The White House has rejected calls to pardon for Snowden who has been hailed as both a hero and a traitor for spilling the beans about NSA surveillance programs. The US government has sought to bring him to trial for compromising national security.

A We Are The People petition was signed by nearly 168,000 people who felt rather differently about the former NSA worker. "Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs".

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Windows 10 launch site launches

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We're just 24 hours away from the launch of Windows 10 (actually, we don’t yet know what time the operating system will be unleashed tomorrow). If the stream of videos coming out the Microsoft camp hasn't whetted your appetite, maybe the new Windows 10 portal will do the job.

Microsoft has launched a new site encouraging people to #UpgradeYourWorld and providing everything a would-be upgrader might want to know about Windows 10. For Microsoft, this is much more than just another software launch; the company is pinning a great deal on the success of Windows 10, and the marketing machine is now going into overdrive.

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VeriFyle reveals Cellucrypt, a new multi-layer encryption key management technology

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VeriFyle, the company headed by Hotmail inventor and co-founder Jack Smith, has a new encryption key management technology which it believes will "re-invent how the world thinks about secure sharing and messaging". The major difference is that any object that is shared to the cloud using the system is encrypted for individual users rather than in bulk.

Cellucrypt offers such a high level of security that VeriFyle believes that it "makes illicit bulk-access to customer data virtually impossible." It's a bold claim, but Cellucrypt builds on the traditional public-key system with the addition of password-derived keys.

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Download leaked Windows 10 quick guide here

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There has been so much information available about Windows 10, it would be easy to think that you know everything there is to know... and the operating system hasn’t even launched yet! Over the past few months, in addition to the official releases, there have been a number of build leaks to whet our appetites.

With just two days to go until launch, the latest leak is a quick-start guide that tells you everything you need to know about Windows 10. There might not be much that Windows Insiders don’t already know, but for everyone else, the guide serves as a great introduction to the most recent version of Windows.

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Microsoft's latest reason to upgrade to Windows 10 is Continuum

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Windows 10 is now so close you can smell it. With so many having been more than a little disappointed with Windows 8, Microsoft has to do a lot to convince those that stuck with Windows 7 to make the jump to Windows 10. The latest video Microsoft has released to give the operating system a final push before launch focuses on Continuum.

We've already seen how there are old favorites such as apps, security, and gaming in Windows 10, but people also need new features. Having learned about the likes of Windows Hello, now we are shown how Windows 10's mode-switching Continuum feature could help us.

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Google explains the future of Google+ and improves YouTube comments

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Since the beginning, Google+ has been seen as a mess. It has been dismissed as the social network for people who don’t actually like to be very social, and Google is only too aware that it needs to step up its game. You may well have wondered if the company knew what it was doing… today Google shares details of what it has planned.

Several months ago, Google announced that it was going to split up Google+ into a number of separate projects -- Hangouts, Photos, and Streams. We've already seen the arrival of Google Photos to replace Google+ Photos (you keeping up?) and now, as well as admitting that it made mistakes, Google gives a taste of what’s to come in the months ahead.

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How to stop Windows 10 installing automatic updates

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One of the more controversial features of Windows 10 is the automatic, mandatory installation of updates. With launch day now just hours away a problem with NVidia drivers has highlighted just why automatic updates have proved so controversial.

Microsoft has previously said that home users will have no choice but to let Windows 10 take care of updates for them. For those concerned about this, the company has a special tool that can be used to block specific updates to Windows and drivers.

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One year on, Internet.org gives a billion people internet access

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Mark Zuckerberg's Internet.org has come in for quite a lot of criticism since it launched. Designed to help get the entire world online, it has been argued that the program is in opposition to the idea of net neutrality and many of its backers have pulled out or complained about things since it kicked off.

But in many regards none of this matters -- it is the numbers that are important. Twelve months after the launch of Internet.org, more than a billion people have been connected to the internet free of charge. Moving into year two, the next part of the operation involves scaling things up.

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Samsung's SE370 monitor offers wireless phone charging

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Your monitor can be so much more than just a device for displaying your desktop -- it can also supply power to other things. Extra ports on the back of a screen are nothing new, so the idea of using a monitor to charge your phone might not seem groundbreaking; but the Samsung SE370 can do it wirelessly.

The monitor is available in 23.6 inch and 27 inch models and features an integrated Qi wireless charging plate so compatible handsets can be charged without the need to fiddle with USB cables. In addition to space and time-saving features, Samsung has taken care to ensure that wireless charging is not the only reason to buy the monitor.

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Windows 10: it's all about the apps, baby

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From the slew of videos flying out the Microsoft stables over the last week, it's clear that Windows 10 is trying to be all things to all people. The ads we've seen so far have promoted security, Windows Hello, Microsoft Edge, and yet another video has been released today that extols the virtues of the built-in apps.

What's different about this video is that it doesn't really focus on anything that's particularly new and exciting. Many of the Windows apps that are features are not new, so this is clearly a video aimed at those who skipped Windows 8 and stuck with Windows 7 or XP. But it's a good opportunity to take a look at the Photos, Maps, Mail and Calendar, Groove, and Movies & TV apps.

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Windows 10 update KB3074681 causes Explorer crashes

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In the last few days before Windows 10 is unleashed on a largely unsuspecting world, Microsoft has released a number of updates. These are just regular, everyday updates rather than new builds of the preview, but one of those released over the weekend has been causing problems.

Update KB3074681 was released yesterday (Saturday), and it has been causing issues that result in Explorer crashing. The way updates work in Windows 10 means that there is no way to get rid of the update, so until a patch is released there is little that can be done -- apart from avoiding the crash triggers, that is.

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Windows 10's automatic updates for NVidia drivers could break your computer

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One of the features that has been removed from Windows 10 -- at least for home users -- is the ability to pick and choose when updates are installed. Microsoft has taken Windows Update out of the hands of users so the process is, for the most part, completely automated.

In theory, this sounds great -- no more worrying about having the latest patches installed, no more concerns that a machine that hasn’t been updated will cause problems for others -- but an issue with NVidia drivers shows that there is potential for things to go wrong. Irate owners of NVidia graphics cards have taken to support forums to complain that automatically-installed drivers have broken their computers.

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LinkedIn (temporarily) backs down after uproar at contact export removal

LinkedIn

LinkedIn caused a storm a couple of days ago when it removed the option to instantly download contacts. Many users of the professional social network were more than a little irked to discover that while contact exporting was still available, a wait of up to three days had been put in place.

Unsurprisingly, users revolted, having been particularly upset by the fact the change was implemented with no warning or announcement. But the company has managed to turn things around by quickly backtracking on its decision after listening to a stream of complaints on Twitter.

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