Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by janrinok on Monday May 14 2018, @11:53PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the courage-of-their-convictions dept.

Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract

It's been nearly three months since many Google employees—and the public—learned about the company's decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as Project Maven, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people. Now, about a dozen Google employees are resigning in protest over the company's continued involvement in Maven.

[...] The employees who are resigning in protest, several of whom discussed their decision to leave with Gizmodo, say that executives have become less transparent with their workforce about controversial business decisions and seem less interested in listening to workers' objections than they once did. In the case of Maven, Google is helping the Defense Department implement machine learning to classify images gathered by drones. But some employees believe humans, not algorithms, should be responsible for this sensitive and potentially lethal work—and that Google shouldn't be involved in military work at all.

Previously: Google vs Maven
Google Employees on Pentagon AI Algorithms: "Google Should Not be in the Business of War"


Original Submission

Related Stories

Google vs Maven 60 comments

Google is selling the Pentagon some Machine Learning / AI training solution so their drones and sensors can pick out the good stuff from all the crap stuff being recorded by their massive surveillance apparatus on a daily basis. Most companies would probably be super pleased by selling something to a customer. Not the Google-employees. Apparently their solutions should only be used for "good", or not being evil or something and Pentagon is clearly "evil" in their eyes.

Google has partnered with the United States Department of Defense to help the agency develop artificial intelligence for analyzing drone footage, a move that set off a firestorm among employees of the technology giant when they learned of Google's involvement.

Google's pilot project with the Defense Department's Project Maven, an effort to identify objects in drone footage, has not been previously reported, but it was discussed widely within the company last week when information about the project was shared on an internal mailing list, according to sources who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the project.

Google's Eric Schmidt summed up the tech industry's concerns about collaborating with the Pentagon at a talk last fall. "There's a general concern in the tech community of somehow the military-industrial complex using their stuff to kill people incorrectly," he said. While Google says its involvement in Project Maven is not related to combat uses, the issue has still sparked concern among employees, sources said

Project Maven, a fast-moving Pentagon project also known as the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (AWCFT), was established in April 2017. Maven's stated mission is to "accelerate DoD's integration of big data and machine learning." In total, the Defense Department spent $7.4 billion on artificial intelligence-related areas in 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Are the employees at Google starting to become a problem for Google and their eventual bottom line with their political agendas? Are they getting in the way of doing actual work? When or if is there such a line?

https://gizmodo.com/google-is-helping-the-pentagon-build-ai-for-drones-1823464533


Original Submission

Google Employees on Pentagon AI Algorithms: "Google Should Not be in the Business of War" 65 comments

We had submissions from two Soylentils concerning recent employee reaction to Google's participation in the Pentagon's "Project Maven" program:

Google Workers Urge C.E.O. to Pull Out of Pentagon A.I. Project

Submitted via IRC for fyngyrz

Thousands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company's involvement in a Pentagon program that uses artificial intelligence to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes.

The letter [pdf], which is circulating inside Google and has garnered more than 3,100 signatures, reflects a culture clash between Silicon Valley and the federal government that is likely to intensify as cutting-edge artificial intelligence is increasingly employed for military purposes.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/04/technology/google-letter-ceo-pentagon-project.html

Google Employees on Pentagon AI Algorithms: "Google Should Not be in the Business of War"

Thousands of Google employees have signed a letter protesting the development of "Project Maven", which would use machine learning algorithms to analyze footage from U.S. military drones:

"Senior Google Scientist" Resigns over Chinese Search Engine Censorship Project 50 comments

Senior Google Scientist Resigns Over "Forfeiture of Our Values" in China

A senior Google research scientist has quit the company in protest over its plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China.

Jack Poulson worked for Google's research and machine intelligence department, where he was focused on improving the accuracy of the company's search systems. In early August, Poulson raised concerns with his managers at Google after The Intercept revealed that the internet giant was secretly developing a Chinese search app for Android devices. The search system, code-named Dragonfly, was designed to remove content that China's authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.

After entering into discussions with his bosses, Poulson decided in mid-August that he could no longer work for Google. He tendered his resignation and his last day at the company was August 31.

He told The Intercept in an interview that he believes he is one of about five of the company's employees to resign over Dragonfly. He felt it was his "ethical responsibility to resign in protest of the forfeiture of our public human rights commitments," he said.

Poulson, who was previously an assistant professor at Stanford University's department of mathematics, said he believed that the China plan had violated Google's artificial intelligence principles, which state that the company will not design or deploy technologies "whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights."

Google Drafting Ethics Policy for its Involvement in Military Projects 26 comments

Google promises ethical principles to guide development of military AI

Google is drawing up a set of guidelines that will steer its involvement in developing AI tools for the military, according to a report from The New York Times. What exactly these guidelines will stipulate isn't clear, but Google says they will include a ban on the use of artificial intelligence in weaponry. The principles are expected to be announced in full in the coming weeks. They are a response to the controversy over the company's decision to develop AI tools for the Pentagon that analyze drone surveillance footage.

[...] But the question facing these employees (and Google itself) is: where do you draw the line? Does using machine learning to analyze surveillance footage for the military count as "weaponized AI"? Probably not. But what if that analysis informs future decisions about drone strikes? Does it matter then? How would Google even know if this had happened?

Also at VentureBeat and Engadget.

Previously: Google vs Maven
Google Employees on Pentagon AI Algorithms: "Google Should Not be in the Business of War"
About a Dozen Google Employees Have Resigned Over Project Maven


Original Submission

Google Will Not Continue Project Maven After Contract Expires in 2019 19 comments

We have recently covered the fact that some Google employees had resigned because of the company's involvement in an AI-related weapons project called Maven. Many thought that the resignations, whilst being a noble gesture, would amount to nothing - but we were wrong...

Leaked Emails Show Google Expected Lucrative Military Drone AI Work To Grow Exponentially

Google has sought to quash the internal dissent in conversations with employees. Diane Greene, the chief executive of Google’s cloud business unit, speaking at a company town hall meeting following the revelations, claimed that the contract was “only” for $9 million, according to the New York Times, a relatively minor project for such a large company.

Internal company emails obtained by The Intercept tell a different story. The September emails show that Google’s business development arm expected the military drone artificial intelligence revenue to ramp up from an initial $15 million to an eventual $250 million per year.

In fact, one month after news of the contract broke, the Pentagon allocated an additional $100 million to Project Maven.

The internal Google email chain also notes that several big tech players competed to win the Project Maven contract. Other tech firms such as Amazon were in the running, one Google executive involved in negotiations wrote. (Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.) Rather than serving solely as a minor experiment for the military, Google executives on the thread stated that Project Maven was “directly related” to a major cloud computing contract worth billions of dollars that other Silicon Valley firms are competing to win.

However, Google has had a major rethink.

"Don't be Evil" Disappearing From Google's Code of Conduct 69 comments

A number of soylentils have written in to let us know that Google is opening up the possibility of being evil by eliminating it from their code of conduct. You've been warned.

"Don't be Evil" Starting to Disappear From Google's Code of Conduct

Google Removes 'Don't Be Evil' Clause From Its Code of Conduct

Google's unofficial motto has long been the simple phrase "don't be evil." But that's over, according to the code of conduct that Google distributes to its employees. The phrase was removed sometime in late April or early May, archives hosted by the Wayback Machine show.

[...] The updated version of Google's code of conduct still retains one reference to the company's unofficial motto—the final line of the document is still: "And remember... don't be evil, and if you see something that you think isn't right – speak up!"

April 21 vs. May 4.

Related: Google vs Maven
Google Employees on Pentagon AI Algorithms: "Google Should Not be in the Business of War"
Google Duplex: an AI that Can Make Phone Calls on Your Behalf
About a Dozen Google Employees Have Resigned Over Project Maven

Is Ethical A.I. Even Possible? 35 comments

Is Ethical A.I. Even Possible?

When a news article revealed that Clarifai was working with the Pentagon and some employees questioned the ethics of building artificial intelligence that analyzed video captured by drones, the company said the project would save the lives of civilians and soldiers.

"Clarifai's mission is to accelerate the progress of humanity with continually improving A.I.," read a blog post from Matt Zeiler, the company's founder and chief executive, and a prominent A.I. researcher. Later, in a news media interview, Mr. Zeiler announced a new management position that would ensure all company projects were ethically sound.

As activists, researchers, and journalists voice concerns over the rise of artificial intelligence, warning against biased, deceptive and malicious applications, the companies building this technology are responding. From tech giants like Google and Microsoft to scrappy A.I. start-ups, many are creating corporate principles meant to ensure their systems are designed and deployed in an ethical way. Some set up ethics officers or review boards to oversee these principles.

But tensions continue to rise as some question whether these promises will ultimately be kept. Companies can change course. Idealism can bow to financial pressure. Some activists — and even some companies — are beginning to argue that the only way to ensure ethical practices is through government regulation.

"We don't want to see a commercial race to the bottom," Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, said at the New Work Summit in Half Moon Bay, Calif., hosted last week by The New York Times. "Law is needed."

Possible != Probable. And the "needed law" could come in the form of a ban and/or surveillance of coding and hardware-building activities.

Related:


Original Submission

Pentagon Brass Bafflingly Accuses Google of Providing "Direct Benefit" to China's Military 37 comments

Submitted via IRC for soysheep9857

There are many reasons to be critical of Google. But on Thursday, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stopped just short of accusing the tech giant of treason.

Dunford's incendiary comments came during a budgetary hearing by the Senate Armed Services Committee this afternoon. During his time for questioning, freshman Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican, turned to the subject of Google's decision to back away from projects with the Pentagon. Hawley asked the panel if he understood the situation correctly and that the men were saying, "that Google, an American company, supposedly, is refusing to work with the Department of Defense, but is doing work with China, in China, in a way that at least indirectly benefits the Chinese government."

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan tempered that assertion, explaining that he hasn't heard anyone use the word "refuse," but that Google has shown "a lack of willingness to support DOD programs."

But General Dunford was more open to going on the attack. When given the chance to elaborate on his concerns, he told Senator Hawley:

You know, senator, I'm nodding my head on exactly the point that you made: that the work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefitting the Chinese military. And I've been very public on this issue as well; in fact, the way I described it to our industry partners is, 'look we're the good guys in the values that we represent and the system that we represent is the one that will allow and has allowed you to thrive,' and that's the way I've characterized it. I was just nodding that what the secretary was articulating is the general sense of all of us as leaders. We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing there is that indirect benefit, and frankly 'indirect' may be not a full characterization of the way it really is. It's more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.

Source: https://gizmodo.com/pentagon-brass-bafflingly-accuses-google-of-providing-d-1833302885

Related: Google Employees on Pentagon AI Algorithms: "Google Should Not be in the Business of War"
About a Dozen Google Employees Have Resigned Over Project Maven
Google Drafting Ethics Policy for its Involvement in Military Projects
Google Will Not Continue Project Maven After Contract Expires in 2019
Microsoft Misrepresented HoloLens 2 Field of View, Faces Backlash for Military Contract


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:12AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:12AM (#679832)

    Select all squares with radical Muslims. If there are none, click skip.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:13AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:13AM (#679833)

      Trick question, because all Muslims are radical.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:31AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:31AM (#679843)

        I'm not sure when surfing became so popular with Muslims, but yes they do indeed have some quite radical moves.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @05:00AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @05:00AM (#679955)

        Even the ones using boogie boards?!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:15AM (16 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:15AM (#679836)

    First, a huge amount of credit to these employees who are willing to take a moral stance. It's easy to posture, but it's very hard to choose "no paycheck" over something as abstract as "it's the right thing to do."

    Second... for a company of so many thousand, the resignation of a dozen employees is only a minor blip. It will cause some turmoil for their specific teams, but it will hardly cause any fundamental pain to the company. (If anything, that just makes my first point even stronger and why these people deserve more moral credit.)

    Third... with only a dozen people leaving, it makes me wonder how many of these people were wanting to leave anyway, and this just provided a convenient excuse. It could be 0, but it does make me wonder.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:31AM (10 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:31AM (#679842) Homepage Journal

      Someone said that all twelve of them are the same people who continue to walk into the invisible glass walls.

      .

      .

      .

      .

      .

      .

      That's sarcasm. I don't know a thing about any of them. I can guess that they are all special snowflakes, but I know nothing more than is in the story.

      --
      There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
      • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:33AM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:33AM (#679844)

        And we all assume you're a redneck jackass :)

        • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:51AM (4 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:51AM (#679855) Homepage Journal

          ASSuming shit just makes an ASS out of you - but not me.

          --
          There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:12AM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:12AM (#679901)

            Pot meet kettle. Amusing that luttle bit went over your ahead, or did you miss your own assumption that they must have been "snowflakes"?

            • (Score: 0, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:30AM (1 child)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:30AM (#679910) Homepage Journal

              What is obvious here is, forcing the reader to scroll down just a little bit to see the "punchline" of a joke post is just too complicated for some readers. Over my head? FFS, you have to look up to see my knees! No wonder snowflakes have such a hard life. You're all looking up to see what the rest of us are doing.

              --
              There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @09:57PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @09:57PM (#680207)

                Someone said that all twelve of them are the same people who continue to walk into the invisible glass walls.

                scrolling down

                That's sarcasm. I don't know a thing about any of them. I can guess that they are all special snowflakes, but I know nothing more than is in the story.

                It is a good thing you put quotes around your "punchline" cause the two sentences don't even make sense together even if I'm being generous with joke interpretation. You first say they are idiots who walk into walls, then you say they must be special snowflakes, but you know nothing more?

                You don't know anything, your joke was terrible, you got called out for it, you gave a totally oblivious retort, and now you're doubling down on the snowflake gag? Pffft, you trying to beat out Buzzy for cluelessness?

            • (Score: 4, Touché) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday May 15 2018, @05:59PM

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @05:59PM (#680113) Journal

              What's more "snowflake" than pitching a bitch fit because somebody did something that has absolutely no effect on your life or anything you care about.

              Conservatives are the biggest snowflakes of them all. It's only their projection that has them seeing it in everyone else.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:53AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:53AM (#679857)

          You don't have to assume. The facts speak loud and clear.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:53AM

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:53AM (#679936) Journal

        That was at Apple, not GOOG:

        Apple Employees Reportedly Walking Into Glass Walls at New HQ [soylentnews.org]

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:59AM (1 child)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:59AM (#679938) Journal

        Wasn't it Apple that had all the employees hitting the glass doors?

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:25PM (#680047)

          Bluto: What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
          Otter: [to Boon] Germans?
          Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:50AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:50AM (#679854)

      Why the right thing to do if computers can better identify targets than people. It could lead to fewer unintended deaths

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:48AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:48AM (#679892)

        It could lead to fewer unintended deaths

        I'm afraid you aren't very familiar with the US's drone program. They are trying to identify more people to attack with their drones.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by looorg on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:17AM (2 children)

      by looorg (578) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:17AM (#679876)

      So lets see, last time this was up there was as I recall it thousands of Googlers (or whatever we are supposed to call them) that was up in arms and demanded a stop to the military industrial complex (TM) killing babies with drones using Googles patented not evil tech. So a dozen, give or take a few, people quit. Guess it was just a lot of bark and not a lot of follow thru on that empty threat. A dozen people is tiny fraction of a percent of their entire staff.

      Still it might not be the number, it might be that those leaving was really important people to the project which might be a devastating blow or it might be some drones that won't be missed and replaced by the army of applicants before they where even out the door. After all every company has turnover of employees, I doubt this is more then a blip. If the thousands that signed had left there might have been an impact.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TheRaven on Tuesday May 15 2018, @11:21AM (1 child)

        by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @11:21AM (#680009) Journal
        Google employee morality: Building massive surveillance system and psychological manipulation platform with no oversight? Fine. Building robots that might make the military slightly more efficient? EVIL!
        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17 2018, @03:39AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17 2018, @03:39AM (#680614)
          Uh. The hours people spend on youtube, gmail etc are more likely to be the hours they're not busy killing someone.

          I'm all for bread and circuses if the bread and circuses are good and almost everyone gets them.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by jmorris on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:29AM (26 children)

    by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:29AM (#679840)

    This is probably good for Google long term. The article was careful to avoid any details about the disgruntled employees but it is a pretty safe bet they are a freak show. Encouraging these defective people to leave will make Google stronger and weaken the companies they end up at.

    I can guess they are the defectives because they totally misunderstand the reality of the workplace. Employees work for management, management works for the shareholders. Employees do not give orders to management unless they somehow represent a lot of voting shares.

    • (Score: 5, Touché) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:34AM (7 children)

      by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:34AM (#679845)

      Good slave.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jmorris on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:44AM (6 children)

        by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:44AM (#679850)

        If you do not want to work for a publicly traded corporation, don't. But if you work for one it is foolish to pretend it is something other than what it is, even more foolish to expect it to change its essential nature because of a few delicate snowflakes' feelz.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:55AM

          by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:55AM (#679860)

          Quite right.

          Those people should know their place and never question their betters.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:58AM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:58AM (#679865)

          Are you dumb or what? The employees that quit aren't foolish. They aren't pretending. They aren't snowflakes. They didn't like what the company they worked for was turning into and they quit. What part of that are you ragging on? Awwww, do they have more guts than you? That's okay - we'll let you think you're special even if you don't stand up for what you believe.

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Captival on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:10AM (3 children)

            by Captival (6866) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:10AM (#679869)

            Apparently turning in Chinese political dissidents to be tortured and executed was perfectly okay for these employees. It was helping out their own country that's the problem.

            • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:34AM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:34AM (#679886)

              And you have done exactly *WHAT* to help Chinese rebels? Yup, didn't think so.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:04AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:04AM (#679940)

                I haven't directly harmed them, that's for sure.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:58AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:58AM (#679973)

                  I, too, look the other way.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:35AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:35AM (#679846)

      Does your brain hurt when you wake up? I can only assume you're constantly smashed off yer ass and just have a really good spellchecker.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:46AM (13 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:46AM (#679851)

      I can guess they are the defectives because they totally misunderstand the reality of the workplace. Employees work for management, management works for the shareholders. Employees do not give orders to management unless they somehow represent a lot of voting shares.

      This is a gross over-simplification, and dramatically undervalues half of the equation. I'm not sure if that's by design or you really believe it.

      Simply put, there is labor (workers) and capital (money). Labor provides labor (they work) and capital provides capital (they pay money). If either side doesn't like the arrangement, they are free to withdraw from it. Case in point, if capital thinks they are being overcharged for a low quality work, they can stop contributing (stop paying, e.g. firing the worker).

      In this case, labor is thinking it doesn't like the deal (they are being asked to do something they don't agree with), and are withdrawing from it. It was a simple negotiation... "We workers don't like what we are working on." "We management aren't going to change." "Then we workers are leaving."

      Employees have a lot of say in what they do, and far more than corporate America would have you believe. There is a reason they are called "employees," and not "slaves."

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:57AM (12 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:57AM (#679863) Homepage Journal

        There is a reason they are called "employees," and not "slaves."

        Of course. Slaves are expensive. Employees, not so much. Especially so in this day and age when corporations import skills from the next town over, or half the world away, instead of training the work force.

        There is also a reason companies like Uber resist calling their workers "employees". The company has even less responsibility to contractors, than to employees, or slaves.

        --
        There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
        • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:53AM (10 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:53AM (#679893)

          Of course. Slaves are expensive. Employees, not so much.

          Shut up, Kanye.

          • (Score: 0, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:19AM (9 children)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:19AM (#679904) Homepage Journal

            Do I sense some butthurt? You may want to fill out a form: https://thelibertarianrepublic.com/senator-releases-hurt-feelings-form-for-butthurt-liberals/ [thelibertarianrepublic.com]

            Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy some great entertainment: https://thepoliticalinsider.com/liberals-crying-pictures-make-day-even-brighter1/ [thepoliticalinsider.com]

            --
            There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:26AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:26AM (#679909)

              Actually, I was just lumping you in with the other mindless sheep who regurgitate what they are told by their masters.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by crafoo on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:18AM (7 children)

              by crafoo (6639) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:18AM (#679920)

              Actually, all those people legitimately crying over Hillary losing really disturbs me. It's enough people for me to question how valid democracy really is. Hillary is a monster. I don't understand how anyone paying attention could help but notice that fact.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:54PM (6 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:54PM (#680038)

                Actually, all those people legitimately crying over Hillary losing really disturbs me.

                It cracks me up. A great feeling of Schadenfreude washes over me and warms my heart. It's not often a smug entitled adult-child gets a life lesson on camera. It's all the more wonderful because the media had been telling them, "We got this" for months and months. The media is hysterically bitter a year and a half later for being so wrong, "by a landslide." Reading the NYT, watching MSNBC, ABC or CNN gives me the giggles when I can just feel the lopsided hate, venom and bitterness that will ruin their credibility for years to come.

                • (Score: 2, Troll) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:33PM

                  by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:33PM (#680067) Homepage Journal

                  The election was rigged. And Crooked Hillary still lost. She failed miserably. I said, we should just cancel the election and just give it to Trump, right? And now the Fake News Media and the Dems -- Hillary most of all -- are wishing they'd just given it to me. Democracy is very overrated, folks. What were we even having it -- what were we having it? Her policies are so bad. Boy, do we have a big difference.

                • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday May 15 2018, @07:20PM (4 children)

                  by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @07:20PM (#680162)

                  the media had been telling them, "We got this" for months and months. The media is hysterically bitter a year and a half later for being so wrong, "by a landslide."

                  By a landslide of losing the popular vote, sure

                  --
                  "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
                  • (Score: 2) by Oakenshield on Tuesday May 15 2018, @08:01PM (3 children)

                    by Oakenshield (4900) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @08:01PM (#680170)

                    I think the point was that the media had been claiming it was going to be a landslide victory for HRC.

                    By a landslide of losing the popular vote, sure

                    Which is entirely irrelevant. The contest was played by the rules of the game. You don't win the World Series by getting the most hits. It's the runs that count.

                    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday May 15 2018, @08:08PM (2 children)

                      by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @08:08PM (#680171)

                      Yes, I'm aware what the rules are. I think we should change them because most of the reasoning behind the Electoral College really doesn't apply anymore.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact [wikipedia.org]

                      The contest was played by the rules of the game.

                      Not that Trump didn't imply he wouldn't accept the results if he lost, just to drive home to everybody again how big of a douchenozzle he is.

                      --
                      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
                      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Oakenshield on Tuesday May 15 2018, @08:19PM (1 child)

                        by Oakenshield (4900) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @08:19PM (#680176)

                        Yes, I'm aware what the rules are. I think we should change them because most of the reasoning behind the Electoral College really doesn't apply anymore.

                        Before you start changing the rules of the Electoral College which affect ALL of us, maybe you should start a little closer to home and get rid of all those DNC superdelegates that subvert the will of the Democratic voters in favor of party whims. I think the only reason most Electoral College reformists want change is sour grapes. Had things worked out the opposite way, Democrats would be holding up the Electoral College as the great savior that prevented Trump from being elected.

                        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday May 15 2018, @08:49PM

                          by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @08:49PM (#680192)

                          Before you start changing the rules of the Electoral College which affect ALL of us, maybe you should start a little closer to home and get rid of all those DNC superdelegates that subvert the will of the Democratic voters in favor of party whims.

                          Sure, sounds like a good idea.

                          I think the only reason most Electoral College reformists want change is sour grapes. Had things worked out the opposite way, Democrats would be holding up the Electoral College as the great savior that prevented Trump from being elected.

                          Believe it or not, I was actually in favor of the NPVIC *before* the election. This latest debacle just reinforced that opinion.

                          --
                          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17 2018, @03:44AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17 2018, @03:44AM (#680615)
          And shills are even cheaper.
    • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:56AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:56AM (#679861)

      Why are you assuming that they are transsexual or vegan?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Arik on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:57AM

      by Arik (4543) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:57AM (#679915) Journal
      Yeah, nah, I'm going to have to call bull on this one too.

      Workers and employers have two-way relationships, not one-way. Very few, if any, workers are attracted to their job initially, or motivated to stay with it long-term, *solely* on the basis of pecuniary interests. Employers often understand this and use it in recruitment, and google is a particularly visible example of that, touting their working environment heavily in recruitment.

      Well, you can't have it both ways. If you hire a lot of people at least partially on the strength of 'this is a good place to work because we fit your values' then you shouldn't be shocked if those same employees may later want to have a word with you about how you're currently doing on that score.

      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:01AM

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:01AM (#679939) Journal

      No, no, you need to say it with a German accent. "I vas shust followink orders, mein Herr! Befehl ist befehl!"

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:37AM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:37AM (#679847)

    Whatever happened to "Don't be evil"?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_be_evil [wikipedia.org]
    Seems that Google is moving ever so quietly from being a force for good in the world to something altogether different.
    Another company that is letting the almighty dollar corrupt it's values.

    • (Score: 0, Troll) by jmorris on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:52AM (6 children)

      by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:52AM (#679856)

      They have been openly Evil pretty much since before they made that their motto. It is a confirmation of Day's three Laws of SJWs.

      1. SJWs Always Lie
      2. SJWs Always Double Down
      3. SJWs Always Project

      Announcing "Don't Be Evil" was what we call a "tell." A rapacious entity trying to suck in the world's information and everyone's personal information to grind it up in AI algos to sell to advertisers trying to reassure their users that they will somehow rape their assholes in a "non-evil" way because they are such enlightened and progressive people. Anyone who didn't realize Google had designed itself from the start to be evil wasn't paying attention. All Brin and Page needed was white cats and a volcano lair to be Bond villains... and who knows, they might have both.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:10AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:10AM (#679868)

        'Don't be evil' was just 'dont be microsoft'

        They did that perfectly. However, money corrupts. Even people with 'morals' are always for sale.

        It is like the old joke.
        A man walks up to an absolutely stunning looking woman.
        "Madam would you sleep with me for 1 million dollars"
        She mulls it over and says.
        "Yes I would"
        "How about 5 bucks"
        "What sort of woman do you think I am?!!!!"
        "We have already established that Ma'am I figured at this point we were just negotiating over price"

        Would people be lining up to work at google if it paid 20k a year and did not look good on ye ol resume? Probably not.

        They sacrificed Facebook to the altar of public opinion. What does everyone think Google a company much bigger than them is doing with all that information? A fellow I know recently asked "What would you pay for facebook services without the ads and info scrapping?" I answered "nothing I would not use it" "yeah that is the answer I get from most people" "shows what everyone really thinks of those services doesnt it?" "they are valued at nothing?" "yep".

        • (Score: 1, Troll) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:39AM (1 child)

          by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:39AM (#679913) Homepage Journal

          The folks at Facebook are making money hand over fist. Amazing Q1 report, TREMENDOUS growth in revenue & earnings. They were a big help to my campaign. They helped me win big, now they're winning big. Think about it! foxbusiness.com/markets/3-new-must-see-quotes-from-facebook-inc-ceo-mark-zuckerberg [foxbusiness.com]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:30AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:30AM (#679923)

            Phew! Zuckerfuck got through hazing. I was a little worried, but he did fine. The CIA is very popular these days, especially with tech companies.

            Once we have a war going, we're guaranteed to have plenty of pussified little mama's boys looking to join the army (due to chocolate rations being raised so much), become real men instead of failures, and get laid.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:39AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:39AM (#679888)

        Apparently you don't have to be a SJW to double down on stupidity.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:55AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:55AM (#679896)

        1. SJWs Always Lie
        2. SJWs Always Double Down
        3. SJWs Always Project

        SJW sure is a funny acronym for right-wing extremist.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:33AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:33AM (#679924)

          Right-wing extremist, meet left-wing extremist. You've got so much in common!

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by simonInOz on Tuesday May 15 2018, @10:46AM

      by simonInOz (2173) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @10:46AM (#680003)

      I think they have shortened the motto by one word.

      --
      -- cats like plain crisps --
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:59AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @12:59AM (#679866)

    It's like a horse and a carriage. It's the world we live in.

    You may argue Google should spin out military tech outfits. That don't work. There is no clear line between civilian tech and military tech.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:14AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:14AM (#679871)

      https://wikileaks.org/google-is-not-what-it-seems/ [wikileaks.org]

      They are as likely to spin it out as I am to grow another ear on my forehead. The military is so far up them google can feel its hymen on the back of its teeth.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:38AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:38AM (#679887) Journal

        TLDR; It had a difficult time getting to the point, but only because it really couldn't find any point to make.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:33AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:33AM (#679884)

    There are employers with better projects to work on. Raytheon is a great example:

    Want to work on robots? Raytheon makes a gun that aims and fires without human action.

    How about a death ray? If you cranked to power a bit, Raytheon's active denial system could probably do the job. More power!

    Do you like shooting planes from the sky? For that, there is the Patriot missile system.

    Maybe a shoulder-fired missile with a top-down attack mode is more your style. Join the Javelin program.

    Like cyberwar? You can do that.

    You can also keep it traditional. Design bombs. Good old fashioned bombs can still be lots of fun.

    ...

    That's just one awesome company. There is also General Dynamics, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin...
    Or you could spend all day trying to track people to better target them with ads and keep them addicted. Your choice.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:59AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:59AM (#679898)

      When I was 19 I had great job working on tracking for ICBMs. Whomever is living in my parents old house better hope no one ever pushes that big, red, shiny button.

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:48AM

      Somewhere around Caltech.edu I found the statistics. A particularly large portion worked for General Dynamics.

      That's traditional for Caltech: back in the sixties the students took no particular interest in the antiwar movement.

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:15AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @02:15AM (#679902)
  • (Score: 2, Troll) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:07AM

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @03:07AM (#679917) Homepage Journal

    Who am I kidding, of course you're listening. We (I) thank you for your service to our great Country and to my great military. You're doing a fantastic job! Bringing fire and fury -- and frankly, POWER.

    And to the Quitters I have this to say. Winners never quit and Quitters never win. (Vince Lombardi)

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by srobert on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:15AM (3 children)

    by srobert (4803) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:15AM (#679946)

    I can remember when I would have literally killed somebody to get a job that paid a livable wage. I'm not saying they're right or wrong because I don't know the details what they're protesting very well. But what a privilege it must be to leave a job to protest moral failings of one's employer. I'd love to be in a position to do that. How do you do that? Do you have a couple million banked when you bravely announce that you're resigning in protest? I wonder if they would still do that if (like myself at one time) they were about a week's pay away from being homeless. I never did kill somebody, but I worked for people who did. I never saw any of it, but if I had I would have kept my mouth shut.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:04AM (2 children)

      by c0lo (156) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:04AM (#679959) Journal

      Protests of the Privileged
      ...
        But what a privilege it must be to leave a job to protest moral failings of one's employer. I'd love to be in a position to do that.

      Just in case I don't quite get it: do you resent what they did?

      How do you do that? Do you have a couple million banked when you bravely announce that you're resigning in protest?

      (blink) ... what's the worse that can happen that you'd need those millions?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:25PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:25PM (#680085)

        I don't know if he resents what they did. The way I read it, he is wondering what their situations are. Were they already on their way out the door? Were they affluent enough that they didn't need to be working? Did they already have jobs lined up to jump into, or knew that they could easily get another job? Knowing the answer to some of those questions would provide a little background before holding these guys up as Great Moral Crusaders. Remember during the last NFL season when Mike Pence walked out of the evening football game in a moral protest against the players who were kneeling during the National Anthem? Then it was (not surprisingly) revealed that was the entire point in going to Indianapolis in the first place and that there was never an intention to watch the game? That information confirms that his mighty stance based upon his high moral convictions was just a cheap political stunt meant to appease his boss. I think this guy is similarly wondering if there might be other motivations in play here.

      • (Score: 2) by srobert on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:52PM

        by srobert (4803) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:52PM (#680092)

        "Just in case I don't quite get it: do you resent what they did?"

        No. I don't know whether I support their cause. I don't know much about it. I actually have some respect for their actions because they are protesting what, at least they perceive, as a moral lapse on Google's part. The world needs more of that and less of assholes who stand on the side accusing everyone of being an "SJW" for caring about anything. I'm glad they feel that they can protest in this way. But I hope they realize what it would be like not to be privileged in that way. Unfortunately the Joker was right: People are only as good as circumstances will allow them to be. Just a few small changes and these people will eat each other.

        "what's the worse that can happen that you'd need those millions?"

        Even now, though I'm much better off than I used to be, if I go too far in speaking my mind, I could easily wind up jobless, homeless, and unable to meet my family's needs. (We have a couple of serious medical conditions that we're dealing with). If I lose my job at my age, I'll probably be unemployed for the rest of my life. And I'm not close to being able to draw my pension yet. A million dollars isn't so much anymore. If invested well it could generate a livable income, but it's not enough to make you independently wealthy. But I think if I had 2 or 3 million, I would not hesitate to speak openly about much of anything. I wouldn't hesitate to point out an injustice, if I thought my pointing out could help fix it. There are some people who would like to use your economic circumstances to make sure that you keep your mouth shut. If they can't do that, they can parrot "SJW, SJW" in response to any legitimate concerns you have. That wouldn't stop me. But holding my livelihood over my head can stop me. Perhaps I'm a bit of a coward, but that's the way it is.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:35AM

    And I wrote Every Engineer's Solemn Duty [warplife.com] in 2005.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
(1)