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Today β€” December 14th 2019Yahoo! News Business News

CANOPY GROWTH LOSS ALERT: TOP RANKED ROSEN LAW FIRM Reminds Canopy Growth Corporation Investors of Important January 21st Deadline in Securities Class Action Commenced by the Firm

CANOPY GROWTH LOSS ALERT: TOP RANKED ROSEN LAW FIRM Reminds Canopy Growth Corporation Investors of Important January 21st Deadline in Securities Class Action Commenced by the FirmRosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Canopy Growth Corporation from June 21, 2019 through November 13, 2019, inclusive (the "Class Period") of the important January 21, 2020 lead plaintiff deadline in the securities class action commenced by the firm. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Canopy investors under the federal securities laws.


  • December 14th 2019 at 19:15

Argentina's new government increases export taxes on disgruntled farmers

Argentina's new government increases export taxes on disgruntled farmersArgentina raised farm export taxes, the country's main source of foreign exchange, with a decree on Saturday aimed at increasing government revenue ahead of restructuring talks on about $100 billion in sovereign bonds and loans. With the cash-strapped government facing significant debt maturities in 2020, farmers had been expecting an increase in export taxes on crops such as soybeans, wheat and corn. Growers, already harried by high financing costs in the inflation-racked country, where the benchmark interest rate is at 63%, had been dreading the expected increase in grains export taxes.


  • December 14th 2019 at 19:01

Nord Stream 2 Is β€œPast The Point Of No Return”

Nord Stream 2 Is “Past The Point Of No Return”The long-contested Nord Stream 2 has reached its final stages, and Germany is now speaking out against the U.S. over its opposition to the critical pipeline


  • December 14th 2019 at 19:00

U.S. prosecutor says UAW still isn't fully cooperating with investigation

U.S. prosecutor says UAW still isn't fully cooperating with investigationThe U.S. Attorney leading the investigation of corruption within the United Auto Workers (UAW) told Reuters on Friday the union's leadership still is not fully cooperating with the government, but that individuals are giving federal investigators tips that could expand the probe. "The deadline is now" for UAW leadership to be more open with investigators looking into corruption within the union, Matthew Schneider, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan said in an interview. Schneider said a federal takeover of the UAW is among the options available, but the government's investigation of individuals linked to misuse of union funds and other impropriety is his priority.


  • December 14th 2019 at 19:00

A Record-Setting Bonneville Streamliner and the Star Car From β€˜Ford v Ferrari’ Are Heading to Auction

A Record-Setting Bonneville Streamliner and the Star Car From ‘Ford v Ferrari’ Are Heading to AuctionThe vehicle that rocketed to more than 448 mph and a 1966 Superformance Ford GT40 MKII will both cross the block through Mecum Auctions.


  • December 14th 2019 at 19:00

Christmas mayhem feared as French transport strike continues

Christmas mayhem feared as French transport strike continuesFrance reeled under a crippling public transport strike for a 10th day Saturday aimed at forcing the government to scrap a pension revamp, as fears grew of travel mayhem during Christmas. Train traffic was severely disrupted with only one out four TGV high speed long-distance trains and three of 10 regional trains running across the country. Strikers have warned of similar disruptions on Sunday and Monday and national rail operator SNCF and the RATP Paris transport network confirmed service would be very limited with just one in four TGVs running.


  • December 14th 2019 at 18:56

Democrats rip McConnell after he vowed 'total coordination' with Trump White House on impeachment trial

Democrats rip McConnell after he vowed 'total coordination' with Trump White House on impeachment trialOver Sen. Mitch McConnell's "total coordination" with the Trump White House, Rep. Val Demings, said the Kentucky Republican "must recuse himself."


  • December 14th 2019 at 18:53

Heavy weather in France leaves tens of thousands of homes without power

Heavy weather in France leaves tens of thousands of homes without powerMuch of southwestern France was on weather alert Saturday and tens of thousands of homes were without power following gale-force winds and flooding that left one person dead, another missing and five injured. As many as 40,000 homes were without power early afternoon and some 25,000 remained so from Normandy down to the southwest by early evening, electricity utility operator Enedis told AFP. A company spokesperson added some 2,000 tehcnicians had been deployed to restore power to those customers, urging people to call a dedicated hotline if they saw power lines had come down.


  • December 14th 2019 at 18:38

DOJ investigating alleged 'sexual arousal studies,' human experiments at Iowa care facility

DOJ investigating alleged 'sexual arousal studies,' human experiments at Iowa care facilityThe Justice Department is investigating the Glenwood Resource Center, a state institution where people with intellectual disabilities receive care.


  • December 14th 2019 at 18:35

A Week In San Francisco, CA, On A $65,000 Salary

A Week In San Francisco, CA, On A $65,000 SalaryWelcome to Money Diaries, where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.Today: an account manager who makes $65,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on sneakers.Occupation: Account Manager Industry: Healthcare Age: 23 Location: San Francisco, CA Salary: $65,000 (Estimated $5,000-$8,000 in bonuses) Paycheck Amount (2x/month ): $1,708.28 + ~$600 (Bonuses are monthly, based on a commission structure) Gender Identity: Cis Woman Monthly Expenses Rent: $1,400 (I live in a six-person house with five friends. My uncle owns the house so he gave us a sweet deal; our rent helps him cover the mortgage/taxes on the house) Student Loans: $500 (Paid to my parents directly as they paid off my loans immediately to avoid interest) 401(k) Contribution: 20% including salary + monthly bonus, my company offers a 10% match Gym: $70 Utilities: ~$60 Transit Pass: $40 Health Insurance: Still on my parent’s plan, thanks mom! Phone: $88.38 (family plan + paying off my iPhone) Netflix: $0 (using an ex’s like the leech I am) Spotify Premium: $33/year (My friends and I set up a family plan) Savings: $0 (I have a pretty healthy savings fund set up, and I’m now focusing on putting most of my money into my 401(k) to take advantage of my company’s insane match) Day One6 a.m. — My alarm wakes me up and I instantly regret signing up for a 6:30 a.m. spin class. I use ClassPass and am still using the referral credit I’ve stacked up over time. Shout out to the friends I’ve roped into ClassPass, I’ve been on it for almost a year!8:05 a.m. — I step in DOG POO on my way to catch my train for work. What a great way to start the day, am I right? 8:30 a.m. — I get into the office and automatically grab an assortment of snacks from the office kitchen. I don’t really like the cereal or yogurt we have so I usually eat a cheese stick and bag of popcorn in the morning. 1 p.m. — I step into a one-on-one call with my boss who sits in NYC. I do enjoy my day-to-day autonomy at work, since my managers are offsite, however, there are times where I wish I could just ask them questions or go through scenarios with them live. 1:38 p.m. — I meet up with a friend for lunch. I bring the leftovers of a Sweetgreen salad I got last night on Seamless. Sometimes after I stay late at work, I’ll use the company account to get dinner. 6:15 p.m. — I head to Target and try on some boots that a coworker recommended to me. They don’t have my size, bummer, but I commit to buying them online later when I get home. I need a good fall bootie. 7:30 p.m. — I walk over to a lady’s house to buy a bike rack. She posted the rack in the neighborhood Facebook page and I’m all for second-hand shopping. I Venmo the lady for the rack and my roommate, A., Venmos me her half ($30 for the full rack, $15 for my half) since she’ll be storing her bike there as well. $159 p.m. — I put my sheets in the wash and buy my boots online. I mess up on the order form and they’re being sent to the wrong Target! It’s not inconvenient enough for me to cancel my order, so I decide to take the L. $32.459:30 p.m. — My roommate (C.) and I make pumpkin spice cookies for our neighbors as a peace offering. We’re throwing a giant housewarming party over the weekend and want to give them a heads up. 12 a.m. — Cookies baked and fresh fleece sheets on my bed, I fall asleep instantly. Daily Total: $47.45 Day Two6:50 a.m. — I wake up to urgent emails from work, ugh. An international project I’m running has hit some bumps. I start to answer emails as I get ready to head out. 8:20 a.m. — I felt a cold sore coming on when I was getting ready this morning so I head to CVS to pick up some medication. I get them around the same time each year and it’s always a pain, so I try to stifle them early. Why is cold sore medication so expensive?! $24.943 p.m. — Most of my day has been taken up putting out (work-related) fires, so I decide to get some fresh air. I head to Uniqlo to return some items that didn’t work out. 6:30 p.m. — I go to the gym after work. I need to be active five times a week or else my body starts to get restless and I feel gross. I do a leg workout off of Instagram. 8 p.m. — While at the gym, I get hit with a targeted Facebook ad for the Keds collab with Rifle Paper Co. I got a pair of black slip-ons last year that I absolutely LOVE! I check out the selection and there are a few styles on sale, but only for 15 more minutes!!! I scramble to get my wallet and grab a cute pair of white embroidered sneakers. $54.2011:30 p.m. — In bed falling asleep to Gourmet Makes with sweet angel Claire Saffitz. Daily Total: $79.14 Day Three5:45 a.m. — Gym alarm goes off. Snooze instantly.6:30 a.m. — I wake up naturally, but now it’s too late to go to the gym. Oh well, guess I’ll eat breakfast then! I have a mini pumpkin muffin, a slice of bread, and two eggs. 2 p.m. — It’s a slow Friday afternoon at work so I start to look at jeans from Abercrombie. I recently lost some weight and all of my jeans are starting to feel loose and look baggy (but not in a cute way). I fill up my cart with three pairs of jeans, two jackets, and a few tops. It’s a big price tag, but I expect to make some returns. I will say that I’m on a bit of a spending spree this week, which is definitely not normal for me! I’m typically pretty frugal but just got the motivation to update my wardrobe. $277.594 p.m. — I take a quick walk to the ATM and chat with my friend who lives in Chicago on the phone. I’m getting a tattoo today so I withdraw $200 from the ATM. 6:10 p.m. — My train breaks down on my way to my tattoo appointment, come on public transit!!! I don’t want to be late so I call an Uber. $7.927:30 p.m. — My tattoo didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. I was scared of getting a tattoo on my ribs, but my artist had such a light hand and it was mainly linework. The front desk staff tells me my tattoo is a total of $121, which is surprising as I thought it was going to be way more. I already put down a $100 deposit when I made the appointment, so I give my artist $50 and have him keep the rest as tip $509 p.m. — My roomie, C., and I prep ingredients for a beef stew we plan to make for our Friendsgiving on Sunday. We chop veggies and meat while chatting and watching YouTube videos. 11:30 p.m. — Need to rest up for the big event tomorrow, our housewarming party!!! Goodnight.Daily Total: $335.51 Day Four9 a.m. — Time to prep the house for our party. We clear out the bottom floor of or our house of all valuables and move tables and chairs for a dance floor. We set up a DJ station with speakers and a deck and start to brace ourselves. Six of us live in this house and we basically invited everybody we knew in the city. 150 people have RSVP’d to the Facebook event page. 10 a.m. — I make a quick Target run to pick up the boots I ordered online and buy last-minute party supplies. I grab some solo cups and spot a bright red jacket that would really bring my costume together. Oh yeah, it’s a costume party and the theme is anything that starts with the letter “C”. I’m being @champagnepapi (aka Drake) in his ICONIC hotline bling video. I cave and buy the jacket as well. I think I’ll return it after the party anyways. $44.4612 p.m. — I eat a quick meal of fried rice and a sunny side up egg. Then I start to pregame with a few shots and some White Claws. Did I mention the party was a dayger? 4 p.m. — Our house is packed to the brim and I’m very drunk. There are people on the dance floor, people drinking in the living room, and people playing drinking games out back. Everybody seems to be having a great time! 5 p.m. — I drunk text/call a guy I’ve been seeing. He was supposed to come to the party but bailed last minute. I assume he got nervous about meeting all my friends, which is understandable! I just wish he had handled it better instead of shooting me a few lines of text and a stupid gif. My friends buy me a slice of pizza to help take my mind off it. 8 p.m. — The party has descended into chaos. Several girls in the house are crying because BOYS SUCK (duh) and some people are too drunk to take themselves home. My boy also hasn’t texted me back and I feel pretty disrespected and ignored (I’m still super drunk and am probably being dramatic). I curl up in my roommate’s bed upstairs and we both cry it out together. 10 p.m. — I wake up and crawl back into my own bed and fall asleep. 3 a.m. — I wake up and can’t fall back asleep because I’m finally sobering up and all I can think about is this stupid boy. I like him a lot but we’ve only been seeing each other for a little over two months. I’m prone to falling for guys who aren’t down for commitment, and I’m afraid he’ll be the same. I tell myself that I need to talk to him about it in person sometime soon. Daily Total: $44.46 Day Five8 a.m. — I wake up pretty tired due to lack of sleep, but with no hangover. My secret power is that I never get hangovers, I’m hoping this will continue for a few more years. I get dressed and head to morning yoga. 11:45 a.m. — I found it pretty hard to focus during yoga since I was sad about boy. I text him asking to meet up soon because I want to talk things through. 12 p.m. — My roommates and I all buckle down and clean our house after the party. The floor is caked in dirt and spilled drinks and it takes us around two hours just to tackle the floors and tabletops. After we’re done, the house finally looks presentable again and you can walk barefoot without it feeling sticky. 3 p.m. — My roomie, C., and I get started cooking the stew for our Friendsgiving potluck. Our kitchen is overloaded as all six members of the house are using the oven and stove to prep their dishes as well. 6 p.m. — Time to eat! We have quite the spread and our house is packed again, this time with 30 close friends. I load up my plate with mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, gravy, Brussels sprouts, turkey, and squash. All homemade and all delicious! I also go back for dessert. I get pumpkin pie, ice cream, and chocolate ice cream pie. 7 p.m. — In a food coma, my stomach and heart are both so full. I help my roommates clean up our house for the second time in 12 hours. 9:30 p.m. — I’m finally in bed, this weekend was physically and emotionally exhausting but overall I had a lot of fun. I watch a few episodes of Hot Ones on YouTube and fall asleep. Daily Total: $0 Day Six5:50 a.m. — I wake up and head to the gym to do a small arm workout. Honestly, I’m very sore from my weekend, especially my neck. It was all the headbanging, I guess. 11 a.m. — Boy texts me and we decide to meet up tonight. He asks if I want to join him for a workout (we coincidentally go to the same gym) and then we’ll grab dinner nearby. It’ll be my second workout today, but I’m game since it’ll be good for me and I wanted to have our talk today. 4:30 p.m. — I feel like I haven’t looked up from my computer all day. My clients are going crazy and everything is “super urgent” and “on fire.” The beginning of the week is typically pretty rough for me. 6:20 p.m. — I get to the gym before boy so I start on a leg set. Boy gets to the gym and we do separate workouts and awkwardly smile at each other from across the weight room (ah, young love). 7:10 p.m. — I get a text from my coworker that a new project came in. I offer to take is since she’s already pretty underwater. I tell boy I’ll wait for him to finish up his workout outside. I pop open my laptop and get started on a client email. 7:30 p.m. — Boy is done with his workout and we head to a casual Italian spot near our gym. I get pesto fettuccine and he gets gnocchi. I take out my wallet to pay but he stops me. Aw. 8 p.m. — We have our “talk.” I tell him I was pretty upset that he bailed last minute and ignored my texts/calls. I also ask him if this is just a hookup for him or if he sees this evolving any farther. I don’t want full commitment right now, but I want to know where he stands. He apologizes for missing the party and explains he was just very anxious to meet all my friends. He also tells me he’s nervous about going straight into a relationship because he just moved to the city, but lets me know he really likes me and wants to keep seeing me. We’re on the same page so we decide to go back to his place to hang out more. 8:10 p.m. — We take one of those Lyft bikes home. I struggle to get started because the seat is too high for me and he laughs the entire time. Eventually, I get the hang of it and we’re on our way! $2.179:15 p.m. — I keep working on the project from earlier while boy holds me and watches TV. 10 p.m. — I close my laptop for the night to spend some quality time with boy. We cuddle, have sex, and talk until we fall asleep. Daily Total: $2.17 Day Seven7:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off. Snooze. 7:45 a.m. — My second alarm goes off and I drag myself out of bed. I didn’t bring a change of clothes so it looks like I’m wearing the same outfit to work today. I put on my striped Hollister top, black Shape jeans, white Converse, and Uniqlo puffer. I go over to sleepy boy and kiss him goodbye; we’ve made plans to see a movie on Wednesday. 8:30 a.m. — Boy’s apartment is closer to work than I thought, and I am able to hop on a bus (covered by my transit card) that takes me straight to the office. I grab a cheese stick and apple from the kitchen and settle into work for the day. 1:30 p.m. — The day passes by so quickly when you’re busy. I head over to Mendocino Farms to grab a salad. I get their Avocado Quinoa Salad with light dressing and pay with a gift card.4:40 p.m. — I’m exhausted, is the workday over yet?? I’m feeling some burnout since I had a rager weekend and have barely slept last night. A coworker invites me out for drinks and I give a tentative maybe. They were at the party last weekend and I want to go over the things I don’t remember, but also I want to sleep. 7 p.m. — I end up staying late at the office, so I order Indian food with the corporate Seamless account. It said my food would be ready at 6:50 but the restaurant is super busy because of this giant tech conference. I wait another 20 minutes, before I give up and leave without my order. I’ll call Seamless later to get a refund. 7:45 p.m. — I heat up a plate of Friendsgiving leftovers for dinner: Guinness beef pie, pesto mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. While I eat, I do some work and buy movie tickets for me and boy tomorrow. I have a gift card to Alamo Drafthouse, so I pay with that. 8:20 p.m. — I oven roast some veggies for lunch tomorrow and eat a small slice of pumpkin and apple pie for dessert. 10:20 p.m. — In bed watching more Bon Appetit YouTube videos. Chris Morocco trying to make Snoop Dogg’s Lobster Thermadore lulls me to sleep. Goodnight! Daily Total: $0Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women’s experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29’s point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.Do you have a Money Diary you’d like to share? Submit it with us here. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?A Week On Disability In TexasI Ate And Worked Out Like Taylor Swift For A WeekA Week In Washington, DC, On A $655,000 Income


  • December 14th 2019 at 18:20

Google Culture War Escalates as Era of Transparency Wanes

Google Culture War Escalates as Era of Transparency Wanes(Bloomberg) -- Each morning, workers at Google get an internal newsletter called the “Daily Insider.” Kent Walker, Google’s top lawyer, set off a firestorm when he argued in the Nov. 14 edition that the 21-year old company had outgrown its policy of allowing workers to access nearly any internal document. “When we were smaller, we all worked as one team, on one product, and everyone understood how business decisions were made,” Walker wrote. “It's harder to give a company of over 100,000 people the full context on everything.”Many large companies have policies restricting access to sensitive information to a “need-to-know” basis. But in some segments of Google’s workforce, the reaction to Walker’s argument was immediate and harsh. On an internal messaging forum, one employee described the data policy as “a total collapse of Google culture.” An engineering manager posted a lengthy attack on Walker’s note, which he called "arrogant and infantilizing." The need-to-know policy "denies us a form of trust and respect that is again an important part of the intrinsic motivation to work here,” the manager wrote.The complaining also spilled into direct action. A group of Google programmers created a tool that allowed employees to choose to alert Walker with an automated email every time they opened any document at all, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The deluge of notifications was meant as a protest to what they saw as Walker’s insistence on controlling the minutiae of their professional lives. “When it comes to data security policies, we’ve never intended to prevent employees from sharing technical learnings and information and we are not limiting anyone’s ability to raise concerns or debate the company’s activities,” said a Google spokeswoman in an email. “We have a responsibility to safeguard our user, business and customer information and these activities need to be done in line with our policies on data security.” The actions are just the latest chapter in an internal conflict that has been going on for almost two years. About 20,000 employees walked out last fall over the company’s generous treatment of executives accused of sexual harassment, and a handful quit over Google’s work on products for the U.S. military and a censored search engine for the Chinese market. Earlier this year, Google hired IRI Consultants, a firm that advises employers on how to combat labor organizing, and it recently fired four employees for what it said was violation of its policies on accessing sensitive data.The extent of Google’s employee rebellion is hard to measure—the company has tried to portray it as the work of a handful of malcontents from the company’s junior ranks. Nor are the company’s message boards unilaterally supportive of revolt. “We want to focus on our jobs when we come into the workplace rather than deal with a new cycle of outrage every few days or vote on petitions for or against Google’s latest project,” wrote one employee on an internal message board viewed by Bloomberg News.  Still, the company seems stuck in a cycle of escalation. Walker’s internal critics say his Nov. 14 email is part of a broader erosion of one of Google’s most distinctive traits—its extreme internal transparency. The fight also illustrates the lack of trust between Google’s leadership and some of its employees, according to interviews with over a dozen current and former employees, as well as internal messages shared with Bloomberg News on the condition it not publish the names of employees who participated.The conflict comes as Google is changing in other ways, too. On Dec. 3, Sundar Pichai, who took over as Google’s chief executive office in 2015, became the head of Alphabet, its parent company. His elevation marks the end of the active involvement of Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who established Google’s distinctive culture when they founded the company as Stanford graduate students. Pichai has at times supported internal activism. He spoke at an employee protest against the Trump administration’s immigration policies and apologized to employees for Google’s track record on sexual harassment. His executives met repeatedly with critics of the company’s military work. Some Google managers began signaling that they're losing patience with internal activism even before the firings, according to one person who worked with them. Executives have not met with dissenting staff leadership in many weeks, according to one of the employees.While Walker wrote in the “Daily Insider” that organizations have to change as they grow, he simultaneously argued that the policies he described had always existed. “It was that way since the early days of Google, and it’s that way now,” he wrote. This particularly offended several long-time Googlers, who said on internal message boards that Walker’s comments didn’t square with their own memories. For some of them, the incident illustrated a broader breakdown in their trust of leadership. “I want to believe that executive management is saying everything—disclosing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” said Bruce Hahne, a Google technical project manager. “I don’t think we are currently under those conditions.”Hahne, 51, doesn’t meet the Google management’s profile of internal protestors. He joined the company in 2005, a year after Pichai, partly because he was attracted to its mission to organize the world’s information. His disillusionment crept in gradually during the company’s myriad controversies. In an online essay, Hahne compared Google to a “rogue machine” that was “originally created for good but whose psyche has turned corrupt and destructive,” much like Hal 9000 from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. “You don’t treat a rogue machine like family,” wrote Hahne, “instead you come up with a plan, you disable or dismantle the dysfunctional parts of the machine, and you seek to reprogram the machine to serve its original purpose.” When it was founded two decades ago, Google established an unusual corporate practice. Nearly all of its internal documents were widely available for workers to review. A programmer working on Google search could for instance, dip into the software scaffolding of Google Maps to crib some elegant block of code to fix a bug or replicate a feature. Employees also had access to notes taken during brainstorming sessions, candid project evaluations, computer design documents, and strategic business plans. (The openness doesn’t apply to sensitive data such as user information.)The idea came from open-source software development, where the broader programming community collaborates to create code by making it freely available to anyone with ideas to alter and improve it. The philosophy came with technical advantages. “That interconnected way of working is an integral part of what got Google to where it is now,” said John Spong, a software engineer who worked at Google until this July.Google has flaunted its openness as a recruiting tool and public relations tactic as recently as 2015. "As for transparency, it’s part of everything we do," Laszlo Bock, then the head of Google human relations, said in an interview that year. He cited the immediate access staff have to software documentation, and said employees "have an obligation to make their voices heard."Google’s open systems also proved valuable for activists within the company, who have examined its systems for evidence of controversial product developments and then circulated their findings among colleagues. Such investigations have been integral to campaigns against the projects for the Pentagon and China. Some people involved in this research refer to it as "internal journalism."Management would describe it differently. In November, Google fired four engineers who it said had been carrying out “systematic searches for other employees’ materials and work. This includes searching for, accessing, and distributing business information outside the scope of their jobs.” The engineers said they were active in an internal campaign against Google’s work with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and denied violating the company’s data security policies.Rebecca Rivers, one of the fired employees, said she initially logged into Google’s intranet, a web portal open to all staff, and typed the terms: “CBP” and “GCP,” for Google Cloud Platform. “That’s how simple it was,” she said. “Anyone could have stumbled onto it easily,” she said.In an internal email describing the firings, Google accused one employee of tracking a colleague’s calendar without permission, gathering information about both personal and professional appointments in a way that made the targeted employee feel uncomfortable. Laurence Berland, one of the employees who was fired recently, acknowledged he had accessed internal calendars, but said they were not private. He used them to confirm his suspicions that the company was censoring employees. Berland, who first joined Google in 2005, added that he felt the company was punishing him for breaking a rule that didn’t exist at the time of the alleged violations.  Google declined to identify the four employees it fired, but a company spokeswoman said the person who tracked calendars accessed unauthorized information.Other employees say they are now afraid to click on certain documents from other teams or departments because they are worried they could later be disciplined for doing so, a fear the company says is unfounded. Some workers have interpreted the policies as an attempt to stifle criticism of particular projects, which they allege amounts to a violation of the company’s code of conduct. These employees point to a clause in the code that actively encourages dissent: “Don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right—speak up!” Workers are "trying to report internally on problematic situations, and in some cases are not being allowed to make that information useful and accessible,” said Hahne. There is now a “climate of fear” inside Google offices, he said.Google’s permissive workplace culture became the prime example of Silicon Valley’s brand of employment. But transparency is hardly universal. Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. demand that workers operate in rigid silos to keep the details of sensitive projects from leaking to competitors. Engineers building a phone’s camera may have no idea what the people building its operating system are doing, and vice versa. Similar restrictions are common at government contractors and other companies working with clients who demand discretion.The specifics of Google’s business operations traditionally haven’t required this level of secrecy, but that is changing. Google’s cloud business in particular requires it to convince business clients it can handle sensitive data and work on discrete projects. This has brought it more in line with its secrecy-minded competitors. The protests themselves have also inspired new restrictions, as executives have looked to cut off the tools of the activists it argues are operating in bad faith.Google’s leaders have acknowledged the delicacy of adjusting a culture that has entrenched itself over two decades. “Employees today are much, much more active in the governance in the company,” Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO and chair, said at an event at Stanford University in October. Amy Edmonson, a professor of leadership and management at Harvard Business School, said that Google’s idealistic history increases the burden on its executives to bring along reluctant employees as it adopts more conventional corporate practices. “It’s just really important that if you’re going to do something that is perceived as change that you’re going to explain it,” she said.Bock, the company’s former HR director who is now CEO of Humu, a workplace software startup, suggested that Google hasn’t succeeded here. “Maybe Alphabet is just a different company than it used to be,” he wrote in an email to Bloomberg News. “But not everyone’s gotten the memo.” (Updates Berland comment in 19th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Josh Eidelson.To contact the authors of this story: Ryan Gallagher in London at rgallagher76@bloomberg.netMark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Brustein at jbrustein@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • December 14th 2019 at 18:16

Google Culture War Escalates as Era of Transparency Wanes

Google Culture War Escalates as Era of Transparency Wanes(Bloomberg) -- Each morning, workers at Google get an internal newsletter called the “Daily Insider.” Kent Walker, Google’s top lawyer, set off a firestorm when he argued in the Nov. 14 edition that the 21-year old company had outgrown its policy of allowing workers to access nearly any internal document. “When we were smaller, we all worked as one team, on one product, and everyone understood how business decisions were made,” Walker wrote. “It's harder to give a company of over 100,000 people the full context on everything.”Many large companies have policies restricting access to sensitive information to a “need-to-know” basis. But in some segments of Google’s workforce, the reaction to Walker’s argument was immediate and harsh. On an internal messaging forum, one employee described the data policy as “a total collapse of Google culture.” An engineering manager posted a lengthy attack on Walker’s note, which he called "arrogant and infantilizing." The need-to-know policy "denies us a form of trust and respect that is again an important part of the intrinsic motivation to work here,” the manager wrote.The complaining also spilled into direct action. A group of Google programmers created a tool that allowed employees to choose to alert Walker with an automated email every time they opened any document at all, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The deluge of notifications was meant as a protest to what they saw as Walker’s insistence on controlling the minutiae of their professional lives. “When it comes to data security policies, we’ve never intended to prevent employees from sharing technical learnings and information and we are not limiting anyone’s ability to raise concerns or debate the company’s activities,” said a Google spokeswoman in an email. “We have a responsibility to safeguard our user, business and customer information and these activities need to be done in line with our policies on data security.” The actions are just the latest chapter in an internal conflict that has been going on for almost two years. About 20,000 employees walked out last fall over the company’s generous treatment of executives accused of sexual harassment, and a handful quit over Google’s work on products for the U.S. military and a censored search engine for the Chinese market. Earlier this year, Google hired IRI Consultants, a firm that advises employers on how to combat labor organizing, and it recently fired four employees for what it said was violation of its policies on accessing sensitive data.The extent of Google’s employee rebellion is hard to measure—the company has tried to portray it as the work of a handful of malcontents from the company’s junior ranks. Nor are the company’s message boards unilaterally supportive of revolt. “We want to focus on our jobs when we come into the workplace rather than deal with a new cycle of outrage every few days or vote on petitions for or against Google’s latest project,” wrote one employee on an internal message board viewed by Bloomberg News.  Still, the company seems stuck in a cycle of escalation. Walker’s internal critics say his Nov. 14 email is part of a broader erosion of one of Google’s most distinctive traits—its extreme internal transparency. The fight also illustrates the lack of trust between Google’s leadership and some of its employees, according to interviews with over a dozen current and former employees, as well as internal messages shared with Bloomberg News on the condition it not publish the names of employees who participated.The conflict comes as Google is changing in other ways, too. On Dec. 3, Sundar Pichai, who took over as Google’s chief executive office in 2015, became the head of Alphabet, its parent company. His elevation marks the end of the active involvement of Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who established Google’s distinctive culture when they founded the company as Stanford graduate students. Pichai has at times supported internal activism. He spoke at an employee protest against the Trump administration’s immigration policies and apologized to employees for Google’s track record on sexual harassment. His executives met repeatedly with critics of the company’s military work. Some Google managers began signaling that they're losing patience with internal activism even before the firings, according to one person who worked with them. Executives have not met with dissenting staff leadership in many weeks, according to one of the employees.While Walker wrote in the “Daily Insider” that organizations have to change as they grow, he simultaneously argued that the policies he described had always existed. “It was that way since the early days of Google, and it’s that way now,” he wrote. This particularly offended several long-time Googlers, who said on internal message boards that Walker’s comments didn’t square with their own memories. For some of them, the incident illustrated a broader breakdown in their trust of leadership. “I want to believe that executive management is saying everything—disclosing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” said Bruce Hahne, a Google technical project manager. “I don’t think we are currently under those conditions.”Hahne, 51, doesn’t meet the Google management’s profile of internal protestors. He joined the company in 2005, a year after Pichai, partly because he was attracted to its mission to organize the world’s information. His disillusionment crept in gradually during the company’s myriad controversies. In an online essay, Hahne compared Google to a “rogue machine” that was “originally created for good but whose psyche has turned corrupt and destructive,” much like Hal 9000 from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. “You don’t treat a rogue machine like family,” wrote Hahne, “instead you come up with a plan, you disable or dismantle the dysfunctional parts of the machine, and you seek to reprogram the machine to serve its original purpose.” When it was founded two decades ago, Google established an unusual corporate practice. Nearly all of its internal documents were widely available for workers to review. A programmer working on Google search could for instance, dip into the software scaffolding of Google Maps to crib some elegant block of code to fix a bug or replicate a feature. Employees also had access to notes taken during brainstorming sessions, candid project evaluations, computer design documents, and strategic business plans. (The openness doesn’t apply to sensitive data such as user information.)The idea came from open-source software development, where the broader programming community collaborates to create code by making it freely available to anyone with ideas to alter and improve it. The philosophy came with technical advantages. “That interconnected way of working is an integral part of what got Google to where it is now,” said John Spong, a software engineer who worked at Google until this July.Google has flaunted its openness as a recruiting tool and public relations tactic as recently as 2015. "As for transparency, it’s part of everything we do," Laszlo Bock, then the head of Google human relations, said in an interview that year. He cited the immediate access staff have to software documentation, and said employees "have an obligation to make their voices heard."Google’s open systems also proved valuable for activists within the company, who have examined its systems for evidence of controversial product developments and then circulated their findings among colleagues. Such investigations have been integral to campaigns against the projects for the Pentagon and China. Some people involved in this research refer to it as "internal journalism."Management would describe it differently. In November, Google fired four engineers who it said had been carrying out “systematic searches for other employees’ materials and work. This includes searching for, accessing, and distributing business information outside the scope of their jobs.” The engineers said they were active in an internal campaign against Google’s work with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and denied violating the company’s data security policies.Rebecca Rivers, one of the fired employees, said she initially logged into Google’s intranet, a web portal open to all staff, and typed the terms: “CBP” and “GCP,” for Google Cloud Platform. “That’s how simple it was,” she said. “Anyone could have stumbled onto it easily,” she said.In an internal email describing the firings, Google accused one employee of tracking a colleague’s calendar without permission, gathering information about both personal and professional appointments in a way that made the targeted employee feel uncomfortable. Laurence Berland, one of the employees who was fired recently, acknowledged he had accessed internal calendars, but said they were not private. He used them to confirm his suspicions that the company was censoring employees. Berland, who first joined Google in 2005, added that he felt the company was punishing him for breaking a rule that didn’t exist at the time of the alleged violations.  Google declined to identify the four employees it fired, but a company spokeswoman said the person who tracked calendars accessed unauthorized information.Other employees say they are now afraid to click on certain documents from other teams or departments because they are worried they could later be disciplined for doing so, a fear the company says is unfounded. Some workers have interpreted the policies as an attempt to stifle criticism of particular projects, which they allege amounts to a violation of the company’s code of conduct. These employees point to a clause in the code that actively encourages dissent: “Don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right—speak up!” Workers are "trying to report internally on problematic situations, and in some cases are not being allowed to make that information useful and accessible,” said Hahne. There is now a “climate of fear” inside Google offices, he said.Google’s permissive workplace culture became the prime example of Silicon Valley’s brand of employment. But transparency is hardly universal. Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. demand that workers operate in rigid silos to keep the details of sensitive projects from leaking to competitors. Engineers building a phone’s camera may have no idea what the people building its operating system are doing, and vice versa. Similar restrictions are common at government contractors and other companies working with clients who demand discretion.The specifics of Google’s business operations traditionally haven’t required this level of secrecy, but that is changing. Google’s cloud business in particular requires it to convince business clients it can handle sensitive data and work on discrete projects. This has brought it more in line with its secrecy-minded competitors. The protests themselves have also inspired new restrictions, as executives have looked to cut off the tools of the activists it argues are operating in bad faith.Google’s leaders have acknowledged the delicacy of adjusting a culture that has entrenched itself over two decades. “Employees today are much, much more active in the governance in the company,” Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO and chair, said at an event at Stanford University in October. Amy Edmonson, a professor of leadership and management at Harvard Business School, said that Google’s idealistic history increases the burden on its executives to bring along reluctant employees as it adopts more conventional corporate practices. “It’s just really important that if you’re going to do something that is perceived as change that you’re going to explain it,” she said.Bock, the company’s former HR director who is now CEO of Humu, a workplace software startup, suggested that Google hasn’t succeeded here. “Maybe Alphabet is just a different company than it used to be,” he wrote in an email to Bloomberg News. “But not everyone’s gotten the memo.” (Updates Berland comment in 19th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Josh Eidelson.To contact the authors of this story: Ryan Gallagher in London at rgallagher76@bloomberg.netMark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Brustein at jbrustein@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • December 14th 2019 at 18:14

DEADLINE ALERT: Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. Reminds Investors That a Class Action Lawsuit Has Been Filed Against ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADTN) and Encourages ADTRAN Investors to Contact the Firm

DEADLINE ALERT: Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. Reminds Investors That a Class Action Lawsuit Has Been Filed Against ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADTN) and Encourages ADTRAN Investors to Contact the FirmBragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder law firm, reminds investors that a class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of investors that purchased ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADTN) securities between February 28, 2019 and October 9, 2019 (the "Class Period"). Investors have until December 16, 2019 to apply to the Court to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.


  • December 14th 2019 at 18:00

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  • December 14th 2019 at 17:30
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