Tag: effort

06
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Government probes Microsoft’s effort to boost diversity

Microsoft says the U.S. Labor Department is scrutinizing its efforts to boost Black employment and leadership at the tech company.

Microsoft disclosed in a blog post Tuesday that it received a letter from the agency last week asking about the company’s June pledge to double the number of Black and African American managers, senior individual contributors and senior leaders by 2025.

“The letter asked us to prove that the actions we are taking to improve opportunities are not illegal race-based decisions,” said Dev Stahlkopf, Microsoft’s general counsel. “Emphatically, they are not.”


CEO Satya Nadella made the June hiring commitment in response to Black Lives Matter protests around the country and as part of a broader message to employees about racial injustice and promoting a culture of inclusivity at the Redmond, Washington-based company.

It’s not uncommon for tech companies to publicly tout efforts to increase staff diversity, given the industry’s longstanding dearth of Black, Latino and female workers in technical and leadership positions. But this time they are running into scrutiny by a Trump administration that has sought to intervene with universities and other institutions over their approach to race and discrimination.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month “to combat offensive and anti-American race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating” in the federal workforce and among federal contractors. Microsoft is a major federal contractor, supplying its Office workplace software and cloud computing services to multiple government agencies.

Labor Department representatives didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment Tuesday.

The Trump administration’s move contrasts a flurry of efforts by private companies and institutions to increase racial diversity in the wake of the Black Lives Matters protests. There has been a particular emphasis on bringing more African Americans into leadership positions.

More than 40 private and publicly traded companies have joined

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

U.S. Supreme Court will consider FCC effort to loosen media ownership rules

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday it will take up a long-running legal dispute over whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can loosen U.S. media ownership rules.

A lower court has thwarted the FCC’s efforts to revise the rules since 2003 in a series of decisions.

In 2017, the Republican-led FCC voted to eliminate a ban in place since 1975 on cross-ownership of a newspaper and TV station in a major market. It also voted to make it easier for media companies to buy additional TV stations in the same market, for local stations to jointly sell advertising time and for companies to buy additional radio stations in some markets.

The FCC said in 2003 “that the ownership rules should be substantially overhauled because they inhibit beneficial combinations between struggling traditional outlets and no longer reflect current market realities.”

The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year directed the FCC to take up the issue again, finding that the regulatory agency “did not adequately consider the effect its sweeping rule changes will have on ownership of broadcast media by women and racial minorities.”

FCC General Counsel Tom Johnson wrote on Twitter on Friday that the Supreme Court’s agreeing to hear the case “is great news for struggling local news outlets and American consumers.”

The National Association of Broadcasters industry group said the 3rd Circuit “has blocked common-sense changes to outdated broadcast ownership regulations to the detriment of local journalism. The time has come to allow the FCC to modernize its rules.”

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, a Democrat, said that court “was right” that the commission “has repeatedly failed to consider the effect of its ownership rulings on women and minorities, which has impeded greater broadcast diversity.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing

30
Sep
2020
Posted in computer

Bridgeport zoo part of effort to save species

BRIDGEPORT — Traveling to look for love is no longer a possibility for many people in these times of pandemic-induced lockdown. But, apparently, it’s still an option for tigers.



a man holding a cat in front of a fence: Animal care specialist Chris Baker and Zeya, one of two Amur tigers at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, in Bridgeport, Conn. Sept. 29, 2020. Zeya is scheduled to leave the zoo Tuesday to be moved to another facility for breeding purposes.


© Provided by Connecticut Post

Animal care specialist Chris Baker and Zeya, one of two Amur tigers at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, in Bridgeport, Conn. Sept. 29, 2020. Zeya is scheduled to leave the zoo Tuesday to be moved to another facility for breeding purposes.


Zeya, one of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s two Amur tigers, was scheduled to spend her last day at the zoo Monday before being moved to another facility Tuesday for breeding purposes. Beardsley Director Gregg Dancho couldn’t say where Zeya was moving, because the other zoo hasn’t released permission to share that information.



a close up of a cage at a zoo: Zeya, one of two Amur tigers at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, in Bridgeport, Conn. Sept. 29, 2020. Zeya is scheduled to leave the zoo Tuesday to be moved to another facility for breeding purposes.


© Provided by Connecticut Post

Zeya, one of two Amur tigers at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, in Bridgeport, Conn. Sept. 29, 2020. Zeya is scheduled to leave the zoo Tuesday to be moved to another facility for breeding purposes.


The big move is part of a national program to help preserve critically endangered species, largely through breeding.



a man standing in front of a tiger: Zoo director Gregg Dancho watches Zeya, one of the Amur tigers at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, in Bridgeport, Conn. Sept. 29, 2020.


© Provided by Connecticut Post

Zoo director Gregg Dancho watches Zeya, one of the Amur tigers at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, in Bridgeport, Conn. Sept. 29, 2020.


“We’re trying to keep these animals on the planet,” Dancho said.

Beardsley is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and participates in its Species Survival Plan program, which helps conserve and protect animal populations. The program matches female and male tigers using a variety of criteria, including age and genetic information.

“Basically, it’s computer dating,” Dancho explained.

Tigers in general and Amur tigers in particular are critically endangered species. Due to habitat loss, poaching and other issues, four of nine subspecies of tiger have disappeared from the wild in just the