Links: Teams, Diversity, Education, and The Good / Bad Google

Tue, Oct 10, 2017 6:00 PM - Embassy Theatre Wellington (10 Kent Terrace, Wellington)

Please join NZ Tech Women on Ada Lovelace Day 10th October 2017, as they host a very special screening of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap described by Film Journal critic Doris Toumarkine as "Polished, entertaining and informative, ‘CODE’ is mainly a trove of impressive women and articulate voices addressing an important issue". Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology engineering and maths which aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and create new role models for both girls and women studying or working in STEM.


Onboarding new employees: the 3 elements that make all the difference

Science For Work - Daniela Reuteler

A good onboarding process can make a difference in a new hire’s performance, commitment, job satisfaction, and intentions to remain.
Effective onboarding aims to raise the levels of confidence and role clarity in the new recruit, along with increasing how connected they feel with people with their new organization.


Google Says These 5 Characteristics Can Make or Break a Successful Team - Robin Camarote

Google studied 180 teams through its Project Aristotle over two years. They were on a quest to find the common traits among the most successful ones. Going in, they assumed the best teams were comprised of the most skilled people. But that wasn't the case. Instead, they found 5 core characteristics of high-performing teams: 1) Dependability, 2) Structure and clarity, 3) Meaning, 4) Impact, and 5) Psychological Safety.


Google squeezes Symantec until it certs

Reseller News - Gregg Keizer

Beginning with Chrome 66, Google will remove trust for Symantec-issued certificates issued before June 1, 2016


Gender Decoder for Job Ads

Kat Matfield

Without realising it, we all use language that is subtly ‘gender-coded’. Society has certain expectations of what men and women are like, and how they differ, and this seeps into the language we use. Think about “bossy” and “feisty”: we almost never use these words to describe men.
This linguistic gender-coding shows up in job adverts as well, and research has shown that it puts women off applying for jobs that are advertised with masculine-coded language.*
This site is a quick way to check whether a job advert has the kind of subtle linguistic gender-coding that has this discouraging effect


What We Get Wrong About Technology

Tim Harford

Blade Runner (1982) is a magnificent film, but there’s something odd about it. The heroine, Rachael, seems to be a beautiful young woman. In reality, she’s a piece of technology — an organic robot designed by the Tyrell Corporation. She has a lifelike mind, imbued with memories extracted from a human being.  So sophisticated is Rachael that she is impossible to distinguish from a human without specialised equipment; she even believes herself to be human. 
First, the most influential new technologies are often humble and cheap. Mere affordability often counts for more than the beguiling complexity of an organic robot such as Rachael. Second, new inventions do not appear in isolation, as Rachael and her fellow androids did. Instead, as we struggle to use them to their best advantage, they profoundly reshape the societies around us.


The iPhone X’s new neural engine exemplifies Apple’s approach to AI

The Verge -  James Vincent

Apple’s approach is typical of the company’s ethos: it’s focused on doing AI on your device instead. We saw this back in June 2016, when the company introduced “differential privacy” (using statistical methods to mask users’ identity when collecting their data), and at WWDC this year when it unveiled its new Core ML API. The “neural engine” is just a continuation of the same theme. By having hardware on the phone itself that’s dedicated to AI processing, Apple sends less data off-device and better protects users’ privacy.


Why we need a fresh view on ‘future-focused’ education

Karen Spencer

... education must pivot fast to serve these economic masters if young people want to work in the future — is both a false dichotomy and a bleak vision for change. In effect, it simply replaces one industrial model from the 20th Century with a new, shinier one from the 21st. It’s hard to motivate schools from this position. It puts economic promises and profit in the driving seat of curriculum design. And it ignores the fact that, if we are honest, we don’t need to ‘buy into’ new initiatives because we already have the tools to make the kind of change that matters most to people.


A Serf on Google’s Farm

Talking Points Memo - Josh Marshall

So we will keep using all of Google’s gizmos and services and keep cashing their checks. Hopefully, they won’t see this post and get mad. In the microcosm, it works for us. It’s good money. But big picture … Google is a big, big problem. So is Facebook. So is Amazon. Monopolies are a big, lumbering cause of many of our current afflictions. And we’re only now, slowly, beginning to realize it.