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Something has changed for the tech giants. Even as they continue to hold tremendous influence in our daily lives, a growing accountability movement has begun to check their power. Led in large part by tech workers themselves, a movement seeking reform of how these companies do business, treat their employees, and conduct themselves as global citizens has taken on unprecedented momentum, particularly in the past year.

Concerns and anger over tech companies’ impact in the world is nothing new, of course. What’s changed is that workers are increasingly getting organized. Whether writing public letters, marching in protest, filing lawsuits, or unionizing, the labor force that makes the corporate tech world run is finding its voice, demanding a future in which companies do better and are held more responsible for their actions.

week to remember

It began with a Facebook outage. For some six hours on October 4, 2021, services for its 3.5 billion users across the world were unreachable. The timing couldn’t have been worse for the company: just hours before, whistleblower Frances Haugen had dropped a series of damning revelations about Facebook’s willingness to put corporate goals above ethics and its users’ well-being. The stock price plunged. On the 5th, a Tuesday, Haugen would unflinchingly testify for three and a half hours before the United States Senate Commerce Committee on how “Facebook consistently chose to prioritize its profits” over public safety. 

If executives at Facebook and other tech companies hoped Haugen would be an outlier, Ifeoma Ozoma had other plans: a day after Haugen’s testimony, Ozoma and several colleagues launched the Tech Worker Handbook online. Ozoma was herself a whistleblower, having called out racial and gender discrimination at Pinterest, together with her coworker Aerica Shimizu Banks, in 2020. Since then, she has become something of an inspiration for whistleblowers in the tech world. “I’ve heard from tech workers asking for advice since I first went public,” she says. She responded to hundreds of people individually, but to her that solution was just “not scalable,” so she used what she’d learned from those experiences to build the website. It got 30,000 hits on the first day. 

The handbook guides potential whistleblowers on how to handle the media, explains legal rights, and teaches both online safety—to avoid corporate surveillance, for example—and offline tactics, like how to get through a doxxing campaign. “Preparedness is power,” says the front page. “Individuals should not have to rely on whisper networks for justice.” The site received an effusive response online and endorsements from activists, researchers, and other whistleblowers. 

Just a day after publishing her handbook, Ozoma notched another major victory for accountability: on October 7, California governor Gavin Newsom signed bill SB 331 into law. 

Also known as the Silenced No More Act, the bill protects workers who speak out about discrimination and harassment, even if they’ve signed a nondisclosure agreement, a common practice in the tech industry. The bill was written by state senator Connie M. Leyva and cosponsored by Ozoma, who drew from her whistleblowing and policy knowledge to help shape it. “Forty million people is a big fucking deal,” she says, referring to California’s population. “And if it would end there it would be a big fucking deal.” 

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It didn’t end there. As the law was making its way through the legislative system, a coalition of companies spearheaded by Ozoma pushed other tech firms to commit to extending its protection to all employees, not just those based in California. Expensify and Twilio agreed, but “it’s been a different story with Apple, Google, Facebook, Etsy, and a number of other companies,” Ozoma says.

Undeterred, the Transparency in Employment Agreements Coalition worked within the guidelines of the US Securities and Exchange Commission to file shareholder resolutions with seven technology companies, pushing them to extend the Silenced No More protections to all employees. Apple tried to get the proposal thrown out, but in late December the SEC ruled that the proposal does not “seek to micromanage the company,” as Apple claimed, meaning shareholders can now vote on it. If it’s passed at the March 4 annual meeting, the company will have to publish a public report on the use of concealment clauses in cases of discrimination or harassment. 

The Silenced No More Act went into effect on January 1, 2022. Even if every shareholder proposal effort fails, workers who live in California have been liberated from the restrictions that NDAs impose. The new law all but guarantees that new voices will step forward to bring their experiences to light. 

“All of the work that we’re doing

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By: Jane Lytvynenko
Title: Why the balance of power in tech is shifting toward workers
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/02/07/1044760/tech-workers-unionizing-power/
Published Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2022 10:00:00 +0000

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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.

This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.

bitsonftjeysey
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.

The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México

Jersey NFTs

Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.

The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.

Some new developments underway at EXMO:

Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.

EXMO’s new logo

The rationale for the re-brand:

“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding

The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country. 

The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already. 

Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). 

It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.

The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines. 

If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.  

The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.

The case of Texas

The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.

One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more. 

These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.

Map USA grid
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
legend

ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.

The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created  demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts.  Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.

Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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