Tag: google x

Google X worked older staff member to collapse

Google X worked an older staff member so hard he finally collapsed and it laid him off.

According to Business Insider the employee was assigned to fieldwork for Project Wing, which is X’s program to create delivery drones for transporting consumer goods and emergency medicine.

While out in private ranch lands in the Central Valley in California one day, the employee succumbed to either a heart attack or a grand mal seizure because of the hot temperatures in the Central Valley, coupled with a gruelling work schedule of 10-12 hours a day and stress may have brought it on.

The Project Wing drone tester, who returned to work after two months’ leave, found himself demoted and sent back into a field gig before eventually being pushed out of the company.

According to Business Insider, some members of the Project Wing field team painted an alarming picture of hostile work conditions driven by engineers and managers back at headquarters who scheduled the group to conduct loads of tests, thereby producing loads of data, despite the long hours outdoors that such a schedule required.

To make matters worse all their demanding work and data was being ignored because their backgrounds in the military were allegedly viewed disdainfully by Google X.

Google top engineer dies on Everest

Everest_North_Face_toward_Base_Camp_Tibet_Luca_Galuzzi_2006One of the high profile casualties from the appalling Nepal earthquake was top Google engineer Dan Fredinburg.

Fredinburg was the lead engineer who worked on many of Google’s most exciting projects during his eight years with the company.

He was killed by an avalanche on Mount Everest triggered by Nepal’s devastating earthquake, he apparently suffered a major head injury.

The 33-year-old Google engineer had been documenting his Mount Everest Climb on Twitter and Instagram.

Fredinburg was a key player behind many of Google’s more interesting products his job at Google was entrepreneurial product and program management expert. Specifically he was dedicated to using data science and connected devices like drones, smart appliances, and wearables to protect and improve the environment and human rights.

He had most recently worked on Google [x], the company’s semi-secret futuristic lab and his Instagram tagline reads: “I want everyone to think like Google [x] and have the heart of an adventurer.”

Fredinburg worked on projects such as Google Loon, the company’s balloon-based Internet access effort and self-driving car. He also was involved in Google Street View Everest, leading expeditions to gather imagery of the Khumbu region around Mt. Everest.

Lawrence You, Google’s head of privacy, broke the news about Fredinburg’s death to colleagues. “Sadly, we lost one of our own in this tragedy.  Dan Fredinburg a long-time member of the Privacy organization in Mountain View, was in Nepal with three other Googlers, hiking Mount Everest. He has passed away. The other three Googlers with him are safe and we are working to get them home quickly.”

Google.org is committing $1 million to the Nepal crisis response team.

Google preparing robot army at secret lab

Google, the company that does what it wants, when it wants and how it wants, has a top-secret laboratory somewhere in the Bay Area where execs and researchers come together to decide the kind of innovations people might not want, but they’re going to have.

The laboratory, dubbed Google X, reads like a wish-list from Alpha Centauri – featuring projects that really aren’t that far away, like internet of things – up to the more outlandish like space elevators. A person familiar with the matter told the New York Times that, in terms of secrecy, it’s not dissimilar to the CIA.

There’s one office at Google, Mountain View – where, TechEye hears, Google employs bully-boy security officers who take much pride in a jobsworthian dictat – and another in a secret location.

The secret location is where Google researches robotics, where, a deepthroat told the New York Times, executives are playing with the idea of sending automated robots onto the streets to capture Google Maps. Which is quite a far cry from its humble days as a welcome alternative to Yahoo.

Google makes sure the ideas keep coming, with poached scientists and engineers from the likes of Microsoft, Nokia, Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon and NYU, reports the New York Times.

It’s all sounding a bit Skynet. That said, it’s not time to relocate to the Welsh valleys just yet – the time of computer-controlled nuclear death from above is not quite upon us.

Google claims it doesn’t toy with shareholder money lightly, and the speculative projects are only baby steps towards death’s door for all of humankind.

According to the New York Times, Google co-founder Sergey Brin is an evangelist for the projects. He allegedly worked on a list of projects together with Larry Page as well as Eric Schmidt and other executives.