Tag: revolt

IBM suits revolt against CEO’s Trump endorsement

suitsCEO Ginni Rometty might be enthusiastic of her love of Donald Trump and his plans to build a national Muslim registry, but her staff are getting rather hacked off with her.

The IBM suits are revolting against their CEO’s pro-Trumpery in a very public way and telling her not to include IBM in Trump’s plans.

In November, Rometty wrote Trump directly, congratulating him on his electoral victory and detailing various services the company could sell his administration. The letter was published on an internal IBM blog along with a personal note from Rometty to her enormous global staff.

“As IBMers, we believe that innovation improves the human condition. … We support, tolerance, diversity, the development of expertise, and the open exchange of ideas,” she wrote in the context of lending material support to a man who won the election by rejecting all of those values.

However IBM employees were horrified and some of them are denouncing her letter and asserting their “right to refuse participation in any US government contracts that violate constitutionally protected civil liberties.”

The IBMPetition.org effort has been spearheaded in part by IBM cybersecurity engineer Daniel Hanley, who  started organizing with his coworkers after reading Rometty’s letter.

He has told the press that he was shocked because IBM has purported to espouse diversity and inclusion, and yet Rometty in an unqualified way was reaching out to an admin whose electoral success was based on racist programmes.

The petition now has 51 signees, which is a tiny fraction of the company’s enormous global staff, but has only circulated only privately. The full IBMPetition.org letter can reads: :

“We are disappointed that IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s open letter to President-elect Donald Trump does not affirm IBMers’ core values of diversity, inclusiveness, and ethical business conduct. For our mutual aid and protection, we call on IBM to expand diversity recruitment programs, and we assert our right to refuse participation in any U.S. government contracts that violate constitutionally protected civil liberties. We call on IBM to demonstrate commitment to our Business Conduct Guidelines and to prevent perceived influence peddling through Trump affiliated businesses.”
“In response to your open letter to Mr. Trump [1], we are disappointed that you did not reaffirm the core values which differentiate both IBM as a company and us collectively as IBMers. While we understand your willingness to engage in constructive dialogue with the president-elect, we believe our shared culture and values remain not only constant, but also central to our transformation underpinned by cloud and cognitive initiatives. As you know, more than 400,000 IBMers around the world work in environments where diversity — including diversity of thought — is the norm. IBM values this because our diversity helps create innovation that enhances every aspect of our business.

“Your internal memo to employees, advocating diversity and the open exchange of ideas, echoes IBM President Tom Watson’s Policy Letter #4 [2]. Watson’s letter reaffirmed IBM’s moral leadership by refusing to discriminate on the basis of race, resisting the prevailing attitudes of governors in the southern United States. In this instance, Watson sacrificed short-term business interests in order to be on the right side of history, something IBM takes pride in today.”

The letter goes on to say that taking a conservative approach has grave implications.

“Our own founder’s experience and the rest of history teach us that accommodating those who unleash forces of aggressive nationalism, bigotry, racism, fear, and exclusion inevitably yields devastating outcomes for millions of innocents.”

The IBM petition is perhaps the first of its kind, a rare instance of tech employees directly confronting their management in an industry where organised labor is unheard of.

Already one IBM employee Elizabeth Wood has publicly quit the company shortly after reading Rometty’s letter. Apparently she provided advice and helped with drafts of the IBMPetition.org letter.


Open Sourcers are revolting over GitHub

rms-meets-open-sauce-detail-1Open Sourcers are revolting over GitHub’s management and support channels and have sent the website a stiff letter of complaint.

Posted on GitHub itself, the letter starts by praising the repository for its achievements and how the team has “done so much to grow the open source community and make it really accessible to users.” However, the letter quickly starts lighting torches and sharpening pitchforks. The letter is signed by 1200 angry developers.

“Those of us who run some of the most popular projects on GitHub feel completely ignored by you. We’ve gone through the only support channel that you have given us either to receive an empty response or even no response at all,” he wrote. “We have no visibility into what has happened with our requests, or whether GitHub is working on them. Since our own work is usually done in the open and everyone has input into the process, it seems strange for us to be in the dark about one of our most important project dependencies,”

GitHub is used the repository to store open source code. It promotes itself as being open and visible when it comes to code, but many developers want to know why their issues aren’t handled in the same respect.

Other key complaints noted within the letter include:

  • Issues are often filed missing crucial information like reproduction steps or version tested. The developers have instead asked for issues to gain custom fields, along with a mechanism for ensuring they are filled out in every issue.
  • Issues often accumulate content-less “+1” comments which serve only to spam the maintainers and any others subscribed to the issue. While +1s serve as a means for maintainers to know how widespread an issue is, the current system could be replaced with a voting system for better efficiency.
  • Issues and pull requests are often created without any adherence to the contribution guidelines.

“If GitHub were open source itself, we would be implementing these things ourselves as a community – we’re very good at that!”

Australians revolt over CAPTCHA

Australians do not give an XXXX for the use of CAPTCHA and are now in open revolt.

According to IT News, a new campaign calling for the death of CAPTCHA has begun in Earnest, which we think is a small town near Cairns.  

They say that the technology to combat spam bots is also blocking people with disabilities and the feature should be removed from websites.

A CAPTCHA is a completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart.

They are designed to prevent spammers from automatically sending unsolicited commercial messages to sites and users by requiring people to read unreadable text and numbers.

The problem with CAPTCHA is that it hinders people with vision impairments to the point that they cannot use certain websites.

Blind Citizens Australia, Able Australia, Media Access Australia and the Australian Deaf-Blind Council are calling on organisations to stop using CAPTCHA, setting up a petition with the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network.

Apparently when CAPTCHA uses audio files along with the strings of letters, people with disabilities find these just as tough.

Dyslexic, colour-blind and older users often find CAPTCHA hard to get through too.

It is starting to look like the use of CAPTCHA may in fact contravene Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act.

A better way for everyone, critics suggest, would be the use of emails to activate and verify users, instead of CAPTCHA.

The W3C web standards organisation has already commented that CAPTCHA has become less effective as an anti-spam measure, with character and image recognition software being able to defeat it.