Tech Today: March 8, 2021

Tech Today: March 8, 2021

Here’s what you need to know about what happened in tech today:

Black tech employees rebel against ‘Diversity Theater’
Last summer in response to the nationwide uprising against police terror, big tech companies put banners on their pages proclaiming support for Black lives. Apple put together a (pretty decent) special playlist of Black musicians and producers. Companies reaffirmed their commitment to DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion). But as Wired explains, interviewing workers from Pinterest, Google and Facebook, this is ‘diversity theater.’ The change has not come. Some of those working on the initiatives – people of color particularly – are doing it as unpaid labor in addition to their regular duties.
There may be Black Lives Matter posters on Facebook’s walls, but Black workers don’t see that phrase reflecting how they are treated in Facebook’s own workplace” – a complaint by Facebook workers at the EEOC

US government signals increase in cyberwarfare against China, Russia
From the New York Times, we learn that the US is preparing a so-called retaliatory cyberwarfare campaign against Russia. “The first major move is expected over the next three weeks, officials said, with a series of clandestine actions across Russian networks that are intended to be evident to President Vladimir V. Putin and his intelligence services and military but not to the wider world.”
The US government is acting with impunity here, declaring its intention to attack a sovereign nation, with no consideration of the wide-ranging effects this could have.

New bill could increase transparency of ISP bills
Cable and cell providers are notorious for hiding the truth about what they’re selling you – from the connection speed you can actually expect (vs what they put in ads) to the hidden fees they add on. Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN)’s new Broadband Consumer Transparency Act would undo some Trump-era changes in regulation and restore guidelines and disclosures originally used under the Obama administration.

Apple’s iCloud: “True” isn’t a valid name
Names are hard, goes the common refrain. Websites often store them in multiple fields: First Name, Middle, Last, Suffix, Title and so on. An entire list has been written about falsehoods programmers believe about names.
Over the last 6 months, author Rachel True’s iCloud account has been locked out, causing issues on her computer. The root of it seems to be her last name – True, which she wrote as “true” in the name field. Apple’s systems are interpreting this as a Boolean value (those are “true” and “false”) instead of a string of characters. No word on whether she’s been able to get back in.