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The conversation about diversity in tech is getting hijacked by bad research

Recruiting companies offering one easy fix to gender disparities are getting taken way too seriously. Sunday’s New York Times Magazine contained a long feature by Clive Thompson on the history of women in tech and the industry’s more recent efforts to grapple with software engineering’s gender gap. One statistic in the piece jumped out at me: In a 2016 experiment conducted by the tech recruiting firm Speak With a Geek, 5,000 résumés with identical information were submitted to firms. When identifying details were removed from the résumés, 54 percent of the women received interview offers; when gendered names and other biographical information were given, only 5 percent of them did. That’s an astounding statistic — so astounding that it seemed literally incredible. Research into “blinded” résumés has sometimes found that it reduces bias — but never by a margin like that. Yes, blinded auditions for orchestras saw the share of women in the top orchestras grow from 5 percent to 25 per..

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Hate crime or hoax? The claims that Jussie Smollett orchestrated his attack, explained.

Police are now investigating if the Empire actor filed a false police report. It’s been nearly a month since actor and singer Jussie Smollett said he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime in an attack that briefly left him hospitalized. But now police are investigating Smollett as a suspect in a criminal investigation “for filing a false police report,” Chicago Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter. The announcement follows news reports calling Smollett’s story into question, suggesting that Smollett orchestrated the attack himself. Smollett, who is black and gay, plays a queer character in the Fox drama Empire. Initial reports of the attack were quickly met with an widespread outpouring of support from Smollett’s colleagues, the LGBTQ community at large, and politicians. Empire co-creator Danny Strong, for example, condemned the attack and tweeted his support of Smollett. Chicago police said from the outset that they were treating the incident as a ..

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Trump’s pick to chair new climate panel once said CO2 has been maligned like “Jews under Hitler”

William Happer has bizarre, backward views about climate science. The Pentagon and several federal agencies have repeatedly warned over the years that climate change is a threat to national security. Yet the White House is reportedly convening a panel to question it anew. The Washington Post, citing a National Security Council (NSC) discussion paper it obtained, reports that White House staff are preparing an executive order for President Donald Trump’s signature that would establish a Presidential Committee on Climate Security to be chaired by a notorious climate change denier. That man, NSC senior director William Happer, argued on CNBC in 2014 that “the demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler.” John Whitehouse of Media Matters dredged up the video: William Happer is set to lead a Trump panel on climate change: https://t.co/KNJKpO4A4t Happer has previously argued that "the demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demoniza..

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Lindsey Graham: Pulling troops from Syria is “the dumbest fucking idea I’ve ever heard”

Graham also told acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan that he would be the Trump administration’s “enemy” on Syria. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has made no secret of his disdain for President Donald Trump’s decision to remove US troops from Syria. In December, for example, the senator called Trump’s announcement that he would abruptly bringall 2,000 service members home from the country “a stain on the honor of the United States” and a “huge Obama-like mistake.” US troops are in Syria primarily to fight ISIS, and Graham and others have criticized the move because in part because America would abandon one of its key allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces, who have fought the terrorist group on the ground for years. Graham reserved his most vitriolic response, however, for a February 16 closed-door meeting in Munich with acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. Here’s the full exchange, as reported by the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin (which Breitbart’s Kristina Wong and NBC’s Cou..

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The race to make the warmest winter clothes

Why winter coats from Canada Goose and Moncler are ready for the Arctic. In September, the luxury outerwear company Canada Goose opened its fourth store in the US, in Short Hills, New Jersey. The store is packed with the company’s expensive and now-ubiquitous winter jackets. But this new Canada Goose store also has a “cold room,” where shoppers can try on the parkas in temperatures as low as minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit. These in-store freezers, which also pop up in the brand’s stores in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Boston, and Montreal, are something of a gimmick. You don’t really need to stand in a freezer to decide if a Canada Goose coat is warm; the fact that the coats are everywheretoday probably speak for itself. But they are also there to prove a point. “We have stores in cities like Vancouver and Tokyo where it hardly snows or goes below 0 degrees Celsius, but people want the best,” Dani Reiss, Canada Goose’s CEO, tells me. “A decade ago, outerwear was purely a commodity, somet..

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Why Trump is lowering expectations for next week’s Kim Jong Un summit

Maybe — finally — Trump is getting North Korea negotiations right. President Donald Trump is just one week away from one of the most important moments of his presidency — and he’s trying to lower expectations in advance. Trump plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam at the end of February for their second summit. Trump’s main goal, as it was when they met for the first time in Singapore last June, is to strike a deal to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program. That’s easier said than done. After months of talks, both sides are at an impasse: The US has demanded that North Korea offer a full, detailed list of its nuclear inventory before it lifts sanctions, while North Korea says the sanctions should be lifted before it provides the full list and seriously begins to downgrade its nuclear capabilities. It’s no wonder, then, that Trump has used nearly every public opportunity to try to lower mounting pressure ahead of the historic meeting. Let’s start with the first ..

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‘McLaren is already a great British success story’

Steve Fowler 2019-02-20 16:30 While some British car makers are struggling, Steve Fowler thinks McLaren’s success is nothing short of miraculous The McLaren name is so evocative here in the UK, it comes as a surprise that it’s hardly known at all in other parts of the world – including the US. That’s not only down to F1’s invisibility in the States, but the fact that McLaren Automotive is still one of the world’s newest car companies, only formed in 2010. • Best supercars on sale So it’s nothing short of miraculous to see how far it’s come in such a short time, producing incredible cars like the 600LT Spider and the 720S Spider (you’ll have to wait until next week for that). While some British car makers are struggling, McLaren is going from strength to strength. As others are shedding workers, McLaren is busy recruiting. Last year, the Woking-based firm recorded global sales of 4,806 cars – up a whopping 44 per cent. The aim is to get to 6,000 cars by 2024, while the entire rang..

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Tesla drivers will be able to fall asleep behind the wheel by 2021, says Elon Musk

Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-02-20 16:27 Tesla boss says self-driving will allow Tesla drivers to fall asleep behind the wheel within two years - but authorities may disagree Tesla drivers will be able to safely go to sleep behind the wheel of a car and wake up at their destination within two years, according to Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO and co-founder said the brand’s autonomous technology will be complete by the end of 2019, and safe to operate without any human observation before 2020 is over. • Autonomous cars will never exist says Waymo boss Speaking as a guest on an Ark Invest podcast, Musk said the last steps on the path to full autonomy are “extremely difficult”, but claimed with absolute certainty that Tesla’s driverless car technology would be “feature-ready” by the time the year is out. “I think we will be feature-complete, full self-driving this year,” said Musk. “Meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destinati..

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