Huawei/US

Huawei/US Conflict Hinders Plans For 5G Rollout

China’s behemoth Huawei is hindered by the growing concern of foreign leaders that it is an organ of the Technocrat dictatorship. Huawei’s plans for 5G domination are thus in serious jeopardy.  ⁃ TN Editor

The US-led offensive against Chinese tech firm Huawei is creating big problems for mobile operators as they start building the next generation of wireless networks.

The United States is trying to persuade other countries not to allow Huawei equipment into new superfast 5G networks because it claims the gear could be used by the Chinese government for spying.
Huawei strongly denies the accusations. And it has already built up such a strong lead in 5G technology that it’s practically irreplaceable for many wireless carriers that want to be among the first to offer the new services.

“Banning Huawei will create a vacuum that no one can fill in a timely fashion and may seriously impair 5G deployments worldwide,” said Stéphane Téral, a mobile telecom infrastructure expert at research firm IHS Markit. The uncertainty is particularly problematic for Europe, where Huawei was expected to play a key role in building 5G networks that the region’s leaders say are vital for its economic future.
The international rollout of 5G has become a front line in the broader clash over advanced technology between the United States and China that is reshaping the relationship between the world’s top two economies.

The United States doesn’t have a heavyweight global competitor to Huawei in telecommunications equipment. The Chinese firm’s biggest rivals are Ericsson (ERIC) of Sweden and Nokia (NOK) of Finland. But they have struggled for years with losses and job cuts while Huawei has powered ahead, generating annual revenue of more than $100 billion, building a strong base in China and amassing intellectual property that will help determine the future of 5G.

Unhappy mobile operators

Some top international mobile operators are warning that by shutting Huawei out of 5G networks, countries risk undermining their own tech capabilities. The new wave of wireless communications is expected to increase internet speeds as much as 100 times compared with 4G networks, and help power emerging technologies like smart cities and connected vehicles.

Vodafone’s (VOD) CEO Nick Read cautioned last month that a complete ban on all Huawei gear would substantially delay the availability of 5G. The mobile carrier has suspended the installation of the Chinese company’s equipment in core networks in Europe while it speaks with authorities and the company.

In August, Vodafone slammed the Australian government’s decision to ban Huawei from providing 5G technology for networks there, saying the move “fundamentally undermines Australia’s 5G future.”

UK telecom group BT’s chief architect, Neil McRae, put the situation in stark terms late last year.

“There is only one true 5G supplier right now, and that is Huawei,” he said at an industry event in London. “The others need to catch up.”

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Virginia Is 4th State To Reject Smart Metering Plans

In a serious blow to the establishment of Technocracy, four states rejected Smart Metering plans in 2018. Smart meters control energy distribution and consumption, which is a key requirement for Technocracy. People and legislators are pushing back across the nation.⁃ TN Editor

On January 17, Virginia utility regulators rejected Dominion Energy’s bid to deploy ‘smart’ electricity meters across the state.

In doing so, Virginia joins state regulators in Kentucky (Aug 2018), Massachusetts (May 2018), and New Mexico (April 2018) in rejecting ‘smart’ meters. In Canada, New Brunswick (July 2018) also rejected ‘smart’ electricity meters.

UPDATE 29 Jan 2019: We received word that parts of Kentucky do have ‘smart’ meters, and KU seems to be still deploying even though the PSC ruled against their proposal. There’s also a similar situation in New Mexico, where the regulatory ruling there seems to not apply to all utilities. We’d like your help to get to the bottom of such situations where regulatory rulings seem to be only partially applicable. If you have further info on these details, please comment below!!

The official reasons for energy regulators’ decisions in all of these regions has been a) exorbitant costs; and b) lack of customer benefit. Though in my view, it is very likely that the liability associated with other aspects about this dangerous technology also played motivational factors, such as privacy violations, documented biological harm from radiation and voltage transients, home fires(including fatalities), and hacking / securityissues.

Dominion Energy’s plans included spending a whopping $5.07 billion just for ‘smart’ / AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) meters. The denial by the State Corporation Commission is “without prejudice,” however, allowing Dominion to refile a revised proposal in the future.

UtilityDrive.com identified this this latest rejection in Virginia as

“part of a trend that has seen AMI deployment flatline at roughly 50% of electric customers [in the USA].”

In response, Marjorie Leach-Parker, Chair of Sierra Club’s Virginia Chapterstated:

Today’s decision by the SCC was a victory for all of Dominion’s customers who have grown tired of watching the corporation’s pockets get fatter at their expense. We would have loved to support a true “grid modernization” proposal by Dominion, if the company had proposed measures to increase renewable energy penetration, reduce energy waste, and facilitate electric vehicle integration. Instead, Dominion’s self-serving proposal was met with a firestorm of opposition, and the SCC rightly rejected it.

I envision that since the trends strongly indicate that ‘smart’ meter technology is being widely recognized as useless if not harmful, the “50% deployed” number will diminish as ‘smart’ AMI meters start to be replaced with safe, proven electromechanical technology which does not waste money, lasts 6-8 times longer, is far more accurate, does not surveil utility customers, and does not cause either physical harm or damage to property.

However, whether the trend of ‘smart’ meter proposal rejection (by PUCs) leads to the widespread replacement of ‘smart’ meters (with safe technology) is entirely dependent on the actions of utility customers.

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Is Big Tech Merging With Big Brother?

Technocracy is encroaching to the point that it is taking over the pilot’s seat in governments around the world. Representative governments and societies have little chance except to succumb. Violent resistance, such as Yellow Vest movement in France, will continue to resist. ⁃ TN Editor

A friend of mine, who runs a large television production company in the car-mad city of Los Angeles, recently noticed that his intern, an aspiring filmmaker from the People’s Republic of China, was walking to work.

When he offered to arrange a swifter mode of transportation, she declined. When he asked why, she explained that she “needed the steps” on her Fitbit to sign in to her social media accounts. If she fell below the right number of steps, it would lower her health and fitness rating, which is part of her social rating, which is monitored by the government. A low social rating could prevent her from working or traveling abroad.

China’s social rating system, which was announced by the ruling Communist Party in 2014, will soon be a fact of life for many more Chinese.

By 2020, if the Party’s plan holds, every footstep, keystroke, like, dislike, social media contact, and posting tracked by the state will affect one’s social rating.

Personal “creditworthiness” or “trustworthiness” points will be used to reward and punish individuals and companies by granting or denying them access to public services like health care, travel, and employment, according to a plan released last year by the municipal government of Beijing. High-scoring individuals will find themselves in a “green channel,” where they can more easily access social opportunities, while those who take actions that are disapproved of by the state will be “unable to move a step.”

Big Brother is an emerging reality in China. Yet in the West, at least, the threat of government surveillance systems being integrated with the existing corporate surveillance capacities of big-data companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon into one gigantic all-seeing eye appears to trouble very few people—even as countries like Venezuela have been quick to copy the Chinese model.

Still, it can’t happen here, right? We are iPhone owners and Amazon Prime members, not vassals of a one-party state. We are canny consumers who know that Facebook is tracking our interactions and Google is selling us stuff.

Yet it seems to me there is little reason to imagine that the people who run large technology companies have any vested interest in allowing pre-digital folkways to interfere with their 21st-century engineering and business models, any more than 19th-century robber barons showed any particular regard for laws or people that got in the way of their railroads and steel trusts.

Nor is there much reason to imagine that the technologists who run our giant consumer-data monopolies have any better idea of the future they’re building than the rest of us do.

Facebook, Google, and other big-data monopolists already hoover up behavioral markers and cues on a scale and with a frequency that few of us understand. They then analyze, package, and sell that data to their partners.

A glimpse into the inner workings of the global trade in personal data was provided in early December in a 250-page report released by a British parliamentary committee that included hundreds of emails between high-level Facebook executives. Among other things, it showed how the company engineered sneaky ways to obtain continually updated SMS and call data from Android phones. In response, Facebook claimed that users must “opt-in” for the company to gain access to their texts and calls.

The machines and systems that the techno-monopolists have built are changing us faster than they or we understand. The scale of this change is so vast and systemic that we simple humans can’t do the math—perhaps in part because of the way that incessant smartphone use has affected our ability to pay attention to anything longer than 140 or 280 characters.

As the idea of a “right to privacy,” for example, starts to seem hopelessly old-fashioned and impractical in the face of ever-more-invasive data systems—whose eyes and ears, i.e., our smartphones, follow us everywhere—so has our belief that other individual rights, like freedom of speech, are somehow sacred.

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Macron’s Technocrat ‘Revolution’ Repudiated By Fed Up French Citizens

The ‘Yellow Vest’ movement in France has its own problems, but it’s chagrin for Macron’s Technocrat policies is in plain view. The outcome if far from being clear, but the Euro-elite are frightened and on the defensive. ⁃ TN Editor

Jean-Baptiste Moreau, a farmer who splits his time between parliament and his cow sheds, thought he would be part of the solution to France’s political problems when he was elected.

The 41-year-old won a seat in parliament in June 2017 in what some commentators termed a “velvet revolution” led by President Emmanuel Macron, which saw grumpy voters turf out a whole generation of MPs from the country’s main political parties.

Macron’s victorious centrist movement filled half its parliamentary seats with people who had never held political office before, including Moreau, who posted a picture on Twitter of himself delivering a calf on Christmas Day.

But less than two years after the biggest turnover in political personnel in 60 years, France has faced another anti-elite revolt led by “yellow vest” protesters commanding widespread public support.

“Given the weight of the legislative agenda, we’ve been very busy in the parliament and in Paris and not on the ground enough explaining how we want to do politics differently,” Moreau said in an interview.

“And perhaps we’ve not been different enough from our predecessors,” the MP from the central Creuse region told AFP in what he called a “mea culpa”.

The failure of Macron’s bid to restore faith in politicians in France could have repercussions in a country where anti-establishment far-right and far-left parties have never been so popular.

Research published last week by the Cevipof political institute at Sciences Po university found more than two thirds of the French people still had overwhelmingly negative views of politicians.

When asked to sum up their feelings towards them, 37 percent said they felt “distrust”, 32 percent “disgust”, eight percent “boredom” and four percent “fear”.

Only France’s roughly 35,000 mayors, seen as close to the people they represent, inspired confidence in a majority of people.

– ‘Alarming’ results –

Overall, cynicism was at its highest level since Cevipof began its surveys in 2007, before the presidencies of Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande, which were both judged harshly by French voters.

“The surge in confidence hoped for by Emmanuel Macron after his election has not materialised,” Cevipof director Martial Foucault commented last week, calling the results “alarming”.

Many of the new MPs in Macron’s Republic on the Move (LREM) party have been shocked by the abuse directed at them since the “yellow vest” protesters from rural and small-town France took to the streets in late November.

Bruno Questel, a northern MP, was shaken in mid-December when someone fired six gunshots in front of his house shortly before midnight which was followed by a noisy demonstration of around 40 people.

“I was stunned. We’ve reached a new level of aggressiveness,” he told AFP, adding that the crowd insulted and threatened him when he went outside to reason with them.

“I don’t think any MP deserves to have gunshots in front of his house.”

Around 50 of Macron’s 305 MPs say they have been victims of some form of intimidation.

In other incidents, protesters have smashed a forklift truck through the doors of a ministry building, guillotined an effigy of Macron, and daubed graffiti on the Arc de Triomphe, one of the symbols of the French republic.

– Revolutionary spirit –

Macron has interpreted the protests as a sign of impatience from an electorate desperate for change — for lower taxes, better public services and democratic reforms.

All of those were campaign promises from the 41-year-old ex-banker, who like many of his MPs had never been elected before becoming president.

But analysts also see Macron’s perceived arrogance, top-down governing style, and tax policies favouring high earners as reasons behind the “yellow vest” revolt.

Other research from Cevipof has shown that Macron’s MPs are mostly drawn from the middle or professional classes — with little experiences of the poverty and economic difficulties denounced by the “yellow vests”.

Historian Jean Garrigues calls the level of abuse directed at MPs “unprecedented” under the fifth republic, which began in 1958.

But this new wave of anti-elitism draws from deep sources, he says.

Read full story here…




Henn Na Hotel

World’s First Robot Hotel Fires Half Of Robot Staff

The Japanese hotel was opened with much fanfare in March 2017 as the world’s first robot-run hotel. TN wrote then, “They built it, but will anyone come?” Guests did try it out, but repudiated the whole thing with a myriad of complaints about the robots themselves. ⁃ TN Editor

A Japanese hotel reportedly fired half of its nearly 250 robot staff following various complaints from guests.

Henn-na Hotel, which employs various robots from check-in staff to in-room help, reportedly decided to lay off half of its robot employees after they proved to be more of a nuisance than a benefit.

According to CNET, “Henn-na’s robot staff was first employed in 2015 with the aim of becoming ‘the most efficient hotel in the world.’ But four years later, it seems that the 243 robots are less of a novelty and more of a nuisance. As a result, the Henn-na Hotel has fired half of them.”
CNET reported that a number of guests had complained about the robots, which allegedly woke them up in the middle of the night, interrupted conversations, and struggled to “answer basic guest questions without human help.”

“Bellhop robots were designed to carry luggage, but they could only move on flat surfaces and could only access a small number of rooms,” explained CNET. “Their hotel careers were also cut short.”

On Henn-na Hotel’s website, the hotel claims to be “the world-first hotel staffed by robots.”

Read full story here…




France’s Ghosts Of ’68: General Strike Vs. Macron And The Technocrat Elites

Unlike Americans, Europeans are not reticent to openly discuss Technocrats and Technocracy in light of their current struggles. France’s Technocrats are learning a hard lesson about what happens with over-manipulated citizens. ⁃ TN Editor
 

The Paris elites and their enablers may find that the next general strike won’t immobilize Paris, it will strangle Paris from the periphery.
Eleven months ago, I posited in The Ghosts of 1968 (2/14/18) that the idealistic hope that mass demonstrations could trigger real reform had expired. The mass demonstrations of the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) in 2018 dramatically reinvigorated the topic.

I don’t see the yellow vest uprising as idealistically fueled; it’s fueled by desperation and what Francis Fukuyama termed the working classes’ “perception of invisibility” in a recent essay (Against Identity Politics (Foreign Affairs, Sept/Oct. 2018), a view echoed by French geographer / author Christophe Guilluy who said that “the French people are using the gilets jaunes to say we exist.”

Unstoppable”: Christophe Guilluy on the cultural divide driving the yellow vests (via Arshad A.)

Guilluy: “Not only does peripheral France fare badly in the modern economy, it is also culturally misunderstood by the elite. The yellow-vest movement is a truly 21st-century movement in that it is cultural as well as political. Cultural validation is extremely important in our era.

One illustration of this cultural divide is that most modern, progressive social movements and protests are quickly endorsed by celebrities, actors, the media and the intellectuals. But none of them approve of the gilets jaunes. Their emergence has caused a kind of psychological shock to the cultural establishment. It is exactly the same shock that the British elites experienced with the Brexit vote and that they are still experiencing now, three years later.”

Interviewer: How have the working-classes come to be excluded?

Guilluy: “All the growth and dynamism is in the major cities, but people cannot just move there. The cities are inaccessible, particularly thanks to mounting housing costs. The big cities today are like medieval citadels. It is like we are going back to the city-states of the Middle Ages. Funnily enough, Paris is going to start charging people for entry, just like the excise duties you used to have to pay to enter a town in the Middle Ages.

The cities themselves have become very unequal, too. The Parisian economy needs executives and qualified professionals. It also needs workers, predominantly immigrants, for the construction industry and catering et cetera. Business relies on this very specific demographic mix. The problem is that ‘the people’ outside of this still exist. In fact, ‘Peripheral France’ actually encompasses the majority of French people.”

Interviewer: What role has the liberal metropolitan elite played in this?

Guilluy: We have a new bourgeoisie, but because they are very cool and progressive, it creates the impression that there is no class conflict anymore. It is really difficult to oppose the hipsters when they say they care about the poor and about minorities.

But actually, they are very much complicit in relegating the working classes to the sidelines. Not only do they benefit enormously from the globalised economy, but they have also produced a dominant cultural discourse which ostracises working-class people.

The middle-class reaction to the yellow vests has been telling.

Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.

Now the elites are afraid. For the first time, there is a movement which cannot be controlled through the normal political mechanisms. The gilets jaunes didn’t emerge from the trade unions or the political parties. It cannot be stopped. There is no ‘off’ button. Either the intelligentsia will be forced to properly acknowledge the existence of these people, or they will have to opt for a kind of soft totalitarianism.”

Mobilizing 80,000 heavily armed “security forces” is more like hard totalitarianism, justified, of course, by a fatuous claim of defending “the social order,” i.e. the complete domination of elites.

But the French elites are discovering the disconcerting reality that it’s impossible to defend every traffic-speed camera, every bank, etc. from sabotage.

Yellow vests knock out 60% of all speed cameras in France

The class analysis of the current crisis is now coming into focus: a reversal of polarity from the 1968 general strike of elite students and labor unions. Fifty years ago, the students of the elite Paris universities garnered the support of the labor unions and this combined force nearly toppled the government with a general strike.

Now, students of the elite Paris universities are complicit supporters of the technocrat elite, as the most fervent hope of most of these students is to nail down a position in the technocrat elite threatened by the yellow vest dissenters.

The labor unions are also missing in action, as they are now adjuncts of the ruling elites, feeding at the same trough of tax revenues and corporate globalization-financialization profits.

The gilets jaunes / yellow vests are a working class revolt against the elites and those who identify with the elites: the fake-progressive hipsters, the aspiring technocrats and the comfortably secure state unions, all of whom are now on the elite side of the barricades.

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Judge: Cops Can’t Force You To Unlock iPhone With Finger or Face

Although this is a lower court, it sets a precedent for privacy that is urgently overdue now that fingerprint and facial scanning are commonly used unlock tools on smart phones. Police will now have to secure warrants before searching a suspects phone. ⁃ TN Editor

A California judge has ruled that American cops can’t force people to unlock a mobile phone with their face or finger. The ruling goes further to protect people’s private lives from government searches than any before and is being hailed as a potentially landmark decision.

Previously, U.S. judges had ruled that police were allowed to force unlock devices like Apple’s iPhone with biometrics, such as fingerprints, faces or irises. That was despite the fact feds weren’t permitted to force a suspect to divulge a passcode. But according to a ruling uncovered by Forbes, all logins are equal.

The order came from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in the denial of a search warrant for an unspecified property in Oakland. The warrant was filed as part of an investigation into a Facebook extortion crime, in which a victim was asked to pay up or have an “embarassing” video of them publicly released. The cops had some suspects in mind and wanted to raid their property. In doing so, the feds also wanted to open up any phone on the premises via facial recognition, a fingerprint or an iris.

While the judge agreed that investigators had shown probable cause to search the property, they didn’t have the right to open all devices inside by forcing unlocks with biometric features.

On the one hand, magistrate judge Kandis Westmore ruled the request was “overbroad” as it was “neither limited to a particular person nor a particular device.”

But in a more significant part of the ruling, Judge Westmore declared that the government did not have the right, even with a warrant, to force suspects to incriminate themselves by unlocking their devices with their biological features. Previously, courts had decided biometric features, unlike passcodes, were not “testimonial.” That was because a suspect would have to willingly and verbally give up a passcode, which is not the case with biometrics. A password was therefore deemed testimony, but body parts were not, and so not granted Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination.

That created a paradox: How could a passcode be treated differently to a finger or face, when any of the three could be used to unlock a device and expose a user’s private life?

And that’s just what Westmore focused on in her ruling. Declaring that “technology is outpacing the law,” the judge wrote that fingerprints and face scans were not the same as “physical evidence” when considered in a context where those body features would be used to unlock a phone.

“If a person cannot be compelled to provide a passcode because it is a testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide one’s finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device,” the judge wrote.

“The undersigned finds that a biometric feature is analogous to the 20 nonverbal, physiological responses elicited during a polygraph test, which are used to determine guilt or innocence, and are considered testimonial.”

There were other ways the government could get access to relevant data in the Facebook extortion case “that do not trample on the Fifth Amendment,” Westmore added. They could, for instance, ask Facebook to provide Messenger communications, she suggested. Facebook has been willing to hand over such messages in a significant number of previous cases Forbes has reviewed.

Read full story here…




UPDATE: AT&T Stops Selling Location Data Amid Calls For Fed Investigation

AT&T was caught red handed and exposed this week by Motherboard. for selling customer location data, an egregious violation of privacy laws. Today, AT&T says they have stopped selling data because they now know a Federal investigation is being ramped up. If history is a guide, AT&T will resume selling after the heat and attention have passed. AT&T is a classic example of Technocracy in action. ⁃ TN Editor

AT&T said Thursday that it will stop selling its customers’ location data to third-party service providers after a report this week said the information was winding up in the wrong hands.

The announcement follows sharp demands by federal lawmakers for an investigation into the alleged misuse of data, which came to light when Motherboard revealed a complex chain of unauthorized information sharing that ended with a bounty hunter successfully tracking down a reporter’s device.

AT&T had already suspended its data-sharing agreements with a number of so-called “location aggregators” last year in light of a congressional probe finding that some of Verizon’s location data was being misused by prison officials to spy on innocent Americans. AT&T also said at the time that it would be maintaining those of its agreements that provided clear consumer benefits, such as location sharing for roadside assistance services.

But AT&T’s announcement Thursday goes much further, pledging to terminate all of the remaining deals it had – even the ones that it said were actively helpful.

“In light of recent reports about the misuse of location services, we have decided to eliminate all location aggregation services – even those with clear consumer benefits,” AT&T said in a statement. “We are immediately eliminating the remaining services and will be done in March.”

In characteristic fashion, T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted Tuesday that his firm would be “completely ending location aggregator work” in March. Verizon said in a statement Thursday that it, too, was winding down its four remaining location-sharing agreements, which are all with roadside assistance services – after that, customers would have to give the company permission to share their data with roadside assistance firms. A Sprint spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The announcements reflect a major victory for privacy advocates who have slammed corporate America over its handling of consumers’ personal information, often to their personal and economic expense.

“Carriers are always responsible for who ends up with their customers’ data – it’s not enough to lay the blame for misuse on downstream companies,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) in a statement. “The time for taking these companies at their word is long past. Congress needs to pass strong legislation to protect Americans’ privacy and finally hold corporations accountable when they put your safety at risk by letting stalkers and criminals track your phone on the dark web.”

Other critics said Americans have an “absolute right” to their privacy of their data.

“I’m extraordinarily troubled by reports of this system of repackaging and reselling location data to unregulated third-party services for potentially nefarious purposes,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) said in a statement after the Motherboard report was published. “If true, this practice represents a legitimate threat to our personal and national security.”

Harris called on the Federal Communications Commission to immediately open an investigation.

Motherboard reported that major U.S. wireless carriers T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint have been selling the location data of their customers in an unregulated market in which Americans’ personal information travels through several layers of third-party entities that buy the location data but are not authorized to handle such information.

Read full story here…




Facebook Employees Accuse It Of Being Cult-Like

There are a number of factors, including culture, peer-pressure and job evaluation processes, all of which spin into an internal echo-chamber that produces the Technocrat group-think that so angers outsiders. ⁃ TN Editor

At a company-wide town hall in early October, numerous Facebook employees got in line to speak about their experiences with sexual harassment.

The company called the special town hall after head of policy Joel Kaplan caused an internal uproar for appearing at the congressional hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. A young female employee was among those who got up to speak, addressing her comments directly to COO Sheryl Sandberg.

“I was reticent to speak, Sheryl, because the pressure for us to act as though everything is fine and that we love working here is so great that it hurts,” she said, according to multiple former Facebook employees who witnessed the event.

“There shouldn’t be this pressure to pretend to love something when I don’t feel this way,” said the employee, setting off a wave of applause from her colleagues at the emotional town hall in Menlo Park, California.

The episode speaks to an atmosphere at Facebook in which employees feel pressure to place the company above all else in their lives, fall in line with their manager’s orders and force cordiality with their colleagues so they can advance. Several former employees likened the culture to a “cult.”

This culture has contributed to the company’s well-publicized wave of scandals over the last two years, such as governments spreading misinformation to try to influence elections and the misuse of private user data, according to many people who worked there during this period. They say Facebook might have have caught some of these problems sooner if employees were encouraged to deliver honest feedback. Amid these scandals, Facebook’s share price fell nearly 30 percent in 2018 and nearly 40 percent since a peak in July, resulting in a loss of more than $252 billion in market capitalization.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s reputation as being one of the best places in Silicon Valley to work is starting to show some cracks. According to Glassdoor, which lets employees anonymously review their workplaces, Facebook fell from being the best place to work in the U.S. to No. 7 in the last year.

But employees don’t complain in the workplace.

“There’s a real culture of ‘Even if you are f—ing miserable, you need to act like you love this place,'” said one ex-employee who left in October. “It is not OK to act like this is not the best place to work.”

This account is based on conversations with more than a dozen former Facebook employees who left between late 2016 and the end of 2018. These people requested anonymity in describing Facebook’s work culture, including its “stack ranking” employee performance evaluation system and their experiences with it, because none is authorized by Facebook to talk about their time there. This stack ranking system is similar to the one that was notoriously used by Microsoft before the company abandoned it in 2013, the former Facebook employees said.

Facebook declined to comment on former employees’ characterization of the work place as “cult-like.”

Inside the bubble

Former employees describe a top-down approach where major decisions are made by the company’s leadership, and employees are discouraged from voicing dissent — in direct contradiction to one of Sandberg’s mantras, “authentic self.”

For instance, at an all-hands meeting in early 2017, one employee asked Facebook Vice President David Fischer a tough question about a company program. Fischer took the question and answered, but within hours, the employee and his managers received angry calls from the team running that program, this person said.

“I never felt it was an environment that truly encouraged ‘authentic self’ and encouraged real dissent because the times I personally did it, I always got calls,” said the former manager, who left the company in early 2018.

The sentiment was echoed by another employee who left in 2017.

“What comes with scale and larger operations is you can’t afford to have too much individual voice,” said this person. “If you have an army, the larger the army is, the less individuals have voice. They have to follow the leader.”

In this employee’s two years at Facebook, his team grew from a few people to more than 50. He said “it was very much implied” to him and his teammates that they trust their leaders, follow orders and avoid having hard conversations.

The company’s culture of no-dissent prevented employees from speaking up about the impact that News Feed had on influencing the 2016 U.S. election, this person added.

Read full story here…




REJECT: Over 40 Percent Of Americans Refuse Flu Vaccinations

Citizens are waking up to the dangers of vaccines, even in the face of the biggest propaganda push by Big Pharma in modern times.  Technocrats invent stuff and expect everyone to use their inventions just because they say so. No more. ⁃ TN Editor

Have you gotten your flu shot this year?

If the answer is no – and I’m not getting one! – you’re not alone. A new study finds more than 40 percent of Americans have not been vaccinated and, in fact, don’t plan on it either.

This is despite the warnings, potential dangers, and last year’s record-number of flu deaths. The survey was done by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago

The top three reasons why they didn’t want the shot were: bad side effects; thinking they’ll get the flu from the shot; or thinking it doesn’t work.

Some think the side effects are worse than the flu itself, but that’s just a myth. Usually the only side effect is a sore arm.

It’s also a myth that getting the vaccine gives you the flu. The flu vaccine is inactive and cannot cause the infection. If you do get sick after getting the vaccine, it’s just a coincidence.

And while it is true that the vaccine doesn’t work 100 percent of the time, the benefit is that it lessens the severity. If you do still get the flu you’re 60 percent less likely to need treatment.

Last year’s flu season, keep in mind, was particularly severe. More than 900,000 people were hospitalized and more than 80,000 people died. Many were adults older than 65, but also 180 children died from the flu.

Read full story here…