Daily Archives: 2019-03-04

Google pay equity analysis leads to raises for thousands of men

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: I shouldn't look at the comments. I shouldn't look at the commen...GET THE POPCORN, I'M GOING IN!
Exterior of Google office building.

Enlarge / Google's main headquarters. (credit: Cyrus Farivar)

Google has given raises to thousands of men after an analysis of Google's pay structure found that the company would otherwise be underpaying those men relative to their peers, The New York Times reports. The analysis also led to raises for some women.

Google determines annual pay raises in a three-phase process. First, Google adjusts every employee's compensation based on standard factors like their location, seniority, and performance ratings. Managers can then seek additional discretionary raises for their best-performing employees.

Finally, Google performs a company-wide analysis to determine whether these raises are biased in terms of race or gender. If biases are detected, the disadvantaged workers are given additional raises to eliminate the discrepancies.

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The Prodigy’s Keith Flint remembered as a ‘true pioneer’ and ‘huge inspiration’

Source: The Week: Most Recent Home Page Posts

Article note: I've been listening to The Prodigy whenever I could have music on today since I saw this this morning. Damn they were a force. Liam Howlett was the musical genius, but so much of the aesthetic came from Keith Flit, and that aesthetic destroyed genres, and birthed others, and colored everything for those of us who spent the 90s immersed in "that computer shit." I hope he at least went out on his own terms.

The Prodigy vocalist Keith Flint has died at age 49, the band confirmed on Monday.

Flint was found dead in his home, with The Prodigy's Liam Howlett writing on Instagram that the cause of death was suicide, CNN reports. Howlett said he is "shell shocked" and "heart broken." On Twitter, the band remembered Flint as "true pioneer, innovator and legend," adding that he "will be forever missed."

Tributes poured in for Flint throughout the morning, with Supergrass' Gaz Coombes calling him "such a warm, sweet guy," Kasabian calling him a "beautiful man" and an "incredible pioneer," and The Chemical Brothers' Ed Simons saying he was "always great fun to be around." Many also thanked Flint for being an enormous influence on their lives, including Friction, who wrote, "I wouldn't do what I do without him and The Prodigy in my life. A huge inspiration to me and many others." Chase & Status agreed, saying that "we wouldn’t be here if it wasn't for Keith."

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Thunderbolt 3 becomes USB4, as Intel’s interconnect goes royalty-free

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: While Intel going royalty-free on their interconnect is useful, none of the articles I've seen are discussing the security implications. Thunderbolt supports DMA (and other lower-level access) that USB doesn't, and there have been a variety of exploits in the wild for like 5 years at this point (see Thunderstrike & co.). USB is a relatively low-privilege connection, making the power socket, cheap peripheral connector, and other throwaway connections able to surreptitiously ask to root around the host system's memory seems like a questionable feature.
A very dramatic-looking Thunderbolt 3 cable.

Enlarge / A very dramatic-looking Thunderbolt 3 cable.

Fulfilling its 2017 promise to make Thunderbolt 3 royalty-free, Intel has given the specification for its high-speed interconnect to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the industry group that develops the USB specification. The USB-IF has taken the spec and will use it to form the basis of USB4, the next iteration of USB following USB 3.2.

Thunderbolt 3 not only doubles the bandwidth of USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, going from 20Gb/s to 40Gb/s, it also enables the use of multiple data and display protocols simultaneously. We would expect the USB4 specification to be essentially a superset of the Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.2 specifications, thus incorporating both the traditional USB family of protocols (up to and including the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2) and the Thunderbolt 3 protocol in a single document. Down the line, this should translate into USB4 controllers that support the whole range of speeds.

Intel has previously announced that its Ice Lake platform, due to ship later this year, will integrate both Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 (aka USB 3.2 Gen 2) controllers. Currently, offering Thunderbolt 3 requires the use of an additional chip, one of Intel's Alpine Ridge or Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controllers. Integration into the platform means that system-builders no longer need to choose whether or not to include the extra chip; the capability will be built in, and as such, we'd expect to see it become nearly universal.

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