Day: August 16, 2019

Geeks on Trails: Support our Hike-a-Thon team

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Communique PR co-founder and GeekWire member Colleen Moffitt, center, on a hike with family.

It’s August in the Pacific Northwest, which means you shouldn’t be reading this post. You should be enjoying the natural beauty that this special corner of the planet has to offer.

But, if you are reading this post rather than hiking the trails of Mount Rainier or the Hoh rain forest, we’ve got a special ask for you: Support the natural wonder of our region — and the amazing efforts of the Washington Trails Association — by supporting our Geeks on Trails Hike-a-Thon team.

Geeks on Trails team members at Discovery Park

You can make a donation — which will support the construction and restoration of hiking trails — by going here.

Even a small donation will help support hiking in our region, and that’s a very worthy cause. Not sure about you, but every time I hike to a beautiful basin, majestic peak or scenic seashore, I walk away refreshed. That’s part of the allure of the Northwest, and we need to work to preserve it since recent reports show that the number of hikers on Washington trails has doubled in nearly 10 years.

Geeks on Trails Trail — an alliance of GeekWire and ALLtech — includes 30 hikers. We’re the largest team ever assembled for the the Hike-a-Thon, and we’re seeking to raise $10,000. Thanks to support from individuals, and corporate partners such as Regence, Delta Dental of Washington and ALLtech, we are halfway to our goal.

Now, we hope you’ll make a donation to this important cause. And, for my family, we’re off with the pup to find our next great weekend hike! See you on the trails.

Protesters blocked Palantir’s cafeteria to pressure the $20 billion big data company to drop its contracts with ICE

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  • On Friday, about 70 people participated at a protest near Palantir‘s cafeteria to protest the company’s contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • Palantir reportedly sells software to ICE to build profiles and plan workplace raids of undocumented immigrants.
  • Activists say this protest is timely because Palantir is rumored to go public early next year, and they invited Palantir employees to take a stand.
  • This protest is part of a seven-week campaign to push Palantir to drop its contracts with ICE.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Protesters blocked the entrance to Silicon Valley tech company Palantir’s cafeteria on Friday, denouncing its work aiding the US government’s immigration crackdown and urging employees to speak out. 

About 70 protesters swarmed Palantir’s Palo Alto, Calif. headquarters in the early afternoon, bearing signs criticizing the company for doing business with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and chanting slogans.

“Immigrants are welcome here, time to cancel Palantir,” the protesters shouted. “Dirty data company, drop ICE contracts, that’s our plea,” they sang. 

Palantir, a big data company that’s one of the most valuable startups in the US, is facing backlash for its ties with ICE. It provides software to ICE which critics say is being used to store and sift through troves of data on undocumented immigrants. 

The Latino advocacy group Mijente reported that ICE agents used Palantir’s software to build profiles of undocumented children and family members that could be used for prosecution and arrest. WNYC also reported that ICE agents used a Palantir program called FALCON mobile to plan workplace raids earlier this year. 

The protests at Palantir come as tech companies including Google and Amazon have been rocked by a wave of employee protests against the companies’ work with the US military and border security agencies. 

There were few signs of Palantir employees near Friday’s protest however. The cafeteria appeared mostly empty, and there were no visible efforts made by the company to break up the rally. Palantir did not respond to a request for comment on the protests. 

A coalition of migrant rights and activist groups calling itself the Coalition to Close the Concentration Camps Bay Area organized Friday’s protest. The goal is to put pressure on Palantir to drop its contracts with ICE, said the coalition’s Liza Mamedov-Turchinsky. 

Palantir protests

The detainment camps that undocumented immigrants have been held in have been compared to concentration camps by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as well as by activists. People in these camps have faced conditions like overcrowding, psychological abuse, and low food and water.

“We don’t have concentration camps in the Bay Area, but we do have Palantir, and Palantir is the tech backbone for CBP and ICE both in terms of writing the software for raids and providing the state surveillance,” Mamedov-Turchinsky told Business Insider. 

With an expected IPO, “We hope it’s something investors take note of'”

Palantir was cofounded by venture capitalist Peter Thiel, an outspoken supporter of President Trump. In recent weeks, Thiel and Joe Lonsdale, another Palantir cofounder, have accused companies like Google of being “unpatriotic,” for not working with the US military.

“Palantir is probably the most patriotic company in the Valley. It’s done amazing work for the US government,” Lonsdale said in an interview on CNBC in July.

Palantir has been valued at $20 billion by private investors and is rumored to be preparing to sell shares to the public in an IPO sometime in the next year, something the activists seem well aware of. 

“Given that it talks about going public, we hope it’s something that investors take note of,” Jacinta Gonzalez Goodman, the field director for Mijente told Business Insider. 

Palantir protests

The rally included support from more than 20 activist groups, and many participants were residents of Santa Clara County, where Palantir’s headquarters are located.

“It’s immigrants today, and could be any group tomorrow”

Several protesters spoke about their own experiences having family members deported or having ancestors killed during the Holocaust as a motivation for why they were involved. 

“Forty to fifty years ago, that could’ve been my family stopped at the border,” Cristina Muñoz of the Tech Workers Coalition told Business Insider. “This is not an issue that you can possibly sit on the sidelines. It’s our moral imperative to stop deportations and the tearing apart of families.”

Besides Palantir’s work with ICE, speakers also condemned Palantir’s work with the military and its technology enabling “predictive policing,” and accused the company’s technology of violating people’s privacy.

“I’m concerned about the wholesale sweeping of data,” Tracy Rosenberg of Oakland Privacy told Business Insider. “Palantir is making possible the collecting of multiple categories of data without any ethical boundaries. It’s a privacy nightmare. It’s immigrants today, and could be any group tomorrow.”

Palantir protest

Seven weeks of action

The coalition plans to continue to protest at Palantir every week as part of a seven-week campaign until September 25. This campaign involves actions every week, from social media campaigns to rallies. Activists also spent a week handing out flyers in front of Palantir’s office and at local events, urging employees to discuss their company’s business with ICE.

“It was just to start conversations about how their technology affects our communities and what they can do to stop it,” Mamedov-Turchinsky said. “We believe every worker has power. The flyers we’re distributing offers an avenue for them to talk to their management.”

Read more: Here’s what you need to know about Palantir, the secretive $20 billion data-analysis company whose work with ICE is dragging Amazon into controversy

Palantir protests

The coalition also previously held a protest on July 12, where about 600 people protested at Palantir’s Palo Alto headquarters, Mamedov-Turchinsky says. 

Mamedov-Turchinsky says the Coalition invites Palantir employees to join its cause.

“Right now we’re just trying to extend an open invite to anyone work works at Palantir to work with us and work with their management,” Mamedov-Turchinsky said. “No one has to stay complicit especially as more people continue to die.”

Do you work at Palantir? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], Telegram at @rosaliechan, Twitter DM at @rosaliechan17, or Signal at +1 (224) 425-1882. (PR pitches by email only, please.) Other types of secure messaging available upon request. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: NPM, a startup 11 million developers rely on, is tangled in a bitter cultural battle as it tries to actually make money

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NOW WATCH: This is the shortest route for a road trip across the US to see 50 national landmarks

BrandPost: IT as a Service future offerings: 5 must haves

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In April of this year, the number of HBO Now subscribers skyrocketed, fueled by the return of Game of Thrones for its final season. Those new HBO viewers will be temporary, according to historical data. That’s because the popular series has now ended, and viewers can easily drop the service they no longer want to use.

That’s the beauty of the as a service model – and one of the biggest reasons why it has become so popular. Consumers love flexibility in contracts and the opportunity to pay only for what they use, when they use it. IT as a Service (ITaaS) works the same way. It lets businesses treat all IT products and services as a commodity, providing exactly the right amount of hardware, software, and support they need, while only paying for what they use.

To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: How one company put hyperconvergence to the test in their SAP HANA environment

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In today’s fast paced, constantly changing IT landscape, it can be hard for companies to keep up with the latest and greatest datacenter trends. Many organizations opt to wait until a new category of solutions is road-tested by others. Other companies strive to be at the forefront of new technology – operating under the mindset that IT should be an innovation driver in the business and a game-changer in terms of competitive advantage for customers.

One company who likes to lead the way with new datacenter technology is Promesa, Equador’s largest wholesaler of auto parts and hardware. Founded in 1962, Promesa is the country’s leading importer of automotive and home improvement tools.

To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Why AI Ops? Because the era of the zettabyte is coming.

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IDC’s recent Data Age Study predicts the global data sphere will reach 175 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025. Exactly how much data is that? According to the accompanying IDC video, “If one were able to store 175ZB onto Blu-ray discs, then you’d have a stack of discs that can get you to the moon 23 times.”

How businesses will organize and extract value from all that data using artificial intelligence (AI) is the topic of a recent BriefingsDirect Voice of the Innovator podcast.. Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, spoke with Rebecca Lewington, Senior Manager of Innovation Marketing at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), to hear her views on AI and how it will automate IT operations.

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BrandPost: How design innovation enhances IT

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Steve Jobs famously said, “If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”

For Bryan Jacquot, Vice President and Chief Design Officer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), that vision is creating innovative IT designs. To achieve this goal, two concepts relentlessly tug at his brain: discover what the users really needs and then design something that fits seamlessly into their hands.

During a recent podcast, Jacquot spoke with Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. In his interview, Jacquot shared his thoughts on how innovative IT design is helping organizations succeed in today’s ultra-competitive and disruptive business environment.

To read this article in full, please click here