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The top US tech stories of 2017: the utopian dream comes to an end

The Guardian

The utopian dream of Silicon Valley is no more – 2017 made sure of that. Every month has brought fresh scandal to the titans of the industry, from Russian interference to sexual harassment; from Uber's never-ending woes to YouTube's advertising scandals.

Facebook's free food banned as Silicon Valley restaurants hit back

The Guardian

Free food has long been a perk of Silicon Valley. On the campuses of Facebook, LinkedIn and Google, employees have access to high-end restaurants with pizza ovens, sushi counters, freshly baked pastries and ice cream. However, as technology companies come under increasing pressure to deliver more value to the communities they inhabit, cities are clamping down on campus cafeterias in an attempt to support local restaurants. In a highly unusual mandate, city officials have barred Facebook from serving free food to its employees when the tech company moves into a new office in Mountain View later this year – and the city of San Francisco hopes to follow suit. Two thousand Facebook employees are due to move into an office in a complex called The Village at San Antonio Center.

Coders of the world, unite: can Silicon Valley workers curb the power of Big Tech?

The Guardian

Suddenly, a wide range of journalists and politicians agree on this. For decades, most of the media and political establishment accepted Silicon Valley's promise that it would not "be evil," as the first Google code of corporate conduct put it. But the past few months have brought a constant stream of negative stories about both the internal culture of the tech industry and the effect it is having on society. It is difficult to know where to begin. How about the rampant sexual harassment at companies such as Uber, which fired 20 employees in June after receiving hundreds of sexual harassment claims? Or the growing body of evidence that women and people of colour are not only dramatically underrepresented at tech firms, but also systematically underpaid, as three Google employees alleged in a lawsuit last month? Should we focus on the fact that Facebook allowed advertisers to target users who listed "Jew hater" as one of their interests? Or that they and Google have helped clients to spread fake news? In response to concerns about Russian interference in the 2016 election, politicians are threatening to take action against companies they have long left alone. By late September this year, when the Senate intelligence committee demanded that Facebook, Google and Twitter conduct internal investigations – and those companies admitted that, yes, foreign actors had used their platforms to communicate misinformation that was viewed millions of times by voters in hotly contested swing states – it seemed fair to ask whether democracy could survive them. A New York Times headline on 13 October captured how the mood had shifted: "Silicon Valley Is Not Your Friend." It is tempting to turn this shift of mood against Big Tech into a story of betrayal. On 1 November, representatives of Facebook and Twitter will appear before the Senate to testify about divisive political advertising paid for by Russian actors on their platforms.

'Days Of Our Lives' Spoilers: Brady Shares A Huge Secret With Victor

International Business Times

He learned something he never expected to when he confronted the woman he loves about her potential affair with his brother. Now, Brady will divulge Nicole's big secret to Victor on the Thursday, Aug. 24 episode of "Days of Our Lives." Brady (Eric Martsolf) was convinced Nicole (Arianne Zucker) was cheating on him with Eric (Greg Vaughan) on the NBC soap, and when he finally confronted her about it, he learned that what was going on between them was innocent. However, when he also told her he had found evidence which pointed at Eric when it came to who murdered Deimos (Vincent Irizarry), Nicole was suddenly flooded with memories from the night in question, and realized she was the one who had killed her former lover. Since the shocking revelation, Brady has assured Nicole that he would keep her secret, and has warned her not to tell anyone else what she knows, even though she fears that the trail will eventually lead back to her.

For Some Facebook Employees, Free Food Is Coming To An End

NPR Technology

People walk into the cafeteria at Facebook's main campus in Menlo Park, Calif., May 15, 2012. People walk into the cafeteria at Facebook's main campus in Menlo Park, Calif., May 15, 2012. For years, tech employees of companies in Silicon Valley have enjoyed free meals around the clock. That's changing -- at least in Mountain View, Calif., where the city is banning the social media giant Facebook from offering free food in its newest office building. Currently, Facebook's main campus in Menlo Park, Calif. is the stuff of lore.