Googlers Form 10 Country Union Alliance; Google Opening up Facilities for COVID-19 Vaccinations; The Great Facebook Logout; Tesla Accuses Engineer of IP Theft; Apple-iPhone 12 May Interfere with Pacemakers

Employees of Alphabet have formed Alpha Global, a coalition of 13 unions in 10 countries, including the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden. According to mashable.com, the deal is in coordination with global union federation UNI Global Union, which boasts 20 million members. Alpha Global issued a statement saying its goal is to “see a world in which Alphabet respects human and labour rights across its global operations and supply chain.” “Alphabet has long lost its commitment of “Don’t be evil,” but we haven’t. Together, we will hold Alphabet accountable. Together, we will change Alphabet,” the statement reads. As of this writing, there has been no comment from Google/Alphabet. 

Some warm and fuzzy news from Google…or really, some Fauci Ouchie news…Google will open up office facilities for COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Cnet.com reports that Google will be partnering with One Medical, and the facilities will be opened ‘as needed.’ Right now, they are talking about campuses in the San Francisco Bay Area, LA, New York City, and Kirkland, WA. Just last week, Amazon sent a letter to President Biden offering help on vaccinating at their fulfillment centers and Whole Foods stores. Expect more tech firms and other companies to step forward to try to get a large number of people vaccinated and get the country back into business as a bit more usual. 

You say you got logged out of Facebook suddenly Friday evening? There was lots of company in that, apparently. What happened? Over the weekend, Facebook released a statement that gave a rather cryptic excuse that it was due to a ‘configuration change.’ In other words, they f*cked up a software change. 9to5mac.com says it affected almost entirely iOS users, mainly on iPhones, and the issue was corrected about 6AM Saturday morning, East Coast time. 

For once, someone is being accused of trying to steal software from Tesla that didn’t have anything to do with their self-driving tech. The electric car maker has sued an engineer named Alex Khatilov for allegedly stealing their custom Warp Drive software…which is used to automate online purchasing and other systems. Engadget.com reports that Tesla says he downloaded a massive number of script files, numbering in the thousands, to his Dropbox account within 3 days of being hired in December. So far, the car maker doesn’t think he had been working with others at the time. The engineer is another in a fairly long list of people who have tried to make off with Tesla’s technology over the years. 

A bit of scary news about the new iPhone 12 series. Apple has acknowledged that the handsets, which use ‘Magsafe’ magnetic charging, can affect medical devices like implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. According to macrumors.com, Apple put out this warning: 

Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact. To avoid any potential interactions with these devices, keep your iPhone and MagSafe accessories a safe distance away from your device (more than 6 inches / 15 cm apart or more than 12 inches / 30 cm apart if wirelessly charging). But consult with your physician and your device manufacturer for specific guidelines.’  

The net is, if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator, don’t carry your iPhone 12 in your breast pocket of a jacket right over your heart! Hold it in your hand, put it in a pants pocket or purse! It may be crappy tech, but use your Bluetooth headsets…it beats having your pacemaker go into suspended mode and opening yourself up to a heart attack!



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