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Diversity Issues Take Centre Stage at Google Shareholders’ Meet

Google CEO Sundar Pichai eventually fired the author of the 3,000-word memo James Damore - a move that attracted criticism from conservatives

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Issues regarding representation and treatment of marginalised communities took the centre stage at Google’s parent company Alphabet’s annual shareholders meeting, the media reported.

Even Google employees themselves stepped up on Wednesday to challenge management on diversity issues — a rarity for a company’s rank and file in such a public and formal corporate setting, CNET reported.

Google last year was rocked by the now infamous “Damore memo”, which argued that the gender gap in the tech industry is due mainly to “biological” differences between men and women, not because of sexism.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai eventually fired the author of the 3,000-word memo James Damore – a move that attracted criticism from conservatives.

On Wednesday, Irene Knapp, a Google engineer, teamed up with Zevin Asset Management to present a proposal that advocated tying executive pay with improvement in diversity metrics at Alphabet.

Also Read: Google’s Experimental AI-powered Terrarium can Simulate Real-World Weather

“The lack of clear communicated policies and actions to advance diversity and inclusion with concrete accountability and leadership from senior executives has left many of us feeling unsafe and unable to do our work,” Knapp was quoted as saying.

Like many other tech giants, Alphabet has been criticised for not having enough diversity on its board, said the CNET report, adding that of the 11 board members at the company, only two are women. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Google To Charge $40 Per Device From Android Makers

While Android will remain free and open source, Google will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome

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Google to charge $40 per device to Android makers. Wikimedia Commons

Android manufacturers will have to pay $40 per device to Google in Europe to be featured into Google Play Store and other mobile apps.

According to a report in The Verge on Friday, a confidential fee schedule shows costs as high as $40 per device to install the “Google Mobile Services” suite of apps.

“The new fees vary depending on country and device type, and it would apply to devices activated on or after February 1st, 2019,” the report said.

“Google is also offering separate agreements to cover some or all of the licensing costs for companies that choose to install Chrome and Google search on their devices as well, according to a person familiar with the terms,” it added.

The tech giant however, has declined to comment.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Earlier this week, Google said it was updating the compatibility agreements with mobile device makers and may ask them to pay a fee for Google Play and other its other Android apps used in Europe.

The move was to comply with the decision of the European Union’s anti-trust watchdog’s decision against Android.

The European Commission ruled that forcing device manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome was against its competition rules and fined the tech giant a whopping $5.1 billion in July (Google has appealed against the ruling).

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With the new changes to Android that will come into effect on October 29, smartphone makers in Europe will need to pay for certain Google apps.

While Android will remain free and open source, Google will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome. (IANS)