Enterprise

Tech brands celebrating Pride month

LGBTQ+ rights are human rights

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a series of protests widely regarded as the historic event that ignited the gay liberation movement and the first Pride parade in 1970.

A lot of companies are joining in this year’s celebration by changing their logos or selling limited edition merchandise to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community, but being an ally doesn’t stop at plastering a rainbow on everything and using #Pride online for the month of June. Here, we have compiled a list of tech brands who have taken concrete steps in creating equal opportunities for everyone and a more inclusive culture, not just this month but all year round:

Apple

Apple released a new watch band and watch face for the Apple Watch at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year in celebration of Pride. A portion of its proceeds will be donated to LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations including Encircle, Gender Spectrum, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Apart from Pride merch, Apple has long supported inclusion and diversity by hiring and advocating on behalf of underrepresented minorities, including LGBTQ+ people. For this, the company has been receiving a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for 16 years now — a benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees.

Dell

 

Since 2002 Dell has been actively participating in and leading initiatives that support the LGBTQ+ community that the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index also deems the company as one of the best places to work for LGBT equality. The company provides healthcare benefits to its LGBTQ+ employees including parental leave, adoption assistance, and gender transition toolkit.

Dell is an active sponsor of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, a nonprofit organization that partners with Top Fortune 500 companies in building resources and hosting events to help other companies around the globe in achieving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workplace equality. This year, Dell also hosted a Pride month training for its Nashville office to help its employees become better allies to the community.

Google

June 4 Google Doodle is a celebration of 50 years of Pride, created by Doodler Nate Swinehart who says, “working on this Doodle was a very personal project for me. As a member of the LBGTQ+ community, I am very familiar with the struggle of feeling included, accepted, and that I am a ‘part’ of this world.” Google also put up Pride Forever, which aims to preserve LGBTQ+ history for future generations by extending the Stonewall National Monument from its physical location in New York City to a digital experience that anyone can access on pride.google.com.

Apart from programs that support minorities, Google has Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) comprised of LGBT Googlers and their allies called Gayglers, as well as Trans at Google that seeks to ensure that the company’s products and policy stances are inclusive of all gender identities and expressions.

Instagram

Instagram recognizes that many of its users are members of the LGBTQ+ community. To celebrate Pride this year, the platform will display relevant hashtags in a rainbow gradient including #lgbtq, #bornperfect, and #pride2019 for a month. Using the hashtags in Stories will also turn the story ring into rainbow instead of Instagram’s gradient.

Instagram is updating gender options for users as well, “to be more inclusive and reflective of how people self-identify today.” There is also an LGBTQ+ teen guide on online well-being and self-care that Instagram created with The Trevor Project.

Lyft

Like Instagram, Lyft now offers a range of pronoun options to support transgender and non-binary riders. For transitioning drivers, Lyft provides them assistance with changing the name and gender designation on their driver’s license together with the National Center for Transgender Equality. Through its Round Up & Donate feature has donated over $5 million to HRC and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Lyft also has a Gender Inclusion & Affirmation policy created by members of the company’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, LyftOUT, that lays out comprehensive protections and benefits for its employees.

Microsoft

Later this month Microsoft is releasing a Surface Pro Pride Type Cover designed with and for the LGBTQ+ community, and donating US$ 100,000 to nonprofits in celebration of Pride. For its employees Microsoft has implemented anti-discrimination policies and benefits since 1989. In 1993, they were one of the first companies in the world to offer employee benefits to same-sex partners. Microsoft is also one of the companies that’s received a perfect score from HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.

To quote Microsoft, “we’ve come far in the last 50 years after Stonewall, but we haven’t gone far enough.” In many countries where tech companies operate, being queer is still a crime and LGBTQ+ rights are still not recognized.

It takes more than just hearing voices of the community to make the world more inclusive and non-discriminatory — individual allies and corporations play a big role in amplifying the movement. Let’s celebrate Pride not just by buying rainbow products that donate to a good cause or using hashtags this month, but also by eliminating bias in everything that we do and pushing for equal rights in the workplace and local communities until we no longer have to.

Happy Pride!

Enterprise

Samsung is increasing the prices of its chipsets

Others have already accepted

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Shortages are still plaguing the tech industry. Because of various lockdowns throughout the past few years, new devices haven’t met the surge of demand from consumers. Besides not delivering devices, companies also deal with a loss in profit. Inevitably, that lost profit would rear its head in another way. Samsung, a major player in the chipmaking industry, has decided to up its chipset prices.

First reported by Bloomberg, Samsung is renegotiating the prices of its chipsets. If successful, the company’s clients will reportedly pay between 15 to 20 percent more to get their components. Additionally, chips made on legacy nodes will likely pay more in the end.

According to the report, some clients, currently unnamed, have already agreed to the price increase. Others are still in the process of negotiations. Though it’s certainly more expensive, the current forecast speculates that most clients will likely take the new deal. For one, other companies have already upped their prices as well. Samsung isn’t alone. However, the South Korean company has an advantage: more high-tech machines resulting in better chips and faster production.

Of course, the story doesn’t end there. While some clients have already accepted, there is no indication as to who will ultimately shoulder the brunt of the price increase. Will this mean more expensive devices in the future, or will companies graciously take a lesser margin of profit?

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: Love at first touch

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Qualcomm unveils its plans for Wi-Fi 7

Can reach up to 33Gbps speeds

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The transition from 5G to 6G shouldn’t be the only thing we’re excited for. Companies are also working on huge improvements for Wi-Fi. Because of the ongoing popularity of 5G, not a lot of the spotlight was shone on the current Wi-Fi 6 and 6E standards. However, home internet is just as important. Now, the future wants to make things even faster. Qualcomm has announced the next chips to introduce Wi-Fi 7.

Recently, the company officially revealed the Wi-Fi 7 Networking Pro Series. The lineup will eventually don the future of routers for a variety of environments including home and enterprise use. According to Qualcomm, the chips will reach speeds of up to 33Gbps with stabler connections and lesser interference. They will support 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz channels.

For reference, Wi-Fi 6 and 6E can reach only up to 9.6Gbps speeds. Though the jump is certainly dramatic, reaching higher speeds is crucial in today’s time when 4K streaming is quickly becoming a norm.

Of course, patience is key. Amid Qualcomm’s announcement, Wi-Fi 7 isn’t exactly here yet. Both networks and router makers haven’t released any products for the standard. However, some sources, like MediaTek, are currently predicting 2023 as a target date for the new standard’s launch in some capacity.

SEE ALSO: MediaTek hosts world’s first demo of Wi-Fi 7

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Samsung announces UFS 4.0

Coming to smartphones and smart cars

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While most consumers focus on the number of gigabytes a smartphone has, a lesser known specification is quietly improving a user’s experience. If you’ve owned any recent Samsung phone, you might have noticed “UFS 3.1” in the specs. Universal Flash Storage helps the smartphone process data faster. Now, Samsung has launched an improved version of the standard: UFS 4.0.

Announced recently, the new standard promises an impressive improvement from the current one. UFS 4.0 reportedly reaches up to 23.2Gbps per lane, double the speeds of UFS 3.1. While the latter finds its home in the Galaxy S22 series, the former will try to find its way into automotive and VR applications.

Using Samsung’s 7th-generation V-NAND technology, the standard can deliver sequential read speed of up to 4200MB/s and write speeds of up to 2800MB/s. Storages with the standard will also come in various capacities up to 1TB.

Samsung will produce the storage starting the third quarter of this year. With the timing down right, the standard will likely make its debut in upcoming smartphones from the company. Besides that, the company is also linking up with other companies around the globe for future partnerships with the standard. It aims to create a global ecosystem helped by the new standard.

SEE ALSO: Samsung is building phone batteries inspired by cars

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