Hashtag Trending: Aug. 9, 2017 – Google’s diversity spat; VR in the browser

Google’s internal policies are publicly criticized, Firefox introduces virtual reality capabilities, and video games are officially bad for your health.


Starting with Twitter, a 10-page memo from a senior software engineer at Google went viral this weekend for criticizing the tech giant’s approach to diversity. In it, engineer James Damor says that Google’s attempt to rectify the large gender gap in the tech sector is sexist because of biological factors, such as women having stronger interest in people rather than things and that they prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. Damor was fired on Monday, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai responding by saying the company’s Code of Conduct was violated by Damore’s memo, because it was “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

And from Product Hunt, Mozilla’s latest update to Firefox for Windows means the browser will support virtual reality experiences through an open standard called WebVR. It only supports the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift right now, but other mobile headsets are on the company’s list of priorities. To access this feature, all desktop users will need to do is open a browser, click on a button with a pair of VR goggles on it, then put on their headset. Besides Firefox for Windows, WebVR is also available for Google Daydream and cardboard headsets on Chrome.

And last but not least, from Facebook, a study by two Montreal researchers basically confirms that your parents were right about video games being bad for your health. Published in academic journal Molecular Psychiatry, the research is the first to show conclusive evidence of grey matter loss in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is crucial for orientation and memory, as a result of direct interaction with video games.

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Mandy Kovacs
Mandy Kovacshttp://www.itwc.ca
Mandy is a lineup editor at CTV News. A former staffer at IT World Canada, she's now contributing as a part-time podcast host on Hashtag Trending. She is a Carleton University journalism graduate with extensive experience in the B2B market. When not writing about tech, you can find her active on Twitter following political news and sports, and preparing for her future as a cat lady.

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