Facebook hit with housing discrimination charge by US government

first_img Facebook said it has been trying to work with HUD to prevent discrimination.”While we were eager to find a solution, HUD insisted on access to sensitive information — like user data — without adequate safeguards. We’re disappointed by today’s developments, but we’ll continue working with civil rights experts on these issues,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.The social media giant also said that it had reached “historic agreements” with the National Fair Housing Alliance, the ACLU and other advocacy groups on changes to its advertising system. The charge marks the latest incident that calls into question how Facebook conducts its business. It’s been under fire over how it collects user data for the past year.Here is HUD’s filing: Tags 13 1:31 “Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson says. Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images The US Department of Housing and Urban Development charged Facebook on Thursday with allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act through targeted ads.The charge follows an August 2018 complaint that alleged the social network lets landlords and home sellers engage in housing discrimination through advertising that can exclude people based on race, national origin, religion, gender or disability.”Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement. “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.”The initial complaint came after a ProPublica investigation in 2016 showed that housing advertisements could be targeted at and away from specific groups. ProPublica followed up a year later, showing that the targeting hadn’t stopped.According to HUD’s lawsuit, Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude people who were born outside the US, non-Christians, interested in accessibility issues or interested in Latino culture. HUD also accuses Facebook of allowing advertisers to exclude people based on their neighborhoods or whether they have children.”Even as we confront new technologies, the fair housing laws enacted over half a century ago remain clear — discrimination in housing-related advertising is against the law,” HUD general counsel Paul Compton said in a statement. “Just because a process to deliver advertising is opaque and complex doesn’t mean that it exempts Facebook and others from our scrutiny and the law of the land.” Now playing: Watch this: Share your voicecenter_img See how much time you’re wasting on Facebook Comments First published at 5:11 a.m. PT.Updates, 6:16 a.m. and 7:45 a.m.: Adds more details, Facebook’s comment and HUD’s filing. Internet Services Politics Facebooklast_img read more

Tata Sons Gets Rs 11000 Crore Dividend Boost From TCS

first_imgA massive dividend announced by India’s second largest software firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for fiscal year ending March 2015 seems to give much needed financial cushion for the parent company, Tata Sons.The record dividend payment will help Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry to fulfil financial obligations in cash-strapped units of the $103-billion conglomerate.The Mumbai-based software major TCS handed out a dividend of ₹15,474 crore to its shareholders last fiscal year, replacing state-owned miner Coal India as the highest dividend payer in the country.Coal India, which has been the top dividend payer for many years in the past, slipped to second place doling out ₹13,075 crore dividend in the fiscal year 2014-15.Last fiscal year, Tata Sons, which has a stake of 74% stake TCS, was given a dividend ₹11,450 crore, more than twice it earned in the previous fiscal year, 2013-14. The dividend was also slightly more than revenues earned by pharma giant Cipla in FY15.”A significant part of the dividend income earned by Tata Sons gets re-invested in group companies,” a Tata executive told The Economic Times.The dividend payout is expected to give the much-needed financial boost to Tata Sons, as its big units such as Tata Motors and Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) struggle with losses and fail to pay any dividends.Consolidated debt of Tata Motors stood at ₹73,610 crore last fiscal year, the highest among the group companies. Tata Steel has a debt of ₹69,000 crore followed Tata Teleservices with ₹35,000 crore.”Then there are other financial commitments to make, like in Tata Teleservices and Tata Singapore Airlines,” the Tata executive added.With the help of TCS’ dividend, Tata Sons will be able to acquire Docomo’s share in Tata Teleservices. Tata Sons, which is currently embroiled in legal tussle with Japanese Docomo, may require fresh funds worth about ₹12,000 crore to accomplish business needs in the telecom unit.Tata’s new domestic airline Vistara, formed as a result of joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, is yet to make an impact and it also needs funds to better position itself in the intensifying competition in the aviation industry.”Although TCS has been the cash cow for Tata Sons, such high dividend (Rs 79 per share) which includes special dividend (of Rs 40) may not come every year,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, head (fundamental research), Karvy Stock Broking.last_img read more

Bengaluru gets new cabhailing service in Namma TYGR are Ola and Uber

first_imgUber drivers’ cars are parked outside the Ministry of Transportation building during a protest in Taipei, Taiwan February 26, 2017.REUTERS/Tyrone SiuIf you are in Bangalore and one of those people who rely on Ola and Uber cabs for your daily commute, here’s a brand new option. The city now has another cab-hailing service in the form of Namma TYGR, which not only promises better and more efficient services but also intends to keep the troubles of the cab drivers in mind.The service is said to have initially considered the name HDK Cabs, but settled on Namma TYGR. The service is backed by Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy and has been started by drivers who were not happy working with Ola and Uber and were also dissatisfied with their incentive schemes, reported Business Standard.Speaking of the drivers and how the new cab service intends to keep their well-being and demands in mind, Aditya Poddar, founder and CEO of TYGR said: “We have already signed up 10,000 drivers, out of which 5,000 are already active on the app. The remainder will come onboard in the next few days after the verification process is completed. Namma TYGR has been built keeping the drivers in mind, so we are fairly confident that more driver will sign up for the service.”Unlike Ola and Uber, which reportedly change the incentive schemes for drivers often, Namma TYGR has said that it would only charge 12 percent from the driver’s earnings per trip, which is said to be less than half of what its competitors charge. While the fares seem to be a tad on the higher side with a hatchback ride for Rs 12.5 per kilometre, Rs 14.5 per kilometre in a sedan and Rs 18.5 per kilometre in an SUV, Poddar says that they will be able to survive in the competition and that there are no hidden costs at all. Ola cabs will dispense cashOla/MediaKit”As you have seen, we have been working in the background for quite some time. The technology is extremely hard to build, but at launch, we will have all the features customers and drivers expect from a service like this. We will also continue to launch new features which are beneficial to drivers, since the whole point of this company is to empower drivers,” added Poddar.The service has also said that the drivers will be entitled to better facilities and benefits like free healthcare, life and insurance against accidents, free car maintenance and more. It promises that the drivers’ families too will be taken care of and school expenses of their children will also be covered.However, many believe that Namma TYGR will not really be able to sustain competition from the big players, considering they not only have a larger customer base but also investments from international giants.last_img read more

23rd Annual Lotta Art Benefit

first_imgThe 23rd annual Lotta Art Benefit returns to School 33 Art Center Nov. 7 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 1427 Light Street, Baltimore, Maryland.  Lotta Art features a lottery-style drawing where patrons are guaranteed to leave with an original artwork valued at or above the cost of their ticket. This year’s Lotta Art will celebrate School 33 Art Center’s Co(lab)oration projects,  three permanent installations created by collaborating groups of Baltimore artists. Lotta Art is going mid-century modern by hosting a 1960s-inspired cocktail party with classic cocktails, period-perfect attire and music. Visit school33.org for more information.last_img read more

Paleoecologists suggest mass extinction due to huge methane release

first_img Global warming led to atmospheric hydrogen sulfide and permian extinction © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Micha Ruhl and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen’s Nordic Center for Earth Evolution have published a paper in Science where they contend that the mass extinction that occurred at the end of the Triassic period, was due to a “sudden” increase in the amount of methane in the atmosphere due to the effects of global warning that resulted from the spewing of carbon dioxide from volcanoes. Citation: Paleoecologists suggest mass extinction due to huge methane release (2011, July 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-paleoecologists-mass-extinction-due-huge.html More information: Atmospheric Carbon Injection Linked to End-Triassic Mass Extinction, Science 22 July 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6041 pp. 430-434 DOI:10.1126/science.1204255ABSTRACTThe end-Triassic mass extinction (~201.4 million years ago), marked by terrestrial ecosystem turnover and up to ~50% loss in marine biodiversity, has been attributed to intensified volcanic activity during the break-up of Pangaea. Here, we present compound-specific carbon-isotope data of long-chain n-alkanes derived from waxes of land plants, showing a ~8.5 per mil negative excursion, coincident with the extinction interval. These data indicate strong carbon-13 depletion of the end-Triassic atmosphere, within only 10,000 to 20,000 years. The magnitude and rate of this carbon-cycle disruption can be explained by the injection of at least ~12 × 103 gigatons of isotopically depleted carbon as methane into the atmosphere. Concurrent vegetation changes reflect strong warming and an enhanced hydrological cycle. Hence, end-Triassic events are robustly linked to methane-derived massive carbon release and associated climate change. Prior to this research, most scientists have believed that the sudden extinction of nearly half of all life forms on the planet was due solely to the emissions from volcanic eruptions that were occurring in what was to become the Atlantic Ocean. Ruhl et al contend that instead, what happened, was that the small amount of atmospheric heating that occurred due to the exhaust from the volcanoes, caused the oceans to warm as well, leading to the melting of ice crystals at the bottom of the sea that were holding on to methane created by the millions of years of decomposing sea life. When the ice crystals melted, methane was released, which in turn caused the planet to warm even more, which led to more methane release in a chain reaction, that Ruhl says, was the real reason for the mass extinction that led to the next phase in world history, the rise of dinosaurs. Ruhl and his team base their assertions on studies they’ve made of the isotopes of carbon in plants (found in what is now the Austrian Alps) that existed during the period before the mass extinction. In so doing they found two different types of carbons and the molecules that were produced during that time frame. After extensive calculations, Ruhl and his team came to the conclusion that some 12,000 gigatons of methane would have had to have been pumped into the atmosphere to account for the differences in the isotopes; something the team believes could only have happened if the methane were to come from the sea floor.This new research, though dire sounding, may or may not have implications for modern Earth. While it is true that humans have pumped significant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, amounts that are approaching what Ruhl and his team say led to the earlier methane release, it doesn’t necessarily mean we are on the same path, because as Ruhl points out, things are much different today, the very structure of the planet has changed so much that it would be impossible to transfer what might have been learned about events in Earth’s history 200 million years ago, to what is going on today. This wide angle view of the Earth is centered on the Atlantic Ocean between South America and Africa. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more