An Oracle senior staff member and anti-Donald-Trump activist has quit the company in response to co-CEO Safra Catz’s decision to join the president-elect’s transition team and her expression of Oracle’s intention to support his policies.
Viral open letter
George Polisner, who worked in Oracle’s managed cloud services team for four years, took to LinkedIn earlier this week to express his opposition to Catz and her politics.
“I am not with President-elect Trump and I am not here to help him in any way,” Polisner said in his now viral open-letter.
Specifically, Polisner’s opposition to Catz and her politics may stem from an emailed statement she sent earlier this month. “I plan to tell the President-elect that we are with him and are here to help in any way we can,” Catz said. On December 14, a group of tech executives, including Catz, were invited to a meeting at Trump Tower. While several signed an open letter opposing his presidency, Catz was the only member of the group known to have had a previous relationship with Trump.
The hero/the fool
Reactions to Polisner’s form of protest have come from all directions. One Twitter user called him a “Hero of the Resistance,” while others shared feelings that his decision was foolish or futile.
Eva Galperin, an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Global Policy Analyst, said she hopes others will follow in Polisner’s footsteps and step down as well.
The first in what I hope is a long series of resignation letters from Oracle over their CEO's cooperation with Trump https://t.co/DMk86w4kDp
— Eva (@evacide) December 20, 2016
Another Twitter user praised Polisner for being on the right side of history.
My new hero. 23 years at Oracle. His convictions are on the right side of history. https://t.co/Bio495pVY0
— laura i. gómez (@laura) December 20, 2016
Others were less supportive of Polisner, and of Oracle as a whole.
Who is George A. Polisner? Who care!
I had used Oracle since 1995, but I never used it from 2002. Why? Oracle is getting worst.
— Leicester G (@Leicest90768232) December 21, 2016
I hate to be the one to break this to you, but if you worked for Oracle for 10 years, your integrity was not so hot to begin with
— Jeff Atwood (@codinghorror) December 21, 2016
Got what he wanted
Polisner, with his 30-plus years working in technology, will likely find a new opportunity soon that more aligns with his political views, and Oracle will likely fill his post with an equally qualified, less anti-Trump candidate.
It’s up to you to decide how meaningful or impactful Polisner’s decision to quit was, but maybe just getting us talking about it is what he ultimately hoped would happen.
Not just for gaming: How virtual reality can save PTSD patients
(TECH NEWS) Thanks to its ability to simulate situations safely, virtual reality technologies are proving effective in therapy for PTSD patients.
Over the last year, a great many people have developed a new and sometimes dangerous relationship with a new emotional state, anxiety. I know that personally I’d never had a panic attack in my life until the middle of the pandemic. For many these emotions have taken the form of actual disorders. Actual mental influences which affect everyday life on a large scale. One of the most common forms of which is PTSD.
This disorder has many different aspects and can affect people in a number of different and debilitating ways. Finding treatments for PTSD patients and other anxiety disorders – especially treatments that don’t involve drugging people into oblivion has been difficult.
A lot of these disorders require exposure therapy. Putting people back into similar situations which caused the original trauma so that their brains can adjust to the situation and not get stuck in pain or panic loops. But how do you do that for things like battlefield trauma. You can’t just create situations with gunfire and dead bodies! Or can you?
This is where VR starts coming in. Thanks to the falling cost of VR headsets, noted by The Economist, psychologists are more capable of creating these real world situations that can actually help people adjust to their individual trauma.
One therapist went so far as to compare it to easy access opioids for therapy. This tool is so powerful that of the 20 veterans that they started with, 16 of them no longer qualify for the categories of PTSD. That’s a 75% success rate with an over-the-counter medicine. I can think of antihistamines and painkillers that aren’t that good.
I’ve grown up around PTSD patients. The majority of my family have been in the military. I was even looking at a career before I was denied service. I have enough friends that deal with PTSD issues that I have a list of things I remember not to invite certain people to so as not to trigger it. Any and every tool available that could help people adapt to their trauma is worthwhile.
Tired of email spam? This silly, petty solution might provide vindication
(TECH NEWS) If you struggle to keep your inbox clean thanks to a multitude of emails, the widget “You’ve Got Spam” could provide some petty catharsis.
We’re all spending a lot of time behind our computers and inside of our inboxes these days, so it makes sense that some people—not naming names—might be sick of seeing several unsolicited emails a day from marketers and other unsavory businesses.
While we can’t recommend a mature, adult solution that hasn’t already been beaten to death (looking at you, “inbox zero” crowd), we can recommend a childish one: Signing solicitors up for spam.
If you do decide to go the petty route, “You’ve Got Spam”—a free email widget from MSCHF—has you covered. Upon installing the widget, you can configure it to respond automatically to incoming cold-marketing emails with tons of subscriptions to spam sources, thus resulting in overwhelming the sender with a crowded inbox and cultivating a potentially misplaced sense of catharsis for yourself.
The widget itself is fairly simple: You only need to install it to Gmail from the MSCHF website. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. When you receive an email from a person from whom you can safely assume you’ll never be receiving favors ever again, you can open it and click the “You’ve Got Spam” icon to sign the sender up for spam lists galore.
See? Petty, but effective.
The developer page does fail to make the distinction between the promised “100” subscriptions and the “hundreds of spam subscriptions” discussed on Product Hunt. But one can assume that anyone who dares trespass on the sacred grounds of your squeaky-clean inbox will rue the day they did so regardless of the exact number of cat litter magazine subscriptions they receive.
Of course, actually using something like “You’ve Got Spam” is, realistically, a poor choice. It takes exactly as much effort to type, “We’ll pass – thanks!” as a response to anyone cold-emailing you, and you’re substantially less likely to piss off the actual human being on the other side by doing so. Services like this are heavy on the comedic shock value, but the empathy side tends to lack a discernible presence.
That said, if you absolutely must wreck someone’s day—and inbox—MSCHF’s “You’ve Got Spam” is a pretty ingenious way to do it.
Clubhouse finally made it to Android, but has its time passed?
(TECH NEWS) Social media felt the impact of Clubhouse, but the internet moves fast, and even though it is finally on Android, it’s time may be waning.
Clubhouse finally got an Android release, and while many people clamored for such a thing months ago, others argue that it’s too little, too late.
If you aren’t familiar with Clubhouse, it’s an audio-only “social platform” that encourages discussions through live chat rooms. Users can drop into various rooms and listen to people talk, request the option to chime in, and follow a variety of rooms (or “topics”) to stay engaged over time. Users can even create their own rooms that feature them as speakers.
Clubhouse also has a certain allure to it in that the app requires new users to put their names on a waitlist that creates an “invite-only” culture of exclusivity.
But while iPhone users have had access to Clubhouse since its inception, Android users have been not-so-patiently waiting for their own release—and, now that Clubhouse for Android is available, it may have outstayed its welcome.
Part of the problem is the launch itself. The Android Clubhouse app launched with limited functionality; Android users weren’t able to follow the topics they like, change their account information, and so on. This made the release feel underwhelming, further highlighting Clubhouse’s affinity for Apple users.
A more complicated problem is the prevalence of audio options in other social media services. Slack, for example, recently released their audio-only rooms, and services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have placed a spotlight on voice-only mediums of expression.
Initially, Clubhouse was the only app to incorporate audio as a strong central focus, but the ubiquitous fascination with voice-posting has expanded to comprise most major communication platforms. As such, Clubhouse’s sought-after exclusivity is no more—something that was also arguably damaged by expanding to Android.
It should be noted that interest in the app itself is decreasing, and not just on Android. Social Media Today reported that, in March of 2021, Clubhouse downloads were down 72 percent from February’s 9.6 million downloads. The publication also pointed out that difficulty finding rooms was a substantial issue that is unlikely to do anything but worsen with a surge of Android users, necessitating some back-end fixes from the owners.
As it sits, Clubhouse is still very much in use, and Android users are poised to reignite interest as iOS users stagnate. Whether or not that interest will persevere in the current social media ecosystem remains to be seen.
Opinion Editorials2 weeks ago
The truth about unemployment from someone who’s been through it
Opinion Editorials4 days ago
Easy ways to help an unhappy customer
Business News2 weeks ago
Everyone should have an interview escape plan
Business Entrepreneur2 weeks ago
How can a small business beat a large competitor moving in next door?
Business Entrepreneur7 days ago
How to choose the right software for your business
Business News4 days ago
You should apply to be on a board – why and how
Business Finance1 week ago
Stripe Treasury is modernizing banking, and Shopify is already onboard
Social Media2 weeks ago
Reels: Why Instagram can’t compete with TikTok… yet?