Each week, the HuffPost Code team meets to discuss the latest tech news and interview special guests for the Floating Points Podcast.
Season 2: Episode 3 - Beer From Bees
During this week's podcast, sexism in the tech industry and Facebook experiments ignite everyone's emotions. We begin with a discussion about Whitney Wolfe, Tinder's former Vice President of Marketing, and her recent sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against the company. Reports indicate that Wolfe received ongoing harassment from Justin Mateen, Tinder's former Chief Marketing Officer. Reports also indicate that when Wolfe tried to bring this situation to the attention of CEO, Sean Rad, Rad looked the other way. Wolfe's ordeal bears unfortunate similarities to the experience Julie Ann Horvath had at GitHub. Both women were forced to step down due to the pressure they received after reporting harassment to their respective employers. We ponder what can be done to provide women in tech with more resources for help, and how the lawsuit will affect Tinder's popularity amongst women.
If you want to make the Floating Points' hosts sad, populate their Facebook feeds with bummer news about women in tech. Is Facebook wrong for influencing the emotions of 700,000 users during their recent experiment, which altered the sentiment of selected users' feeds? The hosts find parallels between this experiment and tactics that other companies use to influence user behavior, such as A/B testing copy and button placement. However, the Facebook experiment did toy with human emotion, which is something that some of the hosts believe to be wrong. Should Facebook have asked users to opt-in to the experiment? We question Facebook's ethics and wonder if they are laying the groundwork for not only the future of advertising, but the future of government control – scary.
DropBox Engineer, Mike Lyons joins Floating Points to discuss the company's new New York City office, but we get distracted by RoboBees. RoboBees is a NSF funded project from Harvard's Microbiotics Lab. Lyons worked on RoboBees while completing his Ph.D. The project is a response to the threats of Colony Collapse Disorder and the goal is to create hives of RoboBees that mimic bee colonies. Lyons was in charge of designing the bees' processor, which he programmed using Verilog. DropBox is not currently using Verilog, but Lyons has managed to master Objective-C and is developing the company's iOS client. In addition to the technical aspects of his job, Lyons also shares what it's like to work at a satellite office and what the company is doing to grow their east coast presence.
What do you think?
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Katelyn Bogucki is the Editor of HuffPost Code, The Huffington Post's source for information about development and design. Prior to HuffPost, she worked at Uber. Katelyn loves reading and writing about computer engineering and is especially interested in cyber security and functional programming.
Tom Biegeleisen has been a software engineer at the Huffington Post for the last two years. Prior to Huff Post, he worked in the start-up space as both a front- and back-end engineer. He holds a bachelor's degree from Columbia University.
Dulio Denis, born and bred in Manhattan, is an iOS Developer at Dog on a Horse where he spends his days deep in Cocoa ensuring the Topps Apps like BUNT, KICK, and Huddle are the best iOS Apps in the AppStore. After coding on his Commodore-64 in High School Dulio attended Columbia where he earned a Computer Science degree from the Engineering School and interned at Apple. These days Dulio works on his own apps under the ddApps label and hacks on his Raspberry Pi running Ubuntu where he tinkers in his Open Source Software oasis.
The Sound Editor
Mark Riechers has more than eight years of media experience in roles ranging from social media manager and podcast producer to film critic and science communicator. He's worked for publications including The A.V. Club, The Isthmus, Dane101 and others, on topics spanning engineering, entertainment, medical technology, research economics and video games. Currently based in Chicago, Mark writes, produces and provides technical support for Arts Extract, a podcast and blog for art criticism in Madison, Wisconsin. He also occasionally finds time to enjoy a video game, a nice dark beer and Netflix originals.