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theEweekly Wrap

Mozilla CEO Drama – Google Robotics Investment – Superfast Mobile Charger

Mozilla CEO's step-down starts free speech debate

The CEO of Mozilla Brendan Eich resigned from his post last week following pressure from both inside and outside the company. The pressure was built up against him because of his support for Proposition 8, a California bill in opposition of same sex marriage.

Now his withdrawal from the position has hung a heavy debate over free speech.

One side of the debate contends that the principle of free speech is under threat, with the main thrust of their argument being that an individual's private beliefs should not be held against them in the workplace. Author Andrew Sullivan, who is gay himself, wrote on his blog:

"It's staggering to me that a minority long persecuted for holding unpopular views can now turn around and persecute others for the exact same reason. If we cannot live and work alongside people with whom we deeply disagree, we are finished as a liberal society."

The other side of the argument says that this is a special case; and that what is generally true of individual beliefs - that they should not matter in the workplace - is not true here because of the particular views in question. Slate's Mark Joseph Stern wrote that:

"Eich wasn't just a casual opponent of marriage equality. He was a major contributor to the most vitriolic anti-gay campaign in American history... When we talk about Eich's anti-gay stance, we aren't just talking about abstract beliefs. We're talking about concrete actions."

The debate is set to continue, yet in the meantime the only available conclusion is that his personal views have cost Mr Eich his job.


Google continues to invest in robotics

Google is now a stakeholder in Savioke, a robotics company based in Silicon Valley, adding to Google's robotic portfolio which already includes over eight other companies.

Savioke has received £1.2m in seed finance: this figure includes an undisclosed sum from Google Ventures, the search giant's investment arm.

However, whatever it is that has caught Google's interest, the robotics company are keeping their product a secret. However, they have unveiled plans to begin customer trials of a service industry-targeted machine this year.

Speaking to the BBC, Steve Cousins, chief executive at Savioke, said: "We have decided that it is time for robots to become available widely in the service industry."

When asked about what this investment meant for the relationship between his company and Google he said: "In the end, what we want to see is robots out in the world helping people."


New superfast charger loads mobiles in 30 seconds

On Wednesday a video was uploaded to the BBC website which shows a mobile phone charge to full power in just 30 seconds.

In the video, a Samsung mobile phone is shown at red capacity and then, after being plugged into the new device, it charges to full green bars in less than a minute.

The product uses nano-technology and was shown to the broadcaster by Dr Doron Myersdorf, from StoreDot, the Israeli company behind the technology. Mr Myersdorf said that each charge should last for at least three hours.

Though many people are excited by the new charger, it may be some time before the public are able buy this product in stores; reports suggest that we will only see them hit the market in 2016.

Written by Rachel Hand


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