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Mirantis announces $100M round led by Intel Capital and partnership with Intel to accelerate OpenStack adoption in enterprise (Ron Miller/TechCrunch)

Last October, Marantis , the pure-play OpenStack vendor announced a $100 million round . Just 10 months later, it’s back with an identical announcement. This time the investment is led by Intel Capital and includes a partnership with Intel to help accelerate OpenStack in the enterprise. Goldman Sachs, August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures and WestSummit Capital also participated. The funds include a mix of equity and spending. OpenStack is the open source cloud operating system that was launched in July 2010 to provide an alternative to proprietary public cloud infrastructure vendors such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. It led to a flurry of startups, but in the last year many have been scooped up by larger companies with Cisco grabbing Metacloud in 2014, then going back for more with Piston in June. IBM bought BlueBox , EMC got Cloudscaling — and Nebula, a particularly promising one simply closed its doors last spring. Against this backdrop, Mirantis remains standing and it’s hoping that working closely with Intel, along with the huge infusion of money, will help it advance OpenStack in the enterprise. While it has made progress, several key problems remain related to scaling in large settings. The Intel partnership will include resources such as access to hardware labs and a variety of gear at a scale, which Mirantis couldn’t access on its own, Alex Freedland, Mirantis president and co-founder told TechCrunch. Mirantis offers what it calls ‘a pure version’ of OpenStack, and Freeland believes that’s what separates his company from the big players in the market. “Mirantis is an open platform where everyone can come in and not be guarded by proprietary walls. This is the only way to drive down cost and drive up features,” he said. Mirantis is not only competing against major technology companies like IBM, Cisco, HP and Oracle selling OpenStack, it’s also battling against more mature and better funded enterprise technologies from VMware and Microsoft. It hopes with this combination of funds and resources to get to the point where a large enterprise could deploy OpenStack across all of its infrastructure, Freeland explained. Today, OpenStack tends to be implemented in smaller projects

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Silicon Valley’s perks arms race now includes parental leave, but tech companies are still not adequately addressing child care (Nitasha…

For a part of the world so obsessed with iconoclasts, Silicon Valley is awfully susceptible to the herd mentality. The same venture firms funnel billions into the same app ideas, the same plutocrats defend the status quo on the same social network (hello again, Twitter), and all the startups figure out which snacks to stock up on by cribbing off each other’s micro-kitchens. Earlier this month, Netflix triggered a slightly different kind of groupthink by offering unlimited paid maternity and paternity leave for the first year after a child is born or adopted (for salaried employees in its streaming division, at least). Microsoft was a fast follow (that’s industry jargon for copying a proven concept), increasing paid leave for birth mothers in the U.S. to 20 weeks and paid parental leave to 12 weeks just one day after Netflix’s announcement. (A Microsoft spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the timing was unrelated to Netflix, adding, “I know, hard to believe.”) A few days after that, Adobe went the same route, offering new mothers up to 26 weeks paid time off and enhancing paid parental leave to 16 weeks. Then last Thursday, BuzzFeed announced internally that primary caregivers will get 12 weeks of paid time off (up from six weeks) and secondary caregivers will get four weeks of paid time off (up from one week). Staffers learned about the policy change just before a company meeting, where in an answer to another question, founder Jonah Peretti said he wanted BuzzFeed to function more like Google and Facebook than a traditional media company. “We need to provide amazing benefits,” he said . “We need to provide as much incentive for people to pick BuzzFeed over any other company.” The updated parental policy also promised “a special gift containing BuzzFeed baby swag” as well as free lunch for new parents on the company’s Seamless account twice a week “to make sure you’re still getting BuzzFeed office perks.” Taken together, these new policies were enough to constitute a human resources trend — which naturally elicited both immediate applause and quick scrutiny. In an article about the tech industry’s “selfish” reasons for announcing these changes, Wired pointed out that announcing these changes was good publicity, a self-serving recruiting tactic, and that without a supportive company culture, policy changes won’t make a significant impact. New parents will still fear being held back professionally if they take advantage of this benefit being bandied about in the press. All those critiques are accurate. For-profit companies gonna profit, or try to at least. And when it comes to time off, the word “unlimited” seems to benefit management more than employees, who end up tethered to their desk while they try to decipher how much leeway the policy actually permits.

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European Commission asks companies for details about Google’s ad contracts and scraping as it deepens its antitrust investigation (Natalia…

By Natalia Drozdiak Natalia Drozdiak The Wall Street Journal Biography Natalia Drozdiak @nat_droz natalia.drozdiak@wsj.com Updated Aug. 21, 2015 2:42 p.m. ET BRUSSELS—The European Union is stepping up its probe into allegations that Google Inc. abuses its dominance in advertising contracts with website operators and copies content from rival sites, in a further sign that the U.S. search giant’s travails with Europe’s antitrust regulator are far from over. The European Commission, the bloc’s competition watchdog , has sent out questionnaires to companies requesting more detailed information into Google’s business practices in those areas, according to two documents seen by The Wall Street Journal. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment. The European Commission didn’t respond to a request for comment. The EU has previously flagged its concerns about the practices cited in the questionnaires, which follow a formal complaint in April that charged the company with skewing results to favor its comparison-shopping services. In one of the questionnaires inquiring about “exclusivity obligations”—whether Google prevents or obstructs website operators from placing ads on their websites that compete with Google’s advertising business—the commission asks companies to update responses they made about the issue in 2010 and to provide a copy of all their advertising agreements with Google over the last four years. A separate questionnaire, investigating the allegations that Google copies or “scrapes” content from rival sites, asks companies to provide more information about whether Google takes content, such as images, from the companies and uses it in its own online services. News Corp , NWSA -2.45 % publisher of The Wall Street Journal, has filed a formal complaint with the commission regarding Google competition practices. Google has until Aug. 31 to respond to the formal charges in the shopping case, after the commission twice extended the deadline

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Comparing gender and race diversity figures reported by Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Intel (Thomas Ricker/The Verge)

Last week Apple finally released the Equal Employment Opportunity report detailing the diversity of its US workforce. The so-called  EEO-1 accompanied Apple’s second diversity report with a note meant to discredit the validity of the government-mandated data. "The EEO-1 has not kept pace with changes in industry or the American workforce over the past half century," reads the Apple diversity page . "We believe the information we report elsewhere on this site is a far more accurate reflection of our progress toward diversity." Google , Facebook , and Microsoft describe similar inadequacies in their EEO-1 reports. It’s true that a form which categorizes software engineers as "professionals" and hygienists as "technicians" doesn’t make a lot of sense for companies rooted in technology. But the report’s top-level summary and leadership breakout do provide insight into each company’s overall diversity in terms of both gender and race / ethnicity. Better yet, since we also have the 2014 EEO-1 reports from Twitter , Intel , Facebook , and Amazon we can do an Apple’s-to-apples comparison across much of the industry. The Equal Employment Opportunity report might be flawed, but at least it’s the same imperfect metric applied consistently across all companies. But first, a baseline. In 2010, the last time a census was conducted , the US was 16 percent Hispanic or Latino, 64 percent White (non-Hispanic or Latino), 12 percent Black or African American (non-Hispanic or Latino), 4.6 percent Asian (non-Hispanic or Latino), and 3 percent "other" (people of two or more races, American Indians or Alaskans, and native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders). In terms of gender, the US population consisted of more women than men: 49.2 percent male (151,781,326), 50.8 percent female (156,964,212) — but women comprised just  47 percent of the US labor force. So, how do the US tech companies we sampled compare? Click the "show me" buttons across the top of the chart below to sort by gender and race / ethnicity. Key takeaways: Amazon sets the bar for female employment with 37 percent of its US workforce. Microsoft lags the pack with just 24 percent (sampled average is 29 percent female) — far below the 47 percent of the US workforce that’s female

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In test of six sets of identical twins, none fool Windows Hello face recognition feature (Chris Griffith/TheAustralian)

Windows 10 paired with Intel's RealSense camera gives users a new way to log in to their computers- facial recognition. But what happens when twins try? Windows 10, released last month by Microsoft, replaces the hack­able password system with biometric recognition. You log in using your fingerprints, and with eye and face recognition. The new feature is called Windows Hello. If you have an iPhone or recent Samsung smartphone, you will know how convenient fingerprint recognition is, and it has proved consistent and reliable. But a large number of notebooks coming on to the market with Windows 10 offer face recognition as an alternative to passwords for accessing your account. The face recognition process involves a RealSense camera made by Intel, which sits embedded above the display. Three cameras — featuring an infra-red lens, a regular lens and a 3-D lens — use photographic analysis, heat detection and depth detection to decide who is at your computer display. Personally I found face recognition worked a treat. The Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 14 we used quickly identified who I was among several account holders, and in a flash logged me in

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