Tech leaders condemn policy leading to family separations at the border

By now you’ve seen the photos and videos and probably heard the audio tape. The media coming out of the U.S./Mexico border over the past week has been truly heart-wrenching and horrifying, including, most shockingly, images of young children being housed in what amounts to human cages.
Many prominent politicians across the world (and in the G.O.P.) have called out the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border. A number of prominent executives from top tech companies have also begun to use their soapbox to address — and largely admonish — the policies that have led to this humanitarian crisis.
Here’s what those individuals are saying.
Microsoft
Microsoft was among the first tech giants to issue a statement about the situation. The official company line was both an admonishment of current administration policy and somewhat defensive after speculation arose that the company’s cloud computing platform Azure may have somehow been involved.
Here’s the full statement issued on Monday:

In response to questions we want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border, and contrary to some speculation, we are not aware of Azure or Azure services being used for this purpose. As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border. Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II. As a company Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents. We need to continue to build on this noble tradition rather than change course now. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families.

Apple
Rather than issuing a public statement, Tim Cook called the situation “inhumane” during a talk in Dublin this week. Apple’s CEO expounded upon that thought during an interview with The Irish Times, telling the paper, “It’s heartbreaking to see the images and hear the sounds of the kids. Kids are the most vulnerable people in any society. I think that what’s happening is inhumane, it needs to stop.”
As far as his own strained relationship with Trump, Cook added diplomatically, “I have spoken with him several times on several issues, and I have found him to listen. I haven’t found that he will agree on all things.”
Google

The stories and images of families being separated at the border are gut-wrenching. Urging our government to work together to find a better, more humane way that is reflective of our values as a nation. #keepfamiliestogether
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) June 19, 2018

CEO Sundar Pichai took to Twitter to urge a more “humane” approach, writing, “The stories and images of families being separated at the border are gut-wrenching. Urging our government to work together to find a better, more humane way that is reflective of our values as a nation.”
Facebook

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Organizations like Texas Civil Rights Project and RAICES are doing great work helping families at the US border get…
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg, naturally, issued a call to action via Facebook. The post is largely a call to action asking followers to donate to nonprofit orgs Texas Civil Rights Project and RAICES, adding, “we need to stop this policy right now.”

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Listening to the cries of children separated from their parents is unbearable. The practice of family separation on our…
Posted by Sheryl Sandberg on Tuesday, June 19, 2018

COO Sheryl Sandberg also encouraged users to donate to the two aforementioned charities, though her language was decidedly more pointed than Zuckerberg’s. “Listening to the cries of children separated from their parents is unbearable,” she wrote. “The practice of family separation on our border needs to end now. We can’t look away. How we treat those most vulnerable says a lot about who we are.”
YouTube

Regardless of your politics, it's heartbreaking to see what's happening to families at the border. Here are some ways you can help: https://t.co/IFVG6g8AKO
— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) June 19, 2018

In a simple tweet, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote, “Regardless of your politics, it’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening to families at the border,” while linking to a list of charities.
Tesla/SpaceX

I hope the kids are ok
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 19, 2018

Elon Musk’s own tweet was a bit less…verbose than the rest, simply writing, “I hope the kids are ok” and linking to a YouTube video of “Shelter” by xx.
Airbnb

Ripping children from their parents’ arms is cruel. This policy must end. pic.twitter.com/R2b3FXtxqU
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) June 18, 2018

Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk issued a joint statement on Twitter in both English and Spanish:

Ripping children from the arms of their parents is heartless, cruel, immoral and counter to American values of belonging. The U.S. government needs to stop this injustice and reunite these families. We are a better country than this.

Uber

As a father, a citizen and an immigrant myself, the stories coming from our border break my heart. Families are the backbone of society. A policy that pulls them apart rather than building them up is immoral and just plain wrong. #KeepFamiliesTogether https://t.co/g2Cu40zvcX
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) June 19, 2018

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi cited his own experience as an immigrant to admonish the policy, writing, “As a father, a citizen and an immigrant myself, the stories coming from our border break my heart. Families are the backbone of society. A policy that pulls them apart rather than building them up is immoral and just plain wrong.”
Lyft

We are taking action to help the families and children that are being unjustly separated at the border by offering @Lyft Relief Rides to 12 organizations (including @RAICESTEXAS, @TXCivilRights, @supportKIND) #KeepFamiliesTogether
— johnzimmer (@johnzimmer) June 19, 2018

The co-founders of the country’s other major ridesharing service also issued a joint statement condemning the actions. They went a step further, as well, offering free rides to a dozen organizations providing help at the border.

Tech leaders condemn policy leading to family separations at the border

Ori and the Will of the Wisps: Hands-on impressions from E3 2018

Ori and the Will of the Wisps brings several features to Ori’s forest that fit well alongside familiar gameplay.

I teared up when I first saw Ori and the Will of the Wisps revealed at E3 2017, and I teared up again at E3 2018. Moon Studios’ masterpiece of a platformer was not only an emotional journey, but its Metroidvania adventure included some of the tightest, most enjoyable platforming I’ve ever played.

With the sequel, the studio is bringing back that same wonderful gameplay, but also is adding some new features that on their faces don’t seem to fit well with Ori. Side quests, NPCs with dialogue, and the removal of the old save system sound like they’d derail the adventure, but after going hands-on with the game at E3 2018, I’m convinced that Will of the Wisps can surpass Blind Forest both in beauty and fun.

One small favor

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/83l6EAujx_Q/ori-and-will-wisps-hands-impressions-e3-2018

Jurassic World Evolution PC review: Spectacularly mundane park management

The concept is great, but the execution falls short of expectations.

Ah, Jurassic Park. A franchise many people, young and old, consider being one of entertainment’s finest. When I saw that a park management title was coming out for this iconic film series, I was very excited. Sadly, once I got my hands on the game, it became apparent just how vapid and bland it was. Between the lack of variety, the absence of meaningful progression systems, and more, your best bet would be to not endorse this park.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/wo6LGSb2iNA/jurassic-world-evolution-pc-review-spectacularly-mundane

Get up to $35 off a new Amazon Fire TV Cube by trading in your old streaming device

Got a Chromecast or Roku sitting around collecting dust?

Trade in whatever media streaming player you own and Amazon will give you up to $35 in credit towards a new Fire TV Cube or 4K Fire TV. Amazon only recently announced the Fire TV Cube, and it’s currently set to come out on June 21. You can get a huge discount off the price with this trade-in offer and go from an older, streaming device, to one that syncs easily with your smart home and streams in 4K. If you want to get your hands on Amazon’s newest device, this is best deal we’re going to see on it for quite some time.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/59zHQvSW2U0/thrifter-deal-get-35-new-amazon-fire-tv-cube-trading-your-old-streaming-device

Kingdom Hearts III runs at native 4K resolution on Xbox One X

Kingdom Hearts III should look amazing on Xbox One X.

Kingdom Hearts III is coming to Xbox One on January 29, 2019 with Xbox One X enhancements in tow. In light of this announcement, many gamers have been asking Square Enix about the resolution and frame rate on Microsoft’s new console.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/j1C2G2_0SnE/kingdom-hearts-iii-achieves-native-4k-resolution-xbox-one-x

Everything we know about upcoming Microsoft Surface and Xbox hardware

Microsoft is working on a whole bunch of Surface hardware right now. Here’s a list of everything you can expect to see from Microsoft within the next couple of years.

Microsoft is always working on new hardware, and thanks a whole bunch of leaks spanning all the back to 2017, we know that we can expect to see at least some of that new hardware within the next 12 months. Everything from a new 10-inch Surface tablet, to a mythical dual-screen mobile pocket PC codenamed Andromeda. Here’s everything Microsoft is currently working on for release over the next year or two.

Surface “Andromeda” (2018)

Microsoft’s secret Andromeda project is something we first learned about towards the end of 2017. It’s a dual-screen, mobile pocket PC that’s designed to look and feel a little like a digital journal. According to our sources, Andromeda is one of Microsoft’s first shipping products to use the new Windows Core OS modular base of Windows 10, along with a new shell experience dubbed “Andromeda OS” using CShell. We can expect to see this device announced towards the end of this year.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/7SNkl4vqxEY/upcoming-microsoft-hardware-watch-out-over-next-year-or-so

Microsoft says it is “dismayed” by the forced separation of migrant families at the border

Amid calls for a boycott and employee dissent over its cloud-computing deal with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Microsoft issued a statement saying that the company “is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border.” The ICE is currently under fire from both sides of the political spectrum for separating migrant parents from their children at the United States-Mexico border.
The controversy over Microsoft’s involvement with the ICE stems from an Authority to Operate (ATO) that the agency granted to Azure Government earlier this year. In a January blog post, Microsoft said the ATO would help the ICE deliver cloud-based identity and access services and “help employees make more informed decisions faster.” It also said that the use of its government compliant cloud computing software would enable ICE to “process data on edge devices or utilize deep learning capabilities to accelerate facial recognition and identification.”
Though the ATO has been public for six months already, it resurfaced as outrage grew over the separation of families, including those legally seeking asylum with children, with many social media users calling for a boycott of Microsoft and some employees considering resigning.
In its statement, however, Microsoft said it is not working with ICE or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on “any projects related to separating children from their families at the border” and that it is unaware of Azure being used for that purpose. It also “urged” the Trump administration to change the policy.
Microsoft’s full statement is below. TechCrunch has contacted the company for more information.
?
In response to questions we want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border, and contrary to some speculation, we are not aware of Azure or Azure services being used for this purpose. As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border. Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II. As a company Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents. We need to continue to build on this noble tradition rather than change course now. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families.

Microsoft says it is “dismayed” by the forced separation of migrant families at the border