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Here’s another way tech companies increasingly resemble conventional corporations: When they talk about jobs, it’s often a political message.
Last week, Google presented details of office expansion, computer data centers, and staff expansion across the United States. The company doesn’t say so, but it needs more people, buildings, and infrastructure to keep growing and making money. Politics and public relations got smarter by renaming it “investing in the US”.
Google is not alone. Amazon has turned its huge workforce into the biggest political message that it is helping the Americans and the economy. IPhone maker Foxconn remains promising high-tech jobs at its Wisconsin plant, even though it hasn’t fulfilled its hiring promise for three years. Facebook and Apple regularly talk about how they support small businesses and help create jobs at app companies.
Companies are growing We economic growth engine, and there is nothing new for them to brag about about what they are doing for political reasons. Defense contractors may suggest to members of Congress that a Pentagon budget cut could result in fewer jobs in the lawmakers’ counties or states. Walmart statistics the amount of money they buy from US suppliers.
But it is still strange to see tech companies play with its soft power game. This is an industry that for a long time thought they didn’t have to do the usual corporate jobs of lobbying and attracting political power. This was never really true, but it was even less.
As more and more people and politicians worry about the impact technology companies have on our economy and our lives, digital corporations have been forced to work harder to make people feel warm and fuzzy about them. One way to do that is to copy what boring old companies have always done: Bring attention to their recruitment and growth.
Amazon is the epitome of a company that uses recruitment and economic growth as a tool to influence how others perceive it. My colleague Karen Weise has written about Amazon employing its growing staff of 1.3 million as a force for political persuasion.
Workers at Amazon warehouses travel to Washington to meet members of Congress and hand lawmakers with the names of the company’s warehouses in their counties. Amazon regularly talks about opening new companies and warehouses and offices, and has a website that records how much money it spends in the United States.
That is a compelling message. Few companies in the history of the United States have hired people at the rate Amazon has been doing in recent times. And many towns and states want Amazon facilities in their backyards – and politicians want credit for bringing those jobs to their regions.
It’s also undeniable that all spending is for Amazon, not the US. The company’s fast-growing sales and commitment to bringing multiple packages to Prime members’ doors in a day has forced the company to replenish workers, open more warehouses near major residential centers and spend more for planes and trucks.
The desire to paint corporate necessity in the best possible light sometimes produces bizarre scenes. Apple in 2018 basically slapped its backs on paying taxes and buying equipment to make iPhones.
Tech companies are becoming like every other for-profit corporation. They want to be seen as contributing to society, not just making money.
Tips of the week
Don’t share your location in pictures. Please.
This tip from Brian X. ChenThe New York Times consumer technology columnist asked me to immediately check my phone’s settings:
Many of us rely on our smartphones for everyday cameras. But our phones collect a lot of data about us, and the camera software can automatically note our location when we take a photo. This is often a potential safety risk rather than a benefit.
Let’s start with the positives. When you allow your camera to tag your location, photo management apps like Apple Photos and Google Photos can automatically organize photos into albums based on location. That comes in handy when you’re on vacation and want to remember where you were when taking snapshots.
But when you’re not traveling, tagging your location on photos isn’t that great. Let’s say you just connected with someone on your dog photo dating and messaging app. If you turned on location when taking a photo, that person can analyze the data to see where you live.
To be safe, make sure that photo positioning is disabled by default.
To do this on iPhone: Open the Settings app, select Privacy, then Location Services and finally Camera. Under “Allow location access”, select “Never”.
On Android, inside the Camera app, tap the Settings icon that looks like a cog. Scroll to “tag location” or “save location” and switch the switch to the off position.
You can choose to temporarily turn on location to record your vacation, but remember to turn it off when your trip is over.
Before we go …
A very valuable chat app: My colleagues reported that Discord, a popular messaging app for group video games, discussed selling the company to Microsoft. A purchase may never happen, but the price discussed is over $ 10 billion.
Meet Dr. Zoom: Some medical schools did the dissection of corpses using simulation software during a pandemic, and, yes, that sounds strange. My colleague, Emma Goldberg, spoke to the doctors during the training about how they have adapted to the virtual learning approach in a very hands-on education.
You want to feel old and irrelevant ?! Ryan Kaji is 9 years old. His family generates $ 30 million in annual revenue from Ryan’s YouTube channels opening new toys, exercising and crafting projects. His family told Bloomberg News that the real money from those videos came from selling branded items like toys and clothing.
Here officially spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Relax with this stunning video about robins. (This was suggested by the New York Times Cook bulletin.)
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