Friday Five for October 8, 2021

1. Call for Volunteers: BruinLearn Days

Attention BruinTech Community! 

We are looking for BruinTech volunteers to participate in a BruinLearn Canvas Day campus event where volunteers will lead training sessions on a particular Canvas topic, focused on engaging faculty and supporting the student experience. 


Tuesday Oct 26, 10am - 2pm

Wednesday Oct 27, 10am - 2pm


Training sessions are remote, but volunteers will also be needed on campus the day of the event to navigate folks and answer questions at tents. 

Please reach out to Gayle Sanford via Slack or email ([email protected]).
Please reach out to Gayle by Friday, October 15th.

2. California companies can no longer silence workers in victory for tech activists 

In an important victory for Silicon Valley activists and California workers, the governor has signed a law making it illegal for companies to bar employees from speaking out about harassment and discrimination.

The new law is the result of hard-fought advocacy work by those in the tech industry who have long spoken out against the restrictive confidentiality arrangements, known as nondisclosure agreements or NDAs, which are intended to protect industry secrets but have also created a culture of silence around wrongdoing. Continue reading.

3. UCLA environmental experts featured in PBS series about sustainability 

Colgan says UCLA’s collaboration in the project began when investigative journalist David Nazar contacted the university for a source on a story about wildfires. During the conversation, both recognized the need for more rigorous news reporting about climate change and sustainability, and realized a partnership between PBS and the nation’s top-ranked public university could help inform and educate viewers.

“What sets ‘Sustaining US’ apart from other news programs is that we don’t just focus on the doom and gloom of environmental issues,” said Nazar, host and reporter of the program. “We bring people from all walks of life together to explore each issue and find solutions.” Continue reading.

4. Facebook bans developer behind Unfollow Everything tool 

A developer who made a tool that let people automatically unfollow friends and groups on Facebook says he’s been banned permanently from the social networking site.

Louis Barclay was the creator of “Unfollow Everything,” a browser extension that allowed Facebook users to essentially delete their News Feed by unfollowing all their connections at once. Facebook allows users to individually unfollow friends, groups, and pages, which removes their content from the News Feed, the algorithmically-controlled heart of Facebook. Barclay’s tool automated this process, instantly wiping users’ News Feed. Continue reading.

5. What happened to Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram?

Facebook's apology, rather embarrassingly, was posted on rival network Twitter.

Mike Proulx - an analyst for research company Forrester - says the incident raises questions about the way Facebook brought lots of its technical operations together in recent years.

He says it made them more efficient but means that if one thing goes wrong there can be "a cascading effect, like old-school Christmas lights where one goes out, they all go out". Continue reading.