Jessica Guynn

President-elect Trump invites tech leaders to roundtable for Dec 14

President-elect Donald Trump has invited technology industry leaders to a roundtable Dec 14 in New York. The invitation for the summit was sent by President-elect Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and transition team adviser Peter Thiel. Among the CEOs who will attend the meeting is Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins. The tech industry, which bet heavily on Hillary Clinton in the months leading up to the presidential election, is looking to build bridges to the incoming Administration.

Twitter suspends alt-right accounts

Twitter suspended a number of accounts associated with the alt-right movement, the same day the social media service said it would crack down on hate speech. Among those suspended was Richard Spencer, who runs an alt-right think tank and had a verified account on Twitter. The alt-right, a loosely organized group that espouses white nationalism, emerged as a counterpoint to mainstream conservatism and has flourished online. Spencer has said he wants blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Jews removed from the U.-S. Twitter removed Spencer's verified account, @RichardBSpencer, that of his think tank, the National Policy Institute @npiamerica, and his online magazine @radixjournal.

"This is corporate Stalinism," Spencer told The Daily Caller News Foundation. In a YouTube video, entitled Knight of the Long Knives, an apparent reference to the purge of Nazi leaders in 1934 to consolidate Adolf Hitler's power, Spencer said Twitter had engaged in a coordinated effort to wipe out alt-right Twitter. "I am alive physically but digitally speaking there has been execution squads across the alt right," he said. "There is a great purge going on and they are purging people based on their views."

Google Fiber no longer a moonshot — it's a 'real business'

Demand is spreading far faster than Google Fiber is. Fiber operates only in a handful of cities, with six more being built out, and it's in discussion with 13 more cities. Consumers on social media are vocal about wanting it in their cities, and mayors — eager to flaunt access to cutting edge Internet – vie to be chosen by Google.

The slow pace of expansion is frustrating some consumers and it's allowing competitors to race ahead. Among them: AT&T, whose GigaPower Network is already in 25 major metropolitan areas and is expanding to an additional 31, many of them this year. AT&T is also experimenting with a 5G wireless service in Austin (TX) with speeds of up to 14 gigabits per second in early tests. Comcast has rolled out gigabit service in Atlanta (GA) and Nashville (TN), and plans to introduce it this year in Chicago (IL), Detroit (MI) and Miami (FL) with more markets coming. It also offers 2-gigabits-a-second service called Gigabit Pro. And Comcast is testing a new wireless service that delivers speeds approaching one gigabit. Welcome to the gigabit wars. Who will win? You.

No boys allowed: Girls Who Code takes on gender gap

Launched in 2012, Girls Who Code's summer program has grown from 20 girls in one classroom to 380 girls in classrooms at 16 companies across the country.

Founder Reshma Saujani is addressing a pressing challenge for the tech industry: There are not enough computer science graduates to fill openings. Nearly three quarters of girls in middle school express interest in engineering, science and math. Yet, by the time they are in college, very few major in computer science.

Fifty-seven percent of bachelor's degrees are earned by women but just 18% of computer science degrees go to women. Women make up half of the US workforce but hold just 25% of the jobs in technical and computing fields.

The figures are even starker for women of color. Black women make up just 3% of the computing work force and Hispanic women just 2%.

So far the results from Girls Who Code show that early intervention is the key, Saujani says. Of the graduates from the Girls Who Code summer program in 2013, 95% said they were definitely considering or were more likely to consider studying computer science in college and 99% said they were considering a career in technology.

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg on tech's diversity gap

A Q&A with Facebook Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Sandberg sat down with USA TODAY to discuss challenges her company and others are confronting, and on the importance of diversity in the tech industry.

“I think we all want our company makeup to reflect the makeup of the people who use our products,” she said.

Sandberg added that Facebook does not just want to release numbers, but move them. “At the broadest level, we are not going to fix the numbers for under-representation in technology or any industry until we fix our education system and until we fix the stereotypes about women and minorities in math and science,” she said.

Facebook scores low in customer satisfaction

Some Americans still love to hate Facebook and other social media services, according to an annual survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

Social media companies are the fourth-lowest scoring with consumers after Internet service providers, subscription television companies and airlines. The industry has a score of 71 on a 100 point scale. Facebook and LinkedIn ranked the lowest of the seven companies surveyed. Twitter didn't fare much better.

Google and Jesse Jackson team on high-tech diversity

The Rainbow Push Coalition has teamed with Google to increase the ranks of minorities in Silicon Valley. The Internet giant held a series of events at the group's annual conference in Chicago.

Rainbow Push said it would hold a joint event with Google in August.

Volunteers from Google and other technology companies are attending the conference to host training sessions, panels and a national town hall with youth. Rainbow Push planned to show a video on inspiring blacks to get into the technology field. Google's chief legal officer David Drummond was also honored.

"We have a lot of work to do when it comes to diversity in our workforce," Drummond said. "We're committed to working with civic, community and education groups and leaders like Rev Jackson to turn these gaps into new bridges of opportunity."

High court rejects Google appeal in snooping case

Google must face a class action lawsuit alleging the Internet giant violated federal wiretap law when its Street View vehicles collected data from private Wi-Fi networks.

The US Supreme Court said that it would not consider Google's challenge to the class action lawsuit. The federal Wiretap Act bans the interception of electronic communications.

Google had argued that it was not illegal to collect radio communications or any "form of electronic communication readily accessible to the general public."

But a San Francisco federal judge and the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals did not agree and refused to dismiss the class action. The class action was filed on behalf of individuals whose information was collected from unsecured Wi-Fi networks when Google's Street View cars rode past unsuspecting households.

Status update: Facebook not so diverse

Facebook, the world's most popular social network, for the first time released statistics on the makeup of its workforce that do not reflect the demographics of its users around the globe.

The lopsided numbers are just the latest from a major Silicon Valley company to paint a stark picture of an industry sector dominated by white men and are sure to escalate an already heated debate over the lack of diversity in the tech industry.

Nearly 70% of Facebook employees are men and 57% are white. Asians make up 34% of employees. But Hispanics represent just 4% and African Americans are just 2% of Facebook's workforce. When it comes to technical employees, the numbers are even grimmer. Eighty-five percent are male, 53% white and 41% Asian. Hispanics make up just 3% and African Americans just 1% of the workforce.

At the top of the company, the statistics are no better. Seventy-seven percent of senior level employees are men, 74% are white and 19% are Asian. Hispanics account for 4% and African Americans for 1% of employees in high level positions.

"We build products to connect the world, and this means we need a team that understands and reflects many different communities, backgrounds and cultures," Maxine Williams, Facebook's global head of diversity, wrote.

Hastings: Comcast wants to become the 'post office'

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings continued to stump against Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable in an appearance at the Code Conference. Hastings accused Comcast of wanting to become the post office, a big national monopoly.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts took his own shots when he took the stage at the Code Conference, saying Netflix just does not want to bear the costs of the massive volume of Internet traffic that its subscribers generate. Netflix paid for postage to ship DVDs to subscribers, it should pay for traffic, Roberts said. "They used to spend three-quarters of a billion dollars for postage," Roberts said.

“It’s a general way of taxing the internet,” Hastings said. “They want the whole internet to pay them for when their subscribers use the internet.” Netflix felt it had no choice to sign a paid peering deal with Comcast earlier this year, holding its nose as it did so in order to ensure that Netflix performance wouldn’t get even worse for Comcast subscribers. Not a lot of money is changing hands right now, but now that the threshold has been crossed, Hastings thinks that the fees will grow over time. “The fundamental question is who’s going to pay for the network? And the answer is the ISP,” Hastings said. Netflix makes up roughly 30 percent of US internet traffic on a given evening, which has led Comcast to suggest that Netflix should bear 30 percent of its costs, he said. And when he suggested that if that’s the case, maybe Netflix should get 30 percent of Comcast’s broadband revenue, Comcast demurred.