The death of the PC?
With the rise of companies such as Samsung and Apple releasing new technology that allow users to turn their phone into a desktop computer, are we on our way to seeing mobile technology wipe out the PC?
Samsung has recently released its new DeX accessory, which has been designed for the Samsung S8. Apple, on the other hand, has released a new patent design which will transform an iPhone into a MacBook.
Samsung’s new DeX dock accessory will allow the user to turn the phone into a desktop PC and will support a monitor connection via HDMI, keyboard and mouse, in addition to two USB ports which will help expand the Galaxy S8’s capabilities.
The desktop mode supports Android apps, but the user will be limited to how well the apps are supported on larger screens, as most apps are not currently optimised for this type of usage. To this effect, apps such as Microsoft Office and Adobe’s mobile creative suite will work best.
However, the recently published Apple patent, the ‘Electronic Accessory Device’, looks like it is well on its way to turning iPhone’s into fully-functioning laptops. A dock which has been built into the surface of the accessory that users can plug their iPhones into could mean consumers need no longer buy a separate phone and laptop.
The new illustrations show that the iPhone will drop into the dock space where the touchpad usually sits, indicating that the iPhone will now work as the touchpad. This new feature could change how graphic designers work, as it means they will be able to work on-the-go.
Nonetheless, this kind of technology has been tried before. Motorola tried and failed with the Atrix a few years ago, and more recently, Microsoft has been putting its effort into Continuum on Windows. Whilst the new Samsung DeX is still fairly basic, it is uncertain if the Apple patent will even become a reality. For now at least, it seems that mobile to PC technology simply won’t be able to compete with desktop computers.
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How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.