May 19, 2020

RIM's Blackberry Playbook Launches Today in Canada and the US

blackberry
RIM
BlackBerry PlayBook
Research In Motion
Bizclik Editor
2 min
RIM's Blackberry Playbook Launches Today in Canada and the US

 

Research in Motion’s newest addition to the tablet market, the Blackberry Playbook, was launched today in Canada and the US. Competing in a heavily dominated market, RIM hopes to break through the Apple clutter and have the Playbook become one of the leading tablets.

Offering three models, the Playbook has available storage capacities of 16 GBs for $499, 32 GBs for $699 and 64 GBs at $699. Features include Adobe Flash, Adobe AIR and HTML 5 support, a 1GHz dual-core processor with 1 GB of RAM and a 7 inch high-resolution touchscreen display. The Blackberry Playbook provides a professional-grade, consumer friendly experience that will redefine mobile computing possibilities.

“The BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet that is already being widely praised as a multi-tasking powerhouse with an uncompromised web experience and an ultra-portable design,” said Mike Lazaridis, President & Co-CEO, Research In Motion, in a statement.

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The Blackberry Playbook tablet is currently available in more than 20,000 retail outlets in the US and Canada including Bell, Best Buy, Chapters/Indigo, Costco, Future Shop, Mobilicity, Rogers, Sears, Staples, Walmart, WIND Mobile and more.

Some question if the timing of the launch was ideal for the new tablet. Releasing just a month after Apple unveiled its iPad 2, the Blackberry Playbook is up for direct and extreme competition in the tablet market. In the smartphone market, RIM’s Blackberry offerings have been falling behind in competition with Apple, thus leading to speculation of the Playbook’s success against the iPad.

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

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. 

 

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