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TechCrunch Mixtape

Author: TechCrunch, Henry Pickavet, Megan Rose Dickey

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Welcome to TechCrunch Mixtape the TechCrunch podcast that looks at how technology impacts culture. Listen to TechCrunch Senior Reporter Megan Rose Dickey and Editorial Director Henry Pickavet as they discuss diversity and inclusion, and the human power that fuels the tech industry.
49 Episodes
It’s fair to say that most people have heard about diversity reports. And it’s probably also fair to say that most of us have watched, sometimes with a metaphorical bucket of buttered popcorn, as companies crisis-comms their ways out of … crises. But most of us do not know what goes on behind the scenes. On this episode of Mixtape, we chat with ex-Facebook, Twitter and Reddit employee Mark Luckie, author of the upcoming book Valley Girls, which details issues of diversity and inclusion through a fictional lens based heavily on real events.
Mara Mills  Associate professor of Media, Culture and Communication at NYUCo-director of the NYU Center for Disability StudiesAuthor of Testing Hearing: The Making of Modern AuralityTwitterMeredith WhittakerCo-founder of the AI Now InstituteMinderoo Research Professor at New York UniversityFounder of Google’s Open Research groupAuthor of the report Disability, Bias and AITwitterSara HendrenProfessor at Olin College of EngineeringAuthor of What Can A Body Do: How We Meet the Built WorldCo-author of the report Disability, Bias and AITwitter
This week, Megan moderated a panel at the first Sight Tech Global, a conference dedicated to fostering discussion among technology pioneers on how advances in AI and related technologies will alter the landscape of assistive technology. The panel featured three heavy hitters in the accessibility space: Haben Girma, the first deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School and who is a human rights lawyer advancing disability justice; Lainey Feingold, a disability rights lawyer who was on the team that negotiated the first web accessibility agreement in the U.S. in 2000; and George Kerscher, the chief innovations officer for the DAISY Consortium.
This week we spoke to Y-Vonne Hutchinson, the CEO of ReadySet, a consulting firm that works with companies to create more inclusive and equitable work environments. We discussed what a Biden administration means for DEI practitioners, how companies are now focusing more on structural change to systemic issues of racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination, and more.
This week Marah Lidey, co-founder and co-CEO of Shine, joins us to discuss mental health, portfolio diversity and connecting with other founders trying to make it work.
ReferencesCalifornia Proposition 22, App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative (2020) - BallotpediaUber Director of Policy, Cities and Transportation Shin-pei Tsay on Prop 22Gig Workers Collective
This week we are joined by TechCrunch’s resident bearer-of-bad-news -- security reporter Zack Whittaker. He came on to discuss the Capital One breach that we all found out about earlier this week. Zack spent some time on his vacation writing about how this shouldn't be a surprise given nothing changed after 2017's Equifax breach. Remember that one? But it wasn’t all bad news. Tinder launched new protections for LGBTQ+ people traveling to countries that criminalize homosexuality. Zack also wrote about that. And if you want bad news every day, follow him on Twitter!
Season 3 kicks off with Meena Harris, founder of the Phenomenal Woman campaign, and head of strategy and leadership at Uber.
Angelica Ross, co-star the FX show ‘Pose,’ joined us in the studio this week. Ross, who in addition to being an actress is a transgender activist, CEO and founder, writer, speaker, podcast host and all-around great human being, discussed her company TransTech Social, access for transgender folks who want to gain a foothold in tech, and visibility. Oh and Amazon things because Amazon.
This week we sit down with Neil Shah, CEO of Concrn, a compassionate care app that allows people to request help for homeless people experiencing a mental health crisis.
It’s that time of the week again when Megan Rose Dickey and Henry Pickavet talk about the good and could-be-better tech companies. This week, we talked about Instacart getting caught shorting its shoppers out of dough they rightfully deserved. Of course the company apologized for its “misguided” approach. Which at least sounds better than apologizing for getting caught — and getting caught, the company did. And wouldn’t you know it, scooter drama persists in San Francisco. The city this week shot down an appeal by JUMP to let it deploy its Uber-run scooters. The company it seems could have filed a better application in the first place, so back to the drawing board it goes to try to convince the municipality to relent. Finally this week we talk about Tyra Banks’s Modelland, a physical space that will open in Santa Monica, California, later this year. It will give visitors an opportunity to experience life in a tech environment. I am intrigued. But she was very clear that it is not for models or people who want to be models.
Screen time for kids, corporations not paying people from underrepresented groups and IBM offers some hope for the future of facial recognition technology: These are the topics that Megan Rose Dickey and Henry Pickavet dive into on this week’s episode of Mixtape.  According to research by psychologists from the University of Calgary, spending too much time in front of screens can stung the development of toddlers. The study found that kids 2-5 years old who engage in more screen time received worse scores in developmental screening tests.” We talk a bit about this then wax nostalgically about "screen time" of yore.  We then turn to a filing against Oracle by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs that states the enterprise company allegedly withheld upwards of $400 million to employees from underrepresented minority groups. The company initially declined to comment, but then thought better of itself and returned the very next day with its thoughts on the matter.  And finally, IBM is trying to make facial recognition technology a thing that doesn’t unfairly target people of color. Technology! The positive news comes a week after Amazon shareholders demanded that the company stop selling Rekognition, its very own facial recognition tech that it sells to law enforcement and government agencies. 
This week Megan Rose Dickey and I welcome Tiana Kara, the head of partnerships and growth at #builtbygirls (which, like TechCrunch, is owned by Verizon Media Group). The organization connects girls and women between the ages of 15 and 22 with mentors of all stripes in the tech industry based on their interests. The idea here is that not all tech jobs include coding, and #builtbygirls wants all young girls who want in the industry to know that. We also take a look at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her near-perfect ability to troll the GOP through her social media presence. Sparking our conversation, and Catherine Shu’s look into Ocasio-Cortez’s internet prowess, was a story about AOC voicing her support of transgender youth group Mermaids on Twitch. And we already knew that the algorithms of some of those DNA services can yield different results. But it’s harder to take when they’re twins. Your hosts: Megan Rose Dickey Henry Pickavet
We’re coming to you with another episode of Mixtape, the TechCrunch podcast that takes a peek behind the headlines that go beyond tech.  This week, Megan Rose Dickey and Henry Pickavet get into a discussion about women’s sexuality, because the world’s biggest "consumer electronics show” revoked an innovation award from Lora DiCarlo, a company that created a sex toy for women. In its initial objection, the CTA cited a clause that entries they believed “in their sole discretion to be immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with the CTA’s image will be disqualified.” That’s not great. Of course it walked the comments back, saying that the product, called Osé, didn’t fit into an existing product category. Except that the product falls squarely in the robotics category.  We also discussed robot delivery dogs, because those things don’t seem like they’re ever going to go away. And finally, people continue to do stupid "Bird Box" challenges based on dumb ideas they have after watching Netflix’s hit movie starring Sandra Bullock. Stop it.  CES revokes award from female-founded sex tech company Robot delivery dogs deployed by self-driving cars are coming Blindfolded Bird Box Challenger crashes car
This time Megan and Henry talk about all of those hubs in your abodes — you know, your Google Homes, your Amazon Echo Shows, your Facebook Portals …. There really are a lot. Stripe is doing a little something different when it comes to reporting diversity: It’s looking within. AR might finally have a use that we can all get behind and Super Mario Party is apparently fun to play. Square details compensation and promotion practices Super Mario Party is Nintendo Switch's best game Spatial raises $8 million to bring augmented reality to your office life
This week, Megan and Henry talk about a startup called Bungalow that is trying to make the housing search a little easier. Also on tap this week was a conversation about 23andMe and its efforts to provide more specific regional data about the origins of people of color. And Sarah Cooper, comedian and author of “How to Succeed Without Hurting Men’s Feelings” joined us in the studio to talk about the book and her experience working in tech. She also performs a dramatic reading of a piece of hate mail she already received. The book isn’t even out yet. Speaking of which, you’re going to want to pre-order the book right this minute. We'll be taking next week off because Megan is going to Burning Man. See ya in a couple of weeks. Housing startup Bungalow raises $14 million Series A round 23andMe’s ancestry tools are getting better for people of color Pre-order "How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings" Sarah Cooper on Twitter Megan Rose Dickey on Twitter Henry Pickavet on Twitter
It's dogs, mac and cheese and working out this week! Megan and Henry talk about Bark and Co., the company that sends dog treats in boxes. It’s now opened a dog park in Nashville where dogs are the members and humans are the guests. A mac and cheese joint got some funding because why not? And there is a workout machine for your home in the market that Henry really wants. The company behind BarkBox is opening an ‘outdoor clubhouse’ for Nashville’s dogs Y Combinator invests in a build-your-own mac and cheese restaurant Tonal launches at-home digital strength-training system Follow Megan on Twitter Follow Henry on Twitter
Welcome back to TechCrunch Mixtape. This week, Megan Rose Dickey and Henry Pickavet talk about mental health apps, Nintendo (did Megan buy a Switch or not?!) and a suit-making company that uses your musical tastes to find you looks to choose from. That’s right. It’s pretty cool and Henry went through the process. Watch and read about suit-making AI-style Nintendo blowing up with the Switch Megan on Twitter Henry on Twitter
Welcome to another episode of TC Mixtape, where Senior Reporter Megan Rose Dickey and Editorial Director Henry Pickavet talk about some tech news of the week and sometimes go on field trips. This week they took a ride in a self-driving car -- and survived. Henry was terrified; Megan was excited. Also this week, Blavity raised a big Series A and Shonda Rhimes announced her Netflix plans.