Elon Musk Is Hiring a Farmer

Elon Musk’s space project – SpaceX, is after a farmer. The announcement came via a job posting this week.

Now hold your horses, just like many of us, you may well have become intrigued by the possibility that Musk and Co. were investigating the possibility of farming on Mars. It turns out that this is probably not the case.

The posting itself is quite earth-related –

  • Perform practical farm activities, e.g. driving tractors, operating machinery, spraying fields, etc.

  • Procure equipment and supplies, e.g. tractors, implements, fertilizer and seed

  • Perform or arrange for the maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment

  • Maintain, monitor, and perform actions as necessary to increase the quality of crop yield

Agriculture.com (via The Verge) says that the posting is probably to do with SpaceX’s finances rather than Martian exploration. They suggest that it’s all down to the tax exemptions that can be brought by declaring land as farm land, as well as the purchase of farming equipment.

Anyway, if you are a farmer in McGregor, Texas and you’re interested in space, this job could be a nice fit.

Source: The Verge

Job Posting Reveals Apple Working on Virtual Reality

One of the best ways to get an idea of what Apple is doing behind the scenes is to check their job boards.

9to5Mac reports on a new posting that reveals that Apple is looking for a software engineer that can “create high performance apps that integrate with Virtual Reality systems for prototyping”. 

They say they need someone to work on the “next generation” of software – a sign that Apple is getting serious about Virtual and Augmented Reality. This certainly isn’t the first peep we’ve had from Apple concerning the world of VR, they’ve been granted a number of patents recently for the technology too.

Whatever Apple is doing with VR, we may never get to see it, because after all, Apple is a company that says no more times than they say yes.

Source: 9to5Mac

Facebook, Apple Assist Women in Freezing Eggs for Future Use

Family or Career? It’s a chat that many couples have at some stage throughout their life. There’s no denying that creating a family of your own is a special experience, but what if you’re just not quite ready for it yet?

Studies have concluded that the older you get, as a female, the less likely you are to successfully conceive children. This means that if you’re rocking it in the tech business world at 24, maybe the time isn’t quite right for you to start a family of your own – but what if you want to do so when you’re a bit older? As of January 2015, Apple will offer up to $20,000 to help cover the costs for their female staff to freeze their eggs across all part and full-time staff. This is something that Facebook has been offering since January 2014.

The actual cost for freezing your eggs is quite significant. The original procedure of freezing will set you back around $10,000, with a recurring $500 fee every month for storage.

The reception can be described as ‘luke-warm’ by the general audience. Some people are extremely happy that the service is being offered, others feel it’s some kind of breach of privacy for the workers involved, claiming it’s “The boss against the baby”. From a company standpoint, this is all about keeping on reliable staff and also giving their members the option to continue their family at a later date.

Apple’s official statement reads:

“We continue to expand our benefits for women, with a new extended maternity leave policy, along with cryopreservation and egg storage as part of our extensive support for infertility treatments… We want to empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families.”

Their parental leave period has also been extended alongside adoption and surrogacy assistance among fertility services for both male and female staff members.

What are your views on this subject? Do you think that it’s an empowering tool that should be widespread across employers, or is this a major privacy breach by the big names?

Image courtesy of Global Good Group

Microsoft Swiftly and Silently Removes ‘Hints’ of Next Generation Xbox from Job Ad

Microsoft has published an ad, searching for a “super creator” industrial engineer, a few days back. The company stated that it was looking for someone who would like to work on the “next generation entertainment hardware for Microsoft”. However’ the ad has been silently removed, along with all reference to the “next generation” keyword.

The ad stated that Microsoft was looking for a “passionate designers who want to help us create next generation entertainment hardware” for the company, having “leadership, inspirational creative output, and passion to the Xbox entertainment space” as the main requirements for the job at hand. The ad has now been “slightly changed”, having both the original and modified versions available below:

Old New

The Xbox Industrial Design studio is building a world class in house team. We love entertainment. We live for building transformative entertainment experiences that resonate with consumers. We are looking for passionate designers who want to help us create next generation entertainment hardware for Microsoft.

Primary Responsibilities
This is a design position within the Xbox industrial design studio. You will be joining a team that drives vision and product development for Xbox hardware programs. The right candidate will be a “hands on” individual contributor that will bring thought leadership, inspirational creative output, and passion to the Xbox entertainment space. In essence, this position requires nothing less than a “super creator”.

Join the world class, in house Xbox Industrial Design studio. We love entertainment and live for building transformative experiences that resonate with consumers. We are looking for passionate designers to help create new Devices and experiences for Microsoft.

Primary Responsibilities
This is a design position within the Xbox industrial design studio. You will be joining a team that drives vision and product development for Xbox hardware programs. The right candidate will be a “hands on” individual contributor that will bring thought leadership, inspirational creative output, and passion to the Xbox entertainment space. In essence, this position requires nothing less than a “super creator”.

There are two possible explanations as to why Microsoft changed their job ad description. The first one might be that the text was misleading and the company is not planning their “next generation” of consoles just yet, or the second reason might be that Microsoft does not want anyone to know what they might be planning for the next Xbox models. Either way, what is certain is that the “super creator” will be working on “new devices and experiences”. The Microsoft job ad can be viewed on their Careers website here.

Thank you DualSHOCKERS for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of DualSHOCKERS