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Ubisoft VP resigns following assault allegations – Polygon

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Maxime Béland, a former creative director and editorial vice president at Ubisoft Toronto, has resigned from his position following assault allegations published on social media. A Kotaku report, published Monday, detailed the allegations against Béland.

Ubisoft confirmed Béland’s resignation in a statement emailed to Polygon:

Maxime Beland, Vice President Editorial, has resigned from his role at Ubisoft, effective immediately. Despite his resignation, we continue to investigate the allegations made against him. Additionally, effective as of yesterday, Tommy François, Vice President Editorial & Creative Services, has been placed on disciplinary leave pending the outcome of an investigation. One other individual in our Toronto studio has been terminated for engaging in behaviors that do not align with what is expected of Ubisoft employees. Other investigations are ongoing and will be conducted rigorously.

Ubisoft will not tolerate workplace misconduct and will continue taking disciplinary actions against anyone who engages in harassment, discrimination and other behaviors that infringe on our Code of Fair Conduct.

Kotaku spoke with 12 current and former employees about Béland and the culture of Ubisoft, which the sources described as “normaliz[ing] sexism and harassment” and “undervalu[ing] women’s contributions.” It also spoke with the woman who had alleged that Béland “put his hands around her neck and squeezed.” Béland’s wife, Rima Brek, was also reportedly interim head of human resources. Inaction on the part of Ubisoft HR appeared to be an ongoing, structural problem within the company, according to Kotaku’s report.

On July 2, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot published a letter on the company’s website that was sent to employees. In the letter, titled “Change Starts Today,” Guillemot said he would “revise the composition of the Editorial Department, transform our human resource processes, and improve the accountability of all managers on these subjects.” He detailed the steps the company will take to address the culture problems, including appointing a Head of Workplace Culture and investigating all allegations.

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Video game giant Ubisoft shakes up executive ranks as it deals with harassment claims – CBC.ca

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A Paris-based game software developer with offices in several Canadian cities is making changes in response to complaints against several executives, including a vice-president based in Toronto.

Ubisoft says Maxime Beland, its Toronto-based vice-president of editorial, has resigned and another unidentified employee in Toronto has been fired.

Tommy Francois, a Paris-based vice-president of editorial and creative services, has been placed on disciplinary leave.

The two vice-presidents were part of a creative team that set the tone and direction of Ubisoft’s various games, which include the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot said in a public letter posted online that he has decided to “revise the composition” of its editorial department and transform its human resource processes.

‘Inappropriate behaviour’

In addition, Ubisoft has set up a confidential reporting platform online, “enabling employees as well as external individuals to report harassment, discrimination and other inappropriate behaviours,” says the letter addressed to the company’s employees.

“The situations that some of you have experienced or witnessed are absolutely not acceptable,” Guillemot said in the letter.

“No one should ever feel harassed or disrespected at work, and the types of inappropriate behaviour we have recently learned about cannot and will not be tolerated.”

Guillemot said Ubisoft was to begin holding online sessions on Monday, moderated by external facilitators, in order to collect suggestions for improvement.

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How to enable and use Gmail’s Smart Reply and Smart Compose tools – The Verge

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Leading up to Gmail’s 15th birthday last year, Google added a lot of productivity and machine learning tools to its email service. (It may also have been trying to make up for the disappearance of its Inbox email app, but that’s an argument for another day.) Additions included a way for Gmail to write email subject lines for you and schedule an email to send at a later time.

It can be a little confusing to navigate some of Gmail’s features. In this tutorial, we’re going to focus on Gmail’s auto-completion tools Smart Reply and Smart Compose, which are designed to save time.

Letting a machine help write emails and subject lines for you can feel a bit unusual, but if you’re open to at least trying it out for yourself, here are the ways to automate your Gmail responses.

Enabling Smart Reply and Smart Compose

To allow Gmail to generate responses and email text, you first have to opt in from your Settings menu. If you are a regular Gmail user (instead of G Suite enterprise edition), here’s what to do:

On desktop

  • Click on the gear icon on the upper right side and find the Settings page.
  • Scroll down to the separate Smart Reply and Smart Compose options and choose “On” for either or both to enable the automated suggestions.
  • You can also choose to allow Gmail’s machine learning to personalize the suggestions based on the way you write your emails by choosing “Smart Compose personalization.” For example, if you greet your colleagues with “Hi, team” versus “Hello, everyone,” it will automatically drop in whatever you use most often.

If you use G Suite, you may notice that the option to toggle on Smart Compose is not available. Your G Suite admin must enable this for the organization, so contact the person in charge if you’d like to test this out at work.

On the Android or iOS app

  • Tap the hamburger icon on the upper-left side to open the side drawer. Scroll down to Settings.
  • Select the Gmail account you want to address
  • Tap the checkbox on Smart Reply and / or Smart Compose to toggle the mode on

Once the settings are turned on, your Gmail is set up to suggest replies and help auto-finish sentences based on your writing style.

What it looks like

Basically, you just start typing, and Gmail will begin suggesting words that might fit the sentence you’re writing.

Be aware that it won’t always come on for every email you write. Because Gmail needs context, you’ll likely find Smart Compose chiming in when you’re responding to an email or if you’re starting emails with some generic statements like “Nice to meet you” or “Hope you’re well.” If Gmail has a suggestion, an opaque set of text will appear next to what you’re typing.

On the desktop version of Gmail, you can press Tab to accept the suggestion. On the mobile app, if a suggested word or phrase appears, swipe right to add it to the email.

Smart Compose can also automatically fill in the Subject field.

Smart Compose can also automatically fill in the Subject field.

Smart Compose can also suggest email subjects. Leave the subject line blank, and start writing your email. Once you go back to fill out the subject line, Gmail will offer a suggestion that you can accept by pressing Tab on the desktop app or swipe right on mobile.

Smart Reply for canned responses

Smart Reply works a little faster than Smart Compose. Instead of suggesting words or short phrases for you, Gmail will offer three responses that might suit the email you’ve received. For example, if you’ve gotten an email reminding you of an appointment, Smart Reply may suggest responses like “Confirmed,” “Thanks,” or “I can’t make it.”

Tapping these responses will not send the email right away. You can add more text to the suggested answer before choosing to send it.

Smart Replay offers canned responses.

If you are in an email conversation with several people, be aware that responding with a Smart Reply will CC everyone on that email. You’ll have to manually remove the people you don’t want in that response, so it’s best to only choose Smart Reply for emails you mean to send to everyone in the thread.

Should you actually use it?

Choosing to let a machine write your emails may feel impersonal, but it’s not designed to write the whole email for you. Smart Compose and Smart Reply work best when you use them to add filler sentences or quickly respond to yes or no emails. Plus, Gmail has gotten a lot better at suggesting responses that will make sense 90 percent of the time. (In my experience, the responses tend to veer toward affirmative answers, so they may not work best if you’re less prone to agreeing to everything.)

Besides, if you give this a go and find that you’d rather type your own answers, just go back to Settings and toggle those features off.

Update July 6th, 2020, 5:10PM ET: This article was originally published on April 5th, 2019; the introduction and the directions for using Smart Replay and Smart Compose have been updated

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29 workers test positive for COVID-19 at Ontario mushroom farm – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Katherine DeClerq, CP24.com


Published Monday, July 6, 2020 2:52PM EDT


Last Updated Monday, July 6, 2020 5:01PM EDT

Public health officials are investigating an outbreak at a mushroom farm in Vaughan, Ont. after 30 workers tested positive for COVID-19.

York Region Public Health (YRPH) said they were first notified of a confirmed case of the disease at Ravine Mushroom Farm, located near King Vaughan and Weston roads, on June 27.

At least 24 of the 30 patients were residents of York Region, officials said.

“YRPH conducted risk assessments on the activities of these individuals while at work and determined the risk of COVID-19 transmission to the general public is low,” York Region Public Health said in a statement.

Officials said they are following up with close contacts of the confirmed cases and have conducted a follow-up inspection of the facility, “reaffirming the importance of employees not working while ill.”

In a video statement, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Karim Kurji said on Monday that public health inspectors have provided advice to farmers on infection prevention and control, and have ensured that “the living conditions are adequate.”

The majority of COVID-19 cases in Ontario have been reported in the Greater Toronto Area, including York and Peel Region.

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