Hashtag Trending April 11 – Return of in-person workplace; Self-repair for Google phones; FedEx’s new drone

Managers want employees to return to the office, Google increases self-repair options for Pixel phones, and FedEx is testing a big drone.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday, April 11, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Being able to work from home has been a blessing for many during the pandemic, but is the trend about to fade away? In a survey conducted by GoodHire with 3500 managers, many said that they expect to see faces in person. Around 77 per cent of managers say they’re willing to instate tough rules to have employees come back, including the threats of cutting pay and benefits. Their attitude clashes with employee sentiments as a vast majority prefer working from home. Max Wesman, GoodHire’s chief operating officer, noted that while some Managers may prefer an in-person office, finding a middle ground with employees will increase productivity.

Source: Fortune

Google and self-repair advocate iFixit have jointly launched a new partnership to make Google Pixel phones easier to repair. Later this year, iFixit will begin selling genuine Pixel spare parts in its store. The program spans the Pixel 2 through Pixel 6 Pro, as well as future Pixel models. Parts include batteries, replacement displays, cameras and more. The program will first roll out in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia and EU countries. In its announcement blog post, Google reiterated its sustainability efforts, including bringing 5 years of security updates to the Pixel 6 series.

Source: Google

FedEx is testing a drone for “middle mile logistics”. The drone, manufactured by Elroy Air, measures 27 feet across and weighs 1900lbs. It can hoist up to 500 lbs of cargo under its belly and has a range of 300 miles. The drone is fast, too, capable of flying faster than 100mph. FedEx wants to start testing the drone starting next year as a complement to its cargo trucks and aircraft. According to Popular Science, one drone can carry around half the cargo of a delivery truck. It’s easy to see that the drone can be a great alternative when the package has to traverse difficult terrain.

Source: Popular Science

A team at Stanford University has developed a solar panel that can generate electricity at night, potentially addressing one of the biggest barriers to solar energy — inconsistency. The study described the device as a “continuous renewable power source for both day and nighttime.” During the night when there’s no sun, the panel generates electricity from the temperature differences between ambient air and the solar cell. This new technology is designed to power off-grid and mini-grid installations, where solar cells are thriving, said the study.

Source: NPR

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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