Hashtag Trending Jan 12- House Republicans to grill Big Tech; Phony managerial titles to avoid paying overtime; Flights grounded

House Republicans hold a panel to grill Big Tech about censorship and government collusion accusations, bosses are giving phoney managerial titles to workers to avoid paying overtime, and flights within, into and out of the U.S. are delayed or cancelled after a ‘computer glitch’.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, January 12 and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

U.S. House Republicans could soon launch an investigative panel, called the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government to investigate the ways federal government agencies collect information on U.S. citizens, Gizmodo reported. The main, longstanding allegation to be addressed and that will see committee members grill Big Tech is regarding conservative censorship and government collusion. The ‘Weaponization’ committee could also demand tech platforms like Meta and Twitter to fork over copies of emails, memos and other communications it had with the White House as part of the investigation to reveal alleged collusion. Reportedly, the committee’s interest in tech companies stems partially from the alleged internal documents revealed by Elon Musk, in the so-called ‘Twitter Files’

Source: Gizmodo

A new study shows that firms of all sizes and types are giving workers phoney managerial titles in order to avoid paying overtime, which researchers are perceiving as an exploitation of federal labour laws, Vice reported. The Fair Labor Standards Act set overtime pay rules to discourage overwork, encourage hiring and allow workers to benefit from logging in extra hours. But this also allowed firms to avoid paying overtime to salaried managers whose pay exceeded a set threshold. The creation of the law was influenced by the fact that managers were a special class of employee impacting a company’s success. However many such workers are managers in name only, and the national threshold is only $455 a week, or under $24,000 a year, Vice reported. It seemed to the researchers that there was a systemic issue at play. Companies, it appeared, were often doling out fancy-sounding titles to salaried employees and then paying them just enough to legally shirk overtime rules.

Source: Vice

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it was working to restore its Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) systems which alerts pilots of potential hazards along a flight route, after some 4948 flights within, into or out of the U.S. have been delayed while 868 were cancelled yesterday. Since then, air traffic operations have started resuming gradually across the U.S. The FAA claimed that a computer glitch caused the NOTAM to fail. Press secretary of President Joe Biden said that while there was no evidence of a cyberattack behind the glitch, the president has directed to conduct a full investigation into the causes.

Source: Sky News

According to a report by Wall Street Journal, Moderna is considering raising the price of its Covid-19 vaccine by 400 per cent– from $26 per dose to between $110 and $130 per dose.The plan, if realized, would match the previously announced price hike for Pfizer’s rival COVID-19 vaccine. Now that the federal government is backing away from distributing the vaccines, their makers are moving to the commercial market—with price adjustments, Ars Technica reported. Lawmakers have already condemned the steep price increases by Pfizer and Moderna. The revelation that Moderna may match Pfizer’s price increase comes just a day after Moderna announced that its COVID-19 vaccine sales in 2022 totaled approximately $18.4 billion.

Source: Ars Technica

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 Samira Balsara.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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