Hashtag Trending Jan 9th- Lawsuit against social media; Nuclear fusion delayed; Egg whites to remove microplastics from sea water

Seattle public schools sue social media giants, an international nuclear fusion project faces years of delays and Princeton researchers find a way to use egg whites to remove salt and microplastics from sea water.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday, January 9th and I am your host, Ashee Pamma

The public district school in Seattle is suing the social media giants including TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat, for harming young people’s mental health. The 91-page long COMPL, filed on Friday in U.S District Court seeks to hold the social media companies for worsening mental health and behavioral disorders including anxiety, depression, cyberbullying and more. According to NPR, the complaint also deplores the difficulty in educating students and consequently forcing schools to hire mental health professionals, develop lesson plans about the effects of social media and provide additional training to teachers. Seattle Public Schools is asking the court to order the companies to stop creating the public nuisance, to award damages, and to pay for prevention education and treatment for excessive and problematic use of social media.

Source: NPR 

Weeks after scientists in the US announced the achievement of nuclear fusion, an international project in nuclear fusion would face years of delays, its boss has said. Installed at a site in southern France, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project seeks to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large scale and carbon-free source of energy, the Guardian explained. However, this decade-old endeavor has a long history of technical challenges and cost overruns. Fixing problems such as the wrong sizes for the joints of blocks to be welded together or traces of corrosion in a thermal shield, would take not weeks, but months or even years, said Pietro Barabaschi, the director general of the project.

Source: The Guardian

Princeton engineering researchers have found a way to use egg whites to create a material that can remove salt and microplastics from seawater.  According to SciTechDaily, the researchers used egg whites to create an aerogel, a versatile material known for its light weight and porosity. It has a range of uses, including water filtration, energy storage, and sound and thermal insulation. Craig Arnold, one of the researchers, had the realization from a sandwich he was eating during lunch. He asked his lab group to make different bread recipes mixed with carbon to see if they would recreate the aerogel structure he was looking for. The team kept eliminating ingredients as they tested, after none worked, until eventually only egg whites remained. If this challenge can be solved, the material has significant benefits, because it is cheap to produce,energy-efficient to use, and highly effective, Sci-tech daily reported.

Source: SciTechDaily

Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the world wide web wants us to reclaim our personal data from tech giants, CNN reported. Berners-Lee claims that Inrupt, his startup launched in 2017 allows people to keep their data in one central place and control which people and applications can access it, rather than having it stored by apps or sites all over the web.Users can get a Pod from a handful of providers, hosted by web services such as Amazon (AMZN), or run their own server, if they have they the technical know-how. When self-hosting, users can have the utmost control and privacy, says Berners-Lee.Inrupt’s platform is being tested by the UK’s National Health Service and by the government of the Belgian region of Flanders. The latter plans to use Pods to let its citizens choose how to share their personal data.

Source: CNN   

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 Ashee Pamma.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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