Thursday, August 5, 2021

Hashtag Trending, June 23, 2021 – Boston Dynamics Sold; Bitcoin Crackdowns; Amazon Warehouses Destroying Items

With Files from Jori Negin-Shecter

Boston Dynamics sells to Hyundai, Bitcoin crackdowns in China lead to major ripple effects, and Amazon warehouses are destroying over 100,000 items per day.

It’s all the biz/tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, June 23 and I’m your host Alex Coop.

Boston Dynamics, the group most famous for creating the viral automated robo-dog ‘Spot’, has been acquired by South Korean Auto Manufacturer Hyundai for $880 million. The deal, which sees Hyundai acquire 80% of the Boston Dynamics’ shares, gives them and its subsidiaries a controlling stake of Boston Dynamics, which is valued by the Japanese Investment Firm Softbank at $1.1 Billion. The deal marks the first major investment made by Hyundai since they introduced Chung Euisun (Yu-son) as their new chairman in late 2020. The deal is expected to help Hyundai design “industrial robots for factory use and logistics.”  [Reddit] [Finbold]

Bitcoin continues to plummet in price as China continues cracking down on mining operations across the country. The cryptocurrency fell below $30,000 on Tuesday, officially erasing all of its 2021 gains. The news, which spawned the hashtag #Cryptocrash on Twitter among panicked crypto investors, has led to several ripple effects beyond the plummeting crypto price – perhaps most notably, a drop in GPU prices. In China, according to one regional news outlet, graphic cards, like the Asus RTX3060, which are integral to crypto mining operations, have dropped in price by over 60% since their peaks in May. The crackdowns from Beijing have made regions that were once havens for Crypto Mining due to cheap electricity into hostile crypto environments. More recently, cryptocurrencies have been under the microscope because of crypto mining’s environmental impact, which can equate to the electricity consumption of a small town. [South China Morning Post]

And finally, a recent probe into Amazon Warehouse conditions out of the U.K. has found that one warehouse destroys as many as 130,000 items every week, including laptops, televisions, and even COVID-19 masks. In the report conducted by the British news network ITV News, it said that during one week in April, 124,000 items were marked to be destroyed, while conversely just 28,000 products were set to be donated. ITV News interviewed an ex-Amazon employee who had this to say: 

This story comes following a similar 2019 report from France in which undercover reporters found that over 3 million products were being destroyed every year by Amazon. 

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 Briefing 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 Friday at 3 pm. Thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Editorial director for IT World Canada and its sister publications, and former community reporter. Also a great pick up basketball player | acoop@itwc.ca

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