Hashtag Trending, March 12, 2021 – NFT fever; Uber proposes new labour model; Fire destroys French data centres, knocks out millions of websites

NFTs are making people go wild, we try and find out why, Uber is asking Canadian provinces to change labour laws, and a fire destroys data centres in France and knocks out millions of websites.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Friday, March 12, and I’m your host Alex Coop.


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Okay, we can’t ignore the noise that NFTs are making, but what’s the big deal here? NFTs, those weird digital tokens that attach themselves to intangible assets, like gifs, pixel art and basketball highlights, have been trending on Twitter for the past week. The world is trying to decipher the fever surrounding the crypto off-shoot. Engadget’s reporting on the recent craze cites distributed ledger tech company IOTA’s co-founder Dominik Schiener, who explained how NFTs work. Let’s say Joe paints a picture. Joe is happy with it and wants to be able to verify its authenticity until the end of time. That means you upload that file to a website, include the URL of that file inside the smart token that you then “mint” onto the blockchain of which platform that you’re using (and there are many). From there, you can sell the digital currency yourself or use a third-party retail platform. One of the most popular examples of NFTs today actually comes from Canada’s Dapper Labs, which created the mega-popular NBA Top Shot.

Uber is putting the call out: Provincial governments across Canada should change labour laws to require all app-based companies to provide workers with some benefits. Uber says the proposal would force employers to “accrue benefit funds”. Those funds would be dispersed to gig workers to cover healthcare costs. The rideshare giant says the model would allow workers to access new perks while maintaining their autonomy. But employment lawyers and other experts have quickly voiced their concerns online, suggesting the move simply prevents Uber from having to pay minimum wage or even treat its drivers as traditional employees.

Millions of websites offline after fire at French cloud services firm from technology

And a massive fire has destroyed OVHcloud data centres in Strasbourg, France, knocking out major websites globally, and according to the French cloud provider, the fire caused more damage than at first thought. The fire broke out on Wednesday shortly after midnight, destroying one of four data centres and damaging another, the company says. There was no immediate explanation provided for the blaze – and luckily no injuries were reporting. The accident happened just two days after the French hosting provider kicked off plans for an initial public offering. Reuters is reporting that just under 2 per cent of the sites with the French .FR domain extension had been affected.


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 mailbox every day. I’m Alex Coop, thanks for listening!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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