Hashtag Trending March 17- Marketers must pay fines for unwanted calls; Tesla hikes prices; University of Alberta protects digital data in Ukraine

Companies that made unwanted marketing calls to older people must pay fines, Tesla raises its prices, academics at the University of Alberta are helping protect digital data in Ukraine.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, March 17th, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Five companies must pay 450,000 pounds for making thousands of unwanted marketing calls to vulnerable people. According to the BBC, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is investigating several companies that make marketing calls. The ICO said some of the victims suffered from dementia. One complaint from an elderly woman said the calls made her ill, yet they continue to pester her and take her money. The article reports that the companies were deliberately targeting older people when buying marketing data lists from third parties. These companies were specifically asking for personal information about people who are 60 and older, homeowners and with landline numbers. One of the companies fined is ​​Home Sure Solutions, which made 229,483 unwanted marketing calls to people between March and September 2020.

Tesla has hiked the prices of its electric vehicles in the U.S. and China following CEO Elon Musk’s warning of inflation pressure on the business. While Tesla has not provided an actual reason for the increase, the company raised the prices of all its models in the U.S. In China. This is the second increase in the last week. Musk tweeted that Tesla and SpaceX have seen inflating pressure in raw materials and logistics. Materials like nickel, a key component of electric vehicle batteries, are on the rise, reported CNBC. In addition, a flare-up of COVID-19 cases in China has added a further challenge to supply chains. Critical components like semiconductors also remain in short supply.

Academics at the University of Alberta are trying to help protect digital data in Ukraine under threat due to the war. The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies helped launch an initiative offering free and secure cloud storage to archivists, scientists and other institutions in Ukraine. The Ukraine Archives Rescue Team was created after brainstorming on how to help colleagues in areas afflicted by the Russian invasion, the director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies said. She says she’s received reports of archives and museums being destroyed or vandalized. The group is looking to help their colleagues in Ukraine protect their work. Digital storage is available to scholars and institutions of all disciplines.

And now for something a bit different. On March 11th an asteroid struck the ocean 70 kilometres off an island in Norway. The 2 metre-wide asteroid was about the size of a grand piano and was officially named 2022 EB5. The asteroid was observed 14 times in 40 minutes in northern Hungary. NASA’s “Scout” impact hazard assessment system calculated the trajectory, revealed it to be destined to strike the atmosphere, and then alerted the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) and NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office. Asteroids like 2022 EB5 get bright enough to become visible in the night sky. NASA expects one the size of 2022 EB5 every 10 months, reports Forbes.

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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