Hashtag Trending, March 25, 2021 – Intel business update; Slack turns into a messenger; WFH’s unique benefits

Intel announces new fabrication plants, Slack turns into a full-on messaging app, and work from home has been breaking barriers for those with disabilities. 

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, March 25 and I’m your host Baneet Braich.


Chip giant Intel made a splash on Wednesday when it announced two new semiconductor fabrication plants in Arizona. The two sites total to around $20 billion and will be capable of extreme violet lithography, a more advanced production technology that enables steadier output of smaller transistors. The announcement came on the heels of the news that Intel has righted the development of its 7-nanometre transistors. Additionally, Intel announced an updated business model, including the new Intel Foundry Services that will produce chips for other customers. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger confirmed that the aggressive push to increase production doesn’t mean the company is cutting off partnerships with external foundries. Intel will continue to outsource some of its production to TSMC, UMC, and GlobalFoundries.

Slack is turning into a full-on messaging app – Slack users can now message each other seamlessly. The new system is called Connect DMs. How does it work? Slack users send an invite to anyone via their work email address, and if the recipient accepts, their new contact is added to their Slack sidebar. Everything is opt-in and the new feature allows Slack to turn from an app for chatting with co-workers to an app for chatting with anyone. It puts Slack on the level of enterprise tools like Microsoft Teams and free consumer services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Connect DMs has been the plan since before Salesforce bought the company. The new feature is meant to help Slack compete with Teams and Zoom, a battle that to this day has been a losing one.

Working from home has opened doors for those living with disabilities. LinkedIn users are citing data showing that after hiring discrimination, the office itself is the biggest barrier to employment for those with disabilities, 60 per cent of whom are unemployed. Now working from home makes employment more accessible. Those with autism may find office spaces more difficult to work in than their home.  People who are blind, deaf, or in wheelchairs do not have to worry about navigating challenging city commutes. Work from home can allow a far accessible work future for some, and many hope it’s here to stay. It is worth mentioning it was only a few days ago that Microsoft’s Work Trend Index indicated that in Canada, 47 per cent of workers report feeling exhausted during a typical workday, compared with the 39 per cent global average. [LinkedIn]

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. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Baneet Braich
Baneet Braich
Baneet Braich is currently studying journalism and political science at Carleton University. Born and raised in Abbotsford, BC she embraces the media arts as a multimedia content creator from videography, photography, writing news stories, and creating social media content. She loves spontaneous adventures, dance, and the occasional slice of lemon cake.

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