Hashtag Trending, March 29 – Amazon says its workers don’t relieve themselves in bottles; Call centre nightmares; Windows 95 easter egg found

Amazon PR on Twitter says its warehouse employees don’t relieve themselves in bottles but they’re wrong, one of the world’s biggest call centres says it’s going to spy on its workers with webcams, and a more than two-decade-year-old easter egg in Windows 95 is finally found.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Monday, March 29 and I’m your host Alex Coop.



Last week’s Twitter spat between Amazon’s PR team and a Wisconsin congressman about the company’s labour conditions has drawn enormous amounts of attention online. Wisconsin representative Mark Pocan called out the tech giant for its widely-reported labour abuses, tweeting, “Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles.” The company’s official news account responded with what I’m sure was a witty response, tweeting, “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.” Queue the flood of stories about warehouse workers doing just that. Vice has reported that delivery workers, who drive Amazon vans often deliver up to 300 packages a day on a 10-hour shift. They can be written up and fired if they take too long. Finding a bathroom option in the middle of a busy shift isn’t always an option, and there are dozens of recorded instances of Amazon workers relieving themselves in bottles.


Call centre staff to be monitored via webcam for home-working ‘infractions’ from technology

One of the world’s largest call centre companies is monitoring thousands of its staff with webcams to check whether they’re eating, leaving their desks while working from home, or looking at their phones. The Guardian is reporting that Teleperformance, which employs about 380,000 people in 34 countries – has told some of its staff that “specialist webcams” will be fitted to check for home-working “infractions.” The backlash has been swift from unions and politicians. A spokesperson for Teleperformance told the Guardian the webcam system was intended “to respond to the overwhelming concerns of isolation, lack of team engagement and support, not seeing anyone from one day to the next, raised by those who are at home.”


And lastly, a Windows hacker has found a never-before-seen Easter egg in the Windows 95 Internet Mail application, twenty-five years after the software was released. According to Bleeping Computer, a new Easter egg in Windows 95’s Internet Mail program was discovered by a Windows hacker and developer Albacore. The easter egg opens a secret window, displaying a scrolling list of the developer’s names. This hidden gem has remained undiscovered until now for the past 25 years.


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 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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