Hashtag Trending – Microsoft drops Bitcoin support, Apple pressured to address childhood iPhone addiction

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Microsoft is no longer supporting Bitcoin. Two investors with $2 billion USD in Apple stock are pressuring the company to address childhood iPhone addiction. And today’s CES highlights include voice assistant-enabled earphones and “Li-Fi”.

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From Google Trends: Microsoft employees have told technical support website Bleeping Computer that the company is no longer supporting Bitcoin transactions, citing concerns with the cryptocurrency’s unpredictable nature. Prior to this decision, users weren’t able to pay Microsoft for its products using Bitcoin directly, but they could add a predetermined amount of dollars to their account balance and pay for it using Bitcoin. According to Bleeping Computer, Microsoft had supported the cryptocurrency since 2014, and if it stabilizes, may do so again.

Next, from Facebook: A pair of Apple investors are pressuring the tech giant to address their concerns that iPhone use in children creates, “unintentional negative side-effects” such as rising levels of distraction among students, and higher rates of depression linked to smartphone use. The investors, Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, and are already collaborating with academics to research the issue. They collectively own $2 billion USD in Apple stock, which represents less than one per cent of the company’s $890 billion USD market value.

Finally, Google Trends offers a look at several products being showcased at this year’s CES: Jabra and Harman are both releasing smart assistant-enabled earphones, with Jabra’s Elite earphones featuring Amazon’s Alexa, and Harman’s JBL Everest line featuring the Google Assistant. Elsewhere, Taiwan-based Asus is launching a line of Windows mixed-reality headsets; and French company Oledcomm, which has a presence in Quebec, is showing off its new Li-Fi-enabled lamp. The $1040 lamp, which is currently available on IndieGoGo, uses LED bulbs to transmit Wi-Fi across the optical spectrum.

That’s what’s trending today. Hashtag Trending is produced by IT World Canada. Today’s episode is brought to you by SAS, the world leader in advanced analytics and Official Analytics Partner of the Canadian Olympic Team.


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