Hashtag Trending September 30- Amazon’s Astro; Samsung semiconductor factor; Apple remote work

With files from Samira Balsara

Before we start today’s episode, our sponsor Acronis will be hosting a panel discussion on the Canadian security landscape. If you want to learn how to best respond to a cyberattack, attend the expert briefing “It’s time for SMBs to focus more on business continuity” on October 12th. Reserve your spot by going to itworldcanada.com/events.

Now onto our regular programming.

Amazon’s new robo pet has its flaws, Samsung is finalizing construction on a semiconductor factory in Texas and Apple employees continue to push for better remote work rules.

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, September 30, and I’m your host, Jori Negin-Shecter.

Leaked Documents Show How Amazon’s Astro Robot Tracks Everything You Do – Leaked meetings show the robot will heavily rely on facial recognition and user behavior, but sources who worked on Astro say the robot is flawed. from technology

Amazon’s new robot pet “Astro,” created to help with tasks around the house, has privacy and technical flaws according to two sources that worked on the project. According to a Vice article, when users buy the product, they have to enroll the faces and voices of anyone likely to be in the house so Astro doesn’t get confused. This feature, however, comes with many problems. The robot can be put into something called “sentry” mode which essentially allows it to scan the home for unfamiliarity. If there is a guest in the house Astro will follow them around to collect and store their data. According to the article, developers that worked on the robot also said Astro has its technical flaws. Some developers say the device is “potentially dangerous” for those who would rely on it for accessibility needs. Complaints of the device feeling “fragile,”especially for its cost have also been raised. 

Reuters: "Samsung Electronics close to finalising $17 billion Texas chip plant – sources" from technology

Samsung Electronics has almost completed the construction of a $17 billion dollar semiconductor factory in Williamson County, Texas. According to reports from Reuters the factory will make advanced logic semiconductor chips. It is estimated the factory will create upwards of 1,800 jobs. A source from Reuters  says that Williamson County is the frontrunner due to the subsidies it has offered, as well as its stable electricity and water sources. 

Lastly, Apple employees continue to push for more remote work options. According to a Vox article, Apple expects its employees to work in-person three days a week when it is safe to do so. Some Apple employees, however, are pushing back and have created two petitions demanding the option to work remotely. Together the petitions have collected over 1000 signatures and several employees have resigned over the matter. This pushback challenges the idea that in-person work is necessary to be successful. According to Vox, this is a popular management philosophy several Silicon Valley companies believe in. Apple employees have also created Slack channels where employees discuss remote work, which have become some of the largest channels on the company’s corporate Slack community. 

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. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Jori Negin-Shecter.


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