Hashtag Trending – T-Mobile’s big promise; Robot dogs; Coronavirus benefiting tech giants

T-Mobile makes a big promise, a robot dog joins the fight against COVID-19, and a story about how the coronavirus is benefiting big tech is making its rounds on Reddit.

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T-Mobile says it’s planning to provide free internet service to millions of students and their households as the pandemic further ushers in a new normal of remote learning. The cellular service network recently announced the start of a $10.7 billion initiative that’s meant to deliver free internet connectivity to all U.S. students who are part of free and reduced-price school lunch programs. Under the 10-year program, millions of low-income households will get free wireless hotspots and free high-speed data, T-Mobile says. It’s executing the plan by partnering with school districts across the country.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and MIT joined forces to test out the use of robotic dogs to take COVID-19 patients’ vitals, Fast Company reports. The remote-controlled robot pups, developed by Boston Dynamics, are equipped with four different types of cameras that can take a patient’s temperature, monitor their breathing and determine pulse rate and blood oxygen levels. After the obligatory “oh no creepy robot dogs are going to take over” reaction on Twitter, the benefits of the techno dogs became clear. The separation between the infected and medical professionals, which can help reduce the risk of exposure and spread is a huge plus. And, according to publication Fast Company, as an added benefit, patients seem to react positively to the canine-like bots.

And lastly, a top European official is telling CNBC that big tech has to pay a “fair amount” of taxes in Europe, especially as they are the “real winners” of the coronavirus crisis. The official’s comments come amid an ongoing rift between the United States and the European Union over the taxation of companies such as Apple, Alphabet and Amazon. The European Commission says digital companies, on average, pay an effective tax rate of 9.5% — compared to 23.2% for traditional businesses. However, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Big Tech has got a boost, with many consumers relying on these companies for teleworking, shopping and staying connected.

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. I’m Alex Coop, thanks for listening.

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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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