Hashtag Trending Dec. 1 – Proposal to use lethal robots passed, DoorDash lays off 1250 employees, Senator accuses Apple of supporting China’s speech suppression policies

San Francisco police can now use potentially lethal robots, DoorDash lays off 1250 employees and Missouri Senator accuses Apple of supporting China’s speech suppression policies.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday December 1st and I’m your host, Samira Balsara. 

The San Francisco police have been granted the ability to use potentially lethal, remote-controlled robots in emergency situations, following a debate on Tuesday that concluded with an 8-3 vote with the majority of supervisors agreeing to this further militarization of the police force. The two-hour debate was emotionally charged, AP News reported, with each party accusing the other of ‘reckless fear mongering’. The proposal was amended to allow the use of these robots only after alternative force or de-escalation tactics had been deployed and concluding that none would work to subdue the suspect.

Delivery service, DoorDash has laid off 1250 employees, as part of the company’s cost-cutting plans, following slow growth and over hiring, CEO Tony Xu said in a message to employees, yesterday. The company’s shares, which has been down 60 per cent year to date, bumped five per cent after the news. DoorDash joins Amazon, Twitter, Meta and many other tech companies who slowed hiring earlier this year and have now went on to cull headcount as consumer and investor confidence is muted, following spiking inflation and interest rates, post-pandemic. DoorDash will offer 17 weeks of severance to affected employees and health care will continue through March 2023, CNBC reported. For overseas and visa-sponsored employees, the termination date will be March 1, which according to the Xu, will give employees “as much time as possible to find a new job.”

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has written an open letter to Apple’s Tim Cook, accusing the company of helping China to suppress free speech. He stressed that Apple should cut its dependency on China, bring back jobs to the US, and not ban Twitter, after Elon Musk alleged that Apple wants to ban Twitter’s mobile app from its app store. The Senator presented Cook with a list of questions and the deadline of December 6 to respond. The questions cover the treatment of workers in Apple’s factories in China, looming invasion of Taiwan by China , Apple’s dependency on China and Apple limiting AirDrop in China. Hawley has previously said that Cook, and Google’s Sundar Pichai, be held personally accountable over privacy issues to do with coronavirus contact tracing.

Montreal-based Avvy, dubbed the healthcare Uber, is the first mobile healthcare platform connecting registered medical practitioners with patients to provide healthcare services in the safety of their homes and work offices, at times the most convenient to them. Patients can order a home healthcare service through the company’s app. The company seeks to leverage technology to ease the burden on the healthcare system as we enter a season full of respiratory illnesses and eliminate the challenges in accessing care, including long wait times. The Avvy app is available on Google Play and the App Store. 

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 briefings 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 Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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