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Hashtag Trending Dec. 17 – Apple in-office delay; Metaverse needs power; T-mobile increases minimum wage

Files from Jori Negin-Shecter

Apple delays its office reopening, Intel says the metaverse will require a huge leap in computing power, and T-Mobile significantly hikes its minimum wage.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday December 17, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara. 

Apple has pushed back its return to office date indefinitely according to an article from The Verge. Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a letter out to staff members on Wednesday notifying them of the decision, while encouraging employees to get the Coronavirus vaccine and booster. In the same letter, Cook also announced that the company would provide a $1000 bonus to all employees, with the aim of helping them to improve their home workspace while the Omicron wave begins to grow. Apple had previously said that workers would return on February 1st, 2022 in a hybrid work capacity, a date itself that had already been delayed multiple times. 

According to an article from Business Insider, building the metaverse will require 1000x the computational efficiency of today’s devices. The statement comes from Intel’s senior vice president Raja Koduri, who stressed that today’s infrastructure simply lacks the power to fully realize the metaverse vision being popularized by companies such as Meta. Koduri said via blogpost that not only would devices need to take significant leaps and bounds, but that “the entire plumbing of the internet would need major upgrades”. Regardless of these limitations described by Koduri and Intel, companies such as Facebook have gone all in on the project. Mark Zuckerberg’s team recently announced it had hired 10,000 new employees to help build out the social network’s Metaverse.

Finally, American mobile carrier T-Mobile has upped the minimum wage to $20 for its full and part time employees. The company’s CEO made the announcement via a blog post earlier this week, describing the decision as one about “inclusion” and ensuring that “no employee is left behind”. Its CEO also noted that most employees already earn above that pay, particularly when including factors such as incentive pay. The announcement comes amid the “great resignation” as coined by some, while many retailers, restaurants, and other service sector employees scramble to raise pay in response to an ongoing struggle to hire workers.

And now for something a little bit different. Video game publisher Square Enix has announced that they are suspending sales and delivery of their wildly popular Final Fantasy XIV game. Ironically, however, the reason for the suspension is not because of poor performance. Rather, the company says that the game is doing so well that they cannot keep up with demand. The extraordinary demand for the game has left players waiting for hours on end to connect to the game’s servers to play, which only got worse after the Endwalker expansion was released in late November. The company has also said that they are not able to expand servers in response to high demand as a consequence of the global semiconductor shortage. The company will also seek to remedy some of the exorbitant load times by prioritizing logins of people with an active subscription, as well as no longer accept free trial subscriptions.

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

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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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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