Hashtag Trending March 29 – Remote work in the U.S.; misinformation hurts green energy adoption; Apple cuts back on iPhone SE production

Files from Tom Li

More than a third of jobs in the U.S. can be done remotely, misinformation is dissuading the public from green energy initiatives, and Apple is allegedly cutting back the iPhone SE’s production due to low demand.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, March 29, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

A study has found that 37 per cent of jobs in the U.S. can be done remotely. The paper, first published in September 2020, surveyed 1000 occupations to evaluate whether they can be performed from home. It also found that most of the jobs that can be done remotely also paid more than those that can’t, accounting for 46 per cent of all U.S. wages. Additionally, low income economies had a larger share of jobs that can’t be done at home. There are significant variations in the U.S. as well. More than 45 per cent of jobs in San Francisco and Washington can be done remotely, but less than 30 per cent in other parts of the country, like Las Vegas.

Misinformation is hampering the adoption of green energy. The U.S. Department of Energy concluded that setback regulations are now the greatest barrier to begin wind projects in the U.S. There are legitimate concerns, such as “shadow flickers” where the shadows cast by the blades on spinning wind turbines creates a strobing effect when projected onto buildings. But others are less so. Some popular misinformation include that wind turbines cause birth defects in horses, that they’re unsafe, and potential health effects of infrasound caused by the wind turbine’s operation. Misinformation like these caused new bills to restrict rural wind and solar energy developments in Washington, Iowa and Kansas. While misguided claims can come from anyone and anywhere, University of Minnesota Duluth researcher Josh Fergen underpinned Facebook as the worst offender.

Apple is allegedly reducing the production of its third generation iPhone SE, released just weeks ago, due to low demand and current global conflict, reported Nikkei Asia. The unnamed source in the report told the publication that the company is also cutting back on iPhone 13 production, but unlike the case with the iPhone SE, this is due to a seasonal demand change. The report appears to be credible as an Apple analyst also culled the expected iPhone SE shipment from around 30 million to 20 million. Coming with a blazing processor and updated feature set, the iPhone SE was supposed to be an attractive choice to budget-conscious consumers.

Some researchers are thinking about outfitting insects with technology for search and rescue operations. In one case, a Japanese research team outfitted a cockroach with a backpack containing a communications chip, a carbon dioxide sensor, a motion sensor and an infrared camera. It had planned on sending these cyborg insects into disaster zones to scout for survivors. An AI processing the data sent by these sensors would decide if the patterns match a human and alert rescuers. The software used to determine human presence already has an 87 per cent accuracy, but the researchers think they can improve it even further. The next phase for these insect droids would be testing in outdoor environments, and eventually commercialized if all goes well.

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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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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