Hashtag Trending Sept. 12 – Meta dissolves Responsible Innovation Team; FCC wants to cut down on space debris, and Garmin reacts to Apple Watch Ultra

Meta dissolves its Responsible Innovation Team, the FCC wants to reduce space debris by decommissioning specific satellites, and Garmin reacts to the Apple Watch Ultra with a battery claim. 

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday, September 12, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Meta has disbanded an internal team intended to evaluate potential harm to society. The now defunct Responsible Innovation Team has been operating for several years, according to a Facebook VP. It was composed of engineers and people familiar in civil rights and activism, and advised the company on potential harms across a range of issues. The team’s shuttering appears to be part of a broader reshuffle of Meta’s AI teams. As Engadget reports, the Responsible AI group was merged into the Social Impact team. And while the Responsible Innovation team has been dissolved, Meta says that most of the team members will stay with the company to work on other projects.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission wants to reduce space debris by requiring low-earth orbit satellites to be decommissioned after five years. These satellites, referred to as LEO satellites, float at around 500km above the earth’s surface. However, satellites currently in orbit will be exempt from the rule, and the FCC will provide a two-year buffer period for satellites scheduled for launch. It would apply to US-licensed satellites, and non-US licensed satellites if they provide service in the country. Future Starlink satellites are of course included in this rule. With that said, the plan is currently only a proposal, and is expected to enter voting by the FCC on September 29.

The Apple Watch Ultra designed for extreme athletes made headlines for its diverse array of performance and safety features. The hype was so hot that Garmin, a sports electronics giant that produces dedicated and custom gear for competition sports, retorted by comparing battery life. The company said that it measures the battery life in months, not days, when talking about its new Enduro 2 watch. The company promotes that the watch lasts up to 150 hours with its embedded solar charging, more than twice the longevity as the Apple Watch Ultra, which has been quoted to last 60 hours in low-powered mode. 

Releasing more UFO videos would harm national security, said the U.S. Navy, adding that the government’s UFO videos are classified information. The statement was in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by The Black Vault, a government transparency site. The letter said the information could provide adversaries valuable information regarding the country’s defense capabilities and on-going operations. Interests in these unidentified flying objects spiked when the U.S. Navy recently released several clips to Congress. The efforts to understand these object’s origins is joined by NASA, which launched an independent study to study UFOs.

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 sbalsara@itwc.ca

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