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Now onto our regular programming.
Retail giants like Amazon can no longer punish workers unjustly under a new California law, Japan breaks the internet speed record, and Facebook denies that Instagram makes body image issues worse.
It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Tuesday, September 28, and I’m your host, Jori Negin-Shecter.
California has introduced a new law that forbids mega-retailers from firing workers for missing quotas. Given the controversies surrounding Amazon’s workplaces, and most recently its misuse of AI cameras in delivery trucks, it’s no surprise that the company seems to be at the centre of this conversation. Under the new law, retail giants can no longer discipline workers for following health guidelines, while employees can now sue to suspend unsafe quotas or retaliation. Additionally, companies with more than 1,000 warehouse workers must also disclose how their AI algorithms evaluate productivity. Although this applies to all big retailers, The San Francisco Gate reports that its proponents were primarily driven by Amazon’s dominance.
Japanese researchers have reached a new internet speed record. At a blazing 319 Terabits per second, it’s nearly 213 thousand times faster than the fastest home internet available in Canada. For perspective, the speed is equivalent to downloading a whopping 80,000 movies per second. To achieve the record, Japanese researchers created a four-core fibre optical cable and sent the signals in different pulse wavelengths. The researchers also used a new signal amplification technique to carry the data over 1,800 miles. The new cables are particularly exciting as they’re about the same size as a traditional single-core fibre optic cable, meaning it might easily integrate it into existing infrastructure. There are other technical and cost considerations too, of course, so terabit home internet is still likely a ways out.
Finally, Facebook is refuting a WSJ article that claimed Instagram exacerbated body image issues in one in three teen girls. The Journal’s article sourced a Facebook internal study and noted that Facebook was aware of the platform’s harm. According to the Verge, Facebook didn’t directly address these concerns but instead focused on devaluing its own research. Furthermore, Facebook said that the body image problem was merely one of 12 possible issues that instagram could make worse. Ultimately, the truth lies in the articles data source, which nobody outside of Facebook and the Journal can currently access.
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. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Jori Negin-Shecter.