Hashtag Trending – U.S gov’t halts Qualcomm takeover; IT outage cripples Air Canada; Musk promises Mars rockets next year

The U.S. government is trying to delay a hostile takeover of Qualcomm on national security grounds. An IT outage at Air Canada wrecks many a March Break travel plan. And Elon Musk thinks he’ll be ready to send us to Mars in a year.

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From Google Trends: The U.S. Treasury Department is trying to block Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom Ltd.’s attempt to buy San Diego-based rival Qualcomm Inc., citing national security concerns. In a strongly worded letter delivered on Sunday, the department says that an investigation by its internal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has, quote, “so far confirmed … national security concerns,” and that it may consider referring Broadcom’s takeover bid to protectionist U.S. president Donald Trump. It’s worth noting that thus far, Qualcomm has resisted Broadcom’s offer of $117 billion USD. [Editor’s note: After this episode was recorded, Trump issued an executive order blocking the deal.]

From Facebook: Many a March Break traveller was inconvenienced on Monday, as Air Canada experienced an IT systems outage that grounded planes and led to a backlog of missed check-ins across the country. The topic began trending on Twitter around 1 PM EST, with service restored around 2:30 PM EST, according to the Canadian Press.

In response, Air Canada apologized for the inconvenience and thanked customers for their patience.

Also on Facebook: Elon Musk thinks he’ll be ready to send us to Mars in a year. Or at least have the equipment ready. Maybe. During his appearance Sunday at Austin’s SXSW festival, the SpaceX founder, who conceded that his timelines can be optimistic, said that he thinks his company’s Mars spaceships will be ready for short flights by the first half of next year. (You can check out the video here; the quote begins around the 6:25 mark.)

That’s what’s trending today. Hashtag Trending is produced by IT World Canada. Today’s episode is sponsored by Cogeco Peer 1, the company that enables businesses to unlock their IT potential. Learn more at CP1.com.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former IT World Canada associate editor turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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