Hashtag Trending – Antitrust probe of tech giants commences; North discontinues smart glasses; new workplace trends during the pandemic

Major tech companies appear before the U.S. Congress in a monumental antitrust hearing, Ontario based smart glasses company discontinues product after Google’s acquisition, and the shifting workplace due to the coronavirus.

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It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, July 30, and I’m your host, Baneet Braich.

Congress started a major antitrust hearing yesterday with Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google to determine whether they have abused their power in the online marketplace. All four are appearing among one another online due to COVID-19. In their opening remarks, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Google CEO Sundar Pichai discussed their immigrant backgrounds. Bezos told the story of his adopted father, who immigrated from Cuba. Pichai discussed India. Congress is expected to grill the tech giants with specific questions and evidence. The eyes are mainly on Bezos- the world’s richest man had never before testified in front of congress.

Ontario-based tech company North, which was acquired by Google last month, says that its smart glasses will no longer work after Friday. Moreover, North says its first generation of smart glasses will be discontinued. The company also says it has cancelled any plans to ship its second-generation Focals 2.0. Google did not respond to CTVNews’s request for comment at the time of publishing. All to say in a few days the “smart” element of the glasses will be unusable. North will issue refunds.

The consequences of the coronavirus have led to significant changes in the workforce. The shift may significantly alter wages, career paths and how companies operate in the coming years, according to The New York Times. On one hand, there is more flexibility and higher disposable income. However, these fast changes may also mean “a disaster for low-skilled labour,” lowering wages and job security. Highly skilled workers may also not have the easiest time to band together over issues of pay and working conditions, says the Times.

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.I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening.

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