Hashtag Trending, April 15, 2021 – DuckDuckGo blocks FLoC; NYT’s tech workers unionize; Virtual workspace craze

DuckDuckGo can now block Google’s tracking method, Tech workers at The New York Times have formed a union, and virtual work spaces are becoming a new normal to boost productivity.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, April 15 and I’m your host Baneet Braich.


DuckDuckGo can now block Google’s popular FloC tracking method, also known as Federated Learning of Cohorts. Google created the method to track users and predict their search results. It was also a solution to offer users ads based on their demographic and search trends without third-party cookies. But DuckDuckGo has now created an extension for Chrome that will block Floc tracking. Now users even have the option of using either the DDG application or extension or entirely opt-out of FLoC monitoring. 

Tech workers at The New York Times have formed a union from technology

Tech workers at The New York Times have banded to form a union under the NewsGuild of New York. They are demanding voluntary recognition from the paper’s management. The new union represents more than 650 workers including software engineers, designers, and data analysts. Till now tech workers have been excluded from the editorial union of The New York Times, which represents more than 3,000 reporters and media professionals. The union tweeted their current challenges which include “sudden or unexplained termination, opaque promotion processes, unpaid overtime, and underinvestment in diverse representation.” As of this recording, The Times has yet to respond to the request of voluntary recognition. 

Virtual workspaces are becoming a new normal – Think of them as large virtual library study rooms. LinkedIn professionals are buzzing about the value digital workspaces deliver outside of simply video conferencing and collaboration. Startup companies like Caveday and Focusmate set up “deep focus” sessions for groups to study. Some companies are charging monthly fees to access sessions while other workers are asking colleagues and friends to join.


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. Plus, episode one of Hashtag Trending in French, hosted by our own Catherine Morin from Quebec, drops this weekend. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening!


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