Hashtag Trending April 21 – Netflix’s subscriber drop; Google’s Canada to Asia fibre-optic cable; U.K. self-driving car owners not responsible for crashes

Netflix loses subscribers for the first time in 10 years, Google plans to build the first-ever high-speed fibre-optic cable to connect Canada to Asia, and U.K. self-driving vehicle owners will not be held responsible for crashes.

Hashtag Trending on Amazon Alexa Google Podcasts badge - 200 px wide

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, April 21, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

For the first time in over a decade, Netflix saw a loss of subscribers. The streaming service lost 200,000 subscribers in its first quarter, falling well short of its forecast of adding 2.5 million subscribers. The company cites the war in Ukraine, after it suspended service in Russia following the invasion, resulting in the loss of 700,000 members. In addition, Netflix says heightened competition and inflation have also contributed to the drop in viewers. The halt in subscriber growth is prompting Netflix to consider offering a lower-priced version of the service with advertising, citing the success of similar offerings from streaming rivals HBO Max and Disney+, Reuters reported. Shares of Netflix cratered more than 25 per cent early this week after the company reported the loss. Netflix is forecasting a further decrease with a global paid subscriber loss of 2 million for the second quarter. The last time Netflix lost subscribers was October 2011.

Sources: Reuters, CNBC, BBC

Google is planning to build the first-ever high-speed fibre-optic cable to connect Canada to Asia. The submarine fibre cable will be the width of a garden hose and is expected to be completed in 2023. It will run from Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, and then across the floor of the Pacific Ocean to Japan’s Mie and Ibaraki prefectures. The cable is called Topaz and is supposed to make accessing Google products such as YouTube and Gmail faster. The company is working with Canadian and Japanese partners to make the cable, which will also be accessible to other internet providers.

Source: MSN

Self-driving car owners will not be held responsible for crashes in the U.K., Sky News reports. In addition, self-driving car owners will also be allowed to watch TV while behind the wheel under proposed changes to the Highway Code. Instead, insurance companies rather than individuals will be accountable for claims if vehicles are involved in collisions, according to the Department for Transport (DfT). The update to the Highway Code will make it clear that motorists have to be ready to control their vehicles when needed. While the DfT also intends to allow drivers to watch TV on built-in screens in self-driving cars, it will still be illegal to use a mobile phone. As of now, there are no vehicles approved for self-driving on roads in the U.K. but the first models could be given the go-ahead later in 2022.

Source: Sky New

People in Japan may be able to enjoy their favourite salty meals without having to be concerned about their sodium levels. A report by The Guardian reveals that researchers have developed chopsticks that artificially create the taste of salt, in an effort to reduce the high sodium levels in some of the country’s popular dishes. The chopsticks operate by using electrical stimulation and a mini-computer that the diner wears on a wristband. The device transmits sodium ions from food, through the chopsticks, to the mouth where they create a sense of saltiness. The researchers collaborated with a food and drink manufacturer to develop this device. In Japan, a traditional diet tends to be high in salt due to ingredients such as miso and soy sauce. The creators of the chopsticks are looking to refine the prototype and hope to make the chopsticks available to consumers by 2023.

Source: The Guardian

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 Tom Li.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

Follow this Cyber Security Today

More Cyber Security Today