Hashtag Trending Aug. 15 – Uber discontinues Uber Rewards; renewable energy pays; and bioengineered cornea restores sight

Uber discontinues its loyalty program, renewable energy could pay for itself within six years, and scientists create a promising bioengineered cornea.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday, August 15, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Uber will be discontinuing its Uber Rewards loyalty program this November. The program, first launched in 2018, gave points to Uber riders and Uber Eats users, which can then be used to unlock perks, like price protection against price surges, and priority pickup at airports. According to Verge, there won’t be a replacement for Uber Rewards, but Uber suggests signing up for the Uber One membership, which costs $10 a month and provides its own perks, like reduced delivery fees on Uber Eats orders.

Source: Engadget, The Verge

New research from Stanford University has found that it takes just six years for renewable energy to recuperate the transition cost. Additionally, the study estimates that the transition would create 28 million more jobs than it would cause loss. Out of the 145 countries studied, the only three regions expected to see a net job loss were Russia, Canada, and parts of Africa, all of which are major oil producers. The study concluded that once the transition completes, it would be cheaper than continuing with current energy systems.

Source: PV Magazine

A bioengineered cornea has successfully restored vision to people with impaired eyesight. According to a paper published in Nature Biotechnology, these corneas could replace human corneas when they’re in short supply. And unlike corneas extracted from humans that need to be transplanted within two weeks, the man-made ones can be stored for two years. These corneas, which are made from collagen protein extracted from pig skin, are also cheaper than human ones. According to the MIT Technology Review, around 12.7 million people suffer from Corneal blindness globally.

Source: MIT Technology Review

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has confirmed that it has achieved ignition during a fusion nuclear reaction. The milestone was actually made last year, but now it’s been officially published. Nuclear fusion is an attractive method of creating energy as it creates less radioactive materials. Additionally, it can use more abundant materials, like hydrogen, as fuel, instead of uranium used in today’s fission reactors. Achieving ignition during a fusion reaction means that the reaction is producing enough energy to sustain itself. This has been extremely difficult to accomplish due to the difficulties in creating an optimal environment for the reaction.

Source: Newsweek

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.

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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].

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