Hashtag Trending Aug. 26 – Federally funded research to be open access; new U.S. privacy law gains traction, Amazon Care shuts down

U.S. government wants to make federally funded research open access, new privacy law gains traction, and Amazon is shutting down its telehealth service.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday, August 26, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

The U.S. government has announced a big change to the accessibility of scientific research. The White House Office of Science Technology said that starting in 2026, all federally-funded scientific publications will have to be open access on the day it’s published. Ars Technica reported that the U.S. government is likely the world’s largest funder of research. For example, the U.S.National Institutes of Health spends more than the rest of the top 20 organizations combined. The OSTP stipulated that giving equitable access to these papers would save lives and better society overall, as was demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Ars Technica

The American Data and Privacy Protection Act is gaining traction. If it passes the House and Senate, it would put stronger boundaries around data collection, requiring them to be used as minimally as possible. It regulates any entity that collects, processes, and transfers covered data, including non-profits and telecommunications providers. It does not, however, apply to government entities, and excludes de-identified data, employee data, and publicly available information, like social media accounts.

Source: Ars Technica

Amazon is shutting down Amazon Care, its telehealth service. The service is expected to come to an end after Dec. 31, as announced by the division lead and reported by CNBC. Apparently, the company decided that it wasn’t the long-term solution for its enterprise customers, most notably that it felt like the service offering wasn’t complete enough. This doesn’t mean that the company is exiting the healthcare space; it’s still actively investing in other parts, including cancer research.

Source: CNBC

A tech startup has created a product that reduces a speaker’s English accent. As Vice reported, the startup, called Sanas, applies an accent translation to the speaker’s original voice. After applying the filter, the voice sounds a lot more robotic, but very different from the original. The target market is apparently call centres. According to the company’s founders, the solution improves understanding by 31 per cent and customer satisfaction by 21 per cent.

Source: Vice

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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