The Semiconductor shortage may worsen as Malaysia battles the pandemic, Samsung remotely bricks its stolen TVs, and robots make better delivery people because they don’t smoke.

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, August 25, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

If the semiconductor shortage isn’t bad enough already, Malaysia’s ongoing COVID situation may worsen the problem as the country battles against outbreaks. The country has become a centre for chip testing and packaging in recent years with the rise of key companies including Infineon, NXP Technologies, and STMicroelectronics. How much it will impact the current shortage is unknown, however, Bloomberg reports that STMicroelectronics and Infineon already had to close facilities. Ford Motor also said last week that it paused the production of its F150 pickup trucks in the U.S. due to a semiconductor-related parts shortage in Malaysia.

Next up, Samsung says that it can remotely disable a set of its stolen TVs. This was in response to a number of stolen TVs from a South African warehouse. Samsung that its new measure aptly called Remote Block, is used to prevent aftermarket sales of stolen goods. Although it was used in South Africa first, Samsung says that its usefulness extends globally. However, this does raise concerns over false positives and what a hacker can do if they ever manage to take control.

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba added an interesting reason why robots make better deliverers: they don’t take smoke breaks. There are other benefits to hiring robots, of course, one big one being that they don’t get lost as often. The new information comes after it has added 1,000 new delivery robots to its payroll. The new robots, which can pick up and drop off packages autonomously, will be used in university campuses and housing estates, according to The Register.

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. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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