Hashtag Trending Jan. 3 – Starlink for school; illegal crypto mining crackdown; Twitter bans U.S. politician

New Mexico school district buys Starlink internet for students, Malaysia shuts down more illegal crypto mining operations, and Twitter bans personal account belonging to U.S. representative.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday, January 3, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

A school district in New Mexico is turning to Elon Musk to keep its students connected. The Associated Press reports that a school district in New Mexico is spending $1.2 million on Starlink internet for students. At around $500 per satellite dish, the school district is hoping to connect all 450 families, mostly Indigenous, by the end of the school year. So far, there has been little interest from the public and private sectors to pull fibre into the area. The reason there is the same as over here. Due to the sparse population, there isn’t enough business incentive for anyone to do so. Further, sluggish regulatory red tape processes also slow down development.

Cryptomining is chomping on the energy grid everywhere, so much so that the Malaysian police recently shut down a mining operation due to electricity theft. In total, police shut down and seized 1,720 mining machines among other equipment. According to the police, the electricity stolen amounted to more than $478,000, highlighting just how much these machines use. Malaysia has been cracking down hard on illegal crypto mining operations. In July last year, the authorities crushed more than 1,000 mining rigs, worth about $1.2 million, with a steam roller.

Twitter has banned the personal account belonging to Majorie Taylor Greene, an outspoken U.S. Representative, for spreading COVID-19 misinformation. Her account was banned by Twitter’s AI monitoring system, which scans the platform for content that breaks its policies. To be permanently banned, the user must trip the system at least five times. Greene has called the ban unjust, saying that she was banned for tweeting data from a government database. She also called Twitter an “enemy to America” and that “it can’t handle the truth.” The ban came at a time when the Omicron COVID-19 variant is ravaging the world. The U.S. daily case count has reached over 400,000.

Now for something a little different. European bank Santander was in sharing spirits this holiday when it accidentally distributed $176 million. The mishap occurred due to a system error that duplicated payments. As such, some recipients saw their payout double. Although the issue has been fixed, the bank is still in the process of recovering the funds, some of which are now in the accounts of rival banks. It seems like no one will get keep their surprise gift, however, as the bank says it can directly recover the funds from accounts if it needs to be.

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 for 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, 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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