Hashtag Trending July 15 – Panasonic’s new battery plant; U.S. starting to allocate the broadband fund; Uber harassment lawsuit

Panasonic to build a new battery plant in the U.S., the U.S. government releases the first wave of its broadband fund, and Uber is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit.

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

Panasonic is poised to build a $4 billion dollar battery production plant in Kansas in anticipation of the rising adoption of electric vehicles. According to the Financial Times, Panasonic is the world’s third-largest EV battery producer behind China’s CATL and South Korea’s LG. The new plant will be paired with a new research facility and is expected to create 4,000 jobs. Although the company used to be Telsa’s exclusive supplier, it has recently been developing its own battery tech and seeking new partnerships.

Source: Financial Times

The U.S. has begun allocating the promised $10 billion broadband fund. The first recipients are Louisiana, New Hampshire, Virginia and West Virginia, which will use the fund to connect 200,000 homes and businesses with internet service. Combined, the four states have received more than $500 million. West Virginia in particular is in need of developing its network infrastructure. The state is considered a rural state with its largest city housing only 50,000 people.

Source: Associated Press

Uber is being sued by more than 500 women who claim they were assaulted by their drivers. CNBC reported that the law firm that filed the case says it has around 550 clients with cases against Uber and at least 150 more are being investigated. In a statement sent to CNBC, an Uber spokesperson declined to comment on the litigation but said the company takes every single report seriously. In its second safety report released just two weeks ago, the company said it received 3800 reports of the five most severe categories of sexual assault in 2019 and 2020. The company had previously said that it can’t be held responsible for its drivers, who are considered to be independent contractors.

Source: CNBC

A new study released just in time for World Emoji Day on July 17–and yes, it’s an actual thing–says a majority of people feel closer in a conversation when the recipient of a message understands their emojis. The survey study was conducted by Duolingo and Slack, and further revealed that seven in 10 Americans are more likely to find emoji-less messages to be lacking. But understanding is the keyword here as people interpret emojis differently. For example, the study reported that 25 per cent of respondents said they can’t tell the difference between the loudly crying emoji and the face with tears of joy.

Source: Tech Republic

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 tli@itwc.ca.

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