Hashtag Trending June 7 – Taiwan chip restrictions; engineer sues Amazon for WFH costs; Ford wants to sell EVs online

Taiwan places harsh chip export restrictions on Russia and Belarus, a software engineer is suing Amazon for work-from-home costs, and Ford wants to move all EV sales online.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, June 7, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

Russia and Belarus can now only purchase CPUs operating at below 25MHz from Taiwan. As a part of its sanction, Taiwan has imposed strict rules around what type of processors can be exported to the two countries. For reference, most of today’s PC processors operate at between 3 to 5 GHz, which is up to 200 times faster than the frequency specified in the restriction. In addition, Digitimes reports that Russian entities also cannot purchase processors with more than 144 pins and has a bit width higher than 32 bits, essentially barring them from accessing any modern chips.

A senior software engineer at Amazon is suing the company for not reimbursing electricity and internet costs incurred while working from home. The engineer claims that Amazon violated California’s labour laws when his employer refused to pay for his monthly expenses. In addition to internet and electricity costs, the engineer also wants Amazon to foot any other expenses during the time its employees were working from home. He calculated that the expenditure for a single employee amounts to $50 to $100 per person. When summed up for the 4,000 employees he’s suing on behalf of, the suit easily amounts to more than $5 million. Amazon has refused to pay, claiming that the company and the employee were simply following social distancing orders. However, A U.S. federal district judge has denied Amazon efforts to dismiss the lawsuit.

Ford wants to move all of its electric vehicle sales online at a fixed price. The automaker told USA Today that it believes all cars should go directly to the customer, or offer remote pickup and delivery. Although this doesn’t mean that all transactions will happen online, it does indicate Ford’s commitment to implement a fixed-price model and develop its online platform. To complete the transformation, Ford said that dealerships must evolve as well, although that they  will face brutal new standards. The company also plans on scaling back its EV advertisements. 

Google has announced a program that will let developers print chips for free. Dubbed the Open MPW shuttle program, anyone can submit open source integrated circuit designs to be manufactured at no cost. Granted, it isn’t going to be on super advanced nodes; the designs will be made using Skywater Technology’s 130nm transistors. There are some limits, of course, including size restrictions. Also, developers will only get one submission every other month.

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 Samira Balsara.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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