Jeff Bezos announces his trip to space, Toronto’s loss in the 2017 HQ2 contest resulted in some unexpected benefits, and Apple announces key software updates at WWDC 2021. 

It’s all the biz/tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Tuesday, June 8 and I’m your host Alex Coop.

This weekend, Jeff Bezos announced that he will ride his own rocket into space in July joining the first crew to fly in a Blue Origin capsule. Bezos says he will launch on July 20 from Texas along with his brother Mark. This news follows just weeks after Bezos officially announced he will be stepping down from his role as Amazon CEO on July 5, 15 days before his liftoff. Blue Origin is Bezos’s own company which completed the 15th test flight of its reusable New Shepard Rocket in April. This flight will be the start of Blue Origin’s space tourism business. [CBC]

After Toronto’s Loss to Seattle in the 2017 to 2018 Amazon ‘HQ2’ or headquarters contest, new information reveals that losing the bid still resulted in benefits. The contest struck a frenzy for many cities in North America in 2017, and in 2018, Amazon staff visited shortlisted cities to review and comment on the sites. Toronto received a ‘hotly debated’ and the site review group cited high costs and high taxes as the negatives. However, since then, Toronto has gotten the hype and attention in various ways. For example, Amazon says it has grown its Toronto workforce to more than 1,600, with an additional 2,000 jobs being added by 2023. Also, since the contest over 100 international companies with more than 5,000 jobs have spent more than $1 billion in the region. [Toronto Star]

Apple’s annual WWDC kicked off yesterday with a plethora of major software announcements. The company led the way with iOS 15, introducing audio enhancements and SharePlay screen sharing for FaceTime, notification summary and Focus mode for alerts, and the Live Text feature to grab texts from images. iPad OS got some love as well. Users will soon be able to add widgets to iPad’s home screen and access new multitasking controls. Additionally, Apple bolstered its key apps like Photo, iCloud, Wallet and more with a plethora of new features. For the full rundown of all the announcements, check out our coverage at ITWorldCanada.com or sign up for WWDC, which is free for everyone. 

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