Hashtag Trending May 19 – Apple delays return to office; Netflix lays off 150 employees; Older gens on TikTok

Apple delays its return to office policy, Netflix lays off employees, and Older generations are breaking stereotypes on TikTok.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, May 19th, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

An internal memo to employees revealed that Apple will be delaying its three-day in-office requirement. Apple’s return to in-person work was met with pushback from its employees, including Ian Goodfellow, the director of Apple’s machine learning division. He left Apple due to the inflexible policy. The memo outlined that the delay return to office will last for three weeks, citing a rising number of covid cases as the cause. It’s not clear whether Apple will fully walk back on the policy or push for it again, but the looming threat of losing talent over hybrid work may play into its decision.

Source: Seattle Times

The Netflix saga continues with Netflix laying off around 150 employees as well as dozens of contractors following a disappointing earnings report, citing “slowing revenue growth.” The Verge reported that most Netflix employees affected by the layoffs are located in the U.S. and the reason for the layoffs was mainly driven by financial issues, rather than performance. Last quarter, Netflix reported losing around 200,000 subscribers and the company says it also expects to lose an additional 2 million in the next quarter. The layoffs represent about two per cent of the company’s workforce in North America. In addition, according to a report from Global News, no Canadian employees were affected by the layoffs.

Source: The Verge

Older TikTok users are using the online platform, typically operated by Gen Z, to defy ageist stereotypes of elderly people as technophobic, The Guardian reports. Research has found increasing numbers of accounts belonging to users above the age of 60 with millions of followers. These TikTokers are rewriting expectations around how older people should behave both on and off social media, the article said. A paper called “Not Too Old for TikTok: How Older Adults are Reframing Ageing”, studied 1,300 videos posted by TikTok users who were aged 60 or older, and who had between 100,000 and 5.3 million followers. Their videos, all of which explicitly discussed their age, had been viewed more than 3.5 billion times. One in five of the videos analysed made light of age-related vulnerabilities.

Source: The Guardian

A new study by MIT researchers has demonstrated a machine-learning system that can control autonomous vehicles in a signalized intersection to improve traffic flow. In their simulations, more cars made it through in a single green phase, which outperformed a model that simulates human drivers. Moreover, the researchers claim that If every vehicle on the road is autonomous, then the control system can reduce fuel consumption by 18 per cent and carbon dioxide emissions by 25 per cent, while also boosting travel speeds by 20 per cent. The technique gets the best results if all cars on the road are autonomous, but even if only 25 per cent use their control algorithm, it still has substantial fuel and emissions benefits. Even better, this new system didn’t create any stop-and-go traffic that forced vehicles to stop to wait for the vehicle ahead.

Source: TechXplore

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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