Microsoft’s president makes it clear that political donations are vital for business, Instacart is under fire after firing employees\ who supported unionization, and a train stops working after Flash dies.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Monday, January 23, and I’m your host Alex Coop.


Microsoft president Brad Smith candidly confesses politics are pay-to-play in response to criticism over the company’s donations to lawmakers who objected to US election results from technology

Well, we all knew this was the case, but social media was a little surprised to hear Microsoft’s president Brad Smith candidly confess recently that politics are a pay-to-play game. “Politicians in the United States have events, they have weekend retreats, you have to write a check and then you’re invited and participate,” Smith said according to CNBC. The quote comes on the heels of Microsoft’s recent decision to pause donations amid criticism of its gifts to GOP lawmakers who objected to U.S. election results. A Business Insider story covering Smith’s quotes has received more than 50,000 upvotes on Reddit.

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Motherboard is reporting that Instacart is firing 10 employees from Illinois who voted to form the first and only union on the grocery delivery platform at a Mariano’s grocery store. The layoffs are part of a larger round of job cuts, according to the publication. Instacart is firing nearly 2,000 of its 10,000 grocery store workers as part of these layoffs, and offering as little as $250 as severance. Instacart has been experiencing rapid growth during the Coronavirus pandemic as millions of people have turned to on-demand grocery delivery.

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When Adobe Stopped Flash Content From Running It Also Stopped A Chinese Railroad from technology

What if a railroad was managed by the same software used to run online casinos and other online games? What if that software was Flash? According to automotive trade publication Jalopnik, the city of Dalian in Northern China was running its railroad system on Flash. But as we all know, Flash recently rode off into the sunset last week, and when that happened, the Chinese railroad ground to a half for 20 hours. The article says the solution that got the railroad back up and running was a – wait for it – a pirated version of Flash.


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 Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Alex Coop, thanks for listening!

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