With files from Samira Balsara

The FTC reimburses Amazon drivers for tips the company withheld, Walmart is rolling out driverless trucks for grocery services, and is a Meta store in the works?

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Tuesday, November 9th, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

The Federal Trade Commission is sending almost $60 million to 140,000 Amazon drivers, according to its press release. The funds will serve as reimbursement for tips that Amazon allegedly withheld from drivers between the years 2016 to 2019. This year, the FTC bought a suit against the company and its subsidiary, Amazon Logistics, alleging that Amazon failed to pay tips that drivers in its Flex program had rightfully earned. Amazon settled the case and surrendered all the money it withheld from the drivers. With the case closed, drivers who had more than $5 withheld by Amazon will receive the full amount of their tips.

Walmart is starting to use fully driverless trucks in its online grocery service. According to CNBC, since August, Walmart and Silicon Valley start-up Gatik, have operated two autonomous box trucks with no driver on a seven-mile route. The partnership is focused on the “middle mile” of the trip which involves transporting goods within the supply chain most often from a warehouse to a fulfillment center or a warehouse to a retailer. The driverless vehicles can also reduce logistic costs by 30 per cent for a grocery business. Gatik’s CEO said this may also help mitigate the impact of the labour shortage on supply chains outside of the grocery business in the U.S.

Lastly, according to The New York Times, one of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s first steps towards creating the metaverse might be a physical move rather than virtual. Facebook, or Meta, has discussed opening retail stores that will eventually span the world, according to sources close to the matter as well as company documents. The stores would introduce people to hardware made by the company’s Reality Labs division. Products such as virtual reality headsets and down the road, augmented reality glasses would be for sale. While this has yet to be fully confirmed, if the company goes through with it, the store would be the first for a tech giant that has existed mainly online.

And now for something a little different. According to MSN, A 45-year-old Apple computer is going up for auction this week. The computer is estimated to go for six figures or more. On November 9, John Moran Auctioneers will auction off a usable 1976 Apple-1 computer hand made by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in a Los Altos California garage. This was the foundation upon which the Apple empire was created. Apple-1 experts expect the unit to sell for close to $500,000, if not more. The estimates are possible as an operational unit was sold for $905,000 by Bonhams auction house in 2014.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/apple-1-computer-holy-grail-of-vintage-tech-to-be-auctioned-off-in-southern-california/ar-AAQs0RZ?ocid=BingNewsSearch

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. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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