Hashtag Trending – Office space decisions; Back to school issues; Amazon’s inflated prices

A story about a CEO keeping the office open while asking employees to stay home catches fire, back to school challenges are aplenty, and Amazon gets caught inflating prices during the pandemic.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Monday, September 14, and I’m your host Alex Coop. 



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Even though he’s locked into a multi-year lease for his 10,000-square-foot head office, which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, Wysdom AI CEO Ian Collins says he’s decided to go “all in” on remote working. In an interview with the Toronto Star, Collins says the firm is just as effective as we’ve ever been” working from home. He adds a few workers who are either living alone in a condo have developed “cabin fever”. Some workers are parents and need a separate place to work a couple of days a week. For those employees, Collins says he may consider finding a small shared office to accommodate their needs. But there is no consensus on what works best – many workers are hoping to get back into the office to access a proper workspace and the necessary equipment needed to do their job properly. (Toronto Star link)


Across Canada, many classrooms are reopening for in-person learning for the first time since pandemic-driven shutdowns began in March. While approaches vary by province, grade level and school board – with some are even putting plans on ice – teachers across the country chimed in on LinkedIn about their early experiences. One teacher described it as a “warzone” as she does her best to keep kids safe. Others noted how their primary focus is no longer about teaching children but keeping them safe. Technology troubles are also aplenty – while many students have made their way back to the classroom, some remain home. Video conferencing is not a perfect science by any means, and many students struggling mightily to remain “mentally present.” (LinkedIn thread)


And lastly, Amazon is being accused of price gouging on essential items like toilet paper and antibacterial soap in a report by consumer rights group Public Citizen. The Verge reports that the report analyzed over a dozen products, including those sold by third-party sellers and items listed as “sold by Amazon.” Between the months of May and August, Public Citizen says prices on some items more than quadrupled in price, actually breaking Amazon’s own Fair Pricing Policy. In a statement to the Verge, a spokesperson from Amazon said that Public Citizen’s report had identified a small number of pricing errors. They said that Amazon has removed “over a million offers for attempted price gouging” and has suspended over 10,000 selling accounts.

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.

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