Donald Trump says he is considering pardoning whistleblower Edward Snowden, Ontario makes a bid for Silicon Valley talent, and Fortnite throws a counterpunch at Apple.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Monday, August 17, and I’m your host Alex Coop.


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U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest distraction comes in the form of a sudden decision to potentially pardon the former government contractor who illegally leaked classified documents exposing the National Security Agency’s gathering of American phone records in 2013. Back then, Trump called Edward Snowden a “traitor” who should be executed. There’s a tweet to prove it. There’s always a Tweet. Trump first signalled a change in heart about Snowden in an interview with the New York Post last week.

Ontario’s tech industry is enticing workers to move to Canada through a $100,000 billboard campaign in Silicon Valley. Nine billboards along Highway 101 ask “What if my visa gets cancelled?” and “What if I lose my job and health insurance?” The billboard campaign, led by Canadian tech group Communitech, comes after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the suspension of some work visas. Canadian tech companies are seeing the U.S. visa ban as an opportunity to welcome new talent, CBC News reports.

And lastly, we’re dipping our toes into the world of video games for a moment, because Fortnite creator Epic Games is swinging back at Apple for removing the massively popular game from its app store in a legal battle over payments. Epic Games’ Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite commercial, a parody of one of Apple’s most iconic ads, “1984,” is turning heads and garnering applause from marketers. Here’s the backstory: Epic is suing Apple and Google after the two companies removed Fortnite from their app stores. Epic had introduced a “payment gateway” offering discounts on in-app purchases if customers paid the game maker directly. Apple and Google claim the move violates their respective app stores’ terms.

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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