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Hashtag Trending Aug 16 – AT&T wants its employees back at the office; Is Apple bringing ads to its pre-installed apps?; SpaceX is letting researchers hack Starlink

AT&T employees are being forced to return to the office, Apple could bring ads to some of its apps, SpaceX is letting researchers hack into Starlink.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, August 16, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

AT&T employees, represented by the Communications Workers of America, agreed to a work from home extension until the end of March 2023. However, workers say that the company is forcing many of them to return to the office sooner than that, and that other departments had already called their staff to return to the office by their managers. Some employees are being told to return as early as September 2022. AT&T workers have now started a petition for making working from home a permanent option. An AT&T spokesperson did not provide data on how many workers at the company are currently working from home, but said it was never the company’s intention to make working from home a permanent option.

Source: The Guardian

Apple could bring ads to some apps that come pre-installed on Apple devices, including Maps, Books, and Podcasts. A report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has revealed that the company internally tested search ads in Maps, which could display recommendations when users search for stores or restaurants nearby. Gurman said that Apple could also introduce ads to its Podcasts and Books apps. This would allow publishers to place ads in areas within each app, or pay to get their content placed higher in search results. Apple already uses a similar advertising plan in its App Store, as developers can pay to have their app promoted on a search page. Just like Maps, Podcasts and Books are currently ad-free. According to The Verge, this move indicated that Apple is looking to expand its advertising business.

Source: The Verge

SpaceX is allowing responsible researchers to hack into its satellite internet network, Starlink. The company said that it could pay them up to $25,000 for discovering certain bugs in the service. This was announced after one security researcher said he was able to hack into Starlink using a homemade device. The researcher performed the test as part of SpaceX’s bug bounty program, in which researchers submit findings of potential vulnerabilities in Starlink’s network. SpaceX congratulated the research on his findings, adding that it allows “responsible security researchers to do their own testing,” and that it provides monetary rewards when vulnerabilities are found and reported.

Source: Business Insider

Seventeen-year-old Robert Sansone has created a motor that could transform the electric car industry. His research could pave the way for the sustainable manufacturing of electric vehicles that do not require rare-earth magnets. A few years ago, Sansone learned that mining the rare-earth elements used in electric motors can be expensive and damaging to the environment. Sansone designed a prototype of a novel synchronous reluctance motor that had greater rotational force and efficiency than existing ones, according to an article from Smithsonian Magazine. The prototype was created from 3-D printed plastic, copper wires and a steel rotor. It was then tested using a variety of instruments, including a laser tachometer, to determine the motor’s power and speed. Sansone won the first prize for his design, along with $75,000 in winnings, at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the largest international high school STEM competition.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

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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