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Hashtag Trending Dec 5 – Startup promises flying car by 2025; U.S. group asks for more semiconductor funding; Amazon layoffs

A startup backed by a Tesla investor promises a flying car model, the U.S. federal semiconductor aid asks for more funding, and Amazon will layoff almost 20,000 employees.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday December 5 and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

Alef Aeronautics, a startup backed by a Tesla investor announced that it will be able to take off into the air vertically and fly similar to a helicopter up to 110 miles on a single charge. In addition, the company revealed it plans to deliver these vehicles by 2025. CNBC reports Alef’s Model A will cost $300,000 and presales are currently open, with interested customers able to pay just a $150 deposit to get on the waiting list, or $1,500 for a “priority” spot on the list. The design plan for the car includes a carbon-fibre body with an open, mesh-like top that houses four propellers on each side. Once the car begins flying vertically, the vehicle will turn on its side, with the two-seat cockpit swivelling, allowing the propellers to steer it like an oversized flying drone. 

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the top booster for federal semiconductor aid in the U.S. said the country should invest $20 billion to $30 billion in semiconductor design and research and development through 2030 on top of the $52 billion in chip manufacturing subsidies that were approved by Congress in July. The SIA said additional funding is needed to ensure it doesn’t lose its leadership in chip design to other countries. The association said the funding could result in SIA additional design-related sales of about $450 billion over the next ten years while also creating 23,000 new design jobs. 

Amazon plans to let go almost 20,000 employees across the company over the next few months. These layoffs will impact distribution centre workers to corporate executives, a report in Computer World revealed. Employees at Amazon are ranked from level one to level seven, and staff at all levels will likely be affected. Twenty thousand employees are the equivalent of about six per cent of corporate staff, and about 1.3 per cent of Amazon’s total 1.5 million workforce including global distribution centre and hourly workers.

Taylor Swift fans are suing Ticketmaster over the mess from its November 15 ticket sale for her Eras Tour. Fans are suing the company for “fraud, price-fixing, and antitrust violations,” accusing it of “intentional deception” that allowed resellers to purchase most of the tickets and sell them at extremely high prices. According to The Deadline, the lawsuit alleges that Ticketmaster wasn’t strict enough with resellers and allowed them into the presale event in order to collect extra fees on resold tickets. The lawsuit asks for the court to hit the company with a civil fine of $2,500 per violation. 

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 Samira Balsara. 

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