Tech Digest daily roundup: Apple store workers vote to unionise

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Workers at an Apple store in Maryland have voted to unionise, forming the tech giant’s first retail union in the United States. The employees of the shop in Towson passed the measure 65-33, with about a dozen abstentions. After the result came in, the group tweeted: “Now we celebrate… tomorrow we keep organising.” It is the third Apple store to launch a union drive this year, but the first to successfully hold a vote. The new Apple Core union – short for the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees – penned an open letter to Apple in May, saying its bid was “about us as workers gaining access to rights that we do not currently have”. BBC 

Bitcoin has plunged below $20,000 for the first time since 2020, as tightening monetary policy across the world prompts a flight from riskier assets.  The world’s largest cryptocurrency fell more than 9pc on Saturday morning, marking 12 straight days of declines. This means Bitcoin prices are now more than 70pc lower than where they were in November last year. Other crypto tokens have similarly collapsed in price, with trillions having been wiped from the value of digital coins since they hit a high last year. Telegraph

WhatsApp has rolled out several new features this past week, including the ability to mute people during group calls (via Android Central). This sanity-saving feature seems helpful not just for muting people who forget to do it themselves, but also if you’re in the same room as someone who’s also on the call and don’t want to hear an echo of what they say. While some conferencing apps, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, let hosts mute all participants (or specific ones), they typically don’t offer a way for individual users to mute whoever they want during a call. The Verge 

Large tech companies, such as Google and Meta, will have to take action on deepfakes and fake accounts – or risk facing huge fines. New EU regulation, supported by the Digital Services Act (DSA), will demand tech firms deal with these forms of disinformation on their platforms. Firms may be fined up to 6% of their global turnover if they do not comply. The strengthened code aims to prevent profiting from disinformation and fake news on their platforms, as well as increasing transparency around political advertising and curbing the spread of ‘new malicious behaviours’ such as bots, fake accounts and deepfakes. BBC 

Federal regulators say Verizon and AT&T will delay part of their 5G rollout near airports to give airlines more time to ensure that equipment on their planes is safe from interference from the wireless signals, but the airline industry is not happy about the deal. An airline industry trade group said federal regulators are taking a “rushed approach” to changing equipment on planes under pressure from the telecommunications companies. The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday that the wireless companies agreed to delay some of their use of the C-Band section of the radio spectrum until July 2023. AP News 

 

Chris Price
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