One of the major stories on the global tech scene this week is that Amazon has finally acceded to its workforce’s clamour for an increase in the average hourly pay. In other news, Google is redefining its ‘search engine’ to help people explore and gather information in new ways, plus an interesting report that crypto organisations are topping the fintech space in terms of performance.
If you missed out on these major tech updates across the world, this week, don’t worry. We have got you covered. Here is a roundup of major Global Tech news from across the world.
Summary of the Bulletin:
- Amazon finally concedes to Union
- Apple stocks dip
- Tesla appoints AirBnB co-founder to Board
- Google is redefining search engine
- Crypto platforms lead the fintech space
Amazon accedes to Union demands
Amazon has finally acceded to a request to increase the hourly pay of its workers after spending almost $4.3 million on anti-union consultants alone last year. This raised further questions as to why the company would not just pay the money to workers instead.
Now, Amazon has done just that.
Over the next year, Amazon will dedicate nearly $1 billion to increasing the average wages of its warehouse and transportation workers from about $18 to $19 per hour. Amazon will also expand access to Anytime Pay, a tool that allows employees to access up to 70% of their paychecks sooner than once every week or two, TechCrunch reports.
Amazon staff received their first union in Staten Island earlier less than 12 months ago. Other unions have risen after that across different locations. Ever since, these unions have raised conversations about overheating warehouses, poor COVID-19 working circumstances, unlawful intimidation techniques and low pay.
Meanwhile, the National Labor Relations Board has issued numerous citations against Amazon for improperly interfering with employee labour organizations.
Apple stocks dip
After launching the latest iPhone 14 iOS phones earlier this month, Apple has told suppliers that it will be taking a step back from production due to low demand for the latest model.
Shares of Apple fell 1.3% on Wednesday on a report that the company has told suppliers to bail on plans to increase iPhone 14 production. Demand for the new models failed to spike as high as anticipated, according to Bloomberg.
Apple will no longer aim to increase production by 6 million units in the second half of the year as it had planned, according to the report. The company will strive to produce 90 million units instead, which is roughly in line with Apple’s forecast and production from last year, Bloomberg says.
Suppliers and producers for Apple were also harmed by the news. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing’s stock dropped 1.2% as well. Hon Hai, popularly known as Foxconn, saw a 2.9% decline in share price.
Apple’s iPhones are made by Foxconn.
Tesla appoints AirBnB co-founder to Board
Tesla has appointed Airbnb co-founder and billionaire Joe Gebbia to its board of directors, according to a securities filing.
Gebbia, a designer who co-founded Airbnb, officially joined the board on September 25 as an independent director and is replacing Oracle Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison who left the board earlier this year.
“We are pleased to welcome Joe Gebbia to Tesla’s Board of Directors, effective September 25, 2022,” Tesla said in a blog post on Wednesday.
According to TechCrunch, His appointment comes a few months after leaving day-to-day operations at Airbnb. He is now an advisor to the short-term rental company and also serves on its board. Gebbia also is on the board of Airbnb.org, an organization that encourages its hosts to open homes in times of crisis.
Gebbia has spent the last 14 years of his career as co-founder of Airbnb. With the help of the platform he and his co-founders created, travellers looking for authentic local experiences may now book apartments in almost every country on earth.
Together with his equity compensation, Gebbia has waived any entitlement to cash compensation until July 2023, according to the filing posted on Wednesday.
Google is redefining its search engine
Google, on Wednesday, September 28, held the 2022 edition of ‘Search On’, the company’s annual virtual event to announce new features and developments in Search.
The search engine giant, at the live-streamed event, showed off a bunch of new ways for people to search the internet. The company also revealed how machine learning advancements are helping people to gather and explore information in new ways, and of course, made some key announcements.
In interviews ahead of the event, Google executives said over and over that search is undergoing a total reinvention.
For two decades, “roughly the rules of the game are, ‘Dear human, if you follow the rules and script your queries just right, we’ll give you amazing answers to your needs,’” says Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s SVP in charge of search. “But thanks to incredible — and frankly unprecedented — advances in AI and machine learning and computer vision, the tables are turning now.”
The Google Lens and Multisearch features, which let you search using a photo and subsequently edit it with text thanks to advancements in AI and computer vision, are two of the most significant innovations.
According to Google, each month, people use Lens to answer more than 8 billion questions, using their camera or an image. Earlier this year, the company introduced multisearch, which it describes as “a major milestone in how people search for information”.
Also, citing major advancements in machine learning, the company said it is now able to blend translated text into complex images, which makes the text look and feel much more natural:
“For example, if you point your phone at text on a poster, the translated text will be realistically overlaid over the pictures underneath.”
Crypto platforms lead the fintech space
The fintech industry is gradually shifting from the conventional financial service players and model to a crypto-owned industry, this is according to a study by Utility Bidder.
The study reveals that five out of the top ten most prominent fintech organisations for 2022 are crypto companies. This is important because it mirrors the impact and effects the revolutionary blockchain technology has made in barely a decade of existence in the financial market, Technext reports.
The Utility Bidder study analysed the top 50 fintech companies on the Forbes’ 2022 Fintech list. The research took into account the following four factors: total funding raised, the latest known valuation, the number of Twitter followers as of August 10, 2022, and the number of annual global searches between July 2021 and June 2022 according to Google Ads Keyword Planner.
Each company was assigned a normalised score out of ten for each factor, and the average of all four scores was used to determine the final ranking.
Among the top ten firms, OpenSea, the world’s largest non-fungible token marketplace, ranked second. It is also the leading blockchain and cryptocurrency company on the list with an overall fintech score of 8.61, just behind Chime, a personal finance company that tops the list with 9.69.
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