All Things Technology news you need to know this Thursday:
1.Tech companies are grappling with Omicron concerns. As Covid-19 cases surge and concerns over the Omicron variant grow, some of the country’s biggest tech companies are implementing stricter rules — from masks to store closures to vaccine mandates.
*Apple is once again closing some of its stores. The company has temporarily closed three of its retail stores — in Miami, Maryland, and Ottawa, Canada — after a rise in Covid-19 cases and exposures among employees. It comes just a day after Apple reinstated its mask mandate at all stores across the country.
*Some companies are pushing back return-to-office plans. Google delayed its return past Jan. 10, Lyft announced it will let employees work remotely for all of 2022, and Meta told staff they can defer their return to office by three to five months.
*Meanwhile, Nike is sticking to its plan to return on Jan. 10 — but 54% of employees said it doesn’t give them enough flexibility.
*Employees who don’t adhere to Google’s vaccine mandate will lose their jobs. The company imposed a mandate that all employees must be vaccinated or show medical or religious exemption by Dec. 3 — and those who don’t will eventually lose their jobs.
2.Amazon Web Services experienced more issues yesterday. After experiencing a massive outage last week, the company reported more issues that impacted Netflix, Twitch, Slack, and other sites, but quickly resolved them.
3.Uber Eats made its first-ever delivery to space. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa delivered canned beef and boiled mackerel to astronauts aboard the International Space Station as part of his 12-day trip to space. Uber’s CEO gave Maezawa a “thumbs up” for his delivery.
4.David Chang’s fried-chicken restaurant Fuku cut ties with ghost-kitchen Reef. After reports of food-safety issues inside trailers run by Reef, Fuku has announced it will instead be working with the startup’s competitor, Kitchen United.
5.We outlined 55 tech startups to bet your career on in 2022. As more people rethink their careers amid the Great Resignation, we’ve created a list of startups to join that have all the markings of long-term success. From Maude, a sexual-wellness company, to NowRx, which offers same-day prescription delivery.
6.Amazon quietly rolled out over 30 warehouses in rural and “super rural” areas this year. The e-commerce giant is looking to take more delivery share from UPS and the US Postal Service.
7.Amazon created 599 million pounds of plastic packaging waste in 2020. A watchdog report found that an estimated 23.5 million pounds of that plastic ended up in the world’s oceans — but Amazon disputed the report, saying it’s off by “more than 300%.”
8.Elon Musk says no other CEO cares as much about safety as he does. Musk told The Financial Times he hasn’t misled or risked Tesla owners’ safety with the company’s self-driving assistance software, and that no CEO in the world pays as much attention to safety as he does.
9.Leaked documents reveal what Facebook and Instagram think of their rivals. The platforms see TikTok as their biggest concern, but less obvious platforms like Discord — and even texting — pose a threat to Facebook and Instagram’s young audience. From YouTube to LinkedIn.
10.Gen Zers and millennials would take a pay cut to move to a cheaper part of the US. More than half of Americans ages 18 to 34 said they’d accept a lower salary for a cheaper cost of living. Emerging tech hubs were of particular interest, with men eager to move to Miami, and women opting for Austin.
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