Roundup – Amazon’s job cull begins; UK amends Online Safety Bill
Amazon kicks-off new round of job cuts affecting almost 20,000 staff
The ecommerce giant is set to begin a new round of job cuts after announcing plans earlier this month to lay off over 18,000 employees, the largest job cull in its history. The latest round, which will take effect on Wednesday, will largely affect the retail division and human resources. The slashes amount to around 6% of Amazon’s corporate employees around the world.
“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” chief executive officer Andy Jassy said earlier this month in a memo to employees. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.”
Apple halts launch of AR glasses but forges ahead with mixed-reality headset
Apple has long been rumoured to be eyeing entry into the augmented reality space, but the iPhone maker has reportedly halted its plans indefinitely due to technical issues.
However, Apple is still set to debut its mixed-reality headset this spring. The headset combines both AR and VR and, according to Bloomberg, the device will cost around $3,000. Apple’s main rival would include the likes of Meta Platforms’ Quest Pro virtual and mixed-reality headset which it launched last year for half of Apple’s reported price. The tech giant is currently working on lowering the price of its follow-up version which it expects to launch as soon as 2024 or early 2025.
Social media bosses could face jail after Sunak government amends Online Safety Bill
In a bid to avoid a Conservative revolt, the UK government has amended the Online Safety Bill to penalise senior managers who have consented or connived in ignoring enforceable requirements, risking serious harm to children.
Michelle Donelan, the culture secretary, said in a written statement that the penalties, including imprisonment and fines, will be commensurate with similar offences. Former cabinet ministers, including ex-home secretary Priti Patel and former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, were among those who backed the change.
The amendment has passed its third reading in the UK parliament without a vote and now heads to the House of Lords for further scrutiny by peers.
Intel seeks more subsidies for chip plant in Europe
The US chip giant will construct its chip fabrication plant in Magdeburg, Germany, and is currently in talks with the government regarding funding. Intel had originally planned to begin construction at the start of this year, however the decision was postponed to attract more public subsidies.
Germany’s economy ministry’s spokesperson told Reuters that “the type and [maximum possible] amount of funding depends on approval by the EU Commission – and for this, clear benchmarks and data on the company’s project are needed.”
Intel’s chief global operations, Keyvan Esfarjani, assured, “we are committed to making the Magdeburg project successful,” however said that the firm must pace itself. “We can’t take our eye off the ball,” he added
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