Tech Information to Know This Week: March 7, -13, 2023

Each day we get up, drink some espresso, prepare for work and investigate cross-check the most recent tech information. So right here’s a handful of tales from across the tech world condensed to suit into that first cup. These are issues it is advisable know earlier than you step foot out of your door (or in entrance of a webcam) and into the actual world this morning.

Amazon Pauses Building on HQ2 After Layoffs

After a nationwide competitors that noticed states ruthlessly compete to host Amazon’s second headquarters, the web retail behemoth has introduced its pausing building. Dubbed HQ2, the undertaking being constructed within the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC.

The primary part of the undertaking, referred to as Metropolitan Park, is nearing completion with capability for 8000 staff. It’s anticipated to open mid-summer. However the second and bigger part, to be referred to as PenPlace, has been indefinitely placed on maintain. It was anticipated to deal with a further 17,000 workers.

The transfer comes as Amazon has seen a downturn in on-line gross sales and at its groceries. Since January, Amazon has introduced layoffs of 18,000 staff nationally.

At its primary headquarters in Seattle, complete flooring stay vacant as Amazon struggles with getting its dwindling variety of workers to return to the workplace post-pandemic. Amazon has additionally halted building on a brand new workplace tower in Nashville. 

Meta Debuts Fb Reels Function, Increasing Movies to 90 Seconds

Meta introduced that it’s extending the size of its Fb Reels characteristic from 60 to 90 seconds. Meta had beforehand achieved the identical for Instagram. Meta can also be including a number of new artistic instruments to Reels, together with trending templates. 

The enhancements are seen as a response to TikTok, which not too long ago prolonged its video size to 10 minutes, as a substitute of three. The templating device can also be much like a TikTok characteristic. 

Reels can also be getting a brand new characteristic referred to as Grooves that robotically syncs the video’s movement to the beat of the background music. This too is similar to a characteristic TikTok is thought for. 

Now that Reels is offered on Fb and Instagram, it permits customers to cross-post movies on each platforms. With the Metaverse failing to realize market traction, it seems that Meta is searching for to shore up Fb and Instagram, as TikTok continues to overhaul these companies. 

Norway Set to Launch World’s Largest Hydrogen Powered Ferries.

SEAM, a Norwegian firm specializing in zero-emission propulsion for maritime functions, has entered into an settlement with Sweden’s PowerCell. The deal will energy two ferries on Norway’s longest routes and is valued at $20.4 million (€19.2 million), the largest-ever maritime hydropower undertaking to this point. 

Norway has mandated that every one new ferries for the four-hour Vestfjorden fjord crossing have to be emission-free. Hydrogen energy is presently the one choice for such an extended ferry transit. The ferries will carry as much as 600 passengers, 120 cars and twelve business vehicles. 

Credit score: DFDS

The ferries are anticipated to be delivered in late 2024. However the Vestfjorden ferries will lose their title as world’s largest hydrogen powered by hydrogen in 2027. That’s when two hydrogen-powered vessels, generally known as Eruopa and Seaways, are set to start service between Copenhagen and Oslo.

The plan is to gasoline the ferries with hydrogen produced by offshore wind energy in Denmark.

Hydrogen-powered Airliner Makes Maiden Flight

California-based, Common Hydrogen, efficiently flew its 40-passenger regional airliner from its Grant County Worldwide Airport homebase in Washington. The flight lasted quarter-hour and reached an altitude of three,500 ft. 

Credit score: Common Hydrogen

The flight was performed below a particular FAA airworthiness certificates and was the primary take a look at flight of the plane conversion powered fully by hydrogen. A previous take a look at flight had been performed with one hydrogen engine and one typical engine for security.  

If the 2 12 months trial is profitable, the ATR72 regional airliner will start passenger service in 2025. 

“The airplanes are transformed to hydrogen utilizing an aftermarket retrofit conversion package, tackling the prevailing fleet somewhat than creating a model new airplane,” mentioned Paul Eremenko, CEO of Common Hydrogen. “And hydrogen fueling makes use of modular capsules suitable with current freight networks and airport cargo dealing with gear, making each airport on this planet hydrogen-ready.”