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Hashtag Trending Dec 9 – Twitter Blue cost increase for iOS; Pentagon cloud contract; FBI concerned about Apple security features

Twitter Blue to cost more for iPhone users, big tech companies will share a multi-billion dollar contract from the Pentagon, and the FBI is concerned with Apple’s new security features. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday December 9th and I am your host, Ashee Pamma.

Even though the Twitter Blue plan is on a hiatus at the moment, when it makes its comeback iOS users will have to pay $11 per month. A report from The Information found that the subscription plan will cost $7 per month if you purchase from the web but to offset Apple’s App Store fees, iOS users will need to chip in a few extra dollars. Apple charges 30 per cent fees to the developers for the first year of subscription, but it drops to 15 per cent from the second year. Elon Musk has expressed his own concerns with Apple’s fee policy. Last month, he described them as a “secret tax” imposed by the company. 

Big tech companies Google, Oracle, Microsoft and Amazon will share Pentagon’s $9 billion contract to build its cloud computing network. The Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability aims to provide access to unclassified, and top-secret data to military workers across the world. According to AP News, it’s expected to act as an assistant for the Pentagon’s modern war operations, which will rely heavily on unmanned aircraft and space communications satellites, but need a way to get the intelligence from those platforms to troops on the ground in a quick, seamless manner. The contract is estimated to be complete by June 2028.

According to the FBI, Apple’s increasing security features on the iPhone “hinders” the agency’s ability to protect Americans. Apple’s new security plans include additional end to end encryption for most iCloud services. iMessage identity verification and two-factor authentication of Apple IDs using hardware keys are additional security features, expected to roll out in 2023. The FBI told the Washington Post that it was “deeply concerned with the threat end-to-end and user-only-access encryption pose,” speaking on concerns for people within the U.S. The agency said it will impact their ability to protect Americans from dangers such as cyber-attacks, violence against children, drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism. A report from Apple Insider noted that the FBI and others have continually pressed Apple to add a way for law enforcement to see all data, but Apple has refused.

Reddit’s Recap dropped on Thursday and revealed the top moments, communities and topics the Reddit community dove into in 2022. As of November, Reddit saw a total of 430 million and 2.5 billion comments. The most viewed communities on Reddit include “askreddit,” “NBA,” “World News,” and “Personal Finance Canada.” The “Made Me Smile” subreddit saw a 45 per cent increase in views compared to last year—making it the #38 most-viewed subreddit overall. Some of the biggest smiles came from posts about brave cancer survivors and proposals in mid-air.  A thread about news in Ukraine had 1.8 billion views with 6 million posts and comments in 2022 alone. Lastly, In the tech category, the subreddit “Space” went from the #11 to the  #4 most-viewed subreddit. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Ashee Pamma. 

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