Scientists at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and utility Hydro-Quebec are hoping to harness the power of solar energy to create a smartphone battery that charges itself. They are centering their research around photo-sensitive molecules that can generate small amounts of power.
GfK MRI's Cord Evolution study examined the differences among the 45 million viewers who don't have cable or satellite subscriptions. Findings showed that those who cancel their subscriptions rely more heavily on their mobile devices, while viewers who have never had a pay-TV service find other ways to spend their money and prefer short-form video.
Global consumer electronics sales are expected to take a slight year-over-year dip in 2017 but will recover in 2018 to $954 billion, per Jurgen Boyny of research firm GfK. Boyny notes that several emerging technologies will boost the market in 2018, including mobile commerce, smart home devices, augmented and virtual reality, connected cars and mobile payments.
Square may be looking to extend its reach in a new direction with the reported acquisition of five to 10 engineers from social network Yik Yak. Yik Yak has lost a lot of ground since its debut in 2013 as a smartphone app for anonymous chat groups in a defined geographical area.
Social media stars who post sponsored content on Instagram without disclosing the sponsorship are getting new attention from the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC says posts should make it clear when there is sponsorship.
Nostalgia and tech updates are driving turntable sales, as this segment saw 16% sales growth between March 2016 and February 2017, per data from The NPD Group. NPD Executive Director Ben Arnold said, "The turntable market has been revitalized by a mixture of expanding colorways and form factors that appeal to design-focused shoppers, as well as updated features like Bluetooth to keep up with the wider trend towards connectivity in audio."
Chinese electronics firm TCL is seeking approval from the US government on an investment in an unnamed US technology company that could be worth as much as $300 million. TCL Chairman Li Dongsheng has urged the Trump administration to approve the deal, which would help the company transform itself from being a big player in China's devices market to a global technology powerhouse.
Twitch has unveiled an affiliate program for video creators who don't have large followings but show potential, as a gateway for them to progress to partner status and allow them to share in advertising profits. The platform attracts gaming creators, as well as musicians, foodies and artists, and the affiliate initiative will let viewers reward their favorite creators with digital busking-type donations.
Fifty-nine percent of broadband households visit online video sites regularly, while 39% visit a video-sharing site at least once per week, a Parks Associates survey has found. The 18-to-24 demographic visits a sharing site an average of 13 days per month, the survey found.
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