Hashtag Trending – Battery-free phone, Apple’s China backlash
Apple’s in hot water again, a battery-free phone, and another tech giant is backing universal basic income.
Starting with Twitter, researchers in the U.S. have unveiled a prototype of a battery-free mobile phone using technology that it hopes will eventually be integrated into mass-market products. The phone charges itself by harvesting tiny amounts of power from radio frequency waves, which are used all around us for things like broadcasting FM or AM radio, in cell phone towers, and more. The first prototype was just built and looks more like a circuit board than a phone right now, but the researchers say they plan to release an actual product within eight or nine months.
From Reddit, Apple is facing a lot of criticism following its decision to comply with the Chinese government’s request for it to remove VPN apps – or virtual private networks, which allow users to access a temporary IP address and hide their own to browse anonymously – from its App Store in the country. Apple has removed 400 of these apps so far and people in China are upset because with the government’s strict regulation of the Internet, these VPNs were the key to accessing blocked sites and making sure they’re not tracked by the authorities.
And on Google Trends today, we have another tech giant backing universal basic income, a concept that would guarantee a cash payment to every resident in a country regardless of their employment status. Many people are saying this safety net will be necessary with so many job losses expected to come as a result of the rapid evolution of technology, and Slack’s CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield is jumping on the bandwagon along with Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.