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Weekly Rewind: The best of MWC, Samsung’s latest scandal, and a tattling teddy bear

top tech stories 03 2017 solar skins wr 3 2 17
A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top 10 tech stories, from what happened at Mobile World Congress 2017 to custom solar panel skins — it’s all here.

Digital Trends Top Tech of MWC 2017 Award Winners

Though it’s a beautiful place to visit, it’s not easy to get to Spain in late winter, and attending MWC is more expensive than buying a new iPhone. Well, we’re here to help. Our crack team of mobilers, led by DT Mobile Editor Malarie Gokey, has scoured the halls of the Fira Gran Via. If you just want to know what the hottest stuff is, we’ve got it for you. We’ve compiled a list consisting of our favorite phone, tablet, gadget, wearable, accessory, and piece of emerging tech at the show.

Read the full story here.

Following probe, Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong indicted on bribery charges

The verdict is in, and it’s another blow to Samsung. After a months-long investigation into the role Samsung and its heir apparent Lee Jae-yong played in a political scandal that has rocked South Korea, prosecutors have announced that the Samsung executive will be indicted. He faces charges of bribery, embezzlement, perjury, hiding assets abroad, and concealing profit gained from criminal acts. If found guilty, Jae-yong could face years in prison.

Read the full story here.

Volvo Trucks previews a heavy-duty model that’s up to 30 percent more efficient

Volvo Trucks — a company completely independent of Volvo Cars — has introduced an experimental heavy-duty truck powered by a hybrid drivetrain. The prototype showcases realistic, close-to-production ways to begin weening the long-haul transport industry off of fossil fuels. Called simply Concept Truck, the model is an update of a prototype originally introduced in May of last year.

Read the full story here.

Why the future looks bright for Li-Fi, internet that travels through light

Internet access is fast becoming a basic human right, but there are problems with our current delivery systems. As we connect more and more devices to the internet, a spectrum crunch is increasingly inevitable. Li-Fi, which allows us to access the internet via light rather than the radio frequencies that Wi-Fi relies upon, could open up a lot of bandwidth. This year at MWC in Barcelona, we sat down again with PureLi-Fi COO Harald Burchardt to find out how far the team has come in the last 12 months.

Read the full story here.

Connected CloudPets teddy bears blab on owners, leak 2 million voice recordings

Remember when the worst thing that could happen to your doll was it losing an eye? How times have changed. In the latest toy scandal, it would appear that a connected teddy bear leaked the voice recordings of more than 2 million children and parents, along with email addresses and password information associated with more than 800,000 accounts.

Read the full story here.

Will everyone please shut up about 5G?

If we’ve learned anything from Mobile World Congress 2017, it’s that 5G is just around the corner and it’s going to revolutionize our smartphone experience. We’ll be able to download libraries of 4K High Dynamic Range movies in less than a second, upload our entire camera rolls to Facebook in the blink of an eye, stream incredible live VR events in real time, and hell, maybe even download a car.  But the dawn of 5G, a standard that still has no agreed definition, is almost certainly at least three years away.

Read the full story here.

This machine pulverizes glass bottles, turns them into fine-grain sand in just 5 seconds

How do you dispose of a bottle of beer once you’re done drinking it? You crush it into fine-grain sand, right? Well, thanks to a smart new promotion created by New Zealand brewers DB Breweries — working alongside the ad agency Colenso BBDO New Zealand — it’s possible to do exactly that. “Two thirds of the world’s beaches are retreating as people across the world use non-renewable beach sand for construction, roading and other uses,” Simon Smith, brand PR and digital manager for DB Breweries, told Digital Trends.

Read the full story here.

Absurd dating show ‘Game of Clones’ lets contestants design their ideal partner

What happens when you take the latest in avatar-building technology, cross it with lusty singletons, and add a pinch of Vertigo for good measure? Probably something like Game of Clones, an oddball, surprisingly techie new United Kingdom dating game show, which asks its participants to design their ideal partner, and then tracks down enough of them to fill a room. “I pitched this as, ‘If Alfred Hitchcock had made a dating show, it would look like this,” David Flynn told Digital Trends.

Read the full story here.

Netflix teaser for ‘War Machine’ features Brad Pitt as a high-ranking general

Netflix grabbed our attention in 2015 when it paid $30 million for the rights to the upcoming Brad Pitt film War Machine, and we’re finally getting closer to seeing if the investment was a good one. The film is due out this spring, and the streamer released the first teaser on Wednesday. Billed as “an absurdist war story for our times,” the film is inspired by journalist Michael Hastings’ 2012 nonfiction book The Operators. Written and directed by David Michod, the movie fictionalizes real-life events, resulting in sharp satire.

Read the full story here.

Solar Skins could help aesthetics-conscious homeowners go green

If you find that solar panels break the lines of your home’s aesthetic, or feel that covering your roof in solar cells is a waste of advertising space, Sistine Solar’s new solar skins could be what you’re looking for. They let you make your rooftop panels look like whatever you want, without much impact on efficiency. Winner of the 2013 MIT Clean Energy Prize, Sistine Solar’s design is a relatively simple one: placing a thin, printable layer within the panel itself. That lets owners match their panels to their roof, or go for a custom color scheme altogether.

Read the full story here.

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