For Now, at Least, the World Isn’t Making Enough Batteries

There’s booming demand for one of the product categories Tesla makes that gets far less focus than its cars. Residential-energy storage has been surging in the U.S., with more capacity installed in the second quarter than in all of last year. Tesla sells its Powerwall to homeowners.

Source: For Now, at Least, the World Isn’t Making Enough Batteries – Bloomberg

Chinese Researchers Are Outperforming Americans in Science

For decades, China’s growth was driven by shifting workers from agriculture to manufacturing. As the country started to approach the so-called Lewis turning point, when such shifts no longer raise overall productivity, the government made an increasingly concerted effort to build the scientific base to provide another vector for growth. The results of those efforts are showing up in both the rankings of Chinese universities (11 of the top 100 globally) and in scholarly output.

Source: Chinese Researchers Are Outperforming Americans in Science – Bloomberg

Best Buy Should Be Dead, But It’s Thriving in the Age of Amazon

After knocking gently on the front door, they would step back and stand to the right, smiling, head down slightly, arms uncrossed, name tag visible on their blue, wrinkle-free Best Buy polo shirts. They would shake hands firmly, avoiding the dead fish or the lobster claw.

Once inside, they would offer to remove their shoes. They wouldn’t lean on the walls or place their Best Buy tablets on the furniture. If they noticed a cat, they would know better than to say they own a dog, and they definitely wouldn’t

Source: Businessweek – Bloomberg

Global PC shipments grew 1.4% in Q2 2018, first increase in 6 years

Gartner estimates that worldwide PC shipments grew 1.4 percent to 62.1 million units in Q2 2018. The top five vendors were Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, and Acer. Lenovo in particular saw big gains (its highest growth rate since the first quarter of 2015), although that’s largely due in part to the inclusion of units from its joint venture with Fujitsu.

Source: Gartner: Global PC shipments grew 1.4% in Q2 2018, first increase in 6 years | VentureBeat

How Bitcoin Ends

We thought the net would break the monopoly of top-down, corporate media. But as business interests took over it has become primarily a delivery system for streaming television to consumers, and consumer data to advertisers.

Source: How Bitcoin Ends

This explains why bitcoin has become less a means of exchange than a speculative pyramid, as well as why the coin’s developers and early investors have ended up billionaires. The wealth disparity in bitcoin is worse than that of central currency, with 4% of users owning 96% of bitcoin. So much for breaking the banking monopoly; this is just hackers seizing the banking industry for themselves.

Facebook lost around 2.8 million U.S. users under 25 last year. 2018 won’t be much better.

The reality: The number of U.S. Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic declined by 9.9 percent in 2017, eMarketer found, or about 1.4 million total users. That’s almost three times the decline expected. There were roughly 12.1 million U.S. Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic by the end of the year.

Source: Facebook lost around 2.8 million U.S. users under 25 last year. 2018 won’t be much better. – Recode

Researchers find that one person likely drove Bitcoin from $150 to $1,000

The bottom line is simple: if Bitcoin wants to be taken seriously it probably shouldn’t be this easy or legal to manipulate the markets. While decentralization is supposed to replace regulation it’s clear that there is still a way to go before it can be truly taken seriously.

Source: Researchers find that one person likely drove Bitcoin from $150 to $1,000 | TechCrunch

Move Over, Bitcoin. Ether Is the Digital Currency of the Moment.

In a recent survey of 1,100 virtual currency users, 94 percent were positive about the state of Ethereum, while only 49 percent were positive about Bitcoin, the industry publication CoinDesk said this month.

Source: Move Over, Bitcoin. Ether Is the Digital Currency of the Moment. – The New York Times

Investors buying Ether are placing a bet that people will want to use the Ethereum network’s computing capabilities and will need the currency to do so. But that is far from a sure thing. And real-world use of the network is still scant.

Sports and the “Millennial Problem”

As they continue to move away from traditional sports viewing, a growing number of Millennials are instead flocking to alternatives such as eSports, including live video-gaming competitions such as The International, an annual tournament devoted to DOTA 2. Though such events aren’t organized in the traditional sense, the growing popularity of eSports nonetheless has the potential to further diminish Millennials’ loyalty to traditional sports.

Source: L.E.K. Sports Survey — Digital Engagement Part One: Sports and the “Millennial Problem” – 1912_Sports_Survey_Part_1a.pdf

PC market shows signs of recovery

IDC expects PC vendors to ship a total of 258.2 million units this year, a figure which would be 6.4 percent lower than last year. The previous estimate was a 7.2 percent fall, which IDC announced in August. Growth will still be negative in 2017, but shipments are expected to decrease by just 2.6 percent compared to this year.

Source: PC market shows signs of recovery