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5 Things to Know This Morning — Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Every day we wake up, drink a cup of coffee, and get ready for work. Following are a handful of stories from around the tech world condensed to fit into one single cup of coffee. These are the things you need to know before you step foot out of your door (or in front of a webcam) and into the real world this morning.

So sit back, grab a cup, and start your morning off right with a few “Quick Bytes” from Innovation & Tech Today.

IRS Could Require Facial Recognition To Access Tax Records

Millions of Americans could soon have to scan their faces to access their Internal Revenue Service tax accounts. The IRS announced by summer 2022, taxpayers could be required to use facial recognition to access personal records such as child tax credits and tax transcripts. Videos of taxpayers’ faces would be sent to private contractor ID.me, following an $86 million contract with the IRS. The plan has prompted trepidation in Congress members and privacy advocates alike as there is currently no federal law that regulates how images and data can be used and shared. The IRS website is among the most visited government websites in the U.S, garnering over 1.9 billion visits in 2021.

Study: Intestinal Organoids Could be Key to Treating Diabetes, Other Endocrine Disorders

A new technology platform could utilize intestinal STEM cells and enteroendocrine (EE) cells to treat diseases, according to a new study published by Boston Children’s Hospital. Diabetes and gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome are some of the diseases that could potentially be treated by growing intestinal organoids from intestinal STEM cells and EE cells. Intestinal cells produce 15 different hormones within the endocrine system, and the new protocol is designed to identify drugs that could expand EE numbers and produce more of the needed hormones in patients.

AT&T Adds a 5G Prepaid Plan for $45, But Only at One Retailer

AT&T has forced a big change in prepaid plans with the announcement of a new $45/month 5G Unlimited Max plan. The service will only be available at Walmart, and the closest similar plan outside of Walmart is $65/month. The includes unlimited 5G data, unlimited talk and text, HD streaming and 100GB of cloud storage. The company is also making prepaid phones available at a cheaper rate, including the iPhone 11 for $299.

Sony Purchased Bungie for $3.6 Billion

Sony purchased video game developer Bungie on Monday for $3.6 billion in a rather surprising deal. Bungie has developed a variety of major titles including the Destiny and Halo franchises. Don’t worry, Xbox fans, they won’t be stripping the titles away. Sony representatives stated Bungie will continue to operate as an independent developer and did not demand platform exclusivity. Unlike other acquisitions, Bungie will operate alongside Sony, as opposed to under its thumb.

The Technology of 2070

By I&T Today

By I&T Today

Innovation & Tech Today features a wide variety of writers on tech, science, business, sustainability, and culture. Have an idea? Send it to submit@innotechtoday.com

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