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.
Astronomy Events to Look Out For in August
August is shaping up to be a special month for amateur astronomers with the last supermoon of the year, an annual meteor shower, and more.
Aug. 11: The third and final supermoon of the year rises. The next one is not set to occur until July 2023.
Aug. 11: On the same night as the supermoon, the annual Perseid meteor shower is set to return. On clear nights, up to 100 shooting stars an hour can be seen. However, due to the light reflected by the supermoon, the visibility of meteors will be significantly reduced.
Mid-August: Around the middle of the month, Saturn will reach opposition. This is the point in its orbit when it appears opposite of the sun from the perspective of the Earth. This is also around the same point in its orbit when it is closest to the Earth, making the ringed planet appear brighter than any other time of the year. Amateur astronomers can even get a glimpse of the sixth planet’s rings during this time of year using a telescope.
Aug. 19: The moon will meet up with Mars and the two will appear extremely close together. The duo will shine in the eastern sky above the constellation Orion. Jupiter will also be visible in the same region of the sky above and to the right of Mars and the moon.
Neuralink Co-Founder Leaves Company
Neuralink co-founder Paul Merolla, who helped launch the neurotech company in 2016, has left for unknown reasons. His departure follows a string of others in the last few years. Six of the original eight co-founders have now moved on from the company that co-founder Elon Musk said would deliver a “FitBit for your skull.”
Musk said in a 2019 presentation that Neuralink was aiming to receive regulatory approval for trials to implant chips into humans by the end of 2020, but the company has yet to receive such approval or bring a product to market, according to Reuters.
The lack of approvals and updates along with the recent departures is leading speculators to wonder whether the setbacks is an indicator of larger problems.
New Products Expected at Apple’s September Event
Apple holds an annual iPhone-centric event in September to introduce new iPhone models, and this year, we’re expecting the iPhone 14 and the Apple Watch Series 8, along with several other new products.
The iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, although not confirmed, are “practically a given,” according to Reuters. Other upgrades expected to be rolled out at the Steve Jobs Theater in September include the next generation of Air Pods — the Air Pods Pro 2 — and new iPad Pros and Macs.
According to reports, the iPhone 14 will retail at $899, while the iPhone 14 Max will have a price tag of $999. The Pro will debut at $1099, and the highest tier version, the Pro Max, will be $1199.
VR Chat Bans User-Made Mods
Players of the popular social virtual reality game VRChat voiced their outrage Monday after developer Epic Games stated it will implement Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) technology. The technology will ban all user-made mods with just one day’s notice, attracting the ire of its player base.
Update 2022.2.2, officially dubbed “The Security Update,” instituted Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) to crack down on “modified clients,” an expansive term that comprises both malicious hackers running modified VRChat software and everyday players using any of a wide variety of generally benign, community-made modifications meant to improve the user experience.
VRChat claimed anti-cheat would make the game “a better and safer place to hang out,” while squeezing out hackers.