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.
Nobel Prize Awarded to Swedish Scientist for Gene Sequencing in Neanderthals
Swedish geneticist Svante Pääbo received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Monday for his discoveries relating to the genomes of extinct hominins.
Pääbo successfully recovered and analyzed ancient DNA to sequence the genome of the Neanderthal, an extinct relative of present-day humans. He also discovered a previously unknown human relative, called the Denisova.
The discoveries proved crucial in determining the genetic divergence between early hominins and homo sapiens, shedding light on what makes modern-day humans unique to our ancient ancestors.
Pääbo’s work made it possible to precisely analyze the genetic characteristics of Neanderthals and helped illuminate how different types of humans mixed on the planet during periods of coexistence, according to the WSJ.
Amazon Fall Event Highlights
Amazon’s fall event Tuesday saw the announcement of several new products as well as updates to existing ones. Some of the highlights included:
Kindle Scribe: After years of anticipation, the Kindle finally has a stylus. The Kindle Scribe allows users to write notes and annotate books and journals. However, the new features come with a substantially upgraded price of $339.
Halo Rise: Amazon is continuing its expansion into the health and wellness market with a new body monitoring alarm clock. The device uses a low-power radar sensor that measures body movements, such as your chest rising and falling as you breathe. Aware of users’ apprehension about being recorded 24/7, the Halo Rise does not use cameras or microphones, instead relying solely on its sensors.
Fire TV Cube and Fire TV: The latest upgrade to the Fire TV offers a new, more home aesthetic-friendly design. Amazon has also equipped it with a more powerful 2GHz octa-core processor, and an HDMI connection for TV passthrough. Taking advantage of the latter feature, users can switch to specific channels with voice commands. Alongside the Fire TV Cube, Amazon introduced the $35 Alexa Voice Remote Pro.
Solar-Powered Town Near Fort Myers, FL, Suffers Little Damage From Hurricane Ian
A town only 12 miles northeast of Fort Myers, Florida, experienced no power outages after Hurricane Ian due to its reliance on solar energy and ingenious engineering.
Babcock Ranch, a town that calls itself “America’s first solar-powered town,” has a solar array made up of 700,000 individual panels that generates more electricity than the 2,000-home neighborhood uses. Since the town doesn’t rely on an electrical grid, it was spared the major outages experienced by nearby areas.
Babcock Ranch was designed to withstand a hurricane. The streets of neighborhood were engineered to flood so the houses don’t. In a state where hurricane damage is a high risk, Babcock Ranch could prove to be a successful model to replicate on a large scale.
New Theory Suggests Black Holes are Portals to Another Reality
The sci-fi theory that black holes are portals to another universe could have basis in fact, according to a new theory.
In a paper published in the journal Physics Letters B, Indiana University physicist Nikodem Poplawski presents new mathematical models of the spiraling motion of matter falling into a black hole.
The models suggest black holes could be tunnels to other universes — a concept also known as a wormhole.
According to Einstein’s equations for general relativity, singularities created at the heart of a black hole are infinitely dense, yet take up no space.
Conversely, Poplawski’s theory suggests the matter black holes absorb and seemingly destroy is actually expelled and becomes the building blocks for galaxies, stars, and planets in another reality.
According to the new model, this could be how our universe began via the Big Bang.