Amazon Reaches Out to Individual Bookstores: Amazon announced a program, Amazon Source, to allow independent bookstore owners to sell its popular reading devices, the Kindle. In return, the booksellers receive a small payment on each sale and a commission on all e-books the readers buys on the Kindle. The new program reaches out to Amazon’s ‘most bitter rivals’ to make up for lost valuable real estate for its Kindle line in certain stores, such as Target and Walmart – yet in doing so, has been met with skepticism from most booksellers in concern for the livelihood of their independent businesses.
Drinks by the Sensor: SteadyServ Technologies showcased a new piece of technology that allows restaurants and bars, and even perhaps their patrons, to keep track of the amount of beer remaining in a keg. The process involves placing a sensor under each keg to send signals to an app to indicate how fast the beer is being consumed and how much is less. The system, meant to help owners efficiently stock favorite drafts, also has the potential to be used to lure drinkers to a bar with ready supplies of unique and local brews.
3D-Printed Mini Human Liver – and it works! Scientists at Organovo have been improving their 3D-printed mini-livers. From the previous record of only five days, the revamped and more naturally composed mini-livers have broke their own record and carried out the same cellular functions as a natural human liver for 40 days in the lab. The improvements prove promising for the thousands of patients on organ transplant waiting lists.
An Exclusive Look into Xbox One’s Voice-activated Dashboard: Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox One, pushes the boundaries with its new dashboard experience. The Xbox One dashboard utilizes the Kinect to recognize users by their skeleton (even recognizing them in pitch darkness!) and log in; from there, the dashboard utilizes voice-recognition technology to carry out commands and functions between the new Xbox platform and TV integration. The console will be in stores, November 22.
By Connie Long, Columbia College, Class of 2016