Ideas, Intelligence, Events and Promotions from WIRED

The Gadget All Home-Brewers Must Have

Image via Uncrate

So you love brewing your own beer at home, but hate how much time (and, more importantly, attention) it takes, right? Meet BeerBug, your new best friend.

This WiFi-enabled gadget lets you monitor your concoction from the web browser of any computer hooked up to the Internet or your smart phone. It measures the important things – like gravity, temperature and, of course, alcohol content, and has a rechargeable battery that lasts nearly a month, so your batch won’t go bad while you’re on vacation.

Another option, of course, is just buying your beer – but where’s the fun in that? 

Gastronaut

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#Beer  
#Gadget  
|  September 19th, 2014

These Chopsticks Can Stave Off Food Poisoning

Photo via Food Beast

Chopsticks are one of the oldest, most traditional ways to eat food. But, these chopsticks are neither old nor traditional, and are majorly upping the bar for utensils everywhere. 

According to FoodBeast, these chopsticks are Bluetooth-enabled, therefore offering the ability to communicate with your smart phone, and they can read the PH levels, temperature and contaminated oils in any given food, giving you advance notice before you consume tainted cuisine – you know, before you discover it three days later, in the bathroom. Unfortunately, as of now, it’s still not clear if they’re available for purchase.

Here’s a demonstration video (but, by the way, it’s in Japanese. Watch only if you’re a visual learner). 

Gastronaut

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#Foodie  
|  September 19th, 2014

Watch the Video that Explains How Decaf Coffee is Made

imageImage via Eater

Craig Benzine of Mental Floss has created a video to explain to the layman exactly how decaf coffee is made (though, as he points out, it’s important to note that coffee is rarely entirely decaffeinated – there are a handful of milligrams of caffeine, ranging from 8.6 to 13.9, to be exact, in 9 out of every 10 cups of “decaf” coffee. In other words, only 94% – 98% of caffeine is generally removed from the beans – but don’t worry, we’ve all been living the same lie).

Putting that injustice aside, let’s get down to the science. Basically, the process involves taking the green bean (no, not that green bean – he’s talking about the coffee beans before they’re ripe), steaming or soaking them in water, and then getting down to the decaffeination.

There a few methods the totally hilarious Benzine explains, one of which involves trapping the beans in a pressurized container with some good old fashion carbon dioxide, the agent that will proceed to remove the caffeine, and subsequently be separated from the beans.

For more details on the other “solvents” used to remove caffeine, watch the video here.

Gastronaut

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#foodie  
#coffee  
#science  
|  September 19th, 2014

Because All Ice Cream Scoopers Should Use Your Own Body Heat

image

Image via Lemnos

When an ice cream craving strikes, it’s no joke. And when the ice cream is just too damn hard to penetrate, it’s like our inner dairy-dessert-loving Hulk comes out, and we will stop at nothing to scoop that sweet goodness into our bowl, top it in chocolate sauce, and devour every last bite. 

Thankfully, there’s now a super smart ice cream scooper that will keep that muscular green giant quiet, and allow you to scoop any ice cream in your freezer – no matter how long it’s been in there – without all the elbow grease. As FWx has discovered, 15.0 Percent, a Japanese-based specialty company has created a series of special spoons designed to warm up the ice cream using your own body heat.

The spoons, made of super-conductive aluminum harness the heat from your palm (finally, sweaty palms come in handy!) and bring it down to the ‘scream, immediately softening it for the ideal scoopage. The spoons range from $31 - $52 each, which is, like, nothing when you consider the strength of your midnight sweet tooth cravings, right? 

Gastronaut 

#Tech  
#Foodie  
|  September 19th, 2014

Smoke Signals

Photo via Kickstarter

Smell-o-vision and scratch-and-sniff have come and gone over the years. It seems like scent is one trend that just can’t find a way to stay at least when it comes to technology. The iScent is taking a stab at it anyway, and is currently funding – very slowly – on Kickstarter with the tagline “Smell Your Ringtone.”

This wireless Bluetooth-enabled device looks like a mini humidifier. With help from the app, it turns any mobile notification into smokes and smells. The desktop tower (modeled after the ancient Chinese Wolf Tower, which alerted soldiers of dangers) has a party mode too. Sound-activated mist means the harder you’re partying, the better you’ll smell. There are still some $35 early bird spots available on Kickstarter.

IT Girl

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#Tech  
|  September 17th, 2014

This Message Will Self Destruct

Image via ChitCat

It’s no wonder that apps like SnapChat continue to rise to the top now that information leaks and hackings have become commonplace. With the recent celebrity nude photo scandal, some iPhone users are thinking twice about what should upload automatically to the cloud. (If you’re interested in keeping your pics off the cloud, read this how-to.)

Are self-destructing apps the answer to hackers? For now, it seems like the only safe bet. And, SnapChat is not the only one out there. Ansa is a messaging app that gives you the option to send self-destructing messages or erase Ansa messages you’ve shared in the past– not just from your phone but from your friend’s phones too. And, ChitChat is like SnapChat but for voice messages. Once your mini voicemail is heard on the iOS app, it’s auto deleted forever.

IT Girl

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#privacy  
|  September 17th, 2014

Why Didn’t I Think of That?

Image via Selfie Brush

While you were dreaming up your next billion-dollar idea, someone thought of this: The Selfie Brush. The $20 gag gift – and possible end to humanity – is nothing more than a cell phone case with a handle at the bottom and a hairbrush on the back.

What problem does this solve? Bad selfies, obviously. With a brush and mirror attached to your phone at all times not even a strand will be out of place in your next shot. And it fits conveniently in a purse – but not really in a pocket. Sorry, fellas.

During your next brainstorming session, don’t be so hard on yourself. You never know which idea will be a hit. 

Smarter Upstarter

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#Selfies  
|  September 15th, 2014

Photo via The Next Web

World Startup Events is the ultimate map for entrepreneurs who love to network. The teams at Startup Digest, Startup Genome, and World Startup Report have pieced together a map that features the top three events for cities around the world. 

Click a city then choose from a local favorite event, an event that is very unique to the community, or a networking-specific event. Users can submit new events or vote on the selections that are currently listed – the more votes the map gets, the better. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or you’re thinking of starting up or relocating your startup abroad, this map is an unbelievable resource. 

Smarter Upstarter

|  September 15th, 2014

15-Minute Speaking Alarm Clock Project

Photo via Amazon

Got fifteen minutes? Connect an old iPhone dock alarm clock to a Raspberry Pi and a wifi dongle and magic will happen.

YouTube user skiwithpete created a ten-minute tutorial that you need to watch now – and apparently the entire project will take less than five minutes to put together. When you’re done, you’ll get an alarm clock that speaks a personalized greeting, the time and date, and the current weather conditions as well as stock prices and the top three world news headlines. Link to the code are included in the tutorial. Now get to work! 

Maker

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#Tech  
#Youtube  
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|  September 14th, 2014

An End Table That Can Beer You

Image via Hack A Day

End tables are slightly functional pieces of furniture that can act as great resting places for your remote or your drink. But why not utilize that space to the best of its ability?

The kegerator end table is exactly what it sounds like but it’s fancier than you’re thinking. The keg is completely concealed within the cabinet and the draft tower emerges from a hatch top with the turn of a key. By coating the inside of the cabinet with bathroom sealant, the cabinet becomes airtight and is ready to be transformed into a mini fridge. An Arduino updates the temperature on an LCD display so you know your beer is staying cool.

Read the full tutorial at HackaDay

Maker

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#Tech  
#Beer  
#Hack  
|  September 14th, 2014