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? 

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|  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). 

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|  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.

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|  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? 

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|  September 19th, 2014

Science May Be Able to Help Your Kid Like Broccoli

imageImage via FWx

Or at least, it’ll be able to help a little. According to FWx, scientists at the University of Arizon’s iPlant collaborative have decoded the genome in the rapeseed plant, which is a close relative of the more well-known broccoli. Decoding the mystery in the DNA of these veggies could allow them to find a way to engineer a “less-bitter” tasting green.

And, the article continues, it could allow them to do less important things, like “improving pest resistance or improving oil content.” But that’s not nearly as exciting as the fact that your five-year-old may actually consume his vegetables, rather than feeding them to the dog. Now you just have to break them of bad habits. 

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|  September 12th, 2014

Coffee, in Cube Form

imageImage via Uncrate

Here’s a way to bring coffee with you anywhere, and make it on the go. Introducing Jiva Coffee Cubes, available on Amazon now for just $14.99. These pocket-sized instant coffee cubes are made from Colombian coffee and contain raw cane sugar. They’re Anethically sourced, non-GMO, Kosher, vegan, gluten-free… basically, everything any human being on any diet ever could need.

And, as Uncrate explains, they come in five different flavors, so whether you’re a coffee purist or a vanilla enthusiast, Jiva can be for you. Just pop them into warm milk or coffee, and whammy, coffee is made. 

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|  September 12th, 2014

This Tablet Will Make Your Drink Look Radioactively Awesome

Image via FoodBeast

You know those times when you’re totally in the zone at da club, dancing your cares away, but feel your energy levels slowly depleting? Truly devastating. Thankfully, there’s now a solution to boost your liveliness (and dance moves) while simultaneously making you the coolest raver in town – if that’s your thing.

Meet the XUVO tablet, now in crowd funding efforts on Indiegogo. As FoodBeast explains, this little pill mixes with water, rum or vodka to produce a neon glow beneath black lights. And, even better, it uses ingredients such as caffeine, vitamin B, guarana and taurine to give you that extra kick that’ll keep your hips shaking for hours to come.

The pill comes in flavors like Neon Mojito and Cosmic Apple, so no need for sugary mixers, and each one comes it at only nine calories per pop. EDM generation, unite in happiness! 

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|  September 5th, 2014

Meet the App that Combines Instagram and Foursquare into One Happy Medium

Image via Eater

If you love stumbling across a mouthwatering image of a dish on Instagram tagged at that new, trendy restaurant you haven’t yet heard of, there’s an app out there waiting for you. Foodmento, which recently launched out of its Beta version, is like your personal restaurant listing guide and crowdsourced food criticism melding into one glorious time suck.

As Eater reports, Foodmento allows users to post, share and caption their favorite dishes with other hungry members – but that’s just where the fun begins. As an observer, if you find something you just have to have, Foodmento makes it easy. The app has the ability to connect with OpenTable to make a reservation at that restaurant or even, for the lazy kid in all of us, find it on Seamless Web for delivery.

The app is currently active in nearly 40 seconds, with tens of thousands of dishes already included, but we’re sure it’ll be expanding quickly. 

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|  September 5th, 2014

The Keurig 2.0 is Here, and it’s Making Smart Simple

imageImage via Keurig

The next generation Keurig coffee machine is here, and its whole purpose to be as simple as it is functional.

After many months of development and research, including creating an entirely newfangled water distribution system, the Keurig team has released this latest version of the at-home coffee maker. The functionality of the 2.0 combines the variety of the small K-Cups, the temperature control and other customizable features of the Vue system and, most interestingly, a way to caffeinate the whole family at once with the new multi-cup pot. As Kevin Sullivan, Chief Technology Officer for Keurig Green Mountain, puts it, “Everything we wanted, which was the best the K-Cup and the best of Vue, we were able to achieve. And then we added on top of that, the carafe.”

Here are some of the features you can expect to get with the 2.0 system: Customizable visual elements like the light reservoir (to give it, you know, some flair), the ability to make one cup for yourself or a whole pot for a larger group by inserting K-Cups or new K-Carafe packs in the one, central receptacle, and, thankfully, a level of simplicity that speaks to even the most technologically stunted users. “It’s hard to be simple… [but] you don’t need complications in your coffee maker,” explains Sullivan.

We’d agree, and the 2.0 does the leg work for you, intuitively “reading” the pack size and type you insert to allow the right coffee recipe nearly every time without any extra effort. Just put the coffee (or tea, or hot cocoa, for that matter) pack into the machine, and hit brew. There’s very little thinking necessary, which is great, because Sullivan knows that nobody likes more work in the morning.

So long, clunky coffee machine you used to keep around for weekends! The new 2.0 is available in three iterations, and can be purchased on the Keurig website for $149.99 - $199.99. 

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|  August 29th, 2014

This is a Motorcycle. That Runs on Bacon.

Image via FWx

The smell of gasoline is a polarizing issue. Some people love it (and can totally relate to the statement, “I smell my hands after pumping gas,”) while others despise it. But you know what smell everybody loves? Bacon.

Enter, the Black Label Bacon Bike. As reported by FWx, this hog is a, “Track T800 CDI diesel motorcycle that has been outfitted to run on a biofuel converted from bacon grease.” Even better, the gas-powered fuel is cheaper than the stuff the rest of us are using at just $3.50 per gallon, and of course, it smells like bacon. That’s enough to make us love ‘cycles alone.

Want to enjoy the Bacon rider without all the risk of, you know, crashing? A film dubbed Driven by Bacon, funded by Hormel, is documenting this one-of-a-kind vehicle, and will premiere at the International Bacon Film Festival. Who knew that existed? 

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#Energy  
|  August 29th, 2014