Connect with us

Social

Cook a perfect turkey with the help of the Meater wireless thermometer and your smartphone

Published

on

Millions in America will be cooking turkey or ham for the Thanksgiving holiday and a meat thermometer is an essential part of cooking things just right. You don’t want to end up with a dried up turkey like Clark Griswold and one of the Meater wireless thermometers is the perfect accessory to ensure success.

For years I have barbequed meat, but could not guarantee perfection because I always tried multi-tasking while cooking and ended up overcooking the contents on the Weber grill. I’ve always heard that temperature is an essential factor to successful barbeques and after using the original Meater wireless thermometer I enjoyed great steaks, chicken, and burgers all summer long.

Hardware

I started testing the original Meater thermometer before the Meater Plus was released. The Meater Plus is the same as the Meater with the charging case acting as a repeater to extend the Bluetooth range so you can position your phone further away from the cooking source. There is also an upcoming Meater Block product that supports using up to four Meater probes for those of you who are serious about cooking for many people at once.

The Meater smart wireless meat thermometer comes in a simple cardboard package and is composed of two main parts; the Meater probe and the charger. The charger is a block of wood with a slot for the probe, contacts to hold the probe in place and facilitate charging, an LED indicator to show charging and pairing status, and an opening on the back for the single AAA that is used to charge up the Meater. Simply press the button on the front to check the LED light.

There are two magnets on the back so you can attach the Meater charging block to a metal surface for storage, such as in your barbeque cabinet or on your refrigerator.

The Meater probe is constructed of stainless steel with a water resistant design to prevent rusting of components. Bluetooth 4.0 is used for the wireless connection to your smartphone or the repeater (found on the Meater Plus charger).

Make sure to insert the probe into the thickest part of the meat and ensure you insert it all the way down past the safety notch and before the end of the handle. The internal sensor is located about midway between the pointy end and the safety notch.

Smartphone software

There are Meater apps for iOS and Android phones and tablets. I used both over the past couple of months and they have the same experience. You need to remove the Meater probe from the charging station and then pair it with your selected device. This is also when you choose to connect to Meater cloud so you can access the status from other devices when your primary device is connected directly to the Meater probe via Bluetooth.

After pairing your Meater and inserting the probe into your meat, select what you want to cook from the five available options; beef, pork, poultry, lamb, and fish. You can also setup custom cooking if you are not cooking any of these five options.

After you tap the primary category, you then select what type of cut you are cooking. You are presented with a temperature range for different levels of cooking, such as rare up to well done for a steak. Select your desired temperature and then choose to start cooking. Meater will give you an estimated cooking time based on current internal and ambient temperatures.

Various notifications can be setup to alarm at different points during the cooking process or you can visually watch the Meater temperature status right in the app. It is very easy to use and has proven to be accurate with great success in cooking meats.

You can also use a second phone or tablet to connect directly to the Meater probe via Bluetooth and then use your primary phone to connect via WiFi and the cloud to monitor your meat cooking. The upcoming Meater Block will also serve as this second phone/tablet device to extend the range to WiFi.

Meater also works with Amazon Alexa so you can find out all about your cooking process without ever looking at your phone or tablet.

Experiences and conclusions

After installing the application on my smartphone, it was easy to pair the Meater to my phone. I inserted the cold Meater probe into the meat and placed the meat on the barbeque. I then used the app to monitor conditions and then reached over to pull the Meater probe from the finished meat. The end of the Meater probe is metal, used to measure the ambient temperature in the cooking environment, and I burned my fingers. Please use a hot pad or glove to pull the Meater probe from your meat and be careful.

The Meater thermometer is designed to be used on the barbeque, in the oven, and with other cooking sources, but do not use it in the microwave. Microwave ovens do not like metal products and use of Meater is not intended for microwave cooking.

While I first tested the Meater with chicken, over the summer I also used it with steak, hamburgers, and fish. I had much more confidence cooking with the Meater wireless thermometer and the $69 price seems reasonable since you could burn up a few steaks for that price if you just cook by sight.

Meater advertises that you can cook for over 24 hours with a charged up Meater and cook up to 100 times with one AAA battery. I am still using the first AAA battery that came with the unit so the advertised battery times may be accurate.

The maximum internal temperature of the Meater is 212 degrees Fahrenheit and with most meats in the 150 to 170 degree range, it is more than adequate. Actually, if you cook meat to this internal temperature, then it will be dry, tough, and tasteless with no moisture left inside. Undercooked meat freaks out my wife so using the Meater she is much more confident in my abilities. She also uses it for inside cooking and looks forward to using it for the Thanksgiving turkey.

The Meater ambient limit is 527 degrees, which should cover most barbeques and be good for estimating resting temperatures.

It is great to see the use of smartphones and wireless technology in a product such as Meater. My meat cooking has been taken to the next level and I couldn’t be happier with the performance of this wireless thermometer.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social

Salesforce buys Slack in a $27.7B megadeal – TechCrunch

Published

on

Salesforce, the CRM powerhouse that recently surpassed $20 billion in annual revenue, announced today it is wading deeper into enterprise social by acquiring Slack in a $27.7 billion megadeal. Rumors of a pending deal surfaced last week, causing Slack’s stock price to spike.

Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff didn’t mince words on his latest purchase. “This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world,” Benioff said in a statement.

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield was no less effusive than his future boss. “As software plays a more and more critical role in the performance of every organization, we share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility. Personally, I believe this is the most strategic combination in the history of software, and I can’t wait to get going,” Butterfield said in a statement.

Every worker at every company needs to communicate, something that Slack can ably empower. What’s more, it also facilitates external communication with customers and partners, something that should be quite useful for a company like Salesforce and its family of offerings.

Ultimately, Slack was ripe for the taking. Entering 2020 it had lost around 40% of its value since it went public. Consider that after its most recent earnings report, the company lost 16% of its value, and before the Salesforce deal leaked, the company was worth only a few dollars per share more than its direct listing reference price. Toss in net losses of $147.6 million during the two quarters ending July 31, 2020, Slack’s uninspiring public valuation and its winding path to profitability and it was a sitting target for a takeover like this one. The only surprise here is the price.

The new deal also puts Salesforce more on par — and in competition — with its arch rival and sometime friend Microsoft, whose Teams product has been directly challenging Slack in the market. Microsoft, which passed on buying Slack in the past for a fraction of what Salesforce is paying today, has made Teams a key priority in recent quarters, loathe to cede any portion of the enterprise software market to another company.

What really has set Slack apart from the pack, at least initially, was its ability to integrate with other enterprise software. When you combined that with bots, those intelligent digital helpers, the company could potentially provide Salesforce customers with a central place to work without changing focus because everything they need to do can be done in Slack.

The company’s historic growth helped Slack raise over $1 billion while private, earning an impressive $7 billion valuation before going public last year. But while the Glitch-to-unicorn story appears simple, Slack has always faced entrenched competition from the likes of not only Microsoft, but also Cisco, Facebook, Google and even Asana and Monday.com.

Today’s deal comes after Salesforce’s purchase of Quip in 2016 for $750 million. Quip brought a way of socially sharing documents to the SaaS giant, and when paired with the Slack acquisition gives Salesforce a much more robust social story to tell than its internal option Chatter, an early attempt at enterprise social that never really caught on.

It’s worth noting that Salesforce was interested in Twitter in 2016, the same year that Microsoft was reportedly interested in Slack, but eventually walked away from that deal when shareholders objected, not wanting to deal with the controversial side of the social platform.

Slack was founded in 2013, but its origins go back to an online multiplayer game company called Glitch that was founded in 2009. While the game was ultimately a failure, the startup developed an internal messaging system in the process of building that company that later evolved into Slack.

For Slack, the path to the public markets was fraught with hype and outsized expectation. The company was famous, or as famous as an enterprise software company can be. At the time it felt like the its debut was the start of a long tenure as an indie company. Instead, that public life has been cut short by a huge check. Such is the dog-eat-dog world of tech.

Continue Reading

Social

Loop Team wants to give remote workers an in-office feel – TechCrunch

Published

on

As we’ve moved to work from home during the pandemic, it’s been challenging for remote workers to feel connected. Loop Team, a new entrant into the enterprise communications space, thinks the way we are communicating needs improvement. That’s why the startup is releasing Loop Team today, a tool that is trying to use software to reproduce the in-office experience.

Company founder and CEO Raj Singh says that he learned about the problems of feeling disconnected first-hand at a previous remote-first company, but in spite of his best attempts to use technology to produce that in-office feel, he said he continued to feel out of the loop (so to speak). That’s when he decided to build the solution he wanted.

“We’ve looked at a lot of the interactions that happen when you’re physically in an office — the visual communication, the background conversations, the hallway chatter, the serendipitous bumping, things like that. And we built an experience that effectively is a virtual office. And so it tries to represent the best parts of what a physical office experience might be like, but in a virtual form,” Singh explained to me.

While he created this company prior to COVID, the pandemic has highlighted the need for a tool like this. Before he created the software, he interviewed hundreds of people who worked from home to understand their issues working outside of the office and he heard a lot of common complaints.

“There was an office and they didn’t necessarily know what was going on. They didn’t know who was available. They didn’t know who was around. It was difficult to connect. Everything was scheduled through calendar. They were missing some of that presence — and they were feeling lonely or out of touch or out of the loop,” he said.

His company’s solution tries to reproduce the office experience using AI, good, old-fashioned presence awareness and other tech to let team members know what you’re doing and if you’re available to chat. So just as you would wander down the hall and see your colleague on the phone or deeply involved with work on the laptop, and know to leave them be, you could get that same feel with Loop.

Loop Team Highlights

Image Credits: Loop Team

It gives the current status of the person, and you can know from looking at the list of people on your team, who’s available to talk and who’s busy. As you go into virtual discussions, the team can see who’s having meetings and individuals can pop in too, just as you might do in the office.

What’s more, you can set up rooms (like in Slack), but these are designed to give you a more personal connection using video and audio for actual discussion. You can work on projects via screen share and people who miss these meetings because of other obligations or time zone differences, can always review what they missed.

While you can do all of these things in Slack and Zoom, or in some combination of similar tools, Loop’s layout and presentation is designed to help you see the conversations in a clear way and expose what you want to see, while hiding parts of the day that don’t interest you.

The product is available for free starting today, but Singh wants to introduce a pricing model sometime next year based on team size. He expects there will always be a freemium version for teams under 10 people.

The company was founded in 2018 and nurtured at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). It has raised $4.75 million so far. Today it starts on its journey as a startup with its first product, and it’s one that comes with good timing as more teams find themselves working remotely than every before.

Continue Reading

Social

Facebook’s self-styled ‘oversight’ board selects first cases, most dealing with hate speech – TechCrunch

Published

on

A Facebook -funded body that the tech giant set up to distance itself from tricky and potentially reputation-damaging content moderation decisions has announced the first bundle of cases it will consider.

In a press release on its website the Facebook Oversight Board (FOB) says it sifted through more than 20,000 submissions before settling on six cases — one of which was referred to it directly by Facebook.

The six cases it’s chosen to start with are:

Facebook submission: 2020-006-FB-FBR

A case from France where a user posted a video and accompanying text to a COVID-19 Facebook group — which relates to claims about the French agency that regulates health products “purportedly refusing authorisation for use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin against COVID-19, but authorising promotional mail for remdesivir”; with the user criticizing the lack of a health strategy in France and stating “[Didier] Raoult’s cure” is being used elsewhere to save lives”. Facebook says it removed the content for violating its policy on violence and incitement. The video in questioned garnered at least 50,000 views and 1,000 shares.

The FOB says Facebook indicated in its referral that this case “presents an example of the challenges faced when addressing the risk of offline harm that can be caused by misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic”.

User submissions:

Out of the five user submissions that the FOB selected, the majority (three cases) are related to hate speech takedowns.

One case apiece is related to Facebook’s nudity and adult content policy; and to its policy around dangerous individuals and organizations.

See below for the Board’s descriptions of the five user submitted cases:

  • 2020-001-FB-UA: A user posted a screenshot of two tweets by former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in which the former Prime Minister stated that “Muslims have a right to be angry and kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past” and “[b]ut by and large the Muslims have not applied the ‘eye for an eye’ law. Muslims don’t. The French shouldn’t. Instead the French should teach their people to respect other people’s feelings.” The user did not add a caption alongside the screenshots. Facebook removed the post for violating its policy on hate speech. The user indicated in their appeal to the Oversight Board that they wanted to raise awareness of the former Prime Minister’s “horrible words”.
  • 2020-002-FB-UA: A user posted two well-known photos of a deceased child lying fully clothed on a beach at the water’s edge. The accompanying text (in Burmese) asks why there is no retaliation against China for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims, in contrast to the recent killings in France relating to cartoons. The post also refers to the Syrian refugee crisis. Facebook removed the content for violating its hate speech policy. The user indicated in their appeal to the Oversight Board that the post was meant to disagree with people who think that the killer is right and to emphasise that human lives matter more than religious ideologies.

  • 2020-003-FB-UA: A user posted alleged historical photos showing churches in Baku, Azerbaijan, with accompanying text stating that Baku was built by Armenians and asking where the churches have gone. The user stated that Armenians are restoring mosques on their land because it is part of their history. The user said that the “т.а.з.и.к.и” are destroying churches and have no history. The user stated that they are against “Azerbaijani aggression” and “vandalism”. The content was removed for violating Facebook’s hate speech policy. The user indicated in their appeal to the Oversight Board that their intention was to demonstrate the destruction of cultural and religious monuments.

  • 2020-004-IG-UA: A user in Brazil posted a picture on Instagram with a title in Portuguese indicating that it was to raise awareness of signs of breast cancer. Eight photographs within the picture showed breast cancer symptoms with corresponding explanations of the symptoms underneath. Five of the photographs included visible and uncovered female nipples. The remaining three photographs included female breasts, with the nipples either out of shot or covered by a hand. Facebook removed the post for violating its policy on adult nudity and sexual activity. The post has a pink background, and the user indicated in a statement to the Oversight Board that it was shared as part of the national “Pink October” campaign for the prevention of breast cancer.

  • 2020-005-FB-UA: A user in the US was prompted by Facebook’s “On This Day” function to reshare a “memory” in the form of a post that the user made two years ago. The user reshared the content. The post (in English) is an alleged quote from Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, on the need to appeal to emotions and instincts, instead of intellect, and on the unimportance of truth. Facebook removed the content for violating its policy on dangerous individuals and organisations. The user indicated in their appeal to the Oversight Board that the quote is important as the user considers the current US presidency to be following a fascist model

Public comments on the cases can be submitted via the FOB’s website — but only for seven days (closing at 8:00 Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, December 8, 2020).

The FOB says it “expects” to decide on each case — and “for Facebook to have acted on this decision” — within 90 days. So the first ‘results’ from the FOB, which only began reviewing cases in October, are almost certainly not going to land before 2021.

Panels comprised of five FOB members — including at least one from the region “implicated in the content” — will be responsible for deciding whether the specific pieces of content in question should stay down or be put back up.

Facebook’s outsourcing of a fantastically tiny subset of content moderation considerations to a subset of its so-called ‘Oversight Board’ has attracted plenty of criticism (including inspiring a mirrored unofficial entity that dubs itself the Real Oversight Board) — and no little cynicism.

Not least because it’s entirely funded by Facebook; structured as Facebook intended it to be structured; and with members chosen via a system devised by Facebook.

If it’s radical change you’re looking for, the FOB is not it.

Nor does the entity have any power to change Facebook policy — it can only issue recommendations (which Facebook can choose to entirely ignore).

Its remit does not extend to being able to investigate how Facebook’s attention-seeking business model influences the types of content being amplified or depressed by its algorithms, either.

And the narrow focus on content taken downs — rather than content that’s already allowed on the social network — skews its purview, as we’ve pointed out before.

So you won’t find the board asking tough questions about why hate groups continue to flourish and recruit on Facebook, for example, or robustly interrogating how much succour its algorithmic amplification has gifted to the antivaxx movement.  By design, the FOB is focused on symptoms, not the nation-sized platform ill of Facebook itself. Outsourcing a fantastically tiny subset of content moderations decisions can’t signify anything else.  

With this Facebook-commissioned pantomime of accountability the tech giant will be hoping to generate a helpful pipeline of distracting publicity — focused around specific and ‘nuanced’ content decisions — deflecting plainer but harder-hitting questions about the exploitative and abusive nature of Facebook’s business itself, and the lawfulness of its mass surveillance of Internet users, as lawmakers around the world grapple with how to rein in tech giants.  

The company wants the FOB to reframe discussion about the culture wars (and worse) that Facebook’s business model fuels as a societal problem — pushing a self-serving ‘fix’ for algorithmically fuelled societal division in the form of a few hand-picked professionals opining on individual pieces of content, leaving it free to continue defining the shape of the attention economy on a global scale. 

Continue Reading

Trending