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

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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.

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After buying Bungie, Sony goes all in on live service games – TechCrunch

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After buying Bungie earlier this year, Sony is moving fast to integrate the company’s expertise into its broader vision.

In an investor presentation Thursday, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan outlined a near future for the company that focuses heavily on continually updated online games inspired by Destiny, Bungie’s long-running hit.

Sony expects to spend 49% of its PlayStation Studios development budget on live service games by the end of the year. By 2025, Sony plans to bump that to 55%, up from just 12% in 2019. By the end of 2025, Sony projects that it will have 12 different live service games of its own, up from just one now.

The company declined to answer questions from TechCrunch about which of its franchises might get the live service treatment, but the presentation cited God of War, Horizon Forbidden West, Spider-Man, The Last of Us and Uncharted in a list of its noteworthy single-player first-party titles. Sony-owned studio Naughty Dog has been hiring for a standalone multiplayer game, so a new game could indeed emerge out of The Last of Us or Uncharted’s virtual worlds.

Bungie is best known for creating the Halo franchise, though most recently the studio has become synonymous with Destiny, a fresh sci-fi series the company developed after leaving Halo with Microsoft. Like Halo, Destiny is a futuristic first-person shooter with precise, satisfying mechanics. But Destiny’s real appeal is Bungie’s impressively seamless online multiplayer experience that brings players into central hubs where they can explore and run missions together, making it more akin to World of Warcraft than a traditional FPS like Call of Duty.

Three years after splitting with Microsoft, Bungie signed onto a 10-year partnership with Activision. The company eventually split with Activision, too, paving the way for Sony to snap it up earlier this year for $3.6 billion. Bungie will remain a standalone game studio on the other side of the deal, à la Naughty Dog.

Just after the Bungie acquisition was made public, Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki confirmed the company’s plan to weave Bungie’s live game service know-how into its broader gaming offerings.

“The strategic significance of this acquisition lies not only in obtaining the highly successful Destiny franchise, as well as major new IP Bungie is currently developing, but also incorporating into the Sony group the expertise and technologies Bungie has developed in the live game services space,” Totoki said.

In bringing Bungie under its wing, Sony is buying a lot of knowledge about how to build online multiplayer games that expand over time, keeping players coming back for more. This kind of experience, usually called a “live service game,” explains how Fortnite is still one of the world’s most popular games years after it first made headlines for luring casual gamers and hardcore streamers alike into its colorful, chaotic world.

It’s also an extremely lucrative business model. Live service games generally have an in-game storefront that invites dedicated players to buy digital goods like character skins and clothing. Those assets cycle in and out, creating scarcity and nudging players to spend real cash to collect them. In a given content season, players in games like Destiny 2 and Fortnite can pay to earn a special set of these cosmetic virtual goods with a “battle pass.”

Some live service games, like Final Fantasy XIV, require players to pay for a monthly subscription to access the most recent content, while others are free to play. Happily, these days, most free-to-play games no longer require a paid subscription through Microsoft or Sony’s own premium subscription services.

Live service games add expansion content over time, and players often pay to access the new stuff, even while the core game remains mostly the same. For game makers, the real allure is maintaining a game that can live and grow over time, raking in revenue for years rather than burning bright and fizzling out a few months postlaunch.

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Twitter investors sue Elon Musk over acquisition shenanigans – TechCrunch

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The world’s richest man isn’t above trying to get a discount, apparently.

In a new lawsuit, Twitter shareholders are suing Elon Musk, alleging that he manipulated the price of the company’s stock for his own benefit in the course of agreeing to buy the company. The lawsuit represents a group of Twitter investors but would allow any shareholders to receive financial compensation.

The suit was filed Wednesday in federal district court for Northern California and argues that Musk intentionally drove down the company’s stock to secure a better deal. “The fair market value of Twitter securities has been adversely affected by Musk’s false statements and wrongful conduct,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit cites Musk’s decision to waive due diligence as a condition of the acquisition and his subsequent suspiciously timed claim that Twitter had misrepresented the number of bots on its platform.

“At the time, Musk was well aware that Twitter had a certain amount of ‘fake accounts’ and accounts controlled by ‘bots’ and had in fact settled a lawsuit based on the fake accounts for millions of dollars,” the complaint states. “Musk had tweeted about that issue at Twitter several times in the past, prior to making his offer to acquire Twitter with full knowledge of the bots.”

The suit alleges, as many people observed at the time, that Musk was likely trying to secure a discount by casting doubt on his commitment and disparaging the company. Since Musk’s initial commitment to purchase the company was announced, tech stocks — including Tesla, which accounts for the vast majority of Musk’s wealth — took a dive.

Following Musk’s comments, Twitter shares also dipped significantly, a phenomenon that the suit alleges is “highly unusual” given the company’s agreed-upon buyout price.

While Musk claimed the deal was on hold, there was no formal mechanism in place that would back up that claim. Even within Twitter, company leaders encouraged employees to proceed as though nothing had changed, noting that there was “no such thing” as casually pausing a binding agreement to buy the company.

The suit also alleges that Musk deliberately delayed filing a disclosure form when his stake in the company exceeded 5%, allowing him to continue to buy shares at a discount. After the form was filed and Musk’s purchases became public knowledge, Twitter stock soared by nearly a third.

“Musk’s disregard for securities laws demonstrates how one can flaunt the law and the tax code to build their wealth at the expense of the other Americans,” the complaint states.

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Instagram is currently down for some users – TechCrunch

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If you’re having problems accessing Instagram today, you’re not alone. The social media giant is currently experiencing some problems, according to reports on third-party web monitoring service Downdetector. The website indicates that issues began at around 12:30 p.m. EDT. NetBlocks, which tracks global internet usage and disruptions, has also noted that Instagram is facing intermittent international service outages.

Reports indicate that users are experiencing various issues with the service, including not being able to log back in after being logged out. Some users also reporting seeing a “Welcome to Instagram” message when logging on as though they have a new account. Others are unable see past a few posts or only seeing posts that were uploaded weeks ago. Some users are also reporting that they’re unable to refresh their home screen and are seeing a “we’re sorry, but something went wrong” notice.

Instagram and its parent company Meta have yet to acknowledge the issues. TechCrunch has reached out to Meta to learn more about the issues and will update this article once we get a response.

This story is developing…

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