This Coffee Brewing Method Delivers the Biggest Jolt of Caffeine

Photo: Africa Studio (Shutterstock)

Not all coffees are created equal. You already know this if you’ve been brewing your own for more than a few cups’ time: Coffee beans vary wildly in taste, strength, and even caffeine content. But even how you brew your coffee changes its strength.

I don’t just mean the flavor. If you’re drinking coffee for the caffeine boost, your brewing method can affect how much of a jolt each serving will give you. You might thing an espresso shot is the best way to get moving in the morning, but an espresso—even a full or double shot from a specialty coffee shop—actually doesn’t have the most amount of caffeine per cup—at least according to tests conducted by popular Coffee Youtuber James Hoffmann. Hoffmann is the author of The World Atlas of Coffee, runs Square Mile Coffee Roasters, and won the 2007 Barista championship, so you can count on his brewing expertise.

Hoffmann got his hands on a $2,500 Lighttells caffeine analyzer and went to town with it. This is a simple (but pricey) piece of tech reveals the caffeine content of a brew by scanning a couple of drops of coffee.

I Did Caffeine Analysis: Some Unexpected Results!

The caffeine content in a cup of coffee is measured in milligrams (mg). According to the FDA, 400 mg/day is the recommended daily intake for adults (but of course, how much caffeine you actually “need” to feel the effects will vary from person to person). Unfortunately, there isn’t exactly a wealth of data out there of coffee’s wildly varying caffeine content, but if you Google, you’ll find that on average, a cup of coffee has 63-125 mg of caffeine in it.

What coffee brewing method delivers the most caffeine?

Hoffmann tested different kinds of coffees, ranging from instant coffee, espressos, and brewed coffees like pour-overs. And what he found was very interesting. It turns out if you want a big kick of caffeine to get you through a couple of hours of intense work, the brewing method that will serve you best is a pour over. According to hHoffman’s tests, 18 grams of his test sample of coffee beans (around 2 to 2-1/2 tablespoons of ground coffee), brewed as an espresso, had 110 mg of caffeine. But brewed as a pour over, they delivered 180 mg of caffeine. That’s close to a 50% jump!

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That means if you need the biggest boost, you should skip that double-shot latte from Starbucks and order a pour over. (Or better yet, start brewing pour overs at home.)

Another big takeaway from Hoffmann’s study—if an unsurprising one—is that instant coffee is, on average, quite weak when it comes to getting you caffeinated. A full cup made with 2 grams of instant coffee (the recommended serving size) will only get you around 80 mg of caffeine.

Check out Hoffmann’s complete 20-minute video for more fascinating caffeine data.

[James Hoffmann]

via Lifehacker

January 9, 2023 at 12:08PM

This Company Is Making E-Reader Goggles So You Can Read Without Even Holding a Kindle

Long a staple technology of electronic book readers, electronic paper is finally starting to expand its reach, finding its way into tablets, watches, and even cars, with a recent collaboration at CES between E Ink and BMW. But CES also saw the reveal of an even stranger device based on electronic paper: a wearable device called the Sol Reader that’s an e-reader you can wear on your face.

Although certain technical limitations prevent electronic paper from being used as a universal replacement for LCDs and OLEDs—you definitely don’t want an E Ink TV hanging in your family room—its technical advantages, including low-power draw and a reflective screen that’s easier on the eyes, make it ideal for everything from e-readers to e-notes. Where we didn’t expect electronic paper to show up, even the new color varieties, was in a pair of goggles.

So far, the goggles form factor has been reserved mostly for either virtual reality, augmented reality, or wearable devices that mix both, leveraging two screens to immerse viewers in 3D worlds or experiences. There’s little doubt that wearables are the future of the devices we still carry stuffed away in our pockets, but the Sol Reader isn’t looking to replace smartphones. Instead, it’s targeting e-readers.

I tried an e-Ink Powered HMD…

Details about the device on its official website are slim, but Brad Lynch, of YouTube’s SadlyItsBradley channel, managed to get some hands-on time with a prototype of the Sol Reader at CES last week, and shared their impressions in a video. Weighing in at less than 100 grams, the goggles look and feel like a lightweight pair of VR goggles (you can’t see the world around you while wearing them) but instead feature a pair of electronic paper screens behind a set of pancake lenses.

The Sol Reader doesn’t present users with 3D interactive virtual worlds, but instead allows them to read. You’ll see what looks like a book page floating in a dark void in front of you, or above you when using the goggles while laying down, which is apparently the ideal use case, as the Sol Reader doesn’t feature a head strap. Page turning is accomplished through a wireless handheld remote, while battery life is promised to be close to 30 hours, thanks to the use of e-paper displays.

Lynch does give a quick peek at the screens inside the device in the video, which unfortunately look disappointingly low-res, but points out the team behind it has been talking to E Ink about securing a solution with more resolution. That will be critical, as the Sol Reader is expected to sell for a hefty $350 sometime this year. If the reading experience doesn’t come anywhere close to what a Kindle provides, it’s hard to imagine anyone spending that much money on the wearable when the Meta Quest 2 is just $50 more and has plenty of e-book reading apps available for it.

via Gizmodo

January 9, 2023 at 10:36AM

Seattle Schools Sue TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube Over Students’ Mental Health

Seattle’s public school district is suing Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, and their parent companies. The lawsuit, filed on Friday in a U.S. District Court, alleges that these social media sites have been a primary factor in a “youth mental health crisis,” and that these platforms have knowingly exploited, manipulated, and targeted young people for profit at the expense of their mental heath.

The district argues in its 91-page complaint that tech giants have intentionally engineered addicting platforms, cashed in on the vulnerability of still-developing brains, and algorithmically suggested harmful content to young users.

Ultimately, the school district is blaming these social media companies for the increase in mental health and behavioral issues that teens are showing up to classrooms with, which has rendered the task of educating more difficult, according to the suit. District officials point to a 30% increase in self-reported feelings of sadness and hopelessness among the student body, as well as a rise in student suicide plans and attempts between 2010 and 2018.

In an effort to manage those challenges, the school district says it has had to take expensive actions like hiring more mental health counselors, creating curriculum surrounding social media and mental health, adjusting and enforcing school policies surrounding social media use, and increasing disciplinary resources. However, even all of these changes haven’t been enough to manage.

“Plaintiff cannot keep up with the increased need for mental health services because of the youth mental health crisis,” the lawsuit claims. So, the Seattle schools are seeking accountability for social media platforms and meaningful change in how these companies operate, along with damages and compensation.

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In past, similar cases, tech companies have used Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as a legal shield. Under the law, digital publishers are not responsible for third-party content posted on their platforms (i.e. Meta is not liable for anything its users post on Instagram and Facebook). However, the Seattle case aims to get around this fundamental protection by targeting the design of social media sites—not their content. The school district is claiming the increasing incentives to spend more and more time scrolling and the algorithms that dictate what users see causes harm too—not just what’s in the posts.

“Defendants have maximized the time users—particularly youth—spend on their platforms by purposely designing, refining, and operating them to exploit the neurophysiology of the brain’s reward systems to keep users coming back, coming back frequently, and staying on the respective platforms for as long as possible,” says the complaint.

Some psychology research, along with both internal and external reports on social media company practices seem to support many of the new lawsuit’s claims. Studies have shown, for instance, that social media use and increased smartphone use may be linked to sleep depravation and accompanying depression. A Pew 2022 analysis found that more than half of teenagers surveyed would have a hard, or very hard, time giving up social media. Meta’s own internal research suggested that Instagram is toxic to some teen users, particularly girls, as it cultivates and amplifies body image issues. And Facebook has known for years that its algorithms boost time spent on its site to users’ detriment.

However, it’s very difficult to establish a direct link between increased social media use and worsened mental health because there are so many variables involved in mental health. And many experts dispute the use of the term “addiction” as applied to social media platforms altogether.

This isn’t the first attempt to sue social media companies for alleged mental health or youth harms in the U.S.. However past suits have mostly focused on individual cases. For instance, the mother of a 10-year old who died in 2021 sued ByteDance over allegations that a TikTok challenge caused her child’s death. And, in April, the mother of a Wisconsin 17-year old who died by suicide sued Meta and Snapchat for “knowingly and purposely” creating harmful and addicting products. The FTC has forced Fortnite to change its interface design so as to be less deceptive (and fined Epic Games half a billion dollars).

California legislators even tried to pass a bill banning addictive social media and explicitly making tech companies liable for every resulting violation involving children. The bill failed, but more than 30 states currently have some sort of proposed or pending legislation aimed at regulating social media.

Gizmodo reached out to Meta (Instagram and Facebook’s parent company), Alphabet (Google and Youtube’s parent company), TikTok (owned by ByteDance Inc.), and Snapchat (owned by Snap Inc.) for comment.

“We want teens to be safe online,” wrote Meta’s head of global safety, Antigone Davis, in a statement emailed to Gizmodo citing tools the company has developed “to support teen and families,” like age verifications, parental controls, and notifications encouraging breaks. Further, “we don’t allow content that promotes suicide, self-harm or eating disorders, and of the content we remove or take action on, we identify over 99% of it before it’s reported to us,” Davis’ statement said.

Though past cases, like the death of 14-year old Molly Russell, have demonstrated that harmful content like self-harm promotion does slip through the cracks. In the lead up to her suicide, Russell interacted with more than 2,000 Instagram posts relating to self-harm, suicide, and depression.

A Google spokesperson, too, responded by highlighting the efforts he said they company has taken to make its platforms safer for children and teens—like screen time reminders and content blocks.

TikTok and Snapchat did not immediately respond.

via Gizmodo

January 9, 2023 at 11:23AM

Raspberry Pi’s new 12-megapixel camera modules provide powered autofocus

Raspberry Pi has launched the Camera Module 3 with big improvements, including higher resolution, infrared, HDR, autofocus, a wide angle FOV and more, the company announced. Not counting the interchangeable lens model introduced in 2020, it’s the company’s first new camera module in six years.

The previous Module 2 cameras used a Sony IMX219 8-megpixel sensor. However, the new models carry Sony’s new 12-megapixel IMX708 chip, which is not only larger but has more resolution. That translates to sharper images and also better low-light sensitivity. It also has a 16:9 aspect ratio, so HD video up to 1080p50 can be captured using the entire sensor area. 

Better still, where the previous module had fixed autofocus, Module 3 has built-in powered autofocus capability. That makes them a bit thicker (up to 12.4mm compared to 9mm) but more versatile, letting you focus on objects ranging in distance from 5cm (2 inches) to infinity. 

The standard field-of-view (FoV) variants provide a 66 degree horizontal field of view, roughly equivalent to a 28mm full-frame lens. The wide angle version, however, bumps that to 102 degrees horizontal (a 14mm full-frame lens). With a "more expensive and complex optical stack," the wide-angle version is a bit thicker, 12.4 compared to 11.5mm, according to Raspberry Pi. 

It also offers HDR capability, taking multiple simultaneous exposures with different exposure times. That lets you capture interior shots, for instance, with the correct exposure on both interior and exterior details. And finally, the NoIR (no infrared filter) sensors, first introduced with the Module 2, can effectively convert your Raspberry Pi into a night-vision camera. 

The launch includes no less than four modules, including standard and wide angle models, both in visible light and NoIR infrared versions. Both the normal models start at $25, while the wide angle versions cost $35. They’re now available at Raspberry Pi’s store

via Engadget

January 9, 2023 at 05:46AM