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Coffee News, 1-27-2015

You Might Want That Latte "To Go"

There's a small catch...
Lots of us like to work from coffee shops. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the constant flow of caffeine and conversation can go a long way to fuel creativity and collaboration. Marketing firm Castleford has a timely reminder that it's always a good idea to be mindful of your wireless security in coffee shops (and really, anywhere else offering free Wi-Fi) to prevent your laptop, tablet, or mobile phone from being exploited. The research, conducted at Georgia Tech (underwritten by the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research), is intended to identify as-yet unused security loopholes so that programmers and designers can keep hackers from exploiting them.

Looking for the Next Hot Neighborhood? Find a Starbucks.

Quartz has a lengthy excerpt from Spencer Rascoff and Stan Humphries' Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate that provides some interesting insights into the art and science of choosing business locations and what that means for the area surrounding the business. For years, McDonalds was practically legendary for its ability to choose winning locations for its stores (which is one reason why you'll see so many other fast food and retail locations near your typical McDonalds). It appears that Starbucks has stolen some of McDonalds' thunder, partly because of careful property choices and partly because it turns out that a Starbucks opening in your neighborhood is a good sign that property values will be climbing soon. Unlike the stock market, where nobody can quite agree whether it's a leading indicator or a trailing indicator, the research shows that Starbucks locations are a reliable predictor of rising home values and gentrification. With their long expertise in real estate, the folks at Zillow should know.

Set Your Coffee Free(ish)

A short time ago, we remarked that one of the biggest annoyances about the new Keurig 2.0 was the fact that the company had introduced a clumsy yet effective attempt at DRM (Digital Rights Management) for its new coffee pods. We weren't the only ones to take notice. TechCrunch reports that the Rogers family (who own gourmet-coffee.com) have devised a simple hack called the Freedom Clip that tricks the 2.0's sensor into thinking any cup -- from the cheaper cups used by older machines to the reusable My K-Cup -- is an "acceptable" 2.0 cup. That ought to warm the cockles of your heart (or at least your favorite coffee).

No Wonder the City Never Sleeps

Website Massive Health has an interesting infographic breaking down food popularity by region. Some of the findings aren't terribly surprising (are we really shocked that they love their pretzels in Philly?), but a few of the others range from moderately surprising (Sao Paolo oustrips the rest of the world in bean consumption, for instance -- must be all that Feijoada) to real head scratchers (Paulistas apparently also love their kale). If you're wondering who has the highest per-capita rate of coffee consumption in the world, there's no contest. New York drinks nearly seven times more of the stuff than any other city in the world. (Click to view the graphic at full size)