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Recommended Reading: An MIT engineer's coffee quest


Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

Can Blossom's MIT-Enhanced Brew Win Over Skeptical Baristas?
by Danielle Sacks, Fast Company

The quest for the perfect cup o' joe has led to some rather amazing new brewers over the last few years, and the same goes for this MIT engineer's creation. The Blossom One Limited is a brewing unit that gives the barista complete control over all aspects of the process, except for the actual roasting of the beans. Water temperature, coffee dosage, grind, immersion time and more can be tweaked during the search for the best combination. Creator Jeremy Kuempel notes how coffee is more complex than wine on a genetic level, so he sought to make a unit that could showcase the unique properties of different varieties. Oh yeah, the ability to calculate perfection will cost your coffee shop $4,950.

One Year In, Fox Sports 1 Hasn't Lived Up to the Hype
by Jeanine Poggi, Ad Age

A year ago this month, Fox Sports 1 debuted with much fanfare, and many expected it to give the sports-broadcasting juggernaut ESPN a run for its money. Even with the addition of baseball in the spring, numbers haven't improved and the massive expectations seem to have been too great. Tweaking daytime studio shows and adding the likes of NASCAR and Major League Soccer, the network looks to boost the viewer tally in 2015.


Death of the Car: The Tech Behind Helsinki's Ambitious Plan to Kill Off Private Vehicles
by Eeva Haaramo
, ZDNet

Thanks to a complete overhaul of the Helsinki, Finland, public transit system, by 2025, the changes could make having an automobile futile. As you might expect, adding more buses, trains and taxis is part of the plan, but there's also a new high-tech system with its own payment platform that sorts fares for all of the available options. The idea is to have all of the modes, and the ability to pay for them, in one convenient place.


The Evolution of the Headphone
by liGo

If you've ever wondered what the lineage of the personal listening devices that your employ daily looks like, ponder no more. Thanks to UK-based retailer liGo, you can scroll through the 120-year timeline that's complete with complimentary tunes for the personal audio journey through time -- starting with the Electrophone in the 1890s and moving through Beats' wares today.


Saluting the Women Behind the Screen
by Chris Suellentrop
, The New York Times

Here, Chris Suellentrop takes a look at the somewhat limited part that women play in game development. Or at least, the limited amount of credit they've received for their work over the course of gaming history. It serves as a primer to learn about the important roles women have played along the way, and a call to keep diversifying the industry. The piece concludes: "Video games will never be widely accepted as the art form of interactive culture if half of humanity doesn't help to shape their future."


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