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Cometeer’s Frozen Coffee Pods Are My Afternoon Delight

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Cometeer’s Frozen Coffee Pods Are My Afternoon Delight

I hate coffee pods. Keurig and its ilk have never given me anything but a shockingly mediocre cup of coffee. To make matters worse, entombing those beans in single-use plastic is hard on the environment. So when Cometeer showed up in my inbox, I was more than a little skeptical. 

Here was a company that sold convenience in a tiny aluminum cup—brewed coffee, shipped to you frozen and packed in dry ice. I was so ready to go on a screed about the evils of single-use coffee pods and the drab, flavorless coffee they produce. Then I tried it, and tried it again, and again. Now it’s something I drink every day. It has replaced my afternoon iced coffee. If you’d warned me a few weeks ago that I’d be typing that sentence, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Death Before Instant

Photograph: Cometeer

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Instant coffee fills me with an oceanic sadness. It tastes like waking up in a cheap hotel, frantically getting your clothes packed so you don’t miss your flight. It tastes like waking up and realizing you slept through your alarm and you’re going to be late to work and maybe lose your job. I’d rather not drink coffee than drink instant coffee. 

On the other hand, fresh-brewed coffee makes my morning every day. I don’t turn my nose up at Folgers or Maxwell House or any other grocery store brand. If that’s what there is, I’ll drink it. I’m just busy, and like all single-serving coffee-pod companies, Cometeer is selling convenience. 

After tasting it, I’ll say there’s a world of difference between one of these little coffee pods and anything you’d get out of a Keurig or a freeze-dried powder. Once your Cometeer pods arrive, they go straight in your freezer until you’re ready for a cup.

If you’re drinking it hot, it comes together in the time it will take your kettle to boil. Just pop the pod into a cup and add hot water. If you want it iced, thaw the pod for about five minutes in warm water, or you’ll end up with a little frozen coffee puck floating around in your milk. Like with Nescafé and Keurig, it’s a time saver if you’re impatient or someone who wants a cup on the go. The difference is that Cometeer coffee actually tastes good.

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Side by side with a fresh shot of espresso, Cometeer coffee pods are noticeably different. There’s a bit of a sweet note, like you get out of a grocery store bottle of cold brew that just reminds you this isn’t exactly fresh. But add a splash of hot water to make it into an Americano, and honestly it’s pretty hard to tell the difference—depending on the pod.

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Apple’s mixed reality headset may feature an M2 processor

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Apple’s mixed reality headset may feature an M2 processor

The latest version of Apple’s long-rumored mixed reality headset features the company’s recently announced M2 system-on-a-chip and 16GB of RAM, according to Mark Gurman. The Bloomberg reporter shared the tidbit of information in his latest Power On newsletter – along with details on a “deluge” of devices Apple plans to release over the next year, including a new HomePod speaker.

As The Verge points out, most recent reports, including those from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and The Information, have suggested the augmented and virtual reality headset would feature two processors. According to Kuo, one of the SoCs would have the same capabilities as the company’s M1 chip, while the other would be a lower-end chip designed to handle data from the device’s sensors.

After years of rumors, there’s been increasing evidence Apple is getting closer to the day when it will finally announce its mixed reality headset. In May, a Twitter user found evidence Apple likely used a shell company to obtain trademarks for “RealityOS.” Earlier in the year, developers also found references to the operating system in App Store upload logs. More recently, Tim Cook told China Daily he “couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities” presented by augmented and virtual reality, and told the publication to “stay tuned and you will see what we have to offer” on that front.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Why inflation – not the crypto crash – will define Bitcoin

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Why inflation – not the crypto crash – will define Bitcoin

We are excited to bring Transform 2022 back in-person July 19 and virtually July 20 – 28. Join AI and data leaders for insightful talks and exciting networking opportunities. Register today!


Crypto is down. Badly. Bitcoin is at its lowest price in 18 months and the resulting headlines are dramatic. And yet, in the face of the crypto crash, not all hope is lost. Despite Bitcoin’s falling value, it remains to be seen just how the wider economic landscape impacts the coin’s long-term adoption.

Why? Because Bitcoin use cases are actually growing under the backdrop of global inflation. Beyond valuation, Bitcoin is finding new utility in this moment of market madness. Crypto’s biggest and oldest coin is showing promise on several fronts – from governments exploring it in international trade to investors searching for a digital store of value. Let’s look at why inflation – and not the crypto market crash – will define Bitcoin for the years to come.

Bitcoin as a store of value

With inflation rising to 8% in the United States, investors are desperate for a store of value –  an asset that can maintain its worth over time without depreciating. In the past, gold has been the tried and tested inflation hedge bet. This time around, $10 billion has been pulled from gold funds as investors increasingly turn to a newer alternative: Bitcoin.

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And why not? Like gold, Bitcoin is rare and counts a finite supply. Citing Bitcoin’s $700 billion market capitalization, compared to the around $2.6 trillion worth of gold owned as an investment, Goldman Sachs said in January that the cryptocurrency currently has a 20% share of the store of value market.

It’s important to note that further market maturity is required before Bitcoin is fully embraced as a store of value. A mature market counts long-term investors who can afford to weather price drops. Likewise, a mature market like gold relies on common frameworks, metrics and classifications across market participants. This year’s cryptocurrency volatility doesn’t reflect a mature market – yet.

Despite the coin’s rising correlation to the Nasdaq and other risk assets, Bitcoin is still a mechanically deflationary currency that is designed to hold its value in the long term. Just like the internet bubble at the turn of the century, today’s wild intraday peaks and troughs can be somewhat attributed to the hype and financialization of a revolutionary trend in its early days.

As digital assets are more widely embraced, expect to see institutional investors and crypto-specific funds act as stabilizing forces in the market. This will deliver much-needed maturity and potentially more buyers who see Bitcoin as a store of value.

Bitcoin in international trade and settlement

Speed, efficiency, risk: there are multiple reasons why cross-border digital payment is also being explored during these times of high inflation. For example, The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) recently developed prototypes for a common digital currencies platform. Codenamed “Project Dunbar,” the development proves that financial institutions could use central bank digital currencies to transact directly with one another on a shared platform. The issue for banks, however, is that realizing such a project remains years away.

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Earlier this year, The World Economic Forum outlined the benefits of digital currencies in global trade. They include speed – bringing the payment settlement time from days to minutes – as well as alternative credit – using a public blockchain ledger to share financial history and underwrite loans for import and export. Since it is by far the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is well-positioned to spearhead the introduction of digital monies into the financial ecosystem.

We are already starting to see this happen. Following this year’s sanctions from the international community, Russia was considering accepting Bitcoin as payment for its oil and gas exports from “friendly” countries. Despite the country’s evident desperation to circumvent sanctions, the move would set a precedent in international trade and, again, lead to further adoption of Bitcoin. This effort to “de-dollarize” trade could also see Bitcoin’s volatility start to ease as more such trades are made in the digital currency.

Bitcoin in developing economies

Unfortunately, the majority of the world shares in today’s economic pain. Inflation is eroding the purchasing power of currencies beyond the dollar and this is having an especially hard impact on developing countries. From the Turkish lira to the Nigerian naira, inflation is punishing local currencies in the throes of post-pandemic recovery. Here, economic uncertainty and instability are leading to more Bitcoin adoption.

In Turkey, its national currency unraveled against the dollar in the last quarter of 2021. As a result, cryptocurrency trading volumes using the lira leaped to an average of $1.8 billion a day across three exchanges. In Nigeria, meanwhile, a similar story of currency devaluations and tight access controls to foreign currencies led to more Bitcoin. Likewise in Russia. 

Increasingly, Bitcoin is emerging as more than a store of value to people – it’s a protection from hyperinflation. It remains to be seen where this will go. With growth, there could be community pushes that lead to more country-wide cryptocurrency adoptions like in El Salvador.

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Whatever happens next, it’s clear that the conversations and perspectives around Bitcoin are evolving with inflation. Whether it’s investors experimenting with crypto as a store of value, international banks and governments leveraging it in trade, or populations trying to protect their purchasing power, we are entering a new phase of adoption. 

Somewhat fortuitously, increased adoption is occurring at the same time as increased scalability. For years, Bitcoin has been held back by its comparatively long transaction times. Recently, however, scalability has become less of a hurdle thanks to developments like The Lightning Network and its fast transactions among participating nodes. This is key if Bitcoin is to take the position of functional money in international trade and societal currency. Watch this space.

Chen Li is CEO and founder of digital asset VC at Youbi Capital.

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Google warns internet service providers helped distribute Hermit spyware

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Google warns internet service providers helped distribute Hermit spyware

Google is warning of a sophisticated new spyware campaign that has seen malicious actors steal sensitive data from Android and iOS users in Italy and Kazakhstan. On Thursday, the company’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) shared its findings on RCS Labs, a commercial spyware vendor based out of Italy.

On June 16th, security researchers at Lookout linked the firm to Hermit, a spyware program believed to have been first deployed in 2019 by Italian authorities as part of an anti-corruption operation. Lookout describes RCS Labs as an NSO Group-like entity. The firm markets itself as a “lawful intercept” business and claims it only works with government agencies. However, commercial spyware vendors have come under intense scrutiny in recent years, largely thanks to governments using the Pegasus spyware to target activists and journalists.

According to Google, Hermit can infect both Android and iOS devices. In some instances, the company’s researchers observed malicious actors work with their target’s internet service provider to disable their data connection. They would then send the target an SMS message with a prompt to download the linked software to restore their internet connection. If that wasn’t an option, the bad actors attempted to disguise the spyware as a legitimate messaging app like WhatsApp or Instagram.

What makes Hermit particularly dangerous is that it can gain additional capabilities by downloading modules from a command and control server. Some of the addons Lookout observed allowed the program to steal data from the target’s calendar and address book apps, as well as take pictures with their phone’s camera. One module even gave the spyware the capability to root an Android device.

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Google believes Hermit never made its way to the Play or App stores. However, the company found evidence that bad actors were able to distribute the spyware on iOS by enrolling in Apple’s Developer Enterprise Program. Apple told The Verge that it has since blocked any accounts or certificates associated with the threat. Meanwhile, Google has notified affected users and rolled out an update to Google Play Protect.

The company ends its post by noting the growth of the commercial spyware industry should concern everyone. “These vendors are enabling the proliferation of dangerous hacking tools and arming governments that would not be able to develop these capabilities in-house,” the company said. “While use of surveillance technologies may be legal under national or international laws, they are often found to be used by governments for purposes antithetical to democratic values: targeting dissidents, journalists, human rights workers and opposition party politicians.”

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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