Hamilton Beach puts a spin on the French press

Technology has had a major impact on the goings-on in the kitchen. However, there are still some things that are hard to improve upon (at least from a preparation perspective). Take French press coffee for example. The simple preparation of steeping ground coffee in hot water produces results that are well respected for a reason: it just works.

Now, that's not to say an automatic plunger and integrated timer that tweets wouldn't improve the device, but for the most part, French press coffee makers are manual creations that do a really good job at what they do. But … Read more

Chocolate-activated coat a key to wearable tech's future

Please don't be fooled.

Wearable tech isn't about giving you more information. It's about giving everyone else more information about you.

"Look, I'm wearing a Fitbit wristband!" It means that I am fitter than you and I care more about my health. "Look, I'm wearing Google Glass!" It means I have money and I'm a sociopath.

So the future of wearable tech is more about display than self-improvement.

Famed chocolate maker Cadbury understands this sweet spot. So it has brought some vast brains together to create a piece of piece … Read more

Impossible-to-kill plant and other Mother's Day gifts

The trouble with holidays that fall on a different day every year is they sneak up on you. At least that's how I rationalize my lack of preparation. So consider yourself warned, fellow slackers. Mother's Day is May 12 this year, and on behalf of moms everywhere, I suggest you start planning.

First, let's get something straight. I appreciate the standard, go-to gifts as much as the next mom, but nothing screams "I bought this 5 minutes ago" than flowers or a box of chocolates. Don't phone it in, people! Mother's Day may … Read more

The 404 1,219: Where it's all play and no work (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Just say no: Polaroid returns with an instant camera shaped like...the Instagram icon.

- "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme song prompts school lockdown.

- You should watch "Room 237," a fan theory documentary about "The Shining."

- 50 fan theories that will blow your mind, and the Subreddit that goes with it.… Read more

Audrey Hepburn shines again in new CGI ad

No one can play Audrey Hepburn as well as Audrey Hepburn.

Through the magic of computer-generated imagery, the Galaxy chocolate company -- known as Dove outside the U.K. and Ireland -- has brought the deceased movie star back to life for a lovely one-minute commercial by ad agency AMV BBDO and visual-effects company Framestore. … Read more

Taste test: Does hot cocoa taste better from an orange cup?

I've always heard that smell plays an important role in how food tastes. I didn't expect that color could also sway the taste buds. A study published in the Journal of Sensory Studies found that the color of a cup can influence the way people taste hot chocolate.

Betina Piqueras-Fiszman, a researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain, and Charles Spence, a professor at the University of Oxford in England, subjected 57 participants to what may be one the tastiest science experiments ever.

The participants tasted samples of hot chocolate served in four different colors of plastic cups: white, cream, red, and orange. The sippers preferred the flavor of the beverage in orange or cream-colored cups. … Read more

S'mores outdoors no more

The chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker treat that is known as a s'more is one that usually requires a great deal of preparation. No, not the normal food preparation one normally partakes of in the kitchen; rather instead of chopping boards and knives, s'more prep requires kindling and tree branches. Unless of course there happens to be a handy s'more-making machine nearby.

The Indoor Flameless Marshmallow Roaster brings the camping to the kitchen counter and leaves the campfire behind. The countertop device plugs into a standard AC outlet and measures about 14 inches by 14 inches with … Read more

Nestle taps GPS tracking in modern Willy Wonka contest

Sweet! Nestle has randomly put a GPS tracking device into half a dozen chocolate bars sold in the U.K. and Ireland, giving candy connoisseurs a chance to win 10,000 pounds ($16,218) upon discovery.

As Obi-Wan Kenobi would probably say, it is as if millions of British dentists suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. … Read more

Cocoagraph turns photos into chocolate treats

Who says you can't take a picture and eat it too?

Cocoagraph, a company based in Philadelphia, provides a unique service that allows shutterbugs to turn any image (be it a scan or a smartphone snapshot from Instagram) into various sizes of chocolate. You even get to choose the kind of chocolate you want depending on the level of cocoa content. … Read more

The 404 1,041: Where we unbox this box (podcast)

Jeff and I find ourselves in a conversation about candy in this morning's preshow that bleeds over into today's recorded episode. Why? Well, we heard a story about Steve Jobs proposing a Willy Wonka style contest to celebrate the sale of the millionth original Apple iMac.

It comes from a book coming out soon called "Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success," and it talks about how Steve wanted to put a custom gold ticket inside a single iMac box that would land the winner a trip to Cupertino, Calif., for a tour of … Read more