Are ready-to-eat boiled eggs the most pointless convenience food ever?

The Yowk egg takes “just five minutes” to cook, once you pour boiling water over it. Which for anyone with a hob as well as a kettle, means this convenience snack actually takes longer than simply dropping an egg into a saucepan of boiling water for the requisite amount of time (four minutes and 45 seconds is my tried-and-tested magic number).

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Toy Story, 20 years later: how Pixar made its first blockbuster

According to Susman, the Pixar team initially thought they could render the film over 20 months using 53 processors. Each of the machines in the render farm was named after an animal, and when it completed a frame it would play the corresponding animal’s sound. The number of machines eventually grew to 300, but even that pales in comparison to the computing power Pixar wields today. Susman said that the company now has 23,000 processors at its disposal — enough to render the original Toy Story in real time.

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Terry Pratchett’s name lives on in ‘the clacks’ with hidden web code

What better way to remember the beloved inventor of this fictional system, then, than “GNU Terry Pratchett”? Reddit users have designed a code that anyone with basic webcoding knowledge can embed into their own websites(anyone without basic webcoding knowledge can use the plugins for WordPress and other platforms). The code is called the XClacksOverhead, and it sets a header reading “GNU Terry Pratchett”. “If you had to be dead,” thinks a character in Going Postal, “it seemed a lot better to spend your time flying between the towers than lying underground.” And so Pratchett is, in a way.

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Kindle Cover Disasters: the world’s worst ebook artwork

Judging a book by its cover is generally frowned upon, but the same cannot be said for ebooks. Especially when they are ebooks called Young Tales of the Old Cosmos, and the cover is a picture of three moons with human expressions best described as “Buh?”, “Hmm” and “Ooh”. When they’re that, you can frankly judge yourselves blind.

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Inflation basket of goods highlights seven decades of changing UK lifestyles

In 1947, the Ministry of Labour and National Service began recording the prices of a “typical” shopping basket to help calculate inflation. As the prices of the various items in the basket change over time, so does the total cost of the basket. Each year, the basket is updated and new products and services are added while others are removed. Responsibility for the inflation figures later moved to what is now known as the Office for National Statistics. The march of technology saw ebooks included for the first time in 2013 along with digital television receivers. Last year, DVD recorders were dropped (seen as old technology) – along with hardwood flooring (a victim of austerity).

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Spec savers? One pair of glasses comes into view

With a pair for reading, another for using a computer and another to watch the television or drive the car, finding the right ones can be a frustration. But turning the house upside down in the search for the right pair of specs could be a thing of the past thanks to Adlens. The Oxford-based company specialises in “adjustable focus eyewear” – glasses that can change their strength at the turn of a dial, depending on what activity you’re using them for. Around 600,000 pairs have been bought around the world in almost four years – including in the developing world, with the eyewear sold for £1 a pair to Rwandans in need of corrected vision via a connected charity.

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Digerati, heal thyself: Blaming our shortcomings on our devices

More often than not, when you’re ignoring your friends at the table, you’re doing it to connect to someone else. Is that always good? Maybe not, but the ability to connect to people who aren’t near us is just as important as being able to connect to those around us. It’s one of the fricking miracles of modern technology and the horny one has had it with people getting the connection vapors every time a new technology comes out that makes it easier.

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Tracking travelers’ phones let Cincinnati airport cut security line waits by a third

Going through airport security is a miserable experience, but airports are at least starting to figure out ways to get you through the line quicker. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport says that the median wait time in its security lines has dropped by a third, going from 13.2 minutes to 8.9 minutes, after installing a system that tracks travelers’ phones to estimate how much traffic each line has. The system allows the airport to display to passengers how long the wait in each of its security lines is. It also allows the airport to adjust its resources to respond to demand.

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Can Soup change the world?

With a small team of dedicated volunteers, an empty hall is quickly filled with tables laden with huge loaves of bread, and the waft of soup. Kaherl and friends started Detroit Soup to help local artists fulfil their creative ambition. Five years on, “Soup”, as it’s more commonly known, is a city-wide movement which has reached well beyond the artistic community. “Tonight is our 95th soup, and in total we’ve raised over $85,000 (£57,000),” she says proudly.

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