TIME Gadgets

5 Great Gadgets for Coffee Lovers

Civet Coffee In Indonesia
Nicky Loh—Getty Images A man holds up roasted Kopi Luwak coffee seeds inside a 'Kopi Luwak' or Civet coffee farm and cafe on May 27, 2013 in Tampaksiring, Bali, Indonesia.

What do you buy the person who loves coffee? More and better ways to drink it.

The Boston Tea Party might have fueled the American Revolution, but coffee is the drink that runs the country today. According to annual research by the National Coffee Association (NCA), 61% of American adults take down a cup of joe daily, with 34% of respondents saying they only sip the good, gourmet stuff.

As a result, as beloved as a fresh pot is, coffee related gifts are a sure-fire way to satisfy that hard-to-shop-for person on your list. And while you can certainly buy friends and family a bag of great beans, these five great gadgets will last coffee lovers much longer, and they’ll never need a refresh.

Breville Smart Coffee Grinder

Properly coordinating grind settings, timing, and dosing is a science almost as confounding as astrophysics (which might be one reason why an increasing number of baristas have college degrees). Breville’s $199 Smart Coffee Grinder automates the process with technology designed to calculate the proper dose of coffee based on what you’re planning on pouring, whether you’re packing an espresso shot or planning on pouring a French press.

With 25 distinct grind settings, the grinder’s stainless steel conical burrs can make short work of any beans you toss its way. And the grinder’s push-button controls and LCD display turn it into a fool-proof way to get fresh grinds, no diploma required.

Duracell Powermat Ring

Starbucks addicts know the Seattle-based coffee chain not only as a place to fuel up with a fresh brew, but where they can top off their phone, too. Recently the company has rolled out Powermat charging stations in its 200 San Francisco locations — and you know it’s only a matter of time before this new technology spills to Starbucks locales across the nation.

A wireless charging technology, Powermat can charge any smartphone equipped with Duracell’s accompanying Ring. Just plug the Ring into your phone and put it on the mat embedded in the table, and it starts to charge on contact. Currently, to make the system work, Starbucks is loaning or selling the Ring. But stay tuned, because the $10 charging dongle — which is listed as “out of stock” on Duracell’s website — is soon to become be the hottest coffee accessory going.

Impress Coffee Brewer

The terrible thing about most instant coffees is how their tastes betray their convenience. But the Impress Coffee Brewer actually allows discerning coffee drinkers to make a cup of French press on the fly in three minutes. The travel mug has an integrated plunger and reverse-flow filter that keeps the grind separated from the coffee after you press it down. Brewing 13 ounces, the stainless steel, double-walled outer cup stays cool to the touch, insulated by the air between itself and the inner cup that doubles as the filter. And completely dishwasher-safe, the $33 brewer is ready to make another cup as soon as you tap out the old grounds. It’s a very low-tech, high quality way to stay caffeinated.

Keurig 2.0 K550

One of the hottest trends in coffee in recent years has been single-cup brewers. According to the NCA study, this year, 29% of Americans had used one within the previous 24 hours, up 9% from 2013. No doubt, the convenience of appliances like the $199.99 Keurig 2.0 K550 are a big reason why. Able to brew a single cup or a four-cup carafe, this new, push-button, one-shot coffee maker improves upon the long-popular original Keurig with programmable controls, a 2.8-inch color touch display, and the ability to read the lid of various pods and tweak its settings to brew the perfect cup. Boasting 250 beverage varieties from more than 40 brands — and special hot water or cocoa settings — it’s much more than just a coffee maker.

Mr. Coffee Smart Coffeemaker

Timing is everything when it comes to brewing great coffee. Heck, it’s even important with mediocre and bad coffee. No matter what kind of beans you brew, the internet-connected Mr. Coffee Smart Coffeemaker will make sure it’s ready when you want it. Configurable through Belkin’s WeMo app, the 10-cup carafe can go from grounds to goodness in just eight minutes — that’s less time than the snooze cycle on your alarm clock. And whether you use the app to set up a week’s worth of coffee it in advance, or to simply reach out from under the covers and press the “brew” button on your smartphone to get the freshest joe possible, the Android and iOS compatible interface makes it easy to schedule (or reschedule) your morning cup. But I feel obligated to point out this $149 device’s biggest shortfall: you still have to load the machine up with water and coffee grounds. There’s no robotic element that can do that for you — yet.

TIME Video Games

13 Reasons I’d Still Pick Nintendo’s Wii U Over the PS4 and Xbox One

The case for Nintendo's flagship console in 2014.

A year ago, the argument over which game console to buy went something like this: The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were shiny black spec-troves of next-gen performance assurances glossed with wishful gameplay hypotheticals wrapped around the reality of comparably anemic launch titles, whereas the Wii U had Super Mario 3D World, LEGO City Undercover, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101. The best PS4/X1 launch game, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, was on the Wii U, too, and so the choice seemed obvious, at least through December 2013.

But 2014 turned out to be a weird year. People actually bought the new consoles, despite much morbid prophesying in the years leading up to their arrival about the death of set-tops. The PlayStation 4 went on to sell so many units worldwide that by August even Sony was scratching its head in bewilderment. And while the Xbox One appears to be selling at lower volumes (Microsoft’s been reticent about its performance), it’s still outpacing life-to-date sales of its predecessor. Both companies are performing at levels they weren’t supposed to, in other words.

Nintendo, too. Pundits prematurely mourned the Wii U (including yours truly) after gloomy fiscal 2013 figures in early May, as Wii U sales slowed to a trickle. But the Wii U rebounded a week later off the arrival of Mario Kart 8, and the company on the whole rebounded in October (thanks to indefatigable Mario Kart 8 sales) when Nintendo announced a surprising fiscal course reversal. Nintendo’s Wii U has at last check sold over 7 million units, and that’s before Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U or the forthcoming Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker hit the books.

MORE: This Is Why Nintendo Is Crushing It All of a Sudden

So 2014 basically wants to plunder your bank account (and probably already has). And the looting’s just started: we’re now looking at a console triumvirate in 2015, each system staking out sustainable turf, and each now boasting a bevy of unmissable existing games and anticipated upcoming ones. What to do?

You could buy them all, of course, but that’s a hardcore move and financially impractical for most. You could pick two, and even if you’re dead set on owning gaming with a PC, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, there’s a powerful argument here for the Wii U as a must-have secondary system, given the caliber of its exclusive content.

But let’s assume you have none of the above, and that you’re finally ready to pull the trigger on something that isn’t a smartphone, tablet or PC. Were that my circle to square, and if I didn’t do this for a living…

I’d still pick the Wii U…

1. Because it still has the first- and second-party games I most want to play now

It’s been a good year for third-party games you won’t find on Nintendo’s Wii U. Alien: Isolation, Far Cry 4, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Dragon Age: Inquisition are terrific. But you could also argue the rest of 2014’s triple-A darlings are basically recycling bin material: Diablo III, Grand Theft Auto V, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, The Last of Us and Halo: The Master Chief Collection look tremendous in their new digs, but they’re still remakes of games we already played, however compellingly wrinkled.

As far as standout exclusive new-IP goes, the Xbox One has Sunset Overdrive and Forza Horizon 2 (and maybe Titanfall), while Sony has Final Fantasy XIV and Velocity 2X. But that’s it. And, not that I’m complaining, the PS4 and Xbox One are basically cheap midrange PCs, parleying the lingua franca of a decades-old gaming paradigm interface-wise. Any notion of inventive holism pretty much died when Microsoft unbundled Kinect from Xbox One.

Nintendo’s playing a very different game with its very different-looking console, where, absent robust third-party support, it’s doubled down on first- and second-party properties, as well as banking on the fact that no one else (on consoles, handhelds, computers, or mobile devices) has the sort of franchise cross-demographic appeal it does. You could call that requirement to self-propel a liability — or an opportunity.

Thus on Wii U, you now have a small library of standouts, like: Bayonetta 2, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Hyrule Warriors, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, LEGO City Undercover, Mario Kart 8, New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3, Pushmo World, Super Mario 3D World, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and The Wonderful 101. It’s an enviable exclusive lineup by any measure.

Nintendo’s also been making something of the fact that on Metacritic, eight Wii U games (Super Mario 3D World, Rayman Legends, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Pikmin 3) currently hold critic scores of 85 or higher and user scores of 8.5 or better, compared with just two games all told across rival consoles. I’m ambivalent about score aggregation sites (and scores in general) as quality arbiters, but it is interesting to note that rare confluence of critical and public appraisal.

2. Nintendo doesn’t need third parties the way Microsoft and Sony do

The point in any for-profit business is, by definition, to be profitable. If Nintendo can figure out how to stay in the black, given the company’s first- and second-party software attach rates, I’m not sure how much unit sales matter in terms of who’s first, second or third, so long as there’s steady growth.

No, you’ll never see crazy Grand Theft Auto V figures on the Wii U, where you’re selling tens of millions of copies of a game across platforms with a combined install footprint of over 150 million units (for that matter, it’s hard to conceive of Mario Kart Wii sales levels). But at 2 or 3 or 4 million units a piece, the bestselling Wii U titles are selling at perfectly respectable levels given the number of systems in the wild.

And if the Wii U continues to make install base inroads and its first/second party attach rates remain high, Nintendo may be all the support Nintendo needs to make good on its platform for at least the next several years, while at the same time being able to plausibly brag that the Wii U has the best games per capita.

It’s a shame Nintendo hasn’t been able to lure more third-party bigwigs, but whether that’s the development environment (the Wii U lacks processing headroom, contrasted with its peers) or the chicken-egg install base conundrum, it’s also ironically turning out to be a bootstraps referendum on a company’s ability to singlehandedly revitalize its flagship platform.

3. Nintendo just opened a massive new game development center in Kyoto

An addendum to the last point, Nintendo of America president and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed in a phone interview that the company’s focus is now squarely on Nintendo-delivered content.

“We have to use our first-party and increasingly second-party content to grow our install base, that’s our mission,” Fils-Aime told me, then qualified this by noting Nintendo just opened a research and development facility in Kyoto, right next to the company’s global headquarters.

“This R&D center will be the home to 1,500 game developers,” Fils-Aime said. “Companies would be thrilled to have that many game developers working on their business. We have these game developers creating content exclusive to our platforms.”

Again, the key phrase here is doubling down. It guarantees nothing, but to the extent educated guesses matter when making buying choices, I’d say it means we’ll see a lot more Nintendo-led content emerge from Kyoto in the years to come–content designed to justify the kinds of idiosyncratic holistic experiences that Nintendo specializes in.

4. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is already buoying the system (as Mario Kart 8 before it)

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U sold just shy of half a million copies in the U.S. alone from November 21 to 23, making it the fastest selling Wii U game to date. That’s not a surprise, given the franchise’s appeal and the game’s unanimous critical plaudits. But looking at how much Mario Kart 8 alone did for the platform, it also undergirds the argument that Nintendo may be able to sustain the Wii U simply by delivering compelling Nintendo-incubated experiences rolling forward.

5. Speaking of, the Wii U’s 2015 lineup looks terrific

Some of the games I’ve personally been waiting for longest on any platform arrive next year: Splatoon (a cooperative anti-shooter in which teams attempt to slime swathes of a base with paint-guns for points), Yoshi’s Wooly World (the followup to Kirby’s Epic Yarn for Wii), Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (the followup to Kirby: Canvas Curse for the Nintendo DS), Xenoblade Chronicles X (a spiritual sequel to the best open-world roleplaying game I’ve ever played), Star Fox (the behind-the-scenes E3 demo I played was a little shaky, but some of the ideas and related “Project” mini-games were intriguing) and of course the enigmatic new The Legend of Zelda (you can take “enormous high-def world” for granted–producer Eiji Aonuma’s plans to subvert classic Zelda tropes is far more interesting).

6. Off-TV gaming still rules

Yes, Nintendo hasn’t made the second screen as novel and vital an interface as the Wii Remote and Nunchuk were for the Wii, and yes, the system’s meager wireless range (about two dozen feet) can be prohibitive. But if you want to yield control of your TV to someone else, the Wii U GamePad is the perfect size and interface to game off-screen, and an indulgence I’ll miss if the Wii U’s successor nixes the option.

7. It’s the only portable game console

The Wii U remains the only game system you can readily shlep around like a handheld, and one with friendlier ergonomics for longterm sessions than either Sony’s PS Vita or Nintendo’s own 3DS. The PS4’s slender enough, but you’d need to lug a screen with you, and it’s the screen that’s probably the biggest hurdle here. By folding the screen into the gamepad, Nintendo has essentially designed the first portable gaming platform that doesn’t in some fundamental way (think the tiny thumbsticks on the Vita) compromise the interface to said platform.

8. It’s powerful enough…

No, the Wii U can’t run games like Far Cry 4 or Assassin’s Creed Unity (looking as good as they do on PS4 or Xbox One, anyway), but that’s also the wrong reason to buy a Wii U. Look at the right reason–the system’s unmatchable first/second-party lineup–and the Wii U shines as a high-def platform in its own right.

For the record, several Wii U games on the system run at native 1080p (including Super Smash Bros. for Wii U). But even the ones that don’t–those running at 720p or some sub-1080p variant, say Mario Kart 8–look fantastic on a 1080p screen.

9. …while not at all power-hungry

Relative to the PlayStation 4 (137 watts) and Xbox One (112 watts), the Wii U sips just 34 watts of power on average when playing games, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. When streaming video, it employs less than half as much power (29 watts) as the next-worst console (the Xbox One at 74 watts). Its standby power is less than 1 watt (versus 8.5 watts for the PS4 and 15.7 watts for the Xbox One), and in annual energy use, it rates 37 kWh/y, versus 181 kWh/y (PS4) and 233 kWh/y (Xbox One).

10. It has the Virtual Console plus Wii backward-compatiblity

The PS4 still plays PS4 games and the Xbox One, only Xbox One games. The Wii U plays Wii U games, but also the entire Wii library (over 1,000 and counting), as well as NES and Super NES classics via the Virtual Console, from Super Metroid to F-Zero and Earthbound to Super Mario Bros. 3.

Sony is tinkering with its PlayStation Now streaming service, now in open beta, but the service forces you to make compromises, chiefly visual ones related to streaming inconsistencies derived from the intrinsic fickleness of the Internet.

11. It’s an unabashed games console, not a media player

Nintendo makes no bones about this, and that’s actually kind of nice. The PS4 and Xbox One are either too cumbersome or thermally challenged to nestle in cramped entertainment centers, nor are they as versatile as something like an Amazon Fire TV or Roku (or even an Apple TV, if you’re after iTunes library streaming).

You can access basic streaming services like Amazon, Hulu, Netflix and YouTube on the Wii U, and I’ll grant that Nintendo would benefit from adding music alternates like Spotify or Pandora. But I don’t miss Blu-ray or DVD or music CD support, because I don’t use physical media in set-top boxes anymore (and haven’t for years). That’s just a way-the-wind’s-a-blowin’ thing.

12. Amiibo adds gameplay wrinkles no one else has

Amiibo–Nintendo’s take on the toy-game market dominated by Skylanders and Disney Infinity–was designed from the get-go to work with each Nintendo game uniquely. And while current Hyrule Warriors and Mario Kart 8 functionality seems superficial (either daily bonuses or costume unlocks), its integration with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is all but essential.

In the latter game, your amiibo becomes your sparring partner, leveling up as you train it and “feed” it stat boosts and mold it into something that’s uniquely your own. You can then use it in battles against other players’ amiibos, or–and this is a crucial idea-seller for me–as a way to study your own strengths and weaknesses: if you’re great at a certain maneuver, your amiibo will be too, but if you’re not doing something you ought to be, say raising your character’s shield, neither will your amiibo.

13. It’s still the cheapest current-gen console

$300 plus two pack-in games (Super Mario 3D World & Nintendo Land), versus $400 for Sony’s PlayStation 4 and $350 for Microsoft’s Xbox One (until $50 off deal expires in early January). That $50 to $100 differential adds up to additional games and accessories.

There’s also no annual subscription fee to access Nintendo’s online services, which, contrasted with Sony and Microsoft’s all but mandatory fees, saves you another $50 to $60 per year.

And while games like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Hyrule Warriors and Mario Kart 8 have made the leap to $60, the Wii U still has the most non-indie sub-$60 games today, from Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, New Super Luigi U and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD to LEGO City: Undercover, Nintendo Land and Wii Party U.

Vote Now: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year?

TIME Gadgets

You Can Now Watch South Park on Your Chromecast

South Park
Getty Images—Getty Images Characters from the cartoon TV show "South Park", including Elton John (rear) with (from L to R) Kenny, Stan, Kyle and Cartman are featured in a 1998 episode.

Also Epix, Encore and Seasame Street Go

Google’s streaming stick Chromecast is getting some popular new content for the Thanksgiving holiday. The device will now support apps for Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street Go and TuneIn. Chromecast will also add more movies with the addition of Epix and Encore and more international content with the addition of the Indian television service YuppTV.

Chromecast seems to have been the most successful of Google’s many attempts to invade the living room. The device’s simple design and low price have been imitated by competitors like Roku and Amazon, which have either launched new streaming sticks or redesigned older models since the Chromecast’s release.

TIME Smartphones

These Are the Best Smartphone Deals This Black Friday

Apple iPhone 6/6 Plus Launch in Japan
Chris McGrath—Getty Images A member of the press compares the new iPhone models at the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus at the Apple Omotesando store on September 19, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.

And this Cyber Monday

Couldn’t snag a new phone earlier this fall? This weekend might be the best time — if you’re willing to brave the lines and the early wake-up times, or manage to get a good deal online. Here are a few big smartphone deals to watch out for:

Apple iPhone 6 16GB
Original price: $199 with two-year contract

Starting Friday, Walmart and Sam’s Club will offer a 16GB iPhone 6 for $179 with a two-year contract in addition a bonus $75 gift card. At Target, the 16GB iPhone 6 with a two-year contract will be sold at $180 with a $30 gift card. At Best Buy, the same iPhone 6 with a two-year contract is sold at $199 with a $100 gift card if you trade in your old iPhone.

Samsung Galaxy S5
Original price: $199 with a two-year contract

At Best Buy, the Galaxy S5 with a two-year contract will be sold for $1.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Original price: $299 with two-year contract

Verizon is offering a $199 Galaxy Note 4s with a two-year contract on Friday.

Unlocked Second Generation Motorola Moto X
Original price: $499

Motorola is selling the unlocked second generation Moto X 16GB at $359 on Monday. For Verizon customers, a new Moto X is only $0.01 with a two-year contract.

Unlocked Amazon Fire Phone
Original price: $649

The unlocked Amazon Fire phone without a contract will be $199 on Amazon, and it also comes with a full year of Amazon Prime, valued at $99 — meaning the phone works out to $100, all told. It’s unclear if this is just a Black Friday deal or a permanent price change to spark the lagging Fire Phone’s sales.

TIME Media

Here’s What’s New on Netflix This December

Netflix Illustrations Ahead Of Earnings
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images The Netflix Inc. application is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.

The Wolf of Wall Street will soon be up for streaming

As you’re enjoying your upcoming holidays, there’s a good chance some Netflix streaming could be in your vacation plans. Not to worry: the folks at Decider have published a handy list of the movies and TV shows that are on slate to debut on Netflix in December.

The biggest get is probably the Oscar-nominated The Wolf of Wall Street, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the unscrupulous banker Jordan Belfort. Anchorman 2 is also arriving with a special director’s cut. And we still have a soft spot for Heath Ledger’s A Knight’s Tale, which you’ll be able to stream starting Dec. 1.

Here’s the entire list, via Decider:

Available December 1st:

A Knight’s Tale (2001)
Almost Famous (2000)
American Beauty (1999)
Bewitched (2005)
Camp Takota (2014)
Crossroads (2002)
Jewtopia (2012)
Knights of Badassdom (2014)
Madison (2005)
Out of the Clear Blue Sky (2012)
Out of Time (2003)
The Out-of-Towners (1999)
Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
Turbo FAST: New Episodes (2014)

Available December 3rd-6th:

American Horror Story: Coven (2013)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super Sized Version (2013)
Ava & Lala (2014)
Bill Burr: I’m Sorry You Feel That Way (2014)
Oculus (2014)
Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)
Son of God (2014)

Available December 8th-11th:

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown: Season Three (2013)
A Haunted House 2 (2014)
Drive Hard (2014)
I Am Ali (2014)
The Village (2004)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Available December 12th-15th:

Broadchurch: Season One (2013)
Don’t Blink (2014)
Jake Squared (2014)
Marco Polo (2014)
Nick Offerman: American Ham (2014)

Available December 18th-23rd:

All Hail King Julien (2014)
Dark Skies (2013)
The Honourable Woman: Season One (2013)
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)
Ragnarok (2014)
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
The Trip to Italy (2014)

Available December 24th-30th:

Behaving Badly (2014)
Child of God (2014)
Comedy Bang! Bang!: Season Three (2013)
Good People (2014)
I, Frankenstein (2014)
Jessie: Season Three (2013)
Labor Day (2013)
Last Weekend (2014)
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (2014)
Maron: Season 2 (2013)

TIME Security

Watch Out For These 3 Holiday Online Shopping Scams

157027870
John Lamb—Getty Images Shopping online

How to keep your personal info safe while you shop

The holiday deals are already rolling out with early Black Friday specials on Amazon, holiday circulars leaking online and big name retailers offering incentives to buy directly from their sites to get a jump on your gift list. But along with the amazing Internet deals come the scammers with new and inventive ways to trick you into handing over your credit card number and personal information.

Here are three of the biggest scams to watch out for this holiday shopping season:

1. Incredible discounts from unknown site

Not every site offering a great deal is up to no good, but the more amazing the offer, the more wary you should be. Entering your credit card info won’t get you that great gift on a bogus site, but it will get the scammers your credit card info and address which, will allow them to start racking up charges.

These sites can also lure you in by offering not products, but coupons for popular gifts. If you find yourself having to enter a lot of personal information to get the coupon, reconsider if it’s worth it.

What to look for: Watch out for sites with strangely spelled names (i.e. Taarget.com). Be wary of ridiculously discounted deals on high price items like iPads or hard to get items like the hot toy of the season. And when using a lesser known site, use a unique password if you have to sign up for an account to purchase.

2. Malicious links in text, email or Facebook feeds

Your digital life will be targeted in a number of ways to get you to click on a link that will download spyware or a malicious program designed to capture your passwords and other personal information. These will come in the form of offers for great deals in your inbox, on your mobile phone via text messages and on Facebook from shady accounts. Also beware the emails telling you a package you didn’t order is being delivered.

What to look for: Carefully check the source of the link. Even if it’s from someone you know, if you didn’t know it was coming, contact them first to make sure they sent it. If it’s from an unknown source and offers an amazing deal, you can bet that it’s a scam.

3. Bogus gift card offers

This popular stocking stuffer is a vehicle for a common Internet scam. It involves an email or text saying you’ve qualified for a deep discount on a gift card ($10 for a $25 card!) But the site it takes you to asks for extensive personal information. Enough for scammers to get into your bank account, for example.

What to look for: This one is straightforward, don’t click on any links for amazing deals. Also, be wary if you come across any sites that offer gift cards at unheard of prices.

What to do if you think you’ve been scammed
If you think you’ve clicked on a link that downloaded something malicious to your device, immediately run a virus scanning program. This is especially true if you are on your mobile phone or tablet. Those devices aren’t immune to scamware, even iPhones and iPads.

If you given your credit card information to a site you think may be shady, call your credit card company immediately and alert them. They will put a watch on your card for suspicious activity.

In general, stick to the well-known sites, don’t click on an links from unfamiliar sources and don’t be duped into giving up extensive personal information to get a good deal.

This article was written by Dan O’Halloran and originally appeared on Techlicious. More from Techlicious:

Passwords Often Reveal People’s Deepest Secrets
Doctors 3D Printing Replacement Parts for the Human Body
Best TVs under $500

TIME space

The First 3-D Printer in Space Prints Its First Object

3-D Printer Space First Object
NASA International Space Station Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore holds up the first object made in space with 3-D printing. Wilmore installed the printer on Nov. 17, 2014, and helped crews on the ground with the first print on Nov. 25, 2014.

The printer's goal is to make spare parts and tools for the International Space Station

The first 3-D printer in space has borne its first object, NASA said Tuesday, and it’s a bit self-fulfilling.

The object, a replacement faceplate for the printer’s casing that holds its internal wiring in place, is one of about 20 objects that will be printed aboard International Space Station (ISS) over the coming weeks, the space agency said. The objects will then be sent down to Earth for analysis, the final step in testing the 3-D printer before establishing a permanent 3-D printing facility aboard the space station.

“This is the first time we’ve ever used a 3-D printer in space, and we are learning, even from these initial operations,” said Niki Werkheiser, project manager for the ISS’s 3-D printer. Creating the faceplate demonstrated how the printer is able to make replacement parts for itself, the agency added. “As we print more parts we’ll be able to learn whether some of the effects we are seeing are caused by microgravity or just part of the normal fine-tuning process for printing.”

Before its launch in June to the ISS, the 3-D printer had successfully completed a series of tests evaluating its ability to withstand take-off forces and to function properly in zero gravity. The goal is to create spare parts and tools to make the ISS less dependent on expensive resupply ships, in addition to improving crew safety.

TIME Media

Spotify Still Doesn’t Make Any Money

SWEDEN-MUSIC-COMPANY-SPOTIFY
Jonathan Nackstrand—AFP/Getty Images This photo illustration shows the Swedish music streaming service Spotify on March 7, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Music streaming service lost $80 million in 2013

Music streaming service Spotify likes to crow about how it hands 70% of the revenue it generates right back to artists in the form of royalty payments. Such a massive expense has led the company to be wildly unprofitable in recent years — but Spotify may be slowly crawling its way out of the red.

A new regulatory filing released in Luxembourg shows Spotify had revenues of 747 million euros (around $1 billion) in 2013, up 74% from 2012, according to The New York Times. The startup posted a loss of $80 million, but that was smaller than its $115 million loss in 2012.

Spotify has long claimed that as it gains more users, it will be able to both pay artists more handsomely and begin earning some profits itself. The company’s financial trends indicate that the plan may actually work, assuming they can keep adding new users at a steady clip.

But Spotify’s biggest threat is growing dissatisfaction in the music industry with the service’s free tier, which allows users to listen to Spotify’s entire song library while hearing a few ads in between tunes. It was this free offering that compelled Taylor Swift to remove her catalogue from the streaming service, while a Sony Music executive recently expressed concern that the free version of Spotify might deter people from signing up for paid subscriptions. The new financial figures show why Swift and others are wary of the ad-supported model: Spotify made just $90 million in revenue from its ad business in 2013, less than 10% of its overall revenue. That’s despite the fact that free users outnumber paid users on Spotify by about four to one.

Spotify maintains that many free users are eventually converted into paying customers, so the free offering serves as a valuable gateway. But it’s likely that industry players are going to become increasingly fixated on the growth in paid subscribers instead. That’s where the money is.

TIME Web

Study: Most Americans Don’t Understand How the Internet Works

Pew Web IQ
Getty Images

Though most Internet users are familiar with basic technology concepts

Most American Internet users aren’t familiar with the concepts underpinning the Internet and common technology, a survey released Tuesday found.

Pew Research Center’s Web IQ Quiz polled Americans with 17 questions relating to the web and technology, varying in technicality from where hashtags are used to the what Moore’s Law means, according to the survey. While the majority of quiz takers correctly defined common Internet terms like net neutrality, most respondents struggled to correctly answer other questions about the infrastructure behind the Internet, like whether “Internet” and “World Wide Web” are the same.

The survey also found that only 44% of respondents were aware that a company’s privacy policy doesn’t necessarily mean the firm will actually keep users’ information confidential.

Younger Internet users performed the best on the quiz, with the lowest age bracket (18-29) answering on average 10.1 out of the 17 questions correctly (about 60%). The highest age bracket (65+) answered on average 7.8 out of the 17 questions correctly (about 45%).

 

TIME Gadgets

Here’s a Dedicated Hashtag Keyboard Key for Reasons We Don’t Fully Understand

HashKey HashKey

Pound it, bro

Do you love hashtags but worry about getting hand cramps when you hold shift and press three simultaneously so often every day? Then you’ll love the HashKey, a new Kickstarter project to add a dedicated hashtag key to your computer via a USB accessory.

From the Kickstarter page:

HashKey is a unique one-key keyboard dedicated solely to the awesome hashtag. No more wondering how to do a hashtag on your computer or having to press two keys to make it happen! We want to save social media nerds around the world valuable seconds and celebrate the mighty hashtag’s contribution to digital communication!

The HashKey is a London-based project, so all the donation levels are in pounds — appropriate given that’s what the # symbol was known as until “hashtag” stole pound’s thunder. Pledging £17 or more plus shipping gets you a HashKey when they start shipping by the estimated date in March of next year. So far, 20 backers have pledged £327 towards a £15,000 goal, but 26 days remain before the Kickstarter timer runs out.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com