Episode 18 – Coffee Piracy

Yo ho, yo ho a podcaster’s life for me….


I love the smell of piracy in the morning…

On this episode of Technically Speaking, Joe and Jacob reminisce about the good times with Windows XP, now that it’s days are truly numbered. Why do so many people still use Windows XP in 2014? Do they even know what version of Window’s they’re running (Don’t worry, Microsoft has got you covered) It’s really an interesting question, when you consider how few people were likely still using Windows 3.1 in 2001. Does XP’s long term success mean that we truly care more about functionality than design? Or does it simply have to do with money, and how little people truly want to pay for an operating system?

Speaking of piracy, YOU WOULDN’T DOWNLOAD A CUP OF COFFEE, WOULD YOU? Scratch that, I know you would. See, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the company behind the all-too-stylish “Keurig” K-cup coffee brewers, believes that they are losing too much money to “Coffee Pirates”, and they feel the need to do something about it! GMCR says that because they made their K-cups too easy to copy, everyone and their mother are using “unapproved” K-cups in the Keurig machines. And instead of listening to consumers and understanding that convenience is the name of the game, Keurig has decided to employ Digital Rights Management (DRM) on their new Keurig 2.0 cups, ensuring that ONLY GMCR approved cups are used in their latest machines. Ridiculous, we know… Joe and Jacob aren’t heavy coffee drinkers, but maybe you have some thoughts on the topic? We’d love to know what you think!

Next, we totally dropped the ball and failed to mention National Engineering Week on the previous episode! We apologize! E-week is when everyone acknowledges the greatness of Engineers, and is characterized by partnerships between schools and businesses, fun games, and experiments! If you are a science educator, and would like to participate in E-Week next year, contact us below!

Lastly, on this episode’s Brainstorm, we get a little ridiculous in answering listener Duncan’s question about how to optimize a car for a Death Race! What weapons, defenses, and “special items” would be best suited for the race? In our defense, though the topic is fairly silly, system optimization in general is a very specialized skillset, and can involve advanced math, simulation, and testing. You can be sure that if Death Racing was a real sport, each team would employ their fair share of Systems Engineers and Statisticians to try to optimize the vehicle for a given race (just like any major race team!).

What do you think? Do you use Windows XP while drinking unlicensed K-cup coffee? Do you want to start a Death Race league? Or would you rather just play real-life Mario KartLet us know with an email, a comment on Facebook, a shout-out on Twitter, or a comment below! And whether or not you wore green on St. Patricks day, be sure to leave us a review on iTunes!

Run time: 1:00:39

Music: “The Last Race” – Jack Nitzsche, from the movie Death Proof

Posted in Episodes
2 comments on “Episode 18 – Coffee Piracy
  1. Bob says:

    Trying to make digital information not copyable is like trying to make water not wet — Bruce Schneier

  2. Matthew M says:

    Thanks for your show. I listen to you when I am doing the mind numbing job of inspecting hundreds of airplane engine parts at work. I’m not an engineer but I enjoy the subject. Please allow me to deploy some useless knowledge on you. I was listening to your brain storm about a “death race”. The topic of reactive armor came up which struck a chord with me. Reactive Armor is a Russian idea which was designed specifically to counter HEAT projectiles (HEAT = High Explosive Anti-Tank). HEAT projectiles employ a shaped explosive which directs the much of the force of the explosion in one direction. The piercing of armor is done with help of a copper liner on the inside of the hollow part of the shaped explosive. The copper liner and explosive force combine to make a very powerful jet which pierces steel at about 14,000 Feet per second (give or take a few thousand FPS). Reactive armor deflects much of the explosive jet from a HEAT projectile. Russian Main Battle Tanks are typically covered in the stuff. They look like big bricks. A common weapon that uses HEAT is the RPG-7 which US forces face in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    On another useless note: The M1 Abrams is armored with what is called “Chobham” armor. Chobham is the town in England where the idea was conceived and created. Chobham armor is “classified” but is believed to be a ceramic and metal mix of some kind. The ceramic portion provides superior resistance to HEAT warheads. The British main battle tank “Challenger” also uses Chobham armor. That being said, in light of recent experience with the US’s combat in urban warfare ( aka “MOUT” in military parlance or “Military Operations in Urban Terrain”) The M1 Abrams has Reactive armor on its side skirts because the side armor is much, much thinner than its frontal armor. Also, the M2 (and M3 variant) Bradley fighting vehicle do make use of the RA on its front and sides.
    That’s all I got! 😉
    Thanks guys!

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