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CES: Yummly’s smart thermometer lets food phone you

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A smart thermometer that uses dual temperature sensors to simultaneously monitor food and oven temperatures, via smartphone, is being showcased at CES in Las Vegas this week by Yummly, Whirlpool Corporation’s digital recipe and cooking platform. The Yummly Smart Thermometer is part of the company’s mission “to be the smartest and most helpful food platform”.

This announcement is the latest in the Yummly portfolio, which includes:

  • A personalised recipe feed that also syncs with Yummly Pro, a premium paid subscription service with step-by-step cooking videos led by professional chefs based on personal preferences.
  • Yummly app integration with select Whirlpool appliances, allowing users to send a preheat command to a connected oven.
  • Personalised recipe ideas and Yummly Ingredient Recognition to detect select ingredients based on image data captured by your device.
  • Yummly Shopping List ingredients delivered to your doorstep through Instacart.

Available in early 2020, the Yummly Smart Thermometer uses dual temperature sensors to simultaneously monitor food and oven temperatures, allowing users to track their cooking remotely with their smartphone, and get alerts in real-time when their food is ready. Users can multitask as the Smart Thermometer tracks internal temperature while cooking raw, dense meats, like poultry or roasts, and alerts them once their meal is cooked optimally.

Joel Gamoran, Yummly Pro featured chef and content collaborator says: “The value of this smart thermometer is that you can stick it in a raw chicken, forget about it, and have confidence that you’ll be enjoying a delicious meal that’s cooked at the ideal temperature. You don’t need to be a chef to multitask in the kitchen — the Yummly Smart Thermometer watches and adjusts your cooking so you can manage other dishes and activities.”

Additional connected features will be available in late 2020, making the Yummly Smart Thermometer our first wireless smart thermometer to communicate with connected Whirlpool ovens. This smart capability means the oven will know what step users are on in the recipe, and will automatically adjust the temperature up, down, to roast, to broil — whatever is needed to achieve the best results.

Yummly makes it possible for people to dive into home cooking with this new smart meat thermometer, personalised recipe discovery, hands-on cooking lessons with Yummly Pro and a connection to select Whirlpool smart ovens.

  • Personalisation: Yummly maintains a library of more than 2 million recipes to provide users with customised recommendations that fit their lifestyle, taste preferences and dietary needs.
  • Start at almost any skill level: Home cooks of all abilities can gain confidence in the kitchen using the newly-expanded Yummly Pro service. This premium paid subscription service features step-by-step video lessons specially formatted for hands-on cooking at home, with themed collections from best-in-class chefs like Carla Hall, Richard Blais, Andrew Zimmern and Joel Gamoran. Subscribers cook along in real-time for a personalised cooking experience that teaches culinary skills while getting a delicious dinner on the table. Using Yummly Pro, the integration of select recipes with Whirlpool connected ovens, and the Yummly Smart Thermometer to guide their cooking, foodies and families learn from the best, one recipe at a time, with temperature precision at every step.
  • Control your oven from anywhere, anytime: With Whirlpool’s connected appliances, users can start cooking before they even walk into the kitchen. Get a head start by selecting “start cooking” within connected Yummly recipes, including select Yummly Pro recipes, to send a command to a connected oven to begin preheating at the precise temperature needed.

Andrew Grose, Head of Business Development & Operations at Yummly says: “Not everyone has the time and patience to cook. Between after-school and after-work activities, errands and homework, the last thing people want to do when they get home from a long day is spend time constantly checking if their dinner is ready. We understand the precision that goes into cooking the perfect roasted chicken, so it was important to us in developing the Yummly Smart Thermometer to focus first on monitoring and alerting, and second on wireless communication to auto-adjust oven cooking methods and temperatures at the perfect time.”

From personalised recipe recommendations and weekly meal planning, to handy chef tricks of the trade and guided videos, Yummly has the tools needed to improve life for those cooking at home. Helpful features include Ingredient Recognition, which allows users to scan foods with their camera and get recipes using the scanned ingredients, and voice commands for select recipes, so users can follow along without having to touch their smartphone or tablet.

For those looking to gain confidence in the kitchen, Yummly Pro features well-known celebrity chefs sharing exclusive step-by-step guided recipe videos. Yummly Pro is available as a $4.99/month subscription.

The Yummly Smart Thermometer is on display at CES Unveiled 2020, and will be available in early 2020 with a planned MSRP of $129†. The Smart Thermometer will offer integration with select Whirlpool smart ovens later in 2020. Download the Yummly App from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and visit www.yummly.com to get exploring and cooking.

†MSRP is manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

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TikTok takes on COVID-19

The fastest growing social media platform in the world has also become an epicenter of public education about the coronavirus, attracting more than 30-billion views, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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The young have been getting a bad rap for wanting to party on while COVID-19 sends the world into lockdown. But a different movie is playing itself out on the social platform that is growing fastest among teenagers: TikTok.

Awareness campaigns by TikTok itself, collaboration with the International Red Cross, and spontaneous videos made by TikTok creators have combined into a barrage of information, education, awareness and social consciousness around the coronavirus.

Both globally and in South Africa, TikTok’s COVID-19 campaigns have gone viral.

The local #HayiCorona challenge, designed to remind people not to touch their face and wash hands regularly, has passed 1.5-million views. The TikTok collaboration with the International Red Cross, the #WashingHands challenge, has passed 12.6-million views.

One of the best-known participants in these challenges is the past year’s icon of South African talent, the Ndlovu Youth Choir, took up the global challenge with a 20-second hand-washing video. It put together a performance that brings tremendous energy to what can be a clichéd message, and ends with a punt for the Department of Health’s WhatsApp information service. The video can be viewed below.

@ndlovuyouthchoir

Our community has limited access to running water. Follow these instructions on how to safely wash your hands using a bucket. ##coronavirus##washinghands

♬ original sound – ndlovuyouthchoir

“On a global scale, TikTok also partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that, while creators are still having fun and expressing themselves on the platform, they stay informed with COVID-19 information coming from a reliable source,” a TikTok spokesperson told us. “Through the partnership, the WHO has created an informational page on TikTok that offers information to curb the spread of the coronavirus as well as dispelling myths.”

The page can be viewed at https://vm.tiktok.com/GHTEGf

TikTok has hosted a number of livestreams with WHO experts, attracting users from more than 70 countries, tuning in for live question and answer sessions. It has also introduced labels on coronavirus-related videos, to point users to trusted information. Resources are also offered directly in the app and in a dedicated COVID-19 section of TikTok’s Safety Center, at https://www.tiktok.com/safety/resources/covid-19.

If users simply want to explore videos on the topic, they can search via the #coronavirus hashtag, or click on https://vm.tiktok.com/swKbn4. The hashtag has had an astonishing 33.8-billion views, indicating the scale of activity and interest around the topic on the platform.

Read more on the next page about how South Africans have embraced the campaign.

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On World Backup Day: backup, backup, backup

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It was World Backup Day yesterday, 31 March, at a time when business continuity is threatened as never before. That makes calls for protecting email and defending against ransomware all the more urgent.

The global coronavirus pandemic has brought into stark relief many organisations’ lack of business continuity plans and policies. With more than two billion people around the globe in forced lockdown in wide-ranging government efforts to stem the tide of infections, an unprecedented number of employees are working remotely.

This interruption to the normal way of work is precisely what an effective and resilient business continuity strategy should plan for, says Heino Gevers, cybersecurity specialist at Mimecast

“Companies need uninterrupted access to critical business applications during times of disruption, including safe and secure web and email access for workers that are now operating outside the normal perimeters of the organisation,” he says. “In addition, comprehensive backup and archiving solutions should be ready to restore access to critical business applications should there be any unplanned downtime to ensure continuity until the crisis passes.”

According to Gevers, the current global crisis is likely to push business continuity up the list of priorities for many organisations that have been disrupted by the effects of the coronavirus.

“Organisations are facing new challenges to their productivity; for example in terms of technical support. If a remote user is infected with malware or ransomware, how does the IT team restore that device or do any remediation without being able to physically access it?”

Gevers advises that organisations implement tools that enhances the data protection capabilities of commonly-used tools such as Office365 and can leverage archived data to provide quick recovery of email data in the event of accidental loss, malicious attacks or technical failure. 

“As adoption of cloud-based business applications grow in the wake of forced lockdowns around the globe, companies need to ensure they have the tools to recover in any situation,” he says. “This includes a data management strategy that combines archiving, backup and data protection capabilities to allow for quick restoration of critical systems and applications in the event of disruption.”

Jasmit Sagoo, head of technology at Veritas for the United Kingdom and Ireland, warns that this is a golden age for cybercriminals looking for ransomware opportunities.

“As the global cost of ransomware continues to grow, this World Backup Day, Veritas is saying: ‘don’t pay up, back up!’,” he says. “Ransomware is said to generate an estimated annual revenue of $1 billion a year, and companies who are not consistent in backing up their data are allowing criminals to line their pockets.

“Ransomware attacks exist only because some businesses can’t survive unless the hackers give them back their data.  So, the key to survival is removing that reliance and being able to regain access to data, without engaging with the cybercriminals.  The best way to do that is with a sound backup strategy.

“Sagoo advises organisations to create isolated, offline backup copies of their data to keep it out of reach of any attackers.  They then need to proactively monitor and restrict backup credentials, while running backups frequently to shrink the risk of potential data loss. Businesses should also test and retest their ransomware defences regularly.

“Ransomware strikes without warning and it doesn’t discriminate between its targets – it can happen to any organisation, large or small. Despite their best efforts, most companies will fall to at least one attack. What distinguishes one victim from another is the ability to bounce back, which ultimately depends on its backup strategy.

“When ransomware hits, organisations that aren’t prepared often feel helpless to do anything other than to submit to their attacker’s demands.   That’s why we’re urging all businesses to use World Backup Day as a catalyst to get ahead of the situation and get their data protected.”

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