A Whiskey World Upset, Amazon's New Toy and the Truth Behind Cuban Twitter
Every week by this point you have undoubtedly spent nearly 100 percent of your time online watching videos of cats riding vacuum cleaners and finding out which character from Blossom you really are. Meanwhile, the world has been going on without you. Here are some things you missed while you were buried in the Internet:
There Is a New Whiskey World Champion
And it doesn't come from Scotland or Kentucky. Sullivan’s Cove Single Cask Malt Whiskey, from the tiny island of Tasmania, mostly known for its devils, was named the best whiskey in the world by a panel of experts in London. But don’t expect to try it anytime soon. The small distillery produces just 20,000 liters a year, barely enough to keep up with local demand. The Tassies like their brown booze.
Obamacare Beats Sign-Up Goals
After a failed launch and a load of bad press, the Affordable Care Act exceeded expectations as it hit its final-final (not final) deadline. More than 7 million people signed up for insurance on the newly created healthcare exchanges, beating the administration's goal of 6 million. Not even the Fox News graphics department could ruin the President’s good mood.
Graphic Design Legend Has Some Opinions About Your Beer Bottles
Milton Glaser (the man who created the iconic "I Heart NY" logo) has a thing or two to say about the fancy labels on some favorite micro- and macrobrews. Some highlights: Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA looks "unpleasant” and “lumpy”; Shiner Bock is “not peculiar”; and Evil Twin’s Hipster Ale is “poorly done in terms of its complexity.”
If You Want a Set-Top Box for Streaming, Now You Can Buy One from Amazon
Yesterday, Amazon released Fire TV, a video-streaming device similar to many on the market—except you can talk to it. The remote has a built-in mic for accepting voice commands, which Amazon is touting in a spot featuring Gary Busey ineffectually screaming at a Roku. Fire TV can stream Amazon's content as well as that from Netflix, Hulu and most of the other apps below the second line on your Apple TV that you never watch.
"Cuban Twitter" Was a Thing and It Was Built by the U.S. Government
It sounds like something James Patterson would stick in one of his books to sound like a hip dude who totally gets you young people, but the U.S. recently attempted to bring down the Communist government in Cuba 140 characters at a time. Starting in 2009, an Obama administration agency spent $1.6 million on a social network called ZunZuneo that was modeled after Twitter, which is very hard to access in Cuba. It hoped to get young Cubans to sign up and then slowly sow seeds of discord. After mixed results and attempted infiltration by the Cuban government, ZunZuneo shut down in 2012. #Revolution never quite caught on.