A man named Jonathan Anozie is living this nightmare, reports TMZ, and the offending creepster is Papa John. Well, it probably isn’t real-life Papa John’s founder John Schnatter sending the texts, but an automated marketing system for his pizza chain is apparently overloading Anozie’s mobile notifications with offers for discounted pies. As such, the Beverly Hills, California, resident is suing the chain for $500 per unwanted text.
It’s no secret that, in this business of razor-thin margins, no-show diners can easily hurt a restaurant’s bottom line. Some chefs and restaurateurs have taken to publicly complaining about the issue; many more choose to charge a fee for diners who make a reservation, but don’t show up for their black-bass crudo. One Australian reservation service, however, has gone nuclear on no-shows, and created a blacklist that allows owners to bar diners who fail to cancel reservations for as long as a year.
For millions of Americans, Friday night was always pizza delivery night. But today, with mobile-based food delivery and ordering apps popping up left and right, Big Pizza is taking a hit. America’s largest pizza chains are playing defense, and using technology and social media — to sometimes great and sometimes gimmicky effect — in an effort to get back on top.
Read for new ways to order your favorite pie on Eater.
We’ve all seen printers use ink, and if you’ve been to a Maker Faire you may have been lucky enough to see a machine printing with chocolate or pancake batter. RIT Assistant Professor Ted Kinsman decided that he wanted to print with coffee. “For many years I have thought about building a machine that could paint for me,” he says. “Since I always have leftover coffee, I thought it would be a fun medium to play with.” Using an Arduino and an x-y plotter, he’s been able to do just that.
He explains, “The machine allows experimentation with drip height, drip size, drip chemistry, spacing of drips, and especially the paper that the drips fall on – all of these affect the image results.” An Arduino can store an image of about 80×100 pixels. This resolution isn’t high enough to print discernible images of most objects but, “surprisingly,” says Kinsman, “this is enough data for a human to recognize a face.”
Vijayaragavan Viswanathan, a scientist with the European Organization for Nuclear Research, resides in the Czech Republic, but he’s no stranger to his native land’s agrarian woes. Growing up in southern India, Viswanathan saw firsthand how limited access to education and basic crop information kept many farmers locked in a cycle of low productivity and poverty. To combat this situation—and capitalize on the fact that India, a nation with 1.2 billion citizens, now has almost a billion mobile subscribers—he developed SmartAgri, an app that communicates with underground sensors to deliver easy-to-understand data, such as soil moisture and mineral levels, to farmers’ mobile devices.
…we have an incredibly powerful tool for sustainability right at our fingertips, and we don’t even realize it. In fact, you’re using it right now. It’s literally at your fingertips!
It’s the internet — that little old thing that has revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives in just a matter of decades. Most people use the web as a vehicle for communication, expression, and learning, but really, it’s a vast piece of infrastructure that we could be deploying in the fight for sustainability, right alongside solar panels and urban farms.
A 2013 study from a think tank that researches market-based solutions to climate change found that using internet-connected sensor networks (aka the Internet of Things — check out our video explainer here) to do things like match energy output with demand, improve the efficiency of internal heating systems, better regulate water use, and route vehicles around traffic could reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by as much as nine gigatons by 2020. That’s the equivalent of the 2010 emissions of India and the U.S. combined.
The White House launched a new Twitter handle devoted to climate change Tuesday afternoon. The stream, called @FactsOnClimate, claims to provide “the facts on how @POTUS is combating climate change in the U.S. and mobilizing the world to #ActOnClimate.”
The first three tweets highlight the most important pieces of President Barack Obama’s climate legacy: His signature plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and his stated commitment to reaching an international agreement on climate action in Paris this winter.
It’s a hot October day in Northern California, and I’m roving a sea of endless green vineyards, which I’m sure haven’t felt much rain this summer. That’s when I notice the irrigation lines for the first time, then begin to see them everywhere. I imagine the wine industry to be a serious drain on California water resources, and wonder how they are navigating the drought.
It turns out they use less water than you might think. In fact, vines actually thrive in a water-stressed environment, and winemakers have been turning to technology to help them determine the perfect wine climate.
According to reports by UC Davis and the Pacific Institute, grapevines uses less applied water than many crops including alfalfa, almonds, pistachios, rice, and corn. But irrigation is not the only calculation when it comes to water consumption: to properly compare water use from one crop to another is difficult. Variables are heavily influenced by the precise location’s climate and soil characteristics. And if you get into calculating the value of each crop, there are jobs, taxes, and nutrition to consider. It’s a challenging debate. (See Which California Crops Are Worth the Water? Check for Yourself.)
US baseball team the Seattle Mariners has been putting its grounds on a water diet for the past three years. With roughly two million fans passing through its stadium and restrooms, as well as a grass field to maintain, this is no mean feat. But by using sensors and software to analyse water use in real time, the baseball team’s maintenance crew has found effective ways to conserve water.
“There was a month in the off season when we saw a large spike in water use that didn’t make sense,” says Joe Myhra, groundsman for the Mariners. “We were able to look at data and realised we had a leak in one of the fire hydrant lines. The leak wouldn’t [otherwise] have been visible until it was too late.”
Pizza is the true food of the people. A sauce-smothered crowdpleaser to placate awkward dining partners (Gwyneth Paltrow herself couldn’t refuse a two-for-one Pizza Express deal) and late night munchies attacks alike. Even those self-hating pizza deniers must feel a twinge of regret when face-to-face with the doughy, cheese smothered slices of happiness. What other foodstuff has driven people to survive on nothing else for more than a quarter of a century? Sure, everyone went crazy over cupcakes for awhile but Hummingbird Bakery hasn’t branched out into contraceptive devices yet.
Given pizza’s status as carby equaliser among men, it comes as little surprise that a new (highly scientific, obvs) study from Italian chef Alessio Mecozzi and communications company Klaus Davi has claimed that pizza is the most photographed food on Instagram.