Coffee Talk

Comic - Coffee Talk

Author Commentary

Someone recently posted a thing on Facebook about a hack to get around the DRM on Keurig 2.0 coffemakers, and this is what went through my mind:

1. Coffee has DRM?
2. And people are accepting the idea that certain coffee beans or roasts might be incompatible with a given coffeemaker rather than, say, buying another coffeemaker?
3. And other people are coming up with hacks to get around this DRM rather than, say, buying another coffeemaker?  (Here's a video for how to get around the Keurig DRM check.  Note that this makes it more complicated to make a cup of coffee in "2.0" Keurig with an expensive-if-not-official K-Cup than just it is to just scoop beans into a single-cup drip coffeemaker.)
4. And wait...back a step...coffeemakers are VERSIONED now?

My response to this on Facebook was most of this strip.  The final line has been something that's bothered me ever since I started working at a place with a Keurig machine.  Maybe I'm just used to the percolation and drip-pump sounds I've associated with hot fresh coffee my whole life, but that weird grinding squirt that Keurigs make just...isn't right.

Still, the free K-Cups at work beat the ever-lovin' crap out of the 25-cents-a-cup always-either-empty-or-older-and-thicker-than-the-La-Brea-tar-pits community pot at my previous job.

MRS. SHOEBOX'S ASSESSMENT OF TODAY'S STRIP (after graciously pointing out two spelling errors):  It's cute!

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Recent posts... (See full thread)
Coffee Talk

Brass Orchid
01/27/2015 09:19 am
The goal, of course, is to partner with growers and include DNA scanners in the coffee maker. There are a few details to work out, naturally, but you will ultimately be certain of a perfect cup of coffee from only the finest beans, from coffee bean plants that have been genetically modified to include a trademark sequence. I guess it will be the Orphan Black Keurig, so it might also not allow cream and sugar.

01/27/2015 12:34 pm
Hahah! I'm feeling this pain right now. The wife decided to take the K1 to work and buy a K2 because she had points on their coffee website. Now I can neither make my coffee in the refill pots and buy cheap at the store, and it won't give me more than 6oz of hot water (my tea infuser takes 12). So to combat the inanity, I went to Amazon and bought a $15 electric water kettle and single cup press. If coffee is going to be hard, it might as well be better.

Max DeGroot
01/27/2015 01:40 pm
This would be a lot funnier if I didn't have a Keurig and use refillable cups so I can use any coffee I want.

01/27/2015 01:56 pm
Max - Yes, yes, I'm aware that refillable cups exist (in Keurig 1, anyway) which cost $15 and give your $100 coffeemaker all the functionality of a $25 single-cup coffeemaker (and in the case of the higher-end models mean you have to fish your cup out of the trash bucket after you make your cup.) Now granted, I have a decent PC that I often use to emulate game systems I could pick up at a flea market for $10, so on some level I'm a hypocrite. But still, I think the joke stands. :)

Pandalulz - Precisely, dammit! I friggin' love my French press. I usually only use it on the weekends due to time not being my bitch, but holy crap yum.

01/27/2015 02:19 pm
On a related note, if any of you hacks a Keurig (any version) to run MAME, I will mail you a personally-coffee-stained and signed framed print of this comic, along with the entire Worm Quartet discography and a half pound of Canaltown Coffee Roasters' Peruvian French Roast, the best friggin' coffee I've found in Rochester so far.


01/27/2015 04:56 pm
Kids today! I used to have the cube directly across from the Espresso machine. Not only did I get to hear the sound of various attempts at frothing, but as apparently the only one in the office who could perceive the coffee-scented landfill right across the hall, I got to be the unpaid cleaner for that beast. But the coffee did taste pretty good, so there's that.

01/27/2015 07:13 pm
I feel like I'm the only one who's perfectly happy using desktop computers and caffeinated soda.

01/27/2015 11:22 pm
ColdFusion- You are not alone. I despise coffee, and it literally makes me ill. The biggest problem I have with the Keurig is that if it's used for just hot water, said water STILL tastes like coffee!

and I prefer desktops as well. Don't even own a smatphone, and my cell can't even accept smileys, much less pix or surfing. Most ppl who know me don't get it even moreso than ppl who don't know me well- I have a masters in Technology Education. lol

Brass Orchid
01/28/2015 09:36 am
I have a plastic funnel that sits on top of a cup. It holds a filter, into which you place a cup's worth of grounds. You pour a cup's worth of boiling water into it, and coffee drips down into the cup. I believe it cost $3. Since it is Personal-sized, Plastic and Practical, I suppose I should call it a P-Cup.

AJ Milne
01/28/2015 06:41 pm
I actually bring my Aeropress to work. Along with an electric kettle, to fill it. And one of those Caffitaly standalone frother things.

(No, I don't bring a grinder;I do the grind at home. I figure my neighbouring colleagues might just draw the line, there. The kettle's reasonably quiet, at least, being of the non-whistling variety.)

There's a Keurig available, with freely-provided coffee. But a) it doesn't come out as well as does the Aeropress stuff, and b) I feel kinda bad using it, what with the whole disposable thing. Left as an exercise for the reader: how many of the K-cups I'd have to blow through to use the same amount of plastic used to make the rest of the gear I've just named, but anyway...

But yeah, two things amaze me about this: a) that coffee has DRM, and b) the DRM was so pathetically easily subverted...

I mean, I work in crypto. I think I could come up with something vastly more robust. Like, say, chip in the k-cup, pick whichever asymmetric cryptosystem, the k-cup has to sign a nonce the coffeemaker sends... And a certificate revocation system (yes, congratulations, now your coffeemaker is networked) in order to deal with pesky reverse engineering efforts pulling out private keys from compromised k-cup chips (yes, now you have Youtube videos: how to hack a k-cup)...

I mean, I could. Were I evil...

Oh. Right. I _am_ evil...

Keurig, you know the number.

Theo Bromine
01/30/2015 03:24 am
Got no dog in this fight since I can't stand coffee (though I agree with pienapp1e about the nastiness the coffee-tasting (and insufficiently hot for tea) water that comes out of those things.

Also, Hi AJ, nice to see you here! I already think Keurig is evil - your system "improvements" would just be icing on the cake - go for it! (As for the waste issue: I recall reading a Freakonomics analysis of re-usable vs disposable coffee cups. They said that you would need to re-use your cup a couple of hundred times to save the equivalent energy costs. Which sounds like a lot, until one realizes that at 2 cups of coffee a day that would only take 6 months, and (unless one is very clumsy) ceramic coffee mugs last years or even decades. (And, like most of these arguments, there is little if any consideration given to the actual cost of landfill - truly a non-renewable resource.)

Brother Osric
01/30/2015 06:57 am
We were given a Keurig some time back -- and what stands out the most to me is that its brewing "song" sounds like some Star Trek music from "The Corbomite Maneuver."

01/30/2015 02:44 pm
good. woulda gone with "excretions" for the punchline.

AJ Milne
01/30/2015 05:18 pm
Heh. Hey, Theo. Small web world.

And it's good to know someone's done some work on this. Occurs to me, too, if I'm considering the non-consumable bits, I should also consider the Keurig machine itself, so I probably win again...

... and as to the evil, yeah, I think my view of it is tending toward: in all things, go for the gold. I mean, who's gonna be impressed with an at worst slightly neurotic postdoc as a villain? Writers of b-movies and blockbusters alike have long understood this: it's go with full-bore mad scientist, or go home.

(/Rephrased as a corporate motto: Don't Be Only A Little Evil.)

01/30/2015 09:09 pm
High five, pie. Pie five.

01/31/2015 09:09 am
I drink instant.

02/02/2015 04:20 pm
I learned to make coffee over a camp fire in a plain tin pot, no peculator innards. Boil a pot of water, toss in two palm-fulls of Hills Brothers red-can, pull it off to the side, and in five minutes, add a coffee cup full of cold water, then pour coffee. The cold water settles the grounds to the bottom, but don't drink the last swallow of each cup or the last cup of each pot, and cream and sugar are for wussies. Now I make coffee the same way except on the stove top. Love my smart phone though.

Test comment as we do development stuff. Ignore.