Coffee. Hacking. Indonesia: 5 TEDx Talks on Java

imageWhen you hear “java,” you might think of the pesky window that pops up on your computer desktop every few months, begging you to close all browser windows so you can install vital security updates — or maybe your morning coffee, expertly brewed by your favorite neighborhood barista — or, an image even more lovely, the lush greens of Indonesia’s third largest island.

Whatever it is you’re thinking of — we’ve got a talk for you. So pour your cup of joe, save all tabs, and take a break from your vacation planning to watch these 5 TEDx talks in honor of the word java:

All your devices can be hacked: Avi Rubin at TEDxMidAtlantic
Lately reports have been popping up all over on a vulnerability in Sun Microsystem’s Java plug-in, which has prompted what PC Mag has called a “Java-based hacking spree.” Recent attacks have affected companies such as Facebok, Twitter and, now, Apple, prompting concern over who will be next and how these attacks will be stopped. Computer scientist Avi Rubin is no stranger to hacks, and at TEDxMidAtlantic, he explains how hackers are compromising cars, smartphones and medical devices, and warns us about the dangers of an increasingly hack-able world.

Hacking the city with fun: Irwan Ahmett at TEDxJakarta
Sometimes the smallest things make your day so much better. A funny road sign. Clever graffiti. Free cookies.
Part-way through his career, artist Irwan Ahmett realized this and decided to run with it. Using spinning umbrellas, a human monorail, fruit baskets, and a secret lumberyard Internet cafe, he hacked his city, Java’s largest, with random acts of playfulness. At TEDxJakarta, he explains the story behind the hacks.

The human cost of food: Rebecca Scott at TEDxCanberra
Rebecca Scott
wants you to know what goes into your morning coffee — and that’s not just how much cream or sugar you like. She says that when we buy a cup a coffee, we should think about more than just taste; but consider the treatment of the people behind the bean — the farmers, harvesters, packagers, and coffee shop employees involved in providing our caffeine fix. In this talk, she reveals some of the astounding stories behind the things we consume, and introduces her project, STREAT, an effort to create cafes and coffee shops staffed by homeless youth serving ethically-sourced food and drink.

A sugar packet you can drink: Hayley Hovermore at TEDxSoCal
When she was a child, high school sophomore Hayley Hovermore used to go to work with her mom at their local Starbucks. She was overwhelmed by the amount of waste caused by individual sugar packets, and by high school, Hayley had devised a plan to stop it. At TEDxSoCal, the 15-year-old explains her proposal, a dissoluble and organic sugar packet called Sweet (dis)SOLVE, which, she hopes, will allow coffee shops to retire sugar packets entirely.

Why we love trash: Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez at TEDxPresidio
What to do with your used coffee grounds? If you’re Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, you grow mushrooms. Hear how they reused one million pounds of coffee grounds in 2011, through a process rooted in their local community. 

And bonus — a time-lapse video from expert barista Michael Fernandez of the uber-cool coffee-brewing demos that took place at TEDxPeachtree in November:

Top photo by Flickr user Javier Martin Espartos

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