November 21, 2014

Use the app to determine if a wine is right for your palate.     Photo: Courtesy of Next Glass

App Helps You Pick the Perfect Beer or Wine

Your phone is your sommelier

A new app called Next Glass is engineered to help uninformed drinkers make better decisions when buying beer and wine.

After downloading the app, users are asked to list some of their favorite wines or beers to create a “taste profile” based on the chemical composition of their selections. The next time users visit a liquor store or local wine merchant, they can scan a bottle to receive a personalized score from 0 to 100, gauging the likelihood that the libation in question will suit their palate.

Next Glass COO Trace Smith told Outside that the company has figured out a way to “translate data into taste” and “learn what chemical compounds will hit your taste buds the right way.”

To augment their profile, Next Glass users are encouraged to rate each wine or beer they drink on the app’s star system. The more feedback the app receives, the better and more personalized its recommendations will be. As the Next Glass website states:

It’s important for our algorithm to pick up both the compounds you like and dislike. Equally important (if you want to discover things outside of the usual) is to have a lot of diversity in the types of things you rate. For example, if you only rate IPAs and then go and scan a cider, we may need more insight before the scores are where we want them to be.

Next Glass eventually wants to include every beer and wine available to U.S. consumers in its database. At present, the database includes 20,000 types of wines and 11,000 varieties of beer.

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Christopher Loncarich had been trapping and caging the cats, then releasing them to make things easier for his hunting clients.     Photo: CindyLou Photos/Flickr

Colorado Man Sentenced for Illegal Cougar Hunts

Will serve more than 2 years in federal prison

Christopher Loncarich, 55, of Mack, Colorado, was sentenced Thursday for running illegal mountain lion and bobcat hunts as a big game hunting outfitter from 2007 to 2010. He will spend 27 months in federal prison.

According to the Denver Post, a three-year investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources found that Loncarich was trapping and caging mountain lions and bobcats. He would then release them to make the chase easier for his clients.

A federal grand jury indicted Loncarich in January. In August, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, a federal law that makes it illegal to knowingly transport or sell in interstate commerce any wildlife that has been taken or is possessed in violation of state laws or regulations, according to the Department of Justice statement.

“Loncarich also admitted that he and his assistants guided several hunters that did not possess a Utah mountain lion or bobcat license on mountain lion or bobcat hunts in Utah,” the statement says. The town of Mack is about five miles from the Colorado-Utah border. Loncarich would take in as much as $7,500 per mountain lion hunt and $1,500 per bobcat hunt.

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You may be able to book rooms in independent hotels through Amazon as soon as January 2015.     Photo: Les Haines/Flickr

Soon: Hotels on Amazon.com?

A report claims that Amazon wants in on hotel bookings

According to Skift, a travel industry news site, Amazon will start proffering nights in hotel rooms alongside books and gadgets as soon as January 1, 2015.

Would it be any different than what’s already out there? It seems so. Amazon plans to include only indie hotel chains in lieu of the larger commercial properties found on most other search engines. One hotelier quoted in the Skift report said that Amazon has been hotel hunting based on positive TripAdvisor reviews, accepting only those properties with four or more stars.

If this seems speculative, well, it is. Amazon did not respond to Skift’s request for comment, but the website spoke with a number of hotel employees whom Amazon has allegedly approached. Plus, Skift points out that Amazon recently increased employment ads for travel market managers.

Amazon is expected to roll out the service in the greater New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle metropolitan areas.

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