How to get McDonald’s new MacCoin currency

The hunt is on!



You may have heard about the Big Mac Index, but how about the first fully food-backed global currency called the MacCoin?

The iconic Big Mac celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018 and McDonald’s marks this milestone by introducing the limited edition MacCoin across the United States and more than 50 other participating countries including China, Indonesia, and South Korea. (Here’s a full list.)

The MacCoin comes in five unique designs, each representing a decade of the Big Mac.

One MacCoin highlighting the 1970s showcases the decade’s Flower Power, and the 1980s token features pop art. Abstract shapes are reserved for the 1990s MacCoin design, and the coin representing the 2000s shows technology that was hip back then. The 2010s MacCoin celebrates the past 10 years and the evolution of modern communication by displaying emoji. Additionally, the seven languages featured across the various designs are Arabic, English, Indonesian, Mandarin, Portuguese, French, and Spanish.

In the US, you can get a MacCoin for every Big Mac meal. If you want to collect all five designs, you better have a big appetite for the Big Mac and a deep wallet, because five Big Mac meals will cost you more than US$ 42 (including tax) and they are going fast! This will also leave you with a bigger belly after more than 5,000 calories — double that if you redeem your MacCoins for free Big Macs before the end of the year.

The promotion started August 2, which would have been the 100th birthday of the founder of the Big Mac, the late Jim Delligatti. Some countries have different ways for you to get your hands on a MacCoin. In China, for example, you can get a MacCoin by singing the birthday song for the Big Mac starting August 6.

What is the value of the burger currency, you may ask? You can either keep the MacCoin, give it away or trade it in for a free Big Mac until the end of 2018. Redeemed coins won’t be brought back into circulation. Therefore, each coin will be for one-time use only. On the other hand, eBay turned into a flourishing marketplace for the coins, trading as high as $35 per coin and prices will likely go up from here.

So, how has it been hunting for MacCoins in Chicago, the home of the global headquarters of McDonald’s? Four days into it and stores are running out of the coins. It didn’t help that Chicago hosted Lollapalooza — a music festival attended by hundreds of thousands of music fans — from August 2 to 5, and the Big Mac would have made a perfect midnight snack after each day of dancing and partying.

I did manage to get my hands on a couple: the 1990s coin with all its abstract and geometric shapes, and the 2000s coin showing a tech bubble design.

Image credit: Kimmee Rae Pineda

I spent a good 15 minutes walking to the first store (burning maybe two percent of the would be gazillion “Big Mac and Fries” calories I’d eat), lining up along with the lunch-hour crowd and being told they are all out. So, I put my general knowledge of McDonald’s locations in Chicago Loop to good use (I can name the cross streets of each branch without needing a map!) and googled the phone numbers to find the closest store with MacCoins left.

After a few tries, I found one with some left and promptly raced over, placed my order, and patiently waited for my food and coin. I learned that you had to specifically ask for the coin after getting your food, and the branch manager personally hands you your hard-earned — or shall we say digested — MacCoin after checking your receipt. Also, you can’t just order five meals and get all five coins at once. I know, because I tried to save myself the trouble and just throw a Big Mac party for anyone who’s hungry so I get to complete the collection before they run out. We all have to do it the old fashioned way: ballooning with one Big Mac at a time.

All that remains to be said: Happy birthday, Big Mac! You don’t look a day over 50 and are as yummy as you always have been.

Need more burgers in your life? Watch this experimental video:

This article was contributed by Kimmee Rae Pineda.

Her GadgetMatch

Sound on with Mikme: An easy way to record good audio

Even better if you’re on an iPhone



I’ve always been a writer and my journey into content creation has been a curious one. These days, I’ve ventured into creating video — a new exacting but fun medium. One thing I’ve learned though: You may think you’re mostly dealing with visuals, but sound quality adds a whole lot to each video.

That being said, and me being the furthest from being an audiophile, I set out to find the easiest and simplest way I could record great audio without all the wires and gadgets and gizmos that I’ve seen other people work with.

Enter this godsend mic in a box which fits the palm of my hands and solves all my audio woes: The Mikme.

It’s simple enough to use; press the leftmost button that serves as a power button…

L-R: Power button, Bluetooth pairing button, micro-USB port, audio port, volume buttons

… and hit record which is that big button up top. Literally, nothing could be easier.

And despite it being pretty straightforward, there are a lot of other things it can do, too. Tapping the record button twice in a row will play your last recording and pressing and holding will allow you to soundcheck — provided you plug in some earphones. Each Mikme has storage built in and you can choose between 16GB, 8GB, or 4GB options. All that means is you need not worry about SD cards or microSD cards ever again.

It’s not just the ease of use, though. The sound quality on this thing is very good, as it should be. Inside that black case, the Mikme is basically a condenser mic — the type usually used in studios for hardcore recordings (my way of saying it’s one serious mic). Even with my untrained ears, I hear the difference, especially because I don’t record in sound-proof rooms most of the time.

Honestly, I now use this tiny thing to record all my voice-overs. I’m not even going to attempt to explain or describe it, you just have to hear it yourself. You can do that by listening to the voice-overs here and here.

I have all good things to say about this tiny device and in so many ways, I consider it my audio lifesaver. But, there’s one caveat.

This mic also has Bluetooth capabilities which is a great thing in itself. It literally connects to a Mikme app that will allow you to shoot video with your phone with audio from the Mikme. Mindblowing stuff, really, except it only works for iPhones. 😢

As we hear the collective, agonized screams of Android users the world over with the collective sighs of what great sounding videos could be shot with a Mikme-iPhone partnership, I take it as a testament of how good this mic is. Even without the Bluetooth connectivity feature and despite sticking with my Android for now and the foreseeable future, I’ll probably still be rocking the Mikme. That says a lot.

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2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: A Stylish Speedster

It’s your everyday sports car



One of the biggest factors when buying a new car, apart from function, is how it looks. The impact of that first glance. Something that would make you look twice. Some of us have that desire to break the norm and it seems like Hyundai took note of this demand — and made it fast.

The grille is flanked with LED headlamps partnered with Daytime Running Lights

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster is the second of its generation and now has a more assertive exterior than its predecessor. The most noticeable part? Its redesigned front grille. It now comes in this meshed pattern with sharper edges and, if you ask me, this alone gives the car a more aggressive presence.

Then we go to the rest of the exterior and we see those subtle lines that add to the sporty vibe of this vehicle. From the hood to the wheel arches — these accents make the Veloster look like it’s always moving.

At the back we also have this eye-catching pair of LED tail lamps plus a rear spoiler with the third brake light. Rounding up the whole sporty look is a rear bumper diffuser to improve the car’s aerodynamics.

Other notable details include side mirrors with signal repeaters and sexy 18-inch alloy wheels. If you’re already familiar with the first Veloster, then you’d know that it’s unconventional in a way that it only has one door for the driver’s side while the other has the usual two. Some call it weird. I’d like to call it style.

In terms of features, the 2019 Veloster has the bells-and-whistles for the tech-savvy. There’s keyless entry, a mechanical seat for the driver, telescopic steering wheel, voice commands, and support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Those are just some of the things the vehicle assists you with before you start your day. And of course, there’s more for the drive ahead!

Your main hub for music, navigation, calls, and more is an 8-inch floating display. For controls, the steering wheel has buttons for Bluetooth as well as audio and cruise control.

Important driver information and settings can be accessed through the digital dash

In the age of smartphones, charging on-the-go is of utmost importance and with the Veloster, you get more than one option. There are two USB ports up front plus a special wireless charger just below it. Of course, your phone has to support this feature for it to work, but if it does, it feels good knowing you don’t have to fumble over plugging the cable to your phone — while you’re in the car, at least.

And for when you want more light during the day or when it’s simply colder at night, you can open the moonroof and let the breeze roll in. Added comfort creatures like this make the Veloster a package for those who like having fun on the road.

One of the things I love about its interior is how the black and red color of the exterior continues here. Its bucket seats wrapped in leather offer a premium feel for the driver and passengers alike.

The company is obviously keen to details as one can see in the cabin of the vehicle. From the buttons and knobs that reflect its sporty DNA to the ergonomics and materials used to make each ride as comfortable as possible.

Being a Turbo variant, it’s powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. Power is then transferred to the front wheels through a seven-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission. Although unlike Schwarzenegger in Jingle All The Way, it’s not always “Turbo Time!” for the Veloster. It offers different driving modes depending on what the situation calls for.

There’s Normal, Sport, Eco, and Smart. Eco obviously goes for the most efficient fuel consumption, Smart mode adjusts to your driving habits, Normal is — well, normal. Sport is for Track Day or simply when you want to show off.

Of course, all that speed has to be kept in check with a couple of safety features. The vehicle comes with dual airbags for the front, plus side and curtain airbags. Adding to those are ABS (anti-lock braking system) and an immobilizer for anti-theft.

Having the Veloster as a daily driver made me realize a couple of things. One is that it’s actually fuel-efficient for a car with this oomph when it’s set to Eco or even Normal mode — averaging about 9km to 10km to a liter in the city and up to 16km/l outside the Metro. It may have slight delays when not in Sport mode but it had no shortage of power. And together with its stance and vibrant red color, the Veloster is a certified head-turner.

See more of it in this video:

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Her GadgetMatch

The Vivo x Benefit Cosmetics blossom pink V15 box set is here and I want it

Making blooming selfies possible



Vivo has just announced a partnership that I am so here for and the resulting phone is oh so pretty!


The smartphone company unveiled a collaboration with Benefit Cosmetics, a makeup brand we all know and love, to release a phone/makeup box set that will definitely excite the ladies.

The highlight of the kit: Vivo’s blossom pink V15 — the phone color I’ve always wanted but rarely got!

Yes girls, this special kit does not only have this beautifully colored handset, it also includes Benefit box o’ powders in two shades: Dandelion Twinkle and the Gold Rush.

I am all for this partnership and the blooming selfies I will most definitely be able to shoot with this.

The Vivo x Benefit Kit will retail for PhP 17,999 starting May 25.

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