Working from home in the nude and PCs that warm chicken: 7 stories we didn’t write in 2020

From chicken-warming gaming PCs to a growing trend of employees working at home in the nude, here are the stories TechRepublic was pitched but didn’t end up covering this year.

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Image: iStock

Every week, the editors and writers at TechRepublic are pitched hundreds of story ideas. Some of these we write about, and some of these, well, we don’t. It doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting or compelling. It just means that they don’t fit with our editorial goals or needs. Or maybe we can’t quite figure out what the product is. 

Regardless, it’s always fun to take a look back at the end of the year (yes, even the year of 2020) and see what we could have written if we’d thrown caution to the wind.

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Digging into the archives (drumroll, please) here is a list of the stories we didn’t write in 2020:

KFConsole bucket-shaped gaming PC that warms chicken while you play

This PC warms chicken while you game.

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This PC warms chicken while you game.

Image: Cooler Master

It’s real, and it’s here. Move over Xbox Series X and PS5. There’s a new way to play and it’s from KFC. The KFConsole is a gaming PC that is bucket-shaped and it keeps your chicken crispy and warm while you play. Lazy just took a whole new step forward, under the guise of convenience. 

It’s from KFC and Cooler Master, but we had to check the date to make sure it wasn’t April 1 before we could take it seriously. It’s an actual product, and it’s housed in a Cooler Master NC100 chassis and it’s equipped with an Intel Nuc9 Extreme Compute Element. With a built-in chicken chamber.

Dare we say, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner?”

The Maskfone protective mask embedded with a wireless headphone

The Maskfone is a good idea but it sounded a little bulky and expensive to us. It’s an integrated mask and wireless headphone for $49.99. The marketing material described it as “boasting a luxurious aesthetic and exceptional comfort, it’s enjoyable to wear for hours at a time.” Given how often we wash our own masks, trying to deal with this and removing delicate equipment every time sounded annoying. 

1 in 10 employees enjoy working from home in the nude 

Yes, that’s right. According to Kaspersky, the pandemic has changed how employees like to do things when they work, since they’re at home. At least, we hope they’re at home. Among survey respondents, 11% said they like working without clothes, and 36% are opting for weekday lie-ins (waking up five minutes before work starts), while 23% are binge-watching Netflix and 18% are playing more video games.

Luckily, 48% of respondents said they prefer working in comfortable clothes. We’re not sure what the other 41% prefer. One thing is for sure. The workplace will never look the same again.

80% of people play video games at work

This one was more than a bit worrisome. Apparently 80% of people are playing mobile and PC video games at work, according to a study by Word Tips. (Move over, Kaspersky and your measly 18%!) Mobile games are the biggest draw at 96%, and PC games are favored by 33%, for obvious reasons. You can hide your phone more easily from your boss. 

The BL6 Bud Light six-pack PC console

The Bud Light PC and projector. 

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The Bud Light PC and projector. 

Image: Bud Light

If you need some beer to wash down your chicken, Bud Light has designed a PC console in the shape of a six-pack. It has a built-in projector and koozies to keep your beer cold. It was designed for charity with the proceeds going to the National Restaurant Foundation. It comes, naturally, with a six-pack of games. 

How to play Your Worst Nightmare remotely (during the pandemic)

File this under “utterly random and inappropriate pitches.” During the midst of the pandemic total lockdown in April, we were pitched a story on how to play Your Worst Nightmare game remotely. As we were all living our worst nightmare, trapped at home in a pandemic. No need to play a game. We were already in it. Pitches are all about timing. 

Sightseeing flights to nowhere

ANA offered flights to nowhere for people craving travel during the pandemic. While we can appreciate the concept of feeling like you’re actually going somewhere and life is normal again, putting a lot of people on an airplane together is a bad idea. They offered this flight to 300 passengers in August.

What’s in store for 2021

So, now you can see a sampling of what we didn’t write in 2020. The next year will bring a plethora of enterprise coverage for IT professionals from TechRepublic, starting with the first-ever digital CES. CES 2021 is Jan. 11-14 and we’ll have a team of reporters bringing you coverage as it happens. And of course, as always,  the weirdest, wackiest and coolest tech to be found at CES. (Show us a PC that makes beer can chicken and then we’ll be impressed.)

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