Category Archives: gadgets

Time to Pull Out the Yakitori?

The outdoors is beckoning. Mind you, here in Tartu, it is still a bit nippy. So no late night outdoor cocktail parties yet. But one does begin thinking about what is to come.

And one thing that will definitely come is grilling. That includes the usual stuff one can make on the grill (I have a weber gas grill that amazingly still works). It may also include making yaktiori. That is different.

Yakitori is actually a method of grilling. It uses a Japanese-style grill., which is very cool. But you don’t need that, you can fashion your own rig. In th efirst video below, Harris Salat talks yakitori with a chef who knows what he is doing.The second one shows the yaktaori grill. Enjoy!

Here is a video that shows the grill. Enjoy!


Yes, You Need a New Coffee Dripper

When I first saw the headline, I was skeptical.

This May be the Best-Designed Drip Coffee Maker Ever!

To be clear, I am a french press guy. Have been for decades. Every now and then I pull out my espresso maker. But pressed coffee won me over long ago. And I never bought into the electric drip machines. Which is surprising, since I am a sucker for kitchen gadgets.

But perhaps it was because the drip coffee machines I have tried were not properly designed! Perhaps it was because they were not … adjustable!

That is the pitch for the December Coffee Dripper.

Unlike other drip coffee makers, the contraption has three settings that control the speed with which water is released into the mug. Nicholas Cho, one of the designers of the December Dripper, explains in his Kickstarter video that how fast or slow water is let out from the maker depends on how many cups of coffee you’re making. Too fast for one cup and you won’t get the full flavor of the roast. The maker was also specifically made to have a flat bottom to encourage even distribution of water over the grounds.

Of course! Will I join their kickstarter campaign? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, check out the video at the above link. It is fun … with coffee.


Music Unlimited?

That is the name of Amazon’s new music service.

Will it develop any traction? It might, says Wired, if Alexa’s voice control AI powered system wins over music lovers.

Amazon’s secret weapon isn’t just lower prices. Its popular Echo lineup of voice-assistant products are a huge draw, and because of Echo and Alexa, Amazon Music Unlimited is aiming at a different target than its competitors. Traditional mobile and desktop users aren’t an afterthought, but Amazon is hoping the in-home experience is the huge hook for millions of new subscribers.

Another reason to go Dot – and hook it up to your home stereo system.

How Big is Your Transistor Gate?

These are turbulent times. Just ask the Donald. But amidst the turmoil, one thing seemed pretty fixed. We were bumping up against a limit to how much we could reduce transistor size. That was bad news for those of us who crave ever more powerful gadgets.

Well, that limit may not be a limit after all. From Engadget

“The semiconductor industry has long assumed that any gate below 5 nanometers wouldn’t work, so anything below that was not even considered,” University of California at Berkeley researcher Sujai Desay says. In recent years, though, that assertion has looked shaky, and now it’s been thoroughly disproved thanks to the discoveries made by scientists at UC Berkeley and the magic of carbon nanotubes. Or, as they’re more commonly known, graphene.

It seems that we will be able to go down to at least 1 nanometer gate sizes. What will that mean. Who knows. but it will be fun to find out.

Trust Me: You Will Buy a Digital Home Assistant – But Not yet

I have been tracking the evolution of digital home assistants for a while. So far, they are no big deal. Perhaps the best of the bunch has been the amazon Echo. But Amazon Echo has a long way to go before it truly could be called helpful.

Perhaps if it had some competition? Folks at Google may be reading my mind. They are coming out with Google Home – and the initial comments about it are that it may be a step beyond the Echo..Here are several links´ from my Luxe Shopping page (above)

Google Home profile

Mashable calls it the Echo killer

Let the games begin!

Fred Goes for the QC35’s!

the Bose QC25 is already on my “luxe shopping” list. It is not the only bluetooth, noise cancelling headphone set there, but it is one of the “best bets”. So it was fun to see today that Fred Wilson thinks they are very cool.

But Fred took this a step further. Before today, I was not sure if I really wanted a set of bluetoot headphones. Fred points own

… the thing I love most is that the bluetooth implementation on these headphones is fantastic. You can pair with multiple devices at the same time and the headphones manage the interrupts. When I am paired with my desktop and my smartphone and listening to music or a podcast or a video on my computer and my phone rings, the headphones pause the computer connection and my phone rings on my headset. The mic on the headset is great and I use it for conference calls all the time.

I am starting to get the idea. Now I want a pair!