Thursday, April 23, 2015

Take notes on your wrist with Google Keep and Android Wear


Keep, Google's cloud-based note taking app, has always been pretty handy. But having to pull out and unlock your phone, then launch the program, open a new note and finally type in your thought is often enough to make anybody yearn for a pencil and pad of paper. Luckily, Google has a newly updated means of jotting down ideas as easy as talking to the back of your hand -- you just need to shell out a couple hundred bucks for an Android Wear watch to use it.

According to the official Google Android Blog, Android users with devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and newer will be able to access the Note app directly from their wristwatch while leaving their phone in their pocket. Users can activate the app with "OK Google, open Keep" or jump directly to dictation with the command "OK Google, take a note." Existing features like swipe-and-tap navigation and adding reminders to existing notes directly from the watch are still supported.

Filed under: , , ,


Source: Official Android Blog


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Zeiss's latest full-frame Sony lenses have OLED screens


Sony's full-frame Alpha cameras have serious game, and their only weakness -- a lack of lenses -- is quickly becoming a non-issue. Zeiss has just added a couple more full-frame "Batis" AF lenses that have a singular feature: an OLED display. That lets the 25mm f/2 wide angle and 85mm f/1.8 portrait lenses show the lens' focal plane and depth of field, two pieces of info your camera normally can't. That'll be of dubious utility for casual photographers, but could help pros who like to fine-tune shots. The price to be on the bleeding edge of lens tech? $1,199 and $1,299 for the 85mm and 25mm models, respectively, according to Adorama.

Filed under:


Via: Sony Alpha Rumors

Source: Zeiss


Monday, April 20, 2015

Stunning elevator ride up One World Trade Center shows 515 years of NYC


Beautiful. Breathtaking. Tragic. Saddening. Historic. The new One World Trade Center’s observatory has elevators that display a 515-year visual timeline of New York City’s skyline and it’s an incredible view. Like if you were in a glass elevator and watching history unfold right before your eyes.



drag2share: Our diets have drastically changed since the 1990s and we're drinking 4 times more alcohol


Over the past few years, our diets have changed a lot. For one, we're consuming significantly more alcohol than we were in the 1990s.

The world is also eating way more meat, cheese, milk, and sugar than we were just two decades ago — and way less rice, cereal, and wheat.

Here's a table from a recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch report showing some of the most powerful trends in agriculture and food between 1992 and 2014. The green rectangles show products that we've started eating way more of; the red ones show products we've started eating less of.

Screen Shot 2015 04 17 at 12.59.22 PM

The chart brings good and bad news.

Here's the good: Globally, people are eating more protein, an ingredient critical to healthy muscle and tissue development. 

And the bad:

1. Most of that protein is coming from animal sources. 

A big uptick in the amount of animals we raise for food can also put a strain on global resources of water and energy. It takes far more water, land, and energy (in the form of carbon and methane, two gases that contribute to climate change) to raise cattle that are slaughtered than it does to raise crops for people to eat.

2. Wealthy countries — where people already eat too ! much pro tein — account for most of the increase.

The countries that account for the majority of the uptick are wealthy countries, where people are actually eating more protein than they need. According to the report, developed countries like the US and the UK already eat about twice as much meat compared with the global average, and it predicts this trend will continue until well into the 2020s.

3. People are drinking way more alcohol and eating way more sugar.

The consumption of alcohol and sugar worldwide has spiked. People are drinking more than four times as much as they were in 1992 and eating nearly twice as much sugar.

Too much sugar causes your blood sugar to spike and then drop a short while later, leaving you hungry for more.

4. People are eating way less grain.

Contrary to what low-carb and paleo diets might have you think, grains are a vital part of any healthy diet.

Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat, and cereals (as opposed to processed grains like the kind found in white bread or white rice) are rich in fiber, which helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. Some of these grains even contain enough protein to make them competitive with meat, even while being far less harsh on the environment.


Sony's new flagship smartphone has an image-stabilizing selfie camera


Sony's unveiled its new smartphone in Japan, the Xperia Z4, and like you might tell from the press images, it's a mighty familiar-looking one from a company still looking for its next big hit. Yep there's a lot of similarities compared to the Z3 (a phone that we were pretty happy with), including a 5.2-inch screen, metal frame, support for Hi-Res audio and the same wide-angle 25mm lens on the main camera. Upgrades since last year's model include a frame that's both thinner (down to under 7 mm) and lighter, while camera upgrades are focused on the front, which now gets the same wide-angle lens of the primary shooter as well as digital image stabilization to keep your selfie game completely on point.

Sony's also added timer functions for improved posing and group selfies - with or without a stick. The phone launches this summer in Japan, in four shades of metal finish, but no word on where (or if) it'll start its world tour after that. However, we'd put money on a very similar smartphone appearing at some point.

Filed under: , ,


Via: Engadget Japanese

Source: Sony Mobile Japan


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Michelin-starred chef takes organic quality to 'fanatic' extremes


Italian chef Paolo Sari cooking in

Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (France) (AFP) - France has many restaurants claiming the "bio" label, but only one to earn a star in the fabled Michelin Guide: Elsa, a Riviera eatery run by an Italian chef, Paolo Sari.

Sari boasts he takes the credo to such lengths that his 40-seat restaurant barely outside Monaco's border is "the only certified 100-percent bio establishment in the world".

Certainly he is inflexible in ensuring his Mediterranean cuisine, mixing French and Italian recipes, is entirely organic and sourced from local and near-local producers. 

That means his asparagus comes from a village in Provence, his saffron from a mountaintop village near Nice, and seafood direct from fishermen. His almonds come from Sicily and go to make a diabolically delicious souffle.

Beef, though, is one ingredient that doesn't feature on his menu because there is no organic cattle farm nearby.

"Each ingredient, each supplier, even each transporter needs to have a certification," Sari told AFP.

Organisation is key, with records provided on every menu and the percentage of dishes sold, "because an inspector could come to check at any moment".

"I let the ingredients be the star, after a fanatic search for good products," the chef said. He then adds his own "little touches". Three years of that approach earned Elsa -- which is part of a resort called Monte-Carlo Beach -- its Michelin star last year.

- Higher prices -

Maintaining the all-bio standards, though, doesn't come cheap. Supplier costs are 20 percent higher than for food coming from traditional sources using industrial techniques.

"In the beginning, it was expensive. Scarcity makes for expense," said Daniele Gercelon, the director of Monte-Carlo Beach. 

"Then we expanded the range of suppliers for greater reliability, choice and volume." 

Now, she added, she is looking to implement the bio approach to the other eateries at the resort, which is part of a bigger, Monaco-based group managing several restaurants and hotels.

The winter closure of the Elsa restaurant between October and March means Sari only needs to find fresh seasonal produce in the warmer months, when it is at its most abundant.

He also has access to a three-hectare (7.5-acre) small, private farm in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, the French village where the restaurant is located which butts up against Monaco. It also relies on another two-hectare plot of land in San Remo, a town just over the Italian border 20 kilometres (12 miles) away.

Sari, 45, said his experience working in restaurants in Japan, South Korea, China, Switzerland, London, New York, Los Angeles, Moscow and Venice gave him a broad range of influences, but he preferred an Asian "simplicity" in the presentation of his dishes.

Among his fare is an entree of green asparagus with generous slices of black truffle on a bed of potatoes. There is also a risotto made golden with saffron and a touch of bone marrow, and roast lamb ribs coated with acacia honey and accompanied by knob celery.

The wine, naturally, is all bio as well, with nearly 100 choices to match the meals.

Diners have a choice of desserts: a tarte tatin/creme brulee fusion, mini crepes Suzette with caramelised pears, or -- France and Italy united -- a Saint-Honore puff pastry cake married with tiramisu.

Join the conversation about this story »