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February 29, 2012

Carageenan is not in milk

Carrageenan is a commonly used food additive that is
extracted from red seaweed by using powerful alkali
solvents. These solvents would remove the tissues
and skin from your hands as readily as would any acid.

Alkali and acid: opposites or similar ?

notmilk's carageenan

More in Eat: food cooking nutrition foodies and dining recipies

February 28, 2012

Dennis the Dentist part 6

I your name is Mike Baskauskas, you're going to be is a story about basketball.

In an interview with a Taiwanese television station last summer, Shirley lamented that she did not fully understand the intricacies of the American youth basketball system when Josh began playing; choosing the right teams and finding the right opportunities for exposure can be challenging.

With Jeremy, however, Shirley was diligent; Baskauskas recalled that when Jeremy was nearing the end of elementary school, there was no elite-level program for youngsters that age to join.

"So we started one," Baskauskas said.

With Shirley squarely in the middle of the group, a National Junior Basketball program was built in Palo Alto, which included a top-tier regional team that featured Jeremy and many other youngsters who went to play with him on Amateur Athletic Union teams and in high school.

"It filled a hole," Baskauskas said.

Tight-Knit Family Shares Lin's Achievement
Published: February 25, 2012
Jeremy Lin's parents navigated a winding path from Taiwan to Virginia, from Purdue University to Palo Alto, on their way to raising a global icon.

February 27, 2012

Election undecided

If we mention Santorum or Romney for President, will they buy ads here ?
The 2012 election race is close

When is Supertuesday ? Super Tuesday is soon -- March 6.

February 26, 2012

Middle class is a swishy term

The modern populists in the Democratic Party have long argued that government has abandoned what their most ardent spokeswoman, Elizabeth Warren, has called the "vanishing middle class." They insist that a government owned by corporations is now skewed toward subsidizing the rich, while the middle class, a squishy term that in this case generally denotes families making something like $50,000 or less.

the mirror image of the Tea Party case. According to both ideological briefs, the middle class is being underserved. But in the Tea Party gospel, it's the poor who are absconding with a disproportionate share of the tax dollar, while in the left's, it's the wealthy. It just can't be that government is being generous with the guy earning $40,000 when that guy is a Tea Party sympathizer, but somehow it's behaving with negligent indifference when that same $40,000 earner is a union member.

-- Matt Bai

February 25, 2012

Find My iPhone

When it comes to physical security, iPhone users would do well to download Find My iPhone, a free app from Apple that allows you to visit a Web site and see your (lost, stolen or misplaced) phone on a map. You can then sound an alarm, send a message that will pop up on its screen, lock the phone or erase all your data.

February 13, 2012

Digitally remastered by BMW, Part II: the sounds of M

The sound doesn't even come from a microphone in the engine compartment, which would make some perverse sense, but from a digital recording: "a discreet soundtrack in keeping with the harmonious and assured characteristics of the V8 power plant," BMW explains in its literature. Stomping on the gas pedal, the Bavarians continue, "prompts an immediate audible response to match the instantaneous -- and typically M -- burst of power from beneath the bonnet." They call it Active Sound Design.

In perspective, we all know that much of what we hear in life is not really so. Canned laughter and "sweetened" applause have been TV staples for decades, and all the slamming doors, breaking glass and squealing tires you hear in movies are sound effects. (Always notice when they have tires squealing on dirt roads ?)

Warning: The Next Sound You Hear Will Not Be Your Engine
Published: January 25, 2012
In a world of virtual noise, BMW fakes the roar of its engine with a digital recording in a red-hot 2013 model.

Posted in: Autos

Part 1: BMW X5, X6 vs Bill Howard and Dan Neil on digitally remastered suspension, brakes, engine controls, all required to negate the effects of more weight

February 8, 2012

Coffee: by the cup, or by weight ?

"Americans under the age of 40 are thinking about coffee pricing in cups," said Ric Rhinehart, executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. "If you asked my mother how much coffee cost, she would have told you that the red can was $5.25 a pound and the blue can was $4.25. If you ask people in their 20s and 30s, they'll say coffee is $1.75 to $3.75 a cup."

This generational shift helps explain why single-serve coffee is the fastest-growing sector of the home market. According to a study from the National Coffee Association, single-serve coffee is now the second most popular method of preparation after conventional drip brewers, by far the dominant method. In 2011, 7 percent of the cups of coffee consumed in the United States were made with a single-serve brewer, up from 4 percent in 2010.

The premium that single-serve coffee commands makes it especially lucrative. Julian Liew, a spokesman for Nespresso, said single-serve coffee is 8 percent of the global market, but accounts for 25 percent of its value. It's likely that the number will continue to climb.

Dining & Wine
With Coffee, the Price of Individualism Can Be High
Published: February 7, 2012
Single-serve brewing machines are soaring in popularity, but the cost of the coffee is far higher than it may seem.

February 4, 2012

Late stage comedy writers in Los Angeles

Little podcasting chieftains forming networks of shows under such banners as Nerdist, Earwolf and Ace Broadcasting, which belongs to the former radio host turned podcaster Adam Carolla. It's no coincidence that this is all happening in Los Angeles, where comics move to work in TV and movies and stay to become ironic, insular and defeated about it.

The vacuum was what initially flummoxed comedians when the Internet revolution happened. Suddenly comics were in the discomfiting position of needing to relate to audiences outside the more hostile, and familiar, setting of a particular night in front of a particular crowd. Dane Cook, who embraced the "Hey, guys!" approach of building a brand on the Web, was scoffed at for his Internet people-pleasing. He even came to symbolize the end of stand-up comedy as a great antisocial art form.

But eventually comics, who tend to talk and talk and talk, who often write their material by talking, recognized the springboard of a podcast as a beautiful thing -- Internet radio without the gatekeepers or, if you like, instant stage time in their down time. Half a decade into the trend, something like an establishment industry is starting to form, with little podcasting chieftains forming networks of shows under such banners as Nerdist, Earwolf and Ace Broadcasting, which belongs to the former radio host turned podcaster Adam Carolla. It's no coincidence that this is all happening in Los Angeles, where comics move to work in TV and movies and stay to become ironic, insular and defeated about it.

Stand-Up Comedy Without the Stand-Up. Or the Comedy.
Published: February 3, 2012
Don't listen to podcasts by stand-up comics because they're funny. Listen to them because they're almost unbearably raw.

February 2, 2012

Purity Ring

Purity Ring is the duo of Megan James and Corin Roddick from Gobble Gobble; they have nothing to do with the Jonas Brothers. Their song "Ungirthed" is a hyper-addictive pop-dubstep sort of affair that sounds channeled from a sweetly futuristic broadcast originating lightyears away... a future in which actual purity rings have long been smelted away from memory.

The Ungirthed 7″ is out now on Transparent records.

February 1, 2012

Gamification is superficial

Game techniques, Mr. Duggan says, prompt consumers to spend more time on company Web sites, contribute more content and share more product information with Facebook and Twitter adherents. One of his clients, he says, uses a gamification program to collect information about 300 actions -- like posting comments or sharing with a social network -- performed by several million people.

But critics say the risk of gamification is that it omits the deepest elements of games -- like skill, mastery and risk-taking -- even as it promotes the most superficial trappings, like points, in an effort to manipulate people.

Ian Bogost, a professor of digital media at the Georgia Institute of Technology, for example, refers to the programs as "exploitationware." Consumers might be less eager to sign up, he argues, if they understood that some programs have less in common with real games than with, say, spyware.

"Why not call it a new kind of analytics?" says Professor Bogost, a founding partner at Persuasive Games, a firm that designs video games for education and activism. "Companies could say, 'Well, we are offering you a new program in which we watch your every move and make decisions about our advertising based on the things we see you do.' "

Gamification may not sound novel to members of frequent-flier or hotel loyalty programs who have strategized for years about ways to game extra points. But those kinds of membership programs offer concrete rewards like upgrades, free flights or free hotel stays. What's new about gamification is its goal of motivating people with virtual awards, like a mayoralty on FourSquare, that have little or no monetary value.

What would Amy Jo Kim or Justin Hall have said ?

"It's deepening the engagement and exposure to the brand through something that has intangible value," says Emily Murphy, a researcher at Forrester Research where she was a co-author of a recent report on gamification.

Business Day
You've Won a Badge (and Now We Know All About You)
Published: February 4, 2012
More companies are turning to gamification -- offering games that let their customers win points for certain activities -- as a way to build both loyalty and a trove of data.