Floppy is the new vinyl (and Windows 10 is ready for it)

Hooray! My old floppy drive plays nice with Windows 10.

Lucky me. Windows 10 floppyFloppy is the new vinyl. In a couple of years, the most significant artist will be publishing their music exclusively on floppy.

Offline and 1,44 MB will be considered a refreshing creative constrain (a little like the 140 character limit on Twitter or the square format of Instagram back in the old days).

In the future hipsters will meet up to exchange music at underground copy parties, discussing mono/stereo, bitrates and mp3/Ogg. Edgy DJs with multi coloured (and even transparent) floppies from Japan are the kings and queens of music, setting the dance floor on fire the 64 Kbps way. Forget the “Mile high club”. “High-density” night club is the place to be.

A tech giant will shut down their otherwise popular streaming service and reintroduce 3,5” floppy in their newest gadget. The rise of the Floppy-Man<tm> will mark the beginning of a new era. Bye-bye Pono Music and all the rest. The preferred format for the new generation includes magnets.

You heard it here for the first time. You are welcome.

Private Jet the “Uber way”

Victor appIt is finally here: The app which let you book a private jet. It’s called Victor, and is being promoted on the front page of the Financial Times these days.

The goal is more or less to do for aviation what Drivr and Uber is doing for taxa service, maybe with a touch of GoMore: Disrupt the industry and create greater transparency and flexibility, says the founder and CEO Clive Jackson.

FlyVictor.com promise three hours from first swipe to takeoff, and the app will let you choose among different offers, aircraft types, and check out the pilots track record, the actual interior of the plane etc.

travelfursclassThere’s even a special “Pets on Jets“, offering the four-legged friends their own seat in the cabin. This services is called “Furs Class”. Nothing less.

“The sky is the limit” in the digital (sharing-) economy? We are already used to GoMore, Drivr and airbnb, so maybe Victor is simply the next logical step to the real goal: Retirement at a time with a “GoLaika!”-app with special offers for a quick trip to the ISS.

 

Wish list from a Kobo bookworm

Kobo, you need to fix this to stay relevant.

I love my Kobo Aura. It’s distraction free reading karma in the light of a candle. It’s the best (anti-) gizmo I bought for year.

Unfortunately there are a few rough edges, which occasionally makes my eyes wander from that great novel to a review of the latest Kindle. Small annoyances which makes it less easy to make a clear recommendation to friend and colleagues seeking e-reader zen.

Here’s what I think Kobo should fix. It’s not rocket science. It’s simply something Kobo need to deal with to stay relevant

Continue reading Wish list from a Kobo bookworm

Bear Teddy: King Kong of stand mixers? (Researching mixers, part 3)

The “Bear Teddy” is no nonsense rugged  machinery.  It’s the youngest and smallest from an old family with prominent members. This is the 5 liter home edition for those who don’t want to compromise with their precious sourdough when they get home from the rig. This is what you want to bring on your shift to the Silo.

In my search for the ultimate Mixer Nirvana I’v been all over the World Wide Web – to US and Sweden and back again. Visiting various forums and reading more reviews than I’d like to admit. Turns out the answer might be found in my back yard: Meet the Bear Teddy /Varimixer from Danish Wodschow & Co

bjoern-teddy-varimixer-koekkenmaskine-sort
Beauty in black.

This is nonsense raw horse bear power, with a industrial look ‘n feel, promised to be “extremely powerful at low speeds when strength is needed to mix the heavy dough”.

varimixer BEARReviews on all over the world are very positive, stressing the superior strength of the machine, praising its quiet motor. Good vibes can be tracked from Australian post on a sourdough forums, to a review in Danish Gastromand. The machine seems to go with a high level of customers satisfaction, also after years of use.

Born among trucks and lifts 

This looks as the Terminator of mixers. The youngest and smallest from an old family with several bigger brothers and sisters.

family-varimixer

The company behind have made mixers for 100 year – the solid metal kind of mixers targeted at the professional marked, which also shows from the companies (modest) representation on social media and its own (B2B oriented) website:

You won’t find photos of house wifes and cup cake eating children. No, it’s bowl truckslifts and techspecs of products such as the “AR60 Marine BEAR“, a monster with 60 liter capacity for the marine sector.

The Bear Teddy is the home edition for those die hard fans and kitchen hacker enthusiasts who don’t want to compromise when they get home from the rig. This is also what I’d bring on a shift in the Silo.

Design

Not sure about the WAF factor; it’s almost anti-design and sends a strong “tool; not toy” signal. Personally I find it beautiful. Especially in black.

The sound from the machine reminds me of the Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader – the cargo loading exo-skeleton in Aliens. Beautiful.

In action

This video shows a fraction of the Bear Teddy abilities, and gives you an idea of it huge size and powers – makes you want to touch it in real life and make it your silent servant, which can be trusted your precious sourdough. Notice the sound.

Features and accessories

The Bear Teddy comes with a beater, a hook a whip and a 5 liter bowl. You can trust it with up to 2,5 L of bread dough. It will even do up to 4.4 L of mayonnaise.

Bjørn-TEDDY-tilbehør-3-GastromandDK
Photo: Gastromand.dk CC BY-NC 2.5 DK

Additional accessories are limited to a meat mincer and a vegetable cutter. These share the same professional attributes and prize tag as the rest of the system.

Competitors? Any higher?

Accessories_Teddy_spec_hook_150The Bear Teddy  is around twice the prize of the Assistent/ “Ankarsrum” [se my preview], which seems to be the closest serious rival in  the dough kneading department.

The Teddy does not provide the same amount of associates as the Ankarsrum (or Kenwood or KitchenAid). If your are looking for one machines to rule them all, that might point you in the direction of the Ankarsrum. If you do already have a food processor for slicing, blending etc, it’s a questions of power and prize.

I will of course post a reviews when I get my hands on this wonderful machinery. Even better:  I’d love to do an in-depth Bear Tedd vs Ankarsrum comparison under different conditions. But before all that: Are these the two kings of bread kneading machinery out there, or did I miss something?

Update: Now hands-on preview of the Bear Teddy - more photos (Danish).

Features (top) photo: Gastromand.dk

Ankarsrum/Assistent (researching mixers 2)

[Updating…]

Swedish Ankarsrum (formerly known as Electrolux “Assistent”) has been around for many years.

The Ankarsrum is often top rated in reviews for its kneading abilities combined with a quiet motor.

Ankarsrum-Assistent-AKM-6220

It comes with a huge bowl and uses a rare system, with the bowl itself as the rotating part, making it easy to see what’s going on, adding new ingredients.

Design

In its latest edition the “retro” design is a the center. You wouldn’t be surprised to find such a machine in the kitchen below The Hatch.

The machine is available in several color (combinations), aiming at being welcomed as a central everyday part of the kitchen.

assistent-colours

No doubt the design and story behind the Ankarsrum is refreshing among all the many KitchenAid products – sending international waves of attention from Sweden.

Features and accessories

An impressive arsenal of accessories is available for the machine, such as blender, juicer, grain mill and meat grinder. anska

.. which often means turning the machine on its side.

ankarsrum-meat-grinder

In this respect it is not merely a mixer, but  should in theory eliminate the need for a handful of other machines in the kitchen.

Is this it?

The Ankarsrum might make up for a rational and interesting choice. Kneading capabilities are at the center (for the machine as well as for me). The great review combined with some good old skepticism in respect to the rotating bowl make makes you curious: Will it really manage as well as a good, traditional stand mixer – like professionals use in bakeries?

Another relevant question is if you really need the broad variety of extra equipment, or should rather stick to a focused mixer. You might already have a great food processor such as a Magimix (but then again: Will it last another 10 years?). And could the Ankarsrum  be the machine which encourage to make that lovely homemade pasta a little more often?

And last but not least: Is there something out there even more powerful?

Sourdough

Don’t expect masculine street cred, and please be aware that you are no way an edgy first mover. Sourdough is sooo 2009.

Tamagotchi_0124_ubtThat said: Prepare for a great hobby project. Sourdough has a geeky appealSourdough (baking) is somewhere between a Tamagotchi and a Raspberry Pi: You have to treat it well, and there are endless possibilities.

The king of Sourdough in Denmark is Claus Meyer, chef and businessman. In his book he describes how he have sometimes left meeting, or split a busy day plan in two to rush home and check up on his precious sourdough. Very geeky.

Sourdough chart popularity (1)

Sourdough is a stable culture of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeast in a mixture of flour and water. Broadly speaking, the yeast produces gas (carbon dioxide) which leavens the dough, and the LAB produces lactic acid which contributes flavor. The LAB metabolizes sugars that the yeast cannot, and the yeast metabolizes byproducts of LAB fermentation. Biology and chemistry of sourdough, Wikipedia.