Forget space, it seems as if the kitchen is the final frontier for computing. Companies have tried for years to create a computer that offers the right mix of design, functionality, and price so that people feel comfortable incorporating it into the household hub. (See also 3Com's Audrey, or even our recent post on Pandigital's kitchen TV.) As our Webware colleagues tend to roll their eyes at "yet another social network," so we kitchen geeks often scoff at yet another kitchen computer.
The quest to make kitchens around the country more eco-friendly just got a little easier. NatureMill, a San Francisco-based company founded by an MIT grad in 2004, is adding to its lineup of indoor automatic composters.
NatureMill's composters speed up the process of composting by heating, mixing, and aerating the waste that gets put into it. After two weeks, fresh food waste can be turned into nutrient-rich fertilizer for the garden, according to the company. They're small enough to fit into a regular kitchen cabinet (20 inches long by 12 inches wide by 20 inches high), and to … Read more
Clothes dryers are the second biggest hog of household energy, according to the Department of Energy. Most are so similar in terms of power hunger that the Energy Star label of efficient appliances doesn't even mark dryers.
By this fall, however, consumers could enjoy faster, greener, and safer clothes dryers that draw half the power of conventional models, according to Hydromatic Technologies Corporation.
Its Dryer Miser technology would dry garments 41 percent more quickly without shrinking as much or stinking them up with the odor of burnt lint, said Michael Brown, the inventor and company president.
He plans to … Read more
Sometimes watching sci-fi shows can be depressing. On the one hand, the imagination blossoms with all the possibilities the future holds. On the other hand, everything you see? You can't have it. Because you know what? You don't live in the future. Sorry. No gagh for you.
So it's with mixed feelings that I point you, dear readers, over to io9, who has put together a list of the best sci-fi kitchen gadgets. The list of neat things you can't have includes such wonders as the knife that toasts your bread while it cuts, and the … Read more
While most people in the tech sector are watching what's going on at CES in Las Vegas, some of us still have our eyes on what's going on in the kitchen.
Apartment Therapy's Kitchn blog today points to a half-size dishwasher that could start popping up in apartments around the country. The Smeg dishwasher comes in three sizes, the most interesting of which tops out at just less than 24 inches tall. On the outside, it's a standard, stainless steel appliance. Inside, it's basically like the bottom basket of a regular dishwasher.
This design works … Read more
Every few years, some new technology or application comes along that everyone's sure will miraculously conquer every obstacle in its path and, in some ludicrously short time period, make existing technology obsolete. And then, long after all the media hype fades away and investors' checkbooks disappear, well, nothing happens.
So what? Who cares? Why bother talking about our industry's bombs, the next big things that weren't? Well, for one thing, it's interesting to note how hungry we all are for news about new technology. It gets us excited. We complain about media hype, but love the hype.
It's also fascinating how existing technology has this way of hanging on by its fingernails way past the point of its predicted obsolescence. More importantly, we learn more from mistakes than we do from successes. That's part of the scientific method: hypothesis, test, learn, repeat until you get it right.
Lastly, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Those are all good enough reasons for me. So here are my top 10 technology flops. But first, some ground rules. I stuck to the last 50 years or so. And I avoided specific company products. We've heard enough about the IBM PCjr, Apple Newton, Microsoft Bob, and OS2 to last 10 lifetimes.… Read more
It's not surprising that Billy Marshall, former Red Hatter and current CEO of rPath, would be dismissive of Red Hat's new appliance operating system, given that he will be competing with it. But what I did find surprising is how dead-on his assessment is of enterprise software.
We talk about certification a lot (i.e., "Yes, we are certified to run on SQL Server"). The customer takes this to mean, "It will work well with SQL Server." But this isn't always the case. In fact, as Billy points out, it is often not the case:
According to Red Hat, the product will be a valuable alternative to rPath because it preserves application "certification." Apparently this means that customers will still need to assemble, configure, and maintain the components inside the virtual appliance. After all, "certification" is only valuable when the components are not provided as an integrated, optimized, and tested unit.… Read more
The big news from Red Hat yesterday was its deal with Amazon to host Red Hat Enterprise Linux on its EC2 service (a great move, as Tim O'Reilly notes). Why big? Because Red Hat just significantly raised the bar on ease of adoption for Linux.
In fact, Red Hat just raised the bar for all operating systems/infrastructure technology, and not merely other Linux vendors.
As Red Hat notes:
Linux Automation. The ability to run any application, on any system, at any time. Allowing IT to simplify their IT infrastructure in the process. With the belief that undue complexity and over-architecture will have both short and long term costs....… Read more
The broad strokes of Red Hat's announcement yesterday left a lot of canvas unpainted. Its JBoss middleware, an acquisition that hasn't met Red Hat's expectations, was MIA. And a great deal of management, provisioning, identity, etc. capabilities--essentially the services that span the entire infrastructure--were casually lumped under the Red Hat Network (RHN) umbrella, or handed off to Open APIs, without much in the way of detail. RHN is a capable update and monitoring tool that has become increasingly capable over time. But RHN, even augmented by Red Hat's other infrastructure products, hardly comprises a complete enterprise automation strategy, contrary to what the company seemed to suggest. Overall, it seemed more like a conceptual vision for a strategy than an actual strategy.
For me, more interesting for the near- to medium-term were a pair of other announcements that are more closely related than they might initially appear. One was the Red Hat Appliance Operating System (AOS) that the company plans to make available in the first half of 2008. (The acronym takes me back to my previous life...but that's another story.)… Read more
In case you were wondering, there is a God.
The Dough-Nu-Matic, available via the SkyMall in-flight catalog, is a miniature version of the Krispy Kreme fryer/conveyor belt that forms and fries savory doughnuts.
For just $130, you can make very small doughnuts at the clip of a dozen every six minutes. That means you can eat 120 miniature doughnuts every hour without leaving your home. You can make doughnuts in your bathroom and eat them in the shower. You can place doughnuts on each of your fingers, then eat them off like the magical Mr. Doughnut Hands. You can … Read more