Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 39: Ambitious but Rubbish

Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge and myself present Bad Voltage (without Bryan Lunduke who is currently struggling with an attack of Ebola), in which everything needs to be an order of magnitude better. Featuring flying bags of flammable liquid, 120 frames per second, and:

  • What needs to happen so that I can have a drone to deliver my pizza and pick up my shopping? Drawing a line through the technological, regulatory, and philosophical minefield standing between today and Jono’s Glorious Drone-Filled Future (2.40)
  • Tarus Balog speaks about OpenNMS, a network management system for big networks, and some recent changes in the project (27.01)
  • Jono reviews the Go Pro Hero 3+ silver edition extreme sports camera (45.24)
  • Jeremy Clarkson has been fired from Top Gear for hitting a colleague. We draw some fairly obvious parallels between the world of open source and this twin situation of standing up against unacceptable behaviour and whether a project is viable if a leading contributor is dismissed (59.38)

Listen to 1×39: Ambitious but Rubbish

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 38: Easy Being Green

Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge and myself present Bad Voltage, in which we decide to talk about Linux almost completely for the whole show. Featuring following the dare in the last show a great deal of OpenSuSE (or openSUSE or opensuse or possibly Open SUSE), green-coloured things, and:

  • If you want a thing fixed in an open source project, and you’re prepared to pay market rate for a developer to get it fixed… how do you find someone to pay to fix it? It seems harder than you might think (1.49)
  • We speak as part of this openSUSE-based show to Andrew Wafaa, long-time contributor and member of the openSUSE community board, about why he’s involved and where openSUSE stands with the rest of the free software community (19.30)
  • In the last show Bryan threw down a challenge to the other three to spend time using openSUSE and report back on their findings. We tried Gnome, KDE, and Enlightenment: now we talk about how that went and what we think about openSUSE as a whole (40.42)
  • We review the newly-released Dell M3800 laptop powerhouse (73.12)

Listen to 1×38: Easy Being Green

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 37: Spooning with Everybody

Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge and myself present Bad Voltage, in which we drone about drones, complain about governments, argue about old modem companies, and:

  • Why is OpenSUSE relevant, and why should we use it? Including a challenge to the three non-Bryan members of the team to try OpenSUSE for real (1.51)
  • We speak to Dave Nielsen, founder of Campsite.org, co-runner of CloudCamp, and not at all a money launderer (18.00)
  • Jono reviews the 3DRobotics Iris+ drone and explains what a drone is actually for (29.16)
  • Net Neutrality: the US have brought in some recent rulings which look bright for the pro-net-neutrality world. Are they all they’re cracked up to be? And what’s the deal here? (43.44)

Listen to 1×37: Spooning with Everybody

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Anova Precision Cooker Review

In the latest episode of Bad Voltage, I review the Anova Precision Cooker Sous Vide. While you should listen to the show (which includes discussion of the review), here’s the review text.

Anova Precision Cooker

As I mentioned in my Soylent review, viewing gastronomy as merely about sustenance is anathema to me. To say I enjoy food, food culture and eating is a prodigious understatement. It may come as no surprise then that I also enjoy cooking. While I’ve wanted a sous vide for some time now, there simply hasn’t been an affordable model I liked until a recent round of product launches. The Anova Precision Cooker seemed like a nice confluence of quality, price and technology and was the device that finally convinced me to plunge into the world of sous vide. For those unfamiliar with sous vide, it’s a method of cooking food sealed in an airtight bag in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times at an accurately regulated temperature much lower than normally used for cooking. The intention is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, while retaining moisture.

The Anova Precision Cooker is an immersion circulator sous vide, that has a temperature range of 77-210 degrees Fahrenheit, is accurate to a tenth of a degree and can heat up to a 5 gallon tank for a maximum of 99 hours. The unit is Bluetooth enabled and can be controlled from a smartphone, although at the time of this review neither the iOS or Android official apps have been released.

With the technical specifications out of the way, it’s time to move on to using the device. You may be wondering how easy it is to cook sous vide and more importantly, how does the food actually taste. Operating the Anova is extremely simple. You fill a suitable container with water, plug the device in, scroll the large wheel to your desired temp and hit the start button. Once the water has reached the desired temperature, you place the vacuumed sealed food in and wait. One great thing about sous vide is experimenting with the time and temperature to create an end result that’s ideal for you. Once you have the two variables dialed in to your tastes, you can perfectly replicate the outcome over and over again. To give you an example, a steak cooked for 90 minutes at 136 degrees Fahrenheit results in a Jeremy approved medium rare . As for the taste; well, it’s delicious. But there’s science behind it all. At these lower temperatures, cell walls in the food do not burst. In the case of meat cooking, tough collagen in connective tissue can be hydrolysed into gelatin, without heating the meat’s proteins high enough that they denature to a degree that the texture toughens and moisture is wrung out of the meat. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to cook some cuts, such as pork belly or spare ribs, for 48-72 hours. Additionally, enclosed spices or ingredients added to the sealed bag transmit their flavor more intensely than during normal cooking. The end product truly is amazing. One downside of that process, however, is that the low temperatures used means no Maillard reaction.. and that means no char. That has a negative impact on both texture and taste. Enter the Searzall. Invented at Booker and Dax, the food science lab arm of the Momofuku empire, the Searzall is an attachment secured to the top of a blowtorch to create the perfect searing temperature without the noxious aromas that typically result when cooking with a blowtorch. By forcing the thin flame of the blowtorch through two layers of fine, high-temperature-resistant wire mesh, it produces a consistent, evenly spread flame that provides a professional quality sear. The end result of a piece of steak cooked in the sous vide and then finished with the searzall is one that will rival the finest steak you’ve ever had.

So, what’s the bad voltage verdict? At $179, the Anova Precision Cooker isn’t outrageously priced but do keep in mind you will also need a vacuum sealer, suitable container and optionally a searzall (although a cast iron pan also works quite well). The total all in cost can be significant, especially if you opt for a chamber vacuum. That said, if you consider yourself an epicurean who enjoys cooking and eating, I think you’ll be highly impressed with what this combination puts on your dinner table.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 35: One Plug Per Segment

Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge and myself unleash all the Bad Voltage you can handle, this week featuring:

  • Live Voltage! The first Bad Voltage live show, on 20th February at SCALE. Come to it! Be part of the majesty! (2.13)
  • Jeremy reviews the Anova Sous Vide, and discusses the nature of gastronomy and culinary expertise (10.03)
  • We talk to Ilan Rabinovich about the upcoming SCALE conference in LA and the history of how it came to be (26.47)
  • Bryan is Wrong in 60 Seconds about… Wrong in 60 Seconds (42.04)
  • Mir and Wayland: what’s going on there, now? Now that the controversy has blown over, what’s the score with next-generation display servers? (43.10)

Listen to 1×35: One Plug Per Segment

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 34: Hidden Cities

Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge and myself bring you all the Bad Voltage that’s fit to print, including a special feature where three of us record with good microphones and one moron doesn’t:

  • We give the second half of our predictions for where technology will go in 2015: this episode, Jeremy and Jono (2.30)
  • Christian Hergert talks about his crowdfunding campaign to make Builder, a Gnome IDE for building Gnome apps (27.25)
  • Wrong in 60 seconds: Jono on indicating in cars (46.48)
  • Skiplagged, a website for taking advantage of “hidden city” airline tickets through data analysis, is being sued by airlines. We discuss why, and what this indicates for this sort of air-quotes disruptive app (48.33)
  • Jono reviews the Logitech Harmony 650 all-in-one entertainment system remote control (62.35)

Listen to 1×34: Hidden Cities

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Soylent 1.3 Review

In the next episode of Bad Voltage, I review Soylent 1.3. I typically post the review text after an episode comes out, but as I did with the Kindle Voyage Review I’m going to post it ahead of time. Why? Well, during the show myself and the rest of the Bad Voltage team discuss the review and after reading this I hope you’re interested enough to listen in when the show comes out tomorrow. In the mean time, you can listen to our holiday episode (where we discuss how we got into technology, where we think tech will be in 2024 and review our 2014 predictions) here: A Hannu-pancha-festi-christ-wanzaa-newton-vent Story

Soylent 1.3

For some, food and the act of eating are merely about sustenance. That mindset is antithetical to the way I approach gastronomy. That said, when Soylent hit the crowd funding scene, I was intrigued. And I wasn’t the only one. They had over $2M in pre-orders using Tilt and have since raised roughly 1.5M from venture capitalists.

So, what is Soylent? Unlike its eponymous plankton-colored movie nutrition source; it’s not people. It is a meal replacement drink that aims to be nutritionally complete, low cost, easy to prepare and flavor neutral. For those like Soylent’s creator who “resented the time, money, and effort the purchase, preparation, consumption, and clean-up of food was consuming”, it can be used in lieu of food for all three meals. During the initial formulation of the product he even subsided on nothing but Soylent for 30 days and has been living on a 90% Soylent diet ever since. For those who actually enjoy eating, it can also be used to replace individual meals at your discretion. It has a 50/30/20 ratio of carbohydrates, fats and protein and a 3 serving pouch contains 2,010 calories if you include the optional oil mixture. A 7 pouch box is $85 as a one time purchase with the starter kit or $70 as a monthly subscription.

I placed my order on July 1st and received it on December 15th. That’s correct it took 5 1/2 months. Unfortunately, based on shipping estimates currently on the website, things haven’t improved much since I placed my order. Do note that reorders should ship in 1-2 weeks, which is much more reasonable.

So, now that I actually have Soylent, what do I think? I should note here that radically altering your diet in the way Soylent’s creator has could have potentially serious health ramifications. Before you consume nothing but a nutrient slurry you heard about on Bad Voltage, created by someone you don’t know on the Internet, you should definitely do a copious amount of research and probably speak with a medical professional. Realistically I don’t think we’ll know the true long term implications of something like this anytime soon. With that out of the way, let me say that as a tech guy, I really like what they are doing. While they’re happy to sell you the product, there is a huge portion of the site dedicated to DYI that allows you to access and tweak their recipe to your liking and make it at home. This is not your average company. Additionally, they actually version the product and are iterating on it fairly quickly. The shipment I received was Soylent 1.3, which replaced the primary source of potassium, tweaked the flavor and changed packaging. Soylent 1.2 replaced fish oil with algae oil to make the product animal free and removed the enzyme blend added in a previous version while Soylent 1.1 reduced the amount of sucralose, added the aforementioned enzyme blend to improve digestion and updated the packaging. I don’t know of any other food vendor that details the changes in their product in this manner, but it’s a trend I welcome.

On to the actual product. The taste has been described as purposefully bland and that’s not far off. Opinions seem to very widely, but to me it has a very mild vanilla flavor. I didn’t use a blender for my initial tests and the product is slightly gritty, but certainly tolerable to me. Others I had taste Soylent did not concur with my assessment. Leaving Soylent in the refrigerator overnight helped the consistency immensely. I had almost nothing but Soylent for breakfast and lunch over the last two days which resulted in me feeling sated and having normal energy levels. I ran three miles before dinner yesterday and can’t say I noticed any difference between how I felt during that and a normal run. I had none of the gastric distress, intestinal discomfort or soul-crushing flatulence that has been reported by some.

So, what’s the Bad Voltage verdict? I can’t imagine consuming nothing but Soylent for 3 meals a day every day. I just like food too much. Even if I didn’t, I think the impact of cooking, eating and sharing food have a profound impact on local culture. One I’d hate to see go away. But the openness and transparency of the company, their willingness to iterate and the nutritional completeness along with ease of preparation does mean I’ll likely use it to replace breakfast and lunch a couple times a week moving forward. Now, is Soylent right for you? That’s too dependent on your gastronomic proclivities and intestinal fortitude for me to say.

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,023 other followers