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HTC Flyer – Sketcher’s Dream?

via Engadget

HTC has announced the Flyer, a 7″ Android tablet. HTC’s first entry into the tablet market is pretty unique, in that it features a pressure sensitive stylus on top of the (now) standard capacitive screen.

If the stylus can work smoothly enough, and programs like Sketchbook Mobile can find their way onto the device optimized for the stylus input, this may be a mobile dream come true for sketchers and artists.

Via Engadget

[Update]

Engadget has posted more about the technology being used in the touch panel for the Flyer, as well as a quick video showing it in action.

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Making Coffee

aero_press_04This morning I went to the Post Office and picked up an Amazon.com box with my new AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker. I’ve had a lot of fun with my Bialetti Mukka Express for the last year or so. All of these coffee producing gizmos are at the intersection of my gadget geekness and coffee obsessions. There is also something purely delightful to me about manual production and simple tools. I feel like it puts me closer to the process, and more in control of the results.

I also have a couple burr grinders for grinding coffee. One is electric and quick to use, but I really love taking the time to hand grind my beans with the Tre Spade grinder I have from this site. There’s just something about feeling the blades shaving down the beans, and doing it without plugging something into the wall, that I really savor.

Back to the Aeropress. Over time I have kept running across mentions of the product. I’ve heard that it is similar in principle to the Clover Coffee Machine, but costs $26 instead of $11,000. While I have been enjoying my Mukka Express, it DOES require a range to use (unless you get the version with an electric hotplate) so I’ve been looking for something novel to produce coffee at my desk at work. I finally found a way to justify my curiosity and pulled the trigger on the Aeropress this week.

I’ve only brewed three cups from it so far, but I’m already impressed. The product has been very rich and strong while remaining smooth without bitterness. The great thing about such a manual process is that there are plenty of elements to tweak and experiment with. Over time I know I’ll find all of the tweaks that work best for me. When I mentioned that I had ordered the product on Twitter I got a great link from Lawrence Ingraham (@lawpower) pointing me to some alternative brewing methods for the Aeropress. I’ll certainly be giving them a shot soon.

Of course, as much as I love what I’ve mentioned already, I would be completely lost in joy if I could get a setup like Tom Metcalfe’s beautiful coffee roaster, grinder, brewer product concept.

What kitchen gadgets are you in love with? What tasks do you prefer to accomplish manually instead of plugging something in to do it for you?

Pogoplug

Where do you store your data, and how do you get it there? This problem has been approached with many solutions. Personally I use a combination of local USB hard drives, Dropbox, and a thumbdrive. It’s not the worst situation, but the local hard drives are always a point of frustration. If I have my laptop away from the house and I need someone that’s stored on those drives I’m out of luck.

Pogoplug

Pogoplug is a $130 product that has potential to bridge the gap between data storage and mobility. It connects your external hard drives to your network, for NAS goodness. Where it takes the extra step, though, is in how it connects this storage space to the web. You can connect to this storage from any outside connection thanks to a service from Pogoplug that handles all of the dynamicDNS type issues for you. If you buy the Pogoplug unit the service is free for the lifetime of the product.

I haven’t had a ton of time to look into the details of the product, but at first glance it looks like it would be a great link between my laptop and my bank of USB hard drives I keep in my office at home. It should be shipping in mid-December, but all of the images I can find on the website so far are Hypershot renders.