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May, 2020

 
 

My favorite thing about this season of Top Chef is just how wonderfully likable the chefs are. I find myself cheering for each of them as they step up to the judge’s table.

Well, except for Mularkey.

 

The chefs are challenged to a taco throwdown for the taco king, actor and restaurateur Danny Trejo. For the Quickfire, the only sharp tool they can use is a machete, in honor of one of Danny’s signature characters. Then, Padma informs the chefs that the only way to make it to Restaurant Wars is to survive this week’s qualifying challenge. The cheftestants have to dig deep to create and pitch a restaurant concept complete with a couple of dishes to the judges –Padma, Tom and Gail, along with “Top Chef” Chicago Winner Stephanie Izard and James Beard Award winning Restaurateur Kevin Boehm. The top two concepts will be the restaurants built for the signature Restaurant Wars challenge, while the chef with the judges’ least favorite concept will be eliminated.

Watched on Trakt

 

Listened to Upgrade 295: Leave the Podcast at the Beep

Our hosts are the target audience for Apple’s new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, and we’ve got their full review. Then we ponder the balance of power between governments and tech giants over COVID-19 Bluetooth tracking.

By Upgrade

 

An entrepreneur from Old Hickory, Tennessee, uses her Southern charm and cooking skills to pitch the Sharks on expanding her fried food empire. A father and daughter duo from Alexandria, Virginia, wheel in their gardening product as they ask the Sharks to help them add to their toolshed of ideas. An entertainer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, gets the Sharks moving as he showcases his unique approach to exercise classes. Finally, a creative businesswoman from Queens, New York, paints the Sharks a picture of how to grow her service that connects customers with local artists.

Watched on Trakt

 
 
 
 
 

I’m interested in improving the image quality for my video calls. Sadly, no one seems to make a truly high-end webcam. The alternative seems to be mirrorless cameras and HDMI capture devices. Am I missing something?

 

What starts as a dreaded final exam for a group of first year law students quickly turns into a test of human morality as the duo encounters an alien, contemplates child abandonment, and dabbles in a bit of magic. “The Breakfast Club” meets “The Chronicles of Narnia” in this imaginary class’ quest to learn the difference between paper and digital contracts.

Watched on Trakt

 

Emotions are high in the events leading up to and during a wedding where the priest, a ghost, and the bride and groom’s parents are as loose as a caboose. Follow Thomas and Ben down the aisle as they concoct a compelling scenario — the tale of sixth grade lovers, a robbery-gone-wrong, and the ultimate test of true love.

Watched on Trakt

 
 

I have successfully installed and configured pi-hole 5.0 beta on my Synology in a docker container. Bye, bye Eero ad blocking.

Per-client blocklists work great, but I still wish I could pick per-client upstream DNS.

 
 
 
 

After a self-driving car crash, Nathan is uploaded to Lakeview, his girlfriend's family's digital after-life, where he meets his customer service rep, Nora.

Watched on Trakt

 
 
 
 
 

Test cook Dan Souza teaches host Julia Collin Davison the secret to a foolproof Sous Vide Rosemary–Mustard Seed Crusted Roast Beef. Equipment expert Adam Ried shares his pick for the best handheld vacuum sealers. Gadget critic Lisa McManus reviews funnels. Finally, Julia shows host Bridget Lancaster an easy recipe for Sous Vide Crème Brûlée.

Watched on Trakt

 
 
 
 

A mother and daughter from Houston, Texas, demonstrate their portable gadget designed as a solution to safely and quickly get children in and out of a car. A tech-savvy trio from San Francisco, California, pitches their lower-cost computer for kids to make technology accessible to more people. Another entrepreneur from San Francisco tries to sell the Sharks on a data-driven approach to personalized skincare with her product line. A computer scientist and engineer from Columbia, South Carolina, shares a device created to bring a robot revolution to children’s education.

Watched on Trakt

 

Listened to Connected 292: M’Duck

The trio gives a math lesson before follow-up on the Magic Keyboard and iPhone SE. Then, our plans for WWDC.

By Connected

 

The story of two friends, one of whom has an important job interview which spirals into an existential crisis involving photography, The New York Times and JFK airport bathroom stalls. By the end of a hilarious turn of events, Kyle is Saussin, Saussin is Kyle, neither have their dream job, but both know what it means to truly embody a Gazelle.

Watched on Trakt

 

It’s Restaurant Wars and this season Padma takes all the limitations off the table as the chefs can make as much food as they want and shop wherever they choose. The two winning chefs from last week’s concept challenge are given 48 hours to pick their teams and make the restaurants they pitched come to life.

Watched on Trakt

 

The final leg of James’s journey from north to south finds him in Shikoku and Kyushu – the largest of Japan’s Southern Islands and a stunning paradise of blue water and semi-tropical sandy beaches. Cycling, archery, noodle making, and motorbike manufacturing are all in store, plus James is preserved for eternity in a creepy scarecrow village.

Watched on Trakt

 

Alexander's day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. Though he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mom, dad, brother, and sister all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Watched on Trakt

 

When the nefarious Dark Helmet hatches a plan to snatch Princess Vespa and steal her planet's air, space-bum-for-hire Lone Starr and his clueless sidekick fly to the rescue. Along the way, they meet Yogurt, who puts Lone Starr wise to the power of "The Schwartz." Can he master it in time to save the day?

Watched on Trakt

 

After a self-driving car crash, Nathan is uploaded to Lakeview, his girlfriend's family's digital after-life, where he meets his customer service rep, Nora.

Watched on Trakt

 

Listened to Upgrade 296: You Wouldn’t Believe The Stuff I Know

This week Mark Gurman joins us to discuss how Apple is handling its product plans during the pandemic! Then Myke and Jason discuss the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Jason finally gets to tell his tale of Drobo devastation.

By Upgrade

 

Nora tries to get her ratings up, so her boss will approve her dad's upload loan. Nathan acclimates to his new world with the help of a Lakeview therapist.

Watched on Trakt

 

Scientists attempt to download a consciousness back into a clone body. Nathan attends his own funeral and Nora uncovers a mystery surrounding his death.

Watched on Trakt

 
 

Checked into Gabi James

Picking up Mother’s Day brunch from a local fave. 😷

 

Are you a @geteero user interested in using Pi Hole to provide network-level ad blocking? Some lessons from me:

1. Disable all Eero Secure features.
2. Disable HomeKit support in the Eero app.
3. Disable Local DNS Cache.

I also recommend reserving IP addresses for all your clients, and specifying hostnames in your Pi Hole’s /etc/hosts.

 

In my quest for better video conference quality, I discovered a way to use my iPhone 11 Pro as a webcam. The quality is way better than my existing Logitech. Still some tweaking to do, but very promising.

 

Nora thinks she may have misjudged Nathan. Nathan and his girlfriend Ingrid are interviewed about the challenges of romance between a living person and an Upload.

Watched on Trakt

 

Nora's Dad's vape lung worsens while Nathan, his friend Luke, and Dylan, an uploaded teen whose body is not keeping up with his age, visit a hacker's market in cyberspace.

Watched on Trakt

 

Nathan is thrown when Nora goes on a Nitely date. Ingrid invites Nathan's niece for a sleepover. Nathan and Nora suspect his damaged memories may lead to a greater conspiracy. Luke gets into a fight with Aleesha

Watched on Trakt

 

While trying to show Tina what's great about their town, Linda ends up on the trail of a legendary local singer. Meanwhile, Teddy turns to Bob for help in arguing with a sports radio host.

Watched on Trakt

 
 
 
 
 
 

Nathan takes Nora's dad on a do-or-die upload decision tour, but things go awry when Luddites sabotage Lakeview. Nora does some sleuthing on Lucy's computer in the confusion.

Watched on Trakt

 
 

The Uploads are looking forward to the improvements in the new Lakeview Operating System. Nathan and Nora stay up late to recover Nathan's missing memories.

Watched on Trakt

 
 
 

Installed some HomeKit-compatible automatic blinds from IKEA today. They work fantastically well and look really nice, too. The installation process was easy, but the configuration was a bit of a nightmare. Still, recommended!

 
 

Listened to Connected 293: myTASK°MANAGER

This week, Stephen identifies some adaptors, while Federico is in search of answers and Myke butts in about something else. Then, a discussion of WWDC 2020, and what they guys would like to see in terms of home screen widgets on the iPhone and iPad.

By Connected

 

Those living on the Edge of Extinction dig deep for one last shot to get back in the game. The former Winners battle it out to see who takes home the $2 million prize.

Watched on Trakt

 

An entrepreneur from Denver, Colorado, has an ingenious line of office products that makes working or learning more functional and eco-friendly. Firefighters from Norfolk, Virginia, believe they have a safety product that will save lives. A pair of entrepreneurs from Westwood, Massachusetts, introduce their healthy take on a favorite childhood drink, while a restaurateur from Los Angeles, California, pitches the Sharks what he believes is the future of restaurants.

Watched on Trakt

 
 

Inspired by the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen, I’m making cured egg yolks tonight, seasoned with red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and cardamom.

With the leftover egg whites, I’m baking keto merengues flavored with vanilla, orange peel, and orange bitters.

 

In other news, Miami was robbed of the title in 2002, but y’all already know that, right?

 

The chefs head to the mountains, a few hours outside of Los Angeles to go to Summer Camp where they are challenged to an outdoor grilling Quickfire for Padma and “Top Chef” Kentucky winner Kelsey Barnard Clark. Before the sun rises, the chefs get to work on an upscale brunch buffet for 200 moms vacationing at the camp using a very limited stock pantry. It’ll take more than s’mores and a round of kumbayas to impress the moms, the judges Tom, Padma and Gail, and guest judge “Top Chef” Charleston Winner Brooke Williamson.

Watched on Trakt

 

Cool, so its time to block giphy's domains completely from my network using my Pi-Hole. Got it.

 

Seriously, though, does anyone have a good block list for Pi-Hole for all Facebook properties? Ideally, something that is maintained and kept up-to-date?

 
 

Listened to Upgrade 297: Factual Controller

This week Jason and Myke ponder the mysteries of the 13-inch MacBook Pro(s), an online-only WWDC, BBC job titles, IKEA orders, and their least-favorite Apple products ever.

By Upgrade

 

A mom from Danville, California, believes she has the solution to help your babies sleep through the night. Entrepreneurs from Bloomington, Indiana, introduce the Sharks to their ethical business model for their personalized body care brand; while a husband and wife from Boulder, Colorado, pitch their healthier plant-based alternative of a favorite comfort food. Entrepreneurs from San Francisco, California, present their stylish and ethically minded version of a comfortable outdoor accessory.

Watched on Trakt

 

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Watched on Trakt

 
 

Listened to 378: Whale Quench

Listened to 378: Whale Quench

More Casey solutions to problems, voice-control superhumans, scams targeting app developers, and the etymology of “camcorder”.

By Accidental Tech Podcast

 
 
 
 
 
 

Listened to Connected 294: Software, Firmware, Situation, Update

Stephen’s iPhone screen is turning green. Myke turns down the opportunity to host a Round Robin of weird WWDC predictions, then Federico tries to answer a Zoom call. Then, a discussion of the rumored AirPods Studio and file formats within DEVONthink.

By Connected

 
 

The fate of the galaxy rests in the hands of bitter rivals. One, James Kirk, is a delinquent, thrill-seeking Iowa farm boy. The other, Spock, a Vulcan, was raised in a logic-based society that rejects all emotion. As fiery instinct clashes with calm reason, their unlikely but powerful partnership is the only thing capable of leading their crew through unimaginable danger, boldly going where no one has gone before. The human adventure has begun again.

Watched on Trakt

 

Listened to Upgrade 298: Copy Copy Copy, Paste Paste Paste Paste

Apple Stores are reopening in many parts of the world, but should you go? Also, TSMC plans to build a factory in the U.S., TV shows are being produced remotely during the lockdown, and Apple News+ turns to audio in an attempt to improve its service.

By Upgrade

 
 

With only six chefs remaining, the challenges get even more difficult, when pastry super-chef Sherry Yard awaits the all stars for a dreaded dessert Quickfire; chefs endure a blindfolded taste test to pick their ingredients.

Watched on Trakt

 
 
 

I really enjoyed the first season of Mythic Quest on Apple TV+, and the special quarantine episode that just dropped was excellent. Looking forward to more!

 

In this episode, hosts Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster reveal the secrets to the ultimate Turkey and Gravy for a Crowd. Equipment expert Adam Ried shares his pick for stock pots, and science expert Dan Souza explains the difference between stale bread and dried bread.

Watched on Trakt

 

Inside a former segregated bus station in Savannah, Georgia, Mashama Bailey pays homage to history as she puts a new spin on Southern food traditions.

Watched on Trakt

 

Our weekly delivery from Imperfect Foods included some fairly below average pears. Tonight, I sliced one up and tossed it into a tumbler of Makers Mark. Now, they’re the best pears in history. 🥃 🍐 🎉

 
 

Listened to Flashback 6: The Be Computer Company

Started by former members of Apple’s leadership team, Be was formed to take on the Mac and other computers of the mid-90s. The company wrote its own operating system and shipped dual-CPU towers before failing to be bought by Apple and slowly fading away.

By Flashback

 
 

Watched Scoob! (2020)

In Scooby-Doo’s greatest adventure yet, see the never-before told story of how lifelong friends Scooby and Shaggy first met and how they joined forces with young detectives Fred, Velma, and Daphne to form the famous Mystery Inc. Now, with hundreds of cases solved, Scooby and the gang face their biggest, toughest mystery ever: an evil plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this global “dogpocalypse,” the gang discovers that Scooby has a secret legacy and an epic destiny greater than anyone ever imagined.

Watched on Trakt

 

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

Watched on Trakt

 

Charismatic Tuscan butcher Dario Cecchini grew up eating every part of the cow but steak. Now he's out to change how the world thinks about meat.

Watched on Trakt

 

I admit it, I am getting impatient and wrapped the currently cooking pork shoulder in foil to power through the stall. That said, in my experience, capturing that moisture and encouraging it to reabsorb into the meat is wise anyway. 🐷🔥

 
 

Meat’s ready! Also, I just remembered that I had set up a home automation to play Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” on the HomePod when the meat reaches target temperature. 🤣🎸🥳⭐️

 

Pork shoulder is resting. Lacey is making deviled eggs. I’m drinking a blended cocktail and watching Good Eats on TV.

I’ve needed this break.

 

Alton Brown "reloads" this episode from 2001 with new recipes for his favorite grain, including a no-cook overnight oat pudding and a flavor-charged granola, now with more nutrition!

Watched on Trakt

 
 

In the fall of 1997, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls begin their quest to win a sixth NBA title in eight years. But "The Last Dance," as coach Phil Jackson called it, will be shadowed by tension with the club's front office.

Watched on Trakt

 

Listened to Connected 295: Another Italian Interjected

Follow-up. Microsoft has reinvented OpenDoc. A conversation about watchOS 7. Follow-up. Microsoft has reinvented OpenDoc. A conversation about watchOS 7. Are you getting it? These are not three separate episodes … this is one episode.

By Connected

 

Michael Jordan is left to begin the 1997-98 season without his injured sidekick Scottie Pippen, whose contract dispute with the Bulls' front office reaches a fever pitch as the team gets off to one of the worst starts of its championship runs.

Watched on Trakt

 

Once a key member of the hated Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys" championship teams that brutalized Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman is virtually all Jordan can count on in the early months of the 1997-98 season.

Watched on Trakt

 

In what management insists is Phil Jackson's final season in Chicago as head coach of the Bulls, he continues to seem like the only one who can steer this unique, singular collection of talent to another title.

Watched on Trakt

 
 

As Michael Jordan's fame peaked to unparalleled levels in the early 1990s in the wake of consecutive NBA titles and a starring role on the Olympic Dream Team, his image as "Air Jordan" made him a profoundly significant cultural figure.

Watched on Trakt

 

This season of Top Chef is so my jam. After tonight’s elimination, I absolutely love every remaining chef. Each of them would deserve to win it all.

 

Tom makes his final decision from "Last Chance Kitchen" on who should return to the competition; the chefs take off in a Quickfire with Padma and Jonathan Waxman making a two-course business class dish for an airline.

Watched on Trakt

 

Looked at my Hulu bill again. I am seriously considering YouTube TV. Hulu is $21/month more and has had terrible video quality / reliability for me lately. Worried about privacy though...

 

I can’t find any of the privacy / terms for YouTube TV on the subject. Will they sell my personal data or viewing habits to advertisers or third parties?

 

With Michael Jordan's extraordinary fame came extraordinary scrutiny, and in 1993, it all felt like it came to a head with the Chicago Bulls' pursuit of a third straight title shadowed by question marks about Jordan's gambling.

Watched on Trakt

 

The world is in chaos, but at least we get to watch humans safely get thrown into space. 🚀💫

 

As Michael Jordan pushes his teammates hard for a sixth NBA title, his intensity and hunger for basketball dominance is in stark contrast to his mindset in October 1993, when he stunned the world by walking away from the game.

Watched on Trakt

 

Michael Jordan would famously use even the smallest slight imaginable to motivate himself against an opponent. And when his NBA comeback in 1995 fell short in the playoffs, he worked harder than ever to return to form.

Watched on Trakt

 

Watched Top Gun (1986)

For Lieutenant Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell and his friend and co-pilot Nick 'Goose' Bradshaw, being accepted into an elite training school for fighter pilots is a dream come true. But a tragedy, as well as personal demons, will threaten Pete's dreams of becoming an ace pilot.

Watched on Trakt

 

Listened to Upgrade 299: My Gut Says Yes and No

This week we talk Apple’s commitment to its video streaming service, Spotify and the future of podcasting, and then Myke at the Movies skips school to watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

By Upgrade