Colombia Invented a New, Better Way to Make Coffee

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There’s a high likelihood that the coffee you drink comes from Colombia. Famous for producing some of the finest coffee beans for centuries, Colombia and Colombians know their coffee too well, so when they invent a new way of brewing it, it’s definitely worth noticing. Meet Eduardo Umaña, the man who built the FrankOne, the first and only machine to use Vacuum Extraction Technology to brew coffee. The result of this brewing method? Coffee that’s deliciously rich, and significantly sweeter than coffees created using other traditional brewing methods. In fact, the FrankOne boasts of being able to create coffee that measures up to the “Gold Cup Standard” in just 30 seconds. Aside from hot coffee that has almost no bitterness, FrankOne also claims the record for fastest machine able to make Cold Brew at just 4 minutes brewing time, rather than the typical 8-12 hours.

Developed as an improvement to the reverse french press technique, the FrankOne alters and improves it, and comes with a vacuum that automates the process, allowing you to literally have brewed coffee at the press of a button. The brew is said to be richer in its flavor profile and sweeter too, thanks to the lack of crema, or the slight white foam you usually find on the top of your brews. The FrankOne isolates the crema by extracting the brew from its base, leaving the bitter crema behind along with your coffee-grounds, and gives you a coffee that’s pristine-looking, with a rich gold tint and a taste that matches standards set by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

The FrankOne’s design is pretty simple. A small attachment that sits above a borosilicate cup, the FrankOne literally has a one-step function. Just empty your coffee grounds into it and drizzle with water, before putting the cap on and shutting the brewing chamber. Designer Eduardo Umaña says that the brew just needs to rest for as little as 30 seconds to reach perfection, after which all you need to do is press the button on top and the vacuum inside the FrankOne decants the rich, golden coffee directly into the borosilicate mug, stopping the crema from passing through.

The Vacuum Extraction Technology has its own share of benefits. Aside from filtering out the crema, it also automates the entire extracting process at the single push of a button. The ability to make Cold Brew in just 4 minutes is equally, if not more so, notable. Besides, with its incredibly small form-factor, you can literally carry it around and brew a cup of intense coffee anywhere… and given that the FrankOne comes approved by Colombians, your coffee should taste absolutely divine!

Designer: Eduardo Umaña

Click here to Buy Now: $70 $99 (30% off).

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FrankOne is the first one-touch coffee and cold brew maker.

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Exceptional Cold Brew

Good cold brewed coffee can take up to 12 hours to make. With FrankOne it is possible to prepare exceptional cold brewed coffee in as little as 4 minutes. Their Vacuum Extraction Technology™ accelerates the process by forcing cold water through finely ground coffee.

How Does it Work?

FrankOne’s patented Vacuum Extraction Technology™ uses negative pressure to force water through a bed of ground coffee, extracting more of the flavors that coffee has to offer, while reducing bitterness. Their patented method generates pressure that is strong enough to allow brewing with any grind size; from very fine to very coarse. Different grind sizes mean the possibility of preparing a wide range of brew types and cup profiles–from coffee to cold brew, all with the same machine.

Their patented technology also provides superior convenience and ease of use: press a button and your coffee is ready in seconds.

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Coffee Types

FrankOne can make a beverage remarkably similar to an espresso by using finely ground coffee, or even a full-bodied french press by using coarsely ground coffee. It all depends on the steeping time and the grind size you use. Above are some recipes. You can easily make an intense brew as well as a light brew, depending on your preference.


Features

Save money by avoiding paper filters. Their fine metal mesh filter imparts no flavor into the coffee and lasts for hundreds of uses. The filter can easily be removed for cleaning.

FrankOne charges over USB in just 2 hours and makes up to 150 coffees on a single charge.

Cleaning is a breeze! FrankOne is completely waterproof.

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Click here to Buy Now: $70 $99 (30% off).

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An Umbrella for Your Umbrella

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The average umbrella might be useful for keeping YOU dry, but keep your FLOORS dry is a whole ‘nother story. Designed with this in mind, the Drip Tip is a simplistic yet highly useful tool you can add on to any umbrella to keep less rain water from reaching your floors after you’ve come in from the rain.

Made from flexible rubber, the design can adapt to the top end of just about any umbrella. Once secured, users can close their umbrella and turn it upside down as they normally would, using the Drip Tip is a tactile rubber stopper to prevent sliding and simultaneously collecting any loose rain drops that mights slide down the neck. Shaped like an umbrella itself, it’s like an umbrella for your umbrella (and floors!).

Designer: Pakzu Design Studio

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Reason 10.2: “Yes, finally” to some stuff users want

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Reason 10.2 is out now as a free update to Reason 10. It’s a “workflow” update – but those additions will likely be welcomed by current users.

I’ll spare you the GIFs, but the enhancements are detailed in a blog post from earlier this month:

Reason 10.2 is coming – see what’s new [Propellerhead Blog]

Basically, you get multi-lane editing (so you can finally edit multiple MIDI tracks at once, just as recently added in Ableton Live 10, also a bit overdue).

And you can adjust multiple faders at once in the mixer.

And you can snap to an adaptive grid (the grid changes with zoom level, though existing fixed grids remain).

There’s also an “Add Device” button.

The update you may be waiting for is still forthcoming. Later this year, Propellerhead promises improvements to VST integration. (It seems after years of being a holdout against plug-ins, Propellerhead did demonstrate some of what they’d previously argued – that plug-ins are tough to support and can add performance wrinkles.)

But it’s good to hear they’re working on it. Here’s what they write:

Meanwhile, work on VST performance is ongoing. The result of this work will be released as a separate free update later this year. The reason it’s a separate release is because the performance work is an extensive rewrite of the inner workings of the program and requires an expert task force.

Update news:

https://www.propellerheads.se/blog/reason-102-here

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A new way to explain neural networks

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Ben Plomion
Contributor
Ben Plomion is the chief image scientist of GumGum.

By now, most of us have a general idea of what a neural network is, at least insomuch as its role in enabling the “machine learning” part of what’s considered AI today.  Also known as deep learning, neural networks are the algorithmic constructs that enable machines to get better at everything from facial recognition and car collision avoidance to medical diagnoses and natural-language processing.

Explaining exactly how artificial neural networks (ANN) work in a mathless way can sometimes feel like a lost cause, though. They’re often likened to neural pathways in the human brain, but that’s not quite it, either, and the comparison is lost on anyone who didn’t pay attention in science class.

So maybe it’s time for a new analogy, which is precisely what filmmaker Ben Sharony and PokeGravy Studios have done in A.N.N., an animated short, which they created for us. With a music score by Edmund Jolliffe, the video follows the story of A.N.N. (pronounced “Ann”), a quirky computer that doesn’t quite fit in with all the other computers, which like to be “fed” information.

A.N.N., however, prefers to learn on her own. The video then follows this computer-as-neural network as she learns how to identify (and find) an object, which starts off as a mere hashtag in the eyes of the computer. A.N.N. makes several mistakes, until, through trial and error (and feedback that nicely sums up the backpropagation process), she finally learns to identify (and find) the proper item.

In many ways, deep learning is that simple. In the case of identifying a particular object, an image recognition neural network would break down and look at different features such as the shape, color, and surface of the object, and, through trial and error, and subsequent back-propagation to tweak the algorithms, eventually narrow down its predictions to something accurate.

from TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2NGoxMh
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Teach All of Your Friends a Valuable Life Skill With This Helpful Video

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GIF: Michigan Department of Transportation (YouTube)

Well, hello! Do you happen do be a human on this earth? An American citizen, perhaps? If you are any or all of these things, odds are that you know a person, probably many a person, who clams up and can’t decide what to do when they see one of those scary circular “intersection” thingies on public streets.

But, sadly, you’re not just bad at making friends. Well, maybe that’s part of it, but a lack of comprehension for how to use “roundabouts” or “traffic circles” or whatever you want to call them is a widespread epidemic, especially amongst the American people.

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You see, the big circle cars are supposed to merge into at a low speed and all of those triangular signs telling drivers to “yield to other traffic and pedestrians,” well, they’re just too much for some people to handle. Too many shapes. It’s like a big street kaleidoscope, and nobody really understands kaleidoscopes.

Thus, some people stop when no cars are in the circle. Some people accelerate straight into the circle when other cars are coming, thinking the cars already in the circle will stop for them. But, at least in this land that spreads from sea to shining sea, it doesn’t matter how much knowledge of a traffic circle anyone has because they can’t trust anyone else in the circle with them.

In a perfect world that only exists in simulations with instructional voiceovers, here’s your periodic reminder of how a traffic circle should work, since no one ever listens, from America’s own Michigan Department of Transportation:

Since everybody knows somebody who can’t use a roundabout, help them help themselves (and others) by sending them this very cool story you found on the internet. Will they yell at you for being a passive-aggressive jerk who needs to just come right out and say what you’re thinking? Perhaps. Will they learn life- and frustration-saving techniques? Absolutely!

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They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness someday. Or, at least, someone sharing a traffic circle with them will.

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Gorgeous 30-day timelapse captures what it’s like to be out at sea

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The ocean is equally as beautiful as it is terrifying. This couldn’t have been captured anymore perfectly than in this timelapse video by YouTuber JeffHK. 

In the video, JeffHK documents his 30 day journey from the Red Sea to Hong Kong on a shipping barge. During his adventure, he travels through eight different bodies of water, and stops at ports in Sri Lanka and Singapore.

The traveling sessions in between stops are the best parts of the video. It’s in these sections where you get to see how gorgeous the stars are, and how chilling thunderstorms can be when you’re surrounded by nothing but water.

Lightning storms aside, the video would make anyone want to go onto a boat, and just zone out for a bit.

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Tips for Getting Started in Street Photography

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This article will help you with those all important decisions for getting started in street photography. Including the best gear to use, settings to apply, and what to do about the tricky topic of photographing people in public.

Any image of a street that can be used to tell a story about the location it shot could be defined as a street photograph. It could be a large city or a small village.

Getting Started in Street Photography - artists in a street market

Gear

As a street photographer, you want to be able to blend into your surroundings. By blending in, you stand a better chance of going unnoticed and capturing candid moments. This means you will want to keep your gear small and light.

Camera

The big question these days is around the DSLR or mirrorless choice. My advice for street photography is the latter.

There is nothing wrong with using a DSLR if that is what you prefer or have already. However, mirrorless cameras will simply save you space and weight. Your street photography adventures will be much more enjoyable if you’re not arriving home to find one arm longer than the other after carrying around a DSLR all day.

Another benefit to mirrorless is that the electronic viewfinder (EVF) will provide you with an accurate representation of the exposure for your image before you even press the shutter.

If you find yourself without your camera and get the urge for street photography, there’s nothing wrong with using the camera on your phone.

Shot and edited on an iPhone - street photography

Shot and edited on an iPhone.

Lenses

If you’re getting started in street photography, you will want to use a zoom lens, rather than a prime. An 18-55mm kit lens (or similar) will be fine to start. I recommend planning to move to a prime lens once you have more experience.

The reason for this is that they are (usually) sharper than zoom lenses and shooting consistently at one focal length will help you to develop your own style.

When you’re ready to invest in a prime lens, you can look back at the metadata of all the street photos taken with your zoom lens and observe what focal length you used most often. This will help inform your decision making for which focal length to choose when buying a prime lens.

Settings

When shooting street photography, your camera should be ready to take the next shot at a moment’s notice. This means you’ll need to have your settings dialed in as much as possible.

I recommend starting in full Auto. This will allow you to concentrate on your surroundings and nail the composition. When you are more confident, you could move on to aperture priority.

Here’s some advice for when you start looking at those manual settings.

Aperture

The best street photos make use of the entire frame. This means you’ll want a good depth of field, which means that the image is in focus from the nearest point in the photograph to the furthest point. I recommend shooting between f/5.6-11.

Good depth of field street photography - people on a bridge

Shutter speed

For any kind of handheld photography, a good rule of thumb is to use a minimum shutter speed that is equal to or greater than one over your focal length. This is to avoid blurry photos caused by camera shake. For example, if you are shooting at 50mm, your shutter speed should be at least 1/50th of a second.

If you are including people in your photos, you have two options.

First, use a fast enough shutter speed to freeze their motion. Anything faster than 1/100th should do it, for walking pace. A faster shutter speed will be needed for joggers and cyclists and will vary depending on how fast they’re moving.

Freeze motion man riding a bike - street photography

Secondly, if you want to get creative and blur their motion slightly to project a sense of movement in your image, you can use a slightly slower shutter speed. But make sure you still use one that’s fast enough to avoid camera shake.

Sense of movement

ISO

Keep ISO as low as possible while still achieving the points mentioned above for aperture and shutter speed. This will reduce the amount of noise (grain) in your photos.

Focus

If your lens has a focus ring that stops at infinity, use it and switch your camera to manual focus. If not, you’ll need an autofocus setting that allows you to track your subject, as it’s likely to be moving if it’s a person.

Focus tracking man walking - street photography

Metering

When you’re first getting started with street photography, you’ll want to use a metering mode that measures the whole frame. This will help you to prevent under or overexposure. Different camera manufacturers have different names for this metering mode. For example, Nikon refers to it as “Matrix Metering” and Canon refer to it as “Evaluative Metering”.

Composition

The rules of composition are an article in themselves. You can read more about it in this article.

Good composition is one of the most important elements of any photograph, but try not to get too hung up on it. As mentioned a few times in this article, you don’t have long to see and capture an image when practicing street photography.

While I agree that you should always try to get things right in-camera, sometimes this just isn’t practical. It’s better to get the shot and crop it later if you need to, rather than not get the shot at all.

When looking around you, don’t forget to look up or down. You never know what opportunities you might be missing.

Looking up

Looking down

Blending In

At the beginning of this article, I talked about how important it is to blend into your surroundings. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

Environment

If you go to tourist hot spots for your street photography, you’ll just look like another tourist. This means that when you hold your camera up to look through the viewfinder, you’ll just be another person with a camera. It’ll be white noise to everyone around you so it’s a great place to start off with and build your confidence.

Tourists street photography

Camera Position

By holding your camera down by your side, or in front of your torso, you can make it look like you’re not even taking a photograph. It can be particularly helpful in this scenario if your camera has a tilting screen.

For this technique (called shooting from the hip), you’ll want to use a wide-angle lens to maximize your chances of capturing the shot. I took the shot below while continuing to walk and holding my camera by my side.

Camera by my side street photography

Clothing

Wearing bright clothes will instantly make you more noticeable so be sure to wear dark or neutral colored clothes.

Confrontation

One of the hot topics of street photography is how to avoid confrontation when photographing people in public. Or what to do if someone takes offense when you have just taken their photograph without permission.

This section is not intended to put you off, but prepare you in the event that you are confronted. It’s only ever happened to me once. A security guard asked me to move on, so I did.

Here’s a quick summary of the different kinds of confrontational situations you may find yourself in and what to do if they arise.

Authorities

A common experience for street photographers is being approached by security guards or the police, in particular when taking photographs of buildings in big cities. The bottom line in this situation is that you are in a public space and therefore are allowed to be there.

However, you’re not likely the first street photographer that security guard or police officer has encountered, and you’re even less likely to be the last. Don’t give street photographers a bad reputation by being difficult. No photograph is ever worth the aggravation. Just move on.

Members of the public

With the ubiquity of social media and people growing ever more aware of their privacy, you can understand if someone doesn’t like it when their photo is taken without permission. Particularly if they have no idea where that photo might end up.

I liked this pop of red in the shirt against the subdued tones of the building. Unidentifiable subject. 

The same rules apply here as in the previous section. If you and your subject are in a public place, you are within your rights to take their photograph. If a person confronts you and wants you to delete the photo you took of them, there’s a couple of ways you can approach it.

If they’re not a major part of the photograph, politely remind them of your rights. Inform them that they’re barely noticeable and you intend to keep the photograph. However, if you sense that they might turn aggressive, it’s always best to do as they ask. Again, it’s not worth the aggravation.

If the person that has approached you is a major part of the frame, it is best to respect their wishes and delete the photo.

Clearly identifiable subject.

Summary

Street photography is meant to be fun. Try not to get too hung up on gear and settings in the beginning and just enjoy yourself. Keep practicing and the ability to spot a photo opportunity developing in front of you will become instinctive.

Over to you. Let me know in the comments if you think there’s anything I missed or would like to know more about.

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