iPhone 2 and One More Thing

Tomorrow is the kick-off of the Apple World Wide Developer Conference. Speculation has been rampant that Apple will announce the 3G iPhone tomorrow, and that it will be immediately available. I think it likely that an announcement will be made, but there hasn't been any FCC filing, so there can't be a new phone immediately available. But… there were stories back when the iPhone was first introduced to Apple Stores, that those who had taken apart their iPhone saw a 3G chip inside. There have been more recent stories that the iPhone 2 - the software & SDK - has the facility to turn 3G on and off to conserve battery. Maybe we already have 3G iPhones in our hands. And next week, we'll be able to turn them on.

What will the "one more thing" be? The iPhone or something more developer oriented? There are now rumors of the Mac Fusion, a small developer machine with the ability to run MacOSX, Windows & Linux through Boot Camp. OK, but you can do that today on any Mac. What would be exciting is if Boot Camp now has virtualization baked in so that you don't need to reboot to go from one operating system to the next. I do that now, with Parallels, but maybe this will be native to the machine, or include a Parallels, VMWare or Sun open source Virtual Box, but optimized for use with XCode making cross-platform development easy. That would be cool.

Maybe the "one more thing" will be more entertainment oriented, AppleTV & the iTunes store with newer, better features, maybe a DVR. Maybe not.

I really want the iNewton, iTablet, big iPhone or whatever. Actually, give me eReader, hand writing recognition (Ink?) and Documents to Go or that Palm emulator, and the iPhone would do it all for me.

And will Twitter stay up? If not, Venture Beat will keep everyone informed via FriendFeed.

Lasagna Lasagne

For her birthday, Mom asked for lasagna and cheesecake, as she's somewhat fanatical about both. I had a meeting in Palo Alto on Friday, so picking up a tiramisu cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory was a no brainer, as I knew I wouldn't have time to shop and prepare both things.

The Americanized lasagna with which I grew up, and that will make my Mom the happiest is cooked from dried, curly-edged pasta layered with a ricotta and cheese mixture and tomato-meat sauce. I would prefer a more traditional lasagne, as made by Gianugo Rabellino. But, I also want to make a vegetarian lasagne. So, I'm combining the Italian tradition with the Italo-American tradition, and I'll make two lasagne, one meat with a ragù and one vegie with eggplant and portobello mushrooms.

On a recent visit, Gianugo told me that portobello isn't a mushroom's name in Italy, but that there is a portobello orange. Here's the mushroom:

Raw Portobello Mushroom about 4-inches in cap diameter
Click to view original size

I'm also using so-called Italian Eggplants, which are smaller, more slender, less bitter and with fewer seeds than the large, globular Eggplants more commonly sold in the USA.

Italian Eggplant next to Portobello Mushroom
Click to view original size

The cap of the mushroom is about 4-inches (~10 cm) across. I'll make a sauce from these, similar to a ragù, but using the eggplants and mushrooms without any meat.

I'll also be serving some extra sauce on the side, the same as in my post on Abruzzo Polpettine, but with a rack of baby-back pork ribs rather than the veal shank, as my father prefers the ribs.

I'll be using sheets of fresh egg pasta, cut to fit the pans that I'll be using. These sheets don't have curly edges &#59;) After cutting to fit the pans, blanch in salted, boiling water for two minutes and set aside, laying flat or draped over a drying rack.

In addition to the ragù and eggplant-mushroom-tomato sauce, I need enough besciamella sauce for both lasagne.

The tomatoes are cooking down in the wine with a red onion studded with bay leaf and cloves. I've cleaned, sliced and sautéed the mushrooms with garlic, in olive oil, and simmered in red wine. The eggplant was sliced, salted, set aside to drain (necessary with larger eggplants, and a matter of caution with these, to remove the bitter, soapy oil that eggplants have in their seeds) and sautéed in more olive oil and garlic slices. So, while the tomatoes, are cooking, I made the besciamella, and started blogging :p

Béchamel or Besciamella

Fill a greater-than-2-quart crockery bowl with hot water and set aside. I started with 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) of unsalted butter. Melt them over low heat in a large, porcelain coated pain. When the butter is melted and just starting to foam, grind in 16 turns of white peppercorns, and slowly whisk in a cup of unbleached, white wheat flour. Allow the flour to cook for at least three minutes, but don't let it brown. While the flower is cooking, heat in the microwave (or start this earlier if in a pan on the stove) 6 cups of whole milk mixed with one cup of heavy cream. When the flour is cooked, slowly whisk in the warm milk & cream. Cook for five more minutes over medium heat, whisking frequently. Grate a quarter-pound of locatelli romano hard, sharp cheese and whisk into the sauce. Salt to taste. Drain and dry the crockery bowl. Transfer the besciamella into the bowl, cover with a square of buttered parchment paper, and allow to cool for three hours.

Ricotta & Cheese

Now to make the cheese mixture. Start with ricotta. By the way, ricotta isn't a cheese, more of the anti-cheese, as it's made from the whey that is left-over when the curds are made into cheese. For my two lasagne, I'll need four pounds of fresh ricotta, with one egg per pound plus one egg per tray of lasagne, making for six eggs total. Mix in grated cheeses: one-half pound of parmigiano-reggiano, one-half pound of pecerino-toscano, and one-quarter pound of locatelli-romano and a hand-full of chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley.

Assemble the Lasagne

  1. In the bottom of two large roasting or lasagna pans, put a ladle of the appropriate tomato sauce (ragù or vegie) and a tablespoon of olive oil. Make sure the bottom and sides of the pans are coated.
  2. Lay a cooked sheet of pasta in the bottom of the pan
  3. Imagine the squares each portion of lasagne will be; in each square put a rounded teaspoon each of
    • basil-garlic-pignoli pesto (note that the pesto for the vegie version also has blanched baby spinach leaves),
    • besciamella,
    • ragù or vegie sauce and
    • ricotta mixture
  4. top with a pasta sheet, squeeze flat, do it again until the pan is full or you're out of materials
  5. top with remaining besciamella

Place the lasagna pans into an oven preheated to 350ºF, and cook for 45 minutes. Check every 15 minutes to makes sure that the besciamella doesn't burn. If it gets very brown, cover with aluminum foil.

Sever with a salad, and the same type of red wine that you used in the sauce. I used Thalia Sangiovese from Viansa.

I've got to get back to cooking. If I have a chance, I'll update with pictures of the finished products.

Update: Finished eating the salad and entrée; here's a picture of the meat lasagne:

Cooked Meat Lasagne
Click to view original size

And here's the vegie lasagne.

Three Vegitarian Lasagne
Click to view original size

I have to go back and get ready for cake, and I already feel like I'm about to explode.

Another Update: Here's Mom blowing out her candles.

Mom at 78 blowing out her candles
Click to view original size

I'm going to go die now. I couldn't even finish my piece of cake.

Enjoy. Happy birthday, Mom.

Updated to correct the spelling to besciamella in all instances - thanks to Gianugo Rabellino

Cloud Electricity

Tom Raftery of Greenmonk asks "What if electricity were like the Internet?" that is, what if electrical transmission grids distributed electricity in much the same way as the Internet replaced contiguous point-to-point communication circuits (POTS) with communications transmitted via packets that can be routed separately, though different paths, and reassembled at the intended reception point, thus bypassing or supplementing trouble spots.

Tom posits various scenarios, such as excess wind energy generated at night in one region being used to power the grid in another region that is at peak demand, and a read/write electrical grid, where consumers of electricity can also be producers. Tom concludes by asking

What if most of the technologies to make this happen already existed? How long will it be before the utilities embrace the Internet model in the same way the Internet is jumping on the utility model?end quotation
-- Tom Raftery on Greenmonk: The Blog in "What if electricity were like the Internet?"

And actually, as I'm sure Tom knows, much of this technology does exist today, either in production or in a nascent form. There are many smart grid companies forming, mostly selling instrumented (wired, Zigbee, WiBee or other remote feedback technologies) meters that can help either consumers or utility companies monitor or regulate load. In many countries, including the USA, one can run their meter "backwards" if they have power generation capacity where they normally consume electricity, such as photovoltaics, and generate more electricity than they use.

There are however physical limitations to this. Losses over the power lines will likely prevent transmitting or selling electricity half-way around the world. Being an open minded scientist at heart, I hope to see these limitations overcome (high-temperature superconductors maybe). Even given these limitations, better distribution and retransmission of electricity is certainly possible. For example, Microsoft and Google both have recently announced predictive traffic routing for their driving map/direction services. Similar concepts can be applied to the electrical grid anticipate and redistribute power to anticipate loads and reduce generation costs.

More local generation of power (thank you, Tesla, and future examples such as adaptiveARC, coupled with Smart Grids, will definitely bring the world closer to Tom's vision.

I have to run for my meeting and weekly lunch with Earl of Tigo Energy. I'll update links here later.

Tigo Energy First Round

For the past several months, I've been acting in a technical and business advisory role to one of the founders of Tigo Energy. We've known each other for 23 years, from the days when I was consulting to UC Berkeley's Space Science Lab. Two weeks ago, Tigo Energy finalized negotiations with Matrix Partners and OVP Venture Partners on a $6,000,000.00 round of financing.

Congratulations, Earl, and all the team at Tigo Energy.

Coleslaw with Cherries and Walnuts

I've been making this coleslaw for a few years, now, but somehow never blogged it. It's a bit different in that it contains sour cream, walnuts and dried cherries. If I can find them, I use a combination of dried Bing and Rainier cherries.

Start by soaking for 30 minutes, a total of an half-cup of dried cherries in warm sherry, brandy or wine, just enough to cover the cherries.

Quarter & core one small green cabbage and one small red cabbage. Slice the pieces very thinly. If you have a mandolin, this works great to slice the quarters of cabbage. You should wind up with about 2 quarts of cabbage. Put the shredded cabbage into a large bowl.

Peel and shred two medium, sweet carrots and mix with the cabbage. That mandolin will come in handy here, or just use the vegetable peeler, whittling away at the carrots as if you were making toothpicks. &#59;)

Slowly pour in around a third of a cup of extra-virgin olive oil over the shredded cabbage/carrot mixture.

If you mix it with your hands, you can feel when you have enough oil to just lightly but completely, coat the cabbage. If you don't like to use your hands, just pour in a third of a cup of oil and hope it's the right amount.

Grind sea salt and rainbow pepper corns over the oiled cabbage to taste, and continue to mix. Set aside.

Juice a quarter to the whole of a small, sweet yellow onion (Walla-Walla, Visalia, or Maui). The amount of onion is really a matter of taste. To juice an onion, peel the amount to be juiced, and rub it over a ceramic, hole-less grater, collecting the juice in a mixing bowl.

Whisk together a quarter of a cup of tarragon white vinegar (wine or rice), a cup of sour cream, a teaspoon of freshly toasted caraway seeds - ground fine, a tablespoon of fine (quick-dissolving) white sugar and the onion juice.

Pour the dressing over the oiled, shredded cabbage.

Drain the cherries, and coarsely slice them; add to the dressed cabbage, and mix.

Chill for at least an hour, but overnight or even a day or two is fine.

Toast an half cup of walnut halves, dice and add to dressed cabbage, right before serving.

Coleslaw with Sour Cream, Walnuts & Cherries
Click to view original size

And there you have it.

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The TeleInterActive Press is a collection of blogs by Clarise Z. Doval Santos and Joseph A. di Paolantonio, covering the Internet of Things, Data Management and Analytics, and other topics for business and pleasure. 37.540686772871 -122.516149406889

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