Williams Sonoma

26 Apr 19
Daily Republic

Katie Kibby and sisters Maddie and Alyse Rojas were winners at Vacaville High, leading the Bulldogs softball team to two Monticello Empire League titles and the 2014 Sac-Joaquin Section Division I crown. The three have kept it up at UC Davis, helping the Aggies roll out to a 35-8 overall start and 9-3 in the […]

25 Apr 19
Davis Enterprise

I generally try to stay away from this sport as a whole, but how the heck our resident soccer guru managed to let the beginning of FC Davis’ 2019 season slip through the cracks has me puzzled. The local National Premier Soccer League squad is off to a solid 2-0-1 start this spring and is […]

25 Apr 19
VentureBeat
It’s easy to find multiple 2D images of virtually any product you might want to buy online, but 3D representations are another story — relatively few retailers offer 3D models of their furniture or clothing. That could change in the near future, as OpenXR standard developer Khronos has announced that it’s working with a significant group of retailers and technology companies to create universal 3D versions of products, suitable for AR and VR apps, as well as other 3D online shopping platforms. The goal is to make 3D objects as consistent across sites and accurate in details as possible, so shoppers can trust virtual representations as they try on clothes in VR or test furniture options using AR in their homes. Retailers and manufacturers alike are preparing for further growth of 3D shopping, leading Khronos and others to develop scalable 3D object solutions that can be shared by retailers, advertisers, and customers. Part of the task is harmonizing 3D models, but another part is developing specifications and guidelines governing creation and use of those models. Khronos expects that the commerce-specific work will influence prior standards, including glTF, OpenXR, Vulkan, and WebGL, all of which have been designed to enable platform-agnostic realistic 3D objects. Khronos’ first step is creation of a 3D commerce exploratory group chaired by Wayfair’s Shrenik Sadalgi, with hopes to advance to working group status if it can achieve broad industry support. That level of support appears to be quite likely: Brick-and-mortar retailers Ikea, Lowe’s, Target, and Williams-Sonoma are already on board, alongside ecommerce mainstays Houzz, JD.com, Pinterest, Shopify, and Wayfair. Top makers of 3D hardware and software including Adobe, Autodesk, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Unity are also involved in the group, as are tech giants Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, all of which have produced VR or AR devices. “The expanding ability for consumers to visualize products in their home, true to their actual size, is improving trust and confidence in online shopping,” said 3XR CEO Mike Festa. “High-quality 3D content is the foundation of great XR experiences, and it is vital that industry leaders collaborate on standardization to maximize accessibility. We are thrilled to be taking on this challenge as a part of the 3D Commerce Exploratory Committee and encourage you to join us.” Both VR and AR have been predicted to go well beyond “gimmick” status as key tools for retailing over the next several years, and a recent Gartner estimate suggests 100 million consumers will use AR to shop by 2020. Beyond Khronos’ participants, major retailers such as Amazon, Nike, and Walmart have committed resources to VR and AR initiatives for customers; Walmart also uses Facebook’s Oculus Go devices to train employees.
25 Apr 19
Sarah Katherine Blog

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I decided that this point in my life would be the best time to begin introducing Minimalism and Environmentalism into my life. I know how romantic it sounds, beginning my marriage and home in an ethical, sustainable, and enriching manner; but that also translates more accurately into […]

25 Apr 19
Vintage French Copper

Starting in 2015, Mauviel dropped a rivet from its handles, and as a collector, I think this is a problem for the brand.

25 Apr 19
Rustic Acres Design Co.

When you are buying and/or selling properties, things can get “extra” (as the kids say) real quick. For instance, convincing your sister to drive down to Long Island (from Boston) and back in the same day with you to pick up chairs you *may* have already purchased over the phone to ensure your potential buyers […]

25 Apr 19
Everyday Laura

My son’s favorite meal growing up was salmon, hands down.  Every meal he ever requested was salmon, in fact it’s hard to remember a time when he didn’t order salmon at a restaurant.  The kid was obsessed, and still to this day it’s probably his favorite meal.  So naturally I’ve acquired some salmon recipes, and […]

25 Apr 19
Jan Olof Bengtsson

The Global Power Elite Seven Stories Press, 2018    Amazon.com Publisher’s Description: A look at the top 300 most powerful players in world capitalism, who are at the controls of our economic future. Who holds the purse strings to the majority of the world’s wealth? There is a new global elite at the controls of our […]

25 Apr 19
Anderson Valley Advertiser

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24 Apr 19
Williams-Sonoma Taste

When it comes to whipping up delicious, summery tequila cocktails, who better to turn to than Casamigos? The premium tequila brand knows exactly how to highlight and complement the flavors of tequila, which is why they created a collection of mixes and salts for summer celebrations. Here, Casamigos’ Tequila Mixologists share their tips for making […]

24 Apr 19
Working On My Redneck ™

​ TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY (2.66-MILE OVAL) LOCATION: TALLADEGA, ALABAMA EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 10 OF 36) TUNE IN: 2 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, APRIL 28 (FOX/MRN/SIRIUSXM) ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Chase Elliott No. 9 Mountain Dew/Little Caesars Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Driver Chase Elliott   Hometown Dawsonville, Georgia Age 23                       Resides Dawsonville, Georgia ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ […]

24 Apr 19
Quartz
Slack has become so ubiquitous in offices that it’s a verb: Can you Slack me that after our meeting? Are you busy? No, just Slacking. It’s also blurring the line between personal time and work more than ever—at least for traditional office workers. Slack has already disrupted workplace communication by enabling real-time conversations and de-cluttering email inboxes. Founded in 2009, the San Francisco-based company, which is reportedly valued at around $7 billion and plans on going public sometime this summer, has over 10 million daily active users and over 85,000 paid users–mostly in traditional office environments. That’s because it was created to facilitate the kinds of tasks and workflows that exist in media and tech, at places like LinkedIn and Condé Nast. But now, the messaging tool can be increasingly found in non-office-based industries like retail, hospitality, and agriculture. And these companies are finding creative ways to use Slack for work, although the company hasn’t yet built functionality designed for them. Slack did not comment on whether it plans on building new features, but Ellie Powers, director of product and platform, acknowledged to Quartz in an email that the company is aware that many types of organizations are figuring out how to hack Slack: “Businesses from a range of sectors and of many sizes are adopting Slack or tools like it.” Equalizing the field Among those users are organizations like Wickstrom Jersey Farms, a fourth-generation, family-owned dairy farm in Hilmar, California, where all 28 employees use Slack. Employees use the messaging collaboration tool to chat, but when it’s most useful, perhaps, is during machinery breakdowns. When a machine breaks down, which happens frequently, it would send out a text alert to several people—sometimes even in the middle of the night. Before Slack, there was no good way to tell the rest of the team that the issue was being dealt with, so three or four people would go to the dairy at 2 a.m. to fix it. Now, whoever deals with it first can quickly notify everyone on Slack and upload a photo of the broken equipment to the platform, eliminating several phone calls and showing the maintenance manager what the issue looks like. The feeding team knows why it didn’t get the load of ground corn on time and can do other tasks instead of waiting around.  Slack has become “the operating system of our business and information flow,” says Aaron Wickstrom, the organization’s managing director. One of the most interesting insights for Wickstrom was finding that older employees are highly engaged on Slack. Forty to 63-year-olds make up about 30% of the company’s workforce, he notes, and they don’t need a lot of training because the app is similar to Facebook Messenger, which many already use to communicate with their kids and grandkids. With many workers out in the field, Slack channels give Wickstrom Jersey Farms employees insight into the entire dairy process, from feeding the cows to the cheese-making, as well as gathering and sharing data on things like feeding times, cow vaccinations, and baby calf births. In these ways, Slack helps connect teams that normally wouldn’t interact much.  The result is a more cohesive, transparent culture: Wickstrom explains that before Slack, some employees felt like some colleagues had it easier than others. “Part of it is human nature, in any business or organization, of thinking my job is the most important part of that business or organization and that everybody else should kind of bow to my needs,” he says. Slack is helping break down those misconceptions. Understanding on-the-go employees Safari company Jackson Hole, which operates mostly in northwest Wyoming and Idaho, also uses Slack for greater transparency and accountability. The 25 employees, mostly wildlife biologists, park rangers, teachers, and historians, grab their equipment in the morning and take small groups out to the fields until as late as 9 p.m. Before Slack, the guides would sometimes feel like their schedule wasn’t fair because they didn’t know others’ work schedules, says Jackson Hole’s owner, Jason Williams. Now all schedules are viewable on Slack. But insight into employee communication can even go further—Williams also looks at the tone of Slack conversations. If he notices that someone is not responding appropriately or hasn’t really been participating, he says he reaches out directly, sometimes posting a message in the channel viewable to the group to reset the tone. The company is also using the tool to eliminate physical forms of communication. With animal sightings, Williams says that because radio provides too much noise, employees will now send out animal emojis such as “wolf” or “bear” on Slack to identify the animal and help fellow guides. Upping real-time service Meanwhile, SingleThread Farms, a luxury restaurant and inn in Sonoma County, California, has been using Slack since the beginning to transform the dining experience. Owner Kyle Connaughton learned about Slack from friends and tech investors in the Bay Area, giving him the idea to use it to help drive a more seamless restaurant operation, including its farm, located seven miles away from the restaurant, which grows all of its produce.  “The biggest evolution in tech is that restaurants have websites,” says Connaughton, who for five years ran the research and development lab for a three-Michelin starred restaurant outside of London called The Fat Duck. Slack’s real-time communication feature enables personalization for diners and helps employees anticipate their needs. Upon guests’ arrival, a staffer inquires whether they have dietary restrictions or are celebrating a special event, then share those details immediately with the rest of the 65-person team via Slack, says Connaughton. The greetings and menus are adjusted accordingly. In turn, the culinary team, while preparing meals in the kitchen, will Slack farmers or foragers in the fields. Connaughton uses cameras to determine when the next course needs to be served, and will Slack that information to the kitchen staff.  With “desk-less workforce” becoming more prevalent, there’s an opportunity for Slack to grow in this area, says Gartner analyst Mike Gotta, who focuses on collaboration and workplace software. “Right now, the product can be used for frontline workers, but it’s not designed for that constituency, and those workers have work environments and work requirements that are not simply satisfied by products designed for office workers.” He notes that there’s stiff competition in the $9 billion collaboration tool market: Microsoft Teams is among Slack’s competitors, as is Facebook Workplace, which, Gotta says, is targeting the non-desk workforce market, even as companies are finding creative ways to adapt Slack for their needs.
24 Apr 19
Red Tricycle

What to expect at this fun, three-day music festival in Napa, California.

24 Apr 19
MarTechSeries

Leading Retailers, Manufacturers and Technology Companies Propose Collaboration on Open Standards to Enable Cross-Vendor Creation and Deployment of Photorealistic 3d Virtual Products; Interested Companies Are Invited to Join Exploratory Group to Provide Input and Feedback The Khronos Group, an open consortium of leading companies creating advanced 3D standards, announces the formation of an Exploratory Group […]

24 Apr 19
Hackaday
A video has been making the rounds on social media recently that shows a 3D printed “steak” developed by a company called NovaMeat. In the short clip, a machine can be seen extruding a paste made of ingredients such as peas and seaweed into a shape not entirely unlike that of a boot sole, which gets briefly fried in a pan. Slices of this futuristic foodstuff are then fed to passerby in an effort to prove it’s actually edible. Nobody spits it out while the cameras are rolling, but the look on their faces could perhaps best be interpreted as resigned politeness. Yes, you can eat it. But you could eat a real boot sole too if you cooked it long enough. To be fair, the goals of NovaMeat are certainly noble. Founder and CEO Giuseppe Scionti says that we need to develop new sustainable food sources to combat the environmental cost of our current livestock system, and he believes meat alternatives like his 3D printed steak could be the answer. Indeed, finding ways to reduce the consumption of meat would be a net positive for the environment, but it seems his team has a long way to go before the average meat-eater would be tempted by the objects extruded from his machine. But the NovaMeat team aren’t the first to attempt coaxing food out of a modified 3D printer, not by a long shot. They’re simply the most recent addition to a surprisingly long list of individuals and entities, not least of which the United States military, that have looked into the concept. Ultimately, they’ve been after the same thing that convinced many hackers and makers to buy their own desktop 3D printer: the ability to produce something to the maker’s exacting specifications. A machine that could produce food with the precise flavors and textures specified would in essence be the ultimate chef, but of course, it’s far easier said than done. Customized Cuisine It should be said that there’s no magic when it comes to printing edible objects. It’s something that we’ve seen done many times at the hobbyist scale, from homebrew machines to the occasional official accessory for a commercial desktop 3D printer. At the absolute basic level, you simply replace the existing extruder and hotend with a syringe full of some sort of edible paste: peanut butter, dough, frosting, whatever. So far, it seems like the most headway has been made with chocolate because it has certain properties not entirely unlike the thermoplastic filament desktop 3D printers are designed for. If you warm it up enough it will extrude in a nice fine bead, and once it cools off, it will return to a solid state. Get the temperature and timing right, and the results can be quite impressive. During the 2018 Maker Faire we took a close look at the Cocoa Press, a perfect example of how these techniques can be put into practice today with existing technology. Meals Ready to Extrude Making custom shaped chocolates is a neat enough trick, and even has some commercial applications, but you’re inherently limited by the single extruder design of the machine. Just like with plastic printers, the next step is to add multiple extruders or at least the ability to switch materials in the extruder. In theory, this would allow you to create complex foodstuffs that feature a mix of flavors, textures, and even nutritional values. This is precisely what got the U.S. Army’s Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD) interested in printing food back in 2014. The idea was that they could not only tailor battlefield rations to a specific soldier’s appetite, but make sure it contained whatever vitamins and minerals they were currently deficient in. In principle, this means they could all but reduce food waste while at the same time making sure the enhanced nutritional requirements of a front-line combatant were met. If this sounds a bit fanciful, that’s because it is. To start with, being able to create food that fulfills the precise real-time nutritional needs of an individual requires some system to identify what those needs are quickly and easily; a technological capability that the CFD simply assumed would be available on the battlefield of the future. Further, the idea of a 3D printer complex enough to be capable of such feats while still being compact and robust enough for soldiers to carry into battle borders on science fiction. The mental image of a solder trying to diagnose why their printer wasn’t extruding a particular flavor while hunkered down in a foxhole might be comical if the stakes weren’t so high. Anything a solider takes with them must be reliable and robust to the highest degree possible, anything less could be a fatal liability. That said, the other goals of the program: reducing waste by making custom portions and raising morale by allowing soldiers to create the type of food they actually want to eat, are areas where printed food does hold promise. As we’ve seen many times before, 3D printing works best when used to create a one-off customized instance of something, and the same holds true whether you’re printing PLA or soy protein. A Matter of Time A machine that can produce a meal specifically tailored to the nutritional needs of the person who requested it is more akin to the replicators in Star Trek than anything we’re likely to have in our kitchens in the foreseeable future. But a machine that can squirt out mashed-up peas into a vaguely steak-looking shape of whatever size you wish is clearly something we’re capable of with contemporary technology. So why can’t we order one from the latest Williams Sonoma catalog? For the same reason that 3D printing hasn’t taken over traditional manufacturing: it’s painfully slow. In the current incarnation of the NovaMeat printer, it can take twice as long to print a steak as it does to cook it. That might be acceptable for a proof of concept, but it will never work as a commercial product. It’s even less practical for a restaurant, and completely unrealistic for large scale production. The process is limited by the physical constraints of moving an extruder around, and while there are certainly some optimizations that can be made (such as using a larger nozzle), these will only take you so far. The inherent “Speed Limit” of FDM printing has prevented it from displacing traditional manufacturing, and it will keep it from preparing our food as well. At least for the near future.
25 Apr 19
Williams-Sonoma Taste

After a few years of early morning baking sessions “just for fun,” Flour Shop’s Amirah Kassem realized baking was her true passion.

24 Apr 19
Anderson Valley Advertiser

Full steam ahead, Captain Angelo! Patrick Hickey, Service Employees International Union field representative for Mendocino County, effectively set the stage at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting for the upcoming budget/salary negotiations that the Supervisors and the CEO will have to address in a few months: “County employees are fed up. They are fed up with the delays, […]