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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chismillionare's recipe of the week

Fig, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Crostini

Executive Chef Jim Nuetzi recommends serving impressive yet easy-to-prepare delicacies like crostini with goat cheese, fresh proscuitto and fig.

Ingredients (Serves 24)

French Bread Baguette Loaf, Sliced 1/2" thick24 slices
Goat Cheese12 oz
Olive Oil3 Tbsp
Onions, Red, thinly sliced3 oz (1 small each)
Fresh Figs, cut into wedges 1/4"6 ea.
Fennel Bulb, fresh, thinly sliced8 oz
Dark Brown Sugar1 tsp
Red Wine Vinegar2 Tbsp
Ginger, fresh, finely chopped2 Tbsp
Black Pepper, freshly ground1/4 tsp
Prosciutto, paper thin slices6 oz
Fig Essence, prepared2 oz
Chervil (or fresh flat leaf parsley)1/8 bunch
Water (if necessary; see below)2 Tbsp

1. Slice the French bread into ½ thick rounds, spread out on clean, dry sheet pan and toast under broiler until golden. Turn over each slice and spread a 1/8 inch layer of goat cheese over surface of each slice of bread to crust edge. Lay on a clean, dry sheet pan (or cookie sheet) and set aside.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and add the fennel and red onions. Sauté over medium heat for several minutes to bring out the natural juices from the fennel. Stir occasionally to prevent browning. If the fennel becomes too dry and does not appear to be getting tender, add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan.
3. Once fennel is wilted and tender, add the fresh figs, dark brown sugar, red wine vinegar, ginger and black pepper and reduce heat, stirring gently to combine, being careful not to break up figs. Add the fig essence and cook over gentle heat until the mixture is thick and syrupy in texture.
4. Remove fig mixture from heat and store at room temperature until ready for service.

At Service
1. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of fig mixture on each slice of French bread and spread fig mixture evenly over surface to crust edge. Top with a paper thin slice of prosciutto (no larger than the slice of bread), folding in an accordion style if necessary to fit within the crust edge.
2. Place sheet pan in oven and bake at 400° F until they are just warmed, being careful not to dry the prosciutto out.
3. Drizzle the surface of each crostini with fig essence and garnish with a small sprig of chervil.
4. Serve immediately.

AT&T to use Vobile technology to thwart piracy

AT&T (T) may soon beef up its antipiracy arsenal. The biggest U.S. telephone company is considering technology that could give it a heads-up when customers are watching partners' copyrighted video, BusinessWeek has learned. AT&T is in talks with NBC Universal and Walt Disney (DIS) about using the knowhow to guard against illegal distribution of their shows and films.

By embedding the technology, a so-called content recognition system made by tiny Vobile, AT&T could prevent users of its network from distributing or viewing copyrighted material or force them to watch it in ways sanctioned by the content owner. In effect, the company would create a kind of no-piracy zone where studios and producers would feel safe distributing content, knowing they'd be paid for its use. BusinessWeek has also learned that AT&T, NBC, and Disney have invested a combined $10 million in Vobile.

Business Week article

Asus Eee available now for $399

Technical Details

  • Ultra-compact notebook with full QWERTY keyboard and 7-inch display
  • Powered by 900 MHz Intel Mobile CPU and pre-installed Linux operating system (compatible with Windows XP)
  • Over 40 built-in applications for learn, work and play
  • 4 GB solid-state flash memory drive; 512 MB RAM; 10/100 Fast Ethernet; 54g Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
  • Connectivity: three USB 2.0; VGA output; microphone and headphone; Secure Digital card reader
Buy it here

Breaking Ground on Cellulosic Ethanol

The Range Fuels plant, to be located in southeast Georgia, could be producing ethanol as soon as next year. It's being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the agency's effort to increase the use of biofuels. The DOE is providing a total of $76 million to the company for the construction of its new plant. At first, it will produce 20 million gallons, eventually increasing that amount to 100 million.

Almost all of the more than five billion gallons of ethanol produced in the United States has been made from cornstarch. But ethanol from cellulosic sources is an attractive alternative because it could potentially require less fossil-fuel energy to produce, and its supplies of biomass are vast. Indeed, if biofuels are ever to displace more than about 10 percent of gasoline in the United States, cellulosic ethanol will be essential. But making ethanol from cellulosic biomass is much more difficult than making it from cornstarch. And the process for converting biomass into biofuels has not been economically viable.

However, Range Fuels CEO Mitch Mandich says that the company can produce ethanol at prices competitive with corn-based ethanol--even factoring in the high capital costs associated with building a cellulosic-biofuel plant. Range Fuels has developed a two-step thermochemical process for converting wood chips and other types of biomass into a combination of alcohols that include ethanol, methanol, propanol, and butanol. In the first step, called gasification, heat, pressure, and steam convert biomass into a mixture of primarily hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This gas mixture, called syngas, is then exposed to catalysts that convert it into alcohols. The process is similar to the Fischer-Tropsch process that has been used for decades to convert coal into liquid fuels.

Article here.

Video of New Research Conducted with PlayStation Eye

+ Posted by Richard Marks // SCEA R&D Manager, Special Projects

Most of you probably already know about the launch of the PlayStation Eye, and hopefully you’re as excited as we are here in PlayStation R&D. By the time products launch, our contribution is usually long past, but this time we wanted to join the fun. So we thought we’d give you an exclusive first glimpse at some of our new research that uses PS Eye.

We grabbed our lab camcorder and filmed some tech demos created by newcomer Anton Mikhailov (he’s the guy playing games in the videos). Anton has been using PS Eye to let users add their own content into games. So far, he’s focused on simple, familiar games (like lunar lander and tank battle) that he can code for PS3 in a day or so. These games are pretty old school, but they become amazingly fun again when you get to add your own content. And when the PS3 adds physics to your content, things become even more fun! (why does everyone keep mentioning Little Big Planet?)

Check out the videos. We filmed them without cuts so you could see how easy it is to add your own content.

Note that these are tech demos, not products. We just wanted to let you see one of our crazy ideas of how the PS Eye might be used in the future. Anton or I will be answering questions, so let us know what you think!