Pulltap’s Double-Hinged Waiter’s Corkscrew

We use these wine openers in the tasting room at our winery, as well as at home. They work. Better than everything else we have tried. We’ve been through most all the types out there. Some of our baby-boomer staff have arthritis and find that the “rabbit” openers are unusable, not to mention clumsy even for the most deft of hands. They also take up too much room and require an inordinate amount of force. The two step feature of the double-hinged model saves broken corks and sore wrists (we open 30-40 bottles of wine in a shift!). We use the bottom of the line version, but it is still very well made. It has a Teflon coated worm that far outlives the “rabbit” worms; sharp, easy to open, easy to use foil cutter, and tight hinges throughout.

They even work well with the accursed synthetic “corks”. After engaging the worm, use the shorter of the two fulcrums to start the cork out. If the closure is stubborn, move your grip on the handle to the very end, increasing your mechanical advantage. After you start the cork moving, switch to the longer fulcrum. The Spanish manufacturer Pulltex makes some pricy elegant wood/chrome/brass models that I have not tried. And per the manufacturer’s web site there are forgeries on the market. Caveat emptor.

— David Ott

Pulltap Double-Hinged Waiter’s Corkscrew

Available from Amazon

Manufactured by Pulltex

from Cool Tools http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/005950.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_med…

Most Popular: Homemade Twix Bars

Most Popular: Homemade Twix BarsOh my! Twix is one of my favorite candy bars (it???s a toss up between that and Midnight Milky Way), so I was not surprised at all when this recipe for homemade Twix bars came up as the most popular from Monday???s reveal! This marvelous treat comes from Big Fat Baker who was assigned the blog Adventures in All Things Food. You know you want to try it!

Get the recipe for Homemade Twix Bars.

from The Secret Recipe Club http://secretrecipeclub.com/most-popular-homemade-twix-bars/

Rooting Kindle Fire Breaks Amazon Video (And How To Make It Work)

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Packages of the Amazon Kindle Fire have already made their way to thousands of porches, been torn open, powered up, and I???m sure a good number of you are going the route of rooting the Kindle Fire. (Side note: we???ve got an entire forum dedicated to Kindle Fire Rooting.) I???ve heard from many Kindle Fire pre-orderers who claimed the majority of their excitement was gathered around streaming Netflix and Amazon video directly to their affordable 7-inch Android Kindle. That???s all fine and dandy but be warned: Rooting your Kindle Fire will break Amazon Video.

Amazon Video is integrated into the Fire???s homescreen so it seems like a tab. But in reality, it???s an application, and this application checks for the su binary: ???system/bin/su??? and/or ???/system/xbin/su??? when starting up. That???s the ???super user??? binary and if Amazon finds it, they know you???re rooted, and they disallow Amazon Video- instead displaying this message:

???Your device is no longer configured correctly to play Amazon videos. For more information see Help & Feedback under Settings.???

Thankfully for you there is a workaround: OTA RootKeeper. This app (for rooted users only) acts as a temporary unroot, keeping a backup of su and removing the default that is detected by Amazon Video. You may also need to visit System Settings > Applications > All Applications > Amazon Video > Force Stop. Should an enterprising developer feel the urge, it would be possible to build a custom app that temp-unroots like OTA RootKeeper, but then also kills and restarts Amazon Video, making it a more compartmentalized solution.

If you find this story helpful, you should stop by the Google+ page of Kevin Barry and thank him. He???s solely responsible for figuring all of this out, passing the info on to us, and patiently explaining it so we could clearly understand. You might know Kevin from his hugely popular app ??? Widget Locker ??? and if you don???t then give it a download. Additional props to Steve Albright for the assist.

[Via Kevin Barry]

from Android Phone Fans http://phandroid.com/2011/11/16/rooting-kindle-fire-breaks-amazon-video-and-h…

Interactive MIUI Mario Lockscreen Can Unlock Your Phone (But Not World 9)

mariolockscreenIn what is undoubtedly one of the coolest mods I’ve seen in months, developer picard666 has released an interactive Mario lockscreen for MIUI. So awesome, in fact, that words can’t properly describe it. Take a look at the “diagram”:


The top cloud shows the current time, and the two clouds below show calls and messages (left and right, respectively). To unlock into calls or messages, you take control of Mario and have to make him hit the corresponding coin box – a coin pops out (optionally with the accompanying sound), then your phone launches the appropriate…

Official Android Police t-shirts are now on sale, with over 25 designs to call yours.

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Interactive MIUI Mario Lockscreen Can Unlock Your Phone (But Not World 9) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

from Android News, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets – Android Police http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/11/16/interactive-miui-mario-lockscreen-can…

Work begins on CyanogenMod 9, will be ready when it’s ready


In case you missed Steve Kondik’s tweet a couple days ago after the Ice Cream Sandwich source code dropped, the CyanogenMod crew is now working on CM9. (CM8 was Honeycomb, which, of course, ain’t really gonna happen.)

Do note that while Steve says “check back in 2 months,” that really doesn’t mean CM9 will be final on Jan. 14, 2012. It means things take a little while, so check back. It’ll be ready when it’s ready. Meanwhile, let’s all look forward to CM7.2. (But here’s to hoping for some ICS CM love in January.)

Source: @Cyanogen 1, 2

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, and Help http://www.androidcentral.com/work-begins-cyanogenmod-9-will-be-ready-when-it…

Loquendo’s TTS Engines Are Miles Ahead Of Others (Including PicoTTS)

Improving on existing TTS technology, Loquendo (a Nuance company) is showing the world that “even computers can show their feelings,” with a huge array of TTS engines that are not only more advanced, but significantly more dynamic than existing alternatives.


The bad news is that only two of these engines are currently available for Android ??? Italian TTS Paola and American English TTS Susan. That being said, we can still hope that more of Loquendo’s engines will be adapted for Android, and, in the meantime, Loquendo’s website has amazing demos of all its TTS voices, both static and interactive.

Loquendo TTS Paola

Loquendo TTS Susan

Pretty nice. Definitely nicer than the stock text-to-speech libraries that come with Android. Once all of the voices are on the market, I may just buy one (or more) of them.