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This 80-year-old coffee pot still makes an amazing cup of espresso

The moka pot was designed over 80 years ago, but still beats most modern methods. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Designed more than 80 years ago, the moka pot still beats most modern methods. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Before the AeroPress, there was the moka pot, or cafetera as it’s called in Spain. There is at least one cafetera in every Spanish kitchen, and if you want a quick fix of something strong and good, it’s your go-to coffee gadget. Not bad for something invented way back in 1933.

I’ve had a moka since I first saw one in action a couple decades ago. Up until I bought an AeroPress, I used a moka every day, never tiring of its old-school charm and serious wake-me-up taste. But what is a moka exactly, and why is it so good?

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Road testing San Francisco’s ‘predatory’ parking apps

MonkeyParking is under fire by the city of San Francisco. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

San Francisco is going after apps like MonkeyParking that let drivers cash in when they move their cars. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — In a city obsessed with parking, app developers who came up with disruptive ideas to turn vacant spots into cash found their apps targeted by local officials. But the crackdown might be unnecessary: So far, the sharing economy seems to stall when it comes to auctioning off parking spots.

Cult of Mac offices are in the Mission District, epicenter of the parking crunch, so we took MonkeyParking and Sweetch — two of the “predatory” apps named in a cease-and-desist letter from San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera — for a spin.

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Cheaper iMacs, a $15,000 iPhone and the rest of the week’s top Apple news

A cheaper iMac that proves you get what you pay for, fresh beta updates for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, and a “rare” iPhone with a $15,000 price tag. You’ll get these stories and more in Cult of Mac’s video rundown of the week’s biggest Apple news.

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Smart scale slims down even the devs who program it

The folks at The Orange Chef prepare lunch in their San Francisco offices. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Orange Chef’s Claire McClendon, left, and Amy Wu lead lunch prep at the company’s San Francisco offices. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — James Armstrong might be one of the few iOS engineers who loses weight while on a coding bender.

Armstrong is lead developer at The Orange Chef Co., the company behind a smart kitchen scale called Prep Pad. It weighs your food and, based on the nutritional profile you set, gives you a more accurate idea of how much you should eat. While working on a companion iPad app called Countertop, Armstrong beta tested his meals and realized how super-sized they were. So he cut the portions and shed 30 pounds.

“I had to buy new clothes twice,” he says.”I bought a bunch of clothes, then I had to buy ‘em again — it’s made that much difference.”

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5 flaws that could burn Amazon’s Fire Phone

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos touts Fire Phone's services at the Seattle launch event. But will Amazon's first phone really deliver? Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos touts Fire Phone’s services at the Seattle launch event. But will Amazon’s first phone really deliver? Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Amazon’s new Fire Phone boasts plenty of unique features; flashy stuff like 3-D effects, the intriguing scan-to-buy app Firefly, and 24/7 tech support via Mayday. But should the Fire Phone be your next smartphone?

Here are five possibly fatal flaws you need to be aware of before you place an order for Amazon’s first smartphone.

Read the rest of this post at Cult of Android »

Apple just obsoleted the Mac and nobody noticed

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, unveils OS X Yosemite to the world at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple is finally showing us its idea of how we’ll compute in the future. Perhaps not surprisingly, this pristine vision of our computing destiny — unveiled after years of secret, patient and painstaking development — aligns perfectly with how we currently use our computers and mobile devices.

The keynote at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month not only showed off a new way to think about computing, based on data not devices, but also silenced pretty much every criticism leveled at the company over the past few years.

Let’s take a look at Apple’s new way of doing things, which fulfills Steve Jobs’ post-PC plan by minimizing the importance of the Mac.

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Pump-Hub, an ingenious system that keeps bike tires inflated, is ready to roll again

Kevin Manning of Pump-Hub.

Kevin Manning’s ingenious Pump-Hub system inflates bike tires as you ride. Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — Sometimes even a great idea falls flat at first. Take Pump-Hub, a self-inflating bike tire gizmo. It was rolling along at trade shows and getting lots of good press before the financial crisis of 2008 sidelined the project.

Now its creator, engineer Kevin Manning, is getting back on track with a new team behind him and plans to expand his original idea — an automatic, adjustable, tire-inflation system housed in the hub of a bike wheel.

For cyclists, the Pump-Hub means no remembering to check the tire pressure or pack a pump, no fiddling around with the valve and then racing to put the cap back on before the air wheezes out and your aching arms have to start all over again. It inflates the tires to the proper pressure while you ride, making a gentle clickety-clack sound reminiscent of spoke cards from childhood days. When the tire hits the designated pressure, the fluttering sounds stop. If you get a flat, just upend your bike and spin the wheel until pressure is restored.

“It’s like how using a Macintosh is easier than using a command-line interface,” Manning says, turning his Gunnar bike upside down on the Embarcadero to show me how the Pump-Hub works. If you really boil down all the technology behind his invention, he adds, the main advantage basically ends up being “it’s easier.”

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Killer console apps: PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One

Your smartphone is an increasingly important battlefield in the ongoing war of the gaming consoles. Companion iOS apps for Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One aim to enhance the way you interact with your gaming system. These apps let you access your gaming achievements on the go, communicate with friends and even use your iOS device as a remote for your console.

In today’s video, we’ll give you a look at how the PlayStation and Xbox One SmartGlass apps compare.

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How to set up a foolproof note-taking system for writers and other nerds (Part 3)

How to set up a foolproof note-taking system for writers and other nerds (Part 3)

Welcome to the final part of our series about note-taking for writers (or anyone else). Today we’re going to look at getting clippings and bookmarks into Evernote, to be stored and accessible alongside your scanned, paper-based notes (Part 1) and your text notes grabbed on your iPhone or Mac (Part 2).

We’ll use a few apps and services to get this done – EverClip, Mr Reader, IFTTT and Pinboard are the main ones.

As ever, you could just do much of this using Evernote and its web clipper, but this only works in Safari and Chrome on the desktop. In 2014! Clearly that’s no good. Let’s see how we can do it better.

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The future of the iPhone 5c, Apple pays Lebron and the rest of this week’s hottest news

Back in 2008, basketball star LeBron James received a small stake in Beats Electronics in exchange for promoting the company’s headphones. Now that Apple has bought Beats, guess how much James is set to make? You really don’t want to know, but watch our news wrap anyway. The rest of it, including updates on split-screen iPad multitasking and the future of the iPhone 5c. will cheer you up.

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