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Introduction to Sous Vide Cooking

I recently started cooking using sous vide. Sous vide means “under vacuum” in French. With this technique, you vacuum seal your food in a bag and then cook it in a water bath at a precisely controlled temperature. When the food (typically meat or chicken) reaches your desired temperature, you remove it from the water bath, sear/grill/broil it, and serve it. Gourmet restaurants have used this technique for years but it only recently became affordable for the home chef. Continue reading Introduction to Sous Vide Cooking

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Upscaling Lower Resolution Video to 4K Updated

So you just bought an expensive new 4K (UHD) television set. The issue is that most live and recorded video distributed today is less than 4K (2160p) resolution. Blu-rays are 1080p format while DVDs are only 480i/p. TV broadcasters use either 1080i or 720p. Some cable and satellite companies are downscaling 1080i to 720p format. Although some over-the-top video service providers like Amazon and Netflix have select content in 4K, most of their content is in 1080 resolution. To solve this, UHD TVs include upscalers for lower resolution content originating from cable/satellite settop boxes, Blu-ray and DVD players and gaming consoles. Continue reading Upscaling Lower Resolution Video to 4K Updated

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Vizio 2016 & 2017 P-Series 4K XHDR Pro Display Review & Configuration Settings Updated

Like the 2015 M-series, the 2016 P-Series supports local dimming using full array LED backlighting (FALD) but now has 128 LEDs. It also supports a wider range of colors, chroma subsampling, and high peak brightness. FALD displays are a bit thicker than edge-lit displays but FALD displays are preferable both because of their higher contrast and the lack of light ‘blossoms’ that you see in dark scenes and on films shown in letterbox format. Properly calibrated, this is as close to the OLED TV experience as you can get without spending 3x the amount for a comparable OLED TV. Continue reading Vizio 2016 & 2017 P-Series 4K XHDR Pro Display Review & Configuration Settings Updated

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Nikon D500 Camera: Review & Comparison to the Nikon D5, D7500, D7200 & D7100 Updated

Nikon announced the D500, along with the full frame Nikon D5, at CES 2016.  Although Nikon continued to position the 2009 D300S as its premier DX series camera, their D7x00 series cameras long ago surpassed the D300S both in terms of image quality and features. When the D7000 was released in 2010, there was no reason to pay more for the D300S. I upgraded my D300 to a D7100 but I didn’t see enough value to jump from the D7100 to the D7200. Continue reading Nikon D500 Camera: Review & Comparison to the Nikon D5, D7500, D7200 & D7100 Updated

Review of Allegro Coffees (a Trip to Whole Foods)

Overview I never was a barista. And I certainly am not a professional cupper. But I cannot imagine a morning without at least one, if not two, lattes. We make our lattes at home. We recently upgraded our espresso machine from the Breville BES860XL to the BES920XL. Now, it is time to consider upgrading our coffee beans. In the past, we drank whole bean, medium roast illy coffee. Since illy … Continue reading Review of Allegro Coffees (a Trip to Whole Foods)

Investing: Advanced Portfolio Optimization

Portfolio Efficiency More advanced investors can optimize their portfolio, seeking the “most efficient” portfolio for their particular risk tolerance. “Most efficient”, means: no other feasible portfolio with equal risk has greater expected returns, and no other feasible portfolio with less risk has equal returns. Otherwise, you would select either the portfolio with greater returns or the portfolio with equal risk or equal returns and lesser risk. … Continue reading Investing: Advanced Portfolio Optimization

Investing: Asset Allocation & Building a Diversified Portfolio

As I explained in Investing: Risk, Return & Time, the central challenge to long-term investing is not how to increase returns. Instead, it is how to manage risk. The solution is to construct a diversified portfolio tailored to your particular risk tolerance. Overall, it is key that you understand how your portfolio behaves during changing market and economic conditions so that you can stick with your desired asset allocation. Continue reading Investing: Asset Allocation & Building a Diversified Portfolio

Investing: Indexing and the Myth of Beating the Market

It is nearly impossible for active managers to beat the market over the long term after taking management expenses, transaction fees, taxes, and risk into account.  Individual investors don’t have the time or resources to compete with institutional investors. The only rational path for individual investors is to invest in passively managed index funds. Continue reading Investing: Indexing and the Myth of Beating the Market