Signal instant messenger app — now on all my platforms!

This is my White Whale: a messaging application I can use securely on any device I own, mobile or desktop, and any device my recipients are likely to own.

Recently, Open Whisper Systems released the iOS version of their Signal application that allows users to synchronize contacts and messages to a desktop application running as a Google Chrome app. Finally! I can send a message typed in through a full-sized keyboard and it will arrive on Sarah’s iPhone, or my parents’ Android phones, or any of their computers. It will arrive securely and without anyone or anything scanning it for marketing or surveillance purposes. Continue reading Signal instant messenger app — now on all my platforms!

Jaunt through London to learn about Germany

Our buddy Residentonearth suggested a weekend in London to hit the British Museum’s excellent exhibit “Germany: memories of a nation” before it closes out. We’re glad she had the idea!1 Continue reading Jaunt through London to learn about Germany

  1. She also spotted this photo op. Look at her gorgeous flickr photo stream, too. []

Italian Grocery Roadtrip Price Comparison

Superfino Carnaroli Risotto RiceWe did a road trip down to Northern Italy in December 2012 primarily to visit the grocery store(s) there. We ate like royalty in a fantastic agriturismo and spent the day with the best weather of the weekend exploring cute towns in the area…but to be honest, those are just perks. The whole point was to stock up on wine from Castello di Roncade and supplies — hopefully cheaper or of better quality or variety — for the coming year. Along the way down, as we approached our destination, we made note of signs for hypermarkets and followed up on them using the WiFi in our room. We settled on the Iper in Castelfranco as the closest in the area.

Hmm. How’d we do?

ItemCastelfrancoRegensburg
Risotto rice (kg):
Arborio
Carnaroli
€1,25
€1,35
€1,59
€3,19
€7,58
flour for pasta-making (kg):
Tipo 00
Semolina
€0,59
€1,70
€2,99
dried pasta (500g):
Tubetti
Ditali
Ditalini
€0,39
€0,55
€0,84
€1,14
€1,39
Olive oil (L):
Various medium-grade local and house brands€3,45
€3,49
€3,99
€4,83 (in a 3-l jug)
€3,59
€3,72
Cheeses (kg):
Asiago
Grana Padano (10 months)
Bella Lodi
Parmigiano-Reggiano
€9,99-11,99€19,00
€19,90
€22,50

Okay, so we can see that olive oil was not such a big win, price-wise. But we loved perusing the selection and choosing between cold-pressed cloudy unfiltered and extra frooty fancy foil-wrapped varieties. And the freshly-baked wood-fired oven pizzas and arancini at the in-house rosticceria and pizzeria were motivation enough to stop in, even without the bulk staple purchases. Can’t wait to see how those stack up against supplì later this week.