The Most Delicious Rodeo Ever: Downtown Raleigh’s Food Truck Rodeo

From tacos to Philly cheesesteaks to lobster tails and mini doughnuts, Raleigh’s food truck rodeo had every kind of food you could imagine, all in one place. With 58 food trucks and eight food carts lined up along Fayetteville Street, the food party spread out over 11 city blocks.

On Saturday, August 9th, 58 food trucks covered 11 city streets.

No matter if you were craving Italian, Chinese, bacon, cupcakes, or are a vegetarian, you were guaranteed to be satisfied. Vendors showing off their delicious skills included Soomsoom Pita Pockets, Gnam Gnam Gelato, D’ Burritos, Master Bacon, Thai Box Zing, CockADoodleMoo, Baguettaboutit, OMG Chicken, Gussy’s Greek, Valentino’s Food Truck, Pie Pushers, and Barone Meatball (that was a mouthful). From 4-9 p.m. these trucks and others were constantly cookin’ up the goods, as the lines at many of the stations were continuous.

Taco Grande

I had to stop at Taco Grande for a chicken taco!

Because my boyfriend, friends, and I wanted to taste a couple of different foods, we didn’t fill up at one place. In total, we stopped at about eight places to eat and drink, which included chicken and beef tacos, burgers, lobster tail, beer and cider, wine, a Philly cheesesteak, a spicy chicken rice bowl, ice cream, and doughnuts. We would have continued, but there’s only so much one person can eat, unfortunately. Read More

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Driverless car completes 3,400-mile road trip across the United States

The car traveled from San Francisco to New York City, and only needed human intervention on a 50-mile stretch

Back in late March a driverless automobile made its cross-country trek of 3,400 miles, traveling through 15 different states, without an accident or roadway incident. And no, it wasn’t Tesla, Google, or General Motors, but British auto supplier, Delphi Automotive, who was behind the success of this vehicle’s journey.

Delphi’s self-driving car went from San Francisco to New York City, in automated mode for 99% of the nine-day quest, and didn’t hit another car, person, or get a ticket. Apparently the company has been quietly advancing driverless technology, because the blue 2014 Audi SQ5 only gave its wheel to its human driver on a 50-mile stretch of city streets, where there were unmarked lanes and heavy roadwork.

Delphi_Automated_Audi

Image via fromthegrapevine.com.

“Along the way, the vehicle encountered complex driving situations such as traffic circles, construction zones, bridges, tunnels, aggressive drivers, and a variety of weather conditions,” Delphi said in a statement.

Packed with technology including four short-range radars, three vision-based cameras, six “lidars” (similar to radars), a localization system, intelligence software algorithms, and a full range of advanced drive assistance systems, the car was more than ready to hit the road. Read More

Fabio Viviani: Spreading the Wine Culture in the U.S.

Written for the June print issue of Chilled Magazine.

Italian chef and reality television personality, Fabio Viviani, launched his wine collection late last year in Chicago, which he appropriately named “The Fabio Viviani Wine Collection.” The collection, which includes a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2012 Chardonnay, are now available nationwide, and have made appearances on The Talk, The Rachael Ray Show, and Home and Family. Viviani’s newest wines, just released this spring, include a white blend of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, and a red blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Syrah.

Fabio Viviani Wines

So what inspired this Top Chef alum to start his own line of wine? Growing up in Florence, Italy, Viviani has been in the business of wine his entire life, and after his first sip at five-years-old, his life was forever changed. After he moved to California in 2005 (and opened up a few restaurants), he was set on creating affordable, quality wines to help spread the culture of wine in the United States.

“I saw a need for a wine company in America that was on the people’s side — that can demystify the idea that wine is hard to understand, and that you need to be an expert to enjoy it,” Viviani said. Read More

Play music and make calls with a wireless smart button

Flic creates a shortcut to your favorite actions on your smartphone

Though it appears to be nothing more than a pleasant-looking button, Flic can actually be set to make your life simpler. Known as a smart button, it can do pretty much anything you want it to do (within reason) on a daily basis, such as snapping photos, playing music, and snoozing your alarm.

Flic_Buttons

Flic comes in a variety of colors.

Because it can stick to various surfaces, including those outside, Flic can be a part of so many things. Once set up via the accompanying app, which works with both iOS and Android, each button can be set to execute three actions — one by clicking, another by double-clicking, and another by pressing and holding. The buttons connect to a user’s smartphone via Bluetooth Low-energy and have a range of up to 150 feet.

Smaller than a quarter, Flic is housed in a silicon mold and can withstand outdoor environments and dust. It also comes with a reusable double-sided adhesive, which can easily be cleaned if it gets dirty. Read More

Portable wireless breathalyzer pairs with smartphone app

Breathometer’s Breeze pairs via Bluetooth with any iOS or Android smartphone

Earlier this year the breath analysis technology company, Breathometer unveiled Breeze, the first wearable breathalyzer on the market. With its ultra-fast accurate results and easy portability, Breeze breaks new ground when it comes to personal smartphone breathalyzers.

Designed to be paired with the Breathometer app, which features integration with Uber, local restaurants, and hotels, Breeze connects via Bluetooth LE to read a user’s blood alcohol content (BAC).

Fortunately, using the breathalyzer is easy. First, the user must open the mobile app on his or her smartphone, and then when prompted, blow for five seconds directly at the LED illuminated hole on the device from about two inches away. Once measured, the app will provide an estimate of how long it will take the user to get back down to zero.

Breeze_Device

Breeze is portable and easy to use. Image via TechCrunch.

What happens when the app finds a user isn’t ready to get behind the wheel? It’s all set to display its useful features such as menu items to help get users home safely without having to drive. Read More

My experience with the Samsung Gear S smartwatch

A personal review

It’s been three weeks since I’ve gotten my hands on a Samsung Gear S smartwatch, and overall I’m pleased with it. I was honestly expecting it to be a high-tech smartphone accessory, since that seems to be what most smartwatches are, but there’s much more to it, which was impressive. First off, the Gear S has its own SIM-card slot, gets its own cell service and data, and comes with an additional battery pack. Pretty much, it’s a watch that’s also a phone.

Gear_S_Smartwatch

What caught my attention right off the bat was the modern, attractive look to the Gear S. It has a big, bright, curved 2-inch 480 x 360-pixel AMOLED display, which leaves plenty of room for swiping and pinching on the screen. To top it off, the watch comes with customizable screen clock faces to express your own style, and a snap-on adjustable wristband for a comfortable fit.

As for receiving notifications, there weren’t any issues (and it was quite exciting the first few times I received a text or an email and saw it come up on my watch), as long as I had my Samsung phone nearby. Even though the Gear S is seen as an independent smartwatch, it needs to be paired with your Samsung smartphone for most of its features to work, and it requires a connected data plan to use it as a cellular device. Read More

Wearable tech makes your skin function like a tablet

Ready or not, the future has arrived

Recently there have been many new additions to the wearable technology market, but the Cicret Bracelet really jumps out from the crowd. What’s so different about it, you ask? Well, it projects a touchscreen onto your arm.

Cicret_Bracelet

Image via Cicret.

Though it’s probably likely that most people aren’t pushing and shoving to try this one out, the reasoning behind it is this: By having a touchscreen displayed on your arm, you can very easily access and work your apps without having to take out your phone. So far it seems to work similar to the way you’d view information on a tablet. Read More