After hours of research and testing I have my Mojito recipe dialed in. Many recipes call for more lime, less mint, etc. This one is tailored to my taste, but should be a good starting point for anyone.

Fresh ingredients are key to this drink. Avoid bottled lime juice and use the freshest mint you can find.

To muddle the first three ingredients combine them in a sturdy glass and mash them up with a muddler or a wooden spoon. The idea is to extract flavor from the mint by squeezing it. The sugar acts as an abrasive to help the process. A muddler is just a stick with a rounded end used to mash stuff up so don’t hesitate to improvise.

In a good sized glass with a heavy bottom muddle together:

  • 1 rounded tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • Juice of 1/4 lime

Add and stir to dissolve any remaining sugar:

  • 2 oz light rum

Strain this mixture into a pint glass 1/2 full of ice (preferably crushed.) Fill the rest of the glass with:

  • Club Soda

Optionally garnish with a mint leaf or the spent lime rind and enjoy the minty goodness! The recipe is easily multiplied and everything through the rum can be prepared ahead of time.

Ah, summer…

Lock picking for the 21st century

Modern electronic locks are getting more complicated but it’s amazing how vulnerable they can be. The video below shows how a high end electronic lock can be bypassed with a combination of induction and magnetic force.

If you’re not familiar with this type of locks it may not be clear, but the lock is actually being unlocked by spinning a disc with embedded magnets near the motor that actuates the lock. Barry at blackbag offers a far more detailed explanation of the device.

This is a good reminder that if a lock can be opened then it can be picked. The manufacturer will undoubtedly correct this vulnerability but there will always be another way to get in.

via Zach

Content Owners Make a Hash of Online Distribution

Why do content owners and distributors continue to make consumers jump through hoops to buy their content? Are they really protecting their content or just pushing people to illegal sources? My article Content Owners Make a Hash of Online Distribution takes a quick look at the current status of online content distribution.

Online content distribution has exploded over the past 10 years, but the entertainment industry has been slow to embrace this new means of doing business. Even now, as the music industry is finally starting to adopt the new model, they continue to apply artificial restrictions to content distribution, making it harder for people to purchase and use their content legitimately.

Check out the full article on Internet Evolution.

Does buying your gas when it’s cold really save you money?

With gas prices skyrocketing and the temperature not far behind (at least here in New England) there is always talk about how to save money on gas. One topic which seems to have solidly hit the mainstream lately is the notion that you can save money by buying your gas when it’s cold. This has herds of people buying their gas on cold days or in the wee hours, but is it worth it? Well, consider the following:

Gasoline, like most things, does expand when it’s warm. According to this study performed by a House committee last year the ratio is around 0.069% per degree Fahrenheit. That means if you are paying $3.75 per gallon you may be paying a full 7.7625 cents more per gallon for gas at 90 degree than you would at 60 degrees. That adds up to about 93 cents on a 12 gallon fill up if the gas is a full 30 degrees warmer.

Now, before you run off in the middle of the night to save your scant dollar on a fill up, consider this: Gas is stored in very large tanks, and often under ground. Next time you’re filling up on a warm day feel the temperature of the hose or the metal parts of the nozzle… You’ll probably find that they’re much cooler than the ambient temperature, so the swing in the temperature of gas will vary much less than the temperature of the air.

So for my money, instead of getting up early and wasting gas with a special trip to the station, consider combining some errands, carpooling, or slowing down a couple MPH on the highway. These changes will not only save you money, but also save gas and reduce emissions.

Making your online presence speak for you

Recently I have been asked to become a contributor to the Internet Evolution blog. My first article there, Making Your Online Presence Speak for You discusses how things like forum contributions, an online resume and a personal website (like this one) can have act as an extension of your resume.

In a Web 2.0 era where a prospective employer is more likely to Google your name than to check your references, what is your online presence saying about you?

A surprising number of people still seem to fall into one of two categories when it comes to posting their profiles online: they either indiscriminately post everything about their lives, blissfully ignorant of how it may affect them in the future, or they avoid putting their name on anything online, blissfully ignorant of how an online presence could help them. If you fall into either of these categories it may be time for a change.

Check out the full article on and join in the great discussion on the topic.