Cook outside the box with these creative kitchen appliances

Innovative kitchen gadgets are nothing new, and as anyone who's seen an infomercial can attest, these kinds of small appliances often come with bold promises of revolutionizing the way we cook. However, with the occasional exception (I'm looking at you, Crock-Pot), that kind of ubiquity never quite seems to arrive.

But if you aren't getting a revolution, what are you getting? That all depends on the specific product, but more and more, we're seeing intriguing options that actually live up to their performance claims. Whether they're introducing powerful new cooking methods like steam baking and … Read more

The 404 1,450: Where we play by ear (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- That story of the marooned woman on a Hawaiian island getting saved thanks to Google Earth is totally fake.

- Chordify makes it easy to cover any song by transcribing sheet music from YouTube and Soundcloud links.

- Funk band games the Spotify system to fund upcoming nationwide tour.

- Virtual screaming babies squirm their way into teenage cellphones in new pregnancy campaign.… Read more

Surprise! Apple's Tim Cook is both scary and caring, says new book

So much time, effort, and emotion are expended on analyzing everything at Apple that it's a wonder surprises still manage to emerge.

But on hearing that a new book called "Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs" was to emerge, some felt a tinge of excitement.

Written by former Wall Street Journal reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane, it promised (at least in some imaginations) to reveal secrets of Cupertino life.

An excerpt from the book was published Friday in the Journal and the revelations are few.

If you'd imagined that Apple CEO Tim Cook didn't have quite … Read more

Tim Cook advises climate change deniers to get out of Apple stock

In his job as Apple CEO, Tim Cook is mostly known for having a demeanor that's in some ways antithetical to that of Steve Jobs. Instead of bombast and bold claims, Cook's soothing Southern-tinged speech and steely temperament have marked him as a man whose head could be nothing but level. That is, unless you're a shareholder who thinks climate change is bogus.

At Apple's annual shareholder meeting Friday, Cook shot down the suggestion from a conservative, Washington, D.C.-based think tank that Apple give up on environmental initiatives that don't contribute to the … Read more

Carl Icahn accuses eBay board of conflicts of interest

Carl Icahn is again on the warpath, and this time the target of his attack is eBay.

In an open letter sent to eBay stockholders on Monday, Icahn, who said he recently bought a larger stake in the company, accused board members of "blatant" conflicts of interest. He lashed out at board members for competing with eBay, putting their own financial gain ahead of their responsibilities to investors, funding the company's competitors, and demanding that eBay stop hiring the most talented employees.

One board member Icahn singled out was Marc Andreessen, an independent director on eBay's … Read more

The 404 1,430: Where we flail away with Spotify's Shanon Cook (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Dragnet Seiko wristwatch TV from 1984.

- It doesn't get better: the US has the second slowest 4G on EARTH.

- Google wants to do the end of "The Dark Knight" in real life.

- Follow Spotifier Shanon Cook on Twitter.… Read more

Apple, Elon Musk and interplanetary travel

So, about a year ago Tesla's Elon Musk reportedly met with Apple's mergers and acquisitions chief and maybe Tim Cook. What was on the agenda? The report this weekend in the San Francisco Chronicle didn't have any details on what transpired at the meeting. Perhaps Apple wanted to kick Tesla's tires.

Moving from $600 iPhones and $6,000 Mac Pros to $60,000 automobiles would be a bold move for Apple, but not a moonshot. The two companies are likely a cultural and aesthetic fit, both obsessed with creating breakthrough, eco-friendly consumer products that win design … Read more

Kanye West: Eric Schmidt is cool; Tim Cook, not so much

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to discuss the latest thoughts of America's greatest artist.

If anyone knows of any just impediment to listening to his latest thoughts, please speak now or forever hold your peace.

Peace, you see, is something Kanye finds hard to hold. Sometimes, he has to let it out like a dove of aggressive thought.

I am grateful to Consequence Of Sound for telling me that on Saturday night, West performed at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and offered entirely uncorrupted (and slightly NSFW) thoughts.

He's fond of calling himself a … Read more

Apple, Samsung reportedly fail to reach truce in patent wars

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung Mobile head JK Shin reportedly met last week to hammer out an agreement to their long-running patent feud. The result? No agreement.

Neither company has fessed up to such a meeting. But ZDNet Korea and other sources claim the two execs met in the US after being ordered by the court to try to settle their legal differences amicably. The court reportedly wanted to see a settlement by February 19, but the bad blood between the two companies seems to have been too much of an obstacle.

The court could reveal its final verdict … Read more

This 3-in-1 slow cooker promises to cook just about anything

Slow cookers are renowned for their ease of use. Just dump your ingredients in, choose between low and high for your cooking temp, and go about your day. Set it and forget it. How do you improve upon that without compromising the simplicity?

With its three-in-one "cooking system," Ninja claims to have found the answer. As a slow cooker, it still boasts those familiar preset controls, but like any good ninja, it's ready to adapt to new situations, too. Turn the knob over to stovetop mode, and you'll be able to use it like a pot … Read more