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When writing about digital technology, or any topic, is something you do, it takes time to accumulate credibility. Even if you put in the study time up front to know your stuff, building trust takes time.

I’ve been fortunate that, after years expanding my portfolio and the knowledge base under it, people come to me for advice on related subject matter. I’m still not totally comfortable in this position, but I roll with it.

As more professionals put stock in my technical background, I have been exposed to more specialized technical environments and use cases. Friends asking for consumer electronics troubleshooting is worlds apart from professionals looking to overcome a technical hurdle.

This new class of advice I’m prompted to provide has elucidated the challenges that professionals confront. Moreover, when I field the same question multiple times, it hints at a potential gap in computer science training. Naturally, I want to do my part to close it.

To be clear, I’m not putting anyone down. There are plenty of things I don’t know and probably should. I simply want to draw attention to concepts that I’m surprised that competent individuals struggle with. Specifically, what I regard as key Unix principles I’ve found notably missing.

I’m not totally surprised, as a lot of “tech sector” professionals work in levels of abstraction above the OS. But it pays to know these Unix basics considering there is often a Unix/Unix-like OS somewhere in the abstraction hierarchy. If that layer is unsound, the whole edifice risks collapse.

To that end, I want to highlight questions I’ve been asked about Unixy (my substitute for “Unix and Unix-like”) systems, and the fundamentals to grasp to become self-sufficient.

To Run Programs, It’s Best To Stay on the $PATH

While it’s easier than ever for software developers to escape the command line interface, sometimes it’s unavoidable.

If a program comes preinstalled on a Unixy system or can be installed from an official OS repository, it’s usually easy to invoke. But when the CLI program is some executable downloaded from the internet, this can trip people up.

Running it from within its directory is no big deal. Clicking on it in the file browser might even pop open a terminal emulator and run it. But once some (mainly neophyte) developers leave that directory, they’re not sure why the command is inaccessible without giving the absolute or relative path to it.

This has to do with the shell’s PATH environment variable. When you enter a command into a shell like Bash, the shell has to know where it is. In Unix, everything is a file, and every file is somewhere in the file tree (starting at /). But if the system had to search every file, that would take too long.

Instead, your shell only looks in the directories in the PATH variable. If there is no executable file with the name you entered in one of those directories, a Unixy system doesn’t know where that command is.

To see what directories are in your PATH, open a terminal and run echo $PATH. This outputs the value of the PATH variable as it is currently set in the shell.

If you want to add more places for your system to check for executables, just update PATH. Define the PATH variable explicitly in your shell’s configuration file (e.g. for Bash, ~/.bashrc, ~/.bash_profile or something similar). One common practice is to make a directory in the user’s home directory called “bin” and add $HOME/bin to your PATH (HOME being the current user’s home).

Remember, you don’t want to replace your PATH with just the desired directory. That would make it the only place your shell looks. You just want one more place to search. You could copy the output of echo $PATH as is and paste it into your shell config file. The more conventional method is to add this line:

PATH=”PATH:$HOME/bin”

Just as with many common programming languages, this assignment statement works because the right side of the “=” sign is evaluated first and then assigned to the left side. In other words, your current PATH is returned, your new directory is concatenated to the end, and then PATH is set to that.

Set It So Your Shell Won’t Forget It

There’s another property of environment variables I’ve seen developers overlook: how long they persist.

It’s not uncommon for devs to utilize CLI tools that expect certain environment variables. In Unixy systems, you’re free to define any arbitrary environment variable with any arbitrary value. When they need one, I typically see devs run the same environment variable definition every time they launch their terminal.

This is because every time most terminal emulators (and with them, a shell) start for the first time (from not running anywhere on the system), they start a new session. When the last of the shell processes associated with the terminal emulator terminates, so too does the session. Notably, environment variables set via export command only last for the session.

As you probably intuited, we can set our environment variable in our shell config file just as we did with PATH. Just refer to the PATH definition syntax above to see how. Now enjoy all the time you saved.

Always Know Who’s Listening

While I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a core Unix concept, this next trick is so handy that I’m surprised more devs don’t know it.

In the course of managing some Unixy system, eventually you may need to know what network ports are actively listening. Doing so by checking all running services can be cumbersome because, depending on the system’s available tooling, open ports may not appear in the summarized output. It’s easier to skip the service utility and analyze the ports directly.

My preferred approach is to use lsof. This useful command returns all open files. “Wait,” you might say, “I’m looking for ports, not files.” Ah, but remember, in Unix, everything is a file. That includes ports.

Even better, lsof is tailored for this use case (among many others), as its -i flag limits output to files used as part of Internet Protocol communication. By running lsof -i you can see every open port, including listening ones.

You may want to throw in other flags or pipe it through a regular expression filter via grep to narrow down your search, but the above command alone will get you most of the way there.

Just Your Friendly Neighborhood Penguin-Man

What drew me most to the idea for this article was its direct applicability to a whole class of people who need quick, reliable answers. As I invest more into professional dialog with developers, I hope to uncover more areas where I’m able to light the Unix way I’ve grown so fond of.


Suggest a Topic

Is there a Unix tutorial you’d like to see featured?

Please email your ideas to me and I’ll consider them for a future column.

And use the Reader Comments feature below to provide your input!

Tue, 04 Oct 2022 11:59:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.linuxinsider.com/story/unix-basics-it-pays-to-know-176679.html
Killexams : The Basics of Bonding & Grounding

It's no secret that grounding and bonding content continues to resonate with EC&M readers.

From NEC Consultant Mike Holt's recent 12-part series on the differences between bonding and grounding to Electrical Training Consultant Randy Barnett's webinar and Tech Talk on the subject, our readers can't seem to get enough of this important topic. So, we wanted to compile several of our best articles into this e-book, giving readers an accessible, practical guide to some of the most important lessons related to grounding and bonding.

This e-book is essential practicing for anyone looking to gain a basic, yet thorough understanding of this important topic. Some articles take deep dives into NEC requirements, such as the 10 Parts of Art. 250. NEC consultant Russ LeBlanc examines where confusion exists between what the Code literally says and how users may interpret it. Another piece discusses IEEE 837, which covers substation grounding -- one of the more challenging types of grounding installations.

We also included case studies showing why grounding and bonding is so important. Former Power Quality Consultant Bryan Glenn explains the importance of examining the "why" behind NEC requirements -- and what happens when those rules for grounding and bonding are ignored. The final selection in this e-book (also by Glenn) is another case study highlighting a CNC failure from an isolated ground installation.

While grounding and bonding may seem like basic knowledge for any electrical professional, this curated selection of articles demonstrates why it's also one of the most important tasks performed by electrical professionals -- so staying up-to-date on the standards and safety procedures in this arena is mandatory. As "Monsters of the Midway" shows, proper grounding and bonding can mean a matter of life or death -- not only for electrical professionals, but also for anyone encountering the electrical installations they work on.

I know this free e-book provides a valuable reminder of the importance of proper grounding and bonding as well as offers some useful, practical tips you can start applying today.

— Ellie Coggins, Senior Associate Editor

Tue, 20 Sep 2022 09:06:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.ecmweb.com/ebook-library/whitepaper/21251065/the-basics-of-bonding-grounding
Killexams : PCB assembly basics

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A PCB is a basic component of modern electronic devices and appliances that has revolutionised the electronics manufacturing industry. The first usage of a PCB dates back to 1936 when its inventor, Paul Eisler applied it to his radio system, however, PCBs started gaining their popularity only in the 1950s gradually domineering point-to-point electronic constructions.

PCB vs PCB assembly: essential terminology

The PCB acronym stays for a printed circuit board and is sometimes called a printed wiring card or a printed wiring board. It is also common to see PCBs referred to as PCBAs, albeit this is not accurate.

A PCB is a blank board, which has a printed circuit map on its surface. Yet, there are no electronic elements attached to it and it cannot be used directly in electronic devices. It first has to undergo one of the PCB assembly (PCBA) processes to turn into an assemblage of electronic components to be able to power other electronic goods.

PCB composition

All PCBs consist of several layers of materials depending on the complexity and price of the final product. Still, regardless of these factors, any PCB has its basic substrate layer used for holding layers of copper and soldermask. These two layers can be located either on a single side of the substrate layer or both of its sides.

Traditionally, one of the best materials used as a substrate is fiberglass, which gives PCBs the necessary rigidity, however, some products require flexible PCBs. These are made of high-temperature polymer materials.

The next layer is made of a copper foil attached to the board with heat and an adhesive substance. As a rule, the layers of a PCB are calculated by the layers of copper. One-layered boards are the most basic, but there can be tens of copper layers. Copper is insulated to avoid contact with conductive bits or metals with a layer of soldermask.

A layer of silkscreen allows labelling certain parts of a PCB.

PCB assembly technologies

Turning a blank PCB into a fully-functioning device component requires attaching electronic elements to its surface. This can be done with an older THT or through-hole technology, which inserts electronics into drilled holes in the board or with a more modern surface-mount technology commonly referred to as SMT. The latter one is more popular today due to the possibility of automating the manufacturing processes.

SMT includes mapping the PCB surface with a soldering material. Then, a pick-and-place machine locates all of the pieces in their right places and the boards are moved to a reflow oven for solidifying the soldermask creating adhesion between a PCB and electronic components.

Conclusions

Differentiating a PCB from a PCB assembly is crucial for understanding the PCB assembly basics since these are two separate terms in electronic manufacturing. A PCB is a blank multi-layered board maintaining the connections between electronic components attached to its surface with either SMT or through-hole PCB assembly technology.

To learn more visit: asselems.com

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 01:00:00 -0500 GISuser en-US text/html https://gisuser.com/2022/09/pcb-assembly-basics/
Killexams : Retirement Planning Basics

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

Even though you know it’s good for your long-term financial health, deciding how to save for retirement can be less than appealing.

The good news is that you can knock this off your to-do list quickly. Here’s a checklist of things to get your retirement planning game started.

1.  Choose Where You Want to Park Your Retirement Fund

Your first job is to decide where you want to do your retirement saving.

The federal government offers a few different types of qualified retirement plans you can use. The qualified refers to the fact that these types of retirement plans deliver you important tax breaks, which is why experts recommend picking these over run-of-the-mill investment accounts. But more on the tax angle in a sec.

Retirement accounts are generally broken into two types:

  • Workplace retirement plans. Many employers offer retirement savings plans, such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s, to employees. If you choose to participate, a portion of each paycheck will be automatically sent to your personal account in the retirement plan.
  • Individual retirement accounts. Everyone with earned income is eligible to have their own individual retirement account (IRA). You can open an IRA at most major brokerages. As with 401(k)s, “with an IRA, automating your contributions is so important,” says Maggie Rapplean, a certified financial planner (CFP) at Moneta. Automated savings is the surest way to get on track and stay on track, and it’s free and easy to set up automated transfers from your bank account to your IRA.

You don’t have to pick just one of these, of course. You can contribute to a workplace retirement plan and an IRA at the same time.

(Note: If you don’t have a workplace plan and want to save more for retirement than the current $6,000 annual contribution limit to an IRA ($7,000 if you are at least 50), you can also save for retirement in a regular taxable investment account at a brokerage.)

2.  Decide If You Want to Use a Traditional or Roth Account

Most workplace retirement plans, and all IRAs, come in two varieties: traditional or Roth. The primary difference is when you shell out for a one-time tax on your retirement savings.

With a traditional account you pay the tax bill in retirement. In most instances, money you contribute to a traditional account in a given year will lower your tax bill for that year (there are income limits on being able to deduct an IRA contribution if you also have access to a play at work, though). Money inside a traditional 401(k) or IRA is not taxed during the years it is invested. But no later than age 72 you must start making withdrawals from a traditional account, and every dollar withdrawn will be taxed as ordinary income. The hope is that your tax rate will be lower than it was when you contributed money.

With a Roth retirement account there is no upfront tax break on the money you contribute. You contribute dollars that you’ve already paid tax on, so you’re paying your one-time tax bill upfront. When retirement rolls around, you aren’t required to make withdrawals from a Roth. But when you do pull money out of a Roth account in retirement, it will be 100% tax free if you follow a few simple rules, like not withdrawing before age 59 ½ and making sure you first made a contribution to a Roth at least five years before your first withdrawal.

“The chance to build retirement savings that will be 100% tax free is something everyone should consider,” says David D’Eredita, founder of Rise Private Wealth Management in Tucson, Ariz.

3.  Aim to Save at Least 10% of Your Income Each Year Automatically.

An all too common mistake new investors make is that they focus on what to invest in, rather than how much to invest, says Rapplean.

“Younger investors get really hung up on the investment choices, when the focus really should be on your savings rate,” says Rapplean. Academic research suggests someone in their 20s needs to aim to save at least 10%—15% is even better—to land at retirement in solid shape. If you get a later start, you will want to aim to save even more.

If you can’t reach that threshold right now, don’t get disheartened. Many people can’t; it’s equally important to get any amount of money you can into the market to start benefiting from compounding returns. Even small sums can become small fortunes over decades.

4.  The Younger You Are the More You Should Lean into Stocks

Over the long term, stocks offer the best chance of growing your money at a rate that exceeds the rate of inflation that decreases your purchasing power each year. But you probably don’t want to put all of your money into stocks because they go through stretches where they fall in value, sometimes drastically. That’s where bonds come into play: When your stock portfolio hits a rough patch, bonds tend to hold their value and often rise.

The decision you face, then, is determining the right mix of stocks and bonds to help you reach your retirement goals…and keep sleeping at night.

The younger you are, the more you want to own stocks as you have decades until retirement. For someone in their 20s or 30s, it’s typically recommended to keep 80% or so of your retirement money in stocks. As you age this becomes more conservative to include greater percentages of bonds and bond funds. This way, you’re less likely to face enormous losses when you have less time to recover from them.

5.  Consider a Target-Date Fund or Robo-Advisor for Easy Diversification

If the asset allocation decision sets your palms sweating, relax.

A target-date fund decides on the appropriate mix of stocks and bonds based on your investment horizon (a.k.a. when you plan to retire). A target-date fund has an asset allocation glidepath that gradually shifts your target allocation mix to be more conservative as you near retirement.

Most workplace retirement plans offer a target-date fund as an investment option. For IRA investing, check out our list of the best target-date funds to get rolling on retirement savings. Low investment fees are the secret sauce to successful long-term investing as they leave more of your money to grow and compound over time. A target-date fund that uses low-cost index mutual funds can be a smart choice because of the low expense ratios and market-matching performance they provide. You may also consider robo-advisors if you want a low-cost, hands-off investment choice.

Another option if you want to fine tune your mix of stocks and bonds, rather than rely on the off-the-shelf allocation model, is to create a portfolio of two or three broad index funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The only catch with building your own retirement portfolio of mutual funds is that you are in charge of making periodic adjustments to make sure you stay true to your target asset allocation mix. If the prospect of rebalancing and regular upkeep is a turn off, no worries. These are embedded features in a target-date fund or robo-advisor.

Looking For A Financial Advisor?

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Sun, 09 Oct 2022 17:26:00 -0500 Carla Fried en-US text/html https://www.forbes.com/advisor/retirement/retirement-planning-basics/
Killexams : Basics of Buying a Manufactured Home

Loan Application

If you’re not paying cash for your manufactured home (formerly called mobile homes or trailers) begin with a loan application to know which Hames home you can afford. You’ll be asked about your income, down payment, and other expenses. Apply online at www.hameshomes.com/financing or make an appointment with Curtis or Clint at (319) 377-4863 to apply in person. From there, Hames will help connect you with a lender who fits your needs.

Community Application

Hames communities are desirable places to live because they’re safe. Background checks are completed for all adults applying to live in Grand View Village and Summit View Village. There’s NO application fee.

Select Your Home

It’s time to look at model homes! Hames knowledgeable sales staff will show you available homes that match your needs and budget.

If the perfect Hames home is not available now, a special order from the manufacturer might be the answer.

Underwriter Review and Approval

Once you have chosen a manufactured or mobile home, the banker will finalize the loan. Lenders have different requirements, so additional information may be requested before the final loan approval is granted.

Closing and Community Sign-In

During closing, the final loan and titling documents are signed. The next step is to meet with the manager where your manufactured home is located — either Grand View Village or Summit View Village. The Community Manager will explain neighborhood guidelines and answer your questions.

Final Walk Through/New Homeowner Orientation

Hames sales staff will inspect the home with you and point out important equipment. They will provide maintenance recommendations like how often to change the furnace filter and when to check heat tape. You’ll be shown the location of the data plate in your home, which is an informative summary unique to each manufactured home.

You don’t have to be an expert at purchasing a manufactured home. Hames — The Homes People are the area’s specialists on beautiful manufactured homes in desirable neighborhoods. View the large selection of new and used, singlewide and doublewide manufactured homes at HamesHomes.com, or in person at 5410 Wabash St. SW, Cedar Rapids, 7 days a week

Mon, 10 Oct 2022 01:17:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.thegazette.com/sponsored-content/basics-of-buying-a-manufactured-home/
Killexams : Need car insurance? 4 most important auto insurance basics to know

Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as "Credible" below, is to deliver you the tools and confidence you need to Boost your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders who compensate us for our services, all opinions are our own.

Car insurance is required in most states. Learn some auto insurance basics, as well as how to lower your premium. (Shutterstock)

Auto insurance protects your vehicle against many risks, such as car accidents, theft, and vandalism. And most U.S. states require car insurance — only New Hampshire and Virginia do not. 

Understanding some auto insurance basics can help ensure you don’t overpay for coverage. Here’s what you need to know about auto insurance, as well as some tips for how to lower your premium.

With Credible, you can compare auto insurance quotes from top carriers.

How does auto insurance work?

Car insurance is a contract between you and an insurance provider that helps pay for damages to your vehicle and other vehicles, any other property damage, and bodily injury that an accident causes. The specific claims process depends on the state you live in and who’s responsible for the accident, but in general, you’ll file a claim after a car accident and wait for your insurer to approve it.

Insurers determine your auto insurance premium by assessing several factors, such as your vehicle, how much coverage you get, and your driving record. Once you’re approved for a policy, you can pay it in full up front or in regular installments — you can typically choose to pay monthly, every six months, or yearly.

What is a deductible?

Your car insurance deductible is what you pay before your insurer pays the rest for a covered claim. For example, say your deductible is $1,000 and you get into an accident that causes $5,000 worth of damage to your vehicle. In that case, your insurance payout would be $4,000.

Typically, the higher your deductible, the lower your car insurance premium, and vice versa. If you choose a higher deductible to save money during the year, just be sure you can afford to pay that amount in the event of an accident. 

Credible makes it easy to compare auto insurance rates from various carriers, all in one place.

What types of auto insurance do you need?

You can choose from several types of auto insurance coverage — each one protects you in different ways. Keep in mind that you must purchase at least the minimum required insurance in your state. Here are the types of car insurance you should consider:

  • Liability — If you’re involved in a car accident and you’re at fault, liability coverage pays for property damage and any bodily injury you cause, up to your policy limits. Liability insurance is required in almost every state, and each state sets its own minimum liability coverage limits.
  • Personal injury protection — Personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical expenses for you or your passengers if you’re involved in an accident, regardless of who's at fault. You may need to purchase this type of insurance if you live in a no-fault state — a state where you have to file a claim with your own insurance carrier, no matter who’s at fault.
  • Medical payments — Similar to PIP, medical payments insurance covers your medical expenses and your passengers’ medical expenses, regardless of who’s at fault. But PIP and medical payments coverage aren’t the same. Medical payments coverage is only offered in at-fault states — these states require the person who’s deemed at fault to pay for covered damages. And unlike PIP, medical payments coverage is always optional. This coverage may be beneficial if you don’t have health insurance.
  • Comprehensive — Comprehensive coverage protects your car against damages not caused by a collision with another vehicle or object. Some examples include damages to your vehicle from a wildfire, windstorm, or vandalism. If you’re financing a vehicle, your lender will likely require you to purchase this type of insurance to protect its interest in your vehicle.
  • Collision — Collision insurance helps you pay to repair or replace your car if it’s involved in an accident with another vehicle or a non-moving object, like a pole. Similar to comprehensive insurance, a lender may require you to purchase collision coverage.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist — Uninsured motorist coverage helps pay for damages to your vehicle caused by a motorist who doesn’t have insurance. It may also cover repairs if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Underinsured motorist coverage helps pay for damages to your car if the driver responsible for them doesn’t have enough coverage. Depending on your state, you may be required to purchase one or both of these coverages.

How much auto insurance should you buy?

The amount of coverage you need depends on the state you live in and your individual situation. You should buy enough liability insurance to protect your assets in the event someone sues you after an accident. 

How much collision coverage you need depends on your car’s value and whether you make payments on your vehicle or own it outright. It’s important to note that you may not need collision insurance if your deductible is greater than the value of your car — if you have an old vehicle, for instance. But if you lease your car or have an auto loan, the lender or leasing company will require you to carry collision and comprehensive coverage.

A good rule of thumb is to buy as much coverage over the minimum as you can comfortably afford. For example, if you own your car outright, collision and comprehensive coverage aren’t required. But adding those coverages can help you protect yourself in case of an accident or an unexpected event, like vandalism.

How to lower your auto insurance premium

If you’re looking to save money on car insurance, consider taking these steps:

  • Comparison shop for the best deal. One of the best ways to lower your car insurance is to shop around. To find the best deal, get quotes from at least three to five insurance providers. You can get auto insurance quotes online or by reaching out to an insurance agent. When getting quotes, make sure to compare policies that offer similar coverages.
  • Bundle with homeowners insurance or another policy. Some insurance carriers will deliver you a discount for buying multiple policies from them, such as your home insurance and auto insurance. You can also get a discount if you purchase renters insurance and auto insurance from the same insurer.
  • Choose a higher deductible. If you choose a higher deductible, you can lower your insurance rate. But before you do so, review your finances to make sure you can comfortably afford to pay the higher out-of-pocket costs to repair or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged.
  • Ask about additional discounts. Contact your insurance carrier to see if it offers any discounts. Some common car insurance discounts include those for members of the military, low mileage, being a good student, and using autopay.
  • Boost your credit score. When you apply for auto insurance, many insurers will review your credit history to determine how risky you are to insure. If you have good credit, you’ll likely receive a lower rate. You can Boost your credit score by adopting good credit-building habits, like paying all your bills on time and paying down any outstanding debt.

Credible lets you easily compare insurance rates from top carriers in minutes.

Wed, 21 Sep 2022 08:44:00 -0500 Jerry Brown en-US text/html https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/auto-insurance-basics
Killexams : Amarone — A Guide to the Basics

Corvina Veronese grapes on a vine in a vineyard in the Valpolicella area north of Verona in Italy

Matthias Riedinger / Getty Images

Amarone has a well-earned reputation for power. After all, it's not uncommon to find bottles that clear 15.5% ABV and approach 16% or more. But the best examples are about much more than sheer strength: They are layered, deeply complex reds that are inextricably tied to the land in which their constituent grapes are grown. Because of the unusual technique employed in their production, these wines have the ability to showcase an entirely different aspect of both the varieties in the blend and the terroir in which their roots are sunk.

What is Amarone Wine?

Amarone is a rich, expressive red wine from the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. Its full name is Amarone della Valpolicella, and it's produced from a blend of grapes including Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and (less commonly these days) Molinara. These are the same grapes that go into Valpolicella, the more traditionally produced red wine (harvest grapes, crush them, macerate the juice and skins, ferment the juice, etc.). However, for Amarone, those grapes are dried following harvest, and it's the raisinated fruit that gets pressed and fermented. This drying of the grapes concentrates the sugars and completely changes the balance of juice and skin. The combination of both means that there is more sugar for the yeast to ferment into alcohol, leading to more powerful wines. There is also more tannin, since the skins play a more significant role. Amarone, in fact, loosely translates to "big bitter."

Where Does Amarone Wine Come From?

Amarone comes from Valpolicella, which is in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. There are four main types of wine that are produced there: Valpolicella, which is made like most other red wines; Valpolicella Ripasso, for which red wine is then refermented with the dried skins of grapes that were crushed for Amarone, which lends Ripasso greater power and complexity than ordinary Valpolicella yet less assertive power than Amarone itself; Amarone; and Recioto della Valpolicella, a sweet wine from the region. Within the category of Amarone della Valpolicella, there are several distinctions, including Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (sometimes called Amarone Classico della Valpolicella) and Amarone della Valpolicella Superiore.

All Amarone wines are produced using the grape-drying technique, which is called appassimento in Italian. For an excellent expression of Valpolicella that's not Amarone, check out Le Ragose Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso, whose bright red cherry and black raspberry notes are anchored by leather, tobacco, cocoa powder, and dark woodsy spices.

Why Should You Drink Amarone Wine?

Amarone is a thoroughly unique wine not just in Italy, but in the entire world. Of course, there are other wines that are produced using the grape-drying or appassimento method, but Amarone brings together the unique characteristics of its various Valpolicella terroirs and the character of its main constituent grape varieties to result in a wine that is unlike any other. At its best, Amarone is just as nuanced as it is powerful.

Amarone is also a remarkably age-worthy wine. Not all examples are meant to be laid down in a cellar for decades, and shifting consumer preferences mean that there are plenty of bottles that can absolutely be enjoyed in the short term, but Amarone is still a category with a preponderance of producers whose best wines can continue improving for decades. Still, the world of Amarone has changed: A generation ago, many of them were difficult to enjoy in their youth, with overwhelming tannic structures that more or less required several years' of age before they became pleasurable. But that has changed today, and consumers can enjoy many Amarones at various stages throughout their evolution in the bottle, and even in their youth.

For fans of richer foods, Amarone is a fantastic option. With braised meats like oxtails and short ribs, Amarone is a great pairing partner. Smoked meats and barbecue across the range of regional styles often find a phenomenal partner in Amarone: It can frame spice rubs brilliantly, and won't likely be overwhelmed by sweeter or more tangy sauces. It also is a great choice for creamy and hard cheeses, as well as dessert, especially chocolate-based ones and even cheesecake. Amarone also tends to work well with fruit-based desserts, assuming they aren't too sweet.

Because of its higher alcohol content, Amarone is best enjoyed at slightly less than room temperature, but too much of a chill will make the tannins come to the fore in too assertive a manner and seem bitter. To that end, a large glass, like a Cabernet Sauvignon or big-bowled universal glass, is a good choice, the better to facilitate vigorous swirling, which will help soften up those tannins and allow the underlying characteristics to shine through.

What Does Amarone Taste Like?

Amarone is a rich wine with a prominent tannic structure. It often smells as if it will be sweet, with ripe black and red cherries, blackberries, dried figs, raisins, coffee notes, and chocolate, but the first sip tends to prove the opposite: For all of the ripe, generous fruit, Amarone is a dry wine, and the sweet assumptions from the nose often result in a riveting sense of tension when the first sip proves the opposite to be true. Amarone can also be aged for an extended period of time in barrels, and depending on the nature of the wood that they're composed of, and how old they are, sweet spices like vanilla and cinnamon may also be present, as well as chocolate, cocoa powder, and coffee.

There are countless great Amarone wines on the market today. These five producers, listed alphabetically, are a perfect way to start exploring all that Amarone has to offer.

Bertani

One of the more well-known names in the world of Amarone, Bertani produces Amarone, Valpolicella Ripasso, Recioto della Valpolicella, and more. Their 2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is remarkable: Powerful yet elegant, savory yet still with a maturing core of fruit, and boasting a long, harmonious finish. The palate here runs the gamut from dried figs and brambly berries to leather, olive pit, maduro cigar tobacco, and star anise, all of it haunted in the background by dried flowers.

Dal Forno Romano

Dal Forno is one of the legends of Amarone, an icon, and a producer of wines that have earned their place on top wine lists around the world. In vintages that aren't up to their exacting levels of excellence they just don't make an Amarone, and in the past 20 years they've chosen to skip 2005, 2007, and 2014. Their 2015 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta dramatically proves why this strategy is worth missing the occasional release: It's an unforgettable wine, complex and impossibly long, concentrated and impeccably balanced, and scented with tar, crushed flowers, and blackberry liqueur that pave the way for a palate that drips with blackberry liqueur, black cherries, candied violets, very high-cacao dark chocolate, espresso beans, Chinese five-spice powder, and dried figs. The finish shimmers with black licorice and leather and lingers for a full minute. Now or in two decades (or more, easily), this is a wine of astounding accomplishment.

Famiglia Pasqua

With roots stretching back nearly a century (it was founded in 1925), Pasqua is a thoroughly forward-thinking company, with a focus on not just the liquid inside the bottle but the aesthetics of the packaging itself. Their 2017 Amarone della Valpolicella is a silky, polished expression of Amarone, with kirsch-filled dark-chocolate ganache, cinnamon-dusted espresso, and dried black figs.

Masi

Masi produces one of the most familiar Amarone bottlings on the American market, the Costasera, but they also make the brooding-yet-expressive Vaio Armaron Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. It's grown on the Serego Alighieri estate, which was purchased in 1353 by Piero Alighieri, the son of Dante. The 2013 is outstanding, a dark-fruited wine that unfolds in layers of dried black figs, dark chocolate ganache, blackberries, licorice, and cafe mocha, all of it gently spiced with cinnamon and star anise.

Podere Poiana

The 2016 Amarone della Valpolicella is dense, deep, and rich, dramatic with raisins, sweet spices, melted chocolate ganache, rooibos, and Earl Grey tea flavors rolling through the long, dried-flower-flecked finish.

Tue, 04 Oct 2022 09:31:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/amarone-guide-basics-212703047.html
Killexams : 25 of the Best Amazon Basics Products You Can Get for Less During October Prime Day This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

We’ll let you in on a little secret: Even though you can get tons of incredible deals right now during Amazon’s October Prime Day event (including some great finds under $50), there’s another big way to save during this 48-hour sale, and that’s by checking out Amazon Basics.

The online retailer’s in-house brand is known for its affordable pricing as it is, but during Prime Day, you stand to save even more. You can shop for top-rated cookware and appliances, but that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, because the line also offers weighted blankets, storage solutions, pet supplies, and plenty of other budget-friendly household essentials.

If you’re looking to really stack up the savings this year, these Amazon Basics discounts are worth taking a closer look at. Below are 25 of the best that you still have time to scoop up before this event, which is exclusive to Prime members, and ends tonight at midnight.

Amazon Basics outlet against colorful background.

Save more on electronics and other essentials from this affordable line. / Amazon / Anna Blazhuk, Moment Collection, Getty Images (background)

1. Amazon Basics 3-Pack Travel Plug Adapters for $3 (Save $8)

2. Amazon Basics Nylon USB-A to Lightning Cable Cord for $9 (Save $4)

3. Amazon Basics Non-Stick 3-Piece Cookware Set for $34 (Save $6)

4. Amazon Basics Electronics Repair Screwdriver Set, Set of 32 Pieces for $15 (Save $5)

5. Amazon Basics Silicone, Non-Stick, Food Safe Baking Mats, Pack of 3 for $9 (Save $2)

6. Amazon Basics 14-Piece Kitchen Knife Block Set for $28 (Save $5)

7. Amazon Basics Steel Home Security Safe with Programmable Keypad for $102 (Save $18)

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10. Amazon Basics 8-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector for $13 (Save $5)

11. Amazon Basics Electric Glass and Steel Water Kettle for $24 (Save $4)

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14. Amazon Basics All-Season Cotton Weighted Blanket from $31 (Save up to $21)

15. Amazon Basics Vacuum Compression Storage Bags with Hand Pump, 12-Pack for $23 (Save $7)

16. Amazon Basics Single Pole Smart Switch for $14 (Save $4)

17. Amazon Basics Plush Dog Pet Bed Pad from $20 (Save up to $5)

18. Amazon Basics Fast Drying Terry Cotton Washcloths, Pack of 24 for $15 (Save $6)

19. Amazon Basics All-Purpose Wine Glasses, 19-Ounce, Set of 4 for $16 (Save $12)

20. Amazon Basics 6-Piece Nonstick, Carbon Steel Oven Bakeware Set for $26 (Save $17)

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This story has been updated to reflect current pricing.

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 00:21:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.mentalfloss.com/posts/amazon-basics-products-prime-day-deals
Killexams : Viognier — A Guide to the Basics

Viognier white wine grape

Nalidsa / Shutterstock

By the 1960s, aside from a handful of acres in the Northern Rhône, Viognier was teetering on the edge of vanishing. While it's certainly not nearly as widely planted as the most popular white grapes like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, it nonetheless has more than bounced back, finding homes in California, Virginia, Australia, and beyond. In its ancestral French home, Viognier has expanded its acreage in the Rhône Valley and even gained a foothold in points further west throughout Southern France.

What is Viognier Wine?

Viognier is a white wine produced from the grape variety of the same name. In the Northern Rhône, the grape won't typically appear on the label –– instead, the name of one of two appellations will be emblazoned: Condrieu, or Château-Grillet, the latter of which is comprised of a single producer of the same name. Viognier can be blended with the red grape Syrah in Côte-Rôtie. There, it is legally allowed to comprise up to 20% of any blend (though in reality it rarely reaches that high a percentage, because Syrah shows so brilliantly there).

Where Does Viognier Wine Come From?

Viognier has historically been most famously grown and produced in the Northern Rhône, where the appellations of Condrieu and Château-Grillet (which is also the name of the appellation's only producer) are its epicenters. Viognier also does well throughout other parts of Southern France.

Outside of France, Viognier thrives in the United States, most notably in Paso Robles and other parts of California, where a group of passionate producers called the Rhône Rangers (Bonny Doon, Kale, and many others) have helped it to shine. In Virginia, it has become one of the state's vinous calling cards along with Cabernet Franc. Don't discount Napa Valley Viognier, either: Darioush produced a stunning one in 2020, effusive with aromas of white peach and yellow plum that precede a palate that shimmers with flavors of honey-coated almond, mashed guava, fennel bulb, and the suggestion of lychee.

Viognier also thrives in Australia, particularly the Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley. According to the trade group Australian Wine, it was only first planted in the country in the 1970s, but in that relatively short period of time, it's become a respected part of the Australian wine firmament. You can also find it on the North Fork of Long Island; RGNY produced a terrific 2021 that shows the more crisp side of the variety, with lots of lemon-lime energy to the springtime flowers and nuts.

Why Should You Drink Viognier Wine?

Viognier is a deliciously aromatic grape variety that has the unique ability to smell like it should be sweet while still possessing the ability to be vinified into a delicious dry wine. As a result, it appeals to a wide range of wine drinkers, and often finds its way into the glasses of people who prefer more generous wines as well as those who shy away from overly creamy and thickly-textured whites.

Because Viognier can be produced in styles that range from lively to more creamy, producers can really craft it in a way that best expresses both the land in which it's grown, as well as their particular vision. It also takes well to oak, meaning that more viscous, creamy Viogniers often appeal to fans of rich Chardonnay, yet with a totally different aroma and flavor profile.

As such, Viognier is also very useful at the table: It can stand up to richer sauces without overwhelming lighter fish and poultry. It can be otherworldly with scallops, and it works with aromatically complex ingredients like ginger and lemongrass, as well. It also often has the ability to work with dishes that boast a bit of smokiness or spiciness — not too much, however, as foods that are dominated by smoke or spice heat run the risk of overpowering the most delicate aspects of Viognier. Plus, aside from a handful of important exceptions, top-quality Viognier can be found without requiring a fortune.

What Does Viognier Taste Like?

Viognier tends to show generous stone fruit; apricot, peach, white peach, and nectarine are common descriptors, though orange and citrus oil can also be discerned. There is also often a honeyed character to white wines made from Viognier, and this aspect is magnified in sweeter bottlings; late-harvest Viognier, for example, is often ambrosially rich. As Viognier ages — though its lower acidity means that finding older ones are relatively rare, as acid is one of the aspects of white wine that allows it to age — nutty notes like almonds may emerge. Alongside other grapes like Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, as in the J. Lohr  "Gesture" RVG , it sings on a palate-coating and savory note. Blended into red wines, as with the previously mentioned Côte-Rôtie, Viognier may lend lift to more savory Syrah.

Serving temperature is key when it comes to Viognier. Cooler bottles will be more lively and brightly fruity in character, whereas less-chilled ones will allow the flowers and honey to shine more brightly. Pouring a well-chilled bottle of Viognier into a glass and sipping it every few minutes as the temperature rises will afford you the opportunity to see firsthand how dramatically serving temperature affects this fascinating wine.

There are countless great Viognier wines on the market today. These five producers, listed alphabetically, are a perfect way to start exploring all that Viognier has to offer.

Barboursville Vineyards

From its home base in Virginia, this standout producer crafts a notable Reserve Viognier, which, unlike most with the "reserve" moniker, isn't produced with oak or malolactic fermentation. This means that the natural richness and texture of the fruit can shine with clarity and purity.

E. Guigal

The iconic Rhône producer crafts two of the most respected Viogniers in the region: a Condrieu, and Condrieu "La Doriane." Both are excellent, and the latter is generally more concentrated and age-worthy, though pricier. Still, both offer a classic expression of what makes Condrieu such an important and exciting appellation.

Pine Ridge Vineyards

Pine Ridge produces highly regarded Cabernet Sauvignon, which it's most well-known for, but their Chenin Blanc - Viognier blend is a classic in its own right. It brings together the acidity and verve of the former with the perfume and stone fruit of the latter, and the result is a wine that, vintage after vintage, serves as a delicious aperitif and accompaniment to a wide range of food.

Spicewood Vineyards

From the great producer Ron Yates, this Texas High Plains treat is a full-throttle Viognier with loads of lemon pith, lemon blossom, and spiced stone fruit, all of it carried on a frame of serious power and presence.

Tablas Creek Vineyard

One of the great producers of Rhône varieties in California, Tablas Creek excels with a range of reds and whites. Their estate-grown Viognier is crafted from biodynamically farmed fruit, and the result, year after year, is remarkable.

Tue, 20 Sep 2022 08:56:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/viognier-guide-basics-205332748.html
Killexams : Fijiana work on the basics

The Rooster Chicken Fijiana will “do the little things right” and trust that the processes will take of itself during the women’s Rugby World Cup, says backline coach Mosese Rauluni.

This is the first time our women will take part in the pinnacle of women’s rugby and it will also be the first time they play any of their pool opponents in England, France and South Africa – all ranked highly above us.

The players landed in Auckland, New Zealand on Sunday and hit the training paddock yesterday to get a feel of the conditions around them.

Rauluni, a former halfback with the Flying Fijians, said while the team’s hit-out against Canada last weekend showed areas they would need to Boost on before taking on the number one team in the world – England – it brought out a buzz within the players.

“I think playing against Canada, the world number three, gave us a bit of confidence to say the England girls are really human,” Rauluni said.

“And, you know, we we’ve just got to worry about ourselves and what we do – do the little things right, these little processes and everything.

“The girls are going to be working on that all, all weekend and into next week. And you know, England will be a tough task.”

Fiji will take on England on October 8 at the iconic Eden Park in what is the first-ever meeting between the teams.

Eight days later, Fijiana and South Africa face each other for the first time at the Waitakere Stadium in Auckland.

Fiji’s final pool game sees them play France for the first time at the Northland Events Centre in Whangarei, on Saturday, October 22.

Mon, 26 Sep 2022 13:11:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.fijitimes.com/fijiana-work-on-the-basics/
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