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Portable espresso machine adds high-tech buzz to coffee

by JOY SCHWABACH | July 17, 2021 at 1:52 a.m.

The caffeine in a cup of coffee could blast me to the moon and back. I prefer tea. But when Kflow sent me a portable espresso machine, I had to try it out. High-tech coffee.

All you do is add water and espresso grounds and push a button. The Portable Coffee Maker makes coffee in 30 seconds. It has 15 bars of pump pressure; the standard is nine. The more bars, the better, they say. I'm no connoisseur, but it tasted great in a latte.

The model I received doesn't heat the water. But you don't need to heat it to brew a cup. I added 10 ounces of hot soy milk, maple syrup and cinnamon to my blender, churning till it was foamy. Then I added my shot of espresso. Yum. A few sips, and I was wired for the day.

The Kflow Portable Espresso Maker, available on Amazon, is about the size of a thermos. Once it's fully charged with a USB cable -- which takes two hours -- you can make 30 to 50 shots of espresso before having to plug in again. This thing could go anywhere. It weighs only 1.65 pounds. Take it on a camping trip, get your water from a stream, and rocket through the day.

TEXT TRICKS

A reader wanted to know how to delete bunches of text messages on his iPhone. Here's how:

First, open the iPhone messages app and tap "Edit" in the upper left corner. Select as many messages as you wish to delete. Choose "Delete" in the lower right corner.

On an Android phone, open the Messages app. Long-press on any message. That will put a blue check mark next to it. Now you can tap on as many other messages as you wish to delete, and they will all go into the trash when you tap the little picture of a trash can.

LAWYER APPEARS AS A CAT

Did you hear about the lawyer who went before a judge in a Zoom call with the face of a cat? The cat's lips moved like a human's and the lawyer's voice came out. He couldn't figure out how to disable it.

Unbeknownst to him, someone had installed Snapchat's Snap Camera. When I used it, I saw myself with jazzy sunglasses, a face shrunk to the size of a grapefruit, and a child's face, among hundreds of others. You can download it from Snapcamera.Snapchat.com.

To enable your new Snap Camera face in Zoom, start by opening the Zoom app in Windows or on a Mac. Once you're in Zoom, click on your profile picture and choose "Settings." Now click "Video." You can change your camera to "Snap Camera" by clicking the arrow next to your camera's name. And while you're in video settings, consider turning on "touch up my appearance," and "adjust for low light." Wow, the touch-up tool makes a big difference.

Snap Camera also works in other apps. In Skype, click the three vertical dots to go to "Settings." Now go to "Audio & Video" and change the camera to the Snap Camera. In Google Meet, go to Meet.Google.com and click the gear icon. Then click "Video" and change the camera.

ANDROID ON YOUR COMPUTER

Word Chums is my favorite game on a phone, but sometimes I wish I had a bigger screen. Now I can play it on my computer with a free app called BlueStacks. It brings Android apps to PCs and Macs.

After you download it, sign in to your Google account. You'll see the Google Play store, which has 2.8 million apps to choose from. This might be a handy way to make it look like you're still working. Though the Word Chums game doesn't fill the whole computer screen, it's a lot bigger than it is on a phone.

Curious iPhone owners might also enjoy exploring the Google Play store on a PC or Mac. The Apple App store has "only" 2.2 million apps -- 600,000 fewer than Android.

THE END OF WINDOWS 8?

A reader writes: "My wife's Lenovo ThinkPad has Windows 8, which works great. I tried to load Windows 10. It went all the way through the program, but wouldn't load on startup. Got some error codes. Then it went back to Windows 8. Any clues how to get this loaded? She just uses it for her checkbook and internet stuff. They keep warning her they won't support Windows 8."

According to Microsoft, you can safely use Windows 8 through 2023 as long as you have Windows updates turned on. But if you want to try the Windows 10 upgrade, there are several things to do first: Remove any flash drives or other devices you may have plugged in. Turn off your antivirus, using only Windows Defender. Update Windows. Uninstall nonessential software. Free up disk space. For more information, search on "Get help with Windows 10 upgrade" and click on the Microsoft support link.

To get the free version of Windows 10, search on "How you can still get Windows 10 for free." Click the link that starts with answers.microsoft.com.

INTERNUT

"How to stop strangers from listening in on your Alexa chats." Search on that phrase for an article from Mashable with full instructions.

Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at joy.schwabach@gmail.com.

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