Saturday, June 23, 2007

And Here I Thought I'd Have Nothing To Look Forward To After The Simpsons Movie

You Know By Now That I Love Gadgets, But Anyone Who Buys This Needs a Court-Appointed Conservator

"The HydraCoach® is a breakthrough in personal hydration. It's the personal trainer for individuals who are attempting to gain the health benefits of consuming more water. Personal Hydration Calculator automatically calculates your daily Personal Hydration Goal, displays your average consumption per hour, monitors the amount you drink daily, displays the percentage of fluid consumed relative to your goal, and reinforces proper pacing to help you meet your goal and motivate you to achieve optimal hydration."

Jon Stewart Said It Best: Seven Days After You Watch This Video, You'll Die

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Triumph Poops On the Tony Awards

Some More Mac Programs I Like

In this blog I've suggested quite a few apps I like for the Mac. (Click here for some of them)

I thought I'd add a couple more I've come to love:

I've said it before, but it's worth saying again: the best video conversion software is Visual Hub. I love this program.

Aurora is small, simple and lets you use your Mac as an alarm clock, running any program and/or playlist you like.

Notebook and VoodooPad are indispensable note-taking programs. Journler is great, too. And for those who think visually, I am a huge fan of PersonalBrain, which is also a cool desktop.

Again, I've written about Connect360 before, but it's more timely than ever. If you can do without streaming iTunes protected content, Connect360 turns an Xbox360 into a great substitute for AppleTV.

Democracy and Vuze are my favorite video aggregators. I really want to like Joost, but they make it hard. The interface is kludgy and too cute by half, and why on Earth does it bombard you immediately upon launch with loud music you can't shut off easily? Hasn't anyone at Joost ever worked in an office?

Dragster simplifies moving files to your most often-used directories.

Media Central is a Front Row alternative that kicks ass.

Nocturne is an astonishingly simple solution to a vexing problem. You know how it's hard to see your screen when you're outdoors? Nocturne flips the screen into negative or "night vision" mode. Much easier.

And Popcopy, my favorite clipboard manager, also offers a simple, elegant program called Zazen. Its "Concentration Mode" lets you focus solely on the program you're working on, while blacking out all distractions. You can even select the opacity level of the blackout. Incredibly useful.

And old favorites like Onyx, 1Password, SuperDuper, PDFPen Pro, AppZapper, Radio365, Pandora, Pixadex, CandyBar, YouControl Desktops, TextExpander, ImageWell, Grand Perspective, Netflix Freak, Sofa Control, Amnesty Singles, Salling Clicker, DockStar, Audio Hijack, Quicksilver, Renamer4Mac, Scrivener, TrashIt! and Flock all deserve a mention. (Please forgive me for not hotlinking them all for you.)

And you can also always find more odds 'n' sods at the Tumblelog and in the column on the right hand side of this page.

If anyone has any more, please add them to the comments!

Angelina Jolie Needs Our Support. But Not For Herself.

Angelina Jolie has said the interview conditions offered to the press for the premiere weren't her idea, and that she wouldn't have done it. That a well-meaning someone had done it on her behalf. The attorney who came up with the contract has admitted as much and apologized.

Why are the pundits still hammering away as if she drafted the document herself? Because that's what they do.

Every major celebrity who does a big cover story has similar negotiations and restrictions. Why are the talking heads ignoring this? Because they know the public doesn't know it. Exploiting ignorance is, again, what they do.

Fox News is claiming that any attempt to exclude them from the premiere is somehow a violation of the First Amendment. They even have the gall to invoke "what Daniel Pearl died for." Like they even know what he died for.

A premiere is a party. It is a private event. The hosts can invite or not invite anyone they choose. Credentials are always granted selectively.

If you don't agree, then the next time O'Reilly or Hannity have a book party, call up and say you write for your human resources department newsletter and you demand an invitation. See how quickly they hang up on you.

So why are the Fox Hounds pretending that this is some kind of unconstitutional discrimination? It's the kind of thing they do.

But there's something I think is unreasonable even for them:

Doesn't Ms. Jolie have every right to decide who gets to interview her and under what circumstances?

I guarantee if she were not movie star Angelina Jolie -- if she were, say, super-hot administrative assistant Angelina Jolie -- she'd have much stricter rules about who gets to sit and chat with her. And she'd be flinging a lot of drinks in the faces of people who asked her questions she didn't want to answer.

The right to interview Angelina Jolie is not one of our basic freedoms. Her right to choose whom she talks to is more important than anyone's desire to exploit her fame.

Angelina Jolie's fame is the fruit of her life's work. Fox News thinks she should have no say in choosing who bites into that fruit. That's just not the way America works.

Ms. Jolie has chosen to use her fame to help the UNHCR ease the suffering of refugees around the world. She has given of herself, even though she didn't have to. That is the only way America works.

If you agree that she has the right to choose when and if she gives up a piece of herself -- or if you just want to feel better -- please take a moment to give to the UNHCR.

Every time pundits make Americans look petty and selfish, let's prove them wrong.

And if Fox News or the paparazzi want pictures of Angelina Jolie, here are some. On the house: