Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Idiot-Proofing PCs

You know I never thought I'd hope for Spring Break to pass by faster. I think seeing the people I'm dying to see is starting to outweigh the work I don't want to do. Oh well, at least I've learned some fun new songs on guitar that I know someone will love. Anyway, enough of indulging in myself: let's talk about idiot-proofing. Crunchgear wrote a bit about how to make your parents' computer more, well, parent-friendly! While the article has its heart in the right place, I think it's a little too naive. I think there's still more hand-holding involved than he implies. While Gmail is fairly intuitive, you're still going to have to endure calls at random hours of the day if you don't spend enough time walking them through the core features. Same with Skype and e-mail clients and such. I do like the tip about getting a new computer though, because it will cut a lot of your big problems down. It's a wonder that there's not more software to make remotely supporting a machine more doable. For example, I have a firewall on my parents' computer, but it often frustrates them. I wish I could remotely tell it which applications to allow and such. I mean yeah, there's that stupid remote desktop thing in Windows that's only used in offices, but there needs to be something that works more readily and the consumer-level. That would be truly idiot-proofing it: a help key on their keyboard that would let you easily remotely access their computer. Anyway, that's just my late night idea. By the way, I don't like the idea of that presto printer unless you can afford the ink it would take to print pictures like that!

How could I possibly pass up a blurb with a Microsoft executive claiming that piracy is actually good for Microsoft despite their public stand against it? In my opinion, you're always going to have to accept certain losses to piracy and make up for the rest of the losses by price targeting those segments more carefully (hence the deals that college students usually get on pricey software).

Click to enlargeYep, that's a pretty big iPhone ad alright. I'm almost a little surprised that they'd be doing this over two months in advance of the anticipated release, but I guess that marketing is everything with a product like this. In case you can't tell, that's at the new store in New York City.

I definitely think that this is a must-read, because it tells you how to surf the web without getting tracked. Maybe I've just become a privacy whistle-blower nowadays, but I think being able to surf the web without a trace is a pretty powerful thing. I decided to install Tor myself.

Everyone likes pictures! You get get a whole crapload of stock pictures over here that are largely available under the popular Creative Commons license. I've just blown some time totally browsing the tags randomly and it's a lot of fun.

Real quick: SanDisk is launching 32 GB solid-state drives, which fall under the flash category of memory. Does this mean we're going to see a new Sansa soon? I don't think this hard drive would be very inexpensive though.

So my cousin tonight said that Grind House looks stupid, and I'm sorry but I could not help but scoff at that. I usually am not a movie snob in real life, honest. But this movie is going to be so fun and I'll be so pissed if it does bad because people can't appreciate it. Anyway, the point is that Yahoo Movies has a nifty little interview with the directors to check out. Oh, and Robert Rodriguez is planning a spinoff based on one of the fake trailers (the machete one) that would be direct to video. Does he really think he can make enough money off of it? I guess he's doing it just for fun, which you can afford to do when you're freaking Robert Rodriguez.

There's some new pictures and posters from Lonely Hearts online that are actually worth checking out. Maybe I'm just a sucker for John Travolta and Salma Hayek, but I do want to see this movie.

Quint at AICN got to see the trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and enjoyed it, and then saw some footage from Ratatouille and loved that, so if you're bored you may want to read all his impressions. All that matters to me is that Brad Bird is trying to not disappoint us with his sophomore effort, and I did love the teaser we got a long while back for this one.

Lastly, IGN has some promising clips from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which not only features beautiful CG but also some Jet! Yeah, I think I should definitely be looking forward to this flick.

I think I want to do the Ten on Tuesday this week, though it's very difficult and the order is even harder:

10 Favorite Albums
Honorable Mention: Be - Common (I couldn't decide whether I liked it more than the Kill Bill soundtracks or not)
10. Kill Bill Soundtracks
9. Revelations - Audioslave
8. Shine On - Jet
7. More Adventurous - Rilo Kiley
6. Morning View - Incubus
5. Things Fall Apart - The Roots
4. Black Star - Black Star
3. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - Lauryn Hill
2. By The Way - Red Hot Chili Peppers
1. X & Y - Coldplay

This list definitely doesn't cover all my favorite artists, and note that I did not count greatest hits CDs because those aren't albums!

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