Condoleezza Rice: Playing Her Piano For Food (And Other Headaches)

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice played the piano at a gala during the 39th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Kuala Lumpur on July 27th, 2006. How the Mighty has fallen! From Savior of the Middle-East to being forced to play piano to get food for herself, all within just one week! Is there no end to the indignities poor Condi must suffer? Her hair looks totally FABULOUS, though!!

Also, our beloved Dr. Secretary finally has provided the definitive image of the success of our foreign policy? Somehow, I don’t think that’s the kind of image Condi or any of her friends in the Bush Administration really wanted to get out to the public. But… gee, when a gal’s gotta wince, a gal’s just gotta wince. Poor, poor Condi! Plus, all this fuss just can’t be any good at all for her hair and skin.

Well, I think that just a little touch-up with “Magic Cheese” will do absolute magic for her!! What is Magic Cheese?? Well, just in case some of you aren’t “in the know” about current high-fashion, MAGIC CHEESE is the latest fashion rage among very wealthy women in France, where they use it as a very “haute couture” skin cosmetic.

Free Digital Works: The Gutenberg Consortia Center

The Gutenberg Consortia Center, has been created to aid in the distribution and exchange of public domain eBook collections [as well as other copyrighted works for which they have received permission].The Gutenberg Consortia Center is designed for the collection and redistribution of eBooks that are public domain under the United States Copyright Laws. Gutenberg plans to open a Consortia Center for each of the major copyright terms throughout the world, starting with “Life +50 and Life +70.” This is of special interest for those studying in the classics, the history of ideas, or other related fields of history. The freely available materials are of special use for those wanting access to documents more related to antiquity, although the Consortia also makes available other important Central Intelligence Agency Documents, eBooks, eDocs and Arichival Movies.

The Consortia Center’s collections include: 21st Century, Action Adventure, Biography, Classics, Drama, Education, Elizabethans, Esoteric, Fiction, Folklore, Children’s, Gothic Tales, History, Liberal Arts, Mystery, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Political Science, Pulp Fiction, Religion, Renaissance Thinkers, Science, Science Fiction, Western, Europa, Eastern and Professional.

Access is Available at: The Gutenberg Consortia Center

Free On-Line Applications: Office Suites and Other Tools!!!


With so many free on-line applications being developed, it is quite useful to consider some of the primary elements of Office Suites currently available on the Web. Who, among the big or small companies, is currently providing the best examples? Here I describe some of the contenders for outstanding free, on-line collaborative Office tools.

ThinkFree

This office suite is one of my favorites!! ThinkFree is said by many to be the leader in next-generation of productivity solutions for platform independent, anytime, anywhere-computing. ThinkFree usability extends beyond PCs and is perfect for Internet-connected devices, including thin client and mobile computing platforms.

The award-winning ThinkFree Office is a Microsoft Office compatible application suite comprised of word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation graphics software-all usable online at absolutely no cost to you.

ThinkFree Office is automatically installed and upgraded over the Web and features integrated, Internet-based file sharing and storage as well as end-to-end security. Built for cross-platform functionality, ThinkFree Office is compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Unix and Linux systems.

It comes with a gigabyte of free online space and offers word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. ThinkFree takes a bit longer to load, but it has a large number of editing tools. Both the icons and toolbar emulate MS Office. An additional feature, which I especially like, allows you to publish your document (with pictures and links) as a post to your own blog.

Link To: THINKFREE

Open Office

Open Office is one of the most highly touted free office applications. OpenOffice.org is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. It is compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use and distribute to others.

Link To: OPEN OFFICE

Zoho Writer

This is another of my favorite free on-line word processors!! You can access, edit and share documents from anywhere. Documents can be created, edited and re-formatted using their WYSIWYG editor; this word processor also provides for collaborative editing of documents, multiple users can work on a document simultaneously
Load your existing documents

With Zoho Writer, you can import Microsoft Word (DOC), Open Office text (ODT & SXW), HTML, RTF, JPG, GIF & PNG files, and generate PDF/DOC/ODT. You can also export documents created in Zoho Writer as PDF, DOC, ODT, SXW, RTF, HTML & text files

Again, one of my favorite features is that with Zoho Writer, you can directly post documents (with images, pictures and links) directly to your blogs (including WordPress, Blogger, TypePad and Live Journal).

Link To: ZOHO WRITER

Zoho Show

Zoho Show allows you to access, import, and edit presentations from anywhere. You can Load your existing presentations, the application can import Microsoft PowerPoint(.ppt, .pps) or OpenOffice Presentation(.sxi).

You can build and edit presentations on-the-fly using WYSIWYG editor. You can use Zoho Show for remote presentations. Zoho Show helps giving remote presentations with complete control for the presenter. The presenter can see the participants in the presentation. It has Flickr integration allowing you to pull publicly shared images from your Flickr account into your presentation.

Zoho Show is ideal for sales persons, business owners, teachers, students, freelancers … and for just anybody else who wants to create presentations online.

Link To: ZOHO SHOW

Zoho Sheet

Zoho Sheet is an on-line spreadsheet, which allows for: number formatting, sorting and the insertion of comments. With Zoho Sheet, you can import and export Excel files and share sheets with multiple people to view or edit the same spreadsheet.

It supports more than 300 functions. You can create bar/line/pie 2D/3D charts and publish the charts in your websites/blogs.

Link To: ZOHO SHEET

Zoho Polls

Want to decide on something? Use Zoho Polls to narrow down your choices and get opinion from others. As with all the applications listed here, it is 100% free!!

Link To: ZOHO POLLS

ajaxWrite

ajaxWrite is a web-based word processor that can read and write Microsoft Word and other standard document formats. Anytime you need to open, read or write a word processor file, simply point your Firefox browser to http://www.ajaxwrite.com and in seconds a full-featured program will be available for you to open, edit, print and save.

ajaxWrite has been designed to look like Microsoft Word, making it easy for anyone to start using it without needing to learn a new program. ajaxWrite also handles all the popular document formats, so it is easy to share your files and collaborate with your co-workers and friends. Once finished with your document, you can easily save your work right to your hard drive. This keeps you organized and works in the same way that you are already accustomed to.

ajaxWrite works from a Firefox web browser on any operating system and on any device, no matter where you are or what computer you are using. In addition, because the application itself lives on the web, we handle the updates automatically so that you don’t have to deal with costly upgrades or being stuck with old versions.

Link To: ajaxWrite

Eyespot

Bloggers are remixing videos by several emerging bands, and then posting the mash-ups online at Eyespot to share with the world. What makes this site different from others is that here the art form is legal.

Link To: EYESPOT

ajaxTunes

ajaxTunes is a web-based music player that lets you play high-quality streaming music straight from the Internet on any computer. It gives you all the basic controls (pause, fast-forward, rewind, selecting play list or artists) in a mini layout that won’t clog up your desktop.

Try ajaxTunes immediately, it has been preloaded with a demo account containing songs from more than 25 artists. You can also create your own locker, add your own music collection and choose from over 40,000 songs to add to your personal play lists.

Link To : ajaxTUNES

ajaxXLS

ajaxXLS Viewer is a web-based spreadsheet viewer that allows you to easily open any .xls file within your Firefox browser. Compatibility with Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice allows ajaxXLS to preserve all your common cell formatting categories such as text styles, decimals, currencies, dates, and times as well as formulas, backgrounds and borders from the original documents.

The ajaxXLS web-based editor is still in the early stages of development. With it, you can write, edit and save standard spreadsheet files to your local machine. If you would like to try the sneak peak pre-release version of the ajaxXLS editor, please visit the link below.

Link To: ajaxXLS

gOffice: Web Office Suite

gOFFICE is a free online application offers desktop publishing and word processing, and spreadsheet applications

GOFFICE makes extensive use of XML, which makes it easier to define and transfer data between applications. This turned out to be important for gOFFICE’s feature to convert a document into a PDF file.

Link To: gOFFICE

iRows

iRows provides easy data management. You can edit, compute, chart, sort, dynamic web data and more. Display your spreadsheet on any web site, change it here, and all sites change automatically.

Link To: iROWS

PDF Online

As a web based service, PDF Online allows you to quickly generate PDF documents from your PC, Mac, or Linux, from your home, your office or anywhere in the world.

Link To: PDF ONLINE

Thumbstacks

With Thumbstacks.com, you can make presentations, like slideshows, or outlines, right in your web browser. When you are done, you can share your presentations with anyone, anywhere, just by sending them a link.

Link To: THUMBSTACKS

Empressr

Empressr is the first Ajax/Flash-based web application that lets you create, share and store presentations online. It goes beyond current presentation applications by enabling you to incorporate rich media features, like streaming video and animation, to create and share the most dynamic presentations possible. With Empressr, all you need is a web browser to easily: create rich media presentations, share them with a client or team members, and store/access them at any time from any computer.

Link To: EMPRESSR

Zooomr

A step ahead of Flickr!! With Zooomr, photos are no longer just photos, they are emotions, ideas, and stories meant to be shared and explored. Zooomr helps you share them with the world. Here’s how: you can show your favorite photos to the entire world in anyone’s language, actually put your photos on the map, add sound to your photos.

Link To: ZOOOMR

Virtual Earth Interactive SKD

Virtual Earth is an on-line application that is similar to Google Earth, but MUCH, MUCH BETTER!!! Try it, and you’ll see just what I mean !!

Link To: VIRTUAL EARTH INTERACTIVE SKD

And Finally, SeaMonkey!!

SeaMonkey, another Mozilla project, combines the search capabilities of Firefox with the email functions of Thunderbird. A wonderful browser!!!

Link To: SEAMONKEY

Buckley: Iraq War a Failure and President Bush Isn’t A True Conservative

President Bush ran for office as a “compassionate conservative.” He continues to cultivate his conservative base, even issuing his first veto this week against embryonic stem cell research. However, of late his foreign policy has come under fire from some conservatives, including from the father of modern conservatism, William F. Buckley. Andrew Sullivan recently has stated that, ” the failure is as much intellectual as political. Today’s Republicans have abandoned limited government conservatism, fiscal prudence and foreign policy pragmatism for a form of fundamentalist, spendthrift authoritarianism at home and utter recklessness abroad. It will take a very long time before this country – and conservatism as a political tradition – recover.”

Also, Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele’s Republican Senate campaign acknowledged yesterday that he was the anonymous candidate quoted by a Washington Post political reporter as saying that being a Republican was like wearing a “scarlet letter” and that he did not want President Bush to campaign for him this fall. The campaign made the disclosure after a day of speculation in the blogosphere and among political reporters about which Republican Senate candidate had made the disparaging remarks reported by Dana Milbank in the Washington Sketch column in yesterday’s Post. Steele criticized the Iraq war effort and Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina and said congressional Republicans have “lost our way,” according to Milbank’s report. Asked whether he would invite Bush to campaign for him, he replied, considering Bush’s low approval rating in Maryland, “to be honest with you, probably not.”

CBS news anchor Thalia Assuras recently sat down for an interview with Buckley about his disagreements with President Bush, a discussion that is also presented on video:

“He’s practically always with me,” Buckley says.

Buckley finds himself parting ways with President Bush, whom he praises as a decisive leader but admonishes for having strayed from true conservative principles in his foreign policy.

In particular, Buckley views the three-and-a-half-year Iraq War as a failure.

“If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we’ve experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign,” Buckley says.

Asked if the Bush administration has been distracted by Iraq, Buckley says “I think it has been engulfed by Iraq, by which I mean no other subject interests anybody other than Iraq… The continued tumult in Iraq has overwhelmed what perspectives one might otherwise have entertained with respect to, well, other parts of the Middle East with respect to Iran in particular.”Despite evidence that Iran is supplying weapons and expertise to Hezbollah in the conflict with Israel, Buckley rejects neo-conservatives who favor a more interventionist foreign policy, including a pre-emptive air strike against Iran and its nuclear facilities.

“If we find there is a warhead there that is poised, the range of it is tested, then we have no alternative. But pending that, we have to ask ourselves, ‘What would the Iranian population do?’”

Buckley does support the administration’s approach to the North Korea’s nuclear weapons threat, believing that working with Russia, China, Japan and South Korea is the best way to get Pyongyang back to the negotiating table. But that’s about where the agreement ends.

“Has Mr. Bush found himself in any different circumstances than any of the other presidents you’ve known in terms of these crises?” Assuras asks:

“I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress,” Buckley says. “And in respect of foreign policy, incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge. “Asked what President Bush’s foreign policy legacy will be to his successor, Buckley says “There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush. I don’t believe his successor would re-enunciate the words he used in his second inaugural address because they were too ambitious. So therefore I think his legacy is indecipherable”

At 81, Mr. Buckley still continues to contribute a regular column to The National Review, the magazine he founded 51 years ago.

Reported By Thalia Assuras For:
CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Internet Filmmakers Creating a Frenzy in Hollywood

Hollywood “Clicks” on the Works of Internet Filmmakers

Even when David Lehre’s “MySpace: The Movie,” an 11-minute parody of the “uber-popular” social-networking website, triggered a high-profile feeding frenzy, some of the Hollywood agents, managers and lawyers who were clamoring to represent him knew hardly anything about who he was, what he did or even what they would do if they managed to land him. But they wanted him anyway.

 

An article by John Clark in the New York Times reported that David Lehre’s manager observed:

“It’s their fear of not being a part of it,” said Scott Vener, Mr. Lehre’s manager, who first discovered him on the video-sharing Web site YouTube, where “MySpace” became an Internet phenomenon.

Their fears were justified in at least one respect. Calls about Mr. Lehre didn’t start really rolling in to Mr. Vener’s office in Beverly Hills until reports about “MySpace: The Movie” hand already begun to appear in the Mainstream Media, and talent agents don’t get rich chasing artists who are already being widely celebrated. If Mr. Lehre’s story proves to be a omen of things to come, agents will have to become highly internet literate, or else hire people who are.

Some people say that the film industry has more to fear than just being late to the party. As the internet begins generating films (as it already has), and is no longer limited to serving in its traditional role of simply marketing or delivering them, the major motion picture studios’ grip on the business of putting pictures on screens may be challenged. “MySpace: The Movie” debuted on YouTube on Jan. 31; since that time it has had millions of hits (now, more than 7,000,000), enough viewers to rival big-budget films or TV shows. This development and distribution process makes even independent films, with their retinue of maxed-out credit cards and frenzied film festivals, look positively mainstream in comparison.

Recently, Carson Daly Productions signed Brooke Brodack, a 20-year-old receptionist who lives in Massachusetts, to a production deal after her video diaries, comic shorts and music parodies attracted a wide following on YouTube. Mike Rizzo, an agent with International Creative Management (ICM), which represents Mr. Lehre, said that even established comedians are taking a hard look now at what’s available on the internet.

In addition to a television contract, Mr. Lehre has a film deal in the works with Fox , Mr. Vener said. What makes the internet so attractive as a creative medium for new filmmakers is that there are no gatekeepers, managers, agents, studio executives, or film-festival programmers to get past. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has already purchased MySpace in order to get in on the action, and other media businesses are aligning themselves with popular websites.

This recent development in the increased popularity of internet filmakers parallels the current success of bloggers having their writings published as books, which have gone on to achieve notable popularity within the general reading public. One outstanding example of this is Glenn Reynold’s book, An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower the Little Guy to beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths. Mr. Reynold, who is a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, is the blogger responsible for one of the internet’s most popular, widely-read blogs, InstaPundit.com.

Link to the original YouTube version: MySpace: The Movie

Link to a clearer version on Lehre’s website: MySpace: The Movie

 

The Official 2006 Et Cetera David Lehre Movie Festival

 

 

Link To A New Film (Spoof on HBO’s Entourage): Vendetta Entourage

Link To: MySpace: The Movie

Link To : The Happy Chef

Link To: Punk’d: Enrique

Link To: Sergei Poenncheski: Olympic Training Instructor

Link To: Cruel Streets

Link To: Cyborg Zombies

Link To: The Matrix Scrubber

Link To: Disease Island

TV Interview With Lehre (Not A Shy Guy): TV Interview with Lehre

The BBC: They’ve Got Their Eyes On You !!!

 

The BBC Turns To Surveillance of Bloggers

It’s become a a hackneyed observation to simply note that new technology has forever deeply changed Mainstream Media, including television. In terms of television programmers, in one way the biggest change is how much closer those who arrange program scheduling and content are to their audiences. For example, at the BBC, if a viewer emails a program editor during the program the chances are that the programmer will read the email almost instantly. Now, however, there is a new twist to the viewer–media communication arrangement. As a posting on the BBC website announced:

…Communication from you to us is not new. What I think is new is that we can now know what you are talking about and interested in without you ever telling us. Sounds sinister but it’s not really. It takes seconds on a site like Technorati to discover what people are talking about and searching for. This has begun to make an impact on the programme.

Blogger-Stalking???

BLOG IT FORWARD: The Silence In The City

Blog It Forward

What’s this all about? Just choose a website/blog (or two or three) that you expecially like and post an article on your own site about why you feel that they are noteworthy. Why do you like them? Why are they given that special place of prominence in your thinking about bloggers? Are they funny? Are they wise? Do they provide you with valuable internet resources? Are they just too “good looking” for people to pass by? Take a little time to let your friends and other people know about them!!!At the same time, you could send a note to the author(s) whose site(s) you enjoy, letting him/her know that you’ve shared their site with others.It just just might “make their day” to see their name in the spotlight! Remember, by doing this you can help to extend friendly feelings on the internet, and in these times there can never be too much love amongst bloggers here in the cyberworld.

Please read and pass along to your friends my own Blog It Forward of the Day: The Silence In The City

This is an absolutely wonderful “undiscovered gem” in the world of blogs. The Silence in the City publishes oustanding literary works, by authors who are generally unknown to readers. Nevertheless, as just pointed out the stories, articles and poems are extremely enjoyable, valuable literary compositions. Read and enjoy!!!

So what is this blog all about in particular? Well, it’s managed by a collective of creative people, all of whom have had their work rejected by The New Yorker, specifically the Talk of the Town section. The site is dedicated to publishing works by other authors that have been rejected, deemed “not up to snuff” by the editor(s) of Talk of the Town. The people who have joined together for this collective venture describe themselves as:

…a small group of writers and designers who are long-time subscribers to the New Yorker. When the magazine arrives at our doorstep each week, we read the Talk of the Town section first — and not just because it is in the front. It is also because we adore the section’s tone, subjects, and treatment. We adore them so much our spouses have started to worry and we’ve even submitted pieces to the TOTT. Silence of the City is a site dedicated to publishing stories once rejected by the Talk of the Town. From there, well, it’s just a short jog to the Talk of the Town. Think of SOTC as an extension of TOTT, just with a different acronym and much less famous writers. The journalist Carl Bernstein (Garfunkel to Woodward’s Simon), recently said: ” The wisdom of the ages cries out for silence.” We say: Amen.

A recent article by Dan Schulman in The Village Voice described an interview with one of the founders:

Rejection, of course, is simply a rite of passage for most writers. For Mac Montandon, though, it formed the seed of an idea. Since there was no shortage of writers like him who’d tried and failed to make The New Yorker’s pages, he figured there was an abundance of unpublished Talk stories lying around New York City. About a year ago he set out to provide a home for the orphan submissions, quietly launching silenceofthecity.com, where he resurrects the unpublished contributions of Talk of the Town rejectees. Montandon insists the site is every bit a tribute to The New Yorker, not a parody of it. It maintains the look and feel of the magazine’s signature section down to the font and, in the top left corner, the profile of Eustace Tilly, the aristocratic fellow who appeared on the cover of The New Yorker’s first issue in February 1925 (and on many others since). On Silence, however, Tilly trades his monocle for an eye patch to reinforce the theme of the site—work that under other circumstances wouldn’t have seen the light of day.

I deeply hope that you’ll visit Silence in the City, enjoy the authors’ works there and Blog It Forward to Others !!!

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