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Now in our sixth calendar year
PCR #280  (Vol. 6, No. 31)  This edition is for the week of August 1--7, 2005.

"The Dukes of Hazzard"
 by Mike Smith
In Theaters Now: "Land of the Dead", "The Devil's Rejects"....Coming Soon
 by Drew Reiber
Get Current With Bored White Kids....Cluttered Desktop Begone!...Fall TV Sneak Preview
 by Vinnie Blesi
Northeast High School (NEHI) Class of 1985 Reunion....'90s-Bashing Part 1,006: "Whatever" Boxed CD Set....Newsflash!
 by Andy Lalino
"Sky High"
 by John Lewis
Raffy....27%....See This Movie Now!...Happy Birthday....Passing On....One Man's Trash....Jaws: The Story, Part 28
 by Mike Smith
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Couch Potato Confessions by Vinnie B.

Get Current with Bored White Kids
After months of preparation, Al Gore’s “Current TV”, launched on August 1st, replacing the Canadian channel, “Newsworld International”. Aimed at the 18-30 crowd, “Current TV” serves up bite sized stories, called Pod’s (hopefully not named after “The Invasion of the Body Snatcher”), in a format trying to reproduce the Internet (with a loading status bar at the bottom of the screen) while addressing the attention deficit of America’s future leaders. Speaking of Pods, the channel’s hosts are the whitest young people they could find in America, sans one African-American Female. The channel fails miserably at showing the ethnic diversity of today’s youth, and seems to be liberal TV for bored white kids.

The news Pods themselves while interesting, lack any back-story or differing opinions, and this is where the channel fails again. They also try to promote the so 2000 concept of Interactive TV, inviting you to send in your story on video. I believe MTV already tried this concept before deciding that what today’s youth really wants is washed up celebrities living together and reality TV (now there’s an oxymoron). Every half hour they show the top searches on Google. How exciting, I’ll been tuning into that one!

The thing that bothered me the most is that mixed with the real advertisements were short pieces disguising themselves as Pod’s which turn out to be commercials for rock bands or tennis shoes. This kind of viral marketing reminds me of Max Headroom’s blipverts. Hopefully the heads of today’s youth don’t explode after watching them.

While I would love to see some real Liberal TV programming (please don’t write in, CNN is not liberal) like Mother Jones (Google it) TV, this channel from the man who invited the Internet fails to provide any depth of reporting or diversity of culture. www.current.tv

Cluttered Desktop Begone!
Recently I got tired of my Window’s desktop’s clutter of icons and the frustrating search for programs. So I went in search of programs to clean up my desktop and improve my productivity. Note: the use of any of the following computer programs should be considered by advanced users only who know how to backup their data and restore their operating system. Use at your own risk.

The first program tried was Desktop Sidebar. While a cool looking sidebar, it proved unstable on my computer system, and did not adequately address my problem on navigating my programs.

Next, I tried Stardock’s ObjectDock, which transforms your desktop into something similar to Mac OS10. While it was cool to watch the icon special effects, this program still did not provide me the functionality I was looking for and again was unstable. Stardock also makes the popular program, Windowblinds, a Windows skinning program that has crashed my computer every time I have tried to use it. While extremely cool, I would not recommend it.

Finally, I settled on two programs that have so far proved useful and have been running stable on my computer for over a week now. For program functionality, I choose, jetToolBar, which provides a tabbed category interface (see screenshot) and that can be docked on any side of the screen or left floating on the desktop. The toolbar has default categories or you can create your own and drag and drop your icon shortcuts into the proper category. You can also autohide the toolbar so it only appears when you drag the mouse over it.

Not wanting a completely empty desktop I also choose The Konfabulator, which displays desktop widgets which may or may not be useful depending on your outlook. I have the moon phases widget (called Werewolf monitor), a clock, a calendar, cpu monitor, and local weather currently on my desktop.

Best of all both of these programs are free to use and contain no spyware or adware (to the best of my knowledge).

Finally for cool wallpaper the best source I have found is www.wincustomize.com, which features cool digital wallpaper creations as well as skins for many different applications.

Fall TV Sneak Preview
Look for the return to network TV of Doogie Howser and the Fonz! Stayed tuned…..

"Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2005 by Vinnie B.  Couch Potato main graphic by Vin Blesi and Nolan Canova.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.