From the Desk of David Pogue
Five Fun Little Gadgets
I do a lot of stuff for The Times: a weekly print column, this weekly e-column, a daily blog, a weekly audio podcast and a weekly video. As a result, I can never blame people who get these various efforts confused ("I got your podcast in my e-mail today!"), or who have no idea that the videos, for example, even exist.
Anyway, my video last week profiled five fun little gadgets that were too trivial to write about in my columns, but seemed telegenic enough to show off on camera. Each would make a great stocking stuffer; each solves a minor technology problem in an ingenious way.
Here, for anyone who missed it, is a recap of the handy little inventions I featured in last week's video.
DiscEraser (disceraser.com, $13). This tiny plastic tool quickly and easily gouges nasty quarter-inch-wide tracks in the back of a CD or DVD that you want to throw away, rendering it completely unreadable by anyone else. It's a good safeguard before you throw away any disc that contains personal data.
It's a heck of a lot safer and cleaner than breaking the disc (which results in nasty plastic splinter shards). It's also much cheaper and less messy than a disc shredder. And it's kind of fun to use. http://disceraser.com/
Matthew Yglesias is an Associate Editor of The Atlantic Monthly. His first book, with the working title Heads in the Sand: Iraq and the Strange Death of Liberal Internationalism, scheduled to be published next spring by John Wiley and co., deals with the Democratic Party's struggle to find a post-9/11 foreign policy, focusing primarily on the rise and (hopefully) fall of the liberal hawk movement.
Previously, he was a staff writer at The American Prospect and an Associate Editor at TPM Media, where he contributed to the group blogs Tapped and TPMCafe. His main blog, now at The Atlantic, has existed in various forms since the dark ages of the blogosphere in January 2002.
His writing has appeared in The Guardian, Slate, The New Republic, The Washington Monthly and he is a regular on BloggingHeads.tv and makes the occasional radio or television appearance.
Desperately out of touch with the American mainstream, Yglesias was born and raised in Manhattan and studied philosophy at Harvard where he was editor in chief of The Harvard Independent, a campus alternative weekly. http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/
An innovative and progressive news blog
Due to the tragic results of an American foreign policy driven by economic interests, a new reality has been shaped for Americans in the new millennium. For the first time in generations, we are experiencing a set of truths which had all but faded through years of isolation and global dominance. We have come to the realization that America does not exist in a bubble, and that its politics are world politics. To simply analyze domestic issues without considering their global affect, as many blogs and news organizations do, is to promote an outdated, naïve, and myopic view of our global reality.
We encourage our readers to identify themselves within this global context rather than an outdated and shielded nationalistic view which has stifled progress at home and abroad. In this light, The Largest Minority is about relationships: domestic and international, capitalistic and democratic, political and environmental, secure and free, individual and societal, etc.
We support global resistance over domestic obedience, and transformative revolution over toothless reform. We believe that the importance of upholding human rights and the protection of the environment supersedes politics and economics. A more unified and confrontational approach needs to be adopted. And lastly, we believe in the advancement of the arts as not only a channel for communication, but as the adhesive which binds humanity.
As our current governing system is a machine reliant upon the exploitation and fear of its parts, it will eventually destroy itself. Therefore, we don’t find it as necessary to cause its downfall, as much as we find it necessary to contribute to the rise of its successor. An educated populace has always been the greatest opposition to unchallenged despotism, and in that regard, we strive to distribute power through the dispersion of information. http://www.jwharrison.com/blog/
What is Ustream?
Ustream is a platform that provides live interactive video for everyone. Anyone with a camera and an Internet connection can use Ustream to broadcast to a global audience.