I've posted a couple of videos (most notably here) about the legendary -- but little-seen -- Broadway star Alfred Drake. He was the original star in such shows as Oklahoma!, Kiss Me Kate, and Kismet, but made very few movie and TV appearances.
One of those few TV appearances was, happily, a trimmed down production in 1958 of Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate, for which Drake recreated his starring role along with his original co-star Patricia Morison. Not much of that TV show remains, though I did post a clip here of him singing his first big solo as Petruchio, "I've Come to Wive It Wealthily in Padua."
Here's another song from that classic TV show. It's the wonderful, and famous duet with Ms. Morison, singing backstage about the mythical mountaintop that looks down on the Jungfrau (a nifty trick -- and joke -- considering that the Jungfrau is the highest point in Switzerland...), the intentionally-hammy, mock-Viennese waltz, "Wunderbar."
I should note that Patricia Morison is still around -- and just four months ago, in March...celebrated her 100th birthday!
If you pay attention to such things -- or even if you don't -- you may have read or heard on the news (NPR ran a report) of one particular "fear" concerning a new feature of Windows 10, which has otherwise been getting glowing reviews. The FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) being spread is that under the WiFi Sense feature, there is an option turned on by default that allows sharing of your network access point.
The horror being discussed is how supposedly dangerous this is, making everyone's systems vulnerable, unless you immediately disable the option.
Thankfully, there's my friend Ed Bott to bring sanity to the tech world.
As I've mentioned, Ed is a tech whiz who speaks human English. He's also one of the great experts on Microsoft and, particularly, Windows 10, given that he's been working with the company on an upcoming book on how to use the new operating system. Ed has written an article for his ZDNet column that explains -- and shows with screenshots -- in clear readable English why this is not even remotely a problem in the slightest.
As he says, if reviewers would simply have scrolled down on the WiFi Sense settings page, they'd have seen that -- even with the option On by default -- you still have to manually select WHICH NETWORKS you want to be shared!!! And more than that, you can't just click "Share" by accident and be screwed -- you have to manually type in the password for your network!!
And further still -- even if you've selected a personal network to share and then typed in the password -- others will NOT have access to your system. They'll only be able to use your network like a WiFi hot spot. Like any WiFi hotspot. When you go to Starbucks and share with their WiFi hotspot, you don't get full access to the Starbuck corporate system -- you get to use their WiFi. That's it.
Ed mentions that most people will likely not ever share their WiFi network using this option, though he explains a scenario where you might. Like if you have guests over to your house, and you want them to be able to use your WiFi network -- but you'd rather not give out your password to them all. So, instead, you manually choose this option to simply share the network. And then when your guests leave...you turn it off.
Pretty easy. Pretty safe. More safe than giving out your password.
And no, the sky is not falling. It's actually safer.
You can read the whole article and see the screenshots clearly demonstrating this here.
Every once in a while, a tweet comes flying across the screen which I think deserves to be passed along. Here's a very funny one I just saw this morning --
Last month, I posted a story and video here about Karl Stefanovic, the longtime popular co-host of Australia's Today show, who went a full year wearing the same suit, to make a point in support of his female co-host who was always judged by what she wore.
I came across another video of the good fellow that's wonderful. Apparently, he's quite a free spirit. Five months ago, he celebrated his 10th anniversary on the Today show, and they program ran an eight-minute compilation of basically "The Best of Karl." And even out of context, not knowing the guy, it's wonderful.
(One note, though, for context -- the "Gold Logie" is for Australia's TV awards. It's named after John Logie, a Scotsman who is considered one of the inventors of television.)
My favorite part of the video is him trying to tell a Dalai Lama joke...to the Dalai Lama. But it turns out he's also an accomplished and fearless journalist, and there's a great sequence of him speaking bluntly to a couple of politicians, telling them off directly for their (to him) inanities.
I like that they include in the video a live box of him in the corner of the screen, watching the whole thing to get his reaction.
The much-anticipated Windows 10 officially began its release today on July 29, though the full process will roll-out slowly to keep there from being a log jam. (Also, this home release to existing personal devices is separate from that for OEM devices, like new laptops and tablets.) For people whose systems are running Windows 8.1 down to Windows 7, the upgrade will be free. After a user is informed that an update is ready to install and gives approval, it will upgrade seamlessly in the background. (At least that’s the intent.)
For what it’s worth, the first official reviews are coming in, and the major tech website CNET titled its review, “Microsoft gets it right.” For a brief summary, they have three bullet points at the beginning --
THE GOOD Windows 10 bridges the gap between PCs and tablets without alienating anyone. The new OS combines the best bits of old and new Windows features into a cohesive package, while correcting nearly all of the missteps of Windows 8. The upgrade process is mostly painless, and free for most Windows 7 and 8 users.
You can read the whole review here. But even here, as far as the "bad" points go, they're pretty minor. Mainly, "not everyone will need all these features." And "maybe there could be problems later." (Keep in mind for this latter point, most Windows users have had Auto Updates set as their default for years, with no problem.)
As readers of these pages now, I've been writing for a long while that, from what I've seen and read about Windows 10, it looks to be a seriously significant operating system. I liked Windows 8.1 a lot (it's version 8.0 that caused more confusion for users), but Windows 10 appears to take the best from Window 8.1 and the familiar from Windows 7 and added some fascinating new tweaks. (One, for instance, is that a tablet or monitor automatically knows if a keyboard is attached or not, and the system will adjust the tablet screen or monitor accordingly for touch-specific features or keyboard/mouse features. No user intervention is required.)
This video below is a 4-1/2 minute, very low-key introduction to a general overview of Windows 10. It's cursory, but still does a respectable job covering the basics and in a fairly-understandable way.
Two minor things that might not be perfectly clear, that are taken for granted in the video. "Cortana" is the Windows version of Siri or Google Now, a voice-activated "personal assistant" that has been a feature of Windows Phones but is now added to Windows 10 for all Windows devices. And "Snap" is simply a feature that docks a window to the edge of the screen.
Whatever you think about the nuclear arms deal negotiated by the Obama Administration with Iran, you might enjoy this video about it.
Okay, "enjoying a video" about a nuclear arms deal is somewhat a contradiction in terms, but sometimes you have to make something enjoyable to get people to watch. And while much of it is funny, the bulk of it is trying to make a serious point. (Agree with that point or not.)
The group making the video is anti-nuke group Global Zero, so you can probably figure out that their position is one of support. But mainly, it's the odd mixture of people they got to participate -- and get in the spirit of things -- that leaps out. At the center are, as you'd expect, your Hollywood Celebrities, Jack Black, Morgan Freeman and Natasha Lyonne of Orange is the New Black. Then, there the few...hmm, unlikelies.
(There's one celebrity I didn't recognize -- and the funny thing is that most news outlets didn't either. But I bothered to take the time to try to find out. Which is when I discovered that most news outlets did and therefore couldn't say who it was. They'd just describe the three main celebrities above, and add "and other celebrities." The other is just this one guy. He's actor Farshad Farahat, who's an Iranian-American and most notably was in the movie Argo.)
I realized that it's been far too long since I've had a Mystery Guest, so let's rectify that here.
One of the things I say that I love about the show is that they'll have Mystery Guests who -- especially in today's day and age -- you would never see on a game show. And this episode fits in with that perfectly. It's Sir Edmund Hillary.
What's most fascinating about this is that, actually, he's not officially a Mystery Guest. The panelists don't have their eyes covered -- and he even signs in with his own name! (Albeit with his initials, but still, that "Hillary" name at the time had to have been renown. No, he didn't just become the first man to reach the top of Mt. Everest, that was nine years earlier, in 1953. But that's not all that long before. And he looks like Sir Edmund Hillary (for good reason). And the panelists on What's My Line? are pretty erudite. But still, he has a good time with it all. (Hurting the panelists is that they go way off the track, and host John Daly lets them...)
At one point afterwards, during the discussing, they mention Tensing Norgay, who was Hillary's Sherpa guide. It was fun to hear, and I mention that because years ago, 30 years or so, my dad took an organized hiking trip in the area, and the leader of is group was...Tensing Norgay!
Hillary is the first guest, or you can just jump to the 3:30 mark.
This month's The Writers Workbench column looks at accessories for traveling. As I've mentioned, it's a bit convoluted to format the column, so since it's already formatted on the Writers Guild website and Huffington Post, it's just FAR easier to link to.
There's a look at a very light and portable luggage scale, a fascinating international travel adapter/router, a bunch of TSA-approved luggage locks, some travel chargers and more.
You can find it all by clicking here.
I was in the grocery store today and walk looking at packages of dry beans. One company, Paco brand, had among the most fascinating cooking directions.
Things started off fine. For quick soaking, cook the beans for two minutes in hot water and then let them sit for an hour.
Well, that's reasonable. Now, on to the cooking --
On a low simmer, cook the drained beans for 56 minutes or until tender.
Yes, "56 minutes." Not 55 or an hour. That's 56 minutes. Got it?
But not even 56 minutes. You'd think that for directions that specific, it would be all you needed to know, and that would be that. But no, if it turns out that the beans aren't quite tender enough in 56 minutes, keep cooking them until they're tender. Like for a total of 58 minutes, maybe.
For anyone who was trying to listen to the WGA podcast that I linked to over the weekend, I was finally able to track down a code that allows me to embed it on the page here, making it easier to listen to.
When the embed code that is provided and the "Stitcher" website page isn't working, when it's worked in the past, is outside my pay grade...
But for those who don't want to scroll back a few days, here's the direct link.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor