1/30/17 Movie Monday

Posted January 29, 2017 By Mom
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Welcome to DMM’s 1/30/17 Movie Monday, where I’ll help you tackle movie night with brief reviews of movies you may have missed that are worth the rental or purchase.

 

Thriller

 

This week, the focus is on thrillers with sharp scripts and strong performances.

 

Disturbia (PG-13)
After his father’s accidental death, Kale (Shia LaBeouf) remains withdrawn and troubled. When he lashes out at a well-intentioned but insensitive teacher, he finds himself under a court-ordered house arrest.

Say what you will about Shia LaBeouf, he’s a very talented actor. He’s joined here by the equally excellent David Morse and Carrie-Anne Moss in dramatic roles, while the immensely likeable Aaron Yoon provides the comic relief. This film is actually a fresh take on that famous psychological thriller classic Rear Window, in which Jimmy Stewart plays an incapacitated man who thinks he may have witnessed his next door neighbor murdering his wife and disposing of the body. This story unspools a little differently and is definitely more youthful and modern, with some surprising twists and just the right touches of humor.

 

Copycat (R)
Holly Hunter is an ambitious cop who tries to draw a forensic psychologist (Sigourney Weaver) out of her self-imposed exile to help catch a murderer who is copying work of other serial killers.

Also co-stars Dermot Mulroney and Harry Connick, Jr. This is your typical to-catch-a-killer type of movie, but the strong script and cast keep it simmering and unpredictable all the way through.

 

Fallen (R)
Following the execution of a demonic serial killer, a homicide detective finds himself on the trail of another serial killer whose methods are strikingly similar to the executed killer.

This is one of my favorite thrillers of all time, and if you’re a fan of Denzel Washington or John Goodman, you’re in for a treat with this one. It’s a serial killer police procedural that brings the supernatural into the mix, to great effect. The supernatural mythology on this one is very original and chilling. This is one of those movies that leaves you wondering if such a thing could happen in real life.

 

      
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Welcome to DMM’s 1/27/17 Freebie Friday! Today I’ve got two Audible titles that are free for both Amazon’s US and UK customers, and the second one is a comedy three-volume set!

 

Friday I Thought You Would Never Come

 

Today’s first freebie is FREE FIRST CHAPTER: The Wisdom of Life, Counsels and Maxims by Arthur Schopenhauer (UK readers click here).

 

‘The two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom.’

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was one of the most influential philosophers of the 19th century because his humanistic, atheistic, if pessimistic views chimed with a new secularism that was emerging from a Western society dominated by religion. Despite his rather forbidding image (and a few outdated views), he is one of the most approachable German philosophers, and this is certainly evident in these two key works, The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims.

This is, says his translator, T. Bailey Saunders, because his theories were based on observation and experience – ‘interpreting the world as it is’. In The Wisdom of Life, Schopenhauer considers eudemonology (the science of happiness) – ‘the art of ordering our lives so as to obtain the greatest possible amount of pleasure and success’.

He begins by dividing ‘differences in the human lot’ into three: what a man is in the sense of personality; what a man has in terms of property and possessions; and how a man stands in terms of the estimation of others. In the course of the book, he expands on these divisions.

In Counsels and Maxims, he develops the theme of eudemonology by advising that it is best to replace the pursuit of pleasure and happiness with a more measured approach based on the avoidance of pain and suffering. However, his views are not as negative and pessimistic as this may seem, not least because he was the first major Western philosopher to be influenced by Eastern thought, notably Buddhism, which he acknowledges.

In his exposition, Schopenhauer draws on numerous sources as varied as Plato and Horace, Goethe, Shakespeare, Silesius and, of course, his own major work The World as Will and Representation (1818). Both The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims first appeared (under the collective heading of Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life) in his collection of writings Parerga and Paralipomena (1851).

Schopenhauer proved a major influence on numerous key figures, from Nietzsche, Schrödinger and Freud to Tolstoy, Wagner and Einstein.

First chapter only, runtime: 42 minutes.

 

Next is a three volume Audible comedy original, featuring some celebrity narrators, FREE: Crackanory Seasons 1, 2 and 3 (UK readers click here).

 

Imagine if Jackanory—the UK’s answer to Reading Rainbow—was set free from its childish shackles. What twisted, funny tales would it unleash upon the world?

Each episode of Crackanory contains two 15-minute tales and is a master class in storytelling, combining some of the UK’s best comedy writers and performers.

Full narrator list: Jack Dee, Sally Phillips, Rebecca Front, Kevin Eldon, Harry Enfield, Sarah Solemani, Sharon Horgan, Charlie Higson, Richard Hammond and Jessica Hynes, Simon Bird, Tamsin Greig, Morgana Robinson, Greg Davies, Robbie Coltrane, Sarah Millican, Catherine Tate, Richard Ayoade, Paul Whitehouse, Carrie Fisher, Jimmy Carr, Christopher Lloyd.

Full author list: Nico Tatarowicz, Toby Davies, Kevin Eldon, Ali Crockatt, David Scott, Laurence Rickard, Jeremy Dyson, Simon Judd, Alex Carter and Holly Walsh, Kevin Eldon, Holly Walsh, Ed Easton, Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Tony Way, Toby Davies, Dafydd James, Nico Tatarowicz, Alexander Kirk and Melissa Bubnic.

Runtime: 7 hours and 50 minutes.

 

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The Emie Devil Volt Portable Charger, 5200mAh Compact and Stylish Power Bank USB Charger (UK readers – click here) is a stylish and fun way to keep the juice flowing for your mobile devices. Light-up horns show you the status of the current charge at a glance. Looks great on a desk, end table or counter top. Currently (as of 1/27/16) rated 4.5/5 stars, priced at $35.99-$36.99 depending on color choice.

Advertisements make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content for free, so thanks for your support.

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A sophisticated Gmail phishing scam that first popped up last year seems to gaining steam, even among tech-savvy consumers, because it’s unusually well-designed.

 

Not Sure If Phishing

 

This new scheme employs the usual trick of getting the email recipient to click on a bogus link, but the email appears to be from a known contact and the form that displays when the link is clicked looks totally legitimate—even its URL seems on the up-and-up at first glance. From the Wordfence security blog (images from Wordfence security blog also):


The way the attack works is that an attacker will send an email to your Gmail account. That email may come from someone you know who has had their account hacked using this technique. It may also include something that looks like an image of an attachment you recognize from the sender.

You click on the image, expecting Gmail to give you a preview of the attachment. Instead, a new tab opens up and you are prompted by Gmail to sign in again. You glance at the location bar and you see accounts.google.com in there. It looks like this…

 

 

You go ahead and sign in on a fully functional sign-in page that looks like this:

 
GMail data URI phishing sign-in page
 

Once you complete sign-in, your account has been compromised.

 

Click here to read the full post on the Wordfence security blog, which includes an update with a response from Google.

 

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Etymotic Research Isolator MK5 Noise-Isolating In-Ear Earphones (UK visitors – click here) are high quality, moderately priced earbuds that offer two different styles of ear cushion, including a pair of memory foam cushions, to ensure that even those with the most sensitive ear canals can listen in comfort. Package also includes a zippered storage pouch and cord clip. Currently priced at $59 and rated 4/5 stars on Amazon’s US site, 5/5 stars on Amazon UK.

Advertisements make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content for free, so thanks for your support.

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1/23/17 Movie Monday

Posted January 22, 2017 By Mom
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Welcome to DMM’s 1/23/17 Movie Monday, where I’ll help you tackle movie night with brief reviews of movies you may have missed that are worth the rental or purchase.

 

Indy Destroys Artifacts

 

This week, I’m featuring a few lesser-known horror movies that offer some big names and are better than critics’ reviews would have you think. I’m not a fan of gratuitous gore, so while any R-rated horror movie will of course have some splattery deaths, none of these linger too long or lovingly on the blood and guts.

 

Ghost Ship (R)
In a remote region of the Bering Sea, a boat salvage crew discovers the eerie remains of a grand passenger liner thought lost for more than 40 years.

This movie stars Juliana Marguiles, Gabriel Byrne, Karl Urban and Ron Eldard, and includes Emily Browning in one of her first big-screen roles. It’s hard to say much about the plot without spoilers, but let’s just say that when a salvage crew decides to take on a job that seems like a profitable walk in the park, they get MUCH more than they bargained for. Yep, the ship’s haunted, but that’s not all: there’s a conspiracy afoot as well. The flashback to what happened to the original crew and passengers includes a fairly horrifying sequence unlike anything I’ve seen ever before or since.

 

The Faculty (R)
This hip and edgy thriller from the director of Machete and writer of Scream sizzles with a hot young cast including Elijah Wood (The Lord Of the Rings trilogy), Josh Hartnett (30 Days of Night) and R&B superstar Usher Raymond.

The cast also includes Jon Stewart (of Daily Show fame), Famke Jannsen, Salma Hayek, Piper Laurie, Bebe Newirth, Clea DuVall and Robert Patrick. Talk about your star-studded lineup! This movie may seem like a garden-variety high school thriller at first glance, but its outstanding cast, believable script, original plot and touches of dark humor make for a very enjoyable change of pace.

 

13 Ghosts (R)
A family inherits an elegant mansion from a deceased relative. The catch is that along with the house comes a slew of ghosts that can be seen only through special goggles.

Stars Tony Shalhoub, Matthew Lillard, F. Murray Abraham, Embeth Davidtz and Shannon Elizabeth. I’ll be honest with you, the big sister – little brother plot thread is kind of annoying and saccharine, but the rest of the film is so novel and twisty that it’s worth waiting out those few, brief sequences.

The house itself, an immense puzzle box made entirely of glass panels covered in arcane, etched symbols with steampunky-looking metal  framing deserves to be credited as another featured player in this movie, because it’s gorgeous and has a life of its own. From time to time the house re-configures itself, sometimes trapping and other times freeing the people within. Those characters don’t always want to be freed though, because there are murderous supernatural forces at work in the rooms and machinery of the house.

There’s a ghost story here but the underlying plot is a cautionary tale about dabbling in the occult.

 

      

DMM’s 1/20/17 Freebie Friday

Posted January 19, 2017 By Mom
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Welcome to DMM’s 1/20/17 Freebie Friday! Today I’m cross-posting from my Love My Echo site with a post that features two Audible titles that are free for both Amazon’s US and UK customers, plus a third, bonus title that’s currently available to US customers only.

 

Leadership

 

Today’s first freebie is Extraordinary Leadership (UK readers click here).

 

In a constantly changing, hyper-competitive world, leadership is more important than ever. Yet few people have what it takes to inspire, develop, and guide others. In this presentation, Robin Sharma shares the leadership lessons that he gives to clients such as Nike, Microsoft, and NASA. Runtime: 1 hour, 7 minutes.

 

Next is Recession Proof Graduate: How to Land the Job You Want by Doing Free Work (UK readers click here).

 

Recession-Proof Graduate is a wildly popular career guide that’s been downloaded over 150,000 times. This audiobook is frequently shared among students, teachers, parents, counselors, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. It’s been integrated in the coursework at a number of universities, given away as a graduation gift, and translated to Italian.

I struggled to find meaningful work – or any work – after getting out of school. I graduated in 2008 – during the worst economy in 80 years – and spent my days spamming my resume to hundreds of companies I didn’t want to work for…and never heard back. It was exhausting. When I changed my strategy, I landed a handful of dream gigs, got to work with amazing people like Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi, and found myself turning down multiple paid job offers. Best of all, I was getting paid to work on projects that made me come alive. It was a far cry from the days of begging for soul-crushing work. People kept asking how I did it, so I wrote this free guide on how to use free work to land your dream job.

Runtime: 42 minutes.

 

This last one is for Amazon US customers only, I’m afraid. A Conversation with Joseph Finder and Malcolm Gladwell.

 

Joseph Finder and Malcolm Gladwell are both best-selling authors who write about issues from the business world – one in fiction and the other in nonfiction. Listen to this insightful conversation between these authors as they discuss topics that range from the best qualities of CEOs and sales people, to the nature of genius, to how they do their research and the mechanics of writing, to the intricacies of interpreting facial micro-expressions.

Joseph Finder is the author of Paranoia, Company Man, and the upcoming Killer Instinct. His thrillers focus on characters who inhabit the cut-throat corporate world.

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of Blink and The Tipping Point. He writes on corporate culture as well as social habits. Killer Instinct will be available for download on May 16, 2006.

Runtime: 1 hour, 9 minutes.

 

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Logitech offers integration with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant (e.g., Echo, Dot and Tap) for its Harmony smart home devices (click here to view Logitech’s own help page about it). You can take advantage of this new functionality with the Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control for Smart Home and Entertainment Devices, works with Alexa (UK visitors – click here). Currently (as of 1/19/16) rated 4/5 stars across over 730 reviews and currently priced at $135.34.

 

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