July 18th, 2005

pod

Protect your assets

It is often said that a man's home is his castle. Well if that is indeed true then a man's computer is his treasure trove, and his porn collection is the crown jewel among his riches. Like any other important treasure a proper collection of pornography is aesthetically pleasing, assembled over years of painstaking excavation (of the internet), and carefully guarded. Unlike most other riches porn can only be properly enjoyed with your pants off, but that's neither here nor there.

Porn security is a growing concern in this day and age of spyware and computer snoopery. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people out there in cyberspace who want control of your computer, and thus your precious supply of porn, and they are a deadly threat indeed. A single virus can wipe out gigabytes of hot girl on girl action and even rarer girl on girl on monkey footage. Protection from this sort of threat is simple but essential. Anti-virus software, a hardware firewall, and a secure web browser are all important elements. Unfortunately the most important element of normal computer security, avoiding questionable websites, is an impossible task for the porn connoisseur. Yet there are still things that can be done. Never download free executable files, even if they promise hot strip roulette action, and be careful with transsexual material. There's a lot of trojan horse action going on in the Tranny porn scene. Fair warning.

Even if you protect your precious porn collection from outside invaders there is still a real and present threat on the home front. The average heavy porn user lives alone and doesn't have many visitors, but what visitors he does have are often primed for one thing and one thing only...to find and mock his porn. If you don't want the laughter that comes from being known as the guy who has a Dick Clark Impersonator fetish, or the humiliation of everyone you know seeing that you do, in fact, enjoy the earlier works of Andrew Blake, there are some simple security techniques that you can employ.

Please note that these techniques do not sacrifice accessibility for security as some other advisers will tell you to do. If you hide your porn in such a way that you need both hands on the keyboard to unlock it, what's the point of having it at all?

#1) Password lock your computer. You don't want to be K.O.ed from a night of heavy carousing (Ever tried to drink a SECOND can of Bud Light only an hour after the first? Better hope you have soft carpeting because you're going down to the ground friend.) only to have your friends invade your privacy and awake you with a serenade of gay-for-pay moaning coming from your computer speakers (Volume naturally at max.) Password protecting your P.C. is an easy way to prevent this. Please note that passwords like Bananaboat45 or Sausagefest69 are not advisable. Those are the first things YOUR friends will try.

#2) Hide your porn in a directory that nobody in his right mind would ever check out. Something like "My Vacation Photos," "World Zither Music," or "College Term Papers" will do nicely. Even a drunken friend can find porn in the "Porn" folder. Be smart.

#2a) Boring file names are a related but also useful technique. Don't leave a file named "Supreme Midget Gangbang" just lying around. A simple file search will detect that in seconds. Something like "Ben Stein Reads Nathanial Hawthorne" or "According To Jim Episode 1.7" can help you there. Who would check those out?

#3) Removable media. If you use DVD-Rs or a removable hard drive you can hide your porn the old fashioned way, under the mattress or on a high closet shelf as god intended. This option can be a bit more expensive than the others but is closer to a sure thing. Knowing your friends they really WOULD want to see Ben Stein read the Scarlet Letter. Oh yeah, get new friends.

No matter what techniques you employ, though, there's bound to come a day when someone finds your porn. Most likely it will be a girlfriend or wife, since such creatures have no concern for your privacy and snooping abilities that make the Pinkertons look like a Captain and Tenille cover band. When this day comes it will likely be unexpected. She'll ask if she can send an email from your P.C., you'll have to go to the bathroom to enter into negotiations with the mexican food holding your colon captive, and suddenly you'll hear those dreaded words.

"Oh look, a hamster, isn't he cute? That girl has awfully big high heels. Oh my god, what's she..JESUS. It's just a hamster. It didn't do anything to her. Why would she do that? Why would she do that to the hamster? It's innocent. Just a hamster. Just a little hamster.

Oh look. A squirrel. Isn't he cute..."

At this point there is only one thing you can do. Rush out of the bathroom, pants around your ankles, look her deep in her big brown eyes, and lie like a motherfucker. "I have no idea what those files are doing there. My friend Chuck was messing around with my PC and he might have downloaded them. Maybe I have a virus. Who wants to go shopping?" Deny deny deny deny. Delete the files from your PC and purge the recycle bin. Don't go for your backups until the coast is clear.

Sometimes you have to throw the treasure overboard and retrieve it later.
pod

More old movie reviews

You asked for them (no really!) so here they are. My impressions of the 3 films I saw over the weekend while sick.

In ascending order of quality

#1) Young Adam

This movie is a puzzle. All the elements are in play for an interesting and worthwhile drama. It's got a really solid cast headlined by Ewan McGreggor and Tilda Swinton. It has a definite place and time, the Scottish canals of the late 1950's. The dialog is decent, if a bit sparse and plain, the direction is fine, and there's a very consistent tone. Too consistent, really, and that's what ends up bringing the whole thing down. Young Adam starts off with some desperate and lonely people on a barge and ends with...some desperate and lonely people on a barge. During the course of the film different people get on and off the barge, and at the end the main character leaves it, but nothing really changes. There's a death that's central to the main subplot of the film, but it never really goes anywhere surprising or overly interesting. The film is all atmosphere and setup and...that's it. You don't get to know the characters much beyond what you know after the first 10 minutes, interesting as they may be, and it ends up not really going anywhere. By the time the credits role you're anxious for the coming of the climax, but there isn't one, not really.

It's a well made movie and people who like slow slice of life pieces might enjoy, but ultimately it feels hollow and not in a good way. It's not a story that had to be told, at least not in this way. One could argue that the dissatisfaction it induces in its audience is fundamental to the point of the film, but I don't think it even does that particularly well. It just meanders and stops. What a waste.

At least there's a good deal of nudity, even if none of it is particularly erotic.

#2) I, Robot

This is a peculiar sci-fi action film. Lurking beneath the surface of this movie is a really interesting story. It's based loosely on the Isaac Asimov 3 laws tales, which I adored growing up, and it could've been great. Unfortunately someone decided that instead of being a great sci-fi movie it should be an exciting one, so numerous gunfights and action set-pieces subvert, and then sabotage, the plot. How would it have worked? A dark science fiction detective piece with a few small scale gunfights and daring escapes would have been satisfying. 10 more minutes of philosophy and discussion and 15 less of pointless CG hi jinx. It had a lot of potential.

Instead you get plot holes and big boring action stuff and lots of PG-13 shooting. It plays to its own weaknesses, the villains are poorly designed and non-threatening, the CG doesn't look particularly real, and the outcome is so obviously pre-determined as to make it pointless. The film really has a lot in common with Terminator 1 and 2, but fails to recognize what those films did, which is that while one or two unstoppable robots are awesome a whole horde of them aren't really that interesting. This film has Hollywood's lowbrow fingerprints all over it, and it makes me sad.

#3) Hellboy

This was by far the best of the bunch, and was a really enjoyable film. Why? Because it stayed true to what it wanted to be, which was an exciting fun supernatural action romp. By not getting too bogged down in subplots or side stories the film moves at a decent clip through its fun campy story and balances cheesy action scenes with a decent sense of humor during the 'dramatic' sections. It knows that its special effects aren't entirely convincing and that its action sequences aren't overly memorable, but it doesn't care because it's just trying to keep you entertained. It's a little smart, a little self-aware, and a lot of fun.

There's not much more to say than that, except that the essence of what makes this movie good can be found in its casting of Jeffrey Tambor as the FBI director. Here is a character who could have just been a typical hardass bureaucrat, but Tambor gives him a humanity and complexity that makes him actually interesting as a character. He's harried by budget overruns, a little scared by all this paranormal mumbo jumbo, on a bit of a power trip, but also concerned with doing his job right and willing to change his judgments if the situation warrants it. This means that scenes with the chief are more interesting and less formulaic than they would otherwise have been, and that's the attitude of the whole film. Apply a coat of fresh paint to a bunch of tried and true formulas, skew it a little off center, and above all entertain. It may not be a masterpiece, but it's entertaining and re watchable and that's all it aims to be and that's all it has to be.
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