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August 08, 2006

Outlook Hack

Just had an interesting thought.

If you use an email system like Outlook at work, it has an option to retrieve a previously sent email. I expect thie feature is to help you to correct mistakes, but it doesn't ever work really well in my opinion for this as you usually end up receiving both the incorrect and the corrected copies, and also notifications that the sender tried to do the retrieval.

But you can make it work for you in a different way. Let's say you have a really important email you want someone to read, but you know they are really busy and it is likely to get overlooked. Try this subterfuge.

Send it to them, then retrieve it right back, then send it again with a minor change.

Why? Well, it's a bit evil, but I think it will work for this reason.

People read emails that the sender has tried to retrieve very carefully indeed. They want to know why they were retrieved, hoping the sender made a mistake and told them something that was meant to be a secret :-) So you're manipulating them into reading your email carefully in the hope that they will find an interesting, juicy piece of information. They won't find it of course, but you will have achieved your purpose and gotten your email to the top of their priorities.

Posted by se71 at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2006


Just like "A Bug's Bugs" and "Antz" a few years back, we now have two films on very similar themes being released close together. The other is "The Wild", and I haven't seen it yet unfortunately, so can't yet do a comparison.

Some animals, well, the zebra, giraffe, lion, hippo and penguins, in New York's Central Park Zoo, manage to escape and hitch a ride on a boat that eventually winds up with them landing on a remote part of the tropical island of Madagascar. This is the first time they have encountered lving in the wild. They don't know how to deal with the native animals, or get food, and the lion soon starts daydreaming of juicy zebra steaks (who is his his best friend of course). The story zips along to a predictable conclusion, as they all stick together to overcome the dangers and there are some mild scary bits.

It's a big name cast, with Friend's star David Schwimmer voicing the giraffe with exactly the same timidity as his Ross character. Ben Stiller isn't much better as the lion, Jada Pinkett Smith is unremarkable as the hippo, and it's left to Chris Rock to steal the show as the fast talking zebra. Incidentally, Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G) is in this too as king of the island lemurs, and was nearly unrecognisable, in a good way.

There's not much to say about this, it's quite amusing and colourful to look at, but it's just a light weight cartoon that will be enjoyed mostly by the very young members of the audience.

Madagascar 2 is already in production.

Posted by se71 at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

School Of Rock

Jack Black has had the role of his life written for him in this feel good movie. In fact, you almost feel he isn't acting at all, and that everything he says and does is really just him. Perhaps that's the power of a good actor, but knowing that Black is in a rock band, and has made music very much like the character here, makes me hesitate to praise him too much.

One of the major movie templates is the one where an unconventional coach takes an underdog and trains them to be a winner. This is such a movie. Failed musucian Black gets kicked out of his rock band. To pay the rent he tricks his way into a job as a substitute teacher for uptight ten year old kids at a posh private school. He realises they can play music, and he needs a new band to help him win a big rock contest. And so 'School Of Rock' is born, as Black secretly educates the kids in the ways of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Rush and other great rock acts. We know they will get to the competition, we know they will be great, we know Black will get caught.

But knowing the plot and probable ending of a film doesn't mean it can't be a fun journey. And this is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure. It's a virtuoso performance from Black, who is in practically every scene giving us every ounce of his enthuasism for ROCK MUSIC! And they managed to make it a PG certificate too, so that the whole family can watch. It's also of course really very funny.

Posted by se71 at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)