Saving my Mac from Flash

It’s time to wrestle back control of my Mac.Adobe’s Flash is one of those technologies you either love or hate. Personally I think Flash still has its place for internet video and other rich content, even though HTML5 is slowly killing it. My main gripe with Flash is that it’s such a resource pig running on a Mac, especially an older Mac relying on Intel graphics rather than the new NVIDIA graphics.Chrome is my browser of choice on Mac and Windows, in part because it features its own task manager and runs each tab and plugin as a separate process. If you’re running Chrome, it’s worth checking your plugin list to see how many versions of Flash are listed (type chrome://plugins into the URL bar). Click “Details” on the right and your full list of plugins will expand. Scroll down to Flash. If you find more than one version installed, try disabling all but the most recent version. The 11.4 update has just been released. If you find more than one copy of the latest version, such as one stored in /Library and another in /Applications, try disabling one or the other to see if the situation improves.One of the problems with the Flash plugin is that it doesn’t always give resources back after it’s finished with them. So if you’ve been playing a Flash-intensive game like Farmville, even when you close Farmville your Mac can still be incredibly sluggish. The trick is to open up the Chrome task manager and manually kill the Shockwave Flash plugin. It’s an effective solution but not very elegant.Thankfully you’ll find an elegant option for killing the Shockwave Flash plugin in FlashFrozen, which is available from the Mac App store for 99 cents. It runs in the menu bar at the top of your screen, monitoring the resources used by Shockwave Flash. You can set it to turn red when the Flash plugin hits a certain CPU usage. The simply click on the icon to kill the plugin.FlashFrozen has an auto-kill function which automatically kills the Flash plugin whenever it launches, although that’s probably not very practical. If you really want to kill off Flash but need more granular control, take a look at FlashBlock in the Chrome store. It blocks Flash content in web pages by default, but you can still click on the ones you want to watch. You can also whitelist the sites on which you always want Flash to run, for example youtube南京夜网 is whitelisted by default.It’s still hard to get by without Flash on your Mac, but thankfully you can take back control and stop it crippling your computer. Do you have trouble with Flash or other plugins crippling your computer?
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Steak and peanut butter: the Liz Taylor diet

High fat diet … famously curvaceous Elizabeth Taylor stars in 1959 film Suddenly Last Summer.An effective diet entails a balanced intake and plenty of exercise, right?
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Not exactly, if you follow the dietary advice of Elizabeth Taylor.

We’ve heard our fair share of questionable dietary tips – not from least Karl Lagerfeld, who champions the highly dubious nutritional content of Diet Coke as key to slimming down from fashion heavyweight to fashion’s dahling.

He’s not alone. Who can forget the baby food diet (possibly not you, Jennifer Aniston), or those who are said to order water and Red Bull in place of a meal (we’re looking at you, Paris Hilton), or those who favour ADD drug Adderall (Britney Spears, that was once you, we hear)? There are those who have experimented with laxatives and, of course, those who resort to a surgeon’s scalpel to shift a few pounds.

Grapefruit diets – à la Kylie Minogue – may be less terrifying, but watching calories is nothing new. Nietzsche and Henry James were strict weightwatchers, while the Huffington Post reports that Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson were ahead of their time in another way, choosing a vegetarian diet in days when meat was all but obligatory.

Reportedly a proponent if the distinctly unappealing steak-and-peanut butter sandwich, Taylor doled out some eyebrow-raising weight-loss tips, pushing a high saturated fat diet that has well and truly fallen by the wayside with current nutritionists (and anathema, surely, to those who criticise the Atkins diet).

What a difference 23 years makes – along with her take on steak, the Cleopatra actress mixed cottage cheese with sour cream and advised nothing but plain toast for breakfast in her 1987 diet book, Elizabeth Takes Off.

Not that the actress didn’t have a good innings – she died in 2011 at the age of 79.

We may be better off taking a leaf from Audrey Hepburn’s lifestyle. According to Pamela Keogh’s What Would Audrey Do?, she preferred organic produce and the odd plate of pasta, treating herself to a square of dark cooking chocolate in the afternoons. She drank wine, but was partial to the “occasional Scotch”, said the Daily Mail.

There seems however, a notable lack of protein on the Hepburn table – and the fashion icon never took exercise, instead staying active by way of her daily routines, walking wherever she could.

Lagerfeld may agree with her mores – he dodges exercise, fearing that it stimulates appetite and weight gain.

Protein was high in Marilyn Monroe’s diet. In 1952, she told Pageant magazine that she drinks a glass of warm milk with two raw eggs stirred into it for breakfast. As rich in some nutrients as it may be, the Huffington Post points out the meal has high cholesterol and at risk of contamination – but then, the star herself admitted that she had been told her eating habits were “absolutely bizarre”.

Less unorthodox, though certainly ahead of her time was the admission that the blonde bombshell exercised with weights, taking care of her very best assets.

Like Garbo, the star would undoubtedly have been influenced in some way by Hollywood diet maven Gayelord Hauser, who shared his dietary tips with stars of the silver screen after moving to Hollywood in 1927. Sanguine and down-to-earth, Hauser’s fruit, vegetable, broth and herb-heavy food tips make many a contemporary diet seem more faddish than ever.

For some stars of the 1950s, enviable figures went beyond food. According to the LA Times, Maria Callas, the troubled soprano, took an alarming route, injecting iodine into her lymph system to help her lose weight.

Spin the years back further and Lord Byron, as dashing and devilish as he may have been, had a “morbid propensity to fatten”. According to the BBC, the Don Juan writer subsisted on “biscuits and soda water or potatoes drenched in vinegar” while at Cambridge University, where he wore woollen layers to help shed pounds. He smoked cigars to supress appetite and was seen as a bad influence on the impressionable youths of circa 1818.

The poet, who died aged 36 in 1824, was in good company. One of the very first diet books was Brillat-Savarin’s Physiology of Taste, written in 1825 – making the odd jar of baby food ingested by a 2012 A-lister seem as old hat as it is plain unappetising.

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Lend Lease unit wins rail link contract

Infrastructure and construction group Lend Lease’s subsidiary Baulderstone has won the contract to manage the early works component of the North West Rail Link. The contract is estimated to be worth $70 million.
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The long-anticipated project is scheduled to deliver a new 36 kilometre long rapid transit rail link between Chatswood on Sydney’s north shore and the growing Hill’s district in the North West of Sydney.

Under the contract, Baulderstone will work on the relocation of services and utilities; site readiness and demolition works; and the provision of HV electrical supply for the main works.

In a statement today Baulderstone’s NSW general manager, Frank Lorenzetto, said completion of early works is due in mid-2014.

The win comes a day before Lend Lease reports its 2012 full year profit, which will be a welcome distraction from the recent asbestos concerns at its $6 billion Barangaroo South project.

Last week Lend Lease revealed that small pieces of fibro cement material containing bonded asbestos have been found at Port Kembla.

Andrew Wilson, the managing director of Barangaroo South said the group had correctly followed all agreed procedures to spot and remove fibro from the Barangaroo South excavated material, including the additional testing and air monitoring measures.

“There has been no air borne asbestos identified,” Mr Wilson said.

In the results tomorrow, analyts at JP Morgan are forecasting Lend Lease to report a net profit after tax of $487 million, up 27 per cent on the $383.6 million in the previous corresponding period.

“Lend Lease continues to offers good risk adjusted value and leverage into a robust medium term earnings outlook with a number of near term positive catalysts, such as the Valemus business and the mixed use development pipeline),” the brokers say.

The chief executive of Lend Lease, Steve McCann has consistently said that the group will focus on expanding its global infrastructure and development business in the future. That will see it in partnerships with public and private groups.

The results will also include an update on the future of the athlete’s village that was the focus of the recent London 2012 Olympic Games, which will be converted into one of the largest mixed use residential and retail areas in Britain.

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Ben, don’t do it, step away from QE3

As regularly as swallows return to Capistrano and hurricanes hit the Gulf coast, post-GFC markets get all a-flutter or at least windy about any suggestion of the US Federal Reserve chairman cranking up the printing presses again.
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And that’s allegedly an excuse for markets nervously doing little ahead of a central bankers’ gabfest in Wyoming on Friday night.

Despite all the wind and flutters, here’s trusting that Ben Bernanke doesn’t feed the habit: Ben, step away from QE3, you know it wouldn’t help.

Odds are that Bernanke’s increasingly-awaited speech at Jackson Hole will be more of the recent same: a promise of being ready to act if action is required, but nothing concrete, leaving the possibility of another round of quantitative easing blowing in the breeze.

The short-term danger of that is a knee-jerk reaction of disappointment that will irrationally ripple through the world’s markets. (“The Fed failed to trash the greenback – quick, sell Telstra and Woolworths.”)

In the medium term, failing to be blunt with the American public about the diminishing returns from QE leaves markets with their sugar addiction intact and American politicians continuing to hide from their looming crisis in the belief that the Fed will somehow muddle through and make it all right. The great force of American democracy can get back to focussing on the big issues: the Romneys buying 100-roll packs of Costco toilet paper and Obama hiding his past as a member of the Mujahedeen.

Gold speculators

Some stronger language from the Bernanke, pointing out that (a) QE3 wouldn’t do much to help anyone right now except gold speculators and (b) the US doesn’t really need QE3 anyway, might just help turn attention back to the political paralysis that continues to loom as the biggest problem for the world’s biggest economy.

Sure, the central bank can always apply more stimulation, but at present US levels, it’s just pushing harder on the piece of string. To the extent that the Fed has some ammunition left, best to wait in case it’s really needed, when it’s not just the whites of the enemy’s eyes but the pulsing blood vessels therein that can be distinguished.

With distractions ranging from encircling China to hurricanes to loopy Senators imagining “genuine” rape, the one that Washington doesn’t seem to be concentrating on is how to avoid crashing over the planned fiscal cliff that will send the country into recession next year.

It is such an extraordinary situation that it engenders disbelief. Surely it’s more likely that Romney is African American and Obama a Mormon than the Republicans and Democrats have combined to program another recession. ‘Fraid not.

They need to be told, Ben. When you deliver your much anticipated speech this Friday in an out-of-season ski resort in the middle of American nowhere, please set them straight. Put the responsibility for America’s recovery back where it belongs: in the hands of the (unfortunately motley) crew that must intelligently ditch tax lurks and surgically cut structurally unsustainable spending. Continuing to debase the American dollar won’t really help.

Michael Pascoe is a BusinessDay contributing editor

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Abbott brushes off Rudd’s ‘entirely beatable’ gibe

Kevin Rudd said Tony Abbott had neither the temperament nor the policies to be PM.Kevin Rudd says Tony Abbott is “entirely beatable” at the next federal election, but the Opposition Leader has dismissed the former prime minister’s assessment, saying Mr Rudd is only having a “look-at-me moment”.
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Yesterday, Mr Rudd took the opportunity to attack Mr Abbott’s credentials while launching a biography of Gough Whitlam.

Mr Rudd said Mr Abbott was “entirely beatable at the next election because, increasingly, the Australian people see what it may mean to take a conservative leader such as him on trust”.

The member for Griffith also said Mr Abbott was “the most extreme right-wing leader in his party’s history”, with neither the temperament nor the policies to be prime minister.

According to the latest Fairfax/Nielsen poll, the Coalition stands to win the next election in a landslide, with a two-party-preferred lead of 54 per cent to 46 per cent.

Today in Toowoomba, Mr Abbott brushed away Mr Rudd’s barbs.

“Look, Kevin Rudd’s just having a ‘look at me’ moment,” Mr Abbott said.

He said Mr Rudd was worried Prime Minister Julia Gillard might try to go to the polls early (thereby denying Mr Rudd another chance to challenge for the Labor leadership).

“I think Kevin Rudd appreciates that Julia Gillard is trying to clear the decks,” Mr Abbott said. “She’s trying to clear up all the messes that she’s got on her plate – not succeeding, I hasten to add.”

As Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced a $4 billion dental scheme this morning, Mr Abbott also said the government had given up on delivering a surplus.

Listing immigration cost blowouts and the Gonski recommendations on school funding as well as the dental reforms, he said Labor was spending like a “proverbial drunken sailor.”

With Phillip Coorey

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