Jessica Alba

Tech startups are as hot as ever in Silicon Valley, but at a conference in San Francisco, there are hints of hard times ahead.

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Of course it’s offensive. To recognize that about the video that Kanye West released last week for his self-portrait in song, “Monster,” is to acknowledge its intent without seeing the fullness of its effect. The video was directed by Jake Nava, who is celebrated for making commercials that market glamour brands (Armani, L’Oreal) with sexy celebrities (Jessica Alba, Maria Sharapova), as well as music videos that market sexy female musicians (Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Shakira) like the glamour brands they are.

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Though Arizona may face multiple boycotts over its controversial new immigration law, filmmaker Richard Robert Rodriguez appears poised to cash in on the controversy. His new film Machete, set to release in September, tells the story of a Mexican ex-federale--called, as it happens, Machete (Danny Trejo)--set up in a failed plot to assassinate an anti-immigration U.S. senator (Robert DeNiro) to boost the popularity of his deportation efforts. The blades and bullets fly as Machete seeks vengeance on his double-crossers.

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If you're a strict Marxist materialist, and you think that every crisis should be examined through the lens of who benefits, then you have to wonder if the Arizona immigration contretemps has all been staged by the producers of the upcoming movie "Machete," a pro-illegal immigrant action/revenge flick:  I'm not sure what dialogue like, "We didn't cross the border. The border crossed us!," delivered by an armed Jessica Alba, actually means. But clearly it's going to strike a nerve.

The New York Times has an article about digitally-altered photos, and whether they should be required to come with warning labels -- at least in cases when they change a woman's body to become inhumanly skinny. It sounds like a nutty idea to me. What struck me in the article was this before-and-after shot of Jessica Alba: Here's what I found strange. To me, the photo on the left looks vastly better. But the one on the right is the digitally altered version. Not only did the studio dramatically change the photo, they made her look a lot less attractive. Am I the only person who thinks this?

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