Celebrity tech gift guide 2008

Racking your brain for the perfect gifts for the celebrities on your holiday shopping list? These unique tech products will make life bearable for in-the-spotlight types like Paris, Lindsay, TomKat, and Brangelina.

  • Governor Sarah Palin: ID Vault

    The world's most powerful hockey mom got taken down a peg when a 20-something hacker from Tennessee got into the Yahoo Mail account she had been using for official State of Alaska business, and started distributing details of her messages. Palin's Yahoo accounts were shut down, but that doesn't solve her bigger problem: weak passwords. We suggest getting her an ID Vault--a thumb drive that can securely store all of her online account data and passwords--and telling her about Pwd Hash (Password Hash), which she can use to generate stronger passwords. Because "Palin2012" is pretty easy to guess.
    And after all that hullabaloo over how much she spent on clothes: Hasn't she ever heard of
  • Heather Locklear: Self-Parking Lexus LS460

    In late September, Melrose Place star Locklear was observed "driving forwards and backwards over a pair of sunglasses and revving her engine" in a Montecito, California, parking lot. Soon thereafter, police found her in her car, which was stopped but obstructing traffic on a city street. Locklear was arrested and charged with driving while under the influence of a controlled substance (scroll down to page 2).
    The arrest came while Locklear was driving--er, ensconced in--a black BMW sedan, a make that's known for fancy gadgets; but what she really needs is a new Lexus LS460 with its Advanced Parking Guidance System option, which Lexus literature describes as follows: "Align the vehicle, put the vehicle in reverse, press a button on the screen, then simply remove your hands from the steering wheel and regulate the vehicle's speed by using the brake." Hmmm, that does seem a bit complicated for someone stuck on revving; maybe a nice new pair of sunglasses instead?
  • Bring on the Celebs!

    I saw Angelina Jolie at a Starbucks near Union Square! At least, it looked like her. I didn't see Brad or the twins anywhere, but I swear, it looked just like her. She got a latte, I got one of those new salted caramel hot chocolates (which was super-yummy); we almost bumped into each other when we both reached for the Splenda.
    So what do you think I should get her for Christmas?
    I bring it up because, many of us have a tough enough time buying holiday presents for friends and relatives--and most of those people aren't nearly as glamorous as Brangelina, Jenniber, or Mary-Kate and Ashley. Celebrities are people, too--they need affirmation just as much as, say, Emile Coue did, and probably more so because--tchsa, they're really famous. These are our suggestions for gifts to make those special someones feel even more special than they already undoubtedly do.
  • Eliot Spitzer: Resume Maker Professional

    When you're an average Joe or Jane and you screw up on the job--even when you *really* screw up--you can probably find other employment. But when you're governor of the third-most-populous state in the country and famous for pursuing Wall Street scumbags, it's a bit harder to hide embarrassing details in your CV.
    Spitzer, who resigned as New York's governor last year after the New York Times reported that he had patronized a prostitution service, has probably reached the end of his political career, so he'll need a new one. To help him improve his image, we'd get him a copy of Individual Software's Resume Maker Professional 15, which is "packed with powerful features that help you write a better resume, land a better job, and earn a higher salary."
  • Wesley Snipes: TurboTax

    Actor and multimillionaire Wesley Snipes was convicted of three misdemeanor counts of failing to file federal income tax returns, and was sentenced to three years in prison. According to the lengthy Wikipedia report on his tax troubles, Snipes was advised by a tax protestor to use a strategy whereby he declared that his income wasn't taxable. If only Snipes had had a better source of tax information.
    He would surely benefit from a copy of TurboTax, which plays it straight when dealing with tax law but can still help Snipes find the deductions he's entitled to.
  • Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards: Home & Business Lawyer 2008

    After divorcing in 2006, Sheen and ex-wife Denise Richards have been conducting a very public custody battle over their two daughters--and racking up big-time legal bills. In June, a judge ordered the two to split $150,000 in attorney's fees--ouch!
    Of course, you have to use high-priced lawyers for the really serious legal work, but both combatants could probably save a few bucks by using Broderbund's Home and Business Lawyer 2008 for some of the basic cease-and-desist letters and other bury-'em-in-paperwork filings. Then maybe they could just meet for coffee.
  • Susan Lucci: Honda Walking Assist

    All My Children star and now-former Dancing With the Stars contestant Susan Lucci is in incredible shape for a 35-year-old, let alone a 61-year-old. But on Dancing With the Stars, she was competing against 25-year-old professional dancers who are in incredible shape. Will Lucci get another shot at Dancing With Stardom next year? Help her level the playing field with the gift of a Honda Walking (Dancing) Assist. As you can see in our video of the device, you sort of sit on the thing, and it helps you move around the room. Of course, to get enough speed out of it for the competition, she'll have to introduce some special mods, but those chips are easy to find online.
  • Madonna: Membership

    The newly divorced Material Girl is having a hard time finding a man who can make her happy. Warren Beatty couldn't do it; neither could Vanilla Ice or Dennis Rodman. Her two husbands--Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie--couldn't keep up with her either. What's missing in Madge's relationships?
    We don't know, because Madonna doesn't keep in touch anymore. So we suggest getting her a subscription to the dating site. "Meet the one who's right for you--right now," says the site, which comfortingly assures you that it screens prospective members for felony convictions. One word of advice: Pay for it with a one-time-use credit card, as one of our past investigations found that the site doesn't like letting go of its subscribers, even after they've found true love.
  • Paris Hilton: Infrared Thermometer

    Wouldn't it be great to have a catch phrase--something that people would forever identify with you and only you? As matters stand, mine would probably be something like "When's dinner?" Ultrawealthy socialite and sometime-TV star Paris Hilton, on the other hand, enjoys being the owner of the cool (or at least tepid) catchy phrase "That's hot." She may not whip it out very frequently anymore, but everyone knows who made it popular.
    The trouble is, how does she know? I think she needs an OSXL450 Infrared Thermometer with Circle/Dot Laser Sighting. Its range of measurements extends from -4 degrees to 608 degrees Fahrenheit, it has a backlit display for night use (handy when you're out partying until dawn--especially in unusually warm conditions), and it includes a laser sight to help you determine what you're actually measuring. That's hot!
  • Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie): Net Nanny Home Suite

    The Jolie-Pitts are the proud (and probably semicrazed by now) parents of six darling children, ranging in age from four months (The Twins) to seven years. Three of the brood--Maddox Chivan, Pax Thien, and Zahara Marley--are probably starting to get into computers and the Internet by now. And if you were Angelina, would you want your kids to be reading about their dad and Jennifer Aniston? This calls for a few copies of Net Nanny Home Suite Web-filtering/blocking software for "Maximum Parental Control." According to the maker, "Net Nanny is a powerful web-blocker tool that provides protection and pre-set monitoring functions, which you can easily customize to meet your family's unique needs." High-profile parents need only add a few keywords, and the kids will be none the wiser.
  • Lindsay Lohan: AlcoHawk PT500

    Lindsay Lohan has been in more scrapes with the law than a curb in front of a doughnut shop. Her alcohol- and cocaine-fueled driving mishaps are legendary, even by Hollywood standards. So tarnished has her reputation become that, when she offered her services to the Obama for President campaign, she was rudely rebuffed. What do you get a gal like that?
    We suggest the AlcoHawk PT500, a portable breathalyzer that utilizes fuel-cell sensor technology to eliminate false positives, according to the maker, and better accuracy than traditional semiconductor sensors. It measures blood-alcohol concentrations of up to 0.4 percent (at which point your blood qualifies for use in indoor/outdoor thermometers). The US$190 standard version comes with 55 disposable mouthpieces; a Professional Kit costs $40 extra and adds a hard case with foam protection and 50 additional mouthpieces.
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