Category Archives: Tech
Just another reason we can’t hitch our faith to0 tightly the posts of archaeology or science. Last year, scientists reported that tiny neutrinos (sub-atomic particles) sent from CERN to Gran Sasso had arrived faster than the speed of light! This implied all kinds of mind-blowing possibilities about the universe. I even thought it might have some relevance toward N.T. Wright’s view of eschatology (described in Surprised by Hope) and the body of the Risen Jesus passing through walls, etc…
They presented the research, which has been peer reviewed and not duplicated. The differences have been attributed to not plugging in a cable properly. (Isn’t that always the problem?) I still think we may some day make amazing discoveries along the lines of Colossians 1:15-20 “…in Him all things hold together…” But that day will have to wait. And truth is, science is not capable of proving faith at all. A saving relationship with the divine will always require a leap of faith! To be changed, we must trust. And we can only come to trust by the Grace of a loving God empowering us to do so.
For those who haven’t already read the Press Release from this summer, I have included the text below…
Neutrinos sent from CERN to Gran Sasso respect the cosmic speed limit
At the 25th International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics in Kyoto today, CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci presented results on the time of flight of neutrinos from CERN to the INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory on behalf of four experiments situated at Gran Sasso. The four, Borexino, ICARUS, LVD and OPERA all measure a neutrino time of flight consistent with the speed of light. This is at odds with a measurement that the OPERA collaboration put up for scrutiny last September, indicating that the original OPERA measurement can be attributed to a faulty element of the experiment’s fibre optic timing system.
“Although this result isn’t as exciting as some would have liked,” said Bertolucci, “it is what we all expected deep down. The story captured the public imagination, and has given people the opportunity to see the scientific method in action – an unexpected result was put up for scrutiny, thoroughly investigated and resolved in part thanks to collaboration between normally competing experiments. That’s how science moves forward.”
In another development reported in Kyoto, the OPERA experiment showed evidence for the appearance of a second tau-neutrino in the CERN muon-neutrino beam, this is an important step towards understanding the science of neutrino oscillations.
CERN Press Office, firstname.lastname@example.org
via CERN Press Release.
If you’re a Mac user and a Quicken user it’s been a rough 5 years. There have been no serious updates in that time. If you’ve been surviving on Quicken Essentials for Mac 2010 and hoping for more, don’t bother with the Quicken 2007 Lion-compatible $15 update. First, it’s just wrong that it comes 2 years too late. 2nd It’s nearly a crime to charge for it. I was really hoping it would bring me back to a fuller Quicken experience, but no. After exporting the data from QE Mac 2010 as directed and then importing that file into QM 2007 Lion my balances were so messed up it was a joke. Right click>Move to Trash.
The only way this would be a viable option is if you’ve been using QM 2007 on a Snow Leopard or earlier machine up until today. Then, you could simply open that file in the new version after you upgrade to Lion or switch to a Mac running Lion. The data export is not accurate. So save yourself a 20min torture experience and skip it. Intuit initiated a refund right away, to their credit. But it’s too bad they can’t really get behind the only computer platform that is actually expanding its user base.
If this post saves someone else the trouble, it will have been worth it. The trouble with nearly all other Mac finance programs is balance errors. iBank was terrible after 3-4 downloads of transactions. Mint.com hasn’t been updated by Intuit in forever. It’s a sad situation for financial software on the Mac. Thankfully, just about everything else is completely awesome! Nothing is perfect in this life and computers will not add meaning to our lives.
A bit extreme, eh? The printed books on the table look more inviting!
Probably the most in-depth review of “the new” iPad. The most interesting thing about the iPad is how it’s a symbol of the march of technology. In my college dorm room I had an 8086 clone with no hard drive and dual 5.25″ floppy disc drives! The monitor was 720 x 480 and weighed 25lbs. When you consider how much more powerful a handheld iPad is, it’s pretty amazing. I haven’t had my 25th reunion yet. That’s a lot of ground covered. Computers aren’t just for geeks anymore. I was thrilled to be able to type my papers after library hours. Now you could shoot and edit a Hi-Def movie on a piece of glass, then upload it in minutes on a super fast LTE network for all the world to see. And the library comes to you. Stacks of books fitting into one slab thinner than any paperback. And of course studying and presenting the Bible on a touchscreen is pretty amazing, too. My tag line is “letting the Christian Scriptures bring life into focus…” Now it’s easier than ever to do just that.
Even if you have perfect vision, indulge me here for a second. You know when you go in for an eye exam and you’re asked to look at a combination of letters and numbers on a chart against a far wall? You read the first few lines, then realize you actually can’t go any further. Then you get prescribed glasses (or contacts) and you can all of a sudden read every letter and number. And even the ones you could read before are now so much clearer.
That’s what it’s like looking at the new iPad versus the older iPads.
It’s weird because I was never one of those people who thought the original iPad’s and the iPad 2’s screen was poor (but there were plenty of those people in the post-iPhone Retina world). I guess it’s just like a pre-glasses world — you never realize how blurry things are…
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Here comes the Matrix! For better or for worse major corporations and tech companies want to be the first to break through into quantum computing. To possess this technology will change our world. But who will control it and what will it be used for? As I’ve reflected on the Matrix movie it seems like simulation is both heaven and hell for human beings. Sanctified imagination can unleash potential and help us overcome. But at one point God said humanity’s thoughts were “evil and that continually…” So how successful will we be in riding this light for good? And what of the machines? Will they be servant or master in this realized world?
In the meantime close doesn’t count, but really close does. (watch the videos at the link). What are your thoughts about IBM taking a Quantum Leap? Will we get there? Will it be a dream or nightmare?
Our state (Indiana) is embroiled in a hot debate over Right-to-Work. Republicans are pushing through legislation that will weaken unions and theoretically help non-union workers and create more jobs. But I think both sides are missing the big point.
I’ve been shocked by some recent articles describing manufacturing supply-chain scenarios for major tech companies like my beloved Apple, Inc. It sure seems like its going to require huge coordinated commitments from the U.S. government, big businesses, and educational institutions to bring any serious job growth to our future.
I’m disappointed that companies like Apple have decided beforehand that U.S. workers won’t embrace change and so have gone whole-hog for an Asian-dominant vision of manufacturing. No doubt it helped propel Apple quickly to the top. By boldly embracing the Chinese vision, the iPhone prototypes received a glass screen just 6 weeks before launch in 2007, changing the tech world for the short-term future. But according to recent reports from Bloomberg, workers live in barracks and are sometimes summoned from deep sleep to be on the floor in 45min for 12hour shifts making very low wages. Some companies employ a quarter of a million employees in such conditions. That’s how there’s always a new iPhone or Android device each year. Companies get exactly what they want exactly when they want it.
If this is the price of speed in innovation, is it worth it? I don’t think RTW laws will undo this trend, unless the goal is reproducing that scenario here. But neither will out of control unions which simply centralize their own power. Leaders will have to produce a more comprehensive model with input from all the players to accomplish any lasting changes. Do any of them have the courage and will to do it? Surely recent Asian natural disasters have shown us the vulnerability of the model. Hard drives will not be cheap again for quite a while. And it’s hard to find a new Honda to purchase, for example. (Japan and Taiwan are a lot different than China, however.)
And will U.S. consumers support a transition? Would it cause inflation? And whose projections can be trusted? What role could unions play in any transition? I for one am going to be more conscious of these issues as I consider future purchases. I’ll also be listening to what politicians have to say of substance on these matters. Could it become an act of patriotism to get a carefully designed and government subsidized associates degree related to mid-level product engineering (rather than a four year professional degree) and voluntarily work really hard? If enough Americans signed up would enough companies build factories here over a two-year period while an army of people get the necessary training? Maybe then RTW could make a difference. Until something on this scale is attached I’m skeptical and concerned about workers. In the past, only war efforts have achieved this kind of coordinated effort.
More importantly I’ll be praying for myself and my nation. Only God can bring about the changes in us required for such a resurgence. And it will have to be combined with a deep repentence and reverence for God and the value of human life. The era of laws and resolutions making a huge difference is passing. Coordinated innovation on a national scale fueled by spiritual transformation could bring a new day. Apart from it, we’ll slide into mediocrity. We can’t be great apart from God.
The Church can stand strong regardless of the outcome. But I pray we keep shining light in the darkness. The gospel can bring meaning and hope despite circumstances. And I hope Christians lead the way (even older generations) to a bold future in this country.
As I was reading The Daily Office tonight in Jeremiah 36 I was struck once again by Baruch’s crucial role. Jeremiah was given a nearly impossible ministry that would keep him from enjoying a family. But God gave him Baruch. It’s not clear that they spent a lot of time together. But when Jeremiah needed an assistant, Baruch was there. That had to lighten his load. The king tears up and burns your scroll of judgement? No problem, summon your faithful assistant and dictate another with a few new choice lines… I guess it stood out with the advent of Siri, a new digital assistant on Apple’s newest phone. That it’s taken so long to develop this technology, speaks to the challenge of being someone’s assistant. Listening to verbal commands and translating them into written work or obedient action is hard work.
Thank God for Jeremiahs who speak up and boldly proclaim. But thank God also for Baruchs who labor behind the scenes to help deliver these messages… Both serve the true King fully. So are you a Jeremiah? A Baruch? Somewhere in between? How can you use your unique gifts in your faith community or neighborhood to contribute this week?
OK this is all kinds of awesome! A little fun for April Fools! The Apple Store Playset! (complete with add-on Line Package for the “complete experience”!) Makes my Star Trek play set seem lame! 8)
Also head on over to gmail.com to see an exciting new feature! Gmail Motion! Throw away that keyboard!
Happy April Fools Day, everyone!
Click the above link to a story that’s been brewing for a few years. Steve Green is an unlikely curator but the Evangelical entrepreneur behind Hobby Lobby is founding a museum. For several years he’s amassed an amazing collection of Bible manuscripts. That’s right. And he actually seems to get it, too. He wants to tell the world the story of the Bible. Not the stories IN the Bible, but the story of the emergence of the Bible itself. I’ve spent a fair amount of time reconstructing this story myself and it’s epic. Manuscripts, codices, fragments, printing presses, inquisitions, martyrs, goats, shepherd boys, heroes, villains, it’s got it all. If he tells it well, the world will be amazed. You can’t fully appreciate this holy book until you have some idea of the drama that brought it together. This is important for the whole world to see!
Green says this is a non-sectarian project. Jews, Catholics, and Protestants are all contributing and taking turns hosting this museum-on-the-move until it finds a permanent home. (My basement is available, by the way!) This is also in my top 5 ultimate field trips! I studied 8 semesters of ancient Greek and 2 of Hebrew. I love the history and story behind the manuscripts. There’s an art and science to textual criticism. I’m a complete geek for this kind of stuff!
To top it all, interesting technology will be used to display and experience The Book in its various stages and forms. When I was in Kansas City in 2007 for the M7 Nazarene conference, the Dead Sea scrolls were also in town. I saw first-hand how technology multiplies the productivity and allows anyone to get involved. After a fascinating workshop I was granted access to hi-res images of the scroll fragments, which can be opened in Photoshop and aligned. Let’s see…Dead Sea Scroll fragments, Photoshop, and my Mac! Yes I was drooling! This also allows damaged, previously unreadable fragments to be read through infrared photography! Like I said I’m a geek and I absolutely cannot wait to experience this museum. So are you up for the road trip?