If you’re looking for Bible Applications for your Android phone/tablet/device, and especially if you are in the market for Greek/Hebrew applications, then check out this post.
As a registered nerd I am frequently asked about laptop brands. You can find an excellent overview of the strengths and weakness of the various major manufacturers here.
I would change two ratings. (1) They gave Lenovo a B, but I would give them an A-. They make a good and sturdy laptop and have excellent customer support. The IdeaPads (particularly the Y line) are particularly nice. (2) They gave Sony an A, which I would lower to a B-. If you want an expensive laptop get one of the other A rated brands–Sony does not offer anything these other brands don’t and they have terrible customer support (in my experience).
Bottom line for me: if you want a premium but reasonably priced PC, go Lenovo or Asus. If you’re going cheap try an Acer or an on-sale HP. And shop at newegg.com
It’s amazing how much your productivity increases when you have all the information for all your contacts on all your devices.
There is literally only one service that provides this functionality. And its free.
And, of course, with Thunderbird.
No guide here; your on your own (Sorry—time constraints, but Google is your friend). I just wanted everyone to know that this is out there, and that chances are, it will help.
As the title implies, this guide is for advanced users, but the payoff is huge. By following my guide you can turn your home computer into a media server, which allows you to stream music to any of your other computers anywhere in the world. In fact, it will work with any device that can access a UPnP server, including the iPhone. In order to use this guide you will need to know how to do things like port forwarding, firewall tweaking, and messing around with Windows, so be forewarned. In any case, here it goes.
Foobar2000 is not the prettiest Media Player out there, but it is by far the most powerful. By far. Get it and install it on your Windows desktop. It also runs perfectly in Linux under Wine.
You will also need a couple of plugins. You can find the most important 3rd Party plugins for foobar2000 here and a whole host of others here. There are lots of good components here, but you absolutely need at least two of them: columnsUI and UPnP Server. You install these by placing them in the “Components” folder in Foobar2000′s installation directory (usually C:/Program Files/Foobar2000), which you can access in Foobar2000 by going to “File-Folders-Browse Components Folder.” Copy the required files in here and restart Foobar2000.
Set Up Your Server
To set up your server go to “File-Preferences” and then browse “Tools-UPnP-Server.”
Under “Basic Settings” you should not have to change anything, unless you want to customize your port number (which I did).
Under “Advanced Settings” click the “Allow Internet access” box. This allows your server to be accessed from somewhere other than your local network—at work, for example. Enter your IP address or host name here. If you do not have a static IP address, you will need to use a Dynamic DNS service to access your computer. This one is easy and free. Add a login and password to protect yourself, and you’re good to go.
At this point you may need to forward the port you selected to the computer running Foobar2000. Do this by going to your router and making the necessary modifications.
If you have a lot of large or lossless files, be sure to set up transcoding in the “Streaming” tab.
Accessing Your UPnP Server
Most UPnP compatible software on your network should recognize the new server automatically. The instance of Foobar2000 on my (Linux!) laptop had no problems.
To get an album list in Foobar2000 you will need to install the UPnP plugin on all instances of Foobar2000 and then add a panel to your theme. Its not that hard; just follow the advice in the UPnP Server forum.
Getting Music on Your iPhone
To access your UPnP server and play music on your iPhone you will need the $6 PlugPlayer. Install that from the App Store. On your local network it will automatically recognize the Foobar2000 UPnP server. To access your music remotely, click on “Configure”, select the Foobar2000 server you set up, and then change the “Base URL” to the Public Server IP you added in Foobar2000 (with port number). Then you will need to type “/[USERNAME][PASSWORD]” substitution [USERNAME] for your username and [PASSWORD] for your password, without spaces or anything. For example: http://dummy.homedns.org:9001/namepassword. The “9001″ is the port number as listed in “Basic Settings” in Foobar2000. After testing those instructions at my workplace I can confirm that it works as expected. The one problem (in the 2.2.0 release of PlugPlayer) is that the app forgets your settings, so you have to add this manually each time you login remotely. The developer has promised a fix for this shortly.
Google has implemented cell-phone syncing of your contacts. From their blog:
Once you set up Sync, changes you make to your calendar or contacts are reflected on your device within minutes since the connection is over-the-air and always on. And it’s two way, so your calendar and contacts are always up-to-date, no matter whether you make changes on your phone or from your browser. Also, since your information is automatically backed up to your Google account, it’s securely stored even if you accidentally drop your phone in the pool. Getting your address book and calendar to a new phone is as easy as setting up Sync again.
Google sync currently works on the iPhone and on Windows Mobile phone (for contacts and calendar). The contacts-only version works with a number of mobile devices.
While I am (quite obviously) a big advocate of the church putting technology to good use, it is also important to be careful and purposeful about such adoption. To that end, Justin Taylor lists Five Things the Church Needs to Know About Technological Change.
Obama was hailed by supporters and detractors alike for his tech-awareness (Twitter, Blackberry, a very well put-together web site, etc). It seems, however, that Obama has the same problems with technology that everyone else has. He may have to give up his Blackberry, for example, over security issues.
More interestingly, Obama’s “Open for Questions” website, a Digg-like system that allows interested parties to ask questions of Obama and vote on those of other users, has run into problems. Politico reports:
It was suggested when it launched that the tool would bring uncomfortable questions to the fore, but the results so far are the opposite: Obama’s supporters appear to be using — and abusing — a tool allowing them to “flag” questions as “inappropriate” to remove all questions mentioning Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich from the main pages of Obama’s website.
The Blagojevich questions — many of them polite and reasonable — can be found only by searching words in them, like “Blagojevich,” which produces 35 questions missing from the main page of the site. ….
Declaring a question “inappropriate” is different from merely voting it down; it’s calling foul on a question, not just disapproving of it.
Community reporting systems like this are often vulnerable to abuse from committed partisans — YouTube has wrestled with a parallel problem — and the only solution is conscious efforts to remedy it.
So far, Obama’s team does not seem to have stepped in to allow uncomfortable questions to rise to the top, and instead is allowing his supporters to sanitize the site.
Read the whole article.
The Blagojevich question is not the only politely inquiry question to be flagged. Justin Taylor posted a link to his question about the Freedom of Choice Act here, and according to the comments in this post (and my own visit to the site), it was flagged shortly thereafter as inappropriate.
Obama’s tech savvy is laudable, but it may be that in practice his administration will not differ all that much from what McCain’s might have been.
Biblical Studies and Technology Tools has a run down of some of the new technology presented at SBL. Read about that here.
Or at least think about it.
While not yet fully “cracked,” WPA is now officially cracking. WPA is a security technology that many businesses, churches, seminaries, and home-owners use to secure their network traffic. It encrypts all data that is sent from your computer to your router so that others cannot read it or tamper with your network. Two researchers have been partially succesfull in cracking this sacrosanct security technology. Read about the technical details here. Here is a more descriptive analysis.
While homes and smaller organizations probably need not worry about this development, larger organizations that deal with sensitive data should consider upgrading their security to WPA2, which is still considered rock-solid safe.
For the rest of us: next time you buy a router or wireless card, make sure it supports WPA2.