Month: July 2015

Is Apple Supporting Terrorism?

“Wittes and Bedell argue that Apple’s decision to “move aggressively to implement end-to-end encrypted systems, and indeed to boast about them” after being “publicly and repeatedly warned by law enforcement at the very highest levels that ISIS is recruiting Americans” — in part through the use of encrypted messaging apps — could make the company liable if “an ISIS recruit uses exactly this pattern to kill some Americans.” Source: Obama Administration War Against Apple and Google …

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Why You Should Fear the Future and Think about Your Business Now

“This is for the same reason we just discussed—the Law of Accelerating Returns. The average rate of advancement between 1985 and 2015 was higher than the rate between 1955 and 1985—because the former was a more advanced world—so much more change happened in the most recent 30 years than in the prior 30. So—advances are getting bigger and bigger and happening more and more quickly. This suggests some pretty intense things about our future, right? …

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Polynomial Codes Over Certain Finite Fields, or Why Things You Don’t Think Matter Actually Matter

“Whatever new technologies are on the horizon, history has taught us that Reed-Solomon-based coding will probably still be there, behind the scenes, safeguarding our data against errors. Like the genes within an organism, the codes have been passed down to subsequent generations, slightly adjusted and optimized for their new environment. They have a proven track record that starts on Earth and extends ever further into the Milky Way. “There cannot be a code that can …

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The Death (and Salvation?) of Religious Studies: A Conversation with Carrie Schroeder

Source: Thinking Religion: The Death (and Salvation?) of Religious Studies: A Conversation with Carrie Schroeder | Thinking.FM Thomas and I have a new Thinking Religion podcast episode featuring Prof. Carrie Shroeder where we discuss all sorts of things… Stargate to Digital Humanities to why you should blog on your own site (academic or church or individual). Fun listen (I think). Enjoy…

Yahoo’s Livetext Brings Us “Giffing”

“Yahoo describes the app as “live video texting,” essentially a combination of self-facing live video and chat. Each Livetext starts as a livestream akin to Periscope, which is then overlaid with text messages typed by the user in real time, scrolling upwards like a conventional texting program. Each Livetext is one-to-one and doesn’t begin until both parties agree to open the channel, cutting down on the potential for spam or abuse.” Source: Yahoo reveals Livetext, …

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Oh, Microsoft

First thing you see when you begin the upgrade to Windows 10… binding arbitration clause. Thanks, lawyers.

Litmus Test

If you get upset when people mispronounce Suetonius, you should listen to Thinking Religion with Thomas Whitley and me. We love you and we feel your pain.

Civilians Using Handguns in Self Defense

The NRA likes the idea of training so much that it’s floated the idea of mandatory firearms training for school children. On the other hand, it’s opposed laws requiring mandatory training for gun purchases. Many states allow concealed carry without any training or permit for people as young as 16. Most states don’t require gun owners or purchasers to even be licensed, much less trained. And a handful, like Arizona, have passed laws prohibiting localities from imposing their …

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Wilco’s Star Wars and My Personal Helicon

Only Wilco could make something this eruptive feel so comfy, like a steel-wool security blanket. Source: Wilco’s New Album: Star Wars | Rolling Stone I’ve been enjoying the heck out of this album over the past week. I was skeptical at first … it being a “free” and “surprise” album with a cutesy yet askew title that Wilco just dropped on us all last week. After listening to it in the office throughout the week then …

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‘Go Set a First Draft’

“In one of her last interviews, conducted in 1964, Lee said: “I think the thing that I most deplore about American writing … is a lack of craftsmanship. It comes right down to this — the lack of absolute love for language, the lack of sitting down and working a good idea into a gem of an idea.” A publisher that cared about Harper Lee’s legacy would have taken those words to heart, and declined …

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“What is Left is Pretty Much McDonalds”

“What is left is pretty much McDonald’s — the restaurant of the masses, the great democratizer, the substitute for the community square, where it is possible to read or nurse a cheap cup of coffee for hours, or to nap after taking a daily methadone dose.” Source: A Manhattan McDonald’s With Many Off-the-Menu Sales – The New York Times

Confessions of a Congress Member

Discouragement is for wimps. We aren’t going to change the Constitution, so we need to make the system we have work. We are still, despite our shortcomings, the most successful experiment in self-government in history. Our greatest strength is our ability to bounce back from mistakes like we are making today. Get over your nostalgia: Congress has never been more than a sausage factory. The point here isn’t to make us something we’re not. The …

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Undervaluing The Click and Mobile’s Importance in Conversions

Mobile advertising is worth ten times the amount marketers think because it drives more offline sales than marketers are able to measure, according to Google’s Matt Bush. Source: Google: mobile is ten times more valuable than marketers think Part of me (the marketing consultant part) wants to jump up and down and say “YES! SEE! READ THIS, SKEPTICAL CLIENT!” Another part of me (the cynical online marketing veteran part) looks at this relatively cynically since …

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You Won’t Make Money with Your Website

“The future for most publishers is likely that of pure content production only, save for the few — like Gruber — who are destination sites capable of selling native advertising in stream (or selling subscriptions, like this site). What is very much in question is exactly how users will feel when they finally get what they claim they wish for.” Source: Why Web Pages Suck – Stratechery by Ben Thompson Ben is mostly right with …

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Google Affiliate Network 3.0

“To be clear, the merchants will still handle the actual product fulfillment, although the pages will be hosted by Google. The company emphasized that it’s trying to reduce the friction in mobile purchases without interfering in the relationship between merchants and consumers. That’s why the purchase page will carry the merchant’s branding, and if the product isn’t exactly what the shopper is looking for, they’ll even be able to search for other products.” Source: Google Unveils …

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Google Domains Web Hosting Partners

This morning I’ve been working on a site domain issue for a new client who we’re building a website for, along with social media and email newsletter campaigns. The issue I’m working on is rather obscure, and I had a quick thought to check out how other domain services handle it to compare with the service we are using (Namecheap) for this account. I reviewed the regulars such as Hover, GoDaddy, eNom, Network Solutions etc then …

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The problem with demanding that secular culture reflect biblical principles

“We were never commissioned to demand that secular culture reflect biblical principles. We were commissioned to reflect biblical principles in the middle of secular culture, pointing to God’s redemptive story.” Source: Christians Shouldn’t Be Culture’s Morality Police | RELEVANT Magazine Good article that I wish more people of faith would read. There’s no shame in actually following Jesus and his example of communing with those who disagreed with him and who were labeled as “bad …

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Obama Administration Issues Final Contraception Coverage Religious Accommodation Rules

“Providing written notice, courts have determined, does not constitute a substantial burden on religious exercise. Beyond that, the rulings emphasize, contraception is made available and paid for by others under the plan, not the objecting religious organizations.” Source: Obama Administration Issues Final Contraception Coverage Religious Accommodation Rules Finally. Now let’s move on to issues affecting our communities, states, and country that deserve the type of scrutiny, examination, and money that this has received.

How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet

“I suppose earlier generations had to sit through all this huffing and puffing with the invention of television, the phone, cinema, radio, the car, the bicycle, printing, the wheel and so on, but you would think we would learn the way these things work, which is this: 1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal; 2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting …

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