Tablet Or Phone?: Today’s Touchscreen Computing, “The Hobbit” Filmed At 48 Fps And Where

Taking a look at mobile computing, the fine line between phones and the tablets has become faint. Google has a full line-up of Nexus brand devices from a 10″ tablet to the new fourth generation Nexus phone, and we’ll compare them to their competitors. Then, we look at why the upcoming “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is like no movie before.

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Fruity Spirit: Peace

Peace can be mean many things; it can mean rest, safety, refuge, shelter, and more. The Lord is the ultimate peace-giver, as his word says time and time again.

May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” Ruth 2:12

Taking refuge in God is your ticket to eternal peace in Heaven. To be peaceful, and to have peace at mind and heart, we have to rely on Christ’s encouragement and protection. As humans, we have a nasty tendency to revert to anger or aggression in place of peace. Under God’s wings we take refuge in him, in the Lord, and find peace in his refuge.

Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me.” Isaiah 27:5

Again, this verse talks about refuge in God, which is very important to our faith, and we remember to let God take care of the bad guys and we help get  them saved. Being peaceful can make such a difference to our reputation and in the lives of others. To be someone who has peace and brings peace to the chaotic lives of others, who are living everyday in such a violent world, can change their lives for eternity.

This week, I encourage you to find peace in Christ. Pray, reflect, worship, and set your heart at rest, so that you can show others the rest and restoration that the Lord offers freely.

Before you can do anything else, you have to be saved and redeemed by confessing your sins. Just as well, in order to listen to the Spirit, follow Christ’s example, and obey God’s commands, we need to have our heart in a place that is ready to listen, follow, and obey–in the refuge and sanctity of the Lord.

The Lord will rescue his servants;  no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.” Psalm 34:22

 

Don’t forget to check-in next week for my post on Patience!

New Microsoft “Surfaces”, iPad Mini and 4th Gen

Apple wrote the story of the tablet, didn’t they? This week, we’ve seen a lot of new heat brewing in the tablet space. Apple unveiled two new iPads: a Mini and 4th Generation iPad.  But with the recent Nexus 7 and the new Kindle Fires, it already looked Apple may have been given a run for its money. In only a couple days, Microsoft will be selling Windows 8 RT, the tablet version of Windows 8, along with the x86 desktop versions of the new Windows. With Windows 8 RT, Microsoft is bringing not only its own Surface tablets, but other Windows PC makers are jumping on board. Apple just announced its iPad 4th generation, along with the 7.9″ iPad Mini, which while cheaper than the regular iPad is also slightly larger than competitors in the size range.

Can a new logo, public image, marketing campaign, and entirely rethought strategy change the Microsoft we thought we knew? Microsoft is doing a lot to change who they are as a public company. As BGR editor Zach Epstein points out, Windows for the longest time has been an operating system that people used, but not one that necessarily inspired the advocacy of passionate followers. Things start to look different with Surface RT, starting at $399. Add $99 for the touch-sensitive keyboard-case, another $10 if you want the thicker cover with press-able keys, and you have a premium device. A 10.6″ ClearBlack screen, the thickness of an iPad 3rd gen, XDXC switchable ports, USB, and the Magsafe dock make it one-of-a-kind. The Surface is a device the likes of which we’ve never seen from Microsoft, and we’ve never seen anything like this for advertising from them, either. First airing after a new Dancing with the Stars episode, this commercial gives Microsoft some jazz that Ninja Tuna and Bob Acri never could. Read more on Surface, on Windows.

You really didn’t think you would be shocked this time, did you? But, nonetheless, you are as Apple unveils an entirely new generation of iPad, instead of a refresh. Starting at $499 (WiFi) and $629 (LTE), the 4th gen iPad has many similarities to the iPad 3, but it has a few new specifications, including a 720p HD camera, faster WiFi, and the Apple A6X processor. What most people did expect is the iPad Mini, a device to compete with smaller tablet counterparts running Android. It will run you $329 (WiFi) for the lowest memory, but it gives you your premium Apple product with access to the vast wonders of the App Store and other services. Read more.

Sources: BGR, WPCentral

November’s Big Releases, Updates For All

This November we will have a wealth of new games to play. There will be many big name titles coming out for the holidays, and there should be something for everyone. First up is the long awaited alien-shooter Halo 4 coming out on Nov 6. This new game will start the next Halo trilogy, and introduce a new enemy and new game elements. Also coming out on Nov 6 is NASCAR The Game: Inside Line. This new racing game will be a hardcore simulator, but is also to be friendly to beginners. On Nov 13 comes the one and only Black Ops 2. This year’s Call of Duty should add some spice to the series with an entirely rethought story and campaign. Hitman Absolution, the next game in the Hitman stealth series, comes out Nov 20 with more replay value in its contract mode. Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 will also be coming out on Nov 20. Soccer fans can look forward to the next year’s sports gaming, with better gameplay, graphics, and more modes than ever. More November releases

A free dashboard update…what’s better? All Xbox Live subscribers and Playstation users will get an update that will greatly improve their console experiences. The Xbox update will include many things including Internet Explorer, improved voice recognition, a ratings and recommendations section, 9 more supported languages, and customizable homescreens. Microsoft says it wants it to feel more like Windows 8. Sony is also doing a dashboard update. Sony’s Playstation update is more focused on their store; now, everything in a game series is on one store page. More on the Xbox update  More on the PlayStation update

Sources: VGReleases, BGR, and USA TODAY

Fruity Spirit: Joy

Last week, we talked Love in our series talking through each of the fruits of the Spirit, humorously named “Fruity Spirit”.

Joy isn’t always being  jumping-off-walls happy or shouting “Jesus loves you!” (which sometimes may be the case). Joy can just be being happy about anything and everything. Though sometimes we don’t know how to be happy, because we don’t know or understand what God gives us or why he’s done something, it’s all right because God knows, and understands exactly what’s going on. No matter what, God has a plan for you, and he knows exactly how to get you through the tunnel to the light at the end.

They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you. Deuteronomy 28:46-48

These verses can really dig deep, because they flatly say that if you’re not joyful in the Lord, you will be destroyed! Now maybe it’s not quite for us like it was for the Israelite, but if we don’t have joy in the Lord even as Christians, we can destroy ourselves.

I have a really hard time being happy for all that happens in my life. And that’s natural. From the wise words of one of my previous pastors, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” This rings true throughout our lives; the importance to remain joyful, even when its hard, and especially to be joyful when it isn’t, this is what we are all called to do as followers of Christ.

Check out my post next week on Peace!

Xbox Gets a New Jam, The New Network, Testing Consciousness

Microsoft has offered Zune players and music services for a long time, but with the passing of the Zune player, the Zune pass is also being retired. Xbox Music launches for Xbox 360 October 16th as Microsoft’s answer to music streaming like Rdio or Spotify. Offering unlimited (DRM‘d) music downloads from the 18 million song database (for the US), the service is impressive. Down be confused, though. Xbox Music is both the streaming/download service and the store, which will be available on Windows 8 (being released on October 26th) and Windows Phone 8 devices.

The Xbox Music service provides a variety of features, but also has a downside. Actually – there’s two or three. First, the (US) price of the subscription is $9.99 a month, but you can alternatively choose to purchase a full year of service for $99.99. Second, you are required to have an Xbox Gold account, which is of course a separate, paid subscription. If you can bear to shovel the dough, the service is probably superior, offering intelligent “Smart DJ” channels based on your specifications, which will use both your current music, including your unlimited downloads, and your unlimited stream of music. ‘Unlimited’ is the key word, and that factor probably provides the best chance in helping Xbox Music become a real competitor for music. Read more.

Surprise! The majority share of Sprint Nextel was just bought at over $20 million. What does this mean for the future of the yellow carrier? For those of you, like myself, on the carrier which provides the only “truly unlimited data” network, this change in majority stock means that the Japanese company SoftBank has the biggest say – 70% –  in the goings-on of the carrier, and more importantly, Sprint now has $8 million to blow on getting its name back. Whether this means better 4G LTE, more phones, or just better commercials, this investment can hardly be a bad thing for Sprint. Read more.

Neurologists from the Belgian National Research fund may have discovered a more definitive method of determining whether a patient is actively conscious. Many patients may be put into a state of minimal consciousness, called a vegetative state.  Melanie Boly and her team presented a new method to measure the amount of consciousness that someone in a vegetative state may have; doctors may soon be able to measure just how actively someone is thinking while in a state resulting from something like brain trauma or cardiac arrest. At a point at which there is no option for resuscitation, families of patients may which to decide whether their family member should remain on life support, or be let off. This method involves emitting brief electromagnetic pulses through cranial electrodes and measuring the resultant brain activity. Doctors can then see into the minds of patients just a little, and can better inform the conscious of the unconscious mind. Read more.

Sources: Engadget, BGR, Nature News, Popular Science

Fruity Spirit: Love

Last week, I introduced our new series: Fruity Spirit. This week, we’re talking about the first fruit of the Spirit, love. We’ll continue our series right on down through every fruit on the tree, so hang around…

Love isn’t just a wonderful thing that God gives and shows us, it is required of us to give it as Christians. Giving love is definitely a big part of our faith – though the biggest part of our walk with God is loving God.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-7

I really like these verses, because they talk about what true love is. The passage explains that when you talk and teach about God, but don’t love God,  you don’t really believe what you’re saying.  If you give everything you own, but you don’t love it, doesn’t mean anything. Lastly, love is so incredible that it can be an amazing gift of prosperity that God gave us. Does the love in your life look like that?

God loved us so much to give us his son, and that’s the ultimate love. God calls us now to reflect that love by loving others enough to show them Christ’s love! You get that? We are called to love God and to love people, and without first having love, everything else you do is worthless. We can live a life of love by doing good things, being the good Samaritan, living the golden rule, and I think you get the idea.

Don’t forget to check in next week for my post on joy!

NASA Left in the Dust?, Toxic Smartphones

We knew NASA has been going through some changes, allowing private companies like SpaceX to do the rocketry because of lack of funds, but it looks like NASA is shut out of the latest project. And don’t miss finding out just how toxic your phone is!

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Top 10 Selling Games This Month

This week we are looking at the top 10 selling games of September and what Nintendo and Microsoft have been up to.

Statistics based off VGChartz’s data show the latest, most popular games, compiled from Sept 1st to 22nd. Whether this helps you decide what to buy, or bragging rights on whose favorite game is really more popular, here it is:

  • 10. NHL (PS3) with 45,000 copies sold
  • 9. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (PS3) with 52,000 copies sold
  • 8. NHL (Xbox 360) with 76,000
  • 7. Borderlands 2 (PC) with 110.000
  • 6. Borderlands 2 (pS3) with 287,000
  • 5. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS) with 400,000 (during reviewed time)
  • 4. Guild Wars 2 (PC) with 500,000
  • 3. Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360) with 613,000
  • 2. Madden NFL 13 (PS3) with 724,000
  • 1. Madden NFL 13 (PS3) with 877,000

Read more.

Nintendo has been busy this week while Sony has been sleep, meanwhile Microsoft has gone in lock down mode. Nintendo recently released Mario’s first DLC, three map packs for coin rush mode. They also gave a surprise video about the new animal crossing game for 3DS. Recently Microsoft went into lock down by closing off sections of their facility, so they could work on the Xbox 720 in peace. Read more.

Fruity Spirit

You all know of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. Applying these things to your life means that you are trusting in the Spirit before anyone or anything else.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 

Briefly, I’m going to go through each fruit of the Spirit. Starting, naturally, with the first.

Love is probably widely believed to be the easiest, but really to love how God wants us to is much harder than it seems. Outside of loving God, love is also treating others the way you want to be treated:

‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.'” Leviticus 19:18

That verse is really powerful as its talking about neighbor as your self loving which I find very difficult. Jesus also talks about loving your enemies, which is really crushing at times. Most important, though, is loving God. The verse below is repeated throughout the old and new testament, for good reason:

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5

Joy is being happy with everything that happens, and it can often be more difficult than anything else.

On the following day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and then went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things the Lord had done for his servant David and his people Israel.” 1 Kings 8:66

This verse explains that the people of Israel were happy with what good things God had done for their nation. And for us this means that you must always be joyful–even if something horrible happens.

Peace (also called forbearance) can be a lot of things, from being content to being a moderator between family or friends. Peace can be compared to love, because love is often required. With it, you can be the bridge between a friend and his enemy, or even two friends. Peace is incredibly important to  our faith, because if you’re violent then nobody will listen to your testimony.

Patience, this could possibly be called the easiest fruit to grow in your heart. Patience can be waiting and not complaining or…

…in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left…” 2 Corinthians 6:5-7

… a weapon. Yup, I said it. A weapon. In fact, all the fruits of the Spirit are weapons (I’ll talk about this further in another post).

Kindness is mentioned in that last verse, saying it too was a weapon, but it focuses on reaching out to people.

Goodness is incredibly crucial; it is our purity, righteousness, and obedience to God. Having goodness means that we strive to walk with God in everything.

Faithfulness could possibly be the most important fruit of all.

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”” Exodus 34:6

This verse talks about how God is eternally faithful to us and how because of his faithfulness, we need to return it. Faithfulness basically means devotion, which means that God is devoted to us.

Gentleness, I always think of whales when I hear the word gentleness because they’re so gentle (except maybe Killer Whales). Gentleness basically means hugs and pillows, but that doesn’t mean you go around giving hugs and pillows.

Last but definitely not least is self-control. This is important because, without it, we won’t have the will to strive for any of the other fruits of the Spirit.

It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” Titus 2:12

Paul tells us specifically that the only way to live a successful life is to be self-controlled.

The fruits of the Spirit may appear to only be contained in a few verses of Galatians, but, in reality, are important and powerful qualities found in places all over the bible, and to be applied all over our lives. Over the next nine weeks, I’ll be getting into detail for each fruit in a new series called “Fruity Spirit”.

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