RIM Bringing on Better BlackBerry, webOS Open-sourced, New Razer Blade

This week we talk about what we’ve seen of RIM’s Blackberry 10 at BBJam America 2012, webOS going open-source, and the newest edition of the Razer Blade gaming laptop. Read the rest of this entry

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Jaws: Revisited

I really wasn’t going to do another Jaws post. Really. Watching the movie again, I just had to come back to it. Partly because I am such a huge shark fan, but mainly because God refilled my ideas on the subject.

Try to look at it as a visual. Jaws ate around a dozen people. But in the end, everyone knows how it ends. The difference is that sin takes a lot more people than Jaws ever did.

This one is perhaps a little too literal, but it gets the idea across:

All your enemies open their mouths wide against you; they scoff and gnash their teeth and say, “We have swallowed her up. This is the day we have waited for; we have lived to see it.” Lamentations 2:16

Let’s face it. Sin isn’t pretty. The bible describes it as a prowling lion, and countless accounts of enemies lying in wait depict a dangerous world. I’m not just revisiting Jaws because I’m a fan, but because the parallel provides such a great image of sin. We have to learn to face the grueling dangers and difficulties.

But we don’t have to do it alone.

My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” Daniel 6:22

Ok, so it isn’t sharks here, but lions. But Daniel was protected from the predator. Daniel was the diver, and among the sharks, God provided him protection (shark cage?). Jesus guards us from all dangers, and protects us from all things we face, but that doesn’t mean we won’t face some sharks in our life.

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 3:12-13

Jesus faced lots of things, but he didn’t let it get to him; he relied on and trusted in God.

He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22

You don’t need to hear me say we aren’t perfect. But the only way we’ll be able to fight off sin is through Christ, so trust in him.

(Word of warning: I somehow haven’t seen the second Jaws yet. You may be seeing another Jaws post in the near future…)

More details on Halo 4

Halo 4, the newest game in Microsoft’s flagship franchise, will pick up exactly where Halo 3 left off, with Master Chief and Cortana in the Forward Unto Dawn drifting toward a planet. The game is packed with new stuff starting with new enemies and weapons and the start of a new story. In fact, there will be a whole new faction, the Prometheans. These strange robotic creatures are somehow related to the forerunners, a species of human-like creatures that lived in the galaxy in the past. The Prometheans fight very differently than Master Chief’s previous enemy, the Covenant. The Prometheans use many new tactics to bring you down, which should add new depth to the game. The crawlers, the Promethean equivalent of grunts, can crawl up any surface, so hiding behind pillars, walls, or on ledges won’t be as useful as it used to be. The knights, the Prometheans main unit, use their shields, speed, watchers, and teleportation abilities to destroy you. Watchers are an aerial support unit that are deployed by knights, they can use a tractor beams to throw grenades back at you, put a hardlight shield between you and a knight, or they could heal the knight. There are different types of knights and crawlers, so there should be plenty of variety. Halo 4 also has a new take on story telling by making the game more personal. Finally, the game will be in full HD. Before you say that Halo Reach was in HD, recall that true high-definition skins and textures to cover an entire game’s levels and maps would never fit on one game DVD like we buy. That’s why Halo 4 is almost undoubtedly coming on multiple disks. Halo 4 will be not only the must-have game on Xbox when it comes out on November 6, but looks to be a game to remember.

Facebook Removing Facial Recognition, Apple’s iOS 6 and Maps Controversy, Fresh HTC Lineup

Facebook heeding privacy needs? With all the information Facebook has, as well as power over our social strata, people fearing Facebook’s wield of power may not be in error. We’ve seen Facebook take similar steps before, and now the social networking giant is removing the facial recognition we associate with tagging our friends in photos–at least in Europe. Privacy regulators in Ireland say that the feature isn’t coming back until they agree with Facebook on the “most appropriate means” of collecting user data. Facebook is deleting all data collected on European users which was used for the service. The question in many people’s minds may be: ‘Are worries about Facebook privacy protecting freedoms or removing features?’

This week has been full of more Apple headlines. This week alone, Apple has enticed lines of customers to stores everywhere, and this week has upgraded the software on their devices everywhere. Just this week, iOS 6 came to fourth-generation iPods, iPhone 4 and 4S, as well as third-generation iPad. The news OS brings with it better integration with Facebook and Twitter, as well as new apps like Passbook and the revamped Maps app, the second of which has caused much controversy. In short, Apple has brought great turn-by-turn directions to their built-in app, but the accuracy and usefulness of the landmarks and POIs are in question. For instance, can Apple really have made the mistake of putting the Golden Gate Bridge four miles from its true location? In fairness, this is one of few falters in the new iPhone’s design, and the device reviews have also come out this week, pointing to a fantastic consumer device and hardware, if not slightly too similar software. Controversy aside, Apple has had another great week for stocks and publicity. See iPhone 5 review, iOS 6 reviewnew Maps app.

 
The glamor of iOS 6 is diluted by the similarities, but nothing to scoff at. (Left)

Siri on iPad with iOS 6

 
There are two possibilities here: 1. Apple may have made a slight mistake with the Maps app. 2. Apple predicts an apocalypse in NYC. The popular choice is the second. (Right)

HTC is shifting design and strategy. With the announcement of two new Windows Phones, HTC has also declared their confidence in their new devices. Despite many similar devices in the past, HTC has proven their ability to step out of the box with design with their new higher-end 8X and mid-range 8S. The devices feature curved glass, simplistic design, and a broad variety of colors. Along with refreshed design, CEO Peter Chou personally declared in an interview that while continuing to support Android, he is “super confident” in the new devices, as well as declaring that we can expect to see Microsoft and HTC put a new marketing focus on this design. See more of the phones.

 
This 8S has an original design like its 8X brother, and you have to give credit to HTC.

The Windows Phone 8 8S from HTC.

Sources: BBC, The Verge, UPI.com, LATimes, Mashable

The Wii U games

With the Wii Us release you can look forward to plenty of games. For the first time since the Nintendo 64, a Nintendo console is being released alongside a Mario game, New Super Mario Bros. U. This new Mario game will provide solid but possibly unoriginal game play. Another promising Wii U game is Nintendo Land. Set up like a theme park, with 12 attractions ranging from Mario chase to Takamaru’s Ninja Castle. The Wii U will also have an exclusive zombie game, called Zombie U. This game puts you in London where you get to fight zombies, but with a few twists. We’ve also got Pikmin 3, the next game in the critically acclaimed series. Lego is also making a new game, Lego city: undercover. More focused on open world gameplay then past games. There will also be “special edition” versions of Assassin Creed 3, Batman Arkham city, and Mass Effect 3. While there will be others, these will be the best at launch.

Tech This Week: iPhone 5 and more Apple, Wii U gets detailed

All the greatest things in the world of technology for Thursday, September 13th.

The moment we all we all wondered, watched, and waited for: Apple’s iPhone 5 event. Only yesterday, Apple showed the world its sixth generation iPhone. This new iPhone catches up on some hardware specifications, but brings in a new design which is certainly fresh. While announcing the iPhone 5, Apple also unveiled a new line of iPod Touch and iPod Nano devices. The iPod Touch has a better camera, and not comes with Siri as well. The iPod Nano has a larger, touch-enabled screen. But now to the iPhone. The new 4″ screen has the width of a widescreen TV, and has an improved 720p Retina Display screen. The device is also lighter, despite its new dimensions. While it currently runs iOS 5, the iPhone 5 is formidable, given improved battery life (8 hours talk time on 3G) and the faster A6 processor. The device is expected to get iOS 6 very soon. Lastly, the new Apple devices will feature a new “Lightning” docking port which is slimmer and faster. Overall, the device is a certain step up from the iPhone 4S, but in my opinion is most improved in design. Original design has seemed scarce in the mobile world, and Apple has always been able to break that trend. Recently though, new devices like the Lumia 920 or Galaxy S III have challenged Apple’s title for originality. For $199 on contract, you will be able to pick up an 16 GB model on September 21st, for $299 a 32 GB and for $399 a 64 GB. Read and see more.

 
Coming now in black and silver, the iPhone 5 focuses on a new design with a taller screen and thinner body.

iPhone 5s in two colors

After all the wait, we finally get a date and price on the Wii U. It seems to have been a long time coming, but Nintendo has recently announced that their new console would be released on November 18th (November 30th in Europe), just in time for the holiday season. Each console will come with the Wii GamePad, a tablet controller which gives players even more ways to interact with a video game, including touch, voice, and a second screen for inventory, power-ups, or other game-enhancers. The GamePad can even play some games while the TV is in use. The 8 GB model will run you $299, while the 32 GB model is $349, including a charger, a stand, and a copy of one of the launch titles, Nintendo Land. The Wii U will bring with it a variety of other games including New Super Mario Brother Wii 2, the sequel to a previous multiplayer Mario game on the Wii. The console is most importantly now supporting HD resolution gaming, so you can now enjoy all of your favorite Nintendo characters in high-definition. In the U.S. and Canada, all major cable and TV providers are said to support the Wii U’s TVii software on the GamePad, giving consumers access to DVR and TiVO options for your television. Read more.

 
The Wii U’s design is similar to its predecessor, but actually quite refreshing. It’s also equipped with a new HDMI.

Nintendo's new console.

 

Via: Engadget, USA Today

Jesus Endured for You

We like to think Jesus’ life was easy. Jesus really had a tough time living, though; he hiked through deserts, towns, anything just to get to us He did everything necessary to get to us so he could show us that he was the Son of God and become our savior.

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20

This excerpt explains that those who follow Christ must give up everything–often, even their home. Jesus did this because he wanted to teach us that he was even willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice. Nothing that happens to us can ever compare to what Jesus went through when he was on earth, and we should be thankful that we give our lives for him. We can’t give God enough to repay him, but we can give him our lives and dedication.

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.” Matthew 27-31

Jesus didn’t only go through thicket or walk down the road in shame. In fact, he thinks so highly of us that even after he died for us, he’ll do anything to help us accomplish our purpose. He not only sacrificed for us then, but he loves us and looks after us now.

Tech This Week: Kindles in HD and Nokia’s final swing

It’s been a huge week for technology already, and enough headlines that it’s hard keeping up. Thankfully, you don’t have to.

We’ll start today with Amazon’s announcements on the Kindle Fire HD tablets. Amazon has been leading the pack of Android tablet vendors with its first generation of Kindle Fire tablets, and now they’re looking to make that gap even wider. The two new tablets are 7.0 and 8.9-inch tablets, both with an impressive 1920 x 1200 resolution display. These displays are high quality screens, beating out most of competing tablets though not quite rivaling the new iPad. Starting at $199 for the 7-inch and $299 for the 8.9-inch, Amazon is offering quite a deal. Also announced was a slightly updated version of the original Kindle, selling soon for only $159. All of these tablets will see the benefits of some of Amazon’s newest software offerings, such as the new Kindle Serials, a way for consumers to subscribe to a text and get all future issues. Aside from those three devices, Amazon announced its next e-reader, the Paperwhite, with a superior screen with sharper-than-ever-text. With all of the above and more, Amazon is offering more than just another reader or tablet. Read more.

 

The next big story is really two: Nokia. Just having unveiled two new devices with surprising new technology, the world was shocked to find Nokia’s stocks drop once again. The company’s stock prices have steadily been spiraling downward, and Wednesday’s new 16% dip in stock value doesn’t look good. Stormy company forecasts aside, one would never expect a company as low as Nokia financially to unveil the kind of devices shown only Wednesday. The Lumias 920 and 820 aspire to be the best camera phones in history, and may very well be. the Lumia 920 features PureView camera technologies previously well-proven by Nokia and many camera specs which beat any other smartphone out there, such as the F/2.0 aperture and large sensor. Finishing off is the “floating lens” technology, acting as mechanical frame stabilization in real-time. While the camera is only 8.7 MP, the BSI sensor allows for high-density oversampling of pixels, which means pictures will be very sharp. The 820 may lack PureView technology, but still has an impressive camera with many improvements. To top it off, both phones feature a new screen technology, more sensitive than conventional capacitive touch screens. Read more.

 

Tune in next week for more weekly news!

Sources: Engadget, The Verge, WPCentral

Couch Potato

I admit, I’ve been a bit lazy this summer. No lie, no hiding it. In all honesty, I’ve been distracted and less productive. You know God tells us basically that being lazy is just as bad as doing evil. Servants certainly aren’t rewarded if they’re not punished for being lazy–and, as Paul put it, we are truly servants of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, hard work is rewarded.

Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.”
Proverbs 12:24

Sounds to me like diligence and hard-work means success, while doing little until someone makes you isn’t the choice path. That doesn’t mean it isn’t good to rest, but sitting on a couch all day without reason isn’t right.

Jesus told more than one parable on the subject, but I love this one:

 Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.”

After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.” Matthew 25:14-27

I sure don’t want to be the “wicked, lazy” servant who didn’t work. Inactivity can be as harmful as doing something wrong.  Only God can give us strength to do what we need to do–even when we don’t feel like doing anything at all.

Announcement: Focusing our Efforts

Hey everybody! It’s been a long, slow summer for the team, and we’ve been considering a lot of routes that we could take with the site. Our decision? To keep everything minimalist. Not lacking quality, but giving to you the quickest, most efficient read possible. We want you to be able to check up with everything going on in the shortest time possible. Look for our new posts in Technology This Week and Gaming This Week for the quick-takes of everything going on in all arenas, along with our Geeks on Faith posts continuing to bring you quick inspirational pieces.

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