The Voice Of Christmas


Are you getting a new phone for Christmas? You’re definitely not the only one.

Phones and tablets and even phablets (I hate that word) are some of the hottest gifts every Christmas season. I personally think I’ve seen more phone commercials this Christmas than for any other gift.

The new hot feature everyone seems to be advertising is voice control. You know, Siri, “Ok Google”, Amazon’s new Alexa feature, etc.

14177-9473-13163-7629-d019cb82cc26b00cc2ab1234c39db6481007b3ab_large_2x-l-l

This is the new feature phone companies are on fire for. But I’m really not a big user of voice control.

I know some people use the feature all the time. And you are free to make fun of me for sounding like an old fogey for this. But I pretty much only use Siri for one purpose – speaking out my texts. Continue reading

Grace For The Gamer

maxresdefaultI can’t remember the last time I beat a video game. I can’t even remember the last time I won playing a round of a video game against someone else.

I was reminded of this fact last weekend as my brothers-in-law came to visit. They brought along their XBOX and we played a few rounds of Madden and Fifa. Although I put a few touchdowns and goals on the board by accident, I got schooled by my younger competitors.

You see video games have never been my thing. Continue reading

Autocorrecting God

IMG_5330Ever notice something when you type out “god” on your iPhone? Go ahead and try typing it in a sentence if you haven’t recently.

While an iPhone will automatically capitalize most proper names and nouns, it won’t always autocorrect “god” to “God”.

Hey Apple – can we get a fix for this at the next WWDC?

Maybe your phone doesn’t do this. I’m sure some of you will tell me there’s something I can do in my settings so that I don’t have to go back and capitalize God every time I type it out (I may be under 30 but that doesn’t mean I know how to do 95% of the stuff on my phone).

Unfortunately just fixing my autocorrect settings won’t fix the real problem. The reality is that the failure of my phone to recognize God’s name is symbolic of a bigger issue in our culture.

As Christians we must stop assuming that the world sees God the same way that we do. Continue reading

Why The Apple Watch Might Not Be Terrible

watch-dmI’ve been pretty steadily hate-reading test reviews of the Apple Watch. I don’t know why I’m so interested in reading about a product I think is so dumb.

Seriously – ever since Apple’s announcement back in the fall I’ve been shaking my head at this new digital wearable.

Maybe I’m being short-sighted. I just can’t see myself ever purchasing one. Of course I said the same thing about the iPhone when it debuted, and I finally came around to those in 2012.

There is however one feature of the Apple Watch I find intriguing. Apparently the watch has an innovative way of delivering alerts. They’re called Taptic Notifications.

The Apple Watch buzzes every few minutes, always reminding you of its presence and of your connection to your various networks. Continue reading

God Of Customer Service

CaptureOne of the pleasures of moving to a new city is the always wonderful experience of dealing with the cable company. (Specifically Comcast, in case you were wondering. Or is it Xfinity now? I have no idea.)

Wanting to trim my budget in my new apartment, I made the decision to drop cable television and only purchase internet service.

After 6 months of getting by just fine with Apple TV and a digital antenna, I got a call from Comcast saying my promotional price on internet service was about to expire. If I did not update my plan, than my rate would more than double.

The customer service rep explained to me that basically it would be cheaper to upgrade my internet service and add on a basic cable package than it would be to remain at my current plan.

After going around in a circles with the sales rep on the phone I finally agreed. Of course once I received my new cable box in the mail it was not as easy to setup as the salesperson made it out to be.

So I was forced to do my least favorite thing in the world: contact customer service on the phone. Continue reading

4 Ways To Beat Social Media Suck

6a00d83451b36c69e2017615eed4b3970c-800wiI admit it – I suck at social media.

I’m not talking about the number of followers I have on Twitter or the number of likes on the new POP GOD Facebook page, although I’m always wishing I had a few more.

I’m talking about the way I use these incredible technologies.

Ever since I got an iPhone I’ve been a lot more connected to Facebook. In the back of my head I was afraid this might happen.

What was once a fun hobby has become an annoyance. I don’t even really enjoy Facebook anymore. Yet I can’t look away.

I still check it religiously, wondering if I missed something important, if someone posted something interesting, if someone tagged me in something or liked my post.

Nope – just another baby picture or irrelevant political opinion.

I used to think the problem was with all of my Facebook friends. Now I think the root of the problem is in myself.

I don’t think my friends have a problem with over-sharing on Facebook. I think I have a problem with over-consuming. Continue reading

The Dangers Of A Driverless Car

autoguide.com

autoguide.com

Google recently announced a plan to test 100 driverless cars in California. There is no steering wheel. No controls. Nothing to worry about.

These cars are for Google Maps, but we may see a future one day where we never have to step behind the steering wheel again.

I would miss being able to drive my own car. Few things clear my mind like hopping in my truck with my dog, rolling the windows down, putting on some good music, and driving aimlessly down the highway.

If you think about it, the act of driving itself is not so carefree. It’s actually quite the complicated process.

Think of all the things you do in the driver’s seat to keep your car on the road:

You have to keep your foot on the gas. Check your rearview mirror. Glance over to your side mirrors. Stay within the speed limit. Check you fuel gauge. Keep your hands on the wheel. Tap the brake. Watch for stop signs and traffic lights. Signal when turning or changing lanes. All pretty much simultaneously.

That’s not to mention dealing with the windows, wiper blades, A/C, radio, auxiliary port, and whatever or whomever may be riding along with you.

Our walk with Christ is similar. You don’t just go along for the ride with Jesus. Continue reading

A Brief Lesson From Your Phone

IMG_2931

@HistoryInPics on Twitter

Your phone wants to teach you something.

Go ahead and pull your phone out of your pocket. Have a look at it.

Remember what your phone used to look like 10 or 15 years ago. Remember what it used to do.

The word Phone used to mean “the device you use to talk with someone in a different area.”

Now the word Phone means “the device you use to check social media, get directions, take pictures, write email, play games, listen to music, watch movies, read my Bible and occasionally talk to someone via text or video chat.”

The name of the device in our pockets is still a Phone. But the definition of Phone has completely changed.

The times have changed. There’s no going back to the old definition of Phone.

The same could be said for my definition. Continue reading

Tips For The Beginning Time Traveler Part Three

I downloaded a new app for my iPhone a few weeks ago called Timehop. Timehop presents your day in Social Media History, allowing you to travel back to your posts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and just about every other outlet (except for Myspace).

photo-3It also has an adorable dinosaur named Abe for a mascot. He’s at least 10% of why I downloaded the app.

Timehop is pretty neat. Looking back at all your old status updates and tweets is more fun than you might think. Our old social media posts exist in a weird realm of the internet. They seem so important at first – important enough for us to stop what we’re doing and let the world know exactly what we are doing.

Then, moments later, they disappear, slowly scrolling down our news feeds until they’re simply yesterday’s news.

As fun as it is to look back in history, it’s also a little depressing.  Continue reading

Nothing Like It

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 6.39.47 PMWhen you type something (anything) into Google, you realize how small the world is.

Literally. There is no search you can come up with that someone else hasn’t already searched for.

Makes it seem like there truly are no original thoughts left in the world.

No matter how crazy a thought or an idea is, there is already a similar thought or idea out there.

This makes the notion of Jesus all the more incredible. Continue reading