This Is Hilarious: Acronym Change

The site Probably Bad News provides me with a lot of entertainment. Today it posted a clip about how the Wisconsin Tourism Federation had to change it's name. Why? Well, it turns out that Wisconsin Tourism Federation breaks down into the acronym "WTF". Years ago it meant nothing, but today it means quite a bit. I won't repeat what it means here since this is a "family blog", but it shouldn't be too hard to find the definition.

T-Mobile MyTouch 3G: But What Does It DO?

Like I asked in my last post, based on the embedded commercial, what does the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G actually do? It's the first phone that becomes you, or something like that. Great. So what does it do? Does it have 3rd party apps? Can it manage multiple email accounts? Can it sync to Google Calendar (I'd hope so, since it's based on Google standards). Can I manage a task list? Can I use it for work?

Or, are the people who put that commercial together not really thinking of me as their target market? That's probably a smart choice. Woe unto the marketer who thinks I'm his or her target customer.

Does This Make You Want to Buy A Palm Pre?

Since I dumped Windows Mobile for the iPhone earlier this year, and have no plans to go back, I watch commercials for other platforms with a curious eye. Have you seen the commercials for the Palm Pre? What is the deal with them? Do these commercials make you want to buy a Palm Pre? Do they make you NOT want to buy a Pre?

I can’t figure them out. I think if I had no idea which “smart” phone I wanted to buy, these commercials would not bring me in. What does the Pre do? I have no clue from this commercial. All it is is some sick looking woman standing before a blue sky talking about a day when everything goes right. OK, so what does the phone do?

Watch this video. Do you own a Pre? Did you buy it because of this commercial, or another in this series?

Ballmer Appears with Windows 7 Mac In the Background

I'm seeing a lot of this in my RSS feeds: apparently, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appeared on TV with an image of an Apple MacBook Pro with the Windows 7 logo in the background.

So what?

I don't get the big deal. For some reason, people make a huge deal out of the apparent competition between Microsoft and Apple. Let me lay it out.

Microsoft is a software company. Sure, now they make Zunes and X-boxes and keyboards, but their PC business is in software. Their flagship product is the Windows operating system.

Apple is a consumer electronics company. They make computers, iPods, iPhone, and some accessories. I'm simplifying it a bit. Apple also makes it's own operating system.

So here's the deal:

Apple's Mac OS X is a competitor to Microsoft's Windows.

The computers that Apple makes will also run Windows. It is not a competitor to Windows. It is a client platform.

So a MacBook Pro running Windows 7 isn't a big deal. Microsoft should take it as a complement, and they probably do. Apple fans shouldn't assume the media is playing games with Steve Ballmer.

App Store To Get In-App Purchases

I was going to post this last week, but I've been sick. Apple is going to allow in-app purchases in the iPhone App Store. I'm hoping this will be a positive development. I'm also hoping that this brings about trial versions of software. One hard point for me in the app store is that I can't "try before I buy". Some developers will have a "Lite" version of a program, but not all of them.

Book Review: Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Although this book has been out for several years, Thomas Nelson recently decided to bring it back to the forefront and generate new attention for it. I got a free review copy. I found it to be a very good book. I’ve read quite a few books on marriage, and I’ve been to a few marriage conferences. I have not attended the Love and Respect conference that serves as a companion to this book (or the other way around), but I’ll look for one.

I would like to get my wife to read this book. I would like to get several of my friends’ wives to read this book. I found this book to be a very good balance between the needs of husbands and wives.

I’ve read quite a few books on marriage. Some were good. Some weren’t. Some were little more than sloganeering “Men, love your wives as Christ loved the church!” with little practical advice. Others did little more than tell men what failures we are as husbands. This book actually teaches something new that I hadn’t learned before. I think that it is highly enlightening, especially on the woman’s perspective.

Continue reading

Great News: Kindle for PC Coming Soon

This is exciting. I just found out this morning that Amazon will soon release Kindle for PC. I’ve written before on this blog about how I love the idea of eBooks but I’m not comfortable adopting them for several reasons. I have a few Kindle books on my iPhone. Most were free. I bought one.

Are you eager to download and start using Kindle for PC? Will it move you closer to adopting eBooks?

Another Story of Lottery-Ruined Lives

I’ve written many times on this blog that I don’t play the lottery. I’ve explained why. I am not aware of a single story of a lottery winner going on to peace and prosperity. Every single time I come across stories of the aftermath of a winning lottery ticket, I read about ruined families, shattered lives, and fractured communities. I’m willing to admit to the “if it bleeds, it leads” principle in the media, and that possibly only the ugliest stories actually make it into news, but I still haven’t found a good story about a lottery winner. I’m not convinced that any good can come from winning the lottery. I’d like to be proven wrong, but every time I step in to research the subject, I find more supporting evidence for my original opinion.

Recently, I came across the story of Jack Wittaker, a West Virginia man who rose from poverty to ownership of a construction company. He won $314 million in the Power Ball. “Jack opted to take his prize as a one-time payout of $113,386,407.77, after taxes.” Taxes took more than $200 million. Who really won with that ticket?

“He was determined, he said at the time, to live as if nothing had
changed, except that he could spend more time with his family. He was
going to keep answering his own phone, opening his own front door and
turning to God for guidance. “He’s still working on me,” Jack said,
sounding modest.”

After that quote, the story degenerates into visits to racetracks, strip clubs, and all of the ruined lives left in the wake.

Everybody I know who plays the lottery claims that if they win, they’ll give tons to charity. They’ll give a bunch to a church if they attend one. But few are doing such things now. I think it’s silly to promise to do such things AFTER winning the lottery if they’re not part of your life BEFORE. We all know you’re full of it if you claim you’ll suddenly turn into a philanthropist after winning the lottery.

I don’t have a single plan for what I would do if I won the lottery because I don’t play the lottery. I don’t like to listen to people talk about “Oh, if I could only win the lottery, my life would be so much better.” I’m sorry, but every single account I have ever read about the aftermath of winning the lottery says otherwise.

I wrote a blog post last year linking to another post about the “Language of the Perpetual Poor.” I have since come to the controversial conclusion that I would rather have people cuss around my children than say things like “I wish I could win the lottery” and “I hate my job. I wish I could get fired and go on unemployment.”

Most people I know who talk like that have not read a single book about personal finance or personal development. Most are not actively working to improve themselves within their job or trade, or to learn new skills to get a better job or enter a new trade. They just sit around complaining and letting life happen to them.

I’ll stop ranting. Please, read the story of Jack Wittaker linked above. Then answer the question: (you’re welcome to answer in the comments) “What makes me think that my life, family, community, church, etc… would turn out any different if I won the lottery?”

Albert Mohler: Seperation of Church and Sport?

Contemporary theologian and seminary president Albert Mohler is a man I enjoy reading. I follow his blog and listen to his podcast regularly. I like him because he is a thinker. Rather than regurgitate a “party line”, Dr. Mohler thinks through issues. His work has been a real benefit (blessing?) to me in my own intellectual journey.

Dr. Mohler posted an entry on his blog recently about a sports journalist’s call for “separation of church and sport”. The column deals with complaints about athletes who are Christian and the exclusivity of the Gospel.

I’m not opposed to my own version of separation of church and sports: specifically, let’s reduce the number of sports-themed sermons. Nothing makes me want to leave the church, sit in my car, and watch somebody else’s sermon on YouTube on my iPhone like a sermon that starts out with a baseball illustration.

But then again, I also realize that it’s not about me. I’m not sure what to tell the sports journalists. I sit through the sports-sermons. They may have to live with the Christian players.

iPhone Annoyances

I still love my iPhone. I just wanted to spend a minute ranting about an iPhone behavior that I can’t understand the logic for.

Sometimes, when reading email, I’ll get to the bottom and find a dotted line with “This message is partially downloaded” and “Download remaining xx.xk”. I have trouble understanding why those last few kilobytes didn’t just download in the first place. Usually it’s just the message footer, but sometimes there is still part of the message left in there.

Why didn’t Apple just design the iPhone to download the whole message, unless it was really large? I’ve seen some of them with a footer that was less than 2k that did not download fully.