391 stories
·
4 followers

Fascinating. (via azula)

2 Shares


Fascinating. (via azula)

Read the whole story
rtreborb
1 day ago
reply
minderella
4 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

★ Twitter’s 280-Character Own Goal

3 Comments and 4 Shares

J.K. Rowling, on Twitter raising the per-tweet character limit to 280:

Twitter’s destroyed its USP. The whole point, for me, was how inventive people could be within that concise framework.

USP is “unique selling proposition”. By doubling the character limit, Twitter has eliminated what made them unique. Yes, there were many trade-offs with the 140-character limit, both pros and cons. But one of the pros is it made Twitter unique. Twitter timelines now look more like Facebook — but Facebook is already there for Facebook-like timelines. Twitter trying to be more like Facebook is like basketball trying to be more like football — a bad idea that won’t work.

Stephen King was more succinct:

280 characters? Fuck that.

Andy Ihnatko:

I like the word-Tetris of making a complete thought fit in a 140-character box.

John Dingell, 91-year-old retired Congressman from Michigan (who is truly excellent at Twitter):

99% of you people don’t even deserve 140 characters.

It’s no surprise that writers, in particular, object to this change. I agree with Ihnatko — the 140-character limit made it a challenge. Fitting certain complex thoughts into a mere 140 characters sometimes felt like solving a small challenge, like one of The New York Times’s tiny little 5 × 5 crossword puzzles.

But perhaps the best commentary comes from William Shakespeare:

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Given 280 characters, people are going to use them, even to express thoughts that could have fit in 140. Given unlimited characters, such as in email, people ramble aimlessly.

That’s why email feels like a dreary chore, and Twitter feels like fun. The fewer tweets that fit in a single screen at a time, the less fun Twitter feels. I’m sure Twitter considered this change carefully, but I’m convinced they’ve made a terrible mistake.

Read the whole story
rtreborb
8 days ago
reply
Sharing for the newly-discovered awesomeness of John Dingell
Share this story
Delete

Logitech Will Brick Its Harmony Link Hub for All Owners in March

3 Comments

Chris Welch, reporting for The Verge:

Logitech has announced that it’s shutting down all services for the Harmony Link hub, a plastic puck the company released in 2011 that gave smartphones and tablets the ability to act as universal remotes for thousands of devices.

Owners of the product have received an email from the company warning that the Link will completely stop working in March. “On March 16th, 2018, Logitech will discontinue service and support for Harmony Link. Your Harmony Link will no longer function after this date,” the email says. There’s no explanation or reason given as to why service is ending in the email, but a Logitech employee provided more details on the company’s forums. “There is a technology certificate license that will expire next March. The certificate will not be renewed as we are focusing resources on our current app-based remote, the Harmony Hub.”

This sucks, but it seems like the way of the future with cloud-backed products. In the old days, products stopped working when they broke. Now, they stop working when the company that sold them loses interest in continuing to support them. It feels spiteful. More than ever, it matters how much you trust the company from which you buy stuff.

Read the whole story
rtreborb
8 days ago
reply
Makes no sense. Renewing a certificate can be done in under an hour and costs under $1000
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
sulrich
12 days ago
reply
if you're not thinking about the longevity and viability of the IOT vendor you're buying crap from then you're crazy.

it's the 80s all over again with
everyone wondering which ones will be around as long as the lifecycle of their widget.
martinbaum
12 days ago
reply
This is going to force a lot of people to think long and hard about ecosystems with staying power when they purchase devices and will lead to more lock-in than ever. While that's certainly good for Apple and Google, it's not good for the rest of the tech world.

What are 5 reasons you want a declining church?

1 Comment

If there is something all pastors and churches will agree on it is nobody wants their church to decline.  Nobody.  The SBC’s primary way of measuring the condition of local churches is by this rubric: Growing. Plateau. Decline.  The declining church is always seen as bad.  There are typically legitimate reasons for concern when a church declines in its numbers of money and people.  And yet, as I have watched our local church cycle through growth, plateau, and decline several times in the last 15 years, I have learned there are some good, healthy, and exciting ways God shows to be at work in a church through decline.  I want to challenge this common way to evaluate local churches with 5 reasons, I would argue, we want a church to decline that demonstrates health and life, not dysfunction and death:

  1. Send missionaries to the field.
  2. Place pastors in local churches.
  3. Divisive or unconverted members leave.
  4. Members relocate to better their family situation.
  5. Members leave to help plant or revitalize a church.

In the last 12 months, we have experienced all 5 of these realities.

Our small and simple church of 75 members in the south end of Louisville in the last year have send out one couple to the mission field.  We have placed 4 men as pastors in local churches who were trained in our church, affirmed by the church, and sent from our church.  A divisive family left.  We have watched a beloved family relocate to be near their aging family and take a better job situation.  A family left to go and help support a pastor in a dying church.  Another family to help a church plant.  Although we have gained some families this last year, they have not equaled all these losses.

Even as I write this, we are about to report to our local association that we have less members and attendance now than we did last year.

We have less money for our budget that is requiring some tough cuts to come for next year’s budget.  We are a declining church.  But, don’t worry about us. Don’t send your state Baptist church revitalization consultant in a panic. We will be fine.  In fact, we feel we have a lot to celebrate.  We will celebrate as we wait for God to send others to us to replenish our laborers and resources, just like he always has in previous seasons of decline that came for the same reasons.

So, is a declining church bad?  Sometimes.  But not all the time.  Pastors, look for the evidences of church health, not church numeric growth.

Read the whole story
rtreborb
19 days ago
reply
Such good perspective
Share this story
Delete

Do pastors of small churches matter?

1 Share

Yes!

 

 

Read the whole story
rtreborb
19 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Bill Gates Now Using an Android Phone ‘With a Lot of Microsoft Software’

2 Comments

I say this with no snark intended: who would have guessed 10 years ago that Bill Gates would be using a personal computing device running a non-Microsoft OS? Or really, an OS that didn’t have “Windows” in the name?

I wonder what’s more popular among Microsoft employees — iPhone or Android? I’m guessing iPhone.

While I’m at it, it occurs to me that Apple is the only company left where all its employees are using only systems made by their own company. Microsoft employees need to use phones running iOS or Android. Google employees need to use MacOS or Windows (there might be some administrative jobs where they can use Chromebooks, but I doubt there are any engineers or designers getting by with Chrome). But at Apple, it’s MacOS on your PCs, iOS on your phone and tablet, WatchOS on your watch, and even tvOS on your set-top box. Microsoft used to have a slogan “Windows everywhere”. Apple doesn’t have one OS that runs everywhere (although it’s close with iOS — WatchOS and tvOS are really just offshoots of iOS with different UI layers), but there is a sort of cultural “Apple everywhere” mindset that I worry could lead to the sort of insularity that blinded Microsoft in the early ’00s.

Update: A few Google employees have written in to say that Chromebooks are actually in somewhat common use by Google engineers for work, because just about all work is compiled on servers and Chromebooks can serve fine as a simple machine that’s just running a terminal app in a Chrome tab. But my point stands: MacBooks are the most common device, even if for work they’re just running Chrome and a Terminal. Folks at Google aren’t just using Google products. (Lots of Google folks use iPhones too.)

A few other people have pointed out that Apple uses non-Apple tech for server related stuff. iCloud runs on Linux. That is indeed unlike the Microsoft of yore, where they ran Windows all the way up their stack. But the difference is that enterprise-grade server-side Windows was (and is) a product for Microsoft. Apple doesn’t have a cloud server product. What I’m saying is that when people at Apple choose a product to use personally, they almost always choose Apple’s own products.

Read the whole story
rtreborb
53 days ago
reply
Minus all of Apple's non-Apple server infrastructure...
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
martinbaum
54 days ago
reply
A classic Gruberchide; a critique of Apple so glancing that a nose twitch from a baby bunny would be more forceful.
Next Page of Stories