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WhenWorks

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New iOS app and web service that makes it easy for people to book appointments with you. From their blog announcement, on what makes WhenWorks unique:

There are many competitive services in this space. What they all have in common is that they are purely web-based solutions. What makes WhenWorks unique is that it is a mobile app that integrates directly with the Calendar app on your iOS device, is far easier to configure and use, more secure, and always with you when you need it.

WhenWorks supports all of the leading calendar services (iCloud, Google Calendar, Office 365 and Outlook.com) but is particularly well-suited for those who use iCloud, due to its deep integration with the built-in Calendar on iOS.

WhenWorks was founded by John Chaffee, of BusyMac and, back in the day, Now Up-to-Date fame, and he’s put together a really good team. The pricing is outstanding too: 14-day free trial, free-to-use for up to five appointments per month after that, and just $5/month for the pro account with no limits.

It’s a really great app, and setting it up couldn’t be easier. Worth checking it out just to examine the UI and on-boarding process, and if you’re the sort of person who has a busy calendar packed with appointments, you’re nuts if you don’t try it.

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rtreborb
28 days ago
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Paid promotion?
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How the Church Submits to Jesus Christ

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I am sure we’ve all read and wondered about God’s command to Christian wives: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). It seems that in the God-ordained ordering of a Christian household, God intends husbands and wives to accept differing but complementary roles and for the wife to do this, she needs to focus on the way she and her husband and all the church of Christ submit to their Savior. There must be some study and some imitation. I found myself considering this one day so, as much as possible, put wives and husbands out of my mind and simply asked this: How does the church submit to Jesus Christ? Here’s what I came up with.

The Church Submits Obediently

First, the church submits obediently, or out of obedience. Jesus Christ is king over the world and everyone in it. Jesus declared this to his disciples when he said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Those are words of kingship. Jesus reigns and rules over all that is, a theme we see in cascading clarity as Scripture moves toward its close. In Revelation 1:5 we hear of: “Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.” Jesus is king over every other king. Then in Revelation 19:16 we read this fascinating description of him: “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” Jesus Christ is the king of the universe and obedience demands that we submit to his rule. To be obedient to God we must submit to Jesus Christ.

The Church Submits Willingly

Second, the church submits willingly. There is a facet to submission that is too often overlooked: Submission cannot be forced, but must be voluntary. That’s because submission is not the same as subjection. Subjection is an action taken by the one with authority where submission is an action taken by the one under authority.

Subjection is the act of a ruler to force obedience. He uses fear or force to break the wills of people so they eventually surrender to him. They give up and wave the white flag. They’ve been conquered. Submission is the act of someone who acknowledges legitimate authority and arranges himself accordingly. Submission is voluntary. It is responding to the divine order of things first in the heart and then in the life. The church is not in subjection to Jesus Christ; we haven’t been ruthlessly conquered by him. No, the church has been won by Jesus Christ, so we willingly submit to him. We acknowledge his right to rule, we acknowledge his overwhelming love, we respond to his Spirit, and we arrange ourselves accordingly.

The Church Submits Confidently

Third, the church submits confidently. When we become Christians, we enter into a relationship with Jesus. Other people may know about Jesus, they may know some facts about him, but as Christians we know Jesus. We aren’t submitting to some abstract entity or far-off deity, but to someone who is here with us, dwelling within us by his Spirit. And to know Jesus is to have confidence in Jesus. We soon learn that God’s blessings flow to us through Jesus. We learn that our lives are at peace as we live according to his ways. We learn that there is great benefit in responding to his leadership with joy and love. We learn he will never lead us astray, that he is only ever acting in love, that he is gentle and kind and patient toward us. So our submission to him is confident, not apprehensive. It is certain, not suspicious. We know him and trust him and joyfully, confidently submit to his leadership.

The Church Submits Actively

Fourth, church submits actively. God has made each of us a unique, hand-crafted individual. We are unique in our personalities, our talents, our gifting, our passions, our experiences. And when we submit to Jesus Christ, we submit all of that to him. We trust that he will work not despite these but through these. He’s not going to take them all away and make us completely the same as every other Christian. Sanctification is not becoming some generic being and it is not becoming someone else—it’s becoming the truest and best and holiest version of ourselves. Our submission is all about asking how God has made us and then actively using all of those things in his service. Our submission is handing to him all we have and all we are and saying “I submit this to your purposes. Please use it.”

The Church Submits Completely

Finally, the church submits completely. We submit to him all the way. Our submission to Christ is wholehearted. As Christians, we don’t get the option of submitting only part of the way. You might think about the parable of the talents. The servants who were rewarded were the ones who invested every talent that had been given them, and who invested them all the way. What do we call half-hearted or half-way submission to Jesus Christ? We call it sin! What do we call grudging submission to Jesus Christ? We call it sin! When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we choose to submit to him entirely We choose to dedicate our whole lives to knowing what he calls us to and then doing it. We have a deep longing to submit to him in everything—to know all his will so we can do all his will.

Imitate this Submission!

The church of Christ submits to Christ, and in this way provides an important model for every lesser form of submission. The church submits obediently, willingly, confidently, actively, and completely. So must we all in any relationship in which God calls us to acknowledge authority and to arrange ourselves accordingly.

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rtreborb
34 days ago
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How To Love Your Wife As Christ Loved the Church

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As a Christian husband, you are not left wondering or speculating about what it means to carry out your role in a way that pleases God and blesses your wife. To the contrary, the Bible provides clear guidance: You are to love your wife as Christ loves his church. In the closing verses of Ephesians 5, Paul describes how, out of love, Christ sacrificed himself to do for you what you could not do for yourself. Out of love he sanctified you to God’s purposes, to set you apart so you could live the life God created you to live. Out of love, he purified you, so he could put aside the sin that hinders you and instead give you his righteousness. He did this by the word of the gospel and through it all has a great and final purpose in mind. This is how Christ loved the church, so this is how a husband is to love his wife. Let me tease that out under these headings.

Love Your Wife with a Sacrificial Love

Husband, love your wife with a sacrificial love. I think every husband is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his wife. Wouldn’t you? If someone was holding you and your wife hostage and said, “One of you needs to die” I’m sure you’d put yourself forward. “Take me, spare her.” Good! You’ll die for her, but will you live for her? This is not a one-time act where you get to go out in a blaze of glory and get written up in the newspaper, but a day-by-day dying to yourself for her sake.

Are you willing to make those day-by-day sacrifices? Will you hold loosely to your time so you can invest it in her? Will you hold loosely to your preferences so you can cede to hers? Will you let go of some of your dreams so she can achieve hers? Will you be utterly ferocious with your sin so you can be kind and gentle with her? Ultimately, will you live more for her good than for your own? This is not a difficult burden but a tremendous honor.

Love Your Wife with a Sanctifying Love

Husband, love your wife with a sanctifying love. Jesus died so that he could set apart his bride for service to God. You need to understand that your wife doesn’t exist first for your pleasure, your joy, or your comfort. She exists first for God. Yes, she has been set apart to you, but only so you can help her be ever-more set apart to God.

Your wife exists to bring glory to God by doing good to others. This means your task as a loving husband is to be committed and creative in helping her do this. It’s your task to help her unleash her gifts, her talents, her passions, her interests in doing good to others and bringing glory to God. Love her with a sanctifying love, a love that ensures she is being set apart to do what God calls her to do and to be who God calls her to be.

Love Your Wife with a Purifying Love

Husband, love your wife with a purifying love. If a wife is to submit it means a husband is to lead, and a key part of that leadership is leading, guiding, and assisting her along the path to holiness. This puts a call on you to grow in holiness first. How can you possibly lead her where you’ve never been or where you refuse to go? You need to identify your own sin and ruthlessly put it to death. It falls to you to lead the way in holiness, to lead the way in love, in character, in worship, in repentance, in maturity. And then you have the honor of accompanying her as she grows in holiness.

Now let’s be clear: Holiness is not about correcting all of those little flaws and foibles you find annoying. It’s not about perfectly conforming her to your will. It’s all about helping her grow in purity before God. It’s about helping her put sin to death so she can come alive to righteousness. It’s rejoicing in who God is making her to be. It’s identifying God’s grace in her life. It’s encouraging her in her spiritual growth and praising and thanking God for every bit of it. It’s helping her be as pure and holy as she can possibly be. Do you love your wife with a purifying love?

Love Your Wife with a Gospel Love

Husband, love your wife with a gospel love. Christ washes his church with the water of the word, which is the gospel, and in the same way, you are to wash your wife with the water of the word which is the gospel. This means your husbanding is to be drenched in the gospel. Your love is to be shaped by the gospel. Your voice is to speak the gospel. Your life is to display the gospel. You need to speak truth to your wife, to lead her to the Word of God, to remind her of those precious gospel truths, to pray with her, to worship with her.

Are you washing your wife with the water of the gospel? If you do nothing else in marriage, read the Bible and pray with your wife. Make this a daily discipline. There are few things God uses in richer ways than a husband and wife together in the Word and together on their knees.

Love Your Way with a Purposeful Love

Husband, love your wife with a purposeful love. Wedding ceremonies are occasions of great joy, but even then there is always just a hint of sorrow because we need to acknowledge from the very beginning that there will be an end. This is why we make vows to one another that say something like, “Til death do us part.” You may get 60 or even 70 years with that bride, but then one of you will die and in that moment, the marriage will be over. But she will not be over. Your wife will not cease to exist the moment she dies. No, if she is in Christ, her life will just be getting started. She has a glorious and never-ending future beyond the grave.

You need to keep that in view. Your task as a husband, and your great joy, is to help prepare her for what awaits her in eternity. It’s helping her become today what she will be fully then. It’s receiving glimpses of who and what she will be in glory. You, my friend, have the joy of helping her toward that great day. God has chosen and appointed you as the one who will accompany her, who will lead her, who will guide her, who will protect her, who will know her deepest, who will love her best, on her way to that celestial city.

So, Live For Her

So resolve to live for her, to sacrifice all you’ve got for her good. Love her with a sanctifying love that is committed to setting her apart for the great purpose God has for her. Love her with a purifying love that helps her put sin to death and come alive to righteousness. Love her with a love that is shaped by the gospel and whose content is the gospel. Love her with a purposeful love that fixes in your mind and heart the great day when she will be all that God has created her to be. Will you even recognize her in that day for all her splendor, for all her perfection? She will be perfect then, unblemished by even the smallest sin, undefiled by even the tiniest trace of depravity. She will be beautiful and radiant and glorious beyond belief.

Christ awaits the day when he will present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. That is his great goal and he longs for that day. Shouldn’t you then fix in your mind the image of you presenting your wife to Christ? “Here is the wife you entrusted to me. Isn’t she radiant! Isn’t she beautiful! I’ve loved her. I’ve sacrificed for her. I’ve washed her with the word of your gospel. I’ve seen her grow in righteousness and holiness. And now I present her to you.” What an honor, what a blessing, that God has chosen you to accompany her to that place, to that day.

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rtreborb
37 days ago
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Virginia Beach Police Want Encrypted Radios

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This article says that the Virginia Beach police are looking to buy encrypted radios.

Virginia Beach police believe encryption will prevent criminals from listening to police communications. They said officer safety would increase and citizens would be better protected.

Someone should ask them if they want those radios to have a backdoor.

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rtreborb
48 days ago
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1 public comment
Sjon
62 days ago
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"Someone should ask them if they want those radios to have a backdoor."

Universal Dreams

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"That's ... unsettling." "Yeah, those definitely don't sound like the normal drea– LATITUDE THREE FIVE POINT..."
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rtreborb
176 days ago
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popular
178 days ago
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1 public comment
rjstegbauer
180 days ago
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I've had the flying dream and exam dream, but not the undiscovered room dream. What's that about?
DrGaellon
180 days ago
Fear of things missed or forgotten
MaryEllenCG
180 days ago
Never had a flying dream or an undiscovered room dream, but I do have recurring dreams about my teeth all falling out.
HarlandCorbin
179 days ago
Used to have the falling dream. Would always wake with a jump when I hit the ground, but I did remember hitting the ground.
rjstegbauer
179 days ago
Why would many people have these common dreams?
duerig
178 days ago
The worst one is the 'dreaming that you woke up, went through your morning routine or did some unpleasant chore' dream. Because inevitably you wake up and realize that you have to do all those things all over again.
MaryEllenCG
178 days ago
Yeah!! I hate those dreams.

Spectre and Meltdown Attacks Against Microprocessors

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The security of pretty much every computer on the planet has just gotten a lot worse, and the only real solution -- which of course is not a solution -- is to throw them all away and buy new ones.

On Wednesday, researchers just announced a series of major security vulnerabilities in the microprocessors at the heart of the world's computers for the past 15-20 years. They've been named Spectre and Meltdown, and they have to do with manipulating different ways processors optimize performance by rearranging the order of instructions or performing different instructions in parallel. An attacker who controls one process on a system can use the vulnerabilities to steal secrets elsewhere on the computer. (The research papers are here and here.)

This means that a malicious app on your phone could steal data from your other apps. Or a malicious program on your computer -- maybe one running in a browser window from that sketchy site you're visiting, or as a result of a phishing attack -- can steal data elsewhere on your machine. Cloud services, which often share machines amongst several customers, are especially vulnerable. This affects corporate applications running on cloud infrastructure, and end-user cloud applications like Google Drive. Someone can run a process in the cloud and steal data from every other users on the same hardware.

Information about these flaws has been secretly circulating amongst the major IT companies for months as they researched the ramifications and coordinated updates. The details were supposed to be released next week, but the story broke early and everyone is scrambling. By now all the major cloud vendors have patched their systems against the vulnerabilities that can be patched against.

"Throw it away and buy a new one" is ridiculous security advice, but it's what US-CERT recommends. It is also unworkable. The problem is that there isn't anything to buy that isn't vulnerable. Pretty much every major processor made in the past 20 years is vulnerable to some flavor of these vulnerabilities. Patching against Meltdown can degrade performance by almost a third. And there's no patch for Spectre; the microprocessors have to be redesigned to prevent the attack, and that will take years. (Here's a running list of who's patched what.)

This is bad, but expect it more and more. Several trends are converging in a way that makes our current system of patching security vulnerabilities harder to implement.

The first is that these vulnerabilities affect embedded computers in consumer devices. Unlike our computer and phones, these systems are designed and produced at a lower profit margin with less engineering expertise. There aren't security teams on call to write patches, and there often aren't mechanisms to push patches onto the devices. We're already seeing this with home routers, digital video recorders, and webcams. The vulnerability that allowed them to be taken over by the Mirai botnet last August simply can't be fixed.

The second is that some of the patches require updating the computer's firmware. This is much harder to walk consumers through, and is more likely to permanently brick the device if something goes wrong. It also requires more coordination. In November, Intel released a firmware update to fix a vulnerability in its Management Engine (ME): another flaw in its microprocessors. But it couldn't get that update directly to users; it had to work with the individual hardware companies, and some of them just weren't capable of getting the update to their customers.

We're already seeing this. Some patches require users to disable the computer's password, which means organizations can't automate the patch. Some antivirus software blocks the patch, or -- worse -- crashes the computer. This results in a three-step process: patch your antivirus software, patch your operating system, and then patch the computer's firmware.

The final reason is the nature of these vulnerabilities themselves. These aren't normal software vulnerabilities, where a patch fixes the problem and everyone can move on. These vulnerabilities are in the fundamentals of how the microprocessor operates.

It shouldn't be surprising that microprocessor designers have been building insecure hardware for 20 years. What's surprising is that it took 20 years to discover it. In their rush to make computers faster, they weren't thinking about security. They didn't have the expertise to find these vulnerabilities. And those who did were too busy finding normal software vulnerabilities to examine microprocessors. Security researchers are starting to look more closely at these systems, so expect to hear about more vulnerabilities along these lines.

Spectre and Meltdown are pretty catastrophic vulnerabilities, but they only affect the confidentiality of data. Now that they -- and the research into the Intel ME vulnerability -- have shown researchers where to look, more is coming -- and what they'll find will be worse than either Spectre or Meltdown. There will be vulnerabilities that will allow attackers to manipulate or delete data across processes, potentially fatal in the computers controlling our cars or implanted medical devices. These will be similarly impossible to fix, and the only strategy will be to throw our devices away and buy new ones.

This isn't to say you should immediately turn your computers and phones off and not use them for a few years. For the average user, this is just another attack method amongst many. All the major vendors are working on patches and workarounds for the attacks they can mitigate. All the normal security advice still applies: watch for phishing attacks, don't click on strange e-mail attachments, don't visit sketchy websites that might run malware on your browser, patch your systems regularly, and generally be careful on the Internet.

You probably won't notice that performance hit once Meltdown is patched, except maybe in backup programs and networking applications. Embedded systems that do only one task, like your programmable thermostat or the computer in your refrigerator, are unaffected. Small microprocessors that don't do all of the vulnerable fancy performance tricks are unaffected. Browsers will figure out how to mitigate this in software. Overall, the security of the average Internet-of-Things device is so bad that this attack is in the noise compared to the previously known risks.

It's a much bigger problem for cloud vendors; the performance hit will be expensive, but I expect that they'll figure out some clever way of detecting and blocking the attacks. All in all, as bad as Spectre and Meltdown are, I think we got lucky.

But more are coming, and they'll be worse. 2018 will be the year of microprocessor vulnerabilities, and it's going to be a wild ride.


Note: A shorter version of this essay previously appeared on CNN.com. My previous blog post on this topic contains additional links.

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rtreborb
184 days ago
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Good summary
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