Tag Archives: internet

Check out the Asides

Through out the week I post a lot more then the daily post you get in your feedreader or email. I post small posts called ‘asides‘ throughout the day. For now, you can only read the asides on the website, but they have a custom look so they are easy to recognize. I figured the best way to get you interested is to give you a little sneak peak of what types of things I’m posting. Below is the asides from the past week. If you find them interesting, then be sure to stop by throughout the week and check out the asides at Trying to Follow.

  • Sam sent me this link discussing how renting is better then buying a home. (1) #
  • Find out which Ten companies own almost all of the major media. (0) #
  • Jon Stewart on Art, particularly Pollack (0) #
  • “…ending poverty is essential to God’s mission in the world and our task as the people who participate in that mission. The fact that we carry on our ordinary lives consuming and participating in injustice must make God weep.” –Lucas (0) #
  • “Giving oneself and one’s possessions voluntarily for the well being of others and without compulsion is a Christian duty of which organ donation is a striking example,” the Church of England’s statement says. [via] (0) #
  • Here’s my short reply to Why Protest? (from my comment on Christy’s blog) We protest for two reasons: to stay true to our convictions by speaking them and to allow others to notice those values/convictions and possibly be compelled by them.
    1. Think of it like getting baptized, and outward expression of an inward commitment. Sometimes we need to protest not to change the world, but to keep the world from changing us. You can’t be neutral on a moving train, unless you are actively voicing your conscience, you are often passively agreeing with the majority.
    2. Regardless of how unlikely it seems, people do hear/see/notice you and other protesters. They’re response might not always be what you would like for it to be, but they do take note. Politicians take note of what the people think, polls, phone calls, letters, protest, etc. They might listen more to lobbyist, but they keep a careful eye on what the people think. I think it’s a credit to the many individual protesters who went out into the streets in the early years of the Iraq war that the general public was open to the idea of questioning the administration and war tactics. Protesting is simply taking a strong stance on something you believe strongly in and hope to compel others to believe in also.
    The truth is we protest all the time, it just takes different forms. We rant on our blogs, we critique in conversation, we choose not to shop certain places, we complain to customer service (apple maybe?), we march, call, write letters, lobby, we protest. It is not unusual, though in many ways it has become rather unoriginal. (0) #
  • “John Perkins has been saying lately that “we have over-evangelized the world too lightly.” He is remarking on the contrast between the reported religiosity of the U. S. in comparison with the lack of fruit in the form of compassion, justice, and reconciliation. He is pointing out that the so-called evangelistic fervor of modern churches has asked less and less of the convert. A mere momentary statement of desire to know God becomes enough to be deemed “saved” or “Christian.” He challenges evangelical and evangelistic churches to review the Great Commission, which says to go and make disciples through teaching and training in the ways of Jesus. What we have is Christian Lite, Church Lite, Jesus Lite.” –Mike Broadway (0) #
  • 7 Loving Challenges for Emergent, tips for white parents with adopted children of color, 5 Rules for listening to your spouse’s sermon, 10 Mistakes White People Make When Talking About Race. (0) #
  • How I feel during most ‘worship’ services. (0) #
  • The Anti-Advertising Agency pointed out these interesting ‘ad’ sites: LogoMotto and Ad Generator (0) #
  • What if we took all our money and possessions and gave them all to God & had to ask to use them. Would we spend money the same way? –Keane (0) #
  • Food Not Bombs is on trial in Orlando. For feeding People. (0) #
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill, Except in a Popular Video Game at Church. [via] (0) #
  • This should be the first statement of any church. thanks, Daley. (0) #
  • Music: One problem of the church. (0) #

Quoted in a published article

I’m famous or something, Sam asked me some questions and quoted me in an article he recently wrote at Ethics Daily entitled, Genocide for the Digital World:

Ariah Fine, a socially aware Christian who works with teenagers in Nashville, finds the game very unique. “The target audience of the gaming community is another big step in raising awareness to an audience that might not have otherwise heard about Darfur,” he says. “I work with high school students and they aren’t constantly checking BBC news for the latest humanitarian crisis, but they are playing plenty of games online. This project helps them hear about the issues in Darfur.”

Even though the game is packed with facts and stories in the small print, the die-hard gamer may not stop to read them all while playing. But, the simple fact that the game exists, coupled with MTV’s backing, is a conversation started in itself.

Says Fine: “A game like this is a great ice breaker and tool for bringing up the conversation with a group that might not otherwise care or know about the issues in Darfur.”

Read the rest of the article.

Tech Friday: Prefetching Firefox and other speed tweaks

It took quite a bit of time to win my friend Zach over to the joys of Firefox, but he eventually saw the light. But, just like me, Zach doesn’t like a slow computer. When he wants to check something online quickly, he’s still been using IE cause it loads faster on his computer. You might have noticed the same thing, which is why today’s Tech is all about speeding up your computer.

Prefetching Firefox
The reason IE runs quickly is Microsoft set it up so that it’s ‘ready to run’ or prefetched. You can easily do this manually for any other program:

  1. Right-click on the program icon
  2. Select properties
  3. In the ‘Target’ box, add ” /prefetch:1″ at the end of the line.
  4. Click ‘Ok’

Speed things up by doing this to any program you use regularly.

Simple programs for Simple Tasks
Besides your internet browser the second most used program is probably a word processor. Many have Microsoft Word, though if you don’t I’d highly recommend OpenOffice as a complete alternative. BUT, I’d also recommend you stop using MS Word quite so much.

If what your writing doesn’t need any formatting why not just pop open notepad? If you want it to look a little prettier you could use Wordpad (both located in your accessories folder). These programs run SO much faster then word or OpenOffice and they work for probably 40% of your needs.

For the other 60% I think I should mention AbiWord. It looks a lot more like Word and has most of the most common features. Give it a whirl and save plenty of time in the process.

Tech Friday: An intro to RSS Readers

rss icon If you haven’t run across this icon in the last few months you probably haven’t been online period (or on my site since it’s sitting right over there on the sidebar). What is this funny orange symbol you ask? and why does it matter?

That my friend, is an icon indicating an RSS “feed” which is basically a neatly packaged format for the content from a website, blog and much more. The best analogy I can think of is like a customizable newspaper on speed. Before newspapers if you wanted to know anything you had to go out and see it yourself. You might hear about news from thirty different people throughout the day, which was fine, but it would have been nicer if you knew they would all just come and tell you the details when you where ready for them to. Thus, the newspaper was born: News about a wide range of topics delivered right to your doorstep for you to read when it’s convienent for you. That was all fine and dandy till the Internet came along. And for that we meet our friend RSS.

With RSS you can compile your own newspaper, exactly the way you like it. Want sports news? Pick just the authors you like to read, or just the teams you want to follow. Want the weather? Pick just your home town, and maybe the forcast in the town your roadtriping to. But it get’s better. Want to know when your the package you shipped or ordered is arriving? track it with RSS.
And then it get’s really specific. I have RSS for any comments anyone leaves on any of my blogs, so I don’t have to click around checking them each individually. I have RSS from all my friends blogs, so I know when they’ve posted without having to check their individual site. I also RSS searches on ebay and craigslist for items I’m looking for. Pretty specific, if you catch my drift.

Now, I’ve done a bit of looking around at different RSS readers and each one has their own unique features, so today I’ll just introduce you to the one I use: Bloglines.
There are a few features I really like about bloglines. One, they make it quite user friendly to subscribe to different RSS feeds for blogs, weather, package tracking, etc. Also, since a number of people use it I’ve found some nice hacks and userscripts to make it even easier to use. Another really great feature is that you can setup email accounts so that any email subscriptions you have can show up in your RSS reader rather then your email inbox. That’s one of my favorite features. You can catagorize things into sections and read everything in that section, or click on just that individual feed. All very nice.

Ready to get started? Here’s a step by step guide:
1. Register at Bloglines.
2. Subscribe to Trying to Follow with one click:
Subscribe in Bloglines
3. Be Happy.

Tech Fridays: a little something something

Sidenote: I might be getting a little overly ambitious, but I think these sorts of weekly topical post might be just the ticket to keep my fingers rolling across these keys and sharing the latest info I can find with you.

Tech Friday’s will mostly be my attempt to update my readers in user friendly language, about the cool new things I’ve come across in my web searching and perusing online.
I won’t be talking about the new gadget to buy, but maybe the latest freeware to download. It might be a website to checkout or a piece of software that will make your life easier. It might be uncomputer related but “techie” nonetheless. I’ll try to walk you through a couple of useful things each week and hopefully one of them will peak your interest a little.

If you have a topic or area of things you’ve been looking for let me know and I’ll tell you what I find.

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