I use my iPad everyday. It’s fun and truly a marvel. I also read that Apple now has nearly $100 BILLION in cash on its balance sheet. And nearly 700,000 jobs overseas primarily through its supply base. The time of just blissfully ignoring how something is made is over; we all need to count all the costs of what we use and enjoy. We can’t just bask in the fun of a new iPad and act like it just showed up magically in an Apple store. Stay smart, America.
After a rash of apparent suicide attempts, a dormitory for Foxconn workers in Shenzhen, China, had safety netting installed last May. Foxconn said it acted quickly and comprehensively to address employee suicides.
The explosion ripped through Building A5 on a Friday evening last May, an eruption of fire and noise that twisted metal pipes as if they were discarded straws.
When workers in the cafeteria ran outside, they saw black smoke pouring from shattered windows. It came from the area where employees polished thousands of iPad cases a day.
Two people were killed immediately, and over a dozen others hurt. As the injured were rushed into ambulances, one in particular stood out. His features had been smeared by the blast, scrubbed by heat and violence until a mat of red and black had replaced his mouth and nose.
“Are you Lai Xiaodong’s father?” a caller asked when the phone rang at Mr. Lai’s childhood home. Six months earlier, the 22-year-old had moved to Chengdu, in southwest China, to become one of the millions of human cogs powering the largest, fastest and most sophisticated manufacturing system on earth. That system has made it possible for Apple and hundreds of other companies to build devices almost as quickly as they can be dreamed up.
“He’s in trouble,” the caller told Mr. Lai’s father. “Get to the hospital as soon as possible.”
In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing. Apple and its high-technology peers — as well as dozens of other American industries — have achieved a pace of innovation nearly unmatched in modern history.
However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems.
Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.
More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant, according to a Chinese group that published that warning.
“If Apple was warned, and didn’t act, that’s reprehensible,” said Nicholas Ashford, a former chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, a group that advises the United States Labor Department. “But what’s morally repugnant in one country is accepted business practices in another, and companies take advantage of that.”
Rest of a great piece from the NYT HERE; please read the rest of the story.
Also, a good piece from Time Magazine HERE on the same subject and whether we will ever see a Fair Trade iPad.
ITHACA, N.Y. — New York state’s official insect, the nine-spotted ladybug, is making a comeback in a fourth-floor laboratory on Cornell University’s campus.
Once extremely common in New York, the nine-spotted became rare over the last 40 years and was even thought to be extinct, said Leslie Allee, a Cornell entomologist.
Allee and another Cornell entomologist, John Losey, formed the Lost Ladybug Project in 2000 to investigate why the nine-spotted and two other ladybug species that were once common in North America had become so rare so fast.
Ladybugs may have an adorable name and look pretty cute, but they also have an important job to do: They eat other insects.
"If we didn’t have ladybugs we would need to use much higher levels of pesticides," Allee said. "So not only are they saving us money and saving crops, but they are also contributing to human health by reducing the level of pesticides that are needed."
Combining research with citizen science, the project uses photos and actual ladybugs submitted by people across the country to map where certain ladybug species are found, study differences between them and breed them. So far, 13,370 photos of ladybugs have been contributed by people around the country and Canada.
But no contribution was more significant than last July when project volunteer Peter Priolo organized a group search in Amagansett on Long Island, N.Y. Priolo spotted a nine-spot in a patch of sunflowers on an organic farm. It was the first one found in New York in 30 years and just the second found on the East Coast in the last 40 years, Allee said.
"This completely shifted our research data because it wasn’t just one, it was a nice-sized population," Allee said.
Members of the lab in Ithaca headed to Amagansett to collect a bunch of the ladybugs. Now, there are about 100 nine-spotted ladybugs living in plastic containers in the lab. With a steady diet of aphids, housed in a climate-controlled room connected to the lab, the population should grow by 25 percent every three to four weeks. Along with Allee and Losey, undergraduate and graduate students work in the lab feeding the ladybugs, collecting data and cleaning the plastic homes.
The genius of Martin Luther ran up against a legal dilemma that he could not solve. There seemed to be no solution possible. The question that nagged him day and night was how a just God could accept an unjust man. He knew that his eternal destiny rode on the answer. But he could not find the answer. Lesser minds went merrily along their way, enjoying the bliss of ignorance. They were satisfied to think that God would compromise His own excellence and let them into heaven. After all, heaven would not be the marvelous place it was cracked up to be if they were excluded from it. God must grade on a curve. Boys will be boys, and God is big enough not to get all excited about a few moral blemishes. Two things separated Luther from the rest of men: First, he knew who God was. Second, he understood the demands of God’s law. He had mastered the law. Unless he came to understand the gospel, he would die in torment.
Then it happened: Luther’s ultimate religious experience.
There were no lightning bolts, no flying inkwells. It took place in quietness, in the solitude of his study. Luther’s so-called “tower experience” changed the course of world history. It was an experience that involved a new understanding of God, a new understanding of His divine justice. It was an understanding of how God can be merciful without compromising His justice. It was a new understanding of how a holy God expresses a holy love. Here is what Luther said:
"I greatly longed to understand Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and nothing stood in the way but that one expression, "the justice of God," because I took it to mean that justice whereby God is just and deals justly in punishing the unjust. My situation was that, although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience, and I had no confidence that my merit would assuage him. Therefore I did not love a just and angry God, but rather hated and murmured against him. Yet I clung to the dear Paul and had a great yearning to know what he meant. Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that "the just shall live by faith." Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith.
Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before the “justice of God” had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gate of heaven…. If you have a true faith that Christ is your Savior, then at once you have a gracious God, for faith leads you in and opens up God’s heart and will, that you should see pure grace and overflowing love.”
RIO BRANCO, Brazil — Edmar Araújo still remembers the awe.
As he cleared trees on his family’s land decades ago near Rio Branco, an outpost in the far western reaches of the Brazilian Amazon, a series of deep earthen avenues carved into the soil came into focus.
“These lines were too perfect not to have been made by man,” said Mr. Araújo, a 62-year-old cattleman. “The only explanation I had was that they must have been trenches for the war against the Bolivians.”
But these were no foxholes, at least not for any conflict waged here at the dawn of the 20th century. According to stunning archaeological discoveries here in recent years, the earthworks on Mr. Araújo’s land and hundreds like them nearby are much, much older — potentially upending the conventional understanding of the world’s largest tropical rain forest.
The deforestation that has stripped the Amazon since the 1970s has also exposed a long-hidden secret lurking underneath thick rain forest: flawlessly designed geometric shapes spanning hundreds of yards in diameter.
Alceu Ranzi, a Brazilian scholar who helped discover the squares, octagons, circles, rectangles and ovals that make up the land carvings, said these geoglyphs found on deforested land were as significant as the famous Nazca lines, the enigmatic animal symbols visible from the air in southern Peru.
“What impressed me the most about these geoglyphs was their geometric precision, and how they emerged from forest we had all been taught was untouched except by a few nomadic tribes,” said Mr. Ranzi, a paleontologist who first saw the geoglyphs in the 1970s and, years later, surveyed them by plane.
For some scholars of human history in Amazonia, the geoglyphs in the Brazilian state of Acre and other archaeological sites suggest that the forests of the western Amazon, previously considered uninhabitable for sophisticated societies partly because of the quality of their soils, may not have been as “Edenic” as some environmentalists contend.
Instead of being pristine forests, barely inhabited by people, parts of the Amazon may have been home for centuries to large populations numbering well into the thousands and living in dozens of towns connected by road networks, explains the American writer Charles C. Mann. In fact, according to Mr. Mann, the British explorer Percy Fawcett vanished on his 1925 quest to find the lost “City of Z” in the Xingu, one area with such urban settlements.
In addition to parts of the Amazon being “much more thickly populated than previously thought,” Mr. Mann, the author of “1491,” a groundbreaking book about the Americas before the arrival of Columbus, said, “these people purposefully modified their environment in long-lasting ways.”
A good read about how Apple and other companies that manufacture products in China (among other countries abroad) simply can’t bring the jobs back to the USA without serious changes in our national and economical outlook and policies…for better or worse.
The Holy Spirit is given to each Christian. This is part of why in the Protestant Reformation, people went to such great lengths, sometimes gave up their lives to translate the Bible into common languages and help everybody to read it. This Book has authority.
That’s why last week, when people gathered for the funeral of a young man here, we read this Book. “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust in me. My Father’s house has many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go, I shall return and take you with me, so that where I am there you may be.” See this Book has authority for the human condition. This Book speaks with authority that no other book has. Don’t wait for that moment of trouble to read this Book.
When people are in a crisis, in a hospital bed, in a jail, this is the Book that gets read. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.” When a baby is born, when a marriage dies, when hope gets lost, God’s Word has power. God’s Word accomplishes the creation of life, the conviction of sin, the achievement of hope, power in weakness, guidance in darkness.
It is a lamp to your feet. It is a light to your path. It is the story that gives your story meaning, so you be a woman, you be a man of the Book. Let’s together declare we are a people of the Book. It is worth the time and effort to read it and study it. People complain that it’s not easy. Well what in life that is deeply worthwhile and profoundly transforming is easy?
Find out how you study it best. Listen to it in your car. Whisper it when you wake up in the morning, when you go to bed at night. Write parts of it down on Post-It notes. Get a daily Bible reading program, if that would help you. Get a YouVersion app for your phone. I have one and they’re great. Study it, meditate on it, memorize it, ask questions of it, be curious about it, most of all. Most of all, actually do it. Actually do what it says. Determine you will submit, you will be driven, not by your experience, not by your desires, not whatever happens to be a fashionable trend in our culture, but by the Book, by the Word of God.
Because by the way, the Book says one day He is coming back, and the evil of this world will finally be defeated, and we will be made radiantly and gloriously new, because one day the old story of the Bible is going to be over, and then will begin a whole new story. And according to the Bible, if you like anything at all about this old story, wait till you see the new one. That’s the good news. So now go out into the world and let God’s Word be a lamp to your feet and a light to your life. Be a woman, be a man, of the Book. Amen.
”—The Bible Alone, John Ortberg, October 9, 2011, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
Jonathan Haidt, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, is a liberal Democrat who has spent much of the past decade exploring the competitive strengths of conservatism. In his new book, “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion,” which will be published in March, Haidt makes several points. Conservatives, he argues, “are closer to traditional ideas of liberty” like “the right to be left alone, and they often resent liberal programs that use government to infringe on their liberties in order to protect the groups that liberals care most about.”
“Everyone gets angry when people take more than they deserve. But conservatives care more,” Haidt writes. And social conservatives favor a vision of society “in which the basic social unit is the family, rather than the individual, and in which order, hierarchy, and tradition are highly valued.”
What’s more, conservatives detect threats to moral capital that liberals cannot perceive. They do not oppose change of all kinds (such as the Internet), but they fight back ferociously when they believe that change will damage the institutions and traditions that provide our moral exoskeletons (such as the family). Preserving those institutions and traditions is their most sacred value.
Haidt is sharply critical of some aspects of liberalism. Liberals’ determination to help victims often leads them “to push for changes that weaken groups, traditions, institutions, and moral capital.” For example, “the urge to help the inner-city poor led to welfare programs in the 1960s that reduced the value of marriage, increased out-of-wedlock births, and weakened African American families,” he suggests. “It’s as though liberals are trying to help a subset of bees (which really does need help) even if doing so damages the hive.”
What the Right Gets Right, a NYT piece by Thomas Edsall, where, with the competitors for the Republican presidential nomination engaged in an intriguing and unexpected debate, he explores the questions: What does the right get right? (and) What insights, principles, and analyses does this movement have to offer that liberals and Democrats might want to take into account?
What’s the Best Way to Protect Against Online Piracy?
A little too much knee-jerk and not enough thought (for many of us, me included) in the “Stop SOPA” movement. Stay smart, America—online piracy is a real problem. Here are several thoughtful positions reported by the NYT. Get informed and then decide what to tell your Congressman or Congresswoman. We need intelligent debate that leads to real action. We don’t need sound bites and blacked-out websites.
A Compromise Makes Sense
Susan Crawford is the (visiting) Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard’s Kennedy School and a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.
The “content industry” establishment, led by the Motion Picture Association of America, has over the last 30 years been handed a series of statutory sledgehammers aimed at addressing copyright infringement. Now, with a pair of antipiracy bills pending in the House and Senate, the association appears to have drastically overreached.
According to their critics, the bills seek to force huge liability costs onto innumerable online companies and encourage intermediaries like search engines to censor sites, all in the name of combating online piracy. The bills, as they stand, can’t be fixed. There are too many vague definitions that pose too much risk to innovation and speech.
It’s not as if the content industry has had a difficult time in Washington recently. They’ve won most of the battles so far. The question is whether it makes sense to create a new law that would potentially cripple platforms that make it possible for users to link to or generate content of their own. Strong existing laws already give the content industry power to have content removed after a site has been notified. And granting the content industry the power to enlist the government’s aid in blocking sites is one that authoritarian regimes will celebrate; we, the democratic leader of the developed world, will be no different from them.
It looks as if the White House is seeking a compromise Stop Online Piracy Act/Protect Intellectual Property Act “follow the money” statute, which would avoid tinkering with the plumbing of the Internet or conscripting a broad group of online intermediaries into service as private police. Instead, this law would force payment processors to cut off services to sites that are found by a judicial officer to violate existing law. We’ve taken a similar step for gambling in the past, and this would be a far better way to proceed.
The Alternative Is Impractical
Sandra Aistars is the executive director of the Copyright Alliance, an educational organization of artists, producers and distributors.
The leading alternative to the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, known as the OPEN Act, would be problematic for the artists who are most affected by copyright infringement. While the creative community appreciates the recognition and attention to the problem of online piracy by sponsors of the OPEN Act, the bill would establish a process that would be impracticable and unattainable to all but the wealthiest corporations, and would essentially require people to buy access to the justice system.
Rather than using the federal court system — a venue available to all Americans in their home states and the venue by which multiple copyright-related disputes are resolved on a regular basis — the OPEN Act, as proposed by Representative Darrell Issa and Senator Ron Wyden, would force all claims related to pirate sites to the International Trade Commission.
The commission, based in Washington, is structured to review patent disputes among major international corporations. Lawyers handling cases before the commission must have special admission to practice there. The average dispute is resolved in 18 months.
The process therefore envisioned would require an independent filmmaker — who has perhaps just emptied her 401(k) and borrowed from friends and supporters to finance a project — to then travel to Washington, hire an expensive lawyer, and wait 18 months, even though her work began to be circulated online within 18 hours of its release, perhaps among hundreds of pirate sites.
Perhaps most troubling is the bill’s requirement that the copyright owner pay for the cost of the proceedings. Notably, such costs would be assessed only on the complainant – not on any party intervening or on the site accused of infringing on copyright. The costs would be assessed regardless of whether the copyright holder prevailed.
This defies the spirit of our nation’s legal system. Charging artists to gain access to justice means only the wealthy will be able to defend their legal rights and flies in the face of the principle of “justice for all.”
The OPEN Act would deny many independent artists their day in court.
Follow the Money, Not the Domains
Paul Kedrosky, a venture investor and entrepreneur, is a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation.
The trouble with the Stop Online Piracy Act is that it follows the domains, not the money. It is shooting mosquitoes with bazookas — a dumb, destructive and clumsy solution to a real problem: piracy on the Internet. And let’s be clear, piracy is a problem. It is unreasonable to think that music, movies, books or anything else that can be put in digital form should magically all become free. Suggesting otherwise is to traffic in a false dichotomy that does nothing to create discussion, and everything to polarize an over-polarized situation.
Here is what should be done: Follow the money. Who is paying for these sites and services? How are they being paid? The world of e-mail spam is instructive. While spam has gotten better over the last decade, it is mostly because filtering has gotten better, not because we are better at shutting down spammers. Domain takedown notices, blocked sites and the like — all the tools that SOPA’s proponents want to bring to bear against online property theft — have failed. The right way, as is increasingly being realized, is to go after the money. Recent research has shown that 95 percent of all e-mail spam is monetized through less than a dozen global banks and financial service providers. Attack these companies through the legal system — they’re aiding and abetting criminal spam enterprises — and you prevent spammers from making money. The result: A lot less spam.
We can and should do the same thing with online content. Rather than playing the dangerous and censorious game of pretending that online sites blocked in the U.S. don’t exist — they do, even if Americans can’t easily see them — go after how thieves make money. Use existing law, and international trade commissions, to go after ad networks, banks, payment houses and affiliate programs, the myriad ways by which people trafficking in illegal content can make money from it. If they can’t make money from trafficking in ill-gotten content, the problem will become much, much smaller.
A small amount of piracy will always exist: 100 percent effective anti-piracy would require North Korean levels of state control, a grotesque price in the freest and most innovative economy in the world. But online piracy need not remain at anywhere near current levels, and it won’t — if we follow the money instead of the domains.
Hey Kentucky: Casinos no cure-all for state budgets, economists say
For those of us in Kentucky, time to decide whether you think having casinos in the Commonwealth is a good idea. A couple of Herald Leader stories follow; good in-depth reporting on a tough issue. Stay smart, America.
FRANKFORT — Faced with another round of state budget cuts, Gov. Steve Beshear promotes casino gambling as a way “to improve our revenues long-term” in Kentucky.
But the nearly two dozen states that get revenue from casinos have struggled financially during the past three years, just like everyone else, according to a Lexington Herald-Leader analysis.
All of them cut spending; half raised taxes. Some fired thousands of their public workers, including educators and police, and gutted their basic classroom funding.
Experts who study gambling’s economic impact said Kentucky should be realistic about what it could win. Casinos are a poor substitute for a strong, stable tax base, they said.
"Casinos will almost certainly increase your revenue to some extent. But there will be offsets and costs that you also need to consider," said Alan Mallach, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank in Philadelphia.
Among their concerns, experts said, casinos cannibalize other forms of spending from which the states take a cut, from lottery tickets to gas and consumer goods. That cancels out some of the casino states’ financial gain.
"Casino gambling does not create a single new dollar. Every dollar dropped into a slot machine is a dollar not spent on something else," Mallach said. "It’s not like you’ve got an auto plant and you’re building cars to be shipped and sold around the world."
Florida, for example, has what some Kentuckians want: “racinos,” or casino gambling at racetracks. Florida collected $141 million in casino tax revenue in 2010 and earmarked it for education. Yet it’s slashing K-12 school spending by $540 per student this year, and it’s suffering through annual tuition hikes of 15 percent at state universities.
Casinos didn’t “fix” Florida schools, despite the politicians’ promises, said Mark Pudlow, spokesman for the Florida Education Association.
"Everybody makes the argument for more gambling in their state by saying, ‘It will help education!’ But it just ends up replacing money that then gets shifted to other things — in our case, it was building prisons — and soon, we have less money than we started with," Pudlow said.
Study by chamber, horse industry: Casinos at Ky. tracks would have $1.7 billion impact in first year
Allowing casinos at eight Kentucky racetracks would have an estimated $1.7 billion economic impact on the state during the casinos’ first full year of operation, according to a study released Monday by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
That would include $464.7 million in gaming tax revenue, $164.6 million of which would go to racing-industry programs, according to the Kentucky Gaming Market Analysis and Impacts Report, which was paid for by racing-industry interests.
Eight casinos also would create nearly 11,000 full-time jobs with a payroll of $289.3 million, the study found.
Kentuckians spent $451 million at casinos in surrounding states in 2010, the report says.
The Chinese-Takeout Container Is Uniquely American
The Chinese-takeout container, with its Japanese-influenced origami folds, is a uniquely American invention. On Nov. 13, 1894, in Chicago, the inventor Frederick Weeks Wilcox patented a version of what he called a “paper pail,” which was a single piece of paper, creased into segments and folded into a (more or less) leakproof container secured with a dainty wire handle on top. The supportive folds on the outside, fastened with that same wire, created a flat interior surface over which food could slide smoothly onto a plate.
Wilcox’s paper box seems to have been an advance in existing “oyster pail” technology. (The oyster pail, as described by Ernest Ingersoll in his 1880 book, “The Oyster Industry,” was “a wooden receptacle with a locked cover used in transporting raw oysters.”) At any rate, the paper oyster pail and the incipient Chinese-food industry — which was beginning its meteoric rise in the early 20th century — seemed made for each other. “It’s nearly leakproof, and it’s disposable, and they’re really inexpensive,” says Michael Prince, who redesigned the Box O’ Joe Coffee carton for Dunkin’ Donuts. “Origami can make a really cool transport device.”
In the 1970s, a graphic designer (whose name, sadly, has been lost to history) working at the company now known as Fold-Pak, put a pagoda on the side of the box and a stylized “Thank you” on top. Both were printed in red, a color symbolic of good fortune in China, where oyster pails are little known. And thus was forged the great paradox: “The structure has come to represent the idea of Eastern cuisine in Western society even though this packaging is not used for food containment in Chinese culture,” says Scott Chapps, designer of packaging for Help Remedies. Or, as David Federico, marketing manager for Fold-Pak, put it, “We don’t sell them in China.”
Today Fold-Pak makes oyster pails in much the same way Wilcox suggested, albeit using solid-bleached-sulfate paperboard with a polycoating on the inside for more grease- and leak-resistance. The company has also made adjustments for modern-day behaviors: it offers microwave-safe Chinese-food cartons that use glue instead of wire and nondyed, environmentally friendly containers. It’s a growing market, Federico says. But the traditional takeout container doesn’t seem bound for extinction. “In America, if you just drew an icon of a box, people would understand exactly what it is,” Prince said. “That’s a lot of power.”
An Invisible Keyboard Aims to Improve Touch-Screen Typing
LAS VEGAS — A Jerusalem-based start-up is trying to eliminate a problem that you didn’t know existed: the visibility of a keyboard.
At the International Consumer Electronics Show, the company, Snapkeys, demonstrated its invisible keyboard, which it is hoping will become the default typing method on smartphones and tablets, replacing the traditional qwerty layout.
“We wanted to get rid of the qwerty keyboard, because all these technologies have changed, and qwerty is the only thing that hasn’t changed,” said Ryan Ghassabian, a business development manager at Snapkeys. He added that typing on a touch-screen device, especially a tablet, is too cumbersome, and an invisible keyboard would increase speed and comfort.
The Snapkeys keyboard consists of four typing areas, each denoted by a different symbol: a single dot, two dots, a solid line and a circle.
When typing a letter, you imagine it being upper-cased to determine which of the four areas you type inside. The letter A, for example, stands on two points, and therefore you would tap on the area with two dots to type it. The letter I stands on one point, so you’d tap the single dot. The letter E stands on a wide base, so you’d tap the solid line symbol. The letter R has a complete circle inside its shape, so you’d tap the circle symbol.
The software then uses automatic prediction to guess what exactly you’re trying to type. If it guesses the wrong word, you can tap an arrow to have it try again.
Once you memorize the input method, you can make the keyboard invisible. Snapkeys plans to integrate the keyboard into social apps — say, an app where you’re watching a video with friends in a chat room. The invisible keyboard would allow you to type in the video area and send messages, so the image would no longer be obstructed.
Mr. Ghassabian says that Snapkeys is in negotiations with several carriers to make the invisible keyboard the default typing tool on Android smartphones.
"Ye are Christ’s." You are his by donation, for the Father gave you to the Son; his by his bloody purchase, for he counted down the price for your redemption; his by dedication, for you have consecrated yourself to him; his by relation, for you are named by his name, and made one of his brethren and joint-heirs.
Labour practically to show the world that you are the servant, the friend, the bride of Jesus. When tempted to sin, reply, “I cannot do this great wickedness, for I am Christ’s.” Immortal principles forbid the friend of Christ to sin. When wealth is before you to be won by sin, say that you are Christ’s, and touch it not. Are you exposed to difficulties and dangers? Stand fast in the evil day, remembering that you are Christ’s. Are you placed where others are sitting down idly, doing nothing? Rise to the work with all your powers; and when the sweat stands upon your brow, and you are tempted to loiter, cry, “No, I cannot stop, for I am Christ’s.
If I were not purchased by blood, I might be like Issachar, crouching between two burdens; but I am Christ’s, and cannot loiter.” When the siren song of pleasure would tempt you from the path of right, reply, “Thy music cannot charm me; I am Christ’s.” When the cause of God invites thee, give thy goods and thyself away, for thou art Christ’s. Never belie thy profession. Be thou ever one of those whose manners are Christian, whose speech is like the Nazarene, whose conduct and conversation are so redolent of heaven, that all who see you may know that you are the Saviour’s, recognizing in you his features of love and his countenance of holiness. “I am a Roman!” was of old a reason for integrity; far more, then, let it be your argument for holiness, “I am Christ’s!”
The believer did not always live to Christ. He began to do so when God the Holy Spirit convinced him of sin, and when by grace he was brought to see the dying Saviour making a propitiation for his guilt. From the moment of the new and celestial birth the man begins to live to Christ. Jesus is to believers the one pearl of great price, for whom we are willing to part with all that we have. He has so completely won our love, that it beats alone for him; to his glory we would live, and in defence of his gospel we would die; he is the pattern of our life, and the model after which we would sculpture our character.
Paul’s words mean more than most men think; they imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ-nay, his life itself was Jesus. In the words of an ancient saint, he did eat, and drink, and sleep eternal life. Jesus was his very breath, the soul of his soul, the heart of his heart, the life of his life.
Can you say, as a professing Christian, that you live up to this idea? Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ? Your business-are you doing it for Christ? Is it not done for self- aggrandizement and for family advantage? Do you ask, “Is that a mean reason?” For the Christian it is. He professes to live for Christ; how can he live for another object without committing a spiritual adultery? Many there are who carry out this principle in some measure; but who is there that dare say that he hath lived wholly for Christ as the apostle did? Yet, this alone is the true life of a Christian-its source, its sustenance, its fashion, its end, all gathered up in one word-Christ Jesus.
Lord, accept me; I here present myself, praying to live only in thee and to thee. Let me be as the bullock which stands between the plough and the altar, to work or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, “Ready for either.”
Resolved in 2012: To Enjoy the View Without Help From an iPhone
Last week, I drove to Pacifica, a beach community just south of San Francisco, where I climbed a large rocky hill as the sun descended on the horizon. It painted a typically astounding California sunset across the Pacific Ocean. What did I do next?
What any normal person would do in 2011: I pulled out my iPhone and began snapping pictures to share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
I spent 10 minutes trying to compose the perfect shot, moving my phone from side to side, adjusting light settings and picking the perfect filter.
Then, I stopped. Here I was, watching this magnificent sunset, and all I could do is peer at it through a tiny four-inch screen.
“What’s wrong with me?” I thought. “I can’t seem to enjoy anything without trying to digitally capture it or spew it onto the Internet.”
Hence my New Year’s resolution: In 2012, I plan to spend at least 30 minutes a day without my iPhone. Without Internet, Twitter, Facebook and my iPad. Spending a half-hour a day without electronics might sound easy for most, but for me, 30 unconnected minutes produces the same anxious feelings of a child left accidentally at the mall.
I made this resolution out of a sense that I habitually reached for the iPhone even when I really didn’t need to, when I might have just enjoyed an experience, like the sunset, without any technology. And after talking to people who do research on subjects like this, I realized that there were some good reasons to give up a little tech.
It is interesting to remark how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;” and just as we are about to close the volume, the “Amen” of an earnest supplication meets our ear. Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling Jacob-there a Daniel who prayed three times a day-and a David who with all his heart called upon his God. On the mountain we see Elias; in the dungeon Paul and Silas. We have multitudes of commands, and myriads of promises.
What does this teach us, but the sacred importance and necessity of prayer? We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in his Word, he intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If he has said much about prayer, it is because he knows we have much need of it. So deep are our necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to pray. Dost thou want nothing? Then, I fear thou dost not know thy poverty. Hast thou no mercy to ask of God? Then, may the Lord’s mercy show thee thy misery! A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honour of a Christian. If thou be a child of God, thou wilt seek thy Father’s face, and live in thy Father’s love.
Pray that this year thou mayst be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter oftener into the banqueting-house of his love. Pray that thou mayst be an example and a blessing unto others, and that thou mayst live more to the glory of thy Master. The motto for this year must be, “Continue in prayer.”