iPhone/iPod/iPad users – if you’ve never used the site appshopper.com, you should. It’s a great way to browse apps outside of iTunes, and with better features. (Better searching, the ability to see price history, etc.)
And now, they have their own app as well. (I haven’t installed it yet, but will be very shortly):
AppShopper keeps you up to date on the newest App Store Apps, sales and freebies. Organize apps in your own Wish List and automatically get notified when there is a sale or update.
David Koyzis looks at Stephen Hawking’s latest comments about God:
Hawking is right: the god he describes does not exist.
read more on Hawking’s ‘god’.
One cannot be a Christian and have no fruit. Indeed, all Christians yield some measure of all the fruit of the Spirit. It is not that one receives the fruit of love and another the fruit of joy. All the fruit is to be manifest in all Christians.
read more at Ligonier Ministries Blog.
The final scripture quotation, 1 Corinthians 6:11, was one of the verses we heard preached on this morning, so this is particularly timely for us.
The 9Marks eJournal this month is all about hell.
Wisdom so often in life prescribes moderation. It’s wise to eat with moderation, to speak with moderation, to feel with moderation, some would even say to believe with moderation.
But there’s absolutely nothing moderate about the doctrine of hell. It’s extreme in every way. It’s an extreme idea for the mind. It’s an extreme confrontation for the heart. And it blows against all the rules of social etiquette.
There’s a great collection of NASA images available now on Flickr at the “NASA on The Commons’ photostream.”
I remember watching this on TV when I was in elementary school:
OK, so I recently nagged a friend of mine about getting into blogging, so this is my attempt to remove that particular beam from my own eye… My last post said “in a few days…” and that was, um, half a year ago.
So what’s been going on since then? The biggest news is that we found out, we’re expecting again! We’re 22 weeks now, due the first week of January, but how our pregnancies go, I’m sure the baby will be here by Christmas at the latest. “The baby.” It’s a boy, which we just found out last week, so I really need to get used to referring to him as a he.
Other than that, everything else pales by comparison. Just trying to figure out as always what the Lord wants for us, and doing what we can to glorify Him and repent when we fall short.
Until next time…
For Valentine’s Day, my wonderful wife purchased for me a Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader. I have to say, this is probably one of the two best technology purchases I’ve ever made. I love reading from this device!
Curiously, as a software developer, I’ve never been comfortable for reading for long periods of time from a computer screen, particularly when reading for pleasure. But the eInk display is so much more like paper that I’ve already read through an entire novel in the week or so since I got the e-reader.
A lot of people have asked why the Nook, vs. Amazon’s Kindle or other e-readers. (Or, for that matter, why not wait for the Apple iPad? But that is a topic for another day. Short reason? eInk.)
In a nutshell, what drew me to the Nook specifically were those features which distinguish it:
- Native support for PDF and ePub formats – Without any conversion, as the Kindle requires (or at least did initially), you can drag and drop any PDF or ePub (which means pretty much anything from Project Gutenberg – but more on sources of free and cheap books in a later post) directly into your Nook’s storage, which shows up on your PC as just another drive, like an SD card for your camera.
- The “Lending” feature – This feature has gotten some bad press, mainly due to the restrictions (you can only lend a book once per friend, and for a maximum of 14 days with no renewal) as well as the publishers’ reticence to allow it (they can turn it off for any title), but the plain and simple fact is this: B&N are the only big player doing something about making the eBook market friendlier and more like owning a hard copy book. (Now if they’d just figure out a way to do used eBooks that would be something…)
- In-Store features – Speaking of making it more like hard copy books, the in-store features of the Nook (which they really need to actually get around to activating) are pretty intriguing. In a nutshell, while you’re in any B&N and connected to their (free) Wifi, you can read the full text of any book they offer. Which you can do with the hard copies, so why not with your Nook? This is a stroke of genius – browse the stacks from the cafe or while watching your kids in the children’s area.
- The color touchscreen + Google Android OS – The combination of these two opens up wonderful possibilities for future developments….
- Expandable Memory – I’m a hoarder when it comes to books, and no doubt will be when it comes to eBooks as well. The Nook has an SD card slot which you can expand up to 16GB of memory.
- Replaceable Battery – The Kindle’s battery is, I believe, like the iPhone, not replaceable. This means a hefty price down the road to either replace the device or send back for factory battery replacement when it finally dies. With the Nook, on the other hand, you can already purchase a replacement battery should you so desire.
So… what’s wrong with the Nook? Well, a few things, still:
- Different features for B&N eBooks vs. “My Library” - The Nook separates the books you’ve purchased from B&N, from those you loaded yourself (PDF’s, ePubs, 3rd party eBooks, etc.). With B&N content you get coverflow view, searching by author or title, sorting by last read, etc. With your content, you get – none of those. You are limited to a view sorted by title or author (and BTW – the title sort doesn’t handle “a, an, the” properly). I could, in theory, load the hundreds of books I’ve downloaded from Project Gutenberg into my Nook. But that would mean having to scroll through the list to page 20 every time I wanted to read “Tarzan of the Apes.”
- Sluggish – The Nook is not the fastest thing in the world. After using an iPhone for a year+, the touchscreen is not as responsive as it should be. The eInk takes a second to turn pages, but that is actually tolerable.
- “Open” OS, but… – OK, so it uses Google’s Android OS. Give us custom apps!
I’m hopeful that in future updates (there have been 2 already since Nook’s debut), they will continue to enhance the device and address these shortcomings. I understand from previous reviews that the first releases of the Nook system were barely usable with regard to performance, but that newer updates have really gone far in addressing speed issues. as I said, the sluggishness is tolerable, but could still stand improvement. I’m also hopeful that they open it up to more apps, or even 3rd party development (The guys at nookDevs have already started down this path with hacking the Nook. I’ve tried their stuff, and it has possibility, but is not ready for prime time yet.)
In the coming days (weeks?), I’ll be posting more on the Nook and eBooks, including good sources for free and/or cheap content for the Nook, and a review of the classic novel Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Stay tuned…