Apple Introduces Yet Another Game-Changer

Last night during the amazing Super Bowl commercials, Apple introduced the world to The Daily. I’ve already stated that I think this changes the game. It’s no secret that I’ve never been a fan of traditional newspapers. What say you?

Steve Jobs Takes a Stand

'Thankfully for consumers, there is one smartphone that didn't want to do business with this sleazy industry. Kudos to Steve Jobs and Apple.' (Joshua Mercer) This editor would join with Joshua and say,

Maybe you heard all the buzz about the new iPhone 4 last week and even saw Steve Jobs’ presentation of it. What you may not have heard is about how Steve Jobs is fighting to keep porn off the iPhone and iPad.

Is Steve Jobs taking heat for this? Absolutely. Could he make a ton of money by offering porn on his products’ app stores? Yes. But sometimes you have to take a stand. So-called “apps,” or programs, are wildly popular and can be downloaded through Apple’s iTunes store. There’s an application for nearly everything — including news, sports, maps and restaurants — but Jobs says the store won’t offer porn. Approximately 5,000 sexually explicit applications were removed from the store early this year after the Parents Television Council, the conservative group, urged citizens to complain to Apple. The PTC noted that children often browse the store, looking for games.

Jobs took a stance against porn when the iPhone was released in 2007 and has reiterated that stance at least three times during last month while also taking a dig at a competitor, Google’s Android phone.

“The Apple CEO can expect further criticism from fans of pornography; but the PTC applauds Steve Jobs for his bold and courageous stance in favor of promoting decency and protecting children,” the Parents Television Council said.

Asked during an April interview with reporters whether Apple would keep in place its strong restrictions on making applications for the iPhone, Jobs said, “You know, there’s a porn store for Android. You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That’s a place we don’t want to go.”

He wrote e-mailer Matthew Browing in April, “We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy Android.”

Then, in May, Jobs defended Apple’s new iPad — which also uses applications — from charges that the product does not give consumers enough freedom. The e-mailer, Ryan Tate, had written Jobs saying that “revolutions are about freedom,” implying that iPad’s commercials touting a revolution were off base.

Jobs retorted, “Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom.” Jobs later wrote during the exchange, “You might care more about porn when you have kids …”

So, what say you? Are you in favor of Jobs and Apple taking a stand against porn on their products and trying to protect our kids or do you think he crossed the line?

* Note – some quotes were taken from an article published by Baptist Press

Church Geek Squad


One topic of discussion that came up at last week’s Church 2.0 Local Forum in Phoenix was the ever-increasing new role for Church leaders and staff to be equippers and trainers of new media and technologies to those in their ministry, volunteers, other staff, etc.

One IT staff member of a mega-church remarked that he’s found himself training more and more staff on how to use tools like Facebook, Twitter and TokBox. Another staff remember remarked that she has been personally going over to volunteers’ homes to teach them hands-on on how to use these tools. She’s personally set them up with email, Facebook and Twitter accounts (even if only to follow her she said).Â

I think this is a new reality we find ourselves in and will probably make it’s way into the Church 2.0 book (or whatever it ends up being called). We as leaders have always been charged to teach, train, encourage, equip, educate and inform. For the many in your church and even on your staff team that don’t “get it” – you may find yourself acting in a role like a Best Buy Geek Squad or an Apple Store Genius Bar.

Have you thought of this before? Do you think this is valid? I’m not talking about forcing anything on anyone. I’m talking about helping those that have interests and are sincerely open to harnessing these new technologies. My hope is that if you are ready and willing to learn that you will seek out those to learn from. And if you “get it” and have knowledge that you could share, I encourage you to see it as an act of furthuring the Kingdom and the Gospel. So, are you willing to serve on the Geek Squad?

PC or Mac?

Let the wars begin! Just kidding. Actually, I ask the question because I think the answer (for most churches) is BOTH. I just talked with 2 guys that do video at 2 different larger churches and they use both Avid and FinalCut.

In the world of Church IT (which I’ll blog more about later), there seems to be a either-or mindset and after talking to a few geek friends, plus Tony Steward (who is just too fun to call a geek, but he knows his stuff) – they seem to believe that church networks can have a happy marriage of PCs and Macs.

I wonder: is this your reality? Is your church all PC? all Mac? Are you a hybrid? What’s your situation? My church is predominately PC, but the whole Worship & Arts/production staff is Mac and after talking to several of our pastors, they’d like to be Mac, too. I wonder if you, like me, since we’re at a tipping point.

HERE’S an article that I wrote almost a year ago for Monday Morning Insight. I was shocked at home much attention it got. It was obvious I had hit a nerve/hot button. I asked in the article how many have switched to Vista and how many have switched to Leopard. I ask you the same. We recently switched all our Macs to Leopard and got the Final Cut Studio 2 upgrade.

So, what say you? PC? Mac? Both? Are you near a tipping point? Do you think both can live happily together on a church network? Are Exchange and Entourage incompatible? Are they either-or options or does that even matter? Let me hear ya!

College 2.0

An Apple iPhone or iPod touch will become a central part of Abilene Christian University’s innovative learning experience this fall when all freshmen are provided one of these converged media devices, said Phil Schubert, ACU executive vice president.

At ACU – the first university in the nation to provide these cutting-edge media devices to its incoming class – freshmen will use an iPhone or iPod touch to receive homework alerts, answer in-class surveys and quizzes, get directions to their professors’ offices, and check their meal and account balances – among more than 15 other useful web applications already developed, said ACU Chief Information Officer Kevin Roberts.

ACU’s vision for technology has been captured in a forward-looking film called ‘Connected,’ found online – along with information about ACU’s other ground-breaking mobile learning
efforts – at – You can read more from this article HERE.

Below is a summary from someone who was a part of the freshman orientation at ACU:

This past weekend Abilene Christian University gave away about 1,000 iPhones and iPod Touch’s. All of the devices were given away totally free. Parents had the option to opt-out of the iPhone, in case they did not want to pay the monthly bill. In that case, students still received an iPod Touch 8GB Model. The iPod Touch, when connected to ACU’s Wifi Network can do pretty much everything the iPhone can do with respect to all of the ACU specific Applications. The iPod Touch just doesn’t have the GPS Guided campus map available.

ACU is the only place in Abilene, Texas with 3G Network Coverage from AT&T. AT&T did the work just for them, and will get to the rest of the town’s 3G coverage later. This in an unprecedented leap in technology for education, and Abilene Christian is leading the way. Oklahoma Christian University will soon follow. ACU gets calls weekly from other university’s administrations inquiring about this initiative. Hopefully many schools will follow in ACU’s footsteps.


  • Students login to a special ACU app and their schedule is downloaded to their iPhone or iPod Touch
  • GPS map shows students where they’re at on campus and how to get to their class
  • Professors can take attendance by iPhones present in class
  • Professors can get real-time feedback from students via surveys (“Do I need to spend more time on this or do you understand it?” – students answer “Yes” or “No thanks. I got it.”)
  • Students can check their meal and account balance

Today my son, Tommy, turns 6 years old and starts his first day of school. My little boy is growing up!

ECHO Church Media Conference

ECHO Church Media Conference is a month away. Are you going to be there? You can and you should – AND you can still do it at the early-bird rate. I’ll be there and so will so wonderful friends of mine. Have you seen the list of speakers? WOW!

I think this would be great for worship leaders and senior pastors, as well as my tech friends. And seriously, any excuse to come to Dallas is all good. Some people I know attending the conference are coming over to Bent Tree for a tour. If you are coming or are thinking about coming, let me know, and we’ll set up a time for you to swing by and I’ll personally show you around. I hope to see you at ECHO!

In other news, the new Apple iPhone sold over 1 million units in just 3 days! Are you kidding me??? Wow! Hey, speaking of ministry, sharing, generosity, God blessing you, etc., etc. – IF you already had an iPhone and just purchased the new one AND are wondering what to do with your old one… I would be glad to use it (for ministry purposes, of course). Holla!

YouVersion Powers the Bible App on iPhone

From their Facebook update:

The wait is over. As the web is buzzing with reports of the new iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 update, we’re adding to the excitement with the debut of a Bible App for the iPhone, powered by

The ease of use you’ve come to expect from now fits in the palm of your hand. We’re thrilled to launch this new application that iPhone and iPod Touch users will be able to download for free. It’s called the Bible App and it’s available now from Apple’s built-in App Store.

* Now that’s cool. Well done! You can sign up on iTunes HERE or read more about it HERE.