Your company will make your choice phone

Apple, Google, Microsoft, does it really matter?

DISCLAIMER: Do not read this article if you are a Blackberry user, there is very little information that you will need, as Blackberry is an autonomous entity without a desktop OS counterpart.

The answer is something to the effect of, Not Really.”  Each of these giants of industry now have something in common.  They each have phones or phone operating systems that matter to someone.  The question really is about who it matters to.  With the unveiling of Windows Phone 7 Series (and yes it is just as hard to type correctly as it is to say), many people are defining the move by Microsoft by where its opponents stand.  “How will this affect Apple market- and mind- share?“”Microsoft has out-Appled Apple!” The list of quips is long, but that is not what has come to mind for me.  The major piece to play for me is how this affects consumer decision, which I have realized, it really doesn’t.

The fact of the matter is this: you will buy the phone from the company that you have the most faith will bring you satisfaction and function.  If you are an purveyor of Mac, you will own an iPhone; if you entrust Google with all of your deepest, darkest secrets, you will buy an Android phone; if you have to use Microsoft-based products on the go, you will inevitably choose a Blackberry or a Microsoft-based phone (the if comes next).  Recently, the lines have not been so clear-cut due to integration of Microsoft services into other phone operating systems, such as Exchange on the iPhone.  And the Microsoft-based products have recently been running on an antiquated phone OS.  However, the matter remains, while the services of the Internet are inherently linked to each of these platforms, each of them also still connects to a home base of sorts.

I have been tempted from time to time by the Zune HD; who hasn’t really?  But as a Mac user, Microsoft has left me behind and I am unsure if they will ever come to the realization that there needs to be a Mac version of the desktop software.  Blackberry was the same way; they have recently created a Mac desktop counterpart with somewhat limited functionality, but Blackberry is not in the class of device to which I am referring.  I am a Mac and proud of it most days, but that literally means that I have one of two choices: iPhone or Android.  Recently, I received a first generation iPhone from a friend; I unlocked it and I am currently using it with T-Mobile, my provider of choice.  Because I am a Mac, it has integrated perfectly into my workflows without any disruption whatsoever.  Of course, that is what I would say given that I am a Mac.

This is where an interesting question comes in: Google doesn’t have a desktop counterpart, does it?  Well, yes in fact, it does!  The desktop is much more abstract, but it is the Internet itself.  Google has built its ecosystem for the user, the constantly connected cloud.  As it is, they will be releasing a less abstract desktop OS called Chrome OS, but that will really be a thin client to the cloud.  I was tempted by this schema as well.  How great would it be to have all of my contacts, calendars, etc just waiting for me to beam them into a phone for daily viewing?  But inevitably, my lust for the iPhone prevailed, as I am a Mac.  For the purposes of this article, however, I will not be making any judgements about right or wrong decisions.

I think what my writing recently has come to is this: I don’t care about technology like other people do.  I am not a fanboy in any way.  I may prefer a specific phone or OS, but I have chosen based entirely on what I do and how a computing platform makes what I do easier on a daily basis.  I have never been a competitive person and I do not feel the need to argue semantics surrounding computers, phones, code, or otherwise.  I am a technologist who explores, who learns, who chooses but never makes another person’s choice for them.  Thank you for respecting that.

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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.