Two Interesting Applications

With two Sandwich videos come two interesting new applications: Coin and Knock. Both applications were announced last week and I have been holding onto the videos to share together because they both communicate the future possibilities of Bluetooth LE, not to mention the future of application integration.

Coin

Coin is an unassuming card that connects all of your various cards into a single piece of technology. To me, it shows the next logical step to integrate our digital world, where we can save our credit cards on our favorite websites for future use, to our physical world, where we have to carry around bulky wallets and bags to insure that we have every card with us, whether it be a credit, debit, or the more mundane rewards and gift cards. I’m very interested in this tech, although I have some worries about security, reliability, and vendor stupidity, some of which is discussed in the well-written The Coin’s Uphill Battle” by Brett Kelly. Ben Brooks also brings up some good points in his write-up, Use One Coin for All of Your Cards”. With all this in mind, however, I still think the Coin is going to solve a problem that a lot of people have, which is a good starting point for any successful technology.


Knock

Knock is another unassuming technology that allows someone with an iPhone to log into their Apple computer by simply knocking on their phone, see the coy video below for more information. Knock is one of those beautiful technologies that you wish was invented years ago, but was not possible until now due to the lack of a low-power technology to connect the two devices. The mythic technology now known as iWatch was once dreamed to be an identity module that might allow this type integration with the Mac. Sit down at a computer while wearing an iWatch and you are automatically logged in and ready to work, with the computer knowing your preferences, passwords, credit cards, etc. This type integration is not what Knock does, but Knock is a step in the right direction for a future where such integration is possible. In addition, with such a technology now on the market, it seems all the more possible (and plausible) that Apple could do something similar with the iWatch or future iterations of such a device. Either way, I am looking forward to seeing what other technologies can be born based on these two interesting applications.


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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.