Apple After Thoughts

The following paragraphs are a repost of an earlier microblog context.

I always attempt to digest Apple events before reporting out on them in any way, but I have to say that it was an odd one. I think all of the updates announced were solid, but I just don’t know that I will be capitalizing on any of the announcements right at launch. In contrast, previous upgrade cycles have felt like no-brainers.

I have an iPhone 7 on the iPhone Upgrade Program and I have been happy with this model. The iPhone 8 doesn’t appear to be that big of an update for me and the iPhone X is, as expected, more expensive. In addition, that model is aspirational in nature and while I would love having the newest and best, my happiness with the iPhone 7 leads me to believe that I might want to take a wait-and-see approach with things like Face ID, Wireless Charging, and the lack of home button.

The iPhone aside, the announcements regarding the Apple Watch and the Apple TV are intriguing. I welcome the upgrade of all my iTunes content to 4K and would be interested in having the new Apple TV 4K, but I don’t know that I feel pressure to upgrade. In addition, the Series 3 Watch is a nice update to a solid product, but my Series 0” Stainless Steel marches on and does exactly what I need it to do.

Possibly the most interesting announcement from a technology perspective (and one of the many reasons I have upgraded in the past) is the one that got relatively little fanfare on stage: Apple has designed and implemented its own GPU. The A11 Bionic chip can do a lot of interesting things, especially given it is a first generation design in that way. Apple has set itself apart in many ways with its in-house CPU designs, so I have no reason to think the in-house GPU designs will be any different.

To be honest, the feeling that has enveloped me just after recent Apple events has been


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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.