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Each year for the last seven years, the scientists at IBM have released their list of five innovations that they feel have the greatest potential to change the way we work and live during the next five years. Here’s what they came up with this year: 1) Touch: You will be able to touch through your phone.  Imagine using your smartphone to shop for your wedding dress and being able to feel the satin or silk of the gown, or the lace on the veil, from the surface on the screen. Or to feel the beading and weave of a blanket made by a local artisan half way around the world. In five years, industries like retail will be transformed by the ability to “touch” a product through your mobile device. 2) Sight: A pixel will be worth a thousand words. We take some 500 billion photos a year, and 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. But computers today only understand pictures by the text we use to tag or title them; the majority of the information — the actual content of the image — is a mystery. In the next five years, systems will not only be able to look at and recognize the contents of images and visual data, they will turn the pixels into meaning, making sense out of it similar to the way a human views and interprets a photograph. 3) Hearing: Computers will hear what matters.  Ever wish you could make sense of all the sounds around you and be able to understand what’s not being said? Within five years, distributed systems of clever sensors will detect elements of sound such as sound pressure, vibrations and sound waves at different frequencies. 4) Taste: Digital taste buds will help you to eat smarter. What if we could make healthy foods taste delicious using a different kind of computing system built for creativity? IBM researchers are developing a computing system that actually experiences flavor, to be used with chefs to create the most tasty and novel recipes. It will break down ingredients to their molecular level and blend the chemistry of food compounds with the psychology behind what flavors and smells humans prefer. 5) Smell: Computers will have a sense of smell. During the next five years, tiny sensors embedded in your computer or cell phone will detect if you’re coming down with a cold or other illness. By analyzing odors, biomarkers and thousands of molecules in someone’s breath, doctors will have help diagnosing and monitoring the onset of ailments such as liver and kidney disorders, asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy by detecting which odors are normal and which are not. via Ooh Ooh That Smell — IBM’s 2012 “5 in 5″: Innovations Of The Senses « Turbotodd. Thoughts?
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Jack Schaap, the former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, IN, was charged yesterday in federal court with taking a minor across state lines.  According to prosecutors, Schaap has signed a plea agreement. According to the Chicago Tribune: Schaap had a relationship between June 1 and July 30 with a girl who had not yet turned 18, and took her from Indiana to Illinois and to Michigan, according to the criminal information. Schaap took the girl “with the intent that she engage in sexual activity for which (Schaap could) be charged with a criminal offense,” according to the information. Prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of several items Schaap is alleged to have used in committing the crime, including an iPad, an iPhone, a digital camera, a voice recorder and two computer flash drives, according to the information. In his plea agreement, which also was filed in federal court today, Schaap admits that he had sex with the girl, the girl was under his care or supervision, and he used a computer to persuade the girl to have sex with him illegally. Schaap is scheduled to appear in court at 3 pm today.  We’ll see what happens. Ed Stetzer has written a great piece on the situation here. Todd

The folks over at Christian Web Trends have done a survey to see what people want in a church mobile application (you know… iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry). You can see what they came up with here… But I’m wondering… do you use ANY mobile apps for churches or Christian organizations… If you don’t, please leave a comment saying NO, and telling why. Also, if you DO… leave a comment telling us which ones… Either way… Please take a moment to leave a comment… Thanks, Todd

Here’s an interesting article over at the Resurgence.  Many of us are asking ‘should I or should I not get an iPad”.  Dustin Neeley asks some pretty serious questions.  I guess I’ll be asking these questions post-mortem, as my iPad is supposed to arrive on Saturday. Here are the questions Dustin thinks we should ask: 1.  Is it a tool or a toy? While this may seem like a simple question, getting an accurate answer might be harder than we think. Our remaining sin is strong, our hearts are deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9), and our justifications are often powerful and compelling. 2.  What’s the posture of my heart toward this device? This may be the most important but often overlooked part of the process. I try to expose any of my idolatry regarding what it ultimately just a melding of metal and microchips that my heart has become inclined toward. 3.  Is this a wise financial move? Recognizing that everything we have is ultimately God’s and we will someday give an account for how we have managed His money, I simply crunch the numbers. As I thought about Dustin’s questions, I thought to myself:  I could ask these questions about virtually any purchase, not just an iPad.  But then again, I’m probably just justifying the fact that I didn’t ask these questions before buying. You’re looking at an early adopter.  If something has ‘new’ written on it, I want to buy it.  Is this iDolatry?  I hope not… but it is something I need to guard my heart against. Ask me next week at this time, and I’ll tell you whether or not I had to confess sin on this purchase. Todd You can read all of Darren’s thoughts here. What do you think?  Did you order an iPad?  Do you think I should repent, or revel in my ultimate coolness on Saturday?