Digital Bible Giveaway

This comes courtesy of FaithlifeBible.com. This is a promotion more for their app than the actual bible. For anyone interested you need to download and use the Faithlife Study Bible app by April 8th to receive the NIV translation, New International Version, free.

You may also read this translation, along with many others, online in any web browser. The Faithlife Study Bible is a comprehensive, constantly growing study aid for the bible. From what I’ve seen so far (I had not heard of it before discovering it via the promotion today) it seems like it has the potential to be an excellent tool for self and group based studies and collaboration.

This is a list of features taken straight from their site:

  • Create and join church, school, or personal groups.
  • Make and share Community Notes in the FSB.
  • Set group reading plans with reminders.
  • Share lessons, outlines, and other documents.
  • Set your own Faithlife privacy preferences.

I give many things a try, this is mostly platform agnostic so you’ll be hearing my impressions about it later in the year after I’ve given it a fair test run. Believe me, I like to discover how things work, how truly effective they are, their true scope and then I try to break them and integrate them into my life at the same time. If it’s no good at all you’ll hear it from me but so far it looks to be very promising. I’m hoping that I do not run into the same connectivity-based DRM issues that plague the YouVersion bible app.

Hold up, what’s the NIV?

The NIV is an English translation of the bible, the Christian bible. It was originally published in an incomplete form in 1973 as just the New Testament, it would take 5 years for a completed translation to be made available to native English readers. Like any good translation it used recent archaeological and linguistic discoveries for providing a modern translation. A team of nearly 100 bible scholars worked together in faith and knowledge to decipher the original, canonical documents of the bible.

The NIV is what they believe to be a faithful, word-for-word and thought-for-thought modern day translation of God’s Word. The most recent revision’s were released in 2011, they are revised as understanding of the language and culture of past societies increase. The increased understanding in combination with an increasing level of objectivity (there were previously issues with gender-inclusive language) are what have fueled the latest revisions.

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Bye, Bye Oracle!

We will really miss you… not!
Okay, so I was kidding. Oracle isn’t in any real danger of disappearing, they make too much money from supporting their enterprise customers. They also have a ridiculous amount of highly skilled developers under their roof, it just seems like management is the real issue.

The programming community has become more wary of anything that Oracle does now. They recently sued Google over the use of Java api’s in Android and were shut down by a judge whom also happened to be a programmer. Judge Apatow, you’re a hero. You helped to uphold the right’s of programmers everywhere and stopped a dangerous precedent from taking place. It would be the equivalent of making hamburger sales illegal by assembling them in bun, condiment, veggies, patty, cheese then bun order. It was ridiculous.

Oracle has essentially been the opposite of Sun in their dealings. Of course, Sun had to sell themselves to Oracle so that may not be a 100% bad thing. Still, I learned how to program in GW BASIC using a Sun Workstation in middle school. Sun will be missed and it’s kind of awful that OpenIndiana is a project of necessity and love instead of just love. With Oracle discontinuing OpenSolaris, closing the source and only selling Solaris (poorly) we no longer can use one of the greatest works to come from our departed but beloved Sun Corporation.

Now MySQL, a backbone of the webs LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) configuration for websites is being abandoned by more users and organizations everyday. It’s very important that linux distro’s support MySQL for it to continue to exist. Since most of the web is served by linux servers, a switch to MariaDB by the biggest players will form its’ eventual death. Sure, admins and organizations can continue to use Oracle’s product but why bother when they can get better support and integration with a tool that’s going to receive a larger amount of support and development in the future and is arguably a good stand-in replacement for MySQL now?

Oracle needs to stop pissing on the hand that helps to feed it if it truly cares about making money. They can’t just take everyone else’s work, slap their name on it and try to sell support for everything. Or can they?

Leap Motion SDK Is Now Available For Linux

I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since I received my development unit. It’s not that I couldn’t use Windows, I was running it originally, I just chose to move away from it. I have tested the limits of the device in processing raw motion data thoroughly, now it’s time to play around with that power. It is only available for Ubuntu for now but hopefully support will become more distro agnostic. In the meantime I’ll try running the sdk via Alien, my crappy internet connection is making this a very long but eager wait! Everything below the banner is from the newsletter that detailed the updates the new SDK brings.

tuxmotion

SDK 0.7.6 released with Linux support, new finger tracking

The latest version of the SDK was released last night with some great new features:

  • Beta release of the Leap Linux SDK for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 12.10, or newer. It’s early, but we’d love your feedback and support in bringing our software to this important platform.
  • New finger tracking, which handles a greater variety of finger orientations and positions (such as parallel to the Leap device). This allows for more stable finger tracking across a wider range of movement, especially for thumbs.
  • New screen projection functions, which provide perpendicular projection onto located screens (press “B” twice to see in Visualizer).
  • Device standby mode will now automatically engage after non-use for 5 minutes. Device will re-engage within 1 second of seeing a hand. In the future this will be configurable and much quicker to resume.
  • New settings to enable/disable WebSocket connections and to adjust device frame-rate and range sensitivity (this will help with people who are encountering some environmental interference with their device).
  • Expanded documentation: complete references for Java API, Objective-C API, preliminary API references for Python and C#/Unity.
  • Bug fixes including NaN values in JSON data sent to JavaScript clients and CircleGesture::duration.
  • New device firmware to improve robustness of firmware updates.

We’ll be improving the build over time, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the latest SDK thread.

Why Pay Something (4) Office?

WPS Office is real and is very available. It’s a free, open source clone of Open Office that is very much like Zorin OS. It’s almost a straight-up copy, I’ll be looking to try this out soon. I wonder how many people I could fool with Zorin OS and WPS Office running at the same time?

Zorin is a Linux Distro that mimics the user interface of other operating systems.

And below is WPS Office running on Ubuntu. ust install Wine, Crossover or Playon and you could effectively mimic Windows very well. Of course Zorin doesn’t ape Windows completely but using Zorin and WPS along with the compatibility layers based upon WINE can help get people accustomed to linux.

I don’t really believe that last line, I would probably combine these items to try to switch constantly troubled Windows users to linux with the least amount of friction. There will always be a learning curve, keeping the user interfaces the same will help with that. They don’t need to understand the file system, bash commands or anything. They just need to know how to change their workflows whenever possible. Well, the normal users do.

Oh.My.Giddy.Aunt.

A real office suite is finally available for Android, say hello to Coffice. It’s a port of Calligra Office to Android from the KDE project’s leading office suite. Calligra Office is a highly integrated and well designed office suite that’s designed for use with KDE, the K Desktop Environment. It’s limited at the moment but will hopefully reach full feature parity with the primary suite.

This could end up being a major game changer for Android and for the Calligra Suite. It’s primarily developed for Linux but is also available for Mac and Windows. Give it a shot, you may find out that you actually like it. Their Author application is still under development but looks like it will be a very promising ebook development and creation tool.