23 April 2015

Superbru 2015: week 10

Worst year ever. My success follows closely with the Sharks.


I am almost last in the pool that in 2014 I led from start to finish. My, how the mighty have collapsed.

21 April 2015

Android Angles: Pushbullet application for streamlined productivity

Screen shot stolen from Pushbullet ;-)
There's a new favourite app in the town of Brattville! Or maybe there's a new flavour of the month in the Parlour of Brattex! Or maybe it's just a fleeting thrill - we shall see. But what is the name of this app, one asks? Pushbullet be its name. And what does this app do, another queries? It be a desktop / mobile integrator for productivity. So why all the conjunctions at the beginning of these sentences? Because it is convenient, dammit!

Enough with the silly rhetoric, on with the product highlight!

How to Use Pushbullet to Bridge the Gap Between All Your Devices
Stolen from lifehacker.com

Pushbullet acts as a bridge between your mobile and desktop OSes and so far, I have been very impressed by its performance. Admittedly, it is a little unnerving about what information Pushbullet is accumulating but if you think you can trust developers from San Francisco, and more than one million users can't be wrong, then you're in good company I suspect.

WhatsApp Web - a first glance

WhatsApp has released a web client for their IM and although it's still early days, I figured a quick preview was in order, especially since most people don't seem to even know about it.

To access the client, head on over to https://web.whatsapp.com/ and scan the QR code (follow the instructions for your specific handset).

With my Sony Xperia C it's easy.

Then you've got a WhatsApp chat client from your desktop! The only catch I can see so far is that it will need to do a fairly regular stream update with your device but I suppose that's the same for any other of the integrated apps like Hangouts, Facebook, etc.

16 April 2015

Superbru 2015: Week 9

1/6 - absolute nightmare of a weekend for me.

2015 may as well be over for me now!

Stone rock heavily laden last on my money pool. Eish.

15 April 2015

Android Angles: Sony Xperia C insufficient disk space woes and a general intro. on Android file systems

[ EDIT - some widgets won't function properly when moved to SD card, so bear that in mind ]

I recently said goodbye to my BlackBerry love affair. It wasn't like I wanted to go off BlackBerry but there just wasn't anything available to replace my (really run into the ground) 9800. If I was going to get a touch screen I figured I may as well try out Android (iPhone was too expensive).

Anyway, I ended up with the Sony Xperia C - a budget phone with reasonable spec's. The real downside (and at the time, all the advice I got said this could be fixed by installing an SD card) is the small memory partition - device memory of 1GB which is clearly not enough, especially when apps store their data in this same 1GB partition.

It was not long after using the phone that I started to get errors trying to install applications - "error: insufficient disk space". Hitting my limit on the 1GB!

0.98GB of device memory is just simply not enough
(in this picture I have cleared the cached data and already moved most apps off)

14 April 2015

Rallying against the culture of violence and hatred in South Africa - Durban especially has an opportunity right now

South Africa, as far as I can remember (probably actually for my whole life), has experienced some serious incidents of extreme violence. People doing blatantly inhuman things against one another in the name of one or other extremist ideology. Judging by the current debate going on around a host of inanimate (yet somehow racist) statues and memorials, it is clear that South Africa has a lot of hurt and pain resurfacing that hasn't really been dealt with and we haven't truly recovered from the dark past. There is truly a lot of work still to be done.

What I sometimes forget is just how blessed I actually am to be largely apart from this dark side of South Africa. I read about it in the news, I witness some of this lingering anger through interactions with people now and then but largely I am so far removed from it that I don't often think about it. I can't really say that I am as aware about the lingering pain people are carrying about the wicked past as I am about social injustice which is something I see almost every day. That's something I am more intrinsically aware of and it stirs a host of emotions (anger, frustration, sadness, despair) in me, which I consider to be a blessing because it means I have the energy to want to effect change. Empathy is being aware of other people's feelings but compassion is what spurs us on towards action. 

I'm not really sure how much people know about the xenophobic attacks going on in KZN at the moment but it's really quite dire. Reports of disappearances, people's entire businesses being looted and their livelihoods being destroyed, and even young 
children being attacked. The actual state of affairs is appalling.

These foreigners are fleeing for their lives from South Africans who are hellbent on venting their hatred and anger. The ironic thing is, I don't think most of these aggressors realise that it's these same foreign countries that offered refuge for many of our political exiles during Apartheid. There's simply so much anger and resentment lingering in the hearts of so many of us that any opportunity to vent it is taken up and all rational conscience is lost (it reminds me a bit of James DeMonaco's The Purge, where one night of the year all laws are revoked and a nation-wide free-for-all lawless and ultraviolent catharsis commences). 

For now, the refugees are currently being holed up in police stations to avoid being attacked, kidnapped, or murdered. I don't think there's actually much that I can do right now because I have a baby about to arrive but on a more general issue, what are we as Christians (for my friends and fellow church members, we are effectively on the front-line) doing about this?

I don't know if anyone feels moved by this as much as I do but I reckon there must be something we can do - pray, provide food, blankets, urge community buildings to offer refuge, or just even raise our voice against this injustice. I don't really know. Surely there must be something (more) we can do to bring the love of Jesus to these people. The foreigners even tried to march in Durban to protest the violence and plead for protection and were prevented from doing so (to protect them). They fled their homelands to avoid persecution and settled here for a shot at giving their families a future and it's as if they have leapt out of the frying pan and into the fire. Surely we have enough resources to at least provide them with some comfort during this difficult time?

The first five minutes from the link below gives a bigger context for the extent of the damage right now...

Maybe I'm on my own about this, who knows? I feel quite powerless to take action at the moment but I am praying for them which is a powerful thing. Hopefully others feel the same way and we can spring into action...

09 April 2015

02 April 2015

Superbru 2015 - week 7

Pulling it back, slowly, but still embarrassingly low on the pools that matter ...