Blackberry’s New Line: Z10 & Q10

Several years ago I worked for Cingular Wireless (later rebranded back to AT&T) in the National Business Services department. My group handled major business and government accounts, and the bulk of our work seemed to involve Blackberry devices. In fact, I was generally relieved whenever I learned I’d need to troubleshoot an issue with a Blackberry, because the process with them was so straightforward comapred to other smartphones (such as they were at the time). Research In Motion (RIM) also provided the tools we needed to troubleshoot and were generally helpful and easy to reach when we needed to escalate an issue. Then, the iPhone came along.

For the first year or so that AT&T was selling iPhones (as the exclusive U.S. carrier for this device) they couldn’t be used on business accounts. Many executives took over financial responsibility for their work numbers just to be able to have an iPhone. Around that time Android phones started to hit the market. I left AT&t and moved on professionally after that, but with everyone else I’ve watched the rise of Android and iPhone smartphones and the dramatic decline of the Blackberry. I thought RIM (which as of yesterday will be known simply as “Blackberry”)would never recover. It still might not, but based on the buzz I’m hearing since yesterday’s big announcement regarding its new line.

The Z10 is a touchscreen-only phone, and the Q10 is a touchscreen-capable phone with a QWERTY keyboard. The Z10 was the device used primarily in the presentation. From what I’ve heard, these devices should be available in the U.S. on Verizon, TMobile, AT&T and Sprint, although the white version of the Z10 will be exclusive to Verizon. As of the time of this post I’ve not heard anything about ano-contract price (if possible) but I’m definitely interested in getting a Z10 for my move to Brazil. As I’ve said in a previous post, I would prefer to have the Ubuntu phone, but since it seems like it will only be available perhaps by Q1 2014, it looks like I may go with Blackberry.

The video below, from, shows the Q10. Yes, the screen is small, but for what I’ll want it to do in Brazil, it’s plenty.

Would you consider getting one of the new Blackberry phones? Let me know in the comments.

See Also:
Ubuntu Phone: I Want One

A Course On Global Poverty From MIT

MIT is offering a massive open online course (MOOC) on global poverty next month (February 2013). It will be Internet-based (of course) with free downloadable textbook/materials, and the course will run 15 weeks. At the end of the course, after the final test, a certificate is promised. Although I’m not sure what value anyone will find in the certificate, I’m very certain that this course on such an important topic will be very informative.

Click here for more information and to register. The video below serves as a trailer for this course.

HOPE worldwide MLK Day of Service 2013

In Brick, NJ.

For some time now the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service has been marked by the Central Jersey Chapter of HOPE worldwide with a fire prevention information push. Volunteers go door to door in the local community and distribute information about the risks of residential fires and how to prevent them. Honestly, however good that effort is, it never inspired me to get involved. This year was different.

This past October the Jersey Shore was battered by Hurricane Sandy. While it’s true that many of the houses lost were second homes of the wealthy, the vast majority were the sole residences of middle class working people. As hard as it is to believe, even months later there are people living without heat or simply unable to return to their homes. Thousands of families are still suffering from the impact of the storm.

So, it was only natural that the Central Jersey Chapter would focus attention on this hard-hit area this year for the Day of Service. There were multiple teams that went to around 42 locations and helped with cleanup. For my part, I was on a team that cleared an area of an enormous mound of debris that washed into a neighborhood.

The video below was presented to Central Jersey Church of Christ this past weekend, highlighting some of the work our teams did. I hope we will continue to volunteer in this area, joining with many others who are working in relative obscurity to rebuild homes and lives.

Crescimento Limpo – Recovery Ministry in Itú, Brazil

The following video highlights the work of Christians in the city of Itú, Brazil with people recovering from addictions. It’s in Portuguese with English subtitles. Have a look!

O vídeo seguinte destaca o trabalho de Cristãos nas cidade de Itú com pessoas recuperando de vícios químicos. Em português com legenda em inglês. Verifique! check out the Facebook page of Mark & Ali Kaiser, who work with Crescimento Limpo.

Dê uma olhada também na página no Facebook do Mark & Ali Kaiser, que trabalham com Crescimento Limpo.

Ted Ts’o Speaks to NYLUG On The ext4 Filesystem

Last week I attended my first NYLUG meeting in perhaps a year. The lack of attendance wasn’t due to lack of interest! Rather, other obligations kept me out of the loop for a while. In any event, this was a great meet-up to kick off what I hope will be several months of consistent participation on my part. Theodore “Ted” Ts’o is the maintainer for the ext4 filesystem, and this was his topic for the night. It was an incredibly educational event for me, providing background on filesystems and fair comparison of current filesystems.

Although it’s always better to be there for this sort of event, check out the video if you have an hour and a half to spare.

2012 Baptisms in the Central Jersey Church of Christ

The following video highlights baptisms in the Central Jersey Church of Christ from the end of 2011 through 2012. It was shown after the worship service this morning. I found it encouraging.

And The Lord Added To Our Number… from Gaël of BowTie on Vimeo.“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”Romans 6:4 NIV