Month: November 2015

How to View Multiple Page Fax with Ubuntu

I got a fax recently as a .tif image file and when I went to open it on the world’s best operating system ubuntu, and it wouldn’t view anything except page 1! I thought there was a bug with the operating system but it turned out that they actually had, built right into ubuntu a viewer designed specifically to handle this.  As usual, ubuntu is always steps ahead.

So, if you get a digital fax (who uses paper faxes?) this is what you do:

Find the .tif file

fax-tif-example

“Open with” document viewer (which is Evince, if you are wondering)

evince-open-with-2

Enjoy your multiple page fax

evince-fax-working-2

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Was Martin Luther King Junior a Christian?

This post has been toned down a level as it has been suggested that I was being  ‘judgemental’ and ‘not theologically trained enough’.  Fair enough.  I judged that MLK’s theology was totally off base and I have not been to seminary.  So that is probably true.  But, I’ll change the tone so that this post is in more of a ‘you decide’ style instead of me dumping my random thoughts and opinions:

There are many images and audio recordings of Martin Luther King Junior standing behind a pulpit and ‘preaching’ to crowds of believers.  For me, these images led me to believe that he was at least a “Bible believing Christian”.  Based on a heavy conversation I had with a friend, it is necessary also for me to define more clearly what exactly that means.  A ‘Bible believing Christian’ to me, means someone who believes the Bible. All of it.  But, for the sake of the ‘theologians’ out there, I’ll tame it down one level to ‘someone who adheres to the very basic tenets of the faith’.  And what are those tenets?  They are written in the front of most Bibles on a page called ‘the Apostles Creed’.  Instead of using space here for those who already know them, please feel free to click this link to see the full list of what a ‘Bible believing Christian’ would believe.

For my own list of reasons, and because of a few small events that occurred to me in my life, I went to www.duckduckgo.com and searched ‘Was Martin Luther King Jr. a Christian” and came immediately upon this old-school, html text-based article full of outdated links.  Please note that one of the key outdated links I have figured out and updated, which is the link to his Stanford University articles.  If you go to the link in the article it will give you a dead page.  Then if you try to search it seems to only take you to paid Amazon publications (no surprise) but the free, original, raw source articles seem to be at the following location:

Martin Luther King Junior’s Original Stanford University Documents

From his writing was this quote:

“Others doctrines such as a supernatural plan of salvation, the Trinity, the substitutionary theory of the atonement, and the second coming of Christ are all quite prominant in fundamentalist thinking. Such are the views of the fundamentalist and they reveal that he is oppose to theological adaptation to social and cultural change. He sees a progressive scientific age as a retrogressive spiritual age. Amid change all around he was {is} willing to preserve certain ancient ideas even though they are contrary to science.”

King also tries to explain away the garden of Eden, the virgin birth and other critical tenets of faith that leads to eternal salvation.

Based on these findings, I was forced to ask myself these questions:

  • was MLK a Christian?
  • can someone who does not believe in the virgin birth truly be a believer?
  • can someone who doesn’t firmly believe in the substitutionary plan of salvation through the blood of Jesus be a disciple of Christ?
  • Is it possible for a man to appear as a preacher, sound like a preacher, even act like a preacher, not be a servant of God and a brother?

Obviously, I too am very thankful that some great changes occurred as the result of his social work (I personally believe strongly that a believer must fight for justice, peace, a better environment and more), but nothing saddens me more than to think that MLK may not have know Jesus as his personal Saviour before he was shot.  And before he was shot, this was a quote from his last ‘sermon’, taken from our source article with appropriate emphasis added by the author:

Did King repent and change before he died? The following was spoken the night before he died. The speech is entitled, “I See The Promised Land” and was delivered April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. He had not abandoned his heretical notions:

“As you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of general and panoramic view of the whole human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, ‘Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?’– I would take my mental flight by Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there. I WOULD MOVE ON BY GREECE, AND TAKE MY MIND TO MOUNT OLYMPUS. AND I WOULD SEE PLATO, ARISTOTLE, SOCRATES, EURIPIDES AND ARISTOPHANES ASSEMBLED AROUND THE PARTHENON AS THEY DISCUSSED THE GREAT AND ETERNAL ISSUES OF REALITY.”

Based on this excerpt the possibility of Martin Luther King being deceived by the love of the world seems very real.

This world and all of its fancy philosophies and deep philosophical ideas will never, ever, take away from the core tenets of our faith, upon which my life, and hopefully yours too, is built which include but are not limited to the apostles creed and:

  • Jesus replacing you and I on the cross and shedding His blood for us
  • salvation by faith alone, not by works
  • etc

Martin Luther King Jr., to my surprise, may have built his foundation on sand.

The take-away lesson from this discovery is that we cannot be sure of another man’s salvation, but we can absolute be sure of our own.  MLK’s sudden ending by the small pointed tip of a bullet is also a stark reminder that we must all be ready to die at any time.

My hope is that by reading this you would come to know Jesus and that all of us would be able to ‘die well’ when our time comes.

Oh! Right! One more thing..  If you have a comment…. that’s what the ‘comment box’ below is for.  Please!  I will publish all comments as long as it’s not spam. I’m also very open to adjusting my posts if you have suggestions.  🙂

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Eye Spy with Alphabet Google’s Little Eye Something that is Creepy

Some people think google and their new secret daddy ‘Alphabet‘ are ok.  Perhaps this article will convince you otherwise?

In the past, google would very slowly ‘creep’ you from behind.  They’d take a little ‘peek’ over your shoulder at your personal information and then kind of ‘accidentally’ share that information with advertisers.  No biggy.  People get their ‘free’ services and feel like it’s ok to have a bit of ‘peeking’ since all this ‘great’ stuff is free.

How about if they peek down your shirt, though?

Or, wait! Would it be ok if they watched you while you were changing in your bedroom?

Good news!  Now they can with their new hyper-overdrive-creep-cam!

Why ‘peek’ when they can go for the full meal deal and simply watch you live?

Well… they are trying to deny that but hey.  They lied about the green LED light so maybe they’d lie about that too?

Enjoy your google nest cam, ladies!  Enjoy the extra security of ‘home security’.

The following solutions are available to you if you are a victim:

  1. remove the camera and throw it away
  2. litigate Alphabet into the dark ages
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Is USA Presidential Turkey Pardon Harmless Ritual or Mockery of God?

What’s the deal with this USA turkey pardon?  Honestly, I didn’t even know they did this until this year since I haven’t watched TV since I was 14, but this jumped out as ‘highly interesting’ if not possibly masonic or similarly spiritually based.

Turkey_Pardon_2009

First of all, the current updates on this annual ritual from our friends at wikipedia. This will show you that the ritual is alive and well and has been going a long, long time.

Now, it is very interesting to read this extensive essay on the turkey as a despised bird, if not targeted for abuse.

turkey-cooked

But above all of this, the thing that struck me most was the part about the ‘scapegoat’.  As a student of the Bible I immediately, without even thinking, remembered some part in the Bible about the ‘scapegoat’.  I remembered that annually (I think it was annually) the high priest would kill one animal for the sins of the people and let the other go.  Let me confirm for you that I wasn’t making this up… yes, here it is in Leviticus 16, pretty much the whole chapter.  As you can see, this is all happening on the ‘Day of Atonement’ which was an extremely important and spiritual day for God’s people.  In verse 21 you can see the very clear ‘ritual’ associated with this event as follows:

And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of he live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness.

So, to me, this ‘Presidential Turkey Pardon’ ritual is rooted in something deeper than just a fun Thanksgiving tradition.  One must dig into the roots of all traditions because one can unknowingly be participating in something unpleasing to God.

To me, at this point, I see this as potentially a mockery of this very important ceremony.  First of all, there is no question that the President is put into the position of High Priest for this ‘pardoning’.  It’s not the Pope standing there, although I’m sure he’s behind the curtains somewhere.  It’s the President and he has been given ‘power’ to ‘pardon a turkey’.  Instead, what he could or should have been doing is pardoning the people of the United States for their wickedness and asking God to forgive the nation and then subsequently releasing the bird into the forest.

Instead they forgive the bird itself.

And instead of a High Priest they use the High President.

That, to me, is mockery of God and his ordained ritual.

That, to me, is something I wouldn’t take too kindly too if I were the Law Maker.

That, to me, seems more like the pronouncement of a curse than that of a blessing.

But I’m just one man with a Bible….

turkey-torn

 

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Question the Magic (QTM): Hello Barbie

Thanks to my usual homeboys for forwarding this one.  It’s simply…. MAGIC!

HELLO BARBIE which costs a mere… oh…. HUNDRED BUCKS, will also, for that small fee, spy on your children (and you as a bonus) and report its findings to an unidentified source for not-fully-disclosed purposes.

The Magic

Your kid speaks to Barbie and Barbie comes back with one of EIGHT THOUSAND possible lines.  That size vocabulary seems like ‘magic’.  To kids, even more so.

The Smoke.  The Mirrors. (new section)

Your kid’s voice (and yours if you spend any time with your kid which you will likely no longer have to do once they get this bad-boy) is ‘magically’ whisked away through your wifi connection, to a server that is not yours, where it is torn apart, analysed and then matched to a good response.  The good response is sent back to Barbie who ‘magically’ speaks it to your kid.

The Risks

Your kids voice is leaving your house and going into the hands of a bunch of people you don’t know.  Entire conversations could be recorded and analysed by unknown groups of people with unknown motives.  You put your own child at risk, you put at risk the children who hang out with your child, and you put at risk anyone within earshot of Hello Barbie’s ‘magic’.

The Solution

By your child a gift without a battery or internet connection this year, or, better yet, don’t buy them anything at all and take the money you were going to spend on them and go for a nice meal out, look in their eyes, and tell them how much you love them.

Hello Barbie won’t cry about it.

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Phone with Etiquette or No Phone At All?

Yesterday a friend of mine sent a list of phone etiquette to make sure that we are being as respectful and professional as possible in the way we represent our company and ourselves as individuals.  I am thankful for the list and I made a mental note of all the suggestions and implemented the changes that I could.

However, before presenting the list, I thought it was interesting timing that it was sent to me on the very same day that I published this articlePerhaps, since the telephone itself seems to be a dying form of communication, more efforts should be spent on putting the last nails in its coffin rather than focusing energies on doing it better.  This was a point presented to me.

A conversation started about my article was about voice mail, for example.  Here is a copy and paste from our email dialogue:


me: There is one person who calls me all the time. I mean all the time. Then, what’s more funny is they always leave a voice mail and the message is always the same “call me back when you have some time.”

“Call me back when you have some time??” I just spent 2 minutes checking my voice mail to find that??

friend: This is exactly the use case for having someone else answer your calls. That person obviously:

  • Wants to talk to someone,
  • Does not value your time,
  • Doesn’t get the basic etiquette of leaving detailed messages,
  • Frustrates you.

While we consider whether the phone is an interruptive technology that breaks focus and sucks our productive time, or whether it’s legitimate, relevant and useful we will continue to debate.  In the meantime, here is the phone etiquette list that he sent me, with his comments [and my comments in these nice square brackets], that I think is good to adhere while we await the cultural and social shift to complete:


 

Phone off the table. 
It’s usually a no-no. Shows lack of respect as you’re not giving the person 100% of your attention.
Ringtone.
Get a normal ringtone. Something professional sounding like a regular phone ringing or something not large and different. Your current ringtone is jarring when it goes off and it doesn’t sound professional.  It should not be jarring. it should not be obnoxious.  [I thought my hip-hop bass loop was dope…?]
Voicemails.
Keep them short.
[I would add to not leave one at all if it doesn’t contain specific information that will justify the 1.5 minutes they will have to spend to retrieve said message]
Meetings.
Don’t answer your phone in a meeting with a client or vendor unless you absolutely have to. By keeping your phone out of sight it makes it a lot easier to keep to this rule.
[I would add that by turning it off completely would assure focus.  Perhaps if someone around you was gravely ill or giving birth you might be justified but clearly explain this to the person you are with in advance]
Announce your name / company name when answering. 
[this works well and is recommended unless you, like me, have multiple businesses running through the same phone number….  another good case for VOIP technology over the phone]
Speakerphone.
Let people know if they are on speaker phone.
[unless you are recording them for future incriminating evidence for court]
[lol?]
The above list is good for business, but I would say that this list should also be applied to any social gathering.  It’s quite sad to watch a couple checking their emails with wine and and candlelight in an expensive restaurant.  It speaks to our sad state of disconnectedness and we should be ashamed…

 

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How to Make Telegram Desktop Auto Start on Ubuntu 14.04

You want your Telegram app to start when you turn on your computer each time?  Ok, here’s how you do it.

First, review the first three steps on this blog I did here.

Now, simply take note of the location of where I tracked down this Telegram Desktop app.

telegram-startup-01

—then click through some other telegram folder and then do the following:

 

telegram-startup-02

Go ahead and select that and follow the other instructions from this blog again.

That should get you where you need to go!

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Has the Traditional ‘Telephone Call’ Seen Its Day?

Which do you prefer? The sound of an incoming text message, or a telephone call?  Which sound makes you lose your focus more?  Which sound evokes more stress?  Which sound compels you to take action?

It seems as though the people around my age and younger would say ‘anything is better than the phone call’.   And you will notice that they don’t call people much, either.  They practice what they preach in that way.

And for people my age or slightly older (I hover around 40 now) the phone call is an ‘interruptive technology’.  You are just about to get started on that business plan., or you are right in the middle or writing that blog post, or you have just found a few quiet minutes to read your Bible and then ‘ring-a-ling-ding-my-dingy-ling-long-wang-chung-have-fun-tonight’ happens.  Or perhaps some other ringtone.  But it doesn’t stop.  Then, if you want to know what this person wanted you have to go to your voice mail, only to find out that no one leaves a voice mail any more because who the heck doesn’t have some kind of caller ID?

It would appear the traditional ‘phone call’ for social purposes is dying indeed…

Even my mom who is 76 years old said ‘text message because it doesn’t keep ringing while I’m on the toilet!”  Good point, mommers!

I believe that phone still has one place and that is for business calls during business hours, or as one friend put it “I don’t take calls that are not scheduled.”  So here is how I see phone still having a place until everyone has some form of VOIP connection:

  • a message (ie. text, Telegram, email) is sent scheduling the call.

example:  eg. “J-dog. Able to chat at 9:30 for 10 minutes?” or

Dear Mr. Robertson, do you have an hour at any point tomorrow for a phone call?

  • the call is made or rejected or rescheduled

For a business, however, it makes sense to have the phone lines open for sales and customer service.  Anyone in sales or customer service would be justified to be with phone and on call.  They are paid to be interrupted.

Did I miss anything?

Do you disagree?

 

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Question the Magic (QTM): Google Tone

If you haven’t been following the ‘question the magic’ series that I’ve recently started, welcome!  You can see our inaugural post here about a really ‘fun’ watch sponsored by our friends over at the wonderful world of Disney.

Today a new ‘magic’ technology was presented to me, being researched by the small and non-invasive company called Google.  I’m sure Google has the highest morals and ethics and would never consider any other application (like advertising) to take advantage of you installing this (or someone near you).

It’s called Google Tone

the magic

This little piece of technology can ‘magically’ turn your website URL into an audible tone which then flutters peacefully like a dove through the air, then through the little microphone hole in your device (you name the device, they all have mics these days) and then perches somewhere in there (they probably won’t show us the source code to check exactly what’s it’s doing).

the risk

Do you have the source code for this?  Who has vetted it and every detail of what it’s doing?  But even if it was ‘super safe’ let’s be honest – all you need to do is decode the audio and boom – whoever is within ear shot of you knows *exactly* what you are looking at online.   No more would someone need to break through your secure home network to find out, because the information is just floating through the air like a wifi signal.

the solution

Honestly, I think the only solution for this one is to never use it.  Even if incredible technology exists to encrypt that audio signal (this is possible) it’s just such a potential risk to your freedom. However, it could be safe(r) if the project was 100% open source and the security levels of encryption and everything was made available to inspect and improve.  This project looks like similar ideas/technology but much safer But I would strongly recommend against any ‘magic’ that uses a microphone or a camera.

Creeeeeeeeeeeeepy.

 

07-creep-book-ronald

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Question the Magic (QTM): Em-Sense Watch

Question the magic.

It just came to me.  It’s a new way of thinking that needs to start happening and it needs to start happening *yesterday*.  After the invention of the television, humanity started shutting off our brains.  It was ‘magic’ how that visual image came through thin air into their homes.

It was ‘magic’ how the cell phones connect us to the world wherever we go.

It was ‘magic’ how the computer turns on and connects to the whole world.

It was ‘magic’ how the phone in my pocket started connecting to the whole world.

It was ‘magic’ how gmail started showing advertisements for stuff I was actually thinking about shopping for…. before I started shopping.

It was ‘magic’ how ads on google search engines started feeling very, very, very relevant to what I was searching.

It was ‘magic’ how my mobile phone just connected and synchronized photos with my computer.

It was ‘magic’ how the fob on my keychain lets me into my elevator, my front door, the amenity room, yet keeps others out.

It was ‘magic’ how if I lock my keys out of my car I was able to have some friendly folks open them remotely.

All of this and more was so ‘magic’….

Except….

It wasn’t magic at all.  None of it.  Not one bit of it.
It was all planned, in advance, by people behind closed doors.

And none of them told you about the risks this ‘magic’ brings to your life.  Just like black magic, there is a price to pay for allowing someone else control of your life.

It’s time to question the magic.

For the first episode of QTM, allow me to introduce to you, the Em-Sense Watch.

the magic

This watch can sense pretty much anything you are touching.  When it senses what you are touching, it can react accordingly (smart) and do stuff that makes your life blissful and trendy.

the risk

Do you have the source code for this?  If you touch an object, does it report back to the mothership?  For the IHNTH (I-Have-Nothing-to-Hide) folks, who always say ‘It doesn’t matter, IHNTH”, how about this simple question: is there anything, or anyone, that your hand has touched in the last little while that you would not want someone knowing anything about?  Are you sure you have *nothing* to hide?  And even if you truly don’t, which is great, by putting something like this on, you are are a walking RFID reader and transmitter.  Everything you touch.  Everything you are near.  All of it.  Tracked.  Or potentially tracked.  Final note: just having the name ‘Disney’ on this should be your biggest red flag *ever*.  Run for the hills on this device, people.

the solution

This will probably always be the solution but in order for this technology to be of any value without being a serious risk to everyone’s privacy, it would necessitate open source software (ie. ubuntu snappy) and the ability to authorize *every* attempt to connect to anything outside of the watch itself.  It would also need a feature where, if stolen, you could initiate a full remote memory wash.

 

 

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