Compare & Contrast: St. Peter’s Square in 2005 and 2013

It’s amazing to see how much technology changes even in a few years, check of the 8 year difference in the two papal announcements.  This Instragram photo shared by the Today Show highlights the contrast of St. Peter’s Square surrounding the new Pope.

It is amazing:

TodayShow-Instagram-St-Peters-Square

The change from one person in the crowd with a camera phone, to a sea of people with smartphones and tablets.  What I find interesting, is that everyone is taking a picture of the same thing.  Why would we need so many pictures of the same thing – so many of which will be poor quality shots?  I think it says something about our desire to capture our own experiences.

The Never-Ending Smartphone Checking Cycle

We’ve all been there — you take out your smartphone to make a call and 10 minutes later, after checking your email, Twitter and Instagram, you forget why you took it out in the first place.

This comic by H. Caldwell Tanner of Loldwell shows that we’re all guilty of it. Can you break the cycle? Let me know in the comments.

Smartphone cycle

What if Jesus Had an iPhone?

If Jesus had been around in the 21st century we all know he’d be plugged in with his iPhone 5 — How else would he keep tabs on the Apostles?

Cartoonist Brad Colbow imagined just how digital this member of the Holy Trinity would be if he were one of us Apple fanboys.

What if Jesus had an iPhone

Clearly there would have been no wandering in the desert for 40 days (unless maybe Jesus was using Apple Maps) and the Last Supper would be delivered via Seamless app.  He definitely would have Instagrammed his Baptism, and, needless to say, #FF (Follow Friday) on Twitter would have a whole new meaning for the saintly crowd.

What other apps do you think Jesus would have on his smartphone? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Do You Have What It Takes to Be the New Siri?

Siri

Siri is not a woman who lives inside your phone but a computer programme organising your life.

Siri is now in need of some new writers to put together jokes, witty banter, and other various bits of human-sounding things for Siri to say.  Apple posted the job on LinkedIn, so get your résumé together.  They clearly need some sort of a new writer, because if they really think “Siri’s known for ‘her’ wit, cultural knowledge, and zeal to explain things in engaging, funny, and practical ways,” then they’re more out of touch than anyone guessed …

Franciscan Friars want you to text your prayers

HOLY NAME PROVINCE TEXT A PRAYER

Just a month after Pope Benedict XVI launched his official Twitter account, other representatives of the Catholic faith are giving new meaning to the term, “religious text.”

The Holy Name Province, self-described as the largest group of friars in the USA, announced that they are now accepting prayer intentions via text.

Called “Text a Prayer Intention to a Franciscan Friar,” the program encourages participants to text the word “PRAYER” to 306-44, according to a release. Senders will then receive a welcome message inviting them to submit their prayer intentions. After they are sent in, participants will receive another text confirming that their prayer has been received and will be prayed for.

Father David Convertino, executive director of development for the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province, said in a statement:

“With technology changing the way we communicate, we needed to offer people an updated way to ask for prayers for special intentions and needs either for themselves or others”

I see this as a great use of technology, an organisation which has existed for years, which many would see as irrelevant offering a connection in a thoroughly credible manner. Do you think text messaging is a good way for religious bodies to connect with their followers? Discuss in the comments below.

iPotty entertains toddlers during toilet training

iPotty

Hannah and I have recently been toilet training Daniel, our oldest, he’s done really well, but I wonder if this invention would have helped him or just distracted him, and I’m clearly not the only one thinking that, with Wired asking the same question.

The makers of the toilet don’t want parents to worry about any damage to their tablet — the training potty comes with a clear cover to put over the iPad, as well as a splash guard for boys. The potty can also be disassembled for easy cleaning, CNET reported.

iPotty with iPad

Daniel loves the iPad and is very proficient with it, and quite happy playing with it for a long period of time, but I’m not sure I would pay $40 to have a potty to which it could connect.

What do you think, is this a good invention or an over priced bit of plastic?

YouVersion Bible Reading Notes 5 million plans completed

YouVersion logo

YouVersion first launched Reading Plans in 2009, and since then people have used the Bible App to complete 5 million Plans!  That’s no small achievement!

It is an app I always recommend to others, the flexibility of different versions, the variety of reading plans that allow you to engage whether you like to read, listen, or watch your daily selection make it the go to Bible reading app.

Below is some visual data to help put the numbers in perspective:

YouVersion

Game over for PlayStation 2

Playstation 2

It looks like “game over” for the PlayStation 2.

After selling more than 153.6 million units over 12 years, Sony Computer Entertainment of Japan has announced that it is discontinuing the console, with no new shipments slated for retailers. (This is only for Japan at the moment, though it’s likely the European and American markets will follow suit.)

With PlayStation 3 development in full swing, and several new games on the way for 2013, the decision makes sense. But the PlayStation 2 had a long shelf life and introducing a number of game franchises and sequels that have enthralled millions of casual and hardcore players alike.

The PlayStation 2 debuted in 2000 and spent several years competing against Microsoft’s Xbox system, Sega’s Dreamcast console and Nintendo’s GameCube. The system launched in the U.S. with 29 games, including landmark titles like the snowboarding game “SSX” and the arcade driving game “Ridge Racer V.” Eventually it would see even bigger and better games through both long-awaited sequels and original titles.

The PlayStation 2 was also the place to find several big-name sequels. Polyphony Digital’s “Gran Turismo” racing series became more life-like than ever before, with exquisite visuals and realistic gameplay that made you feel like you were really behind the wheel. (It would become the go-to simulation for car drivers all over the world, working in collaboration with Logitech’s state-of-the-art Driving Force GT Wheel.)

Rockstar Games managed to make its “Grand Theft Auto” games better than ever before, between such best-selling hits as “Grand Theft Auto III,” the 80’s based “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” and the urban-based “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,” all of which sold well into the millions.

When the PlayStation 3 came out in 2006, Sony shifted its focus to that new hardware, but kept the PlayStation 2 on the market, lowering it to a $100 price with various pack-ins. (Depending on where you bought it – you could get “Lego Batman” and “Toy Story 3″included). It continued to sell well throughout the years, and some developers continued to make games for it, like EA Sports with its “Madden” franchise. But by the time 2012 rolled around, no new games were slated for it, and the writing was on the wall.