July 29th, 2007 by bigjim
One of the funny things about the world of geek is our innate fascination with neologisms – new words that haven’t been used before. In the 21st century, we cheat a bit – many of the more recent buzzwords are just old words with the letter ‘i’ in front of them. The ultimate example? The iPod – a shiny, white device from Apple Computers (although, they’re just called Apple now) that I’m sure the vast majority of you have heard of. If you haven’t, they’re little devices store literally hundreds of hours of music and they are the fashion item du jour…still.
It seems that everyone has one. Heck, the Pope has one! (As did Pope John Paul II, I’m told). But there is more to these than just fashion and music. People are starting to get their own content out to these millions of devices through another new word: podcasts. Podcasts are little episodes of audio content that people can subscribe to (usually for free) and they are downloaded on to their personal computers, and then added to iPods and similar audio players to be listened to wherever and whenever.
What kind of Catholic content is available in these podcasts? There are hundreds of options. Do you want a Cardinal explaining the Catechism bit by bit? Check out the Cardinal Arinze Podcast. How about a married couple talking about their day and their ministry? The Rosary Army podcast is a good one. How about a daily breakfast podcast by a young Dutch priest? Check out the Daily Breakfast 7by Father Roderick Vanhogen.
You don’t need an iPod to listen to these – just a computer and an internet connection. Download iTunes to find these and others in the podcast section – all for free. Now that’s geek you can listen to!
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July 15th, 2007 by bigjim
Have you ever had an email that had some variation on the following as its content: ‘Do not open any message with an attached file called “Invitation” regardless of who sent it – it is a virus that opens an Olympic Torch which “burns” the whole hard disc C of your computer’?
Sounds pretty serious! But, it gets worse. The email will nearly always include some variation on the following: ‘If you receive a mail called “invitation”, though sent by a friend, do not open it and shut down your computer immediately This is the worst virus announced by CNN, it has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus.’
Well, if you have ever received such an email, fear not. This email, and dozens of variations like it, is 100% hoax. Another great one says that Bill Gates is monitoring the email, and for every forward it gets, one dollar will go to feeding the starving children, or curing AIDS, or saving the whales! I won’t even get in to the many technical details as to why this is rubbish; just trust me that it is 100% fake.
But, I hear you ask, how are we to tell what is a fake and what is not when we don’t have our trusty Catholic geeks on call? Well, the best site on the internet for shining the light on such myths is Snopes.com. This site has been around for a long, long time, and has a very extensive library of hoax emails in all their forms. So, check it out the next time you receive one of these emails before you forward it on to everyone…even with the best of intentions.
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