December 26, 2007

Office Live demo

I mentioned Office Live Workspace last week.  Robert Scoble posted a video interview/demo that shows the possibilities.  I signed up on the wait list tonight.  I'm eager to check it out.

Open ID

I've posted previously about social networking and the church, focusing particularly on the issue of identity because I believe it's among the first technical issues to be addressed to make these efforts successful.  Every social networking site in the world (and many other sites) require you to create an account to use the site.  As Internet users create more and more online accounts, at some point fatigue sets in.  I believe some users have already hit their limit.  Clearly, this model isn't scalable.  In the previous post I referred to Dave Winer's idea that Twitter might become a de facto identity system.

Now I call your attention to OpenID, an open source identity system which aims to become the standard.  You can watch a brief demo of OpenID here.  (Thanks to Matt for directing me to the demo.)

I made the mistake of going to and creating an ID there.  When I tried to use that ID to log in to Plaxo, it errored out.  I have no idea what is, but don't use it to create an ID.  Next I tried MyOpenID.comSee my ID here.  It works, but I can't say it's ready for prime time.  The Personna feature seems like a great idea, but at this point isn't simple and intuitive enough for a noob like me.

Of course, one of the selling points of OpenID is that you don't need to go to a provider like MyOpenID at all.  People with a tiny bit of HTML ability can make their own.  Also, I understand everyone on already has an OpenID automatically as part of that service.  Google's Blogger service is also now accepting OpenID authentication. 

Bottom line: this technology is very early in the maturity/adoption curve, but it has definite possibilities.  Keep an eye on it.

He preached all six services

On Monday I blogged about our Christmas Eve services and mentioned that Adam had the flu. Today, Adam posted the full story. He explained that he was up all night and only napped a couple of hours Monday morning. With help from the medical team, he was able to preach all six services, finishing up around 12:45 am Tuesday. God intervened in a big way. Total attendance at both campuses for all services was 22,000+.

My own Christmas Eve was, thankfully, quite uneventful by comparison. Did some work in the morning, bought one last gift, ran sound and graphics for Living Water's service, went out for some uvula-burning India food, went back to Living Water to set up graphics for this coming Sunday service when I'll be out of town, returned home, cleaned house a bit, wrapped some presents, and went to bed at 1:00 am, before the annual replay of the papal Christmas mass was even over. I hope your Christmas Eve was equally calm.

December 24, 2007

That's a lotta services!

Every year Resurrection has to adjust its Christmas Eve service plans as the day of the week changes.  Several years ago we started having services the night before Christmas Eve ("Christmas Eve Eve").  Our senior pastor encouraged church members to attend Eve Eve to leave more seats available at prime times on Eve.

This year, since Eve Eve landed on a Sunday night when we normally have a regular weekend service at 5:00, plans were adjusted accordingly.  We decided to add a Sunday night service and make our regular Saturday night service a Christmas Eve service too.  Plus we added a service on Eve.  So this year we have one service on Saturday night (Eve Eve Eve), two on Sunday night (Eve Eve), and six today (Eve).  Our service times today are 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00.  And yes, Adam Hamilton is preaching all nine services!  Of course, we also have two services at Rez West, but those are by video so Adam doesn't have any extra work for them.  ;-) 

UPDATE:  I just heard Adam has a flu bug and received IV fluids this morning.  If that's the case, he's in no condition to preach six times today.  Things are getting interesting.  I wonder if Adam has an understudy ...

As for me, things are very quiet in IT. We tend to use this time to catch up on e-mail, blogging, inventorying our desktops and laptops - lots of stuff that tends to slide toward the bottom of our priority list.  I'll be leaving soon to go be the A/V tech for Living Water at our one and only Christmas Eve service at 5:00. Life is much simpler when you're averaging 40 in worship!

To all of you who have church responsibilities tonight, be sure you don't miss Christmas yourself.  Merry Christmas!

Colossians 3:15-17 (New International Version)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Will I see penguins?

Yes.  On our upcoming trip to South Africa I'm told we will see the famous colony of "Jackass" penguins in the Cape Town area at Boulder's Beach.  Maybe I'll take some pictures.

December 22, 2007

Office Live Workspace

We've used Google Docs to collaborate on our Internet Campus project.  The ease of creating a document and having multiple, simultaneous users editing is quite impressive.  However, maybe it's just me, but I have found it difficult to precisely control the formatting (this isn't unique to Google Docs, it's true of every HTML editor I've used including Outlook).

So now Microsoft has announced Office Live Workspace.  If it has the same ease of use as Google Docs but allows precise formatting using Word, it could be the best of both worlds.

December 07, 2007

The Golden Compass - Last Statement

Thanks to those for their comments on my previous and related post.

Well, I posted on the topic for two reasons. 1. There is much disagreement about it, and 2. I hope readers will do their own research and reach their own decision. :)

I read Kim's post that Bob referred to, and I'll say that Kim is very well written.

In my heart, I still believe that paying money to see the movie is making a donation to the cause of an atheist who targets children in attempt to sway them away from God. If you pay your money to see the movie, keep in mind this may be exactly what your doing.

I think this world would be better served, if rather than seeing this movie, people donated $10 and one and three quarter hours to a local mission. Spend quality time with someone who desperately needs it.

I also think using an inherently atheist tool to teach anyone about who God is or is not seems a dangerous method. Go battle the materialistic idolatry of the world, not an image of God that represents those things. Let G-o-d be as he always is.

Lastly, I'll say that my position on this was formed from the references I mentioned, and other additional resources. I hope you read the posts and their comments, do your own research, and feel better informed to make your own decision. ;)

December 06, 2007

Hannah Montana

Last month Blaine Barry, an intern on our Student Ministry staff, died of brain cancer.  His small group includes Chuck Russell and Traci Bazzelle of our staff.  They helped organize a group of volunteers to work at Kansas City's new downtown arena, selling merchandise at the Hannah Montana concert on Monday night, to benefit Blaine's family, which is left with a lot of medical and funeral expenses. 

After waffling a week or two, I finally stepped up and volunteered, not having any idea what sort of adventure awaited.  My kids are too old for Hannah Montana to be on my radar.  (Before Monday night the only thing I knew about her stemmed from the national news media's coverage of the the controversy surrounding ticket sales for her concerts.)  I knew nothing of the TV show, her music, or anything.  For example, did you know that Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus are the same person?  I could go on and on telling you the things I learned Monday night, but I'll spare you that!

I was assigned to selling programs and other little stuff at a cash only station.  I personally grossed approximately $2,300 for the night.  At one point I had $2,000 in cash on me, which kind of freaked me out because it's the most cash I've ever had in my possession at one time.  The retail manager of the arena said he expected to gross $400,000 on merchandise.  From the experience of our group, we'd guess he beat that number.  Add in ticket sales and concessions and you're up to something in the neighborhood of $1.4 million gross for the entire event.  Does that seem a bit out of control to you? 

The people I interacted with were well behaved, excited to be there, and seemed to be having a great time.  In a small way, I was part of the Hannah phenomenon while serving the community and benefiting Blaine's family.  Not bad for a night's work.

Hannah Montana concert

Good idea, Nick

After seeing my post about dinner at Rendezvous last night, Nick Nicholaou said we should go to The Commissary.  Alfred saw Nick's comment and took us there for lunch!  We thought we were coming to Memphis for a very important meeting with Shelby, but really it was for a barbeque tour.  The meeting has been almost incidental.  ;-)


l to r: Mark White, Brian, me, Travis, Alfred, Jeff Maddox of Shelby, and Steve Pruitt of Shelby

David Drinnon also commented that we should go to Corky's.  That's a good idea too, but since I've been there several times before, I'm glad we did something different this time.

I only hope I'll still fit in an airline seat for the flight home tonight!

Arena implementation planning

Brian, Travis, and I are in Memphis to meet with the Arena team to begin planning our implementation.  We are going to begin the process of detailed gap analysis tomorrow.  We're also hoping to go home with the first draft of our implementation timeline, including a target "go live" date. 

Before getting down to serious business, we started with dinner tonight at Memphis' landmark rib joint, Rendezvous.  The ribs are prepared with a dry rub.  Sauce - regular or spicy - is added at the table.  It was a great way to kick off our work on Arena.  Thanks, Alfred!Resurrection and Arena at Rendezvous

l to r: Mark White of Shelby, Travis, Brian, and Alfred Johnson of Shelby

December 05, 2007

IE7 woes

Seems I'm not the only one who has abandoned IE7 after initially being a supporter. I switched to Firefox and Google Reader over the summer when my IE7 feeds stopped updating and I couldn't figure out why. Now that I've been using Firefox for several months, I can say I've become a total convert. It's faster, more stable, and easier to use. As for Google Reader, it's fine but I can think of a lot of ways it could be better. In any case, I think it says a lot that I tried Firefox several times but always stuck with IE until a few months ago. Now that I've switched, it will be a long time before I switch back.