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Alive In Christ,
Now and Forever!

"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." (Col. 3:3)

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October 7, 2009

Audio Recorders part 2 (two samples)

by on October 7, 2009. Filed under recorders, technology

 

Two samples:

WS-510M with a lot of handling noise. But the hiss is from the recorder. Converted from WMA to MP3.

LS-10 was better positioned. The difference in clarity is striking. Converted from WAV to MP3.

 

 

[display_podcast]

May 5, 2008

Making It Lovely or Sanitizing Your Church Podcast and Website

by on May 5, 2008. Filed under technology

 

Business Week, March 27, 2006 article on pages 52-53, “You Are What You Post” (Bosses are using Google to peer into places job interviews can’t take them) is an instructive basic outline of the danger and what you give up when you publish. I’ll let the article speak for itself.Even before reading this article I’ve always been amazed at what people will write in their blog. I seem to remember a case where a child was angry at their parents for reading their blog as if it was some kind of private diary. No, anything you post on the internet is pretty much free game for all eternity, well, you know what I mean.

First, consider this:

After my first chemo treatment I posted something on a newsgroup (this was before personal blogs as they exist today) about my first experience with cancer and chemo. I have a unique last name and every so often I’ll search the internet for hits on my name. One day a German website had my name on it and when I translated the text into English I found that my post had been translated and posted on the other side of the world. I might have died from cancer but what I posted would have lived on.

Regarding a church website there are other, similar dangers to consider.

Our church has installed cameras in all classrooms and certain other areas in order to discourage predators and other criminals from illegally using our facilities. But why don’t we take a similar, serious concern about our website?

Scenario 1:

I’m all for outreach events. We have an Easter Egg Hunt every year and invite the community to attend. This is an event where children are often apart from their parents and possibly hidden from others as they seek out hidden eggs. It is also an event where we invite anyone to attend. Registration should be mandatory for everyone who attends even if registration occurs the day of the event. Registration, like surveillance cameras, may deter an otherwise predator. I want to know who is around my children.

How such an event is worded on a website is important. What age of children are allowed to attend? Disclosure of the required registration may alone be a deterrent of predators. Do we give details of the event or require that interested families inquire by calling the church office?

Scenario 2:

Mrs. B was invited to give a personal testimony about faith since the Sunday message was to be about faith. Instead she waxed on about how she works for Acme Company right here in Smallville and her co-workers are all stupid and mean but because she is a Christian she is going to preach to those heathen even though they are all going to Hell. Okay, maybe that’s not quite as bad as it could get. We did have one person talk about one co-worker who recently became Christian, another who is on their evangelism list, etc., and the detail was not something that their co-workers would want to hear about themselves on the internet or something they would want their other co-workers to hear.

I listen to the entire message carefully screening for specific names of people or businesses which might be bad if they were left in the podcast. I use Audacity to clip and try to leave the message intact without the missing clip.

Scenario 3:

Missionaries who talk about specifics of their mission.

Same as #2 above. Some missionaries are quite specific about not including their part of the message on any podcast as it could compromise the mission or the people they are associated with.

Scenario 4:

Personal names, phone numbers, and email addresses of volunteer staff can sometimes become a problem. I know a doctor who also is a leader in our church who put his email address on a webpage and his patients found it..

Rather than list an email, I use form mail. (Or is it formail?) Rather than phone numbers I refer all phone inquiries to the church phone number. Rather than personal names I list ministries or events, thus. “I’d like to talk to someone about the children’s ministries.” A name, number, and the inquiry can then be recorded and passed on to the appropriate person. Whether in a podcast or on a webpage route all inquiries through a controlled conduit – the church office.

Scenario 5:

So this isn’t as critical as the other scenarios, but it is still important for a good podcast: Get the announcements and other incidentals out of the podcast. I’ll even edit out an occasional “uh” if it is distracting to the message.

Scenario 6:

Music and song lyrics: I’m not real savvy about laws regarding posting music on the internet. I have no idea how YouTube gets away with posting actual concert performances or music of artists. But I’m not about to let my church get into trouble. I won’t allow any music in our podcasts except such things as Amazing Grace and other hymns which surly must be in the public domain by now. Even then I’ll only allow a part of such a song hoping that if I’m wrong about it being in the public domain at least I didn’t publish the entire song.

Scenario 7:

Photos on websites: Get written, signed permission! If a person leaves a church will I have to go back and remove any photo with them in it? Be very careful about photos of children. Make sure that all photos are “becoming” and not in any way lewd, crude, unbecoming, or otherwise wrong to post. (I remember one person who asked me if I could help them to lose 20 pounds. It is indeed amazing what Photoshop can do!)

Scenario 8:

Ownership: I don’t like Blogger, Xanga, Flicker, etc. except for things that I want totally public. I use Gallery so that I have control over my family photos. It is easy to make a family account, login “family”, password “password” (or course this is just and example) to allow anyone in the Rodatus family to see our family photos. But it is even more than that. I wonder who has what rights when I allow someone else to host my photos without my complete ownership? I pay for a hosting service, of course, and perhaps one could argue that I still have the same problem. But some of the free blog host sites clearly say that they will use your posts (at random) on their opening page.

Summary:

No doubt there’s a lot more that could be added to sanitizing your church website. I’m not as paranoid as I might sound, I’m just very cautious. I don’t think that people yet realize what they are doing when they blogger, facebook, or youtube their life. It could (and likely will) come back to bite them some time in the future. What do you want your children to remember about your life?

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”

It is my job as final editor/publisher to make things right. I want to make my boss look good and that means to make everything “just so.”  I will make sure that everything on the podcast and website are becoming, that is, lovely.

Ed

February 20, 2008

Custom-built Computer Communities of Interest

by on February 20, 2008. Filed under technology

 

I figure there are at least 5 reasons, I think, that people custom build higher-end computers. A person will likely fall into one or more of the categories below:

1. Enthusiast – This is the true overclocker, the purist, the extremist. The entire group of custom builders (the other categories below) should be thankful for their trailblazing, early adopter, watchdog benefits to the rest of us. They keep the mb, graphics, mem, and processor companies in line. They identify strengths, report problems, and find solutions.

2. Wealthy – The enthusiast may or may not be wealthy. But I’ve noticed more than one person building a high-end custom machine seemingly only because they have the money to do so and want the best even if they aren’t using it to its fullest potential or don’t understand what they are doing.

3. Gamers – We should all also be thankful for the gamers since they share attributes of the enthusiasts. Gamers are also quick to adopt but for a goal focused on their gaming capability. Their analysis isn’t as thorough but it is still very useful information as they try things that sometimes even the enthusiast didn’t think of yet.

4. Application oriented – These are people with non-gaming needs such as CAD, photo and video editing, probably some other applications. This is more where I am. They use the information from the enthusiasts and gamers and many times contribute back to the community with their specs, experiences, etc.

5. Server oriented – These people, although they often purchase COTS products, will sometimes build or at least tweak their machines to obtain better performance.

I believe that group 5 has stability, robustness as their top priority. Group 4 also would want stability but has speed, multitasking as important secondary priorities.

Gamers don’t yet need quad cores as much as they need speed. Until the games make better use of multiple cores it doesn’t help them much if at all.

Since gamers, enthusiasts, and wealthy upgrade their systems more often than application or server oriented, they often are the earliest adopters. Gamers are often looking for deals being that most are not wealthy. Same for enthusiasts but maybe less so. In other words, I often hear gamers recommend OC-ing an inexpensive dual core for best gaming results rather than OC-ing a more expensive quad core which, at this time, help them any more.

I’m not trying to make classes to cause division but to recognize the different attributes that a person might have. A gamer might also be interested in applications. We all have different strengths.

As an application-oriented person I hope to add information as to what would be the “mainstream” custom-built computer.

I hope to add to this community as I hope to learn from it.

All journal entries are copyright by Ed Rodatus - all rights reserved.
(Except the entries in the "joni" category. All the "joni" posts are from the Joni and Friends daily email devotional.)

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