O2 Stealth

I got it 🙂

I upgraded the rom set. Bought it second hand. And it looks new.

Will review and put my thoughts on it later next week.

But, oh man… it looks great!

🙂

At last, a PDA phone.

Spurgeon’s Treasure Trove

In order to be able to expound the Scriptures, and as an aid to your pulpit studies, you will need to be familiar with the commentators: a glorious army, let me tell you, whose acquaintance will be your delight and profit. Of course, you are not such wiseacres as to think or say that you can expound Scripture without assistance from the works of divines and learned men who have laboured before you in the field of exposition. If you are of that opinion, pray remain so, for you are not worth the trouble of conversion, and like a little coterie who think with you, would resent the attempt as an insult to your infallibility. It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others.

Spurgeon’s First lecture from http://www.book-academy.co.uk/lectures/index.html

Bless the people who made Spurgeon’s excellent (and I really mean, excellent!) book on “Comments and Commentary” available for the general public (ME!). More helpful is the fact that they have painstakingly provided the links to the digital versions of whatever commentary that has been scanned from public access (no copyright issues!).

This is a TREASURE TROVE for any one who is serious minded about preaching from the pulpit. There is no more dangerous work than the one taken by a person on the pulpit, to utter God’s Word plainly and powerfully.

Spurgeon was nicknamed the Prince of Preachers. He is gifted in many ways, and has the capacity of 20 ordinary men! Look at his output throughout his life and be astounded. No one preached more and wrote more than him! Delightful person to thank God for!

🙂

Head over to Book – Academy for a look!

Jephthah Did It

He did it.

(Judges 11:30-31) And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand,  (31)  then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”

And her daughter came to greet him. There is ambiguity on the details of what happened to the daughter. And it is to be expected, as it is not an easy nor particularly stable period in the nation of Israel up to that point.

Few elements have to be properly put into place before intepreting the actual events.

1) The context of the book of Judges; each are chosen man (one woman) of God in a time of spiritual decline. As the story progressed, every one is flawed, especially the Judge themselves. And the highlight of the issue is ‘there were no king in Israel’. No king, referring to the spiritual king which God rightly should be crowned (refer to 1 Samuel). The whole book is a detailed example of what spiritual declension is all about.

2) Whatever the actual detail was, the main lesson is that actions are not to be made by emotions and particularly to soothe a person’s conscience. The vow was wrong.

3) God is not a God of contradiction. His chief characters that has to be upheld is His Sovereignty, His Holiness and His Love/Grace. One predicates the other. There is no Holiness unless He has absolute Sovereignty. There is no Love, unless it is done in Holiness. Some people (even non-believers) construe that it is God’s DUTY to love, which is rubbish. That is our humanistic point of view that has been perverted by satan and the world.

Having these 3 general elements in place, it is most likely that the daughter was sacrificed to God. How she was sacrificed, we have no conclusive idea (like Abraham and Isaac? or as a burnt offering). It is meant to shock us. One thing that most modern readers have forgotten is the context; these people (in the period covered in Judges) were vile idol worshippers and have a few centuries of pagan idolatry. The mannerism in which they deal with their idols, some remain in part within even the best of its leaders (look at Gideon). That should not shock us.

Well, it is to be noted that the daughter had to be the one to steady the father’s hand in this decision. The lamenting of virginity is obvious since she is leaving no posterity to her father’s comfort (a single, childless daughter is not common in those times, and still is in some cultures). This manner of intepretation is consistent with the Jewish scholars themselves and many of the reformed commentators. Contrast this with those who suppose the daughter was to remain single for the rest of her life. Singleness has never been used as a ‘punishment’ for any person. It is a gift and is used because of one’s desire to devote that part of the person to God. But even for Samson and Samuel, there were not under any prohibition to marriage. Besides, if it was a perpetual virginity that she is set, she does not need 2 months to wail for that, she has a whole life to do that!

Anyway, the point is that Jephthah could have done something. He could have just obeyed God’s commandments and be a man, and take the punishment of severing a vow. I remember reading Clements’ small commentary on this (before his 1999 problem), and agreed with him on the fact that; there was a way out. He could have acted as David had, and throw himself to the mercy of God in this foolish decision. Instead, the spiritual condition of the nation (that again) brought it home that no one could see any problem with that or were too afraid of Jephthah (since he being the ruler over all) and to point out the commands of the law about such things.

Regardless, it is a sore point for the Israelites (not only Jephthah), to allow a man to make such vows and to allow him to go through it. It takes more to own up and to throw one self to the mercy of God, rather than just to uphold a principle that only benefit the single person.

Jephthah did it.

It is a shame that he did not see otherwise.

Even the best of leaders (judges) has feet of clay.

O man, how sin destroys whatever comes out of your mouth?

Bullet Point Thoughts

  • It was a good Lord’s Day, yesterday. Despite the lack of sleep.
  • Found out that Vladimir Kramnik lost the World Championship title to Vishy Anand from India. That is quite a shame, more so when the contest was based on points garnered, instead of the traditional WC style; which is long and ‘to the death’ (one on one). I’m sure Kramnik will snatch it back end of this year. Something to look forward to for Q4. 🙂
  • The Phoenix lander has safely touched down on Mars. Images are coming in. Very phenomenal! It’s great to finally check out other types of God’s creation. But, knowing how the world sees it, we’ll see a lot of speculative ‘conclusions’ on the creation of the universe. Can you imagine that the place where the lander landed is like this:
  •  
  • Drawing and selling art on ebay is really something I should indulge when I have the time. Given the recent debacle on the sanity of Dave Sim, I am not sure whether the demand for Cerebus as a character would be sufficient. Either that or scantily clad women. Hah. Wolverine is always the rage, but I think the character has been overly used. I have an idea of drawing a short story involving some outrageous character (Cerebus must be one of them) and selling the original art on ebay. I’m sure once it has garnered enough interest, there would be demand for it. The question is the story and characters. Hmmm….
  • I saw an Xbox 360 being sold on Lowyat.net for RM500. I considered it for 5 seconds. 😛 hahahhaha.
  • Today, I’m going to read some books… and do some work.

 

Rejoice Plastic Bag Users!

This is happy news indeed. 🙂 Something that will change the textbooks in the future (I really hope it does).

The 16-year-old from Waterloo, Ontario, as part of a science fair project, figured out a way to break down the polymers in plastic bags—compounds that can last for over 1,000 years—in about three months. Essentially, Burd hypothesized that since the bags eventually do degrade, it must be possible to isolate and augment the degrading agents.

The main article can be read here: http://www.motherjones.com/blue_marble_blog/archives/2008/05/8323_some_kid_invent.html

Now you do not have to feel too guilty about using plastic bags! 🙂

Is that not good news?

Openmoko Freerunner Soon – Reviews Here

Not here, here… but it’s in the link here: http://monochromementality.com/index.php/blog/show/Day-One-Openmoko-Freerunner.html

This guy gets to review the version that is to be distributed next month. According to him, the mass production began on the 9th of this month. Wow! It’ll be out (finally) next month, with a usable User Interface and Operating System.

As soon as the distribution centers have product to ship, the Openmoko.com store will begin offering the devices for $399 USD (or a 10-pack at $3,690 as part of the reseller system).

For those unfamiliar, the single biggest feature improvement for most people is Wifi capability though the addition of accellerometers opens some creative (and sometimes goofy) avenues to explore. For Free Software enthusiasts, Openmoko has eliminated the need for a non-free GPS device driver so Freerunner users can now make use of GPS features without comprimising the integrity of their devices.

That made my day. Comparing the new Freerunner with the old GTA01 version:

Feature Model Model
FIC Internal Codename GTA01Bv4 GTA02
Brand & Model Name Neo 1973 Neo FreeRunner
Sale Sold out Not ready yet. See http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Community_Updates
Dimensions
(no differences)
120.7 x 62 x 18.5 mm 120.7 x 62 x 18.5 mm
Weight 184 g 184 g (unconfirmed)
Screen
(no differences)
2.8″ 480×640 at 285 ppi, 2.8″ 480×640 at 285 ppi,
Storage 64 MB integrated flash memory (expandable with any size microSD or MicroSDHC memory cards) 256 MB integrated flash memory.Expandable with any size microSD or microSDHC memory cards
CPU Samsung s3c2410 SoC @ 266 MHz (Source) Samsung 2442 SoC @ 400 MHz
Graphics Accelerator   SMedia 3362 2D/3D Graphics Accelerator lists.openmoko.org announcement
RAM 128 MB 128 MB
Wireless Tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900, GPRS Class12/CS4/B 2.5G (Not EDGE), Bluetooth 2.0 EDR Tri-band GSM 900 or 850/1800/1900, GPRS Class12/CS4/B 2.5G (Not EDGE), Bluetooth 2.0 EDR; WiFi: Atheros AR6K (See also AR6K) (802.11 b/g)
Embedded devices Assisted GPS, 2 buttons Assisted GPS, 2 backlit buttons; 2x3D Accelerometers
GPS Hardware Global Locate (now Broadcom) Hammerhead u-blox/Atmel ATR0635 [1]
Sound Built-in stereo speakers, stereo handset Built-in mono speaker, stereo jack for output to headset/earphones
WiFi no yes
Accelerometer no yes, 2x3D Accelerometers
Software Extremely buggy. Most software needs to be added or made to work. Basic PDA included. Software can be created by normal users.
Battery Replaceable 1200mAh battery charged via USB 1.1 Replaceable 1200mAh battery charged via USB 1.1, or wall charger supplying 1000mA[2]. Also has a coulomb counter for accurate charge reading[3]
USB Host Support Yes, but external +5V is required Yes, powered port [4]
Ready for use Not really. What to expect from the Developer preview GTA01. Yes, when released(!)
Price
(not including shipping costs and applicable taxes for your country)
USD 300 (base model), USD 399 including additional development hardware. (All units are shipped from the U.S.) USD 399 for the standard version (the only sold). You can buy the debug board for USD 99.

So, there you have it. I think it’s cool.
But again, my ONLY problem with it is… the lack of ANY CAMERA!!!!!!! sigh. I’m sure that will be solved in the 3rd version. I am sure. Hopefully. But for a PDA phone (cameraless) it is really a tantalising offer. I put it on par with Nokia’s E51(cameraless version). Except that Freerunner gets to run any software it wants, with not much hassle.
🙂

Polygamy Woes

This tickles me: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/5/23/parliament/21340021&sec=parliament

An excerpt:

Fuziah Salleh (PKR – Kuantan) then asked if Syariah Court counsellors were qualified, pointing out that she had received numerous complaints about how the woman was always blamed for everything.

“They are not counselled but given ‘advice.’ And every time, they are told that the woman is to be blamed. If it is a family problem, they must be patient. If they are beaten up, they must also be patient,” she said.

As Ahmad Zahid was about to answer, Ibrahim stood up to say that such cases would not stop happening as the population was increasing and divorces were taking place daily.

“Such problems happen because women cannot accept polygamy. From a preventive point of view, what about doing a big campaign so that women can accept polygamy?” he asked.

Ibrahim said women did not understand that when they were pregnant for nine months, or had “problems” when they hit their 50s, their men still wanted to “have fun”.

“So the man wants to marry again, and the wife gets jealous and asks for a divorce.”

This caused Zuraida to stand up and say that a gender approach was very demeaning.

Ahmad Zahid agreed, saying: “That man is a male chauvinist.” To this, Ibrahim giggled.

When Ibrahim said that it was allowed from the Islamic point of view, Zuraida hit back and said men must be held to blame, too.

Obviously it is a problem. But they would not want to admit that. How can they? Polygamy is an afront to God Himself, and shows itself to be problematic in almost all situation. One practice that cannot be easily defended by those who practice it.

Even in Malaysia. Which woman would be happy to concede to the husband marrying again?

You tell me.

Classics

I am really grateful to find a huge treasure trove of Puritan books and commentaries online. A very, very good collection that can at least last my lifetime. The only down side is the fact that there are digital copies, and therefore, is accessible on computer devices.

I can read off an LCD screen, but it is surely very different in the experience itself. Nothing beats the texture and feel of paper. (One reason why paper will never be done away with, even in companies)

Well, I am rooting for flexible digital papers. I suspect, that is ‘a’ possible way to go, without sacrificing (too much) the characteristics of normal paper. It’s a wish 😛

I’ll disclose the resources in the future. At the moment, I’m downloading these classics like mad!

Holiday

Even “Kitty” (the cat that comes for meals at our house) is missing! Hahaha… I didn’t know it was a holiday until a friend mentioned to me on Friday. Wow… anyway, it will be a good breather for me.

Nothing much to update, except that I have tons of things to read and to prepare.

P.S.

Microsoft is renewing talks with Yahoo. No takeover. Hmmm… wonder what is their plan and WHY? USD4 Billion is really a hefty fee to try, for an IT company.

The Intolerance of Tolerance

I liked Carson’s title when he first gave it, and since then it has been quite true on how we are now succumbing to this new level of tolerance on all things; even in the church. (Or shall I say, especially in the church).

You should allow everything, New Ideas, Practices, into Church. The only thing that should be disallowed is if anyone should say that these things should not be practiced.

You see it everywhere. Especially for those who are miffed and had their feathers ruffled. 😛

‘Nuff said. Back to work.