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January 22 2017

Need a Kiss? There's an app for that.

Ok, we've tried online dating & using emojis to express our feelings but I think technology might have finally gone too far. Now you don't even have to be in the same room or even the same part of the world to share a kiss with someone. Thanks to the Kissenger app you can get that Good Night kiss no matter where you are.

This is being called the match of a kiss & Messenger. It has an app & the device is sort of a holder for your phone that has a silicon pad as the "lips". You first connect with the "kissee" by using the app, slip the phone in the holder & then press your lips to the silicon pad. The device will send the other person a realistic kissing sensation.

Underneath the rubbery silicon shell are “high precision force sensors” that detect the force of the kiss and then duplicate it. The lip pad has small parts, which the company claims  will create “a realistic kissing sensation.” Can't you picture a romantic Valentine's Day & you end it by kissing your phone!

 But if that's not weird enough, you can also video chat through the app so you'll see each other while you're making out with this thing. Maybe it's just me but that has to be one of the creepiest things I've seen so far.

Having just recently read a story about how unsanitary our cellphones are, it doesn't make me feel very confident about this device. Can't you just see trying to explain that you got Mono or a cold sore from kissing your phone? I can tell you that this is definitely not going to be on the Brendan Spaar Christmas list anytime soon.

If you are curious (like watching reality tv) & want to learn more about it, here's a link to a video demonstrating it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sfMBc7vVV0
Be prepared to laugh like a fool. Don't worry, I won't judge!!

November 20 2015

Learning to “Love Thy Neighbor” in Concord, North Carolina

One of the first things you learn in Sunday School as a child are the Ten Commandments. They are the building blocks that most Christians use to guide them through their daily lives. Each commandment is meant to help followers find their way through the struggles of ever day life.  Throughout the Bible are many reminders that treating others with kindness and compassion are the most important duties of a Christian person

In the Bible, Matthew 22 says, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"  Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” "This is the first and great commandment.  "And the second is like it:  'You shall love your neighbor as yourself."On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." It doesn’t sound all that complicated, does it? Well, it seems some people in Concord, North Carolina are finding that part of the Bible particularly hard to live with.

The Shower of Blessings Church in Concord, North Carolina has learned that their neighbors are finding the commandment to “love they neighbor” very hard to do. It started when neighbors found out that for the past 18 months, the church has been giving a safe place to stay for several homeless families. The neighbors are upset because no one told them that the church would be providing shelter for these people.

When many people think of the homeless, they think of the negative vision we’ve seen. It is associated with crime, drug use, poverty, being lazy and unemployed among other things that no one wants to live near. However, in today’s economy, the homeless person could be someone that has simply had a terrible setback in life that has temporarily knocked them down. Brendan Spaar has found that these are the people being helped at My Father’s House in The Shower of Blessings Church.

“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. -- Leviticus 25:35-36

The way the neighbors found out was not by seeing vagrants or an increase in crime. They were alerted by the start of construction to add 4 additional units to the church’s sanctuary to house more families. The city officials in Concord have said that the church is operating within the law but the neighbors are still not happy. Despite there being no complaints or issues reported, one neighbor was quoted as saying,” We just don't want them walking around, this neighborhood has been quiet.”

In case you’re wondering, representatives of the ministry have reassured the community that  the people being helped are not the scary visions we’ve seen on the news in other inner cities. "These are families from our communities that may have experienced job loss,” Ed Hosack, CCM executive director, said. “There may have been medical bills, the break up or loss of a family member." Mr. Hosack went on to say that all of the residents remain engaged in purposeful, intentional activities and "most of them go to work each day." Residents are screened and drug tested and the facility has 24-hour management.

My Father's House offers shelter, safety, and dignity as people get back on their feet. The Bible directs Christians to offer hope and assistance to those in need. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “-- Matthew 25:35-40

Brendan Spaarbelieves that "Love thy neighbor" is not as hard as it seems. It simply means respecting others and regarding their needs as highly as we regard our own. How can we learn to “love” the guy next door with the barking dog or loud stereo, especially when we don't even like him? Maybe we should understand that our neighbor, whether it's the guy next door, the cashier at WalMart, or the person next to us at church, is  as worthy of compassion as any of us.

November 08 2015

November 01 2015

“Til death do us part” has new meaning with funeral home weddings.

August 23 2015

PopeBot and the Gospel according to HitchBot

How to mow your lawn without any effort

Brendan Spaar enjoys mowing his Georgia lawn
You know that Spring has arrived when you hear the sound of lawnmowers throughout the neighborhood. Most weekend mornings you’ll see your neighbors pushing their mowers in an effort to keep their yards looking manicured. If you ask them, most would jump at the chance to find a way to get the job done without all the time and sweat effort required.
It seems like the Great American Pastime of cutting the grass was a tradition that many of us remember dreading as we grew old enough to push the mower. Whoever invented the riding mower was surely a hero to long suffering homeowners who didn’t have kids or anyone to “inherit” the weekly chore. Now, technology has come to the rescue once again.
Good news weekend yard warriors!  Instead of coming up with “creative” ways to mow remotely, a trip to the store might be all the effort you need. It looks like there may be a new product coming to a lawn care center near you that will free you from some of the hassles if getting the perfect looking lawn. The FCC has recently given the green light to iRobot Corporation, the makers of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, to make and sell a robotic lawnmower.
The robotic mowers have already been in use in Europe in recent years. Most use some sort of underground fence or other system to keep the mower in the proper area. The one approved for iRobot seems to have a different system that uses wireless stakes in the ground to direct it within the boundaries. The beacon design will allow it to operate but not interfere with signals of other devices using the same frequency.
Brendan Spaar enjoys working in his yard so the robotic mower won’t be his next tech purchase. Using the regular mower will allow Brendan to keep his lawn and wallet looking good. However, he might suggest it to his neighbor who keeps mowing over the cord of his electric mower.

July 27 2015

Portland Brewery introduces Lobster Beer

July 12 2015

Having friends can cost you if you want to get credit.

A lot goes into determining someone's credit worthiness. Think of the days before computers and credit scores. If you wanted to lend money to someone, you took a look at their reputation. Who did they hang around with? Well Brendan Spaar is here to tell you that the old days may be here again.

If your social media accounts are full of entries & pictures of a fun but extravagant lifestyle, lenders might have a concern about your ability to make good decisions. Their main concern is your ability to repay their loan so they want to be sure you are focused on goals that don't just include where the next party might be.

Things that also might affect your ranking is what you post about your job or other personal info. Reading that you are calling in sick to go to Cancun might send red flags to someone deciding whether their money is safe with you. Twitter and LinkedIn are also used to follow a potential borrower’s tweets about their job, and whether or not the job they have listed on their application matches the one posted on their LinkedIn profile. Lenders might also check and see whether the friends and connections of an applicant have paid back their loans.

Still don't believe it's being done? Major credit rating agencies like Fair Isaac Corp (FICO) are starting to check into this option.FICO scores are used in more than 90 % of all credit lending decisions. At least one lender, Lenddo, is assessing your Facebook and social media connections before it approves your loan.

Government regulatory agencies are keeping a careful eye on this practice to ensure that this doesn't invade your privacy. Brendan Spaar suggests if you are looking to get a credit or a loan, you may want to invest some time or money into cleaning up your online reputation, especially if you have less than great results that include crazy social media sites, arrests or other things that might worry lenders.

July 11 2015

230,000 reasons not to Robocall

How many times have you been just sitting down to eat dinner and the phone rings? Or maybe you’re in the middle of watching your favorite tv show when the call comes in. The last thing you want is to be disturbed by some automated robocall offering you “deals” on something you have no interest in.

It doesn’t seem to matter that there’s a “Do Not Call” list. These annoying calls are generated by someone who must not get the calls at their home. If they did, they might not be so quick to bombard the rest of us with dire warnings about the hidden viruses lurking in our computers or giving us a “final notice” from Cardholder Services about our credit card.

The FTC has long been aware of the abuse of phone solicitation by these automated intruders. They report that there were over 200,000 complaints filed last year alone. The companies that are doing the calling clearly have no fear of any punishment for their actions.

Well, things might be about to change and the robocallers might find their dialing days are coming to an end. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has introduced legislation to strengthen the Federal Communication Commission's ability to crack down on the companies generating the calls.

The bill she has introduced would give the FCC more enforcement authority, allowing harsher penalties on robocallers. It would also allow the agency to crack down on “spoofers,”  robocallers that hide their identity from caller ID systems or  appear to be a call from a legitimate business entity that you might want to talk to. If passed, the bill would  also expand the scope of current spoofing rules to apply to anyone outside the country who targets a U.S. resident. The penalty for robocall violations would increase from $16,000 to $25,000 per call.

Time Warner found out just how expensive robocalling can be. Recently, a federal judge awarded an Irving, Texas woman almost $230,000 for suffering through 153 robocalls. Even though she complained, Time Warner continued to call her with “exciting offers”. The judge must have had his share of annoying calls because he tripled the penalty to $1500.00 for each call.

As you might imagine, Time Warner is scrambling to figure out how to deal with this decision. The woman who filed suit is delighted with the $230,000 award but stopping the calls will be priceless. Brendan Spaar hopes this sends a message to all telemarketers. If you robocall, be prepared to pay for the call.

June 21 2015

Toys For Big Boys- A Car That Will Transform You!

April 22 2015

This gives new meaning to the phrase “my computer died”.

April 18 2015

Authorities say no plane debris at site of satellite images - CBS46 News

Even with the latest technology there is still no sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. Brendan Spaar wonders if we will ever know what really happened.

Animal shelter rescues baby chicks from Georgia post office - CBS46 News

Brendan Spaar wonders why the post office allows live animals to be shipped through them. Thank goodness a rescue was able to take the surviving chicks.

April 13 2015

March 21 2015

Super Mario Goes To A New Level- Smartphone Games

January 23 2015

We take technology for granted but did you know…

January 14 2015

Your children "can" be safe at school in Valley, Alabama.

kid throwing food
Violence at schools have been an increasing concern for parents and school staff. We've watched the terrible tragedies that have happened when someone comes to school with a weapon. Students deserve a safe place to learn without fear of someone trying to harm them.

There have been a number of different ideas discussed about how best to insure the safety of the students and staff at school. Many schools have armed security officers, surveillance cameras, and metal detector screenings. Parents are sending their kids to school with transparent bookbags and cellphones in an effort to give their kids a feeling of security.

W.F. Burns Middle School in Valley, Ala.has a different plan to help keep students safe. They've asked students to bring canned goods to school so they can throw them at a potential gunman. The idea is an extension of the ALICE method, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate, and teaches students what to do during a shooting.

In a letter sent home to parents on January 9,2015, Principal Priscella Holley asked them to send their children back to school with an eight-ounce can of beans, corn, soup or other canned food.

“We realize at first this may seem odd, however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off-guard.The canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until police arrive. The canned good item will give the students a sense of empowerment to protect themselves and will make them feel secure in case an intruder enters the classroom."

If this sounds bizarre to you, you're not alone. What if the potential threat comes from a fellow student at the school? Surely the dangerous student would be aware of the plan and prepared for cans to be thrown. Many of the incidents of school violence have come from students that attended the school rather then an unsuspecting outsider.

Brendan Spaar remembers being in middle school and knows he wouldn't have been able to accurately throw a can (or anything else) with enough force that it would stun someone intending to harm him. In a time of crisis, the odds of being successful would be even less. Unless the intruder collapsed from laughing at the sight of kids throwing can goods at him, it's rather unlikely they'd be able to stun an intruder unless they were extremely lucky.

One would imagine that the food would have to be stored in classrooms or other easy to access locations. If an intruder did gain access to the school, would there really be time to calmly get access to the cans of food, distribute them to a group of scared kids, and then remind them of how to throw the cans for the greatest protection? That is highly doubtful.

So far there has been no response from parents. If the food isn't needed for protection, it'll be donated to a local food pantry at the end of the school year. Brendan Spaar wonders if this is truly the latest school defense plan or just a new idea for getting donations for a food drive.

January 04 2015

It’s official, “Seinfeld” did more than drive viewers crazy.

December 25 2014

Brendan Spaar's photos on WGCL CBS46

You'll find some great photos that Brendan Spaar has shared.

December 08 2014

When you work are you ever really “off the clock”?
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