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Mobile Technology News, September 13, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Details on Apple Pay revealed: 'safer' system, Apple gets 0.15 percent
    Some of the details of Apple’s new mobile payment system, Apple Pay, have been revealed in a report by Britain’s The Financial Times. As briefly alluded to by CEO Tim Cook, Apple does get a small commission on sales made using Apple Pay, to the tune of 0.15 percent (15 cents on every $100 spent), though this does not affect the purchase price.

  • VIDEO: Vibrating cane to help blind people
    A team of scientists in Delhi has developed a smart cane for blind people, which uses sensors to give vibration feedback.
  • VIDEO: Alibaba makes waves in California
    Internet retailer Alibaba may have floated on the US stock market, but the China-based company is making waves in Silicon Valley as well as in Wall Street.
  • Apple delays introduction of SMS Continuity, iCloud Photo Library
    Two key iOS 8 features — SMS Continuity and iCloud Photo Library — have been pushed to October. The delay was quietly mentioned in a press release from earlier this week. Even when Photo Library does appear, it will only be in beta form. The feature has meanwhile been removed from Apple’s iCloud marketing page, and it can’t be found in the iOS 8 gold master.

  • ‘Six Californias' Is Officially Dead
    A starry-eyed ballot initiative to split California into six separate states will not appear on the November 2016 ballot because it failed to gather enough qualifying signatures, the state announced Friday.

    Just 66 percent of the signatures on Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper’s petition were valid, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office tweeted with the release of the measure’s rejection. Petitions require 807,615 valid signatures, but the proposal, dubbed “Six Californias,” fell short, with just 752,685 valid signatures.

    It became clear days before the Friday deadline that making the ballot would be a long shot, as the petition would need an unlikely 207,752 valid signatures from Los Angeles County and three others that had not yet reported their petitions, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

    The initiative reasoned that California was too big to function as one government and should be split up into six autonomous states: Silicon Valley, West California, North California, Central California, Jefferson and South California. Even if the proposal had made it on the ballot and been approved by Californians, the likelihood of Six Californias becoming a reality would remain incredibly far-fetched, as Congress would need to approve the legislation.

  • The Funniest Someecards Of The Week
    This week was quite culty wasn’t it? (Yes, we’re fully aware that “culty” is not a word, just roll with it.)

    We had the cult of Apple’s most recent announcement, complete with bigger iPhones, Apple Watches, and curious scarves. We also saw the cult of the Pumpkin Spice Latte (or the #PSL, for those in the know) go into full swing. Quite the week.

    So, what better way to top it off than by sending your friend a culty (yes, we used it again) Someecard. We found cards for your both the iPhone wielders and pumpkin spice-covered fiends. Check them out below!

  • Owning Up to Online Dating
    “We met online.”

    Was it on Tinder? OKCupid? Match? Droves of millennials across the world are meeting their significant others online — yet some still don’t feel comfortable admitting to it.

    Before I go on, I’ll practice what I preach: I met my girlfriend on OKCupid about a year and a half ago. So, I’m right there with you. When I first explained how we met to friends and family, I felt as if I needed to justify it. I’d say something like, “Well, my roommate tried it out and it seemed to work for him.” That was then. Now, I simply say “online” or “OKCupid.”

    Recently, I was back home for a weekend, where I visited old college friends and introduced my OKCupid girlfriend to my extended family. Being around a group of people who didn’t see meeting online as the “norm,” as I now do, almost made me revert back to giving reasons as to why I joined. Though when we both admitted to how we met, other couples in the group began owning up to meeting online, too.

    I realized that, though it’s common in my current group of friends, it doesn’t mean that the stigma of online dating has completely washed away. Not only that, but there are now certain stigmas associated with each site you could potentially meet Mrs. or Mr. Right on.

    When I mentioned I met my girlfriend on OKCupid, the reaction was something like, “Oh, that’s the free site so it’s not that serious — but enough so that people want a relationship out of it.” Then, I referenced some of my friends who’ve met through Tinder. After the shock of hearing about a lasting relationship as a result of a Tinder match, the reaction was, “Oh, that’s usually just the casual hook-up site.”

    Seeing the lukewarm reaction some people have when you tell them you met your significant other online, I can see why others feel apprehensive to admit to it. At the same token, in my opinion, it’s akin to having a social media account in our generation. I mean it. I was at a wedding recently, where the father of the bride said it best in his speech: “These two didn’t meet online like everyone else. They did it the old fashioned way — at a bar.”

    Aside from the joke being a pretty funny reference to how the couple met, it also rang pretty true to me. I mean, think about it. Despite being out of college for longer than I care to admit, I know current co-eds who have various dating apps or online profiles. I really can’t imagine online dating in college. If someone were to ask me back when I was frequenting bars equipped with the cheapest drinks of my life, I’d say online dating was for people who were desperate to find a wife or husband. Online dating is truly becoming the “norm.”

    Like anything, though, it isn’t going to be the number of Tinder profiles that’s going to completely wipe away the stigma — but, instead, time. The thing is: If everyone would just start owning up and embrace it, the time might be sooner than you’d think.

  • Hey, Which One of You Wise Guys Teleported Me Into the Future?
    The last time I worked in Boston, I worked for a law firm that specialized in high tech and venture capital. This was 30 years ago. The head of the firm insisted, however, that attorneys not have computers in their offices, fearing that we would turn into our own “secretaries” and just fix typos on documents we were typing.

    Fast forward thirty years.

    My family came to Boston for the school year, and I feel like Rip Van Telecommuter. Or something. While I was away, everything changed.

    Here in Boston, I don’t work in a traditional office. I work out of ImpactHub, an entity located in dozens of cities offering shared desk space, conference rooms with smart walls and gigantic Apple TVs, a kitchen with endless coffee, fruit, and peanut M&Ms, free printing, Wi-Fi (of course), weekly lunches, awesome views from the 17th floor, a gym coming soon, and socializing with other entrepreneurs and founders of new and socially conscious ventures… all for $300 a month.

    ImpactHub Boston actually looks out on the two skyscrapers where my old law firm was situated. That firm is long gone, by the way. But what’s remarkable is to work today, you don’t need your own office anymore. You just need the computer we weren’t allowed to have on our desks.

    Getting around? There’s always the T, but how much more convenient is Uber? Two taps on the Uber smartphone app and a nice, clean car arrives right where I’m standing in a couple of minutes, takes me where I want to go, and bills my credit card, including the tip, usually for much less money than cab fare. I can also request a town car or a Suburban if I’m feeling fancy or have a lot of people to move. No money changes hands in the car, no receipts to lose, no chatty (or smelly) cabbies.

    Speaking of transport, we were pricing a new Odyssey, but why surrender a car to Boston winters when there’s ZipCar? A few bucks a month gives you a passcode that gets you into ZipCar’s fleet of rental cars, conveniently parked a couple of blocks from wherever you are on Planet Earth. Jump in when you need it — no standing for 40 minutes in a car rental place with bored, surly car rental agents trying to sell you insurance and gas. When you’re done, drive it back to where you got it and lock the door. Finished. Radically cheaper than buying, insuring, gassing up, registering, and repairing a car of your own.

    New iPhone’s coming out. I could stand in line for hours… or I could go to TaskRabbit.com and hire a Tasker — a person who does errands for me for hourly rates posted on the TaskRabbit website. I could have my Tasker stand outside the Apple Store for as many hours as I choose, and then call me when she’s getting close…at which point I’d go take her place in line and claim my iPhone 6. My Tasker gets paid to hang out with other cool people on the iPhone line and make new friends. I get my phone without spending the night like a homeless person. Payment system same as Uber, above.

    Trip to New York coming up. I could go to Hotwire or Priceline for a boring hotel room… or I could rent all or part of a private home — actually thousands of them in Manhattan — on VRBO.com and stay in the exact neighborhood I desire. Often for far less than the cost of that impersonal hotel.

    Once in Manhattan, when I have some downtime… I could go to a movie by myself, but that’s crazy money for two hours of often lackluster entertainment. Or I could go to Meetup.com and find hundreds of events, mostly free or just a few bucks, with like-minded people who want to have a good time. For example, this Saturday in NYC, one could do a photo shoot of Manhattan at 5 a.m., go for a yoga hike or run or bike in Central Park at 8 a.m., take a history tour of Governor’s Island at 11, go pub crawling in the Village at 1, visit the Guggenheim with 70 (and counting) singles at 4:30, attend Arabic night (yes, there are hookahs and belly dancing) or see the Mayweather fight for free at Scores, both at 8 p.m. and top it off with Sexy Saturday, an Asian-flavored late night meetup in a downtown club.

    All in one day, mind you. Total cost for all, and I mean all, of the above: around $25, plus the cost of beer on the pub crawl.

    The point here is that the Internet offers what economist Joseph Schumpeter decades ago called “creative destruction”… on steroids. The buzzword today is disruption, meaning that an industry is suddenly upended by young techies who come up with a better, faster, cheaper, easier way to do something.

    That something might be renting office space, disrupting the commercial real estate industry; Uber, disrupting the taxi industry; ZipCar, potentially disrupting new and used car sales and also car rentals; TaskRabbit, disrupting, well, something; and Meetup.com, which could disrupt everything from the entertainment industry to the exercise industry (why join a gym when you can work out on MeetUps for free?).

    So here I sit at ImpactHub, surrounded no longer by the four walls of a private office but instead by entrepreneurs looking to create the next hot, disruptive thing, whether it’s for-profit here in America or transforming healthcare in the developing world.

    So which wise guys or wise gals teleported me into the future? All of them.

  • New iPhone 6 preorders affected by infrastructure glitches
    A number of people trying to place early preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been met with technical issues. Shoppers are complaining, for instance that they were initially unable to buy unlocked T-Mobile or AT&T models. Apple servers in fact appear to have had problems connecting to carrier servers, forcing the company to issue reservation numbers via email that people could use to complete an order within the next 24 hours.

  • Three Printers That Can Save on Space, Time and Money
    We have found ourselves surrounded by printers. Big and small. Fast and slow. Wireless and tethered. But they all have one thing in common: They get the job done with a minimum of effort on our part.

    Sitting in front of us are three new models of desktop multifunction printers from Epson, Hewlett-Packard and Sharp, all of which can print, scan, fax and copy documents efficiently and at decent speeds, but there are a few differences.

    The new Epson Expression Premium XP-820 Small-in-One Printer ($199.99) Is a small-footprint multifunction device designed to fit into smaller areas, but still deliver everything you would expect from a desktop printer. With this, though come a couple of sacrifices:

    There’s only one paper tray with a capacity of 100 sheets of paper, which could be a problem if you have large print jobs in your future. But, for most of us, it’s more than adequate. Also, those of us with magnifying glasses may notice that the quality of printed text is a bit less than we’ve come to expect from Epson printers, although the quality of its printed graphics are better than most desktop inkjet printers.

    We don’t see either of these “problems” as major, especially for the average user on a limited budget.

    As with the XP-810, which we reviewed earlier this year, the XP-820 has a ton of features that far outweigh its deficiencies, including:

    • A retractable output paper tray that sits inside the printer until you’re ready to print and then glides out of the machine when it detects a print job is pending.
    • It can automatically detect and connect to your wireless network.
    • A large LCD screen so you can select it’s various functions
    • It uses five ink cartridges: photo black, black and the usual magenta, cyan and yellow.
    • It offers two-sided printing
    • It has a second paper tray that can handle 30 sheets of 4×6 photo paper and printable CDs and DVDs.
    • You can edit and crop photos without using a PC by inserting a flash drive or memory cards into the printer’s USB port, memory-card reader or by using PictBridge
    • There’s an app – – – EpsonConnect – – – that lets you print from any mobile device
    • You can scan or share documents and photos on Facebook or use other cloud-based services
    • It boasts a print speed of up to 14 pages per minute (it’s a bit slower for photos and graphics using a lot of color).
    • It scans at up to 4800 DPI

    The HP OfficeJet Pro 8620 ($299.99) was actually sent to us so we sould review a new service that is, for now, unique to HP: This line of printers monitors how much ink you’ve used and “orders” replacement cartridges before you run out.

    The process is fairly simple.

    After setting up the printer, you set up an HP Connected account and sign up for the Instant Ink replacement service. At that point, you’ll be asked to select a “plan” that reflects your ink usage and will charge you a monthly fee:

    • $2.99 per month if you print up to 50 pages per month
    • $4.99 per month if you print up to 100 pages
    • $9.99 per month if you print up to 300 pages

    The billing cycle begins once you’ve installed the first set of cartidges into the printer.

    Now, when you figure the average printer cartridge costs about $11 (and you need four or five for today’s printers), even the $9.99 plan is a pretty good deal for higher-use environments.

    Our first set of replacements arrived a few days before we ran out of black ink, saving us from a trip to our neighborhood office supply store.

    The printer, itself, was released earlier this year and, truthfully, can fill any need you may have for a multifunction home or office machine.

    It’s about twice the size of the Epson we tested, but can still fit in moderately tight spaces. It can also link to your smartphone or tablet using near field communications technology (NFC) eliminating having to use the printer’s USB port. Among its other key features are:

    • You can easily connect it to your wireless network using the setup software
    • You can print using any mobile device or use HP web apps available on the cloud
    • Like the Epson it only has one paper tray, but this one has a 250-sheet capacity. There’s no second tray for smaller paper or CDs
    • It has a 4.3-inch front panel display to access all of its functions
    • The auto document feeder has a capacity of 50 pages and can fax, copy or scan double-sided documents.
    • Ethernet and USB ports to connect to a computer or wired network
    • Print speeds up to 21 pages per minute
    • Image quality up to 1200 by 600 dpi

    The Sharp MX-C301W printer (“available for purchase or lease”) is the big brother of this trio. This hefty, 70-pound multifunction laser printer does everything the other printers do, but is meant for a larger office environment.

    The only problem was probably our fault more than theirs: We weren’t able to connect it to our wireless network. This, we’re told, could have been due to our having numerous devices (wireless and Ethernet) hogging bandwidth. We were, however, pleased with its performance when we used Ethernet and USB cables.

    The first thing we noticed is how fast this printer is. Designed for large print jobs, it hit print speeds of up to 30 pages per minute, which blows away most consumer/SOHO models.

    In addition:

    • It has a 300-sheet paper tray that can be boosted to 800 with an optional tray
    • It’s smaller than most of the standard “biz-hub” type printers and can easily fit on a small table or desk (we used a living room lamp table)
    • It has a seven-inch touch screen to access all of its functions
    • It can scan documents to email, network folders or USB memory devices
    • It automatically deletes everything in its memory when the lease period ends
    • It can be accessed through an app using any smartphone or mobile device
    • It has a built-in 250 GB hard drive
    • 600×600 dpi printing

    The mode you choose, of course, depends on the need of your home or business, but we believe any of these printers are a good fit for almost any environment.

    Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman’s Jocgeek fan page at www.facebook.com/jocgeek, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek. You can also contact him via email at jocgeek@earthlink.net or through his website at www.jocgeek.com. /.

  • Forum Roundup: Apple Watch…why bother?
    As everyone knows by now, this week Apple took the wraps off their latest creation — the Apple Watch. While there was much hype about this device leading up to its release, some MacNN forum-goers don’t seem to think there is much reason to get this particular device over the competition, as is discussed in the thread titled “Apple watch…why bother.” One Mac Elite wonders if the Apple Watch will be on display in stores before it is available for sale.

  • "I'm Tired of Hating People" — A Growing Movement Based In Love
    Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

    I recently watched Zak Ebrahim’s moving TED Talk. In it, he reveals that his father was a prominent convicted American terrorist who had plotted to bomb tunnels, bridges and even the United Nations headquarters. Zak grew up in what he referred to as a “bigoted household… raised to judge people on arbitrary measures like a person’s race or religion.” As he grew and evolved in his life’s journey, Zak shares how and why he chose a more loving path. Personally experiencing bullying and prejudices growing up and having models who exposed him to higher-minded thinking helped him better understand oppression and gave him a deeper sense of empathy.

    One of the most moving moments in his story came when Zak finally got the courage to share with his mother that he was feeling his world view and values were changing, shifting away from the bigotry and intolerance he’d grown up learning — to which his mother wearily responded: “I’m tired of hating people.”

    Zak’s courage to “come out” as a more loving person and his mother’s response are a testament to what is needed greatly on the planet now, a love revolution of sorts.

    When people ask Zak why he shares his story, at potential risk, he says, “I do it in the hopes that perhaps someone, someday who is compelled to use violence may hear my story and realize there is a better way, that although I had been subjected to the violent, intolerant ideology, I did not become fanaticized. Instead I choose to use my experience to fight back against terrorism, against bigotry… I stand here as proof that violence isn’t inherent in ones religion or race, and the son does not have to follow the ways of his father. I am not my father.”

    This is a beautiful expression and example of one of the most encouraging movements happening around the world right now — one that is moving beyond hatred or even just mere tolerance — to one that is based in love, compassion and empathy. Two recent notable examples are the Jewish and Arab people around the world expressing their love for each other through the #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies initiative as well as the Israel loves Iran, Palestine and others initiative.

    In both initiatives, people around the globe are stating their love for one another publicly through the web and social media, tackling head on the dominant “us-against-them” worldview that so heavily permeates much of mainstream thinking. People are literally laying claim to love for one another, upending the notion that we have to be enemies, or really that we are even all that separate to begin with.

    It is encouraging that there are many initiatives and modalities emerging at almost every level of society. There are people and programs who are bringing psychologically healthy tools to bear on the challenges of conflict that we face, helping people better understand and love themselves and others. Tools for teaching people how to better understand and deal with conflict before it turns to violence — whether that violence is verbal, emotional or physical.

    Organizations like Challenge Day, spotlighted by Oprah and the MTV docu-series “If You Really Knew Me,” bring practical tools for love and empathy to schools. They help kids quickly and powerfully see how connected they are and build skills to make love and empathy more of a cultural norm at schools, reducing bullying and violence.

    Restorative Justice is a powerful and quickly growing model and movement, which offers healing-oriented methods as an alternative to current criminal justice approaches. These processes retain accountability while also creating conditions for conflict resolution to occur within and leading up to involvement in the criminal justice system.

    There are many other practices emerging, such as: Social and Emotional Learning and Life Skills in schools, which teach self awareness, empathy, impulse control, motivation and social skills; Conflict Resolution Education and Nonviolent Communications curriculum and practices in schools; programs in prisons that help inmates turn their lives around; parenting classes; mindfulness and mediation; and many others.

    The most exciting news of all is that these kinds of programs and modalities work. The art and science of psychology and human relations have evolved tremendously in the past few decades. Resources are out there to help expand our capacity for empathy and even love for one another. It’s time, though, that we bring these resources to scale. From the personal to the political, we must invest in these solutions and put our personal and collective time, attention and resources towards them. Organizations like Peace Alliance and many others are leading the charge.

    As more and more people around the world of all faiths, cultures and traditions begin to share their stories of love and connection, as Zak so powerfully does, it will help encourage others to do so as well. It can and will be a wave that helps topple hatred, fear and oppression. For every person that turns to terrorism or bullying or violence of any kind, there are millions more who don’t feel the hate or prejudice as deeply, who can be encouraged and uplifted.

    This new love-based movement can go far in changing our world for the better. This is the great work before us, and, thankfully, there are many great champions who are leading the way. Let’s follow course.

    We want to know what you think. Join the discussion by posting a comment below or tweeting #TEDWeekends. Interested in blogging for a future edition of TED Weekends? Email us at tedweekends@huffingtonpost.com.

  • 93 Nuns From 24 Different Countries Join Forces For One Amazing Virtual Choir
    This article first appeared on the Global Sisters Report, a project of National Catholic Reporter.

    Ninety-three Discalced Carmelite nuns in 24 countries have reached out of their cloistered monasteries to sing together in a virtual choir honoring St. Teresa of Avila on the 500th anniversary of her birth. This union of voices came together through the musical vision of a Carmelite Sister in Reno, Nev., and the creative imagination of a technical wizard in the Midwest.

    The result is two 6-minute videos of the sisters singing on a virtual stage, created by Kansas native Scott Haines. In one video they sing Teresa’s famous words “Nada Te Turbe” (“Let Nothing Disturb You”) in an original composition by Sr. Claire Sokol of the Carmelites of Reno. In the other, some of their Carmelite friars and Secular Carmelites join them in the 11th century “Salve Regina” chant with an added descant written by Sokol.

    The music is hauntingly beautiful, but it is the moving collage of the Carmelites’ faces as they sing that lifts the sound to greater heights. “It took me to places within myself I didn’t know existed,” said one Carmelite after viewing “Nada Te Turbe” during its premiere in San Jose, Calif. on Aug. 22 as part of the 500th anniversary celebration by Carmelites of the western U.S. “There are no words to describe how I feel,” said another.

    Virtual choirs are a relatively new phenomenon. At age 22, Haines produced composer Eric Whitacre’s first virtual choir, “Sleep,” in 2009, followed in 2010 by Whitacre’s “Lux Aurumque,” which features 185 singers from 12 countries. That piece has had nearly 4.5 million views on YouTube. Haines has formed the Virtual Musicians Group to continue assembling singers from diverse locations into virtual choirs through technology.

    The Carmelite choir began with an email invitation from Sokol to all Carmel monasteries. By logging on to Haines’ website, any Carmelite with computer and Internet access could listen to the music, download her voice part, hear the directions of the conductor, sing and submit the audio/ video recording to Haines at his studio in Kansas City.

    “When I sang in front of the computer, I didn’t feel alone in the room,” wrote Soeur Agnes, a member of Le Havre Carmel in the northwest of France, when she sent in her video. “I was connected with all the members who participated in this adventure. I didn’t see them, but I was sure we were building bonds upon frontiers oriented towards the same marvelous plan.”

    “I think St. Teresa herself would be very enthusiastic about this,” wrote another choir member, Sister Lucia of the Risen Christ from Arnhem, the Netherlands. The choir also includes sisters from Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Croatia, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore as well as Canada, Europe, and the United States.

    A few Carmelite friars joined in the “Salve Regina” choir as did some Secular Carmelites who submitted recordings made in their homes. James Savage, music director of St. James Cathedral in Seattle, is the choir’s conductor. The cathedral’s 18-member Teresian Orchestra accompanied “Nade Te Turbe.” “Salve Regina” is sung a cappella.

    carmelite nuns virtual choir

    This virtual choir project is the latest in a long musical journey for Sokol, who was born into a musical family, the seventh of 10 children. Her father was the conductor of the Seattle Youth Symphony, and her mother sang with the Roger Wagner Chorale. Classical music filled their home. Seven of her siblings became professional musicians.

    By age 10, Sokol was playing cello in an orchestra, having studied both cello and piano with the Holy Names Sisters in Seattle. Her professional career began while she was still in high school and continued after she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from Indiana University. While a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, she heard about the Carmelite monastery in Seattle. “I walked in the door and knew I was home.” A year later, in 1982, she entered the community. She was 28.

    “As a nun, my music and spirituality began to come together,” she said. In 1996 she composed “Therese’s Canticle of Love” in honor of St. Therese of Lisieux, the young Carmelite who died in 1897 and was later named a Doctor of the Church. The piece was recorded in Seattle’s St. James Cathedral and published by GIA Publications.

    While Sokol was working on that piece, Leonardo Defilippis asked her to compose the musical score for his film, “Therese: The Story of A Soul.” This meant she needed to quickly learn the Finale music notation software program. With her community’s support, she stepped out of the cloister for the first time in 15 years for a one-month summer course in composition.

    “This was a huge stretch beyond my comfort zone,” she said. But “I took a deep breath and jumped.” Her score can be heard on the film’s soundtrack from Luke Films. Inc., and excerpts are included in her 2008 CD “Therese’s Canticle of Love, A Musical Mosaic.”

    Reflecting on her musical pioneering, Sokol remarked, “In Carmel you are asked to do what you’ve never done before. You see a need, respond and so develop other talents and gifts.”

    Since transferring to the Carmel of Reno in 2001, Sokol has continued to write music. “It takes me deep within” she said. “I have no sense of where it’s going when I begin. I have a text in front of me and something starts to come forth.”

    For “Nada Te Turbe” which she wrote last fall, the two main themes came to her within 20 minutes. Then she went to her computer to complete the music.

    But the virtual choir project was another creative stretch because of its complex logistics. It was Haines who masterfully combined more than 200 video/sound tracks with images of Carmelite saints and the sisters at prayer. The final product is an exquisite gift to St. Teresa and all of us.

    Both videos, Nada Te Turbe and Salve Regina, can be viewed on YouTube. The choral music is available from Oregon Catholic Press. CD’s can be purchased from Carmel of Reno’s website.

    For more stories from the Global Sisters Report, visit the National Catholic Reporter’s site.

  • Bullying and Bigotry: Being Judged For Something Out Of Your Control
    Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

    “I am tired of hating people,” said Zak Ebrahim’s mother after years of fervently defending her religious beliefs.

    Hate is such a powerful word, and when a family is forced to live under the rule of judging others rather than accepting them for who they are, it can be emotionally devastating.

    Ebrahim, in his youth, had to face the reality that his father and uncles were terrorists involved in the World Trade Center attacks. On top of that, his family moved many times, which caused Ebrahim to live with constantly being the new kid. Ebrahim always encountered the same issue in the schools he attended: he was chubby, reserved and socially awkward, which makes him a prime target for bullying.

    Bullying and bigotry are two sides of the same negative coin.

    Ebrahim was living a life that was out of his control. Everywhere he turned, he was judged for things others have done, for his ethnicity or simply because he was fat!

    Peer cruelty is painful for anyone at any age. When it is heaped atop other difficulties, it can be soul crushing.

    Zak Ebrahim’s message is strong and clear after being raised in a bigoted family. He was taught from a young age to judge people for arbitrary reasons such as race, religion and sexual orientation.

    Being bullied as a child created a sense of empathy in Ebrahim. Did bullying open the door to softening his heart and ending the cycle of his family’s intolerance?

    As the son of a terrorist, he could have lived a life of infamy, he could have chosen to bury his identity in the past. As a victim of bullying, he could have simply moved forward from it, keeping his story secret. He could have possibly even turned to a life of terrorism because of it.

    Ending hate can help end bullying.

    Those powerful words spoken by Ebrahim’s mother probably made her feel as though the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders. Being able to accept others without judgment requires so much less energy and effort than hatred does.

    You see, I truly believe that without hate bullying will finally be history.

    Can you imagine if all the online trolls and offline bullies decided to give up hating others? What would the world look like if they practiced tolerance instead? What if kindness could replace cruelty?

    As a victim of cyberbullying and bullying as an adult, I know that it truly does change your attitude and heart towards others. Like Ebrahim, I made the decision to share my story in an effort to help many others that were struggling with online slander and defamation. I was overwhelmed by the response.

    Victims of bullying need to know that they are not alone, they need connection and a sense of community with others who understand what they are going through. Too many lives have already been lost to the suffering caused by bullies. Those of us who have survived the same kinds of trauma need to come forward to help those still in need.

    From bullying to bigotry, never judge someone without taking the time to get to know them.

    There will always be talking heads and people who don’t understand what you have suffered. I am confident Ebrahim still encounters people that blame him for his father’s wrongdoings; however, what I have come to realize is that you can’t control what others choose to believe.

    But you can choose what you believe. Until you are faced with a situation, you truly don’t know how you will respond, but you can do your best to reserve judgment and try to be empathetic. Just keep in mind that no matter what circumstances you have endured, you have the ability to make a difference.

    The voices of Ebrahim and his mother are the reason that parents and children alike should step up and speak out about breaking down those barriers of hate.

    It’s an old cliché: treat others as you want to be treated. You never know what others are going through and how big a difference a small act of kindness can make. A single caring word at the right time could change someone’s life.

    Victims of bullying and bigotry have choices.

    Become an upstander and put kindness and caring first:

    If you see someone being bullied, don’t allow it to continue. Help if you can or tell an adult immediately.

    Welcome new people in your neighborhood.

    Welcome new students in your school.

    Be sure to always speak out against gossip when you hear it.

    Respect the differences of others and learn about those differences.

    Spark kindness in your community. Be a role model for all.

    Random Act of Kindness and Pennies of Time are a great place to start to inspire your family.

    Ebrahim had choices. He was a boy raised in bigotry, schooled with bullies, yet he was able to see through all the hate and turn it into compassion and kindness for others. It was his own suffering that gave him the strength to fight against terrorism, bigotry, and violence — he came to realize that there is a better way and his choice was to share this lesson with the world.

    We want to know what you think. Join the discussion by posting a comment below or tweeting #TEDWeekends. Interested in blogging for a future edition of TED Weekends? Email us at tedweekends@huffingtonpost.com.

  • The Apple Watch Could Be Used As A Surveillance Device, Thanks To This Feature
    There’s a scary feature on the Apple Watch that no one seems to be talking about.

    In its elaborate press conference on Tuesday, complete with an announcement from U2 and a slew of celebrity guests, Apple unveiled its first line of wearable technology. The Apple Watch, which has plenty of apps that can monitor your fitness and even act as a credit card, has one feature that could pose some serious privacy concerns.

    One of the watch’s features allows users to display a live preview of what your iPhone is shooting in real-time. Although the preview could be useful when snapping a posed photo with a friend, it could easily serve as a surveillance device if the subject is unaware of the iPhone filming them.

    Check out the video above to see the spy camera technology in action.

    Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

  • This Kitten Is Determined To Win An Epic Game Of Cat And Mouse
    This kitten is developing a serious case of gamer rage.

    In a video shared by Rumble Viral, a precious little kitten is very appropriately chasing a virtual mouse via a game on its owner’s iPad. Like many of us who get hooked on those super addictive game apps, the kitten gets frustrated at the screen.

    The little fur ball tries every tactic in the book to catch the sly “mouse,” to no avail. Watch as the cat pounces on the screen, even occasionally hiding from its prey, only to jump out and totally fail at catching the pesky “rodent.”

    At the 0:41 mark, the determined feline gets so worked up that it falls completely off the couch it was playing on.

    Keep your chin up, little guy, because no matter how hard you fall, you can always get back up.

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  • WATCH: Meet The Terrorist's Son Who Refused To Follow In His Father's Footsteps
    Zak Ebrahim is not my real name and was changed when my family decided to cut ties with my father, El-Sayed Nosair, the first member of a Bin Laden organization to shed blood on American soil.

    As I share in my TED Talk, I have struggled for years to maintain my anonymity for fear of being judged for my father’s actions, which has been a heavy burden to carry and at times, crippling. Being raised in the shadow of my extremist father, I feared being judged for having his blood run through my veins.

    As I came of age, I began to bend back the bars of bigotry that had imprisoned me for years. It didn’t happen all at once, but little by little, my worldview expanded as I chipped away at every lie my father, and later my abusive stepfather, had instilled in me.

    Oddly enough, it was being the victim of a form of violence myself – bullying – that led me to seek a nonviolent path. When I was eleven, I once tried my hand at bullying another kid at school – but I found I could not do what had been done to me. Being bullied gave me empathy. And I realized, over time, that this empathy was more powerful than bigotry or hatred. It was this realization that helped me break a cycle of violence.

    zak ebrahim
    Zak visiting his father. Attica Correctional Facility, 1994. In the background: The small house where the family stayed together for the weekend. Courtesy Zak Ebrahim

    “Empathy, peace, nonviolence-they may seem like quaint tools in the world that my father helped create. But, as many have written, using nonviolence to resolve conflicts doesn’t mean being passive. It doesn’t mean embracing victimhood, or letting aggressors run riot. It doesn’t even mean giving up the fight, not exactly. What it means is humanizing your opponents, recognizing the needs and fears you share with them, working toward reconciliation rather than revenge. The longer I stare at this famous quote by Gandhi, the more I Iove how steely and hardcore it is: ‘There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for.’ Escalations cannot be our only response to aggression, no matter how hardwired it is to hit back and hit back harder. The late counterculture historian Theodore Roszak put it this way: ‘People try nonviolence for a week, and when it doesn’t work, they go back to violence, which hasn’t worked for centuries.'”

    The Terrorist’s Son by Zak Ebrahim is now available in bookstores, or you can get it for the Kindle or Nook, or through the iBookstore.

    We want to know what you think. Join the discussion by posting a comment below or tweeting #TEDWeekends. Interested in blogging for a future edition of TED Weekends? Email us at tedweekends@huffingtonpost.com.

  • Black People And Asian Men Have A Much Harder Time Dating On OKCupid
    If you’re a black man or woman or Asian man, you’re going to have a tougher time getting a date on OKCupid.

    Users of the popular dating site have a clear bias against certain races, according to a new blog post by OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder.

    Rudder looked at millions of OKCupid interactions between 2009 and 2014, involving more than 25 million people, and charted out the racial and gender preferences he found. To do this, he studied how people rated potential dates in QuickMatch, a feature that shows you profiles one at a time and asks you to rate them on a scale of one to five or skip them.

    Asian men, black men and black women got the worst ratings, while Asian women and Latina women fared the best.

    Here’s the chart of users’ preferences from 2009:

    okcupid race

    And here’s the chart from 2014:

    okcupid race

    As you can see, the biases stayed pretty consistent between 2009 and 2014.

    It’s not just people on OKCupid who feel this way. The results here are pretty much the same as data taken from other dating sites. And no, preferring to date someone of a particular race isn’t in itself racist.

    “Beauty is a cultural idea as much as a physical one, and the standard is of course set by the dominant culture,” Rudder writes. “I believe that’s what you see in the data here.”

    On the other hand, when asked by Salon whether his data suggest that men are sexist and everyone is racist, he responded: “The more you look at the data, the more it does confirm the cynics’ intuition about humanity.”

  • AT&T adding Wi-Fi calling to network in 2015, claims executive
    AT&T will be bringing Wi-Fi calling to its network, though customers will have to wait until 2015. The president and CEO of AT&T’s Mobile and Business Solutions group Ralph de la Vega claimed that the technology will be made available to customers, but not until the carrier has worked to prevent calls from dropping on the service.

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