tech

9) Want to Speed up your Reading? Try this new Tech

Remember the old ads for the “Evelyn Woodhead Speed Reading Course?” I think it might have been a couple of zany guys named Cheech and Chong? In fact, I’m just going to see if I can find that ad for you. [searching YouTube.] Yep. Found them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKP06aWPQhg

Well — welcome to 2016… when there are REAL ways to speed up your reading. Check this out:

http://spritzinc.com/

If you spend a lot of time reading missionary reports, just think how much extra time you’ll have now to do missionary work! : ) (Thanks to Greg, who picked up this tip from friend, “Dan Supporter.” : ) )

7) Disk Space is Crazy these Days; It’s about to Get Crazier

Check out this development at Sandisk…

https://www.sandisk.com/about/media-center/press-releases/2016/sandisks-most-popular-mobile-flash-drives-get-a-massive-capacity-boost

My sons and I marvel. We have an insider “private joke” about sending items like this to each other, with a comment like, “Who would have imagined?” Honestly, for these prices, we used to buy something with 32 megs. Just doesn’t seem possible these little gizmos could hold this much STUFF! (Thanks for the tip, Chris!)

9) What’s Your Favorite Mind-mapping Software? (to Track Groups)

If you’re doing three-thirds groups (or Discovery Bible Studies), you’ll want to track your streams (those who are being trained and training others). Seems like the front-runner, for those who can pay the piper, would be MindJet, or the bigger package, MindManager. Learn more at

https://www.mindjet.com/mindmanager/

If you’d rather go the free (web app) approach, try…

https://coggle.it/

It’s still very powerful, especially for the price. Use these mind manager apps for org charts, knowledge base bubble charts, project planning, and much more. Amazing that you just paste the spreadsheet data into the web portal there. No need to register or pay anything. Pro Pricing (kind of stiff; $99/month) gives you security and password protection, faster geocoding, 10 users, PDF support, 20K datapoints at a time and more — plus, no ads.

12) Tech-Tactics: Redundant Communications Pathways

world_pluggedWhat if one of your core communications pathways were suddenly yanked? Would you have options? This past week, I was following a discussion between the I.T. guy for our org (May God bless his name — and his wife and kids; thank you Greg) and one of our field workers in a sensitive land. Our I.T. guy was discussing “redudant mediums.” Now at first, I thought maybe they were talking about extra mind-readers, but very shortly, I realized Greg was actually recommending having communications options in case the bottom fell out of one pathway. For example, he recommended one pathway for an “alert” level message, and another pathway for the ‘main’ message. He gave several options, breaking down the security of each:

iMessage – Relatively high security for content (Apple potentially can read), Only Apple products, Only 9 participants in a group, medium metadata security to keep from linking people together, high traceback since everyone gets everything, difficult to see a summary, based on running conversation of IM style, high reliability of receipt with read notices
Skype – Medium to low security for content (MS can definitely read content, may give access to others), Wide availability of devices, high number of participants in a group, metadata security is expected to be low, high traceback since everyone gets everything, difficult to see a summary, based on running conversation of IM style, relatively high reliability of receipt
VSee – Pretty similar to Skype, with a touch higher security, since it only uses servers to establish contact, then goes device to device.
Threema – High security for content (encrypted inside app), Threema is only on mobile devices, IM platform, high metadata security, IM traceback, high reliability of receipt. Threema is here:

https://threema.ch/en

E-Mail – High to Low content security, high availability, high number of participants in a group, metadata security can be all over the board, high traceback, low conversation mode, summary reports are relatively easy
Hushmail – Relatively high content security, mobile can be tricky, high number of group participants, metadata security is fairly high, high traceback since everyone gets everything, low conversation mode, summary reports are relatively easy
Phone calls – Low security for content, Only phones, low participant group size, no metadata security, no traceback, summary consistency is difficult, high receipt reliability

One of my take-aways from all of this discussion was to make sure our workers have options. A laptop for email, Skype and VSee, a phone for texts and Skype, and in some cases in which the situation is particularly volatile, a third channel such as a satellite beacon (like the “Spot Messenger” service). As a result of all the above, if you’re a local church or agency, why not do an assessment of your workers’ options? If you’re a worker, maybe put a Spot Messenger on your Christmas list? : )

6) Don’t Let Power Failures Threaten your USB’s Survival

Thanks to the cool camp stove at…

http://www.biolitestove.com/

You can now warm up those Vienna sausages AND recharge your USB-powered device all at once! :-) It’s a unique solution that is described as earth-friendly and practical all at the same time. We’d love some real feedback from an experienced user. (Just click “comment” below this item on the web.) (Thanks Caleb!)

1) The Perfect Tool for your Church or Ministry Website?

cloverCould Cloversites be essentially the perfect tool for developing your new web presence? Check them out at…

http://www.cloversites.com/f/friendsofbrigada

See their feature list at…

http://www.cloversites.com/promo/Clover%20Features.pdf

You can post audio (workshops, classes, sermons, presentations), and soon, video as well. You’ll be able to start your website practically immediately. Their customer service seems awesome… and the tools are extremely cool. Several of our friends recommended Cloversites, including a church in Indianapolis, as well as a pro desktop publisher soon to be joining our crew here in Louisville. When we looked at the demo site, we soon learned why. *Sooo* simple. In fact, they claim that no one has ever asked them for a “guidebook” or help file. Why? Everything is so intuitive, nobody needs it. The price is reasonable too, for what you get. Everything is jazzy flash, yet loads quickly and is extremely search engine friendly. We attend a church here in Louisville with an attendance of about 750. When they decided to gear up with a snazzier website, they elected to go with a local developer for a price of $12,000. I tried to talk them out of it. I had a friend who had agreed to do it for $3000. They wanted jazzy. Well let me tell you — Cloversites’ numerous templates are, in my opinion, *all* better than what our local church ended up with, yet their price is always exactly $1000. That’s it. No strange “per hour” fees. No add-ons necessary. $1000 — and chau. You’re up and running. Afterward, pay a monthly web-hosting fee of $20 for 100 Gig, which is also extremely competitive. If you’re already thinking about switching, gearing up, or starting up a web presence. Please give Cloversites a try. I haven’t found anything better on the web. (Please be sure to use the link above so they’ll know Brigada sent you their way. We would have recommended them anyway — and that’s the truth — but they’ve promised to recognize Brigada with a donation, depending on how many people sign up. So it’s the best of both worlds: You get a snazzy, quick, world-class website, and Brigada might end up with a gift as a result of your good choice!)

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