Monday, October 11, 2010

Movin' Time Y'all

After much thought, I'm going to move over to Wordpress for a bit. I'll probably be back here eventually... just don't know when yet.

Thoughts From a Crazy Person

If you have any comments/complaints/concerns, let them be known in the comments.


Thursday, August 12, 2010


Hey everyone,

I've been asked by several people what it means when I say I have a "jailbroken" iPhone. So, I figured I'd write a blog post about it.

When someone jailbreaks an Apple device (as far as I know this only applies to the iTouch/iPhone/iPad users), they are in effect bypassing the approval system Apple uses to allows apps to be installed on their devices - the owner of a jailbroken iDevice can install applications that Apple did not approve of, and also change base system files (custom themes and the like).

Several weeks ago an Internet dweller named comex announced that his jailbreak method worked on current versions of iOS (the operating system that Apple's mobile devices use). In order to take advantage of the jailbreak, one had to visit in Safari on their device.

When you visit the website, you will see something similar to the picture below. Oddly, since my phone is already jailbroken it shows an error message instead of a "jailbreak now!" message. Don't ask me why.

All you have to do is slide the button, and then Safari downloads a .pdf file. Once the file is done downloading, Safari tries to open it. Here's where the witchery comes in. There is (or was, now - Apple released an update today fixing the flaw) a vulnerability in the way that Safari renders .pdf files that could allow someone to hide a program in the file, and have it run whenever Safari tries to open it.

The hidden program that is downloaded installs Cydia (see the pic below), which is a lot like a "black market" of apps. From here one can get many apps, from file viewers to Game Boy emulators. Several apps from Cydia allow the user to dig around in the guts of the device, seeing files that Apple never wanted you to see. Nothing scandalous here, but it allows an experienced user to alter system files that would change the "experience," as Steve Jobs would say.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. I did this primarily so I could use Grooveshark on my phone, but two weeks later it got approved for the official app store. Figures.

I should also note that comex has made the method by which he created that .pdf file public. This means that anyone can create .pdf files like that for malicious purposes. As I mentioned earlier in this post, Apple has released an update to iOS fixing Safari's vulnerability. Only problem with updating is that you "un-jailbreak" your device. Looks like this is one of those "pick your poison" scenarios - each way you're losing something.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Post of Legend

As a supplement to my devotions, I picked up a book that’s been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. It’s a “3-in-1” book by Jerry Bridges – The Pursuit of Holiness, its Bible Study, and The Practice of Holiness. The first chapter of The Pursuit of Holiness dealt with holiness and its relation to sin. There were three points made, which I have written below.

-Our attitude toward sin is more self-centered than God-centered.

There are many times (too many) when I am tempted with sin and I look to myself as the one responsible for getting out of that mess. While there is responsibility that we have in our decisions on sin, we cannot view ourselves as the one conquering the sin or temptation. When I do so, I fail every time. The taste is bitter – I knew the sin was there, I saw it clearly, yet I still succumbed to it. I viewed it as a failure on my end to be a “good Christian” and conquer sin and its temptations.

Throughout the New Testament we are called to servants and slaves of Christ. What do servants and slaves do? They obey their master. They do not conquer, but obey. Likewise, we as servants and slaves to God are called to obey, not conquer. We cannot conquer sin – if we could do so, there would be no need for Jesus’ sacrifice. But by obeying God’s will and allowing Him to shape our life, and by doing so He conquers sin through us. This is something I must constantly remind myself as I am faced with challenges day by day….

-We have misunderstood “living by faith” (Galatians 2:20) to mean that no effort at holiness is required on our part.

After discussing point 1, it is easy to say “well I’ll just sit back and let God take care of all my troubles, then.” That is not a good place to be. We cannot change ourselves into a better image of Christ; however we have a responsibility to strive for the holy walk. Our attitude can either be one of “okay God, I showed up” or one of “here am I, send me.” In our heart, do we really want to be better servants of Christ? If so, we will be active in our walk. We will commune with God through prayer. We’ll learn about Him through His Word. We’ll reflect Him in our actions throughout life. This is what God calls us to, and we must submit ourselves to that – we cannot do so unless we are making an effort daily to put off the old man and put on the new.

-We do not take some sin seriously.

This is another big one for me. Each society has a different culprit in this, but the principle is the same. Speeding happens to be one for me that I do, mostly without even paying attention. When I exceed the speed limit, I am breaking the law, and defying the authority God has placed over me. What do I do when I speed? I shrug, and slow down to an acceptable speed. No harm done – I didn’t hit anyone, no one saw me, it’s all good. Or is it? Sin is sin – this is pointed out throughout the Bible. Why do we create a list of “lesser” sins, then? In my experiences with this topic, it’s so I can “get away” with sin, and not surrender my full heart to God. Because when I do that, I’m going to see a lot of things I don’t want to see. God judges all sin – actions that do not bring glory and honor to Him. As a reflection of God’s glory, why should my standard be any different?

Because I wrote an article on these issues does not mean I’ve “mastered” them. I am working through these, and wanted to share my thoughts with you guys. As I continue to work through the book I will post articles like these if you guys find them edifying. They certainly help me to solidify the concepts of the book in my mind, and help me to meditate upon them.

Comments/questions/criticisms/complaints are welcome. :)