Adam McLane http://adammclane.com changing the world one blog post at a time since 2004 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 01:14:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 The Summer of 95 http://adammclane.com/2015/01/29/summer-95/ http://adammclane.com/2015/01/29/summer-95/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:33:51 +0000 http://adammclane.com/?p=16080 Today’s Throwback Thursday is to July 1995, the summer that Kristen and I became a couple.  We were not quite 19 years old when we met, set up on a blind date at the end of our freshmen year at Moody. This photo is in front of the Hesburgh Library at Notre Dame. Football fans […]

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Today’s Throwback Thursday is to July 1995, the summer that Kristen and I became a couple. 

  • We were not quite 19 years old when we met, set up on a blind date at the end of our freshmen year at Moody.
  • This photo is in front of the Hesburgh Library at Notre Dame. Football fans know this mural, Word of Life, as Touchdown Jesus. The library and the campus itself were a bit of a refuge my senior year of high school. I lived pretty far from school and I used (cough, trespassed) at the library at least twice a week to study, read books, or just hang out.
  • Kristen came down to visit, spending the fourth of July weekend with my family at our cottage in Southwestern Michigan. Looking back, she was so brave.
  • Speaking of brave… look at that hand on her knee. [shakes head]
  • We took a few of these photos. Kristen’s camera had a timer, we’d set the timer and run to pose. Old school selfies.
  • Not sure about that outfit. Suede shoes and a long-sleeved silk button up shirt. Kristen clearly went with the comfortable route.
  • Also not in this photo? All the metal shavings from my dad’s clutch. I borrowed his truck to drive around but had no experience driving a stick shift. Oops. 

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Social Media Safety and Security http://adammclane.com/2015/01/27/social-media-safety-security/ http://adammclane.com/2015/01/27/social-media-safety-security/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:16:13 +0000 http://adammclane.com/?p=16076 Uh oh. Something went wrong with several social media applications late last night. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide were unable to use Facebook and Instagram for around an hour today. Hackers from online group Lizard Squad have claimed they shut down the two sites at around 6am GMT – but Mark Zuckerberg’s social media […]

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Uh oh. Something went wrong with several social media applications late last night.

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide were unable to use Facebook and Instagram for around an hour today.

Hackers from online group Lizard Squad have claimed they shut down the two sites at around 6am GMT – but Mark Zuckerberg’s social media empire says it was just a technical fault.

Both sites, which have a total of 1.5billion users, appeared with error messages in the United States, Europe and Asia for around an hour.

The social media blackout also affected the dating mobile app Tinder, as well as AOL Instant Messenger and Hipchat.

Source

It was amusing to watch as Twitter went into full-on State of the Union mode, the hashtag #FacebookDown adding faux drama and humor to the occasion.

And while I joked about it there is the potential that this could be more than old man Zuckerberg is letting on.

Here’s what I know:

  • Facebook is a giant target with 1.4 billion monthly users. (20% of all humans!!!)
  • They are due to release their quarterly earnings report tomorrow evening.
  • Lots of people share lots of personal information on Facebook.
  • Even more use Facebook to login to a lot more apps.

Let’s say it really was a technical glitch caused by the rollout of some new features. (Snapchat and Twitter also rolled out new features today, they indeed do have to keep up with the Social Media Jones’s of the world.) That’s perfectly possible and my only real reason to think otherwise is based on their being a publicly traded company, getting hacked would do bad things to their stock right before their earnings report… there’s a lot at stake for them. Enough to lie? Maybe.

But let’s say Facebook was hacked and while the site was offline hackers ran away with a billion or so people’s personal information. What’s a user to do?

Just to be safe, I’d recommend these two courses of action:

  1. Change your Facebook and Instagram passwords today. It only takes a few minutes and it never hurts to change things up.
  2. Turn on 2-factor authentication on any and every application you can. If you use Facebook to log into a bunch of things, do yourself the favor and turn this on now.

If you’d do that you’re good to go either way. 

Tech Tuesday Questions

Rachel asks, “Why did you write the post, ‘Why You Should Delete Snapchat?'” 

As someone who talks to parents and teenagers a lot about social media, I’m actually fairly slow to judge an application. I really dislike black and white answers. I originally wrote the post because at several different speaking engagements parents asked me what I thought about Snapchat. I put them off for several months because I was still analyzing it, so I would say “Keep an eye on my blog. When I know more I’ll write about it.

So, a few months later, when the guys started suing one another about who came up with the idea and a bunch of their emails ended up in the public record, I was able to dig around some more. Snapchat was the first time I’ve ever told people… just don’t use it. And I’ll reiterate the two main facts of why I don’t recommend people use Snapchat.

  1. They lied to their users from day one about what does and doesn’t disappear. I wrote about it in August 2013 and in May 2014 they reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission where they admitted they mislead users.
  2. They are not good digital citizens. You see glimpses of it my original post, how they speak about women, things like that. But bigger than that and far more important. The operators of Snapchat know that a percentage of their application is used in the course of crimes. (Child pornography, prostitution, drug trade, etc.) But, unlike basically every other social media company, Snapchat does not make their data available to law enforcement to help put criminals behind bars. Every investigator or prosecutor in the United States knows this is true. And to me? That they would knowingly hold data that could put people in jail for terrible, terrible crimes… usually against their own target audience of young women… well, that’s reason enough for me to stand by my post and say, “I think every user should delete Snapchat. You might use it for something fun, but people are getting hurt. Bottom line: Your [probably innocent] activity on the app is helping to fund other people getting hurt.

Julia from California writes, “Which is safer, Facebook or Snapchat?” 

I wrote back to Julia asking for clarification on what she meant by “safer.” As in “safer doing what?”

But here’s the answer: Neither are safe.

When you use any social media application you are taking a risk. It’s in the applications best interest to convince you that your data is safe, that what you think is private will stay private, on and on. But never forget that this is a perception. Ultimately, anything you post online is public. As soon as you hit the “send” button on your phone or computer you have given up control of what happens to that message, picture, or video.

That message could get intercepted. It is most definitely being monitored by, at least, the country you live in. (But potentially other governments) The person you send the message to could share it with others or use it against you. And the application itself that you are using could get hacked or sold or otherwise compromised.

I don’t say that to freak anyone out. I say that to remind you, as a user, that the best thing you could ever do before hitting “send” is to make sure that what you are saying is OK to be seen publicly if it ever becomes public. If it isn’t? Don’t send it.


 

Tech Tuesday

Have a tech question for Adam? Each Tuesday I write a tech post. Submit your questions using the form on my site’s right sidebar. It can be about anything tech related, from social media to networking to life at home with wireless devices.

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The Psychology of Savings http://adammclane.com/2015/01/26/psychology-savings/ http://adammclane.com/2015/01/26/psychology-savings/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:59:52 +0000 http://adammclane.com/?p=16072 Last night, we watched an excellent documentary on Netflix called Living on One Dollar. It’s the story of two upper middle class college students who are passionate about international development but realize that in order to truly understand their coursework they need to experience the life of those they hope to help. They went on […]

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Last night, we watched an excellent documentary on Netflix called Living on One Dollar. It’s the story of two upper middle class college students who are passionate about international development but realize that in order to truly understand their coursework they need to experience the life of those they hope to help. They went on a quest, living in rural Guatemala for a summer on  the equivalent of $1 per day.

Watching this documentary with my family made me realize three things about a lot of people in my life

  1. Many people I know live far too close to the edge. They are pursuing their calling, lots in full-time ministry, but money is a real problem in their life. (spoken or unspoken) They are one blown engine or medical bill from disaster.
  2. Many people I know are living on less than $1 per day. Actually, they are living on -$20 per day. “The average American household carries a debt of $203,163 for financial baggage such as mortgages, credit card balances and student loan debt.” (source)
  3. Like the Guatemalan families featured in the film, my friends don’t have an income or spending problem, they have a savings problem. “Bankrate.com reported in 2012 that 28 percent of American families have no savings. Another 20 percent don’t have enough saved to cover even three months’ worth of living expenses” (source)

The Psychology of Savings

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Life on the edge is dangerous. Sure, you might not fall very often. But life away from the edge is better than life on the edge.

Balancing on the edge is a weird thing. It’s ultimately about confidence and attention. If you focus too much on keeping your balance and thinking about it… you’ll fall. And if you don’t think you can keep your balance… you’ll fall.

The same is true with not having a cushion of savings. You teeter on the edge. You try to ignore it but what happens? Eventually, you stumble and things get worse.

Having money in the bank, something you can fall back on if something goes wrong or something you can depend on when the check engine light comes on… it has a psychological impact on you.

You are more confident.

You are free to take some risks.

  • Your boss asks you to do something you think is 100% stupid. And you tell him.
  • You get a flyer for a class to learn something new. And you go for it. 
  • You walk through a neighborhood you want to live in. And you know what it would take to make it happen. 

See, having some savings is more than merely practical. It’s more than a fallback plan. It’s a psychological advantage.

Our Story

2008-2009 dealt us a bummer hand. We had to sell our house in the middle of the worst housing crisis in modern history… and we pretty much got screwed. While we had multiple offers on our house, while we guaranteed the bank we’d pay the difference between what was owed and what the market would offer, the holder of our second mortgage erroneously illegally foreclosed on our house and sold it at auction. (Then sold our “debt” down the line, resulting in years of harassment and collections agencies.)

In short, our biggest investment went bust. Not only did we lose every penny we invested in the house. We also lost our credit rating.

Worse still. We lost our confidence. It sucked big time. We went from feeling like we were doing OK to right back to the edge.

That was 6 years ago. We were far too close to zero with my phone ringing off the hook, creditors chasing us, the letters, the threats, the whole 9 yards. (We were in the right and didn’t owe the banks anything… they stole our house! But when you cross that line the people over there don’t care about right or wrong. They just want the money their computer screen says you owe.)

I share that to say this: In the last 6 years we’re right back on track. In fact, our savings is stronger than ever. A couple weeks ago we did a review and were shocked to discover that we have nearly 1 years worth of income in long-term savings.

You want to talk about a psychological advantage? Confidence? We went from having 1/2 months savings to 12 months in 6 years. 

We looked at those numbers and realized something crazy: We can get way more aggressive. So, starting this month, we’ve adjusted our budget again. I jokingly call these “austerity measures.” But in reality, giving up cable or things like that aren’t that big of a deal.

Jump Start Your Savings

Before you eyeroll me I want to share with you the plan we’ve used. It’s not a gimmick or a book or a lecture series or anything like that. It’s drop-dead-simple.

  1. Pay yourself first. We get paid on the 15th and the 30th. The very first thing I do is put a set amount into savings.
  2. Pay your kids second. A few weeks ago I asked my Facebook friends what they were doing to save for their kids college. Almost no one had a plan. When Megan was born we started a 529 plan and put $25 a month in it. We’ve increased it periodically. I treat it like a bill. And while $25 a month might not sound like it’s going to help you get to $100,000 or whatever crazy number people toss around these days, it’s better than doing nothing. The little bit we’ve weaseled away each month since 2002 has resulted in us having about the first year of Megan’s college in that account. (This is about 20% of our college savings plan, I won’t bore you with the rest.)
  3. Pay your bills third. I suck at paying bills. Quite frankly I just forget. That’s why I try to pay all of my bills in the same action.
  4. Go cash only on the rest. More accurately, debit card only. When we buy something, whether it’s groceries or a car, that money comes directly out of our checking account. Don’t have it? Don’t buy it.
  5. All forms of credit suck. Debt is debt. We have a credit card for business travel. I hate it. We’ve been told we need to buy a house. Maybe one day, but I’m in no hurry. After all, last time I bought a house the bank stole all my money. I’ve read and been told that “some debt is good.” This is only said by people trying to sell you debt. Two weeks ago Chase bank reported disappointing 4th quarter 2014 results… they only made $5 billion when Wall Street expected $6 billion. All debt sucks. It’s the enemy. Treat it as such. 
  6. Convince yourself that you are poor. I’m sure there’s another word for this. But we intentionally live below our means so we can be generous and pour money into long-term savings. The typical family in Southern California spends 30%-35% of their income on housing: We spend 18%. Most people have two cars, we will eventually get two cars, but we’ve only had two cars for 10 months of the seventeen years we’ve been married… and that belonged to a missionary couple who let us borrow it.
  7. Reward yourself along the way. We love our vacations, we love our hobbies… in so many ways I feel like we live high on the hog. But all of those things are just rewards. Ultimately, we aren’t as aggressive with our frugality as we possibly could be. And I think we’re able to save for the long-term precisely because of that. We live reasonably and we reward ourselves richly in responsible ways.

Wrap-Up

I’m bringing all of this up, not to brag, but to help you see that there’s a direct tie between the pursuit of all that you could achieve, what some people might call “God’s will for your life” and your lack of financial stability.

  • I know too many with big, world changing dreams, who can’t pursue them because of a lack of confidence.
  • I know too many people who think their dreams aren’t worth pursuing because they live too close to the edge.
  • I know too many people who think living on the edge of financial disaster is somehow a burden they are called to bear as Christ-followers.

You have to address it. And it’s better to address it today than go another $20 in the hole to start tomorrow. 

Photo credit: Sunset in Rungsted Havn via Olga Capriotta via Flickr (Creative Commons) Her Third Birthday by Travis Swan via Flickr (Creative Commons)

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Our January Line-Up http://adammclane.com/2015/01/23/january-line/ http://adammclane.com/2015/01/23/january-line/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:44:29 +0000 http://adammclane.com/?p=16063 We’re off to the races in 2015 with 4 new publishing products launching in January. With each new release cycle our stuff just keeps getting better and better. Here’s what is new: A Youth Worker’s Field Guide to Parents by Danny Kwon (Book) The Audacious Seven by Steve Case (Curriculum)   THINK Volume 2: Theology by […]

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We’re off to the races in 2015 with 4 new publishing products launching in January. With each new release cycle our stuff just keeps getting better and better.

Here’s what is new:

A Youth Worker’s Field Guide to Parents by Danny Kwon (Book)

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The Audacious Seven by Steve Case (Curriculum)

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THINK Volume 2: Theology by Jake Kircher (Curriculum)

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Viva: Choices (Curriculum)

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Come build partners in Haiti with me http://adammclane.com/2015/01/22/come-build-partners-haiti/ http://adammclane.com/2015/01/22/come-build-partners-haiti/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:46:35 +0000 http://adammclane.com/?p=16059 Today’s Throwback Thursday reaches all the way back to April 2014. And it comes with an invitation to join me on a trip in April 2015.  Backstory of this picture The gentleman in this photo is the pastor of the church located in the mountains above the city of Jacmel in southern Haiti. He and his […]

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Today’s Throwback Thursday reaches all the way back to April 2014. And it comes with an invitation to join me on a trip in April 2015. 

Backstory of this picture

The gentleman in this photo is the pastor of the church located in the mountains above the city of Jacmel in southern Haiti.

He and his family live in a small house about 20 yards to the left of this photo.

Here’s what isn’t in the photo…

Earlier in the morning we took this picture we drove up to a school about two miles up the steep mountain road above this church. There we met with the head teacher of the local school, a young man in his mid-20s, who despite not getting a salary has dedicated his life to investing in the education of the communities children. When we arrived, it was a school holiday, so no one was there. But within 15 minutes dozens and dozens of kids came from all over the mountain to see us. This is one of those rural communities that doesn’t get a lot of Haitian visitors, much less Americans. We played games and blew bubbles with them for about an hour. Then we gathered together, sang some songs, and told a Bible story.

We left but the kids didn’t leave us. They followed… chased… us down the hill to the church. What a scene!

So what isn’t in the picture is the kids– probably 20 of them– hiding behind the door and window in the picture. If you look closely you can see a few of them peaking. See them?

Also not in the picture is this pastor’s vision for his church. Sure, people in his community have spiritual needs. But this area has physical needs that he is intent on helping end the devastating effects of the cycle of poverty, being Good News in the Neighborhood for him means developing a way for local farmers to bring their product to market. See, people have the ability and skills to grow more than their family needs. But getting their product to market has some barriers… physical ones but also practical ones. One vision this pastor has is to provide a low-cost mill for local farmers to prepare their product for market because the one that’s available to them in town is so expensive that it eats up all of their profits.

Lastly, what isn’t in this picture is the generosity of this pastor. See, in the rush to get this photo, I forgot my camera bag in the church with all the kids. I took this photo, shook his hand, and then jumped into the truck to drive off to our next stop. In doing so I left a bag with about $6000 in lenses and gear sitting on a pew. When I realized this a couple hours later we were able to call him, he found the bag, and he generously brought my bag to town… about 45 minutes on the back of a motorbike each way.

Your Invitation

I’m headed back to Haiti in April. And, if you’re a church leader willing to explore a partnership with a church like the one in this picture, I’d like for you to join me for a few days together. You can learn more here.

And if you’d like to chat about the trip, fill out the form below.

Vision Trip 2015

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Hubble’s High-Definition Panoramic View of the Andromeda Galaxy http://adammclane.com/2015/01/21/andromeda/ http://adammclane.com/2015/01/21/andromeda/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 16:04:06 +0000 http://adammclane.com/?p=16054 Note: For best results, view this in the highest quality 4k and full screen. The largest NASA Hubble Space Telescope image ever assembled, this sweeping view of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic neighbor. Though the galaxy is over 2 million light-years away, […]

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Note: For best results, view this in the highest quality 4k and full screen.

The largest NASA Hubble Space Telescope image ever assembled, this sweeping view of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic neighbor. Though the galaxy is over 2 million light-years away, the Hubble telescope is powerful enough to resolve individual stars in a 61,000-light-year-long section of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disk. It’s like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand. And, there are lots of stars in this sweeping view — over 100 million, with some of them in thousands of star clusters seen embedded in the disk.

Think about this…

Psalm 19:1-6

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

And yet…

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Luke 12:7

 

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A Cord Cutters Survival Guide http://adammclane.com/2015/01/20/cord-cutters-survival-guide/ http://adammclane.com/2015/01/20/cord-cutters-survival-guide/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 17:59:15 +0000 http://adammclane.com/?p=16047 Every month, staring at me, were two television realities. One was a bill from Cox Cable for $155. The other was the simple fact that no one in our house, except me, watched television regularly. My older kids hardly watch TV at all. They watch tons of video on YouTube but almost nothing, without our […]

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Every month, staring at me, were two television realities.

One was a bill from Cox Cable for $155. The other was the simple fact that no one in our house, except me, watched television regularly. My older kids hardly watch TV at all. They watch tons of video on YouTube but almost nothing, without our prompting, on the bigger screen in our living room. Jackson, our 3 year old, watches tons of kids programming. But he uses the iPad to navigate to what he wants on Netflix, connecting to our TV with Apple TV. And Kristen? She’s never been into TV.

When you take out our internet charges television equaled $91 per month.

It was $91 per month for me to watch college sports, the occasional binge session of MTV’s Ridiculousness, and white noise like House Hunters International or CNN. (Since I’m confessing stuff, I have a man crush on Anderson Cooper.)

Ninety-one bucks to watch college football and basketball. Mind you, I go to every home game of San Diego State football and basketball. So we’re talking about $91 per month to watch games I’m not vested in and away games for my favorite team.

That’s $1092 per year.

I had that number in my head for months. $1092. I knew I had to make a change… I put it off… but December 2st I finally made the call and cut our cable.

How It Works

Let’s get practical. It’s not like I’ve stopped watching live television. While cutting the cord (dropping cable) hasn’t been 100% smooth, it’s really just a different way of thinking about consuming entertainment.

HD Antenna

First, get yourself an HD Antenna. We got the Mohu Leaf Paper-Thin for $40. If you’re over 30 you hear the word “antenna” and you think about a tower next to your house or something you mount on the roof or even bunny ears sticking out of the top of your TV. Nah, it’s not like that anymore. Our HD Antenna picks up the basics in broadcast TV (NBC, Fox, PBS, etc) and it sticks to the back of the TV. It’s basically invisible and “just works.”

Apple TV (or Roku or Amazon Fire TV)

Next, get an Apple TV and plug it into an HDMI connection on your TV. If you have an iPad or a Macbook, you’ll want an Apple TV. Here’s why. It not only streams a ton of services like WatchESPN, Hulu, and Netflix, you can also use your iPad to watch tons of other video, like from Amazon Prime Instant Video, using the AirPlay feature. I find that we use AirPlay a lot because some networks stream things for free on their websites but don’t have an app, like CBS Sports. So I just set up the stream on my Macbook, go to my AirPlay settings, and boom… the audio and video are on my TV. Jackson (our 3 year old) does this all day via the Netflix and/or Amazon Video app on his iPad.

Don’t use Apple stuff? My next choice would be the Amazon Fire TV, then the Roku 3. I’ve used both and they are great. I just like the Amazon device a little better.

Subscribe to Streaming Services

A quick note. If you’re just looking to score as much free entertainment as possible, I think you should stop here. An HD antenna and streaming device like Apple TV is probably going to be as good as it gets.

But for me, while I don’t want the $91 per month I was paying for cable channels I didn’t want, there is still some stuff out there worth paying for. I have no problem paying for content I actually want.

  • Amazon Prime Instant Video – I’ve been a Prime subscriber for years, we do it mostly for the free 2-day shipping. But the streaming content on the video side is fantastic. Tons of backlist movies, plus lots of TV shows, kids programming, and lots of backlog HBO content. It’s $99 per year… but I don’t even pay this out of our entertainment budget since we get the free shipping.
  • Netflix – Two things I really like about Netflix. First, I like the new shows they are developing. While their movie selection has been shrinking as Amazon buys up their catalog, the new stuff they are developing on their own is great. (Both Amazon and Netflix were the big winners of last week’s Golden Globes.) Second, I love that there is tons of kids content and a special place for Jackson to go on their app to navigate to what he wants. Maybe that makes us bad parents, but JT will spend an hour (or three) per day completely on his own watching his favorite shows on Netflix. We pay $7.99 per month for a digital subscription, worth every penny.
  • The rest – I’m not into other services like HBO Go, Showtime’s streaming service, Hulu Plus, and the rest. But there are LOTS of options out there and new ones going out quite often.

What About Sports?

Let’s address the elephant in this blog post. What about live sports? It’s totally true that the selection of live sports for cord cutters is limited. Like I’ve already mentioned, we get access to most of the big games with our HD antenna. And, thankfully, ESPN also offers alternate views of their top programming. I watched the National Championship game last week on the WatchESPN app using a camera angle they called “the data center.” As a sports nut I actually liked this view BETTER than their broadcast version as it offered tons of stats in 3/4 of the screen and the game on the other 1/4. I’ve also watched a few basketball and football games with their spider camera angles and I have to tell you, it’s much more like being at the game than their broadcast versions.

What about games I can’t stream for free or get on the HD antenna? Well, I refuse to use bootleg websites but they are out there if you go looking. (At least while I’m in the United States…) My solution for games I can’t find online is very non-digital. I just go to a bar. I can watch a basketball game (2 hours) for the cost of a beer. And, for the 2-3 times per month this happens, that’s $6 per game cheaper… and money in my local economy… than paying $91 per month to some media company that doesn’t give a lick about my community! Plus… going to a local bar is social. It’s awful fun to watch the game with other people who want to watch the game. So analog. 

The Tipping Point

Millions of people have dropped cable. 14% of adults with broadband do not have a cable TV package in their home.

Though my call to Cox cable only took seven minutes it’s very clear that Cox intentionally makes it difficult to do so. I can log onto their website and order new services, they appeared instantly on my digital box. But try dropping a service. You can’t do that online, you have to call. And while they drop shipped a new box to my front door in a day, you have to go to a “Cox Store” to return you cable box during their business hours.

When we dropped our box off there were 25 people in line. 2 people were picking up a new box or adding services, 23 people waited in line in front of me to hand their box back.

So what is the tipping point for cutting the cord? Without a doubt it’s live sports. ESPN is the 900 pound gorilla keeping cable TV in business. Even though ESPN offers an amazing array of streaming services to cable customers they have, to date, stayed out of offering their services directly to consumers without having a cable package. At the end of the day I was paying $91 per month to access ESPN… and most of that viewing? On the WatchESPN app. (I’d have games on in the background while I was working at my desk.)

Here’s the tipping point. The point of no return for cable companies: Sling TV

Sling TV will cost $20 monthly for about a dozen live TV channels, including ABC Family, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN 2, the Food Network, HGTV, TBS, TNT, The Travel Channel and Adult Swim.

Source

Here’s my prediction: If Dish can get Sling TV to market, and that’s still a big IF… the cable TV business will quickly either pivot to offer ala carte services or they’ll begin a long, slow decline, meeting the same fate as telephone companies.

Have you cut cable? What tips do you have for those thinking about it?

Photo credit: God’s gonna cut you down by Raul Lieberwirth via Flick (Creative Commons)

Tech Tuesday

Have a tech question for Adam? Each Tuesday I write a tech post. Submit your questions using the form on my site’s right sidebar. It can be about anything tech related, from social media to networking to life at home with wireless devices.

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MLK: Change the System http://adammclane.com/2015/01/19/mlk-change-the-system/ http://adammclane.com/2015/01/19/mlk-change-the-system/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:10:37 +0000 http://adammclane.com/?p=16038 Tense Moment In this photograph, Coretta is upset with her husband, who had been attacked the night before by a disturbed white racist but had not defended himself. Though the police urged King to press charges, he refused. “The system we live under creates people such as this youth,” he said. “I’m not interested in […]

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Tense Moment
In this photograph, Coretta is upset with her husband, who had been attacked the night before by a disturbed white racist but had not defended himself. Though the police urged King to press charges, he refused. “The system we live under creates people such as this youth,” he said. “I’m not interested in pressing charges. I’m interested in changing the kind of system that produces such men.”

View the rest of this photo essay, Rare Photos of Martin Luther King Jr. at Home

Questions

What are forms of race-based violence occurring in your community today? What are steps you can take to change the system which “creates people such as this youth”?

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A Path Appears Coming January 26th to PBS http://adammclane.com/2015/01/16/path-appears-coming-january-26th-pbs/ http://adammclane.com/2015/01/16/path-appears-coming-january-26th-pbs/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:29:01 +0000 http://adammclane.com/?p=16034 There’s a lot of money given to charities around the world. I’m not an economist, I’m a youth worker. So I don’t know how much money is given but I’m pretty sure it’s in the bazillions. Until 2010, I was relatively ignorant of the long-term impact of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world. Sure, I’d heard […]

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There’s a lot of money given to charities around the world. I’m not an economist, I’m a youth worker. So I don’t know how much money is given but I’m pretty sure it’s in the bazillions.

Until 2010, I was relatively ignorant of the long-term impact of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world. Sure, I’d heard rumbles here or there from a visiting missionary at my church or a talking head on TV, but I largely assumed that all money and efforts coming from the Western world were somehow good for the Developing world.

That changed five years ago when an earthquake rocked Haiti.

Read the rest of this post, Walking a Path Together, that I wrote for the 30 Hour Famine blog.

The only nonfiction book I pre-ordered and read not related to youth ministry last year? A Path Appears by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It’s an important read for anyone who is involved, in some way, with social justice. And it’s an important read for anyone who asks anyone for money. (To be clear: I think this is a must read for anyone working in a church.)

I’m super excited for the new film series, A Path Appears, that’s coming to PBS later this month. I hope you’ll watch it.

That’s my Friday is For Friends this week. I’m not personally friends with Nicholas and Sheryl, but I wish I was!

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My First Posts on Social Media http://adammclane.com/2015/01/15/my-first-posts-social-media/ http://adammclane.com/2015/01/15/my-first-posts-social-media/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 16:54:24 +0000 http://adammclane.com/?p=16021 A quick trip down memory lane to my first posts on various social media platforms. Facebook It took me a while to figure out what to do with Facebook. I was able to join because I was a student at Huntington. And mostly I was just keeping an eye on my high school students. My […]

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A quick trip down memory lane to my first posts on various social media platforms.

Facebook

It took me a while to figure out what to do with Facebook. I was able to join because I was a student at Huntington. And mostly I was just keeping an eye on my high school students.

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My first profile pic… totally a selfie. (That’s Paul!)

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Twitter

I remember signing up for Twitter with Billy sent me the link on AOL Instant Messenger. No lie. I kind of missing AIM. 

Myspace

I didn’t care too much for Myspace, but I spent a lot of time lurking on Myspace and Xanga at that time.

Today I logged into Myspace for the first time since Tom was cool… and I found this beauty from back in the day. Make sure to follow Tom on Instagram, looks like he is doing just fine as a has been social media mogul.

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And yes, Neil Diamond was in my Top 8.

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Pinterest

I affectionately refer to Pinterest as “Porn for Women.” Yeah, but seriously… it is.

First thing I ever Pinned… pure gold.

Gifdancing

Instagram

I was pretty slow to adopt Instagram. Kristen used it for a long time before I finally signed up.

Instagram Photo

When did you join Facebook? 

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