Culture

Apple Has 2/3 Share of Mobile Phone Industry Profits

I still prefer using Blackberry:

Apple’s share of the mobile phone industry’s profits has swelled to around two thirds, as the company’s iPhone sales have remained profitable while achieving the top spot in sales.

Even before displacing Nokia as the world’s top smartphone maker in the most recent quarter, Apple has long consumed a disproportionate slice of the industry’s profits.

Apple first grabbed the largest slice of phone profits in mid 2008, just a year after the iPhone went on sale. That slice climbed to 50 percent of the industry’s profits by last year.

This quarter however, an overall decline in profits among top mobile makers kicked Apple’s share of total profits up past 66 percent, with Samsung pulling in the next largest slice of profits with just 15 percent, RIM collecting an 11 percent share, and HTC bringing in 7.4 percent.

Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and LG all managed to lose money selling phones in the quarter…

More here.

(Though a iPad is a really enticing prospect.)

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Bible Archaeology

Ancient Mosaic of Apollo Uncovered in Rome

A rather interesting find:

Rome — Excavations in the bowels of an ancient Roman hill have turned up a well-preserved, late 1st century wall mosaic with a figure of Apollo, nude except for a colorful mantle over a shoulder.

Archaeologists and city officials unveiled the recent find to reporters Friday on the Oppian Hill.

The mosaic-covered wall is 16 meters (53 feet) wide and at least 2 meters (6.6 feet) high. Officials think the wall continues down some 8 meters (26.5 feet) more.

Archaeologists say the wall appears to be in a tunnel built to help support Trajan’s Baths, named for the emperor who ruled from 98 till 117. The mosaic, which also depicts a Muse, apparently embellished a room where wealthy Romans gathered to hear music and discuss art.

In Roman and Greek mythology Apollo, who was the son of Zeus and Leto, was the god of beauty, music, and poetry.

Discovery News has some really great (and close up) photos here.

Church

Drought in Africa

Too terrible

One of the worst droughts in a century, compounded by high food prices and unremitting political strife, is spawning an immense humanitarian crisis on the Horn of Africa. Thousands of Somalis are fleeing their homeland each week; most of those who survive the brutal journey end up in refugee camps in neighboring Kenya. Aid agencies are calling it the worst drought in 60 years. Although centered on Somalia, which lacks a functioning government and suffers from constant battles with Islamic rebels, the crisis has also affected people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. Reports suggest parts of Somalia may already be on the verge of famine, a repeat of the emergency situation two decades ago. Resources are woefully inadequate. “Desperate hunger is looming across the Horn of Africa and threatening the lives of millions who are struggling to survive in the face of rising food prices and conflict,” World Food Programme executive director Josette Sheeran said in a release.

You can see the rest of the pictures which are very hard to bear here.  

Please pray. And help if and where you can.

Church

Take Scripture on Holiday, Says Pope

I always do!

Pope Benedict XVI has advised holidaymakers to pack a copy of Sacred Scripture in an address to pilgrims at Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said the Pope had made “brief but important [holiday] suggestions” to pilgrims over the past few weeks.

His suggestion to “include a copy of the Sacred Scriptures in our suitcase” follows on from his call last year for Catholics to become more familiar with the Bible.

Speaking to Vatican Television, Fr Lombardi said: “First of all, [the Pope] invited those of us who can, to use our vacation time in a way that helps renew our relationships with others and with God. Interrupting the hectic and frantic pace of daily life, we can take time to dedicate ourselves to others and to God.

“The Pope even suggested we include a copy of the Sacred Scriptures in our suitcase. He also invited us to contemplate the greatness, and admire the beauty, of creation around us, recognising in it the wonderful presence of the Creator…

Read on here.

Church

Justice Before Forgiveness

priest murdered

Pretoria – Justice has to be done before forgiveness can be considered for the killer of a Catholic priest in Diepsloot, a missionary told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Father Sean O’Leary said he was sure their congregation and God would eventually forgive self-confessed killer Nelson Kabelo Malope, 20, but the church wanted to see justice done first.

Malope told the court he murdered Father Louis Blondel, 70, in 2009 and robbed him and fellow priest Guido Bourgeois because he wanted money for drugs and alcohol.

He said he and a group of four friends had decided to rob Father Blondel because they had an order for a computer.

Malope, who comes from Groblersdal, had only been in Diepsloot for four days when he murdered the respected priest.

O’Leary said if the court was lenient in sentencing Malope, it would send out the message that it was okay to kill a priest because they were easy targets.

“You can’t go around in the street at 02:00 in the morning with a gun and shoot a priest. It’s not acceptable,” he said

“The church is looking for justice. Not revenge. Just justice.”…

Read on here.

Malope has been convicted and found guilty of the killing. The case is postponed to 05 September.

Culture

Catholic Bishops Urge House Against Steep Budget Cuts

In America.

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are urging the GOP-led House to reject a cuts-only approach to the budget as Washington tries to avert an unprecedented government default on its multi-trillion-dollar debts.

“A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons,” wrote Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif., and Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., in a Tuesday (July 26) letter to House members.

The bishops said balancing the budget “requires shared sacrifice by all,” and called for raising revenues, eliminating unneeded military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly.

Blaire heads the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Hubbard the Committee on International Justice and Peace.

The bishops’ call for balancing spending cuts with new revenues tends to echo the approach of President Obama and other Democrats.

That stance has been rejected by the House, including Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Budget Committee Chair Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., both of whom are Catholic.

In their two-page letter, the bishops also write that the bill being considered by the House requires “massive cuts” in international assistance to the poor that they find unacceptable.

The bishops say they recognize “the difficult challenges” of getting the nation’s financial house in order, but they echo the arguments of many other religious groups by declaring that the budget is a moral document.

“The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, without work or in poverty should come first,” the bishops said.

Matters financial are getting out of control in the US it would seem…

Reuters tries to make sense of the debt crisis with a snapshot of what is actually going on here.