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Chicago Catholic Church Warns Parents About Facebook

While some outlets may bash Chicago's St. John Cantius Roman Catholic church for warning its parishioners of Facebook's moral dangers, we won't. After all, the church's clergy didn't forbid Facebook; they just declared that it facilitates vanity and dishonesty (specifically in children), allowing them to concoct their own identities and social realities with less risk of real-world consequence....

Censorship Goes Both Ways: The Case for an Ex-Gay App

Perhaps you've heard of this Exodus International iPhone app fracas? The leading organization behind the ex-gay movement (the belief that religious counseling can help LGBT people "struggling" with their sexualities to reorient themselves to heterosexuality) recently had its official app approved by Apple, and gay rights groups are now in an uproar. Surprise? Despite the fact that Apple deemed...

Catholic Church Launches Facebook Page for Pope John Paul II

On May 1st, the Vatican will beatify the late Pope John Paul II -- an event that Catholics will soon be able to follow on Facebook. This week, the church will launch a new page devoted exclusively to the beatification. "This is a beginning, in a simple way, of allowing the pope to interact with the questions of people and allowing people a direct form of access to the pope," Monsignor Paul...

Avoid Tech With the Aid of an App

Despite being tech bloggers, we're all about unplugging for a while, and setting aside time to be tech-free. Reboot, a Jewish non-profit organization, also wants you to find time to unplug, specifically in honor of the sabbath. The group has created both a mobile app and Web app called 'Sabbath Manifesto,' which helps to remind you to disconnect, and allows you to tell others about your plans...

Nun Ousted From Spanish Convent for Facebooking

Ten years ago, the sisters of the Santo Domingo el Real convent in Toledo, Spain decided to get a computer. "It enabled us do things [sic] such as banking online and saved us having to make trips into the city," 54-year-old Sister Maria Jesús Galán recently told the Telegraph. Having taken to the computer perhaps more quickly than most, Sister Maria set about digitizing the archives...

Vatican Says 'Confession' iPhone App Can't Replace Real Confession

An iPhone app designed to walk Catholics through the sacrament of confession has drawn criticism from no less an authority than the Vatican. In a statement issued yesterday, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi dismissed any notion that Catholics might be able to use 'Confession: A Roman Catholic app' to completely replace real confession. "One cannot speak in any way of confessing via iPhone,"...

New, Church-Approved iPhone App Offers Confessions On the Go

Devout Catholics and Apple devotees can now conduct their sacraments on the go, thanks to a new iPhone app designed to make confessions a little more convenient. 'Confession: A Roman Catholic App' markets itself as "the perfect aid for every penitent." The app provides a step-by-step guide to the confession process, and offers a so-called "personalized examination of conscience for each user,"...

Brazilian Cult Bans USB for Being Satanic

Paz do Senhor Amado, a Brazilian evangelical Christian cult, has asked its members to abandon USB devices because the symbol for the port resembles a trident -- which, of course, Satan wields to torture souls in Hell. The cult's leader, Welder Saldanha, says that anyone using a USB is, in fact, a Satanist. Saldanha suggests using Bluetooth instead, but we're too lazy to pair everything. So ALL...

Pope Benedict XVI Says the Internet Is Turning Us Into Disoriented Trolls

Make up your mind, Pope Benedict XVI. First, you roll out your own YouTube channel and Pope2you online initiative, and call upon your priestly underlings to colonize the blogosphere. Then, you turn around and declare that the Internet's poisoning our feeble, sin-prone minds. And now, you've taken the wind out of our Web-surfing sails, once again. On Saturday, during a Vatican conference on...

RapLeaf Selling Your Identity to Advertisers, But You Can Opt Out

You may not know a lot about RapLeaf, but RapLeaf probably knows a lot about you. That's because RapLeaf is an online tracking company, and, like most other Internet profilers, it collects data on what individual consumers do online. According to a recent investigation from the Wall Street Journal, though, RapLeaf also collects and distributes the kind of highly personal information that other...

Want to Lose Facebook Friends? Be Annoying, Racist and Vulgar, Study Says

When it comes to unfriending people on Facebook, most of us don't think twice. Much like removing a Band-Aid or throwing out a banana peel, dumping dead weight from our friends lists nowadays doesn't seem like a psychologically complex decision. University of Colorado Ph.D. candidate Christopher Sibona, however, decided to take a closer look at the social dynamics governing the unfriending...

Israeli Leaders Plan Online Banking Blackout During Holy Days

Despite its media portrayal (deserved or not) as a constant war zone, few nations blend the ancient and the advanced as seamlessly as Israel. According to the Associated Press, though, certain members of the Israeli government hope to implement a divisive plan that could significantly strain relations between the country's religious and secular groups. Many adherents to Judaism practice...

Apple Considering $0.99 TV Show Rentals, Yahoo! Search Now Runs on Bing

Highlights from this morning's other big tech headlines.... Apple and Fox's News Corp. are reportedly engaged in "advanced talks" about implementing a $0.99 iTunes TV show rental program, with CBS and Disney purportedly interested, as well. [From: Engadget] After a year of development, Yahoo! and Microsoft have finally completed Yahoo!'s Bing-powered Web, video and image "mega search."...

Priest Drives 'God Squad' Car Around Town, Best Buy Threatens to Sue

Father Luke Strand thinks it is a great idea to drive around Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in a VW Beetle with stickers that look exactly like those on Best Buy's Geek Squad cars, except for one thing: his stickers read "God Squad." Best Buy didn't find this to be cute, but instead a violation of its trademark -- one that, by precedent, it couldn't treat any differently from any other violation....

Bernie Kerik Tweets Against Ground Zero Mosque from Prison

Joining the ranks of Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and New York gubernatorial candidates Rick Lazio and (the unlikely) Carl Paladino, former NYC Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik has also come out in opposition of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. That's great news for the anti-mosque organizers, but we must remind ourselves that Kerik is also a convicted felon currently serving time in Cumberland,...