Displaying items by tag: technology
Sean Dunn has brought one million young people to Christ through Groundwire by meeting young people through technology and opening their eyes to the Gospel message. Some youths look at their phones 100+ times a day. Encountering them where they gather is incredibly effective: using short video pieces that grab their interest, then using sites like JesusCares.com to point them toward Christ. Only a small percentage of this generation will regularly attend church, but the majority will not put down their phones. Sean said, ‘God gave us a strategy to use messaging that captures their attention and prompts them to ask the questions that will lead them in the right direction.’
Polish video game company PlayWay SA has announced it will launch the first instalment of the world’s first game that allows players to simulate the life of Jesus, including performing miracles and battling Satan. The prologue, I Am Jesus Christ, is a stand-alone game which serves as an introduction; it will be available from 1 December. The full version, which will be published in the second quarter of next year, will allow players to walk in the footsteps of Jesus ‘from birth to resurrection’, recreating key events from his life, such as the Last Supper. Players will be able to perform miracles and carry out quests, including a fight with Satan in the desert. Along the way, players discover Jesus’s story from his perspective and will be able to cure the sick, help the needy and interact with over sixty characters, including Christ’s disciples.
The White House has stated that there is evolving intelligence of Russia exploring options for cyberattacks. The US administration has prioritised strengthening, modernising and improving the security of widely-used technology. The President launched action plans to shore up the cybersecurity of the electricity, pipeline, and water sectors and has urged departments and agencies to mandate new cybersecurity and network defence measures, stating, ‘We will do everything in our power to defend the nation and respond to cyberattacks. But much of our infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and they must act to protect the critical services on which all Americans rely.’ Pray for American commerce and industry to successfully authorise authentication on all systems to make it harder for attackers to enter. Pray for cybersecurity professionals as they patch, protect and employ multi-factor passwords and authentication.
The Government is failing to tackle an alarming growth in fraud nationwide. An updated draft of the Online Safety Bill will address laws covering harmful user-generated posts, adverts, and promotions. Images of celebrities are regularly used to advertise fraudulent scams, and a consultation is being launched over rules for online advertising to end the increase of consumer harm; there could be a new online advertising regulator to block and ban advertisers that repeatedly break the rules. The Government will leave it to Ofcom to decide whether the systems and processes are proportionate. Search engines may have to pay compensation to people duped by scams advertised through their platforms.
The pandemic, and lockdown, made Adam Ellison want to help other people. Before coronavirus, he was content with his job in marketing and his own social bubble. But that changed when millions faced hardship due to disruption caused by the pandemic. ‘I've become more conscious of everybody else,’ he says. In October, he became a volunteer on Olio, an app that allows people to share edible food waste with others. Every Saturday he goes to Tesco at 7 am to collect unsold produce. He adds the items to the app and people living nearby request them for pickup. The food goes within a day. Olio will soon branch out with ‘Borrow’ - lending items that are only used occasionally. The big question now is whether the broader surge of app-mediated compassion will continue. Mr Ellison said, ‘If everybody did something small but meaningful, we'd live in a much better society. I think Covid's been a catalyst for that.’
MP Maria Miller wants a parliamentary debate on banning digitally generated nude images. The nudifying service allows users to undress women in photos, using Artificial intelligence. They had over five million visits in June. ‘Parliament needs an opportunity to debate whether nude and sexually explicit images generated digitally without consent should be outlawed. I believe if this happened the law would change. It should be an offence to distribute sexual images online without consent. It severely impacts on people's lives. Software providers developing this technology are complicit in a very serious crime and should be required to design their products to stop this happening.’ At present making, taking, or distributing without consent intimate images online or through digital technology falls outside the law. Nudifier tools are not new. DeepNude was launched in 2019, but the creators quickly withdrew the service and offered refunds following a backlash.
A church that was formed from a WhatsApp group during lockdown now meets every fortnight. Lay pioneer minister Venessa Pinto distributed postcards during lockdown to her neighbours, inviting them to join the group as a way of staying in touch during the restrictions. ‘Within a couple of days we received many messages, mostly from young adults.’ Venessa said. ‘We started engaging on questions of spirituality and faith and out of that we began meeting on Zoom for social activities and to talk about faith. Gradually that transformed into something more formal and into an intercultural worshipping community that we call Roots.’
James Merritt, pastor of Crosspoint Church in Duluth, met two men, Bartolo and Osmani. Neither of them spoke English - and he didn’t speak Spanish. But, thanks to the Google Translate app, what was supposed to be nothing more than an ad hoc purchase ended up as ‘one of the greatest witnessing experiences I’ve ever had in my life,’ the pastor said. Merritt said he and his wife always keep tracts in our home in both English and Spanish, but he really wanted to engage with the two men in a more meaningful way. That’s when he decided to try the translation app. As they spoke, Osmani learned Merritt was a pastor and decided to call his wife, who is already a Christian, to tell her. His wife then, using the app, asked Merritt to share the Gospel with her husband and Bartolo. That’s exactly what Merritt did, and the two men became Christians.
TikTok is facing legal challenges from the former children's commissioner for England over how it uses children's data. The claim is filed on behalf of millions of UK and EU children who have used the video-sharing app. TikTok takes children's phone numbers, videos, exact location and biometric data, without sufficient warning, transparency or the necessary parental consent required by law. The children could each be owed thousands of pounds. TikTok said the case was without merit and would fight it. In 2019, TikTok was fined $5.7m by the Federal Trade Commission for mishandling children's data. Also, South Korea fined them because of how they collected children's data, and they were investigated by the UK's information commissioner's office because Musical.ly, which is incorporated into TikTok, was hosting content published by users aged under 13. 13.44% of British 8- to 12-year-olds use TikTok, despite its policies forbidding under-13s on the platform.
Now is an exciting time for Bible translation because God has provided the tools to accelerate the translation process and share His Word to the ends of the earth. Wycliffe Associates’ development of robust Bible translation technology, paired with streamlined methodology for Bible translation workshops, means that more people than ever before are able to have God’s Word at their fingertips. Millions live in communities where their language is unwritten. Also, many in the developing world cannot read. They often experience extreme isolation and marginalisation because of illiteracy and their oral language traditions. Bible translation recording kits make it possible for national Bible translators to produce audio recordings of the Scriptures, so their people can hear and come to know the truth of God’s transforming Word.