Tag Archives: technology

Google Wave

I’ve watched a few tech demos recently, I had a peek at a number of different products being plugged at DemoFall 09 because some new functionality for Digsby was being shown there (which, by the way, is a pretty sweet new approach to using twitter). I also had a look at Googles hour and a half tech demo of Google Wave.

I dont often get really excited about new tech products, but I had to write something about wave because it just looks fantastic.Basically google have taken it upon themselves to improve e-mail style communication by creating something new called a wave. A wave can be used just like a regular e-mail with a series of contiguous responses just like were used to, but it can also do much more than that.

Here is a brief list of some of the most useful aspects which were demonstrated:

  • Immediate inclusion of new people in a conversation, which they can then follow from the beginning in sensible chronological order.
  • Playback of the flow of a conversation, so you can follow how the conversation evolved (this is especially useful for the person you included half way through the conversation).
  • Real time characterby character transmission, so waves can be used in the same way as an instant messaging program.
  • The ability toadd a response in the middle of a message, so you can reply to a specific point and it is immediately clear what you are replying to.
  • The ability to embed objects directly into a wave, no more attachments which must be opened.
  • Extendibility, in the form of an open API and various other ways to hook your own stuff into a wave, this was demonstrated rather nicely with a chess applet (remember the playback function? Yes, that does mean you could replay the entire chess game step by step).

And the best part? Google are creating the whole thing as a totally open source project. They are designing waves in such a way that anyone can produce their own client and the wave will be totally transferrable between different client systems. So much like an e-mail, you can have your wave account with anyone, and send it to anyone else with wave regardless of the provider.

If you have an hour and a half to spare, check out the tech demo (there are a number of other really cool features shown which I havent mentioned).

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Preaching happens in the context of Church

Technology is a wonderful thing, and is extremely useful for Christians. It gives us access to countless Bible study resources for free, different translations, concordances, Bible dictionaries, even some commentaries. It also gives us access to some really great preaching from the likes of John Piper, Tim Keller, and any number of others depending on your personal preference. There is a great danger here though, which we all need to guard ourselves against.

These preachers are not actually here.

Obviously I dont mean theyre dead, I just mean that arent here right now in the same place as you. They dont chat to you after their sermon, you cant ask them questions about the bits you didnt understand, and they dont see you during the week or next Sunday and ask you how youre doing. Listening to sermons outside of the context of Church can and should be a great blessing. Its a wonderful thing that we have such ready access to such great Bible teachers. But we must always remember that God designed Church to be Church, not a digital download straight to our iPods.

Sermons do not sit alone in the life of a Church, they are complemented by fellowship, by conversation, by applying what we hear to our lives during the week. We do that application together with the other people in our Church. When we get it right we rejoice together, when we get it wrong we mourn together, and pick each other up.

By all means listen to great Bible teaching wherever you can get it, but dont forget about your Church in the process.

For some more on this, here is a great post on the subject from the Pyromaniacs.

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The more I think about it, the more the TV (and the computer) scares me…


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