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End Times

With Their New Nest Hub Max, Google Is Able To Conduct 24-Hour Per Day Audio And Video Surveillance Of Everything You Say And Do In Your Own Home

1984: The $230 Google Nest Hub Max offers a glimpse of how this controversial tech will be used in our homes to keep us in a state of constant surveillance.

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With the new Nest Hub Max, Google is adding an eye to its talking artificial intelligence. When I flash my palm at the device, a camera spots me and immediately pauses my music. Talk to the hand, robot!
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With the new Nest Hub Max, Google is adding an eye to its talking artificial intelligence. When I flash my palm at the device, a camera spots me and immediately pauses my music. Talk to the hand, robot!

The oldest Christian end times movie I can ever recall watching after I become saved back in 1991 was ‘A Thief In The Night‘, first released in 1972, the original ‘Left Behind’ movie. From there I watched a whole slew of these movies up to and including the great ‘Apocalypse‘ series from the LaLonde brothers featuring the 1999 release of  ‘Revelation‘. In that movie, there is a great scene where they show the Mark of the Beast being administered through VR, virtual reality goggles. Say hello to Google’s new Nest Hub Max.

“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Revelation 13:14,15 (KJV)

So here we are in 2019 and guess what? The Mark of the Beast system, while the world waits for the arrival of the Beast, is crazy popular and in right now the homes of untold hundreds of millions of people and growing by the day. Turns out, it wasn’t such a hard sell for them to do after all. In fact, the people demand it, and when the latest and greatest version is rolled out, it is eagerly snapped up. Fun fact, Christians buy just as much of this stuff as non-Christians do. So tell me again, all your post toasties, how brave you would be in the Tribulation, and how much you would stand up to Antichrist while refusing his Mark? 🤔 Yeah, good one.

Google is always listening. Now it’s watching, too, with the Nest Hub Max

FROM GULF TECH NEWS: When I walk by a Hub Max, the Google Assistant greets me on its screen, “Good afternoon, Geoffrey.” This wizardry is made possible by facial recognition. The $230 Nest Hub Max offers a glimpse of how this controversial tech might be used in our homes – if people aren’t too turned off by the privacy implications.

Living with Google’s latest creation for a few days embodied the cognitive dissonance of being a gadget guy in 2019. You can appreciate the fun and wonder of new technology that you also know brings new concerns. I kept wondering: Do any of these camera functions make it worth bringing face surveillance inside my home? Despite some applaudable privacy protections from Google, my family never got to a yes.

The Hub Max is a larger 10-inch version of Google’s popular Nest Hub countertop computer, which people (including me) use as a digital picture frame, speaker, kitchen TV and smart home controller. It’s a solid upgrade for those functions, with a sharp screen and impressive sound for such a small box.

But it’s the addition of a wide-angle camera that everyone will be talking about. When the smaller Hub debuted in 2018, Google crowed about how it didn’t include one – unlike Facebook’s poorly received Portal and Amazon’s Echo Show, which raised eyebrows with a feature that lets you “drop in” via camera any time on select friends. (Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

The Nest Hub Max takes those camera controversies and says, “hold my beer.” Rival Amazon Alexa can recognize different people’s voices, but not faces. What made Google think now was a good time to go there? It’s a sign both that Google thinks it has better privacy protections – and that consumers are, incorrectly in my estimation, more trusting of Google than of other tech giants.

What do you get out of letting Google watch you through a Hub Max?

First, the camera can be used for basic video calls. Say, “OK, Google, video call James,” and it connects via Google’s Duo chat app on a phone, laptop or another Hub Max. Like the Facebook Portal, the Hub Max’s wide-angle camera pans around to track your movements and tries to keep everyone’s faces in the frame.

But that’s just the beginning of Google’s camera story. If you opt in to the Hub Max’s “face match” features, Google asks each family member to briefly scan his or her mug. Then the Hub Max’s camera stays on, ambiently looking for those faces. When the Assistant finds one, it tailors the content on its screen. In the morning, it spotted me and proactively displayed a rundown of my day and commute – I never issued a command. You can also use it to leave reminders that pop up when the intended recipient passes by. Understanding context is one of the biggest challenges for computers, and Google’s face technology opens interesting possibilities for personalization in shared spaces.

Next, the camera powers gesture commands. While it’s looking for faces, the Hub Max is also keeping an eye out for your hands, which can serve as nonverbal, non-touchscreen commands – in other words, sign language. For now, these are limited to “play” and “pause” music by flashing a palm, but Google says it’s exploring more.

Finally, the Hub Max can serve as a security camera, letting you peek in on a stream of what’s going on at home. And like other Google Nest cameras, you can opt in to having the Hub Max send alerts when it identifies familiar faces. With this, you could always know exactly what time the kids got home . . . until they figure this out and unplug the darn thing.

Is all of that cool, or just creepy? The Hub Max reminded me, at times, of a baby HAL 9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The extra step of the Assistant knowing you’re there even when you don’t interact with it shifts the power balance in a subtle but important way.

Why should we trust Google with any of this? First, all of the camera-sensing features are optional – you can still use the Hub Max with only your voice to play music and watch TV without turning the camera on. And Google Assistant has better default settings for voice privacy than Amazon’s Alexa. Google also built some visual cues and controls for the camera. There’s a physical button you can press to cut the camera. A green light turns on whenever the security camera is live broadcasting, though not while the other camera-sensing features are running.

For the face-matching functions, which require the camera to be always looking, Google borrowed a page from the Apple playbook. All the processing to match your face happens on the device itself. Those images are deleted immediately, and Google says it does not keep a record of when it identifies faces. (This is similar to how Face ID works on an iPhone – your face never leaves the iPhone.) Google has also pledged to “keep your video footage, audio recordings, and home environment sensor readings separate from advertising.”

As a privacy guy, I’m glad Google is taking those steps. Keeping face data local makes it less likely to be stolen or misused by police, marketers or data spies – if you trust Google to maintain its data standards and security precautions.

But with Google, it’s always important to ask what the company is getting out of the deal. Your face matches may stay on the Hub Max, but any interaction with the Assistant (like tapping on the screen or issuing a voice command) gets added to your Google profile which can, by default, be used to target you with ads. The Hub Max also gets you to use more Google services, like YouTube, search and Duo, all of which also add to its valuable profile of you.

The concerns only multiply from here. Today the face features are only accessible by Google, but what happens when it begins letting other apps and services access your face? Or when the tech also detects emotion in a face?

Ultimately, the Hub Max suffers from the same affliction as many new Google products: It’s frighteningly advanced technology that hasn’t identified the problem in our lives that needs solving. None of the camera functions the Hub Max offers today make it worth bringing surveillance inside my house. Google and all the other companies pushing face tech are going to have to keep working on uses that cross the chasm from creepy to can’t-live-without-it. READ MORE

Google Nest Hub Max presentation at the Google IO

Google Nest Hub Max | Unboxing & Full Features Tour

Unboxing the Google Nest Hub Max, including setup and a full tour/review of the best features. We explore the new wide-angle camera, sound quality, Google Assistant features and every inch of this 10-inch smart home display.

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

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But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. If every one of the 13,131 people on our daily mailing list gave $4.50, we would reach our goal immediately. If every one of our 151,781 followers on Facebook gave $1.00 each, we would reach 300% of our goal. The same goes for our 14,500 followers on Twitter. But sadly, many will not give, so we need the ones who can and who will give to be generous. As generous as possible.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

 


 

 

End Times

The LGBTQIA+ Christian Church Now Has Their Own Queer Hymnal Called ‘Songs For The Holy Other’ That Makes God A Sinner And A Liar

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A queer affirming hymnal called ‘Songs For The Holy Other’ is helping LGBTQIA+ Christians keep the faith, but what faith exactly is that?

I want you to imagine for a moment a Christian church that, say, served alcohol to their members instead of coffee, what be wrong with that? It would be in violation of scriptures like Proverbs 20:1 (KJB) that tells you drinking alcohol will deceive you and should be avoided at all costs. Imagine a Christian church that promoted violence, it would be in violation of scripture like Romans 12:18 (KJB) that tells us to live peaceably with all men, and allow God to have vengeance, not you. Now imagine a Christian church that took the music to beloved hymns and wrote new lyrics to promote the idea that God affirms the queer lifestyle in spite of the fact of scripture like Romans 1:21-32 (KJB) that absolutely condemns it. You would make God a sinner and a liar like you. The new hymnal ‘Songs For The Holy Other’ does exactly that.

“Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” Romans 7:13 (KJB)

When I read the Bible, I clearly see that God has provided salvation through His Son Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection for any and all people who desire to be saved. But part of what salvation is is acknowledging that you are a sinner who is against God by your very existence, and that you need to become born again as Jesus commands. There is no such thing as an LGBTQIA+ Christian Church because the Bible clearly declares that lifestyle to be 100% in opposition to God. Just read Genesis 19:1-17 (KJB) or Jude 1:7 (KJB) to see how God feels about the lifestyle of Sodom and Gomorrah. There is no ‘holy other’, God alone is holy, and if you want God you must be born again and start battling your sin, not embracing it.

‘Songs for the Holy Other’ was compiled by a committee of Hymn Society members representing seven denominations and a wide range of sexualities and gender identities.

FROM CNN: Jeannette Lindholm knows the feeling. The professor and hymn writer based in Salem, Massachusetts was raised in an evangelical Christian church, surrounded by music. “Hymns have a powerful influence on theology and how people understand and experience the divine,” she says. Except, her early years of faith were marred by a strong dissonance. To her hometown congregation, and even to her family, Lindholm’s sexuality was a sin in need of healing, an aberration to be tolerated at best. But Lindholm didn’t want to be tolerated. She wanted to be loved.

“I profoundly believe in the healing power of love and grace,” she said. “I didn’t want to abandon my faith.”

Instead, she dedicated her life to studying music, feminism and theology. She absorbed other religious perspectives. She fell in love with her now-wife, Chris, and found a faith community that believed what she had all along: That divine love has no qualifications, and to be different is a blessing. Two of Lindholm’s works are featured in “Songs for the Holy Other,” a collection of LGBTQ-affirming hymns compiled by the Hymn Society, a 100-year-old institution for religious music. First published in 2019, the collection has proven to be a unique resource for churches who fully celebrate queer believers.

“The title, Songs for the Holy Other, is a self-conscious claiming of otherness as holy and beloved of God,” the project’s mission statement reads.

LGBTQ Christians, faith leaders and allies know how important this perception is — to see otherness celebrated in this powerful form of song, and to be considered necessary in a community instead of just tolerated.

“Songs for the Holy Other” was compiled by a committee of Hymn Society members representing seven denominations and a wide range of sexualities and gender identities. Through submission calls and good old word-of-mouth, the committee chose 45 texts from more than 160 songs and hymns, paying specific attention to works that weren’t already widely available.

The result is an alchemy of tradition. Historically, hymns have been written to fit with different, familiar tunes to make them easier and more enjoyable for people to sing. That practice continues here, with some recently written works like “A Hymn for Self-Acceptance,” “God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces” and “Impartial, Compassionate God” being paired with melodies familiar to many churchgoers. READ MORE

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. If every one of the 15,860+ people on our daily mailing list gave $4.50, we would reach our goal immediately. If every one of our 150,000+ followers on Facebook gave $1.00 each, we would reach 300% of our goal. The same goes for our 15,900 followers on Twitter. But sadly, many will not give, so we need the ones who can and who will give to be generous. As generous as possible.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

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Cryptocurrency

SOULBOUND? The Longer That It Matures And Grows, The More That Cryptocurrency Seems To Have In Common With The Coming Mark Of The Beast

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Soulbound tokens, cryptocurrency and a social credit system sure sounds to me like the whole world is gearing up to receive the Mark of the Beast

Last time I checked, a ‘crypt’ was where they put the dead bodies, so a ‘cryptocurrency’ would be money that is connected with dead things. Cryptocurrency has become huge over the pandemic, amazing coincidence I know, and now the founder of one of the world’s largest tech platforms for crypto is now rolling out something called a ‘soulbound token’ that will attached with the death money. Are you still waiting for the end times to start? Better hurry, you are 801 days behind the curve at the moment.

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:17 (KJB)

I did not use Habakkuk 1:5 for my theme verse in this article, but I sure could have when you consider how this is all playing out right in front of your face, and amazingly, almost no one seems to notice. Prolly because they are just a tad distracted with the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial, or the recent school shooting, or the latest artificial race riot, or mix and match a list yourself from a seemingly endless lineup of distractions up to and including COVID, smallpox and monkeypox. In the meantime, you can jump in the Metaverse and put your death money into your Soul so you can store your soulbound tokens as you await Antichrist who will give you the Mark of the Beast so you can keep buying and selling.

Your whole identity could soon live in ‘Soulbound tokens’ on web3, Ethereum’s co-founder says

FROM FORTUNE: Early this month, Vitalik Buterin co-authored a paper outlining his vision for a “decentralized society” (DeSoc) where individuals accrue a permanent record of merits and attributes that are stored in private blockchain wallets as non-tradable crypto assets.

The writers dub those achievement badges ‘soulbound tokens’ also known as SBTs

“Imagine a world where most participants have Souls [digital wallets] that store SBTs corresponding to a series of affiliations, memberships, and credentials,” the authors write, suggesting that their idea for SBTs could resemble something of a Web3-based CV.

“For example, a person might have a Soul that stores SBTs representing educational credentials, employment history, or hashes of their writings or works of art,” the paper says.

Unlike a non-fungible token (NFT), which is a collectible digital asset that can be traded or sold, SBTs are designed to be untradable—a little more like a Boy Scout badge than a baseball card. According to the paper, an individual would gain SBTs from other Souls within the decentralized society. A university, for example, might issue SBTs to its alumni to verify that they have graduated from that school.

To be clear, that also means SBTs aren’t really going to replace NFTs. The two digital assets, theoretically, serve different functions. While an NFT is designed to be tradable and act as a financial asset, an SBT, Buterin suggests, is supposed to serve as a proof of character, rather than a proof of wealth.

But as the authors attest, there are major dangers to the proposal.

For starters, the whole thing sounds similar to China’s idea of building a social credit system that would supposedly punish citizens for demonstrating bad ideological behavior. Since SBTs are issued to individuals without their consent, the system could be used to brand “scarlet letters” on people, making the technology an ideal tool for authoritarian states.

A society built on SBTs could even reinforce discrimination indirectly. A database of SBTs could provide a marker to “automate red-lining of disfavored social groups or even target them for cyber or physical attack, enforce restrictive migration policies, or make predatory loans,” the authors write. For that reason, Buterin and his coauthors consider individuals might need the option to “burn” or hide their SBTs from the public, choosing to reveal them only when necessary. READ MORE

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. If every one of the 15,860+ people on our daily mailing list gave $4.50, we would reach our goal immediately. If every one of our 150,000+ followers on Facebook gave $1.00 each, we would reach 300% of our goal. The same goes for our 15,900 followers on Twitter. But sadly, many will not give, so we need the ones who can and who will give to be generous. As generous as possible.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

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End Times

On Day 800 Of 15 Days To Flatten The Curve We Have The Worst School Shooting Since Sandy Hook, With Much More On Deck And Ready To Go

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18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school barricaded himself inside a classroom, “shooting anyone that was in his way,” an official said Wednesday, describing the latest in a gruesome, years-long series of mass killings at churches, schools and stores.

It is mind boggling to me, as the overtly obvious spirit of Antichrist continues to sweep across America, manifesting itself yesterday in a horrific school shooting in Texas where 19 students and two teachers were killed, that the debate is about gun control. Taking away guns will no more stop mass shootings than Prohibition stopped the consumption of alcohol, or that the “Just Say No!” campaign prevented drug use. What we have here is a spiritual problem, and in a nation that is spiritually dead, that’s a pretty big problem. We told you 800 days ago this wasn’t going to stop, believe us now?

“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalm 9:17 (KJB)

So here we are, on Day 800 of 15 Days To Flatten the Curve, watching the Abraham Accords moving Israel ever closer to the Two State Solution, headlines screaming ‘Monkeypox!’, gas prices the highest in American history, baby formula shortages, a crashing stock market with an economy being eaten alive by inflation, a president that cannot string even simple sentences together, does anyone even remember what a conspiracy theory is any more? Pray for the families in Uvalde, Texas, that their souls would be comforted by the Lord, and that many Christians would be able to minister to them there. But pray for yourselves, also, as the spirit of Antichrist continues to prepare the way for his soon arrival, that we who are saved will be able to get something done for Jesus Christ in the midst of this end times chaos.

Details emerge on Texas school shooter Salvador Ramos’ behavior before massacre

FROM THE NY POST: The gunman who slaughtered 19 kids and two teachers at a Texas elementary school reportedly exhibited increasingly bizarre behavior leading up to the rampage – including cutting up his face with knives just “for fun,” friends said.

Gunman Salvador Ramos’ friend Santos Valdez Jr., 18, said that the two had been close, playing video games and basketball regularly, until his friend’s behavior began to “deteriorate,” The Washington Post reported.

At one point, he recounted, Ramos showed up at a park with scratch marks across his face and said he had been attacked by a cat.

“Then he told me the truth, that he’d cut up his face with knives over and over and over,” Valdez told the newspaper “I was like, ‘You’re crazy, bro, why would you do that?’” he said. Ramos told him it was just “for fun,” Valdez said.

The friend said he last interacted with Ramos just two hours before the attack at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

The two messaged on Instagram, where Valdez reshared a meme that said, “WHY TF IS SCHOOL STILL OPEN,” according to the Washington Post, which reported that Ramos replied, “Facts” and “That’s good tho right?” READ MORE

Pretend President Biden Reads From A Teleprompter

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. If every one of the 15,860+ people on our daily mailing list gave $4.50, we would reach our goal immediately. If every one of our 150,000+ followers on Facebook gave $1.00 each, we would reach 300% of our goal. The same goes for our 15,900 followers on Twitter. But sadly, many will not give, so we need the ones who can and who will give to be generous. As generous as possible.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

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