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Thursday, May 01, 2008

free audio New Testaments in different languages

Faith Comes By Hearing is offering visitors to its website free downloads of audio New Testaments in many different languages. They welcome donations to help their ministry continue.


At Thu May 01, 11:22:00 AM, Blogger Iyov said...

Installing this toolbar will install additional programs on your computer, including the file sharing program Bit Torrent (you can find it installed on your computer, typically on Windows machines at C:\Program Files\DNA). That may or may not be acceptable to you, but I think it is deceptive of FCBH not to disclose this.

At Thu May 01, 03:03:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Iyov, the problem you came across is that Wayne posted a direct link to the Windows download page, and so skipped the main page explaining this product. This page explains that what is to be downloaded is "The Audio Bible Download Manager", which is clearly a program, and it does mention that this has to be installed. It also lists system requirements and points out that there is also a Mac version. So I don't think there is really any deception here.

Also your browser should warn you before allowing you to run any downloaded program. This is an elementary precaution against rogue websites and virus distributors. If your browser doesn't, you should replace it with one offering proper security.

But I agree with your caution about installing a program like this, especially if you are not entirely sure about its source.

At Thu May 01, 03:56:00 PM, Blogger Iyov said...

Peter, your points are excellent, but I expressed myself poorly. Some people may object to installing Bit Torrent on their machines, which runs in the background and allows other people to download files from the computer. Moreover, there are security risks in a number of versions of Bit Torrent software (although, to the best of my knowledge, not in the current one) that would allow files on a Bit Torrent user's machine to be accessed from other machines.

However, in any case, once the program is installed, your machine will become a "server" for other people to take copies of files from you. It will use up a fraction of your ISP bandwidth (and in many places, there is a limited total number of bits that can be downloaded or uploaded in a certain time period.) And uninstallation is not obvious: it requires (a) cleaning out the registry; (b) removing a number of DLLs; (c) removing the ABDM program; and (d) removing the DNA program.

So, I stand by my original claim: this should have been disclosed by FCBH -- but I am not aware that it was.

At Fri May 02, 01:43:00 AM, Blogger Iyov said...

Also, I am frustrated that they don't have Esperanto. Or Scots. Or Klingon. The gall!

At Fri May 02, 09:15:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

It's important to explain that the BitTorrent element of FCBH's software is actually BitTorrent "DNA". This element is exclusive to the Bible software and ONLY allows the audio Bible you downloaded to be shared not any other files and it is not an open source system. It will only talk to other FCBH users.

The mission is to provide people around the world with 288 different language versions of the Bible FREE.

Each Bible is about 570MB so, you can imagine the bandwidth costs if you served 1M users a month that many audio Bibles. So, the only practical and plausible way to spread the Gospel in that magnitude is to use some form of P2P. Thus BitTorrent DNA was integrated into the system. But, I assure you, the software does not share anything but the Bible and only with other FCBH software users. Lastly, there is a 2 week limit on any p2p connections from your system. That prevents overloading a carriers bandwidth.

Hopefully, Christians will view this as an evangelism opportunity. Imagine using your computer to reach those that otherwise would never hear the Gospel!

At Fri May 02, 09:17:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

PS. The BitTorrent DNA feature is disclosed in the EULA.

At Fri May 02, 11:20:00 AM, Blogger Tim said...

I think what Hosanna are doing here is great. It also seems that using a distributed torrent approach is a good way to achieve distribution. BUT I agree with Iyov, people should be clearly told what they are installing. They aren't. No one reads EULAs, so to hide the mention that you are installing this sort of software there is deceptive. Put a statement up front BEFORE the software starts downloading that says something like what you wrote here and act openly and honestly, that way people will respect what you are doing and not be suspicious. Nowhere, except the EULA does it tell me my connection will be used to distribute the Bible to others - frankly I see that as lying.

At Fri May 02, 02:44:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Iyov, thanks for explaining your concerns more clearly. Tim, I agree with you; Hosanna should have explained more clearly what they are doing and why it is indeed a good thing.

Any well protected computer should in any case be hidden behind a firewall, either software as built into Windows XP or hardware as in a DSL router, which should block any incoming connection attempts which have not been explicitly permitted. I assume this would stop this kind of file sharing.

At Fri May 02, 03:01:00 PM, Blogger Iyov said...

It is a technical matter, but the way BitTorrent works means that even with a "NAT" (network address translation) router, DNA will continue to serve up your files whenever you use it.

In fact, BTDNA goes to great lengths to work even in the presence of firewalls and NAT. That doesn't mean you can't turn it off, but it requires a fair amount of expertise.

Also, try an experiment. Use "remove program" control panel to remove the "Audio Bible Download Manager." Notice something? Yes -- DNA is still installed. You can separately uninstall that, but even then, it may leave DLLs on your system. It takes a fair amount of expertise to completely clean your system (unless, of course, you want to reinstall.)

As I said, it may or may not be worth it to the user to install the Bit Torrent file sharing software. But, along with Peter and Tim, I think that people need to be informed -- and I also think there should be full instructions on how to "uninstall" the software.

Let me know if you think this is unreasonable.

At Sat May 03, 05:26:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Iyov, I agree with you. It is wrong to load this kind of software on to a system without clearly declaring what is happening. As I didn't actually install the software, but aborted the download, I have nothing to uninstall.


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