A new way to pray--over IP

Anyone who has visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem has heard the steady din of prayers and chants at the sacred Jewish site. These days, it turns out, some of the supplications that fill the air are coming not just from those standing at the wall, but from worshippers thousands of miles away.

An Israeli start-up called POIP (Pray Over Internet Protocol) is making it possible for people to broadcast their prayers through speakers embedded in Webcams, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company sells phone cards that let customers record personal prayers in any language, which are then transmitted in their own voice to the site of their choice via Internet phone and Webcams.

"We provide your soul unlimited access to holiness," reads the company's site. "Try it now!"

The company, founded in 2006, currently has equipment at eight Israeli Christian and Jewish holy sites, including the Western Wall, the Sea of Galilee and the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. Visitors to POIP's site can also watch live video streams of the various sites.

"It's just $5 or $10, and you get eternal life," POIP Chairman Hanan Achsaf told the Journal. "With the lottery, you pay that amount, and what do you get? A piece of paper. This is much better value."

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Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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