Kosher Highlights

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Kosher Highlights Are Up!



For those of you wondering, the Kosher Highlights roundup has been posted over at Israpundit.

Feel free to check it out, and let me know if you want a story/blog post included in the next round. Cheers!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Note: IsraGood And Kosher Highlights Belated

For those of you reading, Kosher Highlights (formally known as Kosher Thursdays) on Israpundit will be delayed until after the Christmas holiday.

You can check out the previous highlight over here.

Also posts on IsraGood will resume after Christmas.

Until then, here is a funny video (in Hebrew) that I came across while surfing YouTube. Enjoy!





Update (12/28): Corrected some grammar.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Israel And The US Partner For Clean Energy

(Image Credit: Amazon.com)

With many nations looking for ways to reduce the gas price hike that has afflicted much of our planet, it looks as if the United States is teaming up with Israel in order to explore new ways to produce clean, green energy.

(Globes Online) The US Senate has approved cooperation with Israel in clean energy - the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act - as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. [...]

Israeli sources in Washington predict $20 million in allocations a year over the next five years for joint US-Israeli energy projects. The US Department of Energy and Israel's Ministry of National Infrastructures will formulate an agreement and settle related issues.

The Energy Independence Act includes financing grants for the production of energy from biofuel, biomass, wind, ocean waves, and geothermal sources. Projects will include joint basic research between US and Israeli academic institutions and applied research projects between companies from both countries.


This new bill (which will probably be signed into law, if not already) may help the US and Israel to finally gain their energy independence upon foreign oil.

Israel already has the lead when it comes to developing clean technology, which includes everything from turning fungus and cow manure into energy to building better solar houses to even recycling nuclear waste into energy.

With the help of US funding, America and Israel may not only be able to help themselves become energy independent by relying upon cleaner technologies, but also half of our planet as well.

Sovereignty Is Sweet! Jerusalem To Add 10,000 More Apartments

It looks as if the Israeli government is finally realizing that Israel, not the international community should dictate where Israeli's build their homes.

While some may wonder what Bush may say about this when he visits the holy land, it is certain that Israeli's will be glad to know that they can finally build on lands they owned before the modern Jewish state was birthed.

(Israel National News) The new neighborhood, in an area near the Kalandia checkpoint and the Separation Wall which includes the area of the abandoned Atarot Airport, will contain more than 10,000 apartments, making it the largest Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem. The zone is included in regions which were annexed to Israel following the Six Day War, and is part of lands which were owned by Jews before the establishment of the State of Israel. Boim is awaiting permission from the Israel Lands Authority (ILA) for the project. The ILA says it plans on approving a permit.


Hopefully construction of these apartments will begin soon, as many of these residents are probably anxious about moving into their new (long overdue) homes.

Update (12/28): Sadly, it looks as if these homes will not be built due to US pressure.

60,000 Christians To Visit Israel This Christmas

(Image Credit: Government Press Office, via Ynet News)

With tourism already booming in the holy land, it looks as if the Jewish state will have to prepare for an additional 60,000 pilgrims from the Christian faith this Christmas season.

(Ynet News) Some 60,000 Christian pilgrims are expected to arrive in Israel for the Christmas holiday, the Tourism Ministry reported Tuesday. This is an estimated 50% increase compared to last year.

Until the end of the year, about 1 million Christian tourists are expected to visit the country, half of them pilgrims. This figure represents a 30% increase compared to 2006.


The Israeli government is probably working with local businesses to ensure that their spiritual guests enjoy their stay in the Jewish state.

These pilgrims entrance will definitely help out the Israeli economy (especially the hotels industry) as well as expose new minds to the other side of Israel--especially the beaches.

United Nations Interested In Israel's Agricultural Expertise


(Image Credit: Flagline.com)

While the United Nations is not known for siding with Israel on every issue, one area they seem to be seeking Israel's advice on has to deal with agriculture.

With the United Nations determined to slash 50% of the world's poverty and global hunger by 2015, the organization known for passing resolutions against the Jewish state is now refusing to pass up the chance to learn from their Jewish member.

(Israel 21st Century) The Israeli-sponsored resolution, "Agricultural technology for development," calls on developed nations to share their expertise and experience with the Third World. [...]

"Development has always been an issue of tremendous importance to Israel," Israeli counselor Ilan Fluss told the General Assembly. "Ever since it's earliest days of statehood and while still a developing nation, it has helped countless nations build capacities in a variety of fields around the world, including in our region, and to cooperate with our neighbors."

MASHAV initiatives include blindness prevention programs in Kenya and Nepal, the establishment of demonstration farms in Senegal and Kazakhstan, and micro-credit training seminars for women in rural India.


If this measure gains more favor, it could (finally) enlighten the world to Israel's compassionate side, an item that has often been over looked by more sensational news.

It could also open up other gateways, not just for Israeli's in the holy land, but for the world to rediscover what Israel is really all about.

Update: Centered photo.

Another Free Trade Agreement? (Israel And South America)

After seeking out Free Trade Agreements with India and Ukraine, Israel is setting its sights half a world away towards South America.

(Ha'aretz) Mercosur, the South American trade bloc, signed a free-trade agreement with Israel on Tuesday, its first pact with a country outside of Latin America. [...]

"This agreement is an enormous satisfaction that will help develop our links to the Mercosur countries," a statement from the Israeli Embassy in Argentina said. Trade between Israel and Mercosur countries neared $1.6 billion in 2006. Mercosur is comprised of full members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, with Venezuela awaiting approval to join the trade group.


Israel already has free trade agreements with the United States, so this latest edition will hopefully position the Jewish state as "the middle man" between Mercosur and the US (who have yet to sign anything with each other).

This will also open up Israeli businesses to a "whole new market," which probably will benefit both regions over time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Olympics: Can Micky Cobrin Win The Gold For Israel?

With the Olympics coming up shortly in less than a year, one man has decided to use his long distance running skills in order to help bring some glory to the Israeli holy land.

(Ha'aretz) An American athlete who plans to represent Israel in the Track and Field World Championships next year - and who has already set his sights on the Olympics - will be winning those medals in Israel's honor.

Micky Cobrin, a 23-year-old Jewish runner from Chicago who immigrated this week, has already topped Israeli records for the 1500-meter run. A senior at the University of Arkansas - which has one of the top running programs in the U.S. - he will be relocating here after graduation this summer and will be a member of the Maccabi Tel Aviv track and field team.

Cobrin runs a mile in 4.02 minutes, compared to the current Israeli record of 4.03 minutes, but all of Cobrin's previous times were recorded before he received citizenship.


In order for Micky Cobrin to qualify for the World Championships, he has to be able to break a four minute mile, a feat most people on planet Earth can only dream of.

Cobrin seems to have not only the passion, but the ability to give some of those Olympic runners some serious competition next year.

Only time will tell whether or not he brings back a gold medal for Israel, but either way, the Jewish state has a serious contender in one of the most watched sporting events on our planet.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Video: What Do Chocolate Coins And Hanukkah Have In Common?

(Hat Tip: Life in Israel)

Answer: Nothing really, but it looks as if they have inspired another interesting video by SmoothE.tv.





Eric Schwartz, the artist behind this song (as well as the previous one) seems to be doing fairly well with making humorous songs, and has already developed a following on YouTube with over 2,000 subscribers.

Those interested in purchasing any of these songs can visit SuburbanHomeBoy.com for details (as it would help him pay the bills and crank out more videos).

Israeli Doctors Helping Kenyan Kids

After previously helping out Iraqi children, it looks as if the Israeli Save A Child's Heart (or SACH) is once again helping out kids in need--this time in Kenya.

(Israel National News) The Israeli Save a Child's Heart (SACH) organization welcomed its first group of Kenyan children with heart conditions to be operated upon in Israel Wednesday. [...]

The three young Kenyan boys, Samuel (7 years old), Hastings (1 year old), and Winfred (1 year old), were accompanied by two of their mothers.


The kids arrived in Israel Wednesday, although there is no word on whether or not the Kenyan children have had surgery yet (at least on the SACH website).

The kids (according to Israel National News) will receive their operation at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, and future updates regarding their condition will be posted here.

Update (12/14): Inserted link in first paragraph.

An Israeli Version Of "Survivor?"

Israelis may soon get a taste of their own version of Survivor very soon. Channel 10 (in Israel) is launching their own version of the popular show in the holy land, which debuts this upcoming Saturday.

(Ha'aretz) Channel 10 has invested more than $5 million in the first 40 episodes of "Survival," Israel-style. The television show's launch is scheduled for this Saturday, after five weeks during which Channel 10 bombarded viewers with promotions that were just part of its public-relations blitz. [...]

Like the original American version of Survivor, the Israelis were "abandoned" on an isolated island. "Surviving isn't just a sport and eating cockroaches," said producer Guy Hameiri. "It involves many of our hidden human fantasies. It is the slim seam between heaven and hell."


Note: This should be fairly interesting, although I wonder if they will push the limits further than the American show? If anyone is in Israel (and has time to watch it), let me know how this goes by posting below.

iMedix: Medical Social Networking, Israeli Style

(Hat Tip: Ha'aretz)

An Israeli startup company called imedix has recently launched a site that allows users to share, rate and compare information with each other through a user friendly social network.

(TechCrunch) iMedix is a social search engine focussed on healthcare that has raised $2 million from angel investors. When you type in a search term, an auto-completed list of health and medical terms pops down to help guide your search. Type in "toe," and it suggests "wound of toenail," "tingling toe" "broken toe," "blue toes," "absence of toe," and "hammer toe," among others. [...]

So as you search, you not only find links to health articles and other information on the Web, you also find other people you can talk to about that health topic. The idea, says co-founder Iri Amirav, is not only "to change the way patients make health-related decisions, but we also want those patients to connect together with other patients. So that with one click, they can connect with others who suffer the same disease."


According to TechCrunch, the founders may plan on working in blogging within the site, although it will probably be put aside until they can hammer out a way to do it securely (after all, they are dealing with medical information here).

Note: This site might prove to be very profitable, as many other companies (including Google) are attempting to "digitalize" the medical field.

Video: Crank That Kosha Boy?

Here was a video that was featured on YouTube's homepage recently, which was created by SmoothE.tv. The name of the song is called Crank That Kosha Boy (which could not have come out at a better time during the Hanukkah season).





For those of you who don't know, this song is a parody of Soulja Boy (video over here).

Note: Ironically Jews were not the only ones who enjoyed this. In the comment section, a few Muslims thought this was funny too.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Indonesia: Muslim Clerics Bring Peaceful Tidings To Israel



(Image Credit: Lonely Planet)


While there are a few other Muslim nations willing to display a friendly face towards Israel, most of the middle east has yet to warm up to the Jewish state.

Nonetheless it looks as if religious leaders from Indonesia have taken a rare step towards that path, by not only visiting the Israeli state but also wishing to present a more peaceful image of their faith towards Israel.

(Ha'aretz) President Shimon Peres on Friday hosted a rare delegation of Muslim religious leaders from Indonesia, a country that doesn't have diplomatic ties with Israel.

The clerics, who represent 70 million Muslim faithful, told Peres they came to "present the moderate face of Islam that seeks cooperation and peace with other countries and religions, and repudiates Islamic extremists," Peres' office said in a statement.


While only time will tell whether or not any fruit results from this visit, hopefully this approach will lead towards diplomatic ties between the two nations, as both countries could probably benefit economically from each other, if not politically.

Israel's Kenshoo May Be A Godsend For Small Advertisers

While advertising online may be cheaper than the paper alternative, inexperienced businesses can still waste a lot of time (and money) determining how effective their campaign is at bringing new customers.

Although large companies often have the budget to hire out SEO experts (or web savvy marketing teams), most small businesses may not have the funds to afford the marketing know how to get ahead in this "cut throat" business age.

Fortunately a company called Kenshoo may help the little guys gain an edge online, regardless of which major ad network they use.

(TechCrunch) Kenshoo [is] an Israeli startup that automates the whole process of creating and managing search-engine marketing campaigns. It is a labor-intensive activity that has given rise to an entire cottage industry. Kenshoo competes with bid-management software from all the giants in online advertising (DoubleClick, aQuantive's Atlas Solutions, and Omniture), but it goes a step beyond that to look at the quality of the campagns. It finds relevant keywords across search engines, and changes the campaigns to maximize their returns.


Kenshoo seems to be doing rather well and according to TechCrunch may have secured a few million dollars in its first venture round of funding. While there is not much one can gather about the company from its site, they seem to have a few satisfied customers in TechCrunch's comment section.

Hybrid Cars: The New Israeli Fashion?

(Image: Volvo ReCharge plug-in hybrid, Credit: Reuters via Ha'aretz)

It looks like when it comes to choosing which vehicle to drive, Israeli's are thinking "green." Despite being a tiny share of the Israeli car market, hybrid cars seem to be gaining ground in Israel, which is a testament to their outlook on the environment.

(Ha'aretz) Sales figures of hybrid vehicles in the first 11 months of 2007 show a big rise in their popularity: 1,719 hybrids were sold. This is almost 1 percent of the total number of new cars sold this year, a 280 percent increase from 2006. [...]

Dror Goralnik, Toyota's sales manager in Israel, says the growth in hybrid sales points to an increasing awareness of environmental issues. "For many people it is important to drive an environmentally friendly car," he says.

Honda also credits its success to its advertising campaign, as the hybrid car has become a fashion statement, showing drivers to be concerned about the pollution they emit.


This probably should not come to a surprise, with Israel's own government considering electric cars as a way to become energy independent.

Note: Now if Israel could only figure out a way to combine an eco-friendly car with the ability to fly, then they just might dominate the auto industry on planet Earth.

East Jerusalem: Queen Helene's Mansion Unearthed



(Image Credit: Ron Peled, via Ynet News)

It looks as if Queen Helene's mansion has been discovered in a parking lot located in eastern Jerusalem.

While her mention may draw scratching heads from some, Queen Helene played a minor role in Jerusalem's history, not only as a woman who helped feed the poor, but also regarding Jerusalem's temple.

(Ynet News) Josephus and Jewish texts, Helene was from a royal clan that ruled Adiabene, a region now in northern Iraq. Along with her family, she converted to Judaism and came to Jerusalem in the first half of the first century A.D.

Helene merited grateful mention in the Mishna, the written version of Judaism's oral tradition, where she is praised for her generosity to Jerusalem's poor and for making contributions to the Second Temple, the center of the Jewish faith, which was just a few hundred meters (yards) uphill from her house. She was buried in an elaborate tomb not far away.


The discovery of Helene's mansion helps cement the idea that Jerusalem was (and still is) a Jewish city about 2,000 years ago, around the time that Jesus Christ appeared on the scene.

Hopefully Bush will take note of this, as he is planning on visiting Israel for a few days next month.

President Bush To Visit Israel?

It looks like Israel will receive a rare appearance from the US. Apparently it seems as if President Bush is considering visiting Israel next month, which should make for some "interesting interactions."

(Ha'aretz) A senior Jerusalem source said that Bush would come to Israel for two days on January 10, Israel Radio reported.

During his visit, Bush is expected to focus on promoting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the framework of agreements reached at last week's Mideast peace conference, held in Annapolis, Maryland[.]

This visit will be Bush's first visit to Israel since he took office seven years ago. Bush visited Israel in 1998 when he was governor of Texas. In contrast, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Israel three times in the six week period leading up to the Annapolis peace summit.


While it is curious as to why the President thinks that a visit the Jewish state will change a few minds, lets pray that his trip will open his eyes, at least when it comes to Jerusalem.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Update: I'm Still Alive...Plus New Comment Software!

Hey everyone! It's been awhile since I've blogged here. I've mainly been distracted by the holiday season, plus blogging on other sites (my other sites felt neglected by IsraGood).

But don't worry, I shall return Monday night (as I'll be mostly offline during this weekend).

Anyways, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am updating the comment section on IsraGood, to give non-blogger users a bit more freedom in posting their thoughts. See update below.

I'm also going to be post a roundup of good news about Israel on Israpundit, once a week, although I'll be calling it Kosher Highlights instead of Kosher Thursdays, mainly because Thursdays are not working out for me.

Until then I wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah (or is it spelled Chanukkah?), a Merry Christmas or a Solemn Festivus (for those who do not celebrate the other two--yeah, I'm a Seinfeld freak).

Update (12/21): Google has reopened up the comment section to non-blogger users. Converting the comments back to the previous version.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Israeli Med Tech: Freeze Thy Cancer Lump?

(Image Credit: Israel 21st Century)

When it comes to the removal of a cancerous lump, many patients (rightly) envision being laid out on a table and being cut open like chopped liver.

While using surgery to remove cancer can be somewhat successful, it is often expensive and time consuming for both the doctor and the patient. Now it looks as if some Israeli medical technology may not only make removing these lumps easier, but cheaper as well.

(Israel 21st Century) IceSense provides that solution by offering the hope of efficient treatment in local clinics without the need for hospitalization, recuperation, or scarring. The IceSense mechanism enables the local application of super-cold temperatures and a fine control of the temperature itself. Liquid nitrogen is pumped to the end of a thin needle probe cooling the tip to the extreme cold required for cryotherapy. Utilizing ultrasound, surgeons can then guide the needle to the exact location of the lump and then freeze the unwanted tissue inside the body.

About the same size as a washing machine, the IceSense apparatus can be operated even in local clinics and medical centers. Providing treatment for breast lumps in local medical centers would be a big step towards the current trend in the US to conduct as much surgery as possible in local clinics by using non-invasive methods. This keeps expensive and over-worked operating rooms and teams free for more serious surgical procedures that require a hospital environment.


According to the article, IceSense would cost less than $1,000 which would not only make it affordable for patients, but many health insurance plans as well.

While this technology has been around for over three decades, IceSense it seems makes this technology not only affordable for the masses, but portable to various clinics as well.

Hopefully this device will make it easier for patients with lumps, especially women suffering with breast cancer to seek out treatment, as IceSense would probably leave less scars (if any) compared to a full blown out operation.

Video: World's Largest Israeli Flag?

A business woman from the Philippines has made Guinness history by creating the largest Israeli flag to date.

When reporters asked what her inspiration was, her answers boiled down to two reasons--love of Israel and love of Hashem.





(Israel Times) The flag, compared to the size of 2 football fields, is 100-meters long, 200-meters wide and weights 5,200 kilos. 6 tailors, 2 designers and 40 volunteers in Philippines worked on it for 3 weeks.

This is a very significant present from Grace Gupana, Philippines business woman and nun, who has been working on the advancement of tourism between the two countries. It also represents 50 years of friendship between Israel and the Philippines.


Despite being located thousands of miles away from Israel, the Filipino's (aka citizens of the Philipines) seem to have a very strong relationship with the Jewish state, which goes back more than a half a century.

Note: For those interested in checking out some interesting images of the event, can check out My Share of Sun in Israel over here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Israel's eToro: A New Way To Play Forex?

While a few geniuses often enjoy using complex software to understand even more complex scenarios, most of the population enjoys keeping it simple--especially when it deals with money.

One Israeli company called eToro has decided to help novices understand how the Foreign Exchange (or Forex) works by presenting a visual presentation that anyone can understand.

(TechCrunch) Israeli eToro is taking a novel approach in simplifying Foreign Exchange (Forex) trading by packaging the complicated concepts involved in trading one currency against another, in fun non-threatening wrappers. [...]

I spoke to eToro's CEO, Johnathan Assia, who explained that the real challenge for eToro is finding ways to present Forex data in a simplified and user-friendly manner that makes it accessible to ordinary users. To appreciate the challenge, take a look at the screenshot on the right depicting a typical Forex trading app interface. Now take a look at the screenshots below of eToro's offering. Talk about a picture being worth a 1000 US Dollars Vs. the Japanese Yen...


While users should ALWAYS be careful while investing any amount of money through a program (as it is easier to lose money than to gain it), eToro's approach will hopefully help people grasp "the big picture" of what is happening in the market place.

Hopefully this will help novices become experts at handling their own money on Forex, although it probably would not hurt to seek out advice from experts in the field.

Disclaimer: Users should always seek out professional advice before investing any amount of money in any company/currency, regardless of past history. Don't be a sucker--do your own research!!!

Instead Of Email, Why Not Video-Audio Mail?

While sending a text message may be fun, sending a video message may be even better!

It looks as if a new Israeli company called Voice Me has launched a service that allows users to send audio and video messages to their friends for free.

(Globes Online) Israeli developer of IP voice and video messaging Voice-Me Ltd. is launching a new product. The company's beta website offers an alternative to e-mail. The site enables surfers to send voice and video messages to an e-mail address at no cost and with no need to download software.


While other sites such as YouTube and Odeo allow users to record video and audio respectively, as well as email messages to their friends, neither provide a simple way of doing both.

Voice Me may become a useful site, especially around the holidays, as it may be easier to express ones feeling on video than through text and images.

Jerusalem Lions To Enter Israeli Baseball!

(Image Credit: Israel Baseball League)

After nearly 4,000 years of waiting, it looks as if the spiritual capital of Israel will finally have its own Baseball team. The Petach Tikva Pioneers have recently decided to migrate to Jerusalem, and will be renamed the Jerusalem Lions.

But the question remains, can they defeat the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox?

(Israel Baseball League) This is about to change for the 2008 season, as the IBL announced that it is moving the Petach Tikva franchise to Jerusalem for the coming year. The team, to be known as the Jerusalem Lions, will play its maiden season in Gezer Field, about a 25 minute drive from the center of Jerusalem. By the 2010 season, the league expects the team to have a home field in Jerusalem itself. [...]

"Our problem was finding a site in Jerusalem that could accommodate pro baseball requirements," said Ami Baran, the IBL's Director of Israeli Operations. "However, we have been working under the leadership of the Jerusalem Foundation in getting a particular parcel designated as a baseball field and it is clear that enough progress has been made on that score for us to start planning for baseball in Jerusalem," Baran continued.


The move towards Jerusalem should help improve the teams fan base, as well as raise the status of the league overall internationally.

The Israel Baseball League has recently released a schedule for 2008, which includes 40 games to be played throughout the season, giving each team plenty of time to spar against each other in the hot summer.

Note: With Jerusalem now formally having a team, I wonder whether or not the Haredi (or Orthodox Jews) will consider joining the fun? (especially if it means beating the Tel Aviv Lightening)

Video: Jerry Seinfeld Promotes Bee Movie To Peres

(Hat Tip: Isrealli.org)

Jerry Seinfeld's arrival into Israel has received a lot of buzz (note: pun not intended) regarding his Bee Movie, which has been doing fairly well in the US.

During his visit Seinfeld was able to meet privately with Peres, and exchange some jokes as well as some information of what Israel was all about.





(Jerusalem Post) On Friday, Seinfeld toured Yad Vashem, Jerusalem's Old City and Masada. He also met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres. He told Peres that he was very excited by the warm welcome that he had received in Israel, and amazed by how popular his sitcom Seinfeld is in this country.

"You can imagine how much people like you here and respect you," Peres told Seinfeld as the two sat in suits and ties in front of Israeli flags at Beit Hanassi.

Seinfeld explained his movie to the 84-year-old Nobel peace laureate. "It's about a bee who's not sure that he wants to go into honey," Seinfeld said, as Peres laughed. "They tell him he has no choice."


According to the article, Jerry seemed to be surprised by how popular his show Seinfeld was in Israel. Whether its due to the fact that Israeli's love to see a Jewish star blossom, or that the show revolves around nothing, Seinfeld has become a phenomenon world wide, and hopefully we will see more of Jerry in Israel--along with his Jewish wife.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

AOL's MapQuest Parterns With Israel's Telmap

After previously buying out two Israeli companies, AOL is partnering up with another Israeli company in order to help out MapQuest, a company fully owned by the American giant.

(Israel Times) New MapQuest Navigator 5.0 includes Telmap’s mobile optimized navigation data, which permits users to be re-routed in the event of a missed turn without the need to contact the mapping server. The application is wireless, voice-guided and GPS-enabled. [...]

"We believe that making more local content available for the consumer through mobile navigation will increase the use of these services in day-to-day life activities," commented David Singer, Vice President and General Manager of Telmap.


Telemap's partnership with MapQuest should help give AOL some much needed leverage against its biggest rivals (i.e. Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft).

Although AOL has not hinted at the possibility of purchasing any more Israeli companies in the future, I would not be surprised if they decided to scout out a few more Israeli startups in order to help it survive in its ongoing cyber war with Google (and Microsoft).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Can Israel's Fixya.com Save You Money At The Repair Shop?

While it can not find the solution towards world peace, intergalactic travel or global warming, Fixya.com may be able to help you solve why your mp3 player, camera, TV stopped working, saving you money at the repair shop.

(Israel Times) Fixya's motto is "Tech Support for the People by the People". Participative websites become the norm, and their success is growing. [...]

Fixya.com (formerly 2Techie.com) was founded by 2 entrepreneurs who decided to take advantage of the fact that consumer products manufacturers are not providing adequate support through their web sites.


With technical manuals competing for the least user friendly award, geeks and non-geeks alike may find Fixya to be a breathe of fresh air.

The site boasts over 700,000 products in its online catalogue and was previously featured on Inside Adsense, an official Google blog.

Video: Israeli Cool Facts (Part Two)

(Hat Tip: One Jerusalem)

It looks as if another video has surface highlighting some of the accomplishments of the Jewish nation.

The music is different from a previous video, although it may be familiar to those of you who speak Hebrew.





Question: Does anybody know the group responsible for singing this?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ryan Braun: Baseballs First Jewish Rookie Of The Year

(Image: Ryan Braun, Credit: JS Online)

It looks as if Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers has just made history by becoming the first Jewish player to become Rookie of the Year.

(Jerusalem Post) Ryan Braun became baseball's first Jewish Rookie of the Year.

Braun, the slugging third baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers, picked up the award Monday in the National League. In the voting by the Baseball Writers of America, Braun edged Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, 128-126.


Although Braun was never raised Jewish by his Israeli dad, he seems to take an immense pride in his Jewish heritage.

Note: While Braun will probably decide to remain in the US because of his career, hopefully he will consider signing up with the Israel Baseball League (if he has time during the off season).

Isaeli Minds Help Intel Create A "Greener" Computer Chip

(Image Credit: Israel 21st Century)

It looks as if Intel Israel may have played a unique role in helping their company develop one of the most environmentally friendly computer chips in the industry.

(Israel 21st Century) On Saturday global computer company Intel unveiled its latest addition to its processor family: a new chipset provisionally named 'Penryn.' The innovative hafnium-based "Hi-k" processor, which reduces electricity loss, or "capacitance," through the use of third-generation silicon materials, also does away with the need to incorporate eco-unfriendly lead and halogen materials in the production process. [...]

The latest Penryn innovation drew upon expertise and experience garnered during the Israeli development of the Centrino processor, Bahar told ISRAEL21c. Such expertise has ensured that "Moore's Law", a high tech axiom which predicts that transistor counts double about every two years, thrives well into the next decade.


Not only does the new chip more environmentally friendly than the general competition, but it also reduces the amount of energy lost (through heat) which should help consumers save a little on their energy bills.

Note: According to the article, Intel is pursuing plans to construct a chipset production facility near the city of Kiryat Gat, which should help boost Israel's economy by providing more jobs.

Enlightened: Why Turks And Jews Love Each Other

President Shimon Peres (of Israel) recently paid a visit to Turkey in order to honor Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern day Turkey.

While Atakturk may be unfamiliar to those in the US, his role in Jewish history help cement ties between the Jewish state long before the nation of Israel was reborn.

(IsraCast.com) Ties between Turkey and the Jewish people go back a long way. Some five-hundred years ago, the Ottoman Empire gave shelter to tens of thousands of Spanish Jews who fled from the Inquisition. They settled in Turkey and many European countries which were under Ottoman rule.

More recently, during the rise of the Nazis in the 1930's, Turkish president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk allowed many German Jewish refugees to enter Turkey, despite Ankara's alliance with Nazi Germany. During the Nazi era most of the Jewish communities in Turkish controlled countries of Europe survived the Holocaust. Many of these Jews went on to make their homes in the ancient Jewish homeland of Israel. In fact, Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and the country's second State President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi studied law at the University of Istanbull.


This probably explains why both Israel and Turkey enjoy very close relations with each other, not to mention the fact that Turkey is a primary vacation spot for many Israelis.

Kosher Food Becoming A Tasty Treat In India, China

(Hat Tip: Israel National News)

It looks as if two of the worlds largest nations (population wise) are finding themselves falling in love with Israeli kosher food.

(AP Food Technology.com) "Our largest growth area for new business is China and India," said Sichel. "And because of that we have offices there." [...]

Of the consumers buying kosher goods, it is estimated approximately 45 percent are Jewish, while Muslims make up the second largest market at 20 percent. The reason for this is that the market for Halal certification for Muslim consumers in the US is not as developed, and Muslims are permitted by their faith to consume kosher goods when Halal ones are not available.


Sichel (in the article) goes on to further explain that the kosher market is growing almost four times faster than the general food market in the east (15% to 4% respectively), an amazing feat when one considers how small the Jewish community is in either country.

While some people choose to "go kosher" due to health, spiritual, or "it just taste better" reasons, kosher food is slowly carving out its place in the food market which is good news for Jewish culture.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Umbilical Stem Cells To The Rescue?

(Image Credit: Gamida, via Israel 21st Century)

Stem cells are often hailed as the "holy grail" that would enable scientists to help patients restore (or heal) sick organs critical for survival.

Now it seems as if two Israeli companies (Teva and Gamida Cell) have partnered in order to help patients discover the benefits of stem cells by pulling them from an unlikely source--umbilical cords.

(Israel 21st Century) For many patients suffering from blood-based cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, the odds of survival have historically been poor. Bone marrow transplant treatment improves prospects for some - but suitable donors can generally be found for only 50 percent of patients. For the other half, no match can spell no hope.

The StemEx technique, which involves a graft of expanded stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood, has been in clinical development by the Jerusalem-based Gamida Cell for the last five years. Gamida develops stem cell-based therapies to treat blood cancers and cardiac diseases. [...]

Such cord blood technology has been around for nearly 20 years. But in the past, such treatment proved viable only in cases of pediatric leukemia, given the small quantity of cells obtainable from umbilical cord blood. The StemEx technology is able to increase this volume of cells in the laboratory, enabling adolescent and adult patients to undergo stem cell treatment for the first time.


Using umbilical stem cells may prove to be more useful than its current rivals (such as adult stem cells), as well as easier to receive grants from via governments and medical institutions.

Hopefully this medical technology can be expanded to include patients suffering from other diseases ranging from Parkinson's to heart disease.

Video: Can Israel Revolutionize The Solar Power Industry?

Unlike most of its Arabian neighbors, Israel lacks major energy resources of any kind (with the exception of Gaza that is).

While the governments of other nations are asking companies to come up with more innovative ways of using the expensive oil that they import, one Israeli researcher may have found an inexpensive way to harvest the energy from the sun.





(Israel Times) Because Israel is typically a sunny nation, its scientists have established the development of new solar panel that magnifies the sunlight passing through. The researchers claim that the new solar power development would significantly reduce the usual high cost associated with solar power generation.

The new panel has a simple reflector that is made up of several mirrors to intensify the sunlight collected. The light collected could intensify for over a thousand times. As a matter of fact, that intensified light could even burn up a person. It is that hot.


Only time will tell whether or not Israel adopts this technology nationally, although hopefully the government would consider this as a viable alternative to coal and nuclear power plants.

With the Israeli government already pursuing electric cars, solar power may prove to be the key towards Israel becoming the first western nation completely free from dependence upon foreign oil.

Israel's Yedda Purchased By AOL

After previously purchasing Quigo, it looks as if AOL is purchasing another Israeli company in order to compete against Yahoo! Answers.

(TechCrunch) The current plan, says Yedda, is to keep the company as an independent business operating from its current location in Tel Aviv with the current team. They will gradually integrate it into the AOL properties.

Yedda has evolved significantly since last year. They still compete directly with Yahoo and others, but they also partner with others to power independent Q&A services as well. There are more than fifty partners working with Yedda now - example partners are ePals and TheJobNetwork. Yedda says those partners now drive 90% of their total traffic.


Yedda looks like it might be a hit, with traffic steadily increasing according to TechCrunch. It looks as if the Israeli advice they previously asked for might just pay off after all. ;-)

More Orthodox Jews Joining The Israeli Air Force?

Haredi (or Orthodox Jews) are one of the few Israeli citizens exempt from mandatory service within the Israeli defense forces (or IDF). While most Israeli's are expected to serve within the military, Orthodox Jews are often given the option to abstain in order to continue their religious studies.

Despite the above option afforded to them, it seems as if 40 Orthodox Jews have decided to help defend their country by enlisting in the Israeli Air Force.

(Ynet News) The first ever group of Orthodox Jews was recruited into the Israel Air Force (IAF) last week as part of project "Blue Dawn", Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.

In the framework of the project, 40 haredi men who had drooped out of their yeshiva studies, received training in areas such as aircraft maintenance, mechanics and the arming of fighter jets and helicopters. The recruits all have a low medical profile and cannot serve in combat positions.


Although there was some objection to this by the Haredi, overall this is probably a good sign for Israel. The IDF is already beginning to recruit Orthodox Jews from the Diaspora, which should help the tiny Jewish state defend itself against is rowdy neighbors.

Israeli Government Encrouaging "Green" Cars?

While other governments around the world talk about becoming more energy independent, Israel is actually taking steps toward making this a reality.

In an effort to help their citizens avoid the increasing cost of driving on roads, the Israeli government is going to encourage companies to develop "greener," cleaner cars for its citizens.

(Globes Online) Prime Minster Ehud Olmert announced today that the government would encourage the development of electric vehicles. Olmert was speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting in which the ministers discussed "green" transportation moves which would conserve energy and help the environment. Olmert said that the government would consider granting experimental incentives to companies and factories that produced electric cars and would also consider deploying a national infrastructure that would enable electric cars to drive on Israel's roads.


If Israel is able to help its citizens become energy independent, then its economy would be able to avoid some of the middle eastern politics deployed by some nations in the region.

They could also help other nations (like America) by selling this technology, as very few politicians in the states seem to be providing similar incentives for US companies.

Update (11/16): It looks as if a French company is interested in developing electric cars in Israel. Heh!

Israel To Advise China On Securing Olympics


Despite the fact that the 2008 Olympics are still many months away, China is leaving nothing to chance.

In an effort to ensure that the event remains secure for all, China is asking their Israeli friends for advice in securing the Olympics from possible threats.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) Israel will help Chinese security forces prepare for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

A group of senior Chinese police officers will visit Israel in March for specialized training in counter-terrorism and crowd control ahead of the summer Games, security sources said Sunday.

They said the Israeli advisers involved already are undergoing workshops on Chinese regulations and culture in order to ease communications with the trainees.


The last thing China (or any nation) desires is for this event to be interrupted by extremists as that would probably be embarrassing for the rising Asian power.

In turn, Israel will enjoy assisting the Chinese regarding security, as that means that their athletes will be provided with the utmost protection, as well as everybody else.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Israeli Scientist To Weaken Hurricanes With Dust?

(Image: Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Credit: US Air Force)

While no one has yet found a way to reduce the wrath of an enraged hurricane, one scientist from Israel thinks that influencing these violent storms may be possible with a "little dust."

(Israel 21st Century) According to noted Israeli weather specialist Prof Daniel Rosenfeld of Hebrew University, seeding a hurricane with microscopic dust could sharply reduce its force.

The findings of his study - which showed that dust dropped into the lower part of Hurricane Katrina would have reduced wind speeds and diverted its course - were presented last month at the European Conference on Severe Storms in Trieste, Italy.

Rosenfeld's concept, which was developed with several colleagues, builds on empirical research which shows that large dust clouds from Africa tend to hinder the formation deep storm clouds and hinder the formation of hurricanes when tropical systems are crossing the Atlantic.


Rosenfeld's hypothesis calls for at least 5-10 Lockheed C-130s cargo planes to seed the hurricanes with fine dust particles, thus slowly (but surely) weakening the raging storms before they hit land.

A similar idea had been pursued before by the US, although America quickly gave up the idea after just four tests. Rosenfeld seems to be more persistent than that, as he probably realizes that a success here could ultimately help reduce the loss of life and property to major population centers.

Video: Tel Aviv Hailed By UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (or UNESCO for short) has hailed Tel Aviv as a World Cultural Heritage site due the fact of its many impressive modern buildings.





(Israel Times) Tel Aviv offers the world's largest concentration of buildings in the international style and unique architectural gems.

European artists fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930s sprayed the Bauhaus architectural style. The White City is located in the heart of Tel Aviv, along Rothschild Boulevard around Dizengoff Circle and on Bialik Street. In 2003, Tel Aviv was named a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization, joining the prestigious list of 830 sites throughout the world deemed to be of outstanding value to universal human culture, such as the Taj Mahal and the Pyramids.


Anyone who has ever visited Israel will probably agree that Tel Aviv is a marvel to look at, especially at night! The modern buildings are an impressive testament to Israeli talent, as the buildings compliment the Mediterranean beaches nearby.

Note: Hopefully next year this author will be able to revisit the city in the summer, as American Falafels are losing their appeal.

Bio-Diesel: Can Israel Lead The Market?

(Image Credit: Asia Times)

Often pursued as an alternative to diesel, bio-diesel has the potential to help reduce our dependence on expensive energy sources that often leave our planet in a "not so happy" mood.

Unfortunately bio-diesel, like bio-fuel, may be one of those "too good to be true" alternatives, mainly because there is not enough water to feed the plants we eat, as well as run our cars.

Despite this, some Israeli researchers feel that their nation could play a vital role in helping our planet become more energy independent.

(Globes Online) Israel can become a global leader in the development of crops for biodiesel production, concludes the 7th Energy Forum Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The forum aims to position Israeli renewable energy research and industry on the world map.

The participants at the forum believe that Israel has the know-how to help develop the global biodiesel industry, since the idea is to grow crops for biodiesel and bio-ethanol production in arid lands, such as the Middle East, in order not to use fertile soil currently used to raise food crops for the production of energy crops.


While seperating energy crops from food crops is a good idea, most nations (Israel included) may not have enough water to actually keep "both lawns green," at least enough to make a sizable dent in the market.

Fortunately Israel is already experimenting with ways grow crop near salty water, which may enable us to not only have enough water for our energy crops, but perhaps enable us to replace fossil fuels with bio-fuels in the future.

2010 To Be A Good Year For Israel?

It looks as if some analysts are predicting that Israel's electric and tech industries will reach a value of $32 billion within a few years, which is probably good news for anyone investing in Israel (or seeking to become one).

(EETimes.com) Israel's electronics and software industries are expected to reach an annual market value of $32 billion in 2010, according to Elisha Yanay, chairman of the Israeli Association of Electronics and Software Industries (IAESI). [...]

Yanay noted that Israel has 3.2 million fixed line telephone subscribers, 7.18 million mobile phone devices and 2.5 million internet users. In 2006, he said, the local technology industry reached $18.7 billion.


Ironically 2010 is not the only date in which Israel is suppose to experience a multitude of blessings.

On that year, the Jewish state is also forcasted to triple its trade with China, strengthen its ties with India, and finally have direct flights to Japan.

Coincidence?

Darfur Refugees Welcomed By Jewish-Arab Soccor Players

(Image Credit: Israel 21st Century)

After fleeing their native region in Darfur for the holy land, many Sudanese refugee's have been enjoying life in Israel, with some being granted citizenship.

While the fate of many have yet to be decided, one Israeli-Arab team took it upon themselves to make sure that these people feel welcome.

(Israel 21st Century) Bashar was one of 50 political refugees from war-torn Darfur who was invited to the game as a goodwill gesture by the Mevasseret team, a uniquely mixed Jewish-Arab group from Mevasseret Zion and Abu Gosh, both communities on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The club's president, Alon Liel, said that including the refugees fit into the team's larger concept of promoting coexistence in Israel. [...]

Bashar, who escaped to Israel alone two years ago, now awaits word as to whether he will be among those permitted to stay. But he was all smiles as he greeted and thanked Liel for the invitation to the game in perfect spoken Hebrew.

"They are letting us feel not just like refugees, but as part of a sport. They are saying we are with you, and it's not just about politics," Bashar told ISRAEL21c.


Once the conflict in the region is resolved, hopefully many of these refugees will be able to travel back to their homeland in peace. Until that day, Israel will be stuffing their bellies with Falafels as they enjoy their "second" home.

Note: The event was organized by the New Israel Fund, which is an organization whose goal is to promote social justice throughout the Jewish state.

Israeli Firms Reinvesting In Russia?

(Image Credit: AFI Development, via JTA.org)

One would think that with the previous relationship Russia has shown towards certain companies that Jewish businessmen (and women) would shy away courting the former USSR.

But it seems that relations between Jewish business owners and the Russian government are getting warmer, which may have to do with the fact that Israeli's are able to not only meet Russian market demands, but actually speak the language.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) Nevertheless, as Russia experiences surging demand in fields where Israelis have special expertise — including telecommunications, high-tech, medical devices and manufacturing — Israelis are accelerating the pace of their investments in the country.

Ehud Ganen, director of the Central and Eastern European Department of Israel’s Trade and Industry Ministry, said the large workforce of Russian speakers in Israel gives Israelis a great advantage.

"If you are going to enter the Russian market, you need to hire people who speak the language," he said.

Galai said, "Since we have so many Israelis who came from Russia, they understand the language and culture and have connections. It is much easier for them to make an investment."


Russian and Israeli ties have also been improving as of late, with each nation agreeing to remove visa requirements about two months ago.

While some may be weary of the "red bear," the increasing economic ties help cast some hope for both countries, as its hard to throw rocks at someone if they are improving your financial condition.

Can Anybody In Israel Stop Google?

Apparently not, as the internet Goliath continues to dominate Israeli space online, pulling even further ahead of its rival Walla!, as well as Ynet.

(Globes Online) Google Israel is widening its lead and consolidating its position as the most views website in Israel, according to the TIM/Teleseker Internet survey for October 2007. They survey ranks websites' weekly exposure rates. Google Israel had an exposure rate of 90.6%, up two percentage points from September. [...]

Walla's exposure rate fell to 72.5% in October from 73.6% in September, and Ynet's exposure rate fell to 57.9% from 61.5%.


While Google still retains its previous title as Israeli web king, other web companies (such as Kontera) seem to be challenging Google in the advertising arena, or at least appealing to the same group of publishers.

Hopefully Walla! (along with its semi-recent ad system) can make a comeback, as the last Google challenger is being bought out by AOL.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Video: ClassifEye Tech Could Guard Your Mobile Phone

In the digital age, the possibility of hackers stealing ones ID remains very high. In order to keep their customers trust, many companies have created systems to help distinguish client from impostor, with limited success.

Now it seems as if a new company from Israel called ClassifEye may enable people to safeguard their identification with "a touch" from their finger.

(Israel 21st Century) Enter the new fingerprint authentication technology developed by Israeli company ClassifEye, which can be used with nearly any mobile phone that has a camera, and eliminates the need for any additional hardware - like fingerprint sensors, USB keys and code generators - substantially reducing costs and accelerating mass market deployment. [...]

Instead of using costly sensors to read the user's fingerprint, ClassifEye's technology works with the existing mobile phone camera: the user just takes a picture of his finger. The software then authenticates the user's fingerprint and authorizes immediate access. It's a process that takes less than a minute, and is significantly more secure than a password.

Since an advanced mobile phone usually has Internet access, this technology will make mobile phones ideally suited for sensitive financial transactions, especially bank transactions where large sums of money are involved.


ClassifEye technology could make it easier for customers to feel safer making transactions with their credit cards, as well as help the industry fight credit fraud in the US (which is at a record high).

Unfortunately for Americans, many US phones may not be advanced enough to handle the software (unlike half the planet), but hopefully as ClassifEye's technology becomes more widespread, US phones will catch up with the rest of the western world.

Note: Video of ClassifEye via Israel Hightech TV. Click the image below to watch.

AOL Buys Israel's Quigo

(Hat Tip: Globes Online, TechCrunch)

In a bid to claim its stake in the global advertising pie, Time Warner's AOL has agreed to snap up Israel's Quigo for a rumored $340 million.

(Reuters) AOL said on Wednesday it would buy Internet advertising technology company Quigo to bolster its ad force and make it more competitive with Google Inc and Yahoo Inc.

A source familiar with the matter said the purchase price was about $340 million. AOL, a unit of Time Warner Inc, did not disclose financial terms. [...]

"I expect it to begin to add to growth in 2008," [AOL Chief Executive Randy Falco] said, referring to AOL's online advertising growth, which is a big concern among investors. Ad growth slipped to 16 percent in the second quarter and 13 percent in the third quarter, from 40 percent levels earlier.


Quigo is probably one of the few ad companies that could actually pose a threat towards Google.

AOL's purchase could help give Quigo a wider audience, as well as give AOL the means to actually take on the Internet Goliath.

Israel Schools An "English Nation" About Spy Drones?

(Hat Tip: Danger Room)

When it comes to building air borne drones to discover whether locals nearby love you "or not," one may be hard pressed to find a better training facility than Elbit Systems.

Headquartered in Haifa, this school seems to be in great demand by an "English speaking nation."

(Defense News) What began in Haifa, Israel, as an ad hoc service to customers of Elbit’s Hermes line of UAVs has evolved in recent years — driven by customer demand — into a multidisciplinary training school. Instructors such as Yoni Peleg, Elbit's flight test and air operations director, are typically reservists in the Israel Air Force specializing in UAV operations, payloads and mission planning. [...]

"Many students come to us with no prior experience or no knowledge of basic principles of aviation and electronics. Our preparatory syllabus is designed to fill those gaps," said Itai Toren, Elbit's director for UAV programs.

Toren and other company officials declined to discuss their student roster or specific training packages purchased by customer nations. He noted, however, that the seeds for the UAV training school appeared in late 2000, when the company was required to put together an extensive training program for an English-speaking customer nation that he would not identify.


At first glance one would assume this to be the United States, but it seems as if this school has also graduated people from Australia, England and Canada as well.

Regardless who their main customer is, teaching people on how to use drones will help cut down on causalities, as it is much easier to lose a robot than a person in battle.

Bikers Raise Over $2 Million To Benefit Hospital



(Image Credit: Wheels of Love album on Fotki.com)

A hospital in Jerusalem was able to raise over $2 million thanks in part to bikers participating in the Wheels of Love charity ride.

(Israel National News) 610 bikers raised over $2.3 million for the Alyn Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Hospital over the past week as part of the annual "Wheels of Love" bike-a-thon. Bikers rode from Tiberias to Jerusalem. Each rider was given one patient's profile and photograph as motivation, and met "their" patient in a closing ceremony at the hospital.


The hospital was founded by Dr. Henry Keller, and treats not only those suffering from "neuro-muscular diseases, cerebral palsy, spina bifida," but also victims of car accidents and terrorism as well.

The purpose of Alyn Hospital is to help children with physical disabilities. The hospital is a charity that is privately funded by generous donors from around the world and (as in this case) Israel itself.

Note: More information on how you can help out this hospital can be found over here.

Jerusalem Post: Stephen Wins Israel Trip Raffle

It looks as if Stephen from Rhode Island (USA) will be enjoying a free stay in the holy land thanks to a raffle by the Jerusalem Post.

(Jerusalem Post) JPost.com is happy to announce that the winner of the Israel trip registration raffle is Stephen Mamber from Rhode Island, USA.

Stephen won roundtrip airfare for two from New York to Tel Aviv - courtesy of Israir, a seven-night hotel stay - courtesy of Prima Hotels, and a car rental for seven days - courtesy of Best Car Rental.


Congrats to Stephen, and the lucky friend who will be enjoying a week's worth of fun exploring Israel.

Hopefully the Jerusalem Post (as well as other groups) will conduct another raffle like this, as it is a great way to spark interest for Americans to check out Israel for themselves.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Israeli Research Tech Helps Doctors Fight HIV

(Image Credit: Israel 21st Century)

Probably one of the most feared diseases on our planet, HIV is a virus that has very few rivals in todays modern world.

In order to combat this ever adapting Borg like virus, researchers from the IBM Haifa Research Lab in Israel were asked to help Europe perfect EuResist, in an attempt at finding new ways to help doctors fight this disease.

(Israel 21st Century) With EuResist, this interaction is done through the web, where physicians can input a patient's information and status and then get a summary of what is known about this specific virus stage along with a prediction of what treatment has a good chance of helping the patient.

For example, a doctor in Bolivia - who may not have expertise in AIDS treatment or access to recent research - can use the knowledge accumulated in the EuResist system to treat patients. "This access to shared knowledge greatly increases our chances of fighting AIDS and can provide a vital contribution to world healthcare," continues Zazzi.

HRB's contributions to the project from Israel are two fold. The Healthcare and Life Science group has implemented a standardized biomedical information technology that processes and correlates clinical and genomic data from various data sources. And The lab's Machine Learning group has developed a sophisticated model and training engine that helps predicts drug resistance.


Hopefully this community effort will help humanity develop a cure for this horrible disease, as well as aid doctors in third world nations unfamiliar with treating it. By helping medical professionals "put their heads together," Israel is giving those afflicted with this disease a fighting chance at a brighter future.

Israel's eXelate Introduces Delayed Ads For Publishers?


It looks as if a new Israeli company called eXelate may have found a unique way for bloggers, publishers to earn extra revenue without taking up any ad space (at least for the most part).

(TechCrunch) Here's how it works: An ad network participating in eXelate's exchange purchases from publishers the right to place Delayed-Ad cookies on users with vertical-specific interests (travel, automotive, etc.). When such users later visit publisher sites that fall under the realm of the ad network, they are shown targeted ads relevant to the interest-specific site they received their Delayed-Ad cookie on. Hence, "Delayed-Ad."

Is this basically a twist on behavioral targeting and retargeting? Generally speaking yes, except that eXelate restricts itself from building user profiles like traditional behavioral ad networks such as TACODA. Nor does it retarget traffic within the ad networks employing its system.


News sites and bloggers may find eXelate to be a breath of fresh air, as it may allow them to generate the necessary funds without the need to locate space to keep their websites running.

Although eXelate is still new to the web ads arena, it may not be too surprising a year from now to find this young contender either thriving in a world dominated by the big three (Google, Yahoo and Microsoft) or acquired by one of them.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Israel To Moldova: Aid Is On The Way

(Image Credit: Greenwich Meantime)

Moldova, a nation located next to Romania and Ukraine, has recently been experiencing a severe drought.

In order to help their European friend survive throughout this trying time, Israel has decided to help out Moldova by donating medical supplies.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dispatched a special shipment of medical aid to Moldova. The aid package, which included medical equipment and drugs, was transported by the Moldovan airline and received by the central government hospital in Kishinev.

The shipment of special medical aid was dispatched on Tuesday, October 23, at the request of the Moldovan Minister of Health. The request was subsequent to the Moldovan government's publicized request for aid to help combat the severe draught that has afflicted the country.

The aid package was donated by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health and by Hadassah-Ein Karem Hospital


Despite being located on a different continent, Israel's generosity towards those suffering knows no bounds, as they have previously helped out what some would consider their mortal enemies.

Hopefully these supplies will help ease the burden of the Moldovan government, as well as demonstrate a side of Israel few often get to hear about in the media.

Dozens Of Nations Rally For Missing IDF Troops


It looks as if sympathy for missing IDF troops is not just limited in America, Israel and France.

Rallies for Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser, and Gilad Shalit have been forming across the planet in almost four dozen nations, in an attempt to raise awareness about the fate of the missing soldiers.

(Ynet News) Tens of thousands will hold simultaneous marches for release of captive Israeli soldiers. In New York students will protest in front of UN headquarters, in Uruguay the demonstration will head for the Iranian embassy [...]

The initiative will reach its apex on Tuesday evening at 21:00 (in Israel) when rallies will be held simultaneously in over 45 countries in a show of solidarity with the kidnapped Israeli soldiers and their families.


The first rally was kick started in Jerusalem with 3,000 young people participating to make their voices heard.

Unlike many nations where the memory of missing soldiers often fades with time, Israel seems to keep the images of their own in the public limelight, which speaks great volumes about the Israeli culture there.

Hopefully these men are found not only very soon, but safely as well.

Note: Here is a song created by Yair Gordon (from South Africa) in memory of prayer for and solidarity with the missing troops.


powered by ODEO


Note: Lyrics to this song can be found over at: http://milleniumhand247.googlepages.com/

Update (10/30): Fixed error with audio, as well as changed a few words to highlight this authors (and many others) belief that the missing soldiers are still alive. Thanks Yair!