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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:

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 Save You Money At The Repair Shop?

While it can not find the solution towards world peace, intergalactic travel or global warming, 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. [...] (formerly 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.

( 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 "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).

( 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.


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

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

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) 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.