israel Stories January 15, 2014

Update: Best Buy is already listing the new model online for $379 (via Liliputing).

Reuters is reporting a claim by Israel’s Altair Semiconductor that HP will be launching a LTE-only Chromebook 11, with connectivity provided by the company’s chips.

“Our solution equips the Chromebook with a dependable and incredibly fast Internet connection,” said Eran Eshed, vice president of marketing and business development at Altair. “By focusing on 100 percent LTE and eliminating costly 3G components, we were able to help our partners lower the cost of this critical LTE connectivity feature” …

Google’s high end Chromebook Pixel is also LTE-only but the move for a more bargain-centric product has some folks scratching their heads…. expand full story

israel Stories September 21, 2012

Google and Peres Center for Peace host Hangouts to encourage Israeli Jewish-Arab dialogue

Google just announced a partnership with Peres Center for Peace in honor of today’s 30th annual International Day of Peace.

Peres Center for Peace promotes peace between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel and neighboring Arab countries. Google and the non-profit organization are hosting a series of Hangouts on Google+ to “enable dialogue between Israeli Arab and Jewish students.”

According to the official Google Blog:

“Hanging Out for Peace” is a six-month project that will involve nearly 150 Israeli university students, women and men, with an equal number of Arabs and Jews. Students will be divided into mixed Jewish and Arab ‘circles’, matched with other students who study the same subject at university.

The circles will meet via Hangouts on Google+, led by instructors from the Peres Center, and will undertake online and offline projects related to the circle’s area of academic focus. After a series of Hangouts, the students will meet face to face, present the projects they’ve developed to the larger group of participants and discuss issues that arose during their work together.

israel Stories April 20, 2012

Google plans to launch its Street View mapping service in Israel on April 22, but the project is apparently already online.

According to Dutch blog Websonic (translated), Street View images are live in the capital city of Jerusalem, as well as in Haifa, Tel Aviv, Merhavia, Kfar Kama, Nahsholim, and Beersheba. The Street View above is of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, also known as the Western Wall, which is one of the city’s most popular and sacred tourist spots.

For those who live under a rock: Google Street View is a service highlighted in Google Maps and Google Earth that offers panoramic views of streets. It launched in 2007 in the United States and has expanded to many cities and rural areas worldwide. Street View in Israel is significant, because it is the first time Google has published street imagery online from any Middle Eastern country.

An image gallery is below.

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

israel Stories February 2, 2012

The technology world is abuzz with great minds, great innovators, and great…men?

According to an official Google blog post from this morning, women hold less than one third of the world’s engineering gigs, despite the female sex making up more than half of the global population. Moreover, fewer than 15 percent of United States female students take Advanced Placement computer science tests. The same rule goes for high-tech regions of the world, such as Israel.

The breach between males and females in the technology industry leaves room for controversy, and such dissension reared its head at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The annual event featured scantily clad “booth babes” hired by some companies to promote their —well— booths. The practice led many to wonder if it is an effective marketing strategy or a reflection on gender gaps in technology.

The hot issue further propelled when ZDNet posted a picture of a female developer at CES 2012, but the publication referred to her as “The Saddest Booth Babe In The World” due to her somewhat emotionless face during the moment the photograph was snapped. Critics lambasted the photo caption because the woman looked nothing like a typical show booth babe, but rather a bored developer with no one around for presenting.

A female group of engineers at Google in Israel is determined to resolve this widespread setback in the industry by encouraging women to enter the technology realm. Google initiated the “Mind the Gap!” program in 2008 with the Israeli National Center for Computer Science Teachers to embolden girls with technology, science, and math-centric education. The program establishes monthly school visits to the Google’s Israel office and tech conferences at various universities to help the girls learn technology, computer science, and its applications…

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israel Stories December 30, 2011

David Lawee, Google’s mergers and acquisitions chief, recently attended a GarageGeeks event at a rusty garage in a Tel Aviv Jaffa port to meet with Israeli startup owners seeking cash for ventures.

GarargeGeeks is an “Israeli based not-profit physical and virtual space for innovative and creative people to introduce, network, expose, create, brainstorm, innovate and build,” according to its website. “People that take part in the activities come from different disciplines such as electronics, software, mechanical, art, design, music, hacking and gaming.”

The organization essentially holds monthly events to promote building non-commercial projects and introduce local businesses to multinationals while located in Israel’s Holon Industrial Zone. The event’s garage is a 100-square meter space with machinery tools, electronic components, software developments and raw project materials.

“I’ve met about 100 Israeli companies in two days and that’s, like, super-efficient,” said Lawee to Bloomberg between corporate conversations at the speed-dating-style event. “When you make a connection with an entrepreneur who’s really excited, whether you do a deal with him or not, that’s kind of the juice of the job.”

Two weeks later, Google initiated a funding program for Israeli entrepreneurs as part of a recent acceleration in United States’ technology companies backing startups in late 2011.

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