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Archive | 2011 | September

Israeli Korzits takes silver at windsurfing championships

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September 18, 2011
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Hunted in Ivory Coast, albino child and parents granted asylum in Israel

Posted on:
September 16, 2011
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Albinism is a life threatening condition in some African states, where it is associated with stigma and superstitions.

Israel is expected to grant political asylum to 4-year-old Maiken Kaita and her parents, after determining it would be too dangerous for the albino child to return to Ivory Coast.

This is the first time Israel has granted parents asylum because of their daughter, said Attorney Maayan Nussel, who represents the family.

Albinism is a life threatening condition in some African states, where it is associated with stigma and superstitions. Albinos are believed to possess special powers and their body parts and hair are used as lucky charms for health, good fortune, wealth and success.

Full story via Haaretz

VIDEO: Funjoya party in Eilat, Israel – Next spring break ?

Posted on:
September 16, 2011
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8000 students, a pool and hot DJS… Need I say more ?

Listen to music from any device, anywhere and anytime, without having to download files

Posted on:
September 16, 2011
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Israeli version of iTunes launched

New streaming service developed by Dotomi founders to enable users to listen to music from any device, anywhere and anytime, without having to download files

Tamir Koch co-founder of online advertising company Dotomi, which was soldlast month for NIS 295 million (about $80 million), is launching a new service designed to compete with Apple’s iTunes.

The service was launched by Triplay, which operates in Israeland New York as the company’s “digital media warehouse”, meaning that it enables listeners to enjoy music from their private collection from various devices such as PCs, smartphones, tablets and television sets.

The service was launched globally, Israel included, on Wednesday night. The service offers users two gigabytes of free storage space; however, similarly to Dropbox, Amazon and Google, users can add storage space as part of a premium service in which the cost per each additional five gigabytes is $10 a year.

The users create a personal account to which they upload their music files, which they can listen to through streaming technology without having to download music files, similarly to the services offered by Amazon and Google.

At the same time, Triplay is launching a digital music store which operates exclusively in the US, Canada and Great Britain. The store MyMusicCloud offers a collection of 11 million songs at 19 cents a track.

Triplay competes directly against Apple’s service and media store but the Israeli company claims that there is no high quality media player that enables listening to personal playlists from any device.

Nonetheless, for the time being iPhone and iPad users will not be able to use Triplay’s services through those devices until Apple approves the application which is expected to happen within the next several days.

Israeli Triplay has received favorable reviews from PC Magazine and technology research firm Gartner, praising it as a high-speed service accessible from any device.

 Full Story via Ynetnews

SDM’s Benji Lovitt catches up with Twilight’s Lutz, Colombia’s Carolina La O, Menudo’s Hernandez and Robocop’s Ferrer IN ISRAEL!

Posted on:
September 15, 2011
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What do a political talk show host, a “Twilight” star, a Hollywood character actor, a Columbian pop singer, and a former member of Latino band Menudo turned solo singer have in common?

If you’re expecting to find the answer on the E! channel, you may be watching television for a while; however, if you however guessed that John Carlson, Kellan Lutz, Miguel Ferrer, Carolina la O, and Didier Hernandez are all currently taking part in the most recent America’s Voices in Israel mission to the Holy Land, give yourself a pat on the back.

Relaunched this year, America’s Voices in Israel brings high-profile figures from the United States to Israel to see images not typically broadcast in the world media.  (I’ve been here for five years and have yet to ride a camel nor dodge bullets….maybe I’m just lucky.)

Thursday morning, the group got together at Jerusalem’s Inbal Hotel for a Q&A session with some local media members.  In what should not be at all surprising to readers of this blog, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

Why come to Israel?  First impressions?

Kellen Lutz, who played Emmett Cullen in the “Twilight” series and was named one of People Magazine’s sexiest men alive:

“This is actually my second time here; I came last year for a personal trip.  I wanted to do something new and intriguing.  I was very ignorant as to what Israel had to offer.  When I told my friends I was going for a week, they thought I was nuts.  I just felt that Israel is home to the most historical sites in world.  I love history and really wanted to see it.

I met the most kind, loving people I’ve ever met in life.  They really educated me and took me around.  It was a blessing….I didn’t realize how much there was to do in Israel.”

Miguel Ferrer, actor from numerous TV shows and movies, including “Robocop”, “Traffic”, “Crossing Jordan”, “Twin Peaks”:

“The perception of Israel in the US and in Hollywood is one that’s very dangerous, very unstable.  I really never thought I’d come here until this opportunity arose.  I am so so so glad to be here.

The enormously diverse culture where people can agree and disagree is just amazing, and to learn about the events that took place here over millennia has been fantastic.  It’s a trip I’ll never forget.”

Carolina la O, popular Columbian salsa and tropical music singer who has reached the top of the charts in America, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru:

“For me, my family, and my neighbors in Columbia, to come to Israel is a dream come true.  I can’t believe that I’m here.  Every single morning when I wake up and look out the window, I can’t believe it…Israel is a real paradise.”


Well, that’s great to hear.  So what should people around the world know about this place?

Didier Hernandez, Cuban singer and former teen sensation signed by Sony BMG Records who has performed in 29 countries worldwide:

“Mostly I think people are not informed of the way this country has developed and the way people are here.  The last two days have been great.  We’ve met incredible people and seen amazing sites.”

John Carlson, popular American talk radio host who also founded successful think tank The Washington Policy Center:

“The most surprising aspect about Israel, Jerusalem in particular, is how safe people feel in their everyday interactions.  You can tell when people are on edge in an unsafe neighborhood.  You just don’t get that feeling walking around here. The coverage in the American media is one of conflict and tension.  People are much more at ease than I had expected.”

Kellen:  “My friends who thought I was crazy, they just don’t know what’s going on.  The media misconstrues information and fills our heads with stuff that’s not true at all.  I’m having so much fun, the people are amazing.  I love it here; I hope I can come back every year.

What are the people like?

Carolina: “Being from Columbia, I understand what it’s like to have people around world saying, ‘how can you live there?’  I see that you are an amazing people in an amazing country.  It’s time for the world to visit Israel to see for themselves. This is a perfect country to visit with family and friends.”

Didier:  “You get the impression from abroad that things here are crazy and that people are rude and aggressive.  People are more laid back here than the way they’re portrayed.”


Please tell me you got to Tel Aviv. Thoughts?

Kellan:  “The New York lifestyle.  The clubs are amazing, the food is amazing.  We even went to this BlackOut restaurant (Na Laga’at in Jaffa).  I had never experienced something like that; so great that they have a place for the deaf and blind to be employed, some of the best actors I’ve ever seen.

Miguel:  “I’m glad we were able to visit to really see disparate worlds within this country, a juxtaposition of a very modern city next to a very ancient city and to see how those two worlds can function beautifully.”

Final thoughts?

John:  “I hope people come here.  If they do, they’ll be surprised by how open, safe and welcoming Jerusalem is and how diverse Israel is as a nation.  This is a wonderful place to visit for more than just history and religion.”

Miguel:  “You guys have done the impossible over and over and over again for last 5000 years.  This has been so much more than I ever anticipated.  It’s been very humbling to be part of it.”

Oh, and as Kellan let me know, Bar Refaeli is again off the market so don’t expect that beautiful couple to happen.  “She’s a beautiful soul inside.”  Takes one to know one.  Thanks for the visit, guys!

You can follow Kellan’s trip updates on Twitter.

Pictures by Yissachar Ruas

2 Israeli firms reach TechCrunch final

Posted on:
September 14, 2011
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Shaker, developer of Facebook pub application, and Farmigo, developer of agricultural initiative sharing application, among seven finalists in international startup competition. Will they recreate Soluto’s success and bring home trophy?

The Israeli lucky streak is continuing at the prestigious TechCrunch Disrupt competitionas two Israeli companies, Farmigo and Shaker, make it to the finals among the seven contenders out of the 31 companies which made it into the competition.

The winners will be announced early Thursday.

Full Story Via Ynetnews