Pro-BDS Group Uses Israeli Platform Wix to Build Website

Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Denver deny being hypocritical. According to the university group, which supports the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement built a website for its activities using the free Israeli website builder Wix, according to the Times of Israel website.

The successful Tel Aviv-based company provides a platform for free website building and reportedly has over 50 million users as of 2014.

The Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Denver recently set up a website using the service, prompting criticism that it was not really practicing BDS.

The group published a post on its Facebook page on Wednesday defending its actions and linking to a longer statement by the group’s branch at Cornell University in New York State two years ago, which was slammed for the same thing.

“Let us be clear: BDS is not abstention, nor an absolute moral principle. It is not isolation or withdrawal, and it does not entail a rejection of everything Israeli. It is not anti-Semitic, and it has nothing to do with the merits of Israeli technology. BDS is not the attempt of beautiful souls to avoid contamination with oppression and keep their own hands clean: it is a tactic within a larger strategy, and it is beginning to work,” the group posted from the Cornell statement on Facebook.

“The idea that supporters of BDS must avoid contact with anything Israeli not only misconstrues the nature of BDS, but also contorts the idea of politics in general,” SJP at Cornell wrote in its longer statement.

BDS group uses Wix for anti-Israel website

BDS group uses Wix for anti-Israel website


“Those who call us hypocritical for not adhering to a rigid logic of separation simplistically insinuate that if one believes in boycotting Israel one must do it absolutely and deprive oneself of all the innovative benefits of the ‘Start-up Nation’; since one is opposed to Israel, one must not be in contact with anything Israeli,” it added.

The website for SJP at the University of Denver was still up and running on Wix as of Friday morning.

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Holiday Gift Guide (Technology Edition)

The holiday shopping season is in full effect. Hanukkah begins the evening of Sunday, December 6 this year, which means if you’re shopping for Hanukkah observers you have about three weeks fewer to shop for gifts.Since we’re knee deep in the Digital Age that means a non-technology gift will be relegated to the category of the infamous holiday fruitcake this year, but fear not because there are a lot of options for fun and exciting tech gadgets this Christmas and Hanukkah season.

There are also a lot of practical tech gifts that your friends and family are sure to appreciate. This year’s hot gifts will be flat-screen TVs, smartphones, gaming systems, tablets, headphones, speakers, wearables and drones. As a techie who loves trying out the latest gadgets, I have put together a list of the best tech gifts for holiday shoppers this season. These gifts range in price so there’s something for everyone.

Note: Prices might be lower during the holiday season and search for bargains online.

Drones have been in the news a lot lately and pretty soon you might have to register your drone for safety reasons. While a drone might not be the type of thing everyone is racing out to buy for themselves, they make great gifts. They’re fun to use and capture some amazing video footage that you’d otherwise never see (your kids playing a game of touch football on the beach in Florida for example). The Parrot Bebop is one of the most popular recreational use drones on the market because it’s small and lightweight. The quadcopter’s camera has been improved from previous drone models and has a 180-degree angle of view with a 14-megapixel sensor. You pilot this drone with a smartphone or tablet. It can reach speeds of around 45 mph. You’ll have to recharge the Bebop’s battery often between flights, but anyone who gets one this holiday season will enjoy capturing their friends on the ski slopes this winter. Price: $499

Drones can be pricey, making them a challenging option for children’s gifts this holiday season. That’s why Parrot has come out with a line of light-weight drones for kids. Their new line of Airborne drones connect via Bluetooth and are controlled with the free FreeFlight 3 app for smartphones and tablets. These mini-drones can be used both indoors and outdoors. A vertical camera compares, every 16 milliseconds, an image of the ground to the previous one to determine the speed of the Minidrone and also enables it to take snapshots, which are saved on the 1 Gb flash memory. The Airborne can only hit speeds of up to 11 mph, but kids will enjoy making it do tricks in the sky. Price: $99

There are many pocket sized projectors on the market, but the Cube is the first designed specifically for your smart devices, adapting the image resolution based on the connected smartphone or tablet. Your lucky friend who receives the Cube this Christmas or Hanukkah will be able to load a YouTube clip on their iPad and immediately host a movie night. Price: $299

The Smart Home is the new rage, but your friends might be apprehensive about turning all their household appliances into 21st century smart devices. Help them slowly transform their home into the Digital Age and save them some money along the way. The round Lyric thermostat is very similar to the Nest, but has improved on that concept in several ways. It’s easy to install and configure, and it uses outdoor weather data for optimal heating and cooling. This Wi-Fi thermostat is controlled and monitored using an iOS or Android smartphone app, and uses your phone’s location services, known as geofencing, to save energy. It is very easy to configure the thermostat using the app, but there is no desktop app as of yet. The lucky recipient of this smart thermostat will also appreciate the reports on the app about their energy use. Price: $279

One of the best gifts to friends and family is the gift of security. Netgear’s Arlo is an impressive security system with battery-operated 720p-resolution, motion-sensing, night-vision-equipped, indoor/outdoor cameras. These pocket-sized cameras retain the resolution and on-demand video feed of a typically-tethered camera, but without the typical electrical cords. Arlo’s mobile app is simple, but impressive. The cameras can be used inside and outside the home or business to provide security. For many homes, the two-camera kit will be sufficient, but a there is a four-camera kit and additional cameras can be added for $160 each. Price: $329

The Welcome camera from Netatmo isn’t your typical security camera. Think of it more as a Nanny Cam that recognizes faces. It uses facial recognition to provide notifications about who’s in the home. All data is stored locally on an 8GB SD card included with the camera. Users can also watch a live stream in full HD quality to see motion in the house anywhere in its 130 degree field of view, even at night via infrared night vision. The Welcome compares well to the Nest Cam and both have easy-to-use mobile apps. This is an ideal gift for a family that wants to keep tabs on their kids at home alone or anyone who wants to see which workers are in their home – from the housekeeper and nanny to the painter and plumber. Price: $199

Home entertainment systems used mean having professional installation to avoid seeing wires everywhere. Today, with the Samsung Soundbar with Wireless Active Subwoofer, enjoying high definition sound is simple. This is the perfect gift for a friend or relative who enjoys watching sports and movies with dynamic, surround sound. With the free Samsung Audio Remote App they will control the system from a phone. Price: $306.99 at

TiVo Bolt ($200 less than the TiVo Roamio) lets multiple users record their favorite television shows and movies (four at once), as well as stream content from just about every provider. TiVo has loaded this unit with features that simply makes your standard cable box DVR seem like an 8-track player. Simply place a CableCARD into TiVo Bolt and there’s no more need for a cable box. It’s great for mobile TV viewing with the Android and iOS mobile app. Along with TV shows, Bolt gives you direct access to over-the-top streaming content through individual apps for Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hulu Plus and more. Plus, Bolt is the first TiVo to support 4K-resolution video (2160p) from YouTube and Netflix. If your friend already has a TiVo in the house, the Bolt will connect to that unit as well to view recorded shows. Price: $299 for 500GB; $399 for 1TB

These are not your typical ear buds. If you’re looking for a gift for a friend who really appreciates high quality sound, they will love these earphones. They’re made from solid brass and hand-finished, these earphones feature a distinctive form with ergonomic and elegant details, including laser etching and mirrored accents that reflect light. A balanced weight distribution ensures a snug, comfortable fit. They are not inexpensive, but the quality fits the price. Price: $199

Know someone who enjoys music with their workout? This will be their most practical gift this holiday season. I fell in love with these headphones the first time I put them on. They actually stay in place during running! They are lightweight and comfortable with ultra-high quality sound, clarity and power. They also have a built-in microphone and a single button call-answering feature to be hands-free during calls, even when you’re 30 feet from your phone. With up to 8 hours run time on a 1-hour charge, these are the best Bluetooth headphones for active people. For under $20, add a Sports Sleeve to hold the phone during running or biking. Price: $119.99 (with hard case)

Desktop computers used to come packaged with cheap speakers, but today everyone wants to enjoy their music with better sound quality. These impressive room-filling speakers are designed for the music, games or movies on the computer. These are powerful little speakers with a front-facing subwoofer and easy to use volume dial. Price: $99.99

This is the ultimate portable Bluetooth speaker. It is great for parties, backyard BBQs or the football tailgate. I’ve been enjoying UE speakers for a long time and even have the smaller waterproof model (UE Roll) in the shower. The UE Boom 2 is rugged, but lightweight. With the mobile app, it’s going to be a top notch Christmas or Hanukkah gift this year. Price: $199

For a much less expensive speaker option, kids will enjoy this LED Bluetooth speaker from iLuv. It’s perfect to match up with a cellphone and comes in various fun colors. Not only is this a fun gift for kids and teens, it actually produces a high quality sound that they’ll enjoy. Price: $39.99

The new animatronic Star Wars line from Thinkway Toys is the most technologically sophisticated Star Wars toy line ever created. Everyone is excited for the new Star Wars movie and these cool, responsive and interactive Star Wars figures will be one of the hottest toy gifts this holiday season. It’s available in all the popular Star Wars characters. Price: $139.99

The Cycliq Fly6 Bicycle Tail­Light and Safety Camera Combo: Cycliq makes innovative cycling accessories and while the Fly6 HD camera and tail­light combo is ideal for cyclists, it will also prove useful for college students biking around campus. The Fly6 camera replaces your existing tail­light and records what happens behind your bike in real time. The camera provides great low light images featuring 1020 x 720 HD camera footage and dynamic audio recording. It comes with a USB­rechargeable battery (6 hours runtime), 8GB Class 10 microSD card, two seat post mounts for use on two bikes, and an Aero seat post adaptor. Price: $169

Kids and teens love taking selfies and this wireless Bluetooth camera shutter remote with dual-layer protective case for the iPhone will be a fun, inexpensive gift this holiday season. Price: $39.99

This iPhone case serves two purposes – it is a protective case and a detachable battery pack. I love that you don’t have to worry about a charging cable, but just plug your entire phone right into the electrical outlet. While it’s a little pricey for a phone case, remember you’re giving someone both a charger and a durable case all in one. $99.95

If you’re looking for a quick and easy holiday gift that is practical, look no further than Echo’s power banks. No one is happy when their cellphone runs out of juice, so they’ll appreciate the gift of portable power. Many of the power banks on the market are heavy and therefore a hassle to carry around. Echo has figured out how to make high efficiency power banks that are lightweight. Price: $30

This brand-new innovation from iLuv Creative Technology is ideal for kids, teens and college students. The SmartShaker alarm clock is controlled from a smartphone through an iOS app. Young people use their phone as an alarm clock, but what happens when it’s in another room? Smart Shaker is programmed via your Smart Phone and acts as an extension of your phone alarm even when your phone is in a different room being charged or set to silent. Available in five colors. Price: $19.99

I love every product that iClever makes. They are all available for purchase on and are priced very affordably. I’ve placed these 6-port wall chargers around my home and office making it easy for guests to charge their devices. iClever also sells an assortment of car chargers, Bluetooth keyboards, Bluetooth earbud headphones, Bluetooth transmitters and portable speakers. $39.99

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DavkaWriter 7 Wins Hebrew Word Processor Wars

One might think that rabbinical students spend much of their days sitting in the beit midrash arguing over sections of the Talmud containing the debates of the medieval sages. That’s only partially correct. When I was in rabbinical school, I remember the arguments we had (students and teachers) over which is the best Hebrew word processor.

When it comes to typing a document in English, the most popular choice is certainly Microsoft Word, with a minority of law firms and businesses still using WordPerfect. When it comes to typing a document in Hebrew (or mixing Hebrew text with English), there are a handful of options on the market. For years, there hasn’t been just one Hebrew word processor that really stands out.

Hebrew Word Processor for Windows 10 Davkawriter

I’ve had a chance to work with many of the Hebrew word processor applications out there and used Dagesh Pro (from TES Software) for many years and found it to be very good. Some of its impressive features include adding vowels automatically and the ability to include trope marks (cantillation notes). It comes with over 100 fonts and has a very good Microsoft Word filter and can save documents as HTML code.

For the Mac, Nisus Writer Pro (from Nisus Software, Inc.) is an impressive application. The latest version of Nisus came out in May and boasts the abilty to track changes within the document. The new version also comes with drawing tools and watermarks.

Both Nisus Writer Pro and Dagesh Pro offer free trial downloads of their software online. These two applications have certainly advanced in their capabilities in the past few years.

The best Hebrew word processor for Windows, however, is now DavkaWriter 7 (from Davka Corp.). This latest version of DavkaWriter, which was released in 2011 works perfectly on Windows 8 and Windows 10. It has over 25 new features and enhancements. They did a complete redesign of the application, allowing it to run faster and be much more user-friendly. Many of the improvements in DavkaWriter 7 are features that users have become accustomed to in Microsoft Word. In ealier versions of DavkaWriter, I found myself copying the text and pasting it into Word so I would have the use of all of Microsoft’s features. However, now the majority of those features are available within the DavkaWriter app itself.

DavkaWriter 7 includes screen capture, draggable document tabs, and a zoom slider for instant page adjustment. It features an accurate display of Hebrew vowels and cantillation marks, as well as a built-in text library of vocalized Hebrew texts (including the Tanakh, Mishnah and Siddur with the text of the Torah and Haftarah readings). It also comes with the Rashi commentary on the Chumash.

Whether you’re looking to use a Hebrew word precessor for scholarship or simply to type a few Hebrew words in a Hebrew font, DavkaWriter 7 is exceptionally easy to use. I tested it on Windows 7, Vista and XP without any problems. It sells online for $159 (comprable to Dagesh Pro), but discounts are available if you’re upgrading from a previous version. The competition for the best Hebrew word processor on Windows will likely continue as each company improves its product, but for now the answer is DavkaWriter.

Update: The following is information on DavkaWriter Mac Version:

DavkaWriter 7 for Mac is a specially modified version of our renowned Hebrew-English word processor that brings a rich set of Hebrew word processing features – including perfect nikud and trop placement, Hebrew-English spell checker, on-screen Hebrew/English keyboard, and built-in Jewish text library – to your Macintosh.

We’ve partnered with CodeWeavers, makers of the popular CrossOver Mac product, to create this special Mac-friendly version.

DavkaWriter 7 for Mac has most of the look and feel of a Mac program, and it uses familiar Mac keyboard commands — Command-P to print, Command-S to save, etc. While there are elements of the program that resemble its Windows origins, the program is easy to learn and use.

DavkaWriter 7 for Mac features:

  • Mac pull-down menus
  • Mac installer that installs DavkaWriter Mac to Applications folder
  • Files are saved in DavkaWriter folder in your Mac’s Documents folder
  • Uses Mac print drivers for standard printing and PDF export

DavkaWriter 7 for Mac includes most of the features that come with the regular DavkaWriter 7 for Windows, with the exception of FlexiText and thematic borders.

If you have DavkaWriter documents that you created on your Windows PC, they will open seamlessly in DavkaWriter 7 for Mac and go back to Windows just as easily. And if you’re new to DavkaWriter, you’ll enjoy the ease of use, convenient switching between Hebrew and English, and built-in text libraries including Tanach, Mishnah, Siddur, and Parashat HaShavua that have made DavkaWriter famous worldwide.



Built for Hebrew from the Ground Up!


  • Switch languages with a click
  • On-screen Hebrew keyboard
  • Nikud and trop align perfectly
  • Hebrew-English spell checker and individual word translator
  • Wide variety of Hebrew fonts, all with nikud and trop
  • Support for Shva-na, kamatz katan, and chataf-kamatz
  • Search and replace for nikud and trop
  • Individual coloring of nikud and trop characters
  • Look up Tanach and Mishnah by book, chapter, and verse
  • Hebrew/English footnote and page numbering
  • Hebrew/English sorting
  • Hebrew/English dates, using Jewish or secular calendar
  • Built-in Text Library and clip art included!


DavkaWriter 7 includes vowelized Hebrew texts, integrated into the program for instant access:


  • Tanach
  • Weekly Torah readings & Haftarot
  • Rashi on Chumash
  • Mishnah
  • Siddur
  • Also includes 350 photos and Judaic clip art images


Flexible and Powerful!

  • Open and edit DavkaWriter files on your Mac that were created with DavkaWriter for Windows
  • Create files with DavkaWriter for Mac that can be opened on DavkaWriter for Windows
  • Draggable document tabs for efficient on-screen organization
  • Multiple object selection
  • Zoom Slider adjusts page zoom instantly
  • Drawing layer – Place all graphical elements anywhere, with a variety of text-wrapping options
  • Use text boxes to place text and flow it from box to box
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts, toolbars and menus
  • Place footnotes into their own set of columns, independent of the main text columns
  • Drop caps — by the letter or by the word
  • PowerStyles — Control font, style, and paragraph automatically
  • Select by Style – Change only the text that’s in a specific font, size and style


System Requirements:

Mac with 4 GB RAM, OS X 10.6 or higher. Compatible with OS X Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and Yosemite.  

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Jason Buzi’s Refugee Nation Launches Largest Crowdfunding Campaign in History

Refugee Nation Launches Largest Crowdfunding Campaign in History to Raise $3 Billion
and Solve Global Humanitarian Crisis

Donations collected from fundraising will be used to Establish a New Country by the Year 2020

San Francisco, CA October 15, 2015Refugee Nation, a social and political movement that calls for the creation of a new country that would automatically accept all of the world’s refugees and displaced persons as citizens, announced today the launch of its $3 Billion crowdfunding campaign, the largest global fundraising effort to date, across two of the largest crowdfunding platforms –  GoFundMe and Indiegogo. Upon reaching its goal, Refugee Nation will use the funds raised to purchase and develop land, infrastructure, and technology as well as host an annual conference that brings together world leaders to achieve the end of the global refugee crisis by the year 2020.

“Refugee Nation could be established tomorrow if the political will were there,” said Jason Buzi, founder, Refugee Nation. “We’ve launched this multi-platform campaign to attract the attention of people in positions of great influence, governments around the world, philanthropists, celebrities and ordinary citizens of goodwill. The current approaches to the refugee problem have been inept, ineffective and have gone on for too long, without true resolution. It is time for a change.”

As a way to bypass funding limits of traditional crowdfunding sites, a multi-platform strategy will be utilized, and donations will be used to fund the following:

  • To Host an Annual Conference that will bring together the proper experts and influencers from around the world to address the refugee crisis. The goal of the conference is to inspire creative thinking and reaffirm the call for a paradigm shift in the way the world views and responds to displaced people.
  • To Purchase an Island that will stand as a proof of concept that the creation of a nation-state is possible.
  • To Employ a Staff of Experts that would assess what size territory would be needed for the creation of a Refugee Nation. This would include hiring engineers and city planners, as well as those that would continue building the movement’s grass roots efforts.
  • To Create an Open Source Platform for Technology that will allow all of the world’s technology experts to assist in the creation of the state.
  • To Employ a Team of Lobbyists that will call on the world’s governments and politicians to contribute to the governing policies of the nation.

Jason Buzi - Refugee Nation

“Currently, the United Nations estimates there are 60 million refugees and internally displaced people in the world, and that number is only growing,” said Buzi. “Most of the current refugees are unwelcomed by the Western world and are simply looking for a place to call home. Refugee Nation believes these people should have a say in their future and this campaign is a key step in giving them back their voice.”


About Refugee Nation:

Refugee Nation is a bold initiative that calls for the creation of a new country that would automatically accept as citizens all of the world’s refugees and displaced persons. This nation will be available to refugees of all nationalities, races, religions, and backgrounds. Refugee Nation sees current humanitarian aid as a Band-Aid Solution that only a new country can fix. For more information,, Refugee Nation’s Facebook page and Twitter Feed.

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Rabbi Dovi Scheiner Launches Synago Mobile Synagogue


This Synagogue Is Breaking Away From A 2,000 Year Old Model And Solving Judaism’s Biggest Problem
By Alyson Krueger

Last summer Rabbi Dovi Scheiner and his wife Esty realized they had a problem.

Over the past decade they had done the improbable: created a sexy, enticing synagogue named Soho Synagogue for young Jewish professionals. At a comedy event in September named “Laughter Before Yom Kippur” every performer obsessed over how good looking the crowd was in attendance. The Rosh Hashanah dinner last year was featured on Guest of a Guest, the website that documents the social lives of the rich and thriving. The Rabbi was voted one of the 50 most stylish people in New York. I had a friend ditch me for a 80s roller skating disco party to attend a Shabbat dinner there over the summer.

“Thousands of young Jews whose parents couldn’t wedge them into synagogue with a shoe horn were coming to our synagogue of their own volition, telling their friends, grabbing front row seats,” said Rabbi Scheiner

Despite the perception of luxury and success the synagogue needed money. The couple would leave their sold out events, check their empty bank accounts, and get stressed. They didn’t want to do what synagogues have done for the past 2,000 years: charge their members large annual fees (their young population probably couldn’t or wouldn’t pay it anyway) or raise money from philanthropists. “There are Rabbis who get on the phone every day to raise $70,000, but I don’t have the fortitude for that,” said Rabbi Scheiner. “I knew we didn’t want to be an innovative Jewish community with an old fashioned funding model. We had to create a new way of doing this.”

Synagogue Sexy

The initial idea, drummed up last summer, was to create a paywall protected website that gave Jews access to Soho Synagogue. They could pay either one dollar or two dollars a day and then sign up for religious or social events. Once the website was built, however, they realized they could do so much more with it. They added a vertical where members could view one another’s profiles and message to ask for a date or a job opportunity. They created a space for young people to blog about Jewish issues they care about (One related to the afterlife was called “You had me at Hell Oh”) and for the Rabbi to publish D’var Torahs or Jewish words of the day.

Read more ›

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Posted in Jewish Techs Blog Expands Israeli Operations

David Shamah of Times of Israel reports that plans to expand its operations in Israel. In his Start-Up Israel newsletter, he explains what this means:

In just a year and a half, Amazon has gone from simply supplying Israeli companies with cloud technology, to developing that technology here – and it’s hiring more than a hundred engineers and other tech personnel to fill new positions that are opening up in Israel.

And that’s likely just the beginning, said Harel Ifhar, Country Manager for Amazon Israel. “Our purchase last year of Israeli tech firm Annapurna, which is now an Amazon research and development lab, and the hiring of more engineers for separate R&D efforts, shows the faith Amazon has in Israeli technology, and affirms the company’s plans to continue investing and expanding here.”

Amazon made the announcement last week at a major tech event for Israeli customers of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform, which allows companies to run their entire operations — from administration to development to product distribution — using Amazon’s cloud network.

AWS is especially popular in Israel among start-ups. Just how popular the company won’t disclose, but according to Ifhar, there were over 2,000 people at the AWS Tech Summit in Tel Aviv last Thursday.

AWS now counts some of Israel’s most well-known start-ups and fastest growing businesses as customers, including Wix, Kensho, Meerkat, Moovit, GetTaxi, Glide, Capriza, Iron Source, GameFly and Viber, as well as some of Israel’s most established enterprises such as Yes, Comverse, Bank Hapolim and Tadiran Telecom.

Most people know Amazon as a retail product site, aiming to become the world’s largest on-line department store (Wal-Mart retains that title) that long ago outgrew its original mission of becoming the world’s largest bookstore (which it is, by a wide margin).

But Amazon also seeks to be the world’s biggest cloud services provider to business (Microsoft is bigger, but not by much), and to expand its markets. The company has in recent months released a slew of new services, from machine learning systems and advanced cloud-based databases to an Internet of Things interface – the same kinds of services other cloud tech firms, including IBM and Microsoft, have been touting as well.

“The difference between us is that you don’t have to learn special skills or languages to use our interface,” said Ifhar. “The purpose of the [AWS] summit was to show how those technologies worked in the field. Instead of just putting up PowerPoint presentations, we actually had someone working with these services, producing a final product that was activated on a server. I can’t speak for other companies, but when we provide a service, we make sure it works as needed before introducing it.”

“As a result, customers are very happy with what we are giving them, and that is why we keep growing, in Israel and around the world,” Ifhar added. “We are very customer-focused; when customers ask us for new services, we develop them and thus stay ahead of the market, helping our customers to grow their business.” and Israel
For proof of the effectiveness of AWS, said Ifhar, one need go no further than a report issued by US tech industry market research, analysis and advisory firm International Data Corporation (IDC), which analyzed how AWS impacts business.

In an in-depth study of 10 organizations, IDC said that on average “we calculate that these Amazon customers will capture five-year business benefits worth over $1.5 million per application they are running in the AWS environment, and earn a return on their investment in AWS of 560%. On the whole, interviews with AWS customers demonstrated that they are not only leveraging Amazon cloud services to build and support applications more efficiently and cost effectively, but that running these applications in the AWS environment is enabling them to better serve their customers and drive their business transformation initiatives.”

Israel, said Werner Vogels, CTO and Vice President at Amazon, is an important source of customers – and technology – for the company.

“We have been active with Israeli customers through Amazon Web Services for years, working with them as they move to the cloud to be more innovative, agile, lower their costs, and scale their IT operations globally in minutes,” he said. “During this time, we have been extremely impressed with the creativity and strong engineering talent available in the country. Locating the development of key parts of Amazon’s business in Israel further accelerates our efforts to deliver innovation to customers around the world.”

Among the jobs Amazon will be seeking to fill: research scientists, systems modeling, software and application development engineers, account managers, solutions architects, technical account managers, business development managers, silicon designers, verification engineers, operation managers, system engineers, signal integrity engineers, and something called “Software Ninjaneers,” staff who can deep dive into the techiest parts of Amazon products to solve vexing programming problems.

“We welcome Amazon’s continued investment in the Israeli technology community,” said Chief Scientist Avi Hasson. “Having Amazon here is an important and valuable asset for Israel as we continue to build the country into a world leading center for technology development.”

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The Jewish Man Bitcoin Built – and Then Destroyed

Originally Posted in the Forward by Nathaniel Popper

This article is excerpted and adapted from “Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money” by Nathaniel Popper.

Charlie Shrem sits in prison in central Pennsylvania, the cautionary face of the futuristic movement that developed around the virtual currency Bitcoin.

This can seem a rather unlikely position for a 25-year-old college graduate who grew up in the cloistered world of the Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn and kept a copy of the Israeli Declaration of Independence on his bedroom wall. But his past was, in fact, an integral part of the journey that has left him in USP Lewisburg Satellite Camp.

Shrem first discovered Bitcoin in the summer of 2011, when he saw a story on Gawker about the online drug bazaar, Silk Road, where Bitcoin was the resident currency.

At the time, Shrem was a senior at Brooklyn College, still living in the basement of his parents home in Midwood. He had been born cross-eyed and, after surgery to fix the problem, had to wear thick glasses. He was almost always the shortest one in his classes. As with so many other techies, Shrem’s real-world struggles led him to cultivate an active life online, where he knew many of his friends by their screen names.

Charlie-Shrem-Bitcoin-Jewish Read more ›

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Arabs Hack Major Israeli Websites

Arab hackers known as Desert Falcons have stolen over 1 million files in 50 countries. It’s possible that this hacking groups could be government-backed. According to the Times of Israel website and David Shamah, Desert Falcons, which “distinguish themselves from the Gaza porn-hacker group and other lesser cybercriminals by the highly advanced methods they use to attack high-security sites and in the amount of damage they have caused. According to the researchers, the group, which has been operating since 2011, but only recently got into the full swing of hacking, have stolen over a million files from some 3,000 victims in 50 countries. Those include countries throughout the Middle East and Europe, but their main focus has been Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt, targeting military and government organizations — particularly employees responsible for countering money laundering — as well as leading media outlets, research and education institutions, energy and utilities providers, activists and political leaders, physical security companies, and other targets in possession of important geopolitical information.”

The researchers said they had identified several of the hackers, and while not revealing their identities, said they were mostly residents of the PA, Turkey, and Egypt. They have also been surprisingly open about their exploits, using Twitter and other social media to brag about their exploits. They all appear to be native Arabic speakers, Kaspersky Lab said.


The level of sophistication and the sites they were targeting, the researchers said, indicated that they were being sponsored by someone – maybe a criminal organization, or maybe even a government.

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Tim Cook and Apple Opening Israel Headquarters

Apple CEO Tim Cook will inaugurate Apple Israel’s new headquarters. During Tim Cook’s visit to Israel next week, Cook will meet with former President Shimon Peres and senior figures in the nation’s high-tech industry, the Israeli business daily Globes reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

Apple Israel headquarters will be located in Herzliya Pituach, a wealthy beachfront district in central Israel. The Apple Israel offices will be 12,500 square meter and house 800 employees. Last year Apple’s Tim Cook met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Apple’s international headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Tim Cook - Apple in Israel

Apple Israel’s development center is based on the acquisitions of flash memory developer Anobit ($390 million in 2012) and movement sensor developer PrimeSense ($300 million in 2013). Apple Israel also took in 150 employees being laid off in Israel last year by Texas Instruments.

Last August, in the midst of Operation Protective Edge, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak arrived in Israel to participate in the EduAction Forum, an annual education conference that kicks off at the start of the school year.



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Posted in Jewish Techs Blog

Tablet Magazine Charges Users to Comment

Want to comment on a Tablet Magazine article? From now on, you’ll have to pay money to do that. Will that work? I don’t think it will, but I’m not going to pay money to tell them that!

Now, if you could pay money to a news website to keep certain people from leaving comments (a defensive move), that might work.

Read more about Tablet Magazine’s new pay-to-comment policy on Rabbi Jason’s blog or at The Verge.

Tablet Magazine Charges Users to Comment

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Posted in Jewish Techs Blog

Jewish Techs: The Jewish Technology Blog

This blog looks at how modern technology affects Jewish life, particularly the impact of the Internet on Jews across the globe. The Internet has made the Jewish community seem smaller. The Jewish Techs blog, written by blogger Rabbi Jason Miller (The Techie Rabbi), explores the places where Jewish culture, education and faith intersect with technology. Of course, like anything, Jews will continue to ask if technology is good or bad for the Jews – the age old question of our people. Good or bad, it is undisputed that technology has changed Jewish life. If you’re Jewish or interested in technology or both… you’ll enjoy the conversation. Thanks for reading the Jewish Techs blog.

The Techie Rabbi – Rabbi Jason Miller

Rabbi Jason Miller, the Techie RabbiJason Miller is NOT your typical rabbi. Known as the Techie Rabbi, he launched Access Computer Technology in 2010 and has grown it into a full-scale technology firm that provides social media marketing consulting and web design in addition to IT support. Ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary a decade ago, Rabbi Jason has made a name for himself as a popular blogger, social media expert, educator and entrepreneur. Based in Detroit, his congregation includes more than a million people who read his blog and follow him in Cyberspace. He began the Jewish Techs blog in January 2010 as the New York Jewish Week's technology expert.

An entrepreneurial rabbi and an alum of Clal's "Rabbi Without Borders" fellowship, Jason Miller is a rabbi and thought leader whose personal blog has been viewed by millions. The Detroit Free Press called him “the most tech-savvy Jewish leader" and the Huffington Post ranked him among the top Jewish Twitter users in the world. A social media expert, Rabbi Jason is a popular speaker and writer on technology and its effect on the Jewish world. He writes the "Jewish Techs" blog for The Jewish Week and the monthly "Jews in the Digital Age" column for the Detroit Jewish News.

Miller won the 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and is one of the winners of a Jewish Influencer award from the National Jewish Outreach Program.