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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘cell phones’

The End of the (Leftist) ‘Voice of Israel’ Radio Is Near

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Communications Minister Gilad Erdan said Monday that Israel’s public broadcasting system is “sick” and that he holds out the option to shut it down and start all over again if a committee for reforming it does not get on with the job.

The committee has until the end of the year to come up with concrete suggestions that will bring what Erdan said is a needed “dramatic change,” but he cautioned that the reforms that have been suggested so far do not fill the bill.

Erdan, a veteran Likud Knesset Member and a strong nationalist, is the second Communicators Minister in a row to carry out reforms that literally are revolutionary.

His predecessor Moshe Kahlon announced from the outset of his term in the previous government that he saw no reason for mobile phone companies to take huge profits of billions of dollars and dish out exorbitant dividends to shareholders at the expense of customers who were subject to closed competition that was controlled by only three companies.

He slashed cell phone prices by up to 90 percent and opened up competition, and the Israel consumer now enjoys some of the lowest rates in the world.

Erdan is taking on what is formally known as the Israel Broadcasting Authority, whose flagship Channel One television and “Kol Yisrael (Voice of Israel)” radio station for years were the first and last word for Israelis.

Under the Peres-Rabin administrations more than 20 years ago, the IBA was entrenched with a “clubhouse” atmosphere that still does not allow for balanced broadcasts.

“The Authority shall ensure that the broadcasts give suitable expression to various and opinions and transmit reliable information,” is the official mandate.

In practice, the “Voice of Israel” is the voice of the center-left, which was openly biased in favor of Labor governments, openly antagonistic to the Likud and especially Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah, slanted reporting to favor a pullout in 2000  of the IDF from the security zone in Lebanon, campaigned repeatedly for freeing  Arab terrorists at any price,  campaigned for the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif, and promotes pluralistic agendas at the expense of Orthodox Judaism.

Like every other society or company that promotes an agenda that does not reflect its customers, the IBA ends up hurting itself.

“Public broadcasting is sick and needs a dramatic change,” Erdan said Monday. I am not appointed to head the IBA but am appointed to carry out the law of the IBA, and therefore I examined if it is fulfilling its legal mandate.

“My conclusion as clear that its objectives are not being achieved, and the IBA has lost relevancy and influence.”

As far back as 2002, Ombudsman Amos Goren noted that the IBA suffers from “suffocating hegemony” and that its broadcasters recruit their own friends with the same views.

He underscored its leftist agenda by the use of the term “West Bank” when referring to Judea and Samaria, a change that has been made. He also said that the Voice of Israel used the term “extreme rightwing” but never “extreme leftwing.”

The Voice of Israel’s legal analyst Moshe Negbi consistently takes a solidly left wing and anti-nationalist view. Rightwing analysts are rarely heard except as an officious and ostensible “balance” to other views, but interviewers usually use silk gloves when questioning left-center politicians and are highly argumentative when interviewing nationalists.

Before and during the last election, it promoted Labor Knesset Member (Fuad) Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, interviewing him ad nauseum.

The IBA’s latest anti-nationalist episode was gagging the Latma satirical program that exposes leftist agenda in the media.

The directors of Israel Media Watch, Yisrael Medad and Eli Pollak, wrote in a column in the Jerusalem Post two weeks ago, “Latma’s flagship television-on-Internet program is the antithesis of Channel 2’s flagship satire program Eretz Nehederet, which is openly and unabashedly post-Zionist.”

However,  IBA Chairman Dr. Amir Gilat, rejected airing the program without another satirical show that would represent the leftwing. After a pilot program was produced, “the IBA decided that actually, it had no intention of airing Latma’s show,” Medad and Pollak wrote.

They added, “Latma received a laconic, one-sentence letter informing them the IBA had decided not to air their show.

What’s Wrong With the Star-K Kosher Phone?

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

About a month ago the Star-K, a world renowned Kashrus agency, announced that they were certifying kosher phones. These phones have no access to the Internet, cannot place or receive text messages, cannot take photos, and most importantly, cannot be hacked to perform any of these tasks.

It’s not troubling to me that people would want a phone that is insulated from certain tasks. Although I think it is an unnecessary measure and perhaps counter productive, I don’t begrudge people their personal self control restraints.

What is troubling is that a kashrus agency is part of this initiative. A kashrus agency should be concerned with one thing and one thing only. Their singular concern should be the kosher status of the food. I don’t even think that a kashrus agency must concern itself with humanitarian or other ethical issues that may arise. I have no problem with a secondary agency coming in and providing a secondary level of supervision. But the kosher status of the food cannot be affected by anything other its status as kosher food.

So when I see a kashrus agency entering into the phone market, I see an agency that should be worried about kosher status of food but is now legislating morality. It’s not even as if the technical skills involved in kosher supervision overlap the neutering of cell phones. They have nothing to do with each other. I don’t think it is smart for kosher supervision to be intertwined or even related to morality supervision.

Similarly, when kosher supervision agencies make demands on the clientele or ambience of an eating establishment I believe they are overstepping their bounds. There are restaurants that are not allowed to be open at certain hours because they will lose their hechsher if they are open. This is far beyond the scope of kosher supervision. Tell me if the food is kosher and I will decide if I want to patronize the restaurant. That is all we need from a kashrus agency. The stretching of their authority serves no important purpose for the public. It seems to me that it is merely a self-serving, self-righteous way to legislate their morality. If they can legislate phones and who can eat where, what’s next?

I am not making a slippery slope argument. I am pointing out that there is no logical connection between the kosher status of food and the kosher status of a phone. There is also no relationship between the kosher status of a restaurant and whether teenagers are hanging out. In other words, the kashrus agencies are already legislating their morality. There is no reason to think it only will apply in these two instances because there is no connection between these two things and the kosher status of food.

We need to stop using the word kosher for things other than food. Yes, the word is a general term but it has evolved into a word that describes whether food can be eaten by orthodox Jews who keep kosher. We don’t eat anything that is not kosher. Using the word kosher for phones and Internet implies that the non-kosher versions are not allowed to be used. This is sophomoric and divisive.

If anything, the kashrus agencies should be concerned with the ethics and morality of the actual food. This is something they have resisted time and time again. I am not recommending they get into the ethics of food business, but if they must expand their business and purview of supervision I think that is the first place they should be looking to legislate seeing as they have the knowledge and expertise to monitor and report on that aspect of food production. But teens mingling and phones? They don’t belong there at all.

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Israeli Children Get Cell Phones at Young Age, Survey Finds

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

One in four Israeli children between the ages of 6 and 8 has their own cell phone, a new survey by the Israeli cell phone company Pelephone found.

The number increases to one in three children for ages 9 to 11 and 91 percent for ages 12 to 14.

Some 93 percent of the mothers who responded to the July survey said they gave their children cell phones so that they can have peace of mind and be able to contact them when they want.

Ninety-two percent of the children with cell phones use them to send text messages, according to the survey, and 75 percent use apps.

Texting, Chatting, and that Thing We Used to Call a Relationship

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Rachel’s matchmaker had given her the green light. Jacob was going to contact her that night (he was finally available!) and they would arrange a date. As Rachel awaited his call, she thought about what he would look like and wondered where they would go.

Her phone buzzed with an incoming text, interrupting her reverie. To her shock, it was Jacob, texting to schedule their date. “What chutzpah,” she thought (and later told her friends). “He doesn’t even have the courtesy to call and talk to me.”

If you ask someone who was in the dating scene only ten years ago what role texting and e-mailing played in his or her relationship, my guess is that he or she would say it was a moot point. No one I knew had texting (was it even around?), and while its absence may seem inconvenient now, it certainly made dating etiquette less complicated.

The world is a different place today and texting and e-mailing play far larger roles in our relationships. The benefits are obvious; the difficulties less blatant, more complex. Navigating the intricacies of chatting, texting, and e-mailing within the already-complicated world of dating can sometimes require Herculean efforts. When to chat? When to call? Is it rude to chat to confirm a pickup time? Will he think I’m too forward if I text him? The questions go on and on.

With so many uncertainties surrounding texting and e-mailing, why do singles rely on them so heavily? Wouldn’t it simply be easier to rule them out of the dating process?

Not always. Singles often use texting and e-mailing to progress a relationship. Sandy Weiner, dating coach and owner of Last First Date, explains that “you can stay in touch and let someone know you’re thinking of them by texting throughout the day without being intrusive.”

Michael Feldstein, a member of the Advisory Committee for YU Connects, agrees that these modes of communication at times do make things easier for singles – but not always better. “I think many singles are using e-mail and texting as a way to protect themselves from getting too close in a relationship or dealing with issues that they prefer to avoid in a face-to-face environment.”

Case in point? Break ups.

“I’ve heard stories about guys who have broken up with girls after being in a relationship through a text or an e-mail – there is no excuse for doing something like that,” says Feldstein.

As much as a text can help someone express a hard-to-say compliment, its potential to do significant damage to a relationship or allow for such rude behavior makes it a double-edged sword.

Moreover, there have been plenty of cases of mistaken identity associated with texting. “People sometimes text the wrong person, which can lead to pushing away a potential match,” relates Weiner. “For example, you’re set up with two women, and you’re going on first dates with both of them. You’re in communication with both, and by mistake you text Susan and call her Karen. Not a good move!”

At the root of many of these tech-related issues is a lack of protocol informing proper behavior. Many men and women in relationships are flat-out confused by the lack of protocol with texting and the like in dating. There are no set rules and what’s deemed appropriate by one person may be viewed as inappropriate by another.

“Women don’t know if it’s too forward to initiate texting a man,” says Weiner. “And men don’t know if they’re texting too much and possibly pushing a woman away.”

Facebook can also be detrimental to relationships. If people in a relationship post pictures of themselves with members of the opposite sex (who are not their significant others) it can cause jealousy or confusion. Some people go so far as to change their relationship status from “in a relationship” to “single” without informing the person they had been dating.

But more than simply making a dating faux pas, texting, e-mailing and Facebook use can hinder relationships. Gestures, body language, tone of voice, or facial expressions that convey emotions and attitude can never be translated into typed words. As a dating coach, Weiner understands just how vital that face-to-face communication is.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/texting-chatting-and-that-thing-we-used-to-call-a-relationship/2013/03/06/

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