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July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Google Acquires Israel’s Air Force [video]

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Israelis are still reeling from the discovery of a special salute to Internet mega-giant Google performed by the men and women of Israel’s air force, yes, the same airforce that gave us the elimination of the flying capacity of three Arab armies in six days, and the bombing of an Iraqi nuclear plant, is now using its facilities in a publicity stunt for a search engine. When Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was visiting Israel, his tour included the Hatzerim Air Force base in the Negev, he was received with a special video that was produced by the base, shot by artists Udi Even Haim, showing dozens of base soldiers forming with their bodies the brand name “Google.”

© JNi.media

© JNi.media

The story was exposed by Israel Radio military reporter Carmela Menashe, who heard it from the father of one of the participating soldiers. The father related how his son received an order to report for duty in the scorching heat at the Negev desert base, to be part of the special humanographic event.

As we said, shocked reactions have been pouring in from both sides of the aisle. MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) tweeted: “You don’t need a search engine to understand that these gestures must be stopped. There cannot be a Google logo, nor events for the wealthy on [IDF] bases.”

Shelly Yachimovich (Zionist Camp) posted on her Facebook page: “What a disgrace. In 35 degree heat (that’s 95 degrees to you and me), an entire base, with its pilots, soldiers, commanders, budgets, planes and drones — dancing before the management of a private company who came to visit, bowing before them and pleasing them with modeling twists. … Where are the limits? Where is the national honor? And who will decide which company gets flattered and why, and how is this related to state security and the IDF ethos, and how much did this humiliation cost, and what for?”

“What’s next?” Yachimovich wondered. “Soldiers modeling the Nike logo? Tanks laid up in the shape of the Gerber Baby? Fighter planes leaving behind smoke streaks promoting a coffee and croissant campaign?”

MK Amir Ohana (Likud), who chairs the Knesset subcommittee on IDF HR, tweeted that “the IDF’s role is to provide security, not be a decorating committee. … This is not the reason why we have a compulsory draft.”

Ohana promised he would use his power as the Knesset member in charge of how IDF soldiers are utilized to reduce such shameful phenomena.

The IDF spokesperson’s office released a curt response saying the event was initiated by the local Air Force base commander as part of the visit. The spokesperson added, “The issue will be checked and lessons will be learned.”

Incidentally, Google, like so many other gazillion-dollar Internet giants, doesn’t pay taxes in Israel for its Israeli ads or VAT. According to Guy Ophir, an activist promoting taxing those giants, Google should be dropping about a quarter billion dollars annually in Israel if it were taxed fairly.

JNi.Media

Major Internet Firms Join ADL, European Jewish Groups to Battle Hate Speech Online

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

European Jewish students are teaming with the New York-based Anti-Defamation League to expand the organization’s Cyber-Safety Action Guide for European Internet users.

The European Jewish Congress and European Union of Jewish Students will work together to help expand the guide, and develop translations in French and German.

The news follows an agreement between the European Commission and Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft on creation of a “Code of Conduct” addressing online hate speech.

ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement that the Code of Conduct “closely tracks ADL’s ‘Best Practices for Responding to Cyberhate” originally released in 2014.’”

The Cyber-Safety Action Guide includes tabs where visitors may access information on submitting complaints and reporting hate speech to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

It also provides quick links to each company’s cyber-bullying and harassment policies and terms of service, as well as links directly to online complaint forms. The guide is currently available in English and in Spanish.

Hana Levi Julian

Google Grants $700K to Israeli Tech Consortium Helping Disabled

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

An Israeli organization focused on creating technology to help the disabled has won a $700,000 grant from Google.

The Internet search engine giant awarded the grant to Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) as part of its “Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities campaign. TOM holds 3-day marathons bringing technologists and engineers together to invent products for people with disabilities.

The group claims to have created 120 product prototypes since 2014, such as a bionic hand and a walker to help disabled people climb stairs.

Hana Levi Julian

YouTube Reinstates Cancelled PMW Account

Monday, March 7th, 2016

The video sharing YouTube service has quietly reinstated the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) watchdog account.

Without fanfare or announcement, the PMW videos that expose Palestinian Authority media incitement against Israel and Jews have been reinstated to the site.

The video sharing site suspended the media watchdog’s account last Thursday for allegedly violating its “terms of service” by exposing the violent incitement broadcast on Palestinian Authority TV.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Bored With Snow? Trek the Israel National Trail With Google Street View!

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

The Israel National Trail is a really famous trek. Thousands happily tramp up and down its 1,100 kilometer (683 mile) stretch across the country each year.

On Monday, in honor of Tu B’Shevat – the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, the Jewish new year of trees), the Israel National Trail was uploaded to Google Street View.

The trail, which starts at Kibbutz Dan in the north, has also been named one of the top 20 best trails in the world by National Geographic magazine. It ends at the very southern tip of Israel, at the Eilat Field School.

But before you get there, you have to pass through everywhere else – too many places to be described here.

So what’s so cool about it?  Check it out on Google Street View and see!

“After intensive work, we are happy that the Israel National Trail now joins world-renowned heritage and natural sites such as the Loch Ness, Petra and Machu Picchu on Google Maps, Google Israel CEO Meir Brand said.

“We hope many more people in Israel and around the world will be exposed to the beauty of the Israel National Trail and the unique story of the country.”

It took three months of filming by 250 staff members of the Israel Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI) and Google to upload the trail to the Internet. The photographers used two Trekker cameras, shlepped on the backs of the younger crew.

Hana Levi Julian

Google Denies Reaching Anti-Incitement Agreement with Israeli FM

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

(JNi.media) Google denied a report from Israel’s foreign ministry regarding an agreement to monitor YouTube videos to prevent messages that incite attacks. A Google spokesman told AFP that Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) had, indeed, met with Google’s senior counsel for public policy, Juniper Downs, and YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki, but the meeting was just “one of many that we have with policymakers from different countries to explain our policies on controversial content, flagging and removals.” When Google discovered the inaccurate statement on the Foreign Ministry’s website, they contacted the ministry which “has corrected its original announcement which, in error, suggested there had been an agreement with Google to establish a mechanism to monitor online materials.”

The Foreign Ministry’s Nov. 24 statement has since been altered, and it now reads: “As part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ campaign against online incitement, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely met with Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki and with Jennifer Downes, Director of Public Policy at Google at the company’s Silicon Valley offices.

“Deputy Minister Hotovely was briefed on the companies’ system for identifying video clips which incite to violence.

“In the meetings, Hotovely raised the problem of incitement which goads small children to go out and stab innocents: ‘The daily stabbings in Israel are a result of young boys and girls who are indoctrinated from an early age in the Palestinian education system and through social media. We are engaged daily in confronting incitement to violence, a task which can benefit greatly from the cooperation of those companies that are involved in social media.’”

Foreign ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon confirmed the release was corrected, saying Israel was nevertheless “extremely grateful for the good relations with Google. Our common objective is to remove dangerous incitement to violence on social media. We have full confidence in the Google teams dealing with this removal.”

JNi.Media

Google Reps Too Afraid to Come to Israel to Testify in Court Case

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Google Representatives who were expected to testify in a court trial being conducted against the planetary juggernaut have refused to come to Israel. The reason: the precarious security situation.

A Tel Aviv judge issued an exceptional order to approve their request for a video testimony.

The court hearings were scheduled to take place on November 30 and December 1, at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, but Google’s lawyers in Israel have asked the judge to postpone the hearing dates or, alternatively, to hold them using video conferencing.

The company is being sued by an Israeli businessman claiming the company foreclosed on his account for AdSense, a tool offered by Google to website publishers to sell advertising space.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt visited Israel in June, before the current wave of violence broke out.

But now, Google’s lawyers’ stated that in view of the prevailing security situation in Israel, especially due to the wave of terrorism, the witnesses expressed in the past few days real fear that prevents them from coming to Israel during this period, and requested the court to allow a brief respite of several months until the evidentiary session, in the hope that by then the security situation will improve.

The lawyers, who represent two Google employees in Ireland, the company’s European headquarters, added that their clients have learned that different countries have issued “a kind of travel warnings to Israel, which naturally intensified their and their families’ fears.” They attached an Irish Foreign Ministry and US State Department travel advisories to Israel.

The attorneys wrote:

In light of the above, it seems that the witnesses’ fear is legitimate and perfectly understandable. At the present stage the defendants should not be compelled to come to Israel to testify.

They asked to postpone the court hearing to the end of the first quarter of 2016.

The plaintiff’s lawyers objected, saying it was the product of prejudice. They said:

More stabbing attacks, in proportion to the population, take place in Ireland and the United States than in Israel, but there they receive lower media attention.

They complained that the “defendants’ request is based on prejudice, hysteria and an anti-Israel agenda.” They noted that tourists, diplomats, business people and witnesses continue to arrive in Israel, citing the arrival of a representative for Facebook who came to Israel to testify in another case.

On Wednesday, Judge Michael Tamir decided not to compel the Google representatives to come to Israel and allowed hearing their testimonies via video conferencing, but ruled that the defendants should bear the costs involved.

“I do not accept the plaintiff’s claim that the witnesses should be required to arrive in Israel against their will at a time when travel warnings are being issued,” he said.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/248987/2015/11/12/

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