web analytics
August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Google Makes a Fast (of Esther) Error

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

It’s not often you get to be the first (I hope) to catch an error on Google. So when I found a Google error this morning, I though it was so cool.

I wanted to learn more about the Fast of Esther, so I Googled, “Fast of Esther”.

I was quite (pleasantly) surprised to see the big box on top of the results with the date information on the fast. I guess that’s a new Google feature.

But what surprised me more, was that it said that the fast began yesterday evening, particularly, when right below it, in Wikipedia, it says the fast began at sunrise this morning.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about the fast:

 The Fast of Esther (Ta’anit EsterHebrew: תַּעֲנִית אֶסְתֵּר‎) is a Jewish fast from dawn until dusk on Purim eve, commemorating the three-day fast observed by the Jewish people in the story of Purim. It is a common misconception that this fast was accepted by the Jews for all future generations during the time of Esther, as it is stated in the Book of EstherThey had established for themselves and their descendants the matters of the fasts and their cry (Esther 9:31). This verse actually refers to the four fasts which relate to mourning for the Temple. Rather, the first mention of this fast is a Minhag that is referenced in the Gaonic period.[1] Recently, Mitchell First has written a detailed study of the origin of the fast and provided an explanation for its arisal in the Gaonic period.[2]

The Fast is observed on the 13th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. If the date of the Fast of Esther falls on Shabbat (Saturday), the fast is instead observed on the preceding Thursday, as is the case in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.[citation needed]

As the Fast of Esther is not one of the four public fasts ordained by the Prophets, the laws concerning its observance are more lenient; pregnant women, nursing mothers, and those who are weak are not required to observe it.[3] (Note: in certain situations a weak, sick, or pregnant person is not required or even permitted to observe any Jewish fast day; a rabbi should be consulted to determine the law for one’s specific situation.[citation needed])

Misconceptions

It is generally accepted in the rabbinic tradition that the original three-day “Fast of Esther” mentioned in chapter 4 of Book of Esther occurred on the 14th, 15th, and 16th days of Nisan, these being the eve and first two days ofPassover.[4] They fasted on Passover because Esther reasoned it would be better to fast on one Pesach lest they all be destroyed and thus never be able to observe the holiday in the future. The 13th of Adar was a fast day for the warriors while going out to battle, as it is believed to have been customary to fast during the battle in order to gain divine favor. Because fasting during Passover would be inappropriate in almost all circumstances, the “Fast of Esther” became attached to the eve of Purim, the 13th of Adar.[4]

Dates observer

The Gregorian date for the Fast of Esther in 2013 is Thursday, February 21st, from sunrise until nightfall.

How do you contact Google to let them know they’ve made a mistake?

 

[Editor's note: This is a blog post that we cross-posted into News]

‘Google Play’ Apps: ‘Inspiring’ Hitler Quotes

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Google has several applications available to users looking to be inspired by Adolf Hitler. Available on Google Play, the app store for Android products, one app that goes by the name, Infamous Adolf Hitler Quotes opens with this description: “Looking for Adolf Hitler Quotes?? Then this is the App for you!”

In the user review section, the free English-language app is described as a “great moral booster,” by one of the 1,060 reviewers who downloaded the app. Another user writes in a review dated August 2012 that the “app is so great and useful,” and explains that he wanted to learn how Hitler was able to “kill all the yahudi people.”

The app contains countless Hitler quotes including a special Quote of the Day feature. According to Google Play Store, in the last 30 days there have been 10,000 – 50,000 installs of the app, which calls on users to “enjoy the inspiration of Adolf Hitler on your phone!”

Other popular Hitler apps available on Google Play Store includes the Arab-language app, called Hitler’s Sayings which allows users to read and share what it describes as Hitler’s “beautiful sayings that we could benefit from in our lives,” according to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) website. The ADL states that hateful Hitler quotes in Arabic are made available to users and include such quotes as, “Jews are like mosquitoes that suck our blood.”

More than 10,000 Google Play users have installed the Arabic language application since December.

This is not the first time that Google Play Store is offering anti-Jewish apps. Back in September 2012, Google removed an app called the Protocols of Elders of Zion, which included 24 chapters that made up The Protocols, a conspiracy theory of hateful fiction published in 1903 by Russian police to demonize Russian Jewry. The book became an instant hit then and was used to target vulnerable Jewish communities across Russia through bloody pogroms that killed hundreds of Jewish men, women and children. The Protocols were also instituted as required reading in German classrooms during the Nazi reign in Germany.

Thanks to activists including Jewish leaders and consumers, Google eventually removed The Protocols app from its website. In August of 2012, consumers, rabbis and Israeli politicians also called on Apple iTunes to remove a similar version of the anti-Semitic app from its store.

According to a recent NPR article about apps targeting ethnic groups, a Google spokeswoman stated that the company removes apps that violate its policies against hate speech. According to the Google Play Store website, users are asked to “not distribute content that promotes hatred or violence towards groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin and religion.” When Google is notified of potential policy violation, it “may” review and take on action by removing or restricting content, according to the company’s website.

Although Google has removed pro-Hitler and Nazi Androids apps in the past, particularly in 2010, new anti-Semitic apps continue to plague its app market and seem to have grown even more inflammatory in their content.

Google Cultural Institute Presents Jewish Content in 1st Exhibits

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Google introduced a new online historical collection of digitized material, highlighting several Jewish themes, events and institutional partners in its first wave of exhibits.

At least 13 of the Google Cultural Institute’s inaugural collection of 42 featured exhibits consist of materials from the Anne Frank House, the Polish History Museum, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Foundation France Israel and Yad Vashem.

Highlighted exhibits announced Wednesday include the testimony of Jan Karski, the World War II Polish resistance hero who tried to convince Allied leaders of the horrors of the Holocaust; as well as the saga of Edek Galinski & Mala Zimetbaum, the couple who unsuccessfully attempted to escape Auschwitz.

Visitors to Google’s new online multimedia museum can also see the last known photograph taken of Anne Frank, and browse featured historical events that include the Nuremberg Trials, the 1948 Arab-Israel War and the 1958 bombing of the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation in Atlanta.

The new resource comes one year after Google published the Dead Sea Scrolls online, the result of a partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Russia Bans “Innocence of Muslims”

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

In a show of solidarity with movements seeking to preserve respect for Islam, a Moscow ruled on Monday that the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” may not be shown in all of Russia.

In a report by the Tehran Times, the court’s decision followed one of the previous week in a court in Grozny, capital of the Muslim-dominated Russian province of Chechnya.

Justice Ministry spokeswoman Marina Gridneva said the film – which aimed to suggest to viewers that there are deviant and unsavory aspects of Islam and founder Mohammed – could incite ethnic and religious intolerance.  Various terror acts across the Middle East have been attributed to Muslim outrage over the low-budget US-made film.

The Russian communications minister threatened to block access to YouTube if owner Google did not immediately block access to the film.  Google said it would comply with court orders.

Google’s ‘World Wonders’ Makes Jewish Jerusalem Vanish

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

The “World Wonders Project” was launched on May 31, utilizing Street View, 3D modeling and other Google technologies to involve users in unusually vivid virtual tours of faraway places. Partnering with UNESCO and the World Monuments Fund, Google has gone out of its way to create online magic.

The project allows visitors to take a virtual tour of the 132 historic and heritage sites from 18 countries, which is presented in six languages including English and Hebrew.

Jerusalem’s Old City and parts of historic Tel Aviv are featured in Google’s new “World Wonders Project,” although Jerusalem is not included under the Israel category.

The Asia category includes Israel, Japan and Jerusalem. Yes, while the “White City of Tel Aviv” is under the Israel category, Jerusalem is presented as “Jerusalem, Asia,” bearing no connection to Israel.

The independent geopolitical entity of Jerusalem, Asia, is made up of views of the Old City, including the Western Wall.

Taking a tour of the WWP, I used the option menu “Find by location,” then “Asia,” then “Jerusalem,” and in that sub category picked yet another sub category, also named “Jerusalem.”

The reason for this glitch is that normally the first sub category would have read “Israel,” which legally annexed that entire city some 45 years ago.

Strangely enough, when I clicked on the second “Jerusalem” on the menu, I was transported to the ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount Olives, smack into a stone inscription of “Kolel Vohlin” and “The Old Cemetery” in Hebrew. And from that cemetery’s edge you see a magnificent, panorama view of Temple Mount across the valley.

It’s as if the digital programs themselves turned on their masters and, despite their efforts to obliterate Jewish ownership of the city, brought out the old bones of departed holy Jews to give testimony as to who are the true lovers of this place.

The text, on the right corner, told me that “As a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem has always been of great symbolic importance.” Of course, the world center for Christians is in Rome and for Muslims Mecca, and the first time Arabs began to think of Jerusalem in terms of a holy city was probably in the early 1920, but don’t let those facts confuse you…

I clicked on “Information,” and read the rest:

“Official UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981

“As a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem has always been of great symbolic importance. Among its 220 historic monuments, the Dome of the Rock stands out: built in the 7th century, it is decorated with beautiful geometric and floral motifs. It is recognized by all three religions as the site of Abraham’s sacrifice. The Wailing Wall delimits the quarters of the different religious communities, while the Resurrection rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre houses Christ’s tomb.”

Read it again. It isn’t your Hebrew school Jerusalem by any stretch. The Jewish part of this “information” has been reduced to a wall whose significance is in delimiting the boundaries of the many different religions in this holy city.

It’s obvious why Google opted to collaborate in this virtual conquest of Israel’s capital. Its business is entirely run on the math of eyeballs, and there are roughly 170 potential Arab customers for every Jewish one. Perhaps this is how Chinese dissidents felt when Google sided with their repressive government. It’s only business.

But rewriting history and geography in such an unabashed manner has to give every person of conscience pause. No matter how big a conglomerate becomes, it doesn’t give it the right to distort reality so blatantly.

 Some JTA content was used in this article.

Military Intelligence Monitored ‘Google Street View’ Project in Israel

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Israeli security authorities including the IDF Military Intelligence Formation, closely monitored the Google Street View Project, first launched in Israel just last month, giving a close look of streets in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. The inspection prevented publication of pictures revealing classified information and locations of security facilities operating in Israel.

A source in the Military Intelligence Formation told “Bamahane Magazine” this week that “Until a few months ago, streets in Israel were not filmed to avoid information security violations. But after Google acknowledged our circumstance as a country under terrorist threat, we decided to cooperate with the company. After all, we are a democratic nation.”

Google and the IDF Military Intelligence Formation have been in contact for over a year to approve the pictures taken in Israel. The National Security Administration established a special department to negotiate with Google in Israel and ensure they are operating as agreed.

According to the agreement between Google and the Israeli security services, the company received advance approval for all the routes it planned to film using vehicles equipped with special cameras. The Military Intelligence Formation restricted Google’s access only to off-limit areas, including roads surrounding military bases.

“We were debating whether to allow entrance to facilities that the public doesn’t know about at all, but that are not clearly known as military facilities, including apartments where interviews and polygraph questioning take placed,” said the intelligence source. “In the end it was decided to approve filming of most areas, and an optimal combination between the security needs and the success of Google’s project was created.”

The Military Intelligence Formation was informed of filming schedules in advance, to make sure no vehicles bearing potentially classified characteristics are in sight. The Intelligence Formation also made sure no classified training exercises were being held on those specific days. ‘Bamahane Magazine’ also reported that the vehicles were equipped with tracking devices and security representatives tracked their movement.”

Jewish Blogosphere Ablaze Over Obama’s Condolences to Netanyahu

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Shortly after the passing of Benzion Netanyahu, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney sent his condolences to the late professor’s son, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Romney and Netanyahu have been on friendly terms for years. “This is a loss for all of Israel and for all who care about Israel,” Romney said about the elder Netanyahu’s passing in a tweet.

That aside, the Jewish Blogosphere is exploding with messages about the fact that US President Barack Obama has supposedly not yet conveyed his own condolences to the prime minister.

As strange as that may seem, when The Jewish Press staff searched the White House website, they could not find the text of the presidents’ words of comfort to Netanyahu, nor has a lengthy Google search yielded any such document.

A sleepy White House switchboard operator told us we should call after the start of the work day in DC.

A call to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office yielded a firm statement that it is “very much against protocol to make public this kind of personal exchanges between heads of state”.

Last year, President Obama sent condolences to Israeli President Shimon Peres over the loss of his wife, as well as to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the death of his mother last year

We have no doubt that the president has indeed conveyed his sorrow over Netanyahu’s loss, we’d just like to read it.

Update: The White House announced that the President called Netanyahu on Wednesday to convey his condolences. The readout is as follows:

President Obama called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel today from Air Force One to express his personal condolences on the death of his father, Benzion Netanyahu. In the call the President noted Benzion Netanyahu’s remarkable legacy of service to the Jewish people and deep friendship with the United States.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-blogosphere-ablaze-over-obamas-condolences-to-netanyahu/2012/05/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: