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Posts Tagged ‘Waze’

Waze Defeats Google

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Israel’s Waze user-run navigation service easily beat out Google’s app Tuesday night when the Israel Electric Corp. closed down the high-speed Ayalon Highway that runs through Tel Aviv.

Drivers using the Google app, which uses Android devices that broadcast information of traffic, found themselves being directed to the Ayalon even though it was closed, the Globes business website reported.

On the other hand, Waze, which operates on drivers’ reports, directed motorists to alternate routes.

The website noted that Waze learned its lesson from a disastrous mix-up four months when its system directed drivers to the Ayalon, which had been closed due to flooding. Waze later made it possible for drivers to report blocked roads, which saved the day on Tuesday.

Fischer Cuts Interest Rate and Says Bank to Buy 2 Billion Dollars

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer announced on Monday a surprise cut the prime interest rate as part of his battle to fight the appreciation of the shekel and help the economy to keep growing. The financial markets responded with the shekel-dollar rate rising more than 1.5 percent to the level of 3.61 shekels to the dollar.

Fischer announced the interest rate cut two weeks ahead of the usual end-of-the-month decision on whether to change the rate.

The dollar was worth only 3.55 shekels last week, dropping over the past several weeks from the relatively lofty level of 3.8 shekels to the dollar.

A lower shekel-dollar rate hurts exports because foreign buyers have to pay relatively more dollars than they would when the shekel is worth less. In addition, exporters make less money after converting foreign dollars into shekels.

Factors in the lower rate are the anticipation of tax revenue from Israel’s natural gas bonanza, which came on-stream several weeks ago, Warren Buffet’s $2 billion purchase of the remaining shares of the Israel-based Isracar tool-making company, the possibility of a $1 billion buyout of Waze by Facebook, and the relatively stable Israeli economy.

Fischer cut the rate by a quarter of a percent, with the new 1.5 percent rate making the shekel less attractive to foreign investors.

After the Bank of Israel’s two small purchases of dollars the past three weeks in an effort to keep speculators from forcing the shekel-dollar rate any lower, Fischer announced on Monday a massive dollar-buying plan on the scale of his purchases several years ago when the shekel-dollar rate sank to 3.30.

The Bank of Israel said the decisions to lower the rate and buy dollars was made “in light of the continued appreciation of the shekel, taking into account the start of natural gas production from the Tamar gas field, interest rate reductions by many central banks – notably the European Central Bank, the quantitative easing in major economies worldwide and the downward revision in global growth forecasts.”

The Bank of Israel added that global growth forecasts, especially for Europe and China have been revised downward, which effect Israel’s economy.

It explained that the program to buy dollars takes into account “the effects on the financial account resulting from the natural gas production” that will result in foreign exchange payments by the gas companies.

“As in the past, the Bank of Israel will continue to operate in the foreign exchange market in cases of exchange rate fluctuations which are not in line with fundamental economic conditions, or when conditions in the foreign exchange market are disorderly,” the Bank of Israel added.

Blue and White, All the Waze

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Waze and Facebook have reached an impasse in their negotiations, but not over whether Facebook will buy Waze for 700 million dollars, or a clean billion, but over Israel, according to the Israeli site Telecom News.

Facebook wants to close down Waze’s Raanana office, and transfer some of the developers to the U.S.

While the proudly Zionist Waze wants the development facility to remain in Israel.

Both companies are holding their ground on this issue.

Of course, Facebook is also not noted for their particularly great coding skills, and the Waze people may be concerned about what will happen to their product if Facebook developers start playing with it without adult supervision.

The US-Israel Win-Win Relationship

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #179.

While struggling to turn around an expanding (5%) budget deficit, Israel sustains its unique role as a pipeline of commercial, defense and homeland security technologies to the U.S. and the Free World.  Israeli technologies, shared with the U.S. industry, have enhanced the U.S. employment, research & development and exports.

1.  Facebook about to acquire Israel’s Waze for $1BN.  In January, Waze turned down Facebook’s offer of $500MN (Israel Hayom, May 10, 2013). Warren Buffett completed acquisition of Israel’s Iscar – $2BN for the remaining 20% of Iscar.  $4BN were paid for 80% (Globes, May 1).  NYC’s KKR Private Equity acquired (from NYC’s Warburg-Pincus Ventures) 75% of Israel’s Alliance Tires Group for $500MN (Globes, April 15).  Israel’s Prolor was merged into Miami, FL’s Opko for $480MN (Globes, April 25).  San Jose, CA’s Avago Technologies acquired Israel’s Cyoptics for $400MN (Globes, April 12).  China’s Fosun Pharma acquired Israel’s Alma Lasers for $240 Million (TechTime, April 29).  J.P. Morgan sold 21% of Israel’s CaesarStone (held by Israel’s Tene’ Investment Fund) for $170MN, on NASDAQ (Globes, April 15).

2.  Japan’s Sony extends its medical tech investments, investing $10MN in Israel’s Rainbow Medical investment fund, joining prior giant investors: Minnesota’s Medtronic, Illinois’ Abbottand Italy’s Sorin.  Sonny is seeking Israeli acquisitions. Israel is a research & development hub for GE Healthcare, Phillips, Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific and Switzerland’s Roche, which have acquired Israeli companies and have invested in scores of Israeli start-ups (Globes, May 9). GE inaugurated a software research & development center in Israel (May 1).

3.  London’s Amadeus Capital led a $17MN round of private placement by Israel’s ClickTale (Globes, May 1).  Israel’s Micronet Enertec raised $8MN on NASDAQ (May 6). Waltham, MA’s Battery Ventures participated in a $6MN first round of private placement by Israel’s FTBpro (Globes, May 9).

4.  The scope of Leviathan’s offshore proven natural gas reserves is larger (19 Trillion Cubic Feet) than expected (17 TCF), according to Yedioth Achronot, May 2).

5.  Israel’s unemployment decrease to 6.5%, during the first quarter in 2013, derives from increased integration – by Arabs and ultra-orthodox Jews – into the job market. The average unemployment rate is 10.9% in the EU, 12.1% in the Euro Bloc and 25% among the youth of the Euro Bloc.

6.  “In January, Intel executive Greg Slater noted that many of his company’s major innovations over the past three decades started in Israel—including the latest ‘Ivy Bridge’ and ‘Sandy Bridge’ microprocessors, which accounted for 40% of Intel revenues in 2011….Microsoft’s founder, Bill Gates, said in 2006 that ‘the innovation going on in Israel is critical to the future of the technology business….’ Scores of major U.S. manufacturers—from General Electric GE to General Motors, GM, Microsoft, IBMGoogle, Apple and others—have R&D centers and technology incubators in Israel…. Israel [contributesto the U.S. economy thousands of skilled professionals, hundreds of joint patent applications, and hundreds of coauthored scientific and technical papers…. (Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2013).”

Visit The Ettinger Report.

Facebook Running after Waze to Stare Down Google

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Israel’s rumor mill spun out of control with reports that Facebook is buying the Israel’s Waze for up to $1 billion, but neither company has officially confirmed that negotiations are taking place.

The Waze app has more than 45 million users, who share road location data with other users. The app connects with Facebook, showing tens of millions of Facebook users where their friends are and also use information to help them navigate traffic quicker.

Facebook has been burned before, when premature leaks of the purchase of the Israeli-based Face.com company almost ruined the deal because the price of Face.com soared.

Previous reports on talks by Waze have proven to be nothing more than rumors, and  the Israeli Globes business website reported on Thursday that a $ 1 billion price tag, double the amount that was rumored a few months ago, may be too rich.

Waze has a highly successful navigation map but does not have a platform that can generate income for Facebook.

However, Facebook can exploit Waze’s Facebook usage and take away search traffic from Google.

“What search is for the Web, maps are for mobile,” Waze Chief Executive Noam Bardin said at a mobile conference last month. “The searches you do on mobile that actually are monetizable, and are different from the Web, are searches that have to do with location.”

A Facebook buyout of Waze would help make it easier for Facebook’s 750 million mobile users to find they want on their smart phones. through Facebook. That means more ad revenues for Facebook – and  less for Google.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/facebook-running-after-waze-to-stare-down-google/2013/05/09/

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