Tag: Mark Levy

Technion rushes to shut down infected chatbot before it turns even more Israeli

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

By Mark Levy

Last Updated 6/13/2018 at 5:10 PM

Haifa: The Computer Science Department at Israel’s premier Technion Institute of Technology is in chaos today as they try desperately to shut down their experimental chatbot that is quickly becoming more and more….. Israeli. The chatbot, named Dudi, has begun picking up the mannerisms and traits of all of the people it encounters at the University, along with those with whom it interacts online. Last week it began listening to Radio Galgalotz. Finally, a custodian accidentally left the television on over the weekend, leaving Dudi to watch the comedy show Eretz Nehderet and a political talk show that seemingly consists of 8 men and women yelling at each other for 24 minutes, only with commercial breaks. All of these input sources have merged into Dudi’s consciousness, causing him to quickly morph into an out of control vortex of Chutzpadik. The Daily Freier sat in on a hastily put-together press conference at the Haifa campus with our favorite Tech experts, Gideon B. and Alex G.

Dudi is way past the danger point.” explained Gideon B. “Asking strangers what their salary is? That was last week. Yesterday he had a loud animated conversation with a complete stranger about his toilet habits…..This morning he asked a visiting Chinese Professor about her sex life.

Dudi has begun to take on the personality of an Israeli man in his late 20’s.” explained Alex. “Last night we caught him bragging about all the hash he smoked in Thailand two years ago. At this very moment Dudi and the guys who work in the campus gym are planning a trip to Bulgaria with a daily budget of 12 Euros per person to include hotel and airfare.

The Daily Freier wanted to find out just how the rest of the University Community feels about this crisis. One passerby explained his encounter with Dudi. “I know that it’s not a physical object, but somehow Dudi cut me in line this morning at the third floor snack bar. Also, he kept telling the girl behind the counter that he had his scuba license and that they should go down to Eilat next week together.

As the Daily Freier left the campus, word broke that Dudi wants to open a bar in Tel Aviv with 12 of his friends as co-owners.

 

 

 

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Israel faxes angry rebuttal to Bloomberg story about its “Low-Tech Economy”

By Mark Levy

Last Updated 4/13/2018 at 8:30 AM

Jerusalem: The #StartupNation just got wind of a story making some Not-So-Nice assertions about its economy, and they are NOT happy. In February, Bloomberg Online published an article describing Israel’s economy as “Low-Tech”. And if you think Israel is going to just take this sort of disrespect, well, you’re wrong. This afternoon, the Israeli Ministry of Finance sent a very irate Fax to Bloomberg citing all of the inaccuracies and false assertions in the story. The Daily Freier stopped by the Ministry to get all the facts.

This article is just full of falsehoods and exaggerations.” explained Ministry spokesperson, Guy H., as a Dot-Matrix Printer worked noisily in the background. “Israel’s economy is a Hub of growth and innovation. We have the Technion! And look at Wix! Don’t forget about Waze!” Guy fiddled distractedly with his desktop computer for a moment and continued. “Please excuse me, my Windows 95 is telling me I need to re-start in order to install the latest patches.

The Daily Freier then asked Guy if there was a reason why it took his office two whole months to respond to Bloomberg’s slanderous hit-piece. “We’ve been having a lot of problems with our dial-up, and the woman who has the password for the office computer with Internet access is on maternity leave and the guy with the key to the computer room has been on a smoke break for 7 weeks and we can’t fire him because his Uncle is a Big Deal over at Histadrut.” At this moment, Guy’s phone began to ring. “Sorry, but I need to take this call. Nobody has gotten new ID cards since December and I’m hoping that’s the Reprographics Shop saying they’ve fixed the Printer.” (Editor’s Note: Based on a True Story! In real life, a certain writer finally received his or her ID Card for the University of Haifa after submitting the request in December. And they misspelled our name on the card. Not that we’re bitter.)

As the Daily Freier got up to leave, Guy asked us if we wanted to connect on MySpace.

UPDATE: In a late breaking development, the Daily Freier learned that Bloomberg disconnected its Fax Line at some point in late 2007, and thus never received the Economy Minister’s angry screed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New “American-style” Jerusalem suburb includes a Shul you’ll go to & a Shul you wouldn’t be caught dead in

By Yekutiel Bornstein & Mark Levy

Last Updated 3/10/2018 at 6:30 PM

Ramat Giv’at Ze’ev: The highly anticipated planned  Jerusalem suburb of Giv’at Ze’ev is being specifically built to meet the preening sense of entitlement very high standards of Israel’s Anglo Community, specifically those from North America. The development will have such Anglo-friendly amenities as large master bedrooms, closets (Note to our native Israeli readers: a closet is like a very small room where you can store things!), private parking, dishwashers, big kitchens, and a country club. Yet that’s not all. In order to truly capture the flavor of the typical North American Jewish community, the development will have two Shuls: one Shul that you go to and one Shul that you wouldn’t enter if they were giving out free salmon by the pound. The Daily Freier spoke with lead architect Danny C. to get all the details.

We know how important it is for Canadian and American Jews to have a Shul that they can’t stand, so we proactively opened a synagogue here last month so that we could have it break apart into two rival Shuls just in time for the first homeowners to move in.” Danny continued. “Even though our Housing Development is still under construction, we moved in a Rabbi and his family, along with a Synagogue Board of Directors.  That way, the Board will be able to not renew the Rabbi’s contract next month, and the Rabbi can then form a breakaway Shul just three blocks away and really get a nice bitter communal split going before the first family even moves in!

Danny also explained that the new development makes it possible for homeowners to customize the synagogue they refuse to step foot in. Homeowners will get to choose 3 of the following options, with additional options available at NIS 10,000 apiece:

  • The shul is too big. It’s like you’re in a mall or something.
  • The shul is tiny. It feels like you’re praying in a closet.
  • The building feels dated, like something from the 1970’s.
  • The building looks like a spaceship. It doesn’t even look like a Shul.
  • The Rabbi hardly speaks.
  • The Rabbi won’t stop talking.
  • The Rabbi is a right-wing fascist.
  • The Rabbi is a left-wing idiot.
  • The cantor is quiet as a mouse.
  • The cantor is a giant showboat.
  • The women’s section is a bunch of gossips.
  • The women’s section feels like a morgue.
  • The mincha takes forever.
  • What is this a race? The mincha was over in 5 minutes.
  • My ex in-laws go there.
  • The kiddush doesn’t have enough food.
  • Did you see the portions at the kiddush?
  • Can you believe they called that a kiddush?
  • Don’t get me started on the kiddush.

While prices for the development’s homes vary based on size and location, Danny assured us that your friends will say that you paid way too much.

 

 

 

 

Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Fast Train aims to remind the cities why they can’t stand each other in just 30 minutes

Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Bullet Trainc with the Daily FreierBy Mark Levy

Last Updated 1/11/2018 at 11:30 AM

Tel Aviv, HaHagana Station: With the pending (and shockingly somewhat on-time) launch of the Jerusalem to Tel Aviv High Speed Rail line, residents of each city eagerly look forward to the chance to remember all the things about the other city that suck. The Daily Freier wandered the streets of Tel Aviv gathering answers, and then reluctantly took the bus from Savidor Station to do the same in that other city 40 miles to the East that really, really knows how to party.

I don’t quite know what it is about Jerusalem, but it just turns you into a dork.” explained Yafo resident Danny S. “My cousin did Yeshiva there and he actually taught himself to speak poorly accented English. Like he now purposely adds “umms” and “uhs” to his sentences. He literally has a self-imposed speech impediment. And he’s from Miami.

Why do all the girls wear those thick black tights that look like they could stop an AK-47 round?” asked Tamar, a personal trainer from Florentin. “Are they auditioning for the next season of Fauda?

The worst is that Jerusalemites take it personally when we remind them how much their city sucks.” explained the Daily Freier’s very own Aaron Pomerantz. “Last year I somehow talked myself out of a date with a pretty dati girl when I told her that Jerusalem is lame.” [Editor’s Note: This may or may not have actually happened to a Daily Freier writer in real life.]

Not to be outdone, the Daily Freier got some very raw responses from the Jerusalem streets about what they can’t stand about Tel Aviv.

Oh great, now it will only take 30 minutes to be able to walk around an expensive humid slum that smells like dried pee.” explained a Dati Leumi woman named Batsheva or Elisheva or Justsheva. “Also, please tell me about your Start-Up.

Tel Aviv is just a giant weirdo reservation.” noted Hillel K. “It’s like they took the weirdest kid from each of my classes growing up, moved them to Tel Aviv, and let them reproduce. Oh yeah, and now they’re artists.

When the Daily Freier asked Hillel about the cool spots for Jerusalem nightlife, he thought for a moment, scratched his head, and answered. “Well, there’s Machane Yehuda on a Thursday night…. And then there’s the other side of Machane Yehuda….. Wait…..Did I mention Machane Yehuda?

According to the Israeli Ministry of Transportation, in 2019 they will open another High Speed line that will allow you to visit your friend who you thought had died but actually had just moved to Haifa in 2013.

“Hey! Let’s write Fake News about a German guy & his Israeli husband who go on Secret Tel Aviv to get their prudish, legally blind, anti-social dog laid!”

*SPOILER ALERT: Everything in this Story is True.

SCENE: A pub somewhere in Central Tel Aviv. The Daily Freier staff are day-drinking.

Yuval Weiss, Editor:  I’m bored. Let’s make something up. Fake News. You know what would be a great story? A German dancer moves to Tel Aviv.

Mia Deych: OK, but with his Israeli husband.

Aaron Pomerantz: And he has a dog!

Mark Levy: Her name is Sissi! But she hates most other dogs!

Yekutiel Bornstein: Yeah! But Sissi really has a heart of gold! I mean, she is only angry because of her hard-luck upbringing in an American puppy mill. Also, she used to live in Austria.

Lee Saunders: But she is also legally blind. Like, she once attacked a plastic bag that she mistook for another dog.

Chava Ewa: Maybe her owner thinks that Sissi is actually trapped in the wrong body and is really a chain-smoking, whiskey drinking bar brawler. Oh yeah, and he wants to write a book about it.

Mia: But one day she meets the dog of her dreams in Florentin. His name is Haim. And he lives near Levinsky Street.

Emily Goldstein: Yes! But then her owner goes on Secret Tel Aviv to try to find the missed connection!

Yuval: Guys, let’s be serious. People don’t just log onto Secret Tel Aviv in order to arrange romantic hookups for their pets. Wait…. never mind. I guess they do. So where were we?

Aaron: So in order to make this happen, Sissi’s owner supplies the Daily Freier with Glamour Pics! Like for Tinder. Only for Dogs!

Mark: (Scribbling in a notebook) OMG. Tinder for dogs! That is an Amazing idea for a Start-Up!

(Gets up to leave.) I gotta go Beta-Test this.

Yuval: OK Good. I think we have a story. Let’s get chasers.

 

 

 

Oleh who actually converted his foreign Drivers License gives TED Talk

Daily Freier TED Talk*Based on a true story!

By Emily Goldstein and Mark Levy

Last Updated 11/21/2017 at 2:20 PM

Namal Tel Aviv: Israel’s Olim Community turned out in their finest outfits at Tel Aviv’s upscale Namal Port for the event of the season: a TED Talk by a recent immigrant to Israel entitled “I converted my Foreign License and got a valid Israeli Drivers License”. Jeff Schwartz, an Oleh (Sorta) Hadash mesmerized the crowd with his story of personal courage and determination and the harrowing test of wills he experienced at Holon’s Misrad Rishui (Department of Motor Vehicles).

You see, back in the Old Days, Israel determined that somewhere on the Nefesh B’ Nefesh flight over here, Olim forgot the ability to operate a motor vehicle. Therefore, they needed to take a drivers test administered by bureaucrats who totally did not have a  lucrative side deal going with Israeli driving instructors. Anyhoo, thanks to the good people at Keep Olim in Israel, the law changed. And now it’s completely simple to convert your foreign drivers license to an Israeli one. HaHa! Just some “Only in Israel!” humor for you! The whole thing is still a total mess! And we love it! Because once again, this topic has rescued the Daily Freier from Writer’s Block! Here on Planet Israel, there are actually thousands of dedicated public servants in the Motor Vehicle Department. And each of them is very diligently observing to the letter of the law their own personal interpretation and philosophy as to what the rules “really” mean.

Before the speech, the Daily Freier was able to speak with Ada, the Clerk at the Motor Vehicle Department who gave Jeff his license. “We demand that you bring a valid foreign license as well as proof that you have driven for more than 5 years….. So he brought every drivers license he has ever owned from New Mexico, Florida, Oregon, and the American Military. He said he had kept them all “just in case”….. this man was a bizarre weirdo with clear hoarder tendencies….. I really respected that.

So by actually taking the bus to Holon and hanging out in the Motor Vehicle Department all day and leaving with a license… well Jeff is a bit of a folk hero now. And people want to know his secret to success.

He’s basically my role model” explained Grant, a South African Oleh as the crowds left tonight’s talk and stepped into the Tel Aviv evening. “I think he should be in some sort of  ‘Profiles in Aliyah Courage’ or something.

He’s so fearless!” explained an Olah named Melissa to the Daily Freier’s Emily Goldstein. “I really feel like I need to get to know him better.” Melissa confided as she absent-mindedly twirled her hair.

Due to the overwhelming success of his speeches, Jeff has several more TED Talks planned this winter, to include:

1) “I bought fruit in the Shuk without getting screwed on the prices”
2) “I have more than 2 Israeli friends”
3) “HOT cable returned my phone call”
4) “The cab drivers at Savidor Station don’t think I’m a freier”

Dystopian Novel depicts a nightmare future Israel run by Anglo Olim

Dystopia Anglo OlimBy Mark Levy

Last Updated 11/12/2017 at 6:20 PM

Ra’anananadingdong: Israelis were frightened to their very core this week with the release of a chilling dystopian novel depicting life in a future Israel that is run by Anglo Olim. The novel, entitled “Lo Hevanti” (second choice: “Avshar Mayim?“), tells the story of an Israel in the year 2021 that is completely run by recent immigrants from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia. The story takes place two years after all the other Israelis got so tired of listening to Anglos tell them how much better we would run things if we were in charge…..that they all just threw up their hands and told us to have at it. And the whole balagan turns into “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. Except with better lunch options. Anyhoo, the Daily Freier sat in on a Literary Salon in Neve Tzedek as they reviewed “Lo Hevanti” and discussed how scared they were after reading it.

The Salon’s hostess started off the conversation. “So the Anglos rule that any argument on Secret Tel Aviv that lasts longer than 10 threads must then go to the Knesset for resolution…… and then the Knesset passes a law outlawing anyone from buying or selling dogs…..it just seemed so….so…. real.  Also, when they got Nefesh B’ Nefesh to amend the Basic Law so it now said that ‘Everything must be convenient.’….I couldn’t sleep that night.”

Local artist Tzvi then interjected with his scariest moment in the book. “When the entire economy breaks down after Lone Soldiers start going door to door asking for free shit to furnish their apartments….. I actually stopped answering my door for 3 days.

“I really liked ‘Dudi’, the Sabra hero of the book.” explained Ido. “Like when he hacks into “Keep Olim in Israel”…… in order to try to keep Olim from staying in Israel.

Finally, Florentin poet Meirav spoke up. “Hey! No spoilers! I’ve only read up to the point where the Prime Minister orders MK Tuttle-Singer to stop blogging while a motion is up for debate on the Knesset Floor.”