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.”
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.
“What we are looking at is a possibly limitless source of renewable energy.” explained Alex. “If the matter in question, i.e. loosely rolled cigarettes containing a mix of tobacco and cannabis, can simply exist outside of the realm of matter being created or destroyed, then we may be on the cusp of something amazing. It would be like discovering a perpetual motion machine. Only cooler.”
Gideon agreed with Alex, but with an interesting theological twist. “One can be committed to science and reason, yet also believe that our Universe was created with Intelligent Design. Specifically, the concept that spliffs continue to materialize in Tel Aviv despite the universal absence of cannabis begs the question: Is this a modern miracle in the same venue as the miraculous Chanukah oil that lasted 8 Days?Like, Nes Gadol Haya Po?” Gideon was quick to mention that this theory is not confined to the Jewish Community. “I was just speaking to a priest in Jerusalem, and he likened the current state of affairs in Tel Aviv to the Wedding Feast of Cana where Christians believe that Jesus turned water into wine…. Except this must be bamba into cannabis. Or something like that.”
When the Daily Freier pressed the scientists for a possible alternate theory, they insisted that their hypothesis would stand up to peer review. “Our data is sound. Something incredible is happening in Tel Aviv….. either that or everyone is just full of crap and secretly hoarding their weed stashes for themselves.“
Tel Aviv: A wave of fear mixed with confusion has swept the nation upon news that a reader of the Facebook Page “Secret Tel Aviv” has mated in the wild with a reader of the Facebook Group “Keep Olim in Israel“. Apparently an unidentified male reader of the popular Tel Aviv message board/insect identification service/underwear Lost & Found/place to advertise the availability of your friends for dating/place to sell “someone else’s” adult movie collection met an unidentified female reader of the Immigrant Mutual-Assistance/Advocacy Group that maintains nothing but totally relaxed and easygoing conversations on its Facebook page. At a Secret Tel Aviv Job Fair. Or the Dancing Camel. Not totally sure on the details.
Friends of the unidentified male, known as “Yonatan Doe” noted that “he ran pretty good game” upon meeting the unidentified female (known as “Chava Doe“) and ended up “meeting for drinks” later that evening. Upon Chava Doe meeting her girlfriends for brunch the next day, word of the encounter spread quickly, first through the city and then throughout the country as a whole. This afternoon Prime Minister Netanyahu convened his Cabinet, while the Home Command held Emergency Response Exercises. The Daily Freier spoke to experts Gideon B. and Alex G. from the Technion for their opinions on this development.
“What we are looking at is a potential Humanitarian Disaster.” explained Technion researcher Gideon B. “As the drama of the Keep Olim reader merges with the Obtuse Chutzpadik of the Secret Tel Aviv reader, any possible offspring from the encounter would be infused with a combination of traits that could alter history as we know it……. What I’m saying is that in 30 years we could be ruled by a caste of Easily Offended Self Absorbed Overlords.”
“I told Johnny not to hold the Job Fair.” explained Alex G. “The risks were too great. There was too much of a chance that something could go wrong. The authorities really need to do something to stop this. But I’m afraid it may already be too late.”
BREAKING: In an effort to end the crisis, a multi-Party Coalition to include President Rivlin, Tzipi Livni, Amir Peretz, and Zehava Gal-On have sent Chava Doe a What’s-App message informing her that she can totally do better.
Tel Aviv: Gift-giving at Israeli weddings became much easier to understand for guests this week after a series of technological breakthroughs. Scientists at the renowned Technion Institute in Haifa unveiled a range of devices aimed at replacing the giant shekel-guzzling piggy bank that ritually stands in the corner of wedding receptions. Immigrants and native Israelis alike welcomed the news. The Daily Freier was able to speak with one such enthusiastic customer. Malcolm Green, a British Oleh Hadash noted: “When we got married, we had a wedding list at the Poundshop in Liverpool and just asked relatives to buy frying pans and food mixers. Now, everyone wants money, to pay for the very wedding you are going to! Why not just go out for a good shawarma and split the bill?”
Having attended his first wedding on an Israeli kibbutz, Aaron Stone, a new immigrant from the U.S. pointed out: “I looked at a website here designed to help you calculate the amount you are supposed to give the couple. If you know the bride more than 5 years, NIS300, more than 10, NIS1000, if you slept with the mother, you need to get them a car and stay away. It is all so odd.”
Help is soon at hand, though, following the collaboration between researchers and a number of banks and fashion houses. Now, guests can either securely leave cheques in a safety deposit box stitched into the Rabbi’s hat, throw new magnetic shekel confetti at the happy couple, or swipe credit cards at one of the wedding chuppa’s four poles, each sponsored by Mastercard, Visa, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi. 5G WiFi will connect each of the poles to the most favorable exchange rates, which are etched onto the Ketubah marriage contract with a laser pen. Fathers of the bride and groom will both be able to wear special voice-activated black pants that drop on hearing the words Mazel Tov, to reveal a compact cash register.
New brides will have the option of wearing an electronic white hoodie, which holds notes and coins, and is linked by Bluetooth to the groom’s bowtie, which sorts the currency into dollars, pounds and other major currencies. Gucci, Armani and Cofix will be bringing out wedding dresses with trains and veils made from perforated standing order and direct debit instructions if guests prefer to spread payments. A secret pilot scheme was launched at the wedding of noted selective tax-payer Bar Refaeli. When the wine glass was smashed, guests could be heard screaming “Mazel Tov” and “I’m broke” simultaneously. The products will be available from Sunday for purchase by the general public on one of the hidden floors at the Dizengoff shopping mall.
Haifa: Ahead of their high-profile meeting in Washington this week, a team of scientists at Haifa’s prestigious Technion Institute have managed to harness the animosity sexual tension between Binyamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama to power a small turbine on the Israeli Coast just south of Haifa. The Daily Freier attended a press conference where the lead scientists explained this fascinating breakthrough.
(Photo Credit: Getty)
“It is actually a rather simple concept” explained Doctoral Student Gideon B. “The intense feelings these men have for one another actually charge the ions in the air around them with opposite yet attracting polarities. If properly captured, these ions can then generate a very powerful electric current. This current in turn spins turbines allowing us to generate several Megawatts of power, the exact level depending on whether or not Jeffrey Goldberg has published a column that day”
(Photo Credit: Reuters)
At this point, co-moderator Alex G. played a short video demonstrating the concept. “So in the turbine itself, we play a constant newsfeed of the two men interacting in public……OK, so here we have the two leaders awkwardly hugging on a tarmac……..And now we have them publicly contradicting one another at a joint press conference, like a bickering couple……And now we have a picture of them staring into one another’s eyes. It looks like they can’t stand each other, but it’s really a thin line between love and hate. You can literally feel the excitement in the air. I don’t know about you, but the hair on my arms are sticking out right now.”
While the commercial and economic feasibility of the generator have yet to be fully determined, Gideon noted that if he could only find a picture of the two leaders in matching denim jackets and cowboy hats, he could power the City of Haifa for months.
Haifa: In the aftermath of last week’s cyber-attack, a team at Haifa’s prestigious Technion Institute have revealed today that the ‘Secret Tel Aviv’ website is now a fully sentient and self-aware entity that is capable of generating its own absurd traffic, and then answering that traffic with even more ridiculous responses. Doctoral candidates Gideon B. and Alex G. walked the Daily Freier through this chilling development.
“What we are facing is what is known as a Chutzpadik Black Hole” explained Gideon as we toured their state of the art simulation of the Secret Tel Aviv entity at the Technion. “Basically, as the environment of the website becomes more and more ridiculous, it actually slows down. What I am saying is that as the website approaches maximum absurdity, it actually seems more normal to those who interact with it. It is in this environment, that it seems perfectly normal to ask strangers to help you with your bikini purchase when at least half of the site demographics consists of, you know, MEN FROM TEL AVIV.”
“Secret Tel Aviv is now fully capable of operating as a self-aware being on the entire spectrum: crowd-sourced advice on difficult relationships, what to do with a tarantula that you found under your rug, semi-legal requests for advice on how to avoid Israeli customs fees, you name it.” stated Alex as we toured the room-sized simulation of Secret Tel Aviv.