Archive by Author - Susan Mernit

Quick pix: Conference land in Israel

by on December 13, 2008 at 5:00 am

jeff and ilene.jpgjd and sara blogging.jpgat the marker conf with yossi.jpg air distance calculator cote d’ivoire politika domain owner . parental blocker . tourist attrations ip analysis . i cloud . web archive . website down apache web server word cloud

Israel: Be here now

by on December 13, 2008 at 5:00 am

jaffa sq 1 small.jpgShould I worry that I can’t really remember yesterday that well, and that today passed in a blur?

Israel is a country that in some ways seems so familiar to me (that NY Jewish thing) and in other ways so completely mysterious and new (an amazing melting pot of different backgrounds, cultures, histories, agendas).  I find myself trying to make sense of it all, but not really having enough context to feel like any of my assumptions are true.

What I do know so far: There is something about both the landscape and the people that is compelling. For a place that is basically hot, dry and arid, there is much beauty. The sea, the desert, the cities have amazing visual richness.JD and I walked through Jaffa yesterday and it was beautiful–broken in some places, refurbished in others, and very interesting and diverse.

And the people here are compelling as well. I’ve been meeting tons of amazingly smart high tech folks, entrepreneurs, and bloggers–but also people from outside my little trans-continental bubble, like Ish Khalidi , a Bedouin and former shepard who is the Vice Consult in San Francisco at the Israeli consulate, who is also on this trip, and the student activists from One Voice who met with me, Craig and JD today (more on that later).

Today was The Marker COM.Vention, then back to the hotel, then falafels and soda at the Garage Geek party in Holon, again thanks to Yossi Vardi.

Some pictures of what I’ve seen so far: politika . domain owner parental blocker . dns information . where is domain hosted . domain dns server . ip analysis . i cloud . web archive website down . apache web server . word cloud

More on Ayelet Noff interview: Miriam Schwab

by on April 29, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Well-know Israeli blogger  Miriam Schwab was among the myriad people who have had trouble getting authenticated to post comments on my blog (sorry), so I am posting this note for her re my interview with Ayelet Noth:

“I’m sure Ayelet didn’t quite mean what it sounds like she said, but in
any case I would like to point out that women can have kids and be very
entrepreneurial. In fact, giving birth can (strangely) act as a
catalyst for making sweeping and exciting changes in one’s professional

I got married really young, and had a bunch of kids by the time I was
25/26. Not only did I not quit and park myself in my kitchen, each kid
pushed me to make changes in my career. I had three kids while in
university. After the third was born I decided to get my first real
job. The next one led me to quit and start my own biz. The next led me
to discover and explore the world of blogging and social media, and
turn my business into a social media marketing service provider.

There is enough of a stigma in the workforce against women with kids,
so we women should watch our words and make sure that it is very clear
that we can have kids and careers. Actually, the fact that we have
personal lives, I think, contributes to our value at work. We don’t
mess around (too much), and are very efficient and focused.

As someone once said to me: “if you ever need something done, ask a
busy person.” Women with kids are busy, and we’ll get things done. “

One voice: meet up—Craig Newmark and One Voice group

by on April 20, 2008 at 12:00 pm

The boy is late teens, handsome and fair, and his eyes are earnest as he talks: “In One Voice we don’t call it peace anymore; we want to bring about an a agreement that will bring bout comfort and a more stable situation than they have now. It’s not peace, it’s divorce…the metaphor says now we are pre divorce and we need to balance the situation…this is the difference between one voice and the normal peace movement that talks about peace and friendship.”
It’s a weekend morning, in Tel Aviv and Craig Newmark, JD Lasica and I are meeting with the director and a group of student leaders from One Voice , a powerful, grassroots peace movement that has engaged Israelis, especially college students, from all over Tel Aviv, Ramallah, and Gaza, as well as drawn in members from the US, the UK, Canada, and other parts of the world. The group is bright, committed, and right now, engaged in making sure this group of American bloggers and funders (Craig is on their board), understands how they work and what they have to offer.

Basically here’s what I learn:
The universities are flash-points for OneVoice recruitment, as are the occupied terrorities. The movement tries to educate through lectures and events, then recruits at various levels of engagement, from signing up for a newsletter (over 100K people in a country of 7 million) to attending events, to joining as an organizer.  For the students involved, One Voice clearly offers a change to discuss, a change to create change, but mostly importantly, a means to hope.

Here’s some of what the students tell us:

Marina:  This movement involves the public so they can have an opinion for themselves and think about what they support.

Tal: We try to enrich student understanding with lectures and knowledge; we also take the message of OneVoice and careful optimism and take it out on the streets, where we want to mobilize the students and the city residents.

Another student: We ask citizens what would you do to end the conflict? People can become policy makers, instead of just consumers of policy
Talking with this group, they make it clear to me that what engages them so deeply is the feeling of being empowered in a frustrating situation where it is so hard to effect policy changes. Because OneVoice is a participatory culture, with youth councils, leadership councils, and local action, it provides a means for these bright engaged students to avoid dispair, as well as to educate and inform.

Listening to the talk flow around me, and seeing the passion in these fresh eyes, it strikes me that like the African National Congress (ANC) for South African Doris Lessing and her fellow progressives in Johannesberg, so long ago, OneVoice provides a means to survive and hang on in an impossible situation by becoming a force for positive change. It strikes me that OneVoice is a great group, not only for what it offers in terms of the conflict, but the positive vision it offers Israel and Arab youth, and through them, their parents, families and neighbors
Learn more here:
Web site
YouTube videos
Imagine 2018 campaign

T.G.: Bloggers, entrepreneurs, women

by on April 15, 2008 at 5:00 am

On Tuesday, had a chance to talk with a broader range of Israeli women bloggers and tech VCs and entrepreneurs. Some pictures in advance of real words.
hasass small.jpgmaya small.jpgladies lunch tel aiv small.jpggirlz luinch 2.jpg Brasov . peta dunia satelit

TG: Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa

by on April 14, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Talking with the spokesperson for Rambam, the big medical center for northern Israel; learning that there’s a diversity here in staff–Druse, Moslem, Jewish, Christian–more pronounced than in some other areas; there are more Russians here than Arabs, the spokesperson says; you can see the northern border/frontier(Lebanon). The city is more secular than Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, there’s lots of high tech and everyone goes to the beach (this is the hospital spokesman snapshot of the city.)

Like Palo Alto, the city has a high tech center, a big hospital and a technical university; there’s a 2004 Nobel Prize winner in biochemistry–Faculty is also doing interesting work in regenerative medicine (like growing bones back…), as well as in treatment of stress and trauma (understandably, this is the border center…)

Listening to this preso, I understand how irrevocably I am a geek; prototyping medical instruments, treatments and protocols grabs my attention, even when the data is way outside my field; the whole process of exploration, analysis, testing, and development is always compeling.

We’re also hearing their preso on “Medicine Under Attack” –there’s a short film (and lots on the web)–The hospital was treating patients and under threat of missle attacks–this is a huge part of the historical memory of the place, and a history of which they are very proud in terms of the service they delivered.

(Susan sez: I’m a newbie visitor here, and yet I’m noticing that no one in the film is visibly Arab….am I being a total nickpicker to notice this? he staff is clear everyone participated in delivering care and was brave and comitted, serving the Gaza  and other areas as well as the city. Is it a valid observation? I have no idea–the dedication of the medical staff in the film, despite the terrible dangers, is amazing.)

(Added note: There’s the wish to stay here and learn more, talk more, understand the moving stories, the great science, the lessons of war I know I don’t understand at all, but there’s no time for that today; this is a footnote in a lesson I have barely started to learn and may never full experience.)

And another note: This hospital keep giving service to the community and the soldiers 24/7 during the war–that is an amazing thing.)

Israel: Start up energy to spare

by on April 14, 2008 at 5:00 am

In some ways, spending this week in israel is overwhelming; there’s just so much to absorb and assimilate, and I have so little context for it all. Sephardic traditions, Arab traditions, European traditions–I have no sense how they bump up against one another and how the big dose of American culture mixes it all up.

On another level, the tech world here–especially the web 2.0 corner–seems amazingly familiar.The passionate entrepreneurs, problem-solving engineers, and thoughtful VCs I’m meeting are all familar with Silicon Valley culture and building applications on a global scale (have to, Israel is such a small country).

Some of the start-ups teams that I’ve met that have me particularly energized include Pandora competitor and personalized music service meemix, where CEO Gil Shlang, Chief Scientist Dr. Ricardo Tarrasch and some kick ass musicologists/editors seem to be going at it the right way
Also impressed with the folks at  Work Light, where marketing guy Yonni Harif is building interest in a lightweight and secure application layer that can manage document access and security from within the Facebook environment (and all sorts of other cool things, including secure RSS).

And of course my friend and mobile entrepreneur  Eran Ahronson is inspiring..nothing like building one company after another..inspiring to see someone stay the course and be smart about it.

In other words, there is great start up energy here, with lots of eager developers, free floating VCs and all the talent to support that. (And are there many women-owned companies, especially technical ones? Hate to say it, but the answers seems to be…not.)

Note: Coming from Silicon Valley, it is interesting to see how knowledgeable everyone is
about our little bubble and how much the geeks we’re meeting adore and respect Scoble. For them, he’s both what the aspire to be and the man on the street–and he’s just as gracious and engaged as can be, another inspiring lesson in focus. domain owner dns information . where is domain hosted . domain dns server . ip tech info i cloud web archive . website down . apache web server word cloud . English to Armenian . Brasov Restosundsecge . peta dunia satelit

Travelling Geeks: Visiting Zoran, Haifa

by on April 14, 2008 at 5:00 am

Our geeky roadshow is at Zoran, a Haifa/Sunnyvale company that does digital media chips and processing worldwide. They’re moving into mobile co-processors, laster printing processors, etc.
This company
has been at the forefront, they say, of multimedia processing…with everything. I am pretty hardwade indifferent, but the new chip they just showed us that can be used to download movies o to USB sticks and then play anywhere look pretty impressive….

As Craig says, these devices will allow streaming over the net to the box and the chip and stream right into the TV–The chip/system is a prototype, they say, but going into release by 2009 (watch for CES!

Susan sez: Yeah, this is kind of geeky for my tastes, but it’s another step toward streaming video over the next from a home or centralized server..and that is cool (think Slingbox).

Zoran is also showing some other cool tools…Coach 10 DCP Zlight is a new technology that helps correct for light distortion; it’s in the market with camera partners…cool stuff…And of course every geek in the room is drooling over the amazing tools this company is building–correctors for blurry photos, new sources for HD within cameras, all sorts of emablers… cote d’ivoire . politika . domain owner . where is domain hosted . domain dns server . ip tech info . i cloud web archive . website down apache web server word cloud Brasov .


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