NoCamels – Israeli Innovation News NoCamels.com is the leading news website on Israeli innovations. We cover all the latest innovation in the fields of technology, health, environment and lifestyle. 2017-04-27T09:59:14Z http://nocamels.com/feed/atom/ Yonatan Sredni, NoCamels <![CDATA[Keeping Your Cool: Looking At Photos Of Cold Scenes Can Improve Self-Control]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54436 2017-04-27T09:59:14Z 2017-04-27T09:51:21Z

We’ve all told ourselves to “keep our cool” or “not get overheated” at some point or another, but can simply looking at a photograph of a cold, wintery scene do the trick?

Researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU) have demonstrated that the perception of cold temperatures elicits greater cognitive control, even from a photo.

SEE ALSO: New Device Destroys Breast Tumors With Extreme Cold

winter, snow

Cognitive control allows your mind to override your impulses and helps you make decisions based on your goals, rather than your habits or reactions. Cognitive control enables you to make choices that maximize your long-term best interests. For example, when a person is very hungry and sees a sandwich but does not eat it, they are exhibiting cognitive control.

Measuring the effects of the perceived temperature

Metaphorical phrases like “coldly calculating,” “heated response,” and “cool-headed” actually have some scientific validity, according to lead researcher Dr. Idit Shalev of BGU. “Previous research has focused on the actual effect of temperature on the psychological phenomenon known as ‘cognitive control,’ but this is the first time we were able to measure the effects of perceived temperature,” she said in a statement. 

The study, entitled Keep it Cool: Temperature Priming Effect on Cognitive Control Research, was recently published in the journal Psychological Research.

Imagining yourself in a cold climate

In the study, Shalev and her team of researchers conducted two experiments. In the first, 87 students performed an “anti-saccade task” (saccade is a rapid movement of the eye between fixation points), which requires looking in the opposite direction of a moving object and measures cognitive control.

In the second experiment, 28 female students were asked to perform the same anti-saccade task, but this time were asked to physically imagine themselves in a picture of winter scenery, a temperature-neutral concrete street or a sunny landscape depicted as the background image in the test.

Example of a screen in the anti-saccade test

The results indicated that those viewing the cold landscape did better, and that even without a physical trigger, cognitive control can be activated through conceptual processes alone,” Shalev says. 

The researchers also examine the possibility that there is a common explanation for the relation of temperature and cognitive control with social proximity. “While warmth signaling promotes a relaxed attitude, cool signals alertness and a possible need for greater cognitive control,” the study concludes.

Photos: Ben-Gurion University, Pixabay

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Log Intelligence Co. OverOps Raises $30M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54760 2017-04-27T08:43:36Z 2017-04-27T08:43:19Z

April 27, 2017 | Israeli application reliability and log intelligence company OverOps announced today that it has closed a $30 million Series C financing round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Menlo Ventures. Both were previous investors in OverOps, which has now raised $52 million. Founded in 2012 by CEO Tal Weiss, OverOps (formerly known as Takipi) has offices in Tel Aviv and San Francisco. The company transforms application logs into real-time intelligence that enables modern development and operations teams to solve critical production issues in minutes vs. days or weeks.

 

 

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Confirmed: Gett Buying Juno For $200M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54756 2017-04-27T07:52:53Z 2017-04-27T07:52:53Z Gett

April 27, 2017 | Israeli taxi haling app Gett  has confirmed that it is acquiring ridesharing app Juno. No financial details were disclosed but Gett (formerly GetTaxi) founder and CEO David Waiser told “Techcrunch” that the price of the deal is $200 million, although he did not say whether the payment would be in cash or shares. Gett has raised $513 million to date including a $300 million investment from Volkswagen last year.  “This current deal provides a really enormous opportunity for expansion,” Waiser said. Waiser said that in the first quarter of 2017, Gett grew 100% in terms of both rides completed and revenue.

Juno was founded in New York in 2016 by the Israeli founder of messaging app Viber, CEO Talmon Marco, which was sold to Japan’s Rakuten in 2014 for $900 million. Juno is a taxi app based in New York whose declared aim is to compete with Uber. While Uber has been under fire for its treatment of drivers, Juno’s slogan is “Juno treats drivers better. Drivers treat you better.”

 

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[AI Medical Imaging Co. AIDoc Raises $7M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54751 2017-04-26T14:28:44Z 2017-04-26T14:28:44Z AIDOCApril 26, 2016 | Israeli artificial intelligence (AI) medical imaging startup AIDoc Medical has closed a $7 million funding round led by TLV Partners, with participation from previous investors including Magma Ventures and Emerge. The Tel Aviv based startup plans to use the new capital to expand its core R&D team, customer success, and marketing teams both in the US and in Israel. AIDoc uses artificial intelligence to diagnose medical images including CTs and MRIs. The company, which was founded by CEO Elad Walach, CTO Michael Braginsky and VP R&D Guy Reiner has raised $10.5 million to date.

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Einat Paz-Frankel, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israel’s Office-Sharing Startups Are Changing The Way We Work, Expanding Globally]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54385 2017-04-26T11:52:58Z 2017-04-26T11:31:46Z The Israeli phenomenon of the Kibbutz – a collective community traditionally based on agriculture – taught Israelis how to share everything from food and clothes to sleeping quarters. In recent years, the Startup Nation has grown to become a major player in the sharing economy, which is based on sharing information and resources with one another for the benefit of everyone.

With the sharing economy expected to be worth $20 billion a year by 2020, according to a recent report by research firm Juniper Research – it’s no wonder that many Israeli startups want to get in on the action.

Ride-sharing services offered by Israeli firms Gett, Via, Juno and Get Around have gained tremendous popularity in recent years thanks to their ease of use and relatively low fees; Israeli companies like Waze and Moovit are based on crowd-sourcing for better navigation and transportation; Israeli firm OurCrowd invests in startups primarily through crowd-funding; Israeli startup EatWith connects tourists to families that provide authentic dining; to name a few.

One of the hottest sub-sectors of the sharing economy is the shared office niche. According to Israeli price comparison platform Spacing, there are some 100 official shared office space locations in Israel, with a couple hundred unofficial ones. Globally, this market is expected to grow to roughly 26,000 locations in the next three years.

“The market for shared office space in Israel grew 50 percent in 2016, and is expected to double itself in the next couple of years,” Spacing co-founder Eitan Singer said in a statement.

Most of the shared-office companies charge their members a monthly fee to either rent a desk at an open space or to rent a small office, while the co-working firm provides everything your office needs – from coffee to printers. The added value for startups working out of these spaces is the opportunity to share ideas and easily collaborate.

The most successful in this arena is undoubtedly the $17 billion giant WeWork, which was co-founded by Israeli wunderkind (and former kibbutz member) Adam Neumann. But now, it’s up against relentless competition. NoCamels maps out the major players.

WeWork: From humble beginnings to a $17 billion empire

Several Israeli companies offering shared office space have popped up in recent years, but only one is already worth $17 billion – WeWork, which recently received a $300 million investment from Japan’s SoftBank, with reports that future investments could top $3 billion.

WeWork Berlin

Founded seven years ago by Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, pioneer WeWork now serves 100,000 members in 162 office locations in 41 cities around the globe (including six offices in three Israeli cities).

“By designing with the community in mind from the outset, not only do we utilize space more effectively, we also cultivate a distinct culture of collaboration,” Neumann wrote in recent blog post. “WeWork creates environments where people from all different backgrounds, industries and demographics come together to create their life’s work. And it is this concept, this approach to work, that is as powerful now as it was when we first started.”

SEE ALSO: A New Kibbutz? WeWork’s Urban Community WeLive Could Revolutionize City Living

Armed with its success in the office sector, WeWork recently entered the residential market with subsidiary WeLive, featuring two dorm-like locations in the US.

WeWork Tel Aviv

WeWork Tel Aviv

Mindspace: Expanding from Israel to Germany in a couple of years 

Much like WeWork, Israeli company Mindspace provides inspiring workspaces for teams of entrepreneurs, startups and designers. The company’s slick Tel Aviv building, located at the site where Israel’s stock exchange once was, provides meeting rooms, communal kitchens, and additional office services. Mindspace also operates a branch on the vibrant Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv.

SEE ALSO: Tel Aviv Revolutionizes City Transportation With New $26M Car-Sharing Service

Earlier this year, Mindspace raised $15 million from Israeli angel investors. Founded in 2014 by Dan Zakai and Yotam Alroy, Mindspace recently opened locations in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, Germany.

SOSA: Immerse yourself in the startup scene 

South Tel Aviv’s SOSA is not your typical shared office space. A hybrid between an open space and a collaborative workshop, SOSA creates interactions among the academy, startups, investors and corporations.

“We are firm believers in the notion that great businesses are triggered by special sparks, which are, in turn, generated by unique personal interactions,” according to the company.

With two locations – in Israel and in New York City – SOSA encompasses a community of 2,500 startups, major multinational companies and leading venture capital firms. Its members enjoy exclusive industry events, visits from international delegations, and business development support.

Merkspace: A young, vibrant community 

With three locations in Tel Aviv and one in Amsterdam, Israeli startup Merkspace is steadily growing. Founded in 2015 by young entrepreneur Sapir Shpigel, a graduate of IDC Herzliya, this co-working firm is now one of the major players on the scene.

Offering fast internet, refreshments, printers and equipped conference rooms, Merkspace prides itself on creating a community of “Merkers.” According to the company, it gives you “access to hundreds of potential customers, and a never-ending list of mixers and meetups with top industry professionals.”

The view from Merkspace Amsterdam

Ayeka: The office-country club combo 

Ayeka, which in biblical Hebrew means “Where are you?” is one of Israel’s newest work spaces, located in one of Tel Aviv’s hippest neighborhoods, Florentin. In addition to providing its members with the typical services, such as meeting rooms, Ayeka is almost like a country club, featuring a swimming pool, gym and a screening room.

According to Ayeka, “doing business requires you to be at the top of your game both mentally and physically.”

According to the company, “doing business today requires you to be at the top of your game both mentally and physically. We see well-being as a way of life.”

Photos: Courtesy of the companies, Uzi Porat

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Einat Paz-Frankel, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israeli Startups Raise $1 Billion In Q1]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54685 2017-04-26T10:17:59Z 2017-04-26T10:17:30Z April 26, 2017 | Israeli startups raised a total of $1.03 billion in the first quarter of 2017, 8 percent below the capital raised in the first quarter of last year, according to the IVC-ZAG Israeli High-Tech Capital Raising Survey. The figure reflects a 4 percent decrease compared with the previous quarter (the fourth quarter of 2016). In the report, released today, IVC Research Center says the number of funding deals was 10 percent below the quarterly average in the past three years. The report was compiled in collaboration with law firm Zysman, Aharoni, Gayer & Co. (ZAG | S&W).

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Gett Reportedly Seeking To Buy Juno for $250M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54663 2017-04-26T08:21:15Z 2017-04-26T08:21:02Z Gett

April 26, 2017 | Israeli taxi haling app Gett is in advanced talks to buy ridesharing app Juno for $250 million, “Techcrunch” reports, according to multiple sources. Both companies declined to respond. Juno was founded in New York in 2016 by the Israeli founder of messaging app Viber, CEO Talmon Marco, which was sold to Japan’s Rakuten in 2014 for $900 million. Juno is a taxi app based in New York whose declared aim is to compete with Uber. The new combined Gett and Juno company would reportedly offer its drivers a stake in the company in a bid to outcompete Uber, “Techcrunch” reports.

Israel-based Gett (formerly GetTaxi), was founded by CEO Shahar Waiser. The company, which is mainly a taxi-hailing app, is strong in its home country as well as in Western Europe and Russia but has struggled to gain a foothold in New York and elsewhere in the US. Gett has raised $513 million to date including a $300 million investment from Volkswagen last year.

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Cloud Security Co. Twistlock Raises $17M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54653 2017-04-25T14:15:26Z 2017-04-25T14:15:26Z twistlocklogoApril 25, 2017 | Israeli cloud container security solutions developer Twistlock announced today that it has raised $17 million in Series B funding, led by Polaris Partners and with the participation of existing investors YL Ventures, TenEleven and Rally Ventures. Brendan Hannigan of Polaris has joined the Twistlock Board of Directors as Chairman. The company, which raised $10 million last year, has raised $30 million to date, including the latest round of financing. Twistlock, which was founded in 2015 by CEO Ben Bernstein and VP R&D Dima Stopel, has headquarters in San Francisco and its development office in Herzliya.

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[HR Management Software Co. Hibob Raises $17.5M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54650 2017-04-25T13:16:28Z 2017-04-25T13:16:28Z HiBobApril 25, 2017 | HiBob, an Israeli-British startup developing human resources management software, has raised $17.5 million in a Series A round of funding led by Battery Ventures, with participation from Eight Roads Ventures, Arbor Ventures, and Bessemer Venture Partners. Founded in 2014, Hibob’s flagship software, called Bob, serves as a central hub for a company’s every HR need, and includes attendance records, time-off schedules, and nearly any piece of data a firm would collect from its employees. The software is designed so that employees can input much of the data themselves.

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[GamePoint Buys Israeli Co. Luck Genome For $12.5M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54646 2017-04-25T12:52:55Z 2017-04-25T12:52:55Z Luck GenomeApril 25, 2017 | Dutch game developer GamePoint has acquired Israel’s Luck Genome for $12.5 million. Luck Genome, which develops social casino games, was founded two years ago by CEO Guy Ezra and head of product Liat Adir, Head of Product, and has ten employees in its Tel Aviv offices. Following the acquisition, Luck Genome will retain its name and its development center in Tel Aviv and hire new employees. Game Point is a leading digital casino player with more than 100 employees. Luck Genome has developed the Slots Craze brand, which provides a platform for more than sixty social casino games and is considered one of the world’s leading players in its field. The company is wholly owned by its founders.

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Shoshanna Solomon, The Times of Israel <![CDATA[Shining A Light: Glowing Bacteria Helps Find Hidden Landmines]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54623 2017-04-25T10:14:50Z 2017-04-25T10:14:06Z This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission. 

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem say they may have found a way to remotely detect unexploded landmines by using a combination of lasers and molecularly engineered bacteria that glow in proximity to the explosives.

Buried landmines, which injure or kill 15,000-20,000 people each year, emit tiny quantities of explosive vapors which accumulate in the soil above them. This observation prompted the Hebrew University researchers, led by Prof. Shimshon Belkin of the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, to use bacteria that emit a fluorescent signal when they come into contact with these vapors to detect the mines.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Scientists Develop Microscopic Robot That Detects Disease Inside Cells

They enclosed the bacteria in small polymeric beads, which were then scattered across the surface of a test field in which real antipersonnel landmines were buried. Using a laser-based scanning system, the test field was remotely scanned and the researchers were able to determine the location of the buried explosives.

About half a million people around the world suffer from mine-inflicted injuries and more than 100 million such devices are still buried in over 70 countries. The major technical challenge in clearing minefields is detecting the mines. The technologies used today are not much different from those used in World War II, requiring detection teams who risk life and limb by physically entering the minefields.

SEE ALSO: Video Shows Bacteria Evolving Into Super Bugs

Accidents involving landmines occur in Israel once every few years and landmines laid in the 1950s and 1960s contaminate the Arava Valley, areas along the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War. The landmines have largely been demarcated by a network of fences and warning signs.

Luminous microbial beads demonstrate the fluorescent signal produced by the bacteria (Courtesy: Hebrew University)

To read the full article, click here. 

Photos: Hebrew Universtiy

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Einat Paz-Frankel, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israeli Wearable Tech ‘Upright GO’ Improves Posture, Reduces Upper Back Pain]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54221 2017-04-25T10:57:52Z 2017-04-25T09:21:03Z Roughly 50 percent of the labor force in the US suffers from head, back or neck pains, which negatively impact their ability to work, costing American employers about $7 billion annually. With so many of us sitting at our desks for hours every day, poor posture has become an epidemic, leading to widespread backache and other ailments.

According to Israeli startup Upright Technologies, back pain relief starts with good posture. And that’s why its wearable posture “trainers,” which discreetly attach to your back, train you to stand and sit upright. Every time you slouch, they gently vibrate, reminding you to correct your posture.

The company’s newest gadget, “Upright GO,” comes with a mobile app that tracks your progress and offers customizable training programs. Contrary to the startup’s first product (Upright PRO), Upright GO is much cheaper ($59 versus $130); it is lighter and more discreet; and it’s designed to reduce neck and upper back pain, as opposed to the PRO, which focuses on the lower back.

Upright GO, a small biofeedback posture trainer placed directly over the spine, is attached to the upper back with a reusable hypoallergenic adhesive. It is worn while sitting, standing, walking or driving. Using sensor technology and learning algorithms, the device senses subtle changes in posture, and vibrates to give users real-time posture feedback.

“Poor posture looks bad, and can lead to decreased confidence and back pain,” Oded Cohen, founder and CEO of Upright Technologies, said in a statement. “For the past three years, our team has been working to develop a habit-forming solution to conquer the modern epidemic of screen slouch.”

In tracking mode, it can be worn to accurately track and record the user’s posture data while moving throughout the day, so they can see the improvement in their posture over time. Users can view their progress on the iOS and Android app by checking their stats, history and usage.

“An intuitive habit”

Custom training plans gradually train the upper back and shoulder muscles to build muscle memory, strength and awareness, with just 10-60 minutes of daily training. Ultimately, users maintain an upright position on their own.

“Everybody talks about problems related to poor posture, but little is done to improve the situation. This is where we can help,” Cohen says. “By training for less than one hour a day, the body, muscles, and mind form an intuitive habit of sitting and standing after only 2-3 weeks.”

SEE ALSO: Israeli Wearable Device MotionCure Relieves Motion Sickness In Minutes

Founded in 2012 by Oded Cohen and Ori Fruhauf, the 13-empployee Upright Technologies already ran a successful crowd-funding campaign three years ago, raising $155,000 on Indiegogo, more than doubling its original goal of $70,000. Immediately thereafter, the startup sold 1,700 units to customers around the world – and realized they had hit something big.

Last month, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign, raising $528,000 in 1.5 months, 21 times its original goal. The campaign runs through May 10, with the product expected to ship this summer.

SEE ALSO: Wearable Device Livia Promises To ‘Turn Off’ Menstrual Cramps, Alleviate Period Pain

Studies have shown direct links between slouched posture and aches, as well as long-lasting effects on spine health, blood flow, and more. But while existing posture devices physically position the back into a straight position, “which isn’t habit-building,” according to the company, Upright GO works to gradually train your upper back, so eventually you will be able to maintain an upright posture on your own and only use the wearable device as a reminder.

While several clinical trials are ongoing in the US and in Israel, Upright is pending an FDA approval. However, according to a study recently conducted by Upright and Ernst & Young, after a few weeks of consistent training with the device, E&Y Israel employees improved posture and decreased back pain. As a result, more than half of the participants felt more productive and alert while at work.

Upright Technologies recently won the first-place award at the MEDICA App Competition for Best Medical Mobile Solution. The competition was part of one of the world’s largest medical trade fairs. Last year, Upright presented at CES, the largest tradeshow of consumer electronics in the world, held in Las Vegas. So far, the company has raised $3 million from investors.

These funds could potentially help the company affect the health of millions, and have far-reaching benefits. Says Cohen: “Improved posture can result in more focus and productivity at work.”

Photos and video: Courtesy

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Auto Tech Co. Arbe Robotics Raises $2.5M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54619 2017-04-24T13:29:05Z 2017-04-24T13:24:13Z ArbeRoboticsApril 24, 2017 | Israeli auto-tech startup Arbe Robotics, which is developing radar for autonomous vehicles that facilitates real-time mapping at distances up to 300 meters, has raised $2.5 million to pay for its development. The Tel Aviv based company’s system uses 4D imaging technology that is based on radar, instead of cameras and sensors. Radar is capable of detecting objects at longer ranges, which will enable autonomous vehicles to travel faster. Furthermore, visual conditions are far less of an obstacle for radar. Founded in late 2015, Arbe Robotics is seeking to market its products mainly in Japan and the US.

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Yonatan Sredni, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israel’s Jaffa Mandarin Oranges Look To Squeeze Into China]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54177 2017-04-24T11:09:47Z 2017-04-24T10:41:53Z The orange may be the the fruit most widely associated with Israel, but it is China that is the number one grower of citrus worldwide, with 20 million tons in 2016. Despite this, China also imported 21,000 tons of mandarin oranges in the last year, many from Israel.

Following the substantial harvest growth of Israel’s easy-to-peel mandarin orange known as the Jaffa Orri, Israel’s Plant Production and Marketing Board identified the China market as the its target for export growth in 2017.

“We expect to dramatically increase sales volumes of delicious Jaffa Orri in the China market in 2017,” Tal Amit, head of the citrus sector at Israel’s Plant Production and Marketing Board, said in a statement. “The Chinese are fond of fresh produce. They seek premium mandarins and are willing to pay for its delicious taste.”

Chinese like purchasing fruit online

According to the PMA (Produce Marketing Association), China is the world’s largest e-commerce market and is growing rapidly. One of the main drivers of this exponential growth was sales of online fresh fruit, which is quickly becoming a preferred purchase channel for Chinese consumers, especially among young professionals in big cities. Sales of online fresh produce in Chins neared the $4 billion in 2014.

SEE ALSO: China To Grow Blue Roses Using Israeli Technology

The Jaffa Orri mandarin is well established in Western Europe, especially in France and Germany,  but the growing demand for Israel’s mandarin in China has encouraged the PMA to focus its attention on the giant Asian country. 

The Jaffa Orri: Easy to peel, few seeds, long self life

The Jaffa Orri is a mandarin orange developed by scientists of the Israeli Volcani Research Center. In addition to being grown in Israel, the Jaffa Orri is grown in some of the best-known citrus-producing countries in the world, including Spain and South Africa. The easy peeling mandarin boasts a fresh, sweet flavor with minimal seed content and a particularly long shelf life. “As a result,” Amit said in the statement, “Jaffa Orri aims to minimize fresh produce waste and can yield better profit.”

This variety of fruit also has an extremely long harvest season of four months, which far exceeds the typical harvest season of around two months for most mandarins.

Jaffa Orri Mandarin oranges

A growing segment of the Chinese population has become more concerned with food safety standards and regulations, according to the PMA. “Our Jaffa Orri brand is well known as a safe, delicious fruit and it is payoff in comparison to other mandarins in the market,” Amit says.

SEE ALSO: Phresh Keeps Your Fruits And Veggies Fresh

China’s struggles spell opportunity for Jaffa Orri

The USDA estimated China’s production forecast of mandarins and tangerines to drop 900,000 tons due to citrus greening and unfavorable weather; consequently, consumption and exports are down. China represents over two-thirds of global production and consumption and one-fourth of global exports. 

Tal Amit of Jaffa Orri

Pictures: Jaffa Orri

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Shoshanna Solomon, The Times of Israel <![CDATA[From Planes To Drones: Former Fighter Pilot Makes Drone For Oil Rigs]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54516 2017-04-24T08:47:15Z 2017-04-24T08:47:15Z This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission. 

A former Israeli fighter pilot, Didi Horn, has created a new drone that aims to help the oil and gas industry more efficiently and cheaply monitor rigs, pipelines and other operations.

SkyX, an Israeli-Canadian startup based in Ontario, on Friday announced its public launch and said it was preparing to raise money in a Round B of financing.

SEE ALSO: Delivering The Goods: Israel Leads The Way In Drone Innovation

SkyOne craft, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) developed by SkyX, are equipped with cameras and sensors and are able to inspect pipelines for damage; they can also do mapping and security surveillance. The drones are able to take off and land vertically and fly autonomously and have the ability to intuitively know when they need recharging.

Different from other drones, through proprietary technology, the SkyOne doesn’t need to return to home base to recharge. Instead, it flies to the nearest available xStation, where it recharges in a weather-shielded dome before continuing its mission, the company said in a statement.

“We believe our technology can significantly cut costs and improve efficiency – helping the sector as a whole,” said Horn, SkyX founder and CEO, adding that the technology will be “game changing” for the oil and gas industry.

“We now have our first customer from Canada who will be provided the solution on trial terms for three to six months,” said Horn in a phone interview. The company estimates its sales opportunity at some $100 million by 2020, he said.

SEE ALSO: Personal Delivery Drone Will Ship Goods To Your Location Within Minutes

SkyOne now travels 105 kilometers (some 65 miles) per hour and will soon be able to fly at 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour. It can detect things like leaks, vandalism and vegetation encroachment. SkyOne allows for 24/7 data collection, provided in real-time, the statement said.

The drones are manufactured at third-party factories and the recharging stations need to be placed at 60-80 miles from each other. They could be located existing pumping stations of pipelines, on generators or set up as standalone systems, Horn said.

SkyX Founder/CEO Didi Horn, right, with electrical engineer Liron Shemesh, center, and electronics specialist/intern Jacob Green (Courtesy Scott Simmie, SkyX)

To read the full article, click here

Photos and video: SkyX

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Drug Co. SteadyMed Raises $30M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54536 2017-04-23T11:47:34Z 2017-04-23T11:47:34Z steadymedApril 23, 2017 | Israeli medical company SteadyMed Therapeutics has raised $30 million in a private placement led by Adage Capital Management, OrbiMed, Deerfield Management and Kingdon Capital Management. SteadyMed is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of drug product candidates to treat orphan and high-value diseases with unmet delivery needs. The company’s leading drug candidate is Trevyent for the treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). The company was founded in 2005 in the Zisapel family’s RAD Biomed incubator and although today under US management and headquartered in San Ramon, California, much of the company’s development is carried out in its Rehovot offices. Among the company’s investors is Ari Steimatzky. In 2015, the company raised $40 million on Nasdaq and last year raised $32 million in a private placement.

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Yonatan Sredni, NoCamels <![CDATA[Tel Aviv U. Insulin Study: Diet, Exercise Help Prevent Dementia]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54112 2017-04-23T11:08:50Z 2017-04-23T09:49:14Z While a healthy diet and regular exercise are well-known keys to good physical health, a decade long Israeli study on insulin now shows that they are also vital factors in cognitive performance.

A new Tel Aviv University (TAU) study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease finds that insulin resistance, caused in part by obesity and physical inactivity, is also linked to a more rapid decline in cognitive performance. According to the research, both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects with insulin resistance experienced accelerated cognitive decline in executive function and memory.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Scientists To Test New Treatment For Alzheimer’s

Insulin resistance is a condition in which cells fail to respond normally to the hormone insulin. The resistance prevents muscle, fat, and liver cells from easily absorbing glucose. As a result, the body requires higher levels of insulin to usher glucose into its cells. Without sufficient insulin, excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to prediabetes, diabetes, and other serious health disorders.

“These are exciting findings because they may help to identify a group of individuals at increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older age,” Prof. David Tanne of Tel Aviv University  said in a statement. “We know that insulin resistance can be prevented and treated by lifestyle changes and certain insulin-sensitizing drugs. Exercising, maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, and watching your weight will help you prevent insulin resistance and, as a result, protect your brain as you get older.”

A two-decade study

The scientists followed a group of nearly 500 patients with existing cardiovascular disease for more than two decades. They first assessed the patients’ baseline insulin resistance using the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA), calculated using fasting blood glucose and fasting insulin levels. Cognitive functions were assessed with a computerized battery of tests that examined memory, executive function, visual spatial processing, and attention. The follow-up assessments were conducted 15 years after the start of the study, then again five years after that.

SEE ALSO: Israelis Discover Clear Link Between Diabetes And Parkinson’s Disease

The study found that individuals who placed in the top quarter of the HOMA index were at an increased risk for poor cognitive performance and accelerated cognitive decline compared to those in the remaining three-quarters of the HOMA index. Adjusting for established cardiovascular risk factors and potentially confounding factors did not diminish these associations.

“This study lends support for more research to test the cognitive benefits of interventions such as exercise, diet, and medications that improve insulin resistance in order to prevent dementia,” Prof. Tanne said in a statement. The team is currently studying the vascular and non-vascular mechanisms by which insulin resistance may affect cognition.

The study was led jointly by Prof. David Tanne and Prof. Uri Goldbourt and conducted by Dr. Miri Lutski, all of TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine.

Prof. Tanne

Prof. David Tanne of Tel Aviv University

Photos: Tel Aviv University, Pexels

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Measure To Fit Co. Invertex Raises $2M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54524 2017-04-23T09:23:28Z 2017-04-23T09:23:28Z April 23, 2017 | Early stage Israeli fashion-tech company Invertex has completed its $2 million seed funding round led by Jerusalem-based equity crowdfunding venture capital firm OurCrowd. Permoda, an international retail and fashion group also participated in the round, together with prominent angel investors.

Invertex provides scan-to-fit guided shopping experience platforms that combine advanced 3D-digitization and deep-learning technologies to deliver tailored solutions for in store, at home and online audiences. Invertex’s comprehensive platform enables retailers to significantly improve their online sales-capabilities by lowering returns by empowering customers to trust and enjoy their e-commerce experience. The company’s clients also have the capacity to tailor their existing product lines to their customers’ specific needs. The company was founded in 2014 co-founded by CEO David Bleicher and Robert Williams.

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Report: Microsoft Buying Israel’s Cloudyn for $50-70M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54511 2017-04-20T13:01:56Z 2017-04-20T12:56:34Z Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 4.04.56 PMApril 20, 2017 | Microsoft is preparing to buy Israeli cloud-monitoring and analytics startup Cloudyn in a deal thought to be worth between $50-$70 million, according to a report in Israeli business publication Calcalist. Headquartered near Tel Aviv, Cloudyn was co-founded in 2011 by CEO Sharon Wagner, CTO Dr. Boris Goldberg and VP products Vittaly Tavor. The company’s SaaS (software-as-a-solution) platform enables enterprises to save manpower by automating the monitoring of their cloud assets, through data analytics and optimization. Cloudyn has raised more than $20 million since its inception, including an $11 million round in 2015, and their clients include Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Ticketmaster.

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[MeMed Gets $9.2M US Defense Contract]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54507 2017-04-20T12:32:38Z 2017-04-20T12:28:08Z MeMed Receives $6M Investment From Li Ka-shingApril 20, 2017 | MeMed, an Israeli start-up developing a reliable test to distinguish bacterial from viral infections, has secured a $9.2 million contract by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), a branch of the US Department of Defense (DoD) to improve clinical applications of its technology. The contract will fund the completion of MeMed’s pioneering point of care platform distinguishing bacterial from viral infections.  MeMed was founded in 2009 and is run by co-founder and CEO Eran Eden and co-founder and CTO Kfir Oved.

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[NASA Launches Israeli Students’ Satellite]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54499 2017-04-20T12:05:17Z 2017-04-20T11:47:33Z NASA Administrator Launches New Space Center In SakhninApril 20, 2017 | The nanosatellite Duchifat 2 (Hoopoe 2), built by Israeli high schoolers, was successfully launched into space on Tuesday afternoon by the American launcher, Atlas V, located at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. After the satellite’s scheduled arrival at the International Space Station in about two days, it will be sent into orbit around Earth for about a month and a half using a special robotic arm operated by astronomers.

רגע השיגור של דוכיפת 2

יש לנו שיגור מוצלח! לוויין התלמידים הישראלי דוכיפת 2 בדרך לחלל!

‎Posted by ‎משרד המדע, הטכנולוגיה והחלל‎ on‎ יום שלישי 18 אפריל 2017

Israeli Minister for Science, Technology, and Space Ofir Akunis, said, “Duchifat-2 is not only an educational venture that brings space closer to youth and lays the way for tomorrow’s generation, it is also an international research project. This is Israeli pride for the future generation, and an opportunity to increase public awareness about space.”

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Einat Paz-Frankel, NoCamels <![CDATA[Earth Day 2017: New Recycling Plant Is Turning Tel Aviv’s Garbage Into Fuel]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54466 2017-04-20T09:05:06Z 2017-04-20T08:56:49Z A consortium of Israeli companies has opened a new recycling plant that will turn half a million tons of garbage a year into fuel.

The $110 million plant – Israel’s biggest, and one of the largest of its kind in the world – will treat 1,500 tons of household waste every day, about 50 percent of Greater Tel Aviv’s garbage.

The trash will be converted into fuel, which will be used to power a nearby cement factory, using a technology called “Refuse-Derived Fuel” (RDF).

The plant will provide 20 percent of the energy needed to power Israel’s Nesher cement plant.

“The key to a sustainable future”

At the cutting-edge plant outside of Tel Aviv, RDF is produced from solid waste, and can replace a portion of fossil fuels used by the local cement industry. The waste is separated using different techniques, for example: giant magnets pull metals, and holes in different sizes separate the garbage by size.

SEE ALSO: Tel Aviv Named World’s 7th Greenest City

The end result is a homogeneous material that provides 20 percent of the energy needed to power Israel’s Nesher cement plant – about 500 tons of fuel per day. The companies behind this innovative environmental project are Nesher Israel Cement Enterprises, Veridis Environment and the Hiriya Recycling Park.

According to Doron Saphir, deputy mayor of Tel Aviv, “conserving nature’s resources by turning garbage into fuel is the key to a sustainable future.”

One of most innovative environmental projects in the Middle East

The plant is part of Israel’s largest eco-park (Ariel Sharon Park), which was built at the location of the massive trash site Hiriya. What used to be Israel’s largest landfill dump underwent a massive makeover three years ago, which turned a giant mountain of garbage into a 2,000-acre ecological park three times the size of New York City’s Central Park. The Ariel Sharon Park is considered one of the largest, most innovative environmental projects the Middle East.

SEE ALSO: Genetically Modified Bacteria Could Eat Away The World’s Massive Plastic Problem

The park includes recycling stations, walking and cycling trails, ponds and extreme sports activities, and will soon be home to a 50,000-seat amphitheater, one of the largest concert venues in Israel.

Ariel Sharon Park

Ariel Sharon Park

In addition to the RDF plant, the park is home to a recycling center and transfer station. Each day, approximately 800 garbage trucks deposit 3,000 tons of household waste and garden trimmings into the recycling station; and 400 more trucks bring approximately 1,500 tons of construction waste from 18 local municipalities in the area.

But while Hiriya Mountain, previously known as “stinky hill,” has come a long way, it’s still far from being completed. The park will continue to expand through 2020, with more recreational and tourist attractions to come.

Photos and video: Courtesy

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Coming To Israel]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54461 2017-04-20T07:41:12Z 2017-04-20T07:40:20Z NBA, basketball without bordersApril 20, 2017 | The National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Israel Basketball Association today announced that the 16th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Europe will be held Aug. 13-16 at The Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel, marking the first time that the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will be held in Israel.

BWB Europe will bring together the top male and female players born in 2000 from across Europe to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches and to compete against the best young players from the continent. BWB Europe will also include a variety of NBA Cares and Jr. NBA community outreach efforts with youth in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in partnership with local community organizations.  These programs will highlight the power of sport to promote cultural understanding while teaching the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle and the values of the game, including teamwork, integrity and respect. BWB has reached more than 2,720 participants from 134 countries and territories since 2001, with 43 campers drafted into the NBA.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to ever play in the NBA, said in a statement, “Basketball without Borders is an amazing program, and I’m fortunate that I was able to participate as a camper in 2005.  It’s great to see the NBA and FIBA recognize Israel’s basketball development efforts by hosting the camp there for the first time.  I look forward to working with Europe’s top male and female players and showing them the beauty and culture of my home country.”

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Cloud Security Co. Dome9 Raises $16.5M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54456 2017-04-19T13:12:46Z 2017-04-19T13:12:46Z dome9securityApril 19, 2017 | Japanese telecom giant SoftBank is leading a $16.5 million “strategic” investment into Dome9 Security, an Israeli cloud infrastructure security company. Founded out of Tel Aviv in 2010 by Zohar Alon and Roy Feintuch, Dome9 targets enterprises with a SaaS (software as a service) platform that helps them assess their network security and detect potential misconfigurations, while simultaneously protecting against cyberattacks. The company recently moved its headquarters from Israel to Mountain View, California. This latest funding round brings the company’s total amount raised to $29 million.

 

 

 

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Einat Paz-Frankel, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israeli Expat Eiran Gazit Creates Stunning Miniature World At NYC’s ‘Gulliver’s Gate’]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54174 2017-04-19T13:11:15Z 2017-04-19T09:42:10Z An Israeli expat has recreated the world in a stunning miniature exhibition that lets you “visit” a host of landmarks around the globe – from the Brooklyn Bridge to The Pyramids – in a brand new 49,000-square-foot museum, at the heart of Times Square in New York City.

Founded and headed by Eiran Gazit, the recently inaugurated Gulliver’s Gate offers an interactive display representing regions of the world and famous landmarks, as well as moving trains, planes, wagons and people of the past and present. Israeli design firm Mahtov Designs was in charge of building the miniature model of the Middle East, including Jerusalem.

Overall, this “Lilliput” depicts scenes from New York City, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe, Russia and Asia. Landmarks include world wonders such as the Hoover Dam, the Parthenon, the Colosseum, the Panama Canal and the Great Wall of China.

“The closer you look, the more you see”

Gazit – the founder and first CEO of Mini Israel, a 14-acre miniature display of Israel located at a park outside Jerusalem – admits he loves miniatures and is fascinated by them. He also loves telling stories. “This enables us at Gulliver’s Gate to combine the two loves,” he tells NoCamels.

Gulliver's Gate

Eiran Gazit, co-founder, president and CEO of Gulliver’s Gate

Moreover, Gulliver’s Gate provides an escape from the real world, which is “complicated, hectic and not always pleasant,” Gazit says. “In our miniature world, you are invited to relax, smile at impossible situations, and discover something new around every corner. Ours is a positive, Utopian interpretation of what the world could, should and would look like, if only there were no wars, or poverty, or calamity.”

The saying “the closer you look, the more you see” is true to Gazit’s project. “The miniature world allows us to examine the world in a way that we can’t in real life situations,” he tells NoCamels. “Scale provides an amazing perspective on how the world is built, what it looks like and the relationships we have with our environment.”

Gulliver's Gate

With over 30 years of experience, Gazit specializes in managing tourist destinations, hospitality venues and educational organizations. Born in Israel, Gazit moved to the US in 2005, and shortly thereafter became the co-owner of the Gateways Inn in Lenox, Mass. He co-founded Gulliver’s Gate with investor Michael Langer two years ago.

SEE ALSO: Crafting the World’s Smallest Bible, Israeli Nanotech Engineers Insert Scripture In Jewelry

Over the past couple of years, Gazit has overseen the work of several international teams working diligently to emulate several regions of the world. For example, the New York model, which was made in Brooklyn, took 16 people nearly a year to complete; the Middle East model was made in Jerusalem by 19 people over the course of four and a half months.

Make a miniature version of yourself

This brand-new, $40 million New York City attraction – which costs $36 to visit – also features a full-body scanner and a 3D printer to enable visitors to make miniature versions of themselves that can be taken home as a souvenir, or left behind as a permanent “model citizen” of Gulliver’s Gate.

New York

All displays are scaled to a ratio of 1:87, the standard for miniature models. For example, a 6-foot tall person would be represented by a 0.8 inch figure.

SEE ALSO: Noah’s Ark-Shaped Natural History Museum To Curate 5 Million Specimens

“Gulliver’s Gate is the realization of a vision by over 600 artists and craftspeople from around the world,” says co-founder Michael Langer. “The model makers were tasked to create a world that best represents how they see the region they are from. They were also given a fair amount of latitude to impart their own personality and humor into the exhibit.”

What makes Gulliver’s Gate truly special to Gazit and Langer is the fact that “so many different artists from so many backgrounds and ethnicities came together to create a beautiful vision for the world to enjoy.”

Gulliver's Gate

Photos and video: Courtesy

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[SeatGeek Buys Israeli Ticketing Co. TopTix For $56M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54427 2017-04-19T07:31:28Z 2017-04-19T07:24:52Z Toptix | April 19, 2017 | New York based ticketing platform company SeatGeek announced the acquisition of Israeli ticketing software company TopTix for $56 million. The acquisition by SeatGeek was financed by a new $57 million Series D investment round in SeatGeek led by Glynn Capital, with participation from existing investors Accel, Causeway Media Partners, Haystack Partners, Mousse Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures.

Established in 2000 by Yehuda Yuval and Eli Dagan, TopTix developed the SRO ticketing system, which currently serves 500 clients in 16 countries, processing 80 million tickets annually. Current TopTix clients, which will now be clients of SeatGeek, range from museums and theaters to festivals and sports teams, including well-known organizations such as the Royal Dutch Football Association, Ravinia Festival, and many English soccer clubs. TopTix will power the expansion of SeatGeek Open, SeatGeek’s primary ticketing platform that launched in August of 2016. SeatGeek Open enables artists and teams to sell tickets directly within other apps and websites, in places where fans are spending time and consuming content. TopTix will operate as a subsidiary of SeatGeek, continuing to service clients across the globe.

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Shoshanna Solomon, The Times of Israel <![CDATA[Extracting Water From Air, Israeli Company Water-Gen Looks To Quench Global Thirst]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54348 2017-04-18T11:01:37Z 2017-04-18T11:01:37Z This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission. 

Water-Gen, an Israeli company whose technology captures humidity in order to make drinking water out of air, is not likely to experience the cash-flow squeeze that afflicts many fast-growing companies.

That’s because Russian-Israeli entrepreneur and billionaire Michael Mirilashvili, who is also the vice president of the World Jewish Congress, bought control of the company last summer, and because it has high-profile advocates. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned it in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” about Israel’s high-tech prowess. At the AIPAC conference last month, Harvard Law professor and Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz took the stage to showcase its technology. In September, the company presented its solution at the United Nations.

SEE ALSO: Out Of Thin Air: Israeli Scientists Harvest Drinking Water From Air

Not bad for a firm that employs some 30 people, mainly engineers, in the central Israeli city of Rishon Lezion. It was set up in 2010 by entrepreneur Arye Kohavi, a former combat reconnaissance company commander in the Israeli Army who previously set up a firm that developed e-learning software.

“Water from air is the next source of water for the world”

“Whatever it needs, we will finance,” said Maxim Pasik, the executive chairman of Water-Gen ,when asked about financing options for the firm’s growth. “Water-Gen’s potential is endless. Water from air is the next source of water for the world.”

Mirilashvili’s Beer Itzhak Energy recently bought a 70 percent stake in Water-Gen.

SEE ALSO: In Face Of Water Crisis, Indian Minister Praises Israeli Technologies: “Israel Is My Guru”

Water covers 70 percent of Earth, but only 3 percent of the world’s water is fresh, and two-thirds of that is unavailable for use, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. As a result, “some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year,” the WWF says. At the current consumption rate, by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages, the World Wildlife Fund estimates. Roughly 1.2 billion people — almost one-fifth of the world’s population — live in areas of water scarcity, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Turning air into potable water 

After the biblical exodus from Egypt, Moses made water for the people of Israel in the desert by striking a stone. Now Water-Gen is striking water from air.

The technology, developed by Kohavi with the help of engineers, uses a series of filters to purify the air. After the air is sucked in and chilled to extract its humidity, the water that forms is treated and transformed into clean drinking water. The technology uses a plastic heat exchanger rather than an aluminum one, which helps reduce costs; it also includes a proprietary software that operates the devices.

The atmospheric water generators developed by Water-Gen allow the production of 4 liters of drinking water (one gallon) using 1 Kilowatt of energy, Pasik said.

To read the full article, click here

Photos and video: Water-GenGeetanjal Khanna

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Yonatan Sredni, NoCamels <![CDATA[Canadian Model Becomes Comedy Hit In Israel With Viral Videos]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=53701 2017-04-18T13:51:48Z 2017-04-18T09:23:53Z Last month, in a Vanity Fair video series aimed at highlighting the hidden talents of various celebrities, Israeli-born Oscar winner Natalie Portman decided to give the world a short 10-word lesson in Hebrew slang.

While Portman’s video was popular, it wasn’t the first. That distinction belongs to a 26-year-old Canadian-Israeli model and actress Renny Grinshpan, who released her own Hebrew slang video six months ago.

Hebrew slang from A-Z

Viewed 1.7 million times on Facebook since it was posted in September, Grinshpan’s ultra-popular video is a comprehensive tutorial on Hebrew slang.

SEE ALSO: Technion Students’ Hilarious Take On The Viral ‘Mannequin Challenge’ Craze

Grinshpan goes through the entire (English) alphabet from A for “achi,” which can be translated as “my brother”; to N for “neshama sheli,” which means “my soul” and which Renny says “can be used to address even your most casual acquaintances”; to Z for “zorem,” which means to “go with the flow.”

From Toronto to Tel Aviv

Born and raised in a reformed Jewish home in Toronto, Grinshpan’s mother is Canadian and her father is Israeli. “My sisters and I were always making fun of my dad’s accent and making fun of his Israeliness,” she told JTA in a recent interview. But Renny says the family was always very connected to Israel and visited relatives in the country often.

Spokesperson for menstrual pain reliever – and proud of it!

Upon immigrating to Israel in 2014, Grinshpan settled in Tel Aviv and worked as a video producer and model for two years. She was also featured in a popular crowdfunding campaign for Livia, an Israeli product that dubbed itself “The Off Switch for Menstrual Pain”. The campaign soared, raising nearly $1.7 million dollars on Indiegogo.

SEE ALSO: Wearable Device Livia Promises To ‘Turn Off’ Menstrual Cramps, Alleviate Period Pain

Her big break

The Livia video brought her to the attention of the director of  The Israeli Girls, an all-female comedy troupe that makes popular Facebook videos from an Israeli woman’s perspective. Grinshpan, who joined the cast in May, is the only actress in the group who performs in English, yet she has enough Hebrew language skills to hold her own in scenes with the Hebrew speaking actresses.

Although the target audience for The Israeli Girls is Hebrew speakers, English speakers also watch Grinshpan’s videos. The popularity of her videos, including the Hebrew slang one, has grown so much that Grinshpan is regularly recognized by fans on the street.

Celebrating International Women’s Day in Tel Aviv

In the past several weeks, Grinshpan has started doing more independent videos, including one last month on International Women’s Day in which she rushes around Tel Aviv encouraging Israeli women to celebrate with her. Using her quick wit and ability to improvise, Grinshpan proves to be a real natural in front of the camera.

Loves Israel – and comedy

Although she still occasionally models and produces a YouTube cooking show with her sister, the Canadian celebrity chef Eden Grinshpan, Renny is trying to focus on comedy. She just performed her first standup shows at the Dancing Camel, a Tel Aviv bar popular with English-speaking immigrants.

Sister Act: Eden and Renny Grinshpan

“Standup is by far the scariest thing I have ever done,” she tells NoCamels. “I’ve been questioning why I’m doing it – as  I’m doing it. I actually don’t know if I’ll continue with it or if it’s for me – it was mostly just something that I wanted to try out and get a feel for. Though I do really enjoy performing live on stage and I’ll continue to do that – even if that may not be as a standup comedian.”

Grinshpan is also not afraid to affirm her love of Israel, which comes across in her comedy and often softens the jokes she makes at the country’s expense.

“At least I’m direct about the fact that Israel is my favorite place in the world,” she says. “Every other Israeli you meet is in the process of getting a foreign passport and considering living abroad for a few years.”

Canadians vs Israelis

Asked what the differences are between Canadians and Israelis, Grinshpan says, “Canadians lack Israeli friendliness, which is definitely something they can stand to learn. Canadians don’t treat every person on the street as a family member the way Israelis do! Israelis talk to and are willing to help everyone they come across.”

“But”, she adds, “Israelis could learn Canadian politeness. Canadians are constant with the ‘sorry’ and the ‘thank you’ and the ‘excuse me.’ Israelis don’t bother with that kind of stuff – and tend to have no boundaries whatsoever (again, because they treat everyone like family!). It’s a double edged sword.”

When asked for the one word that best describes her, Grinshpan answers, “loud.” But if you’ve watched her videos, chances are you might disagree and pick “hilarious” instead.

Renny Grinshpan

Photos and videos: Renny Grinshpan, Livia, YouTube

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[MRI Developer Aspect Imaging Raises $30M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54352 2017-04-18T07:15:27Z 2017-04-18T07:13:39Z Aspect_Imaging | April 18, 2017 | Israeli high-performance MRI developer Aspect Imaging has raised $30 million in its latest round of funding. Unnamed existing investors participated in the round. Founded in 2003, the company raised $20 million in a round last year and $150 million in total since it was founded. The company has developed a line of more affordable, compact, and cutting edge MRI machines that make the diagnostic tests more accessible to patients worldwide. With smaller MRIs that can be installed almost anywhere, and operated by almost anyone, more patients will receive MRI scans on a more regular basis, helping them stay more updated on their health. The company has some 100 employees. Aspect Imaging’s  founder and president is CEO Uri Rapoport.

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Einat Paz-Frankel, NoCamels <![CDATA[Study: Desktop Scanners Can Be Hijacked To Execute Cyber Attacks]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=53835 2017-04-16T09:32:29Z 2017-04-17T08:42:18Z We’ve all heard about hackers remotely activating webcams and microphones to spy on people without their knowing. NoCamels recently reported that even simple headphones can spy on us. Now, new research reveals that a seemingly innocent desktop scanner can be hacked and manipulated to steal precious data from your computer.

According to a new study conducted by Israel’s Ben-Gurion University and Weizmann Institute researchers, a typical office scanner can be infiltrated and a company’s network compromised using different light sources. Moreover, desktop scanners can be hijacked to perpetrate cyber-attacks through drones hovering over your home or office.

SEE ALSO: Fan-tastic Hacking: Israeli Researchers Hack Into Computers By Listening To Their Fans

hacking-phone-hacker-password

Don’t leave your scanner lid open

“In this research, we demonstrated how to use a laser or smart bulb to establish a covert channel between an outside attacker and malware installed on a networked computer,” BGU researcher Ben Nassi said in a statement. “A scanner with the lid left open is sensitive to changes in the surrounding light and might be used as a back door into a company’s network.”

The project was conceived by Weizmann Institute’s Prof. Adi Shamir in hopes to identify new network vulnerabilities by establishing a secret channel in a computer network. His team conducted several demonstrations to transmit a message into computers connected to a flatbed scanner. Using direct laser light sources up to a half-mile (900 meters) away, as well as on a drone outside their office building, the researchers successfully sent a message to trigger malware through the scanner.

SEE ALSO: How Israeli Cyber-Security Startups Are Battling The World’s Riskiest Online Hacks

In another demonstration, the researchers used a Samsung Galaxy 4 Smartphone to hijack a smart lightbulb (using radio signals) in the same room as the scanner. Using a program they wrote, they manipulated the smart bulb to emit pulsating light that delivered the triggering message in only seconds.

To mitigate this vulnerability, the researchers recommend organizations connect a scanner to the network through a proxy server – a computer that acts as an intermediary – which would prevent establishing a clandestine channel. However, this might be considered an extreme solution, since it also limits printing and faxing remotely on all-in-one devices.

But Nassi hopes his study, titled Oops!…I think I scanned a malware, “will increase the awareness to this threat, and result in secured protocols for scanning that will prevent an attacker from establishing such a secret channel through an external light source, smart bulb, smart TV, or other IoT (Internet of Things) devices.”

Ben Nassi’s Ph.D. research advisor is Prof. Yuval Elovici of BGU’s Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering, who’s also heading the Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories at Ben-Gurion University.

Photos and video: Epson/Amazon, Ben-Gurion University

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the NoCamels team <![CDATA[Lithuania Offers Israeli FinTech Startups Fast EU Licensing]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54335 2017-04-16T10:28:15Z 2017-04-16T10:26:12Z April 16, 2017 | Lithuania’s central bank has launched a fast-track licensing program for Israeli FinTech startups, which would help them enter European markets. The Bank of Lithuania “is making it easier for Israeli startups to launch in Lithuania from where they can gain access to over 450 million EU consumers,” according to a statement. The country is already home to Israeli tech firms that are using it as the base for their European operations, including giant DIY website design firm Wix.

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Shoshanna Solomon, The Times of Israel <![CDATA[Whiteflies Can Help Us Make Better Drones, Israeli Researchers Say]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54312 2017-04-16T09:29:01Z 2017-04-16T09:29:01Z This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.

Whiteflies, bugs just 0.3 of an inch long that typically feed on the undersides of plant leaves, may hold the secret to stabilizing the takeoff of small robotic man-made flyers, like miniature drones, researchers at Tel Aviv University say.

When whiteflies take off, they don’t just spread their wings and fly. These tiny insects use a variety of sophisticated techniques that provide them with exceptional stability in the air. These same techniques could be used for drones, the researchers said.

SEE ALSO: Israel Leads The Way In Drone Innovation

drone

The research, presented at a recent Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities conference, explores how whiteflies, which belong to the order of insects called Hemiptera, successfully take off without flapping their wings, which are 28 percent longer than their bodies. They raise their wingtips to provide air resistance and stabilize. The presentation was based on new research following an earlier study published by the Journal of Experimental Biology.

“Whiteflies take a powerful ‘jump’ before they start using their wings in flight,” said TAU’s Dr. Gal Ribak, who led the research. “Then, when the insects are moving through the air, they have to stop the rotation of their bodies to reorient themselves for flapping flight. They are able to do that by extending the tips of their folded wings, causing high air resistance behind the body. This aerodynamic force stabilizes the takeoff and only then do the insects spread their wings and start flying.”

SEE ALSO: Israeli Researchers Able To Control Insects’ Movements

The response time is what is of note here, Ribak said, as all this happens in less than 12 milliseconds, without feedback from the nervous system. “Nature is providing us with guidance on how to stabilize the takeoff of small robotic man-made flyers,” he said.

Size is a key component of the insects’ successful ascent. Their tiny size allows them to execute swift stabilizing responses using the air resistance of various body parts.

To read the full article, click here

Photos and video: Tel Aviv UniversityJyothish Kumar P.G

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the NoCamels team <![CDATA[Hebrew U Opens Cannabis Research Center]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54296 2017-04-13T09:17:17Z 2017-04-13T09:16:38Z Hebrew U., Hebrew University, HU, HU logoApril 13, 2017 | Israel’s Hebrew University has launched a cannabis research center called the Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research, which will focus on medical Cannabis. The university is already known for its marijuana research mainly thanks to Prof. Raphael Mechoulam, “the the father of marijuana research,” who successfully isolated the active constituent of the Cannabis plant and synthesized it.

 

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Rotem Landesman, NoCamels <![CDATA[iPhone Or Android? ‘Eye’ Lets You Enjoy The Best Of Both Worlds]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=53975 2017-04-13T07:51:30Z 2017-04-13T08:01:53Z Although it’s one of the most bizarre mobile phone cases we’ve ever come across, the Israeli-developed Eye case – which combines iPhone and Android interfaces, and can also wirelessly charge your phone – is undoubtedly innovative.

With an iPhone case on one side and what is essentially an Android phone built into the other, Eye lets you enjoy the best of both worlds, especially if you’re the geeky type who can’t decide between the two operating systems.

Developed by Israeli startup Esti, Eye has so far raised $635,000 in a Kickstarter campaign, which will run through Saturday – more than six times its original goal of $95,000.

After establishing the startup just two years ago, Esti’s founder, Jonathan Sabri, is stunned by the current campaign’s success. “Once the big newspapers picked up on our product, the popularity just exploded,” he tells NoCamels.

SEE ALSO: Hefty Roaming Charges? Simgo’s Virtual SIM Could Cut Rates By 90%

Some of Eye’s features, which have been getting rave reviews, include increased memory; infrared technology that allows the device to act as a remote control; two extra SIM card slots for multiple phone numbers; double the battery life of a regular iPhone, according to the company; an advanced AMOLED display; 256gb of expanded storage; and an opportunity for a better selfie with the dual screen display.

“My favorite feature is the wireless charging,” Sabri says. “It just makes life so much easier eliminating all those cables.”

Sabri adds that Eye has something for everyone. “It has so many unique properties that, really, anyone can relate to it, even if they don’t have an extensive background in technology,” he tells NoCamels. “The teenager might be excited about the better-quality selfies, the businessman about the extra space for sim cards, and the geeks about having both the iOS and the Android systems in one device.”

SEE ALSO: SELFLY’s Flying Phone Case Takes Hands-Free Aerial Selfies

Is the product a bit bizarre? You bet. Once you insert your iPhone into the case, it basically looks like you’ve given your phone eyes (or in this case a full screen) on the back of its head. With no other products quite like it on the market today, the Eye will surely catch the attention of people passing by, wondering if it’s an iPhone or an Android. You’ll just have to explain that you’ve got the best of both.

Starting at $119, depending on certain features included and your iPhone version, Eye is expected to ship all over the world next month. And yes, the case alone can function as a standalone Android smartphone.

Eye smartphone case by Esti

Photos and video: Courtesy

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Einat Paz-Frankel, NoCamels <![CDATA[Bad Influence? Mischievous Kids Actually Teach Their Siblings How NOT To Behave]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=53906 2017-04-12T06:58:35Z 2017-04-12T12:45:20Z Many parents are concerned that the rowdy behavior of one child could negatively affect the behavior of their sibling. But a new Israeli study has found that such behavior does not encourage similar behavior in their brothers and sisters. In fact, disruptive kids teach their siblings how NOT to behave.

SEE ALSO: Study: Hypersensitive Children May Develop OCD In Adulthood

The study, led by Dr. Ella Daniel of Israel’s Tel Aviv University, has found that siblings of young troublemakers, tend to show less disorderly behavior over time. The research, conducted in collaboration with the University of Toronto, examined disruptive behavior during early childhood and concluded that it produces greater disparity — rather than resemblance — among siblings.

Two little displeased child boy brothers in family conflict quarrel

“Disruptive behavior starts early in life and behavioral patterns may become stable and resistant to influence later on,” Daniel said in a statement. “We found that in early childhood, children do not learn from each other how to be disruptive, violent or disobedient.”

In fact, they are “more likely to learn what not to do, or how not to behave,” she stresses. “The older siblings of young children who are disruptive tend to become less disruptive themselves over time, creating a polarizing effect on their behaviors.”

“Let each child develop his or her individuality”

Existing research on disruptive behavior is largely focused on adolescents. The new study harnessed data assessing the rate of disruptions as witnessed by both parents to track 916 toddlers and their preschool- and school-aged siblings in some 400 families in and around Toronto.

SEE ALSO: Kid Country: Israel Rated Third Best Country To Raise Children

The families had a child born between 2006 and 2008, and had at least one other child (younger than four years of age) at home. The researchers conducted observations and interviews all members of the family every 18 months.

The scientists collected information when the youngest child in the family was 18, 36 and 54 months old. On these three occasions, both parents reported the disruptive behaviors of each of their children.

Using statistical models, the researchers identified the role of siblings in the development of each child’s disruptive behavior over time, taking into account heredity, parenting, social environment and shared history.

“The study teaches us that we have little to worry about one sibling being ‘a bad influence’ on their brothers or sisters,” Daniel says. “Instead, we should be more worried of pigeon holing: that one child will be labeled as a ‘black sheep,’ and that all children in the family will develop based on pre-assigned roles. We should let each child develop his or her individuality, which naturally changes over time.”

Photos: Brandon Morgan

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the NoCamels team <![CDATA[Visa Seeking Israeli FinTech Startups]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54284 2017-04-24T07:28:09Z 2017-04-12T08:55:00Z April 12, 2017 | Visa is inviting Israeli startups to compete for a chance to win €50,000 in its Everywhere Startup Competition in Europe. Participants will develop digital payments solutions. The competition will focus on three challenges: How can digital payment technologies help create products that connect people and enrich local communities? How can mobile technologies and connected devices transform the experience of intercity travel? How can new products and services deliver a more seamless international travel experience? The Visa Everywhere Initiative was created in 2015 in the US.

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Kirk D'Souza, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israeli Technologies Lead The Way In Protecting Billions Of IoT Devices]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=53522 2017-04-05T11:26:16Z 2017-04-11T07:00:01Z As the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution gathers pace, we will soon be living in a world where virtually everything is connected to the internet and the cloud – cars, homes, televisions, coffee machines, and even our showers. “Even babies are controlled by the Internet,” Israeli cyber-security guru Gil Shwed said recently at Israel’s CyberTech conference, referring to a WiFi-enabled crib he had bought.

The increase in wireless connections among objects and people is phenomenal. Research firm Gartner estimates that the number of connected devices and objects will grow from 6.4 billion in 2016 to nearly 21 billion by 2020 – and that excludes smartphones, tablets and computers.

The numbers are undoubtedly staggering, and Israeli companies are significantly contributing to these statistics. According to venture capital firm Innovation Endeavors, there are roughly 330 Israeli IoT companies in a myriad of markets, such as AgTech, healthcare, transportation, smart homes, and consumer products ranging from sportswear to pet care.

But while the IoT world will be one of convenience, efficiency, and automation, would you still buy a smart baby crib if you knew that a hacker could tamper with its settings? Would you sit in a self-driving car knowing that it could be cyber attacked? In 2015, two American engineers demonstrated that they could remotely disable the accelerator of a jeep on the highway, showing that hackers can wreak havoc with so many connected cars already on the roads today.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wilgengebroed/8249565455/

Fortunately, several Israeli companies are developing solutions to counter this real threat. One of the most prominent companies is Argus, which focuses on automotive cyber-security solutions that protect connected cars from being controlled by external agents. The firm raised $30 million in 2015 alone.

Another Israeli startup, Karamba Security, offers a cyber-security solution called Carwall, which secures a vehicle’s engine control unit by detecting and preventing all computer operations that deviate from the original factory settings of the unit.  Israeli firm GuardKnox provides automotive cyber-security solutions based on similar solutions used in Israeli fighter jets and the Iron Dome system.

atomation

Securing smart homes

Data privacy is also an inherent IoT problem. In a smart home, every connected device is a gateway to a person’s private data stored on smartphones and computers, since all devices share the same Wi-Fi network. As more IoT products hit the shelves, manufacturers will need to assure consumers that their products are safe from hackers.

This is where Israeli company Dojo Labs comes in. Dojo provides consumer security and privacy solutions for IoT devices in smart homes. The company has created a slick, pebble-like device that connects to smartphones via an app. The Dojo monitors all data sent by IoT devices at home – smart TVs, smart fridges, smart toasters, etc. – and flags devices that are sending out abnormal amounts or types of data. This could mean that a hacker has taken control over the device.

Dojo

For example, the Dojo will alert you if your fridge is sending out a video file or your toaster is transmitting an audio file, which are abnormal data transfers – these appliances are simply not supposed to do that.

Another data protection solution for smart homes is provided by Israeli company SecuriThings. Its platform integrates with all cloud-connected devices in a network to monitor their activities, provides an overview of cyber-threats, and protects against unauthorized access. The system extends beyond smart homes to secure smart buildings, smart cities, and industrial systems as well.

Safer connections are key 

In the IoT world, many devices will be connected to the internet through public Wi-Fi networks, many of which are unsecured. In just two seconds, hackers can introduce malware or steal private information from any device connected to public Wi-Fi hotspots. To counter this growing threat, Israeli startup SaferVPN automatically connects any device to a secure virtual private network (VPN) the moment the device connects to public Wi-Fi, thus enabling anonymous and encrypted web surfing.

SEE ALSO: How Israeli Cyber-Security Startups Are Battling The World’s Riskiest Online Hacks

The IoT era will also require secure pairing of devices. Israel’s Secret Double Octopus has created a wireless communication protocol that allows secure communication between devices based on what it dubs “Secret Sharing.” Data on one device are cut into random bits of information, which travel via multiple routes across the Internet, and get reassembled at their destination device. The company claims that this flow of data cannot be hacked.

As more IoT devices are connected to company and government networks, there needs to be a system to monitor new items and new connections. Israel’s ForeScout has created an automatic solution to this problem – a software platform which immediately recognizes and monitors IoT devices the moment they connect to a network.

hacking-phone-hacker-password

Protecting drones from hackers   

Another IoT device that needs security is the drone. Unmanned aerial vehicles are already being used in agriculture, construction, 3D mapping, and e-commerce. For example, Amazon has developed its own aerial delivery service called Prime Air, while Israeli startup Flytrex offers drone delivery solutions for businesses. While drones offer an exciting array of possibilities, they can be dangerous if controlled remotely by hackers.

SEE ALSO: ‘Flytrex Sky’ Personal Delivery Drone Will Ship Goods To Your Location Within Minutes

Fortunately, Israeli startup RegulusX is developing a solution to protect commercial drones from cyber threats. Its solution aims to prevent hackers from meddling with the navigation, communication and computing systems of drones, so that businesses can rest assured their drones will keep to their programmed path.

drone

Caution is insufficient

Israeli startups are at the forefront of the IoT revolution. For instance, PointGrab has developed smart sensors that track human activity in smart buildings, and Seebo aims to turn any ordinary object into a smart one. But the success of such companies is only possible in a secure cyberspace. After all, every new connected device increases the attack surface for malicious hackers.

Cyber-security experts frequently encourage the general public to use internet-connected devices with caution, whether by using passwords, encrypted connections or anti-virus software. But as the IoT bandwagon crosses uncharted territory, caution is insufficient without the necessary security tools, many of which are being developed in Israel. In the eyes of Israeli cyber-security pioneers, the future belongs not only to those who create it, but also to those who secure it.

Israeli IoT startup Atomation

Photos and videos: Atomationwilgengebroed, Dojo Labs

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Yonatan Sredni, NoCamels <![CDATA[About-face: Memoji App Turns Your Selfies Into Emojis]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54057 2017-04-09T14:02:21Z 2017-04-10T07:00:34Z Due to their popularity and widespread use, emojis have become an accepted – and for many, the preferred – form of communication. When conveying “ok”, “nice job”, or “well done” to a co-worker, simply use the ever-popular thumbs up emoji. Want to express your love for that special someone? Just send them an emoji blowing heart-shaped kisses.

But what if instead of merely sending emojis, you could actually create and share an image where you transform into one?

Seeking to take emojis to the next level, Israeli startup Lightricks, developer of the popular selfie editing app Facetune 2.0, announced last week the launch of a new emoji app, Memoji from Facetune.

Memoji uses artificial intellegence to automatically edit your selfies to reflect a given emoji. With the help of a fun and easy to use editing tool, along with cutting edge image processing technologies, Memoji allows users to naturally reshape and animate any image of their face to reflect a specific feeling or emotion of their choice.

“Emojis have become a part of everyday conversation and guide the way we chat and share our emotions, but the overall reach and impact of this important technology is limited,” Nir Pochter, CMO of Lightricks said in a statement. “As emoji connoisseurs we knew that the next level of societal emojification was to let it guide the photo editing process from the very start. People want more than to just send emojis, they want to be emojis.”

SEE ALSO: Moojis Turns Your Selfies Into Personal Emojis

Memoji gives users the ability to instantly morph any selfie to reflect the emotion in the emoji. If you want to truly express how shocked you are, or how funny you found something, the image can be instantly adjusted and animated to reflect your emotion. Additional features include the ability to instantly turn an individual into a unicorn.


Users can send their edited selfies as a GIF, video, or image. Memoji from Facetune is currently only available for iOS (with Android coming soon) and can be downloaded for free on the App Store.

The minds behind the emojis

Founded by five entrepreneurs, Lightricks created the successful mobile app Facetune, a portrait photo editor that enables everyday users to easily achieve professional-level results, and Enlight, a comprehensive set of photo editing tools for mobile.

In August 2015, after being entirely self-funded for two years, Lightricks raised $10 million in its first external funding round, led by Carmel Ventures.

From all smiles to no smiles 

The team behind Memoji has a unique sense of humor, a trait that seems to be a requirement when working in the world of emojis.

“I don’t smile in pictures,” Zeev Farbman, CEO of Lightricks said in a statement. “So when my girlfriend showed me a picture of me smiling in a photo we took on a hike, I was dumbfounded and scared. I’d spent years cultivating an image of Spartan focus and strength and this one photo threatened to ruin decades of consistency. Thankfully, we had already developed Memoji and I was able to instantly click on the frowny face emoji to bring order and decency back into my life.”

Memoji

One of the many faces of Lightricks CEO Zeev Farbman.

Lightrick’s Pochter doesn’t take himself too seriously either.

“While the world is busy applying AI to silly ventures like autonomous vehicles and data analysis,” Pochter said in a statement, “we’re taking it to where the need is greatest – making us more sophisticated emotional beings – emojis.”

Photos and video: Memoji

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Smart Car Co. Otonomo Raises $25M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54217 2017-04-09T07:19:33Z 2017-04-09T07:19:33Z otonomoApril 10, 2017 | Israeli smart car company otonomo has closed a $25 million series B financing round led by Delphi Automotive with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, StageOne Ventures and Maniv Mobility. The company plans to use the funds to continue developing its automotive industry data exchange platform, and to expand globally into the US, Asian, and European markets. Based in Herzliya, otonomo was founded by CEO Ben Volkow and president Avner Cohen. The company has developed a cloud based platform that facilitates services for autonomous and connected cars. The company has raised $40 million to date including a $12 million Series A financing round just five months ago in November 2016. The company also opened offices in Menlo Park, California.

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Einat Paz-Frankel, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israeli Researchers: Oceans’ Historic Acidity Levels Key To Understanding Climate Change]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=53466 2017-04-05T10:07:01Z 2017-04-09T06:30:21Z The world’s major sources of iron were once dissolved in seawater, which leads researchers to believe our first oceans were acidic. A new Israeli study sheds light on how past ocean acid levels were controlled by CO2 in the atmosphere, an important process for understanding the effects of climate change. The study also gives us a clue as to the conditions under which life emerged in the early oceans.

The scientists suggest that, billions of years ago, the rust that formed in the seawater and sank into the ocean was green, meaning it may have been an iron-based mineral.

Published in the prestigious journal Science, the study by Dr. Itay Halevy of Israel’s Weizmann Institute and Dr. Aviv Bachan of Stanford University, suggests that the early oceans, right around the time that life originated, were somewhat acidic, and that they gradually became alkaline.

coral reef with fish

The two tried to understand how ocean acidity can change, for example, in response to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, and thus studied the history of seawater acidity.

SEE ALSO: Rising CO2 Could Lead To Collapse Of World’s Coral Reefs, Say Hebrew University Scientists

Acidity and alkalinity are measured on the pH scale of 0-14. On this scale, 7 is neutral, higher is alkaline, lower is acidic. At around 8.2, today’s oceans are mildly alkaline, and it’s been shown that rising CO2 levels are increasing the oceans’ acidity (decreasing pH).

Halevy explains that billions of years ago “the early sun was dimmer, even though we don’t have evidence for a much colder climate. We think that this is because the early atmosphere had more of the greenhouse gas COthan at present, and that as the sun got brighter, CO2 levels decreased.”

SEE ALSO: Something Fishy: Organisms From Suez Canal Put Mediterranean Marine Life At Risk

COand water produce carbonic acid, so it stands to reason that the early oceans would have been more acidic. But higher early CO2 levels would also have resulted in acidic rainwater and this, in turn, could have led to higher rates of chemical weathering of Earth’s rocky crust, washing down ions that would partly neutralize the acidity of CO2.

 

About 3 billion years ago, the pH of ocean water was somewhere between 6 and 7.5 – between that of milk and human blood, which “gives us some clues as to the conditions under which life emerged in the early oceans,” Halevy said in a statement.

ocean

“Marine organisms and environments may suffer”

According to the researchers, “we had an early ocean more acidic than today in which primitive life thrived and chemical cycles were balanced; but if we want to apply this insight to today, we have to remember that this balance of acids and bases was maintained over geological timescales – millions of years.”

Halevy warns that “today’s acidification from COis much more rapid… Hundreds of thousands of years from now, the oceans will have found a new balance, but between now and then, marine organisms and environments may suffer.”

Photos: Elise Iovenko

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Yonatan Sredni, NoCamels <![CDATA[World Health Day: Israel Ranked 9th Healthiest Country]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=53643 2017-04-05T11:28:20Z 2017-04-06T11:46:21Z Soon after it was reported that Israelis are (still) among the happiest people in the world, a new study confirms that Israel is also among the top 10 healthiest.

The study, published ahead of tomorrow’s World Health Day, observed annually on April 7th,  ranks Israel in 9th place out of 163 countries in terms of overall health.

SEE ALSO: Happy Nation: Israel Ranked 11th Happiest Country For Fourth Year In A Row

Israel: Good access to doctors, high blood pressure

The Bloomberg Global Health Index gives Israel an overall “health score” of 92.47, based on factors such as quality of care, access to doctors, number of hospital beds, availability of medication, and life expectancy. On the other hand, Israel lost points (4.33) because of health and lifestyle problems, including overeating, and health risks ranging from high blood pressure and tobacco use to malnutrition and the availability of clean water. Israel’s overall score was 88.14, ahead of nearly all of Europe, and far ahead of the U.S., which placed only 34th in the rankings, with a score of 73.05.

50 Healthiest Countries

Most Healthy: Italy

With a score of 93.11, Italy took the top spot as the world’s healthiest country, followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Singapore and Australia. Spain, Japan and Sweden ranked sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. At the ninth slot, Israel outranked all other Middle Eastern countries, as well as many larger countries including France (14), Germany (16), New Zealand (19), Britain (23) and South Korea (24).

According to the report, the reason Italy won is that Italians are in much better shape than Americans, Canadians and Brits, who all suffer from higher blood pressure and cholesterol and poorer mental health. The U.S., meanwhile, despite its wealth of health care, is “one of the world’s heaviest nations,” and as such cannot be considered “healthy.”

The key to Italy’s top ranking may be their diet, which is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, fish, whole grains, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and red wine. Several studies have linked the Mediterranean diet with reduced aging, a healthier brain, more weight loss, and a lowered cancer risk, among other benefits.

SEE ALSO: Mediterranean Diet Is Better For Your Heart Than Taking Statins

Major challenge: Obesity

According to the report, obesity is a prime risk in the developed world. The U.S. prevalence of overweight people is 67.3 — tipping the scale as one of the world’s heaviest nations. Obesity is also a major problem in Israel, particularly among the country’s children.

However, Bloomberg’s list is not the final word on which nations are truly the most healthy, or unhealthy. Within each nation, the growing disparity between rich and poor means that while some families have access to the best health care and the freshest foods, many others do not.

The study came on the heels of the results of another survey published on the occasion of World Happiness Day (celebrated annually on March 20th), in which Israel was ranked the 11th happiest nation out of 165 countries.

Pictures: Bloomberg, Pixabay

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli SaaS Co dapulse Raises $25M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54200 2017-04-06T11:31:26Z 2017-04-06T11:31:26Z dapulseApril 6, 2017 | Israeli SaaS startup dapulse has announced that it has raised $25 million in its Series B financing round, bringing its total funding to $34.1 million. The round was led by New York-based private equity and venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners with participation from existing Series A investors Genesis and Entree Capital. Founded in 2014 by CEO Roy Mann and CTO Eran Zinman, DaPulse is web-based SaaS company, with the goal of introducing a more efficient and intuitive way to manage teams and entire operations. The Tel Aviv-based company’s unique visual management tool is fully customized to fit any operation, ranging from R&D, marketing, sales, product and customer-management.

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Car Chip Co. Valens Raises $60M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54170 2017-04-06T08:34:44Z 2017-04-06T08:33:31Z Valens logoApril 6, 2017 | Israeli semiconductor company Valens has raised $60 million in a financing round led by Israel Growth Partners (IGP), and including Delphi, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Goldman Sachs and MediaTek as new investors, in addition to Valens’ existing investors. Valens introduced its HDBaseT Automotive technology in 2016 to address the challenges of the connected car, including the increasing amount of bandwidth and wiring necessary to cater to infotainment and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems needs. The company was founded in 2006 by CEO Dror Jerushalmi, VP R&D Massad Eyal, CTO Eyran Lida, director of DSP Gaby Gur Cohen, director of software & system architecture Nadav Banet, and director of analog & mixed signal Alon Benzaray.

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Optical Comm Co. ColorChip Raises $17M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54164 2017-04-06T08:12:44Z 2017-04-06T08:11:30Z colorchipApril 6, 2017 | Israeli optical communications company ColorChip has raised $17 million led by the CIRTech venture capital fund. This completes a financing round of $37 million began last year when the company announced it had raised $20 million. The funds will help scale up production and support the expansion of marketing worldwide. ColorChip is a privately held Israeli company that provides cost effective, dense, hyper-scale transceivers and advanced optical splitters. Founded in 2001 by Dr. Shimon Eckhouse and Prof. Shlomo Rushin of Tel Aviv University School of Engineering, the Yokneam based company has raised $97 million including $62 million over the past 18 months. ColorChip’s CEO is Gidon Ezra.

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Apax To Buy Israel’s Syneron For $397M]]> http://nocamels.com/?p=54148 2017-04-05T14:33:16Z 2017-04-05T14:29:33Z Syneron_logoApril 5, 2017 | British private equity firm Apax Partners has agreed to buy Israel’s Syneron Medical Ltd. a non-surgical aesthetic device company, for $11.00 per share in cash, or a total of $397 million, the companies said on Monday. Syneron says its products have a range of applications, like body contouring, hair removal and wrinkle reduction. The products are sold under two brands, Syneron and Candela. Syneron, founded by Shimon Eckhouse in 2000, is headquartered in California with research and development offices in Israel.

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