All posts by Tal Givoly

#Israel2Penguins: Tommy’s Dream Trip to Pittsburgh

Tommy, my son, had a dream. To go to a Pittsburgh Penguins game for his Bar Mitzvah. He is a CRAZY Pittsburgh Penguins fan and his idol is its captain, Sidney Crosby. This is a long trip from his current home, in Israel – over 20 hours each way. Nevertheless, we’re making it happen!!!! And it begins tomorrow!

Tommy Before the JourneyTomorrow morning the journey begins. Our transatlantic flight is tomorrow and we’ll be in Pittsburgh by nighttime. We’re going to the Pittsburgh Penguins – LA Kings game on December 11th @ 7pm. We’re hoping for an amazing time and, hopefully, some unique lifetime memories and total excitement.

We’re going to share our journey on Twitter and Facebook. Here above is the first picture of Tommy in his outfit for the flight tomorrow.

Feel free to tune in on #Israel2Penguins on Twitter for our trip.

Track it all in either Facebook or Twitter:

Apple Watch – What’s its impact?

Apple Watch
Apple Watch – 3 Models

Last week, Apple announced their long-awaited Apple Watch. Having heard some very smart people suggest that Apple Watch is going to crush Basis, and many other existing players in wearables, I just had to share my 2 cents on this matter.

Bottom line: I think it won’t have that impact!

Continue reading Apple Watch — What’s its impact?

My “Bikram Subway” Experience

Broadway-Lafayette NYC Subway Station Entrance

I love NYC. I also like getting around on subway – usually, it’s very efficient. I don’t like the heat nor do I like the crowds in rush hour, but generally, it’s pretty good. Best thing is that it zips through traffic and is rather predictable.

However, when it’s hot in NYC, as it was this week (and is most of the summer), the subway is not such a “cool place” to be. The trains themselves are air-conditioned, but the platforms are not. Other subway systems in the world dealt with this issue (usually in newer systems) – not NYC.

Continue reading My “Bikram Subway” Experience

Promised Land – A Propaganda Movie?!

Promised-Land-PosterFirst, I’d like to say this is not a typical blog post for me – just something that seemed interesting and I wanted to share.

I get it that companies, organizations, and even countries use film as a way to get their message across to the masses and to affect public opinion. I was just on a flight and began watching the movie Promised Land with Matt Damon. One minute into the movie, it’s clear this movie is going to be about a farm town story where a big natural gas company comes in to buy all the property and begin fracking to produce the gas that lies beneath their town.

Then, I notice that “Image Nation Abu Dhabi” is listed in the opening credits (small print, short notice, no specific credit mention), and I guess it is probably involved, somehow, in the production of the film. I paused the film and wrote down my thoughts: What does Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have to do with this film? It reminded me that Abu Dhabi and UAE are oil nations. Actually, the whole economy of UAE is based on oil as the world’s third largest oil exporter.

Continue reading Promised Land – A Propaganda Movie?!

Facebook Home Highlights Android as a Double-edged Sword

Facebook Home Promo Image

A couple of days ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced the new Facebook Home. Rather than the speculated new phone from Facebook, it’s instead, a new “home” screen of the Android phone. Or, put differently, an Android Facebook “skin”. Wired went as far as to refer to this as Zuck’s Android Takeover.

Facebook Home has vividly demonstrated that the Android ecosystem has been a double-edged sword, both for the handset manufacturers that are on the Android bandwagon, and to a lesser extent, to the mobile telecom operators.

Continue reading Facebook Home Highlights Android as a Double-edged Sword

Step aside, Dr. Google: Enter Medivizor!

That’s not my title! I owe thanks to blogger AnneMarie Ciccarella for that title.  You might imagine my thoughts reading it. It blew me away! It was gratifying and exciting, and it’s not just that one title – that’s how it’s been all month with reporters, bloggers, and users as they get exposed to Medivizor and share their thoughts. AnneMarie was among several bloggers (we love you all!) whom have written about us and encouraged their readers to try Medivizor out.  As a result, many users requested and received invitations to our early access, signed up, and began using Medivizor.

Continue reading Step aside, Dr. Google: Enter Medivizor!

My 2013 Predictions

Continuing the annual tradition: Last year, my predictions for 2012 turned out to be remarkably good with 85% accuracy! That’s even better than the 77% accuracy of 2010 and 2011 predictions. If you want to check it out yourself, here’s the scorecard.

I loved the video summary Google did for 2012. I actually didn’t mention many of these developments. So surely you must consider my predictions not “all that will be”, but rather, what will be within specific areas that I’m focused on. Obviously, there’s a lot more going on that I don’t touch on.

Continue reading My 2013 Predictions

The TED-Talk-a-Day Diet

A few years ago, I was excited for every new disciple I brought in on the “TED-secret”. Now, that it is no longer a secret and most everybody knows about it, I want to suggest a new concept: The TED-talk-a-day diet. This is a diet of continuous learning and inspiration, in digestible portions. You know TED Talks are great – why not make them a permanent part of your life?!

Continue reading The TED-Talk-a-Day Diet

Readability and Understandability

A recent study by researchers at Loyola University found that as many as 63% of prostate cancer websites cannot be read or understood by someone who hasn’t completed high school education. Why is this important? Well, one of the study’s references suggests that as many as 90 million adult Americans have literacy skills that test below high school reading levels. This is despite the fact that 87.58% of US adults over 25 years old have a high school education (US Census Data). Also, people with lower socioeconomic backgrounds may have even lower reading levels (as much as 7th-8th grade, on average). In fact, The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends that providers prepare patient education material suited to fit 4th through 6th grade reading level.

Continue reading Readability and Understandability

Introducing Medivizor – My New Venture!

It’s been awhile since my last blog post. I apologize, I’ve been busy. I’ve spent most of my time helping several startups get off the ground, some of which you’ll hear more about very soon. Among these, and the one I’ve spent the bulk of my energy on, is Medivizor. Over the next few weeks and months I’ll be sharing in this blog about the challenges that Medivizor is addressing, the challenges of starting a new company, and some of our experiences.

Continue reading Introducing Medivizor — My New Venture!

The Illusion of Privacy

Supposedly private photo on Facebook

If you use Facebook, shop on Amazon, or blog, you’ll definitely benefit from reading this blog. Please share with others whose well-being you care about.

A brief example: A few years ago I ran a survey about privacy on Facebook. Over 90% of the respondents (both genders, across all ages) responded that privacy is important to them. However, their actions contrasted sharply with this concern. By merely responding to my survey, they had agreed to provide me access to all of their private information on Facebook. So much for privacy. There is a tendency to assume that we’re being protected, that some geek somewhere has decided something that will guard our information. This is not a valid assumption. Read on! Continue reading The Illusion of Privacy

My 2012 Predictions

For the past 5 years I’ve been privately tracking the accuracy of my predictions, I must admit that my results have been pretty good. For the last two years I’ve been publishing annual prediction podcasts within Amdocs called DoxCast which, together with Adi Lachman, I’ve co-created and co-hosted. DoxCast gave me an opportunity to be “on the record” with my yearly predictions – for 2010 and 2011. My accuracy on these is 77%. With these results, it seems appropriate to start a new tradition on my blog – annual predictions for the year to come. Without further ado, here are my predictions for 2012 in no particular order: Continue reading My 2012 Predictions

My iPhone 5 Predictions

Since everyone is making iPhone 5 predictions, I will too. Let me acknowledge up front that I do not have any inside information, knowledge of leaked designs, or special access to the powers that be. I am just trying to figure out what Apple plans to do by extrapolating from Apple’s past activities. By considering how the company evolves its products responds to the capabilities and features of competing products, including things that it tends to hold back on for a variety of reasons, I can make some reasonable predictions. Continue reading My iPhone 5 Predictions

Did competition kill Flip or Cisco fumbled?

Cisco is not a happy place to be these days. Last week, when Cisco announced they would be cutting as many as 11,500 employees, or 15% of their 73,408-strong workforce, I was reminded of the earlier step they took last quarter, when Cisco announced it would shut down and discontinued Flip, pink-slipping 550 employees. You might recall that Cisco acquired Pure Digital, the manufacturer of the popular Flip digital camcorder, for $590 million back in 2009. Even then many observed this was not a great fit. Continue reading Did competition kill Flip or Cisco fumbled?

Inflight pricing: some airlines don’t get it

My very first blog post was about my experience with Internet and phone service on planes, and its early disappearance. Now inflight Internet service is reappearing, at least in US domestic routes. The point I was making there was that airlines are experts at pricing airline tickets, maximizing yield. However, they couldn’t figure out how to price and market telephone and Internet service inflight. Well, it seems like not much has changed, at least on some airlines.

I travel quite a bit, mostly on Continental (now in the process of merging with United) – which I mostly enjoy. This morning I boarded an early morning coast-to-coast Continental flight of over 5 hours (and I was not upgraded). Each seat, even in economy, had a nice-looking entertainment system with over 90 channels of DirecTV satellite TV as well as several movie channels and more. The passenger sitting next to me commented upon arriving at his seat and seeing the system: “now that’s the way to fly!” Little did he know…

Continue reading Inflight pricing: some airlines don’t get it