Bitesize Friday: On a positive note…

Punkin´ LongstockingFor your weekend reading pleasure, I put together a short list of “pirate links”. Why pirate? because they took over my Firefox tabs and refuse to release them until they get posted somehow.

Economic Downturn

  • Despite the economic situation, 3 million tourists visited Israel in 2008, and 24 million stays were booked in hotels.
  • The Dollar is back! Danny Cohen reminds Israeli start ups to convert dollar to shekels based on the planned expense budget for the coming year. (source and Hebrew here)
  • Internet advertising will get out of this crisis relatively un-touched says the Economist.  And if you had any doubts, search is still king. (Source)
  • Fring laid of 20% of its workforce, but says business is still strong. (source)

Travel

  • Feel like a Google founder and take a trip to space, for 50% less than Virgin Galactic! Prices of commercial space travel have gone down, and you can now take a sub orbital trip aboard the XCOR Aerospace for only $95,000. Watch the video. (Source)
  • On the topic of luxury travel, if you have a yacht, now you can watch satellite TV thanks to Israel based Raysat, who specializes in low profile, phased array military satellite communication systems. Raysat, who has $25 M in funding, signed an agreement with UK based Digital Yacht to provide their patented technology into the maritime arena with their new Digital Vision TV5 satellite TV entertainment system. (Source)

  • Are we there yet? If having a dvd player, a gps device and a built-in Xbox wasn’t enough for your car, now you can make it wifi-enabled! San Francisco based Autonet lets you connect your car to the internet at broadband speeds for $29 a month!

Misc

  • Yet another achievement to Shai Agassi’s Project Better Place. Following Israel and Denmark, Hawaii makes a commitment towards electric cars. I bet that a few others will follow and become oil independent by the end of 2010. (Source)
  • We told you about the new recruitment tactics of the US Army and its new $50 million games unit. Now Wired reports that the Army is building two fantasy islands on Second Life, that will offer potential recruits “virtual experiences like jumping out of airplanes, and rappelling off of towers and using a weapon”. Are virtual demonstrations the next big thing? (Source)

Products

  • N-Trig’s touch screens, which were recently reported to become part of the new Windows OS, will now also be integrated into HP products. The proceeds of this deal are expected to reach tens of millions. (Source – Hebrew)
  • Yossi Vardi’s Meezoog gets good exposure on TC.  Meezoog enables users to estimate the nature of their social connections. No more random friends on Facebook! My rule of thumb is, if you don’t feel like taking a second to wish the person a happy birthday, you shouldn’t approve his friend request to begin with. (Source)
  • ExPlay is an Israel-based company that develops nano projectors. The Explay nano projector is so small, you can fit one in your pocket. Now here’s a way to impress the VC when your going to present your company.

Have a story to share or interesting links to submit? drop a quick note to eze at vccafe [dot] com.

Eze Vidra
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Eze Vidra

Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote
Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Ezewas a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.
Eze Vidra
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Eze Vidra

Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Eze was a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google’s first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He’s an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.