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OMG the iPad is being treated like any other Communication Device by Israel!

OMG the iPad is being treated like any other Communication Device by Israel!

Last week a story broke how the State of Israel had “banned” the iPad. I did a quick search and  found the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and read the article.

First I’m not going to get into the story other than to say that the headline is one of the most viral headlines I have seen in months. Also it (the headline) is one of the most misrepresentative in my humble opinion.

Haaretz can be fairly described as Left Wing, to the point that they are currently embroiled in a National Security scandal involving over 2000 stolen IDF secret documents and one of their reporters who fled to the UK with the documents and pled for asylum. Apparently the UK doesn’t consider Israeli National Security important as they let him stay. I hear cries of nyah, nyah our Official Secrets Act is important, yours isn’t. This only weeks after a British MoD official “lost” a laptop containing top-secret plans from inside their headquarters?!?? (Story from the fascinating Defensetech.org) so maybe the Brits just don’t respect “Top Secret” the way James Bond portrays it.

Anyhow, questioning Haaretz newspaper’s sensationalism and motives aside, I called up the Israeli Ministry of Communications and spoke to their Spokesperson and the Test Engineer responsible for the iPad testing. In a nutshell they sounded competent and committed to ensuring the Israeli consumer is provided with a communications device that works to the standards set down in Israeli law. They assured me that testing had begun but did not wish to commit to any completion date for obvious reasons. They did state that on approval the device would be legal to import like any other if it passed.

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The hysterical level of blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking and so on regarding this leaves me convinced that Steve Jobs sure knows how to create a feeding frenzy. Perhaps President Obama should ask him to pitch to Israel his plans for the Middle East?

People seem really shocked by one of the following: –

  1. Israel has standards for this sort of thing.
  2. We don’t just blindly trot along after the United States and let it in on the FCC’s say so.
  3. OMG but it’s an iPad! AN IPAD!! Why isn’t Israel just waiving the law for it?

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I just read several blogs saying how this is typical governmental bureaucracy or hints of dark government conspiracies (where are Mulder, Scully and Smoking Guy these days anyway?) and then the best of them was this is damaging our ability to develop competitive applications. Israeli hi-tech should be getting these right now to ensure we maintain our competitive edge.

To the folks out there deriding the testing team at the Ministry of Communications as bureaucrats let me ask you this:

  • Have you ever worked with any public sector employees in Israel? I have and I was in the main impressed by their professionalism, commitment and willingness to work hard for not the greatest salaries in the world.
  • Did you make any effort to contact this department and at least talk to these folks? I’m not hearing anything other than silence here.

Now to Israeli hi-tech; I’m a veteran of over 10 years and I can honestly say that I am always impressed with the creative and smart solutions to problems like this that Israelis come up with.

Back in the day, I worked briefly as a QA Team Leader for a company before they were bought and the R&D moved out of Israel. This company was in the business of Locational Applications and optimized web and we even tested on platforms such as Qualcomm’s marvelous BREW. This was not supported at the time in Israel. Did we manage to test?

Yes devices were in our US office and we connected to them via the BREW SDK and PC Anywhere, also we had emulators and a functional but non-connected BREW phone.

Was it easy? Was it economical? Not always. We had a recurring random disconnect bug that drove us crazy until we discovered that someone was without noticing rolling back and forth over the cable connecting the phone to the PC in the US and this was affecting connectivity. Some of the time we even had one of the QA Team over in the States to work on devices that were already supported there.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that all I am reading is whining and complaints. I am not seeing that bright spark of creativity, innovation and occasionally improvisation to get the job done.

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Can you connect to the iPad by remote? If so perhaps someone in the US might want to purchase a bunch of these devices and setup a Remote Lab in the US and rent out testing and R&D time.

Is there an emulator for the iPad? Apparently the Apple SDK will as with previous product SDK’s incorporate an emulator.

In a nutshell, until the MoC finishes there work and until Apple actually starts importing the things here let’s get back to being a little creative in our solutions and make some money.

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Comments

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