Business in Brief

Civil defense siren apps proliferating, Intel planning temporary transfer of some Israel staff to Ireland, Mashable highlights impact of fighting on Israel's high-tech sector.

Ofer Vaknin

Civil defense siren apps proliferating
Since it was inaugurated last week, thousands of Israelis have downloaded “Tzeva Adom,” a free app for cellphones that was privately developed and which provides warnings regarding where sirens are sounding around the country in the face of rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip. The Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command, the country’s civil defense agency, warns, however, that that app is unofficial and sometimes provides only delayed warning of a rocket launch. There are a number of similar apps — with virtually identical names — including one developed two years ago by Kobi Snir that has been downloaded by over 100,000 users. The new Tzeva Adom app, which in Hebrew means “Code Red,” the code name for an incoming rocket attack, was developed by a startup called Tooleap, which has developed a cellular platform for more generalized use that allows users to launch apps by clicking on floating bubbles on their home screen. (Amitai Ziv)

Intel planning temporary transfer of some Kiryat Gat staff to Ireland, but not due to the security situation
About 300 employees at Intel’s computer chip plant in Kiryat Gat in Israel’s south may be transferred temporarily in the coming months to Intel facilities in Ireland. The move is unrelated to the security situation in the south, which has been particularly hard-hit by rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip. Most of those slated for transfer are technicians and technical engineers, although U.S.-based Intel has made it clear that the plan has not yet received final approval. There are currently about 60 employees of Intel Israel working in Ireland as part of the company’s efforts to encourage cooperation among various Intel sites. The transfers are for a period of up to two years. Intel in Israel is facing a temporary oversupply of staff since its acquisition in September of last year of a Micron chip plant in Kiryat Gat, where construction of a new plant that would employ the workers is anticipated. (Amir Teig)

Mashable highlights impact of fighting on Israel’s high-tech sector
This past week, Mashable, the technology and social media site, highlighted the effects of the rocket attacks on Israel and the Israeli military response on Israel’s technology sector. Work at some firms has been disrupted by the call-up for reserve duty of some industry staffers, the site noted, and “intermittent rocket attacks also inevitably create stress and make it hard to focus on work.” Mashable quoted former Answers.com CEO Bob Rosenschein, who is the founder of Curiyo, a browser app developer, as saying “it’s absolutely nerve-wracking.” And Aleph venture capital fund founder Michael Eisenberg told the website that under the current circumstances everything is proceeding normally “until it isn’t,” adding that “people are trying to put a positive light on it.” (TheMarker)