Tech Roundup / One Day a HOT Guy Called and Subdivided My Apartment

How you could get killed while using your phone; Enigma sold at a loss; Teva CEO's pay outed.

Then one day a HOT guy called: Dear customer, do you live in a subdivided apartment? Well, do you? Wonder no more, and no need to nudge city hall about it. All you have to do is ask the HOT cable television company to fix some problem or other, and they'll tell you. That's what happened to Bar.

"I've been a HOT subscriber for several years," he wrote to the company. "I live in Tel Aviv, in a 2-room apartment, with a bathroom for each room. The kitchen and everything else is shared. Among other things, we share the HOT cable bill," he wrote. Then one day the converter box went on the fritz, and a HOT cable guy came by and fixed it.

That wasn't the complaint. The complaint was that later that day another HOT guy, who said his name was Ra'anan and that he was "in charge of split apartments," called Bar and told him the technician had ratted him out: Bar lived in a subdivided apartment, which is therefore two apartments, and therefore each tenant must pay for a separate cable subscription or HOT would terminate service immediately.

Bar's argument, that even the city doesn't consider the apartment to be subdivided, had no effect: HOT pulled the plug.

HOT confirmed the course of events and said that while the Tel Aviv municipality may not consider the apartment split, it is entitled to think otherwise and does think otherwise, and the customer has no right of appeal. The company did concede that the manner in which the dialog with Bar was conducted may not have been entirely appropriate.

Never mind drinking and driving, don't talk and charge: Apple is investigating an accident in which a Chinese woman was electrocuted to death when answering a call on her iPhone 5 while it was charging, Reuters reports. Apple isn't saying whether the death of Ma Ailun, a 23-year-old flight attendant with China Southern Airlines, is an isolated case, Reuters says. This is not an Israeli story but it's definitely one worth knowing.

How much does Teva's CEO make? While Israeli-listed companies must disclose the earnings of their top five people, dual-listed Teva Pharmaceutical Industries hasn't done so since 2000. But now we know that CEO Jeremy Levin cost the Israeli drug manufacturer NIS 14.7 million in 2012, though he only took the job in May of that year. Of that, NIS 5.4 million was the actual wage cost, NIS 4.3 million was a bonus and the rest was the value of stock options and locked-up shares.

Enigma sold at a loss to U.S. developer: Enigma, an Israeli technology firm founded in 1992, is being sold to the U.S. company Parametric Technology Corporation. Industry sources figure PTC is paying about $10 million, which is less than the amount invested in Enigma over the years – some $50 million. PTC specializes in product lifecycle management and computer-aided design software; Enigma develops complementary software.

Israel's wireless industry 'restabilizing': Israel's cellphone sector was profoundly rocked by the sudden advent of competition a couple of years ago. Now it's restabilizing, says Citi's Michael Klahr, but don't think that means it's recovering, qualifies the analyst. The sudden assault by discount carriers pushed down prices; judging by Europe, the price of Israeli cellphone service won't be recovering any time soon, Klahr says. In other words, investors in Israel's publicly traded wireless carriers shouldn't expect some gorgeous spike in returns any time soon, he sums up.

With reporting by Amitai Ziv, Yoram Gabison and Reuters