In the Coen Brother’s movie “A Serious Man,” we see young Danny practicing for his bar mitzvah by listening to the cantor’s rendition of it on his record player. That scene was undoubtedly sentimental for Jewish men of a certain age who prepared for their bar mitzvah by keying up the phonograph in their parents’ living room.
In the old days the White House tried to protect the location of POTUS (that’s the president’s name to insiders). Today, with the 24-7 news cycle people demand to know where the leader of the free world is at all times. The White House posts President Obama’s schedule on its website so people know which lunches he’s speaking at, when he’s welcoming the Super Bowl champs to the White House, when he’s shooting hoops with his buddies and when he’s at a state dinner.
Apple has been criticized by mobile app makers for the difficult process involved in getting their apps into the AppStore. The reason for all the red tape in this process, however, is so Apple can approve each app for content ensuring there is no hate speech or racist material in the app. In France, Apple has even removed an app that was in violation of that country's strong policy on anti-Semitism.
Using your iPhone or Android-powered smartphone to operate your television, Blue-Ray player, DVD, stereo, or well, anything else electronic in your house should really be a no-brainer at the end of 2011. After all, I remember using several PDA’s from the Sony Clie to the Palm/Handspring models to operate my TV as far back as a decade ago. However, there has been a dearth of apps available for download that allow you to control your entertainment system (although this is a standard feature of the Sony Tablet S).
Tisha B'Av, the 25-hour fast day beginning Monday night, is not the most popular holiday on the Jewish calendar. Many Jews let this summer day of commemoration of the destruction of the two temples in Jerusalem (as well as other calamities that befell the Jewish people) go by without much attention. However, for the Jewish people who spend part of the night and day in solemn prayer, listening to the dirgeful recitation of Eichah (Lamentations), there is now an impressive Android app to help them follow along with the text.
My list of the Best Jewish Apps of 2010 here at The Jewish Week has generated a lot of attention. The list of thirty-three apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android phones has been reposted on several blogs around the Web.
I've been following the Offlining campaign pretty closely. It's the brainchild of Eric Yaverbaum and Mark DiMassimo. They partnered to launch Offlining, an initiative to promote unplugging that was introduced on Father's Day, to ask people to make a pledge to have 10 device-free dinners between then and Thanksgiving. To date, more than 10,500 have signed on to this pledge.