Red-Dead Pipeline is… in the pipeline
(Stuart Winer, The Times of Israel)
Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority are set to build a long-anticipated pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, part of an initiative that would produce millions of cubic meters of drinking water for the parched region and slake the critically dwindling Dead Sea.
"We're talking about a historic process that realizes a dream of many years," Israel's Minister for Regional Cooperation Silvan Shalom told Yedioth Ahronoth, who broke the story. "We have here strategic cooperation of national significance between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority."
The Red Sea-Dead Sea canal is expected to cost $250-$400 million, with a four-to-five year construction timeline. Given that the Dead Sea is the lowest point on land, water would naturally flow to it from the Red Sea. Some 200 million cubic meters of sea water are to be pumped from the Red Sea. Israel is to receive around 30-50 million cubic meters, for Eilat and communities in the arid Arava region, while Jordan will use 30 million cubic meters for its own southern areas.
One hundred million cubic meters of the highly saline byproduct of the process will be piped north to the Dead Sea to replenish the lake, whose level has dipped precariously in recent decades.
The idea of a conduit between the two bodies of water was first put forward by the British during the 19th century. The idea regained momentum in the 1990s, after Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement.
Israel solves the customer service blues
(David Shamah, The Times of Israel)
Under the CallVU system, founded by Ori Faran, Doron Rotsztein, and Roee Halfon, customers who call a customer-service agent submit their names. Instead of staying on the line, customers are offered the option of a callback. Then, the customer describes their problem, and the service person can respond not only verbally, but with text and images as well- sending pictures or instructions related to the solution directly to customer's smartphone screen.