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Ben Caspit, an Israel correspondent for Al-Monitor, brings you weekly interviews with newsmakers and officials to discuss the latest news in Israel. Ben is no stranger to broadcast, hosting a daily radio show from Tel Aviv and frequently appearing on television and radio programs. Caspit is one of Israel’s most in-demand journalists and his columns – deeply sourced and vividly written -- are must reads for his take on the latest political developments. His most recent book is The Netanyahu Y ...
 
Andrew Parasiliti, president of the award-winning news site Al-Monitor, interviews newsmakers each week from the US and Middle East about the latest news and trends in the region, with additional commentary from Al-Monitor’s ‘on-the-ground’ correspondents. Andrew has been writing about, and traveling in, the Middle East for over three decades, meeting and interviewing the region’s top political and civil society leaders. Since obtaining his PH.D from Johns Hopkins University, he has held app ...
 
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show series
 
Al-Monitor Columnist Semih Idiz discusses why Turkish-pro government media has made former Vice President Joe Biden an ‘object of anger’; why Turkey is escalating the diplomatic fight with Europe over offensive cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad; Russia-Turkey relations; and Turkey’s interests and objectives in Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Syria.…
 
On the backdrop of Israel’s tenth annual cyber-tech conference, Ben Caspit speaks with Professor General (ret.) Itzhak Ben- Israel. Ben-Israel – a pioneer figure in the cyber technology sphere – tells how the country took it first steps in transforming technological know-how into civil and security uses. Still, Ben-Israel warns, ‘’Unlike most of ou…
 
Fivetran is a company that builds data integration infrastructure. If your company is performing ELT or ETL jobs to move data from one place to another, Fivetran can help with that movement from source to destination. Once the data is moved into a data warehouse, a tool called DBT (data build tool) can be used to transform the data more effectively…
 
Staff engineer is a job title that suggests the engineer has deep expertise, and considerable experience. More and more companies are adopting a “staff engineer track” where an engineer can work to become a staff engineer. What is the role of staff engineer? Is it a management role or an individual contributor? What are the expectations and obligat…
 
The Salesforce Ecosystem has thousands of developers, designers, product people, and entrepreneurs engaging with each other. Salesforce exposes APIs and SDKs that allow people to build infrastructure on top of the Salesforce platform. In a previous episode, we explored how the ecosystem works as a whole. In today’s show, Chuck Liddell joins the sho…
 
Pair programming allows developers to partner on solving problems and learn from each other more effectively. Pair programming has become harder to do as remote work has become more prevalent. GitDuck is a tool to enable more effective pair programming. Dragos Fotescu and Thiago Monteiro are the founders of GitDuck, and they join the show to explai…
 
Effective data science requires clean data. As data moves through the data pipeline, there may be errors introduced. Errors can also arise from code changes, database migrations, and other forms of data movement. How can you ensure data quality within a fast moving, dynamic data system? Datafold is a company built around data quality management. It…
 
Federated learning is machine learning without a centralized data source. Federated Learning enables mobile phones or edge servers to collaboratively learn a shared prediction model while keeping all the training data on device. Mike Lee Williams is an expert in federated learning, and he joins the show to give an overview of the subject and share …
 
For all the advances in software development over the years, one area that has seen minimal improvement is the terminal. Typing commands into a black text interface seems antiquated compared to the dynamic, flashy interfaces available in web browsers and modern desktop applications. Fig is a visual terminal assistant with the goal of changing that.…
 
Cloud resources can get out of control if proper management constraints are not put in place. Cloud Custodian enables users to be well managed in the cloud. It is a YAML DSL that allows you to easily define rules to enable a well-managed cloud infrastructure giving security and cost optimization. Kapil Thangavelu works on Cloud Custodian and he joi…
 
Steven Cook, the Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses why the US needs to stay in the Middle East, but with a bit more realism; how to contain Iran; his personal observations and assessment of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; and why the US needs a new embassy in Iraq.…
 
Predicting the spread of COVID-19 is not easy. The best methods we have available require us to extrapolate trends from a large volume of data, and this requires the construction of large-scale models. Because of the expertise needed for developing these models, Silicon Valley engineers were brought in to help develop a maintainable model. Two of t…
 
Machine learning models require training data, and training data needs to be labeled. Raw images and text can be labeled using a training data platform like Labelbox. Labelbox is a system of labeling tools that enables a human workforce to create data that is ready to be consumed by machine learning training algorithms. The Labelbox team joins the …
 
Ben Caspit talks this week with veteran Israeli diplomat, Foreign Ministry General Director Alon Ushpiz. Speaking about peace with the Gulf states, Ushpiz says, “The beauty of what we’ve been doing in the last two to three months, is that it continued what we’ve been doing for the last 20 years.’’ Relations with United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and ot…
 
A very special election episode! Libby Nelson (@libbyanelson) talks to us about how she is approaching U.S. presidential election coverage as Senior Deputy Policy Editor at Vox. As you may well have guessed, covering this election has turned out to be very different than we could have predicted. Libby also talks about how she came to work for journ…
 
Containers and virtual machines are two ways of running virtualized infrastructure. Containers use less resources than VMs, and typically use the runc open source container runtime. Sysbox is a containerization runtime that offers an alternative to runc, and allows for the deployment of Docker or Kubernetes within a container. Cesar Talledo is the …
 
Firebase is well-known as a platform that makes it easy to build real-time applications quickly and easily. Firebase was acquired by Google, and has been turned into a large platform that runs on top of Google Cloud. Firebase is closed-source, which leads to a different ecosystem than open source platforms. Supabase is a new open source alternative…
 
Development environments are brittle and hard to manage. They lack the kind of fungibility afforded by infrastructure-as-code. Gitpod is a company that allows developers to describe development environments as code to make them easier to work with, and enabling a more streamlined GitOps workflow. Johannes Landgraf and Sven Efftinge are creators of …
 
Al-Monitor contributor Sebastian Castelier discusses how the Gulf states balance their ties with both the US and China; why the GCC may prefer a Trump victory in the US presidential election; the impact of the Gulf economic downturn on migrant workers; the potential and limits of Israel’s normalization agreements with the UAE and Bahrain; the ‘lost…
 
Training a computer vision model is not easy. Bottlenecks in the development process make it even harder. Ad hoc code, inconsistent data sets, and other workflow issues hamper the ability to streamline models. Roboflow is a company built to simplify and streamline these model training workflows. Brad Dwyer is a founder of Roboflow and joins the sho…
 
Ben Caspit talks this week with Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Gershon, who was one of the only IDF generals to express support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s settlement-annexation plan. The latter was subsequently abandoned for the sake of the normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates. The decorated general insists that while peace wi…
 
Databases are the source of truth for every company. Editing the data in the database normally requires writing a query in SQL or a domain specific querying language–languages that are only accessible to engineers and highly technical people. BaseDash is a tool for interfacing with a database without requiring the usage of a query language. It allo…
 
Former US Ambassador Ryan Crocker says the US should keep its embassy open and stay the course backing Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi; explains why he supports former Vice President Joe Biden for president; assesses the benefits and impact of Israel’s normalization agreements with the UAE and Bahrain; and discusses US policy toward Syria a…
 
Ben Caspit talks with popular diplomatic analyst Barak Ravid on demonstrations in Israel, developments in Azerbaijan and the peace agreements signed with the Emirates and Bahrain. Ravid argues that contrary to affirmations by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that the peace agreements broke the old 'peace-for-land' paradigm, normalization with Ara…
 
What’s this? There’s more? We talk in-depth about his job helping shape the visual language of The New York Times and his approach to video journalism, as well as an offbeat story set in North Korea that never quite happened. Countries featured: North Korea, USA Jonah's short doc about zoonotic diseases - https://nyti.ms/2F0fOkS Follow us on Twitte…
 
Gen X photo bum finds journalism, makes good. Well, ok, there’s about 15 more steps in the middle that leaves out. And like 60+ countries. Jonah Kessel (@jonah_kessel) is proof that the right camera can change someone’s life. Now at The New York Times, he is constantly trying to push the limits of what video and visuals can do, even when those limi…
 
Machine learning models are only as good as the datasets they’re trained on. Aquarium is a system that helps machine learning teams make better models by improving their dataset quality. Model improvement is often made by curating high quality datasets, and Aquarium helps make that a reality. Peter Gao works on Aquarium, and he joins the show to ta…
 
Dr. Alanoud Alsharekh, director of Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy, discusses the impact of the late Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on Kuwait and the region; what we can expect from the new Emir, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah; trends in Kuwait and the region toward women, youth, and independents becoming more engaged in politics; and the progres…
 
Ray is a general purpose distributed computing framework. Ray is used for reinforcement learning and other compute intensive tasks. It was developed at the Berkeley RISELab, a research and development lab with an emphasis on practical applications. Ion Stoica is a professor at Berkeley, and he joins the show to talk about the present and future of …
 
A private network connects servers, computers, and cloud instances. These networked objects are often separated by firewalls and subnets that create latency and complication. David Crawshaw is the CTO of Tailscale, a company that works to make private networks easier to build and simpler to configure and maintain. David joins the show to talk about…
 
Pachyderm is a system for data version control. Code has been version controlled for many years, but not data. In previous episodes with Joe Doliner, we explored the evolution of Pachyderm. In today’s show, we talk about the state of the company in 2020, as well as Pachyderm Hub, and end-to-end machine learning and data lineage product. Sponsorship…
 
Deno is a runtime for JavaScript applications. Deno is written in Rust, which changes the security properties of it. Parts of Deno are also written in TypeScript, which are causing problems in the compilation and organization of Deno. Elio Rivero is an engineer who has studied Deno and TypeScript, and he joins the show to talk about the newer JavaS…
 
Developer tooling and infrastructure is a fruitful area for investing. A wide variety of technologies can have large investment outcomes based on the fact that there are lots of engineers and businesses are willing to pay for products that give those engineers a higher degree of leverage. Lee Edwards is a partner with Root Ventures. His focus is on…
 
Salesforce is a platform with a large number of developers, ISVs, and companies built on top of it. There is a thriving ecosystem of applications built and managed around Salesforce, leading to an important set of relationships and integration points between Salesforce and the other entities involved with the company. Kevin Poorman works at Salesfo…
 
Twitter is a social media platform with billions of objects: people, tweets, words, events, and other entities. The high volume of information that gets created on Twitter everyday leads to a complex engineering problem for the developers building the Twitter search index. Nico Tonozzi is an engineer at Twitter. He joins the show to talk through th…
 
US Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) makes the case for a Biden foreign policy in the Middle East; discusses the Trump Administration’s policies toward Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, and the Israel normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE; and explains how, in his view, Russia and China have been gaining at the expense of the US in the region.…
 
Robinhood is a platform for buying and selling stocks and cryptocurrencies. Robinhood is complex, fast-moving, and financial, and together these things require high quality engineering in distributed systems, observability, and data infrastructure. Jaren Glover is an engineer at Robinhood, and he joins the show to talk about the problem space withi…
 
The Java ecosystem is maturing. The GraalVM high performance runtime provides a virtual machine for running applications in a variety of languages. TornadoVM extends the Graal compiler with a new backend for OpenCL. TornadoVM allows the offloading of JVM applications onto heterogeneous hardware. Juan Fumero works on TornadoVM. He joins the show to …
 
A love story between Cuban spies. Jungle warfare in Central America. A military coup in Chile. A roller coaster relationship with Fidel Castro. Lucia Newman, Latin America Editor and a Senior Correspondent in Chile for Al Jazeera English, has seen and reported on it all over several decades covering the region, dodging more than a few bullets along…
 
Investing in enterprise software has become a competitive business. Lots of venture capital firms compete for the good deals at every stage. This level of competition has driven more capital into the early stages. Ed Sim is a partner with Boldstart, an early stage enterprise investment firm. He joins the show to talk about modern enterprise investm…
 
Factories require quality assurance work. That QA work can be accomplished by a robot with a camera together with computer vision. This allows for sophisticated inspection techniques that do not require as much manual effort on the part of a human. Arye Barnehama is a founder of Elementary Robotics, a company that makes these kinds of robots. Arye …
 
The most popular email client is Gmail, the web-based email client from Google. Gmail is dominant, but that dominance has come at a price, namely speed. Gmail caters to the lowest common denominator, serving a large ecosystem of use cases and plugins. This makes for a slow overall performance. Superhuman is an email client built for power users. Ra…
 
The Internet Archive collects historical records of the Internet. The Wayback Machine is one tool from the Internet Archive which you may be familiar with. One project you may be unfamiliar with is book scanning. Internet Archive scans high volumes of books in order to digitize them. In today’s episode, Davide Semenzin joins the show to talk throug…
 
On this week’s episode, foreign news editor of Israel’s Channel 13 Nadav Eyal explains to Ben Caspit how the government failed in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and why it pushed Israel to become the first western state to impose a second nationwide lockdown. Israel opened up its economy much too early after the first lockdown, with large we…
 
Biometric authentication uses signals from a human’s unique biology to verify identity. Forms of biometric authentication include fingerprints, eye patterns, and the way a person walks, otherwise known as gait. UnifyID is a company that builds systems for biometric authentication. John Whaley is the CEO of UnifyID, and he joins the show to talk thr…
 
This week Ben Caspit speaks with former Israeli envoy to the UN Ron Prosor. The veteran ambassador argues that the normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates transforms Israel from a 'secret mistress' into a 'legitimate wife'. For Prosor, the UAE is telling the Palestinians: We are engaging with Israel so that we can change its policy, instea…
 
What do you do when there's a pandemic on, but you are a video journalist with no choice but to go out to capture the images you need? Atish Patel (@atishpatel, Insta: atishp) a videographer for Agence France-Presse discusses the calculations he makes when deciding whether to go out. He also talks about how being fired helped him to change his pers…
 
Robotic process automation involves the scripting and automation of highly repeatable tasks. RPA tools such as UIPath paved the way for a newer wave of automation, including the Robot Framework, an open source system for RPA. Antti Karjalainen is the CEO of Robocorp, a company that provides an RPA tool suite for developers. Antti joins the show to …
 
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