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Israel Repeals iPad Ban 180

Posted by timothy
from the please-take-it-out-of-your-bag-though dept.
SillySilly writes "The ban has been lifted: The Communications Ministry announced Saturday evening that starting Sunday it will allow Apple's iPad tablet computer into the country, following two weeks of confiscations and confusion."
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Israel Repeals iPad Ban

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  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @10:03PM (#31980272) Homepage

    Well you know what the nation of Israel is like, they're always initially suspicious of new tablets. But they come around in the end.

  • by strredwolf (532) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @10:07PM (#31980302) Homepage Journal

    At least they finally got it tested so it proved what it said. Isralies are picky to a fault.

    But you can't ship 'em in yet. Limit's only one per person, so no gifting yet.

    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday April 25, 2010 @10:11PM (#31980326)

      Israel has been doing this "War on Terror"(TM) stuff for many years... and as a result some things that we consider harmless are "security threats" until they're proven otherwise. Anything that could emit a wireless signal could trigger something harmful, so there has to be limits on those things.

      • by caseih (160668) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @11:22PM (#31980678)

        And of course things that we (the TSA anyway) consider security threats--like water bottles, and nail clippers with a pointy file on airplains--are seen as harmless to them. I think maybe they understand some things about terrorism that we don't.

        • by techno-vampire (666512) on Monday April 26, 2010 @01:39AM (#31981198) Homepage
          I think maybe they understand some things about terrorism that we don't.

          Yes. The Israelis are interested in providing security; the TSA is only interested in providing security kabuki theater.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Stan Vassilev (939229)

          And of course things that we (the TSA anyway) consider security threats--like water bottles, and nail clippers with a pointy file on airplains--are seen as harmless to them. I think maybe they understand some things about terrorism that we don't.

          Different culture, different superstitions. Do not seek deep logic into either nation's arbitrary pain points. We laugh at people in the past for fearing broken mirror or throwing away salt would bring them a bad fortune. Today we fear nail clippers and mobile gadgets will do it. As any superstition, it's remotely based on some real rare occurrence or situation that has been overblown and distorted beyond recognition.

          And some still think modern people are logical.

      • by node 3 (115640)

        Anything that could emit a wireless signal could trigger something harmful, so there has to be limits on those things.

        I appreciate what you're saying about the Israelis having tighter anti-terrorism security measures, but a few things:

        1. It's absurd that the WiFi on an iPad (or any computer) would be a threat in numbers, but not in the singular.
        2. Anything with metal and electricity, or even just a magnet, can emit a wireless signal.
        3. The iPads were confiscated at customs. The plane has already landed.

        Without further evidence, this wasn't a "war on terror" thing, it was a standard regulatory thing. In spite of common(?) m

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2010 @12:43AM (#31980968)

        As an Israeli I assure you, the "national security" reasons given by the ministry were nothing but poor excuses after the fact. Just like in america (or even more so) words of "security" are just the joker cards used by the government to confuse and distract. I also don't buy the conspiracy theories about corruption related to this case.

        The story, as I understand it, is a very simple story about a bureaucracy making a wrong decision, finding excuses to that decision and finally backs down after what it perceived as a sensible damages control strategy.

        The order of events ( in my opinion ):
        1) The custom personnel didn't know how to handle imports of the iPad.
        2) They contacted the office of ministry of communications.
        3) The incompetent office tried to obtain official details and specs of the device, failed to do so and decided to default to banning the device until further notice. When ignorant, Israeli bureaucracy always defaults to the lazy option and takes the "better safe than sorry" stance, whatever the cost is to the individual.
        4) Headlines rightfully ridiculing the decision popped up in Israeli online news sites, followed by a world wide criticism and ridiculing.
        5) The office understood the mistake but tried any tactic not to loose face. Then all the stupid excuses came out: the babble about national security, about the office protecting the convenience of the local populace, the lack of compliance from iDigital (apple products importer in Israel) and more excuses. Nothing more than "security", "what about the children" and "look a chubaka!" to confuse and distract.
        6) The office waits awhile for everything to settle down and lifts the ban with remarks about "sophisticated lab testing" etc. Sounds very scientific. Very hi-tec. I'm glad we have such sophisticated people in our government.

  • Supply problems... (Score:2, Informative)

    by LostCluster (625375) *

    Apple doesn't have enough supply of the iPad to do a worldwide release because they're delaying American shipments and imposing purchasing limits on large buyers. As a result, they didn't do international standards testing because they aren't selling it everywhere yet. It looks like Israel was the only nation to make a big no-importing stink over the uncertified status... so really this Apple cleaning up a problem caused by excessive demand, something they should be used to by now.

  • by aldld (1663705)

    Apple's iPad tablet computer

    I don't really consider the iPad to be much of a computer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Quarters (18322)
      Well, ok, then, I guess that's settled. Since you seem to be in charge of determining what an electronic device with a CPU, RAM, I/O, and a display is called, how should we refer to it?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Toy..

      • Well, ok, then, I guess that's settled. Since you seem to be in charge of determining what an electronic device with a CPU, RAM, I/O, and a display is called, how should we refer to it?

        As a tablet.

      • Lets see: Smartphone, navigation device, MP3-Player, media player, internet-enabled TV, ... all of those and more have a CPU, RAM, I/O, and display. ...so what was your point, again?

    • Very true (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149)

      I don't really consider the iPad to be much of a computer.

      And many don't consider the computer (as we know it) to be much of a tablet.

      The difference is what makes it better, and why they seem to be succeeding when other tablet efforts have come out flat.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pinkj (521155)
      It does more than an TRS-80 and that was a computer, wasn't it?
  • I swear (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @10:42PM (#31980496)
    Sometimes it seems like Slashdot posts stories about Israel for no other reason than to get people to start arguing. Come to think of it, the same goes for Apple.

    Why does anyone need to know this? There's really not much discussion you can have about "this country lets you bring iPads" in, before this whole pages inevitably devolves into endless flaming about 1) Israel's foreign policy and/or 2) how the iPad sucks because it's a closed platform or whatever.

    I'm just saying, it'd be cool if the editors stopped and asked themselves, "Are we posting this because it's important news that people should know, or are we posting it because we want to watch it draw trolls like moths to a flame?". This story is firmly in category 2.
    • Re:I swear (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Sunday April 25, 2010 @10:45PM (#31980516)

      Some people travel to Israel for business. It's actually a technological powerhouse, not some godforsaken desert that many think it is.

      So anyone with an iPad would be very interested to know that Israel was stealing these computers at the borders.

      Sure, there is some levity about Israel's foreign/domestic policy, but the crux of the matter is that Israel was taking stuff that didn't belong to it in the name of "safety". That's pretty important to anyone who might be affected, don't you think?

      • Re:I swear (Score:5, Informative)

        by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Monday April 26, 2010 @12:14AM (#31980888)

        So anyone with an iPad would be very interested to know that Israel was stealing these computers at the borders.

        FWIW, the iPads were not being stolen. The rightful owners could reclaim their property when they exited the country.

      • They also have surprisingly good food(even if you cannot get a cheeseburger :P) and hot women roaming the country with assault rifles slung around their backs, what more do you need?
        • by matria (157464)

          Plenty of cheeseburgers. You just have to find the non-Kosher McDonalds. There's one at the central bus station in Netanya.

      • Israel was taking stuff that didn't belong to it in the name of "safety".

        didn't belong to it? In the name of saftey? Why do you make these things up?
        The iPad has never passed the israeli communication ministry tests for wireless devices. it's not qualified for use in Israel. Every wireless device MUST pass these tests before it can be admitted into the country. Israel has been doing the same for many different type of cellular phones since forever, but no one gives a shit because they weren't apple products.

        When a wireless device goes to the US, it needs to be approved by the FC

        • When a wireless device goes to the US, it needs to be approved by the FCC. if it isn't, then it is illegal for use in the US. that simple. no "saftey" reasons, no "terror" reasons. It's just a fucking wireless device that needs to approved first.

          Except that in both Israel and the US, this is NEVER enforced for random people coming into the country with random devices. A metric crapload of people from Japan visit with phones that have never been submitted to the FCC and nothing happens. The same goes for laptops going into Israel. Now if you want to sell a device in the country in question, that's a different story, but just bring it in, never a problem.

          The difference here is they were actually confiscating the devices at the border which they don't

          • The reason it was singled out was because a few visitors were actually trying to pass the devices through customs so that they could legitimately use them in Israel.

            I suspect most of the Japanese visitors to the US don't declare their phones as taxable goods since they have no intent of keeping/selling them in the US.

            People who didn't declare their iPads when entering the country were not specifically searched for iPads.

            • People who didn't declare their iPads when entering the country were not specifically searched for iPads.

              No, but those several of those did have them confiscated. This has not been the case with any other laptop I know about.

              • This happens all the time with laptops and cell phones. I've had a cellphone confiscated when it was shipped over, friends had laptops confiscated the exact same way.

                Maybe you didn't hear about it because no one cares when an anonymous Taiwanese manufacturer has its products confiscated? But when such a hyped product like the iPad gets confiscated, the fanbois just go mental, filled with self importance they make outrageous claims like Israel would change their policy specifically for the iPad - because it'

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  This happens all the time with laptops and cell phones. I've had a cellphone confiscated when it was shipped over, friends had laptops confiscated the exact same way.

                  Wait what? We're talking about it being confiscated at the border when being carried through by an airlines traveller. That's not the same as being confiscated when shipped through the mail, although I've never had that happen either. Seriously, I used to do a lot of traveling and I'm pretty sure my cellphone back in the day only worked in the US and was approved there, but no one ever tried confiscating it. No one I've worked with ever had that problem either and a lot of them went to Israel regularly.

                  Do

                  • As an airline traveller, when you enter the country, you have 2 routes: 1. declare goods for tax purposes 2. nothing to declare

                    Generally speaking, if you bought something abroad then you need to go through 1 and pay the appropriate tax.

                    If you go through 2, you would normally not be searched. Although, you might be chosen randomly for a search.

                    If you go through 1, you need to show all the items that you've bought abroad and pay whatever custom taxes you need to pay.

                    Have a look here [ynetnews.com]. The order was given to cu

    • Re:I swear (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Sunday April 25, 2010 @11:01PM (#31980590) Journal

      Sometimes it seems like Slashdot posts stories about Israel for no other reason than to get people to start arguing. Come to think of it, the same goes for Apple

      No maybe about it, Slashdot does post stories--and not only about Israel--for no other reason than to get people to start arguing. In fact, I've learned that if I purposely word a submission in a way that will stir up a controversy, it's much more likely to get used. I did exactly that this past week with a submission about Apple possibly buying ARM Holdings by adding a slightly paranoid-sounding sentence about Apple being "able to control who gets to use the processors (and, more importantly, who doesn't)." Totally unnecessary, but I knew that it would help get the submission chosen, and it was.

    • Sometimes it seems like Slashdot posts stories about Israel

      The same could be said about Australia any time it's government does anything stupid related to technology, thus I suggest growing up.
      We are not all out to get you.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Re: Why does anyone need to know this?
      Historically the ipad, its software and hardware do open a few questions.
      Some parts of the world might ask questions beyond interference issues.
      Could slashdot users comment on unique tracking needs?
      How open is Apple OS efforts to a trojan or more passive world wide tracking?
      Would an engineer like a new grey market ipad..
  • > If your iPad was confiscated by customs officials
    > atBen-Gurion International Airport, you can now
    > pick it up

    Questions:

    * did that affect people travelling to Israel as tourists or just locals returning home with a product from overseas who declared it at customs ?
    * if you were a tourist, was your iPad returned when you left the country ?
    * if not, do you have to go back to Israel to get it returned or can they ship it to you ?

    • by Wovel (964431)

      I am sorry that I can not answer, but I did feel compelled to say this: How dare you ask questions relevant to the story!!

  • by Phizzle (1109923) on Monday April 26, 2010 @01:01AM (#31981020) Homepage
    The iPad is now KOSHER!!!
  • by ebonum (830686) on Monday April 26, 2010 @03:35AM (#31981680)

    I think the bigger question is how 1,000's of other foreign products go in without any problems. Why was the iPad singled out? If I take my new HTC phone fresh from Taiwan and unlicensed in Israel, they are not going to seize it.

    Time offers an explanation:

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1983236,00.html [time.com]

    "It is worth noting," Etengoff wrote, "that Apple's Israeli distributor, iDigital, is run by Chemi Peres, the hyper-entrepreneurial son of Israeli President Shimon Peres.

    "Clearly, iDigital wants its lucrative cut of every iPad brought into the country — which it will undoubtedly receive when a modified European version of the iPad is approved for import over the next two or three months.

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