My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

RIM and the PlayBook - Blade II


…….Light thickens; and the crow
Makes wing to the rooky wood

Shakespeare, Macbeth, III, 2

The much talked about RIM Tablet, namely the PlayBook, is to be one of the new Tablets to debut along with the as yet named Motorola Tablet at CES 2011 in Las Vegas as per the article It’s tablet time at CES 2011”, published December 24, 2010, 3:49am PST by John Morris, Laptops & Desktops, ZDNet.

My well tailored blog article on the Motorola and RIM and their respective Tablets, entitled “Motorola, RIM and the Tablet - Indiana Jones and the Palace of Doom” explains the anticipation and the hype associated with these up and coming Netbook, Laptop and now PC killers as per another blog article of mine, entitled “Tablets and the Future of the PC - Jurassic Park and License to Kill”.

Hint: Motorola’s Tablet, possibly dubbed the LightSabre, a guess of mine from a previous blog article entitled “Apple iPad and the Competition - The Rescuers” and running Google Android OS 2.4 aka Honeycomb as per the article “Google shows prototype Tablet running Android 3.0”, published Tuesday December 7, 2010 2:01 pm ET by Barry Levine, Newsfactor and confirmed by the article “Google Engineer Demos Prototype Motorola Android Tablet”, published Tuesday December 7, 2010 5:50 am ET by Mikael Rickn√§s, PCWorld, Yahoo News.

Most likely, with only days to go until CES 2011 in Las Vegas, everything is moving into place and all the products have been tested and made ready for their world debut. Again, another guess: Motorola may be doing a tie-in with George Lucas of Star Wars fame.

Maybe even an AT-AT (All Terrain – Armored Transport) or “Terrio-Walker” as per the movie Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) battle scene re-enactment, with the AT-AT representing the Empire and their unstoppable Apple iPad? Watch the YouTube video entitled “Hoth Snow Battle Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Even Carlette Deleon aka the Pet Tales Chick aka “Dilly” of Television Jamaica confessed gadgette of Smile Jamaica fame on Television Jamaica fame would wish to have Television Jamaica cover the event. CNET News and ZDNet will be there, so I won’t miss a moment of the gadget-palooza, as the Americans would say.

So the news of the RIM’s PlayBook having less than stellar battery life as suggested by the article “Blackberry PlayBook: Car Battery not included”, published December 28, 2010 12:33 PM PST by John Paczkowski, AllThingsD, CNET News - Digital Media.

This  may in fact be on the same level as Microsoft COO Steve Ballmer’s declaration that their Windows Phone 7 OS cannot edit and paste as per my previous blog article, entitled “Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 - Love Potion Number Nine”.

Or even Apple CEO Steve Jobs and the Antenna Gate as per my previous blog article, entitled “Apple iPhone and the Loop Antenna - Strange Encounters of the Third Kind” and my follow-up article on the very same subject entitled “Apple and the Antenna - Black Sabbath and much ado about nothing”.

Thus this story being carried by CNET and which is a regurgitation of the news by Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu claim as to a weak battery life being the reason behind the delay to 2011 may be nothing more than a play for media attention, straight out of RIM CEO Lazardis Playbook – pun intended deliberately.

The feisty kickback from Canada’s No. 2 smart phone maker to Reuters (who else but the International Media?), is bull’s eye for the Media paparazzi at large to attack as per the article “RIM rejects claims of weak PlayBook battery”, published December 30, 2010 1:08 PM PST by Lance Whitney, CNET News - Digital Media.

 Email from RIM to Reuters, quote: “Any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented” should be the match that sets the fire to the kindling for a slow smoky Bar-B-Que quality flame. MM…mmm.

Thus RIM is off to a nice start. Their Tablet concept is excellent, as it is a Business Tablet, targeting a niche Market that it always had. Throw in the fact that the RIM PlayBook tethers to your existing Blackberry smartphone via Bluetooth and is effectively an extension of the Blackberry OS, only on a bigger screen.

Long time fans of RIM and their Blackberry already used to the Blackberry smartphone will appreciate the fact that unlike the Apple iPad, it is not just a bigger Apple iPhone, but a Business Enterprise Solution on the go that easily replaces your Laptop, especially in meetings where the Blackberry is not needed.

Throw in RIM’s legendary security, so strong that not even RIM can hack their own encryption as per the article “RIM chief suggests method for eavesdropping”, published September 28, 2010 8:36 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News - Privacy Inc and despite the failure of the test-run device capacitive touch scene Blackberry Torch 8900, the Playbook may be their finest hour.

Especially as RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie (is there such a thing?) spoke of the company being, quote “pretty flooded with content and game-type and media-type partnerships and social-solution-type partnerships”, with what appears to be, quote “pent-up interest in the PlayBook [that's] really overwhelming”, as per the article “Blackberry Playbook landing as soon as February?”, published December 17, 2010 7:11 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News - The Digital Home.

This after posting a better than expected Fourth Quarter, beating the very same analysts expectations on Wall Street, in plain black and white as per the article “RIM earnings better than expected”, published Thursday, December 16, 2010 5:12 PM ET, CBC News, Blade II (2002).

Like the Indianapolis inspired HP Slate 500, there is a lot of pent up demand for Tablets as per my previous blog article, entitled “Apple iPad vs HP Slate 500 - The Force Unleashed in the Tablet Wars”.

JDX and PayLess - First Dove of a Coming Recovery


Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.

Ralph Waldo Emerson American Poet, Lecturer and Essayist, (1803-1882)

Ever since the JDX (Jamaica debt Exchange) was initiated in early February of 2010, progress has been steady and slow, with the JDX exposing the fact that the main factor holding back the growth in the Jamaican Economy being the Banking Sector and their result to lower their lending rate spreads and the need to diversify our Energy Supply away from Oil as per my blog article entitled “JDX - Progress since the start of the New Financial Year 2010-2011”.

Since then, the social upheaval since the Extradition matter involving Christopher “Dudus” Coke has exposed the fact that Crime has been on the decline, the criminals having no abiding city in which to hide since Tivoli Gardens fell as in my blog articles entitled “JDX and Banks - Money, Money, Money in a Rich Man's World” and “JDX and the Economy - The Winter of my Discontent”.

Again, it is always around Christmas that the news out of North America reminds me of why I do not envy Americans, as I am not fond of living in a freezer as stated the article “Flights resume - as do the long lines - after blizzard”, published Tuesday December 28, 2010 11:55 am ET by CHRIS HAWLEY and MEGHAN BARR, Associated Press, Yahoo! News.

Now a glimmer of hope with the crime monster seemingly under control as stated in the article “Crime fighting in Jamaica - Crime falling since 'Dudus' extradition”, published Friday, December 24, 2010 by Al Edwards, The Jamaica Observer.

FDI (Foreign Direct Investors) seem very aware of this, as they are now slowly coming to Jamaica. Most notable of which is PayLess Shoesource, which has advanced plans to set up operations in Jamaica as stated in the article “PayLess coming to Jamaica”, published Wednesday, December 22, 2010 The Jamaica Observer.

Slated for a February 2011 launch with three (3) stores,  coming to Jamaica is a part of their International launch as stated in the article “PayLess eyes February opening in Jamaica”, published Wednesday, December 29, 2010 The Jamaica Observer.

However, it can be successfully argued to be an indication of the Vybz Kartel Effect, as the DeeJay, more popular known as the ‘Teacher’ has been promoting Clarks, Jeans, Blackberrys and even Cake Soap in his latest videos entitled “Vybz Kartel featuring Russian ‘Jeans and Fitted’” and his prior hit song “Vybz Kartel ft. Popcaan and Gaza Slim - Clarks”.

Sales of the Clarks Brand of shoes benefited as per the local tabloid article “Kartel's 'Clarks' inspire sales”, published Wednesday April 7 2010 by The Daily Star with news of this phenomenon reaching even the International Press  as stated in the Australian Daily Telegraph in an article entitled “Rapper's song about Clark's shoes boosts sales in Jamaica”, published July 09, 2010 5:34PM, The Daily Telegraph, Australia.

Possibly the REAL reason for PayLess Shoesource coming to Jamaica, as opposed to the explanation proffered by Michael Stern, Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce who spoke, quote: “A lot of foreign companies are now showing interest in Jamaica, especially since the reduction in the crime rate”

Amusingly, Cake Soap maker Blue Power has been seeing an increase in its Second Quarter sales for 2010 as per the article “Blue Power nets 77% 2Q profit”, published Wednesday, December 22, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

This after recoding an initial loss of 40% due to administrative costs in the First Quarter of 2010 as per the article, testament to the power of Product Placement Marketing as per the article “Blue Power's profits fall”, published Friday, September 10, 2010, by Alicia Roache, The Jamaica Observer.

Apparently, the nascent recovery from the Recession in the United States of America mean that American Companies, ironically, though willing to keep production and sales within the United States of America, have come to the realization that International markets are worth the trouble, especially as many of the Developing World countries are increasing showing a taste for all-things American!

Further evidence of this can be seen from the push towards International markets by Netflix as stated in the article “Netflix said to be planning 2011 International push”, published December 28, 2010 3:09 PM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News - The Digital Home.

The possibility thus exists that they can make DVD’s and even Cable TV obsolete is very possible via streaming as stated in the article “Netflix expects video streaming to drown out DVD's”, published Wednesday, November 24, 2010 The Jamaica Observer as per my blog article entitled “Telecom Providers, 100MBps Broadband and the Broadcasting Commission - Redemption Song” as well as the article “Broadcasting and Digital Switch Over - Back to the Future to compete with LIME TV”.

Even more compelling evidence is the fact that albeit one million (1,000,000) jobs have been created in the United States of America, nearly one million, four hundred thousand (1,400,000) have been created Internationally, at least according to the Washington Policy think tank The Economic Policy Institute as stated in the article “Many US companies hiring overseas”, published Wednesday, December 29, 2010, AP, The Jamaica Observer.

This is evidence of the skill set and better education levels of foreigners [read: Jamaicans] versus American workers.

Jamaica, despite the Recession, is still a seasonal beneficiary of the harsh blizzard like conditions in the US of A on the Eastern Seaboard, seeing record stopovers to our warm Caribbean isles as per the article “Harsh winter working in Jamaica's favour”, published Tuesday, December 28, 2010 by  INGRID BROWN Observer senior reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

Is this the first sign of a coming recovery? Or is it just an indication of just how bad it is to do business in America? Stay tuned………

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

CLARO, LIME and HSDPA+ - CEO Michelle English, The Maverick

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11, King James Version

The recent ruling by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union), the Telecoms arm of the UN (United Nations) and Pope to us in the Telecoms World, has a lot of far reaching implications.

Aside from clearing Telecom Provider Digicel of being in the wrong as it relates to misrepresenting their Digicel Broadband powered by WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d,e) as a 4G Network as stated in the article “Digicel/ITU confirms classification of WiMaX as 4G”, published Friday, December 24, 2010, The Jamaica Observer and chronicled in my blog article entitled “FLOW vs LIME, Digicel, CLARO and Municipal Wi-Fi - The Empire Strikes Back Part Deux”.

One such implication can be readily gleaned from the press release in the article by CNET Reporter Kent German entitled “ITU blesses U.S Data Networks as 4G”, published December 20, 2010 3:12 PM PST by Kent German, CNET News - Dialed In also expanded upon in my blog article entitled “Digicel the ITU and Samsung Galaxy Tablet - The Sorcerer's Apprentice”, quote: “It is recognized that [4G], while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMaX, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed”.

This means that Networks that are an augmentation of the HSDPA networks, such as HSDPA+ Networks, can also be considered 4G, as they are a precursor to the prior mentioned qualifications to be 4G, putting Telecom Provider T-Mobile into the driver’s seat as it relates to what can be considered 4G.

But, alas, poor me, it also has a more interesting implication form local Telecom Provider CLARO, which currently has a 3G Network yet has decided to go LTE (Long Term Evolution) which sports speeds of up to 100MBps as stated in my blog article entitled “CLARO vs FLOW - Cats and dogs The Revenge of Kitty Galore”.

Telecom Provider CLARO wishes to go 100MBps and thus class themselves as a 5G Network as per the article “Game on!” published Friday October 22, 2010 by Mark Titus, The.

But the ITU specifications for 4G Network, despite alleged speeds of 176MBps, would still see them as “4G” despite this multi-million dollar upgrade as per the article “4G: What's in a name?”, published October 21, 2010 12:42 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength. This was the explanation in my blog article entitled “Digicel vs LIME - Mortal Kombat over 4G Title

The ITU’s conditionality is simple: Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM), effectively the same signal multiplexing inherent in WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), a descendant of CDMA Networks and speed capability demonstrable in achieving 100MBps and higher.

This was a previous edict or decree issued by the ITU, around the same time Triple Play Provider FLOW CEO Michelle “Dallas” English issued her declaration of an increase in “demand” despite evidence suggesting Broadband penetration of only 17% of Jamaican households islandwide as stated in the article  “Internet penetration lagging broadband speed”, published Wednesday, September 22, 2010 by CAMILO THAME Business co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer and initially suspect in my blog article entitled “FLOW and 100 MBps Wired Broadband - Gossip Girl”.

This was later explained in my blog article entitled “LIME vs Digicel - The Truth About Charlie” as being a response to Telecom Provider CLARO expansion into LTE, who naturally, would have to pre-purchase T1 for the intended provisioning of their service.

LTE for CLARO would push them ahead of everyone in terms of speed, and would most likely be offered as a tiered service. However, 10MBps is quite adequate for even Business Customers and Telecom Provider Digicel  has recently upgraded their Microwave Radio Links with adequate T1’s to provide 10MBps best effort, noticeable in recent speed improvements in at Nighttime, albeit daytime congestion at certain peak traffic hours still remain an issue as per my blog article entitled “Digicel and WiMaX 4G Mobile - Sprint, My Brother's Keeper”, an article which, admittedly, shows my bias towards WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d, e).

Additionally, Telecom Provider Digicel is capable of upgrading to speeds of up to 120MBps via a protocol software upgrade to WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16m) as suggested in the article “WiMaX 2 standard gets date for approval”, published August 16, 2010 1:19 PM PDT by Jack Clark CNET News - Wireless.

The fact that to date Telecom Provider Digicel has chosen not to be drawn into a speed race with Triple Play Provider FLOW means that their focus is on Customer Care and building their Customer base, as Telecom Provider Digicel, John Public muses, is aware that the average Jamaica is more interested in quality service and not necessarily obsessed with specs and download speeds as are the TechJamaica forum fanatics, fans of gadgets with no sex appeal.

With such speeds of 100MBps rivaling Frame Relay offered as part of Telecom Provider LIME Metro Net Service, which is a Fiber Optic Service for Business Customers, their obvious prime target must be business Customers.

The typical Jamaican householder is yet to even begin conceiving of getting all their content over the Internet as prognosticated in my blog articles entitled “Telecom Providers, 100MBps Broadband and the Broadcasting Commission - Redemption Song” as well as the article “Telecom Provider and 100MBps - Diamonds are Forever”. In these articles I expressed the fact that to make Wireless Business-philic, ISO9001 would have to be a must.

This necessitates Data Services that are always on all the time with no downtime, implying Alternative Energy solutions such as a Solar Power Generator with Wind Turbine combination, Fiber Optics as backhaul and QoS (Quality of Service) as Wireless for Business Customers is not trusted and is known to be easily interceptable, if a hacker’s will is strong enough.

Thus, were I to have the ability to speak to Telecom Provider CLARO directly, it would be to suggest to have their GSM and 3G Telecoms Equipment Vendor Huawei to upgrade their 3G Network to HSDPA+.

This is akin to the clever move by Telecom Provider T-Mobile. Telecom Provider CLARO would thus up speeds to at least 10MBps, with Data Caps going up to 30GB, but imploring Customers that they would be able to receive these higher speeds if they come in to the nearest Customer Care Center and re-register themselves with Government of Jamaica Identification i.e. Birth Certificate, Driver’s License, Voter’s ID, to get this free upgrade to higher speeds upgrade, maintaining the same price margins similar to the 1.5MBps 3G service – which ironically are akin to those of Telecom Provider Digicel and their Broadband 4G Service.

Thus they stay competitive with their fellow Wireless Broadband competitors and extend the usefulness of their 3G Network from Telecoms Equipment Vendor Huawei, getting more “bang for buck”, as the Americans would say and use the time to build out their LTE Network in keeping with ISO9001.

A better guarantee of success than a speed race against Triple Play Provider FLOW! As the cherry atop the Vanilla ice cream, Telecom Provider CLARO would gain the added distinction of being a 4G Network via the recent ITU ruling, without having to expend that much cash, simply by going HSDPA+.

Telecom Provider LIME would also best upgrade to HSDPA+ and speeds of 10MBps also, before considering going to LTE with Telecoms Equipment Vendor Ericsson. Thus all of the Big Three (3) Telecom Provider would be on par in terms of speed and pricing with their more nimble competitors Wayne Chen and Lee’s owned Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks Dekal Wireless and Nubian-1- Tech Services Limited, who ironically are the true threat to the Big Three (3) Telecom Provider expensive Wireless Broadband Services.

Ironically, Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks are powered by T1 from Triple Play Provider FLOW.  Triple Play Provider FLOW, is ironically the ultimate Beneficiary in all of this, as Big Three (3) Telecom Provider and the Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks utilize their T1 Services, effectively making John Public realize that Triple Play Provider FLOW CEO Michelle “Dallas” English, sitting at the Telecom Provider’s poker Table, is really holding a Full House in her hand, Maverick (1994) Style!

As Carletta Deleon aka the Pet Tales Chick aka “Dilly” character on Smile Jamaica on Television would say, quote “Clever indeed!”

Sunday, December 26, 2010

FLOW vs LIME, Digicel, CLARO and Municipal Wi-Fi - The Empire Strikes Back Part Deux


Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God

Anon., which means Lindsworth Deer suggested this to Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790)

Telecom Provider Digicel has finally gotten the good news of the blessing from the Holy See from the ITU (International Telecommunications Union), the Telecoms regulatory arm of the UN (United Nations), with regards to their 4G Status as per the article “Digicel/ITU confirms classification of WiMaX as 4G”, published Friday, December 24, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, a ruling of which I was well aware of since December 6th 2010, just getting around to it in my blog article entitled “Digicel the ITU and Samsung Galaxy Tablet - The Sorcerer's Apprentice”.

After all, the ITU is the Telecoms equivalent of the Papacy in the Catholic World, and their decrees handed down from Vatican City [Geneva, Switzerland] to the Telecoms Cardinals [CEO’s] worldwide is law, fact know to all trained Telecoms people, but oft forgotten by the younger set of Technicians – and unknown to Outsiders, at least those not reading newspapers and those not reading my blog!

Of course, Telecom Provider is not vocal about it, but I am sure that they immediately made a submission to the FTC (Fair Trading Commission) regarding the ITU’s ruling and thus have the claim of misrepresentation made by Telecom Provider LIME’s Regional vice-president for Legal, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Camille Taylor (more long titles!!! Gosh!!!) dismissed.

Please note that this is, strictly speaking, a regulatory claim, not legal claim, as the FTC is not a court, merely an arm of the Government of Jamaica’s Telecom Regulatory Board to oversee that Telecom Providers, albeit FDI (Foreign Direct Investors), are not deceiving Customers. Legal action as a means of revenge, therefore, is a meaningless reaction and is not in keeping with the Art of War, a guidebook for competition among Japanese and Chinese Technology giants, too numerous to list.

Clever touch therefore, for Telecom Provider Digicel to show themselves as not being spoiled sports and in the spirit of good competition, they also rolled out the Samsung Galaxy Tablet, packing the Big Guns in the form of Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n), as a means of trouncing LIME TV in the market as per my blog article entitled “LIME TV vs. Digicel's Samsung Galaxy Tablet - Call of Duty Black Ops”.

Throw in the fact that it will help to save Newspapers, give Jamaicans freedom of choice to watch content on YouTube, Netflix, Hulu (assuming they can get Virtual VISA Credit Cards and PayPal on a wire transfer enable bank account!) and help both Television Jamaica and CVM TV all in one go (sounding a bit British, eh! I’m excited!!), not to mention Streamed Video Game playing such as from the likes of Steam as well as OnLive, assuming of course the free apps form the Google Market place are not to your liking, which I would prefer.

This is no longer a threat to LIME TV, it is a bonafide LIME TV killer as subtly suggested in my blog article entitled “Digicel, Samsung Galaxy Tablets and Newspapers - Tomorrow Never Dies and the Paper Man”. Telecom Provider Digicel is truly a benevolent shogun.

Mark you, it will be a success; Bigger screen, richer colour, even the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Tablet may come with 3G capability, for which you must pay.

This irony will resonate with many Telecom Provider Digicel  Customers as decidedly benevolent and odd, showing that as the Market leader, Telecom Provider Digicel is fairer in competition than their detractors - and thus push them to either use Dekal Wireless and Nubian-1- Tech Services Limited or the FREE Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) that comes with their Zyxtel - WiFi Modem - IX-280P or CPE (Customer Premises Equipment).

Not only will it have the proud distinction of being the first Tablet in Jamaica successfully promoted by a Telecom Provider with Telecom Provider Digicel behind it, but it will definitely be a blueprint as to how to make a Tablet a success in a Developing World country already used to Netbooks and Laptops.

LIME TV just got the air punched out of their sails by sheer innovation alone – a Tablet whose design, whether you believe it or not, is a suggestion of mine to Samsung via a bunch of brain dead Shurpower Engineers in April of 2009. Not to mention just having a bigger 7” AMOLED screen, truly evidence of them being the “Bigger, Better Network”.

Oh wait, I did recommend that to Telecom Provider LIME via email, and I DID rant about in my blog article entitled “LIME TV v Netflix - 101 Dalmatians”. Telecom Provider LIME needs to pull out the big Guns, otherwise the LIME TV phones will become expensive paperweights only TechJamaica, aficionados of failed tech products with no mass sex appeal, will love.

They will have to roll out the stealth bomber that is set-top boxes for TV’s (possibly offering persons a HDTV compliant Flat Screen TV in the process?) as well as the app/codec to enable viewing on existing Blackberry and other smart phones or launch their own Tablet to sell their LIME TV platform.

May I at this point recommend to Telecom Provider LIME the as yet launched Motorola Tablet as per my blog article entitled “Motorola, RIM and the Tablet - Indiana Jones and the Palace of Doom”. Thus, they would be inviting war on another front, that being Cable TV, this time with Triple Play Provider FLOW CEO Michelle “Dallas” English, who will have to then pull out the real Big Guns in an all out shoot-out, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) style.

This is with services ranging from Video Calling to Video Game Platforms services such as from Steam as well as OnLive ….albeit I must admit, my imagination runs the gamut of the strange sometimes!

Telecom Provider LIME, as Broadcasters would have long ago told them, the viewers in the Broadcasting Market has very finicky tastes; DC Digital, the content provider behind LIME TV, has a lot to learn.

Telecom Provider Digicel must be very grateful that they did not make the deal with DC Digital to roll out DigiTV as per the article “'DigiTV launch for 2009' - Mobile Provider branches into TV, published Friday November 14th 2009 by Ross Sheil, Online Co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer.

DigiTV had already been prognosticated to be a failure in Jamaica as suggested by Gleaner Reporter Mark Titus in the article “Digicel diversifies - USU500m data center opens in November”, published: Friday August 28, 2009 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter.

Evidence that it may be so, despite Telecom Provider Digicel’s success with DigiTV in Vanatu and Samoa islands in the Pacific, can be seen from the recent failure of Flo TV as per the article “Qualcomm prepares to ditch Flo TV”, published October 5, 2010 6:05 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength, now a dead service as no-one knows why anyone would watch TV on a phone.

I would write it off as poor marketing, as streaming Netflix and YouTube via smart phones is now popular. The spectrum originally used to port the service is purportedly being sold off to Telecom Provider AT&T for Cellular Services as per the article “AT&T eyes 4G shift with Qualcomm spectrum deal”, published December 20, 2010 6:28 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News - The Digital Home and confirmed in the article “AT&T to buy Qualcomm's Spectrum licenses for US$1.93 billion”, published December 20, 2010 by Reuters.

Telecom Provider LIME, however, may have escaped this assassination with a flesh wound; LIME TV is a VAS within a VAS, so their expenditure was modest, built on their 3G Network as per my explanation in my blog article entitled “LIME and LIME TV - Lara Croft Tomb Raider”.

Clever, Telecom Provider Digicel in their never-ending battle against Telecom Provider LIME; Marketing trumps Technical know-how yet again. But in the midst of all this brouhaha, a pattern is slowly beginning to coalesce.

Here is Telecom Provider CLARO, who appears to be locked in a titanic struggle to beat Triple Play Provider FLOW in the equivalent of speeds races akin to Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) movie to see who is the fastest, something only technology geeks would appreciate.

Telecom Provider CLARO made the announcement that they are going LTE (Long Term Evolution) as a counterweight to Triple Play Provider FLOW CEO Michelle “Dallas” English announcement of going 100MBps as per my blog article entitled “CLARO vs FLOW - Cats and Dogs The Revenge of Kitty Galore” which was actually based on rumours of Telecom Provider CLARO planning to go LTE as my blog article entitled “LIME vs Digicel - The Truth About Charlie”.

Now Triple Play Provider FLOW facing competition from all sides as well and they are all Wireless. Alliances albeit not officially so, being formed between Telecom Provider Digicel and Wayne Chen and Lees owned Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks such as Dekal Wireless and Nubian-1- Tech Services Limited via this Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

LIME TV and their half-baked product, soon to become fully-baked with the launch of Set-Top Boxes and an app/codec making the service viewable on any mobile phone, looms large yet quiet, like the submarine in the movie Hunt for Red October as per my blog article entitled “LIME TV and Broadcasting - Hunt for Red October”.

A possible software upgrade to HSDPA+, which is now 4G thanks to the ITU, may soon be the weapon of choice for Telecom Provider CLARO 3G weapon built by Huawei in the interim building out their LTE Network powered by Ericsson to stave off competition from Telecom Provider Digicel . Telecom Provider LIME  may be considering this soon as well, as traffic build up due to LIME TV and other streaming activity as their Network slowly expands.

Even the Big Three (3) Broadcasters, the Calvary in this whole strategy, are being reluctantly drawn into the battle, with both Television Jamaica and CVM TV already outfitting X-Wing fighters…. ..er…….I mean shielded servers to stream their content betwixt being forced under the gun by the Broadcasting Commission to go HDTV.


Radio, not to be left out, is tagging along tagging along as per my blog article entitled “Broadcasters, Radio and DSO - What will be the Fate of Radio after DSO”. The Empire is Truly Striking Back!

This is a classic old never-ending battle, folks, being played out in a complex battle scenario that is heavily movie themed and geek centric that not even the Techies at TechJamaica do not even realize – unless you are figuratively standing on a high mountain, overlooking the proceedings going on below as I am, as a blogger Batman Forever (1995) and Star Wars: Episode IV - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) style!

What, oh what will Triple Play Provider FLOW CEO Michelle “Dallas” English do, having set off all this “demand” now engulfing her company with counter-attack after counter attack? Stay tuned to my blog and find out in the next exciting episode!!!……….. Gossip Girl style, XOXO.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Alternative Energy and Jamaican Policies on Vehicle Importation - Gattaca


We cannot safely leave politics to politicians, or political economy to college professors

Henry George, Social Problems

Merry Christmas to all on this Saturday December 25th 2010. I must admit my writing focus has been mostly on technology of late and thus I have not spared a thought for the going-on in my own country, leaving many of my Jamaica blogger colleagues and fan mail viewers to point out me, rather slyly, if I really rather live in the US of A as opposed to Jamaica.

To such readers, the answer is an emphatic no: not fond of battling it out with the cold weather, as despite never having seen or experienced snow, I express none such desire; my horizontal refrigerator being example enough! Worse, the weather here is abnormally cold and unfortunately, the mosquitoes do not seem to be letting up either, thus I clank on my handy PC between slaps on my legs and wrists – and puffs on my chocolate pipe, musing as I do.

Indeed, I have been keeping an eye on Local News, particularly in Parliament, which has gotten exciting again, thanks to an argumentative joust by Prime Minister Bruce Golding in his rousing of his political opponents in the PNP (Peoples National Party) by asserting that Jamaica needs to have its own Appellate Court as opposed to joining the CCJ (Caribbean Court of Justice) as per the article “It's time to move forward with the CCJ”, published Friday, December 24, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

Clever forte, as by argueing that Jamaica need such an expensive legal organ, Prime Minister Bruce Golding is in effect leaving the PNP no room to oppose the CCJ, which Jamaica already contributes to (like duh-uh!!! Green Papers, people!!), but has been unable to ratify and join, mainly due to past divisions on the issue in Parliament.

Via this clever argument, it gives the PNP room to “agree” on what is effectively a bi-partisan issue without losing face in front of their political supporters, already viewing the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) and its strict taxation policies as being hugely unpopular. Most certainly sets the tone for more exciting political pitched battles both within Parliament and among the populi.

Thus, do not be surprised at some later juncture in the sitting of Parliament in 2011 that the issue is put to vote in the Lower House (House of Representative) and then the Upper House (Senate) and is thus duly passed with the required two-thirds majority, now that the PNP is full behind the CCJ.

Just in time too, as the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Government of Jamaica is coming under heavy criticism of not fully ratifying into law the CCJ as their Final Appellate, despite their monetary support as stated in the article “Jamaica, Trinidad criticized over CCJ”, published Sunday, October 17, 2010, CMC, The Jamaica Observer.

Recent criticism of the Caribbean as a whole in not agreeing to the CCJ has not been very pleasant either as stated in the article “Time to sign on to CCJ, former St. Lucia PM tells region”, published Saturday December 4, 2010, CMC, The Jamaica Observer as well as stated in the article “Judge blames colonization's effects for failure to accept CCJ”, published Monday, December 06, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

I do not know where Mr. David Coore, one of the original signatories to the Jamaican Constitution and long time advocate for the CCJ is right now, but wherever he is, his smile must be devilish, grinning from ear to ear as this issue is getting a full press court as per the Observer Editorial entitled “Observer Editorial: It's full time now for the Caribbean Court of Justice”, published Tuesday, 7th  December 2010 05:12, The Jamaica Observer.

That said, there is also another issue which needs to be tackled with equal argumentative earnestness and it relates to the High Importation Duties imposed by the Government of Jamaica on New and Used Car Dealers. This in addition to improving the quality of Diesel Fuel in Jamaica by lowering the Sulphur concentration from 5000ppm to 10 to 15ppm as Senator Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry and Commerce appears to be suggesting as per the article “Government moving to improve motor Fuel quality - Samuda”, published Sunday, November 28, 2010, by MARK CUMMINGS, The Jamaica Observer.

My blog is all about offering solutions, so here I dive in. An all-inclusive solution would be to encourage the development of the Bio-Fuel industry, specifically as it relates to making Anhydrous Ethanol, Bio-Diesel and synthetic version of Gasoline, thus engaging the Private Sector in the Investment and Development of a vibrant, Local Bio-Fuel Sector and solving the High Sulphur content problem all at once.

The Government of Jamaica, however, must also lower the Import Duties on all Motor Vehicles less than four (4) years old as a means of jump-starting the New Vehicle Industry, possibly giving Duty Waivers for All-Electric Vehicles and Flex-Fuel Vehicles as a counterweight to the Government of Jamaica upgrading the PetroJam Refinery (which they no longer own!) and opening up the Bio-Fuel Market as stated in my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and Diesel Sulphur Content - Casino Royale”.

This last additional argument about reducing the Duty on the Importation of New Vehicles, SPECIFICALLY with All-Electric Vehicles and Flex-Fuel Vehicles being duty free, attracting a full waiver, would help to ease the disparity in prices noticed by the Jamaican consumer between us and our American Neighbours. This is as the disparity between the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of a new imported Japanese vehicle versus its price here in Jamaica cannot be explained.

This is save to say that it is the onerously High Import Duties being charged on Motor Vehicle Importation, for which there is no logical explanation, except that it is the Government of Jamaica “milking” the Auto Industry as a means of getting at people with “unexplained disposable income”(my take on the issue!) as suggested by the President of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association, Lynvalle Hamilton in the article “Jamaicans pay twice as much as US customers for cars”, published Friday, December 24, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

The President of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association, Lynvalle Hamilton (what a long title, man!!) words speak clearly enough, quote:  “The [Jamaican] Government has one of the highest duty structure in our region as it relates to motor vehicles”. 

His words echoed prior by ATL and Stewart Auto Sales Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart, who spoke saying, quote “Clean fuel is the beginning (to protect the environment), getting access to the latest technology is (also) the beginning, but without bringing the duties down so that people in Jamaica can afford these cars under an environmental initiative, the problem will get worse”.

A plug for the environment for the Auto Industry is positive enough a spin for advertising these very same All-Electric Vehicles and Flex-fuel Vehicles to Jamaicans wary of their performance on Jamaican roads.

This is progressive talk that the Jamaican motorists would like to hear from our Local Auto Industry, as opposed to the one-sided protectionists arguments of Kent LaCroix, President of the Automobile Dealers Association (ADA) on behalf of the Used Car Industry in his opposition to All-Electric Vehicles as per the article “Is Jamaica ready for Electric vehicles ?”, published Friday, October 01, 2010, The Jamaica Observer as the Used Car Industry is, well, a bit overused, clogging our roads with vehicles that are not roadworthy.

Throw in the fact that the Used Vehicle Industry is experiencing a chronic shortage of spare parts, with these old vehicles soon to become obsolete once the first wave of used Japanese All-Electric Vehicles hits us by 2012, 2014 thereabouts as per my blog articles entitled “Alternative Energy and Range Extender Technology - Jamaica to Rhaatid” and “All-Electric Vehicles and Jamaica - Downfall” and it gets a bit more serious.

Even better would be a means by which motorists could trade up their Used Vehicles as a further lowering of prices on the purchase of a new All-Electric or Flex-Fuel Vehicle as per my blog entitled “Alternative Energy and Biofuels - LNG is the Beginning”.

Jamaica would be caught unprepared, left behind by the rest of the world driving their All-Electric Vehicles and Flex-Fuel Vehicles with our local Power Utility Company (PUC)  Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd (JPS Co.) unable to cope with All-Electric Vehicle that cannot be charged without frequently tripping the Power Utility’s Grid as suggested in the article “Utilities thrilled and worried about electric cars”, published November Tuesday 23 2010, The Jamaica Observer and Diesel and Gasoline with such internationally unacceptable levels of Sulphur of 5000 ppm for Flex-Fuel Vehicles.

Not to mention the lack of Electric charging Station in the first place! There is also no wide scale adoption of LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) Vehicle conversions and Filling Stations or other support Infrastructure.

Thus a Government of Jamaica Plan of Action on these dual issues is clear, multi-pronged and should easily be seen as bi-partisan. It must involve all of the above, done quickly over a single year to ensure Jamaica’s Transition to a Caribbean Final Court of Appeal as well as the survival of the Local Auto Industry.

Thus saving the Jamaican Taxpayer billions of dollars on Imported Fuel by rapidly changing out motor vehicles for All-Electric Vehicles and Flex Fuel Vehicles as the Americans are currently engaged in doing as per the article on Administrator Kirk’s Geezam blog entitled “Chinese Crisis in Rare Earth Metals: Afghanistan is Silicon Valley's Savior” as well as in my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and All-Electric Cars - WarGames”.

All before the year 2015 AD, when Peak Oil is set to occur as per my my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and the Caribbean - Peak Oil in 2015 and the Day After Tomorrow”.

Plus, as these All-Electric and Flex-Fuel rides are quieter, such as the 2011 Nissan Leaf, now on the market as per my article entitled “Nissan's Leaf hitting the road”, published December 3, 2010 5:54 AM PST by Reuters, CNET News - Green Tech The Young and the Restless (TV Series 1973– ) [working professional people] if the price I right, would not only be the first purchasers of such vehicles.

But as it catches on in Jamaica, especially if a trade-in of your old vehicle option is available, Jamaicans will wonder to themselves: Why was I every driving such a noisy vehicle, Gattaca (1997) Style?! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Digicel, Samsung Galaxy Tablets and Newspapers - Tomorrow Never Dies and the Paper Man


A Man may as well expect to grow stronger by always eating as wiser by always reading.

Jeremy Collier, Of the Entertainment of Books

Now it is set to get even better. Google, after their initial debut of Google Voice integrated into Gmail as per my blog article entitled “Google and Google Voice - The World is Not Enough” has decided to extend their offering of Google Voice for the WHOLE of next year as per the article “Google makes Gmail calling free for all of 2011”, published Tuesday December 21, 2010 12:45 pm ET by Lex Friedman, Yahoo News!!

Apparently, Google may have gotten a clue from the major Skype Outage, an outage so major that even the brick-and-mortar news agencies got wind of the story as per the article “Skype CEO: 21 million Skype users back online”, published Thursday December 23, 2010 6:57 pm ET By Jessica Mintz, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo News initially reported by the Yahoo Blogger Ben Patterson in the article “Skype CEO offers apology, credit for Wednesday's outage”, published Thursday December 23,2010 1:59 pm ET By Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, Yahoo News.

This incident may have made Google’s Marketing Department (I assume Google does marketing!!) realize the grandeur and complexity of Skype’s VoIP Empire – not to mentioned users disgusted with Skype’s outage and looking for stable, cheaper, flexible and more stable and less “bloat-ware” [American Colloquial] riddled options, hence their extension to woo more of Skype’s customers across.

But as it is Google involved, VoIP also has an innocuous connection to the rise of the Tablet, spurred by the introduction of the Amazon Kindle. Especially as Google Chrome OS is now out and about prowling around, threatening Microsoft with their tightly integrated mixture of Google Docs, Google Reader, Google Bookstore and now Google Gmail and Google Voice all over the cloud on Tablets as well as on smart books as per my blog article entitled “Microsoft Windows 7 vs Google Chrome OS et al - 300 and Quo Vadis Dominae”.

Since the Amazon Kindle crash landed on the scene and recently reduced it prices to within striking distance of the Apple iPad on its Amazon Kindle 3 as per the article “Amazon Temporarily sells out Newest Kindle e-Readers”, published Tuesday August 3rd 2010 by Mark Long, newsfactor.com, Yahoo News, reading is back in vogue.

The Apple iPad is threatening to encroach on the Amazon Kindle’s ebook and eNewspaper (is there such a thing?) market, as the idea of books on Tablets and eReaders has slowly caught on from the small smoldering fire to a now raging firestorm. The verdict is obvious folks: Now with the Tablet and smart phone form factor, the Newspaper in its current paper based format is effectively dead as per the article on Administrator Kirk’s Geezam blog entitled “Newspapers vs Online Publications”.

The Amazon Kindle, which started all this reader madness in November 19 2007 with the first Generation Amazon Kindle on Telecom Provider Verizon, as per the history buffs in the WikiPedia article entitled “Amazon Kindle”, viewed December 24 2010, Wikipedia  and then went on to produce Second Generation Amazon Kindle for an expensive US$399 as in the article by CNET Editor Molly Wood entitled “Amazon Kindle 2: It's NOT too expensive”, published February 9, 2009 4:27 PM PST by Molly Wood, CNET News - Crave went on the defensive.
Amazon attacked the Apple iPad for its flaws in a well designed ad campaign as per the article “Amazon's New Kindle Ad attacks Apple iPad”, published Tuesday September 14,2010 1:00 pm ET by Brian Heater, PC Magazine, Yahoo News. Even I, John Public, got into the action, effectively accusing the Apple iPad, originally my suggestion to a bunch of brain-dead Shurpower Engineers back in April of 2009, of fuelling eBook Piracy as per my blog article entitled “Apple iPad and Video Game Piracy - The Saint” as well as the article “Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle - Publishers, Developers and Piracy”.

Meanwhile their newest baby, the Third-Generation Amazon Kindle, with its Integrated 3G and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) was selling like gangbusters [American colloquial] as per the article “Amazon temporarily sells out Newest Kindle e-readers”, published Tuesday August 3 2010 by Mark Long, newsfactor.com, Yahoo News and corroborated by the article “Amazon unveils 3rd-generation Kindle e-book reader”, published Tuesday August 3 2010 by Edward C. Baig, USA Today.

However, the Apple iPad is also credited with reviving the hopes of the once thriving Newspaper Industry, which once laughed at the Silicon Valley CEO’s with their single websites that went bust in the 90’s only to grovel at their feet as more and more Generation X [ages 14 to 28] and Generation Y [ages 29 to 45] began ditchin’ long sheets for Online spreads (sheets? Alas, no words to fill the gap…..!) as per the article “US Newspapers look to online editions as possible saviours”, published Wednesday March 28 2007 by Catherine Hours, AFP, Yahoo News.

Thus, the arrival of the Amazon Kindle held out the hope of a Star Trek-like device that would fire the imagination of a disinterested Generation X [ages 14 to 28] and Generation Y [ages 29 to 45] and thus revive the flagging hopes of once proud and mighty Empire of The Paper Man (TV Mini-series 1990) style, now gone online but with significantly reduced staff compliments and revenues.

Bloggers at CNET and ZDNet, please do not be so smug. Derided for years as being nothing more than fame seeking journalistic wannabees, the blogger is now a respectable specimen of the journalistic community.

No longer considered Neanderthals, we are on par if not equals with the homo sapiens otherwise known as Newspaper and Television Journalist, repackaging the news in a more palatable format for today’s generation: shorter stories, Video and Audio Podcasts consumable on smartphones and now the Tablet, attributable to CEO Steve Jobs.

The Apple iPad, despite its design flaws as per my blog article entitled “Apple iPad and the Future of Computing” has now set off a firestorm of creativity in the assumed dead Silicon Valley Electronics and Design Teams, with almost monthly announcements of Tablets.

Thus far, only one contender has appeared in the United States of America, namely the Samsung Galaxy Tablet, as per my description of the device and its potential on Administrator Kirk’s Geezam blog entitled “Samsung Galaxy - Apple iPad's Contender for the Christmas” and my criticism as per its pricing neatly summarized in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad and the Competition - The Rescuers” and the article entitled “Apple and the iPad 2 - Honeycomb, chrome and the DragonSlayer”.

Others are slated to make their appearance next year, such as the already seen but-as-yet-played with RIM Playbook and the much anticipated “Motorola Tablet with Google Android 2.4 codenamed Honeycomb”.

But until they arrive, the Samsung Galaxy is now prowling about here in Jamaica on Telecom Provider Digicel Network as per my blog article entitled “Digicel the ITU and Samsung Galaxy Tablet - The Sorcerer's Apprentice” and the article entitled “LIME TV vs Digicel's Samsung Galaxy Tablet - Call of Duty Black Ops”.

The possibility abounds that this may be a Platform not only for Newspapers, such as the Jamaica Observer, now with integrated Video Reporting to complement Google Voice with its Video Calling on this most capable of tablets, but also for Television as well, especially Television Jamaica and CVM TV . In essence, Telecom Provider Digicel has just saved both Newspapers and Television in Jamaica in one fell swoop, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) style…..