My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: August 2010

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Alternative Energy and The World - The Purple Cow and the Sun Salutes You

I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one;
But, I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.

Gelett Burgess, The Purple Cow

It seems everyone worldwide has begun looking for this purple cow with ever increasing earnest-ness ever since the report by the IEA (International Energy Agency) stating that we will be experiencing Peak Oil by 2015 AD as stated in the article “IEA official warns of shrinking oil supplies: Report”, Sunday August 2nd, 9:04 pm ET, Yahoo! News and backed up by the dire warning in statements attributed to Sir Richard Branson of Virgin as stated in the article “World faces Oil Crunch by 2015”, published Sunday 14 February 2010, AFP, The Jamaica Herald.

Alternatives to Oil seem to be the main focus and the history tells the tale of the tape. Brunei earlier in August of 2009 began building a solar power plant as stated in the article " Oil-Rich Brunei to have solar power plant", published Thursday August 6, 3:33 am ET,Yahoo! News. This should have struck John Public following the Oil Futures Market as being decidedly odd, as with supposedly billions of gallons of oil still untapped, why would they be seeking to conserve, being as they had an abundance of oil supposedly able to last for the next 200 years?

The use of Nuclear Power for Civilian Power by the Arabs, who have been having talks about setting up their own regional Arab Atomic Agency to legitimize nuclear proliferation by Iran ostensibly for Civilian Power is also of interest, as civilian Nuclear Power Plants the size of a small school exist that can safely be housed underground and power an entire country.

The breakthrough by venture capitalist K.R. Sridar, CEO of Bloom Energy in developing what Leslie Stahl on “60 Minutes”, aired Sunday 21st February 2010, CBS News refers to as “the Holy Grail” of power engineering is a Bloom Power Server. The article “Bloom energy unveils fuel cell of the future”, published Thursday February 25, 9:01 am ET by Glenn Chapman, AFP Yahoo! News explains what it it’s about. My blog article entitled “The Secret of the Bloom Energy Server unraveled – and can be locally Reverse Engineered”.

A fuel cell technology that is based on a semi permeable membrane made from pyrolized sand i.e. sand that has been heated and temperature controlled sintering under anaerobic (oxygen free, vacuum). It holds the greatest promise in my eyes, as it could in principle replace the combustion engine in cars and allow them to go All-Electric while still using LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) or other heavily filtered fossil fuel, a compromise no doubt the Oil Industry likes to hear.

Even Apple, a Silicon Valley Gadget Trendsetter with the fab new Apple iPad and Apple iPhone 4.0, has caught the Solar Renewable bug, expected to be on September 1st : D-Day for the big Apple (no pun intended!) presentation from CEO Steve Jobs. A focus on refreshes for the Apple iPod and its closely related siblings or offspring in the form of the Apple iPod Touch, Apple iPod Nano and the Apple iPod Shuffle as stated in the article “Apple likely to show off new iPods Sept 1”, published Wednesday August 25, 6:26 pm ET, by Reuters, Yahoo! News.

Apple Engineers have mysteriously been filing patents to develop Solar powered devices, possibly with the processor of these devices such as the Apple iPod, Apple iPod Nano, Apple iPod Shuffle, Apple iMac, Apple Mac Mini, Apple TV, Apple Air, Apple MacBook Pro and their latest toy, the Apple iPad to be all Solar powered.

Using ambient light from radiation from any part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum via the upgraded touch screen display on these devices is a possibility as stated in the article “Apple eyes gadgets with built in Solar panels”, published January 22, 2010 7:46 AM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News.

This is further asserted in the article “Apple patent bid combines Solarwith touch Screen”, published June 7, 2010 6:31 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News thereby in theory eliminating the battery charger from their devices altogether.

This is an impressive leap forward by Apple, and it is hoped that the development of these Solar powered devices will result in a virtual extension of the battery time of these devices, and bring the convenience of self-charging Solar Technologies. This has long being designed for African countries with limited access to electricity.

Now Developed countries with consumers are willing to pay a premium for technology that basically would cut the tethered electrical cord, still the last relic of an analog era that most devices have yet to free themselves. If Apple does this, tomorrow, September 1st2010, be it known that God himself, assuming he exists of course, may be in the front row, cutting his ten, listening.

The ultimate aim, globally however, is clear: Wean the US off a dependence of Foreign Oil and produce energy by alternative or otherwise deemed “natural” power sources and create a couple thousand jobs in the process to boot. This news could not come at better time, given the challenges facing the Green Tech field:

1.      Shortage of manpower as stated in the article “People power in short supply for Green Tech”, published March 26, 2010 8:29 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News
2.      Rare Earth minerals needed to produce photovoltaic and Wind Turbines as stated in the article “Rare-earth metal recycling needed to power green tech”, published May 17, 2010 7:31 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News
3.      General lack of standardized certification, which CompTIA  is trying to address with its Green Energy Certification as stated in the article “CompTIA offering Green IT exam”, published March 25, 2010 10:34 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News

Whether the Americans wish to acknowledge these problems or not, one thing is for certain: Silicon Valley in the not-so-sexy Green Energy Race, long the stepchild of Silicon Valley, is very far behind People’s Republic of China in terms of Research and Development.

But it is the opinion of this blog writer, John Public that the whole situation in the Gulf involving the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill on that fateful day on Tuesday April 20th 2010 and the hoopla that followed was not the real reason for the move towards weaning the American Economy from a dependence on Foreign Oil.

It again may more be a response to an observation of the same international body, the IEA, which has called for the cutting of fuel subsidies to encourage efficiency of design or even alternatives to the Internal Combustion Fuel Engine.

A technology which like the Fokker Tri-plane from WWI, should have long ago been relegated to the museums as slyly alluded in the article “IEA: To promote efficiency, cut fossil fuel subsidies”, published June 8, 2010 7:56 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News. It is a continuing plan that was initiated as far back as the last Oil Crisis at the end of the 1976, which I must admit, was before my time. John Public, like the oil munching bacteria, breaks it down………..

Granted, BP, the poster child for corporate irresponsibility, has created the worst ecological disaster when its Deep Horizon Oil Rig off the Coast of Louisiana exploded on Tuesday April 20th 2010, killing nearly eleven (11) workers. After expending over US$1 billion (US$1,000,000,000), they are the main talking point of Washington and Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America and Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron.

Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America even imposed a six (6) month moratorium on Offshore Oil Exploration as stated in the article “Obama signals tough stance on Oil Industry”, published Tuesday Jun 8, 11:25 am ET, By Russell Blinch and Rick Cowan, CNET News. This signalled an end to a dependence on Fossil Fuels as stated in the article “Obama: End depedence on fossil fuels”, published Wednesday June 2010, By JULIE PACE, Associated Press Writer, Yahoo! News.

But the President’s statements relating to the cutting of its dependence on Foreign Based Fossil fuels has no connection whatsoever, no matter how severe or Katrina-like this tragedy was, as it was apparent from the start that he was fully aware that he was working with a Full House in his hand, a winning hand, using Poker parlance, if the Editor, may be so kind, in this International Poker Game.

The President’s statements were a reflection of an overarching plan set in motion by the previous President, Senator George W. Bush, who had created the conditions for the war against Iran in order to acquire their cheap oil for the American Economy, having signaled no more Nuclear Power Plants to be built on American Soil, a decision that John Public hopes, has nothing to do with Nuclear Fusion Reactors or Nuclear Reactors not using weapons grade material.

Now the previous President, Senator George W. Bush, having failed in this bid and out of office, Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, the man currently in the hot seat, is now merely doing clean-up of the Government of the United States of America and the American Economy. The Deep Horizon Incident of the coast of Louisiana, for that is what it is really, on the grand scale of Global Politics, is ironically, already being dealt with by an even greater Government: Nature.

The underwater plume of Oil which Georgia University claim was the missing 80% and yet still below the depths as stated in the article “Ga. scientists: Gulf Oil not gone, 80 pct remains”, published Monday August 16, 6:30 pm ET, Yahoo! News countering Government scientists claims of the Oil having evaporated. In  reality it had been totally consumed by a dormant species of microbe, a feast that they will soon never forget as stated in the article “Microbes ate BP oil deep-water plume: study” published Tuesday August 24, 3:37 pm ET By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent, Yahoo! News.

Best of all, no tax dollars were expended to pay these Naturally occurring microbes, but John Public does take issue with their consuming Oil that could have otherwise have been used to power vehicles, and thus suggests to the President that these critters be put to work to pay back their taxes owed to the Government of the United States of America.

Thus it would be in the interest of the Government of the United States of America to harvest these bacteria, as the fact that they did not significantly deplete the Gulf of Mexico’s Oxygen levels in the process and create a Dead Zone as is the Seasonal occurrence every year when Nitrates and Phosphates from fertilizer laden river runoff enter the Gulf, make them very interesting to the BioFuel Sector that Barack Obama has been pumping American Taxpayer funded Venture Capital money.

Again, happy news for the Oil Industry, as these unpaid Government Workers can be genetically modified and put to work to convert Oil to Diesel, Kerosene and other by-products, thus making Catalytic Cracking of Oil, an energy intensive and inefficient process a thing of the past, not to mention the use of these bacteria to make Bio-Diesel and Anhydrous Ethanol and other types of fuel from almost any Organic material that can be pyrolized to Oil.

Did I forget to mention that the shrimp are back, a definitive indication of a healthy Gulf?  

The shrimp are back, having dined on a nutritious diet of algae, bacteria and phytoplankton about three (3) miles down in the Gulf of Mexico as implied in the article “Shrimpers report clean 1st day catch after spill”, published Wednesday, August 18, 2010, AP, The Jamaica Observer. This making it safe for the President and Sasha to swim, the possibility of a shark attack not withstanding as stated in the article “Obama swims in Gulf, says beaches open for business”, published Sunday August 15, 6:57 am ET by Ross Colvin, Yahoo! News

This long term Foreign Oil Dependence cord-cutting drive by the Government of the United States of America being spearheaded by the President, coupled with the public outcry against the “over-hyped in the media” Deep Water Horizon Incident thus makes it easier for the Government of the United States of America to make its case, and no, this in no Rothschild Conspiracy Theory, but obvious common sense.

These conditions has quietly turned Silicon Valley on its head as the Green Energy start-ups have been a backwater are of research, now spotlighted by a forward thinking 44thPresident of the United States of America looking to cut the United States of America dependence on Foreign Oil – minus a small war.

Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, has showed his faith, both in photo ops as well as his wallet, the Obama Administration plunking down billions on the Bio-Fuels Sector in a bid:

1.      Finding alternatives to the taxation of corn-based ethanol as stated in the article “'Green' gas and Diesel get boost in Biofuel grants”, published December 4, 2009 12:33 PM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News
2.      Jumpstarting Large Scale Solar Plant installations and research as stated in the article “Obama commits billions to solar firms”, published July 4, 2010 11:34 AM PDT by Reuters, CNET News
3.      Increasing All-Electric Car or EV research, specifically into battery technology development as stated in the article “Obama: Clean energy's Venture Capitalist-in-Chief”, published August 5, 2010, 5:00PM EST By Mike Dorning, POLITICS & POLICY, BusinessWeek

It seems in terms of Venture Capital money investment, the Obama Administration is following the lead of VC’s and Investors with the Midas touch such as Warren Buffet, who is investing billions in BYD Electric in the People’s Republic of China, a definite sign of the coming importance of All-Electric Vehicles as stated in the “BYD Dreams of Electric Cars”, published June 28, 2010, 3:10PM EST By Inder Sidhu, BusinessWeek.

Indeed, the United States of America has a lot of catching up to do, as despite their high end lifestyle, the Americans are in fact behind the rest of the world.

The US of A is not leading it, the technological progress, education interest in the sciences and innovative thinking of WWII and up to the 60’s lost to the wild obsession with music and the Internet in the 80’s and 90’s. Most production and research has been shipped overseas as stated in the article “The Other U.S. Energy Crisis: Lack of R&D”, published June 17, 2010, 12:01AM EST by Peter Coy, POLITICS & POLICY,BusinessWeek and in the prior article “America's Green innovation Problem”, published May 3, 2010, 4:41PM EST By Rob Atkinson and Devon Swezey, BusinessWeek.

The Obama Administration jumpstarted the recently bailed out Auto Industry, which the Obama Administration can dictate the terms of their recovery via State Tax laws against gas guzzlers as stated in the article “Will 'fun-factor' or mandates drive electric car sales?”, published March 6, 2010 1:56 PM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News.

Tax breaks for buyers of All-Electric Vehicles will spur their sales, as already the Nissan Leaf will garner a considerable after-rebate price that will certainly encourage All-Electric Vehicle adoption.

All-Electric Vehicle purchases are possibly the best way that taxpayers can send a message to the Oil Companies, that will accelerate the breaking of the linkage between Big Oil and the American Congress and their irresponsible behavior as demonstrated by the BP Oil Disaster as opined in the article “The Electric car might be the perfect Second ride”, published  August 3, 2010, 4:35PM EST By Ed Wallace, WALLACE'S WORLD,BusinessWeek.

Globally, the search for low cost Renewable is increasing and my references are not meant to be exhaustive, merely highlighting the different research initiatives, which have now begun to show a pattern, with a bit of Social Networking humour thrown in for good measure.

Bacteria to make fuel: Food for the NanoMachines

In BioDiesel Research, aside from the recently discovered bacteria, processing algae-eating fish seems to be trending as stated in the article “PetroAlgae signs deal with Indian Oil”, published November 5, 2009 6:55 AM PST by Candace Lombardi, CNET News.

Trending too is the use of Genetically Modified Bacteria to munch on mechanically masticated or pyrolized organic material reduced further to an organic oily mixture to make either Bio-Diesel or Anhydrous ethanol  is the case as stated in “A Forest epidemic turns into energy opportunity”, published April 7, 2010 2:04 PM PDT by Candace Lombardi, CNET News.

There is the much touted research regarding LS9’s Bio-Diesel process detailed in the article  “Gene-altered bugs make Bio-Diesel”, published Wed Jan 27, 1:31 pm ET byYahoo! News and the article “Researchers coax bacteria to make bio-dieselpublishedJanuary 27, 2010 3:59 PM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News.

Anhydrous Ethanol from wood chips as a starting stock as stated in:

1.      Wood-chip ethanol maker opens plant”, published October 15, 2009 7:50 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News
2.      Microbes to start making ethanol”, chemicals, published November 18, 2009 9:52 AM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News

Biofuel being made from scratch from just Carbon Dioxide and Water using genetically modified bacteria, a direct reverse of combustion as stated in the article “Joule to make diesel at solar fuels plant”, published April 27, 2010 8:07 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica,CNET News is also another interesting take on making Bio-Fuels and is an emerging future technology that may be trending by 2012.

Solar Film Research: Windows to Power from the Sun

The latest trending in solar, however, is towards the use of nanotechnology and easy- to-install spray on solar films, as easy as painting a wall, albeit one must have concerns about toxicity:
Spray-on films turns glass into solar panels”, published August 19, 2010 1:09 PM PDT by Juniper Foo, CNET News.

This is following in the footsteps of Solexant as stated in the article “Solexant funded to print thin-film Solarcells”, published June 4, 2010 8:50 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica,CNET News and JA Solar as stated in the article “'Silicon Ink' for solar cell glides towards production”, published September 17, 2009 6:10 AM PDT, by Candace Lombardi, CNET News.

Wind Power: The Taller the Wind Turbine the Better

Wind power is also showing great promise, especially offshore power, which has long been recommended, which albeit notoriously hard to build and very risky propositions for Venture Capitalists, like terrestrial power stations, can reap great benefit. This if connected together in a massive Power Ring based on research done by the University of Delaware and Stony Brook University as stated in the article “Offshore wind grid is the answer, study says”, published April 7, 2010 9:44 AM PDT by Candace Lombardi, CNET News.

The EU is surging ahead, with large Wind Turbine installations expected to exceed 18.8 Megawatts by 2015 based on estimates by research group Frost and Sullivan, due to the increasing ease of securing Venture Capital money from the Governments of Great Britain and the Government of Germany for such potentially risky projects as stated in the article “Bankers warming up to offshore wind”, published January 21, 2010 9:52 AM PST by Candace Lombardi, CNET News, simply put.

The Americans are not too far behind in this race thought as stated in the article “U.S. wind power growing fast but still lags”, published March 19, 2010 6:28 AM PDT by Reuters, CNET News

LNG: Leftover Gas from the OilFields

LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) is plentiful in terms of domestic supply, which according to Ernest Moniz, Director of the prestigious engineering institute, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently in Time Magazine, a prestigious USA publication, accounts for 24% of the Electricity Generation within the USA as stated in the article “Fuel of the future?”, published Sunday July 4 2010 by Dwight Bellanfante, Gleaner WriterThe Sunday Gleaner.

Additionally, Middle East and Far East interests, hoping to maintain the USA’s drug addict’s dependence on their supply of Cheap Energy, have begun to sequester the Government of United States of America with their abundant supplies. Middle East and Far East interests LNG is so plentiful and cheap that they’re successfully competing with the People’s Republic of Trinidad and Tobago contractually guaranteed supply of LNG to the USA as stated in the article “Rivalry sends Trinidad in search of New LNG Markets”, published Saturday, July 4, 2009, The Saturday Gleaner, by Linda Hutchinson-Jafar, Business Writer, The Sunday Gleaner.

Middle East and Far East interests are also challenging the very investment in Wind and Solar Energy with LNG supplies so cheap, that it can compete with the LNG extracted from within the USA on the basis of pricing alone, even with USA extracted LNG having ten-year lows as stated in the article “Solar, Wind feel the heat from low natural-gas prices”, published January 29, 2010 12:43 PM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News

Locally, the Government of Jamaica is eyeing LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) Gas Turbine Generator upgrades to their Generators with an estimated cost reduction of 20% to 30% in the electricity bills of consumers as stated in the article “Government eyes LNG cure for Energy problems”, published Wednesday June 16 2010 by Laura Redpath, Senior Staff WriterThe Daily Gleaner, as a path to reducing the cost of energy in Jamaica, thus boosting our country’s productivity.

Even exotic sources of fuel, such as Methane Hydrate deposits at five (5) miles below the China Sea are being explored by the People’s Republic of China DSV appropriately named Jaiolong, Mandarin for “Sea Dragon” along with the quest for more Rare Earth Metals as stated in the article “China builds base to tap deep-sea energy: state media”, published Friday August 27, 1:23 am ET, Yahoo! News.

The People’s Republic of China has LNG in abundance and is using to build out its Clean Energy Infrastructure as well as do research to make Wind Turbines and Solar Technology to sell to the world as stated in the article “China clean tech's rare-earth advantage”, published August 12, 2010 5:37 AM PDT by Reuters News Agency, CNET News.

Lightning is being considered as a source of Renewable Energy, a very good source, as a huge amount of energy is stored in the atmosphere, lightning discharges being a sign of this stored energy reserve as stated in the article “Scientists work to harness lightning for electricity”, published August 26, 2010 11:23 AM PDT by Candace Lombardi, CNET News.

Shocking good prospect, no pun intended, as the atmosphere is the ultimate capacitive battery storage for Energy. The Global Race is indeed on, as the year 2015 is only five (5) years away. Ironically, America may not emerge the leader in this Race…………..

Digicel and WiMax 4G Mobile - The Enemy of my Enemy is my friend


Serene I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind or tide nor sea;
I rave no more ‘gainst time of fate,
For lo! My own shall come to me.

John Burroughs, Waiting

Looks like Telecom Providers may be affected in more ways than one. Members of John Public in Jamaica, upon reading the article “Digicel all set to unveil 4G Broadband offering”, published Friday, August 13, 2010 by AL EDWARDS, The Jamaica Observer!

This according to The Jamaica Observer as it relates to why Telecom Provider Digicel was NOT launching with mobile smart phones and that Telecom Provider Digicel is launching ONLY with Netbooks, Laptops and 4G-to-Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Routers or Mobile hotspots, more properly called CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) and the naive reasons that WiMaX CEO, Alex Boothroyd stated, naturally realized that the game was out the window.

Instantly, Jamaicans I know began checking out prices for mobile smart phones on CNET News and other sites of similar ilk and discovered that the price was indeed around US$500.

Many promptly called their relatives abroad and had them purchase a WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Video Calling capable smart phone such as the Motorola Droid 2, HTC 4G EVO and the Samsung Epic 4G, of the Galaxy S family, which, curiously has been selling rather well as stated in the article “Samsung ships 1 million Galaxy S smart phones in the US”, published Monday 30th 2010 by Yahoo! News.

On the flip side, persons also noticed the lower prices on Laptops and Netbooks abroad, mainly due to competition from the Apple iPad and the Amazon Kindle as stated in the article “Demand dichotomy; PCs down, iPad up”, published August 11, 2010 3:58 PM PDT by Brooke Crothers, CNET News Nanotech - The Circuits Blog.

Promptly masses of people stopped buying the ones shipped here locally and instead Calling people abroad and ordering them to purchase Netbooks and Laptops, armed with the prior experience that Telecom Provider CLARO and Telecom Provider Digicel had disabled the Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) as a means of denying them choice in terms of Broadband Wireless Internet.

Worse, this is now glaringly evident especially in light of the lower pricing points of Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network Dekal Wireless and ANKHS Limited re-branded as Nubian -1 Tech Services Limited.

These Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network are now pursuing the same strategy as Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network Dekal Wireless by purchasing T1 access from FLOW and setting up their very own Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network as stated in the “Another small player emerges in the wireless broadband market”, published Friday August 2 2010 by Mark Titus, gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.  

Good to note at this point that both Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks are part owned and financed by Wayne Chen and a slew of Chinese Jiaolong or Sea Dragons as stated in the article “Wayne Chen, Lees enter Wireless Broadband Market”, published Friday July 30th 2010 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner,

Wayne Chen has is somehow connected to Michael Lee Chin, a sitting board member on FLOW, who may be assisting his closest relative in what appears to be a Rebel Alliance fight against the Trade Blockade imposed on the people of Naboo, as the names of both Dekal Wireless and Nubian-1 are names of a type of Droid [the Droid Dekal] and the spaceship of her Royal Highness, Queen Amidala of the Naboo [Nubian-1] of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace fame respectively. Looks like even Jamaica is going bonkers over George Lucas Star Wars as is Motorola and its entire series of smart phones is Star Wars branded.

The Motorola Droid 2 and the Motorola Droid X as stated in the article “HTC Evo 4G, Incredible shortages make room for Droid X”, published Monday July 12 2010 by Jared Newman, Yahoo! News, is now in short supply.

And the soon to debut Motorola Droid R2-D2 as stated in the article “R2-D2 Droid 2 Edition to arrive in September”, published August 16, 2010 5:07 PM PDT by Scott Webster, CNET News - Android Atlas, Motorola having formally inked a re-branding deal with George Lucas of Star Wars Directorial fame. Even Samsung is following the Sci-fi trend with its Galaxy S fleet of smart phones and tablets  as stated in the article “Samsung touts new Tablet, smart phones”, published June 16, 2010 8:38 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News- Wireless.

But there is worse yet in store for Telecom Provider Digicel. Thanks to their lower entry pricing point for their CPE (Customer Premises Equipment), Jamaicans on hearing of the offer by Google to allow people to make cross border Canada-USA calls to any landline of mobile network number free for one (1) year using an integrated Google Voice dialer in Gmail for free as stated in the article “Google: 1 million Gmail calls during first day”, published August 26, 2010 12:38 PM PDT by Stephen Shankland, CNET News - Deep Tech will be elated as well as in my blog entitled “Google and Google Voice - The World is Not Enough”.

Persons with a Gmail account apparently love it so much that approximately one million (1,000,000) called in the first 24 hours of this service debut, effectively one (1) call in every three thousand (3000) calls went through this platform in this 24 hour period. And of course Gmail to Gmail calls are free, making this ultimately better than Skype.

This as the pricing model for International calls mimics those prices already on offer by Google Voice, making porting work to Google Docs worth the trouble. So how does this service, not yet “custom fitted” to Jamaica as Mary J. Bligh, obviously the great- great-grand-daughter of Captain Bligh who brought the breadfruit to Jamaica, affect us?

For one, it does make International Calling to Jamaica by our Canadian and American relatives cheaper, if you have a mobile smart phone, even the Apple iPhone, which was forced to reinstate the Google Voice app the true power behind this feature after it was removed unceremoniously as stated in the article “AT&T to allow VoIP iPhone apps on 3G Network”, published October 6, 2009 4:46 PM PDT by Jim Dalrymple, CNET News - Apple, a feature already standard on other mobile smart phones and Telecom Providers such as Telecom Provider Verizon in the United States of America.

It also make persons with a Digicel Broadband 4G CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) or dongle, or even a Telecom Provider CLARO or Telecom Provider LIME Modem realize that Calls can be made from their computers via the Internet, whether via Skype, Yahoo Messenger or this newly minted interface and thus set off a trend of people NOT making International calls using their mobile phones.

VoIP is now back in style, for now, especially as International Calling is more and more becoming a “Video Calling from my computer in front of my TV in my settee” kind of affair, with family involved, mobile phones being used for private personal International Calling, which the ultra-speedy Digicel Broadband 4G is very much suited.

Hence the rash of interest by Jamaican bargain hunters to purchase WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) capable “jail-broken” and unlocked  handsets via relatives in the United States of America to utilize Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) services to make such private mobile Video calls over the cloud a reality. Did I forget to mention the possibility of a revamped US$99 Apple iTV with FaceTime Video Calling feature as slyly opined by ZDTV pundit David Gewirtz in the article “FaceTime could be Apple iTV's killer app”, published August 23, 2010, 7:35am PDT, By David Gewirtz, ZDNet Government?

Thus Digicel Broadband 4G threat to The Big Three (3) Broadcasters will be averted by the RJR Communications Group using Bluetooth advertising, a type of Direct Targeted Marketing in a partnership with BlueWave Caribbean, a UK based entrepreneur in this field as stated in the article “Bluetooth ads coming to cellphones soon”, published Wednesday, August 25, 2010 by Alicia Roache Business reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

Direct Targeted Marketing being a very close cousin of Behavioral Targeted Advertising as stated in the article “Study: Like it or not, behavioral ad targeting works”, published March 24, 2010 9:01 AM PDT by Caroline McCarthy, CNET News – The Social.

Indeed, they have also revamped their offering on their website so as to stream live Television such as Smile Jamaica and Prime Time News Television Jamaica's main programming, from their Website and provide on-demand viewing of archived programs and downloading, thought the downloading bit is unconfirmed at the time of writing this blog.

With Digicel Broadband 4G now a reality, this upgrade was necessary, as another beating similar to the Second Quarter Losses endured in 2010 as stated in the article “RJR profits drop 53% in June Q”, published Friday, August 20, 2010, The Jamaica Observer would make Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico or even the wealthy Chinese Broadcasters from the People’s Republic of China start circling like vultures, ready to devour their rotting carcass.

This drop-off in profits is not only a reflection of the JDX (Jamaica Debt Exchange) and the company’s heavy reliance on Government of Jamaica Paper to subsidize its profitability but also reflects the trend of viewers in the United States of America who no longer watch live Television.

They now belong to the 62% of the viewing demographic that uses DVR (Digital Video Recorders), Hulu and Netflix to consume their media as stated in the article “Survey of viewers shows extent of TV time shifting”, published Tuesday August 17, 6:53 am ET By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer, Yahoo! News and confirmed in the follow-up article “DVR's shaking up movie marketing”, published Monday August 23, 2:30 am ET By Georg Szalai, Yahoo! News.

Telecom Provider LIME Mobile TV package as stated in the article “TV on your mobile phone this Christmas”, published Friday, August 27, 2010, The Jamaica Observer,)  and confirmed by the article “LIME goes Mobile TV”, published Saturday August 28 by Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

It is also helpful but will only be relevant if the price is right and the mobile phones used are 4” AMOLED (Amorphous Organic Light Emitting Diode) with at least 720p HD (High Definition) or Retina Display with support for either “tethering” via Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n).

Wi-Fi Direct is also an option to allow for streaming to a HDTV Television set, with optional HDMI (High Definition Media Interface) port or even fiber optic port just enough to make it attractive enough for even the casual TV watcher wishing to catch news in the traffic, specs which I specified for the HTC and Motorola phones. Remember YouTube is free and Hulu is a US$10 thirty (30) day subscription streaming model, with Apple iTV an unconfirmed US$0.99 cents rental, thought if it will be accessible to Jamaicans remains an issue of interest and speculation.

All this make the title of this article more ominous, as now John Public gradually is beginning to see that the Enemy of my enemy [Telecom Provider Digicel] and their WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Broadband may truly be in fact the friend of all Jamaicans, as it has inspired increased competition via lower cost Internet without modems via Dekal Wireless and Nubian -1 Tech Services Limited, VoIP Video Calling and on-demand Video programming offerings from the RJR Communications Group.

All things Jamaicans have been clamoring for quite some time now, only being offered when this Big Behemoth made it debut on the market threatening their closed comfortable business models. John Public suspects Telecom Provider CLARO may have some announcement next week, in keeping with the trend of back-to-back announcements.

Meanwhile I await the coming of the chosen Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network – Skywalker…………… 

Apple and the iTV - Back to the future


21:42  Jesus saith  unto  them,  Did  ye  never  read  in  the  scriptures,  The stone  which  the  builders  rejected,  the  same  is  become  the head  of  the  corner:  this  is  the  Lord’s  doing,  and  it  is marvellous  in  our  eyes?

King James Version Bible, Matthew 21 vs 42

September 1st is D-Day for the big Apple (no pun intended!) announcement from CEO Steve Jobs, expected to focus on refreshes for the Apple iPod and its closely related siblings or offspring.

Namely the Apple iPod Touch, Apple iPod Nano and the Apple iPod Shuffle as stated in the article “Apple likely to show off new iPods Sept 1”, published Wednesday August 25, 6:26 pm ET, by Reuters, Yahoo! News.

That is right Apple FanBoys! Apple actually does make other products.

The Apple iPad is the media darling of the moment, or at least until 2012 with the no competition in sight due to the competition being caught flat footed as stated in the article “No iPad Killer Coming Until 2012 , Says iSuppli”, published Thursday August 26, 1:59 pm ET, by Barbara E. Hernandez, Yahoo! News, golden words from the components analyst, saving me the trouble to trot out all the rumours of the other wannabee Apple  iPad Replacement Killers.

I mention this fact as there is still an ongoing components shortage and this is affecting both Apple iPhones and Apple iPads, as stated in the article “White iPhone 4 faces manufacturing woes; iPad too”, published Friday July 24 2010 by  Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, Yahoo! News and confirmed by the article “LG overwhelmed by iPad display orders”, published by July 23, 2010 9:56 AM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker, selling at a rate of nearly one million (1,000,000) units per week.

This is not even going into the fact that the Apple iPad has set off a Tablet wave as stated in the article “iPad paves the Way for Coming Tablet Invasion”, published Tuesday August 24, 10:57 am ET by Tony Bradley, Yahoo! News and lower prices form Laptops and Netbooks due to decreased demand for these electronic devices.

Things have improved a bit as stated in the article “iPad wait times slowly getting shorter”, published Thursday August 19, 5:05 pm ET by Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, Yahoo! News.

If anything, the Apple iPad and the Amazon Kindle, which I like to call the White Unicorn and the Black Panther, together, have rekindled the love of reading, especially using a format made popular in the early 80’s, that being e-books.

Thus in part saving the Publishing and Newspaper Industry as stated in the article “Kindle and iPad e-Readers Spark Revolution”, published Thursday August 26, 11:51 am ET by Daniel Ionescu, Yahoo! News.

Meanwhile simultaneously acting as an accelerant for e-book piracy, as stated in the article “Is iPad supercharging e-book piracy?”, published May 14, 2010 12:32 PM PDT by David Carnoy, CNET News.

Apple plans to debut a 7” Apple iPad for the business community, apparently more of a show that they have not forgotten the suits and ties in the office and is a special device, just for them.

This 7” wonder is in the works, and is Apple’s specially tailored device for the jet set as opposed to merely making them have to use the generic Apple iPad, as aside from the small screen size, it may be more specifically tailored form their office needs as stated in the article “Report says Apple to Launch 7-inch iPad by Christmas”,, published Tuesday August 17, 3:40 am ET, by Dan Nystedt, Yahoo! News.

But none of this is the highlight of this much anticipated event. John Public is awaiting the confirmed news of the details of the long awaited refresh of what in the minds of many was a failed experiment that has the greatest unrealized potential for Apple: The Apple TV, aptly rechristened the Apple iTV.

The Darling Stepchild of the Apple family, the oft hacked and neglected Apple TV, launched in 2008, seemed then little more than a hobby horse for Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs. But now word on the street is that the Apple TV is getting more than just a name change as stated in the article “Revamped Apple TV coming this fall?”, published August 11, 2010 3:43 PM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker.

Rumour has it that Apple’s re-launched take on the set top box concept will not only be capable of 720p HD video playback, suitable for HDTV, but more importantly to us non-tech Fanboys, will debut with a ultra low price of US$99 and will be renting content via the Apple iTunes store for S$0.99 cents as stated in the article “Latest chatter point to $99 Apple TV, 99-cent TV show rentals”, published Wednesday August 25, 11:00 am ET by Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, Yahoo! News.

Possibly the greatest stats to hear in a Recession laden US Economy, as that is a deal breaker when compared to subscription services like Hulu with its pricing point at US$10 as stated in the article “Hulu launches US$10 video subscription service”, published Tuesday June 29 2010 by RYAN NAKASHIMA, AP Business Writer, Yahoo! News.

Its new name, the Apple iTV, is an indication of the porting of the new iOS Platform that runs the Apple iPad and Apple iPhone 4.0, suggesting, downloadable Apps, a mash-up involving Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) streaming of content from the Apple iTV to an Apple iPad similar to Verizon FIOS as stated in the article “Verizon Wants to stream FIOS to iPad, other Tablets”, published Wednesday August 18, 5:14 pm ET, by Adam Dickter, newsfactor.com, Yahoo! News

Even streaming over the cloud for musical content using technology from recently purchased online streaming service LaLa as rumored to be in the pipeline by the video CNET The AppleByte, aired Friday August 6th 2010 by Senior Editor, Brian Tong, CNET News.

But despite these pricing highlights, what has me excited is the possibility of the video calling platform FaceTime introduced and made popular on the Apple iPhone 4.0 being included with the Apple iTV, as opined by ZDNet pundit David Gewirtz in the article “FaceTime could be Apple's iTV killer app”, published August 23, 2010, 7:35am PDT, By David Gewirtz, ZDNet Government.

That alone, even if it is just a rumour, has it totally sold for me, especially if voice commands and video gaming using a motion detection controller were to be thrown in, akin to Microsoft Kinect, making this revamp on the same level as the Apple iPad, as this would make it a completely new concept: A set top box with gaming capabilities. Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3 and Microsoft Xbox, we may have a possible contender………

Thus, in short order, I would do nothing less than recommend that Apple ink a deal with Telecom Provider Digicel and their newly minted Digicel Broadband 4G services based on ultra fast WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) to have the device in Jamaica for its customers exclusively, as already Triple Play Provider FLOW has begun selling DVR (Digital Video Recorders) to its customers.

With its pricing point, it would be a bona fide hit with the Jamaica public, who like Americans, are not so excited about live television as stated in the research pieces by Media Practitioner, Marcia Forbes in the articles expanding on the dismal finding by the 2009 MRSL All Media Survey which finally includes a section on the usage on Internet

Albeit not on its impact on the traditional media, be it Broadcasters in Radio or Television and the Newspapers as stated in the article “'Jamaica to the world' via the Internet”, published Thursday March 25th 2010, by Marcia Forbes, The Jamaica Observer and broadcast Radio as stated in the article “What fate Radio?”, published Saturday April 10th 2010, by Marcia Forbes, The Jamaica Observer.

Finally rounding off her triptych with an ode to experimentation with social networking by the author in the article “Twitter, Twits and Tweets”, published Thursday 22nd April 2010 by Marcia Forbes, The Jamaica Observer.

Throw in the Americans and their trending towards time-shifting with a DVR (Digital Video Recorder), which is also a real possibility and John Public can confirm is actually happening in Jamaica as well as stated in the article “Survey of viewers shows extent of TV time shifting”, published Tuesday August 17, 6:53 am ET By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer, Yahoo! News.

Telecom Provider Digicel may be looking at a means of launching their DigiTV service, their own Wireless Subscriber Television Service as stated in the article “'DigiTV's launch for 2009' - Mobile Provider branches into TV”, published Friday November 14th 2009 by Ross Sheil, Online Co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer.

This is similar to the one they currently have in the South Pacific Island and thus assisting their partner-in-crime the RJR Communication Group with a set top box from Apple priced within reach of even the ordinary man at a heavenly US99 (JA$8600) value and US$0.99 (JA$86) per show rental, a new business revenue stream for the RJR Communications Group.

An extra plus and brownie points would be the knocking of some of the wind out of the sails of Telecom Provider LIME and their partnership with DC Digital to provide Cable TV and Local Television content on mobile phones by Christmas 2010 as stated in the article “LIME goes Mobile TV”, published Saturday August 28 by Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner and confirmed in the article “TV on your mobile phone this Christmas”, published Friday, August 27, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

Strangely, Telecom Provider LIME had made no mention of video calling in their presentation. If the Apple iTV does have video calling when unveiled to the world on September 1st 2010AD, it would be to Telecom Provider Digicel’s advantage to ink an exclusive deal with the company to port this device along with their Digicel Broadband 4G service, as this is the true future of television, going back to the future as ascribed to the cartoon The Jetsons (TV Series 1962–1988).

Any news from Telecom Provider CLARO on their offerings for the Christmas of 2010? John Public is waiting………..