My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: October 2010

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Alternative Energy and Rare Earth Metals - Allan Quatermain and King Solomon's Mines

The poetry of the Earth is never dead…
The poetry of the earth is ceasing never.

Keats, On the Grasshopper and Cricket

Many people criticized the Obama Administration for pulling out of Iraq, stating that the American people owed it to themselves to keep the fight going. But fight for what? Oil?

Surely this plan failed a long time ago, as the American/British adventure has turned against its original planners in the previous Bush Administration, as per the observation of Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America as stated in the article “Obama hails US operation in Iraq”, published Wednesday 1 September 2010 Last updated at 15:11 GMT, BBC News.

A refocus on fixing the American Economy instead of wasting countless millions on a needless war, especially after the death of Pat Tillman, a quarterback with a promising future, killed under suspicious circumstances yet to be full explained to the still grieving families. If something good has come out of the troop withdrawal, it has been the fact that the Americans, despite conspiracy theorists claims, needed to focus on Afghanistan and its myriad landscape that is a perfect hiding place for Taliban insurgents and Al-Qaeda.

I say “conspiracy theorists”, as the disclosure in the New York Times on Sunday June 13, 2010 AD of vast quantities of mineral wealth, particularly Rare Earth Metals, means that, if developed in an environmentally responsible way, preferably in partnership with the Americans, could become a huge financial windfall for the Afghan people and a boon to the America Economy as stated in the article “U.S. identifies vast mineral riches in Afghanistan”, Published June 13, 2010 By JAMES RISEN, The New York Times.

I am sure this has been discussed before, so what harm can I do if I introduce a new angle? John Public gets his pipe going, covered from head to foot in Muslim garb, eyes shielded from the rising heat that is the Kandahar Desert as I discuss the American All-Electric Vehicle adventure.

I am sure that with the news of previous months, one can now see the reasoning behind the recent actions of Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, lending to his description as a “Venture Capitalist-in-Chief”, going down a road that appears to be a rather tumultuous one for the Government of Jamaica as it relates to Venture Capital investment in Silicon Valley 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.

A return to manufacturing, putting pride in the statement “Made in the USA” by ensuring Research and Development is no longer an export to the People’s Republic of China is a noble aspiration 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 – VIEWPOINT.

Manufacturing of the future of the American economy, probably the ultimate expression of the American pastime: Automobiles. He has also, in the same breath, committed taxpayers money to likes of Silicon Valley Venture capital firms focused on Clean Energy technology as stated in the article “Obama commits billions to solar firms”, published July 4, 2010 11:34 AM PDT by Reuters, CNET News - Green Tech with the hopes of stimulating the Solar Power Industry, a more firm commitment towards a natural sustainable environment and more importantly, beating the People’s Republic of China in the race to develop All-Electric Vehicles

This time around though, it is not gas guzzlers of the 1960’s, when oil was cheap and everyone had money to burn, before the Saudis showed them that they too could cause a crisis. Revisiting arguments as it relates to the possibility of a mass adoption of All-Electric Vehicles if prices are on par with those of regular vehicles as opined in the article “Will electric cars spread like cell phones or washing machines?”, published May 14, 2010 11:49 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Much in the same way gadget centric Japanese and Americans have adopted smart phones, vacuum cleaners and washing machines does little to assuage the fear of US Automakers, wary of a big investment going the way of the Bubble.

Analysts Deloitte Consulting predicted an adoption of All-Electric Vehicles in the United States of America of 2% to 5.6% by 2020, numbering between 285,000 and 840,000 units. The other limitation to rapid adoption in 2011, the Year of the All-Electric Vehicle, is the availability of rapid charging outlets.

This is akin to the Industry standardized Electric Charging Station by Coulomb Electric being installed in the Big Apple otherwise known as NYC (New York City) with plans to install 4,600 such chargers in Austin, Texas, Detroit; Los Angeles, New York; Orlando, Florida, Sacramento, California, the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, Redmond, Washington and Washington, D.C.

These recharging stations, strategically located, are locatable using an app downloadable on a Apple iPhone, Blackberry or Google android powered smart phones as stated in the article “Network Web-Savvy EV-charging stations on tap”, published June 2, 2010 7:57 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Thus, Automakers, still worried about these issues as suggested in the articles “Auto industry pros counter electric-car hype”, published October 13, 2010 10:03 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech. Also as stated in the article “Automakers push ahead on plug-ins despite unknowns”, published October 14, 2010 11:10 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech can take some comfort for a recent analysts J.D. Power and Associates.

The analyst, is projecting a modest 7% of the total number of vehicles in the United States of America being All-Electric Vehicles by 2020, which, depending on how you look at the glass of water at the midway mark, can be an omen of short term popularity driven good fortune or a bubble that at least grows slowly and is steady and not a fad as stated in the article “Report: Hybrid and EV sales to grow but remain small”, published October 27, 2010 7:26 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

The outlook for All-Electric Vehicles in Jamaica, if  Kent LaCroix, President of the Automobile Dealers Association (ADA) were to be believed, would be bleak and unlikely as stated in the article “Is Jamaica ready for Electric vehicles ?”, published Friday, October 01, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

But this outlook is too heavily tied to a past based on Fossil fuels, which eats away on average approximately US$2.8 billion per annum from our GDP (Gross Domestic Product), especially as the Japanese are moving away from the Otto Cycle engine and towards the All-Electric Vehicles in a rapid adoption curve accelerated by the hefty Japanese tax on motorists that is older than four (4) year

Manifesting now as a shortage of spare parts, forcing many local auto parts dealers out of the used parts trade as stated in the article “Spare Parts shortage hits used-car Trade”, published Friday October 22 2010, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Japan and not the People’s Republic of China, as the analyst J.D. Power and Associates opines, may be the real driving force that may actually inspire and spur a rapid transition to All-Electric Vehicles

These All-Electric Vehicles use batteries made using lithium, hence in one single sentence, the significance of the Afghanistan discovery. Also explains why investor Warren Buffett is investing so heavily in Chinese battery turned All-Electric Vehicle manufacturer BYD as stated in the article “BYD Dreams of Electric Cars”, published June 28, 2010, 3:10PM EST by Inder Sidhu, BOOK EXCERPT - BusinessWeek.

Whether of not it is a coincidence, like the oil spill and the delinquent taxpayers in the form of the cousins of the bacteria Oleispirea antarctica and Oceaniserpentilla haliotis eating up a suspended plume of oil as stated in the article “Microbes may be to thank for BP oil spill cleanup”, published August 25, 2010 10:42 AM PDT by Candace Lombardi, CNET News- Green Tech.

The Obama Administration’s blind luck in stumbling across this geological goldmine after deciding to refocus on Afghanistan is of great economic significance both to Afghanistan and the United States of America  

It tips the balance of the future of All-Electric Vehicles in favour of the Americans, as the People’s Republic of China already has an advantage in terms of large deposits of Rare Earth Metals within People’s Republic of China as stated in the article “China clean tech's rare-earth advantage”, published August 12, 2010 5:37 AM PDT by Reuters, CNET News - Green Tech.

A separation from Fossil Fuels is not only a push for vehicle efficiency as stated in the article “Autos would have to get 62mpg under new plan”, published October 2, 2010 6:00 AM PDT, by Reuters, CNET News - Green Tech or creating jobs.

But Homeland as well as an International Security issue relating directly to United States of America purchase of oil, which may be indirectly fuelling terrorism against themselves and their Allies as stated in the article “U.S. Navy buys 20,000 gallons of algae fuel”, published September 15, 2010 10:36 AM PDT by Candace Lombardi, CNET News - Green Tech.

Silicon Valley, what is not to love?

This is probably the main driving force behind the push towards Renewable Energy, as Oil, being the US Army’s Achilles Heel, needs to be removed from the battlefield.  The published 2009 Report by the Center for Naval Analyses signed by twelve (12) former US Generals and Admirals.

Effectively this markets the idea that America purchase of Foreign Oil is a transfer of wealth that, albeit going to a sovereign nation, may inadvertently be fuelling not only terrorism but possibly nuclear proliferation and recommends that the US Military go Green to reduce this flow of money out of the America Economy into the hands of its enemies.

The fact that the People’s Republic of China has expressed concern over suggestions of their advantage as a major supplier of Rare Earth minerals such as Lithium, crucial to making the lithium-ion Batteries needed for All-Electric Vehicles, being used as a bargaining chip, as per the assertions of Wen, China's top economic official as stated in the article “Premier: China won't block rare earth exports”, published Friday October 8 2010 4:41 am ET, By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer, Yahoo! News should not be taken lightly.

Thus, I would strongly recommend to the Government of the United States of America to remove the Red Tape and have American owned Mining companies or companies friendly to American interests such as BHP Billington quickly set up shop in Afghanistan.

In the meantime, developing an active National Strategy for recycling electronics, a chief source of Rare Earth metals 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 - Green Tech.

A fact that, ironically, the Japanese have figured out, is more profitable as it relates to Gold.

This is because wastewater coming out of the Japanese Industrial area is rich in Gold in concentrations higher than being extracted from their goldmines as stated in the article “Japan's sewers paved with gold”, published 2:59AM GMT 02 Feb 2009 by Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo, The UK Telegraph.

Jamaica is already in on the Cash-for-Gold trade, but how many Jamaicans are aware that their old, non-functional electronic gadgets such as Television sets, computer CRT monitors, laptops, etc, may be laden with mineral wealth that may be on par with that of Allan Quatermain King Solomon's Mines (1985), as per the book and the movie?

Perhaps Jamaica needs to seriously look into recycling in general, a source of significant economic savings during this Recessionary Period.

More Time.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

CLARO, FLOW and Municipal Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11n - Battlestar Galactica

Give a man a pipe he can smoke,
Give a man a book he can read:
And his home is bright with calm delight,
Though the room be poor indeed.

James Thomson, Sunday Up the River

As this submission by Regional Vice-President for Legal, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Camille Taylor to the FTC (Fair Trading Commission) complaining of misrepresentation of their true designation of Digicel Broadband 4G Networks as stated in the article “4G Quarrel”, published Wednesday October 27, 2010 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner may take a while, one thing is indeed for certain: Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) is on the move.

They [Municipal Wi-Fi Networks] need no modems to sell, and their services is at a lower pricing point than even Digicel Broadband 4G, which by the way, based on anecdotal information aka “word on the street” as well as the rants of those troubled young ‘uns on that most unpopular of forums TechJamaica, is not even delivering above 3G speeds.

Thus, it makes the accusation by Telecom Provider LIME carry weight, at least in the Court of Public Opinion, where it REALLY counts and indicates that Digicel CEO Mark Linehan is not being entirely truthful as to his claim as stated in the article “'4G is 10 times faster than 3G', says Digicel Boss”, published Monday August 23, 2010, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Perhaps Digicel CEO Mark Linehan believes that they can “advertise” and obfuscate their way into the minds of customers so as to make them believe that what they are getting is 4G speeds, when it is not, as US$22.7 million cannot provision a full fledged 4G Network. It’s more like US$250 million, actually.

So we Jamaicans observe the spectacle or distraction, whichever be thy grammatical foible, of Triple Play Provider FLOW offering faster packages as stated in the article “FLOW to bring 100Mbs to Jamaican homes”, published Saturday October 16 2010, The Jamaica Observer and Telecom Provider CLARO retaliating like the Rebel Warriors and the Ewoks in the Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), still with no clear indication in sight as to what may be spurring the demand.

Nothing other than the POSSIBLE coming lower prices of Netbooks, Laptops and smart phones this Christmas in the United States of America thanks to the Apple iPad and its would be assassins and the plethora of smart phones running various loveable OS, such as Apple iOS, Google Android, Palm Web OS and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) reanimation of Microsoft Windows Phone 7.

Driving prices low enough so that we mere mortals can afford to treat ourselves this Christmas 2010 AD!

Irregardless, Christmas in Jamaica nice again, folks! So what else could it be? Is this entire episode a smokescreen to attack the real enemy, that being the up and coming Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks?

Telecom Provider Digicel knows what they need to do: purchase and enabling/provisioning of T1’s for Internet Access to their MGW (Media Gateway) and thus the WiMaX enabled Tower Infrastructure. Throw in plans to Fiber out their entire Network, a contract possibly worth US$200 million dollars, a figure that would make any large scale Fiber Optics Installer drool, or as we say in our colourful Jamaican patios, “drain mout’ wata’”; Mad Money (2008), as per the movie.

Problem solved, not to mention a cure-all for the lackluster speeds and the beating that this new product is getting on the street, thanks to Telecom Provider Digicel’s over exuberance in advertising their service.

In their greed to attract customers, without realizing that the IEEE (Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers) Open Architecture nature of most of their Protocols, means that every parameter of their Open Architecture equipment is adjustable, inclusive of their contention ratio, or the maximum number of UE (User Equipment) that can log on to any tower at a given time.

Provisioning more T1 and going Fiber Optic for Mobile Tower Interconnectivity or “backhaul” as our American telecommunications cousins are wont to call it, instead of depending on unreliable Microware Radio Links.

This would not only allow Digicel Broadband 4G to deliver 10MBps best effort and provide 100MBps best effort reliably, but also avoid the FTC quibble, as this time, a public fight will turn against them, as the Court of Public opinion, albeit favoring Telecom Provider Digicel, is siding with the cold hard black-and-white logic of Telecom Provider LIME, as the complaints about Digicel Broadband 4G are mounting.

At least we are yet to see anyone burning effigy of the Telecom Providers in the street, as the Internet Citizens, or Netizens, are a rabble rousing lot, evident from their inflammatory and anti-establishment stance expressed on TechJamaica.

Thus, a recalculation of the T1 provisioning per WiMaX enabled Mobile Tower may also be in order, as it may also be the case that not enough were provisioned for the level of expected traffic – or should that be unexpected?

 This is a daunting task, as assuming 60% geographic coverage island wide, mathematically this could translate to as many as 60% of the one thousand six hundred (1600) Mobile towers being configured with WiMaX 4G Fixed (IEEE 802.16a) and WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d, e) Node B’s. 

This makes estimating traffic levels and provisioning of T1’s a logistical headache, made simple by installation of a Fiber Optic Network, which both guarantees easy scalable T1 provisioning on demand as well as a more reliable Network, even during inclement weather, such as hurricanes, common to the Caribbean Region.

Telecom Provider CLARO is currently in the process of changing out their Alcatel-Lucent Radios for radios that have DAC cards with higher T1 capacity, as per my prediction when I was still employed at Telecom Provider CLARO as a RF Technician (2008 to 2009), as (silly rabbit!), any augmentation of the Network would require more capacity.

Especially with their declaration of going LTE (Long Term Evolution), which, too, is not 4G either, according to the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) as stated in the article “4G: What's in a name?”, published October 21, 2010 12:42 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength.

Going Fiber Optic is also recommended for them, as QoS (Quality of Service) cannot be guaranteed using Microwave Radio Links alone, especially as they may seek to retail LTE to businesses or (most likely) use it to provision Remote Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) using Hotspots.

This in turn means that Customers will demand more reliable Internet Interconnectivity as their businesses become more reliant on Broadband. Data Services, once seen as a VAS by Telecom Provider CLARO, must now get more priority than the Voice Services, a prediction I used to get maligned for while working as a Network Maintenance Technician at Telecom Provider C&W, now LIME (2001 to 2004).

The Battle has begun as Fiber Optic, the expensive step child of Telecommunications, is now a must, much as it is the medium for communication onboard the BattleStar Galactica (2004) in the series of the same name. Throw in Solar Power and QoS is guaranteed in the absolute, as 4G and higher Network require more stable, reliable, Noise Free Electrical Power, otherwise they become uneconomical to operate. 

Hence Telecom Provide LIME, which mostly has its Mobile Towers interconnected via Fiber Optic or Copper based T1’s it has to upgrade to Fiber Optic, albeit slow in their 3G build out, is likened to the Tortoise in the Aesop fable, the Tortoise and the Hare: slow and steady wins the Race.

Especially as Small Telecom Providers, mainly Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks such as Dekal Wireless and Nubian-1 Tech Services Limited may soon be receiving a gift of spectrum license free “White” Space Frequencies. This is akin to the decision of FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Chairman Julius Genachowski in the United States of America as stated in the article “FCC to open up vacant TV airwaves for broadband”, published Monday September 13, 12:35 am ET By JOELLE TESSLER, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo! News.

Now officially confirmed in the article “FCC officially frees TV white space spectrum”, published Thursday September 23 2010, CNET News. Already, Dekal Wireless is beating Digicel Broadband 4G on pricing alone, the main lever to move in a Data War.

This of course, is after the Broadcasting Commission Chairman Cordel Green, finalizes a soon coming decision on Technology Selection (please let it be DVB-T!!) as it relates to DSO (Digital Switch Over) for the Big Three (3) Free-to-air Television and Radio Broadcasters as stated in the article “Slow road to digital switch-over  - Cable groups mum; Flow ahead but network coverage behind”, published: Saturday  August 15, 2009 by Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This fateful decision would swing the proverbial pendulum and thus the balance of power in favour of the Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks, possible the TRUE reason why Triple Play Provider FLOW and Telecom Provider CLARO are pushing the 100MBps barrier.

Like Dekal Wireless and Nubian-1 Tech Services, Triple Play Provider FLOW and Telecom Provider CLARO too could use their 100MBps Wired and Wireless services respectively to provision Remote Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks.

Possibly using hotspot masts mounted as Dekal Wireless currently does or an even more novel approach, which is using Registered Taxis fitted with a Mobile Node B for Remote Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n). Taxi men benefiting by being paid money to host the Node B for Remote Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) in their motor vehicles!

Only this time, the Remote Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) would be enabled with the power of unhindered long range “White” Space Frequency, capable of ranges of up to 31km, spectrum license free. The “Internet of Things” is coming, folks, as Netbooks, Laptops and even smart phones come standard with Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) as per the prognostications of Analyst In-Stat as stated in the article “More people buying Wi-Fi enabled devices”, published May 4, 2010 10:03 AM PDT by Lance Whitney CNET News - Wireless.

As to the source of my information, it is because I read – rather widely too, both trusted online resources relating to consumer electronics, statistics and analysts and as well as from books, be they paperback, hardcover or e-books, the future format of books. This is as most Telecom Providers provide only basic Equipment Vendor related training for their technical staff, leaving you to fill the gap with certification, experimentation – and yes, reading.

Contrary to what people working in any Industry will tell you, the Theory is actually 90% of work, the 10% being Practical – believe it or not. Reading is the source of all knowledge, not hearsay, working by example or gossip, be it co-worker driven or online.


Thus, great skill is required to sift through mountains of information and for this, first, one MUST have a voracious love of reading any and all material, whether or not it is relate to one’s field. After a while, you will get very good at predicting the future, especially after years of reading and trend spotting. More time.

Digicel vs LIME - Mortal Kombat over 4G Title


Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.

Shakespeare, Hamlet I, 3

Despite what many may think, I am not a big fan of America, especially now.

Especially when they have former president Bill Clinton come to Jamaica and have us pay JA$13,000 per plate to have him tell us nebulous things while the Haitians are starving as stated in the article “Clinton lauds Jamaica, Caricom for suppport to Haiti”, published Tuesday October 26 2010, The Jamaica Observer, The Jamaica Observer.

This is not for lack of funds but distributions of said financial aid that was collected and lies, supposedly, in the financial institutions in Haiti.

This money is yet to be disbursed to help those still living out in the streets, as per the rant by political commentator Dickie Crawford on Smile Jamaica, aired Wednesday October 27th 2010, Television Jamaica, The Jamaica Observer as well as a prior letter of his to the editor entitled “Boycott Clinton's Visit”, published Sunday October 24 2010, The Sunday Observer, The Jamaica Observer.

Cholera has broken out among the populace, making the situation worse as stated in the article “Cholera outbreak spreads towards Haiti's capital”, published Saturday October 23 2010, The Jamaica Observer. More “hype”-pocrisy than I can bear, thus the world of Telecoms beckons me again, as political grandstanding has no mathematical solution.

I refer to the quarrel that has broken out which effectively boils down to a case of misrepresentation by Telecom Provider Digicel as to whether their Digicel Broadband 4G Network is truly worthy of the title 4G as stated in the article “4G Quarrel”, published Wednesday October 27, 2010 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner. Media circus, here we go again.

My memory is a bit off of late, but I do recall writing a similar article for my blog on this very same subject. My archive of articles has gotten deleteriously large, so a quick sorting reveals that it is indeed the case, so forgive me if I crib from my previous blog article, entitled “CLARO vs FLOW - Cats and Dogs The Revenge of Kitty Galore.  

It is good to note at this point, lest we forget, that these competing technologies [LTE and WiMaX] are not yet 4G.

That seal of approval can only be bestowed by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union), the Telecommunications arm of the UN (United Nations).

They had indicated that WiMaX and LTE, more specifically WiMaX 2 (IEEE 802.16m), are indeed 4G, albeit not officially so as stated in the article “4G: What's in a name?”, published October 21, 2010 12:42 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength,.

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, a criteria neither of these technologies can achieve when the 4G Data Network is loaded to capacity. Thus Digicel 4G Broadband is guilty of false advertising, technically speaking, as they are not quite 4G.

So there you have it folks. I could, as I am a tad sleepy and thus prone to misspell my words, end the article here and make it short and sweet. But a few parting shots first. LIME is correct – sort of. The definition of 3G is set by the blessing of the Telecommunications Papacy, essentially the ITU. The Holy See must bless the technology based on it meeting the criteria.

Since Telecom Provider Digicel Broadband offering does not meet these criteria, effectively Telecom Provider LIME’s case submission to the FTC (Fair Trading Commission), as per the analysis of Regional vice-president for legal, regulatory and corporate affairs, Camille Taylor, is spot on.

Quoting examples is not cutting it, as they too call themselves “4G” yet are not fully compliant to the standards set out by the ITU. But wait, hold your horses! Digicel offering of WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d, e) is upgradeable to WiMaX 2 (IEEE 802.16m), as per the very same article and thus at which point would be capable of meeting the requirements of the ITU 4G working group, which does indeed specify:

1.     100MBps data rates between UE (User Equipment) and servers, (possibly shared between upload and download?)
2.     The use of Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM), to which WiMaX already complies.

WiMaX’s technology is an Open Architecture crib of LTE and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n), which ironically is capable of speeds of 300MBps best effort – and Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks are nowhere near this quarrel about “G”, which to uninitiated and superstitious, looks more like a complaint between an Apprentice and his Grandmaster with regards to his Order or Level of Degree in his respective Lodge.

Thus, I think the solution is clear: Telecom Provider Digicel needs merely to bump up their speed to 100MBps via a software upgrade to the new WiMaX 2 (IEEE 802.16m) protocol, for as it appears, some hefty fines and lots of groveling will soon be under way, as LIME is correct on this one, as per the ITU.

That cannot be too hard, as Columbus Communications, the parent company of Triple Play Provider FLOW, is a wholesaler of Fiber Optic connectivity and T1 access as per the article “Information superhighway revolution to hit Jamaica”, published Friday April 3rd 2006, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Additional purchase and enabling/provisioning of T1’s for Internet Access to their MGW (Media Gateway) and thus the WiMaX enabled tower Infrastructure, would be a welcome boost to the current lackluster speeds currently being experience by many Digicel Broadband Customers.

It would be a win-win for all involved, including Telecom Provider Digicel, as they would be able to offer 10MBps, best effort, as promised.

Telecom Provider Digicel can reserve the prime 100MBps speed for its Business and Residential Customers willing to shell out the big bucks equivalent to what Triple Play Provider FLOW currently charges its Customers as stated in the article “FLOW to bring 100Mbs to Jamaican homes”, published Saturday October 16 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

Telecom Provider CLARO may be planning to offer to its Customers as stated in the article “Game on!”, published Friday October 22, 2010 by Mark Titus, The Friday Financial Gleaner, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Additional services, such as Backup Storage, MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Role Playing Games), Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Services, Video Calling, et al, can be provisioned as Premium services to attract Customers to buy into effectively what is a push towards the ultimate Mortal Kombat, as per the movie and the video game.

Small Telecom Providers, such as Dekal Wireless Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks and Nubian-1 Tech Services Limited would surely have to follow suit. This would leave Telecom Provider LIME in the REAL pickle of having to upgrade to LTE – and their island wide 3G Network is not even near completion.

Especially as DSO (Digital Switch Over) as stated in the article “Slow road to digital switch-over  - Cable groups mum; Flow ahead but Network coverage behind”, published: Saturday  August 15, 2009 by Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner would swing the balance of power in favour of the Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks.

Especially if the “White” Space Frequencies are made on offer license free as per the actions of our most Northerly Neighbor, the United States of America as stated in the article “FCC to open up vacant TV airwaves for broadband”, published Monday September 13, 12:35 am ET By JOELLE TESSLER, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo! News and now officially confirmed in the article “FCC officially frees TV white space spectrum”, published Thursday September 23 2010, CNET News.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All-Electric Vehicles and Jamaica - Downfall



Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Blake, the Tyger

First, a preamble, thus foist to my own petard. People, my fame may be on the move again to another plateau. I am now a guest writer for the up and coming blog Geezam, contributing similarly themed articles, only shorter and with inline hyperlinks. Geezam is an exclamation of surprise typical of Jamaicans as it relates to technology, as Kirk (wakatta@gmail.com), Geezam Administrator, can relate as it relates to Jamaican’s surprise at how technology adoption in Jamaica is now closely mimicking the development in United States of America.

Despite many complaints from my followers and readers, my main blog and its articles are not going this CNET-esque route of Inline Hyperlinks, though I may go the route of Wikipedia and create a reference page for all my Inline References at the end of my prose, much as I used to do at UWI for my Physics and Chemistry labs.

Inline References as opposed to Inline Hyperlinks are a rather helpful touch, but Inline References lends more ready reference credence and introduces an air of veracity, even if it makes my prose harder to read. To wit, having cruised easily past the two hundred (200) article mark on my blog and I may soon have enough articles to not only become a reference site on Google, as is the WiMax vs LTE Blog but aside from Google Adsense, I may eventually get into commercial free lance writing, a personal dream of mine.

Possibly publish my blog as a book or even better, start another blog, this time on my other passion, mainly Spatial 3D Geometry and MatLab 6.0 Programming Applications to solving such complex problems. The real big times would be a book. For now, Blogging is the grist for the writer’s mill to get a tech culture going in Jamaica to support our 100MBps “Usain Bolt” status.

But I would really hit the big times if after getting back employment, after having being offered a job at the AmazingPC located in the Bargain Village, May Pen, Clarendon, I could also see All-Electric Vehicles in Jamaica. This is despite the nay sayings of Kent LaCroix, President of the Automobile Dealers Association (ADA) as stated in the article “Is Jamaica ready for Electric vehicles ?”, published Friday, October 01, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, who like early opponents of my blogging activities, is dead set against the change that All-Electric Vehicles represent as opposed to his idea of cleaner Diesel from the local Oil Refinery.

This, I suspect, may possibly be because many older Jamaicans [baby Boomers aged 50 to 85] make the bulk of their ill-gotten gains not from the Automobile Industry, now down in the doldrums thanks to the explain-all-that-is-wrong-with-Jamaica Recession in the United States of America, but also recent Government of Jamaica policies that effectively limit the age of Pre-owned imported vehicles, now being hit with a very chronic spare parts shortage as stated in the article “Spare Parts shortage hits used-car Trade”, published Friday October 22 2010, The Jamaica Gleaner. A reduced servicing of vehicles, but from selling fuel.

So what are these “new” automobiles that Japanese are trading up? Used Car dealers are not letting the cat out of the bag, so I shall let him loose: All-Electric Vehicles. Remember folks, Japan is the largest producer of Automobiles, the favorite pet toy of CNET Executive Editor, Brian Cooley, so the Used Car Market, though not necessarily on his radar, will affect anyone in the United States of America and Jamaica as well who still is driving a Japanese Import, whether refurbished or not, that is over ten (10) years old.

Thus the Government of Jamaica policy to stop the importation of vehicles older than four (4) years old and American policy as it relates to fuel efficiency as stated in the article “Autos would have to get 62mpg under new plan”, published October 2, 2010 6:00 AM PDT, by Reuters, CNET News - Green Tech, look like it was, well, planned. But by whom, as this all seems a bit too coordinated and coincidental on a global scale to be the result of a G8 Summit? Guess we may never know who wear the Ring of Power and possesses the All Seeing Eye as in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of Rings (2001), conspiracy style.

Define Irony: Ten (10) year old automobiles on Jamaican roads that are Japanese throwaways thanks to a law implemented fifteen (15) years ago that taxed Japanese Automobile buyers who kept their vehicles longer than four (4) years breaking down due to a lack of spare parts, thanks to the fact that these vehicles are now being mopped up at higher prices in faraway locales as Africa and Australia.

The words of Motor Repairs Association of Jamaica, Andre Hylton, express this best: “The Industry in Japan has grown to the extent that there are not enough cars being junked for parts, because used cars are better sold to lucrative markets in Africa, New Zealand, Australia and other parts of the Caribbean”.

Reading between the lines, it all has to do with the craze over All-Electric Vehicles, as Japanese, unlike our North American cousins, are Gadget crazy in terms of EVERY gadgets, inclusive of cars, not just computers, smart phones and the Apple iPad. Ever since the debut of All-Electric Vehicles such as the 2011 Nissan Leaf, which is predicted to be a hit when it lands in showrooms in the United States of America as stated in the article “Nissan Leaf projected to be in the black” published April 30, 2010 5:44 AM PDT by Reuters, CNET News - Green Tech.

This is possibly with a huge cash rebate of nearly US$6999 to US$9999 in the Summer of 2011 AD and slated to hit the Japanese consumer in the Christmas of 2010 AD, now more than ever having been improved to make some noise, a problem with a vehicle that is battery powered and literally is a quiet as a baby stroller as stated in the article “Nissan Leaf brings the noise”, published June 11, 2010 9:51 AM PDT by Wayne Cunningham, CNET News - The Car Tech blog.

Despite its improved 100 km range as stated in the article “Nissan Leaf has 100-mile range -  give or take 40 percent”, published June 21, 2010 10:43 AM PDT by Automotive NewsCNET News - The Car Tech blog, All-Electric Vehicles, such as the 2011 Nissan Leaf, may not be a hit with Jamaicans who commute outside of Kingston, which is practically everyone, as Jamaica is not that large, being as New York would gobble us up one hundred and fifty (150) times over.

For a vehicle of the type and class as the 2011 Nissan Leaf to even conceivably drive in Jamaica, a lot of charging stations, ever 100 km or so, would have to be installed, and they would have to be either powered by Natural Gas Generators as my original idea of Solar Power Generators, though novel, may be impractical due to charging voltages required for a quick charge in under fifteen (15) minutes which involves using the standard 500 V plugs now being installed in the United States of America

Then there is  the fact that these fast charging All-Electric Vehicles, a requirement for Jamaica due to our ill-tempered disposition in not wanting to wait very long to do anything, cannot use the traditional Electric Grid, as it would trip most breakers inside of the typical business place. It would have to be a separate installation from the entire Gas Station or building installed by a GEI (General Electrical Inspectorate) Certified Technician.

A possibly more preferably choice for Jamaican roads would be the 2011 Chevy Volt as stated in the article “GM Chevy Volt on sale now for US$41,000”, published July 27, 2010 9:01 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech, whose technology is based on that of a Range Extender as stated in the article “Chevy Volt's engine more than just a generator”, published October 11, 2010 2:32 PM PDT, by Wayne Cunningham, CNET News - The Car Tech blog.

This is effectively a mini Flex-fuel Generator that generates electrical energy to power the vehicle when the Lithium Ion batteries, rated to provide juice at lower RPM (Revolutions per Minute), are being pushed to their limit after driving more than 40 km.

Thus they have impressive range for All-Electric Vehicles: over forty (40 mi) miles on battery plus three hundred (300 mi) miles on the Electric motor, a total mileage of three hundred and forty (340 mi) miles, albeit mathematically as stated in the article “EPA negs Volt's 230 mpg fuel economy formula”, published July 15, 2010 11:15 AM PDT by Liane Yvkoff, CNET News - The Car Tech blog.

Whenever  the RPM increases beyond a preset level or the 40km range is exceeded, the vehicles switches over to the Generator, which not only powers the motors on each wheel but also recharges the batteries simultaneously so as to keep the car electronics powered, though in the future, Solar Power may be used to accomplish this end.

Thus fitting future All-Electric Vehicles with solar panels is in the pipeline. It may be as simple as integrating them into the roof of vehicles using flexible solar panels as stated in the article “SoloPower trumpets certification for flexible solar modules”, published September 7, 2010 8:30 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News.

Even just spraying them on into the nearly five thousand (5,000) coats that a typical car gets when being spray painted based on a recent development by Solexant, a company that pioneers sprayable solar panels based on nano-particle technology as suggested in the article “Solexant funded to print thin-film Solar cells”, published June 4, 2010 8:50 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Even the windows and their tint can be made into solar panels, courtesy of this sprayable solar panel nanotechnology breakthrough by Solexant as stated in the article “Spray-on films turns glass into Solar panels”, published August 19, 2010 1:09 PM PDT by Juniper Foo, CNET News - Crave.

The Alternator to charge car batteries may be completely eliminated and made obsolete from motor vehicle design if Solexant’s and SoloPower’s Technology can be licensed to Automobile manufacturers, a simple design change achievable before the Summer of 2011 and easily adaptable to any motor vehicle, resulting in a dramatic increase in the mileage of most motor vehicles, as a huge of the load is taken off the power train by its separation from the car’s internal electronics.

All-Electric Vehicles in the Jamaica landscape is not only possible, but a necessity, especially as our Caribbean neighbors, such as the People’s Republic of Trinidad and Tobago as stated in the article “Trini Govt looking into glass, solar panel plant”, published Thursday September 30 2010, The Jamaica Observer appear to be accelerating their Renewable Energy plans.

Barbados is also pushing ahead with IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) funding Renewable Energy Plans as stated in the article “Barbados turns to renewable energy with IDB help”, published Friday, October 01, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

How can I even forget the United States of America and their installation of Solar Panels on the White House as stated in the article “White House to install rooftop Solar Panels”, published October 5, 2010 5:19 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech and Energy Secretary Steven Chu words during his speech to the Green Gov Symposium a talk shop for the White House Council on Environmental Quality at George Washington University, went on to assert that, and I quote: “Around the world, the White House is a symbol of freedom and democracy. It should also be a symbol of America's commitment to a clean energy future”?

Even moreso, it is feasible, especially as a ready supply of LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) will be available in Jamaica as state in the article“US$3-B infrastructural upgrade coming with Natural Gas - Robertson”, published Sunday, October 03, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, making the idea of Diesel Vehicles seem rather uninspiring.

Unless of course it is Bio-Diesel and E85 made from organic waste processed by algae as stated in the article “Joule to make diesel at solar fuel plants”, published April 27, 2010 8:07 AM PDT, by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech or genetically modified bacteria as stated in the article “Researchers coax bacteria to make biodiesel”, published January 27, 2010 3:59 PM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

All those old vehicles in Jamaica can have their engines changed out for flex fuel engines that are capable of utilizing any fuel, irregardless of origin. Jamaica should have gotten out of the spare parts business a long time ago, as it effectively was maintaining the image of sophistication when in fact technology was always moving forward and now, the technology story, as we Jamaicans are wont to say in our colourful patois prose, “cum to bump”.

Kent LaCroix, President of the Automobile Dealers Association (ADA) argues not for the future of the Automobile Industry or efficiency; he argues on a plateau of self preservation of a dying technology based on older decaying Otto Cycle Engines that the Japanese have themselves abandoned. What will he have us do when the only spare vehicles after the four (4) years period is up available from Japan are older model All-Electric Vehicles?

The Government of Jamaica must act fast to enact policies to push for All-Electric Vehicles, Flex Fuel Vehicles as well as development of an active Bio-Fuel Industry or face a crisis that will literally see a visage of ten (10) year old Otto Cycle vehicles being abandoned on the road – unable to more – permanently, akin to my all time favorite movie showing the dying days of the Nazi Third Reich, aptly title Downfall (2004). Senator James Robertson, Minister of Energy and Mining, where are you on this matter?

Alternative Energy and Virgin Intergalactic - District 9




The stars
That Nature hung in Heav’n, and filled their lamps
With everlasting oil, to give due light
To the misled and lonely traveler

Milton, Comus

Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin and such notable brands as Virgin Airlines, is the trendy millionaire who loves to do his thing in style and panache.

He has now launched a new equally bold adventure that belongs in the annals of aviation that being a service called Virgin Intergalactic as stated in the article “Private spaceship makes first solo glide flight”, published Sunday October 10 2010, 11:51 pm ET, Yahoo News for the Rich and Famous willing to shell out US$200,000 to go into outer space and experience weightlessness without the risk of going up in a ball of smoke as does the NASA Shuttle aircraft from time to time. 

He even built a spaceport in New Mexico, first of its kind. The six (6) seater spaceship, aptly named SpaceShipOne, completed its test of glided flight after being dropped from the “mother ship” from a height of forty five thousand (45,000 ft) feet above the Mojave Desert, a test it easily passed.

In Sir Richard Branson’s own words to the Associated Press: “It's a very big deal. There are a number of big deals on the way to getting commercial space travel becoming a reality. This was a very big step. We now know that the spaceship glides. We know it can be dropped safely from the mothership and we know it can land safely. That's three big ticks.”

Indeed. After all, who could forget him introducing Jamaica to Virgin Airways, wearing a Rastafarian tam and attached locks, nubile females on either side coming out of the airplane, much to the delight of the tourism interests who later signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Virgin Airways and Air Jamaica to take over London routes as stated in the article “Virgin Atlantic Tickets for Jamaica now on sale”, published Sunday June 3 2007, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This was to the annoyance of the Young and the Restless who live in Upper St. Andrew, who frown on any connection between Rastafari and the High Brow English speakers, a throwback to a Colonial Past. Virgin is a good connection to have, as I will demonstrate.

Yet as far as I and I can see, it was and still is, Bob Marley, the Trench Town Rock musician who toured Babylon By Bus who put Jamaica on the map with his infectious music and told Cindy Breakspeare the same words I uttered to Audia Granston, my feisty fawn finally falling for me, while still alive when we first met in early 2009 AD at the Total Tigermarket in May Pen, Clarendon for coffee and biscuits: I Don’t want to Wait in Vain for Your Love. Jamaica has even had a Rastafarian Beauty Queen, Zahra Redwood as stated in the article “Rastafarians embrace first Beauty Queen”, published Sunday April 1 2007, The Jamaica Observer.

Do I even need to start adding links of newspaper articles posted by the International Press, such as the Associated Press commentary in the article “Dreadlocked Miss Jamaica puts Rastas in new light”, published Sunday May 20 2007 by Reuters, making me stray from my intended topic.

 I care not what others may think, but Rastafarian women, especially when their hair is done right in nice clean well washed and groomed locks, are a delight to the eye, like DJ Sunshine on IRIE FM (http://iriefm.net) and a pleasure to the soul, like sailing on the River Nile.

Did I forget to mention that former Beauty Queen Regina Beavers of CVM at Sunrise fame on CVM TV, the ONLY reason I even watch their rather boring take on a morning program, has sister-locked hair, a Rastafari fashion now catching on in Jamaica, especially as it is proving to be a financial money saving option to constantly going to the hairdresser?

Or maybe I should mention the fact that the latest tourism promotional program, Dry Lan’ Tourist features a Rastafarian Upper St. Andrew native, who cannot ride a bicycle?

“Hype”-pocrisy is active in Jamaica, as the snobs lose their grip on a Society that is celebrating all that it means to be Young, Gifted and Black as per the Jimmy Cliff song, which I shall dedicate as my tribute to Gregory Isaacs (1961 – 2010), the “Cool Ruler”, who died Monday October 25th 2010 AD. May the God Anubis grant him safe passage to the Underworld and the cat demi-god Bastet guard his future resting place, as they do Audia Granston.

But folks, back to the business at hand, lest I stray again. US$200,000 is a lot of money for a plane ride, somewhat reminiscent of the early days of aviation post WWI, when Americans went around the country side taking up people in the air on scenic plane rides and doing aerial acrobatic stunts, a curious phenomenon the Americans called “Barnstorming”.

These developments seem all too coincidental. Obama Administration signed into law of the  now infamous NASA Authorization Act (2010), which ratifies spending to the tune of US$19 billion budget for NASA (National Aeronautical Space Administration) for the Fiscal Year 2011 AD as stated in the article “President Obama signs new vision for U.S. Space Exploration into Law”, published Monday October 11, 6:15 pm ET by Tariq Malik SPACE.com Managing Editor, Yahoo News and confirmed in the article “Obama signs NASA up to a new future”, published 11 October 2010 Last updated at 17:39 GMT by Jonathan Amos, Science correspondent, BBC News.

The discovery of an Earth-like habitable planet called Gliese 581g orbiting a star, also unromantically named Gliese 581 in the constellation of Libra, 20.4 lights years away by astronomers Steve Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz and co-discoverer Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington as stated in the article “Could 'Goldilocks' planet be just right for life?”, published Thursday September 30 2010, 1:17 pm ET By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer, Yahoo News and confirmed in a later article “Found: New Planet Gliese 581g is habitable like Earth”, published Saturday October 2 2010, 12:00 pm ET By MICHAEL D. LEMONICK, Yahoo News mere months before. Strange, isn’t it?

Throw in a possible Jamaican connection in the form of a Space Port potentially being hosted at VernamField Aerodrome (it is on Google Earth and Jamaica’s Real Estate spotter, iMap!), a previously America adventure back during WWII, that can serve as a base for Commercial Inter-Planetary Space Tourism

Once Military Contractor Boeing get their plans for the same off the ground as stated in the article “Boeing plans to start Space tourism flights by 2015”, published  September 15, 2010 9:10 AM PDT by Tim Hornyak, CNET News – Crave and it looks like Aliens may be the next tourists to come to Jamaican shores, hopefully not prawns as in the movie District 9.

Everything from short hop Tourist Flights to Mining Expeditions to the Oort Cloud are achievable from the VernamField Aerodrome, as the People’s Republic of China and their plan to use the Aerodrome as a trans-shipment point for Chinese made goods into America as stated in the article “CHINESE WANT KINGSTON WHARVES” published Monday, March 08, 2010 by Paul Henry, Observer Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Observer, albeit financial gain in the short term, may not be what Jamaica desires in our long term relationship with our historically closest neighbour.

This is especially as the People’s Republic of China desires so much control of Jamaica, based on the deadlock in negotiations for our assets to begin with as stated in the article “The Chinese want more- Far East investors eye port as sweetener to develop Caymanas”, published Sunday August 1 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

Thus Senator Karl Samuda, Minister of Commerce wisely considered additional American and European Bidders for these assets as stated in the article “Samuda looking to US, Europe for port, Caymanas investment”, published Sunday October 12 2010, The Jamaica Observer, much to delight of political insiders and the average Jamaica who may not have like what was going on, wary of the People’s Republic of China long term Trade ambitions and of Jamaica becoming a pawn in a Pig War between the Americans and the Chinese.

Thus, as a suggestion to Boeing and Virgin Intergalactic, the next spaceport should be in Jamaica, as VernamField Aerodrome can be rehabilitated and utilized as such. Best of all, it could serve as the launching pad for another adventure of his, this time exploring the under sea depths in submersibles made to travel underwater as stated in the article “Virgin Introduces the Necker Nymph 'Underwater Plane' aka Submarine”, published Friday 29 January 2010, DigitalTrends.

This is supported by the article “Virgin goes underwater with Necker Nymph aero submarine”, published Friday 29 January 2010, EnGadget and give paying tourists a glimpse of the as yet fully explored Deep Ocean that covers two thirds of our Blue Planet’s surface even as NASA is pushing the boundaries of Science with talk of glimpsing the as yet fully explored Deep Space.