My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Telecom Provider, Apple, Google and NFC - In Her Majesty's Secret Service

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Telecom Provider, Apple, Google and NFC - In Her Majesty's Secret Service


All service is the same with God
With God, whose puppets, best and worst,
Are we: there is no last or first.

E. Browning, Pippa Passes

The Google Nexus S, the fully baked product thrust into the world by partners Google and Samsung, was launched on Monday December 6th 2010 AD as per the article, as it is that kind of a day – if you are an aficionado of all things Google.

It was secret, as I did not know about it; all the hype being the world’s attention focused like sunlight through a magnifying glass on Google Chrome OS, long promised since 2009 and chronicled in my blog article entitled “Apple and the iPad 2 - Honeycomb, Chrome and the DragonSlayer”.

It is basically a clone of the Apple iPhone 4 except in OS as opined by the article “iPhone 4, Nexus S - Rivals with a common core”, published December 6, 2010 10:48 PM PST by Brooke Crothers, Nanotech - The Circuits Blog - CNET News.

Which of course is Google Android 2.3 codenamed Gingerbread, much in the same way that the Google Cr-48 Laptop is a “dead stamp” (Jamaican colloquial) of the 2007 version of the Apple MacBook as per the article “Chrome Cr-48, black MacBook: Separated at Birth?”, published December 10, 2010 1:35 PM PST by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker.

I cannot wait to hear the pronouncements from Technical Officer Dean McLarty of Tech Tutorial fame on Tuesday December 14th 2010 on Smile Jamaica on Television Jamaica  – a day for which I shall set my DVR to record for later viewing. Google’s Cr-48 Laptop running Google Chrome OS is a phenomenal leap forward, both for Open Source and Cloud Computing as it opens the door for both.

With customer enthusiasm set to peak for the year 2011 AD, also the Year of All-Electric Vehicles, the real question as to whether the Telecom Providers are ready for the coming traffic, however, as up in the air, as per the article “Is Mobile Broadband ready for Chrome OS?”, published Wednesday December 8 2010 by Jeff Bertolucci, Yahoo! News. 

In all the confusion and din, however, I did mention in the above blog article another significant development that has been long in the making and has deep implications as to the way in which we purchases goods and services: NFC (Near Field Communication).

NFC’s embedded in smartphones have the potential to make Credit Cards obsolete as opined by the article “Smart phones may soon replace Credit Cards”, published August 4, 2010, 11:01PM EST By Peter Eichenbaum and Margaret Collins, BusinessWeek - TECHNOLOGY: MOBILE.

This is especially of interest for Micro, Small and Medium-Size Enterprises (MSMEs), which I prefer to refer to as Small, Micro and Mom and Pop businesses, such as my parent here in Milk River, Clarendon, who own a shop in the hear of Rest Square called P&L Enterprises.  Unable to trade unless you have a smartphone?

The proverbial mark of the Beast?

Maybe, if Google and Apple have their way – and the other smart phone makers hop onto the NFC bandwagon, which by the way, uses low-power WCDMA (Wide Band Code Division Multiplexing) and is capable of point-to-point high speed data transfers.

It is important as it has the potential, like payments to my PayPal Account, to render carrying around a Credit Card obsolete as per the article “Alliance heralds era of smart phone wallets”, published Tuesday November 7 2010 by Glenn Chapman, AFP, Yahoo! News.

Square is the closest thing I can think of outside of RFID. The Square app and sugar cube shaped Card Reader widget from Chairman and CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey as per YouTube’s “Welcome to Square” video

It is explained in the article “Twitter co-founder launches new venture: Square”, published May 16 2010, Washington (AFP), The Jamaica Herald on my blog entitled “CLARO and Square - the App of the Year 2010 and CLARO's Savior” was essentially a forerunner of NFC, and may, ironically, be made obsolete by NFC.

Basically an implementation of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) only this time around uses the smartphone’s battery to power the RFID chip as opposed to the energy from the passive Data Transmission from the RFID Reader, relegating RFID to Warehousing and Inventory Control for large chain supermarkets.

It is installed in both the Google Nexus S as well as it is rumoured to be in the up-coming Apple iPhone 5 refresh as per the article “Apple testing NFC chips in next-gen iPhone?”, published August 17, 2010 11:45 AM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker.

If this is true, then Americans will have another option along with using PayPal for making financial transactions without a Credit Card, as PayPal in lieu of your Credit Card is acceptable by most Merchants this coming Christmas.

This oweing to the fact that for a US or Canadian Resident to set up their PayPal Account, they must use a Credit Card, thus providing a means of verifying one identity as the Credit Card itself verified via your Social Security number – which was assigned from birth ad infinitum.

For International users such as Jamaicans, merely using your Bank Account that is US Dollar denominated and is Wire Transfer capable will suffice, making the need to have a Credit Card for International purchases unnecessary as per the article “How to use PayPal without a Credit Card”, accessed Saturday December 11 2010 by Melissa Raissa, Helium, Computers & Technology: Internet.

In fact, Local Jamaican Merchants who offer the facility to purchase things abroad may actually be using a PayPal Account! Clever devils!!

NFC’s also will spur the transition to Online Banking, as more American get used to the idea of their mobile phone being their “right arm” (American Colloquial), in an ironic sense, a prosaic play of prophecy in the Book of Revelation, which speaks of time coming where people will be unable to buy or sell, save they are marked with the number of a fictitious Beast.

Quite fitting, as even my Seventh Day Adventist, Audia Granston, while she was still alive and we were together, desired a Google MyTouch 3G and/or the Apple iPhone 3GS and considered herself naked without a mobile phone, part of an interesting worldwide demographic of five billion (5,000,000) people who have a mobile phone now in love what are effectively handheld computers, having broached the 1GHz processor mark.

This makes them the perfect Platform upon which to leverage a Mobile Banking Platform, as it would get the remaining four billion, four hundred million (4,400,000,000) people who are a part of this demographic and are without bank accounts into the formal banking system.

The Big Three (3) Banks in Jamaica, namely BNS (Bank of Nova Scotia), NCB (National Commercial Bank) and RBTT (Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago) save on overheads in their operations as opined by Al Edwards entitled “The Case for Mobile Banking”, published Friday, November 19, 2010 by AL EDWARDS, The Jamaica Observer.

Jamaica is already getting hip to Mobile Banking, especially as we are mostly in love with Blackberry, which despite many may say, is not a “smart”phone to have, as it was pre-iPhone and just does not cut it anymore.

Earthquake ravage Haiti has already gone cashless with assistance from Telecom Provider Digicel as stated in the article “Digicel brings Mobile Banking to Haiti”, published Wednesday, November 24, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

Telecom Provider AT&T and Telecom Provider Verizon are keenly interested in Mobile Banking and NFC Technology. Still, it is the most common Platform to leverage a Mobile Banking System in Jamaica, to the benefit of Banks. What is not yet in Jamaica is smartphones that are NFC capable, muchless the NFC readers.

However, Jamaican businesses already have and utilize Badge Readers for door access, effectively short range older RFID Readers in use at most companies, which Jamaican’s have to use to swipe at door in order to access e.g. Telecom Provider CLARO, Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel all use such access mechanisms and older analog card readers to access ATM (Automated Teller Machines) for the Big Three (3) Banks Debit Card Network.

Mobile Banking on Blackberrys would save Banks infrastructure related expenditures i.e. light, water. But smart phones enabled with NFC, akin to our American cousins, would usher in a Cashless Society where everyone would have to have a smartphone tied to an account in order to transact business

Effectively eliminating cash and making trade or commerce by 2015, the year of Peak Oil as well as DSO for the Big Three (3) Broadcasters, impossible as per the writings of Revelations in the Bible!

Audia Granston is probably smirking in heaven on this glorious Sabbath, dated Saturday December 11th 2010, as she was spot on with that one. As soon as Jamaicans and the rest of the world all have smart phones, of course!
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