My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: September 2010

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Radio Stations and their Playlists - Dungeons and Dragons


Nothing is lost that’s wrought with tears;
The music that you make below
Is now the music of the spheres

John Davidson, A Ballad of Heaven

Since the introduction of the Directives banning the broadcast of audio music or videos with editing (beeping or bleeping) by the Broadcast Commission in 2009, a few of the DJ on the Radio Stations have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Often they are being sanctioned for the first offence and then being fired for the second offence as was the case with ZJ Nikki Z and more recently ZJ Liquid from Zip 103 FM.

The Broadcast Commission Directives now has more teeth, and after a year, the review have not only praised its success, but no doubt many members of John Public  who watched the televised panel discussion appearing on the Broadcasters respective Television stations chaired by Ian Boyne article “'Music and Lyrics' assesses impact of 'daggering' ban”, published Sunday 21st February 2010, The Jamaica Gleaner, (http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com) probably were asking themselves the obvious: What took the Broadcast Commission so long to act?

Now it has been a year since the ban on music and videos with sexually explicit and violent lyrics and Dancehall Artiste who initially saw the ban as heavy handed state control, now realize that the music had really gotten out of hand, as seemingly they are being attacked from all angles, as between being banned abroad as stated in the article “Locked out - Jamaican acts finding it more and more difficult to get into some countries , published Sunday, December 27, 2009, by Howard Campbell, The Sunday Gleaner,

Not to mention numerous ignored warnings from media personalities as stated in the article “Clean up your act! Music personalities urge corporate Jamaica, Media to help clean up Dancehall content”, published Sunday, December 27, 2009, Roxroy McLean, Gleaner Writer, The Sunday Gleaner.

Their  criminal affiliations and records being used against them often to deny them visas or involve them in entrapment as in the case of Mark Myrie, otherwise knows by his nom de guerre as Buju Banton, was held by Federal Agents on charges of dealing in and attempting to smuggle cocaine as stated in the article “Not an Easy road - Buju Banton held for cocaine possession in the United States”, published Sunday, December 13, 2009, Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer, The Sunday Gleaner.

There are now requirements by the French (can I now say the rest of Europe?) as annunciated by Senator Olivia Grange, Minister of Youth Sports and Entertainment for a more professional artiste as stated in the article “Grange passes on bad MIDEM report - little interest in Jamaican Music”, published Sunday 21st February 2010, Mel Cooke, The Sunday Gleaner).

It would appear that the Reggae and Dancehall Artiste will have to return back to their original models involving making money from CD sales.

But how can they when the level of piracy is very high, with CD and DVD being linked to the criminal underworld despite stricter enforcement and vigilance of the purchase of copyright material under the purview of the Property Rights Act and the unauthorized copying of copyright material, be it audio or video under the purview of the Copyright Act.?

First one must examine the music business as it exists today, eliminating other external sources of revenue, such as businesses owned by artiste as these are only side effects of music and not related directly to music. It is based, simply put on CD sales, (singles or albums), touring (local and abroad) and corporate sponsorship.

The bulk of Dancehall Artiste earnings are based mainly on touring, which is a departure from the previous model based on CD sales that existed before Digital Music and Video Piracy became so prevalent. The Telecoms Providers networks, mainly wired broadband services such as LIME ADSL and FLOW Triple Play services are the main internet connections being used by music pirates to obtain their music and videos illegally from various download sites.  

Since blocking downloading on the Telecoms Providers is unlikely as there is no financial incentives for Telecom Providers to do so as people gravitate to their networks by virtue of the Telecoms Providers Unlimited and Uncensored Usage Policy, not to mention possible legal issues under the Telecommunications Act of 2000.

Also the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and commonly perceive “rights” by John Public as it relates to Network Neutrality and the Right to Broadband Internet Access that is uncensored, as is the view held by people in a recent BBC survey as stated in the article “BBC survey: Net access is basic right”, published March 8, 2010 8:04 AM PST by Andrew Nusca, CNET News – Digital Media.

Thus other means must be pursued, combining the usage of an alternative Distribution Platform, going after revenue streams related to music that were not being pursued and the usage of IT (Information Technology) based solutions to protect the copyright of the Reggae and Dancehall Artiste.

All of the above can be achieved with assistance from the Broadcasters (Radio and Television) and the Telecom Providers, as LIME and Digicel have demonstrated with their LIME Blingback Tunes and Digicel InTunes respectively that allow users to use their favorite music to replace their ring back tones, and the various Reggae and Dancehall Artiste whose content is hosted by these Telecoms Providers receiving royalties for the use of their content, not to mention WAPDigicel and its downloadable ring tone content and wallpapers.

The Telecom Providers Networks, both wired and wireless internet providers, can provide hosting for music content on their Servers, the revenue from which is shared based on contractual deals with the Reggae and Dancehall Artiste e.g. LIME.

LIME can host music for Reggae and Dancehall Artiste who are in compliance with Broadcast Commission Directives, once they sign legally binding behavioral contracts with clauses as it relates to their music, videos and their demeanor both in private and in public that sanction these Reggae and Dancehall Artiste in cases where they breach their contractual obligations, sanctions involving the removal of their musical content from LIME’s Server Archives and Right of Refusal to distribute their music via LIME platform.

Once the Reggae and Dancehall Artiste and LIME come to an agreement as to the Terms of their Contract as it relates to music and video distribution on their platform, LIME would distribute the Reggae and Dancehall Artiste music and videos’ via the creation of Unlimited Music and Video Download Plans for LIME customers with the modem (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMEI and SIM Cards (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMSI used to authenticate the customer and thus allow access to the website.

Thus, customers who do not have a LIME modem or have a LIME modem but who are not on the Unlimited Music and Video Download Plan would not be able to see the website and thus unable to access the website, as even if they had the IP address, as it would appear blocked on their browser, making it a great secure platform to be used by Reggae and Dancehall Artiste to sell their music, as only persons with LIME modems who request the Music Download package would have access to this service, hence making retail of music cheaper and online.

The files downloaded would be in the WMA (Windows Media Audio) and WMV (Windows Media Video) secured format, with features enabled to prevent digital piracy. In addition, the website would classify users into two (2) groups: Music Downloader and Retailers Downloader.

Music Downloader would be individuals who have an Unlimited Music and Video Download Plans but can only download a fixed amount of music and videos per month.

Retailers Downloader are merchants who are on a contract with LIME with a Unlimited Music and Video Download Plans and thus are allowed to download music for resale to customers in the WMA or WMV format and be allowed to burn music to CD for resale only in the protected WMA or WMV format.

Their computers being monitored to allow LIME to remotely audit their computers to see if they have breached this contract by having music or videos in any other unprotected format or attempting to resell music in any other format than WMA or WMV format, with playback support from Microsoft and it Zune HD player.

Thus making music videos a source of revenue for Reggae and Dancehall Artiste. Please note this is a suggested model, as just as easily it could be Digicel, who already have a Datacenter as stated in the article “Digicel diversifies - S500m data center opens November”, published Friday August 28, 2009 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner

Or even Triple Play Provider FLOW as stated in the article “FLOW launches data storage, other services”, published Friday July 23, 2010 by Sabrina Gordon, The Jamaica Gleaner.

As an additional plus, LIME stores can also ink an exclusive deal with Microsoft to sell the Zune HD Music player in conjunction with Watt’s New after convincing the Jamaican Music Industry to distribute their music only via this platform, thus doing away with the traditional distribution of music via CD (Compact Discs) and making Digital Video and Music Piracy very difficult, if not impossible

As all Reggae and Dancehall music can only be downloaded via the LIME 3G Modem on a Unlimited Music and Video Download Plan and played back only on a Zune HD player with software platform support from Microsoft.

This model is also legal, as currently there are no laws that specifically request that the Music Industry distribute their music in a format that everyone can access, and as such are free to develop their own distribution models on any device or platform that can guarantee them the ability to maintain their revenue models.

Despite the fact that this model will not prevent current pirated works from being circulated, it will deter the piracy of newly recorded or released works, be it video or audio, once this model is combined with a much stricter vigilance of purchase of copyright material under the purview of the Property Rights Act and the unauthorized copying of copyright material, be it audio or video under the purview of the Copyright Act.

On the Digital Video Piracy front, a means of protecting video content may be as simple as rendering the Digital videos in 3-D. Samsung and Panasonic, Japanese electronics giants who are totally unrelated to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, may be able to bring the 3-D experience into your home.

This following their revelation that not only have they developed 3-D flat screen television sets, but they are to debut them this week as stated by the article “Samsung, Panasonic start selling 3-D TV's this week”, published Tue March 9 2010, 11:04 am ET, By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Write, AP, Yahoo! News.

They must have been seeing the trend for 3-D viewing growing in their home country Japan, especially with the phenomenal successes of Director James Cameron blockbuster 2009 film Avatar and previous films of its ilk from 2008 up until now.

It seems that they have decided to invest in the technology, and by thus doing so may have created a means by which DVD’s and Blu-Ray‘s can be protected from would be pirates.

This is because these 3-D movies can only be viewed using special glasses, making it pointless to copy and distribute, as the viewing experience will be blurry and painful on the eyes, not to mention a splitting headache with all those out-of-place colors onscreen.

But even if persons who illegally copied these 3-D HDTV rendered Blu-Ray discs and got a set of those glasses in use circa 1950’s until now, they would be unable to view the feature length film content, as the 3-D technology used in the Television sets requires special glasses to be purchased specific to the television sets to be worn that are specific to each type of movie.

Possibly having to be programmed to recognize legitimate codes transmitted by the television set that must match with those in the glasses, enabling viewing, somewhat reminiscent of the movie Mission Impossible in which the character Ethan Hawke, played by Tom Cruise, put on a pair of glasses which had a mini camera built.

This is the same idea, except that instead of a camera, it has a transmitter to communicate to the television set, which would explains the articles reference to the batteries in the glasses needing to be recharged frequently for them to work.

In other words, if they do not have these special glasses, they will be unable to watch the 3-D content and it will appear very blurry without them, making it pointless to copy these DVD or Blu-Rays. Possibly LIME’s rollout of LIME TV (possibly using Google TV hardware?) as stated in the article “LIME TV on the Horizon”, published Sunday, September 19, 2010 by ALICIA ROACHE Sunday Finance reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

Mobile TV as stated in the article TV on your mobile phone this Christmas”, published Friday, August 27, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, (hopefully with 4” AMOLED Android smart phones?) will include a swap of old Television sets for discount on 3-D HDTV sets as a means of protecting their broadcasted content.

Throw in the opening up of “White” Space Frequencies 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.

Couple this with IP address blocking and shutdown of illegal download websites, Digital Music and Video Piracy, long the bone of contention that the RIAA (Recording Industry Artiste Association) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Artiste Association) have against the Telecom Providers and ISP (Internet Service Providers), could potentially be eliminated from the United States of American and Jamaica.

Thus paying the way for increased revenues for content providers – and more Internet Sales Taxes for the respective Governments of the United States of American and Jamaica and all other countries seeking to go DSO and thus utilize these till now underutilized “White” Space Frequencies.

The Congress of the United States of America has already gone after Colleges and Universities by threatening to withhold Title IV Federal Aid under the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as stated in the article “Federal rules on campus file shring kick in today”, published July 1, 2010 7:14 AM PDT by Greg Sandoval CNET News - Media Maverick, which came into effect on Thursday July 1st 2010 AD

But a day prior, on Wednesday June 30th 2010 AD, (for it is a day that will long be remembered by College and University Students in the United States of America), a crackdown had been initiated against file sharers as stated in the article “Feds sieze cash, Web sites of aledged film pirates”, published June 30, 2010 3:11 PM PDT by Greg Sandoval CNET News - Media Maverick.

Looks like the Americans have come up with such a thing – legislation allowing for the shutting down of websites found to be involved in the illegal distribution of content, especially as the Europeans are cracking on such websites as stated in the article “10 arrested in European raids on Internet piracy”, published Wednesday September 8, 1:53 pm ET By RAF CASERT, Associated Press Writer, Yahoo! News.

But it is the Radio Broadcasters here in Jamaica who can be of greatest assistance, wherein which they can allow the music fans who listen to their programs to choose from the music currently available in their library the music which they wish to listen.

This would of course be done via a Facebook page with an app for polling and voting purposes that would allow users to vote on which songs they wish to be played on the various programs on any particular Radio Station the following day or week e.g. Zip 103 FM.

This would not only create a stronger following than currently exists, but would create the sense of the Radio Station being customizable, and hence a stronger following from their fans.

But most importantly, it could translate to higher salaries for the DJ’s on the Radio Stations, as not only would this voting process automatically generate a play list of songs that the audience wants to listen to based on the type of song played by each music program on the Radio Station.

It would also mean higher advertising revenues as well as the chance to beat the current king of music radio which is FAME FM by simply taking advantage of a form of advertising that has proven results, that being 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.

The increased revenues can also aid in the payment of the various song based royalties to the Various Reggae and Dancehall Artiste as it relates to Reggae and Dancehall Artiste work on these play lists, and the user generate play lists based on the voting app on Facebook could be augmented with other songs which the DJ also likes to play.

Hence allowing control on the part of the DJ while still allowing listeners to feel that they are in control of the Radio Station and the content that they hear on the various programs which play different types of music, in effect making the Radio Station into a gigantic Apple iPod based on direct user feedback.

This could be the basis for Behavioral Targeted Advertising based on tastes and preferences of users who vote for a particular set of songs for a particular program.

Even the advertising can be tailored to the audience, as Facebook can allow the Radio Stations can allow access to user generated preferences, thus allowing the Radio Stations to even tailor its advertising based on the preference of the members on Facebook who voted and technically would have been the audience during that particular program’s broadcast.

Thus, thanks to a combination of crackdown on illegal downloading worldwide, 3-D HDTV Technology and the coming of White Space Frequencies utilization in Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) to allow Remote Access by Blu-Ray players and Set Top boxes to check the authenticity of any Blu-Ray disc or content on a customer’s playback device.

Reggae and Dancehall Artiste may soon begin to reap the benefits of their hard hours of labouring in the studio once again.

As it cannot be the case where Reggae and Dancehall Artiste spent so much of their financial capital to produce a body of works for promotional purposes ONLY and intend to depend on touring to make up the bulk of their financial earnings, especially as they are under pressure from Europe and the United States of America to clean up their act.

The Reggae and Dancehall Artiste must not only clean up their music as it relates to sexually explicit and violent music but also must forge partnerships with the relevant music and business associations e.g. PSOJ (Private Sector Organization of Jamaica) and become more organized like a formal business.

In essence, pay over taxes to the Government of Jamaica and comply fully with the Broadcast Commissions Directives as well as their contractual obligations with the Telecoms Providers and their various Corporate Sponsors.

Thus garnering additional taxable revenue from sponsorship deals which have normally gone to Radio and Television Personalities, heralding a return to profitability and their traditional models based on Music and Video Sales and a reduced reliance on Touring, the Reggae and Dancehall Artiste Achilles Heel. 

Telecoms and White Spaces - A Man for All Seasons and the Big Bang Theory


The Editor, sir:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players

Shakespeare, As You Like It, II, 7

It seems that the Chief Man for All Seasons and Actor on this stage is FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Chairman Julius Genachowski, who must now be at home, a celebrated hero in the mind of many a simple hometown geek to Silicon Valley CEO, who must be reeling at the announcement last week, which I must say, I was following but would have missed, had it not been for my TechJamaica posse.

Folks, “Super” Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) will soon be a reality, thanks to the opening up of “White” Space Frequencies 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.

But wait Tech people and “Gadgette” Carletta Deleon aka The Pet Tales Chick aka “Dilly” from Smile Jamaica, the happening show on Television Jamaica, her doggie drool now all over her fab new Apple iPad! The hidden potential of the “White” Space Frequencies is best expressed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski himself: “We're hoping history will repeat itself; “White” Space Frequencies are a big deal for consumers and for investment and innovation”.

But more importantly, it helps to prove the following Economics Equation: “White” Space Frequencies + Crackdown on Illegal Internet downloading + Taxation of Internet Transactions = Increased Government Tax Revenue, The Big Bang Theory (2007 - ?) Style as per the CBS show

The REAL news that what makes this Yahoo! News article even worth a read for Techies and Non-Tech people, and I mean a serious I-got-to-sit-down-and-read-this type of article, is that not only will the United States of America be making “White” Space Frequency Spectrum License free to Equipment Vendors to use

Just like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) is already free, but devices using these “White” Space Frequencies will be coming out by the Summer of 2011, just in time for CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2011, products that will wash ashore to Jamaica by the Christmas of 2011, specifically in consumer electronics gadgets that use Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n)!

John Public is still swilling the Champaign as I assess the scope of this announcement, which has the potential to make Telecom Provider Digicel 4G Broadband Network using 2.5 GHz WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) as stated in the article “Digicel all set to unveil 4G Broadband offering”, published Friday, August 13, 2010 by AL EDWARDS, the Jamaica Observer, and their pricey modems look obsolete, if not expensive paperweights.

Best of all, the Rebel Alliance, a parody and play on the George Lucas Movie Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace parodied by the names of Wayne Chen and Lee’s owned Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 801.11n) Networks Dekal Wireless [a Droid] as stated  in the article “Wayne Chen, Lees enter Wireless Broadband Market”, published Friday July 30th 2010 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Financial Gleaner.

Ditto too the upstart Nubian-1 Tech Services Ltd [Princess Amidala’s Royal starship] as stated in the article “Another small player emerges in the wireless broadband market”, published Friday August 2 2010 by Mark Titus, gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner get handed the victory long before the busy Black Thursday Pre-Christmas shopping rush ensues.

This is truly, a very long fought victory for the customer and started ever since the United States of America went Digital, broadcasting Radio and Television in HDTV (High Definition Television) format. This new “Super” Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) based on “White” Space Frequencies may in fact, unlike WiMaX, be the true Last Mile Solution to High Speed Wireless Broadband and the Big Bang that will jumpstart Universal Adoption of the Internet.

But just what are “White” Space Frequencies? John Public puts on his Telecom Technician hat and attempts a simple explanation that won’t waste pages in the Newspaper.

Simply put, NTSC (National Television Systems Committee) Standard Television signals have spaces in-between them that were allocated as “breaks” between each of the 6 MHz wide Channels in case the Television Transmission Local Oscillator began to drift, so as to prevent cross-interference between channels

This is akin to the white lines and Separating floats in an Olympic Sized Swimming Pool (People, get in Gear for London Olympics 2012 in July 27th 2012AD!). Television has truly come a long way. From the 1880’s research of German Scientist Paul Nipkow to improvements by C. Francis Jenkins and John L. Baird in 1925, the mechanical concept of scanning and synchronization made these early attempts at transmitting images crude by today’s HD standards.

It was not until RCA (Radio Corporation of America) Engineer Vladimir K. Zworykin use of an electronics scanning technique that the mechanical element of theses earlier attempts were replaced with Electronics scanning methods and the CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) was born, the origin of the word “Tube” in YouTube.

The 1940 then saw breakneck development in what was then a nascent technology marvel that, like  most early technology, was only available initially to the wealthy, or “early adopters” as we call them today. 1941 saw the first commercial Monochrome Broadcasts (Black and White for regular folks!).

FCC in 1945, at the end of World War II, saw the ratification and definition of frequencies for both Commercial and Civilian uses, inclusive of what we now call FM (Frequency Modulation) frequencies, AM (Amplitude Modulation) Frequencies with additional VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequencies) being assigned as well in the years 1948 and 1952.

In 1974, the FCC made a quantum leap of faith and allocated UHF channels 73 to 83, effectively the frequencies 824 MHz to 890 MHz, to Terrestrial Commercial Mobile Radio Services, the forerunner of what we call Mobile or Cellular Services today.

Coincidentally, Telecom Provider CLARO 3G (HSDPA 7.2) and Telecom Provider LIME 3G (HSDPA 7.2) Broadband Wireless Internet Service in Jamaica uses the 850 MHz Band, excellent spectrum allocation choices that relates rather closely to the potential of “White” Space Frequencies: Their long range power and the transmission being unaffected by the steel and concrete and their well-documented signal attenuating properties.

But it was not until 1953 that the FCC adopted the NTSC standard for Colour transmission, bring us now into the modern era of TechniColor and DeLuxe Colour schema that made Americans Actors in Hollywood look………well……..White and Black actors look ……….well……..Black.

Big improvement over Black and White Television, John Public gripes sarcastically, the above information courtesy of the article “Electronics Communication Systems – Fundamentals through Advanced, Third Edition”, published 1998 by Wayne Tomasi, Mesa Community College, Prentice Hall Inc. Simon & Schuster/A Viacom Company, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458, ch. 11, pg. 403 – 405, ISBN 0-13-751439-5. Check BitTorrent today!

Still, throught these developments, many were tad concerned about that entire waste spectrum between the various UHF and VHF Spectrum allocations for channels.

With this announcement, these concerns are now a thing of the past, as once again, like the transitioning to HDTV Broadcasting for both Television and Radio in 2009, the FCC has brought all of America kicking and screaming into the 21st Century whether they like it or not.

This new announcement, however, will allow for the utilization of these “White” Space Frequencies left over from the transition to Digital or DSO (Digital Switch Over), a transition that the Broadcasting Commission is yet to commit to 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.

Even so, the United States of America was a tad late, with EU bloc countries such as Germany, Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium Austria already building out their Digital with the United Kingdom is now doing a region-by-region switch over, scheduled to be completed by 2012.

Potential uses include everything from providing Last Mile Broadband services to Remote Telemetry and Remote Access Services as it relates to consumer electronics gear already configured with Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n), literally making Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) the “Internet of Things”, so to speak, beating RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), the previously reputed “Internet of Things”, to the punch.

This explains Google’s and Microsoft’s excitement and participation in mapping “White” Space Frequencies as stated in the article “Google wants to build 'White spaces' Database”, published January 4, 2010 5:54 PM PST by Tom Krazit, CNET News - Relevant Results.

It would also explain, for those conspiracy crazy among us, why like GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) Services and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) smart phones are now a standard according to a report that ABI Research published in March 2010, stated in the article “Wi-Fi smart phones to dominate”, published March 23, 2010 3:01 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - CTIA 2010.

Much to the dismay of naïve so-called WiMaX Group CEO of Telecom Provider Digicel, Alex Boothroyd, who did not do his research and foresee ANY of this happening.

The research firm, In-Stat, expands this further, however, to a virtual armada of Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) enabled devices. In-Stat projects the prevalence of Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) enabled smart phones, Netbooks and laptops to increase from five million (5,000,000) to sixty five million (65,000,000) by 2014 based on statistical data collected from Research firm In-Stat in May 2010 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.

The strongest growth area being smart phones, projected to be embedded in five hundred and fifteen million (515,000,000) such devices.

Even “feature” phones without Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) can get the capability, the Japanese using the clever route of the MicroSD card as stated in the article “Wi-Fi finds back door into ordinary cell phones”, published July 23, 2009 3:04 PM PDT by Mats Lewan CNET News – Crave, further lending credence to In-Stat’s claims.

WiGig for high speed transfers between DVR (Digital Video Recorders) and 3-D HDTV (High Definition Televisions) as stated in the article “Wi-Fi to cultivate speedy 60GHz band”, published May 11, 2010 11:08 AM PDT by Dong Ngo, CNET News – Wireless.

Don’t forget Wi-Fi Direct which turns every W-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) modem in every smart phone or Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) enabled device into a Mobile Hotspot, is also available with a simple firmware upgrade on a “jail broken” smart phone.

“Jail breaking” by the way now being fully legal in the United States of America as stated in the article “Apple: Jailbreaking an iPhone will (still) violate your warranty”, published Tuesday 27 July 2010 by Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, Yahoo! News and further elucidate in the article “On Call: Go ahead an jailbreak, its legal now”, published July 27, 2010 2:20 PM PDT by Kent German, CNET News - Dialed In.

Frank Dickson, In-Stat's Vice President of Research, puts it all into perspective when he rounds up his research firm’s finding by stating “Wi-Fi swept through the computing Market, driven by the need to access and share broadband connectivity. That same consumer desire is now resulting in Wi-Fi adoption across the entire range of connected consumer electronics, driving significant Wi-Fi volumes. The ubiquitous adoption of Wi-Fi in consumer electronics is Wi-Fi's manifest destiny.”

Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) “Manifest Destiny” is now. 100 MBps Wireless Broadband Internet will soon be possible in the United States of America, fulfilling the wish of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski as stated in the article “100MBps broadband may be closer than you think”, published March 8, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength, and reiterated in the article “FCC Chairman wants faster broadband”, published February 17, 2010 10:05 AM PST by Lance Whitney, CNET News - Politics and Law.

Good news for the 40% of Americans without Broadband based on the survey conducted by the Census Bureau on behalf of the  National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) earlier in the First Quarter of 2010 as stated in the article “Survey: 40 percent in U.S. have no broadband”, published February 16, 2010 10:11 AM PST by Lance Whitney, CNET News – Wireless.

A pre-election 2011 boost to the embattled Obama Administration in its drive to bring penetration levels closer to the nearly 90% penetration level of Finland, for whom High Speed Broadband Access is a Right, Right up there with Electricity and Water as stated in the article “You gotta fight for your right to Broadband”, published Thursday July 1 2010 by Christopher Null, Technology Writer, Yahoo! News.

The noted gradual decreases by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) in broadband prices and corresponding increases in educational performances and gender equality as stated in the article “Mobile, broadband prices dropping worldwide”, published February 24, 2010 9:43 AM PST by Lance Whitney CNET News - Digital Media.

The declaration of persons involved in a BBC survey that indicate that 78% believe that access to broadband internet should be a fundamental right, as suggested in the article “BBC survey: Net access is basic right”, published March 8, 2010 8:04 AM PST by Andrew Nusca, CNET News – Digital Media.

This is an indication that things can only improve as the Telecoms Networks ramp up their deployments for WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) as stated in the article “Clearwire brings limited 4G to New York and Los Angeles”, published September 13, 2010 2:15 PM PDT by Kent German, CNET News - Dialed In.

Also LTE (Long Term Evolution) as stated in the article “AT&T, Verizon execs talk LTE expansion”, published September 16, 2010 11:05 PM PDT by Kent German, CNET News - Dialed In is set to benefit from these license free “White” Space Frequencies.

Granted, in the Second Quarter of 2010, Broadband penetration, according to the Pew Research Center out of Princeton Survey Research Associates, has reached what appears to be a saturation point slowing down a bit as stated in the article “Broadband growth slows in the U.S.”, published August 12, 2010 9:13 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News - Digital Media.

On a positive note, more Black people are beginning to catch the Internet fever affecting White people, a blunt assertion driven home by the same Pew Research Center as stated in the article “Broadband adoption slows down, but blacks catch up”, published Wednesday September 8 2010 by PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo! News.

Wilmington N.C., (North Carolina) and the surrounding areas of New Hanover N.C. have the privilege of wearing their guinea pig suits to test out a Wireless Broadband Network based on these “White” Space Frequencies as stated in the article “TV White Space Networks tested”, published February 24, 2010 4:06 PM PST by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength.

Even the Governments of Canada and the Government of Australia have realized the importance of increasing access to Wired and Wireless Broadband as stated in the article “Canada Telcos told to extend Broadband services”, published Tuesday August 31, 6:09 pm ET By Alastair Sharp, Yahoo! News and as stated in the article “Australia ebarks on great Broadband adventure”, published Sunday September 27, 2009 12:10AM EDT By Amy Coopes, SYDNEY, AFP, Yahoo! News respectively.

But most relevant to us here in Jamaica, if products are to grace the stages of CES Show in January 2011.

By then Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 801.11n) Networks Dekal Wireless [a Droid] 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 and upstart Nubian-1 Tech Services Ltd [Princess Amidala’s Royal starship] as stated in the article “Another small player emerges in the wireless broadband market”, published Friday August 2 2010 by Mark Titus, gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner can upgrade their networks to use these frequencies.

Thus expanding their coverage without having to build out additional coverage, with the range of Wi-Fi (IEEE 801.11n) coverage extended to even be equivalent to those of Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider CLARO 3G Wireless Broadband Internet coverage range of up to 32 km radius.

Throw in the fact that owners of Wi-Fi (IEEE 801.11n) enabled Laptops, Netbooks and smart phones can upgrade their Wi-Fi (IEEE 801.11n) with a firmware upgrade and Blu-Ray players are shipping with Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n).

The future is beginning to look rather bleak for 3G and WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) as entrepreneurs rush to set up Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 801.11n) Networks and customers in Jamaica see a dramatic drop in the price of Wireless Broadband – without being encumbered with the need to purchase a modem, which if one has to, costs only JA$2500 on average.

But the thing that brings me greatest joy is that this adoption of “White” Space Frequencies for use in Wi-Fi (IEEE 801.11n) puts pressure on our Local Big Three (3) Broadcasters, namely RJR Communication Group, CVM Communication Group and LOVE TV/Radio to pressure the Broadcasting Commission to go DSO.

Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) can also act as a communication layer for Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) enabled Blu-Ray players and the potential of these “White” Space Frequencies is huge for persons wishing to get into the Wireless Broadband Telecoms Market in Jamaica License Free.

Couple with IP address blocking and shutdown of illegal download websites, Digital Music and Video Piracy, long the bone of contention that the RIAA (Recording Industry Artiste Association) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Artiste Association) have against the Telecom Providers and ISP (Internet Service Providers), could potentially be eliminated from the United States of America and Jamaica.

Thus paying the way for increased revenues for content providers – and more Internet Sales Taxes for the respective Governments of the United States of America and Jamaica and all other countries seeking to go DSO and thus utilize these till now underutilized “White” Space Frequencies.

Thus it is proven: “White” Space Frequencies + Crackdown on Illegal Internet downloading + Taxation of Internet Transactions = Increased Government Tax Revenue. QED. That, folks, is quite a The Big Bang Theory (2007 - ?) as per the CBS show, of “White” Space Frequencies and its future potential!

Telecom Providers and Satellite Calling - For Your Eyes Only



God hath made Man upright, but they have sought out many inventions

Ecclesiastes 7 vs 29

Americans, what is the most dangerous parasite [weapon]? An Idea, credit to Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2009). International Voice Calling or in the case of the United States of America Inter LATA (Local Access Transport Area) and now Inter State (same thing, just overlapping LATA’s) has long been the bread-and-butter idea, of most of the Big Four (4) Telecom Provider who still had POTS (Plain Old Telephone Systems) or “Landline” as regular folks who never worked in a Telecoms Provider or Telco call this pre-Noah Flood service.

That’s right, Seventh Day Adventist’s: Noah had an AT&T landline on his Ark…..it’s in the Bible, he called it by a codename, the Dove, a take on the arch nemesis in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only (1981), the only James Bond movie to date where the soundtrack singer is featured as an added distraction at the start of the movie, aside from the usual twirling and dancing silhouetted nymphs that normally entice and titillate before the action spiel begins.

Achtung!

This same Dove Telecom Provider AT&T had sent out from as far back as last year has now returned to Telecom Provider AT&T, signaling that the waters have cleared and now customers are ready for something new in the smart phone space: A phone straight out of Iron Man (2008) with the ability, like the character Mr. Stark, played by Johnny Depp, to make International Voice and Video calls anywhere in the world.

Another US Military Early Adopter throwaway now coming to the consumer in the form of the Satellite smart phone enabled TerreStar Genus as stated in the article “AT&T launches satellite phone”, published September 21, 2010 9:32 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News - Wireless.

John Public unleashes this old idea on an unsuspecting American Public, hoping that it can “build cities” in people minds of a future where International Voice Calling Phone numbers will be as simple as Local Voice Calling, using a much simplified four (4) Digit prefix before your existing seven (7) digit phone number.

Many reading this included hyperlink for the article may think that interest in satellite calling is itself antediluvian. After all, Google Voice, Skype and Friing VoIP (Voice Over IP) offering have made the need for satellite calling obsolete.

FaceTime is now the de facto standard for Video Calling on Apple, satirized in the FaceTime commercial by Apple now getting heavy rotation in Jamaica on both CVM TV and Television Jamaica

Jamaica is getting the Apple iPhone 4.0 as we are a part of Latin America as hinted in the article “Rumor: iPhone 4 with New Antenna Coming Soon”, published Tuesday August 31 2010 Jeff Bertolucci, Yahoo! News.

Ditto too for the Apple iPad as stated in the article “iPad coming to Latin America on Sept. 17”, published Thursday September 16, 12:02 pm ET by David Chartier, Yahoo! News.

Voice and Video Calling can be done once you are in range of a Telecom Provider GSM (Global Systems Mobile) or CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) Voice Network or 3G (HSDPA+), Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) or WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Data Network.

Google’s recent Diplomatic row with Apple and AT&T as it relates to Google Voice, which is by the way is NOT strictly a VoIP App, but an augmentation of Switched Mobile Voice Network with a VoIP Termination Platform was recently resolved 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.

Its popularity, on the same level as its other successful product, Google Android OS for smart phones, like the Apple iPad, is being propelled by the popularity it enjoys among customer who represent the future: College Students.

How ironic.

The same college students that steal music, whose downloading habits now have to be curtailed by Senator Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States of America aka the Sheriff as stated in the article “Feds sieze cash, Web sites of alledged fim pirates”, published June 30, 2010 3:11 PM PDT by Greg Sandoval CNET News - Media Maverick in the name of increased taxation.

Colleges are caving under Federal application of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, legislation the RIAA (Recording Industry Artiste Association) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Artiste Association) help to craft along with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA as stated in the article “Federal News on campus file sharing kick in today”, published July 1, 2010 7:14 AM PDT by Greg Sandoval CNET News - Media Maverick!

These same beer swilling campus hooligans are the future customers and target market of the various Silicon Valley computer makers and Telecom Providers and their various Voice and Data Plans and the priority placed on Google Voice accounts for students as stated in the article “Students now get priority access to Google Voice”, published May 14, 2010 10:03 AM PDT by Josh Lowensohn, CNET News

The mashup of Google Voice and Gmail  - which by the way allows people Internationally to make Video and Voice Calls to Mobile and Landline numbers in the United States of America and Canada - 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 - is a direct target at this nascent Generation Y market that would naturally ask: Why pay so much for International Calling in a world with Skype, Google Voice, Friing and FaceTime?

But Generation Y, which is mostly young people aged 14 to 35, apparently live in a blissfully idc (I don’t’ care) life as it relates to the rest of the world. This access to a Telecom Provider’s Network is not always the case, especially when you are in countries that, by virtue of geography alone, make even CMDA (Code Division Multiple Access) Network, the most spectrally efficient variety of phone calling prohibitively expensive to built out.

Making the more engineering and creative minded considering option such as Mesh Networking as is the case of the Australian Outback as stated in the article “Cell phone chats - in the Australian Outback?”, published July 12, 2010 2:06 PM PDT by Leslie Katz, CNET News - Crave based on the work of Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen of Flinders University in Australia.

This concept is genius: using Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) enable phones to form a Mesh Network, a feat achieved using hacked Android phones about which I had chronicled could be an option by which local Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) could offer a Voice Calling alternative using Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n).

This expands the Telecom Provider’s Network by piggybacking call on each member of the Mesh Network of smart phones until it contacts a Mobile Data Network so as to relay the call or initiate the Data Service. But even this, obviously is limited by the mere lack of any Network of any sort.

And contrary to what most may think, building out Mobile Network may not always be practical, especially as Power Utility Company costs may make such investments very long term and cost prohibitive to provision to customers and result in longer than eight (8) years wait time to make profit, typical of most Telecom Providers.

Thus the Dove aka the AT&T TerreStar Genus smart phone, who name herald the Genius of the persons who originally conceived this idea and the faith of Telecom Provider AT&T in launching it, is definitely another game changer, at least in the Telecom Space.

Simply put, this phone, albeit low in the roster of technical specs, is nonetheless high up there in the stratosphere with the Apple iPad in the “game changer” category, specifically for its Technology utilization of Satellite Calling.

This can make it possible for Telecom Providers to provision Voice and Data Services in large countries or vast swathes of countryside in countries on a continental scale such as North and South America, Europe, Africa, China, East Asian Countries – and yes Australia -  still lacking in basic access to Mobile Voice and Data Service and pretty much stuck in the 19th Century as it relates to Telecoms Services.

By simply launching a multi-million dollar satellite that handles Voice and Data Traffic over a country, a feat soon to be cheaper and affordable to the masses thanks to privatization of launching satellite payloads into Space.

A job previously done by NASA (National Aeronautical Space Agency) and Space Agencies of other sovereign Space-faring nations as stated in the article “Is NASA's New Space Plan Really that Radical?”, published Tuesday March 2 2010 by Clara Moskowitz, Senior Writer SPACE.com, Yahoo! News, the Sci-Fi and Spy Novel usage of Satellite calling to the masses will be made possible.

Much as the Quadricopter/Augmented Reality (AR) Drone from Parrot heralds the promise of bringing ROV (Remote Operate Vehicles) Technology to the masses as reported in the article “Taking flight: Parrot AR.Drone quadricopter”, published September 17, 2010 12:34 PM PDT by Joseph Kaminski, CNET News – Crave.

Albeit the initial Technology, like the AT&T TerreStar Genus smart phone, is entry level standard, it is nonetheless a beginner’s leap with great expectations.

Great expectations, I dare say? Yes, Great Expectations, Charles Dickens style. It already has a camera and come with Voice and Data. Though targeted at Government of the United States of America Workers, the mere fact that the AT&T TerreStar Genus smart phone website has a signup form to allow customers of AT&T to be alerted when their will be a customer friendly [pricing, improved specs] model available.

A standard American courtesy, beckons to a possibility where this smart phone will be the next International Travellers and local Gadget Geek’s best friend, already acquainted with GPS, another freely available satellite service, standard like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n).

It lends credence to the fanciful notion of a Global World Phone, a svelte slime sexy and less bulky compadre than the current crop of Satellite phones with their BIG antennas that make me look like a Colombian Drug Lord, on the run, machete in hand.

Also, the AT&T TerreStar Genus smart phone can, via satellite, access Voice Services, allowing the provisioning of calls to any other Mobile or Landline number worldwide and access Data Services for one low rate in one simple package.

Something which only Blackberry has partially been able to achieve for International Business Travellers, who can only send Blackberry Messenger and Email for “free”, a Data Service but still have to pay roaming charges for their Voice Calling services.

Even better, if other smart phone Vendors and Designers such as Apple, Samsung, Nokia and HTC begin to license or copy this Technology and make it incorporated standard like Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) in their smart phone designs, we could eventual begin to see a push towards Satellite Telephony

Especially as the cost of building and launching a satellite into orbit can be supported by an Alliance of Telecom Providers and smart phone Handset Makers wishing to enable the Global One Rate, One Package Satellite Phone Revolution

Much in the same way that the GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) services, segmented into Military and Civilian Application are free to customers [civilians] with GPS enabled mobile smart phones and devices that utilize GPS.

It may even lead to the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) championing an old proposed idea by Telecom Providers to remove the complex web of prefixes associated with International Voice Calling.

This by using a simpler four (4) digit prefix replacing the cumbersome International Codes and LATA Codes satirized in the movie You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008) followed by the three (3) digit Exchange code and the four (4) digit station code for both Landline and Mobile phones Internationally.

Thus enable Global Mobile Number Portability (GMNP) for all Pre-Paid and two (2) year Contract Postpaid Calling Internationally.

This, folks in the Telecommunications World and members of GSMA (GSM Alliance) who may read my words, is what would make International Switched Networks, now in the process worldwide of replacing their Undersea Copper Cables and Fiber Optic Cables a competitive and still viable alternative to VoIP.

Ironically this uses these very same pathways across the seas between Gateway Exchanges, as it is the opinion of John Public that for the billions expended in putting satellites in orbit, they are severely underutilized.

This is based on my experience while working as a Network Maintenance Technician at C&W in Jamaica between the years 2001 to 2004, which boasts three (3) Earth Stations, one in the Montego Bay Free Zone Area, one at Chalmers Avenue in Kingston and the third in Grants Pen.

Worse, such Voice Telecoms specific Satellites can be done for cheaper once Privatization of the Satellite Market is achieved, a boon for Satellite Deployment hopefuls (contractors?) EDS (of Airbus Fame!!), Raytheon and Boeing, already setting their designs on Satellite Deployment using unmanned un-refuelled forever flying UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) as stated in the article Boeing eyes five-year flight for solar plane”, published September 16, 2010 11:16 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News - Cutting Edge.

Space tourism 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.

With Solar Sail Technology enableing lower earth orbits and potential cheaper satellite deployment as stated in the article “Solar Sails could allow New Orbits for Satellites”, published Sunday August 15, 9:47 am ET Zoë Macintosh, SPACE.com Staff Writer, SPACE.com fro Yahoo! News is also likely.

All possible once Satellite launches are privatized, bringing low cost Data services to the masses in more aesthetical pleasing smart phones NOT tied to ANY Terrestrial Network other than their Network of the customer’s home country

Bypassing roaming charges but a premium nonetheless on the privilege of Satellite Calling, the word “International” being rendered meaningless in a World without Borders………..as VoIP has done, only Iron Man (2008) style.

Telecom Providers, For Your Eyes Only (1981)………………….

Friday, September 24, 2010

Broadcasters and The Parrot AR.Drone - Hawaii-Five-0

If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbour, though he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.

Emerson, Lecture in 1871, which Lindsworth Deer attended

Famous words echoed by my beloved SDA girlfriend, Audia Granston, gone too soon. If only that were absolutely true. I am yet to see anyone beating a path to my door for my ideas thus given away thus far, too numerous to list that I must write them into a blog as soon as news surfaces that matches what I remember emailing while at UTECH (1997-2000), speaking in 2003 while employed at C&W, emailing in 2007, 2008 and re-repeating to a bunch of brain-dead ShurPower Engineers in 2009.

Good idea Yahoo for its ability to store email forever. Still, blogging helps to improve my writing skills, and in the process I have learned how to set up a blog and became a Developer for Apple in the process, taking more of an interest in consumer electronics as per the shows on CNET News, particularly as it relates to design.


Such as this latest news about a Quadricopter/Augmented Reality (AR) Drone from Parrot, a completely different take, as it has its own built in Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) enabled with Wi-Fi Direct as reported in the article “Taking flight: Parrot AR.Drone quadricopter”, published September 17, 2010 12:34 PM PDT by Joseph Kaminski, CNET News - Crave. Which is now controllable via the Apple iPhone as stated in the article “AR.Drone helicopter controllable by iPhone”, published JANUARY 7, 2010 2:18 PM PST By Rafe Needleman, CNET News - RAFE'S RADAR!


“Gadgette” and technophile Carlette DeLeon aka The Pet Tales Chick aka “Dilly” of Smile Jamaica on Television Jamaica would love this along with her fab new Apple iPad, being as she is a big fan of Hawaii Five-0, as per the episode Smile Jamaica”, aired Thursday September 23rd 2010 by Television Jamaica recorded on my computer that I use as a DVR (Digital Video Recorder). John Public light up his chocolate pipe and get ready to recount the history of aviation, Hawaii Five-0 style!

Ironically, the French Military is currently also pushing the development in this area of remote controlled MAV (Miniature Aerial Vehicles) as stated in the article “French micro plane fast forwards to hover”, published October 17, 2009 12:06 PM PDT by Mark Rutherford, CNET News - Military Tech.

Bit of a footnote here: my ORIGINAL concept or idea that I repeated to a bunch of brain-dead Shurpower Generator Engineers in 2009 did not involve a helicopter at all, merely an RC (Remote Controlled) package using Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) that was modular and could be hardwired to any pre-existing remote controlled vehicle e.g. RC Cars, airplanes, etc and thus allow the pilot to control the device via their computer over the Internet using what was back then the cutting edge of Wireless Broadband at the time in 2000 in Jamaica: Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11g).

The additional devices on the Quadricopter/Augmented Reality (AR) Drone from Parrot are merely to assist with more stable flight, as a good old RC plane can also be remote controlled from the ground with a NTSC mini-camera attached, as numerous YouTube posts showing mashups of cameras installed on RC airplanes and cars have done. Great for driving and looking under girl’s skirts, I might add, as per the CBS reboot of The Big Bang Theory coming out EXCLUSIVELY on Hulu!!

Ironically I had revived this idea while at UWI while doing my Degree in Electronic and Telecoms, again in my Third albeit not final year as a RC airplane that can be piloted using 3G, Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) or WiMax (IEEE 802.16d), effectively a Remote Controlled Drone, but without satellite uplink control, as the US Military has today.

I even re-explained my concept while being interviewed at FLOW Jamaica Ltd for a position as an Engineer (which I did not get!!) and later to Dr. Paul Aiken, Head of the Electronics Unit at UWI in 2008, who is now in the process of setting up a Engineering School at UWI specifically for Telecommunications Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Alternative Energy Engineering.

This original concept, which I had repeated back to a bunch of brain-dead Shurpower Generator Engineers in 2009 was actually based on a paper I had written while finishing up my Diploma in Electronics and Telecoms while in my Third or Final Year at UTECH in the Spring of 1999 on a ROV (Remote Operate Vehicle) electronics package called Lunokhod, named after the first ROV that hitched a ride with the Luna 17 Lander used by the USSR (Union of the Socialist Soviet Republic).

The Russian  Space Agency sent Lunokhod to survey the Moon in November 1970 during the hey day of the space race as stated in the article “The Moon: An Adventure Begins”, published 1982 by Encyclopedia Britannica, by Marshall Cavendish, Partworks Ltd, 58 Old Compton Street, London WIV JPA, England.

Those days are long gone and Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America in 2010, as part of balancing the budget, has laid out plans to reducing spending on not only Space Exploration at NASA (National Aeronautical Space Administration) by privatization of the delivery of payloads e.g. Commercial and Military Satellites into space by utilizing the same Military Contractors to build reusable spacecraft to accomplish the job of the ageing, outdated and inefficient STS Shuttle Program and focusing on robotic explorations of the Solar System, establishing a permanent Moon Base and putting a Man on Mars by 2020 as expounded in the article “Is NASA's New Space Plan Really that Radical?”, published Tuesday March 2 2010 by Clara Moskowitz, Senior Writer SPACE.com, Yahoo! News.

This use of Robotic explorers is a good move, again making John Public suspect that Senator Barack Obama, President of the United States of America is also a Robotics or Aviation Engineering graduate of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). ROV’s or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), as the US Military calls them, have long been around, coming into their own during the Gulf War during the George Bush Presidency.

The US Military has even caught the Alternative Energy bug along with the Obama Administration, having been early adopters of the fuel cell powered UAV as stated in the article “Fuel efficient spy plane for sale”, published August 6, 2009 7:51 AM PDT by Candace Lombardi, CNET News - Planetary Gear.

In 2010, a similar development was seen as a herald for the era of aviation without the need for conventional fuels with the flight of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered Phantom as stated in the article “Phantom Eye 'spy plane' unveiled”, published Thursday July 15 2010, BBC News. But this is not an eternal flying spy plane that could challenge spy satellites.

But don’t hold your breath, as the Zephyr has arrived.

Historically, though it is the Zephyr which now holds the record for the longest unmanned solar powered flight for a UAV. The Zephyr, designed by Qinetiq Company out in the Arizona Desert right beside the Farnborough International Airshow in July 2010 AD as stated in the article “'Eternal plane' returns to earth”, published 23 July 2010 last updated at 14:48 GMT, BBC News

The Zephyr has logged three hundred and thirty six hours and twenty four minutes (336 hrs, 24 min) of unmanned, un-refueled flight, beating out the thirty hour and twenty four minutes (30hr 24min) unmanned, un-refueled flight set by Northrop Grumman's RQ-4A Global Hawk in 2001 and even the manned, un-refueled flight in the Voyager a bicycle/solar powered flight by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager in 1986 of two hundred and sixteen hours (216 hrs).

Andre Borschberg became the first person to pilot a manned un-refueled solar plane through the night as stated in the article “Solar 24-hour test flight starts”, published Wednesday July 7th 2010, BBC News which ended successfully as stated in the article “Solar plane's night test success”, published Thursday July 8th 2010, BBC News.

A foreboding of things to come.

It speaks of a world of flight using solar power and if anything, this early test with a successful night flight may bode well for the development of commercial aircraft that are completely solar powered in the future with early signs appearing in the form of a (solar powered or fuel cell?) sea plane being tested off the coast of Cyprus as stated in the article “Unmanned seaplane shape-shifts to fly steadily”, published August 30, 2010 3:15 PM PDT by Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, CNET News - Cutting Edge.

Unmanned un-refueled rescue vehicles and unmanned un-refueled passenger aircraft? Why do I suspect that Big Oil would not let that happen?

No doubt the solar panels used in the Zephyr as stated in the article “'Eternal plane' returns to earth”, published 23 July 2010 last updated at 14:48 GMT, BBC News, Science and Environment are designed to use ambient light from the Visible Spectrum as well as Radiation in the UV (Ultra-Voilet), IR (Infra-Red) and other non-visible spectrum, unless the aircraft plans to fly in the upper stratosphere all the time above the clouds where the Sun is always shining.

Thus I am quite pleased that my idea has caught on with commercial gaming applications as stated in the article “Taking flight: Parrot AR.Drone quadricopter”, published September 17, 2010 12:34 PM PDT by Joseph Kaminski, CNET News - Crave. Thus, the obvious becomes clear as to how this Quadricopter/Augmented Reality (AR) Drone from Parrot can be improved, as twelve (12) minutes of flight time and ninety (90) minutes to recharge batteries is a tad expensive and inefficient for US$299, with battery packs costing US$29.99.

At this point I shall begin to sound like a broken record: augment the battery packs with a strap on Anhydrous Ethanol Engine that starts up silently and charges the batteries when low, similar to the 2010 Chevy Volt and its Range Extender Technology or spray on solar panels, similar to the nanotechnology employed by Solexant as stated in the articles:

  1. Spray-on films turns glass into Solar panels”, published August 19, 2010 1:09 PM PDT by Juniper Foo, CNET News – Crave
  2. Solexant funded to print thin-film Solar cells”, published June 4, 2010 8:50 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech

All complemented with even 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.

Throw in optional control and video streaming over 3G (HSDPA+)/WiMax (IEEE 802.16d)/LTE (Long Term Evolution) on multiple frequencies especially in light of Telecom Provider AT&T and Verizon going LTE (Long Term Evolution) push as stated in the article “AT&T, Verizon execs talk LTE expansion”, published September 16, 2010 11:05 PM PDT by Kent German, CNET News - Dialed In.

Not to mention Telecom Provider Sprint and Clearwire expansionist ideals as stated in the article “Clearwire brings limited 4G to New York and Los Angeles”, published September 13, 2010 2:15 PM PDT by Kent German, CNET News - Dialed In.

This toy will be the must-have contraption for not only spoilt rich people who own an Apple iPhone, Apple iPod Touch or Apple iPad [gamers], but also Journalists such as the “gadgette” and technophile Carlette DeLeon aka The Pet Tales Chick aka “Dilly” of Smile Jamaica on Television Jamaica, now sporting her fab new Apple iPad as per the episode Smile Jamaica”, aired Thursday September 23rd 2010 by Television Jamaica, who can suggest it to her boss, Kay Osbourne, Manager at Television Jamaica.



This as a means of doing not only Traffic Reports but also aerial shots from above for certain scenes, making Smile Jamaica more pleasing to watch on a Thursdays, actually Hawaii Five-0 Style. Television Jamaica is finally stepping into the future with video streaming from their website Television Jamaica so this would be a step in the right direction.



I definitely know the Police in Jamaica would love this gadget as well, as it would be helpful in night reconnaissance, saving a bundle on motor vehicle and gas usage. But that’s is actually inspiration for another article on this innovation, the Quadricopter/Augmented Reality (AR) Drone from Parrot, ROV technology now in the reach, at least for now, of regular well-off early adopters, with potential markets in other areas.