My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: May 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Google Wallet & Offers vs Square & PayPal - SME's International FlashDance

Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep

Shakespeare, Henry VI, II, III, 1

Looks like the rumours of Google going big with NFC (Near Field Communication) for payment via your smartphones was true as stated in the article “NFC mobile payment ‘Google Wallet’ confirmed for Thursday press event”, published Thursday May 26th 2011 by Jeff Hughes, DigitalTrends.

This as the post-Google I/O Event on Thursday May 26th 2011AD launched the new payment option aptly called Google Wallet and Google Offers.

Google Offers is obviously Google trying to make up for their inability to purchase Groupon for US$6 billion in December 2010AD as stated in the article “Groupon turns down Google's US$6 billion offer”, published Friday December 3, 2010 2:51 pm ET by Ben Parr, Yahoo News.

They did, however, snag a big US Government contract worth US$6.7 billion dollars. This was in partnership with Networking and Server equiptment supplier Unisys to port the GSA (General Services Administration) email and documents into the Cloud using Google Docs and Gmail as stated in the article  Google scores big federal Government contract”, published December 2, 2010 9:07 AM PST by Lance Whitney, CNET News - Digital Media.

My blog article entitled “Google Chrome Press Event - Naked Gun 33 and a Third The Final Insult” mentions this while chronicling the coming of Google Chrome OS and the Cloud-Computing smartbooks, codenamed Cr-48 in December 2010AD.

Beyond this history, if you know Groupon, Google Offers should not be too hard to understand: Daily Deals and Group purchases. Next!!!

So Google Wallet is yet another push towards the Cashless Society as stated in the article “Google launches electronic wallet”, Thursday May 26 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

The Jamaica Observer is how I even knew that Google had finally decided to take the plunge into Mobile Payments, as their Google Nexus S, their relaunched flagship phone for Google Android 2.4 aka Gingerbread came with NFC Technology installed.

Other sources for the same story merely bring the support and fill in the blanks:

  1. Google unveils mobile payments, coupon service’, Thursday May 26 2011, CNET News
  2. Google unveils Google Wallet and Google Offers for mobile payments”, published Thursday May 26 2011 by Jeffrey van Camp, DigitalTrends
  3. Google Tries to Jumpstart NFC Payments With Wallet Platform”, published Thursday May 26 2011,by Ryan Kim, GigaOM

I had long speculated on such a scenario in my blog article entitled “Telecom Provider, Apple, Google and NFC - In Her Majesty's Secret Service” in which I imagined a world where payments were made via smartphones enabled with built in NFC chipsets.

The article “How Google Wallet works”, published Thursday May 26 2011 by Jeffrey van Camp, DigitalTrends explains best how Google Wallet powered by NFC works.

The inner workings of NFC Technology is not much different from that of a contact Badge Reader e.g. to open doors at most workplaces, but with the added benefits of being able to Transfer Data between devices at 100Mbps as described in my blog article entitled “AT&T, NFC, and M2M  - Cashless Society and the Internet of Things”.

The fact that the device has to be within 4cm of the NFC Reader for a Transaction to take as well as it is extremely low power, requires your permission to conduct each Transaction and uses WCDMA (Wide Band Code Division Multiple Access) Encoding Schema for the signal modulation makes it VERY secure.

Its security features are best explained in detail in my Geezam Blog article entitled “NFC and M2M – Cashless Society and the Internet of Things”. The article “How secure is your wallet in Google's hands? (FAQ)”, published Friday May 27 2011, CNET News gives me some “backative” in this regard.

It has similar ambitions as Square’s Cash Register app for the Apple iPad, which has the backing of Apple Inc as stated in blog article entitled “Square and the Cash Register - SME Deep Impact”.

And like Square, it even comes with a widget in the form of a sticker that has a NFC chipset embedded in it “Special Stickers Will Bring Google Wallet To Android Phones That Lack NFC”, published Thursday May 26 2011 by Jason Kincaid, TechCrunch. Much like a RFID tag that can be placed on smartphones!

Or even on your favourite keychain or keyfob!

Except that unlike full blown NFC which is currently built into the Google Nexus S smartphone, it is connected to your Credit Card, Debit Card or Google Prepaid card ONLY and be used to make payments at stores that accept NFC Transactions.

It CANNOT do High Speed Data transfers, as the sticker is not connected to any of your smartphone’s internal memory storage electronics. In fact, you can put the sticker on anything that you like, even your ACTUAL wallet, if you are feeling up to poking fun at Google’s rather plain name for their service!

And as with any Google launch, what would it be without controversy. Turns out there is some controversy. Credit Card protector and Payment Giant PayPal is suing Google because they claim two (2) of its employees, Stephanie Tilenius and Osama Bedier, who left PayPal to work with Google, shared inside trade secrets.

This as stated in several articles:

  1. Google VPs sued by PayPal over mobile payment secrets”, published Thursday May 26 2011 by Jeff Hughes, DigitalTrends
  2. Et Tu Bedier? Why PayPal Is Suing Google, Execs”, published Thursday May 26 2011 by Om Malik and Ryan Kim, GigaOM

But legal action by PayPal, whose main business is online, seems strange, as they hardly have a presence in the Retail Transactions sector that Google Wallet or even Square targets as noted in the article “Keith Rabois: Square Will Be Way More Valuable Than PayPal”, published Friday May 27 by Ryan Kim, GigaOM.

Plus employees do have a right to seek work wherever they go, and will often carry so-called “trade secrets” with them, some of which the very employees may have helped to developed as stated in the article “Google Responds To PayPal Lawsuit: People Have The Right To Seek Better Jobs”, published Friday May 27 by Erick Schonfeld, TechCrunch.

To which some truth exists: Square has been rapidly expanding over the course of year since its May 2010 launch, having secured endorsements from VISA and Apple for their Business model as noted in blog article entitled “VISA and Jack Dorsey's Square - Leena's TechCrunch of SME's Mad Money”.

Also, Google Wallet goes after fast-paced established Retail businesses such as Train and Bus Tickets, Supermarket check-out i.e. places where getting in and out quickly is important to the customer.

Square, on the other hand, goes after the much neglected and slower-paced SME’s (Small Medium Enterprise), who have a smartphone but can’t afford a POS (Point of Sale) device, yet wish to do Credit and Debit Cards Transactions.

Google Wallet will win over time. But Square’s rapid expansion will continue, mainly because it allows customers not yet ready to jump on Google’s Technology bandwagon already used to toting about Credit and Debit Cards, to continue using them.

Plus, Google Wallet is missing a couple important heavy-hitters in their batting lineup that would make the mass-adoption of Google Wallet more likely as stated in the article “Google Wallet may be missing key partners”, published Thursday May 26th 2011 by Nancy Gohring, ComputerWorld.

True too of important international markets such as Jamaica. Even without smartphone adoption in Jamaica, which is mostly Blackberry country, Google Wallet can still work. This is due to the fact that a NFC sticker, much like a RFID tag, exists.

Thus Jamaicans can possibly get a Google Wallet Account and a sticker to be added to any phone that wishes to call itself smart, such as the Blackberry or even a regular feature phone like the Nokia 1208 (my personal favourite)!

As soon as Google Wallet negotiates deals with local Merchants, SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) and 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) in Jamaica.

Same thing Square needs to do in Jamaica as well as my blog article entitled “VISA and Jack Dorsey's Square - Leena's TechCrunch of SME's Mad Money” opines.

Not to mention quash all fears that people have about privacy with regards to anything Google, Flashdance (1983) Style!

Microsoft's Mango Update and Windows 8 - License to Kill in the Real World

Reform must come from within, not from without. You cannot legislate for virtue.

Cardinal Gibbons, Address, 1909

The Month of May 2011AD is now coming to a close this Sunday May 29th 2011AD as I pen this article on my Fedora Linux-powered computer. Microsoft has released their Mango Update for Windows Phone 7 as stated in the article “Microsoft CEO promises 500 new features in Windows Phone Mango”, published Monday May 23 2011, DigitalTrends.

Finally, Cut and Paste will no longer be an issue for the Windows Phone 7 OS, which has had a lackluster showing since its stellar launch as acknowledged in my blog article entitled “Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 - Love Potion Number Nine”. Here is the video to prove it: “Windows Phone Mango preview”, published Tuesday May 24 2011, CNET News.

And just in time for London Olympics 2012 come July 27th 2012AD!

But Microsoft saved the best announcement for last.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced that Windows 8 will make its debut in 2012AD. This as stated in the article “Microsoft CEO: Windows 8 due in 2012”, published Monday May 23 2011, DigitalTrends and backed up by the article “Ballmer: Windows 8 will debut in 2012”, published Friday May 27 2011, CNET News.

Hot Dog!!!

Apparently Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is still on fire since their purchase of Skype on Tuesday May 10th, 2011AD for US$8.5 billion pieces of silver as stated in my blog article entitled “Microsoft acquires Skype for US$8.5 billion - Miley Cyrus's Fly on the Wall Drops it Like its Hot”.

It might as well be platinum bars, as that is the most money Microsoft has ever shelled out on ANY acquisition. Certainly makes sense long term, as not only can they integrate Skype into all of their Microsoft products, but they can also use Skype to launch an IPTV Service. Stay tuned for more info on this!

But it was BusinessWeek that dropped the bigger bomb. Yes BusinessWeek! It appears that Redmond-based Microsoft is set to debut a Tablet OS sometime between Monday May 30th 2011AD and Sunday June 5th 2011AD. So says the article Microsoft to showcase new tablet OS next week?, published Friday May 27 2011, CNET News.

The obvious elephant in the room as to what OS Microsoft will debut is Windows 8.

Like Duh-uh!!

But my big money is betting that this Windows 8 will debut as an IE10 (Internet Explorer 10) and that IE10 will run Cloud-Based Web Apps. This as predicted in my blog article entitled “Windows and Cloud Computing - Audia Resident Evil After-Market Taste-and-Buy”.

Such as Office 365, already on the prowl and winning early converts such as the City of Winston-Salem, North Carolina as stated in the article “Why We Chose Exchange Online, Not Google Apps”, published Friday May 20 2011, PCWorld.

Put another way, IE10 is Windows 8!

A completely Cloud-Based OS, just like Google Chrome OS-powered Acer and Samsung Smartbooks codenamed CR-48 as stated in my blog article entitled “Google Chrome OS and Open Source - Star Wars A New Hope”.

The article “Five Reasons Microsoft Can Still Win the Tablet War”, published Saturday May 28 2011, PCWorld paints convincing arguments as to why a Windows Tablet will be a hit.

Already, the Enterprise strengths and familiarity of Windows OS, makes it a prime candidate for a Tablet OS, especially if it is Cloud-Based. This as even Taiwanese PC and Laptop Maker Asus already has a Windows 7 Tablet, the Asus Eee Slate EP121.

Asus also has plans to debut a Tablet running Google Chrome OS as stated in my blog article entitled “Asus Transformer vs Apple iPad 2 - X-Men First Class for Ludacris' Numba' One Spot”.

Windows 7, however, is not optimized for a touch interface in terms of gesture-based commands. Hopefully Windows 8, which from all accounts, is Cloud-Based, will be touch-centric and gesture-based.

It all Microsoft hoped and dreamed for in terms of security and updatability via the Cloud. Especially in light of the high level of Software piracy, specifically of Microsoft Products in the People’s Republic of China as note by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in the article “Ballmer: 95 percent of Chinese software revenue lost to piracy”, published Friday May 27 2011, DigitalTrends.

Not to mention being significantly cheaper to run, being as all software would reside in the Cloud Servers.

And it would, as an OS, find acceptance among Corporate Enterprise here in Jamaica. This as Telecom Provider Digicel has launched their Tier III Certified Data Center on Wednesday May 11th 2011AD as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Digicel Cloud Backup Service and future Cloud-Based Services - V.S Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas”.

Ditto to the now confirmed build-outs of HSDPA+ Release 7 and WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d, e) as my blog article entitled “Digicel's US$85 million HSDPA+ and WiMax 4G Upgrade - Wizards of Waverly Place Fast Five Showdown” to support high-speed connectivity anywhere from the Cloud.

This mentioned in Digicel CEO Mark Linehan editorial letter to The Jamaica Observer, entitled “LIME not the first to launch 4G in Caribbean”, says Digicel, published Friday, May 20, 2011, The Jamaica Observer and The Jamaica Gleaner entitled “Digicel Takes Issue With LIME's 4G Claim”, published Friday May 20, 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner respectively.

Official announcements of Telecom Provider Digicel intention came later in the Media on Wednesday May 25, 2011, which I chronicled in my blog article entitled “Of ATC Strikes and Digicel 3G+ Upgrades - Pushing Tin in Eerie, Indiana”.

This in response to Telecom Provider LIME Tuesday May 17th 2011AD announcement that they were upgrading their 2G GSM (Global Systems Mobile) Network to 4G, or more correctly HSDPA+ Release 7 at a cost of US$80 million as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME's US$80 million Caribbean HSDPA+ Release 7 Upgrade - Sonic the Hedgehog”.

This as Microsoft’s main enemy is now Google Chrome OS, based on the Google I/O Conference on Tuesday May 10th 2011AD as stated in the article “Google I/O Day One: Android on Top”, published MAY 10, 2011 12:08 PM PDT by Stephen Shankland, CNET News - Android Atlas.

One thing is certain: this is Google’s Plan to take over the world with their Google Android Platform and their new unified Google Android OS 4.0 codenamed Ice Cream as stated in the article “Google unveils Android@Home”, published May 10, 2011 2:29 PM PDT, CNET News should not be taken lightly.

Perhaps this week Monday May 30th 2011AD and Sunday June 5th 2011AD will be the week where Microsoft stops being polite and starts being as per the show The Real World (TV Series 1994– ) and exercise their Licence to Kill (1989) against the coming dominance of Google Chrome OS up in the Clouds!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Prof Donald Sadoway and the Liquid Metal Battery - VC Bill Gates Evanessence

Love is only chatter
Friends are all that matter.

Gelett Burgess, Willy and the Lady

The idea of Battery Storage to provide On-Demand Power for PUC (Power Utility Companies) that can deliver a quick burst of current has evaded even the best of scientific minds.

At least, until Material Chemistry Professor Donald Sadoway of (MIT) Massachusetts Institute of Technology, put his past experience in Industrial Aluminum Smelting to design a Battery that is nothing short of a breakthrough.

It is also a potential Game changer not only for the PUC Industry, but possibly for Consumer Electronics as well! This as it holds the potential to achieve the Holy Grail of Consumer Electronics: Battery Power measured in days, not hours!

This is in the murky field of Electrochemistry thus solving a problem that typically bedevils most batteries: the Electrode being consumed in the electrochemical process and instantaneous Electricity discharge at a low cost.

His design for a Battery Storage system, called a Liquid Metal Battery, as stated in the article “Bill Gates Backs Liquid Metal Battery”, published May 20, 2011, 7:45am PT By Katie Fehrenbacher, GigaOM and the article “Liquid Metal Battery snags funding from Gates firm”, published May 20, 2011, CNET News - Green Tech, is novel.

And he has considerable funding:

  1. A US$6.9 million grant from the DOE (Department of Energy) ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy) in 2009AD
  2. US$ $4 million grant from oil company Total

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is now also an investor after having taken sight of a Solid-State Chemistry Lecture series by Professor Donald Sadoway on MIT’s Website. Apparently, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates does night classes in Chemistry or possibly realizes the uniqueness of Professor Donald Sadoway’s ideas!

Rather than use solid conductive Electrodes for the Anode and Cathode of the Battery that would normally be consumed in the process of producing Electricity, he is instead using layers of immiscible Molten Liquid Anode and Cathode floating above and below a Molten Liquid Electrolyte to make a cell.

By no means is a new concept, as some Battery Storage technology use Molten Liquid Anode and Cathode as President and Co-Founder Luis Ortiz was quick to point out. The process for producing Chlorine uses a flowing Mercury Cathode is one such example that readily comes to mind as stated in the book Chemistry for CXC, Norman Lambert and Marine Mohammed, Heinemann International Literature and Textbooks, published 1993, Ch. 19, pg. 209, ISBN: 0435-98311-3.

Professor Donald Sadoway design, in part, draws inspiration from Electrochemistry used in Aluminum Smelting, as Professor Donald Sadoway states, quote: “I looked at how aluminum smelters take a giant hall with liquid aluminum and fill it and I said, ‘That's where you can get economy of scale. If you want a big Battery, you build one big Battery and you can't do that with today's technology. The scalability is going to be enabled by borrowing the lessons of 125 years of aluminum smelting.’”

Quite true!

Cell? Battery? Immiscible? Electrodes?

Welcome the zany world of Electrochemistry and Battery Technology!

Yes people, Electrochemistry is where Electronics and Chemistry collide as it relates directly to Battery design for everything from Apple iPads to Netbooks that the Apple iPad is killing off.

Quick Note:

  1. A Battery is made of Cells that consist of Anodes (+ve) and Cathode (-ve) connected in series. Electrodes are connected to the Battery to provide connection to devices that utilize the Battery and typically are made of copper alloy, gold or constantan (Aluminum steel alloy).
  2. The Electrolyte, which may be solid of liquid, makes contact with the Anode and Cathode of each cell and effectively stores the Potential Energy in the form of Chemical Energy that converts to Electrical Energy on contact with the Electrodes.
  3. This conversion is based on the position of the Electrodes in the Electrochemical Series, which is based on the Electro-positivity of the Electrode material willingness to give up Electrons in its outermost Orbital of Electrons in its constituent atoms, as some Electrodes are actually compounds or even alloys. The more Electro-positive material is always the Cathode.
  4. In most batteries, the Electrodes are eventually used up in the reaction, at which point the Battery’s ability to produce power stops.
  5. Rechargeable Batteries can be recharged by connecting DC (Direct Current) in Reverse Polarity

My article “Apple iPad, PC Makers and Battery Life - Lost in Space and The AppleByte” is an indication of how the Apple iPad and even the Apple MacBook Air Pro stellar Battery Life is influencing PC Design as customers demand Electronics gadgets with longer Battery life.

Two (2) to five (5) hours Battery life just won’t cut it any more. People want Battery life of ten (10) hours or the entire week (ideal) so that they don’t have to be tethered to their power brick.

Several competing technologies, such as DMFC (Direct Methanol Fuel Cells) hold the promise of making Fuel Cell Technology, the current front runner in Battery Design, affordable to the masses as stated in my blog article entitled “Chrome OS Cr-48 and the Mobion Fuel Cell Generator - Green Lantern”.

This breakthrough, however, of a Liquid Metal Battery, relates more to PUC (Power Utility Companies) and their ability to store and release Electricity on Demand during Peak Power Demand.

This usually coincides with when people return home and switch on their appliances or plug in their All-Electric Vehicle and thereby incur a huge demand on Electricity from the PUC’s Grid.

Different Potential Energy Storage Technologies, such as Flywheel Storage, Large Scale Battery Storage or even Hydroelectric Energy from water flowing down from a Reservoir on a high Elevation are employed

But Battery Storage is the most heavily pursued, as it is more efficient, being as the Stored Potential Energy is already in the form of Electricity. The Electricity is already in the usable form; it just needs to be regulated and converted from DC (Direct Current) to AC (Alternating Current).

Thus most ongoing research is in this field, as the other field requires conversion of Potential Energy from one form to another before it becomes Electricity, with Energy being lost at various stages of the conversion.

Despite the complexities of Professor Donald Sadoway’s design for his Liquid Metal Battery, it’s elegantly simple and is no different from a Lead Acid Car Battery.

It mainly differs by virtue of the fact that unlike the Car Battery, which has solid Lead (Pb) and Lead Oxide (PbO) as the Anode and Cathode respectively, the Anode and Cathode are Liquid.

The name WAS a very big clue, I hope!

On to the design description then lads!!

Imagine a gigantic ringed Bathtub made of three (3) Metal strips melded together to form the Bathtub. Between the two upper and lower Metal strips, however, you would have an insulator material.

Then imagine the Bathtub being filed first with the liquid in contact with the bottom metallic strip. That liquid would be the first Liquid Metal Anode. It is filled so that it goes a little above the line that denotes the joining of the Metal that makes up the Anode and the Insulator material that makes up the central strip that forms the body of the Bathtub.

Next, the electrolyte is poured in and interfaces with the strip that makes up the Bathtub that is insulating. The Bathtub is filled just below the mark line that denotes the joining of the Insulator material and the Metal that makes up the Anode and that makes up the central strip that forms the body of the Bathtub.

Finally, the Third liquid poured in would be the Liquid Metal Cathode. It fills up the remaining volume in contact with the Metal that makes up the Cathode.

Currently Professor Donald Sadoway is at the prototype stage, with a size no larger than a box of pizza.

But when he eventually scales up the Liquid Metal Battery to Industrial-scale, based on my knowledge of Inorganic Chemistry, it may involve the following materials as follows:

  1. The three (3) liquids, namely the Liquid Metal Cathode, the Electrolyte and the Liquid Metal Anode are immiscible i.e. do not dissolve into each other due to different densities and specific gravities.
  2. The Liquid Metal Cathode is molten Magnesium (Mg) (1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2), as it is more easily give up Electrons i.e. Electro-negative
  3. Electrolyte is a Molten Salt, most likely Sodium Chloride (NaCl), or ordinary Table Salt
  4. The Liquid Metal Anode is molten Antimony (Sb) (1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d10 3p3), as it has unfilled outer Orbitals
  5. Liquid Metal Cathode is molten Magnesium (Mg) and is at the top of the Bathtub due to its lower density and specific gravity.
  6. Liquid Metal Anode is molten Antimony (Sb) and is at the bottom of the Bathtub due to its higher density and specific gravity.
  7. The Metallic portions of the Bathtub that make contact with the Liquid Metal Anode and the Liquid Metal Cathode may be made of High Temperature Aluminium Steel Alloy
  8. The Central non-Conductive strip may be made of pre-stressed Concrete
  9. The Operating Temperature of the Liquid Metal Battery will be very high, approximately 800 Degrees Celsius, as the metals have to be kept in a Liquid State.

The Upper and Lower most part of the Chamber act as the point contact with the Upper and Lower Liquids, which form the Anode (+ve) and Cathode (-ve). The Molten Liquid Electrolyte acts in much the same way as the Electrolyte in a Lead Acid Battery.

So how does it work? Not much different from the Bloom Energy Server as described in my blog article entitled “The Secret of the Bloom Energy Server unraveled – and can be locally Reverse Engineered”.

Now for the charging cycle!

Electricity from the PUC is converted by a Rectifier Network and used to charge the Batteries, with electron flow from the Liquid Metal Cathode to the Liquid Metal Anode being facilitated by the Liquid Electrolyte which provides Ions.

During this charging process, Molten Metal Ions cross from the Liquid Metal Anode to the Liquid Electrolyte via the Molten Liquid Electrolyte – Liquid Metal Interface and produce salts of the Metal from the Molten Liquid Sodium Chloride (NaCl).

For this reason, the denser Liquid Metal Anode is Antimony (Sb), as it more easily gains its Electrons in its unfilled and unpaired Metal Atom Orbitals and exists as Molten Liquid Metal Ions at such high temperatures.

The ionized Molten Liquid Antimony (Sb) forms a metallic complex with the ionized Chloride (Cl) that makes up the Molten Liquid Electrolyte Sodium Chloride (NaCl), effectively an Antimony Chloride (SbCl) complex.

Meanwhile the ionized Molten Liquid Magnesium (Mg) Cathode forms a metallic complex with the ionized Sodium (Na) that makes up the Molten Liquid Electrolyte Sodium Chloride (NaCl), effectively a Magnesium Sodium (MgNa) complex.

Due to the liquid nature of the Battery, this transfer of Electricity occurs very quickly via Ions, which are very mobile within the Molten Liquid Electrolyte Sodium Chloride (NaCl).

Also, the Molten Liquid Electrolyte Sodium Chloride (NaCl) becomes thinner as the complexes of Antimony Chloride (SbCl) and Magnesium Sodium (MgNa) build up at the Upper and Lower Molten Liquid Electrolyte Interface. The Molten Liquid Antimony (Sb) and the Molten Liquid Magnesium (Mg) also become thinner.

Now for discharging!

Under this scenario, the Cathode begins to act as the Negative Terminal with the Anode acting as the Positive Terminal. The released DC Power goes through an Inverter and on to the PUC, who then regulate the Power before putting it on their Grid!!

The Ion complexes formed revert back to their original state with the Molten Liquid Antimony (Sb) and the Molten Liquid Magnesium (Mg) going back to their ionized state acting as carriers of Electrons to the Electrodes that make up the Bathtub.

Curiously, the Molten Liquid Electrolyte Interface gets thicker and the Molten Liquid Antimony (Sb) Anode and the Molten Liquid Magnesium (Mg) Cathode become thicker, being as this is the reverse process. Also, the production of Electricity as any battery discharges is exothermic i.e. releases heat (think of your Laptop!!).

It thus it produces copious amounts of Heat. A Heat exchanger can be used to capture this waste heat to due useful work and even be used to maintain the temperature of the Molten Liquid Electrolyte Interface Antimony (Sb) Anode and the Molten Liquid Magnesium (Mg) Cathode.

Again thanks to the high mobility of the Ions, the discharge is quick and fast, a necessary requirement and expected parameter of any Battery Storage Technology to provide On-Demand Peak Power on Tap, so that there is no failure of the PUC Grid.

This is the promise of such a unique take on Energy Storage and hence the endorsement by Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.

But of greater interest to me is the potential such a Battery Technology may have for computers. Research could improve the Insulators and developed Liquid Electrolyte, Liquid Anode and Cathode that can operate at Room Temperature.

Then Professor Donald Sadoway and President and Co-Founder Luis Ortiz could go commercial, and develop Battery Technology that could power Computers and Laptops.

As far fetched as my prediction may seem, Consumer Electronics is a possible Event Horizon (1997) for this Technology, in much the same way that DMFC can possibly be scaled up to power PC’s and Laptops as stated in my blog article entitled “Chrome OS Cr-48 and the Mobion Fuel Cell Generator - Green Lantern”.

This as the typical person using a PC or Laptop (assuming they are not made extinct by the Tablet PC!!) sit in one location and does not move about as is the case with a Tablet.

The race is now on to develop the Eternal Battery and the Liquid Metal Battery may be a new entrant in this long ignored field of electronics as noted in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad and the House of Representatives - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

Battery Power measured in days, not hours is within the grasp of Research and Development Team led by Professor Donald Sadoway and President and Co-Founder Luis Ortiz!

All that is needed is Money and Time, both of which Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has aplenty to Bring Me to Life, Evanescence Style!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Of ATC Strikes and Digicel 3G+ Upgrades - Pushing Tin in Eerie, Indiana

Every body preserves in its state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line, except in so far as it is compelled to change that state by impressed forces.

Isaac Newton, Principia, (First Law of Motion)

Telecom Provider Digicel has now officially declared that they are going HSDPA+ Release 7 and WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d, e) in Jamaica as well as in the wider Caribbean as stated in the article “Digicel Rolling Out 3G+ Networks”, published Wednesday May 25, 2011, by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

No mention of cost, save that of Telecom Provider Digicel expenditure on Jamaica, which saw them spend JA$2 billion on the deployment of WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d, e) Broadband Network.

This is clearly a response to Telecom Provider LIME’s declaration on Tuesday May 17th 2011AD, World Telecommunications and Information Society Day of a Caribbean-wide upgrade to HSDPA+ Release 7 as noted in my blog article entitled “LIME's US$80 Million Caribbean HSDPA+ Release 7 Upgrade - Sonic the Hedgehog”.

Competition. That is the force that is making usually silent Telecom Provider Digicel change direction and reveal to Jamaica and the world, their secret intention to go 4G. Telecom Provider LIME’s competing, and that can only mean trouble for Telecom Provider Digicel.

Especially as they are slated to debut the Apple iPhone 4 exclusively on their 3G Network as stated in the article “LIME launching iPhone 4 in Jamaica”, published Thursday, May 26, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

Apparently Telecom Provider CLARO has lost the exclusive rights to market and sell the phone, possibly due to their lack of experience in selling the Apple iPhone 4 and their focus on selling cheap phones as stated in Kelroy’s Geezam Blog article entitled “LIME bringing iPhone 4 to Jamaica and the Caribbean”.

Looks like London Olympics 2012 fever is in the air, as this 4G upgrade is also an obvious precursor to streaming Media on smartphones by July 27th 2012AD. No word yet on the nature of Broadband Caps, which most likely may be increased to higher levels to compensate for the speed boost i.e. 5GB to 10GB.

This is of course assuming that the speed of the final upgraded network will be close to 42MBps Best Effort as expected of HSDPA+ Release 7 when fully provisioned with all T1’s. This as many speed grades exist in HSDPA+ Release 7 as listed below:

  1. HSDPA+ Release 7 QPSK 1.8MBps
  2. HSDPA+ Release 7 64-QAM 17.6MBps
  3. HSDPA+ Release 7 64-QAM 21.1MBps
  4. HSDPA+ Release 7 16-QAM 23.4MBps
  5. HSDPA+ Release 7 16-QAM 28.0MBps
  6. HSDPA+ Release 7 64-QAM 35.3MBps
  7. HSDPA+ Release 7 64-QAM 42.2MBps

So speeds anywhere between 17.6MBps to 42.2MBps, best effort, are quite possible!!

The cost gleaned from the article The Jamaica Observer, entitled “LIME not the first to launch 4G in Caribbean”, says Digicel, published Friday, May 20, 2011, The Jamaica Observer and The Jamaica Gleaner entitled “Digicel Takes Issue With LIME's 4G Claim”, published Friday May 20, 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner indicate a minimum spend of US$85 million.

They are still yet to achieve full island-wide coverage according to their 4G Broadband Coverage Map. 

Thus my prediction from my blog article entitled “Digicel’s US$85 million HSDPA+ and WiMaX 4G Upgrade - Wizards of Waverly Place Fast Five Showdown” of an upcoming announcement in the Media is now fulfilled.

To be fair, Telecom Provider Digicel had announced this since March 2011AD that they were making plans to fully integrate Telecom Provider CLARO’s 3G Platform as state in the article “Digicel working to integrate Claro, 3G”, published Tuesday, March 22, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

Speculation as to whether or not the deal will go through as stated in my blog article entitled “AT&T-T-Mobile and Digicel-CLARO Comparisons - Alice Through the Looking Glass The Day After” has been put aside by this announcement, as it appears that Telecom Provider Digicel is confident that it will get the necessary regulatory approval.

This as the total customer base is counted as Postpaid Customers. Thanks to the lack of proper registration and very onerous and expensive Postpaid packages, probably only 20% of the two million plus (2,000,000+) subscribers on Telecom Provider Digicel, or four hundred thousand plus (400,000+), are Postpaid.

Added to Telecom Provider CLARO’s Postpaid Customer Base, it would hardly constitute a monopoly, as freedom exists for people to purchase phones, albeit pricing is a problem.

More than anything, this deal should highlight the urgent need for MNP (Mobile Number Portability), preferably via MRSI (Mandatory Registration of Subscriber Information) as stated in my blog article entitled “MRSI and MNP - Where the Spies Are”.

But with no details forthcoming since the much publicized swap between Telecom Provider Digicel, this is technically the first bit of official news about the swap since it shattered our world like an Earthquake on Friday March 11th 2011AD as stated in my blog article entitled “Digicel buys CLARO Jamaica - Jumanji Exchange is no Robbery”.

Coincidentally the day of the Apple iPad 2 Launch, I would like to note is called Apple iPad Day, was on Friday March 11th 2011AD as stated in my blog article entitled ‘Apple iPad 2 and PC future - Doomsday in the Battlefield” and my Geezam Blog entitled “Are we witnessing Laptop and PC Extinction?”.

Ditto too the Earthquake in Japan as stated in my Geezam Blog entitled “HP and Web OS – 2011 is the Year of the Linux on PC”. Eerie, Indiana (TV Series 1991–1992) indeed, as I am now becoming more and more convinced that Jamaica is indeed the center of weirdness in the world.

Meanwhile there is an ongoing strike by the Air Traffic Controllers for salary increases of 7%, improved work conditions and outstanding overtime payments owed since 2007AD as stated in the article “‘Charge them!’ - Passengers upset as strike causes airport delays”, published Tuesday, May 24, 2011 BY INGRID BROWN Senior Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

This after being promised representational rights on par with those of the unionized workers who are a member of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, based on communication with State Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Arthur Williams, only to have them dashed.

The strike expresses their frustration with a process that effectively plays to their advantage, as Air Traffic Controller Training is not quick or easy and is a job that is stressful and dangerous as the movie Pushing Tin (1999). The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) has not being training anyone and no reserves are left.

This leaves the ATC Managers being completely clueless and overwhelmed in the running of the Airports. Delays at both NMIA (Norman Manley International Airport) in Kingston and DSIA (Donald Sangster International Airport) in Montego Bay are natural, with tempers frayed as people misunderstand how badly underpaid ATC’s are in Jamaica for a job so stressful and demanding, with passengers lives literally hanging in the air.

To quote the JATCA (Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers' Association): “Senator Williams, in previous meetings held with the JATCA, had expressed that given our significance in the country's economic climate we would have been presented with fair opportunities to provide representation for our members at the negotiating table”.

This after the Supreme Court ruling on Sunday May 22nd 2011AD barring them from further strike action and ordering them to return to work as stated in the article, leading them to threaten Strike action as stated in the article “Air traffic controllers threaten strike”, published Saturday, May 21, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

President of the JATCA Kurt Solomon took the initiative along with his non-unionized compadres, defied the work order and so the strike began on Monday May 23rd 2011AD as stated in the article “Flights affected as Kingston air controller strike continues”, published Monday, May 23, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

Today is now Friday May 27th 2011AD. The traditional fight between the old pirates [management] and the workers, bringing back memories of C&W Wage Negotiations….

This from Job Reclassification and subsequent IDT (Industrial Tribunal Ruling) between 1997AD and 2003AD at C&W that sealed the fate of C&W Employees and gave us significant Wage Increases and Retroactive Salary Packages. Protest songs such as “Bob Marley - Redemption Song” bring back more memories!

Stay tuned!

More Details on BOTH the ATC Strike Action and Telecom Provider Digicel purchase of Telecom Provider CLARO and their Caribbean-wide upgrade to 4G as they surface in the Media!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Palace Amusement and the 3D Movies - Lady Gaga's 3D Mui Mui and Dolche & Gabbana

Put not your trust in money, but put money in trust.

O.W. Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table

Palace Amusement is making a very big gamble in upgrading all of its cinemas to 3-D as stated in the article “Can 3-D save the cinemas”, published Wednesday, May 18, 2011 by JULIAN RICHARDSON Assistant business co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer.

Their budget allocation for the upgrade of the four (4) Cinemas namely Carib Cinema at Cross Roads in Kingston, Palace Cineplex at Sovereign Centre in St Andrew, Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay and the Odeon Cineplex in Mandeville is a cool US$2 million (JA$172 million).

That’s right sports fan!!

All four (4) of em’ are being upgraded to 3-D, despite Palace Amusement facing losses of JA$7.8 million between January 2010AD to March 31 2011AD. Palace Amusement believes that Jamaicans will be “wowed” by the 3-D Effect and that the new 3-D Technology will act as a deterrent to Movie piracy.

This is a view I had expressed in my blog article entitled “3-D anti-piracy technology to thwart Digital Video Piracy” as 3-D is very difficult to copy. Even if you manage to get both left and right channels on the DVD or Blu-Ray, it is good to note that both channels of film have to be synchronized with the Dolby Digital AC-3 Audio Surround Sound Channels.

Then there is the whole issue of why people purchase pirated Movies in the first place, despite knowing that it’s tantamount to stealing.

The Reasons are straightforward enough:

  1. Cheaper to download, stream or buy the illegally copied DVD or Blu-Ray for JA$100 form a street-side pirate than pay the JA$600 for a Double Tuesday at a Cinema.
  2. Most people cannot wait until the Movie officially comes out on DVD or Blu-Ray to rent the movies.
  3. Movie aficionados often use downloading to preview the Movie before actually going out to the movies, often with their significant other.

The purchasing of DVD and Blu-Ray will never die, despite the explosive increase in Netflix streaming, with NetFlix now being the single largest source of Video and Audio Streaming on the Internet.

So says the article “Netflix now the largest source of Internet traffic in US”, published Tuesday May 17 2011, DigiTimes and stated in the article “Report: Netflix swallowing peak Net traffic fast”,  published Tuesday May 17 2011, CNET News.

People still have little confidence in Cloud-Based Services. Ditto Jamaica Businesses, despite Telecom Provider Digicel Tier III Data Center and their offering of Cloud Backup Services as described in my blog article entitled “Digicel Cloud Backup Service and future Cloud-Based Services - V.S Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas”.

Even with the legal protection of CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) Certificates as stated in my blog article entitled “Digicel's Cloud Backup Service and Tier III Certification - Data Integrity via CRC is the Devil's Advocate”.

The typical Jamaican and no doubt Americans still prefer to have a backup copy of the Movie or Music in the form of a DVD, CD or Blu-Ray.

This as this frees you from a dependence on Broadband Internet Services of Cloud-Based Services that are yet to achieve the five 9’ i.e. 99.999% uptime as explained in my blog article entitled “Netflix & the Death of Blu-Ray - Rise of the Machines meets Chicken Run”.

Also, a Movie rendered in 3-D, if it is not all that good, is still a poor Movie, only in 3-D. Simon Crosskill of Smile Jamaica on Television Jamaica gripe about this very same thing to Simone “Tigerbone” Clarke-Cooper, also of Smile Jamaica on Television Jamaica on Tuesday May 17th 2011AD is evidence enough.

In summary, 3-D is a short term fix based on a hype that has a short lived “wow” factor that may fizzle soon if the Movies that are in 3-D are not good. At best, I may help the Movie Industry to hobble along for another five (5) years!

Unless of course Kim Kardashian of Keeping up with the Kardashians (TV Series 2007 - ) fame decides to endorse 3-D HDTV’s and the 3-D Glasses are made by Dolce and Gabbana and Miu Miu and are stylish enough to wear as regular glasses!

A better suggestion for Palace Amusement would be to increase the viewing audience to those people beyond their Theatres.  This would be via partnerships with other suitable Movie theatre venues such as the Supreme Ventures Ltd owned Villagio Casino in Bargain Village, May Pen, Clarendon.

This is a Technology push into Movie streaming, as with the growth in Broadband Internet Access, this is inevitable.

Partnerships with Broadcasters such as Television Jamaica and CVM TV after they achieve DSO (Digital Switch Over) to deliver Pay-Per-View programming as specified in my blog article entitledRoad to Damascus experience needed to make Broadcasters see DSO Benefits” is also a part of the mix.

Pay-Per-View via Receiver Boxes with Selective Output Controlled on request by the Palace Amusement to the Broadcasters would allow them to turn every HDTV Receiver into a Movie Theatre as described in my blog article entitledPiracy Solution via MNP, DSO and legislation”.

An animation competition hosted at the Movie Theatres called J’Anime as described in my blog article entitledJ'Anime Competition - an avenue to fame for animators”, would, ironically, is just the big ticket item to justify the hefty prices being charged by Palace Amusement.

Alternative Energy would also help to save a bundle of money, considering that the majority of their power usage at the various Movie Theatres is Air Conditioning and Electricity.

Not dissimilar to the dilemma facing Telecom Provider LIME in trying to make the landline side of their business profitable, for which Alternative Energy presents itself as a solution as noted in my blog article entitled “LIME's fortunes after Digicel-CLARO - Master and Commander Garfield Sinclair”.

Square and the Cash Register - SME Deep Impact

If for a tranquil mind you seek,
These things observe with care:
Of whom you speak, to whom you speak
And how, and when, and where.

Anon., A Rule of Conduct (which mean I wrote this)

Square CEO Jack Dorsey has done it again, rolling out a revamped version of the Square Card Case App to support their Square Widget or Square Card Reader that effectively turns your Apple iPad into a Square Cash Register.

So for those persons who were saying that the Apple iPad and other Tablets are for snotty posers who like to be seen as being intelligent, you are not correct. It can become a Cash Register Killer!!

The Apple iPad also has uses other than being a major disruptor in the Laptop and Netbook field as Geezam Blog article entitled “Are we witnessing Laptop and PC Extinction?”. PC I dealt with in a special treatise blog article entitled “Tablets and the Future of the PC - Jurassic Park and License to Kill”.

Square Cash Register App is for the Apple iPad. Most likely, however, the Square Cash Register App will be coming for the Android Market as well. This as hinted in the article “Square Hopes to Kill Cash Register With Square Register”, published May 23, 2011, 12:21pm by Cortney Fielding, GigaOM.

For those who came late Square, which launched in May of 2010AD, is a year old start-up that makes processing Credit or Debit Card Transaction your smartphone a snap, allowing SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) business owners to accept payments from these payment methods.

It can also be implemented in Jamaica in partnership with 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) as I had opined in my blog article on Square entitled “CLARO and Square - The App of Year 2010 and CLARO's Saviour”.

The reasoning is obvious; Apple Inc gave Square an exclusive store presence for the sale of its Square Card Reader in its chain of stores as stated in the article “Square's Disruptive Payment Service about to get a huge retail boost from Apple”, published April 16, 2011 by Leena Rao, TechCrunch. Hence the revamped Square Cash Register App is on the Apple iPad first, as a matter of being fair, of course!

The only catch with Square from the beginning is that you have to have a Square Account, a necessity for Square to track transaction occurring on your smartphone, but no different from the requirements of the more expensive POS (Point of Sale) Devices.

Having support from Heavy Hitters in the Credit Card business in the United States of America such as VISA to the tune of US$37.5 million, is a big plus as announced in my blog article on Square entitled “VISA and Jack Dorsey's Square - Leena's TechCrunch of SME's Mad Money” !

Square Cash Register App merely eliminates the need for customers to have smartphones equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication) chipsets as stated in the article “Square vies with NFC for mobile payments”, published MAY 24, 2011 8:49 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, Digital Media - CNET News.

This as the Google Nexus S is currently packing NFC as noted in the Geezam Blog article “NFC and M2M - Cashless Society and the Internet of Things”. Tablet Makers aside from Apple are rumoured to have plans to also include NFC in their Tablets as well.

After all, to take advantage of Cashless payments, asking customers to run out and buy the latest NFC equipped smartphone when most customers of Telecoms Providers are locked into a two (2) year Contract is highly unlikely and would take time.

Instead, Square Cash Register App for the Apple iPad and the Square Card Case App for Apple iPhone and other smartphones would be part of a unified Platform which did both the transactions as well as keep track of sales.

As Square CEO Jack Dorsey describes his long term vision, quote: “A lot of people working in this space are concerned with the parts of transactions - coupons, receipts, waving your phone around in front of a terminal and wait until you hear a beep. We think it should be one system.”

Square makes NFC unnecessary for Cash Register or SME Business Sales, reducing it to paying for Movie Tickets and Bus Passes at a turnstile, where keeping people moving are essential.

Instead, the revamped Square Card Case App is Geo-Location aware.

This is a trend that is the feature of many new startups, owing to the fact that more people are comfortable with sharing their location in real time as stated in the article Nearly 1 in 5 smartphone owners use check-in services”, published MAY 13, 2011 10:47 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, Digital Media - CNET News.

Thus, the need to place you smartphone near to a NFC Reader is unnecessary, as when you are in a SME that has a Square Account, it alerts the user of offers from that SME e.g. a restaurant or a clothing store.

Payment can then be done via the Square Account without having to hold the smartphone near to a NFC Reader or if you prefer, via the Square Card Reader with your Credit or Debit Card.

If done via the Square Card Case App on the SME phone who may be a street-side vendor in my example, the transaction is effectively registered as explained in my blog article on Square entitled “CLARO and Square - The App of Year 2010 and CLARO's Saviour”.

The Square Cash Register App merely makes Tablets into a Cash Register replacement, utilizing the Apple iPad’s wide screen that matches that of most Computerized Cash Registers.

With Geo-Location aware Square Card Case App that works in much the same way as the Proximity Geo-Location Augmented Reality Photo Sharing Social Network named Color App as stated in my blog article on Square entitled “Color Social Network & Valpak Virtual Coupons - Augmented View's True Colours”, Square aim is clear.

Square is not just planning to aid SME’s to accept Credit and Debit Card payments on their smartphones. Rather, with the blessing of Credit Card Giant VISA and support of Apple iPad maker and Retailer Apple Inc, Square may be aiming to:

  1. Eliminate the Cash Register and all other check-in payment apps such as FourSquare, Google Places and FaceBook Places using Tablets
  2. Create a unified Cashless Platform revolving around smartphones where all your financial transactions are done and tracked via the Apple iPad or the Apple iPhone.

Truly the Square Cash Register App is going to have a very Deep Impact (1998) on the burgeoning SME Credit and Debit Card Transaction Market! And Apple Inc and VISA are bring the support……