CFBC Students meet App Developer and Author
First and second year students of Clarence Fitzroy Bryant's Technical Division, in St. Kitts met with Sharon L. Simmons, developer of the iGotem App and author of the book Get the App Outta Your Head. Simmons, who is a national of the Federation was in St. Kitts to promote both her app and book, took time to engage the IT students in an interactive presentation of journey and receive encouragement in their efforts to become developers.
Simmons admonished the students to be creative and look for problems to solve, “there are dozens of apps that have yet to be written, and some which may address national or regional problems.” She said once you think you're onto something “check both the Android and Apple app-stores, and see if there's in an app for it. But don't be put off if there is, download and analyse it. Then see where it's weak and innovate!” A short pop-quiz was held with some students receiving copies of her book.
Tuesday 19th Was CARCIP Awareness Day in Grenada
The Grenada Trade Centre Annex, was the venue chosen by the Ministry of Communications, Works, Public Utilities, ICT and Community Development to launch CARCIP Awareness Day. The Grenadan government, through CARCIP, has promoted collaboration between industry experts, the private sector and government to generate new opportunities for technology-enabled businesses. The CARCIP Awareness Day unveiled various opportunities available under the program.
“Innovative firms and individuals drive new products, processes and services that create growth and employment. Innovation boosts productivity, which is the key to faster economic growth and rising living standards,” said Alice Bain, who coordinates the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP) in Grenada.
Trinidad and Tobago is Open Data Ready
The World Bank Group has confirmed that T&T is open data ready with strong high-level commitment to open government. The National Open Data Readiness Assessment (ODRA), a collaborative venture between the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Finance and the Economy, together with the World Bank Group (WBG), was conducted with government ministries and agencies, civil society and the private sector over a period of months earlier this year.
The qualitative input from these stakeholders assisted with the preparation of the Draft National Open Data Readiness Assessment Report, which contains the World bank Group’s findings and recommendations for development and implementation of a National Open Data Strategy in T&T.
Being open data ready and participating in an open data initiative assists the country in its goal to develop an open, accountable and transparent public sector and delivery of public services to its citizens.
It augurs well for the National Broadband Plan for Development which aims to ensure that citizens across T&T have access to high speed broadband connectivity, an important driver of economic growth and development and facilitates job creation.
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Jamaica to Host Regional Hack-a-thon
Jamaican Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, said that the Hack-a-thon scheduled for May 23rd & 24th will focus on the areas of energy conservation, tourism and agriculture.
Core objectives of the weekend's coding activities, are to explore how technology can be used to address regional challenges in energy, agriculture and tourism. The code-sprint is being supported through the Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) through its Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project (CMIP),
Is the Promise of the CHIP a $9 Computer a Game-Changer?
The latest sensation on the crowd-funding platform KickStarter is a project called CHIP. CHIP is touted as the $9 computer, is small as a credit card, and is complete with a fast Processor, memory, storage and wireless connectivity. The units also come with a programming environment suitable for children.
With more than 20 fundraising days to go, the project has generated so much interest that it's exceeded the $50,000 target, 26 times over, generating almost $1.3M in pledges. The question is could this project be a game changer for cash strapped Small Island Developing States, trying to maintain school laptop distribution programmes?
Government of St. Lucia to Bolster Cyber-Security
The St Lucia government says it is moving to strengthen cyber-security in light of the recent attack on the official web site of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines government. "This appears to be part of a trend of increasing reports of cyber attacks of various kinds regionally and internationally," according to a government statement.
The statement said "as the Government of St. Lucia seeks to continually enhance its online presence and make more of its services accessible online to citizens and other users, it is ever mindful of the increasing importance of cyber security."
"The recent cyber attack in our sister OECS country highlights the need for everyone, at the Government, private sector, civil society and individual levels to be cognizant of the importance of cyber security," the statement noted.
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Dominican 12 Yr Old takes on WhatsApp et al
The popularity of FaceBook Messenger and ubiquity of WhatsApp has not deterred Jaheim Pierre, a twelve year-old Dominican from developing his own messaging application. Flanked by his manager Terrick Victor, also 12, Pierre, from Mero, recently launched Indago Chat on the 1Mobile Market.
In an interview with Dominica News Online, he said that he was motivated to create the app, after what he saw as weaknesses in WhatsApp. He explained, that WhatsApp doesn't allow users to log out, and that other users only need to have your cell number to begin communicating with you.
Jaheim, who has already developed other applications, said that Indago Chat supports several languages as well as Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. But he said he's open to selling the app, stating, “I have school to go to, I have to maintain my schooling.”
OAS Flags Concern over Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure in the Americas
The Organisation of American States (OAS), together with security firm, Trend Micro presented a report entitled “Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure in the Americas”. The report is a compilation of views on Cyber Security from Government Officials and security professional in key sectors.
Key findings from the report, included the need for all countries to act to protect, critical infrastructure – energy supply, water treatment and distribution. Additionally, improving collaboration and information sharing between all stakeholders in order to ensure a secure environment for the nation's citizenry.
Bajans Urged to Tap Online Potential
More Barbadian goods and services need to be available online, was the message given by Minister of Commerce, Donville Inniss. He said that while most bills can be paid online, Barbados needs to go a step further where local goods and services and commercial activity in general, are available for purchase via the worldwide web.
Addressing the media following an e-commerce and cyber security seminar hosted by his ministry, at the Bagnall Point Gallery, the minister elaborated, “There will always be security issues, there will also be financing and cost issues, but I think once we put our heads together we can do it,”
For more detailed information on these stories visit the Tech-News Section on the WINN FM website or follow me on social media. This has been WINN FM's Caribbean Technology Round Up, with Russell Williams, thank you for listening and have a great weekend.
Barbados Leads Caribbean in Effective use of ICT
The World Economic Forum, released the, Network Readiness Index for 2015, and it made for some surprising reading. Of the 143 countries in the Index, Barbados ranked 39th, behind Chile but ahead of Kazakhstan.
The index is seen as a measure of how effectively the country has used technology to deliver economic and social impact. Barbados was joined by Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Guyana and the Dominican Republic in the top 100 countries, with Haiti ranked 137th. Sadly, the OECS wasn't represented in the index.
Developing the Caribbean Code Sprint Winners Awarded
Developing the Caribbean (DevCa) 2015 Code Sprint Competition winners Akua Walters and Nicholas Williams received their trophy from the Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Robert Ready, at the University of the West Indies, Mona School of Business and Management campus, on April 23rd, 2015.
The pair snagged first place for their app which was designed to help entrepreneurs "find what they need -- like office space, workshops, venture capitalists, business incubators," Walters explained.
The conference was hosted by DevCa and Caribbean Mobile Innovation Programme (CMIP) -- a part of the US$20-million Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) funded by the Government of Canada and executed by InfoDev/World Bank.
International Girls in ICT Day
The fourth Thursday in April, is celebrated as International Girls in ICT Day, where teenaged girls and college students are invited to gain greater exposure and awareness to the world of Technology, by visiting Tech' companies and technology driven institutions.
In an earlier edition of the Caribbean Tech Roundup we spoke about the ICT Exhibition in Trinidad and Tobago sponsored by CANTO's and the Soroptomist International of Port of Spain.
If you know of any other events that took place send them through to me on social media.
Incidence of Cyber-Crime are up by 66% over the Last 5 Years
Speaking at a cyber-security awareness seminar in the Bahamas, Dr. Raymond Wells Deputy Director of Information Technology (IT) for the National Insurance Board (NIB), was keen to point out that the human element remains the “weakest link” in cyber-security. He stated that local businesses need a more comprehensive and proactive set of security awareness programmes if the threats from cyber-crime are to be reduced.
He continued, “this is your weakest link in your organization, the human element. Social engineers know this and take advantage of it and IT professionals know it and remove the things users do to put the network at risk. Users go everywhere. Management knows it but I ask, why aren’t you budgeting for and mandating more security awareness training for the users of the company system? ”
“This is an everyday thing and every day new threats emerge so we need to stay abreast of emerging threats,” Wells said.
CANTO Supports Girls in ICT Day
On the 23rd of April, CANTO (Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organization ) in collaboration with Soroptimist International of Port of Spain (SIPoS) will facilitate a one day Girls in ICT Forum which will include a mobile application competition and exhibition. CANTO and SIPOS will host 175 students from the Bishop’s Centenary College based in Woodbrook, Trinidad & Tobago.
The programme will feature interactive speeches from successful women in ICT and women in the community who are using ICT to develop and promote their businesses. The mobile application competition, will offer students the opportunity to design an innovative mobile application which would benefit women and girls in ICTs. The exhibition will showcase ICT stakeholders and the latest products and technologies.
Digicel Joins St. Lucia IXP
Digicel signed a memorandum of understanding, agreeing to become the newest member of the Saint Lucia Internet Exchange (SLiX). Digicel joins its competitors FLOW and LIME, founding members of SLiX, in an initiative designed to improve the reliability of the Internet in St Lucia.
The three ISPs met last March at the Ministry of Public Service, Information and Broadcasting to discuss the possibility of Digicel joining the local Internet exchange. That meeting ended with a unanimous vote, clearing the way for Saint Lucia to become the first Caribbean territory where Digicel is participating in a local IXP. With the three telecommunications companies peering at SLiX, their networks will interconnect directly, rather than through a third party in a foreign territory.
That translates to faster connectivity for customers, and lower operating costs to the Internet service providers, explained Christopher Roberts, Project Coordinator for the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP) in Saint Lucia.