Domino's Pizza Inspires Virgin Island Bites App
While visiting the US three years ago, John Samuel of the US Virgin Islands made use of the Domino's Pizza app'. It was the start of his journey to develop an app for the Virgin Islands.
Samuel started working on the project about a year and a half ago, with finishing touches being made over the last six months. The app has been on stream for about a month, and about 130 people have downloaded it so far, he said.
Though the project is still in its infancy he has secured the support of four restaurant owners so far, and hopes that it would become more popular throughout the Virgin Islands.
“This is something new, and when people feel comfortable doing something one way, changing their mentality is difficult,” he said. “That’s okay, but at this point in time, people want to be on the go and use mobile [devices] to get things done.”
As with most technological innovations, potential new users will have concerns of the unknown. One of the major concerns for restaurants is that they’ll receive orders but nobody will come to pick up the food, Mr. Samuel said. But in fact, the app will offer restaurants more protection against no-show customers than phone orders. That’s because customers have to register through the app before using it.
Head of the Information & Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) in the Cayman's Says ISP's Should be Fined for Bad Behaviour
The head of Cayman’s telecommunications regulatory authority, Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA), said the country’s internet customers are not getting what they’re paying for.
Alee Fa’amoe told Cayman 27, that ICTA’s role as the regulator is to step in when the market fails to resolve its own customer service issues.
He said the ICTA is working with cabinet to beef up its ability to levy fines. “The regulator needs to approach things with some sort of balance, so there needs to be some carrot and some stick. The carrot is happy customers, staying with you for a long time and generating revenue. The stick is things like fines levied against providers who don’t follow the rules,” said Mr. Fa’amoe, ICTA’s Managing Director.
Mr. Fa’amoe said it’s time for providers to stop with the excuses, and do what they need to do to give customers what they are paying for.
Guyana's First Lady’s ICT Programme produces 27 graduates
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Programme which was started in September by First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger saw twenty-seven Buxton residents graduate from the programme.
Among the graduates was Ms Sylvia Pitt, a 59-year-old retired Head Teacher who was honoured as the valedictorian of the programme. Ms. Pitt achieved a score of 983 from a possible 1000 points.
Presidential Advisor on E-Governance, Floyd Levi, who was the main speaker for the award ceremony, lauded the programme as one that will make a great difference to the beneficiaries. He also encouraged the graduates to use the programme as a stepping stone for further advancement and self-edification.“
He told the graduating class that the programme should be used as a launch pad for greater and better accomplishments. He emphasised that the programme shouldn’t be the end for them but a stepping-stone on the road of success.“This programme should be taken as a life lesson. You should dream positive dreams and through dedication, commitment and hard-work, you can achieve them,” he said.
The valedictorian, Ms Sylvia Pitt, in her remarks, made the audience aware that despite her age she was not bothered nor did it take away her determination to learn. The grandmother said it was very strenuous on her working during the day and attending classes in the evenings, but was dedicated in her approach towards her studies.
She said, “The world is becoming technology and computer inclined, and I realised that I needed to keep abreast of what is going on and so I was motivated to be here. I was very focused. I knew what I wanted and I practiced due diligence to get what I wanted.” When Ms Pitt was asked to address the younger generation, she simply said, “They need to know what they want and place their focus there. They should aim high. Age didn’t prevent me from doing what I did and so they can do way better and achieve more than I did.”
Minister of Communications Sees Development in Intellectual Property as Key to St. Kitts & Nevis Growth
Speaking on the Government's Information programme “Working for You”, Minister with responsibility for Communications & Legal Affairs the Hon. Vincent Byron stated that he sees Intellectual Property as being key to the Federation's development.
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Bajan Women Launch Dining Portal
Three female entrepreneurs have collaborated to create an online portal that brings chefs and cooks together with people from across the Caribbean and the world for shared dining experiences.
Heather Barker, Deidre Brathwaite and Denise Mongerie-Rogers jhave worked together to bring Isle&Dine to market via www.isleanddine.com. The trio met in 2013 at a workshop for innovators organized by infoDev, a division of the World Bank.
They came up with the idea of Isle&Dine after Barker found out about a similar initiative in the United States and decided to adapt it for the local market.
“We thought that Barbados needed to diversify its culinary, visitor, and entertainment offerings, and that Isle&Dine would be a great service to bring to market,” she explained.
“Cooks really like the concept and are keen to host guests for meals and earn extra income at the same time,” Barker added.
CARCIP Grenada Offers for EC$150,000 in Grant Funding
Up to EC$150,000 in grant funding is available to Grenadans with businesses or business ideas, through the Caribbean Regional Communication Infrastructure Program (CARCIP).
CARCIP is a World Bank-funded programme that aims to advance the development of a technology-enabled services industry in the Caribbean region. The grant funding application process will be opened only to technology-enabled businesses and businesses in the technology sector.
“Every business idea starts with a decision to try,” said Alice Bain, project coordinator of CARCIP Grenada. “Many young people have business ideas, many young people want to innovate, but keep their ideas in secret. Ideas in secret die. CARCIP is here to support persons who want to develop and grow their business ideas.”
To help interested person to apply for the grants, CARCIP will run a nationwide series of training workshops. Participants will learn how to prepare the application form for the grant funding, and how to prepare business plans.
Barbados Leads LATAM & Caribbean in ITU Connected Countries Survey
Chief Telecommunications Officer for Barbados Reginald Bourne today disclosed key findings of the 2015 Measuring Information Society Report, during a Press launch of the Report at UN House, Hastings, Christ Church.
The Government official revealed that for the period 2010 to 2015, the island moved up from 38, with an ICT Development Index (IDI) score of 6.4, to number 29, with an IDI score of 7.57, while the world average was 5.03.
“I am happy with Barbados’ performance over the past five years. With a ranking of 29 it means that there are 28 rankings above Barbados so there is room for improvement. In terms of ICT development it is a dynamic process so we cannot rest and say we have arrived,” said Bourne, who further reported that in terms of Internet coverage in the Americas the island fell behind the United States and Canada only.
Sadly, the report did not contain good news for St. Kitts & Nevis, which tumbled 20 places to to 63rd behind neighbour Antigua & Barbuda which climbed four places to 62nd out of 167 countries.
Sylvester Cadette, Programme Officer of the International Telecommunication Union pointed out that this year’s Measuring the Information Society Report showed that 3.2 billion people worldwide are now online, representing 43.4 per cent of the global population.
Cadette went on to say that mobile cellular subscription has reached about 7.1 billion worldwide with 95 per cent of the global population now covered by a mobile cellular signal.
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ECTEL to Take a Closer Look at Roaming Charges
Making remarks at the launch ceremony of free WiFi access at the Botanical Gardens in Dominican, the Dominican Minister of Telecommunications Kelver Darroux said “At the 32nd meeting of ECTEL in St Kitts, the ECTEL Council of Ministers, are looking very much closely at the possibility to totally eliminate roaming charges within the OECS territories and that is very important,”
In a lecture to commemorate ECTEL's 15th Anniversary in Basseterre St. Kitts, Prof. Hopeton Dunn Chairman, Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica and Director, of the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) and UWI highlighted the issue of roaming.
Dominicans urged to recognize benefits of the internet
Executive Director of the Dominican National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC), Craig Nesty called on Dominicans to recognize the benefits of the internet since, he said, it has great potential. He made that statement while addressing the commissioning of free Wireless Broadband at the Botanical Gardens.
“We are talking about potential for internet connectivity, potential to bring more Dominicans online, potential for us to fully participate in an internet-based economy,” he said.
According to him, one of the ‘critical cogs’ that focus needs to be placed on is content creation. “We as Dominicans have for too long been a download society,” he noted. “We need to become an upload society and unless we craft a way to fully move towards being content creators and content providers and uploading content to the
internet, we will miss the true benefit that the internet is proposing to offer us in this small island developing state.”
Regional Internet and Tech Experts are Hopeful for the future of the industry in the Caribbean
A recent industry report showed that Internet connectivity in the Caribbean is growing at sluggish speeds, with high rates. However, shifting attitudes within the region’s technical community are triggering positive change in its technology landscape.
Among the challenges faced by the region in developing its technology sector are outdated legislation, limited access to capital, and an environment not always conducive to the development of indigenous technology businesses and services.
But some experts say that the region is well positioned to seize fresh opportunities to improve its Internet access penetration, to reduce Internet service costs and to increase network service quality.
“A highly creative, well-educated work force, stable democracies, sub-sea bandwidth capacity and relatively high device penetration rates set the stage for region-wide, Internet-enabled innovation,” said Bevil Wooding, an internet strategist at Packet Clearing House, which supports the global development of critical Internet infrastructure.
Wooding was speaking at CaribNOG 10, the tenth gathering of the Caribbean Network Operators Group, which took place in Belize City from November 2 to 6.
CaribNOG is an independent, volunteer-based technical community that promotes development of the region’s computer network engineers and technology practitioners. Its semi-annual gatherings have become an influential forum for the development of regional cybersecurity strategies and in the support of critical internet infrastructure in the region.
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Minister of Communications Outlines ICT Plans for St. Kitts & Nevis
Speaking on this week's edition of the Government's Information programme “Working for You”, Minister with responsibility for Communications the Hon. Vincent Byron outlined some of the plans his ministry has.
Minister Byron outlined that one of the ministry's priorities is to have every household in the Federation connected to Broadband internet by the end of its first term in office.
He also expressed a desire to see a number of e-Government services made available to citizens.
Bajans Urged to Leverage Technology to Improve the Economy
Dr. Nicholas Brathwaite, Technology Expert, Investor, Innovator and Entrepreneur, has called on Bajans to stop getting bogged down with themes and actually set goals and a plan to move Barbados forward. When that happens, he will be a part of this effort to see Barbados achieving high growth rates.
Brathwaite, addressed a packed house at the Frank Collymore Hall for the 40th Sir Winston Scott Memorial lecture, and stated: “I would like goals to be set, instead of focusing on themes such as ‘Working together to building a better Barbados’, what is that? Why don’t we set goals like tripling our GDP in the next 15 years; develop a plan to leverage technology, innovation and entrepreneurship to achieve that goal? I would come back and be a part of that.
“Our world has changed dramatically over the last few decades, but if we don’t take action, we stand the risk of being globally insignificant. We continue to focus on FDI and Tourism and those are important and necessary, but we have to start shifting our attention. Economic Transformation in the Caribbean requires we become more globally competitive. I believe technology is a great driver of the economy... In the last several decades, the Technology sector has continued to outperform the rest of the economy. Technology has a greater multiplier effect than almost any other business you can choose.
The entrepreneur added, “Technology is the key to significantly improving productivity in Barbados, but to do so we have to rapidly accelerate the rate at which we adopt technology. While things are rapidly changing around us, some of our governments and institutions and many of our businesses remain philosophically tied to old and traditional practices that have long outlived their usefulness. Traditions are important ... but we can’t allow some of these Stone Age traditions to keep us down.
High Internet and Mobile Data Charges Hampering Business Development in Jamaica
That is the position of Professor of Communications Policy and Digital Media at the University of the West Indies, Dr Hopeton Dunn, who has raised concerns that the high cost of Internet access and mobile data charges may be hampering the ability of Jamaicans to use the Internet for innovation driven activities.
Responding to questions from the The Gleaner, Dunn pointed out several weaknesses in Jamaica’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
Dunn said, Jamaica currently benefits from access to a robust global ICT network and diverse content providers. “We are connected. But there are not enough Jamaicans using broadband services for business development, content creation and economic growth. Part of the reason for this is the high cost of Internet access, including mobile data charges,” he said.
According to Prof. Dunn, the developments in the global ICT sector will, introduce competition from Internet-based telecom and content providers which is likely to alter the sector's business model significantly.
“We have to create the legislative and policy environment to manage these changes. Indications of these trends have long been evident the availability of voice over Internet (e.g. Skype) calls and now in the area of roaming. Given the emergence of packet switched systems, the cost of roaming with data transfer should be trending dramatically down,” he added.
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Jamaica Copyright Licensing Agency (JAMCOPY) will host the Caribbean’s first digital publishing conference, titled #TheOnlineMind in Kingston, Jamaica, from November 2nd – 5th. The event will highlight and address the global trend towards digital and online publishing.
Carol Newman conference chairperson and JAMCOPY general manager, described the event as a superb networking opportunity and an excellent learning experience for all stakeholders.
The conference will provide valuable information and practical applications for everyone involved in writing and publishing. Bringing to the forefront issues such as the impact of digital technology on publishing, copyright protection in the digital era, global markets and digital distribution and making dollars and sense out of digital books.
The target audience is varied and includes authors, IP management practitioners, publishers, self-published authors, attorneys, educational technologists, booksellers, librarian/information specialists as well as government policy makers.
The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority
(ECTEL) has called upon telecommunications providers in the OECS sub-region to stop blocking Over The Top (OTT) services to their subscribers. In a statement, ECTEL said it had received media reports that some telecommunications providers have blocked such services like WhatsApp voice service, over their network in the ECTEL Member States of Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Dominica.
ECTEL said it had been advised that a wide range of stakeholders, including policy makers were concerned over these reports and added: “ECTEL is therefore appealing to all services providers operating within its Member States, to immediately refrain from the practice of blocking OTT services, websites and or throttling speeds, and commit to the principle of an open Internet, as concluded through a public consultation conducted by ECTEL and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authorities (NTRCs) between 23rd September 2013 and 4th November 2013.
ECTEL Managing Director Embert Charles said, “ECTEL is advising the public to report instances of blocking of OTT services to their service providers in the first instance, and if not resolved to report to their respective NTRC. The procedures for filing complaints against a service provider are contained in the Dispute Resolution Regulations in all the ECTEL Member States”
Khan Academy helping Bajan Students Improve Math Skills
Two Bajan schools participating in the Khan Academy Mathematics Initiative, received 30 refurbished laptops compliments JetBlue on Thursday. Khan Academy Ambassador, Alex Eiden, presented the two schools involved in the pre-pilot phase of the Mathematics Initiative ¨C St Ambrose and St Luke's Primary Schools, with the laptops allowing them to extend the programme. Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Senator Harcourt Husbands thanked Alex, his father Frederick, as well as JetBlue for assisting the children of Barbados.
Senator Husbands said that it is widely recognised that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM were the way of the future. “This is where the well-paying jobs are and this initiative ... of the Eiden family and JetBlue will assist us tremendously. The Ministry is always open to assistance from whatever source, and we are extremely pleased to be associated with this initiative” he expressed.
Mona School Of Business Launches Mobile App
As students around the region went back to school, the students of the Mona School of Business & Management got a new App! Executive director of Mona School of Business & Management, Professor Densil Williams said, "In order to continue to deliver an exceptional teaching and learning experience to our students, MSBM has provided a solution that will meet the information needs of its students in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
Our mobile app will provide the students with real-time information on developments in the school and will allow our students to always be in the know. It is the first of its kind anywhere in the university system in Jamaica."
Meanwhile, director of the MSBM Centre of Excellence, Dr Maurice McNaughton demonstrated the app to the incoming class of undergraduate MSBM students at their orientation session. He noted that "the app's objectives are to integrate mobile applications and a mobile-friendly website as key elements of MSBM's digital strategy and to exploit the capabilities of the mobile channel as a means of engaging with current and prospective students, and enhancing student service delivery." The app was developed by UWI students using the Kurogo Open Source platform.
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