Friday, August 22, 2014

Swing Copters is Dong Nguyen's Flappy Bird Replacement - Why Swing Copters is more frustrating to play than Flappy Birds

Flappy Birds may not long be on Mobile Devices, but that doesn’t mean that Dong Nguyen, founder of Game Development Studio DotGears has given on Mobile.

In fact, after having made Flappy Birds into Flappy Birds Family and porting it exclusively on the Amazon Fire TV as I’d reported in my blog article entitled Flappy Bird returns on Amazon Fire TV - Multiplayer Platform lends to family-friendliness and a Less Addictive Design”, he’s been busy cooking up something special for the Mobile Crowd.

And again it’s available on BOTH the Apple iTunes Store and the Google Play Store as can be seen at the end of this article.

Introducing Swing Copters, the Flappy Bird replacement that landed on Apple iTunes Store and the Google Play Store this Thursday August 21st 2013 as stated in “Flappy Bird follow-up Swing Copters will drive you to insanity”, published August 21, 2014 11:52 AM PDT by Nick Statt, CNET News

Swing Copters was part of Dong Nguyen to create a replacement for his popular Flappy Birds mobile game that’s basically using the same game environment and gaming aesthetics as stated in “Flappy Bird creator's next game, Swing Copters, lands Thursday”, published August 18, 2014 2:53 PM PDT, by Nick Statt, CNET News.

This game had been reviewed by Touch Arcade, who’ve declared the game to be the vertical equivalent of Flappy Bird. Swing Copters involves dodging vertically swinging hammers as you guide your poorly designed and very pixilated Helicopter pilot vertically upwards through various levels of swinging hammers, by simply tapping on the screen.

Unlike Flappy Bird, tapping doesn’t keep the Helicopter aloft. Rather you’re really guiding its direction of flight, with the taps merely to prevent the helicopter from drifting too far to the side and into the waiting hammers of doom!

Because the helicopter wobbles from side to side, you’ll be constantly frustrated with crash after crash into the swinging hammers. Thus hours of your day will melt away as you give up in vexation, only to pluck up your tablet or smartphone to try yet again to get a double digit score as Touch Arcade's Eli Hodapp recently discovered as he stated in his article “Exclusive Hands On With 'Flappy Bird' Creator Dong Nguyen's Next Game: 'Swing Copters'”, published 2014-08-18 14:07:07 by Eli Hodapp, Touch Arcade

This time around, unlike Flappy Birds that had an In-App Advertising, the basis of his US$50,000 daily profits from Flappy Bird and the games notorious popularity as I’d explained in my blog article entitled “Developer Dong Nguyen takes down US$50000 a day Flappy Bird App - Unwanted Media Attention leaves DotGears Game as the first In-App Advertising Gaming App”, you have a choice as it relates to the Ads.

If you really like Swing Copters, you can opt to purchase a US$0.99 version that completely ad free and yes, just as annoying as its ad-based variant. Just don’t succumb to the temptation to throw your smartphone into the wall; it’s not you, it’s the pilot, as you can only guide him on the right path. And don’t mind if you’re high score is 1; you’re doing better than most people!

Here’s the link to Swing Copters, now on Apple iTunes Store and the Google Play Store:

How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - Yoni Epstein's itel-BPO 100 New Agents for Web Advertising and App Developer Client

“Motivated individuals with interest in joining an internal organizational culture that is employee-centric and focuses on charity, family, employee advancement and engagement”

CEO of itel-BPO,Yoni Epstein, commenting in a Press Release on Wednesday August 13th 2014 of company itel-BPO taking on 100 CSA come March 2015

Call Center Peeps!

Call Center Agents at ACCENT Marketing, Xerox or FullGram Solutions, this News is more exciting than the fact that Simone Clarke Cooper and Yendi Phillipps can STILL somehow fit into their High School Clothes from the 90’s.

You might need to zoom in as it’s still a little hard to believe!

BPIAJ Chairman and President Yoni Epstein is at it again. This time his Call Center that he runs, itel-BPO, his other concern aside from the spanking new 200-seater US$900,000 BPIAJ Call Center Agent Training School slated to come on stream by December 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - BPIAJ Call Center Agent Training School for US$900,000 as Montego Bay Freezone Expands”.

itel-BPO Call Center based in Montego Bay, Jamaica and Grand Bahama in the Bahamas is a 350-man strong operation that is set to take on another 100 employees by March 2015 as stated in “itel-BPO lands new US-based client”, published Friday, August 15, 2014, The Jamaica Observer. The partner to Island outsourcing held a job fair on Thursday August 14th 2014 at their Cazoumar Free Zone Offices, taking on applications for prospective new employees.

They've apparently snagged a Media and Technology Firm client that does Web Advertising and App Developer for clients to market their products. That narrows it down a motley crue of companies in the US of A, so I’ll be contacting my sources in the Call Center World to find out who exactly this client is. What's known is the type of inbound/outbound clients that itel-BPO deal with:

1.      Travel
2.      Tourism
3.      Telecommunications
4.      Online Retail
5.      Utilities
6.      Health
7.      Insurance

In addition to Sales and Customer Service, itel-BPO also provides Data Entry and QA (Quality Assurance) Services as well. This makes them a well-rounded BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) Company that's a part of the US$350 million earned annually by Call Centers.

Truth be told, for experienced Call Center workers, that's irrelevant. It’s basically interacting with Customers, even if that interacting is via email, IM (Instant Messaging) or via a VR (Virtual Reality) online interface such as a talking avatar representation of yourself.  

Given itel-BPO business, these 100 new Call Center Agents will find that they have much to learn as they seek to serve these new clients as the Call Center World is set to expand by some 8000 jobs as explained in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - 8000 Jobs coming after US$33 million Loan from DGB floated for 8 Call Centers”.

Hoping eventually that something good will be announced in the New Kingston area, as it seems that the Call Centers in Kingston and St. Andrew not taking on any more employees.

JUTC SmarterCard Rollout and Fare Hike Postponed – Why I'll be boycotting JUTC Buses anyway as they're not trying to Save Money

“Reality is that the current fare levels are inadequate and have been for years. The simple fact is that the JUTC cannot continue on this track and continue to maintain the service level which it has maintained over the past 12 months.”

Minister of Transport and Works, Dr Omar Davies commenting on the JUTC Fare hike on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 of the JUTC Fare Increase come Sunday August 24th 2014

Looks like I spoke too soon on this SmarterCard Cashless System from the JUTC!

News has now reached me that’s not going to sit very well with persons who live in Swallowfield, near to the National Stadium who send their children to school on the JUTC (Jamaica Urban Transit Company).

The Ministry of Transport and Works has canceled their planned fare increase for JUTC buses on Sunday August 24th 2014 as reported recently in “No JUTC Fare Increases Come Sunday, Plans Put On Hold”, Published Friday August 22, 2014 2:06 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner and “Govt puts hold on JUTC fare increase”, published Friday, August 22, 2014 2:06 PM, The Jamaica Observer.

The JUTC will STILL be rolling out a Fare Concession to the Elderly and Children, particularly High-Schoolers come September 2014. The Catch: you’ll have to get a SmarterCard as reported in “No JUTC SMARTER Cards, no concessionary rates for student and elderly come September”, published Tuesday August 19, 2014 12:50 pm Karlene Brown, Assistant News Editor, The Jamaica Gleaner.

What I didn’t know was that there would have also be a Fare increase come Sunday August 24th 2014 as stated in the article “JUTC fare increased to $120; senior citizens to pay $60, up from $20”, published Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:38 AM, The Jamaica Observer. The New JUTC fares for persons without a SmarterCard are as follows:

1.      JA$120 for Adults from JA$100, an increase of 20%
2.      JA$30 for Children and disabled from JA$20, an increase of 50%
3.      JA$60 for Senior Citizens from JA$20, an increase of 200%

That’s now been put on hold…..sort of

President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association, Oniel Grant, and Senior citizens had met with official at the Ministry of Transport and Works and made it plain that they basically die if the fare was increased.

Many Senior citizens depend on the JUTC to take them to the Post office to collect pensions as well as to the KPH (Kingston Public Hospital) to collect free medication that basically was keeping many of them alive as noted in the article “Un-Fare Hike - Seniors Dread 200 Per Cent Increase To Ride JUTC Buses”, Published Thursday August 21, 2014, by Sheldon Williams, Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

JUTC Fare Increase – SmarterCard Concession as Elderly spared but not Children and Adults

However, the devil is in the details it seems. The Ministry of Transport and Works gave further clarification by stating that the other Fare increases for Adults and Children will be going ahead.

As such, the Fare increase for the Elderly, specifically those over the age of 60 years, would instead be adjusted to JA$40 for the Elderly, given their concerns, an increase of only 100% instead of 200% as stated in the article “Transport Ministry reduces senior citizens’ JUTC fare to $40”, published Friday, August 22, 2014 4:26 PM, The Jamaica Gleaner and “UPDATE: Gov't Cuts Bus Fare For Elderly Only, New Structure On For Sunday”, published Friday August 22, 2014 4:21 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner.

So in Summary, concession ONLY for SmarterCard carrying folks as clearly stated by JUTC Communications Manager Clinton Clarke in the article “No Concessionary Rate Without Smarter Cards”, Says JUTC, Published Friday August 22, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Otherwise everyone is getting a fare increase, with the Senior Citizens being the only group to get a slight reprieve from the increase from JA$60 to JSA$40. That’s still not good enough for JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) Leader Andrew Holness as he’s STILL planning Protest action in Half-Way-Tree as stated in “Peaceful protest against JUTC bus fare increase still on –JLP”, published Friday, August 22, 2014 6:35 PM, The Jamaica Observer.

Nobody trusts Dr. Omar Davies – JUTC not trying to save money on Operational Costs

It’s not yet Sunday but the Senior Citizens are already upset with this announcement.

This despite the argument given by Minister of Transport and Works, Dr Omar Davies about the subsidy to Children and the Elderly draining the JUTC of JA$10 million per day as stated in “Subsidy Bleed - JUTC Loses $10m On Fares Every Day”, Published: Friday August 22, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner. Even if he appeared on Smile Jamaica on Television Jamaica as a guest being interviewed by Neville Bell and Simone Clarke-Cooper!

Especially as the JUTC had already raised the fares when on Sunday November 10th 2013 the JUTC suspended Bus Transfers as stated in “Bus Fare to Double for Many When JUTC Ends Transfers Sunday”, Published Thursday November 7, 2013 by Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor, The Jamaica Gleaner

For one, the JUTC buses can be retrofitted to run on LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) as far back as 2011 as stated in my blog article entitled “JUTC, Challenger and LNG - Journey to the Center of the Earth”. That alone JUTC would see significant savings in the operation of the buses.

Not to mention reduced wear and tear on the Engine as LPG burns cleanly within the Buses Engine without the problems associated with liquid based fuels as explained in my blog article entitled “JUTC SmarterCard Cashless System to be implemented in the Fourth Quarter of 2013 - Upgrade Buses to use LPG Fuel to reduce Maintenance costs”.

Thus the JUTC missing SmarterCard System implementation deadline of March 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “Mandatory SmarterCard Cashless System coming in March 2014 – JUTC Legal challenge NATO over Routes as JA$100 Wi-Fi needed to keep Unruly High School Students Happy”, made the JUTC look as if they’re not even trying to recover fares lost to theft.

Not to mention the inability for the PAMS (Port Authority Management Services Limited) getting the “White Elephant” known as the Half-Way-Tree Transport Center to actually make money by renting more locations to businesses as explained in my blog article entitled “PAMS to debut GOJ branded Food Court in Half-Way-Tree Transport Center - Making revenue from Unruly smartphone toting High School students via Cooked Food and JA$100 a week Wi-Fi Internet”.

JUTC SmarterCard and Fare Hike – Why I will not be taking the Yellow Bus to Half-Way-Tree

This latest shock move means that my boycott of the JUTC buses and continuing to walk will be ongoing. Especially as I’ll now be going to the MICO University College to complete my Professional Diploma in Teaching which would qualify me to not only to teach Mathematics but Physics and Chemistry and ultimately Telecommunications and al its Secrets.

Then again, I live within walking distance of the MICO University College; my main grouse will be travel to anywhere further than Half Way Tree, as Swallowfield, which is the community located near to the National Stadium on Arthur Wint Drive.

Travel beyond Half-Way-Tree will cost me JA$120 each way all because the GOJ refuses to tackle the problem of JUTC Ticket Fraud as described in my blog article entitled “How to defraud the JUTC and reduce your Bus Fare - Arson and Ticket Fraud means Switchover to the SmarterCard Cashless System before 2014 required”.

Instead of going after the employees who are thieves, the PNP’s treading carefully. That’s because the PNP (People’s National Party) is afraid to rock the boat before a Local Government Election in 2015 and a General Election that’s constitutionally due in 2016, being as JUTC employees represent the largest block of guaranteed votes. 

Worse, the PNP might be using the JUTC to not only hold on to PNP Voters but also to raise money to fund their upcoming Elections. Hence the coincidental increase, as it’s easy to justify and no-one will complain, even though it’s illegal. After all, why is the Minister of Transport and Works, Dr Omar Davies refusing an independent Audit of the finances of the JUTC?

But not this time!

To this end, JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) Andrew Holness is STILL calling for a Rally in Half-Way-Tree to protest the fare hike, as thus issue appears to be political. This reasoning may be what Andrew Holness suspect but cannot speak outside of Gordon House, as he might attract defamation litigation from the Minister of Transport and Works, Dr Omar Davies. But his rally will make it clear that this may very well be the case.

This is a rally I expect will be well attended, as the issue of Travel in the KMTR (Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region) only seems to have worsened now that the JUTC has retake the older routes from the “robot” taxis and buses as stated in my blog article entitled “Licensed JUTC KMTR Franchise holders begin operation on April 8th 2014 - Attack of the Stone Throwing Jamaicans against JUTC State sponsored Terrorism again JATOO”.

Something tells me the rally on Sunday August 24th 2014 being staged by the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) will be a flashpoint for Jamaicans upset with the rising cost of Living. Especially now that the Senior Citizens, many of whom have very meager or no pensions, are not able to afford to travel on the JUTC Bus anymore!

As for me, I’m walking. I have no plans to pay extra money to fund a PNP Desperate to use the cover of “increasing expenditure” to scalp Jamaicans Commuters in the KMTR Region just because they want to illegally raise campaign Funds.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Trinidad PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar's CARICOM Meeting - Preventing Caribbean Chikungunya Virus and Ebola Virus Epidemic by Christmas 2014

“My advice to colleague Heads of Government in the Caribbean is to take pre- emptive measures to ensure the safety, health and well-being of millions of citizens of the Caribbean region. While our risk is low, our actions must further diminish the risks to our citizens. And I am confident that nations across CARICOM will respond favourably,”

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in a call to CARICOM Leaders to discuss a coordinated response to a possible Ebola Virus and Chikungunya Virus outbreak

Is there a coming Ebola Virus and Chikungunya Virus Epidemic developing in the Caribbean?

That seems to be the question on everybody’s mind ever since Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar called for an extra-ordinary meeting of the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) heads of Government in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The occasion for this gracious offer? 

CARICOM needs to convene to discuss the threats pose by the Ebola Virus and the Chikungunya Virus and how to coordinate their efforts to curtail their spread so as to avoid a Caribbean wide Pandemic as reported in the article “Trinidad calls for CARICOM meeting on Ebola and Chikungunya threat”, published Tuesday, August 19, 2014 9:17 PM, The Jamaica Observer.

Reason for pressing the Panic Button is quite obvious.

The WHO (World Health Organization) must have alerted them of the possibility that African National from the four (4) infected African countries were recorded to having visited the Caribbean, suggesting that the Ebola Virus might already be in the Caribbean. Those Four (4) African nations are as follows:

1.      Guinea
2.      Liberia
3.      Sierra Leone
4.      Nigeria

Trinidad and Tobago, who are supposed to have a more modern Health Care System when compared to Jamaica, have a full blown epidemic on their hands with 80 infected in Trinidad and Tobago as of Friday August 15th 2014, according to Trinidad Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan as stated in the article “As many as 80 infected with Chikungunya -- TT health minister”, published Friday, August 15, 2014 7:32 AM, The Jamaica Observer. So clearly an Ebola Epidemic as advised by the WHO is coming and is very possible and when it arrives in the Caribbean, its effects would be devastating.

On that very same day, Friday August 15th 2014, Jamaica just hit 10 infected, 2 via importation and 8 via local transmission, with Ground Zero appearing to be the University of the West Indies. This courtesy of the Caribbean Nationals coming back to Jamaica carrying the Chikungunya Virus and our poor vector control programs for the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito islandwide as I'd pointed out in my blog article entitled “10 Cases of Chikungunya Virus in Jamaica – How a Hurricane coming December 2014 will accelerate its spread”.

Ministry of Health’s on Ebola – Silence of the Lambs as they don’t want to spook the Natives

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health are aware of this possible spread from the UWI as Ground Zero. Hence they've begun issuing guidelines to the High Schools as to what to do to limit the spread of the Chikungunya Virus as reported in my blog article entitled “Education and Health Ministries Meet before 2014-15 Academic Year - How to Stop Chikungunya Virus spread by Aedes aegypti Mosquito among Children”.

Oddly enough, and possibly out of blind optimism, nothing is being mentioned in the Media about a possible Ebola Outbreak as I'd pointed out in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Health confirms four persons with Chikungunya Virus – Chic-V Just Turn Up in the Hurricane Season as Ebola Virus is coming”.

Despite what the Ministry of Health may be saying, the risk of Ebola in Jamaica is very real, as we do have a lot of African Nationals Travelling to Jamaica and they may have already carried the virus to our shores as argue in my blog article entitled “Jamaica's Ebola Risk - How a ZMapp cured Americans of Ebola as Jamaica can become Guinea Pig to Test an Ebola Cure”.

We're not even aware of it because no Health advisory has been issue to the public by the Ministry of Health as to what are the Symptoms of Ebola. Except for Traditional Media reports on the infected African countries and my blog article above announcing the use of an experimental cure on a pair of American Missionaries, there has been no Ebola Public Awareness Campaign.

Back to School Again - Chikungunya Virus set to be Trending among High School and College Students

So we have the makings of an Epidemic from Chikungunya Virus and possibly from the Ebola Virus by December 2014, with a possibly spread to the country side once everyone starts traveling back and forth within the vicinity of the UWI, August Town and Papine.

Throw in those persons travelling back and forth from Caribbean nations that have known Chikungunya Virus spread as well as those Haitian Nationals landing in Jamaica and it stands to reason it may spread beyond the four (4) parishes that have reported infections:

1.      Kingston and St. Andrew
2.      St. Thomas
3.      St. Catherine
4.      St. Ann

This rapid spread accelerated by High School Students travelling about within Kingston and St. Andrew as well as UWI Students from the Rural areas travelling back home carrying the virus into the Rural Areas is a situation I've predicted in my blog article entitled “Education and Health Ministries Meet before 2014-15 Academic Year - How to Stop Chikungunya Virus spread by Aedes aegypti Mosquito among Children”.

So many Jamaicans have begun stocking up on DEET and Citronella Oil and are gearing up their kids in fear and Trepidation for the start of school come Monday September 1st 2014. By that same token, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar is apparently reaching out to her CARICOM Neighbors with the aim to stop this trading of diseases. The logic is clear: coordinate to stop the disease spread across the Caribbean otherwise once under control in cone country, it'll flare up again propelled by the Travel of Caribbean Nationals.

To make it worse, with so many African nationals coming from the countries infected by Ebola, there needs to be coordinated surveillance to prevent an Ebola Epidemic, as the accelerated spread caused by simple inter-island Travel suggests that if the Ebola Virus were to come to the Caribbean it would spread just as fast - with deadlier results! Already travel advisories have been issued by Canada as stated in “Canada issues Chikungunya warning to travellers”, published Monday, August 18, 2014 9:48 AM, The Jamaica Observer, advising its nationals from travelling to the Caribbean due to the spread of Chikungunya Virus.

CARICOM’s Best Response – Medical Field Tents at Airports, Vector Control and Free DEET

Imagine the panic is Ebola Virus were to spread at the same rate as the Chikungunya Virus!

CARICOM, please meet as soon as possible. More extreme measures, such as setting up Field Hospitals at every Caribbean Airport and other ports of Entry with on-the-spot Doctors doing on-spot Blood Tests will be need.

The immediate isolation of travelers coming from any of those infected countries should be immediately implemented. They should be briefed and immediately tested. If they test positive for either Chikungunya Virus or Ebola Virus, they should be isolated and placed in quarantine in areas that are sealed from Aedes Aegypti Mosquito for treatment.

These measures may sound extreme but are necessary to prevent a Caribbean-wide Pandemic as this illness spread is moving at the speed of Global Air and Sea Travel that connects using our increasingly globalized World. That should stop the Ebola Virus from coming to Jamaica.

Within each country, increased use of Malathion Spraying and Vector Control for the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito will be needed. Finally, boost the sales of DEET and Citronella Oil as well as Mosquito Nets via the removal of Custom Duty as well as Government subsidies. This would make it affordable to the very poor and elderly and the very young.

Truth be told, they’re the most vulnerable from the Chikungunya Virus and the first to die should Ebola Virus reach the Caribbean!

State Minister Julian Robinson hopes Tablets boost Innovation in ICT - How TIS Project Tablets are secured using GPS and IMEI Labeling

“The Tablet is of no value or use to someone who may want to steal it. If someone steals the Tablet, it can be tracked and traced using GPS technology, so you can find out where the person is physically and it can narrow it down to a building and, you can also shut down the Tablet and wipe off the content. So, we want to make it very clear to persons who may have nefarious intentions that there is really nothing to gain by trying to steal one of these Tablets”.

State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Julian Robinson at the JIS Think Tank on Thursday August 14th 2014

It’s like I said, the Tablet in Schools Project, part of the E-Learning II Program has a dual aim; introduce Interactive Learning among Jamaican students and encourage Children with the idea that they can pursue careers in ICT (Information and Computer Technology).

So says Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology Energy and Mining Julian Robinson in the article “Tablet programme to strengthen innovation among students - Robinson”, published Tuesday, August 19, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.  Still not sure on the Model of the Tablets being distributed, as no pictures or even reviews have surfaced, albeit the subsidized price is alledged to be JA$5000.

The Tablets are a part of the TIS (Tablet in Schools) Project Test Pilot that will see some 25,000 Tablets being provided and distributed by Telecom Provider Digicel, Innovative Corporate Solutions, Productive Business Solutions and GeoTechVision Enterprises.

These Tablets will be distributed to some 38 Primary, High, Junior High Schools and Colleges across Jamaica in a Test Pilot to see how well Tablets enhance Teaching various subjects as detailed in my blog article entitledTablet In Schools Project launched for September 2014 – How Teachers Benefit as Female interest in ICT Industry Blossoms”.

As my article points out, it will also have the nice side-effect of increasing the number of females that take an interest in the ICT (Internet and Computer Technology) Industry, as there is a shortage of their numbers in that field. It will also help male students to learn better, being as males tend to be more visual learners and not necessarily via reading.

Already the content is in place, guided by a common curriculum created by the Ministry of Education as I'd explained in my blog article entitledMinistry of Education Select Content for Jamaican TIS Project - How Tablets will Empower Interactive Learning and make Students Aim High”.

All that's now needed is the DMS (Device Management System) and CMS (Content Management System) as explained in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Science and Technology signs four Contractors in March 2014 to procure Tablets - Test Pilot Project in September 2014 means Teachers can monetize e-books”.

With content covered, the infrastructure is now needed to support Tablets being able to access the Internet and being made secure. So how is that progressing?

DMS and CMS for TIS Project – If the CAP for Wi-Fi Internet Fits for Education

So now on to the implementation of the CMS and DMS, which will be handled by the Four Contractors as mentioned above. They'll have begun to implement some 200 CAP (Community Access Points) at several GOJ (Government of Jamaica) State institutions such as:
1.      Church Halls
2.      Community Centers
3.      Health Centers
4.      Police Stations
5.      Post Offices

60 of these CAP have been placed at Hospitals and Health Centers, a logical move as they tend to have preset infrastructure upon which Free Wi-Fi Internet can be configured. This is an ongoing Project which is funded by the USF (Universal Service Fund) that's derived from the Telecoms Tax and the Cess on International Calling via the Telecom Providers.

Hence this progress should make Jamaicans be less interested in bypassing our local Telecom Providers and thus subscribing to more International Calling Plans to make International Calls and thus support the USF as argued my blog article entitled “LIME and Digicel blocking all VoIP Services - How Telecom Providers can make money from Regularizing Paid VoIP Services”.

PR (Public Relations) Campaign to galvanize support for USF by making more International Calls with the slogan “Don’t Bypass; Support the USF and E-Learning II Project!” sounds good to me!

Tablet Remote Security Protocols – Julian Robinson introduces GPS Security in Jamaica

As for the security part of the TIS Project, State Minister Julian Robinson pointed out that the Four (4) contractors got those Tablets on Lock Down as explained in the article “Forget it! Robinson warns against stealing Tablets”, published Saturday August 16, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

He's very much aware of the security risk based on his statement at the JIS Think Tank meeting on Thursday August 14th 2014, quote: “We recognise it is a risk. We are conscious of it, and there is a special security committee that is anticipating and addressing these issues ... we have to try and mitigate all the concerns as best as possible, and that is why we have placed a lot of emphasis on the security aspect so persons know there is no value in stealing these Tablets”.

This security issues is the main arguement many detractors use to pummel the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining about the TIS Project, comparing it to another White Elephant like the Half Way Tree Transport Center. That and the fact that these Tablets will give students access to Pornographic Websites and other questionable content make many parents and detractors claiming waste thing that this is a bad idea!

Coincidentally, I'd been interviewed on Nationwide News 90FM located at 27 Mannings Hill Road and home of Miss Kitty, their main personality. I’d appeared on host Vernon Derby’s show “Technology Now” TWICE, on Friday May 2nd 2014 and Friday June 11th 2014 respectively to explain how to protect children from Adult Content online.

I also did an article on what High School Children need to do to take care of their Tablets as explained in my blog article entitled “How to care your Tablet from the TIS Program – Batteries are included and you’ll need a Portable Battery Charger”.

Well, at a cost estimated to be JA$800 million to JA$1.2 billion taken SOLELY from the USF, it's a well needed White Elephant. Without it, Children will continue to fail CXC and CAPE exams, as they have no reason to hope and believe that their lives will be any better.

Tablet Remote Security Protocols – Triple Authentication, LBS and IMEI Labeling

Thus the LBS (Location Based Service) that's being activated on these Tablets by the four (4) Contractors should make it quite safe for students to tote these Tablets in their knapsacks on their way to school as explained in the article “Forget it! Robinson warns against stealing Tablets”, published Saturday August 16, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

During a demonstration by Technical Service Manager Dean-Ray Grant GeoTech Vision Enterprise Limited, he was able to locate the Tablet and thus theoretically alert the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) aka the Jamaica Police. He also rendered the Tablet unusable unless they had the Google Login and Password for the Tablet as well as how to disable the GPS Module inside, which makes the Tablet instantly trackable once it's booted up.

Interestingly, during the demonstration, even after gaining that level of access using the Google Login and password as well as the Screen Lock password, there is another Challenge screen. That Challenge Screen is most likely for the software that's used to secure the Tablet. Students who normally use the Tablet would have to enter a code to access the Tablet's content located on the E-Learning Platform that authenticates via their E-Learning Platform Server in order to begin using the Tablet.

But as Technical Service Manager Dean-Ray Grant GeoTech Vision Enterprise Limited demonstrated, even if the thief knows the third and final password and enters that third and final password, he still won’t gain access.

Once the Tablet is reported stolen and the person attempts to use the Internet, DMS Security Software will work in the background on the Tablet and remotely connect to the E-Learning Server. Upon authenticating the Tablet based on its IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identification) Number, it will block all services on the Tablet and prevent access to the Tablet.

Best of all, the DMS Security Software will access the GPS Service and make the Tablet trackable by the Jamaican Police, who'll make it their priority to recover these stolen Tablets, which are technically GOJ property. The Police will be more than happy to do this once a Tablet is stolen.

This as it means that they can not only locate the Tablet using an App on a Tablet that they'll be given themselves (can you say Jamaican TIS Project Task Force?) but it might also lead them to making arrests of the thieves.

It may also lead them to locating the places that they carry the Tablet to be unlocked. Not to mention even lead them to the hideout of notorious criminals in the same way Hansel and Gretel left bread crumbs behind them to follow. Only these Bread Crumbs are Geo-Location based and hard to cover.

Stolen TIS Project Tablet Endgame – Reinstall the Google Android OS, GOJ can still Track you

Remember, the Tablet is protected by DMS Security Software that's installed on the Tablet. At any point that the Tablet is powered on, that DMS Security Software will begin to broadcast its location. If the persons managers to breach the triple password protection, something any child can remember and access the Internet, the main purpose of having a Tablet anyway, the DMS Security Software block its functions and their ability to use the Tablet and begin broadcasting the location of the  Tablet so that it can be tracked.

The Thief would have to scrub the Tablet i.e. reinstall the Google Android Operating System completely in an EM (Electromagnetically) shielded environment in order to prevent the GPS Beacon from activating and making the Tablet trackable. Even then, its IMEI would probably make it traceable every time the thief tries to access the Free Internet that's available at the various CAP across Jamaica, restricting the person to using their Internet access at their home.

Even then with the Google Android OS reinstalled, there would be no escape. Google Android has built in functionality that enables the GOJ to track your Android Tablet by simply using the IMEI for the Tablets purchased via the Four Contractors.

Once you’re written it down and you remember what that IMEI was and your child and the child’s parent can establish ownership of the Tablet, the Jamaican TIS Project Task Force (‘cause that what I’m calling the Police in his case!) can go to the Android Security Website and access the Tablet remotely and disable it from being able to receive Updates as well as being able to work properly.

If you happen to recover the Tablet, to reactivate its access to the E-Learning Platform you’d have to present GOJ Picture identification to the Jamaican TIS Project Task Force and then they’ll have your assigned school, the Ministry of Education and the Contractor to who the Tablet belongs verify the Tablet’s ownership.

At that point the Tablet will be reactivated and access fully restored. Something tells me that this type of GPS Tracking might end up being used on more than just Tablets in the TIS Project. More on this particular bit of speculation at a later date in time!