Category Archives: Technology

A real Barbadian international business success story: Automotive Art promotes training in Barbados to attract new USA business!

Automotive Art Barbados training

Need an automotive paint system in the USA? Come to Barbados for training… in January.

Our own Bajan automotive paint supplier is leveraging their Barbados training centre to sell product throughout the USA. I love it!

by Robert

Please pardon me while I reminisce for a bit…

A long time ago my father advised that if I wanted to become a professional pilot as he was, I should first become a certified aircraft mechanic. (Certain folks will cringe at the word “mechanic” and want the word changed to “technician” or “maintenance engineer” depending if they live in America or Europe. Noted, but I’m old school and will continue to say “mechanic”. I also hold DC-3 & 727 type-ratings – master certifying mechanic and command pilot -, so put that in your tonic and gin too.)

My father knew that pilots come and go according to the ups and downs of the airline industry, and that a medical down-check can leave a professional pilot begging in the streets. He wanted me to have a valuable skill to fall back on, and I’m grateful I listened to him. My career as a professional pilot lasted only 7 years, and I made little money compared with my 20 years crawling on my back underneath aircraft with rivet gun or wrench in hand.

My father also told me that there was nothing quicker and easier than a new coat of paint to increase the value of a used aircraft, boat or car.

Young men should pay careful attention to that statement because it is true: There is nothing quicker and easier than a new coat of paint to increase the value of a used aircraft, boat or car.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Technology, Uncategorized

TED Talk: The kill decision shouldn’t belong to a robot

Technology always brings unforeseen social changes

In Barbados we have zero transparency, zero accountability and the ruling political elites can do pretty well what they want. Author Daniel Suarez’s TED presentation predicts that as autonomous weapons become cheaper and more lethal, smaller governments and developing societies will have an advantage over larger, more developed societies. It seems far fetched to imagine Barbados wielding autonomous weapons and drones – but maybe not. Suarez also talks about private interests using the same weapons. Considering the Columbian and Mexican crime cartels, that’s not such an impossibility either.

The above YouTube video is brought to you by those friendly folks at Samsung. That’s right, the same folks that make your phone also make and deploy automatic killer machine guns for a very reasonable US$200,000 each. Just set ’em and forget ’em…

“This raises the very real possibility of anonymous war. This could tilt the geopolitical balance on its head, make it very difficult for a nation to turn its firepower against an attacker, and that could shift the balance in the 21st century away from defense and toward offense. It could make military action a viable option not just for small nations, but criminal organizations, private enterprise, even powerful individuals. It could create a landscape of rival warlords undermining rule of law and civil society. Now if responsibility and transparency are two of the cornerstones of representative government, autonomous robotic weapons could undermine both.

Now you might be thinking that citizens of high-tech nations would have the advantage in any robotic war, that citizens of those nations would be less vulnerable, particularly against developing nations. But I think the truth is the exact opposite. I think citizens of high-tech societies are more vulnerable to robotic weapons, and the reason can be summed up in one word: data. Data powers high-tech societies. Cell phone geolocation, telecom metadata, social media, email, text, financial transaction data, transportation data, it’s a wealth of real-time data on the movements and social interactions of people. In short, we are more visible to machines than any people in history, and this perfectly suits the targeting needs of autonomous weapons.”

Watch Daniel Suarez’s entire TED Talk here.

Thanks to an old friend for the suggestion.

Comments Off on TED Talk: The kill decision shouldn’t belong to a robot

Filed under Barbados, Science, Technology

Bitcoin Barbados connection

bitcoin_barbadosThe massive half-billion dollar theft of Bitcoins from Mt. Gox took a new twist today as allegations surfaced that Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles lied about the alleged theft.

For me, I’ll put my little wealth in gold, silver, artificially low Chinese currency, land and tools. If everything else fails, tools can keep you fed and happy.

There’s nothing like a new 90 degree drill and a few good clecos to make me happy.

Bitcoin? Ya takes ya chances…

The recent success of Bitcoin, a decentralized cryptographic currency, has raised new research questions on the opportunities and risks of virtual currencies. A handful of research papers have appeared in multiple disciplines, spanning a range of outlets, including top security conferences, legal journals, and reports of international financial organizations. This workshop aims to bring together interested scholars who study virtual currencies, Bitcoin in particular, and their supporting ecosystems from a technical or socio-economic perspective.”

… from the website of International Financial Cryptography and Data Security AssociationThey sure got that one wrong!

While Media Chased Nakamoto, Crypto-Geeks in Barbados Marveled at his Creation

While the hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto morphed into a media circus last week, a community of cryptocurrency experts from which the bitcoin founder likely sprang was tucked away in sunny Barbados discussing the present and future of his remarkable invention.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Technology

Afra Raymond loses ‘afraraymond.com’ domain name

afra raymond CMMB

Yup. It looks like our old friend Afra Raymond lost his domain name ‘afraraymond.com’. Enquiries to that website are now directed to a website that is definitely not our Afra Raymond.

Meanwhile, Afra continues to send out posts and emails directing folks to AfraRaymond.com

Oops!

If you want to read Afra’s articles (and they really are worth your time) you can still go directly to his website at WordPress…

http://afraraymond.wordpress.com

Have a read of Afra’s latest about the efforts to shut down his bold exposure of the truth about Invader’s Bay, CLICO and all manner of government corruption.

“There are several lessons one can draw from this exchange – the sheer hostility to the truth which is now becoming a disturbing ‘new normal‘ in our society;

… the invisible hand of the bureaucracy in devising large-scale developments, stated to be for the benefit of citizens, without citizen inputs; the inescapable reality that these obstructive forces operate across and within all our political administrations.”

Afra Raymond: The Uff Bluff

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Filed under Technology

What we really need in Barbados is more innovation, more inventions… and more vibrations

Guilty… I couldn’t help it!

🙂

Cliverton

1 Comment

Filed under Culture & Race Issues, Technology

Mini Moke returns – but Barbados misses Caribbean distributorship

Mini Moke new old

The Moke: Old and New

The Moke is in production again – this time in China – and the new version remains true to the concept launched by Austin way back in 1964. The car was originally a military version of the famous Austin Mini and is loved by tourists all over the world’s tropical zones. This time it will also have an electric version.

The new manufacturers have just awarded Caribbean Distributorship to a company in the British Virgin Islands: Tola Moke Limited.

The motto on the distributor’s website is “A fleet of Mokes for an army of tourists”

Optimistic yes, but we need some optimism around this place!

Good luck to Bruce Wong of Tola Moke. We hope he sells a bunch ’bout this rock, and we’re really anticipating the electric version.

Tola Moke: Introducing the new Moke!

Wikipedia: Mini Moke

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Technology

E-readers a great idea for Bajan schools, but money isn’t the only problem

Barbados School Textbooks

Dear BFP,

There is a move afoot to equip all secondary school students with E-readers. This is a great idea because this technology actually cuts costs over the long run when compared with physical textbooks and provides the latest learning materials.

That’s the upside. The downside is that E-Readers are more fragile than textbooks, and are more likely to be stolen. We’re not even talking about the problems with procuring and supporting the technology.

I can’t think of one educational procurement programme that has actually turned out well with the current administration and I don’t see why we should have faith that this one will be any better. I hope we have some rules in place before we spend millions on these devices with no controls about bidding and conflicts of interest etc.

(name withheld upon request)

E-readers for all

A move is now on to provide all 23,000-plus secondary school children in Barbados with e-readers.

The initiative, which is being led by the heads of the island’s 22 secondary schools, is designed to eliminate the headaches of issuing each child with nearly two dozen textbooks annually, and eliminate the tens of thousands each institution spends of book replenishment each year.

One of the education administrators who expressed delight at the progress made on the project so far noted they were aiming to have the e-readers in students hands not later than September 2014, “but sooner than that if all goes according to plan.”

One principal explained that while the evolving of the Textbook Revolving Loan Scheme into an e-reader based programme started with principals who clearly understood the benefits such a shift would bring, they all recognised that before it becomes a reality the Ministry of Education would have to be brought on board as a major player.

In the meanwhile though, the principals explained that given the continued dramatic fall in the prices of e-readers versus the escalating cost of traditional textbook, the change would significantly enhance the mechanism for supplying students with reading material…

…continue reading this article at Barbados Today

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Filed under Barbados, Education, Technology

Steve Jobs one year after his death. Why did we cry this morning?

Mom? Dad? Why are you crying?

Very few people really change the world, and do it for the better. Shona and I believe that Steve Jobs did.

So we had to explain ourselves this morning to our #1 son when he found us at the table. Say what you will, doesn’t matter. We miss Steve.

Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs

February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs on death and life (Steve was a Buddhist)

From his 2005 Commencement Speech, Stanford University…

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart…

… continue reading Steve’s commencement speech: Goodbye Steve… and thank you

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Filed under Celebrities, History, Technology

Can Barbados invent a better toilet?

Suckwells, well, suck!

Billy and Melinda Gates are doing something truly wonderful with all that Windows95 money you sent them: they are trying to find a better way to dispose of your poop.

Barbados should really really really be into this challenge. After all, this small island doesn’t have much of a buffer between you sitting on the toilet and the drinking water that comes out of your kitchen faucet.

If that sounds yucky, it’s only because it’s closer to the truth than we like to be reminded of.

Watch the video, then stop by Bill’s personal blog and take a look.

Bill Gates: Inventing a Toilet for the 21st Century

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Filed under Health, Technology

Why did our Minister of Works and Transport endorse this technology company? Does he own stock?

BREAKING HOT NEWS: Company paid up to $100,000 to certain websites to promote this stock! Did they pay anything to Minister of Transport John Boyce or any other Bajan? See end of story for details.

“Utilizing the Start FEED unit in Barbados on our government vehicles will result in tremendous fuel costs savings, in addition to major reductions of toxic automobile emissions and assist the government in accomplishing the goal of a cleaner and healthier Barbados.”

Hon. Mr. John Boyce, Minister of Works and Transport as quoted in a press release and stock prospectus for Great Wall Builders Ltd.

Did Barbados Minister John Boyce receive any gift or benefit from Start Technologies or Great Wall Builders Ltd.?

A new stock is in play. Press releases and a stock prospectus were sent out hyping new technology that is claimed to improve fuel efficiency by 20%. The miracle aftermarket gadget “uses a high-voltage electric current to break long-chain hydrocarbon molecules into shorter, lighter more volatile molecules.”

Why didn’t Detroit or Toyota think of this? Because they are stupid, that’s why! In 100 years of internal combustion engine development nobody has thought of this…

except… there have been many similar devices in history making the same claims about using electric current to modify the properties of fuel. There are even websites where engineers debunk this type of claim that electricity will change the molecular structure of fuel and result in significant mileage increases.

Not to worry though: the Barbados Minister of Transport attests that the technology works. And it’s not just Bajan citizen John Boyce saying this: he is a Minister of the Government of Barbados and representative of the entire country, so his claim must be true… right? It must be because the credibility of our country and the government rests upon Mr. Boyce’s endorsement.

Some engineers and scientists disagree with Minister Boyce. They say that claims of 20% increase in mileage are not scientifically possible and that these devices are scams…

“The unburnt fuel in the exhaust (even before the cat) represents 1 or 2% at most of the input fuel. If you factor in the energy in the CO emissions, the figure still only rises to 3% maximum. So even if the fuel “saving” device could totally eliminate unburnt fuel and CO in the exhaust, and give an absolutely 100% complete burn, you would only save 3% of fuel. Claims that 10%, 20% or even more of the fuel is not burnt and escapes into the exhaust are entirely false…”

From Tony’s Guide to Fuel saving gadgets

Why are my warning antennae up and pulsating?

The press release by GWBU reports that the Barbados Ministry of Transport and Works tested this new technology over a 2 month period and confirmed the claims of the company. Imagine what a 20% fuel saving could do for the world! With that kind of savings the West could tell the Arabs to shove it where the sun doan shine. That would be the end of the UK’s travel duty. Cruise ships will flock to Bim because they will use 20% less fuel.

This is big. Really big… and the stock price soared!

So the stock price of GWBU must go up… and up it went! Nine cents a share to a buck seventy three in a few of weeks!

I wonder if Transport Minister Boyce or his family members or close friends have any of this stock?

Good. That’s great to see entrepreneurship and progressive capitalism at its best: making money and saving the planet.

Hey… Minister Boyce… we are saving the planet with this device, right?

Just a few questions Minister Boyce. We know you’ll take the time to answer them because although your government promised to implement Freedom of Information Legislation within the first 100 days of office, your government didn’t do that in almost five years because you were really busy with (fill in the answer here.)

But the DLP government is committed to transparency and accountability – with or without legislation – so we know that you will take the time to answer a few questions…

Dear Minister Boyce:

1/ Did you or your family members have any GWBU stock? How many shares? Waddya pay per share? Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Science, Technology

Internet effectiveness: Barbados excellent, Trinidad and Tobago among the worst in the world…

Effective Governance Key to Caribbean ICT Development

by Gerard Best

PORT OF SPAIN.  Trinidad and Tobago jumped three spots to place 60th overall out of 142 countries in the 2012 Global Information Technology Report, published earlier this month by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Even with its slightly improved ranking, Trinidad and Tobago lagged behind other Latin American and Caribbean countries such as Barbados (35th) and Puerto Rico (36th), although it outperformed several larger territories in the region, including Brazil (65th), Jamaica (74th) and neighbouring Venezuela (107th).

A closer look at the report’s Networked Readiness Index reveals that the reasons for Trinidad and Tobago’s middling performance on the global stage were more closely related to gaps in leadership deficiencies than deficiencies of a technological nature. One telling statistic: although Trinidad and Tobago had top ranking (1st) in the mobile network coverage category, the country still ranked 82nd in terms of affordability of mobile rates, and in terms of Internet and telephony competition–a dismal 117th. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Technology, Trinidad and Tobago

Would the ZENN Car have worked for Barbados? We think so!

UPDATED: March 20, 2013

We were intrigued with the little ZENN electric car a year ago when we came across this video. The car is out of production because Canada and many US states won’t let light-weight minimal transportation on the roads.

ZENN isn’t dead though – it raised two million dollars for EEStor technology that is all about using a capacitor instead of a battery to power electric autos. You can read about ZENN autos and EEStor on Wikipedia and at ZENN’s website. The video if fun and worth your time…

ZENN Motor Company made about six hundred of these little electric vehicles in Quebec Canada before the production stopped in 2010. With a range of only 40 miles and a top speed that was artificially limited to 25 mph, the vehicle didn’t sell well enough to enter big time production. There were also legal issues that prevented the vehicle from being operated on highways in Canada.

Nonetheless, with a cost of only $12,000 Canadian and the ability to charge overnight from an ordinary household electrical outlet, the vehicle might have worked well in urban areas… or in Barbados. Think about how much you actually drive each day, how narrow our roads are, and that you could plug into an outlet at work or home. Zero emissions, no noise, little maintenance required and it’s not like I’m commuting 100 miles to and from downtown Manhattan every day.

Yup. The ZENN would have worked just fine for me in Barbados.

Thanks to an old friend who sent us the video and says “We could do with 10,000 of THESE coming into the Bridgetown Port right now!”

15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment, Technology

Goodbye Steve… and thank you

Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs

February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011

Apple.com Remembering Steve

Wikipedia: Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs on death and life (Steve was a Buddhist)

From his 2005 Commencement Speech, Stanford University…

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Religion, Technology

LIME iPhones: High class robbery?

Time 4 Lime? Try “Time 4 Change”

by Kurt Linton a.k.a Dirkmouse “Da Bouse”

“As of now my perception is not only of high-class robbery but an injustice at minimum on the Barbadian public.”

I was recently doing some web browsing in search of a smartphone. It has been (3) years since I have owned a cellphone and due to the change in social behaviors I decided it was time to make a move.

My friend pointed me to LIME (http://www.time4lime.com). She knowing I’m an Apple fan boy thought I would be interested in the iPhones they now have on offer. Interested I was indeed and so I made my way over to have a look. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Technology

WikiLeaks: New Chargé d’Affaires Christopher Sandrolini lobbied Vatican on biotech foods

Sandrolini also known as “Tough Guy” in war on drugs

“Moral Imperative of biotech food”

The new US new Chargé d’Affaires to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean was part of a US Government initiative to lobby the Vatican about biotech foods.

According to a leaked US Diplomatic cable, Christopher Sandrolini wrote a report in 2005 that detailed how the Vatican’s reluctance to embrace genetically modified foods had to do with a…

“fear that widespread use of GMO food in the developing world would subjugate its farmer population and become a form of economic imperialism simply serving to enrich multi-national corporations.”

Sandrolini then wrote of the diplomatic strategy to move the Vatican to accept GMO… Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Politics, Technology

Barbados Free Press supports unlocked Wi-Fi

We at BFP want to say a big “Thank You!” to LEX Caribbean…

🙂

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday June 2, 2011 – In January 2010 the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) launched a mission to provide free Wi-Fi connectivity around Barbados by November 11th, 2011. Since then the Foundation has been steadily encouraging companies and individuals throughout the island to unlock their Wi-Fi so as to realise the vision which drives this mission.

Last Tuesday, 24th May, LEX Caribbean, a leading law firm on the Island, with offices in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and London as well was the latest company to unlock their Wi-Fi in furtherance of the BEF initiative. LEX Caribbean now provides free Wi-Fi access via a signal that extends approximately a kilometre to the West and North of their offices in Worthing, Barbados.

Continue reading this story at Caribbean360.com

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Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Technology

Thomas Midgley: Worst environmental criminal in history?

In his portrait, he looks like a respectable man of his time. Intelligent eyes, distinguished appearance and a look of confidence. Nice suit. A successful man. Friendly. A kind and caring father, a good neighbour. A man to be trusted.

It just shows how little you can tell from a formal portrait, for Thomas Midgley invented something that killed people. He knew his invention was killing people and destroying the environment but for years he lied and kept on promoting his invention. Even when his invention ruined his own health, he continued to lie and cover-up to keep making money.

Meet Thomas Midgley, Jr. – Vice President of General Motors and inventor of lead in gasoline.

And, after his work poisoning people and the environment with lead, he went on to “give” the world the miracle of CFCs like Freon that destroy the ozone layer.

Fortunately, Mr. Midgley was strangled to death by one of his other inventions before he could do further harm.

Who are the Thomas Midgleys of Barbados?

There is a lesson here for modern Barbados as we watch the Midgley’s of our day wall off the coasts, fail to pass environmental legislation while approving commercial development of the last remaining wetlands, and continuing to believe that more cars on more roads is a plan to make our island home the best it can be for future generations.

Who are the Bajan Midgleys? Let’s name them here…

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, History, Technology

HELP! Electric Bike needs a charge point at Oistins

We’ve been following the adventures of Canadian David Cameron for almost two years as he tested electric bikes in Barbados. David is back on the island staying in Holetown and he’s going to try to use his electric bike to get to Oistins and back this Friday night.

He needs a charge point at Oistins to top up his bike so he can make it home again. Can anyone help out? He’ll only use 25 cents of electricity and he’d probably be happy to purchase a cutter or a beer if some wonderful person like Marcia will let him plug in to 110VAC.

If anyone can help out, David’s contact info is at the end of the article, or you could put the invitation in the comments section. Here’s his note to us… Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment, Technology