Tag Archives: 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

Mobile X-Ray Scanner enhances security at Barbados Port

The strange looking vehicle at the Barbados Port is call an HCV – Heimann Cargo Vision. We haven’t seen anything in the local media about it so when we saw a post at Big Lorry Blog we stole borrowed their photo in the hopes that some of our readers could contribute to the story.

Does anyone know how much this thing is actually used because I haven’t seen it used once, but then again I wasn’t looking for it and now I will when I pass by the port. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Technology

Barbados bedevilled by slow internet: Will an IXP help?

Bevil Wooding might know something about the Internet…

The last few weeks have been brutal when it comes to internet speed in Barbados. Everybody and I mean everybody is complaining. This is nothing new but it seems to be getting worse, not better.

Sometimes you can look at the clock and rationalize that the young people are just arriving home from school so everybody is on at once, but other times there seems to be no reason for the slowdown. I know there are worse places for internet than Barbados, but we’re supposed to be an international business centre and a developed country so the communications infrastructure should be faster and more robust than it is.

Of course, we do have South Africa beat. Not too long ago, a Johannesburg tech company staged a race between a carrier pigeon and the national internet provider to move a big chunk of data to Durban. Using a pigeon named Winston, the transfer took two hours and six minutes. In that time, the national internet provider was only able to transfer 4% of the data. Staged, of course, but it made a point.

So back to Barbados. What is to be done about our internet?

According to our friend Gerard Best, and Bevil Wooding (photo above. Bevil is one of the seven keyholders to the Internet) the answer might be an IXP on Barbados…

A Faster Better Caribbean Internet

By Gerard Best – special to Barbados Free Press

Recently, Governments across the Caribbean region have been more and more vocal in acknowledging the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to social development. Many Caribbean-based businesses have also been talking about the importance of leveraging the potential of ICT to increase the region’s global competitiveness. Implicit in these statements is the assumption that the Internet will serve as the primary vehicle for the delivery of all these services. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Technology

Barbados Business and Government Hesitate To Use The Term “IP” (Internet Protocol) – Why?

Short answer: Money.  Hundreds of millions of dollars per year, in fact…

Longer answer: IP leads to what is known as Next Generation Networks (NGNs).

State Of The Art Technology At Our Famous Bajan Telephone Tree!

State Of The Art 1950's Technology At Our Famous Bajan Telephone Tree!

While the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) AKA the Public Switched Telephone Service (PSTN) dealt with a single 64 kb/s dedicated circuit (which always takes a single route) between two users to provide two-way, real-time audio (read: voice) service, the Internet deals with datagrams between multiple users using the best route available at that particular instance.

The fundamental issue is that the traditional telephony providers are used to charging a *great deal* of money for providing these dedicated circuits.  This is where the *money* is…

Along comes the Internet, which views voice as just another “data service”, along with video, the web, data exchange (read: BitTorrent), and real-time “presence”.

In the “Developed” world, the Providers have had to face the competition of the Internet head on.  This is why long-distance (read: International) rates there are something like USD $0.04 a minute or less.

Here in the Caribbean, the Providers have somehow (and I’ll be careful here to not tell you exactly how) convinced “Those in Power” that Consumers should not be able to use the technology available to their own advantage.  “It could affect Tax Revenue!”  (Read: The Providers are making stupid money, and the Governments (and others…) are taking a (*very*) small cut of this.)

At the end of the day, our region is being prevented from having affordable access to telecommunications services for the benefit of a very few — most of whom are not actually within the Caribbean.  We are being prevented from being able to compete on a level playing field, for the simple reason that we can’t communicate as we should and must be able to.

We, as a People, are being hindered in our progress for the benefit of those “away”.

Kindest regards to all.

Chris Halsall

Ideas4lease.com

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Consumer Issues, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption