Showing posts from September, 2022

Tech in the budget, where are we headed?

It is Sunday and the day before the reading of the Trinidad and Tobago 2023 budget. I just ate my Sunday lunch and I decided to start this blog post. I don't know if I have the patience this year to listen to Mr Imbert read a lengthy budget document. I thought I might just wait for the document to be uploaded to the website but somehow I managed to listen to the whole thing while following the comments on youtube and twitter. This was my blog post from last year . Where are we headed? The country has been running deficit budgets for several years. The cost of living is rising. Public servants want more salary. Crime is out of control. Foreign exchange is difficult for the ordinary man to source. The government has to balance our wants and spend against limited income. The government has managed to preserve public sector jobs so far and I applaud them for this. We need an intervention. Tech can be a driver of efficiency, lower spending and increased income. Lets take a look at some

Regulating OTT Services in Trinidad and Tobago

TATT has published for comment its consultative document FRAMEWORK ON OVER-THE-TOP SERVICES (OTTS) IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO . The deadline for commenting is today and I am very close to being late. The reasoning for regulations as they put it is to foster fair competition between network operators and providers of OTTS. I feel strongly about net neutrality and a free internet and I think that early attempts to chip away at these things should be nipped in the bud. If you woke up tomorrow and Whatsapp was no longer available in Trinidad how would you feel about this? I would be broken. I would want to make noise. I would want to challenge that decision. A significant number of the population depends on OTT services and use it on a daily basis. TATT has decided to use the following definition of OTTS, "Content, service or application accessed by the public via the Internet that may be a direct substitute for, and/or may compete with, a public telecommunications and/or broadcasting ser

Our tech enabled future in Trinidad and Tobago

Different persons from the ministry of digital transformation, including the minister, have been on local tv talking about the work that they are doing. I have watched the last ones posted to their social media and I want to share my takeaways mixed with my thoughts. I am a techie, a blogger and a citizen and this push to use tech to better our future excites and motivates me. There are 3 pillars being digital economy, digital society and digital government. At the heart of it we want prosperity for people and country. We want to make our lives easier. We are aiming for a connected country starting with the connected Arima project. One concern that comes up often it that of loss of jobs. We should really be looking at this as a change of jobs and retraining to take up new and better jobs. Look at it as an opportunity more than a loss. When I think about digital government, I think efficiency, better customer service and cost savings. But are we measuring the success of the the things t

Trinidad can be a tech paradise

I would not say that we are a tech paradise but I would definitely say that we can be a tech paradise. I read this article from Avasant, who has an office in Trinidad, and there were some things that stood out to me. So much so that I decided to blog about it. It reminded me about the blog post I wrote, Trinidad and Tobago as the ICT hub of the Caribbean . They talk about diversification. We in Trinidad have been talking about diversification for years and not much has been done. We still depend heavily on oil and gas. One day we might wake up and realise we are in serious trouble and realise we have no choice. But then will it be too late? We still have time to change and we should start now. They mentioned that we are surrounded by creative energies. This is definitely true. We have alot of creative, talented, energentic and smart people. But are they being utilised? Are we pushing the fitting persons in leadership positions? Are we listening to the visionaries as I wrote about in m

My input for a more digital Trinidad and Tobago

The Ministry of Digital Transformation is asking for our input towards our Digital Transformation Strategy document. I gave my input and I am encouraging you to also do so here This is what I had to say What does "Digital Transformation" mean to me Productivity, efficiency and diversification through use of tech. We should be earning more foreign exchange. Some key improvements I would want after thinking about the digital future of Trinidad and Tobago Improvements in the ease of doing business Work from home for the disabled Support for tech startups Support for companies earning foreign exchange More tech savvy persons through tech education and tech in education Efficient and user friendly government services Education that produces all-round and upstanding citizens not just beating books Support for coders Grow more food with smart farming Lower our import bill Some of the experiences I would want to have in a digitally advanced Trinida

Microsoft makes learning mathematics a ‘breeze’ as the new school year begins

The below information from Microsoft shared via press release from their Caribbean contact piqued my interest. I loved Maths in my school days as I was much better at it than English and History for example. I even scored a perfect 800 in the SAT Maths section. I know Maths can be a struggle for some and I think students in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean can benefit from this. Press Release [Trinidad, September 9th 2022]  : In the era of distance education, teaching or learning algebra, trigonometry and many other forms of mathematics found throughout Trinidad’s secondary school curriculum has become a challenge. These difficulties can lead to aggravation and anxiety that many experience when faced with learning these complex subjects. To help overcome them, Microsoft designed Microsoft Math Solver, a free tool that allows, step by step, to solve and teach how to solve mathematical problems using Artificial Intelligence. The app covers several areas of mathematics, from elementa

Taking Chances

Would you take 1 million cash now or flip a coin for a chance at 1 billion? I came across this question online and it had me thinking. So much so that I decided to write this blog post. I would take the 1 million. I am not greedy. I dont need a lot to make me happy. I like to play it safe. Maybe that is part reason why I am still around. I am contented. I am happy with my status in life. Sometimes all our options vanish and we are left without choice but to take that chance. In investing, the more risk, the more potential for reward. This had me question my definition of success? I want to be happy BUT I also want others to be happy. I want the world to be a happy place. I had a chance at working Microsoft with an onsite interview but I declined because I already had a job offer. Thinking back, I should have at least gone to the interview. When I came back to Trinidad after resigning my work on Wall Street I should have started my own business. Instead I chose the safe route and went t

My Trinidad and Tobago budget thoughts

The Trinidad and Tobago budget will be read next month on Monday September 26th. I am thinking about this and the future of Trinidad and Tobago and I decided to share quickly my thoughts in this blog post. What does the country need? The country needs more productivity. We need efficient systems. We need foreign exchange earners. All of these things can be achieved through the use of technology. I would like to see attention paid to the vulnerable in society. I want to see the disability grant increased from $2000 to $2500. In my mind there are some focus areas such as crime, health, infrastructure, digital transformation and education. Dealing with crime demands a multistakeholder approach with particular attention to root causes and prevention. Prevention is better than cure. We have to study the link between socioeconomic problems and crime in our country. While the country was locked down for Covid we noticed some reduction in the crime statistics but as the country opened up we ar