Showing posts from October, 2022

Technology can go wrong

It's Friday and we are having what feels like heatwave weather in Trinidad. I should be glad because living on this tropical island with sun, sea and sand and all I have to do is go to the nearest beach. Mans was hungry and we decided to order food. I did the usual and was not expecting any hurdles. I done this before without any hiccups. I proceeded to pay via card and then was startled by an error message. Remote server has failed. The order was not placed. I checked online banking and payment did go through. I immediately contacted support through chat in the app and support did confirm seeing the payment and said it would be reversed. I was told a credit card reversal would take 2 to 5 business days to happen. I asked for a discount coupon instead and they said yes. There was some wait and I got my code and tried my order again and that was that. During my plight I was thinking technology is nice most of the times but when it fails it could be a bummer. Technology will fail som

I did some currying today

I came across this problem on Daily Coding Problem This problem was asked by Squarespace. Write a function, add_subtract, which alternately adds and subtracts curried arguments. Here are some sample operations: add_subtract(7) -> 7 add_subtract(1)(2)(3) -> 1 + 2 - 3 -> 0 add_subtract(-5)(10)(3)(9) -> -5 + 10 - 3 + 9 -> 11 I didn't have an answer from the top of my head. I decided to get some help from Google and see what I could learn in the process. Before going further in my blog post, see if you can come up with a solution and comment how that went. First thing for me was to learn about currying in javascript. The first link I came across was this one But it does not cover infinite currying which is what I needed. I then went through a bunch of searches and articles trying to understand as much as I could. This next article stood out to me because of how simple the solution was but it could not be modified to cater for alt

My thinkpiece on crime in Trinidad and Tobago

I think one of the questions we have to ask and provide answers for is why is the crime problem much less in Tobago? What can we learn from Tobago? Crime in Trinidad is a huge problem and is growing steadily. It is affecting well being, family life, business, investment and country negatively. This is not an overnight problem. It took some time for us to reach here. Dealing with crime demands a multistakeholder approach with particular attention to root causes and prevention. National security has a huge budget. Spending on technology can help with analysis, prevention and security at personal, community and national levels. Is the education system doing enough to mold upstanding citizens? I think our education system is mainly a factory for employers. There is too much emphasis on passing exams and beating books. Wealth is created on the backs of cheap labour. Cheap labour being those who do not win at the education race. We need equity in the distribution of wealth. There is plenty o

0G networks in Trinidad

What is a 0G network? 0G is wireless technology originating before cell phone technology such as PTT and IMTS. This was analog in nature. Today, a 0G network is a simple, secure, low cost and low power wireless network designed to send or receive small messages between IoT devices. There is no need for a SIM card. Sigfox is a major player in this space and has built out a 0G network across the world with a bunch of network operators using their technology. I reached out to the Ministry of Digital Transformation, iGovTT and TATT in the same email and asked the following, "Is the Ministry or iGovTT doing any work to utilise 0G networks? Would this be part of connected Arima? What would be the role of TATT in us making use of 0G networks?" Only TATT responded as follows, "As the telecommunications regulator and spectrum management authority, TATT’s role will involve certification of wireless equipment to be used for 0G networks (i.e. equipment certification application), li

Using technology to make PTSC better

I had planned to do a Q and A with PTSC about using tech and providing a better service but I pivoted and created this blog post. I crowd sourced ideas from social media and added my own ideas. What persons don't see is the hardship and begging and following up that goes into getting responses and questions answered from some entities. Whenever I can do this easily it is like a breath of fresh air. I would expect entities to be willing and responsive to persons working to make a difference. What's the point of this you might ask? Someone is already being paid handsomely to come up with these ideas you might say. The point for me and my blog is about brainstorming and educating. We want an informed public. We want a solutions minded public. We want a public that is willing to help regardless. Such a public will be in a better position to hold the technocrats to account. Such a public will be able to demand better and decide better. I would not go into the benefits of efficient p

Learning from defunct projects in tech

Update (October 12 2022) : I was told by BEF on facebook chat that the Barbados Free Wifi initiative has ended. The national goal was achieved. Coverage moved from less than 10% to over 80%. Free access is almost universal. I am glad for this new information. I had sent an email to the project champion. I will try to get from her what was learnt from this project. I will contact our Ministry of Digital Transformation in Trinidad and see what their thoughts are on doing something similar in Trinidad. Original blog post : Who remembers the Barbados Free Wifi initiative? It was a project of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation. The idea was that businesses would configure their network to provide a guest network and this would happen all over Barbados. From all my research so far this project is no longer active. I was rooting for this project and what it could achieve and then it could be copied in other Caribbean countries like Trinidad and Tobago. This would be strong for marketi

20 years of tech in Trinidad and Tobago

I have been a part of the tech space locally for many years now as a consumer, tech graduate, coder and tech blogger. In my youtube video I describe the tech space in Trinidad and Tobago as developing. We have good internet infrastructure and plenty tech graduates. We have ample examples of tech being used to better our lives. We are developing and there is much room for improvement. I returned to Trinidad in 2003 after studying and working abroad. A lot has happened locally in the almost last 20 years since. I want to point out some of these happenings that come to my mind and share some of my thoughts. Liberisation of the telecoms sector is the first thing that comes to mind. I remember rushing to the Croisee in San Juan to buy that Nokia flip phone from Digicel on launch day. This brought options, lower prices and investment in upgrades over the years. Eventually we had the launch of 4G that brought tears of joy to my eyes. The proliferation of smart phones in Trinidad happened and

Just another phone

I did not watch the Pixel 7 launch today but I followed the tweets, read some of the blogs and watched some of the youtuber takes. Marques asked for questions and I replied, "Has smartphones reached peak? Are we only going to see spec upgrades now and is the next thing AR and wearable?" Then I tweeted this, "Pixel 7 - just another phone with improved specs. Where is the innovation and next big thing?" I could say the same thing about the other recent smartphone launches. Is this a money making scheme? I have lost interest in the latest and greatest and new and shiny smartphones. Am I just bitter because I cannot afford to upgrade now? The phone boasts a new processor and ships with Android 13. Google says that the new OS is fast, smart and secure. I am a photog and content creator and everyone wants a good camera to capture those special moments. You can use "photo unblur" that uses machine learning to improve blurry pictures. The camera can capture video

What is happiness?

It is raining plenty in Trinidad today. I am watching youtube and came across this question. What is happiness? I could answer this with one or two sentences but I am challenging myself to say more with this blog post. To me, happiness is that good feeling I get when things are going good. When I am enjoying what I am doing. The absence of stress and worries. To be able to see the good in spite of the bad. To be content. To appreciate the small things. One way to explain something is by giving examples. So here goes. Happiness is leaving home early on a Friday to get down to the port to wait for the 5pm fast ferry to Tobago. Happiness is a perfectly ripe Starch mango dripping down my hands as I make a meal of it. Happiness is not only selfish. Helping someone in need also makes me feel happy. Seeing others win at life is also a treat. Happiness was seeing Manchester City beat Man United 6 - 3 in the derby. It is said that we cannot have a rainbow without the rain. There is no light wit

If your financial needs were met for the rest of your life, what would you do?

That was a question I came across on twitter. My immediate answer was tech youtuber. Now that I am writing this blog post I am asking myself another question and that is, why did I not answer tech blogger? Tech youtuber would be more challenging for me. Also, youtuber is the current and popular thing while blogger is old school. My youtube channel is small. I have 309 subscribers, 95 videos and about 43,000 views. I have 10 videos that have crossed 1,000 views. One of the things that I let hold me back from making more youtube videos is that I don't have a good laptop. But that is me making excuses. Every big youtuber was once a small youtuber. I would say that I made a good start and my youtube channel is a nice extension to my blogging. There are not many tech youtubers in Trinidad and Tobago. I feel like this is an option that more trinis should pursue. My idea of a tech lab would be something that encourages this. What I got from the question (the title of this blog post) is

Focus on solutions and ways we can help

While surfing the internet this morning I started thinking about problem solving and particularly in Trinidad and Tobago. If I wanted to see a list of all the problems affecting persons in this country where do I go? If I wanted to volunteer solutions to these problems where do I go? There are problems that have existed for years. Seems like everyone knows the solutions. Seems like everyone is an expert. Then there is bureaucracy. Then there are competing interests. Then there is finite resources. I find the older generation is often resistant to change and change is often needed as solutions to problems. The older generation thinks about working hard while the younger generation thinks about working smart. We need to develop a good problem solving culture in this country and I think technology can help. We can develop an open forum platform where persons can share problems and then persons can offer solutions. Problems and solutions can be voted on. The platform can be incentivised to

My first time participating in Trinidad and Tobago Restaurant Week

It was a quiet afternoon in the suburban town of Warrenville in Cunupia. The humdrum and my growling belly made me launch the Fooddrop app. My eyes pounced on the Muhzaa restaurant and I recognised that it was new to Fooddrop. There were no reviews to guide me as they were new to the app and I felt like an explorer as I perused the menu offerings. Trinidadians are being called upon to tighten our belts as the cost of living rises. When I saw the one hundred dollar menu for Trinidad and Tobago Restaurant Week I felt compelled to bite. For a blue note I could get a portion of tikka chicken, some naan bread, a piece of cream cheese pound cake or a serving of gujar halwa, and soda or water. I was sold. Through the power and convenience of modern technology and an internet connection, I had placed my order. It must be noted at this point that my belly had become a full on choir with orchestra singing for supper. My mouth was watering like Caura river on a holiday. I had never participated i