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Thread: Tech Conference in Jamaica

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    Lightbulb Tech Conference in Jamaica

    Hi All,

    If someone is hosting a tech conference in Jamaica with a theme of entrepreneurship, what are some topics and/or technologies would you like to see/hear about?

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    A bunch of stuff. Spanning all of the different areas.

    As I was explaining to someone recently, IT is a VERY broad spectrum. Networking can go into various areas such as copper, fiber and wireless. Each can go deeper into things like coax, Ethernet, termination and handling. Wireless can go from regular home setups to WAN and MAN setups. You also have mobile which is under the wireless umbrella. There's just so much.........

    What I personally would like to see is the ability to touch on the broad topics and give persons the path and guides to specialize in different areas. So if someone wants to just work at an IT company they can be told which route to take. And if they want to work at FLOW/Digicel, they can be guided accordingly. Does the person want to do configuration? Do they want to do infrastructure? Things like that.

    As for the software side - programming has various areas that can be explored. iOS versus Android. Web versus desktop - and desktop can be Windows, Linux, Mac (iOS), Chrome OS, etc. But ways and means of guiding persons into the best route - or suggested routes - to get to where they want to go.

    I believe heavily in apprenticeship and internship - but that's me. If someone shows potential or interest, I would give them a chance to see what the working world is like, and possibly hold a spot for them after they graduate.

    On the front for persons who are already working - information regarding current technology and how it's being used. For example - many people who have written off BlackBerry are unaware that they acquired QNX and the software is being used in the navigation system in some vehicles. Stuff like that. Info. Discussions.
    Knowing the solution doesn't mean knowing the method. Yet answering correctly and regurgitation are considered "learning" and "knowledge".

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    Quote Originally Posted by jodz View Post
    Hi All,

    If someone is hosting a tech conference in Jamaica with a theme of entrepreneurship, what are some topics and/or technologies would you like to see/hear about?
    Everything posted below by Khat17 is outdated, the focus on tech should be data, data that our government monopolizes. For example for years I would sit and label google maps using map maker adding roads and names. Google shut it down because they use AI to draw roads, they use the data from our phones to know roads and automatically draw them on the map, now every road in Jamaica is drawn in, even the newest highways only problem is they are not all labeled because even though I request government to share the road names and geo located address with google they wont, and they have the data. If government free up data entrepreneurs can develop applications for example Carfax uses public data to report car history. If government were to make all crime data available using the power of google cloud and AI we could develop crime prediction models to fight crime. People don’t know this but google makes most of the platforms they use available on their cloud platform so literally you can develop applications as powerful as google’s.
    If you want to have a tech conference call it WORKING AROUND GOVERNMENT and ask them to sponsor it that will get their attention LOL.
    Remember to take a look at http://www.google.com/mapmaker

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    Data mining done by the use of "social wifi" and other platforms is intrusive IMO.

    AI is good to a point. Waze and Google Maps still need work as I personally (and I'm sure others) have been lead into dead ends or non-existent roads by the use of AI. While Waze has the option to help by drawing the roads and updating sections of the maps Google doesn't make it as easy.

    I assume you're also 100% for the "Jamaica Eye" project - which is something that I support, but the overall attitude of our local persons and personnel is...........lacking to say the least.

    Data and how to use it would be an interesting topic - but in a country where less than half of the population has good infrastructure, good Internet, or even a semi-decent education - usage of data for personal growth does not help the country on a whole.

    Let's get into the actual use of information and data by the relevant government bodies. It's illegal for me to bring in equipment that could snoop on the networks of FLOW and Digicel. If I had such equipment however, I could have found my lost phones when someone broke into my car and stole them. I had all of the information such as the IMEI and whatnot - plus one was locked to my SIM. The person had been using it for about 4 months after the incident - I even drove into Kingston to the office that supposedly deals with these things and handed over all of the details of each device that was stolen. And nothing.

    Having the tools and not being able to use them - or not knowing how to use them - is about as much of a crime in my book as not having either the tools or knowledge. The focus should be educating persons on the various areas of technology - ALL areas - and giving persons the options to branch out.

    The fun part about "data" is the way it's used here. You do realize that the local government sites are hacked a lot more frequently than most others right? For a little country in the middle of nowhere - we get a lot of attention. I've had friends that do web and security show me back-doors into some sites. Ethical hackers - so they end up contacting the companies or bodies and let them know. And guess what? Here's an actual situation - security issue found and reported - not fixed - reported again - not fixed - reported again - still not fixed - reported and evidence given that files are taken from the site - problem "fixed" and has more vulnerabilities than previously - reported again - after MANY months (and to date) problem is still not fixed.

    We as a whole are not ready for many things. Individuals and some companies are, but until some of the dinosaurs that make the decisions are removed, or until you can show some hard evidence of vulnerabilities/benefits these people don't move or act.

    There is no job that's less important than another - no branch of IT that's lower than another. I don't know about you or anyone else, but I respect our NSWMA personnel. I wouldn't do their jobs, but I have great respect for them. I would never look down on them. Until or unless they decide to change their field and come into IT - I'll give them the options to go where they want. Not shove a singular path.

    Let's see some practical applications for open data and free information locally. Until it becomes more............accessible? Not the word I'm looking for - but until people become more sensitized to it, it's going to be a waste of time. And the more information available, the less control the upper echelons will have. And we know they love the control and power.

    When you go into a store and find a PowerPoint Presentation Pointer for JMD$15,000 then with "free data/information" you go on Amazon and find it for USD$20, then pay your shipping company JMD$1,500 to bring it in, that's a win for you. Some poor sucker is going to buy the thing in the store for JMD$15,000. On the corporate side - sometimes the prices are justified after the government taxes and other crap - but many times they companies are just criminal. While allowing free information access is great - we're already partway there. We're not like China.

    As for crime - I get what you're saying, but it's not like the persons in government and the police don't know who's doing what. The problem is the politics behind it all. There is corruption everywhere. Police on the road are using their personal phones to access government resources and look up car/driver details. These devices are not secure. Even then ones that government assign to them aren't secure. So it's no surprise you have information leaks.

    Anyways - maybe I'm not getting what you're saying - so please expand. Because programming, data mining and other aspects that you're speaking of ride on top of networking - mobile data - infrastructure. So far you're speaking of a single aspect of the IT realm which is nowhere near as developed as it could be in Jamaica - and when will it be developed? No idea. I'm speaking of giving persons the entire ballpark and letting them choose what they want. Or have persons find the affinity of the visitors and those interested and steer them into the right path. For you? Obviously AI, data mining and aggregation is important and a major focus. I see the potential, but until you or someone else can find a way to develop on that - we Jamaicans are a FAR way off.

    We've just started to do online insurance renewal. If you have the resources to do more - by all means - take on the interns and show them the pathway. And when your equipment runs down and needs capacitors, gears, antennas and other modules to be replaced. Give me a call.
    Knowing the solution doesn't mean knowing the method. Yet answering correctly and regurgitation are considered "learning" and "knowledge".

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    Quote Originally Posted by khat17 View Post
    Data mining done by the use of "social wifi" and other platforms is intrusive IMO.

    AI is good to a point. Waze and Google Maps still need work as I personally (and I'm sure others) have been lead into dead ends or non-existent roads by the use of AI. While Waze has the option to help by drawing the roads and updating sections of the maps Google doesn't make it as easy.

    I assume you're also 100% for the "Jamaica Eye" project - which is something that I support, but the overall attitude of our local persons and personnel is...........lacking to say the least.

    Data and how to use it would be an interesting topic - but in a country where less than half of the population has good infrastructure, good Internet, or even a semi-decent education - usage of data for personal growth does not help the country on a whole.

    Let's get into the actual use of information and data by the relevant government bodies. It's illegal for me to bring in equipment that could snoop on the networks of FLOW and Digicel. If I had such equipment however, I could have found my lost phones when someone broke into my car and stole them. I had all of the information such as the IMEI and whatnot - plus one was locked to my SIM. The person had been using it for about 4 months after the incident - I even drove into Kingston to the office that supposedly deals with these things and handed over all of the details of each device that was stolen. And nothing.

    Having the tools and not being able to use them - or not knowing how to use them - is about as much of a crime in my book as not having either the tools or knowledge. The focus should be educating persons on the various areas of technology - ALL areas - and giving persons the options to branch out.

    The fun part about "data" is the way it's used here. You do realize that the local government sites are hacked a lot more frequently than most others right? For a little country in the middle of nowhere - we get a lot of attention. I've had friends that do web and security show me back-doors into some sites. Ethical hackers - so they end up contacting the companies or bodies and let them know. And guess what? Here's an actual situation - security issue found and reported - not fixed - reported again - not fixed - reported again - still not fixed - reported and evidence given that files are taken from the site - problem "fixed" and has more vulnerabilities than previously - reported again - after MANY months (and to date) problem is still not fixed.

    We as a whole are not ready for many things. Individuals and some companies are, but until some of the dinosaurs that make the decisions are removed, or until you can show some hard evidence of vulnerabilities/benefits these people don't move or act.

    There is no job that's less important than another - no branch of IT that's lower than another. I don't know about you or anyone else, but I respect our NSWMA personnel. I wouldn't do their jobs, but I have great respect for them. I would never look down on them. Until or unless they decide to change their field and come into IT - I'll give them the options to go where they want. Not shove a singular path.

    Let's see some practical applications for open data and free information locally. Until it becomes more............accessible? Not the word I'm looking for - but until people become more sensitized to it, it's going to be a waste of time. And the more information available, the less control the upper echelons will have. And we know they love the control and power.

    When you go into a store and find a PowerPoint Presentation Pointer for JMD$15,000 then with "free data/information" you go on Amazon and find it for USD$20, then pay your shipping company JMD$1,500 to bring it in, that's a win for you. Some poor sucker is going to buy the thing in the store for JMD$15,000. On the corporate side - sometimes the prices are justified after the government taxes and other crap - but many times they companies are just criminal. While allowing free information access is great - we're already partway there. We're not like China.

    As for crime - I get what you're saying, but it's not like the persons in government and the police don't know who's doing what. The problem is the politics behind it all. There is corruption everywhere. Police on the road are using their personal phones to access government resources and look up car/driver details. These devices are not secure. Even then ones that government assign to them aren't secure. So it's no surprise you have information leaks.

    Anyways - maybe I'm not getting what you're saying - so please expand. Because programming, data mining and other aspects that you're speaking of ride on top of networking - mobile data - infrastructure. So far you're speaking of a single aspect of the IT realm which is nowhere near as developed as it could be in Jamaica - and when will it be developed? No idea. I'm speaking of giving persons the entire ballpark and letting them choose what they want. Or have persons find the affinity of the visitors and those interested and steer them into the right path. For you? Obviously AI, data mining and aggregation is important and a major focus. I see the potential, but until you or someone else can find a way to develop on that - we Jamaicans are a FAR way off.

    We've just started to do online insurance renewal. If you have the resources to do more - by all means - take on the interns and show them the pathway. And when your equipment runs down and needs capacitors, gears, antennas, and other modules to be replaced. Give me a call.
    Ok that was a lot, but I will give you three examples to make it clear

    The MTA (Transport service in NY) puts trackers on all their busses, the tracking data is made available in realtime to anyone that wants to use it to develop applications if you put MTA in the app store you get like 50 apps not developed by the MTA, developers take advantage of the shared data to better a service.

    Credit Carma, CreditSesame etc takes advantage of credit scores to offer individuals credit card options and a better way to monitor their credit for free. This comes from data that the government has mandated be accessed but developers.

    Carfax, takes advantage of public data, insurance info and police reports to give you info on a car's history how valuable would that be for an entrepreneur in Jamaica to develop our own carfax.

    US Government mandates gas prices be published and the data accessible that is why you have apps like GasBuddy.

    it's simple to have the government mandate that this data be made available so developers and entrepreneurs can take advantage of it.

    About google maps there is so much and no more they can do about our maps what is amazing is what we have without them even ever coming to the country it's up to the government to share geocoded addresses so I can type in my address and find it on the map. and yes they have the data.

    Jamaica eye, I have been talking about this for years, but leave it up to Jamaica to have the worst implementation of it in the history of the world.

    I wanted to start a mobile phone registration service just like your car when I was in Jamaica, you would register your phone's IMEI owners info etc if stolen you report it to us and it would take 1 call or a direct link to digi and flow to shut it down, blacklist it. Most robberies involve a cellphone a trackable device and yet we can't stop it, crazy. Most phones stolen in the US have to be sold outside of the country because there is a national blacklist registry.
    Remember to take a look at http://www.google.com/mapmaker

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