Summary of TTCS meetings in 2013

We hold two types of meetings : Pizza Limes and Tech Meetings. A Pizza Lime is the name given to our monthly discussion forum which is usually held at Joe’s Pizza, St. Augustine on the second Wednesday of the month. The tech meeting is when we have computers on site to demonstrate a particular type of hardware or software.

Wednesday January 9 2013

Topics discussed

Saturday February 2 2013 – ““Data Breaches, a First-Hand Experience”

At this meeting at ENCO, Mr. Kevin Suares, a Systems Administrator at Central Connecticut State University in the United States discussed his experiences in dealing with two alleged data breaches at the University from technical, procedural and policy viewpoints.

 

Wednesday March 13

Topics discussed:

  • Data breach : commercial bank credit card records compromised?
  • Dominica finally gets an IXP; still none for TT?
  • TT infrastructure: susceptibility to intrusion and compromise? (general topic)
  • Facebook changes again.
  • Gaming: Sims #epicfail – failed online authentication.
  • Exchequers bill in Parliament

Saturday March 23 2013 – Raspberry Pi

Held in collaboration with the University of the West Indies, St Augustine (UWI) Faculty of Engineering from 2-4pm, Anil Ramnanan demonstrated the Raspberry Pi , a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard.

 

Wednesday, 22nd May 2013

Topics discussed:

Monday August 12 2013

Online meeting to discuss future TTCS activities

Saturday August 24 2013 – Google Chromecast and Google Chromebook Pixel laptop

At this meeting, Tracy Hackshaw demonstrated the Google Chromecast, billed as the easiest way to enjoy online video and music on your TV and the Google Chromebook Pixel , Google’s high-end laptop running Chrome OS.

Wednesday October 9 2013

Topics discussed:

  • ICT and the 2014 Budget
  • Apple’s new hardware changes (new iPhones, iMacs)
  • The Age of Steam: Valve gaming innovations (Steambox, SteamOS, Steampad)
  • Bye Bye Bye: Microsoft after Steve Ballmer
  • Zero Day: The Abuse of Unpatched IE Holes
  • Sour Berries: The Sale of Blackberry
  • upcoming AGM

Saturday October 26 2013 – flying Quadricopter demo

Held at the Queen’s Park Savannah, we (thanks to Anil) demoed the Parrot AR 2.0, a wi-fi enabled, Linux-powered flying Quadricopter and flew the Quadricopter using a phone and tablet.

 

Saturday December 14 2013 – discussion about Free and Open Source

Held at the Asian Buffet Restaurant, Trincity Mall,  we chatted Ace Suares, a Free and Open Source Advocate from Curaçao and who was travelling en route from giving workshops on open source at the University of Georgetown. We had the XO laptop and XO Tablet on hand.

Wednesday December 18 2013

End of year lime.

Ministry of National Security of Trinidad & Tobago to launch “Virtual Police Officer” (VIPO) initiative

According to an article in Newsday, the Ministry of National Security of Trinidad and Tobago will be launching “Virtual Police Officer (VIPO) initiative.

According to Newsday:

“Newsday understands that under the programme, a member of the public can go to a website and register as a “police officer” after they have witnessed a crime, and have information which can solve a crime.

An analyst will then pass on this information to the relevant police agencies and the informant will be given the opportunity to interact with the investigator.

If a detection is made and the crime reported is solved, the individual who made the reported would be “handsomely rewarded.””

Read full article:
http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,188368.html

The ICANN At-Large Community Seeks Expressions of Interest for Candidates for Post of ICANN Board Seat

(Video of Roberto Gaetano, Chair of the At-Large Board Candidate Evaluation Committee explaining the search for an ICANN Board member appointed by the ICANN At-Large Community : http://youtu.be/t-sMZDB20KA)

ICANN’s At-Large Community is beginning a search for an appointee to the ICANN Board of Directors. ALAC is looking for someone with a broad international perspective and a background in Internet users’ interests, consumer policy and/or civil society worldwide.

A so-called Expressions of Interest will remain open for those interested in the position through December 26, 2013. This is the first step in a process through which ICANN’s independent user community will appoint a voting member of the Board.

“The process is different because, by its nature, the At-Large community is looking for new people who are interested in participating in the Internet governance process and are coming from the civil society, the user community and so on,” said Roberto Gaetano, a non-voting former ALAC liaison to the Board. “The qualification is basically to have an ethical attitude. We demand a moral standing and the ability to discuss freely, along with the ability to understand the different cultures”.

The At-Large community consists of over 160 active At-Large organizations (called “At-Large Structures” or “ALSes”), representing the opinions of the global community of Internet users. At-Large allows individual worldwide Internet users to participate in a number of issues, such as:

*   Guidance on how to run Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs).
*   How to introduce new gTLDs (such as .eco, .green and IDN TLDs).
*   How to implement a stable and fair transition from IPv4 to the next Internet addresses generation, IPv6.

Those who wish to be considered for the ALAC Board position must complete an Expression of Interest form at: https://www.bigpulse.com/p26527/register.

Completed application forms must be received by 23:59UTC on 26 December 2013.

If you want to understand more about ICANN At-Large community, please also contact Dev Anand Teelucksingh, vice chair of the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS ; http://ttcs.tt/). The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society is an member of the At-Large Community and Dev Anand is currently serving as a member of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and on the ALAC Leadership Team.

Additional links:

  • At-Large Board Director 2014 Selection Workspace: https://community.icann.org/x/ng6MAg 
  • Watch a video of Tijani Ben Jemaa, Chair of the At-Large Board Member Process Committee speak about the process (in French) http://youtu.be/2fS0zNbR8_Q
  • At-Large Board Candidate Evaluation Committee: https://community.icann.org/x/uAafAg

 

TTCS lime on Wednesday December 18 2013 from 6pm to 9pm at Shanghai Experience, MovieTowne, Port of Spain

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society will be having its next get-together on
Wednesday December 18 2013 from 6pm to 9pm for a buffet dinner at the Shanghai Experience, MovieTowne, Port of Spain.

Come join as we eat and chat about various ICT topics.

Anyone interested in computing and ICT are welcome to attend. The Buffet Dinner at the Shanghai Experience costs $199 TT.

Please RSVP to [email protected] We look forward to seeing you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TTCS lime at Asian Buffet, Trincity Mall from 4pm to 6pm on December 14 2013 – discussion about Free and Open Source

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) will be having a lime on Saturday December 14, 2013 from 4pm to 6pm at the Asian Buffet Restaurant, Trincity Mall.

At this meeting, we will be chatting with Ace Suares, a Free and Open Source Advocate from Curaçao and who is travelling en route from giving workshops on open source at the University of Georgetown.

Anyone interested in computing and ICT are welcome to attend. Lunch at Asian Buffet  costs $175  and their Buffet-style menu is available online at http://www.theasianbuffet.com/. Please let us know if you plan to attend by emailing us at [email protected]

 

Dell announces Dell Chromebook 11 laptop

Dell Chromebook 11 used in a classroom setting (credit : Dell.com)

Dell has announced new Chromebooks, laptops running Google OS. Read Dell’s press release ; the price of the 11″ laptop is expected to sell below $300 US and will be available in the 1Q 2014.

Meanwhile Microsoft has embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign against Chromebooks. Within the past 2 weeks, it has released two ads:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wAgB5J1gSQ 

and one featuring persons from the TV show “Pawn Stars” 

http://youtu.be/-y2mqoDjQXI

in addition to promoting its Scroogled website at http://www.scroogled.com/chromebook.

According to Amazon.com, the best selling laptop (for several weeks now) is the Samsung Chromebook, followed by the Acer C720 Chromebook.

improved Google Sheets now available

Google has announced a new version of Google Sheets, a browser based spreadsheet and one of the Google Drive Office applications, available to any Google user.

The YouTube video shows the key features

http://youtu.be/9AyoRkr4I3U

Some of the key new features:

  • support for larger spreadsheets, millions of rows and columns
  • faster scrolling, loading and calculations even for larger spreadsheets
  • Improved formula editing with formula help and examples displayed as you type
  • offline access with Google Chrome. With Google Chrome, you can edit spreadsheets offline and when you have internet connectivity, Google will synchronize the changes to the online version.
  • over 20 new formula functions 

Read the Google Docs Blog for more details http://googledrive.blogspot.com/2013/12/newsheets.html

 

 

20 years ago, on December 10, Doom was released

I have fond memories of playing Doom for many hours. Doom was uploaded by id Software to a FTP server and BBS on December 10, 1993.

Twenty years ago!

It wasn’t the first person shooter (id has created and launched Wolfenstein 3D earlier), but Doom took it up a notch with great graphics.
From the Wikipedia article:

“Doom’s primary distinguishing feature at the time of its release was its relatively realistic 3D graphics. The advance from id Software’s previous game Wolfenstein 3D was enabled by several new features in the Doom engine, including height differences (all rooms in Wolfenstein 3D have the same height), non-perpendicular walls (all walls in Wolfenstein 3D run along a rectangular grid), full texture mapping of all surfaces (in Wolfenstein 3D, floors and ceilings are flat colors) and varying light levels and custom palettes (all areas in Wolfenstein 3D are fully lit at the same brightness). The latter contributed to Doom’s visual authenticity, atmosphere and gameplay, as the use of darkness to frighten or confuse the player was nearly unheard of in games released prior to Doom; palette modifications were used to enhance effects such as berserk.

In contrast to the static levels of Wolfenstein 3D, those in Doom are highly dynamic: platforms can lower and rise, floors can rise sequentially to form staircases, and bridges can rise and fall. The lifelike environment was enhanced further by the stereo sound system, which made it possible to roughly determine the direction and distance of a sound effect. The player is kept on guard by the grunts and growls of monsters, and receives occasional clues to finding secret areas in the form of sounds of hidden doors opening remotely. As in Wolfenstein 3D, enemies can also become aware of the player’s presence by hearing distant gunshots.”

The sound effects and music was also great for PCs with soundcards for their PCs (mine was a Soundblaster Pro) and really contributed to the atmosphere.

As a shareware game, id Software made the first 10 levels of the game free, allowing the game to be downloaded and shared on BBSes (the TTCS ‘s own BBS, Infoline also had the version). You then had to pay for the other 20 levels, which id would mail to you on 3.5″ floppies once payment was received.

Also amazing at the time, was the multiplayer component, I used a serial cable between two PCs at the time and had great fun.

Some links around the web:

 

Microsoft signs MOU with Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training of Trinidad & Tobago

Via the Monday December 9 2013 Newsday newspaper:

“Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training (MTEST).

The MOU is expected to enhance MTEST’s customer service delivery through the use of information and communication technology (ICT).

Microsoft TT and MTEST signed the MOU recently at the launch of Microsoft’s CityNext which focuses on using innovation and technology for the positive development of cities. Frances Correia, Country Manager of Microsoft TT and Mariana Castro, General Manager of Latin America New Markets for Microsoft, signed on behalf of the company. Signing on behalf of MTEST was Acting Permanent Secretary Angela Sinaswee-Gervais.”

Read the rest of the article at:

http://newsday.co.tt/features/0,187676.html