A Look At Green Technologies In Trinidad

The students of Naparima College check out the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs' Toyota Prius.
Photo credit : MyEnergyTT fb page

I was thinking back to my post on the Tamana Intech Park and how they say it utilises green technologies. That spawned this blog post. First of all I had to find a good definition of green technology. According to a dictionary definition, green technology is "technology whose use is intended to mitigate or reverse the effects of human activity on the environment." Did you participate in Earth Hour? What other things have you done to help the environment? I want to highlight some green technologies that I think Trinidad could benefit from.

  • I think sometimes the simplest things can make the biggest difference. Do you turn off your PC at night? What else do you turn off when not is use? New devices tend to be more energy efficient. Maybe it's time to upgrade that old laptop. *stares at my DELL laptop*
  • The Ministry of Energy has been running ads about incandescent bulbs and how they save energy. This is a change I made a long time ago.
  • The waste water treatment plant is a big project upcoming in Trinidad. It will recycle water for industrial use.
  • Electric or hybrid cars, this is something I am not seeing enough of in Trinidad. There has always been a talk to push CNG in vehicles but this has never taken off.
  • The solar energy complex is another big project upcoming in Trinidad. We have an abundance of sunshine that we could tap into.
  • More and more companies are getting into proper e-Waste disposal and recycling.
  • There are companies in Trinidad that are producing bio diesel.
  • There are companies in Trinidad that are getting into the green tech space like Green 3 Systems - sustainable building systems.
  • The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) in Trinidad offers funding (up to USD 50,000) for registered Community Based Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations to carry out environmentally based projects.
  • The Green Fund is a government facility available to those focusing on remediation, reforestation or conservation of the environment.

Some futuristic green tech that I have read about are artificial photosynthesis, carbon capture, biomimicry and rainwater harvesting. Check out how Google is incorporating green tech in it's operations. The Trinidad and Tobago Green Building Council wrote a nice blog post about "Green Building Technology in Trinidad and Tobago." I hope I have said enough to stir up some discussion. Please share with us your thoughts in the comments below.

New Nikon Telephoto Lens

While browsing the internet this morning I came across the press release for the AF-S DX NIKKOR18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR. It had me thinking about my D5000 and whether it would work with this lens. Also, this lens would have been perfect to get an upclose of the lunar eclipse aka "Red Moon". Right now all I have is the kit lens. According to the press release the lens is a versatile yet compact and lightweight telephoto zoom lens that allows users to get close to the action. The lens boasts an impressive 16.7X ultrahigh-ratio zoom range, offering a focal range from wide-angle 18mm to super-telephoto 300mm. The release provided the answer to my question as it states, photographers that currently use DX-format D-SLR cameras, like the Nikon D3000 and D5000 series, now have a versatile telephoto zoom lens to upgrade their current lens arsenal or complement their kit lens. So after watching the eclipse tonight and trying to get a shot with my S4 (as I don't have my DSLR with me now) I will go to sleep dreaming of acquiring this lens one day. The lens incorporates the usual Nikon technologies. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens will be available in May 2014 for suggested retail price (SRP) of US$899.95. You can even preorder it now from their website. Are you a photographer? What kind of lens do you use? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

TriniGamers - Gaming Community, Website and Forum

Trinigamers Fight Club 4 – April 2014

Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs Gamer’s Lounge

Caribbean Video X-Games Regional Championships in St. Maarten – July 2012

Team Trinigamers shares a moment with gaming celebrity Ryan “Gootecks” Guiterrez at the Caribbean Video St Maarten Regional Championships 2012

I am not a gamer. I like car racing games like Need For Speed and Raging Thunder. Flappy Bird and Cut The Rope is pretty cool also. Gaming is a big part of the technology space, so I thought it fitting to highlight a popular local gaming website called TriniGamers. I contacted them for a writeup and they graciously sent me a nice document that I will attempt to summarise in this blog post. I will try to cover more gaming in the future.

  • They are a registered non-profit established in 2004 and comprised of volunteers
  • They host tournaments, leagues and other events
  • Their next big event is the Hearthstone Online Tournament – May 2014
  • They have gained a wealth of experience over the years and have shared this with others in the region
  • They have won several competitions over the years
  • They have worked with several groups locally and regionally

Trinigamers has had the distinction of setting the standard for gaming in Trinidad and Tobago with several notable firsts for a gaming body over the years. TG was the first to introduce the now standard double elimination tournament system in 2005, they were also the first to produce their own gaming media and coverage of tournaments. In 2009, they introduced HD recording at events and later that year they were the first to have a live stream for a tournament, since then they have continued to lead the way in the streaming of gaming events as they are the only group to consistently live stream gaming events. Let's see what others have had to say

“Organizations like Trinigamers are essential in the competitive scene’s growth in the Caribbean. I’m very impressed with their team’s performance so far.” –
- Peter “Combofiend” Rosas – Senior Online Community Specialist, Capcom

“They have been involved in every iteration of our event; by assisting in organizing, attending, participating and winning the have solidified Trinidad and Tobago as one of the best competitive countries in the Caribbean.”
- Jeff Oliver – President, The Caribbean Video X Games Foundation

“As one of the largest communities in the Caribbean, Trinigamers is vital in the development of E-Sports and the perpetuation of the gaming industry in the region. To this end, we strongly supports Trinigamers for their selfless dedication to Trinidad and Tobago’s gaming community.”
- Rolando Brison – Vice President, The Caribbean Video X Games Foundation

On Fight Club 4 - "I think it was the most fun and most organized tournament I've ever been to. Not just the tournament but even spectators had things to entertain themselves. A very nice event and a tough act to follow for other Tournament Organizers"
- Che Noel (Local fighting game champion. Che has attended and won multiple local competitions)

Current staff are as follows :

  • Directors
    • Riyadh Bakshi - President
    • Akil O’Connor – Public Relations
    • Aleem Mohammed - Treasurer
  • Staff
    • Kashi Singh – Webmaster
    • Jason Renwick – Community Relations, Photographer
    • Justin Rampersad – Community Relations
    • Devon Dickson – Event Coordinator
    • Jonathan Durant – Website Staff

Are you gamer? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Google Glass Gets Closer To Market

Google Glass debuted at I/O 2012 in a sky diving stunt that had the tech space abuzz. Since then it has been made available to only a select group of persons for testing. Now comes the announcement that Google Glass orders will be open to the public tomorrow for one day only and with limited supplies, so you have to act quickly. This is exciting news if you have US$1500 to burn. That's roughly TT$9450. Yikes!!! I wonder if anyone in Trinidad has a Google Glass. Maybe after tomorrow someone will. If I had a tech shop I would buy one of these and put it on display for testing and advertise that to attract customers. I read that a retail release suppose to happen before the end of the year. Since its debut they have been making incremental updates. Glass's hardware includes bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, speakers, a camera, microphone, touchpad and a screen. So what can this piece of wearable technology/heads up display do?

  • Use Google Now voice commands
  • Take videos and photos from the perspective of your eye
  • Find your way with Google Maps
  • Use hangout
  • Provide translation
  • Receive notifications
  • Provide augmented reality

Pretty much a subset of what your smartphone can do. Developers can enhance the Google Glass ecosystem by developing apps for it. You can now get prescriptions, a titanium frame or sunglasses with in. The frame comes in selected colours.

Soon enough others would be entering this market. I read where Samsung is developing the Galaxy Glass. Would you buy a Google Glass? How much would you pay for one? Pleas share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Windows Phone 8.1 DP

Today Microsoft released the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1. I asked my social stream "What Windows Phone 8.1 features are you looking forward to?"

Silas responded, "Shape writing is my most anticipated. Beyond a keyboard, there's been few strides in data entry that really work as well."

Justin said, "the swype keyboard and cortana!"

Stefan replied, "Action Centre and Storage Sense. Finally a notification center and the ability to run apps from sd-card. Cortana is a bonus."

Some other features not mentioned above include

  • Skinned tiles for the start screen
  • Enterprise VPN, S/MIME encryption, and mobile device management (MDM)
  • 3rd column on all screen sizes
  • More lock screen themes
  • A new Skype app for WP 8.1
  • Redesigned calendar app
  • Better integration across all Windows device types
  • Project your phone screen onto a PC
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Stock camera app facelift
  • Automatic app updates

Did I miss anything? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below. There is by my estimation a small Windows Phone user base in Trinidad and Tobago. The ones I interact with online seem to love their device/OS. It's a decent mobile platform.

According to a press release issued after the Build conference, Windows Phone 8.1 will start rolling out to current Windows Phone 8 users over the coming months. It will also come pre-installed on new phones starting this month [April]. Cortana will launch shortly in the U.S. as a beta, in the U.K. and China in the second half of 2014, and in other countries in 2015. Registered developers can update their phones to Windows Phone 8.1 as part of the developer program later this month [that's today].