Sunday, February 15, 2009

Jamaica's Norman Manley International Airport Selects Nortel for Network Upgrades

Jamaica's Norman Manley International Airport Selects Nortel for Network Upgrades

SUNRISE, FLORIDA - Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) has selected Nortel(1) (TSX: NT)(OTCBB: NRTLQ) for network enhancements that will enable new operating efficiencies between airport staff, airlines, customs and immigration groups, as well as improve customer service for airport customers. This project supports the Airport Authority of Jamaica's drive to modernize the island's two international airports, including NMIA which serves the capital of Kingston.

Nortel's unified communications solution will enable new applications that increase productivity and generate cost efficiencies for airport operations. The system will also enhance processes for travelers, such as airline reservations and passport control, as well as utilize VOIP and video-on-demand to deliver multimedia content to flight information monitors and airport lounges. Most importantly, the upgrades ensure a highly-secure and reliable network.

The new system will allow NMIA to run operations from one centralized network, eliminating the costs of building and maintaining separate systems for data, video and voice. The system will also be centrally managed, which enables NMIA to respond faster to operational issues.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Revolutionary technology enables Highland Park student math scores to soar

Revolutionary technology enables Highland Park student math scores to soar

As one walks into this historic high school, it is clear to see that it is different. Lodged in the City of Highland Park, surrounded on all sides by the city of Detroit, Michigan, Highland Park Career Academy caters to 1,400 students, 16-19 years old. Many have left the traditional high school for a variety of reasons and see this as their “last stop” in the educational pipeline.
One would expect to find teachers struggling to get students excited about learning. One would expect to find students dreading going to class. But something is different about this school - at least in two specific classrooms.

Instead of trying to get students to come to class, these teachers are trying to get students to go home. Instead of finding students who are struggling to complete assignments and improve their achievement levels, these students are excelling. Instead of finding classrooms empty on days when students are not required to attend, these teachers find their classrooms bustling with students coming and going. Why?

“It is the technology. Jim and Chuck from QWK2LRN are our heroes,” said Ms. Ashford, who teaches English at the Academy. “When Jim approached us and asked if he could bring 30 computers into my room for me to use, I looked at him and thought this isn’t going to work - it is going to be more hassle than it is worth. But I relented and he brought them in,” she said with a smile on her face.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Africa Set For Mobile Phone and Broadband Growth

Cell phones power financial revolution in Africa

JOHANNESBURG: Africa is the fastest-growing telecommunications market in the world, but growth of broadband on the continent has been hamstrung by a patchy national network and costly connections to international systems. That may be about to change.

This year, the construction of new infrastructure could increase capacity and cut prices in Africa, unlocking the continent's high-speed Internet potential and creating growth opportunities for operators and equipment companies.

AfricaNext Investment Research, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said it expected the African broadband market to grow more than fourfold in five years, to 12.7 million users from 2.7 million in 2007.

It said the growth will be made possible by new underwater cables and national networks scheduled to begin operation this year and next, and by the emergence of high-speed wireless technologies like EVDO and WiMax.

"There is a confluence of indicators that suggest that for the first time in more than a decade, broadband growth in the African continent may be on the verge of truly taking off," AfricaNext said.

As the rest of the world reels from the global economic slowdown, Africa would likely offer growth opportunities for equipment providers.

"I don't think equipment vendors like Ericsson and Huawei are going to shy away from opportunities in Africa," said Lindsey McDonald, ICT industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan McDonald.

While West Africa already has high-speed Internet through the SAT-3 cable that loops around the west of the continent, East Africa still relies on dial-up or expensive satellite connections.

But projects worth around $6 billion, including 10 undersea cables and several national networks, are planned or under construction in Africa, according to BMI TechKnowledge Group, a research firm based in South Africa.

One $650 million fiber-optic cable, scheduled to be ready in June, would link east and southern Africa to Europe and Asia.

Another network, owned by Telkom Kenya and Telkom South Africa, among other African operators, plans to also loop around east Africa, bringing fast and inexpensive bandwidth to at least 23 landlocked African countries.

It should be completed by 2010 and will cost $265 million. Alcatel-Lucent is working on the project.

Richard Hurst, a telecommunications analyst at the global telecommunications advisory firm IDC, said international bandwidth rates were expected to drop to a fifth or less of current rates of $3,000 a megabit after these two cables are in operation.

The cables "are a major positive step in a right direction," he said.

Investors and telecommunications companies with an eye on expansion are preparing to take advantage of the new capacity.

Safaricom, in which Vodafone of Britain has a 40 percent stake, said in September 2008 it was buying a 51 percent stake in the Kenyan IT firm Onecom to improve its product range and move into the data business.

McDonald, of Frost & Sullivan, said more such deals may follow in Kenya. She said Safaricom might also decide to lay its own fiber-optic cable to reduce its transmission costs within two to three years.

The full benefit of undersea cables would only be felt if national infrastructures in Africa are also improved, and progress is already being made in many countries.

Friday, February 6, 2009

RBS World Pay Heist Nets $9 Million - This Is High Tech Gangsta

Certainly I hope these guys get caught but you have got to give credit where credit is due. 

This attack was highly coordinated.   Someone hacked into RBS's computers and stole account numbers and removed the withdrawl limits from the accounts.  They created fake ATM cards with these account numbers.  And then at one, coordinated time - withdrew $9 million from ATMs around the world.  

These were no dummies.

Data Breach Led to Multi-Million Dollar ATM Heists
A nationwide ATM heist late last year netted thieves $9 million in cash in one day, according to published reports. The coordinated attack stemmed from a computer intrusion at payment processor RBS WorldPay.

Atlanta-based RBS WorldPay announced on Dec. 23 that hackers had broken into its database and made off with personal and financial data on 1.5 million customers of its payroll cards business. Some companies use payroll cards in lieu of paychecks by depositing employee salaries or hourly wages directly into payroll card accounts, which can then be used as debit cards at ATMs. RBS said that thieves also might also have accessed Social Security numbers of 1.1 million customers.

New York's Fox 5 cites FBI sources as saying that thieves used the stolen payroll cards recently to withdraw $9 million from ATMs from 49 cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Montreal, Moscow, and Hong Kong.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mobile Development Fund To Benefit African Mobile Communications

GSM World - Development Fund

Working with mobile operators to accelerate mobile solutions for people living on under US$2 per day.

The GSMA Development Fund exists to accelerate economic, social and environmental development through the use of mobile technology. We believe that providing tangible, accessible mobile services to people in developing countries is invaluable to society and can help improve people’s lives.

The Development Fund leverages the industry expertise of the GSMA and its members, as well as the development expertise of international agencies and non-profit organisations to accelerate mobile services in three areas: Connectivity, Energy and mServices.

Together with our partners we incubate and replicate new mobile services in communities where they can make a positive difference.