Beauty

The beauty in your eyes
Provides a guise to the lies
Of years denied, the plights, the fights
And I see only your eyes
Like its disguised behind a burqa
So while you profess of your beauty
Hidden are the scars
Of the wars
That your body and mind have been forced to endure

Never too young to understand that your beauty was never in my eyes
But my minds eyes
So with each word that comes from your lips
A quiet whisper
Wisdom of an owl
Voice of a canary
Strength of an eagle
I now see
While we lay in the dark
While the only thing I can see is you
But I can’t see you
And our lips meet
I close my eyes for an even darker darkness
And in that moment right after our lips separate
That’s when I can truly say
You’re beautiful

Happy

What is happy?
I’m sad, I’m searching, I find something but am I happy?
Is it a state of being or not being?
If nothing is wrong then am I happy?
Or am I just a sad case whose only happiness is the few fleeting moments that I actually have no worries?
But do I ever have a time when I don’t?
Or do I just have moments of self-induced intoxication when I forget?
And what do I intoxicate myself with?
Alcohol, mental occupation, love?
And on that note what is love?
What happens when I lose balance?
When I lose the love, do I balance the equation?
Do I now drink 50% and think the other  50?
Is that even possible?
Doesn’t  searching for the answer in the bottle eventually reduce the mental capacity?
Inebriation and sobriety?
Where is the difference?
Aren’t we always high on something?
But if you find your equilibrium, then I’m happy for you
Yes, I’m happy

Yes, even in my search for the meaning of happiness I’m happy for you
But can I be happy for the world if I don’t know what happiness is?
When each bliss induced act that makes the world happy lights another log on my pyre
Yes, I’m happy
Where’s the equilibrium, if it’s happiness is an inverse reaction for me
I’m happy for you
And I wonder, could I see what’s happening here without being here?
The deranged mind of a self-induced murderer thinks it’s possible but does it matter?
Will I ever care that it’s not true?
Can I fall asleep on my pyre and watch what you do?
Do you stoke or do you try to use your flooding tears to abate the very flames that hurt me more than My happiness
Yes, I’m happy

And I smile,
Behind the convoluted thoughts and writhing agony of being happy
I’m tired of my own story, I wouldn’t want you to endure listening anyway
Be happy
So behind being heralded as talented, admired by those who could never grasp what makes this system tick, and what makes it hurt to smile, I smile
I say all is well and I’m ok, yet being unable to grasp the things that you say are normal
But making a fuss would not make anyone happy
Be happy
Yes, I am happy

So let’s make sense of all the nonsense
The noise
The dust
And be happy
Within the turmoil
Find a center
A sound
Something to hold on to
Like a slow rhythmic beating of a one toned drum
Hold on to it
Never let go
Be happy
The noise is loud
The pyre is now creaking under the weight of all the burden placed on it
While the sturdy frames are now licked by flames of a distant passion now cold
Boom
Each drumbeat sound, pulls you closer to the perfect silence
Calm in chaos
Boom
Now you hold the rhythm, you hear nothing else
Boom
And it picks up pace
Boom
Now it all makes sense
Boom
Now you feel
Boom
Now you care
Boom
Now nothing matters
Boom
Quiet
Boom
Centered
Boom
Peace
Boom
You’re happy
I’m happy

Free Tech Support – Jamaica

It’s always said by a number people that if you’re good at something, you should never do it for free. I have however always believe in the opposite, it’s the things that I’m not good at that requires the most energy to execute and these are the ones I believe I should always charge for. The things I’m good at are easy for me and I can always do these effortlessly, for free. It is with this belief in mind that I have been toying with this idea for some time now, to provide for my fellow Jamaicans:

FREE REMOTE TECH SUPPORT/HELP

I have been on Twitter a few months now and I must say I like how close knit the Jamaican Twitter community and by extension the tech community is, for the most part (yes I see the beefs and subtweets). I’ve interacted with and even met some very interesting people, too many to list here.

In this spirit I’ve decided I’d offer free tech support to anyone who has any tech problem which I can diagnose and guide them into fixing via the phone, email or remotely using Team Viewer or Remote Desktop Connection. It doesn’t even have to be a problem, could be software advice, antivirus etc.

Persons who want to email details of their problems can email me at icthelpja@gmail.com and those who need telephone support can email their Digicel telephone number to the email address above and I would call and help after 8pm (anyone who snickers will be sent out of the room, lol). If this offer is taken up in large numbers, I’ll probably get a dedicated number that I can give out freely. However, this is just a start out period, so let’s see how this works.

tech-support-cartoon

I initially had planned to list areas I’m proficient in so users could decide if I may be able to help with their problem. This was proving to be quite a task, so I will do the reverse:

  • While I have used and I’m familiar with Apple Mac OS X operating system, I’m quite a novice at this platform so I will not be able to provide much help.
  • I only run a few Linux Distros, namely, Ubuntu & Open SUSE, however, if you’re in Jamaica running Linux, I doubt you need tech support.
  • On the Mobile side I’ve been running BlackBerry OS from version 4 to 6 and also iOS since inception, I’ll not be much help on the Android platform however, I’ve used devices, but not thoroughly enough to brand myself as knowledgeable on the subject.

Think that should cover it. Tech support to any Jamaican who needs it, no cost, no hassle. Give it a try folks. – icthelpja@gmail.com

Mobile Email & Social Networking on the Cheap

So I was thinking the other day of how I could “survive” if I had to use a low end cell phone and had no smart phone data plan access. This got me to thinking about CHEAP or FREE alternatives of staying connected when mobile. These are just a few nifty ways I have thought of how I could, and these are also ways students and people who want some form of connectivity on a low end budget can get some kind of mobile connectivity.

I will cover accessing three services, Email, Twitter and Facebook. Email & Twitter  will be accessible from ANY cell phone with SMS access, however Facebook requires a phone with at least a WAP browser, so Facebook access will be from the more second tier phones in the low end market.

***All the methods I describe here are done via the Digicel Jamaica network, however most other networks allow the methods I will outline, just in different ways.**

EMAIL

The first and my most used mobile service is email, my work and school life use email extensively. Every Digicel Jamaica subscriber has an email address that’s attached to their mobile number, this address is 1876XXXXXX@digitextjm.com (where the ‘X’ denotes your number) , you can receive email via this address and you can send. Sending email from your phone is simple, you write a text (SMS) message, on the first line, the email address of the person, give a space and then write the body of your email then send the text to 555.

Sending is never normally the biggest issue for me when mobile however, it is receiving email. My workaround for this is to setup your email service to forward a copy of your received mail to your Digicel mobile email address, most email services allow you to forward your mail to another address, so what I did was have a copy of all mail that arrive in my Gmail account forwarded to me at 1876XXXXXXX@digitextjm.com. Now, this will not be able to receive all the content of your email (SMS length limit and all), however you will be aware off all email that arrives  and then you would be able to decide which ones are important enough to go and get a desktop connection and action, and if needs be, you can fire off a quick email from your Digitext address to sender as well.

NB. Digicel offers a portal called MyMail that allows you manage a number of popular email accounts from handsets that have access to Digicel Live web services. I refrain from listing it here for two reasons:

1. This service would not be available on extremely “bare bones” cell phones which have no data access capabilities and I wanted to be as inclusive as possible here.

2. This service would incur data charges and I am trying to keep this as thrifty as possible.

TWITTER

Twitter was originally a SMS based platform, hence the origin of the character limit (SMS protocol gives length of one SMS as 160 characters), therefore SMS access to twitter is one of its core features. You can turn on SMS access in your account settings and there are various options. You can select which of the people you follow you want SMS notifications of their updates by clicking the cell phone icon on their profiles, you can receive @ mentions, DMs etc.

You can also tweet from your phone by just writing your tweet in a SMS and send it to 176. You can @ mention people, DM etc. all with standard SMS. Some of the commands available are listed below, but remember you have to enable text access first from your Twitter profile settings.image

FACEBOOK

This is the only service that require a bit more than standard SMS. Digicel and Facebook allows access to Facebook via a free portal, 0.facebook.com (zero and not the letter ‘O’ at the front). This is a text only version of Facebook however, so no media is displayed, if you click a link that takes you to a picture, then you are billed for that, which I strongly discourage, Digicel’s per MB data rates make JPS look like a charity organisation.

Once you have a WAP/WEB enabled phone with the WAP or web settings from Digicel, you can type 0.facebook.com in the browser and you will have access to this free portal.

0-facebook1

 

Is Cyber Socialisation enough to Nourish the Social Being? (Guest Post)

Guest post by Nicola Williams

http://goo.gl/g70rT

In my three months in Dominica this is the third incident  to be attributed to demonic possession , and yes I know there are many who will argue that this is a real possibility and throw scriptures and anecdotes of all kinds in my direction. Fair enough, I too agree that good and evil exists but I can’t help but wonder if the “evil” that has been causing an increase in psychotic breaks, poor expression of self and a decline in the ability  of many to cope with simple challenges in life is linked to the fact that approximately 70% (*1) of interaction between social systems takes place via Cyberspace and don’t you dare tell me it’s just the kids because I have literally stood and watch “mature” persons come together and the only thing they were able to talk about were posts on twitter or pics on Facebook (*2) and I am thinking is there no life for you outside of your Social Network circles??

Maybe I am the weird person but I do not find Facebook nearly half as entertaining as some of my friends. I see it as a means to link with distant friends and family and ever so often just to be plain inquisitive but after five minutes of scanning posts looking at pics and commenting on threads I resort to playing FB games which does nothing for my social side. I like walks and I love to “ramp” because outside of the obvious pleasure it helps me to unwind and detox, I also love good company that will tell me my arguments make no sense and we banter back and forth, granted I have seen how Facebook can be useful in that arena but the missing intimate touch from actual face to face interaction leaves a lot to be desired, seeing the  odd facial expressions, the ever moving hands, silently keeps us sane.

Furthermore, Social Networks, in my opinion are entertainment zones, therefore many posts are merely for amusement. Very few will put a post out there to seriously ask for advice, those who do ask still do so in jest and very soon the matter becomes trivialized by those who comment, offering no benefit to the individual. At this point, I will expect people to argue that they freely rant and express themselves using these media but can you say you have truly truly dealt with the problem this way?

Right now I don’t even know if all this make sense as there is so much going around in my head relating to the matter and given I did no research I probably should not tout these arguments, however my reasoning is, in the same way we have found how neglect and lack of positive interaction and stimulation affects the development of the “psyche” so too does our involuntary yet voluntary submission to isolating ourselves from the rest of the world under the guise that we spend hours ” interacting” with the world- “Cybertronically“. This subliminal Isolation has cause many among us to deal with reality in rather odd ways since many find they only have a voice or even an opinion when online, we have no idea how to face reality and all the challenges it has to offer. I  Honestly believe that among other factors the increasing deficit in real life development of our social being is affecting our behavior patterns and coping skills. Therefore, incidences of unexplainable outbursts, suicide attempts and breakdown is societal bonds will soon be the order of the day.

Our devotion to cyber space is affecting a lot more than our grammar and our vocabulary… call me what you may.

*1 – figure not based on actual research

*2 – though Facebook is mentioned there are many other cyber activities to be considered

Nicola C. Williams

Why the Flow Media Content Delivery Model is Good for Jamaica

Flow LogoRecently I was in Portmore, just channel surfing when I went to see what was showing, or rather, being offered on the on demand channel. The first offering I saw was a hit Jamaican comedy, starring Keith ‘Shebada’ Ramsey, Bashment Granny. Suddenly I realized something I had not taken a pointed notice to. Flow’s On Demand package is a very good model for local media content distribution and a great way to combat the wanton disregard for intellectual property right in Jamaica.

Now, its no secret that Jamaica is not a country that has the highest regard for intellectual property, nor are the laws enforced with much vigour. It must be understood however, that this is a cultural problem more than a legal one. A lot of Jamaicans still cannot fathom the value of that which is not tangible, therefore to pay JMD$25,000 or more for a single license install of Microsoft Windows 7 seems almost ludicrous to some, while others cannot see the difference between buying a $100 DVD versus paying $3000 for an original. Combating this problem requires a lot more than the irregular random police raids on DVD peddlers in major towns.  Speaking toward the infringement of copyright material by Jamaicans, it was said that:

“IT is estimated that thousands of students engage in the activity, although many of them are not aware of the dangers involved and the possible consequences. But photocopying of copyrighted material has become commonplace in the Jamaican education sector, moreso at the tertiary level, leaving those who produce and distribute the material financially battered and defeated. “  – COPY CATS ROBBING BOOK INDUSTRY , Jamaica Observer, Sunday, January 31, 2010

There needs to be extensive public education programs, especially with the children, explaining why copyright infringement is wrong and what can and cannot be done, along with various other none policing methods to combat piracy. This however requires extensive capital, which, at the current moment, the government does not have at its disposal to undertake such a initiative, which, arguably, most will view as unnecessary in the current economic climate. But, I digress.

Now with Flow offering Jamaican plays and locally produced material for purchase on demand, along with streaming music channels and local radio stations, this is bringing content to customers conveniently and subtly weaning customers off the ‘bootleg culture’. This is now providing content creators the possibility of an additional delivery channel and additional revenue model for their productions. Most of these producers normally complain that the only revenue collected is usually from the theatrical run of the plays and for musicians, the stage shows, because,  once the DVD or CD is released, the revenue stream from the Jamaican market is normally minuscule to non-existent due to piracy.

RCP

With development of Flow’s content distribution model,  playwrights and producers who cannot get funding to stage major productions could now be able to make their art a straight to TV production. Stage productions could extend their revenue stream after their theatrical run by selling on demand viewings. The possibility of commercial free On Demand radio would manifest. Artist could now see an extension of their royalty stream, and if you can receive music as you please, then the need to buy a bootleg CD would be minimised. Tie in Flow’s cable system and their internet system, movies and music could also me purchased online, downloaded or delivered and the customer would be billed on their monthly billing cycle. This option also scales a second hurdle which causes Jamaica’s high piracy rate; the inconvenience (to some Jamaicans) of purchasing online with a credit card.

Jamaica has never been a credit centric society, most Jamaicans view ‘borrowing’ with a bit of disdain. Also, the possession of a credit card is normally viewed as a luxury for the more affluent. This is one of the reasons why, with the advent of online stores such as iTunes, Jamaicans who would be willing to buy music legally aren’t conveniently afforded the option to do so. I have always advocated that prepaid cell phone credit, as a payment method is one of the most viable ways in which e-commerce in Jamaica would have mass appeal and adoption rates. Now with Flow offering internet services, customers could be afforded the option of purchasing content online from a, lets say Flow branded iTunes-type store, and customers would be charged on their monthly bill. This would work for music CDs, software and also for customers who want a permanent copy of a movie, not just on demand viewing.

image

With all these benefits to the local media industry, the Flow model is not one that should be overlooked by the major players in the industry, nor by competitors – the last thing we would need with the advent of this paradigm shift, is a monopolist environment like we had back when Cable & Wireless was the only communications provider in town. Also, if this model is developed into a full fledged content distribution  system, increased revenue streams could see the rejuvenation of the entertainment industry in Jamaica.

Nails In The Fence (Not Mine – Author Unknown)

Make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence. (Most importantly the last sentence)

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back  of the fence.

The first day the boy had  driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in Anger,  they leave a scar just like this one.  You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say “I’m sorry”, the wound is still there.

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.”