The Cable

Opposition Spokesman on Information Julian Robinson has said that open data implementation in Jamaica has the potential to contribute up to $13 billion to the economy.

He said $2.9 billion could be realised through education and another $10 billion through agriculture. Open data is the proactive release of Government data in a format that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone for any purpose.

Robinson made a presentation entitled ‘Open Data as a platform for collaboration — The Caribbean Experience’ to a group of business leaders, politicians and academics from the Caribbean region at a conference at Wilton Park in the United Kingdom. 

"Open data enhances transparency and accountability in governments, while creating economic value by giving rise to new businesses who utilise the data to solve problems," Robinson said. "For the tourism industry, it has the potential to increase productivity by up to 10%," said Robinson, referencing a study by CAPRI on open data.

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Jamaica Keeps Apple's Secrets

We all know Jamaica offers more than Sun, Sea and Surf, however to Apple it's what Jamaica lacks that is of greater importance. Jamaica's low-tech Intellectual Property Office, and easy going pace seem to suite Apple down to the ground. The country is one of several where trademark databases aren’t easily accessible online. That means Apple’s top-secret products can stay under the radar for longer. 

In a piece by the online publication Quartz, it said that:

The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office allows visitors to search filings in person at its office in Kingston. People can also ask the office to search filings for them, but a Jamaican address is required to receive the results, and the process takes three weeks. A lawyer in Jamaica, however, can be appointed to perform the search, the office told Quartz. It said it has no current plans to put its filings database online.

The idea is to give these very competitive companies like Apple a head start. They eventually file trademarks for their gadgets in the United States—in databases that are much more easily searchable—but the earlier filings in places like Jamaica allow them to claim the rights without spilling the beans. Since it’s less likely that someone would travel to Jamaica in person, these companies get a little extra time (about six months, according to Quartz) to keep their new products hidden.

And Apple isn’t the only one. Large firms like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft apparently also engage in this kind of legal hoodwinking, largely because they’re all loaded and can certainly afford the cost. However, Apple pulls the Jamaica trick more often than most. Countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Tonga, and South Africa are also popular trademark destinations, according to Alt Legal, which produces intellectual property software. Google, for its part, is apparently a big fan of Tonga.

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Digicel makes 'Belongers' Redundant

Telecommunications provider Digicel says it has made redundant a small number of jobs in Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) in efforts to reorganise from a pure mobile operator to a complete communications and entertainment provider in the country.

But the move has caused outrage in the country and has led to the TCI Government to take steps to revoke the work permits of six expatriate workers at Digicel.

According to a report published by the TCI Sun, Ms. Sheba Wilson stated that the board has a right to revoke the licence of the expatriates and that it is doing so in the interest of the public. She added that the board felt in this instance that the process was unfair to Turks and Caicos Islanders (otherwise known as “Belongers”) who are believed to have the same skill set as the expatriates.

In a release, Digicel noted that in line with global technology advances, the company has been investing heavily in its networks and processes in the TCI over the past three years. 

Digicel expressed that although its restructuring process has naturally resulted in a small number of roles being made redundant over the past six months, there have been a number of promotions and that the trend continues with the movement of two TCI nationals to senior leadership and management levels.

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An IT Professional for more than 20 years and an entrepreneur for more than a decade, Russell Williams is the founder of,The IT Facility and has extensive experience as a Consultant, IT Trainer and facilitator and is happy to answer your questions. E-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow him on Twitter @RwilliamsKN, G+ and on`ssellWilliamsKN




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