Sunday, September 30, 2007


I noticed a flyer for a kiddie's party/event - possibly part of Police Week - where one highlight was children's fingerprinting. Elsewhere in the world, it would probably create a civil liberties outrage. Here, it may signal that this innovative new technology is being adapted in Dominica. The last time I looked at official crime-related statistics, there were zero crimes solved using fingerprint evidence.... But maybe it was just a typo for 'fingerpainting'!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wimax down the line?

C&W's near-monopoly on Internet may not be forever here. Digicel - at least in Jamaica - are partnering with Wimax to bring wireless broadband.... more soon

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ad-free surfing

As a web developer, I know the value of advertising for web sites... but surfing without the ads is just delightful. I'm using the Firefox extension AdBlock Plus (it's free, of course) and being able to read an article without having to maneuver around the adverts is wonderful.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lies, damn lies, and Wikipedia

I often turn to Wikipedia when starting research because, well, because it comes up high in a Google search so often.

But if the Wikipedia entry on Dominica is anything to go by, it needs to be taken with something of a grain of salt (note that I began with 'starting research').

Interestingly, the most wildly inaccurate section was Demographics. Perhaps because it was based on a non-existent 2003 census. And this section couldn't be edited.

I did get a laugh though at the Language section, because it stated the cocoy dialect was based on Creole and London Cockney. Laugh? I nearly ran up the apples and pairs to the old trouble an strife.

Do what, leave it out, knock it on the 'ead, mate.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Shame on the Marriott

A quick 'shame on you' to the Marriott chain of hotels who charge $11 for a day's worth Internet access while charging up to $225 a night for a room. I don't mind an 'EasyJet' low-cost, pay for add-ons approach, but to charge that for a room -get this - also charge for a support call when the service is down - is shameful.

I shoulda stayed at Antigua airport - choice of 4 FREE wireless networks!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Kittitian volcano hike

Mt Liamuiga is St Kitts tallest mountain at 3,792ft, and a 'potentially active' stratovolcano with a very well defined crater that contains a lake which varies in size according to the season.

I went with Royston of, who picked me up from the hotel and did a couple of side trips to viewpoints of the island en route.

The hike starts from the north of the island, so it's about an hour's drive from Basseterre. We drove up a track to about 1,000 ft, and started the hike from there.

It's a well defined track that just goes up for 75 mins - quite steep but no real clambering. If I was to compare with a Dominica hike, it's like Morne Anglais (without the part when you go down-hill before the part where you go uphill to the summit).

The vegetation is almost identical to Dominica's rainforest, a little less lush. We heard but didn't see some of St Kitts' famous monkeys.

At the top, there's a rock formation called The Devil's Tooth. Clamber partway up and there are some great views north towards the island Saba.

It is possible to climb down into the crater, or up to the pointy peak. We sat on the rim of the crater (at 2,861ft), ate the subways that Royton had kindly provided, took a breather, then descended - it took just an hour going down.

Al in all, a good half-day work-out on a beautiful Kittitian mountain!

See also

Monday, September 10, 2007

"A burst of convection"

The National Hurricane Centre called it just 'a burst of convection' but that 'blob' on the satellite images gave us a night of torrential rain and a tremendous, violent thunderstorm that's still going on....

Monday, September 03, 2007

Felix goes from 1 -5 in record time

Just reading how Hurricane Felix has set a record for the fastest intensification of a storm.

"Hurricane Felix put on an incredibly ferocious burst of intensification last night, winding up into a small but potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane. Felix now holds the record for shortest time for an Atlantic storm to intensify to Category 5 strength. Felix required just 51 hours to reach Category 5 strength after it started as a tropical depression. That is a truly remarkable intensification rate, considering most tropical cyclones take 3-5 days to organize into a Category 1 hurricane. The tracking coordinates for Felix show that it has spent more of its life at Category 5 strength than any other classification."