Jamaicans will be able to retain their assigned mobile numbers across networks by as early as March 2014.State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, made the announcement in his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on May 28.He also informed that the drafting and gazetting of number portability rules should be completed by July of this year, while procurement of central database and order handing will be conducted from June to September.A September to March 2014 timeline has been set for implementation and testing activities for network readiness, with training and updates scheduled for March to April 2014.Mr. Robinson also highlighted a number of activities that have begun to advance the implementation of number portability. These include: stakeholder consultations with the telecommunications providers on October 12 last year, as well as with the general public on October 18.Meanwhile, an informal Number Portability Working Group (INPWG) was convened with the main providers – Digicel, LIME and Flow – to ensure the successful implementation of number portability. The Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining and the Office of Utilities Regulation also comprise the membership of the INPWG. Additionally, technical, business and commercial, and legal and regulatory sub-committees have been establishedThe State Minister informed that a draft request for proposal has been prepared by the technical subcommittee and is to be reviewed by the INPWG at its next meeting on June 6.Number portability allows consumers to choose a service provider, based on service, quality, and price, rather than on a desire to retain a particular telephone number. It allows consumers to change service providers while avoiding the time, costs and risks associated with changing numbers; as well as promote competition by eliminating real or perceived barriers to customers switching service providers and thus makes it easier for entry into the market by new players.Contact: Alphea Saunders
The increase is set to take effect in April, though a 4.3 percent exigency surcharge will expire a few weeks after that. “[This] is good news in general for publishers,” says David LeDuc, senior director of public policy for the SIIA. “But a publisher should not assume [1.34 percent] will be their increase. No one is yet able to determine the true effect by running the mail list using the old rates and new rates with the new rules. A back-of-the-envelop calculation results in a 9-percent increase for a light publication with low advertising and a national distribution with 25,000 copies. Of course, other periodicals will fare better in some circumstances.” Publishers got a shock when the USPS announced a rate hike for periodicals of close to 2 percent last month, but it turns out the blow won’t be that bad. A calculation error discovered by the Postal Regulatory Commission last week, and acknowledged by the USPS on Wednesday, means the average increase for periodical delivery will be 1.34 percent, instead of the 1.965 percent originally announced. Dead Tree Edition first reported the finding. “The Postal Service’s intention was to increase Periodicals prices by 1.965 percent,” the statement reads. “[However,] the prices noticed in the January 2015 filing unintentionally reflect a percent price increase for Periodicals that is below the goal of 1.965 percent.”
Here’s how to use Google’s Password Checkup tool Now playing: Watch this: Facebook was asking for some new signups’ email passwords as a means of verification. Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images You won’t need to give Facebook your email password to sign up for a new account anymore.After a Twitter user called out the social media giant over the practice on Sunday, Facebook has backtracked on the verification requirement.When some people signed up on Facebook, instead of getting a verification email or a code sent to their phones, they would instead get a prompt to enter their personal email’s password to verify their new accounts — essentially giving login credentials to the social network. The news was first reported by the Daily Beast.A Facebook spokesperson said that the passwords are not stored by the social network and that the verification method was only available to a “very small group of people.” Facebook did not clarify how many people were shown this prompt. The feature was originally designed for people signing up on a web browser and using email providers that don’t support OAuth, an open-source protocol that acts as a key for logins. “That said, we understand the password verification option isn’t the best way to go about this, so we are going to stop offering it,” Facebook said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Security Internet Services Tags In March, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social network would be shifting to a privacy-focused platform, with security as a major talking point. Since then, however, Facebook has been at the center of multiple privacy and security lapses. The email password incident, for instance, follows the revelation last month that Facebook stored hundreds of millions of passwords in plain text on its internal servers, meaning they were open for staffers to see. In both cases, there was concern that the social network could see the login credentials. Facebook said it has never seen the passwords used for verification, although the feature had been available for several years. Also last month, researchers disclosed a browser bug affecting Facebook Messenger that allowed snoops to read messages, and Facebook was caught tying phone numbers used for two-factor authentication to friend searches. First published at 4:01 a.m. PT.Updated at 4:45 a.m.: Adds more detail, at 5:29 a.m.: With response from Facebook. 5 Comments Share your voice 1:15 Facebook
US President Donald Trump speaks during a lunch with House and Senate leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Photo: AFPDonald Trump’s muted prime-time address to Congress got positive reviews on Wednesday, but numerous questions remained about the details and costs of his ambitious agenda.Americans reacted warmly to Trump’s lengthy speech, in which he ditched the most bellicose of his rhetoric in favor of a call for national unity and a more presidential timber.A CBS News/YouGov poll showed that 76 percent of those who watched the speech approved of what they saw.Wall Street also voiced its appreciation, with the Dow topping 21,000 for the first time.It was a substantial and much needed boost for the 70-year-old Republican president, whose approval rating is at a historic low for presidents after a month in office, and his embattled White House.Trump—ever-aware of his image and popularity—fired a triumphant “THANK YOU!” message to his 25 million Twitter followers Wednesday morning.To keep the momentum, the White House postponed the unveiling of a controversial new ban on travelers from mostly Muslim countries, which would have dominated news coverage.It also pared back Trump’s public remarks and held its daily press briefing off-camera.The speech—staunchly nationalist, but delivered in a more measured tone—may help soothe a deeply divided country.In the nearly six weeks since Trump took office, political polarization in America has reached fever pitch.Trump’s supporters have flung themselves into the cause, hoping the election of an outsider will shake up the elites and insider politics in Washington.But among opponents, there is still a sense of disbelief that a billionaire with what they see as authoritarian tendencies and no political experience is in charge of the world’s pre-eminent superpower.According to Gallup, there has been a steady increase since November’s election in the number of Americans experiencing worry on any given day.‘Really pleased’An estimated 48 million people tuned in to watch Trump’s speech, according to the Nielsen ratings firm, lower than the some 53 million who watched former president Barack Obama’s first joint address in 2009.Trump’s speech was welcomed by the hundreds of mostly Republican lawmakers who witnessed it firsthand in Congress.“I think we were all really pleased last night to hear the president’s unifying message. It was refreshing for everyone after such a difficult election season,” Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.Americans, he said, are “ready for a new start.”Trump brought Republicans and Democrats together by strongly criticizing recent threats against Jewish community centers and condemning the seemingly racially motivated killing of an Indian immigrant.He also reached out to opposition Democrats, reprising his call for a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and expressing support for paid family leave and affordable child care.Attention will now turn to how Trump can meet those pledges—along with goals to “restart” the US economy, boost defense spending and reduce violent crime.While he promised to replace his predecessor’s landmark health care reforms with a plan that would broaden choice, lower costs and improve access, he offered little in terms of how that would be achieved.Words and deedsDemocrats expressed skepticism about whether the change in tone would last.White House spokesman Sean Spicer reinforced the fear by insisting, “It was not a reset speech.”“With Donald Trump, the speeches don’t mean very much,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told CBS News.“His speeches are populist. They’re aimed at the working folks who supported him. But his governing and what he does is hard right, favoring special interests over the working class.”Trump’s plans on infrastructure, health care, and high-stakes tax reform will likely run afoul of fiscal conservatives, who are intent on bringing down the national debt, which will hit $20 trillion on Trump’s watch.He also wants to hike defense spending by $54 billion, offsetting it with cuts to foreign assistance and other non-military spending.That issue is likely to be front and center as Trump visits military shipyards in Virginia on Thursday.The “deficit spending” that Trump would likely employ set off alarm bells for lawmaker Dana Rohrabacher, who said he was dumbfounded at the lack of opposition from his fellow Republicans at the potential for ballooning spending.“The emphasis that Republicans have placed on (shrinking) the deficit is now going to be something that we will remember in the past,” he said.Some Democrats were also dismissive: “This plan doesn’t add up,” Senator Chris Van Hollen told AFP.“A third-grade math student can see that you’re going to blow a huge hole in the deficit if you do the things the president is talking about.”To square the circle, Trump—the consummate political outsider—may have to embrace Washington deal making.