My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica

Monday, October 5, 2015

Jamaican Drought, Trees and Air Quality - Why Jamaican Apartment dwellers are developing Respiratory Ailments

It seems that the Trees are also quietly sneaking into the News once more.

This time it's Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill who has finally made the connecting between the current drought and the use of our forests as reported in the article “Pickersgill Calls For Better Use Of Jamaica's Forest Resources”, published Saturday October 3, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This was the message that was spoken by Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Lieutenant Colonel Oral Khan on his behalf at the official national tree day planting ceremony at the St Andrew Technical High School on Friday October 2nd 2015.

In it, he related an interesting statistic that's a little troubling; only 40% of the island is covered with trees. That means that not only is there not enough trees on the island to prevent soil erosion, but the lack of trees will result in a loss of animal ecosystems, especial those animals that call the trees home.

With such a small number of trees, there is nothing to prevent surface water and water that filters though the soil as described in my blog article entitled “Water Wastage at MICO - How Waste Water Recycling and Rainwater Harvesting benefits Agriculture”.

As a result soil evaporation increases, especially during these times of increased sunlight and daytime heating that is the result of global warming. Thus less water reaches the rivers and hence Jamaica experience not only water shortages but drought-like conditions.

Trees and Air Quality - Why apartment dwellers are developing Respiratory Ailments

But an even more in obvious connection between trees and humans exists; air quality. Trees convert Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and water photosynthesis to Glucose (‎C6H12O6) and excrete Oxygen (O2). This is the oxygen that we humans that live close to the Earth breathe.

However, within some apartments building in Kingston, landscapers, eager to save on the constant costs of landscaping, have decided to cut down the trees. The result: a decline in the quality of oxygen in the air and an increase in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Carbon Monoxide (CO).

The result is an increase in respiratory ailments as noticed by an astute apartment dwelling resident as penned in the letter to the Gleaner entitled “Mandate Tree Quota For Apartments, Houses”, Published Tuesday September 8, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.  

We are slowly choking ourselves to death. I already have to deal with an increase of my Bronchitis, which has been acting up a lot since I’ve been hack in Kingston. I’ve even done an article on alternative treatments for Asthma and Bronchitis as per my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How to use Alternative Treatments for Asthma and Bronchitis” knowing that many Jamaican seek natural herbal remedies instead of using pharmaceuticals that have known side-effects.

Projects like the TFT (Trees for Tomorrow) Project as described in “Jamaica Still Reaping Benefits From Trees For Tomorrow Project”, Published Saturday October 3, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner need to be expanded not only into the country areas but also into the Urban and ghetto areas.

This will help to improve air quality and thus reduce the slowly increasing incidence of respiratory ailments that's mown on the rise thanks to less than 40% of the island being covered with trees.

How the Pragma Industries Alpha Electric Bicycle works - Jamaica would love this if it ran on Water

“The bike’s battery provides electricity from hydrogen and emits only pure water. This is a world first”

Pragma Industries CEO Pierre Forte commenting on the Alpha, the world's first Hydrogen Powered Bicycle

Electric Bicycle and motorcycle enthusiast will greet this latest developement of the first hydrogen powered Bicycle call the Alpha as reported in the article “French unveil 'world first' hydrogen-powered electric bike emitting only pure water”, published 01 Oct 2015 By Henry Samuel, The UK Telegraph

Developed and designed by Pragma Industries in Bidart, near Biarritz, southwestern France, Pragma Industries CEO Pierre Forte bill it as the world first Hydrogen Powered Bicycle.

The Alpha is a prototype along with other Hydrogen powered models that are still in developement. His creation will be officially unveiled during the Intelligent Transport Systems congress in Bordeaux, France. By 2016, they'll start producing Alpha's and other models with the following projected output:

1.      100 bikes in 2015
2.      1000 bikes by 2017

Their main clients appear to be the French Post Office, who apparently like the idea of a bicycle that can climb uphill on a trot. But they'll be very expensive at €2,300, which is £1,700 or US$2,591.73 or JA$308,023.90, basically a 1999 Toyota Starlet Hatchback in Jamaica!

So for 1999 Toyota Starlet Hatchback money, what exactly is so special about the Alpha Hydrogen Powered Electric Motorcycle?

How the Pragma Industries Alpha Electric Bicycle works - A Very Expensive Range Extender Bicycle

It uses a PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) Battery similar to those being developed by Toyota and other Japanese Automaker intent on also introducing Hydrogen powered vehicles to the US market as noted in my blog article entitled “PEM Fuel Cell Technology gets Japanese Government support - Hydrogen Gas Stations Coming in First World and Developing World Countries”.

Pragma Industries has basically figured out how to make the PEM small enough and cheaply enough to fit into a bicycle’s bars as well as developed an efficient Hydrogen Storage system. This Hydrogen is fed into the PEM which emits only water Vapour as waste.

Excess Electricity is most likely stored in a Li-Ion Battery that takes only five (5) minutes to charge which is then used to power the Electric motor on the Alpha Bicycle. The result is an impressive 100 kilometres (62 miles) for this bicycle in what's typically a Ranger Extender configuration of a PEM fuel Cell as the Electricity generator and a Li-Ion Battery pack as Battery storage.

Most likely, it has regenerative braking as well as a system to generate electricity during downhill trots, further extending its range. To add further to its green cred, this carbon-neutral bicycle is made of recyclable materials to quote Pragma Industries's CEO Pierre Forte quote: “All this with a minimal environmental footprint as these bikes are made of up ever more recyclable products”.

Alpha will be a hit once the price comes down – Need to run on Water to be Emission Neutral

So albeit the Alpha is a First world product, would the Alpha be a hit in Jamaica?

Jamaica as a country is slowly developing an obsession with motorcycles and bicycles as I’d predicted back in 2014 in my blog article entitled “How to convert your Bicycle to an Electric Bicycle – Pedal Power is an amazing resource”.

Not a day in Kingston doesn't pass and I do not hear a motorcycles whizz by my apartment or an electric bicycle stealthily glides pas me, startling me out of my wits.

I thus though it necessary that these Electric bicycles be regulated as they can easily cause an accident as argued in my blog article entitled “Electric Bicycles and Motorcycles next Big Jamaican trend by Christmas 2014 - How Backtracker and Rear View Cameras in the Road Traffic Act can help”. 

But they all have to use Gasoline, as they have Motors, not Li-ion Batteries.

 If it ran on water, yes, as Gasoline to run out motorcycles and motorized bicycles is still expensive! Also, his business model appears to focus on making money continuously from the replacement of the Hydrogen PEM Batteries. Changing the tires would also be difficult and it appears as if it might easily be damaged in a spill.

Still, this is a bicycle for mail and deliveries. Would be nice to see a version by 2017 that can extract hydrogen from the water as fuel as well as the vapour emitted, making it emission neutral.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

How Jamaican Children are having Sex in JUTC Transport Center - How Free Wi-Fi and CCTV Cameras can help

The problems with School children having sex at the JUTC Transport Center in Half Way Tree seem to have only gotten worse with the start of the 2015/2016 School Year.

Now reports of fighting among school boys as well as sexual activity involving the girls at the back of the Transport Center are making the rounds in the Traditional Media once more as reported in the article “Enter At Your Own Risk! - Frolics & Fights As Students Run Riot In Half-Way Tree Transport Centre”, Published Sunday October 4, 2015 by Ryon Jones, The Jamaica Gleaner.

What's really happening is that many of the School children in the KMTR (Kingston and Metropolitan Transport Region), rather than go home after school is over at 3:30pm, loiter in the transport center until 6pm. All though allowed by the Ministry of Education due to possible participation in extracurricular activity involvement, many of the children are taking advantage of this allowance of time to basically commit truancy.

To quote a security guard at the JUTC Transport Center in Half Way Tree: “JUTC persons say the Government say a six o'clock the latest they (students) should leave out here because some of them have extra things like sports. But I believe by 3:30 p.m., they should find themselves on a bus because some a come in here come look man and woman. No big people no come in here because of them, as they loiter, fight, cuss and do everything that is bad and don't care”.

That's right folks, they’re still loitering despite my blog article highlighting the problem that the Jamaican Police were having with these school children as reported in my blog article entitled “Unruly High School Students Making out and having sex in the JUTC Half-Way-Tree Transport Center - How wi-Fi in Buses can lead to Solar Power, LPG and the SmarterCard Cashless System”. 

They have now taken the JUTC Transport Center as their playpen and sometimes have sex within the center, a problem they’ve been having since 2013 as reported in the article “Students turn HWT transport centre into haven for sex, fights, robberies”, published Sunday, October 13, 2013 BY KARYL WALKER, The Jamaica Observer.

So what’s going on in the JUTC Transport Center in Half Way Tree, Ramping Shop Style?

School Children fighting and having Sex in JUTC Transport Center - JUTC Losing money from Student violence

According to several adults, Boys in gangs fighting other boys from other high schools is a daily occurrence within the Transport Center. The female students seem to also be taking advantage of the Government lax rules on loitering in the transport center, often changing clothes to meet older men or even have sex with other school children within the JUTC Transport Center.

So says a JUTC driver under the cover of anonymity, quote: “They dress up and come in here and carry away the little girl dem and have them in a the back part a di centre. A so them behave in here. Some of them (girls) all change them clothes and man come pick them up, and when you look, you see them put on back uniform when them ready to go home and take off them false hair and all them something there”.

These children sexual behaviour seems to get worse on a Friday, as this may be how they celebrate TGIF before the weekend sets in.
The authorities have their hands full as they the children have now become criminals, committing every petty crime possible that draws the attention of the Jamaican Police to quote general manager in charge of operations at the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre Linval Thompson: “There are at least 10 incidents on a Friday. Not all incidents are police-related, but the police have their hands full on Fridays”.

What crimes exactly?

What Linval Thompson says next will surprise you, quote: “Pickpocketing, loitering, fighting, bloodshed, abusive language, that sort of thing. The security personnel roam and we do get reinforcement from the St Andrew Central on Friday to complement the five that we would have on shift from the police post, and we have four security core members as well, so it is a nine-member security team on a Friday evening, and we get some reinforcement from St Andrew Central”.

Basically a mini- Sodom and Gomorrah Part I, starring High School Children. I say this as many of these children have filmed their sexual exploits en have uploaded them to Facebook.

Reinforcements have to be called in as the children have become very wild with their unruly activities culminating every Friday to quote Linval Thompson: “We have at least 40 police incidents per month, but the majority of what happens occur on a Friday”.
Because of this unruly behaviour, adults are no afraid to go into the Transport center to take the Buses, fearing these rambunctious little criminals. The result is that they’re losing money, as adults opt to take the Taxis and buses to get home, to quote Linval Thompson: “We lose a lot of money because the adults coming into the centre at five o'clock in the afternoon on a Friday will just turn back and seek the alternative because the crowd is still there at five”.

Ok, so with this much evil going on in the Transport Center, now transformed into a kids paradise and hell on earth for adults, how can the JUTC resolve the situation and regain control before the children turn the Transport Center into a tree house, Kids Next Door style!

How free Wi-Fi can get Unruly students to take the Bus - Floodlights and CCTV Camera needed to aid Police

Strong Police intervention is needed to prevent the school children from loitering in the JUTC Transport Center after 3:30pm. Otherwise, we'll soon hear of murders and female student and even adults being grasped by these increasingly aggressive students.

One option that is yet to be implemented is Wi-Fi in the JUTC Buses, which would make the student more likely to leave, being as they can get free Wi-Fi once they pay with a SmarterCard as explained in my blog article entitled “Wi-Fi on JUTC Buses in September 2015 - How extended 2015 Summer Promotion will increase revenue by JA$4 million daily”.

Also installing CCTV Cameras in every corner of the Transport Center as well as floodlights to make all dark areas lit would also make it harder for them to have privacy to fight or have sex with each other. The hardest problem to solve is female students coming to meet older males.

But once these measure as in place, the problem will slowly start to decrease as the children will be more inclined to go home.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Nintendo 3DS - Why 3D by Virtual and Augmented Reality for Nintendo in 2016

Sonic the Hedgehog is finally stepping up to 3D on a new platform.

The big news, which dropped on Tuesday September 29th 2015, is that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is coming to the Nintendo 3DS in Thursday October 8th 2015 as reported in the article “3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is coming to Nintendo 3DS next month”, published Tuesday, Sep 29 2015 By Albaraa Fahmy, DigitalSpy

The Japanese have been enjoying the 3D version on the Nintendo 3DS for some time now. The West was supposed to get a taste in September but alas it was delayed.

The game will only be available via download on eShop exclusive in North America, so Jamaicans, get you VPN in gear on your Wi-Fi Router to download this game to your Nintendo 3DS as explained in my blog article entitled “Cable Providers comply with BCJ Cable Channel Removal - How to install a VPN to Stream American Cable Channels on your Roku”.

So what so special about Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Nintendo 3DS?

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Nintendo 3DS - Why 3D Gaming will be revived by Virtual and Augmented Reality Gaming in 2016

Despite the prevalence of smartphones, portable gaming devices like the Nintendo 3DS are the mainstay of on-the-go gaming.

This may explain why Nintendo is yet to announce any major released in partnership with DeNa as yet despite signing deals with them to make smartphone and table version of their popular titles since March 2015 as reported in my blog article entitled “@DeNACorp and Nintendo partner for Smartphone and Tablet Games - Partnership to boost Mobile Games as VR and AR

The 3D Version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has 3D features that the Nintendo 3DS supports and joins the list of games such as 3D Sonic the Hedgehog and 3D Gunstar Heroes that have seen a revival in the Third Dimension as reported in the article “Sega Announces '3D Sonic The Hedgehog 2' Coming To Nintendo eShop”, published September 30 2015 By Nicolo Josef V. Parungo, International Business Times.

But this version of the game may see more action from Miles ‘Tails’ Prower, Sonic's sidekick who has limited capabilities.  Breathing life into this dual-tailed character that can fly might make might make co-op modes and team play more interesting.

Check out this trailer for the Game as an example of gameplay for the 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2:

Not sure what the price will be, but based on the US$5.99 pricing for the 3D Sonic the Hedgehog and 3D Gunstar Heroes gases, expect to purchase this game for the same price as predicted in the article “3D Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Joins Sega’s Other 3D Classics On October 8”, published September 28, 2015 By Jenni, SiliconEra.

With Nintendo's interest in 3D on the rise, is this an indication of things to come from Nintendo? Might there be a VR or AR Console in the works from Nintendo later this year as well as in 2016?

Nintendo needs to build a VR and AR Console - Silicon Valley and Samsung coming to dominate Console Market  

More interestingly, this points to the coming of VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) gaming as predicted in my blog article entitled  “GamesCom 2015 in Germany - Why VR will save Video Games and Why Jamaica needs a Design and Developer Video Game Conference”, as these is really 2D gaming that renders the game to appear 3D.

VR and AR can do this very well and has the added bonus of being immersive, as VR and AR are true 3D.

The Rivalry between the Console makers as well as the Silicon Valley companies looking to break into gaming via VR and AR is heating up for a 2016 showdown as I've predicted in my blog article entitled “Rivalry between “@Facebook and @HTC – @Google, @Microsoft, @Sony and @Samsung in VR as Video Game Console Savior and smartphones Extinction”.

Already, Samsung has fired the first shot across the bow in the Fourth Quarter of 2015. They’d launched their US$99 Samsung Gear VR which appears to be more of a gimmick to sell their smartphones as it has very little pre-announced 3D Gaming support as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “US$99 Samsung Gear VR in November 2015 is a fanboy’s VR Dream”.  

Nintendo needs to capitalize on this interest in 3D and make their own VR headset. Until then, they can partner with Microsoft and make such games as the Pokemon Go available on the Hololens as I'd predicted in my MICO Wars Blog article entitled “How Free Pokemon Go Augmented Reality Game will be a hit for Nintendo in 2016”.  

With Microsoft Event at the Skylight at Moynihan Station on Tuesday October 6th 2015 in New York City possibly being a launchpad for Hololens as predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Why Microsoft Skylight Event in New York means Surface 4 and Hololens are coming”, expect to hear more about Nintendo's VR and AR Gaming plans in the next few days leading up to Thursday October 8th 2015.

Until then, 3D Version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Nintendo 3DS may be the closest we'll get to a VR-like experience on a Console-like device from Nintendo!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Queensland University of Technology COTSbot - How Crown-of-Thorns Starfish killer can also do Lionfish and gigantic Goldfish

“We see the COTSbot as a first responder for ongoing eradication programs -- deployed to eliminate the bulk of COTS in any area, with divers following a few days later to hit the remaining COTS. The COTSbot becomes a real force multiplier for the eradication process the more of them you deploy -- imagine how much ground the programs could cover with a fleet of 10 or 100 COTSbots at their disposal, robots that can work day and night and in any weather condition”

Dr Matthew Dunbabin, Lead Designer for the COTSbot (Crown-of-Thorns Starfish robot) at the Institute for Future Environments

Robots are pretty cool and the Aussies are putting them to some interesting applications.

Now comes the latest one; Queensland University of Technology has developed a Robot to kill of the deadly Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) that's destroying the Great Barrier Reef as explained in the article “Seek-and-destroy robot to stop starfish killing the Great Barrier Reef”, published September 7, 2015 by Michelle Starr, CNET News

This robot, an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) dubbed the COTSbot (Crown-of-Thorns Starfish robot), was developed by the Queensland University of Technology over a period of ten (10) years.

The group has been focused on the development of the robot to kill the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) which has been identified as the main cause of the decline in the Great Barrier Reef as per the research paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences JournalThe 27–year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes”.

It basically works by identifying the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) and then injecting it with a deadly mixture of ox bile salts. This procedure causes the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) to blister and burst open, dying within 24 hours.

A breakthrough by the James Cook University via the discovery that vinegar was just as effective as ox bile salts is what got Dr Matthew Dunbabin, Lead Designer for the  COTSbot (Crown-of-Thorns Starfish robot), to restart his project as note in the article “This underwater Drone hunts and kills invasive starfish on the Great Barrier reef”, published September 4, 2015 By Kelly Hodgkins, Digitaltrends.

Best of all, this condition is infectious; other Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) that come in contact with the dead and dying Crown-of-Thorns Starfish also die within 24 hours.
With a mortality rate of 100%, this is possibly the best solution against this invasive pest that's eating the coral that takes decades to grow and cover the 344,400 square kilometers (133,000 square miles) the Great Barrier Reef.

But aside from killing this pest, why is the COTSbot (Crown-of-Thorns Starfish robot) necessary? After all, couldn't human diver have done a similar job and get paid doing it?

Queensland University of Technology COTSbot - How Robots will be back as underwater terminators

Apparently it's not that easy for human divers to swim around for hunting for the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci).

In fact, Dr Matthew Dunbabin , Lead Designer for the COTSbot (Crown-of-Thorns Starfish robot) at the Institute for Future Environments at the Queensland University of Technology, praised the work of the divers thus far, quote: “Human divers are doing an incredible job of eradicating this starfish from targeted sites but there just aren't enough divers to cover all the COTS hotspots across the Great Barrier Reef”.

However, as you might have guessed, being as this is repetitive and dangerous work, as the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) sting causes quite a reaction, making robots perfectly suited to doing this type of job! 

The COTSbot can operate at lower depths than the humans can and can swim 1 meter above the ocean floor. Because the drone operates under water and floats based on buoyancy, its batteries are mainly to operate propulsion, navigation and the on board controller. This means it get p to eight (8) hours of swimming time underwater and can carry a payload of 200 lethal injections.

It also has a built in stereoscopic camera as the input to the on board controller, making it capable of detecting the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci), which it's capable of doing autonomously with an accuracy of 99%. Once the COTSbot spots a Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci), it takes a picture that's sent to a human for verification before it delivers it's lethal dose of ox Bile salts.

Queensland University of Technology COTSbot Trials in December 2015 - Hunter killers to reduce exploding population of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish

The team from the Queensland University of Technology is currently improving the accuracy of the COTSbot by giving its built-in AI (Artificial Intelligence) algorithm as many pictures of the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) under varying conditions.

This so that it can identify the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) accurately, even if it has a different colour or chooses to hide within the coral. The Queensland University of Technology will do some trial runs on December 2015.

Also, they may wish to work with the James Cook University and replace the use of Ox Bile Salts with Vinegar, which is just as effective at killing the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) as reported in the article “Coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish can be killed with vinegar, scientists find”, published Wednesday 23 September 2015 by Oliver Milman, The UK Guardian and “Barrier Reef: Vinegar could curtail coral-eating starfish”, published 23 September 2015, BBC News.

If successful, the COTSbot will be deployed all across the Great Barrier Reef as hunter killers to reduce the currently exploding population of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci).

Robots as hunter-killers for other invasive species - From killing Crown-of-Thorns Starfish to Lionfish and gigantic Goldfish

But most interesting is that if this strategy works for the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci)), could it not also be used to hunt and kill other invasive species, such as the Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) as described in my blog article entitled “National Lionfish Project reaps 66% reduction as Lionfish Population is down - NEPA's MTIASIC suggests Commercial Lionfish Farming possible for Restaurants and Fast Food Industry”. 

In fact, it can also be used to hunt and kill goldfish now plagueing the Australian rivers based on research done by Murdoch University’s Freshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit in Australia a reported in my blog article entitled “Murdoch University says Goldfish Destroy Freshwater Ecosystems - Why Jamaica must avoid Goldfish becoming Kingpins in our Rivers”.

Yet another use of robots that at least beneficial and keeping humans out of harm’s way!

Robotics used to protect the environment in this way is one of the more beneficial aspects of these cybernetic systems. Hopefully, other countries will follow Australia's example and begin to gradually accept the use of Robotics in everyday life!

Here’s the link:

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Why Gazelle Apple iPhone Trade-ins are Doubling - Apple iPhone Update Program and unlocked smartphones

Apple iPhone Trade-in specialist Gazelle, basically a pawn-shop for electronics in the US of A, has reported an interesting trend relating to Apple iPhones trade-ins.

Folks, a moment of silence for the Apple iPhone 6S, which is now a record seller as pointed out in my Geezam blog article entitled “13 Million Apple iPhone 6S Sold as Apple iPhone 7 Rumours have begun”.

Ok, now read on!

Apple iPhone trade in have doubled this year over 2014 as noted by Gazelle in the article “Surprising Trend With Apple iPhone Trade-ins”, published September 28 2015 by Chuck Jones, Forbes

As per usual, they see an increase in trade-in among Americans around the time a new Apple iPhone comes out. But this year, it seems, was extra special!

So says these charts from Gazelle showing the increase in Apple iPhone trade-ins of various ages over three (3) generations spanning the Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 5S and Apple iPhone 5 and older models.

Folks, tell me what you notice.

 Apparently, even before the two-year contracts are up, Americans are willing to trade-in their 1 year old Apple iPhone, resulting in the doubling of Apple iPhone trade-ins as noted in the article “Gazelle sees iPhone trade-in offers double into iPhone 6s event, raises cash payouts for Verizon models”, published Tuesday, September 08, 2015 By Katie Marsal, Apple Insider.  

This implies that they view their Apple product as having enough value that they can use it to make up and purchase yet another Apple iPhone as they are increasingly more feature-rich and covered in more precious metals.

The Latest Apple iPhone may even have joined the Water-proof club as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “How the Apple iPhone 6S being Water-proof may be its greatest feature ever”.

Unlocked phone spurs more smartphone Sales – Trend of Trade-in may soon start in Jamaica with Huawei

Now most carriers are choosing to sell smartphones without contract on a monthly lease or payment plans as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Why Apple iPhone 6S, Apple TV, Apple iPad Pro with Pencil spells Success”.

Americans, it seems, have no problems with purchasing fully unlocked smartphones, which have been so since February 2015as noted in my blog article entitled “US Carriers must Carrier Unlock smartphones as of Wednesday February 11th 2015 – How Americans can get their smartphones Carrier unlocked”.

Once you own the phone or lease it, it’s easier to trade it in either for cash to purchase another phone or just do something else with it, as you’re not bound up in any contract!

A similar trend may soon be shaping up in Jamaica, now that a major OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), Huawei, has partnered with LASF (Lasco Financial Services Limited) to sell unlocked Huawei smartphones and genuine accessories as reported in my blog article entitled “Huawei and Lasco to sell Unlocked dual-SIM smartphones - Why Number Portability means Open Market for unlocked smartphone”.

Apple is now offering their own lease plan called Apple iPhone Upgrade Program. So expect to see more American trade in their Apple iPhone just to keep up with the Cupertino kids at Apple!

With an increased awareness of American smartphone buying trends, I also expect Jamaicans to start doing the same thing this Christmas 2015!

NWC Strike affects MICO - How Increasing NWC Health premuiums means no Water for Kingstonians

Looks like we're in for some rough times as the NWC (National Water Commission) Workers are restive.  And I just had a rather successful presentation at my CABM (Counseling and Behavioral Management) Class at MICO University College, then slept well, only to awaken to this unfolding drama!

The NWC workers are on strike over their medical insurance as reported in the article “NWC Warns Strike Could Leave Customers Without Water, Urges Storage”, Published Wednesday September 30, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Please note that this strike is affecting the four (4) trade unions who represent one thousand two hundred (1200) Workers as reported in the article “NWC workers strike over health insurance coverage”, published Wednesday, September 30, 2015, The Jamaica Observer.

1.      BITU (The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union)
2.      NWU (National Workers Union)
3.      JALGO (Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers)
4.      JUPOPE (Jamaica Union of Public Officers and Public Employees)
5.      Managers Staff Association

This is a fairly serious strike if even the Managers are also on strike, suggesting that we’re looking on a major water crisis in the next few days! Thanks to this coming disruption in the NWC's service, you’ll have to pay your bills at one of several alternative Bill payment locations as listed below:

1.      Alliance Investment Management
2.      Bill Express Offices islandwide and
3.      First Caribbean International Bank online –
4.      Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League online –
5.      Jamaica National Building Society branches islandwide and
6.      National Commercial Bank branches islandwide, Tele-Midas and
7.      Paymaster Offices islandwide and
8.      Prime Trust Financial Corporation
9.      Sagicor Bank branches islandwide
10.  Scotiabank’s Telescotia and
11.  Victoria Mutual Building Society online –

This is suggests that the affected workers working within the NWC's Collection offices are the one protesting as well as workers who monitor Regulator and pumps houses and even work at the main treatment plant.

So what's the strike about?

NWC workers on strike - How increasing Health premiums means no Water for Kingstonians

This latest strike relates to the NWC increasing their medical insurance premiums without the consent of their respective labour unions. Worse, Benefits aren’t increasing and with salaries not moving, this strike was inevitable.

So while the Ministry of Labour and the Unions representing those NWC workers worry about their health, we'll have to content with possible water lock-off in the next few days.

To avoid the meltdown as happened the last time as reported in my blog article entitled “Water Shortage at MICO - How I'm dealing with the Water Shortage in Kingston”, I've already begun to fill up containers with water.

I've also started carrying my own personal supply of the precious liquid with me to MICO University College. It's helping to save on purchasing Bag Juice and Soda, an unnecessary expense and reduces dehydration as I'd explained in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - Drink Bottled Water as Dehydration and Salty Foods makes you lose concentration”.

An emergency meeting has been called at the Labour Ministry to attempt to resolve the dispute and in the meantime, the NWC says it continues to do everything to restore normality in the shortest possible time.

Hopefully too, they’ll finish fixing that pipe that burs inside of Swallowfield as I'd reported in my blog article entitled “Water Wastage at MICO - How Waste Water Recycling and Rainwater Harvesting benefits Agriculture” before this goes islandwide.

Folks, excuse me while I fill my Buckets as I fear the worst is yet to come. The NWC Workers and Manager combined seem to have the upper hand.... over the Government of Jamaica and more specifically the Ministry of Water and Climate Change!