My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Why the Stay Alert App from the Ministry of National Security is a Call Prankster's Summer Toy of 2016

The Ministry of National Security is now marshalling the power of smartphones in its bid to fight crime.

They've recently launched a Stay Alert App which is basically a crime reporting tool on your smartphone as reported in the article “Stay Alert App”, published Sunday, June 26, 2016, The Jamaica Observer

The App, which is available on the Google Play Store and already has seen between 10,000 t 50,000 installations, is basically a Panic Button for your smartphone. It requires your phone number to activate the “Panic Alert” function.

It's also got four (4) distinct sections, as show in the image above:

1.      Alerts
2.      iReport
3.      The Laws
4.      The Panic Mode

By the way, don’t press that Panic Button, as it’ll only call the Police. Why do I get the idea that this App, which wasn’t well thought out or designed, will create more problems for the Jamaican Police than what its intended to do; help fight crime?

Stay Alert App – Summer App for teenagers pranking the Ministry of National Security

You can already figure out the Panic mode, so I’ll skip that!

I suspect that this Panic Button on an App might end up being used to prank the Police in much the same way they already make prank calls to 119 as noted in “Non-Emergency Calls Clogging 119 System”, published January 19, 2016 By Shelly-Ann Irving, The Jamaica Information Service.

Fun fact about emergency Calls made to the Police Call Center:

1.      33,000 calls per day received
2.      24 calls per minute.
3.      23,000 or 70% are prank calls i.e. non-emergencies or non-police related matters

Alert seems to be the most useful mode, for law abiding citizens as well as criminals alike. It provides you with the latest news, alerts and tips related to missing person updates, road blocks, and other information from the police blotters.

This is great for criminals as well, as they can also use this App to AVOID the Police when making their getaway.

iReport turns you into a sleuth, allowing really nosy teenagers during the summer to spy on you and their pesky neighbour. In the process, they'll break Section 3 of the constitution and your Right to privacy by spying on you and anonymously upload video, audio, photo or message about suspicious individuals or crimes....or videos of you having sex with the girl in the other apartment or yard!

Good luck using that intel in court; most likely a judge will throw it out.....assuming you girlfriend doesn’t throw you out of your shared apartment first!!

The Laws is probably the most useful section; great to use against the Jamaican Police when they try to wrongfully arrest you for eating Kush Kandy as predicted in my blog article entitled “How Jared Wright's Kush Kandy is a neutraceutical that will make Sevy's Special Brownies legal”. 

Not only are these laws applicable in applicable in real-life situations but the Police can't arrest you for peddleing Kush Kandy, as they have no ticket books specifically made for Marijuana offenders as noted in the article “No books, so no ganja tickets”, published Sunday, June 26, 2016 by Jediael Carter, The Jamaica Observer.

For those of you brave enough to download this App and become an informer and potentially be tracked by the Jamaican Police, consult a lawyer beforehand. The Stay Alert App is really a great tools for pranksters to flood the Police Call Centers with even more misleading information.

Here's the link


Monday, June 27, 2016

University of California CRISPR-Cas9 Human Organs in Pigs means Human Chimeras Possible

“Human pluripotent cells are introduced into non-human vertebrate animal pre-gastrulation stage embryos”

NIH position on the use of Human-pig hybrids and CRISPR-Cas9 in animal testing

There is now a global shortage of Human Organs for human transplant surgeries. So what if you could grow them from scratch instead of getting them?

Researchers from the University of California are now attempting to grow human organs in pigs as reported in the article “Growing Human Organs Inside Pigs”, published June 6, 2016 By Dyllan Furness, Digitaltrends.

The idea is very simple; inject human stem cells into the embryos of pigs which then grow into organs tissue. Humans and pigs have similar physiologies, so growing human organs in pigs is a logically sound scientists, at least!

It also sounds a lot like the potential outcome of the research into cloning livestock that a company in China named BoyaLife may achieve, as they too can do the same thing as predicted in my blog article entitled “Why BoyaLife plan to clone farm animals will lead to cloning Humans”.

So how did the researchers from the University of California achieve this technical marvel?

University of California grow human organs in Pigs - CRISPR-Cas9 to make human babies in animals

The researchers use the gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to remove a part of the freshly fertilized pig embryo’s DNA that instructs it to grow a certain organ. In my example, I'll use kidneys, being as they are high in demand on transplant and have one of the longest donor waiting lists.

Then human stem cells, which are cells that are undifferentiated i.e. not developed into functional cells with a specific purpose, are injected into the pig embryo. The mechanism that causes the cells to divide, upon spotting the gene sequence for the kidney removed, would then take the human stem cell DNA for the human kidney and use it to fill the gap in the pig embryo’s DNA.

In so doing, a pig/human chimera develops. But instead of growing into a fully formed pig, it hi-jacks the entire process and causes the pig embryo to grow into a human organ inside the pig. In essence, the pig give birth to a human kidney, not a pig, a concept in itself that's so frightening, I had difficulty writing.

Still the potential is huge; potentially, any human organ or tissue can be grown this way. During their research, the scientist terminates the pregnancy in 28 days after conception in order to study the embryonic tissue and stay within legal limit imposed on stem cell research.

However, this opens the possibility that a fully formed baby can be grown outside of a woman’s womb in a pig body as I’d predicted in my blog article entitled “Why Dr. Kathy Niakan of Francis Crick Institute Gene Editing means Automated Human Birth”.

 Hence the reason why the NIH (National Institute of Health) and other US Government agencies are not funding their research; there is a genuine fear that before 2020, designed babies born in-vitro outside of a female human womb may be possible. Pigs, being as their physiologies are similar to ours, make the perfect host for such human/pig chimeras babies.

With the NIH not supporting the research of the University of California, it remains to be seen how far their research will progress.

Why OUR Telecommunications Market Information Report indicate Jamaicans love Snapchat and High-Speed Internet

“We are finding that people want more data per purchase. They are doing more with data and engaging more with social media. We are finding that people are keeping up from the $100 to $150, fairly straightforwardly”

FLOW Jamaica General Manager Garfield Sinclair commenting on the Telecommunications Market Information Report released by the OUR for the Q2 of 2015 

Folks, Jamaica's love for Social Media is driving Mobile Internet Growth in Jamaica for our Telecom Providers.

So says a recently released Telecommunications Market Information Report released by the OUR (Office of the Utilise Regulation) on Monday June 6th 2016 for the Q2 of 2015 ending June 2015 as reported in the article “Data packages bring in billions for telecoms ­ Snapchat, Instagram drive subscriptions among”, published Wednesday June 8, 2016 by Steven Jackson, The Jamaica Gleaner.

So why is Social Media increasing internet usage in Jamaica?

OUR Telecommunications Market Information Report - Mobile Broadband user are Growing Strong

According to their Telecommunications Market Information Report for Q2 of 2015 ending June 2015:

1.      JA$19.9 billion in total revenues from Voice Mobile, Fixed Line and Internet
2.      JA$13.3 billion for Voice Mobile revenue
3.      JA$2.4 billion for Fixed Line revenue
4.      JA$4.2 billion for Internet revenue

These figures presented in the Telecommunications Market Information Report for Q2 of 2015 ending June 2015 are YOY (Year on Year) increases over the corresponding periods in Q2 of 2014 as follows:

1.      JA$19.9 billion in total revenues from Voice Mobile, Fixed Line and Internet
2.      14% increase for Voice Mobile revenue
3.      12% billion for Fixed Line revenue
4.      153% billion for Internet revenue

These growth figures are incredible, especially when the latest Economic and Social Survey Jamaica 2014 and 2015 figures are compared:

1.      1.46 million Jamaicans with Internet Access
2.      1.3 million mobile internet users
3.      161,000 broadband subscribers
4.      966 narrowband subscribers

The shift in the Broadband is also part of the increased usage of Internet:

1.      920,000 High­speed Internet users in 2013/14
2.      120,000 High­speed Internet users in 2012/13
3.      786,000 Mobile Broadband users in 2013/14

Albeit this is the first time that data is being collected in the Mobile Broadband category, it's clearly the driver behind the 641% increase in the High­speed Internet users in the Economic and Social Survey Jamaica report.

Mobile Broadband users who love Mobile Social Media are Growing Strong, Game of Thrones Style!

So what's driving this explosion in Internet, which covers FLOW Broadband Services, Digicel Play and Mobile 3G Internet provided by both Telecom Providers FLOW Jamaica and Digicel?

Snapchat becoming popular with Jamaicans - Jamaicans willing to pay for High-Speed Data for Photos and Video 

Well, it comes as no surprise to me personally as it relates to the growth of Mobile Broadband; it's the latest Mobile Social Network App, Snapchat!

Jamaican Millennials (ages 18 to 28) and Teenagers aka Generation Z, are getting hip to Snapchat, which has now surpassed Twitter in terms of Average Daily users as reported in my blog article entitled “How Snapchat 150 million Daily users surpasses Twitter and threatens Instagram”.

Albeit the Millennials still cling to WhatsApp, the trend is definately headed in the Snapchat and their direction of sharing disappearing pictures and videos, Mission Impossible style, to quote FLOW Jamaica General Manager Garfield Sinclair: “We are looking for the explosion of Snapchat now because that is a data driver. But even without Snapchat, the growth of mobile data adoption by the average Jamaican is phenomenal”.

In fact, any social Media that involves the sharing of images and videos is fuelling this phenomenal growth, to quote Garfield Sinclair: “Instagram is the most popular app and it's getting caught up by Snapchat. Millennials are all into Snapchat, which is another data driver. All of these data drivers are good for business. Snapchat is where they are all going. It's no longer a picture anymore or a little video. Now you can create running vignettes now to showcase a week of activity”.

This is all music to the ears of the Telecom Providers, as the slow growth of Voice Mobile and Fixed Line (Landline) is being supplemented by the rapid explosive growth of Internet usage, be it Mobile or Broadband Internet, such as Digicel Play, which has now surpassed 35,000 customers as reported in the article “Summer Cable Market Heats Up”, published Friday June 17, 2016 by Neville Graham, The Jamaica Gleaner.

FLOW Jamaica has some of the lowest cost 3G Data bundles as listed in my Geezam blog article entitled “FLOW Jamaica’s 30-Day Prepaid Mobile Internet gives you 99 cents Plan”. Take a look at their offering below:

To activate a Prepaid Mobile Internet plan, use the following USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) Codes:

1.      50 MB (1 Day) Plan – *146*3*1#
2.      250 MB (3 Day) Plan – *146*3*2#
3.      2 GB (7 Days) Plan – *146*7#
4.      300 MB (30 Days) Plan – *146*30*1#
5.      500 MB (30 Days) Plan – *146*30*2#
6.      1 GB (30 Days) Plan – *146*30*3#
7.      2 GB (30 Days) Plan – *146*30*4#

Still, using a MiFi or Digicel 4G Broadband DX-250 Modem will make your Data Plan last longer in my Geezam blog article entitled “FLOW Jamaica MiFi helps you use Prepaid Mobile Internet Plan wisely”.

But with such a huge appetite for Broadband, it should come as no surprise that Digicel LTE, which was launched on Friday June 10th 2016 as detailed in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to Activate a Digicel LTE Smart Plan on your Smartphone” is doing so well, with some 7000 subscriber in the first week.

This despite the high cost of the Data plans which max out at speeds of up to 60MBps as pointed out in my blog article entitled “US$50 million 60Mbps Digicel LTE Network as Caricel and FLOW prep for August 2016 Launch”.

With FLOW Jamaica and Caricel expected to launch their 4G LTE Networks sometime in August 2016 as predicted in my blog article entitled “Caricel’s and FLOW Jamaica’s LTE and VDSL Double Launch on Emancipation or Independence Day”, Jamaicans are already calling relatives abroad to ship down compatible smartphones as listed below.

1.      Apple iPhone 5s 64GB
2.      Apple iPhone 6 64GB
3.      Apple iPhone 6+ 128GB
4.      Apple iPhone 6+ 16GB
5.      Apple iPhone 6+ 64GB
6.      Apple iPhone 6s 64GB
7.      Apple iPhone 6s+ 64GB
8.      BlackBerry Classic Q20
9.      BlackBerry Leap
10.  BlackBerry Passport
11.  BlackBerry Priv
12.  BLU Dash L
13.  BLU Dash M
14.  BLU Life XL
15.  BLU Studio C 5+5
16.  BLU Studio Energy 2
17.  Google Nexus 5x
18.  Motorola G 3rd Gen.
19.  PLUM Gator Plus 2
20.  Plum Might LTE
21.  Samsung Galaxy Note 4
22.  Samsung Galaxy Note 5
23.  Samsung Galaxy S5 neo
24.  Samsung Galaxy S6 32GB
25.  Samsung Galaxy S6 64GB
26.  Samsung Galaxy S6 edge + 32GB
27.  Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 32GB
28.  Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 64gb
29.  Samsung Galaxy S7 32GB
30.  Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 32GB

If the OUR Telecommunications Market Information Report is anything to go by, Jamaicans clearly are willing to pay for High-Speed Data for Photos and Video, no matter the cost!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

How Microsoft's LinkedIn purchase means Mobile Social Media for Business is Growing Strong

LinkedIn, the Social Network for Professionals and Job seekers, is now under new management.

Microsoft snapped up the company from US$26.2 billion dollars on Monday July 13th 2016 as per their Press Release entitled “Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn”, Posted June 13, 2016 By Microsoft News Center.

Linked in has some impressive stats:

1.      433 million members worldwide
2.      105 million unique visiting members per month
3.      45 billion quarterly member page views
4.      7 million active job listings

LinkedIn albeit boring, a slow growing gentle giant of the Social Media scene as pointed out in the article “Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion”, published June 13 2016 by Tom Warren, The Verge.

An all cash deal, it's bigger than even their acquisition of Mojang for some September 2014 as detailed in my blog article entitled “US$2.5 billion purchase of Mojang by Microsoft - How Minecraft will help Microsoft to build on Xbox Success”.

At the time, spending some US$2.5 billion to acquire Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of the hit game Minecraft, raised eyebrows in certain circles, as it hinted at Microsoft taking Gaming seriously.

Check out this video of an interview with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner for a better perspective on this deal.

With the launch of the Hololens, [article reference], this may well be the case, as Microsoft was used as part of the demonstration of the capabilities of AR (Augmented Reality).

So why buy LinkedIn?

Microsoft purchase of LinkedIn - Mobile Social Media for Business is Growing Strong

This latest purchase now has many thinking that Microsoft is again making a stab at Business Social Media.

The company is one that's growing, albeit very slowly as noted in the article “Microsoft buys LinkedIn”, published June 13 2016 by Steven Tweedie and Alyson Shontell, Business Insider

In 2015 they'd taken the following decisions that have resulted in increased profitability for the company:

1.      Launched a new mobile app
2.      Improved LinkedIn newsfeed for business insights
3.      Acquired, an online learning platform
4.      Revamped their Recruiter product for their enterprise customers

The results speak for themselves:

1.         19% growth YOY (year over year) to more than 433 million members worldwide
2.         9% growth YOY to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month
3.         49% growth YOY to 60 percent mobile usage
4.         34% growth YOY to more than 45 billion quarterly member page views
5.         101% growth YOY to more than 7 million active job listings

This may well be the case yet again, being as they'd attempted to do this by having a stake in Facebook and their acquisition of Yammer for $1.2 billion in 2012 as pointed out in the article “Microsoft to buy LinkedIn for $26.2B in cash, makes big move into enterprise social media”, published  June 13 2016 by Ingrid Lunden, Techcrunch.

Mobile Social Networks may be the way many people communicate and connect in the future, especially now that they're monetizing with custom sticker and emojis as I'd pointed out in my blog article entitled “LinkedIn Instant Messaging and Private Groups - Why Stickers and Emoji for Professionals has a Jamaican Touch”.

Microsoft, an investor in Facebook, also want to be a part of the Social side of Business, as LinkedIn is Growing Strong!