My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

How Tastemates Dating App is Facebook Likes with Tinder Bot-Collected Metadata

“We’re trying to codify serendipity” — those surprising moments of, “Oh my God, I can’t believe anyone else likes that as much as I do!”

Tastemates CEO Jon Vlassopulos describing how his revolutionary dating App works

One man's meat is another man’s poison. So what happens when you and someone else share the same poison?

Then you start a mobile Social Network called Tastemates for people with similar tastes in food, movies and TV shows as reported in the article “Tastemates helps you find people who like what you like”, published 05 May 2016 by Anthony Ha, Techcrunch.

The Tastemates App, available on both the Apple iTunes Store and the Google Play Store, is what would happen if's Tinder API had sex with Facebooks Likes Database  

Instead of swiping to like/dislike based on facial profiles, your quizzed by a built in bot about what you like and dislike a lot like fashion chatbot purchase by Kik Messenger called  Blynk as reported in my blog article entitled “Kik buys Blynk - Why chatbots are the future of music and shopping”.

So how does Tastemates work?

Tastemates dating is based on likes - Facebook Likes bot in an App as birds of a feather flock together

This App sounds like an idea I posted on Facebook as a response to a NowThis video which I found ironically on Facebook on Monday April 2nd 2016 at 7:42 a.m.

That video was made by German food brand Knorr, who paired people based on their tastes in food. The idea was that people had a deeper connection if they had the taste in food, as that implies similar thinking but on a more sub-conscious level. It seemed to have worked, as many of the participants have even gone on a second date.

And as you can see, I suggested that some developers need to come together and make this into an App.

Tastemates does something similar, but with more data from everything you like, not just food.

The App learns from your swiping, it'll recommended other things that it thinks you may like while serving you up with a side-dish of other people who have similar tastes. In other worse, you don’t choose the person you date or you are not matches based on what you're looking for in a partner.

Rather, the App matches you to other based purely on liking similar things, in keeping with the adage “birds of a feather flock together”. Even better, you can filter through the people that the App recommends have similar tastes in terms of food, movie, TV show, music.

This filtering is based on age and gender and is very granular. Even the updates for new persons can be gauged manually using slider that determines the percentage similarity you have with someone.

In short, all very hands-on!

Future of Apps is built in Bots – App Match made in Heaven based on Bot-collected metadata

But trust me, if you and someone connect on the level of liking the same things, their age should matter much.

The secret of a good dating App is about making that connection as more people of all ages are searching for love as pointed out in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How Jamaican can use Dating Apps to find a Lover”. 

This may be the future of Apps; bots built in that match you to a product by parsing metadata collected from conversing with you or with you doing an interactive survey.

Something tell me Facebook may already be planning a retaliatory strike against this start-up using their Facebook Likes Database but using bots instead as noted in Geezam blog article entitled “How FB Messenger Ads means Chess playing Chatbots with Fast Food Coupons”.

Oh, and I'm STILL looking for a developer for my unique App idea, specific to Jamaica......

Here’s the link:

Monday, May 2, 2016

How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - LMIS Website, Education, Entrepreneurial grants, Jobs in Call Centers and Tourism

“For persons, who are struggling to finance themselves, this programme is geared towards assisting you,”

Senior Labour Market Analyst in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Shaine Palmer at the ‘Life After Fifth Form’ career development exercise at the Holy Trinity High School in Kingston on Thursday, April 28 2016

Millennials and young people trolling my blog looking for work in Jamaica; are you a volunteer?

If you are then according to Ministry of Labour and Social Security there are education and entrepreneurial grants waiting for you as reported in the article “Labour ministry urges youth to take up education, entrepreneurial grants”, published Saturday, April 30, 2016, The Jamaica Observer.

This was revealed at the ‘Life After Fifth Form’ career development exercise at the Holy Trinity High School in Kingston on Thursday, April 28th 2016 by Senior Labour Market Analyst in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Shaine Palmer.

These education and entrepreneurial grants will allow high school students in Grade 11 and Grade 12, basically Form 5 and Form 6 as well as at the Tertiary (UWI and UTECH peeps!) to access funding to pursue higher education or establish small businesses

However, to get the educational grants, you have to have a volunteering spirit in order to qualify:

1.      30 hours of volunteer service at a golden age home
2.      30 hours of volunteer service at a children’s home
3.      30 hours of volunteer service at an infirmary

The Entrepreneurial grants from the JBDC (Jamaica Business Development Corporation) are also just as rigorous, with participants being required to do rigorous training and then create a business plan.

Lack of a credible business plan is the main reason why some 20% of applicants fail to get loans as pointed out in my blog article entitled “20% of Jamaican MSME's Fail to get Bank Loans - Why MSME's need Business Plans, Marketing Plans and Market Research”. 

So are their options to these education and entrepreneurial grants?

Shaine Palmer says Tourism and Call Centers Hiring - Call Centers not stable employment but neither is starvation

Shaine Palmer also pointed out the obvious elephant in the room; the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry is booming as pointed out in the article “BPO Operations to be Expanded”, published April 26, 2016 By Alecia Smith-Edwards, The Jamaica Information Service.

To quote Shaine Palmer: “BPO is one of the fastest growing sectors in Jamaica that is absorbing a lot of persons right now. A lot of investments have gone into the sector”.

Here's a quick list of employment opportunities available in the BPO:

1.      Customer service representatives
2.      Call centre agents
3.      Information technology technicians
4.      Telemarketers

Opportunities also exist in the Tourism Sectors as follows:

1.      Entertainment coordinators
2.      Tour guides
3.      Air conditioning technicians
4.      Housekeepers

Having a second Language is also helpful, especially in the Call Centers as noted in my blog article “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - Spanish or French Translator as Global Outsourcing CEO David Crump isn't truthful”.

So are there any stats to back up his claims?

JAMPRO's 2014-2015 annual report - Call Centers by the numbers

 According to JAMPRO's 2014-2015 annual report as published in the article “New BPO Companies Coming”, published Friday February 12, 2016, by Tameka Gordon, The Jamaica Gleaner there are an awful lot of BPO companies in Jamaica:

There have been six (6) new entrants in 2014-2015 alone:

1.      Quality Works Consulting Group
2.      PCR Nearshore
3.      Advanced Call Centre Technologies
4.      MJ Contact Solutions
5.      DG Call Sales Solutions Limited
6.      Tritel Services Jamaica

In the last ten (10) years, the BPO sector has ballooned to some thirty four (34) Call Centers spread across the island with Xerox announcing in May 2015 plans to expand in New Kingston as noted in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - Xerox's Three New Call Centers in Kingston for 860 employees for Future Expansion”.

Here's a list of the more popular ones:

1.      Xerox
2.      Teleperformance
3.      Sutherland Global Services
4.      Hinduja Global

Also, more clients are tapping local Call Center Operations to handle their accounts:

1.      Microsoft
2.      Amazon
3.      Humana

In all, these Call centers represent a huge number of employment opportunities for High School and Tertiary students when you consider the following stats JAMPRO's 2014-2015 annual report:

1.      34 Call centers established in the last ten (10) years
2.      6 New Call Centers in Jamaica in the 2014-2015 period
3.      2,047 permanent among the six (6) New Call Centers in Jamaica
4.      1,190 temporary posts among the six (6) New Call Centers in Jamaica
5.      6,400 jobs created in the sector since 2015.
6.      3,237 jobs permanent and temporary posts among the six (6) New Call Centers in Jamaica
7.      17,000 jobs among the total forty (40) Call centers in Jamaica

Albeit the jobs in this sector aren't stable as the rate of turnover is fairly high as pointed out in the article “Inside Call Centres: 'No More Jobs For Life' - JAMPRO President Comfortable With Attrition Rates Among Call Centre Employees”, published Monday April 18, 2016 by Andre Poyser and Jovan Johnson, The Jamaica Gleaner it's still more stable than starving to death.

In fact, if you're really smart, you can use the opportunity of being employed in a Call Center to apply for those education and entrepreneurial grants at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Even smarter, you experience gained from working in the Call Centers can be used to find another jobs as explained in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - How to use a Call Center to Hunt for your Dream Job”. 

So what if you still want to migrate?

Migrating High School Leavers - Jobs available at the LMIS

so even with those stats, many still seek a better life abroad according to a recent Respect Jamaica and UNICEF Survey as detailed in my blog article entitled “How Respect Jamaica and UNICEF Survey suggest Mass Exodus of High School Leavers in 2016”. 

For those who are more foreign-minded, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has the LMIS (Labour Market Information System) that can match student with certified skills to local and overseas employers. Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Colette Roberts Risden encourages High School leaver to get skilled, quote “The fact is that employers need workers, who have the ability to perform well on the job so that their goods and services can be competitive, and that they can make greater and bigger profits to pay you better”.

There are many strategies that you can use to find a job in Jamaica as detailed in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - Job Agencies, Applications with Proposals and Reading the Sunday Gleaner”.

Finding work by immigrating to Canada is also possible as noted in my blog article entitled  “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - Immigrating Permanently to work in Canada as a Skilled Worker”.  

Folks reading my blog, it's really up to you how you plan to find work and what you can tolerate as you seek your dream career.

Here’s the link:

Sunday, May 1, 2016

How Temptations Catterbox allows Cats to speak Human as trend towards Humans-Animal Conversations begins

“We’re fascinated by cats, so we set out on a mission to get to know them better. Through research, we learned that an adult cat’s meow is their way to communicate with humans and, by investing in this prototype device, we can start to improve understanding between them both — giving cats a voice for the very first time.”

Temptations’ global brand director Pete Simmons in an interview with AdWeek about their Temptations Catterbox product

Like playing with your cat using an AI Robotic Mouse as explained in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How to sharpen your Cat’s Hunting Skills with the AI Robotic Mousr”?

Well, talking to animals in 2016 may soon be totally possible. This is thanks to the Temptation Catterbox, a 3D-printed collar designed by London ad agency adam&eveDDB that claims to make your cat talk human as reported in the article “Converse with your cat like never before with this new 3D-printed talking collar”, published April 30, 2016 By Lulu Chang, DigitalTrends.

Temptations Cat Treats is a company best known for making cat treats so this latest product takes cat love to a whole new level. For an even better explanation, check out this video on the, Temptation Catterbox, a clear winner for Most Innovative Product of 2016.

It is true that they only meow when talking to humans. In fact, the Egyptians called cats “Mau” by virtue of the sound that they make. Here’s a picture of this revolutionary product.

Clearly this is part of an ad campaign for London ad agency adam&eveDDB. Or maybe they're just goofing off with some extra money in their Ad campaign budget, with the company behind the product to be revealed later in a series of ads.

Still, the question on all Cat lovers’ minds is obvious: does this product actually work and where can I buy it?

Temptations Catterbox - Most Innovative Product of 2016 that's probably not real

Granted, this product probably doesn’t work.

It has no neural interface to connect to the cat's brain to allow them to control the device as in the case of the NSID's No More Woof Project as described in my blog article entitled “IndieGogo funded NSID's No More Woof Project aims to get Dog's talking

Also I’ve found no pricing or availability for this product, making me wonder if it is at all real. But if it is, it may come in at a similar price point as the No More Woof Project at around US$1200. Still, the concept is so damn tempting to imagine as real that it earns a spot on my blog.

Albeit an insane idea as pointed out in the article “At last! A cat collar that translates meows into human speech”, published April 30, 2016 by Chris Matyszczyk, CNET News this is highly desired among cat owners.

Cat owners that like to play with their cat by trapping them in circles as pointed out in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How to trap your Cat in one Place as Cats love Circles”, will love this product, as they could ask why that is the case.

Temptation Catterbox would be especially be useful for the Zoological Society of London to keep track of the feral cat population that's eating off all the birds in England as noted in my blog article entitled “How UWI's Biotechnology Department, JSPCA, Telecom Providers and Zoological Society of London can track Feral Cats and Dogs”.

However, if this device really works, I'd like to use it to marshal a Cat army based on the 6 million Cats that live in Jamaica as described in my blog article entitled “Your Wild Life Cat Tracker Project and How the Jamaica Cat and Dog Migration Project would save Jamaican Birds” as scientists could finally ask cats answers for the many questions that have puzzled humanity form the dawn of time.

I give Temptation Catterbox two paws up.

Here's the link:

Saturday, April 30, 2016

How White Space Testing by Microsoft at Park Hall Primary and Infant School heralds 80 MBps Competition in Jamaica

Fellow Jamaicans, we may soon have a New Telecom Provider in Jamaica to challenge Digicel and LIME.

This as testing work is currently being carried out by Microsoft at Park Hall Primary and Infant School in Trout Hall, Clarendon. What's special here is that the test is being done to provision the use of White Space Frequencies to deliver Internet services as shown below.

This video comes to us courtesy of the twitter account of PNP (People's National Party) Senator Julian Jay Robinson ‎@julianjay  as shown below.

Clearly, it demonstrates that it is possible to use White space Spectrum in Jamaica without DSO as pointed out in my blog article entitled “Norway to Switch Off FM Radio – How Efficient Digital Audio Broadcast mandated by @BCJamaica is coming to Jamaican Broadcasters”. 

So aside from this exciting video, what are White Space Frequencies?

White Space Frequencies Primer - UK is ahead and the world is yet to follow

White Space Frequencies are the unused guard band frequencies inbetween NTSC (National Television System Committee) analog television frequencies and prevent cross interference between channels. This guardband is usually the 4 GHz block of frequency in-between the 6 GHz block of spectrum allocated for NTSC analog channels.

White Spaces can also refer to recently freed up spectrum that is made available when a country transition to DTV (Digital Terrestrial Television) or even from FM to Digital Radio as Norway plans to do in 2017 as reported in my blog article entitled “Norway to Switch Off FM Radio – How Efficient Digital Audio Broadcast mandated by @BCJamaica is coming to Jamaican Broadcasters”.

In February 2015 OfCom, Britain's Telecom Regulator approved the use of White Space Frequencies which corresponds to the block of unused spectrum located between TV Channels 61-69 (798-862MHz) as explained in my blog article entitled “OfCom approves White Spaces usage in Britain - Why Digital Switch Over in Jamaica is Necessary for Unlicensed White Space Frequencies”. 

As for the US of A, Broadcasters as of Friday April 29th 2016 have finally decided to submit to the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) auctioning their White Space spectrum as reported in the article “Feds say wireless auction off to a good start”, published April 29, 2016 by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News

So is Jamaica really planning to allow White Space Telecom Providers in Jamaica?

White Space Telecom in Jamaica - More Spectrum license options for Incumbents

It's a possibility, considering that Telecom Provider Digicel may soon be launching their 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) service in Jamaica on ITU (International Telecommunications Union) as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on Tuesday May 17th 2016. 

I know this as current testing of 4G LTE in Bahamas by Digicel Bermuda and CellOne is ongoing as reported in my Geezam blog article entitled “How Digicel’s and CellOne LTE in Bermuda means 75 Mbps speeds coming to Jamaica”. 

As for the use and testing of White Space Frequencies, it proves what I've been saying in my blog article entitled “OfCom approves White Spaces usage in Britain - Why Digital Switch Over in Jamaica is Necessary for Unlicensed White Space Frequencies”; you don't need DSO (Digital Switch Over) for the use of license and unlicensed testing of white space Spectrum.

Albeit no official word has come from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, it is possible that if such testing is being undertaken by Microsoft in Jamaica, it may lead to our White spaces spectrum being mapped. Very soon, the SMA (Spectrum Management Authority) may announce a round of auctions for White space Frequencies for Telecom Providers to come to Jamaica to provide High speed Broadband Services.

This would add to the 12 spectrum licenses for MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) that exist in Jamaica as reported in my blog article entitled “@TheOURja MVNO Licenses – How Telecom Providers benefit and Why MVNO are a source of Product Innovation”  opening up Jamaica further to competition.

Already WhatsApp in January 2016 may have signed an agreement with FLOW Jamaica to provisioning their service on unlocked smartphones as described in my blog article entitled “How possible MVNO Telecom Provider heralds WhatsApp, FLOW Jamaica, Digicel, Huawei and Lasco partnership”. 

So more Telecom Provider options, especially using this very plentiful White Space spectrum, would be welcome!