My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: March 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2048 is Italian Gabriele Cirulli's Mathematical answer to Flappy Bird - HTML5 Time-Wasting Fun like Threes! with 3D Gaming Potential on Facebook's Oculus Rift VR

With Flappy Bird long forgotten, pulled from the Google Plan and Apple iTunes store by its creator by Dong Nguyen as reported in my blog article entitled “Developer Dong Nguyen takes down US$50000 a day Flappy Bird App - Unwanted Media Attention leaves DotGears Game as the first In-App Advertising Gaming App”, it seems a new light has been cast upon the Mobile Gaming World.

Since then, I’ve penned a few articles on other Mobile Games in a bid to make my fellow Jamaicans realize that there’s money to be made from developing Video Games as well as to highlight the various business Models used to make money. So here goes another one about the recent HTML5 Free Gaming phenomenon known as 2048 as described in “2048 is the new Flappy Bird in so many ways”, published March 20, 2014 1:07 PM PDT by Eric Mack, CNET News.

That’s where the comparison to this Flappy Bird pretender to the Throne ends, as Italian programmer Gabriele Cirulli who published 2048 on his GitHub Website, claim no similarities, citing that it’s more like 1024, an app on the Apple iTunes Stores, only with a bigger score!

So why the Flappy Bird Comparisons?

Like that famed Game for smartphones, this Website only PC and Tablet Game (playing on a smartphone is difficult!) is easy to play when it just starts out, but gets progressively harder the higher the levels get. And like Threes!, all you have to do is match a few Tiles with the same number on them by sliding them with your mouse or finger. Your aim is to add the Tiles together and thus make higher and higher sums, doubling the score and thus coming closer and closer to the top namesake score of 2048!

Each move uses up space on the Board, so you must carefully swipe left or right or up and down to match Tiles with the same number, the lowest possible number Tile appearing on the board being 2 or 4. Unlike Threes!, a new Tile is always a 2 or a 4 and can pop up randomly anywhere on the board instead of coming down Tetris-Style from above, making creating larger sums easy!

How to beat 2048 – Mathematical Sudoku Time Travel and a Little Planning are required

Beating the Game is a lot easier than Threes! however. All you have to do is observe a few basic rules while playing the Game. Like Sudoku, the Corner is always a great place to start.

You can build your Strategy around grouping together larger Tiles that are in that Corner of your choice. This is helpful as it stays put when the right Tile (or space-time in this 2 dimensional Game?) comes for a match. At that point, you’re ready to slide beside, making it disappear and thus gain a higher score Tile.

However, it restricts you to 2 moves at a time. In my case, I have a preference for the Lower Right Corner (maybe because I’m left-brained, right handed person!), thus restricting me to moves downwards or to the Right.

Gridlock is sure to be coming fast, so avoid pulling in directions opposite to that Corner Tile you’ve chosen. To avoid this, always makes sure the next largest multiple below your largest Tile in the Corner is ever present e.g. if you have 512 in the Corner, make sure you have 256 beside it. This is the essence of the Corner Strategy!

Summing two Tiles in the opposite direction to your largest Tile makes sure this is always the case. This reduces the possibility of a Gridlock and thus creates more opportunities to add higher multiples to create a large one to add to your Corner Tile.

Scores of 1024 should be easily achievable this way. Then the Game suddenly starts to get difficult as avoiding rectangular-build up of Tiles, rendering the Corner Strategy useless. At this point, you need abandon the above Corner Strategy and actually pull on the Rectangle downwards, creating space for another set of 2's and 4's to appear, a Strategy that I call the Rectangle Strategy.

This is because at that point, above the Rectangular block is the ONLY place the Game can place more 2's and 4's, so 2048 gives you the option to do this and thus prevent Gridlock.

However, be careful with the Rectangle Strategy!

Never allow the 2's to overwhelm your board, always taking every opportunity to slide and sum them up to 4's, 8's and 16's, always maintain a higher multiple beside another higher multiple, with you highest being in your favorite Corner! That way if you have a buildup towards a Gridlock being initiated by larger multiples, you'll have a ready supply of 16's. These you can easily slide and combine to create multiples you can sum and create even higher multiples in your Corner, freeing up the board tremendously.

Another noteworthy point in 2048 is that once you focus on maintaining the Corner Strategy and utilizing the Rectangle Strategy in times of trouble, you'll notice that just like Games like PopCap’s Bejeweled and iWin’s JewelQuest, King’s Candy Crush Saga and even Rovio’s Juice Cubes as explained in my blog article entitled “Rovio Juice Cubes is a Freemium In-App Purchase Gold Bar Mine - To get to Level 200, you have to become Goldfinger but Crypto-currency will make In-App Purchases tolerable”, the Tiles will naturally come and combine with each other!

This keeps the board clear for other Tiles to appear. Doing all the above strategies, both the Corner Strategy as well as the Rectangle Strategy will maintain an active higher value in the Corner at all times as you power towards the elusive 2048 score and beyond.

2048 is a 2D Game with 3D Potential – Crypto-currency Mining will make this Game take off

Like Threes! as described in my blog article entitled “Threes!, an Engaging Mathematics Puzzle Game for Apple iOS - Sudoku in Multiples of Three by Sirvo LLC Design Trio should be Inspiration to Game Developers in Jamaica”, 2048 is very engaging and tempts you to believe it is beatable in the early stages with easy scores.

But once you start getting deeper into the Game and closer to the elusive 2048 score, the Game turns it up a notch. One then wonders what would happen to the difficulty level if Games like 2048 were to not only get the 3D Treatment but also the Oculus Rift VR (Virtual Reality) Treatment.

This as Facebook, now having acquired 2 year old company Oculus Rift, makers of the KickStarter funded VR Headset as stated in “Facebook to buy Oculus for $2 billion”, published March 25, 2014 5:35 PM PDT by Jennifer Van Grove, CNET News, may seek to have Game Developers develop 3D Versions of their Games, thus enticing Gamers to pay premium Charges to own an Oculus Rift VR Headset and play these Games.  

To make the game even more enticing, games like 2048, Threes!, PopCap’s Bejeweled and iWin’s JewelQuest, King’s Candy Crush Saga and even Rovio’s Juice Cubes can include Crypto-Currency Mining. Each time you collect a coin or valuable jewel in the Games, it sends a request to a bank of Servers to mine a particular Crypto-Currency of choice and deposits the mined crypto-currency in an Online Wallet of your choosing.

Unlike the Apps in the articles “Millions of Android app downloads infected with cryptocoin-mining code”, published Thursday 27 March 2014 13.17 GMT by Stuart Dredge, The UK Guardian and “Google cracks down on dodgy Android apps”, published March 31, 2014 By Michelle Starr, CNET News, it would be known to the user, allowing you the user to actually make virtual money while they play their favourite games.

Jamaican Game Developers take note!

All money mentioned are tied to having a US Credit Card that can receive payments or a virtual Wallet to store Crypto-Currency, the new Babylonian System of Currency for the Digital Age. But combining a verified PayPal Account with a Scotia VISA Debit Card or CIBC VISA Debit Card and some Game Developer skills, you can tie an In-App advertising Revenue System into your Game.

As a Game Developer you can make money in the same manner from Video Games as described in my blog article entitled Animation after KingstOOn - How to make a Video Game for PC, Smartphone and Tablet”.

Italian programmer Gabriele Cirulli merely shows another way to achieve this goal, as it won’t be long before his very popular yet clearly free HTML5 Game will be ported to the Apple iTunes Store and the Google Play Store and eventually attract the interest of Game Console Studios, starting with Facebook’s Oculus Rift!

Here’s the link to 2048:
2048 on his GitHub Website

LIME's 4G plans are really a HSDPA+ Release 7 Upgrade - Telecom Provider LIME’s Deception as HSDPA+ is really just a faster 3G Plan from the past

“This test represents a significant step towards delivering on our perpetual promise to always lead with the deployment of the most modern mobile technology for the Jamaican people.”

Chief Technology and Information Officer at LIME Walter Brown at the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica's President's Breakfast Forum in New Kingston on Tuesday March 25th 2014

Telecom Provider LIME is now doing the same thing that Telecom Provider Digicel has done: deceiving people into believing they have 4G when in reality they’re planning to launch a faster 3G Network, HSDPA+ (High Speed Downlink Packet Access Plus)!

As I write this I am in shock at Telecom Provider LIME’s attempt at mass deception. Please take note dear reader: This is NOT the same thing as Bahamas 4G LTE Wireless Broadband that went live in February 2014 as noted in my blog article entitled “Bahamas Telecommunications Company launched 4G LTE on Valentine's Day - Jamaicans need UNCHR Right to Broadband Access needed to empower Jamaicans before 4G LTE can go National”.

Telecom Provider LIME is to launch what it claims to be “4G” Technology in the next two (2) weeks, counting from their announcement date of Wednesday March 26th 2014 as stated in “LIME flips on 4G within 2 weeks”, published Wednesday, March 26, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

What it really is HSDPA+ Release 7 (64-QAM), which basically maxes out at 21 MBps, based on research I’d done already since 2011 and as show in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to Access LIME or Digicel’s 3G Internet using an unlocked Huawei E1556 Modem Dongle or Nokia Modem Dongle”.

LIME’s Deception explained – HSDPA+ Release 7 (QAM-64) is just really faster 3G

Clearly this isn’t 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) or even WiMaX or even WISP (Wireless Internet Service Providers)! Worse, MNP (Mobile Number Portability) and LNP (Landline Number Portability) has been pushed back to December 2014, suggesting the Telecom Providers aren’t too keen on competition as I’d pointed out in my blog article entitledState Minister Julian Robinson has announced that MNP is delayed until December 2014 - ICT Roadmap in shambles as Fourth Delay Suggest Telecom Provider's Stalling the Process”.

We’ve yet to auction off the 700 MHz Spectrum and other blocks of Spectrum due to a lack of interest among Jamaicans as well as lack of the proper Regulatory Infrastructure to make it accessible to all as noted in my blog article entitled “Jamaica's 700MHz Spectrum Auction fails to attract bidders on Friday October 11 2013 - Jamaicans Lack interest in Broadband Internet and no Telecom Regulator for the Sector” and “GOJ and MSTEM auctioning WiMaX and AWS Spectrum by Monday December 5th 2013 - AWS for Point-to-point, Point-to-Multipoint Networks and Residential WiMaX for Economic Prosperity”.

Chief Technology and Information Officer at LIME Walter Brown, who made his announcement at the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica's President's Breakfast Forum in New Kingston on Tuesday March 25th 2014, confirms that Telecom Provider LIME has finally spent the earmarked US$80 million to upgrade their 3G Network to HSDPA+ Release 7 (64-QAM), which he calls “4G”.

Apparently Telecom Provider LIME Contractor Ericsson, who are also in charge of doing Maintenance for the Network as pointed out in my blog article entitled “LIME outsources Network Maintenance to Ericsson - The Lone Rangers in Telecoms may have to Tag Team to get a 700Mhz license for 4G LTE, have finally received the new HSDPA+ Release 7 (64-QAM) Cards and firmware to upgrade their 3G Network to HSDPA+ Release 7 (64-QAM). Both a Physical change of Circuit Cards or Circuit Packs, basically Electronic Circuit Boards and upgraded Firmware is required

Starting on the week of Sunday March 30th 2014, Kingston and St Andrew will be switched over to HSDPA+ Release 7 (64-QAM), with Telecom Provider LIME allegedly planning a Westward push across major Town Centers.

This upgrade includes the parish capitals of Mandeville, Manchester and May Pen, Clarendon, where they conducted a successful upgrade of the firmware and integration of a Cell site's Ericsson BBU (Base Band Unit) to the HSDPA+ Release 7 (64-QAM) Protocol capable of 21 MBps Speeds best effort.

Telecom Provider LIME’s Deception – HSDPA+ is really just faster 3G Plan from the past

This HSDPA+ Network was supposed to have gone live back in 2012 based on what had been announced by then LIME CEO David Shaw at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Grand Cayman on Tuesday May 17th 2011 as chronicled in my blog article entitled “LIME's US$80 million Caribbean HSDPA+ Release 7 Upgrade - Sonic the Hedgehog” .

At the time when the news came out, it was only on the Dominica News Online Website as stated in LIME to create history – first to bring 4G mobile technology to the Caribbean”, published Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 at 6:30 pm, Dominica News Online, which is how I’d first learned of Telecom Provider LIME’s intentions back then. The announcement than came in The Jamaica Observer in “LIME brings 4G mobile technology to the Caribbean”, published Wednesday, May 18, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

Telecom Provider LIME then followed up with basically nothing back then. Their plans, back then, based on the coming influx of tourists toting Android smartphones which had launched back in 2010 in the USA with Motorola Droid smartphones, was a tad too premature. Americans wanted smartphones; they just hadn’t developed an appetite for Android phones yet, with most of these first generation Android smartphones crashing often and having problems due to fragmentation and incompatible apps!

Telecom Provider LIME weren’t sure smartphones would become as big as they’ve become now, to the point now even Jamaicans are into them as noted in my blog article entitledJamaicans fall in love with Digicel's DL600 and DL700 during Christmas 2013 - Sub-US$100 smartphones driving rapid smartphone adoption in Jamaica as Manufacturing is Possible”. So like the Enlightened Masters at Telecom Provider LIME had to wait until the Americans had sorted out the problems and fully developed an Appetite for always-on Data on their smartphones.

LIME goes for broke with HSDPA+ - Telecom Providers Given a chance to go “4G” first

That was 2011. Fast Forward to 2014!

So with their GSM Voice Network seeing a 25% boost in subscribers as reported in my blog article entitled “LIME experiences 25% increase in Profits due to MTR - 4G LTE and FTTH like Bahamas with IPTV Streaming LIME TV will give LIME 3 Days to Kill”, I guess Telecom Provider LIME’s Enlightened Masters have awoken and are feeling a bit more confident about the future.

Even Jamaicans are now catching on to smartphones, as the interest spills over from our American counterparts, thanks mainly to the prophesied coming of budget smartphones below US$199 in price as predicted in my blog article entitled “LIME Jamaica introduces 30-day Data Plans for JA$300 and a free Alcatel One Touch T'Pop - How the Butler started the Smartphone Data Revolution”.

I hope this means they’ll also be launching FTTH (Fiber to the Home) and LIME TV as well, especially LIME TV via HSDPA+ as described in my blog article entitledLIME rolls out new Business themed ADSL and Local and International Landline Calling Bundles - DigiHome offense could Herald the coming of LIME FTTH and relaunch of LIME TV”.

Albeit this isn’t 4G LTE, which has higher Speeds of up to 50 MBps and closes in on 100 MBps, on the positive side, most persons can’t afford such Speeds, let along possess smartphones that can handle such Speeds. Also the culture in Jamaica isn’t there to desire to have always-on Internet.

And yes, we still have no Telecom Regulator, albeit one is slated to come online by about June 2014 as stated in my blog article entitledNew Telecom Regulator finally coming by July 2014 - New Telecom Provider looking for stability in the Jamaican Telecoms Market post-LNP and MNP by May 2014

I suspect that a morbid fear exists of the unknown for Telecom Providers, especially as it relates to the coming Trend of VoiP Calling that’s being initiated by WhatsApp as reported in my blog article entitled “WhatsApp VoIP Calling in Second Quarter of 2014 - WhatsApp kills International Calling at the Advent of Facetime-eqsue Premium Video VoIP Calling on smartphones”.

A Telecom Regulator is necessary along with all its trappings, including of a loss of the ability to set their own Rates by July 2014 as noted in my blog article entitledNew Telecom Regulator finally coming by July 2014 - New Telecom Provider looking for stability in the Jamaican Telecoms Market post-LNP and MNP by May 2014”.

Everything from the trend among customers towards low-Cost smartphones, Dual-SIM Smartphones and even Unlocked SIM Cards as explained in my blog article entitled “The Netherlands makes Carrier Unlocked SIM Cards Legal - Apple's Idea revived heralding M2M and the Internet of Things, a financial Boon to Telecom Providers” means revenue lost.

The Telecom Providers has to adapt to the new Technology in order to continue making money, usually less money than before for awhile, until something else comes along to excite customers!

So I suspect this is LIME’s latest attempt to excite customers about getting “4G” now that the Jamaicans have caught wind of the fact that our Bahamian Brother have been using it since February 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “Bahamas Telecommunications Company launched 4G LTE on Valentine's Day - Jamaicans need UNCHR Right to Broadband Access needed to empower Jamaicans before 4G LTE can go National”.

So what will Telecom Provider Digicel do? I’ll be posting another article soon on what’s in store from Telecom Provider Digicel as they ramp up towards their 4G Launch!

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Netherlands makes Carrier Unlocked SIM Cards Legal heralding M2M and the Internet of Things

The Little Dutch Boy Country, the Netherlands, has become the first country on Planet Earth to have SIM (Subscriber Identification Modules) that aren’t tied to a particular Telecom Provider as stated in “The Netherlands paves the way for carrier-free SIM cards”, published March 19, 2014 9:36 AM PDT by Michelle Starr, CNET News.

In layman’s terms, SIM Cards are no longer issued by the Telecom Providers but come with the mobile instrument purchased by the subscriber. Then you simply place the Carrier Unlocked SIM Card into the Mobile Instrument and then a menu will appear asking you to select the Telecom Provider that you prefer to use.

This depends on how close you are to their Cellular GSM Network and is somewhat similar to how you would choose a Wi-Fi Network to access Internet Access on your Laptop or Tablet. Once you choose the Telecom Network of choice, your SIM Card can then be used to make calls and access all the Service of that Telecom Provider.

Best of all, if at some point in time you decide that you don’t like that Telecom Provider’s Service, you can go through the process again and choose another Telecom Provider from the menu selection for Telecom Providers. Telecom Equiptment makers, who make both the Equiptment and the Mobile Phone, could now start shipping their cellphones in the Netherlands with Carrier Unlocked SIM Card that the customer can activate themselves.

Apple and the Carrier Unlocked SIM Card – Telecom Providers fear losing Lucrative 2 Year Voice Contracts

This was the same exact idea Apple had back in October 2010, when they proposed the very same idea as described in “Is Apple About to Cut Out the Carriers?”, published OCT. 27, 2010 - 12:01 PM PDT by Stacey Higginbotham, Gigaom

Their idea was that it would not only free Customers from 2 year Contracts, but would also allow for SIM Cards, be it Mini, Micro or Nano SIM Cards as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to make you own Micro-SIM or Nano-SIM Card”, to be used in other devices other than cellphones.

This would allow them to be connected to Voice and Data Services over Telecom Providers Networks and thus allow Machines to communicate to each other, the so called M2M (Machine-to-Machine) Communication that had Telecom Provider AT&T excited as stated in my Geezam blog article entitled “NFC and M2M – Cashless Society and the Internet of Things” and my blog article entitled Google and AI - The Matrix and Terminator Rise of the Machines”..

This as Telecom Provider AT&T had anticipated a fall-off in Voice and SMS (Short Messaging Services) revenues with the increasing interest in Data Centric smartphones such as Apple iPhones and Google Android Phones.

Thus the idea was to connect other devices using SIM Cards to their Telecom Networks that could communicate to each and to Servers using slower speed GPRS (Global Packet Radio Systems) and EDGE (Enhanced Data Rate for GSM Evolution) Networks as described in my blog article entitled “Telecom Provider LIME and M2M Services - Free SMS and EDGE for the Caribbean to Foster Regional Integration”.

In the process, it would make Voice Calling free, as the fall-off in Voice Traffic would be replaced by increased traffic from Machines talking to Servers and each other using Audio Chirps or just EDGE and GSM mainly to transmit small discrete amounts of Data, usually less than 100 kb to 500 kb in size.

Apple’s idea got little traction and support from Telecom Providers in the US of A and presumably the rest of the World. A shame, as it would have powered M2M Networks that Telecom Provider AT&T, a longtime Apple partner and the first to get the Apple iPhone as explained in my blog article entitled “Telecom Providers and Data - Verizon gets their wish”.

Telecom Providers make the bulk of their revenue from having persons locked into their Network on 2 year Contracts. Giving people that level of Freedom by giving them Carrier Unlocked SIM Cards would wreak havoc on their profit margins as Americans would switch Telecom Providers as it suited them.

It would effectively herald the death of 2 Year Contract Plans as Carrier Unlocked SIM Cards would be the same thing as everyone having a Dual-SIM mobile phone as stated in my Geezam blog article entitled “Trend towards Dual-SIM Smartphones developing in Jamaica as MNP Approaches”.

2 Year Data Plan not under Threat - M2M and the Internet of Things a boon to Telecom Providers

However, Telecom Providers are already losing revenue from SMS to IM (Instant Messaging) from the slow and steady rise of Mobile Social Networks as stated in my blog article entitled “CTIA reports a 5% decline in US Texting as Instant Messaging ramps up - WhatsApp's now Top Gun as The Dead Zone leads Star Trek Into the Darkness”.

Voice appears to be next in their targets, as there’s been a flurry of VoIP Apps that are getting ready to offer Services over 3G/4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) Wireless Broadband Internet.

Thus it makes sense for Telecom Providers to allow Carrier Unlocked SIM Cards on their GSM Voice Networks, especially in the US of A, where unlocking of Smartphones has been made legal as noted in my blog article entitled “How to Unlock your Apple iPhone - Backup, Erase and Restore with The Bag Man being iOS Setup Assistant”.

Telecom Providers can continue making money from M2M Services in this coming Legal-to-Unlock-smartphones-and-SIM-Cards Era as more and more Devices get connected and start communicating via GSM Voice/GPRS/EDGE long after humans have ceased using these Relics of the 2G Era.

They have little to fear too of losing Data Services, as in order to get 3G/4G LTE Data Service on a smartphone in the US of A, you have to have applied a 2 Year Data or 30 Day Data Contract on your smartphone with a minimum Voice Plan, whether you SIM Card is Carrier Unlocked or not.

Their main concerns would of course be the rate of adoption of M2M Services. This given the fact that most persons may not want to pay for the usage of the 2G Networks via that extra SIM Card that’ll provide mostly Alert based Services e.g. Refrigerator advising you via phone that your milk is spoilt and you’re out of bread.   

But as Americans warm up to the idea of their fridge becoming yet another Bot on the internet searching for information while they’re away working as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled 61% of all Traffic on the Internet is generated by bots”, it’ll gradually gain traction.

As soon as Equipment makers can prevent Hackers from using Refrigerators and other home Appliances as unwitting participants in a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) BotNet Attack as described in my blog article entitled “Proofpoint says Refridgerator hacked and used to send Spam email - Internet of Things Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines for hacker's DDOS and Spambots ”.

It’ll forge more partnerships between Developers and Equiptment Makers to allow for interconnectivity over the Internet once more devices have SIM Cards. Already once such potential partnership that has been announced at MWC (Mobile World Conference) 2014 is Mozilla Corporation and Panasonic.

The two have partnered to introduce Firefox OS into their Television sets and eventually into their Home Appliances to create an Ecosystem connected in the Internet of Things as noted in my blog article entitled “Panasonic and Mozilla Foundation form Partnership to bring Firefox OS to Smart TV's - Big boost for Open Web and HTML 5 Platforms making Firefox OS a possible Google Chrome OS Competitor”.

Telecom Providers globally have nothing to fear. In the future, if they decided to introduce Carrier Unlocked SIM Cards on their Telecom Networks as is now the case in the Netherlands, they can continue to make money via the interconnecting of more devices to their Telecom Networks.

They can resell M2M Services to Equiptment Makers and end-users directly, thus fuelling the trend towards the Internet of Things as already is happening according to my Geezam blog article entitled The Internet of Things – Our AI’s State of Connectedness”.

Like the Little Dutch Boy, they would have disabled the Unlocking smartphone and SIM Card bomb before it had a chance to explode by embracing the change wholeheartedly!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

US$130 5.5” Xiaomi Redmi Note Phablet goes on sale in China on Tuesday March 26th 2014 - Low-cost Unlocked Phablets the next Tablet in China's Year of the Horse

The people of China are so bloody lucky in this Year of the Horse!

This as they’re now basking one day later in the afterglow of the sale of some 100,000 plus units of their spanking new US$130 Xiaomi Redmi Note Phablet on Wednesday March 26th 2014, which sold like hot Small Rice Cakes in Beijing, China as reported in “Xiaomi losses its edge! Takes an agonising 34 minutes to sell 100,000 Redmi Note” Posted on March 26, 2014 by Abbie, GizChina.
This is the same 5.5” Xiaomi Redmi Note Phablet that many had been expecting after Xiaomi had announced it was coming on Thursday March 20th 2014 as stated in “XIAOMI HAS BEEN TAKING NOTES, ANNOUNCES 5.5-INCH, OCTA-CORE PHABLET (UPDATED)”, published March 20, 2014 By Andy Boxall, DigitalTrends.

And the price is just right as the 5.5” Xiaomi Redmi Note Phablet is coming in at an amazingly low US$130 unlocked as stated in “Xiaomi unveils Redmi Note Phablet for $130”, published Mar. 19, 2014, CNET Editor.

5.5” Xiaomi Redmi Note Phablet – Impressive for a US$130 Phablet

The specs are equally impressive according to the GSMArena article “Xiaomi announces Redmi Note in China, costs $130”, published 19 March, 2014, GSMArena:

1.      Processor: 1.4 GHz or 1.7 GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor
2.      OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with MIUI v5
3.      Screen: 5.5-inch IPS
4.      Display resolution: 1280 x 720 pixels with 178-degree wide viewing angles
5.      Front Facing Camera: 5 megapixel
6.      Rear Facing Camera: 13 megapixel
7.      SIM: Dual dual-SIM Phablet with TD-SCDMA/HSPA support on the first SIM slot and GSM/EDGE on the second SIM slot.
8.      RAM:
a.       1 GB of RAM for 1.4 GHz Processor
b.      2 GB of RAM for 1.7 GHz Processor
9.      Internet Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS
10.  Battery: 3,200 mAh battery

The pricing for the 5.5” Xiaomi Redmi Note Phablet is as follows:
1.      US$130 for the 1.4 GHz version
2.      US$160 for the 1.7 GHz version 

The 5.5” Xiaomi Redmi Note Phablet comes in the following colours:

1.      Army Green
2.      Black
3.      Blue
4.      Pink
5.      Turquoise

Chinese are guinea Pigs for the latest – Low-cost Unlocked Phablets will become the next Tablet

The 5.5” Xiaomi Redmi Note Phablet is made by Chinese phone maker Xiaomi that I’d described in my blog article entitled Xiaomi launches US$134.07 Xiaomi Redmi smartphone in Singapore - Perfect Storm for Apple and Samsung as the Xiaomi Redmi is Katy Perry's Dark Horse”, “Redmi” being Chinese for “Small Rice”.

Despite branching out to the rest of South East Asia and Japan with an eye for World Domination, Xiaomi is still hugely popular in China, much to the chagrin of Apple and even South Korean-based Samsung! After all, it’s hard to fight a company that can make high-quality unlocked smartphones for fraction of the price that Apple or even Samsung usually sells them to Americans on 2 year contracts!

The Chinese had previously got to try out the Samsung Galaxy Golden, a flip phone smartphone on Wednesday August 21st 2013 and then later on Wednesday August 14th 2013 the Samsung Hennessy SCH W789 as stated in my blog article entitledSamsung launches the Dual-SIM 3.3” Dual-Screen Samsung Hennessy SCH W789 in China - The Samsung Galaxy Folder’s is Bounti Killa’s It’s a Party who sips on Hennessy”.

They later got to try out a yet another flip phone smartphone on October 9th 2013 called the SM-W2014 as described in my blog article entitledSamsung launches a third flip Feature smartphone, the SM-W2014 - Quad-Core Processor in yet another oversized smartphone indicates Retro Trend among South Koreans and Chinese”.

So the Chinese are lucky once again in this Year of the Horse. They are privy to the well built high quality 5.5” Xiaomi Redmi Note Phablet that starts at an amazing low US$130 unlocked long before the Americans will get their mitts on it!

Google Glass partners with Luxottica to design Google Glasses for 2015 Launch - Google Glass now on the Path to going Mainstream with US$199 Glasses

“We believe that a strategic partnership with a leading player like Google is the ideal platform for developing a new way forward in our industry and answering the evolving needs of consumers on a global scale”

Luxottica Chief Executive Officer Andrea Guerra commenting on the deal with Google Glass

Google Glass has been having it rough ever since they came on the scene back in April 2012 as chronicled in Kelroy’s Geezam blog post entitled ““Project Glass” by Google – Augmented Reality Glasses for the masses”.

Now it looks like Google Glass may officially be launched as a product for the masses by 2015 with the help of Glasses maker Luxottica based on reports as published in “Ray-Ban maker Luxottica to bring Google Glass to wider market”, published Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:07pm EDT BY STEPHEN JEWKES, Reuters.

The Google Glass Team has now partnered with Luxury brand Luxottica and its massive portfolio of High-brow eyeglasses as stated in “Google Glass getting more style from Oakley, Ray-Ban, Luxottica”, published March 24, 2014 6:08 PM PDT by Eric Mack, CNET News. The announcement was posted on their Google Glass Google+ Page in a post that’s quite lengthy, a fact which compelled me to join as I love that!

Luxottica had agreed to design, develop and distribute Google Glass eyewear and hopefully chop the price down from US$1500 to US at least $29.99 on the low end up to US$199.99 on the Luxury end. Already this announced partnership has spelled good news for Luxottica’s founder Leonardo Del Vecchio.

Luxottica Benefits from Google Glass – Google Glass now on the Path to going Mainstream

Their share price has been up 4 percent to 40.55 euros on the EU Stock Exchange, representing a valua proposition of US$19.8 billion, an increase of US$700 billion immediately after the announcement as stated in “Google Glass Ray-Bans? Partnership With Luxottica Makes Founder Del Vecchio $700M Richer”, published 3/25/2014 @ 1:49PM by Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes.

Partnering with VSP Global back in November 2013 was a great start, as that gave Googlers with an eye for Glass a chance to add it to their prescriptions as surmised in my blog article entitled “Google Glass partners VSP Global to make them more fashionable and thus mainstream - A perfect replacement for the Smartphone that’ll see many Americans Frozen staring in space”.

Now Luxury brand Luxottica pushes Google Glass to the stylish and prĂȘt-a-porter Glasses scene with the following branded frames:

1.      Ray-Ban
2.      Oakley
3.      Vogue Eyewear
4.      Persol
5.      Oliver Peoples
6.      Alain Mikli
7.      Arnetteto

Wordy posts and gushing, not to mention this partnership are a serious indicator in the Google World that they’re serious about Google Glass and that it’s not just another Beta testing fad for their Californian geek crowd. I has especially love the fact that Google Glass Team had gone all out to debunk several myths about Explorers using Glass to spy on them by placing a guide on How Explorer should behave in Public so as not to become “glass holes”.

“Glass holes” of course being a derogatory term that a play on “Google Glass” and “asshole” as noted in “Google to Glassholes: Stop it”, published February 19, 2014 9:19 AM PST by Chris Matyszczyk, CNET News. Google has also sought to debunk myths about Google Glass via their post debunking so called “10 Great Myths about Google Glass” on their Google+ Page as laid out in “Google: No, no. You've got Glass all wrong”, published March 21, 2014 10:28 AM PDT by Chris Matyszczyk, CNET News.

Google puts in the Grind – Prices in the US$29.99 to US$199,99 price Range needed for Regular Users

Again, the effort and time taken to defend Google Glass against criticism indicates that they are taking this product seriously. Google Glass will make smartphones and Tablets Extinct thanks to AR (Augmented Reality) and Gesture and Voice control being integrated in Google Glass in the coming future as predicted in my blog article entitled “Google Glass Designer Isabelle Olsson puts Leopard frames on Google Glass - Smart + Sexy = Smexy glasses Katy Perry Roar for Tablet and smartphone Extinction”.

Especially as Samsung plans to launch Samsung Galaxy Glass paired with a Samsung Galaxy Gear at IFA 2014 in September 2014, which may be the first Glasses smartphone as stated in my blog article entitled “Samsung Galaxy Glass going public in September at IFA 2014 - Google Glass way ahead having partnered with Optometrists to offer Glass with Glasses”.

Google now need to integrate these technologies along with an app store into Glass and package it so that Google Glass is an attractive option you can get at your local Optometrist as I’d argued in my blog article entitled “Google Glass partners VSP Global to make them more fashionable and thus mainstream - A perfect replacement for the Smartphone that’ll see many Americans Frozen staring in space”.

Given the fact that it may eventually make the smartphone and Tablet extinct and even be paired with Google Android on smartphones, Tablets and even smartwatches as described in Kelroy’s Geezam Blog article entitled “Google announces Android Wear”, attractive eyewear and great pricing will go a long way towards mainstream acceptance.

More exciting development on Google Glass coming soon! In the meantime, I’m adding Google Glass to my Google Alerts as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Google Alerts Diamond in the Rough coming to Google+ to deliver Technology News”. You can also check out the latest announcements on Google Glass on their Google Glass Google+ Page and Google Glass YouTube Channel.