My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016

How Free Wi-Fi and Smart City upgrade coming to New Kingston in Q3 2017

“As a government, we recognise that we have to embrace technology, and as we improve the way citizens do business on the Internet, the Government has committed to removing the barriers to facilitate use of these fantastic services, especially as it relates to citizen-to-government interactions”

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley announcing Free Wi-Fi CAP (Community Access Points) and Smart Cities

Free Wi-Fi may be coming to a town near you, all thanks to the USF (Universal Service Fund). And if all indications are on point, the first smart city in Jamaica may be New Kingston.

So says Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley as reported in the article “Gov’t to Provide More Free Wi-Fi Hotspots”, published November 30, 2016 By Chris Patterson, The Jamaica Information Service.

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He made this pronouncement during the fourth staging of the National Cyber Security Conference at the Regional Headquarters of the University of the West Indies, Mona, by CAIMAC (Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication) on Tuesday November 29th 2016.

The two-day conference held under the theme ‘Mobile Money, Online Banking and Citizen Awareness’ was a platform to introduce the initiative of Free Wi-Fi and Smart Cities. These upgrades, including the move to Smart city status are also free, costing the government nothing other than access to GOJ infrastructure that is in need of a facelift, to quote Dr Andrew Wheatley:  “It will not cost the Government anything - apart from what we've invested in the infrastructure that has been there for many years. We're simply energising that infrastructure and fully utilising it”.

So where is this free Wi-Fi?

Location of Free Wi-Fi in 2017 – Devon House already lit, more to come

Devon House already has free Wi-Fi if you frequently visit this historical location, most likely to buy their famous ice cream. But free Wi-Fi is also coming to other locations around Jamaica:

1.      Half-Way Tree
2.      Emancipation Park in Kingston
3.      Spanish Town, St Catherine
4.      Montego Bay, St James
5.      Ocho Rios, St Ann

The Free Wi-Fi, is being funded by the telecom cess to the USF, an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology. The USF will be doing the installation of the CAP (Community Access Points) in rural centres across the island.

This is all in addition to free access to GOJ (Government of Jamaica) websites as explained in my blog article entitled “How Unlimited access to Government of Jamaica Websites heralds Electronic Transactions and Mobile Money”. 

Smart City Initiative - New Kingston and Montego Bay Guinea Pig for connected communities

But there is more to this free Wi-Fi initiative.

The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology is also pushing to establish the idea of Smart Cities, with New Kingston as the guinea pig as noted in the article “More Free Wi-Fi Hotspots Coming”, published Thursday December 1, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The Smart City initiative will be rolled out in Q3 of 2017. Regular visitors to New Kingston will be able to use the Free Wi-Fi in the area, which will be powered by a consortium of companies including JPS Co and Digicel, whose Fiber Optic capacity is being used to power the CAP in the area as noted in the article “Digicel fibre network to help create 'smart cities' in Jamaica”, published Wednesday, December 03, 2014, The Jamaica Observer .

JPS Co has already begun installing self-dimming LED Street lights in the New Kingston since November 2016 to quote Director of Corporate Communications Winsome Callum: “More than 200 LED street lights have been installed in the New Kingston area in the last two weeks as part of the first phase of introducing a smart street lighting system in New Kingston. Over the next two months, smart modules will be installed to facilitate remote management, automatic dimming, etc”.

There may also be plan for a traffic management system in collaboration with the NWA (National Works Agency) and is set to be launched in Q3 of 2017.

Back in November 2014, the plan was originally for Montego Bay to become the first smart city as noted in the article “Mo-Bay on Track to Become First ‘Smart City’”, published November 27, 2014 By Marlon Tingling, The Jamaica Information Service.

Albeit they may not achieve Smart city status by 2017, they will definitely have the first demonstration smarthouse, again built by JPS Co, to quote Winsome Callum: “It is not likely to be for 2017”

However, New Kingston, which is a part of Kingston, may benefit immensely from the Smart city Status as the free Wi-Fi and other connected services would boost the foot traffic and thus increase entrepreneur occupancy in the business district.  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

GSMA's Universal Profile and MaaP for Advanced Communications is embedded IM by Q2 2017

The disruption from OTT (Over the Top) players was unexpected. It took the mobile industry by surprise, turning the Telecom Providers, overnight, into dumb pipes.

This as Mobile Social Networks such as Snapchat, WhatsApp or Firechat as described in my blog article entitled  “How FireChat, 5G and Li-Fi means Free Voice or Data Services Network by 2020”, effectively use Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G to deliver services such as Free Calling and Video chat for “free”.

This has resulted in Telecom Providers losing out on potential revenue from offering such services themselves. With smartphones, Tablets and wearables i.e. smartwatches, fitness trackers becoming a part of our lives, from shopping to paying the bills, how we socialize and get the news, Telecom Providers are losing out big time.

Subscribers have become addicted to these services, forcing Telecom Providers to compete with each other by adjusting their monthly plans and rates to keep the addicted using their Data plans.

So how do Telecom Providers break this cycle and make money from their own data services?

GSMA's RCS now Advanced Communications - One single embedded messaging client to rule them all

The GSMA had launched the industry-driven RCS (Rich Communication Suite) initiative, to create a way for operators to deliver similar services to these OTT operators, regardless of network or device as described in my blog article entitled “How Google and GSMA RCS on Telcos means Ad Chatbots to unseat WhatsApp dominance”.

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GSMA has now relaunched RCS as Advanced Communications (Kumbhar, 2016, December 28) with support from Google. The GSMA’s Universal Profile for Advanced Communication, launched in November 2016, will see the proliferation of Advanced Communications among Telecom Providers in 2017.

This will enable Advanced Messaging services for Telecom Providers in partnership with Telecom Equiptment Providers to compete with the services offered by Whatsapp, such as Video Calling as noted in my blog article entitled “How WhatsApp Video Calling matches Messenger and Beats Snapchat and Skype”. 

Simply put, for the end user, this means with build-in advanced messaging services embedded in smartphones, Tablets and wearables with the ability to do the following:

1.      Voice Messaging
2.      Video messaging
3.      File sharing

A global standard for all Telecom Providers and Telecom Equiptment providers, making it possible for anyone with a smartphone, Tablet or wearable that supports GSMA's Advanced Communications standard to instantly communicate across the Internet anywhere in the world without having to install an app.

Effectively, this is one single messaging client to rule them all that's already built into your smartphone, eliminating the need to switch between apps, as is currently the case when you want to add someone to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Snapchat.

GSMA's Universal Profile and MaaP - Interlink legacy SMS and IP messaging services by Q2 of 2017

A part of GSMA’s Universal Profile for Advanced Communication is Universal Profile and MaaP (Messaging as a Platform), the idea is that your SMS could become one seamless IP based platform, where SMS (Short Messaging Services) would have the same features offered by Instant Messaging Apps.

This would Telecom Providers to monetize their SMS services by allowing app developers and enterprises, to build Universal Profile standard applications to send and receive messages and possibly use chatbots to enhance the services clients offer in A2P (application-to-person) interactions.

MaaP will interlink legacy SMS and IP messaging services and Universal Profile will make all devices across the globe have a single standard to identify users while using an Advanced Communication enable handset. By the second Quarter of 2017, Developer kits for app developers and enterprises for Advanced Communications suite will be coming with the following:

1.      APIs
2.      Plug-in integration
3.      Improved authentication
4.      App security 

Currently, few handsets support the RCS standard today. with the launch of Universal Profile and the MaaP by the GSMA, the groundwork is being laid for a standardised interoperability framework, this will allow Telecom operates to over from being a dumb pipe to being able to make revenue directly from their Data plans by delivering advanced and enriched messaging experience.

These features will be common across providers in the new 5G Network to come by 2020 as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “5G Networks with Renewable Energy, Fiber Optic Waveguides and AI” , making Telecom Providers and Telecom Equipment makers better positioned to compete successfully against the OTT players in the mobile space.

Kumbhar, S. (2016, December 28). Advanced Communications: Connectivity to everything and disrupting OTT services. Retrieved from


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How MIT 40 Hz Light implies Gamma Waves from Lucid Dreaming an Alzheimer's Cure

Light therapy is a new field of Medicine that is being used in surprising ways. This as the human body is effectively opaque to light and light is a form of electromagnetic energy. So photons are the equivalent of an electric jolt for certain cells in the body not exposed to light.

So it comes as a surprise that using flickering light can help to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s  as reported in the article “Light therapy could break down Alzheimer’s brain deposits”, published 7 December 2016, New Scientist.

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Researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) led by Dr. Li Huei Tsai  and Dr. Ed Boyden recently published their research in the Journal Nature titled Gamma frequency entrainment attenuates amyloid load and modifies microglia.

The researchers exposed mice to light flickering at 40Hz, which is just 20Hz below the 60Hz frequency at which an incandescent bulb flickers on and off. They discovered that the flickering light triggered gamma waves in the brains of mice that seemed to remove beta-amyloid plaques.

This plaque is symptomatic of Alzheimer’s and can be removed once ultrasound is used to open up the blood-brain barrier as I’d pointed out in my blog article entitled “University of Queensland's Ultrasound reversal of Alzheimer's - Neurotoxic amyloid-ß plaques Removal with MicroBubbles”.

So what does Gamma Waves in the brain have to do with beta-amyloid plaques? And when can this be applied to humans?

MIT’s 40 Hz flickering Light - Gamma Waves in Lucid Dreaming a Alzheimer’s Cure

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that is a global problem without an effective cure or treatment. The Global health cost of treating the disease is expected to reach US$2 trillion by 2013, dwarfing cancer and heart disease health costs in the US of A!

Dr. Li Huei Tsai and her team discovered that by exposing mice to light flickering at 40Hz for 1 hr a day for a week. Their work was built on the research of Dr. Li Huei Tsai, who made the link between gamma wave and Alzheimer’s when her research team discovered decreased Gamma Wave activity in hippocampus of mice with Alzheimer’s disease!

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They discovered that the flickering light caused brain cells in the animals’ visual cortex to oscillate together. This resulted in the creation of Gamma waves that seemed to boost the cells that clear beta-amyloid plaques, decreasing the production of beta-amyloid plaques in the process.

The Human Brain produces the following Brainwaves which consist of three (3) types of brainwaves named after letter in the Greek Alphabet:

1.      Alpha Waves (8 to 12Hz) are associated with relaxation
2.      Beta Waves (13 to 30Hz) are associated with concentration
3.      Gamma Waves (31 to 130Hz) are associated with consciousness during wakefulness i.e. Lucid Dreaming

 It also reduced the number of tau tangles in this section of the brain.

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This exciting discovery does not mean that they've found a cure for Alzheimer’s. After all, the effect on the reduction of beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles was noted in the cells in the animals’ visual cortex, not the memory areas that Alzheimer's damages first. Also the mechanism by which this occurs is still unknown.

Still, this research suggests that a basic treatment for humans could involve expensing humans to a flickering 40Hz light source for 1 hr for a week or more to produce similar results. So getting grandma a go-go LED flasher similar to the Lifx Color 1000  bulb as described in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How the US$60 Lifx Color 1000 makes Lighting a Strip Club easier” may be just the thing the doctor orders in the future!

It also implies that inducing gamma waves via electrical stimulation not only helps with Lucid dreaming as noted in my blog article entitled “How Frankfurt University's Dr Ursula Voss Electric Shocks induces Gamma Waves for Lucid Dreaming”,  but could potentially be another treatment for this debilitating memory disease.

Monday, December 26, 2016

How Australian National Health and Medical Research Council discovered that Listerine kills Gonorrhea

“If daily use of mouthwash was shown to reduce the duration of untreated infection and/or reduce the probability of acquisition of N. gonorrhoeae then this readily available, condomless and low-cost intervention may have very significant public health implications in the control of gonorrhoea in men who have sex with men”

Comments by the authors of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council on the effectiveness of Listerine in killing oral gonorrhea

Looks like oral sex lovers, both homosexual and heterosexual all over the world this December 2016 can rejoice......and gargle longer than a minute with Listerine! Also disclaimer, I'm not a homosexual as I love women, especially when shaved and coated with chocolate, whip cream or Ice Cream! So cue the song Peaches and cream by the group 112 from the album Part III (2001).

Researchers at the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council have just proven that Listerine, the popular mouthwash, kills Gonorrhea as reported in the article “Got Gonorrhea? Try Gargling With Listerine -- No, Really”, published December 21, 2016 by Tara Haelle, Forbes.

This helps to prove a claim made by the manufacturers of Listerine since 1879 that their produce does indeed cure Gonorrhoea. And just in time too, as the bacterial infection rate for the disease is on the rise globally, not just in the USA alone, thanks to increasing pervasiveness of oral sex among heterosexuals and homosexuals, which brings you in direct contact with the body fluids of your sex partner.

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Now before you go on a gay bashing rampage while reading this, keep in mind that heterosexual also get gonorrhoea via oral sex as well.

With the prevalence of condom-less sex, this research is relevant to both parties, as it opens up the door for the use of off-the-shelf non-prescription interventions to reduce the spread of the disease to paraphrase the researchers comments, quote: “Interventions such as this are urgently needed in the context of rising rates of gonorrhoea in men who have sex with men and the likelihood that condom use may fall further as condom-free HIV preventions are more widely adopted.”

Good to note here, the researchers aren't even sure what ingredient in Listerine i.e. alcohol or eucalyptus kills or if it is a combination of ingredients in Listerine that killed the N. gonorrhoeae bacteria.

But one this is sure; Listerine reduces the bacteria' ability to survive beyond the mouth, the usual source of the infection among oral sex partners as implied by the authors of the study, quote: “In addition, if the load of N. gonorrhoeae was reduced by the mouthwash after a single dose then one might expect that daily mouthwash over weeks would potentially reduce the viable number of N. gonorrhoeae, and hence reduce further transmission or reduce the mean duration of infection”.

So how exactly did they conduct their experiment?

Gonorrhea – a Quick history about a really painful STD

Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that is transmitted through:

1.      Unprotected Sexual intercourse i.e. no condom or dental dam
2.      Infected Body Fluids

So strictly speaking, it’s not a STD but a contact virus, like the common cold. This means anyone coming in contact with an infected person's body fluids can get infected, even the unborn baby in a mother who's infected with gonorrhea.

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N. gonorrhoeae can grow and multiply easily in mucus membranes in places such as:

1.      Cervix
2.      Uterus
3.      Fallopian tubes
4.      Urethra
5.      Mouth
6.      Throat
7.      Anus

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) there are approximately 700,000 new cases in the USA, with teenagers who exchange in unprotected sex i.e. anal, oral, being the group with the highest infection rate. The disease is prevalent not just because of the groups it infects, but also because symptoms may take between ten (10) to thirty (30) days to manifest in women but two (2) to fourteen (14) days in men.

Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent problems in both women and men.
Symptoms for men include:

1.      Burning sensation when passing urine
2.      Yellow or Green discharge during sexual intercourse
3.      Swollen private parts
4.      Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
5.      Conjunctivitis (red, itchy eyes)
6.      Swollen glands in the throat (due to oral sex)

Women have similar symptoms:

1.      Burning sensation when passing urine
2.      Yellow or Green discharge during sexual intercourse
3.      Swollen private parts
4.      Very painful sex
5.      Excessive Bleeding during periods
6.      Bleeding between periods
7.      Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
8.      Conjunctivitis (red, itchy eyes)
9.      Swollen glands in the throat (due to oral sex)

According to the CDC, it's the leading cause of pelvic inflammatory disease which can cause:

1.      Tubal infertility
2.      Ectopic pregnancy
3.      Chronic pelvic pain in women
4.      Epididymitis in men

It can scar inside the inside the urethra, making urination difficult. If it spread to the blood or joints can cause a condition that looks a lot like jaundice. The virus also seems to be a calling card for HIV, which can lead to AIDS.

It also increases the risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, which is already on the rise in Jamaica thank to our archaic Health policies as it relates to prostitution as noted in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “Why Jamaica must legalize Prostitution as Ministry of Health dealing with silent HIV-AIDS and STD’s Outbreak”. 

So now that you are thoroughly and truly scared, what exactly did the researchers at Australian National Health and Medical Research Council discover?

Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and Listerine - A Gonorrhea killer

The researchers at Australian National Health and Medical Research Council used Listerine Cool Mint and Listerine Total Care in their experiments. Good to note here that both of these brands of Listerine have 21.6% alcohol, which is the equivalent of Port, Madeira, Sherry and other Fortified Dessert Wines as shown in the infographic below:

They then diluted it into concentration ranging from 1:2 dilution to a 1:32 dilution. Then they placed the Listerine in a petri dish with another petri dish as a control and added the N. gonorrhoeae bacteria. Surprisingly (like Duh!), at even very low concentrations of 1:2 and 1:4, it killed the bacteria.

Then the researchers got a randomized controlled trial with 196 homosexuals and gave them throat and tonsil swabs. All of them were given a standard treatment of antibiotics ceftriaxone and azithromycin for gonorrhea. The experimenters split up the group as follows into experiment and control:

1.      104 were told to gargle 20 mL of Listerine Cool Mint for one minute as far back in their throats (Experiment)
2.      92 were told to gargle 20 mL of Saline for one minute as far back in their throats (Control)

Five minutes later, the researchers swabbed the 104 and noted only 58 of the men tested positive for gonorrhea in throat and tonsil swabs. So they then tested these 58 men split between the Experiment and Control as follows:

1.      33 who gargled with Listerine
2.      25 who gargled with saline

The test results were as follows:

1.      52% of the Experimental group (Listerine Cool Mint) tested positive result for gonorrhea
2.      84% of the Control Group (Listerine Cool Mint) tested positive result for gonorrhea 

Basically this small study implies that approximately 50% of men that test for gonorrhea bacteria in their mouths will have no detectable levels of gonorrhea bacteria in their mouths after gargling for 1 minute with Listerine Cool Mint.

Point proven after 147 years; Listerine does kill 99% of germs in your mouth! 

Listerine kill gonorrhea - Killing power may be alcohol-eucalyptus Listerine complex

This is a very small study, the first thing their research has going against them.

It also is only 50% effective and only on oral gonorrhea, so it's no cure, as you can't inject it like an antibiotic or use it to cure the genital manifestation of the bacteria. Remember, this is 21.6% alcohol, which is the equivalent of Port, Madeira, Sherry and other Fortified Dessert Wines; it's dry out your genitals before it kills any bacteria.

Still, Port, Madeira, Sherry and other Fortified Dessert Wines is good for sanitizing your genitals kisses down there, as per Kelly Rowland song!

Most troubling is that they tested for the presence of the N. gonorrhoeae after five (5) minutes, so the bacterium ingested via body fluids may probably be able to survive longer than five minutes after a 1 minute gargle with Listerine. Still, I do gargle with Listerine longer than a minute, so it might be more effective the longer you gargle.

This comes as no surprise; Alcohols, even methanol, has known antibacterial and antiseptic capabilities. And Menthol, an extract of the Eucalyptus plant and one of the main ingredients in Listerine, is known to even kill insects as detailed in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How to use Mint Oil to ward off Mice and kill Spiders, Cockroaches, Ants and Wasps”.

The main thing that interests me is the killing power of Listerine and its ability to reduce the oral transmission of gonorrhea. This may be a possible cure for gonorrhea, once they can make nanoparticles of the Listerine molecular complex and attach it to a liposome molecule coated with antibodies of the cells that the N. gonorrhoeae attacks.

This would replicate the work of the Washington University School of Medicine who used Melittin (bee venom) to develope a cure for HIV AIDS as described in my blog article entitled “How Washington University School of Medicine Researchers use Liposomes and Melittin to kill HIV”.

More expensive and more involved studies are needed, as with the killing power of Listerine being confirmed against gonorrhoea, it opens up the possibility of using it as a new class of antibiotic, possibly using nanotechnology to make it effective!