My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: May 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

How 17 million vinyl records purchased in 2015 were Millennials in support of Musician Album Art

Vinyl is on the rise as a physical music format even while sales of Music CD's, DVD's and Digital Downloads are falling like a stone since 2014 as noted in my blog article entitled “RIAA says Streaming beating CD Sales  - Why HD Audio Physical Digital Music comeback progresses as Piracy is the Problem”.

However, Streaming is the main means of consuming music, mainly via streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, now over 10 million paid subscribers strong as noted in my blog article entitled “How Apple Music's 10 million paid subscribers will eclipse Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music and Google Play Music by December 2016”.

So a poll done by ICM Unlimited research revealed that, surprisingly, a significant reason for these vinyl purchases was due to the influence of the dominant streaming services as explained in the article “Streaming Drives Vinyl Sales, Not Necessarily Vinyl Listening”, published April 14, 2016 By Parker Hall, Digitaltrends.

So how significant is vinyl sales to musicians?

RIAA Stats on Vinyl sales - 17 million vinyl records framed by Millennials without turntables

According to the RIAA, 17 million vinyl records were purchased in 2015. Based on the poll done by ICM Unlimited research:

1.      52% of those polled had a vinyl record player
2.      48% who had purchased a vinyl record in March 2016 had never had it played
3.      7% of those vinyl purchasers didn't own a turntable

This explains why in the US of A, many Millennials simply have their vinyl's framed instead of playing them. They regard them as artwork, rather than as a practical music format; after all, you can't carry a vinyl player on your back on play it in your car, given the convenience of streaming as pointed out by Manchester student named Jordan Katende to the BBC: “I have vinyls in my room but it’s more for decor. I don’t actually play them”. 

And investing in a Vinyl turntable complete with speakers isn't gonna happen; they're just too expensive compared to just having a good pair of headphones, a smartphone or a HD Audio Player such as the FiiO X3 2nd Gen Music Player as described in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “US$200 FiiO X3 2nd Gen Music Player is HD Music on a Budget”.  

So why are millennials stocking up on Vinyl?

ICM Unlimited research on Vinyl phenomenon - Millennials see Vinyl as painting of a Musicians’ art

For many Millennials, it’s mainly about supporting the artist and expressing their appreciation for the artwork.

This is often resplendent in the detailed artwork on the cardboard album covers of a vinyl LP as pointed out by 18 y-o British student named Helena, quote: “I also think it’s important to support artists financially if you can. I like it if someone puts eort into making a release look special”.

The support is indeed welcome; many artiste barely make bank from streaming. Ironically, vinyl, an outdated music format, seems to be filling that gap as evidenced from the popularity of Taylor Swift's Vinyl version of her album 1989 as per my blog article entitled “Taylor Swift and Vinyl – Why Female Hipsters diggin’ her New Groove as Vinyl Sales Rise”.

Truth be told, it’s also an indication of how broken the Streaming model is if vinyl sales are making more money than ad-based music streaming as pointed out in the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) report for 2015 in the article “Vinyl Sales Eclipsed Every Ad­based Streamer In 2015”, published March 23, 2016 by Parker Hall, Digitaltrends.

Serious vinyl collectors can pay hundreds of dollars to purchase what they consider to be an artform from a bygone era rather than a practical music format. Streaming isn’t making money; it’s fuelling music discovery for vinly-philic music collectors with a sense of nostalgia and a desire to own a piece of the musicians’ legacy.

I suspect in the distant future, the same might happen to CD's and DVD's when quartz crystal storage makes it possible to store all of YouTube music and videos in a single crystal as predicted in my blog article entitled “University of Southampton and Eindhoven's University write and read Data to Quartz Crystal - Eternal Storage borrowed from Superman Man of Steel”.

But the verdict is clear; Music streaming is killing the Music Industry as Millennials now regard vinyl records as an art form.  To preserve the musical history, they collecting and framing vinyl records in much the same way you’d buy a painting.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

How NCB Mobile Money by AIS and Quisk heralds Mobile phone ATM Withdrawals by December 2016

“Other companies seeking to offer services leveraging mobile accounts would need to partner with an approved institution”

NCB's chief digital and marketing officer Nadeen Matthews commenting on their Mobile Money approval from the BOJ

Jamaicans, bear witness to history.

NCB (National Commercial Bank) has finally gotten approval from the BOJ (Bank of Jamaica) to roll out their Mobile Money platform as reported in the article “NCB Granted Approval For Mobile Money”, Published Sunday May 29, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner.

They become the first Jamaican Commercial Bank to obtain approval for their Mobile Money platform powered by technology partners AIS (Advanced Integrated Systems) and Quisk.

AIS and Quisk Mobile Money 2.0 - Financial instructions jumping on the bandwagon

Referred to as Mobile Money 2.0, AIS and Quisk had stated that they'd be launching in the next two (2) months in July 2016 as noted in my blog article entitled “How Quisk and AIS Mobile Money 2.0 heralds Cashless Society in Jamaica in July 2016”. 

This suggests that other partners who are using their technology as explained in my blog article entitled “Why VMBS joining AIS and Quisk Mobile Money 2.0 Platform as Avengers Assemble” will be launching at the same time, as the BOJ may soon grant them approval:

1.      NCB (National Commercial Bank)
2.      Lasco Financial Limited
3.      VMBS (Victoria Mutual Building Society)
4.      JMMB (Jamaica Money Market Brokers)

Expect more banks, financial institutions and investment firms to join AIS and Quisk Mobile Money 2.0 Platform in the coming months.

NCB Mobile Money - Cash replacement and ATM withdrawals

AIS and Quisk had demonstrated their technology at their Inaugural NCB Tech Symposium on Wednesday April 20th 2016 as detailed in my blog article entitled “How Quisk Mobile Wallet impressed at inaugural NCB Digital Tech Symposium”.

Their Mobile Money service will enable NCB to provide the following services by simply sending text messages to set up a bank account as described in my blog article entitled “Why NCB's Online Account Opening as CIBC First Caribbean, First Global, Sagicor and Scotiabank Mobile Money Looms”.

Other banks will no doubt follow suit, especially as NCB has also enabled Cross-bank transfers as described in my blog article entitled “Why NCB's Cross-Bank Transfers follows CIBC First Caribbean, First Global, Sagicor and Scotiabank as Mobile Money Looms” making it possible to transfers money from your NCB account to other banks and financial institutions.

I suspect most of the Cross-bank transactions will involve the banks and financial instructions that have partnered with AIS and Quisk to enable the following cellphone based transactions:

1.      Mobile Top up
2.      Bill Payment
3.      In-Store Retail
4.      International Remittance
5.      e-commerce
6.      P2P and Mass B2P transfers
7.      Micro Finance
8.      Mobile Ticketing
9.      Cash in and Out

Because Mobile Money 2.0 is based on SMS (Short Messaging Service) or text messages, it's both secure and difficult to hack, as in the case of a smartphone App. Best of all, it has the potential to replace the need to have cash altogether, once MSME (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) jump on the bandwagon to use their cellphones to do transactions with customers.

NCB Mobile Money Launch – MSME’s and Street Vendors bellwether for Cashless Society by 2020

NCB plans to launch this service later in the Fourth Quarter of 2016, in time for Christmas 2016.

If it's branded, launched and marketed in a non-threatening way to the average consumer, it will increase the number of Jamaicans that sign up for a NCB bank account. Mobile Money from NCB also has the potential to revolutionize how Jamaicans receive remittances and even how street vendors do transactions, as cashless via text messaging may be easier and safer.

It even has the potential to jumpstart website e-commerce in Jamaica, enabling entrepreneurs to start website to sell items locally and get paid via Mobile Money transactions.

NCB will no doubt enable their NCR powered ATM (Automated Teller Machines) to interface with cellphones to allow cash withdrawals in lieu of Debit Cards by MSME’s and streetside vendors. This may be the game changer, as if MSME’s and Street vendors, the bellwether for commerce in Jamaica, were to adopt Mobile Money for their day-to-day transactions IF this feature was enable at launch, it would catch on like wildfire!

Jamaicans may not yet be ready to replace cash transactions with Mobile Money. However, many Jamaicans wouldn't mind being able to use a text message to receive cash from an ATM instead of using a Debit Card as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “How US Banks upgrading to Cashless ATM as Jamaica dances with Mobile Money”.

Folks, bear witness to the coming of the Cashless Society, powered by AIS and Quisk by 2020!

How Garden croton, Tawa-tawa and Lemon grass can be used to kill Aedes Aegypti Mosquito Larvae

There is currently no cure for the Zika Virus or any Virus for that matter.

So much of the focus of researchers in on killing the vector, namely the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito that carries the disease as noted in my blog article entitled “How Ministry of Health and IAEA using Radioactivity to reduce Aedes Aegypti Mosquito Population”.

Jerouen Paul Lumabao, a 10th Grade student at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School in Davao City in the Philippines, has discovered three (3) plants that can kill the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito as reported in the article “Common plant could help fight Zika virus”, published MAY 26, 2016 BY Sid Perkins, Student Science.

The 17-y-o discovered that the extracts from the following three (3) plants can be used to kill the larvae of Aedes Aegypti Mosquito:

1.      Garden croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
2.      Tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta)
3.      Lemon grass (Cymbopogan citratus)

His results, which he presented at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair on Thursday May 12th 2016, were quite impressive and a very competent example of the scientific process at work. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair was sponsored by Intel and brought together more than 1,750 students from 75 countries around the world.

Jerouen Paul Lumabao demonstrates that not only is he a promising biochemist, but the discovery is very significant to the fight against the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito, the insect that spreads Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and the Zika Virus.

So how can these plants extracts kill the larvae of Aedes Aegypti Mosquito?

Jerouen Paul Lumabao's mosquito larvae insecticide - How to extract essential oils using evaporation and solvent extraction

To extract the active organic ingredient, he used an evaporation and solvent extraction technique.

He first left the leaves dry for a week in a warm drying chamber. He most likely avoided direct sunlight, as radiation could damage the molecules of the active ingredient, which is the Evaporation part of his process. Then he masticated the leaves and soaked them in ethyl-alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, which is basically solvent extraction.

The extracted oils from each of these plants leaves, allowing the alcohol to naturally evaporate over several days until an oily mixture was left behind. These mixtures contain all of the organic substances that were present in the leaves of the Garden croton (Codiaeum variegatum), the Tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta) and the Lemon grass (Cymbopogan citratus).

By using this method, he helped to preserve the chemical structure of the active and inactive compounds found in the leaves, as direct heating would cause some of the more volatile compounds to evaporate or break down into smaller compounds.

These oily mixtures were then tested on the larvae of the insects, with a control group so as to verify his results. Based on his observations, the Tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta) and the Lemon grass (Cymbopogan citratus) caused the Aedes Aegypti mosquito larvae to have stunted growth, resulting in them not developing into fully grown mosquitoes.

But the results of are a bit more astounding; within a 24 hour period, the extracts from the Garden croton (Codiaeum variegatum) had killed all of the mosquito larvae.

So is this mosquito larvae insecticide the mosquito killer we've been looking for all this time?

Toxicological assay needed - Potential insecticide to kill Aedes Aegypti mosquito

Not exactly.

This is far from an effective solution, as the extracts from these plants may be toxic to animal, plant and human life in body of water is sprayed. After all, the extracts, albeit natural, are chemicals; at certain concentrations, they could be toxic to humans. This is especially true of the Garden croton (Codiaeum variegatum), whose bright colours indicate that the leaves contain alkaloids, which I suspect is the main killing ingredient.

 A toxicological assay would have to be done on these plant extracts to determine the exact elements and compounds in the extracts that actually kill the mosquito larvae. Killing mosquito larvae can also be achieved using DDT, a banned chemical known to cause birth defects in animals and humans, so we have to determine if these chemical extracts are equally dangerous. It would also be used to identify if there are active compounds in the mixture that are toxic to plants, animals and humans and in what concentrations.

This toxicological assay could then be followed up by trials on the active compounds in the mixture to determine the effective dosage level of the active ingredients to stunt and kill the Aedes Aegypti mosquito larvae. It is during these trials that a delivery mechanism that is a lot more targeted e.g. using a time release floating capsule instead of manual spraying, can be developed for commercial purposes.

Still, even in its current form, which is a mixture of different chemicals and oils, the extracts from the discovery can be used to kill the Aedes Aegypti mosquito larvae, after doing a bit of experimentation. Given that these plants are common in the Caribbean, making this insecticide from plant extract isn't difficult.

Combined with a homemade insect repellant as described in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How to make DEET-free mosquito repellant from Essential Oils and iso-propyl alcohol”, this discovery can potentially be a very powerful and practical home-made weapon to combat  the spread of Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and the Zika Virus.

All spread by the Aedes Aegepti Mosquito!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

How CPTC's Jamvision Reality TV, Theatre and Exclusive JCDC Content will beat 1Spotmedia and CVMTV

“The launch of Jamvision is strategic on a number of fronts. It will take its place alongside Jamaican media platforms through which our citizens here at home and those out there in the Diaspora will be able to access images of ourselves that present the very best of who we are, for our own consumption and ultimate pride”

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange speaking at CPTC's launch of their Cable TV Station Jamvision on Friday May 27th 2016

Looks like Television Jamaica and CVMTV have some capable competition coming on stream.

The CPTC (Creative Production and Training Centre) has now launched their own Cable TV Station on Friday May 27th 2016 named Jamvision as reported in the article “CPTC launches 24-hour Jamvision cable TV channel”, published May 27, 2016 by Al Edwards, LoopJamaica

The 24-hour cable channel was launched by CPTC CEO Shantal Hylton-Tonnes and is set to be a very disruptive Cable channel due to its content:

1.      Culture
2.      Arts

According to their website, this includes promos for an endless archive of content:

1.      Jamaica Beat
2.      Jamaica Fresh Cuisine Recipes
3.      Hill and Gully Ride
4.      CTV Rocks
5.      L'Acadco Passion Fruit
6.      Chalice- CTV Rocks
7.      Jonkanoo
8.      Mandora Time
9.      Rukumbine

Check out their Compilation video on their Jamvision website.

Clearly, they have the local content muscle to easily beat Television Jamaica and CVMTV, who're been pandering to Jamaicans foreign-mindedness with television loaded with a lot of American, European and even Indian and South Korean programming?

So why do Television Jamaica and CVMTV have much to fear? After all, being as this is CPTC, will this not be mainly past historical videos from their archives?

Jamvision and Local Content - How Reality Television, Theatre and exclusive JCDC Content will win over Jamaicans

Jamaicans love to see themselves on Television. The arts and culture shows the best of our creative side on Television.

Any new entrant into the Television business, such as ReadyTV, which is set to launch in early 2017 as predicted in my blog article entitled “How DISL ReadyTV set to deliver Wireless Cable TV with paid Local Jamaican Reality TV Content”, knows that the best way to get Jamaicans to watch Television is to make the ordinary man the star of the show.

This phenomenon, called Reality Television, draws upon the talents of regular Jamaicans instead of using University Educated journalists and broadcasters speaking proper English to deliver News, Entertainment and Sports content. The difference is that the viewer is left to interpret for themselves, what they consider news, once delivered in an entertaining manner.

Jamvision, basically CPTC combined with Streaming, can leverage their massive content vault of arts and culture programming that local Jamaicans and the Diaspora will pay to stream on their smartphones and computers.

Jamvision easily fill a niche; Arts and culture translates to means live exclusive broadcast of roots plays from the Theatre houses in Jamaica, Reality Television based content from aspiring producers and exclusive skits and commentary from Jamaican vloggers.

Jamvision and JCDC - Exclusive Streaming Content powered by 4G LTE from Telecom Providers

Jamvision has even booked exclusive rights to broadcast (JCDC) Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's National Festival of the Arts. Even more interesting, Jamvision will be delivering streaming content as well as Pay per View and VOD (Video on Demand) content.

So says Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, quote: “Through Jamvision, parents who are for whatever reason may not have had the opportunity to see first-hand their children in delivering renditions of the performing arts, will now be able to sit with these very children at a later time and celebrate together this image of their children excelling on the national stage, through the programs of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) National Festival of the Arts, presented on Jamvision”.

Folks, not even Television Jamaica and CVMTV have EVER been able to broadcast any JCDC National Festival of the Arts live, making this exclusive content a milestone for a Cable television station that hasn't even launched as yet.

Although they'll be coming out on Flow on Channel 116 and DigicelPlay on Channel 18, expect Jamvision to have not only their own Pay Per View and VOD Website but also a single app to stream their content similar to 1SpotMedia as explained in my blog article entitled “How Television Jamaica relaunched as 1Spotmedia with 1,000,000 Viewers for VOD Content”.

This would explain why Jamvision can broadcast 24-hours worth of content; they’ve been sitting on a treasure trove of their own quality content from the past.

With 4G LTE to be launched in August 2016 by CariCel, the new Telecom Provider as reported in my blog article entitled “How Caricel's US$100 million 4G LTE using White Space and Chinese Investors come August 2016”, expect the other Telecom Providers to follow suit.

4G LTE launched by Digicel Jamaica and FLOW Jamaica would make streaming the 24 hour reality and culture based content from Jamvision popular overnight, easily trouncing Television Jamaica and CVMTV. Folks, get ready for Jamvision, the Irie FM of Culture and Arts Television in Jamaica!

Here's the link:

Address: 37 Arnold Road, P.O. Box 9, Kingston 4, Jamaica W.I.
Telephone: (876) 922-9214-6
Fax: 876-924-9432

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Why the Blue Power Mosquito Repellent Laundry Soap and Castile Soap cannot stop Zika Virus

Remember back in 2014 there was a Mosquito Repellent Laundry Soap from Blue Power, a soap maker in Jamaica?

This Laundry Soap contained the essence of citronella and was supposed to repel the Aedes Aegypti mosquito that carried the Chikungunya Virus as reported in the article “Mosquito Repellent Soap - The New 'Chik-V Fighter'”, Published Saturday October 11, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

However, the soap was made for clothing and not for human skin. So with the Zika Virus now connected, at least based on correlation studies to the conditions of Microcephaly, acute myelitis and Guillain-Barré syndrome in babies as explained in my blog article entitled “How the Zika Virus now connected to Microcephaly, acute myelitis and Guillain-Barré syndrome”, soap makers Blue Power thought it was time for an upgrade

Introducing the Blue Power Castile Soap, which is infused with citronella Oil that’s gentle on your skin as noted in the article “Blue Power hits market with Zika repellent soap”, published Sunday, May 22, 2016 BY Balford Henry, The Jamaica Observer

The Mosquito Repellent Laundry Soap and the Blue Power Castile Soap are the work of founder and chairman of the BPG (Blue Power Group), Dhiru Tanna. With the Zika Virus on the rise, the sales of this soap must be going through the roof. Still the use of a Mosquito Repellent soap might not protect against the bite of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Making your own DEET-free insect repellant suitable for babies is also a good idea as explained in my blog article entitled “How to make non-DEET Mosquito Repellant and learn to love Zika Virus”.  

Recap of the Zika Virus – Why Blue Power Castile Soap cannot protect you from Zika

The symptoms of the Zika Virus, take four (4) to seven (7) days after the initial infection to manifest.

They can last for up to four (4) weeks or longer and are not much different from the symptoms of the common cold:

1.      Conjunctivitis
2.      Fever
3.      Headache
4.      Joint and muscle pain
5.      Rash
6.      Swelling of the lower limbs
7.      Weakness

Also seven (7) parishes in Jamaica have been listed as having a high risk of a Zika Virus outbreak.

This despite the Ministry of Health cover-up game they learned from Chikungunya 2014 as per my analysis in my blog article entitled “Why the Ministry of Health is covering up Local Transmission of Zika Virus in Jamaica”:

1.      Kingston
2.      St Andrew
3.      St Catherine
4.      St Thomas
5.      Clarendon
6.      Manchester
7.      Westmoreland

Zika Virus is especially dangerous to the following vulnerable groups:

1.      Babies
2.      Children suffering from an illness
3.      Elderly persons with other health problems

Preventing the Aedes Aegypti mosquito from breeding and reducing Aedes Aegypti mosquito bites be best achieved by:

1.      Wearing long-sleeved clothing or long pants
2.      Using DEET insect repellents
3.      Sleeping under mosquito nets
4.      Removing or covering container that can hold water

Reducing the breeding places for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is crucial to controlling the spread of the Zika Virus as shown in the CARPHA Yard Poster below.

Possibly too, the Ministry of Health's plan to use irradiated mosquitoes may also work as explained in my blog article entitled “How Ministry of Health and IAEA using Radioactivity to reduce Aedes Aegypti Mosquito Population”.  

Finally boosting your immune system by taking Vitamin C and Vitamin B Complex as well as avoid pregnancy for the next two (2) years is what needs to be done, but may not be so easy to achieve, as many women still plan to have children, hoping that the Mosquito Repellent Laundry Soap and the Blue Power Castile Soap will protect them.