My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: November 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

How to find the WiFi password for your Digicel or FLOW Home Network

So you forgot your Wi-Fi Password and you want to connect a new device, most likely a Tablet, to your Wi-Fi Network! Stuff happens!

If you run a business and you changed the Wi-Fi Password on your Digicel Play or FLOW Jamaica Router or Digicel 4G Modem because people were hogging it but buying anything as pointed out in my blog article entitled “How to configure the Wi-Fi on your Digicel 4G Broadband Modem”, chances are you may have forgotten it by now.

So how do you get back the Wi-fi password once you've changed it?

How to discover your Wi-Fi Password – Windows 8.1 is very friendly indeed

The following steps should prove very useful.

Right click on your Wi-Fi Connection symbol at the bottom right of your computer and select Open Network and Sharing Center.

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Select Change Adaptor Settings.

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Right click on the Wi-Fi Adaptor Symbol and select Status.

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On Wi-Fi Status click on Wireless Properties.

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Select the Security Tab and then check the Show Characters checkbox to see your Wi-Fi password.

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This trick work on any computer running Windows 8.1 connected to a Wi-Fi Network that allows you to access the Wi-Fi Adaptor. Sharing in caring so share this simple but handy trick with your friends!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

How Alkahest discovered key to Human Immortality in Young People's Blood Plasma

 “It’s more or less what we would expect. The blood of young people must have something in it that’s important for keeping them young”

Dr. Victoria Bolotina Boston University in Massachusetts, commenting on the presentation by Dr. Sakura Minami of biopharmaceutical company Alkahest at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego on Monday November 14th 2016

It seems we've found the fountain of eternal youth: the blood of teenagers.

California-based biopharmaceutical company Alkahest injected older mice with the blood plasma take from teenagers as reported in the article “Blood from human teens rejuvenates body and brains of old mice”, published 15 November 2016 by Jessica Hamzelou, New Scientist.

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Their test on 12 month old mice, the equivalent of 50-year old humans, was compared to a control group that received no injections. They discovered that the plasma, taken from 18-year-old teenagers and injected into 12-month-old mice over a three (3) week period twice daily, produced improvements in the following areas for the test subjects:

1.      Memory
2.      Cognition
3.      Physical activity

The mice performed remarkably in maze tests as if they were much younger mice. The team led by Dr. Sakura Minami then examined the brains of the treated and untreated mice. They discovered that the new neurons began growing in the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with learning and memory.

Previous studies such as those done by Stanford University School of Medicine as explained in my blog article entitled “Stanford School of Medicine discovers Younger Mice's Blood makes Older Mice Brain Young”, has indicated that Blood plasma seems to rejuvenate the following organs:

1.      Brain
2.      Liver
3.      Heart
4.      Muscle

Good to note that the study was presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego ion Monday November 14th 2016; no peer review has been done and it hasn’t even been published in a scholarly journal as yet as noted in the article “Scientists have rejuvenated old mice with the blood of human teenagers”, published November 16th 2016 by Peter Dockrill, Science Alert.

Already, Alkahest, has already started a trial of young blood in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Still I’m not surprised as Dr Sakura Minami points out that it's generally known that people do indeed benefit from blood transfusions; their experiment has merely narrowed it down to blood plasma, quote: “There’s anecdotal evidence that people experience benefits after blood transfusions”.

Interestingly, this discovery has other implications.

Adding blood plasma may actually be thinning out the blood, in much the same way adding engine oil to a car can make it run as if it were a new car. This means research into Artificial blood can be used to reverse the affects of ageing as pointed out in my blog article entitled “Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service clones Type O Negative Blood for Cheaper Transfusions in 2016”. 

This implies that humans may be nothing more than biomechanical robots that can benefit from regular oil changes i.e. blood. It may also lead to a better understanding of human blood and even the developement of better blood filters i.e. artificial kidneys than our natural kidneys.

Immortality, my dear reader, is in the blood of the very young people walking around us. Combined with father research into the role of blood plasma and the rejuvenation effect on older humans, immortality may truly be in our grasp!!!!

Friday, November 25, 2016

How excess Jamaican production, imports of Eggs, Pork and Chicken in 2016 threaten 2017

There may not be a Pork, Egg or Chicken Shortage this year.

So says the President of the Jamaica Pig Farmers' Association, Hanif Brown who says there will be more than enough excess supply to meet demand as noted in the article “Egg, Meat Suppliers Ready For Christmas Rush”, published Sunday November 13, 2016 by Tameka Gordon, The Jamaica Gleaner.

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He claims this boost in production began in 2015, when pig farmers had begun ramping up production as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Jamaican Pig Farmers, Meat Processors and Why Possible Pork Price Profits this Christmas 2015”. 

In fact, the possibility of a glut in pork looms, as they’re had to warn farmers not to overproduce pork, to quote Hanif Brown: “We are very much in high supply even to the point where we have to be cautioning farmers to make sure they don't over supply. Based on the feedback from processors, they are getting more pigs than they need. All I can ask is that consumers eat more pork”.

But what about chicken?

Chicken shortage in 2016 – Oversupply in 2016 coming

Good to note that there was a shortage of Chicken in the Christmas of 2015 as noted in my blog article entitled How Caribbean Broilers Group figures reveal Jamaica experiencing Chicken Shortage in Christmas 2015”.

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This was ended when the Ministry of Agriculture lifted the ban on the importation of chicken form the USA and Canada as noted in my blog article entitled “How Min. of Agriculture Chicken Importation, Jamaica Broilers and Caribbean Broilers production to ease 2016 Chicken Shortage”. 

Agriculturalist and representative of the pool of poultry farmers contracted to Jamaica Broilers Group Downie Walker supported this claim, pointing out that there is enough poultry from local producers to meet demand, quote: “There will be no need to import any pork. Chicken and eggs will also be in adequate supply”.

In essence, the chicken shortage of 2015 may very well come to an end in 2016 as predicted in my blog article entitled “Why the Jamaican Chicken Shortage of 2015 might be ending in 2016”. 

This when compare to the year 2012, as 2016 is expected to be a huge year for eggs as well:

1.      170 million eggs delivered in 2012
2.      167 million eggs delivered in 2016

But will there be a glut in production and thus a drop in prices?

Eggs, Pork and Chicken - Glut in 2016 threaten Industries in 2017

I think there will be this trip.

For one, albeit more eggs are being produced to meet demand for the Christmas period, Jamaicans are generally eating fewer eggs.

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Even the 'Get Cracking' and 'Eat Eggs' campaigns, a partnership between the JEFA, Hi-Pro and the United States Soybean Export Council to give prize money to Jamaican to eat more eggs has failed to garner more interest as noted in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How to determine if Eggs are Fresh and How to make them last longer”. 

And albeit pork is no popular with patties thanks to Copperwood Pork partnership with Mother's enterprises to introduce the Pork Patties as noted in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “Why Mother’s Pork Patty a hit in 2016 as Pork is now Popular”, generally Jamaican aren't a pork-loving nation.

To make matters worse, some meat sellers are already selling imported pork, exposing Jamaican to potentially deadly Antibiotic Resistant Superbacteria as predicted in my blog article entitled “How US Pork Imports will cause JA$73.4 billion jobs lost and Antibiotic Resistant Superbacteria due to Jamaican Pork Shortage”. 

So this Christmas not only are we facing a glut in Eggs but also Chicken and Pork due to increase illegal importation, threatening these local industries long term survival in 2017.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Why the NHTSA is mandating noisemaker for whisper-quiet Electric Vehicles by 2019

By 2019, All-Electric cars in the US of A will have to make noise when travelling at low speeds.

So says the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in their recently released “Quiet Car” rule as noted in the article “It’s the law: Electric cars must make noise after September 2019”, published November 14, 2016 by Sean Hollister, CNET.

The aim is that by September 1, 2019 these whisper-quiet cars travelling at speeds below 29.9 km (18.6 mph) will make noise so as to avoid 2,400 pedestrian injuries per year due to these silent assassins of the road. This is a long time coming in the US of A, with Congress having passed the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act in 2010 albeit Nissan's Leaf and Kia's Soul EV have had noisemakers from the get-go.

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The NHTSA has also mandated that Car Manufacturers to install Rear-View Cameras by Tuesday May 1st 2018 as reported in my blog article entitled “NHTSA passes ruling for Car Manufacturers to install Rear-View Cameras by Tuesday May 1st 2018”. 

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Making any EV sound like a racing car, especially one as unattractive as the Kia's Soul EV, now seems all but possible, spurring early adoption by many who miss the sound of a real gas-guzzler. So in summary Rear-View Cameras by Tuesday May 1st 2018 and Noisemaking All-Electric Vehicles by September 1st, 2019!

Definitely dates to mark on your calendar, with global impact to be felt if other countries like Jamaica adopt the NHTSA's stance on All-Electric Vehicles in the future!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How Ministry of Tourism and Airbnb Bread and Breakfast will benefit Milk River by 2021

“We are very happy to be partnering with Airbnb and know that it will be mutually beneficial to both entities involved. Once drafted, I know that the agreement will take into account our goal of destination assurance, which ensures our credibility in the marketplace. It will also allow us to utilise analytics across their social platforms. This will be a great tool for us to build a better collective resource management platform for our destination,”

Minister of Ministry of Tourism Edmund Bartlett on their partnership with Airbnb to market the Bnb (Bread and Breakfast) Industry

The Ministry of Tourism and Airbnb have decided to make peace...sort of!

They've recently signed a major agreement that will see the Bnb (Bread and Breakfast) Industry expanding in Jamaica as reported in the article “Jamaica to sign major agreement with Airbnb”, published Monday, November 14, 2016, The Jamaica Observer

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It seems the Ministry of Tourism has signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) as it relates to the issue of taxation as was raised by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett in June 2016 as noted in the article “Tourism Ministry Seeking To Collect Taxes From Airbnb Users”, Published Friday June 24, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Airbnb is a huge BnB (Bread and Breakfast) website connecting some 34,000 cities and 191 countries who can book a Bnb via mobile phone or tablet. Airbnb makes it super-easy for anyone to monetize unique historical locations and yes, even your couch, once someone famous slept in it, as their website gets millions of hits each month.

Already Airbnb has a lot of Jamaicans actively using their website since 2015:

1.      2,300 active hosts
2.      4,000 active listings
3.      32,000 tourists 

Airbnb’s executive with responsibility for public policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, Shawn Sullivan, pointed out that Airbnb and Jamaica was a match made in BnB heaven with benefits for Jamaica, quote: “Generally in the Caribbean, people will rent their entire homes. Here in Jamaica, we are seeing a mixture between private homes versus a private space in someone’s home. We were responsible for bringing in roughly 32,000 tourists within the past year and we believe that this collaboration will allow this to grow exponentially”.

So who in Jamaica is using Airbnb?  And how can it benefit the Ministry of Tourism?

Ministry of Tourism and Airbnb – Match made in Bread and Breakfast Heaven for Milk River

Many Jamaicans, especially in the Trench Town area where American are interested in troddin’ in the footsteps of Reggae Artiste Bob Marley are using the website to make foreign dollars as noted in my blog article entitled “How Ministry of Tourism over-reacting to 1000 Jamaicans on Airbnb as Trench Town Rocks”. 

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The process for any Jamaican to make money from offering even their couch for the night and a good meal of fry dumplin, plantain and cerasse tea to American tourists is explained in detailed in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How Jamaicans can make money from Airbnb”.

They may also be trying to use Airbnb to jumpstart visitor arrival to off-the-beaten-path locations that have small hotels that are registered to the JTB (Jamaica Tourism Board) such as Milk River Bath and Spa in Milk River, Clarendon, which is currently under renovation as noted in my blog article entitled “200 Acre Milk River Hotel & Spa Developement - How Future Plans for Milk River Residents means South Coast Developement coming”.

So it would make sense that the Ministry of Tourism not only take advantage of their services and use it to promote the fledgling BnB business in Jamaica. And please, go easy on the taxation as it will help the JLP to win the General Election come 2021 if they can be seen as empowering Jamaicans to create their own wealth!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

How WhatsApp Video Calling matches Messenger and Beats Snapchat and Skype

“We're introducing this feature because we know that sometimes voice and text just aren't enough. And we want to make these features available to everyone, not just those who can afford the most expensive new phones or live in countries with the best cellular networks”

WhatsApp said in a blog post on Monday November 15th 2016

WhatsApp fans it's finally happened, WhatsApp has finally gone supersonic.

On Monday November 15th 2016, WhatsApp had rolled out video calling as reported in the article “WhatsApp launches video-chat challenger to FaceTime, Skype”, published November 14, 2016 by Steven Musil, CNET News.
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Announced on WhatsApp blog in an article entitled “WhatsApp Video Calling” the feature will be rolled out gradually to their 1 billion users worldwide, allowing Android, iPhone and Windows devices to video chat seamlessly.

It's also a follow on the WhatsApp's launch of Voice calling back in April 2015 as noted in my blog article entitled “@WhatApp Voice Calling comes to Version 2.12.1 - How Wi-Fi Calling by Proxy coming to Jamaica with Features to Boot”.

To place a video call, use the following procedure:

1.      Open a chat
2.      Click the phone icon
3.      Choose the video call option in the menu
4.      Start talking

So with this rolled out, Facebook is now on par with Skype and Snapchat and Facebook Messenger, which already has video chat as detailed in my blog article entitled “Why Facebook Messenger Free Video Calling beats Meerkat, Periscope” and WhatsApp sealing their eventual dominance in this aspect of Mobile Social Media, with their 1 billion strong users.

Now if only FLOW Jamaica and Digicel could launch unlimited Data plans as dreamed up in my Geezam blog article entitled “FLOW Jamaica’s 2 Day 100MB and 3Gb plans coming as Unlimited Plans beckon”  we Jamaicans wouldn't have to loiter around free Wi-Fi hotspots all the time!!

 Here's the link

Saturday, November 12, 2016

US$600 HTC Bolt launches on Sprint and may be going worldwide

The rumours are true; HTC and Sprint have inked an exclusive contract with Usain Bolt to debut the HTC Bolt smartphone as noted in “HTC Bolt dashes to Sprint: a 5.5" phone with HTC 10's design, IP57”, published 11 November 2016 by Peter, GSMArena.
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The HTC Bolt is available starting today at Sprint stores and is unlocked for US$600 at the following stores:

§  Best Buy
§  The Radio Shack
§  Costco

Look out for the HTC Bolt might launch elsewhere, possibly on the Digicel Network under a different name. So do the specs live up to the hype?

HTC Bolt Specs – Not a Record Setter but it can outrun the best of them

The 5.5" HTC Bolt uses an all-aluminum chassis and is IP57, effectively dust and waterproof.

It boasts dimensions of 153.6 x 77.3 x 8.1 mm (6.05 x 3.04 x 0.32 in) and weighs in at 174 g (6.14 oz). The Screen is a Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen with a 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution that represents 534 ppi pixel density. This means you'll pretty much see all those 16 million supported colours protected by that thick Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
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The HTC Bolt runs on Android OS 7.0 Nougat, the latest iteration of Android that's yet to even gain traction albeit its now on the Huawei Nexus 6P as mentioned in my Geezam blog article entitled “Huawei Nexus 6P is Google’s Marshmallow for Android Nougat”. 

The lucky buyer gets to choose between two (2) Octa-Core processors:

1.      4x1.5 GHz Cortex-A53
2.      4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A57

These processors are supported by an Adreno 430 GPU and a Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810 Chipset. Its packing 3 GB RAM with 32 GB Internal memory expandable to some 256 GB via a dedicated slot.
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As for the Rear-Facing camera, this is a 16 Megapixel beast with a aperture of f/2.0 and sports phase detection autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization and dual-LED flash, standard on most high-end smartphones. It also captures 2160p video at 30fps along with 24-bit/192kHz audio but can bump it down to 720p at 120fps and the camera on the back uses Phase Detection AF to lock focus in 0.3 seconds.
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The Front Facing Camera is a very small 8 Megapixel that supports 1080p image capture. The HTC Bolt keeps all you nude selfies secure with a fingerprint reader that recognizes you in 0.2 seconds. Alas, no 3.5mm headphone jack but you can use USB Type-C port or Bluetooth Headphone Jack.  The Type-C port supports Quick Charge 2.0 to recharge the 3,200mAh battery. 

So all in all HTC Bolt is a fairly decent smartphone that won't set any record but can outrun the best of them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why Lasco Financial Services Ltd stopped selling Unlocked Huawei smartphones as Caricel 5G beckons Blu Sky smartphones

Folks, sad news today!!! No, not the fact that Donald Trump is the new President-elect of the United States of America as is evident in the media!

Rather, it's the fact that Lasco Financial Services Ltd will no longer be selling unlocked Huawei smartphones as noted in the article “Lasco Financial exits mobile phone business”, published Wednesday, November 09, 2016 by Karena Bennett, The Jamaica Observer.

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After one year of selling unlocked Huawei smartphones as reported in my blog article entitled “Huawei and Lasco to sell Unlocked dual-SIM smartphones - Why Number Portability means Open Market for unlocked smartphone”, Lasco Financial Services Ltd has decided to toss in the towel.

This comes as a surprise as Huawei is clearly ramping up with new products such as the Huawei Mate 9 and Huawei Porsche smartphones that were launched in November 2016 as detailed in my Geezam blog article entitled “Huawei Mate 9 and Porsche Design launches as Icon and Tech Leader meet”. 

Managing Director of Lasco Financial Services Ltd Jacinth Hall Tracey told the Jamaica Observer in an emailed response on Tuesday November 8th 2016, quote: “The objective of entering the phone distribution business was not being achieved as envisioned, as the turnover of phone sales was slow. We subsequently decided to redeploy our resources and our focus to the growth and development of the existing business lines”.

Apparently Number Portability and the desire to have unlocked smartphones wasn't enough to entice Jamaicans to buy unlocked smartphones locally, as only 60,000 persons had made the switch as noted in the article “60,000 Switch Using Number Portability – Wheatley”, published Friday October 28, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner.

But were other factors at play!?

Lasco Financial Services Ltd stops selling Huawei smartphones - Digicel and FLOW Jamaica had better sales and marketing 

Lasco Financial Services Ltd just couldn't compete with Digicel and FLOW Jamaica, as they had a much more active marketing and better organized distribution system and to sell their overpriced smartphones as note in my Geezam blog article entitled “FLOW Jamaica Stores Listed for Easy Location”.

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Despite the growing trend toward Mobile money in the form of NCB Quisk and CONEC Mobile as described in my blog article entitled “How Quisk and AIS Mobile Money 2.0 heralds Cashless Society in Jamaica in July 2016” the trend did not propel more people to buy unlocked smartphones.

Most smartphones from Digicel and FLOW Jamaica aren't dual-SIM.

Dual-SIM smartphones are now all the rage with Jamaicans, especially the Sky and Blu such as the Blu Studio Energy 2 and Blu Energy X as described in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How US$179 Blu Studio Energy 2 and US$109 Blu Energy X is bringing Dual-SIM Energy”.

Lasco Financial Services Ltd and Unlocked Huawei smartphones - Growing Strong as Caricel 5G beckons Blu Sky smartphones  

Still, Lasco Financial Services Ltd hasn't fared too badly in 2016 when compared to 2015:

1.      124 locations, up from 98 locations in August 2015
2.      7 loans locations up from 1 islandwide
3.      Doubling of employees islandwide
4.      JA$361 million to JA$1.4 billion increase in assets

They'll also be launching stores in Kingston and Montego Bay, with the Kingston store being a relocation of their original store. They may also be planning a push into Mobile money in partnership with Quisk as noted in my blog article entitled “Why VMBS joining AIS and Quisk Mobile Money 2.0 Platform as Avengers Assemble”. 

So as far as Managing Director Jacinth Hall Tracey is concerned, its expansion as usual for Lasco, quote: “This investment was necessary to build capacity in the core business to allow us to continue to achieve our growth objectives. Our staff complement has doubled and now stands at 80 very keen and able professionals who are also integral to our growth objectives. We also continue to engage our customers and support our agents through local, below the line marketing activity and continue to mark our presence in the US diaspora. New for this year is our support of our MoneyGram counterpart in The Bahamas, where we participated in the Jamaican Independence activities in that country”

Plus, they could always re-enter, selling dual-SIM smartphones, especially the Blu and Sky brands at cut-rate prices. something tell me that Lasco Financial Services Ltd will be returning to this business pretty soon, as the potential for growth due to the lack of high quality dual-SIM smartphones and feature phones is still significant!

So until a third Telecom Provider comes in for the form of Caricel to boost Number portability as predicted in my blog article entitled “How Number Portability has stalled in Jamaica but Caricel and 5G on the Horizon by 2020” the sale of unlocked mobile phones will remain a affair of the Christmas Barrel!