My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: January 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

How to Hard Reset the FLOW or Digicel Alcatel OneTouch Pop C2 smartphone finally happened.

You're locked yourself out of your Alcatel OneTouch Pop C2 smartphone. Completely forgot the password and did not do a backup as I'd instructed you to do in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How to backup and export Google Android contacts before you lose your smartphone”.

Lucky for you the same thing happened to a friend of mine in Swallowfield. So decided the document the process of doing a Factory Reset of the smartphone, after she agrees to lose all the data, contacts and all.

How to Hard Reset the Alcatel OneTouch Pop C2 smartphone

First, you turn off the cellphone and remove the SIM Card. Then you press and hold Volume Up THEN the Power button (in that order) until you see Recovery mode, which will look like this.

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Use the Volume Up/volume down keys to scroll and the power key to Enter. Select Wipe Data/Factory Reset.

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On the next screen scroll down to YES as you want all the data to be erased.

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The Android OS then wipes the data and formats the Hard-drive while it displays a spinning icosahedron for some strange reason.

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Finally it finishes formatting /data and /cache and gives you the Data Wipe Complete prompt.

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Then power off the phone by doing a battery pull. Restart with the start button. If it worked, you should see this come on the screen followed by the company logo, in this case LIME.

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The Alcatel OneTouch Pop C2 smartphone then goes through a system upgrade as it prepares to boot up for the first time.

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The Setup Wizard then appears on the screen. I suggest you NOT skip, as it is vital to the Reset process.

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Select English as you Language or any language you prefer.

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Select you keyboard. As an android user, I like the swiftkey keyboard.

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Select the time Zone; I chose to let the phone automatically find the time zone. Being an army type of persons, I recommend the 24 hour format.

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Skip the Wi-Fi can do that later....

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Also skip the creation of a Google can do that later....

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That's it!! You’re finished if you see this screen!!

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Finally the home screen!!!

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At this point you can insert you SIM Card, set up your Wi-Fi and set up you Google account. Then head out to the nearest free Wi-Fi hotspot as listed in my blog article entitled “How USF Free Wi-Fi at Jamaican Park means Pokemon Go going mainstream in Jamaica” and download games......or hunt Pokemon!!

Sharing is caring so share this with your friends!!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Ding says Jamaicans love WhatsApp as FLOW and Digicel plot GSMA's Universal Profile

What the most popular Mobile Social Media app in Jamaica?

According to a survey by Ding, a company that sells calling credit online, it's WhatsApp as reported in the article “Whatsapp Most Popular Social Media App Among Jamaican Diaspora”, Published Friday January 6, 2017 by Syranno Baines, The Jamaica Gleaner.

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With the largest top-up network supported by 400 operators in 130 countries which translates to four billion phones, their survey is golden. According to their survey of Jamaicans residing overseas conducted in December 2016:

1.      95% owned a mobile smart devices
2.      73% of the owners of mobile smart devices used their device as their main medium for Internet access
3.      72% of the owners of mobile smart devices cannot live without their devices

Of the overall survey, the sign of smart phone attachment is troubling:

1.      62% spent more than five (5) hours daily on their mobile devices
2.      94% sleep with their smartphones turned on
3.      42% called their husbands and wives to relay positive news
4.      82% used their smartphones for shopping

But it was the Mobile Social Media usage among Jamaicans living overseas that was really no surprise:

1.      60% use Whatsapp for IM (Instant Messaging)
2.      40% used Facebook for IM (Instant Messaging)
3.      50% used Instagram for IM (Instant Messaging)

The statistics for the IM usage may seem strange but it’s really simple to explain; they represent frequency of usage, as many really use all of them, just that they use WhatsApp a whole lot more.

Telecom Providers like WhatsApp - Stealing Data Credit but increasing Data usage

Still, like Brand & Communications Manager for Ding Leslie Prendergast, I’m surprised so many people spend so much time on their smartphones, quote: “Mobile phones are a vital resource for people living abroad, and we wanted to find out how the Jamaican Diaspora is using theirs to keep in touch. It was interesting to find out that 62 per cent of respondents spend more than five hours daily on their phones. Family and friends are such a massive part of Jamaican culture, and we are delighted to play a role in helping them to connect with their loved ones”.

Despite OTT (Over the Top) and VoIP Applications stealing their International and local calling Revenue, WhatsApp has resulted in an overall increase in data usage, according to Caribbean president for Cable and Wireless Communications, Garry Sinclair, quote: "Yes, it has, in fact, resulted in an increase in the use of data and a global reduction in voice calls. This is not unique to Jamaica. This is a global trend emanating from these types of Over The Top (OTT) services”.

Digicel, for their part, likes the fact that increased usage of WhatsApp means that more revenue is coming from the purchase of credit via Ding and other Electronic top-up platforms, quote: “We are encouraged by increasing customer preference for electronic top-up via local and overseas partners like Ding. This enhances our ability to expand top-up sales while making it more convenient for customers to activate data plans on receiving credit”.

Telecom Providers are slowly beginning to realize that they cannot have their cake and eat it too. Then again, once GSMA's Universal Profile and MaaP for Advanced Communications become official as explained in my blog article entitled “GSMA's Universal Profile and MaaP for Advanced Communications is embedded IM by Q2 2017”, they may finally be able to launch their own IM platforms.

Potentially they can displace the OTT and VoIP operators once and for all as pointed out in my blog article entitled “How Digicel and FLOW Jamaica Blocking all VoIP Services can monetize Paid VoIP Services”.......if they are popular enough and have enough perks that can beat the likes of Facebook owned WhatsApp!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How USF Free Wi-Fi at Jamaican Park means Pokemon Go going mainstream in Jamaica

Free Wi-Fi is coming to a Smart City.....but there are limitations at some locations!

For one, you cannot use it longer than sixty (60) minutes at the Mandela Park hotspot as reported in the article “Loitering discouraged at Wi-Fi hotspots”, published Sunday, January 22, 2017, The Jamaica Observer.

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After that 60 minutes at that Mandela Park CAP (Community Access Point) you cannot log on for another six (6) hours. So says CEO of the USF, Suzette Buchanan as the aim is to prevent freeloaders using the unlimited Wi-Fi.

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After all, the USF, who are responsible for the maintenance of the CAP's, wants them to be used by High School Students to conduct research and do their online homework with their mini Laptops, to quote Suzette Buchanan: “Use it to help yourself and by extension help your country as we work towards a knowledge-based society”.

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However the other locations that will be coming online thanks to funding from the USF (Universal Service Fund) may be also be similarly unlimited, if Jamaicans at Half-Way-Tree continue to abuse the service.

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

Emancipation Park in Kingston will have free Wi-Fi in three (3) weeks, with St. William Grant Park, Downtown Kingston coming online in six (6) weeks time. All part of the Smart city initiative that will see the Government allowing State Infrastructure to become IoT (Internet of Things) enable as explained in my blog article entitled “How Free Wi-Fi and Smart City upgrade coming to New Kingston in Q3 2017

This is to the delight of Jamaican Teenage Pokemon Hunters, who are already accustomed to Free Wi-Fi while riding on the JUTC Buses as well as the Bus Depot as pointed out in my blog article entitled “Why JUTC Wi-Fi by September 2016 means Digicel Mobile Money launch imminent”.

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After all, in-between breaks from research and doing homework, there is always Pokemon go. Legend has it that there is a Pikachu and other valuable Pokemon hiding at one of these parks......more reason for Upper St Andrew kids to leave their homes and develope a Wanderlust for Jamaican parks!

Monday, January 23, 2017

CRI and PBCJ Romance of Parents that Run Into Good Luck come St. Valentine's Day

“I want to express thanks to the staff at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China who worked hard to make this possible. This agreement commits us to working together more for a common goal. It’s another step to engaging us, a broadcasting entity, to compete in a sense with the world.”

Programmes manager at PBCJ, Carol Francis, commenting on the deal with signed between CRI (China Radio International) and the PBCJ (Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica) to swap content

It's February and Love will soon be in the air for St. Valentine’s Day....thanks to china in the Year of the Rooster!!!

In a deal signed between CRI (China Radio International) and the PBCJ (Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica) on Friday January 20th 2016, 2 new Chinese soap operas will be coming to Jamaica as reported in the article “2 new Chinese programmes for Jamaican TV”, published Monday, January 23, 2017, The Jamaica Observer

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The programs should be familiar to High School students that regularly watch them online, subtitles and all:

1.      Romance of Parents
2.      Run Into Good Luck

Jamaica, via the PBCJ, will swap their tourism series and environment programmes with the CRI. No money changing hands, as after all, exchange is no robbery. The shows will be place in a timeslot called Chinese Theatre and will weekly for two (2) years!

Programmes manager at PBCJ, Carol Francis, brokered the deal in China in 2015 during a Journalism seminar held in Beijing from May 3 to 24. Still, she didn't forget to than the team, quote: “The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has been the driving force behind this. We are indebted to all of you, especially China Radio International for providing two popular TV shows which we know will be a hit”.

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This is truly an historic deal, as its really boils down to barter, first of its kind according to Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica Niu Qingbao, quote:  “We usually do a bit of investment and trade, but to enter into an agreement of this category, it’s the first. Thanks to both entities for making history. I have no doubt they’ll be popular out here. The signing of this agreement will be brief, but the friendship will be longer”.

Makes you wonder what kind of programming Jamaica could get on CVM TV and Television Jamaica if they decided to swap content and advertising with our Caribbean and Latin American neighbours.....

Saturday, January 7, 2017

How to make Microsoft Windows automatically shutdown within a given time


You want to automate the shutdown of your computer or laptop? I know your pain; it would be great if you could set your laptop to shutdown without having to install special software.

Well, you've come to the right blog as you only need to know a little DOS and how to use Command Prompt.

The procedure is very simple, really. You first right click and create a shortcut as shown below.

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Then you enter the command “shutdown.exe -s -t XXXX” and click Next.

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Then give the shutdown timer a name. In this case I called mine “shutdown delay timer”.

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It will appear on the desktop as a regular shortcut as shown below.

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To activate, double click. It’ll then give you a band warning you of the impending shutdown time.

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Please Note: if you mistakenly clicked on the shutdown times, load on the Command Prompt and enter the command shutdown -a to disable the automated shutdown. You can also assign a different image to the icon and adjust other options in Properties.

Editing the shutdown times is also a breeze:

1.         Right-click the shortcut icon
2.         Select Properties
3.         Change the seconds value in the Target field

So that's it folks; never go to sleep with your computer screen running. Just automate the computer shutdown. Sharing is caring so share this simple but useful tip with your friends.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

How to use WhatsApp on a Laptop or Desktop Computer using WhatsApp Web

I personally hate WhatsApp.

I blame it for turning my workmates at Advantage Call Center into smartphone-obsessed Mobile Social Media Zombies! Yes, WhatsApp also has video calling as per my blog article entitled “How WhatsApp Video Calling matches Messenger and Beats Snapchat and Skype”.  

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According to WhatsApp's support page, you can WhatsApp product (Web or desktop app) if you have one of the following smartphones:

1.      Android
2.      iPhone 8.1+
3.      Windows Phone 8.0 and 8.1
4.      Nokia S60, Nokia S40 EVO
5.      BlackBerry and BlackBerry 10

Typing on this mobile social media platform makes you seem dumb, as the spellchecker does such a poor job of correcting your typos. So I was quite pleased to learn that WhatsApp has a website version for us typists out there!

So how does you enable the WhatsApp Web on your Laptop or Desktop computer?

How to use WhatsApp Web – Mirror, mirror on your Desktop Computer

Good to note that isn't a bypass of WhatsApp; you still need to have your smartphone and you need to be accessing WhatsApp via Wi-Fi, allowing the WhatsApp Web or App to mirror your smartphone.

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Still it’s a great way to bypass censors in a country that may be blocking WhatsApp, as argued in my blog article entitled “How WhatsApp Desktop App indicates Right to Privacy and Free Speech censored at Rio 2016 Olympics”. 

So here's how you use WhatsApp Web:

1.      Load up Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari or Edge browser
2.      Visit the website
3.      A QR code will appear on the screen
4.      Follow the instructions and scan the QR Code using WhatsApp on your smartphone

Your WhatsApp messages on your phone will start appearing in the browser. You can disconnect the Wi-Fi connection for your phone but why would you? It’s free and you can save on using mobile data. Always remember to log out using the three dot menu, otherwise persons coming after you can log in and read all your personal chats.

Still, if you forgot to do so, you can log out all active sessions by scanning the same QR code to log out all active sessions and log in a new one. Sharing is caring so share this interesting WhatsApp Web tip with your friends.