My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: March 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

SRC and NEPA has Turnera Campaniflora as hypertension medicine and insect repellant

Looks like we might have a hypertension medication coming from another plant that is found only in Jamaica.

That plant is the Turnera Campaniflora plant, which is believed to fight hypertension as reported in the article “Scientific Research Council To Test Plant For Medicinal Properties”, published Saturday March 11, 2017 by The Jamaica Gleaner.

SRC and NEPA has Turnera Campaniflora as hypertension medicine and insect repellant.jpg

It's related to the Ram Goat Dash along and as such is expected to be used in a similar capacity. The SRC research will begin in another two weeks.

The plan may potentially be another natural insect repellant similar to my combination of essential oils as listed in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How to make DEET-free mosquito repellant from Essential Oils and iso-propyl alcohol”.  
So where is the plant located?

Turnera Campaniflora - Rescued from extinction at Quaco Rock in Clarendon

The Turnera Campaniflora, which is endemic to jamaica, is located in Quaco Rock in Clarendon. it is critical endangered and the NEPA (National Environment and Planning Agency), who are working with the SRC, had spotted the plant initially.

The SRC then used tissue culture to regrow the plan, which was the star of the show at SRC’s Science in the Gardens event held at Hope Gardens in February 2017. Some 100 plants are to be placed in public gardens across the island.

So expect this plant to be a future treatment for hypertension......or at least a good insect repellant.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reviving old x86 machines using Ubuntu, Fedora, Zorin, Mint, KXStudio and Tails OS

Have an old x86 machines that's super slow when running Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP or even Windows 7?

A Linux distribution might just be what the doctor ordered for your PC as noted in the Geezam blog article “Linux and Other Open Source Technologies: The Benefits for Jamaica”. Linux is an open-source (and free) OS that can breathe new life into your old machines.

Because it’s based on the Linux Kernel, Linux Operating Systems, which are called flavours, have much lower system requirements and fewer security issues. But with hundreds of flavours of Linux, which one do you choose?

Ubuntu and Fedora – the Obvious Choice for Linux lovers

The most obvious choice will be to use an OS that has the look and feel of Linux and windows and may be capable of running Windows programs.

To this end, I usually recommend Ubuntu OS or Fedora, which can all be installed on the same machine and has some interesting benefits as noted in my blog article entitled “How to install Windows, Fedora Linux and Ubuntu Linux on the same Computer”. 

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After all, Ubuntu is the choice for Xiaomi's US$200 Mi Notebook as I'd explained in my blog article entitled “How Xiaomi's US$200 Mi Notebook is a Linux Ubuntu Laptop for Christmas 2016”, so it's natural.

Zorin OS - Windows paintjob with a heart of a Linux

If you want a Linux OS that looks like Windows then Zorin OS is your best bet.

It has a GUI (graphical user interface) that can be tailored to look like a Mac or a PC. Like Windows it has a Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen with a programs list and search tool, just like Windows.

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In the lower-right corner there's a notification area, clock, volume control, again borrowed from the Windows OS. But aside from the Windows-like appearance, the fact that it comes pre-loaded with WINE as described in my blog article entitled “How to install Windows, Fedora Linux and Ubuntu Linux on the same Computer”  means it can run pretty much any window program with ease.

Mint OS, KXStudio OS and Tails OS - Linux flavours with a Dash of Cinnamon, Music and Privacy

Other distros are more Linux-like and make the transition to Linux that much easier. One such is Mint OS, a great option if you want to dive into Linux. The Linux distro UI (User Interface) comes in four desktop flavours:

1.      Cinnamon
2.      KDE
3.      Mate
4.      Xfce

If you a first time to Linux OS, choose the Cinnamon desktop. Xfce is for the control-loving persons who like menu-configuration options. Xfce is lightweight and will run very well on x86 machines designed to run Windows 95, 98, 2000 or XP.

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If Music is your thing, then KXStudio OS is the Linux Distro for you. It comes preloaded with custom audio applications and utilities. KXStudio OS uses both Debian and Ubuntu software repositories, so updates are never far away.

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Tails OS is for the spies among us who love privacy online and want to remain anonymous and secret. It can run from a USB Thumb Drive, DVD or even a memory card. The tools are also very barebones, with traffic from its browser, email client, instant messenger being routed through Tor Servers akin to how the Tor Messenger works as explained in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How Tor Messenger Beta keeps your Messages Private”.

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So with so many choices, you can visit the LIVECD list and download a bootable Linux OS and use it to revive you old PC. Sharing is caring so share this with as many of your friends as you like.

Here’s the link:



Friday, March 3, 2017

Ministry of Tourism says Airbnb brings 32,000 to Jamaica to Bob Marley's Trench Town

Airbnb, the Bread and Breakfast website, is raking in the dough and helping us Jamaicans get some too. At this point, now would be a good time to play Bob Marley’s One Love to all my Trench Town people, as this article is really about you.


The website has brought some 32,000 Visitors to Jamaica since November 2016 as reported in the article “Airbnb Brings In Over 30,000 Visitors To Jamaica Since Partnership – Bartlett”, Published Sunday February 26, 2017, The Jamaica Gleaner.

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So says Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett during a tour of the culturally rich Trench Town in Kingston. They're benefiting from an increased number of visitors who come to visit the hometown of legend Bob Marley overnight, rising to the insatiable smell of boil dumpling, ackee and saltfish with MILO as noted in my blog article entitled “How Ministry of Tourism over-reacting to 1000 Jamaicans on Airbnb as Trench Town Rocks”. 

His words were the most interesting that should be a delight to anyone trying to make money from the Bread and Breakfast industry, which caters to the overnight traveler.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett – Trench Town has more rooms than hotel industry

First, he acknowledged that the majority of accommodations on Airbnb are from Trench Town and other inner-city communities. No surprise there; I see lot of Americans milling around Cross roads and Half-Way-Tree.....and they are not the Pegasus crowd in fancy clothes but in Jamaican-styled clothing.

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In fact, the number of locations far surpasses that of most of the major hotels in Jamaica in terms of the number of beds....and couches and possible verandah spaces to sleep offered. Apparently Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett doesn't realize that budget-conscious Americans, seeking an authentic Jamaican experience and the nostalgia of Bob Marley while visit to do business, aren't too mindful of the accommodations, especially if they can avoid paying US$157 (JA$20,000) at the Pegasus Hotel for one night in any of their rooms, which is a tad overpriced.

So let the hotelier pass all their dirty remarks, Bob Marley style. His children, the people of the community of Trench Town, benefit immensely from his legacy. Diversification of the Hotel sector is putting money in the hands of local Jamaicans as pointed out in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How Jamaicans can make money from Airbnb”.

This entrepreneurship within the tourism sector will most likely upset the hotel that thrive on providing clean sheets and warm bed, as they are being beaten by a little man who may merely be offering his bed to a weary American while he sleeps on the verandah or couch.

But for Americans, Airbnb makes their stay in Jamaica truly Jamaican and not sugar coated as the Jamaica Tourism Board might wish.



Thursday, March 2, 2017

How Pedro Keys Fishermen helped Tullow Oil potentially drill by 2019-2020

Tullow Oil is not the company that discovered Oil, despite what you may have heard in the news.


The credit for the discovery of Oil belongs to the Fishermen who regularly fish off Pedro Banks as noted in the article “Fishermen Save Oil Survey, Says Tullow”, Published Sunday February 26, 2017 by Steven Jackson, The Jamaica Gleaner.

How Pedro Keys Fishermen helped Tullow Oil potentially by 2019-2020  (2).jpg

So says Tullow's exploration manager for the Caribbean, Jerome Kelly, in an interview with the Jamaica Gleaner on Friday February 24th 2017, quote: “At the time, fishermen - whom we engage with closely when we are doing our offshore activities - said that there were some reports of slicks of oil in the area off 'Blower Rock' area at the eastern end of the Pedro Banks”


Slatford; David Newton, the safety, sustainability and external affairs managers; and John McKenna, regional and development manager for South America and the Caribbean.


The fisherfolk near the Blower Rock at Pedro Banks northwards to Kingston city spotted an oil sheen and reported it to Tullow Oil. To their delight, instead of oil pollutant, this turned out to be oil, which led to the announcement as reported on my blog article entitled “Why Tullow Oil’s live Oil seep means Jamaica an Oil Producing Nation in 2017”.  


Tullow, Oil, who had been doing Bathymetric surveys since November 2014, decided to check it out. After all, they'd been exploring some 10 blocks offshore and one part block onshore on the south of the island in vain. They could have easily given up, as they had some 18 countries in which they are currently prospecting for Oil.


In 2015, Tullow did a bathymetry survey of some 32,056 square km of the Walton Morant Blocks. a 2D seismic survey in the first quarter of 2016 followed delineate potential plays in shallow water as noted in my blog article entitled “Tullow Oil Jamaica's 2nd completed Active Sonar Survey heralds Oil Exports and Biodiesel by 2025”accumulating some  3,000km of data, which largely came up without oil evidence.


The discovery by the fishermen isn't new either; according to Jerome Kelly, the fishermen knew about it all the time, quote: “Well, the fishermen would say that they always knew about it for years, but you've just never asked us”.


So what will happen now?


Fishermen help Tullow Oil discover Oil - Drilling to commence by 2019-2020


According to Jerome Kelly, the amount of oil found was very small.


However, it is very significant, as it proved to be oil seeping to the surface, Beverley Hillbillies Style to quote Jerome Kelly: "The live oil was of a tiny amount, so it doesn't say how much is underground, nor does it say where that oil has come from, and that is why we are doing the survey”.
How Pedro Keys Fishermen helped Tullow Oil potentially by 2019-2020 .jpg
With this discovery, Tullow Oil can begin extensive surveys for an additional 670 kilometres in the Blower Rock at Pedro Banks northwards to Kingston city. they'll be collecting 2D data under their exploration licence with the Jamaican Government, quote: “The survey will start in March, and the median length would see it last five to 10 days”.


Pedro Keys had been chosen because other companies had not found oil offshore, albeit dry well had been found onshore back in the '70s and '80s, to quote Jerome Kelly: “It's significant enough because although oil has been identified in the wells on the island of Jamaica in the '70s and '80s, no one ever reported oil offshore”.


Even more interesting, it's live oil, not dead oil, formed as Jamaica's crust get an Earthquake as I'd predicted in my blog article entitled “The 4.2 EarthQuake - Simon Crosskill and Neville Bell are Children of Fire Mountain”.
  
To quote Jerome Kelly: “In Jamaica, there was evidence of dead oil in the rocks on the island and old wells back then. The live oil means that oil is being generated offshore and means that it is currently moving through the rocks underground as we speak, rather than happening millions of years ago”.

By May 2017, we'll know for sure if Jamaica has struck it rich. A 3D survey will follow. If that turns out positive, expect Tullow Oil to begin drilling with the help of the private sector as noted in my blog article entitled “Why Jamaican Private Sector funding Oil Exploration by Tullow Oil for US$300 per barrel in 2020” as early as 2019-2020.