My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: January 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Samsung Galaxy Note9’s Water Carbon Cooling System and the quest for week-long battery life

Powered by faster chips, beefy graphics cards, and enough RAM to game like a console, modern smartphones have become more like laptops in our pockets.

Designed for those that want to do more, the Galaxy Note9 pushes the envelope further, featuring the latest and greatest chip sets, up to 8GB RAM, and a 4,000mAh battery as detailed in my Geezam article entitled Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is For Those Who Want the Galaxy and Beyond”.

But with all that power under the hood it takes some engineering magic to make sure that all the components stay cool while you’re gaming or doing some intense multitasking.

Samsung has innovated smartphone cooling on the Galaxy Note9 with its all-new Water Carbon Cooling system. Water cooling first debuted on the Galaxy S7.

The Galaxy Note9 improves both the capacity and efficiency of smartphone cooling. So how did they make it happen?

Samsung Note 9 - The thermal throttling problem

The problem is that making phones with batteries that can last all day and play console-quality games comes at a cost: heat.

When a phone’s internals become too hot, the CPU slows down. This a problem known as thermal throttling which leads to a loss in performance.

Thus a good cooling system addresses the following problems:

  1. Sluggish gameplay
  2. Poor multi-tasking

The Galaxy Note9 had an ambitious set of goals. Samsung wanted to create a phone with a battery that could last all day, provide a PC-like experience with Samsung DeX as noted in Samsung DeX Offers Linux on Galaxy and Productivity on the Go”, and handle graphic-intense games like Fortnite.

This means putting in a 4,000mAh battery and the latest 2.7GHz mobile processor, which would challenge the phone’s performance. Thus the new cooling system needed to be both faster and more efficient than previous generations.

Samsung's solution to thermal throttling - Water Carbon Cooling

When Samsung had launched the Galaxy S7, they'd introduced a new type of water-based cooling into our phones.

It used a porous thermal spreader filled with water, which absorbed the heat and turned into steam and then carried the heat away through a pipe. Once the heat dissipated, the steam condensed into water again.
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This system was the blueprint for the Water Carbon Cooling system in the Galaxy Note9, but bigger and more efficient.

The most difficult part of improving the cooling system was to make it more efficient. The original system was thin and used two Thermal Interface Materials (TIM), one made of highly conductive carbon fiber, to transfer heat away from the processor. This takes advantage of the face that graphite and diamond are very good non-metallic conductors of heat.

Samsung's solution was to add a layer of copper between the two TIMs, making it possible to transfer more heat between the two materials for more efficient heat dissipation. Samsung also engineered a wider thermal spreading pipe, coming in at 350mm3 compared to the Galaxy S9’s 95mm3, to dissipate heat over a wider surface area.

Samsung's long-term goal - Batteries that last for weeks, not days

Thanks to the improved Water Carbon Cooling system, the Galaxy Note9 can effectively manage heat generated from its powerful processor. With the wider thermal spreader and enhanced Carbon Fiber interface, the cooling system conducts and transmits heat efficiently to the surface of the device

This allows the Galaxy Note9 to operate at peak performance consistently. When compared to the Galaxy Note8, the upgraded cooling system’s heat absorption is three times greater and the thermal conductivity is 3.5 times higher.

Water Carbon Cooling is an innovative solution to a problem involving battery performance. Hopefully in the future they will have Hydrogen fuel cell batteries as described in my blog article entitled “How Intelligent Energy Hydrogen Fuel Cell can give Apple products weeks of battery life by 2017” that will make batteries last an entire week or even months.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

How the Jamaican Plastic Ban is creating Entrepreneurs but Styrofoam Alternatives needed

Happy 2019 everybody!!!

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Back in the writer's chair on my blog after spending much time adjusting to teaching at a new school, Calabar High School. But blogging is my passion and I intend to keep going, as I prefer to be tired than broke!!!

It has finally happened and it's now official!!!

The ban on single-use plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam is now in place as of January 1st 2019 as reported in the article “Plastic ban begins tomorrow, Vaz updates the public”, published Monday December 31, 2018, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz is quite insistent that this ban be kept in place. The maximum fine under the Trade Act (Trade Plastic Packing Material Order) 2018, is $2,000,000, while under the NRCA (Plastic Packaging Prohibiting) Order 2018, the fine is $50,000.

I've been expecting this since February 2018, as noted on my blog article entitled “How a Ban on Styrofoam, Plastics needs Recycling Initiative to save the Jamaican Environment” so this is quite a New Years Present!!

Both Orders carry a term of imprisonment of two years, respectively.

And naturally, a lot of Jamaican were caught off guard, as truth be told, Daryl Vaz made this announcement back in September 2018 as noted in the article “Gov't bans single use shopping bags, plastic straws, Styrofoam effective January 1, 2019”, published Monday, September 17, 2018, . The Jamaica Gleaner

So we really had only 4 months to prepare!!! With the threat of such a hefty fine hanging over the heads of retailers and Jamaicans alike, was the public adequately prepared for what was to come?

Plastic Ban - Ban needed on Plastic used in packaging

I personally support this as I've been calling for it for a long time on my blog as noted in my blog article “How Plastic Bottles and Styrofoam may soon be banned in Jamaica”.

In fact, Jamaica can also recycle 500ml Plastic bottles, but the return for collecting Plastic must be at least JA$100 per bottle for it to work successfully as noted in my blog article entitled “How JA$100 for recycling 500ml Plastic bottles and Styrofoam Ban will save Jamaica's Environment”.

Still there will be resistance, especially from members of the informal sector i.e. vendors who sell cooked food, who use styrofoam containers to sell food as noted in the article “Now what? Vendors question options after plastic ban”, published Friday December 28, 2018, The Jamaica Gleaner.

So are there any alternatives to single-use plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam?

Alternatives available - Biodegradable Bags and Bamboos straws but no Styrofoam replacement

Alternatives are available as at least three (3) companies have popped out of nowhere, mostly run by young entrepreneurs to supply alternatives to single-use plastic bags, straws.

First, there is a start-up called Creative People Tings.

Albeit their website,, is currently down, much is known about their early success as noted in the article “‘Nuh Inna Di Scandal': Young entrepreneurs create stylish totes to replace plastic bags”, published Tuesday January 1, 2019, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Creative People Tings sells cloth tote bags and have been thoughtful enough not to use plastic in their packaging, as noted by director of operations, Marc Gayle, quote: "One of the things that we've debated [among] ourselves is not using plastic in our packaging. So we decided, early, to use cloth strings and paper tags to label our bags, as well as package them in paper bags".

Then there is Samo Johnson, CEO of Eco-tings Jamaica, who is offering alternatives to almost everything that is being banned and all of them are reusable as noted in the article “Plastic Ban | Eco-tings Jamaica providing plastic alternatives”, by Danae Hyman, published Friday December 28, 2018, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Finally, there is an more official looking company that has been up and running for almost a year called SavGore that has been selling customizable biodegradable bags as noted in the article “Plastic Ban | Savgore Limited to sell eco-friendly bags to public”, published Wednesday January 2, 2019, The Jamaican Gleaner.

I'm still yet to see any alternative to Styrofoam; I suspect Wisynco is working on a biodegradable alternative as they're hinted in my blog article entitled “Why Wisynco making coloured Biodegradable Styrofoam heralds Beeswax Cardboard Packaging”.

Plastic removal from Jamaica - Plastic Packaging needs to go as well

I've made it know that plastic Bottles should be next on the radar, preferably being removed gradually by taxation of their usage as noted in my blog article entitled “CARPI Taxation and Recycling Partners of Jamaica Bottle Deposit Scheme will eliminate Plastics by 2025”.

They are a threat to our health in the long term as studies have shown that they may be getting into our foods as noted in my blog article entitled “University of East Anglia's School of Chemistry discovers microplastic in Bottled Water”.

But equally as troubling as single-use plastic Bags is plastic packaging.

It's really irritating to have to purchase an item in a plastic bag, only to then have to take that item out of the plastic bag and now have to throw it away or find some use for that additional bit of plastic.

Getting rid of single use plastic bags should start with foods, especially common ones such as flour and sugar as noted in my blog article entitled “BSJ's NCRA Standardized packaging of Flour and Rice heralds more packaged products

Otherwise we will soon be dying of illnesses due to plastics in our foods and experience continued flooding of our roadways due to plastic clogging our drains.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Jamaicans and Cloud Storage - Why Google Drive is the best paid Cloud Service

The cloud trend for storing files is not going to go away in 2018….and it is set to make a huge splash in 2019.

Most regular consumers and businesses rely on local storage hardware and infrastructure as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to do Physical Backup using DVD and CD and Best software” to keep their precious files easily accessible on the web.

However, which one is best for you in 2019?

There are so many cloud storage providers out there as I had done ca list a long time ago as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to Backup your Data using the a List of the Best Free Backup Solutions”; one has to choose a cloud storage wisely for the long term, preferably using the following criteria:

  1. Maximum amount of Storage measured in GB
  2. low-cost storage
  3. Adequate bandwidth for uploading
  4. Safe and secure storage, especially for sensitive data

To this end, I've compiled a list of my favourites I've used over the years as well as other new on the scene worth mentioning. They all offer free and paid options, but based on the quality of service many of them offer, you will not find it hard to upgrade to their paid services,

This as many of them offer encryption options for your precious data.

Cloud storage - 2019 is gonna be a great year

Ok so as to make thing simple, here are my main file storage solutions arranged in an easy to read table:

Free Storage
Paid Storage
1TB for $10 a month with Dropbox Plus
2TB for $19.99 a month
Google Drive
15GB free
100GB for $1.99 a month
200GB for $2.99 a month
2TB for $9.99 a month
10TB for $99.99 a month
20TB for $199.99 a month
30TB for $299.99 a month
50GB free
200GB for $6 a month
1TB for $12 a month
4TB for $23 a month
8TB for $35 a month
5GB free
50GB for $3 a month
1TB for $8 a month
5TB for $11 a month
5GB free
50GB for $0.99 a month
200GB for $2.99 a month
2TB for $9.99 a month
10GB free
100GB for around $10 a month
5GB free
2TB for $52 a year
250GB for $74.62 a year
20GB free
500GB for $3.99 paid annually
2TB for $7.99 paid annually
500GB for 175$ for life
2TB for 350$ for life

As you can see, they all have paid options.

Personal cloud - NextCloud lets you DIY

Of special note is NextCloud, which is a self-hosting cloud storage solution that allows you to set up your own cloud-storage center. They offer a free software to download and install a cloud storage service.

This means that you are effectively dedicating a computer to become a Cloud server on your Home or Office Network and thus you benefit from faster storage and data access speeds. NextCloud also offers encryption, making it pointless for hackers to steal your data

Newbies to Server installation and maintenance can purchase a pre-configured NextCloud Box with 1TB HD, but I recommend that you get the experience of DIY (Doing it Yourself).
Google Drive - At US$19.99, they are the best cloud storage by far

My main go-to solution is Google Drive, but Dropbox is the all-time favourite, even with my students at the High School I teach, mainly because its been around the longest.
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But you won't go wrong paying for Google Drive cloud their prices for 100GB which is US$19.99 for the year is quite reasonable.