Thursday, April 17, 2014

NHTSA passes ruling for Car Manufacturers to install Rear-View Cameras by Tuesday May 1st 2018 - Self-Driving Cars First Steps as Jamaica falls behind in Vehicle Regulations

“Safety is our highest priority, and we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of back over accidents — our children and seniors. As a father, I can only imagine how heart wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today’s rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speaking on the new ruling handed down by the NHTSA (U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) as it relates to Rear-View Cameras by Tuesday May 1st 2018

We’re getting closer and closer to the day when we’ll have self-driving cars, probably based on technology developed either by Google or Volvo and the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) Project as explained in detail in my blog article entitled “Volvo Testing Autonomous Motor Vehicles in Spain in Live Traffic - EU Project SARTRE adds self-driving AI with smartphone Control”.

Now the NHTSA (U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) on Monday March 31st 2014 has decreed that as of Tuesday May 1st 2018, all vehicles will have to have rear-view Cameras installed by default as reported in “ALL NEW CARS WILL BE REQUIRED TO HAVE REARVIEW CAMERAS”, published March 31, 2014 by Mike Flacy, DigitalTrends and “US requiring back-up cameras in cars by 2018”, published March 31, 2014 11:04 AM PDT by Wayne Cunningham, CNET News.

In other words, no vehicle produced in that year or for that year in the United States of America will be allowed on the road unless it has a camera kit installed, which will add an extra US$140 to the cost of making a Motor Vehicle.The ruling by the targets mostly Cars, and Minivans and SUV i.e. under 10,000 lb, but 2019 Trucks and anything over that size will also have to have rear-view Cameras.

The stipulation also specifies a 10-foot by 20-foot field of view, possibly via Apple Carplay as explained in my blog article entitled “Apple to launch CarPlay at Geneva Auto Show in Geneva, Switzerland - Siri Voice Assistant and Primesense bring Hands-free Remote Control Revolution to The Grand Budapest Hotel” or other appropriate Viewing Technology, such as a dashboard embedded Tablet.

First Steps towards Self-Driving Cars – Jamaica Falling behind in Vehicle Regulations

The Americans have begun the first few tentative steps towards the legalization of Self-driving Cars. This as by adding Rear-view Cameras, it makes it easy in the future for automobile owners to buy Self-Driving DIY (Do It Yourself) kits. These DIY kits can be added to any car post-production along with an addition camera and sensor kit to make the Car self-aware and thus self-driving.

Safety is the main concern, as the stats cited by the NHTSA and the cost for the implementation of this basic feature show:

1)      210 people are killed each year while reversing
2)      15,000 injuries each year while reversing
3)      33% of the fatalities while reversing are children under age 5
4)      25% of the fatalities while reversing are adults aged 70 

Everything appears to be falling into place even while the hard research is being conducted by Google and SARTRE. I just hope that by the time they’re ready to roll out Semi-autonomous Self-Driving Motor Vehicles, they have developed a defense against hacking and virus attacks as predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Intel’s McAfee researches Virus attacks on All-Electric Vehicles as AI’s Project SARTRE hits the road”.

Otherwise hacking vehicles and taking over the system and using the vehicle’s Hard-drive to launch DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service Attacks) as explained in my blog article entitledProofpoint says Refridgerator hacked and used to send Spam email - Internet of Things Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines for hacker's DDOS and Spambots”, and even using the on-board Cameras to spy on you, may become another commonplace occurrence.

How long will Jamaica take to adopt this even as we cling to our SUV (Sports Utility Vehicles) that are still powered by Gasoline as pointed out in my blog article entitledGOJ buys SUV's for Ministers of Government from Toyota Jamaica - All-Electric Vehicle Importation Support is needed from GOJ to be The Master of our Fuel Consumption”?

Not any time soon, as the GOJ has shown no signs of remorse as it relates to implementing tough regulation to keep out older Vehicles and introduce Flex-Fuel Hybrid and All-Electric Vehicles into Jamaica as stated in my blog article entitledMinister of Justice Mark Golding Environmental Policy changes to Vehicle Importation - All-Electric Vehicles and Flex-Fuel Vehicles put Used Car Dealers on The Guilt Trip”.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service develops artificial Type O Negative Blood - Stem Cell Cloning of Type O Negative Blood for Cheaper Transfusions in 2016

“Although similar research has been conducted elsewhere, this is the first time anybody has manufactured Blood to the appropriate quality and safety standards for transfusion into a human being,”

Professor Marc Turner, Lead Researcher in the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service developement of Laboratory grown Type O Negative (–) Blood for Transfusion

Researchers at the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service have made an incredible breakthrough by developing artificial Laboratory Grown Type O Negative (–) that can be transfused into any human being as stated in “First Artificial Red Blood Cells Made”, published 4/14/2014 @ 11:19AM by Paul Rodgers, Forbes.

The Project, funded to the tune of £5m ($8.5m) by the Wellcome Trust, achieve this remarkeable breakthrough via Stem Cell Cloning in the field of Regenerative Medicine that's developing replacement tissues for Transplant.

Artificial skin, liver, bone, cartilage, Blood vessels and even Vaginas are now possible as stated in the article “Artificial vagina, nasal cartilage grown in lab, implanted in patients: What next?”, published April 13, 8:46 AM By James Maynard, Tech Times and “This Week In Lab-Grown Organs: The Artificial Vagina”, published April 14th, 2014 By Lina Chappelle, NYU Local.

In the case of the Blood, it's the Type O, a rare type of Blood that's common in only 7% of humans as explained on the Nobel Prize’s Website article “Blood Groups, Blood Typing and Blood Transfusions”.

Yet carriers of this type of Blood can donate Blood to anyone for transfusions, hence the reason for artificially growing this type of Blood. Also, Rhesus Negative (–) can donate to anyone that’s Rhesus Positive (+), hence the reason why the artificially manufactured Blood is Type O Negative (–)!

Lack of the knowledge of the different types of Blood meant that the developement of Blood Transfusion, pioneered by 17th Century physician Jean-Baptiste Denys in France during the reign of Louis XIV’s, saw many persons dying mysteriously because they were transfused with the wrong Blood.

It wasn't until the discovery of Blood Types, that being A, B, AB and O by Karl Landsteiner and later the discovery of the Rhesus + and - Factor by Alexander S. Wiener before the deaths stopped and transfusions became mainstream.

Red Blood Cell Transfusion – Cloning Type O Negative Blood for Transfusion economy-of-scale

The process basically involves cloning Red Blood Cells under conditions that simulate those present in Bone Marrow. Stem cells are harvested from an adult donor’s skin or Blood. They are then chemically induced to become iPS (induced pluripotent stem), capable of growing into any of the body's 200 cells or skin tissue.

Then the fun part begins, with the iPS cells exposed to a chemical culture that simulate the conditions in the Bone Marrow, thus inducing them to grow into Red Blood Cells, a process that reminds me of the of the cloning of Dolly the sheep back in 1997 as stated in “1997: Dolly the sheep is cloned”, published 22 Feb 1997, BBC News and how far we’ve come full circle to the original purpose of cloning: Regeneration of Human Tissues for Transplants.

Like that famous cloning process back in 2007, some of the Cell do not grow into Red Blood cells. A Centrifuge is used to separate the Red Blood cells by mass from the other tissue that may grow from the iPS Cells. Then the Blood is cooled and stored. Thanks to the fact that it is grown, it has no diseases and thus can last longer than the 120 day life cycle typically of human harvested Blood.

This developement now means that Transfusions costs will soon go down. Currently in the US of A, a pint of Blood that matches the donor costs US$500; in Britain it's £120. Scaling up the process is apparently rocket science, as it requires more than just adding more ingredients according to Professor Marc Turner, Lead Researcher in the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, quote: “It’s one thing to bake a cake and another thing to bake a cake 100 times the size.
It’s not just a matter of putting in 100 times the ingredients”.

But the demand may mean that may not be immediately a concern, despite the staggering numbers needing transfusions Globally:

1.      100 million units are donated world-wide annually
2.      40,000 units are transfused daily in the US of A

The main concern is safety. There are test trials planned with three (3) patients that have a haemoglobin deficiency genetic disorder known as thalassaemia in 2016. If those trials are successful and the patients can accept daily transfusions of this artificially grown Type O Negative (–) Blood, then I won’t be such a rare person anymore. Not to mention saving thousands of lives around the world with my rare Blood type.

…for you see, dear reader, I’m a carrier of Type O Negative (–) Blood…. And I’m scared of Needles!

National Lionfish Project reaps 66% reduction as Lionfish Population is down - NEPA's MTIASIC suggests Commercial Lionfish Farming possible for Restautants and Fast Food Industry

The Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) are now on the retreat thanks to the work of NEPA’s (National Environment and Planning Agency) MTIASIC (Mitigating the Threat of Invasive Alien Species in the Insular Caribbean) which after four years is reaping success as stated in “NEPA reports big drop in lionfish sightings”, published Wednesday, April 16, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

This assessment was made by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill at a closing out ceremony for the MTIASIC project, more popularly known as the National Lionfish Project that was held at the Pollyanna Hotel in Kingston on Friday April 11th 2014 as stated in “Lionfish population down”, published Saturday, April 12, 2014 4:46 PM, The Jamaica Observer.

At 66%, that a dramatic rate of success that's as simple as hunting the invasive species of fish that eats other young fish and ...well…..eating them. Escapees from the protected pond environment in Florida during a Hurricane back in 1992, they quickly made the Caribbean their home in 2006, with populations reaching 250 Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) per hectare.

That 66% since MTIASIC began its work in 2009 translates to 80 Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) per hectare, mainly thanks to the National Lionfish Project PR (Public Relations) campaign literally getting Jamaicans to consume the butterfish-tasting Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans), after having removed their poisonous fins or course.

But is there commercial value for the Fast Food Industry in farming the Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans)? I did an article suggesting they’d be a big hit as a Fast Food Delicacy as Jamaicans were showing an interest in comsuming them in that setting as explained in my blog article entitled Rainforest Seafoods vs the Lionfish - KFC iTwist in Yendi Phillip's Emerald Forest”.

Red Lionfish are Commercially Viable – Lionfish are the Cattle of the Aquaculture Farming World

However, their numbers being reduced, they're no longer commercially viable in that sense as far as Rainforest Seafoods was concerned. However, an enterprising Fish Farmer can grow the Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) commercially in a Fish Pond, as their very fast rate of growth in the Wild suggests that they are efficient converters of protein into body mass, excellent for commercial Farming.

Thus Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) weighting several pounds is possible in a matter of weeks. That enterprising Fish Farmer can grow them very quickly and resell them to restaurants and Agro-Packaging companies such as Best Dressed and CPL to be gutted and vacuum sealed and sold to Jamaicans and exported abroad as explained in my blog article entitledCB Group's Safe Food Movement Vacuum Sealed Tray-less Meats - Trend toward Vacuum Sealing in Jamaica to stretch Food Budget and reduce Refrigeration”.

Just like Rabbit Farming, it’s just for one persons to start the venture of growing the Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) and introduce it to others, as was the case with Marcus Garvey Technical High School planning to help other schools with the rearing of Rabbits in the St. Anns Area and elsewhere as explained in  my blog article entitled Marcus Garvey Technical High School Rabbit Rearing Program - How the St. Ann School is teaching Teenagers and Millenials about Modern Farming Techniques”.

Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) are carniverouse by nature, making feeding them a matter of having a secondary pong to grow the fish and other marine life that are then let into their area for feeding time. Thus commercial weights of 2lb and 3lb fish may be achievable within 2 to 3 weeks, making them ready sale to Restaurants and eventually the Fast Food Restaurants that want a regular supply of the rare yet poisonous delicacy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sweetie Confectionery CEO Patria-Kaye Aarons to launch Jamaican Flavoured Candy - May the Force be with the Weather Presenter as it's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

An interesting story popped up while Googling “Sweets Jamaica” on CVM News and Weather Presenter and CEO of Sweetie Confectionery Patria-Kaye Aarons who is now making her own Jamaican-themed candy with her own company called Sweetie Confectionery as stated in “The 'sweet' story behind Patria-Kaye Aarons”, Published Monday April 7, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The candy maker apparently plans to commercially launch her Jamaican fruit flavoured Candy in May 2014. One thing’s for sure; I’m adding “Sweetie Confectionery” and “Patria-Kaye Aarons” to my already growing watch list in Google Alerts that includes Kim Kardashian and Chromebooks as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “Google Alerts Diamond in the Rough coming to Google+ to deliver Technology News”.

I’m am fascinated by this story, as it fulfills the prophecy which I spoke and suggests what I’ve always said is true; many of the foods we import can be manufactured here in Jamaica, candy included, as we do have the manufacturing capability to make our own foods as stated in my blog article entitledJamaica's Basic Item Food Bill mostly from 1st World Countries - Buy Jamaican Build Jamaica made from Imported Raw Materials in containers that says Made in Jamaica”.

Apparently the CVM News and Weather Presenter realized that foreign imported candy, mostly made in Latin america, simply did not reflect the island flavor, as made evident by her god-daughter’s desire for Jamaican Candy that had Jamaican fruit flavours.

While she’s at it, I hope she also makes a series of Natural Toothpaste to cure all those kids of cavities she’ll be creating along the way as explained in my blog article entitledGoing back to Mother Earth - How to make Natural Toothpaste and Listerine and save money and your sensitive teeth”.

Teaching kids about good dental hygiene is important, especially as so many sweets are out there to rot their little teeth as per the article “Tips to help kids form healthy dental habits”, Published Wednesday February 5, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Sweetie Confectionery’s Patria-Kaye Aarons – Sweet Tooth Natural Candy made from Vacuum Pyrolysis

Takes one hell of a leap of faith to leave a cushy job as a Sponsorship and Communications Manager at GraceKennedy to go through the process of making an original a product as Caribbean Fruit flavoured candy that, according to her, is made from REAL Fruit flavours, not HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup), quote: “The flavours are not synthetic. They are natural Oils extracted from the fruits themselves, and we had to do a lot of taste testing and experimentation to find a supplier that could get it right and to make sure that the flavours were as close to the fruit as possible”.

Indeed, Sweetie confectionary may actually be the only Candy maker in Jamaica that's all Jamaican. This based on the flavours on deck:

1.      Custard apple
2.      Guava
3.      Guinep
4.      Jackfruit
5.      Jimbilin/carambola
6.      June plum
7.      Lychee
8.      Mango
9.      Naseberry
10.  Otaheiti apple
11.  Pomegranate
12.  Soursop
13.  Tamarind

Extraction must have been done using a process similar to Vacuum Pyrolysis as described in my blog article entitledHow to upgrade your Solar Desalinator to a Solar Cooker and make a Solar Foundry for Vacuum Pyrolysis”. This process, also done in a vacuum in a low- Temperature, low pressure Evaporator, extracts the volatile Essential Oils of each fruit being extracted and concentrates them using some kind of natural stabilizer.

This process can also be used to extract Essential Oils to make Perfumes and it can even be done using Solar power using a Fresnel Lens, much in the same way it extracts Bamboo Vinegar during the making of Bamboo Charcoal as explained in my blog article entitled “Jamaica's Bamboo Charcoal exports stalled by lack of Bamboo Furnaces – How to build a Fresnel Lens Solar Powered Bamboo Furnace and produce Activated Charcoal byproduct”.

They are then made into the various shapes and sizes as per specification of the candy maker, with care to preserve the flavor of the fruit without ruining it with too much heat or addition of artificial flavours or even Aspartame, an artificial sugar which even the ant’s dislike!

The packaging is clearly Jamaican thanks to OGM's Marketing Department, with sweets draped in Jamaican flags and sold in 1/2 pound and 1 pound bags similarly emblazoned with our country's colours. She must have gotten a considerable deal of assistance in the financing department, as pension funds don't last too long.

The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Scientific Research Centre as described in my blog article entitledJN Foundation and JNSBL launches Jamaica's first Crowdfunding website, i Support Jamaica - Local Crowdfunding to the rescue of Jamaican Innovators so you don't have to be The Lone Ranger”. The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship apparently also chipped in to help her along to transition from idea-in-my-kitchen to actual product.

Her showing at the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association/Jamaica Export Association expo, a manufacturing feat made possible thanks to the help from Paul Lue-Yen of Miel, Currently Jamaica's only other Candy manufacturer.

If you remember the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association/Jamaica Export Association expo, then you should also remember the introduction of the 1 litre Red Stripe Beer that's made using Cassava as a replacement for the Hops as reported in the article “RED STRIPE LAUNCHES 1 LITRE BOTTLE”, published Thursday, April 10, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

So folks, it is indeed possible to manufacture in Jamaica and make money, proof of which we’ll see next month in May 2014 when her company Sweetie Confectionery goes live.

Food Manufacturing in Jamaica – Electronics and other products are also possible

We don’t need to import the raw materials though, the only thing about the story I didn’t like. Most of the flavouring could be found and made in Jamaica at Caribbean Flavours, whose recent IPO (Initial Public offer) was oversubscribed on the JSE (Junior Stock Exchange) as stated in the article “Caribbean Flavours IPO oversubscribed”, published Friday, September 27, 2013, The Jamaica Observer.

Then again, the quantity of original fruit to use in an Evaporator to extract the Essential Oils lacking, as we’re just beginning to revive the idea of growing Fruit Trees via the National Fruit Tree Crop Project as explained in my blog article entitledBreadfruit and Fruit Tree Revival coming under RADA's National Fruit-Tree Crop Project - Red Stripe and Agro-Investment Corporation an example of how Agriculture benefits both Farmer and GOJ”.

Even Red Stripe getting the Government of Jamaica o give them land for a test run to grow Cassava as a replacement for hops in Beer faced challenges as stated in my blog article entitledRed Stripe and Agro-Investment Corporation signs lease Agreement on 36 acres of Land - Farmers benefit from Cassava’s Day in the Sun as we catch up with Africa's by September 2014”.

This is also true of even small electronics items such as Solar Panels and Electronics components as explained in my blog article entitled No news on progress of the Rare Earth Pilot Plant at JBI - Cuba-Jamaica CFL Project Heralds manufacturing of LED's, Li-Ion Batteries and Sapphire Screens in Jamaica”.

LED (Light Emitting Diode) Bulbs and even Cellphones and Tablets can also be manufactured at low enough cost for export as explained in my blog article entitled Haiti's Surtab SA and Handxom SA making 7-inch Tablet to supply Digicel - Pengelley's Tablets need Cheap Electricity for Plants to make LED, Li-Ion Batteries and Solar Panels”.

Computer Repair Hobby – Sweetie Confectionery Sweet Success suggests possible bright future

As for financing, that’s now a breeze, as once you have a working prototype of your concept, you can raise funding via I Support Jamaica, a Crowdfunding venture run by the JN Foundation and JNSBL as described in my blog article entitledJN Foundation and JNSBL launches Jamaica's first Crowdfunding website, i Support Jamaica - Local Crowdfunding to the rescue of Jamaican Innovators so you don't have to be The Lone Ranger”.

As for me, I’m just doing my thing as a Computer Repair Specialist with a side interest in CCTV Camera Installation and also installation of Telecom Networks. Not really a business, just my interests to keep some money in my pocket, as I’m not completely interested in being a Businessman, merely needing the money to pay rent and survive.  

But who knows, maybe my “hobby” in Computer Repair and Installation work (CCTV, Alarms, Networking) will eventually blossom into something worthwhile.

So Sweetie Confectionary joins a long list of entrepreneurs who are making uniquely Jamaican Products. As usual funding is always a hurdle, as stated by CEO of Sweetie Confectionery Patria-Kaye Aarons, quote: “Every entrepreneur you talk to will tell you that financing is a huge issue for them. It was easier for me to get a car loan than it was to get a loan to finance my business”.

In the meantime, this sweet story about CVM News and Weather Presenter and CEO of Sweetie Confectionery Patria-Kaye Aarons is blogworthy enough for me to write home about on my blog and track via Google Alerts!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Amazon Fire TV is a bonafide hit and is out-of-stock according to Amazon - The Bamboo powered smartphone running Amazon apps cometh

“We're thrilled with the customer response to Fire TV so far -- we're building more as quickly as we can and we're expecting more inventory next week”

Amazon spokeswoman Kinley Pearsall commenting on Amazon Fire TV being out-of-stock

It’s early days yet, but it appears that the Amazon Fire TV is a bonafide hit according to Amazon as stated in “Amazon: Fire TV sellout must mean we're on fire”, published April 11, 2014 12:38 PM PDT by Joan E. Solsman, CNET News.

The Amazon Fire TVwas launched on Wednesday April 2nd 2014 with much fanfare by Amazon, as this 2-in-1US$99 Streaming Box also threw in a US$40 Game Controller as stated in my blog article entitledAmazon launches Amazon Fire TV Set Top and Gaming Console - Amazon Prime Delight challenges Apple iTV, enflames Cord-Cutter's Nirvana portending Console Gaming Renaissance”.

No stats were given or numbers, save to say that they said the out-of-stock situation was a result of backorders and not supply chain issues i.e. the Amazon Fire TV is so hot, it’s selling like hot bread! Just like the Tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire as stated in my blog article entitled “Amazon launches a pair of Kindle Fire 2 - ACS-Xerox Call Centers in Jamaica ramp up as Kindle Fire begin to Sparkle” and my Geezam blog article entitled “Amazon sells 5.5 million Kindle Fires in Fourth Quarter 2012 – Apple iPad sales drop and plans January Press Event”.

To which I’d reply “like duh-uh”, it must be selling like hot bread at that price, even as hot as the Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Stick, which was selling for US$35 when it launched as stated in my blog article entitled Google launches a 4G LTE Google Nexus 7 and Google Chromecast Streaming Device - Uninspired Tablet upgrades but US$35 Google Chromecast is the Streaming World's Blue Jasmine”.

Amazon smartphone cometh – The Bamboo powered smartphone running Amazon apps

But Amazon appears not to be done yet, as according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has plans to launch a smartphone in September 2014 as stated in “Amazon, chasing Apple, Samsung, may enter smartphone market”, published April 11, 2014 2:20 PM PDT by Donna Tam, CNET News. If true, then Amazon can easily beat Apple or at least grab a sizeable chunk of the market as I’d predicted in my blog article entitled Amazon set to launch smartphone in Fourth Quarter of 2012AD - The App Economy and the Increasing Importance of Digical Content”, even though they’re launching this late.

Although they’ve yet to beat the Apple iPad, their introduction of the Amazon Kindle Fire forced Apple’s hand as I’d predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Amazon sells 5.5 million Kindle Fires in Fourth Quarter 2012 – Apple iPad sales drop and plans January Press Event”  and my blog article entitled Apple iPad 3 Launch on March 2012 - Amazon Kindle Fire is a Sweet Dream but a Beautiful Nightmare for Apple”.

Apple thus had to debut their Apple iPad Mini in 2012 making the whole world realize that there is indeed a market for 7” Tablets as stated in my Geezam blog article entitled “The Two Towers of Tablets, 7” Amazon Kindle Fire and 7.9” Apple iPad are the Global Tablet size of Choice” .

Now Apple has shown more faith in the 7” market with the launch of yet a second iteration, the Apple iPad Mini 2 launched in October 2013 as stated in my Geezam blog article entitled “Apple iPad Air’s the World Thinnest Tablet and Apple iPad Mini 2’s a 3DS and Vita killer”.

If Amazon launches a smartphone, it will have the same effect on Apple and Google as the Amazon Kindle Fire. I just hope by then CEO Jeff Bezos perfects his Fall Prevention Technology as I’ve described in my blog article entitled Amazon patents Fall Prevention Technology for smartphones and Tablets - The Research begins with Amazon’s patent that’s Hyde Park on Hudson”, so at to make his new smartphone unbreakable, albeit making it out of bamboo would be quite ok.

Here’s hoping it’ll also come with some sort of Tracking Technology to locate my smartphone. Sorta like the Nokia Treasure Tag as explained in my blog article entitled Nokia Treasure Tag to launch in April 2014 - Pirates on the Caribbean on Stranger Tides will find locating lost keys that much easier”. A departure from Android would also be good, as there’s a need to have alternative Operating Systems introduced in the smartphone arena.

With 200,000 app Store and a slowly growing Developer Clan, making a smartphone that sells would push them into the same arena that Facebook is also pushing into as described in my blog article entitled WhatsApp VoIP Calling in Second Quarter of 2014 - WhatsApp kills International Calling at the Advent of Facetime-eqsue Premium Video VoIP Calling on smartphones but with a physical Device.

Folks, keep following my blog for any News on the Amazon smartphone with Fall Prevention Technology and Tracking Technology coming by September 2014. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

EWI secures US$550 million in Loans from Development Bank of Philippines - Conflict of Interest in EWI and EWC ownership even as Renewable Energy can power the Entire Island

“We are extremely pleased to announce this important financing milestone for our Philippines projects, which represents a strong statement of support for EWC's strategy to bring clean and green energy to Asia by one of the Philippines' leading financial institutions. We look forward to working in close cooperation with the DBP and other local and international lenders in finalising this project financing transaction in the coming months”

CEO and Chairman of EWC Stewart Elliott, commenting on the loan agreement with the DBP (Development Bank of Philippines)

Great News for those worried about Jamaica’s Energy future under Hong Kong based EWI (Energy World International), especially as it relates to the construction of the 360 MW LNG Power Plant!

They’ve finally secured some US$550 million in loans from the DBP (Development Bank of Philippines) as stated “Energy World Corporation secures financing with Development Bank of the Philippines”, published Friday, April 11, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

This represents 74.62% of the original US$737-million price-tag that EWI estimated for the construction of the 360 MW LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) Power Plant. The agreement apparently had been signed with the DBP in Manila, Philippines on Friday 28th February 2014. With this agreement, securing supply contracts for the 300,000 tonnes of the LNG needed to fuel the LNG Power Plant.

Opposition Spokesman on Energy Karl Samuda Concerns – Conflict of Interest in EWI and EWC ownership

This should help to ease any suspicions that members of the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) led Opposition, especially Karl Samuda, has about EWI and CEO and Chairman of EWC Stewart Elliott as also pointed out by the Traditional Media Houses and most recently by The Jamaica Observer’s Caribbean Media Report

EWI Board owns 334,572 million shares of EWC (Energy world Corporation), a publically listed company. Interestingly too, CEO and Chairman of EWC Stewart Elliott also owns EWI, the local Jamaican Consortium that was formed to bid for and build the 360 MW LNG Plant and has some 639 shares of EWC. Not sure why this is a big deal, save for the fact it suggests that CEO and Chairman of EWC Stewart Elliott has his fingers in more than one pie, being both Owner of EWI and CEO and Chairman of EWC.

Conflict-of-interest issues may be the case that Caribbean Business Report and other Traditional Media houses are trying to make, as he can easily influenced decision making if he sits on the Boards of 2 separate companies, suggesting he's not of reputable character, a big issue among shareholders worried about their investments in such companies.

EWI business is as follows:

1.      Development, Building and operating in property
2.      Managing infrastructure
3.      Power generation 
4.      Electrical Energy projects

Our deal with EWI should sooth some passions though:

1.      50% payment and takeover should EWI default on the Construction of the Power Plant or meet the agreed Criteria
2.      15% control of the Power Plant after 20 years

With the 20 year PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) and a partnership deal forged with JPS Co (Jamaica Public Service Company Limited) to build the 360 MW Power Plant under their belt one month later as described in my blog article entitled “JPS Co and EWI forge deal to build 360-MW LNG Plant together - The Wolf of Wall Street makes an American Hustle to Energise Jamaica's Energy Future” , this Plant is looking more and more to be completed within the required timeframe.  

Especially as word is now wafting about that suggests that the Power Plant may be split in two (2) as a means of increasing the level of Redundancy, with one Plant located in Bull Bay, St. Thomas and the other in Bogue, St. James as stated in my blog article entitled “EWI Plant to have 2 LNG Plants - LNG Plant Banana Split between St. James and St. Thomas may mean LNG Fuel coming for Large companies and Auto LPG for JUTC to reduce fuel costs”.

115 MW Renewable Energy Projects too small – Renewable Energy can power the Entire Island

Personally, I’m awaiting word of the progress with the Bidders who’d also been awarded Licenses for the 115 MW of Power from Renewable Energy sources which occurred around the same time as the EWI’s award as chronicled in my blog article entitled “360 MW LNG Power Plant and 115 MW Renewable Energy Project Bidders have submitted Bids - Congratulations to the Energy Bidders as Liberated Energy Sector is Power to the People”.

The total Renewable Energy thus far is 78MW, or 67.83% of the total amount as stated in my blog article entitled “Wigton Wind Farms Limited submits Bid Bond for 24MW Wind Farm - 78MW Total from WWFL, BMR and WRB Enterprises Inc means were 37MW short on Renewable Energy”, which is currently being supplied by the confirmed bidders as follows:

1.      WWFL (Wigton Wind Farms Limited) is providing 24MW of Wind Energy
2.      BMR (Blue Mountain Renewables) is providing 42MW of Wind Energy
3.      WRB Enterprises Inc is providing 20MW of Solar Power

There is still a shortfall of some 37 MW of Power, with no official announcements of any additional Bidders or current Bidders stepping forward to fill that Gap.

This as in my eyes, Renewable Energy is of greater importance than the 360 MW Plant. It has the greatest potential to not only just save on the importation of Fossil Fuels but ultimately power the entire island as argued in my blog article entitled “June on El Hierro, Canary Island's smallest Island to become the first Territory to go 100 percent Renewable - Canary Island makes many wonder if the same isn't possible in the Caribbean”.

Manufacture and production of our own Solar Panels in partnership with Cuba as it relates to using Solar Panels to connect the last 3% of Jamaica as described in my blog article entitled “Jamaica and Cuba collaborate on Solar Panels Production in Jamaica to connect the last 3% - Jamaica's rebranding of the REP to the JESL started the Alternative Energy Hunger Games Catching Fire” should also be extended as an option to the rest of Jamaica that wants a low-cost way to come off the JPS Co Grid altogether.

As it relates to Renewable Energy, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining is thinking a bit too small in just using Renewable Energy to reduce our Oil Importation Bill. I await more information on the 115 MW Renewable Energy Licenses and even its expansion even as I celebrate the 360 MW Project showing further signs of life to renew my faith.

Licensed JUTC KMTR Franchise holders begin operation on April 8th 2014 - Attack of the Stone Throwing Jamaicans against JUTC State sponsored Terrorism again JATOO

Looks like the Injunction filed by the more than 300 Private Bus Operators failed to block the coming takeover of KMTR routes by the JUTC as I’d reported in my blog article entitled Mandatory SmarterCard Cashless System coming in March 2014 – JUTC Legal challenge NATO over Routes as JA$100 Wi-Fi needed to keep Unruly High School Students Happy”.

On Tuesday April 1st 2014, the JUTC (Jamaica Urban Transit Corporation) took over the KMTR (Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region) from the more than 300 Private Bus Operators as stated in “Smooth JUTC takeover from KMTR minibuses”, published Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 11:28 AM, The Jamaica Observer.

In the process, the Ministry of Transport and Works is effectively forcing all the 300 Private Bus Operators to paint their buses in the same colours as the JUTC’s as noted in the article “JUTC dictates all KMTR buses be painted yellow”, published Friday, March 28, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

The GOJ (Government of Jamaica) are also making sure that no Minibuses or Buses with less than a seating capacity of 15 persons are a part of the new KMTR Franchises as stated in “Operators want more time before retake of routes”, published Tuesday April 1, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Finally to top it off, it anyone is caught taking a non-complaint or “Robot” Bus or Taxi, they could face either a fine of JA$100,000 or six (6) months in Jail as stated in “$100,000 Or Six Months In Jail For Taking 'Robot' Vehicles, Says JUTC”, published Friday March 28, 2014 12:59 pm, by Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner. That is harsh but logical; you create the improved JUTC Bus system and now you need the public to support it, hence the need to impose fines in sake of Public Safety.

This based on a presentation on Monday April 7th 2014 in the House of Representatives Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton entitled “Motor Vehicle Import Policy” in which they laid out their intention to restrict the purchase, importation and transfer of Vehicle titles and ownership of these small minibuses.

JUTC takeover of KMTR – Franchise Requirements by the Numbers

So now’s a good time to get rid of these Minibuses, as the GOJ is trying to make the JUTC profitable via a takeover of the routes, with revenues coming in from the payment of licenses by the Private Bus Operators who have accepted the terms of their Franchises.

The following things need to be noted about the Franchises:

1.      JA$175,000 per annum is the cost of a KMTR Franchise License
2.      JUTC is to reclaim the 3, 17Express, 19A, 31A, 32 and 42 routes from the Private Bus owners

Of the 319 Private Bus Operators, only 43 took up the offer at that time on Tuesday April 1st 2014, citing the difficulty of finding funds:

1.      Paint their buses in the appropriate JUTC Colours
2.      Wearing uniforms and be generally neatly attired
3.      Issue Tickets to passengers
4.      Pay off their outstanding Traffic Tickets
5.      Have their Vehicles fully licensed, insured and Roadworthy

This new arrangement, after some teething pains, became effective officially a week later on Tuesday April 8th 2014 after a one (1) week extension was granted to the 319 Private Bus owners to regularize their Buses in order to qualify for a Franchise License.

Eventually by Tuesday April 8th 2014, 129 of the 319 Private Bus Operators having eventually ponied up the money to correct the above and be fit to take up the KMTR Franchises on offer as stated in “New sub-franchise system in full effect today”, published Tuesday April 8, 2014 8:36 am, The Jamaica Gleaner.

That’s when the problems began and the Rock-stones began to fly!

JUTC and JATOO – Attack of the Stone Throwing Jamaicans against perceived State sponsored Terrorism

It was at that point that the Stone-throwing incidents began in what effectively was a War or words that broiled over into a pitched battle between the JUTC and JATOO (Jamaica Association of Transport owners and Operators), the association that represents most of the 319 Private Bus owners.

The first set of attack, 18 in total, occurred on Monday March 7th 2014 and Tuesday March 8th 2014 as reported in “JUTC set back by $2.5m after attacks on buses”, published Thursday April 10, 2014 by Sheldon Williams, Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

It reportedly cost the JUTC approximately $2.5 million to repair, based on the statement issued on Tuesday March 8th 2014 by Chairman of the JUTC, the Reverend Garnett Roper, quote: “The incidents, which numbered 18 between yesterday (Monday) and today (Tuesday), caused damage to the buses. The vandalism included the smashing of the windscreens of two of the buses, breaking of two side windows in one of the buses, smashing of a door and tampering with the engines of two of the buses”.

The most recent stone throwing incidents occurred on Friday April 11th 2014 the Gordon Town, Papine Area and Heroes Circle close to Downtown Kingston as reported in “More JUTC buses attacked”, published Saturday April 12, 2014 by Sheldon Williams, Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner and “Attacks on JUTC buses continue”, published Friday, April 11, 2014 8:47 AM, The Jamaica Observer.

Apparently, one Franchise route had to be taken over by the JUTC in the Waterhouse area. That area is very volatile and is nothing like the calm, almost tranquil laid back atmosphere of Swallowfield. I often refer to Swallowfield as the Hidden Village of Konoha, due to the fact that you’d never know that people actually live beyond the Shopping Fa├žade presented at the front of Old Hope Road.

Good to note that one woe is passed. The second woe, which is the implementation of the JUTC’s SmarterCard Cashless Card System as described in my blog article entitled “JUTC to debut RFID & NFC Readable SmarterCard Cashless Bus Ticket System in April 2013 - The Last Stand for a Cashless Society to empower the Multi-Modal Concept”, it yet to come on stream.

Most Jamaicans will be a bit daunted by the prospect of having to give up their personal information to get a JUTC SmarterCard Cashless Card and still have to pay JA$300 to register to get this piece of plastic that can ONLY be used on the JUTC Buses.

I suspect that the Private Bus Operators will also have to implement their own system as well of stricter accountability, as they need to raise the needed JA$175,000 each year along with the other aforementioned fees to pay to maintain their KMTR Franchise Licenses.

Now we’re at War with the JUTC, the foot-soldiers of the Ministry of Transport and Works, I’m expecting it’ll be a long time before any Bus is safe for anyone to travel. For that reason, only walking is safe right now, and personally I’m glad I live within walking Distance from Half-Way-Tree, Cross Roads and Downtown, making travel long but pain-free.