My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica

Thursday, January 29, 2015

US$29 Nokia 215 by Microsoft - How Microsoft's Nokia Mobile division will conquer India and Developing World Countries

“With our ultra-affordable mobile phones and digital services, we see an inspiring opportunity to connect the next billion people to the Internet for the first time”

Vice President of Microsoft Devices Group, Jo Harlow, in a press release on Monday January 5th 2015 announcing the launch of the US$29 Nokia 215

While Samsung launched the US$90 Samsung Z1 in India and Xiaomi is still plotting to take over the world with their “Small Rice” as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Xiaomi in India after success in China - Xiaomi Looks to the West as the World is theirs for the Taking”, Microsoft's Nokia 215 might just beat them to the punch.


That's because the Nokia 215, a budget feature phone launched during CES (Computer Electronics Show) 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada is priced at US$29, making it the cheapest feature phone with smartphone capabilities on planet Earth as stated in the article “Meet the world's cheapest smartphone”, published January 5, 2015: 8:00 AM ET By Aaron Smith, CNN Money



So says their Press Release entitled “Meet the new Nokia 215, Microsoft’s most affordable Internet-ready phone”, published January 5, 2015 By Microsoft News Center, Microsoft that touted the Nokia 215 as the lowest cost smartphone released by the Redmond, Virginia based company.

And yes, it does look a lot like the US$20 Nokia 105 launched in April 2014 in India as noted in the article “Nokia 105: The cheapest handset launched in India”,  published April 10 2013, India Today.


From all accounts, it was a smash hit for Nokia, who were back then in a partnership with Microsoft as noted in the article “Nokia profits from sale of US$20 Nokia 105”, published 29 Jun 2013, 02:25, by Alan F., Phone Arena.

So now they're back for seconds with an upgrade that actually boasts an actual Camera and Internet connectivity, which brings the price up to US$29.

So what do you get for US$29? A lot it seems!

US$29 Nokia 215 by Microsoft - Loads of Goodies packed in a Candy Bar feature phone

You may have noticed that the US$29 Nokia 215, albeit modeled after the US$20 Nokia 105, is packed to the hilt with features as reported in the article “Microsoft's Nokia 215 Internet-Ready Phone Is Just $29”, published JANUARY 5, 2015 04:12PM EST BY CHLOE ALBANESIUS, PC World.



Running on the Nokia Series 30+ OS, whatever that is, and supporting the 900/1800 MHz bands, the US$29 Nokia 215 comes in one of two (2) versions based on SIM (Subscriber Identification Module):

1.      Nokia 215 Single SIM
2.      Nokia 215 Dual SIM

The screen is a 2.4" QVGA, a step above older Nokia feature phone but still way below the standard to be even considered a budget smartphone. It's little and cute with svelte significant numbers of 116mm x 50mm x 12.9mm and weighing no more than a heavy-calorie Candybar at 78.7 grams.

Oh, yes, you have some colour choices too:

1.      Green
2.      Black
3.      White

True to its feature phone roots, it's got a handy FM Radio to keep you up to date with Cricket Matches and a flashlight for finding thing when the government decides to shut off the power. Should in case you find that there's nothing on the radio, you can surf the web using a built in Opera Mini Browser and Bing Search.

Want to know the weather?

MNS Weather has you covered and interestingly too, it's also got Social Media baked in i.e. Facebook and Twitter. However, if you can load MP3 via the USB Cable that comes with the phone unto the 32 GB MicroSD Card that it supports, then you can skip the Internet and the Radio altogether and just jam on your headphones plugged into its 3.5mm AV Port!





Like I said, a feature phone with some smartphone like features. But then it's got a little more that should make it a tad interesting to Developed World peeps, no matter how sophisticated your taste in smartphones!

Despite the basic 3G Internet and the VGA Rear-Facing Camera, it's option to be Dual-SIM would be much beloved by Americans - if it were in their country - as aside from being no-contract, you're freed from being locked into one Network. Two (2) Networks to choose from, with Battery life to match that of a regular feature phone:

1.      29 Days Standby on a full charge for the Nokia 215 Single SIM
2.      21 Days Standby on a full charge for the Nokia 215 Dual SIM
3.      20 hours Talk Time on BOTH the Nokia 215 Single SIM and the Nokia 215 Dual SIM

Then there is the presence of Bluetooth 3.0, not quite Bluetooth 4.0 but still an advanced feature typically found on smartphones.

This means, quite simply, if you just happen to have a Bluetooth speaker such as the US$250 Mars by Crazybaby Levitating Bluetooth Speaker as described in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “Mars by Crazybaby Levitating Bluetooth Speaker Levitation Produces good vibration free sound” or even a US$100 Samsung Level Bluetooth Speaker as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “How Samsung's Top 7 Christmas Gift List can make Christmas Unforgettable”, then you can stream your MP3 and have a party virtually anywhere.

Even more interesting is the proprietary SLAM Technology that allows you to share those very same MP3 files (or any file for that matter) by just simply tapping two (2)  Nokia 215 together. This, again, is a lot like a NFC or Bluetooth sharing in higher-end and even Budget smartphones.

Sweet, you say to yourself! So it's not to far below a budget smartphone, you think to yourself after struggling to read the above sentences. When is this coming to America, you ask? Alas, the answer isn't as easy as it sounds!

US$29 Nokia 215 launched in Developing World Countries - How Microsoft's Nokia Mobile division will conquer India

For Americans wanting this US$29 phone, I’m sorry, but this isn't for you.

 It's for the Developing World peeps in these following Territories in the First Quarter of 2015 who can't afford an Apple iPhone or are restricted from owning one:

1.      Middle East
2.      Africa
3.      Asia
4.      Europe

So why those territories and no Developed World Countries like USA, Canada and England!????

For the Middle East read Qatar and Saudi Arabia, where the restrictive caveats of their Telecoms Regulators don't permit high powered smartphones with IM (Instant Messaging) services that uses hard encryption.

Terrorists love those.

Asia is really India, China and the Far East, as these markets are still growing despite rumours of a slowdown in the Chinese market! China has similar restrictions like the Islamic States, thus making them a market still not yet fully exploited.


India, though, is a Greenfield that's so lucrative, that Huawei, Xiaomi and now Samsung are eagerly launch new smartphones in that region alone this 2015 as reported in my blog article entitled “Xiaomi in India after success in China - Xiaomi Looks to the West as the World is theirs for the Taking”,

Already Samsung has launched the Tizen OS based US$90 Samsung Z1 as stated in my blog article entitled “US$90 Samsung Z1 Launches in India - Xiaomi Redmi and Google Android One competition with Tizen OS and Samsung Galaxy S5 stylings”. 

Microsoft has truly made a calculated gamble in buying Nokia Mobile for soem US$7.2 billion dollars as reported in the article “Microsoft closes Nokia deal, pays more than expected”, published 25 April 2014 12:07 pm BST by Rich Trenholm, CNET News.

With signs of a turnaround now in the air based on the net profit of €443 million (roughly $505 million, £330 million, or AU$637 million) in 2014 as reported in the article “Nokia makes strong profit in year of 'first steps' after Microsoft sale”, published January 29, 2015 3:10 AM PST by Claire Reilly and Rich Trenholm, CNET News.

This strategy will help Microsoft's Nokia Mobile division will conquer Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's Home country of India in 2015, the Year of the Sheep!

Here’s the link:



Tumblr's Editing Tools for real bloggers – How Editing Tools make Tumblr hotter than Instagram

I currently have a Tumblr Account and trust me, this latest announcement for me is BIG indeed!

Tumblr is finally giving posters the power to edit their posts as reported in the article “Tumblr revamps writing tools in ‘big’ update”, published January 29, 2015 By Trevor Mogg, DigitalTrends.


Like I said, big news as per their Tumblr Press Release entitled “Big update Tumblr”. I currently either run as Administrator or work as an Associate Editor for at least one other blogs:


If you're a user of blogging platforms like Tumblr, you'll understand the frustration of editing on a platform that for the most part only allows you to post a picture or video and then add words at the bottom, usually in plain text.

Tumblr now caters to real bloggers – How Editing tools will make Tumblr hotter than Instagram

I have a Tumblr Blog but I haven’t decided on a Theme or a name for it as yet because of these issues. The alledged Editor will work in-line, a lot like those at publishing platform Medium as reported in “Tumblr Takes On Medium With Upgrades To Its Writing Interface And More”, published 28.01.2015 by Sarah Perez, Techcrunch.

I really was expecting the ability to modify HTML as well, for deeper control of the blog. After all, not so crazy about having to re-upload content I already have on Picassa as well as the fact that Tumblr will have access of all of it on one common platform, even if it is convenient to use!

Clearly, Tumblr isn't just about posting videos albeit Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer might have that idea in mind to get  YouTubers on her side as opined in my blog article entitled “Marissa Mayer's Yahoo Tumblr Partner Program - 30-70 Split to attract YouTube Stars, Value Brands and Grassroots Fans as Youtube's Kingdom Crumbles”.

There are writer and bloggers too who want to migrate from Blogger to Tumblr in order to take advantage of their rapidly growing community which alledgedly has some 420 million monthly active users back in October 2014 as noted in the article “Tumblr cleans up its interface in an attempt to entice longform writers”, published January 28, 2015 06:46 pm By Lizzie Plaugic, The Verge.


Hopefully more Writing centric Editing tools, which will b coming in the next two (2) days, to this already rich Blogging platform will attract quality writers and also content that's not just focused on posting pictures, Instagram-like in fashion.

Can’t wait to start finally using my Tumblr Blog!
 



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

doTERRA and FarmupJamaica – Jamaican Ginger shortfall as Red Stripe Project Grow could boost acreage for Ginger Wine and Beer

“We are absolutely thrilled to be here in beautiful Jamaica planting some of the best ginger in the world, and we want our efforts here to impact the lives of Jamaicans in this community,"

Co-founder and Executive Vice-President of doTERRA, Gregory Cook in an interview on Thursday January 22nd 2015 with the Jamaica Gleaner on the growing of Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) 

It is truly a rare sight indeed to see white people hard at work in a country mostly ruled by black people.

But that was indeed the case on Thursday January 22nd 2015 when Hundreds of Americans from Utah-based group doTERRA who have an interest in selling essential Oils, decided to farm up some ten (10) acres of previously forested land in Haddo, Westmoreland in Jamaica to grow Ginger as stated in the article “Ginger Planting Project Successful”, Published Tuesday January 27, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.




Partnered with New York based NGO (Non Governmental Organization) Farm Up Jamaica, doTERRA, being the world’s largest producer of essential oils was basically in Jamaica to secure their small plot of land to organize and grow Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) to supply the growing demand for Essential Oil made from Ginger (Zingiber Officinale).

To be honest it wasn't all Americans; a few visitors came from France, China, Japan, and Mexico. Of particular note was a participant from North Idaho, Stephanie Newton, who also had her three (3) month old baby Rudie, tag along to the farm with her.



Founder and Chairman of Farm Up Jamaica Neil Curtis wants this to go national, quote: “Today proves that we can replicate this concept on a bigger scale right here in Jamaica many times over, and we are certainly looking for more support from across the Jamaican Diaspora to enable us to do more”.

So why come to Jamaica? Apparently, we’re not producing enough Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)!

doTERRA and Farm up Jamaica – Why Jamaican shortfall in Ginger Production means you gotta do it yourself

Apparently, Jamaica isn't doing enough to increase their Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) production. Achieving 5% of Global Demand by 2019 is a long ways off as noted in my blog article entitled “ Ministry of Agriculture say Ginger can achieve 5% of Global demand by 2019 - Boost to Ginger Farming Coming as it’s easy to Grow”, so they decided to come to Jamaica and do it themselves.


At the end of the growing period, which is about eight to ten (8 to 10) months, they'll come back to Jamaica again, harvest the Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) themselves and use it to make Essential Oils that they'll export to some fifty (50) countries around the world.



Teenagers from Knockalva Agricultural School in nearby Ramble, close to Haddo, Westmoreland, came by to give a helping hand. doTERRA plans to hand over management of the Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) Farm to the students of the Knockalva Agricultural School until their return in the next eight to ten (8 to 10) months in time for harvest.



Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) farm management is a good experience for them, as it'll give them experience in running a Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) Farm Project as well as to learn from the doTERRA participants the best methods of making Essential Oil and other VAP (Value Added Products) from Ginger (Zingiber Officinale).

GOJ and Ginger Production – Red Stripe could also boost acreage for their Ginger Wine and Beer

For their part, doTERRA is quite forthcoming with their knowledge; the girls of Montego Bay High School have benefited from a training workshop held by the Essential Oil people.

It'll be interesting to see how the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) may seek to expand on this interest in Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) and Tumeric.



It would be interesting for Red Stripe to include Ginger along with Cassava under their Project Grow Initiative, as they already produce a Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) flavoured Red Stripe whose demand may be steadily growing as predicted in my blog article entitled “Red Stripe's Sorrel Beer - Opens up the Possibility of a Jamaican Fruit Tree of Beer Flavours”.

Jamaica has a long way to go to even reach the 1,460 hectares (3607.7 acres) to be under Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) production in order to produce the 21,000 metric tons (tonnes) needed to achieve 5% of Global world demand for Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) by 2019.

doTERRA and Farm Up Jamaica is an indication that there is strong interest in Jamaican Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)!

Here’s the link:





Apple CEO says Apple Watch coming April 2015 - Developer on Red Alert for Customizable Metals and Minerals Sophistication

The Apple Watch is coming!

So says I, Paul Revere, alerting all of my readers, as the long awaited product that was set to come in the Spring of 2015 as per the article “Apple Watch Set For Spring Debut, 'iPad Pro' Later In 2015”, published 11/03/2014 @ 2:24AM by Mark Rogowsky, Forbes finally has a date: April 2015.

According to CNET News, CEO of Apple Tim Cook announced that the Apple iWatch will start shipping in April 2015 as stated in the article “Apple Watch to start shipping in April”, published 27 January 2015 10:15 pm GMT by Shara Tibken, CNET News.


He apparently let the News drop during a session with analysts after their Earning Call where they announces some impressive sales figures for the Fourth Quarter of 2015 as stated in the article “Apple rings up big holiday sales thanks to larger-screen iPhone 6”, published January 27, 2015 1:47 PM PST by Shara Tibken, CNET News. These sales figures have now been confirmed to be the best sales Quarter in their 38 year history!

More on their sales figures in another article as we expected the Apple iPhone 6 and their fellow stablemates to break records; the star of the show right now is the Apple Watch.



It'll be price for sure: US$349 upwards for the various versions of the Apple Watch, it's clearly for the jet set and will be sold more like a Luxury Brand, like the US$349 MB Chronowing Wristwatch as described in my blog article entitled “US$349 MB Chronowing Wristwatch - HP's Overpriced Notification Tracker caters to Luxury Market on a Gilt Trip

Right now, let’s move on to some basic info about the Apple Watch!

Apple Watch Specs - Customizable sophistication swathed in valuable Metals and Minerals

It'll also come in two different sizes that'll be very expensive as stated in the article “Apple Watch release date, price and everything you need to know”, published 28.01.2015 By Luke Edwards & Rik Henderson, Pocket-Lint.

According to Apple analyst John Gruber, those prices are as follows:

1.      US$1,000 Apple Watch Sport for stainless steel and sapphire
2.      US$5,000 Apple Watch Edition for the 18-karat gold and sapphire

The square faced Apple Watch will come in two different sizes that can be worn on either wrist:

1.      38mm height
2.      42mm in height

If you were wondering about Apple's use of Sapphire, yes, you have a choice of the type of Glass that you Apple Watch will have:

1.      Sapphire Crystal
2.      Ion-X glass

In fact the Apple Watch will be fully accessorizable and is coming in a variety of material:

1.      18-Karat Rose Gold
2.      18-Karat Yellow Gold
3.      Silver Aluminium
4.      Space Black Stainless Steel
5.      Space Grey Aluminium
6.      Stainless Steel

As for the Bands, there is more than enough variety to please even the most choosiest of persons, represent some of the more popular styles:

1.      Classic Buckle
2.      Leather Loop
3.      Link Bracelet
4.      Milanese Loop
5.      Modern Buckle
6.      Sports Band

Still no word on the Battery life, only rumours.

If it’s not easy to charge or if it’s less than that of a typical luxury Wristwatch i.e. measured in months not hours as opined in my blog article entitled “Apple considering Inductive, Solar and Kinetic Charging for Apple iWatch - Apple iWatch will start the Post-Power Adapter Era and kill the power Brick, the last vestage of the Analog Era”, it won’t sell very well, as the convenience of charging has to be taken into consideration as part of the design aesthetic.

So what makes the Apple Watch special? Aside from the precious material that are used to design it and give it that customized look, it is really no different from any other smartwatch!

Much ado about Apple Watch - Apple Watch has no GPS, Calling but has NFC based Apple Pay

Aside from these aesthetic Details, the Apple Watch has few things to brag about specs wise that differentiate it from the Wearables market that’s slowly being flooded with a bewildering list of devices. Its Apple Watch Digital Crown wheel albeit well made, really just adds a retro look to a physic la button that allows scrolling within the Apple Watch without smudging the screen.

There is also a small button on the side just below the Digital Crown that accesses synched contacts from your smartphone; remember, this device can’t make calls, but it synchs with the Apple iPhone 6 via Bluetooth 4.0, keeping you in the loop even when you on a brisk morning job.


It's got no Touch ID like the Apple iPhone 6 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus as noted in my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus - No Sapphire Screen but 128GB Storage and NFC-powered Apple Pay in Apple's Biggest iPhone Launch”.

But it does come packing NFC to power their Apple Pay Platform, which might include Paypal as a Payment wallet as predicted in my blog article entitled “Apple supports PayPal for US and UK Item Purchases - How Jamaicans can purchase Apple iPhones online as Fappening haunting Apple”.



Heart rate sensors a built into this beauty, suggesting that it also doubles as a fitness tracker thanks to Apple Health Apps, which interestingly can work with other fitness Trackers as noted in the article “How to use a Fitbit with Apple Health”, published Dec. 24, 2014 - 9:00 AM PST by Kif Leswing, Gigaom.


However, no built in GPS or the ability to make phone Calls like the Samsung Galaxy Gear S as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Samsung's Galaxy Gear S Smartwatch coming to Jamaica while Reppin' for Tizen”.

At least it's got Apple iTunes and Beats Music, making it possible that you might be able to stream music via Bluetooth to a pair of Bluetooth enable Speakers or even headphones, such as the US$299.95 Solo2 Wireless as described in my blog article entitled “US$299.95 Solo2 Wireless coming November 2014 - US$249.95 Hello Kitty Solo2 and US$149.95 Hello Kitty UrBeats launches as Beats Audio coming to iOS 8.0”.

But a curious question is lingering in my mind: why did Apple announce the Month of the intended shipment for the Apple Watch? Normally Apple keeps this kinda stuff to themselves.

Apple CEO says Apple Watch coming April 2015 - Developer and Retailers placed on Red Alert

This may simply be for Developers to get their head in the game and ready their Apps for the tiny little screen as noted in the article “Tim Cook Says Apple Watch Ships In April”, published 27.01.2015 by Darrell Etherington, Techcrunch.



Most of these Developers have no Apple Watch to play with, merely a simulation Software environment. With no idea how successful the Apple Watch will be, they must be on pins and needles as to what to expect of all their work. The anxiety of now knowing the launch date plays well into that anxiety.


Now that the month of April 2015 is set on their calendars, they know that the sand is running out of the hourglass and they have three (3) months to get their head in the game.

And what a game it will be, as there are many competitors that have already set their sights on Apple. One such noteworthy competitor is Microsoft who had launched their US$199 Microsoft Band with the potential to compete in this Wearable space back in October 2014 as opined in my blog article entitled “US$199 Microsoft Band - Fitness Tracker with Microsoft Health Apps and Windows Phone Executive Perks with Cortana Voice Commands

CEO Tim Cook has fired a warning short to both competitors and Developers who must now be on Red Alert; Get your head in the Game as Apple is coming strong in April 2015, the Month in the Year of the Sheep after a successful Fourth Quarter of 2014!