Monthly Archives: April 2016

Technology Say About Farming Business

The U.S. cannabis market is very promising. It’s so exciting that thousands of industry movers and observers descended upon theCannabis World Congress and Business Exposition on Sept. 7 in Los Angeles, to share their ideas and developments in the cannabis space.

There was some talk at the four-day event about how American marijuana producers are behind the curve in terms of farming innovation. American investors are putting big money into cannabis retail futures, but even bigger money is going to high-tech cannabis farming in other countries. Israel, for example, has been labeled “The World’s Cannabis Research Leader” where companies like Philip Morris have made a significant investment.

This New Economy

“Every business can touch the future cannabis economy,” says Saul Kaye, founder and CEO of iCAN, a Beit Shemesh, Israel-based marijuana startup accelerator and consultancy. “If you’re a marketer, if you’re an online guru, if you are a tech person, if you want to develop a drug, a prescription medication, if you want to develop grow-tech, everything can be developed into this new economy.”

Research in this space in Israel centers largely on developing the potential of medical marijuana and its derivatives for mass production and distribution. Such focus could lead to a synthetic with no need for agro-farming. Despite that direction, research will produce valuable bits and pieces that others may adapt to cannabis farming and harvesting.

Up-By-The-Bootstraps

Under the radar, bootstrapped amateur farming methods continue to rule in the U.S. However, the launch of Newport Beach, Calif.-based cannabis agricutlure startup Terra Tech Corp. the first publicly-traded medical marijuana producer, and the continued government-contracted medical marijuana research at the University of Mississippi, could lead to standardizing methods, processes and quality.

Related: Meet the Yelp for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

What Does It Take?

The high-tech challenge is to produce large quality crops indoors where lighting, climate and cultivation often present problems. Cultivation, growth and harvesting require close watch, continuous monitoring and pricey equipment. High-tech cannabis farming also means planning for space, soil composition, energy cost and climate control. Choices are additionally influenced by square footage, market potential and scale of production.

A large number of operations are using farm technologies that have been developed for other agra-industries, such as large-scale food production. “There are technologies in climate control, soil management, nutrient applications, integrated pest management and the like, all being used in both large-scale food production and large-scale cannabis cultivation,” said Rachel Gillette, a Denver-based marijuana regulatory compliance attorney and shareholder with the law firm Greenspoon Marder.

The High-Tech Alternative

One advanced technology marijuana-growing alternative is hydroponics. Hydroponic systems let you grow cannabis without soil. Plants are rooted in nutrient-rich water in any number of configurations. Among these are:

  • Passive systems: In passive hydroponics, you set plants above a reservoir of nutritious solution, which the plant absorbs through a wick, which feeds, not smothers, them.
  • Active systems: Programmed mechanical systems feed the cannabis roots.

    • Ebb and flow: These systems periodically flood the root systems and then drain for 20 minutes.
    • Bubbler systems: An air pump regularly percolates a nutrient solution up towards the roots systems of suspended plants.
    • Drip feed: Drip tubes feed nutrients from above into the plant’s potting medium.
    • Nutrient film: Water passes down a tray where it feeds a number of plants 24 hours-a-day.
    • Aeroponics hydro grow: This suspends seedlings above a dark growth chamber set at 100 percent humidity to maximize the oxygen and nutrients absorbed.

Apps to Help More Easy Life

Yes, there’s an app for that too. The 12 below help with stress management, sleep, and more, easing anxiety disorders and helping you live a healthier, happier life.

1. Pacifica: Track and rate your mood over time, learn muscle relaxation exercises and deep breathing techniques, and set health goals for yourself. You can record your thoughts to develop positive thinking patterns and identify toxic ones. The app also helps users understand personal triggers.

2. Breathe2Relax: This app does exactly what it promises. Created by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, it aids in diaphragmatic breathing that decreases the body’s natural “fight-or-flight” response — a big aspect of anxiety, anger, and general mood instability.

3. Headspace: Stress, memory loss, focus, interpersonal relationships, creative blocks… this “personal trainer for the mind” app covers it all. 10-minute meditation lessons aim to strengthen health, performance, and relationships. This app is on the pricier side though — subscriptions cost between $6.24 and $12.95 a month.

4. Positive Activity Jackpot: Another app from the National Center for Telehealth & Technology. This one uses a therapeutic method known as Pleasant Event Scheduling (PES), recommending activities based on the user’s location and interests. You can invite friends, save favorite spots, and tag activities you participate in for future reference.

5. PTSD Coach: Created by the National Center for PTSD, this app helps veterans suffering or at risk of suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. With educational material and a self-assessment tool, it enables users to manage stress and find support.

6. Recovery Record: This highly rated app draws on cognitive behavioral therapy and self-monitoring methods to help manage eating disorders. Users can keep a food journal, make meal plans, and learn coping methods. Questionnaires help track their progress and produce visual charts documenting their journey.

7. Worry Watch: This journaling tool has a simple user interface where users can log instances of worry, fear, and anxiety. They can also add the outcome of each situation, which provides a comparison between expectation and reality that helps reduce anxiety over time.

8. I Can Be Free: This app helps with anxiety, phobias, insomnia, and low self-esteem, offering more than 50 audio hypnosis sessions by well known hypnotist Jacob Strachotta. The sessions help target a variety of common fears.

9. Relax Melodies: This sleeping aid fights insomnia and stress with more than 50 fully customizable sounds and tunes. The blog also offers lifestyle tips to improve sleep.

10. Mindshift: Aimed at teens and young adults suffering from anxiety, this app allows users to log thoughts and feelings. It also offers exercises that encourage positive thinking.

11. Stress Doctor: This app takes you on a deep breathing exercise to promote calmness and can bring your heart rate down in five minutes. The app provides instant feedback with breath and pulse monitoring and tracks long-term progress.

Know About Google Fiber

Google Fiber has slowly been spreading to U.S. cities, and its recent acquisition will bring it to five additional ones. Its goal is to reduce the cost and increase the availability of high-speed internet.

Related: Google Fiber Team Looks to Cut Costs, Staff

Fiber’s development, however, has been slow, to say the least. But this latest acquisition by Google and its new license with the FCC will likely help get the initiative moving a little faster. Here are six things you should know that will help you understand Google Fiber.

1. Slow development up until now

Many people assumed Google Fiber would be available in all major cities almost instantly. After all, it was a Google product — and that mega-company essentially has unlimited funds, so everyone expected a fast launch. It’s been the complete opposite, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

The growth of Google Fiber should speed up now that it is focused on 5G. Its acquisition of Webpass, a company that was deeply invested in 5G networks and wireless technology, along with a license granted by the FCC to explore “experimental radio service” in 12 cities over the next 24 months, is a good sign for the future.

2. Cities that currently offer Google Fiber

Google Fiber is currently available in these nine areas:

  • Atlanta, Ga.
  • Austin, Texas
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Kansas City, Kansas
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Provo, Utah
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill “Triangle,” N.C.

 

3. Where Google Fiber will land next

Some cities that have already been confirmed as upcoming Fiber locations include:

  • Huntsville, Ala.
  • Irvine, Calif.
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • San Francisco, Calif.

Potential locations include:

  • Chicago, Il.
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Portland, Ore.

Related: Chicago and Los Angeles Could Get Google Fiber. And That’s a Very Big Deal for Entrepreneurs.

Some experts have been performing their own research and crunching data to come up with a list of logical cities where Google Fiber might land next.

4. What speed to expect from Google Fiber

Google Fiber speeds are fast — very fast.

A gigabit per second, or 1000 Mbps, is attractive, especially for households that have multiple internet users and devices. Multiple computers, laptops, mobile devices and tablets can really bog down a traditional internet connection.

With Fiber, multiple devices can stream simultaneously without causing any performance issues. If you want to visually understand how fast a gigabit is, check out this video.

App super smart that will be help you more

Facebook is more than just the largest social-media platform on the planet. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based behemoth also uses its vast resources to help app developers make super-smart products.

If you haven’t already, say hello to Facebook Analytics for Apps. Since launching in 2015, more than 800,000 unique apps have used the service. And for good reason.

Facebook recently added web measurement and cross-platform analytics to the service’s growing stable of services. Leveraging demographics and rich audience insights from Facebook’s 1.7 billion users, the service offers developers a simple, streamlined way to understand the people who use their native mobile apps, desktop web and mobile web presences.

With that knowledge, developers can optimize the customer experience and reach them more effectively. Facebook Analytics for Apps goes beyond the usual stats like age and gender to provide anonymized and aggregated audience information including job titles, education level and even what Facebook Pages your customers like.

“Driving retention, engagement and conversion are important [for developers] and we wanted to lean on our expertise and infrastructure to help partners with the full set of growth tools,” says Facebook Product Manager Josh Twist.

“We have a saying to ‘think people, not devices,’” he continues. “If you’re not looking at a cross-platform picture to understand how individuals are using multiple devices then you’re not fully understanding user behavior.”

And it’s 100 percent free to use. You don’t need to use Facebook Login or any other of the company’s products to start developing smarter apps with Facebook Analytics for Apps.

Here, Twist talks about three tools within Facebook Analytics for Apps that highlight the service’s power to help developers create smarter apps and grow their businesses:

Cohorts: User retention is one of the most important parts of a developer’s growth strategy. As Twist says, “Without good retention you’re just pouring new customers into a leaky bath.”

The cohorts tool allows product teams to understand the retentive qualities of any event. For example, you can answer questions like “for a person who made a purchase in their first week as a user, how likely are they to return to the product in the following weeks?” Or, “how likely are they to make another purchase?”