Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg
and the Power of Numbers
August 26, 2013 - Some guys might
have started calling Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg
several names. Latest information reveals that
one Indian blogger has matter-of-factly said
Mark is a braggart while another analyst in
California has described him as 'a dreamer' or
simply as a noise maker for boasting about his
ambition to network the world's 5 billion
inhabitants. The Independent
reported yesterday that
called the initiative "a canny business move
dressed up to sound like charity".
Of course Mark Zuckerberg, 29,
might have talked in superlatives. But the
bottom line is that he understands the power of
numbers and if you review the disparity of
numbers across the world on internet access and
its growth, you will find merit in his ambition
and why it is do-able.
While explaining his mission, Mark
said 'The goal of Internet.org is apparently to
make web access available to the two-thirds of
the world who are not yet connected'. The man
who has also published a research paper entitled
'Is Connectivity a Human Right'
went on "Connecting the world is one of the
greatest challenges of our generation. There are
huge barriers in developing countries to
connecting and joining the knowledge economy. Internet.org brings together a global
partnership that will work to overcome these
challenges, including making internet access
available to those who cannot currently afford
A similarly strange call was made
Pathway to connecting the
) paragraph 17 where the author
There (in 2010) the author was actually arguing
the obvious that there is business to do in
giving access to everybody (the Last Man) and
that it is do-able.
To start with, the technology
companies Mark Zuckerberg has been able to draw
into his project are not pushovers of this world
and none of them would have acquiesced without
getting the firm backing of their shareholders.
Shareholders, believe it, are not patriots,
neither do they believe in NGO's. But when NGO's
can make the difference in the bottom line they
dash for it.
The entire strategy is there in
one of the focal points of the project namely
Making Access Affordable: which
expands into 'Partners will collaborate to
develop and adopt technologies that make mobile
connectivity more affordable and decrease the
cost of delivering data to people worldwide.
Potential projects include collaborations to
develop lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones
and partnerships to more broadly deploy internet
access in underserved communities. Mobile
operators will play a central role in this
effort by driving initiatives that benefit the
Like him or hate him, Mark
Zuckerberg has said nothing that nobody has ever
said. All that he is saying is that the world
has numbers and that numbers matter. To me what
excites me is that it is coming from a young man
of 29 who has done what nobody has ever done.
Let's inter-connect all citizens
of the world and see how good the world is to
The Above opinion was made
for CyberschuulNews by Titi Omo-Ettu
Communication Technology Council
charts a plan for
accelerated, wholesale ICT Empowerment
August 24, 2013 -
The National Council on Communication Technology,
NCCT, rose from its 2nd meeting in Akure
on Friday with a resolve that State
Governments adopt the approved
National Policy on Information and Communication
develop ICT policies that are aligned to the policy.
It also admonishes all state governments to
establish Ministries of Communication Technology and
to switch over to the gov.ng high level domain as
they maintain secured presence in the Cyberspace
with a target implementation date of 18th
It also recommended that all State Governments and
the FCT promote the Students PC Ownership Programme
scheme in all State tertiary institutions through
the Vice Chancellors and School administrations and
recommend the use of locally assembled PCs in all
State Government offices to further develop local
is an initiative of the Federal Government
to facilitate inter-governmental consultations on
ICT matters in order to avoid unnecessary
disparities in ICT policies in Nigeria. It has two
tiers; the Ministerial Meeting which is normally
attended by Commissioners in charge of ICT matters
in the states as advised by their Permanent
Secretaries and the Officials Meeting attended by
Permanent Secretaries or Senior Officials in charge
of ICT matters in all the Governments with
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communication
Technology as Chairman. The Council acts as a
consultative body for the Governments of the
Federation in matters pertaining to ICTs with a view
to achieving some degree of uniformity in the ICT
Chairman of the Council, Mrs. Omobola Johnson,
Federal Minister of Communication Technology, told
members in an opening speech that states have
several opportunities to latch on to in the National
Policy as well as in the on going implementation of
the National Broadband Plan.
She recognised that 5 states,
Akwa Ibom, Edo, Ekiti,
already taking important steps in
leveraging ICT for social and economic development
and invited all other
states to initiate
developments that can rapidly spread the
opportunities of ICT across the country.
She apprised the Council with the
progress made in the Communication Technology
industry in the past twelve years. The sector, she
has remained the fastest growing
sector of the Nigerian economy for 5 years,
contributing 8.53% to GDP, with
teledensity of 80.85%, 22.7%
of population subscribed to
Internet and 4,644
public access points to the internet.
out to be counted
as 6 tech companies float internet
for ALL initiative
August 21, 2013 - Seven Technology Companies Ericsson,
Facebook, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung have launched a project which they
plan to use in connecting two thirds of the world that world's
access data show are not connected to the internet at this time.
They call the project Internet.org
and a website is routing in that name.
Other initiatives which are known
for similar objective are promoted by Microsoft and Google using
different methods but equally huge investments.
Part of the promotional materials
internet.org is using on its website includes: 'No one should have
to choose between access to the internet and food or medicine.
Internet.org partners will join forces to develop technology that
decreases the cost of delivering data to people worldwide, and helps
expand internet access in underserved communities.'
It also says 'Transmitting data,
even a text message or a simple web page, requires bandwidth,
something that's scarce in many parts of the world. Partners will
invest in tools and software to improve data compression
capabilities and make data networks and services run more
In a way, these are platforms by
which all those participating companies will get their products and
services to everywhere in the world. The focus of the new plan will
be on lowering cost of access through projects such as low-cost
smartphones and working with mobile operators to deploy Internet
connectivity in under-served communities.
According to Facebook's CEO, Mark
Zuckerberg, initiator of the project, "Facebook has already invested
more than $1 billion to connect people in the developing world over
the past few years, and we plan to do more."
U-Turn - AT&T now accepts $100m
of the Connect America Fund
August 21, 2013 - AT&T has now told FCC it would
accept $100m of the Regulator's support funding for
rural broadband under the Connect America Fund Phase
1 to provide thousands of American's businesses and
homes with broadband internet access. About 129,000
locations that do not currently have access to at
least a 768/200 Kbps connection at this time will
benefit from the single action.
This is considered a good development for America
and perhaps for AT & T. Those who saw it coming
would express no surprise at the development.
The story is actually a long one within a short
In April 2012, the Federal Communications Commission
launched a new 'Connect America Fund' (CAF), which
was created as part of what the Commission called
'once-in-a-generation reform of the Universal
Service Fund (USF)'. It resulted from a unanimous
decision of the Commission to reform and modernise
USF to help connect every American to high-speed
Internet by the end of the decade, just as the Fund
did for telephone service in the 20th century.
$300m was put out in the Phase 1 of the Fund and
Carriers had 90 days to accept the funding, under
Predictably, Carriers shrugged at the Initiative and
reactions varied from one carrier to the other with
the big ones out rightly turning blind eye to the
AT&T in particular declined the CAF support that was
available to it, on the argument that it was yet
uncertain about its own strategy for rural areas, as
well as uncertainty about some of the obligations
associated with acceptance of the CAF money.
Verizon also declined while others like CenturyLink
appreciated the Federal Communications Commission's
reconsideration of some important aspects of its U
service Fund transformation order. It took $54m
after some alignment of the FCC rules.
There had been several tweaking and tampering with
the original rules by FCC to ensure delivery and the
situation might have got to where AT&T was able to
say yesterday via Hank Hultquist, its Vice President
(Regulatory), that 'the uncertainty has been
resolved such that acceptance of this funding, and
the associated obligations, now makes sense for
United Nations to light-up
ISPON's National Software Conference 2013
August 20, 2013 -
There is very high prospect that the forthcoming National Software
Conference scheduled for October 22 - 23, 2013 in TINAPA Calabar
will improve the global ICT rating of Nigeria with attendant benefit
to its Foreign Direct Investment potential.
An array of international scholars and consultants are already
assembled to discuss Emeritus Prof Tapio Varis' keynote on "SORWORK
- Software Strategies for Retooling the Workforce".
Prof Tapio Varis is the UN Chair on e-Learning. He is also acting
president, UNESCO - our Global University System, Board Member of
the Center for Media & Peace Initiatives in New York, and Board
member of UNESCO Institute for the Information Technologies in
Education, IITE. The Professor is known to have confirmed to Mr.
Chris Uwaje, President ISPON, that the Conference theme is strongly
favoured by all the international bodies he is associated with and
it will receive a preview at the Board meeting of IITE in Moscow on
September 12-15, 2013.
The high-grade faculty of eminent discussants of Prof Tapio Varis'
keynote includes Engr. Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, Prof. Pat Utomi, Hon. Amb.
Nkoyo Toyo, Engr. Alfred Okoigun, Mrs. Barbara James, Prof. Charles
Ayo, and Prof. Musbau Akanji.
Information from ISPON Secretariat is that a confirmed list of
delegates will include International/ECOWAS ICT Experts, Nigerian
ICT Professionals/Engineers, Hot-Head Coders/Software-Developers,
Government Policy makers from Federal and State MDAs, Lecturers and
Researchers, Venture Capitalists, Students of tertiary institutions,
ICT Journalists and other stakeholders.
There is also the Broadband Pavilion which ISPON
says is aimed at
- Championing Broadband Advocacy: Creating the
critical mass of Broadband awareness to the rural
areas of Nigeria, where about 72% of the population
- Improving Infrastructure: Rapidly improve the
deployment of national ICT infrastructure and
Increase the Broadband penetration for universal
- Boosting GDP: Accelerate economic productivity and
improve the national GDP index
Last Mile: Accelerate Last mile connectivity in
- Attracting Investment: Attracting new
international investment in FDI to the ICT Sector,
- Promoting Local Content: Promoting Local Content
to enhance global competitiveness.
for flights, voyages and train travels
August 20, 2013 -
There has been significant progress in earth-based
transmitters, allowing antennae attached to
fast-moving vehicles to track the movement of
orbiting satellites and thus send and receive data
UK Regulator OfCom is reported to be making plans
for aircrafts, trains and sea vessels to take
advantage of advanced satellite communication via
the Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms - ESOMPs,
which it says are the future of providing broadband
The Regulator says three parts of the radio spectrum
would soon become available for use on tracking
orbiting satellites to offer send and receive data
MTN fires another Senior Executive
August 19, 2013 - One month after the exit of Nazir
Patel who had to be fired for finance related
issues, another one, Mr. Robert Madzonga, chief
corporate services officer of MTN in SA has been
suspended for reasons which MTN says are 'internal
matters' but which is publicly known to be related to
irregular payment involving R12.2m ($1.2m).
The story commenced mid 2012 when MTN's senior legal
adviser Violet Magagane became suspicious of an
invoice from a law firm, Nozuko Nxusani for work
allegedly done. She discussed the matter with higher
officials and it lead to her being retrenched for
making the exposure. She went to court to challenge
For over one year, Sunday Times in South Africa has
been on top of the story which is rooted in
squabbles for power and position within the firm. It
is not known if MTN reached its conclusion to
suspend Madzonga after extensive investigation but
it is clear the firm has told him to stay off work
Robert Madzonga, is obviously fighting it out as he
is reported to have regarded the charges as
improperly made up. He practiced law before coming
into the telecom industry. Prior to joining MTN,
Robert Madzonga was with Chamber of Mines (Rand
Mutual Assurance), Edward Nathan & Friedland Inc,
Basil Read Construction, Standard Bank and Telkom.
He holds a variety of post-graduate degrees from UCT
and Wits University. He is not expected to go down
without a fight.
NEWS short takes
August 15, 2013 -
Cisco to dump 4,000 jobs
August 15, 2013 - Cisco says it will cut 5% of its
work force amounting to 4000 in 2014 in spite of its doing well
financially. The Company's CEO John Chambers said it is not about
doing well in the books but being where it ants to be.
Smart phone grows,
feature phones decline – Gartner
August 15, 2013 - Gartner Inc says Worldwide Mobile
Phone Sales Grew 3.6 Percent in Second Quarter of 2013. Smartphone
sales to end users reached 225 million units, up 46.5 percent from
the second quarter of 2012. Sales of feature phones to end users
totaled 210 million units and declined 21 percent year-over-year.
Samsung is world's No 1.
Ask Google, and ye shall get info
August 15, 2013 - Google has rolled out
voice-activated services for which it can supply personal
information regarding flights, reservations, purchases plans and
Google's Product Manager, Roy
Livne, said midweek 'we've been offering this kind of info-flights,
reservations, appointments and more-for more than a year in Google
Now. We've gotten great feedback on how convenient it is, especially
when you're on the go. Now that it's in Google Search, you can get
it anytime you need it'. Limited to US users for now though.
'No Privacy guaranteed' - Google
Google has said in a privacy US court filing that "Just as a sender
of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the
recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based
email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the
recipient's [email provider] in the course of delivery. 'Indeed, a
person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he
voluntarily turns over to third parties".
For the Record
About GOOGLE'S PROJECT LOON
August 15, 2013
Many of us think of the Internet
as a global community. But two-thirds of the world's population does
not yet have Internet access. Project Loon is a network of balloons
traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural
and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back
online after disasters.
Project Loon balloons float in the
stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather. They are
carried around the Earth by winds and they can be steered by rising
or descending to an altitude with winds moving in the desired
direction. People connect to the balloon network using a special
Internet antenna attached to their building. The signal bounces from
balloon to balloon, then to the global Internet back on Earth.
"The purpose of these flights is
to allow us to research various approaches for improving the
technology, like the power systems (solar panel orientation and
batteries), envelope design, and radio configuration,"
The balloon effort is in its very
MICROSOFT'S BILL GATES says:
"When you're dying of malaria, I
suppose you'll look up and see that balloon, and I'm not sure how
it'll help you. When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there's no website
that relieves that, Certainly I'm a huge believer in the digital
revolution. And connecting up primary-health-care centers,
connecting up schools, those are good things. But no, those are not,
for the really low-income countries, unless you directly say we're
going to do something about malaria."
Jean Kimayala now Chairman Airtel in DRC
August 115, 2013 - Bharti Airtel,
world's No 4 mobile services provider in terms of customer base,
with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, has
announced the appointment of Mr. Jean Pierre Kiwakana Kimayala as
Board Chairman for Airtel's operations in the Democratic Republic of
Mr. Tiemoko Coulibaly, Airtel's
CEO for the Francophone region in Africa who made the announcement
said: 'The appointment of this highly experienced executive
reinforces our commitment to our operations in the DRC. Airtel has
invested heavily in the country in order to connect more people and
to empower them socially and economically'.
New IPad expected Sept 10
August 14, 22013 - Apple will unveil new iPad models,
including one with a thinner design and an iPad mini with a
high-resolution screen, on September 10.
For many years, Apple has launched
new products in autumn. There will also be upgrades of the software
for mobile devices.
It is speculated that a 'budget iPhone' alongside a brand new iPhone to compete with the Samsung
Galaxy S4 may also be in the deal
windows 8.1 too for Oct 17
marketing communications manager, Brandon LeBlanc, has also
announced today, in a mark-your-calendar tweet that Windows
8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide on 17 October as a free update
for users running Windows 8. It will also hit retail outlets and be
available on new device hardware at the same time.
Windows 8.1 will also be
available at retail and on new devices starting on October 18th by
only nano-fraction of web data' - NSA
August 13, 2013 - The US National
Security Adviser may have decided to tell the world his mission had
been totally misunderstood. Even when he made a public appearance on
the controversial PRISM project. he looked more like 'its your right
and turn to talk. Please do it'.
Now he claims its agents only saw
0.00004 percent of the world's web traffic while conducting their
The agency made the claim in a
The National Security Agency: Missions,
Authorities, Oversight and Partnerships, and said in
an emphasized banner: "According to figures published by a major
tech provider, the internet carries 1,826 Petabytes of information
per day. In its foreign intelligence mission, NSA touches about 1.6
percent of that. However, of the 1.6 percent of data, only 0.025
percent is actually selected for review. "The effect is that NSA
analysts look at 0.00004 percent of the world's traffic in
conducting their mission - that's less than one part in a million.
Put another way, if a standard basketball court represented the
global communications environment, NSA's total collection would be
represented by an area smaller than a dime on that basketball
The 7 page report of August 9,
2013 did not explain away that the entire mission was misrepresented
when technology companies initially denied involvement, an issue
that actually made the normally secret business of national security
become and issue of unusual public interest.
Last Friday, President Obama
pledged that he would take steps to inject more oversight and
transparency into the NSA and yesterday the President announced the
creation of the oversight panel.
Meanwhile an email firm
has shut down its business saying it has been 'forced to make a
difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the
American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by
shutting down Lavabit.'
Blackberry may go on Sale
August 13, 2013 - Strong indication that Blackberry
make give itself up for sale was almost confirmed yesterday when the
firm announced that it had set up a Committee of 5 to be chaired by
to consider the move.
The Committee is to explore
strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order
to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment. These alternatives could
include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic
partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible
With the announcement of the
Special Committee, Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial
informed the Company that he felt it was appropriate to resign due
to potential conflicts that may arise during the process. Fairfax
Financial is the largest BlackBerry shareholder. Mr. Watsa said, "I
continue to be a strong supporter of the Company, the Board and
Management as they move forward during this process, and Fairfax
Financial has no current intention of selling its shares."
Blackberry, formerly RIM (Research
in Motion), has not been able to drive back into shape even after
the launch of its Z10, Q10 brands and a new operating systems on
which it pitched its hope of returning to reckoning.
announcement also added that 'there can be no assurance that this
exploration process will result in any transaction. The Company does
not currently intend to disclose further developments with respect
to this process, unless and until its Board of Directors approves a
specific transaction or otherwise concludes the review of strategic
Phase 3 Telecom plans
into rural and regional broadband expansion
August 12, 2013 - Phase3 Telecom's
4,500km of trans-Nigeria fibre network is to see major expansion
further into Nigeria's rural communities and also to Ghana and
Senegal to complete the West Africa's IP backbone.
Its Director of engineering, Mr
Ajibade Momolosho said in Abuja last week that an investment plan
for $68m in the next three years is about to commence. He pointed to
the effort of the Ministry of Communication Technology which is
working to reduce the prohibitive cost of Right of Way as a
stimulant to investment and an opportunity to contribute to economic
Obama talks low
as push comes to shove on Surveillance
August 10, 2013 - President Obama
found his words carefully as he addressed security matters yesterday
with the media and ended up pledging to check abuses in transparency
of surveillance programs. Apparently he does not see why government
should have interest in spying on ordinary Americans.
The good thing about how the
President and his security top men have approached the PRISM issue
had been that they did not come out to deny anything but rather make
arguments for how to work around it. Observers think that is honest
enough to open up a basis for constructive engagement on the
Things 'can and must be more
transparent' said Mr. Obama. "Given the history of abuse by
governments, it's right to ask questions about surveillance,
particularly as technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives,"
Although the President confirmed
he has confidence in the Program, he agreed that it was not enough
for him to have confidence, 'the American people also must have
confidence in it'.
It was suggested to Mr. Obama that
ex-NSA contractor staff Edward Snowden could after all be seen as a
patriot for his revelations considering the President's stand but he
snapped 'No I don't think Mr. Snowden was a patriot'
Edward Snowden got asylum in
Russia last week and America is reacting badly to it.
The Patriot Act, within which what
is now known as PRISM is embedded was crafted after the Sept. 11,
2001, attacks, was initiated as a terrorism-fighting tool to prevent
a similar attack from ever happening again. It has worked quietly
until leaks came by Edward Snowden's revelations and the media took
a meat of it. It was first denied by Technology firms that
surveillance on all users of their system was in place only for them
to recall such denials by saying all surveillance cooperation with
the National Security Adviser was judicially authorized.
Faster Internet on
4G will soon become commonplace in UK as Vodafone announces 4G
August 9, 2013 - Vodafone
has announced that it will launch its 4G service on August 29 to
customers in London and in 12 other cities by the end of the year.
It matches O2, which
launched last week, on lowest tariff of 26 pounds per month.
Three will come up by end
of the year while Everything Everywhere which pioneered 4G
launched at 21 pounds minimum price.
Offers are coming with various
salads of bundled services.
Vodafone said in a midweek release
that '4G is a big deal. It's the new generation of mobile network.
Vodafone 4G will give you ultra-fast speeds when you're out and
about, whether you're browsing the internet, streaming videos, or
sending emails. It also means faster downloads on the go.' And to
wet the appetite to its established customers who must be waiting
for the day, Vodafone says if you've got an iPhone 5 or Samsung
GALAXY S III or GALAXY Note II, Simply take it into a store , 'even
if you're still in contract, we'll knock off 70% of your remaining
contract charges. So you can upgrade your phone early and start a
fresh 4G contract.'
Yahoo! to change Logo,
August 8, 2013 - It is a predictable
ultimate going by the various innovations that Marissa Mayer brought
into her job in the past year. It's been at some dizzying speed come
to think of it.
This morning, yahoo announced it
would change its logo come September 4, 2013.
According to Chief Marketing
office, Kathy Savitt 'Over the past year, there's been a renewed
sense of purpose and progress at Yahoo!, and we want everything we
do to reflect this spirit of innovation. While the company is
rapidly evolving, our logo - the essence of our brand - should
'The new logo will be a modern
redesign that's more reflective of our reimagined design and new
experiences. To get everyone warmed up, we are kicking off 30 days
of change. Beginning now, we will display a variation of the logo on
our homepage and throughout our network in the U.S. for the next
month. It's our way of having some fun while honoring the legacy of
our present logo'
'We also want to preserve the
character that is unique to Yahoo! - fun, vibrant, and welcoming -
so we'll be keeping the color purple, our iconic exclamation point
and of course the famous yodel. After all, some things never go out
200 LTE networks launched in 76 countries
August 7, 2013 - GSA, the Global
mobile Suppliers Association, said in a Press Release today that 200 LTE networks in 76 countries were commercially launched by 31 July
146 commercial LTE networks were
in service at the end of 2012 and additional 54 operators have
launched LTE service in the first 7 months of 2013 with a 112%
annual growth is recorded in the past 2 months.
LTE is a mainstream mobile
broadband technology and is the fastest developing mobile system
technology ever. LTE service has been introduced to 12 new markets
so far this year: They include Chile, Iceland, Iraq, Lebanon,
Malaysia, New Zealand, Paraguay, Qatar, Spain, Thailand, US Virgin
Islands, and Venezuela.
Little addition to
what the GSA said on July 21, 2013.
chase Hackathon Record AT TINAPA
August 6, 201 3 -
26 Nigeria Youth Software Developers made up of under-and-post
graduate students gathered in TINAPA, Calabar last week to set a new
record in accelerated knowledge development - shooting at innovation
and creativity in conformity with International standard.
The Software Hackathon event was the pre-stage activity set to
create awareness for the Commissioning of the Knowledge incubator
project promoted by the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology
and the National Information technology Development Agency (NITDA).
The Information Technology Development Entrepreneur Accelerator (iDEA)
is a non-government organization established to establish and
promote knowledge Incubation in the country. While the Institute of
Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) is an Information
Technology Professional Group established about 14 years ago to
foster and promote National Software Development policy and the
drive the advocacy of Software Development and entrepreneur capacity
building in the Nigerian ICT Ecosystem.
This ISPON/iDEA Hackathon in Tinapa was a Corporate Technology
event. It was held as an idea hunt competition to help bridge the
innovation gap that exists between Nigerian Software Developers and
their Institutions. We have learnt that idea competitions can be a
first step towards more comprehensive innovation processes. The aim
and the design principles of the innovation competitions is
principally to encourage young Software Developers to participate in
an open innovation process, to trigger off their potential and
inspire their creativity with the aim of increasing their quality of
LE-MEDIA from Team 2 made up of Aboluwarin Olaoluwa David , Banjo
Mofesola Paul and Oladapo Oluwadara Glory won the first prize of
N450,000 with 3 Nokia Lumia Phones.
EDUCARE from Team 5 made up of Kester Uwaje and Tiamiyu Mubarak, won
the Second Prize of N250,000 and two Nokia Lumia phones.
HEALTHLAUNCH PAD from Team 8 made up of Mark Olofu and Temitope
Oguntade won the third price of N150,000.
KEEP NIGERIA ALIVE from Team 6 made up of Junior Pius Ekeh and
Eyinka Iheanyi won the 4th position and was rewarded with a
BlackBerry Z10 Phone.
ME-EXPLORER from Team 3 made up of Okwu Marcus Eke, Anyadike Iheanyi
and John Nnanna Oji won the 5th Position and was rewarded with a
BlackBerry Z10 Phone.
The Cross River State Governor motivated the participants (both
winners and losers) to gear up for the National Software Competition
- organized by ISPON and scheduled for 22-23 October in Tinapa
Knowledge City, Calabar, Cross River State, where Professor. Tapio
Varis the UN Chair of e-Learning is billed to deliver the Keynote.
The Minister of Communication Technology was represented by Dr.
Ashiru Daura - the Acting Director General of NITDA . Chris Uwaje -
the President of ISPON was the Lead Resource for the Hackathon.
NCC, Lagos State, parley on
Infrastructure, Broadband, Regulation
August 5, 201 3 - In an apparent foreplay to the
implementation of the National Broadband Plan, Executive
Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr Eugene
Juwah, must have began the necessary trouble shooting of the
essential problem areas which if not addressed might make the plan
difficult to realise.
He was, along with two other
Commissioners, guest of Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Governor of Lagos
State two weeks ago to apprise the Lagos Government on areas of
collaboration between the desire to have world class telecom
services and governments being part of the reapers of the fortunes
of ICT development.
The parley recognised that the all
important matter of Right of way charges and delays are being
discussed at the National Economic Council to which all Governors
belong. Juwah asked for Fashola's support all through.
"We are already aware that you are
involved with other governors in the National Economic Council in
discussing and finding solutions to the issue of RoW in the country
as currently being championed by Vice President Namadi Sambo. We
urge you to continue to support these patriotic efforts so that the
objectives of providing easy passage for telecommunications
infrastructure, to accelerate and encourage more investments in the
country, are realized".
Dr Juwah also acquainted the
Governor with the level of Nigeria's infrastructure deficit with
reference to the paucity of masts and towers in Nigeria with less
than 25,000 base stations compared with a country like UK with up
to 65,000 base stations adding that a 2009 survey by the NCC showed
that out of a total of 6, 196 masts and towers in Lagos, 48 per cent
belonged to corporate bodies and individuals, 25 per cent belonged
to telecom operators, 18% to banks, 8% to unidentified owners and 2%
to the broadcast industry. He said 'even if the number of base
stations owned by operators, which was 2, 975 then, had increased by
100%, it would still have fallen short of what is needed to serve
Lagos subscribers alone',
He also talked about
vandalisation, emergency communication centres, double and
inequitable taxation, and the need to support the Commission in
pursuit of the critical infrastructure bill at the National Assembly
especially as Lagos is mostly affected in any of these vandalisation
Mr. Fashola agreed largely with
his visitor but not on all the issues. While agreeing that the
Broadband plan has been well thought out, the Governor snapped "You
will regulate the allocation of frequencies, you will regulate
bandwidths and so many other things but you cannot regulate where
the towers and mast are positioned, you need me as indeed you need
all of my colleagues to determine where the right of way will be and
under what conditions and this was the point that we took"
He disagreed with the use of the
term multiple taxation as a proper way to describe levies being
imposed on operators for services rendered to them at state levels
as the operators' licenses for operation does not foreclose payment
for the land and other associated fees.
The two teams exchanged
pleasantries and gifts and ended the meeting on an understanding
that all Nigerians would make positive input into the works of
broadband expansion in the country.
It was very clear that Mr. Fashola
has a good grasp of the issues involved and he was going to moderate
his operatives where there might have been problems to resolve
especially as it was clear that the infrastructure regulation
is targeted only at telecommunication operators and the associated
charges are higher than what can be considered to be reasonable.
upgrades mobile and social media browsing
August 3, 2013 - Yahoo acquired Rockmelt during the
week in a manner slightly different from previous buy-overs. Here,
only some of Rockmelt's executives are moving to Yahoo under the
deal while two of its top guys, CEO Eric Vishria, will become Vice
President of products for Yahoo's media properties and CTO Tim Howes,
will become Vice President of engineering for Yahoo's mobile
RockMelt's Web browser, is a 2010
product with social media appeals and enables users to share content
over Twitter and Facebook. The product will be shut down end of
August while Yahoo incorporates the technology into its media
platform to deliver content in new ways.
On its website, Rockmelt said on
Friday 'We're excited to tell you that Rockmelt has been acquired by
Yahoo!. Yahoo! and Rockmelt share a common goal: To help people
discover the best content from around the web. In our short four and
a half years at Rockmelt, we've learned a lot about how you like to
browse the web, discover content, and share the great stuff you've
found. You've been right by our sides as we've celebrated successes,
endured failures, and invented new ways of doing things. You've
taught us a ton. And we plan to put everything we've learned to work
Coffee will mate with
as Starbucks partners Google on WiFi
July 31, 2013 - Google says it is
teaming up with Starbucks to bring faster, free WiFi connections to
all 7,000 company-operated Starbucks stores in the United States
over the next 18 months. That is to say whichever neigbhourhood
Starbucks WiFi network goes Google, locals will be able to surf the
web at speeds up to 10x faster than before.
This is another Google's
investment that makes Internet access speedier, more affordable, and
more widely available. The free Internet connection at Starbucks has
become an important part of many communities over the years, such as
in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, or for students without
Internet at home who do their homework at Starbucks.
According to Kevin Lo, General
Manager, Google Access 'we'll start rolling out the new networks
If you're in a Google Fiber city, we're hoping to get you a
connection that's up to 100x faster'.
Adewumi is new President of NCS
July 28, 2013 - A new President
was elected by the Nigeria Computer Society at its 11th
Annual Conference held in Iloko-Ijesa. He is Prof David Adewumi
Dean, College of Information and Communications Technology at Bells
University, Ota. He succeeds Mr. Demola Aladekomo.
The new President said he would
build on the standard already set by his predecessor and ensure
adherence to the core values of the Association.
He heads an executive committee
which also includes Prof Adesola Aderounmu (Deputy President); Dr.
Adesina Sodiya (Education & Manpower Development); Mrs. V. O.
Owolabi (Credentials); Mr. Moses Braimah (Conferences); Dr. Virginia
Ejiofor (Publications, Standards & Research); Mr. Abimbola Olayinka
(Ethics & Discipline); Mr. Jide Awe (Publicity, Events & Trade
services), and 7 other officials.
mount Hackathon in TINAPA
July 28, 2013 - Inspired by the
fact that software is a true 21st Century magic and indeed, that "we
now live in a Software-First World", and also challenged to be at
the cutting edge of global IT success, iDEA and the Institute of
Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) have concluded
arrangements to stage a World Class Software Hackathon holding at
the Tinapa Knowledge City, Calabar, Cross River State from 31st July
to 1st August2013. Hackathon means and is a knowledge event 'to
innovate and create something NEW'.
The event aims to correct the
misconception of 'what a Hacker is and what it is not' and propagate
the core values embedded in the concept and passion of technology
innovation and creative thinking, through the Hackathon platform.
According to Kevin McArthur, Herb
Lainchbury and Donna Horn (Open Data Hackathon Guide) - The Jargon
File. Hacker is a Noun and means. "A person who enjoys exploring the
details of programmable systems and stretching their capabilities,
as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum
The word "Hackathon" comes from combining the words
'Hack' and 'Marathon', and implies a long sprint to create something
useful in a single event.
Furthermore, the Hacker Ethic
originates from the early days of the computer revolution. Indeed,
to call someone a "Hacker" is viewed as a compliment. The Hacker
Ethic centers around the principle that information should be free
[as in speech], and that people should have the freedom to repurpose
everyday devices in new and unexpected ways.
Hacks are novel creations or
solutions to problems and the purpose of a Hackathon is to create
them. Hacks are not always elegant, and may sometimes be little
more than prototypes, but they can be transformative and expose new
ways of solving problems or analyzing data.
Why the iDEEA/ISPON Hackathon? The
ultimate objective is to expose Nigerian Software Startup Developers
to experience a superlative software coding baptism incorporating entrepreneural business model with impact to leapfrog them into the
next level of global development. The event is designed to inspire
and add tremendous value to youthful Software Developers and equip
them with 21st Century new skills.
While iDEA is the Chief Promoter
of the Hackathon, ISPON will facilitate and provide Professioinal
Technical support for the Event.
The facilities for the Hackathon
are ready and judging criteria will address three significant
Domains such as Business Model; Planning and Execution. This event
will instill Team Work Development based on sustainable business
plan - which is designed to attract Venture Capitalist and Angel
Investors who have an eye for the winning business of the near
According to Chris Uwaje -
President ISPON, the Hackathon is coming on the background that the
Hon. Minister of Communication Technology. - Mrs. Omobola Johnson -
has worked tirelessly to establish a Technology Knowledge Incubator
in Tinapa and tasked iDEA to ensure that the facility is operational
within the shortest possible time. ISPON supports the Minister's
Incubator Project and therefore committed to ensuring its success.
Above all, this is imperative,
especially when the initiative is viewed against the backdrop that
HE. Senator Liyel Imoke - the Governor of Cross River State - has
for many years endorsed and supported the National Software
Competition organised by ISPON for the Tertiary Institution - aimed
at discovering and building Code Warriors and Startups.
of Power promises improved Electricity
July 28, 2013 - Federal Minister
of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, told Nigerians, Sunday afternoon, to
'expect marked improvement, stabilisation of the national power
grid, additional power', and to 'prepare to junk their generators by
Mr. Nebo fielded questions from
journalists on an AIT Sunday afternoon program - 90 Minutes.
He however did not support the expressed high hopes with any new or
convincing information beyond what he repeatedly called 'President
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan's commitment to providing improved power for
The Minister said although Kainji
Power Plant is being overhauled, Shiroro is doing fine and Afam 1,
2, 3, and 4 are together supplying only 65 Megawatts from an
installed capacity of 700 Megawatts.
He was pressed for more reliable
facts and figures to justify his forecast and he put all hopes in the
'upcoming and uploading of NIPP Projects'.
A journalist who picked on
Corruption and Gas as issues that the Minister should specifically
told that 'although corruption is the bane of the Nigerian
society; President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is fighting it' just as
the issue of gas supply would be solved because 'the
Minister of Petroleum is addressing the problem of gas'.
He also praised 'President
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for doing the best thing to have revamped
the Rural Electrification Programme'.
How do you want Nigerians to Trust
you Hon Minister? He responded by sermonizing on how Nigeria will be
a wonderful place if power supply improves across the country and
people already have 22 hours of power daily in some parts of Abuja
while in Lagos some people also have 18 hours, although some have 8
One of the phone-in
participants of the TV interview commended the Minister for a good
work he has been doing because in her area 'there has been power all
the time' in recent times.
Bill is still in the works
July 27, 2013 -
Three actions and pronouncements of senior government officials in
recent time point to the direction in which cyber security apparatus
of government is going.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission,
Dr Eugene Juwah, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ITU last
Monday to set up a Regional Cybersecurity Centre in Nigeria. The
Regional Centre will facilitate collaboration on combating cyber
threats at the regional and national levels and develop strategies
for protecting children online.
Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson said in
Geneva at the Inauguration of Mrs. Patience Jonathan as ITU's Child
Online Protection Champion that Nigeria is already doing 'a number
of things' to protect the safety of children online but the
investiture of the First Lady would add more impetus to the delivery
and success of the initiatives.
Minister also told a Conference of the Nigeria Computer Society in
Iloko-Ijesa, Osun State that the Cybercrime bill being prepared for
submission to the National Assembly by the Ministry of Justice has a
clause that will enable the President to designate key ICT resources
as Critical National Information Infrastructure and punish cyber
cybercrime Bill has been in the draft for as long as online offences
had attracted the attention of concerned experts and users of the
We are reforming the IT
CommTech Minister tells IT Techies
July 26, 2013 - The Minister of
Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, told an audience of
predominantly IT professionals in
State yesterday that the focus of her Ministry's solution is to
build a resilient ICT infrastructure to which Nigerians have
affordable access and to increase the participation of local firms
in the sector, increasing the supply of local skills while
Government uses ICT to improve transparency, efficiency, and
productivity in governance and citizen engagement.
This is against the backdrop of
the desire to lift the industry from being a sector with tremendous
opportunity for growth and job creation which is being hampered and
constrained by significant fragmentation of the local industry
resulting in a predominance of small firms with little market share.
It is also a market known for
dominance of multinationals in almost every sector, a largely
undeveloped software industry, a hardware industry that has
struggled to grow and prosper and a poor supply of skills and talent
to the industry.
She said Government is already developing
robust, secure and shared IT infrastructure managed by Galaxy
Backbone and two specific platforms: Government Integrated Financial
Management Information System (GIFMIS) and the Integrated Personnel
Payroll Information System (IPPIS), are already delivering
Besides, an ICT cadre has been established allowing for the
development of high skills and a Council of ICT heads has been
created to ensure synergy and collaboration across Ministries.
She invited members of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) an indeed
the private sector as implementing partners as Government works to
create an enabling environment for efficient, secure ICT services
that will benefit Nigeria.
House of Reps' Electronic Voting system fails again
July 25, 2013 - The process of
voting and collation of the House of Representatives voting exercise
for a clause-by-clause review of parts of the Constitution resorted
to manual process on Wednesday as the electronic system failed
irretrievably. The electronic voting system installed in the House
of Representatives had been faulty and Government owned Satellite
Company, NigComSat Ltd, was reported to have offered to provide an
alternative electronic platform.
The NigComSat version also failed
to fly and the computer tablets which were distributed to all
members of the House in anticipation of using the electronic system
turned out useless.
Mr. Ahmed Rufai, Managing Director
of NigComSat, was monitored on Television early Thursday morning
confirming that his team was unable to operate the system and he
told Nigerians 'I apologise to the leadership and members of the
House of Representatives and indeed all Nigerians for this failure
for which I bear responsibility. I am very sorry indeed but I meant
It is unclear how the mandate of
NigComSat included the provision of electronic voting system which
the Company is known to have been floating for a while.
Google introduces Chromecast
- an online 'cast' tool
July 24. 2013 - Google said this
morning that its new
device called Chromecast will be on sale on some US shelves on July
28. Chromecast is a small and affordable ($35) device that you
simply plug in to your high-definition (HD) TV and it allows you to
use your phone, tablet or laptop to 'cast' online content to your TV
screen. It works with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and
Google Play Music, with more apps like Pandora coming soon.
Google says it wants to create an
easy solution that works for everyone, for every TV in the house.
Once your Chromecast is set up,
you can use your phone, tablet or laptop to browse and cast content
to your TV, play and pause, control the volume, and more. But unlike
other streaming solutions, you can still multitask-send emails or
surf the web-while enjoying what's on the TV screen. It works across
platforms-Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones, iPads, Chrome
for Mac and Windows (more to come), so your personal device is also
now your remote control.
Group appoints Mike Ikpoki as CEO for Nigeria
July 24, 2013 - Mr. Michael
Ikpoki, currently Chief Executive of MTN in Ghana has been named the
new Chief Executive Officer in Nigeria.
He replaces Mr. Brett Goschen who is said to have been posted to
South Africa to replace Mr. Nazir Patel the Chief Finance Officer
that resigned abruptly last week. Nazir's exit apparently triggered
a total shuffle at top posts in the MTN Group.
Mr. Ikpoki joined MTN from the
Nigerian Communications Commission in 2001 as Advisor and rose to
the headship of Regulatory affairs and later of sales in Northern
Nigeria before moving to Ghana in 2011 as Country Head and CEO.
Suave, responsive, and highly
cerebral, Mr. Mike Ikpoki is, according to many industry players in
Nigeria and Ghana, a
very good material that came from Nigeria and made it to the top
post in Nigeria. Arguably the highest a Nigerian has ever attained
in the Continent's largest mobile operator.
South Africa Computer Society Changes Name
Jyly 23, 2013 - Computer professionals in South
Africa yesterday changed the name of their Association from Computer
Society of SA to Institute of Information Technology Professionals
President Rabelani Dagada said the
institute was transforming from being a society to being ultimately
a statutory body. According to him, the philosophy was that the body
is no longer a club serving its members, but a respected
professional group serving its community.
President Rabelani Dagada told
CyberschuulNews exclusively that IITPSA has been recognized as an
Information Technology (IT) professional body by the South African
Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and it is the only professional
organization in the IT sector to receive this kind of recognition in
'As part of this our professional
grade and designation "PMCSSA" has been registered by SAQA. This
grade and designation recognise the existence of a Professional IT
Practitioner in the same way that other professions recognise their
professionals (e.g. Pr.Eng for a Professional Engineer). In terms
of the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA), the PMCSSA
is pitched at a minimum of SFIA level 5, and recognized
practitioners need to have the requisite qualifications / skills /
experience / competence to meet the minimum criteria set for the
grade and designation. Now that our name has changed, our
professional grade and designation will change to "PMIITPSA".
He went further although 'we are
not yet a statutory body, but we are working towards this. So far
we have had some tentative discussions with the Chairperson of the
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications, the Honorable
Eric Kholwane, regarding the possibility of IITPSA being a statutory
body. We believe this can happen within the next four years.'
Apple acquires HopStop to
improve map services
July 23. 2013 - HopStop a public transport
navigation app developer
company, which describes
itself as an appmaker that
gets users door-to-door
transit, walking, biking,
and taxi directions in over
300 cities worldwide has
been acquired by Apple Inc.
for an undisclosed amount.
It came shortly an earlier
announcement that Apple had
bought Toronto based
Locationary Inc., another
startup focused on map
Apple which ran into
problems with its maps upon
launch last year must have
been searching to improve
technology for its map
services. There were reports
that HopStop had two million
monthly active users in
Nigerian social media
sources claim that ownership
of the New York based
HopStop is related to a
Apple shuts down site after
July 22, 2013 - Apple announced
yesterday (Sunday) afternoon
that its Developer site was
attached and it has, as a
result, brought down the
site. The announcement said
sensitive information which
was taken was encrypted but
it had to shut the site down
to work on more security for
Part of the statement reads 'Last
Thursday, an intruder
attempted to secure personal
information of our
registered developers from
our developer website.
information was encrypted
and cannot be accessed,
however, we have not been
able to rule out the
possibility that some
developers' names, mailing
addresses, and/or email
addresses may have been
accessed. In the spirit of
transparency, we want to
inform you of the issue. We
took the site down
immediately on Thursday and
have been working around the
clock since then.'
The announcement did not explain
why it took so long from
Thursday to Sunday to issue
a statement. The site
was however already up as at
the time of filing this
BbExPro, mount BROADBAND PAVILION in TINAPA
July 22, 2013 - The
Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria,
Telecom Answers Associates,
Managers of the
Broadband Expansion Program,
BbExPro, have reached an arrangement to mount a Broadband Pavilion
during the forthcoming ISPON Annual Conference and Competition
holding in TINAPA Calabar on October 22 - 23, 2013.
Messrs Chris Uwaje and Titi
Omo-Ettu, joint architects of the Pavilion said in a midweek
announcement that the aim of the project is to continuously engage
the challenges of the broadband revolution and to explore the
opportunity windows to benefit the underserved and un-served
According to the announcement,
championing the Broadband Advocacy at that level and working to
improve Infrastructure, accelerate last mile connectivity in rural
Nigeria and ultimately boost the country's GDP.
LTE is fast coming
upstream, says GSA
6 African countries have
made commercial launches
July 21, 2013 - Alan Hadden,
President of the GSA,
Global mobile Suppliers
recently that LTE is an
industry success. 'We
have raised our market
outlook in view of the
quickening pace of
forecasts there will be
launched networks in 93
countries by end 2013.'
The latest update of the Evolution
to LTE report from GSA
commercially launched LTE
services in 75 countries
worldwide. 6 of them are
in Africa - Angola, South Africa, Namibia,
Mauritius, Tanzania and
443 operators in 130 countries are
now investing in LTE,
encompassing 391 firm
which have launched, or
are being deployed or
planned) plus a further
52 operators engaged in
LTE technology trials,
tests or studies.
The majority of operators have
deployed the FDD mode of
the LTE standard. The
most widely used band
continues to be 1800 MHz
(band 3) which is used
in over 43% of
LTE networks. The next
most popular contiguous
bands are 2.6 GHz (band
7) used in 34% of
networks, followed by
800 MHz band 20 (11%),
and AWS band 4 (almost
LTE, for Long-Term Evolution,
marketed as 4G LTE, is a
standard for wireless
high-speed data for
mobile phones and data
It is mainstream and the fastest
developing mobile system
technology ever. 107 LTE
commercial service in
the past year. The
number of countries with
commercial LTE services
expanded 70% in the same
period. All claims
Edo State hosts Edo
July 20, 2013 - Edo State
Government has announced
it would hold its annual
Edo Technology Day on
September 12- 13, 2013.
The Edo Technology Day is a forum
organized yearly by the
Edo State Government to
provide a premium
that brings together
policy makers, industry
experts, innovators and
investors to share ideas
and experiences. It
also serves as a forum
strategies for the
technology and charting
the way forward on how
best to mainstream
technology in governance
and its development
The theme of this year's event is
A keynote will be delivered by
Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Hon Minister of Communication Technology and
the event will be chaired by Mr. Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Chairman of