Wednesday, May 21, 2008

ASHBOLUTELY HORRIFICING.

This was culled, word for word, from ThisDay newspaper of Friday, May 16, 2008.

School kids burnt to death in pipeline fire”, was the heading.


- As I am talking to you right now, an ambulance has just taken corpses to the mortuary. I'm sure by now most of the morgues in the state would be full. Fire fighters are here but the water in their tank has been exhausted. - Red Cross Official.


What, in God's name, would lead people to such irresponsibility, again and again and again? Insanity? Or something else?

GUN'S POINT? LIFE'S > TRINKETS.

A couple of times, some of us have been witnesses to robberies, involving others or ourselves. You're among the lucky few if you've not. A year ago an Uncle of mine was robbed at gun's point, a gun was pointed at his head. It was a nightmare for him; it was scary for him. We all know what it means to feel defenseless, insecure, pushed to the wall or hunted.


Here are simple tips one can follow to prevent robberies or attacks aimed to rob your goods or property. Although it doesn't mean it's prevent crime altogether, but it sure helps to take precautions. You should note that except for the police who keep records of crimes, we ordinary citizens are not really adept at the ways of criminals.


1. Advertising your status or flaunting your status. Be careful of flaunting what you are worth, what you can do, in the public, especially where you are before strangers. And especially if you are a stranger to a place.


2. In public places, keep a sure eye and tight grip on your valuables. I carry my laptop a lot, on my shoulder and I make sure although the bag is hung on my should, I have my hands on the edge of the bag towards my front. It sure makes for safety.


3. Don't expose money carelessly. We Nigerians are fond of flaunting our wealth at parties and “cashing” the celebrants with naira notes on their foreheads. Some of these persons have reported of visits by robbers after such events. If you have to give, anything, valuable and huge, why don't you do it in private; or rather get it gift-wrapped.


4. Don't travel alone to out-of-the place places. And what if it is absolutely essential that you go, alone, in short notice? Make sure somebody knows about where you are going and keep your cellphone with you. Make repeated calls about your location if you're going to be a total stranger. You never can tell.


5. Take out an insurance policy on expensive valuables. It sure helps to be insured, especially if the good is valuable, but make sure you pay your premiums and be careful that you're dealing with proper insurance agents.


And finally, when robbers are pointing a gun at you?


6. Never scream. Obey them. Give them whatever valuable you have. Make sure you have some marks here and there on such stuff and try to remember details about the robbers. Always do. Remember if they have tribal marks, what they said etc. Sometimes, the police can fish them out faster.


Keep it in mind that not all crimes are reported and never make yourself attractive to robbers.


You can get other information from official sources. Check out this link:
http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_4983.aspx

A SLIVER OF HOPE?

Saw an ad on ThisDay newspaper today, about Encon, an alternative power supply company. They say they're coming to lagos and starting out at Ikorodu.


Is this sign of good things to come? An alternative to PHCN?


There are reports that the government's proposing putting power bill at 2.80 naira per kilowatt hour. That means, for a 24 hours home, it'll be 67 naira per hour, two thousand and sixteen naira (N2, 016) per month. Hmm! Interesting. The issue is not yet on the table; just discussions.


Encon is owned by a company calling itself Negris Group. Haven't heard of them at all. I sure haven't heard of the countless companies that operate in this country. Visit their website here: Encon,


IF YOU'RE COMING INTO THE COUNTRY

if you're coming into the country through Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), you don't need to worry about car rentals anymore. It's no longer a headache.


Europcar, a professional car rental, has just commissioned an outlet at the airport, at “Arrival D” of MMIA. So, take note of this all you constant travellers.


Monday, May 19, 2008

CTO 2008 Internet Connectivity Options - NETCOM AFRICA

NETCOM AFRICA .

Office: Principal office in Lagos.

Products:

1. Internet connectivity through Netcom's VSAT that incorporates data, voice and video. This is a solution that connects you to the Internet through Netcom's hub and the customer is provided with a SCPC service (Single Channel Per Carrier).


Ideal for large corporations to multinationals. For more details, visit the website: www.netcomafrica.com


CTO 2008 Internet Connectivity Options - STEAM BROADCASTING AND COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED

STEAM BROADCASTING AND COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED.

Office: Lagos.

Brief: started in nigeria as a radio station and now includes an Internet connectivity solution, web hosting and telephone provider.

Products:

1. broadband internet access: claims to be the fastest and surest link to the internet. Products are for both enterprise and single user, dedicated and/or shared bandwidth. And prices are subsidised.


For more details visit the website, www.coollink.us.

CTO 2008 Internet Connectivity Options - IPNX NIGERIA LIMITED

IPNX Nigeria Limited.


Offices: Laogs, Abuja, P.,H and Yenagoa.


Brief: provider of infrastructure – based Telecomms and IT Services in Nigeria. Aims to be one of the top 3 infrastructure-based Telecoms and IT Service providers by 2009.


Products and services:

a. iWireless – this solution is beautiful. It's also new. It's a wireless broadband solution , all-IP, fully converged, end-to-end solution that provides voice services and high speed broadband Internet /data access. The different flavors are: professional plan for professional firms; home office plan for freelancers and one man businesses; small business plan for SMEs; and family plan for families. The prices are attractive. Monthly subscription for family plan is 6, 000 naira basic.

Website: www.ipnxnigeria.net.


B. ipNX connect: cost effective network solution for connecting a number of branches located in the same city. It supports data, fax, Internet, video , and voice.


c. ipNX mail: email hosting service that provides mailboxes that are accessible from anywhere in the world .


d. ipNX host: a website hosting solution.


For more details, visit the website: www.ipnxnigeria.net


CTO 2008 Internet Connectivity Options - Linkserve Limited

Linkserve Limited.

Office: Lagos, Abuja and P.H. Also in Accra, Ghana.

Brief: Nigeria's Premier ISP. Company is replete with awards for their excellent services. Started operation on Jan. 1, 1997 and is today one of the leading ISPs in Nigeria according to subscriber base, customer satisfaction and profitability.


Products:

1. VSAT service.

2. IP Voice.

3. Network solutions.

Linkserve presently has a promo for their VSAT subscribers; for just only 50 subscribers. The first 50 subscribers to the promo only have to pay in bulk for 6 months dedicated bandwidth and he/she will get 1.2M VSAT equipment free. Visit the website: www.linkserve.net for more details.


Website: www.linkserve.net


CTO 2008 Internet Connectivity Options - Swift Networks Limited

Swift Networks Limited.

Offices: In lagos, 31B Saka Tinubu, V.I, Lagos.

Brief: The company is committed to offer reliable and affordable broadband Ingternet, data, voiced and video communicatgion services.

For those interest in home connectivity, this is what swift networs offers with Swift Broadband:

SWIFTHOME

Connection speed: 384 kbps (shared bandwidth)

No. of computers allowed: up to 3.

Set-up costs (one-off): 30, 000 naira.

Monthly recurring charge: 6, 000 naira.

Roaming: No.

Time slot: 6pm – 8 am (Mon – Fri. ), 24 hrs (Sat – Sun.)

website: www.swiftng.com


CTO 2008 Internet Connectivity Options - Teledom Group

Teledom Group.

2. Brief: offices in 3 major cities in Nigeria: Lagos, Abuja and Uyo. A conglomerate of four (4) companies namely:

  • Teledom International Limited.

  • Technology Development Company Limited (TDC)

  • Web Inn Solutions Limited

  • IT (Resource) Mart Limited.


Customer base: big to small enterprises .


3. Products and services:


  • VSAT and Broadband Wireless Solutions.

  • IP Telephony and IP Telephony Systems. These integrates a corporate WAN with a gateway to the Internet that involves voice mail, call transfer and conferencing, Fax, TCP/IP management interface and a gateway to the Internet. The solution is highly scalable and reduces telephone expenses. Best for SME and Multisite/Branch.

  • Security Network Operating Systems (SNOS). An integrated smart system of CCTV and IP cameras that detects every media of danger and intrusion including gas. Suitable for cities, states, banks, multinationals, hotels, security agencies etc. Benefit is that monitoring can be done from anywhere in the world, real-time, and viable for Multisite integration.



  • Wifi Hotspot that integrates Internet, Data, Video and Voice (telephone ). Enables you to connect anywhere and connect while roaming. The benefits are immense.

  • Wimax Broadband Wireless Technology Access. You get triple play services with Wimax: voice , data and multimedia services.

Visit the website: www.teledominternational.net.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

AT MUSON CENTRE THIS WEEK

How surprised I was while at Iganmu, I went to First Registrar's for some business, wednesday, to realize that there is a seminar going on, and one on a topic that keeps my breathe hot sometimes: computers, technology, telecommunications and everything that comes with them.


I rushed to the bank, picked some money, man, am broke really so don't have ideas and rushed to Muson Centre. I arrived at Muson Centre when Dora Akuyili, the DG, NAFDAC, was delivering a speech on leveraging technology for industry administration and control. Was she impressive! It's a lovely place and today thursday was going through the booths. Never realized there are so much solutions for Internet connectivity in this country. Spoke to some interesting companies and I promise I'll give you highlights next week.


Still soaking up sweat at the exhibition. Going to the seminar venue right now.


I forgot! This is thursday, youth day. Zenith Bank is hosting youth this year, the 6th youth empowerment forum at CTO 2008 and is the place packed full? They gave out 40 laptops, free, after a raffle draw, didn't have a chance to see anyone take one away but for those unlucky to receive laptops, there were gifts of Visafone handsets to scores of persons. Taking down a note; going to write Zenith Bank for an interview. I believe the forum has to be featured on this blog, a special feature.


Nearly every company that was into technology was here, but I didn't see Microsoft MCSE flyers all over the place like before and there were no old books placed on the stands. Where were they? Didn't even enter any free network; wonder what happened to Wireshark?


The list of companies:

FIDELITY BANK PLC

NIIT


INTERNATIONAL DATA MANAGEMENT SERVICES LIMITED. Contact Tel: 234-1-7750954, 234-1-7747994

TELEDOM INTERNATIONAL LIMITED

COOLLINK

LINKSERVE

SWIFTBROADBAND

UBA

EXCLUSIVE PRODUCTS AND EQUIPMENT VENTURES, deals in bill counters.

VISAFONE

NETCOM

ZENITH BANK PLC

BOWE BELL AND HOWELL SCANNERS, LLC

LG, contact telephone: 234-01-2716520-5

IPNX NIGERIA LIMITED

DSTV

OKI PRINTING SOLUTIONS

CARDS TECHNOLOGY LIMITED

OCEANIC BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC

BRIAN SYSTEMS

BARUDAN COMPANY LTD

TORQUE TECHNICAL EDUCATION CENTER (T-TEC)

MI-TECHNOLOGIES NIG. LTD

Monday, May 12, 2008

MOST OF THE POLICE ARE INSANE.

How embarrassing that an organization reports that from their studies, many of our countries policemen are suffering from one form of insanity or the other. It's really shocking for our internal security and a vista of what the civil populace at large should be suffering themselves.


Let's take the police as a career or bodyguards as a career, how many persons would put their life at stake, standing in the sun, for us, common people? What sector of the society have been insulted for taking only little bribes as little as five naira (N5)? Is it not embarrassing that the report should have been passed to the presidency and shu-shued, kept secret?


IS THE POLICE WHO ARE TO PROTECT US ARE INSANE, ARE WE NOT TO BE SOMETHING MORE THAN INSANE? If the Maiguard protecting your compound is sleeping when thieves come, what will the thieves do to your property?


DO WE NOT THINK THE POLICE HAVE TO BE HELPED RATHER THAN SHUNNED? Is it not shocking, this report?


I THINK IF THE POLICE ARE INSANE, SOONER OR LATER, OR EVEN RIGHT NOW, I SHOULD BE SOMETHING MORE THAN INSANE WHEN TROUBLE COMES.

SIGN OF A FOOD SHORTAGE?

Last month we saw a steep rise in the prices of foodstuffs in the country, especially the staples: rice, wheat, garri...i believe the rise was between 15-30% for these staples, but more annoying was the rise in the price of a sachet of pure water, a 100%, from five naira (N5) to ten naira (N10).

This is not only happening in nigeria, it's a current theme all over the world right now that the world food pro gramme has termed it, “the silent tsunami.”

According to Sen. Jibril Gada, the National Vice-Chairman of All Farmers Association (AFAN) who was quoted in the Vanguard, “the country is sitting on a time bomb due to the rising prices of food items.”

and what are the attributed causes: possibly climate change, rising price of oil, or possibly (maybe a correlation), the developed world's emphasis on bio-fuels from materials that constitute the source of food for us.

There are questions that have to be asked about the Federal Government's answer to this danger: “the proposed release of the country's strategic food reserves in wheat, how would it be implemented? For whom? Would an answer like this only be enough? What would happen if the price of oil continues to rise? If the climate change continues, can the strategic reserves be replaced and replenished? How? When? Are prices still going to rise further?

These are not questions for me to answer, am not a policy maker, but questions worth pondering over. Nigerians have suffered enough and we're getting poorer. If we keep relying on foreign exchange for everything, even little stuff like sugar, when will we hope to give relief to at least the relative middle class?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

THE GLOBAL TALENT WAR: DOES IT AFFECT YOU AND I?

There is a war going on round the world for talent, your talent, my talent, any talent to drive technology, economies, science, space, any endeavor we humans have decided to undertake today. As in war and peace, you either take sides and fight, you either win in in the fight or lose, you don't fight and be slaves to your enemy nation, or the last alternative, you ally with a strong force that gives you protection against aggressors, à la Costa Rica.


Which position are we as Nigerians taking and which is appropriate?


Years ago our children were asked to debate on a well-worn topic: “should nigeria develop local technology or do we copy that of other countries?” we have never agreed nor undertaken or decided to do one or the other.


So what have we been doing? Really, we've been doing something.


If I take a trip to the Island, the magnificence and talents behind our architects stares me in the face: but sometimes, so do we have embarrassing mishaps. Wish not to mention. Truly, we've been doing something but it behoves me that today, nigeria, still considers itself “developing.” with our petro-dollars? Why should we still be third-world? That translates to the fact that in the global talent war, it's not worth it our ever fighting; how do you fight when you'll surely lose. We're really losing out daily; consider the scale of the brain-drain that occurs in africa and nigeria in particular yearly. Do I mention names? I rather not. Maybe Emeagwali is a name every child knows who's ever taken a course in Microsoft Office Applications.


So if we're not fighting, we're not allying ourself to anyone or anything. We're selling out.


$2bn of the $10bn revenues for petro-dollars is invested here. The lovely 80% that makes the difference gets taken out. Glo, Celtel, and MTN are not ours. Local refineries are lacking.


Then we're going to make ourselves slaves in the global talent war? In the talent war for you and my talents?


This is a gift to anyone who comments with the right answer: “Which would you chose, a year at Aso Rock with the president, no strings attached, or an American Visa Lottery, with strings attached?”

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS IF; CEREALS BRINGS MALES?

no matter how much your paycheck is at month's end, a report claims that your spending on others, not that paycheck, contributes to happiness.

and how much do you have to give to be happy? It's not how much you give, but the giving. Even little alterations in one's income that is spent on others, as much as $5 will make you happy, the researchers claim. When you spend money “pro-socially” or towards a cause that is social, let's say, a gift or charitable donations towards a good cause, you tend to be happier than if you earn a promotion at the office.

So the ball is in your court. Your happiness contributes towards having a good health and living life the way you want to define it.

You can see a story of the report

here.

and where giving brings happiness, other scientists claim, which claim some people think is bogus, that taking cereals for breakfast improves a mother's chance of giving birth to a male child. This is a far cry from the Y and X chromosomes I (or we) were meant to believe.

If this is to be believed, then women would be taking cereals like mad for breakfast. They never have to toss a coin, heads female, tail male? Why not try this trick yourself, maybe on your wife if you're a married man, and see if it's not another old women's tale. Recipe for a son starts with daily bowl of cereal”.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A MARITAL SHENANIGAN

This pix was from a friend, Kenneth Kolo.

Thanks, Kenneth, for taking my old tooth off with your nice pix. I didn't know what to name it and since you didn't give it a name I think: “a marital shenanigan,” should be appropriate. I think the hussy's hat gave it away.

And for those of you who were scared of sending serial emails, you know, with phishing and scams rampant on the web, our web, the file is an animated gif. I just loved it.

But why would the husband take all the knocks? The lawyer must really know how to throw kicks right there. Man, I think gone are the days where the husband was saying: “for better for worse”, for his socks were much for worse than better.

Do you think otherwise? To see the animation and enjoy the pix, download the file. Thanks

Thursday, May 1, 2008

CLICK YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE, CLICK TO ANY SCENE

thanks to the hypertext markup language (html) you can browse the internet seamlessly today. This is made possible through a tag that makes linking pages possible. This code will take us to the yahoo home page in html: <a href='http://www.yahoo.com'>yahoo.com</a>. With html we can switch over to the hotmail page, to any page whatsoever in the world.

What if you can do that with video? It's called HYPERVIDEO.

Imagine, being able to choose what scene you want to watch in your video by just clicking. Suppose you were watching Eddie Murphy's film, “Coming to America”, and you wanted the scene where the prince told his lady friend to: “bark like a dog”. Or watching a film by Akin and Pawpaw, you wanted to watch that funny and hilarious part where Akin and Pawpaw stole things for their father in the village at a shrine?

It can be easily done. With Asterpix, you can navigate your video. Using tags and other navigational tools, you don't have to sit through a whole 90 minutes of any film; just click to wherever you wanted and you're right there.

There are so many advantages:
1. choosing how to watch your film.
2. choosing what part of the film you want.
3. more interesting, ability to search the film to a scene you want.
4. choosing the time spent in watching any film.

I believe Asterpix is an interactive video framework that deserves to be bookmarked by any entrepreneur, whether you are in computers or not. Watch it. Asterpix.com.

There is great potential for video publishing with this application. It could help improve video creativity and consumer's desire to watch a film like if they are reading a book or browsing the internet.


WHERE THERE IS NO LIGHT

power cuts are a constant aspect of Nigerian life. Sometimes you wonder how we are going to develop technologically without constant power supply. Why is it that often there is no light?

Businesses need power or light, in the local slang. Homes also do but reflecting on nature, we'd have to realize that we don't need to complain all the time about there being no constant light. We need to thank heavens it's even available.

How and Why?

Watch nature. God made it possible that there is light and darkness. There are animals that work in light and some that work in darkness and never both and some in both luminaries. Take the dog for example. The dog works during the day but bats work at night while humans work both during the day and night.

learning from nature helps us become innovative and content with what we have. It is known that necessity is the mother of invention and so can Nigerians be in this case and learning to cope with little means you can survive in much.

Think very much about this. I did and learnt lessons myself.