Categories
Lifestyle

Black Friday at Shoprite Novare Mall

Today, 25th November was Black Friday, possibly, the world over.

It was no different here in Nigeria where retailers fell over themselves trying to woo customers with what they touted as fantastic promotional offers.

Ever since the culture of online shopping became entrench in our psyche as Nigerians, there have been a surge in the popularity of the concept of Black Friday. And over the years too, even the brick and mortal stores have picked up on this fad, perhaps after noticing the big haul made by the online stores during this period.

Unfortunately, Nigeria’s adaptation of Black Friday has been seen largely as a scam. Major online retail stores have been accused of giving fictitious and non-existent discounts on their products after manipulating their listed prices. There have been a growing apathy by Nigerians to to this alien concept of Black Friday.

It was with this reservation at the back of my mind that i took a drive to Shoprite in Novare mall to see what they have on offer for Black Friday. It was a short drive from my home, so i felt i did not have much to lose anyway. At worst, i will just window shop if the prices were not right.

On reaching there, i got a very big shock.

Those who had witnessed the thick human traffic in Oshodi (Lagos) back in the 1990s would probably understand what i saw as i entered the store.  The crowd in the store was unbelievable. A quick glance at the in-store flyer and, suddenly, I knew why. The store was offering large discounts on a not so long list of groceries; Noodles, Pepsi et al, Kellogs cereal, vegetable oil, Colgate toothpaste, and a bunch of other items. It didnt help that it was month end and a lot of women were also doing their monthly grocery shopping for December.

Nigerians and awoof!

Indeed, it was a struggle getting round the aisles. “Excuse me … sorry … ” was my sing-song as i tried to weave my shopping cart through the human traffic, sometimes intentionally – “innocently” – using my cart to brush past some shoppers who chose to stand still in the middle of aisles.

I was not very surprised that most of the items with large discounts were fast running out. Some had actually run out. The time was just about 10am.
It was all too much effort and after about 30 minutes of weaving through the crowd, i was getting tired and could not wait to leave the store.

If only i knew.

On an average day, queues at Shoprite tills can be long and rowdy. Today was not an average day. The queue was very long, windy and of course, unruly. Worst still, there were no store officials in sight to organize the queues and make the process faster.

At a point, i was tempted to abandon my cart and walk away. Then i remembered the effort i put into making my selections and decided to wait it out. It ended up being a 2 hour wait.

The cashier at Till Point 2 spent about 30 minutes on a single customer, a lady two steps ahead of me on the queue, who had problems with her Diamond bank ATM. I was livid but kept quiet. Anyway, I didn’t need to talk. They were 3 women at the sidelines who were doing a better job than i could ever do.

Finally, it was my turn.

Thankfully it was uneventful, and i was out of the door about 10 minutes later, with a sigh of relief, whistling to Craig David’s 2000 hit “Walking Away” wafting through the in-store speakers, not sure how soon i will be visiting that store again, if at all;

I’m walking away from the troubles in my life
I’m walking away oh to find a better day
I’m walking away from the troubles in my life
I’m walking away oh to find a better day
I’m walking away

Categories
Gadgets Lifestyle

A Geek Gift For My Son At 10

My older son turned 10 years recently. A milestone. A big excuse for an “owambe” party.

Instead, the introvert in me opted for a quiet family outing, a decision that was further reinforced by the spiraling exchange rate. Well, that is the excuse we all give for our cost cutting? 🙂

Weakened Naira or not, i could not talk my self out of a gift for him.

It did not take me too long to decide on a gift though, a decision probably influenced by a previous addiction – A Gaming Console.

Old timers on this blog would probably remember Sega Genesis, known outside the USA as Sega Mega Drive. Those were the days Sega ruled the gaming world. The popular gaming console even got a mention in the Notorious B.I.G.’s breakout hit back in 1994; “Juicy“.

Almost every waking hour i had, NEPA willing, i was behind the gaming console. Mortal Kombat 3 was my favourite game cartridge. Yes, those 16 bit games back then came in cartridges. I had permanent sore thumbs from making all those “finishing” moves.

Perhaps, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to relive those good old days, live vicariously through my son? Hmmm.

(To Be Continued)

Categories
Lifestyle

Off To Novare Mall!

First day away from work. What an exhilarating experience! Ice Cube’s hit tune “Today was a good day” was buzzing in my brain.

“How best can i spend today”, i thought to myself.

“A visit to the cinema perhaps”? Hmm, a visit to the cinema it is!

Off to Novare!

Ever since Novare Mall opened its doors in late August 2016, work constraints had prevented me from visiting. Funny thing is, the mall is less than 15 minutes away from my home.

By 9am, i was on already my way, in one of my trademark NFL jerseys on a very used blue jeans. Ditched my car and opted for a Keke Marwa, a tricycle used for public transportation in Lagos.

It is true what they say about the Novare mall. Indeed, it is the biggest mall in Nigeria. Sitting on a 22,000 sqm expanse of land. Its 1,000 parking slot is quite intimidating.

They were very few people in the mall when i got there, will attribute this to it being a week day. Perfect for me, i hate crowds. I could not help but feel a little disappointed though, as at least 90% of the stores were still not opened, over a month after. But the big ones were opened though – Game and Shoprite. Window shopped in the former for over an hour, fantasizing about all dem gadgets!

After a dissapointing cold meal of porridge and beef at Tantilizers, i drifted off to Genesis Cinema to see their movie line up for the day. Jason Statham’s Mechanic: Resurrection caught my eye immediately. Jason is one of the best actors to come out of that old boring Britain.

Paid N800 for the movie ticket, grabbed a large pop corn for an additional N800 and settled in for the movie. Action packed from beginning to end, the movie was worth every kobo of my investment.

Without doubt, the mall has brightened the landscape in that neighbourhood but it has also influenced property prices negatively too. Property rental and purchase prices have skyrocketed.

A small price to pay, but it is well worth it.

Categories
Hack

Analyzing A First Bank Scam Email

Possibly the same bunch of never-do-wells behind the GTBank scam email that I published on this site last week are also behind the First Bank scam email I received last week – reproduced below.

However, this scam mail is a little less sophisticated than the previous.

My comments, in red, details the red flags you should look out for in any correspondence from your bank;

 

From: First Online <aabukomsan@maktoob.com> Email originates from a non-First Bank domain address.(@firstbanknigeria.com). SCAM ALERT!!!! More sophisticated scammers may send email purportedly originating from a First Bank email account using a technique called Email Spoofing.
To: Recipients <aabukomsan@maktoob.com> Email was BCC to me. SCAM EMAIL CONFIRMED. Bank mails are sent directly and personally to each recipient.
Sent: Monday, 11 April 2016, 7:01
Subject: First Online New Monthly Debit
Missing Salutation. FBN has a tradition of addressing their mails directly to their customers, with your account number in brackets. “Dear XXXX, XXXXXXX (333XXX3333)”


According to our records, you registered for our FirstOnline Customer Digest monthly bulletin and this comes with a monthly charge of N15,050:00., we would like to ask you to confirm this request
https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/contact-us/feedback-and-complaints/=confirmdebit Hyperlink masks a URL not on any First Bank internet domain, http://autozspa.in/wp-content/plugins/fn.php . The link further redirects to another URL that hosts a cloned version of First Bank Internet banking platform http://www.ecopeas.com.au/tel/fbns/fbn/fbn/fbn.htmlIf you wish to reject the registration request, follow the cancel reference below
https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/contact-us/feedback-and-complaints/=canceldebit  URL masks malicious site hosting a cloned version of First Bank Internet bankingYou would have to confirm you are an active account holder with us by following the procedures from your First Bank account.

Thank you for choosing First Bank

 PRIVACY POLICY ACCESSIBILITY TERMS OF USE SITEMA© FirstOnline2016

Categories
Hack

How To Spot A Scam Bank Email

One common feature of most Nigerian scam emails is the lack of sophistication. They are fraught with grammatical errors and typos. The perpetrators of these scam emails are usually not very educated.

Their lack of sophistication is a good thing. It makes us spot a scam email easily from afar. Many of us have survived thus far because of this.

However, we are witnessing a new crop of “scammers” that are more technologically savvy and much more sophisticated. Grammar is no longer an issue and they are extremely good in writing malicious scripts (softwares).

All hope is not lost though.

Let’s review a scam email that was sent to me earlier this week. We will try to point out the red flags to look out for. With this, we can keep ourselves educated.

My comments in Bold Red.

 

 

From: GTBank <wingerter@snet.net>  Sender’s email address is not from gtbank.com domain. Even if it is, it could be faked by a technique called EMAIL SPOOFING.
Date: Mon, Apr 04, 2016 at 9:22 PM
Subject: Customer Update Alert
To: <*******@yahoo.com> The scammer was smart enough to send the mail to me directly and not BCC. But this email is not associated with any of my bank accounts!

 

Dear customer GTBank sends out personalised emails, with your name in full.

Guaranty Trust Bank eLectronic Notification Service (GeNS)

We wish to inform you that your account with us is due for an update.
Kindly login and update your details:

https:/www.gtbank/ibank3/customer-update/ This hyperlink masks the malicious site I was expected to click on. The URL was further masked using a URL shortening service. However, the link will lead you to BerryLaneDesigns.com where a cloned version of GTBank internet banking site is hosted. 

Please update within 24 Hours of notice to avoid Service Interuption/Suspension.

Thank you for choosing Guaranty Trust Bank plc
alert “Your Internet Banking user ID and password, ATM card number and PIN are confidential and should never be disclosed to anyone”.
Kindly log on to our website www.gtbank.com hyperlink leads to a cloned gtbank internet banking site hosted on BerryLaneDesigns.com  OR
Call GTConnect on 0700 GTConnect (0809 7393494), 01 328 0000, for more information.
NB:
Our notification service sent this mail to you using a default setting and the information you supplied to us when your account was opened.
If you wish to Iimit the type of mails you receive or the email address(es) in use, please send an email to us by clicking on the link below:
Send a Mail to Guaranty Trust Bank eLectronic Notification Service (GeNS)
Categories
Reviews Technology

U8 Bluetooth Smart Watch – A Quick Review

u8I got this smart watch from my lil’ sis for N4,500.00, after driving a hard bargain. I am sure she got it for about $10 on amazon, less tax and shipping costs. With exchange rate at about N300 to US$1, not sure she would be making much profit on it.

This would be my first Smart Watch. The closest I had to this was my Adidas ADP6097 Digital Watch whose strap got cut a few weeks back.

This watch is a steal for the price. It might be a little difficult to wrap around your head the word “Smart Watch” and “$10” being used in a single sentence but, believe me, it is for real. Of course you will not expect to find qualities near that of the Apple range of Smart Watches.

Unboxing this device was in no way eventful. The accessories were very sparse – only a single USB cord (Note: No power adapter) was included in the box and a forgettable “Chinese Type” manual.

You may view the product specification of this device from the link below;

U8 Bluetooth Smart Watch Specification

A quick run down of the Pros and Cons of this watch will give you a better insight to what this watch can or can not do;

PROS

  • Control your Phone camera from your watch (only for android phone)
  • Stream music from your device
  • Fast charging. About 20 minutes, or less.
  • View Contacts. Make and receive phone calls.
  • Receive phone notifications
  • Sync your phonebook and call log
  • Anti lost feature – Alerts you when your phone disconnects from your phone
  • Barometer, Altimeter and Pedometer

CONS

  • Out of the box, the menu of the watch was in Chinese characters. I had to grope in the dark to change it to English.
  • Does not support remote camera functions and notifications on Apple iOS devices
  • Does not have inbuilt SIM slot.
  • The rubber flap that covers the charging port is flimsy

The beauty of a device is in its ability to be hacked for enhanced functionalities. The U8 Smart Watch does not disappoint.

More on this in my next post.

Categories
Reviews Technology

How To Block Ads In Android Without Rooting

One common excuse people give for rooting their android devices is to block annoying ads from popping up on their devices.

This indeed is a compelling reason as mobile ads, at best, can be;

  1. intrusive and distractive
  2. ruinously expensive as it burdens device hardware resources and also drain internet data.

Popular ad blocking apps like adaway and Netspector are only available for rooted devices.

For non-rooted apps, there are a few apps available on Google Play. They work, basically, by creating a mock virtual private network (VPN) for you and you alone and then connects your device to it. What this means is that all traffic you have coming in is through the app, and it protects all your data on its way out.

Notable among these apps is Lostnet NoRoot Firewall. WIth LostNet NoRoot Firewall you will be able

  • to block Internet access for any app. Let LostNet Firewall provide full Internet access to an app or access only in Wi-Fi networks or no access at all.
  • to block access to any country/region for all your apps. Use LostNet Firewall to prevent your apps from connecting to the countries you don’t trust or don’t want to deal with.
  • to block background activities of your apps. Surprisingly a lot of apps generate traffic while they are in background mode. LostNet Firewall may decrease your data consumption by blocking these apps.
  • to capture packets (sniffer!) sent to and from your device with the sniffer tool and to analyze them using CloudShark.org. The sniffer tool of LostNet NoRoot Firewall allows you to learn details about the data your apps are sending. Use the sniffer tool to check whether your personal info is sent out. Also use the sniffer to debug applications.
  • to monitor amount of data consumed by apps. This information is extremely useful if you don’t have unlimited data plan. For example, use LostNet NoRoot Firewall to compare background data consumption by Skype, Viber and Whatsapp to choose which one is better for your data plan.
  • to track the countries your apps are connecting to. This way LostNet Firewall Helps to detect suspicious apps and spyware.
  • to receive instant notifications. Get notified when a blocked app tries to connect to Internet or when some app tries to connect to a blocked country.
  • to block ad networks. As LostNet NoRoot Firewall intercepts traffic from all apps, it is capable of removing traffic to certain ad networks.
  • to create multiple profiles in order to switch between specific rules for different situations. Profiles can be very useful when you want to set different rules while you are in roaming or for example when your children use your Android device.
  • to save your battery life. Most of your apps perform periodic activities which bring your wireless connection on and, thus, drain your battery really fast. LostNet NoRoot Firewall can block these activities.
Categories
Gadgets

Finally, A Lollipop Update That Works On Innjoo One

item_XL_8109461_7914741All through 2015, a string of Android OS Lollipop updates were released for the Innjoo One 3G phone. While the updates worked on a few phones, for most, there were severe bugs that caused bootloops.

Finally, an update that works has been released but not by Innjoo but by an individual who ported the 12.1 version (Lollipop 5.1.1) of the open source Android operating system, Cyanogenmod, to Injoo One 3G.

Details and installation instructions for this update can be found here

Categories
Entertainment

Netflix Arrives Nigeria – Quick Facts

  • netflix-logo3 Subscription plans available US$7.99/US$9.99/$11.99 per month. Details here . GT Bank rate is about N270 for US$1
  • New subscribers get one month free viewing. BUT you are required to provide your card details to sign up. Automatic debit occurs after 30 days – unles you cancel before then.
  • 4 Streaming formats available; LOW, SD, HD and Ultra HD
  • On an 8 inch tablet, LOW format renders quite well, consuming 300MB/hr. Watched Idris Elba’s “Beasts of no nation”. Other options; SD 0.7GB/hr, HD 3GB/hr and ultra HD 7GB/hr
  • Netflix has geographical restrictions.The US market, expectedly, is the most favoured. However, this VPN app worked well for me on my Android tab to bypass this restriction.
  • “House of Cards” and a bunch of popular TV Shows and movies are not available for viewing in Nigeria! Heard DSTV bought the rights from Sony for “House of Cards”. With your VPN app, however, you bypass this restriction.
  • Glo Internet, as terrible as it may seem to many, has the most cost effective plans for Netflix. Especially if you subscribe to the Android BIS Hack.
  • Glo also has a Weekend data plan of N500 for 3GB. However, you need to have an existing subscription to use this. Details here.
  • Though there have been a flurry of activities from the Mobile Networks to provide more generous data plans, unfortunately, Netflix is not going to be a threat to DSTV in Nigeria anytime soon due to high data cost.
Categories
Tips

How To Uninstall An App From An Android Phone

I am sure some geeks will be laughing their heads off, rolling on the floor by now. Pick yourself up!

This write up is dedicated to my wife, she who can not uninstall an app from an android phone. We all have to start from somewhere, you know.

The video below shows two ways of uninstalling an app;

  • the traditional method via the settings menu.
  • and my preferred method, using my favourite launcher, Nova Launcher.

Aha! bet some of you wise guys didn’t know this.

Watch the video below and learn!