Categories
Controversies Social Media Technology

Enemy Of The State

will-smith-enemy-of-the-stateRumour has it that President Jonathan of Nigeria has gone ahead to install surveillance equipment on the premises of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency to monitor the online activities of Nigerian residents, despite the outcry it generated even among members of the House of Assembly. This was in line with a contract he awarded to an Israeli firm earlier in the year.

While ordinary folks like me and you may not be the target of this privacy invasion, it may be wise if we all keep ourselves in check. To prevent your social media accounts from being flagged as possible “enemies of the state”, it may be wise if the following keywords are removed from our online chats, while hoping that the thriving Nigerian Hacker community will in time find a way to circumvent this intrusion;

“London Hangover”, “Clueless”, “Shoeless”, “Oduahgate”, “Boko Haram”, “Sahara Reporters”, …

Anything else?

Categories
Controversies Humor Social Media

My Facebook Lovers

Ordinarily, i am not the type that Kiss and Tell but the attention i have been receiving lately from members of the opposite sex has been so overwhelming that i feed the need to share my good fortune with everyone. Afterall, it is not everytime you have pretty ladies falling over themselves to catch the attention of a nerd.

Perhaps they love my blog and the way i write?

Check out some of the love letters i received on Facebook recently and tell me, honestly, if you wouldnt love to be in my shoes. Please look beyond the grammatical errors, “no be grammar we go chop”!

The last one is my favourite.

 

Dearest, In fact, I am very glad to write you at this time when the two of us looking for a soul mate in a beautiful place. My name is celina. I believe that this similarity that I have come knocking on the door of your heart, you open for me to enter. I’ll be very grateful if we can establish this relationship. I will stop so far, until I hear from you.

It’s me, celina

Please try using this e-mail add (celinakona@yahoo.com) send me your mail to my inbox so that I Can send my picture. Celina

 

GREETINGS FROM SHANTEL. Hello dear My name is Shantel. I was impressed when i saw your profile today at (www.facebook.com) and i will like to establish a long lasting relationship with you. In addition,i will like you to reply me through this my private e-mail box ( shanteldesmond200@yahoo.in ) Thanks waiting to hear from you soon. Shantel

I will send to you my pictures in my next mail through this my mail box email here shanteldesmond200@yahoo.in

 

HELLO, I am ELLEN! How are you? hope you are fine and in perfect condition of health. Please I went through your profile and i read it and took interest in it, please if you don’t mind i will like you to write me on this ID (dickson.ellen@yahoo.com) hope to hear from you soon, and I will be waiting for your mail because i have something VERY important to tell you. (dickson.ellen@yahoo.com)

Lots of love ELLEN !

 

Hello Dear, My name is miracle Larry, after reading your profile here Short took an interest in you, and I really vital information related to my life and future that I want to reveal to you, so please reply me with your e-mail address me here miraclelarry518 @ yahoo.co.uk where you you will be able to write to you to tell you more about me, as well as send you the attached images Please reply me with your e-mail address me here miraclelarry518 @ yahoo.co.uk

You new friend Miss Miracle, Thanks

 

Hello My Dear, Please pardon me if I busted into you in a wrong way, but i like to say this truth in my heart. I must confess that you are handsome and I would like you to know that this handsomeness i see in youis the heart of every woman. I would like to know you better as I am searching for a long lasting relationship. I am a woman and my name is Miss Precious Tamba and I just saw your profile and sincerely i like you and would like to have a good relationship with you. Also please tell me more about yourself, what is your Nationality, what is your job and your position in your working place and everything you think I need to know about you as your good friend. Sorry if I ask too much Question just want to know you better and as I said above my name is Precious Tamba and I will tell you more about myself too when I get your reply Do have a pleasant day and stay blessed. and here is my email address precioustamba160@gmail.com to write and send me an email

I wait for your reply.precioustamba160@gmail.com I will send my picture if i hear from you.

Precious

Categories
Controversies Gadgets

Technology – Building A Generation Of Introverts

Introvert-twitter-birdThis would probably be a familiar scenario to many of us. You find yourself stuck in an elevator with a bunch of strange faces that you will rather not be in a confined space with. Usually, chatting up your your new acquaintances is an option that you will rather not take. Chances are that you will rather fish out your mobile phone and fiddle with it for the duration of the 30 or so seconds it will take you to get to your floor.

Sounds familiar anyone? Yes, i understand, elevators do make strange bed fellows.

Many people have now found succour in their phones as a way of covering up their fear of interacting with others. Nowadays, it seems many adults, particularly in the younger age group, fear the possibility of having to chat with someone else. So they make certain that they are cocooned from the rest of the world with their faces down, feverishly fingering their latest gadget, safe in the knowledge they will be uninterrupted and will not have enter the “strange” and scary world of civilised conversation.

This same set of individuals could be extremely popular on the various social media platforms, usually with a long string of “followers”. Did i hear someone say “Online extroverts, offline introvert”? Understandably, it is probably easier for anyone, introvert or not, to be more daring with comments when online than anywhere else. Nigerian social media activists quickly come to mind.

Anytime i scroll through the comments on my twitter timelime (@diaryofageek), i am tempted to think that some of the people i follow actually live in “Twitter Land”. 24-7, they are always online, never short of comments and wise cracks to dish out. Would they be as daring or sociable when you meet up with them one on one? Mostly not the case.

It would be safe to assume that your garrulous social media pal will not be as chatty or extrovertial whenever, if ever, you both meet offline.

With extracts from Computeractive India Magazine – October 2013

Categories
Controversies Gadgets Mobile Technology

Apple iOS – The Beginning Of The End?

That Apple copied, shamelessly, Android and about every other major mobile OSes in its iOS 7 is no longer news. But what beats me is why most online reviews fail to mention this shameful act but instead hail this “next-to-die-after-Blackberry” as the best thing to have happened to mankind.

Undoubtedly, iOS 7 is the biggest step this mobile OS has taken in years but in truth, it is only just about catching up with what Google’s Android has got going on for a couple of years.

appleNaturally, we would expect Google to respond – decisively – to the leverage Apple is having with its copycat innovation. One should not also forget that the so-called fingerprint technology that Apple has in its latest iPhone iteration, the iPhone 5s, is also a high tech photocopy of now Google’s Motorola Atrix phone innovation from back in 2011.

Ummh, these are indeed desperate times for Apple. Who would ever have thought that this once innovative company will stoop this low? All indicators seem to agree with what some analysts have predicted, the very steep decline of Apple’s fortunes by 2015.

Just my 2 cents here Apple, it may not be worth much. I believe the only lifeline left for you to remain relevant is to adopt Google’s Android business model – Open Source.

Any Geek worth his salt – that has seen the other greener side that is Android – would appreciate the very limiting ecosystem that iOS plays in. Obviously, the mobile OS is meant for those that love to be spoon-fed. Even my 3-year old hates to be spoon-fed! It beats me why “grown-ups” will allow Apple to do that?!!!

Those that hail the iOS 7 obviously have never experienced Android Custom ROMs. Custom ROMs are modified, usually enhanced mobile operating systems. I wholely recommended PAC-MAN , it is an android ROM on steriods. Trust me, try it and you will be hooked!

Well, like we say in Nigerian Pidgin English, let us continue to “siddon look” (Sit Down and Look) and see how it all plays out, eventually.

apple android

Categories
Controversies Lifestyle

The High Cost Of Schooling In Lekki & Environs [Nigeria]

Has anybody bothered to take a census of the number of Public schools on the Victoria Island/Lekki axis, even down the Lagos-Epe Expressway to Ajah and Environs? You will be forgiven if you think there are none. Little wonder private schools are dotted all over the landscape making brisk business which, in my estimation, is now in the multi million dollar range. Yet another dimension to this is the differentiation in the fees being charged by schools on this axis and elsewhere in Lagos. Cases abound of schools with multi campuses charging higher fees than they do elsewhere outside this axis. My child in elementary school probably pays per term about what i paid for my education throughout my undergraduate years, even if you add to it feeding fees, money fleeced from parents for fictitious handouts and fees and even factor in the inflation over the years.

school-children_0_5Perhaps, what is most worrisome is what you get for the money you pay. You would expect to get world class education for the “world class” fees you pay, right? But that is not always the case. Instances abound of falsification of records of students’ performances in a bid to impress parents that they are getting value for what they are paying for.

Those that had their elementary and high school education in the 1970s and 1980s would better appreciate the level of decline in our educational system. The glory days of the Federal Government Unity Schools (Federal Government Colleges, Queens and Kings Colleges, etc); State Government schools, including the former missionary schools (St. Finbar’s, St Gregory’s, Igbogi College, etc) are long gone. Even with the high level of rascality exhibited by students in these schools way back then, it was hard to find any private school that could touch these elite schools then.

The story has changed so much these days for these government schools and the private schools have cashed in – in a big way.

The Government seems to always find a reason to shy away from its responsibilities to the educational sector, leaving the citizenry in the hands of the promoters of these high priced schools.

Well, i guess i can only rant and rave. But why do i always feel this way everytime school fees for the kids is due?

Categories
Controversies Lifestyle Religion

We Do Not Need God!

I got a call from my tailor asking for a point of clarification on the length of a skirt I had asked him to make for me. In parting, as I reiterated the length; he said “if God allows, the length will be as you want it.” This response can only be interpreted in one way as it relates to this situation. I laughed; he had taken the measurement, he had a sample, he has sewn for me before in that length; why would God create a misstep in the sewing of this skirt?? How did God get into the length of my shirt??

I have really grown puzzled about how Nigerians call God in everything; the ‘Resignation and Situation game’; whatever happens we are resigned to the treacherous will of God. However, what became even more puzzling to me is this; with a country that calls the name of God at the drop of a hat, where prayers are offered, contracted out and paid for; God seems either not to be listening, answering or just taking His time! because we are in grave trouble.

christJapan is an Island nation. 73% of Japan is forested, mountainous and unsuitable for agricultural, industrial or residential use. It has a population estimated at 130m inhabitants. As a result, the habitable zones have extremely high population densities. Japan does not have any natural resource. Religion does not play a big role in the everyday life of most Japanese people today. The average person typically follows the religious rituals at ceremonies like birth, weddings and funerals; may visit a shrine or temple on New Year and participates at local festivals most of which have a religious background.

Against this backdrop, Japan is located in the pathway of natural disasters; the most recent being the devastating earthquake of 2011 that caused the nuclear plant in Fukashimi to leak causing deaths and other long term effects. Let’s not forget the 1945 nuclear bomb drop. Despite all this Japan is the fourth largest economy in the world with equal export and import activities. It built the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge; the longest suspension bridge in the world referred to as a world engineering feat. In the pipeline; a Japanese construction company plans to build an elevator that can lift tourists in space, up to a quarter the distance between Earth and the moon.

Nigeria has a population of approximately 170m people of which more than half are in the ‘youth/working age group of 16-45years’; it has a varied landscape that makes our soil fantastic for agricultural, it has practically all the mineral deposits in its soil with lots of unexplored land, it is the sixth largest oil producer, and most populous black nation that houses the most religious people on earth!

We pride ourselves as hard workers (of what?), Yet when Cameroon warned us months before it released its dam into the path of the Rivers Benue and Niger, we did nothing to prepare for this MAN-MADE disaster. In light of the devastation of the 2011 tsunami and the anticipation of a future occurrence, Japan is planning to build an alternate city to Tokyo. The city, which has been given the functional name IRTBBC (Integrated Resort, Tourism, Business and Backup City) will house up to 50,000 people with provision for 200,000 workers. *clears throat* what plans do we have for anything???

The Scandinavian economies are the healthiest in the world and while they have precious little time for God, they are at the top of the ladder in providing a ‘life’ for their citizenry.

The major religions of the world assent to the fact that God created man and everything else, and gave us creative license over His creation. We are the physical inhabitants; it made perfect sense. Everything we need to make this world a place for us to live in; God has given us. It is all within us. We are all living witnesses to the feats and creations that MAN has accomplished and is still accomplishing. Nature honours creativity. God honours his Word. We have seen people totally devoid of the knowledge of God exhibiting and using their creative juices; did that stop their end product? NO!

Nigeria is so blessed and endowed with natural and human resource that it is an absolute, absolute shame that we are nowhere on any scale competing favourably with other nations. We have not even taped into our resources to make life heavenly for us talk more of impacting the nations. It is not up to God; it is up to us. The world around us has shown us that.

So where are we? We still use hoes to till the ground; mechanised farming is a thing of admiration when we see it; whereas in near and far away lands they are thinking of how to farm on the moon!! It is time we get off our behinds and stop blaming Government for everything!

The amount of time our youth spend in the social media basically doing nothing would have been used to brainstorm on how to acquire a piece of Agric land and start something, how to build upon the pre-existing social media platforms, build a network of volunteers tackling specific issues (like BEACONS_ng); we need more of such groups, being a change agent not in words only but action, tapping our creativity; even if do not invent something, let’s add value. There is so, so much to do, that we have no one to blame but ourselves if we live mediocre lives. That was not the intention.

A parting shot; money is everything and not; so be clear about why you are doing what you are doing. The Laws of Nature respect ‘what you sow, you reap’.

*UPDATE: My tailor brought back the skirt and he had absolutely butchered it!!!!!!

Categories
Controversies Lifestyle Religion

“In The Name Of The Father …”

0510LD1The influence of technology on religion has long been a subject of discourse on this blog and it is definitely an issue that will continue to generate a lot of controversies.

You can read my earlier posts on the influence of technology on religion here.

Apart from the “End of the World” proponents who are very convinced about the very negative role technology would play in the end times, even those who are less believing would have to admit that there is an increasing influence technology is having on World religions.

And with the increasing affordability of tablets and higher end smartphones, it is now very common place to see a lot of Nigerians toting at least one of these mobile devices at anytime.

For a while now, i have paid very little attention to this new age phenomenon. However, my visit to the church last Sunday created a reawakening. It was a bit of a shock to me when it was time for Bible reading and about one-third of the congregation flashed out their tablets and fancy smartphones. Even the presiding Pastor had to comment about this. This is indeed the new face of churches in Nigeria, especially for the churches that cater for the middle and high income earners in the Lekki axis of Lagos, Nigeria.

Even the low income earners have refused to be left behind, thanks to the cheap android knock off tablets that have flooded the country from China. It will indeed be research-worthy to compile the number of these devices now available in Nigeria.

The appropriateness of these devices in the church is still generating a lot of divergent views, even among the church leaders. While some Nigerian Pastors welcome this development as a portrayal of prosperity among its parishioners, however in the world over, some religious leaders worry that the inherently isolating and attention-diverting nature of smart phones has created a generation of worshippers unable to fully engage with the sublimation of self and quiet meditation that underlie both the Eastern and Western religious traditions.

The fact can not be ruled out that for the church to shore up shrinking congregations with new devotees,  those younger worshipers expect activities to include smart phone and tablet use. Device multitasking has become such a pervasive part of their life that quiet, paper-text based religious ceremonies seem even stranger and more off-putting.

However, some religious leaders who have already tried to conduct services over a mobile device to a geographically scattered audience, and those who have tried to integrate smart phones into a physically unified congregation, say they have noticed a significant difference in how worshippers process the experience. Unfortunately, they have found that most people tend to disengage from the experience of communal worship with this mode.

I no longer read a bible from a printed paper based format and i honestly do not know where i have placed mine. Reading my bible from mobiles is a habit that i took on right from the days of my trusty Nokia 3650 back in the mid 2000s. For me, though, I must admit that there is indeed something about digital bibles that does not give you the same experience that you get from the paper based ones but the convenience and the excitement the digital ones give you has made this form of bible the only option for me and many out there.

Categories
Controversies Entertainment Lifestyle

“Dear Mama” – A Tribute To Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996)

“Since we all came from a woman, got our name from a woman, and our game from a woman. I wonder why we take from women, why we rape our women, why we hate our women? I think its time we killed for our women, be real to our women, try to heal our women, cus if we dont we’ll have a race of babies that will hate the ladies, who make the babies. And since a man can’t make one he has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one.”

– Tupac Shakur (“Keep Ya Head Up” | 1993)

The themes of most of Shakur’s songs revolved around the violence and hardship in the ghettos where he grew up, racism and other social problems. Both of his parents and several other of his family were members of the Black Panther Party, whose ideals were reflected in his songs.

Many would, however, describe him as a very controversial figure not because of this but because of his perceived disrespect for women and the family in general.

This perception was mostly wrong though his method of delivering his lyrics were usually explicit and probably did not help his image much in this respect. But truth be told, how else can you preach against the evils he talked except in the language the perpetrators would understand?

2pacThe first single from his debut album, “Brendan’s got a baby” (1991) was based on a newspaper story of a twelve-year-old girl getting pregnant from her cousin and trying to dispose of the baby in a trash can. In the song, he explores the issue of teen pregnancy and its effect on the young mothers and their families.

“Dear Mama”, from his third solo album, Me Against the World (1995), is probably one of his best known songs and was written in homage to his mother, Afeni Shakur where he praised her for the undeserving and unending love his mother showed to him. It is still considered by many to be 2Pac’s most emotional and most respected song.

The record producer, Tony Pizarro, says about the song;

Pac used to make references to ‘Dear Mama’ in a lot of different songs and I’d always be like ‘You know that’s a songs in itself.’ And one day he was like ‘I got somethin’ for that.’ And he was like ‘Man, you have “In My Wildest Dreams” by the Crusaders and I was like ‘Yeah.’ He was like ‘Yeah, I got something for that.’ So I got the track ready. Pac just came through and just dropped it and blessed it with them vocals.

“Letter 2 My Unborn” (2001) is yet another where Tupac showed his true opinion about his respect for the family. In the song Tupac speaks to his hypothetical unborn child, relating stories of his own life and advising the child to avoid the troubles that he himself has faced.

Even moderately explicit tracks like “Wonda why they call you b*tch” (1996) that, on the surface, seems to be demeaning to women, was in fact advising a particular lady who he considered a sister to change her ways from prostitution and related vices.

Perhaps to satisfy the critics of this track, a recording released in his fifth posthumous studio album “Better Dayz” (recorded 1996 but released 2002) featured the track “Never Call U B*tch again” where he was apologizing to an hypothetical girlfriend, telling her how much he appreciates her, promising to change his ways and more importantly, promising never to call her a b*tch again.

2pac still remains one of my best rap artiste ever. His Unfortunate death in 1996 at the age of 25 has not in any way diminish the very high regard i have for this poet. Listening to his songs quickly brings to fore the shallowness of most of the songs we hear today, especially from the Nigerian music scene.

As we approach the 17th year anniversary of the demise of this music icon come September 13th, one can only wish that there would be an increasing appreciation of the positive aspects of his music.

Categories
Controversies

The Microwave Oven – A Death Wish?

I have never owned a microwave oven and i doubt if i ever would.

At about $100 (NGN16,000) for entry level models, the microwave oven is cheap and is fast becoming a regular feature in most kitchens of the Nigerian middle class and even a few low income households.

microwaveAs popular as it is, it is still one of the technologies that has generated the most widespread controversies, probably second only to the mobile phone technology.

Wikipedia aptly describes the technology that the microwave oven uses in heating up food as “… a kitchen appliance that heats food by bombarding it with electromagnetic radiation in the microwave spectrum causing polarized molecules in the food to rotate and build up thermal energy in a process known as dielectric heating.”

Therein lies the danger. What the Microwave actually does, in simple English, is to distort the molecular structure of the foods and destroy much of the nutrients in it, causing problems with the body immune system over a period of time.

Consumers are dying today in part because they continue to eat dead foods that are killed in the microwave. They take a perfectly healthy piece of raw food, loaded with vitamins and natural medicines, then nuke it in the microwave and destroy most of its nutrition. Reason why the Russians banned the microwave in 1976. Ban was only lifted in 1992 when capitalism took roots in the country.

The invention of the microwave and its mass adoption by the population coincides with the onset of obesity in developed nations around the world. Not only did the microwave make it convenient to eat more obesity-promoting foods, it also destroyed much of the nutritional content of those foods, leaving consumers in an ongoing state of malnourished overfeeding.

In other words, people eat too many calories but not enough real nutrition. The result is, of course, what we see today: Epidemic rates of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, depression, kidney failure, liver disorders and much more.

These diseases are all caused by a combination of malnutrition and exposure to toxic chemicals (plus other factors such as emotional trauma, lack of exercise, etc.). Microwaves make malnutrition virtually automatic, and being exposed to toxic chemicals is easy to accomplish by simply eating processed foods (which are universally manufactured with the addition of toxic chemicals that act as preservatives, colorings, flavor enhancers and so on).

All these are just allegations and will never be proven. But, of course, the choice is yours.

Categories
Controversies Gadgets Lifestyle Religion

The End Of The Bible As We Know It?

Every technological transition comes with advantages and disadvantages, as the new replaces the old. The same thing is present as ebooks continue to gain market share from hardcopy books. However, one very prominent book that has been the subject of a lot of  discourse is the Christian religious book, The Bible.

bibleSince the mobile phone crept into our lives, gradually taking control of almost every facet of our being, it has become an addiction that most people can not do without for any significant period of time. It is against this background that digital bible advocates probably believe that the only way to make the Bible still relevant in our fast paced, technological world is to incorporate it in our new found addiction – mobile. Over time, the term mobile device have come to include ereaders and tablets, with both form factors now having an overwhelming array of Bibles available for them too.

The question however remains, can the eBible effectively replace the print Bible in every regard? Many would also ask, can an exorcist cast out demons with a digital Bible like they do with the print version?

The fact that most people still feel uncomfortable using their mobile devices to read their Bibles in church probably speaks volumes as regards the way it is still being viewed, especially in Nigeria. This was the subject of my write up almost two years ago which I aptly titled “Ebook Readers – Technology meets Religion” wherein I discussed the trend.

I asked my non-techie wife about her view on the ebible in the church. Her response, “Well, as long as you are reading your Bible on it and not checking your emails or something“. That probably throws a little light on why people view Bible on mobiles in church with suspicion, especially with the advent of the Blackberry.

However, I do remain convinced that the leather-bound Bible on every household bookshelf — like records and videocassettes and newspapers — may soon be endangered, if not extinct. The overwhelming advantages that the ebook, in general, has over the printed book will ensure that the eBible stays very relevant for a long time.

Here are a few:

  • Ebook readers will allow readers to take thousands of ebooks everywhere they go.
  • Thousands of ebooks take up no more space than the reader than stores them.
  • Ebooks typically cost less than paper books.
  • Readers can easily switch from one ebook to another with very little effort.
  • Obtaining additional ebooks requires only a few keystrokes.
  • A new ebook is available immediately for reading.
  • Ebooks consume fewer natural resources such as trees, water and petroleum for shipping.
  • Ebooks have a lower cost of production