Categories
Gadgets

Innjoo – Service Par Excellence

Between June 1 and June 7,2015 Jumia had what it called its “Megathon”. Specific mobile phone models from selected manufacturers were sold at 50% off its retail value.

innjoo-one-gold_v8nhIt was an opportunity for me to pick up a phone for my workplace SIM. I decided on an Innjoo One – Gold that was being offered for N13,999.00 after applied discount.

I was not particularly thrilled with the specifications of the phone but who can refuse such a huge discount. I had noticed that, lately, most phones being churned out from Asia – particularly China – have very predicatble specifications; Google Android 4.4.2 KitKat (Don’t they know Lollipop’s been out for almost a year?!), 1GB/2GB RAM, Mediatek Processor (usually MT6592) with 16GB Internal Memory.I ranted about this extensively on twitter the night after i took delivery of the phone.

Shockingly, just a few minutes after my rant and as if with a mind of its own, the phone slid off the table and landed face down on the ceramic tiled floor. I was speechless for the whole of 2 minutes. This was nothing short of a “Harakiri” that the phone just pulled on me. I quietly packed up the phone and went to bed to grieve over the loss.

Next morning i called Innjoo service center and was informed that i would be parting with N8,500.00 to replace the shattered screen. Wow! Screen replacement is going to cost me more that half of what i paid for the whole phone!

Took a dash there during my lunch break, was given a tally number on arrival. However, i did not spend more than 10 minutes before i was attended to.

Apparently, the model is a recent release and the customer service lady expressed her doubt on the availability of a replacement screen.

“Can you give me a minute to speak with my supervisor?”, she asked.

Damn! I was already thinking in my mind how this was going to play out;

“Sorry we don’t have a replacement screen at the moment. Do you mind leaving the phone with us and come back for it in, say, 3 weeks?” I had made up my mind to smash the phone on their floor if she comes back with such a response.

She was back a few minutes later and started, “Sorry we don’t have a replacement screen at the moment…”. Damn! Knew it! But she continued,”Do you mind if we replace with a new one? You will only be paying the same N8,500.00″

New one?! Really! Wow!

“Sure, sure” I responded excitedly “I don’t mind”

5 minutes and N8,500.00 later, i was out of the service center with a brand new Innjoo One – Gold phone.

A very happy ending to a rather sad experience. Innjoo, you get my vote for good service delivery.

Categories
Lifestyle

The African Version of Amazon Will Emerge From Nigeria

w575.jpg When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the company’s plans for 30-minute delivery drones with Amazon Prime Air in December, it became clear that ecommerce has exciting days ahead.

But Amazon isn’t the only company ramping up digital business, nor is the U.S. the only region in the game. In fact, Africa may have already stolen a march on personal delivery from the air, and Nigeria — specifically the rapidly growing city of Lagos — may produce the next great ecommerce company.

See also: 20 Important African Startups to Watch

Africa’s tech space, which has been defined and accelerated by the mobile phone, is undoubtedly growing as investors scramble toward the continent. Various African countries have leapfrogged fixed-line Internet because of the ubiquity of cellphones and their networks, and entrepreneurs will likely tackle transportation in a similar way. Why build roads to inaccessible places when the air is a better and increasingly cheaper option?

A current initiative that addresses African drone delivery is the Flying Donkey Challenge, a 24-hour race around Mount Kenya where African companies have to deliver and collect 20-kilo payloads as they go. The winner receives a prize of more than $1 million.

But while these companies face huge challenges in circumnavigating Mount Kenya in East Africa, it’s actually in Nigeria, West Africa, where today’s challenges are almost unfathomable in scope — and, yet, also where future “African Amazons” are likely to emerge.

Lagos isn’t Nigeria’s capital city, but it is by far the biggest in the country. Depending on which statistics you believe, the city’s population is between 17 and 21 million, with 30,000 people arriving every week from across Africa.

Delivery in Lagos is utter chaos. There isn’t a viable postal service in the city — or the country, for that matter — and by all standards the city just shouldn’t work. But it does, and ecommerce companies are proliferating. Some even guarantee delivery of products across the city within 24 hours.

“By 2030, one in every six Africans will be Nigerians, and its economy will have the largest GDP on the continent,” says Betty Enyonam Kumahor, managing director of Africa for global IT consulting firm ThoughtWorks. “But understanding how to launch an ecommerce business in Nigeria requires an understanding of the ecosystem and country, and other aspects such as the cost of generators and the relative dearth of the talent pool.”
But ecommerce startups in Lagos, such as online grocery business Gloo.ng, are facing logistic problems beyond buying generators. There’s also the problems of trying to get through Lagos’ terrible traffic and finding addresses that often cannot be found on a map, for example.

Gloo.ng’s founder, Dr. Olumide Olusanya, is positioning the company as Nigeria’s equivalent of Ocado, the very successful UK delivery arm of Waitrose supermarket. Olusanya gave up practicing medicine to become an entrepreneur, and Gloo.ng has expanded rapidly in its short history. It has quadrupled in size in the past year, and in January moved to a 20,000 square feet fulfillment center in the city.

“We believe the timing of starting our company has been God-sent,” he says. “Brick-and-mortar supermarket shopping, which is exceedingly painful on this side of the world, is not yet culturally ingrained, and we will leapfrog the curve of building supermarket brick-and-mortar, as you have in the developed climes where this is an embedded culture.”

According to Olusanya, the two biggest brick-and-mortar players have a combined market share of 0.9%, with fewer than 13 outlets in a nation of 170 million people — a significant portion of whom are migrating to the middle class.

“The fact that 65% of first-time users become repeat shoppers with us is proof that we are on to something huge,” Olusanya says.

Ecommerce innovation isn’t limited to Nigeria, but entrepreneurs around the world are closely watching what is happening there. One such UK entrepreneur is Ivan Mazour, CEO of Ometria, a software company providing an ecommerce intelligence platform to retailers.

“Ecommerce is the next frontier for emerging markets — an unstoppable wave in the evolution of retail,” he says. “The MINT countries [Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey] are the future, and Nigeria is the most interesting of this new group. As an economy, it’s projected to go from the 39th largest GDP to 13th in the next two decades.”

More importantly, Mazour adds, Nigeria is already home to many successful ecommerce giants, including Konga and Jumia, two Nigerian ecommerce companies that have raised $63.5 million and $61 million respectively from global investors. These two companies provide the inspiration for African entrepreneurs, such as Gloo.ng’s Olusanya, as well as other more niche ecommerce companies to create Africa’s first retail hub or cluster in Lagos.

“[Ometria was] founded with a focus on bridging the gap between the knowledge that exists in developed markets. As we continue to expand globally, we are looking to Nigeria as a future ecommerce leader in the EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] region,” Mazour says.

There’s also a wealth of exciting startups such as QSR Consult, a company that is developing three new “quick service” restaurants Grubs, Spice Bowl and Kobis in Nigeria. Tunde Ogunrinde, the company’s CEO, spent 17 years at Burger King UK and returned to Nigeria in 2009.

“There is a greater comfort with shopping online with many Nigerians nowadays due to pricing and non-payment until goods are delivered at the door of client,” Ogunrinde says. “It seems that Jumia [and] Konga are leading the market in terms of brand awareness and potential volumes. As confidence grows, this form of buying and selling will increase, but for many of these ecommerce companies, the biggest challenge is logistics and getting products to clients on time.”

So, while Bezos dreams of drones and talks hot air, and while some African companies clamber to join the race to Mount Kenya for the Flying Donkey Challenge, it’s Nigerian ecommerce startups that are doing it right now.

Moreover, they are finding quick success in one of the most competitive cities in the world. We’ll see drones over Lagos sooner than we think, and probably a lot sooner than the cities in the West.

 

Source

Categories
Gadgets

Tecno Phones – Slowly But Surely Taking Over Nigeria

A few months back, i walked into a mobile phone store somewhere around highbrow Victoria Garden City (VGC) in Lagos (Nigeria) and requested for a particular model of the Tecno phone brand.

The words were barely out of my mouth when the store attendant – with an air of superiority – dismissed my inquiry with a “we don’t sell such phones here” response. True, because when i looked round the store, i could only see mid to high end phones from popular manufacturers like Samsung and Nokia.

I walked out quietly.

A few weeks later, I was in this same store but this time, in search of a case for my Samsung Galaxy Tab Tablet. To say I was shocked was an understatement. There, conspicuously displayed on the shelves of the store were a line-up of phone models from – not only Tecno – but other mid tier manufacturers like Infinix and a couple of other manufacturers that i can not readily recall.

So what gives? What has changed? Unfortunately, the pompous attendant was nowhere to be found for me to pose my questions to him.

tecno-f7-phantoma_sdtfkf

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
Gadgets Mobile Technology

The Long Wait

Weaning my wife off her Blackberry addiction has been a very impossible task. Apparently, all my rants have come to nothing. Read my rants here.

Here in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, Blackberry addiction is still quite rife. Most go to extreme lengths to get one of these devices, preferrably the flagship models.

Personally, i have very little love for that brand and all it stands for. My reasons are summarized below;

– OVER PRICED PHONES!!! Yes, the caps was intentional. Would gladly choose the N35,000 Tecno Phantom A+ Android phone over the now N70,000 Blackberry Z10
– Mostly boring designs and limited screen estate. Okay, the Z10 is an exception.
– Limited apps. Like they say, the app makes the phone. Right? Unfortunately, even the Z10 and other new offerings can not compensate for this.
– Very limited free apps. Yeah, for cheap skates like me!
– Perhaps most importantly, its addictiveness

long waitUnfortunately, my “educated” analysis usually fall on deaf ears. Most did not care, so long as they have their chat services. In Nigeria, Blackberry is synonymous with its chat services, the BBM. Remove the BBM from Blackberry and what do you have?

Well, it was very good music to my ears when i heard that BBM was going to be made cross platform, meaning that the BBM would now be available on Android and Apple Phones. Definitely a welcome development for we consumers, though not sure how it would impact on Blackberry. I can however hazard a guess, I foresee them being transformed from a mobile phone manufacturer to a messaging company, in the ranks of Whatsapp and the likes.

Armed with this information, i approached my wife again in a bid to woo her over. On one knee, i proposed to her … “Darling, please come over to android”. Guess what? She said yes! yes!! yes!!!

Finally! Got her off the sinking Blackberry ship.

Blackberry said soon, the app would be available on Android. Beta tests was even conducted with a select few last week. But how soon, nobody knows. Before end of summer, is always the vague response.

Guess we are in for a long wait. I pray she does not change her mind before then.

Categories
Gadgets

10 Android Apps Every Geek Must Have!

Andie Graph

TI-86A throw back from my undergraduate days. The TI-86 programmable calculator sure came in handy. Even had a swell time programming in Texas Instruments’ version of Quick Basic. Was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled on this app on Google Play.

It gave me back my TI-86, right there on my phones. Goes a step further by including other TI programmable calculators; TI-82, TI-83, TI-83+ and TI-85.

This is an emulator, you will still need to get their ROMS. Where to get the ROMs? Google is your friend. “Seek and you shall find”

Read more about these unbeatable range of calculators;

The TI-8X series of calculators work great as standalone calculators, showing 8 lines of history, using standard mathematical notation. Each model was designed with more specific purposes in mind:

  • The TI-82 is designed for algebra and trigonometry. Graph and compare functions, perform variable substitution, and solve single variable equations.
  • The TI-83 is designed for statistics and trigonometry. Graph and compare functions, and perform data plotting and analysis.
  • The TI-85 is great for engineering and computer science. Graph and compare functions, perform bit manipulation and convert between numeric bases.
  • The TI-86 is great for engineering and calculus. Graph and compare functions, perform bit manipulation and convert between numeric bases. Solve differential equations, plot vector fields.
  • All models allow you to write programs in TI-BASIC and perform basic scientific calculator operations.

 

Agenda Widget for Android

Keep track of your To-do list, right from the desktop of your phone. Highly customizable homescreen widget which allows you to show calendars and tasks from various other Android applications. It comes with various preset themes and has 3 display modes (inline, icon and date row).

However, I strongly suggest you go for the plus version of this app for even more features. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roflharrison.agenda.plus

agenda

Android Firewall

Prevent your installed apps from sapping your data plan in the background. This will probably come very handy for you cheap skates with pirated apps on your phones. It will prevent the apps from “ringing home”.

Note that you need to have your device rooted to use this app.

firewall

 

Backup message & call to Email

Backup and/or Synchronize the call log, MMS and SMS on ALL your phones using your Gmail accounts.

 gmail

Expense Manager

expenseKeep tab on every penny, cent or kobo you earn or spend. Have a good overview of your piggy bank before you shell out your hard earn cash on that new gadget!

Expense manager is great application for managing your expenses and incomes:

  • Tracking expenses and incomes by week, month and year as well as by categories
  • Multiple accounts in multiple currencies
  • Schedule the payments and recurring payments
  • Budget by day, week, month and year
  • Import and export account activities in CSV for desktop software
  • Dropbox and SD Card backup

And a whole lot more…

 

My Tracks

my tracksYou are a geek not a Christopher Columbus! Though I was very good in Geography in high school, I soon realized that it didn’t help much when it came to finding my way around Lagos (Nigeria) network of roads and its very mad traffic.

My Tracks records your path, speed, distance, and elevation while you walk, run, bike, or do anything else outdoors. While recording, you can view your data live, annotate your path, and hear periodic voice announcements of your progress.

With My Tracks, you can store your tracks with Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Fusion Tables, or Google Spreadsheets, or export your tracks to external storage. With Google Drive, you can also sync your tracks, share tracks with friends, and see the tracks your friends have shared with you. With Google Maps, you can share the map url with friends via Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc. With export to external storage, you can select GPX, KML, CSV, or TCX format.

My Tracks uses the GPS sensor in your device to record geographic and velocity statistics, but the app also syncs with third-party biometric sensors, including:

  • Zephyr HxM Bluetooth heart rate monitor
  • Polar WearLink Bluetooth heart rate monitor
  • ANT+ heart rate and speed distance monitors (these require an ANT+ compatible phone)

 

Tasker

How can I describe this app? Okay, let’s put it this way. If you were given a choice of a single app on your phone, by all means, this should be your choice.

Tasker gives you the tools you need to turn your smartphone into a fully-automated superphone. It gives you the tools to automate nearly any task on your Android phone based on certain triggers, resulting in some really powerful options.  It even lets you export your customizations and share with your friends as standalone apps. (WOW FACTOR!!!!)

It is not a free app, however, there is an offer of a 14-day trial at the developer’s website.

Alternatives to this app abound, but this in my opinion is the best in its category.

tasker

Diary of a Geek

This is the official android app for this blog. Keep tab on the latest tips, trends, lifestyle and technology news right from your mobile phone. Articles, tweets and Facebook posts are pushed to you in real time.

doag

Fing – Network Tools

Sniff out the leaches on your WiFi network. Identify every single device on your network. Keep track of the addresses allocated to devices on your LAN network .

fing

Titanium Backup

Titanium Backup is a backup utility for Android that backs up your system and user applications along with their data on external storage of your choice. It is a leading Android application that uses root access to pull all your important applications and data from the system partition and stores them for future restoration. Whether your phone is corrupted or flashed with a custom ROM, Titanium Backup can save the hassle to get your phone loaded up just like it was before. Best of all, it is FREE! If you use it regularly, the PRO version will enhance the experience like never before! Get it today and protect your precious data before its too late!.

This app is especially recommenced to the custom ROM prostitutes who are continually jumping from one ROM to the other.

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
Gadgets Mobile

Between BBM, Whatsapp and Privacy Concerns

Lets face it, in Nigeria only two messaging platforms are worth considering – Blackberry’s BBM and Whatsapp. And of these two, Whatsapp is probably more widespread though not necessarily more actively used.

The reason for this is very simple.

whatsapp-blackberry-diaryofageekApart from the fact that Whatsapp is cross platform, subscribing to this messaging service and acquiring a bunch of chat buddies is usually a breeze and very much less restrictive. Once a user subscribes to Whatsapp, the platform automatically grants the subscriber unrestrictive access to other Whatsapp users in his mobile phone contact. On this platform, your mobile phone number is your unique identifier.

On the other hand, Blackberry’s BBM requires the exchange of alphanumeric PINs for two subscribers to open an unrestricted communication channel between themselves. Your BBM contacts are very separate from your mobile phone contacts.

Whether Blackberry would continue with the BBM PIN model in its cross platform implementation (Android & iOS) come summer 2013 is yet to be confirmed. However, for those that are very conscious of releasing their personal details online, it is very obvious that Whatsapp is a more intrusive messaging system and throws up a lot of privacy concerns because of the need for you to release your mobile number, sometimes to strangers. BBM might just be the best messaging platform to adopt.

Nigeria has a notorious Blackberry cult followership and even those not using Blackberry phones still have a soft spot for this messaging platform. While BBM usage in Nigeria may not necessarily be a reflection of global usage rate, it is expected that millions would jump on board. And for a country with over 170 million residents, coupled with other new users from developing countries in the Asia where Blackberry has its strength, it is only a matter of time for the present 61 million BBM users to surpass the 200 million strong users on Whatsapp platform.

Categories
Uncategorized

Embracing Employee – Acquired Smartphones Without Compromising Security

This article was first published in Diary of a Geek on April 20, 2011

EspionageIf your capacity as an IT professional involves dealing with people in your office going on the road with mobile devices and bemoaning policies that keep them from accessing the company’s network because of pesky security protocols, then my heart goes out to you. It’s rough trying to balance the legitimate needs of a staff trying to maximize its ability to get a job done and the often bureaucratic rigamarole of office directives that seem to be counterproductive to what should be a goal shared with that same staff. People want to work smarter, not harder, and being part of a team should support — not stifle — that goal.

In the past decade (and especially in just the past few short years), the mobile phone has become more common among the general population and less of a company-issued “perk” — and, therefore, less under the reign of strict policies that your company may have instated in the past regarding the use of such devices. It just makes sense that you, as an IT professional in charge of enforcing the integrity of your company’s security initiatives, want to be kept up to date on your options with an ever-changing set of rules in an ever-changing game. So when on-the-go people at the office increasingly voice a desire to use their own smartphones to take part in mission critical (but top secret) company communication, how do you embrace the use of employee-acquired smartphones without compromising security? BlackBerry may not be the first company that comes to mind when you think of smartphones today, but it inarguably has more experience in the field than many of its contemporary contenders. So when BlackBerry has an opinion on the matter and offers free advice to IT professionals who have an ear to listen (well, in this case, an eye to read. Maybe even two of them), you may find it worth your while to see what the company has to say.

Categories
Hosting

Create Free Websites Using Your Dropbox Account

Owning a website is the norm nowadays. Whether to showcase yourself or your product, most people seem to have a reason (or more!) to own one. However, not many are willing to pay for this service.

If you are among this category of penny pinchers, you are in luck. I know just what you need – Dropbox! Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, and client software. Dropbox allows users to create a special folder on each of their computers, which Dropbox then synchronises so that it appears to be the same folder (with the same contents) regardless of the computer it is viewed on. Files placed in this folder are also accessible through a website and mobile phone applications.

site44Dropbox offers 2GB of this space free for everyone that signs on. In conjunction with site44.com, you have more than enough space needed for a website.

Follow the steps below and you will have your website running in a few minutes. It is simple:

  • Create a new Dropbox account or use an existing one.
  • Go to site44.com. Then click Sign in with Dropbox to get started
  • Click Allow to allow site44 to connect with your Dropbox account
  • You will be taken to a page on site44 where you can create your site
  • You have a choice of using a free site44 sub domain name for your website in the form artwales.site44.com or you can use your own domain name.
  • A new folder for your site will automatically be created in your Dropbox account.
  • You can modify the content of the folder to make changes to your site or you can upload website pages or templates to it.

Limitations

  • It is great for hosting small websites with static content like an online resume site, but it lacks several desirable features. It does not support any server side code like Java or PHP.
  • No, you can not host a blog on it.
  • The free package, unfortunately, is very limited in features – Maximum data transfer of 100MB in a month.
  • Premium packages are not competitively priced, you will be better off hosting your sites with a regular web host.

Free users can create up to 5, low-traffic pages in this site. Site44.com  is definitely not a replacement for fully equipped web hosting service, but for starters who don’t need all those features  and you use Dropbox anyway, then this is a good option. Do check it out!