Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hacking work: How to break the rules to work better

Friday, May 4, 2012

Olympic Games 'not immune' to cyber-attack

The London Olympics "will not be immune" to cyber-attack, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has warned.
He said attackers "would seek to disrupt the Games", noting that the Beijing Olympics saw 12 million cybersecurity incidents in 2008.
"We have rightly been preparing for some time a dedicated unit which will help guard the London Olympics against cyber-attack," he said.

Hackers takes Soca crime agency website down

The website of the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) has been taken offline following a cyber-attack.
Soca confirmed to the BBC that had suffered a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
A spokesman said the site was taken offline at 22:30 on Wednesday, but that the attack did not "pose a security risk to the organisation".

Microsubmarines could clean oil spills, researchers say

Tiny submarines that are 10 times smaller than the width of a human hair could be used to clean up oil spills, researchers have suggested.
The self-propelled microsubmarines are able to gather oil droplets and take them to collection facilities.
The team from the University of California San Diego's nano-engineering department said their tests showed "great promise".

Facebook IPO values company at between $85bn and $95bn

Facebook has set the share price for its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) at between $28 and $35 per share, valuing the company at between $85bn-$95bn (£52bn-£59bn).
The IPO is set to be the largest ever for an internet firm, bigger than Google's valuation of $23bn in 2004.
IPOs are when companies list shares on the stock market for the first time.
Facebook is set to list on the Nasdaq and would rival Amazon's and Cisco System's current market values.

London to test 'smart city' operating system

An operating system designed to power the smart cities of the future will be put through its paces in London.
Living Plan IT has developed its Urban OS to provide a platform to connect services and citizens.
With partners including Hitachi, Phillips and Greenwich council, it aims to use the Greenwich peninsula as a testbed for new technologies running on the system.

IPv6: Europe 'ahead' in new net address scheme

Norway is leading the way in preparing for the move to the net's new addressing scheme, a survey has shown.
The survey comes a month before World IPv6day that will see many v6 websites permanently activated.
The new IPv6 scheme is needed because the older system, IP Version 4, is about to run out of addresses.
Compiled by Europe's net address overseer, RIPE, the report found that Norway was ahead of Asian nations where IPv4 addresses are no longer available.

Samsung: finally unveiled Galaxy Series 3

The handset has a 4.8 inch (12.2cm) screen, an increase on the 4.3 inch screen of its predecessor.
The device is perceived to be critical to how people view both Samsung's brand and the Android system it runs.
Analysts say the popularity of the previous Galaxy - the S2 - was a major factor in the firm overtaking Nokia to become the world's best-selling mobile phone maker.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kickstarter video game project exposed as a scam

Crowdsourced funding site Kickstarter has suffered its first publicised scam.
An effort to raise cash for a role-playing video game was exposed as a fraud by users of Reddit, Something Awful and other sites.
The project had $4,739 (£2,922) in pledgesout of a target of $80,000 at the point it was pulled by its creator.
Kickstarter could not provide comment at this time. The site has successfully funded nearly 22,000 schemes since it was created in 2009.

The Rise Of The Schminternet

During the fight over the much-maligned Stop Online Piracy Act, the implacably irreverent denizens of Reddit took a moment to contemplate their future should the controversial bill become law. Under the headline "If SOPA passes..." one Redditor whipped up animage macro of Will Ferrell (as Ron Burgundy) screaming: "We'll make our own internet and you won't be invited!"
SOPA did not pass, of course, so the creation of a new internet was not needed. But a similar sentiment actually caught on with internet service providers after the Federal Communications Commission passed net neutrality rules in December 2010. With their behavior on fixed broadband now hemmed in by regulations, the ISPs are, in effect, creating a secondary sort of internet that allows them more freedom to influence their customers' media consumption. Among insiders it is known as "the Schminternet."

With BlackBerry 10, RIM Is Fighting the Wrong War

So far at BlackBerry World, there hasn’t been much talk about the “enterprise refocus” that Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins made headlines with at the company’s last earnings call.
At all the meetings, panels and keynotes I’ve attended so far, it’s been clear the siren call of the consumer market still commands a large portion of RIM’s attention.
Take one example: The way-cool time-shifting camera functions in BlackBerry 10 that Heins showed off in his keynote.

Motorola wins Xbox and Windows 7 ban in Germany

Motorola Mobility has been granted an injunction against the distribution of key Microsoft products in Germany.
The sales ban covers the Xbox 360 games console, Windows 7 system software, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.
It follows a ruling that Microsoft had infringed two patents necessary to offer H.264 video coding and playback.

Thoughts On Blackberry World 2012, BB10 And The Future For Research In Motion

Months ago when the Playbook 2.0 update hit and the keyboard/case thing finally was outed or when the Blackberry London Hardware leaked, i said i still believed in The Playbook, B10 and RIM having a future. Or a one last chance.

After having watched the most important 30 minutes of video and read around 10 pages of BW2012 briefings. I can still say it. Not only that, i would even add that they now got a very good chance.

HP And IBM Need To Be Very Afraid Of Dell

I recently attended Dell‘s Annual Industry Conference (#DAAC) in beautiful Austin, Texas.  I have staged and attended many conferences like this before and this was similar to those, but also different in many ways.  I’ll get into later.  One thing that kept repeating through my head was that Dell has all the characteristics to drive some serious enterprise and services revenue.  Hewlett-Packard and IBM better be taking them seriously in these spaces or face the consequences.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Campaign aims to speed up 4G mobile roll-out in UK

Mobile network Everything Everywhere has taken fresh steps to lobby for 4G data services in the UK.
The firm is urging business leaders and consumer champions to join 4GBritain - a campaign calling on the government "to do whatever is necessary to move forward" with the roll-out.
The network operator's chief executive said the UK needed to catch up.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Imagine Cup 2012: Microsoft seeks support from Nokia, Dell

Ahead of 2012 Imagine Cup software students competition slated for Sydney, Australia this July, Microsoft Nigeria has disclosed that it has started discussions with foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers , (OEMs) including Nokia, Dell among others on how best to equip Nigerian software incubators that will fly the country’s flag at the world stage.
This year, for the first time, two rounds of regional finals will be held in Nigeria instead of just one ahead of the national finals in Port Harcourt this Friday to accommodate the anticipated number of entries.
It would be recalled that the Rivers State Government has fully thrown its weight behind 2012 Imagine series as the official kick off of the competition had already been held at the Rivers State House of Assembly Auditorium in Port Harcourt.

Group intensifies call for local content in telecoms

Following the sucsuccessful passage into law, of a bill on the Local Content in the down stream sector of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry, key stakeholders have continued to call on the concerned authorities to replicate same in the telecoms sector.
This time, by a non governmental, non profit-making organisation known as ‘Youths Arise for Nigeria’, YAN, who accused foreign telecom operators of capital flight and other economic sabotages.
YAN said it has become imperative for the Federal government to replicate the local content policy in the Oil and Gas industry to the telecommunication sector so as to create employment for teeming Nigerian youths and generate revenue for the government.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, the National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Liborous Oshoma noted that the liberalization of telecom sector has opened a new investment frontier for the Nigeria government, the business community in the country and their foreign or technical partners.
According to him, the industry has been of great benefit to both the users, in terms of communication, and the service providers, in terms of return on investment, as research has shown that the revenue generated by the sector alone in 2010 was about $8.6bn which was an increase over that of 2009, even as the revenue is expected to hit $11bn by 2013.
The group’s spokesman expressed regret that the increase in revenue generation by the network providers has not impacted on the life of the average Nigerian, rather, what the country was getting from them is usurpation.
“Since 10 years of telecommunication operation in Nigeria, none of the operators can boast of encouraging local industrialization that will help promote manufacturing and or fabrication of equipments like towers, equipment shelters, even telephones here in Nigeria. They also intentionally refused to invest or encourage local industries that are doing same with the intent of promoting the manufacturing of these products in their home country.”
Oshoma further stressed that in spite of the success of the Nigerian companies at providing quality indirect services to the operators through the middle man arrangement, the operators still intentionally refused to deal directly with the local engineering companies, because of their apathy for the development of the Nigeria local content.
The group however, called for a timely intervention from the concerned authorities to stem the ugly trend in the sector. “A timely intervention is required to arrest this ugly development before it degenerate to a situation where the youth who are unemployed will begin to see every foreigner in Nigeria as a threat to job creation and local empowerment.
“To this end, we appeal to government to set up a body with a mandate of enforcing our local content participation and technological advancement especially in the telecom sector and every aspect of our national lives.”

Techno Nigeria

Microsoft launches SQL server 2012 to control data explosion

To help address the challenges of increasing data volumes by rapidly turning data into actionable business insights, the software giant, Microsoft has unveiled the latest version of the world’s most widely deployed data platform, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 in Nigeria.
This was in line with expanding on Microsoft’s commitment to help customers manage any data, regardless of size, both on_premises and in the cloud.
The Solutions Specialist, Microsoft Nigeria, Olufemi George while speaking at the launch,, said, “According to Worldwide Regional Public IT Cloud Services (2011 – 2015) forecast, digital data will grow 44 times over the next decade.  So, whatever the type or size of data, SQL Server 2012 delivers the platform and familiar tools to manage data, generate actionable insights and help drive business impact.”
Similarly, Mr. Femi Oyenuga, Senior Manager, Enterprise Information Management, MTN Nigeria in his own reaction said that, “Microsoft’s data platform has continued to advance and help us keep up with the evolving world of data.”
Meanwhile, reports by Forrester Consulting, a research firm, on the total economic impact and potential return on Investment (ROI), confirmed that organizations might realise that by upgrading to the Microsoft SQL Server 2012, their server can deliver an anticipated ROI of between 149 percent and 189 percent with a projected 12_month payback period.
SQL server 2012: proven capability
SQL Server 2012 has already been deployed for production use by hundreds of global, industry_leading customers, such as Volvo Car Corp., Revlon, the HSN, Sanofi Pasteur, Klout and LG Chemical. Customers choosing SQL Server 2012 enjoy the benefit of a rich hardware and software partner ecosystem that can create solutions for the most unique and demanding data management needs.
Tackling big data
IT research firm Gartner estimates that the volume of global data is growing at a rate of 59 percent per year, with 70 to 85 percent in unstructured form.
Furthering its commitment to connect SQL Server and rich business intelligence tools, such as Microsoft Excel, PowerPivot for Excel 2010 and Power View, with unstructured data, Microsoft announced plans to release an additional limited preview of an Apache Hadoop_based service for Windows Azure in the first half of 2012.
The company also disclosed additional details regarding its plans to release an Apache Hadoop_based service for Windows Azure.
It would be recalled that since the first limited preview released in December, customers such as Webtrends and the University of Dundee are using the Hadoop_based service to glean simple, actionable insights from complex data sets hosted in the cloud.
Continued improvements, new levels of return on investment
To help customers more cost_effectively manage their enterprise_scale workloads, Microsoft will release several new data warehousing solutions in conjunction with the general availability of SQL Server 2012, slated to begin April 1.
This includes a major software update and new half_rack form factors for Microsoft Parallel Data Warehouse appliances, as well as availability of SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse reference architectures for SQL Server 2012.
Microsoft and partners also announced that SQL Server 2012 has demonstrated new record_breaking performance benchmarks through partner_ and Microsoft_led testing that underscores SQL Server’s ability to scale across the enterprise.
Those interested can find more information about the announcements or download an evaluation copy of SQL Server 2012 at the SQL Server virtual press kit.
The launch held at the prestigious Civic Centre in Lagos, Nigeria and had in attendance, professionals from diverse sectors of the economy including telecoms, banking, manufacturing and oil & gas.
Highlight of the occasion was a panel sitting with speakers from companies such as Interswitch, Oando, MTN, among others.

Techno Nigeria

Friday, April 27, 2012

Amazon profits Forecasts

Amazon has posted better-than-expected profits after the world's largest retailer cut costs and boosted sales of its Kindle tablet and digital products.
Amazon shares rose almost 15% in after-hours trading in New York after it said quarterly net income was $130m (£80m).
The firm has been launching new products such as the Kindle Fire, a tablet that competes with Apple's iPad.
There had been nervousness among some investors that new product launches would be a drain on profits.
According to Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan, Amazon, which has been spending heavily on expansion, is starting to get a grip on costs.
The earnings have "something for everyone; growth and margins to satisfy investors", he added.
Amazon said that revenues rose 34% to $13.18bn during the first three months of 2012.
In a conference call, Amazon executives said they were pleased with growth in sales of the digital content that the Kindle and Kindle Fire are designed to accelerate.

Techno Nigeria

The controversial piracy law, the Digital Economy Act, delayed

The measures, such as letters to suspected illegal downloaders and potential disconnection, will not be enforced until at least 2014.
Since being passed at the end of the Labour administration in 2010, action has stalled due to legal challenges.
The delay was welcomed by the Internet Service Providers' Association (Ispa).
Under the Act, letters sent out to apparent illegal file-sharers would offer advice on how to prevent such illegal activity.
Serious repeat offenders risk facing measures that limit, or even cut off, internet connection.
ISPs have criticised aspects of the Act, suggesting it would unfairly force them to police user behaviour on the internet.
'Effective solution' "The fact it hasn't been implemented is a good thing," an Ispa spokesman said.
"We don't think it's a particularly good piece of legislation."
However, he added that there were other measures being discussed which could see a clampdown on piracy.
"There's more than just the Digital Economy Act when it comes to tackling copyright infringement online," he said.
"Ispa continues to believe that the most effective solution to the problem of users accessing unlawful content is for reform of the licensing framework so that legal content can be distributed online in a way that consumers are demanding."
Last month, BT and TalkTalk lost a two-year legal bid to have the Act overturned. They argued it was incompatible with European law.
The repeated delays have led some industry observers to speculate that the Act's measures will never come into force.
"I think I might be waiting for a fairy to arrive and wave her magic wand over the House of Commons saying 'come to your senses, come to your senses'," wrote Trefor Davies, chief technology officer for service provider Timico.
"Maybe that's the point at which I wake up and find that I've been dreaming."

Techno Nigeria

Matt Richardson developed Descriptive camera

A camera which produces written descriptions of scenes rather than photographs has been invented by a student in the US.
The device uploads pictures to the web which are described within minutes by users on Amazon's Mechanical Turk service.
The short description is then sent back to the camera and printed.
It was developed by Matt Richardson, an Interactive Communications graduate student at New York University.
"I'd been thinking a lot about how cameras capture a lot of metadata when we take a picture: the location where you are, it captures the date, the camera make and model," he told the BBC.
"A lot of information, but most of it's not really useful or has limited use."
Menial tasks The machine uses a BeagleBone, a tiny computer used to power prototypes and other experimental computers.
It links up to Mechanical Turk, a service in which people can perform menial tasks in exchange for small sums of money.
In this case, Mr Richardson paid $1.25 (80p) for each picture to be described.
"I had started off by sending a very low price and it was taking about 15 minutes for a description to come back," he said.
"I wanted to get a response much faster. I incrementally raised the price, and I finally hit this $1.25 mark - which is about the cost of a Polaroid print. At that price, a description would come through in about three to six minutes."
As well as using Mechanical Turk, Mr Richardson also added a setting on the camera which would send the picture to any available online friends to describe for free.
'What if?' Mr Richardson said that while there was no practical technology available to carry out the same task, he hoped such innovations would eventually exist, giving the camera more useful applications.
"I was picturing a time in which cameras could possibly capture more useful information that can then be searched, cross-referenced and sorted," he said.
"While the technology isn't really here yet, I thought it would be interesting to make a camera that would explore that 'what if?'"
He said he noticed that most people adopted an analytical tone to describe pictures rather than offer any human emotion.
"They speak very plainly about it, they're being very subjective. They're not making any value judgements or saying something is pretty or ugly," Mr Richardson said.
"I think perhaps I could coach people and say feel free to throw in your own opinions about it. If something's pretty, say it's pretty."

Techno Nigeria

Science fiction publisher Tor UK is dropping digital rights management from its e-books

DRM is used as an anti-piracy measure, but limits a user's ability to read a title on different devices.
Tor UK, Tor Books and Forge are divisions of Pan Macmillan, which said it viewed the move as an "experiment".
The firm said it was in discussions with e-book store owners to implement the action within three months.
The business said its authors had been pushing for the action for more than a year.
"We know that this is what many Tor authors passionately want," said Jeremy Trevathan, Pan Macmillan's fiction publisher.
"We also understand that readers in this community feel strongly about this."
Tor's writers include China Mieville, author of fantasy title The City and the City, and Peter F Hamilton, author of the Void trilogy.
Unrestricted access The move means users will not be restricted to using only one firm's technology to read purchased titles.
At present a user who buys a DRM-encoded book via Amazon, for example, can only read it on one of the firm's Kindle e-readers or a device running one of its Kindle apps. They cannot transfer the title to a Sony Reader, Kobo eReader or use it with Apple's iBooks.
A spokeswoman for Tor told the BBC that said she thought ditching DRM would serve as a "precedent" for the wider industry.
It is not the first to take the action. Fellow science fiction publisher Baen Books has long opposed DRM's use. Its late founder, Jim Baen, had said he thought it made it harder for people to read books.
JK Rowling also opted to offer her Harry Potter books DRM-free from her Pottermore store last year, instead adding a digital watermark to discourage users from copying them illegally.
In addition, genre publisher Angry Robots releases its title in the ePub format without DRM.
'Impediment' Apple helped shake up the music industry when its former chief executive Steve Jobs published an open letter in 2007 urging music publishers to drop DRM protection. It is now industry practice to sell tracks without the limitation.
However, many publishers remain unconvinced that they should follow.
"It is fair to say that DRM as a principle is now up for debate within the book trade - I have heard views both for and against it from senior members of the industry within the past few weeks," said Neill Denny, editor-in-chief of the Bookseller magazine.
"Some people think that it is an impediment, and has been cracked anyway so we don't need it. But others say that it continues to restrict piracy.
"The key difference with the music business is that the book trade can see what mistakes the record labels made and avoid them."

Techno Nigeria

Facebook's laucnch free Anti-virus Marketplace targets malware

Facebook has launched Anti-Virus Marketplace - a new portal to protect the social network's users.
Members are being encouraged to download anti-malware programs which they can use at no cost for six months.
The firm's flotation filing had previously flagged the issue, saying: "As a result of spamming activities, our users may use Facebook less or stop using our products altogether."
The firm is expected to raise $5bn through the share sale before July.
The move comes three months after security firm Sophos described the site as "a fertile breeding ground for hoaxes, spam and chain letters", adding that Facebook needed to "work harder than ever to reduce the havoc criminals are wreaking".
Sophos is one of the five firms with which Facebook has partnered. The others are McAfee, Microsoft, Symantec and Trend Micro.
Users are limited to installing software from one of the companies as part of the promotion.
The social network also states that it has expanded its web address blacklist to include dangerous sites identified by the security companies.
"This means that whenever you click a link on our site, you benefit not just from Facebook's existing protections, but the ongoing vigilance of the world's leading corporations involved in computer security," it said.
According to Facebook, spam makes up less than 4% of the content shared on its pages. It says it hopes that the project will help reduce this further.
Malicious links "Now that Facebook is a primary platform for communication, whether you're nine or 99, it's only become a bigger target for cybercriminals," said Trend Micro.
"This partnership will better enable us to protect the people who use our service, no matter where they are in the web."
Sophos added: "Because content is typically posted by a trusted source - a friend - many users incorrectly assume links are safe.
"Scammers often take advantage of the trust relationship to fool users into clicking malicious links.
"Our partnership... will educate users to make more informed decisions regarding what they click on and will help reduce the spread of malicious links."

Techno Nigeria

O2 mobile wallet app launches text message payments

Mobile network O2 has launched a smartphone app that allows users to transfer up to £500 via text message.
It also allows customers to "digitise" their debit and credit cards to speed up purchases from online stores.
The firm also intends to allow users of phones with near-field communication (NFC) chips to make contactless payments in high street shops.
It is the latest of several firms to charge retailers a transaction fee for making it easier to shop.
The service will be free to consumers at first, but O2 said that it would charge 15p for each money message sent by text at a later date.
The network provider said that more than 100 retailers had agreed to accept payments from the service. They include Debenhams, Comet, Sainsbury's Direct and Tesco Direct.
Users can also benefit from a search facility that compares how much goods cost, the ability to load money onto the app from their debit cards and a "transaction history" that keeps track of what they have spent.
The firm said it had held off introducing contactless payments as only a handful of retailers had installed the necessary systems.
It added that it was also in discussions with a rail operator to add a button to buy train tickets.
Security risks James Le Brocq, managing director at O2 Money said: "We believe it will transform the way people manage their finances and spend money."
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for uptake of such technology is fears about security. He noted that all personal details, pin codes, passwords and other financial data were held on remote central servers rather than on the mobile device.
"O2 wallet has been trialled internally for months and has undergone extensive 'stress-testing' with security experts," he added.
"This is, we believe, the safest and most secure way to deliver mobile payment services."
Project Oscar Eden Zoller, analyst at Ovum, said the service was part of a wider plan.
O2 and its rivals Vodafone and EverythingEverywhere are working on a national mobile payments service - dubbed Project Oscar. They had hoped to have it up and running in time for the London Olympics.
But the project is held up in Brussels, subject to an anti-competitive investigation.
"For O2 if this project is in danger of being stalled or even derailed it make sense to move ahead with a solo initiative," said Ms Zoller.
Phone with O2 Wallet app opened The app can also scan barcodes and search for cheaper products
It is not the first time O2 has experimented with mobile wallets. In 2009 it tested using mobiles as an Oyster card replacement to pay for travel on London's Underground network.
Last summer saw the launch of the UK's first mobile payment service with Orange and Barclaycard teaming up to offer contactless payments in a range of stores, including Pret a Manger, Little Chef and the National Trust.
Juniper Research estimates that one in six mobile devices will be NFC-enabled by 2014.
O2 currently has 200,000 customers with NFC-enabled phones in the UK.

Techno Nigeria

Credit card 'info for sale' websites closed in global raids

Dozens of websites offering credit card details and other private information for sale have been taken down in a global police operation.
Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) says raids in Australia, Europe, the UK and US are the culmination of two years of work.
Credit card numbers or bank account details of millions of unsuspecting victims were sold for as little as £2.
Two Britons and a man from Macedonia were arrested, with 36 sites shut down.
Some of the websites have been under observation for two years.
During that period the details of about two-and-a-half million credit cards were recovered - preventing fraud, according to industry calculations, of at least £0.5bn.
Lee Miles, the head of Soca's cyber crime unit, told the BBC that criminals were now selling personal data on an "industrial" scale.
He said: "Criminals are turning over vast volumes of these cards. We must match the criminals - it's an arms race.
"They are industrialising their processes and likewise we have to industrialise our processes to match them."
Mr Miles said traditional "bedroom" hackers were being recruited by criminal gangs to write the malware or "phishing" software that steals personal information.
Other IT experts are used to write the computer code that enables the websites to cope, automatically, with selling the huge amounts of data.
"I'd rather arrest 10 code writers than 1,000 front-end fraudsters," he said.
Joint operations on Thursday in Australia, the US, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Romania and Macedonia led to the websites being closed down.
A 23-year-old man in Stechford, Birmingham, and a 27-year-old man in Tottenham, north London, have been arrested, along with the man in Macedonia.
More arrests are expected.
Soca is also calling on internet service providers to stop individuals registering websites anonymously.
Automated computer programs can register thousands of similar, but different domain names, and it can be difficult to trace them back to their owner.
"Where individuals register domain names for criminal purposes there is a very loose 'know your customer' regime among the website providers," Mr Miles said.
"What we are trying to do is influence the industry to introduce more secure systems so they do know who is registering these sites and they have a more comprehensive customer database, and do more aimed at preventing criminals buying websites and using them for criminal ends," he added.
The BBC's Ben Ando said that, privately, officers admitted that it could be frustrating dealing with internet companies who were not used to being policed and were reluctant to agree to anything that they perceived to be an infringement of their freedoms.

Techno Nigeria

Nintendo reports first annual loss as Wii sales suffer

Nintendo, which once led the video games world with titles such as Pokemon and Super Mario, has suffered increasing competition from casual gamers playing on their smartphones instead.
The company had also been selling its 3DS handheld device below cost during the year thanks to a price cut it was forced to make in response to intensifying competition in the sector.
But it hopes to reverse this situation later this year and plans to launch a new 2D version of its Super Mario Bros. game this August.
While sales of Nintendo's Wii console have been slowing of late, the company still shifted 9.84m units for the year to March 2012 and has sold over 95m in total.
Flagging market It is hoping an updated version, the Wii U, due for launch at the end of this calendar year, will help revive the flagging console market.
The new tablet-sized console will feature a touch-screen, HD graphics and motion sensors. It will allow players to view different perspectives on the controller screen while seeing another viewpoint on the big TV screen.
But some analysts believe that competition from online social-networking games and smartphone apps is denting the console market irrevocably.
"The games console market is declining altogether because mobile phone devices are allowing casual gamers to play much more easily wherever they happen to be," said Stuart Miles, head of Pocket-lint, the technology review site.
"I don't think Nintendo's Wii U is likely to change that trend."
Nintendo is likely to launch the Wii U at the E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles this June.

Techno Nigeria

No evidence of harm to health found yet on Mobile Phones

There is still no evidence mobile phones harm human health, says a major safety review for the UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA).
Scientists looked at hundreds of studies of mobile exposure and found no conclusive links to cancer risk, brain function or infertility.
However, they said monitoring should continue because little was known about long-term effects.
The HPA said children should still avoid excessive use of mobiles.
It is the biggest ever review of the evidence surrounding the safety of mobile phones.
There are now an estimated 80 million mobiles in the UK, and because of TV and radio broadcasting, Wi-Fi, and other technological developments, the study said exposure to low-level radio frequency fields was almost universal and continuous.
A group of experts working for the HPA looked at all significant research into the effects of low-level radio frequency.
'Relatively reassuring' They concluded that people who were not exposed above UK guideline levels did not experience any detectable symptoms.
That included people who reported being sensitive to radio frequency.
They also said there was no evidence that exposure caused brain tumours, other types of cancer, or harm to fertility or cardiovascular health.
But they said very little was known about risks beyond 15 years, because most people did not use mobile phones until the late 1990s.
Prof Anthony Swerdlow, who chaired the review group, said it was important to continue monitoring research.
"Even though it's relatively reassuring, I also think it's important that we keep an eye on the rates of brain tumours and other cancers," he said.
"One can't know what the long-term consequences are of something that has been around for only a short period."
There has been speculation about the health effects of using mobile phones for years.
The HPA conducted a previous review in 2003, which also concluded that there was no evidence of harm. But there is now far more research into the subject.
Advice on children
The experts said more work was needed on the effect of radio frequency fields on brain activity, and on the possible association with behavioural problems in children.
They also called for more investigation into the effects of new technology which emits radio frequency, such as smart meters in homes and airport security scanners.
The HPA said it was not changing its advice about mobile phone use by children.
"As this is a relatively new technology, the HPA will continue to advise a precautionary approach," said Dr John Cooper, director of the HPA's centre for radiation, chemical and environmental hazards.
"The HPA recommends that excessive use of mobile phones by children should be discouraged."

Techno Nigeria

HTC and Nokia win European patent ruling against Ipcom

The European Patent Office has revoked a patent which threatened to halt sales of HTC and Nokia phones in Germany.
Intellectual property licensor Ipcom had demanded a ban on the two smartphone makers' handsets after they refused to meet its terms.
The dispute centred on rights to a wireless technology developed by Bosch for a car telephone system, which it subsequently sold in 2007.
Ipcom said it would appeal the EPO's ruling.
"The patent will remain in effect until the EPO has made a final decision on this appeal," a spokesman told the BBC.
"As patent '100A' currently remains in effect, today's ruling has no impact on the already-initiated cease and desist orders against HTC."
However, HTC urged Ipcom to reconsider.
"This ruling undermines Ipcom's licence infringement claim against us. We trust Ipcom will now reconsider its opportunistic dispute with HTC and withdraw its legal action against us," said a spokeswoman.
Ipcom first challenged HTC in the German courts in 2009 and won. HTC appealed, but later dropped the case just as it was about to come to court last year.
Ipcom subsequently wrote to retailers and wholesalers demanding they stop selling HTC's 3G devices, threatening to sue if they refused.
Last Friday it also scored a legal victory against Nokia when a German court ruled that the Finnish firm had also infringed Ipcom's intellectual property.
Nokia said it wanted the ruling clarified, adding that it believed it only applied to old handsets, most of which it had stopped selling.
Things continued to go in Ipcom's favour on Tuesday when a judge ordered Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone to halt sales of devices that violated Ipcom's rights.
Appeal The latest ruling now threatens to undo its progress.
Ipcom said that its patent was ruled invalid because one of its features "may be too broad".
However, Rainer Osterwalder, the EPO's deputy spokesman said the office could not confirm the reasons for the action until the written findings had been published.
He added that if Ipcom did appeal it might be "years, rather than months" before the parties involved had a final ruling.
Paul Melin, vice president of intellectual property at Nokia, said: "So far, of 62 Ipcom patents that have come to judgment, none has been found valid as granted. Ipcom needs to recognise its position and end its unrealistic demands."

Techno Nigeria

Samsung overtakes Nokia in mobile phone shipments

Samsung Electronics has overtaken Nokia to become the world's largest maker of mobile phones, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
Nokia took the top spot in 1998 from Motorola, but in the first quarter of 2012 Samsung shipped 93m phones compared to almost 83m by Nokia.
Samsung also reported its highest quarterly profit since 2008.
Net profit was 5.05tn won ($4.5bn; £2.8bn) in the quarter ending 31 March, up 81% from 2.78tn won last year.
Samsung is also the world's biggest TV and flat screen maker.
"We cautiously expect our earnings momentum to continue going forward, as competitiveness in our major businesses is enhanced," said Robert Yi, head of investor relations at Samsung.
Bright future The firm said its IT and mobile communications division, which manufactures the smartphones, made an operating profit of 4.27tn won during the period, as revenues in the division surged 86% from a year earlier.
Samsung will unveil the latest version of its Galaxy range of phones on 3 May.
The Galaxy range has been very popular and helped Samsung overtake Apple to become the world's biggest seller of smartphones.
"The smartphone market has almost only two players, Samsung and Apple," said Lee Sei-Cheol of Meritz Securities.
"Since its Galaxy3 phone is being unveiled in May, Samsung will keep enjoying sales growth in its mobile phone division."

Global mobile handset shipments (Q1)

Company Units (millions) Market share
Source: Strategy Analytics
Profit call Global demand for smartphones is expected to increase further in coming years, with research firm IDC forecasting that global smart phone shipments will rise by a third to 659.8 million units in 2012.
Analysts said that given its robust growth and dominance in the sector, Samsung was well placed to benefit from this growth and boost its market share.
However, given the robust growth in the sector, other smartphone makers are also keen to introduce new products and tap into the fast-growing market.
Samsung is facing stiff competition from rivals such as US-based Apple, Finland's Nokia, and Taiwan's HTC.
Apple, which said earlier this week that it sold 35 million of its iPhones in the first quarter, is expected to launch a new version of its handset later this year.
Analysts said that as more models are launched, manufacturers may have to the cut price of their handsets in a bid to attract consumers, a move that may see profit margins shrink.
"Samsung's handset earnings may weaken in the latter half of this year, with the possible launch of Apple's iPhone 5," said Brian Park of Tong Yang Securities.
Chip troubles Another area of concern for Samsung is likely to be its chip manufacturing unit, which has been hurt by slowing global demand for personal computers.

The firm is one of the world's biggest makers of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips, which are widely used in personal computers.
However, demand for these chips has been declining as consumers turn to tablet PCs, which mostly use flash memory chips.
At the same time, falling prices have also hurt profitability in the sector.
Samsung's memory-chip division saw its profits slide by 54% during the first quarter when compared with the same period a year earlier.
The company said it expected the demand for DRAM chips to rebound in the coming months, but warned that growing competition in the sector "will lead to a price decline".

Techno Nigeria

Cispa Cyber-security bill passes US House

The US House of Representatives has passed a cyber-security bill amid a veto threat from President Barack Obama.
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa), would allow the government to access web users' private data on suspicion of a cyber threat.
It would also allow easier information-sharing between security agencies and private web firms.
Advocacy groups claim that it is aimed at file-sharers rather than hackers.
They also raised concerns about the transparency of the act.
In a statement on Wednesday, the White House said Mr Obama would veto the act if it reached his desk.
The administration said the law repeals "important provisions of electronic surveillance law without instituting corresponding privacy, confidentiality and civil liberties safeguards".
The bill passed the House on Thursday by a margin of 248 votes to 168. Cyber-security legislation is also being considered in the US Senate, but its bill differs considerably from Cispa and is not yet scheduled for a vote.
Before its passage, the House amended the bill to cover information garnered for the investigation of cyber-security crimes, protection of individuals from death or serious bodily harm and the protection of minors from exploitation.
Privacy groups quickly condemned the bill's passage.
"As we've seen repeatedly, once the government gets expansive national security authorities, there's no going back," Michelle Richardson, of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.
"We encourage the Senate to let this horrible bill fade into obscurity."
Bill sponsor Mike Rodgers argued the bill would make the US "a little safer and our economy better protected from foreign cyber predators".
The House bill won support from tech industry figureheads whereas an earlier piece of legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) failed after web firms lined up with activists to criticise it.
Facebook, AT&T, Intel, Verizon, and Microsoft were among some 800 firms who indicated they would back the latest bill.
Writing on Facebook's corporate blog a week ago the firm's vice-president of US public policy, Joel Kaplan, said Cispa "would impose no new obligations" on Facebook to share data with anyone.
It also "ensures that if we do share data about specific cyber threats, we are able to continue to safeguard our users' private information, just as we do today," he added.

Techno Nigeria

Solar Orbiter satellite will be built UK industry

British industry will lead the production of Solar Orbiter (SolO), a spacecraft that will travel closer to the Sun than any satellite to date.
SolO will take pictures and measurements from inside the orbit of Mercury, to gain new insights on what drives the star's dynamic behaviour.
The European Space Agency has signed a contract with Astrium UK to build the satellite, for a launch in 2017.
The deal is valued at 300m euros (£245m).
That makes it one of the biggest ever contracts placed in the UK by the Paris-based agency.
With an eye on history, the signatures on the legal paperwork were timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of UK activity in orbit.
Twenty-six April 1962 was the day Britain became a space-faring nation with the launch of the Ariel-1 satellite.
Esa director Alvaro Gimenez and Astrium executive Miranda Mills shook hands on the SolO project in London's Science Museum, where a model of Ariel-1 is on display.
After launch, Solar Orbiter will take itself deep into the inner Solar System, flying as close as 42 million km from the Sun. This close proximity will require the spacecraft to carry a robust shield.
"Heat will be a huge problem," says Dr Ralph Cordey, the head of science at Astrium UK.
"If it were not protected, the face of the spacecraft would get as hot as 500 degrees - which would be disastrous.
"We will use a thick heatshield to reduce the temperature within the spacecraft and its systems down to about room temperature so that all the electronics can operate comfortably."
Solar Orbiter - temperatures Solar Orbiter will need to be protected by a multi-layered heatshield
SolO's remote sensing instruments - its imagers and telescopes - will look though slots which have shutters that can be closed when no observations are being made.
The mission is designed to enhance our understanding of how the Sun influences its environment, and in particular how it generates and accelerates the flow of charged particles in which the planets are bathed.
This solar wind can be very turbulent, and big eruptions on the solar surface will create major perturbations in the wind. When this stream of particles hits the atmosphere at Earth and the other planets, it triggers spectacular auroral lights.
"Solar Orbiter's mission will tell us how the Sun creates the heliosphere, which you can think of as its atmosphere," explained solar physicist Dr Lucie Green from University College London.
"The heliosphere is hot and it expands out into space for about 17 billion km.
"We don't really know how it's formed and how it varies with time, but Solar Orbiter will get really deep into that atmosphere to see where on the surface the emissions are coming from, to ultimately understand how the great bubble is made."
To sample the solar wind as it comes off the surface, Solar Orbiter has five in-situ instruments.
The probe's orbit will also take it high above the plane of the planets so it can see some of the processes at play on the Sun poles. And the speed of SolO around the star means it will be able to follow events and features that would normally rotate out of view of Earth-based observatories.
More missions At the heart of the endeavour is a desire to understand better the causes of what solar physicists call "space weather".
Big storms on the Sun that hurl billions of tonnes of charged particles out into space can disturb electromagnetic fields on Earth, resulting in communications interference and, in extreme cases, damage to power lines and satellite electronics.
Scientists would like to be able to forecast such events earlier and with more confidence.
Solar Orbiter is a joint venture between Esa and the US space agency (Nasa). The latter will supply one instrument, a sensor and the rocket to send the satellite on its way.
The project emerged from a competition among European space scientists to find the most compelling medium-class mission to take an available launch slot at the end of the decade.
Esa will soon sign off a second such mission, called Euclid, which will investigate the mysterious phenomena known as dark energy and dark matter, which appear dominate and shape the Universe we see through telescopes.
The first in a new class of large missions (those costing a billion euros or more) will be selected next week. This is expected to be a mission to study the icy moons of Jupiter. and follow me on Twitter

Techno Nigeria

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nigeria Made Keyboard With Naira Symbol

We have a product out there called Konyin keyboard. This is an end product of years of work by Nigerians for Nigerians. I cannot understand if we have a genetic disorder or just a curse. Why not patronize a good effort? At the onset, I got to know about this keyboard because some of my friends called it a 419. Why why why. It's not an Igbo me if that is what you want to know also. So what its an Igbo made ? Embrace it, we all have to start from somewhere, don't we ?

As typical Nigerians, we all sit here and talk about cut and paste instead of supporting our fellow Nigerians with the first and only physical keyboard ever made for an African Country. 

Our own Nigerian Government has spent the last 25+ years and millions of $$$ trying to create a typewriter and now a computer VIRTUAL keyboard. So far they have been able to come up with a VIRTUAL [software based] keyboard for three languages [Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa]. Obvious question here is; what happened to the other Nigerian Languages ? I guess there not important.
Never the less its a great effort by the Nigerian Government. 

Seun, ever wonder why your cut and paste does not work in the real world?.
Maybe you should tell people in the USA, China or Japan to cut and paste their currency symbols to their documents and calculation fields in Excel or other applications. Geee wake up !!! Tell them they dont need their own country specific keyboard. You have a better and ingenious idea called "cut and paste"

Ever wonder why a country of over 150 million people does not have basic computerized identification system?. 
We cannot spell our names correctly, we cannot represent our currency symbol with "cut and paste". I am not talking about tonal marks or tribal marks just yet. Just simply sub dots and currency symbol. Now we have a keyboard that has solved this issue. Were still talking about cut and paste !!!!!!! Geeeee 

National Information and Technology Development (NITDA) has embraced this keyboard as of January this year. This is a stamp of approval from the highest Information Technology entity in Nigeria Tested and approved hands down!.
I am so proud of these guys. They did not have to wait for a white man to give up a keyboard for us to use in keeping our languages. I am proud of them. I don't need to cut and paste !!
I forgot, I need to mind my manners, had it been a Whiteman created the keyboard for us, we would have been lining his pocket with almighty dollars. Ah my brother .. na wa for you.

Try and stop this Beer parlor or should I say Buka talk about cut and paste poo. Buy the dam keyboard. It will not kill you to pay an equivalent cost of an average US dinner for two or Eko hotel dinner for 4.
Go to their website
Techno Nigeria

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Larry Page, Google co-founder and CEO, once described the “perfect search engine” as something that “understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want.” Since he spoke those words Google has grown to offer products beyond search, but the spirit of what he said remains. With all our technologies—from search to Chrome to Gmail—our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to find the information you need and get the things you need to do done.
This means making search smarter and faster, so it can understand that when you type [jaguar] you’re looking for the car, not photos of the animal. It means showing you when your friends like an ad or a search result, so that you know it might be valuable. It means making our products work intuitively, so that you can share documents with Gmail contacts without having to copy and paste, and open the same tabs on your Android phone that you have open on your Chrome browser on your desktop. Above all, it means making our products work better so that people can spend time on the stuff they’re good at—like enjoying time with family, camping in the wilderness, painting a picture or throwing a party. We’re not there yet, but we’re working on it.
Find a list of all our products »

Google provide a variety of tools to help businesses of all kinds succeed on and off the web. These programs form the backbone of our own business; they’ve also enabled entrepreneurs and publishers around the world to grow theirs. Google advertising programs, which range from simple text ads to rich media ads, help businesses find customers, and help publishers make money off of their content. We also provide cloud computing tools for businesses that save money and help organizations be more productive.
Find a list of all our business offerings »

Google build products that we hope will make the web better—and therefore your experience on the web better. With products like Chrome and Android, we want to make it simpler and faster for people to do what they want to online. Google are also committed to the open web, so we’re involved in various projects to make it easier for developers to contribute to the online ecosystem and move the web forward. The web has evolved enormously since Google first appeared on the scene, but one thing that hasn't changed is our belief in the endless possibilities of the Internet itself.

Techno Nigeria


Google runs on a distributed network of thousands of low-cost computers and can therefore carry out fast parallel processing. Parallel processing is a method of computation in which many calculations can be performed simultaneously, significantly speeding up data processing. Google has three distinct parts:
  • Googlebot, a web crawler that finds and fetches web pages.
  • The indexer that sorts every word on every page and stores the resulting index of words in a huge database.
  • The query processor, which compares your search query to the index and recommends the documents that it considers most relevant.
Let’s take a closer look at each part.

1. Googlebot, Google’s Web Crawler

Googlebot is Google’s web crawling robot, which finds and retrieves pages on the web and hands them off to the Google indexer. It’s easy to imagine Googlebot as a little spider scurrying across the strands of cyberspace, but in reality Googlebot doesn’t traverse the web at all. It functions much like your web browser, by sending a request to a web server for a web page, downloading the entire page, then handing it off to Google’s indexer.
Googlebot consists of many computers requesting and fetching pages much more quickly than you can with your web browser. In fact, Googlebot can request thousands of different pages simultaneously. To avoid overwhelming web servers, or crowding out requests from human users, Googlebot deliberately makes requests of each individual web server more slowly than it’s capable of doing.
Googlebot finds pages in two ways: through an add URL form,, and through finding links by crawling the web.
Unfortunately, spammers figured out how to create automated bots that bombarded the add URL form with millions of URLs pointing to commercial propaganda. Google rejects those URLs submitted through its Add URL form that it suspects are trying to deceive users by employing tactics such as including hidden text or links on a page, stuffing a page with irrelevant words, cloaking (aka bait and switch), using sneaky redirects, creating doorways, domains, or sub-domains with substantially similar content, sending automated queries to Google, and linking to bad neighbors. So now the Add URL form also has a test: it displays some squiggly letters designed to fool automated “letter-guessers”; it asks you to enter the letters you see — something like an eye-chart test to stop spambots.
When Googlebot fetches a page, it culls all the links appearing on the page and adds them to a queue for subsequent crawling. Googlebot tends to encounter little spam because most web authors link only to what they believe are high-quality pages. By harvesting links from every page it encounters, Googlebot can quickly build a list of links that can cover broad reaches of the web. This technique, known as deep crawling, also allows Googlebot to probe deep within individual sites. Because of their massive scale, deep crawls can reach almost every page in the web. Because the web is vast, this can take some time, so some pages may be crawled only once a month.
Although its function is simple, Googlebot must be programmed to handle several challenges. First, since Googlebot sends out simultaneous requests for thousands of pages, the queue of “visit soon” URLs must be constantly examined and compared with URLs already in Google’s index. Duplicates in the queue must be eliminated to prevent Googlebot from fetching the same page again. Googlebot must determine how often to revisit a page. On the one hand, it’s a waste of resources to re-index an unchanged page. On the other hand, Google wants to re-index changed pages to deliver up-to-date results.
To keep the index current, Google continuously recrawls popular frequently changing web pages at a rate roughly proportional to how often the pages change. Such crawls keep an index current and are known as fresh crawls. Newspaper pages are downloaded daily, pages with stock quotes are downloaded much more frequently. Of course, fresh crawls return fewer pages than the deep crawl. The combination of the two types of crawls allows Google to both make efficient use of its resources and keep its index reasonably current.

2. Google’s Indexer

Googlebot gives the indexer the full text of the pages it finds. These pages are stored in Google’s index database. This index is sorted alphabetically by search term, with each index entry storing a list of documents in which the term appears and the location within the text where it occurs. This data structure allows rapid access to documents that contain user query terms.
To improve search performance, Google ignores (doesn’t index) common words called stop words (such as the, is, on, or, of, how, why, as well as certain single digits and single letters). Stop words are so common that they do little to narrow a search, and therefore they can safely be discarded. The indexer also ignores some punctuation and multiple spaces, as well as converting all letters to lowercase, to improve Google’s performance.

3. Google’s Query Processor

The query processor has several parts, including the user interface (search box), the “engine” that evaluates queries and matches them to relevant documents, and the results formatter.
PageRank is Google’s system for ranking web pages. A page with a higher PageRank is deemed more important and is more likely to be listed above a page with a lower PageRank.
Google considers over a hundred factors in computing a PageRank and determining which documents are most relevant to a query, including the popularity of the page, the position and size of the search terms within the page, and the proximity of the search terms to one another on the page. A patent application discusses other factors that Google considers when ranking a page. Visit’s report for an interpretation of the concepts and the practical applications contained in Google’s patent application.
Google also applies machine-learning techniques to improve its performance automatically by learning relationships and associations within the stored data. For example, the spelling-correcting system uses such techniques to figure out likely alternative spellings. Google closely guards the formulas it uses to calculate relevance; they’re tweaked to improve quality and performance, and to outwit the latest devious techniques used by spammers.
Indexing the full text of the web allows Google to go beyond simply matching single search terms. Google gives more priority to pages that have search terms near each other and in the same order as the query. Google can also match multi-word phrases and sentences. Since Google indexes HTML code in addition to the text on the page, users can restrict searches on the basis of where query words appear, e.g., in the title, in the URL, in the body, and in links to the page, options offered by Google’s Advanced Search Form and Using Search Operators (Advanced Operators).

Techno Nigeria