Category Archives: Uncategorized

Appstore Free App Of The Week

  

AppStores free App for this week is a puzzle game titled rop.
Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

Ford Unveils Figo Concept at Go Further in South Africa

Ka Concept

…brings advanced technology and design to emerging markets

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) will give a glimpse of its vision for a new global B-segment compact car, in the form of the Ford Figo Concept, at the inaugural Go Further event in Johannesburg, on 17 July 2014.

Highlighting premium design along with smart and safety features, the concept vehicle provides an indication of the design language to be used in a future version of the popular Figo.

It is also confirmed that a production version of the Figo Concept is planned for South African and Sub-Saharan African (SSA) markets; however details and specifications have yet to be confirmed.

Ford aims to set new standards for quality and craftsmanship in the B-segment, and exceed the expectations of consumers in emerging markets. At less than four metres long, the concept displays a purposeful presence and a no-compromise aesthetic that continues Ford’s design leadership in the global compact car market.

“We don’t want consumers to have to compromise when it comes to choosing modern design, value, safety, and technology in their cars” says Mark Kaufman, vice president for marketing, sales and service, Ford SSA. “Figo Concept offers all of the above in a package that would surprise many.”

Building on Ford’s compact car offerings, the Figo Concept illustrates how Ford plans to face growing global demand for compact vehicles. Despite its rapid growth, the compact car segment will remain highly competitive as increasingly savvy buyers look for ways to make their money go further.

“Increasingly we are seeing everybody – from first time buyers to families looking at their second or third car – demanding more from their cars,” says Kaufman. “With the Figo Concept we explore the possibilities of offering fresh design, a roomy interior, as well as the latest safety and connected technologies.”

With the goal of bringing unexpected levels of refinement to the compact car segment, designers created the Ford Figo Concept using design elements common to more expensive vehicles.

“In designing the Figo Concept we took a no compromises approach,” says Moray Callum, Ford Motor Company’s vice president, Design. “The Figo Concept’s premium, long-lasting design was crafted from the ground up, building on Ford’s global small car expertise and success. The design is clean and elegant, to convey a sense of precision, efficiency and sophistication, and to provide our customers worldwide with the global standards of design, quality and performance they are looking for.”

Smart design features like electrically adjustable power-fold mirrors are practical, helping to remove the stress of driving through a busy and congested environment. The mirrors also have a flexible architecture that prevents them from being broken off if bumped by another car or motorbike. Ford also designed the Ford Figo Concept to feature unprecedented levels of safety for its class, further enhancing the peace of mind for drivers.

Moving inside, the spacious cabin is filled with innovative stowage spaces, the Ford Figo Concept delivers surprising features that bring the promise of tomorrow’s technologies to drivers of compact vehicles. With an innovative device dock, the Figo Concept introduces a new way to store, mount and charge devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players and satellite navigation systems, seamlessly integrating them into the in-car entertainment system.

“The Ford Figo Concept is the embodiment of how we are building on the One Ford plan to go further for all of our customers globally. The design builds on Ford’s brand pillars (Quality, Green, Safe, and Smart) to meet all the functional requirements customers expect while providing a package that is sure to surprise and delight customers,” ends Callum.

Guinness Nigeria Foundation partners Concern Universal on Safe Water in Cross Rivers State

IMG_4600

Guinness Nigeria Foundation (GNF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Concern Universal, a United Kingdom-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), to improve access to potable water in about 10 communities in Cross River State. Newly inaugurated Guinness Nigeria Foundation is the special purpose vehicle through which Guinness Nigeria Plc and Diageo implements its robust corporate social responsibility programmes in the areas of health, education and empowerment and job creation in the Nigerian market.

The partnership between GNF and Concern Universal deepen Guinness Nigeria and Diageo’s long standing support for safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene across rural and urban communities in Nigeria. On this project, Guinness Nigeria Foundation is driven by the ambition to galvanise public and private sector support towards Nigeria’s attainment of United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the area of inclusive access to potable water, improved sanitation and hygiene.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Country Director, Concern Universal, Mr. Tim Kellow, applauded Guinness Nigeria Foundation for supporting the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) programme by providing access to potable water in villages and communities that have achieved open defecation free status in Cross River State.

Mr. Kellow said “This project is aimed at creating positive impact in Benue and Cross River States. The general unsanitary conditions of villages and communities across these two states often lead to a situation where human and animal faeces are carried into the only source of water in the community, a nearby stream or river. We are working with the local communities to enhance their understanding of the link between poor sanitation, hygiene behaviours and diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera. However, the cycle of improved sanitation and hygiene behaviour will not be complete without access to safe water in villages and communities in Benue State and Cross River State.”

In his response, Director, Corporate Relations, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Sesan Sobowale, said that Guinness Nigeria Foundation was delighted to be associated with the initiative, as it resonated with the company’s ‘Water of Life’ programme which is in line with the United Nations MDGs to halve the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015.

“I am quite delighted that we can sign this off today. We aim to commence work as soon as the project is commissioned in Calabar. We would also encourage other well-meaning multinational companies, that have deep rooted commitments to the development of host communities, to get involved in this initiative,” Mr. Sobowale said.

Mrs Adrianne Nwagwu, Head, Sustainability and Responsibility also of Guinness Nigeria Plc, said, “Our involvement in providing clean water to communities has a remarkable history of its own. We presently have water projects of varying sizes in 15 states of the federation and we have maintained partnerships with other like-minded organisations to support the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to attain the MDG goals on water.

Efe Nathan Releases New Single titled ‘Nobody Like You’, and signs to Honesty Music.

image

Efe Nathan releases her brand new single titled ‘Nobody Like You’, the first from her forthcoming album scheduled for July 2014. 

Efe emphasises the importance of the content or lyrics of the songs by keeping the music production simple, and time enough to carry her message.

“The song was born out of a place of pain, betrayal, and conflict, but I resolved to keep my eyes on God”. Efe further said that she has a victory to celebrate, because the plans of the enemy did not work over her life, and she could have chosen to commit suicide over all the false accusations, but for God.”

“I sow this song into your life, to lift you up, to empower you, to deliver you, and to guarantee you that the war was already won before your trials began, and that you will overcome, in Jesus name. If God did it for me, trust me, HE can do it for you. My trials have only lead to my promotion” – Efe Nathan.

Efe Nathan is now signed to the very successful distribution and marketing company, HONESTY MUSIC, owned by Mr Tony Umeh. His company also distributes works nationwide for artistes such as Frank Edwards, Eben, Nathaniel Bassey, to mention a few. 

Report: Google in Talks to Buy Stake in Virgin Galactic

cm6zeaccacndutf7t8l6

Google is apparently in talks to buy up part of Virgin Galactic, but not to take a leisure cruise: Sky News claims that it will buy “crucial access to satellite-launch technology” to help put its new low-Earth orbiters into the sky.

The report claims that negotiations between the two parties have “been taking place for months” and are now reaching an advanced stage. It’s claimed that the deal is in two parts: first, a $30 million stake in the Virgin Galactic holding company; second, an injection of “hundreds of millions of dollars” into a joint venture, with Virgin Galactic injecting its expertise to help Google with its own projects.

If the report is accurate, it suggests that Google is looking to Virgin Galactic for help with getting its new fleet of low-Earth orbit satellites into space. It recently purchased Skybox Imaging for a cool $500 million in cash in an attempt to make Google Earth a whole lot crisper—and help fulfill Google’s vision of worldwide satellite-based internet access.

The deal, which is far from a certainty, would buy Google some expertise to make the best use of its new toys. It might also buy Virgin Galactic a little more credibility, too—something it’s been lacking of recent time.

Data Centre, Live Wire of 21st Century Companies

1404150_20110124074914

Global infoswift and its partners, TechXact last week described the data centre industry as one of the biggest industries in the world generating multi trillion dollars in revenue.

The companies which teamed up to bring data centre training/seminar to Nigeria, noted that if the country desires to move up its level of ICT adoption, there is need to pay a lot of attention to data centre because everything ICT today, is dependent on it.

However, President, DCA, TechXact, Mr Mehdi Paryavi observed that a lot of businesses make mistakes in choosing data centre applications or infrastructure, leading to data failure in most instances.

He advised MDs of companies to ensure they get proper education before going for data centre because operating a data centre must follow set standards and comply with current trends to get adequate benefits.

According to him, “today, cost of downtime is far more than the cost of hospitals. To reduce the costs, data centres must be built. However, when doing this, businesses must get expert advice.

“The growth of data centre is guided by the infinity paradigm, where everything is supported by IT infrastructure for the ecosystem.But the main challenge in data centres today is that issues are handled by vendors who obviously are not the right people to handle the issues. Vendors design according to their targets. And when people buy boxes from them, you struggle to fit your business into their solutions.”

He said that what his organization does is study an organization, know its business, develop a strategy and allow it to go to the vendors based on that business strategy and not based on solutions already created without the business in mind. “So much education needs to get into data centre before buying the equipment.

He advised companies to go for new generation data centres which he described as open source and not one brand specific, industry specific, cloud based and not physically specific.

He noted that new generation data centres are not just about cooling and storage but infrastructure and solution based, carrying all of these in the package. It must reduce hazards and life threatening processes which are seen in today’s data centres.

Apple’s Decision To Keep Beats Music On Android Is An “Experiment”

 

The $3 billion dollar deal between Android’s largest competitor Apple, and Beats for the ownership of the companies headphones and streaming music service is getting some mixed feelings from fans and consumers. More importantly than the decision to buy up Beats  though is Apple’s decision to keep the Beats streaming music service and app combination widely open and available to users on the Android platform. Beats headphones were already expensive for what you got, we understand that, and there’s a running joke making its rounds that now Apple owned Beats prices will skyrocket ten fold. It’s funny, but you can only poke fun with the same underlying joke so many times. What users should be shifting their focus to is the action that Apple has taken(or not taken depending on how you think about it)to allow Android users to continue enjoying the music streaming service they love.

Tim Cook says it’s all about the music, and Eddy Cue who is Apple’s VP of internet software and services agrees saying that Beats is here to stay for fans of the little green robot. “All about the music” though can really be broken down to a monetary interest, as Apple obviously sees a lucrative result from not cutting off the Android platform from continuing to access the Beats service. More than that, Apple might be starting to realize that they stand much more to gain by playing nice with Android and attempting to cater to its users as well as their own, instead of trying to drive the entire platform into the ground and out of existence. If there is money to be made with Android in the music space, then why shouldn’t Apple take it? It’s not like they’re making loads of cash from their iTunes music service anymore like they used to.

Keeping the service running on Android means they can keep a watchful eye on users loyal to the competitor, with the end goal of learning whether or not more lucrative actions similar to this one could be made down the line. There were no specifics given, but when interviewed by Business Insider, Apple’s VP of Research and Data Sciences told them that this move could be looked at “as a great way to do an experiment and see if there’s business to be made from Android users.” Beats may be the last Apple owned service Android users will ever get to lay their fingers on, but there could be a future where Apple apps and services live in harmony on Android devices, if things pan out for Apple in a financially positive way from the Beats decision.

Iran demands Mark Zuckerberg’s presence in court

MZucker

“So, judge. There’s up to 24 privacy controls, depending on the day of the week.”

It seems that, even in Iran, Facebook-owned apps like Instagram and WhatsApp are disturbing users about privacy. One judge wants the Facebook CEO to explain himself in person.

Mark Zuckerberg and privacy have rarely gone steady.

There was a time when he didn’t want her at all. These days, however, it’s as if she performs useful administrative duties on his behalf.

Somehow, though, he’s always got away with it in the US. A change of policy here, a couple more privacy options there, and Facebook has become not only vast but the owner of Instagram and WhatsApp.

Now one judge, perched in a bastion of personal freedom, has decided that the young tycoon should be called to account. Publicly, that is.

As the Associated Press reports, a judge in southern Iran has decided to look Zuckerberg in the eye and hiss: “Come hither.”

The judge demanded that Zuckerberg appears in his court and explains why some Iranians claim that Instagram and WhatsApp are invading their privacy.

It’s unclear who these individuals are. Might they be government members who just cannot resist popping a scenic view or two onto Instagram? Might they be other powerful people who use WhatsApp to discuss matters with a higher authority?

It’s curious that these apps can even be used in Iran. Facebook itself is verboten. Moreover, I don’t feel the Iranians have helped their chances of persuading the Facebook CEO to visit the court by using snivellingly intemperate language.

A statement issued by Ruhollah Momen-Nasab, an Iranian internet official, read: “According to the court’s ruling, the Zionist director of the company of Facebook or his official attorney must appear in court to defend himself and pay for possible losses.”

Given that, surprisingly, there’s no extradition treaty between Iran and the US, you might imagine that inviting Zuckerberg to a hackathon and then grabbing him while he’s tinkling on the keyboards would have been a wiser approach.

The Iranian government is currently trying to take a more lenient view toward the Web. Younger Iranians are quite wily in their ability to ignore official strictures and bathe in the wider virtual world. Even Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is fond of a tweet or two.

I suspect therefore that the closest the judge will get to hearing Zuckerberg explain Facebook’s elementary privacy policies in person will be a very public whistling in the wind.

 

iPhone hack: Apple users urged to change password over Oleg Pliss ‘blackmail’ plot

ad_136126756

Owners of iPhones and iPads have been warned to change their passwords after a hacker began targeting the devices and demanding a ransom to unlock them again.

Dozens of devices across the world have been disabled by the cyber criminal, ‘Oleg Pliss’, who has tried to blackmail users at £55 a time.

The attacks began in Australia and New Zealand, but there were signs last night that they were spreading to Britain and the US as victims began flooding Apple’s community support forum with complaints.

Werewabbit wrote: ‘I live in the UK and this has also happened to me yesterday. Very worrying. And not a peep from Apple yet.’

Davefromtas added: ‘We were also woken up at 3.30am by all devices blaring like a fire alarm.

‘The message on our devices was the same as those already posted.’

David Emm, from digital security firm Kaspersky Lab, said: ‘It seems likely that cybercriminals gained access to Apple ID credentials, for example by using phishing e-mails targeting Apple IDs.

‘By using the credentials to access an Apple iCloud account, the attackers can enable the ‘Find My iPhone’ service.’

The tech giant is yet to comment on the attacks.

With Dre & Iovine on board, Apple could become most powerful record label in the world

tim-jim-and-dre

This won’t be the first time someone suggested Apple could start its own record label. But with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, two music industry heavyweights that have built some of the world’s biggest record labels rumored to be getting creative roles at Apple, it’s interesting to imagine what influence Iovine and friends could have on Apple’s approach to content.

If Apple is ever going to move on from simply being a music distribution hub taking its 30 percent cut to a record label of sorts fostering, promoting, and investing more in artists, Iovine is as good as it gets. Having built Interscope Records, the label behind some of the biggest artists of the last 20 years from Dr. Dre to Lady Gaga, Iovine’s real expertise is building labels, growing artists and selling music. Iovine himself admits the streaming service and even the headphone business were always a way to get control back to the labels and empower the artists, and that seems to be his main focus. Jimmy on building the Beats streaming service from a February 2013 interview:

We still don’t know for sure what Apple plans for Beats. Many have justified the rumored $3.2 billion purchase price by noting the Beats headphone business brings in around $1 billion annually. Throw in the newly launched streaming service and the talent behind it, it’s not hard to see the value in the purchase. I’m not saying Apple purchased Beats to start a record label—we still don’t know the exact reason behind the strategy—but with Jimmy Iovine sticking around at Apple there’s never been a better time for it to happen.

Iovine also appeared to have big plans for the streaming service in terms of working directly with artists that his unique position in the music industry would make possible. In that same interview from the D conference, Iovine describes plans for Beats features that sound a lot like the type of support a label would normally provide to its artists:  “We have to make it user friendly for the artist. They have to be able to build businesses on it. They have to be able to have information about who is using their music, where they are… Right now they have all the information and the artists have no information. I run a record company, I would die to know who bought my record at iTunes.”

The latest report from The Wall Street Journal claimed Iovine’s role at Apple would be to “revamp and run its whole music strategy.” Billboard noted today that its sources say Iovine will “oversee all of Apple’s music strategy and handle relationships with labels and publishers,” while reporting that Dre and Iovine would make an appearance at Apple’s upcoming WWDC developer conference. If there was ever going to be a time that Apple started focusing more energy on considering what’s best for the artist, having Iovine revamp its music strategy would certainly be the time to do it.

I’d imagine if Apple were to start a record label of sorts it probably wouldn’t be a lot like a traditional record label. That is, perhaps the goal wouldn’t be to invest in developing artists in order to sell downloads and ticket sales, but rather to invest in artists to differentiate iTunes and its streaming companion from the competition. From Iovine’s comments above, we know that’s something he’s interested in doing with Beats.

One thing hasn’t changed much since the success of iTunes and now streaming services, artists and labels are still generally unhappy as Spotify, iTunes, and others try to figure out a model that pleases both consumers and artists. The distribution platform that figures it out—and in the process has an easier time getting exclusive content—could surely build a better service and even potentially attract artists away from distributing music through competing platforms.

The concept of developing content isn’t entirely lost on all the companies currently competing with iTunes. While most of the still relatively young streaming services do little more than pay out approximately 70% of revenues in the form of royalties to artists, some see the value in doing more. Back in 2011, Google announced the Google Play Music Artist Hub, allowing artists to go independent and sell music directly on Google Play without a label. That’s one small piece of the puzzle that Apple has yet to embrace, but even more interesting is the rumored upcoming subscription music service from YouTube.

It’s no secret how important YouTube has become to the music industry; Billboard started including video plays in its Hot 100 rankings last year. Iovine and music industry execs credit the service to breaking many of its biggest artists in recent years. In the interview mentioned above, Iovine credits the video service in breaking Lady Gaga’s career, for example. Up until now record labels have been using YouTube to help break new artists and drive sales of downloads to services like iTunes. But a YouTube streaming service would put Google in a unique position in terms of helping both develop and distribute music from new artists. It would would also put Google in a unique position of being able to sell music to young people where they discover new music most often: YouTube.

Apart from Google Play, most artists not on a record label are currently forced to use services like TuneCore, which charge annual fees ranging from $10 a song to $50 per album. TuneCore aloneexperienced a 75% increase in downloads and streams on the content it distributes to the various music services this year and it paid out around $34 million to artists in Q1.

It’s interesting that Jimmy seems to mostly attribute his success with Beats to his expertise as a record producer and music industry executive—something he thinks the tech companies will never quite understand on their own: “Most technology companies are culturally inept. I don’t care what they do, they’re never going to get curation right. That’s not what they do. The way content companies never get technology right, they never get culture right… They’re not going to get curation right… We’re going to be miles ahead of them.”

Steve-Jobs-Iovine-U2

From his position as record label chief long before Beats, Iovine and his companies have been at the forefront of embracing the digital music distribution revolution. That includes being an early supporter of iTunes and convincing Steve Jobs to do iPod marketing campaigns with artists like 50 cent and U2.

Read any interview with Iovine in which he talks about about the music industry, Apple and the takeover of digital music, or his work at Beats, and it’s clear his passion is with building a better music business, not just headphones or a streaming service.

“I learned a lot from Steve, and we helped him a lot as well. We went up there and we threw the building at it cause I really wanted legitimate music online. It was a real passion of mine. We started the original content on iTunes, we did the Pepsi commercial, we went and got Pepsi to do that, and we put the first iPod ever in a music video… I called him and I said Steve, you’re promoting Apple with a guitar, but unfortunately there’s no more guitars in the recording studio… let me put the iPod in the next 50 cent video… he says whatever it costs do it, just tell Eddy Cue it’s done. That was the first time an iPod had ever been in a music video. It was the biggest music video in the world and he felt it.” -Jimmy Iovine in a 2010 interview.