Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, YouTube Partner To Help Curb Spread of Online Terrorist Content 

Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube are coming together to help curb the spread of terrorist content online. There is no place for content that promotes terrorism on our hosted consumer services. When alerted, we take swift action against this kind of content in accordance with our respective policies.

Starting today, we commit to the creation of a shared industry database of “hashes” — unique digital “fingerprints” — for violent terrorist imagery or terrorist recruitment videos or images that we have removed from our services. By sharing this information with each other, we may use the shared hashes to help identify potential terrorist content on our respective hosted consumer platforms. We hope this collaboration will lead to greater efficiency as we continue to enforce our policies to help curb the pressing global issue of terrorist content online.

Our companies will begin sharing hashes of the most extreme and egregious terrorist images and videos we have removed from our services — content most likely to violate all of our respective companies’ content policies. Participating companies can add hashes of terrorist images or videos that are identified on one of our platforms to the database. Other participating companies can then use those hashes to identify such content on their services, review against their respective policies and definitions, and remove matching content as appropriate.

As we continue to collaborate and share best practices, each company will independently determine what image and video hashes to contribute to the shared database. No personally identifiable information will be shared, and matching content will not be automatically removed. Each company will continue to apply its own policies and definitions of terrorist content when deciding whether to remove content when a match to a shared hash is found. And each company will continue to apply its practice of transparency and review for any government requests, as well as retain its own appeal process for removal decisions and grievances. As part of this collaboration, we will all focus on how to involve additional companies in the future.

Throughout this collaboration, we are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and their ability to express themselves freely and safely on our platforms. We also seek to engage with the wider community of interested stakeholders in a transparent, thoughtful and responsible way as we further our shared objective to prevent the spread of terrorist content online while respecting human rights.

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My Predecessors Turned NITDA To Contract Giving Agency – Pantami

The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami today indicted his predecessors, saying they turned the government IT clearing house to more of a contract giving agency.

Pantami disclosed this at this year’s West Africa Convergence Conference in Lagos, when reacting to questions on his mandate and strategies that he intend to use to move the government agency, saddled with the responsibility of creating capacity especially among the youths.

According to him, since his appointment few months ago, the major challenges he is contending with stakeholders, who floor the premises of the NITDA to seek for contracts that are not tied to the NITDA’s mandate.

“We are ready to work with different stakeholders on how best to move NITDA and indeed Nigeria forward. But one of the challenges I am presently dealing with is people come to NITDA, looking for one contract or the other without really giving suggestions and ideas that can help achieve our mandates. What this tells me is that my predecessors succeeding in turning NITDA to where contracts are given to contractors,” he said.

He revealed that NITDA, under his leadership is presently working on a blueprint that would be used to rejig. “I wouldn’t like to disclose our plan at a forum like this, but we are working with some partners and stakeholders to come up with a blueprint for the IT industry, especially as it concerns local content and capacity building,” he added.

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Smile Offers Customers 200 Minutes Free Calls To All Networks

Customers on the Smile network are in for a thrill this Yuletide, as the pioneer 4G LTE telecommunications service provider in West Africa has announced the commencement of ‘SuperTalk’ promo, which offers customers on the Smile network up to 200 minutes free calls to all networks in Nigeria.

Applauded by industry watchers as a worthwhile Yuletide bonanza, customers on the network will recharge and enjoy incremental voice minutes based on their preferred data plan.  A customer who purchases a 1GB data plan will get 10 minutes free calls with a validity period of 15 days.  The purchase of 2GB data plan offers 20 minutes free calls also with 15 days validity period. Purchase of 3GB data plan offers 30 minutes free calls with 30days validity period.  The 5GB and 7GB data plans offer 60 minutes free calls with 30 days validity period, while the Unlimited Lite, 10GB, 15GB and 20GB offers the customer 120 minutes free calls and 30 days validity period.  The Unlimited Premium, 50GB, 100GB and 200GB offer an unprecedented 200 minutes free calls time with 30 days validity period.

A statement by the company indicated that the promo is one of the many ways the company has designed to richly reward customers for their loyalty.  The statement enjoins customers of Smile as well as prospects to take advantage of the offer to maximize their call time to families and friends especially at this Yuletide period.  It emphasized that customers stand to benefit from ‘SuperTalk’ only to the extent of the renewal of their preferred data plan. On what informed this customer-centric initiative, the statement avowed that the offer remains a veritable tool to achieving the objective of providing Smile customers with affordable but high-end communication services.

Smile has a rich range of innovative Voice and Data offers, and has recently reinforced the 0702 number range with the lowest call tariff that allows its customers to make calls from 8kobo per second to any network from within and outside the country, using SmileVoice App on any android ios, VOLTE or Smile 4G LTE compatible handset.

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Instagram Unveils Life Video, Disappearing Messages

Instagram has unveiled two new features allowing users to broadcast live video on Instagram Stories and send disappearing photos and video messages to followers via direct messages.

These features aren’t new to social media. Before now, they were prominent on the ephemeral Snapchat app.

Instagram Live lets you broadcast video to your followers in real-time, but they can only watch while you’re still streaming.

No replays. But you will be able to browse an algorithmically curated Explore page of the best Instagram Live videos happening right now.

According to Instagram, it’s easy to go live — just swipe right from feed to open the camera, tap the “Start Live Video” button and start sharing for up to an hour.

Your friends may get a notification when you go live so they can tune in. While you’re live, you can pin a comment for everyone to see or turn comments off altogether.

When someone you follow starts a live story, you’ll see “Live” under their profile photo in the stories bar. During the broadcast, you can comment and like as much as you want.

“Instagram should be all of your moments, not just your highlights,” says Kevin Weil, Instagram’s head of product.

Live video on Instagram Stories and Explore will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks.

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Bottle That Takes You Selfie When Drinking Coke Launched – Abusidiq

Soft drink giant, Coca-Cola has invented a ‘selfie bottle’ with an integrated camera that automatically takes snaps when you take a coke drink.

The invention, seen as an attempt to stay relevant in the ever-changing competitive market, will render the selfie stick an old invention.

The ‘selfie bottle’ works with the use of a proprietary camera technology that captures a photo anytime the device reaches a 70-degree tilt – which is the angle at which most people drink.

The quirky gadget also features a dedicated share function which allows users to effortlessly share their selfies on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

The “selfie bottle” was designed by Coca-Cola Israel after it spotted a selfie-sized hole in the soft drink market, the Drum reported.

The product was created by advertising agency Gefen for Coca-Cola Israel as part of its Summer Love outdoor festival.

“It really does the trick and makes the partygoers more present and active during the event, knowing they can share their special moments just by drinking,” the company’s marketing agency told the Drum.

The cost of this shocking innovation has not yet been stated.

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Whatsapp Extends Use Of Its Application On Blackberry To June 2017

BlackBerry users in Nigeria and across the world will now not be able to use WhatsApp on their devices from June 30, 2017 instead of the earlier date of December 31, 2016.

WhatsApp stated this on Wednesday when it updated its support page, adding that it would now end its support on the BlackBerry software platform mid next year.

It stated that Blackberry users had “a bit more than seven more months to enjoy the social media app.”

 “We will soon be ending support for certain devices. On June 30, 2017, we will no longer support the following platforms: BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60,” the WhatsApp statement on its updated page read.

The company confirmed that the service would be halted on Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 as well as Windows Phone 7 at the beginning of 2017.

According to it, the messaging app will no longer be supported on old operating systems, including devices running iOS 6 and the iPhone 3GS phone.

The statement said, “These platforms don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future.

“If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android running OS 2.3+, a Windows Phone 8+, or an iPhone running iOS 7+ before the end of 2016 to continue using WhatsApp.”

It noted that there was currently no option to transfer chat history between platforms. Although, upon request, the company said it could provide chat history attached to an email.

Shortly after WhatsApp’s announcement in early 2016 to end support for BlackBerry, the Canadian company expressed its disappointment with the decision to abandon its platform.

It had said in a statement that, “We are working on alternative solutions, which will keep our customers glued to their BlackBerry devices. Already, we have introduced the BlackBerry PRIV, which is Android-based, and with it they can use Facebook and WhatsApp.”

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WhatsApp Introduces Video Calling Feature To Its Platform

With excitement, WhatsApp is announcing its latest feature – WhatsApp video calling. In the next couple of days, the instant messaging app’s over one billion users will be able to make video calls across iOS, Windows and Android platforms.

According to WhatsApp, “We’re introducing this feature because we know that sometimes voice and text just aren’t enough. There’s no substitute for watching your grandchild take her first steps, or seeing your daughter’s face while she’s studying abroad. And we want to make these features available to everyone, not just those who can afford the most expensive new phones or live in countries with the best cellular networks.”

“Over the years we’ve received many requests from our users for video calling, and we’re excited to finally offer this feature to the world. Thank you for using WhatsApp and we promise to keep working hard every day to improve the service.” 

WhatsApp’s goal has always been to help as many people as possible stay in touch with friends, family, and others they care about. That means making a product that’s simple, easy to use, and accessible no matter where you are. The company started with messaging and Group Chat, then added voice calling, in a way that works across thousands of device and platform combinations all over the world.

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Siemens Buys Software Maker Mentor Graphics For $4.5 Billion

Siemens AG agreed to buy Mentor Graphics Corp. for $4.5 billion in its biggest acquisition since 2014 as the German engineering company extends its industrial software capability.

Siemens will pay $37.25 a share for Wilsonville, Oregon-based Mentor, the industrial giant said in a statement on Monday. That’s 21 percent above the closing price on Friday. Elliott Management Corp., which owns 8.1 percent of Mentor’s shares, backs the offer, Siemens said.

The acquisition “will allow us to supplement our world-class industrial software portfolio,” Siemens board member Klaus Helmrich said in the statement. “It will complement our strong offering in mechanics and software with design, test and simulation of electrical and electronic systems.”

The deal follows the $970 million January purchase of CD-adapco of the U.S. as Siemens seeks to grow its digital business as part of a retreat from consumer-oriented products to focus on industrial applications.

Mentor is the biggest acquisition announced by Siemens since it agreed to buy Dresser-Rand Group Inc. for $7.6 billion. For its part, Mentor was under pressure to increase shareholder value from activist investor Elliott, which doubled its stake in Mentor in September.

Siemens shares rose 1.2 percent to 109.45 euros as of 9:14 a.m. in Frankfurt.

The purchase is expected to boost Siemens’s earnings before interest and taxes by more than 100 million euros ($108 million) within four years of closing and will contribute to earnings per share within three years, the company said.

Guardian

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German Multinational Launches The Bosch Power Box Initiative In Nigeria

Artisans play a big role in Nigeria’s economy. The Global artisan economy is annually valued at $32 billion and it is one of the largest employers in the developing world.

Bosch, one of the world’s leading suppliers of technology and services (70.6 billion Euros in 2015), will issue a press release on Wednesday to announce the launch of Bosch Power Box (BPB) in Nigeria.

Bosch Power Box (BPB) will assist the thousands of tradesmen and artisans in Nigeria – including plumbers, carpenters, welders and electricians – in growing their business through providing access to the very latest in technology as well as training and technical and financial support.

Nigerians artisans will be able to buy, lease or rent the very latest power tools developed by the world’s market leader and to be used at these central hubs.

The Bosch Power Box not only offers power tools to local craftsmen, but also servicing and maintenance expertise. Free training is another part of the Power Box offering. Allowing artisans and carpenters to upskill by giving them hands-on coaching. Power tools mean increased efficiency and productivity, but also less wastage.

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StartUp Arewa, Northern Nigerian Technology Ecosystem Debuts In Kaduna

The City of Kaduna will host Techpreneurs, Tech Startups, Tech enthusiasts, Developers and Lovers of Technology as they converge between 17th of November and 19th of November 2016 at Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation Hall, Kaduna for the launch of Startup Arewa and the unveiling of Startup Platz. The Organizers and volunteers of Startup Arewa Kaduna Series have been working assiduously behind the scenes to ensure that this event provides not only inspiration, but the resources required for building and launching a viable, scalable platform.

Startup Arewa is a Tech Startup and Innovation Meetup tour organized by Emerge Tech Africa and Network of Incubators & Innovators in Nigeria (NINE) which focuses on the growth and development of the Northern Nigerian technology Startup ecosystem. In addition to that, Startup Arewa Participants receive invaluable one-on-one time with Stakeholders within the Global Technology Ecosystem and Successful startup founders who will give inspiring speeches and pep talks.

The Startup Arewa Kaduna hack Series program will run for three days;

Day One: 17th November, 2016; featuring Startup Clinic/ Boot camp and Information Projection for Northern Nigeria.

Day Two: 18th November, 2016; Hackathon and Identification of Ideas & Solution to Hacking.

Day Three: 19th November, 2016; Inspiring Keynotes, Pep Talk, Pitches, Panel Discussions, Fireside Chats.

Speakers include Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami (DG of NITDA), Alhaji Yusuf Kazaure (MD Galaxy Backbone), Dr. Ibrahim B. Dauda (President Vault Group), Dr Bashir Gwandu (Chairman Commonwealth ITU Group), Amb. Daniel Steeves (CEO BDHub), Dr Shettima Aji Ali (MD Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation), Alhaji Gambo Hamza (Executive Secretary of KADIPA), Mr Abdul Chukkol  (Head of Cyber Crime, EFCC) , Amb (Dr) Aisha Audu Emeje (Founder, A3 Foundation) , Ms Hauwa Yabani (MD Abuja Technology Village) , Dr Amina Sambo (ICT Unit, EFCC) , and many more others.

The event will also unveil “Startup Platz,” an online accelerator/incubator. This platform, as well as providing knowledge and services to startup businesses, offers a convergence between startups and investors, with the goal of boosting the development of tangible, innovative solutions that can tackle challenges in Nigeria, provide a nation-wide community as well as monitor the growth impact of this new highly potential ecosystem.

According to the Founder, Mohammed Ibrahim Jega, the program intends to identify over 200 IT startups whose ideas will be grouped and a selection and incubation process for the program champions will be put in place for growth and sustainability.

This is the maiden edition of the program and it will run for three days during which we will identify, group and profile IT ideas and innovations. Startup Arewa is a comprehensive and structured plan for ICT development in Northern Nigerian Technology Ecosystem. It is a planned and continued community based program that will partner with State governments, ICT industry stakeholders from both public and private sector and the global ICT community whether you are a Techie or just a tech enthusiast, this event is one that you should not miss.

All participants should register on www.startuparewa.com to be part of the Largest Tech Ecosystem. There will be knowledgeable and successful Techpreneurs in attendance to inspire, share and mentor participants. We hope to see you there!

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Facebook Awards More Than N1million To Student Winners Of Hackathon At CyberXchange

Last week, Facebook sponsored a hackathon at the CyberXchange conference in Lagos, Nigeria, drawing applications from more than 250 young, talented students from across the country.

Out of those, 63 students were chosen to come to the CyberXchange event and work for two days on their solutions to real-world security challenges. Each team built a prototype, created a presentation, and pitched their solution to a set of judges, including Yemi Saka of Ernst and Young, Babafemi Ogungbamila of Interswitch Limited, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, and Bankole Oluwafemi of Techcabal.com.

The winning team came up with a solution focused on multi-factor authentication for a large enterprise to help secure the accounts of their employees. The winning team was awarded 700,000 Naira (NGN) and received commendation from the judges and conference attendees.

“The competitors worked tirelessly to create their solutions, and we were inspired by their dedication and passion for security. Encouraging this kind of talent is important to the future of the security industry, and that is why we met with several university professors at CyberXchange to talk about how to continue to strengthen security curriculum and training,” said Regina Wallace-Jones, Head of Security Operations at Facebook, and a judge at the hackathon.

The second-place team received 400,000 Naira, and the third place team received 300,000 Naira.

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Code2Earn Training Continues In Uyo, Abeokuta, Port Harcourt

As part of our goal to get one million fingers coding by 2017, Aiki Nigeria continues its training on coding and entrepreneurship.

In the last quarter, Code2Earn training has held at different locations covering Zamfara, Port-Harcourt, Uyo, and Abeokuta. 

To cover as many locations as possible and train more young people, The Future Project has partnered with organizations, institutions and state governments in these states to ensure reaching the grass root communities.  We are excited seeing that the beneficiaries have built applications that will solve social issues and also applications that will help them earn income to meet needs.

Feedback received from beneficiaries, especially from those who don’t have tech related knowledge has been that, the coding training was a lot simpler and fun to learn.

On completion of the training, beneficiaries are signed up on the Aiki Nigeria Community, a community based interactive platform where the new coders can interact, ask relevant questions from facilitators, fellow participants from their state or other state and also collaborate on work.

Code2Earn is brought to you by Microsoft under the YouthSpark Program and The Future Project.

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