Thursday, May 23, 2019

Snapchat Loses $1.3bn After Kylie Jenner’s Tweet

Reality TV Star, Kylie Jenner. Photo Credit: Kylie Jenner’s Instagram.
Snapchat’s parent company lost some $1.3 billion in market value on Thursday after reality star Kylie Jenner’s tweeted that she was no longer using the messaging service.
“sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad,” Jenner tweeted.
She later followed up with “still love you tho snap … my first love,” but the damage may already have been done.
Snap Inc.’s shares fell by over six percent in Thursday trading, a loss of about $1.3 billion in market capitalization.
Jenner has huge followings on various social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram.
She gave birth to a daughter this month, and her Instagram post announcing the pregnancy quickly became one of the most liked posts of all time on the social media platform.
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Sjoerd Nikkelen: OLX confirms Nigeria and Kenya exit in new strategy

The South African owned company says it will keep its marketplace online in the affected countries OLX has confirmed its exit from the Nigerian market after Business Insider Sub Saharan Africa broke news of the decision.According to Sjoerd Nikkelen, CEO of OLX AMEA, the decision was a difficult but necessary one.”We made a difficult but important decision in Nigeria to consolidate our operations between some of our offices internationally.”OLX moved into Kenya and Nigeria in 2012 and the decision to close its physical infrastructure in those two countries is bound to have a ripple effect on e-commerce in those market.Mr.Nikkelen however revealed that the company would maintain its marketplace.”Our marketplace will continue to operate here – uninterrupted – as it has since 2010, and we remain committed to the many people here who use our platform to buy and sell every month. We continue to be focused on constantly innovating to make sure that OLX remains the top classified platform in the country.”As revealed in an earlier report, hundreds of jobs will be affected by the decision with a complete pull  out of staff expected to be completed by April.”Of course, we are committed to helping our affected colleagues during this transition and have already offered them meaningful financial and other support. As we’ve expressed to them directly, we are extremely grateful for their many significant contributions to OLX’s success.

Tech: This behind the scenes will make you watch ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Avengers: Infinity War,” remains one of the most anticipated movies in the second quarter of 2018 after the success of Black Panther and this clip will convince you.  “Avengers: Infinity War,” remains one of the most anticipated movies in the second quarter of 2018 after the success of Black Panther and this clip will convince you.The clip shows how the members of the Avengers met Black Panther in Wakanda as well as introducing the villain, Thanos, who wants to destroy half of the universe. Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” remains one of the most anticipated movies in the second quarter of 2018 after the success of Black Panther and the clips from behind the scenes attests to that.The clip shows how the members of the Avengers met Black Panther in Wakanda as well as introducing the villain, Thanos, who wants to destroy half of the universe.In case you are not too familiar with the theme of “Avengers: Infinity War,” the villain Thanos wants to destroy half the universe yet he is sympathetic about his moves. When the movie hits theaters on Friday, April 27, 2018, you will not only be glued to your seats at the cinema but will get your best look yet at Thanos, played by Josh Brolin, whose battle against the Avengers has been teased and built up for the past 10 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.For the movie makers, the most frightening thing about Thanos in the “Avengers: Infinity War,” is that he might actually have good reasons for his evil deeds. If carefully seen, you might find yourself empathizing with him despite the obvious fact that you might not root for him, there’s something very charismatic about him.Avengers: InfinityWar premiered in HollywoodOn Monday night, April 23, 2018, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: InfinityWar was premiered in Hollywood. The red carpet premiere  had in attendance cast and crew of the movie, which cost the company a yet to be disclosed hundreds of millions of Dollars.In attendance were Letitia Wright, Elizabeth Olsen, Clark Gregg, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Sebastian Stan, Paul Rudd, Karen Gillian, Jon Favraeu, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Olivia Holt, Miles Mussenden,  Emma Lahana, Bradley Cooper, Samuel L Jackson, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr, Tom Holland and Chadwick Boseman.

Tech: Watch SpaceX launch a Tesla Roadster to Mars on the Falcon Heavy rocket...

The Falcon Heavy has 27 engines, can generate more power than 18 747 jumbo jets, and is the most powerful rocket to fly since NASA’s moon rocket, the Saturn V. SpaceX just launched a Tesla Roadster to Mars on this: SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.
This was the Falcon Heavy’s maiden flight. It’s the launch that everyone’s been waiting for. The Falcon Heavy is a monster.
It has 27 engines, can generate more power than 18 747 jumbo jets, and is the most powerful rocket to fly since NASA’s moon rocket, the Saturn V.
Making it the most powerful functioning rocket on Earth. This is one of SpaceX’s most difficult launches. Musk even said “Just bear in mind that there is a good chance this monster rocket blows up.”
But it didn’t!
Even though this was a test launch, Musk took the opportunity to send some payload to space. A Tesla Roadster, which will eventually reach Mars’ orbit.
Now, that’s a rocket test like we’ve never seen before. Afterward, SpaceX retrieved each of the 3 boosters for possible reuse. They landed one booster on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean and 2 at its landing base in Florida.
Musk has said the Falcon Heavy could usher people to Mars someday in the future. That day now looks closer than ever. And who knows?
Maybe a Roadster will be waiting when they get there.

JAMB: Sophisticated glasses, wristwatches and other gadgets not allowed in exam halls this February

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has reportedly placed a ban on the use of 16 electronic devices at the UTME examination which is to hold on February 26, 2018, across different venues within the federation.
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23 inspiring quotes from successful African entrepreneurs

It may be easy to get caught up in the startup and entrepreneurship buzz, however, it is going to take a lot more to start your own venture and keep your head above the water. Wondering what it takes to become a better entrepreneur or build a successful business? Pay heed to the words of some […]
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Infinix S3: Unboxing and First Impressions

Infinix Mobility has launched the Infinix  S3 as its first smartphone for the year 2018. The S3 is a continuation of the HOT S series which had the Infinix S2 and Infinix S2 Pro as its last additions. The Infinix S3 has a lot of features that are not necessarily new but surely exciting. Let’s […]
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Tecno Camon X: Unboxing and First Impressions

On the 5th of April 2018. Tecno Mobile officially announced the Tecno Camon X and 4 other smartphones in a global launch held in Lagos Nigeria. Even though not a continuation of the Camon CX, the Tecno Camon X is still the latest addition into the Tecno Camon family. Let us look inside the box […]
Read more on Techpoint.

Quick unboxing of the Infinix Note 5 with Andriod One

On the 24th of June, Infinix Mobility launched the Infinix Note 5 in partnership with Google at the Burj Khalifat building in Dubai and I was there. Here is a quick view of the device. Specification Android  8.1 Oreo 6.0 ”  HD Full Display 2.0 GHz Octa Core Processor 3GB RAM 32GB internal expandable memory Dual […]
Read more on Techpoint.

Africa News Roundup: The ₦19 billion anti-IPO manoeuvre

Here are last weekend’s top headlines on startups, entrepreneurship, innovation and tech around Africa. Bottling up 7up. Majority shareholder in struggling Seven-Up bottling company, Affelka has made an offer to buy out minority shareholders for ₦19.33 billion ($60 million), in a takeover deal that will delist the company from the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Read more on […]
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Despite a ₦20 billion ICT allocation to its agencies in 2017, the Nigerian government...

In February we reported that the Office of the Secretary General of the Federation(OSGF) had purportedly spent ₦65 million last year on maintaining its already existing website. Apparently the OSGF’s website isn’t the only recipient of a ridiculous amount in the same period for ICT. A report by the Daily Trust has further revealed that despite […]
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Tech: Big data,machine learning and artificial intelligence from an excited office in Africa

So how do we describe, predict and prescribe data we have collected?  This is where machine learning comes in. In recent times, these words have created a hype which is undoubtedly due to the fact that human history and interaction are ultimately going to be altered in no mean terms by these concepts. The end of this article is to simply bring light to this seemingly technical world which would affect us positively if we understand and make use of the advantages it comes with. Big data basically refers to data sets that are so large in multiple varieties (example videos and images) and comes at such a speed that it is virtually impossible to use the traditional data processing applications to handle them. Every day, data is being generated in various ways and forms through devices, sensors and new technology platforms. Due to the nature of collection, it is often unstructured, however big data encompasses all data whether structured, semi structured or unstructured. The measure of what is considered big data keeps growing, as data keeps being collected. It is estimated that on the average people send 500 million tweets a day and analysts believe that by 2020 there would be 5,200 gigabytes of data on a person, that should give an idea of how much data would be available for use in the next few years.Why the hype on Big data? Data reveals meaningful information when properly gathered and analysed. Now that we have higher volumes of data, a good analysis would mean better predictability of trends and cuts across all areas be it government, business, medicine, crime and so on. What it means is that in business for example, we can now predict services or products and give them on a hyper individualized basis, on crime, police patrols can be concentrated in areas of higher crime based on accurate trends and predictions and in medicine better disease mapping and allocation of resources in areas where they are needed. So how do we describe, predict and prescribe data we have collected?  This is where machine learning comes in. Before Machine learning, Business Intelligence played a major role in ensuring that business executives could visualize the data they obtained from traditional databases but business are now also confusing business Intelligence with machine learning. The picture below shows the differences between the two and how they complement each other.For emphasis, machine learning is the field of computer science that uses statistics to build systems that can learn from the data and identify patterns and make decisions. As pictured above, whilst business intelligence looks at historic events and answers the question what has happened, machine learning does 3 kinds of analysis – descriptive, prescriptive and predictive.  Business Intelligence focuses on descriptive analysis whilst Machine Learning does all three kinds of analysis. Descriptive analysis means data can be broken down to a level that can aid in understanding factors that influence choices. It uses data aggregation and data mining to provide insight into the past and answer: “What has happened?”. With prescriptive analysis, patterns can be drawn from collected data. It uses optimization and simulation algorithms to advice on possible outcomes and answer: “What should we do?”. Lastly with predictive analysis, after knowing the factors that influence choices and the patterns that exist in random data, the system can now predict the occurrence of events based on information or data it receives.Machine learning is not such a new concept in the IT world, however, the ability to automatically apply complex mathematical calculations to big data repeatedly and in a faster manner is a recent and exciting development. Examples of everyday uses of machine learning are on social media, for example Facebook utilizes machine learning for face recognition by matching unique features. On Facebook, when you are uploading a picture of you with a friend, it automatically suggests you tag that friend. In a matter of seconds data has been analyzed and used. That been said it must be emphasized that machine learning is actually a subset of artificial intelligence and particular applications of AI include expert systems, speech recognition and machine vision.   Virtual personal Assistants and online customer support services are possible because of machine learning. Examples are Apple’s Siri, Google’s Alexa and closer home, recently birthed Maame (self-created by Npontu Technologies, Ghana). Chatbots come with varied degrees of human intelligence processes which include learning, reasoning and self-correction. Maame is a chatbot that can accept several communications at the same time minimizing the waiting time in most customer service centres. “She” is also a non-emotional person that would not complain of tiredness or having a long day after serving so many people. In a country where majority of its citizens are not on the literate and sophisticated side, Maame is being trained to not just engage in English but to handle communication in various local dialects of the country to offer most needed assistance to the customer service wing of any company. In this case, its focus is not just text to text but also speech to speech in the local language to aid organizations best serve their diverse clientele.With all the brouhaha and hype it comes with, the good news is that the application of machine learning and AI to huge gigabytes of data is no longer the domain of just the experts. There are a now platforms where companies can simply upload data and have it analysed at the click of a button. A phenomenom that would have been impossible just a few years ago. This trend is not peculiar to the US or Europe known for quick technological advances but is also possible right here in Africa, Ghana with the application Snwolley (, which offers machine learning as a service. Snwolley allows predictions in three steps which are identifying the category for the intended prediction (e.g. Classification, regression etc.), creating and storing your model and then running your prediction using the created model. It relies on complex multithreading technologies to run all possible algorithms for the intended prediction providing the highest prediction to the user. It also uses data sourcing from multiple platforms such as Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), API and local file. The good news is that all this can be done without creating a high level specialized team as the processes of data science are automated on the platform.In Africa just as in the world, organizations must begin to leverage on data and analytics to create value through innovation. To do this there must be a paradigm shift, an explicit data governance structure that creates a culture of value for data. Data is the oil fueling the next level of change in our world and in the proceeding articles, we will be speaking on challenges in the implementation of machine learning in Africa.

Tech: Nigerian girls, Team Save-A-Soul, win world’s largest tech competition

The Nigerian girls defeated teams from USA, Spain, Turkey, Uzbekistan and China to win the 2018 Technovation world pitch junior division in San Francisco. Nigerian teenage girls have won the top position at the 2018 Technovation World Pitch Summit, the world’s largest tech entrepreneurship program in the United States.Iridescent, a nonprofit empowering under-represented young people globally announced that the Nigerian girls won the Junior Division Finalists (App focus) category during the “Global Innovation Celebration” held in the San Jose Theatre, August 9, 2018.Save-A Soul app – FD-Detector, Onitsha, Anambra, NigeriaThe girls, from Regina Abachi secondary school, Onitsa, codenamed Team Save-A-Soul comprising of Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo and Vivian Okoye, developed a mobile application called ‘FD-Detector’ to tackle the problem of fake pharmaceutical products in Nigeria with Mrs Uchenna Onwuamaegbu-Ugwu, as their mentor.The app leverages a drug’s barcode to verify its authenticity and expiration date. Save A Soul will also partner with NAFDAC (National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control), an agency responsible for regulating drugs in Nigeria.The Nigerian girls defeated teams from the United States of America (USA), Spain, Turkey, Uzbekistan and China to win the 2018 Technovation world pitch junior division in San Francisco, USA.”Leveraging technology to save lives is our utmost priority, that is why we have decided to maximize this opportunity to solve the incessant rate of death caused by fake drugs,” said Team Save-A-Soul.The 2018 World Pitch Summit is the final event following more than seven months of hard work, innovation, and problem solving by more than 19,000 girls in 115 countries supported by over 5,000 mentors.More than $50,000 USD was awarded across the teams.Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo on a Twitter post said, “These young ladies in Junior Secondary School developed a mobile application called FD Detector to tackle the problems of fake pharmaceutical products in Nigeria. Congratulations! We are very proud of you.”Willie Obiano, Governor of Anambra, also said the girls deserve some accolades.Also from Business Insider Sub-Sahara Africa:I visited the 6 Google Stations in Lagos and here’s what I found out about the free Wi-FiThese are the top 20 fastest-growing skills you need to learn right now6 Nigerians who hold leadership positions at top international organisationsNigerians are signing a petition against the high cost of internet subscriptionHere is the list of 60 houses reportedly traced to Nigeria’s Deputy Senate PresidentTwitter has started clamping down on fake followers, here’s what you will noticeYou will be surprised at the 19 people Nigeria’s Buhari follows on TwitterHere’s why Nigeria is not in a hurry to sign the continental free trade agreementThese 6 banks invested N155.

Tech: ‘The Last Jedi’ crew set fire to a nearly 60-foot high model tree...

The burning tree in that scene in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” where Yoda and Luke Skywalker talk was not CGI.
The burning tree scene in “The Last Jedi” was a practical effect — they really lit a fake tree on fire.
It took months to build the tree, and close to 25 separate gas lines were rigged to it to have the tree burn to director Rian Johnson’s liking.
Special effects supervisor Chris Corbould explained to Business Insider how the scene was pulled off.
In an era when you assume anything amazing that happens in a movie is courtesy of computer-generated imagery, it’s always exciting to learn when a memorable scene was pulled off by practical effects.
Since the “Star Wars” prequels, in which George Lucas was heavily criticized for using too much CGI to create the worlds and characters, many big-budget movies have tried to find that happy medium of practical and visual effects to give the action on screen a more grounded feel. And the now Disney-owned “Star Wars” saga is leading the way.
A perfect example is in “The Last Jedi” (available on digital release Tuesday, on Blu-ray/DVD March 27) when Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) attempts to burn down the giant tree that holds the sacred Jedi texts. It’s a scene that also features a Force ghost of Yoda.
When Skywalker tells the legendary Jedi master what he’s about to do, Yoda doesn’t talk him out of it. But when Skywalker gets to the giant tree, with flame in hand, he can’t go through with it. This leads to Yoda summoning a giant lightening bolt that strikes the tree and engulfs it in flames. He then delivers his famous giddy laugh as Skywalker looks on in complete shock.
Almost all of that scene is done with practical effects. From the puppet of Yoda, voiced by Frank Oz, that Hamill traded lines with, to the enormous tree and giant flames shooting from it.
It was the handiwork of the movie’s special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, and one of the reasons why he recently received a visual effects Oscar nomination for “The Last Jedi.”
Responsible for some of the greatest visual effects pulled off on screen in the last 40 years, he’s done everything from James Bond movies like “Moonraker” and “GoldenEye,” to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and “Inception” (which he won an Oscar for). He’s now hit the effects industry mountain top with getting the “Star Wars” gig (he was also the effects supervisor on “The Force Awakens”) and the Yoda/Skywalker scene for him is one of his favorites.
There’s the nostalgia of seeing Luke and Yoda on screen again, but also the pride of pulling off a practical effect of this size.
“It was a tricky one,” Corbould admitted to Business Insider.
First, there was building the tree and rigging it to burn. Corbould said it took a couple of months for the construction crew on the movie to build the fireproof tree that was almost 60 feet high and close to 50 feet wide. It was so big that the tree could not be built on the set.
“They had to assemble it in various parts,” Corbould said.
So the tree was basically a very large Lego set. A piece of a trunk would be built on set, then another piece of the trunk would be brought in and attached to that. Then the multiple branches were attached one at a time.
After all that, close to 25 separate gas lines were put into the tree, each one with its own valve so Corbould and his team could adjust the flame to his and director Rian Johnson’s liking.
“It’s very easy to have it just burst into flames,” Corbould said. “Rian really wanted it to catch the light a little bit slower. So we had to spent quite a lot of testing time to bring the gas lines to a point where it looked like the flames were slowly creeping up and then totally enveloping the whole tree.”
The tree burning scene was shot over two nights with a crew of 20 people just responsible for the tree catching on fire. Most of the shots pre-fire were completed on the first night. The second night was for the shots after the tree was on fire, which included Hamill, the Yoda puppet, and Oz voicing the character in front of the giant burning tree. And it got hot — to the joy of everyone on set.
“When we shot the scene the nights were incredibly cold,” Corbould said. “I think the whole crew was happy when we lit that up.”
The tree was lit on fire close to 30 times by the time they wrapped on the scene, according to Corbould.
The special effects veteran laughed when he was told that many people probably think the tree fire scene is just another dazzling VFX feat by the wizards at Industrial Light and Magic.
“I think when you do something for real you get a much more convincing performance from the actors,” he said. “I think that’s why a lot of the directors — Chris [Nolan], Rian [Johnson], J.J. [Abrams] — they value those moments where you’ve got a real look of terror, anxiety, excitement on the faces of the actors.”
Corbould added that some of the excitement for him is seeing if a practical effect could even be pulled off.
He said he wasn’t completely confident he could pull off the 18-wheeler truck flip he did in “The Dark Knight.”
“There was a bit of banter between me and Chris Nolan,” he said. “Eventually we pulled it off.”
But in today’s moviemaking landscape, it’s what’s done on the VFX side that has really upped everyone’s game in the special effects profession.
“When CGI was first invented we all thought we’re not going to have a job in five years,” Corbould said. “But what it actually did is it allowed films to do even bigger visual effects and we had to enhance what they did — whether it’s an asteroid hitting the ground or blowing 10 cars up in the air. It’s a great marriage these days. It’s a combination of practical and visual effects to make that great film — that’s what we’re striving to do.”
Corbould’s next task: Making our hearts melt for Winnie the Pooh in the upcoming Disney release, “Christopher Robin.

Tech: Watch live video of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster and its dummy driver ‘Starman’...

You can watch Starman and the Roadster speed through space via a livestream.
SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket into space on Tuesday.
As its test payload, the rocket carried Elon Musk’s 2008 Tesla Roadster, complete with a dummy driver named “Starman” wearing a SpaceX spacesuit.
The car is equipped with cameras, and you can watch the Roadster’s journey via a live feed.
For those concerned about the fate of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster — and the dummy named “Starman” that SpaceX sent into space on Tuesday — have no fear.
SpaceX equipped the Roadster with cameras that are livestreaming the payload’s journey as it travels toward Mars orbit — at least until the car’s battery dies, which Musk said is likely to happen 12 hours after launch.
Starman got some stunning views, including some of Earth.
“It looks so ridiculous and impossible,” Musk told reporters in a press conference after today’s launch. “You can tell it’s real because it looks so fake, honestly.”
He added that the suit is SpaceX’s actual product design, and can protect humans in a vacuum.
“That’s the real deal,” Musk said, “It’s a dangerous trip — you wanna look good.”
In addition to Starman, the Roadster is also carrying a few hidden items, including a model-sized version of the car and a model-sized Starman. In addition, the car holds a storage device with Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy on it. And on the Roadster’s circuit board, Musk added a special note.
The payload’s attach fitting also has the names of more than 600 SpaceX employees engraved on it.
The car will now coast for roughly six hours through radiation fields near Earth’s Van Allen Belt. The intense radiation makes for a less pleasant ride.
“It’s going to get whacked pretty hard,” Musk told reporters on Monday.
By subjecting the upper-stage of the rocket to this treatment, SpaceX hopes to demonstrate that it can survive even in extremely dangerous, harsh conditions. Ideally, the move would win over customers eager to launch their payloads into space using the Falcon Heavy system. Such a launch is expected to cost about $90 million, a discount compared to other space endeavors.
From there, it’ll take about six months for the Roadster to actually get to Mars orbit, Musk said in a tweet Tuesday.