INEC not averse to public scrutiny

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood YakubuThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that its activities are open for public assessments and criticisms.
It’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this yesterday at a public dialogue with civil society groups, organised by European Centre for Electoral Support.
He said the rationale to subject electoral process to public scrutiny was to guarantee transparency and build public confidence in the commission.
Yakubu explained that the public reserves the right to challenge electoral process being funded and conducted by public funds.
He added that the commission has so far recorded tremendous success in the conduct of its off-season governorship elections in some states.
Represented by a National Commissioner, Prof. Antonia Okooisi Simbine, the INEC chairman hinted that the essence of the public dialogue was to share ideas and knowledge that could further strengthening the electoral process.
Senior legal expert with European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) Maria Teresa stressed the interest behind support for INEC was to ensure credible electoral process, ahead of 2019 general elections.
Meanwhile, INEC has pledged to identify and expose those with illegal possession of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
This followed media reports that a high volume of foreigners from Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Togo and Benin Republic had been arrested by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Lagos for illegal possession of PVCs.
National Commissioner; Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, said all legal frameworks and budgets of the elections have been perfected for the elections.
INEC also urged politicians to be modest in their conducts to ensure that the process is free, fair and credible.
He spoke yesterday at the INEC Election Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC), zonal implementers trainers workshop sponsored by European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).
Special Assistance to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mohammed Kuna, said the workshop was important to meet up with the demands
The commission boss said: “We must concert efforts at ensuring that we get adequately prepared for the 2019 general election, and right now we are very much on course.

Checks on Atiku’s plane not politically motivated, says minister

The Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi SirikaThe Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika has debunked insinuations that the checks conducted by security operatives on the aircraft belonging to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was politically motivated
He said the security checks were misinterpreted as having political undertone, when actually it was a case of professional and industry practice as regulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
A statement by the Director of Press and Publicity in the ministry, James Odaudu, stated: “It should be noted that such checks as carried out on the former vice president’s aircraft are mandatory and routine, and that no one is exempted except the president, vice president and visiting presidents.
“The ICAO security programme also requires that ministers and senior government officials are screened in the same manner as other passengers as they are expected to set examples for the travelling public and to the aviation security officials responsible for screening passengers.
“It is a routine practice that all incoming aircraft and passengers on international flights must go through customs, immigration, health, security and money laundering checks.
Read More: Atiku Abubakar says he was searched at Abuja airport
“The general public is, therefore, assured that the ministry and its agencies would always accord the desired respect to the nation’s leaders, just as they are committed to ensuring the entrenchment of safety and security at the nation’s airports without political considerations,” the statement read in part.
Sirika, in a post on his twitter handle @hadisirika, had described Atiku’s claim as a “mischievous attempt to grab the headlines.”
He said Nigerians needed to know that “one of the resolutions of the Atiku team at their recently-concluded Dubai retreat was to embark on scaremongering. This is one of such.

PTAD begins payment of New Nigerian pensioners

PensionThe management of the New Nigerian led by the Acting Managing Director, Mary Ibrahim, yesterday paid a courtesy visit to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) in Abuja to express appreciation for the placing of the newspaper’s ex-workers on the pension list.
The NNN officials told the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Sharon Ikeazor, that they were very happy at the speed at which PTAD was able to resolve, compute and pay their pensioners.
They acknowledged the competence and diligence of PTAD staff in putting the pensioners first.
PTAD had in October placed 470 New Nigerian pensioners on monthly pension payment for life.

Court revokes Kalu’s bail for traveling without permission

Orji Uzor KaluFor travelling to Germany without permission, Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday revoked the bail granted to the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
The court ordered him to submit himself and his passport to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) within 24 hours after his return to the country upon the conclusion of his medical treatment abroad.
The trial judge had last week given Kalu a seven -day ultimatum to return to Nigeria from Germany, where he was said to have gone for a surgical operation, or risk the revocation of his bail.
Kalu, the Commissioner for Finance during his tenure, Udeh Jones Udeogu, and his company, Slok Nigeria Limited are standing trial on an amended 39- count charge brought against them by the EFCC.
They were alleged to have used some banks to perpetrate N3.2billion fraud contrary to sections 17(c) 16, 14(1)(b)17(a) and 427 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2003.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the count charges
When the matter was called yesterday, the former governor was absent in court, but was represented by his counsel, S.E Eleme who tendered a medical report from Kalu’s doctors in Germany, stating that the accused person would require 12 weeks to recuperate from the surgical operation.
Justice Idris, therefore, reminded him of the terms of his client bail, which state that he must deposit his Nigerian passport and any other passport that he owned to the court, adding that he could not travel outside the country without the leave of the court.
Eleme said his client travelled under an emergency situation, which did not permit him to apply for the court’s permission, but did not respond to how the accused person got the passport with which he travelled outside the country.
Rather, the counsel pleaded with the court to have mercy on his client and also consider the fact that he had so far conducted himself properly before the court since his trial started in 2007.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) said that when the case was adjourned indefinitely on September 27, the accused person through his counsel approached him that their client was sick and he needed to travel outside the for treatment.
Jacobs said they agreed that he should go and treat himself, but instead of doing so, the former governor was engaged in politicking.
“He contested and won his political party’s primary in his home state, so it was his fault that he did not treat himself before the trial resumed.
“Though I later got information that they wrote to the chairman of the EFCC informing the agency of the trip, if the letter had been brought to my knowledge, I would have advised them to seek the permission of the court as the anti-graft agency does not process the power to grant him leave to travel abroad.”
Justice Idris, therefore, held that although he recognised the right of the accused person to free movement, he breached the term of his bail, adding that no one is above the law.
” It is not acceptable that someone would break the law and expect that nothing would happen. It is a serious offence for someone to travel outside the country in violation of a valid court order.
“I will allow the accused person to enjoy his treatment without any harassment or intimidation from the court or security agencies, but upon his arrival in the country, he must submit himself to the EFCC. If we must have peace and stability in this country the law must be enforced and the court must not be afraid to enforce the law to ensure sanity in the society.
“So the bail of the accused person is hereby revoked and he must submit himself and his passport to the EFCC at the point of entry until further orders of the court are made,” the judge ruled.
He subsequently adjourned continuation of trial till January 23, 2019.

FUOYE lecturers shun ASUU strike, join CNAU

ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun OgunyemiLecturers at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have backed out of the ongoing strike.
The lecturers announced that they have switched their membership and allegiance to the newly formed Congress of Nigerian Academia of Universities (CNAU).
The leader of CNAU in the university, Ayodeji Ige, disclosed this to The Guardian.
He said they are currently discharging all their lawful duties, “because we are no longer members of ASUU.”
He disclosed that the second semester examinations started is ongoing and was neither halted, nor disrupted by any individual or groups.
He stressed that no one was coerced into taking the decision, even as no one has also been harassed for keying into the choice.
The leadership of FUOYE Students Union, which said their exams were ongoing, also confirmed the steps taken by the lecturers.
Vice President of the students union, Bisiriyu Ayomide, in an interview with The Guardian, commended the lecturers for being independent-mined and not following the crowd.
He stressed that each university has its own unique peculiarities in terms of issues and challenges.
Ige had said ASUU was in decaying stage and no efforts could revamp the body, adding that FUOYE teachers now take directives from CNAU headquarters in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Prior to this development, FUOYE ASUU had been at loggerhead with the branch chairman, Dr. Akinyemi Omonijo, and the zonal leadership of the union, who were accused of misrepresenting happenings in the university.
They claimed that the chairman misled both ASUU national leadership and the Federal Ministry of Education to take some decisions against the university.

Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, dies at 95

Stan Lee, who dreamed up Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk and a cavalcade of other Marvel Comics superheroes has  died at the age of 95, his daughter said on Monday.
These comics became mythic figures in pop culture with soaring success at the movie box office.
As a writer and editor, Lee was key to the ascension of Marvel into a comic book, titan, in the 1960s.
He then, in collaboration with artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, created superheroes who would enthrall generations of young readers.
“He felt an obligation to his fans to keep creating.
“He loved his life and he loved what he did for a living. His family loved him and his fans loved him. He was irreplaceable,” his daughter, J.C. Lee, said in a statement to the media.
She did not mention Lee’s cause of death but the TMZ celebrity news website said an ambulance was called to Lee’s Hollywood Hills home early Monday and that he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Americans were familiar with superheroes before Lee,  thanks to the 1938 launch of Superman by Detective Comics, the company that would become DC Comics, Marvel’s archrival.
Lee was widely credited with adding a new layer of complexity and humanity to superheroes.
His characters were not made of stone – even if they appeared to have been chiseled from granite. They had love and money worries, and endured tragic flaws or feelings of insecurity.
“I felt it would be fun to learn a little about their private lives, about their personalities and show that they are human as well as super,” Lee told NPR News in 2010.
He had help in designing the superheroes but he took full ownership of promoting them.
His creations included web-slinging teenager Spider-Man, the muscle-bound Hulk, mutant outsiders, The X-Men, the close-knit Fantastic Four and the playboy-inventor Tony Stark, better known as Iron Man.
Dozens of Marvel Comic movies, with nearly all the major characters Lee created, were produced in the first decades of the 21st century.
They grossed over 20 billion dollars at theaters worldwide, according to box office analysts.
Spider-Man is one of the most successfully licensed characters ever.
He has soared through the New York skyline as a giant inflatable in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Lee, as a hired hand at Marvel, received limited payback on the windfall from his characters.
In a 1998 contract, he wrestled a clause for 10 per cent of profits from movies and TV shows with Marvel characters.
In 2002, he sued to claim his share, months after “Spider-Man” conquered movie theaters. In a legal settlement three years later, he received a 10 million dollars one-time payment.
Hollywood studios made superheroes the cornerstone of their strategy of producing fewer films and relying on big profits from blockbusters.
Some people assumed that, as a result, Lee’s wealth had soared. He disputed that.
“I don’t have 200 million dollars. I don’t have 150 million dollars . I don’t have 100 million dollars or anywhere near that,” Lee told Playboy magazine in 2014.
” Having grown up in the Great Depression, Lee added that he was “happy enough to get a nice paycheck and be treated well.”
In 2008, Lee was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest government award for creative artists.
Lee was born as Stanley Martin Lieber in New York on Dec. 28, 1922, the son of Jewish immigrants from Romania.
At age 17, he became an errand boy at Timely Comics, the company that would evolve into Marvel.
He got the job with help from an inside connection, his uncle, according to Lee’s autobiography “Excelsior!”
Lee soon earned writing duties and promotions. He penned Western stories and romances, as well as superhero tales.
He often wrote standing on the porch of the Long Island, New York, home he shared with his wife, actress Joan Lee, whom he married in 1947 and who died in 2017.
The couple had two children, Joan Celia born in 1950 and Jan Lee who died within three days of her birth in 1953.
In 1961 Lee’s boss saw a rival publisher’s success with caped crusaders and told Lee to dream up a superhero team.
Lee at the time felt comics were a dead-end career, but his wife urged him to give it one more shot and create the complex characters he wanted to, even if it led to his firing.
The result was the Fantastic Four. There was stretchable Mr Fantastic, his future wife, Invisible Woman, her brother, the Human Torch and strongman, The Thing.
They were like a devoted but dysfunctional family.
“Stan’s characters were always superheroes that had a certain amount of humanity about them or a flaw,” said Shirrel Rhoades.
Rhoades was a former Executive Vice President of Marvel and its publisher in the mid-1990s.
“As iconic as Superman may be, he is considered a Boy Scout. He doesn’t have any real flaws,” Rhoades said.
“Whereas you take a Spider-Man, kids identify with him because he had his problems like they did.”
Lee involved his artists in the process of creating the story and even the characters themselves in what would come to be known as the “Marvel Method.”
It sometimes led critics to fault Lee for taking credit for ideas not entirely his own.
He described his creative process to media in outlining how he came up with his character Thor, the god of thunder, borrowed from Norse mythology.
“I was trying to think of something that would be totally different,” he said.
“What could be bigger and even more powerful than the Hulk? And I figured: why not a legendary god?”
To give Thor more rhetorical punch, Lee gave him dialogue styled after the Bible and Shakespeare.
As for Tony Stark-Iron Man, he was based on industrialist Howard Hughes, Lee told interviewers.
Lee became Marvel’s publisher in 1972.
He went on the lecture circuit, moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and pursued opportunities for his characters in movies and television.
Through it all, he kept connected with fans, writing a column called “Stan’s Soapbox” in which he often slipped in his catchphrase “‘Nuff Said” or the sign-off “Excelsior!”
In his later years, he gave constant updates via Twitter.
“Stan was a character. He was a character as much as any he ever created,” Rhoades said. “He created himself, in a way.”
He also made cameos in most Marvel films, pulling a girl away from falling debris in 2002’s “Spider-Man” and serving as an emcee at a strip club in 2016’s “Deadpool.”
The Walt Disney Co bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009 for four billion dollars in a deal to expand Disney’s roster of characters, with the most iconic ones having been Lee’s handiwork.
By that point, Lee had all but parted ways with Marvel after being made a chairman emeritus of the company.
But even in his 80s and 90s, Lee was a wellspring of new projects, running a company called POW! Entertainment.

Court again stops Kano Assembly from investigating Gov. Ganduje

A Kano High Court on Monday upheld its earlier order halting the state House of Assembly Investigative Committee from investigating the bribery allegation against Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje.
The court also ordered all other parties involved in the investigation of the bribery allegation to maintain status quo ante, pending the determination of the originating summon.
NAN reports that the originating summon was filed by Mr Mohammed Zubair, the National Coordinator of Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria.
When the case came up for hearing, counsel to the plaintiff, Kalid Abdullatif, said that going by Order 29, Rule 1 and Order 28, Rule 1 and 4 of the Rules of the Court, 2014, the application filed on behalf of the plaintiff on Nov. 5, restraining the defendants, Kano state House of Assembly, Baffa Babba Danagundi and the state Attorney-General from further investigation of the bribery allegation, still subsist.
“The application still remains an Order of interlocutory injunction, restraining the defendants, either by themselves, agents, privies, or officials, or other persons, whosoever, from further inviting anybody, questioning, examining, making any further Press Releases, releasing or playing any further video tapes, investigation or further proceedings, with the, or any bribery allegation against Gov. Ganduje, or anybody, whatsoever, therewith, pending the determination of the substantive suit before this Honourable Court, “he said.
He further argued that the act of the defendants to have constituted a Committee to investigate the bribery allegation against Governor Ganduje remains, “unconstitutional.”
However, counsel to the Kano state House of Assembly (first defendant) and Investigative Committee Chairman, Hon. Baffa Babba Dan Agundi (second defendant), Mohammed Waziri, described his clients as law-abiding citizens who would not breach the law in any way.
“I wish to state that the First and Second defendants are law-makers and law-abiding citizens. The Order came a day to the date slated to listen to witnesses at the Investigative Panel.
“Since then, no step has been taken by the state House of Assembly or the Investigative Committee to breach the law. “This is to tell you that Kano state House of Assembly is law-abiding.
“The Assembly has no intention whatsoever to take any further steps until the subsisting matter is decided upon because constitutional issues are being raised.”
The Third Defendant who is also the state Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, aIbrahim Muktar did not object to the prayers of counsel to the plaintiff.
In his ruling, the presiding Judge, Justice Ahmed Badamasi, ordered all the parties involved in the case to maintain the status quo ante, pending the determination of the Originating summon.
Badamasi commended counsel to the defendants for advising his clients wisely and adjourned the case to Nov. 21, for hearing of the originating motion on summon.

Tech: Despite predictions and controversy, PewDiePie has yet to lose his spot as YouTube’s...

PewDiePie became the first YouTube channel to reach 70 million subscribers, despite the creator’s controversial history of making offensive comments.
YouTube’s biggest star is still PewDiePie, who just reached 70 million subscribers.
Researchers have predicted that PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjellberg, would be dethroned by the Indian music channel T-Series, but that has yet to happen.
Kjellberg has still seen support from fans and popularity in the YouTube community despite a long history of disparaging racist and anti-Semitic remarks.
The pundits predicted that a new content creator would be crowned YouTube’s biggest star come November, but the title still belongs to the Swedish vlogger PewDiePie.
PewDiePie became the first YouTuber to reach the 70-million subscriber mark, beating out the Indian music channel T-Series who has been quickly gaining ground. Research firms predicted that T-Series would overtake PewDiePie — who real name is Felix Kjellberg — by the end of October, but the content creator still led Monday by almost half a million subscribers.
Kjellberg has managed to keep his spot atop YouTube despite a history of making offensive remarks in his videos. Most recently, Kjellberg landed in hot water this summer over a (since deleted) Twitter post. Following Demi Lovato’s hospitalization for an apparent drug overdose, Kjellberg tweeted out a comic that depicted Lovato asking her mom for money to buy a burger, then instead using it to buy heroin.
Although his subscriber base has remained loyal throughout his controversial past, YouTube itself has punished the creator for his actions. News surfaced in February 2017 that nine videos published on PewDiePie’s channel featured Kjellberg making anti-Semitic comments, and the video platform responded by cancelling the second season of Kjellberg’s original series on YouTube Premium.
Read more: PewDiePie criticizes YouTube’s ‘inept’ leadership, accuses the company of giving Logan Paul a lighter punishment for offensive video
This sordid history hasn’t stopped other YouTube influencers from calling on their fans to support Kjellberg in securing his spot atop YouTube. Tubefilter reports that fellow YouTube creator MrBeast campaigned heartily for Kjellberg through stints on local radio and purchases of advertisements on TV, websites, and billboards.
It’s worth nothing that this title of “YouTube’s biggest star” is based on the number of subscribers. Based on viewership, PewDiePie sits down at No. 7 on a leaderboard from research firm Social Blade. T-Series, however, leads all of YouTube in terms of viewership with more than 53 billion all-time video views.
As of Monday, research firm Tubular Labs revised its estimates to predict that T-Series would overtake PewDiePie for the most subscribers on November 30.
Meanwhile, PewDiePie posted on Twitter that he’s already eyeing 100 million subscribers.

Tech: Before-and-after photos show the devastating destruction in Malibu as the California wildfires rage...

California has been overtaken by a string of deadly wildfires, including the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, which has killed two people so far.
California has been overtaken by a string of deadly wildfires, which continue to blaze in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties to the south and the town of Paradise, California to the north.
Since the fires began on November 8, few communities have been more devastated than Malibu, a wealthy enclave that’s been engulfed by the Woolsey Fire. Authorities report that the fire has spread across 91,500 acres of land and is only 20% contained.
Nearby, the Hill Fire has destroyed more than 4,500 acres, but was 80% contained on Monday.
In Northern California, the Camp Fire destroyed the entire town of Paradise in less than a day, killing at least 29 people and decimating 6,700 structures. The fire has already been dubbed the most destructive wildfire in California history.
Though the majority of deaths have taken place in Paradise, at least two people were declared dead in Malibu on Friday. Their burned bodies were found in a car near Mulholland Highway.
As the Woolsey Fire continues to rage, mandatory evacuations remain in place in Malibu. Take a look at how the luxury community has changed in the last few days.
Malibu is home to some of the nation’s most expensive properties.
A home on Billionaire’s Beach recently sold for $110 million, marking the priciest home sale in LA County history.
Read more: The cofounder of the Hard Rock Cafe just sold his mansion on Billionaire’s Beach in Malibu for a record-breaking $110 million
Today, the city’s oceanfront properties have been reduced to charred remains.
Woolsey is the worst fire to hit Malibu since the Corral Fire in 2007, which burned more than 4,900 acres and destroyed 53 homes.
Source: Los Angeles Times
On Friday, all of the city’s residents were told to evacuate their homes.
All Malibu schools will be closed until at least Friday, November 16. Read more: Malibu is burning — Wildfires are spreading through southern California, and photos show a hellscape on the ground
Residents of Point Dume and Encinal Canyon were told to either boil water or use water bottles to drink, cook, and brush their teeth.
Source: Malibu City
Before the flames started, Malibu’s Zuma Beach hosted its typical share of tourists and locals.
As the fire began to spread, the beach quickly teemed with evacuees, who brought their belongings and animals.
Mulholland Highway, a popular route that connects to many regional parks, looked peaceful and pristine before the blaze.
By Sunday, the road was littered with debris and toppled power lines.
Homes on Dune Drive stood tall before the fire.
On Friday, many were burned to the ground.
Thus far, the fire has destroyed 177 structures and threatened around 57,000 more.
The low-lying homes on Wandermere Road were once shaded by a canopy of trees.
Now, all that’s left in some areas is scorched land and ruined belongings.
High-up mansions have also been destroyed near Malibu Lake.
Celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Neil Young, and Gerard Butler have all lost their Malibu homes. Read more: All of the celebrities who have evacuated or lost their homes as wildfires spread across California
Firefighters have been working nonstop to contain the flames, which were approaching the Salvation Army camps in Malibu Creek State Park on Saturday.
Source: Malibu City
Local authorities have deployed water and flame retardant to try and quell the fire.
“Malibu is a really small community and gets a bad rap for being this kind of elitist, snobby place, and it’s exactly the opposite,” one local told the LA Times.
“It’s built off the shoulders of hard-working blue-collar families, and that’s really going to show when we rebuild this place,” he said. “It’s a real community; it isn’t something people buy into.

LG Autonomy Will Foster Development At Grassroots – Obasanjo

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has called for the strengthening of the local government as the third tier of government in Nigeria saying that the current practice has continued to hamper real development at the grassroots.
He said this on Monday while receiving members of the Friends of Democracy group at his residence in the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The former president maintained that people at the grassroots are better served if the local government is strengthened.
He said, “The Local Government is meant to be autonomous from the state government.
“What has happened from the briefing I have received from you and what we know is that by design, most states have incapacitated the local government. They have virtually stolen their money. And what they call joint account, they were to contribute 10 per cent which they never contributed.
“What has come from the state governments have been appropriated by them, so what we have in most parts of the country is a local government that has functions but cannot perform the function”.
The former president also noted that only nine states so far have signed the Local Government Autonomy bill which requires the signature of 24 states before it is passed into law.
He, therefore, called on states who have not signed the bill to do so in the interest of development.
The post LG Autonomy Will Foster Development At Grassroots – Obasanjo appeared first on Channels Television.

Tech: Here’s why virtual reality still hasn’t taken off, despite being around for nearly...

Virtual reality has existed for nearly two decades, but it still hasn’t proven to be “the future of technology.” Here are a few reasons why.
Virtual reality has existed for nearly two decades, but it still hasn’t proven to be “the future of technology” as most were expecting.
Some up-and-coming machines include the Oculus Quest, the Samsung VR, and the Vive Pro — but they have a few setbacks from regular video gaming consoles like Xbox or PlayStation.
Watch the video above for a few reasons why virtual reality still hasn’t taken off and how it can become the next big thing.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Michelle Yan: Believe it or not, virtual reality has been around for nearly 20 years. And yet, it still feels like a random experiment instead of the next mainstream video game. You’d think after nearly two decades of calling it the future, it’d be better, but it’s not.
So why does virtual reality still suck? First, the cost. Virtual reality is an expensive commitment.
Kevin Webb: Right now the cost of entry for virtual reality is around $400 or $500 once you factor in all the different devices and games and whatnot. There are some new machines coming up, like the Oculus Quest that can make it a little bit easier, or the Samsung VR, that’s a bit cheaper. But overall, you’re probably gonna be in the range of $500.
Michelle Yan: And that’s just for entry-level models. If you’re looking for something super powerful like the Vive Pro Starter Kit, you’re looking at least $1,000, if not more.
And then there’s the annoying setup. Most of these devices aren’t something you can just plug into a power outlet and be on your way.
Kevin Webb: You have the Vive that can take a full room with sensors all around you. You have the PlayStation VR which has extra cameras and sensor bars, and even specific controllers for it. And then even the Gear VR can burn up your phone’s battery if you use it for too long. Setting up a virtual reality experience on your own can be kind of a hassle. It just takes a lot of time. And even once you’ve spent it, you might not know what you wanna do.
Michelle Yan: And once you do finally figure out what games to play or how else to use it, this isn’t like your PS4 or Xbox where you can binge for hours on end.
Kevin Webb: The VR headsets that are available right now are a bit cumbersome and heavy. And spending too much time in virtual reality can be disorienting, so wearing the headset for more than half an hour can leave your head spinning when you take it off.
Right now Facebook is recommending that people take a 10 to 15 minute break for every 30 minutes that they play. That means, even if you wanna spend an hour in virtual reality, about 20 minutes of that will just be cooling off.
Michelle Yan: Not to mention, virtual reality is very platform specific.
Kevin Webb: If you purchase a game that requires the sensors and controllers of the HTC Vive, for example, you might not be able to carry it over to future technology. Most of the games that we see in VR right now are pretty basic compared to what you see on a video game console or even your smartphone.
Even the best games that have been in VR, like “Resident Evil 7” or “Superhot VR” are available on regular computers so there’s not much of a reason just to go to VR to play.
Michelle Yan: And games made for something like the PlayStation VR won’t be playable on other headsets and vice versa. Right now almost any game you buy for one platform won’t work on any other platforms. That makes it harder for virtual reality to be a shared experience, which is another problem.
Kevin Webb: With a video game or a movie that you’re really excited about it’s easy to bring that and share it with friends. You’re all seeing and experiencing the same thing. But when it comes to virtual reality, you can be sitting with someone in the same room who’s in VR and it just feels like you’re worlds apart.
Companies like Facebook are working on programs that will let you share virtual reality with friends, but it’s hard to see why that might beat out something like FaceTime or just regular video calling.
Michelle Yan: We’ve seen things like VR arcades, VR escape rooms, and even VR Ghostbusters that have been trying to make the experience more shared. But those require going somewhere and paying an admission cost for a small 10 to 15 minute experience.
So what can VR platforms do to become more successful?
Kevin Webb: For VR to really catch on, it needs to offer something that feels totally exclusive to virtual reality. Whether it’s immersive environments or different ways to interact with your friends. It needs to have a reason to make people put on that headset.

Tech: How this CEO used a simple system to nail his work-life balance and...

List every job you have. Then get to work. That’s the method that Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith used to build a company that he just sold to SAP for $8 billion.
When a company offered to buy Ryan Smith’s startup Qualtrics for more than $500 million, he asked his wife to take a drive.
The deal, and the amount of money it would net his family, was a lot to process. But after just 30 minutes of driving south, the couple decided to turn it down.
They felt earning so much money at once could negatively impact the way they were raising their children. And although Smith had been running his business for nearly a decade, he had gotten good at balancing both work and his personal life, so being an entrepreneur wasn’t a major strain on his family.
Together, the Smiths decided to keep Ryan’s 800-person survey company private — at least until now, as SAP announced it was buying Qualtrics in an all-cash deal for $8 billion, just days before the company was set to IPO.
It wasn’t always easy for Smith to feel successful at both home and work. He, like many executives, uses a CEO coach to help him keep things balanced. He likens work-life balance to a plane that can easily go lopsided and constantly needs to be stabilized. One wing represents his family’s needs, the other the needs of his work. When he’s on a business trip, for example, one side of the plane tilts down. When he returns to his family and clears out the weekend for his children, it’s tilted back up.
Smith’s CEO coach taught him a way to plan for success that can be implemented every week. He described it to a group of fellow CEOs at a conference in Ireland in 2014.
The coach asked him which jobs he was responsible for. Smith replied that he was:
A husband
A father
A son
A boss
A sibling
A grandson
A friend
The CEO coach then asked him what he could do for each job that week to make him feel successful. He noted that if he took his wife on a date and bought her a surprise bouquet of flowers, that might make him feel like a good husband. And if he taught his daughter to ride a bike, he would feel like a better dad.
He also found that he could combine tasks on his list to achieve everything quickly. If he was really productive, every task written on Sunday could be accomplished by Tuesday.
For example, if he took his daughter to his parent’s house and taught her to ride a bike in their cul-de-sac, he could be both a good father and son.
So Smith’s weekly job list began to look something like this:
A husband – Take wife to dinner and buy her flowers
A father – Teach daughter to ride a bike
A son – Visit parents. Combine tasks 2 & 3.
Smith learned that people often plan for one phase of life (“I’m going to sell my company by the time I turn 30.”) But they either don’t know which steps to take to achieve that goal, or they don’t plan what to do after the goal has been achieved.
His CEO coach’s plan breaks daunting life goals into weekly tasks, so people don’t wake up one day and realized they’ve let major priorities slip.
Shortly after Smith explained this success tactic on Friday evening, he left the conference. Others stayed out late and partied at a local pub, but Smith drove 3 hours to Dublin and booked an early flight home to Utah. That way, when his children woke up on Sunday morning, they’d be able to spend all day with their father.

What My Government Will Do If I’m Elected As President – Ezekwesili

The presidential candidate of the Alliance Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr Oby Ezekwesili on Monday unveiled her manifesto and programs for the 2019 presidential election.
Dr Ezekwesili presented the manifesto at a press conference in Lagos, which she titled “From Poverty Central To Prosperity: How The ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili Presidency Will Lift 80+ Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty”.
The ACPN candidate described the document as a roadmap, adding that she has a dream of an inclusive and prosperous country where there is equality of opportunity for all.
She said, “The excessive powers of the Federal Government is partially responsible for the stunted growth and poverty of the states and regions.
“We shall lead an economic-based dialogue for correcting the structural imbalance that has hobbled the regions and states and created the failure of our fiscal federalism in its practice.
“The failure of the power sector is the clearest proof of what can happen when the Federal Government refuses to let go of its control.
“This failure is responsible for the situation where 190 million Nigerians manage about 3,500 megawatts of power, whereas, South Africa with 50 million people generates in excess of 50,000 megawatts.
“How can a nation be productive without access to energy. We need complete and true deregulation of the sector. We can lift many of our citizens out of poverty by filling the infrastructure gaps.
“It is not enough for the fuel subsidy to go. Our government will also deregulate the entire oil sector”.
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Super Falcons Edge Ivorian Club Eleven Sisters In Friendly

By Adeboye Amosu The Super Falcons defeated Cote d’Ivoire’s Eleven Sisters de Gagnoa 4-0 in a friendly game in Abidjan on Monday, reports Completesportsnigeria. com.     The reigning African champions scored three goals in the first half through Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie and Francesca Ordega.   The Super Falcons got the fourth goal in […]
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Onyekuru, Simon, Aina, 4 Others Hit Super Eagles Camp in Asaba

By Johnny Edward: Galatasaray forward, Henry Onyekuru and six other invited Super Eagles players arrived the Elomaz Hotel in Asaba, Delta State on Monday ahead of Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in Johannesburg reports Onyekuru who ended his six-game goal drought in style scoring twice to help Galatasaray to a […]
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