Posted in Foreign, ICT

WhatsApp In Trouble Over Facebook Data Sharing In Italy

U.S.-based mobile messaging service, WhatsApp, was fined 3 million Euros (3.3 million dollars) on Friday in Italy for insufficient transparency on data sharing with its parent company, Facebook.

WhatsApp was taken over by Facebook in 2014 and two years later, it introduced new terms of service and privacy policies that gave Facebook access to WhatsApp users’ data.

Italy’s Antitrust Regulator — AGCM — said in a statement that “the opportunity for WhatsApp users to refuse the handover of data to Facebook was available `but it was inadequately flagged.”

The regulator also criticised WhatsApp for introducing “unfair clauses” to its term of service, such as giving the company the right to cut off services or start charging customers without warning.

In December, the European Commission, which regulates antitrust matters in the EU, launched an investigation into Facebook’s conduct prior to the WhatsApp buyout.

The EU executive accused Facebook of misleadingly telling the commission that it could not smoothly integrate its own users’ data with that of WhatsApp.

However, Facebook denied any wrongdoing and promised to explain its actions.

The commission said it could slap a fine of up to 1 per cent of annual turnover, around 280 million dollars, if it is not satisfied by the internet giant’s answers.

WhatsApp, was incorporated in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees of Yahoo!. After Koum and Acton left Yahoo! in September 2007, the duo traveled to South America as a break from work.

At one point they applied for jobs at Facebook but were rejected.

WhatsApp Messenger is a freeware, cross-platform and end-to-end encrypted instant messaging application for smartphones.

It uses the Internet to make voice calls, one to one video calls; send text messages, images, GIF, videos, documents, user location, audio files, phone contacts and voice notes to other users using standard cellular mobile numbers.

It also incorporates a feature called Status, which allows users to upload photos and videos to a 24-hours-lifetime feed that, by default, are visible to all contacts; similar to Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram Stories.

WhatsApp 2.0 was released with a messaging component and the number of active users suddenly increased to 250,000.

WhatsApp Inc., based in Mountain View, California, was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for approximately US$19.3 billion.

By February 2016, WhatsApp had a user base of over one billion, making it the most popular messaging application at the time.

Posted in Economy, Foreign

Why We Need “Lend a Hand” To Feed Families In Zeze Village

Tanzania is a country sited in eastern part of Africa with a population of over 51 million. It is composed of diverse and several ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.

Climate change has affected several parts of the country and Zeze village is no exception. Agriculture, which is one of the major economic backbone of several African communities has received major blows in the area of water shortage, change in pest and diseases, change in average temperature, change in in atmospheric carbon dioxide and ground-level ozone concentrations etc.

All these factors added together have really affected the economic and social lives of people in Zeze village.

The fact that everyone has the right to life’s basics, like a roof over their heads, enough food to eat, clean water to drink and the education needed to build a brighter future. What we take for granted can only be dreamed of by communities in extreme poverty such as Zeze.

The Mboni Ya Vijana (Eyes of the Youth) is a group that working round the clock to better the lives of the villagers.

Mboni ya Vijana Group (MVG) was registered on 22nd September 2014 a Community Based Organization (CBO) in Entrepreneurship, Environmental Management and Peer Education.

General objective of the organization is to lead youth and the community in Zeze village to sustainable development through resources available in the area.

“We trust that, “promoting sustainable agriculture, is the only way that will move many people from absolute poverty to better living”.

“We put our efforts on Sustainable farming to cause income growth, food security to individuals and the community as well as conservation of the nature.” The group said on its facebook page.

You can be part of this initiative to help Zeze village get back on its feet. You can donate to see that the group achieves its objectives. Click on donate to lend a hand no matter how far you are. Donate!



Posted in Communications Technology, Foreign

Safety Traffic Light Installed For Phone Addicts In Dutch Town

A Dutch town has installing traffic lights in the pavements, an unusual way of trying to keep smartphone-addicted residents safe.

Bodegraven, in the Netherlands, has put strip lights in the floor at a pedestrian crossing.

It mean that people who stare at their phones all day will see them, preventing them from wandering dangerously into traffic.

Apart from their unusual location, they work just like ordinary traffic lights: Green means go, and red means wait.

The lights are built by HIG Traffic Systems, a company based in the town, which hopes to sell them more widely to other towns and cities.

Right now they’re just being used at a single intersection in a trial.

A spokesperson for the company told Dutch-language site OmroepWest: “Smartphone use by pedestrians and cyclists is a major problem. Trams in The Hague regularly make an emergency stop because someone looks at their smartphone instead of traffic.”

However, the lights have also proved controversial. “It’s not a good idea to help mobile phone users look at their phones,” Dutch Traffic Safety Association employee Jose de Jong reportedly said.

“We don’t want people to use phones when they’re dealing with traffic, even when walking around. People must always look around them, to check if cars are actually stopping at the red signals.”

Posted in Domestic, Foreign, Security

Nigerians In South Africa Suffer Fresh Xenophobic Attacks

There reports of fresh xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa. The Nigerian Community in South Africa confirmed these attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West on Saturday.

Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, President, Nigeria Union, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Pretoria, South Africa, that the attacks began at 4.00 a.m.

He said that the union had reported the incident to the Nigeria mission and South African police.

“As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church have been looted and burned by South Africans.

“One of the buildings is a mechanic garage with 28 cars under repairs, with other vital documents, were burned during the attack.

“Also, the pastor of the church was wounded and is in the hospital receiving treatment,” he said.

Anyene said the union had informed Nigerians in South Africa to be vigilant in the face of renewed xenophobic attacks.

According to him, the union received information that there will be xenophobic attacks against foreigners on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23.

“We began taking precautionary measures when the incident took place today.

“The attack in Pretoria West is purely xenophobic and criminal because they loot the shops and homes before burning them,” he said.

Anyene called on the Federal Government to persuade its South African counterpart to protect Nigerians in their country.

“These attacks should not be allowed to continue because it is a big setback,” he said.

In 2015, xenophobic attacks started in Durban and extended to some parts of Johannesburg.

Some unemployed South Africans were of the view that other African nationals had taken up their jobs and so decided to attack them so they would return to their homelands.

This was believed to have been sparked by an alleged statement by the Zulu King asking all foreigners to go back to their countries and leave South Africa jobs for the unemployed youth of South Africa.

Nigerians counted several losses in that attack. The then Nigerian Consul-General to South Africa Uche Ajulu-Okeke said: “Nigerians have compiled damages to their property and it is totalling about 1.2 million Rand or N21 million, which will be sent to the Federal Government for further action”.