Posted in Creativity, ICT, Information Technology, Software

Facebook To Launch News Pay Wall Feature For Publishers


Facebook may soon add a pay wall for news content from premium publishers. The company’s news partnerships head Campbell Brown told publishers at an industry event in New York this week that the company is getting ready to test news subscriptions as early as this fall.

Brown’s remarks were first reported by The Street Wednesday, which relayed Brown saying that tests will begin in October.

Details of those tests are still unclear, but Facebook is apparently looking into adopting a metered pay wall model similar to that currently in place at the New York Times. The paper offers users access to up to 10 articles a month for free, after which they have to subscribe to read more.

Read: WhatsApp In Trouble Over Data Sharing In Italy

Facebook’s publisher pay wall is likely being based on the company’s Instant Articles feature. Facebook launched Instant Articles in cooperation with some select publishers two years ago, giving them a way to publish their stories directly to Facebook’s platform.

The initial pitch was that this would make it easier for Facebook users to consume faster-loading news stories, and thus get publishers access to much bigger audiences.

However, publishers have long criticized that they haven’t been able to monetize Instant Articles to the same degree as content hosted on their own sites.

The New York Times stopped using Instant Articles altogether, as have Forbes and Hearst, according to Digiday. Others have scaled back the number of stories they publish to the platform.

Instant Articles directly competes with Google’s AMP project, which also promises publishers faster mobile load times. AMP has been supporting subscriptions since early 2016, but some publishers have also complained about lagging ad revenue.

(Credit: Variety)

Posted in Economy, ICT

Google Wins Big In France, Not In Business But In Court


A French court today ruled that Google is not liable for $1.3 billion in back taxes, passing judgement on a suit filed last year.

The courts stated the company didn’t have a “permanent establishment” in France to justify the large amount of money. The company’s legal revenue-shifting scheme means that, despite employing about 700 people in France, all of its digital business with French customers is handled by a division in Ireland.

The Economy Minister in France at the time the lawsuit was filed was Emmanuel Macron — now the President of France, who has mentioned wanting to hold companies like Google accountable for taxes they accrue in France.

While this is a victory for Google, it’s not the end of their European money troubles. They’re still battling a $2.7 billion fine the European Commission hit them with last month.

According to Reuters, the French finance ministry might appeal the decision. Google, for its part, told the New York Times, “We remain committed to France and the growth of its digital economy.”

The French government last year sue Google, seeking for $1.76 billion (€1.6 billion) in taxes it believes Google has avoided paying in the country.

Google Vice President Matt Brittin testified to the Public Accounts Committee of the UK House of Commons that his UK sales team made no sales and hence owed no sales taxes to the UK.

In January 2016, Google reached a settlement with the UK to pay £130m in back taxes plus higher taxes in future.


Posted in Domestic, Lifestyle

Facts About National Parks In Nigeria

Nigeria is a tropical country with a total land mass of about 932,768 km2, and a coastline of 960km along the Atlantic Ocean.

With an estimated population of about 182 Million issued by the National Population Commission and 191 million by the United Nation’s estimates.

With the largest number of black race in the World and a Nation of diverse culture with 250 ethnic groups and 400 distinct languages, in which Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo are they most dominant groups.

Nigeria is blessed with rich and unique array of ecosystems, and a great variety of wild fauna and flora. This rich natural endowment is a product of the climatic variations resulting into various north-south gradations of habitats and ecosystems.

The habitats support more than 1,340 species of animals among which is 274 mammalian species, making it the 8th highest in Africa.

From biological inventories, about 885 species of birds, over 109 species of amphibians and 135 species of reptiles have so far been identified.

There are about 900 species of which 60 species are within the wetlands and freshwater ecosystems in Nigeria.

The Nigeria National Parks are they habitations that hold and flourish these species under the control of the Nigeria National Park Service (NNPS).

The organization is responsible for preserving, enhancing, protecting and managing vegetation and wild animals in the national parks.

Habitats loss is currently the major threat poised to national parks, which is a major problem the National Park Service is facing.

Kainji was the first national park to be established by the then Olusegun Obasanjo military regime in 1979.

The National Parks Governing Board and five new National Parks were set up in 1991.

Yankari Game Reserve was upgraded to a national park in 1992 and handed over to the Bauchi State government in June 2006.

The parks cover a total land area of approximately 20,156 km2, or about 3% of Nigeria’s total land area.

The Chad Basin national park covers 2, 258 km2 and is located in parts of Borno and Yobe States.

Cross River national park covers 4, 000 km2 and is located in Cross River State.

Gashaka Gumti national park covers 6, 731 km2 and is located in parts of Taraba and Adamawa states.

Kainji national park covers 5, 382 km2, located in parts of Niger and Kwara States.

Kamuku national park covers 1, 121 km2 and is located in Kaduna state.

Okomu covers 181 km2, located in Edo state.

Old Oyo national park covers 2, 512 km2, located in both Oyo and Kwara states.

Yankari national park covers 2, 244 km2 and located in Bauchi state.

Climate is the major influencer of vegetation in these parks, which can either be a positive or a negative effect.

From the North, where the Chad Basin and Yankari national parks reside, there is a distinct hot and dry seasons; temperature can reach up to 45oC between the months of March and May.

Some parts of Chad Basin National Park, for example receive only about 400mm of rainfall or even less, positioning it in the sahel zone.

The longest of the rainy season is from late May to September (in some seasons early October) of every year.

Southward, rainfall gradually increases and vegetation becomes lush. Thorny scrubs give way to Savanna grassland.

Thus part of Gashaka-Gumti, Kainji Lake and Old Oyo National Parks fall largely within the Guinea Savanna Zone.

Towards the coast, temperatures averages 5oC to 10oC (or less). Here the rains fall mostly heavily between April and July, peaking in July and September.

Rainfall in Cross River and Okomu National Parks, for instance can exceed 400mm, and supports the growth of tropical rainforest.

Posted in Hardware, ICT

Intel Introduces New Core i9 Processor In X-series Chips

Intel, the giant producer of processor chips have unveiled the Core 18 Core i9 in the Core X-series chips, describing it as the dawn of a new breed of extreme desktop processors.

Powered by a massive 18 cores and 36 threads, the Core i9 processor enables extreme single-threaded performance with the updated Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0.

This technology now identifies the two best performing cores to provide increased single and dual-core performance. The new Extreme Edition boasts 44 PCIe lanes and support for multiple discrete graphics cards, Thunderbolt technology, and high-speed storage like Intel Optane technology and it is fully unlocked1 for extreme performance.

Intel further described the X-series processor family as designed to scale to performance needs by delivering options between 4 to 18 cores for extreme performance, the latest technological advancements and headroom for the future.

core i9-intel-chip-computer

According to PC World, the unveiling of the Core i9 is another renewal of battle between Intel and AMD, its competitor in the chip manufacturing industry.

PC World said that the new chip is Intel’s answer to AMD’s 16-core, 32-thread Threadripper.

PC World also added: “The Core i9 Extreme Edition i9-7980XE, what Intel calls the first teraflop desktop PC processor ever, will be priced at (gulp!) $1,999 when it ships later this year. In a slightly lower tier will be the meat of the Core i9 family: Core i9 X-series chips in 16-core, 14-core, 12-core, and 10-core versions, with prices climbing from $999 to $1,699.

“All of these new Skylake-based parts will offer improvements over their older Broadwell-E counterparts: 15 percent faster in single-threaded apps and 10 percent faster in multithreaded tasks, Intel says.”

Intel said that the X-Series processor family with up to 18 cores and 36 threads is the company’s most powerful chip ever.

“Turn your PC into a studio: produce amazing 4K or 360-degree videos, stunning photos, or amazing music. This is the ultimate tool for gaming and virtual reality experience the power to do it all.” Intel added.

Posted in ICT

Ransomware: All You Need To Know About The Global Cyber Attack

More than 150 countries and over 300, 000 computers have been affected by the recent Ransomware global cyber attack worldwide.

This attack, known as “WannaCry” or “WannaCrypt”, spreads by itself between computers and does not require human interaction. It restricts access to the affected system as well as demanding for the payment of ransom.

Simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse. More advanced malware encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them.

National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on Monday 15 May 2017 drew the attention of Nigerians to the global cyber-attack that affected computers in various countries Worldwide.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is an Agency under the Federal Ministry of Communications. The Agency was created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and co-ordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.

In addition, to advising government on how to enhance the security of the nation.

Technically, Ransomware can be defined as a type of malicious software that carries out the cryptoviral extortion attack from cryptovirology that blocks access to data until a ransom is paid and displays a message requesting payment to unlock it.

The ransomware attack exploited vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows Operating System, especially those not currently supported such as Windows XP (Microsoft as since stop giving support and patches to Windows XP), Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003.

Its Operation

The concept of file encrypting ransomware was invented and implemented by Young and Yung at Columbia University and was presented at the 1996 IEEE Security & Privacy conference. It is called cryptoviral extortion and is the following 3-round protocol carried out between the attacker and the victim.

Attacker→Victim – The attacker generates a key pair and places the corresponding public key in the malware. The malware is released.
Victim→Attacker – To carry out the cryptoviral extortion attack, the malware generates a random symmetric key and encrypts the victim’s data with it.


It uses the public key in the malware to encrypt the symmetric key. This is known as hybrid encryption and it results in a small asymmetric ciphertext as well as the symmetric ciphertext of the victim’s data. It zeroizes the symmetric key and the original plaintext data to prevent recovery.

It puts up a message to the user that includes the asymmetric ciphertext and how to pay the ransom. The victim sends the asymmetric ciphertext and e-money to the attacker.

Attacker→Victim – The attacker receives the payment, deciphers the asymmetric ciphertext with the attacker’s private key, and sends the symmetric key to the victim. The victim deciphers the encrypted data with the needed symmetric key thereby completing the cryptovirology attack.

The symmetric key is randomly generated and will not assist other victims. At no point is the attacker’s private key exposed to victims and the victim need only send a very small ciphertext (the encrypted symmetric-cipher key) to the attacker.

Ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan, entering a system through, for example, a downloaded file or a vulnerability in a network service.

The program then runs a payload, which locks the system in some fashion, or claims to lock the system but does not (e.g., a scareware program).

Payloads may display a fake warning purportedly by an entity such as a law enforcement agency, falsely claiming that the system has been used for illegal activities, contains content such as pornography and “pirated” media.


Microsoft released a patch for the vulnerability in March and machines that were updated with the patch would have been automatically protected.

Should your system be infected by ransomware, isolate the system from your network to prevent the threat from further spreading. In addition, the following actions can be taken immediately:

Remove the system from Network

Do not use flash/pen drive, external drives on the System to copy files to other systems;

Format the System completely and get fresh OS copy installed

If an attack is suspected or detected in its early stages, it takes some time for encryption to take place; immediate removal of the malware (a relatively simple process) before it has completed would stop further damage to data, without salvaging any already lost.

A new categories of security software, specifically deception technology, can detect ransomware without using a signature-based approach. Deception technology utilizes fake SMB shares which surround real IT assets.

These fake SMB data shares deceive ransomware, tie the ransomware up encrypting these false SMB data shares, alert and notify cyber security teams which can then shut down the attack and return the organization to normal operations.

Cyber Security experts have suggested precautionary measures for dealing with ransomware, which I think is the best form of protection from the attack. These precautionary measures could be:

Use software or other security policies to block known payloads from launching to prevent infection, but will not protect against all attacks.

Keeping “offline” backups of data stored in locations inaccessible to the infected computer, such as external storage drives, prevents them from being accessed by the ransomware, thus accelerating data restoration.


Encrypting ransomware
The first known malware extortion attack, the “AIDS Trojan” written by Joseph Popp in 1989, had a design failure so severe it was not necessary to pay the extortionist at all.

Its payload hid the files on the hard drive and encrypted only their names, and displayed a message claiming that the user’s license to use a certain piece of software had expired.

The user was asked to pay US$189 to “PC Cyborg Corporation” in order to obtain a repair tool even though the decryption key could be extracted from the code of the Trojan. The Trojan was also known as “PC Cyborg”. Popp was declared mentally unfit to stand trial for his actions, but he promised to donate the profits from the malware to fund AIDS research

Non-encrypting ransomware
In August 2010, Russian authorities arrested nine individuals connected to a ransomware Trojan known as WinLock. Unlike the previous Gpcode Trojan, WinLock did not use encryption.

Instead, WinLock trivially restricted access to the system by displaying pornographic images, and asked users to send a premium-rate SMS (costing around US$10) to receive a code that could be used to unlock their machines. The scam hit numerous users across Russia and neighboring countries—reportedly earning the group over US$16 million.

Mobile ransomware
With the increased popularity of ransomware on PC platforms, ransomware targeting mobile operating systems have also proliferated. Typically, mobile ransomware payloads are blockers, as there is little incentive to encrypt data since it can be easily restored via online synchronization.

Mobile ransomware typically targets the Android platform, as it allows applications to be installed from third-party sources.

The payload is typically distributed as an APK file installed by an unsuspecting user; it may attempt to display a blocking message over top of all other applications,

while another used a form of clickjacking to cause the user to give it “device administrator” privileges to achieve deeper access to the system.

Different tactics have been used on iOS devices, such as exploiting iCloud accounts and using the Find My iPhone system to lock access to the device.[56] On iOS 10.3, Apple patched a bug in the handling of JavaScript pop-up windows in Safari that had been exploited by ransomware websites.

In May 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack spread through the Internet, using an exploit vector that Microsoft had issued a “Critical” patch for (MS17-010) two months before on March 14, 2017.

The ransomware attack infected over 75,000 users in over 99 countries, using 20 different languages to demand money from users.

The attack affected Telefónica and several other large companies in Spain, as well as parts of the British National Health Service (NHS), where at least 16 hospitals had to turn away patients or cancel scheduled operations, FedEx, Deutsche Bahn, as well as the Russian Interior Ministry and Russian telecom MegaFon.

NITDA is working with critical stakeholders to come up with ways in which the Nigerian cyberspace can be adequately protected.

For issues and for more information, you can Contact NITDA Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) for assistance. They can be reached via telephone on +2348023275039 or e-mail: support@cerrt.ng.

Posted in Domestic, Government, Politics

Abuja Airport 2nd Runway Captured In #2017Budget Says Senate Leader

Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan said on Friday that the National Assembly (NASS) captured new projects, including a second runway for the Abuja Airport, in the 2017 appropriation bill it passed.

Lawan told state House Correspondents that the projects were covered from the difference in the N42.5 oil bench mark proposed by the Executive and the N44.5 passed by NASS.

He was explaining the reason behind the passage of N7.44 trillion instead of N7.3 trillion proposed by the executive arm of government.

“We have been able to capture for example the second Abuja Airport runway which we all need in this country; we have suffered from having only one.

We have also been able to capture in the NASS from that fund the completion of the Baro inland port.” He said.

Lawan also said that the Abeokuta Airport and the Warri– Aladja rail line were included the in the appropriation.

“These are newly introduced capital projects from the proceeds, the difference between the N44.5 (passed by NASS) and the N42.5 bench mark that we received from the Executive.” He added.

He said that what the NASS passed was still within the good bounds of what the executive presented as there was not much change in the allocations.

He said that the NASS tried to tinker in few cases but ensured that it did not disfigure the appropriation.

“There won’t be, in my opinion and judgment, any issue whether the NASS has tinkered with the budget because we haven’t done much tinkering with it.” The Senate Leader said.

He said the Senate is in agreement mostly with what the executive has presented to the National Assembly.

On the increase in the appropriation for the NASS, Lawan said it was also to take care of the capital projects in the NASS.

According to him, the NASS ensured that the increase was also derived from the two dollar difference in the oil bench mark.
He said that NASS was building the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) meant for capacity building of legislators and non-legislators alike.

He however said he did not think that the allocation was something big as far as NASS was concerned.

He said the nation needs to have a NASS that is really poised, wired and have the capacity and competent to produce good laws.

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 Creativity, Domestic, ICT, Software

Female Scientist Develops e-Learning Software To Enhance Health Service Delivery

Miss Farida Kabir,  a Scientist, says she has developed an e-learning software for health workers that can help them build their capacity in health service delivery using their mobile phones.

The Microbiologist disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.

She said that the software called O’tract was invented between 2014 and 2015 during the Ebola outbreak in the country.

She said that the software was invented when it became obvious that there were constraints in readily accessing available health information.

“Over the years, people have gotten inappropriate medical advice from some practitioners, especially at the local council level and of course the consequence was disastrous to their health.

“So, with that in mind, it became evident that continuous professional development is essential for health workers and unfortunately not all our health workers can afford travelling abroad for capacity development.

“Also, available seminars and conferences are expensive and not flexible, so to address this problem, I designed O’track to enable health workers to easily choose courses online,’’ Kabir said.

Kabir, who is also an entrepreneur, said that the platform could also enable health workers learn at their own pace on their mobile devices irrespective of their location.

She added that by so doing, they would learn a lot, which would help them in their professions.

Kabir said that the software had a provision for health advocacy tool, which could also help people not in the health sector to be involved in health advocacy.

“If for example, you are not a medical doctor, you have nothing to do with the health sector, and then there is an outbreak of Lassa fever, you can learn what to do and inform others.

“Or you notice an infestation of rat in your house, with the health advocacy tool you can easily log on to and get information on what you need to do.

“There are short and animated clips, audio files and other documents, we also have an e-library database whereby public health researchers can have access to scientific journals, books articles and many others,’’ she said.

Kabir said that the goal of designing the software was to enhance capacity development of health workers toward excellent health delivery services in the country.

She said that the health advocacy tool in the software would educate those outside the health sector about different kinds of diseases and ailments toward building a healthier nation.

Posted in Entertainment, Movie

Here Are The Five Nigerian Movies Selected To Compete At Nollywood Week Paris Festival

Five Nigerian Nollywood movies have been selected to compete for the “People’s Choice Award” at the 2017 edition of the Nollywood Week Paris Film Festival.

The five selected movies are ‘They Wedding Party’, 76′, and ‘Green White Green’. Others include ‘Gidi Blues’ and ‘Dinner’.

The Wedding Party (Comedy, Romances) directed by Kemi Adetiba, shows how Chaos prevails when a family prepares for a lavish wedding.

76′ directed by Izu Ojukwu, is a thrilling drama told from two points of view: that of a pregnant woman, and that of an accused soldier.

Inspired by the cataclysmic Nigerian events of 40 years ago, this epic political thriller portrays the point of views of a respected army captain and his expectant wife when his coerced participation in a botched coup attempt makes national headlines.

Gidi Blues directed by Femi Odugbemi is a story of two young people (Akin and Nkem), When the two meet by chance, their story changed forever.

Green White Green directed by Abba Makama, the plot is based on Three young artist friends embark on a roller coaster ride of self-discovery after they decide to make a movie before heading off to college.


Dinner is a movie directed by Jay Franklyn Jituboh which tells how Secrets were exposed during a friendly dinner.

The list of they selected movies for the awards was published on the Nollywood Week website.

According to the website, the week starts on May 11 to 14 May 2017.

The prestigious ‘People’s Choice Award’ is sponsored by Angénieux, a leading manufacturers of high quality optic cinema lenses for the broadcast and film industries.

“Angénieux will gracefully put its optics at the disposal of the winner of the People’s Choice Award, giving them a chance to combine their creativity with French technical know-how during their next shoot.”

Nollywood Week is a yearly film festival that showcases the best of the Nigerian film industry with the aim of finding a larger audience and more sustainable distribution system for these quality films.

The festival was first organized in 2013 by Okada Media, an association based in Paris, France headed by Serge Noukoué and Nadira Shakur.

It showcases the best of the Nigerian film industry with the aim of finding a larger audience and more sustainable distribution system for quality films.

The festival offers festival-goers a chance to discover a dozen movies selected by a jury of professionals.

Nigerian filmmakers are encouraged to submit short films, feature films, animations and Nigerian television series for consideration.

Musical performances as well as seminars and workshops dedicated to the African cinema industry have been lined up to enrich the annual event.

The Festival ends with the traditional presentation of the Nollywood Week People’s Choice Award, which rewards some of the best talents of African cinema.

Posted in Domestic, Politics

#Breaking: President Buhari Suspends SGF Babachir Lawal

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr David Babachir Lawal, in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

This was stated in a press release issued by the Special Adviser to the President,Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina on Wednesday in Abuja.

The President has also directed the suspension of the SGF from office pending the outcome of the investigations.

In a related development, the President has ordered a full scale investigation into the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, over which the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has made a claim.

The investigation is also to enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds, how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.

The President has also directed the suspension of the Director General of the NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke, pending the outcome of the investigation.

A three-man Committee comprising the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the National Security Adviser, headed by the Vice President, is to conduct both investigations.

The Committee is to submit its report to the President within 14 days.

The most senior Permanent Secretary in the SGF’s office, and the most senior officer in the NIA, are to act, respectively, during the period of investigation.