Disabled activists have welcomed the court of appeal’s decision to reject the latest attempt to legalise assisted suicide.They spoke out after three senior judges yesterday (Wednesday) rejected the judicial review brought by Noel Conway, who is terminally-ill with motor neurone disease.Conway had wanted the court to find that the Suicide Act – which makes it illegal to assist someone to take their own life – was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.The high court had already dismissed the judicial review. Conway said he would now appeal to the Supreme Court.The disabled people’s campaign group Not Dead Yet UK (NDY UK) had intervened in the court case, the first time it has taken such a step.Phil Friend, from NDY UK, welcomed the court’s judgment, and said the group was “particularly pleased” that the court had recognised some of the concerns it had raised on the dangers of assisted suicide.He said: “These include issues such as safeguards for people who might be at risk of coercion, the difficulties in predicting death within six months, and whether any scheme might be extended (as has happened in Belgium).”Friend said that legalising assisted suicide “opens the door to risks and dangers driven by attitudes about disabled people and their lives”, and he said that no disability charity or organisation was campaigning for a change in the law.He said: “We’ve seen two recent NHS reports which catalogue the systemic failures to provide appropriate care for disabled people, resulting in their premature and unnecessary deaths.“Until disabled people are seen, and treated, as equals in our society, the law must protect them. “We want support to live, not to die.”Nikki Kenward, director of Distant Voices, another user-led campaign group which opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide, said the court’s decision was “a great relief”.She also drew attention to recent NHS scandals and highlighted the events at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, in which an inquiry found the lives of between 450 and 650 people had been “shortened” because of an “institutionalised regime” of administering dangerous levels of opioids to patients between 1989 and 2000.She said she feared that legalising assisted suicide would lead to even less scrutiny of healthcare professionals.Kenward said: “When whistleblowers, concerned distraught relatives, nurses, police investigations, complaints committees and the like are unable to raise the alarm to the authorities within the constraints of the current law it is especially concerning to imagine the dangers that lie therein should a change in the law have been granted.”Another disabled activist, David Gillon, said the media coverage of the Conway case highlighted the dangers of legalisation.He said: “When you look at the coverage of the assisted suicide campaign, newspapers and TV news consistently talk about disability as a negative, a reasonable cause to seek death, and then utterly fail to point out that no disability group is campaigning for assisted suicide, or that Not Dead Yet UK, comprised solely of disabled people, is leading the campaign against it.“That neatly illustrates that society does not have a healthy enough view of disability to put our lives in its hands.“Reporting of the assisted suicide campaign seems to be operating on a consensus that disability is bad, a perfectly good reason to kill yourself and that any dissenting voice is too confusing to mention.“That’s why any change in the law on assisted suicide is not safe for disabled people, as the experience in Belgium and the Netherlands demonstrates.”Conway, who is supported by the campaign group Dignity in Dying, said he was “naturally disappointed” by the judgment, although it was “not unexpected”.He said: “I am told that I can choose between letting nature take its course until I am completely unable to move or communicate; hastening my death by removing my ventilator with no guarantee my suffering can be completely relieved; attempting to end my own life at home in potentially painful and traumatic circumstances; or making the arduous and expensive journey to Dignitas and risking prosecution for any loved ones who accompany me.“It is barbaric to force me to decide between these unacceptable options.“I will keep fighting for myself and all terminally ill people who want the right to die peacefully, with dignity and on our own terms.”NDY UK’s barrister, Catherine Casserley – from Cloisters chambers which, together with Fry Law, had worked pro bono – had told the court of appeal of the risk that disabled people could be subject to coercion if assisted suicide was legalised.The three senior court of appeal justices highlighted this concern and also pointed in their judgment to a report by the Royal College of General Practitioners which expressed fears that a “right to die” could very easily become a “duty to die”, particularly “when financial considerations were a factor and the individual felt like a burden to their family”. They concluded that there could be “no doubt that Parliament is a far better body for determining the difficult policy issue in relation to assisted suicide” than the courts because of the “conflicting, and highly contested, views within our society on the ethical and moral issues and the risks and potential consequences of a change in the law”.Parliament has repeatedly rejected attempts to change the law on assisted suicide, including the latest effort by Labour MP Rob Marris, in 2015.The three court of appeal justices agreed with the high court’s conclusion that the current law “achieves a fair balance between the interests of the wider community” and those in Conway’s position, although they expressed “profound respect for the dignified and resolute way” he had coped with his condition.Picture: Nikki Kenward at a protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice on 1 May as the court of appeal was hearing the Conway case
THE Saints stayed top of the fledgling U19s competition with a really professional 54-4 display to defeat a much fancied Hull side that had put 60 points on Bradford only last week, writes Graham Henthorne.Led around the park in imperious fashion by Danny Yates the Saints were much more focussed than at any time so far this season and it showed.Lewis Galbraith opened the scoring in the tenth minute as the Saints capitalised on a knock on from the visitors on half way. Drives from front row partners James Tilley and Adam Hesketh along with another punishing charge from André Savelio took the Saints close, but on the last quick hands gave the winger a tiny bit of space to tip-toe along the line to score a well taken try.On the very next set the Saints doubled their lead. Tom Roughley started the move darting blind out of dummy half and setting Savelio free. In turn he fed Mark Percival who took it 20 metres to the full back before passing back inside to the supporting Yates who outpaced the chasers to score.Tilley butchered a chance to extend the lead on quarter time as he passed to a defender when he could have picked either of his supporting players having broken the line.This gave the visitors some hope and, coupled with some poor handling, they began a period of pressure in the Saints half. However, that just made the Saints up the ante in defence keeping their line intact.It was that man Yates who broke the deadlock bringing Savelio on the burst and no-one was going to stop the big second rower from 10 metres out.Again the Saints scored back to back tries as a peach of a short ball from Brad Ashurst put Connor Dwyer away. He took it to the full back before feeding Corey Lee for the stroll to the posts. Lewis Charnock made it 4 from 4 conversions and the game was over.Despite the scoreline it hadn’t been the most fluent display and the players were reminded of the need to keep things going and sharpen up.This they did straight from the off as Connor Dwyer saved Luke Thompson’s blushes by scoring in the left corner. Thompson had made a wonderful break but with men either side he ran straight at the full back bombing a certain try.Again two tries in two minutes saw the Saints extend their lead still further. Quick hands to the left found Mark Percival cutting back inside on the angle only for the centre to be caught inches short. Dummy half Matty Fozard forced his way over at the play the ball for the Saints sixth try.Then came the Matty Fleming show as the winger scored a 15 minute hat-trick. Charnock’s chip on the last was gathered by Greg Wilde who put his winger away for the first of three. He intercepted a wayward pass and outpaced the cover to the corner for the second then completed his hat-trick with probably the best of the lot taking Lee’s wide ball before streaking down the line and diving in at the corner.In between the visitors had scored punishing sloppy play from the Saints.The final word was left to Galbraith who closed the scoring in almost identical fashion to the way he opened it tip-toeing down the line and diving over.Although it’s early days this team is growing in confidence and more importantly learning and then putting things into place. Yates and Savelio are the eye catchers but without the hard graft of Hesketh, Tilley, Ashurst and the ever improving Tommy Holland they are nothing. Bring on the Bulls on Thursday evening at Odsal.Match Summary:Saints U19s:Tries: Corey Lee, Lewis Galbraith 2, Matty Fleming 3, Danny Yates, André Savelio, Matty Fozard, Connor Dwyer.Goals: Lewis Charnock 7.Hull FC U19s:Tries: Tom Stark.Half Time: 24-0Full Time: 54-4Teams:Saints:1. Corey Lee; 2. Matty Fleming, 3. Mark Percival, 4. Greg Wilde, 20. Lewis Galbraith; 6. Lewis Charnock, 18. Danny Yates; 8. James Tilley, 9. Tom Roughley, 15. Adam Hesketh, 11. Luke Thompson, 12. André Savelio, 13. Alex Clare.Subs: 10. Brad Ashurst, 14. Matty Fozard, 17. Connor Dwyer, 19. Tommy Holland.Hull:1. Josh Nicklin; 2. Tom Stark, 3. Matthew Liggins, 4. Jack Logan, 5. Ash Leaming; 6. Jordan Abdul, 7. Richard Wilkinson; 8. Ryan Wilson, 9. James Cunningham, 10. Zach Braham, 11. Alex Starling, 12. Jansin Turgut, 13. Andrew Ward.Subs: 14. Jack Humprhies, 15. Ryan Smith, 16. Bobby Tyson-Wilson, 17. Jack Downs.
“I broke a spoke on my bike,” Bruso said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever broken a spoke. I was so upset about it.”While waiting for his bike to get repaired, Bruso stopped at the Speedway on Market Street in Wilmington and bought a $500 Frenzy scratch-off ticket.“I didn’t win anything,” Bruso said. “So I went to a nearby deli and got a sandwich. When I finished, I made a spur-of-the moment decision to go back and get another ticket. I figured I already got the losing out of me with the last ticket, so the next one must be a winner.”Related Article: Pender County Schools closed to students until at least mid-OctoberWhen Bruso scratched the second $5 ticket, he couldn’t believe it.“I thought I was seeing things,” Bruso said. “I had to put my glasses on and make sure I was reading it right.”Bruso claimed his prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $139,003. He plans to use the money to continue his bicycle tour.“I’ve been planning this trip for almost four years,” Bruso said. “It’s been the best decision of my life. Next stop is Parris Island where I went to boot camp. Who knows though, after winning this I might ride all the way to Southern California where I was also based.”$500 Frenzy launched in July with six top prizes of $200,000. Two top prizes remain.Ticket sales from instant games like $500 Frenzy make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $600 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “For Education” section of the lottery’s website. (PHOTO: Mark Bruso $200K $500 Frenzy Winner) RALEIGH (WWAY) — For Mark Bruso, a trip down memory lane of his Marine Corps days led him down the Atlantic Coast to Wilmington and a $200,000 lottery win.Bruso is from Fitchburg, Mass., and left at the beginning of July. He’s been bicycling down the Atlantic Coast ever since. He’s trying to visit the places he was stationed during his six years in the Marines. His final destination was Florida, but some bad luck led him to Wilmington.- Advertisement –
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Sunset Beach man has been charged with beating a pelican to death.According to the NC Wildlife Commission, Nelson Livingston, 24, was checking his crab pots at Tubbs Inlet Tuesday morning when pelicans flew around his boat.- Advertisement – A wildlife officer says Livingston took a stick and tried to shoo them away but they wouldn’t leave.A witness reported seeing him beat a pelican to death.When a wildlife officer arrived, he found the dead pelican.Related Article: Synagogue suspect pleads not guilty as more funerals plannedLivingston tells WWAY he didn’t beat the bird to death. He says he was swinging his push pole and accidentally hit the bird.Livingston was charged with a misdemeanor and will appear in court May 22.
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (StarNews/WWAY) — Following public hearings, New Hanover County Commissioners approved the Fiscal Year 2018-19 Budget at today’s meeting. The approval comes two weeks prior to the anticipated decision date in June 18th.County officials say the budget includes a property tax cut for the second year in a row, which equals $5.1 million in savings for taxpayers. In addition, the budget includes increased funding for public education, economic development, school safety, and combating the opioid crisis.- Advertisement – A cumulative tax cut over two years will save taxpayers approximately $9.8 million.In addition, the county commission approved an amendment setting the minimum wage for full-time and authorized part-time county employees will be increased to either $31,200 per year or not any less than $15 an hour.“So it’s serving the needs of this community and we’re very proud of it,” commissioners’ Chairman Woody White said after the budget vote.Related Article: CFCC students build ‘Blueberry’ for Burgaw New Year’s Eve celebrationCommissioners approved two amendments, including adding nine deputies under the sheriff’s office to serve under a contract with Cape Fear Community College.Some key areas the budget will address will be school safety. The budget will add 5 new student resource officers and a school detective. In addition, 2 school nurses as well as 3 mental health professionals will be brought on in high schools.County leaders are also allocating money to improve the Northern Regional Park, Ogden Park drainage, and funding for the Trillium Health facility that will address substance abuse.Click here to read more from StarNewsOnline.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you’re considering leaving by air, Wilmington International is still open.Deputy Director Gary Broughton says the runways will stay open pending notification from airlines.- Advertisement – So far, only American Airlines has announced any changes. It’s 8:17 p.m. departure Wednesday will be it’s last.Delta, American, United and Southwest are among the airlines that will waive change fees or fare differences.Click here for the latest on flight to and from ILM.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Looking for a way to get your kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math?The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science will be hosting a free event this Friday called Superhero Science Family Night.- Advertisement – Children will get to participate in a variety of activities including face painting, making a superhero cape, experimenting with krypto-slime, and learning about creatures from the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher and the Cape Fear Raptor Center.According to Education Coordinator Amy Thornton, each activity is designed to encourage families to work together, spark curiosity and build enthusiasm for learning while introducing topics related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).Kids and parents are encouraged to wear superhero costumes. All children must be accompanied by an adult.Related Article: Pender robotics teams gear up for FIRST regional competitionIf you’re hungry, food will be available for purchase. Poor Piggy’s food truck and Trolly Stop cart will be on-site and food will be available for purchase.The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is located at 814 Market Street in Wilmington. The event will be held from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Yesterday, we told you warrants had been issued for Lewis who was the suspect involved in a hit-and-run involving a woman on a moped.According to the Wilmington Police Department, Lewis, 25, cut across several lanes of traffic and struck the 30-year-old woman near the intersection of 9th and Wooster Streets on June 17 around 5 p.m.The impact threw the woman, Jessica Melvin, several feet into the air.Related Article: Students on school bus witness man allegedly performing sex act in car“I was just heading home from work,” said Melvin. “Next thing you know we hit and I mean he went right in front of me and we both hit.”She landed in the middle of the road. Witnesses helped move her and her borrowed moped from the street. She suffered serious injuries and was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.“The first three days I couldn’t walk. I was on crutches,” said Melvin. “I still wake up in the middle of the night or all night long when my knees just ache.”The moped was destroyed in the collision. Melvin says she has no reliable method to get to work. Melvin and her family have set up an online account for anyone who is willing to help them with financial burdens. Anthony Shontrez Lewis (Photo: WPD) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police say a man wanted in connection to a hit and run more than a week ago turned himself in Wednesday.Wilmington Police Spokeswoman Jennifer Dandron said Anthony Shontrez Lewis turned himself in Wednesday evening and was served with the warrants for felony hit and run causing bodily injuries and reckless driving to endanger.- Advertisement –
Advertisement Surf & Play has enormous features which includes high speed up to 7.2 Mbps, supporting up to 20 users, a simple customer billing interface (the end user can be charged on time or volume), strong battery life that can run for 4 hours in case of power outage and more importantly it’s a plug and play, no need for installation troubles.The device is currently selling at UGX. 950,000 (about US$ 336).It enables online monitoring of the usage, enables owner to limit the download speed or volume given to each user. – Advertisement – In modern day business management through internet is an obligatory means of conveying messages across to clients, partners and market penetration hence the need for reliable broadband.Orange believes with this kind of device all in one solution on the market, internet use will spread out further to benefit SMEs, corporate offices, schools, hospitals and social centers.
Facebook CEO & Founder Mark Zuckerberg Advertisement Facebook CEO & Founder Mark ZuckerbergWhen Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg mentioned during an interview last month that he wanted to build a search engine, headline writers instantly put leading search engine Google on notice.Yet, while Larry and Sergey are probably watching closely, the technology and data at Facebook’s disposal suggest the company will most likely create something fundamentally different from Google’s search service.Facebook lacks the comprehensive index of the Web that it would need to equal Google’s ability to match queries with web pages and it would have to invest a lot to create one. – Advertisement – However, flush with cash from its IPO this summer, the world’s largest social network already has its own unique stockpile of data courtesy of its users’ social lives that could power a new kind of search engine altogether.By mining users’ updates about vacations, music listening interests, online habits, and more, Facebook Search could be better at answering subjective questions, about what products, experiences, and businesses you might be interested in, than a traditional search engine.“It would be very hard to create a general search engine to match Google,” says Apostolos Gerasoulis, a professor at Rutgers University who helped lead work on search technology at Ask Jeeves after the company acquired his search engine Teoma in 2001.Trying to replicate Google’s approach would require Facebook to spend considerable sums developing and deploying software “bots” capable of crawling billions of web pages every day to gather a comprehensive index of the web, he says. “Because Google is so big,” says Gerasoulis, “They have data for the long tail” the uncommon queries for which relatively few pages are a match.Microsoft’s experience with Bing should caution Facebook against such an approach. Since 2009, the Redmond company has spent more than $5 billion on Bing, according to some analyses.Although the quality of Bing’s results come close to Google’s by some measures, Microsoft has struggled to turn web users’ heads. It serves only 15% of U.S. searches, compared with Google’s 65%.A different approach may be more appealing to users of Facebook and other websites too. The social network has amassed a huge amount of data because, in a sense, its users are crawlers that index tiny fragments of both the web and the offline world.As well as recommending Web pages, videos, and songs by sharing them with friends, and labeling those recommendations with relevant descriptions, Facebook users check into restaurants and other businesses, and post photos tagged to real locations.Gerasoulis says that could be the feedstock for a search engine focused on answering queries about the things that people share and discuss on Facebook, such as vacations, movies, recipes, and more.“When you go to specific subjects, the signals Facebook and other social networks have are amazing,” says Gerasoulis. That approach would also open up new avenues for advertising revenue, since Facebook could sell ads that appear next to the results for particular search queries. This is the very model that provides most of Google’s revenue.Delivering on that potential would require sophisticated algorithms capable of weighting social information, says Gerasoulis.Google and Microsoft have both experimented with such things through their efforts to introduce social signals into their search engines (see “Social Search Without a Social Network” and “Why Bing Likes Facebook“). But Facebook has much more social data to work with than just counts of “Like” button clicks.Mining users’ comments could help Facebook unlock even more useful data. The new social search engineTrove built by a startup that just began publicly signing up users hints at the potential of this approach. It can retrieve content scattered across a person’s multiple online accounts.For example, a search for “cute puppy” could reveal an unlabeled Instagram photo of a new pet because the photo previously elicited a tweet using the word “dog” and a Facebook comment saying “adorable!”As the hosts of so much valuable information, “Facebook and Twitter both have teams working on search,” says Seth Blank, Trove’s founder and CEO.Digging deep into social data can uncover a wealth of information and forgotten content related to things people care about, he says, most of it not accessible by conventional search engines.“If you’re planning a vacation somewhere, the truth is your networks have probably already discussed it at length,” says Blank by way of example; the networks he means consist of friends of friends as well as direct contacts.Blank believes his company will survive alongside a Facebook search engine by offering a neutral service capable of linking together different social sites. So far, the big social networks have been happy to let Trove work toward that, he says.As Microsoft discovered, though, technology alone may not be enough to tempt people to try a new search engine. Facebook’s site already offers a search box at the top of every page, but people use it primarily to find other people, not search for content or answers to questions.Blank says research at Trove has shown that some people presented with a search box plugged into their social networks struggle to think of what to search for.Gerasoulis says that is not an insignificant challenge for Facebook. “Search is about what you want right now,” says Gerasoulis. “You go to Facebook and hang out; it doesn’t currently have the same directness.”If Facebook wants its search engine to succeed, it will need to craft something that not only is matched to the data the company holds but makes it clear to its millions of users why they need another search box in their life.Information used in the Article from mashable
Advertisement Mr Eric Mutta, A 29-year-old software developer has won over Sh500 million in a landmark Information Technology innovation deal for a local entrepreneur.The grant from the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) was won through Problem Solved Limited, a company he created in 2008.Based in Dar es Salaam, the budding software engineer will receive his award tomorrow at a formal ceremony in the city. – Advertisement – [related-posts]“I am excited as this award represents the company’s first major breakthrough in the ICT world and hopefully it will encourage many other young innovators to test the uncharted waters,” Mutta told The Citizen yesterday ahead of his big day on Tuesday.His company beat 13 other companies, including well-established financial institutions, to clinch $328,232 in the second round of awards under the SME Finance Innovation Challenge Fund (ICF).Mr Mutta’s innovation called ‘Minishop’ beat a strong field of competitors to carry the day. The huge grant will help the self-employed entrepreneur to grow his business.With the money, Problem Solved will now build a team of employees and buy laptops through which it would distribute Minishop to the target group.According to Mutta, Minishop is a user-friendly accounting software package targeting the more than 3 million small businesses, many of them in the informal sector.“Minishop aims at helping businesses to keep better financial records and apply for loans easily,” said Mutta. This would be the second time that the Minishop innovation was winning recognition.In March 2012, Mutta won $15,000 (Sh24.75 million) from the United States Department of State in an upcoming ICT innovators’ competition.Source: The Citizen
Advertisement Facebook announced yesterday that it had 1 million active advertisers, accounting for 85% of its revenue.Facebook VP of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson announced at the Cannes Lions ad festival that Facebook essentially wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for brands. These numbers show just how active marketers are on the site.[related-posts] – Advertisement – Director of small business Dan Levy shared the news at a roundtable discussion called “Bringing Main Street to Madison Avenue,” and he attributed a large portion of that figure to small businesses growing their local base via Facebook.There are 16 million small businesses with Facebook pages, Levy said. Only a fraction of those actively advertised in the last 28 days.But ads aren’t the only way small businesses can reach fans. According to Facebook, there are more than 2 billion connections between local businesses and people. Every week, 645 million people view and 13 million comment on local businesses pages.Source: Business Insider
Silvio Kutic, CEO of Infobip Advertisement Silvio Kutic, CEO of InfobipInfobip, a global provider of mobile messaging and payments, announced today that it has launched the first ever end-to-end business messaging solution in South Africa. This makes Infobip the only provider to enable companies – banks, brands, OTTs, social networks, aggregators and others – a direct SMS messaging communication with their end-users, with no intermediary system at any point in the interaction chain.The robust solution consists of locally deployed, redundant messaging infrastructure: Internal Processing (IP) Core, and a proprietary A2P SMSC with direct access to SS7 network, ensuring that no third party stands between the critical enterprise traffic and the end users.Furthermore, the solution provides companies with easy integration options, ranging from APIs to specialised integrated products like mGate. The latter is a mobile messaging gateway that connects with any enterprise core system to enable smooth, real time messaging and advanced management and reporting features. – Advertisement – It’s not only a unique architecture in South Africa, but also a unique technical concept on a global scale. Each part in the message delivery chain is our own product, from mGate and IP Core, to the very SMSC. Developed, maintained and controlled by Infobip exclusively, all these elements form a powerful end-to-end messaging solution, delivering secure communication of exceptional quality. Paired with a transactional, no CapEx, no OpEx business model that allows excellent commercial terms, this state-of-the-art solution is a crown of our 2-year long work in South Africa, and a great achievement of our technical teams, says Infobip CEO Silvio Kutic.The architecture is supported by a strategic alliance with a licenced mobile network, Infobip’s dedicated local presence in South Africa, and agile technical support. It took Infobip two years to build this system that brings new levels of security, reliability and simplicity to South African enterprises of all types and sizes that seek to integrate mobile messaging into their operation.Infobip’s global messaging platform processes more than 1 BN monthly transactions, sustaining over 120 000 business accounts, and serving OTTs, brands, banks, social networks, aggregators, and other companies in need of highest-quality enterprise messaging solutions. Infobip’s technology is trusted by enterprises around the world, and used for the delivery of SMS notifications, loyalty programs, authentication solutions, anti-fraud alerts, one-time PINs and other mobile financial, marketing and security solutions.
Advertisement Last Month, Africa 118 launched InfoMoby a business Directory for local business in Uganda. I had a chat with the CEO Mr. Ezana Raswork about why and how he started Africa 118 and a strategy every startup company should have at it’s heart even before launch.What are you doing right now at Africa 118, that makes your business relevant 5 years from now?I think what makes us relevant is the fact that we solve a very old problem and this a problem of people being frustrated, by the amount of time it takes to find things that should be easy to find. For Example if you ask a ‘boda guy’ to take you to a certain place, they will have to ask around until they get to that place. – Advertisement – The problem is locals don’t have a place they can go to access this information so they trust that when they ask someone, they will get the right information. Which is not very effective.So in 5 years we see ourselves helping more people to find this information in a more convenient way and what we have done so far is move people from word of mouth, to creating a directory where you can call and access this information, to InfoMoby which is now a more logical solution to this problem.Tell me about yourself and what you do and maybe about how you started Africa 118.Am Originally from Ethiopia and I grew up in the US but stay with my family in Canada. I have worked in Marketing at Procter and Gamble, I also worked with a Mobile GSM operator in Canada as a director of consumer marketing, and lastly as a VP of Yellow pages which is a directory service in Canada.This work experience is very evident in Africa 118, because we give you a directory of information you need on a mobile platform. What I have also learnt is that when you travel abroad you can see how the future is going to look like in Africa by seeing how trends have changed in the western world.So I decided to solve a meaningful problem and through observations, on one of our family visits to Ethiopia, my father decided to spoil his grand kids by giving them puppies. So my wife who is a doctor wanted to be sure the puppies are vaccinated. So I witnessed the very hectic process of my father trying to ask around to get a veterinary doctor and this process would take us like 10 Seconds in Canada.So thats how I came up with Africa 118. So we spent our early days trying to create a database of local businesses like Veterinary Doctors. We therefore built an Application on the Microsoft platform and we gave this application to agents who went around collecting data about different businesses like their geo-locations and send this information to our database.What are some of the challenges you have faced over the past 4 years of running Africa 118.The biggest challenge is building credibility. There is a number of players that we chose along the way from mobile operators to technology partners to help with this. It also takes time to do the market research, finding the need that took sometime and getting our first customer that took a very long time. So people need to buy into buy into the company credibility, this wasn’t like Yellowpages where I used to work which was a big company. So you have to be able to demonstrate that you can actually build things and show them to your client before they can actually cash in.In Uganda it has taken us longer to launch because of the regulator but the good news about Uganda is that it’s straight forward to the idea compared to our early days in Kenya and I think this is partly because we know more than we did when we were starting out.Have you faced any Scaling problems because you seem to be in a business that grows at a steady rate.We actually thought about this at the start that is why we built our database for scale. We knew that we shall need to scale to other markets so we made sure our data structures would help us to do this in the different markets. We also knew that all our applications would need to access our database through an API and so this made the work very easy for us when we needed to scale.Is this business profitable and did you quit your Job to focus on this full time?Yah, I did quit my job to do this full time, and sustainability drives every business. We are not profitable yet, but our primary source of revenue has been from the profit sharing with the mobile operators via our Voice directory. As we go forward our primary source of revenue will be from local business owners who want our traffic that is looking for their product or service. So our focus right now is to build a great product and get traction for it. Well thank you for reading upto this point, be sure to leave us a comment if you have any questions.
Advertisement After announcing layoffs affecting no less than 7,800 people, with most of them from the mobile division, Microsoft is now preparing for the launch of Windows 10 on PC, which is happening on July 29.Windows 10 Mobile has been confirmed to arrive after the PC version, but a clear date has yet to be announced by Microsoft.The software giant will launch Windows 10 Mobile this fall, along with at least two high-end smartphones, which are currently known as Lumia 940 XL and Lumia 940. – Advertisement – The company announced it will streamline its smartphone business for fewer device launches per year, and it looks like the new policy will be applied beginning 2015.It has decided to launch no more than six smartphones per year, two for each price range (high-end, mid-end and affordable).This means we should see six smartphones with Windows 10 being launched this year.Four Lumia smartphones were revealed last month with their codenames: Guilin, Honjo, Sanna and Saimaa.However, apart from their names nothing is known about them.Via Softpedia
Every family or social group has got that guy that you turn to when you need tech advice. Image Credit: DigiThun Advertisement There’s no burden like that of being the one tech-head in your social or family group.Simultaneously revered for your arcane knowledge and looked down upon for your weird tech fetish, being the resident gadget expert is tough.Among other things, it’s a position that requires you to have a perpetually updating list of cool tech recommendations sat somewhere near the front of your brain. These are the situations where you don’t just want to show off or talk about the best tech on the market – you want to impress with smart, cool, and relatable gadgets. – Advertisement – Allow us to help. This isn’t a list of the best tech out there at the moment – it’s a run down of the alternatives, the things that you wouldn’t expect. Someone tells you they want a tablet but not an iPad? How about one with a projector in?What about VR? Anyone doing anything cool with that? We’ve got you covered. Read on, and see what cool, alternative and intelligent things are spewing out of the tech world right now.[related-posts]BlackBerry Priv Yes, we are recommending a BlackBerry in a 2015 list of desirable gadgets. Why? Because the Priv stands out a mile in a market filled with me-too smartphones.There’s always at least one non-techy mate who bemoans the modern smartphone typing experience. Said person usually has a BlackBerry for a work phone and an iPhone or an Android phone for a personal phone. If only the two could meet as one beautiful hybrid device, all of the world’s problems would surely be fixed.The BlackBerry Priv is that phone. It runs on Android, and has a large, curved, 5.4-inch QHD OLED touchscreen display to match. Yet, lo and behold – a slight nudge slides out a full BlackBerry keyboard for speedy and mistake-free emails. It’s the best of both worlds and a true show stopper – to a certain type of person, at least.Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 ProThe Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 has an inbuilt pico projector. Image Credit: GeekSnackFor a while now, the number one choice for tablets has been the iPad range. With the Microsoft Surface offering a top-end hybrid alternative, it’s perhaps become difficult to work up much enthusiasm for a new Android tablet.Meet the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro, which achieves just that. Here is a premium 10-inch tablet with an unusual asymmetrical design and a couple of well though-out and innovative features.A vibrant QHD display and a built-in kickstand-cum-hook serves to make the Yoga Tab 3 Pro a great kitchen media player, but you’re wondering how we can feature this over the best from Samsung or Sony.Well the unexpected delight of its built-in pico projector gives you the kind of on-the-fly widescreen options that could very well revolutionise your trips and presentations. And it’s a projector. In a tablet.Microsoft Band 2 Fitness trackers have got to a point where they’re almost uniformly useful and comfortable. While most can measure your heart rate, however, few can raise it.Microsoft’s stylish second-generation fitness tracker, the Microsoft Band 2, goes the extra mile. It’s got 11 sensors for tracking heart rate, calorie burn, sleep quality, and more. It even has a barometer so it knows what altitude you’re operating at.Beyond that, the Microsoft Band 2 will work in conjunction with your smartphone (Android, iOS, or Windows) to provide workout insights, email notifications, and more. It’ll even help you with your golf swing if your friends with those kinds of people.[Techradar]
Google Chrome now the most popular web browser beating their life time rival Internet Explorer. Image Credit: innov8tiv Advertisement Google updated its Chrome browser with the ability to pin shortcuts to users’ preferred sites directly to the home screen back in 2015 but the search giant is now planning to make these Web apps more integrated with Android than ever before.Google in a blog post announced it will be releasing a new version of this feature, starting first with Chrome 57 beta.With the new version, once users add a Progressive Web App to their home screen, they will appear in the app drawer section of the launcher and in the Android Settings, and will also be able to receive incoming intents from other apps, Google said in a Chromium blog post. – Advertisement – Further, the search giant says that a long press on the notifications from these apps will show “normal Android notification management controls” rather than the controls for Chrome.The Web apps currently don’t show up in the same manner as installed native apps and Google says that developers have asked for their apps to show up in app drawer section of the launcher. “These differences can be confusing for users and prevent the experience from feeling as cohesive as it could,” it added.Image Credit; Google Blog PostThe new Add to Home Screen option will help transition the gap between native apps and Web apps, the company said.[related-posts]
UTL offices in Kampala | Photo by : East African Van Guard. Advertisement The Libyan Post Telecommunications and IT Holding Company (LPTIC) has cautioned Ugandan government against undermining their position in the Uganda Telecom Limited, UTL.The company which is the majority shareholder in UTL (69%), in February made a decision to cease all further funding and investment in UTL, after accumulated debts and losses.The decision was communicated to Ugandan government on February 25th before they ordered resignation of all five of their Libyan representatives on the UTL board of Directors. – Advertisement – The government of Uganda would later announce the takeover of the company’s management and affairs saying although LPTIC is the major shareholder, “their performance since 2007 has been characterized by indebtedness, decline in market share and losses.”In a March 5th statement, LPTIC clarified that their decision to cease funding followed 14 months of intense engagement with the Government of Uganda seeking to agree on the terms of a Transformation Business Plan for UTL, but the negotiations couldn’t be concluded.“While these negotiations were ongoing, the Majority Shareholder continued to fund the substantial amount of working capital being incurred by UTL on a month-by-month basis,” the statement reads in part.“Despite every effort by the Majority Shareholder to save UTL, and in addition to its readiness to fund the implementation of a Transformation Business Plan, it was not possible to conclude negotiations with the Government of Uganda,” the statement further reads.“Given the institutional unwillingness of the Government of Uganda to commit to a transformation plan for UTL in addition to its lack of contributions, the Majority Share-holder, as a responsible investor ultimately accountable to its Libyan Government stake-holders, had no choice but to cease further funding of UTL.”[related-posts]LPTIC however says they expect the government of Uganda to fully comply with applicable laws and best practice concerning the protection of their investment interests in UTL with respect to its rights as the largest creditor.While announcing the takeover, Uganda’s Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Matia Kasaija assured subscribers, stakeholders and the general public that the telecom would continue to operate with full support from the government.
jeff-bezos-of-amazon.Image Credit: wallpaperbang Advertisement Seattle-based eCommerce firm; Amazon Inc’s billionaire Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos on Thursday turned to an unusual source of inspiration for how to donate part of his wealth: Twitter.“I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now – short term – at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact,” Bezos, one of the world’s richest people with a net worth of more than $76 billion, said in a Twitter post.Request for ideas… pic.twitter.com/j6D68mhseL— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) June 15, 2017 – Advertisement – “If you have ideas, just reply to this tweet with the idea (and if you think this approach is wrong, would love to hear that too.)”The request signaled a shift for Bezos, who has invested in longer-term bets like space exploration and kept quieter about other givings.The e-commerce executive has said he will sell about $1 billion of Amazon stock annually to fund his company Blue Origin, which aims to cut the cost of space travel and kick off entrepreneurship in the cosmos.For philanthropy, Bezos has supported a foundation run by his parents that focuses on education. His family has also given more than $40 million to Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, not far from Amazon’s headquarters.[related-posts]Still, Bezos has yet to make charity a cornerstone of his work, like Microsoft Corp’s Bill Gates or Facebook Inc’s Mark Zuckerberg have. Bezos has not joined them and 167 other of the world’s richest people in pledging to give more than half of their fortunes to philanthropy.Asked in an interview with Charlie Rose last year if he one day would rival Gates’ magnanimity, Bezos joked, “Well, yeah, if there is anything left after I finish building Blue Origin.”His Twitter post had generated nearly 4,000 replies within three hours.Recommendations ranged from food programs for children, to protecting forests and fighting homelessness.“Repurpose shipping containers to provide micro-homes for the homeless,” tweeted journalist and analyst John Koetsier. “Give them a safe, dry place to sleep, then work on further needs.”source: Reuters
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