Sunday, 30 October 2016
Friday, 28 October 2016
Microsoft has rolled out its New desktop for artists and designers, called Surface Studio. This it did at an event in New York on Wednesday this week. The 28-inch all-in-one desktop flattens out into a digital drafting table, giving brands like Apple, a run for their money. Last year Microsoft gave us the Surface Book and now the Surface Studio, which I think is simply an indication of how much serious hardware chops Microsoft has up its sleeves, as well as their commitment to make things that are not just new, but FRESH.
Microsoft named it "Studio" because it is aimed at giving "Creatives" like designers, architects, engineers, and illustrators all the tools and power they need to practice their craft as well as perform everyday computing tasks such as email and web browsing, all in one place. Microsoft took many of the features design themes, and materials from the Surface tablets and the Surface Book laptop and applied them to a machine for the desktop. This is the first one it has ever designed and marketed.
Like other Surfaces the Studio uses the pressure-sensitive Surface Pen as an input device. The Studio's version is similar to the one that shipped with the Surfsce Pro 4, but this one has some upgraded electronics.
The Studio's other input device is an optional rotary dial that sits directly on the touchscreen and calls up contextual menus, which the display situates around its bas. The Dial as it is called, is a prime example of Microsoft's effort to blend real-world experiences with digital ones in the interest of helping creative types stay in the zone.
According to Microsoft's Corporate VP of devices, Brian Hall, "One goal is to have a set of products that we know categorically people can pull out of their bag and feel proud to have, in a way that still runs Windows. Frankly, that has been a bit of a gap,"
Some outstanding features of the Surface Studio, besides its flexibility, which would definitely endear you to it are its ability to adjust colour settings based on particular use cases, its unique 3:2 aspect ratio, and its foldability that turns your Surface Studio device into a desktop drafting table, to mention but a few. Amazing!
"I'm seeing my five-year-old go to touch every screen, and being surprised when the screens aren't touch. We know that generation growing up is going to only expect it... I touch my work display all day, but then I've got to wipe the fingerprints off. It's only to point to things," says Cronan.
This indeed goes to show the were technology is moving towards in and would be in the near future. Surfaces would be mostly "Touch" even kitchen cabinets. Sounds nice eey?
The Surface Studio lets you sketch directly on your display. An amazing about it is that it doesn't just look like a better all-in-one PC, but it's more like a whole new category of device.
Surface itself is a big business, bringing in billions of dollars of revenue. The Surface just takes PC desirability to a whole new level. The Surface Book did that for engineers and now the Surface Studio is doing it for artists and designers. Now how cool is that?
Ezra Gotthiel of Technology Business Research had this to say "By generating interest in high end Windows capabilities, Microsoft builds the market for high end Windows devices from all vendors."
Now this baby sits at a gorgeous $3000 and then goes up to about $4200 for a fully loaded version, which is about 1.35 to 1.89million Naira. That's a sum alright, but worth it.
Panos Panay, Microsoft's hardware chief says, "What we wanted to do with this product is take you from being the most productive person to the most creative person, and bring them as close together as you possibly could be... that when you went to your desk, your desk was transformed to a studio."
Well said I must say. Well done Microsoft! Can't wait to get me one of these to help me be more productive with my art. A part of my life I have left fallow for a really long time now.
Who knows, this might just be what I need to help re-ignite that fire once again. It's Life in a tech age baby. Live It! To the full too.
Wednesday, 8 June 2016
With self-driving cars in the horizon today, one can't not think of what next to expect. What would we have to make use of our hands for besides occasionally clicking on stuff, seeing that voice commands are also a major part of operating systems and gadgets nowadays.
With autonomous cars and voice command systems that let you summon your car, the use of one's hands in the operation of these gadgets would pretty much be old school. Kind of. Lol!
I guess that's how and what we get to live with in a tech age. Awesome!
Speaking of self-driving, have you heard about driverless trucks? Not until now. Just recently, and by recently I mean last month, a group of self-driving trucks drove across Europe arriving at the Port of Rotterdam.
Wow! You're looking to take our cabbies from behind the wheels and now our truckers too? Way to go!
I'm not a truck driver or anything like that, but I'm concerned for those who would probably be out of job because of this. No offense. Then yet again, I think this technology is awesome for a lot of reasons.
OK tell us what we want to hear already and stop being such a technophobic technophile all at the same time.
Anyways, think of what this would mean for us here in Nigeria If trucks had to drive themselves. OK maybe I'm taking us way into the future but it's necessary cos someone dreamt of it first and others helped out or went on to work at it. It all begins somewhere.
We would start thinking about autonomous cars someday in the future. Or would we? 😗 *whistling*
The trucks can drive nearly 24 hours per day which is very good as that can double the output of the transportation chain by doing the job for less and with less human labour. How economically cool is that?
Looking at our country today, how many young people would be interested in taking a truck driving job? Uhm! Sincerely not me. So who? Hence the usefulness of this technology. Now there's nothing wrong in truck driving and I think it's a noble job. But thank God for technology.
Also look at the safety factor. We know how some truck drivers behave on the road here in Nigeria. Reckless and also cause a lot of accidents and deaths on our highways. And most annoying is that they just don't know the right spot to break down.
Surely you've noticed that they tend to break down in the middle of the road or at some turn or bend.
Also annoying is the fact that they move sometimes at such high speeds and don't let other vehicles overtake them. Literal vehicle-to-vehicle intimidation. Again, I say annoying.
I'm guessing they would require lanes dedicated to these driverless trucks as they move at certain speed range and could obstruct other vehicles and possibly pose a threat to other drivers. Most highway accidents in Nigeria are truck-related or generated and as for the most vehicles that run off course into the bush or cause others to do so? You guessed right. *Trucks*
Then again, truck driving in Nigeria is one job that has been saving lives since the 60's and still is, and I say we don't need this particular technology in this country, at least for the now.
Besides we've got more dire needs to meet and other things to do with what technology we have available to us.
Major supplies of all kinds across the country are made via trucks as cargo trains - which would have been quite efficient in doing this - are not really in use for this purpose over here.
This technology would put more families at risk than it would those on the road with the human driven trucks. Well, I guess we will be happy for yet another wonderful technology for the good of humanity, but let's just save it for the near future hopefully, until certain things are put in right places over here. Awesome technology keep at it but we'd hold on to our manually-driven trucks for now. Auf wiedersehen!
Monday, 6 June 2016
Automobiles in the tech age are just getting started on features, and different auto manufacturers are bringing something new to us every passing year. With improved braking systems, electrification, motion sensor and auto pilot systems.
Autos in the tech age are getting us to that point where we can say driving a car today is an experience somewhat straight out of a futuristic movie from the 90's or there about. And it's techage-alicious!
Just think about it, a car system that detects the possibility of a collision with another car ahead and applies the brakes, in a situation where the driver doesn't do so quick enough. It's amazing!
Well, this and more is what auto manufacturers are doing or should I say, working on.
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system as the name implies, is a system that engages the brakes of a car at any slight detection of a possible collision with another car, in case the driver isn't really quick to do so.
Toyota is among the companies doing so and both Toyota and Lexus have said that they are working on getting nearly every Toyota and Lexus model, a standard AEB system by 2017.
Many models of both brands have the AEB system offered to customers but only on extra payment packages.
The company says that by the end of next year, majority of its models will have the AEB installed at no extra cost, except for the Lexus GS, Toyota 4Runner and Toyota 86.
This move by Toyota, is one that is ahead of Honda which is making Honda sensing system that includes AEB technology which comes as an opt-in feature. Cool!
And speaking of Honda, the company has announced that it is going to expand its "Honda Clarity" line to include an all-electric version as well as a plug-in hybrid next year. It says that the latest Honda Clarity version would be available later this year and yes, it's a fuel-cell automobile. Other versions will be ready next year.
The company's goal is that by the year 2030, it would have sold about two-thirds of its electrified autos, including plug-in hybrids and fuel cells. Interesting!
Volvo also announced that it will have two hybrid versions of every vehicle in its fleet. The company said it intends to do this and also release its first fully electric vehicle by the year 2019. The company's President Hakan Samuelsson, in a press release last month said that the company looks to be at the forefront of the shift to electrification as many other manufacturers already have some hybrid model or the other.
Volvo says that the first vehicle to get electrification will be the XC90 T8 Twin Engine SUV, which will be available soon. The company's goal is to have a million electrified vehicles on the road by the year 2025. Good work Volvo. keep it up!
Now unto the Tesla Model X. Hmmm! You know the Tesla brand right? And you should know about the Tesla Model X with falcon-wing doors, a 200-plus-mile battery range and proximity sensors necessary for safety by prevention of contact with other cars and other features.
Well, owners of the $138,000 sport utility auto, have been complaining about some unexpected malfunctions in the car's system. Owners have been saying that the car's falcon-wing doors wouldn't open, and in some cases, wouldn't shut, the huge infotainment screen in the car repeatedly, had frozen and even windows that wouldn't shut.
It's disturbing! Not like it can't be fixed but imagine having to drive your car with one hand holding the door of your car that wouldn't latch, or you having taking a Uber cab while you have a Tesla X parked in your garage. Hell no! Not exactly a pleasant scenario.
But Tesla Motors says it's working on it and will rectify the issues for every one customer.
And yes, we know they'll come through because, hello, it's Tesla we're talking about here. Like "The Tesla"? Uh uhn! It's a Sure Fix!
Sunday, 15 May 2016
Keeping fit in a tech age is easy and yet very challenging, as their are gadgets and equipments and info and apps that help you stay fit, as well as work and bills and TV and other gadgets that don't let us use our energy as much any more. Nice! But how many do take advantage of these technologies available to stay fit?
And talking about staying fit, I don't mean just working out to show off those chiseled six packs. That's nice too but beyond that, staying healthy, eating right, working out at the gym, practicing healthy habits like good rest and posture, setting fitness goals for one's self and all that.
Of course with life in this fast age, there's barely any time to do all that. Or at least that's what I like to tell myself. I mean I set a certain time in the mornings when I'm supposed to have my morning exercise routine, which usually is cycling and push-ups (used to be jogging but gave myself a flimsy excuse to stop), or even a combination of a series of aerobic activities. But it's not that easy to keep up with it all the time.
To be honest, sometimes I only exercise like thrice a week and not very consistently, whereas exercise requires consistency. Although that's the least number of times I exercise per week with each session being about 10 to 15 minutes in length, mostly cycling.
Like there are lots of apps in stores that help one stay fit, but making out time is usually the issue. Though there are those who don't see any reason to work out and keep fit, especially in these parts where some people believe pot-bellies to be a "sign of good living." Not that flat tummies and six packs are an evidence of being healthy and fit, but it's necessary for people to stay fit.
No offense, pot-bellied guys 😁
It's important to note that being slim doesn't mean one is healthy. In fact, it often times is not the case particularly for persons with eating disorders.
By the way, eating disorders are not really applicable to the Nigerian environment, "according to me" because I do not know, nor have I heard of someone with such disorders around, or at least not as chronic as we see on TV. Naija have you? I mean come on, eating disorder na wia na? For dis naija, and in these times? Abegi! Story!
You know I don't mean any disrespect for those out there who believe they have such, so not to be insensitive, I'll just close that topic.
Back to what I was saying, a person could be on the big side and still be the perfect weight and health. Sometimes due to big bones. It has to do with body proportions.
Speaking of body proportions, do you know your BMI?
Last month I was opportuned to know my Body Mass Index (BMI) and it was interesting to know that it was well within the healthy range. This spurred me to keep working out for at least what little time I could make out, to do so.
It's challenging but it's also worth it. The benefits are really awesome. Living a healthy lifestyle is cool and all, but it's also important to add "Joy" that wells up from within.
Make yourself joyful as you are the only one responsible for doing that. Even the Bible says, "a merry heart does good like medicine." So it's important to be fit Spiritually, Physically and mentally.
One way to do so is to is by spending time in God's Word, meditating and and also spending time with family and friends.
Just a little more is all it takes.
Living healthy and fit in a tech age takes discipline and commitment and with activities in such a fast age that occupy us, we can only do so much with our time. And yes it's "ours" and we all have it in equal quantity to do with it as we please.
You would agree with me that a little extra work, discipline and commitment is what it takes. Despite all the work from 6 to 9, or 9 to 5, or whatever your case maybe, even 3 to 9, we need to make out time for exercise.
So go ahead and make time, set your fitness goals, work at them, keep a merry heart, love God and live life in a tech age to the full.
*Live Your Best Life*😀.
Sunday, 8 May 2016
Tick Tock, Tick Tock! The clock keeps on ticking. Everyone must do for himself/herself what they must and fast too. Time is our friend but never waits for us. We must keep up with it no matter what. Everyone's got 24 hours and keeping up with it doesn't make it smile at you and wait for you. At least not in the natural, if you know what I mean.
Life is of times and seasons and seasons come and go, but what we do with every passing minute is what makes the difference. We could choose to use our time well, or not so well. The choice is ours.
In Greek terminology, two words are used to refer to time but have different applications. The words "Kairos" and "Chronos", kairos having to do with a qualitative, permanent nature, while chronos is quantitative.
Kairos refers to a "period" or "season," a moment of time within which an event of significance happens, according to 'Wiki.'
Bringing it to the Bible and New testament, the word kairos means the appointed time in God's purpose. It refers to the opportune time or appointed time when God acts. Chronos on the other hand refers to a specific amount of time, such as a day or an hour.
Ok Greek scholar wanna-be, that's enough lecture for one day, thank you very much. 🙏
Now where was I? Oh right. Ever get the feeling that time is just passing by you? Time is just cruel to you? Yes, been there. Time just runs so fast that there's barely enough time for anything.
With work, bills to pay, kids to raise (who by the way, grow up so fast) and everything else, why can't time just take it slow?
Well, time isn't running. It's actually walking. More like strolling. Ha!
We just aren't doing the right things. Or rather, we just get ourselves caught up with running around something else that isn't really meant for us. Myself inclusive.
Now don't get me wrong, anyone can succeed at almost any field with hardwork and persistence, but truth is, one thing would be missing. It's "Fulfilment."
Not that you couldn't achieve a certain success in such an area, and not like everyone is created and given a stamp on their forehead of what they're meant to do. Well, it's possible.
My point is, sometimes we can loose "Focus" and derail or slow down a lot more than we ought to whether we approach speed bumps in life or not. It just happens sometimes and the only one responsible for that is that person you see in the "Mirror." Yeah! Take a real good look at that person. Time just strolls, as it has always done. Everything is faster, but time has never been faster than it is today. We humans just tend to run fast in a direction, sometimes, that is in the opposite, which of course seems to us like time is faster, but in actual sense we are often times, slowed down by our very own selves because no matter how you run on a treadmill, you never really get anywhere. We're just on the same spot.
Big "Ish" is we are the ones who slow ourselves down while time strolls by, waving us goodbye. Take a good look at the Mirror again. Oh my! It's me!
I guess what I'm trying to say is that we were created for a purpose and until you find that purpose, "Time" will zoom pass you like a Supersonic jet. Period!
Every great leader of our age and beyond found or has found something that made them great. The very thing that they could die for. A "Cause" you may call it. And at the end of their life time (chronos) most of them would say they have found great fulfilment in doing what they did.
The great Apostle Paul of the Bible, "I have finished the race and I have kept the faith."
In the end, time (kairos and chronos) is in "His" Hands and we will stand and tell of what, with it we did. God. Father, Spirit, Son. All in one. Jehovah! Now this is what you've probably heard before so I'll let you think on it.
Well, Tick Tock! Time is still running right now. Oh sorry, it's walking and Every man has equal share.
Walk and "Work" with it.
So No, time isn't faster.
Time itself doesn't change. We do. It doesn't have to, We should. 📆⌚
Saturday, 7 May 2016
E-commerce is one thing that is spreading across Nigeria and Africa as a whole, and companies and businesses are taking advantage of it. Recently Konga launched its payment service, KongaPay which has actually existed for some time now. We could call it a 'relaunch' if we want, but it has been on the Konga platform since August last year. But now is adding new features and extending KongaPay as a payment method to consumers outside the Konga.com platform.
Konga which is founded by Harvard MBA holder, Sim Shagaya, just last month launched KongaPay which is considered Konga's PayPal to Ebay.
KongaPay's "Me-Commerce" option will allow any business in Nigeria to create their own QR payment code from a mobile phone image. Social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp will now have a new payment option in Africa, which is the KongaPay. Awesome right?
This move is in line with Shagaya's vision to create a 21st century operating system that will better connect buyers and sellers across Africa. Way to go! Ah! KONGA!
Now, M-KOPA Solar is a power startup that is lighting homes of low income across East Africa via mobile money leasing.
M-KOPA is presently in 330,000 homes in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and just recently, Ghana and plans to enter new African countries in the near future.
The company was co-founded by Jesse Moore, Nick Hughes at Vodafone, and Chad Larson.
The M-KOPA baseline box-kit comes stocked with a solar panel, lights, radio, multi-device charger and a pay-as-you-go SIM card.
The company, which launched in 2012, has Safaricom and M-Pesa as its finance partners in Kenya and Tanzania while customers in Uganda make payments via MTN Money or Airtel Money.
Coming to Nigeria, M-KOPA's Jesse Moore noted that there is "huge potential" but said that due to kerosene subsidies and the "not-so-patronized" mobile money scenario, the model is restricted for now.
M-KOPA is looking to better its services with new financing options and powerful solar charging capacity as well as additional product packages like its flat screen TV which it first offered in February. Good thinking.
Back to Nigeria, Value4Naira.com is Nigeria's latest online supermarket which is assuring Nigerians of the best prices and services. It intends to cater to the needs of busy Nigerians in terms of grocery shopping and purchase of household items.
"We want to ensure that Nigerians enjoy beautiful shopping experience while enjoying a premium customer service at the cheapest prices," says Umeike Ernest, Chief Operations Officer.
According to Ernest, the company has a team of experienced persons with over 15 years experience in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) market segment, banking and e-commerce.
"This gives us a good understanding of customer needs in terms of price sensitivity, robust supply chain and dynamic customer care. We have chosen the supermarket part of e-commerce because we know that we can assure customers of the best prices, widest range of options and effective supply system to make this a wonderful shopping experience" says Ernest.
Concerning making its quality of service, it announced that it has secured a number of partnerships.
"We have gone into partnerships to ensure that our customers are assured of cheapest prices in e-commerce in Nigeria. The partnerships grow by the day and can only serve to reinforce the quality and variety of products and prices customers pay."
It's looking at being the fastest in terms of delivery with a same day delivery option for orders made before 11am within Lagos, and the next day for orders made after 11am. Pretty cool!
Low prices! Good quality! Quick delivery! Works for me.
Shopping online is an interesting subject matter to me and I don't really know why, but I guess it's just the craze that comes along with it. And no, I'm not a shopaholic.
With the turn of the economies recently, all sorts of campaigns have hit the Nigerian commerce space, all preaching one thing and one thing only which is, "Buy Nigeria to strengthen the Naira."
Yes indeed, buy Nigeria and strengthen the Naira because the markets are not exactly smiling.
With the Naira's recent plummet and even fluctuation if you would say, Nigerians have been advised to buy our "Made in Nigeria" goods in order to give the Naira some value, and yes we need to do that. We cannot keep on patronizing other products from outside the country, while we have to an extent, some good Nigerian products that we can make use of and derive same, or close, or even better satisfaction from.
It is as only normal for stores to take advantage of the situation and try to offer buyers, made in Nigeria goods as a way of strengthening the purchasing power of the Naira. That is what Supermart.ng is doing.
Supermart.ng is an online supermarket and grocery delivery service that is encouraging the purchase of locally made products.
This it is doing as it launched its proudly Nigerian campaign early last month. It's labelling all locally produced goods with a "Proudly Nigerian" stamp, thereby making it easier for customers to identify and buy products made in Nigeria, which I think is really good.
Co-CEO, Raphael Afaedor speaking during the launch last month, said they did a test-run in the months of February and March. "What we have seen is that when customers know what is produced in Nigeria versus what is imported, they are likely to choose local equivalents in a significant number of cases; today's customer wants to make an impact through what they buy" he says. "We have seen a 32% increase in the purchase of local products since we started promoting locally made goods." He's right for the most part because some Nigerians are really looking to patronize proudly Nigerian products lately. I am one of them. Let's do ourselves a favor please.
Gbolahan Fagbure, Co-CEO also said, "We’re not one to jump on a band wagon but for the last couple of months, we've been promoting homegrown goods." He said that all made in Nigeria goods on their site, has a tag on them which reads "Proudly Nigerian".
"If you're thinking of substituting more foreign imports for locally produced items, there is no better place than Supermart.ng" says Fagbure.
This is just great as it is beneficial to local farmers and companies and to the Nigerian economy. I really do hope a lot of Nigerians would wake up to this and embrace it.
Celebrate our own. Make use of our own. Patronize it. Promote it. Be Proud of it. Encourage it. Tell someone about it... I think that's it.
I've got love for Naija. Naija na we own o! Make we join hands together build am. Cause at the end of the day, it's what we've got. It's our homeland, and nothing can change that. It's a beautiful place, where money is all around us but we are not really opening our eyes to see it. There's more to us than meets the eye(especially more than our "oil"). Open up your mind. This land is blessed. So blessed by God. Don't let anyone deceive you. Support the sale and purchase of locally made goods.
Well, I guess this is my own campaign right now.
A Vote for Locally Made Products(LMP), is a Vote for the Naira. Vote LMP, vote Proudly Nigerian.
LMP! Power To The Naira! Lol!
God bless the Naira . God bless Nigeria. The most awesome nation in the world. Carry go jor!