Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Lenovo Virtual Reality Headset: The Cheapest Microsoft Holographic VR Headest for People on Budget


Virtual reality was bound to be a big theme of this year's CES, and another big name is using the event to get into the space with a new, low-cost headset. Lenovo announced its own VR headset at CES—it doesn't have a name yet, but the company claims it will cost less than $400 when it's released later this year.
The affordable price is enough to make this intriguing, but the specs make things even more interesting. It's built to be smaller and lighter than both the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, weighing just 350g (the Vive weighs about 550g). The bulk of its weight lies against your forehead rather than on the bridge of your nose, which should make it more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. It also has a convenient hinge design, which lets you turn the headset portion up whenever you need to give your eyes a break without requiring you to remove the entire system.

The headset's display is made of two 1440×1440 panels, making it higher-res than both the Vive and the Rift. We would have liked to see this in action, but Lenovo only had a non-working prototype to show us. The company paired it with its new Legion Y720 gaming notebook, which is VR ready, and also showed off its new Entertainment Hub. This is basically a media library featuring VR-ready movies, games, and other content.
And its tracking works works very fine by utilising inside-out, six degrees-of-freedom tracking, which means there’s no external camera necessary, but the tech is yet to ship in a product and we’re not sure how Windows Holographic’s implementation will work out. Lenovo also isn’t producing any motion controllers for the headset, instead relying on third-party options that will be manufactured to the Windows Holographic specification.
As for what you’ll actually be able to do with this headset, Lenovo says that every Windows Store application will work in a theater-style floating viewer mode, and some HoloLens software will also be converted to the platform. Lenovo’s headset has two cameras on the front, meaning that mixed-reality applications are possible even without the HoloLens’ optical projection capability. (The image quality from those cameras is, of course, an open question.)
The still-unnamed headset will ship sometime this year for between $300 and $400 — Lenovo says the price isn’t set in stone but it’ll be “closer to $300.”

Where you might expect the Real world Virtual Reality Technology Home





The arrival of Upload L.A., a 20,000-square-foot shared work space for virtual reality and augmented reality firms, is indicative of the kind of growth that's happening in the So-Cal tech community known as Silicon Beach. When it opens April 13, the Del Rey building will be home to more than 100 creators and developers and will offer virtual-reality production systems, camera rentals, open work space, motion-capture studios, private offices and even an academy where tech hopefuls can learn virtual-reality production. The facility is more than three times the size of the firm's sister digs in San Francisco. "The industry is really growing, and L.A. seemed like the perfect place for us," CEO Taylor Freeman says. "We saw a lot of the startup activity centred around Silicon Beach and downtown and wanted to be a part of it." By at least one estimate, the virtual reality industry could be worth nearly $34 billion in 2022, with much of that coming through Los Angeles. The city's deep-rooted film and television industry mean it's an ideal place to cash in on VR if it explodes as expected. "Entertainment and technology have gone together for a long time," says Andrea Belz, the vice dean for technology innovation and entrepreneurship at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. "L.A. is a great place to do that. There's a lot of talent here to support it." Randy Saaf, CEO of L.A.-based VR gaming company Lucid Sight, says the virtual reality medium is ripe for shared workspaces because the cost of computers and headsets for VR work is prohibitive. "VR can be kind of a high-cost endeavor for a startup," he says. "Shared workspace is a good way for a small shop to get up and running quickly." The 2015 Startup Ecosystem global rankings from startup research firm Compass put L.A. in third place behind No. 1 Silicon Valley and No. 2 New York. It's not like L.A.-based Snapchat and its big-money debut on the stock market — or Upload LA's launch — will change that overnight. But their presence is likely to attract even more investment. "Investors from other parts of the country go to Silicon Valley because they can access a much deeper talent pool," USC's Belz says. "That same pool exists here in L.A. Talent here tends to give investors a lot of options." Virtual reality, for example, can include film, gaming, advertising and even therapeutic treatment. For instance, post-traumatic stress disorder might be treated with "immersive experiences that put you in a different environment," Belz says. Saaf's Lucid Sight is taking movie trailers and giving them the VR treatment so they can be seen in virtual reality games. "That's an entire pipeline of business for VR here in L.A.," he says. And investors are taking notice. "People who invest in movies are different from your typical Silicon Valley investor," Saaf says. "Now you're seeing media dollars that traditionally only go to media and tech dollars that traditionally only go to tech converging in Silicon Beach."

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How to run a colourful Mac OS7 smoothly on the Raspberry Pi

Most of the  Mac Users love gaming so much and would want to extend that love for the OS everywhere they could use any gadget.  If you are one of such Mac lovers here in this video is a step by step guide that walks you through on how you could still be able to continue your iLife even within the Linux driven open source hardware computer  which is nothing but the cheap Raspberry Pi of all time.
You can subscribe to the video channel for more amazing  gaming and  pi lifestyle.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

IoT Smart Lamps: Sengeled Solo the Bluetooth Controlled Smart bulb for smart homes

The Sengeled Pulse Solo is a 2-in-1 smart bulb and stereo speaker featuring JBL speakers. This is the world’s first LED light with dual speakers in one bulb. It offers you all the convenience of a smart light, along with an always on Bluetooth speaker. But can it deliver on everything it promises? The bulb itself uses the traditional E26 fixture however, it is much larger and heavier than traditional bulbs. If you’re planning on packing all of this into a light bulb, then it’s pretty reasonable to expect it to be larger and heavier. Be sure to check it will fit in your lamp before buying, and that being top heavy won’t cause your lamp to tip over. The Pulse Solo is a smart bulb that combines the energy efficiency of a dimmable LED light with a high-quality JBL speaker system. Control the light and sound using almost any Bluetooth-enabled device, including your iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone or tablet. Experience the crystal clear highs and the rich stereo sound of the JBL system combined with warm, dimmable lighting. And the best thing is, you do not need any additional speaker wires or power cords. Existing lighting fixtures offer you the simplest installation options and simultaneously serve as a power source for Pulse Solo. Now nothing can stand in the way of you enjoying your music. Basic iOS and Android apps offer seamless control of both light and sound while listening to your favourite music or media. Pulse Solo: The world's first combination of LED light and multi channel stereo speakers in one bulb. Child's play to install: No speaker wires, no additional power cords or remote controls, no fuss. Simply use your smartphone or your tablet to stream your favourite music. Enjoy light and sound in a completely new combination. This LED light bulb allows you to save energy and simultaneously indulge in a rich sound quality, thanks to the integrated JBL stereo speakers. Our intuitive iOS and Android apps offer seamless control of both light and sound while listening to your favourite music or media. Customise your light and music to suit your needs and current mood. If you’ve ever changed a light bulb before then you’ll have no issues installing the Sengeled Pulse Solo.
Do not install it on a dimmer switch or circuit, but besides that, it’s as easy as can be. The only issue you might run into is if it will fit due to its size as I pointed out above. After installing the bulb the light will come on right away and you can pair it immediately to your phone using Bluetooth. From there you can start hearing music from Google Play Music, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, and more. If you can play it on your phone you can hear it through the speaker. Controlling the light takes a separate app that you must download for your Android or iOS device. From here you simply choose which product you want to control, in our case the Pulse Solo and you’re ready to go. You can control the brightness of the bulb, turn it on or off, and control the volume of the speaker. The volume can also be controlled using the volume rocker on your phone. This bulb does offer wireless control with an app, it is not compatible with Amazon Echo or Google Home. You will be restricted to using the app alone to control it. The light itself is a pleasing warm yellow colour and is energy efficient using up to 9.5W of power, or up to 12.5W when the speaker is in use. It is equivalent to a 40W incandescent bulb, and you are able to dim the light to your chosen level. The bulb cannot change colour in any way if that’s something that’s important to you.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Fedora Available to Raspberry Pi 2 and 3: How to install Guide


This article comes courtesy of Peter Robinson, member of the Fedora release engineering team. Peter has worked for several years on the general release and also hardware architectures such as ARM and Power. Here, Peter announces some big news for Raspberry Pi hackers.

So support for the Raspberry Pi in Fedora has been a long time coming and yes, it’s FINALLY here with support landing just in time for Beta!
The most asked question I’ve had for a number of years is around support of the Raspberry Pi. It’s also something I’ve been working towards for a very long time on my own time. The eagle-eye watchers would have noticed we almost got there with Fedora 24, but I got pipped at the post because I felt it wasn’t quite good enough yet. There were too many minor issues around ease of use.

Why has it taken so long?

Basically it comes down to four things:
  1. Decent upstream kernel/userspace hardware support without binary drivers.
  2. Firmware redistribution.
  3. The ability to be able to support it in Fedora ARM without adding vast extra workload to the small group supporting/QAing Fedora.
  4. Time — It’s been a pet project, but like many things, it’s relied upon getting open drivers done, and kernel support upstream. All of this has been out of our hands and takes time.

What’s supported?

We support everything you’d expect from a device supported by Fedora. We have a proper Fedora supported upstream userspace and kernel, with all the standard Fedora features like SELinux support. It receives the usual array of updates so no need to exclude kernel updates! The kernel supports all the drivers you’d expect, like various USB WiFi dongles, etc. You can run whichever desktop you like (more on those below) or Docker/Kubernetes/Ceph/Gluster as a group of devices — albeit it slowly over a single shared USB bus!

Raspberry Pi 2

The hardware support here is pretty good. I’ve been testing a minimal install, Workstation, and XFCE. We have the usual MMC/USB/network, as well as fully accelerated graphics with an open driver, as well as lot of the other on board hardware. You’ll want to invest in a good quality Class 10 micro SD card, though, for best results.

Raspberry Pi 3

The hardware support here is very similar to that of the Raspberry Pi2 in terms of standard device support. We don’t currently support the onboard WiFi/Bluetooth, so at the moment it’s a faster version of the RPi2. We’re working to enable the WiFi soon, now the firmware is able to be distributed. There’s a few other quirks documented well in the upstream Raspberry Pi3 support summary here.
We currently only support this as a ARMv7 device like the upstream Raspberry Pi Foundation. I realize that aarch64 support is now upstream. We’ll eventually support it too, but there’s quite a bit of extra work to support it well. Given the Raspberry Pi3 has a limitation of 1Gb RAM, the 64 bit support provides less advantage than a single set of images to support both devices.

What’s not supported (yet!)

The state of various components, such as WiFi, sound, media decode, and HAT support, is well documented in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the Fedora Raspberry Pi wiki here, with lots of detail. It’ll be updated as the status of various components change.

What will never be supported

Basically this is purely the old ARMv6 Raspberry Pis. This currently includes the Zero, Model A, older “v1” Raspberry Pi model B, and the current generation “compute module.” For these, use Pignus (note I’ve not tested it).
We’ll support the announced newer compute 3 module when it’s available. Similarly any new future device support will be reviewed as information becomes available.

Getting started

So enough of me dribbling on here you say? Just GET IT WORKING NOW!! Well here you go….
There detailed options for setting up a SD card for Linux, Windows and MacOS detailed on the Fedora Raspberry Pi wiki page. Details of the latest images are there too but you can get Fedora 25 Beta images for WorkstationServer and various Spins and Minimal image directly.
To write the image to the card you can use a terminal with the following command. Remember to use the correct /dev/XXX for your card and to update the image name!
xzcat Fedora-IMAGE-NAME.raw.xz | sudo dd status=progress bs=4M of=/dev/XXX
There’s other options documented in the wiki. You’ll also have to resize the root filesystem (we shrink it to minimise the download). The easiest way to do this is with gparted before you plug it into your Raspberry Pi.
On the first boot you’ll get presented with the standard initial setup to create a user. Similar to the LiveCDs on x86 we don’t have default users and passwords due to security.

Getting help

So where can you get help if it’s not working? The usual Fedora support forums are:

Augmented Reality in the Automobile Industry: Mixed reality displays for cars invented by Alibaba


Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s expansion into new markets is taking it into many different areas including augmented reality and cars. 
Last year With the Chinese ecommerce giant rolling out its first internet-enabled car with SAIC Motor Corp. in July, it’s now making an investment in a startup that makes AR navigation systems for vehicle.
 Alibaba is digging deeper into the automobile industry. The Chinese Internet and e-commerce behemoth is the lead investor in smart car tech developer WayRay’s $18 million Series B round, the startup announced.
Founded in 2012, WayRay makes holographic navigation systems. According to its funding announcement, WayRay has already spent $10 million of its own capital, as well as previous venture funding, on the technology that underpins Navion, an augmented-reality dashboard that overlays directions and other information onto a driver’s view of the road. The company plans to launch a consumer version of Navion in 2017.
In a prepared statement, Alibaba Group’s senior investment director, Ethan Xie, said, “We believe there is huge potential in the development of leading-edge technology like augmented reality and its application to various industries, like WayRay’s AR navigation system in the auto sector. The potential of augmented reality makes it an exciting and promising area.”
Alibaba made its debut in the car industry last summer, when the RX5, a smart car it developed with SAIC (one of China’s “big four” state-owned auto manufacturers—opened for pre-orders. The RX5 uses Alibaba’s Yun operating system and the company hopes to make the vehicle part of an Internet-of-Things ecosystem that will include its other smart hardware and Internet services like Alipay.
But Alibaba’s smart cars are already up against rivals from other big Chinese tech companies like LeEco, which bills its electric car LeSee as “the first mobility ecosystem on wheels,” and Baidu, which is developing smart car technology and autonomous vehicles with BAIC, another of China’s big four state-owned automakers.
WayRay also said that it will partner with Banma Technologies—a joint venture between Alibaba Group and SAIC—to create an augmented-reality navigation and entertainment system for a car that will be launched by Banma in 2018. WayRay claims that this is “the world’s first vehicle in-production with a holographic AR head-up display.”

Windows 10 IoT Core platform, Microsoft Surports Open Source Arduino hardware


 Arduino, a favourite programming language of IoT developers all over the world has been recently announced by Microsoft to be part of the programming platforms for the  Windows 10 IoT Core with its Arduino wiring. The Arduino wiring is now part of the numerous choices of the languages for the Windows 10 IoT Core with other programming options which includes C#, C++, Visual Basic, JavaScript, Python and Node.js.
On an IoT Core device, an Arduino Wiring sketch runs as a background application (headless); i.e. there is no UI visible on an attached monitor. This is similar to running a sketch on an Arduino device such as the Arduino Uno for example. However, you can still debug the sketch as you would any other app under Visual Studio by inserting breakpoints and/or stepping through the code. Additionally, to enable verbose output logging, Serial.print() and Serial.println() have been updated to send their output to Visual Studio’s debug pane when the sketch is running under the debugger (the output will also be sent to the serial pins). The Log() function can be used to output to debug as well. 
Adding Arduino to the available languages gives developers using Windows 10 IoT Core as their main platform more language options and access to more devices and their controllers. 
For many Arduino Wiring sketches, simply copying the source code from the existing one to a new Arduino Wiring project in Visual Studio editor and replacing the pin numbers with the ones on your device would suffice.
Arduino sketches runtime behavior on IoT Core devices is similar to other Arduino devices, with every function implemented to work the same way when interacting with the various controllers. However, Arduino Wiring sketches are also Windows Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps and thus can be extended to call any UWP APIs such as networking, storage, Bluetooth, media, security and others; for example, you can communicate with Bluetooth devices, connect to Wi-Fi network or even create a OneNote app using Arduino Wiring.
Additionally, you can wrap your sketch inside a WinRT library and use it in any UWP app, including UI apps. Building Arduino Wiring Libraries guide details the steps needed to create Arduino Wiring based libraries. Adding Arduino support  to Microsoft windows gives developers another option and gives Windows 10 IoT Core an edge on the corroboration in the open source IoT platform.

Internet of Things with Arduino Blueprints (Book)


Arduino is a small single-chip computer board that can be used for a wide variety of creative hardware projects. The hardware consists of a simple microcontroller, board, and chipset. It comes with a Java-based IDE to allow creators to program the board. Arduino is the ideal open hardware platform for experimenting with the world of the Internet of Things. This credit card sized Arduino board can be used via the Internet to make more useful and interactive Internet of things projects.
Internet of Things with Arduino Blueprints is a project-based book that begins with projects based on IoT and cloud computing concepts. This book covers up to eight projects that will allow devices to communicate with each other, access information over the Internet, store and retrieve data, and interact with users—creating smart, pervasive, and always-connected environments. It explains how wired and wireless Internet connections can be used with projects and the use of various sensors and actuators. The main aim of this book is to teach you how Arduino can be used for Internet-related projects so that users are able to control actuators, gather data from various kinds of sensors, and send and receive data wirelessly across HTTP and TCP protocols.
Finally, you can use these projects as blueprints for many other IoT projects and put them to good use. By the end of the book, you will be an expert in the use of IoT with Arduino to develop a set of projects that can relate very well to IoT applications in the real world.

IoT and Problems: Security Threats from the Internet of Things

Security experts say we're creating an Internet that senses, thinks, and acts, which is is the classic definition of a robot. “I contend that we're building a world-sized robot without even realising it,” an expert said recently at the Open Source Leadership Summit (OSLS).

One expert explained this idea of a world-sized robot, created out of the Internet, that has no single consciousness, no single goal, and no single creator. You can think of it, he says, as an Internet that affects the world in a direct physical manner. This means Internet security becomes everything security.


And, as the Internet physically affects our world, the threats become greater. “It’s the same computers, it could be the same operating systems, the same apps, the same vulnerability, but there’s a fundamental difference between when your spreadsheet crashes, and you lose your data, and when your car crashes and you lose your life,” said an expert.


Things, persistent computing, and autonomy are resulting in something different." What are some of the new threats resulting from this different reality?


The new threats are the same as the old threats, just ratcheted up. Ubiquitous surveillance becomes even more pervasive as more systems can do it. Malicious actions become even more serious when they can be performed autonomously by computer systems.

Our data continues to move even further out of our control, as more processing and storage migrates to the cloud. And our dependence on these systems continues to increase, as we use them for more critical applications and never turn them off. The primary worry, though, is the emergent properties that will arise from these fundamental changes in how we use computers -- things we can't predict or prepare for.

What are some of the new security and privacy risks specifically associated with IoT?

The Internet of Things is fundamentally changing how computers get incorporated into our lives. Through the sensors, we're giving the Internet eyes and ears. Through the actuators, we're giving the Internet hands and feet. Through the processing -- mostly in the cloud -- we're giving the Internet a brain.


We have lots of experience with the old security and privacy threats. The new ones revolve around an Internet that can affect the world in a direct physical manner, and can do so autonomously. This is not something we've experienced before.

What past lessons are most relevant in managing these new threats?

As computers permeate everything, what we know about computer and network security will become relevant to everything. This includes the risks of poorly written software, the inherent dangers that arise from extensible computer systems, the problems of complexity, and the vulnerabilities that arise from interconnections. But most importantly, computer systems fail differently than traditional machines. The auto industry knows all about how traditional cars fail, and has all sorts of metrics to predict rates of failure. Cars with computers can have a completely different failure mode: one where they all work fine, until one day none of them work at all.

What will be most effective in mitigating these threats in the future?

There are two parts to any solution: a technical part and a policy part. Many companies are working on technologies to mitigate these threats: secure IoT building blocks, security systems that assume the presence of malicious IoT devices on a network, ways to limit catastrophic effects of vulnerabilities.

There are over 20 IoT-security best-practices documents from various organisations. But the primary barriers here are economic; these low-cost devices just don't have the dedicated security teams and patching/upgrade paths that our phones and computers do. This is why we also need regulation to force IoT companies to take security seriously from the beginning. I know regulation is a dirty word in our industry, but when people start dying, governments will take action. I see it as a choice not between government regulation and no government regulation, but between smart government regulation and stupid government regulation.


What can individuals do to make a difference?


At this point, there isn't much. We can choose to opt out: not buy the Internet-connected thermostat or refrigerator. But this is increasingly hard. Smartphones are essential to being a fully functioning person in the 21st century. New cars come with Internet connections. Everyone is using the cloud. We can try to demand security from the products and services we buy and use, but unless we're part of a mass movement, we'll just be ignored. We need to make this a political issue, and demand a policy solution. Without that, corporations will act in their own self-interest to the detriment of us all. 

Developers and users of IoT products  in general should consider all the reviewed concepts as IoT becomes the next generation of the internet which is the web 3.0.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Open Source Virtual Reality Full-Body Tracking For Vive Coming from HTC



HTC Vive both at the Mobile World Congress and Game Developers Conference was hands-on with the HTC Vive’s Tracker peripheral once more, and one of the best uses for it we saw was to enable full-body tracking in VR.
With three Trackers attached to our feet and waist, we walked around Cloudgate Studios’ Island 359 with a pretty accurate representation of where our bodies were in VR. We were able to kick dinosaurs in the face, opening up a new means of control and sense of presence. This particular system was created by Cloudgate itself, but will other developers be able to benefit from this type of tracking?
HTC says a separate version of full-body tracking they are working on will be shared with developers.
Speaking to UploadVR at MWC, Alvin Graylin, President of Vive in China, said that HTC had been working on a “similar system” for full body tracking in its China research lab, and would be open sourcing it for all developers to implement into their experiences for free.
The key to this system, as Graylin explained, is that it’s entirely optional. Island 359, for example, is still entirely playable with just two Vive controllers. You don’t need the Trackers to be able to experience the game but, if you do, you’ll have a more immersive experience. If the system is easy to implement and other developers catch on then this could be the biggest selling point for the Tracker, which is unexpected given its original pitch was to attach it to other objects, not yourself.
This system could also be hugely important to games like shooters. Currently, games like SUPERHOT VR (not on Vive) give you an invisible avatar, save for your hands, which can make it tricky to avoid bullets. Giving you a visible torso could help make those experiences a little easier to understand. Then there are the potential applications for more accessible VR film making and more.
Vive’s Tracker will be available to order for developers later this month for $99.99, and will be going on sale to the public for the same price later this year. Along with full body tracking, you can expect to use it to shoot guns, fight fires, and even play with friends.
(UploadVr)

How to Escape Google: Linux Format Issue 221 March 2017


Escape Google and reclaim your cloud! We look at how you can build your own cloud network using the best open source tools and services. Dump insecure, untrusted proprietary services for open source alternatives. Take back your data and secure it in your own cloud. From email and messaging to document collaboration and file sharing open source offers the best solutions.
I2p - better than TOR!
Laptop tips - get the most from Linux on your laptop
Dual-boot it! - create an easy dual-boot system
Discover CentOS - dive into the serious server distro
MicroPython - Run Python on the BBC micro:bit
Pi Voice - talk to your Raspberry Pi
Allen Samuels - The creator of the Ceph distributed storage solution
The ‘other’ kernel - We test a host of BSD distros
Total War: Warhammer - WAR comes to Linux gaming!
Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti - is this budget gaming card you’ve been looking for?
http://www.linuxformat.com for details.

Newschatta a made in Nigeria chatbot launched by BBC



British public service broadcaster, BBC has finally announced the launch of the news chatbot developed by Nigerian developers during its Digital Innovation Programme in Lagos, Nigeria.
Last year, the BBC hosted a workshop in Lagos to generate ideas for digital tools and products that better distribute BBC News to African audiences and increase the reach in ways that are relevant to these markets.
Four teams were thereafter shortlisted by a judging panel, and after further submitting a detailed plan and undergoing a Q&A session with BBC experts, two teams –
Codulab and Timerail – were selected for the next stage.
Both teams built their ideas into pilots throughout last year. Further details on the pilots were to be announced later last year but that didn’t happen.
The good news now is BBC has finally launched Codulab’s pilot: a news chatbot called BBC Newschatta.
The chatbot is a mobile phone based service which generates news stories based on the users’ input, using keywords and topics to send relevant news stories to them via the WeChat Messenger app.
“Newschatta is a chatbot that provides news content in a more personalised manner to young people across Africa. The aim is to deliver the latest news contents to users in a timely and interesting way that fits into the users’ current daily digital routines,” said Stanley Ojadovwa, Product Developer at Codulab, a Lagos-based technology company.
Newschatta is targeted at young people in Africa aged between 16 and 34, living in urban areas. This demographic’s mobile phone usage for things such as calls, emailing, banking, playing games and reading news, is pretty high.
The news chatbot can now be accessed worldwide via WeChat Messenger. Its launch continues the BBC’s investment in digital innovation across Africa, and joins other successful African-designed digital pilots, BBC Drop and BBC Minute CatchUp .
The other Lagos pilot, Timerail, is still a work in progress. Its user experience was designed by Nigerian company, Isoventurian. A working prototype is expected later this year.
Image Credit: BBC.

More drones in Nigeria as Lagos State Government to use LASPOTECH’s drones for aerial security surveillance


The Lagos State Government is set to use drones built by the staff and students of Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) to effectively carry out aerial security surveillance across the State.
This was revealed by Governor
Akinwunmi Ambode while speaking at the 25th Convocation Ceremony of the institution held at the main campus in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The drones are being built by Arts and Design, and Engineering Students and staff in partnership with the International College of Aeronautics and Aviation Studies, according to reports .
“We have partnered the International College of Aeronautic and Aviation Studies to produce drones capable of securing the institution’s campus and the State,” said Mr Samuel Sogunro, the institution’s Rector.
He added, “If you go there now, you will see them constructing the drones. We can see the process that really, it is being built here. It is a partnership thing and our students, staff and some departments are involved in the production.”
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode further stated his Government would do everything within its power to promote and fund the drone project as a way of encouraging those involved.
Although the Government has spent a lot to improve the security situation in the State, crimes and other vices are commonplace. The need to find other methods to effectively combat crimes cannot be overemphasized.
As such, it’s highly commendable the Government is employing drones for this purpose. Drones are more affordable, easy to operate and can cover more grounds. If used effectively by security agencies, crimes may be on the decrease in the State.
It is another way of getting more drones to operate in Nigeria to increase the use of more open sourced projects by the government and institutions. LASPOTECH is now in the forefront of institutional drone use in Nigeria making them really an innovation centre.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Softbank’s Masayoshi Son can help in Lagos or Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund acts techie Deals


Imagine if we can experience this type of energetic deals in Nigeria. Possibly, recession will be history by now.
Softbank is poised to sell 25 percent of ARM — roughly $8 billion — to a new, Saudi-backed $100 billion investment fund, the Financial Times has reported. The Japanese shelled out $32 billion to purchased ARM only six months ago.
The move is likely to guarantee greater influence for Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi state-backed investment group, in the global semiconductor industry. Mubadala, which owns 100 percent of Globalfoundries, reportedly wanted the $100 billion Vision Fund to own a portion of ARM.
$100 billion Vision Fund
Japan’s Softbank announced last fall an ambitious plan to create the Softbank Vision Fund — a financial vehicle that would allow CEO Masayoshi Son to invest in the technology sector globally. The Fund, set up to raise $100 billion, aims to become “ one of the world’s largest of its kind,” said Softbank last year.
While Softbank expects to pump at least $25 billion into the fund over the next 5 years, its biggest investor is Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which last year committed to contribute up to $45 billion.
My Son, our Abuja airport is closed, but the Lagos one is open. We need this type of deal making. We do hope he could get the Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund to begin to see technology as an industry it could pump capital even as it invests in infrastructure.
Sure, it is likely that Nigerian startups may not have the scale Son requires, but we could get him to do a pivot. The telecoms sector is decent enough. There is need to have someone who could be a deal-maker like him to show interests in Nigeria.
How can you get Saudi Arabia to invest in Nigeria? You need someone who is a mad genius in making deals and winning. And if we have 2-3 of such, the country will be transformed.
Tekedia media

As iflix arrives Nigeria, iROKOtv the Netflix of Africa must match iflix telco-driven distribution model.


This video streaming service market is getting more competitive and Africa seems to be an interesting destination.
Iflix, a video streaming service with customers mostly in Southeast Asia, raised US$90m in a round led by Liberty Global and Zain. It plans to take on Netflix and Naspers, which owns ShowMax, in Africa and the Middle East, Techcentral reports.
Iflix is promising a lower-cost alternative video-on-demand service and will be launched in Nigeria by June. This is likely to put it on a collision course with the Naspers-owned ShowMax, with also focuses on emerging markets.
Iflix offers customers in nine countries a mix of Hollywood fare like the film Iron Man and TV series Homeland along with local programming for a monthly subscription fee. The company has signed up more than 5 million customers — more than analysts estimate Netflix, the world’s largest paid video service, has in Southeast Asia.
The partnership with Zain mirrors how Iflix has grown in Southeast Asia. The company has relied on telecoms providers to sell Iflix on top of their phone packages. That way, Iflix doesn’t have to spend much money recruiting customers, and mobile providers can use Iflix to keep customers from defecting to rival carriers.
For Nigeria VOD pioneer, iROKOtv, iflix arrival will be a competitive challenge. If iflix succeeds is convincing one of the big telcos like MTN, Airtel, Glo or Etisalat to carry its contents, it could be a huge blow to iROKOtv. The reality is that the biggest challenge in the industry is broadband costs and if the telco-led model is replicated in Nigeria, by iflix, they will have more success.
Of course, there is an issue of contents which iROKOtv remains the undisputed leader in Nigeria. It has the largest collection of Nigerian Nollywood movies. But do not bank on that. One can have hundreds of Nollywood movies with a budget of $1 million. So iflix can build that business if it sees it as a growth area.
Generally, the competition in emerging markets is ratcheting up. Amazon.com extended its video service to the rest of the world late last year, while Netflix added a feature so people living in countries with inconsistent broadband Internet can download shows to watch later.
As the cost of broadband continues to crash, we expect this market to continue to grow, at least in the number of participants. That will bring cost down and help forge partnerships that will make it economical to watch movies online.
Every local company in this sector should note that the VOD competitive space is international in scope. This is a global business and Nigeria is right at the center right now.

Etisalat Saved by CBN and NCC over N541.8bn Loan:



Etisalat, Nigeria’s most innovative and customer friendly telecommunications company, would have been taken over by Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank, and a consortium of foreign banks last week, over unpaid loan, according to reports.
The telco got a loan totalling US$1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) from the banks in 2015 for a major network rehabilitation and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria.
While the loan has been used for its purpose, the company failed to service it last year as agreed. This didn’t go down well with the banks, who reported the matter to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
The banks have been trying to get Etisalat to fulfill its obligation but all to no avail. The Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, has also been on their neck over the non-performing loans.
Since is doesn’t look like Etisalat will do the needful anytime soon, the banks had decided to take over the company and oversee its operations, according to the report .
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the Friday meeting last week have got reprieve for Etisalat on the loan default crisis facing the company. CBN and NCC were able to secure for Etisalat, the necessary “oxygen” to enable it continue to meet urgent operational expenses.
Tony Ojobo , the Director of Public Affairs of NCC said that CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele who chaired the meeting, was firm in declaring what needed to be done by both parties towards a quick resolution.
He said that NCC equally made it clear that everything necessary must be done to protect Etisalat subscribers.
The director said that there was also need for protection of the telecom industry to prevent potential investors from developing cold feet.
According to him, effort has been made to ensure that Etisalat remains in business while the consortium of banks meet their obligations to their customers.
“A meeting will hold on March 16 to agree on a payment restructuring path going forward. The NCC will lead the CBN in a possible crucial meeting with Etisalat’s shareholders anytime soon,” he said.
On March 8, there was an attempt by a consortium of banks to take over Etisalat, because of its N541.8 billion debt.
A consortium of some foreign and Nigerian banks, including Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank , have been having a running battle with the mobile telephone operator over a loan facility totalling $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) obtained in 2015.
The banks said their attempt to recover the loan by all means, was fuelled by the pressure from the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) , demanding immediate cut down on the rate of their non-performing loans.
NCC appears not to be favourably disposed to the takeover proposal; as it believed that Etisalat is not only a viable going concern, but also willing and able to negotiate the servicing of its loans.
Etisalat is Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunications operator with about 21 million subscribers as at January 2017.
It commenced business in Nigeria in 2009.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Germany Embedded World 2017


Here is what to expect from National Instruments on the Embedded World 2017 Conference this March.
1. Time-Sensitive Networks (TSN)
One of the biggest trends in industrial embedded today is the new Ethernet standard Time-Sensitive Networks (TSN). Industrial suppliers, IT vendors, and silicon providers are collaborating within
IEEE 802 and the recently-formed
AVnu Alliance to update standard Ethernet protocols and provide bounded, low-latency data transfer for time-critical data in IIoT applications.
We’re also heavily invested in TSN and will show the potential of it in
hall 1 as well as in a joint presentation with Intel. In this presentation, Avnu Alliance members will present an overview of the TSN standards and how they fit into an overall system architecture – and show examples of systems architectures for meeting the requirements of industrial applications and systems. These architectures will include:
How the system is configured
How time is synchronized across the system (including discrete industrial TSN domains)
Discovery of the physical topology
Configuration of network infrastructure
Examples showing how TSN can provide a foundational support for multiple application protocols (including multiple in a single, converged system)
“Theory of Operations for TSN-based Industrial Systems and Applications” will take place at the conference 16 March 2017 from 09:30-10:00 .
2. New trends, specifically IIoT and Industrie 4.0
Embedded World is a magnet for new trends and applications, especially around IIoT and Industrie 4.0 .
I’m looking forward to another presentation at conference titled “Virtualization Methodology for Real Time Physical System Self Optimization.” Together with Xilinx, we’ll discuss a self-optimizing system methodology utilizing a virtual representation to control and optimize the performance and operating characteristics of a physical industrial system – focusing on using programmable technology to model and run system control algorithms while simultaneously running the actual system.
Parameters determined through virtualized operation and actual system operation enable real-time optimizations of the control loop and other system characteristics. This architecture allows designers to combine, on the target, the control system with an embedded real-time digital twin model developed as part of the system design simulation.
The model monitors the real-time behavior of the system and responds appropriately to anomalies detected. The embedded real-time digital twin endows the control system with a predicted outcome for the system response, enabling self-optimization feedback mechanisms. Both the virtualization and the HW/SW architecture including a real world implementation example using this methodology will be discussed.
“Virtualization Methodology for Real Time Physical System Self Optimization” will take place at the conference 15 March 2017 from 16:00-16:30.
3. #Humblebrag: Our open tech platform for embedded, on display
I know I’m being self-promoting here, but bear with me – because we’ll have our open platform and ecosystem live, in action, in two Embedded World 2017 halls! And of course that’s on my list of things to see at the show.
In Hall 4 our focus will be on automotive, aerospace, energy and power electronics. Besides our own automotive HIL application our
Alliance Partners Konrad Technologies , SEA, SET, and IPG will be showcasing solutions based on our open platform.
We’ll also be in Hall 1, where you can learn more about the next evolution of the Ethernet standard (TSN) and find out what this means for your future applications. You can also experience a wide range of themes here, including “LabVIEW on ARM- and Intel-based embedded systems,” “Time-critical data for the IoT,” and “NI Linux Real-Time.”
Here’s where to find us at the conference: Hall 1, booth 652 and Hall 4, booth 108

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Nigerian Open Source Community and the way forward


Nigeria and Africa in general is a ripe land for extensive Linux deployment. We are a developing country with very little resource at our disposal.
Though some of us have been able to lay our hands on some of the open source hardwares like Arduino, Parallela, the Raspberry pi and perhaps other few.
Given this little resource, it should be judiciously used to increase our economic growth . Societies with high level of human development(skilled worker) are also highly economically developed. An average person in Europe, Asia And North America, use computer and the Internet,this had lead to an increased productivity.
Relying on propriety software will be too expensive for us and to avoid issue with piracy, I advocate using free and open source software. This will save us a lot of money and might even make money for us.
I have being using Linux for about five years now and I know its very stable, secure, fast and above all has saved me a lot of money . The Top Open source application I use at home are:
1. OpenOffice (an Office package similar to Microsoft Office Packages)
2. Firefox / Chrome
3. Gimp (similar to photoshop)
4. Pidgin (Internet chat client)
5. Mplayer (Media player)
6. VLC (Media Player)

Nigerian Linux distro WAZOBIA LINUX No Hope so far


The Wazobia Linux is a Nigerian commercial distribution based on Red Hat Linux.

Developed by Leapsoft Ltd Nigeria, the product includes a user-friendly operating system, together with a complete set of desktop applications, such as office suite, web browser, instant messaging client, multimedia viewers, and graphical software. It also offers the latest open source applications for developing software, setting up a home network, running a web server, and more. The product, which includes installation media, printed documentation and installation support, is currently available in Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo as well as English, with ongoing translations into other African languages.
But as of the time of writing this post it actually seems the project has been discontinued. We may try to find out more about the project and why it couldn't be achieved and what we can do to bring it to life.

KADUNA AIRPORT BOOMS AS ETHIOPIAN AIRLINE LANDS KADUNA ON MARCH 9 2017


The Kaduna International Airport yesterday sprang to life as unprecedented number of commercial flights landed and took off on the first day of flight diversion from Abuja.
Abuja's Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was shut down midnight Tuesday for major repairs that will last six weeks.
It took the federal government over two months to raise the level of facilities at the Kaduna airport in order to take over Abuja's responsibilities.
The airport which usually receives local flights of not more than a hundred passengers a day yesterday hosted several international flights.
The car park was unusually filled to capacity making some drivers park their vehicles on the curbs.
Our correspondent observed that airport officials, aviation workers, representatives of businesses, newsmen, and security personnel arrived at the airport as early as 8:00 am.
Security and other paramilitary outfits controlling traffic manned strategic points in Kaduna right up to the airport to make for easy movement of traffic.
By around 9:00 am, the usually sleepy terminal was bursting with human traffic as men and women of various agencies in the aviation made to welcome the first international flight to the airport.
The Ethiopian Air B787 with over 50 passengers on-board and crew members landed at 11.30 am.
The Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika with aviation agencies' heads were on ground to receive them.
Ethiopian Air, a member of the Star Alliance, was treated to a ceremonial shower by the Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) fire service department on arrival at the airport.
By 11:45am, Azman Air also touched down as well from Lagos, Nigeria. The aircraft flew in from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopian Air is the only foreign airline that had agreed to fly to Kaduna.
The captain of Ethiopian Air told the minister of state, Aviation Sen. Hadi Sirika that the runway was perfect and the instrument landing system (ILS) was great.
The Minister later told reporters he was satisfied with the work at the Kaduna airport.
Source: Daily Trust

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

VR AVAILABLE IN CNN WEBSITE AND MOBILE APPS WITH 360 VIDEOS


CNN made a big push into virtual reality and immersive journalism Tuesday by adding 360 videos to its Android and iOS apps as well as its website. The news network also officially announced its CNNVR unit, which has correspondents in 12 cities around the world.
The team is being led by CNN VP Jason Farkas, who told Variety that he sees this as the next big content push after TV and digital. “We are adding a third layer, which is VR,” he said.
CNN has been quietly experimenting with 360 video over the past couple of months, primarily publishing clips on Facebook 360. One of these reports, which took viewers into the Syrian city of Aleppo , generated more than five million views. On average, CNN’s 360 videos have clocked more than one million views, according to Farkas.
The network has been training correspondents in cities like New York, London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Dubai, Johannesburg, Tokyo, and Beijing to produce these reports. Farkas said that 360 video has worked out great for stories that can benefit from presence. “Some of these stories, you gotta be there.”
He also argued that the medium allows for more empathy than traditional video. “That’s what all journalists want to do — to leave a lasting impact,” Farkas said.
On Tuesday, CNN published a new 360 video story about the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. In the coming days, the news network is going to use the medium to take viewers into an operating room to visit the separation of conjoined twins, as well as onbto a glacier. “We are trying to give you access to places that are incredibly rare,” Farkas said.
CNN also recently launched a VR app on Google’s Daydream headset, and Farkas said that the network is looking to launch similar apps on other headsets as well. The CNNVR unit also has plans to experiment with augmented reality, and CNN plans to increasingly stream events live in 360.
Source http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/cnn-360-vr-cnnvr-1202003703/

WHY VR AR AND MR MIGHT NOT BE GOOD TO YOUR BRAIN


In the past decade, technology has made massive steps forward in the areas of mobile technology and social integration. VR or Virtual Reality, AR or Augmented Reality and MR as Mixed Realty are just the the terms used in trying to make you forget about what reality is. With the easy accessibility of social media, many people seem to disconnect from the world around them, which can be a danger to themselves and others. This type of disconnect from reality has the potential to reach new and dangerous heights with the use of virtual reality (VR). These advances, even though they seem positive, could prove to be harmful in the long run and could cause irreparable damage.
VR technologies are already being produced in the form of the Oculus Rift. Essentially, Oculus Rift is a pair of goggles that will allow the user to experience something entirely apart from his or her actual surroundings. Facebook purchased this highly anticipated VR platform last March and plans “to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences,” according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on the social network. In addition to using the Oculus Rift for social media purposes, Facebook is planning on further developing the technology for video games. Despite the ambitious plans for Oculus, there are a number of risks associated with the adoption of VR technologies.
The first big danger is disconnection from the real world. Even today, many people find themselves so immersed in social media and video games that they lose touch with reality. Two of the most notable cases reported by Time magazine occurred in South Korea, where multiple deaths have been reported as a direct result of excessive gaming. The first incident involved a 3-month-old child who starved to death while the parents were caring for an in-game child. The second death was that of a 22-year-old man who went into cardiac arrest after playing the popular game StarCraft for 50 hours straight in 2005. Technology like the Oculus Rift that immerses players even deeper into the game will likely increase this trend of excessive gaming and video game addiction.
The American Academy of Neurology has found a strong connection between video games and the release of dopamine, a chemical that causes pleasure, in the brain. This chemical release is very similar to that of both gambling and drug addiction and is triggered by the sense of accomplishment players feel after completing short tasks in video games. This form of addiction is most likely to occur in young adults and teens because the frontal lobes of the brain – the parts that are responsible for weighing consequences and making decisions – have not yet fully developed. With the addition of the Oculus Rift, the rewards can seem more real to the player and therefore cause a greater release of dopamine.
The American Academy of Neurology mentions not only the health risks that excessive gaming can cause, but also the risks to socialization and personal relationships. An article written for Neurology Now uses the example of Anthony Rosner, who became so involved with World of Warcraft, spending 18 hours or more per day on the game, that he nearly missed out on college. While this is an extreme case, more typical addicted gamers tend to lose interest in other activities and remove themselves from other people in the real world.
Despite the negative effects that virtual reality can bring to video gamers, there are positive uses for the technology. For example, the Oculus Rift could be used to train pilots in crash procedure without the danger of actually crashing a plane. This type of simulation could also be used for law enforcement or other fi rst response workers. Athletes could use virtual reality for realistic training programs outside of team practices. Finally, virtual reality can allow people to experience activities that they would not be able to otherwise.
As the Oculus Rift is developed further, the focus of this technology should not be the general public but rather the people who face potentially deadly situations in their professional lives. The growing trend of video game addiction will only escalate with the introduction of VR technology in games. If the Oculus Rift is released to the public as a vehicle for video game delivery, players should be careful of how much time they spend using the system and be aware of the signs of video game addiction.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

THE OFFICIAL PRICE OF THE NIGERIAN STANDARD 32 PAGES PASSPORT


I am very sure so many Nigerians  living in Nigeria who wish to travel  abroad or are required to present their international passports for official identity verification as the case may be for do not know the OFFICIAL price of the document as at the time of writing this post . These individuals do not really know the price alone, but where and how to get this important document for the first time.
There are many kinds of international passports offered by the Nigerian Immigration to Nigerians but we are going to talk about the regular passport which is the 32 pages standard electronic passport. 
The prices are as follows; N17,500 for adults aged 18 to 60 years of age Seventen thousand five hundred naira only for adult applicants between the age of 18 to 60 years.
For minors and Seniors that is the applicants bellow 18 years and the ones above 60 years their own price for the same passport is N11,300 Eleven thousand three hundred naira.
But remember that's the OFFICIAL prices, 
The actual price of getting this passport is between N24,000 to N35,000 for minors and seniors and N27,000 to N40,000 for adults aged 18 to 60 years depending the state, the immigration office and immigration officer you happen to meet. Also it takes between a week and several months to get the passport because some times there is always "No Material" according to the officers. Thank you.


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