Here’s why you should be concerned about the latest Android flaw.!

SUMMARY:
The vulnerability could allow data theft or the hijacking of a handset, it affects almost all Android devices, and it’s up to the manufacturer to push out a fix.
android

You may have seen reports out there about a serious flaw affecting almost all Android handsets. But, assuming you’re packing one of said devices, how worried should you be?

If you’re in a hurry, here’s the short answer: quite worried, especially if you have an older Android phone. If you have time for the explanation, here it is.

Who announced this flaw?

That would be Bluebox Security, a new mobile security startup that’s supposedly in stealth mode.

This isn’t just a publicity stunt, is it?

Probably not. Bluebox’s CTO is a chap called Jeff Forristal, who’s been involved the security scene for a decade or so. And this does appear to be a serious vulnerability – it affects any Android phone released in the last 4 years, which is around 99 percent of them.

So what does this vulnerability allow?

The flaw lies in the way Android app packages – APK files – are verified as secure. It allows the code of these files to be altered in secret. If the app in question comes from the device manufacturer or a trusted partner, it will probably come with privileged access to the device. This raises the possibility of “Trojan” apps that can gain full access to the Android system and to other apps.

This means such Trojans could steal information or take over aspects of the device, or even make the handset part of a wider botnet without the user knowing about it.

Sounds bad. What’s being done about it?

In line with good security research procedures, Bluebox quietly disclosed the flaw to Google back in February. It’s listed as Android security bug 8219321. So Google, which is not openly commenting on Bluebox’s public disclosure, has had at least 4 months to get the word out to Android device manufacturers, who are the ones that are now expected to release firmware updates to fix the vulnerability.

Bluebox will also release proofs-of-concept of its exploit, for each device vendor, at the upcoming Blackhat USA 2013 security conference. According to Computerworld, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 has already been patched, so it is likely that manufacturers have quietly sprung into action.

Phew. So why the worry about older phones?

One of Android’s traditional problems is that many older devices don’t see updates anymore – the evolution of the operating system and the underlying hardware since the Froyo or Gingerbread versions, for example, has been so great that the manufacturers would rather you just buy a newer device.

This situation is changing – the evolution of phone processors is likely to hit a plateau after the leap to quad-core, and the next version of Android, Key Lime Pie, will reportedly cater for low-spec phones, so that older and cheaper devices are covered. However, it’s still down to the manufacturer to make sure the devices it sold 2 or 3 years back get patched.

Anything the user can do in the meantime?

The usual, really – be careful of where you download your apps from. Although Bluebox’s post suggests even the Play Store can be fooled by exploits of this flaw, it’s possible that Google’s beady eye is more observant than those who run third-party app stores. It may or may not be coincidental that Google banned Play Store apps from updating outside the Play Store update mechanisms a couple of months after Bluebox told it about the vulnerability.

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The Real Online Shopping Experience – BuyCommonThings.com

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Well where do i start and where do i stop? i guess its just a case of belief that services like BuyCommonthings.com will one day come to stay and well now as you read this, yeah i am now able to stay at the good comfort of my office while at work (but hey! i also do encourage that you take your work seriously, as not to be caught doing the wrong thing at the right time) well i suggest you do your shopping at your spare time, or you can equally do that even at home after close of work, of which i know that they also do willingly accept your order and will deliver at the right time.
well i simply had made up my mind that i will be going for a real time online shopping on BuyCommonThings.com and also have a great taste of how it feels having to do my shopping online and have them delivered to me F.O.C (Free of Charge), and straight i head over to http://www.buycommonthings.com and hey, one note of reminder just like you do make a shopping list of what you want to buy if you are to do the shopping i the traditional method, so also will i suggest you do same. well after having to take my time to go through the F.A.Q’s and also with regards to making / placing orders with regards to my area of residence, and having to find out that since i stay in a place where they deliver once a week (though this is due to the test delivery which they are conducting, and i believe they will be carrying out full weekly delivery once done) i found out that i had just hours before the deadline and having made my list i clicked on the sections and having added items to the carts and also having to make adjustments i simply clicked CHECKOUT and viola !!! …………….i got to the payment page where i selected CoD ( Cash on Delivery as my preferred option of payment, hey! my atm was short on cash as i would have simply done an online transfer). well i got all the mails needing me to confirm every details prior to delivery and WOW i simply was told that by 12-3pm the next day that my goods will be delivered.

i guess the anticipation and wait all set in and at the point where i had forgotten that i even placed an order (maybe they do have the spirit of santa claus working with them …*winks*…….lol) and there they where and with my bag of goodies. i simply cant believe it and even with the special visitor that accompanied it (hey! guess you are thinking, who can this be ? right !, well lets leave that for the angels to decide)

i just want to say right from day one when BuyCommonThings.com started operation i have been a DIE HARD FAN and will forever be. Thank you BuyCommonThings.com for really making my shopping experience to be really COMMONISTA & AWESOME

9 Health Benefits of Limes.

9 Health Benefits of LimesLimes are a citrus fruit. While the sour lime is the most common in the United States, there are also varieties of sweet limes. Lime juice is used in all types of food preparation (our favorite is in guacamole!) as well as in cocktails, skin creams, disinfectants, candies, oils, toothpastes and more. Limes were essential to maintaining the health of the British navy during the 19th century because their vitamin C content prevented scurvy. This is why British sailors are called Limeys. Here are 9 health benefits of limes:

Cancer Prevention
Limes contain limonoid, a compound believed to have anti-carcinogen effects. These compounds are thought to help prevent skin, mouth, stomach, breast, lung and other types of cancer. An article published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” noted that limonin has been proven to induce cancer cell death. Limes are also a potent source of antioxidants, particularly vitamin C. Antioxidants reduce the risk of cancer by preventing free radical damage to the cells and DNA. Limes may have anti-inflammatory properties that can slow the risk of chronic inflammation, another high risk factor for developing cancer.

High In Antioxidants
Limes are a great source of vitamin C and other phytonutrients and flavonoids with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are key in neutralizing free radical activity that damages the cells and DNA and can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and premature aging.

High In Vitamin C

Just a quarter cup of lime juice contains over 46% the DV of vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins and antioxidants in human health. It helps boost the immune system, supports heart health, wards off sickness and disease and protects the eyes from conditions like cataracts.

Antibiotic
One of the flavonoid compounds found in limes are believed to have powerful antibiotic properties. Studies in west Africa found that the daily addition of limes into the diet of villagers helped reduce the occurrence of cholera.

Immunity Booster
The vitamin C in limes helps to boost immunity and offer long term support for the immune system. It may help to prevent the flu and the common cold as well as reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory
Vitamin C and many of the other phytonutrient compounds in limes have anti-inflammatory effects. Limes may be useful in lowering the risk of conditions related to chronic inflammation like arthritis, asthma, and heart disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Prevention
A study of more than 20,000 people published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that subjects who consumed more vitamin C rich foods like limes were far less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis and related arthritic conditions. Subjects who ate the least amount of foods with vitamin C were three times more likely to develop arthritis.

Heart Health
Antioxidants like vitamin C are often associated with a reduced risk of heart attack and heart disease. Foods that have potent anti-inflammatory properties are also believed to help support the cardiovascular system.

Eye Health
Vitamin C is essential to the proper function of the eyes. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to cataracts and other eye conditions. Maintaining good vitamin C levels by eating citrus like limes and lime juice is a good way to maintain proper eye health.

Read more at http://www.healthdiaries.com/

‘Africa’s tallest building’ set for $10 billion tech city – Hope City.

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Right now, it’s nothing more than an empty plot of land, covered by just a few shrubs and the odd Neem tree. But within a few years, these grass plains just outside Accra, Ghana, could be transformed into a fertile breeding ground for world-class innovation.

The ambitious project is the brainchild of Ghanaian businessman Roland Agambire, head of local technology group RLG Communications. Smart and futuristic, the hub’s sustainable facilities will include an assembly plant for various tech products, business offices, an IT university and a hospital, as well as housing and recreation spaces, including restaurants, theaters and sports centers.

Construction is expected to begin by June 2013 and when completed — within three years, if everything goes as planned — the technology park could house 25,000 residents and create jobs for 50,000 people.

Agambire, one of Ghana’s top businessmen, says his company is financing 30% of the project, while the remainder will be funded by a wide array of investors and through a stock-buying scheme.

‘Africa’s highest tower’

Hope Cityywill be developed in an area of about 1.5 million square meters, located some 30 minutes west of Accra’s city center.

Designed by Italian firm Architect OBR, the technopolis will be made up of six towers of different dimensions, including a 75-story, 270 meter-high building that is expected to be the highest in Africa. A system of bridges at different heights will link the towers together, creating a circular connection between the buildings’ functions and public amenities.

OBR co-founder Paolo Brescia says the project’s goal is to create a living place of discovery and exploration that reflects the tradition and culture of local people in a contemporary urban setting.

‘ICT revolution’

The launch of Hope City comes just a few months after Kenya broke ground on its own flagship tech mega project; located some 60 kilometers southeast of the capital Nairobi, Konza Techno City is being touted as “Africa’s Silicon Savannah,” a major IT hub that aims to create some 100,000 jobs by 2030. “This city hopefully will bring the tech companies together and spark a new ICT revolution in Ghana,” she says, adding that the project could equip local techies with the necessary skills to develop apps that would solve community problems, as well as provide a platform for tech companies to find new talent and opportunities to invest in.

For Agambire, this is a project that will position Ghana at the forefront of African technology.

“Africa is hungry for development,” he says. “Want to make sure that in three years down the line, Hope City will be a reality and will be one of the biggest dreams that Africa has ever seen.”

BlackBerry Launchs Z10, at the US Today!!!

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As we await the formal launch of the blackberry Z10 in the united states of America today, what are your opinions and how do you think it would compete with other notable market forces of smartphones like Apple & Samsung.

read more at

8 Mistakes You Should Never Make On LinkedIn

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What do you do with your LinkedIn profile?

Do you check it only every once in a while when a connection request comes through? Have you linked it to your Twitter account? Did you never quite remember to sign up in the first place?

As much as it’s convenient to merge our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram accounts into one large social networking experience, LinkedIn has a special designation: professional networking.

And there is a difference between professional and personal networking, according to LinkedIn Career Expert Nicole Williams: “I see the same mistakes over and over!”

And, on LinkedIn, those faux pas can damage your career.

In fact, data shows that LinkedIn is especially helpful when it comes to landing higher-paying jobs—”informal recruitment” is a favorite of hiring managers aiming to fill positions up there on the payscale.

So whether you’re hunting for a new job, making the most of the one you have or just looking to learn about professional possibilities, avoid these eight big LinkedIn mistakes.

Not Using a Picture
“One of the biggest mistakes I see is no photo,” Williams says. “You’re seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have one. Like a house that’s on sale, the assumption is that if there’s no photo, something’s wrong.”

She also makes a great point: If you leave a networking event with a handful of business cards, intending to follow up on LinkedIn, it’s much harder for you to remember who’s who without pictures. A missing photo can easily lead to missed connections.

If you’re worried about unwittingly sabotaging your career through social media, check out the ten worst blunders you can commit.

Putting Up the Wrong Picture
“No dog, no husband, no baby!” Williams says, adding that your photo is meant to show you at your professional—not personal—best. “Especially for mothers getting back into the workforce, a picture of their child doesn’t convey that they’re ready for a full-time job.”

Another photo blunder: Misrepresenting your appearance. “I see older people who are worried about age discrimination use a photo of themselves in their 30s, but an interviewer wasn’t expecting them to look so different. And instead of listening to your answers, the interviewer will think you’re deceptive,” Williams confides. “Unless you’re getting hired for a modeling gig, people are just looking for energy, which you can communicate through great posture, open eyes and a smile.”

In fact, HSN Beauty found that, when paging through LinkedIn profiles, 19% of recruiters look only at your profile picture.

Skipping the Status

Between Twitter and Facebook, people have a pretty good idea of what you’re up to socially. But your LinkedIn status is the right place to update your network about your professional accomplishments and progress. “You could be updating about a colleague getting a promotion or sharing a great article you wrote,” Williams suggests. “Every few days, put something in your status to keep it fresh, and show you’re active and engaged—no one will know what you’ve done if you’re not showing it off.”

RELATED: Dislike: How Facebook Can Hurt Your Credit

Plus, those people you’re updating in your LinkedIn network are valuable. “If you’ve got a great following, it’s part of the assets you bring to the table,” she adds.

Using the Default Connection Request

“Don’t use the standard connection request! People think that LinkedIn is like Twitter, where it’s about quantity over quality, but you’re supposed to be building valuable professional relationships to leverage into career opportunities,” Williams explains.

Even if you’re reaching out to someone you’ve never met, the right move is to do a little research on that person, and tailor your connection request. “Customize your message to make the recipient take notice, like writing, ‘I read this article you wrote [and had these thoughts]. I’m also building a career in [this field], and I would love to be connected to you,’ ” Williams says.

“ People who are using LinkedIn correctly want to be connected to people who make them look good,” Williams adds. “Employers appreciate your connections. They might even hire you because you know people in the industry, and can make things happen.”

Neglecting the Privacy Settings

Many people don’t realize that LinkedIn does have privacy settings—for a reason. “When you’re out looking for a new job, and are actively engaged in your current job, you want to be discreet,” Williams explains. “A telltale sign to an employer that you’re leaving is that you overhaul your profile, connect with recruiters and have an influx of new people. You can tailor your settings so that your boss doesn’t see that you’re looking for opportunities.”

The privacy settings are easy to find: Just sign in, and then select “settings” from the drop-down menu, where your name appears in the upper right-hand corner.

Skipping the Summary

Once upon a time, people were encouraged to write about their careers in an “objective” summary on a resume. That has gone out of fashion … but not on LinkedIn. “Since you’re writing online, you actually have more space than you would on a traditional paper resume. Think of the summary as a way of selling yourself—it’s an opportunity to express your voice and personality,” Williams explains.

Since so many people are competing for the same jobs with similar educations and qualifications, filling out the summary can give you an edge with a prospective employer. Williams recommends that you write it in the first person to give it energy and personality.

RELATED: Get Networking: Half of Job Openings Aren’t Advertised

Eliminating Past Jobs or Volunteer Work
Even if you’ve changed fields, your latest job isn’t the only important one. “Unlike a resume, where you’re trying to target one page toward a specific position, you should list your entire work history on LinkedIn,” Williams says. “You don’t know what criteria people are looking for, so you want your profile to be as robust as possible. Maybe they’re looking for a teacher with nursing experience or they’re Princetonians looking for fellow alums.”

She even recommends listing odd jobs from your teen years, specifically addressing your responsibilities and accomplishments. “You never know—maybe you were trained as a salesperson at The Gap in high school, and the hiring manager looking at your profile went through the same program and wants you for the skills she knows you learned,” Williams explains.

The same goes for volunteer work: While LinkedIn isn’t a place to describe your every hope and dream, employers know that, in this economy, volunteers can be given real responsibilities. Williams recommends listing any volunteer work the way you would a summer job, elaborating on tasks conquered and skills acquired.

Lurking

Many people think that just having a profile is enough, but employers probably won’t simply stumble across your profile, be struck by your brilliance and offer you a job on the spot. You have to work for it.

“I always recommend joining groups related to your field or even personal interests. It comes in handy! For instance, I’m a new mom and joined a group for them. When I needed an accountant, it turned out there was one in my group who I ended up hiring because of the connection we made over being new moms,” Williams says.

LinkedIn users can also follow companies and keep an eye on who’s coming and going—when you see someone leave a company you want to join, it’s the perfect opportunity to reach out to their HR department.

[Forbes.com]

Samsung Galaxy 3 Beats Apple IPhone To Best Smartphone Award

SKOREA-US-SAMSUNG-APPLE-IT-INTERNET-PATENT-STOCKSSamsung continued a great year last night by picking up the smartphone of year award at the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona beating off the challenge of Apple and its iPhone, HTC Droid DNA, Nokia Lumia 920, and Samsung Galaxy Note II. It was one of four major awards for Samsung, compared with none for Apple.

The S2 beat the iPhone 4s at last year’s show.Samsung was device manufacturer of the year and Apple won the tablet category.

In the 2013 entry level/feature hone category Nokia’s Asha won out over three other Nokia phones and the Samsung C3312. Google’s Nexus 7 won the tablet race. You can see all the awards here.

For people interested in car sharing BMW Mini with partners Sixt and Vodafone, won the award for Best Mobile Product or Service for Automotive.

But it is the best smartphone award that carries most kudos. Samsung not only won that. They won best device manufacturer and best Best Mobile Enabled Consumer Electronics Device for the Galaxy camera, and Best Mobile Infrastructure for Smart LTE Networks (they also won the CTO Choice award for their LTE technology).

It rounds off a year in which Samsung has had to defend its reputation against copycat charges in the American courts. And it shows that outside of north America Samsung enjoys widespread admiration among its peers. It remains to be seen, however, whether the run will continue for Samsung with the S4, which seems to be hitting snags.

[Forbes.com]

SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK LAGOS 2013: OPEN & CONNECTED !

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February 2013 will mark the first time Social Media Week takes place on the continent of Africa! Social Media Week Lagos brings together thought leaders, creatives, entrepreneurs and everyday citizens from Nigeria -and throughout the continent and the diaspora- to explore how people and organizations are connecting to share new ideas and information.

http://socialmediaweek.org/lagos/

Bone-Based Software Improves How We Design, From Detergent To Tanks

The future of architecture is evolving before my
eyes on the laptop of Luca Frattari. In a series of
keystrokes the architectural engineering Ph.D., now
a business development manager at software firm
Altair, thins out the blocky outer shell of a new
skyscraper into a willowy exoskeleton that would
stand out even among the gaudier designs in the
Dubai skyline. Its irregular lattice leaves room for
giant, undulating pools of window glass. Yet when
he runs a wind-flow analysis on the simulation, the
building’s organic form wicks away stiff breezes far
more efficiently than a rectilinear structure. And the
reduction in outer material gives the building an
excellent chance of going up faster and for less
money.
More things should look bony. Millions of years of
evolution have honed the skeleton into the perfect
shape for survival. Our hollow, long bones are thick
and strong where needed, and light and flexible
where possible. Their excesses were purged long
ago.
Adapting nature’s forms to human problems, a
trend called biomimicry, is an idea that has taken
root at engineering-intensive firms such as Ford,
General Motors, Boeing and Airbus, all of them
hungry buyers of technology to improve the shapes
of the machines and structures they build. The
biggest computer-aided engineering software firms,
Ansys, Dassault Systemes and LMS International, a
Siemens subsidiary, have enjoyed double-digit
revenue growth in recent years as large customers
snap up their pricey suites of simulation and
material analysis software. Unseen by drivers and
frequent fliers, the straight angles and solid forms
under the skins of autos and airliners have been
replaced over the past several years by funky-
looking ribs that are lighter and stronger than the
original. For each hundred pounds trimmed off a
car, drivers could save about 1% to 2% on fuel
economy, which could add up to billions of dollars
nationally, according to the U.S. Department of
Energy. Even shaving 1 gram off a water bottle
would eliminate 160 million pounds of material per
year, assuming consumption of 200 million bottles
per day, says Thierry Marchal, Ansys’ director of
industry marketing for consumer goods
Altair of Troy, Mich. has a lead over its rivals in a
particularly interesting field called topology
optimization, according to research firm CIMdata.
Altair’s OptiStruct software simulates on metal and
carbon-fiber structures the same trial-and-error
forces that have shaped bone growth over
millennia–but repeats them at semiconductor speed
until an engineer arrives at a design that meets the
need without any excess material. The process can
lead to unique and sometimes non-intuitive shapes
that are often 20% to 30% lighter than traditionally
formed structures.

The privately held company, cofounded by CEO
James Scapa
, a Ford veteran, and two others in
1985, got half of its estimated 2012 revenue of
$240 million (up 13% from 2011) from the auto
industry but is growing 30% year over year in
aerospace and electronics, three times the growth
of its steady auto business. Airbus used Altair
software to shed a thousand pounds off the A380 by
redesigning 13 wing ribs on each side of the plane.
Altair now works with more than 3,000 clients,
including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, NASA and the
Department of Defense, but it is rapidly spreading
the gospel of evolutionary perfection to a wider
audience in consumer products and infrastructure
and among commercial architects.
In October Altair released what it says is the first
simulation and analysis software designed to be
easily used by the engineering masses. Called
solidThinking Inspire, it will be bundled into Altair’s
flagship software package ($20,000 on average) or
sold separately for $8,000. Early adopters of Inspire
include auto supplier Key Safety Systems and the
Pratt Institute in New York. Architects in the U.S.
and Europe are planning high-rises to be unveiled
later this year in Asia that will look like
descendants of the biomorphic forms created by
Antoni Gaudi and Frei Otto.
Altair got its inspiration for bone-based software 20
years ago when Scapa and his chief technology
officer, Jim Brancheau, found Jeff Brennan in a lab
at the University of Michigan. Brennan was a
biomechanical engineer studying how humans
bones grow; Scapa brought Brennan in to oversee
what would become OptiStruct. Brennan spent the
early 1990s schlepping a computer from one
carmaker to another, struggling to get analytical
engineers to accept his OptiStruct
software’s counter-intuitive visual results. After
OptiStruct became part of Altair’s bigger
HyperWorks software suite and no longer needed
individual salesmen, Brennan eventually took over
as CMO. “We brought Jeff in, and for years and
years the competition couldn’t see why we did it–
they said there was no market,” Scapa says. “Now
they are trying to catch up.”
Altair says it has grown at a 14% compounded
annual rate since 2004 but has no plans to go
public. It is majority owned by its three founders
and last raised money eight years ago selling an
undisclosed minority stake to General Atlantic for
$30 million. Scapa aims to reach $1 billion in
revenue by 2020, a stretch goal that largely
depends on how much Inspire broadens the user
base.
Even if Altair fails to hit the billion-dollar goal, it
will be an aesthetic victory for the rest of us as
more buildings, cars, trains and gadgets take on the
swooping curves beloved by nature.

[Forbes.com]

Meteoroid falling over Russia caught on camera

damaged school window .

damaged school window .

A meteoroid broke up in the atmosphere over the
Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Friday morning,
injuring nearly a thousand people as it lit up the sky
and sprinkled fragments over the city.
Mikhail Yurevich, regional governor of Chelyabinsk,
said up to 950 people suffered injuries from flying
glass and debris as windows exploded from the
shock wave.
The toll is believed to be the largest number of
people ever injured by space debris. “I am
scratching my head to think of anything in recorded
history when that number of people have been
indirectly injured by an object like this,” said Robert
Massey, deputy executive secretary of Britain’s
Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).

“It’s very, very rare to have human casualties” from
a meteorite, he said.
Mr Yurevich said that two-thirds of the injuries were
light wounds from pieces of glass and other
materials. In the city of Chelyabinsk alone, 758
people had required medical help, the city said in a
statement on its website. Sixteen were hospitalised,
including three children.
Video footage taken by residents on dashboard
cameras in cars and mobile phones in the Urals city
showed a meteor streaking through the sky, and
then a blaze of light followed later by the sound of
explosions and breaking glass.
A warehouse wall at a zinc factory in Chelyabinsk,
900 miles east of Moscow, collapsed from the force
of a blast and at least one school had its windows
blown out, injuring children.
Local residents expressed their shock and fear on
social media. “I thought the world was about to
end!” said one. One video showed residents
swearing and shouting “It’s a bombardment!” at the
sound of an explosion which sets off car alarms.
Lyudmila Belkova, a kindergarten teacher, told
reporters: “I was giving a PE lesson when I saw a
white streak in the sky through the window, and
then there was a bright flash. I shouted at the
children, ‘Lie on the floor and close your eyes!’ And
then there were five or six explosions. Some of the
kids raised their heads but I shouted at them to
keep their eyes closed.”

Schools and kindergartens were closed and about
20,000 rescue officials were put on high alert, while
the city’s internet and mobile phone services were
disrupted.
“It was a meteoroid that burned up as it approached
the Earth and broke into pieces,” an emergencies
ministry official told news agencies. The object,
which disintegrated at about 32,800ft, left a clear
double trail in the sky.
Police said they had initiated “Operation Fortress”,
increasing security at strategic buildings.
It was unclear if fragments of the meteor reached
the ground, or if shock waves alone had caused the
damage. Some witness spoke of dust and small
pieces of debris falling. The regional governor’s
office said one part of the meteoroid had fallen in a
lake near the town of Chebarkul, 50 miles west of
Chelyabinsk.
“This was a very bright bolide that was perfectly
visible in the light morning sky; the object was
quite big with, apparently, a mass of many tens of
tons,” Sergei Smirnov of St Petersburg’s Pulkovo
Observatory told Russian state television.
Another scientist said it most likely weighed “a few
tons” and was probably made of iron.

[telegraph.co.uk]

Citychops.com – The online Food ordering service.

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CityChops.com is a free online food ordering
service that allows customers to choose from a
variety of restaurants in Lagos Nigeria and order meals for
pick up or delivery. With times changing and the
need for quick and simple solutions for the average
Nigerian, CityChops.com allows you to order food
from wherever you are.
From the comfort of your home, office or backseat
of your car, 1) select a restaurant, 2) choose your
meal, 3) decide whether you want it to be delivered
or picked up and let us do the rest! Users can search
by location, cuisine, restaurant name or food item
and we’ll filter your options for you. We allow you
the flexibility to pay online or when your food
arrives. It couldn’t be simpler!

http://www.citychops.com

Kleverbeast: The WordPress of Mobile Apps?

For nearly a decade we’ve seen companies like
WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify and Tumblr do
battle for the hearts and minds of non-technical
website builders. The attraction is clear: An online
world that demands a digital presence offers
companies like these a near infinite runway for
growth. Though none have translated their success
into a billion-dollar business—or even $100 million
in sales—there’s an obvious future in providing
website-building tools to civilians.
With the desktop world rapidly transitioning to
mobile, it was only a matter of time before the
trend repeated itself on phones and tablets. A quick
Google search of “make a mobile app” brings up a
slew of unfamiliar company names: Widgetbox,
Appmaker, iBuildApp
. In other words, the race is on.
Another competitor enters the already crowded fray
today. Cofounded by CEO Dinesh Moorjani, the
former head of IAC’s mobile incubator Hatch
Labs, Kleverbeast aims to help non-techies design
apps for iPads and Android tablets.
A tour through the company’s app-making software
reveals a platform that remains intuitive and
enjoyable even while offering broad functionality
and customization. A grandmother would probably
still have some trouble navigating, but anyone
comfortable on the Web should pick it up in a
matter of minutes. Users begin by choosing from
among five templates designed for showcasing art
and photography, building e-commerce stores and
documenting travel. From there, the software takes
you to a ready-made model, filled with content
from actual, working apps. Users can plug in their
own words, photos and videos into the existing
format or tweak layouts to create their own
presentation. While making changes, users can
click “Test App” to run through a working demo on
a tablet via the Kleverbeast viewer.

As this writer spoke to Moorjani during a recent
meeting, VP of marketing Chris Jacob whipped up
and published an app in ten minutes using pictures
he pulled off the Web. Once you get the hang of the
thing, it’s that easy. Chinese artist Zeng Fazhi and
photographer Lawrence Schiller, known for his work
with Norman Mailer and photos of Marilyn Monroe,
are early adopters.
The company runs on a SaaS model, charging $29
per month
for hosting and use of the software. In
comparison, Moorjani points out that the cost of
hiring an iOS or Android developer to make a
mobile app from scratch is generally five-figures.
Kleverbeast also offers monetization tools, like in-
app purchasing for e-commerce stores and ad-
serving for blogs. The 21-person company, based in
the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, has raised $2
million in seed funding and $1.5 million in bridge
financing from an undisclosed set of angel
investors.

[Forbed.com]

Moneyball For Music: The Rise of Next Big Sound

It’s a cloudy midwinter morning at Next Big Sound’s
New York headquarters, and the scene is pure
startup. The walls are exposed brick. The bagels are
free. The music is guilty-pleasure indulgent: ‘N
Sync, in honor of Justin Timberlake’s newly
announced album.
But here they’re not just listening for fun. As the
singer’s falsetto soars over the clatter of ergonomic
keyboards, Next Big Sound’s employees are
quantifying the impact of Timberlake’s news,
counting 308,200 Twitter followers, 335,800
Wikipedia page views and 4.6 million Vevo views
more than the two weeks prior–data that weren’t on
the radar when his last album came out in 2006.
“The consumer in that world heard ‘SexyBack’ on
the radio and went to Virgin Megastore,” says Alex
White
, the 26-year-old who cofounded Next Big
Sound four years ago. “The consumer now goes to
Spotify and streams Justin Timberlake’s entire back
catalog and then follows him on Twitter to see real-
time updates and watch his behind-the-scenes
YouTube videos. It’s a totally different consumer
experience, but the industry still needs to track that
behavior.”
White’s company is the one doing the tracking.
Think Moneyball , but for music. Next Big Sound
takes all the data spewing into the ether–Pandora
spins, Facebook likes, digital downloads–and
packages them into one central dashboard. For $20
per artist per month, the Billy Beanes of the music
world (managers, concert promoters and label
executives) can access the service in hopes of
finding the next Nick Swisher (or Justin
Timberlake).
The music business is ripe for disruption. According
to one study, artist discovery and development is a
$4.5 billion industry, and Next Big Sound removes
some of the guesswork. For example, the company
has found that musicians who gain 20,000 to 50,000
Facebook fans in one month are four times more
likely to eventually reach 1 million. With data like
that, Next Big Sound promises to predict album
sales within 20% accuracy for 85% of artists, giving
labels a clearer idea of return on investment.
“The market is under pressure to become more
efficient,” says Foundry Group’s Jason Mendelson,
an investor who, along with IA Ventures and others,
has helped Next Big Sound amass $7.5 million in
venture funding.
Just as advanced analytics took time to infiltrate
baseball’s wizened ranks, Next Big Sound’s
numbers weren’t universally accepted by
executives who’ve long touted their “golden ears.”
But White’s data finally have them listening. He’s
got multimillion-dollar deals with two of the three
major record companies, and with many sublabels
of the third.
“In the past year most labels have started using
tools like this,” says Jason Feinberg, vice president
of digital strategy at Epitaph Records. “Next Big
Sound is kind of leaving them all in the dust.”
White, who grew up playing three musical
instruments, seems ideally suited to run the show.
In college at Northwestern he majored in
organizational change with a minor in business and
a concentration at the music school. During his
senior year he came up with a site that would let
anyone create his or her own fantasy label–and
discover “the next big sound.” The first user to sign,
say, Justin Timberlake would get points for every
virtual mogul who signed him subsequently.
After raising $25,000 in angel investments, White
ditched a job with Pricewaterhouse Coopers to build
out his brainchild. He and cofounders David
Hoffman
and Samir Rayani landed a slot at startup
incubator Tech Stars in Boulder, Colo., but their idea
died on arrival. “We didn’t know how to build it into
a big business,” says White. “We were almost out
of money, and we wanted to switch to something …
but we didn’t know what we wanted to switch to.”
On a whim they decided to see what would happen
if they started tracking streaming music. From 2
a.m. to 8 a.m. on June 5, 2009 they recorded the
number of plays for Akon on MySpace–and awoke
to find the singer had logged half a million plays
overnight, an order of magnitude more than they’d
expected. That turned into a free weekly e-mail
report to industry insiders; by the following summer
they had an audience in the tens of thousands and
officially launched Next Big Sound.
After Foundry led a seed round of just under $1
million in September 2009, White went to work on
winning industry players like music consultant Mike
“Goon” McGinley, who said Next Big Sound would
never work. Then White sent him numbers that
showed the inefficacy of a Live Nation ad campaign
run on behalf of Tom Petty, one of McGinley’s
clients. Goon changed his tune. White discovered
this when he received a call from an irate Live
Nation executive: “How the hell did Goon get these
numbers? We need to have this to be protected.”
Later that year Live Nation bought Next Big Sound’s
chief competitor, BigChampagne, for an
undisclosed sum. That makes sense: Both
companies offer intelligence on where an artist’s
music is being played, which helps when planning
tours (Jay-Z, for instance, used Spotify data to
guide where to play shows in the U.K.). Next Big
Sound could be an attractive buyout target, too. It’s
already pulling in seven figures annually and
expects to be profitable by the end of 2013.
Meanwhile, there are numbers to crunch, and the
company’s ranks are swelling with new hires,
poached from the likes of Apple, Microsoft, William
Morris, the NSA and even the New York Yankees.
White remains mindful of his company’s Moneyball
heritage–he took his board of directors to see the
film the day it came out.
“Data has transformed industries before,” says
Alex White. “Music’s the next one.”

Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative is Good Business

4Afrika-300x205This week, Microsoft announced the launch of its new initiative 4Afrika. The 75 million USD project aims to increase internet accessibility via affordable smart devices, educate the next generation of African web developers and promote new Africentric technologies.

The initiative represents a new strategy in which social and business ventures work synergistically rather than independently.

In the past, multinational corporations have used affiliate foundations to engage in aid work throughout the continent. These philanthropic programs, while certainly commendable, are generally intended to showcase corporate responsibility and community values.

This is largely due to the fact that international companies have historically run extractive programs in Africa. Companies based on oil and gas exploitation, mining and agribusiness take basic materials from the African continent and distribute them to international markets. These corporations tend to see Africa simply as the bottom of the supply chain rather than a market for serious, business-minded investments.

Instead of investing to develop local markets these companies conduct sporadic and schizophrenic philanthropic campaigns. In Africa, the corporate citizenship programs for companies like Shell, De Beers and Monsanto consist mostly of small-scale social projects like health clinics or micro-credit schemes.

Microsoft’s new 4Afrika initiative stands in stark contrast to these corporate philanthropy programs. 4Afrika is not an aid project, but rather a strategic campaign which will help create and galvanize a significant, largely untapped market. Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative is good business, plain and simple. It is a socially responsible investment of corporate scale, and will probably make Microsoft a lot of money in the long run.

Ultimately, meaningful development in Africa will come primarily through private sector investments and long-term projects like Microsoft’s, not corporate (or private) philanthropy.

Moreover, Microsoft’s investment in African human capital sets an important precedent: slowly but surely businesses are beginning to see that Africa can provide more than just raw materials. Africans’ rapidly increasing buying power represents a significant and lucrative new market. Microsoft (and a select few other US companies) figured it out. How long until others follow suit?

[fORBES.COM]

The World in 2033: Big Thinkers And Futurists Share Their Thoughts

Put yourself back in 1993. Could you have
predicted the success of the web, tablets and
smartphones, privatized space travel, the rise of
terrorism, or the myriad of small changes that
impact how you live today? To do that going
forward and to predict our world in 2033, you need
the voices of the smartest minds on the planet to
spot trends in their areas of discipline and give us
insight into where we are heading. Interviewed,
and quoted directly for this piece are just such a
group of visionaries, leaders, and big thinkers like:
Ray Kurzweil on Technology
Robert Kaplan on Global Conflict
Khan Academy on Education
Virgin Galactic on Space Travel
Oliver Bussmann on The Global Workforce
John Allen on Religion
Dr. Gene Robinson on Global Climate, and
Bonus insights from an aspiring leader
Whether you just read your favorite author, research your area of interest, download the supplemental deck, or view them all together, you will see that these visionaries agree on two things: there will be change – sometime dramatic change –
in our future, and there is . . . hope.
On Technology: Ray Kurzweil
“20 years from now, biotechnology –
reprogramming biology as an information
process – will be in a mature phase. We will
routinely turn off genes that promote disease and
aging such as the fat insulin receptor gene that tells
the fat cells to hold onto excess fat. We will be
able to add genes that protect us from diseases
such as cancer and heart disease. Major killers
such as these will be under control. We will be
growing new organs from stem cells that are
created from our own skin cells. We will be able to
rejuvenate our organs in place by gradually
replacing aging cells that contain genetic errors and
short telomeres with cells containing our own DNA
but without errors and with extended telomeres.
Overall we will be adding more than a year every
year to your own remaining life expectancy, which
will represent a turning point in life extension.
We will be online all the time in virtual / augmented
reality. We won’t be looking at devices such as
tablets and phones. Rather, computer displays will
be fully integrated with real reality. Three-
dimensional pop ups in your visual field of view will
give background information about the people you
see, even a tip that someone just smiled at you
while you weren’t looking. The virtual display can
fully replace your real field of view putting you into
a totally convincing fully immersive virtual
environment. In these virtual environments, you
can be a different person with a different body for
each occasion. Your interactions with the realistic
virtual projections of other people will also be
completely convincing.
Search engines won’t wait for you to ask for
information. They will know you like a friend and
will be aware of your concerns and interests at a
detailed level. So it will pop up periodically and
offer something like “You’ve expressed concern
about Vitamin B12 getting into your cells, here’s
new research from four seconds ago that provides a
new approach to doing that.” You’ll be able to talk
things over with your computer, clarifying your
needs and requests just like you’re talking with a
human assistant.
Artificially intelligent entities will be operating at
human levels meaning they will have the same
ability to get the joke, to be funny, to be sexy, to be
romantic. However, the primary application of this
technology will be to improve our own ability to do
these things.”
Raymond “Ray” Kurzweil is an American author,
inventor, futurist, and director of engineering at
Google. For additional insights, go to
http://www.kurzweilai.net
On Global Conflict: Robert D. Kaplan
“In 2033, global conflict will be widespread and
chaotic, but not necessarily more violent. Rather
than the post-Ottoman state system in the Middle
East with hard borders and suffocating central
control, there will be a series of weak states and
sectarian and ethnic regions in tense relationships
with each other. For example, Mosul in Iraq will
have more in common with Damascus in Syria than
with Baghdad, even as Aleppo in Syria has more in
common with Baghdad in Iraq than with Damascus
itself. There will be an independent and
decentralized Kurdistan, a more feisty ethnic Azeri
region in northwestern Iran, even as Jordan and the
West Bank meld together.
In China there will be an ethnic-Han island in the
center and Pacific coast living in reasonable
harmony with virtually independent Inner Mongolia,
Muslim-Turkic Uighurstan, and Tibet. Chinese
Yunnan will be the capital of Southeast Asia. Africa
will have a green revolution, while at the same
time Nigeria pulverizes into several pieces.
In short, the next few decades will see the erosion
of central authority in the former colonial world,
which will be somewhat violent at first, before
settling down into a reasonable harmony.
Geography will be more crucial than ever, even as
technology makes the earth smaller and more
claustrophobic.”
Robert David Kaplan is an American journalist,
(currently a National Correspondent for The Atlantic
magazine), chief geopolitical analyst at Stratfor,
and author “The Revenge of Geography.” For
additional insights, go to http://www.RobertDKaplan.com.
On Education: Khan Academy
“Global Access: In twenty years, almost everyone
on the planet will have access to the world’s best
educational materials. Almost every subject will be
available for free online. A child in Mongolia would
be able to learn anything from Algebra to String
Theory to Greek History.
Personalized learning: Students won’t be forced to
learn in a “one-size-fits-all” model with everyone
the same age learning the same thing at once.
Rather, technology will allow the system to adjust
to every student’s needs. A 35-year old would
easily be able to brush up on Trigonometry. A 4th
grader would be able to learn Algebra. Everyone
will be able to focus on their own needs.
Interactive classrooms: Teachers will spend less
time lecturing, and much more time mentoring.
Classrooms will be highly engaging environments
with almost all time spent on valuable human
interactions (e.g., mentorship, peer tutoring) and
more hands-on, cross-disciplinary, project-based
learning.
Competency-based credentials: Students will be
able to prove what they know, not by seat-time, but
with competency-based credentials. An out-of-work
40 year old would not need to go back to school and
pile up thousands of dollars of debt before
employers took him seriously. Instead, he would be
able to take an accounting course online for free,
prove what he knows, and get a job.”
Shantanu Sinha is President and COO of Khan
Academy, a not-for-profit with the goal of changing
education for the better by providing a free world-
class education for anyone anywhere. For additional
insights, go to http://www.khanacademy.org.
On Space Travel: Virgin Galactic
“Over the next 20 years, I believe thousands, and
perhaps even millions, of private individuals will
travel to space. Since the dawn of the space age,
just over 500 men and women have been to outer
space. With only a few recent exceptions, these
men and women have all been government
employees, handpicked by space agencies such as
NASA and trained to an enormous degree. Their
missions are worthwhile and worthy of our
gratitude and admiration, but it is critical to realize
that for the overwhelming majority of us,
government space programs are not our ticket to
space. The challenge of sending individuals to
space is being taken up by private companies,
which have both tools and motives those
government agencies may not have. Recently,
several entrepreneurs have started new businesses
expressly designed to tackle this problem.
Such future space travel won’t be enjoyed only by
adventurers. As we progress through the
21st century, spaceflight may become nearly as
common for travelers as taking a plane trip became
for millions across the world during the 20th. The
technology that permits flights into space will also
allow passengers to fly to far-flung places on Earth
in record time. By traveling out of the Earth’s
atmosphere for a small amount of time, a non-stop
trip from New York to Sydney might take two to
three hours instead of the 20-hour, multi-leg trip
required today. Furthermore, I believe air travel will
be more environmentally friendly. Airlines ferrying
passengers on regional routes will run small, short-
hop planes on battery cells.
Now is a fascinating time for the commercial space
industry. It is inspiring to see business leaders from
different sectors applying their best ideas and
practices to the unique challenges of spaceflight.
The next 20 years hold exciting, unexplored
territory for the people of the world.”
George Whitesides is President and CEO of Virgin
Galactic with plans to provide sub-orbital
spaceflights to space tourists, suborbital launches
for space science missions and orbital launches of
small satellites. For additional insights, go to
http://www.VirginGalactic.com.
On The Global Workforce: Oliver Bussmann
“Over the past 20 years we have gone from the
early stages of Internet to a fully connected world.
By 2033, a “born-mobile” workforce will be
constantly connected to both work and home life,
using devices that are wearable – or even
implantable. Collaboration with others around the
world will be as natural as speaking, and physical
workspaces will be strictly optional.
Leadership structures will become increasingly flat,
as roles shift based on each individual’s strengths
and capabilities. Many decisions will become
automated, using increasingly sophisticated
analytical tools, allowing people to focus on
creative endeavors that are uniquely human.”
Oliver Bussmann is the CIO for SAP AG, the
German multinational software corporation that
makes enterprise software to manage business
operations and customer relations. For additional
insights, follow Oliver on Twitter @SAPCIO or on
LinkedIn
On Religion And The Papacy: John Allen
“First, it will be increasingly led from the global
south, where two-thirds of the 1.1 billion Catholics
on the planet live today, and where three-quarters
will be found by mid-century. Places such as
Mumbai, Manila and Abuja will be to the 21st
century what Paris, Leuven and Milan were to the
16th century – the primary centers of new
intellectual imagination, pastoral leadership, and
political momentum. As that transition unfolds,
Catholicism on the global stage will become
increasingly a church of the poor and a church
committed to the agenda of the developing world,
meaning economic justice, multilateralism, and
opposition to war.
Second, Catholicism in the West will be increasingly
‘evangelical,’ meaning committed to defense of its
traditional identity in an ever more secular milieu.
Once upon a time, Catholicism was the culture-
shaping majority in the West. Today it’s an
embattled subculture, and like other subcultures,
it’s learning to practice a “politics of identity” as an
antidote to assimilation. In Europe and North
America, in other words, Catholicism will not soften
its role in the culture wars, but rather dial it up.”
John L. Allen, Jr. is an American journalist, author of
several books, a senior correspondent for
the National Catholic
Reporter, and vaticanologist of CNN and NPR. For
additional insights, go to his Wikipedia page.
On Global Warming: Gene Robinson
“Twenty years ago, alarmists were already
predicting calamitous effects in the near future
from a warming planet due mainly to petroleum
and coal combustion. The 1990 best-seller Dead
Heat painted a nightmarish picture of our world in
2020-2030 when the temperature would average
six or seven degrees greater. The first IPCC reports
of 1990 and 1995 supported such scary scenarios,
giving them an aura of scientific respectability.
What actually happened is that the mean global
temperature since 1993 increased about 0.2 degree
C through 2012 with most of that occurring in the
record year of 1998, at the peak of a thirty-year
warming trend. Since then, the global temperature
has plateaued with no clear trend up or down.
Because the flattening is at the high point of a
warming trend, each year has to be among the
warmest recorded years, as the media tirelessly
trumpets. What a convenient way to mask the fact
that although CO2 has continued to increase,
temperature has not, in spite of the computer
models.
What, then, can we project for global warming in
2033? Instead of the abrupt warming that alarmists
always say is about to start, my rather cloudy
crystal ball says global temperature is more likely
to continue showing no clear trend or to be at the
beginning of a cooling trend. Alarmists will continue
to blame every severe weather event on climate
change and to oppose all energy projects except
solar and wind. All studies supporting the alarmist
view will continue to be publicized in the liberal
media while all studies reaching conclusions in
opposition will be ignored. Liberal politicians will
still support schemes to tax carbon by trying to
scare people of what will happen without them,
even as the skepticism of ordinary people
continues to increase. Grants will still be doled out
to scientists whose previous results supported the
politically correct view while proposals from
skeptics go unfunded. In short, just as little has
changed with regard to the politicizing of the global
warming theory in the last twenty years, little is
likely to change in the next twenty.”
Dr. Gene D. Robinson is Professor Emeritus at
James Madison University in Virginia and author of
Global Warming: Alarmists, Skeptics & Deniers – A
Geoscientist Looks at the Science of Climate
Change, available at Amazon and most book stores.
He is also the publisher at Moonshine Cove
Publishing, LLC.
Bonus Thoughts From A Future Leader
“In the next two decades I believe my childhood
desire to be Inspector Gadget will finally be
realized. As it is now, our smartphones are
practically glued to our hands. They are almost an
extension of our bodies. People are calling for the
next step in technology to be ‘wearables,’ including
devices such as web-enabled watches and
eyeglasses. But is it really that far of a stretch to
imagine that we’d skip the annoyance of having to
“put on” our technology and instead just “plug in?”
By 2033 I believe that technological devices will be
directly implanted into our bodies. We are already
on the cusp of this with cochlear implants and
pacemakers, and it isn’t a stretch to see where this
could go next. In our future society, the boundaries
between machine and human, ability and disability,
will be blurred. Go Go Gadget…”

[Forbes.com]

Cancer, Innovation and a Boy Named Jack.

Jack-Andraka-300x199Innovation doesn’t care how old you are.I’d like you to meet Jack Andraka.
It’s a name you will be hearing a lot about–today, tomorrow and in the future.

Jack is a scientist and innovator. And his work on creating a simple test for the identification of pancreatic, lung and ovarian cancer is simply amazing.

Here are some of the facts:

-His test is 168 times faster than what is currently available.
-It’s 26,000 times less expensive. That’s not a typo.
-And it’s potentially almost 100% accurate.

Here’s what makes it even more astonishing:

-Jack is 15 years old.

So, I just had to speak with Jack. I tweeted him. His reply was swift and caught me off guard. ”That would be awesome! I get off school today at 2:15.” I had been caught-up in the clinical implications and had forgotten that Jack was still a student.

Jack recognized that mesothelin is a key market to certain cancers. To create his test, Jack mixed human mesothelin-specific antibodies with carbon nanotubes and coated strips of ordinary filter paper.

What resulted was a simple “dip-stick” tool similar to what a patient with diabetes might use to measure blood sugar.

But let’s hear the story directly from him:

–How did you first get interested in science and particularly cancer.

I was interested in science at an early age because my parents would never answer my questions but always helped me to discover or find out answers for myself. So I learned how to make hypotheses and test them without knowing I was ‘doing science”!

I became interested in cancer, particularly pancreatic cancer, after my ‘uncle’, a close family friend, died due to the disease. After researching about it, I discovered that 100 people die of pancreatic cancer every day and that although early detection is key to improved survival, there are no inexpensive, rapid and sensitive tests. I figured there had to be a better way

–Who or what encouraged you to take this challenge on?

I really enjoy challenges and particularly enjoy looking for elegant and simple solutions to seemingly complex problems. I do a lot of math competitions and my math coaches always tell us that although you can use brute force to solve a problem that looks really complex you should think about other tools and figure out a more elegant way to solve it. My math heroes can reduce a really difficult proof to a few elegant lines.

So with that mindset I thought and thought about this new problem.

–Do people feel that your innovation is somehow less important because of your age?

I don’t think people feel my innovation is less important because of my age. They can see that it is a great idea. When I go to conferences I feel there is a subtle ‘age-ism” though because at the pre-talk meetings, it seems that people think I’m a speaker’s child tagging along but after I speak then I get to have the most amazing conversations. That’s why the internet is so great – people can’t see what age or race you are and I can have a great exchange of information.

–What your discovery easy? Did the innovation come in a flash? Then the details worked out?

I like to read a lot of journals and articles about different topics and then lie on the couch or take a walk and just let all the information settle. Then all of a sudden I can get an idea and connect some dots. Then it’s back to reading so I can fill in missing pieces. With this sensor I had put in a lot of time learning about nanoparticles for my previous research on the effects of bulk and nano metal oxides on marine and freshwater organisms. I felt that single walled carbon nano tubes were like the super heroes of material science and I wanted to work with them some more. Then when I was reading a paper about them in biology class, the teacher was explaining about antibodies. All of a sudden I made a connection and wondered what would happen if I dispersed single wall carbon nanotubes with an antibody to a protein overexpressed in pancreatic cancer. Then of course there was a lot of reading, learning and planning in front of me!

–How did your “rejections” help drive you? Or frustrate you?

I had visited ISEF when my brother was competing and talked to kids who mentioned they had done their work in a lab. It seemed so easy so I stalked the internet and found the names and professional emails of lots of professors in my area who were working on pancreatic cancer. Then I just figured I’d sit back and wait for the acceptances to roll in! Week after week I’d receive endless rejections. The most helpful one was actually from a researcher who took the time to point out every flaw and reason why my project was impossible. I began to despair!

–What is the role of mentors in helping you?

Finally, after 199 rejections, I received one email from Dr Maitra at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He invited me to come for a meeting. My mom drove me there and dropped me off. It was pretty exhilarating yet scary to walk in to the interview! Luckily I was really prepared and even had the cost and catalog numbers of the material I needed. He said it was like reading a grant proposal. I still had a great deal of basic lab routine to learn and I appreciate the time and patience of both Dr Maitra and Dr Chenna, the post- doc who supported me.

–What do you think about science as the driver of your fame?

I’m very surprised that people know about me. My original goal was to see if I could make a simple inexpensive sensor to detect pancreatic cancer because too many people were dying. I’m very happy that I’m known for science though because I enjoy sharing and learning about it so much. I hope kids feel ‘if Jack can do this, what can I do?” and get inspired to take on big challenges in their own lives and communities.

–How has your world expanded from this innovation?

These past few months have been life changing. I’ve met so many of my heroes in math, science, and politics, including the Clintons when I spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative. I’ve traveled all over by myself and learned how to enjoy speaking and sharing my ideas with large audiences. One of my most world- expanding experiences came very quickly when I went to Singularity U in California. I met people who weren’t afraid of failure, but just used failure to say well that path didn’t work and moved on. I met people who were trying to improve the world for billions of people. They were starting businesses and thinking big and supporting each other. They told me about the Thiel Fellowship and opened my eyes to different ways of accomplishing goals. I’ve learned to look outside myself and my small community to the larger world and think about how I can help change the world for the better.

–What’s next for Jack?

I’m working on my next project but of course it isn’t coming easily! Professors still reject me from their labs saying that I don’t know enough, perhaps not even reading my proposal but just seeing ‘high school student’ on the proposal. But even great researchers still don’t always get accepted for every grant.. Perseverance still counts! I’m trying to get a group of teens to work on the Tricorder X prize as ‘Generation Z” and it’s difficult finding like minded teens who can bring something to the table and who also have time in their over scheduled lives. I’m speaking at the Royal Society of Medicine in London and then at TED@ Long Beach this month, talking with different biotech companies about producing my sensor and starting my first business . And of course there’s homework to be done!

Well done Jack!

One final thought about Mr. Andraka. I believe a more appropriate name for this post would be “Health, Innovation and a Man Named Jack”

[Forbes.com]

Can Swizz Beatz Match Dr. Dre’s Monster Legacy?

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Swizz Beatz once described himself as an “entrepreneur-slash-monster,” and that moniker has never been more fitting.

Yesterday the multihyphenate musician announced that he’d invested in Monster, the electronics outfit that originally manufactured Beats By Dr. Dre. Noel Lee, Monster’s chief, also named Swizz to the company’s advisory board.

“They built an empire, and my job will be to push the envelope–turn the lights of the castle up really bright and help Monster take its next big step forward,” said Swizz in a statement. Added Lee: “The products that we have planned are revolutionary in technology, sound, and style. We need the talents and reach of Swizz to help bring these products to life in the eyes of the consumer.”

In other words, Lee is hoping that Swizz will be the second coming of Dr. Dre. The hip-hop legend cofounded his eponymous headphone line with Interscope Records chief Jimmy Iovine and quickly developed a mutually-beneficial manufacturing arrangement with Monster. After gobbling up more than half of the $1 billion headphone market in the U.S.—and selling a chunk of equity to handset maker HTC, making Dr. Dre the world’s highest-paid musician—Beats declined to renew its deal with Lee last year.

The Head Monster has said there are no sour grapes. “Working with Dre and working with Jimmy was one of the best experiences of my life,” Lee told me at South By Southwest last year.

Dre’s departure still left a big hole. Monster’s collaborations with other artists including Earth, Wind & Fire (earbuds optimized for brass and percussion) and the estate of Miles Davis (headphones shaped like trumpets) were certainly innovative. Yet they didn’t match the explosive success of Dr. Dre’s eponymous product.

Can Swizz Beatz help Monster craft another Beats By Dre? That’s sort of like asking if Tim Cook can create the next iPod—possible, sure, but unlikely. Beats took off for many reasons, some of them having little to do with its namesake. Take, for instance, the host of other celebrity endorsers including Lady Gaga, Diddy and LeBron James.

Perhaps more importantly, Universal Music Group invested in Beats and lent its considerable muscle to promoting the headphones. In recent years, videos for just about every artist on the recording giant’s roster features Beats product placement.

Swizz and Monster do have a few advantages. The Bronx-born producer brings plenty of experience as a brand ambassador (he’s shilled for Reebok and Lotus in recent years). He’s also got a built-in publicity platform with 1.5 million Twitter followers, nearly three times as many as Dr. Dre. And there’s no reason that he, along with wife Alicia Keys, shouldn’t be able to recruit additional celebrity co-signs.

Equalling the feats of Beats By Dr. Dre may not be the most likely outcome of Swizz’s Monster agreement. Indeed, there are no immediate plans for a Swizz-branded headphone line. The company wouldn’t reveal how much he paid for his stake, or how much equity he received. But if he can help create something even half as successful as Beats, his investment in Monster—and Lee’s investment in him—will have been quite a wise one.

Regardless, diversifying his business interests through the deal with Monster fits the personal philosophy Swizz explained to me nearly five years ago when I first wrote about him for FORBES. He was 29 years old then, but he’s been living by the words he told me ever since.

“Some people are lucky to make history by having one goal,” he said. “I figure, if you have a bunch of goals and give each one you’re serious about a shot, you keep digging and digging until you can scrape something up. At the end of the day, I’m into making history.”

[Forbes.com]

5 Hot African Tech Start-ups To Watch In 2013

There has never been a more exciting time in
Africa’s tech start-up community. The sector has
reached an unprecedented level of maturity and
growth. Africa’s techies and developers are no
longer building mobile apps, software and websites
just for the love of it; they are adopting a rather
aggressive approach towards business planning,
commercialization and profitability.
Take IrokoTV, for example. The digital distributor of
Nigerian movies has famously been dubbed the
‘Netflix of Africa’. When it launched in December
2010, IrokoTV depended solely on Google’s partner
program for all its revenue. Not anymore. While
IrokoTV is home to thousands of free movies, in
May this year, Jason Njoku, the company’s
maverick founder, announced that the company
would start charging users a $5 monthly
subscription fee to access brand new movies.
Similarly, Nairaland.com, Africa’s largest discussion
forum, historically depended solely on Google Ads
for its revenue. It ditched Google Adwords a couple
of months ago to start selling ads directly on its
platform.
Commercialization aside, innovation still reigns
supreme in Africa’s tech community. While some
African techies are still developing leisure games
and mobile applications (like the remarkable
MALIYO Games,which creates casual browser
games to share the experiences of everyday
Africans with a global audience), others are creating
disruptive new inventions that are providing
solutions to some of the continent’s most pressing
socioeconomic problems.
In my opinion, here are 5 spectacular African
tech start-ups that are most likely to shake up the
continent’s tech industry in 2013:
mVerified
mVerified is a Kenyan mobile and web-based app
that verifies the authenticity of documents such as
title deeds, car log books and graduation
certificates in the course of transactions. The app
simply works by checking the credentials of
documents against data stored by Kenyan
governmental agencies such as the Kenya Revenue
Authority and the Kenya National Examinations
Council. Documents that fail to correspond to
official records are instantly flagged as potential
counterfeits. mVerified can be accessed online via
WAP or GPRS-enabled phones. While the system is
free to download as an Android application, it costs
roughly $7 to make a verification inquiry.
Mara Online
Mara was founded by Ugandan multi-millionaire
tycoon Ashish J. Thakkar in 2012. Mara Online,
which is Africa’s first online mentorship social
network, connects young, budding African
entrepreneurs to established, prominent enterprises
and businessmen who serve as mentors. The
mentors on the network transfer knowledge and
experience to the upstart entrepreneurs in order to
help them transform their ideas into sustainable
enterprises.
Kuluya.com
Kuluya is a developer and publisher of online
games based in Lagos, Nigeria. The startup
develops Nigerian-centric games with substantial
focus on African characters and themes. Kuluya
already has over 100 games in its portfolio with
such quirky titles as Monkey Run, Bush Meat and
Zulu and Mosquito. Earlier this year Kuluya raised
$250,000 from institutional investors. According to
Loy Okezie, publisher of Techloy, arguably Africa’s
most authoritative tech blog, Kuluya is poised to
‘provide an ultimate African gaming experience and
change the continent’s gaming landscape.’ All
Kuluya games are web browser games, for now.
BudgIT
BudgIT is a civic start-up developed by the team at
Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), Nigeria’s premier tech
incubator. The idea behind BudgIT is simple, yet
profound: to make Nigerian government budgets &
public data more understandable, accessible and
transparent. BudgIT leverages an interactive
platform and creative tools such as infographics
and charts to break down government budget
allocations in its simplest and most basic form to
enable Nigerians at all levels to understand the
budget better, thereby stimulating conversations
about open governance, data transparency and
citizen participation in governance.
CorruptionNET
Founded by Nimi Hoffmann, a South African social
science graduate student at Oxford University,
CorruptionNET is an open-source mobile platform
that allows citizen reporters to file anonymous
journalistic reports to newsrooms about corruption
and abuse of public resources. Citizen reporters can
report via SMS or MXit, an African social network.

[Forbes.com].