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Lagos Gridlock: Google Maps Opens Lanes for Road Users

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A 2017 study listed the 150 least to most stressed out cities in the world. With Stuttgart in Germany nabbing first spot as the least stressed city to live and work in, Lagos came in at 148 (just two spots ahead of the most stressed city – Iraq) which will be no surprise to daily commuters on Lagos streets.

There were obviously factors other than traffic playing a role in defining this list but lack of space and cramped environments, including high traffic areas, featured high on the list of reasons people are stressed out in cities like Lagos.

 

Traffic is a challenge, no doubt about it, but there are tools available for Lagos road users to use to help smooth their journeys and make life a little easier.

 

Do the most with your travel time using Google Maps:

Lagos traffic may seem like an insurmountable, unavoidable, stressful part of the workday, over which it may seem you have no control. The truth is, there are several ways you can use technology to reclaim a few hours every day or make good use of your time on the road.

 

  • First and foremost, how real is the traffic situation?: Who says you have to hit the road at 07h30 or 17h00 sharp? With just one tap, you have access to information like ETAs, live traffic updates and quickest routes to familiar places – like home, work and the gym. This will help you decide whether you should join the fray or stick around, head off to the gym or make a stop to buy the milk you know is needed at home.

  • Know before you go: If gym is an alternative to traffic for you but queues aren’t, try using Google’s “Popular Times” feature. This is accessible through Search and Maps and will help you decide how to better use your time. If the gym’s too busy and filled with other traffic dodgers, for example, you can choose to see how busy things look at your local mall or the library or the supermarket.

  • Share your ETA and location: Sitting in traffic on your way to work and your boss keeps asking for updates? Use the Share Trip Progress functionality in Google Maps to share your journey with them, via Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or even email. Once they open your shared link in Maps, they’ll be able to track your progress with ease. In much the same way, you can share an actual estimated time of arrival at home with your family, keeping their minds at ease on those “extra trafficky” days.

  • Driving in cars with kids: If it’s your turn to drop the kids off at school, and you have an Android device, why not use Google’s Bolo app to use their time in traffic wisely? Bolo is a speech-based reading app that helps kids learn how to read in English – your kids can read out loud with the app, which “listens” to them while offering encouragement and feedback to help improve their reading skills. Bolo operates offline so there can be no “poor coverage” excuses!

  • Mixed Transit options coming soon: People, in general, are quick learners and those faced with traffic on a daily basis will often find ways to shorten or ease this process. For some, this means mixed options when it comes to transport. You could drive or cycle to a taxi/bus station, taxi/bus or rideshare from there and then walk the last few metres to work. Google has announced its Mixed Transit feature, which will be coming to your phone soon and promises to help commuters plot their mixed transit options out every day – choosing the fastest option available.

 


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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TikTok Picks Oracle to Provide ‘Secure’ Cloud Tech

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Enterprise software giant Oracle announced that it has been chosen to become TikTok’s “secure” cloud technology provider.

According to Oracle, this technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video-conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.

Oracle’s announcement comes after TikTok parent ByteDance last week said it will not be selling the video-sharing app’s US operations to software giant Microsoft.

This after US president Donald Trump signed an executive order on 6 August, blocking all transactions with ByteDance in an effort to address “national emergency” issues.

On 14 August, the US president issued an order that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the US operations of TikTok.

Since then, US companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have been lining up as potential buyers for the popular short video app.

As the trade war between the US and China rages on, the US government has accelerated its efforts to purge Chinese apps and technology companies that it deems untrustworthy.

Trump and his administration raised national security issues, alleging the Chinese-owned company will share sensitive user data with the Chinese government.

“TikTok picked Oracle’s new Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure because it’s much faster, more reliable, and more secure than the first generation technology currently offered by all the other major cloud providers,” says Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison.

“In the 2020 Industry CloudPath survey that IDC recently released where it surveyed 935 infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) customers on their satisfaction with the top IaaS vendors including Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google Cloud…Oracle IaaS received the highest satisfaction score.”

“As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” says Oracle CEO Safra Catz.

“Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are 100% confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.

“This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”


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Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others

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inq. Holdings Limited, artificial intelligence service provider, has acquired Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire.

Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others

It plans further acquisition in Cameroon subject to regulatory approvals.

Mr. Valentine Chime, managing director, inq. Holdings Limited, said the 100 per cent acquisition of the Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in the three countries was in pursuit of the company’s dream of building pan-African network that will help in creating better future through digital solutions.

Domiciled in Mauritius, inq. Holdings Limited is a subsidiary of Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund, a fund dedicated solely to communications infrastructure and related services and technologies across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Formerly known as Synergy Communications, the latest acquisition has grown inq.’s regional footprint with operations in 12 cities in seven countries across Africa. It has existing operations in Botswana, Malawi and South Africa with an additional investment in Mozambique.

“Under the inq. banner the company will embark on the next phase of building a unified Pan-African cloud and digital service provider, bringing to market a very relevant suite of next generation technology solutions in the fields of Edge AI, SD-WAN/NFV and Cloud,”Chime said.

According to him, with operations in major African cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Gaborone, Lusaka, Ndola, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Abidjan and Johannesburg, the inq. team prides itself on global best practice methodologies customised to local customs in each of the 16 cities, covering different sectors including banking, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods, mining, health, real estate, information technologies, public sector and logistics.

“Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and inq. is perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and  technologies to our clients. We are about simpler, seamless solutions,” Chime said.

 

 


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HP Lauds TD Africa, Says Tech Experience Centre will Unlock New Wave in Nigeria

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As Nigeria looks forward to the official launch of the Tech Experience Centre, globally renowned tech giant, Hewlett Packard Inc. (HP) has heaped praises on the management of TD Africa for spearheading the project, noting that the centre will herald a new technological wave in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by Ife Afe, managing director – Nigeria and District Manager – Central Africa (CAF).

Equally important, HP is one of the global Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that will be represented in the Tech Experience Centre located within Yudala Heights at 13 Idowu Martins, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Consequently, Afe has expressed delight with the development, even as she disclosed that the launch of the centre will bridge the gap to complete technology adoption for millions of Nigerians.

She said: ‘‘I do believe Nigerians are early adopters of new and exciting technology. Having a dedicated space where people can view and experience cutting-edge technology across rich and diverse portfolio is an important step towards complete Adoption.

‘‘Technology is about transformation. This tech centre will serve as a bridge, taking people from the imaginative stage to the experiential stage, thereby unlocking a new technological wave.

“I am very glad that TD Africa is taking this bold step and I look forward to the great collaborations that will flow out of this initiative.’’

Furthermore, the HP Senior Management Executive reiterated the strong interest in Nigeria by the tech brand.

‘‘We are strong believers in the Nigerian project and the boundless potential inherent in the population when exposed to cutting-edge technology.

“We also value the foresight and vision of our long-time partner and co-developer – TD Africa. We are proud of this project and are confident of its success and positive impact not just in the sphere of business but also in human capital development,’’ Afe enthused.

On what to expect from HP in the Tech Experience Centre, she revealed that a lot is in store for every visitor.

‘‘HP is in the business of making life better for everyone, everywhere, hence revolutionary innovation in Health care, Security, Gaming and Printing Solutions will be showcased in the Technology Centre.  Cutting- edge, sustainable, diverse and relevant innovation in technology.

‘‘This brings technology closer to home. I believe that the ambience of the Tech Centre will cater to a wide spectrum of users: CEO’s, Government officials, entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, students, gamers etc. It will be the crucial meeting point of people and technology.

“Our wide spectrum of products and solutions will cater to all demographics – from first time users to specialists, professionals, gamers to moviemakers, work or play,’’ she affirmed.

The revolutionary Tech Experience Centre, the first of its kind in Africa, is set for launch on Thursday, October 1st 2020, incidentally the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary by 12noon, with the launch streamed live online for the benefit of tech enthusiasts.

Expected to officially commission the centre is the Minister of Communica99tions and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami.

The Tech Centre is widely expected to boost Nigeria’s relevance in the global technology race and shore up the country’s march to technology independence.

For the first time, Nigeria will play host to the latest global technologies including those not normally available in Africa, offering all classes of visitors a first-hand experience of new gadgets, solutions and infrastructure that would have previously required a visit abroad, thereby saving corporate organizations, government establishments and individuals money or scarce foreign exchange expended on these trips.

 

 


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