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Ex McKinsey and Company consultant Lola Kassim, has been appointed by Uber as its new General Manager for West Africa. Ms Kassim replaced Ebi Atawodi, who has moved up in Uber management to take a role as the company's Product Manager for Global Payments Growth.

 

2017 has been a troubling year for the ride hailing app with its Africa operations among its troubles amid complaints from local taxi cartels in Ghana and finding solutions as well as growth will be top of her agenda.

 

Lola holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MSc from the London School of Economics. She has worked as a Management Consultant with McKinsey and Company, with over 10 years of global experience at senior private sector and government levels in Africa and Canada.

 

Speaking on her appointment, Lola has this to say:

 

"I am immensely pleased to be joining Uber at a pivotal point in the company’s growth and expansion curve. My vision for West Africa, in particular, is to ensure that we are aligned with Uber’s overall objective of creating sustainable, alternative modes of mobility. In addition to creating value for driver-partners and riders, I will also be focused on ensuring that we continue to engage with our key stakeholders and relevant partners with a view to continued positive impact across West Africa."

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Google has finally lifted restrictions on YouTube from showing Swaziland's famous reed dance which features bare-breasted women dancing for their king.  A representative from Google was quoted saying that they decided to remove the restriction on the videos because 

"it was not its policy to restrict nudity in such instances where it is culturally or traditionally appropriate".  

 The move was in response to a campaign led by Lazi Dlamini, the head of TV Yabantu, an online video production company which produces content that “protects, preserves and restores African values”.  

 Its YouTube channel which launched in 2016 had been adding 3,000-4,000 new subscribers every month until the platform started to flag its content as inappropriate.  It also put a label on the channel advising advertisers that its content was “not suitable for most advertisers”.  

 According to Mr Dlamini, he had contacted Google to say that he was simply reflecting the cultural values of his community but the company said that the content violated the platform’s standards.  He then organised a series of protests, working with more than 200 cultural groupings from Swaziland. It included at least a dozen women who posed bare-breasted with placards that read “Google are racist” and “my breasts are not inappropriate”. Read all about the reed dance culture Here 

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The operator of FOX television channels, FOX Network Group, has allegedly denied entering into any broadcasting agreement with TSTV to distribute its contents in Nigeria.

According to the statement purportedly released by the American based media group, TSTV’s advert listing FOX channels on its platform is inappropriate.

“Despite advertised claims regarding FOX channels, FOX does not have any agreement with TSTV regarding the distribution of channels, but remains confident that TSTV will normalise the situation prior to the launch of its service to ensure the consistency between platform content claims and subscriber expectation,” FOX said.

The Cable Network News (CNN) recently issued similar statement debunking the existence of any distribution deal with TSTV. They all threatened legal actions against the Nigerian pay-television provider.

However, a check on Fox site showed that there is no such release about TSTV on their website. The check also revealed that the new pay TV is not among friends and partners of Fox network Group as listed on the group's website.

With all these content wars springing up from every corner, it seems the TSTV got its business model wrong and may not be ready to assume the position Nigerians hoped it would. More so, the unending postponements of commercial operations have made many Nigerians to reconsider their decision to drop Multichoice Nigeria for the new pay-tv. 

For now, Nigerians may still have to swallow their dissatisfaction for DSTV and GOTV until a viable substitute is available.

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Facebook via its founder mark zuckerberg has disclosed that the company will give $1 million to the Red Cross in Mexico to help rebuild areas that were decimated by a powerful earthquake this week.

In addition to its gift to Cruz Roja Mexicana, a branch of the International Red Cross, the tech giant says they will also be partnering with the United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, to waive fees on donations made on UNICEF's Facebook page.

His statement read: 

'My thoughts are with everyone affected by the earthquake in Mexico. 

Facebook is contributing $1 million to Cruz Roja Mexicana Sede Nacional to support the relief efforts on the ground. We're also partnering with UNICEF to waive fees on all donations to their organization made through our tools that will go to recovery efforts in Mexico.

Thanks to everyone in our community who's doing their part to help people recover. #FuerzaMéxico'

On Tuesday,  7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Central Mexico on Tuesday with more than 200 people have been reported dead so far.

 

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Following his mother’s failure to buy him a smartphone because she couldn’t afford it, 17-year-old  Mo Omer embarked on a mission and developed his own phone from the scratch along side his 25-year-old friend Fahd Alhattab.

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Who is ready for an Iphone 8?

Apple’s iPhone 8 has been officially scheduled to be unveiled on September 12 2017.The event will be held in the Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple Park campus in Cupertino and starts at 10:00 a.m. Pacific. This will be Apple’s sixth consecutive product event held in September since the introduction of the iPhone 5 in 2012.

While the latest iPhone presentation is Apple’s most important event of the year, this one is particularly significant as this year marks the device’s 10-year anniversary (the original iPhone was unveiled in January 2007 and released in June 2007). The past year was also the first time Apple saw iPhone sales fall and this push is expected to help counter that trend.

In terms of hardware, Apple is widely expected to introduce three new phones at the event (iPhone 7s, and iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone 8), Apple Watch Series 3 models with LTE support, and a new Apple TV with 4K support. The iPhone 8 is supposed to feature an OLED edge-to-edge display, wireless charging, and facial recognition — all features that exist in Android smartphones, but not in iOS devices.

In terms of software, Apple will share the release dates for iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4, and tvOS 11. The new operating system version were all first announced at Apple’s WWDC conference in June and have been in beta testing ever since.

Apple will naturally also reveal when the first new iPhones will start to ship. The most likely date based on past events is September 22, 2017.

 

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Uber Technologies Inc’s new Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi told employees on Wednesday the ride-services company would change its culture and may go public in 18 to 36 months.

Khosrowshahi, who led travel-booking site Expedia Inc for 12 years, made the remarks as he introduced himself to Uber’s workforce on Wednesday during an all-staff meeting at its San Francisco headquarters.

His plans include rebuilding Uber’s culture and growing market share as well as possibly conducting an initial public offering in 18 to 36 months, according to people who attended the meeting. It is common for venture capital-backed companies to signal an IPO at a vague time in the future.

“This company has to change,” Khosrowshahi told employees, according to the Twitter feed of Uber’s communications team. “What got us here is not what’s going to get us to the next level.”

Khosrowshahi said Uber needed to stabilize itself but also take what he called “big shots.”

The appointment of Khosrowshahi, who described himself as “a fighter,” comes as Uber is trying to recover from a series of crises that culminated in the ouster of former CEO Travis Kalanick in June. It is also a key step toward filling a gaping hole in its top management that at the moment has no chief financial officer, head of engineering or general counsel.

In his first meeting with Uber employees, Khosrowshahi emphasized recruiting new talent – particularly a chief financial officer – as well as a chairman to help him run the board, according to tweets from Uber.

Kalanick, who attended Wednesday’s staff meeting, welcomed his replacement in a statement.

“Casting a vote for the next chief executive of Uber was a big moment for me and I couldn’t be happier to pass the torch to such an inspiring leader,” Kalanick said.

Khosrowshahi inherits a dysfunctional board that has been divided by a lawsuit filed by investor Benchmark Capital against Kalanick. The lawsuit, which seeks to force Kalanick off the board and rescind his ability to fill two board seats, has caused shareholder infighting and complicated the CEO search.

Delaware Judge Sam Glasscock on Wednesday brought that dispute closer to a resolution when he stayed the lawsuit and moved it to arbitration, which moves the legal fight out of the public eye and hands a victory to Kalanick.

“I think what we have here is a political battle that belongs in the boardroom and not the courtroom,” said Donald Wolfe, an attorney for Kalanick.

Glasscock stopped short of dismissing the lawsuit, as Kalanick had requested, because of concerns about the impact the dispute might have on other Uber shareholders who may also want to take legal action.

The board had already selected Khosrowshahi as Uber’s next CEO in a vote on Sunday. But the firm and its board did not speak publicly on the decision until Tuesday evening, as contract negotiations were ongoing.

“The board and the executive leadership team are confident that Dara is the best person to lead Uber into the future,” Uber’s eight-member board wrote in an email to employees sent late Tuesday that was also made public.

Khosrowshahi has been replaced at Expedia by Mark Okerstrom, the company’s chief financial officer for the last six years. On a call with reporters Wednesday, Okerstrom hinted at the surprise and confusion that followed Khosrowshahi’s appointment as Uber CEO. Khosrowshahi was not a publicly known candidate for the job, and he told Expedia staff he was accepting the new role two days after the first media reports on his selection.

“I think the way that this whole thing unfolded is not the way that most people would have planned it,” Okerstrom said.

Khosrowshahi will remain on the Expedia board.

 

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WhatsApp is set to start giving business accounts verified green badges if their contact information checks out. If the phone number of a contact belongs to a business account, it earns a green check. The green badges are an effort to make businesses appear more trustworthy on the messaging app, and could encourage more businesses to get on the platform.

So far, business verification is limited to the small number of businesses that are participating in the pilot program. WhatsApp is also going to let you know if you’re talking to a business by showing a yellow text bubble in the chat. These texts can’t be deleted, according to WhatsApp. In general, users are able to delete messages and chats from a regular conversation, but WhatsApp seems to be forcing users to keep records of chats with a verified business.

 

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Facebook in its war against ‘fake news’ has disclosed that pages that spread fake news, will no longer be able to advertise on the platform.

 “If Pages repeatedly share stories marked as false, these repeat offenders will no longer be allowed to advertise on Facebook,” product managers Tessa Lyons and Satwik Shukla said in a blog post.

“This update will help to reduce the distribution of false news which will keep Pages that spread false news from making money.”

The social network already didn’t allow ads that link stories determined to be false by third-party fact-checkers.

“False news is harmful to our community,” Lyons and Shukla said.

“It makes the world less informed and erodes trust.”

Fake news became a serious issue in last year’s US election campaign, when clearly fraudulent stories circulated on social media, potentially swaying some voters.

Concerns have been raised since then about hoaxes and misinformation affecting elections in Europe this year, with investigations showing how “click farms” generate revenue from online advertising using made-up news stories.

“We’ve found instances of Pages using Facebook ads to build their audiences in order to distribute false news more broadly,” Lyons and Shukla said.

Facebook and Google have been working to curtail, or at least flag, stories crafted to deceive instead of enlighten.

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Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 8 “phablet”, which combines features of smartphones and tablets, in New York as it seeks mount a renewed challenge to Apple and its forthcoming iPhone 8, and leave behind the exploding batteries debacle in the Note 7.

The latest handset features include dual cameras on the back with improved image capabilities, and a signature “S Pen” for drawing or writing on touch screens.

But Lee Kyu-Ha, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities said it was “somewhat disappointing” that aside from the dual cameras, the Note 8 had “no significant change” from the Galaxy S8 smartphone.

The world’s largest smartphone maker rose as much as 0.29 percent in mid-afternoon trading before receding to close at 2,376,000 won, up just 0.08 percent.

Market sentiment was also weighed by uncertainty over the fate of Lee Jae-Yong, the heir to the Samsung empire, whose verdict in a corruption trial is due Friday.

Prosecutors have demanded a 12-year jail sentence for Lee and up to 10 years for four other former top Samsung executives.

 

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