Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Eastleigh crackdown got me thinking, is our country addicted to TERROR?

Why is it that most people who go abroad never desire to come back to their home country? Kenyans in particular go to states or Europe but not a single one is willing to come back. Some may invest on their relatives but are still reluctant to come back and settle down. Am I the only one who sometimes thinks we are too far from change? Just like Tupac sung “some things will never be the same, still I see no changes...” I know we can’t run away from problems but rather solving them is what will bring change. When we stop just talking and take actions no matter how small it may seem. The first thing that irks me a lot about our country is our leaders never take things seriously. Have you ever noticed how things that matter most read Lives being lost on a daily basis never ring a bell on their mind? Take for instance the ever happening disasters and terrorist attacks that have been happening on the recent past. If some of the acts that occur were to happen in other countries, some people would be fired. Solutions for the problems formulated and changes enacted where necessary.
The whole of this week our security force have been involved in an operation to establish citizenship of our fellow descents from Somali. A lot of questions have been raised as to what prompted for the immediate action to get rid of those alleged to be here illegally. I am not the big CIA but a lot of questions have to be asked as to when we take action on things that should have been done earlier. Also we need to ask ourselves some questions does it mean that the government didn’t know that we had illegal immigrants in Kenya until the Bomb Attack and the likoni church massacre happened.
If we want to solve some problems we have to start with the main roots of the problems. I applaud the government for some of its initiative to form a special force that will be responsible of our borders and fighting terrorism. But even as they do that we have to be realistic and solve the bigger problems. The major problem that I know will still be a big challenge to our government is the people responsible of securing our country, the police. Some say people say that we should pay them well; some say they should be a product of good grades. Fine this would be good qualities in our police force in Kenya. So what happens when some of these prerequisites are ignored?  We raise a force that knows only one language. Pay something small and we can negotiate on your freedom. But these are the people that we expect to bring justice and peace in our country. Then we will keep hoping and may never find it. To come back to my point I read somewhere that during the Eastleigh security raids a journalist was caught up in one of the raids. He narrated the whole scenario of what was happening and as usual the police would release you from their trucks if you parted with five thousand shillings. See what I was talking about. Now this is what happens on the ground but even before they do this some of the people that are in Kenya illegally how did they pass the immigrations test and get validated with Kenyan IDs. That should be our main big questions to answer. I believe if you are in the US without proper papers you ought to be afraid of the consequences of you being in that country illegally. Those that are here illegally ought to have some fear. But if nobody gives a F**k what goes around we are going to harbor a lot of people with ill motives, People who don’t care about peace and humanity in our communities.Yet again am reminded of a song i like by Black Eyed Peas, where is the love.
I know some people are against what the police are doing may be because of the manner in which they are carrying out the operations. But we can’t blame them that’s how they have been trained and for them to do it differently they have to be trained well then. The recent bomb attacks in Eastleigh must have prompted the government to carry out the operations. I don’t see any reason why we should sympathize with people who want to blow themselves and others for no apparent reason. I mean Kenyan is a peaceful country and we don’t need it to go to the wind just like that. This issue is not a about a certain religion or race being discriminated, no. Many people may argue that there’s some kind of discrimination but we should differentiate that with following the law. If someone is here without the proper documents and something happens he or she can leave without a trace. Therefore I believe the screening that’s taking place should actually be intensified. If I was in another country illegally I would cringe in fear if my fellow brotherhood is the ones carrying out attacks. If these operations are done with no bias then in one way or the other it’s within the law and should go on even in other cities and not just Eastleigh.
I like Eastleigh and the way things are at the moment I would rather shop in town where things are much expensive that set my foot there.  And to my fellow friends who live there and have experienced the wrath of the POPOs I feel for you especially the innocent Kenyans who are born and raised here and those with valid documents. That’s my two cent’s! Wait i think it’s more than a two cent. It’s a free country and somebody has to say it like it is. No hard feelings.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Twix Photography

1839, birth of photography. First successful photograph by Thomas Wedgewood. Though it was just an Image. He died at 34 I’m guessing he smoked too much or maybe the flu took him. But then Louis Daguerre was the first to include man in his photograph, the same year 1839 at some street in France, boulevard du temple.

Despite what you are seeing right now, it was a pretty busy street. The thing is, in order for an image to conjure at that time, during the inception of photography, the camera had to focus on an object for slightly over 10 minutes. That explains why only two men are seen on that photograph, the man and the shoe shiner. Now I wonder, did they have selfies at that time?
I could go on and on about photography, because it is kind of vast, I mean there was this time I believe the flash produced by a camera would land you in hospital, powerful like an object in motion, like in those old movies e.g. King Kong, lol those things flickered with so much power if today they were to be used again at likoni people would run for their lives like no one’s business.

This is a tribute to Peter Ndungu Kamau alias j’z, I don’t know if he still goes by that nick anymore, of Strathmore School of Law, he is my friend, my former classmate some time back, also now practices both law - cum - photography, I won’t concentrate on the law bit, but instead photography.
What best way to store memories other than through photography, i mean i personally hate my childhood years, thinking of them makes me want to puke, no better time than the present (viva the present and all his friends). if u luckily had a camera and your baby sis or your nagging girlfriend or those family photos usually taken annually or in a span of a few years and you definitely had to be in them, (maybe because your father is a dictator), you remember that 'i will kill you where you stand or i will kill you in your sleep' vibe going through your mind while you posed for the camera, at that time, you did not even dare to check out how the photo looked like. Now 10 years down the lane and you accidentally stumble over those family albums and perusing you find that picture from that day and you can’t help but smile. I think i made my point.
Back to peter. You should definitely check out his photos. I’ll post the address below to view pictures by him. I have his collection myself there is one I’m even thinking of framing. Too awesome.
His pictures are deep check this out for example

'The little challenges in life can be a hurdle and you might not see what’s in front. But with the right attitude, vision and focus, you can bravely walk past them.' -Pierre
Peter ndungu is a son of photography, you don’t believe me, check this out.

Check out the lighting for instance, i have an amateur eye but i could not help but notice the emotions in that photo. This is what I see:
1. A humongous pole with a shitty flag.
2. Kenyans together.
3. The light (on your left) - that light signifies so much I’m afraid if I get into detail, the government will declare me an enemy of the state. This picture can start a revolution, that’s how deep I think that picture is. Take your time to analyze it. Okay you are taking too much time, I’ll go ahead and give you what I think. the light is so bright it turns you on, it depicts the proverbial saying light at the end of the tunnel, aluta continua, struggle continues, it shows how we can grow into a superpower nation with sharp young minds who try to tap into their abilities without caring whatever kind of a barrier between you and the sea of unlimited opportunities that lay ahead. (That is the censored version. for uncensored, explicit limited version call me.)
An undergraduate student has to go to class and code stupid programs to keep up with the rest of the pigs at school. It was not my intention to blog after 3 or so weeks, plus i had cats, yes, i just heard you say fuck, i know i did.
Please check out peter's Twix official page either on twitter or Facebook, they will definitely cool, be safe.

Nairobi Night Lights.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Configure WhatsApp without BIS for blackberry in Kenya

Most blackberry users in Kenya and other parts of the world are locked from using services such as Facebook and Whatsapp unless they subscribe to the prepaid blackberry offers by most internet service providers. These offers by major mobile subscribers sometime can be costly to run on a daily. If you have experienced this kind of problem you don't have to worry, I will explain how you can use your Blackberry phone to access whatsapp using your bundles.

I came up with this post after assisting one of my pals configure his blackberry phone to use WhatsApp without having the Blackberry internet service enabled. It seemed like a daunting task but I got the way around pretty easy, after all it’s not illegal. Most android users enjoy these services without going through so much hustle to use WhatsApp and Facebook unlike their blackberry counterparts.

The first thing you need to do on your blackberry phone is; go to options then Device then advanced system settings and select TCP IP. You will find the APN option where you can change and modify the APN depending with the network you want to use. Edit the APN and then make sure the password and APN are settings are enabled.

For safaricom users APN: safaricom, username: saf password: data
For Airtel use APN:
For orange Kenya APN:
After making these changes to your profile you make sure the following settings are set as below.

Firewall settings should be put off. Go to options >> security >> Firewall and make sure everything is disabled. This firewall can be used to block Text messages and emails. But if you don’t need to block any of these just disable it by default.

If encryption and compression are on, put them off also.

Then head to Browser push and make sure that all of them are enabled. This setting is found on Options>> Device >> Advanced options then Browser Push.

The next step is loading the application via the native blackberry browser, make sure you download the application from Whatsapp main website and choose blackberry version. You will be prompted to allow the application to by giving it the necessary security rights. Then click download after the download starts. Launch the application then after it loads disconnect the phone by removing the battery without switching off. Reboot the phone and enjoy using Whatsapp. Some issues that may arise include the application failing to connect to the cellular data which means data is may be is not allowed on the application.You can get an error saying "Verification requires a WI-Fi or cellular data connection,that could not be found"
Another alternative is to use Wi-Fi connection to download the application then after that enable 3G network for phone number verification message from Whatsapp. Note also that you have to use the native blackberry browser to download WhatsApp.
Remember this steps that I outlined above can be used to download other applications such a opera mini if you are tired of using the Native blackberry browser that comes with your phone by default. You can always go back to using WhatsApp on BIS plan by de-activating the APN profile. I will be carrying out another post on how to configure your mobile phone to use blackberry services in Kenya soon.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Buy out competion or join and play the Game

Sometime the saying if you can’t beat them join them applies a lot in business. Trying to compete in a business sometime can be very hard especially when you want your products to remain relevant in the market. That’s why I see most big companies some time prefer to buy out their smaller competitors who are growing big and more innovative than them. That’s not the only reason; it could also be prospects of making a huge profit after injecting more cash to boast the business and increase revenues.

Image source KROMKRATHOG/
Competition is the rule of the game and most big companies such as Facebook, Samsung, Apple and Twitter survive by outshining each other. Samsung mobile would not have gone so far if they didn’t try to copy Apple iPhone model. They started with the shape of their Galaxy phone which became popular and a lot of people compared it to iPhone. That was not enough they also introduced the front camera on their devices. And recently they are trying to introduce the Finger swipe technology on their latest Samsung Galaxy S5 phone model.

When it comes to making huge acquisition, Facebook is keen on buying out companies that it deems profitable or those that come close to giving it a run for their money. Facebook purchased Instagram a photo sharing website that was gaining a massive following as the next social media platform. Facebook which uses the same model of business made a good decision to buy out their competitor Instagram. Now anytime you brag about ditching Facebook for Instagram, but still continue sharing your photos on Facebook via Instagram think twice. Facebook recently purchased WhatsApp in a whopping $19 Billion deal that saw WhatsApp founders rise to Forbes top 50 richest people in the world. Technically the money has not left Facebook as many people ought to think but only shares have been traded here.

The only company that still gives Facebook a headache is Twitter; most of my friends ditch Facebook for Twitter everyday.Even myself sometime I prefer logging in to Twitter to get real time updates on what’s happening and trending locally or international. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Facebook but sometime I prefer Twitter over Facebook. And by the way things are moving they have already added their own #tag system on the platform just like Twitter.
Twitter is unique, simple and precise. If you open the two websites and compare that’s when you notice one is a jack of all trades. Facebook is loaded with Applications, Groups, Fan pages, Adverts, chat and many other features. For someone who is just interested with interacting with fellow like minded friends, all this features are not necessary. When you compare it with Twitter you will notice Twitter is clean and has less columns and features that could distract or bore you to death.

If you thought that was not enough they have introduced trending topics on the upper right corner of each account. This is one of Twitter’s oldest features which Facebook users will start using. Now if you don’t agree with me that sometime if you can’t beat them you just join them you. If somebody keeps copying your style or model of business that means there is something that you are doing right.

Life lesson from this major tech companies is you can either buy out your competition or you can either copy the same things your competitor is doing and may be add some little magic to it. What Facebook does might look like a cheap game but trust me they are making more money than twitter with every move they implement. Sometime it’s easier using proven methods having success than coming up with totally new ideas and concepts. Don’t get me wrong on this you still can use the concept of new fresh ideas to be successful in areas where your competitor is lurking behind.

I wrote this random post after logging in to Facebook and twitter the same time. I couldn’t help but notice the two biggest social media websites compete on a daily basis. Whatever floats your boat folks, after all one man's meat is another man's poison.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Campus Wi-Fi by orange Kenya at Kenyatta University

Orange Kenya has introduced a Wi-Fi hotspots service to server Kenyatta university students with cheap and fast internet via Wi-Fi.

The Wi-Fi hotspots will only be available on the campus radius and its environs. Customers will need to have Wi-Fi enabled devices such as Laptops, Tablets or mobile phones to access the service. Once the customer searches for the Wi-Fi hotspot they will be required to create an account with their emails. Afterwards you will be given free 10 minutes access to the Wi-Fi internet connection.

Upon creating an account the Kenyatta university students needs to log in to the top up page to top up and buy the bundles on the same web interface. Orange Kenya is one of the leading internet service providers with cheap bundles and fastest internet in Kenya. Their Bundles ranges from 20MB to 5GB.The service also include a time based plan where you can choose to pay and pay a fixed amount for thirty minutes or 1 hr.

The advantage of using this service is you don’t have to own a modem to browse or use normal 3G network which sometimes is congested. Also customers using the campus Wi-Fi hotspot service will receive bonus data valid for 24hrs for every bundle purchased. You don’t need to have an orange sim card to use the service and its totally independent of the sim card you use, therefore you can still continue making calls using a different network while you enjoy using the Wi-Fi internet connection.

Orange Kenya has always been the pioneer for unique data services and was the first company to introduce zero.facebook. This service is available to orange customers who intend to use Facebook without incurring data costs.