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Minister Attributes Victory over Ebola Virus to ICT Tools




Following the formal declaration that Nigeria is completely free from the deadly Ebola Virus, the Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, has disclosed that a combination of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools, helped in containing the virus.

She listed the ICT tools to include the use of an Android app, Facebook and twitter.
Johnson made the disclosure in Busan, Republic of Korea, during the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference.
Johnson informed delegates made up of ministers and senior officials from across the globe during the conference that mobile phone app helped in reducing reporting times of infections by seventy-five per cent. She said test results were scanned to tablets and uploaded to emergency databases and field teams got text message alerts on their phones informing them of the results.
Johnson explained that the combination of the internet and mobile cellular phones opened up tremendous opportunities for countries like Nigeria.

The steep increase in mobile use, according to Johnson, is driven by a number of factors, particularly, the additional ways in which mobile phones are being used in Nigeria. She added that beyond conducting voice conversations, mobile phones are often the preferred channel for receiving data and for conducting transactions in Nigeria, thus making phones an indispensable tool used as cameras, wallets, shops, music players, movie screens, and information or service centres of Nigerians.
Speaking on Nigeria’s policy focus, Johnson noted it is in step with the reality of the mobile internet revolution spreading across the globe. She said the ministry was looking to create a viable environment for the proliferation of lower priced devices, increased investment in network infrastructure, and increased availability of spectrum for mobile broadband, in the knowledge that these will further drive growth in the nation’s ICT sector.

Johnson also disclosed that through the implementation of the National ICT Policy, National Broadband Roadmap, and Guidelines for Nigerian Content in ICT, the ministry is bringing greater clarity and predictability to the Nigerian ICT sector.
She said in the past four years, Nigeria had seen mobile subscription increase from 87 million active Sim cards to over 131 million and mobile internet subscription stood at 67 million as at June 2014.
The ministry’s policy framework, Johnson added is in line with the ITU’s strategic plan for 2016-2019, particularly its identified goals and targets of growth, inclusiveness, sustainability, innovation and partnership.

“The ICT sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP is growing and was about ten and a half per cent (10.44%) in 2013. The sector also indirectly impacts GDP through its influence on other key sectors; for example, in the 2013, ICTs were responsible for twelve per cent (12.05 per cent) of the value added by the Finance and Insurance sector to GDP. In terms of social growth, ICTs are helping government to meet health objectives, and are amplifying benefits in the education and agriculture sectors,” Johnson said.
The ITU’s growth priority of enabling and fostering access to and increased use of telecommunications/ICTs according to Johnson, resonates with Nigeria, both economically and socially.


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Facebook paid users to track smartphone use




Facebook paid users, including teens, to track their smartphone activity as part of an effort to glean more data that could help the social network’s competition efforts, according to a new report that may raise fresh privacy concerns.

An investigation by the online news site TechCrunch said the effort, which had been known as the Onavo Project and later rebaptized as Facebook Research, was used to gather data on usage habits.

The news could be a further embarrassment for Facebook, which has been under heightened scrutiny over failing to crack down on manipulation of its platform and for sharing private data with its business partners.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook said it shut down the application on Apple’s iOS on Wednesday after the article was published, but apparently kept it active for Android users.

The report said the initial Onavo app was shuttered for violating Apple’s privacy policy and that the newer version may also contravene Apple’s terms.

The program paid users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 a month for “root” access to their devices to track their location, app usage, spending habits and other activity.

According to a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook claimed there was nothing secret about the effort and that it obtained parental consent for teens where required.

Facebook did not immediately respond to further requests for comment.

The project may have allowed Facebook to scoop up more data about younger users as it fends off a challenge from rival services like Snapchat, which has become more popular than Facebook among US teens.

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Instagram is down for some users (FB)




It’s not clear exactly how many people are affected, or what’s causing the outage. Business Insider has reached out to the Facebook-owned photo sharing app for more information.

The app’s news feed is refusing to refresh for some users, while the homepage on desktop won’t load.

Down Detector, a website that tracks outages of popular websites, reported a spike in users saying Instagram was down on Monday, with particular hotspots on both coasts of the United States and the UK.

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Instagram plans to offer high-profile influencers special tools that will provide them with a deeper insight into various data regarding their followers. These tools will be delivered in the form of Creator Accounts, which will only be available to select Instagram users (i.e. influencers, celebs).

An Instagram official recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the company wishes to make sure that “Instagram is the best place, and easiest place, to build fan communities and also build creators. personal brands.”

These creator accounts are meant to function like business-focused profiles and will offer growth insights, including information about follows and unfollows. Influencers will also be able to see weekly and daily data about their followers count changes so that they can better understand what might have caused a decline in their fan base or a spike in new followers.

Also, direct messaging tools that will enable Instagram users to filter notes from brand partners and friends will be available as well. Furthermore, influencers will be allowed to choose how they want to be contacted via flexible labels.

According to Instagram. these new features are being tested with a small beta group at the moment, but they are expected to be rolled out to everyone sometime in 2019.



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