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Lagos Targets Drone Made by LASPOTECH for Aerial Surveillance

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Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos State Governor, on Thursday said the State Government would deploy drone made by the staff and students of Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) to effectively carry out aerial security surveillance across the State.

Speaking at the 25th Convocation Ceremony of the institution held at the main campus in Ikorodu, Governor Ambode commended the staff and students for being innovative, saying that government would do everything within its power to promote and fund the drone project to encourage them for the achievement.

Governor Ambode also approved the construction of new Main Auditorium, Administrative Block, renovation of the Sports Complex and general facelift to the facilities within the campus environment including equipping and furnishing of the newly built School of Technology Building (Block A).

According to the Governor, it was worthy of note that LASPOTECH, in its 40 years of existence, had occupied a pride of place among State-owned Polytechnics in Nigeria, but stressed that conscious efforts must be made to build on the successes achieved especially by becoming a true centre for excellence in technological education and research.

He said being an emerging mega city, tertiary institutions and services in the State must be of acceptable global standards and be agents of development, adding that such was important for the State to compete favourably with other mega cities in the world.

“Lagos State Polytechnic must rise to the challenge of meeting the technical manpower requirement of both the public and private sectors in not just Lagos State but in the whole nation.

“We must rise above just providing education for the sake of acquiring a certificate to providing knowledge which will empower our youth to become champions of their generation, to chart their own course and establish enterprises that will create jobs and generate wealth for all.

“Education is high on the priority list of this administration, and a significant portion of the State budget every year is allocated to education. We recognise the fact that a citadel of learning is as good as the quality of its learning environment in terms of infrastructure, academic and administrative faculties. Our government has invested massively in upgrading the infrastructure and other learning tools in all our tertiary institutions, including this institution.

“The ultimate goal of this investment in tertiary institutions in Lagos State is beyond meeting the requirement for the accreditation of courses; it is to ensure that tertiary education in Lagos State becomes a bench mark in Nigeria, ranking comparatively with global institutions and producing the leaders of tomorrow,” Governor Ambode said.

While reeling out some of the interventions by the State Government in the institution, Governor Ambode recalled that recent construction of the School of Technology Complex and approval for the recruitment of additional 89 academic staff as recommended by the Governing Board, as well as the extension of the Light Up Lagos Project initiative to LASPOTECH to ensure the safety and security to lives and properties within the campus environment.

The Governor also announced increment in the number of participants for this year’s edition of Ready, Set, Work (RSW) programme of the State Government targeted at making final year students in tertiary institutions in the State to emerge as ready candidates for the increasingly competitive labour market, and more importantly, as job creators from 500 to 2000 students, while a total of 10,000 students would have the opportunity to participate in RSW Academy online.

Besides, Governor Ambode charged the graduating students to be good ambassadors of the Polytechnic and the State, saying that remained the pivot upon which the hope of the nation revolves.

Earlier, Mr Samuel Sogunro, LASPOTECH’s Rector, commended Governor Ambode for his passion and commitment to development of education, saying apart from being the first Governor to participate in the convocation ceremony of the institution in the last 27 years, Governor Ambode despite the economic realities in the country, approved an increment in the monthly subvention to the institution from N153.731million to N210million.

He said the Governor also approved allocation of N750million for the proposed accreditation exercise billed to take place in the institution, among many other interventions.

A total of 9228 students graduated from 32 Departments, out of which 273 came out with distinctions.

Ejire Adedolapo Abdulazeez, the overall best graduating student, from the School of Pure and Applied Science was also offered instant employment with the State Government by Governor Ambode

 

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Bharti Family Pledges 10% of Wealth To Philanthropy

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By peter oluka

The Bharti Family, which has built one of India’s leading business enterprises, today pledged a part of their personal wealth for philanthropic purposes.

The Family has decided to pledge 10% of their wealth, including 3% of their stake in group flagship Bharti Airtel, towards supporting the activities of Bharti Foundation, the Group’s philanthropic arm, one of the few professionally managed philanthropic bodies in India.

With this commitment, the Bharti Family envisions to significantly step up the scope and reach of Bharti Foundation’s activities, and further enable the Foundation to develop and execute innovative development models to support the aspirations of India’s underprivileged including students of Satya Bharti Schools.

Set up in the year 2000, Bharti Foundation has grown in scale and stature, and evolved well beyond customary cheque book philanthropy to design and implement innovative development models, particularly in the area of education.

Led by a full time CEO and COO, the Foundation’s team of over 200 highly motivated professionals and approx. 8000 teachers work across multiple programs in the areas of education of approx. 240,000 underprivileged children in rural India.

Bharti Foundation has also supported the creation of Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology & Management at IIT Delhi, Bharti Centre for Communication at IIT Mumbai and Bharti Institute of Public Policy at ISB Mohali.

The Foundation has also instituted a number of scholarship programs, the prominent being scholarship for Indian students studying at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Bharti Foundation is a leading contributor to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that is addressing the sanitation needs of poor households in the country.

The Foundation has built approx. 18,000 toilets in Punjab’s Ludhiana making it an Open Defecation Free (ODF) district benefitting approx. 90,000 people.  Bharti Foundation has now undertaken another similar initiative to make Amritsar District in Punjab ODF with a target to build 50,000 toilets in collaboration with the Punjab Government.

With this, Bharti will become the first corporate to facilitate ODF status for two districts in the country.

Announcing the commitment, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Chairman, Bharti Foundation, said, “Today is a major milestone in the journey of the Bharti Family. Being first generation entrepreneurs, we feel absolutely privileged that this nation gave us the opportunity to imagine and build world-class businesses. Bharti’s DNA has always been about creating a deep positive impact on society through our businesses, and we are proud to have contributed to the India growth story.”

“Firm believers in Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of Trusteeship, we have always reckoned that ownership of business is a social responsibility, and wealth creation cannot be an end in itself. Even when we were small in size and relatively modest with our business goals, we always aspired to be part of the wider nation building process.”

“We feel grateful every day for our good fortune and feel the instinctive and overwhelming urge to give back to the society and create opportunities for others. Bharti Foundation has done some exceptional work for uplifting the underprivileged and it stands out as a shining example of how professionally managed development arms of businesses can build innovative and sustainable models that make real and measurable difference on ground. We hope in the years and decades to come, Bharti Foundation will be able to unlock its full potential as a change agent and enable millions of fellow Indians fulfill their dreams.”

Today, Bharti Foundation also announced its plans to set up Satya Bharti University for Science and Technology to complement its existing programs in the area of education. The University will have a strong focus on future technologies like AI, Robotics, AR/VR, IoT, in addition to offering degrees in Electrical & Electronics Engineering and Management. It will be a non-profit centre of excellence and will offer free education to a large number of deserving youth from economically weaker sections.  It will also promote and fund advanced research with global linkages. It intends to add leading global industry partners, i.e. Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft and SoftBank among others.

Making the announcement, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice-Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Co-Chairman, Bharti Foundation said, “Having built a successful model for primary and senior schooling under Satya Bharti Schools, Bharti Family plans to build Satya Bharti University – a world-class institution, to support the higher education aspirations of India’s youth. Our aspiration is to develop it into a centre of excellence not just in India but globally.”

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Uber Breaches: Sophos Advices Organisations To Be More Security Conscious

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By peter oluka

Following reports of massive data breaches suffered, but covered by Uber in 2016, Sophos has advised corporation to be more security conscious.

A report by Bloomberg indicates the data of 57,000,000 drivers and customers was stolen, after which Uber not only kept the breach secret from the victims, but also paid the hackers $100,000 to “delete the data [and] keep quiet”.

Apparently, Uber’s security chief, Joe Sullivan, lured to Uber from Facebook in 2015, has been sacked in the fallout, according report.

Bloomberg quotes Uber as follows:

Compromised data from the October 2016 attack included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders around the world… The personal information of about 7 million drivers was accessed as well, including some 600,000 US driver’s license numbers. No Social Security numbers, credit card information, trip location details or other data were taken.

Going by a report by Nakedsecurity, It seems that Uber’s programmers uploaded security credentials to a GitHub repository – GitHub is a place where you are supposed to store source code, not the keys to the castle! – where the hackers stumbled across them.

From there, the crooks were able to get into Uber servers hosted on Amazon, and from there to access the personal information involved in the breach.

If this sounds terribly familiar, Uber suffered a breach with a similar cause just over three years ago, an intrusion that was discovered in May 2014 but not disclosed until February 2015.

Reliable details of what data was stolen this time round are not yet available.

As mentioned above, driving licence details were acquired by the hackers, meaning that Uber certainly ought to have declared the breach promptly, because sensitive data was involved.

Uber’s claim that customer details such as credit card data and social security numbers were not involved in the heist is a slight silver lining, but how many customers are willing to believe Uber at this point is anybody’s guess.

What to do?

There’s so much still untold in this story that the only sensible recommendation we can make to Uber customers is: “Keep your eyes open for what comes out next.”

If you’re a programmer, repeat these words to anyone who will listen: “GitHub is for code, not for security keys!”

As our friend and colleague Chester Wisniwewski bluntly put it: Uber’s breach demonstrates once again how developers need to take security seriously and never embed or deploy access tokens and keys in source code repositories. I would say it feels like I have watched this movie before, but usually organisations aren’t caught while actively involved in a cover-up as well. Putting the drama aside and the potential impacts from the upcoming GDPR enforcement in Europe, this is just another careless development team with shared credentials and poor security practices. Sadly, this is common more often than not in “agile” development environments, especially in high-growth technology startups.

Commenting on the report, Sophos Principal Research Scientist Chester Wisniewski, believes,

“Uber’s breach demonstrates once again how developers need to take security seriously and never embed or deploy access tokens and keys in source code repositories. I would say it feels like I have watched this movie before, but usually organizations aren’t caught while actively involved in a cover-up. Putting the drama aside and the potential impacts from the upcoming GDPR enforcement, this is just another development team with poor security practices that has shared credentials. Sadly, this is common more often than not in agile development environments.”

From his perspective, Sophos Cyber Security Advisor, James Lyne says: “Uber isn’t the only and won’t be the last company to hide a data breach or cyberattack. Not notifying consumers puts them at greater risk of being victimized with fraud. It’s for precisely this reason that many countries are driving to regulations with mandatory breach disclosure.”

For Uber customers and drivers, Sophos advises that they monitor their credit scores and keep their eyes peeled for additional information on what was stolen.

 

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Apple Begin Sale of MekaMons Built by Adekunle, Nigerian Engineer

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Silas Adekunle with his 4-legged MekaMon robot

Apple stores in the US and UK have begun the sale of MekaMons, a gaming robot built by Silas Adekunle, a Nigerian-Briton.

 

Adekunle, an engineer, graduated with first class honours from the University of the West of England in Bristol, with a bachelor of science in robotics technology.

 

He was born in Nigeria but moved to the UK when he was 11 years old.

 

His company, Reach Robotics, an augmented reality gaming company which creates robots for both fun and STEM education, struck the deal with Apple recently.

 

MekaMons has been on sale since November 16 for $299.95.

 

The four-legged robots can be controlled via an iPhone and other smartphone using a companion app for augmented reality gameplay.

 

“We’ve created an entirely new video gaming platform,” Adekunle said in a statement by Black Enterprise.

 

The 4-legged MekaMon robot

 

“MekaMon straddles both the real and virtual worlds while taking the gaming experience beyond a player’s screen and turning their sitting room into a limitless robotic battle zone.

 

“MekaMon represents a quantum leap forward in the leveraging of augmented reality. Players can whip out their iPhone to battle their multi-functional, connected battlebots in the physical and virtual worlds at the same time.

 

“When I was a student at UWE Bristol I spent some time going into schools to help inspire young people and it struck me that there was a huge untapped market for a consumer robot with a difference.

 

“We used to go in and explain simple robotics to try to inspire the young roboticists and engineers of the future and this experience set me off thinking about designing gaming robots.

 

“This is an exciting time for our company as now after years of development work we are finally able to bring Mekamon to customers across the UK and US and with plans to go global.

 

“UWE Bristol has given us an amazing start and we are so grateful for their support.”

 

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