Youth Told to Embrace Social Media

By Brian Otieno

Youths in Kenya have a great opportunity to changethe country for the better through the use of social media, a Changamwe parliamentary hopeful has said.

Philip Ndolo, who is a prominent businessman inMombasa, said at the weekend that the youths should take advantage of thesocial media like the popular ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’ to reposition themselvespolitically. “Youths need to relook at the position in thecountry’s politics. They have been misused by the political class for long andit is time to say no,” said Ndolo

He said the social media also provide an opportunity for the youths to advocate for their issues. The aspirant said the use of the social media can provide good ideas for money-making programs for the youths. He said youths in the country have for a long time been given false hopes by the old guard in politics. He said time has come for the youths to demand their rightful place in politics. “This can only be done if youths are empowered. We can empower youths through Small and Medium Enterprises, workshops and other outreach programmes,” said Ndolo.

At the same time, Ndolo challenged stakeholders in Changamwe constituency to work together to improve the infrastructure in Changamwe, which he said is dilapidated. He said elected leaders must ensure that the votes of their supporters do not go to waste by performing below their expectations.

Trendfear: Do you ever feel you’re being left behind?

BY BBC News Magazine

January is a cornucopia of technological tipping and frantic futurology, but do you ever get a nagging fear that trends are passing you by?

What is Pinterest? And is it important what it is?

And will Summly have a big year in 2012? And does that matter?

There are plenty of people who would answer these questions with a stock “I don’t care”.

These people might refuse to even look at social media, and choose to eschew the smartphone and the tablet. But there are plenty of jobs where you might have to take notice.

There are areas of advertising, marketing, public relations, journalism, academia, design, and finance where workers might find themselves looking a bit silly if they reveal they have no idea of the technological lie of the land.

And the narrowly defined technology sector itself is ever-more important.  Some are terrified as they don’t know where it will end”

John McGurk Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development

But imagine the job of a policeman. A detective in 2005 would, more than likely, not have heard of Facebook. A detective in 2012 would know that a murder victim’s social media activity would have to be investigated as a matter of course.

If you’re a school headteacher and you don’t understand the implications of the rise of location-based websites and apps like Foursquare, you might one day regret it.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote more than a decade ago about the “tipping point”, the moment when a particular phenomenon suddenly became “big”.

There is a point when, arguably, you should know about something. There’s a point when not knowing is a bit like a judge asking who Bruce Springsteen is. And the earlier you know, the better.

The nagging anxiety at the back of the mind that you are missing out might be called “trendfear”.

In an interview about the internet with the Sunday Times in 1999, Douglas Adams memorably satirised a common attitude towards new technology and trends.

Everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal, suggested Adams. Anything created between birth and the age of 30 is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it.

But whatever is invented after you’ve turned 30 is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it -until it’s been around for about 10 years, when it gradually turns out to be all right really.

Just the language of the predictions can leave many people stumped.

Food writer Marina O’Loughlin recently predicted: “Even more exciting is the rock’n'roll-isation of eating: follow food swarm artists such as London’s @Tweat_up (tagline: ‘So far no deaths or arrests’).”

You might also have found yourself baffled by the rise of “dual screening” – watching television and posting instant reactions on Twitter.

At the other end of the technological spectrum is playwright Tom Stoppard, who recently revealed he had no computer or “twitter machine”.

Much is made by the government about those people, often elderly or poor, who miss out on things because they have no internet access.

People who aren’t successful playwrights will struggle to get a job without at least knowing how to use email, Google, Word, Excel or Powerpoint, says Dr John McGurk, learning adviser at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.

And there are plenty of jobs where more than this is required.

Universities are bringing in social networked learning, and some academics are struggling to cope, McGurk believes. “They’re being encouraged to engage with students on social media. But some are terrified as they don’t know where it will end.”

Tracking Criminals Via Phone Calls

By Zakariyya Adaramola, 30 January 2012


Earlier this month, Nigeria security operatives apprehended one Kabiru Umar (aka Kabiru Sokoto), an alleged mastermind of 2011 Christmas Day bombing at Madalla, near Abuja.

Reports say he was tracked through his cell phone signals. But many Nigerians are wondering why the security agents have not been able to track down Abu Qaqa, the spokesman of Boko Haram, who frequently speaks to newsmen on the activities of the group using a cell phone.

A certain Abu Qaqa, the spokesman of the dreaded Boko Haram group which has been claiming responsibilities for many of the bombings in the country in recent times, does his Public Relations job mostly via phone.

The security agents have been unable to stop the killing spree since it began around 2009, and many Nigerians have lost hope in government protecting them.

Many Nigerians were further saddened two weeks ago when news broke that an alleged Boko Haram member, Kabiru Umar (aka Kabiru Sokoto), who allegedly masterminded the bombing of a church in Madalla, an Abuja suburb, had escaped.

The alleged terror suspect was said to have been tracked to the Borno State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja through his phone calls. The security agents, it was reported trailed Kabiru Sokoto through his phone signal with a technology in their possession.

Though many doubted it when it was said that Sokoto was traced via phone calls but there is no doubt on whether such technology exists or not. In 2010, the International Telecommunication Union – an agency of the United Nations focused on information and communication technologies – passed a resolution recognizing “that Lebanon’s telecommunication facilities have been and are still being subjected to piracy, interference and interruption, and sedition by Israel against Lebanon’s fixed and cellular telephone networks,” condemning the attacks as harmful to Lebanon’s national security. It means therefore that phone calls could be tapped into and conversation could be monitored.

Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, once told Al Jazeera that it is “quite feasible” to access a mobile operating centre remotely, thus able to install backdoors, install software to monitor or manipulate phone calls.

“We know that it is relatively simple to do real-time surveillance of text messaging and even block texts based upon key words as a third party,” he said.

“In 2009″, according to Al-Jazeerah, “Hezbollah and the Lebanese security services investigated three members from the resistance movement after they were suspected by the party of spying. The investigation revealed their phones had been installed with a software programme which allowed a second line to be linked to their phones.

“Intelligence officials discovered that when they switched off the tampered phones, two lines would disappear from the network, and when switched on again, two lines would reappear, even though only one SIM card was actually installed in the phone.

“The purpose of “twinning” is to allow third parties to remotely access the data records of the phone, trace its location and eavesdrop on conversations in the vicinity of the phone, regardless of whether the phone is switched on or off.

“The benefits would allow you to eavesdrop on the phone communications.”

“If you can also activate the hands-free, you can listen in on what is going on in the room, even when there is no phone call being placed on the phone, so it’s an open mike on your target the whole time”, Al-Jazeera reported in its website last year.

If this can be done, why is it difficult for our government to track Abu Qaqa with this type of technology if truly they arrested Sokoto via it? Abu Qaqa, they said, is not a spirit. He probably uses one of the country’s seven active telecoms operators networks to do his thing, and the lines he uses must have been registered, if not, he should have been blocked by now going by what the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) said when it started selling the idea of SIM registration to Nigerians.

NCC had said any subscribers who failed to register his/her line would not be able to make or receive calls with it. It is also said that any criminal who uses telephone to commit crime would be tracked and apprehended through the data supplied during registration.

So, why is it difficult to track down Abu Qaqa with the same technology the security agents used in tracking Kabiru Sokoto, now at large?