Friday, 17 July 2009

James Watson

Remember Dr James Watson who claims that Africans are inherently backward and that they can't be as good as the rest of humanity ? I wasn't really surprised when I heard that because many non-Africans believe the same. The surprising thing however is how some Nigerians actually believe and try to defend that statement. This tells how much damage the Americans/Europeans have done and are still doing to our minds. Reasonable people never took Watson seriously because there are facts in our daily lives that tells you that the average African person is gifted.
For example, almost everybody in my locality speak more than one language. While I speak three languages, some of my siblings speak six and a lot of people I know speak four languages. You can find a few that speak seven to ten languages.
How many languages can Watson speak ? Maybe he only sees the world as it is expressed in English.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Mono:The Monkey Doesn't Bite Anymore

I was told that Mono literally means monkey in Spanish. It is also the name of an the open source implementation of the CLI and associated technologies popularly known as Microsoft .NET. The Mono project was started by Miguel De Icaza who still leads the effort. Mono allows you to run programs written for the Microsoft .NET platform on Linux and Mac OSX. But the project has a good number of enemies in the open source world, I prefer to call them the anti-Mono people. Most of them think that it is dangerous to include an implementation of a technology originating from Microsoft into Linux distributions. They think Mono is a trap set by Microsoft to later on capture Mono infected Linux distributions through patent litigations. I must confess that I am partial on this issue and have taken a side a long time ago. I am for Mono and I believe I have outgrown my "Geek adolescence" in which bashing Microsoft is a virtue. Mono is no more a threat than other technologies that are part of many linux distributions e.g ntfs-3g, samba e.t.c. I now believe in creating good technology whenever possible. Some of us Mono supporters argue that the anti-Mono crowd should develop a better alternative to Mono instead of making a lot of noise. Well, there is no need for that now, big bad Microsoft will be applying the Community Promise patent licensing to both C# and the CLI. This was announced by Peter Galli and I quote him

"The Promise applies to developers, distributors, and users of Covered Implementations without regard to the development model that created the implementations, the type of copyright licenses under which it is distributed, or the associated business model. Under the Community Promise, Microsoft provides assurance that it will not assert its Necessary Claims against anyone who makes, uses, sells, offers for sale, imports, or distributes any Covered Implementation under any type of development or distribution model, including open-source licensing models such as the LGPL or GPL"

So if you still think Mono is dangerous on Linux, you really need some new arguments.

Yahoo Boys And Western Hypocrisy

Everybody agrees that Internet fraudsters or yahoo boys as they are called in Nigeria are doing the most damage to Nigeria's image abroad. I'm also among those who agree but regrettably without any statistics to back our argument. Fortunately real statistics is proving us all wrong. According to Farooq Kperogi's column "Notes From Atlanta" in Weekly Trust of 4/7/2009, if statistics are anything to go by, then Internet scam should be termed "American Scam" and not "Nigerian Scam". Figures from the Internet Crimes Complaint Center shows that 76% to 87% of all Internet crimes reported from 2001 to 2008 were committed by Americans.
In 2008 only 7.8% of such fraud was committed by Nigerians while America and UK has 66.1% and 10.1% respectively.

As a whole scam e-mails which Nigerians are known for, constitutes less than 3% of overall on-line crimes. This has decreased from 15.5% in 2001 to less than 3% in 2008. So why is the western media making so much noise about "Nigerian Scam" and keeping shut about the "Massive American On-line Crime" ?
I agree with Farooq that Nigerians especially those in the west have not help matters also. They always try to emphasize the bad image of Nigeria maybe to justify their self exile in the west. I think our journalists are also doing a lot of damage. It seems they concentrate on reporting mainly the corruption cases in Nigeria. I'm not saying there is no corruption, but can't they find somethings positive to report in a country of 140 million people, At least to maintain a balance ?.

Imagine the insult most of us were subjected to by having our on-line transactions stopped (especially by American companies) simply because we reside in Nigeria. Maybe the Nigerian Minister Of Information is not crazy after all, we need to re-brand Nigeria.