The Internet’s Undersea World…

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

This infographic provides information about the Internet cables placed under the Earth’s oceans that provide internet for people around the world. The infographic also provides visuals to show where the cables were placed and information about the world’s longest internet cables. It also provides information for how many people were affected by the Alexandria accident.

 

 

How to unsubscribe from any premium rate service on a Safaricom line…

Have you ever found yourself trapped in a premium service that you didn’t know how you signed up to? Or you even are sure you didn’t subscribe but there your airtime is being deducted regularly (sometimes in huge chunks)? Well there is a D.I.Y. solution on Safaricom:

  • On pre-paid, dial *100# and on post-paid, dial *200#.
  • You will get a list of options as seen above, select Premium Rate Services.
  • Inside Premium Services, select My Subscriptions.
  • This will list all the premium services you are subscribed to.
  • You have an option to unsubscribe to each or all of them.

Overview of Cloud Computing…

We’ve all heard about it, we probably have clients using it, but what is it exactly?

In essence, Cloud Computing is a umbrella term that covers a number of different (but related) technologies, very much like most people think “The Internet” just means looking at web pages, but it encompasses that, email, file transfer, news feeds, remote access and much, much more.

The main “Cloud” products are:

Software as a Service (SaaS) – rather than having your programs and data on your computer, you access them via the Internet. Any of you using web based email such as Hotmail are using SaaS and therefore “the Cloud”.

SaaS means that you can access your programs and data from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Whilst webmail is a common use of SaaS that’s been around for a long time, we are now seeing other software offered in this way – Microsoft Office 365 gives you Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. as a totally web based offering. Google Apps does exactly the same. There are SaaS timesheet systems, CRM management solutions, Project Management systems, Point of Sale solutions just to name a few.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) – So, you want to build your own custom software solution? You need a server to run it on, a database, a web front end for it, all the development tools but you don’t have them in house?

This is where PaaS would be used. A PaaS provider effectively gives you all this “in the Cloud”, either for you to build from scratch or using predefined building blocks. All you need to know is how the bits fit together. The PaaS provider does the rest for you. PaaS can also be used to add additional functionality to SaaS.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Servers, software, data storage and network equipment can all live in the Cloud. Rather than having a server room/data centre, all that equipment is hosted elsewhere and you just maintain a data link between yourselves and the IaaS provider.

If you have a website and it’s hosted by a third party, that’s IaaS, but at a very basic level. If you want to backup your data offsite and you buy space with an online data storage company, that’s IaaS.

No doubt you will have realised that there’s some crossover between all these different services, and that’s part of what makes “Cloud” confusing, never mind the fact that a lot of this seems like new names for old stuff – Web hosting can now be called IaaS, webmail is SaaS…  (Aargh!)

So, if your client says they’re using Cloud, you need to establish what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

Private v Public – Regardless of what’s being done in the Cloud it can be Private Cloud or Public Cloud. Public Cloud is where you buy/rent resource that is on a system shared with other people. Private Cloud is resource on a system that is exclusively for your use. Private Cloud can be provided by a third party or can be an extension of your own infrastructure – essentially you could market Wilson’s Outlook Web Access as SaaS in a Private Cloud!

The Risks of Cloud – One of the first things to bear in mind is that Cloud relies on connections (whether to the Internet or to your Cloud provider). In the event of a connection being lost, you’ve lost your software/data/business platform, etc. Businesses can mitigate this risk by ensuring that they’ve got multiple connections from different communications providers to their cloud provider and the Internet, but this won’t help the salesman in the field when he’s got no signal on his mobile dongle for his laptop.

Similarly, what happens if the Cloud provider suffers a failure? They’re just running servers and servers can crash. There should be an SLA in place with the provider – is there? Is it sufficient? There was a drastic failure of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in April 2011 and a lot of companies lost their Cloud services for 5 days. Amazon accepted no blame for this as it was within the terms of business and highlighted in their Cloud Computing model.

Data privacy also comes into the equation. If you’re hosting information elsewhere, where in the world is it? The Family Business Awards website was in Germany, but it could equally have been in America. If the data is outside of the EU, then you need to consider the Data Protection Act requirements. Is this covered in your Ts and Cs? If you’re using Public Cloud, could an error by the Cloud provider mean that someone else you’re sharing the space with can get to your data? Can the Cloud provider access your data in raw format or is it encrypted?

Also on the subject of data, who is responsible for the backup of your Cloud based data? You or the Cloud provider? If they back it up, they could back it up to yet another country and you’ve got more DPA to worry about.

Finally, what happens if you want to move Cloud provider?

Q & A: Writing My Heart Away…

Norryn Busingye is the charter President of the Rotaract Club of Kigali City…

One can read her blog here…

The 411…: Can you give us a picture of yourself?
Writing My Heart Away!: Well, I am a big thinker. I maintain a positive attitude towards whatever happens in my life, despite any circumstances; by associating with uplifting and encouraging people. I like making friends,

The 411…: When did you start blogging?
Writing My Heart Away!: Not very far from now…I actually started in 2012. To be specific, my first post was on February 22nd.

The 411…: Did you have any specific goal in mind when you began blogging?
Writing My Heart Away!: Sure…I the initial idea was actually to write a novel (probably because I had read so many). Then with time, I realized I would probably take a long time to bring together ideas in my mind. So I resorted to a blog. I haven’t given up on writing a book yet though.

The 411…: What was the first blog you ever read?
Writing My Heart Away!: OMG! Like I can actually remember the name! One thing I know is that it was an IT-related blog. I wasn’t really attracted to the content; but the idea of owning a blog.

The 411…: How much time per day do you spend on blog-related activities (i.e. writing, promotion, design etc)?
Writing My Heart Away!: Actually, I don’t spend so much time as yet… Let’s say (averagely), an hour per day. Depending on circumstances though, some days go without my attention to blog stuff.
The 411…: How do you attract traffic to your blog?
Writing My Heart Away!: Social media is my winning tool for that..I try to make sure that once published my blog posts are shared automatically on all the social networks I use. Plus, I keep talking about my blog to friends I interact with on addition to engaging other people’s blogs through commenting, liking or reblogging their blog posts.

The 411…: What do you think sets your site apart from others?
Writing My Heart Away!: Hmmh! I write from my heart…rarely out of others’ experience. I write what I feel. To me, my blog is my way of letting out those words that sometimes go unsaid in different dimensions; Life, Events, Government policies, that’s why I gave it that title.

The 411…: On your blog, is there a post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?
Writing My Heart Away!: Yes, a little poem I wrote to a special someone, “Dedicated to a True Love.” It might not win “most powerful” title but for now, it has the most powerful reaction.

The 411…: In your most creative words, finish this sentence: “To blog means…”
Writing My Heart Away!: To freely share or express one’s thoughts through writing…and share experience with fellow writers..The most free platform to write my heart out.

The 411…: If you weren’t blogging now, what would you be doing?
Writing My Heart Away!: Huh! I would probably be planning to blog…either way, I would eventually blog. 🙂

QUICKFIRE ROUND:

1) Your favorite browser? Google Chrome.
2) Your favorite search engine? Google.
3) Best thing about the Net? Provides access to a variety of information whenever one needs it.
4) Worst thing about the Net? There are different versions of almost everything…Sometimes it’s not so easy to make up one’s mind when it comes to credibility of information.
5) What is your favorite instant messaging software? Whatsapp.

Q & A: Cheekily Chic…

Maryanne Jelagat, author of Cheekily Chic…

Maryanne Jelagat is an up & coming fashionista…

One can read her blog here…

The 411…: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Cheekily Chic: Well, I’m awesome. I am. 🙂 (Wow, Isn’t this the hardest question?) Okay, I can summarize all about myself by saying I am a lover of life; I like good food, good music (i.e. The Script) and trying out new things.

The 411…: How did you get into blogging?
Cheekily Chic: Reading other blogs inspired me to start my own.

The 411…: Why did you decide to start a blog?
Cheekily Chic: I was actually inspired by another blogger Nancie Mwai. The more and more I read her blog, I realized that I also want to document my fashion journey and share it with others.

The 411…: What was the name of your first blog?
Cheekily Chic: Cheekily Chic. 🙂

The 411…: What blogging platform did you use to start with? What are you using now and why?
Cheekily Chic: I started with WordPress and I’m still using it. I find it very organized and simple compared to other platforms. Plus if I ever want to get my own domain, I think it would be very easy to do so.

The 411…: What makes a good blog post?
Cheekily Chic: One that your readers are able to relate with.

The 411…: What would you prioritize? Content? S.E.O.? Traffic? Readers?
Cheekily Chic: Content. I think with good content, the rest (Traffic and Readers) just follow suit.

The 411…: What’s the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?
Cheekily Chic: Inspiration.

The 411…: List your three favorite blogs (the ones that you read the most).
Cheekily Chic: (I read so many different blogs)

  • The Fashion Notebook.
  • This Is Ess.
  • It’s Me, Wine Lover. (She recently deleted her blog though)

The 411…: If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
Cheekily Chic: I’d suggest that they blog about something they’re very interested in (a general blog can also do). Also I think it’s important to also read other blogs to get ideas, inspiration and the likes.

QUICKFIRE ROUND:

1) Your favorite browser? Chrome.
2) Your favorite search engine? Google.
3) Best thing about the Net? So much knowledge and information available.
4) Worst thing about the Net? Everything is available on the net. Good and bad.
5) What is your favorite instant messaging software? Whatsapp.

Tender to airlift Head of State speeches…

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

Why would the government spend a whole K.Sh. 12,000,000 per year to deliver some papers in the name of a Presidential speech? Is it some kind of a scared word or decree from a spiritual healer or something? A Presidential speech is not a crucial document, it’s a mere written speech that will be read to the public. Ever heard of creating an intranet? Digital government my foot!