Good morning. IBM and Samsung have announced their latest advance in semiconductor design which could produce cell phone batteries that could go over a week without being charged, instead of days.
LOL. My Nokia did this in 1999. On a serious note, this is fantastic as it promises to fix the single most annoying and highly antiquated feature of our cell phones: Having to charge at least once a day if not more.
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Israel. The official Instagram account of British actress Emma Watson has expressed solidarity with Palestinians in a new post, eliciting widespread support from pro-Palestine users but also drawing strong criticism from Israeli officials. Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, criticised the post.
Kazakhstan. Protests against soaring energy prices took place in Kazakhstan for a third consecutive day, marking a rare show of mass public dissent in the former Soviet republic. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades in a bid to break up an unprecedented thousands-strong march in Almaty, Kazakhstan’ largest city on Tuesday.
Omicron. The United Kingdom’s coronavirus caseload has crossed 200,000 for the first time as hospitals come under increasing pressure due to staff shortages. Meanwhile, the United States has reported more than one million new COVID-19 cases in a single day, setting a grim new global record, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
North Korea. Suspected ballistic missile has been fired off North Korea's east coast on Wednesday, authorities in Japan and South Korea said, in the nuclear-armed country’s first show of force this year. Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters the suspected missile had flown for about about 500 kilometres (310.7 miles) and landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
1930 Mao Zedong writes "A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire"
1940 FCC hears 1st transmission of FM radio with clear, static-free signal
1949 US President Harry Truman labels his administration the "Fair Deal"
A Tale of Missing Arms
The Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation (OAuGF) says about 178,459 different types of arms and ammunition got missing from the Nigeria Police armoury in 2019, without any trace or formal report on their whereabouts.
You don't mean it!
A Thisday report cites details contained on pages 383 to 391 of the Auditor General for the Federation’s annual report on non-compliance, internal control weaknesses issues in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the year ended 31 December 2019, which was dated 15 September and submitted to the National Assembly. Of the figure, 88,078 were AK-47 rifles and 3,907 assorted rifles and pistols from different formations nationwide. These could not be accounted for as of January 2020.
Is it normal for such things to not be formally reported?
No, it's not normal. The report stated that the action of the Nigeria Police contravened paragraph 2603 of the Financial Regulations, which stipulates that in the event of any loss of stores, the officer in charge of the store in which the loss occurs shall report immediately to the head of department or unit but not later than three days, by the fastest means possible if the loss occurs away from the headquarters.
The OAuGF report also queried the police hierarchy for the award of contracts without evidence of project execution. It revealed that 10 contracts worth N1, 136,715,200.00 were awarded to a single proprietor in the name of different companies, with details of the three companies as the same, but "the three companies did not disclose their relationship in accordance with the fundamental principles of procurement as required by extant regulations”.
The Nigeria Police was also indicted for paying the sum of N924.985m for 11 contracts involving the construction of three units of Gunshot Spotter System, supply of 50 units of Ballistic Roller Trolley and 20 units of Ballistic Mobile Surveillance House in some selected Commands and Formations without evidence of project execution. "The value of the lost firearms could not be ascertained because no document relating to their cost of acquisition was presented for examination,” the report added. SOURCE
Fintech Startups Carried the Day
The Story Financial technology services contributed the majority of the $1.09b raised by Nigerian startups in 2021, according to Techpoint’s latest report on the contributions and achievements of startups in Africa.
What are the figures?
According to the report, financial services raised 73.5% or $741,615,000, followed by e-commerce with 13.8% ($139,242,000) in the year under review. “Two fintech startups each raised 9 digits in dollars; 6 of the 13 Nigerian startups that raised 8 digits were also fintechs,” the report read.
What are the figures for the continent?
The report stated that the total amount of startup deals in Africa in December 2021 was $407.86m, with South Africa having the highest share with 52.7%($215.7m). This is followed by Nigeria’s 41.4% share, amounting to $168.9m and 11 rounds seed capital. Other countries with startup funding include Kenya ($54.15m), Egypt ($6m), Togo ($5m), Cote d’Ivoire ($2.4m), and Morocco ($540,000).
Which other sector(s) got funding?
According to the report, there was a total of 23 funding deals in Africa with 8 seed rounds and 5 pre-seed rounds in different sectors such as financial services which raised $199.10m with 8 deals, e-commerce ($112m), mobility and logistics ($61m), and education ($20.10m) with three deals each. On the other hand, the human resource sector raised $5.07m, Blockchain($6 million), services ($2.95m), agriculture ($1.10m) and property ($540,000) with one deal each. SOURCE
The Story Air travel in the United States has been turned on its head in recent days, with close to 3000 flights cancelled on Saturday alone.
What's the issue?
Unusually bad weather and a surge in Covid-19 infections from the Omicron variant caused over 2,600 flights to be cancelled on Saturday, making up over half of the flights canceled worldwide. The cancellations in the U.S. reached the highest single-day total since before Christmas, but most of those cancellations were attributed to the surge of infections rather than inclement weather.
What's being done about it?
Airlines have said they’re doing their best to prevent more cancellations, with Spirit doubling pay for flight attendants through Tuesday and United tripling pay for pilots who pick up extra flights. 12,000 flights in the United States have been canceled since Christmas Eve. Southwest faced the worst of it this weekend, with 13% of its schedule(450 flights) cancelled nationwide. American, United, and Delta cancelled almost 600 between them as well. SOURCE
Behind The Surveil
The Story China’s monitoring of their own Internet is notorious, but it seems the country is turning their attentions elsewhere.
Where is elsewhere? A review by the Washington Post of Chinese bidding documents, contracts, and company filings found that the country is mining Western social media posts on platforms like Twitter and Facebook to provide intel to their government, military, and police force. The documents in question are publicly available online, and also show that state media, propaganda departments, police, military, and cyber regulators are in the process of upgrading their monitoring systems – and they don’t come cheap.
What does the government do with the mined posts? China uses software called “public opinion analysis software” to warn officials when sensitive information is posted online in the country, and has been doing so for many years, but these documents show that there's significant interest in what happens outside the country's borders. Sources say the data automatically collects and stores tweets, posts, and other information from social media for analysis. This allows the country to “better understand the underground network of anti-China personnel,” according to an analyst.
Are there specific targets? One software, which created and maintains a database of journalists and academics in foreign countries by sifting through Twitter and Facebook, cost over $300K. Another system is dedicated to monitoring conversations regarding Taiwan and Hong Kong, and yet another is focused on Uyghur content abroad. A Beijing-based analyst who works for a unit reporting to China’s Central Propaganda Department said that one of their projects was to create a report on the way negative content spreads on Twitter about Beijing’s senior leadership, which involved profiling journalists, activists, and politicians.
The software helps the propaganda department determine what’s working and what isn’t, and allows them to track any trending topics that work against Beijing’s goals. Monitoring social media isn’t necessarily new, or even unique, but according to Mareike Ohlberg, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund, “they are now reorienting part of that effort outward, and I think that’s frankly terrifying, looking at the sheer numbers and sheer scale that this has taken.” SOURCE
WHAT ELSE IS FRESH...
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Prince Andrew: Decision soon on dismissing case - Judge
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Esther Perel Is Fighting the “Tyranny of Positivity. GQ
Yes, It Is Obscene, Ms Adichie, But… – Dami Ajayi. Yaba Left
EFCC Operative Who Exposed How Nigeria's Attorney-General, Malami, Ordered Unfreezing Of 'Big Cases' Bank Accounts Detained After Leaked Audio. Sahara Reporters
What year did Facebook start?
A. February 4, 2004
B. February 4, 2013
C. February 4, 2009
QUESTION & ANSWER
QUORA QUESTION: What are some fascinating facts about the human memory?
“He abused me so the three of you could be safe” — my voice trembled as I shared the dark memories with my sister.
She grabbed me, stretched her arms around my stomach and dampened my shoulder with her tears. “I'm sorry” she whimpered.
“Never apologise for somebody else's sick mind” I said. It didn't help, she continued to sob.
I recalled the experiences as if I was reliving the flashback in the present moment. I remember where my siblings sat, what they were doing and what they were told. Fortunately, his face and his sad existence were all they could remember of him.
All I could think about in that moment was, “how can they not remember something so traumatic?”
Now it makes sense…
Explicit memories require conscious recall and are associated with a time and place. Memories that are unconscious and not associated with a specific event are implicit.
For example, your child remembering the tasty curry you cooked for them is explicit. Your child feeling happy when passing an Indian restaurant is implicit.
Kids begin forming explicit memories around the 2-year mark, but the majority are still implicit memories until about 7-years-old.
When the abuse took place, I was 8–9 years old.
My siblings are younger than me by a few years.
Thankfully, they were too young to form the memories.
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