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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

US Plans to Seek Visa Applicants' Social Media Info

The US State Department has said that it plans to require all American visa applicants to submit their social media information.
 
Applicants for immigrant and non-immigrant visas, under the proposal, would be required to provide "identifiers" they have used on various social media platforms in the previous five years, in addition to old email addresses and phone numbers, Xinhua news agency quoted the State Department as saying on Thursday.
According to documents to be published in the Federal Register, the Department said it is seeking public comment on the proposed measures within the next 60 days.
Previously, social media, email and phone number histories were only required from applicants singled out for extra scrutiny. An estimated 65,000 people a year fall into that category.
The changes would impact all applicants for immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
The department estimated that 710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million non-immigrant visa applicants would be affected.
Only applicants for certain diplomatic and official visa types may be exempted from the requirements, the documents said.
The changes will need to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget at the White House.

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Sunday, 25 March 2018

2018 BATCH ‘A’ MOBILISATION FOR PROSPECTIVE CORPS MEMBERS

This is to inform all prospective Corps Members, i.e. Nigerians who have graduated from Universities and Mono/Polytechnics both at home and abroad that the NYSC Online registration portal will be opened from today Monday, 26th March – Sunday, 8th April, 2018, to enable them register for the 2018 Batch ‘A’ mobilization exercise.

The Website address is any of the following:
(i) www.nysc.gov.ng
(ii) www.nysc.org.ng
(iii) www.portal.nysc.gov.ng

In order to ensure a seamless registration, prospective Corps Members are to note the following for strict compliance:

Ø. Prospective Corps Members should ensure that they have functional e-mail addresses that they can access and Nigerian (GSM) telephone numbers with which to register. Such e-mail address and phone numbers must be maintained throughout the service year.

Ø. Locally-trained prospective Corps Members are expected to use correct institution matriculation numbers to register. 

Ø. For locally-trained graduates, only those whose names appear on the Senate/Academic Board Approved Result lists submitted by their institutions will have access to register on the NYSC portal.

Ø. Foreign-trained prospective Corps Members should NOTE that ONLY those that graduated from accredited institutions are qualified for mobilization. Any foreign-trained prospective Corps Member who is in doubt of the accreditation status of his/her institution should approach the Federal Ministry of Education for verification.

Ø. Foreign-trained Nigerian graduates are to visit the NYSC portal, register and upload the following documents:

(a). West African School Certificate (WASC) (with not less than 5 Credits at 2 sittings) or its equivalent
or,
General Certificate of Education (GCE O’ Level) (with not less than 5 Credits at 2 sittings) or its equivalent
or,
NECO (with not less than 5 Credits at 2 sittings) or its equivalent
or,
NABTEB (with not less than 5 Credits at 2 sittings) or its equivalent
or,
High School Diploma or its equivalent for those who attended school in the USA, etc.

(b). First Degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) Certificate (Second Degree or Ph.D. are not necessary). Holders of Higher Diploma Certificates are not qualified to register.

(c). Complete official transcript of the First Degree or HND programme.

(d). International Travelling Passport showing the following pages;

i. Personal Data.
ii. Visa to the country of study.
iii. Date of first departure to the country of study and
iv. Date of arrival in Nigeria.

(e). Graduates with dual nationalities are required to upload Personal Data Pages of both international passports and present the passports for physical verification at the orientation camp.

(f). It is the responsibility of the prospective Corps Members who studied in non-English speaking countries to get their Certificates and Transcripts translated into English Language before uploading. The translated transcripts and certificates should also be presented for physical verification.

(g). All graduates of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Optometry, Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing and Pharmacy are expected to have their practicing license, Certificates of Registration with their professional bodies and upload same on the portal. Payment receipts are not acceptable.

Ø. Foreign-trained graduates seeking mobilization for national service should NOT visit NYSC Headquarters, Abuja, for physical verification of their documents. The exercise will be done at the orientation camps. They are to print their call-up letters online and report to the orientation camps in their states of deployment.

Ø. Foreign-trained graduates are expected to go to the camps with the original documents they uploaded for verification.

Ø. Provisional certificates, To Whom It May Concern, on-line print-out, scanned and photocopies of credentials are not acceptable.

Ø. Foreign-trained graduates who registered for Exemption Certificate shall present all their original academic credentials and international passport for physical verification when they come to collect the certificate at the National Directorate Headquarters, Abuja.

Ø. All foreign-trained graduates who registered and are excluded from service should also present original academic credentials and international passport at the NYSC NDHQ, Abuja, for physical verification before Exclusion Letters are printed on-line.

Ø. All foreign-trained prospective Corps Members who registered but were not called up for service in the last batch should log on to the NYSC portal to revalidate their registration. This category of persons need not pay N3,000.00 (three thousand naira) again.

Ø. Anybody who presents any fake document will be demobilized, decamped and handed over to the security agents.

Ø. Prospective Corps Members should ensure that passport photograph used meet the following specifications:

o. Ensure your face (eyes, nose, ears, mouth and jaw) is fully shown without bending.
o. Ensure the picture fills the frame and its centralized.
o. Ensure the photo background is white or off-white with no shadow.

Ø. On no account should prospective Corps Members register by PROXY. They should also remember the fingers used for their biometric capturing as this will be used for verification at the orientation camps. Those who cannot be verified with their biometric at the orientation camps will not be registered.

Ø. Only prospective Corps Members who want their call-up numbers sent to them through SMS and wish to PRINT their call-up letters online are expected to pay the sum of Three Thousand Naira (N3,000.00) (see NYSC Portal on how to make payment).

Ø. Prospective Corps Members who do not want to pay the N3,000.00 have the option of going to their institutions to check their call-up numbers and collect their call-up letters.

Ø. All prospective Corps Members who had paid for the on-line registration before but were not mobilized need not pay again.

Ø. A married female prospective Corps Member (whether locally or foreign-trained) should upload copies of her marriage certificate, evidence of change of name and husband’s place of domicile during registration.

Ø. The orientation camps are not ideal for pregnant and nursing mothers. Prospective Corps Members in this category are therefore, to note that they will not be accommodated.

Ø. Prospective Corps Members with serious health challenge should indicate their TRUE HEALTH STATUS during registration to enable concessional deployment for them.

Ø. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONCE THE PORTAL IS CLOSED ON SUNDAY, 8TH APRIL, 2018 THERE WILL BE NO FURTHER REGISTRATION. 

Signed.
Management.

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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The World's Billionaires 2018 - Forbes

Highlights
  • Bezos' fortune shot up to $112 billion that put him way ahead of Gates
  • After the announcement, Bezos' worth rocketed again to $127 billion
  • US President Donald Trump's ranking fell to 766th place from 544th

Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of online retail giant Amazon, is now the world's richest person, according to Forbes magazine's annual billionaires list published Tuesday. It was in October last year that the net worth of Jeff Bezos surpassed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' $90 billion, but this is the first time he has been named as richest person by the magazine. The fortune of Jeff Bezos went to $112 billion (roughly Rs. 7.27 lakh crores), according to Forbes, after Amazon stock's value rallied by 59 percent over the past 12 months. After the announcement, Jeff Bezos' worth rocketed again to $127 billion in line with a spike in Amazon stock, widening the gap between him and Gates.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett held on to his number-three ranking, followed by French industrialist Bernard Arnault, who jumped to fourth-richest person from his previous number 11 spot, mostly thanks to euro strength against the dollar, the magazine said. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was fifth on the list.

US President Donald Trump's ranking on the list fell to 766th place from 544th in the last edition, his wealth now being estimated at $3.1 billion (roughly Rs. 20,100 crores), $400 million less than a year ago.

Two Chinese billionaires rose to be among the 20 richest people in the world: Ma Huateng, CEO of Chinese internet giant Tencent who is the richest person in Asia and number 17 in the world, and Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

There are now a record 2,208 billionaires in the world, Forbes counted, and their combined worth is $9.1 trillion, up 18 percent from last year. The US has the most billionaires (585), followed by mainland China (373). Forbes' list contains 259 newcomers, including the first-ever cryptocurrency billionaires. Falling fortunes or political headwinds, meanwhile, pushed 121 people out of the illustrious list, including all 10 Saudi Arabians, the magazine said.

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

WAEC makes changes in exam timetable over Jumat service

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has bowed to pressure and amended the part of its 2018 May/June Examination that clashed with the Friday Juma’at prayer.

The affected subject is Chemistry 1 and 2, which was originally slated for 2pm to 5pm on Friday, April 20, 2018.

The Director of Public Affairs, WAEC Nigeria, Mr Demianus Ojijeogu confirmed the slight amendment following reactions from Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

“For the sake of the people who will go to the mosque, the exam will be delayed till they come back.

“The paper will be delayed till 2:30 pm or 3 pm, when the Muslims will return from the mosque,” Mr Ojijeogu told Premium Times on Saturday “

Ishaq Akintola, President of MURIC, had said it was an “injustice” against Muslims, whom he claimed had become “endangered species”.

According to him, WAEC has been fixing examinations during Jummat time for some years which is “illegal, unconstitutional and unlawful.
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2018 UTME: JAMB gives latest about results

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has urged its 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates to patiently await the results of the just concluded examinations.

The Head of Media of the Board, Dr Fabian Benjamin, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja.

He said the board was working diligently to ensure that the results are processed and posted on the board’s website soonest.

Benjamin said that modalities were being put in place to ensure all the results are transparent and accurate.

He reiterated that the board was delaying some of the results because each has to undergo total scrutiny before being posted on its website to avoid cancellations later.

According to him, some of the results would be ready by Monday, March 19.

He also assured that all technical difficulties encountered to access the website were being addressed.

NAN reports that number of candidates, who sat for the examinations earlier, were yet to receive their results.

While some said that they received the reply of “your results are not ready yet”, others complained that the site says “you did not register for this examinations.’’

NAN also reports that the examination, which was scheduled to end on Saturday, March 17, ended on Friday, March 16.
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Monday, 5 March 2018

Instagram Voice, Video Calling Features Spotted: Reports

Highlights

  • Instagram is found to include evidence for voice and video calling
  • APK teardown of the Instagram apps revealed the new features
  • Instagram refused the confirm the development
Instagram may already be your favourite app for sharing memories. But soon, it is likely to become a destination for your voice or video calls as an APK teardown of the Instagram for Android and Instagram Direct apps has shown some mysterious files that are pointing towards the new features. 

Facebook, the parent company behind Instagram, could use the voice and video calling support to take on Snapchat, which already faced criticism for a recent redesign.

The APK files of the Instagram and Instagram Direct apps includes button icons for "Call" and "Video Call" functionality, reports TechCrunch, citing Twitter user Ishan Agarwal. An Instagram spokesperson refused to give official confirmation on the new finding and told TechCrunch, "I'm afraid we can't comment on this one." However, there is a history of burying unreleased features within the app code.

Folks at XDA Developers claim that they've spotted a couple of strings within the Instagram app that are defining the video chat feature. Incidentally, a video call button was spotted in January that appeared to be testing internally.

It is worth noting here that while features to enable voice and video calls are new for Instagram users, these aren't something fresh for Snapchatters. Snapchat launched video calling support back in 2014 and added features to record audio and video notes in 2016.

Having said that, the addition of voice and video calling is expected to give a sharp edge to Instagram to fierce the competition created by Snapchat. Instagram already has Facebook and WhatsApp as the two platforms to make communication for its users easier and convenient than what they can get from Snapchat. Moreover, Instagram could enable calling support to Facebook and WhatsApp accounts to reach new heights.

As of September last year, Instagram has a userbase of over 800 million users - with 500 million daily active users. It lately brought features such as customisable privacy controls for Instagram Direct, 'Type' mode for text-only stories, and GIF stickers to attract more users.

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Sunday, 4 March 2018

WhatsApp for Android Now Gives You 4,096 Seconds to Delete a Message for Everyone

Highlights
  • Delete for Everyone was introduced in November last year
  • Currently, users have a 7-minute window to delete messages
  • Now, the Android beta gives users 4,096 seconds to delete a message
WhatsApp's long-requested and only recently introduced Delete for Everyone feature looks set to get an update. The most recent WhatsApp beta (v2.18.69) for Android now gives users up to 4,096 seconds (68 minutes and 16 seconds) to delete a message for everyone in a chat. Currently, in stable builds, the window a user has to delete a message for everyone is 420 seconds (or 7 minutes). 

Depending on how well it's received, this extension can be expected to make its way to the stable build soon. It is also reportedly making its way to the iPhone app soon.

The change was first spotted by WABetaInfo, the WhatsApp update tracking site. The site notes that v2.18.68 WhatsApp beta version for Android includes an update to the Stickers feature that disabled by default - a slight modification of its icon. Since the news was reported on Friday, WhatsApp has released two more beta versions for Android (v2.18.70 and v.2.18.71), and WABetaInfo has spotted new disabled-by-default features like Locked Recording (locking the voice message record button into place when recording), and sticker pack size display.

Another feature WhatsApp was recently spotted in testing, but once again disabled by default, shows whether a message has been forwarded. The Forwarded Message label shows up on top of message if it has been forwarded from another, or same chat. The move if nothing classifies forwards, and could be amongst the first steps to combat spam and fake news. The feature was spotted in WhatsApp beta (v2.18.67) for Android. The same version also brought Stickers to Android - but can't be used.

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Almost No One Is Making a Living on YouTube

One of the main attractions of YouTube is that anyone can become a star. There are no gatekeepers. No talent agents or television executives need to be won over. Stars can come from anywhere. And they do.

Forbes' recent list of the richest YouTubers is proof: It's filled with people who post clips about playing video games or kids playing with toys. The top spot went to Daniel Middleton, known as DanTDM. He's a 26-year-old British gamer - and he earned $16.5 million (approximately Rs. 100.7 crores) last year.

But a new study finds that the odds of striking it rich on Google-owned YouTube - or even making a modest living - are vanishingly small.

Reaching the top 3.5 percent of YouTube's most-viewed channels - hich means at least 1 million video views a month - is worth only about $12,000 (roughly Rs. 7.82 lakhs) to $16,000 (approximately Rs. 10.4 lakhs) a year in advertising revenue, according to Mathias Bartl, a professor at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, whose study is one of the first to probe YouTube data for clues about how it works for creators.

Bartl found that it's gotten harder for new creators to reach the top, as YouTube alone adds 300 hours of video every minute and the biggest stars become more successful. The median views per video has plummeted to 89 in 2016 from 10,262 a decade earlier. At the same time, YouTube's biggest channels are gobbling up more eyeballs. The top three percent of channels got 64 percent of all views in 2006. A decade later, the top channels took 90 percent.

YouTube did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the study.

What's happening on YouTube is occurring across the Internet, where creators are finding that long odds of success in the online world are not so different from IRL (Internet-speak for "in real life").
In fact, they might be worse.

In music, song streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have mostly benefited superstar acts. No one needs to fight a music label to get their song distributed, but getting listeners is a different problem. Less than one percent of songs represented 86 percent of the music streamed last year, according to the market research firm Nielsen.

And since no one buys music these days, making even a little money from streaming requires songs to be played millions of times. That's hurt the music industry's middle-of-the-road acts the most, the kind of musician who once could eke out a decent living selling several thousand albums a year and touring the nation without ever breaking into the mainstream. Increasingly, such acts face the pressure of going viral or going home.

In television, so many new shows are being made that no one can watch them all; nearly 500 scripted original series were aired last year. The traditional networks are being challenged by cable outlets and streaming services. That's led to plenty of new opportunities for actors and writers. But the new era has some distinct challenges, including shorter seasons and less predictable schedules that make it harder for many to make ends meet.

Competition among creators on YouTube is fierce, and that's also led to trouble.

In February, YouTube suspended all advertising on channels run by Logan Paul, one of its biggest stars, after a series of controversies, including videos he made showing his visit to a so-called suicide forest in Japan and jokes about eating Tide detergent pods.

Another star, Felix Kjellberg, known as PewDiePie, was found to have used a racial epithet and made anti-Semitic jokes in some of his gaming videos. He was dropped from Google's lucrative ad service for high-performing videos, and his planned series on the pay channel YouTube Red was canceled.

Now, YouTube is taking steps that make it even harder for creators at the bottom. The company recently said channels need to reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time over the last 12 months before they can start to earn money from ads. YouTube said the change is aimed at discouraging videos with objectionable or offensive content and that it would "affect a significant number of channels."

Bartl's study did offer some hope for YouTube aspirants - hints on how to boost the chances of financial success. YouTube offers 18 genre-like categories, and selecting the right one "is a highly significant predictor of channel success," Bartl wrote. The most popular categories over a decade were entertainment videos, which took in 24 percent of all views, followed by music and gaming categories.

But the chance of a channel making into the rarefied top three percent was best for comedy; entertainment; how-to and style; and gaming. It was worse for sports; education; nonprofits and activism; and people and blogs.

Bartl also noted that YouTube's upper echelons still featured a mix of both professional and user-generated videos, writing that "it does give hope that YouTube's 'broadcast yourself' rhetoric is not a complete fiction."

© The Washington Post 2018

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JAMB COMMENCES REPRINTING OF 2018 UTME EXAM SLIPS

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has directed candidates for the 2018 UTME to start printing their examination notification slip from Tuesday, March 6.

The board’s Head of Media and Information Department, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said in Lagos on Sunday that arrangements had been concluded for the successful conduct of the exam scheduled to hold from March 9 to March 17.

We have successfully conducted the Mock Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) on Monday, February 26, and based on that, we can confidently say, we are good to go.

The mock UTME was to expose the candidates to the process as well as test the level of preparedness of the various centres.

Candidates can now go ahead and print their examination notification slips from Tuesday.
These candidates must ensure that these slips are printed before Friday, March 9, in order to familiarise themselves with the examination schedules as no form of excuse for missing the examination will be entertained.

We want to warn that the board will not reschedule any examination for anybody and so any candidate that fails to adhere strictly to the examination schedule as stated in their slips should have  himself or herself to blame.”

Benjamin, however, warned candidates not to go to their respective centres with prohibited items such as telephones, wristwatches, pens, and other devices.

NAN reports that over 1.6 million candidates are expected to write the examination in 602 centres  across the country.

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Friday, 2 March 2018

How to Back Up SMS Messages on Your Android Phone

Highlights
  • Backing up SMS messages isn't a built-in feature on Android
  • You can back up your messages with third-party applications
  • SMS Backup and Restore is free and easy to use for this
If you're an Android user and need to delete the data on your phone, then you know that there are a number of good options for backing up your phone first. A lot of this can be done via the Cloud, so that the content can be brought back easily, but backing up your SMS inbox requires the use of third-party tools. There are a lot of different options on Google Play, but the question becomes which one should you use. Most of the popular ones require access to your Gmail account to automatically create and restore the backups, but if you aren't comfortable giving this kind of access, we have a good option you can try, which we used ourselves as well to backup SMS messages on our Android phone.

Here is everything you need to know about backing up (and restoring) your phone's SMS archive, which can be saved on the device, mailed to yourself, or saved to the cloud. This will be useful if you need to reset your phone to factory settings, or if you're switching to a new phone. We used SMS Backup and Restore, which was acquired by Carbonite a few years ago. Just follow these steps to backup SMS on your Android phone.

Creating a backup of your Android phone's SMS messages

To create a backup of all your SMS messages, you'll need to start by installing Carbonite SMS Backup and Restore on your phone. Once that's done, follow these steps:
  1. On the welcome screen, tap on Get Started.
  2. You'll have to grant access to files (to save the backup), contacts, SMS (obviously), and manage phone calls (to backup your call logs). Keep tapping Allow on all four pop-ups.
  3. Tap Set up a backup.
  4. Toggle phone calls off if you only want to back up your texts. You can also tap Advanced options if you want to back up MMSes or selected conversations; leave this alone if you want to back up your entire text archive.
  5. Tap Next.
  6. Now, using the toggles, select where you want to make the backup. You can choose Google Drive or Dropbox, but if you don't want to give access then you can turn on the toggle for Your phone, and then copy the file manually.
  7. If you're okay with the default folder tap on OK, otherwise tap on Browse and find the folder you want to save the backup in.
  8. Once that's done, tap on Next, and then in the popup, tap on Yes.
  9. You can either set a backup schedule from the toggles in front of you, or turn off the Schedule recurring backups toggle. Then, tap on Back Up Now

That's it, the backup will now be carried out. With around 13,000 messages on our phone, the process took under three minutes. Once you have the backup file, you can copy it to your PC, or save it to the cloud manually, without linking your apps to a third-party software.

Restoring a backup of your Android phone's SMS messages

After you've created a backup of your Android phone’s SMS messages, you can go ahead and reset the phone, either because you want to try and free up space, or because you're moving to a new phone. Now that you've made the backup though, what do you do next? Once again, you'll need to install Carbonite SMS Backup and Restore either on your new phone, or your newly formatted phone. Once that's done, follow these steps to restore SMS messages:
  1. Ensure that the SMS backup is copied to your phone.
  2. Start Carbonite SMS Backup and Restore and tap Get Started on the welcome screen.
  3. Tap the hamburger menu icon on the top left, and tap on Restore.
  4. Tap on Local backup location if you are using a local copy, or if you chose to use Google Drive or Dropbox, tap on the appropriate button.
  5. It should find the latest backup automatically, but if it does not, tap on Select another backup, and tap on the file you want to restore from. Choose from the toggles to decide what you want to restore, messages, and phone calls.
  6. Tap on Restore, and then OK, and Yes on the next two popups to get started.



That's all there is to it. The app restores all your messages, so you can pick up where you left off even if you're switching to a new phone. And if you're backing up your existing device, it is also checking for duplicates so as to not flood your inbox with copies. The process not quite as fast as backing up the messages. Restoring around 13,000 messages took around five minutes.

Once that's done, you're good to go and can uninstall the app if you want to, or if you want to schedule regular backups, that is also an option available to you. Since the app needs to be the default SMS application for restoring messages, you'll want to go to your SMS application and open it to make it the default again, but other than that, there's nothing else you need to do.

Was this tip useful to you? And do you have a preferred alternative for backing up SMS messages on your Android phone? Tell us, and the other readers, via the comments, and check out our other helpful tips in the How To section.

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