Author Archives: Loknath Das

Inspecting gadgets

If you have a strange feeling someone is watching you, you’re probably right. Even U.S. President Donald Trump had that feeling recently when he made unsubstantiated claims on Twitter that his namesake tower in New York City was wiretapped by his predecessor, Barack Obama. White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway ratcheted up the paranoia when she suggested the Obama administration could have ... Read More »

Fighting fake news: societies using technology to search for truth

Governments must tread a fine balance when trying to weed out fake news. Photograph: Lopez/Zuma Wire/Rex/Shutterstock Fake news has been accused of influencing election results and giving rise to populist movements. Is there anything governments – and citizens – can do to fight back? Some interesting responses to the fake news phenomenon are now in place around the world. The ... Read More »

Otigba: The experiment that grew into a tech market

I did my NYSC year in Lagos between 1988 and 1989, and I lived on Ola Ayinde street at Ikeja and later at the NYSC secretariat at Opebi. I knew the area very well. I saw Otigba spring up seemingly from nowhere, and it grew to become a major market for technology products. The traders there called themselves the “Lagos ... Read More »

Tackling abuse on social media is a monumental task – but billion dollar companies should be up to it

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media companies have faced criticism over their moderating CREDIT: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES Much of the activity which makes up our lives online is conducted in public. The giant social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Youtube – are all to some extent designed around similar principles; they thrive on open, instant, global participation. The processes of ... Read More »

How technology could save your life in A&E

“The patient in Cubicle A is fasting.” “Remember to phone the ward back.” “The patient on the third trolley in the back corridor needs to be taken down to X-ray.” “The bloods on John Smith are overdue.” In the hectic environment of emergency departments all over the country, critical patient information is handwritten on whiteboards and post-it notes, stored in ... Read More »

Fitbit’s Dominance Diminishes But Wearable Tech Market Bigger Than Ever

Fitness trackers and smartwatches (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Fitbit has taken a hit with year-on-year Q4 sales but the wearable tech market is bigger than ever. They are the two main takeways from the latest IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, which states that Fitbit shipments were down 22.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016: 6.5 million units compared to ... Read More »

Education emergency

It is unfortunate that since gaining independence in 1947, Pakistan has witnessed seven national education policies, eight five-year plans, about half a dozen other education schemes and nothing to show for it. One can conclude it as the failure of the successive governments. According to the inclusion of Article 25A in the Constitution, which calls on the state to provide ... Read More »

Official: America auto-scanned visitors’ social media profiles. Also: It didn’t work properly

The US Department of Homeland Security used software to scan social media accounts of people visiting America, but it didn’t work properly. That’s the conclusion of a study by the department’s inspector general. In a heavily redacted report [PDF] that surfaced this week, the watchdog revealed that in December 2015, US Citizenship and Immigration Services ran a pilot program to ... Read More »

Good luck to schools teaching sex and relationship education – I’m still learning

‘Exercise: If your partner wanted two tickets to Paris on a special occasion and instead received flowers from the local garage, how might they react?’ Photograph: Alamy Following the government announcement that there is to be a radical overhaul of sex and relationship education (SRE) in schools – largely to take into account new online developments – I thought I ... Read More »

7 Gadgets To Brew Your Own Beer This St. Patrick’s Day

James Bardgett checks the quality of beer which is stored in barrels at the Wild Beer Co brewery at Lower Westcombe Farm on February 11, 2016 near Evercreech, England.  Matt Cardy—Getty Images The variety of new beers on store shelves seems to increase exponentially, which makes the idea of home brewing a bit baffling to some. But just like a ... Read More »