Firewall or not: How to read Linda Ikeji blog and other blocked sites in a corporate organization

Me: Forgive me, Father for I have sinned. It’s been 30 days since my last confession.  These are my sins: I did a “pretty bad thing” today.

Father: Speak my child…

In other news,

Linda Ikeji’s blog, Stella Dimokokorkus, nairaland.com,, reddit.com are examples of websites that are blocked by organizations to prevent workers from whiling away time on those websites (rightly so).

Sometimes work can get so boring that you actually find watching wet paint dry on a wall more interesting than doing actual work. Till today…

If your corporate network has blocked these websites but allows google.com then you are covered.

1. Go to translate.google.com

2. type the blocked website you wish to visit e.g. lindaikeji.blogspot.com in the box to the left

3. Click on the generated link in the box on the right.

4. You would get a message saying the website you are trying to translate is in english

5. Click on the “visit original page” link

6. You would be able to view the blocked website now but without images and javascript disabled.

Me: ****crickets****

Father: huh?

business, critic, Internet, Technology & Startups

An uber Lagos experience almost from hell.

I hate weddings.

As a rule I never attend weddings, but this was one that I just had to attend. Yet it seemed that the gods, petrol scarcity and my Uber driver were determined I was not going to break my self-imposed rule.

I made a ride request 45+ minutes ago and my Uber driver was nowhere to be found. I called him repeatedly and he always had a glib excuse why he had not arrived.

I guess when he felt I was bugging him too much, he stopped picking my calls and sent me a text:

Am sorry 4 everything bt I jst couldn’t continue av also wasted a lot of fuel trying to locate u n d last thing i want is more misunderstanding after d stress

Observation: The Uber driver didn’t know his way around, blamed the network for not being able to use Google maps and refused to just ask for directions from people around him.

At this point my blood was boiling because I was already very late. So I cancelled the ride request and made another. The driver fortunately was very close so he appeared in no time, I got into the car and told him my destination. What was his response?

I am very sorry, I cannot go that far. I don’t have any petrol.

Huh??? WTF!!! is this Uber?

At this stage I knew that the gods were really angry with me and definitely did not want me going to some owambe wedding on a hot Saturday afternoon.

I decided to try for the third and last time and I was third time lucky. The Uber ride came on time, the driver was very courteous and the journey was uneventful and I was very pleased.

Due to the African time syndrome, I was not as late as I thought I was going to be.

I still hate weddings though.

Foot notes
1. Uber Lagos drivers should be trained on how to navigate Lagos roads even without Google maps. If they don’t have network on their devices, I see no reason why they can’t ask, old fashion style.

2. Uber should do something about determining accurate ETA of uber rides. Right now you really can’t predict when a requested Uber ride would arrive to pick you up. Its way off the displayed ETA in the app.

3. Uber customer service is one of the best I have come across in this clime. After I left my feedback about the previous failed ride requests, Ebi (she deserves a raise) came to the rescue with swift reparation. The standard should be maintained.

hacking, Internet, programming

Swift 4G LTE unlimited plan and a simple cronjob

As a subscriber to Swift’s unlimited data plan which offers free unlimited Internet access from 12am to 6am and also having a full time day job, I kind of noticed that I wasn’t “milking” the free segment as much as I could because most times I would be asleep during that period.
So I decided to write a simple cronjob (the cronjob calls up my download manager already preloaded with my download list at 12am, downloads all the items on the list and shuts down at 6am).
Voila!!! I have my money’s worth.

critic, Internet, Life, social media, Uncategorized

Revealed: The Tech backstory behind the Nigerian Immigration Recruitment Fiasco

According to the interior minister Abba Moro, 520,000 candidates participated in the Nigerian immigration service recruitment exercise and each candidate paid #1,000 just to apply.
#1,000 X 520,000 candidates == #520,000,000
Different number of casualties of the botched recruitment exercise are still being bandied around by the press from 10 to 30. No matter the number, they didn’t have to die in the first place.

Questions that need answers
1. Who are the individuals behind Drexel tech global limited? The company that developed the recruitment website for the Nigerian Immigration Service.
2. How true is the rumor making the rounds that the wife of the president of Nigeria’s senate is the owner of Drexel tech global limited?
3. Why was the company website of Drexel global tech limited quickly taken offline?

After doing some digging around on the Internet, here are my findings
1. Although a whois check didn’t reveal much due to fact that registrar obfuscated the details of the registrants of the domain name (drexeltechglobal.com), I was able to glean that drexeltechglobal.com was registered on 05/01/2011 and would expire on 05/01/2015. The last time it was updated was on the 13/09/2013, before it was quickly taken offline.

2. A quick google search revealed some interesting information about the company, Drexel tech global ltd:
i. The company is registered in the United Kingdom as:
RC: 07674680.
Registered Address: 72 High Street, Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 2LA
Nature of Business:
Other letting and operating of own or leased real estate

ii. The company has 2 directors and they are:
Mahmood Ahmadu
Year of Birth: 1966
Director ID: 916093233.
No 63 Apo Legislative Quarters Zone A Abuja Fct Nigeria


born in 1964
Posttown: SIMSBURY
Postcode: 06070
Country of residence: UNITED KINGDOM

I searched for Mahmood ahmadu on facebook and the only matching result is a staff of INEC Abuja while Theresa Mahoney brought out so many different search results I abandoned that route.

iii. I also noticed that some former staff of Drexel tech global limited are now current staff of swglobal.com. I discovered that swglobal.com formerly known as socketworks LTD is a child company of Drexel tech global limited and is owned by Dr Aloy Chife.

Posers, unanswered questions and assumptions.
1. The rumor that Helen Mark (wife of the senate president) is the owner of Drexel global tech limited is rather unfounded and untrue as there is no information to prove it to be true unless there is proof that she and Dr Aloy Chife are business partners. I stand to be corrected.
2. How does a company (i.e. Drexel) registered in the United Kingdom with no revenue and whose business description is REAL ESTATE get awarded such a massive IT government contract?
3. Does it make logical sense that a company (Drexel) established in 2011 is the parent company of socketworks established in 2003?
4. Is Drexel tech global limited a “briefcase company” established to do some shady underhand deals that an established and well known IT firm like socketworks would not want to stain itself with?
5. Why was the corporate website of Drexel tech global limited taken off line? Was it because it had served its purpose or was it to hide information? GOTO [1]

Questions demanding answers.
May the souls of those who lost their lives rest in peace.

March 2014.

hacking, Internet, Life, social media

I am an addict

My phone’s vibration signaling new whatsapp messages has been rattling my office work station all day, I think I had like 13 mentions on twitter. Occasionally I heard the familiar BBM new message and PING sounds. I also think I got like 10 email messages and 16 google+ alerts. I actually can now differentiate what message I get and from what application on my phone based on the tone and length of the vibration.
What the heck is special about this?
Ever heard of phantom limb syndrome experienced by amputees? mine is the case of phantom alerts. My phone is not with me right now, its somewhere in my house some few miles away from here and to make matters worse, its actually switched off.
Hello, my name is Pystar and I am an addict.

hacking, hardware, Life, programming

Simple power hack

Everyone has experienced this, that heart stopping moment when your computer froze and stoped responding to anything. You then reached for that quick solution to the perceived problem i.e. pressing the power button. I did exactly that and my laptop went nuts, it would blink for like 2 seconds, die and keep repeating the process.
I did a harried quick read online and online gurus said I had to press down my power button 10 times and then hold down for more than 30 seconds on the 11th press to reset the power cycle. Well I did that and…. surprise, it did not work. Well I had to put an object on the power button to hold it down for more than 2 hours and glory be to God, it started working again. Now my blood pressure can return to normal.

business, hacker spaces, hacking, Internet, Technology & Startups

Why tech startups should not move to Yaba

For all those sitting in traffic right now.

The above quote is from “Remote – office not required”, the latest book from the guys at 37signals. I guess having just finished reading the book and the intense debate that went on here birthed this post.


1. Work doesnt happen at work: We all are guilty of goofing off on facebook, twitter, youtube et.al instead of working. Some employers even go as far as installing blocks to the Internet on office systems (this didnt stop certain adventurous individuals from bypassing it though *cough, cough*).

Programmers, designers etc produce their best work when they are inspired and in a state of flow and this has a 1% chance of ever happening in the office. IM’s, endless emails, co-workers stopping in for mindless chitchat, purposeless staff meetings etc would ensure this never happens.

Inspiration can’t be called up on demand and ordered to deliver. There are days, weeks and even months when I don’t create anything, when looking at code hurts my eyes but oh boy when the inspiration hits, my heart rate would go up, insomniac mode comes on and I just keep at it till its all out of my head. So being forced into a cubicle farm and ordered to produce stuff would be pure torture and a waste of time. Back to the warm embrace of fair lady twitter.

2. Traffic, traffic and more traffic: “Commuting is associated with increase rate of obesity, insomnia, stress, neck and back pain, high blood pressure, heart attacks, depression and even divorce” Study. You wake up very early and jump into the jungle called Lagos to fight the beast called “go slow” and after some hours, bloodied and sweaty you slay the beast and arrive in your office. How long do you think you would need to settle down and then get into that state of mind when you can produce some quality work? driving or commuting via public transport in Lagos can be a really hellish experience, just imagine if your daily commute was a maximum 5 seconds from your bed to your home office?

You could wake up 5am get some stuff done in 1-2 hours, eat, exercise and even go back for a short nap. This is time you would have wasted in traffic. If you live in the Yaba axis, good for you and best of luck if you commute from Okokomaiko to yaba everyday, you would die!!!

3. Yaba isnt the Mecca of Nigerian tech startups: Yaba, Yaba, Yaba, left, right and center (pun intended), thats all you hear. How Yaba is the place to be if you are into technology in Lagos, Nigeria. How CCHUB is the home of all the code ninjas and picasso-ish designers in Lagos. Talent has no hotspot, even infrastructure, i.e. uninterrupted power and fast internet speed found in cchub (my generator, Inverter and Swift modem aka The holy Trinity) and the mainone cable being laid in Yaba doesnt offer a bigger offset to the downside of a long commute.

As an employer, restricting your hiring to a small geographic region means you’re not getting the best people you can. As an employee, restricting your job search to companies within a reasonable commute means you’re not working for the best company you can.

4. Magic doesn’t always happen when we are in the same room location: People who would support the great Yaba march would say that there is strength in the collection of tech heads present in Yaba, there are talent hubs in Yaba (CCHUB, IDEAHUB, UNILAG, YABATECH et. al and other tech companies) etc. Not that I dispute that fact but at the same time we dont need to all move to Yaba to harness these resources.

There are ways we could all collaborate without necessarily being present in Yaba: e.g. github, bitbucket dropbox, IRC, skype, screen sharing, google groups, etc the list is endless.

Some people find the very idea of living in Lagos with her attendant madness reprehensible. Does that mean that those people would miss out on the “gold rush”?

***Original artwork by Mike Rohde***