Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Instant on!

Imagine a scenario where you want to know the results in the Ugbojiobo area of Edo State. All you would have to do would be to type U-G-B-O and Google would do the rest for you. The psychological effect of not having to type the full thing, hit the ‘ENTER' key, and wait for the results is enormous. Even more important is that in typing those four letters, your search engine would help with suggestions, so you can also see results in Ugbowo, Ugbomwanta, Ugboke, Ugbo Wunagweh, and other such remote places. This means people can modify their search queries on the go if something interesting pops up elsewhere. One can't help but wonder just how far this would go in helping to reduce electoral fraud...

A note of warning, though. To be able to access all of the Google Instant goodies, you have to actually be typing your search query from Google's homepage, not from the seach bar that most browsers come equipped with nowadays. I am not yet clear on whether you can use Instant directly from the address bar in Google's Chrome browser, but that is a moot point as Chrome is not available on mobile devices, yet.

Read more about it here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Living in bondage

Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Imo, Kaduna, Kwara, Lagos and Ogun: what do these states all have in common?

They have gone to the capital market to raise bonds ostensibly for various projects.

I admit though, there is indeed a need to tap into the cheap funds, which the bond market supposedly represents, but that is if, and only if, the money would be used for the purposes advertised. But the question has to be asked about securities. What exactly would guarantee those bonds? How do the various state governments intend to pay back the people who buy the bonds?

Most importantly, WHY is it NOW that the state governments are one by one beginning to rush to the bond market?

Read the rest...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Hope springs eternal

The mark

My 64

The mechanic

Some weeks ago, a danfo bus ran into and broke one of my fog lights. Two days ago I had a flat close to a mechanic's workshop, so I drove in to fix my tyre. I noticed a 406 just like mine parked there that made it the mark. I asked the mechanic how long it had been there, and he said "close to a year", so I offered him money to remove its fog lights and put them in my car. He declined. According to him, the owner of the car left it in his trust and he will return it in exactly the same condition whenever the owner returns for his vehicle. Of course barring any reasonable wear and tear. I felt ashamed of my offer, but at the same time I felt happy that there are still good people in this country. There is hope in unexpected places. After I drove off, it occurred to me that sadly, I didn't even ask for the mechanic's name...