Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Motivational Speakers: The Success Marketplace

For good or ill, Nigerians are having a go. First Nigeria got wealthy. Then came the motivational speakers to sell Nigerians on their full potential. (FROM SLATE)[1]

“Several years ago I was a two-time college dropout,” says Steve Harris, one of Lagos’ most high-profile motivational speakers. “When life places a sticker and brands you as an incompetent or a ne’er-do-well, you need to get off your butt—excuse me—and remind them that this is not you.”

Harris is one of roughly a dozen people in Lagos making serious money as motivational speakers, and many more are hoping to do the same. He offered this seminar on “personal mastery” at a heavily discounted rate because he was speaking to a church group, but in the corporate world he commands up to $10,000 for a day’s training.

Ten years ago motivational speaking barely existed here, but practitioners say demand is growing. Nigeria’s economy averaged 7 percent annual growth in the last decade, but roughly 60 percent of the country’s people still live in poverty. In Lagos, a city of hustlers, there is a feeling that dreaming bigger and working harder will help bridge the gap between potential and performance, and motivational speaking is becoming big business.

“Inspiration and motivation are beginning to become big deals … we get so many invitations that we turn [some] down,” Harris tells me. Nigerians, he says, “are in need of hope—they’re looking for something that tells them it can be better.”

Hunger for success is visible everywhere in Lagos, where street hawkers sell copies of Forbes magazine alongside packs of gum. Oil and the massive size of the domestic market have gilded a tiny minority of Nigerians in riches in recent years. The country’s rate of private jet purchasing has begun to rival China’s. Although Nigeria’s announcement of its place as Africa’s GDP leader in April was overshadowed by Boko Haram’s recent attacks and mass kidnapping of teenage girls, Lagos remains a magnet for the ambitious.

Source: Slate

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

7-inch Surface Device Coming From Microsoft


Digital Peppersoup can confirm that Microsoft has a 7-inch Surface tablet in the works. The device will run windows RT and will be announced next month. Sources close to the matter confirm that this form factor is critical to the success the current strategy at MS.


Saturday, April 06, 2013

An Xbox, an Axe and a Man Named Francis

With the first official announcement of the next-generation Xbox fast approaching, rumours persist that Microsoft's plans for the console will require it to always have an internet connection. This possibility hasn't resonated well with users, with many arguing that if they're simply engaged in a one-player game or watching locally-stored media, it makes absolutely no sense to be forced to connect the console to the web.

Things spiralled rapidly out of control this week when Adam Orth, creative director of Microsoft Studios, took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the matter, and his what's-the-big-deal sentiments infuriated many even further. In fact, so great was the outrage that Microsoft today publicly distanced itself from his comments, issuing a formal apology for what it referred to as "the inappropriate comments made by an employee".

That apology came a day late for Francis, a dedicated, Xbox-loving fan who notes that he "was born in a rural area, lives in a rural area, and will die in a rural area" - an important point for Francis in response to Orth's comments dismissing those who live in areas with limited internet availability.

In a video recorded in the aftermath of those comments, Francis goes absolutely nuts, in a profanity-laden rant that leaves no doubt at all about where he stands on the matter, tearing apart Orth's opinions and roundly condemning Microsoft for even entertaining the notion of requiring a permanent internet connection for the new console.

So devastated is Francis by this possibility that he does the only thing a dangerously insane and angry man can do in a situation like this: he introduces his beloved Xbox 360 to an axe. The destruction begins around three and a half minutes into the video. Be warned: there's a lot of swearing.

Francis ranting about the always on requirement

Alas, all is not quite as it seems here, as Francis isn't a real Xbox user but rather a comedy character, the creation of YouTube user Boogie2988 who, in his own words, does "comedy sketches, rants, rages, raves and vlogs... also I'm fat as sh*t." 

Still, we can't help but feel that he does raise some valid points. 

Source Neowin

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Surface Pro–It’s an ultra-book… really.

The reviews have ranged from the fawning to the the outright hostile. Well, mostly hostile:  this computer inspires a lot of negative passion (par for the course for most things from Microsoft).



But here’s the funny thing. I discovered that when you actually use one, something unusual happens: the simple utility of the computer supersedes all previous criticism. Simply put, this thing shines in use.

This is a full on PC. An honest-to-goodness, no compromises Intel core i5 CPU with 4Gb of memory, and in this case, a 128Gb SSD (yes, not all of the storage is free because the OS takes up a chunk of it; but isn’t that the same as every laptop on the planet?). So far, so ultrabook-like. Strangely, what a lot of reviewers don’t like is that this beast can be used without a keyboard for some things. I have yet to discover how this is somehow a fault.

Used as a tablet, the device offers insight into the future of computing. This is what I see: powerful desktop-class computing devices that can be slung around like tablets and paired with keyboards, mice, styluses and other such devices

The form-factor is designed for use on a desk rather than on your lap. It can do either and it is arguably better than most tablets but not as comfortable ergonomically as a laptop. It’s heavier than it’s Surface RT sibling but with effectively higher resolution on the screen and a decent wacom stylus in the mix, things even out somewhat.

On the whole, I think Microsoft has delivered on the promise of the initial Surface launch. A no compromise device that can handle computing and tablet needs. There are areas for improvement like battery life and the form factor in general but overall, Surface is brilliant. I’m keeping mine.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Dynamics CRM Online users get more options.


Microsoft made available on February 27 an optional product update for its Dynamics CRM Online service which adds iPad and Yammer support.

This single product update -- which cannot be uninstalled once an admin or user installs it -- provides both the iPad and Yammer functionality. Microsoft officials said in January that iPad and Yammer support would be rolled out for Dynamics CRM Online users in February 2013.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Tame Time Wasters Part I

one of the more delightful little tools on the internet (for film buffs) is to be found here on Slate.

It goes by the unlikely name of the Slate Career O meter and it makes statistically meaningful plots of… oh just see for yourself (here’s the link again)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

It's Time For Microsoft To Face Reality About Search And The Internet (MSFT)

So much truth and still so much room for debate here…

It's Time For Microsoft To Face Reality About Search And The Internet (MSFT)

So much truth and still so much room for debate here…

I quote:

“So it is time for Microsoft to recognize that no company can do everything and that competing with everyone from IBM-and-Oracle to Sony-and-Nintendo to Apple-and-RIM to Google-and-Yahoo is just a recipe for failure.  Microsoft should refocus on its enterprise business, defend itself against Apple's platform attack and Google's lame app incursions, and give up on its consumer Internet business.”

Now this sort of analysis has got to hurt… or inspire…