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Michael Ugwu’s Freeme digital responds to Ycee’s “fraud” allegations

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Michael Ugwu

Michael Ugwu’s online music distribution company, Freeme Digital has released an official statement on it’s instagram page in respond to Ycee’s accusation of fraud. The statement said that the dispute is totally between Ycee’s record label, Tinny entertainment and SONY entertainment.

 

The statement reads below….

Following the series of occurrences that has transpired on social media since Tuesday 29th August 2017 between Ycee of Tinny Entertainment and Michael Ugwu of Sony Music Entertainment; this is our position.
Freeme Digital had a distribution agreement with Ycee which was signed in November 2015 and was terminated in April 2016 with effect from June 2016. This wasn’t on the basis of any feud whatsoever as Ycee still featured on Freeme TV ZoneOutSessions even after the termination of his contract.
His EP “The First Wave” which was released in April 2017 was solely between his management and Sony Music and we, Freeme Digital were not involved in that deal. We were never, and are still not partnering with Sony Music on any of its recording and/or distribution deals with artistes, and we definitely have no current and existing contractual relations with Ycee or his team. Anything and everything that happened between Freeme Digital and Ycee after the expiration of his contract was on the basis of a cordial industry relationship, NOTHING MORE.
We are aware that several assumptions and baseless propaganda have been flying in the media as expected but we have chosen to respond to it as it is and call it by its real name – Baseless.
Freeme Digital is Nigeria’s foremost online digital music distribution network with a growing array of artists, labels, comedians and content creators across the region on our platform with radio rights to all content licensed so unsubstantiated disputes like this don’t come as a surprise. We work hard to offer world-class services in our industry and in this sub-region so unfounded arguments though common with the industry never stay on us. This dispute is between Tinny entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment; Freeme Digital has no part in it.

 

Again! Michael Ugwu, former CEO of iROKING in another scandal

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Michael Ugwu

We can confirm that Michael Ugwu is no longer the CEO of iROKING and has left the company. He was dismissed earlier this month with immediate effect for gross misconduct.

These were words from an official statement by iROKING in 2013, when it was confirmed that the then CEO Michael Ugwu has been fired from the company for building a similar digital platform (Freeme digital)  to that of iROKING. See below.

It came to light that, whilst under contract and salary of iROKING, Michael Ugwu set up and launched his own digital music platform, in direct competition with iROKING. This is an unequivocal breach of the robust non-compete and confidentiality clause he signed when he joined the iROKO team .”

Michael Ugwu

Well, fast forward to 2017, Michael Ugwu is now general manager for Sony Music West Africa. In a series of tweets, fast rising Nigerian artiste, Ycee has accused him of “fraud” too. A replay of the 2013 saga,  you might say.

We believe that there is a great similarity between the type of service SONY offers, and that Michael’s company (Freeme digital) does too. Both are online digital music distribution companies.

If the issue with Jason Njoku of Iroko is put into consideration, we might be forced to conclude that this is becoming a pattern for Michael Ugwu. Is it his personal philosophy to leverage other people’s companies to build his own? Because as in 2013, this could be exactly what he is doing with SONY music and Freeme digital.

 

Could this be what Ycee meant when he tweeted this below?

 

And He even called his company “slavery digital”.

 

We would keep you updated as more facts are uncovered.

Lady starts #BuyTwitter and #BanTrump campaign to kick Donald Trump off Twitter

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#BuyTwitter and #BanTrump

A lady by the name of Valerie Plame Wilson have kick-started a #BuyTwitter and #BanTrump campaign on Twitter with the sole aim of making kicking the United States of America’s president off the social network platform. And how does she plan to do this? Read on.

Apparently, she happens to be among the many Americans that can’t deal with any more of Trump’s hate tweets, threats and “covfefe” on Twitter. Hence, the movement to kick one of the most powerful man off the platform.

Valerie Plame Wilson (hereinafter Valerie) with Twitter handle @ValeriePlame have set open a GoFundMe account with the #BuyTwitter and #BanTrump movement as the subject. She intends to raise enough money from people of like minds so she can buy a controlling share of Twitter which “may” give her power to kick the POTUS away with a ban or sort.

The expected amount of money Valerie intends to realize from this movement is a huge (and quite unbelievable) $1 B. Let me spell that out in words – One billion dollars! Terrific I must say.

#BuyTwitter and #BanTrump

In her words,

“It’s time to shut him down.”, she asserts.

“Donald Trump has done a lot of horrible things on Twitter, from emboldening white supremacists to promoting violence against journalists, his tweets damage the country and put people in harm’s way,” she says.

The GoFundMe campaign for the #BuyTwitter and #BanTrump movement is (as of this time and day) only 8 years old and have received donations totalling a whooping $58,666. So far, only 2,022 individuals of “like minds” have donated to the course and more people are expected to keep the campaign running.

With the above-mentioned amount, the campaign is only 0.0058% near completion. At that rate, one would begin to wonder if Trump would still be President when the money totals $1 billion; if that ever happens.

Although Valerie needs about $6 Billion to have majority stake, $1 Billion will make her the highest Twitter shareholder.

Valerie Plame Wilson is a wife, a mother of twin, an anti-nuclear activist, an author and a former covert CIA operative. She also runs the website valeriaplamewilson.com

It is worth stating that this isn’t the first petition that will stir a lot of controversies on Twitter. There was a petition some months back that had its movement based on turning Twitter into a co-operative; whereby only people of like minds can own the network with the aim of making more money in the long run.

Twitter Night Mode on Desktop is officially available; global rollout to happen soon

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Twitter Night mode on Desktop

Night mode on Twitter is one of those things I love about the app… and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

Some users on Twitter have reported that they could see a “Night mode” option in the menu of their account when they accessed the social network on their desktop. To confirm this, they enabled the option and the background changed from a white and bright interface to a dark blue or navy blue colour.

Twitter Night mode on Desktop
Twitter Night mode on Desktop

A decent amount of users of the Twitter app on mobile have shown unwavering interest in the Night mode version of the social network for different reasons.

Some users just can’t deal with the brightness of the normal/day version while some visually impaired users have complained that their eye can’t cope with the reflection of the bright background. On some other reasons, some users (like myself) are just in love with the subtlety of the night mode. Just calm and nice, unlike the loudness of the standard version.

Besides, I personally think Twitter with different shades of the same colour (blue) goes perfectly together and is quite better to the eye than the standard blue and white Twitter.

If you are a desktop user of Twitter, you can turn on the night mode in the menu by clicking on your profile picture and subsequently turning on the Night mode (located at the bottom of the menu options) by clicking to activate.

Twitter Night mode on Desktop
Activating Twitter Night mode on Desktop

Apparently, it seems the Twitter Night Mode on Desktop is still in the experimental stages as not all users can access it yet. Only a small number of people can see the Night on their Twitter. I can’t, and it leaves me with the another guess that probably the feature is being rolled out on the basis of region. Maybe, maybe not.

Irrespective, we are all getting the Twitter Night mode feature on our desktop in due time because there is no stated date of rollout yet – but that is happening sooner than we think. Twitter won’t wait much longer before churning out a global update.

However, before now, several blogs have reported Twitter’s intention to introduce the Night mode to the Desktop version but still some users couldn’t wait.

Some user Desktop users have been using their Twitter in Night mode for quite sometime (since last December); albeit not officially. How did they do this? Pretty easy. They used this Google Chrome web extension to use Twitter in night mode.

You can have more sights of the Twitter Night Mode on Desktop below;

Twitter Night Mode on Desktop

The Infinix Note 4 Pro will launch in Kenya soon

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Infinix Note 4 Pro Kenya
Infinix Note 4 Pro Kenya – coming soon

Infinix Mobility have announced that the Infinix Note 4 Pro smartphone will be launched in Kenya sooner than expected.

The mobile brand made this announced through a tweet from the company’s Kenyan Twitter account (@InfinixKenya).

Though the Infinix Note 4 Pro had been launched in some other countries in the continent, Infinix haven’t given Note 4 Pro a fair share of official unveiling and proper welcoming in Kenya.

Infinix Note 4 Pro Kenya
Infinix Note 4 Pro Kenya – coming soon

“One Pen to Control the World. Get ready to #TakeCharge #AmCharged #TechTuesday”, tweeted @InfinixKenya

From the above image as shared alongside the tweet, the Kilimall logo can be clearly seen at the bottom left corner of the image. This could translate to the device being launched and exclusively sold by Kilimall (kilimall.co.ke), Kenya’s biggest online shopping mall. Now Jumia can go get some rest.

To confirm this partnership, Kilimall have also taken to Twitter to share and promote the launch of the upcoming Infinix Note 4 Pro in Kenya. The image below was shared by Kilimall on Twitter (@Kilimall)

Infinix Note 4 Pro Kenya
Infinix Note 4 Pro Kenya

The Infinix Note 4 Pro was unveiled alongside the Infinix Note 4 and though both devices share some features in common, the differences are still distinctly clear.

Both the Note 4 and Note 4 Pro come with a full metallic body, a 5.7 inch IPS Full HD display, an Octa core MediaTek MT6753 processor, Android v7.0 Nougat OS, 13 MP Rear camera and 8 MP front camera.

In distinction, the Infinix Note 4 Pro will launch with a stylus pen (called the X-Pen) which is the major/highlight feature of the device. Interestingly, the Note 4 Pro will go down in history’s book as the first device from the stables of Infinix to come with a stylus pen.

The upcoming Infinix Note 4 Pro has a bigger 3 GB RAM (compared to the Note 4’s 2 GB), bigger 32 GB ROM (16 GB on the Note 4) and a 4,500 mAh battery pack 200 mAh bigger than the Note 4’s 4,300 mAh.

The upcoming Note 4 Pro will be launched alongside the Infinix Hot 5 and Infinix Hot 5 Pro on Monday, the 28th day of August, 2017.

The Note 4 Pro will provide users with a wonderful multitasking experience as it comes with huge 3GB RAM (though it wouldn’t be anywhere near what these 6 GB RAM smartphones can do). The inherent split screen feature of the Android v7.0 Nougat will also take multitasking to the next level on the Infinix Note 4 Pro.

Overall, the Infinix Note 4 Pro would not disappoint. As a matter of fact, the speculated Ksh. 18,000 retail price is pretty enticing and affordable.

Don’t buy that new iPhone 7 yet. The next iPhone will be announced soon

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A render of the iPhone 8 with no bezels next to the current iPhone 7

Are you thinking of buying a new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus anytime soon? Well, don’t! You don’t want your “new” iPhone be tagged “old” do you?

There have been several reports suggesting that Apple will be launching more than one iPhone before the year ends. The iPhone 7S, 7S Plus and iPhone 8 tops the speculation list and no one knows which is launching first or if they will be launched together. But whichever it is, Mac4Ever says it will be announced by September 12 at Apple’s Press Conference. That’s like in less than 3 weeks.

Are you an iPhone user and you are not getting a new iPhone soon? You would also get a gift. The final version of the iOS 11 will also be unveiled at the September 12 press conference.

September 12 is a Tuesday and as history has shown us, Apple usually commence pre-order of a new device on a Friday. This means if the September 12 information is anything to go by, Apple fans can start placing their pre-orders 3 days after the conference (i.e September 15).

After the pre-order period elapses, proper sales of the upcoming iPhone will then commence by September 22, a week after pre-order.

In addition to the iPhone(s) unveiling, rumour has it that a new version of the Apple Watch will also be announced. Details have it that the major change coming on to the new Apple Watch is just the inclusion of 4G LTE connectivity.

Users of the Apple TV may also most likely begin to receive updates to their TV after the conference. The update will bring the 4K video output on to Apple TV screens.

On the side, the expectations of Apple fanatics from the iPhone 7S and 7S plus is quite high. The cameras on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are magnificent – no doubts. But users want it better on the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus.

As we have seen a whole lot of impressive leaks, renders, schematics and sketches of the upcoming iPhone 8, we also have come across some details of the iPhone 8 that users may find disappointing.

Despite all the variations among the countless renders and leaks, the one thing that they all seem to have in common about the iPhone 8 is that Apple flagship will rock a big and tall display that will completely take the space of the frontal with the proximity sensor, speaker and selfie camera having a little space to themselves.

Facial recognition and wireless or inductive charging are other expectant features of the Apple iPhone 8.

The iPhone 8 device unveiling and launch will definitely be a big one as Apple intend to use the device to celebrate her 10th anniversary.

Let the countdown begin!

Hey iPhone users! The AccuWeather app may be selling out information about you, where you go and what you do

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A mobile app security researcher in the name of Will Strafach (@chronic on Twitter) have revealed that the AccuWeather app is unethically obtaining information about users with and without their consent, and worse, selling them out to a third-party.

Going by the revelations made by Strafach through a post on Medium, the AccuWeather app does this by deceitfully requesting location permission from users with the guise of providing weather data that are customized and location-based. However, what AccuWeather does is to collect this data, use them, and subsequently sell them to a third-party company known as RevealMobile.

Upon granting the AccuWeather iOS app access to your location information, Strafach says that AccuWeather will send the following set of information to the data monetization firm Reveal (revealmobile.com);

  • Your precise GPS coordinates, including current speed and altitude.
  • The name and “BSSID” of the Wi-Fi router you are currently connected to, which can be used for geolocation through various online services.
  • Whether your device has bluetooth turned on or off.

To prove the authenticity of his claims, Strafach tested the AccuWeather app with an iPhone for a total period of 36 hours. During the test period, the AccuWeather app was not opened (not run in the foreground) and yet, the test device (an iPhone) sent the above information as stated to Reveal for a total of 16 times. An average of once in two hours.

RevealMobile is an information monetization website that trades location information of Internet users for revenue. The company boasts that it can determine where users live, shop, where they go from home, where they have soccer practice, where they travel to. Basically, Reveal knows everywhere you go…and the AccuWeather iOS app is the snitch.

Apparently, RevealMobile trades this information to Ad companies so as to foster accurate Ad targeting and reach the right audiences.

“The value lies in understanding the path of a consumer and where they go throughout the day,” Reveal says in a blog post on its website

Did not grant the AccuWeather app location access? That makes no difference either.

“If you do not grant AccuWeather access to your GPS information, it will still send your Wi-Fi router name and BSSID, providing RevealMobile access to less precise location information regarding your device’s whereabouts. This practice by a different company appears to have previously caught the attention of the FTC.”, Strafach notes.

AccuWeather have come out to debunk some of the claims made by Strafach. While it did not deny sending location information about users to RevealMobile, it however said that some information obtained about a user were not used by the company but may have been used by Reveal.

“Despite stories to the contrary from sources not connected to the actual information, if a user opts out of location tracking on AccuWeather, no GPS coordinates are collected or passed without further opt-in permission from the user.

Other data, such as Wi-Fi network information that is not user information, was for a short period available on the Reveal SDK, but was unused by AccuWeather.”

Strafach further went on to disclose in his findings that not only AccuWeather was guilty of this crime, other Apps like the Frank’s Forecast Weather App from KPRC 2 was also a culprit.

Now to the big question. Are there other apps out there that have the Reveal component in them? Or is it only the AccuWeather app?

To keep our fears down, Strafach have however promised to continue his research into apps and companies that have the Reveal location-based tracking code embedded in them.

Here are smartphone brands that could have the Android Oreo on their devices first

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smartphone brands that could run the Android Oreo OS first

Just some hours ago, we reported information revealing that the upcoming Android 8.0 or Android O will be called the Android Oreo. In the same article, major highlights and features of the new Android 8.0  Oreo operating system were pointed out.

smartphone brands that could run the Android Oreo OS first

While it is Google’s tradition to determine when details of any upcoming OS be announced, it is not in the company’s power to dictate which devices or set of devices launch or run the OS first. But they can speculate – tell which smartphone brands that could run the Android Oreo OS first; which will most definitely come to pass. I mean, it’s Google. “She knows basically all things”, as some would say.

In the same blog post that announced the Google Android Oreo, Google mentioned the company have commenced testing of the Oreo OS on the Google Pixel smartphones and Nexus 5X/6P.

According to Google’s VP of Product Management, Android and Google Play, Sameer Samat,

We’re pushing the sources to Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for everyone to access today. Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P builds have entered carrier testing, and we expect to start rolling out in phases soon, alongside Pixel C and Nexus Player.

He also noted that devices enrolled in Google’s Android Beta Program will receive the final version of the Oreo update.

Under the “Coming to a device near you” header, Sameer talked about Google’s collaborative effort with her mobile partners to release the Android Oreo OS their devices. Mobile brands that were mentioned include;

  • Essential
  • General Mobile
  • Nokia
  • Huawei
  • HTC
  • Kyocera
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Samsung
  • Sharp
  • Sony 

The above names are smartphone brands that could run the Android Oreo OS first

Still going by the words of Sameer,

We’ve also been working closely with our partners, and by the end of this year, hardware makers including Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are scheduled to launch or upgrade devices to Android 8.0 Oreo.

In the above quote, we can see Google’s VP carefully playing around the words “Launch” and “Upgrade”.

I believe his aim was to be crystal clear that it is in the hands of all individual smartphone company to either send an OTA update to all previous device that are capable of upgrading to the Oreo 8.0 OS or launch new gadgets (smartphone, tablets etc) that runs the Android Oreo OS out of the box.

It is worthy of note to state that the following smartphone brands; LG, Motorola, HTC, Sony, Xiaomi, and OnePlus sent an OTA update to their devices before the end of 2016 following the release of the Android 7.0 Nougat OS around this same time last year (August 22, 2016).

In other news, it should be recalled that HMD Global (Nokia’s parent company and distributor) have, in the past, confirmed that the Nokia 3, Nokia 4 and Nokia 6 smartphones will receive the Android Oreo OS update. The Oreo on the flagship Nokia 8 device is however not confirmed yet but it will most likely get the update.

What’s your view on the list of smartphone brands that could run the Android Oreo OS first on their devices? Is your device company among? Let’s hear you in the comments.

Samsung Bixby Voice now available to Galaxy S8 users in Kenya, Nigeria and other Africa countries

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Samsung Bixby Voice

User of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and other African countries can now enable and use the voice component of Samsung’s native AI, Bixby and enjoy its full functionalities.

Although Samsung had unveiled its AI as far back as May 2017, it was however only a week after the launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ that Samsung broke the hearts of many when it announced that the Bixby Voice will be delayed and launched as an update later.

It was reported that the reason for the delayed was due in part to the fact that the Samsung Bixby Voice wasn’t ready – it failed to take voice commands. Though annoying, but it was a pretty smart move. No one wants a deaf and air-headed A.I.

Samsung Bixby Voice
Samsung Bixby Voice

There a new “quick command” feature which allows users create custom voice command to replace certain phone comments. For example, you can use utter the phrase “Good morning” to either snooze or turn off your alarm. Also, the “Good night” phrase can be used to “activate the Do-not-disturb mode” or activate an alarm for a set time.

The Samsung Bixby is not a stand-alone app, rather, a software integration that can do a lot things on your device upon activation. The Bixby A.I can identify objects, carry out product search, manage your calendar, launch your favourite app, search for files, identify places, translate text, detect similar images, scan QR codes, and read bar code.

Asides the Samsung Bixby Voice, other Bixby features and components include Home, Reminders and Camera – and these were ready when the Galaxy S8 and S8+ launched.

A quick press of the dedicated Bixby button right below the volume adjusters and subsequently speaking a command afterwards activates the Bixby. Alternatively, the wake word “Bixby” also activates the A.I.

Presently, Bixby supports only two languages: the US English and South Korean. And while the AI has been fine tuned and perfected to give accurate responses to questions and commands like “What’s the weather like in Kenya?”, “What is the current time in Ghana?” or set you an alarm for 5:00AM the next day, do not expect it to correctly tell you how old your daughter is.

How to update the Samsung Galaxy Bixby

The Samsung Galaxy Bixby Voice will come out of the box on new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ users. Old users will get a notification prompting them to update their Samsung Bixby to the latest version so as to enjoy the Samsung Bixby Voice…as seen in the image below

 

 

WhatsApp adopts Facebook colourful status background in new app update

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WhatsApp status coloured background

It should be recalled that back in December 2016, Facebook rolled out an update that allowed users the avenue to share whatever they’ve got on their mind on a cool, colourful, and playful background. This move by Facebook was welcomed in warm hands by millions of Facebook users all across the world. Not only was it just welcomed, a large portion of “Facebookers” quickly rushed to try it out and a large portion still uses it. You can barely scroll through your Facebook timeline without having at least one status update on a coloured background. Am I right?

Apparently, WhatsApp also had eyes for the Facebook coloured background status update and the fact that Facebook happens to be the instant messaging app parent company, I honestly see no wrong in WhatsApp copying and bringing the feature to its platform.

WhatsApp status update coloured background
WhatsApp status update coloured background

The number one instant messaging app, Whatsapp introduced the option to create status updates with customizable colourful backgrounds, numerous custom fonts and ability to add clickable website links to status updates.

WhatsApp have been testing the coloured background status update feature for a while now (report suggests early August) in the Beta stage and the feature is finally ready and stable for incorporation into the app.

WhatsApp will commence rolling out of the coloured status update feature today, August 22, 2017 and users need not download or re-install the WhatsApp messenger from the respective App store of their devices to have the have the new status update feature on their app. The new status update will be embedded automatically by WhatsApp through their servers. And how do you know if you can create colourful status updates? Easy.

For Android users, you would notice a pencil icon just at the top of the camera (or add status) icon when you swipe to the Status tab of your messenger app. Clicking this pencil icon will initiate the status creation process which allows you select preferred font style and background color.

WhatsApp status update coloured background
WhatsApp status update coloured background on Android

This new colourful status update joins the latest development from WhatsApp; the introduction of the Status tab to the desktop version of the messenger. However, while the newly introduced coloured background status update will roll out for mobile running the Android OS and iOS , desktop users will have to wait their turn to creating a coloured background status.

iOS users can locate the pencil icon on the right side of the camera icon in the status tab.

WhatsApp status update coloured background
WhatsApp status update coloured background for iOS

It is noteworthy to mention that Facebook first off copied SnapChat on the status idea, then the coloured status background and this triggered a storm of controversy all around the world and in the internet scene. The storm saw Snapchat’s CEO rain insults on Facebook founder and C.E.O, Mark Zuckerberg for lifting off ideas from her boyfriend’s app.

The WhatsApp status is fun. It added a little bit of spark, a little bit of life to the texting and messaging on the app. And now that certain spices like the coloured background, custom fonts and link inclusion have been added, it only becomes more fun.