Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Google Okays Abuja for Wireless Network Project??

allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Google Okays Abuja for Wireless Network Project

in what is reported to be the first of a planned roll-out in several African cities, the Nigerian finance minister has (purportedly) announced plans by Google to cover Abuja with a wireless network.

i can't find any official news from google, or indeed any news that isn't from coverage of the briefing (in Abuja) at which she announced this, but hopefully the interest she says Google has expressed translates to a firm committment to network Abuja...

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala says this is in relation to some work already being done in Abuja, perhaps the initiative Chippla referred to in his post a while back.

the text quoted from her actually only says a proposal for a Nigerian city was in the works, and she suggested Abuja...
perhaps some over-zealous journalists making it sound like a done-deal?

i have heard the usual arguments about people needing food to eat first, there not being enough people to take advantage of the nettwork, poor infrastructure etc. but i think that if it is true, it will be a welcome addition to other initiatives to promote technology as an engine of growth in Nigeria

"Malaria Monitor" wristwatch - Engadget

"Malaria Monitor" wristwatch - Engadget

another interesting gadget which i came across....pricks you four times a day and lets you know whether parasites in your blood have reached a critical level "before symptoms manifest themselves"

according to the article, there has been much interest in this yet-to-be-launched device, with 'several African governments and the WHO' having expressed interest, as well as mining companies.
if it will be on sale to individuals, i imagine that the personal market will be huge as well, judging from the number of people i have had to convince that malaria does not mean certain death :-)

not being ahuge fan of needles, i'm wary of being pricked four times a day ( although the $280 price tag means i will not be purchasing one anyway)
i also wonder about whether people might consider sharing them? perhaps students on budget trips...
but certainly an interesting device

eShopAfrica.com - Fair Trade Ga Coffins

interesting item for sale on eShopAfrica...

eShopAfrica.com - Fair Trade Ga Coffins

Welcome to Ga coffins or decorated chests from Ghana
These hand sculpted wooden coffins or decorated chests have been featured by National Geographic. They are made by the famous Ga coffin carpenters in Accra, Ghana.

Traditionally these chests are the size of a full coffin or a half-length coffin (see the bottom of the page for detailed specifications). However, we are working with the coffin carpenters to scale down their work making it easier to ship. They are also developing new lines such as the football and computer mouse - see pictures below.

The coffin carpenters can make just about anything you want. Below is just a sample of their creativity. They can work from a photo or a model. Order a chest according to your hobby or interest - these are truly antiques of the future. See how these amazing pieces are made in the Coffin Gallery.

i still can't get over this one. The coffins from the coffinmakers in Accra have long been recognized for their creativity, but since when did they become 'chests' for sale online? My favourite part is the fact that they are made by 'coffin carpenters', they are 'traditionally the size of a full-size coffin' but they're just shests, not coffins...
i guess they might be looking at making smaller sizes, but considering that only full-size coffins are displayed now it's highly amusing...

on a more serious note though, since these 'chests' have gotten so much attention, is this finally a way for their makers to reach a wider market? the story says that one of the coffin makers has a business based on eSHopAfrica, but I wonder how much control he actually has over that, and what sort of revenue he gets from that. somehow it strikes me that someone else was the initiator....

my personal favourites: the mouse, and the err...flying coffin painted like a ghana airways plane :-)