Make all the "Dear Friend" email scam jokes that you want — Nigeria now has one of the most sophisticated government-issued ID systems in the world. A new nationwide card that rolls out this week collects biometric information to prevent fraud and includes a debit card feature backed by MasterCard.
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The African nation of Nigeria is experiencing many familiar problems in our age of climate change: rising sea levels, storm surges, devastating flooding. Now its coastal city Lagos is going to outrageous lengths to protect itself, both environmentally and financially, by building an entirely new city the size of Manhattan between it and the ocean.
The Nigerian government finally agreed to run Mandriva's Linux build on its portion of an order of 17,000 Intel Classmate PCs. The 2GB Wi-Fi laptops were initially scheduled to have Mandriva Linux, but then Microsoft apparently got into a bidding war, offering up a low-priced Windows version. On Halloween, things turned fugly.
The pot boiled over on the 31st, when Mandriva's CEO François Bancilhon all but accused Steve Ballmer of dirty dealing in an open letter. Wow! I'm impressed, Steve! What have you done to these guys to make them change their mind like this? It's quite clear to me, and it will be to everyone. How do you call what you just did Steve? There is various names for it, I'm sure you know them.
That is one angry Frenchman. Now, the final(?) word is that the Nigerian government will take delivery of 11,000 Classmate PCs with just Mandriva Linux; the other 6,000 laptops still might get Microsoft'd. The Mandriva build comes with a "unique launcher application which makes it easier to access the most commonly needed applications" as well as anti-theft applications, educational tools and a content filter, lest there be an OLPC porn fiasco all over again.
A 24-year-old undergraduate from Nigeria is building helicopters out of old car and bike parts. Mubarak Muhammed Abdullahi, a physics student, spent eight months building the yellow model seen here, using the money he makes from repairing phones and computers. While some of the parts have been sourced from a crashed 747, the chopper contains all sorts of surprises.