Category Archives: Technology

The Characteristics of an Agile MIS Infrastructure – Adebola Oyinloye

Agile MIS Infrastructure is the combination of an organization’s hardware, software and telecommunication equipment, all working together as a system to support the goals of that organization. The system must be scalable such that, if an organization demand for resources grow by a percentage, the existing infrastructure must be able to handle the percentage growth without having any adverse effect on the functionality of the company’s operation.

The following are characteristics of an Agile MIS Infrastructure that can ensure a system meet and perform under any unexpected or unplanned changes

  1. Accessibility – The operation of the system must be easily accessible at any time without restriction by all users of the system, according to their authorization or access level.
  2. Availability – In today’s world where Ebusiness mean the operation of a system must be 24/7/365, availability means the period within which the system must be operational. When the system is unavailable, then it cannot be used. A system that is tagged High Availability, like the type used by Internet Service Providers, mean the system is continuously operational at all times
  3. Maintainability – The system must be flexible enough to meet all types of company changes and business changes, without a complete system failure. For example, some businesses fail to plan for global customers. Soon as the first order comes from a global customer, it may cause a business process issue. Systems must be built with flexibility to meet business change.
  4. Portability – This is the ability of an application to operate on any device or software platforms. These days, applications are built to run on any device like PC, mobile phones and tablets. They are also able to run on operating systems like Windows, Mac or Linux.
  5. Reliability – This is the ability for a system to function accurately and provide reliable information to the users.
  6. Scalability – This describes how well a system can scale up or adapt to growing demands. If a company grows fast, it may find it difficult to function properly if it has to rely on limited resources from an existing system. For example, a SOHO router built for 50 users will have operational difficulty, and may eventually break down, if users on the network increases to 100.
  7. Usability – This describes the user friendliness of a system. The system must be easy to use while also being efficient. Windows Operating Systems are always perceived to be more user friendly than Apple Mac’s IOS

 

References

 

  1. Paige Baiztan. (2016). Business Driven Information Systems: Fifth Edition. New York NY. 10121 McGraw-Hill Education

HOW NETFLIX DISRUPTED THE VIDEO INDUSTRY Through Organizational Development (Research Paper)

Abstract

This paper is a research on how Netflix went through organizational development from a DVD post-to-mail rental business back in 1997 to an online video streaming platform, during a period when Blockbuster was the biggest DVD rental business and very little people in America had access to DVD players. The research also explores the role Netflix played in changing the entire video streaming industry. This study utilized various articles and opinion piece from select experts within the industry and video streaming users of various platforms other than Netflix.

Today, Netflix is a foremost Worldwide Online Streaming, Video and TV Production business.

According to Statista, video streaming online is one of the most widely used internet activities in the world. As at 2015, internet video viewers surpassed 200 million in the United States where most users viewed funny videos, movie trailers and music videos. And with the inclusion of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, video streaming over the internet is set to consume about 1.46 million TB per month with mobile device users reaching 137 million in 2019, in the United States alone.

“More than a few video-on-demand companies have made their name in the area of paid streaming content, with Netflix being the most widely known example” having a 37 percent of peak period downstream traffic. Netflix made revenue of $5.5 billion, in 2014. (Statista, 2016)

Netflix Inc, is an entertainment company which was founded 1997 in California by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. It began by shipping DVD via US mail to customers who will watch it and mail the disc back. However, Netflix had two major challenges that it faced as a startup that would operate in an already established industry.

First, only 2% of the United States household had DVD players in their homes and secondly, there was Blockbuster, a provider of VHS home movie and video games that run video rental shops across the US, which was the “undeniable video rental leader, having over 2,800 stores in the US (Phillips, Ferdman 2013) and eventually 8,000 worldwide with about 60,000 employees”.

This research explores the external environmental pressure for change at Netflix which with a handful startup of 30 employees, was able to take on a big organization such as Blockbuster. It will also explain the following key organizational development process that made Netflix a success: The difference between Netflix organizational model and its other competitors – The organizational strategy used at Netflix for its development, how the use of technology revolution was responsible for Netflix success and how Netflix present structure with its disruptive innovation is sustaining change within the organization.

 

Netflix Organizational Structure and Strategy

October 19 1985, the founder of Blockbuster, David Cook opened the first store in Dallas, Texas. Cook had a creative background experience in the management of large databases, so after opening a few stores, he built a $6 million warehouse that could serve as a logistic center to many stores in one day. Then he came up with a strategy that allows him to customize each store according to the neighborhood in which the store is opened, stocking up the store with movies that fit the demographic profile of people who live in that neighborhood. Using this organizational model, at its prime in 2004, Blockbuster opened about 8,000 store nationwide. This business strategy included having customers to pay a large flat fee of about $65 to offer unlimited movie rentals for the lifetime of the membership. Blockbuster would charge customer, a first day rental of $2.99 for new released movies and $1.99 for older movies. A late fee charge of 99 cents per day for up to 10 days was also applied, capping fees at $10 (Laura 2010). “In 2000, Blockbuster had collected an approximately $800 million in late, representing 16% of its revenue”, AP published in 2010. Blockbuster business model and strategy was so successful that it started acquiring many other businesses to expand.

The most defining moment for Blockbuster was however when customer Reed Hasting was charged $40 on late fee for the return of a VHS movie, Apollo 13, in 1997 (Harress, 2013). Hasting, out of anger on the high cost of fee, started up Netflix. In view of the Blockbuster organizational model, Netflix understood it could not immediately match the capacity of Blockbuster multi stores structure, so it remodeled the Blockbuster’s organizational structure. The concept of Netflix started in the early days of DVD where only about 2% of the US households had DVD players. But Netflix saw that if the market grew to about 20% of the households, it will become a successful company.

The key to its strategy was that few movie stores had DVD for rent. So, Netflix leveraged on the light weight of the discs by shipping DVDs directly to people’s home at an affordable rate – VHS was heavy. People did not have to leave their homes to rent and watch videos. This also saved Netflix the huge capital cost of setting up video stores across the US. Netflix also offered DVD rental for $4, plus $2 shipping for a seven-day period and it did away with late fee policy. Multiple options were offered the customers. Disc could be kept longer for additional fee, new movies on DVD copies were sold at 30% discount and customers could decide to buy the copy, at a favorable cost, if they did not want to return the DVD copy. In addition to these, Netflix was one of the first few companies to rent DVD by mail.

 

Netflix Technology Innovation to sustain Development and Change

First, the pricing model. Hastings was a tech entrepreneur with a Masters in Computer Science from the Stanford University. Within two years after startup, Hastings leveraged on technology innovations at the time, the internet, to create a pricing model of – using the service for as long as you want, for a fixed monthly fee. Customers could now also browse a large collections of movie titles online and receive in their mailboxes. In addition, because of the low-cost production of the DVD and the compactness, Netflix could eventually do away with the late payment policy.

Netflix also tapped on another technology trend – streaming. Broadband internet and WiFi service was on the rise. Portable mobile devices were getting cheaper and widely in use. By 2007, Netflix launched a service to stream video contents directly to user’s portable devices and home TVs. Netflix bet heavily on the use of technology to drive its business that it kept on spending to entice customers to its website, on the assumption that it would become more profitable after the brand has established itself better. Netflix used technology to develop an extensive custom-made video-recommendation system based on customer’s reviews. This made it easier for customers to pick a very good movie without having to, first, view it. In 2003, Netflix crossed the 1 million subscriber mark, opening additional 5 shipping centers. By 2005, it was shipping 1 million DVDs by mail every day with over 35,000 titles to choose from its web services.

Sustaining Development through Vision and Internal Change Drivers

Netflix Vision and Mission statement states that “Our core strategy is to grow our streaming subscription business domestically and globally. We are continuously improving the customer experience, with a focus on expanding our content, enhancing our user interface and extending our streaming services to even more interconnected devices”. This was a clear vision statement from the CEO, Reed Hastings for the future of Netflix

Netflix continued to innovate and sustain its development. It started to develop its own content called Netflix Originals. These were contents that are distributed exclusively on their services. A success story of the use of technology to create content is “House of Cards”.

House of Cards is a show that was created from data-driven programming. Netflix with 27 million subscribers in the US and 33 million worldwide, collected data – like when you pause, rewind, fast forward, reviews, ratings; from its customers to create a bespoke show. With this strategy, Netflix was able to connect more with its customers and further increase customer’s satisfaction. Many industry experts believe Netflix has affected the way audience watch TV content. Neil Hunt, Netflix CPO, believes that Netflix strategy has created a model on how television will be viewed in 2025, that is, watching shows and TV content at their own pace. People will no longer be forced into a 30 or 60-minute slot once a week.

In conclusion, Netflix was able to remodel Blockbuster’s organizational structure by taking advantage of the many flaws from its big size and multi stores model, using disruptive technology innovations and continuous technology improvement to sustain its development and self-changing strategy by linking selection to objectives and measuring progress, as it grows. Blockbuster, on the other side, failed to adapt and change.

Finally, Netflix understood that making timely modifications in the light of experience will normally be more effective than attempting not to deviate from plan (Palmer, Dunford and Buchanan (2016). Netflix did a lot of fine-tuning as it expands its business, “building the plane as it flies”. By 2011, Netflix had become an American success story for an organization with well-paid, well-managed employees and happy customers. It had overtaken a big competitor using technology, or as Harvard Business Review called it “big bang disruption.” Netflix shares hit $299 a share in 2011 from a 2003 $22 per share, becoming the first platform one will think of, when it comes to Online Video Streaming.

 

Oyinloye Adebola

California Miramar University

 

 

References

Pouge, David. (January 25, 2007). “A Stream of Movies, Sort of Free”. The New York Times

Stellar, Brian. (October 21, 2013). “Netflix hits Milestone and Raises Its Sights”. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/business/media/netflix-hits-subscriber-milestone-as-shares-soar.html

BBC News. (December 2013). “Blockbuster to close more stores as 427 more jobs to go”. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-25232069

Wired. (May 2014). “What Television will look like in 2025, according to Netflix”. https://www.wired.com/2014/05/neil-hunt/ .

Staistics Portal. (January 2016). “Statistics and Facts about online video usage”. https://www.statista.com/topics/1137/online-video/

Laura Heller (Mar 3rd, 2010). “Late fees are back at Blockbuster; goodluck with that”. AOL Finance https://www.aol.com/article/2010/03/03/late-fees-are-back-at-blockbuster-good-luck-with-that/19380683/

Associated Press (September 2010). “Blockbuster tries to rewrite script in bankruptcy” http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2010/09/blockbuster_tries_to_rewrite_s.html

Paul Holland (June 2015). “The netflix startup story”. Venture Beat. http://venturebeat.com/2015/06/26/the-netflix-startup-story-video/

Palmer, I., Dunford, R., Buchanan, D.A. (2016). “Managing Organizational Change”: A Multiple Perspectives Approach. New York NY. McGraw-Hill Education

David Carr (Feburary 2013). “Giving Viewers What They Want”. NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/business/media/for-house-of-cards-using-big-data-to-guarantee-its-popularity.html

 

 

Case Study: Mount Cedar Technologies Inc.

2016-06-17 15.30.36

Introduction to Mount Cedar Tech Inc

Mount Cedar Technologies, which began as an importer and distributor of computer accessories but later grew into an IT infrastructure integrator that specializes in hardware, software and security solutions, from an employee of 6 to 170 in 2006, is having an organizational behavior challenge. The company lacked an organization structure that can help improve on its operations’ effectiveness. Even though the decision making was highly decentralized, there was no cooperation among the managers therefore, each department were making independent decisions, without coordination or communication.

 

Mount Cedar Technologies Vision

In trying to analyze and provide suggestions that can improve or enhance Mount Cedar Technologies’ organizational challenge, we need to find out what the company’s vision is. According to Neil Kokemuller (2017), A mission and vison are standard and critical elements of a company’s organization strategy. Most established companies develop organizational vision statements which serves as foundational guides in the company’s objectives. The case study has not mentioned any mission or vision statement for the company, and this is an underlying factor in shaping an organizational culture. Where mission relates to goals and refers to the overriding purpose of the organization, Vision refers to the desired future state of the organization” (Johnson et al., 2011 p.8).

Hans Hinterhuber and Wolfgang Popp (1992, p.106) defines vision as “an orientation point that guides a company’s movement in a specific direction. If the vision is realistic and appeals both to the emotions and intelligence of employees, it can integrate and direct a company”.

 

Assessing the Leadership Style

Even though John Curtis, the CEO, has been instrumental to the growth of the business, his present leadership style had become problematic to many including the top management. He surprised people by showing uninvited to meetings and employees are expected to provide impromptu responses to unprepared questions thrown at them. Since Curtis has been perceived as being an issue, he cannot be recommended as a change leader. So, Mount Cedar Tech. need to restructure its organization, and what the company need is a distributed leadership which could be used to effect an organizational change. Research has also shown how change is driven by large number of organizational members, in an approach that is called “leadership constellations” (p. 17)

 

Creating an Organizational Structure that Promotes Creativity

The case study identified that the company lacked an organization structure that can help improve on its operations’ effectiveness. And one way to achieve this to create an organizational structure that promotes creativity. According to “Making Innovation Structures Work”, a McKinsey Global Survey results, Executive say their companies use multiple organizational approach to drive innovation and that the success of these efforts depends on integrated strategy.

While 86% say the structure of their separate functions positively influences outcomes, results however suggested that the most important factor of success is how creativity is integrated into corporate strategy. Therefore, some of the general characteristics of organizational innovation Mount Cedar Tech. can put in place to promote creativity, are

  • Allowing everybody understand that they are capable of generating creative ideas
  • Organizational culture that can smother creativity
  • If any one comes up with a great idea, let them understand – ‘no need to tell, just show it’

 

Improving Mount Cedar Tech. using Communication and Employee Empowerment

At Mount Cedar Technologies, decision making was highly decentralized which resulted in the loss of possible gains to be obtained from cooperation among managers. Ideally, having a flat structure and decentralized decision making should make an organization work more efficiently, and allow it to react quickly to business situation, however, if there is no coordination or proper communication, there will be a resulting silo effect in which each department will make decisions by itself.

Research has shown that effective lateral and work group communication leads to an improvement in overall company performance. Here are a few ways organization communication can increase decision making effectiveness and a productive organizational behavior

  • When information is not transferred correctly to the right people, there might be miscommunication as seen at Mount Cedar Tech. it is important to have a good communication system, so that everyone understands the goal and can work together towards it. E.g. to launch a new product on Facebook, new goals and tasks should be properly communicated to the employees
  • Effective communication can also empower employees and improve productivity if they have more information, about specific tasks. Mount Cedar Tech employees where not empowered and were not encouraged to risk taking. In fact, department managers acknowledged that they were busy reacting to problems and customer issues, allowing them no time to coordinate or listen to their employees. This is because managers don’t have information about how to deal with specific tasks.
  • Communication also creates healthy and productive cultures in an organization. If employees and managers have good working relationships with each other, the organizational behavior of the company improves.
  • Effective organizational communication also increases accountability. When employees and managers are provided with clear instructions, they know what is expected from each of them. This will break silo effect in an organization, and managers can work together in tandem with the organization mission and vision.

 

Addressing Diversity and Minority

Christensen and Cornelissen (2011, pp. 402-3) argue that organizations have to work with many voices, with different views and ideas, so that communication can be ambiguous and inconsistent for this reason of accommodating diversity in an organization: “vague and equivocal language allows organizations to talk about themselves in ways that integrate a variety of members and stakeholders without alienating anyone”. This is key to Mount Cedar Tech. as it was also lagging in the advancement of women and minorities.

 

Organizational Motivation and Reward

Finally, it is important to keep employees motivated and rewarded. Mount Cedar Tech, experienced complaints from employees who did not feel equitable treated, which resulted in the loss of talented employees. According to Lipman (2013) here are 5 easy ways (which are self-explanatory) to motivate employees

  • Align individual economic interests with company performance
  • Take a genuine interest in the future path of an employee’s career
  • Take a genuine interest in their work-life balance
  • Listen
  • Do unto others as you would have done unto you

 

Mount Cedar Technologies Inc.

Designing A High-Performance Organization

 

Adebola Oyinloye

California Miramar University

ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE

 

References

Palmer, I., Dunford, R., Buchanan, D.A. (2016). “Managing Organizational Change”: A Multiple Perspectives Approach. New York NY. McGraw-Hill Education

Neil Kokemuller (2017). “Importance of Mission Vision in Organizational Strategy” http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-mission-vision-organizational-strategy-16000.html

McKinsey & Company (September 2012). Making Innovation Structures work: Mckinsey Global Survey results. http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/making-innovation-structures-work-mckinsey-global-survey-results

Pavel Aramyan (Octoboer, 2015). 5 ways workplace communication effectiveness can increase productivity. http://explore.easyprojects.net/blog/5-ways-workplace-communication-effectiveness-can-increase-productivity

Victor Lipman (March, 2013). 5 Easy Ways to Motivate and and Demotivate Employees. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2013/03/18/5-easy-ways-to-motivate-and-demotivate-employees/#344ce3e9682d

 

Organizational Change: External Environment Alerts and Internal Pressures to Change

Business organizations are not protected from external environment threats, neither have they been able to successfully create an infallible system to guard against internal organizational pressures when the need for unintended Organizational Change arises.

org

Change managers, who are either the CEOs of a company or Project Managers are often part of the organizational process to help an organization do things differently or achieve a specific goal, and when external environment is the reason for change within an organization, they are on ground to identify these potential problems.

Here are a few Potential Threats from External Environment Influence that can force an organization to change its structure

  • Economic or political factors that influences External environment cause for organization change are often the most complex issues to address, as it affects the entire socio-environment in which the organization exist.

The 2015 Nigerian economic collapse into a ‘forced recession’ as a result of the transition from One political party to another, is a strong indication why organization must be adaptable, as consumers tighten their belt during such crisis, causing a demand-supply flow issue. Companies that were ill-prepared have since closed-shop

  • Competition with other business organizations are a common threat which any Change Manager can easily identify and should, somewhat, always be prepared for; For example, if the competition releases a range of new product; this can threaten market share and may result to hiring and firing

 

  • Other external environment factors include Technology, which is a constant evolving threat and often shapes how an organization is restructured, in terms of using technology to deliver quality service or its effect on organization staffing – employee lay-offs, recruitment or job description change.

 

  • And Globalization, which is a new entrant. This often related to business organization aspiration for global expansion and the need to capture new market.

 

In contrast, Organizations do often assume they have complete control over most internal environment factors that may effect change, because organization owns its people, culture, process and structure. However, one of its biggest pressure for change is Growth.

Organizations are expected to grow over the years as a sign of success (Dylan 2004). However, growth or lack of growth can both create some sort of complexity that pressures for change in an organization. And this change could lead to Organizational Restructuring (either employee down-sizing where growth is stalled or new recruitments, where its growing).

Introduction of a new CEO or a functional manager and internal power grabs and politics between stakeholder interests and decision makers are also internal environment pressures, that can call for change in organization

For instance, the introduction of a New CEO “can significantly impact business strategy and corporate culture”

In my opinion, since both external and internal environment factors are both influential to any organizational change process, the external factors are most impactful.

Most organizations are started out of the vision and goals of its sponsors and stakeholders, which often comes with a change process as contained in the organizational internal process, to address most expected threats that may arise.

However, the effect of external environment factors is highly unpredictable to an organization. For example, the political transition to President Mohammed Buhari in 2015, and his subsequent economic fumble have triggered a lot of instability across most business organizations in all sectors in Nigeria, forcing many businesses to close, downsize or restructure

 

Class Presentation by Adebola Oyinloye, Jan 2016

Organizational Development and Change Class

 

hammjustsaying

October 23, 2016

I thought to make my household a tech-savvy environment, with the intent to expose my kids, early in life, to technology use. I made it a point to buy them a tablet on their 5th birthdays – the older got separate ones while the younger, shares with a parent.

These days, children are known to always show this pure inquisitive interest toward any portable gadget within their reach, right from an early age, and I naturally do not want a situation where my kids mistakenly mess around with my working tools; or put simply – damage them.

So I bought my boy a tablet on his 5th recently. Many months after, this picture popped up on my spare phone – which doubles as a “guardian tablet” to my kids’ devices. LOL!

 Kidstechnology

 

You can’t imagine what children do behind you. And oh yes! I have since learnt some lessons. This’ my spare phone monitors most of their activities online, aside the parental control I have implemented on both the Wi-Fi access router and their individual devices

Kids don’t require much help to navigate around a device. They know where the download app is and what favorite games or any other useful app to download. I guess the familiarity comes by instinct or while sharing with their parents.

I remember getting my daughter, hers. A couple of months later, I coincidentally came across her tablet and interestingly decided to go through it. As I flipped the numerous apps she had downloaded, mostly “Barbie” related stuff, a favorite for early aged girls; I noticed some disturbing Naked Barbie apps which alarmed me and raised my curiosity!

Gbege!!

Child protection have always been a lifelong humanity concern, hence the reason why it is not surprising the Child Online Protection Act was passed into law in 1998 in the United States for the protection of minor on the internet. The COPA required that all commercial distributors of material considered harmful to children should restrict their sites from access by minors. In 2010, the Nigeria Communications Commission followed suit by organizing a stakeholder forum to develop a framework on Child Online Protection with particular emphasis on the Information, Communication and Technology industry. This was being championed by the Ex First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

But how effective are these regulations in the protection of a minor from the dangers of the internet? According to online resources, “Material harmful to minors” was defined as content that by “contemporary community standards” was judged to appeal to the “immodest interest” and that showed sexual acts or nudity (including female breasts).

As with all creations in life, the internet is a very valuable tool that provides as much good information as harmful ones. The protection of minors on the internet requires a multi-level approach to implementing the needed security. Inasmuch as there are current child online protection laws or in the case of Nigeria which still has its bill as a work in progress; the need to properly protect a child starts from the child’s immediate environ. Just the way a child can wander in life without proper parental guidance is the same way a child can ramble into a world of obscenity on the internet without proper parental or content control.

It is estimated in 2003 that 20% of all pornography traded over the internet was child pornography, which have since increased by 1500%. The US Department of Justice states that “at any one time there are estimated to be more than one million pornographic images of children on the internet, with 200 new images posted daily.” Child pornography on the internet is becoming more brutal and graphic, and about 80% of the children in the abusive images are female under the age of 12!

To further drive home my point; statistics from survey shows that 90% of children that have access to the internet make use of the internet and 60% of these children communicate in chat rooms. About 80% of children with access to internet freely share personal information about themselves and family members, and there is a high probability that a small percentage of these kids can be targeted by pedophile or other undesirable visitors. We should also not forget cyber-bullying, online gaming and other addictions.

What a lot of parents don’t know is there is a wide gap between what parent think and what children know. When parents say they have rulebooks and do monitor their kids, a percentage of these kids do confess to that fact that their parents have no idea! In the UK, according to online source, 60% of children between 9 – 16 year olds say they have seen online pornography. If one checks, these patterns are consistent to most countries across the world, Nigeria not excluded.

As the increase in the internet penetration grows in Nigeria, there will also be an increase in its home use. The internet has brought a lot of untold benefits to people around the world and it will not be uncommon to have Nigerian families embrace it as it gets more affordable, just as it is the case in advance climes. But while the good of the internet is not in denial, it has also raised disturbing issues every parent should be anxious about, and so, the need to be able to identify technological or other methods that will help reduce access by children to material that is harmful to minors on the internet.

The first step in protecting children online is the necessity for parents to be aware of the kind of dangers lurking on the internet. Next is to have internet access points with parental and content control capabilities. This should however be properly configured by the parents or a consultant, if need be. There are so many online materials that can assist in these configurations.

In addition to the steps above, I ensured, in the case of my children, that the home internet access point provides internet connectivity to her device only when either of the parents can monitor and at all time during weekends.

Child online protection starts at home.

Ade of Nigeria is an IT Consultant

Samsung Galaxy Note 7: The Smartest Smartphone Unveiled

The South Korea Technological Giant, Samsung Electronics, has released what it consider, its most Intelligent Smart Phone ever – the New Galaxy Note 7.

For gadgets lover like me, this is one of the most exciting news that can make you shoot off in all directions, looking classy this summer.

Yeah – you know that casual, “drop the phone on the table” during a meeting with other business partners, or “lets take a selfie” at a party, with your cool friends, feel? No one can burn you for it. You are who you are. Why? Because this phone, with its expected heavy price tag, is Impressively BOLD!

 

S7

 

The Galaxy Note 7 features the same high end, first class material and a distinctive symmetrical edge design, with a finish, better than any of Samsung previous phones. It has a 12 megapixel and a 5 megapixel front camera. And for the very first time in any smartphone, the new HDR recording.

Think of it, High Dynamic Range imaging is the contemporary standard for TV picture quality. Very expensive and limited. Samsung had to partner with Amazon Prime streaming service, for content and quality HDR video streams.

The phone will also be available in more colors than before – Blue, Black, Yellow, Silver and Gold.

Enter the Game Changer: Iris Scanner

According to the Guardian, the Note 7 “biggest selling feature is a new biometric option in the form of an infrared iris scanner that takes just seconds to set up and unlock the phone with a glance of either eye.”

The scanner detect patterns in your iris. Just pointing it at your eyes will unlock the phone, and it does so really fast. But you must first be registered to the device.

This is an extra layer of security, even though the fingerprint scanner under the home button, still remains.

The Galaxy Note 7 is expected to hit the Nigeria market by September 2016

You can visit the Samsung Newsroom for more details on the Galaxy Note 7 features.

 

By Ade Oyinloye @hammdriller

Why is my Internet so slow?

 

“My Internet speed is very slow!” This is a common phrase that is used by many Internet subscribers in Nigeria today to express concern and dissatisfaction with their Internet service.

If statistics are right, about 70% of subscribers in Nigeria have a deplorable ‘web browsing’ experience and mostly feel short-changed by their Service Providers. While many of them have lost complete hope with the assumption that Internet browsing experience is put up to be slow in a developing country like ours, those with more financial means end up having about 2 to 3 Internet modems from different ISPs just to fulfill their expected experience. Some corporate organizations even go as far as providing its key staff a modem each!

When a potential subscriber goes to purchase data package from a service provider, one of his assumed most important question is; “is your Internet speed faster than my former ISP’s?” Unfortunately, this kind of question is self-destructive and will pose challenges in the provision of that quality Internet.

Instead of jumping ship or asking the wrong questions, here are a few tips to consider with Internet speed and eventually having a good web browsing experience

Internet Need

Most Internet subscribers feel that once they have purchase any Internet package, they have unlimited access to all the delightful things the Internet can offer. This is a very common wrong assumption. There are so many cases where corporate organizations purchase dongle type connection or the likes, which are generally designed for single and mobile users, to serve as Internet access for the entire office operation. To subscribe, one should first identify the need for the Internet access and discuss this need with an ISP so the provider can assist you choose your bandwidth plan.

Understand Your Bandwidth Plan (Internet is not yet cheap)

Because of the dearth of last-mile Internet infrastructure, Internet subscription in Nigeria is still one of the highest for a fast developing nation like ours. So you may think you are paying a lot, whereas, your Internet is slow because you are paying for slow Internet connection. Inasmuch as service providers may play ‘sales with words’, you need to understand that there is a BIG difference in; “speed up to 1Mb” and “1MB dedicated bandwidth.” If in doubt, check your bandwidth agreement plan for your subscription and then run an online speed test (there are so many free online speed test tools). If the numbers match up to what you are paying for, then your Internet is working just fine. You are definitely paying for slow Internet connection. An upgrade is the best way to speed it up.

Troubleshoot your LAN or Device

And just before you go running your ISP down, have you checked your router or Local Area Network? A quick reset on your router sometimes will do the trick. If there are multiple devices on your network and the Internet problem only happens on one device, the problem is that device, not your router or ISP. Sometimes your subscription may have been designed for just one personal computer, but you have added other mobile devices (phone, tablet, etc) all with background downloads. This will definitely make you experience a slow connection.

If it is the LAN, you may have to check the router configuration. Cheap routers are notorious for losing configuration information caused by power fluctuation. You might also have spyware/malware infecting your devices and secretly using your Internet bandwidth. What about that employee using social media or ‘skyping’ a friend or watching online movies during office hours with company resources?

ISP Coverage or WiFi Coverage

Because of the capital cost in building Internet infrastructure and guaranteeing full coverage, ISPs don’t necessarily have blanket coverage over areas that are deemed not viable. Just because a service provider is providing quality service at your office in Lekki does not mean you can get the same level of service at your home in Akute. You need to check coverage areas with your choice ISP.

What about that WiFi system installed at your premises that make your work area look very tidy with little or no cables showing? Your Internet and router may be fine but your WiFi signal is weak. You may need to relocate, boost the signal or tweak it. You need to also be aware that your microwave oven and radio devices can degrade your WiFi Internet signal.

Bandwidth Consuming Plugins and Apps

From monitoring reports, statistics have it that when a LAN is working in order and the Internet speed is cross-checked yet you have slow speed, there are most likely other programs hogging the connection and BitTorrents are usually the culprit. If you are downloading files or movies with BitTorrent, normal web browsing is going to be slower. In addition, most Windows PCs come with automatic update ON. When download occur in the background and we are unaware as it leeches on our bandwidth, we tend to complain about poor Internet service. Simply identify these applications and turn them OFF.

Confirm your DNS Server

DNS servers are used to resolve domain names with IP addresses, such that, computers can understand our web request. They are usually provided by the ISPs but there are also some public DNSs available. If your DNS setting is outdated or wrong, Internet traffic will be directed to the wrong addresses on your ISP network causing intermittent browsing performance.

There was a large firm that have had to change 3 good service providers due to slow or inconsistence Internet browsing experience without realizing that the firm’s DNS server was broken! It took the intervention of the 4th ISP and its troubleshooting experience to detect and solve the client’s local issues.

 

These are just some of the many possibilities why your Internet is slow. If you keep experiencing slow connections, speak to a reliable ISP who has got the experience, technical support and a good customer service, in your neighborhood.