Green Tech Will Be Everywhere In 2018

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In 2017, clean power gathered unprecedented momentum. Multiple automakers launched entire families of EVs, including the most exciting one yet, Tesla’s Model 3. The company also started pre-orders for the Solar Roof, a type of home photovoltaic panel that will make solar panel installations less ugly.

With climate change problems mounting, national and local governments are pushing for more renewable energy and an end to fossil-fueled cars — despite hostile moves in those areas by US President Donald Trump. Elected officials and the public want fewer gas-powered vehicles and coal plants, and more EVs, solar panels and wind turbines. That will ultimately benefit your health, wallet and environment, and you’ll be less reliant on large energy and oil corporations, to boot.

With the expectations of consumers, companies and governments all getting higher, 2018 has a lot to deliver. There are key deadlines, especially on Tesla’s part, and if companies miss them, green buyers could go from exuberant to depressed. Here’s what to expect on the consumer side for EVs, clean home power, battery storage backup, and more.

Politics is changing how you’ll drive and live

A car-free day in Paris, which will be banning fossil-fuel vehicles by 2030. Getty Images. President Trump opted America out of the Paris climate agreement, and he and many of the Republicans who control Congress have pushed coal and oil instead of clean energy. This is despite increasing concern in the scientific community that atmospheric CO2 levels are reaching the point of no return.

The rest of the world, however, is moving forward. France, for one, created the “Make our Planet Great Again” initiative as counter-programming to Trump. That nation and the UK will also ban fossil-fueled cars completely by 2040. That’s admittedly pretty far in the future, but France’s notoriously polluted capital, Paris, has declared that gas- and diesel-burning cars will be banned much sooner, starting in 2030.

Elsewhere, China installed a record number of wind and solar energy projects in 2017 to curb its own smog issues, and has even bigger plans for 2018 and beyond. The nation wants 20 percent of its power to come from solar or wind by 2030, and to invest around $560 billion by 2020, creating 13 million jobs in the process. As China is now the world’s biggest polluter, this will not only mitigate global CO2 levels, but make green tech cheaper around the world.

These governmental actions aren’t just bluster — they’re already having a potential impact on your life. Many of the big car brands, including Mercedes, Honda, GM and Volkswagen, sell cars worldwide, and a lot of countries are forcing manufacturers to produce more efficient vehicles. That will have a big impact on how vehicles are built and sold in the US, regardless of who’s in power.

In 2018, then, you’ll have more choice than ever for green transportation as plug-in-hybrid choices expand and EVs become ever more mainstream. Whereas before Tesla was the only game in town for long-range electric transport (read: more than 150 miles), you can now choose a Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf or, if you’re in Europe, a Renault Zoe. Next year there will be even more choices as cars like the VW e-Golf and the Jaguar i-Pace arrive. More on those in a moment.

Meanwhile, home solar panels are getting cheaper as the technology gets incrementally better each year, pushed by the manufacture of gigawatt-size installations around the world. At the same time, the prices for home battery packs to back up said panels are also falling as they’re being manufactured on a large scale for both EVs and power backup systems like the one Tesla just finished in Australia.

What that means for you is that solar panel installations for your roof have dropped nearly a quarter in price over the past few years, and batteries are becoming a realistic option for more folks.

However, politics could again hamstring progress. The FTC may introduce new tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports, effectively raising prices across the industry. At the same time, the government is weighing whether to get rid of the $7,500 federal EV tax credit (at the moment, it looks safe), which would have a devastating impact on sales next year and beyond.

Tesla started delivering the Model 3 in July 2017 to the nearly 400,000 people who ordered one. At that time, Elon Musk promised to build around 1,500 in September, 20,000 this month, and up to 10,000 a week later in 2018. Suffice to say, that didn’t happen — not even close. By the beginning of October, the company had produced just 260 cars, reportedly because of Gigafactory battery production issues and other problems.

Things have picked up since, with large numbers of Model 3s reportedly spotted at delivery centers. On top of that, suppliers recently reported that Tesla has increased its demand for parts for up to 5,000 vehicles per week. If Tesla holds to that, it will just be a month or two behind its original schedule. Still, last quarter it produced a record 25,336 vehicles over three months (mostly Model S and Model X EVs), so 20,000 Model 3s in a single month would be a big leap.

Lucky for us, other manufacturers will be selling other new or updated EVs next year, including Chevy, Nissan, Jaguar and Audi. Here’s the best of what you’ll be able to buy next year:

Chevy Bolt

Chevy wants to sell about 30,000 Bolts a year and, after some early stumbles, it’s getting on track. Last month it sold nearly 3,000, and that will likely build to more than 20,000 by the end of 2017. While it’s not the sexiest of EVs, Engadget and most other reviewers really, really like the Bolt. That’s because it’s a fun, sporty and spacious little car that can go farther than you’d expect on a charge (up to 238 miles, to be exact). For 2018, the vehicle will be largely unchanged, but it remains an excellent option.

Nissan Leaf

The 2018 Leaf may not have quite the range of a Bolt or a Tesla Model 3, but it’s cheaper and can still go around 150 miles, enough for a decent mid-range trip. And having launched the Leaf in 2010, Nissan knows how to build electric cars. For buyers next year, there’s a bonus: its Pro Pilot driver assist is now here.

BMW i3

If you have more cash to spend, BMW’s $48,300 i3 combines futuristic styling with the sporty fun you’d expect from the automaker. This year, a new range extender brought the maximum trip on a charge to 90 miles, enough for comfortable city driving or short trips. In 2018, it’s bringing a Sport version with quicker acceleration and, more importantly, the new TurboCord EV Charger, with faster charging if you hook it up to a 240-volt power supply.

Volkswagen e-Golf

VW has been talking a lot about its I.D. electric vehicles, including the Buzz and the Crozz, but those won’t be built until 2020 at the earliest. If you want a real, if somewhat boring, EV from VW in 2018, the e-Golf will be it. Next year’s model will reportedly have a realistic 186-mile range, making it a much more practical car than this year’s model, which goes around 125 miles.

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar’s I-Pace Jaguar might not top your list of affordable EVs, but if you’re well-off enough to be considering a Model X or S, the I-Pace will give you something to think about next year. It will have a 90kWh battery, a 400-horsepower motor and killer looks, judging by the concept. There’s no price yet, but knowing that it’s Jaguar, you can expect something in the six-figure region.

Audi E-Tron Quattro

Audi opened up pre-orders to the E-Tron Quattro this year, but there was a big caveat: You had to be living in Norway. Nevertheless, the automaker plans to start selling it in 2018, probably in Europe only, but it should introduce the vehicle in the US toward the beginning of 2019. With a 95kWh battery pack, it’ll reach up to 210 miles on a charge, giving Tesla — and, soon, Jaguar — a run for their money.

Lithium-ion battery systems are having a good year outside of EVs, famously helping Australia and Hawaii save sun and wind energy for rainy (or calm) days. Tesla again gets the lion’s share of publicity for its Powerpack installations, which helped it win a $50 million bet with the South Australian government.

We also have to give a nod to Ikea, though, which has been selling inexpensive solar panels in the UK and other nations. It unveiled its own battery system in Britain (manufactured, again, by Panasonic). For £6,925 ($9,300), you can get a package with both solar panels and the battery, including installation.

As for what you can look forward to next year, let’s just say that battery tech is like Tesla itself at times — long on exciting news, but short on real, timely products.

Still, there are a few developments that could arrive to market as early as next year. The most promising is perhaps StoreDot’s batteries, which can be charged in as little as five minutes for both EVs and smartphones. The company has been vague about how it works, saying the tech uses nano-materials and organic compounds, but StoreDot has promised that it could arrive to market as soon as 2018. If batteries like those used by Tesla and Chevy could be charged in five minutes rather than an hour, it would obviously make EVs a lot more practical for long trips.

More realistically, Samsung was among the first of the big manufacturers to launch a faster-charging lithium-ion battery, the 21700 cell, at the beginning of the year. It can be fully charged in just 20 minutes, a significant improvement over the 30-minute-plus charging times of current cells. The only problem: While they’re already available for e-bikes and other smaller devices, Samsung reportedly won’t mass-produce them for cars until about 2021.

We’ve detailed hydrogen’s issues (efficiency and infrastructure) compared to pure EVs, but there are a few automakers still committed to the technology. Toyota and Honda are partnering with Japanese fuel firms to increase hydrogen infrastructure in Japan, eliminating one of the biggest impediments to the tech.

As for whether you’ll drive a hydrogen car in 2018, the answer is “not likely.” The cars are still far too expensive ($60,000 or so for the Toyota Mirai), and there are almost no filling stations in North America. Hydrogen needs economies of scale to kick in, and with EVs coming on strong, that seems increasingly unlikely.

Speaking of infrastructure, with more companies launching EVs, you’ll need more places to charge them besides your home. In Europe, the Ionity network will be launching more than 400 stations by 2020, including eighty 350kW ultra-fast chargers that can juice up future EVs in as little as five to 10 minutes.

In the US, there are now around 16,000 charging stations, with 13 percent of those offering fast charging. Tesla alone has 900 charging stations, with 6,000 supercharger stalls, and plans to have up to 18,000 superchargers by the end of 2018. Other manufacturers, including Nissan and BMW, have plans to install chargers in the US, often working with private companies like ChargePoint and evGo. California alone wants its power companies to have 20,000 charging stations by 2020.

The best-ever year for green energy

Tesla’s Powerpack batteries back up solar panels in Hawaii AOL If 2018 fulfills the potential of 2017, green energy will become an unstoppable force. Any moves the Trump administration decides to make against it will only hurt the US in the short term, as green tech becomes an economic force around the world.

As The Economist points out in the video below, EVs next year could be cheaper than gasoline cars for the first time, considering overall cost of ownership.

Sales of EVs, including plug-in hybrids, could top 200,000 units in the US this year, according to Inside EVs, and surpass a million worldwide. Suffice to say that replacing a million gas-burning cars will have a big impact on atmospheric CO2 levels. Next year we could blow past that figure by July or August.

Even without big breakthroughs, battery tech keeps evolving and is bound to give us more capacity and faster charging times in 2018. Small tech and engineering gains will also make solar panels a bit better and a bit cheaper.

Beyond that, in 2019 and 2020, auto companies like Mercedes and VW will launch brand-new and formidable EV lineups like the EQ and I.D. series, respectively. By then, EVs with self-driving tech will be cheap, practical and mainstream. And with solar and wind starting to beat coal, nuclear and gas-powered plants in price, the power you use for your EV and home will be cleaner and cleaner. Will this save the planet from excess CO2 levels? Maybe not, but we have no choice but to try.

Fleet Technologies Rebrands To Vatebra

With a renewed vigour, Vatebra , a new technology company, formerly known as Fleet Technologies Limited, has unveiled its new corporate identity. Vatebra, according to the company means the backbone of major industries in Nigeria and beyond.

Speaking as the guest speaker of the event, Dr. Doyin Salami of the Lagos Business School, who delivered a lecture titled: Beyond Now-Nigeria without Oil, Prospect for Technology and Innovation said Nigeria need Information Communication Technology (ICT) to drive the much desired national development we all crave.

According to Dr. Salami, Technology has become arguably, the fastest growing sector in Nigeria. In 2016 alone, ICT accounted for 10% of the total Nigerian Revenue, the highest in a decade and half.

The erudite scholar added that recently, Nigeria ranked 121 out of 148 in the Global Innovation Index. With this in mind, he said Nigeria needs to create necessary infrastructures to accelerate technological innovations if truly the country is serious about matching up with the pace of growth and development around the world. He also, noted that the launch of Vatebra is a great step towards achieving technological innovation in Africa.

The high point of the event was the transition of the old Fleet Technologies corporate logo to a new, dynamic and futuristic global brand identity called Vatebra, which means backbone.

Mr. Kunle Akinniran, Managing Director of the company, in his welcome speech stated that, “as a company, we have seen the evolution of thoughts and ideas. Ideas that simplify the way we conduct business to how our students register for examinations and check their results, we have seen how the mobile device has become the first and last touch point for virtually every young person in Nigeria today.”

He also explained that as one of Nigeria’s most innovative ICT companies, VATEBRA has been at the forefront of championing innovative ICT solutions that have helped automate many manual processes both in government and private organizations.

On the part of the Deputy Managing Director of company, Mr. Mike Aigbe, the organization is just getting started. “It is a common knowledge that we as a nation depend on a mono source of revenue. The current plummeting oil prices and the high level of volatility in that sector continue to strain our economic prosperity. We must begin to explore means of converting our social-capital, creative- capital and human-capital for economic prosperity. Above all, seek ways to convert the opportunities available in technology and innovation to solutions that benefit our people, he said.

The event attracted influential personalities from federal government Agencies, multinational bodies and regulatory institutions like Registrar/CEO, NABTEB, Dr. Olatunde Aworanti, Registrar, West African Examination Council (WAEC), Dr Iyi Uwadiae, The Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi and chairman of Chams Group, Demola Aladekomo, Mr. Folusho Philips, MD, Phillips Consulting, Mr. Niyi Yusuf, MD Accenture Limited amongst other notable figures.

Importance Of Digitization To The Traveling Industry

The current global industrial revolution is on the move of transforming every sector of the economy. The travel industry is one of the most positively affected sectors in the world. It is believed that only in August 2017 around 3.5 million travelers went through South Africa. That has indeed boosted the country’s economy. The question is what if the country never stayed to date with the technology developments? The answer is obvious that few individuals would have used the route to their preferred destinations.

The growth of mobile technology in the whole of Africa has increased the number of consumers who are connected and able to receive information irrespective of their location and the device they are using. The mobile services and technology are expected record above $210 billion of continents economic value by 2020. Technology has changed how the youths interact and engage when it comes to using different sites to book flights and hotels, carry out online check-ins, upgrade their seats and finally write reviews. South Africa is one of the countries in Africa that is embracing the technology improvements in its traveling industry.

Digital traveling gives the consumers a chance to have control of what they want to experience fully. What has been boosting the digital transformation is the consumer’s urge to make booking anywhere they are without necessarily traveling to the traveling agencies offices. This has helped to save time and cut the high costs that are imposed on customers by the middlemen. The absence of the digital travel operators lead to missing of accommodations, not able to book a seat before reaching the airport and this will make the check-in process more tiresome.

Given the high number of competitors in the traveling industry, the consumer will only jump to another travel services that can offer online services. It now calls for the traveling industry stakeholders to ensure that there are a reliable data and digital services as the backbone of retaining their customers. The importance of being more digital oriented is seen by looking at developments in the travel industry on the continent. Recently, AirBnB announced that it would invest $1 million through 2020 to promote and support community-led tourism projects in Africa.

In 2016 AirBnB welcomed 1.2 million guests to the continent while earning a combined $139 million in lost income. AirBnB is on the course to accommodate more than 100 million leisure and business guests in 2017 globally, up from 80 million in 2016. While that is still small compared to the $550 billion global hotel industry, it is amazing for a business that began in 2014. According to Travelport research, 86 percent of South African travelers use travel booking sites while 82 percent consult review sites to help with ideas on which destinations to visit next. It also indicates that mobile is a growing part of the booking experience with 35 percent of users using a smartphone and 38 percent a tablet to make their bookings.

The Top Tech Books Of 2017: Part II

Last week, we brought you six of the best tech books of 2017, which you promptly purchased in bulk as last-minute holiday gifts for your loved ones. No? Well, here’s another chance. We’re back this week with five more recommendations to close out the year. This week’s books take a turn for the historical: Leslie Berlin and Noam Cohen offer complementary histories of Silicon Valley and the key personalities that define it today, while Brian Dear takes a deep dive into PLATO, a prescient 1960s-era computer network that enjoyed a brief heyday on college campuses before fading into obscurity.

It’s not all about the past. Rachel Botsman looks at how modern technology is rapidly reworking centuries-old networks of trust, and Jean Twenge highlights several surprising trends defining the lives of today’s adolescents.

In case you missed it, be sure to check out our first six recommendations, which include a look at the darker side of the Instagram influencer economy and a portrait of a WWII-era woman codebreaker who, until now, has gone largely uncredited for her groundbreaking work. Happy reading!

— Miranda Katz

The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture By Brian Dear

Social networks, news on your screen, multiplayer online games, porn, hacking: Virtually all of the stuff that makes up today’s internet could be found 40 years ago on a once-groundbreaking, now-mostly-forgotten computer network called PLATO. Conceived in the 1960s at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a form of computer-assisted education, PLATO flourished on many campuses in the 1970s: It gave the first generation of teen geeks a free-play zone in which they could send messages, play pranks on one another, and dream of new frontiers for human-computer interaction.

READ AN EXCERPT FROM THE FRIENDLY ORANGE GLOW

BRIAN DEAR When Spock Met PLATO

You’ve probably never heard of PLATO. Its technology was advanced—plasma graphics and touch-screens, in the 1960s!—but it depended on mainframe computer systems that would soon be outmoded, and the personal computer revolution turned it into a backwater, cut off from the digital mainstream. Author Brian Dear is determined to remedy PLATO’s obscurity, and his groundbreaking, exhaustive history, The Friendly Orange Glow, is a lovingly detailed biography of both the system and the subculture that it fostered. Dear’s book will let PLATO take its rightful place among digital-history milestones such as Douglas Engelbart’s “Mother of all Demos,” Xerox PARC’s graphical innovations, and the WELL’s pioneering online community.

Dear argues that one reason PLATO failed to propagate its innovations into the computing mainstream was that it was born in the American heartland, rather than on either of the trendy coasts. There’s something to that. It also didn’t help that the applications that blew PLATO users’ minds had little to do with the educational agenda of its funders. Still, though PLATO got fatally marginalized by failing to adapt to the rise of the PC in the 1980s, the system fired the imaginations of the people who would go on to shape our computing world—including software wizard Ray Ozzie, who modeled Lotus Notes on PLATO’s messaging system, and novelist Richard Powers, who credits his tech-themed tales to his early PLATO experiences. — Scott Rosenberg

iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood—and What That Means for the Rest of Us By Jean M. Twenge, PhD

It’s a tired cliche that each generation looks at the next with a mixture of bewilderment and disgust. But after reading iGen, Jean Twenge’s exploration of Generation Z (the next group to come of age after my cohort, the Millennials) I’m genuinely perplexed. What is going on with kids today?

“iGen” is Twenge’s shrewd nickname for this first fully wired generation. Born in 1995 and later, iGen’s childhood and adolescence have been permeated by technology. Smartphones are a ubiquitous presence; for them there is no time before the internet. Twenge combines national demographic data with scattered interviews to find commonalities across race and socioeconomic lines.

READ AN EXCERPT FROM IGEN

JEAN M. TWENGE Why Teens Aren’t Partying Anymore

Reader, these core qualities are shocking. Each generation is supposed to grow up faster than the last, but iGen bucks this trend. Today’s teens are less likely to date, to drive, to drink alcohol, and to be sexually active than teens from earlier generations. There’s also this horrifying fact: They don’t really fight with their parents. What teenagers are these? What is going on? Twenge points to smartphones. “The devices they hold in their hand have both extended their childhoods and isolated them from true human contact,” she writes. According to Twenge, this delayed maturity makes them ill-equipped to enter adulthood.

Yet it makes sense that they’re putting off entering the precarious economic reality they’ve witnessed from their phones. “I’ve realized this: iGen’ers are scared, maybe even terrified,” Twenge writes. Their hyperconnectivity has instilled good qualities: They’re hard-working and realistic about the future; they’re the most tolerant generation in history. Rather than judge their Instagramming and avocado toast (ahem), it’s up to us to help them navigate their difficult futures. If we approach them with understanding, Twenge argues, the kids will be alright. — Alexis Sobel Fitts

The Know-It-Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball By Noam Cohen

The tech industry’s leadership has a well-documented love for intellectual puzzles, IQ tests, and quantitative reasoning. In The Know-It-Alls, former New York Times columnist Noam Cohen identifies this trait as both a connecting thread and an Achilles heel for the titans of Silicon Valley. On the one hand, he writes, their belief in a benign fusion of hacker sensibilities and entrepreneurial business unlocked wealth and power and built a massive new economy. On the other, their idolization of reason over emotion and individualism over the collective good has left them with dangerous blind spots in applying their knowledge on a wider social and political stage. And we’re just beginning to reckon with their cost.

READ AN EXCERPT FROM THE KNOW-IT-ALLS

NOAM COHEN The Libertarian Logic of Peter Thiel

This is an important argument, though Cohen only partially nails it. He focuses on a line of intellectual descent that starts with a pair of Stanford icons—artificial intelligence pioneer John McCarthy and business-boosting provost Frederick Terman—and ends with Peter Thiel and Mark Zuckerberg, touching along the way on Bill Gates, Marc Andreessen, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin. The Know-It-Alls is spotty in many places; its account of the corruption of the internet’s early ideals is incomplete; and it sometimes loses the line of its argument in biographical detail. Still, it’s a valuable addition to the growing body of literature that’s trying to explain how a culture of under-socialized wunderkind CEOs drove tech’s future into a ditch. — Scott Rosenberg

Troublemakers: How a Generation of Silicon Valley Upstarts Invented the Future By Leslie Berlin

How did Silicon Valley become the world’s most bountiful producer of cutting-edge tech and the riches that spring from it? Leslie Berlin delightfully answers the question by producing a web of intertwined profiles of seven people who played key but relatively unsung roles in the region’s rise during the late 1970s through the 1980s. That’s the period that saw the personal computer revolution, the foundations of the internet, the institutionalization of venture capital, the creation and monetization of biotech, and—this is a surprise—the opening of opportunities to women like engineer and ASK founder Sandra Kurtzig, who was the first woman to take a Silicon Valley company public. (Only in the latter area has the Valley gone backwards.)

READ AN EXCERPT FROM TROUBLE- MAKERS

LESLIE BERLIN The 1970s Conference That Predicted the Future of Work

Stanford historian Berlin writes with a novelist’s flair and an Austen-esque sense of social conventions. And by focusing on relatively unfamiliar characters—Apple’s first chairman Mike Markkula instead of Steve Jobs; Atari’s chief engineer Al Alcorn instead of dippy visionary Nolan Bushnell—she’s able to produce a compelling geographical Bildungsroman that sheds light on why the Valley today operates as it does. Think of it as the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the tech revolution. — Steven Levy

Who Can You Trust? How Technology Brought Us Together—and Why It Could Drive Us Apart By Rachel Botsman

The great promise of the internet is that it would bring us together, but as 2017 draws to a close, there’s evidence everywhere that it may be doing the opposite. Rachel Botsman believes this is a trust problem. Trust, which Botsman defines as a confident relationship with the unknown, is the currency that allows us to live among each other—conduct business; raise children; shore up our democracy. For centuries, we’ve depended on institutions like churches, governments, and the New York Times to confer that trust. Now, we’re rapidly losing faith in our institutions. How, then, can we figure out who is trustworthy?

READ AN EXCERPT FROM WHO CAN YOU TRUST?

RACHEL BOTSMAN How the Blockchain is Redefining Trust

With precision and measured optimism, Botsman makes a case for the rise of a new distributed approach to trust, powered by the digital age. She traces this new approach through the rise of enterprises such as Reddit and Kickstarter, as well as a host of technologies, including bots and the blockchain. Botsman is pragmatic in her assertion that we can choose to build mechanisms for trust into the future. “Distributed trust in itself can’t knock down the rise of extremist populist movements, dangerous policies introduced by radical political leaders or a divisive resurgence of nationalism,” she writes. “But, driven democratically and rationally, and shaped and reshaped by people’s needs and innate preferences about how they want to do things, it can provide a path forward for businesses, governments, media and other key institutions.” In a moment of great fear around instability, Botsman offers a techno-friendly vision for the opposite. — Jessi Hempel

The Tech Hubs Of The World

Dubai is set to become a global tech hub or at least planning to according to the BBC. Tech hubs are now becoming a global normality with big countries being home to at least one tech hub. Here we look at tech hubs across the world and even a tech hub in South Africa”

Johannesburg, South Africa

Jozihub is a tech hub that is located in Johannesburg. According to their site, Johannesburg remains as the driving force of the African economy and the perfect destination for an incubator like JoziHub, which has been developed to boost and push forward innovation in the South African tech and social fields.

San Jose United States Of America

San Jose is the centre of Silicon Valley, the widely accepted capital of tech. Silicon Valley is home to the world’s biggest high-tech corporations like Apple, Google and Facebook and lots of startups.

London, United Kingdom

According to the Independent, the tech area in London has drawn on more venture capital investment in the first six months of 2017 compared to any other European city since the Brexit vote. Venture capital firms have pushed into the London tech sector over £1.1 billion.

National capital region (NCR): New Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida, India

The NCR collected a total of $3,35 billion from 138 deals this year. The numbers in NCR were pumped up by the wind energy firm ReNew Power which raised $100 million in structured credit.

Shenzhen, China

This city is the home to Chinese internet colossal, Tencent. It is also home to famous Chinese gadget creators like Huawei, makers of smartphones, to DJI who make drones. The city just overtook Guangzhou as the largest economy in the south of China.

  • BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

Revolutions Experienced In The African Telecommunication Market

Africa is in the revolution phase of the telecommunication market in the continent. Several companies concerned with the telecom operations are seeing the potential in Africa. For instance, Orange it to build headquarter in Ivory Coast which will cost $50 million. While other companies are walking out, Orange launched in Sierra Leone after buying Airtel which has been withdrawing in some markets and partnered with Tigo in Ghana.

The same approach is seen between Viettel, which is looking to stabilize in Nigeria and Dubai Holding which withdrew its shares from Tunisie Telecom. According to LehlohonoloMokenela, an industry analyst in Frost & Sullivan Africa’s Digital Transformation Practice, all this sums up to a time of revolution in Africa’s telecoms market. This is after a long period of maximum growth and benefit which seems to come to an end.

The current increase in prices of various services by the telecommunication companies have led to a reduction in the in the usage of some services especially voice and traditional messaging services like MMs and SMS. Irrespective of the heavy investments operators have only been in a position to get revenue from broadband connectivity, while the over the top (OTT) players have been able to offer value-added services. The finance pressure is what has led to the decline in the number of telecommunication companies in the African market.

However, there are still challenges and opportunities in Africa’s telecoms market it now depends on how one tends to view it. When other operators are doing well to the extent of wishing to extend their market, others are facing it hard wishing to withdraw from the market. The whole continent is undergoing the challenge with basic challenges being vigorous competition and a rise in regulatory pressure.

Every market has its unique form of competition which forces operators to reduce tariffs which has an impact on their revenues. Away from that, a number of markets are facing OTT competition. The regulatory pressures are mainly about SIM card registration, mobile tax increases, quality of service (QoS) requirements and local ownership requirements of foreign companies. Other challenges include weak economies and increased market volatility in most African markets.

With adequate access to reliable power sources and the high cost of energy is still a stumbling block to the expansion to rural areas. This makes no need of business building communication infrastructures in the rural areas. Because of that, operators have opted for tower companies and infrastructure sharing ways for them to contain their costs of operation and increase network coverage more cost-effective.

However, there are still vital growths in that are seen on the continent. In Tanzania, democratic republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique are amongst the few countries with growth since they have the large population and low mobile penetration rates. Ethiopia also represents a good opportunity for operators looking for geographic expansion. However, the regulator remains unwilling to open up the market to other operators to compete with the country’s only operator, Ethio Telecom.

Vatebra deploys software solution for the new wassce “first series” examination for private candidates

Being a front runner in Nigeria’s software ecosystem, Vatebra Limited have been the backbone for a lot of software solutions that have formed the core of the latest tech solutions that are changing old social, work and systemic stereotypes. Conversely, with the initiative to introduce a new diet of examination into the West African Examination Council stream, Vatebra once again stepped up to the task in delivering the software solution upon which this enviable initiative is thrusted.

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), the leading examination body in West Africa, recently held an event to formally introduce the new examination for private candidates called “First Series”. The examination would be conducted between January and February every year, beginning from 2018, while the usual examination conducted between August/September will now be dubbed “Second Series”.

There will be Nineteen Subjects available to candidates for registration, and the examination centres will be situated entirely in urban areas. WAEC has also ensured that registration for the examination is done entirely online. This reflects the exam body’s mission to continually improve on the ways and methods of on boarding candidates and conducting examinations. WAEC has partnered with Vatebra, a leading Technology company in Lagos to bring their vision to life.

At the official unveiling held on the 15th of November, 2017 at the WAEC Training and Testing Centre, Ogba, Ikeja, several personalities in the education sector were in attendance. Also in attendance are; the MD Vatebra Limited, Mr Kunle Akinniran; the DMD Vatebra Limited Mr Mike Aigbe; The HNO WAEC, Olutise Isaac Adenipekun; Mrs OlubunmiBada – Representative of the Permanent Secretary Lagos State Ministry Of Education amongst others.

The MD Vatebra Limited, Mr Kunle Akinniran, in his address simply put: “We’ve done this successfully for a while and it is something we believe that we have almost come to perfection. We believe that this diet will not be different from what we have been doing in the past”. Mr Akinniran also congratulated the HNO and the council for the laudable opportunity and prayed that WAEC continued to grow from strength to strength.

In the past, WAEC has partnered with Vatebra on other innovative solutions for education across the African countries where it operates. Some of which are biometric and identity solutions, payment solutions, malpractice capture and reporting solutions etc. Registration for the First Series examination is currently ongoing. To learn more students are to visit www.waeconline.org.ng.

Vatebra is an ICT company in Africa with competency in the delivery of cutting-edge Software Solutions in the Private and Public Sector. The Company was established in 2003 as Fleet Technologies Limited in order to bridge the gap in the provision of competent and dependable Software Solutions.

2016 Technology Company of the Year

NIGERIA Technology Awards (NiTA) is an award organized to Celebrate and reward Technology Entrepreneurs, Innovators, Inventors, Academicians and policy makers (Government) in Nigeria.

The objective is to promote and commend the excellent achievements to which Nigeria Technology professionals and organizations contribute towards building a sustainable economy using technology, the Awards also aimed to encourage local practitioners to develop innovative and creative Technology solutions, which will uplift the image of Nigeria both locally and internationally.

NiTA is Organized & Packaged by Technology AVENUE. Vatebra Limited clinched the coveted “Technology Company of the Year” Award.

Vatebra is an ICT Company established in 2003. It pioneered the development and management of online services in Nigeria with the provision of Internet based solutions for educational bodies. Today, VATEBRA has expanded beyond the borders of Nigeria to neighboring African countries with clients in Government Parastatals and Private Organizations to effectively and efficiently administer their operations.

The Company Software development solutions have been diversified over time to include:

  1. Deployment of Customized web-based and client-server Solutions
  2. Providing Enterprise Resource Planning through alliances with OEMs
  3. Mobile Applications Technology solutions
  4. Identity management Solutions on Biometrics technology platform
  5. E-Payment solutions
  6. E-Learning Platforms, etc

VATEBRA has been in the forefront of providing Innovative Solutions for the past 13 years with the Company Name FLEET TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED. Our experience shows that, Technologically, the world has gone through several stages of advancement.

This evolution brought about increased levels of convenience, engagement, participation, connectivity and access. It equally led to a world where ideas can be easily translated from imagination to profitable solutions that can be scaled across borders, territories and time zones.

Our idea as an Organisation is to creatively showcase the capabilities of our company by linking the technological evolution phases to what the business has to offer.

Based on the above premise, on April 7, 2016 the Name FLEET TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED was changed to VATEBRA Limited to position for innovations…Beyond Now!. We have positioned as the backbone of the African economy. This change reflects our agreed vision and mission statement and to respond to the emerging markets and the yearnings of our clients.

Vatebra prides itself in solving real-life problems using Information Technology.

NiTA – Vatebra Wins Tech Company Of The Year 2nd Year Running

Leading Pan-African Tech Solutions provider, Vatebra Limited has won the award for the Technology Company of the year for 2017. The announcement was made at the Nigerian Technology Awards Ceremony held in Lagos on the 25th of November 2017. In winning the most coveted award of the night “the Technology Company of the year” Vatebra topped the list of nominees in a category with some industry big names. Having bagged the same award in 2016, Vatebra has concretized its position as the backbone of Information Technology Solutions in Africa.

The Nigeria Technology Awards (NiTA) is an award organized to recognize, celebrate and reward Technology Entrepreneurs, Innovators, Academicians, Inventors and policy makers (Government) in Nigeria. The Awards as projected by the organisers is aimed at building a large scale and internationally recognized Technology Awards in Nigeria.

By rewarding professional expertise in the technology space the organisers of this worthy cause have in many ways helped to build a culture that will in return promote innovation, healthy competition and improve service delivery.

Vatebra’s Managing Director Mr. Kunle Akinniran in expressing his appreciation for the award said, “Vatebra is honoured to receive this great award; and in a special way we would like to thank our customers, partners, policy makers and other stakeholders who challenge us to do better every time, thereby fostering our drive for excellence”.

The Deputy Managing Director Vatebra Limited, Mr. Mike Aigbe, also remarked “Since inception in 2003, Vatebra has had a history of revolutionizing the way things have been done in Africa. Innovation has been our focus and we try to portray this in everything we do. In line with our vision, we aim to be the foremost provider of Information Technology solutions in Africa.”

Vatebra Limited was represented at the award by the Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Evans Okosodo; Business Manager for African Markets Mr. Tony Ayoko; Business Manager Enterprise Sales, Mrs. Aderonke Okewoye; Business Manager Customised and Portal Solutions, Mr. Mathew Omoaka; and Head Product Development, Mrs. Titilope Abiola-Taiwo.

Vatebra is behind some of the tech successes in Africa such as the deployment of customised solutions, mobile applications, identity solutions/biometrics, e-payment solutions and many others. The Company was established in 2003 as Fleet Technologies and re-branded to Vatebra Limited in 2016, positioning as the Tech backbone of Africa. The Company has a drive to bridge the gap in the provision of competent and dependable software solutions in Africa.Vatebra has businesses across Africa with offices in Lagos, Abuja, Accra and Nairobi.

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