Thursday, 28 February 2013

Humanoid robot comes to life

Meet Roboy, “one of the most advanced humanoid robots,” say researchers at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich. Over 40 engineers and scientists are constructing Roboy as a tendon-driven robot modeled on human beings (robots usually have their motors in their joints, giving them that “robot” break-dance look), so it will move almost as elegantly as a human. Roboy will be a “service robot,” meaning it will execute services independently for the convenience of human beings, as in the movie Robot & Frank.

PHOTOS: Inside Psquare’s ‘Squareville’ Mansion

Thanks to Peter Okoye‘s photos on Instagram, some of us can now see how the Psquare mansion ‘SquareVille‘ looks like inside.
The singer-dancer and one half of the pop duo Psquare gave us a quick tour from the porch to his bedroom and couldn’t help but show us his well chiseled abs too.
View the photos below…

SAfrican police drag man, who later dies

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — His hands are tied to the rear of a police van while his body lay behind it, on the ground. The van speeds off, dragging the slender man along the pavement as a crowd of onlookers shouts in dismay and at least one videotapes the scene. He is later found dead in a police cell.
It's a gut-wrenching video, made all the more disturbing by the fact that the men who carried out the abuse were uniformed South African police officers and the van was a marked police vehicle. The Daily Sun, a South African newspaper, posted video the footage Thursday and it was quickly picked up by other South African news outlets and carried on the Internet. It sparked immediate outrage.
Some of those in the crowd who watched the scene unfold in a township east of Johannesburg shouted at the police and warned that it was being videotaped. The police did not seem at all concerned as they tied Mido Macia, a 27-year-old taxi driver from neighboring Mozambique, to the back of a police vehicle, his hands behind his head, his buttocks on the ground. At least three policemen participated in the incident. Macia was found dead in a police cell late Tuesday in the Daveyton township east of Johannesburg.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate, the police watchdog agency, said Thursday that a murder probe is underway and that Macia suffered head and other injuries, including internal bleeding.
The graphic footage renewed concerns about brutality, corruption and other misconduct by a nationalpolice force whose reputation has suffered in recent years amid reports that many officers lack training. Some have been charged with committing the crimes they are supposed to prevent, including rape and murder.
"We are going to film this," several onlookers shouted in Zulu as the police tormented Macia. One bystander can be heard on the videotape shouting in Zulu: "What has this guy done?"
At first, Macia, dressed in jeans and a red T-shirt, is dragged along the road by the vehicle at slow speed, the footage shows. He awkwardly tries to keep step even though he is almost horizontal above the ground. Then the van stops, two policemen pick up the legs of the taxi driver and drop them to the ground as the van picks up speed and drives off, beyond the view of the camera.
The police watchdog agency said the incident started just before 7 p.m. on Tuesday when the cab driver was allegedly obstructing traffic with his vehicle. Then, Macia allegedly assaulted a constable and took his weapon before he was overpowered, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate said in a statement.
Macia was found dead over two hours later by another policeman, according to the watchdog agency.
In a statement, the police force said National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega "strongly condemned" what happened. The statement said people are "urged to remain vigilant and continue to report all acts of crime irrespective of who is involved."
Phiyega has sought to upgrade the reputation of the South African police. Last month, Phiyega told a group of police officials the standing of the force "has been severely but not irreparably tarnished over the past several years."

Psquare Acquires N435m ‘SquareVille’ In San Francisco

Rocking sold out concerts in over 5 countries in Africa does have its advantages – we aren’t talking about mere jet flights or posh hotels…
Peter Okoye, of one of the the biggest pop bands in Africa Psquare, says he’s acquired a home in the city of San Francisco, Northern California. The 31-year-old posted photos of the property on Instagram, helping baby mama Lola Omotayo with the cooking and having fun with the kids.
No official word yet from the acts or their label.
Real estate companies in San Francisco told NET, last night, that the estimated property value for the house is $2,750,000 (N434,500,000). The US housing system supports mortgage system payment. We’re told Okoye will (give or take) be paying about $12, 323 (N1.95m) a month.
See? we weren’t joking when we published our ‘Top earning entertainers of 2012‘ stating that the twins’ 2012 revenues total into double figures in millions!

An encounter with a BlackBerry babe

What’s your BB pin?”, she asked conceitedly, raising her BlackBerry screen-glazed eyes. Her fake Yankee accent was drowned by rancorous voices and the din of the heavy metal music blaring from the Hi-fi speakers of the high-end nightclub in the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos. Even when she was just sitting across the table as we both share a drink, I could barely hear her. Just as I could not make any sense out of our conversation in the entire time we spent together that evening. To add to my misery even now as I reflect on my experience that night, it is difficult to tell if my inability to understand my young female guest was due to her contrived foreign accent or the frequent interruptions from her “pinging” and the instant messages that kept coming into her BlackBerry phone.
Her obsessive romance with her phone, which repeatedly came in the way of our acquaintance, can be likened to having a conversation with the deaf. So, I had proceeded to ignore this new question; one of the many she had asked, while she took intermittent pauses, with the usual vacant look, from her dialogue with her imaginary phone character, intent on ruining my evening. I was going to treat her new enquiry like a rhetorical question; but leaning close to me, she asked the question again, insisting on an answer. Her persistent question about my BlackBerry status threw me off balance for a moment.
But when I recovered, my response was quick and brusque, “I don’t use a BlackBerry” Her reaction was immediate. The shock in her eyes was unmistakable. Her unspoken expression was; how would you not have a BlackBerry in this age and time? Then, she seemed to switch off completely. Her expression became distant.  From that moment, each time we manage to find to something to talk about, she would look past me, as if addressing a phantom.
 I was amused by it all.
I had met the restless 20-something university belle some hours earlier in the company of my young cousin. And because it was a Friday night, we all ended up in one of those nightclubs on Victoria Island where you will have to spend some nervous moments scrutinising the menu.
I was immediately struck by my female guest almost compulsive attraction to her BlackBerry phone. All through our conversation that night, she stayed glued to it. Her fingers tapped furiously at the tiny buttons on the keypad. She was a sight to behold. Her addiction, her obsession, became a spectacle. As she tapped frantically on the tiny keypads, she would pause occasionally, a frown appearing on her brow. At another time, she would laugh out hysterically, rocking back and forth on the chair with a loud yell. People turned to look. She hardly noticed, or did not care.  When the waiter appeared to take our order, she was not listening. She was completely oblivious of the happenings around her.  As soon as she realised I was not a BlackBerry phone user, our conversation seemed to freeze out. I became another statistic, another face in the crowd.
But I had it coming.
Long after the BlackBerry phone made its classy foray into the telephone consciousness of the upwardly mobile, I had been indifferent to its ability to quickly transform one’s status symbol; or doesn’t it? I have never taken myself seriously. For example, many years after Nokia 3310 became embarrassingly outdated, I had carried mine with pomp.
Recently, I walked into one of the mobile telephone shops, just as I had done in the last few years, and each time, I had come out with my wallet intact. I have never been able to justify the reason why I should spend so much money on any hand-held device. Despite the craze that followed the introduction of the BlackBerry and the iPhones, androids and iPads of this world, I have always considered them as passing fads for those who find them as status symbols.
For example, a majority of young Nigerians who carry these phones around hardly maximise the use of the features that come with them. But I guess it is fashionable to be seen with the most expensive phone in town. What, for example, are the unique features of a BB, aside from instant messaging, that make them a-must-have other than the status symbol that goes with logging it around?
Okay, maybe it is useful for folks who have loads of emails to answer per second. Otherwise, what is the point of a young person barely 17, paying monthly surcharges just for chatting, tweeting and Facebooking? Or does it have to do with the good feeling of owning a BB? Ok, you may say it’s cool to tweetFacebook and ping at the same time. But what makes them desirable apart from these features? Are there no other phones performing the same functions?
My grouse with these new mobile phones is the frequency at which new models of the same phone are released into the mobile telephone market by the manufacturers. As soon as you buy a new phone, at the blink of an eye, another newer model with supposedly superior features is released into the market. In less than a month, your new phone suddenly becomes the older version of the new one. And the cycle continues. What phone fashionistas fail to realise is that although the new model may appear sleekier than the ones they have, in reality, the manufacturers have only added a feature or two to make them the new model of the old one.
One feature of a BlackBerry phone which makes it attractive to users, especially young people, is the instant message feature, popularly known as “pinging”. Now that comes with its own hazard. Recently, careless and indiscriminate pinging has become fatal. Inside a Lagos bus, I sat with a guy who ensured that his BlackBerry was conspicuously angled in a position where everybody could see it. He was barely 16. My young cousin told me that in students’ parties on campus (even secondary schools), you will be “gated” without possessing the most expensive type of BlackBerry!
Now the BlackBerry craze has claimed its first casualty.
 In Ajah, Lagos, a girl chatting passionately while crossing the road was knocked down recently. In Ogun State, it was reported by the punch recently that a youth corps member, one Egbe Ogbu, lost his life while pinging in the middle of the road — I mean the guy simply committed suicide. In the report, a learner driver was said to have knocked down the guy as he crossed the road while pinging. He was chatting on his BB that he did not realise the danger to his life. The statement by the driver was shocking and revealing of the danger this BB crazy posed to users. She said: “Mr. Ogbu was busy pinging on the road; I did not know when he got in front of my car.’’
Now, who do we blame? The corps member or the driver?
Have you also noticed how BB users treat their phones as companion? How many times have you been with a BB user and you have felt like punching them in the face? I mean, you are in this conversation with a friend and they are pinging away, ignoring you in the process. What could be more annoying? So, you can imagine how I felt when I became the latest casualty the other day. I was simply “dumped” for not being able to provide my BB pin. Now, I am thinking of getting a BlackBerry, if only to keep up with the Joneses.

Police nab 3 for allegedly stealing 10 day old baby

ENUGU — The police in Enugu have arrested three persons, including a lady for allegedly stealing a 10-day old baby.
The suspects were arrested by the anti-kidnap unit of the state police command following the alarm raised by the mother of the child, identified as Chinenye Egwu from Oduma in Aninri local Government Area of the state.
Vanguard gathered that the plan to steal the baby boy was hatched by the suspects and others now at large after the woman put to bed and it was discovered that she had a male child and none of her relations was present.
She was said to have registered with the private hospital where she attended ante-natal before delivering her baby on February 10.
“The woman told the police that after delivering the baby she was in a very good condition and her baby was also healthy.
But suddenly one of the nurses gave her an injection and she went into a deep sleep. When she woke up the baby had disappeared. Upon inquiry from the nurses about the child’s hereabouts she was told that the baby had some problems and was taken away.
“Their explanation was not clear to her as she demanded to see the baby but when they failed to produce him that day she became suspicious that the hospital staff might be up to something funny.
She insisted that the baby must be produced but along the line, one of the suspects approached her and made an offer of N46,000 for the woman to forget about the baby.
“When she refused the offer, she was threatened by one of them, a development that forced her to raise an alarm and subsequently contacted the police.
She identified one of the suspects, who was picked up by the police while two other members of the gang were later apprehended,” the source narrated.
However, the child was recovered in the course of the investigation by the detectives but the suspects whom the police identified as Nwandi Chinenye (female), Friday Ude and Sylvester Ozollo, are currently being interrogated.

World's tallest hotel opens in Dubai One hotel, two towers, 355 meters -- JW Marriott Marquis Dubai scores new Guinness World Record

At Dubai's newest hotel, an elevator ride is a journey in itself.
The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai officially opened Wednesday as the world's tallest hotel. 
Granted the official record from the Guinness Book of World Records, the 72-floor latest icon in Dubai's skyline is made up of two towers standing 355 meters (1,164 feet) tall. Only one tower is currently open; the second is slated to open in 2014. 
It's the first of the Marquis brand of JW Marriotts -- “reserved only for the most iconic properties within the Marriott International portfolio,” according to the company -- to be built outside North America.
The hotel adds nine restaurants and five bars and lounges to the dining and nightlife options in the city. 

Arios! Pope Benedict XVI

TODAY marks the end of the reign of Pope Benedict XVI as the head of the Catholic Church, in a manner like no other. We are witnessing the end of an epoch which last took place 598 years ago – a living Pope is acceding his office.
The speed of the decision and the implications (complications) have left clergy, laity and observers confounded.
We may not see this event in a long time or as the uncertainties of life continue, it may become common to resign, citing any of the numerous reasons that could limit his capacities to function or loss of interest in the office.

Man kills father over fish …Bags 20-yr- jail term

For killing his own father over a piece of fish, one Opukeme George, a native of Tuomo in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State is to spend the next 20 years in jail, a Delta State High Court, Asaba yesterday ruled. The convict was said to have accused his father of stealing his piece of fish, a situation that resulted in a scuffle between the two. During the trial, Opukeme had admitted before the court in a confessional statement that he accused his late father of stealing the said fish, stating that it was his father who attacked first with a cutlass.
The convict also informed the court presided over by Justice M.O. Omovie that he overpowered his father in self defence and thereafter inflicted several machete cuts on his head and other parts of his body, which led to his instant death. Justice Omovie, who delivered the judgment found Opukeme guilty of the manslaughter charge preferred against him and subsequently handed down the sentence.
In a related development, another Delta State High Court on Tuesday sentenced a 31-year-old bus driver, Ndubuisi Onwe to 50 years imprisonment with hard labour for armed robbery. Onwe, a native of Ebonyi State was found guilty of the two-count charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery preferred against him by the prosecution.
He was sentenced to 25 years each for both counts, which would run concurrently. The convict with others now at large had on December 14, 2011 at the Onitsha Bridge Head within Asaba Judicial Division robbed one Emeka Obidor of a Mitsubishi L-300 bus with registration number XD 129 WER at gunpoint. The bus, which belonged to one Morah Chinedu, was later found in the possession of the convict at No.0 1, Nwachukwa Duluozor Street, Idemili in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State after five days.

Pope: Pray for me

Pope Benedict XVI yesterday called on the faithful to pray for him and his successor in an unusual personal message ahead of his retirement today. He said his papacy had been “a heavy burden” but he accepted it because he was sure that God would guide him. At times he “felt like St Peter with his apostles on the Lake of Galilee”, he said, making reference to the Biblical story when the disciples were battling against heavy waves and Jesus Christ appeared to them.
In front of rapt crowds, the Pope spoke of moments of struggle as well as joy during his final public address from a stage set up in St. Peter’s Square. In an unusually personal message, he said there had been “many days of sunshine” but also “times when the water was rough … and the Lord seemed to sleep.” But even as the church passes through stormy seas, God will “not let her sink,” he added, in what was his final general audience before he steps down today evening.
The Pope, 85, will retire today evening, the first pope to abdicate since Gregory XII in 1415. Benedict recounted how when he was asked to be pope eight years ago, he had prayed for God’s guidance and had felt his presence “every day” since. “It was a part of the journey of the church that has had moments of joy and light, but also moments that were not easy,” he said. Dressed all in white and looking serene, the pope used his last general audience to call for a renewal of faith and speak of his own spiritual journey through eight years as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

AFROJACK WHOOPS!!! I Afrojacked Up My Ferrari

This just hurts to look at ... hours after Afrojack got his hands on a brand new red Ferrari, the world-renowned DJ mutilated the ride by crashing it ... and then posted photos of the car-nage online.

Afrojack -- real name Nick van de Wall -- went on Twitter two hours ago, writing, "I made a new friend!!!" referencing a brand new red Ferrari 458 Italia.


An hour later, he posted an image of the car with its rear bumper torn to pieces ... tweeting, "Ok that sucks. Good thing we're all ok!!!! Lesson in life: don't drive a Ferrari in sh*t weather!"

He added, "For everyone that's asking me why I'm smiling: it's a car."

Yeah, a $240,000 car. 

RICK ROSS Police Guard Rapper At Swanky NYC Hotel

Rick Ross -- the rapper who has allegedly been targeted by a dangerous gang -- is being protected by NYC cops round-the-clock because of recent threats ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

We've learned cops have been guarding Ross at The London Hotel for the last few days.

Sources tell us, recent threats have been specifically aimed at the rapper ... and he's not taking them lightly.

You'll recall Ross' Rolls-Royce was shot up in Ft. Lauderdale last month after the rapper's birthday party while Ross was making his way home. Ross and his passenger were not injured in the attack -- clearly, the shots were intended as a warning.

CHAMIQUE HOLDSCLAW Facing 65 Years in Prison for Alleged GF Attack

WNBA legend Chamique Holdsclaw has finally been hit with criminal charges for allegedly FIRING A GUN at her ex-GF's car last year ... and if convicted, she could spend 65 YEARS in prison.

We broke the story ... Holdsclaw -- considered one of the greatest players in WNBA history -- was arrested in Atlanta last year for a violent encounter with ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lacy.

According to the police report, 35-year-old Holdsclaw attacked Lacy's car with a baseball bat and then fired a gun inside the vehicle while Lacy sat in the driver's seat.

Now, Holdsclaw has officially been charged with 6 crimes -- including 2 counts of aggravated assault, 1 count of criminal damage in the first degree, 2 counts of criminal damage in the second degree, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

If convicted on all counts, Holdsclaw faces up to 65 years in state prison.

As for what provoked the alleged attack, sources close to Lacy tell us she believes Chamique was simply pissed that the two had broken up.

Emir of Kano arrives Nigeria yesterday

Kblog has just gathered that the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero returned to Kano from London.
It has been confirmed that the Emir will arrive in Kano later on Wednesday evening.
Sources in Kano say there was heavy presence of security in and around the Kano metropolis especially roads leading to the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.
The Monarch and two of his sons were flown to the United Kingdom on January 20 after a failed attempt on his life
Though he was unhurt, the 83-year-old monarch was said to have gone for treatment due to trauma.

Female banker docked for stealing customer’s N26million

For illegally withdrawing N26 million from a customer’s account, a 41-year-old staff of a mortgage bank in Lagos, Folayemi Oluwayemisi Adedayo, has been arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court on an 18-count charge of forgery and stealing.
Folayemi was arrested by the police at Zone 2 Command, Onikan, Lagos.
The police alleged in charge suit No. F/7/2013 that Folayemi was arrested following a complaint by a customer of the finance house, Reverend T.O.
Mobolale that the accused forged his signature and withdrew N26.5m from his account, property of Light House International School, Ikorodu, Lagos.
Rev. Mobolale explained that the accused between 8 January and 15 August, 2012 cleverly withdrew N1,525,000 twice, N1,550,000 twice N1,200,000, N1,650,000 thrice, among others, without his approval.
He stated that she committed the offence at 54, Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The police prosecutor, Inspector
Marcus Okon, said the 
offence contravenes section 409, 285 (6) and
333 (2) (a) of the criminal laws of 
Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.
However, the accused pleaded not guilty to the 18-count charge levelled against her.
The Presiding Magistrate, Mrs. Omotosho admitted her on bail in the sum of N500,000 with one surety in like sum who must show proof of tax payment to the Lagos State government.
Magistrate Omotosho adjourned the matter till 25 March 2013 for mention.
The defendant was moved to Kirikiri Prison pending when she would fulfil the bail condition.