All social media and messaging platforms blocked in Ethiopia

instant-messaging-apps

Popular social media platforms such as facebook and twitter are blocked throughout Ethiopia since yesterday morning. Also included in this information blackout are messaging applications like whatsup, viber and imo. No official statement was given by the government but it is believed that the service disruption is related to the national university entrance exam that will be held throughout the country starting from tomorrow.

The exam was originally scheduled for May 30, 2016 but unauthorised copies were leaked by dissidents and distributed on social media forcing the government to cancel the exam. Earlier this week, reports circulating on social media indicated that unauthorised copies of tomorrow’s exam were leaked once again. The ministry of education has stated that additional effort was spent to maintain secrecy of the exam and conformed there were no leaks of the repeat exam that will begin tomorrow as scheduled.

 

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Ethiopian Airlines Turns 70

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Exactly 70 years ago on April 8, 1946, the first flight of Ethiopian Airlines took of from Addis Ababa in route to Cairo, Egypt via Asmara. That was the start of Ethiopia’s flag carrier airline whose main mission was connecting Africa together and with the rest of the world. The airline which started its operation with five Douglas C-47 Skytrains on flights to neighbouring countries in the region has grown into an aviation giant with 240 daily flights and services to 92 international destinations in five continents. It has 76 Boeing dominated fleet currently in service with additional 46 more in order including 14 long range Airbus  350 whose delivery is expected before the end of the year. The airlines has its own aviation academy to offer training programs for pilots, cabin crew members, ground staff and aviation technicians for its growing workforce.

Ethiopian Airlines’s African focus is still strong and currently  operates to 51 cities in the continent. Furthermore, it is a share holder  with a management contract for two African Airlines; ASKY Airlines based in the West African city of Lome, Togo with a 40% share and Malawian Airlines operating from Souther African city Lilongwe, Malawi with a 49 % share. Ethiopian Airlines has plans to use both cities as regional hubs to offer efficient service to the Western and Southern Africa respectively.

Scientists report breakthrough in a technology that can be used to program human mind

brain

The word is ‘Déjà vu’ … the strong sense of feeling that you have previously observed an event or an experience happening at the current moment. In his 2006 flick, actor Denzel Washington played in a crime action thriller movie which centered around this phenomena. But it is a natural phenomena  … until now yeah!!

A collaboration research project between Japanese and American scientists reported that they were able to manipulate the memory of a rat to make it believe that a caged environment is uncomfortable. Imagine you go to a new place and walk around the place as if you were already there . But in reality you haven’t set foot in the place; rather it is a fake memory implanted in your mind about the place that made you believe you know the place. This kind of experiment performed by scientists that were able to created an artificial Déjà vu on a rat. The scientists were able to identify and manipulate memory cells of the rat’s brain using light waves to create the fake memory.

Some researchers openly reject application of the technology to a human “unethical” but there are others which believe the technology can be used to treat mentally abnormal patients with false sense of reality. [CNN]

WAY-C – First African Designed Tablet

VMK, a company based in Democratic Republic of Congo, has announced a new android run tablet designed in Africa. This 7” screen gadget is currently available for $300 in selected countries in Africa such as Kenya, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Ivory coast and outside Africa also in Belgium. Though the production is made in China, the company argues that it should be dubbed African by the same token of labeling iPhones and Blackberrys as products of USA and Canada even if they are manufactured in China. The company aims to expand its market through out Africa and provide developer support for the product. [VMK]