Google’s head of hardware is betting big on ambient computing.

It’s time for Google to turn up the volume — metaphorically — on selling hardware. That was my takeaway from a conversation with Rick Osterloh, the head of Google’s newly named “Devices and Services” division. “We just passed our third-year anniversary as an organization,” he says, but “last year was a really pivotal year.”

It was. In 2018, Google acquired HTC engineers, released the Pixel 3, and finally integrated Nest. This year, Google is beginning to cash in on those decisions. The new Pixel 3A is the first phone to fully utilize the “Taiwan team,” as Google refers to those former HTC employees. And Google has finally made the move to merge its own Home-focused product division with Nest. “Pixel means Google’s first-party phone products,” Osterloh says, “and Nest will mean Google’s first-party home products.”

If Google hardware fails to take off in big numbers in the next couple of years, it won’t be because of a lack of resources or confusion about who makes what at Google. The runway for Google’s hardware has been straightened and cleared. But it has not, to my mind, been lengthened. Five years after founding the division is when Osterloh originally told me he expected to “be selling products in high volumes” when we spoke in 2017. So he doesn’t have a lot of time left.

This year, Osterloh says that Google’s hardware sales numbers are “good, but not where we want to be at the end of five years.” Investors seem to agree, hammering CEO Sundar Pichai about how hardware hasn’t made much of a contribution to Google’s bottom line in the last quarterly call.

So it’s no surprise that Google is looking to juice those numbers by selling a new, lower-cost Pixel phone. The Pixel 3A starts at $399, but has the same industry-leading camera found on the more expensive Pixel 3. The 3A is not only inexpensive, but also available on more US carriers — everybody but AT&T, basically.

Annie Idibia loses father to cancer.

Annie Idibia, wife of Nigerian music legend 2baba on Wednesday announced the death of her father, Macaulay as a result of an unsuccessful battle with cancer.

The 34-year-old Ibadan born actress, model and mother of two from Eket, Akwa Ibom state took to her Instagram handle @annieidibia1 to wish her father farewell.

“RIP Daddy, You fought Hard #cancersucks #thepainsIsGone,’’ she wrote.

Meanwhile, some Nigerian celebrities took to the comment section of her Instagram to express their condolences.

Talented singer @officialwaje wrote, “RIP it is well love.

Singer, producer and actor, Olubankole Wellington @bankywellington said, “ Condolence dear.’’ @realmercyaigbe wrote, “Accept my condolence.’’

@Emmanyra said, “ So sorry for your loss dear. Ma he rests in perfect peace.’’

Popular blogger, Laura Ikeji @lauraikeji wrote, “So sorry for your loss Annie, sending my condolence to you and your family.’’

@cossyojiakor said “Awwww take heart deary.’’

Similarly, some of her fans also sent their condolences.

@ogechinkem said, “Cancer sucks indeed! RIP sir.

@mhiz_psweety wrote, “Oh dear please take heart. May God Almighty comfort you and the family.

@sobowaletope81t said, “May his soul rest in peace, so sorry.

Before the death of Annie’s father, her husband, 2baba also lost his dad, Pa Michael Idibia to cancer in 2014.

(NAN)

 

NFF president Pinnick, four others charged with $8,400, N4bn fraud.

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr Amaju Pinnick, and four other officers of the federation have been charged by the Federal Government with an alleged misappropriation of $8,400 said to have been paid by FIFA to the NFF.

It was alleged that the money was paid by FIFA to the NFF as Nigeria’s appearance fees in the group state of the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

The five defendants were also accused of “moving dishonestly and intentionally the sum of about N4bn” belonging to the NFF without the consent of the NFF.

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property led by Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, which instituted the case, also accused the defendants of failure and neglect to declare their assets.

The case, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/93/2019, filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, contained 17 counts.

The other defendants named in the case are the Secretary of the NFF, Sunusi Mohammed; the first Vice-President of the federation, Seyi Akinwumi; the second Vice-President, Shehu Dikko, and an executive member of the federation, Yusuff Fresh.

The charge, filed by SPIRPP on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, was signed by Dr Celsius Ukpong.

The prosecution accused the defendants of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, theft, criminal misappropriation in respect of their handling of the $8,400 and N4bn belonging to the NFF.

The offences were said to be contrary to and punishable under various provisions of the Penal Code (Cap 105) LFN.

Pinnick and his co-defendants were also accused of failure and neglect to declare their assets to the SPIRPP, contrary to and punishable under section 3(3)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act, 2004.

The prosecution specifically accused Pinnick of appointing a company he had interest in, Financial Derivatives Limited, as a financial consultant to the NFF, contrary to Section 5 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

The SPIRPP said he was liable to be punished under sections 1(2) and 10(1)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act, 2004.

Dikko was accused of allowing Mediterranean Sports Limited to be appointed as a marketing agent to NFF in violation of the same provision of the same Act.”

BREAKING: NLC protest against Ngige turns bloody.

The planned protest on Wednesday by the Nigeria Labour Congress against the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, for his failure to inaugurate the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund with Frank Kokori as the chairman had a new twist as workers were attacked by suspected thugs at the minister’s house in Asokoro.

Those who were injured were taken to the National Hospital in Abuja for treatment. Labour accused the minister of hiring thugs to attack them.

President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, described the scene as barbaric.

He said, ‘The act today is barbaric; where maximum force has been used on workers. And live bullets have been used on them. Whereas workers went with bare hands but you have seen what has happened.

“They were carrying weapons and arms. And as I talk to you, we have four people in the hospital apart from those that were injured by bullets. You can see all of them are here and clearly we are going to invite our largest organ by tomorrow.

“We are also going on a larger scale of action. Instead of protecting us, he is against us. Therefore we have nothing to do with him and under the circumstance, except the president intervenes, workers are going to down tool.

“That is why we are inciting our central working committee. It has never been so bad where the ministry of Labour will bring thugs to attack workers. That has never been heard.

“It is on record and everybody has seen. Clearly, that is our position and now we are here to demonstrate in his office also that we are not happy and Mr president must act on this immediately. Workers voted and supported him. Ngige cannot in any circumstance assume the power of the president. That cannot be the case.”

President Trump calls Tiger Woods ‘one of the greatest athletes’ as he gives him the Medal of Freedom after his fifth Masters victory

President Donald Trump on Monday evening awarded golfing legend Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor at the White House following his fifth Masters’ victory last month

The president in his speech said that Woods, 43, is ‘one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports’ and has inspired people worldwide with his barrier-breaking victories.

‘He’s also a great person. He’s a great guy,’ Trump declared. ‘He inspired millions of young Americans with his thrilling wire-to-wire victories. Tiger Woods is a global symbol of American excellence, devotion, and drive.’

Trump also pointed out that Woods’ victory in April was ‘record-setting ratings’ for a Masters tournament.

‘We are in the presence of a true legend, an extraordinary athlete who has transformed golf and achieved new levels of dominance,’ he said.

The citation for the award said that Woods was being honored for the 5 Masters tournament’s he’s won, beginning in 1997 when he became the first black man and the youngest golfer ever to clinch the title. He won again in 2019, becoming the second-oldest champ.

After receiving the Medal of Freedom, an emotional Tiger said: ‘You’ve seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and I would not be in this position without all your help,’ he told his family. ‘I’ve battled, I try to hang in there, and I’ve tried to come back and play the great game of golf again.’

The ceremony was attended by Tiger’s girlfriend Erica Herman, his mother, Kultida Woods, his daughter Sam, 11, and son Charlie 10.

BREAKING: Police Detain Senator Ademola Adeleke.

The detention of Adeleke, the senator representing Osun West at the National Assembly, has been condemned by his party, Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, calling it “total disregard for the extant order of the Federal High Court” in Abuja, which granted him permission to travel to the United States on Tuesday for medical check-up.

The Police have detained Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Osun State governorship election, after honouring an their invitation at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.

The detention of Adeleke, the senator representing Osun West at the National Assembly, has been condemned by his party, Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, calling it “total disregard for the extant order of the Federal High Court” in Abuja, which granted him permission to travel to the United States on Tuesday for medical check-up.

“This is highly provocative, an invitation to anarchy and recipe for a very serious crisis not only in Osun but also in the judiciary and our polity as a nation,” Ologbondiyan said.

“The arrest and detention of Senator Adeleke is a direct act of violence against our laws, the institution of the judiciary and the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“This is part of the grand plot by the All Progressives Congress to coerce Senator Adeleke to relinquish the mandate that was freely given to him by the people of Osun state, which was further established by the election petition tribunal.”

he described the detention as a plot to “drag Adeleke before an ostensibly compromised magistrate court” over the same issues of alleged forged school testimonial that was already before the Federal High Court.

EFCC set to probe Saraki’s 16-year activities.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it is indeed probing Senate President Bukola Saraki dating back to 2003 when he was elected governor of Kwara State.

The EFCC said in a Facebook post that it was probing Saraki not because of his new appointment as the ambassador at large by the International Human Rights Commission. However, the commission did not state why it was probing the former Kwara State governor.

 

The commission had written a letter to the Kwara State Government requesting information on all of Saraki’s earnings during his tenure from 2003 to 2011.

The post read in part, “For the avoidance of doubt, an investigation into the Senate President’s activities while he held sway as the governor of Kwara State started long before his nomination and emergence as IHRC ambassador.

“In fact, the commission’s letter to the Kwara State Government House which sought an inquest into Saraki’s earnings as the state governor, from 2003 to 2011 was dated Friday, April 26, 2019, predating his announcement as IHRC ambassador at large which came on Sunday, April 28, 2019, with two clear days.

“We wish to restate our resolve to resist distractions from any quarter in our efforts to rid the country of corruption and corrupt elements.

The EFCC and Saraki have been at loggerheads since 2016 when the Senate President ensured that the acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, was not confirmed by the Senate.

The commission also gave evidence against Saraki when he was facing trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, a case he eventually won.

Some of Saraki’s aides have either been arraigned or are facing probe by the EFCC, which claims the probe has nothing to do with politics.

Buhari Appoints Maitama-Yusuf — Same Man He Accused Of Corruption In The 80s — To Board Of Railway Corporation

President Muhammadu Buhari has ratified the appointment of Bello Maitama-Yusuf, former Minister of Commerce, as member of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC). Auwal Sankara, Special Assistant on New Media to the Executive Governor of Jigawa State, confirmed the appointment, saying Maitama-Yusuf was nominated by Muhammad Badaru Abubakar, Governor of the state.

“In recognition of his hard work, resilience and steadfastness in the progress of APC and development of Jigawa State and Nigeria at large, the Governor of Jigawa State Alhaji Muhammad Badaru Abubakar has facilitated the appointment of Senator Bello Maitama Yusuf as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC),” Sanakar wrote on Facebook.

The board was inaugurated on Thursday May 2.

Maitama-Yusuf’s appointment letter read: “Pursuant to section 5 of the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act cap. N129, LFN2004, and all powers enabling the Honourable Minister of Transportation in that behalf, and consequent upon your nomination by the governor of Jigawa State, I am pleased to inform you of your appointment by the Honourable Minister, as a member of the Directors of Nigerian Railway Corporation.

“Your tenure of appointment shall commence on the date of inauguration of the board and shall subsist at the pleasure of the President of the Federal republic of Nigeria, pursuant to Section 8 of the above-referenced Act

Maitama-Yusuf, 74, served as Minister of Internal Affairs in 1978 and later as Minister of Commerce in 1982.

He served as senator representing Jigawa South-West at the National Assembly between 1999 and 2007, initially on the platform of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), but he later defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He also contested for the governorship of Jigawa State in 2007.

In 1983, Maitama-Yusuf was accused of corruption by the Muhammadu Buhari military regime of 1983 to 1985. However, he went into exile to avoid prosecution.