Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Ugandan Telecoms: Were you ready for this Simcard Re-registration Ocassion!!!!


There was a recent directive from Uganda communications commission calling upon Ugandans to re-register their simcards this time using their National IDs. According to new vision, Ugandans were given seven days at first from a date not communicated to do so or else face disconnection. However the deadline has been pushed to 19th, May 2017.

MTN and I think Airtel as such sent out SMSs to customers me inclusive informing us to dial *197*3# to send our national ID Number plus given name and surname found on the IDs. This sounded as a big relief, saving us from queuing at service centers and having to travel back to Uganda to just finish this exercise for especially people like me that currently reside in a neighboring country.

For me,I do not have a national ID so I was looking around for a place to register for one. As I meditated on this disruption, because I mean UCC should have ensured National IDs came first before enforcing sim registration in the first place. This redundancy means time wastage that customers are facing for someone not thinking ahead of the dice.

According to my research getting a National ID now involves a couple of checks including signatures from Local council who will add more drama by making us pay money to just get a signature and a stamp (some do).. we are desperate after all. If I can approximate getting your National ID may take you 3 months. I had resolved to stick with my Kenyan simcards since at least in Kenya they registered my simcards using my Passport.. easier right!!!! I just do not get the logic why a passport is recognized worldwide and all of a sudden not recognized in your own country.....

Curiosity got me all of a sudden and I got curious about this  *197*3# system. I was testing its authenticity. So I dialed the short code and tried to send someone else's National Id number with the other person's names and guess what... I got a success message telling me my simcard had been successfully registered. It did not even do any static name matching between my old registered name and the names I sent through. I did not plan to do something unauthentic I work with systems and always try to see if there are loop holes. Being a programmer this is natural.We do this as Quality assurance so that we do not roll out half baked systems or if it is someone else's system to help them find bugs they may have not taken care of. With that said help me  reverse this!!!! It was a test.

However what does this mean? It means if telecoms can roll out a system to users where they are collecting such critical information with such errors there is need to worry about the information they are collecting from us. That means data is going in wrong hands.

This an integrity problem. People are going to use other people's IDs to register their simcards.  Unless there is a silver bullet to burr people from using IDS that are not theirs, then you will track the wrong people down for a crime they have not committed.  This is two way, to me as a customer to ensure I do actually use my own authentic details but I mean criminals loose nothing to impersonate someone else while registering their simcards using this convenient but wrong current way.

Data is almost the current and future currency. People all over are getting data and using it to get insight , tighten security among others. I believe the country is putting such measures for the same reasons and using telecoms because they have organized access to most people in this country. However with such great and sensitive data comes a lot of responsibility. I say again responsibility.

What am saying is if telecoms can use a flawed system to collect our sensitive information then I can not trust you to use authentic and secure systems to give it to the right parties period!!!!  I will not register my simcards until you show me you are capable of securing my data!!!.

To handle this data you need a lot of security, performance (speed) as it grows and the integrity to ensure you do not dish out our details the wrong way. We will begin from first principles of  authenticity and integrity. It is better to delay a project than rush and risk our data.

Now this is a hard one to solve unless you control the registration process to ensure the National ID number used actually belongs to the person registering. This happens well if it is a manual process done by agents who can examine the ID details and the physical person registering at least for now. We better go manual than risk the integrity of the data you are collecting.

In the long run call innovators from outbox Uganda and Innovation Village kampala to help you get a more digital solution if you need it anyway. For God and My country.

I rest my case!!!!!

Friday, 9 September 2016

How to make a fresh ubuntu install able to detect wireless connections.

After struggling for four hours with this , I  now have a solution.I hope this saves someone.

Now if you have just installed Ubuntu and are not able to see your available wireless connections the following helped me;

  1. Connect to the network through an Ethernet cable. You can actually USB tether to your phone.
  2. Then run the following commands. 
        1. sudo apt-get update 
        2. sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source                    
  3. Disconnect your Ethernet and the wireless connections should be visible now.

Friday, 12 August 2016

The hour of code 2015 at st.Lawrence University by AdaTrait


The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The Computer Science Education Week happens between December 5-11, but you can host an Hour of Code all year round. On 19th December 2015 ,Adatrait a startup I founded organised an hour of code event st.Lawrence university aimed at introducing coding to girls from all fields to programming in one hour.

For preparation , a group of six students offering IT and computer science were trained in a java script course from code academy to teach and coach on the day of the event for inspiration to the attendees.

The training took two hours of students doing a JavaScript tutorial from code academy.At the end of the day, students were so happy and we had interviews with the Lawrence campus TV with the students. 

All students who were able to finish their assignments were awarded certificates of participation in the hour of code. They were given standard certificates from hour of code international.

The students also received swag like  Adatrait branded stickers and pens , hour of code branded stickers and trainers received Adatrait branded T-shirts.

Adatrait intends to make this event annual to join the world in celebrating the computer science week.

A big shout out to Atong AkueinClemance Patayo ,  Isabella muhumuza and Kevin Janvier for making this happen.

These were the achievements and celebrations of the hour of code 2015 at st.Lawrence University.

Friday, 1 April 2016

The first time I taught code

I do not know how I came to terms with this whole thought of teaching people how to write ruby code. My very first time to teach some code ; I did it at Thoughtworks during one of the ruby fridays but honestly I dint enjoy it. Now this thought comes am thinking let me do this once more. Below was our info session where we got a big number of attendees. We were so encouraged.




Then  the sessions began . I taught for five days. Teaching ruby basics from syntax to object oriented programming and also Sinatra a light weight ruby based web framework. I just noticed after the camp that I taught naturally because i was passionate about what I was teaching . Below was one of my sessions where I was teaching object oriented programming with ruby.


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

How to Encrypt a connection string (ASP.NET)

1. Navigate to the path below; Ensure that you have .Net framework 4 installed. 
  • C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319
2. Run this command

aspnet_regiis.exe -pef connectionStrings "path containing config file" -prov "RsaProtectedConfigurationProvider"

For example
aspnet_regiis.exe -pef connectionStrings "C:\inetpub\wwwroot\FinPay00 " -prov "RsaProtectedConfigurationProvider"

Monday, 5 October 2015

How to solve Error 5 (Access is denied.) while restoring SQL Server 2008 Database.

Today I experienced a scenario where I was trying to restore a SQL Server 2008 Database and I was getting the error below.Apparently it was because of permissions.

Restore failed for Server 'localhost\sqlexpress'.  (Microsoft.SqlServer.Express.Smo)
Additional information:
System.Data.SqlClient.SqlError: The operating system returned the error '5(Access is denied.)' while attempting 'RestoreContainer::ValidateTargetForCreation' on 'c:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.2\MSSQL\[my database name].mdf'. (Microsoft.SqlServer.Express.Smo)

How I solved it
I solved it by running sql management studio as administrator and I was able to restore the database successfully.Hope this saves some one's day because I spent 2 days trying to resolve this.

Monday, 20 October 2014

An Inspiration from Lady Ada Lovelace

On 15th October  every year is Ada Lovelace day and on this day different people in computing especially women celebrate and talk about the women in STEM whose work they admire like  Lady Ada Lovelace as a role model in computer programming. For those of you who do not know her ; Ada Lovelace is widely held to have been the first computer programmer. Close friends with inventor Charles Babbage, Lovelace was intrigued by his Analytical Engine and in 1842, she translated a description of it by italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea. Babbage asked her to expand the article, “as she understood it so well”, and this was when she wrote several early ‘computer programs’. Ada Lovelace died of cancer at 36, her potential tragically unfulfilled.There is a programming language named after her called Ada.

As I celebrate this figure every year , first I celebrate her like other famous ladies in STEM like Grace Hopper among others because she is a lady that is one of my role models not only to me but many ladies in this world. Secondly I celebrate her because she was a genius of her time. Thirdly and most important of all because she used most of her opportunity to make such great history that many people still recognize her contribution to computing.

During her time she was not the only smart person or even the smartest but when an opportunity came to pioneer computer programming she made good use of it and I am sure if she had waited for more worthy people to take up the challenge; we would probably never have had a chance to remember her for any thing. This would mean that she would never have people like me and other women in STEM looking at her as a role model. I  was not there but one thing is certain she put a lot of effort and determination to pioneer such a contribution that people embraced and still remember her for.

As we celebrate these people let us also follow in their foot steps so that if they came back to life by mistake they would say wow there are some smart people that used their opportunities after us. I would not love Ada Lovelace or Grace Hopper to come back by mistake to life and say .. “I cant believe no genius lived after me”... at least they will find me.

Therefore as we remember the women whose contribution to STEM is worth admiring let us remember to borrow a leaf from them so that we can come up with work worth admiring.

Are you willing to be the next Ada Lovelace of our time !!!!!! me I am.

Ugandan Telecoms: Were you ready for this Simcard Re-registration Ocassion!!!!

There was a recent directive from Uganda communications commission calling upon Ugandans to re-register their simcards this time using thei...