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.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

My Experience at Garage48 kampala

Garage48 was a hackathon that I attended pretty much one of my first involved hackathons. The hackathon involved pitching ideas, then attendees had to chose which teams to be part of. I pitched an idea and I was lucky to have gotten people to join me to make a team. Thanks to the geniuses Sarah, Benjamin and Kevin because we shared the passsion of the weekend together. The idea we implemented was a software market that uses mobile money as a payment method. We gave it a code name “Macerdo”  which is a spanish word to mean “market”.
After the pitches, the idea owners stood near their chats waiting for people to join them for the next 48 hours. This was the chart for the Macerdo team with stickies bearing the names for the team members.

Mercado-The Uganda software store
Well this session ended and there we were; the count down for the 48 hours began. Where the actual hacking began.

These 48 hours were the most fun for me. The idea of working with people you just met at the hackathon was so interesting. We brainstormed our scope for the weekend as a team and began hacking. We all and by all I mean all of us on the team worked so hard to have the macerdo product in the 48 hours. These hours were full of passion,hardwork and fun  because we looked at it as a time for us to make history. I think of all the code I have ever written , I value the code I wrote during this time because you had to look for the fasted solution for the problems you were to solve in order to have a viable product in the 48 hours.

What stood out most for me was not the product we came up with at the end. It was the fact that people that just met for those few hours could cooperate and actually have such milestones.This was epic.During these few hours we did not have time to focus  attention on our diffrences as a team but our focus was on the product we wanted to have. It was more than passion because different team members even switched to roles they were not familiar with just to deliver this was even good because they learnt something new as they switched to those unconfortable roles. Not only did we learn how to work in different roles , we also interfaced new technologies ; some team members got to learn how to work with sinatra since it was their first time to use it. As if that was not enough we even spent the whole saturday night hacking to get our product done. Now personally if my mum heard I slept in a code lab hacking; she will confiscate my laptop  for atleast a week to teach me a lesson.If you are reading this dont tell her am not in the moods of not having my computer for a week.

There was generally a lot to learn from the hackathon from technical skills all the way to the entrepreneual skills. I learnt how  to pitch an idea ; this has never been fun for me but now I feel the next time am called upon to pitch I will be glad to. We learnt that software is built for the people and if you want them to enjoy using your software ; then you have to talk to them as you develop to get feedback that helps in improving the product; even in those few hours we had to talk to the people who are potential users for the products we built. This has really shaped my operations after the event. I have made a schedule to meet some relevant people to the projects am working on.

We also learnt how to market and used this skill perfectly to create publicity for our product infact , we beat all the teams at the hackathon in marketing because we had the most likes. In otherwards we were the most liked team during garage48 kampala by the public. If you doubt this we have proof.

Special thanks to the garage48 team and all its sponsors for such a resourceful event we cant thank you more.

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...