6 things about Niamey, Niger I noticed as I was driving through the streets

08/02/2014 § Leave a comment

My parents recently moved to Niamey and invited me to visit them – I of course took this opportunity to discover a country completely foreign to me and had absolutely no idea what to expect.

Here are 6 things I immediately noticed upon my arrival as we drove through the capital of Niger:
1. Though trash bags have been outlawed in 2013 in Niger, Niger has a problem managing its trash. My mom’s friend told me the locals joke that the national bird and flower of the country are a black trash bag.

2. Locals store their crops, usually millet, in huts that are raised off the floor.Millet stores outside Niamey, Niger

3. Gasoline is often sold in liquor bottles at vendors along the road – a way more affordable option for locals who travel on their scooters.

Gas stand

Gas stand

4. Donkeys, goats, cattle, camels, over-loaded vans… these are a few things that are normally on the road here.


Dromedary camel walking in front of the house

Dromedary camel walking in front of the house

Cattle crossing the road

Cattle crossing the road

Goats along the road

Goats along the road

5. Drying clothes out on the bridge is common.

The Kennedy Bridge

The Kennedy Bridge, one of 2 bridges in Niamey.

6. A major rail called the Niger-Abdijan railway is being constructed and will link Niger to the Ivory Coast, which will be huge for improving infrastructure and development.

Construction of the Niger-Abdijan railway

Construction of the Niger-Abdijan railway


The Debate of the 21st CE: Google vs Apple?

09/27/2012 § Leave a comment

Ok ok, I am back to this topic again. But seriously, I can’t make up my mind!

Google vs Apple?

Google vs Apple? Decide for yourself.

As you all know, I’m a college student on a college budget. But my greed and urges to own a tablet has gotten the best of me. So I’ve been researching the market for a quality tablet that offers all the flexibility and functionality of an iPad, but on a college budget.

And in comes the Samsung Galaxy 7 inch screen, 8GB (expandable memory via SD card), w-fi, with a camera for $249.99. Pretty sweet deal! Let’s quickly compare to some other similar products at around the same price point, and maybe I can win you over the same way this tablet has won me over.

  • Kindle Fire by Amazon, $159.99, 8 GB, no camera: you can only buy products/apps through Amazon
  • Nook by Barnes & Nobles, $179, 8 GB, no camera

What I like most about this tablet is that it fits nicely in my hands. The iPad is a little bigger, clunkier and heavier in my hands, but I feel like I can more comfortably take my Samsung Galaxy anywhere with me. Of course, that means having a smaller screen. But in all reality, I knew I wasn’t going to use my tablet every day and let’s be honest, tablets are really just pretty advanced toys. I’m not going to spend $499 on a tablet when I’m a college student!

Now let’s just hope that I didn’t act too soon! Apple reported that it would be releasing the iPad Mini soon. So Google vs Apple? Pretty hard decision. However, I do applaud Google for moving ahead of Apple in releasing a smaller tablet at a more affordable price, smart decision!

Pros and Cons of Social Media

06/27/2012 § Leave a comment

Mashable listed UW-Madison as one of the top institutions to create a campaign based on user-generated content. That’s right, I am proud to be a Badger! The #UWRightNow was a very successful campaign and it was so interesting to see how thousands of other students utilize the same space and resources.

But as much as I love Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, I definitely do feel like I am always comparing my life to others’ through these mediums. Who knew social media FOMO was an actual thing?

Well, that’s all I wanted to say for today. I’m off to Italy later today and I can’t wait to share everything I experience there!


Google vs Apple… Who Wins?

06/15/2012 § Leave a comment

I read an article the other day about how Apple is weaning itself off of Google to try to truly distinguish itself in the market and outshine Google. That made me thinking, if I were to choose between Google and Apple, which would I choose?

Right now I have a Macbook and iPod and I frequently use iTunes, but I heavily use Gmail (Google search engine, Google Docs/Drive as well) and I own an Android Pro.I really feel like the two companies have what the other doesn’t, just like the article said below;


And to support that little snippet there, I’d have to agree that the Androids just don’t compare to the iPhones. My Android Pro is pretty glitchy, has a low battery life and doesn’t have quite the selection on Google Play Store.

So wouldn’t it just be nice to have the companies merge and make nice? Of course, this would never happen, especially in this economy when mergers = job loss.

Guess I’ll just have to sit and wait this one through, but if I had to choose between the two, I don’t think I’d honestly be able to.

A + for Google+?

08/04/2011 § Leave a comment

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted something! But I’ve been itching to post a blog about Google+.

One of my co-workers at the DoIT Help Desk, where most of the staff are men and most of which have Google+, referred me to a great quote on Wikipedia that is applicable to this new social network:

“There is a lesson here for ambitious system architects: the most dangerous enemy of a better solution is an existing codebase that is just good enough.” (Plan 9 from Bell Labs, Wikipedia) Why switch over when you are already using an already good enough social network with an established, loyal customer base?  My curiosity got the better of me and I decided to join.

Two great things stand out to me about Google+ that sets it apart from Facebook.

1.   Ability to easily direct each thing a user posts to a specific network: a user can create different networks that have different privacy settings on Facebook, however a user cannot specifically share an update, comment, picture, etc to a specific group of people without going through the settings again each time.  This feature, as numerous articles have noted, makes targeting an audience really easy and great for companies.

2.  Hangout feature: users can video chat with other Google+ users and anyone can join in!

3.  Simultaneous connection to Gmail account: I have a Gmail account, so why not join Google+? I am a huge Google fan already.

The drawbacks, however are that users cannot directly post a comment on someone’s wall or message others privately (or maybe I have not discovered it yet).

According to Andrew Lipsman, vice president of industry analysis at comScore, “the rate of growth is much faster than that of Facebook, Twitter and MySpace over the same time period” (Wasserman, Todd at Mashable).

from Mashable, Todd Wasserman

Most of the people in my network have not made the switch to Google+ and I can see why.  Furthermore, most of the users are male.

But as the pool of users start to grow, I think companies will be able to use it more effectively.

Bottom line: I’m still willing to wait it out, just waiting for more pool of users to network with.  In the meantime, I’m sticking with Facebook.





Tweeting some of the most historic news…

05/07/2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve been trying to keep up with Mashable (which I love), and it is just crazy what news people have tweeted! Instantaneous news!

Though I don’t really use twitter, I am on it just so I know how it works. (All the following are from Mashable).

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What Do We Choose to Update Friends About?

12/14/2010 § Leave a comment

According to the latest blog entry by Facebook…

I think this study show what users do with Facebook, which is to connect with others on whatever level they choose to: personal/individual, campus-wide, city-wide, nation-wide, and globally.

For instance, it was fun to update my status while playing the number game.  It was a fun way of interacting with friends and family and even re-connecting with friends.

What do YOU update your friends and family most about?  I try not to update people too often, and especially with trivial news.  Unfortunately, facebook makes it easier for those seeking attention to take over peoples’ Newsfeeds.