How an online scam works… From the Mailing List

12:46 AM aliyustore: HELLO
how are you?
12:47 AM me: i’m good
was inquiring on the iphone 4
aliyustore: yes we got your mail now
did you get our reply??
me: So how does the payment work?
Yes I did
aliyustore: ok
12:48 AM we accept payment via western union
then we proceed with the shipment immediatly we confirm your payment
me: So I just send money?
aliyustore: you will get your goods within 3days via fedex
me: I just send the money
aliyustore: yes
me: ??
12:49 AM aliyustore: and after we confirm your payment then we proceed with the shipment
where are you from?
me: Kenya… I’m asking on the security grounds…
12:50 AM Like how do i confirm through western union that the account im sending to is legit?
aliyustore: look
we are legit and regsitered company in UK
12:51 AM you will need to pay directly to our company accountant                   [accountant?]
then as soo as he confirm your payment then we proceed with your shipment via fedex
me: Okay. Thanks Whats the company name and details please
12:52 AM aliyustore: then we send you the ytarcking codes for your shipment for you to confirm your shipment online before it gets to your doorstep
you can visit our company website for more details
12:55 AM me: please give me yours stores address
please give me your store’s address
12:56 AM aliyustore: can’t you see it there?     [I check their website the aboutus page]

5 minutes
1:01 AM aliyustore: hello
1:02 AM are you there?
me: I’m still here
aliyustore: ok
are you ready to order now?
1:03 AM me: Give me a min
aliyustore: ok[with the UK having an online database for their reg. companies i check it using their company no and it is not their company no, I return with a grin]
1:07 AM me: How are you…
aliyustore: cool
1:08 AM me: Can you give me the company names and details i am to use to send the money to
aliyustore: ok
do you have western union in your country
1:09 AM first you need to send us your full delivery details where you want the goods to be delivery
me: Yes, theres also money gram, whichever you prefer
aliyustore: ok
western union is ok
first you need to send us your full delivery details where you want the goods to be delivery
me: I just want a piece
1:10 AM aliyustore: do you want to order that 3 units????
me: IPHONE 4
aliyustore: ok
me: at the asked price
qouted price
aliyustore: our offer is still on
1:11 AM BUY 5 GET 2 FREE
me: So do i scan the receipt or how do you know i’ve sent the money
No offer for now, leg me first try the service
aliyustore: yes you will scan the receipt
and send us the payment details such as the MTCN,FULL SENDER’S NAME
1:12 AM country money sent from
me: What i meant is that let me try one phone, then i can order more
Please give the details i need
1:13 AM aliyustore: ok
first you need to send us your full delivery details where you want the goods to be delivery
1:15 AM me: Ive sent it
aliyustore: send us your delivery address to our mail now
1:16 AM so when can you make the payment?
so as to proceed with the shipment fast?
me: As soon as you give the details
aliyustore: ok
i will email you now the payment detailos
1:19 AM me: I need to leave now
Email the details when ready
aliyustore: wait
check your mail now
1:20 AM did you get it?
me: Not yet
aliyustore: check again
1:21 AM did you get it now?              [I get the email: image]
me: Sorry I cannot send it to individuals
1:22 AM i dont sned money to individuals. Is there another way
aliyustore: that is our company account
accountant information    [accountant?? Boss, are you serious]
don’t worry
am the sales manager
ok   [i love this guy]1:23 AM me: Oh yeah,, Review your company number too.. Its registered to a different company….
aliyustore: what do you mean?
my boss have bike company too
1:24 AM what time is it there?
me: It aint a bike company..
1:25 AM aliyustore: he has 3 companys………
me: Work with me, ill cover up all the dirt
aliyustore: what do you mean
Take care
aliyustore: why?
wht wrong
1:26 AM me: thats the company number on your FREE website
aliyustore: no no
me: given on your free website :-)
aliyustore: what number are you taking about
me: Company no
aliyustore: contact number???
1:27 AM me: No, registered company no. and the certificate
work with me i’ll help
aliyustore: yes that is our compant details
so what wrong?
me: Compant number is wrong, sir
1:28 AM company no
aliyustore: ohhhh
about about that
1:29 AM me: Thank you for your time
aliyustore: meaning what?
are you not ready to order again            [Really? Boss? I'm in Love, really]
you can see our company certificates
i don’t just understand you
me: All the details you are giving me are apenrtky made up…
1:30 AM aliyustore: no no no
what do you mean by that
me: Your company…06900783 belongs to LEISURE SOFTWARE            [As my Luo friend would say; Its in the computer! So its there! what are you saying bwana?!]
aliyustore: no
there should be a mistake
1:31 AM me: The payment is to an INDIVIDUAL not a company
aliyustore: becox can’t you see from our registered certificate
it is for company not to a person
me: I can make that right now and email it to you with my name on it, friend
aliyustore: you will be given the tror you tacking number for you to confirm your shipment
1:32 AM what do you mean?
me: Payment is to GELLIS AARON
aliyustore: ok
so when are you making the payment
so as to infor the shipping company about your shipoment
1:33 AM me: Good night buddy, you have just given me a way of making money quickly.
aliyustore: what?
1:34 AM are you not buying again?
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Ideas on Micro-Justice

During the recent 1% Club Event which was simulcast live between NBO-AMS-DLA (Nairobi-Amsterdam-Douala) I happened to have been part of the co-creation team that deliberated on the subject of Micro-Justice or, approaches on how to offer legal services to the poor in a more sustainable and cost-effective manner.
The discussions centered on the following:

  • How to involve or integrate the Tech and Legal Community
  • How we can leverage on the power and reach of Mobile Technology
  • Which outreach activities to engage in
  • Improvement on an existing website

For more on the discussion please go through the presentation below:

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Posted in Ideas Meetings by Andrew Mutua. No Comments

Mobile Monday Kenya Chapter

Title: Mobile Monday Kenya Chapter
Location: iHub Nairobi
Description: Mobile Monday guest speakers will be from Samsung Kenya, and it will be all about Developer and Monetization Opportunities. Bring a friend or two as you come to listen about how you can make an extra buck from the opportunity.

Want to know more about Mobile Monday? Visit or follow us on twitter @MobileMondayKe. If you are on LinkedIn
Start Time: 18-00
Date: 2010-10-18
End Time: 20-00

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Choosing a web and domain host

Hosting prices have dropped a lot in the recent years and the cost of hosting your website should be minor to development costs. There are still a lot of things to consider as the quality of hosting is diverse. If you pay more than 10,000KES a year for your hosting services you are probably being ripped off.

Being a user of hosting services since 1996 these are my recommendations:

  1. Keep services separated. Domain hosting, Internet access and web/ email hosting are different services. A general advice is to get each service from different providers. Use your Internet Service Provider for Internet services and don’t do any hosting with them as it will complicate things if you want to change ISP.
  2. Also keep domain and web/ email hosting separate. This makes it possible for you to do changes to your domain if you are having troubles with your web/ email host and vice versa.
  3. Make sure you have full control over and access to DNS with your host so that you can do emergency changes yourself without having to email someone and wait for a reply. All serious domain hosts offer this service and a few of the combined domain/web/email hosts as well.
  4. If you are even considering creating a second website in the future get a web hosting account that allows more than one domain as this will save you a lot in of money the end.
  5. If you will do anything out of the ordinary like Ruby or Python make sure your web host supports this. The most common hosting platforms cPanel and Plesk do not support anything but the basics (PHP or other static file based hosting). The most flexible control panels are the ones developed by the web host to support their specific hosting platform.
  6. SSH access to your hosting account is also a must if you want to do anything out of the ordinary like installing custom components.
  7. Don’t be fooled by the word unlimited. If bandwidth or disk space is advertised as unlimited make sure to read the fine print carefully as all web hosts offering this usually have something like “unless misused or interferes with our services” in their terms and conditions and they decide when you misuse their services.

For domain hosting of .com there are a number of companies. GoDaddy (don’t do web hosting with them!),, Network Solutions etc

For the cheapest one where you have total control over your domain is for 2,340KES a year.

For dynamic web applications and websites the best one I know of is They offer 10GB space and SSH access (you can even install your own web server if you want to). You can host as many domains as you want. The main limit is 80MB memory for your Apache processes but if you just run PHP apps you can probably host 20 sites. With Django I found that 5-6 still works. All for 102USD a year … they don’t do domain hosting – another sign of quality :)

Disclaimer: Both the EACDirectory and Webfaction links above have referrals but they are the services I use and it will not affect your price if signing up with them.

Jonas is an IT Consultant working at Lamu Software in Nairobi. Lamu Software specialises in web applications and websites using the Python based Django web framework.

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Posted in Web by jonas. No Comments

Discussions on the BoP (Bottom of the Pyramid) and a Call to Action…

This past Saturday I attended a very interesting workshop facilitated by Niti Bhan of Aalto University Design Factory on Innovating Mobile Services for the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ (BoP). This was more or less a continuation of a similar discussion we had the day before with Russell Southwood CEO of Balancing Act, a consulting firm.

In a nutshell she outlined the following as some of the characteristics of the BoP:

  • Irregular and unpredictable income streams
  • Planning is a challenge
  • Infrastructure is a challenge
  • High volume and low margins should be consideration when modeling any service or product
  • Micro- based- Micro-Payments; Micro-Insurance etc
  • It’s predominantly cash-based
  • Prepaid model which has worked so in most of the BoP should be used as an inspiration on the way forward
  • Dignity should be at the centre of it all
  • This is a sachet economy (or as we call it here in Kenya –the Ka ndogo  economy); small units; again the high volume; low margin

There after she took us through some probable user groups/customers, their attributes and where gaps and/or opportunities exist for innovation in developing relevant services for them.

Finally the discussion came down to a call to action: Opportunities and gaps exist. Nairobi being the birthplace of some the greatest innovations of our time, i.e. M-Pesa, Ushahidi all centered around the mobile device, has the great privilege and challenge to develop relevant and appropriate solutions for the BoP and more specifically around the mobile device or other appropriate technologies.

Nairobi has been touted in some quarters as ‘the creative city of Africa’, ‘one of the main hubs in Africa for Innovation’, ‘a city with the right mix- a critical mass of creatives, software developers, money, academia, private sector participation and more’ to come up with credible inventions and innovations to address the issues that confront our generation.

And to do this we need to unlearn most of what we’ve learnt and have a complete paradigm shift because the BoP demands that. It challenges long held assumptions and questions some the established ways of business modeling but also offers a great opportunity to address some of the long standing issues that have plagued our societies. With market-based approaches that are socially and environmentally sensitive will move forward with solutions and services that will result in economic development and social transformation for the billions in the BoP market.

Let’s realize that we’re referring to people here, not just some fancy terms – the BoP, the 3rd World, and Informal- that look good in our literature. These are a people that have been relegated to unimaginable conditions (inhuman conditions) all because of a system that doesn’t serve them or understand their unique nuances and behavioral patterns.

This is a call for us to innovate and make a difference in the world and more specifically to lives of these people.
Let go out there and make it happen…

Further reading:

The Fortune at the bottom of the Pyramid By C.K.Prahald

Niti Bhan Blog

Group to Join:

BoP Kenya

Posted in Ideas Meetings by Andrew Mutua. No Comments

Kenya’s Vision 2030 in a Brief- Talk by Dr. Julius Kipng’etich

Through a group (the League of Young Professionals Kenya) that I’m part of I was privileged to attend a talk by Dr. Julius Kipng’etich, the Director of Kenya Wildlife Services.

The talk, in a nutshell, broke down the Kenya Vision 2030 in a very succinct way and I wish to share the highlights of it. Briefly:

  • The aim of Kenya Vision 2030 is “A globally competitive and prosperous country with a high quality of life by 2030.”
  • The Vision is anchored on three key pillars: Political; Economic; and Social

In a little more detail for better understanding:

Pillar 1: Political

Under this pillar one of the main objectives is instituting a New Constitution.

Thankfully, we just promulgated the New Constitution. We now have the onerous task of seeing its full implementation, in both the spirit and letter.

Secondly, the biggest challenge we need to contend with over and above the establishment of the New Constitution is tribalism.

“Our politics is a roll call of tribes; Political Power is structured around tribal arithmetic”- Dr. Kipng’etich

To confront this demon requires a mindset change. This, as we all know, is never an overnight process.

Pillar 2: Social

In this pillar he outlined the following:

  • Education- Increase investments in education to ensure a highly skilled, literate populace
  • Health- Have a universal health care scheme to ensure a healthy population
  • Environmental- Currently much of the arable land of Kenya is under human settlement NOT in productive use. If Environmental issues are NOT addressed there will be competition (might escalate to resource-based conflicts) for food, water and energy.
  • Security- Small arms proliferation, conflict-ridden neighbors all this pose a danger to our security.
  • Justice System- Have an effective rule of law. Change the belief  “Why hire a lawyer when you can buy a Judge”

Pillar 3: Economic

Briefly the objectives under this pillar:

  • Have a growth rate of 10%
  • Have a National Savings Rate of 25%
  • Have Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)of 40% of the GDP

How do we achieve this? In this he spelt out the following as some of measures we could take:

  • Tourism- Through attracting tourists to enjoy our near-perfect climate, teeming wildlife, pristine white sandy beaches and amazing landscapes
  • Agriculture- Through value addition and this can be a simple as packaging and branding
  • Manufacturing- Through reducing cost of production and take advantage of regional trade.
  • Retail & Wholesale- Formalize our retail & wholesale trading
  • Financial Services- This the whole breath of credit, banking, insurance, stock market, investment banking etc.
  • BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) – This primarily in call centers and data processing activities for job creation and increased FDI


Finally he cupped it off by giving us some great take-away:

  • Show Leadership- Influence other people
  • Strategic Thinking- Be Unique
  • Guard your Reputation- Develop reputation capital by setting your own personal standards; Integrity
  • Build Networks- Develop your own social capital by donating personal time, join a club etc
  • Leverage on Technology- To multiple your efficiency

Recommended Readings

Posted in Ideas Meetings by Andrew Mutua. No Comments

Learning Windows 7 : Introduction

Let me point out that the entire series of articles is not intended as a study guide nor is it an in-depth look into the window 7 environment. Please check out many other resources on the internet and always consult with Microsoft sites should you want to seek any clarifications. I hope you enjoy reading the write-ups and that it may have guided you or enhanced your knowledge in some way.

With that out of the way, let us get started.

Where would we be without introductions? :-)

My name is Aki and my background covers various ICT fields. I’m currently on a study path towards Microsoft Silverlight as I believe that convergence of both desktop and internet applications are the future of technology.

Let’s get started on our journey to discovery of Windows 7.

Introduction to windows 7:

Windows 7 is that latest client Operating System from Microsoft. A client operating system is intended for end users and has programs and applications catering for such needs. Most of your work is done locally on your computer such as word processing, spreadsheets, editing photos, saving files etc. These are some of the tasks that end users perform on their computers. An operating system, as you may have guessed, is foundation software running on your computer that manages its hardware and also provides common services for additional programs that provide the overall functionality to your computer.

Microsoft currently has six different versions of the Windows 7 operating system. They are:

-          Windows 7 Starter

-          Windows 7 Home Basic

-          Windows 7 Home Premium

-          Windows 7 Professional

-          Windows 7 Enterprise

-          Windows 7 Ultimate

You can find all the new features of Windows 7 here on and may use this information to decide what version of the operating system best suits your needs.

Some improvements:

-          A faster boot-up and shutdown time

-          Easier to install and configure

-          Windows 7 Taskbar: Allows a user to quickly access the programs they use most.

-          Jump Lists: Allow a user to quickly access files that one is working on

-          Windows Touch: Support for touch screen devices

-          Windows XP Mode: For those users seeking to run older Windows XP applications.

-          Simpler home networking: Using home groups makes simpler home networking

-          View Available networks (VAN)

-          Internet Explorer 8

I highlight as important for many who are not aware of the Windows XP mode and are on Windows XP but want to upgrade to Windows 7, here is some information about this very important feature.

So what is Windows XP Mode?

Windows XP Mode is a free downloadable add-on for Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise. It has two parts:

-          The virtualization software itself

-          A disk image containing pre-installed, activated, licensed copy of Windows XP Professional with SP3 pre-installed and Internet Explorer 6

Windows XP Mode uses virtualization technology to let applications running on a virtualized copy of Windows XP Pro show up in the Windows 7 start menu and on Windows 7 desktop.

What is important to know is that you would first want to determine if your computer hardware processor and bios support Virtualization Technology. Once you have determined these requirements, you can go to the Microsoft site and download the free add-on. In future articles, we will go a bit more into depth about this feature.

I hope this very basic introduction has created some awareness for you. In the next article to be posted, we will go over some 32/64bit architecture and also some more information about installation of Windows 7.

Please feel free to ask of questions or post comments that you may have concerning this write up.

Posted in Uncategorized by aki. No Comments

Adobe Trails

I’ve been working on setting up a few presentations, thought it’d be good to get them rolling with Skunkworks. Anyone have particulars they’d like to get presented on?

The options i have at the moment are:

What’s new with Creative Suite 5

Adobe Photoshop CS5

Dreamweaver Cs5 round-tripping online

Indesign CS5. Where to publish?

Learning Windows 7

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be doing writeups on Windows 7.  I hope the information provided will be helpful to you.

The following topics will be covered :

a) Introduction
b) Installation
c) Managing Disks and Windows 7 enviroment
d) Managing users, groups and security
e) Network Connecitivity
f) Maintaining Windows 7
g) Backups and Recovery

Posted in Uncategorized by aki. No Comments


Location: Nairobi Serena Hotel
Description: – Register here, for Microsoft Customers/Resellers
Start Time: 0830
Date: 2010-08-17
End Time: 1100

Posted in Uncategorized by admin. No Comments