As we retire Year 2013 to take on Year 2014, let's recap a few of the tech news for 2013 in a quiz. The answers to most of the questions can be found in various articles that appeared in this column over the past year. (The answers are also provided at the end of this article.)
1) Major contributors to the lack of significant tech advancements in Nigeria in 2013 include: (a) Massive corruption in most government organizations, (b) Poor education and poorly-performing lecturers/professors, (c) Absence of systems, (d) Incompetent decision makers, (e) All of the above.
2) Assuming you are located in Jabi quarters of Abuja, Nigeria, and you issue the "ping" command to try to access the nearest base station for Google (www.google.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com), Yahoo (www.yahoo.com), Baidu (www.baidu.com), or Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria (www.oauife.edu.ng), which of these sites will require the shortest access time and how long will it take?
3) The live tiles in Windows 8 "bristle with activity;" they are quite pleasing to the eye and are also endowed with impressive on-the-fly functionalities. The tiles can also significantly eat up the available data in your data plan: True or False?
4) This smartphone manufacturer outspent (in percentage of revenue) its competitors in market research in 2013: a) Apple, b) Huawei, c) Samsung, d) BlackBerry.
5) The first main provider of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is: (a) Coursera, (b) edX, (c) Udacity.
6) The MOOCs program with the largest number of student enrollment in 2013 is: (a) Coursera, (b) edX, (c) Udacity.
7) True or False: You can use the credit obtained from a MOOC course toward a college/university degree?
8) The genesis of computer-grading of essays can be attributed to the work of: (a) Bill Gates, (b) Steve Jobs, (c) Thomas Landauer, (d) Ellis Batten Page.
9) Big Data Analytics was quite hot in 2013. One complicating factor in Big Data problems is the fact that both structured and unstructured databases are involved: True or False?
10) The Internet money Bitcoin is accepted by some merchants for the payment of all sorts of purchases. True or False?
11) What is the main advantage of Bitcoin over other currencies like the US Dollar, Euro, or Nigerian Naira?
12) What are the major troubling facts about Bitcoin as of today?
13) Computer programs that can recognize your face in a crowd require the data that you provide in your social network sites, such as Facebook: True or False?
14) Which of these countries has the fastest Internet connection (bandwidth) in the world in 2013? (a) U.S. (b) Japan, (c) South Korea, (d) Hong Kong.
15) In terms of the average global Internet bandwidth at the beginning of 2013, China can be found in: (a) top 5 countries, (b) top 20 countries, (c) top 100 countries, (d) top 150 countries.
16) True or False: At the beginning of 2013, the Internet penetration rate in Nigeria was higher than in India by a factor of almost 3 to 1?
17) This individual, working for a contractor of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) leaked America's global surveillance activities, in an event that was considered by some to be the worst of its kind in U.S. history. Who is this individual?
18) Which of the following persons invented the computer mouse and passed away in the middle of 2013? (a) Steve Jobs, (b) Douglas Engelbart, (c) Thomas Edison, (d) Edward C. Barnes.
19) In January of this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launching of a software tool that sifts through the personal data of the company's users - an event that made some think Facebook was taking aim at Google's bread-and-butter search engine. What was this tool by Facebook?
20) BlackBerry has been having a difficult time for about two years now. Which of the following statements about the company is False in 2013? (a) It said it would lay off 4,500 employees, (b) CEO Thorsten Heins left the company, (c) BlackBerry took a nearly $1 billion charge for unsold phones, (d) None of the above.
21) The state-owned telecom company, China Mobile, has been charged by the Chinese government with funds of over $30 billion to come up with this type of telecom technology: (a) 3G, (b) 4G, (c) Artificial Brain, (d) Face Recognition.
22) On September 20, 2013, Apple released two new versions of its iPhone line of products: 5C and 5S. Which of these is the "high-end," with the capability for fingerprinting?
23) The engineering community (aerospace, chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, etc.) have totally bought into the Cloud Computing paradigm, and are using the technology for competitive advantage: True or False?
24) Which is the world's most developed mobile money system that is used in Afghanistan, India, and Kenya?
25) The most popular free-text-messaging program worldwide in 2013 is: (a) WhatsApp, (b) Kakao Talk, (c) Line, (d) WeChat.
1. (e) All of the above; 2. Google, 60 to 90 milliseconds; 3. True; 4. (c) Samsung; 5. (c) Udacity; 6. (a) Coursera, with over 1.6 million students; 7. False; 8. (d) Ellis Batten Page in the mid-1960s; 9. True; 10. True; 11. Anonymity and lack of a central overseeing authority; 12. Risk associated with its volatility and the fact that it is currently not backed by anything, in case the currency fails; 13. Generally True; 14. (c) South Korea; 15. (d) top 150 countries; 16. True; 17. Edward J. Snowden; 18. (b) Douglas Engelbart; 19. Graph Search; 20. (d) None of the above; 21. (b) 4G phone technology; 22. iPhone 5S; 23. False; 24. M-Pesa (from Kenya); 25. (a) WhatsApp.