Science & Tech

FB ‘too slow’ to fight hate speech in Myanmar

hate speech

MNA Tech Desk: Facebook has been “too slow” to address hate speech in Myanmar and is acting to remedy the problem, the company said in a statement on Thursday, reported news agency. The acknowledgement came a day after a Reuters investigation revealed how the company has struggled to address a wave of vitriolic posts about the minority Rohingya, targeted last year in what the United Nations has termed ethnic cleansing. More than 1,000 examples of hate speech about the Rohingya and other Muslims were still online as of last week, including posts comparing them to dogs and maggots. “The ethnic ...

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SpaceX vows manned flight to space station

SpaceX

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Tech magnate Elon Musk’s SpaceX vowed Monday to send its first astronauts into orbit on schedule next year—part of a drive to restore America’s dominance of the space race, reported news agency. Gwynne Shotwell, the aerospace manufacturer’s president, told journalists in Los Angeles an unmanned flight to the International Space Station in November would pave the way for a manned mission in April 2019. NASA awarded contracts to SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 as part of its commercial crew programme, aimed at helping private industry build spaceships to reach low-Earth orbit. On 3 August the ...

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Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 9

Galaxy Note 9

MNA Tech Desk: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled the Galaxy Note 9 “phablet” in New York in a key product launch that it hopes will attract younger customers with stepped-up features and services for gamers and music-lovers, reported news agency. Launching the Note 9 at 11:00am in New York, or Friday midnight in Seoul, Samsung also announced partnerships with global hit game Fortnite and music-streaming service Spotify Technology SA in a stepped-up challenge to Apple Inc in the premium-phone race. Samsung’s new focus marks a shift away from its previous positioning of the Note as a multi-tasking device popular with ...

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FB asks US banks to share customer data

customer data

MNA Tech Desk: Facebook has asked major US banks to share customer data to allow it to develop new services on the social network’s Messenger texting platform, reported news agency. Facebook had discussions with Chase, JPMorgan, Citibank, and Wells Fargo several months ago, said the source, who asked to remain anonymous. The Silicon Valley-based social network also contacted US Bancorp, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. Facebook, which has faced intense criticism for sharing user data with many app developers, was interested in information including bank card transactions, checking account balances, and where purchases were ...

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bdtickets.com brings online Eid tickets

bdtickets.com

MNA Tech Desk: Online ticketing platform, bdtickets.com, has offered online ticket for the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha, said a press release on Saturday. People planning to travel, can easily purchase tickets through this online ticketing platform from the comfort of their homes. Interested customers can place purchase request on the platform for their desired destinations along with return tickets and make payment conveniently using their debit/credit cards or mobile wallet (such as bKash, Rocket etc.). Customers can also call directly to the bdtickets.com’s contact center by dialing 16460. The call center agents will process the ticket purchase requests. Having started its journey ...

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3G, 4G services suspended

4G

MNA Tech Desk: The government has suspended 3G and 4G mobile internet services for 24 hours in the wake of the ongoing student agitation demanding safe road, reported news agency. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission issued the order on Saturday evening. Accordingly, mobile phone internet subscribers have started facing the consequence — slow speed of internet — since 7:30pm, some subscribers said. The police, earlier, recommended suspension of 3G and 4G network of mobile internet services as protesting students have been carrying out their demonstrations using social media network, especially Facebook. The BTRC step came after a group of youths ...

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Xiaomi launches ‘best selfie’ smartphone

Xiaomi

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Global technology company Xiaomi on Friday announced Redmi S2 to be available nationwide in the Bangladesh market, reported news agency. Following the announcement users can purchase Redmi S2 now from daraz.com.bd, more than 100 Mi Authorized Stores and 1000 retail stores starting Tk 14,999, said a press release. Xiaomi vice president and India managing director Manu Jain said, “We are excited to extend our best selfie smartphone at an affordable price to the entire Bangladesh market. With Redmi S2 also available in offline stores along with online, we hope to extend our share to the ...

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App ‘Joy’ to combat violence against women, children

combat

MNA Tech Desk: ‘Joy’, a mobile app on receiving emergency support to combat violence against women and children, was launched, reports news agency. The mobile-based Joy application software has been developed by Multi-Sectoral Program on Violence Against Women (MSPVAW) of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs with funding and technical support from the a2i Programme in an attempt to provide immediate assistance to women and children who are already and/or are about to be victims of torture or violence. During an emergency, the app user can instantaneously send distress SMS to the Police Super, Deputy Police Commissioner of the ...

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Google celebrates Feroza Begum’s 88th birthday

Feroza

MNA Tech Desk: Search engine giant Google has created a new Doodle on its homepage, marking Bangladeshi iconic singer Feroza Begum’s 88th birth anniversary, reported news agency. Feroza’s voice and ability to convey deep emotion played an important role in popularising Nazrul Sangeet throughout the country. She (28 July 1930 – 9 September 2014) was a Nazrul Sangeet singer. She was honoured with the Independence Day Award in 1979 by the government of Bangladesh. Feroza Begum first sang in All India Radio while studying in the sixth grade. She met National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam at the age of 10 ...

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Underground lake found on Mars

lake

MNA Science Desk: Using a radar instrument on an orbiting spacecraft, scientists have spotted what they said on Wednesday appears to be a sizable salt-laden lake under ice on the southern polar plain of Mars, a body of water they called a possible habitat for microbial life. The reservoir they detected — roughly 12 miles (20 km) in diameter, shaped like a rounded triangle and located about a mile (1.5 km) beneath the ice surface — represents the first stable body of liquid water ever found on Mars. The researchers said it could take years to verify whether something is ...

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Samsung launches Galaxy J8

Galaxy J8

MNA Tech Desk: Samsung has launched a brand new smartphone styled Galaxy J8, the latest addition to its most popular range of J series smartphones in Bangladesh, reported news agency. The world’s leading smartphone manufacturer came up with the new brand with the aim “to bring amazing flagship features within midrange”. “Its design has been engineered to offer improved durability and comfortable grip, without compromising on style,” the company said in a news release issued in Dhaka on Tuesday. The Samsung Galaxy J8 has a 16MP and 5MP dual rear camera setup. “The phone is ideal for low light photography ...

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Snapchat to shut down payment service

payment service

MNA Tech Desk: Photo-messaging app Snapchat is reportedly terminating its digital peer-to-peer payment service “Snapcash” on 30 August, ending its four-year long partnership with US-based mobile payment company “Square”. “Yes, we’re discontinuing the ‘Snapcash’ feature as of 30 August 2018. ‘Snapcash’ was our first product created in partnership with another company – ‘Square’. We’re thankful for all the Snapchatters who used Snapcash for the last four years and for Square’s partnership,” TechCrunch quoted a Snapchat spokesperson as saying late on Sunday. “Snapcash” used the regular number, expiration date and card verification value (CVV) of a debit card, allowing Snapchatters to ...

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Twitter suspended 58m accounts in 4Q

Twitter suspended

MNA Tech Desk: Twitter suspended at least 58 million user accounts in the final three months of 2017, according to data obtained by The Associated Press. The figure highlights the company’s newly aggressive stance against malicious or suspicious accounts in the wake of Russian disinformation efforts during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Last week, Twitter confirmed a Washington Post report that it had suspended 70 million accounts in May and June. The cavalcade of suspensions has raised questions as to whether the crackdown could affect Twitter’s user growth and whether the company should have warned investors earlier. The company has ...

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Apple supports Malala Fund expansion in Latin America

Malala Fund

MNA Tech Desk: Apple launched a new collaboration between its 10 Apple Developer Academies in Brazil and Malala Fund to advance girls’ education opportunities, reported news agency. As part of its new expansion into Latin America, Malala Fund, which works to provide safe, quality secondary education and opportunities for girls, has also offered grants to local advocates in Brazil. The advocates join Malala Fund’s network of Gulmakai champions and will implement projects across the country designed to empower girls, teachers and policymakers through skills development, school enrollment efforts and education advocacy. The challenge will harness the creativity and ingenuity of ...

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Microsoft Teams gets a free version

free

MNA Tech Desk: Taking on professional collaboration tool Slack, Microsoft’s Teams is now available for free in 40 languages worldwide, reported news agency. Currently, more than 200,000 businesses across 181 markets globally use Teams-a hub for chatting, sharing documents, video and voice calling in Microsoft 365 — to collaborate and get work done. “Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or part of a team inside a large organisation, you can start using Teams today,” Ron Markezich, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft, said in a statement on Friday. The free version, that can be used in a organisation with ...

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Facebook faces record UK fine for data misuse

customer data

MNA Science Desk: Britain’s information regulator said on Wednesday she intends to fine Facebook for breaches of data protection law as her office investigates how millions of users’ data was improperly accessed by consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has faced questioning by US and EU lawmakers over how Cambridge Analytica improperly got hold of the personal data of 87 million Facebook users from a researcher. Updating on her investigation into the use of data analytics by political campaigns, Britain’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said she intended to fine Facebook 500,000 pounds ($663,850), a small figure for a company ...

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Samsung opens world’s biggest smartphone factory

Galaxy J8

MNA Tech Desk: Samsung opened the world’s largest smartphone factory in India on Monday, a move Prime Minister Narendra Modi said would help transform Asia’s third-largest economy into a global manufacturing hub, reported news agency. Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in inaugurated the giant assembling plant — an expansion of an existing Samsung facility — in the city of Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi. “The Noida plant has now become Samsung’s largest smartphone manufacturing unit,” Moon said, as the company announced that it planned to eventually manufacture 120 million smartphones a year at the factory. The decision ...

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AIDS vaccine passes key early test

AIDS

MNA Science Desk: The near 40-year quest for an AIDS vaccine received a hopeful boost Saturday when scientists announced that a trial drug triggered an immune response in humans and shielded monkeys from infection. Shown to be safe in humans, the candidate vaccine has now advanced to the next phase of the pre-approval trial process, and will be tested on 2,600 women in southern Africa to see whether it prevents HIV infection. While the results so far have been encouraging, the research team and outside experts warn there are no guarantees it will actually work in the next trial phase ...

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India slams WhatsApp over toxic rumours

rumours

MNA Tech Desk: India has told WhatsApp to take “immediate action” after a spate of horrific lynchings sparked by false rumours being shared on the hugely popular smartphone messaging service, reported news agency. More than 25 people have been killed in India in recent months after rumours were spread on smartphones about child kidnappers, thieves and sexual predators. The attacks-usually targeting outsiders-have left authorities scrambling to mount an effective response, with awareness campaigns and public alerts having limited effect. A stern statement issued by the electronics and IT ministry late on Tuesday expressed the government’s “deep disapproval” to the senior ...

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Google, FB tricking users about privacy rights

users

MNA Tech Desk: Tech giants Google, Facebook and Microsoft have been using “dark patterns” around privacy settings to discourage users in the European Union from exercising their privacy rights, according to a new report by the Norwegian Consumer Council. The popups from Facebook, Google and Windows 10 have design, symbols and wording that nudge users away from the privacy friendly choices, said the study. The consumer watchdog studied the privacy settings of the firms and found a series of “dark patterns”, including intrusive default settings and misleading wording, reported news agency. It picked Facebook, Google, and Microsoft for the study ...

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Apple rebuilds mapping app

mapping

MNA Tech Desk: Apple Inc is rebuilding the widely used mapping application on its iPhones from the ground up with its own dataset, but Amsterdam-based TomTom NV will continue to be a data provider for Apple’s maps app, Cupertino, reported enws agency. Apple did not say how its use of TomTom would compare to its previous use, but TomTom shares fell after the news. Apple said it is completely rebuilding its Maps app – the most frequently used app on its iPhones – with data gathered by its own fleet of sensor-equipped vans and with anonymous data from iPhone users ...

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Longest lunar eclipse of the century in July

lunar eclipse

MNA Science Desk: The longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century is just a month away. The total phase of the “blood moon” eclipse of July 27 will last 1 hour and 43 minutes, during which Earth’s natural satellite will turn a spectacular red or ruddy-brown color. From start to finish, the entire celestial event will last nearly 4 hours. The eclipse won’t be visible to viewers in North America, except via webcasts. But observers in much of Africa, the Middle East, southern Asia and the Indian Ocean region will get an eyeful, given cooperative weather, according to lunar ...

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PayPal launches debit card

debit card

MNA Tech Desk: PayPal Holdings Inc said it is launching a debit card for users of its mobile app Venmo in a bid to broaden its reach with younger users, reported news agency. Venmo, which has been part of PayPal since 2013, is one of the more popular mobile applications for person-to-person payments in the United States. Users of Venmo’s Mastercard debit card can pay in stores using the balance on their app rather than having to transfer funds to their bank account, it said. The San Jose, California based company in October rolled out the ability for Venmo users ...

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Researchers create smallest ‘computer’

Researchers

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) in the US have come out with the world’s smallest ‘computer’ — a device measuring just 0.3 mm to a side, completely dwarfed by a grain of rice. Unlike traditional desktops that retain their program and data with or without a power back-up, these new microdevices lose all prior programming and data as soon as they are switched off, news agency reported. In addition to the RAM and photovoltaics, the new micro-computing device — Michigan Micro Mote — has processors and wireless transmitters and receivers. As the Motes ...

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Intel CEO resigns over consensual relationship with employee

CEO

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Intel says CEO Brian Krzanich has resigned after the company learned of a “past consensual relationship with an Intel employee.” “An ongoing investigation by internal and external counsel has confirmed a violation of Intel’s non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers,” the company said in an announcement on Thursday. Chief Financial Officer Robert Swan will serve as interim chief executive officer, effective immediately. A source familiar with the matter said the company has a strict non-fraternization policy that prevents managers from engaging in relationships with employees. Employees who see inappropriate workplace behavior are required to ...

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Scientist hunts for ‘monster DNA’ in Scotland

science

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Tales of a giant creature lurking beneath the murky waves of Loch Ness have been around for more than 1,500 years — and one academic hopes the marvels of modern science can finally unravel the mystery. Neil Gemmell has travelled from the University of Otago in New Zealand to collect water samples in the Scottish lake, in the hope of finding out more about the creatures that inhabit its depths. “Over 1,000 people claim that they have seen a monster. Maybe there is something extraordinary out there,” he told news agency, as he dropped a ...

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FB to offer interactive game shows

game shows

MNA Tech Desk: Facebook said it is offering a series of new formats for its online video platform including interactive game shows, quizzes and polls, reported news agency. The new formats will be available to those creating video content on the social network, which is searching for a niche to compete against rivals ranging from Netflix to Google-owned YouTube. One of the features from Facebook will allow interactivity, which could be used for live game shows or challenges which offer cash prizes. “We believe that watching video doesn’t have to be passive, and that many types of traditional entertainment formats ...

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