Science & Tech

FB, Twitter to introduce new guidelines for political ads

guidelines

MNA Tech Desk: In a fresh attempt to prevent foreign interference in elections globally, Facebook and Twitter have announced new guidelines for political advertisements on their platforms, beginning with the US, reported news agency. Facebook has begun labelling all political and issue ads, including a “Paid for by” disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the advertisement. Advertisers wanting to run ads with political content in the US will also need to verify their identity and location, the social media giant said in a blog post late Thursday. Twitter on the other hand is asking advertisers who wish to ...

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Anti-Facebook activists launch campaign

activists

MNA Science & Tech Desk: A coalition of activists announced a campaign to break up Facebook, arguing that the huge social network “has too much power over our lives and democracy.” The groups created a website, and a Facebook page, to garner support for a petition to the US Federal Trade Commission to require the social media firm to spin off Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger into competing networks, and to “impose strong privacy rules.” The effort was launched by a handful of groups focusing on digital rights, privacy and other social causes, reported news agency. “Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have ...

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Zuckerberg apologises to EU for FB data leak

Zuckerberg

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has apologised to EU lawmakers, saying the company had not done enough to prevent misuse of the social network and that regulation is “important and inevitable”. Meeting the leaders of the European Parliament on Tuesday, Zuckerberg stressed the importance of Europeans to Facebook and said he was sorry for not doing enough to prevent abuse of the platform. “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility. That was a mistake and I am sorry for it,” he said in his opening remarks, reports news agency. In response to ...

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BS-I reaches orbital position

orbital

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Bangabandhu satellite -I (BS-I), Bangladesh’s first geostationary communication, has reached the desired location (orbital slot) 10 days after of it was launched from Florida. “Our satellite has taken its position and started functioning normally,” Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL) Managing Director Md. Saiful Islam told news agency. The BS-I was successfully launched from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida of United States 16:14 local time (02:14 BST) on May 11. Most modern rocket “Block 5” version of the Falcon 9 of SpaceX has lifted the BS-I for the ...

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Apple to bring accessible coding for blind

accessible

MNA Science & Tech Desk: With an aim to offer students with disabilities an opportunity to learn the language of technology, Apple is bringing an accessible coding programme to schools serving the blind and deaf communities, first to the US and then to more schools around the world. Beginning this autumn, US schools supporting students with vision, hearing or other assistive needs will start teaching the “Everyone Can Code” curricula for Swift-Apple’s intuitive programming language, the Cupertino, California-headquartered tech giant said in a statement on Thursday. “Apple’s mission is to make products as accessible as possible,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s ...

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Amazon cuts Whole Foods prices

Whole Foods

Science & Tech Desk: On Wednesday, Whole Foods debuted a much-anticipated loyalty program that offers special discounts to Prime customers, including 10 percent off hundreds of sale items and rotating weekly specials such as $10 per pound off wild-caught halibut steaks. Those perks are available now in Florida and will roll out to all other stores starting this summer. Amazon previously announced free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods stores for members of Prime, its subscription club with fast shipping and video streaming. The new loyalty strategy will test whether Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal for Whole Foods brings much-feared disruption and ...

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FB suspends 200 apps over data misuse

data

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Facebook Inc has so far suspended around 200 apps in the first stage of its review into apps that had access to large quantities of user data, in a response to a scandal around political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. The apps were suspended pending a thorough investigation into whether they misused any data, said Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships. Facebook said it has looked into thousands of apps till date as part of an investigation that Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg announced on March 21. Zuckerberg had said the social network will investigate ...

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Google to launch ‘Take a Break’ for YouTubers

Google

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Google has rolled out a new series of controls that will allow YouTube users to set limits on their video viewing, and help them set “Take a Break” reminder from browsing the channels for too long, a media report said. The new feature will enable the users to set a reminder for every 15, 30, 60, 90 or 180 minutes, at which point the video will pause and users will receive “Take a Break” notification that they have been binge-watching videos for longer than they decided to. Users can then choose to dismiss the reminder ...

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Stations receive signal from Bangabandhu-1

stations

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Ground stations in Gazipur and Betbunia have received test signals from the Bangabandhu Satellite-1, said the state minister for ICT division Junaid Ahmed Palak. The two ground stations received the test signals from the country’s first ever communications satellite after 6:25pm US Eastern Time (BDST 4:25am), reported news agency. To deploy the satellite to its geostationary orbit, SpaceX separated it from the second stage booster some 33 minutes after the launch from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on Friday afternoon (local time). The satellite will be operated by its makers Thales Alenia Space for ...

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Kennedy Space Centre invites visitors for Bangabandhu-1 launch

Kennedy Space Centre

MNA Science & Te Ch Desk: Kennedy Space Centre in the United States has invited visitors to attend the launch of Bangladesh’s first satellite ‘Bangabandhu-1’ into orbit. Private space flight and technology company SpaceX has fixed the launch date for Bangladesh’s first satellite for Thursday between 4.12pm to 6.22pm local time, Kennedy Space Centre said in a statement. It said the satellite will be borne by a block 5 version of Falcon-9 rocket and launched into geostationary transfer orbit. Visitors will be able to watch the launch from both visitor complexes—Apollo/ Saturn V centre which is 3.9 miles away from ...

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Google launches Android Things for appliances

Google

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) on Monday launched a spinoff of its Android operating system for home appliances and other machines, following mixed results with Android offshoots for cars, smartwatches and televisions. ‘Android Things’, which arrives as Google opens its annual conference for developers, could bring its Google Assistant virtual helper to refrigerators and robots and familiar designs to cash registers and vending machines. “The goal is to enable them to be built faster, cheaper and more secure,” said Venkat Rapaka, a product management director at Google. Android derivatives aim to provide users with a consistent ...

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Bangabandhu satellite to be launched May 10

orbital

MNA Science & Tech Desk: After several rounds of delays, the launch of the Bangabandhu satellite has been set for May 10, says Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission chief Shahjahan Mahmood. The satellite will be launched at 4:00pm (US time) on the day, he said. A 30-member delegation from country led by State Minister for Information Tarana Halim will leave country for Florida on Monday to attend the launching programme, he said. Though the test results of Bangladesh’s first satellite was expected to be in hand by Saturday evening, the SpaceX authorities are yet to provide its results. The launching of ...

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NASA blasts off Mars lander, InSight

InSight

MNA Science & Tech Desk: NASA on Saturday launched its latest Mars lander, called InSight, designed to perch on the surface and listen for “Marsquakes” ahead of eventual human missions to explore the Red Planet. “Three, two, one, liftoff!” said a NASA commentator as the spacecraft blasted off on a dark, foggy morning atop an Atlas V rocket at 4:05 am Pacific time (1105 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, marking NASA’s first interplanetary launch from the US west coast. The $993 million project aims to expand our knowledge of interior conditions on Mars, inform efforts to send ...

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Twitter users urged to change passwords

passwords

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Twitter on Thursday urged its more than 300 million users to change their passwords, saying they had been unintentionally “unmasked” inside the company by a software bug. The social media site said it found no sign that hackers accessed the exposed data, but advised users to change their password to be safe. Twitter practice is to store password encrypted, or “hashed,” so they are masked to even people inside the company, Twitter chief technology officer Parag Agrawal explained in a blog post. The San Francisco-based internet company did not specify how many passwords were exposed ...

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FB Messenger with real time translations

Messenger

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Facebook on Tuesday gave its popular Messenger app the ability to translate missives in real time, deploying artificial intelligence to enable text conversations between people using different languages. Messenger has become a tool for businesses to connect with customers, and the ability to converse with customers in a variety of languages could help bump up advertising. “The ability to speak with anyone without any language barrier is something we are really excited about,” Messenger chief David Marcus said as Facebook kicked off its annual developers’ conference here. Buyers and sellers in Marketplace at Messenger will ...

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FB shrinks doubtful stories to fight fake news

doubtful stories

MNA Science & Tech Desk: After Facebook’s red warning labels to flag fake news backfired, the social networking giant is now literally sizing down the doubtful stories to prevent the triumph of falsehood on its platform. As part of its new strategy to combat fake news, Facebook wants its users to miss these stories at the time of scrolling their News Feed, while not withdrawing them altogether so as to walk a fine line “between censorship and sensibility”, according to a media report. When an article is verified as inaccurate by the social network’s third-party fact-checkers, Facebook will shrink the ...

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Gmail users receiving spams from own accounts: Report

own accounts

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Some Gmail users have claimed that they have been receiving ads sent to them from their own accounts despite updated passwords and two-factor authentication, the media reported. To get the messages past spam filters, the spammers have been using forged email headers to make them appear as though they are being sent via a ‘Canadian telecommunications company’ called ‘Telus’, Mashable reported on Sunday. The subject of the emails read ‘weight loss and growth supplements for men’. ‘We are aware of a spam campaign impacting a small subset of Gmail users and have actively taken measures ...

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Facebook takes action on 1.9m content

content

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Facebook took action on 1.9 million pieces of content related to the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda in the first quarter of 2018, twice as much as the last quarter of 2017. The key part is that Facebook found the vast majority of this content on its own. “In Q1 2018, 99 per cent of the IS and Al Qaeda contents we took action on was not user reported,” Monika Bickert, vice president of Global Policy Management at Facebook, said in a blog post late on Monday. “Taking action” means that Facebook removed the ...

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Huawei launches smartphone nova 3e

nova

MNA Tech Desk: Huawei Consumer Business Group has launched in the country a new superstar smartphone Huawei nova 3e which fuses high-end design and performance advances with exceptional value. This uniquely featured smartphone is specifically designed for dynamic, young professionals who closely follow the latest design trends. It features Huawei FullView Display 2.0 with a 5.84-inch FHD screen with 19:9 screen-to-body ratio for an immersive viewing experience. Huawei FullView Display 2.0 is supported by retina HD with 432 pixels per inch as well as a contrast ratio of 1500:1 that results in richer and more vibrant colours. Featuring a 16 ...

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Google celebrates Earth Day 2018

Earth Day 2018

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Google collaborates Earth Day 2018 with renowned ethologist and conservationist Dr Jane Goodall to speak about our planet’s future. In the illustrated video of Doodle, she speaks about the conversation efforts and animal welfare. The search engine giant partnered with Jane Goodall and The Jane Goodall Institute to create the graphic, through which Goodall shares her own personal message with the world. Every year, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 worldwide, and with the Earth Day-themed doodle, Google supports and promotes the environment protection. The theme of Earth Day 2018 is the end of ...

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NASA’s new planet hunter blasts off

planet

MNA Science & Tech Desk: NASA blasted off its newest planet hunting spacecraft, TESS, a $337 million satellite that aims to scan 85 percent of the skies for cosmic bodies where life may exist. “Three, two, one and liftoff!” said NASA commentator Mike Curie as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) soared into the cloudless, blue sky atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 6:51 pm (2251 GMT). The washing machine-sized spacecraft is built to search outside the solar system, scanning the nearest, brightest stars for signs of periodic dimming. These so-called “transits” may mean that ...

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First ever 3D animation cartoon in Bangla

animation

MNA Science & Tech Desk: The very first three-dimensional (3D) animation series based on children’s adventure story in Bangla is on the drawing board as the trial of ‘Chacha Bahinir Ajob Kahini’ has been released on Youtube channel. Maverick Studios plans to introduce children classics, including fairytales of Bangla literature to the new generation. Wahid Ibn Reza, a Bangladeshi filmmaker working with Sony Pictures Imageworks in Vancouver is the creative producer of the project. Wishing Shubha Nabarsha to everyone through Facebook, Reza said, ‘Personally, I have long been trying to create some contents in Bangla for our future generation. Especially ...

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150m Bangladeshis use mobile phones

mobile phones

MNA Science & Tech Desk: The total number of Bangladesh’s mobile phones subscribers reached nearly 150 million at the end of February, with addition of 3.66 million new users in the first two months of the year, statistics of the country’s telecom regulator showed on Tuesday. The number of subscribers in the country reached 148.76 million in February, news agency reported citing a data by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). Bangladesh has now four mobile companies, three of whom — including Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink — are foreign-backed cellphone operators. However, the total number of Bangladesh’s mobile phone subscribers reached ...

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Facebook is now a fakebook: Joy

Joy

MNA Science Desk: The young generation’s addiction to social media is gradually taking an alarming turn, said Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy on Sunday. ‘Seeing their addiction to the internet, I’ve to say that Facebook is now a fakebook,’ he said while inaugurating the two-day Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Summit at a city hotel. Joy said hated speeches on the internet that push the young generation to confrontation can in no way be called open speech. ‘This can’t be supported at all,’ he said. The ICT expert said the government is taking a stern stance against the ...

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Google celebrates Pahela Baishakh

Pahela

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Search engine giant Google is celebrating Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla new year, by replacing its regular home page graphic with a special doodle for the Bangladeshi surfers. Google’s new Doodle Saturday featured a parade of colorful banners in the shape of an elephant and Mangal Shobhajatra, reported news agency. The calendar was originally commissioned by Mughal Emperor Akbar who introduced the calendar to facilitate tax collections in the spring-just after the harvest. Google Doodle is a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepage that is intended to celebrate holidays, ...

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Bangabandhu-1 to be launched on May 4

orbital

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Country’s first commercial satellite ‘Bangabandhu-1’ will be launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on May 4, reported news agency. Private space flight and technology company SpaceX has confirmed the launch date for Bangladesh’s first satellite, BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmud confirmed this to news agency. SpaceX had previously planned to launch the satellite using Falcon-9 rockets on Dec 16 of last year, but the launch was postponed due to damage from Hurricane Irma. The ‘Bangabandhu’ Satellite received the green light at a cabinet meeting in 2015. BTRC signed a loan deal worth Tk 20 billion with Thales ...

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Twitter to curb abuse, hate trolls

passwords

MNA Tech Desk: Aiming to tackle abuse and hate trolls, Twitter has teamed up with two researchers from Harvard and Princeton Universities to study online abuse. In an experiment that began on Friday, Twitter will publicise its rules to users to test whether this would improve civility, the researchers wrote on Medium. “We proposed this idea to Twitter and designed an experiment to evaluate it. This project also pioneers an open, evidence-based approach to improving people’s experiences online, while protecting their privacy,” said Susan Benesch, faculty associate at Harvard University and J Nathan Matias, Post-doctoral research associate at Princeton University. ...

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