Science & Tech

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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Google to invest $550m in JD.com

JD

MNA Tech Desk: Google will invest $550 million in Chinese e-commerce powerhouse JD.com, part of the US internet giant’s efforts to expand its presence in fast-growing Asian markets and battle rivals including Amazon.com. The two companies described the investment announced on Monday as one piece of a broader partnership that will include the promotion of JD.com products on Google’s shopping service. This could help JD.com expand beyond its base in China and Southeast Asia and establish a meaningful presence in US and European markets. Company officials said the agreement initially would not involve any major new Google initiatives in China, ...

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Apple closing iPhone security gap

security gap

MNA Tech Desk: Apple is closing a security gap that allowed outsiders to pry personal information from locked iPhones without a password, a change that will thwart law enforcement agencies that have been exploiting the vulnerability to collect evidence in criminal investigations. The loophole will be shut down in a forthcoming update to Apple’s iOS software, which powers iPhones, reported news agency. Once fixed, iPhones will no longer be vulnerable to intrusion via the Lightning port used both to transfer data and to charge iPhones. The port will still function after the update, but will shut off data an hour ...

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Google celebrates Father’s Day

Google

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Google is celebrating Father’s Day 2018 with a fun Doodle that features hand-printed dinosaurs, reported news agency. The Father’s Day Google Doodle shows a collection of colorful dinosaurs made from children’s handprints. It echoes a similar dinosaur family Google Doodle used on Mother’s Day 2018, which also portrayed the pre-historic creatures made out of multicolored hand prints. Father’s Day was started in the early 20th century and falls on the third Sunday of June — it’s on Sunday, June 17 this year. President Richard Nixon officially gave Father’s Day national recognition in the U.S. when ...

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People switching from Facebook: Study

switching

MNA Tech Desk: Many people are switching from Facebook to closed forums like WhatsApp to discuss daily news because of worries about privacy, fake stories and toxic debates, a survey said on Thursday. The latest Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that news consumption via Facebook is falling, particularly among the young, who prefer WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat. Facebook remains the most popular social network for news, with 36 per cent using it in the last week. But it has lost ground to other apps, especially WhatsApp, which has tripled in popularity as ...

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Vietnam tightens grip on Google, FB

Vietnamese

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Vietnamese lawmakers approved a controversial cyber-security law on Tuesday, voting amid tight security following weekend protests over other legislation that turned violent in some parts of the communist country. The law, approved by 91 per cent of attending lawmakers, would require Facebook, Google and other global technology firms to store locally “important” personal data on users in Vietnam and open offices in the country. The companies have pushed back against the provisions. The vote took place two days after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in several cities and provinces to denounce a plan ...

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Google won’t deploy AI to build weapons

JD

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Google will not allow its artificial intelligence software to be used in weapons or unreasonable surveillance efforts, the Alphabet Inc unit said Thursday in standards for its business decisions in the nascent field, reported news agency. The new restrictions could help Google management defuse months of protest by thousands of employees against the company’s work with the U.S. military to identify objects in drone video. Google will pursue other government contracts including around cybersecurity, military recruitment and search and rescue, chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a blog post Thursday. “We want to be clear ...

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FB shares data with Huawei, Lenovo

Huawei

MNA Science & Tech  Desk: Facebook Inc said Tuesday it has data sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese companies including Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone maker, which has come under scrutiny from US intelligence agencies on security concerns. The social media company said Huawei, computer maker Lenovo Group, and smartphone makers OPPO and TCL Corp were among about 60 companies worldwide that received access to some user data after they signed contracts to re-create Facebook-like experiences for their users. Members of Congress raised concerns after The New York Times reported on the practice on Sunday, saying that data ...

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Pickaboo pre-booking starts for Samsung

Pickaboo

MNA Tech Desk: Pickaboo online has started the pre-book of the brand new Samsung Galaxy J6. The Galaxy J6 is bringing the infinity display for the first time in Samsung’s most popular range of J series smartphones in Bangladesh. Customers can pre-book this Smartphone exclusively from Pickaboo.com from 22nd May to 30th May 2018. With every pre-book, customers will get a free football jersey, EMI facility for 12 months at zero interest, and free home delivery. The delivery of the pre-booked Galaxy J6 will initiate from June 1st Week, 2018. The smartphone will be available in black, gold and blue. ...

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Egypt bans YouTube for one month

one month

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Egypt’s top administrative court ordered on Saturday to block YouTube streaming website for one month over hosting a video that denigrates Prophet Muhammad of Islam, the Egyptian lawyer who filed the lawsuit said. “The ruling is final, unappealable and enforceable,” Xinhua quoted lawyer Mohamed Hamed Salem as saying. A lower administrative court has previously ordered the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) to do so, but the latter appealed against the ruling, citing it was hard to implement. The top administrative court rejected the NTRA appeal on Saturday and upheld the temporary ban as a final, ...

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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

mapping

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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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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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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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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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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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

Twitter suspended

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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Zuckerberg to testify before US Congress on April 11

Zuckerberg

MNA Science & Technology Desk: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the US congressional committee after the Cambridge Analytica scandal over alleged misuse of users’ personal data. He will testify before the US House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11, the panel said on Wednesday. Facebook has come under fire in recent weeks after it was revealed that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for US President Donald Trump’s campaign, gained access to the personal data of 50 million Facebook users. “This hearing will be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues ...

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