Science & Tech

Ginger: Nepal’s first robot waiter

robot waiter

MNA Tech Desk: “Please enjoy your meal,” says Nepal’s first robot waiter, Ginger, as she delivers a plate of steaming dumplings to a table of hungry customers. The poor Himalayan nation is better known for its soaring mountain peaks than technological prowess, but a group of self-taught young innovators are seeking to change that. Local start-up Paaila Technology built Ginger, a 1.5 metre (five-foot) tall robot, from scratch and programmed her to understand both English and Nepali. The bilingual humanoid robot — named Ginger after a common ingredient in Nepali cuisine — can even crack jokes like Apple’s Siri or ...

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FB launched video app ‘Lasso’

video app

MNA Tech Desk: Facebook has launched a video app called Lasso that enables users to make and share short-format videos with filters and special effects. The app can be considered a Facebook version of the TikTok app that has become quite popular in the past year. Bowen Pan, a product manager at Facebook, tweeted the launch on Saturday, and added it was available only in the US for now, reported news agency. Equipped with video-editing tools, the app allows users to add text as well as music to their videos. It is available for both Android and iOS. All profiles ...

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4 Bangladeshi projects get ASOCIO-2018 award

ASOCIO

MNA Tech Desk: Four government and non-government organizations of Bangladesh received honorary awards under four categories in ASOCIO Digital Summit 2018, reported news agency. The summit was organized by Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization (ASOCIO), a grouping of ICT industry associations representing the Asian-Oceania region. The Bangladeshi organizations were named in the award ceremony of ASOCIO Digital Summit 2018 held at Ena International Hotel in Japan capital Tokyo. Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL) got the award under outstanding ICT company award category, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) got award under outstanding user organization category, Development of National ICT ...

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Samsung gives first glimpse of foldable phone

foldable phone

MNA Tech Desk: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its much-anticipated foldable phone in San Francisco, urging Android developers to start writing apps for it. The South Korean tech company needs to get the foldable phone right to reverse steep declines in profit for its mobile division and restore some of the cachet its brand has lost to Apple Inc. Foldable phones promise the screen of a small tablet in a pocket-sized device. Justin Denison, a senior vice president of mobile product marketing, showed a prototype with a screen he said measured 7.3 inches (18.5 cm) diagonally. Folded in two it ...

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Twitter deletes over 10,000 accounts

accounts

MNA Tech Desk: Twitter Inc deleted more than 10,000 automated accounts posting messages that discouraged people from voting in Tuesday’s US election and wrongly appeared to be from Democrats, after the party flagged the misleading tweets to the social media company. “We took action on relevant accounts and activity on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesman said in an email. The removals took place in late September and early October. Twitter removed more than 10,000 account, according to three sources familiar with the Democrats’ effort. The number is modest, considering that Twitter has previously deleted millions of accounts it determined were responsible ...

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Hyundai integrating solar panels

Hyundai

MNA Tech Desk: Hyundai and Kia are planning to introduce solar roofs on some models. The new tech will help owners rely less on increasingly expensive fuel. They are set to implement the solar technology in hybrid, fully electric and internal combustion vehicles. The first generation tech will be used in hybrids, weaving silicon solar panels into the car’s roof. Hyundai believes the solar panels can charge the batteries by between 30 and 60 per cent capacity on a normal day. Second-generation tech will be installed on internal combustion vehicles. Hyundai plans to integrate a semi-transparent solar roof with a ...

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New dinosaur species found in Argentina

dinosaur

MNA Science & Tech Desk: A team of Spanish and Argentine paleontologists have discovered the remains of a dinosaur that lived 110 million years ago in the centre of the country, the National University of La Matanza revealed Friday. The remains came from three separate dinosaurs from the herbivorous group of sauropods, the best known of which are the Diplodocus and Brontosaurus. This new species has been named Lavocatisaurus agrioensis. “We found most of the cranial bones: the snout, the jaws, a lot of teeth, also the bones that define the eye sockets for example and, in that way, we ...

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Apple launches new Macs, iPad

iPad

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Apple has unveiled a new version of its MacBook Air laptop, this time made of recycled aluminum, as well as a new Mac Mini and an iPad Pro, all pricier than their predecessors. Nearly 10 years after the launch of the first MacBook Air by the late Steve Jobs, his successor Tim Cook presented on Tuesday the latest version of this PC, just 1.56 cm thick, compared to 1.94 cm (0.75 inches). This model was made with 100 percent recycled aluminum and recycled plastic, a change which reduces its carbon footprint, Apple said. Last year ...

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Satellite launched to study climate change

change

MNA Science Desk: The first Franco-Chinese satellite was launched into orbit on Monday to study ocean surface winds and waves around the clock, better predict cyclones and improve scientists’ understanding of climate change. A Long March 2C carrier rocket blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China’s Gobi Desert at 0043 GMT to enter orbit 520 kilometres (323 miles) above the Earth, according to China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence. The 650-kilogram (1,430 pound) machine is the first satellite jointly built by China and France and will allow climate scientists to better ...

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iPay and Banglalink signs an agreement

iPay

MNA Tech Desk: iPay Systems Limited, has signed a strategic agreement with Banglalink at Banglalink Head Office in Gulshan. This unique partnership is set to unleash a fresh wave of enthusiasm in the rapidly growing digital economy of the country. The agreement was signed by Founder & CEO of iPay Systems Limited Mr. Zakaria Swapan and CCO of Banglalink Ritesh Kumar Singh, on behalf of their respective organizations. The agreement enhances the opportunity of Banglalink’s digital drive where it will closely work to facilitate payment solution for various Banglalink digital products including recharge as well as digital touch points like ...

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Google sacks 48 staff over sexual harassment

feature

MNA Tech Desk: Google has sacked 48 people for sexual harassment in the last two years, it has emerged. The terminations included 13 senior managers. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, made the announcement in an email to all employees on Thursday, reported news agency. The email, obtained by CNBC, was in response to a New York Times story that the tech giant had protected Android creator Andy Rubin despite misconduct allegations. Mr Rubin denied the accusations. Mr Pichai’s email, co-signed by vice president of people operations Eileen Naughton, read: “We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and ...

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Facebook simplifies Messenger

Messenger

MNA Tech Desk: Facebook on Tuesday announced an overhaul of its Messenger smartphone app in an effort to simplify the service for its 1.3 billion monthly global users. The social network began rolling out a redesigned version featuring three tabs instead of nine, saying it was “going back to its roots” seven years after the standalone app’s launch. “We build one feature after another; they’re piling up,” Messenger chief Stan Chudnovsky said of the service, which has grown from a simple messaging app to one that lets users make video calls, send money and more. The updated tabs allow users ...

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Google Doodle celebrates Shamsur Rahman’s birthday

Shamsur

MNA Tech Desk: Search engine giant Google has created a new Doodle on its homepage celebrating the life of Bangladeshi poet, columnist and journalist Shamsur Rahman on the occasion of his 89th birth anniversary, reported news agency. Shamsur Rahman (23 October 1929 – 17 August 2006) who emerged in the latter half of the 20th century wrote more than sixty books of poetry and is considered as one of the key figures in Bengali literature. He is also remembered as the “unofficial poet laureate of Bangladesh.” Rahman published more than sixty books of poetry, ranging from love sonnets to patriotic ...

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Huawei to set up manufacturing unit in India

Huawei

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Chinese telecom giant Huawei Global Vice-President Jim Xu said it plans to begin manufacturing mobile phones in India by next year. Huawei already has a presence in India through its sub-brand “Honor” which is sold through online channels. The company’s plans for local manufacturing is mainly driven by the fact that India levies 20 percent duty on imported devices, reported news agency. However, Jim Xu also reportedly said that his company is also working on plans to open 1,000 company-branded stores across India in the next 2-3 years, in a bid to have a share ...

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ASUS announces new Vivobook S15 (S530)

ASUS

MNA Tech Desk: ASUS Bangladesh announced VivoBook S15 (S530), a stylish and lightweight Windows 10 laptops designed for the young, and the young at heart, reported news agency. The new vivobook S530 features bold color-blocking designs, with five vibrant color options and several textured finishes that let users fully express their personalities. The ErgoLift hinge replicates the feel of typing on a desktop keyboard for more comfortable typing.The VivoBook S15 is powered by up to an 8th Generation Intel® Core i7 processor, with NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150 discrete graphics. The laptop also features dual-storage design. ASUS VivoBook S15 will be available ...

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FB launches ‘war room’ to combat misinformation

War Room

MNA Tech Desk: In Facebook’s “War Room,” a nondescript space adorned with American and Brazilian flags, a team of 20 people monitors computer screens for signs of suspicious activity, reported news agency. The freshly launched unit at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters in California is the nerve centre for the fight against misinformation and manipulation of the largest social network by foreign actors trying to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere. Inside, the walls have clocks showing the time in various regions of the US and Brazil, maps and TV screens showing CNN, Fox News and Twitter, and other ...

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20 lakh youths to get IT trainings by 2021

trainings

MNA Tech Desk: State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak said IT related trainings will be provided to two lakh youths of the country by the year 2021, reported news agency. The state minister made the remarks while addressing as chief guest at a program to inaugurate a siz-storey building in Gol-E-Afroz Government College in Singra upazila of Natore. “The government is upgrading the educational institutions of the country including construction of 28 Hi-tech parks where 20 lakh youths will be given proper IT trainings within 2021,” he said. The state minister also urged people to ...

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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies

Paul Allen

MNA Tech Desk: Microsoft Corp co-founder Paul Allen, the man who persuaded school-friend Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard to start what became the world’s biggest software company, died on Monday at the age of 65, reported news agency. Allen left Microsoft in 1983, before the company became a corporate juggernaut, following a dispute with Gates, but his share of their original partnership allowed him to spend the rest of his life and billions of dollars on yachts, art, rock music, sports teams, brain research and real estate. Allen died from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer, ...

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GP opens new 013 series

series

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Grameenphone on Sunday unveiled a new number series 013 for its clients, alongside its existing 017 series, reports media. The new number series was unveiled at a local hotel by Brigadier General Md Mustafa Kamal, Director General (E&O) of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). Grameenphone’s Deputy CEO and CMO,Yasir Azman, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Mahmud Hossain and other senior officials of the company were present on the occasion, along with the representatives from the media. The first official call of 013 has been made by Yasir Azman to Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Mustafa ...

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Global internet shutdown likely over next 48 hrs

Internet

MNA Tech Desk: Internet users across the globe may experience widespread network failures as the key domain servers are slated to undergo routine maintenance over the next 48 hours. Russia Today reported that global internet users might experience network connection failures as the main domain servers and its related network infrastructure will be down for some time. The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will carry out maintenance work during this time period by changing the cryptographic key that helps protect the internet’s address book or the Domain Name System (DNS). This has been necessitated to counter the ...

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Snapchat launches new video shows

video shows

MNA Tech Desk: The youth-focused social network Snapchat announced Wednesday it was launching a new slate of original video shows under its own brand in the latest move to spark growth, reported news agency. The shows unveiled under the Snap Originals brand include a new comedy, a mystery thriller and a “docuseries” following rising stars in Laguna Beach, California. Snapchat parent firm Snap Inc. joins internet rivals Facebook, Apple and Google-owned YouTube in developing its own original videos which may be watched on a variety of devices. Last year, Snap announced plans to release original scripted shows under a partnership ...

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FB releases smart video chat speakers

smart video chat

MNA Tech Desk: Facebook has unveiled a pair of artificial intelligence-powered smart video chat devices, Portal and Portal +, which are designed to connect people and feel like being in the same room. Facebook on Monday said the new video communication speakers with tablet-size screens for the home can dramatically change the way people keep in touch and their built-in AI technology makes video calling easier and more like hanging out, reported news agency. The debut of the Facebook-brand-bearing electronic gadgets represents the social network’s first bold entry into the fray in a competition of consumer hardware with other internet ...

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Over 10k SIMs seized for illegal VoIP: BTRC

VoIP

MNA Tech Desk: Bangladesh’s telecom regulator has seized over 10,000 SIM cards during September for illegal international call (VoIP) business from all over the country, reported news agency. These included seized 5,075 Teletalk, 3,897 Robi, 1,414 Grameenphone and 426 Banglalink connections in raids at 10 different places, they said today. “The commission will take actions against these mobile phone operators,” said Md Jahurul Haque, acting chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). Bangladesh approximately receives 4 crore minutes of incoming calls from abroad every day on an average through legal channels, he informed the media. The other approximately 2.5 crore ...

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US Accelerance to boost Bangladeshi software sales

Accelerance

MNA Tech Desk: Accelerance, US-based software outsourcing company, has signed an agreement to provide assistance in boosting the sales of Bangladeshi made software in foreign markets, reported news agency. Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) and Accelerance signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the office of ICT minister Mustafa Jabbar in city’s Agargaon area. Accelerance president Andy Hilliard and BCC’s Leveraging ICT for Growth, Employment and Governance project acting director Tarek M Barkatullah singed the deal for respective organizations. Post, Telecommunication and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar, BCC executive director Partha Pratim Dev, LICT project component team leader Sami Ahmed, Accelerance vice-president ...

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Twitter accounts linked to fake news thriving: Study

accounts

MNA Tech Desk: Twitter still remains a hotbed for accounts spreading fake news, suggests a new study that looked into how fake and conspiracy news flourished on the microblogging site both before and after the 2016 US presidential election. More than 80 per cent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation during the 2016 election are still active, said the study by the Knight Foundation on Thursday. These accounts continue to publish more than a million tweets in a typical day, the study said. Using tools and mapping methods from Graphika, a social media intelligence firm, the researchers ...

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Three scientists win Nobel Chemistry Prize

Chemistry

MNA Science Desk: The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Frances H. Arnold and the other half jointly to George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter on Wednesday for their work harnessing the power of evolution to develop proteins that solve humankind’s chemical problems, reports news agency. A committee member explains that the scientists have ‘applied the principles of Darwin in the test tube.’ Chemistry is the third of this year’s Nobels and comes after the prizes for Medicine and Physics were awarded earlier this week. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the trio managed to ...

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Cancer researchers win 2018 Nobel Medicine Prize

Medicine

MNA Science Desk: American James Allison and Japanese Tasuku Honjo won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discoveries leading to new approaches in harnessing the immune system to fight cancer, the award-giving body said on Monday. “Allison and Honjo showed how different strategies for inhibiting the brakes on the immune system can be used in the treatment of cancer,” the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said, on awarding the prize of 9 million Swedish crowns ($1 million). Medicine is the first of the Nobel Prizes awarded each year. The prizes for achievements in science, literature and ...

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