Science & Tech

Mobile internet services resume


MNA Science Tech Desk: The 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services resumed on Tuesday morning after suspension of about 37 hours centreing election. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has ordered to resume all mobile services. BRTC senior assistant director Md Jakir Hossain Khan said all operators have been asked to open the internet services around 10:30am. On December 30, the telecom regulator suspended the services from 9:30pm. During the period, people were not able to use the internet on their phones, stream or upload pictures or videos.

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3G, 4G speed restored


MNA Science Desk: The mobile internet speed was restored this morning 10 hours after it was slowed down by the telecom regulator. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) through an e-mail asked four mobile operators to restore the 3G and 4G services around 7:30am without mentioning details, said officials of the operators. The BTRC yesterday night suddenly directed the mobile operators to slow down the internet by shutting down 3G and 4G services two days ahead of the 11th national election. As per the BTRC order issued around 10:00pm yesterday, people using the internet on their phones would not be able ...

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RAB opens FB page to verify fake news


MNA Tech Desk: Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has opened a Facebook page titled ‘RAB Cyber News Verification Centre’ to aware people over fake news and rumours spread during the 11th parliamentary election. Director General (DG) of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) Benazir Ahmed revealed it at a press conference arranged to brief journalists regarding the elite force’s preparation for the upcoming general election at its media centre in city’s Karwan Bazar on Thursday. If anyone becomes confused about any news, he/she will have to share it on the Facebook page and the RAB team will instantly reply it after verifying the ...

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Amazon’s Alexa talks murder, sex in AI experiment


MNA Tech Desk: Millions of users of Amazon’s Echo speakers have grown accustomed to the soothing strains of Alexa, the human-sounding virtual assistant that can tell them the weather, order takeout and handle other basic tasks in response to a voice command. So a customer was shocked last year when Alexa blurted out: “Kill your foster parents.” Alexa has also chatted with users about sex acts. She gave a discourse on dog defecation. And this summer, a hack Amazon traced back to China may have exposed some customers’ data, according to five people familiar with the events. Alexa is not ...

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AL inaugurates ‘Joy Bangla’ app for election

Joy Bangla

MNA Tech Desk: In the training workshop titled “Digital Election Campaign” hosted by the Sub-Committee of Science and Technology of Awami League, a mobile app titled ‘Joy Bangla’ was displayed. This app can be used by all the leaders and activists of all the units of Bangladesh Awami League’s affiliate organization via registration. This app can be used to prevent the spreading of rumors as well as spread knowledge regarding the development activities of Awami League. All information about the app users will be protected under high security. Initially, onecrore people have been estimated to join the app. In the ...

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Facebook shuts down fake Bangladeshi pages, accounts


MNA Tech Desk: Facebook has removed nine Facebook pages and six Facebook accounts for ‘engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour’ ahead of the national elections slated for 30 December this year. Facebook says, “Through our investigation, we discovered that these Pages were designed to look like independent news outlets and posted pro-government and anti-opposition content.” “Our investigation indicates that this activity is linked to individuals associated with the Bangladesh government,” Facebook added. The Facebook authorities warned that this kind of behaviour is not allowed on Facebook under their misrepresentation policy. “Because we don’t want people or organisations creating networks of accounts ...

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EC forms monitoring cell to check social media

social media

MNA Tech Desk: The Election Commission (EC) has formed a monitoring cell to check rumours and propaganda in social media centering the 11th parliamentary election slated for December 30. ”The team, consisting with eight members, will work round the clock to check and stop all types of rumours in social media, including Facebook, centering the forthcoming election slated for December 30,” Joint Secretary of the EC Secretariat SM Asaduzzaman told news agency. He said NID Department Director General Brigadier General Saidul Islam has been made the chief of the monitoring cell. The other members are representatives from Police Headquarters, Special ...

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Google, FB to pay $450K for Washington state violation


MNA Tech Desk: Google and Facebook have agreed to pay $455,000 to settle allegations that they failed to keep proper records about who was paying for campaign ads on their sites, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Tuesday. Google will pay $217,000 and Facebook will pay $238,000 in response to two lawsuits filed in June that accused the tech firms of not obeying the state law on political-ad transparency, Ferguson said. Facebook spokeswoman Beth Gautier said the company was pleased to resolve the matter. “We’re working hard to protect election integrity and prevent foreign interference. We believe all ads ...

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Bug may have exposed photos from 7M FB users


MNA Tech Desk: Facebook’s privacy controls have broken down yet again, this time through a software flaw affecting nearly 7 million users who had photos exposed to a much wider audience than intended. The bug disclosed Friday gave hundreds of apps unauthorized access to photos that could in theory include images that would embarrass some of the affected users. They also included photos people may have uploaded but hadn’t yet posted, perhaps because they had changed their mind. It’s not yet known whether anyone actually saw the photos, but the revelation of the now-fixed problem served as another reminder of ...

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Bomb threat at Facebook’s Menlo Park HQ

Menlo Park

MNA Tech Desk: Facebook Inc evacuated a few buildings at its headquarters campus in Menlo Park following a bomb threat, a company spokesman said on Tuesday. Everyone is safe and the company is looking into the incident, the spokesman said in an emailed statement to Reuters. Menlo Park Police Department said a building at 200 Jefferson Drive has been evacuated and the bomb units are on the scene going through the building. YouTube was another Silicon Valley company that faced security threat in the recent past. In May, a woman opened fire at YouTube’s headquarters in San Francisco, wounding three ...

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Researchers explore new way of treating malaria


MNA Science Desk: In the ongoing hunt for more effective weapons against malaria, international researchers said Thursday they are exploring a pathway that has until now been little studied — killing parasites in the liver, before the illness emerges. “It’s very difficult to work on the liver stage,” said Elizabeth Winzeler, professor of pharmacology and drug discovery at University of California San Diego School of Medicine. “We have traditionally looked for medicines that will cure malaria,” she told to media. For the latest research, published in the journal Science, scientists dissected hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes to remove parasites inside ...

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Google to shut Hangouts by 2020


MNA Tech Desk: Google will shut its popular Hangouts service for consumers by 2020, 9to5Google has reported, citing sources aware of the product’s roadmap, reported news agency. Hangouts was launched as a replacement for Gchat in 2013 by the tech titan but has been losing features in recent years as the company has stopped updating the app and taken away SMS messaging. However, Hangouts still is a prominent chat option in Gmail on the web and the app also exists on the Google Play Store. Google Hangouts is a communication platform developed by the company which includes messaging, video chat, ...

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Google pays respect to Tareque Masud

Tareque Masud

MNA Science Tech Desk: Google Doodle marks the 62nd birthday of Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud. Launching a Doodle, search engine giant Google honours renowned Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud marking his 62nd birthday on Thursday. Tareque Masud is one of the best filmmakers of the country. ‘Muktir Gaan’ (The Song of Freedom), ‘Matir Moina’ (The Clay Bird), ‘Ontarjatra’ (Homeland), ‘Runway’, ‘A Kind of Childhood’, ‘Adam Surat’ are among his notable works. Tareque won several prestigious awards including the International Critics’ award at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, Special Jury Award at the Osian’s Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema 2006, ...

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Google rolls out ‘Call Screen’ feature


MNA Tech Desk: Google has started rolling out a feature for its Pixel smartphones that lets users make use of the Google Assistant to see who is calling and why before they answer a call. The feature allows users to see a real-time transcript of how the caller responds so that they can then decide whether to pick up, respond by tapping a quick reply (for example, “I’ll call you back later”), or mark the call as spam and dismiss. “Call Screen is only available to English speakers in the United States who have Pixel 2, 2 XL, 3, or ...

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Uber fined for data breach


MNA Science & Tech Desk: Britain and the Netherlands fined ride-hailing giant Uber more than one million euros (dollars) on Tuesday for hiding a huge data breach for more than one year. Hackers compromised customers’ personal data from some 57 million riders and drivers worldwide in October and November 2016, but US-based Uber kept it secret until November 2017. Dutch authorities fined Uber 600,000 euros and Britain imposed a £385,000 (435,000 euros) penalty, the two countries said in coordinated statements, reported news agency. Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said hackers stole the names, email addresses and phone numbers of 2.7 ...

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NASA’s InSight lands on Mars


MNA Tech Desk: NASA’s InSight spacecraft, the first robotic lander designed to study the deep interior of a distant world, touched down safely on the surface of Mars on Monday with instruments to detect planetary seismic rumblings never measured anywhere but Earth. Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles burst into cheers, applause and hugs as they received signals confirming InSight’s arrival on Martian soil – a vast, barren plain near the planet’s equator – shortly before 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) Minutes later, JPL controllers received a fuzzy “selfie” photograph of the probe’s new surroundings on ...

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Banglalink launches music app Vibe


MNA Tech Desk: Banglalink has officially released more than 50 exclusive albums on Banglalink Vibe, the world’s biggest Bangla music streaming app, to facilitate digital access for millions of music lovers to the newly released songs of popular artists. The announcement on the official release of the new albums was made at a press conference held at Lakeshore Hotel yesterday. Present at the press conference were Chief Commercial Officer of Banglalink, Ritesh Kumar Singh, Chief Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Officer Taimur Rahman, Digital Business and Global Partnership Director Gaurav Kakkar, Digital Services Director Abdul Muqit Ahmed, Head of e-Products Anik ...

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SpaceX crew rocket set for 1st flight in January


MNA Science & Tech Desk: The first flight of a SpaceX rocket tailored to fly astronauts to the International Space Station is set for liftoff from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on7 January, NASA said. The launch test is a crucial milestone in the space agency’s Commercial Crew Program, which aims to launch humans to space from US soil for the first time in nearly a decade. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration said SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft – which will shuttle three astronauts to space from the same launch pad that sent Apollo 11’s three-man crew to the ...

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Scientists vote to redefine kilogram value


MNA Science Desk: It may not change how you buy bananas, but scientists have voted to redefine the value of a kilogram, in what they called a landmark decision that will boost the accuracy of scientific measurements. Since 1889, a kilogram has been defined by a shiny lump of platinum-iridium kept in a special glass case and known as the International Prototype of the Kilogram. It is housed at the headquarters of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (whose French acronym is BIPM), just outside Paris. Members of the BIPM, which groups some 60 nations, agreed on Friday after ...

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NASA considers to sellselling seats on spacecraft


MNA Science & Technology Desk: NASA is considering selling seats on the spacecraft that will ferry its astronauts to the International Space Station, offering rides to the public while opening another line of revenue as the agency attempts to broaden its appeal. On several occasions, Russia has flown wealthy individuals who paid millions for the ride to space. And a trio of private companies backed by billionaires, is also looking to fly tourists out of the atmosphere. But except for a couple of rare exceptions, such as Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who was killed when the space Shuttle Challenger exploded ...

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ICT Lab to be set up in every educational institute: Jabbar


MNA Tech Desk: Posts, Telecommunications and Information Communication Technology (ICT) Minister Mustafa Jabbar said ICT lab and multimedia classrooms will be set up at every educational institution of the country within next two years. Mustafa Jabbar said, “The existing professions are getting extinct everyday. Therefore, it is imperative to learn technology-based knowledge to cope with competitive world.” The minister was addressing a function at Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) auditorium of ICT Tower on Sunday. The minister distributed laptops to the best trainees and educational institutions. The laptops were given under two projects- ‘Learning and Earning’ and ‘Computer and Language Training ...

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FB to launch independent body for content removal calls

independent body

MNA Tech Desk: Facebook announced Thursday it is creating an independent body to make potentially precedent-setting calls on what content should be yanked from the social network. The announcement came as Facebook reported it has ramped up its ability to quickly detect “hate speech” and other posts violating community rules, with the leading social network under pressure from regulators in various countries and activists to root out abusive and inappropriate content. “I have come to believe that we shouldn’t be making so many decisions about free expression and safety on our own,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a ...

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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


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


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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