Science & Tech

NASA to launch missions to nearest space

InSight

MNA Science & Tech Desk: NASA has announced that it would launch two missions to explore a little-understood area 96 kilometres above Earth’s surface. The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission will be launched aboard a commercial communications satellite in January 2018, and the designed spacecraft Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) will be launched later this year, the US space agency said. GOLD and ICON will team up to explore the ionosphere, a boundary area between Earth and the space where particles have been cooked into a sea of electrically-charged electrons and ions by the Sun’s radiation, reports ...

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YouTuber apologises for suicide victim video

one month

MNA Science & Tech Desk: American YouTuber Logan Paul on Tuesday apologised for posting a video of a suicide victim in Japan, saying he had made a “huge mistake” and was ashamed of himself. Paul, 22, whose almost daily video blogs on YouTube have over 15 million followers, apologized for laughing with friends about the body they filmed hanging on a tree in Japan’s so-called “suicide forest” and posted to the video-sharing channel. Logan deleted the video on Monday after it caused a social media backlash. He said the shots of he and his friends laughing nervously after the discovery ...

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Google pulls YouTube from Amazon Fire TV

YouTube TV

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Google has blocked YouTube on Amazon’s Fire TV earlier than expected amid growing rivalry between the two tech giants as their businesses continue to overlap. The move is in retaliation for Amazon’s refusal to sell some Google products that compete with the retailer’s gadgets, and Fire TV devices now encourage people to access YouTube via one of the gadget’s web browsers instead, reported news agency. “YouTube and millions of other websites are accessible by using a web browser like Firefox or Silk on Fire TV,” Amazon was quoted as saying. Earlier this month, Google had ...

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Apple, Amazon to invest in Saudi Arabia

mapping

MNA science & Tech Desk: A third source confirmed that Apple was in talks with SAGIA, Saudi Arabia’s foreign investment authority. Both companies already sell products in Saudi Arabia via third parties but they and other global tech giants have yet to establish a direct presence. Amazon’s discussions are being led by cloud computing division Amazon Web Services (AWS), which would introduce stiff competition in a market currently dominated by smaller local providers like STC and Mobily. Riyadh has been easing regulatory impediments for the past two years, including limits on foreign ownership which had long kept investors away, since ...

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Apple sued for slowing down aging iPhones

security gap

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Apple Inc defrauded iPhone users by slowing devices without warning to compensate for poor battery performance, according to eight lawsuits filed in various federal courts in the week since the company opened up about the year-old software change. The tweak may have led iPhone owners to misguided attempts to resolve issues over the last year, the lawsuits contend. All the lawsuits – filed in US District Courts in California, New York and Illinois – seek class-action to represent potentially millions of iPhone owners nationwide. A similar case was lodged in an Israeli court on Monday, ...

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Malware spreading via FB messenger

hate speech

MNA Science & Tech Desk: A new crypto currency-mining bot, named “Digmine”, that was first observed in South Korea, is spreading fast through Facebook Messenger across the world, Tokyo-headquartered cybersecurity major Trend Micro has warned. After South Korea, it has since spread in Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, the Philippines, Thailand and Venezuela. It is likely to reach other countries soon, given the way it propagates, reported news agency. Facebook Messenger works across different platforms but “Digmine” only affects the Messenger’s desktop or web browser (Chrome) version. If the file is opened on other platforms, the malware will not work as intended, ...

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Robocop helps Hungary police

Hungary

MNA Science & Tech Desk: A talkative little robot has been enlisted by police in Hungary to help bring an electric jolt to presentations in schools and pensioner clubs. “Hi kids!” said robot “Robi” to a class of primary school children in Szolnok, 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Budapest. About 40 centimetres tall and 20 wide (16 by eight inches), and weighing 1.6 kilogrammes (3.5 pounds), Robi’s 16-part body stood on a table, gesturing as he talks. Robi has been operational in the Jasz-Nagykun-Szolnok county since May, and Erdos, 38, said there are plans to have similar robots jumping ...

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NASA, Google find solar system with 8 planets

solar system

MNA Science & Tech Desk: A record-tying eighth planet has been found in a faraway solar system, matching our own in number. Even more amazing, machines and not humans made the discovery. NASA joined with Google on Thursday to announce the finding, reports news agency. This eighth planet orbits the star known as Kepler-90. Like Earth, this new planet, Kepler-90i, is the third rock from its sun. But it’s much closer to its sun — orbiting in just 14 days — and therefore a scorching 800 degrees Fahrenheit (427 Celsius) at the surface. In fact, all eight planets are scrunched ...

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Google Assistant to support older Android

JD

MNA Science & Tech Desk: In a bid to make its virtual personal assistant available on more Android devices, Google on Thursday announced Google Assistant will now be available on supported phones running older Android 5.0 Lollipop Operating System (OS). ‘We are now adding Android Lollipop to the list of devices on which Google Assistant will be available. It has started to roll out to users with the language set to English in India, the US, Australia, Canada, the UK and Singapore, as well as in Spanish in the US, Mexico and Spain,’ Maksim Mukha, Programme Manager, Google Assistant, said ...

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Robi launched gaming platform MyPlay

bank accounts

MNA Science & Tech Desk: A gaming platform, MyPlay, has been launched for game lovers in the country. The digital network operator Robi launched the gaming platform at a city hotel on Tuesday in association with Gakk Media, said a press release. MyPlay contains more than 21,000 games. The statement said Robi and Airtel users can enjoy this amazing gaming platform. MyPlay is accessible through APP or WAP or WEB. Robi and Airtel users with internet connection need to visit the link myplay.games or download android app and subscribe to MyPlay. After subscribing, users can download their favourite games. There ...

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Apple to acquire music app Shazam

security gap

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Apple is reportedly acquiring popular music recognition app Shazam for a likely sum of nearly US $400 million, reported news agency. According to a report in TechCrunch on Saturday, the iPhone maker may officially announce the deal on Monday. “One source describes the deal as in the nine figures; another puts it at around US $401 million. We are still asking around,” the report said. Built by Shazam Entertainment Ltd, a British app development company, Shazam is used by hundreds of millions of people each month to instantly identify music that’s playing and see what ...

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Google doodle observes Begum Rokeya Day

Begum Rokeya

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Search engine giant Google has come up with a doodle to pay tribute to Bengali pioneer for women’s rights Begum Rokeya, marking her 137th birthday and 85th death anniversary. The doodle shows an image of Begum Rokeya carrying some books. Another book lies open on a divan. The logo of the Google is divided into three, with the ‘Go’ giving a deeper meaning of Begum Rokeya’s journey beyond the contemporary tradition and setting a precedent in her era. Clicking on the doodle will bring the visitors to search result page for Begum Rokeya’s life and ...

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17th APICTA Awards begins in Dhaka

APICTA awards

MNA Science & Technology Desk: The 17th edition of APICTA Awards, which is called the OSCAR of ICT, kicked off in Dhaka on Thursday. Department of ICT of the ICT Division and Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) are jointly organising the event. The event will be held between 7 and 10 December. Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) is working for the ICT sector development in Asia Pacific region. Bangladesh is organising this mega event for the first time. Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Srilanka, Thailand and Vietnam are also ...

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PM opens Digital World exposition

Digital World

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday inaugurated the four-day Digital World, the biggest ICT exposition in Bangladesh,at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre here with the slogan ‘Ready for Tomorrow’. ICT Division in collaboration with Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) organised the exposition. State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Post, Telecom and Information Technology Ministry Imran Ahmed, BASIS President Mostafa Jabbar and Secretary of the Information and Communication Technology Division Subir Kishore Chowdhury were present at the inaugural session. Some 170 companies, ...

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Saudi citizen ‘Sophia’ arrives in Dhaka

Saudi citizen

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Saudi citizen ‘Sophia’ has arrived Dhaka without any passport at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at about 12:39am on Tuesday. The robot known as ‘Sophia is the world’s first artificially intelligent robot. It will appear in public at the first day of the four-day Digital World Exposition that begins Wednesday at Banganandhu International Conference Centre in the city. The creator of the first ever social robot, David Hanson, was also invited to the programme. Visitors can meet Sophia on the opening day of the festival on the event titled ‘Talk With Sophia’ at the Hall of ...

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UK warns agencies not to use Kaspersky

agencies

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Britain’s cybersecurity agency has told government agencies not to use antivirus software from Moscow-based firm Kaspersky Lab amid concerns about Russian snooping. Ciaran Martin, head of the National Cyber Security Centre, said ‘Russia is acting against the UK’s national interest in cyberspace.’ In a letter dated Friday to civil service chiefs, he said Russia seeks ‘to target UK central government and the UK’s critical national infrastructure.’ He advised that ‘a Russia-based provider should never be used’ for systems that deal with issues related to national security. The agency said it’s not advising the public at ...

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Kaspersky ‘Safe Kids’ in Bangladesh

Kaspersky

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Cyber-security and anti-virus provider Kaspersky Lab has introduced ‘Safe Kids’, a security tool to monitor children’s communications as well as keeping a watch over incoming and outgoing calls and texts on their Android phones and tablets and public Facebook activities, in Bangladesh. The Moscow-based multinational cyber-security provider’s marketing office in Bangladesh, Office Extracts, made an announcement in this connection at a press conference on Wednesday. Kaspersky has brought the tool, thinking about its social responsibility and the demand of this type of new services in the country, said Office Extract chief executive officer Prabir Sarker. ...

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Robot Sophia to arrive on 5 December

Saudi citizen

MNA Science & Tech Desk: A robot with artificial intelligence, Sophia, is coming to Bangladesh during this year’s Digital World exhibition, said state minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak. At a press conference at the secretariat Palak said, “People will be able to meet and talk with Sophia, the human like robot on the first day of Digital World exhibition on 6 (from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm) December at Banganandhu International Conference Centre in the city.” “On the occasion of this year’s Digital World Expo, we invited the first ever social robot Sophia and its creator David Hanson, they ...

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‘Bookmarks’ to help users save tweets

Twitter suspended

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Twitter is testing a new feature named “Bookmarks” that will help its 330 million monthly active users privately flag tweets for viewing at ease when they have time. In October, the micro-blogging platform announced that it is developing a bookmarking feature to save tweets. “News from the #SaveForLater team! We’ve decided to call our feature ‘Bookmarks’ because that’s a commonly used term for saving content and it fits nicely alongside the names of the other features in the navigation,” Tina Koyama, a staff product designer at the company, tweeted. The feature will help users keep ...

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Microsoft appoints Sonia as MD for BD, Nepal, Bhutan, Laos

Sonia

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Microsoft has announced the appointment of Sonia Bashir Kabir as managing director for Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Laos. In her new role, Sonia will lead Microsoft’s business in developing and driving strategies for all product lines, services, and support offerings in the four countries, while working closely with partners and local governments to help accelerate the digital transformation across these markets by bringing people, data, and processes together to reinvent business values, provide personalised experience to customers, and transform education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. ‘Digital Transformation in emerging markets is an important priority for ...

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NASA launches next-gen weather satellite

MNA Science & Tech Desk: NASA on Saturday launched a next-generation weather satellite into space designed to monitor weather around the world and help improve forecasts. The satellite, called the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), is a joint venture between the US space agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provides weather reports and forecasts. The satellite was launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket as scheduled at 1:47am (0947 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It will orbit the Earth 14 times each day from one pole to the other at 512 ...

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Robot Restaurant launched in Dhaka

Robot Restaurant

MNA Science & Tech Desk: The first-ever Robot Restaurant of Bangladesh has been launched in Dhaka. The restaurant located inside the Family World Convention Center at Asad Gate, Mirpur Road will use robots to serve food to customers, said a press release. It will be open to the customers on Thursday. China-based robot-making organisation HZX Electronic Technology Company provided technical support to the ‘Robot Restaurant’. Representatives from both the organisations attended the press briefing in Dhaka. Primarily, the restaurant has installed two humanoid robots to serve food to customers, it also said. Max Schwarz, CEO of HZX Electronic Technology Company, ...

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Vodafone rebounds into first-half net profit

Vodafone

MNA Science & Tech Desk: British mobile phone giant Vodafone rebounded back into first-half net profit, it said Tuesday, after the previous year’s performance was skewed by a vast Indian writedown. Earnings after taxation hit 1.131 billion euros ($1.318 billion) in the six months to the end of September, it revealed in a results statement. “We are able to report a strong financial performance, with substantial … profit growth, and we are raising our financial outlook for the year,” said chief executive Vittorio Colao. Vodafone had suffered a spectacular net loss of 5.129 billion euros in the same part of ...

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WhatsApp to introduce app for iPad users

rumours

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp may be working on an app for iPad users as references of WhatsApp for iPad are spotted on latest WhatsApp desktop app. According to a tweet from popular WhatsApp change tracking website WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is gearing up for a dedicated application for iPad. “Great news for all WhatsApp users having an iPad device. Our rumour about a WhatsApp for iPad app was real (real like our other rumours as WhatsApp Business and the Facebook infrastructure),” WABetaInfo tweeted. WABetaInfo also stated on Twitter the WhatsApp Desktop 0.2.6968 app references for an iPad ...

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Uber to develop flying taxis

allegations

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Uber unveiled a partnership with NASA that will see it develop flying taxis priced competitively with standard Uber journeys. It also announced Los Angeles will join two other previously revealed “UberAIR” pilot schemes in Dallas Fort-Worth, Texas, and Dubai. California and Texas are the US states with the largest number of cars. Uber wants to “explore other collaboration opportunities with NASA” with a view to open “a new market of urban air mobility,” said a statement. The first demonstration flights are expected in 2020, moving into commercial operations by 2023 — in plenty of time ...

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Twitter to double tweet limit to 280 characters

Twitter suspended

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Twitter announced Tuesday it would double the limit for tweets to 280 characters, a bid to draw in more users and boost engagement at the social network. Giving users twice the space to voice their thoughts ushers in a new era for the online platform, whose hallmark 140-character cap had encouraged users to craft succinct missives. “We’re expanding the character limit! We want it to be easier and faster for everyone to express themselves,” tweeted the site, which started testing an increase to its limit in most languages in early September. The changes will be ...

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Yamaha unveils motorcycle-riding robot

Yamaha

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Yamaha Motor Company unveiled its latest ‘Motobot’ robot, capable of riding a motorcycle on its own around a racetrack. Yamaha has been advancing its research and development basing on its unique development ideal, the latest being an autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot that brings together Yamaha’s motorcycle and robotics technology, reports news agency. Although Motobot still hasn’t beaten MotoGP star Valentino Rossi’s lap time, he has significantly narrowed the gap and now sees Rossi in the distance. Motoroid autonomously performs the movements and positioning especially when balancing is most difficult, like when starting off or at ...

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