Science & Tech

Obama’s Charlottesville most liked in Twitter


MNA Science & Tech Desk: Former President Barack Obama’s tweet reacting to the attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, is the most liked tweet ever on the social network. Obama tweeted a quote from Nelson Mandela’s 1994 autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” Saturday that said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” The quote was split into three tweets, ...

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Sarahah app gaining popularity


MNA Technology Desk: Sarahah, a new messaging app, that’s gaining popularity among teens can be used for bullying, experts warn. Sarahah is a messaging service that lets anyone with a link send or receive anonymous texts to those registered. There’s no way of knowing who posted the comments and no way to respond to the messages. It was initially created by a Saudi developer who was worried about workplace discrimination. The app can now be integrated into Snapchat and has become a serious lure for teens. Sarahah works by giving each of its users a custom URL. That URL then ...

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Uber integrated emergency number 999


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Uber on Tuesday announced the integration of the nationwide emergency number 999 in its rider app to increase riders’ safety, reported news agency. In a reinforcement of Uber’s commitment towards safety of riders, Uber integrated the government’s helpline number in the app, which would prompt riders to dial 999 in case of an emergency, Uber said in a statement. In the event of an emergency situation during a ride, riders in an Uber can now access an in-app card and press ‘Call Now’ to connect to the toll free national help desk run by the ...

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Apple removes VPN in China Apps Store

security gap

MNA Science & Tech Desk: The Chinese government’s crackdown on the internet continues with the news that Apple has removed all major VPN apps, which help internet users overcome the country’s censorship system, from the App Store in China. The move was first noted by ExpressVPN, a provider based outside of China, which said in a blog post “all major VPN apps” including its own had been purged from Apple’s China-based store. The company shared a note from Apple (below) explaining that its app was removed because “it includes content that is illegal in China.” The app continues to be ...

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Wal-Mart looks overseas for online vendors


MNA Science & Tech Desk:, trailing Inc in the number of goods for sale on its website, is recruiting vendors in China and other countries to boost its online offerings in a pivot away from Wal-Mart’s Made-in-America campaign. While there is a financial incentive behind the move, Wal-Mart’s decision comes out of necessity: not all the goods its customers want – ranging from jeans to bicycles to beauty products – are manufactured within the United States. Americans are quick to say they favor US-made products. But their mood shifts when the products hit the store aisles, where they ...

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E-heart App for cardiac patients


MNA Science & Tech Desk: Patients of National Heart Foundation (NHF), who forget to take their heart medicines as prescribed can now better manage their dosages and routines through a new smart phone App launched in Dhaka on Tuesday. Bangladesh University at its Urban Lab, with the cooperation of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Division, made this App for the NHF heart patients. Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Annisul Huq inaugurated the app as the chief guest at a function at (NHF) auditorium in city’s Mirpur area. The App can only be used by the patient of NHF. Patient ...

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China shuts down 3,918 illegal websites

illegal websites

MNA Science & Tech Desk: A total of 3,918 illegal websites were shut down by China’s internet watchdogs from April to June, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has said. The websites included those that published content that jeopardized national security, and those that spread violence, vulgarity or unfounded rumours, according to the CAC statement on Saturday, news agency reported. Up to 316 cases related to illegal websites were handed to judicial organs in the same period, the CAC said. More than 810,000 illicit cyber accounts were also closed in the second quarter of the year, the statement read. Moreover, ...

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Google Glass reborn for workplace


MNA Science & Tech Desk: After spending two years on the sidelines, Google Glass internet-linked eyewear is back in the game, this time aimed at helping workers do their jobs. General Electric, Volkswagen, and Boeing are among more than 50 businesses taking part in testing a Glass Enterprise Edition in a limited program, reported news agency. Three years ago, an Explorer program let developers and other “early adopters” try out the glasses, in an early test of potential business applications. But that initiative was eventually put on ice in 2015. Workers in many fields, like manufacturing, logistics, field services and ...

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Cyber attack to trigger $53bn economic losses

economic losses

MNA Science & Tech Desk: A major, global cyber attack could trigger an average of $53 billion of economic losses, a figure on par with a catastrophic natural disaster such as US Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Lloyd’s of London said in a report on Monday. The report, co-written with risk-modeling firm Cyence, examined potential economic losses from the hypothetical hacking of a cloud service provider and cyber attacks on computer operating systems run by businesses worldwide. Insurers are struggling to estimate their potential exposure to cyber-related losses amid mounting cyber risks and interest in cyber insurance. A lack of historical ...

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Apple unveils iCloud data centre in China


MNA Science & Tech Desk: Apple has unveiled plans to build a data centre in China to store its local iCloud customers’ personal details, marking the first such move by a foreign technology firm following the imposition of strict new cyber-security laws in the country. The US titan said it was partnering with an internet service provider in southwestern Guizhou province on the project, which will “improve the speed and reliability of our products and services while also complying with newly passed regulations.” Some foreign firms have said the law is worryingly vague on key provisions and expressed concern over ...

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Facebook to build housing in California’s Silicon Valley


MNA Science & Tech Desk: The shortage of housing in California’s Silicon Valley has gotten so severe that Facebook Inc on Friday proposed taking home-building into its own hands for the first time with a plan to construct 1,500 units near its headquarters. The growth of Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s Google and other tech companies has strained neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay area that were not prepared for an influx of tens of thousands of workers during the past decade. Home prices and commute times have risen. Tech companies have responded with measures such as internet-equipped buses for employees with ...

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New company to operate Bangabandhu Satellite


MNA Science & Technology Desk: The cabinet on Monday approved a proposal for constitution of the Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company (BCSC) Limited to smoothly operate the country’s first-ever Bangabandhu Satellite-1. The approval came at the regular weekly cabinet meeting held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, reported news agency. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said Bangladesh is going to join the Satellite Club very soon as the process for launching the country’s first-ever satellite named “Bangabandhu Satellite-1” has almost been completed. “The satellite will be launched into the space very ...

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Facebook changes algorithm to curb top spammers

doubtful stories

MNA Science & Technology Desk: Facebook Inc said on Friday it was changing the computer algorithm behind its News Feed to limit the reach of people known to frequently blast out links to click-bait stories, sensationalist websites and misinformation. Facebook said the change would reduce the influence of a “tiny group” of people it has identified who share vast amounts of low-quality public posts daily. Only about 0.1 percent of people who share more than 50 posts a day fall into that category, the company said. The change would affect only links shared by those people, not their photos or ...

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Facebook counts 2 billion active monthly users

hate speech

MNA Science & Technology Desk: Facebook said Tuesday it now counts two billion active monthly users, as the social giant’s founder Mark Zuckerberg highlighted his new mission — not just connecting people, but helping them find common ground. “As of this morning, the Facebook community is now officially 2 billion people!” Zuckerberg wrote in a post marking the milestone. “We’re making progress connecting the world, and now let’s bring the world closer together,” he wrote. “It’s an honor to be on this journey with you.” Facebook’s announcement came as it works to redefine its purpose, led by Zuckerberg who traveled ...

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Oppo eyes global market after toppling Apple


MNA Science & Technology Desk: With its army of salespeople and vast network of outlets, Oppo has exploded in popularity to overtake global giants Apple and Samsung in China’s market — and now it has its eye on the West. Oppo began life selling DVD players in the in the southern manufacturing hub of Dongguan a little more than a decade ago and only broke into the handset market in 2011. But with an aggressive marketing strategy and concentration on bricks-and-mortar stores in small and medium-sized cities — rather than relying on online customers — sales have soared. Last year ...

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Amazon to acquire Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market

MNA Science & Technology Desk: Amazon is going to acquire upscale US grocer Whole Foods Market, in a deal that underscores the online giant’s growing influence in the economy. The purchase in one fell swoop gives Amazon, which until now has operated almost entirely on the internet, a big presence in the brick-and-mortar world on Main Street, with more than 450 stores in the US, Canada and Britain. In the $13.7 billion, all-cash deal, Amazon will buy the Texas-based champion of organic and specialty food for $42 a share. Whole Foods’ shares traded in the mid-$30 range for May and ...

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Facebook launches maps to help tackle natural disasters

doubtful stories

MNA Science & Technology Desk: Facebook has introduced disaster maps to help organizations address critical gap in information they often face while responding to natural disasters, reported news agency. Based on the aggregated location information users have chosen to share with Facebook, three types of map — location density map, movement map and safety check map — are to be provided during disaster response efforts. “We can help response organizations paint a more complete picture of where affected people are located to determine where resources like food, water and medical supplies are needed and where people are out of harm’s ...

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Trump’s blocking of Twitter users violates U.S. Constitution

Twitter suspended

MNA Science & Tech Desk: A free-speech institute on Tuesday sent a letter to President Donald Trump demanding the prolific tweeter unblock certain Twitter (TWTR.N) users on grounds the practice violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Trump’s @realDonaldTrump account recently blocked a number of accounts that replied to his tweets with commentary that criticized, mocked or disagreed with his actions. Twitter users are unable to see or respond to tweets from accounts that block them. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in New York said in its letter that the blocking suppressed speech in a public ...

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Robi brings country’s first Islamic mobile package ‘Noor’

Islamic mobile package

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Mobile phone operator Robi has launched country’s first Islamic mobile package ‘Noor’ with special call rate and attractive Islamic services. Robi has decided to deposit the revenue generated from the Noor package in a shariah compliant bank to avoid application of interest. Noor subscribers will enjoy a call rate of 7 paisa/10 second between themselves while they have to pay 20.775 paisa/10 sec while talking to other operators. However, Noor customers can enjoy special call rate of 1 paisa/sec to all local numbers by recharging Tk 29. They can also avail all the existing rate-cutter ...

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WhatsApp useful for teenagers: Study


MNA Science & Tech Desk: Mobile messaging service WhatsApp helps teenagers communicate better and to openly express themselves with their peers than in their classrooms, a study has claimed. The findings showed that WhatsApp groups allow teenagers to express themselves in ways that they cannot at school, helping them develop closer and more open relationships with their classmates. “The group chats are based on trust among the members of the group, and this enhances the possibility to be in contact,” Arie Kizel from University of Haifa in Israel, was quoted as saying to — an Israeli Innovation news website ...

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Facebook will court ‘millennials’ with its original videos

Facebook Inc

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Facebook’s dreams of pushing original videos may be delayed, but that’s doing little to stop its ever-growing ambitions, reported news agency. Facebook has landed deals with a slew of “millennial-focused” internet media companies, including BuzzFeed, Vox Media, ATTN and The Dodo operator Group Nine Media.  The material would include both short clips under 10 minutes (owned by the individual providers) and longer videos over 20 minutes (owned by Facebook), and they’d naturally have ad breaks. You’d initially find the videos exclusively on Facebook’s website and apps, but they’d eventually migrate to other sites. Not surprisingly, ...

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Facebook puts Messenger, Instagram notifications in one place


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Facebook, the proud parent of Instagram and Messenger, wants to bring together its various apps into a more cohesive experience. The social networking site is rolling out a new feature that consolidates Facebook, Messenger and Instagram notifications on the Facebook app. While this aims to encourage users to stay on Facebook’s services longer, it will also make it a tad easier to check your notifications and get rid of those annoying red badges at the same place. Facebook said it’s “conducting a very small test” to make it easier for people to switch between their ...

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WhatsApp malfunction affects users worldwide


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Social media app WhatsApp on Wednesday encountered an outage with users worldwide reporting problems accessing the service. Issues with the Facebook-owned app, which is used by 1 billion people worldwide, included sending and receiving messages and logging in. According to monitoring website Down Detector, hundreds of people complained about the outage from Malaysia to Spain, which appeared to have started on late Wednesday evening. Some users took to Twitter, threatening they would migrate to rival messaging services because of the second outage in as many weeks. Users in Germany and some other European countries also ...

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Ransomware WannaCry attacks 30 computers in Bangladesh


MNA Science & Tech Desk: At least 30 users in Bangladesh have reported being affected by a ransomware that recently caused havoc across the globe. According to the Crime Research and Analysis Foundation (CRAF), a total of 30 personal computers were affected by the WannaCry ransomware. CRAF collected the data from the number of complaints they received. About 150 countries were affected in the attack, with over 200,000 victims and 100,000 organizations including hospitals and other services also reporting being infected. The attack was stopped on Sunday by a British cyber security expert who accidentally stumbled upon the malware’s domain ...

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Cyber-attack hits 100 countries, thousands of computers


MNA Science & Tech Desk: A large-scale cyber-attack affected nearly one hundred countries and held tens of thousands of computers ransom throughout the day on Friday. Antivirus provider Avast reported that at least 75,000 computers had been infected by the crippling malware and that the “WanaCrypt0r 2.0,” as it is called, ransomware had been detected in 99 countries. More than a dozen hospitals in England and major companies, including FedEx and Spain’s largest telecom, were targeted Friday. U.S. companies were being warned to gird against the threat, which reportedly blocked access to computers in exchange for a ransom. At least ...

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BTCL opens call centre ‘16402’ for UIC entrepreneurs

call centre

MNA Science & Tech Desk: Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) has introduced call centre “16402” to hear any query regarding internet of Union Information Centre (UIC), reported news agency. “The call centre has been opened to offer modern and time-befitting services to the UIC entrepreneurs,” said a BTCL statement today (Wednesday). As part of building “digital Bangladesh” by the government, BTCL has extended optical fiber cable network to Union Parishad level and connected over 1000 UICs with two Mbps internet. The UIC entrepreneurs are requested to call “16402” or to send email to,,,, for any ...

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Grameenphone appointed Michael Foley as new CEO

Michael Foley

MNA Science & Tech Desk: The Grameenphone Board of Directors has appointed Michael Foley as the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The appointment will be effective from May 26. The company also appointed Yasir Azman as Deputy CEO, Grameenphone said in a press release. Azman will remain as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), while taking on extended responsibilities for the digital and commercial strategy within GP and Telenor’s Emerging Asia Cluster. Petter-B Furberg, who has served as interim CEO since October 2016, will remain with Grameenphone as the chairman of Grameenphone’s Board of Directors. Foley, a Canadian by birth, has been ...

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