Science & Tech

BTRC bans free social media internet packages


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has imposed a ban on free internet packages for the use of Facebook and other social media. The BTRC sent a letter to the internet providers on Tuesday directing them to take effective measures from Wednesday. The letter, signed by Sabina Islam, deputy director of BTRC, in response to a letter from the information ministry, said it was recently noticed that telecom service providers were creating unhealthy competition in the market to provide social media-related services partially or in some cases completely free to attract their customers. By taking these ...

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Facebook launches third-party fact-checking programme in Bangladesh


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Facebook authorities on Sunday launched a third-party fact-checking programme in Bangladesh to reduce the spread of misinformation and improve the quality of the news people find online. Facebook will partner with BOOM, which has been certified by the Poynter Institute’s non-partisan International Fact Checking Network, UNB reported citing a press release from Facebook. BOOM will review and rate the accuracy of stories including photos and videos in Bangladesh on Facebook from Sunday, it said. Usually, when a third-party fact-checker rates a story as false, it will appear lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution. ...

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Australia scientists detect largest explosion since Big Bang


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Scientists in Australia have detected the largest explosion seen in the Universe since the Big Bang, which emitted five times the energy of the previous record holder, they revealed on Friday. The explosion came from a supermassive black hole, at the centre of a galaxy hundreds of millions of light years away. Researchers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Western Australia still don’t know exactly what caused the blast, but observed that it created a massive cavity in the the cluster plasma, or super-hot gas, surrounding the black hole. “You could ...

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Uber rides into Cox’s Bazar

Cox's Bazar

MNA Science & Technology Desk: Uber has launched operations in the tourist resort of Cox’s Bazar today (Wednesday), making it the 4th Bangladeshi city after Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet, where riders can now book UberXL and MOTO services by downloading the Uber app. The launch of Uber services in Cox’s Bazar will offer affordable, reliable, and convenient transportation access to riders, and livelihood opportunities for drivers, said a media release. Uber has launched several safety products so that before, during, and after trips, riders feel safe. There is an emergency number that connects riders to law enforcement, an in-app safety ...

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Canada can help BD innovate technologies to enter 4IR era


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Canada can strongly assist Bangladesh in innovating and developing technologies to enter the era of 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), said Robert Norris, Honorary Consul for Bangladesh in Saskatchewan Province in Canada. “The North American country can provide Bangladesh with its state-of-the-art research facilities to innovate technologies especially in the areas of education, agriculture, health, energy and advance technology,” he said in an exclusive interview with the FE. The Canada-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CanCham) arranged the interview at a city hotel on Saturday afternoon. Mr Norris, who also served as a Member of Saskatchewan ...

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Intel elects Bangladeshi-American Omar Ishrak as board chairman

Omar Ishrak

MNA Science & Technology Desk: Bangladeshi born Omar Ishrak has been elected chairman of the Intel Corporation board of directors succeeding Andy Bryant who stepped down after serving for seven years. The California-based chip maker made the announcement on Tuesday and said it would take immediate effect. Omar has been serving as chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic, the world’s leading medical technology company, with over $27 billion in annual revenue, and operations in more than 160 countries, since June 2011, reports UNB. According to his bio on Medtronic, Omar grew up in Bangladesh, and earned a Bachelor of ...

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SpaceX to simulate rocket failure in final astronaut capsule test


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Elon Musk’s SpaceX is gearing up to destroy one of its own rockets on Saturday to test a crucial emergency abort system on an unmanned astronaut capsule, the company’s final milestone test before flying NASA astronauts from US soil. Less than two minutes after liftoff from a launchpad in Florida, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule will fire on-board thrusters to eject itself off a Falcon 9 rocket mid-air, simulating an emergency abort scenario that will prove it can return astronauts to safety. “I will tell you tomorrow will be an exciting day,” Kathy Lueders, NASA’s commercial ...

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60pc people enjoying internet facilities in Bangladesh: Joy


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy has said currently 60 per cent people are enjoying internet facilities in Bangladesh. He also said the government is working to bring all people under internet coverage. “When we began the journey of Digital Bangladesh, only 1.3 per cent people had internet connection. Today, 60 per cent people are enjoying internet facilities,” he said. The PM’s adviser came up with the statement while addressing the launching ceremony of Wi-Fi zone at different government educational institutions in the country at Posts and Telecommunications Division conference room on Sunday. ...

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PM asks all to crosscheck info before sharing on social media


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has put utmost importance to ensuring cybersecurity and urged all to crosscheck any information before sharing on social media in the interest of the country and society. “Cybersecurity is very much important. I would like to tell the people of the country that it’s not wise to react just seeing anything in the internet without checking its authenticity…all have to crosscheck the information,” she said. The Prime Minister said this while speaking at an award-giving ceremony of Digital Bangladesh Day 2019 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital on ...

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Facebook bows to Singapore’s ‘fake news’ law


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Facebook has added a correction notice to a post that Singapore’s government said contained false information. It is the first time Facebook has issued such a notice under the city-state’s controversial “fake news” law. Singapore claimed the post, by fringe news site States Times Review (STR), contained “scurrilous accusations”. The note issued by the social media giant said it “is legally required to tell you that the Singapore government says this post has false information”. Facebook’s addition was embedded at the bottom of the original post, which was not altered. It was only visible to ...

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India launches Cartosat-3, 13 nanosatellites onboard PSLV-C47


MNA Science & Technology Desk: The Indian Space Research Organization has launched Cartosat-3 and 13 commercial nanosatellites into sun synchronous orbit onboard Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C47), officials said. The satellite was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, off the Bay of Bengal coast located in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday morning. “PSLV-C47 successfully injects Cartosat-3 spacecraft into orbit,” according to a statement issued by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) after the successful launch of the satellite. “The 13 commercial satellites from the United States successfully placed in their designated orbits.” ...

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GP brings in iPhone 11 series

iPhone 11

MNA Science & Technology Desk: Grameenphone (GP) has brought in the iPhone 11 series in Bangladesh on Thursday following a pre-order period from October 25 to October 30, to enable customers further utilize the potential of 4G internet. The device was launched at a handover ceremony at the GP Lounge at Gulshan on the day as the pre-bookers received their prized purchases from GP CEO Michael Foley and GP brand ambassador renowned Actor, Singer Tahsan Rahman Khan. The iPhone 11 series is the newest addition to the ground breaking smartphones brought in by Apple. Presented in three variants iPhone 11, ...

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Bhola clash: Facebook ID hacker identified


MNA Science & Technology Desk: The person who reportedly hacked the Facebook account of Biplob Chandra has been identified with the assistance of Facebook authorities. Quoting Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Public Relations Officer of the Home Ministry Sharif Mahmud told UNB on Thursday that the Facebook authorities on Wednesday confirmed the identity of the hacker. “Soon the person’s identity will be disclosed before the media. We’re trying to arrest the person shortly,” the Home Minister was quoted as saying. Four people were killed and more than 200 others were injured on Sunday in a clash between police and demonstrating locals ...

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Joy inaugurates three digital one-stop services


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy has inaugurated three digital one-stop services – Eksheba, Ekpay and Ekshop – to enable the people to get different government services, utility bills and fees payment facilities and e-commerce. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division arranged the launching ceremony at ICT Tower at Agargaon in Dhaka on Sunday, reports BSS. LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tazul Islam, State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, ICT Division Senior Secretary NM Zeaul Alam and South Korean Ambassador in Dhaka Hu Kang-il addressed the function. The Access to Information ...

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Govt unblocks online battle game PUBG shortly after blocking


MNA Science & Technology Desk: The Bangladesh authorities have unblocked online multiplayer game Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG shortly after blocking it at the request of police following complaints by parents of adolescent players. Post and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar disclosed the development on Facebook on Friday night after an officer of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Cyber Security and Crime Division, in another post in the afternoon, announced the ban. “The PUBG users who were unhappy with the blockade will be delighted to know that it is no longer blocked,” the minister wrote. “The game has been unblocked because the government ...

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NASA unveils new spacesuits for human lunar landing


MNA Science & Technology Desk: The US space agency NASA unveiled on Tuesday the next-generation spacesuits to be used in its Artemis programme that will send the first woman and next man to the Lunar South Pole by 2024. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine showcased the ground prototypes of two spacesuits designed for lunar exploration: one for exploring the Moon’s surface, known as the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU), and one for launch and re-entry aboard the agency’s mew Orion spacecraft, known as the Orion Crew Survival System. he xEMU, a red, white and blue suit, is composed of the pressure ...

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Microsoft returns with smartphone after high-profile flops


MNA Sports Desk: After high-profile flops, Microsoft is getting back into smartphones with a dual-screen Android device that won’t be out for another year. Microsoft unveiled the Surface Duo as part of a new lineup of Surface computers. It marks a reversal for a company that abandoned smartphones following lackluster demand for its own operating system and an ill-fated purchase of smartphone maker Nokia. “I believe the third time’s a charm for Microsoft and smartphones,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with moor Insights & Strategy. He said Microsoft has had a good track record with Surface devices, while the Duo’s ...

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Astronomers find most massive neutron star to date


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Astronomers at West Virginia University in the United States have discovered the most massive neutron star to date, which packs 2.17 times the mass of the sun into a sphere only 20 to 30 kilometres. This measurement approaches the limits of how massive and compact a single object can become without crushing itself down into a black hole, according to the study published on Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy. The neutron star is a rapidly spinning, dense celestial object that consists primarily of closely packed neutrons and that results from the collapse of a ...

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Google to pay up to $200m on YouTube probe


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Alphabet Inc’s Google will spend up to $200 million to settle a US Federal Trade Commission investigation into YouTube’s alleged violation of a children’s privacy law. Politico reported the settlement is expected to be between $150 million and $200 million. The settlement is set to be announced next week and will be the largest ever fine imposed for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule by collecting personal information from kids without parental consent. Google declined to comment. The FTC voted 3-2 to approve the settlement and sent it to the Justice Department as part ...

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Facebook removes dozens of Myanmar accounts over ‘inauthentic behavior’


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Facebook said on Thursday it had shut 216 social media pages, groups, and accounts in Myanmar, some tied to the army, to stymie efforts to “manipulate or corrupt public debate”. The company closed 89 Facebook accounts, 107 pages, 15 groups, and five Instagram accounts, some of which had hundreds of thousands of followers, it said in a blogpost. The social media giant has previously removed hundreds of accounts, including that of Myanmar’s army chief, after criticism it had failed to act on hate speech amid violence against Rohingya Muslims in the country. The people behind ...

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Twitter, Facebook shut Chinese accounts targeting Hong Kong protests


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc said on Monday they had dismantled a state-backed social media campaign originating in mainland China that sought to undermine protests in Hong Kong. Twitter said it suspended 936 accounts and the operations appeared to be a coordinated state-backed effort originating in China. It said these accounts were just the most active portions of this campaign and that a “larger, spammy network” of approximately 200,000 accounts had been proactively suspended before they were substantially active. Facebook said it had removed accounts and pages from a small network after a tip from ...

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Home ministry to buy Tk 2.0b data interceptor


MNA Science & Technology Desk: The government approved the procurement of another vehicle-mounted data interceptor for the ministry of home affairs under the direct purchase method. The cabinet committee on economic affairs gave the approval for the purchase in its meeting on Wednesday at the secretariat, chaired by finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal. The procurement will cost the exchequer around Tk 2.0 billion. The National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre will use the data interceptor for the interest of national security. After the meeting, the minister said the way rumours are spread proves to be “very risky” for the country. “Such rumours ...

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WhatsApp to roll out payments service in India this year


MNA Science & Technology Desk: WhatsApp will roll out its payments service in India this year following a year-long pilot, its global chief Will Cathcart has said, as the Facebook-owned messaging giant taps an upsurge in digital payments in its dominant market. WhatsApp is ubiquitous across India, where data consumption is surging thanks to cheap internet, but a full launch of its payments feature had been delayed amid some false messages circulating on the platform that have led to mob lynching and more government scrutiny, according to local media. The Menlo Park, California-based firm has also been trying to comply ...

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Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins returns to launch site on 50th anniversary

Michael Collins

MNA Science & Technology Desk: Michael Collins, 88, one of the surviving crew members of the first manned mission to the Moon – Apollo 11 – has returned to the site where the mission set off 50 years ago. He visited Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday. He marked the precise time – 09:32 (13:32 GMT) – when their rocket took off, reports BBC. Mr Collins had stayed in lunar orbit while his colleagues Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon. Tuesday’s meeting kicked off a series of commemorative events across the US. Mr Collins was the only ...

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BASIS National ICT Awards kicks off


MNA Science & Technology Desk: The third edition of BASIS National ICT Awards 2019 has begun today (Tuesday). The winners of this award will be nominated for the APICTA Awards 2019 which is going to be held at Ha Long Bay, Vietnam on November 18-23. Organizers of the BASIS National ICT Awards 2019 came up with the announcement at a press conference held in the city. Speaking on the conference, BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir said innovative and prospective ICT projects of Bangladesh would be recognized in the BASIS National ICT Awards. Through a robust judging process the best ones ...

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94.4 million internet users in Bangladesh: Minister


MNA Science & Technology Desk: The total number of internet subscribers in Bangladesh reached 94.4 million at the end of May this year. Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar gave the information in the parliament on Tuesday. “The number of the country’s total internet users was only 6.0 million in December 2008 and it now reached 94.4 million in May 2019,” he said. Jabbar said the price of internet has significantly been cut keeping pace with the rise of internet users in the country. Noting that the state-run Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) has been providing internet services with a ...

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GP, UNICEF team up for child online protection


MNA Science & Technology Desk: Grameenphone, Telenor Group and UNICEF joined forces to boost Child Online Safety programme by empowering 1.2 million children and adolescents across Bangladesh by 2021. To this end, Grameenphone, Telenor Group and UNICEF on Thursday signed a partnership agreement setting out an ambitious strategy to further strengthen and scale online protection for children in Bangladesh. The internet is a powerful tool for children that can support their development through access to information, education, empowerment and participation. But the internet may also expose children to violence, exploitation and abuse through inappropriate content and behaviour online. The project ...

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