Dhaka, Mar 10 (UNB)- Robi-10 Minute School (www.robi10minuteschool.com) has recently organised six master-classes in six of the renowned educational institutions in the port city Chattogram.
The six master-classes were held in BGC Trust University, Asian University for Women, Enayet Bazar Mohila College, Ispahani Public School and College, Saint Placid’s School and College and Southern University. Hundreds of students from these institutions attended the master-classes.
Robi’s Chief Financial Officer, Roni Tohme, Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, Shahed Alam, Vice President, Media, Communications and Sustainability, Ekram Kabir, General Manager, Sustainability, Md Towfiquzzaman Chowdhury and, Robi-10 Minute School’ Founder and CEO, Ayman Sadiq conducted the master-classes.
The master-classes included a number of sessions that emphasised on the need for skills development in order to prepare for the digital future that awaits the students. The students were appraised about Robi’s latest social awareness campaign on responsible digital lifestyle, #CommonSense.
Starting from Chattogram, the master-class sessions will tour all the eight divisions of the country shortly to disseminate the same message.
As part of the master-classes, students of the six participating educational institutions were introduced to the Robi-10 Minute School app (http://bit.ly/10MSapp).
Practical demonstrations of various unique features of the app were also demonstrated to help them get the most of out of the app.
Anchorage, Mar 9 (AP/UNB) — Far from competitors tackling the frozen wilderness in Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a dozen people are holed up inside an Anchorage hotel behind banks of computers, tracking the punishing route and connecting with global fans seeking a real-time link to the off-the-grid sport.
As of Friday, 51 mushers are traveling long stretches between remote village checkpoints with no other company but the dogs pulling their sleds. But they're not competing in a vacuum on the 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) trail that spans two mountain ranges and the frozen Yukon River before it heads up the wind-scrubbed Bering Sea Coast to the finish line in the Gold Rush town of Nome.
Their progress is monitored from several hotel rooms whose 24/7 occupants are the Iditarod's electronic eyes and ears. Technology has increasingly made the 47-year-old race more immediate to fans and safer for competitors, said Chas St. George, acting CEO of the Iditarod Trail Committee, the race's governing board.
"This is a really low-tech event when you look at it from that perspective, but high-tech research has always been a huge part of the race," he said Wednesday during a tour of the Iditarod's hotel command post.
This is where volunteers and race contractors monitor the dog teams through sleds equipped with GPS trackers that allow fans to follow them online in real time and organizers to ensure no one is missing. Some serve as aircraft dispatchers for a cadre of pilots who ferry supplies as well as mushers and dogs that drop out.
Others process live video streamed from checkpoints along the rugged trail, using satellite dishes. Some volunteers handle race-standing updates sent through equipment first tested last year, making it possible to activate a super-size hot spot in the most remote places with satellite connections.
Long gone are the days where some race updates came through amateur radio and faxes, said Reece Roberts, a supervisor in the internal communications room who has been a race volunteer for 14 years.
"Now we use satellite phones and we have satellite modems essentially for data transfers," he said. "It's very slow, but it works."
In one room, Art Aldrich worked Wednesday in relative darkness, his face illuminated by his computer screen. He monitored a live video of two Iditarod pundits at the Nikolai checkpoint, 687 miles (1,100 kilometers) from the finish line on the race's third day. Veteran musher Matt Failor appeared on the feed in real time.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Matt Failor — live from Nikolai," Iditarod Insider interviewer Greg Heister announced, asking how the race was going for him.
"So far, so good," Failor said, grinning. "Are we really live right now?" He waved at the camera.
Aldrich also relays questions from live video chats to camera operators in the field. He said it's not the most sophisticated system, but it gets the job done. "The fans love it," he said.
The live chats, which are posted in the paid subscription platform Iditarod Insider, have attracted an online community from at least 164 countries, according to Mike Vann in the technology war-room.
"It's pretty amazing when we start interacting with them to see where people are joining us from," he said.
This year, race organizers introduced Gia, a digital sled dog mascot with a squeaky voice that fans can chat with through Facebook messenger. Before the race, the cartoon dog even helped organizers recruit donations of straw used for dog beds at the checkpoints, Iditarod officials said.
Veteran musher Scott Janssen is sitting out the race, but like other fans, is following the action through the GPS-rigged sleds required of every participant. As a competitor, he sees the benefits of GPS tracking and the satellite phones that mushers can now carry for emergencies.
Such technological additions make him feel safer — to a point.
"But to be honest, I would say conservatively that 90 percent of mushers would prefer that we had nothing at all on our sleds," Janssen said, adding that the technology eliminates the remote aspect of the race. "It takes some of the toughness away from it. And that's why we're doing that race, is to prove we can do this on our own, completely."
San Francisco, Mar 8 (AP/UNB) — After building a social network that turned into a surveillance system, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he's shifting his company's focus to messaging services designed to serve as fortresses of privacy.
Instead of just being the network that connects everyone, Facebook wants to encourage small groups of people to carry on encrypted conversations that neither Facebook nor any other outsider can read. It also plans to let messages automatically disappear, a feature pioneered by its rival Snapchat that could limit the risks posed by a trail of social media posts that follow people throughout their lives.
It's a major bet by Zuckerberg, who sees it as a way to push Facebook more firmly into a messaging market that's growing faster than its main social networking business. It might also help Facebook ward off government regulators, although the Facebook CEO made clear that he expects the company's messaging business to complement, not replace, its core businesses.
But there are plenty of obstacles. Facebook has weathered more than two years of turbulence for repeated privacy lapses, spreading disinformation, allowing Russian agents to conduct targeted propaganda campaigns and a rising tide of hate speech and abuse. Zuckerberg submitted to two days of grilling on Capitol Hill last April. All that increases the challenge of convincing users that Facebook really means it about privacy this time.
Encrypted conversations could alleviate some of those problems, but it could make others worse. Security is an "admirable goal," said Forrester Research analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo. "I'm just not sure it addresses the bigger issues Facebook is facing right now."
Facebook grew into a colossus by vacuuming up people's information in every possible way and dissecting it to shoot targeted ads back at them. Anything that jeopardizes that machine could pose a major threat to the company's share price, which would also affect its ability to attract and retain talented engineers and other employees.
In a Wednesday interview with The Associated Press, Zuckerberg predicted Facebook's emphasis on privacy will do more to help the company's business than hurt it. While most of the stock market slipped in Wednesday trading, Facebook's shares gained $1.25 to close at $172.51.
The Facebook CEO has been telegraphing some of these changes to investors for the past six months, but his Wednesday blog post is the first time he has explained the idea to the more than two billion people that use Facebook's services and look at its ads. Those ads are expected to generate $67 billion in revenue this year, according to the research firm eMarketer.
If everything falls into place, Facebook will also display similar advertising on the privacy-protected messaging services. Those services are also likely to offer other moneymaking features, such as a digital wallet, as Facebook attempts to build something similar to Tencent's popular WeChat service in Asia.
"If you think about your life, you probably spend more time communicating privately than publicly," Zuckerberg said during the AP interview. "The overall opportunity here is a lot larger than what we have built in terms of Facebook and Instagram."
That's far from proven. While Facebook has already tried to show ads in the Messenger app, it's seen only limited success. It hasn't even tested the concept in WhatsApp since it acquired that service for $22 billion in 2014.
"There are some huge unknowns about how successful Facebook is going to be rolling advertising into a more private messaging environment," said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson.
Some critics are convinced that Facebook has become so powerful — even a threat to democracy as well as to people's privacy — that it needs to be reined in by tougher regulations or even a corporate breakup.
But unraveling Facebook could become more difficult if Zuckerberg can successfully stitch together the messaging services behind an encrypted wall.
"I see that as the goal of this entire thing," said Blake Reid, a University of Colorado law professor who specializes in technology and policy. He said Facebook could tell antitrust authorities that WhatsApp, Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger are tied so tightly together that it couldn't unwind them.
Combining the three services also lets Facebook build more complete data profiles on all of its users. Already, businesses can already target Facebook and Instagram users with the same ads, and marketing campaigns are likely coming to WhatsApp eventually.
Facebook's focus on messaging privacy raises other concerns. Messaging apps have in the past helped fake news and rumors spread fast, sometimes with deadly consequences. A report from University of Oxford researchers last year found evidence of widespread disinformation campaigns on chat applications like WhatsApp. In one particularly brutal example, the Indian government last year accused WhatsApp of fueling rumors that led to lynchings and mob violence that wounded dozens.
Facebook responded by restricting the number of groups to which a message could be forwarded and labeling forwarded messages as such. On Wednesday, Zuckerberg said that Facebook needs to protect both privacy and safety as it encrypted messaging services, although he noted to an "inherent trade-off" between security and safety, simply because Facebook won't be able to read encrypted conversations.
And in some cases, Facebook could allow some content to automatically disappear in a day or two, as if it were a fleeting mirage.
"Some people want to store their messages forever and some people think having large collections of photos or messages is a liability as much as it is an asset," Zuckerberg told the AP. "Figuring out the balance is a really important one."
Washington, Mar 8 (AP/UNB) — For decades, there were tales from fishermen and tourists, even lots of photos, of a mysterious killer whale that just didn't look like all the others, but scientists had never seen one.
Now they have.
An international team of researchers says they found a couple dozen of these distinctly different orcas roaming in the oceans off southern Chile in January. Scientists are waiting for DNA tests from a tissue sample but think it may be a distinct species.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration felt confident enough to trumpet the discovery of the long rumored killer whale on Thursday. Some outside experts were more cautious, acknowledging the whales are different, but saying they'd wait for the test results to answer the species question.
"This is the most different looking killer whale I've ever seen," said Robert Pitman, a NOAA marine ecologist in San Diego. He was part of the team that spotted the orcas off Cape Horn at the tip of South America.
How different? The whale's signature large white eye patch is tiny on these new guys, barely noticeable. Their heads are a bit more rounded and less sleek than normal killer whales and their dorsal fins are narrower and pointed.
They likely mostly eat fish, not marine mammals like seals, as other killer whales do, Pitman said. Fishermen have complained about how good they are at poaching off fishing lines, snatching 200-pound fish away.
Pitman said they are so different they probably can't breed with other killer whales and are likely a new species. At 20 to 25 feet long (6 to 7.5 meters), they are slightly smaller than most killer whales. In the Southern Hemisphere, killer whales are considered all one species, classified in types A through C. This one is called type D or subantarctic killer whales.
Michael McGowen, marine mammal curator at the Smithsonian, said calling it a new species without genetic data may be premature. Still, he said, "I think it's pretty remarkable that there are still many things out there in the ocean like a huge killer whale that we don't know about."
Scientists have heard about these distinctive whales ever since a mass stranding in New Zealand in 1955. Scientists initially thought it could be one family of killer whales that had a specific mutation, but the January discovery and all the photos in between point to a different type, Pitman said.
He said they are hard to find because they live far south and away from shore, unlike most killer whales.
"The type D killer whale lives in the most inhospitable waters on the planet. It's a good place to hide."
Pitman got interested in this mysterious killer whale when he was shown a photograph in 2005. When he and others decided to go find them, they followed the advice and directions of South American fishermen, who had seen the whales poaching their fish.
After weeks of waiting, about 25 of the whales came up to the scientist's boat, looking like they expected to be fed. Equipment problems prevented the scientists from recording enough of the whale songs, but they used a crossbow to get a tissue sample. Pitman said the whales are so big and their skin so tough that it didn't hurt them, saying the arrow "is like a soda straw bouncing off a truck tire."
Pitman said he'll never forget Jan. 21 when he finally saw his first and then a bunch of the type D orcas.
"For 14 years I was looking for these guys. I finally got to see them," Pitman said.
He acknowledged that he did sound like the revenge-seeking captain in the classic novel "Moby-Dick."
"I guess I know how Ahab felt, but for a good reason," Pitman said.
San Francisco, Mar 8(AP/UNB) — To President Donald Trump, it was an awkward slip of the lip. To Apple CEO Tim Cook, it was an opportunity to poke some sly fun at a president who has often clashed with the tech industry.
A day after Trump mistakenly referred to Cook at a White House meeting as "Tim Apple" — an understandable slip, perhaps, coming from the owner of the Trump Organization — Cook quietly altered his Twitter profile , replacing his last name with the Apple logo.
Cook didn't publicly acknowledge the change, but it didn't take long for Apple fans to notice and spread the word.
Non-Apple fans, though, may not get the joke. Cook's Apple-logo icon is only visible on iPhones and Mac computers. On Windows, it's a blank square; on Android, it renders variously as an X-ed out or blank gray rectangle. ("Tim Square" was probably not the connotation the Apple CEO was going for.)
That's not wholly surprising for Apple, which famously prefers its own devices and software over others. Apple didn't respond to a query about the logo misstep (if indeed it was a misstep).
The White House, meanwhile, appears to be engaged in some damage control. In the official transcript of the meeting , the words "Tim" and "Apple" are separated by a dash as if Trump had paused, possibly to thank both the executive and the company.