Washington, Aug 30 (AP/UNB) — Top executives at Facebook and Twitter are set to appear before Congress next week as lawmakers continue probing efforts by Russia and other countries to influence social media platforms and meddle in U.S. elections.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg are scheduled to testify Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Larry Page, CEO of Google's parent company Alphabet, also has been invited to the hearing. Lawmakers so far have rejected Google's offer to send a lower-level executive, and the search giant has not committed to sending Page to testify.
The committee is investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election and connections to President Donald Trump's campaign.
Dorsey is set to testify later Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Dhaka, Aug 30 (UNB) - Robi- 10 Minute School, (www.robi10minuteschool.com) is providing special support on general knowledge for the students who are preparing for admission test for Dhaka University’s Gha unit.
The online school is taking separate classes on Bangladesh and international affairs, said a press release.
Besides, students can also take part in model tests in Robi- 10 Minute School’s website: www.robi10minuteschool.com.
While attending the live classes, the students can win exciting prizes like 4G handsets, smart watches, headphones and cricket bats signed by national team cricket players.
Apart from the tutorials on Bangladesh’s war of independence, the online school also has recorded LIVE classes. These digital contents can significantly enhance the students’ general knowledge.
Robi-10 Minute School believes that the students need to also focus on current affairs issues to do well in the general knowledge part of the admission test. In this regard, students are advised to stay updated on world affairs that took place within at least four months of the exam.
Robi- 10 Minute School’s website has special classes on these issues in audio-visual format.
In addition, Robi- 10 Minute School also contains the general knowledge questions that featured in the admission test for Dhaka University’s Gha unit in previous years. Students may also visit www.robi10minuteschool.com to practice those questions.
General knowledge makes up the largest portion of the marks allotted in the admission test for Dhaka University’s Gha unit. 25 questions are allocated for Bangladesh related general knowledge and 25 questions are allocated for the international affairs issues. In total 50 questions provide 60 marks. Robi- 10 Minute School provides the complete solution to the admission seekers in this regard.
Beijing, Aug 29 (AP/UNB) — More than a dozen human rights groups have sent a letter to Google urging the company not to offer censored internet search services in China.
The joint letter dated Tuesday calls on CEO Sundar Pichai to explain what Google is doing to safeguard users from the Chinese government's censorship and surveillance.
That follows a letter earlier this month signed by more than a thousand Google employees protesting the company's secretive plan to build a search engine that would comply with Chinese censorship, and calling on executives to review ethics and transparency at the company.
Google had previously complied with censorship controls starting in 2006 as it sought a toehold in the booming Chinese economy. But it faced unrelenting pressure from human rights groups and some shareholders to leave.
San Francisco, Aug 28 (AP/UNB) — Uber is teaming up with Toyota to build self-driving cars for its ride-hailing service after its efforts to do it alone were derailed by a fatal collision and allegations of high-tech theft.
Toyota, based in Japan, is also investing $500 million in Uber as part of the alliance announced Monday.
The deal aims to combine the best features from the two companies' work on autonomous technology into cars that will be picking up Uber's customers by 2021.
By the time that happens, Uber hopes to have completed an initial public offering of stock that will enrich a list of early investors that now includes Toyota. Those investors have been pouring billions of dollars into Uber's revolutionary ride-hailing service that still hasn't proven it can make money since its inception nearly a decade ago.
Uber is counting on self-driving cars to help it turn the financial corner by reducing the need to pay human drivers who arrive to pick up passengers in private vehicles summoned through a smartphone app.
By expanding into autonomous vehicles, Uber also hopes to ward off a looming competitive threat from another early investor, Google and its self-driving car spin-off Waymo, which is poised to launch its own ride-hailing service in Arizona before the end of this year.
"Our goal is to deploy the world's safest self-driving cars on the Uber network, and this agreement is another significant step towards making that a reality," said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Meanwhile, Toyota is trying to evolve from a pure automobile maker into a "mobility company," as are many of its industry peers, including General Motors and Ford in the U.S. That crusade has prodded decades-old automakers such as Toyota and GM to invest in and partner with technology companies working on self-driving cars while also opening up their own research hubs in Silicon Valley.
Besides allowing them to lean on each other's respective strengths, Toyota's deal with San Francisco-based Uber also will help the two companies spread out the cost of designing and building the complex systems, which use computers, cameras, radar and laser sensors to guide the self-driving vehicles.
Uber is turning to Toyota for help in autonomous vehicles five months after one of its self-driving cars ran over and killed a pedestrian crossing a dark street in Tempe, Arizona.
The March 18 crash prompted Uber to temporarily suspend its work on its self-driving car program while conducting a safety evaluation.
Authorities determined the sensors on Uber's self-driving car sensors spotted the pedestrian, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, but the vehicle's automatic-braking function had been disabled in favor of a human backup driver. Tempe police said the driver was distracted and streaming a television show before the crash.
Uber had little choice but to find a self-driving car partner after the collision that killed Herzberg, said Navigant Research analyst Sam Abuelsamid.
"It's going to be tough for them to build consumer trust in whatever it is they're developing," he said. "I think that people will have a lot more trust in Toyota to do this the right way, to take due care and make sure everything is properly tested and evaluated."
Uber's expansion into self-driving cars suffered another setback last year after Waymo accused it of stealing its technology in an elaborate scheme . The case went through one week of a high-profile trial before Uber agreed to pay Waymo $245 million in stock to settle the allegations without acknowledging wrongdoing.
Dhaka, Aug 28 (AP/UNB) - A U.S. judge in Seattle blocked the Trump administration Monday from allowing a Texas company to post online plans for making untraceable 3D guns, agreeing with 19 states and the District of Columbia that such access to the plastic guns would pose a security risk.
The states sued to stop an agreement that the government had reached with Austin, Texas-based Defense Distributed, saying guidelines on how to print undetectable plastic guns could be acquired by felons or terrorists.
U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik extended a temporary restraining order, and his new decision will last until the case is resolved. He said Cody Wilson, owner of Defense Distributed, wanted to post the plans online so that citizens can arm themselves without having to deal with licenses, serial numbers and registrations.
Wilson has said that "governments should live in fear of their citizenry."
"It is the untraceable and undetectable nature of these small firearms that poses a unique danger," Lasnik said. "Promising to detect the undetectable while at the same time removing a significant regulatory hurdle to the proliferation of these weapons — both domestically and internationally — rings hollow and in no way ameliorates, much less avoids, the harms that are likely to befall the states if an injunction is not issued."
The State Department had reached the settlement with the company after the agency removed the 3D gun-making plans from a list of weapons or technical data that cannot be exported overseas.
The states argued that the federal agency didn't follow the law when it removed 3D guns from the munitions list. They said the government was supposed to notify Congress and provide a 30-day window before making a change to that list, but it did not.
Lasnik criticized the government for switching its position on the threat posed by the 3D gun-making plans.
Up until April, the government argued the distribution of the guidelines "posed a threat to world peace and the security and foreign policy of the United States," the judge said.
Despite those fears, the government decided that it only needed to restrict the international availability of firearms up to .50 caliber. That's when they reached a settlement with the 3D gun company.
There was no indication the government evaluated the unique characteristics of the plastic guns when it considered deleting that category of weapons from the prohibited list, the judge said.
"Nor is there any reasoned explanation for its change in position," Lasnik said.
The federal government declined to comment on the judge's ruling.
A lawyer with the U.S. Justice Department had argued against the injunction, saying possessing 3D plastic guns is already against the law, and the federal government is committed to enforcing that law.
But the judge said it wasn't enough.
"While the court appreciates the earnestness with which this commitment was made at oral argument, it is of small comfort to know that, once an undetectable firearm has been used to kill a citizen of Delaware or Rhode Island or Vermont, the federal government will seek to prosecute a weapons charge in federal court while the state pursues a murder conviction in state court," Lasnik said.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson praised the ruling.
"Once again, I'm glad we put a stop to this dangerous policy," Ferguson said. "But I have to ask a simple question: why is the Trump administration working so hard to allow these untraceable, undetectable 3D-printed guns to be available to domestic abusers, felons and terrorists?"
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a pro-gun control group that has aggressively fought the online release of the gun plans, praised the judge's ruling "as a tremendous victory for the American public."
Avery Gardiner, co-president of the group, said 3D-printed guns "represent a supreme threat to our safety and security, and we are grateful that Judge Lasnik recognized it as such."
The states suing are Washington, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.