Dhaka, June 25 (UNB)- The two-day ‘International Clean Technology Fair’ will begin on Wednesday at the Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh in the capital.
It aims to explore potential markets and establish new partnerships for the technology suppliers. The fair will be open for all from 10am to 7pm.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and Resource-Efficient Supply Chain for Metal Products in Buildings Sector in South Asia (METABUILD) are jointly organising the fair.
Md Helal Uddin, Chairman, Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) is expected to inaugurate the fair as the chief guest.
Siddique Zobair, Member (Additional Secretary) of SREDA, DCCI Senior Vice-President Waqar Ahmad Choudhury and Vice-President Imran Ahmed will also be present at the opening ceremony, according to a press release.
The fair will host around 70 exhibitors from Bangladesh and India to interact with about 300 METABUILD partner companies as well as other industries.
METABUILD is a four-year project supported by the European Union (EU) under the SWITCH Asia Programme emphasising sustainable consumption and production in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
DCCI is the implementing partner of METABUILD project.
Berlin, June 25 (AP/UNB) — Scientists in Europe say they've successfully transferred a test tube rhino embryo back into a female whose eggs were fertilized in vitro, as part of an effort to save another nearly extinct sub-species of the giant horned mammal.
Thomas Hildebrandt of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin said Tuesday the procedure was performed last month on a southern white rhino at Chorzow Zoo in Poland.
Hildebrandt is part of an international team trying to save the northern white rhino. The team is hoping to get permission from Kenya to harvest eggs from the last two surviving female northern white rhinos soon.
He told reporters that "this is the first positive proof that the entire procedure we've developed in theory can be successful."
New York, June 25 (AP/UNB) - Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency has taken a lot of criticism from Western government officials and media commentators – but it’s not meant for them. A major target market for the Libra is users in developing countries.
From researching cryptocurrency, blockchain and other technologies in the context of developing countries, I can see that digital payment systems are already attractive. Libra may potentially be even more so, because Facebook has the money and technological advances that could make Libra easier than many existing methods.
A huge market opportunity
Most of Facebook’s 2.4 billion users, and the 1.5 billion users of Facebook-owned WhatsApp, live in developing countries.
India is WhatsApp’s biggest market, with more than 300 million users. There are 120 million WhatsApp users in Brazil. In those two countries, 80% of small businesses use WhatsApp as part of their business activities, such as exchanging bills and receipts with customers and suppliers.
WhatsApp has been testing a new feature called WhatsApp Pay, which lets users send money directly to each other’s bank accounts. It’s only available in India, where there are 1 million users – and it’s not the only peer-to-peer funds transfer service in the country. In addition to sending each other money, people also use WhatsApp Pay for buying goods and services from vendors.
However, WhatsApp Pay depends on the Indian government’s Unified Payments Interface to handle the transactions. That means banks have to pay a fee to let their customers use the service.
Libra could be cheaper to use, and could expand WhatsApp Pay’s reach far beyond India. Expanding the service across many countries could prove a huge opportunity for families with members working overseas. Many people who emigrate from developing countries to more developed nations send money back home to help their families get by. In 2018, people sent US$689 billion to family members in other countries – and $529 billion of that money went to people in low- and middle-income nations.
The fees for those services are enormous – $25 billion a year, or 3.5% of the total amount sent. Facebook knows that saving money on these transfers, which the financial industry calls “remittances,” would be a huge draw, letting emigrants send home most or all of the fee savings, rather than paying it to middlemen.
In addition, Facebook’s Libra is designed to be a place to hold users’ funds, as well as allow people to exchange money. That could reduce, or even eliminate, fees for other transactions too. People who use other online financial services like PayPal and Coinbase, could also connect to their Libra wallets, further expanding how useful a digital wallet could be.
Easier to use
There are other companies developing similar services. Humaniq, for instance, is a blockchain startup that offers its 500,000 users in 46 developing nations a digital wallet coupled with an online chat service. Its customers can exchange money and messages through its app.
But Humaniq is a young company with more limited resources and a short track record of success and security. Facebook is much better positioned to dominate. In addition to its enormous user base, Facebook has the programming expertise to design user-friendly interfaces. For instance, WhatsApp already provides messaging in 13 Indian languages.
Libra is intended to integrate with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp so its users can also send money back and forth just as easily as they send text messages. Libra’s other partners include financial and technology giants like Visa, PayPal, Spotify and Uber, who are equally experienced at providing users with easy experiences.
Providing stability, efficiency and security
Cryptocurrencies, including the Libra, can prove attractive to consumers and businesses in economies suffering from high inflation, high interest rates and unstable currency exchange rates. For instance, the Argentinian e-commerce company Avalanchaoffers a 10% discount for payments in bitcoin. That makes sense because the Argentinian peso lost half its value in the first eight months of 2018. If a customer pays with a credit card, Avalancha may not get its money for a month – and that money may not be worth what it once was.
Libra also has the potential to transform the extremely inefficient microlending industry. For instance, the person-to-person microlending site Kiva has, over the past 15 years, let 1.6 million people provide small-amount loans totaling more than $1 billion to more than 2 million needy entrepreneurs in developing countries. But Kiva doesn’t lend the money directly to these budding businesspeople. Instead, it works with local microfinance institutions, most of which charge exorbitantly high interest rates, averaging around 40%.
Kiva is another backer of Libra, no doubt hoping to make its lending even more effective by directly transferring money from donors and investors to its entrepreneurs.
Cryptocurrency systems are attractive to people in developing countries because they have the potential for greater security. Digital payment systems in developing countries, such as the M-Pesa, are increasingly popular targets for hackers and cyber-thieves. Many users of India’s UPI system have also been victims of financial cybercrime.
Libra has the potential to bring many benefits, but only if it can address a wide range of national and international concerns, from financial regulators and consumers alike. Facebook must prove that the Libra system can combat money laundering and fraud both at the sending end of a transaction and the receiving end.
At the same time, Facebook will have to convince its customers that it can keep their financial information private. Libra’s integration with WhatsApp and Facebook, and potentially Instagram, suggests financial accounts will be linked to social media identities. Facebook has alarmed regulators and customers alike with its violations, and exploitations, of users’ privacy.
On an even wider scale, some governments – in both developing nations and developed ones – are worried Facebook might become a “shadow bank,” a place to store money that’s not subject to regulations regular banks are. Others have expressed concern about the sovereignty implications of a private company issuing its own currency.
Facebook has a lot of work to do before Libra can live up to its potential – and there’s no guarantee that will happen. But it is clear that consumers and businesses in developing countries want technological help engaging in transactions and storing money.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: http://theconversation.com/facebooks-libra-may-be-quite-attractive-in-developing-countries-119206.
Dhaka, June 25 (UNB) - The Netherlands has been hit by its largest telecommunications outage in years, with the 112 emergency number knocked out across the country, reports BBC.
The disruption, which lasted four hours, originated from national carrier KPN, and affected other providers linked to its network.
KPN said the cause was still unclear but it did not appear to be a hack.
"We have no reason to think it was (a hack) and we monitor our systems 24/7," a company spokeswoman told Reuters.
Landlines and mobile phones linked to the KPN network were also affected, but it was the failure of the national emergency line that was most worrying. Emergency services responded by putting out alternative contact information on social media.
Speaking to public broadcaster NPO, KPN board director Joost Farwerck said the network had been backed up to prevent any malfunction, but the backups had not worked.
KPN has been told to explain to Justice and Security Minister Ferdinand Grapperhuis on Tuesday what went wrong. It has also emerged that the company's chief executive, Maximo Ibarra, is to step down, although KPN has stressed it has nothing to do with the outage.
How bad was the outage?
During the disruption, additional police were sent on to streets around the country.
Authorities also advised people to go directly to hospitals or to police or fire stations for any emergencies.
Firefighters also announced they were going out into key areas, with one fire brigade appearing at a key harbour in a Rotterdam suburb in case people needed help.
It took more than an hour for authorities to find an alternative emergency number, and even then the NL-Alert service designed to get in touch with people via their mobile phones during an emergency had problems.
The popular Telegraaf newspaper revealed that the justice and security ministry had used NL-Alert to send out the paper's WhatsApp tips-line as an alternative to 112 by mistake.
An alert was later sent out with the correct number, images of which have been posted by social media users.
Mr Grapperhaus told De Telegraaf that the ministry was investigating how the wrong number was given out.
"Was it an office prank or was there really no plan?" Dutch Green politician Kathalijne Buitenweg tweeted.
What has reaction been?
Political reaction to the failure of the 112 emergency number has been one of shock.
"This just shouldn't be possible," complained centre-right MP Chris van Dam, who said it was simply incomprehensible that the 112 line was "so vulnerable".
Commentators pointed out that national security co-ordinator NCTV had warned only this month that "dependence on digitised processes and systems has become so big" that it could disrupt society and it called for "fallback options and analogue alternatives".
Many others were bemused by the failure. One social media user noted drily that politicians had been trying for years to get more police on the streets, and KPN had managed to do it in a couple of minutes.
KPN is not the only telecoms provider to suffer network problems recently. Earlier this month, Vodafone experienced a "disruption" to its mobile and fixed-line broadband services, affecting subscribers in the UK and several other countries.
Cape Canaveral, Jun 25 (AP/UNB) — SpaceX has launched its heftiest rocket with 24 research satellites.
The middle-of-the-night rideshare features a deep space atomic clock, solar sail, clean and green rocket fuel, and even human ashes, including an astronaut's.
The Falcon Heavy rocket blasted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida Tuesday morning at 2:30. It was the third flight of a Falcon Heavy, but the first ordered up by the military.
The Defense Department mission is expected to provide data to certify the Falcon Heavy — and reused boosters — for future national security launches. It was the military's first ride on a recycled rocket.
Both side boosters landed back at Cape Canaveral several minutes after liftoff, just as they did after launching in April. But the new core booster missed an ocean platform.