Changsha, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- A Chinese company unveiled a series of sanitation robots Tuesday in the city of Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province.
The sanitation robots, developed by Zoomlion Environment Industry Co., Ltd., can relieve the city's sanitation manpower shortage and rising costs, according to the company.
The robot family includes an electric cleaning robot, an electric washing robot and five other models, the company said.
The robots can be deployed in alleys, schools, industrial parks and other urban areas. The robots have specialties including snow removal and some that are able to climb and clean walls, according to the company.
All seven sanitation robot models can switch between unmanned and manned mode, and can also be equipped with a 5G communication module, said Zhang Bin, innovation director of the company.
Belgrade, Oct 16 (AP/UNB) — When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals started appearing in the streets of Belgrade as part of a major surveillance project, some protesters began having second thoughts about joining anti-government demonstrations in the Serbian capital.
Local authorities assert the system, created by Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, helps reduce crime in the city of 2 million. Critics contend it erodes personal freedoms, makes political opponents vulnerable to retribution and even exposes the country's citizens to snooping by the Chinese government.
The cameras, equipped with facial recognition technology, are being rolled out across hundreds of cities around the world, particularly in poorer countries with weak track records on human rights where Beijing has increased its influence through big business deals. With the United States claiming that Chinese state authorities can get backdoor access to Huawei data, the aggressive rollout is raising concerns about the privacy of millions of people in countries with little power to stand up to China.
"The system can be used to trail political opponents, monitor regime critics at any moment, which is completely against the law," said Serbia's former commissioner for personal data protection, Rodoljub Sabic.
Groups opposed to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic say police are leaking video of protests to pro-government media, which publish the images, along with the identities of participants. Vucic himself has boasted the police have the capability to count "each head" at anti-government gatherings. During a recent rally, protesters climbed up a pole and covered a camera lens with duct tape scrawled with the word "censored."
Serbian police deny any such abuse of the Huawei system, which will eventually encompass 1,000 cameras in 800 locations throughout Belgrade. Huawei said in a statement that it "complies with all applicable laws and regulations" in Serbia and anywhere else it does business.
While facial recognition technology is being adopted in many countries, spurring debate over the balance between privacy and safety, the Huawei system has gained extra attention due to accusations that Chinese laws requiring companies to assist in national intelligence work give authorities access to its data.
As a result, some countries are reconsidering using Huawei technology, particularly the superfast 5G networks that are being rolled out later this year.
Still, Huawei, which denies accusations of any Chinese government control, has had no trouble finding customers eager to install its so-called Safe Cities technology, particularly among countries that China has brought closer into its diplomatic and economic orbit.
Besides Serbia, that list includes Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Angola, Laos, Kazakhstan, Kenya and Uganda, as well as a few liberal democracies like Germany, France and Italy. The system is used in some 230 cities, exposing tens of millions of people to its screening.
In a promotional brochure, Huawei says its video surveillance technology can scan over long distances to detect "abnormal behavior" such as loitering, track the movement of cars and people, calculate crowd size and send alerts to a command center if it detects something suspicious. Local authorities can then act upon the information they receive.
In one case advertised on its website, the company says a suspect in a hit-and-run accident in Belgrade was later discovered in China with the help of face recognition data shared by the Serbian police with their Chinese counterparts.
In view of the cybersecurity accusations leveled by the U.S. and international rights groups against Huawei, the relationship between China and countries that use the company's technology is coming under renewed scrutiny.
China's influence in Serbia, a European Union candidate that Beijing views as a gateway to the continent, has significantly expanded in recent years through Beijing's global Belt and Road investment programs. The populist Serbian regime has been keen to develop closer ties and the country's fragile democracy allows China's economic interests to grow relatively unchecked, without raising too many questions about human rights, environmental standards or transparency.
China's state investment bank has granted billions of dollars in easy-term loans to build coal-powered plants, roads, railroads and bridges. Chinese police officers even help patrol the streets of Belgrade, a security presence officially billed as assisting the growing number of Chinese tourists who visit the city.
It's a similar story in Uganda, where China has invested heavily in infrastructure like highways and a hydropower dam on the Nile.
When longtime President Yoweri Museveni launched a $126-million project to install Huawei facial recognition systems a year ago, he said the cameras were "eyes, ears and a nose" to fight rampant street crime in the sprawling capital, Kampala. Opposition activists say the real goal is to deter street protesters against an increasingly unpopular government.
"The cameras are politically motivated," said Joel Ssenyonyi, a spokesman for the musician and activist known as Bobi Wine who has emerged as a powerful challenger to Museveni. "They are not doing this for security. The focus for them is hunting down political opponents."
In neighboring Kenya, the government has also renewed its focus on public safety after a spate of extremist attacks. It has been pushing to register people digitally, including by recording DNA, iris and facial data. To do so, it turned to China, which helped finance the installation of surveillance cameras in Kenya as far back as 2012.
The Kenyan government wants to pool into one database all the information from public and private CCTV cameras, including those with facial recognition technology, a move that activists warn would vastly expand its surveillance powers in a country that does not have comprehensive data protection laws.
A growing number of countries are following China's lead in deploying artificial intelligence to track citizens, according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The group says at least 75 countries are actively using AI tools such as facial recognition for surveillance — and Huawei has sold its systems in 50 of those countries, giving it a far wider reach than competitors such as Japan-based NEC and U.S.-based IBM.
"It's very unclear what safeguards are being put in place," said Steven Feldstein, a Carnegie Endowment fellow who authored a report on the issue. "Where are images being stored? How long are they being stored for? What kind of accountability procedures will there be? What type of operations will be linked to these surveillance cameras?"
Huawei said in an emailed statement that it "complies with all applicable laws and regulations in our countries of business. This is the most fundamental principle of our business operations. We are dedicated to bringing people better connectivity, eliminating digital gaps, and promoting the sustainable development of our societies and economies."
In Belgrade's bustling downtown Republic Square, high-tech video cameras are pointed in all directions from an office building as pedestrians hurry about their everyday business.
With public authorities disclosing little about how the cameras work, a rights group has set up a tent to ask pedestrians whether they know they are being watched.
"We don't want to be in some kind of Big Brother society," said rights activist Ivana Markulic. "We are asking: Where are the cameras, where are they hidden, how much did we pay for them and what's going to happen with information collected after this surveillance?"
San Francisco, OCT 16 (AP/UNB) — Google's latest phone and smart-home devices came packaged with a not-so-subtle message: Google cares about your privacy. Does it?
The tech company has had a complicated relationship with user information in the past. Google's latest steps offer consumers some additional protections, although it's unclear how much more secure users will feel.
Google unveiled a new Pixel smartphone and other hardware devices on Tuesday, all aimed at getting people more hooked on services powered by the company's Google Assistant and other artificial-intelligence technology.
But privacy has emerged as a bigger issue with these products thanks to the growing popularity of always-listening "smart speakers" and similar devices. Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple have all recently acknowledged employing human contractors to listen to and transcribe some voice recordings captured by AI software.
Most such AI work, from interpreting voice requests to answering questions to turning on your lights, takes place in the cloud, not on your device. Users have very little control of what happens to their data in the cloud.
On Tuesday, though, Google emphasized that much of what you do on its new phones will stay there. Its new facial recognition unlock feature won't transmit details to Google servers for processing, for instance, and its Assistant can also handle many queries directly on the phone. A new recording transcription feature and radar technology that recognizes gestures are also done on the device.
"You need to know what your data is safe," Rick Osterloh, Google senior vice president of hardware, said at the company's New York launch event Tuesday. "When computing is always available, designing for computing and privacy becomes more important than ever."
Apple and Amazon have also emphasized their privacy commitments at recent product launches.
The goal is to give people more choice over privacy settings, Osterloh said. Nest speakers and cameras now come with physical switches to turn off cameras and mics, for example.
Still, Google relies heavily on customer information to build user-specific profiles it uses to target digital advertising, which produces the vast majority of its income.
The Assistant, akin in basic function to Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa , is emerging as Google's latest digital data collector. It can learn more about you from your queries and can direct you to other Google services such as maps and search, which also feed into Google's multi-billion dollar advertising business.
"Their end game is trying to collect all this data and target you with advertising," said Victoria Petrock, principle analyst at eMarketer. "The voice is a whole new way to capture people's behaviors."
The more helpful the Assistant becomes, the more likely people are to use it.
On the hardware front, Google's new Pixel 4 features a fancier camera that will recognize people who've appeared previously in your photos in order to automatically focus on them in new shots.
The new phone also comes with motion-sensing technology that allows people to skip songs or switch apps by gesturing near the phone.
The Pixel 4 will carry a starting price tag of $799 — $100 more than the entry-level iPhone 11 — and will go on sale Oct. 24. The larger XL version will cost $899, or about $200 less than the similar-sized iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Google's phones have been well reviewed, but have yet to make much of a splash in the market dominated by Apple, Huawei and Samsung. In fact, Google's hardware products have never been big moneymakers. Rather, they offer a way for Google to showcase its money-making services.
The company also unveiled true wireless earbuds, called Pixel Buds, Google's answer to Apple's AirPods. The new model, which will go on sale early next year for $179, does away with the wire that connects the two buds.
Google introduced Nest Mini, the smaller version of its smart speaker. It comes out next Tuesday for $49. Google's refreshed Wi-Fi router, Nest Wi-Fi, will be available in the coming weeks for $269. A new Pixelbook Go laptop goes on sale in January staring at $649.
Google hardware team, including many former Google Glass engineers, work from a light-filled, architecturally impressive building near the company's main campus in Mountain View, California. The building is complete with a "color lab" for finding the perfect device hues, a materials library for all sorts of elemental inspiration and a small model shop to build device prototypes on site.
"We started by defining what it feels like to hold Google in your hands," hardware design executive Ivy Ross said. "The good thing about coming a little bit late to the hardware arena is you get to stand back and look at everyone else."
One of the challenges this time around was finding a way to make the products more sustainable, a feat especially notable on the Nest Mini, which has a "fabric" casing made of yarn created from plastic water bottles.
Washington, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The U.S. space agency NASA unveiled on Tuesday the next-generation spacesuits to be used in its Artemis program 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.
The xEMU, a red, white and blue suit, is composed of the pressure garment and a life-supporting backpack, and it can protect the astronauts from radiation, temperature extremes, and micrometeoroids, according to NASA.
One of its advantages compared with previous ones goes to its better mobility. At Tuesday's launch event, a female NASA engineer who wore the xEMU for demonstration played deep squat, full arms spinning and delicate fingers movement with much ease.
The suit's advanced mobility that enables them to accomplish much more complex tasks on the Moon's surface is partly attributed to its joint bearings, instead of zippers, on the lower torso and upper torso.
Those bearings allow full rotation of the arm from shoulder to wrist, bending and rotating at the hips, increased bending at the knees and hiking-style boots with flexible soles, according to NASA.
The xEMU has a rear-entry hatch, so astronauts can climb into it from the back of the suit, allowing the shoulder elements of the hard upper torso to be closer together than the suits currently in use, thus enabling a better fit while reducing shoulder injury risks.
Also, the spacesuit is a modular one. Its helmet features a quick-swap protective visor that protects the pressurized bubble from any wear and tear or dents, and scratches from the abrasive dirt of planetary bodies. It means that astronauts can replace only the visor before or after a spacewalk instead of sending an entire helmet back to Earth for repairs.
Before the first lunar landing in 1969, engineers worried that the lunar soil wouldn't support the weight of a spacesuit and the astronaut inside, but now a greater danger is that the lunar soil is composed of tiny glass-like shards which may damage the suit.
Astronauts in the International Space Station will test the new spacesuits in coming years and it will be used in a small space station in lunar orbit and on Mars.
Bridenstine also demonstrated the Orion Crew Survival System at the event. The orange suit will be worn during launch and re-entry of NASA's new spacecraft to provide thermal protection for the astronauts in case of a depressurizing accident.
NASA is planning to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 and to land on Mars in 2030s.
Before gloating over your existing phone, have a quick look at the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus. The latest addition to the Samsung Galaxy Series, the Galaxy Note 10+ is a hotshot in the realm of advanced Smartphones. It’s difficult to think of a substitute from the other renowned brands in its price range. Released last August, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is blessed with a wonderful 6.8-inch display on which you can enjoy movies and games in high-definition by virtue of its superb Quad HD+ resolution (3040 x 1440 pixels).
The Stylus Pen support makes this Galaxy Note 10+ more user-friendly than its predecessors. The Corning Gorilla Glass built display offers additional safety from scratch or breakage and is a life-saver for those who have the habit of unintentionally dropping their phones frequently.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ steals the show with its triple-back camera, each offering a different strength. The first camera (12 megapixels) is the main one. The next 12-megapixel camera is great for telephotos. And the third is a 16-megapixel camera which is perfect for taking wide-angle photos.
If you are a selfie-lover hold your breath! Its dual front camera features 10-megapixel and 8-megapixel sensors. Now you can take great selfies as well as groupies with Galaxy Note 10! What else do you need?!
Its 12 GB Rom is coupled with an Octa-core processor (2.73 GHz). So, don’t worry about this Smartphone’s speed. What is more? The Samsung Smartphone Galaxy Note 10 features a MicroSD slot that is expandable up to 1 TB. You can store innumerable files, songs, and movies on this high-end Smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is equipped with a Fingerprint recognition sensor featuring Ultrasonic In-display. Moreover, this Smartphone is programmed with some additional features like Samsung Knox Security and Secure Folder. These intelligent safety features provide anti-theft prevention.
Thanks to the manufacturer for providing a bunch of smart sensors in this Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Smartphone, like, Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Barometer, and Geomagnetic. If you are an explorer, these features would make your trip easier.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ offers a bundle of advanced features within a sleek body. Owning this great Smartphone may almost make you forget your camera or even your laptop. Almost!
Samsung Galaxy Note+ is currently available in Bangladesh at 144500 BDT. The price may change as per company decision.
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