Dhaka, Mar 19 (UNB) - The first day of the three-day BASIS SoftExpo 2019 that began at International Convention City Bashundhara on Tuesday marked the launch of Grameenphone IoT, the next step towards digitisation in Bangladesh, at BICC.
The launch was attended by State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir, Deputy CEO and CMO of Grameenphone Yasir Azman and Chief Business Officer Mahmud Hossain.
The launch of Grameenphone IoT marks Grameenphone’s commitment towards the future of Digital Bangladesh, said a press release.
During this initiation, Grameenphone introduced a range of IoT products and services catering to B2C, B2B and B2G requirements.
Grameenphone launched a “Smart Home” solution with Datasoft Bangladesh Limited, which will allow customers to control home appliances and ensure home safety. The “Smart Home Starter Kit” will start at Tk. 7,999 and comprises of motion, smoke, gas and water leakage sensors.
Grameenphone also launched the “SEEMO Smart Security” solution with Bangla-Trac Communications Limited through which customers can monitor, listen in on and talk back through the smart indoor cameras or a smart doorbell, from their smartphone. The service also includes 7 days of recording storage on the cloud.
The smart camera will cost Tk 2,999, while the smart doorbell Tk 7,999 in addition to a 4G router at Tk 4,999.
Additionally, Grameenphone announced a number of business products such as “Smart Attendance” for schools and offices, Industrial IoT solutions for factories and Smart Metering solutions for electricity, water and gas utilities.
As a part of the launching ceremony, Grameenphone also announced a number of IoT enablement services such as a Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) communications network, IoT connectivity and data management platforms, and a developer program called “Start IoT”. This program, which will be offered in partnership with Telenor Research, has been designed to encourage students and entrepreneurs to come up with innovative IoT solutions and help them turn their ideas into reality.
Dhaka, Mar 18 (UNB)- Robi has recently launched Maya’s digital health service for its subscribers.
Maya service for Robi subscribers is essentially a digital healthcare and well-being assistant that intelligently understands the users’ health related concerns/ question and makes it easy to connect to real doctors, therapists & lifestyle advisors.
Maya service can be accessed using SMS, WAP (http://m.maya.com.bd/mayavas) and mobile app. In order to access the platform using SMS, one needs to type Start<space>Maya and send to 23333 to get the service link. The app users may download the Maya app from Google’s Play Store.
Any Robi user can subscribe to this service and avail these benefits. Registered users can avail all the available features like daily SMS tips, access to WAP and APP only by paying daily subscription fee of two taka (Excluding Supplementary Duty, VAT and Surcharge).
The on-demand service feature option is available only in Maya app (not in WAP). Any Robi users can download Maya app to avail the on demand features. Users can enjoy the on-demand service by paying 39 taka (Excluding Supplementary Duty, VAT and Surcharge) with seven days validity.
Under the on-demand service, users will be able to ask health related questions from 8 AM to 8 PM. They will get first two question’s response within 90 minutes. In case more questions are asked then those will be responded to within 24 hours.
New York, Mar 18 (AP/UNB) — Facebook's effort to establish a service that provides its users with local news and information is being hindered by the lack of outlets where the company's technicians can find original reporting.
The service, launched last year, is currently available in some 400 cities in the United States. But the social media giant said it has found that 40 percent of Americans live in places where there weren't enough local news stories to support it.
Facebook announced Monday it would share its research with academics at Duke, Harvard, Minnesota and North Carolina who are studying the extent of news deserts created by newspaper closures and staff downsizing.
Some 1,800 newspapers have closed in the United States over the last 15 years, according to the University of North Carolina. Newsroom employment has declined by 45 percent as the industry struggles with a broken business model partly caused by the success of companies on the Internet, including Facebook.
The Facebook service, called "Today In ," collects news stories from various local outlets, along with government and community groups. The company deems a community unsuitable for "Today In" if it cannot find a single day in a month with at least five news items available to share.
There's not a wide geographical disparity. For example, the percentage of news deserts is higher in the Northeast and Midwest, at 43 percent, Facebook said. In the South and West, the figure is 38 percent.
"It affirms the fact that we have a real lack of original local reporting," said Penelope Muse Abernathy, a University of North Carolina professor who studies the topic. She said she hopes the data helps pinpoint areas where the need is greatest, eventually leading to some ideas for solutions.
Facebook doesn't necessarily have the answers. "Everyone can learn from working together," said Ann Kornblut, director of news initiatives at the company.
The company plans to award some 100 grants, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, to people with ideas for making more news available, said Jimmy O'Keefe, product marketing manager for "Today In."
That comes on top of $300 million in grants Facebook announced in January to help programs and partnerships designed to boost local news.
The company doesn't plan to launch newsgathering efforts of its own, Kornblut said.
"Our history has been — and we will probably stick to it — to let journalists do what they do well and let us support them and let them do their work," she said.
Washington, Mar 17 (AP/UNB) — A huge study suggests the Apple Watch can detect a worrisome irregular heartbeat at least sometimes — but experts say more work is needed to tell if using wearable technology to screen for heart problems really helps.
More than 419,000 Apple Watch users signed up for the unusual study, making it the largest ever to explore screening seemingly healthy people for atrial fibrillation, a condition that if untreated eventually can trigger strokes.
Stanford University researchers reported Saturday that the watch didn't panic flocks of people, warning just half a percent of participants — about 2,100 — that they might have a problem.
But even among those flagged, "it's not perfect," cautioned Dr. Richard Kovacs of the American College of Cardiology, who wasn't involved with the study.
People who received an alert were supposed to consult a study doctor via telemedicine and then wear an EKG patch measuring cardiac activity for the next week to determine the watch's accuracy. Some skipped the virtual check-up to consult their own doctors; overall, about 57 percent sought medical attention.
Among those who got EKG monitoring through the study, a third had atrial fibrillation, according to preliminary results being presented at an American College of Cardiology conference in New Orleans.
A-fib tends to come and go, and a week of monitoring might have missed some cases, said Stanford lead researcher Dr. Mintu Turakhia. But if the watch detected another irregular heartbeat while someone was wearing the EKG patch, 84 percent of the time it really was a-fib, he said.
"This study we believe provides very encouraging evidence that a device, the Apple Watch, can be used to detect a-fib and to point out to people when additional monitoring or testing may be needed," said Dr. Lloyd Minor, Stanford's dean of medicine.
Other cardiac experts said the study, which was funded by Apple, suggests screening with wearable technology might be technically feasible eventually, but needs lots more research.
"I would not advise this to the overall general population," said Dr. Valentin Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart in New York and a former American Heart Association president, who wasn't involved with the study. Instead, he'd like to see it tested in seniors with risk factors like high blood pressure.
What is atrial fibrillation?
A-fib occurs when the heart's top chambers, called the atria, get out of sync with the bottom chambers' pumping action. Sometimes patients feel a flutter or a racing heart but many times they're not aware of an episode.
Sometimes the heart gets back into rhythm on its own. Other patients get an electric shock to get back into rhythm, or are prescribed blood thinners to counter the stroke-causing blood clots that untreated a-fib can spur. A-fib causes 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations a year in the U.S.
How do doctors check for it?
A-fib is most common in older adults, and other risks include high blood pressure or a family history of arrhythmias. But routine screening isn't recommended for people without symptoms. Studies haven't yet proved that early detection from screening would prevent enough strokes to outweigh risks from unnecessary testing or overtreatment.
How does the apple watch check for it?
A mobile app uses the optical sensor on certain versions of the watch to analyze pulse rate data. If it detects enough variation from beat to beat over a 48-hour period, the user receives a warning of an irregular heart rhythm.
The latest version of the Apple Watch also allows wearers to push a button to take an EKG and share the reading with doctors. Saturday's study didn't include watches with that capability.
Does the new study show mass screening is a good idea?
No. The study was designed to tell how the watch compared to a week of standard EKG monitoring — not if the wearer's health improved because the screening uncovered the arrhythmia. To prove if detecting a-fib early lowers risk of stroke would require years of study.
And since the study didn't have a comparison group getting routine EKGs, there's no way to know if the watch missed heartbeat problems, giving a false sense of security, Kovacs said.
The puzzling low numbers of alarms might be because most participants were young or middle-aged, not the seniors who are most at risk for a-fib, he said.
London, Mar 16 (AP/UNB) — Internet companies scrambled Friday to remove graphic video filmed by a gunman in the New Zealand mosque shootings that was widely available on social media for hours after the horrific attack.
Facebook said it took down a livestream of the shootings and removed the shooter's Facebook and Instagram accounts after being alerted by police. At least 49 people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand's third-largest city.
Using what appeared to be a helmet-mounted camera, the gunman livestreamed in horrifying detail 17 minutes of the attack on worshippers at the Al Noor Mosque, where at least 41 people died. Several more worshippers were killed at a second mosque a short time later.
The shooter also left a 74-page manifesto that he posted on social media under the name Brenton Tarrant, identifying himself as a 28-year-old Australian and white nationalist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.
"Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by this horrendous act," Facebook New Zealand spokeswoman Mia Garlick said in a statement.
Facebook is "removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we're aware," she said. "We will continue working directly with New Zealand Police as their response and investigation continues."
Twitter, YouTube owner Google and Reddit also were working to remove the footage from their sites.
The furor highlights once again the speed at which graphic and disturbing content from a tragedy can spread around the world and how Silicon Valley tech giants are still grappling with how to prevent that from happening.
British tabloid newspapers such as The Daily Mail and The Sun posted screenshots and video snippets on their websites.
One journalist tweeted that several people sent her the video via the Facebook-owned WhatsApp messaging app.
New Zealand police urged people not to share the footage, and many internet users called for tech companies and news sites to take the material down.
Some people expressed outrage on Twitter that the videos were still circulating hours after the attack.
"Google is actively inciting violence," tweeted British journalist Carole Cadwalladr with a screen grab of search results of the video.
The video's spread underscores the challenge for Facebook even after stepping up efforts to keep inappropriate and violent content off its platform. In 2017 it said it would hire 3,000 people to review videos and other posts, on top of the 4,500 people Facebook already tasks with identifying criminal and other questionable material for removal.
But that's just a drop in the bucket of what is needed to police the social media platform, said Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of "Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy."
If Facebook wanted to monitor every livestream to prevent disturbing content from making it out in the first place, "they would have to hire millions of people," something it's not willing to do, said Vaidhyanathan, who teaches media studies at the University of Virginia.
"We have certain companies that have built systems that have inadvertently served the cause of violent hatred around the world," Vaidhyanathan said.
Facebook and YouTube were designed to share pictures of babies, puppies and other wholesome things, he said, "but they were expanded at such a scale and built with no safeguards such that they were easy to hijack by the worst elements of humanity."
With billions of users, Facebook and YouTube are "ungovernable" at this point, said Vaidhyanathan, who called Facebook's livestreaming service a "profoundly stupid idea."
In footage that at times resembled scenes from a first-person shooter video game, the mosque shooter was seen spraying terrified worshippers with bullets, sometimes re-firing at people he had already cut down.
He then walked outside, shooting at people on a sidewalk. Children's screams could be heard in the distance as he strode to his car to get another rifle, then returned to the mosque, where at least two dozen people could be seen lying in pools of blood.
He walked back outside, shot a woman, got back in his car, and drove away.
The livestream video was reminiscent of violent first-person shooter video games such as "Counter-Strike" or "Doom" as the gunman went around corners and calmly entered rooms firing at helpless victims. Many shooting games allow players to toggle between close-range and long-range weapons, and the gunman switched from a shotgun to a rifle during the video, reloading as he moved around.
At one point, the shooter even paused to give a shout-out to one of YouTube's top personalities, known as PewDiePie, with tens of millions of followers, who has made jokes criticized as anti-Semitic and posted Nazi imagery in his videos.
"Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie," the gunman said.
The seemingly incongruous reference to the Swedish vlogger known for his video game commentaries as well as his racist references was instantly recognizable to many of his 86 million followers.
The YouTube sensation has been engaged in an online battle over which channel is the most subscribed to, and his followers have taken to posting messages encouraging others to "subscribe to PewDiePie."
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, said on Twitter he felt "absolutely sickened" that the alleged gunman referred to him during the livestream. "My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected," he said.
The hours it took to take the violent video and manifesto down are "another major black eye" for social media platforms, said Dan Ives, managing director of Wedbush Securities.
The rampage's broadcast "highlights the urgent need for media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to use more artificial intelligence as well as security teams to spot these events before it's too late," Ives said.
Hours after the shooting, Reddit took down two subreddits known for sharing video and pictures of people being killed or injured —R/WatchPeopleDie and R/Gore — apparently because users were sharing the mosque attack video.
"We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting content that incites or glorifies violence will get users and communities banned from Reddit," it said in a statement. "Subreddits that fail to adhere to those site-wide rules will be banned."
Videos and posts that glorify violence are against Facebook's rules, but Facebook has drawn criticism for responding slowly to such items, including video of a slaying in Cleveland and a live-streamed killing of a baby in Thailand. The latter was up for 24 hours before it was removed.
In most cases, such material gets reviewed for possible removal only if users complain. News reports and posts that condemn violence are allowed. This makes for a tricky balancing act for the company. Facebook says it does not want to act as a censor, as videos of violence, such as those documenting police brutality or the horrors of war, can serve an important purpose.