San Francisco, Nov 6 (Xinhua/UNB) - US social media network Facebook Inc. Monday removed 30 accounts from its namesake platform and 85 Instagram accounts for possible links to "foreign entities."
Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, said U.S. law enforcement agencies notified Facebook Sunday evening about suspected online activities by those accounts with possible connections to foreign actors.
"We immediately blocked these accounts and are now investigating them in more detail," Gleicher announced Facebook's measures in an "Election Update" post, which came less than 12 hours before polls open for the U.S. midterm elections on Tuesday.
Gleicher said almost all the Facebook Pages associated with these accounts appear to be in the French or Russian languages, while those on Instagram seem to have mostly been English, with some focused on celebrities and others on political debates.
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook.
"Once we know more -- including whether these accounts are linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency or other foreign entities -- we will update this post," he added.
Facebook said its probe of the activities is still at a very early stage, and it was unclear who were behind those attempts or how long those accounts have existed.
The Menlo Park, a California-based social media network, disclosed on Oct. 26 that it had pulled 82 Pages, Groups and accounts linked to Iran to crack down on online "bad actors."
With less than one day away from Tuesday's polling, social media companies are on high alert for foreign interference.
Major internet players such as Google, Apple and Twitter all have stepped up fight against online disinformation efforts, with hundreds of fake accounts purged from their platforms.
New York, Nov 6 (AP/UNB) — For a fundamentally nerdy subject, net neutrality is pushing a lot of political buttons.
The latest salvo is over a California law that restores a ban on cable, wireless and other broadband providers from impeding people's ability to use their favorite apps and services. The federal government had rescinded that ban, and the Trump administration is seeking to block California's effort as an imposition on federal prerogatives.
Though net neutrality started off more than a decade ago as an insight into how to make networks work most efficiently, it has taken on much larger social and political dimensions lately. The issue has emerged as an anti-monopoly rallying point and even a focus for "resistance" to the Trump administration.
"Any time the cable companies and the Trump administration are on one side, it looks good for companies to be on the other side," Boston Law School professor Daniel Lyons said.
But the idea hasn't always been political or partisan. Net neutrality traces back to an engineering maxim called the "end-to-end principle," a self-regulating network that put control in the hands of end users rather than a central authority. Traditional cable-TV services, for instance, required special equipment and controlled what channels are shown on TV. With an end-to-end network like the internet, the types of equipment, apps, articles and video services permitted are limited only to imagination.
And the internet subsequently grew like nobody's business — largely because it wasn't anyone's business.
But as internet use expanded, so did the power of the big companies that offer internet service to the masses. It became clear that they could, and sometimes would, restrict what people did. The Associated Press found in 2007 that Comcast was blocking or slowing down some file-sharing. AT&T blocked Skype and other internet-calling services on the iPhone until 2009.
Law professor Tim Wu, now at Columbia University, coined the term "net neutrality" in 2003 to argue for government rules that would prevent big internet providers from discriminating against technology and services that clashed with other aspects of their business. Allowing such discrimination, he reasoned, would choke off innovation.
Big telecommunications companies, on the other hand, argue that they should be able to control the pipes they built and owned.
The Federal Communications Commission subscribed to the principle of net neutrality for over a decade and enshrined that as specific rules in 2015 under chairman Tom Wheeler, an Obama appointee. Among the rules: Broadband companies couldn't block websites and apps of their choosing. Nor could they charge Netflix and other video services extra to reach viewers more smoothly.
Once President Donald Trump took office, net neutrality became one of his first targets as part of broader government deregulation. The FCC chairman he appointed, Ajit Pai, made rollback a top priority.
And thus net neutrality became increasingly political. As a vote loomed for months, the once-obscure concept was debated endlessly on talk shows and online chats. Big-time Hollywood producer Shonda Rhimes tweeted a link to a story about saving net-neutrality on her lifestyle website. Actor Mark Ruffalo urged people to contact members of Congress by tweeting, "Long live cute dog videos on YouTube! #RIPinternet."
The debate created strange bedfellows: Support for net neutrality comes from many of the same people who are also critical of the data-sucking tech giants who benefit from it.
Yet on net neutrality, these tech companies got to be the "good guy," siding on the side of the younger "digital first" generation and consumer groups calling for more protection. No matter that these companies are keeping their own business interests at heart, as a net-neutrality rollback could mean higher costs for access to the "pipes."
Politicians glommed on to the debate to appear consumer friendly.
"No politician will ever lose votes by supporting net neutrality," said Gus Hurwitz, law professor at the University of Nebraska and a member of the conservative group The Federalist Society. "It's an ill-defined term that voters don't really understand other than that it is a scary concept they know they don't want to lose."
Meanwhile, ISPs haven't done themselves any favors in appealing to the consumer. They've long had a reputation for bad service and high prices. Unlike the high-profile support for net neutrality, the opposition was limited to behind-the-scenes lobbying.
Nonetheless, the FCC rolled back the net-neutrality rules last December on a 3-2 party-line vote. The decision took effect in June.
On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from the broadband industry to strike down a lower court ruling in 2016 that was in favor of net neutrality. That effectively shut down an appeal that had already become largely moot when the FCC rolled back the rules. But in other arenas the fight is likely to drag on.
Several tech companies including Mozilla and Vimeo are challenging the FCC's rollback decision in a federal appeals court. That's separate from the challenge to the California law, which is on hold until the tech companies' lawsuit is resolved. Oral arguments in the tech companies' case are expected in February.
Oregon, Washington and Vermont have also approved legislation related to net neutrality.
And a Democratic takeover of the House in Tuesday's midterm elections could revive efforts to enact net neutrality into federal law, though Trump would likely veto any such attempts.
"Net neutrality is only the fifth round of a 12-round boxing match," Wedbush Securities Managing Director Dan Ives said.
Sydney, Nov 5 (Xinhua/UNB) -- A team of astronomers in Australia have found what could be one of the universe's oldest stars, almost entirely made of materials formed by the Big Bang, research revealed on Monday.
Residing in the same part of the Milky Way galaxy as our own solar system, the star is believed to be up to 13.5 billion years old which is evidenced by its extremely low metal content, or metallicity.
According to study co-author Dr. Andrew Casey, it was previously believed that the first stars that formed in the universe could not possibly still exist today.
"The findings are significant because for the first time we have been able to show direct evidence that very ancient, low mass stars do exist, and could survive until the present day without destroying themselves," Casey said.
The metallicity of stars increases as they are born and die, in a cycle which results in the creation of more and more heavy metals, with the Earth's sun being around 100,000 generations down that line and holding a metal content roughly equal to 14 Jupiters.
Stars created at the beginning of the universe, however, would have consisted entirely of elements like hydrogen, helium and small amounts of lithium - meaning the extremely low metallicity of the newly discovered star, about the same as the planet Mercury, suggests that it could be as little as one generation removed from the beginning of the universe.
Up until around 1990, scientist believed that only massive stars could have formed in the early stages of the universe, and could never be observed because they burn through their fuel so quickly and die.
However new information has shown that it is possible for low mass stars to last as long as the 13 billion years since the Big Bang - Red Dwarf stars for instance, which have a fraction of the mass of the sun, are thought to live for trillions of years.
Dhaka, Nov 4 (UNB)- World famous all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, on Saturday handed over ‘Huawei Y9 2019’ to the customers who gave pre-orders to buy the handset.
Soon after launching ‘Huawei Y9 2019’ in the local market, Huawei has evoked huge response of customers.
An event styled ‘Huawei Y9 2019 First Day Sales Celebration’ was organised at the Jamuna Future Park’s Central Court in the capital on Saturday evening to mark the first sale of the latest edition of Y9 Series.
A cultural programme was held where popular band Shironamhin’s ex-vocalist Tanzir Tuhin and his band Abhas presented song and Ridy Sheikh and her team performed dance.
The pre-order offer of the phone began on October 25 and ended on Friday.
The interested buyers will be able to buy
The smartphone will be available from Monday across the country at Huawei brand stores and authorised distributors and the price of the new phone is Tk 22,990.
Dhaka, Nov 3 (UNB)- Robi, a digital services provider held a day-long ‘Robi Career Roadshow’, in association with Career Club of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) on its campus recently.
More than 600 students attended the event.
The core objective of the program was to make the students aware of the career opportunities available in Robi and the industry at large in this digital era. During the day-long program, an overview of Robi as an organisation and its contribution to both the industry as well as the socio-economic development of the country was shared.
BUET career roadshow kicked off with a display and demo session. There were two separate sessions titled Industry-Academia Technology Dialogue and Demo in digital services. Robi’s IT and Technology team provided a practical demonstration to the students about the cutting edge technology that is shaping our future. The students also got a glimpse of some exclusive technologies invented and used by Robi.
One of the most interactive event of the day was the mock interview session. A total of 222 students attended this session. Some of the students faced the interview for their internship. After that students got the opportunity to meet with BUET alumnus from Robi. Alumnus shared their work life experience in Robi in this session.
Dr. Satya Prasad Majumder, Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Director, Directorate of Students’ Welfare, BUET, delivered welcome speech of the most exciting part of the day- ‘Meet the leaders’, an exclusive interactive session with Robi’s Managing Director and CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed.
Mahtab was accompanied by Robi’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Medhat El Husseiny, Chief Digital Services Officer, Shihab Ahmed, Head of IT, Asif Naimur Rashid and Head of HR, Faisal Imtiaz Khan.
Speaking on the occasion, Robi’s Managing Director and CEO, Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said, “Robi, being a leading digital company, is playing the lead role in enabling digital life for a better future. As part of this process, Robi has transformed itself into a next-generation digital company, where people are encouraged to take risks without the fear of failure. “
The career road show concluded with prize giving ceremony for the SMS quiz contest winners. In the evening, students interested to work for Robi took part in a written examination. Final year students as well as students who completed their final year, attended the exam.