Dhaka, Apr 9 (UNB) - Sonia Bashir Kabir, the managing director of Microsoft Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Laos, is going to leave the company after almost five years of service.
April 30 will be her last day with Microsoft, a source said on Tuesday.
She has decided to focus her time on her own companies and startups across Southeast Asia.
Sonia has been hailed as a role model for women and youth in the country. She is highly respected in the business community and holds numerous board roles as angel investor in startups.
She is the founder of Tech Hubs (empowering rural communities with technology), vice-chairman and governing council board member of UN’s Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries.
Sonia is also a board member of Unesco’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education and Peace, vice-chairman and co-founder of Fintech start-up D Money and Health start-up Syntec.
London, Apr 9 (AP/UNB) — Tech giants like Facebook and Google came under increasing pressure in Europe on Monday when countries proposed stricter rules to force them to block extreme material such as terrorist propaganda and child porn.
Britain called for a first-of-its-kind watchdog for social media that could fine executives and even ban companies. And a European Union parliamentary committee approved a bill giving internet companies an hour to remove terror-related material or face fines that could reach into the billions.
"We are forcing these firms to clean up their act once and for all," said British Home Secretary Sajid Javid, whose department collaborated on Britain's proposal.
Opponents warned the British and EU measures could stifle innovation and strengthen the dominance of technology giants because smaller companies won't have the money to comply. That, in turn, could turn Google and Facebook into the web's censors, they said.
The push to make the big companies responsible for the torrent of material they carry has largely been driven by Europeans. But it picked up momentum after the March 15 mosque shootings in New Zealand that killed 50 people and were livestreamed for 17 minutes. Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos of the attacks in the 24 hours afterward.
The U.S., where government action is constrained by the First Amendment right to free speech and freedom of the press, has taken a more hands-off approach, though on Tuesday, a House committee will press Google and Facebook executives on whether they are doing enough to curb the spread of hate crimes and white nationalism.
Australia last week made it a crime for social media platforms not to quickly remove "abhorrent violent material." The offense would be punishable by three years in prison and a fine of 10.5 million Australian dollars ($7.5 million), or 10% of the platform's annual revenue, whichever is larger. New Zealand's Privacy Commissioner wants his country to so the same.
The British plan would require social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter to protect people who use their sites from "harmful content." The plan, which includes the creation of an independent regulator funded by a tax on internet companies, will be subject to public comment for three months before the government publishes draft legislation.
"No one in the world has done this before, and it's important that we get it right," Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright told the BBC.
Facebook's head of public policy in Britain, Rebecca Stimson, said the goal of the new rules should be to protect society while also supporting innovation and freedom of speech.
"These are complex issues to get right, and we look forward to working with the government and Parliament to ensure new regulations are effective," she said.
Britain will consider imposing financial penalties similar to those under the EU's online data privacy law, which permits fines of up to 4% of a company's annual worldwide revenue, Wright said. In extreme cases, the government may also seek to fine individual company directors and prevent companies from operating in Britain.
Under the EU legislation that cleared an initial hurdle in Brussels, any internet companies that fail to remove terrorist content within an hour of being notified by authorities would face similar 4% penalties. EU authorities came up with the idea last year after attacks highlighted the growing trend of online radicalization.
The bill would apply to companies providing services to EU citizens, whether or not those businesses are based in the EU's 28 member countries. It still needs further approval, including from the full European Parliament.
It faces heavy opposition from digital rights organizations, tech industry groups and some lawmakers, who said the 60-minute deadline is impractical and would lead companies to go too far and remove even lawful material.
"Instead, we call for a more pragmatic approach with removals happening 'as soon as possible,' to protect citizens' rights and competitiveness," said EDIMA, a European trade group for new media and internet companies.
Opponents said the measure also places a bigger burden on smaller internet companies than on giants like Facebook and Google, which already have automated content filters. To help smaller web companies, the bill was modified to give them an extra 12 hours for their first offense, a measure opponents said didn't go far enough.
Mark Skilton, a professor at England's Warwick Business School, urged regulators to pursue new methods such as artificial intelligence that could do a better job of tackling the problem.
"Issuing large fines and hitting companies with bigger legal threats is taking a 20th-century bullwhip approach to a problem that requires a nuanced solution," he said. "It needs machine learning tools to manage the 21st-century problems of the internet."
Wright said Britain's proposed social-media regulator would be expected to take freedom of speech into account while trying to prevent harm.
"What we're talking about here is user-generated content, what people put online, and companies that facilitate access to that kind of material," he said. "So this is not about journalism. This is about an unregulated space that we need to control better to keep people safer."
Dhaka, Apr 8(UNB)— Bangladesh’s first CSR-based band, Robi Band, has officially released four songs on Monday.
They are available on Robi & Airtel Splash, Facebook and YouTube pages. The digital release was launched at Robi Corporate Office in Gulshan.
The songs are ‘Amar Bangladesh’, ‘Orna’, ‘Uriye’ and ‘Vul Truti’, Robi said in a statement. Music videos of the songs are also available on the band’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
“I believe these fresh songs will be well received by music lovers,” said Robi’s Managing Director and CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed.
Robi Band started its journey on November 24, 2017. It donates all of its income to for philanthropic activities.
“With this launch, we believe, Robi’s bonding with the society would be further strengthened. I urge to the other big corporates of the country to hire Robi Band for their internal events and take part of indirect CSR for the nation,” Ahmed said.
Cape Canaveral, Apr 8 (AP/UNB) — Spacewalking astronauts are tackling battery and cable work outside the International Space Station.
It's the third spacewalk in just 2 ½ weeks for the station crew.
NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques got an early start Monday morning. They need to complete battery swap-outs that began last month and lay cable.
The new cabling will provide a backup power circuit for the station's Canadian-made robot arm and expand wireless communications. The battery work involves re-installing two old batteries. One of the six new lithium-ion batteries doesn't work, and so the outdated pair made of nickel hydrogen need to go back into the slot.
NASA says it will send up another new battery.
Dhaka, Apr 8 (UNB)- Within months of introducing 4G, Grameenphone has become the first operator in the country to cross the 1 crore 4G internet users
Since the launch of 4G in February 2018, Grameenphone crossed the threshold of 50 lakh 4G customers in November 2018 and the latter 50 lakh joined within only five months.
The introduction of 4G last year ushered in a new era of digitalization in the country with a promise to put high-speed internet in the hands of the people, said a press release.
Grameenphone was granted an operating license for 4G services after it acquired 5 MHz spectrum in the 1800 MHz frequency band, making it the highest holder of the 1800 MHz frequency, the most suitable spectrum for 4G/LTE rollout.
The intensity of the internet customer base growth is in direct correlation with the growing role of internet in everyday life.
Denoting this milestone, Grameenphone’s DCEO and CMO, Yasir Azman, said, “Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing 4G market in Asia. This shows how fast the country is moving towards digitalization through mobile broadband and creating the opportunities to unleash potentials. Grameenphone is committed to invest & bring high speed Internet to citizens across all over Bangladesh. This milestone of 1crore million 4G subscribers for Grameenphone inspires us to do it better & faster.”