San Francisco, Mar 28 (AP/UNB) — Facebook is extending its ban on hate speech to prohibit the promotion and support of white nationalism and white separatism.
The company previously allowed such material even though it has long banned white supremacists. The social network said Wednesday that it didn't apply the ban previously to expressions of white nationalism because it linked such expressions with broader concepts of nationalism and separatism — such as American pride or Basque separatism (which are still allowed).
But civil rights groups and academics called this view "misguided" and have long pressured the company to change its stance. Facebook said it concluded after months of "conversations" with them that white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups.
Critics have "raised these issues to the highest levels at Facebook (and held) a number of working meetings with their staff as we've tried to get them to the right place," said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a Washington, D.C.-based legal advocacy group.
"This is long overdue as the country continues to deal with the grip of hate and the increase in violent white supremacy," she said. "We need the tech sector to do its part to combat these efforts."
Though Facebook Inc. said it has been working on the change for three months, it comes less than two weeks after Facebook received widespread criticism after the suspect in shootings at two New Zealand mosques that killed 50 people was able to broadcast the massacre on live video on Facebook. Also on Wednesday, a man convicted on state murder charges in a deadly car attack at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges. The bloodshed in 2017 prompted tech companies to take a firmer stand against accounts used to promote hate and violence.
But apparently not enough. Now, Facebook is trying to do more. As part of Wednesday's change, people who search for terms associated with white supremacy on Facebook will be directed to a group called Life After Hate, which was founded by former extremists who want to help people leave the violent far-right.
Clarke called the idea that white supremacism is different than white nationalism or white separatism a misguided "distinction without a difference."
She said the New Zealand attack was a "powerful reminder about why we need the tech sector to do more to stamp out the conduct and activity of violent white supremacists."
Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change, says the racial justice group warned Facebook to the growing dangers of white nationalists on its platform years ago and that he was glad to see Wednesday's announcement.
"Facebook's update should move Twitter, YouTube, and Amazon to act urgently to stem the growth of white nationalist ideologies, which find space on platforms to spread the violent ideas and rhetoric that inspired the tragic attacks witnessed in Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, and now Christchurch," he said.
Twitter does not currently ban white nationalists or white separatists, though its hateful conduct policy forbids the promotion of violence or threats against people on the basis of race, gender, religion and other protected categories. It also bans the use of "hateful images or symbols" in profile or header images. YouTube also bans hate speech and says it removes content promoting violence or hatred on the basis of these categories. Amazon has an "offensive products" policy that does not allow the promotion or glorification of hatred, racial violence or sexual or religious intolerance. The three companies did not immediately respond to messages for comment on Wednesday.
Madihha Ahussain, a special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry at the nonprofit Muslim Advocates, said what's needed now is more information on how Facebook will define white nationalist content — and how it will enforce its new rules.
"Now, the question is: how will Facebook interpret and enforce this new policy to prevent another tragedy like the Christchurch mosque attacks?" she said.
Cupertino, Mar 26 (AP/UNB) — Jumping belatedly into a business dominated by Netflix and Amazon, Apple announced its own TV and movie streaming service Monday, enlisting such superstars as Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston and Steven Spielberg to try to overcome its rivals' head start.
Apple didn't disclose the price or the launch date except to say that Apple TV Plus will be available this fall. It will feature Apple's original shows and movies .
The company also unveiled a news subscription service that will give customers access to roughly 300 magazines and a few major newspapers for $10 a month. And it announced a new branded credit card.
The video-streaming venture is fraught with risk for a company scrambling to diversify beyond its star product, the iPhone, whose sales have started to decline . Netflix, which started its streaming service in 2007, has 139 million subscribers worldwide.
But Apple has lots of money, more than 900 million active iPhones, and a track record for innovation that has enabled it to overtake its rivals, even when it enters a business late, as it did with smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.
In the past, of course, Apple has mostly jumped into relatively small and undeveloped markets. Streaming video, by contrast, is dominated by huge services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, with more seeming to be bowing into the competition daily, including AT&T's WarnerMedia, Disney and Comcast.
"Great competitors make for great consumer experiences," Netflix said in a statement. Netflix stock rose $5.22 to $366.23 Monday. Apple's stock fell $2.31 to $188.74.
Among the upcoming programs on the new Apple service will be Winfrey-created documentaries; a show about TV morning talk shows, starring Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell; a futuristic drama starting Momoa; and a sci-fi show called "Amazing Stories" from Spielberg.
Apple TV Plus will be featured in the existing Apple TV app, which brings together different streaming services such as HBO and Showtime and traditional cable subscriptions.
Video will be delivered to iPhones and iPads, Apple's own Apple TV device, smart TVs and, soon, streaming gadgets from Roku and Amazon.
Netflix, which isn't included in the Apple TV app, has turned "binge watching" into a worldwide phenomenon become a powerhouse in both Silicon Valley and Hollywood since it shifted its emphasis on original programming in 2013..
Apple was long focused on making on gadgets: iPhones, iPads, computers. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs toyed with the idea of building a powerful TV business but couldn't pull it off before his death in 2011. It has taken his successor, CEO Tim Cook, nearly eight years to draw up the plan the company will now try to execute.
"Apple is very late to this game," eMarketer analyst Paul Verna said. "Netflix has become the gold standard in how to create and distribute content, using all the data they have about their viewers."
Industry analyst Colin Gillis of Chatham Road Partners said Apple TV Plus is "not going to be a Netflix killer." And Martin Garner of CCS Insights said the service so far lacks "the full range and diversity of content available through Netflix, Amazon and others."
Several analysts, however, warned not to count Apple out.
Apple has reportedly spent more than $1 billion on its original TV shows and movies — far less than Netflix and HBO spend every year. It has plenty of money to spend, though, with about $245 billion in cash and marketable securities.
As part of its effort to catch up, Apple hired two longtime Sony television executives in 2017. They have signed up stars such as Spielberg, Ron Howard and Sofia Coppola.
Winfrey received a standing ovation during her appearance at Apple's announcement Monday in Cupertino.
"I'm joining forces with Apple," she said. "They're in a billion pockets, y'all."
Apple News Plus, the news subscription service, will include such major papers as The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. Other major newspaper publishers have reportedly been wary of Apple's terms.
The Journal will feature general-interest articles, not its entire slate of stories, although Apple said any article the Journal publishes could be searched for on the Apple app.
Apple said advertisers won't track readers inside the app. That will distinguish it from Facebook and Google, the other major online news hubs.
The company's new Mastercard credit card, called Apple Card, won't have any late fees or annual fees and will offer 2 percent cash back.
Dhaka, Mar 25 (UNB) – Mentioning that the country’s energy sector will need 1,000 efficient engineers in the next five years, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has lamented that the country is not getting promising engineers due to brain drain.
“But we’re not getting those promising engineers due to brain drain,” he said while addressing a seminar on robotic technology at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) on Tuesday.
'Centre for Robotic Innovation & Development USA (CRID USA)' organised the programme titled: “The Future of Robotics: Challenges and Opportunities for Bangladesh” in association with Buet’s Mechanical Engineering department at the university’s Council Building.
The seminar was also addressed by eminent scientist and former professor of Dhaka University Dr Shamsher Ali and Professor Ashraful Islam of the Mechanical Engineering department and Channel i director Shykh Siraj.
Nasrul Hamid said new technologies will help boost economic development. “New technologies are creating new job opportunities. It can never become a barrier to employment. Rather, technology enhances work efficiency resulting in increased output,” he said.
The state minister said Bangladesh is advancing with increased utilisation of technologies.
He observed that the potentials of robotics are very bright.
Nasrul Hamid said research works should be encouraged at different educational institutions and the government will continue its support for such initiative.
Making a presentation on the topic, president and founder of CRID USA, Mehedi Hasan said it needs financial support for research and training works.
He said it needs government’s policy support for development of robotics and technology. “The private sector should come forward to support initiatives in the research and training,” he said.
Dhaka, Mar 25 (UNB)-One of the leading tech company Huawei exhibited its much-talked-about foldable smartphone Mate X with 5G facility in the country for journalists.
Huawei launched its first-ever foldable smartphone -- Huawei Mate X – in a programme held on sidelines of MWC 2019 (Mobile World Congress) at Barcelona in Spain.
This gala exhibition event was held at the Hotel Westin in Dhaka on Sunday while on the same day, Huawei Consumer Business Group of Bangladesh announced to launch its remarkably vibrant and slim smartwatch GT.
Kelvin Yang, country director of Huawei Consumer Business Group (Bangladesh), and other high officials were present in the event.
Huawei demonstrated the Mate X for journalists and invited guests like a preview session to get an exclusive experience, a special chance to know and reveal its unique features.
Last year, Huawei unveiled its smartwatch GT globally that attracts tech lover’s attention. GT offers some intelligent features along with heart beat monitor, activity tracking, GPS and other smart facilities. This new design provides a 2-week battery life.
Kelvin Yang, country director of Huawei Consumer Business Group (Bangladesh), said, “Huawei always gives well attention to Bangladesh market. Thus, we displayed Huawei’s revolutionary 5G foldable smartphone Mate X in Bangladesh following the global event. Also, we will provide smartwatch GT in Bangladesh very soon.”
Huawei Mate X features a 6.6-inch display panel which extends to an 8-inch display when unfolded. The phone is manufactured on a 7 nm architecture process. Leica camera was added in Mate X with latest camera technology.
In addition to high-frequency millimeter (MM) wave spectrum, the BELONG 5000 chipsets are available to download up to 4.6 GB per second.
Dhaka, Mar 24 (UNB) - Uber, the world’s largest on-demand ride-sharing company, launched its “Driver Safety Toolkit”, a comprehensive set of in-app safety features for driver partners, in Bangladesh on Sunday.
With the objective to make every ride a safer experience, the Driver Safety Toolkit features benefits of ridesharing such as tracking every trip with GPS while driving with Uber, as well as an emergency button, said a press release.
Commenting on the launch, Zulquar Quazi Islam, Lead Uber Bangladesh, said, “Driver partners form the core of Uber’s business. The roll-out of an emergency button and the ‘share trip feature’ under the Driver Safety Toolkit strongly reiterates our commitment to their safety.”
Over the past two years, Uber has focused its efforts in developing innovative solutions that increase transparency, accountability, and safety of all the Uber users, he said.
The rollout of the toolkit is the next step in ensuring that Uber is helping all driver partners stay connected and safe, reads the release.