Digital Quality of Life Index 2023: Bangladesh ranks 82nd, internet quality 5% lower than global average
Bangladesh has dropped six places on Surfshark’s annual Digital Quality of Life (DQL) Index since last year. The country ranked 82nd among 121 countries, according to Surfshark’s 5th annual DQL index. The Digital Quality of Life Index is an annual study that ranks 121 countries by their digital wellbeing based on 5 core pillars. Also read: Bangladesh climbs 5 spots in latest passport ranking, still behind Sri Lanka and Libya The study is based on the United Nations’ open-source information, the World Bank, and other sources. Out of the index’s 5 pillars, Bangladesh performed best in internet quality, claiming 65th place.
Google is introducing Bard, its artificially intelligent chatbot, to other members of its digital family — including Gmail, Maps and YouTube — as it seeks ward off competitive threats posed by similar technology run by Open AI and Microsoft. Bard’s expanded capabilities announced Tuesday will be provided through an English-only extension that will enable users to allow the chatbot to mine information embedded in their Gmail accounts as well as pull directions from Google Maps and find helpful videos on YouTube. The extension will also open a door for Bard to fetch travel information from Google Flights and extract information from documents stored on Google Drive. Also read: Google's AI Chatbot Bard: All You Need to Know Google is promising to protect users’ privacy by prohibiting human reviewers from seeing the potentially sensitive information that Bard gets from Gmail or Drive, while also promising that the data won’t used as part of the main way the Mountain View, California, company makes money — selling ads tailored to people’s interests. The expansion is the latest development in an escalating AI battle triggered by the popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot and Microsoft’s push to infuse similar technology in its Bing search engine and its Microsoft 365 suite that includes its Word, Excel and Outlook applications.ChatGPT prompted Google to release Bard broadly in March and then start testing the use of more conversational AI within its own search results in May. Also read: ChatGPT by Open AI: All you need to know The decision to feed Bard more digital juice i n the midst of a high-profile trial that could eventually hobble the ubiquitous Google search engine that propels the $1.7 trillion empire of its corporate parent, Alphabet Inc. In the biggest U.S. antitrust case in a quarter century, the U.S Justice Department is alleging Google has created its lucrative search monopoly by abusing its power to stifle competition and innovation. Google contends it dominates search because its algorithms produce the best results. It also argues it faces a wide variety of competition that is becoming more intense with the rise of AI. Giving Bard access to a trove of personal information and other popular services such as Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube, in theory, will make them even more helpful and prod more people to rely in them. Also read: Top 5 AI Chatbot Platforms and Trends in 2023 Google, for instance, posits that Bard could help a user planning a group trip to the Grand Canyon by getting dates that would work for everyone, spell out different flight and hotel options, provide directions from Maps and present an array of informative videos from YouTube.
A government watchdog agency in France has ordered Apple to withdraw the iPhone 12 from the French market, saying it emits levels of electromagnetic radiation that are too high. The National Frequency Agency, which oversees radio-electric frequencies as well as public exposure to electromagnetic radiation, called on Apple in a statement Tuesday to "implement all available means to rapidly fix this malfunction" for phones already being used. Corrective updates to the iPhone 12 will be monitored by the agency, and if they don't work, "Apple will have to recall" phones that have already been sold, according to the French regulator's statement. Update your iPhone: Apple just pushed out a significant security update Apple disputed the findings and said the device complies with all regulations governing radiation. The agency, which is known by the French acronym ANFR, said it recently checked 141 cellphones, including the iPhone 12, for electromagnetic waves capable of being absorbed by the body. It said it found a level of electromagnetic energy absorption of 5.74 watts per kilogram during tests of a phone in a hand or a pocket, higher than the European Union standard of 4 watts per kilogram. The agency said the iPhone 12 met the threshold when radiation levels were assessed for a phone kept in a jacket or in a bag. Foxconn to make iPhones in new Indian factory, in shift from China Apple said the iPhone 12, which was released in late 2020, has been certified by multiple international bodies and complies with all applicable regulations and standards for radiation around the world. The U.S. tech company said it has provided the French agency with multiple lab results carried out both by the company and third-party labs proving the phone's compliance. Jean-Noël Barrot, France's minister in charge of digital issues, told France Info radio that the National Frequency Agency "is in charge of controlling our phones which, as there are software updates, may emit a little more or a little less electromagnetic waves." He said that the iPhone 12 radiation levels are "slightly higher" than the standards but "significantly lower than levels where scientific studies consider there may be consequences for users. But the rule is the rule." Apple iPhone 15 Pro: Leaks, Rumors, Everything We Know So Far Cellphones have been labeled as "possible" carcinogens by the World Health Organization's cancer research arm, putting them in the same category as coffee, diesel fumes and the pesticide DDT. The radiation produced by cellphones cannot directly damage DNA and is different from stronger types of radiation like X-rays or ultraviolet light. In 2018, two U.S. government studies that bombarded mice and rats with cellphone radiation found a weak link to some heart tumors, but federal regulators and scientists said it was still safe to use the devices. Scientists said those findings didn't reflect how most people use their cellphones and that the animal findings didn't translate into a similar concern for humans. Among the largest studies on potential dangers of cellphone use, a 2010 analysis in 13 countries found little or no risk of brain tumors. People's mobile phone habits also have changed substantially since the first studies began and it's unclear if the results of previous research would still apply today. Since many tumors take years to develop, experts say it's difficult to conclude that cellphones have no long-term health risks. Experts have recommended that people concerned about their cellphone radiation exposure use earphones or switch to texting.
Google will confront a threat to its dominant search engine beginning Tuesday when federal regulators launch an attempt to dismantle its internet empire in the biggest U.S. antitrust trial in a quarter century. Over the next 10 weeks, federal lawyers and state attorneys general will try to prove Google rigged the market in its favor by locking its search engine in as the default choice in a plethora of places and devices. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta likely won't issue a ruling until early next year. If he decides Google broke the law, another trial will decide what steps should be taken to rein in the Mountain View, California-based company. Top executives at Google and its corporate parent Alphabet Inc., as well as those from other powerful technology companies are expected to testify. Among them is likely to be Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, who succeeded Google co-founder Larry Page four years ago. Court documents also suggest that Eddy Cue, a high ranking Apple executive, might be called to the stand. Read: Elon Musk says he may need surgery before proposed 'cage match' with Mark Zuckerberg The Justice Department filed its antitrust lawsuit against Google nearly three years ago during the Trump administration, charging that the company has used its internet search dominance to gain an unfair advantage against competitors. Government lawyers allege that Google protects its franchise through a form of payola, shelling out billions of dollars annually to be the default search engine on the iPhone and on web browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox. Regulators also charge that Google has illegally rigged the market in its favor by requiring its search engine to be bundled with its Android software for smartphones if the device manufacturers want full access to the Android app store. Google counters that it faces a wide range of competition despite commanding about 90% of the internet search market. Its rivals, Google argues, range from search engines such as Microsoft's Bing to websites like Amazon and Yelp, where consumers can post questions about what to buy or where to go. Read: Reluctant Twitter users, influencers and others are flocking to Meta's new Threads app From Google’s perspective, perpetual improvements to its search engine explain why people almost reflexively keep coming back to it, a habit that long ago made “Googling” synonymous with looking things up on the internet. The trial begins just a couple weeks after the 25th anniversary of the first investment in the company — a $100,000 check written by Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim that enabled Page and Sergey Brin to set up shop in a Silicon Valley garage. Today, Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet, is worth $1.7 trillion and employs 182,000 people, with most of the money coming from $224 billion in annual ad sales flowing through a network of digital services anchored by a search engine that fields billions of queries a day. Read: Microsoft will pay $20M to settle U.S. charges of illegally collecting children's data The Justice Department's antitrust case echoes the one it filed against Microsoft in 1998. Regulators then accused Microsoft of forcing computer makers that relied on its dominant Windows operating system to also feature Microsoft’s Internet Explorer — just as the internet was starting to go mainstream. That bundling practice crushed competition from the once-popular browser Netscape. Several members of the Justice Department's team in the Google case — including lead Justice Department litigator Kenneth Dintzer — also worked on the Microsoft investigation. Google could be hobbled if the trial ends in concessions that undercut its power. One possibility is that the company could be forced to stop paying Apple and other companies to make Google the default search engine on smartphones and computers. Or the legal battle could cause Google to lose focus. That’s what happened to Microsoft after its antitrust showdown with the Justice Department. Distracted, the software giant struggled to adapt to the impact of internet search and smartphones. Google capitalized on that distraction to leap from its startup roots into an imposing powerhouse.
Apple released a significant security update for iPhones and iPads Thursday to patch newly discovered security vulnerabilities in the devices' system software. The issue was discovered by researchers at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, who said the software flaw was being "actively exploited" to deliver commercial spyware called Pegasus developed and sold by the Israeli company NSO Group. Pegasus is an expensive tool typically used to target dissidents, journalists and political opponents, so ordinary users likely have little to fear. Still, Citizen Lab recommends that all users should "immediately" update their devices. To install the update, open Settings on your iPhone, then select "General" followed by "Software Update." You should see the iOS 16.6.1 software update there; tap to begin the installation. If you don't see the update, go back to the General page, then tap "About" to check your iOS version number. If it's 16.6.1, you already have the update installed. If your phone is still using 16.6 or an earlier version, repeat the above steps. If you still don't see an update, try restarting your phone. If that doesn't make the update appear, double-check your internet connection and then wait a bit before trying again.
Fair Technology Limited has launched “Hyundai Exchange Program” where customers can exchange their old cars for new ones. “This program has brought great opportunity to upgrade your car and your standard of life as well. We believe, car enthusiast Bangladeshi people would love to embrace latest innovations and uniqueness of Hyundai brand new cars by exchanging their used old cars of any brand,” said Fair Technology CEO Mutassim Daiaan after declaring commencement of the program at a press meet in Dhaka’s Tejgaon on Thursday. Read: OPPO A78 Review: Is it worth buying? Fair Group Head of Communications Hasnain Khurshed deliverd gave the welcome speech at the event. Fair Group Head of Marketing JM Taslim Kabir presided over the press meet. “Fair Technology will organize Hyundai Exchange Fair at the Banani Bidya Niketan School and College Ground on September 15 and 16 to take exchange facilities closer to the buyers. Two more Hyundai Exchange Fairs will be organized in different areas of Dhaka by the end of November,” said Mutassim. “Hyundai Exchange Program will make buying a brand new Hyundai cars more affordable which are much friendly to the climate and environment. We all know, used cars are causing air-pollution and harming public health in our densely populated capital city. To reduce carbon emission level, it has become obvious to send used cars out of Dhaka gradually,” he added. Read: September 2023 New Smartphone Release: Top 10 Most Anticipated Phones in Bangladesh Fair Technology has brought together all stakeholders under one platform as joint promotion Hyundai Exchange Program for the first time, said the release. Air Astra, Secret recipe and Rtv are as partner of the Hyundai Exchange Program. Hyundai enlisted auto-finance partners MTB, EBL, Brac Bank Limited, UCBL, Dhaka Bank Limited, IPDC, Strategic Finance and Investments Limited will provide loan facilities to the customers within three working days, the release also said. Hyundai car buyers registered with this program will get the best price for their used / pre-owned vehicles along with offers on the brand-new Hyundai cars. The entire process will be through Hyundai Exchange app. Customers in Dhaka, Chattogram and Bogura. Customers from any part of Bangladesh can participate in this exchange program through this app. Read: Walton Xanon X20 Review: Is it a value-for-money gaming phone? Hyundai | Fair Technology along with partners of the program will give various offers. Following the terms and conditions, Customers will get the offer from Tk 60,000 to Tk 200,000 offers on September 15 and 16 and on November 30.
OPPO is one of the significant leaders when it comes to stylish smartphones. Though the brand started its journey as “camera phones” with a core focus on photography, recently OPPO smartphones offer a bunch of latest features. The ‘A’ series of OPPO brings entry-level to mid-range smartphones. OPPO’s latest device A78 is now officially available in the country. Let’s take a look at the Key specs, pros, cons and price of OPPO A78 in Bangladesh. Key Specifications of OPPO A78 Design and Build Quality The A78 brings a generic tried and tested design without many bells or whistles. The design is an overhaul from the last gen A77 but it is nothing completely new. It’s an all-plastic device with a glass front and refractive back finish. The dual camera system is neatly tucked into a vertical alignment on the back. It might give the impression that the device boasts very large sensors, but it's just clever positioning, nothing else. The device comes in at 160 by 73.2 by 7.9 mm with 180 gm weight. The low weight and even component distribution provide good comfort while holding the device for a long time. There is a large chin at the bottom of the display. The sizable bezel in the front brings the device to an 85.2% screen-to-body ratio. However, one positive design choice is that the water drop notch has been replaced with a corner punch-hole display. Read more: Honor 90 Review: A New Standard in Midrange Aesthetics Moving to ports and buttons, users would be happy to note that the 3.5 mm headphone jack is still present on the device. There’s a dual nano sim slot along with dedicated micro SDXC support. Another thing that stood out was the dual stereo speaker on the device. Typically devices in this price range usually go for the mono stereo so seeing dual stereo support was certainly a pleasant surprise. OPPO has also included an in-display fingerprint scanner for an added layer of security. Overall, the A78 brings a bit of everything to create a perfect day-to-day utility phone. There’s even an IP54 rating which will bring certain peace of mind for the users. The Display The display on the OPPO A78 is an AMOLED panel with a 90 Hz refresh rate. The display is a point of contention with many budget-friendly smartphones as they often cut prices by going with an IPS LCD panel. But that’s not the case with the A78. Read more: Benco S1 Pro Review: Elegance within Budget The 6.43-inches display packs in an FHD+ resolution with 1080 x 2400 pixels. That brings the total pixel count to 409 ppi in a 20:9 aspect ratio. The higher density combined with crisp sharpness makes it one of the top displays in its price category. Outdoor visibility might be an issue for most users as the HBM maxes out at 430 nits. It's one of the only cut corners that catches the attention. Other than that, the smooth animations and better touch sampling make it an excellent panel to interact with. And not to mention the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection which does a great job of deterring minor scratches. The camera There’s a dual camera setup on the A78 with the primary sensor being a 50 MP wide-angle shooter and the secondary one being a 2 MP depth sensor. The main camera with HDR, LED flash and the PDAF does what it can in its limited capability. Read more: Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra Review: Is it really the ‘iPad killer’?
Tecno smartphones will now be available at Gadget and Gear (G7G) outlets. Tecno and G&G signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently to offer customers top-tier smartphones with exclusive benefits, according to a press release on Tuesday. The MoU was formalized at the headquarters of Ismartu Technology BD Limited. Rezwanul Hoque, CEO of Ismartu Technology BD Limited and Nure Alam Shimu, CEO of G&G, exchanged the signed documents on behalf of their respective organizations. “As a result of this collaboration, Tecno's impressive range of smartphones will now be conveniently available at all G&G outlets across the nation. This development holds immense promise for customers, who will now have unparalleled access to cutting-edge mobile technology backed by Tecno's legacy of innovation and quality,” said the release. One of the highlights of this partnership is the array of benefits that customers can enjoy. When purchasing a Tecno smartphone from G&G, customers will have the opportunity to avail up to 12-month 0% EMI facility or G&G exclusive gift, added the release.
vivo’s sub-brand iQOO mainly works on the “flagship killer” category smartphones assuring value and performance for the users. The vivo iQOO Neo 8 Pro was released on 23rd May in China. So how does it differ from the Neo 7 Pro? And is it going to seal the title of flagship killer for 2023? Let’s find out. Key Specifications of the vivo iQOO Neo 8 Pro Design and Build Quality The first thing that stands out is the design and build quality of the smartphone. There are three color variants on the 8 Pro, red, black, and mint. The red one uses a deep orange shade of vegetable tan leather on the back which provides a great texture and hand feel. The rectangular camera housing on the red variant has a distinct carbon fiber-like texture. The contrasting design elements on the back give the device a unique look. Dimension-wise, the device comes in at 164.7 x 77 x 8.5 mm. The device is on the lighter side at just 192 gm. The even weight distribution makes it easy to hold for a long time without hand fatigue. The frame of the device is made from plastic with a glass front and leather (red) or glass back. There’s no protection rating for the front glass which can be an issue for many users. Read more: Walton Xanon X20 Review: Is it a value-for-money gaming phone? The device comes with the standard ports and buttons. Additionally, there’s an IR blaster on top so if you have IoT devices in your home, the phone can serve as a secondary remote. The Type C port and the sim-slot are placed at the bottom. Unfortunately, there’s no micro SDXC support on the 8 Pro. But the 256 GB base variant should be more than ample for most users. Overall, the 8 Pro is reiterative of the iQOO design elements. It doesn’t reinvent itself much which may very well be its strongest suit in terms of design elements. Display The display on the iQOO Neo 8 Pro is a 6.78-inch AMOLED panel with 1260 x 2800 resolution. The unusual resolution brings the display to around 453 ppi with a 20:9 aspect ratio. In addition to that, the display supports 1B colors, 144Hz high refresh rate, HDR10, and 1300 nits of peak brightness. Read more: Benco S1 Pro Review: Elegance within Budget The high refresh rate combined with the 1.5K resolution makes it a crystal clear sharp display. The chins and perimeter bezels have also been significantly reduced to make way for an 87.5% screen-to-body ratio. In typical use, the display is perfect for media consumption. The HBM helps with outdoor visibility with reduced glare and sharp contrast. The high refresh rate and touch sampling also elevate the gaming experience on the 8 Pro. Overall, the display is one of the strong elements of the device. It easily takes one up over the 7 Pro with better resolution and a higher refresh rate. Read more: Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra Review: Is it really the ‘iPad killer’?
The government will set up two Digital Economy hubs for the ICT industry to create conducive environment for digital economy by providing policy support, implementing upskilling and reskilling initiatives and coordinating on digital technologies. The digital economy hub will be set up on the premises of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) and Bangladesh Association of Contact Center and Outsourcing (BACCO) would also develop a comprehensive institutional framework and system for the digital economy ecosystem that would benefit all businesses. Read: Chattogram to be built as IT business hub: Palak Two separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) were signed on Wednesday in this regard between the World Bank financed Enhancing Digital Government Economy (EDGE) Project of BCC and BASIS, along with BACCO at the auditorium of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC). EDGE Project Director Nahid Sultana Mallik, BASIS President Russel T. Ahmed and BACCO President Wahid Sharif inked the MoUs on behalf of their respective sides in the presence of State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak and World Bank Regional Project Director Pankaj Gupta. The MoU signing was followed by a seminar on ‘`Effective Partnership Among Industry, Academia, and Government for Smart Bangladesh’, which was addressed, among others by, BASIS President Russel T. Ahmed, BACCO President Wahid Sharif, EDGE Policy Adviser Abdul Bari. State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak unveiled the cover of the newsletter titled: `Tech Insight,’ published by EDGE Project and edited by its Communication Specialist Ajit Kumar Sarkar at the function. Read: Skoot-Walton to work on production of high-tech e-bikes Some 120 appointment letters were also handed over to those who were hired by different companies under the Hire and Train programme of the EDGE project, After the agreement was signed, Zunaid Ahmed Palak revealed the significant progress in the past decade towards achieving a Digital Bangladesh and highlighted the robust growth of the country’s digital economy. After the successful implementation of Digital Bangladesh, the government has been implementing various programmes in line with the 'Smart Bangladesh' vision as announced by visionary leader Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Palak said. He also said the main objective of the government is to introduce Bangladesh as an intelligent and innovative nation by 2041. The ICT state minister said the government is going to establish 10 Research and Innovation Centers (RICs) in 10 public and private universities. The frontier tech-based research and innovations of these RICs will help create entrepreneurs which would create huge employment in the country, he added. Read: IT Competition for Youths with Disabilities ends Palak said the government designed the EDGE project aiming to create frontier technology-based human resources to cope with the fourth industrial revolution. One lakh graduates will be provided with training on frontier technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, blockchain, 3D, he said. Commending the active participation of the private sector in the implementation of Digital Bangladesh, Pankaj Gupta emphasized that fostering a strong partnership among industry, academia and government is very crucial to nurture a thriving digital economy. As per the agreement, the involved parties will foster collaboration to develop a comprehensive system and institutional framework for the digital economy ecosystem. This framework is poised to bring about substantial advantages for a wide spectrum of entities, including enterprises, startups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), both in rural and urban domains, the agreement said. It said (agreement) EDGE project will work closely with BASIS and BACCO to select its member companies to participate in many of the capacity development programs, and develop strategy, policy, research & innovation, and intellectual property for the software/IT sector. Read: 24 students receive ‘Huawei BUET ICT Academy’ certification They will also develop content and building capacity of relevant DE stakeholders on 4IR, relevant for software, IT/ ITES segment of the digital economy (DE) and develop and manage partnerships with various local and international organizations for knowledge and resource sharing on 4IR, the agreement mentioned.