• Dhaka Wed, 19 JUNE 2024,
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AMD launches new AI chips to take on leader Nvidia
Slow internet, may suffer for a month
Fiber Cable breaks down near Indonesia's sea area, for that the country's second Submarine Cable SEA-ME-WE-5 network has been out of service. As a result, the customers including the internet service providers of the country are getting slow internet service for the last four days. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Submarine Cable PLC said that the repairing time of the submarine cable can be lengthy till the last week of May. BSPLC General Manager Saidur Rahman informed that news on Tuesday (April 23). He said that the SEA-ME-WE-5 cable broke down in the sea coast of Indonesia at midnight last Friday. They take a little more time for administrative work. All in all, they said, the work can be done amid of the third or fourth week of next month.
EU probes Apple, Google, Meta under new digital law
Gaia telescope reveals new insights into Milky Way's history
Unregistered phones to face ban in July: Palak
Astronomers spot the oldest black hole
OpenAI appoints new boss, Sam Altman joins Microsoft
OpenAI has named Emmett Shear, formerly the CEO of Twitch, as its interim CEO, after surprisingly firing Sam Altman last week. Altman had become something of the public face of the ChatGPT large language model. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced on Monday that ousted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, along with co-founder Greg Brockman, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team. Former OpenAI President and co-founder Brockman had quit over Altman's firing on Friday. Meanwhile, tech publication Wired on Monday published what it said was a letter from some of OpenAI's most senior staff members threatening to quit en masse and follow Altman to Microsoft unless the company's board was replaced.  "Your actions have made it obvious that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAI," said the letter.  Signatories included the company's chief scientist, Ilya Sutskever, and even one member of the four-person board that had ousted Altman.  Microsoft is OpenAI's key business partner and has invested billions of dollars into the startup and helped provide the computing power to run its AI systems. "We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI," Microsoft's Nadella said as she announced Altman would join the company. "We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI's new leadership team and working with them."  Former Twitch CEO brought in at OpenAI OpenAI on Monday named Emmett Shear as an interim CEO to take over from Altman. Shear was previously the CEO of social media company Twitch.  The company caused further headlines over the weekend by initially announcing that Mira Murati would take over Altman's role, only to later demote her again and leave the top job open once more.    What does Altman's removal mean? The tech world was shocked by Altman's sacking at OpenAI. He and the company shot to fame last year amid the hype surrounding the release of a new large language model, ChatGPT, and other products like the image-generating AI Dall-E.  Many emplyoees were also blindsided by the abrupt change in management.  Major investors had pushed for reinstating him. However, the board stood by its decision, saying it was "the only path to advance and defend the mission of OpenAI." "Put simply, Sam's behavior and lack of transparency in his interactions with the board undermined the board's ability to effectively supervise the company in the manner it was mandated to do," the board said in the memo. Investors had said Altman's sudden removal could lead to an exodus of talent from the company, and affect an upcoming $86 billion share sale.
TikTok rankles US employees with return-to-office tracking tools
TikTok employees in the United States expressed frustration and dismay this week after the company introduced a tool for tracking office attendance and threatened disciplinary action for failing to comply with new in-person mandates, in an unusual effort to get workers back into the office with custom data-collection technology. Employees at TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, received notices this week about the new tool, an app called MyRTO. The app, which is built into the company’s internal software, monitors badge swipes and asks employees to explain “deviations” – absences on days they are meant to be in the office – according to e-mails and screenshots shared with The New York Times. A dashboard with the data is visible to employees, their supervisors and human resource staff members. TikTok requires many of its roughly 7,000 US employees to work in offices three times a week beginning in October. Some teams are expected in five days a week. Employees were told that “any deliberate and consistent disregard may result in disciplinary action” and could have “impact on performance reviews”. TikTok’s workers have been taken aback by the disciplinarian tone of the messaging and the appearance of the MyRTO dashboard, which serves as a reminder that the company is monitoring their daily whereabouts, according to interviews with multiple employees, who would speak only anonymously. One of the employees, who said some in-person work was important, added that the app and threats of punishment were unnecessary and that colleagues were now fearful about the consequences of failing to comply. Mr Zach Dunn, an expert on hybrid work and a founder of the hybrid management company Robin, said it was “exceedingly rare” for companies to monitor badge swipes so closely and to threaten disciplinary action on attendance. “We’ve seen folks say, ‘This will be considered as part of your overall performance evaluation,’” he said. “That’s different from saying, ‘If you don’t do this, you will be disciplined.’” Ms Jodi Seth, a spokesperson for TikTok, said the tool was meant to help set expectations for in-office attendance. “The ultimate goal of MyRTO is to provide greater clarity and context to both employees and leaders regarding their RTO expectations and in-office schedules and help foster more transparent communications,” Ms Seth said. More than three years into the saga of return-to-office planning, many companies have settled into hybrid work arrangements. Just over one-fourth of workdays performed by American workers are done from home, according to research from Stanford, and offices across the country remain under 50 per cent of their pre-pandemic occupancy, according to Kastle, a workplace security firm. Many tech companies, including Zoom and Meta, have asked employees to start reporting to the office this summer and fall. Some of these policies have provoked pushback, including at Amazon, where corporate employees staged a walkout in May. Some companies are tightening their enforcement efforts, indicating that they will monitor badge swipes to ensure that employees are actually showing up. Google, which asked most of its employees to be in the office three days a week, will use badge swipes to identify prolonged absences from the office, which could be incorporated into performance review conversations. But few companies have created custom tools and dashboards with daily logs of that data for employees and their managers. TikTok has employees in US cities including in Los Angeles, Washington and New York. The company grew significantly during the pandemic but has struggled to get its far-flung workforce into its offices. In an e-mail to employees that introduced MyRTO, TikTok described its goals for in-office work and said that “we are now providing the next suite of tools and information for both employees and leaders to better allocate time spent in the office optimising collaboration”. In August, the company told New York employees that a lunch stipend would be linked to an app that required a check-in from the office for access to the funds, according to two of the workers who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The employees said the app felt like another way to check on their location. Mr Dunn said TikTok’s attitude towards in-person work might be influenced by TikTok and ByteDance’s overseas leadership. He cited data from his firm showing that workers in the Asia-Pacific region have largely resumed their pre-pandemic commutes. “For companies, especially where they have leadership based in this region, they probably don’t see what the big deal is because they’ve been doing this for well over a year,” Mr Dunn said. “The expectation is the office.” NYTIMES SOURCE: straitstimes.com
Russian Soyuz docks at ISS, cosmonauts and astronaut aboard
A Russian spacecraft successfully docked with theRussian spacecraft on Friday after launching from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome. On board the Soyuz MS-24 were two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut who were undertaking the mission amid heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington. Rare moment of cooperation Russian space agency Roscosmos said earlier on Friday that Oleg Kononenko, Nikolai Chub and Loral O'Hara docked at the ISS three hours after lift-off. The trio are joining three other Russians, two Americans and a European Space Agency representative on the ISS. Kononenko appeared to allude to tensions during a pre-launch press conference and said "unlike on earth" cosmonauts and astronauts took care of one another in space. "We hear each other there, and we understand each other, and we are very sensitive to our relationships," he said. "We always take care of each other." O'Hara was equally upbeat, pointing to the station's "legacy" and said it had been bringing the countries together. "I'm excited to get on board and see the crewmates who are waiting for us," she added. Kononenko and Chub are scheduled to spend a year on the ISS while O'Hara is expected to spend six months aboard. Russia's space program Last month Russia's space program suffered a significant setback when the Luna-25 space module crashed during an attempt to land on the moon. It was Russia's first lunar mission in nearly 50 years. US and Russian cooperation at the station doesn't have much time left. Last year July, the chief of Roscosmos Yury Borisov said that Russia would be leaving the ISS after 2024 with a view to putting together its own orbital station. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also looking to bolster space cooperation with China as the West continues ramping up sanctions in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Apple unveils iPhone with USB-C charger in line with EU law
Apple on Tuesday unveiled a new iPhone that will use USB-C charger ports. Previous iPhone models had used Apple's own "Lightning" charger ports.  In June 2022, the European Union passed a law requiring all devices to be compatible with a USB Type-C charging port by late 2024, arguing that it will reduce electronic waste and save money for consumers. Apple had contested the law as unnecessary. What do we know about the iPhone 15? "USB-C has become a universally accepted standard. So we're bringing USB-C to iPhone 15," said Kaiann Drance, Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing at a launch event. Apple had long argued that its Lightning chargers were more secure than USB-C chargers. The company also said that the iPhone 15 would have internal components that simplify repair and a new frame that allows the back glass to be easily replaced. Last month, Apple said it was endorsing the passage of a California law that required tech producers to enable people to fix their devices without taking them back to companies. The firm also announced that the iPhone 15 batteries would be made from 100% recycled cobalt and that it would no longer use leather in its product. It added that a new watch will be its first carbon-neutral product. Apple says that it aims to be carbon-neutral by 2030, including in its supply chain. The announcement comes after China imposed restrictions on the use of iPhones at government offices and state-backed entities. Sales of iPhones, which account for nearly half of Apple's revenues, dropped 2.4% last quarter. Apple shares also slid on the stock market following Beijing's measures.
Farihan F. Rahman appointed as the Director of Startup Community Startup Grind
In an exciting development for the local startup community, Mr. Farihan F. Rahman has been appointed as the new Chapter Director for Startup Grind (SG) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Startup Grind (SG), the world’s largest startup community headquartered in Silicon Valley is based in 600 cities across 125 countries. SG is renowned for its mission to connect, educate, and inspire entrepreneurs worldwide. With global partners like Google, Dell, and HubSpot, Startup Grind has become a beacon for emerging startups and established businesses alike. As the Chapter Director, Farihan will play a pivotal role in nurturing and strengthening the local startup ecosystem. With a vision to bring together innovative minds, seasoned professionals, and visionary investors, Startup Grind's presence in Dhaka is set to take on new dimensions.  Farihan expressed enthusiasm about the new role, saying, "I am honored and excited to take on this responsibility. Startup Grind has been instrumental in empowering entrepreneurs and fostering innovation worldwide, and I'm eager to bring this impact to our vibrant Dhaka community. We have an incredible lineup of events, workshops, and networking opportunities in store for our members." Startup Grind events typically feature fireside chats, panel discussions, pitch competitions and workshops with successful entrepreneurs, investors, and tech industry experts. These events serve as a platform for knowledge sharing and networking, helping new entrepreneurs learn from the best and connect with potential mentors, collaborators, and investors. For more information about Startup Grind please visit: https://www.startupgrind.com/
Palak-Verma laid the foundation stone of 'Knowledge Park' at Chattogram
Minister of State for Information and Communication Technology, Government of Bangladesh, Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay Verma jointly laid the foundation stone of the Knowledge Park at Chattogram on 27 August 2023.  The IT park at Chattogram is part of project for establishment of IT/Hi-Tech Parks in 12 districts of Bangladesh under Government of India’s concessional Line of Credit worth nearly US$ 250 million.  In his address at the event, High Commissioner Verma highlighted the project’s importance in India-Bangladesh cooperation in ICT sector, and hoped that it will propel economic and technological partnership between the two countries to newer heights. The project will also advance the goal of Digital Bangladesh and the vision to transform from Digital to Smart Bangladesh by 2041. High Commissioner Verma expressed confidence that these IT parks will go a long way in promoting the IT industry and IT-enabled services in Bangladesh by helping in establishing standards, creating hubs and incubation centres, developing entrepreneurship, and building capacity in new and emerging technologies like Internet of Things, machine learning, robotics, artificial intelligence, extended reality and other advanced and cutting-edge subjects.  He added that, the IT Parks will nurture a technologically-skilled workforce that is crucial for rapid growth and development of our economies in the 21st century. ​ Each Park is expected to generate direct employment for 3000 people and train over 1000 people every year. The direct and indirect benefits from the parks will, therefore, be transformative.  It is also notable that this project will involve construction of Green Buildings, which are energy efficient and environmentally friendly.   Going beyond trade and transport connectivity and energy connectivity, digital connectivity is a rapidly emerging dimension of India-Bangladesh partnership. In this context, High Commissioner highlighted new initiatives being taken such as the recently launched India-Bangladesh Startup Bridge to connect the Startup communities of India and Bangladesh, as well as proposals to link digital payment systems of the two countries.  The foundation stone laying ceremony was attended by government officials, local leaders and IT professionals, women entrepreneurs, mediapersons and other stakeholders.