first_imgBangladesh HC in Islamabad hosts an iftar-dinner at Hotel Serena in the Pakistan capital of Islamabad on Monday. Photo: Bangladesh HCBangladesh High Commission in Islamabad hosted an iftar-dinner at Hotel Serena in the Pakistan capital of Islamabad on Monday, said an HC press release.Bangladesh High Commissioner to Pakistan Tarik Ahsan went around different tables set for the guests, exchanged pleasantries with them and enquired about their well-being.In a welcome speech, the High Commissioner said while fasting during Ramadan, Muslims exercise self-control and sympathize with less-fortunate people. “Sincere embrace of these human values is central to pursuit of Islam’s goal of an ideal society.”He added that the experience of sacrifice and empathy in Ramadan promotes a spirit of brotherhood that can bind Muslims together in unity and solidarity.Bangladesh is committed to cooperation among Muslims around the world under Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the High Commissioner added.Tarik Ahsan said Bangladesh is contributing to education for Muslims through hoisting the OIC affiliated Islamic University of Technology.He further mentioned that Bangladesh plans to host the next session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC next year.A special Munajat was offered, before the iftar, seeking divine blessings for peace, progress, and prosperity of Bangladesh and the Muslim Ummah.The iftar-dinner was attended, among others, by members of Senate of Pakistan, ambassadors, high commissioners, diplomats, defence advisors from diplomatic missions, politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, journalists, officials of the Bangladesh High Commission, and Bangladesh defence officials.The High Commission hosted another iftar-dinner exclusively in honour of the members of the media at the same hotel in Islamabad earlier on 07 June 2017.last_img read more

first_imgThousands of tourists visit Saint Martin`s Island everyday. Photo: Khaled SarkerFor over a thousand years Saint Martin’s island has existed in the Bay of Bengal, some 38 km off the coast of Teknaf. In 1999 the government of Bangladesh declared this as an Environmentally Critical Area (ECA), barring any sort of activity that may harm the water, air or soil of the island.But no one is following the rules.Teknaf upazila is about 80 km from Cox’s Bazar. From there it takes about three or four hours by trawler or ship to reach Saint Martin’s Island. And then the crass commerciality begins.As you step onto the island, a cycle van will offer you a ride to a hotel for an exorbitant fare. The hotel too is overpriced, though the service leaves much to be wanted.And wherever you go on the island, there is trash strewn around everywhere – plastic bottles, polythene bags and more.A stench pervades all over this island, 4 km in length and about two km in breadth. This lone coral island of the country also runs rife with stray dogs. And the pollution is overpowering.The ministry for forests, environment and climate change last December called for an inter-ministerial meeting to discuss what can be done to save Saint Martin. It was decided that less tourists would be allowed access to the island and no one would be permitted to spend the night here. Certain times during the year would be fixed for tourists. But none of these plans have worked out and the island teems with tourists.Secretary of the forest, environment and climate change ministry, Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury, speaking to Prothom Alo in June, said that they have held several inter-ministerial meetings regarding the island and within a couple of months they will hold a final meeting with the principal secretary of the prime minister’s office.Read More: Development frenzy hits Maheskhali hardThere are 68 varieties of coral on the island, according to the latest survey of the department of environment, carried out last year. The island is also home to a variety of crabs, moss, snails, shells and clams.There are over 100 types of birds and five species of dolphins. Sometimes whales are sighted too. The island is covered with coconut trees.Professor of biology at Jahangirnagar University, Munirul H Khan, is carrying out research on Saint Martin’s island. He told Prothom Alo that in Bangladesh, the grey heron can only been found on this island, that too only on the southern part where there is live coral.Professor Munirul said that whatever little resources there are left on this island are on the verge of extinction due to unplanned tourism. The coral is being damaged by the frequent coming and going of ships. The coral walls are covered in polythene, plastic and other trash and are dying.Plastic bottles strewn all over Saint Martin`s Island. Photo: Prothom AloTourists have recently started going all over the island on bikes and motorbikes, taking pollution to the remote ends of Saint Martin, he added.Our last visit to the island was in December where we saw a little living coral on its Chhera Isle. The older inhabitants said that there is hardly any coral on the island anymore.Professor Munirul also said that sea turtles would lay their eggs where jetties have now been constructed. The turtles now lay their eggs here and there, but these too are devoured by the stray dogs. Even people gather the eggs and so turtles no longer come there like before.An international journal in 2016 stated that Saint Martin’s Island had 141 types of coral back in 1980, according to researchers. The four researchers, from Bangladesh, said that in 2016 there were only 41 types of coal left.Read More: ‘Kutubdia biodiversity in danger’Excessive coral collection and fishing had depleted the varieties of coral. Many of the hotels have decorated their entrances and walls with large chunks of coral.Fishing is the main source of income for many of the islanders. Turtles are caught in their nets too.There is a lack of clean drinking water on the island. That too is creating a crisis.Professor of biology at Chittagong University, Manzurul Kibria, speaking to Prothom Alo, said that that there was no groundwater source on the island. The groundwater was being depleted to meet the demands of the tourists and the inhabitants of the island.State minister for civil aviation and tourism Md Mahbub Ali told Prothom Alo that the hoteliers on the island had no idea about ecotourism. The government wants to evict such establishments and set up tourism facilities in specified areas.At the inter-ministerial meeting held last December, several short, mid and long term recommendations were made. It was said that tourists would be barred from visiting the Saint Martin’s Chhera isle. No more than two ships would be allowed to arrive per day and there would be a ban on cycles and motor cycles.Prothom Alo Info-graphRead More: Sonadia thrust into tourism tangleRandom disposal of plastic and polythene would also be restricted. No more land would be sold on the island and no more constructions would be permitted.It was also said that no tourists would be allowed on the island for at least three years. After that, they would only be allowed during the day.Only if such stringent measures were taken, would the coral island survive along with its rare animal life. Two officials of the environment department said, however, no action had been taken in this regard whatsoever.* This report appeared in the print version of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabirlast_img

first_imgKolkata: Four best players of the Friendship Cup Football Tournament of the Kolkata Police and similar tournament of West Bengal Police will be sent to Germany for an exposure trip.The four players will be leaving for Frankfurt (Germany) for an exposure trip on the invitation of the famous football club Eintracht Frankfurt. It may be mentioned that organising football tournaments is one of the community development programmes of the police and it has helped many to get established by playing the sport. According to a senior police officer, the visit of the four boys to Eintracht Frankfurt will motivate many others in playing the game. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Kolkata Police has selected two players, Loknath Mondal and Sekh Rintu from the Kolkata Police Friendship Cup. The two other players were selected by the West Bengal Police. One of them was selected by Darjeeling Police while the other is from Jhargram district. The football player, who was selected by the Darjeeling Police for the Germany trip, is Manish Subba. The boy from Jhargram is Deb Kumar Khirali. The exposure trip to Frankfurt city in Germany would be initiated from Kolkata. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe four players will be leaving Kolkata on November 6 and will return on November 13. They will be watching a match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Schalke 04 of Bundesliga on November 12 at Commerce Bank Arena in Frankfurt. During their stay, they will be undergoing training sessions for four days and will also get the opportunity for a “footballing session” with main players of Eintracht Frankfurt. Rajeev Kumar, Commissioner of Police, and Dr Michael Feiner, Consul General, German Consulate in Kolkata, were present at the programme that was organised on Wednesday to introduce the four players. Dr Feiner handed over the formal invitation letters from the football club to the Commissioner of Police. It may be recalled that the Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police had introduced organising football matches to encourage youths to participate in the game. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also distributed prizes among players in the tournaments organised by the police and it had motivated the youths in playing football. Moreover, the state government has taken several measures to support the clubs where youths practice the sport.last_img read more

first_img Register Now » 1 min read June 7, 2017 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global In the modern business landscape, there is at least one constant: “content is king.” Whether you’re a creative looking to market your skills or you run a business and are looking to come up with content strategies, you may have questions.Our new video series Ask Entrepreneur is back, with staffers taking your questions.Next Thursday,’s network editor, Conrad Martin, will lend some insights into the “ins and outs” of video content strategy and production. From freelance production companies to content generation giants, Conrad will speak from his experience and touch on other aspects of the entrepreneurship of entertainment.Conrad will take your questions (giving a bonus behind-the-scenes peek) during the live broadcast on Thursday, June 15, at 1 p.m ET, but feel free to send a question in the form below or tweet @Entrepreneur using the hashtag #AskEntrepreneur. (Please think twice before sliding in his DMs.)Please join us on our Facebook page on Thursday, June 15, at 1 p.m.last_img read more

first_imgFebruary 5, 2018 This story originally appeared on PCMag Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global If you haven’t seen it by now, Amazon’s Super Bowl LII commercial is fairly clever. Kudos to the company for coming up with a fun way to mash together celebrities and Alexa without it feeling overly cheesy or trying-too-hard. More importantly, a big thanks to Amazon’s engineers who came up with an ingenious way to broadcast the “A word” without it triggering everyone’s Echos — whatever version of the device you own.The most annoying thing about watching any YouTube video or televised commercial that mentions Alexa is that it typically triggers your Echo device to get ready to respond to a query. Or worse, the person you’re watching who says “Alexa” just keeps on babbling, which then makes your Echo do something you didn’t want it to do — or just apologize for being unable to do whatever commands it tried to interpret.And since Amazon definitely wanted its Super Bowl LII to mention she-who-shall-not-be-named, and refer to her frequently, the company had to come up with a different way to do so in order to avoid hacking off everyone who already owns an Echo device.The solution? Acoustic fingerprinting.”The trick is to suppress the unintentional waking of a device while not incorrectly rejecting the millions of people engaging with Alexa every day,” said Shiv Vitaladevuni, a senior manager on the Alexa Machine Learning team, in an Amazon blog post.Though Amazon isn’t detailing the specific techniques its using to keep your Echo from triggering from its Super Bowl advertising, Bloomberg notes that a Reddit user, Asphyhackr, might have figured out Amazon’s secret.”I did a little research tonight and found that the Echo, while it’s processing the wake word, searches the Audio Spectrum and if is significantly quieter in the area of 4000hz to 5000hz, she will not wake for the word,” Asphyhackr writes.”I found that when I analyzed the spectrum of them saying her name, the spectrums were significantly quieter in the range of 3000hz to 6000hz. In some of those recordings, those frequencies appeared to be non-existent. In others it appeared like the boosted the surrounding frequencies to make the Echo see a gap in the spectrum.”In other words, if your Echo (Best Price at Amazon) notices something strange happening in the audio spectrum, it realizes that it should ignore whatever is being said — like “Alexa.” And while this works well when Amazon has a planned announcement to make, like an advertisement, the company has to get a bit more creative when it can’t anticipate the large-scale broadcast of its digital helper’s name.”When multiple devices start waking up simultaneously from a broadcast event, similar audio is streaming to Alexa’s cloud services. An algorithm within Amazon’s cloud detects matching audio from distinct devices and prevents additional devices from responding. The dynamic fingerprinting isn’t perfect, but as many as 80 to 90 percent of devices won’t respond to these broadcasts thanks to the dynamic creation of the fingerprints,” reads Amazon’s blog. 3 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

first_img “Fail fast” is a well-known phrase in the startup scene. The spirit of failing fast is getting to market with a minimum viable product and then rapidly iterating toward success. Failing fast acknowledges that entrepreneurs are unlikely to design a successful end-state solution before testing it with real customers and real consequences. This is the “ready, fire, aim” approach. Or, if the blowback is big enough, it’s the “ready, fire, pivot” approach.Consider this quote from Reid Hoffman, CEO of LinkedIn: “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”Related: Ready or Not, It’s Time to Embrace AIThe opposite of failing fast is a “waterfall” approach to software development, where a significant amount of time is invested upfront — requirements analysis, design and scenario planning — before the software is ever tested with real customers.When it comes to the emerging potential of artificial intelligence, I believe failing fast is a recipe for disaster.Artificial intelligence is here to stay.Many different types of artificially intelligent software surround us. Most AI has minimal authority today. For instance, Amazon’s software recommends things you might like to buy, but it doesn’t actually purchase those things on your behalf — yet. Spotify’s software makes a decision to create a playlist for you, but if a song doesn’t suit your tastes, the consequences are benign. Google’s software decides which websites are most relevant for your search terms but doesn’t decide which website you will visit. In all of these cases, failing fast is okay. Usage leads to more data, which leads to improvements in the algorithms.But intelligence software is beginning to make independent decisions that represent much higher risk. The risk of failure is too great to take lightly, because the consequences can be irreversible or ubiquitous.We wouldn’t want NASA to fail fast. A single Space Shuttle launch costs $450 million and places human lives in jeopardy.The risks of AI are increasing.Imagine this: What if we exposed 100+ million people to intelligent software that decided which news they read, and we later discovered the news may have been misleading or even fake and resulted in influencing the election for the President of the United States of America? Who would be held responsible?Related: 5 Ways in Which Digital and Artificial Intelligence are Changing Work DynamicsIt sounds far-fetched, but media reports indicate Russian influence reached 126 million people through Facebook alone. The stakes are getting higher, and we don’t know whom to hold accountable. I am fearful the companies spearheading advancements in AI aren’t cognizant of the responsibility. Failing fast shouldn’t be an acceptable excuse for unintended outcomes.If you’re not convinced, imagine these scenarios as a by-product of a fail fast mindset:What if your entire retirement savings evaporated overnight due to artificial intelligence? Here’s how it could happen. In the near future, millions of Americans will use intelligent software to invest billions of dollars in retirement savings. The software will decide where to invest the money. When the market experiences a massive correction, as it does occasionally, the software will need to react quickly to re-distribute your money. This could lead to an investment that bottoms out in minutes and your funds disappear. Is anyone responsible?What if your friend were killed in an automobile accident due to artificial intelligence? Here’s how it could happen. In the near future, millions of Americans will purchase driverless automobiles controlled by intelligent software. The software will decide the fate of many Americans. Will the artificial intelligence choose to hit a pedestrian that accidentally steps into the street or steer the vehicle off the road? These are split-second decisions with real-world consequences. If the decision is fatal, is anyone responsible?What if your daughter or son suffered from depression due to artificial intelligence? Here’s how it could happen. In the near future, millions of kids will have an artificial best friend. It will be sort of like an invisible friend. It will be a companion named Siri or Alexa or something else that talks and behaves like a confidant. We’ll introduce this friend to our children because it will be friendly, smart and caring. It might even replace a babysitter. However, if your daughter or son spends all their discretionary time with this artificial friend and years later can’t sustain meaningful relationships in the real world, is anyone responsible?In some cases, the consequences can’t be undone.Responsible approach to AI.The counter-argument is that humans already cause these tragedies. Humans spread fake news. Humans lose money in the stock market. Humans kill one another with automobiles. Humans get depressed.Related: Life Coaching Guru Tony Robbins Tells Us Why He;s Investing in an AI CompanyThe difference is that humans are individual cases. The risk with AI that replaces or competes with human intelligence is that it can be applied at scale simultaneously. The scope and reach of AI is both massive and instantaneous. It’s fundamentally introducing higher risk. While one driver who makes an error is truly unfortunate, one driver that makes the same error for millions of people should be unacceptable.A more responsible approach to AI is needed. Our mindset should shift toward risk prevention, security planning and simulation testing. While this defies the modern ethos of the tech industry, we have a responsibility to prevent the majority of unlikely and unwanted outcomes before they occur. The good news is that with the right mindset, we can prevent the scenarios above from becoming true. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 5 min read March 2, 2018 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more