Luke Islam makes Bangladesh proud at USA’s America’s Got Talent!

From the first Bangladeshi female commentator to trending #1 video on Youtube, we Bangladeshis managed to do it all. Yes, that is right. On Last night’s America’s Got Talent 12-year-old Luke Islam, who is half Bangladeshi by birth, got to perform in AGT Season 14. It ranked #1 on YouTube’s trending list.

Who is Luke Islam?

Luke Islam is a 12-year-old American born Bangladeshi. Last night on Season 14 of America’s Got Talent he got to sing his heart out. Luke Islam, in turn, is a huge fan of the Broadway. He also dreams of becoming a Broadway singer himself. His parents informed that singing is something he has been doing since he learned how to talk and had been watching Broadway shows since he was only 6.

Now apparently his brilliant singing brought Judge Julianne Hough to tears and got him the Golden Buzzer. He performed “She used to be mine” from “The waitress”. Yikes!

Read more: Hamza Choudhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

The golden buzzer is a big deal

The Golden buzzer is a really big deal in AGT. Each judge gets to press it once during the season. Once pressed for, the act that got this will go straight up to the Live shows. Julianne Hough awarded her golden buzzer to the young yet big dreamer Luke Islam. 

“I just have to say I’m extremely flattered that you would even look up to my brother and I with a voice like that, with an energy like that, because you have such talent and grace. You have something so special. You have an essence inside of you that has given you a gift.”

Said Julienne. 

“I believe that not only are you going to become a star and get your dream to come true, but I don’t think you need to wait that much longer,”

She went on as she pressed the buzzer.

Read more: French movie “Fahim” to portray the story of Bangladeshi chess prodigy

BUT! But that is not the end of it. The highlights of this episode were uploaded in Youtube by the AGT official channel. This ended up becoming the #1 on the trending list of Youtube.

Read more: 6 Bangladeshi Superheroes You Should Know About

First ever Bangladeshi female commentator: Shathira Jakir Jessy

For the first time, ever! A Bangladeshi female commentator did the commentary during the Bangladesh Vs. India match on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. On Star Sports.

Yes, folks, you read that right. History has been made, as the former national cricketer, Shathira Jakir Jessy had been selected to commentate in Bangla during the Bangladesh Vs. India match on Tuesday.

“This is a historic moment for Bangladesh – for the first time ever, a Bangladeshi girl will commentate on Star Sports. It feels great to think I am that person.”

Said Jessy earlier in an interview.

Besides this, she will also commentate during the England Vs. New Zealand and Afganistan Vs. West Indies in Bangla on 3rd and 4th July respectively.

Bhanga Bangla on Sony music. Are you happy or terrified?

Should we be happy or terrified? Seeing the situation of Bhanga Bangla, a Los Angeles based Bangladeshi mumble rap band managed to strike a deal with Sony music. This is the first ever in Bangladeshi music history. They managed to do something that legendary musicians were not able to do. 

Bhanga Bangla started their journey back in 2018 with the infamous “Matha Ta Fatabo”. With “Borof” being their 5th and current one which was released in the Sony Music India Youtube Channel. 

Ivory Shakur, 41X and Young Prince started this mumble yet trap rap band. The Bhanga Bangla are mostly known for their idiosyncratic visuals, lyrics that took quite a bit of effort to understand.  This is mainly because their songs hold such deep meaning it becomes hard to understand. Even as a Bangladeshi. Also, their usage of the same “Panjabi”s over the course of five videos, indicate that they are a bit in the red. Let’s not forget their commodious usage of auto-tune. 

They came into US limelight after the police arrested them during their 4th video shoot. It took place in a Church in East L.A. The Los Angeles Police Department had mistaken the Bhanga Bangla crew as a terrorist after receiving a call about them being terrorists. Clearly, the police misunderstood them and they released their 4th video in 2019. Shot in that same church.

Now, in conclusion, it can be said that as a Bangladeshi we are proud of their achievement. As well as a bit agitated about what they produce next.

Henry Cavill is Sherlock? We can live with that

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? For all we know, it is definitely not Superman. Now this time around Henry Cavill will take up the role of Sherlock Holmes. Yes, the iconic Sherlock Holmes that was played by Robert Downey Jr, Benedict Cumberbatch, and about 751 more people. Yikes!

Henry Cavil is said to play Sherlock in Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes. Enola Holmes is the fourteen-year-old sister of Sherlock and Mycroft.  The movie will be based on Springer’s first book of the series “Missing Marquees”. 

Millie Bobbie Brown a.k.a. Eleven from “Stranger Things” will be taking the role of Enola Holmes. This definitely something to look forward to. As, she did not disappoint in her previous works. Helena Bonham Carter is said to play the role of Enola’s mother.  Harry Bradbeer is going to direct this movie with a script from Jack Thorne.

Read more: Henry Cavill to play Geralt in Netflix’s The Witcher

It’s going to be quite exciting to see Cavill and Brown in the same frame.

Cavill had a busy schedule since 2013 playing Superman in Man of Steel, Justice League, Batman V Superman. He appeared in the last Fallout movie alongside Tom Cruise. As well as finish the upcoming Witcher TV series on Netflix.

Pathao fires at least 300 employees in a surprise move

As of 25th June 2019, approximately three hundred of Pathao employees have been dismissed without any warning or notice. Among those three hundred who were dismissed, were top-level employees as well.

Although, there has been no official word on this from the Pathao authorities. The mass dismissal was confirmed from multiple employees that were dismissed.

An internal source from Pathao confirmed that approximately three hundred employees were fired. They were dismissed Tuesday morning, today, unnoticed. Among the dismissed, there was an executive assistant manager and several department heads. Many of them were stationed in different departments of Pathao.

Read more: Pathao and the quest for customer reassurance

The source was only able to give an approximate number. An exact amount is yet to be known.

Read more: How far would a Bangladeshi food joint go to hide the truth?

When contacted the Marketing lead of Pathao, Sayeda Nabila Mahabub, to know about the situation, she was reluctant to discuss this matter over the phone.

Read more: Pathao, Uber and the need for greater scrutiny about data gathering activities

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Budget 2019-20: Price hikes and drops to watch out for

It is the day of reckoning folks, for the budget 2019-20 has been announced. Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal made the announcement today. Changes in duties will cause ups and downs in the prices of a lot of daily use products.

What Will Go Up?

As per reports, it seems cosmetics, mobile phone service will face the increment. Tough to those who live on makeup. Other than that; cooking oils, medicines, marriage media centres, ice cream, vehicle registration, route permit for vehicles, fitness certificate for vehicles will go up too. Other than those helicopter renting, plastic products, aluminium products, astrology, drama, movie, handmade confectioneries, milk, sugar, body spray, ovens, broilers, grillers and smartphone are going to face the rise.

What Will Go Down?

GOLD! Yes, that is right. Gold Price is said to down alongside firefighting equipment, building bricks, cancer-related medicines, coco substrate and coco pellet used in home gardening, and electric fan.

Netflix finally has competition, it’s Disney

Disney has set its sights at the streaming industry for a while. Talks of the company starting a streaming service have been going around since before 2017. Finally, it has been stated by Disney that they will launch their service on 12 November 2019. It has been named Disney+ and it’s in a direct collision course with all the existing streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and most importantly Netflix.

Difficult scenario for Disney

Netflix is by far the biggest streaming service in the world right now. It has around 139 million paid subscribers worldwide. For comparison, Amazon Prime Video has around 20 million and Hulu has less than 1 million. Even the closest competitor falls short by more than 100 million users. In this environment, Disney has decided to disrupt the market and take over Netflix’s reign with Disney+.

That is not an easy feat to accomplish. There need to be concrete plans and attractive offers for customers to make the jump from one product to another. Disney knows this and has already taken steps. Its streaming service will allow users to sign up for only $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. When compared to the prices offered by Netflix of $7.99 a month, it’s a whole dollar less. Clearly, Disney+ wins in the when it comes to the price plans provided.

Price is not the only consideration for the audience though. Being cheaper does nothing if there’s nothing to be gained in return for the money. If there are no shows or movies that people would actually want to watch on the platform, there will be no reason to switch. Netflix gives its users access to around over 5,500 titles that include both TV shows and movies. Disney needs to start with at least somewhat comparable catalogue to stand a chance.

A handful of brilliant shows

The people at Disney also realizes this, and seemingly, they are ready to step up to the challenge. Disney+ will have all the classic Disney movies like Bambi and The Lion King, the Star Wars movies, and Marvel’s and Fox’s original movies and shows like The Simpsons. They also plan to have at least a dozen or so Disney originals up on the platform in the first year of its operation. All of these will be exclusive to Disney+.

That means Netflix might lose the rights to show Marvel movie or Fox shows on its site and have to concede them to the mouse.

On top of all this, Disney has resolved to weather through losses up until 2024. They expect that the service will not be profitable until 2024 and they are ready to stick with it until then. That kind of commitment can only be made by Disney and it’s hard to imagine that any other company will be able to go toe to toe with that level of dedication.

The announcement of Disney+ has been a meteor to the media industry. The ripples of the impact can only be felt as all the players are shifting in their seats. The aggressive pricing plan and the enviable library of content that the service is poised to launch with will change the landscape of streaming service industry for certain.

Everything you need to know about the first image of the Black Hole

On April 10, 2019, thirteen years after the first data collection made by the
Event Horizon Telescope, the first-ever image of a black hole was released by it. It’s the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Messier 87 galaxy. For the first time in human history, we can directly observe what a black hole looks like. Well, we can’t exactly observe it because it emits no light, or lets any light escape its event horizon. What we can observe is the surrounding area of the black hole.

The telescope is not one telescope

The Event Horizon Telescope is not one telescope. It’s a global network of radio telescopes spread all around the world. It started more than a decade ago in 2006. This network was used to create a virtual telescope with an effective diameter of the entire planet through a technique called very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). The goal of the telescope was to observe the immediate environment of supermassive black holes, for example, Sagittarius A (the black hole at the centre of our galaxy).

Explaining what we see

The black spot that we see at the centre of the bright halo, is the black hole itself. It is not a matter or an object. Think of it like a sink that absorbs everything, even visible light. This region is black because of a singularity.

The region where the fabric of time and space has collapsed on itself.

This black hole right there is the exit point of our observable universe!

The bright ring of light outside the black hole are actually matter and light constantly being absorbed into the black hole and burning into smithereens, at temperatures of billions of degrees!

A massive amount of Data!

The data captured using this global network of telescopes reached ridiculous numbers. The volume of data that was analyzed was around 5 petabytes. To put things into perspective, one petabyte is equal to one thousand terabytes. If we consider a movie to take up around five gigabytes of space, we can fit around one thousand movies into that space. If we consider each to take around two hours, it would take you nearly three months straight finish them all. It’s such a large volume that they had to load it all up into one thousand pounds of hard drives and use airplanes to get the data from one place to another.

Katie Bouman and the indomitable spirit

Safe to say, it’s a gigantic amount of data. This data had to be analyzed and made sense of. But shifting through all this data is not easy. It cannot be done manually. This is where Katie Bouman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology comes in. She led the development of the algorithm that turned all this data into the iconic image that is circulating every corner of the internet now.

Following the release of the image of the black hole, her name shot through the media too. Now she is making headlines as the mind that made it all possible. Though Katie Bouman is very keen to point out that this would not have been possible without inputs of all the brilliant scientists working together for more than a decade.

The image that defines a scientific era

The discovery of this image has set the internet ablaze, and for good reasons. The fact that we can even see the image is a testament to the sheer advancement that we as a species have made in technology over the years. The centre of the Messier 87 galaxy is around fifty-three million light years away from our Earth.

Still, we have created devices that can capture images from this tremendous distance with enough clarity to analyze and gain knowledge from. We can now finally find out if our predictions and theories match up with reality. So far, the image seems to confirm what we already theorized. This only goes to show that humanity can achieve things that defy imagination.

Marvel, Netflix and the future of streaming

If you subscribe to a video streaming service, it’s quite possible that you don’t have much to complain about regarding things to watch. Online video streaming services have firmly and quite rightfully put the nail in the coffin of cable TV service for a long time now. Having a lot of movies and TV shows on demand is quite appealing, it turns out. The cable model was too inefficient and expensive compared to streaming, and thus a mass exodus occurred which saw a millions of viewers switching to streaming services, completely disrupting the cable market. And now the streaming market is about to be disrupted as well. The irony is it’s doing it to itself.

Shutting down beloved shows

Marvel, Netflix and the future of streaming 1

It wasn’t too long ago that Luke Cage and Iron fist, both parts of Marvel’s extended TV universe, were pulled from Netflix. These cancellations could have been attributed to the shows’ quality, which didn’t exactly agree with everyone. But the shock came with the most recent cancellation of Marvel’s Daredevil, the oldest and inarguably the most popular of Marvel’s TV shows on Netflix. And that it occurred after a critically acclaimed third season added to the surprise. “Why is this happening?” is the question that haunts the viewer.

Well, a statistic from Jumpshot suggests despite the great quality of Daredevil’s third season, viewership for the show had gone down by almost a third compared to the earlier seasons. But thing is that viewership was still nothing to ignore. It would only get more popular because of how good it was. The real reason lies in a much larger issue. Disney, Marvel’s parent company, plans to launch its own streaming service, Disney+.

Disney pulling out

A direct competitor to Netflix?

Disney’s plans to launch their own streaming service constitute a multitude of problems. First of all, Disney+ will be a direct competitor to Netflix. This makes having one of Disney’s shows on their platform basically serves as an advertisement for a rival company. Moreover, Disney is adopting an aggressive approach to this service. They are gobbling up all the IPs it can get its hands on. It is unlikely that we’ll get to see these shows on their streaming service. Disney has made it quite clear that Disney+ will be a PG-13 rated family friendly product. No R-Rated movies or shows on it, those will be released by Hulu of which Disney currently owns 30%.

Too many services

Disney’s decision gives light to a bigger issue, the influx of streaming services. Netflix has always had solid competitors in Amazon Prime or Hulu, but now it’s about to have a lot more. Disney has already announced its plans. Then there’s NewTV by DreamWorks which plans to provide original 10-minute shows, DC Universe, the heavily rumored Apple TV. These along with existing services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon and HBO are about to flood the streaming service cyberspace and seriously confuse your wallet.  

The struggle for consumers

Statistics from PCMag.com

Now all this competition should sound like a win for the consumers. Yet, there are multiple reasons why this might be actually very bad. For a person with varied taste, this is actually the worst kind of news. The most recent struggle between Disney and Netflix indicates that the streaming service industry is becoming a zero-sum game. Relationships between distributors are already evidently getting worse and it will probably morph into a battle for distribution rights. Disney’s acquisition policy is just the tip of the iceberg of how studios are looking to acquire rights to distribute movies and TV shows exclusively. Every studio seems like it has tied down some product and it’s only available legally if you are subscribed to their streaming service. If you are a fan of both Star Wars and Narcos, you need to have both Disney+ and Netflix subscriptions to watch both.

Loss of variety

Netflix has attempted to produce originals for their subscribers that one couldn’t watch anywhere else. They’ve spent around $13 Billion in 2018 only on original content. And for a while, each competitor was producing original content that was great. But as the industry grew, virtually every premium channel has its own paid subscription app.

As competitors increase, the world of entertainment is becoming more partitioned.

There is no all-in-one solution anymore, not even a most-in-one solution. Of course, there are a lot more choices now, but each choice is becoming more decentralized.

This will only worsen in the future. Each competitor will attempt to launch its own unique variety of shows and movies. No entertainment entity will have a wide choice of entertainment in one place. There has already been an increase in piracy which can be partially attributed to this cause. There might be many more adverse effects we will observe as the golden age of streaming comes to an end.

Not good news for users

More competitors may sound like lower prices, but there’s a bare minimum. Below this amount companies aren’t willing to produce, so costs won’t be lowered too much; at least if Disney+ and the rumored Apple TV models are any indication. The future is still uncertain. For now, all we can do is give a nervous welcome to the Punisher and Jessica Jones series continuations as they reach their second and third seasons respectively; and bid a confused farewell to Daredevil, where the journey began and apparently has started to end.


Samsung GalaxyS10: The Galaxy S series returns with a bang!

Yes, that is right folks. The 10th instalment to Galaxy S series is finally out and looking spectacular. Now right off the bat, the S10 comes in three versions. The S10, The S10 Plus, and The S10 E. Is it just me or is Samsung trying to tell something? Maybe that they can release new phones having different versions and they will not be the same as the previous model with “minor” updates. All three versions will be available to the public globally from March 8 while pre-order is going on right now.

Spectacular specs

Now, The S10 and The S10 plus have a screen size of 6.1″ and 6.4″ with Quad HD and Dynamic Amoled Display. S10 E, however, is a bit smaller, having 5.8″ Full HD and Dynamic Amoled display. All the three models have the Infinity-0 display; which is a near bezel-less flat screen. S10 and S10 Plus will have three cameras in the back and the only the S10 plus has two up front for selfies. Talk about exaggeration.

One of the things that I personally liked is how Samsung got rid of the fingerprint scanner and still managed to keep the headphone jack. As for unlocking the phone, Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus have an on-screen Ultrasonic Fingerprint sensor. But this is only for the two models. All the models will run on Android 9 (pie)

And a hefty price tag

As for pricing Samsung Galaxy S10 the 128GB/8GB(ram) is priced at $899.99, 512GB/8GB(ram) at $1149.99 (512GB). On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128GB/8GB(ram) priced at $999.99 and 512GB/8GB (ram) at $1249.99 (512GB). That is not all The S10 Plus will come in a 1TB model having 12GB of ram. Basically, this phone will have more Ram than an average home computer. Including, mine. This very model has a whopping price tag of $1599.99. Yikes!