Most people love to talk about themselves. Even the emo edgy ones among us occasionally feel the need to inform others of their edgy state of being. Social media in its entirety is based on people’s vanity projects. And one of the largest providers of that vanity is online quizzes. Because we all like to know which brand of toilet paper we are. And there is not much wrong with that. But what if the cost of finding out your designated light-sabre at Hogwarts is your personal information turned into packets of data?
Facebook’s data breach through quizzes
We’re all familiar with the tendency of companies to use data from our internet usage into targeted marketing strategies. Whether the perceived convenience of such practices holds up against ethical code is a different issue. But the discretion with which these tactics collect information that one might not want to share is often frightening.
Just this March, news broke of stolen data collection through Facebook quizzes. While users took a quiz, a browser extension was auto-installed on their computer. This extension siphoned personal data like name, gender and profile picture. And then it resulted in targeted ads that looked like the average Facebook ad. Facebook even filed a lawsuit over this.
This goes to show just how vulnerable our security is on the internet. Seemingly harmless activities give away information you don’t even know is important. Even less discreet methods; questions on quizzes like “What is your name/gender/etc” can go a long way in compromising your personal safety. The result might seemingly be just targeted ads, which many don’t even mind.
But data like that may result in companies easily being able to categorize your personality index and even subliminal suggestive advertising to make you purchase things you don’t even want. Think about it, did you really ever think you needed those exercise equipment you bought online before you did?
Knowing about how data is stolen can go a long way in preventing it. Always try to notice what extensions, add-ons or login information any online page asks for. Don’t give out sensitive information or even basic information about yourself. And please try to take these quizzes less often. You can do without knowing what type of onion you are today.
Let’s start with a small tale. I watched a guy get scammed on the bus the other day. He got a call from some guy claiming to be a Bkash representative. In a few minutes, he handed over his account details. I tried to stop him as soon as I got wind of what was happening, but it was already too late, and he had handed over his pin number. We can safely assume what followed.
To many of us, remote transactions are still very hazy. In general, we prefer to exchange via cash. This is in no small part due to the lack of safety over the remote channels available to us; in addition to general inconvenience. Bkash scams are everyday things now. And even if they weren’t, the process of maintaining a Bkash account feels tedious to me. Load up an online wallet with money, pay some money every time you do it. Our banks have made huge strides in making transactions more liquid, but there is still room for improvement. With relatively new technology on the horizon which provides many of the answers we’re looking for; let’s take a look at blockchain.
Blockchain, how it works
Simply put, blockchain is a chain of blocks that contain and communicate information. Although its implementation is relatively new, its roots can be traced back to 1991; when it was primarily used as digital timestamps. In 2009, the foundation for use of blockchain as it is today was laid, as it contributed to the creation of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. It should be noted that once some data has been recorded in a blockchain, it is nearly impossible to alter. A very simple example of the information in a block would be the basics of a transaction: sender, receiver and amount. Any changes in the block can be traced by changes in its hash; a hash being a sort of digital fingerprint. What this means is a blockchain cannot be created or edited without informing everyone on its related p2p network. This essentially makes blockchain one of the most secure modes of technology.
A more secure future for your bucks?
When you think about it, the money you have remotely; like in bank accounts and mobile wallets, works because it connects to you. Without your identity attached to it, the money belongs to no one. And in that way, your money is under threat via your identity. Blockchain technology ensures your money, your identity and your transaction details are secure. Intermediaries like banks or companies like bkash keep track of your transactions and your money.
Blockchain moves to cut out the middleman and keep your money assigned to you.
In many ways, blockchain currencies are the better option for ownership of money. And with blockchain phones and other technologies on the rise, it may be time to take a look.
This article was intended to remind the readers of the risks and inconveniences of traditional bookkeeping and transaction procedures. In addition, we took a simplified look at blockchain as a possible solution. Stay tuned for more as we explore more on cryptocurrency, blockchain and try to decode the technology behind them in an upcoming series.
First of all, I feel weird about this; rejoicing in the success of a person we share little more than ethnicity with. It feels like we’re claiming some credit where none is due. It’s all her, people. She did it because she’s good. Her success is hers.
Anisha Faruk aka Padma; a lady of Bangladeshi origin, has been elected the president of the student union of Oxford University. Her father is Bangladesh Army major Faruk Ahmed(retired).
Padma is completing her undergraduate program as a historian.
She previously occupied the co-chair position of the Oxford University Labour Club. And she was the editor-in-chief of The Oxford Student, the largest student journal of the University. So she’s no stranger to great responsibility and respect.
Ms Anisha beat tough competition from independent candidate Ivy Manning and Ellie Milne-Brown; who represented the reputed Aspire panel. This was a historic election with a 20.3 per cent participation rate. Ms Anisha promoted diversity as the primary strong point of her panel.
With this, the trend of the continued success of our compatriot overseas continues. We can only hope to match and exceed the success our peers are enjoying. And we hope to leave a blazing trail of achievements by Bangladeshis across the world.
is a soothing aspect of almost everyone’s life. It can be anything one needs at
any point in time. A safe haven, a serene escape or a blazing motivator; these
are just a few of the things music can be to a person. Discovering music new to
one is often one of the greater joys a person can feel at a particular moment.
Due to the busy life most of us lead, the magic of discovering music is lost to
many. To help you find new music that can speak to your soul, here’s a few
recent musicians/bands that might have flown under your radar.
Eida can no longer be considered underrated. They are a local band, consisting of a few university students with a great collective (and individual) sense of humour; evident by the name. Their music, in simple terms, is akin to modern dream-pop and retro wave with influences from 1975, Gorillaz and even The Strokes.
But from a more curious perspective, Eida’s music is much more. This group of talented musicians are not afraid to experiment and wouldn’t limit themselves to any specific genre. Their tracks invoke a very melancholic mood, and it is well worth giving them a try.
Tracks: Shondha Hole
Another local group. I found these guys off a random YouTube autoplay. Their music closely resembles fusion, in that they use a curious combination of instruments. But again, you shouldn’t fit things in a box. Very simplistic tone, vocal performance and the sheer emotion make them worth checking out.
Be the Cowboy (Yes, the entire album)
An American singer-songwriter, Mitski emphasizes creativity and experimentation in her work. Be The Cowboy is her 5th and latest album; she self-released the first two. This album received critical acclaim upon release and sets itself apart from contemporary pop music and music in general. The artist has designed the album with very short tracks, but each track invokes emotion and tries to get a point across. I suggest taking some time with this album, it is truly spectacular.
Suggested track: Krishnopokkho, Bhondo
Not much introduction is needed for local Rock band Oblique, after the success of Aloron last year. They have been around since 2007 and are known for their use of unconventional, thought inducing and emotional lyrics. Rumour is that they are about to release a new single. So go ahead and check out their work.
Track: Need a little time, Sunday Roast
The Australian singer-songwriter has a very loyal following. Her lyrics are embedded with witty humour and delivered with a dry, deadpan singing style. The combination is usually hilarious, emotional and curious at the same time. The best way to describe the emotion her music invokes would be; it encourages you to get to know the singer better. It enforces the need to delve deeper into her work, and that is possibly the best thing any music can do for its creator. Try out her recent album “Tell me how you really feel”, and please do.
Most of the time the reason for detachment to enjoying music is a rut.
All you might need is a little help with getting out of the said rut and finding the joy in music again. So take these musicians as a start to discovering music and musicians again, and let us know about the less known musicians you enjoy.
Earlier this year, OPPO introduced OPPO A7 with a decent 4320mAh battery and Oppo A9; both of which gained immense popularity within a short period of time.
Considering the affection from the users, the manufacturer has decided to launch the OPPO A9 ‘2020’ in Bangladesh. It comes with substantial upgrades in processing capability, camera performance; and increased power capability by adding a monstrous 5000mAh battery. In addition, the New ‘2020’ version incorporates 8GB RAM to ensure smooth multitasking experience for heavy-duty usage.
The RAM, why it makes a difference
Regarding the 8GB RAM, Mr Damon Yang, Managing Director of OPPO Bangladesh says, “OPPO has always prioritize on user experience with OPPO devices. This is an era of creative minds. With a gigantic 8GB RAM, gaming and content creation will be smoother; while ensuring a better outcome in terms of multi-tasking.”
Operating system tends to force close some of the background apps in smartphones that have smaller RAM. Multi-tasking, high-intensity gaming, photo and video processing becomes challenging for smartphones that come with smaller RAM. With an 8GB RAM, photo processing will be faster than ever before. Video rendering will be faster for creative users who use a smartphone as a tool for content creation. But most importantly, higher RAM ensures smoother performance for games that come with high definition graphics.
The powerhouse battery
The Oppo A9 2020 comes with a powerful battery that can back the need of demanding smartphone gaming. Games like PUBG drain batteries very fast. However, with VOOC flash charging and a 5000mAh battery, the concern for battery backup is minimal. A single charge may last for more than 2 days for a moderate user. For heavy users, it will survive a full day.
For outdoor content creator and travellers, power back-up really becomes an issue; since they are bound to be detached from any power source during their work time. So, the new OPPO A9 2020 would relieve frequent travellers from the predicament of running out of power.
The Oppo A9 ‘2020’ will hit the market by mid-September 2019. It will be available in official OPPO stores and other channels as well.
The issues are common: an event is coming up and there are so many details to manage or you just started a business with a great idea but need certain specialized skills to handle small technical tasks. Small business owners need one-off web-based content for a marketing campaign. Many entrepreneurs, organizers and companies do not have extensive teams of designers and developers. Hiring freelancers can be the cheapest, quickest and high-quality solution to get the job done.
But how? Acquiring a suitable freelancer, usually on a time constraint becomes daunting. Even if you do find someone, their work ethic, efficiency and eventual product might not be up to par.
The perspective from the other side of the table– freelancers may be very good at their job, highly skilled but can still find difficulty finding work. Most freelancers are not already established or reputed. Occasional “Hiring” posts on social media, and messages to acquaintances are not one’s best bet at finding work. Experience and skills do not equate to fulfilling tasks and realistic wages and commissions.
The core dilemma lies in this disconnect between employer and employee; the lack of a proper marketplace.
The Kajkey marketplace
Sabbir Ahmed and Ahsan Ahmed, came together to develop KajKey.com, an online local freelance marketplace. KajKey is positioning itself as the one-stop solution for both freelancers and employers.
Graphic designers, webpage and app developers, digital marketers and freelancers of other expertise can sign up for free and build their profiles. Employers can post their projects and receive immediate responses from interested freelancers. It is as of now the most efficient way to link up between employer and freelancer in Bangladesh. One the link is established, freelancers are able to make additional income and refine their skills.
Currently, active freelancers are earning anywhere between 30,000 BDT and BDT 100,000 per month from working via Kajkey.com
Tested concept, made for Bangladesh
KajKey eliminates the noise between employers and employees, building a smooth and efficient bridge from project conception to realization. A significant leverage of the platform is in that it is entirely in Bangla. This was intended to remove the language barrier a lot of people face.
The Bangla targeted approach provides a necessary foundation to properly discuss needs and expectations. It also helps to operate on a localized context and conduct transactions with local payment solutions. Therefore, the platform has gained traction, with more than 50,000 users registered on the platform and availing opportunities on a regular basis.
Jobs, jobs, jobs
KajKey also offers a very simplified and efficient method of job finding and posting. Freelancers need to build their accounts and update it with details of their experience and portfolios of previous projects. Employers need only to post their projects with the title, budget, goals and related details. Freelancers will then bid on the project. The process leads to a direct discussion between employee and employer regarding a project, providing for a satisfactory solution for both parties.
More income generating features for freelancers
Kajkey.com also just launched their new platform KajKey V2 where freelancers can offer their services as a gig with their own price. Instead of solely applying for employers requests, freelancers can post a gig with a description of offered services, show examples of previous work, evidence of projects completed (total sales number) and of course, the cost of services. If interested users see something they require, they can order services on the gig pages instead of making a post requesting the service.
KajKey is swiftly becoming the go-to marketplace for freelancers and event managers. It has been endorsed by many prominent entrepreneurs and investors including– Hussain M Elius from Pathao, Kishwar Hashemee, CEO of Kludio, Ravid Chowdhury from Trucklagbe and RC Ventures, Rayid Isaam Faruq from B2M Games– among other prominent figures have endorsed and welcomed the platform.
KajKey has eliminated a lot of the problems involved with employing freelancers and folks are recognizing the potential in the venture. It has provided employment opportunities to interested and able individuals and also contributes to decentralizing employment opportunities to remote places outside Dhaka. It is a project with massive potential that if realized, could permanently change how employment in these situations works.
If you find yourself organizing an event or web development project, try out KajKey and your job might just be made easier. Let us know about the experience!
Although laptops and smartphones have taken the forefront in basic computer functions; and consoles are more lucrative than ever to sate gaming needs; something about owning a personal computer offers a satisfaction like no other. And it has many effective aspects as well. For example, laptops often become a trade-off between performance and display/battery life/peripheral aspects. And smartphones are just too smart for dumb people.
While buying a new pc, it helps if you know about the parts you are paying for as opposed to just paying for something. It provides a distinct personal satisfaction. So for those of us hoping to purchase a personal desktop computer, here’s a brief overview of what to look for.
Setting priorities and a budget
It is very important to know exactly what you want when buying a PC. The multitude of choices among parts is easy to confuse anyone. While it was true a year ago that consoles are the most efficient medium for gaming; partly due to the absurd price hikes of PC parts like GPU and RAM and even CPUs later; prices have mostly settled now and it is a good time to get a PC for any kind of use.
It probably goes without saying that if you intend to play games on your PC, you are absolutely going to need an external GPU.
For low-mid end gaming, a budget of 50-60 thousand BDT should do.
Around 70-100 thousand for the mid-high end and at least 150 thousand for ultra-high-end gaming is required.
Building the core of the system
This is where the magic happens; the PC needs to have good hardware that compliments each other and don’t cause a bottleneck. It’s important to mention that before building a system you need to figure out what kind of monitor you’re going to use. You’ll need to base your most expensive purchase(the GPU) on that. For example, 1080p on 60fps is enough for me. So I use an ASUS VX-229HJ monitor.
It’s easy to cheap out on a motherboard without realizing just how much it contributes to your system. Don’t go for cheap nameless brands here. A decent mainboard can keep your system stable for at least half a decade. It is also important to figure out what kind of processor you’re going to use (buy AMD). But most good motherboards have both an AMD and Intel version. Be cautious not to overspend on unnecessary aspects of the motherboard either. Because on a medium budget, you’re probably not going to need 4 GPU slots or 8 Ram slots. Pick a motherboard with a recent BIOS version and sockets that compliment the most recent generation of CPUs. Since I’m more particular towards the AMD build, personal pick here is the MSI B450 Tomahawk.
Memory and Storage
16 gigabytes of RAM is soon to be (already is) the industry standard for RAM. Again, don’t cheap out with Twinmos or Adata products; get gaming RAM with high (>3000) bus speed. You won’t regret it. It’s a good idea to dual-channel your RAM instead of buying a single stick, except if you plan on upgrading later. I am not into the RGB lighting thing, but get it if you have an extra 500 to spare. The personal pick is Corsair Vengeance LPX-DDR4 3200 MHz bus width RAM.
For storage, please get an SSD if you haven’t used one before. If you have, you really don’t need to know why. If you haven’t, well, how does less than 20 seconds of boot time and virtually no loading time for games sound? Please, at least for your system drive, get an SSD. The Personal pick is Samsung 960 EVO, with storage capacity according to your needs. For HDD, get the Seagate Barracuda 2TB or 4TB, whichever suits you.
Although Intel has occupied the undisputed peak of CPU producers for as long as can be remembered; this is no longer the case. AMD with their Ryzen 3, 5 and 7 lines have usurped Intel’s throne in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. So much so that Intel has basically admitted that they may need the next two generations just to catch up. A high core count and individual thread performance make AMD Ryzen the undisputed best choice for both gaming and multithreading tasks like rendering and ripping. Again, figure out what you need and don’t overspend. Because if gaming is the primary focus, an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 is more than enough to handle anything that comes out for at least two more years.
Arguably the most important and expensive purchase. Nvidia still rules the market of GPUs. And AMD hasn’t really matched them in performance; as much as they’ve competed in price. While the allure of ray tracing in Nvidia’s newest RTX cards might get to you; it is relevant to mention not many games even support ray tracing yet. And the ones that do aren’t that good anyway, at least for me. So I wouldn’t recommend breaking the bank to get an RTX card; especially since the word on the internet is they aren’t all that stable.
The resolution of your monitor is going to come into play here. For 1080p gaming on a tight budget, the AMD RX570/RX580 is the way to go, with 4GB and 8GB VRAM versions available. Get higher VRAM if budget allows so. For 1440p and higher, you’re gonna have to go RTX. The 2060 and its super variants are good for 1440p, while 2070 is best for budget-performance at 4k and for VR. Either way, the best card on the market is the 2080, if there was any doubt. Price checks out too. Get RGB on that as well, rub that money on our faces if you will. The Personal pick is the GeForce 1660ti, since it has the turing architecture of the RTX cards without the ray tracing itself; as well as GDDR6 memory. This is the card to go for if you have a slightly higher budget than one for the RX 570. The difference in gaming performance is noticeable, check out some benchmarks online, there’s 8-10 fps difference on each of them.
It is also extremely important to get a good power supply unit for your GPU. Check out Tomshardware and get any of the Tier 1 or 2 PSUs. Unfortunately, a lot of the good ones aren’t available in Bangladesh; and I got my EVGA SuperNOVA Gold plus from abroad. Only thing I can tell you is to take no chances with this part because it affects the performance of your system in general.
Casing and peripherals
I am a minimalist when it comes to stuff that doesn’t directly influence performance. Even so, it is important to get a case with good airflow and dust protection; to preserve device health. It would be unfortunate, to say the least, if your dream system ends up getting trashed due to dusting. Disclaimer, stock fans get wrecked by dust. Consider getting an external cooling system if budget allows. But again, don’t go overboard. Most systems don’t need liquid cooling. Surprisingly, most systems also don’t need RGB lighting. Personal pick on the case is Corsair Carbide Spec-05 and an Antec A400 cooling fan.
A gaming keyboard and mouse aren’t strictly necessary for performance. But peripherals are parts that enhance your experience. You’ll have more fun with a decent mechanical keyboard and a good mouse. However, cheap mechanical keyboards are never a good idea. So go for a Cherry MX blue-switch keyboard. Fair disclaimer, good mechanical keyboards go for 8 thousand BDT at least. Since these aren’t immediately necessary, save up and ease into these purchases. It is ok to use standard equipment until you can afford better.
Good peripherals will only make the experience better. Not having them won’t take anything away.
Lastly, you’ll be spending a lot of time in front of your new system. So it might be a good idea to get a good chair. You do not need an uber-expensive “gaming” chair. Just something with a decent backrest will do; as chairs without backrest can severely affect the health of your spine.
Having a desktop provides a source of fulfilment that other systems just can’t match, at least for me. And it’s a given that you won’t ever be satisfied with a laptop or any pre-built computing system once you’ve had an extended taste of a self-built desktop. So go and decide what you want and build your system yourself. I hope this guide will be helpful in your purchasing decisions.
Anthology series “Uncanny Episodes” by London based Bangladeshi author, Nafee Muhammad Anam, is set to feature a standalone episode in Amazon Prime. The episode will be based on Humayun Ahmed’s “Bhoy” of the Misir Ali series. Mr Nafee Anam is known as the editor of the first Bangla horror magazine, “Horror Potrika”.
Nafee Anam identified the story as one of his personal dream projects. He said, “I took permission for this from Humayun Ahmed a very long time ago. I stopped working on it and left it behind after he passed away. I was recently working on other stories for my Uncanny Episodes project but suddenly remembered that I have permission to produce Misir Ali and now, no matter what happens I want to bring this to life.”
About the anthology series in general, Mr Anam says he wants to depict popular Bangladeshi stories for a global audience. The episode in question will be shot in Bangla with English subtitles.
Uncanny episodes will be released on YouTube (for Bangladeshi audience) and Amazon Prime Video for a global audience. (Yeah, we’re still trying to understand how that works out.)
The project is crowdfunded through JustGiving, an online fundraising social platform.
Recently, Samsung has been focusing on producing budget-friendly phones. This market strategy is no doubt implemented to capture the Indian market; which has in recent times been enamored with Xiaomi phones. For a subcontinental behavior which demands more for less, Samsung has provided phones like the M20/30 and the A30. This phone is more of the same strategy, but for a slightly higher price point. The Galaxy M40 might be the best option to go for on a roughly 30K budget.
First impression and specs
Out of the Galaxy M line of phones, this has the most processing beef; due to the Snapdragon 675 processor along with 6 GB RAM. The immediate impression upon getting this device in your hand is that Samsung is trying to make this feel like one of the premium phones. That’s the only reason I can think of for getting rid of the headphone jack. It has an Infinity-O display with 91.8% screen to body ratio. It is also a pinhole screen (selfie camera on the screen), no doubt a compensation for the lack of an AMOLED panel. However, watching videos and playing games on this phone is still a treat. The body is polycarbonate material.
The M40 is USB-C fast charging enabled. It has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and also offers facial scanning. The device is very light and wieldy, proving significant attention to feel on the hand. Overall, it looks, feels and is modelled after the premium Samsung Galaxy phones.
Performance and software
While the specs offered are impressive, the utilization of the software on this phone feels a bit underwhelming. As opposed to the similarly priced M30 and A50, the M40 is a more basic experience. The UI is less intuitive and offers fewer options. It is missing some relatively small but important features; like a blue light filter, which Samsung has promised in an update. However, the M40 shows remarkable fortitude while multitasking. It is also very impressive at hardware intensive processes like editing and gaming. The positives are somewhat undercut by the measly 3500 mAh battery, even though it offers fast charging. Overall, a very fast and responsive phone; but leaves you wanting for more.
The M40 implements a vertically placed triple camera; with a 32mp primary lens, 5 mp depth sensor and 8mp 123 degree wide lens. There’s a 16mp front camera for selfies. There are a couple of neat features and filters in the camera software that might appeal to you. The picture output of the cameras can be summed up as “good”. It’s not the best out there, but it’s good enough given the specs and the price. Pictures look natural and vibrant with rich colors. And the only weakness of the camera seems to be blurry edges and a slight lack of detail. The real magic happens while capturing videos, as this seems to be the best stabilization on a camera at this price range.
While the lack of a headphone jack makes me want to remove this phone immediately out of consideration, the truth is that the M40 is a very reasonable choice at the price point. The similarly priced A50 might be a bit better for efficiency-oriented individuals. But the premium looks and feel the M40 offers places it into an entirely different bracket. Go for this if you want a good looking, ultraslim and wieldy, decent smartphone.
We’re all familiar with the term cryptocurrency, and perhaps with its nature too. Cryptocurrency itself didn’t work out as well as expected in the long term. But the concept might be put to good use by none other than Facebook.
How did the crypto hype start?
Cryptocurrency at its peak looked nothing more than a “make money quick” scheme or an electricity bill hazard. But the possibilities such a concept could bring about were left unexplored. A form of currency separate from cash or cards promises added convenience and liquidity and would be the kind of thing we see in sci-fi films. Which is probably why Facebook has decided to adopt a form of cryptocurrency.
How does Libra work?
The Libra cryptocurrency, named after the Roman unit of coin measurement is set to launch in the first half of next year. This is certainly the best-supported effort to bring cryptocurrency technology into the mainstream. As the project is backed by 27 prominent companies, the likes of MasterCard, Uber and Spotify chief among them. The currency sets itself apart from other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin by having a group of major currencies like the US Dollar and the British Pound backing it. This is sure to bring stability to its value. The major reason for the failure of Bitcoin and others in establishing themselves is the fluctuating values they experience in a short time.
Libra promises to facilitate instantaneous money transfers all over the world and fulfilling the potential the cryptocurrency concept originally had. Facebook will also launch a wallet app named Calibra for use in payments over Messenger and WhatsApp.
The Libra promise
Libra has an association of its backers dubbed the Libra association. Each member exercises equal rights over the product, so Facebook doesn’t necessarily own Libra. Different backers have also implied that they will use their expertise to help the cause in different ways. In addition to a strong group of overseers, Libra also has its value regulated by established currencies. Thus, expectations of its success are very valid. Let’s see how it goes.