This week in Tech: What’s happening in Dhaka

You might have noticed, we here at hifi public are quite keen on technology. We try to report the most prominent occurrences in tech on a regular basis. Focusing on some things inevitably leads to not focusing on others, given a person’s limited attention span. Therefore, here we shall try to bring some neat pieces of tech news that deserve your attention.

Disclaimer, not putting Google Stadia here because we’ve already talked about that. Also, that topic requires a larger amount of focus. Without further ado, here’s a list of tech things you should know.
Over 2.6 million SIM cards to be disabled

Over 2.6 million SIM cards to be disabled

You might be losing  your SIM card on April 26th, as over 2.6 million SIMs are to be disabled by the government. This step is being taken as a response to violations of the maximum limit of SIMs that can be registered against a single national ID. While the maximum is 15 SIMs for a single national ID, at least one hundred thousand National IDs are in violation of this rule.

According to reports, the government is going to provide mobile operators with information regarding the SIMs in violation. The operators will in turn reduce registered SIMs to 15 each ID. If you want to find out the number of SIMs registered by your ID, dial *16001# and push the last four digits of your national ID. But chances are it won’t do much good now.

2. Clash over “Haha” reacts on Facebook

Just….yeah.

Two groups of students engaged in chases and hurling stones, among other uber-masculine activities in a clash that had supposedly began over a Facebook react. This took place in Chittagong University, between two Facebook groups based on the university’s  Shuttle train bogeys. The clash began from a woman’s Facebook post receiving a “Haha” react from a student of another group. Reports suggest numerous people were wounded in the clash that began at noon and resumed on a start-stop basis every now and then. The University’s police claim that the situation is now relaxed, while student leaders who were involved blame the occurrence on a misunderstanding.

The world’s probably going to end because of an Instagram post.

3. First storm of the season disrupts Telecommunications and Internet

We had this year’s first big Kalbaisakhi storm last night. While it was soothing for most given the hot weather preceding it, the storm laid countrywide waste to telecommunication services. Network towers were damaged resulting in mobile services being unavailable in many places. In addition, the storm has detached electricity to many operator sites, leading to internet services being down as well. In fact, both broadband and mobile internet services are still down in parts of the country.

According to reports, about 2800 sites of Grameenphone are down as of the morning of 1st April. Robi has lost about 2000 sites, while Banglalink has lost close to 1500. While the services were briefly resumed by way of generators, said generators quickly ran out of fuel. However, operators say that refuelling is taking place.

Pretty impressive for a storm that lasted about a couple of minutes.

That was a brief list of the few things happening in the local tech scenario that deserve your attention. And your reactions. Perhaps not reactions that include laughter.

We’re gonna go fight some people laughing outside the office.

Things to do instead of feeding your Facebook addiction

Let’s face it, most of us have a very real phone addiction problem these days. More specifically, we are addicted to Facebook. You start reading a new book, or you’re in the middle (middle!) of a riveting chapter, but you find yourself glancing over to read notifications. As that familiar sense of boredom (is that even the word for it?) settles in, so does the next  60ish minutes of endless scrolling. A ‘harmless’ distraction that turns into watching a hedgehog sneeze. 100 memes later.

Scroll, scroll, scroll…the first step is acceptance. We might have a problem, and now we need to take back control of our lives. It’s not that social media is inherently evil—it’s how we choose to indulge in it and what we choose to expose ourselves to.

When and why do we need to curb our addictions?

The first real sign is its effect on your behavior— do you use your phone as a crutch for antisocial tendencies and to mask your anxiety? Sure it’s an easy way out. But imagine if you took a drug that did the same as the smartphone does—makes you stare at your hand for hours and obstructs real human interaction—wouldn’t you avoid it? Higher rates of suicidal tendencies, depression, and anxiety have been linked to constant exposure to the highlights of other people’s lives via social media by many studies. Know your own symptoms. Recognize that you feel worse after seeing facades of Instagram perfect lives.

How can it be healthy to watch video after video of happy people, girls setting unreal standards on how to look so pretty in makeup tutorials, boys getting gains fast and debonair clothing. The promise sold to us is, when you do your makeup and muscles like them, you will feel happier. This is how you unconsciously fall into the trap of fixating on “what you don’t have”. The solution to happiness is a click away. A link away from being beautiful. Or to shop. Or to constantly travel in dream destinations looking picture-perfect.

The Likes and Followers Trap

Facebook exposed photos

Have you ever posted a picture of Instagram, and refreshed the page every couple of minutes to see if it’s got more likes? If so, you are not alone. The day-to-day obsessions and concern around the ‘success’ of each of our social media statuses have become the norm. The photos we post are only the ones we think are best, that too according to social media’s standards. We project the ones where we look the fairest, the thinnest, our thighs are apart, our muscles look the most pronounced and we look the most popular.

We feel like we need to prove our lives to other people and that’s how we can validate ourselves. When you base your self-worth on the number of likes and followers, you are trapped in a vicious cycle? The actual pursuit of happiness is replaced by this sort of endless and addictive rut of low self-esteem and disarray.

What are ‘influencers’ influencing?

These emotions are compounded by the constant exposure to celebrity lives. If we follow the beautiful, designer clothing-clad, edited photos and videos of celebrities’ insta-handles we start feeling like they’re fabulous and successful because of their high materialism in their life. In comparison (and oh you will compare!)  our own little lives feel mundane. The habit of “I’m lacking” accentuates.

Think about it, why do they need so much designer clothes and edited pictures if they are as happy as they seem? Is the reason for fitness and a healthy lifestyle for butt-cheek exposed photo streams, or are they meant to be their own rewards—to be healthy and to feel good from better fitness? Is it about attaining a certain physique?  At the end of the day you do not get to feel lasting happiness.

You are probably already in a healthy place and didn’t need to try that grapefruit juice diet. And if are not, then there’s always that endless supply of memes that can drown your inner emptiness (yikes). Something to think about.

Its time to wean out of these habits.

How do we break the habit?

By getting help! No, I don’t mean going to a therapist, but making the small but significant changes each day that cuts a normalized obsessive habit. You can utilize free and paid resources in app stores that help you to build your will-power work. You can try:

  • Time your own indulgences: Use free apps like In Moment, Freedom and App Detox to track how much you spend time on your phone. This awareness and hard facts can spur you into reducing screen time. Some apps reduce access to productivity-killing apps for when you lack will-power. Try them.
  • Switch to productive alternatives: You need to make marginal adjustments to your daily routines. Instead of just quitting social media and then relapsing into the habit after a while, try a new activity. Say, you download Duo Lingo, a great user-friendly app to help learn a new language. Use the 15 minutes during your lunch break to learn a few skills instead of scrolling. In a couple of months, you can build a whole set of vocabulary with just 15 minutes a day! Or start a free course on Udemy on Coursera. Low on computer skills? Check out Code Academy for fun, there are some really easy free courses for non-techies. The key is to slowly but surely change habits.
  • Here’s a crazy idea, do nothing? Just pause and watch the world go by. Let the moment sink into your being. Notice that your breathing. Reflect. Notice your surroundings. Or if that initially scares you, go for a walk.

Google Pixel 3 Lite: Why bringing back the headphone jack is a good idea

There have been rumors of a possible budget variant of Google’s flagship Pixel smart-phone; it was only recently that we got a glimpse at what it might look like. It has been referred to as the “Pixel 3 Lite”, and it combines the design of the Pixels with a smaller 5.5-inch display and a mid-range Snapdragon 670 processor. Although the usual complaints about the antiquated design and large bezels persist in this phone, one of the issues that a significant portion of consumers have been clamouring for a long time might have finally been addressed. By far the most interesting aspect of this phone is Google’s apparent decision to include a headphone jack for the first time since their very first Pixel phone.

Phones and headphone jacks have complimented each other for the longest time. For most of us, our first feature phones had a 3.5 mm jack, and it was perhaps the most interesting aspect of the phone to each of us at the time—cue countless hours of ripping MP3 files and loading them onto tiny memory cards. With smartphones, the need of a headphone jack was even greater—smartphones aimed at being the convenience guarantor and having a 3.5 mm jack on your smartphone was the convenient way to listen to music or recordings. And while the industry has transformed from feature phones to flip phones to finally smartphones, the headphone jack has largely remained constant. In an industry as focused on innovation as the smartphone industry change is the only constant. Thus we had to part ways with our headphone jacks, while Bluetooth and USB-C ports look to be the future. However, is that a good thing?

Firstly, the reason the headphone jack stuck around for so long is that it worked. It was a solved problem; there wasn’t much reason to move forward. Yes, we always strive for quicker and more convenient ways to solve a problem; provided the problem is still solved with the amount of quality retained. And the bottom line is, Bluetooth just doesn’t do that. Bluetooth audio quality is nowhere near the quality offered by most cabled equipment, yet. They simply can’t play high bit-rate files, or at least at the same quality wired equipment can. However, it is convenience vs. quality here, with different people obviously valuing different things. Audiophiles will always value cabled equipment, while consumers who value the convenience and portability of Bluetooth will opt for it. But the thing is, it isn’t too much to ask for both options on a device, especially when the manufacturing cost is so small.

It isn’t fair to say Bluetooth is bad for listening to music. High-end Bluetooth equipment can dish out music that is only perceptively worse than wired equipment. But to achieve that quality with Bluetooth, one has to spend a lot more than one had to for a wired option of similar quality. There is essentially no way to listen to a raw, loss-less sound on Bluetooth earphones; they just aren’t capable of it yet. All sounds need to be encoded to the Bluetooth headset, then decoded back to play. This is essentially the same tech as it was in 2004 when the first stereo Bluetooth headset came out. So Bluetooth still has a long way to go to match the 3.5 mm jack in performance.

Bluetooth headphones, ironically, offer less diversity than wired headphones. Active noise cancelling, bass-heavy, treble-heavy, you name it. There are headphones offered specifically to gamers, joggers, for Skype calls, etc. There’s a ton of flexibility when it comes to wired headphones, mainly because they’ve been around for longer and have had the time to address each specific need in the market. Bluetooth simply doesn’t offer that kind of flexibility yet. Bluetooth is mostly aimed at an active lifestyle, being more portable. They tend to have minimal builds, make complete seals with ear cups for better noise cancellation, and mostly just need you to adapt to it rather than it adapting to you. That doesn’t work for a lot of people and as it has been said before, there is simply no reason not to have both wired and Bluetooth options.

The weight then falls onto the USB-C type ports and dongles to make the argument for no headphone jacks. And I’m just going to say this flat out—dongles are bad. A lot of DACs and amps simply don’t work with the USB-C tech, and using one port to both charge your phone and listen to music causes an unnecessary amount of wear and tear. It is also a sloppy thing to use, as it’s easy to lose and just adds a new point of failure, being an external accessory.

On the point of convenience, Bluetooth doesn’t necessarily become the convenience provider most distributors make it out to be. Having a Bluetooth device means having another device to charge. At the same time when smartphone companies are trying to offer quicker ways to charge your phone to maximize time utilization—like fast chargers and larger batteries—doesn’t having another device to charge actually feel less convenient (if not completely defeating the purpose)? Bluetooth might indeed be the future, as it can only be improved upon. The problem is it hasn’t been fixed yet. There was never anything added to the experience of owning a device without a headphone jack, options were only taken away from it. For this reason, the headphone jack coming back in a market leader’s next big device is a welcome change. I personally feel like this is a good decision by Google, and eagerly await the return of the 3.5 mm jack in all its glory.

Huawei: Enemy of the US?

Huawei has had a hell of a year. From toppling the smartphone giants Apple’s iPhone in terms of sales to the several US government-related controversies, it’s certainly not been a dull period for the Chinese tech giants. It should come as no surprise that much of Huawei’s history is marred in many such controversies. However, you may be surprised how many of the controversies throughout the years remained unchanged. Here, we look at a few controversies the company has gone through in just this calendar year. The list will be listing these controversies from the oldest of the year to the newest. In fact, the last entry on this post only happened yesterday!

January – Defending US Government Communications Act

A French newspaper linked Huawei to the hack of the African Union Headquarters in Ethiopia. The Chinese government, of course, denied the acquisitions. Right after this, the US government would propose the Defending US Government Communications Act, call for FCC to investigate the company, and even got AT&T to pull out of an agreement with Huawei. Verizon, on the other hand, would stop carrying Huawei products in the future. This was only the start, and Huawei would have a rough year ahead of them.

February – Intelligence heads think Huawei is spyware

Huawei: Enemy of the US?

On February 14, 2018, heads of six U.S. intelligence agencies testified to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence against the use of Chinese telecom products by U.S. citizens. Like those of Huawei and ZTE. Christopher A. Wray, director of the FBI, stated that they were “deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks”. Huawei responded to the allegations, arguing that its products “[pose] no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities,” and that it was “aware of a range of U.S. government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei’s business in the U.S. market”

March – Best Buy stops selling Huawei

Best buy, one of the largest retailers of consumer technology in the US, stops selling Huawei products. Huawei takes another hit to their bottom line, and the pseudo war against the Americans start taking its toll.

April – US Government forbids self from using Huawei tech

On April 17, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held a preliminary, 5-0 vote. It was on rules forbidding the use of government subsidies to purchase telecom equipment from companies deemed to be a risk to national security. A draft of the policy specifically even named Huawei and ZTE as examples. This would further restrict Huawei, as anyone who wants to work intimately with a massive employer like the US would have to make certain to not have Huawei phones.

May – The Pentagon bans Huawei phones from retail stores on military bases

In an unsurprising move, the Pentagon went ahead and banned Huawei from all military base retail shops. Huawei in a statement basically didn’t even address it. Instead, they said, “We remain committed to openness and transparency in everything we do and want to be clear that no government has ever asked us to compromise the security or integrity of any of our networks or devices.”

June – Revelations of Facebook and Huawei’s secret data-sharing pact

This was during that time of the year when everyone on Facebook started to get worried about how Zuckerberg may be misappropriating our data. Naturally, if it’s controversial, Huawei would have to be mentioned somewhere. This was simply one such case. A series of reports this week revealed that, for the past 10 years, Facebook’s broad sharing of data extended not only to app developers but to phone companies as well. Of course, one of the phone makers on top of that list would be Huawei.

July – Huawei overtakes Apple

In possibly the only positive news for Huawei during the whole year, they managed to outsell iPhones for the second quarter of this year. Huawei shipped over 54 million handsets in the second quarter compared to the 41.3 million iPhones that Apple sold. This would make them the second biggest phone sellers of the globe.

August – Huawei caught faking camera shots in ads

The shot in question

And we’re back to Huawei being completely morally bankrupt. To play the devils advocate, they never explicitly stated that it wasn’t a DSLR shot. They just heavily implied it with the wrist position.

Taking of the shot

September – Huawei caught cheating benchmark test for P20

Huawei gets caught with their pants down, as the list gets sillier. Again. Shocking. Literally just weeks removed from the last fiasco, in September, AnandTech discovered that Huawei’s P20 had been programmed to maximize performance specifically when running 3DMark, a popular benchmarking app. Huawei admitted to this in a statement to Android Authority.

October – The only non-controversial month

Huawei announced a few new phones like the 5G foldable they are working on. They announced the new Mate 20. They asked Trump to change his device to Huawei as reports of iPhone tapping became known. All in all, a real month of R&R for the execs of Huawei.

November – Americans discourage allies from using Huawei devices:

R&R would end soon, however. In November, the US would ask many of it’s allies to stop using the tech giants products. Allegedly. Sources claim that US government officials have met with counterparts in Germany, Japan, and Italy, and are reportedly considering offering financial incentives to countries who opt not to use equipment from the Chinese manufacturer.

December – Canadian authorities arrest The CFO:

Huwaei: Enemy of the US?
Huwaei’s global CFO Wanzhou Meng

However, the latest chapter of the story was told only yesterday. Huawei Vice-chairperson and CFO Meng Wanzhou, daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities. She faces extradition to the United States on charges of violating sanctions against Iran. 

As anyone can see, at this point the company has become an absolute magnet for controversy. They’ve clashed so hard with the US government this year you might mistake them to be Iran or something. Huawei is backing off of US markets. Barring random marketing campaigns they do to generate buzz, the company’s future there seems uncertain. Yet, with a dominating share in Chinese markets, they remain safe globally.

Check out our first impression on the Huawei Nova 3i here.

Samsung wins best brand award

Samsung Mobile has been recognized as Bangladesh’s No. 1 Handset Brand by Bangladesh Brand Forum. The South Korean electronics giant was also announced 3rd best brand in refrigerator category. Top officials of Samsung Bangladesh received the awards on behalf of Samsung Mobile and Samsung Consumer electronics during the award ceremony on December 8, 2018, at Le Méridien Dhaka.

The objective of the Best Brand Award is to exhibit and celebrate the success of the brands, achieved through excellence in meeting the needs of the Bangladeshi consumers. Bangladesh Brand Forum partnered with Nielsen Bangladesh to identify the top brands of Bangladesh, with the aim to acknowledge the brands that have established themselves to a meaningful height in terms of business value and contribution to consumer life.

On this occasion, Md. Muyeedur Rahman, Head of Mobile, Samsung Mobile Bangladesh said, “We are extremely proud to have received this award. It is an indicator of our customers support towards our products and services. As we continue to thrive as a brand, Samsung remains dedicated to creating innovative possibilities and experiences for our consumers through our products and services. Our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to all our customers, partners and stakeholders without whom this was not possible.”

This Bangladesh Brand Forum is a platform for recognizing the success of the business community of Bangladesh and portraying their achievements in brand building. The program was launched to find the most loved brands of Bangladesh based on the nationwide survey conducted by Nielsen Bangladesh and giving away a prominent publication consisting of winning brand stories to all the attendees as the Bangladesh Brand Forum tradition.

Samsung launches stylish and budget-friendly Galaxy J4+ & J6+ in Bangladesh

Samsung Mobile has launched new additions to its best-selling Galaxy J Series smartphones, the Galaxy J4+ and J6+ combining fresh design and exciting features for young customers.

Stylish Design

Both of the newly launched devices build on the legacy of Samsung’s elegant design philosophy. The phones have a premium glass back finish—a first for the J Series. For J4+, young smartphone users can choose from golden, black and blue colors. Apart from blue and black color, Galaxy J6+ will be available in red for the first time in Samsung Galaxy smartphone line-up.

“Galaxy J series is our best-selling smartphone series in the Bangladesh market, and it is popular among the youths. This time we have revamped the series with stylish devices like the J4+ and J6+, which come with many firsts of the series including fresh design and a variety of colors to the millennials who want more within a budget,” said Md. Muyeedur Rahman, Head of Mobile, Samsung Bangladesh.

Features

The Galaxy J4+ sports a 13MP back camera and 5MP front camera. This should cover user camera needs to capture detailed photos. For the Galaxy J6+, the dual rear camera setup is 13MP/5MP. This allows users to capture images in all lighting conditions. Additionally, there is an 8MP front camera with variable selfie flash for great selfies.

Moreover, the Galaxy J6+ comes with Side Fingerprint sensor, another first for any Galaxy device. This allows a fast and user-friendly way to unlock the phone securely.

Samsung Galaxy J4+ and J6+ are available for purchase at all authorized outlets of Samsung Mobile and its partners across the country at a price of BDT 15,990 and BDT 18,990 respectively.

Elon Musk remains cavalier after SEC settlement, worrying investors again

Elon Musk settled with the SEC after the latter sued him and Tesla for misleading investors with his tweet on August 7, 2018: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)”

As part of the settlement, Musk must step down as Tesla’s chairman for three years and pay $20 million in fines. Tesla must also pay an additional $20 million in fines and appoint two independent directors in addition to an independent chairman. If you asked Musk though, perhaps nothing has really changed. He was back to his usual antics, calling the SEC the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” via Twitter on Friday.

A Quixotic crusade

Elon Musk’s crusade against short sellers has a long and storied history that reached an apex in August, when he considered taking Tesla public with help from a Saudi fund. The SEC initially offered Musk a better deal, asking him to step down as chairman for only two years and pay $10 million in fines. However, Musk urged Tesla to fight against the settlement, threatening to resign if Tesla settled. However, when the SEC sued the company on September 27, the board turned Musk’s mind around.

One of the main reasons that Musk didn’t want to settle was because he wanted to publicly state his innocence of the charges pursued by the SEC. With the settlement, Musk doesn’t have to admit guilt, but he can’t proclaim his innocence, either.

Elon Musk remains cavalier after SEC settlement, worrying investors again
Tesla’s factory

Legal experts opined that the fines levied against Musk are higher than any other CEOs have paid. However, other CEOs would also have been asked to step down in such a situation. The SEC may have thought that removing Musk would be bad for shareholders.

The settlement has relieved Tesla advocates. “This is a company people are actively investing in, both in the stock market but also in their own garage,” said Rebecca Lindland, an executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “So, it would have been damaging to a lot of people if the company had gone bankrupt or if this had gone on for years.”

Lindland was also positive about Tesla’s impending appointment of new directors. “It will provide some independent governance that Tesla is lacking right now as it grows and as it continues to develop as a company.”

Does Elon Musk love getting into trouble?

Musk courts trouble, criticizing analysts and the media as well as calling rescue divers pedophiles on Twitter. One former Tesla investor, who wished to remain unnamed, speculated that Musk enjoys being the center of attention. Similar to Donald Trump, Musk is someone who loves attention. Musk smoked marijuana on Joe Rogan to create a buzz. All publicity is good publicity, and the only thing he’s scared of the most is when you’re not talking about him.”

Elon Musk remains cavalier after SEC settlement, worrying investors again

Whatever the case, Musk’s “funding secured” tweet garnered him some costly publicity. According to one estimate, the tweet cost him approximately $327,868 per character.

Musk’s latest tweet also led to a 7% decrease in Tesla’s shares. “I don’t have much, but I believe in you and your vision,” tweeted Drew G, “Unfortunately, I invest what little I have into Tesla and continuously lose months of savings due to your tweets. Please think of us small people.”

It should be noted that, at the moment, the settlement agreement is yet to be approved by the courts. If Musk isn’t careful, something worse may be waiting for him in the wings.

DuckDuckGo: A real alternative to Google?

There was a time when we were growing up when we had many search engines active on the internet. Yahoo, AOL, and other search engines were all effective and had similar shares of the search market. That was until Google. It quickly became the king of search engines. However, a serious rival might have emerged in the form of DuckDuckGo.

The only real alternative

Currently, there are no real alternatives to Google when you need a search engine. There are others on the internet but most are afterthoughts. Google has a huge share of the market here. DuckDuckGo has been showing signs of being the only potential rival to it. Just this September, they have had 800 daily direct queries on their search engine. It is actually already profitable, which is quite impressive for the relative newcomer. However, profitability alone won’t keep a search engine afloat.

Privacy-friendly

DuckDuckGo’s entire selling point is its privacy. The search engine prides itself in not tracking your search history, time or location of your search, or your internet address. It’s a stark contrast to Google’s latest Google+ fiasco. This is the type of feature that will never feel like making a difference. This is because you don’t know what you’ve lost till you’ve lost your privacy. It’s not something you’ll find yourself caring about on a day to day basis. You will, however, need it every day with our ever-increasing dependency on the internet.

Easy navigation and similar results

Functionally, there are almost no differences between the search engines of Google and DuckDuckGo. The results are stunningly similar on all but a few niche words that are used much more sparingly. The navigation of DuckDuckGo is also very fluid. It’s fairly easy to conduct a search and use other related options. Image search is different to Google but still, show similar results. All in all, without the change of interface, you would have never known you’re using a different search engine.

Fewer ads

Again, the biggest marketing for DuckDuckGo is that it does not track its user. That’s why it should be a no-brainer that it doesn’t result in as many ads as Google. There will still be many ads in generic ad bait search phrases, but the number of ads on other kinds of searches are lower.

No spellcheck

One of the things that we have come to depend on here is the spellcheck from Google. Google provides the “did you mean” feature, which helps users identify if they have made a typo. No such feature can be found in DuckDuckGo.

Fewer results

Sure, no one actually turns to the second page of a search on Google. Still, there are ten or twenty pages of search results on it. This is something DuckDuckGo lacks. It only has a few search results shown comparatively. We could only click on the “More Results” button 5 times when searching Overwatch.

Cool extras

There are some interesting features on it. Namely, if you type stopwatch, you will get a stopwatch on your tab. DuckDuckGo’s “Bang” feature has generated some buzz in the tech industry. We find it to be gimmicky at best. For example, typing “yt!” takes the user straight to YouTube. This sounds cool in theory, but most of us millennials already get to YouTube by simply typing “y” in the URL bar.

Verdict

The DuckDuckGo is a cool alternative to Google, but it’s also less convenient. The privacy features make it a great option, but Google still has better convenience. Overall, if your main issue is online security, it would be a great choice for you. However, if your online presence isn’t something you worry about, Google is still too convenient to ditch.

Reach the workplace easily with the Shohoz rides app

Every day millions of people are working in Bangladesh. Some are busy with their work, others are roaming around the busy city. Every major city is busy in the world, and Dhaka is one of the busiest cities among them. Around 20 million people live in Dhaka. Some ride in cars, some in rickshaws, some in CNGs, and others in motorcycles.

Everyone’s main target is to reach the workplace safely and on time. However, can they reach on time given the time-consuming traffic situation? A lot of people choose a motorcycle to reach the destination, and that is possibly the fastest way. But not everyone can afford a motorcycle or ride them. Sharing a ride is currently very popular among the urbanites of Dhaka city. Many platforms are trying to provide this service. One of the most popular providers among them is Shohoz. Around 1 million people are using the Shohoz app to reach their work on time.

The rating of the app is pretty high in the Google Play store; its 4.1 out of 5. The size of the app is small so it could be downloaded quickly. The app won’t drain the battery and it uses minimal internet data. As the app has a high response time, its easy to use it. A user can request for a ride in less than a minute on an average. Bkash is available as one of the payment option. One of the important features of the app is that the emergency number of 999 could be called. The following are the features of the app:

Platform

The app is available for both Android and IOS users. Both the users could download the app for free from their perspective stores.

Registration

To register, the user has to provide their name, phone number, email ID, and a picture. It is necessary to provide the required information for the safety of both the drivers and riders.

Settings

Through the settings, the users are allowed to choose the language they prefer: English or Bengali. There is an option for the users to set both their home and work address in the app.

Ride

The total cost of the ride would be informed after the riders choose their destination. The app would start looking for available riders after the user confirms their choice. The user would be able to contact the chosen rider.

Notification

Users would be able to view various offers and notices in the notification section.

Trip History

The section “Your Trip” would have the information about the number of trips the user has completed. The detailed information about the trip would be available.

Referral

Referral
Referral screen

The users can refer the app to others and if the referred person start using the app, then the user would receive discounts.

Coupon

Shohoz, coupon
Coupon screen

The users would able to use the available discount coupons which would be available under the coupon section. Other than that, the users would also be able to use Bkash offers.

Safety

The app was created by thinking about people’s safety. Native language was used while creating the app. Shohoz does background checks before hiring a driver and also make sure that the provided documents are valid. The app has been built in such a way that user can easily access the app and reach their chosen destination safely.

Technology has made people lives easier. New innovations are getting created day by day. Shohoz is one of those innovated apps.

Samsung launches a giant white board: The Flip

Samsung just launched one of its latest innovations in TV technology, the Flip, in Bangladesh. The digital board is designed to be used in businesses, or if you like your TV viewing to be vertical.

Why Flip

The Flip is specially designed to make meetings, collaboration, and brainstorming easier. It uses top of the line tech and connectivity. Shahriar Bin Lutfor, Head of Business of Samsung Bangladesh, said that it is a digital and versatile replacement of traditional whiteboards. He added that it is an ideal tool for businessmen trying to reach another level of productivity. He hopes to see the Flip become a popular product in Bangladesh.

Details

The new Flip is made of trademark Samsung UHD. It’s a 55” behemoth that can be used on both sides, horizontally and vertically. The user can do whatever is possible with a whiteboard. There are a couple of stylus-like pens that can draw on the board in any colour the user desires. Just like a whiteboard, Samsung’s latest device can have things deleted off of it by simply wiping the screen with the users’ hand. It can have up to 4 people writing on it simultaneously, making brainstorming sessions more effective (or chaotic, if you work at HiFi).

Connectivity

The Flip enables teams to work faster by letting them take notes digitally, save files in onboard storage, send emails and even print directly from the board. The device has WiFi and NFC, giving it great connectivity.

The Flip is almost exclusively made for businesses where every millisecond counts. That’s why you won’t be surprised to learn that it is priced at a premium. For a stoutly 360,000 BDT, you too can own one. To do what is a question that you have to answer. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that it is a very cool device to have.