Google Maps adds new features for Bangladeshi roads including a biker mode, safety feature and more

Google has launched several new features to Google Maps for the convenience of the people of Bangladesh at a launching event today at Lakeshore Hotel, Gulshan.

From now on, riders will get better journey time estimates and suggested routes best suited to bikes. The people will now have the option of getting their navigation cues in Bangla.

As the popularity of ride-sharing services increases, everyone now will have the option of double-checking their commute and sharing the trip with friends and family. This safety feature triggers an audible alert if there is greater than a 0.5km deviation from the suggested route.

“We want to provide the most local and relevant experience to meet people’s needs so we hope that by providing a customized experience for motorcycles, adding Bangla voice navigation, and providing an extra option for commuter safety makes getting around Bangladesh easier and more helpful.”

Krish Vitaldevara, Director Product Management, Google Maps commented regarding this

Extra help for motorcycle riders 

Google Maps now features a new navigation mode for motorcycle riders. Motorcycles also have specific needs. They can take routes that cars can’t take such as narrow roads and alleys. There are also some roads (e.g. highways) where two-wheelers aren’t allowed. Motorcycles often move at different speeds than cars. 

This definitely comes as good news with more than half the country’s households owning a motorcycle as a common way to get about and cut-through traffic. In Dhaka alone, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) data show that the number of registered motorcycles has doubled over the last eight years.

Previously, riders would need to do a mental calculation to estimate their arrival times. It was based on a combination of walking and driving routes. But this new feature delivers more accurate travel times based on machine learning models that reflect motorbike speeds. Not only turn-by-turn navigation but the direction results also include Google Street View image references, to help people with pre-trip planning and remember their routes.

Turn-by-turn voice directions in Bangla

Another update rolling out is turn-by-turn voice navigation in the local language. Now you can expect Google Maps to effortlessly tell you to “In 100 meters, turn right onto Bir Uttam Rafiqul Islam Avenue” in Bangla.

The Google Maps voice navigation language is independent of your device’s language setting. You could have voice-guided navigation in Bangla while continuing to use the Google Maps app in English.

You can also change your phone language settings to “Bangla (Bangladesh)” and Maps voice navigation will automatically give you directions in Bangla.

Safer trips

Now, after searching for your destination and getting directions, you can enable this experience by selecting the “Stay safer” and “Set off-route alerts” option. 

If your cab, rickshaw or ride-sharing driver deviates more than 0.5km from the Google Maps suggested a route, your phone will buzz with a prominent notification and you can tap it to see where you are compared to the original route.

You can also choose to share your live trip with friends and family directly from that screen so they know you are off route and can keep track of your journey, and take appropriate action if required.

Improving the map in Bangladesh

Since January 2018, Google has added more than 50,000km of roads, more than 8 million buildings, and more than 600,000 points of interests on Google Maps across Bangladesh and continue to update it.

Ready to give all these new features a try? They are now all available to Android users in Bangladesh using the latest version of Google Maps. 

BioTime: ZKTeco’s best in class web-based multi-location centralised time management solution here in Bangladesh

BioTime 8.0 is a powerful web-based time and attendance management software that provides a stable connection to ZKTeco’s standalone push communication devices by Ethernet/Wi-Fi/GPRS/3G and working as a private cloud to other employee self-service by means of a mobile application.

Multiple administrators can access BioTime 8.0 from anywhere using a web browser. It can easily handle hundreds of devices and thousands of employees and their daily inputs. With BioTime 8.0, users can also set up various attendance rules which are applicable for the whole company or individual departments. Users can set various attendance parameter like check-in, check out, and overtime rules. It can also automatically synchronise the data between devices and servers among the same “Area” to ensure the information are updated in real-time.

BioTime 8.0 comes with a friendly user interface that is able to manage timetable, shift and schedule and can easily generate attendance report. Moreover, it can be directly integrated with ERP and HR software to do synchronisation using API in these fields (Employee, Department, Area, Job).

For details about the product, visit:

Nemesis, the band announces an indefinite break

The last Friday of May 2019 comes with sad news for Bangladeshi rock fans. Acclaimed band Nemesis has announced an indefinite break in a Facebook post shortly after mid-noon.

Nemesis’s official Facebook page posted:

“Dear Nemesis Fans,

We would like to let you know that we are going on a break indefinitely and will not be able to perform any shows or take part in any music-related activities for the foreseeable future.

Till then, love from Nemesis! ❤️”

Nemesis debuted their first single, Obocheton in 2003. They rose to prominence in 2004-2005 with the release of their first studio album Onneshon and the subsequent releases of their acclaimed singles Dhushor Bhabma and Joyoddhoni.

With the release of their single Kobe and its music video in 2011, Nemesis took itself to new heights among the rock fans of Bangladesh. Nemesis performed in a number of reputed charity and commercial concerts in the following years.

Read more: Great Bangladeshi bands that disappeared after their debut album

Fans all over the country hope that this retirement is only a temporary one and their favourite band will return to rock the stage in no time.

One minute blackout for all the lives we lost

25th March. 48 years ago on this fateful night, the sky of major cities in Bangladesh lit up in fires, muzzle flashes and explosion flames. As the invading Pakistani army barged into the peaceful night of the city dwellers, the nation witnessed one of the blackest nights in its history.

“Operation Searchlight” as it was called by the invading army, took the lives of 7000 people that night, according to American journalist Robert Payne.

In Dhaka, The army stormed the residential dorms of Dhaka University and open fired on general students. They attacked the East Pakistan Rifles, Rajarbagh Police lines and set the Hindu-dominated areas of old Dhaka ablaze.

Citizens were trapped into a deadly trap of fire and gunshots and killed mercilessly on the streets and even from their homes.

Following the invasion, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared independence and the country plunged into a bloody nine month long war.

On 25th March, the blanket of the night was torn apart by screams, gunshots and explosions. It was one of the worst genocides ever recorded in world history. The next morning, the streets were flooded with blood, corpses and debris.

“In Dhaka, where soldiers set sections of the Old City ablaze with flamethrowers and then machine-gunned thousands as they tried to escape the cordon of fire, nearly 25 blocks have been bulldozed clear, leaving open areas set incongruously amid jam-packed slums.”

-said  a Time magazine report a few months later.

48 years later, we now observe this day as genocide remembrance day. Tonight, the nation will observe a voluntary blackout for one minute from 9:00 PM to 9:01 PM, in memory of all the lives we lost in that fateful night.

Anticipated Samsung Galaxy M10 hits the Bangladesh market

The Galaxy M10 smartphone, designed specifically for the millennial lifestyle, has been made available in the Bangladesh market by Samsung Bangladesh. This highly anticipated affordable smartphone comes with the best-in-class infinity-V display and powerful features such as a dual camera with ultra-wide lens, long-lasting battery, high-performance processors and a new Samsung Experience UX.

Priced at BDT 11,999, the Galaxy M10 (2GB+16GB) will be available at a special price of BDT 10,999 from starting 12th February. In addition, customers can get up to 500 taka cash back on bKash payment alongside Pickaboo club points. This special deal also comes with 02 years extended warranty, worth BDT. 1500. Matching the online lifestyle of the millennials, the smartphone will be available with multiple payment options, cash-backs, exchange facilities and countrywide home delivery. Data bundles with all major mobile operators will also be available.

Focusing on the millennial lifestyle, Md. Muyeedur Rahman, Head of Mobile of Samsung Bangladesh stated, “We believe that Galaxy M10 will be an iconic breakthrough catering to the aspirations of today’s tech savvy millennials. These users of the modern age want a smartphone that is lightning fast, runs longer and comes loaded with latest innovations. Samsung, as a trusted brand, hopes to continue delivering all the demands of the users.”

Galaxy M10 comes with 6.2” HD+ infinity-V display ensuring truly immersive viewing experience. It comes with Widevine L1 certification for seamless streaming of HD content through popular apps.

Powerful dual camera is another major highlight of Galaxy M series, as today’s millennials love to click photos and make videos on the go. The Galaxy M10 sports dual rear camera, with an ultra-wide feature. Its 13MP primary rear camera has F1.9 aperture. The secondary rear camera has a 5MP ultra-wide feature. The ultra-wide mode lets users capture more expansive photos with complete ease. It is perfectly suited for capturing landscapes, cityscapes, group photos, etc. when users want to fit a lot into one single frame.

To ensure non-stop streaming of music and video, Samsung has packed a powerful 3400 mAh battery in Galaxy M10.

To support the flawless entertainment, Galaxy M10 is powered by Exynos 7870 octa-core processor. Additionally, Galaxy M series comes with a new Samsung Experience version 9.5 UX which is optimized for a fast and smooth user experience.

Samsung has also prioritized the security for the users as the Galaxy M10 comes with face recognition unlock feature.

4 Essential Tips to make cooking a little easier

Some of us know cooking as digging through bound books of Siddiqua Kabir or a collection of firsthand secrets from grandma to mom. Some of us watch too many episodes of Top Chef, Masterchef. Then we too want to curse like Gordon Ramsey over our scrambled eggs or charm like Jamie Oliver while drizzling balsamic vinegar. After countless nights of dining out or getting takeaway, we wish we could cook.

But, cooking can be daunting. Cooking can feel like risking this short life, the few limbs and the condition of the stomach. Cooking can be overwhelming to start and easy to get lost in because there are so many things to do.

Here are some few essential tips to make cooking a little easier:

Have the Right Equipment

Make sure you have the right kitchen utensils for the job.

The most basic ones are the pots, pans, colander, spatula, spoons, knives, to get you by for most recipes. However, if you want to try your hand your baking, you might need a grill oven, a mixer or food processor.

My personal recommendation for a grill oven: Miyako Grill Oven. This device is inexpensive, easy to use, has a good heating power and it comes with a rotisserie option.

Learn the Basics

Get acquainted with terms such as julienne, chop, mince, resting, blanching, etc. Youtube is great place to start. Find out what they mean, so that you don’t get intimidated if you come across the words in recipes.

My personal recommendation: Learn how to peel a vegetable first and then learn how to cut it. Do not peel with a knife like a Bangladeshi mom, use a peeler.

One of the best places to learn these techniques is the Allrecipes youtube page. 

Keep it Simple

After  your kitchen utensils are in order, check the ingredients. Find your recipes by googling your ingredients and browsing through your search results or check Allrecipes  or Tasty or Buzzfeed for easy facebook and youtube videos. Stick with recipes that are simpler–has few ingredients and the assembly requires simple techniques. Pick a recipe and go for it.

My personal recommendation: Italian pasta dishes are great for beginners. Boiling pasta is hard to mess up. Sauces for most of these dishes are easy to make.

Practice Makes Perfect

It is okay if you fail the first time around. You might misjudge a measurement, overcook, substitute the wrong ingredients. And THAT IS ABSOLUTELY OKAY.  Check where you went wrong and fix that the next time when you are making that dish again.

Happy cooking, just don’t give up and keep at it.

Nathan Fillion plays Nathan Drake in an Uncharted short film

The Uncharted series is a franchise exclusive to the PlayStation system, achieving total lifetime sales of over 21 million copies. The game combines seamless transition from game-play to Hollywood level Action movie set pieces and cinematics. Nathan Fillion semed to . Fans got their wish when on 16th July when Fillion and Director Allan Ungar (Gridlocked) made a fan movie and have released the project on the internet.

The film stars Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake such as Steven Lang as Victor Sullivan, Mircea Monroe as Elena Fisher and Geno Segers as the antagonist. The movie follows the trio as they try to find the lost treasure of Flor De La Mar.

This fan-made movie is independent of the currently still at development Uncharted movie being made at Sony. The official project remained in production hell going through numerous rewrites. Director David Russell (The Fighter, American Hustle) was tasked with directing the movie and joining him was Mark Wahlberg as Nathan Drake, but due to creative differences David Russell departed the project along with his proposed cast. As of the latest news, Tom Holland (Spiderman: Homecoming, Avengers Infinity War) is currently set to star as Nathan Drake with the movie getting a complete overhaul focusing on Nathan’s younger years.

Whether the movie comes out or not remains to be seen but fans can be happy that a fan made movie is made staring their ideal cast for Nathan Drake and there is hope that this movie follows the example of Deadpool where something similar happened with Ryan Reynolds playing the Merc with a Mouth in a fan made project and due to the positive response the movie was given the green light to be made .

Only time will tell whether the official movie production can change its fortunes.

“Thank you, Marvel” – a fan looks back on 10 years of the MCU

I still remember the time when the first Iron Man movie came out in 2008, starring Robert Downey Jr. playing a whip-smart, wise cracking Tony Stark. I didn’t know back then that it would spin off an entire universe that would take me on a roller coaster ride for the next 10 years. No, literally. I didn’t know the first thing about MCU. I even missed the post credits scene.

To me, it was just another attempt to make a childhood favourite superhero come alive on the big screens. I was sceptical. Iron Man has been an idol as I grew up reading the comics and watching the old Iron Man animated series. And with much of that fear, I brought home the DVD of the newly released movie. And boy, did I love it! I watched it over and over again. I played the game. Drew sketches of Iron Man all over my school notes.

Later that year, The Incredible Hulk came out starring Edward Norton. I used to love both Norton and Hulk. What could possibly go wrong?

It did. The movie wasn’t much. But to me, watching the Hulk smashing the big screens was more than what I could have asked for. It was at the end of the Incredible Hulk, I saw Tony Stark’s cameo and I began to ask if the two of these movies are connected. No, I wasn’t much into researching on the internet and decided to leave it out and move on.

It was not until Iron Man 2 came out in 2010 and the post credit scene showed Thor’s hammer, that I finally realised that all of these movies were taking place in the same universe. It was the moment of truth for me. I looked it up on the internet. I discovered MCU. I went back and started watching Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2 chronologically as they came out without missing a single detail, a single post credit scene. And I couldn’t wait for Thor to come out in 2011. My journey as a devoted MCU fan began.

As the MCU spun out Captain America: The First Avenger later in 2011, combining two of my most favourite topics, the World War and Captain America, and later in 2012, The Avengers, the culmination of the events taking place in the solo movies so far, it marked the end of phase one for MCU. By this time, I was well hooked into the MCU and keeping tabs on all that was happening, eagerly waiting for the next instalments.

Throughout the phase one, MCU spent 6 movies, slowly introducing its characters to the audience, spanning and expanding the universe, building up the stage and informing me about infinity stones.

And then phase two started with Iron Man 3 coming out in 2013, followed by Thor: The Dark World later that year. Each movie progressing the timeline of the universe a little bit more, giving me enough time to delve into the details, to familiarise the audience with its lesser known characters, form an attachment with MCU.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out in 2014, and it was perhaps the defining moment for MCU. To be absolutely honest, all the movies after Iron Man felt a bit short on appeal to me. They were, well, too light for my taste. I started noticing the disturbing trend in the MCU movies that felt most irritating. Serious moments ruined by misplaced jokes. That changed when Russo brothers gifted me The Winter Soldier. I felt like I watched a well-balanced, well-structed MCU movie after 6 years. The events within the MCU started taking a somewhat serious turn after this movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy came out later that year and I best not say much about this one because I never really like the tone of this movie, and I still don’t. But the details were important to closely follow the ascension of the massive inter-connected storyline MCU was weaving through the movies. Also, the mixtape. The mixtape is very important if you want to experience good music in life. I certainly did.

I loved Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, despite its weak storyline and to my absolute surprise and wonder, I fell head over heels in love with Ant Man when it came out at the end of 2015. Ant Man marked the end of phase two for MCU. By this time, the MCU was like an open book to me, waiting to finish the next chapter. The context was well-set. The big bad Thanos was introduced in detail in Guardians of the Galaxy and I couldn’t wait to see what’d happen next.

Phase three started with Captain America: Civil War coming out in 2016 that set the stage for bigger things to happen as Captain America and Tony Stark faced each other. This was a special movie for Captain America fans like me because this marked the end of the Captain America trilogy and Steve Rogers had finally dropped the shield for good. Doctor Strange came out later in 2016 introducing Hollywood’s beloved Brit Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. It was followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spiderman: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok, all of which came out last year in 2017. In Spiderman: Homecoming I got to see an entirely new take on the friendly neighbourhood Spiderman who was more comic accurate that his predecessors.

Black Panther came out in 2018 and made history. It also made sure that MCU, in a long time, had a villain who was not a terrible joke. Needless to say, I enjoyed every moment of Black Panther.

That left the stage for the last and final act of phase three, Avengers: Infinity War which is now running in theatres. All of the movies from Iron Man in 2008 to Black Panther in 2018, had been building a universe, all leading to this one movie, Infinity War. In these 10 years, I saw my favourite characters being introduced, coming together, having shawarma together, fighting each other, breaking apart, living, dying, running away, protecting each other and so much more. The moments that were being built up for 10 years will finally unfold in the events of Infinity War and I don’t know what will happen in the movie, or what to expect. I am waiting for the buzz to die down a little bit so that I can go to the theatre and watch this movie in peace without overhyped kids shouting at every single frame, meanwhile dodging all the spoilers that are out there.

It took Marvel 10 years to build up this moment. 10 long years of an emotional journey filled with ups and downs. A journey of a little boy growing up with his favourite characters around him. This is the not the story of MCU only, this is the story of me as well. The story of how I grew up. The story of how the boy that sat in front of the television one fine day in 2008 to watch Iron Man will in a few days sit in the movies to watch Infinity War. This is the story of Marvel, and me.

Thank you, Marvel.