A wonderful and a much needed workshop on ‘Data Driven Journalism’ was held in the beautiful ambience of Hotel La Vinci on 13th September. The day long workshop was organized jointly by Hifi Digital Limited and Bangladesh Internet Society.
The workshop had two distinct phases. The first phase, conducted by Zyma Islam, focused on how to collect data from authentic sources. Some really useful sources were shared, and questions from the audience made the session quite lively. Zyma poured out her experience by giving some real life case studies. A brief showcasing of some useful tricks of Microsoft Excel made it quite a productive experience for the observers.
The second phase, conducted by Abu Shaer Reaz, focused on data visualization. He focused on some simple tools, which can be quite powerful if we know how to use them.
The most common mistake journalists do in Data visualization, is not knowing when to use which tool.
Some real life case studies from his experiences in Daily Star made his session quite engaging. Shaer wonderfully finished the session by showing the audience a simple yet effective data driven documentary, which helped the session to end on a high note.
“The experience was quite immersive. I learned a lot. The real life experiences and case studies shared by the two experienced instructors made it quite a learning experience.”
Nabila Jalil, one of the attendants, said joyfully
The participants of this workshop had mostly
given positive feedback, and their constructive opinions were taken in formal
response forms. The complimentary lunch and snacks made it quite a wholesome
experience for all the participants. The cherry on the cake was added by the
certificate giving ceremony, where all the participants were given certificates
for their participation.
A very simple but quite innovative amphibious structure made of bamboo was adjudged one of the six winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. It was announced Thursday in the Russian city of Kazan. The award-winning structure houses a school for underprivileged children in Bangladesh.
About the project
The Arcadia Education Project is situated on the bank of Dhaleshwari in South Kanarchar of Keraniganj. The award-winning structure for this project is constructed by Saif Ul Haque Sthapati and run by Maleka Welfare Trust.
But the most unique thing is, the project is built on a site that remains submerged by three-meter of water a third of the year on average.
The structure was built using very simple materials -different varieties of bamboo, recycled tires and steel drums. The innovative part of the structure is that it rises with the water level. The structure expands on about 486 square metres.
The innovation has paid off handsomely. The six winners of the Aga Khan Award would share the prize money of $1 million among them, as stated by a release of Aga Khan Development Network.
The release also added: “The modesty of the program, the use of materials and the construction method are all successful parts of building this amphibious school through experimental and collaborative teamwork. Though simple and compact, the project resolves complex issues – of buoyancy, anchoring against the river current and waste management.”
A traditional Bengali method was employed in the construction. The bamboos that were used in the structure were collected from neighbouring villages. They were then chemically treated and made waterproof by applying liquid made by boiling local Gaab fruits. Moreover, most of the joints in the structure used a rope-tie technique rather than steel wire which would corrode. This technique was a major innovation itself.
“At a time of rising sea levels, this modest bamboo school illustrates how to build an affordable and viable solution with locally available materials.”
Said an official press release about the structure
The construction of the structure was executed by a team led by Pran Bollov Biswas from December 2014 to February 2016. For planning the building at the cost of $50,800, the designers had spent exactly two years from December 2012.
About the Aga Khan Awards
The Arcadia Project was not the only project catching limelight in the Aga Khan Awards. Bangladeshi project, Amber Denim Loom Shed in Gazipur, was earlier shortlisted in the final 20s for the 2019 award.
The other winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture are the Revitalisation of Muharraq of Bahrain, the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, the Public Spaces Development Programme in Tatarstan of Russia, Alioune Diop University Teaching and Research Unit in Bambey of Senegal, and Wasit Wetland Centre in Sharjah of United Arab Emirates.
Like our content? Follow us on our Facebook page for regular updates. We want to hear from you. Take a moment to write to us with your stories, contributions and suggestion. Contact us for advertising and partnership opportunities at [email protected] Thank you!
A new retail website, called Verishop, has gone live recently. And it goes head-to-head with mammoth platforms like Amazon. The brain behind this venture is the former Chief Strategic Officer of Snapchat, Imran Khan.
Khan being present in the business arena for quite a while had observed some of the frustrations up-and-coming brands have expressed regarding existing sites that have counterfeit products or that hurt brand integrity. Verishop aims to change that and create an even and transparent platform for both buyers and sellers.
The business model of Verishop
Verishop actually buys the inventory directly from the brands. This step is to prevent having counterfeit goods on the site. Verishop hopes this differentiating factor will help build trust with consumers, too.
Is the big tech too big?
Globally companies like Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet etc. are ruling the world. It takes much audacity to come up with a business that has to compete largely with Amazon itself. However, Khan doesn’t feel that the big tech is too absolute. And with proper differentiation of their services, they can have a sustainable business.
“I think our vision is to be the best home for brands,” Khan said in an interview ahead of the launch of Verishop.
“Whenever the consumer is looking for branded products, we want to be their first destination. There is massive growth of direct-to-consumer brands.”
Verishop offers free, two-day shipping with no minimum purchase, free returns and a 24/7 customer-service portal on the web. That means you can buy anything even worth 10 Dollars, and still can get free shipping! This new feature is something that most customers had been waiting for.
There are 2 main shopping sections, Tastemakers and Responsible Shop. Between these two, Tastemakers is solely targetted towards influencers.
In this daunting attempt, let’s hope Imran Khan makes a difference to the world of e-commerce, as he has done in case of Snapchat. A reminder for the readers, this is the same Imran Khan whose BTV debate went viral on Facebook this year!
Like our content? Follow us on our Facebook page for regular updates. We want to hear from you. Take a moment to write to us with your stories, contributions and suggestion. Contact us for advertising and partnership opportunities at [email protected] Thank you!
Tonic, an online healthcare service of Telenor Health, has launched its home service for diagnostic tests of dengue through their mobile application.
The recent dengue outbreak has become a major national issue, and Telenor health has raised eyebrows by this intervention. Tonic has launched the service along with video conference for doctors’ consultation through its mobile application “Tonic App”.
People from Dhaka and Chattogram metropolitans and Mymensingh city will be able to order dengue screening tests through Tonic App. The best part is that the patients can get the entire test done from their homes.
The patient first needs to order tests through the Tonic app. After the order has been placed, Tonic’s sample collector will visit and collect the sample from the patients within 24 hours. Tonic is quite concerned with the safety and promises to maintain all aseptic conditions necessary. After conducting the test, the patient can consult a doctor over a video call through Tonic App along with their report.
We all love underdogs. Rags to riches stories are quite popular amongst people. A story defying all odds has become a reality in our country because of the amazing resilience of a boy. A boy from the slums of Rayerbazar has managed a scholarship in one of the most prestigious IB programs of USA!
If anyone ever told MD Bilal Hossain, a caretaker in Rayerbazar, that his son would one day attend a prestigious program in the US, he would probably let out a big sigh or laugh it off. He had struggled quite a lot in maintaining the expenses of his family from his low-paid job. His struggles doubled when he lost his job right after admitting his only son, Siam Hossain, in a school of Jaago foundation in 2008.
Flash forward eleven years, Siam has successfully rekindled the hopes of his family for a better through his nothing less than stellar academic performance.
He has managed to earn a two-year scholarship at the renowned United World College (UWC) in New Mexico, USA.
Starting from the academic session 2019-20, the scholarship is worth $80,000.
Siam’s academic journey through years
This wonderful academic achievement didn’t come in a single day. Siam had always shown good performances in his academics. He had achieved GPA-5 in the Primary Education Completion (PEC) examination in 2012. He had also registered an A grade from the science department at last year’s Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations.
The UWC programme
UWC (or United World Colleges) is a global educational movement with the mission to “make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”. UWC consists of 18 schools and colleges on four continents, several short educational programmes, and national committees in 159 countries and territories worldwide.
Siam has received a scholarship in their college of New Mexico. Most of these18 schools and colleges exclusively offer two-year residential programmes, for young people aged 16–19 years, during which they complete the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.
“There was a time when I didn’t take my studies that seriously. However, hopes for better and higher schooling arose in my mind after being admitted to the Jaago Foundation School”
Siam said during a press conference at Jaago.
Siam thanked his sponsors because there was a time he thought of quitting his studies because of financial hardship. He had also mentioned how his ambitions rose after his stellar result in the PECE examination.
The dreams of Siam
Siam expressed his ambition to become either a doctor or a communication specialist. Upon completing his two-year course at the UWC, he would like to pursue higher education at a foreign university before returning home to serve the people.
Bangladesh batting, you are stuck in a traffic jam. You start watching the match 30 minutes late, expecting to see already 3 openers going back to the hut.
This was a common situation even till 2011. And batting collapses were something we the fans had made our peace with. Best case scenarios were an odd win here and there, and Shakib and Mushfiqur anchoring us towards a somewhat defendable total or a less shameful loss.
Many critics argue that knocking down England from the World Cup 2015 was the start of our renaissance. But, the real flash of self-belief and an attacking mindset took root in the famous win against India in the 2007 World Cup.
Tamim fearlessly coming down the track was a statement for a new brand of cricket. Shakib and Mushfiq both had chipped in with a fifty, with Mashrafe rattling down the Indian batting with his pace Bowling.
Our core group of 5 players, popularly known as ‘Ponchopandob’, including Mahmudullah Riad, are playing for the team together since 2007.
And thank heavens for this bunch.
Steady growth in the middle and ups and downs
In between 2007 and 2011, the most positive thing for Bangladesh cricket was the rise of Shakib Al Hasan as the top all-rounder in the world. Abdur Razzaq, the veteran left-arm spinner, also dominated the bowler rankings during this period.
Bangladesh had whitewashed mighty New Zealand. With the whitewash of a relatively weaker West Indies side, Bangladesh team was gradually making a statement.
But, there was this lack of consistency and it showed. The batting collapses in 2011 World Cup against West Indies and South Africa were stark examples of our inconsistency.
The sudden sparks of brilliance after the 2011 World Cup
Bangladesh had a disappointing series after the 2011 world cup and Tamim was facing a good amount of criticism for his lack of form. But the 2012 Asia Cup was somewhat of a bittersweet memory for Bangladesh. Bangladesh lost to Pakistan in the first match but won 2 consecutive matches against India and Srilanka, knocking both of them out. Tamim had scored four consecutive half-centuries and had made a statement.
But Bangladesh had a heartbreak for falling short of 2 runs, and the iconic scene of Mushfiq and Shakib bursting in tears still haunts the fans till date.
2015 World Cup and a new brand of cricket for Bangladesh
Bangladesh had struggled to find a perfect opening partner for Tamim Iqbal. The problem was wonderfully solved by the inclusion of Soumya Sarker. His attacking form of batting was something the opposition was not used to seeing.
Fast forward to World Cup of 2015. Bangladesh vs England. Rubel Hossain bowling an amazing reverse swing delivery and Nasir Hossain chanting, “The Bangla tigers knocked out the English lions out of the world cup”. This is arguably the most memorable scene for any Bangladeshi fan so far.
After the 2015 World Cup, Bangladesh had won 3 consecutive series against the giants Pakistan, India, and South Africa. This was a major statement to the cricketing world that a win of Bangladesh is no longer an upset. Huge credit needs to be given to Captain Fantastic about how he marshalled his troops and created a sense of togetherness in the Bangladesh team.
Rise of Captain Fantastic and not looking back
Another magical finding was our very own ‘Fizz’. Mustafizur Rahman had taken the world by storm through his mystery bowling. Although injuries hindered much of his rhythm, he is still a key member of the Bangladesh squad.
Bangladesh has now become a force to be reckoned with in the cricketing world. The team that got bowled out for 58 runs and 78 runs to West Indies and South Africa in the 2011 World Cup, scored over 300 runs against both of the teams in the World Cup of 2019. We have great depth in our batting and we don brand a new form of fearless cricket.
It took us a while to finally get here, but we’re here at last. And we’re here to stay.
Picture a scene from the last World Cup. All Bangladeshi players gathering in the field, celebrating their win against England, and eventually qualifying for the Quarter Finals. This scene is arguably the most favourite cricketing moments for any Bangladeshi Cricket Fan.
Fast forward 4 years. Another world cup is almost here. And a surprisingly unlikely contender is the topic of debate this time. The jersey.
No red in the jersey and it apparently matters
The fans are used to seeing our tigers in the world stage with the famous red and green jersey. But this year, when the official jersey was published by BCB, all hell broke loose. Two separate jerseys were there, but instead of a red and green merge, two separate jerseys of Green and Red Colour was brought to the media.
Mistakes were definitely made. But we might be focusing on the wrong ones. It was not the colours that we should be worried about. Names of the players were typed wrong including that of the captain’s.
Reaction of people
The reactions of the fans were nowhere near positive. Especially the green jersey had infuriated the general fans because they felt it was almost a copy of the Pakistan team jersey. Social media outbursts were observed.
“What is this nonsense? What is the point of copying Pakistan’s jersey? It would seem like a Pakistan vs Pakistan match while facing them.”
A furious fan commented
Does it really matter?
Aesthetics aside, this is actually not the first time Bangladesh had a single coloured Jersey. The iconic 1999 jersey with tiger strap did not have any hint of red either. Plus, there was a brief period when Bangladesh had a blue jersey. And also a time when it would be quite hard to differentiate between the Bangladeshi jersey and that of the Zimbabwe team.
The point is, the entire debate over this jersey is pointless. The design of the jersey that was designed and approved sparks debate, but it might not be the biggest of concerns. Yes, it didn’t have hints of red in it but no book says that there should be.
Reaction of BCB
Amidst the uproar (!) of people, BCB declared, they are applying for change. As per the latest news, a stripe of bland red in the middle of a tacky Green had been approved. Let’s hope this settles the debate once and for all for everyone.
Cricket world cup comes only in 4 years. And this is arguably the best Bangladeshi team yet.
Our focus should have been on the game, not the jersey.
And this is the last world cup of our very own Mashrafe Bin Murtaza. We hope that the Tigers bid him a proper farewell through their performance in the world cup.
The views expressed in this article are of the writer’s own, and not of HiFi Public as a publication.
If you don’t stay under a rock, you should have come across all the memes making fun of BRAC University for celebrating Pahela Boishakh a week earlier. There were loads of trolls and some were actually funny. Most were also kind of hackneyed.
But why though?
First of all, we were told that it was not anything enforced. The students actually played a significant role in the decision as well. Mid-April is the time BRAC University holds its semester final exams. The exam season means no class, and thus the university remains closed.
“Well, we kind of wanted it to celebrate early. We always have our exams in Mid April, and thus it becomes difficult for everyone to attend. Moreover, as the university remains closed, things don’t become much festive.”
Sartaj Islam Shovon, a student of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, commented
“This was not much of a problem. The heat and everything were there. The program was good. The main thing is, we liked it. We mostly couldn’t enjoy in previous years due to exam pressure. This also becomes somewhat of a refreshment before the exams.”
Said Sabreen Alim, an energetic junior doing her BBA
Well, okay. If you put it like that..
All work and no play
Some students are a bit disappointed at the authority for always holding their exams at that time. But most students agree that their university has a specific academic calendar, and rigorous following of that prevents them from all kinds of session jams.
This very “legitimate” reason that was there for the early celebration of Pahela Baishakh is quite unknown to many. Hence, the flood of memes in our newsfeeds has tickled us to laugh, and also causing embarrassment to the people of BRACU at the same time.
Hey! look on the bright side
But, the people of BRAC University should not be disheartened in any way. They have a lot of positives to take from this.
1. Uninterrupted GoT binge
The most anticipated Episode of Game of Thrones will be released on 14th April. They can watch it staying at home, as they are already done with celebrating. BRACU people! Grab your popcorns, stay at your home, and watch your most awaited episode.
2. For the sake of memes!
This had provided some quality memes in our newsfeeds. Think of all the people you made laugh, BRACU people! In these tough times, having a good laugh is rare.
3. Cheap Hilsha! Yes!
Hilsha fish is quite costly in the Pahela Baishakh week. You have saved quite a significant chunk of money for yourselves eating Hilsha a week early. Think of all the productive things you can do with the saved money!
4. Festival hopping
Finally, this gives a chance to the BRACU students to explore the Pahela Baishakh program of other Universities! A golden opportunity to explore and getting out of your shell!
Fitness watches have become quite a new attraction. Available in attractive and aesthetic designs, these watches represent the awareness of physical well-being in millennials. The newer models with features such as ECG, Heart Rate Counter, Steps Counter, Pulse counter are quite popular amongst people. But are they truly something novel?
Then and now
Fitness watches were not so sophisticated at the beginning of their journey.
The surprising thing is, it is not something very new either. The Polar Sports Tester PE 2000 was the first watch for serious athletes and a forefather to pretty much any biometric sports watch since. It received an upgrade in the Sports Tester PE3000 in 1984. This was the first watch to implement biometric information live onto the display. In 1987 the PE300 introduced Target Zones for heart-rate based training. But fitness wearables have come a long way, to producing accurate ECGs to warning signals when the watch notices any kind of abnormal reading. It has evolved into more of a fashion accessory with all the new and trendy designs.
A medical revolution?
On a Friday night in March, while sitting in his cozy home in Atlanta, GA, a beep on 61-year-old David Gilley’s Apple Watch notified him: His heart rate was unusually high despite being at rest.
It’s a new optional feature of the Apple Watch’s updated Heart Rate app—an alert goes off if your heart rate rises to an atypical level provided that you’ve been idle for over 10 minutes. Gilley, who had been struggling with heart issues for a decade and had recently been diagnosed with an abnormal heart rate condition called atrial fibrillation—quickly opted in.
His heart was almost failing by the time he reached the nearby hospital.
But luckily, Gilley’s story had a happy ending: He walked out of the hospital a few days later, due in large part to his watch.
Examples like that are more than enough to make anyone rush order a fitness watch of their own.
Not an unadulterated blessing
The advantages of these watches and their advanced alert systems might seem to outweigh the dangers by far, but it isn’t so in reality. Various hospitals report that their emergency room is getting overcrowded 10 times more than usual, thanks to fitness watch false alarms. People getting even the slightest of warning signals rush to the emergency rooms panicking.
A trigger for anxiety
These watches have become somewhat of a panic inducer for people suffering from anxiety. The emergency rooms of hospitals often have to waste valuable time and resources for panicked people with no actual health problems. This often undercuts actual cases of emergency and have the potential to cause lasting damage and maybe even death. The occasional warning signal might save a life. But the truth is vitals can be elevated for a variety of reasons, a lot of which aren’t serious. The smoke signals sometimes take the attention away from an actual inferno.
On the bright side
Although fitness watches have their share of shortcomings, these should not totally overshadow the amazing things about these watches. MI bands are sufficiently cheap and quite popular amongst the people in Bangladesh. The teenagers who cannot afford branded watches can easily get these fashionable ones with unique and useful features (unless you’re using Apple products). It is indeed very convenient to get these medical notifications, and they have in one way or another, made way for awareness regarding medical conditions in people. Let’s leave it to the development of technology to provide more accurate results and hope for the best.
NASA. A word that resonates in the ears of every science geek. NASA on Saturday announced the names of six teams who came out on top in six separate categories. The champion teams are set to visit the NASA headquarters. Undoubtedly this is a huge and very prestigious opportunity for each winner.
Olik’s project was a Lunar VR(Virtual Reality) that allows users to virtually explore the landing site of Apollo 11.
It also can orbit the moon with the LRO satellite. And quite interestingly, it can also observe the eclipse from the lunar surface.
The VR part is the most interesting part of their project. Using this mobile virtual reality application Lunar VR, anyone can experience and feel like landing on the moon though Apollo-11 and walk around the satellite. This science fiction sounding thing is something that is made feasible by these young guns. Their project is thus quite a show of innovation and creativity.
How it works:
Team Olik used a 3D model for creating a virtual environment. To make matters interesting, NASA gave the team some challenges to solve, as described by the team leader.
Team Olik’ won the best use of data category and have beaten a staggering number of 1,395 teams around the world.
About the wizards of SUST:
The members of the team representing are Professor Vishapriya Chakraborty (Mentor), Department of Computer Science and Engineering, SM Rafi Adnan, Department of Physics, Kazi Mainul Islam, Abu Sadiq Mahdi and Sabbir Hossain from Department of Geography and Environment.
This very big news came as a declaration on Saturday through an email. To Team Oliks great joy, they were asked to get ready for visiting the aeronautics and space science research center of NASA within a short time.
Earlier in the selection round ‘Team Olik’ made it to the top four along with teams from California, Kuala Lumpur and Yamaguchi, Japan on December 8.
Another team from Dhaka, Team ‘Planet Kit’ from BRAC University, was in the top in Best Use of Hardware Category, along with Argentina, Australia and Taipei but they failed to have the last smile in the final race.
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) under the initiative of BASIS students’ forum has been organizing NASA Space Apps Challenge every year. The consistency of BASIS has paid off greatly with this award.
For this year the BASIS has chosen eight teams from Bangladesh to submit their projects for NASA after a massive competition across the country where they have sorted out top 40 projects from 2000 projects.