Odisha’s Jan Jagran Abhiyan has decided to start a Statewide movement to motivate voters to vote for able and non-corrupt candidates without considering their party affiliation or opt for NOTA in the coming elections. “The JJA is a political organisation with no intention to contest elections. We will not watch the dirty game of electoral politics from the fences but interfere in it by motivating the voters,” said JJA’s Odisha president Madhusudan Sethi. The organisation has decided to start a campaign to motivate the voters to choose their candidates based on six criteria — character, past criminal record, corruption charges against the person, if he/she is anti-caste system, anti-communal and connected to the people. “These are six Cs by which a voter can judge the candidate,” Mr. Sethi said. The JJA has decided to ask the voters to opt for NOTA (None of The Above) in case they do not find any candidate fulfilling the six Cs. Members of the organisation said voters are falling for big political parties and their charismatic leaders and electing undeserving candidates. “Let the good people get elected and they can choose an able leader,” Mr. Sethi said.
Sci-Tech Tags 19 Comments NASA scopes out Antarctica’s ice (photos) 15 Photos Share your voice Antarctica’s ice sheets are in trouble. Mlenny/Getty What can we do to stop Antarctica’s ice sheets from disintegrating and causing a huge rise in global sea levels? A trio of scientists have simulated a radical geoengineering project to dump 7.4 trillion tons of snow on Antarctica, suggesting it could stop runaway instability in the glaciers.Recent studies have shown warmer ocean water is being pushed toward the colossal West Antarctic ice sheet, destabilizing it and speeding up the decline of its huge glaciers. The threat of these huge ice deposits falling into the ocean is immense and the overall effect of their decline has been calculated to eventually raise sea levels by approximately 10 feet (3 meters) or more, endangering cities like New York.”The real concern is that many of these glaciers have a reverse bed slope, meaning that as they retreat it exposes deeper and thicker ice to the ocean,” explains Sue Cook, a glaciologist at the University of Tasmania. “That is a very unstable position, and causes a positive feedback effect which accelerates the retreat (and hence contribution to sea level rise).”The new study, published in the journal Science Advances on July 17, proposes a drastic, decades-long geoengineering project that would pump huge amounts of ocean water to the ice sheet, adding 7,400 gigatons (7.4 trillion tons) of “artificial snowfall” and reversing the decline. Simulating the current effects on Antarctica’s ice sheets and the changes they experience with increasing snowfall, the researchers were able to map out a process that could potentially halt the ice loss.The problem? Their suggestion would be an incredibly expensive undertaking and include immense technical challenges. The authors say it would present an “unprecedented effort for humankind.”Mostly, the problem lies in pumping the water out of the ocean, which requires an enormous amount of energy. The study suggests constructing a series of 12,000 wind turbines to enable this process to take place and then pumping artificial snow into two glaciers on the West Antarctic coast. The team suggest that activity would result in a 2 to 5 centimeter drop in sea level but the added weight of artificial snow falling on the surface would shore up the glaciers, improving their stability.And the larger effects of such a scheme are yet to be ironed out. What are the lasting effects on the Antarctic ecosystem and what kind of knock-on effects would we see in ocean currents across the world? We just don’t have answers to those questions right now.What we do know is the Earth’s current default state: Burning fossil fuels and pumping tons of carbon into the atmosphere, warming the planet and causing sweeping changes like threatening a million species with extinction or, you know, the ice sheets melting. Considering the possibility of salvation in artificial Antarctic snow might be jumping a little far ahead.”Even if a geoengineering project such as this were possible, it certainly shouldn’t detract from the other urgent action which is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Cook notes.
3 Apple Sure, Apple’s excellent AirPods may be the more visible campus status symbol — but Sony’s brand-new wireless earbuds are the superior product. At $230, they’re not cheap. But they sound better, deliver 6 to 8 hours of battery life and have active noise-canceling features, one of only two models in this class with the feature.Read more: Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds battle it out against Apple’s AirPods 2 Apple MacBook Air In July, Apple debuted a brand-new MacBook Air featuring its True Tone display technology and a recalibrated list price of $1,100. I think it should cost $1,000. But Best Buy has an even better deal on it right now: $900. That’s a major discount on one of the best laptops around for students. reading • Our favorite back-to-school picks for 2019 News • Hands-on with the new Apple MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Read CNET’s list of best back-to-school backpacks and bags Tyler Lizenby/CNET I’ve been using Burton’s Spruce 26L backpack for the past year, and I think it’s the best, most versatile bag I’ve ever owned. It’s comfortable to wear, looks cool and is made with durable materials, including weather-resistant zippers. From the quick-release magnetic buckles to the fleece-lined laptop pocket, this bag is extremely well-designed from top to bottom. And it comes with Burton’s lifetime warranty. If you’re looking for something a little higher-end, I also love the weatherproof Rhake backpack from Mission Workshop. At $365, it’s expensive, but the 22-liter roll-top compartment is cavernous, the laptop compartment that opens from the side is so handy — and the bag just looks extremely slick. You need tunes for both work and play. Most small Bluetooth speakers don’t sound good — but the new UE Wonderboom 2 delivers full audio in a durable, waterproof package at a reasonable price. See at Amazon Read more on the UE Wonderboom 2 See also Chris Monroe/CNET The Lenovo Smart Clock is a minimalist, customizable smart clock that can recommend alarms based on your calendar. It comes with the full power of Google Assistant voice control, so it’s basically a Google Home Mini with a clock face. Our favorite feature is also the most visceral — you can snooze your alarms just by whacking the thing. Even better, Best Buy is selling the clock for $20 off its list price, bringing the total to $60, through Sept. 7. See at Amazon Read the Sony WF-1000XM3 review Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. See at Amazon Read the Dell XPS 13 review • Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System coffee maker Comments See at Hello Fresh See at Walmart Our favorite back-to-school picks for 2019 11 great gadgets that can smarten up a dumb dorm room Best back-to-school headphones Uber gift card Hydro Flask Modern students are aware of the benefits of staying hydrated, and many are discerning about the container they use. Hydro Flask bottles keep liquids cool for up to 24 hours and hot drinks warm up to 12 hours. And they’re tough enough to survive the rigors of campus life. Read more: CNET’s full list of the best water bottles See at Amazon Burton Spruce 26L Backpack Burton Apple MacBook Air Read the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System review Originally published last month. Updated to reflect new sale prices. See at Uber Instant Pot pressure cooker Read the AmazonBasics Microwave review Rocketbook Fusion notebook You can find similar components in other laptops at around the same price, but few can match the XPS 13 for its near-perfect combination of size, slim bezel, processing power, great design and excellent keyboard, plus a wide range of price options. Walmart Walmart Amazon Bluetooth Best Buy Dell Google Lenovo Microsoft Roku Sony Nintendo Uber Apple TCL Read the MacBook Air (2018) review Sarah Tew/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET See at Best Buy Sarah Tew/CNET See at Walmart Nintendo Switch Read the TCL S325 review From the best phones for students to the best laptops to everything else in between, we’ve curated a handful of recommendations for campus life. Check out our picks for basic cooking equipment, more advanced gear for foodies, eight inexpensive things to keep students healthy at college and the best gifts under $50.Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite back-to-school picks for 2019. Have a look.Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site. In 2019, the TV remains central to many forms of modern entertainment. This particular model comes with a Roku built in, making streaming apps effortlessly accessible. The 32-incher can be found for under $120 at Walmart and even the biggest, 49-inch model costs just $250. See at Walmart Preview • The MacBook Air is dead. Long live the MacBook Air See at Amazon Dell XPS 13 See it TCL S321/325 series For the lucky student who already has a TV, the Roku Plus will transform it into a full-featured streaming device. This model supports 4K and HDR video, has the best search interface and can control the TV’s volume and power. Mentioned Above Apple MacBook Air (128GB, Gray, 2018) See at Amazon Sony WF-1000XM3 Bluetooth headphones See at Best Buy See All Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET If the dorm allows it, an Instant Pot is a no brainer for college students. It can do almost anything: make morning yogurt, boil perfect eggs, cook big batches of protein to stretch into meals all week long and even pull off easy desserts. The smaller 3-quart mini Instant Pot might be better for dorm-bound students, but the larger 6-quart model pictured above is often on sale for even less — around $50 — making it a tough deal to turn down. Read more: 15 quick & easy Instant Pot meals | Our favorite Instant Pot cookbooks | Easy Instant Pot breakfast recipes | What’s the best Instant Pot to buy? $1,199 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Share your voice Hello Fresh meal kit delivery service Tags See at Amazon Read the Roku Streaming Stick Plus review You’ll be hard-pressed to find a student that won’t enjoy playing games on a Nintendo Switch. But unless your gamer is willing to keep the handheld docked to a TV, you’ll want to wait until mid-September to pull the trigger. That’s when you’ll be able to buy the updated Switch that has longer battery life — or the Switch Lite, which will be $100 cheaper. If you do go for this model, though, make sure you get the new Switch model with longer battery life: Here’s how to tell which Switch is which. Read the Lenovo Smart Clock review Review • Apple MacBook Air review: Rebooted as a thinner, lighter, more expensive laptop Smart Display TVs Bluetooth Headsets Media Streamers Laptops Small Appliances Gaming Wireless & Bluetooth Speakers Video Games Lenovo Smart Clock See It Coffee may be the most essential ingredient for academic success. So, some kind of coffee maker is highly advisable, and this jack-of-all-trades Ninja is a great contender. It can handle regular coffee as well as cold brew and even tea, with separate settings and baskets for beans and leaves (loose or bagged). It has a foldaway frothing arm for latte-style drinks — so not only will it save money on Starbucks runs, it’ll make the dorm the most popular spot to study. It includes size settings too, so you can brew a full carafe or a single cup.Read more: Trusty reusable coffee mugs Not only does a meal kit delivery service save time, it cuts down on food waste with perfectly proportionate amounts of ingredients. Plus, thanks to detailed recipe instructions, even novice cooks can pull off impressive meals. There are plenty of meal kit delivery companies to choose from and many offer plans for special diets including vegan and gluten-free selections. But Hello Fresh is currently offering 15% off every box for students (new customers only) plus free shipping on any box when you use code UniDAYS (prices start at $9 per serving). Read more: Best meal kit subscription services See at Amazon Sarah Tew/CNET AmazonBasics Microwave $899 Aug 29 • Best college laptops for 2019 Hydro Flask water bottle There aren’t many things you can’t cook in a microwave, and — unlike hot plates, camping stoves and other niche cookery devices — most dorms allow them. For $60, this AmazonBasics Microwave includes Alexa voice support and a (somewhat random) popcorn reordering feature. Bottom line: It’s a competitively priced cooking device with some useful features you won’t find in other microwaves in the same price range. Rocketbook’s reusable notebooks make it easy to send notes and other jottings to your email or preferred cloud service (Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack or Evernote). On the one hand, using the Fusion notebook is just marginally more convenient than taking a photo of any piece of paper and sending it to yourself. But the notebook has a few nice usability touches — you can mark an icon at the bottom of the page to route notes to up to seven different destinations — and the sustainability angle is compelling. Included with the notebook is a nice Pilot FriXion pen (which doubles as an eraser) and a microfiber cloth that effectively wipes pages clean to be used again.Note that Rocketbook is offering a back to school discount at getrocketbook.com between Aug. 30 and Sept. 3. Enter the code B2S2019 at checkout to get 25% off an order of $25 or more. See at Amazon Microsoft We are fully in back-to-school mode now, and it’s time to gear up. For the past few weeks, retailers have been ramping up their sales, and we’ve found great deals on the products that students will need as they head back to their dorms and classrooms. It’s not always easy for students to get to the grocery store or the mall, and an Uber gift card can help ease the burden of transportation. The company offers both digital and physical cards in denominations up to $500, and you can give the gift of a ride or food delivery (through the Uber Eats service). Hello Fresh Back-to-School Tech Gift Guide Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Aug 30 • Hate subscription software? Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements are on sale for $60 each $1,099 Aug 29 • Save up to $500 on Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets Read the Nintendo Switch review Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET See It Sarah Tew/CNET Ninja Roku Streaming Stick Plus Instant Pot Angela Lang/CNET
The central government is currently considering a proposal to capping free cash withdrawals in ATM to just three, from the previous 8-10. This includes withdrawals from banks, where one already has a bank account. The latest move comes to support cashless economy. The proposal was put forth by bankers and was discussed with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in pre-budget consultations. “A proposal to bring down free ATM transactions to three per month has been discussed with the finance ministry, and this is one of the measures being considered to disincentives use of cash,” a senior banker was quoted as saying by the Economic Times. Also read: RBI removes restrictions on withdrawalsAnother banker quoted by the publication said that the decision (of waiving off transaction charges) was taken when things were different (post demonetisation), but things have changed now and we need to change with that. “If only three free transactions are allowed, then people will be inclined to shift to digital transactions,” he added. According to the report, banks presently permit customers five free ATM transactions every month, after which, they charge Rs 20 per transaction. It includes service tax. However, for non-customers, lender banks offer up to three free transactions in six metro cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad). The rules were established in November 2014.Banks had earlier said that since November, ATM transactions reduced by 10-20 percent. “If the number of transactions on ATMs comes down, then we will have to figure out a strategy to discourage cash. One can look at increasing transaction charges at ATMs to improve the economics of doing business, but the government wants to reduce transaction cost for customers, so that may not happen,” the person quoted above added.
Awami League president and the eldest daughter of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman speaks at a blood donation programme on the premises of Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi Road No 32 in the capital on Wednesday. Photo: Focus BanglaReiterating that she never cares about death, Bangladesh Awami League (AL) president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said she is alive to finish the unfinished jobs of her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, reports UNB.”I faced several blows in the past. Maybe there’ll be more but I don’t care… I never care about death. I’m alive to finish the unfinished jobs of my father, bring smile to the faces of country’s people, change their fate and give the country a dignified position in the world arena,” said Hasina.Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, said this while inaugurating a blood donation programme organised by Bangladesh Krishak League on the premises of Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi Road No 32.Hasina said the debt of Bangabandhu’s blood could be paid through building the country as ‘Golden Bangladesh’ as he had dreamt. “We’ve to pay his blood debt…we’ll be able to pay his debt of blood by building the country as Golden Bangladesh. InshaAllah, we’ll be able to do that; I have that belief,” she said.She said the country has already made a good progress in its journey towards its goal of being ‘Golden Bangladesh’. “We’ll advance the country further.”Sheikh Hasina, also the chief of ruling Awami League, sought cooperation of people in maintaining the pace of development that the country attained in the last nine and a half years.”We want you to pray for us… the pace of development we’ve attained must not be stopped. We can fulfill Father of the Nation’s dream of ‘Golden Bangladesh’ through maintaining the pace of progress,” she said.The prime minister firmly said she can say that Bangladesh now got a dignified position in the world and the country is now a developing one. “Surely, the souls of my father, mother and millions of martyrs will get peace,” she added.Recalling the horrible memories of 15 August 1975, she said the defeated force of 1971 and freedom fighters by chance who never contain the spirit of the Liberation War were the mastermind of this massacre. “The defeated force took their revenge through killing the Father of the Nation,” she said.Sheikh Hasina mentioned that the killers thought that the existence of Bangladesh would be vanished with the killing the father of the nation.She said the government has been able to put the killers of Bangabandhu under trial and implement the court verdict. “Still, there’re some killers hiding in various countries. We’re trying to bring them home,” she said.Hasina alleged that the self-claimed and convicted killers mentioned that they had communication with Ziaur Rahman and they had informed him about the killing. “Zia told them to go ahead, and said if they become successful he is with them,” she said.She said Ziaur Rahman awarded the killers by appointing them in different missions. “Why did he give them award? He was fully involved in the killing. That’s why he gave them award,” she said.Sheikh Hasina also said the consequence of Ziaur Rahman was inevitable for him. “My sorrow is that I couldn’t put him under trial. He passed away before that,” she added.
Narayanganj Sadar police station officer-in-charge Kamrul Islam drove out voters from the polling station at Morgan Girls’ School in Naryanganj city on Sunday afternoon.Three vehicles led by the OC reached the voting centre at around 2:00pm and started blowing sirens to intimidate the voters.When this correspondent approached him to talk on the matter, Kamrul Islam indicated him to move away.Dulal Mia, 50, reached the polling station at 11:00am to cast his vote and found the gate closed.Around 1:30pm, over one hundred voters were seen chanting slogans demanding scopes to cast their votes. Four female voters were quarrelling with the armed police.They alleged to Prothom Alo that police beat them up and confined them for two hours closing the gate.When this correspondent attempted to talk to the presiding officer, the law enforcement said everybody was eating inside.As the voters nearby heard it, they became angry and said, “We are standing here for two hours and they are still eating.”“They are chasing us as if we have come to steal,” the voters expressed anger.About the situation, an officer of Sadar police station said, “Don’t you know about the situation? Everything is done.”* This report published in Prothom Alo Bangla online has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam