Bill placed in US Congress against Jamaat-e-Islami, Shibir. Photo: CollectedA bill has been placed in the US Congress, calling on the Bangladesh government to stop radical organisations including Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir, who pose threat to the country’s stability and secular democracy, reports BSS.Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana State introduced the bill titled ‘Expressing concern about the threat posed to democracy and the democratic process by theocratic groups operating in Bangladesh’ in the House of Representatives on 20 November, according to the US Congress official website.The House Resolution 1156 has been referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee as per the website.The bill called on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department to halt all partnerships and funding arrangements with groups affiliated radical organisation including Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir.Quoting a report of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, it said religious minorities were targeted by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Islami Chhatra Shibir, during previous elections, as a result of which 495 Hindu homes were damaged, 585 shops were attacked or looted, and 169 temples were vandalised between November 2013 and January 2014.It also referred that Jamaat-e-Islami activists have been involved in recent attacks on religious minorities in Bangladesh.Mentioning that national elections are expected to take place in Bangladesh on 30 December 2018, the bill called on the Bangladesh government to heed the Bangladesh election commission’s request to ensure security for minorities and maintain communal harmony for a peaceful election.The bill acknowledged the victims of the 1971 War of Independence and the spirit of secular democracy on which Bangladesh was founded.The nation of Bangladesh achieved independence in 1971 and established a secular democratic state, the bill mentioned and also noted this freedom was won at the cost of approximately 3 million deaths, more than 10 million displaced, and 200,000 women raped, many at the hands of Islamist militants led by Jamaat-e-Islami.The bill said repeated attacks on religious minorities, expanding religious intolerance, and growing destabilisation caused by radical groups, including Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir, undermine United States economic and strategic interests in Bangladesh.In a statement, Philadelphia-based think tank, the Middle East Forum (MEF) has welcomed the bill saying “Jamaat-e-Islami is an influential and dangerous Islamist group with a long history of violence.In October last, Bangladesh Election Commission revoked the registration of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, a major ally of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, as a political party in compliance with a High Court order.In August 2013, the High Court declared Jamaat’s registration illegal following a writ petition filed in 2009 by Bangladesh Tariqat Federation’s secretary general Rezaul Haque Chandpuri and 24 others.In the petition, they said Jamaat was a religion-based political party and it did not believe in the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh.
Strength training over a short time period may be a fast and effective strategy for reducing risk of fatty liver disease and diabetes in obese people, a study has found. Researchers from University of Campinas in Brazil investigated the effects of strength-based exercise on liver fat accumulation, blood glucose regulation and markers of inflammation in obese mice. According to a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology, strength training can reduce fat stores in the liver and improve blood glucose control in obese mice. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe study reports that strength training over a short time-period, less than would be enough to change body fat composition in humans, was sufficient to reduce the accumulation of liver fat and improve regulation of blood glucose in obese mice. Obesity is a growing, global health epidemic that needs more effective intervention strategies to avoid debilitating complications including fatty liver disease and diabetes. Approximately 94 per cent of obese people are diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and its associated serious complications, including nerve and kidney damage. Although increased physical activity is a widely accepted method of improving health and aiding weight loss, the relative benefits of different types, durations and intensities of physical activities are still under much debate. A wealth of research has focussed on the benefits of energy-burning aerobic exercise, with the potential benefits of muscle-building strength and resistance training often neglected. For the study, obese mice were made to perform strength training over a short time-period, the equivalent of which in humans would not be enough to change their body fat composition. After this training the mice had less fatty livers, reduced levels of inflammatory markers and their blood glucose regulation was improved, despite no change in their overall body weight. “The fact that these improvements in metabolism occurred over a short time suggest that strength training can have positive effects on health and directly affect liver function and metabolism,” said Leandro Pereira de Moura from University of Campinas.
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 3 min read This story appears in the October 2012 issue of . Subscribe » Register Now » Here’s one way to raise more money in a seed round: Say, “No thanks.” That’s what Zain Jaffer and Jack Smith, founders of the Vungle mobile ad platform, did when a bevy of heavyweight investors clamored to get a piece of their company as it exited the hot San Francisco incubator AngelPad.The two say they weren’t initially interested in securing funding; they didn’t want to deal with the pressure of fighting for control with investors. But as tech luminaries like Google Ventures, AOL Ventures, Crosslink Capital and angel investors SoftTech VC, SV Angel, 500 Startups and Tim Draper started knocking on their door, it was tough to turn down the cash. They closed on $2 million in January.”When we said we didn’t have any more room for investors, they thought it was a bluffing tactic, so they pushed slightly harder,” says Smith, who moved with Jaffer from London in 2011 to take part in AngelPad. They launched Vungle in beta this year.The investors wanted in on the duo’s ability to tap into the rapidly growing world of mobile advertising, a sector worth $1.45 billion in 2011 and expected to reach $2.61 billion this year, according to eMarketer. Vungle takes screen grabs and video from apps in action to build the equivalent of a movie trailer for its clients. Because the spots are structured like trailers, they “give you more of a flavor of the application’s features and appearance,” Jaffer says.Vungle’s app trailers are absurdly cheap and easy to make. Armed with experience in video production, the founders can turn around a finished production in as little as 24 hours–no need for pricey designs and programming. The cost: free (for now) with a commitment to buy a mobile ad campaign that starts at a few thousand dollars.Distribution comes from developers who’ve embedded a simple Vungle code into their apps so that the trailers can appear at natural breaks in the action, such as the completion of a game level or task. That’s how it works on faceBlocker, an app that allows users to blur certain faces or details on a photograph. As users make their way through the app, a 15-second Vungle trailer will play at a natural pause point.David Silverman, partner at San Francisco-based Crosslink Capital, loves Vungle’s take on in-app advertising. He says the ability to capture a segment of this market is “the fundamental piece” to what will be a profitable business.Smith and Jaffer are hard at work expanding Vungle’s client base beyond the 20 or so it has now and getting themselves on the radar of app developers whose business models depend on advertising. “Until now, if you wanted to run a video ad campaign for or in your app, good luck,” Jaffer says. “We figured out how to make it easy.” November 5, 2012
The rise of the sharing economy over the past few years has shifted mindsets and traditional business models. Consumers are much more open to renting items and services from individuals instead of established businesses and organizations. This is shaking up engrained business models and allowing for new possibilities in the global marketplace. The peer-to-peer sharing models, like Spinlister (where I work) and Lyft, offer new and unique options for transportation at your fingertips.Related: 8 Ways the ‘Internet of Things’ Will Impact Your Everyday LifeSharing has gone mobile. A decade ago the sharing economy was fragmented and limited in its practical use. First, people had to accept the idea of sharing. People had to be willing to trust the community and take a risk on another person actually delivering that good or service.Second, when people began sharing they were unable to do so on a global level. That made it difficult to sustain any real income. Before mobile devices were widely available, sharing was limited to informal personal networks or websites offering limited services via the Internet. AirBNB probably would have succeeded regardless of mobile technology, but what about the other major players that help drive the sharing economy as a whole?Advances in mobile technology have propelled an entirely new marketplace with people sharing everything. More importantly, it has made the fulfillment of immediate or impulsive needs possible and convenient. It helps complete transactions that start online, coordinate multiple parties and make the entire experience frictionless.Sharing would struggle if it weren’t convenient and it would never be convenient without mobile technology. People are constantly on the go and busy. If an item they’re trying to share is on their person, they need a way to update the location of those goods to be truly useful and frictionless for both sides. Mobile technologies have opened the doors for people to effortlessly share goods and make money.The realization that idle goods can generate significant income, and mobile technology makes sharing those goods easy, has transformed the sharing economy into a multi-billion dollar industry. A recent internal study commissioned by us at Spinlister found that only 4 percent of Americans have used AirBNB or Uber. Imagine how big the sharing economy will be once it hits 20, 30, 40, or 50 percent saturation.Related: The Internet of Things May See Huge Growth, So Companies Want in NowSharing in an interconnected era. I was recently discussing a concept called The Internet of Things (IoT) with a brilliant young engineer working within an exclusive technology development department at a major electronics company. There is a race to develop hard goods that both serve a function and connect directly to the Internet, other goods and devices. That information can be relayed into third party applications.For Instance, imagine you need a eight-foot step ladder. With IoT, you could locate the ladder nearest to you. Add that data to a sharing economy platform and you could share almost every object you own! This is an extreme example but it illustrates how mobilization technology will expand the sharing economy in the future.While practical use of this technology is likely five to 10 years out for major product lines, I expect these applications will trickle down to everyday goods over the next decade or two. Within that time frame I also expect the sharing economy to mature, more major players will emerge and a critical mass of people will regularly use a sharing economy platform.Once IoT is added into the equation, people will start thinking of mobility in terms outside of their mobile phones. This “mobility of things” will open the door to the sharing of almost everything you can think of. It will be easy, fluid, cheap and revenue generating.The sharing economy movement is the gold rush of our generation. The advances in mobile technology will strengthen the marketplace while making it easier and more convenient for all parties involved to participate.Related: What’s the Right Path for Startups Entering the ‘Internet of Things’? 4 min read September 22, 2014 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »
Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The freelance economy rapidly is growing in the United States. More than 15 million people are self-employed, and numerous experts predict we’ll soon see a steep increase in the number of individuals who leave corporate America to work for themselves. One study put the number at 60 million people by 2020 — nearly 40 percent of the workforce.Why are so many people making the switch, and which changing dynamics have made it possible? While no single answer explains the shift, we can identify a number of contributing factors. For example, we know employers see the benefit of hiring a contractor to perform specific functions for a limited period of time. It’s more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee. We also know numerous platforms exist today to connect freelancers with available work. All this makes it easier than ever before to be self-employed.But other drivers are at play, too. Here’s one that might surprise you: There is substantial disparity in the technology capabilities of large corporations versus self-employed freelancers. According to enterprise software expert Sean Nolan, founder and CEO of Blink, personal technology currently has a substantial edge.“Enterprise software is far behind the standard being set by personal technology today,” Nolan says. “In fact, it is so bad that it is giving a competitive advantage to startups and freelance workers who are more productive, more satisfied with their work and able to operate their small businesses more cost effectively.”These are four ways personal technology is superior to present-day office technology:1. User friendliness.It might not be fair to compare personal and office technologies in this regard because they’re designed for completely different audiences. Still, that doesn’t justify how far behind the times office technology has fallen.Personal technology has the user in mind. Interfaces are clean and engaging, data is visualized in digestible ways, and many functions are gamified to encourage use. Taken as a whole, these systems make it more enjoyable to be in business for ourselves. We can hand-select the software that best suits our working preferences and style.“We are all conditioned by the technology we use at home, so when we go to the office and have a vastly inferior experience, that is hugely frustrating,” Nolan says. “It’s destroying employee productivity and retention.”Related: 5 Productivity Tools for Self-Employed Internet Entrepreneurs2. Mobile applications.Desktop computers are almost synonymous with “old technology.” But in many companies, it’s the only device an employee has to do his or her job. We’re confined by that workstation and the very limited software installed on our system. By contrast, home-office technology is typified by its flexibility.Freelance professionals work from their phones, tablets and laptops while they travel on planes and trains. They get things done in cities around the world. They’re able to do so because their work programs feature excellent applications. They can access the files they need from any device, and they all connect to the same information stored on the cloud.Apart from the frustration of working on an outdated console, employees who are limited by old technology are less effective in their roles. They cannot work unless they’re at their desks. The workforce — and millennials, in particular — demand a better work-life balance. Mobile applications allow employees to be effective anywhere they go.Related: 5 Ways to Be More Mobile-Friendly in 20173. Customization.Everyone has different needs depending on the job they perform. Naturally, this means they need access to different kinds of information and tools. Here again, personal technology outperforms enterprise technology.“At home you can change the settings on all of your applications and devices to help you do your job most effectively,” Nolan says. “But the average user of enterprise software is confined to limited, preset options. A large percentage of the workforce cannot even access job-critical information without the help of other employees.”Of course, enterprise software is designed to be big, which makes it difficult to be customizable on a user-by-user basis. Even so, a wealth of new technologies can assist with that problem. Bots, micro apps and chat functions are a few of the solutions for large-scale employers looking to improve user experience.Related: How Technology Rapidly Is Changing the Way Things Get Done Across Industries4. Artificial intelligence.It’s hard to write anything about artificial intelligence (AI) that hasn’t been covered elsewhere, but we can’t ignore it, either. Personal technology already incorporates AI into numerous software products freelancers use to do their work. From sales and marketing platforms to billing and accounting technologies, these systems all use AI to exponentially increase productivity.The corporate world has been slow to adopt AI for its own use. It needs to embrace the functionality that AI can deliver or risk falling further behind. According to an MIT study, only 38 percent of CEOs list technology renovation among their priorities.Related: The Growth of Artificial Intelligence in EcommerceWhat might push enterprise-technology enhancements higher on the agenda? An exodus of high-quality employees from the corporate world might get some attention. When the best professionals prefer to freelance their talent, executives must take stock of the fundamental differences between working for a company and working for oneself. Technology has to be a factor. 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June 22, 2017 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free 5 min read Morgan Stanley’s recent decision to partner 16,000 financial advisers with algorithms that can identify trades and prod brokers to reach out to clients is evidence of yet another in-road being made by machines into human roles. If brokers embrace this mind-and-machine partnership though, the payoff is job security in an industry in which returns are paramount.The financial services industry is highly Darwinian in nature, with its culture of “survival of the best performers.” Now, bringing artificial intelligence (AI) into the mix is turning the competition up a notch. The most vulnerable, ironically, could be the high-performing brokers who might be tempted to continue alone without algorithmic assistance. But as we’ve seen in chess championships like Garry Kasparov vs. Deep Blue, the supercomputer of its time, or IBM’s Watson’s victory on Jeopardy!, when human and computer are pitted against each other, the computer wins.Related: Good, Bad & Ugly! Artificial Intelligence for Humans is All of This & MoreAs research has shown, however, a human-and-computer collaboration makes an unbeatable combination. That’s why in business, science or other fields, people’s greatest collaborators are likely to be machines. On Wall Street, if a mediocre broker quickly adopts to using a machine as a partner, he or she will become a formidable performer with increased job security, potentially outperforming the strong broker who refuses to leverage the machine.Morgan Stanley, one of the world’s biggest brokerages, will roll out its AI pilot to 500 advisers in July. The rest of its brokers will be involved by year-end. The project is being billed as an augmentation of human brokers, not a robo replacement of them.Automated wealth-management services, known as “robo-advisors,” are already becoming commonplace among many cost-conscious retail investors, who are gravitating toward computers for inexpensive asset allocation and investment advice. A study in Europe by Fujitsu found that 20 percent of respondents said they would buy banking or insurance services from the likes of Google, Amazon or Facebook. Uber has made a step toward financial services by partnering with GoBank to offer checking accounts and debit cards to drivers.Related: Why Small Businesses Should Be Paying Attention to Artificial IntelligenceFor these digital disruptors, their mastery of machine learning would make it relatively easy for them to enter finance — arguably far more easily than financial advisers could enter the field of machine learning. This same problem confronted Wall Street in the 1980s when computers first entered the business. At that time, computer scientists grasped the fundamentals of finance with greater ease than finance experts learned the fundamentals of computer programming. By bringing together expertise in each field — those who know algorithms and those who finance — Wall Street can offer a high-powered collaboration.While traditional brokerage services are seen as susceptible to an “Uber-like” disruption, particularly on the retail end, the high net-worth clientele segment is more likely to be protected — at least for now due to the importance of relationships.Yet even here, the mind-and-machine partnership can take the higher end to another level. Algorithms will send brokers multiple-choice recommendations based on market changes or events in a client’s life, with the objective of generating more business with customers. But humans are being augmented, not replaced. Bloomberg quoted Jeff McMillan, chief analytics and data officer for Morgan Stanley’s wealth-management division, as saying brokers will be needed for the foreseeable future to advise wealthy clients with complicated financial planning needs.It’s analogous to what we see happening in medicine, where AI is being used to enhance physicians’ clinical knowledge in making diagnoses. One can easily imagine the day when individuals will wear biosensors that produce reams of data that can only be digested by computers to help doctors manage patients’ health conditions, from diabetes to allergies.On Wall Street, a machine may excel at making accurate market predictions, but it does so in a “black box” — a very dark and unknowable pool for high net worth investors, in particular. These individuals are used to the high-trust relationships such as in private equity, in which there is a premium for explaining how an investment strategy is structured and is expected to perform. Even the most accurate black box is not likely win the trust of a high-touch client who relies on a human relationship.Thus, for Wall Street’s biggest brokerages such as Morgan Stanley, AI becomes a tool for wealth management. While robo-advisors are embraced by retail investors, high net worth clients who are used to high touch service will still need the human part of the mind-and-machine collaboration. For this clientele, it’s a matter of trust.Related: Can Artificial Intelligence Identify Pictures Better than Humans?But as Morgan Stanley and other Wall Street firms embrace more AI, trust in wealth advisement is likely to become a triangulated relationship. Not only must the two humans — the client and the adviser — trust each other, but the two humans (and especially the adviser) must also trust the machine.For the machine, it’s about using data and machine learning to make market predictions and identify trade opportunities. For the human, it’s about relationships and building trust, an area of expertise in which people still have considerable edge over computers. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.
March 11, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Business-tech adoption continues to grow globally. Worldwide, according to a Gartner forecast, IT spending is expected to reach $3.8 trillion by 2019, driven by investments in enterprise software and IT services.Related: 3 Tech Strategies You Can Use to Earn and Save More MoneyThat’s good for the companies making the tech, but perhaps less so for the companies buying it. Reason: With software and hardware becoming increasingly affordable, it’s easy to make rash spending decisions to purchase devices or subscribe to services that promise productivity gains and benefits. Any of those purchases may fail to deliver.So, as an owner, you need to exercise caution, because building your company’s tech infrastructure in a slapdash manner can be a financial sinkhole. The last thing you need for your fledgling venture is a runaway IT budget.Want to avoid wasting money when it comes to technology? Here are three ways to do that:1. Streamline Saas subscriptions.Netskope’s data indicates that enterprise companies often run up to 1,200 cloud services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) products. Out of those 1,200 cloud services, the most highly used are HR and marketing apps, which respectively average 139 tools for HR and 121 for marketing apps apiece.Given this rate of adoption, it’s common for teams to subscribe to multiple applications twith similar features and overlapping functionalities. Marketing apps, for instance, might all feature some form of analytics and tracking, automation and communication capabilities. To prevent such redundancy, it’s important that companies track their SaaS subscriptions.”Keeping SaaS cost under control is a challenging task when SaaS spend is spread among different business units,” Uri Nativ, co-founder and VP of engineering at Torii, wrote on his company’s blog. “When visibility is low, the spend control is low, which quickly leads to wasted money.”A SaaS spend dashboard has to be presented to IT and your business units in readable way,” Nativ added. “Once the various business units have good visibility on cost, they can control it, save money and reduce waste.”2. Avoid cheap devices from dubious manufacturers.Another area where you may be spending unreasonably is hardware. The electronics manufacturing boom has fed an influx of cheap computing devices into the market. Due to their low prices, you may be tempted to experiment with off-brand PCs, tablets or even internet of things (IoT) devices, like smart thermostats for your workplace.However, many of these devices are sold cheaply because manufacturers cut certain corners on durability and performance. Some cheap devices may even expose you to data breaches. Additionally, issues that arise from shoddy production can become costly to deal with, especially if they result in information loss or down time.As cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs has advised on his blog, “Bear in mind that when it comes to IoT devices, cheaper usually is not better.”There is no direct correlation,” Krebs added, “between price and security, but history has shown the devices that tend to be toward the lower end of the price ranges for their class tend to have the most vulnerabilities and backdoors, with the least amount of vendor upkeep or support.”3. Adopt only mature and proven technologies.For smaller ventures, being an early adopter can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you may be able to leverage new technologies and turn them into your competitive advantage. On the other hand, new technologies take time to mature and offer only spotty reliability and poor user experiences. Emerging technologies also commonly fizzle out.Related: How Start-ups are Using Tech to Help SMEs save MoneyTake the case of cryptocurrencies. While they may have enjoyed massive buzz a year ago, users now struggle to find practical uses for many of the tokens in circulation. In late 2017, at the height of the crypto-hype cycle, even small businesses began to invest in these currencies and support them as payment methods. While that action might ultimately be the right move, we’re not there yet: Today, the infrastructure and climate simply aren’t ready yet.As economist Nouriel Roubini has noted, even Bitcoin, the most mainstream cryptocurrency, has serious limitations. “With Bitcoin, you can do five transactions per second; with Visa, you can do 25,000 transactions per second,” Roubini said in an interview with Cointelegraph. “It’s not scalable, it’s not secure, it’s not decentralized. So, what is it worth?”While this doesn’t mean that cryptocurrencies will never find their place in the business ecosystem, companies that were early adopters may now have to re-evaluate whether providing continued support for crypto payments will be worth the costs they’ve incurred.Smart spending countsConventional financial wisdom dictates that just because something is cheap or readily available doesn’t mean that you ought to buy it. The same is true for IT spending.Align your tech adoption with your business goals. That way, you’ll be able to identify which technologies fit your situation best, so that you can make smart purchasing decisions. A streamlined and secure infrastructure should help you get the most benefits with the least expense. You have to carefully evaluate your IT strategy and invest only in technologies that have the most potential to provide real value to your business in the immediate future.Related: Upgrading Your IT EquipmentGiven the competition that businesses face, making sure every penny creates value for your company could be the positive impact your bottom line needs. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »