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Posts Tagged ‘Science and Technology News’

Oct
20

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The central bank pumped in Rs325.00bn into the banking system on Sept 08, in the open market operation. The injection was made in a one day contract at 5.80pc. The central bank had received bids worth Rs341.50bn.

According to the weekly statement of position of all scheduled banks for the week ended Aug 19, deposits and other accounts of all scheduled banks stood at Rs10,165.79bn after a 0.41pc fall over the preceding week’s figure of Rs10,207.59bn. Compared with last year’s corresponding figure of Rs9,020.41bn, the current week’s figure was higher by 12.70pc.

Deposits and other accounts of all commercial banks stood at Rs10,109.37bn against preceding week’s deposits of Rs10,151.25bn, showing a decrease of 0.41pc. Deposits and other accounts of specialised banks stood at Rs56.43bn, up 0.20pc against previous week’s figure of Rs56.31bn.


Bank borrowing rose by 21.43pc against the previous week


Total assets of all scheduled banks stood at Rs13,891.38bn, higher by 1.93pc over preceding week’s figure of Rs13,627.94bn. Current week’s figure is higher by 9.55pc compared to last year’s corresponding figure of Rs12,679.83bn.

Total assets of all commercial banks stood at Rs13,666.16bn, higher by 1.96pc over previous week’s figure of Rs13,403.46bn, while total assets of specialised banks at Rs225.23bn, were higher 0.33pc over the previous week’sRs224.48bn.

Gross advances of all scheduled banks stood at Rs5,040.71bn, smaller by 0.13pc over the preceding week’s figure of 5,047.52bn. Compared with last year’s corresponding figure of Rs4,566.00bn, current week’s figure is higher by 10.40pc.

Advances by all commercial banks fell to Rs4,877.07bn from previous week’s Rs4,884.05bn indicating a fall of 0.15pc, whereas advances of specialised banks stood at Rs163.63bn against previous week’s 163.47bn.

Borrowings by all scheduled banks increased in the week under review. It rose by 21.43pc to Rs1,742.68bn against previous week’s Rs1,435.13bn. Compared to last year’s corresponding figure of Rs1,696.38bn, current week’s figure is larger by 2.73pc.

Borrowings by commercial banks in the week at Rs1,665.24bn were higher by 22.58pc against previous week’s Rs1,358.52bn. Borrowings by specialised banks stood at Rs77.44bn against the previous week’s Rs76.61bn.

Investments of all scheduled banks stood at Rs7,114.16bn against preceding week’s figure of Rs6,962.69bn, showing a rise of 2.18pc. Compared to last year’s corresponding figure of Rs6,293.03bn, current week’s figure is higher by 13.05pc.

Chart by Rehan Ahmed
Chart by Rehan Ahmed

Investments by all commercial banks stood at Rs7,071.73bn, higher by 2.20pc against preceding week’s figure of Rs6,919.64bn, whereas investment by all specialised banks stood at Rs42.44bn against preceding week’s figure of Rs43.05bn.

Cash and balances with treasury banks of all scheduled banks increased over the week and stood at Rs8,26.51bn against previous week’s Rs758.18bn, showing an increase of 9.01pc. Current week’s figure increased by 13.16pc compared to last year’s corresponding figure of Rs730.38bn.

Cash and balances of all commercial banks stood at Rs823.76bn, higher by 9.12pc over previous week’s Rs754.94bn. Cash and balances of all specialised banks were smaller by 15.04pc at Rs2.75bn against the preceding week’s Rs3.24bn.

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Oct
20

One’s a Nobel laureate and the other a gamer!

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The world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and gamer Sumail Hassan have now made it to Times’ 30 Most Influential Teens of 2016.

Sumail Hassan, now 17, won his team Evil Geniuses the Defense of the Ancient 2 (Dota 2) Asian championship in China last year when he was just 15 years old. The team bagged $1.2 million in prize money at the competition.

“Hassan has become the youngest person ever to earn $1 million playing competitive video games, making him a phenomenon in the rapidly growing world of ‘e-sports’,” states the publication’s website.

The child prodigy moved to the US in 2014 and spent some of his winnings – now at $2.3 million and counting – to buy a house for his family.

Nobel laureate, Malala Yousafzai has been fighting for girls’ right to education for almost a decade now. Her organisation The Malala Fund has received funding from famous personalities worldwide. Currently, the 19-year-old is working towards urging “world leaders to set aside $1.4 billion this year toward educating young refugees,” says Times.

Malala was shot by Taliban when she was 11 years old for braving against the ban on girls’ education in her hometown Swat.

The Times’ annual list includes children from the tender age of 14. The criteria to be a part of this list, Times shares, is: ‘we consider accolades across numerous fields, global impact through social media and overall ability to drive news.

Here’s the complete list:

Maddie Zielger, 14

Skai Jackson, 14

Logan Guleff, 14

Gaten Matarazzo, 14

Sasha Obama, 15 and Malia Obama, 18

Rachel Zietz, 16

Laurie Hernandez, 16

Kiara Nirghin, 16

Chloe Kim, 16

Yara Shahidi, 16

James Charles, 17

Gavin Grimm, 17

Amandla Stenberg, 17

Ben Pasternak, 17

Zara Larsson, 18

Yusra Mardini, 18

Jaden Smith, 18

Shawn Mendes, 18

Luka Sabbat, 18

Katie Ledecky, 19

George Matus, 19

Maisie Williams, 19

Simone Biles, 19

Camila Cabello, 19

Chloe Grace Mortez, 19

Barbie Ferreria, 19

Kylie Jenner, 19

 

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Oct
20

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The Pakistan State Oil (PSO) on Thursday denied any imminent fuel shortage in the country and assured smooth transition to new fuels in due course of time.

“Pakistan State Oil refutes the impression that is being created by some circles that there will be shortage of fuel in the country in the next few days owing to the decision of the government to import higher grades of Mogas and compliance of the same by all Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs),” said a statement released by the national oil company.

The statement added that as opposed to the claims made; the company has sufficient quantities of Mogas and assures the public that there will be no shortage of fuel for its customers at PSO outlets across the nation.

“PSO does not operate on short term gains or minimise its stocks and will continue to honour its commitment of fuelling the nation under all circumstances irrespective of commercial benefit to itself as our topmost priority and commitment is to keep the wheels of the country running.”

High Octane Blending Content (HOBC) sold in Pakistan is RON 97. The local refineries, except for Attock RON 87, will be producing RON 90 petrol from the beginning of November 2016 as well, the statement added.

The policy steps taken are a paradigm shift for Pakistan’s oil industry and provision of clean fuels will assist the climate change plans of the country.

PSO assured the people of Pakistan that the transition to new improved quality fuels will be a smooth one, it was further pointed out.

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Oct
20

RYANAIR have introduced a new charge for check-in.

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The airline have introduced a new cost that will charge passengers £6 to check-in for a flight more than four days prior.

The new cost will be introduced from the 1st of November.

This is a change to the airline’s previous policy, which allowed passengers to check-in seven days in advance for free.

This charge has angered certain customers who have found a very obvious flaw.

Those going on a week long holiday will be unable to check in for their return flight without being charged.

Or they will have to find a way to check-in and print a boarding pass whilst on their holidays.

Customers have taken to Twitter to vent their frustration.

Chris Wood wrote: “@easyJet allow you to check in 30 days in advance, @Ryanair only 7 unless you pay. Guess I’ll gave to find a printer while I’m away then.”

Ryanair has now charged customers for checking in early

GETTY

Ryanair has now charged customers for checking in early

Marketing Chief for Ryanair Kenny Jacobs said: “We’re continuing to listen to our customers through our “Always Getting Better” programme and this change reflects the customer feedback we have received.

“From November 1, we’re offering those customers who wish to reserve seats more time to choose their preferred seat, by reducing the check-in window from 7 to 4 days pre-departure for those customers who prefer a random seat.

“Customers who do not wish to reserve their seat will be able to check-in between 4 days and 2 hours ahead of their departure, using both the Ryanair.com website and Ryanair mobile app, and will continue to be randomly allocated a seat, free of charge.

“Over 13 million customers are using the Ryanair app to download and travel on mobile boarding passes, making travel with Ryanair even simpler.”

This comes after it was revealed Emirates will start charging for economy seat selection.

The UAE airline has introduced a “minimal charge” for economy passengers.

Any customers wishing to select their own seat now have to pay for it.

Special and Saver fares in the Economy Class have been hit with the fee, which varies depending on the flight duration.

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Oct
20

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What is the relation between science and religion? This is an important question. The world we inhabit today is shaped by modern science and its practical applications. The way we perceive nature is deeply informed by our understanding of the vastness of the cosmos and the complexities of the sub-atomic worlds as revealed by science. At the same time, religion is an integral part of Pakistani society, and shapes the identity of millions of its citizens. For a place like Pakistan, both science and religion are essential.

It is no surprise then that the question of the relation between science and religion often comes up in conversations. From a historical perspective, there is no single narrative that defines this relation. There have been times when religious authorities  stymied science. On other occasions, holy books have provided the inspiration, and religious institutions the support, to help discover the secrets of the universe. There have been religious scientists: Ibn al-Shattir was a muwaqqit at a mosque in Damascus, Mendel was a priest. And there have been scientists who have been vocal in their opposition to religion. Thus, it is hard to define the relation between science and religion in any other way than complex.

In Pakistan today, there seems to be consensus that science and religion are not opposed to each other. This signals a positive approach, as Pakistan needs to develop a strong scientific culture to meet the challenges of the 21st century. However, for a large majority, this view is shaped by the pseudoscience of finding scientific miracles in the Qur’an (also known as I’jaz). This is neither good science nor good religion! If many of our bright, young minds are being introduced to science this way, then the practice of I’jaz is perhaps a major impediment to the development of a vibrant scientific culture in Pakistan.

Science is driven by curiosity about the natural world. Unsolved problems attract the attention of its practitioners. The harder the problem, the more attention it gets.

For example, one of the hottest areas in astronomy today is exploring the nature of “dark matter” — we know it exists but we cannot see it, nor does it interact with ordinary matter. Some of the brightest minds are searching for dark matter in the largest particle accelerators in the world as well as in observatories looking for evidence in large galaxy clusters. We do not know when or where we will find the evidence. It is also possible (though unlikely) that someone will show that dark matter does not exist and that our inference about its existence was deeply flawed. Science will go wherever evidence will take it.

On the other hand, those who are seeking scientific miracles in the Qur’an are driven neither by curiosity about the natural world nor by the desire to find explanations of unsolved problems. Instead, they know that they already know the answer. For them, the primary goal is to seek validity of one’s own belief through the authority of science.

This search for science in scriptures is a relatively new phenomenon. It is the religious response to the advent of modernity and the rise of modern science as the most powerful method for explaining the natural world. Muslims are not alone in seeking validity from science. Christians find science in the New Testament, Jews find it in the Torah, Hindus find it in Bhagavad Gita, and Mormons find it in the Book of Mormon. Everyone is convinced that their holy book contains snippets of modern science. Take the specific case of dark matter: you can find websites and even books that claim that dark matter is already mentioned in the Qur’an (for Muslims), the Bible (for Christians), the Torah (for Jews), and Bhagavad Gita (for Hindus). Of course, everyone will be scrambling to change his or her respective interpretations if the dark matter idea turns out to be wrong.

Make no mistake. None of this is science.

It is ironic that when medieval Muslim scholars dominated natural philosophy (what we may loosely call science today), they did not seek ‘scientific miracles’ in the Qur’an. Instead, the Qur’an served as an inspiration to understand the natural world through reason.

So what can we do to rekindle the spirit of scientific culture in Pakistan? This is a large question, but we can take the small step of appreciating the joy of finding things out. From the condensation of water into rain here on Earth, to the detection of lakes of liquid methane on the Saturn’s moon, Titan. From understanding the way leaves change colours in the winter, to figuring out the how stars form in galaxies.

Science seeks answers about how the universe works. Religion provides inspiration to explore the natural world. The late American biologist Stephen J Gould called science and religion two equal but separate spheres of life, or Non-overlapping Magisteria, in his own words. The former deals with the physical world and the latter with questions of ethics and the meaning of life. The building blocks of a scientific culture in Pakistan will have to be laid upon this mutual respect and separation of these two vital spheres of life.

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Oct
20

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Google has a developer preview of the next version update of Android, Nougat 7.1, available for Nexus devices.

Google typically announces the next Android preview during its Google I/O developer conference held annually in May. This year – for the first time – the preview was made available early so many could test Android 7.0 before launch. Once again, Google is using a developer preview for Android 7.1, so Nexus owners can beta test the latest Google goodies prior to final launch in December.

  • When is Android 7.1 Nougat coming to my phone?

Here are two different routes you can take: the traditional developer route and the super-friendly Android Beta Program route.

A developer preview is a “work in progress” build that is released to developers prior to a consumer rollout of the final software. Google offers a preview to collect and incorporate developer feedback. In the case of the Android 7.1 developer preview, as the software has already released on the Pixel and Pixel XL phones, it is being offered at beta quality, i.e., near final.

The aim is really to tease out problems with specific devices and allow developers to update apps to support 7.1’s new features.

In the initial phases Google is offering Android 7.1 for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6Pand Pixel C. Additional devices will be added to the programme in November, including the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player (probably).

As the Android 7.1 Nougat developer preview is arriving in beta, it should be stable, but some features may still be subject to change.

Google wants to make it easier for you to try Android 7.1 Nougat on device, so it’s also offering the Android Beta Program that allows anyone enrolled to update their Android devices to the developer preview and receive ongoing, over-the-air updates. It’s very much like Microsoft’s Windows Insider programme.

The beta ran for Android 7.0 Nougat and is very simple, meaning you don’t have to get involved in flashing updates or anything complicated.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Visit android.com/beta to sign-up to the Android Beta Program.
  2. Sign into your Google account when prompted.
  3. Your eligible devices will be listed on the next page, click to enrol in the Beta Program.
  4. Updates will arrive over the air direct to your device.

That’s it, it’s so simple.

If you’ve used the Android Beta Program before and enrolled your device previously, it will already be on the list and will automatically receive the updates when they become available.

If you don’t want those updates, you can follow the steps above, but then click to “unenrol device”.

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Oct
18

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There are two elements for small businesses’ security: firstly, information technology (IT) security, and secondly, physical security. Securing IT infrastructure in Pakistan is quite easy.

Off-the-shelf systems and even capable vendors are readily available. However, what’s important to understand is how your online presence impacts your physical security.

Continue Reading…

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