Dr Naweed I Syed is a globally acclaimed scientist of Pakistani origin and head of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute in Canada. He is the first scientist to connect brain cells to a silicon chip which has paved way for progress in artificial intelligence computing.
Ali Rehan is the co-founder and CEO of Eyedeus Labs, a tech start-up (from LUMS) by Pakistani students that developed an innovative mobile application which caught the eye of major tech giants such as Google, Samsung, Huawei and LG.
Market share: Wireless takes over fixed line networks, PTA report reveals
As a sign that Pakistan is trying to keep pace with the global trend, wireless technology took over fixed line networks for the first time in the country, revealed Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s annual report for the fiscal year 2013 (FY13).
The combined subscriber base of Fixed Local Loop [cable network] and Wireless Local Loop [wireless network], the report said, grew by 8.7% to reach 6.38 million at the end of June, 2013.
“Wireless technologies have finally taken over the leading position in the market with 59% share, while fixed line technologies hold 41%,” the telecom regulator said in the report.
According to a sector-wise analysis by PTA, the WLL sector added 473,737 new subscribers to reach 3.3 million at the end of FY13, which translates to a 16% year-on-year growth. The FLL sector, however, grew its subscriber base by a meager 1% during the same period to end at 3 million. (complete)
New app, new experience: No more tears
Tired of listening to that monotonous music when you dial into a customer service helpline? Fear not, rescue is here!
Meet Omar Khan and Rizwan Chand – two young Pakistanis, founders of the startup Appography, aspiring to revolutionise the caller experience for customer service helplines. They have developed a smartphone app, Vivid, that aims to transform the ‘boring’ and ‘frustrating’ ordeal into an engaging one.
This app, they say, will resolve a global problem through a locally developed app.
Just last month, Vivid, which landed a spot in not just the Punjab Information Technology Board’s technology incubator Plan9, managed to become a part of the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in London. (complete)
Pakistan supersedes India but still ranks near bottom of n-safety index
Despite superseding nuclear rivals India, a US study on worldwide nuclear materials security for 2014 said Pakistan is ranked 22nd out of 25 countries with weapons usable nuclear materials worldwide.
However, Pakistan has shown the most improvement recently among nine nuclear-armed states through a series of steps to update nuclear security regulations and to implement best practices.
The 2014 Nuclear Threat Initiative Nuclear Materials Security Index has ranked Pakistan above India in terms of nuclear safety.
India is ranked 23rd out of 25 countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials in the world while China is placed 20th on the index.
The NTI study predicts further improvement in Pakistan’s regulations for protection and threat prevention. (complete)
Project: Umaer Basha Institute of Information Technology (UBIT) at University of Karachi
Client: Umaer Basha Foundation (USA)
Architect: Akbar Mahmud Qaizar Associates (Karachi)
Contractor: Mughals Constructors (Pvt.) Limited
Umaer Basha Institute of Information Technology (U.B.I.T.) is going to be the new name of the existing Computer Science Department at Karachi University and the department will be relocated into this prestigious new building. The project is jointly sponsored by the above client organisations. Umaer Basha was a student at MIT, USA with great love for computers and their related applications. His dream was to educate Pakistani youth in the field of Information Technology but unfortunately he did not live to bring his dream into reality. This dream was then fulfilled by Umaer’s mother, Dr. Fatima Zehra Basha who initiated this IT institute.
U.B.I.T is a ground plus two floors building with a total construction area of 68,000/- Sq. Ft located at the Karachi University campus. It is a unique, monumental type of structure based on an existing building at the MIT campus in USA. The institute will constitute state-of-the-art networking, teaching and research facilities for students, researchers and scholars. The main building will have lecture rooms, multi-purpose halls, computer labs, library and faculty rooms to accommodate 1000 students. (more about Umaer Basha / UBIT)
Public transport: New e-ticketing system for buses ready for test run
The Lahore Transport Company (LTC) is to give a handheld device for issuing bus tickets a weeklong trial run with a view to putting one on each bus operating in the city.
The e-ticketing pilot project will be launched on an Albayrak bus on the B-28 route (Airport to Valencia Town) in a few days, LTC officials told The Express Tribune.
A passenger getting on the bus will tell the conductor her destination. The conductor will type it into the handheld device, which will give a ticket printout for the passenger.
The device will be equipped with WiFi, GPRS and GPS, so it can send real time data on number of passengers to a central computer equipped with software to keep track of numbers and do comparative studies. The main data centre can also monitor the movement of the buses through a GPS device installed in the buses. (complete news)
Countries express interest in Pak-China’s JF-17 Thunder
Many countries around the world are keen on obtaining JF-17 Thunder fighter jet jointly developed by Pakistan and China, said a senior officer of the Pakistan Air Force on Sunday.
“We’ve been getting inquiries and expressions of interest for the JF-17 Thunder from many countries in the Middle East, Africa and from as far as South America,” Air Marshal Sohail Gul Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, told China Daily.
Pakistan has had the privilege of showcasing the fighter plane twice in China’s International Airshow held bi-annually in Zhuhai.
The JF-17 Thunder or the FC-1 Fierce Dragon as it’s known in China is a third-generation multipurpose combat jet co-developed by Aviation Industry Corp of China and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). (Complete news)
Creative industry: Here’s why being Pakistani should make you proud
Would it make you proud if I told you that the Venom character in the Spiderman III movie was developed and animated by a Pakistani? How does it feel to know that a Pakistani animator worked on Hollywood blockbusters such as X-Men First Class, The Day After Tomorrow, Mummy, The Incredible Hulk, Land of The Lost, Surf’s Up and Ghost Rider? How does it feel to know that the same animator won an Oscar in 2008 for working on the winning sequences of The Golden Compass?
Feels great, doesn’t it? I felt the elation at a whole different level, as I came to know all this through a white man I met at the JFK airport when I was flying from New York to Chicago before Christmas last year.
I felt numb with pride when he told me about the exploits of Meer Zafar Ali, a graduate from FAST Karachi, the man who won that Oscar and accomplished the other animation feats mentioned above. (Complete Article)
Malaysia to set up center to honour Dr Atta-ur-Rehman
A top Malaysian university will set up a research institute to honour prominent Pakistani scientist Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman.
The “Atta-ur-Rahman Institute of Natural Product Discovery (RiND)” will be inaugurated at the University of Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on March 4, 2013, during an International Conference on Natural Products, where Rehman is being invited as a guest of honour to deliver the keynote speech for the “Jack Cannon Lecture”.
The UiTM had awarded Rehman an honorary doctorate degree in 2011 and RiND is another accolade for the scientist.
“The RiND will will work on full-fledged PhD programs in fields such as organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, neuroscience, proteomics, pharmacology, pharmacognosy and molecular medicine with a special focus on the bioactive constituents of terrestrial plants and marine sources,” Rehman said while speaking to Dawn.com. (Complete news)