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Facial recognition has been used for a wide range of hi-tech applications in China – from airport security clearance to crime prevention. Now it is being used to solve a more down-to-earth problem.

On Shamian Island, a popular historical tourist attraction in Guangzhou, facial recognition for toilet paper dispensing has been introduced in some cubicles, according to a report in the Guangzhou-based Information Times. Users can remove 90cm of toilet paper after their face is recognised.

If the system detects the same face twice within 10 minutes, no further paper will be dispensed.

Hi-tech toilet paper dispensing is the latest example of China’s efforts to extend artificial intelligence (AI) into almost every aspect of daily life, including smart rubbish bins that sort recyclable material and AI-powered traffic lights.

Facial recognition for toilet paper dispensing first appeared in 2017 in a public restroom at the Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing and was introduced in Shamian in June this year.

Shamian island, separated from the rest of the city by a narrow canal, was the British and French concession during China’s treaty port period from 1842-1943.

Not everyone is happy that AI has extended its reach from security applications to the privacy of the toilet cubicle. “When the use of artificial intelligence becomes surreal it is a warning sign of overheating,” said Nick Yi, a 24-year-old engineer in Guangzhou.

“Maybe facial recognition machines can save toilet paper, but I don’t see how they can save time … There is always a long queue outside the public toilets in Shamian and now everyone has to stand in front of the machine for several seconds to take the toilet paper.”

Authorities in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen are working on making public toilets smarter. More than 700 cities in China have proposed or are in the process of building smart toilet infrastructure, according to a report by the Qianzhan Industry Research Institute earlier this year.

In Shanghai, the city government has built around 150 smart public toilets that employ infrared lights and ultrasound sensors to detect how long a person has been sitting. Sensors also monitor air quality inside the cubicle and a water-saving feature adjusts the water level based on occupancy time.

In Beijing, facial recognition has found its way into trash sorting to preventing incorrect dumping of waste. In the southern tech hub of Shenzhen, jaywalkers are named-and-shamed by pilot facial recognition schemes.

The market for smart cities in China is expected to exceed 10 trillion yuan (S$1.9 trillion) this year and is predicted to reach 25 trillion yuan by 2022, said the Qianzhan Industry Research Institute.

The use of AI technology in toilets has some supporters. “I think it’s very necessary because if someone steals toilet paper it will run out very soon,” a Guangzhou citizen surnamed Li told the Post. “I don’t mind where hi-tech is applied to, whether in space exploration or toilet-paper-saving if it benefits people by solving problems.”

AsiaOne

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PETALING JAYA – A deceased baby girl was discovered in a dumpster at a condominium in Bukit Serdang in Seri Kembangan.

Serdang OCPD Asst Comm Ismadi Borhan said the baby girl’s umbilical cord was still attached when her body was discovered at about 4.30am on Tuesday (Aug 27).

“We also retrieve a black cloth and female undergarments near the baby.

“She was wrapped in the black cloth and abandoned inside the dumpster on the ground floor of the condominium,” he said.

“We are still investigating and gathering information from people near the surrounding area.

“We hope anyone with information can contact the nearest police station,” ACP Ismadi said.

AsiaOne

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A netizen’s successful search for her long-lost siblings on Twitter proves just how powerful the Internet can be

“I’m trying to find/locate my long-lost siblings in Pahang. The last time I met them was when I was 8 years old,” @fdzhx tweeted on 5 August.

My oldest sister should be 24 years old, my second sister should be 23 years old,” Izah wrote.

The 22-year-old revealed that her impending nuptials in October motivated her to find her long-lost family.”I’m getting married soon and the only thing I want is them to be by my side,” she wrote.

The netizen explained that she had called JPN (National Registration Department) and looked for useful information from medical records, but that “nothing leads to them”.

Izah also included her siblings’ names – her sisters Ameera Najeeha and Nur Ellina, as well as her brother Muhd Izmi Haiza.

I know it’s hard and impossible but please RT to make it happen. InsyaAllah!” she added.

Over 5,000 people hoping for an Internet miracle retweeted her post.

In just 11 hours, the netizen received the response she was praying for.”I’m shaking right now. Is it you?” a woman replied.

I’m Ellina. Am I your sister?” @elynananana tweeted on, 6 August.

After a whirlwind day, the 22-year-old was ecstatic to announce that the family of four had been reunited

Not long after, her other long-lost sister @AmeraNajeha_ shared that Izah had been added into their sibling WhatsApp group.

Ameera explained that Izah was separated from them because of “family problems”. She also revealed that they attempted to find their long-lost sister on Instagram in the past, but had no luck.

Twitter users were thrilled to see that the family found each other in such a short amount of time, and all thanks to social media

Several netizens who felt particularly invested in the reunion were not shy to ask for more updates

SAYS

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10yo Boy Found 11 Actual Dinosaur Eggs

July 29, 2019 | Viral | No Comments

Zhang Yangzhe happened to have stumbled upon a nest of fossilised dinosaur eggs while he was searching for a tool to crack open some walnuts.

Apparently, he saw a “strange stone” in the ground when he played by the Dong River in Heyuan, Guangdong Province. He noticed how the stone had “circles” on the surface, and showed them to his mother.

According to Lad Bible, the boy initially thought the peculiar circles on the stone were cement, but then realised the surface looked like exactly like the pattern of a dinosaur eggshell.

FYI, Zhang is really interested in science and dinosaurs. He had seen fossilised dinosaur eggs in the museum previously which explains his familiarity with them.

“I have learned this knowledge in books and in the cultural corridor of my school. I have seen it in museums. Different dinosaur eggs have different shapes.”

His mother, Li, decided to call the authorities to examine the site. Experts from Heyuan Dinosaur Museum confirmed that the “stone” was indeed a nest of ELEVEN dinosaur eggs and promptly excavated the site. The eggs were about 9cm in length.

After excavating and investigating, it’s been confirmed that the dinosaur eggs came from the Cretaceous period (right before dinosaurs went extinct). This means the nest of eggs were 66 MILLION years old.

It’s said that Heyuan is China’s “home of dinosaurs” because a total of 43 fossilised eggs had been found in that city alone!

Heyuan Dinosaur Museum claimed that they have more than 10,000 eggs, a.k.a the most extensive collection of dino eggs in the world. Wow, we’re super tempted to pay a visit to that museum rn.

WOB

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26-year-old patient Runi Khatun was admitted to a government hospital in the West Bengal state of India after she complained of abdominal pains and vomiting each time she would eat.

According to The Economic Times, Runi is from a village called Margram in Birbhum district and was admitted into Rampurhat Government Medical College and Hospital on 16 July.

When the woman was admitted to the hospital her condition was very critical

According to the Head of the Surgery Department Dr Siddhartha Biswas, she required at least five bottles of blood. 

“She could not even intake food physically so we had to administer Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) to artificially inject food through her mouth,” said the doctor, adding that she would die if they operated on her, as reported by The Sun.

TPN is a method to supply nutrition by dripping them directly into the digestive system. 

Once her condition stabilised, scans revealed that there was metal in her stomach

When the doctors opened her up, they were stunned to find large chunks of coins and jewellery in the stomach.

The operation lasted for nearly one hour and 15 minutes during which the surgeons removed 90 coins, 80 earrings, 69 chains, 11 nose rings, eight lockets, five anklets, four keys, a watch dial, and two silver coins from the woman’s stomach.

Most of the items were made of copper and brass while some of them were gold which in total were valued at about RM270,000 and weighed 1.6kg

According to Runi’s family, they had noticed earlier that the ornaments were slowly disappearing from her brother’s shop

“We have noticed that ornaments are disappearing. But whenever we questioned her, she started crying,” said the patient’s mother as quoted by NDTV

“Despite keeping an eye on her, she somehow managed to swallow all these objects. She was not well for the past two months,” said the mother, adding that Runi had consulted various private doctors and was on medication with no result. Dr Biswas shared that the patient is now stable and will soon be discharged, adding that she is also currently undergoing psychiatric treatment.

SAYS

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The rise of hidden pinhole cameras has us living in fear that some evil person would conceal it somewhere private and take lewd images of us without our knowledge. Just recently, a Facebook page shared that someone allegedly found a pinhole camera hidden in a toilet brush inside the toilet of a Tealive outlet in Muar.

The post warns the public to be careful and keep an eye out for hidden pinhole cameras. The incident reportedly happened at around 11pm last night (17th July) when a customer spotted the toilet brush tucked away inconspicuously. Luckily, the customer was a regular and found the toilet brush suspicious, so he checked it out and discovered the hidden pinhole camera. 

The store manager was informed of the situation, and they quickly stopped other customers from going in. After further checking, they did not find any other pinhole cameras and decided to lodge a police report. The police checked the device and found that the memory card did not contain any images, only sounds. 

The CCTV footage in the Tealive shop shows that there was a suspicious-looking person who had entered the toilet, but because there was no proof, the outlet decided not to release the suspect’s photos. The post said that the purpose of sharing was to remind others to be alert when they were using public toilets outside and always check any suspicious objects. Netizens were tagging their friends and family, warning them to keep an eye out when they were outside as well.

WOB


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ISKANDAR PUTERI – A month-old baby was found dead by his mother when she returned home from work on Monday (June 24).

Iskandar Puteri OCPD Asst Comm Dzulkhairi Mukhtar said the tour guide arrived at her house in Taman Nusa Bayu, Gelang Patah at around 5.30am.

He said 33-year-old Nurul Hidayah Norajizzi went up to the bedroom on the first floor, where the baby was sleeping alone.

“The victim was motionless and his body had already turned bluish when the mother entered the room,” said ACP Dzulkhairi, adding the victim was found face-down.

He said Nurul Hidayah tried to revive her son, but failed and rushed to her husband, who was sleeping alone in the living area of the house.

ACP Dzulkhairi said Nurul and her 25-year-old husband Mohamad Abdullah Ismail, rushed her son’s body to the Gelang Patah Health Clinic.

“However, the medical officer on duty at the clinic informed the couple that their son was already dead,” he said.

ACP Dzulkhairi said the medical officer did not find any evidence of anything criminal or torture on the body of the deceased.

The case is being investigated under Section 31(1) of the Child Act 2001.

-AsiaOne

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SINGAPORE – The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is investigating a chicken rice stall in Toa Payoh after a video of a rat inside a raw chicken made the rounds on social media.

The video, which has been shared on Reddit and Facebook, shows the rat moving inside a chicken, which was placed in one of two bags of raw poultry.

The rat later scurries out of the chicken after the person filming the video kicks the basket.

The bags were in a blue basket placed outside a shuttered coffee shop located at Block 95 Toa Payoh Lorong 4.

When contacted on Wednesday (April 3), a spokesman for SFA said it is investigating the incident.

Food operators must ensure that food hygiene standards, such as storing raw ingredients properly, are adhered to.

The agency will not hesitate to take enforcement action if food hygiene lapses are found, its spokesman added.

Chinese-language daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that the stall owner who had ordered the chickens was the operator of the chicken rice stall at the coffee shop.

The stall was not operating on Wednesday but the stall owner, who was only named as Ah De, 34, was cleaning the stall when the Chinese newspaper visited the unit.

Mr Ah De told Wanbao that he was not sure when the video was taken, and he has not found any rats when handling the chickens.

“I previously requested the raw chicken supplier to use an additional basket so that the basket with the raw chickens are lifted and not left on the ground. Now something has happened, and I’m discussing the matter with them,” he said.

The authorities inspected his stall on Wednesday morning, and he decided to close for the day, though the food had already been prepared and remained unsold, Mr Ah De added.

He is planning to change food suppliers and request compensation from his current supplier.

Several netizens who saw the video on social media said that it is unhygienic for raw chicken to be left in the open.

Some said that the fault lies with the supplier while others felt that both the stall owner and supplier were at fault.

Facebook user Na Naah said that since the delivery was made early in the day, the raw food should have been kept in sealed ice boxes.

Members of the public who come across errant food operators can submit a report to SFA via an online feedback form (https://csp.sfa.gov.sg/feedback).

-AsiaOne

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It truly boils our blood when we encounter news such as this. After being abandoned by their owner for more than a month, 8 cats were found dead in a house in Cheras, most likely from starvation. Three other cats were found alive, but severely malnourished and clinging on to dear life.

Last Monday (March 25), the cats were discovered when neighbours reported a foul stench akin to that of a dead body, coming from a house in the neighbourhood of Bandar Mahkota in Cheras. According to Harian Metro, four members of the Fire and Rescue Department were then called to the scene to break into the house, which was under lock and chain.

Upon entering the house, what greeted them next was a heart-wrenching sight: the decomposed carcasses of eight cats. It was later learnt that the owners of the residence, which is reportedly a pet homestay run by a couple, had vacated the premises for over a month, and they used to take in stray cats wherever they went. Sin Chew reported that some neighbours even pointed out they had handed them abandoned cats before, and regretted their decision now that they saw what became of the poor felines.

On top of that, Sin Chew also spoke to a 19-year-old girl named Tan, who had an unpleasant experience with the aforementioned homestay. Back in February this year (2019), she had put her male and female cats up at the homestay for 8 days, so that she could return home for the Chinese New Year holidays. However, things went awry when she came back and discovered her male cat had ran away, while her female cat had lost a drastic amount of weight.

Since then, she kept returning to the neighbourhood in hopes of finding her lost cat, and lamented that if she had known earlier about the malnourished cats in the house, she could have rescued them from their tragic fate. She recalled the first day she visited the house, when she was about to drop off her cats. “I saw three of the cats that the (suspect) had just adopted, and even held them in my arms. Who would’ve thought that today they’d all be dead,” she said. 

The cats were all locked in a room on the second floor of the house, with the windows and doors bolted shut. Their food and water supply had long been exhausted, which explains why the cats were either malnourished or starved to death. Although the three surviving cats were given food and water immediately, two of them have ran away, leaving only one white cat which has been pacing back and forth the house, unwilling to leave the premises. It has now been put up for adoption.

How could these people be so heartless as to just leave 11 defenseless cats at home to die? We can only hope that the one remaining cat can find a good home, and that the two other surviving cats will be safe and well. It bears repeating: if you can’t be responsible for an animal, please don’t take it home, or at least be sure to leave it with someone who can be!

-Worldofbuzz

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Man Found in Negeri Sembilan Water Tank!

March 27, 2019 | News | No Comments

According to Harian Metro, authorities received a call by an employee of Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan (SAINS) on March 25th, claiming that he had found a floating corpse in a reservoir there. An operation to remove the corpse was carried out soon after, at 1pm in the afternoon, and that was when the grisly evidence was found.

Jempol Superintendent Muhd Nur Hishamuddin said that his team, with the help of the Fire and Rescue Department, were able to recover the lower half of the body around 1.40pm. As the search continued, chunks of flesh were eventually found, as were other parts of the skeleton such as a skull, jawbone and various bones. 

Since then, the body parts and flesh have been sent to Jempol Hospital for further investigation. The search could bring a missing person cold case to a close, as a wallet and MyKad found in the corpse’s pants indicates it belonged to a 20-something man from Rompin, Pahang. 

Sinar Harian reported that the Superintendent said, “The information on the MyKad matches a report dated July 10 2018 that was filed by the victim’s father.” Upon discovering the identity card, police contacted his next of kin and called them to identify the body. That, and an autopsy will have to be conducted before the body’s identity can be fully verified.

At this point, the case has been classified as sudden death. SAINS is now in the process of cleaning the ponds linked to the reservoir before water supply to the surrounding residents can be resumed. All the existing water in it will be eliminated and replaced with fresh, clean water. The reservoir has a capacity of 800,000 gallons, and is expected to be fully operational again by today (26 March 2019).   

WOB

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