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Chinese company denies installing cameras in employee bathrooms

bathroom cams
  • Chinese state-owned battery maker China Aviation Lithium Battery has denied reports that it has been using surveillance cameras in employee restrooms to monitor those who defy its non-smoking policy.
  • Social media users blasted the company after images of its purported employees hiding in the restroom while smoking emerged online.
  • According to local media reports, the company publishes such images along with each of the offenders’ punishments to warn other employees against disobeying rules.
  • Two of the men in the photos have reportedly been fired, while the third received a warning and lost his monthly bonus.
  • Social media users called out the company for allegedly violating the privacy of its employees, with one netizen suggesting that the company should be punished for it.

A Chinese state-owned business has responded to online criticism after being accused of installing cameras in employee restrooms.

Battery manufacturer China Aviation Lithium Battery (CALB) denied reports that it has been using surveillance cameras in its restrooms to monitor employees who break its non-smoking policy.

Google, partners to give Nest cameras to AAPI small businesses to boost security

Google has partnered with the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE) and the Asian American Federation (AAF) to provide Nest cameras to AAPI-owned small businesses, helping improve their safety amid increasing burglaries and vandalism across the country.

The initiative, dubbed the AAPISTRONG Nest Cam Kit, will give out kits that include three indoor Nest cameras, a 12-month subscription to Nest Aware and professional installation services. A pilot program that included more than 20 businesses in New York found success in better reporting to law enforcement.

Electric spoon and bowl that makes food taste saltier set for release next year

electric bowl and spoon

A new set of bowls and spoons that use electric currents to make food taste saltier is close to commercialization and set to release sometime in 2023.

Developers at Meiji University in Tokyo and Kirin Holdings have created bowls and spoons that can enhance salty flavors in food. The researchers previously developed chopsticks in April that use the same technology for stimulating the taste of salt. 

Sightseeing train in Japan is fueled by used cooking oil, discarded ramen soup lard

Tempura ramen broth biofuel
  • Takachiho Amaterasu Railway, a train company operating in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, started using biodiesel fuel created from used tempura cooking oil and discarded lard from ramen soup to power its open-air sightseeing train on Aug. 1.
  • The railway tested the fuel for its open-air sightseeing train in mid-June using a ratio of 9:1 used tempura oil and lard extracted from ramen broth and refined with chemicals.
  • Although the price is similar to that of diesel, the company noted that it has not had problems with black smoke coming from its train or the strong smell of exhaust gas that is commonly present in diesel-run engines.
  • The ramen broth biofuel was first used by Nishida Shoun, a trucking company based in Shingu in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture.

A Japanese company started using biodiesel fuel created from used tempura cooking oil and discarded lard from ramen soup to power its open-air sightseeing train last month.

Takachiho Amaterasu Railway Co., a train company operating in Takachiho, a town in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan started using the fuel developed by transportation company Nishida Shoun on Aug. 1.

Samsung shades Apple for new ‘deep purple’ iPhone 14 Pro

iphone 14
  • Samsung recently shaded Apple in a tweet for allegedly copying its BTS-inspired Bora Purple Galaxy Z Flip4 smartphone.
  • The official Samsung Mobile US Twitter account wrote “Cool Story Bro,” with purple circle emojis replacing the letter O’s.
  • A BTS fan speculated that Apple was inspired by BTS and Samsung’s purple device, prompting Samsung to respond: “The math is mathing.”
  • As Twitter users compared Samsung’s smartphones and the iPhone 14, Samsung continued to respond with witty comments.

Following Apple’s newest release of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, Samsung uploaded a snarky tweet implying that the “deep purple” iPhone copied their Bora Purple Galaxy Z Flip4 smartphone.

On Sep. 7, Apple officially introduced the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, revealing a new “deep purple” color option for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

The ultimate clean energy? Scientists create green hydrogen fuel from air

Humidity into green hydrogen fuel
  • A team of scientists has managed to invent a device that could turn water from the air into green hydrogen fuel, according to a Nature Communications study published by the group on Sept. 6.
  • “This module uses a hygroscopic electrolyte exposed to the atmosphere constantly,” Gang Kevin Li, a lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Melbourne and co-author of the research, told Newsweek.
  • The DAE can provide hydrogen fuel to remote and dry areas with humidity as low as 4 percent, which Li said is drier than any desert.
  • “A lot of places with abundant renewable energy sources have limited water supply,” Fan Xiaolei, a co-author of the study from the University of Manchester’s chemical engineering department, said.
  • Some of the regions on the planet that show promise with good solar and wind energy but have a scarcity of freshwater are listed as North Africa, West and Central Asia, Midwest Oceania and southwest North America.
  • “We expect the product to be ready for market launch by the end of 2025 at the size of 1,000 square meters and operating in deserts, cold regions, and places with storms,” Li said.

Scientists have discovered a way to turn air into green hydrogen fuel and expect to make the technology available to the public in less than three years.

The team’s findings were published in the journal Nature Communications on Sept. 6. In the paper, the researchers explained that using their invention, which they called a “Direct Air Electrolyzer” (DAE), they were able to electrolyze the humidity in the air and turn it into “green hydrogen.”

Chinese astronauts successfully grow rice in space

  • Chinese astronauts have successfully grown rice on the Tiangong space station as an experiment into how astronauts can grow food on long space missions.
  • The tall shoot rice seedlings were planted in the experimental cabin of China’s Wentian lab module shortly after it was launched into orbit in July.
  • The rice seedlings have reportedly grown to a height of about 30 centimeters while a dwarf rice variety has grown to about 5 centimeters.
  • The astronauts will continue to observe the plants, and if successful, will gather the new seeds and return to Earth for further research.

Chinese astronauts onboard the Wentian space laboratory have successfully grown a variety of rice seedlings. 

The Wentian space laboratory was docked with the Tiangong space station and launched into orbit on July 24. The space lab is China’s largest and heaviest spacecraft with a weight of 23 metric tons and a height of 17.8 meters.

Ex-Apple worker Sam Sung auctions business card from his first Apple store

SAM SUNG APPLE BUSINESS CARD
  • Former Apple employee Sam Sung is auctioning another business card, this time from the first Apple store he ever worked at.
  • Sung, who has since changed his surname to “Struan,” went viral in 2012 after a customer posted his business card online.
  • He auctioned the viral business card in 2014, raising more than $2,500 for The Children’s Wish Foundation in British Columbia and Yukon, now known as Make-A-Wish Canada.
  • Sung will donate proceeds of the latest auction to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Vancouver.

Former Apple employee Sam Sung is auctioning another business card, this time from the first Apple store he ever worked at.

Sung, who worked at Apple from 2010 to 2013, rose to online fame in 2012 after a customer found his name to be ironic and posted his business card online. At the time, he was working at the Apple Pacific Centre in Vancouver.

Samsung reveals world’s largest gaming monitor, priced at $3,500

  • Samsung announced the launch of the world’s largest curved gaming monitor on Tuesday. 
  • The Odyssey Ark will be able to rotate, tilt and pivot, allowing for multitasking while gaming as well as playing both console and PC games on a single screen.
  • The gaming monitor will feature a 55-inch, 4K resolution screen with a 165 Hz refresh rate.
  • The Odyssey Ark will be released worldwide in September, and reservations are currently being accepted on Samsung’s website for $3,499.99.
  • The monitor will be sold in South Korea on Sep. 7 for a retail price of 3.4 million won (approximately $2,581).

Samsung is set to launch the world’s largest curved gaming monitor this September.

The South Korean electronics company announced on Tuesday that it will be releasing the Odyssey Ark, a 55-by-27-inch curved gaming monitor that boasts a “fully immersive experience” while gaming. 

Chinese smartphone brand Honor copies iPhone features, sees sales double

  • Chinese smartphone brand Honor saw its sales double in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022 by incorporating some features of Apple’s iPhone, such as facial recognition and a 120 Hz screen refresh rate.
  • Honor saw a growth of 103% amid the decline of smartphone sales in the Chinese market, which decreased by 14.2% year-on-year (YoY) in Q2 2022.
  • Other brands such as Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and Huawei saw a drop in sales by 26.5%, 30%, 23.3% and 37.9% YoY, respectively.
  • Counterpoint research analyst Mengmeng Zhang noted that Honor also worked on “expanding its offline presence,” adding, “With the lockdowns hitting major cities, HONOR’s coverage in lower-tier cities, which saw fewer lockdowns, helped the brand steer through the turbulence in Q2 2022.”

By copying some features of Apple’s iPhone, Chinese smartphone brand Honor has doubled its sales despite a downward trend in smartphone sales in China for the second quarter (Q2) of 2022.

In a press release on Wednesday, Counterpoint’s Market Pulse reported that smartphone sales in China decreased by 14.2% year-on-year (YoY) in Q2 2022. The recent data showed that the volume of sales during that quarter was 12.6% lower than that of Q1 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic severely affected the market.

Facebook, Twitter and Google escape Indonesia ban by complying with imposed registration at last minute

Facebook Twitter Google
  • The Indonesian government imposed mandatory registration for both local and foreign tech companies for new licensing regulations that would allow authorities to remove content from their online platforms.
  • A company’s failure to secure a license by Wednesday would result in their operations in the country being deemed illegal.
  • Spotify, Netflix and TikTok were among the list of 5,900 domestic companies and 108 foreign companies that signed up as of Monday.
  • Meta platforms Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp completed their registration with the country's Ministry of Communications and Informatics on Tuesday.
  • Meanwhile, Twitter and Alphabet Inc.’s Googlewere among the latest companies to be included in the communications ministry’s list of compliant foreign providers.
  • The Indonesian government reportedly imposed the new rules ahead of the upcoming general election in 2024 in a bid to reduce the spread of misinformation and fake news.

Facebook, Twitter and Google have registered for Indonesia’s new licensing rules that empower local authorities to remove undesirable content shared on these platforms, as companies that failed to comply risked being blocked.

Meta platforms Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp completed their registration with the country’s Ministry of Communications and Informatics on Tuesday, beating the deadline imposed by the Indonesian government by a day.

Hyundai takes on Tesla Model 3 with unveiling of its first electric sedan; SUV set for 2024

Hyundai
  • Hyundai unveiled its latest electric vehicle model — the sleek and powerful IONIQ 6 — at the Busan International Motor Show on Thursday, which will be available for pre-order in September and expected to become a major competitor of Tesla.
  • The design was reportedly inspired by airplanes, which is evident in the car’s aerodynamic shape, or what the company describes as a “streamlined silhouette.”
  • Two versions of the sedan will be available for purchase in the first half of next year, the first being a standard model with a 53 kWh battery pack and the second with a 77.4 kWh battery.
  • Users will be able to travel up to 524 km (over 325 miles) on a single charge.
  • Prices of the vehicles will range from 55 million won (approximately $41,949.51) to 65 million won (approximately $49,358.82) in the South Korean market, depending on desired features.
  • The IONIQ 7 SUV model is set to be introduced in 2024.

Hyundai unveiled its latest electric vehicle model and first sedan — the sleek and powerful Ioniq 6 — at the Busan International Motor Show on Thursday in a move that will put the South Korean automaker in direct competition with Tesla.

The design was reportedly inspired by airplanes, which is evident in the car’s aerodynamic shape, or what the company describes as a “streamlined silhouette.”