Face swap app goes viral
A mobile application that enables users to appear as celebrities in hit movies or TV series has been widely accused of excessively collecting personal information, stirring public concerns over privacy and the rights to one's image. On the app, dubbed ZAO, users can choose from a pool of video footage and replace a star's face with their own by uploading their own high-definition photos featuring a full-frontal shot of their faces.
It attracted a large number of netizens soon after its debut on Friday night, but many began to worry if their personal information would be disclosed and used by criminals amid the trend of facial recognition payment. The app's sharing link on WeChat has been shut down, and its web page said that "the page has security hazards and has received many complaints. In order to maintain a good internet environment, access has been stopped."
US to launch Space Command
The US government announced the launch of the US Space Command to defend its interests in space. President Donald Trump ordered the establishment of Space Command late last year, making it the 11th unified combatant command of the US Department of Defense.
The newly-established Space Command is built to "protect America's dominance in space" by "employing assigned forces from every branch of the military" and "delivering combat power by operating superior space capabilities, such as communications, intelligence, navigation, and early missile detection and warning," according to a White House statement. The new command is believed to be a step towards building an independent Space Force, a plan that still requires Congress' approval.
The Queen's cheeky prank
A group of American tourists failed to recognize the Queen after they met her walking on her Scottish estate. The 93-year-old monarch had been out for a stroll on the grounds of Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, accompanied by protection officer Richard Griffin. She was dressed in tweeds and wearing a headscarf when she came across the group of tourists.
Unaware of who she was they struck up a conversation and asked her if she lived in the area to which she replied that she did indeed have a house nearby. Balmoral Castle has been a residence of the British royal family since 1852. They went on to question whether she had ever met the Queen herself. Not wanting to reveal who she was, she enjoyed a private joke as she gestured towards Griffin and said: "No but this policeman has."
Speaking to the Times, Griffin said that the group moved on after a short while and remained oblivious to her true identity. The Queen often enjoys a low-key lifestyle when staying at Balmoral. She usually swaps her signature eye-catching colored dresses that she wears to royal engagements for pared-back clothes and wellington boots.
Internet users hit 854M
The number of internet users in China hit 854 million at the end of June, up 25.98 million from six months ago, according to a report by the China Internet Network Information Center. The increase brought the country's internet availability rate to 61.1%, up 1.6 percentage points, according to the report.
The report also showed that users of mobile internet reached 847 million, accounting for 99.1% of the total internet population, 29.84 million more than six months ago. In the first half of the year, Chinese internet users spent an average 27.9 hours per week online.
As for time spent on apps, the most popular were instant messaging software, taking up 14.5% of online time, followed by videos, short-videos, and music, at 13.4%, 11.5%, and 10.7%, respectively. China's online shoppers numbered 639 million in June, accounting for 74.8% of the total internet population, the report said.
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