Smart speaker calls 911 during domestic dispute, police rescue woman and daughter

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It can be a nuisance when a smart home device such as Google Home or Amazon Echo is inadvertently invoked. But it can also be a lifesaver.

ABC News reported on Friday that a violent altercation between a man and his girlfriend was stopped after a smart home device called 911. 

SEE ALSO: Samsung plans to launch smart speaker powered by Bixby, report says

According to the report, Eduardo Barros got into a fight with his girlfriend last Sunday at a residence in Tijeras, New Mexico. He was allegedly armed with a firearm, physically attacked her and threatened to kill her. 

At one point during the altercation Barros asked “did you call the sheriffs,” which an unidentified smart home device, connected to the home stereo, understood as a prompt to call 911.  Read more…

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J.K. Rowling reveals she’s written a fairy tale that’s hidden in an unlikely place

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J.K. Rowling doesn’t do many interviews — but when she does, she’s not afraid to drop a bombshell or two.

SEE ALSO: J.K. Rowling revealed there are two Harry Potters and we’re in total shock

In a nutshell, she’s written a fairy tale. A political one. It’s unpublished, and — according to Rowling — is likely to stay that way.

Oh, and it’s written on a dress that’s currently hanging in one of her wardrobes.

“The theme of my 50th birthday, which I held at Halloween even though that’s not really my birthday, was come as your own private nightmare,” Rowling explains in the clip above.

“And I went as a lost manuscript.” Read more…

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So many good doggos celebrated Pride in London along with their humans

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Over 26,000 colourful humans showered the streets in love and glitter at the Pride in London festival on Saturday.

There were parade floats, proposals, performances, and more — and the sun even came out for the revellers.

SEE ALSO: ‘Teacher of the year’ makes a statement for Pride Month in photo with Trump

But you probably already knew about that. You’re here for the dogs, aren’t you?

Join us at #PrideinthePark for our fabulous dog show. To take part head to the Pride in London stage. More info – https://t.co/wbN1nTltm0 pic.twitter.com/421sVw89s3

— Pride in London (@LondonLGBTPride) July 9, 2017 Read more…

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The Beer Can Regatta could surely only happen in Australia

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It’s certainly a stereotype that Australians drink a lot of beer.

Certainly some of that refuse would contribute to Darwin’s Beer Can Regatta on Sunday. It’s a competition in which boats constructed of aluminum cans battle each other on the shores of Mindil Beach.

SEE ALSO: Hangover cure from the world’s heaviest drinking country is here to save your morning

The annual event dates back to 1974 when the first regatta was held, shifting from what was a drinking festival to a more family-friendly endeavour over the years. 

You can compete in the main event dubbed the “Battle of Mindil”: A treasure hunt that sees boats race each other to find hidden treasure lurking somewhere underwater, and bring it back to water without being “pirated.”  Read more…

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Five-storey building falls into the river, after being pounded by rain for days

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A five-storey building collapsed after days of torrential rain pounding south-western China.

SEE ALSO: Climate change could dump even more rain on the tropics

In footage that has since gone viral, the residential building, located in Jomda county, in Tibet, is seen caving into the banks of the Ziqu River, which feeds into the Yangtze.

The floodwaters washed away the building’s foundation, which led to it collapsing:

Fortunately, the building was evacuated before it collapsed. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

Rain had been persistent in the region during the month of June, according to local news reports [link in Chinese], with China Central Television reporting that over 57.8 km (35.9 miles) of country road were washed away, with damage sustained to 24 bridges.  Read more…

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Don’t believe that viral photo of Trump gazing at Putin

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There are plenty of awkward photos from the G20 summit. A big group of world leaders together in one room is bound to lead to a few cringy moments, right?

The thing is, some of the photos have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

SEE ALSO: ‘House of Cards’ fans noticed something awfully familiar about that Putin-Trump meeting

Over the weekend the following picture — which appeared to show Trump and several other world leaders staring at Putin with rapt attention — went viral on Twitter.

A Renaissance painting of our agepic.twitter.com/G0mAYRl9Mz

— Has Avrat (@hasavrat) July 8, 2017

#IWillNeverTrust Putin to tell me who the real hackers are! pic.twitter.com/XPrxht0qJL

— MichaelCoffee (@MichaelTCoffee) July 9, 2017 Read more…

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Stripe’s deal in China is huge for western stores keen to welcome Chinese shoppers

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Online payments firm Stripe has struck a deal with two of China’s biggest mobile payments providers, effectively opening its clients to a huge, new market.

Stripe will now allow the hundreds of millions of users on Alipay and WeChat to pay on its platform.

With this deal, retailers who use Stripe to process payments will now be able to welcome Chinese shoppers onboard — the majority of whom use the two Chinese platforms when they shop online. Far fewer use credit cards.

SEE ALSO: China’s answer to PayPal is coming to the rest of Asia

Alipay, the e-payment service owned by Alibaba’s Ant Financial, boasts over 520 million users — and WeChat Pay, owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent, boasts over 600 million users. Read more…

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These guys covered ‘Baby on Board’ from The Simpsons on a rooftop

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We might’ve found the perfect homage to one of the most memorable songs on The Simpsons.

You might remember “Baby on Board,” the catchy-as-hell song written by Homer Simpson for his barbershop quartet The Be-Sharps in the classic 1993 episode.

SEE ALSO: Artist masterfully inserts ‘The Simpsons’ characters into real life

As the end of the episode, Barney, Principal Skinner and Apu reunite on top of Moe’s Tavern in a comeback concert, a nod to the Beatles’ final public performance in 1969. 

To jog your memory, here’s the moment from The Simpsons.

Wel,l an Irish all-male chamber choir by the name of The Ramparts performed a cover on top of the Green 19 café in Dublin, complete with an enthusiastic crowd looking on, as per a video uploaded on its Facebook page. Read more…

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Trump at the G20 summit was pretty much a gaffe-filled disaster

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The best part of the G20 summit this year? Trump’s many gaffes.

Trump has probably learned the hard way that not all Asians look alike, after he mixed up Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

SEE ALSO: We rated every Trump handshake so far at G20

The original Instagram post in which he mixed the duo up has now been deleted, but not before it was immortalised on Twitter:

Image: @dianonno/twitter

Unfortunately for Trump’s social media team, this is President Joko Widodo of Indonesia.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Gutschalk Thorsten/action p/REX/Shutterstock (8923773be) Joko Widodo G20: Arrivals Elbphilharmonie (Elbe Philharmonic Hall), Hamburg, Germany - 07 Jul 2017

Image: action p/REX/Shutterstock

Reactions were swift on Twitter:

TRUMP THINKS THAT THE PM OF SINGAPORE IS INDONESIA’S PRESIDENT I WILL FOREVER BE LAUGJING

— 🌸 amélia (@gloryizer) July 10, 2017 Read more…

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For China’s censors, livestreaming is a huge headache

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In a show of strength, in anticipation of a huge political event, China is cracking down hard on the one thing it hasn’t been able to control — livestreaming. 

With 731 million internet users in China — of which 300 million have used livestreaming apps — its no surprise that the country’s livestreaming industry is worth an estimated $9 billion. 

SEE ALSO: Sick of censoring content, China bans livestreaming altogether

China had earlier last month ordered three major online platforms — Weibo, iFeng and ACFUN — to stop all its streaming services, immediately. According to the government, the sites were “not in compliance” with state rules. Read more…

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