When officials in Suzhou, eastern China, were told to root out "uncivilised behaviour" they used facial recognition software. Top targets were people wearing pyjamas in public. Despite living in a country where surveillance is the norm, when the PJ wearers were named and shamed — with pictures and their names — there was a public outcry. Some objected on privacy grounds, others didn't understand what was so bad about wearing pyjamas in public.
On social media, Ms Dong, a young woman in a plush pink robe, matching pants and orange pointy flats, walking on a street, and a Mr Niu, wearing a black-and-white-checkered full pyjama suit in a mall, were singled out. Critics say there should be restriction on using the technology for such trivial things. The technology has been used to solve more mundane problems — to catching toilet paper thieves at public loos and ordering fried chicken — in Beijing KFC uses facial recognition to predict and remember people's fast food choices. In 2009, local authorities tried to ban the practice of PJ couture ahead of the World Expo in 2010. Signs reading "Pyjamas don't go out of the door; be a civilised resident for the Expo" were posted around the city while "pyjama policemen" were sent around to patrol neighbourhoods.
The Suzhou ban is not the first crack down on uncivilised behaviour. Chinese authorities have gone after the "Beijing bikini" — the practice of men rolling up their shirts and baring their bellies in the summer. (Via the New York Times)
Men are from Mars
Husband humour (warning: involves stereotypes, which sprout from a nub of truth).
1. Getting ready to go on holiday. Me: We're getting in the car ... My husband: OK, I just need to take a quick shower and reconfigure the sprinkler system.
2. When you are shopping and you husband asks "do you really need that?" — Do I really need you, Greg?
3. My husband was a bit upset because I told him his jeans were in the dryer and he couldn't find them. But don't worry I found them. They were in the dryer.