22/10/2011 Click


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membership of the EU. That is the latest news from the BBC. It is now


time for Click. 61 tonnes of fast moving metal.


Armed with a cannon of the size of a car. And now with the ultimate


From the vanishing tanks to airborne spy bots. This week, Click


dons its camouflage to check out the latest defence technology. And


we take Siri for a spin to see if the new app can be of any his


assistance at all. And, how can you make real life even better? An


artist with more than a chip on its shoulder. And the latest Tech News


and from defence to attack in Webscape.


Welcome. We feature a lot of consumer technology on our program.


Stuff that we could buy tomorrow. But for the highest of high tech,


you have to look to the armed forces. The kits developed for the


military are often years ahead of anything available to us mere


civilians. We discover the classified details behind some of


the latest defence technology. The deadlock and stalemate created by


trench warfare in France during the First World War gave birth to the


tank in 1916. It weighed 28 tonnes and carried a crew of eight. It was


an armoured vehicle designed to traverse no man's land, taking the


fight back to the enemy. The present day Salisbury Plain. 95


years later, the tanks still play an important part on the


battlefield. It is a talented battle tank. It is a fighting


vehicle. They are using the Scimitar as well. The Challenger 2


represents the current state-of- the-art in tank technology. It is


powered by a 26 litre diesel engine. The top speed on road is 40mph and


it is covered in Dorchester armour. This armour is very effective, so


its precise make-up is classified. Our job is to be able to use any


vehicle to fight any enemy, effectively. We can then apply our


skills to any other vehicle, as we have in Afghanistan.


contemporary battlefield demands cutting-edge 21st century


technology. In the case of the Challenger 2 main battle tank, that


means computers aided by assistance and protection from nuclear,


biological and chemical warfare. But given its size, it is not


exactly inconspicuous. Helicopter gunships, other tanks and infantry.


They all pose a threat to the tank commander. It is a big target but


we are trained to use both the ground command control and a


helicopter in the sky to conceal us from the enemy. If they cannot find


us, they cannot shoot us. 80 miles away, this is the XL Centre that is


playing host to the DSEi defence industry trade show. The mantra, if


the enemy cannot see you, it cannot hurt you. It has inspired the next


generation of tank technology which has been fitted to this prototype


tag. It is part funded by the Swedish Military of Defence and a


British aerospace company. You can paint hardware to make it more


difficult to see but a whole host of modern military technology can


target equipment like vehicles with deadly accuracy. So, how do you


hide something as big as a tank? Scientists and engineers at BAE


Systems think you don't just need pace, you need pixels. There is a


growing threat from infrared systems on the battlefield. Things


like night vision goggles and heat- seeking missiles. This technology


makes the tank invisible to those systems. So this vehicle has been


fitted with special panels. But it is still visible to the naked eye.


However, when we see it through an infrared camera, the picture


changes completely. The tiles or large pixels on this card can


rapidly change temperature to make the tank disappear in the infrared


part of the spectrum. And it has cameras that can look at its


surrounding environment and try to mimic it. And there are infrared


signatures on board so it can pretend it is something harmless


like a car. The present system only works in infrared but there are


plans to expand its capability. are working on extending the


technology to work with the visual spectrum by use of a different


display technology that will work with the tiles. And we can make


them the radar absorbent to give them stealth across the whole of


the spectrum. We are also looking at other technologies to make the


tank quiet, almost silent. So when the vehicle is running on battery


power, it is almost completely silent. While BAE Systems is


investing millions on systems which can hide the cause or equipment, a


team of engineers from Middlesex University, working on a smaller


budget, are developing a device that can seek out dangers on the


battlefield. It is basically the eyes and ears of the soldier. It


allows him to see a position about him, to see into a building, over a


wall, basically in context of the operation and patrol. They have


developed a palm-sized drone that can be carried around in a backpack.


In environments where a soldier may not want to pop his head over a


wall or corner, it can be launched to locate possible threat. It is


radio-controlled so we have a radio control unit that flies the craft.


It has two cameras on board and they see the pictures through


goggles. They have a direct link that has a certain frequency and


does not interfere with other control aspects. Drones currently


in use cost around �150,000 per unit. The university team are


hoping their device will end up costing about �22,000 each. A big


saving which will make it easier to deploy devices like this in


significant numbers in the future. Next up, a look at this week's


technology news. It has been another busy week for BlackBerry


makers and not just preparing the back-end systems. After the email


catastrophe earlier this month, Mike Lazaridis delivered a


perfectly scripted apology. The firm is giving each user more than


$100 worth of free apps, although it may not stretch that far and


there is also only a limited amount available. But which exec does not


enjoy a quick stab at Bubble Bash or the Sims 3? BBX combines the


best features of all the platforms and the QNX platform that runs the


PlayBook tablet. Google. Their Smartphone update was small beer


compared to that announced by rival Google, which announced its latest


and most significant update to the Android. Ice Cream Sandwich, yes


you heard me right, was shown up on the flagship Samsung-made Galaxy


Nexus. It will harmonise the look and amongst its differentiators,


face recognition for unlocking your phone. Yeah, let's hope that works.


And Android beams which transfers data by attaching phones together.


Now, an eco story from Australia which could never take place in the


UK. Speedy solar-powered cars travelling at over 100kph across a


3,000 kilometre course from Darwin to Adelaide. The winners,


predictably, Japan. Their eco credentials are intact.


And finally, a group of German students have showed off this. A


camera fitted with 36 two megapixel phone cams. It takes a spherical


panoramic image when a shutter is triggered at the highest point.


Sadly, it is not for sale. Now, have you heard there is a hot


new personality in the world of tech? He or she, we are not sure,


wants to be your very own personal assistant. Voice activated,


intuitive and intelligent, Siri helps you do things on the new


iPhone. Our reporter has been having a chat with him...or


her...or it. Remind me to buy coffee when I get


to work. This is Apple's new iPhone 4S. In the UK, Siri, the personal


assistant, has an English accent. Yes. And he will keep asking me


questions until he knows what he wants to do. He has put in a


reminder so when the GPS in this phone gets close to my workplace,


it will come up with a reminder for me to buy coffee. As if I needed it.


And it has an American and an Australian version as well. It is


also available in French and German. Italian and Spanish are on their


way, we are told, probably next year. It has a few downsides. You


have to have a connection or it will not work. The good sides are


that it can access any of the native apps onboard and control


them just by asking it to do different things. It is also


intuitive because it uses a search system, an intelligent engine which


made the headlines a few years ago, that has algorithms that do not


just search in the search terms you say but tries to understand what to


ask. So I could ask, will I need an umbrella tomorrow? It does not look


like it will rain tomorrow. I did not ask for the weather


specifically but, just in the context of my question, it worked


out the information I needed. But it is not always as plain sailing


as that. In this phone, I put in my calendar a hot date with Lisa


tonight at 8pm. It knows where that will take place. But does Siri? He


is behaving almost as if he is jealous. When is dinner tonight?


can only look for businesses in the US and when you use US English.


Sorry about that. When am I having dinner with Lisa? Your meeting


today is at 8pm. Where? I do not know what you mean by where. It is


our first date so any ideas on what I might say? Dan, mate, you really


do not stand a chance. Why? Your cheap fragrances, bad attitude and


dodgy sartorial sense do you no favours at all. Richard! What are


you doing here? Sorry. Just being Siri. But that aftershave really is


something else... It stinks. You can see the full video of Dan's


grapple with Siri on our website. If you've watched Click for a few


years, you will know that there are two types of reality for us that


matter. Virtual reality, where a computer creates a different


landscape for you to explore, and augmented reality, where you get to


see the real world around you but the computer will add or tweak


certain details. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Well our reporter


travelled to Switzerland which is pushing augmented reality to its


Artists might live in the same world as us, but they are


determined to see it with a different set of eyes, even if that


means they appear eccentric. Jan Torpus is exploring augmented


reality. He has developed lifeClipper, a system comprising 3D


goggles and apparatus that measures your breathing. LifeClipper makes


the park into the stage for an environmental drama where climate


and gravity morph around you. Everything is green and strange. It


is a virtual world. When I regard it, it becomes normal and when it


is high it connects to the trees. There is the sound of a frog. Now


the storm comes in. It is slowly fading in. I can still see the


ground and my hands. It early gets more and more virtual. You see the


sand and the desert. LifeClipper is an augmented reality project where


we add virtual elements to the real park. It is not overlaying things.


It is like a parallel world, or something which is behind the park.


What we consider to be real is fake and there is another world behind.


3D has come in for stick lately. It makes some people feel dizzy and


not just at the price. But if it has had its day in the cinema, 3D


may come into its own with augmented reality as it allows you


to walk into the virtual space of a park, for example. But pulling off


this trick of endowing a 3D model with computer graphics and making


them stick is no easy task. That is the challenge for technology that


the 3D model with the infrared scanner can make this model


congruent on top of the real world. It is when you walk around and the


model stays at the same place. That is very difficult. You have to have


a very precise notion of where the viewer is and where he is looking


from and what he is looking at. are using an extension to GPS. That


enhances GPS to a point where you have sub-centimetre precision. GPS


only sees the position. It does not show you where someone is looking.


So you need an orientation tracker. We used one which is like a compass


on steroids. We're using old technologies which have been


enhanced to the point where they LifeClipper's cost is cumbersome


The GPS alone costs 10,000 euros and does not compromise on weight.


Made for tanks. Very heavy. This system will not be easy to


duplicate commercially, but that is not really the aim. The enterprise


is artistic, to push the boundaries of technology, perception and


What is really nice is that the system reacts extremely effectively


to every movement you make. You do really feel like you are immersed


in this other world. There is a cue from an audio effect to warn you


that something is happening. Sure enough, a massive sandstorm is


blowing in. Everything has become chaotic. The river is like a Monet


painting. It has a feeling of impasto. It has now gone


psychedelic. There is something really nice about overlaying


virtual reality on top of the real world. You know that what you see


is not true but part of you Theatre is described as the willing


suspension of disbelief. For lifeClipper to work you have to


allow yourself to be pulled into a drama in which you are both


Now, when you were a kid I bet you spent hours on end gluing together


plastic kits of model aeroplanes. Hurricanes, Messerschmitts, F-14


Tomcats. It turns out that everyone on the show today was a model


aeroplane maker. We used to watch Bring childhood passions up-to-date


with this modern take on the Airfix model craze. Dogfight on the iPhone.


If you do not mind shelling out a download fee you will get lots more


planes, tanks and missions to unlock and no advertisements. The


flight controls are very sensitive and over-steering is almost worse


than not steering at all. The best way to handle it is just tap the


control and release so that your dogfighter straightens up on itself.


Once you have mastered the art of flying, there are canons to blast


through enemy lines. The landscapes can be full of bugs in places. But


all in all, a fun app that any classic aircraft enthusiast will


I showed you a place to self- publish free books last week. But


if you think you're writing is worth paying for, Kindle has their


own self- publishing site. You can throw together the elements of your


book and have it on sale through It works on a royalty split model


with no financial outlay for the author. It is not possible to


publish a free download through the site. When it comes to choosing the


right royalty package you are better off reading the terms and


conditions. Making the decision between 70% commission and 35%. 70%


sounds better but there are delivery charges to take into


consideration. It is only applicable to certain countries and


you have to set up a minimum price There are lots of other tools to


publish your working electronically. There is a free wiki editor which


creates a file supported by all eBook readers. It is more


complicated to use than the Amazon site but gives you full control of


layout, cover image and distribution. If you're stuck for a


good design for your cover, check out next week's Webscape when I


will have a site that designs If you like keeping up-to-date with


what your friends and family are doing by sneaking through their


social media photo albums, this site has something you are going to


love. This site extracts all the photos my friends have posted and


wraps them up in an interface for I think that photos are one of the


few reasons I still bother to log into Facebook. I have long since


become bored about status updates You can choose to have the ideas


and profile updates as well. Never mind Big Brother watching me I am


off to see what my big brother got If you would like to suggest a


website for a future Webscape, please get in touch with us.


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