18/08/2012 Click


18/08/2012

Guide to the latest gadgets, websites, games and computer industry news. Click looks at the tech that helps your loved ones stay independent into their later years.


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give it its world premiere. Now on BBC News it is time for

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This week on Click a new lease on life, we look at how technology can

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be used to live more independently later in life.

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We meet the building that has feelings on a day-trip to Paris.

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We have a round-up of the biggest tech stories of the week.

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Welcome to Click. Let's face it, none of us are getting any younger.

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There will come a point when we are too frail to do some of the things

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we can take for granted now. At that point, what do you do? Move to

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a care home or stay in your own home? We have been looking at the

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latest options allowing you to do just that.

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Caring for elderly relatives and technology do not obviously go hand

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in hand, some devices are making enjoying those home comforts for

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longer a reality. Of course there are plenty of active, able over 65s

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who do not need looking after. As a generation who did not grow up with

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technology, not everybody is naturally at ease with the use of

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or the need for a mobile phone. Keeping it simple is a help. This

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Doro PhoneEasy allows remote configuration to add contacts and

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calendar details, meaning the user only needs to understand basic

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functionality. It stores emergency contact information such as next of

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kin, blood type and medication. It can pinpoint location using phone

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networks. An activation of the emergency alarm button can also

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pinpoint position. With 820,000 people in the UK suffering from

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dementia, for those at the point where 24-hour care can be avoided,

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a big concern is of the wandering unsafely. This wandering prevention

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alarm watch works in a similar way to some of the safety devices we

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showed you a couple of weeks ago on Click. It lets a designated contact

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keep track of an elderly relative. If they step outside a safe zone an

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alarm is automatically triggered. The idea of virtual boundaries is

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employed by the Doro PhoneEasy as well. The universal message from

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the elderly population is they want to live independently in their own

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home. We have 150,000 people going into care homes every year. Not

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many of them go in willingly. We want to keep people alive and

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successfully living in their own home for as long as possible. This

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technology offers a bridge forward. Some monitoring is good, but not

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too much. You need a little privacy. They want me to look after them.

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would be quite happy if she was monitoring me. Because you just

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never know what goes on. You need to be online 24 hours a day. If you

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do not answer your phone immediately, everybody thinks

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something has gone wrong. While alarms are not new, neither are

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telehealth systems like this one. It allows those with chronic

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conditions to update medical data such as blood pressure or blood

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oxygen levels. After taking a reading the device will

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automatically update through Bluetooth and go on to send the

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data to a healthcare professional. In the consumer market there are

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still a limited number of devices around. This GrandCare System

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currently available in the US is soon to be distributed in the UK.

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It incorporates medication and healthcare management, monitoring

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sensors around the home and easy to use internet access. It will cost

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between $100-$300 a month. The cost you could save is huge. There is a

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huge kind of potential with this technology. We will never be able

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to afford all the human help to do all the care needs that an ageing

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society is presenting. We have got to try and make this technology

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work for us. To be acceptable to the older person hoping to use it

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and their care worker. At any age remembering to take your medication

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at the right time can be a challenge, particularly if there is

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a lot of it. There could be a new way of monitoring what you have

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taken and when you have taken it. It will become a lot more hi-tech.

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A pilot scheme being launched later this year in the UK will put to the

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test this digital health check system. An ingestible sensor will

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relay information to a patch on the body. The information could be

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shared through Bluetooth on a smartphone. The Proteus System has

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been approved by the Food and Drugs Administration for use in the US.

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There are some things that no technology can help with. The use

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of technology is usually important to older people and their families.

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It has the potential to improve the quality of life and help families

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quite stressed about caring. What it cannot do is replace that human

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contact. That is where contact with family and community groups remains

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really important. It is for that reason that some may struggle to

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ever come around to the idea that we need this technology to work.

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somebody needs monitoring every day of the week, then really,

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technology can go wrong... Everybody knows that. Computers go

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down. We should not need all of these things. If we live normal

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lives and did not put our elders into homes, all this technology

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would not be necessary. I think it is a pity it has come to this sorry

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state of af state of afs being left to technology.

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Let's check the wires and see what is making waves in the technology

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news. In the midst of a court case between Apple and Samsung over

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allegations of copying designs for a touch devices, Microsoft has paid

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Apple to use key design patents in future products. These include the

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secrets of how the smooth transitions of the touch interface

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work on the iPad and iPhone. We are most likely to see the results in

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Microsoft's Surface tablet. The deal prohibits Microsoft from using

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exactly the same design. Galaxy has released its Galaxy note device. It

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is pressure sensitive. It will respond to how strong you touch the

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screen. Facebook is in hot water with a German data protection

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agency. It has opened an investigation into biometric data

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usage. Authorities in Hamburg are concerned about a database of

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photos. Tags are used to name people who are used in each picture.

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The authorities say the company should seek permission from each

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individual Facebook user or destroy the database. Facebook says its

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opt-out system complies with EU data protection and privacy laws.

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Drivers in the UK are being offered the chance to reduce their

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insurance premiums if they agree to be tracked. Aviva is asking

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customers to download a special smartphone app. Their handset sends

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back information on accelerating, braking and cornering for the first

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200 miles driven. Aviva is offering 20% off for what it interprets as

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careful driving. The US military has failed in its attempt to fly an

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unmanned aircraft at six times the speed of sound. The Mach 6 would

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take one hour to go between New York and London. It broke apart

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over the Pacific Ocean on a trial on 15th August. It is the second

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time in a row the air force have not been able to test the

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hypersonic prototype. The previous effort was also lost in the Pacific.

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A group of researchers in Singapore have been able to print an image

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smaller than the width of a human hair. The image, which has 100,000

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dots is as small as colour printing will allow. If the pixels were any

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closer together, the light bouncing Technology is wonderful. If that's

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all we have established in the last 100 programmes, then I would still

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be happy. It can tell you what your friends are up to if you are

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feeling lonely, but after a long day at work, could your house run a

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bath and put the kettle on? That would be nice. And not that far-

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fetched either. We have travelled to Paris to meet a sentient

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building. Convention dictates that we start a feature in Paris with a

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shot of the Eiffel Tower. There it is. But one slightly less

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predictable next line is to wonder aloud what the Eiffel Tower is

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A few miles up the Seine from the tower is one site structure that

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has been made to tell its visitors exactly that as part of an

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exhibition. ClickThis old opera house is host to The Building Is...,

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a combined exhibition and game to give us the impression that the

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building itself is alive and susceptible to mood swings. Players

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fill out scorecards to see of their personality is the one the building

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needs to change how it feels. There are 16 different moods conveyed to

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us using texts on floor strips, or graphics representing emotions. The

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building's mood changes depending on what the attendees do. Since

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everything is interconnected, an action in one room can change what

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happens in another. On arrival, visitors can leave an audio message

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for the building. The building is excited. It wants to hear something

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This is a giant version of an old friend from years ago, hear the

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tune, play it back. But instead of a few buttons, there is a crowd or

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48 arcade buttons that light up as you move through the installation,

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culminating in one very big button. Players are encouraged to push as

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hard as they can to get a decent score. In its desperation to see

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everything, the building begs players to use mirrors to bounce

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light into its camera, but the rather lo-fi light detection is

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provided by provided bytant. Surely light detection should be easy

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enough for a machine. We did stuff

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stuff and it was not sophisticated enough to stand up to gameplay.

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Gameplay is really dynamic and everything changes very fast. We

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maybe could have got them out with another year. But in the time that

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we had, humans were the best solution. Another game, The

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Building Smells, involves navigating a ball to a giant nose.

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The architects use a 3D software package to create a design of this

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air powered crazy golf course. It triggers a pressure pad which

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triggers a vacuum that sucks up the ball. After hearing me through its

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telephone exchanges, feeling me through its buttons, smelling me

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through its air vents and seeing me with its CCTV cameras, the app can

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evaluate whether I am worthy enough Even this simple app is using an

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algorithm to generate an effective nickname for me. I am an Angry

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Jester. What is it that they are trying to achieve? The idea of

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architecture coming to life and inviting you to play with it. That

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could go anywhere. We could have dynamic buildings that change shape.

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We could have coffee shops that charge less money depending on how

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happy the building is feeling. There are all sorts of dynamic,

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playful stuff that was in our imaginations as we were making this

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first show that we were not able to make this first time. Wiring

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throughout the installation leads to a secret room where the

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building's mood can be changed, but only a few lucky players are let in

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if they have the right personality type. The beating heart, complete

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with proximity centres, awaits the gentle touch of an Angry Jester. I

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had to put my arms inside this contraption and pluck its strings

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inside. While this exhibition is clearly about art, objects

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informing humans of their state gives a glimpse of a future where

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everything is connected to everything else. But programming

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our gadgets to appear to our standards in order to do things for

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us without being asked may require an effective synthesis of empathy,

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which is difficult enough for some What is your favourite song, right

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now? Mine changes weekly depending on the mood of what is going on,

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although the latest one from Carly Rae Jepsen is going out a treat in

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my house. Kate Russell happens to know a place where that kind of

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If you had to choose one song that reflects your life, right now, what

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would it be? That is the idea behind thisismyjam.com, a social

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platform for music lovers that delivers a different take on the

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modern playlist by asking its users to choose just one track that makes

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You can change your jam as often as you like. But you can have only one

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track active at any one time. I kind of like this limitation,

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because it means the things that you see will be people's absolute

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favourite songs of the moment. The site will also recommend people to

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follow, who have liked similar tracks to you, and there are

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popular jams to choose from. It creates a wonderfully eclectic and

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ever-changing playlist accessed through the home screen. There is

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also integration with Twitter and Facebook, and Last.FM users can

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also link to Scrobbler and have liked tracks automatically added to

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With so many ways of connecting to the internet - laptop, desktop,

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tablet, smartphone - it is no wonder services like Niv.io are

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popping up on the web. It delivers a Windows desktop directly to your

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Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux and Chromebook computers. Once

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registered, you will get an email explaining how to log on. It took

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some setting up. But once completed, you can add whichever applications

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you want to use. You get to try all the apps for free, for the first 30

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days, after then you can rent them whenever you need them. This was

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not released last month when we did our paperless office special, but

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had it been, it would have been a perfect addition to the mobile

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toolbox. I have to say this tablet is not quite as comfortable to sit

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With the desktop installed, you can choose a folder to sync to the N

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drive. 10 gigs of free space should be enough to start you off. It will

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ask you whether you want to install the Pocketcloud companion app,

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which you do not have to, but which Whatever gets your blood pressure

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up, get it off your chest with a new social platform designed with

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intelligent debate in mind, You can share your views in public

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or with a closed circle of friends, who are invited to rate and debate

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along with you. The makers tell me they picked up 5,000 members in the

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first ten weeks, which is pretty good for a new social network like

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this, especially when you are looking for quality and a real

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desire to join a debate, rather than bulk of numbers. You might

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argue that the world does not need another place for internet trolls

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to throw insults at each other, but because of the extra social

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features, geared towards promoting lively debate, the site seems to

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have attracted a very engaged and respectful community. Let's hope it

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stays that way it as it grows in popularity.

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Google Plus announced on Monday that it is introducing vanity URLs,

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allowing users to make a more memorable web address for their

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profile pages. For now, only a handful of high-end pages have the

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feature enabled, like Britney And a few top flight brand names.

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But the company says they will be rolling out the feature to more

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How many times have you clicked the "I agree" button on a website's

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terms and conditions without actually reading them? It has been

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called the biggest lie on the internet, but new website tos-

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dr.info aims to put a stop to this cavalier attitude to our privacy,

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by making a crowdsourced database highlighting the good, the bad and

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the downright cheeky, and applying a rating you can see in an instant

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whether you should be blindly All the links are on our website.

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You can also find video from this week's show up there as well. If

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Click looks at the tech that helps your loved ones stay independent into their later years. Plus the latest tech news from around the world, and the best of the web and mobile apps in webscape.


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