03/11/2012 Click


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fighters opened fire. Now on BBC News it is time for


Click. Wanted, as many friends as possible


helping to move into our new house. This week on Click, could Facebook


friends and Twitter chatter now be influential in up to tip the race


for the White House? We are in Kenya where we catch up with some


particularly African start ups, and in Asia, to discuss the hi-tech


hotel controlled by your phone. We will also showcase and app that


brings all your conversations together in Webscape.


Welcome to Click. Next week, there is the small matter of electing the


President of the United States. We wondered whether this time around,


the use of social networks could actually swing the race. It is very


tight. 2008 was the first big political outing for Twitter and


Facebook. Many felt that President Obama out tweeted his opponent,


John McCain. But four years on, both parties have mastered the art


of the 140 Character campaign message, and a whole lot more.


For decades, television has been the central battleground for


presidential races, now social media campaigning has caught up.


Millions of dollars spent by candidates Barack Obama and Mitt


Romney have ensured a saturated cyber presence. Campaigning may


have been officially paused after Superstorm Sandy hit America's


eastern seaboard, but the chat rooms and message boards never go


silent. Lee Byrne Rubinstein is now political art which director at


Tumblr, that and the last election, she worked at MySpace. I was


working directly with all the campaigns. I can attest to the fact


that Obama invested far more than anyone else in that category. This


year, social media, it is assumed that candidates will engage in that


way. The political consulting universe that has sprung up around,


servicing the needs of the candidates, is really staggering.


Compared to four years ago, the amount of personal information that


is available online and off-line to die set has exploded. The biggest


being in the 2012 race is the use of big data. It is the merging of


different sources together. They have been able to target them on a


very precise level. You take marketing data, from consumer


databases, you have files that political parties keep, and finally,


what they do online, and their social networking activities.


political parties can also identify a possible circle of friends, and


use that group to spread ideas. You are more likely to pay attention to


messages from your friends than your politicians. Presidential


campaigns are a useful reminder of just how fast a technology moves.


In 2008, there simply were not any iPads, cellphones were a little


smaller, lower resolution, more difficult to read information from,


and if you jump forward to today, laptops are lighter and longer


lasting, battery wise, and so the average voter is far more likely to


be watching the election through multiple screens. While they are


watching television, they had a second screen, and they are


commenting in real time on Twitter. There is a second conversation


going on. You have the debate and then the chattering masses. Also


some good fact-checking as well. way is that more evident than at a


debate watching party in college. It is the second presidential


debate, and many students at Boston University are constantly typing


all looking at messages on Facebook, Twitter, and new favourite


Instagram. But it is not clear whether this parallel streams of


information and insight are always helpful, especially when one of the


candidates says something that is a little unexpected. Mitt Romney


talked about the funding PBS, and about Big Bird, myself, along with


a lot of people, could not focus on what anyone else was saying for the


rest of the debate, because we were thinking, what did he say? The


twitters stream reflected that. At times, a social media can be a


distraction from the real issues. They brought us binders full of


women. Many of the stand-up phrases in this year's race, including,


binders full of women, horses and bayonets, had been captured on


Tumblr, which is one of the social sides credited with the rebirth of


the animated gif. It helped to boost its total number of users to


41 million. A gift plays when you look at it, whether you like it or


not, and if you catch it in the debate, it catches body language


and facial expressions. You can try to describe it in words but it will


not fit in 140 words. In a visual orientated quarter, this is


important. We Twitter recording 40 million tweets during the


conventions a lion, this has 360,000 in 2008, it is obvious that


social media is having more of an impact four years on, despite


claims that the fate of followers and friends can be bought for


pennies each. The irony is that as soon as the election is over, the


White House of Winnie -- winner will shed as many social media


towns as possible. A look at some of the big


technology stories. It was not just campaigning that was disrupted by


the weather on America's East Coast. Superstorm Sandy briefly managed to


take dime several high-profile websites, including Gizmodo and the


Huffington Post, which ran a low- tech version of its site. Many site


outages were blamed on battery failure. Emergency site such as


Hurricane Hattie has emerged, with information like maps of places


that need sandbagging, and ways for people to sign up and raise


donations. Apple has changed the way his voice activated search


service works, after it emerged it was directing users do it sites


that are illegal. It comes amid a management shake-up. The executive


which over short the criticised maps app is to leave her. Mobile


phone users in 11 British cities willing to pay a premium now had


access to a super high-speed mobile broadband, the 4G network from EE


offers speeds up to five times faster than 3G, which means that a


high-definition movie could be downloaded in minutes. So far only


a handful of devices support 4G, and the new service is being


criticised for the more expensive than other data at Harris. The man


behind Star Wars, George Lucas, is selling the franchise and the


company which made the movie is to Disney. The $4 billion deal will


see Disney produced the final three episodes of the original Star Wars


series, starting with number seven, due to be released in 2015. Once


finished, Disney has promised a brand-new Star Wars every few years.


You will remember a few weeks ago we visited Kenya. It was a long


road trip and we were there may need to look at the simple


technologies which were designed to solve problems that he will only


find in the developing world. They are simple solutions. While we were


there, we also popped into a place which has more hi-tech aspirations.


But it still has a distinctly An exclusive live set from two of


Kenya's up and coming gospel stars. They enjoy at least a little fame


in Kenya, but that does not mean that they make much money. Much of


the music is pirated online, and that is why these two artists have


signed up for an idea that was born in this very room. By day, this


glass-fronted top four of a Nairobi office block is an open-plan office


space. It is named 88kph. It is in a reference to the speed needed to


achieve time-travel in back to the future. It is one of several start


up incubators in the City, which offers support, guidance and


possibly investment. The start-ups to which they have lent their name


to, it is a new way of selling music downloads. In Kenya, this is


mostly done through feature of bone from the website, which only pay


the artist a small percentage. This hip-hop star is also helping to


push this new idea. It is a scratch card bought from newsagents, which


will cut out the network operators and pay more of the money to those


who create the music. It is also hoped that is more convenient way


would mean that fewer people will attend to download pirated copies.


-- will attend. The projects do mostly target owners of simple


phones, there is a service for schools, which was sent messages


and take some results. -- test. This is the pilot for a local


newspaper published online and on mobile websites. Its stories are


sourced and written by budding local reporters in the area,


delivered by the Mao and that checked by essential sub editing


teams. -- by email. But can such ideas, aimed at so many people who


live close to the poverty line, really yield profits that were


tracked big investors? -- that will attract. There are certain times


that such opportunities come along. Right now, there is the opportunity


in Africa. There is an explosion in mobile phone users. It is a


continent of almost 1 billion people. The English-speaking


population in Africa is larger than in the US.


Whether the challenge is uniquely African or one faced the world over,


such as music piracy, the solutions are out there, they just need a


little bit of buying from investors, and more importantly, from their


target audience. If, like us, you travel a lot on


business, then you may also have come across a mid-range hotels that


aim to provide something a little bit extra. So-called hi-tech hotels


might offer automated mood settings, or gadgets with interactive bits,


but rarely do these flashy extras come together in a single, neat


concept, that also saves you money. One hotel that we came across on a


recent trip to Thailand aims to do exactly that, using one of bees. We


cannot resist popping along to see if it could deliver a five-star


Bangkok has always been a city that is just as home -- just as at home


with the old as the new. But this hotel may be leading the way we


stay when we travel in the future. Although there is not much that is


futuristic from the outside. Things start to change as soon as you get


to the reception desk. A run for Dan Simmons's please. Instead of a


key card, I have been given a mobile phone. Useful because to get


to my room, I will need to use the lives. They are activated by an NFC


chip inside by newly acquired Hann said. The door to my new home


operate in the same way, recognising it is me. -- handset.


And it gets better. Once in the room, you can control pretty much


anything from this phone. From the bedside lights to maybe the


curtains, making sure you are not disturbed during that movie you


might want to watch. Of course, give a boy a toy and he will play


with it. I gave the lights a good workout for at least 15 minutes. On,


off, on... Once the novelty faded, I found the pre- programmed mood


settings came into their own. One touch and several things happened


at once. The remarkable thing about the set-up is that hardly any of


that uses new technology. The smartphone is an old Samsung Galaxy


phone. The television and lights are controlled through Bluetooth


all Wi-Fi. Each room has a wireless receiver tucked in behind the wall,


and even staff do not know rarities. That in turn controls whatever it


is you need to control. -- where it is. The key is that it brings it


all together from concierge to mood music. -- is that this app. It is


not just smartphones. The hotel found an innovative way to use


tablets. In the lobby, they offer local information and in the


restaurant you can use at iPod de que roos order a bottle of wine --


bottle of wine. Just make sure you get the right table! And the


concept of technology making will stay easy and pleasant extends to


when you are out and about. Because the handset comes with a local SIM


card that has an all-you-can-eat data planned, you can access Life


naps, so if websites and make local calls without paying a penny. You


can even set up a Wi-Fi hot spot to connect your own devices. You can


also call internationally using your connection for a fraction of


the usual roaming price. While free calls may be welcome to travellers,


this phone will not have your contacts on it. And if you lose


this phone, do will have to pay the entire replacement cost to the


hotel which will be expensive. And then there is the issue of security.


All of those numbers you have been using an internet pages are stored


on a SIM card that is not yours. And on a handset that you are


leaving with the hotel. Back at base, the hotel manager assures me


my privacy is being carefully guarded. Renewed checkout, another


important part is the privacy and data. It automatically a raises the


data. The number you have been issued is a bank of 1,000 numbers


so it gets to the back of the queue. It will not be re-used for many


months. You will not get the phone calls from people. The smartphone


idea can be applied to any hotel with a few modifications. The


company behind it says the next step is to make it work with any


smartphone. Currently, we used, as you have seen, at app on the phone


that we distribute to guests. In the future, it will be downloadable


and that app will go into the individual's device. That will make


a difference. Everybody wants to use their own devices as they are


more comfortable with that. In the meantime, guests are politely


requested to take good care of the handsets. Four free calling,


internet access, considered and for controlling everything in the room.


I have no idea where it is! And the television is off. Dan Simmons,


traumatised without his mobile phone or any television. And if you


have been in that kind of a situation, wanting to keep in touch


with friends abroad, not tearing up your hotel room, Kate Russell has a


clever app in Webscape which should mean you never miss a text, Tweed,


post, status update, e-mail message...


A recent UK study found we are now more likely to send a text message


than pick up the phone. But with contacts scattered across so many


social and chat platforms, you are in danger of tying your apps in a


not trying to talk to everybody. Not with this chat applicator that


connects with all of the Instant Messager platforms including MSN, I


am, Facebook and Skype. -- IM. You don't often think of Facebook as an


instant messenger client but with so many using it, there is a good


chance the person you want to talk to it is using Facebook. The next


time you want to swap it out with somebody on holiday, instead of


giving them your mobile telephone number, why not swap Facebook


account details? Then you can speak to them on things done it --


Instant Messenger, the cost is negligible or free and if they turn


into a nightmare when you get home, just block their account. You can


connect with people through the bowser application for with one of


the free smartphone apps. Sometimes, you need more than a


text message. Meetupcall is a conference service that is easy to


use, you might never have a face to face meeting again. Just invite


pasta defence by e-mail, clearly stating time and date, and it


include meetupcall on the invitation list. Now, the service


takes over, keeping everyone informed about the meeting and who


is attending, even extracting and including link the touts and


photographs so you know who you are talking to it on the call. -- link


details. The free account shares the cost of the conference call


between all the participants, so everybody picks up their own


charges, dialling in from 10 different global locations. There


are premium that never ships, upgrades if you want more


participants or more dialing locations, and the pay as you go


account lets you pick up the cost of your participants calls, only


paying for the minutes you use. Once the call is finished, there


will be a recording in your Inbox if you ever need to check what was


said. If you prefer to communicate


through music, don't worry, I will not sing again, but I have a funky


collection of free Windows Phone 7 they should get your beads mixing.


RaveIT is an awesome simple drum machine that lets you build from


pre-loaded percussion sounds. Human Beatbox, as the name would suggest,


draws on recordings made by you to fill up the sample grid. You can't


record a new plight you can with a drum machine app, which is a shame,


but it is loads of fun going around and picking up samples by recording


people's voices or sounds around you and then capping it out with


your fingers. In the time honoured tradition of TV, here is one I


prepared earlier. Sequencer it's a more grown-up app.


But it is still simple to master. But if you prefer to go plain daft,


checkout this gimmick from a pop band but it really is quite fun.


And it is very silly. Remember, remember, this month is November.


So get your moustache on to raise awareness for men's health issues,


particularly prostate and testicular cancer. Find out more at


the roadside or two it -- or download the free apps.


-- the website. And step aside Siri, Google has


added a voice assistance to its revamped surge up that looks to set


over disgruntled Apple owners, with lightning-fast recognition. What is


the weather like in Tokyo? And accurate results.


Kate Russell with Webscape. All of those links are at our website.


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