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It may be the most important question of your life.
How did it end?
This week on Click, we'll look at the technology being used to
answer questions when the victims can't.
We're at the university using virtual autopsies.
Digits, letters, symbols -
if your password's just getting too much for you, we'll find out how
your brain may be able to bypass your fingers and enter it for you.
We'll also get to grips with the best new games titles
promising to push the latest video games machines to their limit.
All that, plus the latest tech news and we get all traditional in
Webscape with a site that writes actual letters.
Welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly.
Many TV crime dramas feature autopsy scenes to investigate
the cause of a character's death.
But, of course, in real life,
the issues surrounding what can be learned from an autopsy,
not to mention the sensitivities involved, are much more challenging.
Well, the University of Zurich is now using
a cluster of technologies usually reserved to detect
diseases in the living to perform virtual autopsies.
David Reid reports from Switzerland. Just a word of warning -
David's report does contain a 3-D simulation of physical injury.
Swiss prosecutors watching a post-mortem
at the University of Zurich.
Not for the faint-hearted, certainly, but the autopsy is
an indispensable tool for investigating unexplained deaths.
And forensic pathologists spend years honing the skills to ask how,
why, even when or where the person in front of them ended their days.
Now, a team at the university has pioneered a virtual autopsy,
It's a digital post-mortem, new tools for a new era.
But there are no plans to completely do away with the scalpel yet.
It's not replacing this instrument,
it's really the added value,
or the quality improvement in forensic in general.
At the moment, we cannot replace in every case the autopsy.
That's absolutely clear.
But, to be honest, we have to say that the autopsy is not any
more the gold standard in the field.
Some image technique are better to see some findings in the body
than the classical autopsy.
Virtopsy uses an array of technologies -
magnetic resonance imaging that makes images of soft tissues,
CT or computed tomography,
an X-ray that slices the body into sections,
and 3-D scanning, which renders surface detail in high resolution.
What you get is a 3-D digital model of the body in question,
inside and out.
As a forensic pathologist, you not only want to see
the things that you obviously can see with your eyes, but with these
tools, we can document things that we cannot see that well.
And that means we can now see air or gas,
we can see gas distributions in the body.
We can see foreign bodies, like scattered metal fragments,
And we can also document pathologies that, otherwise,
we would just cut through.
The victim's body is a crime scene.
Virtopsy allows you to move through that scene, treading lightly,
You can also pursue investigations from all angles,
as they did with this multiple stabbing victim.
The question was, in that case, we knew it would be a blade,
a knife, that did the stabbings,
but we didn't know how long the blade would be.
This is hard to calculate with a conventional autopsy,
much easier when you have a full 3-D model you can scroll through.
So, we were able to determine the length of the knife.
It's important, because, once you've found the crime tool,
you can take DNA from the crime tool
and convict the suspect.
Because that's what you want to do.
You want to find who did that to that body.
Investigators can now digitally reconstruct entire crime scenes.
Swiss police now routinely scan vehicles in criminal cases
and, with the data from the virtual autopsy, they can see
if the injuries to the victim fit with what they see in the scan.
All the data sets that we gather here can be linked,
so we can create one big dataset that documents the inside
and the outside of the body objectively.
Then, later on, we can combine this with data from the police,
such as plan views from the police,
laser scans of the scene, of weapons.
And we can try to combine all these informations to create
a virtual crime scene.
The virtual autopsy is a fantastic investigative tool,
but, what's more, the work they're doing here at
Zurich University is also helping families who,
while desperate to know why their loved one has died, are also,
for religious or emotional reasons, not so keen for the body
of their family member to have a conventional autopsy.
I think, for them, it's very important,
because we can do that in a non-invasive approach.
So, more and more people do not like the classical invasive
autopsy approach and so having this non-invasive approach,
I think it's great for them.
The autopsy is where medicine and the law meet,
but it's also emotionally charged.
Families can be conflicted by the need for answers and the desire
to preserve the integrity of the body that's left to them.
Virtopsy allows us to tread lightly where evidence is fragile
and sensitivities more delicate still.
David Reid in Switzerland.
And, next up, a look at this week's tech news.
Microsoft is offering Windows 8 users a free upgrade to
version 8.1, which includes a return of the much missed
Start button in face-lifted form.
Users can also start up directly on the desktop,
rather than in the Windows 8 tiled home screen.
The 8.1 full upgrade will be available later this year.
If you're in South Korea and on a mobile, you can
now download a movie in 43 seconds.
SK Telecom is promising 150 megabit mobile broadband,
the fastest in the world.
The South Korean mobile operator says its new LTE-Advanced
network can download data twice as fast as 4G or LTE connections.
The catch? For the first few months, at least,
It'll only work on a particular handset,
exclusively available through -
you've guessed it - SK Telecom.
A Japanese robot which has been designed to function in space
and communicate verbally with spacecraft crew and mission control
is scheduled to make a flight to the International Space Station.
The robot's designers are hoping that the diminutive droid
will act as a companion to Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata
on his mission to the ISS in August.
And, finally, a former British government minister has
broken the world land speed record for a lightweight electric car.
With an average top speed of 204.2 miles per hour, Lord Paul Drayson
streaked across the tarmac in his specially made Lola B12 69/EV.
EV as in electric vehicle.
He plans to enter his tricked out racer into next year's
Le Mans 24-hour race.
Let's hope he remembers his international plug adapter!
Over the last couple of weeks,
we've brought you news of the video games consoles that
dominated the headlines at this year's E3,
the largest games expo on the planet.
Well, now, it's time to turn our attention to the games that
were announced at the show.
Here's Marc Cieslak with more from the E3 show floor.
It's rare to get an E3 like this one,
an event that heralded the impending arrival of not one,
but two new home games consoles,
the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.
All new machines,
but the first games for both have a distinctly familiar feel to them.
Indeed, lots of the early releases will appeal on current generation,
the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3,
as well as their soon-to-be-released replacements.
'Delta One One, we are en route to your position.'
Games which could be described as "man shooters",
as evidenced in Call Of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4.
Although, this time round,
Call Of Duty has introduced a controllable dog to help out
the player and Battlefield allows up to 64 online PC players to
cause huge amounts of environmental damage.
There are, of course, games which are strictly next gen,
like Xbox One exclusive and zombie hurter Dead Rising 3.
And multiplayer armoured robot suit and man shooting in Titanfall.
New consoles may be on the way but new game experiences, well,
they're a bit thin on the ground.
What's great right now is we've all these new forms of technology,
whether it's to connect or something like the Oculus Rift,
you have new cloud-based ecosystems.
All these types of new technology that are out there
and, I think that publishers are still challenged in terms of
how we see those actually integrated in those everyday experiences.
What was so revolutionary about the Wii
when it came out more than six, seven years ago was how
different the types of games that were created for it.
It did open up all these new experiences.
And I will say I was a little bit disappointed by a lot
of the titles that were being shown, was essentially
sort of a person sitting in front of the television using a controller.
The game industry isn't alone in its fondness for sequels
and franchises and the return of fan favourites like sneaky stealth
actioner Metal Gear Solid, now with the introduction of large,
explorable open-world elements, are at least adding something
different to tried and tested ingredients.
But, it's slightly disheartening to discover that actually playing
the new consoles themselves is
so far not as revolutionary as some may have hoped.
So, I finally got my hands on an Xbox One game.
This is LocoCycle, an action/racing title.
But what are my first impressions of next-generation gaming?
Well, it looks and feels an awful lot like current generation gaming.
It's a similar story with the PlayStation 4.
This is Drive Club.
The game itself is very, very pretty indeed.
Although I'm getting to grips with a genuine controller,
I'm actually playing on a development kit which is inside this box here.
First impressions? Well, this is certainly a slick racing game.
In terms of gameplay,
I'm not seeing anything here I haven't really seen before.
There are still pockets of innovation in the games industry though,
like this intriguing and difficult-to-categorise
exploration title, Hohokum.
This casts the player as an unusual,
And then we have cute cross-platformer Doki-Doki Universe.
This game can be played on the PS Vita
and PlayStation's 3 and 4.
Here, the player adopts the guise of a robot,
which must prevent its own destruction by travelling to
alien worlds and helping and interacting with the beings it meets.
Neither features a single assault rifle, massively destructible
environments or special forces dog,
but they do help us remember that, sometimes,
games don't have to be part of a multi-million dollar franchise
or even make any sense to be a lot of fun.
Marc Cieslak with a taste of next-generation gaming.
Now, passwords have several problems.
They are hard to remember, easy to forget and, sometimes,
But what if you replaced passwords with pass-thoughts?
Where, instead of scouring your memory for long,
obscure strings of characters, you simply had to think about something?
Well, Sumi Das has been to the West Coast of America to
investigate the researchers who are, remarkably, considering just that.
UC Berkeley, long known for alternative thinking,
is now home to a research project that could radically
transform passwords as we know them.
Professor John Chuang has developed a way to verify a person's identity
by analysing their brainwaves, using electroencephalograms, or EEGs.
You process them, and use that data to make decisions
about whether this brainwave signal does indeed belong
to the individual whose identity has been authenticated.
Brainwave authentication itself isn't new,
but it's been limited to clinical settings, where EEGs require
applying electrodes and gel to a subject's head.
Some EEGs even call for needles.
But, don't panic. There's no need to put needles in your scalp.
All you need is a headset, like this, with a built-in electrode.
This particular headset runs 100, and, for the record,
is absolutely painless.
The technology is still rough around the edges.
Currently, users must complete a one-time initialisation phase
that takes 40 minutes.
Dr Chuang hopes to cut that time in half
as he refines the process.
During initialisation, users complete seven mental tasks,
ranging from simple requests...
So, go ahead, close your eyes, focus on your breathing.
..To personalised questions.
I want you to imagine in your head, singing the song.
Three, two, one, go.
MUSIC: "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin
The electrical signals recorded during each task are recorded.
The next time the user wants to log on to their computer,
they're prompted to recall one of those past acts for five seconds
and those electrical signals are compared
to the ones from the initialisation.
It turns out that even if two people are thinking about the same thing,
perhaps they share a favourite song,
their brain waves are distinct enough
to uniquely identify them with 99% accuracy.
Dr Chuang realises people aren't going to swap out
all their keyboards for EEG headsets.
But as we move to either wearable computing devices
or mobile devices, where there isn't a keyboard that's readily available
and a keyboard that we don't want to carry in our pocket,
in that case, we need to think about,
how do I authenticate myself to these wearable devices?
I think more natural authentication methods
will have to be developed.
Motorola recently announced that it's developing some
And sensors that, when swallowed, send signals from your stomach.
Try stealing those passwords!
Dr Chuang predicts EEG devices will soon be more common.
This technology will continue to be miniaturised,
such that it becomes very straightforward
to integrate into existing consumer electronics,
wearable computing devices like Google Glass.
But, will pass-thoughts make the leap from research to reality?
Experts in the field say it has great potential.
It was a very simple approach to recognising people,
but I like the sensor, I like the idea that the sensor
was so easy to slip on and off.
One more time?
Easy, but Wayman says the system needs improvements.
What about external noise?
What if I got in a high electrical environment?
What if the 60-cycle lights overhead were turned on?
Also, what about my mental state that might make me unrecognisable?
Suppose I'm agitated, suppose I've just been running.
Dr Chuang plans to research those questions and others,
such as, could the system be hacked?
Our early results suggest that that is not likely.
Because we have different subjects perform identical tasks.
And you are still able to distinguish between them.
But, we want to do a more systematic study for that.
Despite reassurances, sceptics might prefer to keep tapping away at their keyboards.
Early adopters, on the other hand, may be eager to see passwords
become a thing of the past.
MUSIC: Final few bars of "The Entertainer"
Sumi, Das. Got it.
Now, communications these days seems to be dominated by social media,
where everything needs to be shorter and sweeter
but, what can we really say in 140 characters, anyway?
Well, if you lament the passing of long-form communications,
then Kate Russell has something for you now which should help you
express yourself to the full. Here's Webscape.
These days, it's all Tweet this, comment that, like this
and give those a poke.
Whatever happened to a good old-fashioned letter?
lettrs.com is trying for a revival of long-form communication
with a website that encourages you to write the old-fashioned way.
The interface is reminiscent of a physical writing desk
and you can scan and upload your old letters, too,
to store in your digital shoebox.
# Mailed my letter off to Dallas
# But her reply came from Anchorage... #
Send your finished letter by post
and they will print it out and mail it for you,
although the site is based in the USA,
so, you could pay anything up to 7, depending on location.
If that's too much, well, there are digital options, too,
by e-mail, or, as an open message for everyone to see.
Keyword tagging and geolocation can be added for extra context
although that is straying away from the idea of "old school" again.
Likewise, the new iPhone app, with iPad and Android ones on the way
isn't exactly Emily Bronte,
but when it comes to receiving a letter in the post,
surely it's the thought that counts.
Global e-commerce sales topped 1 trillion for the first time last year
and study upon study is showing that
consumers are happier than ever to head online.
# We're S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G
# We're shopping... #
If you fancy a piece of that retail action,
Tictail.com is a new platform that will have you up and running
in just a few simple clicks. No technical know-how required.
Sounds good, right? And, actually, I was astounded to find out
that the basic service is free.
No monthly fees, zero percentage cut on transactions,
you can upload an unlimited number of products
and there are no additional checkout fees
although normal fees from the company you're processing payments to
will still apply.
This will vary, depending on your service
and the volume of sales you're processing.
For example, PayPal charges sellers between 1.4-3.4%
on total sale amount, plus a small charge per transaction.
For the ease of setting up your own shop online,
this site is hard to beat right now.
# We're shopping
# We're shopping #
To capture epic moments like a stunning sunset
or, just record your journey to work,
Lapse It is free on Android and iPhone
and lets you set up and record individual frames
over a long period of time,
which are then played back as super-speeded up movies.
Check out the What's Hot feed for ideas about what to film.
# Time passes slowly up here in the daylight...
You can set the frame capture rate to whatever you like.
This one here, is inside the BBC's staircase
and it's one snap every two seconds.
Although, if you're recording something less busy, like a sunset,
you might want to go for a little longer.
Once you've captured your frames,
you can set the playback speed to whatever you like.
and then render the movie to be played through your phone,
or published online.
It's the perfect way to record lasting memories
without eating too much of your phone's memory.
# Time passes slowly and fades away #
On 1 July, Google Reader shuts down for good,
so make sure you use the takeout tool to download all your data before then
as it won't be available afterwards.
We looked at Feedly a few weeks ago as a good RSS feed replacement,
with stress-free porting of your Google links with one click.
But, maybe it's time to make a change.
# Ch-ch-ch-changes... #
Major news stories surface naturally through social media streams
like Facebook and Twitter.
but get caught up in the clutter of everyday chitchat.
LikeHack filters out the noise to provide a digest
of interesting stories, based on your typical sharing history.
You can also add individual RSS feeds
and pick from their selection of popular sources,
plus, there's the obligatory Google Reader migrate button.
# But I can't trace time... #
Thank you, Kate, and we are always looking for new apps and sites
to feature on Webscape
so if you have any, please e-mail them our way -
and you can also get hold of us on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.
Now, our website contains all of our stories from recent times
and the very latest tech news as well.
It is there every day, every hour, for your convenience.
That's it for now.
Thank you very much for watching, and we will see you next time.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd