07/09/2013 Click


07/09/2013

How the internet and 3D printing is changing the design industry. Does crowd-working earn you enough cash? Plus the performers who rely on tech to get laughs.


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Transcript


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Six months of work and it's finally finished.

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Right, bored of that now.

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GLASS SMASHES

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We're living in throwaway times.

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But this week on Click, we're turning mass-produced rubbish

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into personalised paraphernalia,

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to find out if we'd value our stuff more

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if we had a hand in designing it ourselves.

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We'll find out how much crowdworking really can earn you

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from the comfort of your desk.

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Why did the comedian get his dongle out?

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To get a bigger audience, of course.

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We're on stage with the performers who rely on tech

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to get their laughs.

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And we'll bring you the latest tech news from around the world,

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plus an app that will help you retrace your day in Webscape.

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Welcome to Click.

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I'm Spencer Kelly.

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We've all got used to products which are as cheap as chips,

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put together in some far-flung factory

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and then shipped around the world, to a high street near you.

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But what if, instead of choosing from a catalogue,

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YOU helped design it.

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Thank you, Chris. Nice catch by the way.

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That's what producers are really used for on the programme.

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What if you could change the design? Share it?

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And what if, instead of ordering a delivery,

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you could 3D print it at home?

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Would it change how much we value our stuff?

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David Reed reports on what some designers are calling

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the new Industrial Revolution.

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Technology's given designers so much.

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Their computer-assisted designs can be etched or engraved with lasers,

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or printed in 3D - a whole new box of tools.

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But also leeching in from the online world -

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a whole new set of design ideas.

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The WikiHouse Project aims

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to bring house building into the internet age,

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by making available open-sourced plans for houses

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built out of one principal material.

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They've pioneered a construction formula, to make well-priced,

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well-built houses from wood.

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OK, so it looks like a shed, but it's early days.

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And isn't this what open source is all about?

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You download for free

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and elaborate something grander, using the same system.

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WikiHouse, fundamentally,

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the idea is to make an open-sourced construction set.

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In real terms, what that means is...

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using digital fabrication, we can make it possible to share

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designs of houses, that effectively anyone can just download and

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adapt for their own needs and their own site, and essentially print out.

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They don't need any tools, they don't need any construction skill

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and, hopefully, they don't need too much money.

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But what they can get is a very high-performance product.

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On show at London's Design Museum,

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an exhibition exploring how digital technology is blurring the lines

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between those coming up with product ideas,

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those who make them and those who use them.

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Wiki's open source, crowdsourcing,

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these are familiar ways of getting things done online

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that are now getting a comfortable reception in the world of design.

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Take this sofa.

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Seats two, but a crowd was involved in its design.

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The company put out an internet call for entries

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and got its online community to vote on their favourite.

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The winner's on show at the Design Museum

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and for sale on the company website.

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Digital machining means that you can make small batches of objects,

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and there's no economy of scale -

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each one will cost exactly the same, no matter how many you make.

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But that also enables each one to be different.

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And that's where the consumer comes in.

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You can actually take on the input of the consumer

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and make each individual project bespoke

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and customised for that particular consumer.

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To go one step beyond this,

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a London designer is proposing users collaborate in the design process,

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adding a personal component to his original designs.

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With this system, an object is only produced if it is bought,

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so no surpluses and the personal touch

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means, perhaps, the user values the object more.

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I think that even the small object that is...

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..almost has no value, in terms of money...

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If you will add something to it,

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you are topping up the value rates, in some way, for you.

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And then you will keep it for years.

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A number of design websites are now harnessing

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the power of the internet to generate crowdsourced ideas.

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At Quirky, for example, members not only vote for original ideas,

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but shape every stage of the creation process,

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influencing what the final product will look like.

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Even helping to name it and deciding on a price tag.

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These platforms might seem like an opportunity, but could they

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actually be undermining the future for young designers?

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There is an economic reality which we're facing

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and the design industry has been very hit very badly.

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Graduates come out, there are no jobs.

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I do worry that they will perhaps not have been equipped properly

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to recognise what is a rip-off and what isn't.

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A lot of the mainstream crowdsourcing websites from...

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the impression I get is that they just automate this and amplify it.

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And they put a gloss over it

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and pretend that it's not free pitching, but essentially it is.

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So, personalised products and cut-and-paste homes,

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democratic design, is this really the glittering future?

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Well, not everyone is convinced.

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Digits2Widgets specialises in high-end 3D printing.

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They question whether just because everyone now CAN,

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they're necessarily going to WANT TO design and produce.

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If you walk down the high street and pass 100 people on the street,

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can you seriously suggest that each and every one of those people

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is actually motivated, interested, creative enough,

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have the time or the inclination

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to go home and make their own bits and bobs?

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I don't think so.

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This innovative birdhouse is a 3D printing project

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by a couple of young designers.

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For fledglings to the profession, these are testing times -

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digital technology has ushered in a new era for so many industries.

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And it hasn't always been good news for those with a skill to sell.

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If we could harness user participation and collaboration,

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while still guaranteeing a fair deal for designers,

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that really would be a revolution.

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David Reed, quite possibly looking ahead

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to the end of our throwaway culture.

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Anyway, that's enough of that report. Let's move on - here's News.

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What was once the world's biggest mobile handset maker,

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Nokia, has been snapped up by Microsoft.

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The ailing Finnish tech giant had already ditched

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its own bespoke mobile operating systems,

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in favour of the Windows Mobile platform...

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in an attempt to turns its fortunes around.

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Now, Microsoft has bought out

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the entire mobile phone operation of the company.

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The Seattle-based firm's boss Steve Ballmer said Microsoft

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"Had to move more quickly from being a PC

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"and laptop firm to one that provided mobile devices and services."

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The battle for the smartwatch hots up, after Samsung unveiled

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its highly-anticipated Galaxy Gear.

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With a colour screen, 1.9 megapixel camera, speaker,

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microphone and 4GB of storage, the watch can be linked to your phone

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and used to make voice calls -

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though this only works if your phone itself is a Samsung Galaxy.

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It will retail at around 300.

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Similar products from Apple, Microsoft and Google

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are expected soon.

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Google has announced the official name

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of the latest version of its Android mobile operating system.

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Following a sweet-treat theme, version 4.4 will be Android KitKat,

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after the chocolate-covered wafer biscuit made by Nestle.

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The terms of the brand tie-up were unclear.

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Google recently announced that Android has just had

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its one billionth activation since its birth in 2008.

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The new version will be out this autumn.

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Finally, how about accessing your e-mail in a heartbeat,

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with your pulse?

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Californian start-up Bionime has revealed a wristband

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that recognises your electro cardiogram -

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effectively the unique elements of each person's pulse -

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when they place their finger on the censor.

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Its makers say it's as effective as fingerprint scans but harder to fool.

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The bracelet then uses low-powered Bluetooth

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to tell a dedicated app that it is indeed you, so you can log in.

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Bionime says it could be used to replace ID cards or house keys.

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Now, as we said last week, there's an awful lot of crowdsourcing

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going on at the moment.

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We've just heard about crowdsourcing sofas and, last week,

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we asked the question,

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"Is it possible to earn a living by crowdworking?"

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In fact, we set LJ Rich the challenge of spending a week

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picking up casual crowdwork that she could do at her desk.

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Her earnings would go to charity.

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And this is how she got on.

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I'm not averse to a bit of hard graft,

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but how hard can it be to earn money through a computer?

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So, first day at work - look sharp, time to sign up with a few sites.

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I've decided on two rules.

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First, any cash I do earn will secretly go to charity

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and second, I don't want to be earning money online

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for something I don't want to do on daytime television.

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First up, InboxPounds, a site providing surveys

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and odd jobs to casual clickers.

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Nice, a full £1 bonus for signing up.

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Answering a 15-minute survey about an advert gets me 25p.

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Next, watch a video - 1p.

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Liking Samsung on Facebook - 1p.

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Yes, you heard right, I got paid for a Like, I'm not proud.

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Seems promising, but no cash in hand till I earn £20.

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SwagBox is a site offering points, which eventually add up to money,

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either through PayPal or internet vouchers.

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Watch videos, play games, earn.

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A day's casual gaming, searching and video-watching

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earns 102 swagbucks, which converts to rather less in real money.

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Next up, CastingWords.com.

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I've joined an army of transcribers, listening to audio

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and typing out the words.

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Sounds simple enough for a fast typist like me,

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but just one assignment took me nearly an hour

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and, to add insult to injury,

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my promised pay was docked heavily for not fitting house style.

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I was demoted and can now only review other people's work

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for a few cents a piece.

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Other micro-working sites, like Amazon's Mechanical Turk

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pay for so-called "human intelligence tasks" or "hits".

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These can be for creative writing, coding and more.

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Sadly, I couldn't register,

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but I was able to sign up to an alternative site, Clickworker.

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First, pass an English test and a creative writing test.

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Thanks to my 100% score, I've landed a plum assignment -

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creative writing for mail-order catalogue entries

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for tennis clothing based on translated German text.

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It's comparatively lucrative, though,

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at 1.25 Euros for just over 100 words.

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Though, you're at the mercy of the marker, who gives you nothing

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if they're not impressed.

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This happened on my last three tasks. So much for my 100% score.

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Finally, I turned to Fiverr.com,

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a site where the crowd advertises services as "gigs" for 5.

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Some services are frankly mystifying.

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I offered my paying customers the option of poetry,

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music composing and bad-pun headline writing.

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The inevitable witty friend off Facebook asked me

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for something virtually impossible -

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30 seconds of a Miles Davis-style piano theme, for 5, in four days.

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Oh, well, his money's as good as anyone else's.

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Although these assignments took the longest to complete,

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I found this approach by far the most fun and enterprising.

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Fiverr.com takes a healthy 20% cut, leaving me with 4.

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And the payment process is positively glacial, taking 14 days.

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So, working week over, how did I do?

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OK, well, not as much as I was hoping

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but with what I've learnt this week,

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I feel there's a real potential to earn a much healthier weekly wage

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if I did this experiment again next week.

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But as well as the cost of a connection,

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workers need fast-typing skills, a decent social media reach,

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or a unique and bankable ability to get these jobs.

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Sounds like the real world.

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LJ Rich, who most certainly won't be giving up her day job.

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However, if you have made it work for you, by finding work for you,

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then let us know how you've done it and, indeed, what you do.

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Have you heard the one about the struggling comedian?

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He uses his smartphone to find fame and fortune.

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It's not that funny.

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Fortunately, comedian Carl Donnelly is.

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Now, he's been performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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this summer and we asked him to take us

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on a tour of the comedy scene, to see just how necessary technology

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is becoming in both building an audience

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and even in performing the gags themselves.

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-£5.50.

-March straight to the front, look him straight in the eye

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and say, "You know what?

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"You try switching it off then back on again."

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If John Connor had really wanted to stop the Terminator,

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he could have just have left a bag in the bagging area.

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Look at that. Look at this. O-G, the Programming Nation.

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In the old days, observational comedy was all about mother-in-laws

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and moustaches...

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I think it was a legal requirement.

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Whereas nowadays, you're more likely to hear comedians

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talking about online shopping or Facebook.

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If anything, now, I think it helps to reference technology,

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just to find a common ground with an audience.

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I saw this the other day,

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this is an Emergency Broadband Response Vehicle.

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'Ex-IT specialist Dan Willis is a comic who does exactly that.

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'His show, called "PC, Mac and Me" is chock-a-block with tech,

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'which suits this unashamed geek just fine.'

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You've actually got everything you want in an iPhone

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or in an Android, or in a Windows-based phone.

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And it's just great, everything's just continually moving.

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As long as it keeps moving in a direction,

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I'll pick up new material

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and just keep writing jokes about it.

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But it should look like that...

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That's the geekiest joke written in the history of comedy.

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Dan's laptops, phones,

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projectors and remotes are firmly at the heart of his production.

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Without them, the show would not go on.

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'Not to mention a cheeky peek helps remind him

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'where he is in his routine.'

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Where are we? If we fly on towards the end of the show...

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'But, as his remote steers the ship,

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'other acts invite whole audiences to take the helm.'

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Your time...starts now.

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Equipping his crowd with personal controls,

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Nathan Penlington puts his audience in a director's chair.

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They alter the show's plot with a touch of a button,

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which means the length of the performance is in their hands.

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And if it's not funny, well, they've only got themselves to blame.

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Well, the audience direct completely what happens in the show.

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It's been completely different every day.

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There are 1,566 different possible shows.

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Some of those stories are incredibly emotional and takes us

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on a very different journey.

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Some are very funny, but it depends entirely on the audience.

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Behind the scenes, one computer acts as a server for 200GB of video media.

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Or, as we like to call it in the business, "loads".

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The other calculates the results of the live votes

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to determine what's played out.

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Again, thank you very much for coming.

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Having a unique voice is crucial to standing out in comedy.

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Take Joe Pasquale's high-pitched squawk

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or my own soft, smooth, sophisticated tones.

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But what if you have no voice at all,

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how could you possibly be heard?

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-ROBOTIC VOICE:

-The look on their faces

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as I began to sing was priceless.

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Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at an early age,

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comic Lee Ridley lost his ability to talk.

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Performing his entire show through his iPad,

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Lee has found a new audience, as well as a new voice.

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You may be wondering why I chose to sound like

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a posh version of RoboCop.

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Lee's tablet has given him a new lease of life,

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as well as a career.

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Without it, he wouldn't be a stand-up.

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Technology, then, is changing the way we comedians perform,

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but it's also changing our relationship with our audience.

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YouTube star Bo Burnham and award-winning Tweeter Rob Delaney,

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were propelled into celebrity status almost overnight.

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I just have to state, for the record, that I am not jealous at ALL.

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Aaargh!

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Technology and, quite specifically, social media,

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has had a real democratising effect on...

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comedic possibilities.

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You do your thing, your way...

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in your place, in your time.

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You put it up on YouTube or Facebook or wherever.

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You create a website and you get a following.

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So you're doing everything on YOUR terms.

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But with universal reach comes a risk of viral plagiarism.

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From me posting it on Twitter to me getting a message from somebody

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saying they had received it in a text, it was 45 minutes.

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So I posted it up.

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Then, within a few minutes of that, started being disseminated

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on all these websites that spread joke information around.

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It got distributed,

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so I have to actually make a point in my show of saying

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where the origin of these jokes on the internet have come from

0:18:410:18:44

and the answer is, they come from comics and from writers.

0:18:440:18:47

So there are pitfalls,

0:18:470:18:48

but clearly technology has helped a new wave of comics

0:18:480:18:51

find their niche and tech-loving audiences to become more immersed

0:18:510:18:55

in the comedy they enjoy on, and off, stage.

0:18:550:18:58

Cheers, guys.

0:18:580:19:00

Keep enjoying technology, guys. Just use it for your own things...

0:19:000:19:04

Carl Donnelly, proving that building a big audience

0:19:070:19:09

is no laughing matter,

0:19:090:19:11

except for when it is.

0:19:110:19:13

Now, one thing that's not so funny is the raft of privacy stories

0:19:130:19:17

we've been hearing about of late.

0:19:170:19:18

If you've been following the revelations about PRISM

0:19:180:19:21

and other security issues,

0:19:210:19:22

you'll know that these things have enough tracking technology

0:19:220:19:25

inside them to make it possible to follow your every move,

0:19:250:19:28

even when you're not making a phone call.

0:19:280:19:30

Now, some people, understandably, find this intensely disturbing,

0:19:300:19:34

but others are embracing it,

0:19:340:19:35

as Kate Russell's been finding out in this week's Webscape.

0:19:350:19:38

# I've been everywhere, man.

0:19:400:19:42

# Looking for someone... #

0:19:420:19:44

Have you ever wondered what on Earth you did with your day?

0:19:440:19:47

Placeme is a free smartphone app that uses GPS

0:19:470:19:51

and Wi-Fi to make a map of everywhere you go.

0:19:510:19:55

It works in the background, quietly logging your mobile life,

0:19:550:19:58

so you can retrace your footsteps whenever you like.

0:19:580:20:02

You can also search back through your history,

0:20:020:20:05

say to find that awesome sushi restaurant you went to last month,

0:20:050:20:09

but can't remember the name of.

0:20:090:20:11

Right now, the app just logs the places you visit,

0:20:110:20:14

encrypting the data and storing it privately, for your own records.

0:20:140:20:17

But the developers have suggested that in the future they could

0:20:170:20:21

use this insight to deliver useful information, without you even asking,

0:20:210:20:26

such as warning you about traffic problems on your regular route home

0:20:260:20:30

or letting you know you do your weekly food shop

0:20:300:20:33

at the most expensive supermarket in the street.

0:20:330:20:35

# Cos the music makes me feel like you

0:20:370:20:40

# When I see that look on your face... #

0:20:400:20:42

As well as knowing where you go,

0:20:420:20:44

computers are pretty good at figuring out what you like,

0:20:440:20:48

with just a keyword or two to work from.

0:20:480:20:51

Stereomood capitalises on this technology,

0:20:510:20:54

to create a playlist to reflect your mood.

0:20:540:20:56

Just tell it how you feel.

0:20:560:20:58

The tracks played through this free streaming music service

0:21:040:21:07

are taken from reviews

0:21:070:21:09

and recommendations from some of the best music blogs on the web.

0:21:090:21:12

So the playlists are eclectic and, often, obscure.

0:21:120:21:16

It'll be a journey of discovery for most casual music lovers.

0:21:160:21:20

There's the obligatory click-to-buy link if you hear something you love.

0:21:200:21:24

Log in to record your preferences

0:21:240:21:26

for an increasingly pleasurable experience.

0:21:260:21:28

There are also free apps for iPhone and Android,

0:21:280:21:31

though, watch your data usage when streaming anything.

0:21:310:21:35

# Cos the music makes me feel like you

0:21:350:21:38

# When I see that look on your face. #

0:21:380:21:41

MUSIC: "Danger! High Voltage" by Electric Six

0:21:410:21:44

You might hear a lot of talk about viruses and malware,

0:21:440:21:48

but how are you supposed to know

0:21:480:21:49

whether your protection is up to scratch,

0:21:490:21:51

without putting yourself in harm's way

0:21:510:21:54

# Danger! Danger!

0:21:540:21:56

# High voltage! #

0:21:560:21:57

Just head over

0:21:570:21:58

to the Anti-Malware Testing Standards website to find out.

0:21:580:22:02

The download files linked on this site aren't malicious,

0:22:050:22:09

but they've been programmed to appear so, by industry standards.

0:22:090:22:13

So, if your computer lets you download them,

0:22:130:22:16

you need to look at upgrading your security solutions,

0:22:160:22:18

like your firewall and anti-virus software.

0:22:180:22:21

Google-owned panoramio,

0:22:250:22:27

a site that showcases millions of geo-location-tagged photos

0:22:270:22:31

from an enthusiastic community of amateur and professional snappers,

0:22:310:22:36

got a big revamp this week, with a focus

0:22:360:22:39

on enhancing the visuals, as you browse through these stunning vistas.

0:22:390:22:43

Back to school this week for lots of you

0:22:510:22:53

and NoRedInk wants to help you get to the head of the class,

0:22:530:22:57

with a simple web-app to improve grammar.

0:22:570:23:00

Teachers can register for a class code, to track all

0:23:040:23:07

of their students' progress.

0:23:070:23:08

UK viewers who take pride in their neighbourhood

0:23:170:23:20

can now do their bit to keep the streets looking smart,

0:23:200:23:23

with the help of FixMyStreet,

0:23:230:23:25

where you can easily report any issues you spot in your area,

0:23:250:23:29

like graffiti, flytipping, potholes and broken paving slabs.

0:23:290:23:34

The charity-run site is free to use and will pass your reports

0:23:340:23:37

onto the relevant council department to be fixed,

0:23:370:23:40

so that you can get back out into the last of this beautiful sunshine

0:23:400:23:43

to enjoy your neighbourhood.

0:23:430:23:46

MUSIC: "Down Our Street" by The Subways

0:23:460:23:50

Thank you, Kate.

0:23:520:23:53

Kate Russell's Webscape and her links are all up at our website,

0:23:530:23:56

of course, if you missed them... The only address you'll ever need.

0:23:560:24:01

Unless you're contacting us, when you can use the e-mail address

0:24:010:24:04

or the Twitter address...

0:24:040:24:07

You can also find us on Facebook and Google+, too.

0:24:070:24:10

But that's it for now, so thanks for watching

0:24:100:24:12

and we'll see you next time.

0:24:120:24:14

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:24:220:24:25

Click looks at how the internet and 3D printing is changing the design industry. And we find out if becoming a crowd-worker can earn you enough cash. Plus we are on stage with the performers who rely on tech to get laughs. Includes tech news and web reviews.


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