25/01/2014 Click


25/01/2014

User-friendly guide to the latest technology news. Click goes under the radar to try on the tech that blinds Big Brother. Plus a tool to protect your online reputation.


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Transcript


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Now you see me...

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..now you don't.

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This week, Click goes under the radar

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to try on the tech that blinds Big Brother.

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And how about this for the ultimate overview?

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We'll catch the camera that catches everything from up on high.

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The robots are coming, and they're teaming up.

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These are the bots that are learning to work together.

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All that, plus the latest Tech News

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and a tool to protect your reputation online in Webscape.

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Welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly,

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or Citizen 42509776

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for any fans of George Orwell's novel, 1984.

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In that dystopic vision of the future,

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we all have all-seeing TV sets in our homes,

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watching and critiquing our every move.

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Now, although that hasn't happened...yet,

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some would say, in 2014, we're not that far off.

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For example, here in the UK, we are

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all caught on camera around 70 times every day.

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Last year's NSA revelations by whistle-blower Edward Snowden

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revealed the full scope of the intelligence community's

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data-trawling operation.

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In March 2013 alone, the NSA collected a massive 97 billion

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pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide.

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But it's, of course,

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not just intelligence agencies collecting data on us.

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Whether it's our friends or ourselves,

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huge swathes of our lives now exist online,

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with services like Facebook and Twitter.

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On top of that, computers are getting much better at facial

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recognition these days, which means wherever you appear in a photo

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or video, including in the background of this shot,

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you could be identified, whether you like it or not.

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We've been to New York, Amsterdam and Tokyo to meet the people

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who are trying to hide their faces from the internet.

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Information is becoming kind of a weapon,

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though we don't view it in that way.

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We don't have the tools to deal with it,

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or protect ourselves in that way.

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The whole thing of, "Well, I have nothing to hide,"

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I think is quite strange.

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Just because you have nothing to hide,

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that doesn't mean it's OK that these things are happening.

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If we want to execute our right to privacy,

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we just wear some special glasses.

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Hi, I'm Adam Harvey, an artist in New York.

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I'm working with surveillance, fashion, privacy

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and what that means in today's context.

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It bothers me a lot to know that when I do those average,

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day-to-day things, that somebody could be watching me.

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And that is really a frustrating feeling, to know

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that you always have a chaperone or somebody monitoring what you do.

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The Anti-Paparazzi Clutch is a project I started in 2009,

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and it's a device that goes inside of a purse,

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and when a paparazzi photographer takes your photo,

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it flashes back with enough light so that it overexposes the photo.

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Technically, it has a device, a sensor

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which looks for a flash coming from a camera.

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As soon as that happens, it triggers a bank of LEDs.

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What's unique about that is that there's no recycle time.

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Some flashes have that. So this can fire as often as you need it to.

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And the time it takes for the light to be triggered is short enough

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that it will hit the photographer's sensor and overexpose their photo.

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'I don't necessarily want to sound like the angry artist or designer.

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'It's not necessarily about that.

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'It's not really about paranoia or anything.'

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The idea is that you could have something that is reflective

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or reacting to light differently,

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so if you take a photo,

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you basically get lights out of your eyes.

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That would obstruct the face and make it unrecognisable.

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So, it's something you wouldn't see in normal light or normal

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situations, but it does help you to obstruct yourself.

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I started a project called CV Dazzle,

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which is an ongoing project which explores how

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analogue technologies like make-up and hairstyles

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can be used to protect yourself from face detection.

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So, if you can prevent an algorithm from detecting a face,

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then you prevent that automated system from analysing you further.

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And I think CV Dazzle is in an interesting grey area,

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because it allows you to be seen by someone else.

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You're not wearing a ski mask or a balaclava in public, but you don't

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appear in these automated systems, and so you're protecting your data.

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Another recent project is called Stealth Wear,

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and this project is a set of garments

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that are made with a metal-plated fabric, which is reflective to heat.

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That means it can shield your thermal signature from a thermal camera.

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I see Stealth Wear as a provocation.

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It shields you from drones, and it can also protect

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you from where the future of surveillance is headed.

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A big problem right now is mobile phone tracking.

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When you walk around with your phone,

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you're giving away data to people who can use that to build profiles.

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And the data is where you've been, but also who you're around.

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The OFF Pocket is a phone case. It's all flexible, fabric-based.

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It uses metal-plated fabric to shield the phone from wireless signals.

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As soon as you put your phone inside and close it,

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then no signals can enter or exit the bag.

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I don't think total privacy is realistic,

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and I don't think it's what we are asking for collectively.

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I think that a modest amount of privacy,

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which is guaranteed by the Constitution in the US,

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has been violated and needs to be re-established.

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Some pretty ingenious ideas, weren't they?

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Maybe you've had some thoughts

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on ways to physically protect your image and your face

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from the prying eyes of CCTV.

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Why not let us know? The crazier, the better. Tweet us...

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We'd love to hear from you. Next up, a look at this week's Tech News.

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The patent war between two tech giants continues,

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with a ruling from a US judge that Samsung has infringed

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Apple's word recommendation technology.

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The invention describes a way for touch-screen devices

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to suggest completed words,

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after a user has started typing them.

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This comes ahead of a trial in which both companies planned to claim

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that the other one copied their ideas.

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The fastest ever broadband speeds have been achieved in London.

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The joint test between British Telecom and Alcatel Lucent

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achieved speeds of around 1.4 terabits per second.

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That's enough to send about 44 uncompressed high-def films

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every second.

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However, you may want to hold off on sending those movies.

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It will be some time before these speeds transfer

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to the ordinary web user.

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The passwords of 16 million e-mail users in Germany have been stolen.

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The Federal Office for Security say criminals had infected computers

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with software which allowed them to gather e-mail addresses

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and account passwords.

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The news comes days after it was revealed that almost half of all

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South Koreans have had their credit card details stolen

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and sold on to marketing firms.

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And finally, they say that TV is a window on the world,

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but now it could also be an actual window.

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The magic is courtesy of special nanoparticles

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that only reflect blue light.

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They are added to a transparent polymer

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that can be stuck onto any window.

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The whole thing is transparent until blue light is projected

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onto the glass, when you get these delightful patterns.

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We've looked at ways to hide yourself from view, but what if you

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want to do exactly the opposite and capture everything around you?

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This isn't your average game of catch.

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This is the Panono camera ball.

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When thrown up in the air, it can take stunning photographs

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that can be explored in every direction.

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The sphere is covered by 36 tiny three-megapixel cameras,

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which, once airborne, simultaneously capture individual images.

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These are then pieced together remotely in the cloud,

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using specialist imaging software, which can be temperamental

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if even one of the cameras fail.

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And this prototype does need to be plugged into a computer first.

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Now, apparently there's a technique to throwing this thing,

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which is to not spin it too much,

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to get it high enough

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and not to drop it when it comes back down!

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And this is the only one they've got. It's the prototype,

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and it's worth thousands of euros. So, no pressure...

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Here we go. One, two, three...

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CRASH, GLASS SHATTERS

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HORSE WHINNIES

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The result is one grandiose photo,

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a 108-megapixel interactive picture

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which you can view on your desktop or mobile device.

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And although you can pan left and right as usual,

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it's when you pan up, or even cooler - down -

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that the magic really happens.

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The final product will look like this,

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more stylish and a bit easier to fit in your pocket.

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The German start-up behind the device hopes the ball will be

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used in all sorts of situations.

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It's good to have a brief overview over a situation.

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So, that the wall on the one side,

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and there might have been an earthquake,

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so you want to see what's on the other side. You can throw it up in

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the air, see what's on the other side, see if there's someone

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you have to help. But it's also fun using it, just throwing it around.

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It's like a ball. I mean, it feels like a ball!

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At a price tag of nearly 600, though, it's a good thing it's not

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available until September, so you'll have plenty of time to save up.

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Now, as impressive as they may look,

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the latest generation of robots lead a pretty solitary existence.

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They all look different, they're all made by different universities

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and research departments, and they all talk different languages.

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If they really do want to have a crack at taking over the place,

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they're going to have to learn to work together, like we did.

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And the ants. Don't forget the ants. NEVER forget the ants.

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Well, Lara Lewington has been to Eindhoven in the Netherlands

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to meet the bots who are starting to learn for themselves and each other.

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Imagine a future where robots could simply access shared data

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and know how to do any task you threw at them.

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Well, after four years of research

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involving several European universities and four million euros

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of European Union investment,

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RoboEarth may show the beginnings of just that.

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What's being created here has the potential to become

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a sort of World Wide Web for robots.

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So a place that they can share knowledge,

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communicate with others, and even learn new skills.

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Here, four robots show what they could do within the care sector.

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They map the hospital room using a laser range-finder and camera,

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and upload this data to the cloud, where other robots can access it too,

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reducing the need for enormous computer power within each device.

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This helps to build on learned knowledge, and in this instance,

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pick up some crisps before passing them on.

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Well, Arm managed to pick up the crisps OK

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and transfer them to this robot, called Pico.

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The only problem is that although the mapping technology is in place,

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that they know where they're going,

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the actual crisps haven't gone anywhere.

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They stayed on this tray and they never made it over there

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to the person in bed. It did also take quite a long time.

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Admittedly, simple tasks may appear challenging,

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but this is a concept, and one in its infancy.

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It's harder to teach robots than you might imagine.

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They lack common sense,

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and have to translate their knowledge of what to do into physical actions.

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The aim is affordable yet multi-skilled creatures,

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so you choose a robot a bit like deciding which telly to buy,

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based on your own personal preferences.

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If serving breakfast is your priority,

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your bot will probably need arms and to get about the place,

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but if you simply want it to polish your shoes and mow the lawn,

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it might not need much height, or arms.

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A mix of the eight necessary programming languages

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will exist in the database

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with a combination of human and machine-learned input

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to extend their talents to, well, pretty much anything.

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Robots can help us in daily things we do in our households.

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And especially for elderly people.

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We think that it is useful to have robots in the future which

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can help with getting things for us, getting a cup of tea,

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or help us with changing clothing or help us to stand up if we lie down.

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So in normal households, we see that those service robotics

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will take an important place in, say, a decade from now.

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Yet the robotic form does take a bit of getting used to.

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The robots don't actually look that friendly.

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And when they turn round - probably going to do it any minute now -

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when that turns round and looks at you like that,

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it feels quite menacing.

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It feels rather odd that you're being watched, and really quite aggressive.

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Well, at least they do come in all shapes and sizes.

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This is not a robot which is going to help you in the household.

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This is not going to bring you drinks.

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But this robot is a platform where people can develop software.

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This robot is typically intended to become a robot as a friend.

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But before you worry about them taking over the planet, fear not.

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They do have an off switch.

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I don't know how to stop it!

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Oh. When it works.

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Lara Lewington. Now, earlier, we looked at some novel ways

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to keep your photographs off the web.

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But of course, many of us don't mind our images

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and details from being spread on social networks, within reason.

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We do, of course, want to know where and when they will be used.

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And that's where Kate Russell comes in.

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She has some tools now to manage your online reputation in Webscape.

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What goes online stays online, and when friends can post tagged

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photographs and comments about you on social media networks,

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it's not just the paparazzi you have to worry about.

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Persona is a reputation management tool that

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protects you by monitoring Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts

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for any potentially offensive material.

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Around half of all recruiters admit to having checked applicants out

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online before making a hiring decision,

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and if you're in the dating game,

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you can expect around a third of the people you go out with

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to have snooped around on your social media profile.

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# And I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation... #

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Persona scans for content by keyword, keeping an eye out for profanity,

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adult content and references to violence or drug and alcohol abuse.

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The free account monitors ongoing activity with real-time alerts

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via SMS or e-mail, and additional features if you upgrade to paid.

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Big data impact, feeding nine billion people, ageing national populations.

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These are all 21st-century problems,

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and just a few of the topics being tackled at the moment

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in a series of talks hosted by the UK's Royal Geographical Society.

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Founded in 1830, the Royal Geographical Society

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is considered a world leader in advancing our understanding

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of geography and supporting its practitioners across the world.

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The charity makes a lot of fantastic educational content

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which is free for everyone online.

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There are a couple of other little gems from the society

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I'd like to show you too.

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Discovering Britain is a charming site

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and all the walks it describes are downloadable as text or audio guides.

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So if you're heading out into the great British countryside

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any time soon, why not take one with you to experience the very best

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of these rolling green vistas?

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# ..in an English country garden... #

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And the third site from the Geographical Society.

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If you've ever gazed out of an aeroplane window wondering what's

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passing by, thousands of metres below, and wanted to know more,

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Hidden Journeys is full of interactive flight paths that

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let you explore some of the world's most interesting aerial routes.

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It's not something I expected to ever say,

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but this unit and currency converter app is awesome!

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It's not free, but Vert on iOS

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is far more than just a weights and measures tool.

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It has over 800 conversion units in 33 categories

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including data transfer speeds, cooking measurements, viscosity,

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and essential clothing sizes such as bra, hat and shoe.

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There is even a typographic section to convert pixels

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into millimetres, and somewhat randomly,

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the rating certificates for rock climbing around the world.

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You can literally convert anything.

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OK, there are some things that aren't covered,

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such as how many cats it takes to learn the Spanish language.

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Luckily, Cat Academy on iOS does know that.

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No me gusta.

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It's a serious language learning platform that got a lot of attention

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when it launched recently and is still one of my favourites.

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Que pasa?

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It uses humour and learning science

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combined with the greatest Internet meme of all time - cat pictures! -

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to help users learn conversational Spanish.

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Tengo hambre.

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According to the developers,

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users learn three times faster than with comparable tools.

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Sounds pretty purr-fect to me.

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Por favor.

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# It's a god-awful small affair... #

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This week, NASA celebrated a very special anniversary.

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Ten years ago, on 24th January, Mars Rover Opportunity

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touched down on the Red Planet.

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And despite the initial mission being planned for just 92 Earth days,

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the plucky little robot is still going strong,

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trundling around the surface of Mars collecting scientific data

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and taking photographs to send back to Earth.

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You can find out more about all of the Mars Rover projects

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and the amazing information they're collecting

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on the official NASA website.

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# ..is there life on Mars? #

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This is my bedtime routine.

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We finish this week with an incredible video from

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Vine magician Zach King, who also posts on his YouTube channel,

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for those who don't use the Vine app.

0:22:550:22:57

It's mind-boggling what this guy can do in a six-second clip.

0:22:570:23:02

When you lock your keys in your car...

0:23:020:23:04

Aww!

0:23:130:23:14

Cooking ping-pong balls for breakfast.

0:23:220:23:25

Mmm! Yummy!

0:23:250:23:27

Kate Russell.

0:23:270:23:28

And those links are available at our website as usual.

0:23:280:23:31

bbc.co.uk/click the address you need.

0:23:310:23:34

If you'd like to comment on anything that you've seen today -

0:23:340:23:37

some pretty controversial topics in this week's programme, I know -

0:23:370:23:40

[email protected] is our e-mail address.

0:23:400:23:42

We're also on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook too. That's it for now.

0:23:420:23:46

Thank you very much for watching and we'll see you next time.

0:23:460:23:49

Click goes under the radar to try on the tech that blinds Big Brother. Plus the latest news and a tool to protect your online reputation in Webscape.


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