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Now you see me...
..now you don't.
This week, Click goes under the radar
to try on the tech that blinds Big Brother.
And how about this for the ultimate overview?
We'll catch the camera that catches everything from up on high.
The robots are coming, and they're teaming up.
These are the bots that are learning to work together.
All that, plus the latest Tech News
and a tool to protect your reputation online in Webscape.
Welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly,
or Citizen 42509776
for any fans of George Orwell's novel, 1984.
In that dystopic vision of the future,
we all have all-seeing TV sets in our homes,
watching and critiquing our every move.
Now, although that hasn't happened...yet,
some would say, in 2014, we're not that far off.
For example, here in the UK, we are
all caught on camera around 70 times every day.
Last year's NSA revelations by whistle-blower Edward Snowden
revealed the full scope of the intelligence community's
In March 2013 alone, the NSA collected a massive 97 billion
pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide.
But it's, of course,
not just intelligence agencies collecting data on us.
Whether it's our friends or ourselves,
huge swathes of our lives now exist online,
with services like Facebook and Twitter.
On top of that, computers are getting much better at facial
recognition these days, which means wherever you appear in a photo
or video, including in the background of this shot,
you could be identified, whether you like it or not.
We've been to New York, Amsterdam and Tokyo to meet the people
who are trying to hide their faces from the internet.
Information is becoming kind of a weapon,
though we don't view it in that way.
We don't have the tools to deal with it,
or protect ourselves in that way.
The whole thing of, "Well, I have nothing to hide,"
I think is quite strange.
Just because you have nothing to hide,
that doesn't mean it's OK that these things are happening.
If we want to execute our right to privacy,
we just wear some special glasses.
Hi, I'm Adam Harvey, an artist in New York.
I'm working with surveillance, fashion, privacy
and what that means in today's context.
It bothers me a lot to know that when I do those average,
day-to-day things, that somebody could be watching me.
And that is really a frustrating feeling, to know
that you always have a chaperone or somebody monitoring what you do.
The Anti-Paparazzi Clutch is a project I started in 2009,
and it's a device that goes inside of a purse,
and when a paparazzi photographer takes your photo,
it flashes back with enough light so that it overexposes the photo.
Technically, it has a device, a sensor
which looks for a flash coming from a camera.
As soon as that happens, it triggers a bank of LEDs.
What's unique about that is that there's no recycle time.
Some flashes have that. So this can fire as often as you need it to.
And the time it takes for the light to be triggered is short enough
that it will hit the photographer's sensor and overexpose their photo.
'I don't necessarily want to sound like the angry artist or designer.
'It's not necessarily about that.
'It's not really about paranoia or anything.'
The idea is that you could have something that is reflective
or reacting to light differently,
so if you take a photo,
you basically get lights out of your eyes.
That would obstruct the face and make it unrecognisable.
So, it's something you wouldn't see in normal light or normal
situations, but it does help you to obstruct yourself.
I started a project called CV Dazzle,
which is an ongoing project which explores how
analogue technologies like make-up and hairstyles
can be used to protect yourself from face detection.
So, if you can prevent an algorithm from detecting a face,
then you prevent that automated system from analysing you further.
And I think CV Dazzle is in an interesting grey area,
because it allows you to be seen by someone else.
You're not wearing a ski mask or a balaclava in public, but you don't
appear in these automated systems, and so you're protecting your data.
Another recent project is called Stealth Wear,
and this project is a set of garments
that are made with a metal-plated fabric, which is reflective to heat.
That means it can shield your thermal signature from a thermal camera.
I see Stealth Wear as a provocation.
It shields you from drones, and it can also protect
you from where the future of surveillance is headed.
A big problem right now is mobile phone tracking.
When you walk around with your phone,
you're giving away data to people who can use that to build profiles.
And the data is where you've been, but also who you're around.
The OFF Pocket is a phone case. It's all flexible, fabric-based.
It uses metal-plated fabric to shield the phone from wireless signals.
As soon as you put your phone inside and close it,
then no signals can enter or exit the bag.
I don't think total privacy is realistic,
and I don't think it's what we are asking for collectively.
I think that a modest amount of privacy,
which is guaranteed by the Constitution in the US,
has been violated and needs to be re-established.
Some pretty ingenious ideas, weren't they?
Maybe you've had some thoughts
on ways to physically protect your image and your face
from the prying eyes of CCTV.
Why not let us know? The crazier, the better. Tweet us...
We'd love to hear from you. Next up, a look at this week's Tech News.
The patent war between two tech giants continues,
with a ruling from a US judge that Samsung has infringed
Apple's word recommendation technology.
The invention describes a way for touch-screen devices
to suggest completed words,
after a user has started typing them.
This comes ahead of a trial in which both companies planned to claim
that the other one copied their ideas.
The fastest ever broadband speeds have been achieved in London.
The joint test between British Telecom and Alcatel Lucent
achieved speeds of around 1.4 terabits per second.
That's enough to send about 44 uncompressed high-def films
However, you may want to hold off on sending those movies.
It will be some time before these speeds transfer
to the ordinary web user.
The passwords of 16 million e-mail users in Germany have been stolen.
The Federal Office for Security say criminals had infected computers
with software which allowed them to gather e-mail addresses
and account passwords.
The news comes days after it was revealed that almost half of all
South Koreans have had their credit card details stolen
and sold on to marketing firms.
And finally, they say that TV is a window on the world,
but now it could also be an actual window.
The magic is courtesy of special nanoparticles
that only reflect blue light.
They are added to a transparent polymer
that can be stuck onto any window.
The whole thing is transparent until blue light is projected
onto the glass, when you get these delightful patterns.
We've looked at ways to hide yourself from view, but what if you
want to do exactly the opposite and capture everything around you?
This isn't your average game of catch.
This is the Panono camera ball.
When thrown up in the air, it can take stunning photographs
that can be explored in every direction.
The sphere is covered by 36 tiny three-megapixel cameras,
which, once airborne, simultaneously capture individual images.
These are then pieced together remotely in the cloud,
using specialist imaging software, which can be temperamental
if even one of the cameras fail.
And this prototype does need to be plugged into a computer first.
Now, apparently there's a technique to throwing this thing,
which is to not spin it too much,
to get it high enough
and not to drop it when it comes back down!
And this is the only one they've got. It's the prototype,
and it's worth thousands of euros. So, no pressure...
Here we go. One, two, three...
CRASH, GLASS SHATTERS
The result is one grandiose photo,
a 108-megapixel interactive picture
which you can view on your desktop or mobile device.
And although you can pan left and right as usual,
it's when you pan up, or even cooler - down -
that the magic really happens.
The final product will look like this,
more stylish and a bit easier to fit in your pocket.
The German start-up behind the device hopes the ball will be
used in all sorts of situations.
It's good to have a brief overview over a situation.
So, that the wall on the one side,
and there might have been an earthquake,
so you want to see what's on the other side. You can throw it up in
the air, see what's on the other side, see if there's someone
you have to help. But it's also fun using it, just throwing it around.
It's like a ball. I mean, it feels like a ball!
At a price tag of nearly 600, though, it's a good thing it's not
available until September, so you'll have plenty of time to save up.
Now, as impressive as they may look,
the latest generation of robots lead a pretty solitary existence.
They all look different, they're all made by different universities
and research departments, and they all talk different languages.
If they really do want to have a crack at taking over the place,
they're going to have to learn to work together, like we did.
And the ants. Don't forget the ants. NEVER forget the ants.
Well, Lara Lewington has been to Eindhoven in the Netherlands
to meet the bots who are starting to learn for themselves and each other.
Imagine a future where robots could simply access shared data
and know how to do any task you threw at them.
Well, after four years of research
involving several European universities and four million euros
of European Union investment,
RoboEarth may show the beginnings of just that.
What's being created here has the potential to become
a sort of World Wide Web for robots.
So a place that they can share knowledge,
communicate with others, and even learn new skills.
Here, four robots show what they could do within the care sector.
They map the hospital room using a laser range-finder and camera,
and upload this data to the cloud, where other robots can access it too,
reducing the need for enormous computer power within each device.
This helps to build on learned knowledge, and in this instance,
pick up some crisps before passing them on.
Well, Arm managed to pick up the crisps OK
and transfer them to this robot, called Pico.
The only problem is that although the mapping technology is in place,
that they know where they're going,
the actual crisps haven't gone anywhere.
They stayed on this tray and they never made it over there
to the person in bed. It did also take quite a long time.
Admittedly, simple tasks may appear challenging,
but this is a concept, and one in its infancy.
It's harder to teach robots than you might imagine.
They lack common sense,
and have to translate their knowledge of what to do into physical actions.
The aim is affordable yet multi-skilled creatures,
so you choose a robot a bit like deciding which telly to buy,
based on your own personal preferences.
If serving breakfast is your priority,
your bot will probably need arms and to get about the place,
but if you simply want it to polish your shoes and mow the lawn,
it might not need much height, or arms.
A mix of the eight necessary programming languages
will exist in the database
with a combination of human and machine-learned input
to extend their talents to, well, pretty much anything.
Robots can help us in daily things we do in our households.
And especially for elderly people.
We think that it is useful to have robots in the future which
can help with getting things for us, getting a cup of tea,
or help us with changing clothing or help us to stand up if we lie down.
So in normal households, we see that those service robotics
will take an important place in, say, a decade from now.
Yet the robotic form does take a bit of getting used to.
The robots don't actually look that friendly.
And when they turn round - probably going to do it any minute now -
when that turns round and looks at you like that,
it feels quite menacing.
It feels rather odd that you're being watched, and really quite aggressive.
Well, at least they do come in all shapes and sizes.
This is not a robot which is going to help you in the household.
This is not going to bring you drinks.
But this robot is a platform where people can develop software.
This robot is typically intended to become a robot as a friend.
But before you worry about them taking over the planet, fear not.
They do have an off switch.
I don't know how to stop it!
Oh. When it works.
Lara Lewington. Now, earlier, we looked at some novel ways
to keep your photographs off the web.
But of course, many of us don't mind our images
and details from being spread on social networks, within reason.
We do, of course, want to know where and when they will be used.
And that's where Kate Russell comes in.
She has some tools now to manage your online reputation in Webscape.
What goes online stays online, and when friends can post tagged
photographs and comments about you on social media networks,
it's not just the paparazzi you have to worry about.
Persona is a reputation management tool that
protects you by monitoring Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts
for any potentially offensive material.
Around half of all recruiters admit to having checked applicants out
online before making a hiring decision,
and if you're in the dating game,
you can expect around a third of the people you go out with
to have snooped around on your social media profile.
# And I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation... #
Persona scans for content by keyword, keeping an eye out for profanity,
adult content and references to violence or drug and alcohol abuse.
The free account monitors ongoing activity with real-time alerts
via SMS or e-mail, and additional features if you upgrade to paid.
Big data impact, feeding nine billion people, ageing national populations.
These are all 21st-century problems,
and just a few of the topics being tackled at the moment
in a series of talks hosted by the UK's Royal Geographical Society.
Founded in 1830, the Royal Geographical Society
is considered a world leader in advancing our understanding
of geography and supporting its practitioners across the world.
The charity makes a lot of fantastic educational content
which is free for everyone online.
There are a couple of other little gems from the society
I'd like to show you too.
Discovering Britain is a charming site
and all the walks it describes are downloadable as text or audio guides.
So if you're heading out into the great British countryside
any time soon, why not take one with you to experience the very best
of these rolling green vistas?
# ..in an English country garden... #
And the third site from the Geographical Society.
If you've ever gazed out of an aeroplane window wondering what's
passing by, thousands of metres below, and wanted to know more,
Hidden Journeys is full of interactive flight paths that
let you explore some of the world's most interesting aerial routes.
It's not something I expected to ever say,
but this unit and currency converter app is awesome!
It's not free, but Vert on iOS
is far more than just a weights and measures tool.
It has over 800 conversion units in 33 categories
including data transfer speeds, cooking measurements, viscosity,
and essential clothing sizes such as bra, hat and shoe.
There is even a typographic section to convert pixels
into millimetres, and somewhat randomly,
the rating certificates for rock climbing around the world.
You can literally convert anything.
OK, there are some things that aren't covered,
such as how many cats it takes to learn the Spanish language.
Luckily, Cat Academy on iOS does know that.
No me gusta.
It's a serious language learning platform that got a lot of attention
when it launched recently and is still one of my favourites.
It uses humour and learning science
combined with the greatest Internet meme of all time - cat pictures! -
to help users learn conversational Spanish.
According to the developers,
users learn three times faster than with comparable tools.
Sounds pretty purr-fect to me.
# It's a god-awful small affair... #
This week, NASA celebrated a very special anniversary.
Ten years ago, on 24th January, Mars Rover Opportunity
touched down on the Red Planet.
And despite the initial mission being planned for just 92 Earth days,
the plucky little robot is still going strong,
trundling around the surface of Mars collecting scientific data
and taking photographs to send back to Earth.
You can find out more about all of the Mars Rover projects
and the amazing information they're collecting
on the official NASA website.
# ..is there life on Mars? #
This is my bedtime routine.
We finish this week with an incredible video from
Vine magician Zach King, who also posts on his YouTube channel,
for those who don't use the Vine app.
It's mind-boggling what this guy can do in a six-second clip.
When you lock your keys in your car...
Cooking ping-pong balls for breakfast.
And those links are available at our website as usual.
bbc.co.uk/click the address you need.
If you'd like to comment on anything that you've seen today -
some pretty controversial topics in this week's programme, I know -
[email protected] is our e-mail address.
We're also on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook too. That's it for now.
Thank you very much for watching and we'll see you next time.
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.