10/05/2014 Click


10/05/2014

Could a $7 device bring computing to the world's poorest people? Click joins the first day of a global campaign starting in Kenya. Includes tech news and Webscape.


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Transcript


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AFRICAN MUSIC

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This week on Click,

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we're in Africa for the start of a global campaign using these

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to bring computing to some of the poorest areas on the planet.

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And we'll show you how you could use them too, to protect your privacy.

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We discover the secret formula to predicting how

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popular your snaps will be before you post them.

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And we travel to San Francisco to see how shoppers are tapping into

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the biggest brains on the planet to help them decide what to buy.

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Welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly.

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As teched up as we are, it's important to remember that

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two thirds of the world's population don't have access to

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a smartphone or a computer. That's five billion people.

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And for those who do want to get online,

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bridging that digital divide can be really, really difficult.

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We've reported in the past on how charities are helping out

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in poorer areas but now, two colourful entrepreneurs think

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they might have found a solution which funds itself.

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Dan Simmons has been to Kenya to witness the first day of a global campaign.

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The slums of Nairobi are some of the largest on the planet.

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Mathare is home to around half a million people, and although

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most don't have free access to some of life's basics,

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they are interested in, and want access to, computers and the Net.

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To grow, information is one of life's basics, and it's arriving here

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in a way and on a scale that's not been tried before.

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So far, most attempts to bridge the digital divide have

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revolved around communities sharing refurbished PCs or tablets.

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But now, one group has come up with an idea that could

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see 150,000 people here own their own computer.

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And it's all down to this, the humble flash drive.

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The mission starts today at a school somewhere down there.

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The WhyNot Academy has just been built.

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Like other schools in East Africa, it uses textbooks

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-and chalkboards to teach.

-What is this?

-Ears.

-Ears.

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But in 2012 it was hooked up to the power grid, sort of unofficially.

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And now these two characters have arrived,

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it's been hooked up to the Net as well.

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The WhyNot Academy is officially connected to the internet.

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CLAPPING

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The makeshift solution, courtesy of a SIM card

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and a router hanging in a plastic bag, is classic Nissan and Franky.

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They're rough and ready entrepreneurs who just want to get things working

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rather than worry about how they might look.

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So they're making use of some cheap, old laptops too.

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This is now my Keepod.

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I use this little brain. But if Dominic needs now my computer,

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no problem. I take this out.

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He takes his Keepod, puts it in and starts working.

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They may not get the explanation first time round,

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but when the children are shown how they can say, "Hello, world"...

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-Hello, class!

-..interest quickly picks up. And everybody wants one.

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Next, headteacher Dominic hands out the flash drives which,

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importantly, each child gets to keep. It's why they call it Keepod.

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The laptops run directly from the small USB keys.

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No key, no laptop as they don't have a hard drive inside.

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In fact, any computer with a screen, keyboard

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and a basic processor will play the perfect host

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because each Keepod comes with its own operating system.

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This unique desktop version of Google's Android mobile OS

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makes any laptop or PC as simple to use as a smartphone.

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So whoever's USB or Keepod this is in here,

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whatever we browse will be kept on it so that next time they go online,

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they'll be able to go straight to where they were before.

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Obviously, you don't want to lose yours

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-or swap it out for somebody else's.

-I see photos. Even, there's movies.

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-This is a new technology. Wonderful!

-Talking to others, sending messages.

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Back in the office, another good piece of news comes in.

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This is calling the United States.

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They want to donate for the project.

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That's awesome.

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Even Arthur, the local PC repair man, is getting involved.

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He'll offer IT support and strip the hard drives out of the laptops.

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He can get up to 70 for these, so he's quite happy about it.

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They're using the Keepod.

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The first Keepods are being given away,

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but soon, they'll be sold for about 7 each, making a small profit,

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which should help pay for the project.

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It will help Africans help themselves.

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They are going to start to learn the skills of business.

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They are going to learn to read the story of people who have

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made it from nothing and through business,

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people who did not go to a lot of education but they made it.

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I mean, they are going to download viruses.

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They probably will download some sort of malware

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but it doesn't affect the hub that everybody uses.

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It's just the one individual.

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Anybody else can get on and carry on using things as normal.

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You are not allowed to put that on the Net!

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Backing up each Keepod is part of the plan but the steep learning curve

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and the economics of this inventive scheme will be a big test.

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Some fear the Keepods may be traded by parents for some meat to

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put on the table if they don't fully understand its potential value.

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And in many areas like Mathare, just getting electricity

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and then online will be tough.

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But here, the magic flash drives have arrived.

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Each owner feels like they have their own computer and the party has begun.

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Dan Simmons reporting from Kenya on the start of what could be

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a game changer for many.

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And if you'd like to get involved in that project,

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we're told that starter packs will be available to buy later this year

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which should allow anyone to supervise a version of that project

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anywhere they like.

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Now, while having an operating system on a portable drive

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like this isn't anything new, the ways of using it,

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like the Keepod project, are.

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And one reason you might want one of these is to protect your privacy

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because it's emerged that that's what

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CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden used his for.

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Last month, we discovered that Mr Snowden had been using

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an operating system called Tails, a version of Linux that,

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once on a flash drive or SD card, can be plugged into any computer

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and which makes it easier to go incognito on the Web.

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Tails includes super secure versions of common software.

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It uses high-level encryption for everything

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and accesses the internet via the Tor network, so wherever you surf,

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they'll find it much more difficult to work out who or where you are.

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Finally, it leaves no trace of what you were up to on the computer you used.

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Tails is free to download by anyone but before you do,

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you should know that, like any system offering security,

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it's not actually 100% secure and it's not suitable for certain tasks.

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So if it appeals, just make sure you're aware

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of its limitations as well as what it's capable of.

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OK, next up, a look at this week's Tech News.

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Police in Japan have arrested a man suspected of possessing guns

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made with a 3-D printer.

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27-year-old Yoshitomo Imura is believed to have kept

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the plastic guns at his home in Kawasaki.

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It's the first time firearms laws have been applied

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to 3-D printed guns, which can be lethal.

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easyJet is turning to drones to inspect its aircraft, saying

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it may introduce flying maintenance robots as early as next year.

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The drones, developed by the Bristol Robotics Centre,

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will be fitted with lasers and video cameras to scan

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the outside of the aircraft and report back to engineers.

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Forget gaming.

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The Norwegian army has found a slightly different use for the

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virtual reality headset Oculus Rift - driving a tank.

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Cameras on the armour show a 360 degree feed of the terrain,

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which helps soldiers to steer the vehicle.

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Testing is ongoing as army officials admit the picture quality

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isn't yet good enough to tell if the enemies are carrying weapons.

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And a new range of kitchen appliances that can be

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controlled by text message has gone on sale in South Korea.

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The LG models allow users to request a picture of the inside of their

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fridge be sent to their mobile phone so they can see what they've got.

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You can also ask this washing machine what it's up to to

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save getting into a spin over the laundry.

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Hm.

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Now, we all like to take pictures of what we're up to with friends, but

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have you ever wondered what makes a great photo, a popular picture?

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And here's a thought.

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If you did know that, would it change the pictures that you took?

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At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

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one researcher reckons he can predict which photos will be

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the most popular after analysing more than two million snaps

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posted to Flickr.

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His algorithm analyses colour and recognises objects.

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So, what's he learned?

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Miniskirts tend to make photos popular, bikinis and such,

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as well as, I guess, revolvers.

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And the ones that, you know, tend to reduce the popularity

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of photos are things such as laptops, spatulas and plungers, as well as...

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You know, some of the colours also tend to affect

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the popularity of photos, such as, you know,

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having brighter colours tends to make people click on them more

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often as compared to having, like, the dull or more outdoorsy colours.

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Actually, Aditya's colour analysis shows that these are the most

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likeable tones.

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So aim to include the ones on the right in your pictures.

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What do you hope will come of this study?

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Do you hope that we'll all become better photographers or do

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you just think that we'll all start putting more swimsuits

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and fewer plungers in our photos to get more likes?

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Part of the problem that I was hoping to help people solve was,

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I call this a problem of selfie selection.

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I guess people tend to take, you know, I don't know,

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50 or 100 photos and possibly select one or two out of them to upload.

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And maybe, if you have this objective way to figure out which one is

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likely to be more popular, it might save you some time

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and maybe you can do something else.

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You know, it's hard for me to say exactly how people could use this,

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but I think there's many more...

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There's a lot of space left to explore here.

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But is there a danger that if we all start taking these good photos,

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good photos will become boring?

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I mean, I don't know about you but if all my Facebook feed was,

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you know, full of women wearing swimsuits,

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I'd probably be spending all my time there.

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Well, armed with the knowledge of what sells,

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we aimed to take the most popular picture ever!

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-HE CLEARS THROAT

-Well, look.

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It's got a revolver - a toy one - a mug from the BBC canteen

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and a swimsuit. So...

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Well, the results were slightly disappointing, to be honest.

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Do you think we missed something?

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Is it the woman with a lot of skin on show or is it the bikini

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that makes it a popular photo? Be honest.

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I'm almost certain it's the bikini itself. No.

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I'm just messing with you.

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It's actually the person wearing the bikini.

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OK, joking aside, it does seem that we're starting to discover

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more about what makes a photo popular.

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So let's add another dimension to the mix - time.

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What if your photo was shared as soon as you took it, together

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with your exact location, pinpointed and broadcast for everyone to see?

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This is what's happening in Stockholm right now.

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Instant Peeping is a Stockholm-based website that displays live

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Instagram posts on city maps around the world.

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Dubbed a real-time social media experiment by its creators,

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users - or peepers -

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can watch the pics pop up as they're taken in any of nine cities.

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The reaction from people so far has been positive overall and,

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depending on where they're from when looking at different countries,

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some countries have been talking more about the voyeuristic

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part of it and calling it, like, the big brother of Instagram,

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and some other people are really interested in the technology

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part of it, how it works.

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Instagram stores a lot of data alongside each picture -

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its location, timestamps, filters used and so on.

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And that means that Instant Peeping can plug the location data

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into Google Maps and precisely pinpoint each snap.

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And unless you revoke Instagram's access to your location,

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this information could be aggregated by any site which want wants

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to make use of it.

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It's an interesting question - who actually owns the data?

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It depends on how you interpret the policies, I suppose.

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Instagram or Google haven't contacted us yet.

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Wherever you look, though,

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it does seem that you're likely to come across some familiar faces.

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The most popular images right now, I would say, are selfies

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and also cats.

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Cats are a constant and selfies seem to be trending now.

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It started as an ambitious IBM research project in 2007 -

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to build a supercomputer which was capable of understanding

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questions and answering them quickly and accurately.

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Seven years on, Watson, as it became known,

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is moving with the times in that it's shrinking and going mobile.

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In fact, apps that use Watson will be

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available for your smartphone later this year.

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IBM has challenged companies to come up with clever ways of

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taking advantage of all that supercomputing heavyweight

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and Simmi Das has been to see one of them.

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Meet Nate.

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Nate sells outdoor gear at the North Face store in San Francisco.

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Now meet Watson, IBM's cognitive computing whizz.

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Three years ago, the supercomputer won the top prize

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on the popular American TV quiz show Jeopardy.

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Ask Watson a question in plain English

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and it uses sophisticated tech to speedily find the best answer.

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And we find...

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Not just a literature buff, Watson assists physicians with

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an immense job - keeping current on clinical trials.

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And soon, it'll help shoppers.

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San Francisco start-up Fluid is using it to power its expert personal shopper or XPS app.

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It's building a prototype for the North Face.

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Watson's computational might is the result of several technologies,

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including artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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What Watson can do and its power is that it can ingest millions

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and millions of documents.

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What's called unstructured data, which is essentially anything that's

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written or spoken, it can digest, consume and learn from that content.

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As you ask it questions, it gets smarter and smarter.

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Content fed to Watson creates a corpus -

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a database stored in The Cloud.

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For the XPS app, it could include product catalogues and reviews.

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Think of it as Watson's cheat sheet.

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Can you tell me more about ABS technology?

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Watson also relies heavily on natural language processing or NLP.

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But that could create confusion.

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What happens when you're communicating in human language

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is you have expectations that the system on the other end

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is going to act like a human.

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So if it misunderstands something in a way a human wouldn't,

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it's frustrating, or worse, you get the wrong outcome.

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To use XPS, just ask a question.

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What technical pack is needed for an expedition to

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Fitz Roy, Patagonia, in the winter?

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XPS aims to offer the expertise of a star salesperson with some added convenience.

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Ever been shopping on a particularly busy day,

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maybe mother's or fathers' day, or worse, Christmas Eve?

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A salesperson might be hard to find, but an app?

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That you can just pull out of your bag.

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So you can type your questions in, you can actually speak to it

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and it will ask you questions back and it will give you products

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recommended along the way based on what you're talking about.

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And that's just the start.

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IBM is using Watson to tackle problems in Africa,

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like water sanitation and education.

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It's a tall order, one that'll test

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whether Watson lives up to its supercomputer status.

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Simmi Das with a massive brain in a tiny phone.

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Now, even if you're not using these as a full-on supercomputer,

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they are, of course, really useful.

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For example, they help us find stuff - bargains, businesses,

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buildings, people. But what happens if you don't want to be found?

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Well, Kate Russell has an app now that helps you avoid your friends.

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Here comes Webscape.

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The prolific use of social media

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and an apparent compulsion to friend everyone

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we meet has resulted in connections with hundreds of random people,

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not all of whom you want to stop and chat with.

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Cloak is an iPhone app that hooks into social networks

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Foursquare, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, keeping track of where your

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so-called friends last checked in so you can avoid them if you want to.

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It calls itself the antisocial network tool,

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allowing you to flag certain people so you'll be alerted

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if they pop up close to where you are.

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If you're in a particularly unsociable mood,

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or you're up to something you'd rather keep private, you can

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set it up to alert you for everyone.

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Of course, this app does rely on your contacts checking in somewhere

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with Foursquare or posting a location-tagged image

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through Instagram, for instance.

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But those are just the kinds of people I like to avoid,

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so it works perfectly for me in that context.

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If you've ever felt frustrated about the lack of transparency some

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social platforms have when it comes to privacy, My Face Privacy is

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a free download that takes away the pain by managing everything for you.

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It works with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+,

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and using the plain language interface, you can

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set close friends and choose what you want to share with who.

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The software then updates your settings automatically without

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you needing to hunt through menus

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and dig deep into the complicated interface on each site.

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Even if you think you've got a handle on the privacy settings,

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software developers are constantly changing

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and tweaking stuff behind-the-scenes

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and My Face Privacy will keep an eye on that for you

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and automatically make any amendments necessary

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if a change affects the information you're sharing.

0:21:190:21:23

Once you've set your own privacy settings, you can

0:21:230:21:26

add additional accounts to organise your children's networks, too.

0:21:260:21:30

It's a great way to make sure the whole family are safe.

0:21:300:21:33

The London Underground has been running for 150 years

0:21:380:21:42

and carries over a billion passengers each year.

0:21:420:21:45

Running it is a complex city planning job

0:21:450:21:48

and you can find out exactly how complex by playing Mini Metro.

0:21:480:21:52

This is a bit like SimCity, where you have to make

0:21:550:21:58

decisions about what resources to use where,

0:21:580:22:01

setting up new lines to link the stations as they're built.

0:22:010:22:06

And choose carefully because if your stations get overcrowded

0:22:060:22:09

and your passengers can't get where they need to go,

0:22:090:22:13

the game is over and you'll have to start from scratch.

0:22:130:22:16

The early alpha build of the game is free to play online

0:22:160:22:19

or as a Mac, Linux and Windows download,

0:22:190:22:22

with the full version of the game, a premium upgrade, coming soon.

0:22:220:22:26

The privacy bandwagon rolls on and this week, colourful antivirus

0:22:310:22:35

software pioneer John McAfee has launched a messaging app.

0:22:350:22:39

Chadder is free on Android and Windows phone 8.1

0:22:390:22:43

and focuses on encryption and security.

0:22:430:22:46

For iPhone users, a new way to share -

0:22:500:22:53

Route Share lets you share your location

0:22:530:22:55

and when you should arrive at your destination, with real-time

0:22:550:22:58

updates via SMS, e-mail and other popular social platforms.

0:22:580:23:03

Perfect for making sure whoever is expecting you has got the kettle on.

0:23:030:23:07

Thank you, Kate.

0:23:120:23:13

Kate's links are available at our website if you missed them.

0:23:130:23:18

You'll also find clips from this week's programme and previous progs there, too.

0:23:180:23:22

And if you'd like to get in touch with us,

0:23:220:23:24

please use Google+, Facebook or Twitter or something called

0:23:240:23:27

e-mail, which, I'm led to believe, is going to be big one day.

0:23:270:23:30

Thanks for watching and we'll see you next time.

0:23:330:23:35

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