20/09/2014 Click


20/09/2014

How the crowd is helping to track down extremists, and can twin lasers improve the 3D movie experience? Includes tech news and webscape.


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Transcript


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Where are the extremists hiding?

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Without realising it, they've already told the world.

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This week on Click, we meet the man who is tracking

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down the terrorists by looking at information hidden in plain sight.

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And we'll check out the technology the extremists might be able

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to use to remain hidden.

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Could twin lasers rescue 3-D cinema?

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We're at a world first in Amsterdam to find out.

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We're also making music with our minds

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and we have some money-saving tips for you in Webscape.

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Welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly.

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Technology touches every aspect of our lives these days of course

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and most of the time, it is used for good.

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But sometimes it is used for ill, too,

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and that certainly seems to be the case with the news coming

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out of Syria and Iraq recently,

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which has been unremittingly grim.

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Today, another barbaric act...

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Islamic State has been waging a campaign of terror with

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horrific results.

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One particularly new aspect to this had been its extensive

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and expert use of social media to broadcast its message,

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both to create fear and to bring in new recruits.

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Some Twitter users this week started urging others to stop sharing

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the group's material under the hashtag #isismediablackout,

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but it only really had limited success.

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But we've come to Leicester to meet one person who's

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using his skills to turn Islamic State's own propaganda against it.

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This is Eliot Higgins, father of one, resident of Leicester

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and a self-employed investigative journalist.

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Working from a small office, he is the founder of Belling Cat,

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a website which uses open source databases

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and the power of the crowd to analyse photos

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and videos posted online by insurgents in Syria and Iraq

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and then tries to work out where they were taken.

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For example, by spotting detail like bridges, unusual buildings

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and other notable features in the background of these

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propaganda shots of a training camp somewhere in Iraq, Eliot

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was able to match the photos to similar shots taken by locals

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and to satellite images to pinpoint the camp's location.

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Earlier this year, after flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine,

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he monitored pictures posted on Facebook, Instagram

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and Twitter by people in the area,

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to track the journey of an unusual military vehicle that he thinks

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was carrying a surface to air missile on that day.

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He even believes he's been able to pinpoint

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the field from which it was launched.

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This is from a video filmed in Ukraine where there's the white

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splodge on the rail, and this one - this is from Russia, which is

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the same one, the same white splodge.

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It might look small, but this operation does cost money.

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Eliot gave up his job to do this full-time and he's recently raised

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over £50,000 through Kickstarter to sustain and expand his operation.

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It really started when I was looking at the conflict in Libya.

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I've just been interested in current events.

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I saw there was a lot of information being posted on sites

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like YouTube and Twitter and Facebook that was being completely ignored.

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It seemed to me some of this information was quite interesting.

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The problem was the whole question of "how do we know if it's true?"

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So I started teaching myself ways to verify this information.

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One of the first videos I looked at, it had a big main road in it,

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a mosque in it...

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They said it was in a certain town, so I went to the town,

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found the road, found the same mosque

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and was able to verify it was the same town using that information.

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And while you might have assumed that Government agencies

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are already doing this kind of stuff and with better resources

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than just one laptop, Eliot doesn't think they are.

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I've been contacted by all kinds of different agencies,

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different departments of the same agency saying, "This is interesting, how do you do it?"

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It's something I'm very willing to show them

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because I think it's open source information.

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If I can figure out where someone is stood

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when they're filming a video, and they're doing that

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week on week on week, that means the person with the artillery

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and rocket launchers can also figure that out and target that position.

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In fact, just last week,

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Eliot claimed to have pinpointed a location south of Raqqa in Syria,

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where American journalist James Foley was killed by militants.

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You can probably make out...

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These are most likely to be trees, rather than individual structures.

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But this is a best estimate based on what we know.

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I'm sure it's in this region.

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So, if technology can be used to expose extra information

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about extremist groups,

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the next logical step is for those groups to try and hide even deeper.

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Jen Copestake has been looking at how new privacy technology

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may help them to keep their activities in the dark.

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Amir Taaki is one of the key programmers behind a tool

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which could potentially

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hide the identity of people using the crypto currency, Bitcoin.

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Along with Cody Wilson, the creator of the 3-D printed gun,

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he's made the Dark Wallet - software to anonymise Bitcoin transactions.

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Already the US government and European banking authorities

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are looking at regulating the use of Bitcoins and are particularly

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concerned about how the Dark Wallet

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could be used as a money-laundering tool.

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These fears grew recently

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when a blog linked to Islamic State was published.

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It included an instruction manual for how to stay undercover online.

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It emphasised the Dark Wallet would have many benefits,

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including the ability to easily...

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We first met Amir in Barcelona.

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Now, he's living in a squat in the heart of central London.

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In June 2013, this was the centre of the G8 protests.

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They were sent 1,200 counterterrorism police

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to evict the place

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and if you see the red paint was where people were fighting

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with paint bombs against the police and many people were arrested.

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The G8 released a document naming Dark Wallet as a key

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money-laundering threat and now Dark Wallet is in the G8 building.

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Staying in the squat is a group of expert programmers

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working on other software to help anonymise your life online.

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They all share the belief that anything an individual

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does should be completely free from government interference.

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They built the Dark Wallet because they don't believe

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anyone should be able to see what you spend your money on online.

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But there's a flip side - we came to speak to them about how they'd feel

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if their technology is going to be used by extremists

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like the Islamic State.

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If there was a link with Dark Wallet to an Isis fighter who was

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involved in beheading somebody

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and you knew that, would you feel comfortable?

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Um, yeah.

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In fact, I shut down my Twitter account

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because they were shutting down Isis accounts.

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I don't think...

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trying to censor information is the way to go.

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Have you had any contact with anyone directly from Isis,

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-asking you to help them?

-No. No way, I don't like Isis.

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So is it a question of you wouldn't stop them from using the Dark Wallet?

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No, you can't stop people using technology

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because of your personal bias.

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I think obviously terrorists will use it

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and you know, the benefits certainly outweigh the risks.

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Equally, obviously terrorists go use the internet.

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Obviously terrorists use freedom of speech.

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And we've accepted that that is a trade-off we must make.

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It's a sort of libertarian worldview

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and at the extreme edges of that, there are those who say

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it doesn't really matter what people do with this technology, even if

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the whole world is sort of torn up -

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what's more important is that we are creating the technology

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that is going to guarantee individual liberty from governments.

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If it comes to pass that Isis have started using Bitcoin or

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Dark Wallet, or any other type of technology of this type,

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then public concern and public opinion about these

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technologies will change dramatically.

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But these programmers don't care about public opinion.

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For them, freedom from scrutiny is above all.

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In the past, opinions and discussions like this may have

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stayed in the squats, but today, combined with their coding

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skills, their beliefs are starting to ripple around the world.

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Jen Copestake with some pretty thought-provoking stuff.

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We'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject - e-mail...

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Or tweet us at...

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Now, in last week's tech news,

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we correctly predicted that Microsoft was about to buy

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the makers of Minecraft for 2.5 billion.

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Let's see what we get right this week.

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In a sign that smart watches may just be starting to gain some

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momentum, motorists in the UK are being

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warned about the dangers of using the devices while driving.

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A spokesman from the Department of Transport says accidents

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caused by such activity would result in severe penalties.

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The US space agency NASA has announced which companies

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it's backing to take the country's astronauts back into space.

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Since retiring their own shuttles in 2011,

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the Americans have had to rely on Russian ships to get off the ground.

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The decision sees 6.2 billion

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being paid out to companies Boeing and SpaceX

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in order to develop their human spaceflight capabilities.

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If all goes to plan, NASA will have rockets by the end of 2017.

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Panasonic has unveiled a hybrid smartphone camera with

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a huge 1-inch, 20 megapixel sensor,

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more normally found in its dedicated cameras.

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Unveiled at the Photokina tradeshow in Cologne, the extra optical

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heft in the Lumix DMC-CM1 should improve sensitivity

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in low light and allow the phone to shoot ultra high-def video.

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With Samsung Galaxy's K zoom also on the market,

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large-lens phone cameras seem to be something of a trend at the moment.

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And it's the programmers' in-joke

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that has become the surprise gaming hit.

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Goat Simulator is trotting off PC and onto Android and IOS devices.

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The game, which is a tongue-in-cheek third person -

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or should that be third goat - adventure,

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allows the player to take their goat to the fair or ride a bike.

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The game also has intentionally buggy sections

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and slightly rubbish controls.

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Now, if you own a home cinema system,

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the chances are you haven't been to the actual cinema in quite a while.

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One way that movie theatres are trying to lure audiences back

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is with 3-D, which seems to work better in a controlled space

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than in the home environment.

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But the problem is, 3-D isn't as realistic or as comfortable

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to watch as perhaps it could be.

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Well, now the movie industry is looking to introduce a new

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breed of 3-D and we sent Dan Simmons to Amsterdam,

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to witness the very first screening of a film made with the new tech.

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The number of cinemagoers choosing the 3-D version of a film has

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dropped by a third in the last four years.

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People are falling out of love with 3-D.

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-The novelty has kind of worn off.

-They're not bright enough.

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-They're too dim.

-All you do is HEAR the movie.

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You know how your mother always said, "Don't read in the dark"? It's not a comfortable experience.

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Now that we can show it at the proper light level of what

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2D would be - a shot in the arm, if you will, for this format.

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This is the world's first screening of a full-length movie

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using the 6P system.

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We project two images simultaneously,

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both the left eye and the right eye.

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The whole idea is we don't have to flash between the two,

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it gives a much better persistence of vision,

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therefore the 3-D looks more natural.

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We don't go through life alternating our eyes, we go through life

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with both eyes open and we see both offset images at the same time.

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These are not servers - they're laser power units, pumping out

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up to 100,000 lumens of light down fibre optics to two projectors.

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Basically put, each projector uses a different mix of colours -

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of wavelengths - to send the same picture to each eye.

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Using these glasses, they only allow certain wavelengths of light

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through, so the left eye can only see what's coming out of that

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projector, the right, what's coming out of this.

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The important thing though,

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is that not in the past has it been possible to get a whole

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projector's worth of light into each eye at the same time.

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Now we can and that replicates how we see.

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We're using a system called colour separation based 3-D,

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Which is very different than 99% of movie cinemas right now.

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They use polarisation schemes.

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The polarisation-based system, you need something in front

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of the projector or inside the projector to polarise the light.

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And that polariser actually absorbs a lot of light.

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With spectral separation, or a colour separation based technique,

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using lasers, we can generate the light right from the source

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at the wavelength, so we eliminate the filter stage.

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The only thing between you and the image,

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or you and the projector, are your glasses.

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Finally, we have a technology solution

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to make 3D as bright as 2D.

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The new system is bright enough to do away with the traditional

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silver screen which can create hot spots of brightness,

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depending on where we sit.

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So, the nice part about actually having a flat, matt screen

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is that it basically looks the same across the board

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for people sitting in the front row, the side row, or the back row.

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And that at least allows everybody to see the movie

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the way the film-maker wanted...made it.

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Well, this is certainly one of the best 3D experiences that I've had.

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I have to say, the glasses are not just reflective on this side,

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but also this side as well, so you do get a little bit of reflection

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when you look through the lenses.

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But it's crisp, it's clear, and the colours are brilliant.

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Could it be the saviour of 3D film?

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I think it is a fundamental piece to continue to support that format.

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'Go-o-o-o-o!'

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Dan Simmons on the next iteration of 3D cinema.

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Now, not all of us are lucky enough to be musically gifted.

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But even if you're not LJ Rich, who can play anything

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on anything, there is still hope. You too could be a musical virtuoso.

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Although it might mess up your hair.

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This is my brain on music.

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On stage at Music Tech Fest in London, my grey matter is

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locked in a musical mind mingle with three other performers.

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This brain quartet is actually an octet.

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We choose a musical phrase by staring at a pattern on a screen.

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If we concentrate correctly,

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this sends our chosen phrase to our operator, the actual musician.

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When I tried this for the first time a few months back,

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one thought wouldn't leave my brain.

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Using systems like this, no-one needs musical training to play.

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The joy of performing could be accessible to anyone. How exciting!

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This conference is all about finding new ways to play music.

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Behind me, the guys on stage are exploring new interfaces.

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The question is what is the best way to use technology to play music?

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Here is the Seaboard, a kind of squishy piano.

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It's been well received at the Fest.

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Now, even if the only tune you can knock out is Chopsticks,

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there's still fun to be had with this interface.

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You can slide up and down under the notes.

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You can wobble the keys to make the note wobble.

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But the real possibilities are only unlocked

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if you can play the keyboard.

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That's the spirit!

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Now, this duo, Intelligentsia,

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uses a smartphone to add an extra layer to their performance.

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By pressing a button on the as yet unreleased AUUG Motion app,

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Bron can add specific harmonies to her vocals.

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I could have just left it on a harmony setting, which would have

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done a computer-generated harmony.

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What I was able to do by triggering the different buttons on the iPhone

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was to change that harmony.

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Meanwhile, the Oscilla is much more forgiving of the humble novice.

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Each counter on the surface simply changes the pitch

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and volume of one or more notes.

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Crucially, this can be scaled up to people size.

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We're now in a stage where we're building the new instruments.

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And most of them, the vast majority of them, are still very rudimentary.

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We're now seeing the emergence of new ideas which could

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potentially lead to a new interface, which is extremely expressive.

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Some of these interfaces have broken out of the concept stage.

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In Leafcutter John's case, the sound may come out of a laptop,

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but what goes in is light.

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SPOOKY ELECTRONIC SOUNDS

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The laptop became something that everyone used

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but no-one seemed to have a good interface for it.

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So I've been looking for a long time at a way that

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I wanted to play that.

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And I landed on this thing which I've made,

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which allows you to play by using light.

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I'm quite a believer in finding the best tool for the job and,

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then, if necessary, you make your own tools.

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This thinking, of course, opens the floodgates for all

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kinds of instruments, like the water synth,

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handily hatched together from microphones

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and a plastic tray of water.

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ELECTRONIC SOUNDS

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And that's what this new frontier embraces -

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technology made by musicians so everyone can feel musical.

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That would appeal to most brains.

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LJ Rich, breaking the sound barrier.

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We do love to break down sound barriers on this programme

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which is precisely what Kate Russell is about to do,

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only hers will save you money. Here's Webscape.

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# I wanna be a billionaire...#

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The internet might be breaking down international borders,

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but the world's banks are taking their time catching up,

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with many still adding charges on to processing foreign transactions.

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TransferWise is a peer-to-peer currency exchange platform,

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disrupting this space by connecting users across international borders

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to make secure cash transfers outside the traditional banking system.

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# The world better prepare

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# For when I'm a billionaire... #

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TransferWise charges 0.5% for payments of more than £200

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and a flat fee of £1,

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or whatever is the currency in your home country, for smaller amounts.

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The service works in lots of countries

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and covers many mainstream currencies.

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You can also get smarter about travel.

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GoEuro is a journey planner that lets you search travel options

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across Europe, delivering a list of all possible routes,

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including flights, trains, and local buses.

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Where GoEuro differs from other sites in this genre is it lets you

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search travel options to where you actually want to go, even

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that, say, tiny town or village in the countryside.

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This site will recommend the best end-to-end options,

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displaying results and prices all in your own language and currency.

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Tickets can be booked through the site. But it's not compulsory.

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And with over 32,000 destinations listed, just browsing could give you

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some brilliant ideas about where to spend your break.

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People love to share what's happening in their life.

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But all too often, that classic opportunity

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is missed in the fumble to get your phone out and start recording.

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Ovrhrd is an iOS7 and above app that runs in the background,

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constantly recording the world around you.

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It only keeps up to the last three minutes

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so you're not going to fill up your memory.

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And battery use is minimal.

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When you hear something you want to keep, just open the app

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and save the clip.

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'I just love making Webscape!'

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You can even add effects by swiping right on the save screen.

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You know when you miss an important line of dialogue in a film,

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or the punch line of a joke,

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and use the handy TV remote to jump back 15 seconds?

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Well, this is like having a rewind button for real life.

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It feels kind of like the Truman Show, in some respects,

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and I can imagine how some people might find it a little bit creepy.

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The app also lets users share recordings

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and follow each other to comment on posts.

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RECORDING OF PARROT MAKING INDISTINCT SOUND

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Right now, you can't keep your account private,

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or ban anyone from following you, which opens up privacy issues.

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But the developers say they are working on a few extra

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features like this as the app matures.

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Kate Russell, gone in 60 seconds.

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And Kate's links are all available at our website, of course.

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Now, it turns out that this week we are celebrating

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a bit of an anniversary because this is Click episode number 750.

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Yes, we are three quarters of the way to our millennium.

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And after nearly 15 years of covering technology

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and innovation, would you believe

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the BBC has finally decided to give us...

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our own YouTube channel. Yeah.

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I know, we've been asking for it for quite a few years and,

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if I'm honest, I think they came to the decision relatively quickly.

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Anyway, we've dusted off our original YouTube trailer and,

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well, I think it still works.

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This radio controlled helicopter can not only fly itself, but it can

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also beam v-v-v-ideo imagery

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straight on to the information superhighway.

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It's the smartphone skirt,

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tailored from 80 different s-s-smartphones.

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Electrically powered unicycle.

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Personal, portable replacement for perambulation.

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The screen overlays useful information

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based on my location, allowing me to record whatever I want.

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Augment reality...r-r-reality with extra information.

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# These are the things

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# These are the things The things that dreams... #

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Click. Tomorrow's world...

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today.

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Yes, anyway.

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Just to repeat, you can subscribe to that channel at:

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It will contain all our best bits are loads of stuff that you

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won't see on the show, too. So, enjoy that.

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

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