27/09/2014 Click


27/09/2014

Click meets the architects using visualisation technology to build cities of the future. And can Blackberry recover its share of the smartphone market?


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Excuse me, could you tell me the way to, uh... Pardon me, I'm looking for...

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Does anyone know the way to...?

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This week on Click, we'll try to navigate the cities of the future,

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and find out how to design buildings and whole areas that are easy to get to

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and safe to be around.

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We're also meeting the new smartphone which is hoping it's hip to be square.

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And meet the people you don't know who are offering to wake you up first thing in the morning.

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All that plus the latest tech news,

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and apps for snaps in a photography flavoured Webscape.

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Welcome to Click, I'm Spencer Kelly.

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Around the world, more and more people

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are moving to the cities.

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And as a result, the infrastructures of those cities

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are starting to struggle.

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This week we're at a place called Transport Systems Catapult in the fairly young city of Milton Keynes.

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This place is showcasing different ways of tackling urban transport planning issues.

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For example,

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this is the city of Manchester in 2010.

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A lot smaller than I remember it but there you go. This is a visualisation

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of how the traffic flowed around the city four years ago,

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the blue blobs are busses, the white blobs are cars and so on.

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First of all, you can dial forward 10 or 20 years to see how the congestion will increase.

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But you can also dial up the amount of investment that there has been through that time in public transport

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to see whether, for example, you can reduce the number of cars on the road.

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And then you can see how your design will be influenced

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by accidents at various points on the map.

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And, of course how it copes with a spot of bad weather.

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Now, it is all very well helping existing cities adjust,

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but if you have the luxury of building something from scratch,

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you can use the latest technology and simulations to help get your design right.

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Over here is a simulation of how different

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parts of a pedestrianised area would get congested as you open and close different entrances and exits.

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And Neil Bowdler has been finding out how this can be used to predict

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how buildings affect people before a single foundation stone has been laid.

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The London headquarters of the engineering group Arup,

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at its architectural division Arup Associates.

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This is how architecture used to be done,

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physical models of proposed buildings to give the planners and

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the general public a better idea of how a scheme will look and impact on its environment.

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Models like these are still built here at Arup and elsewhere,

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but it is 3D digital visualisation which has now become the most important tool

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engaging with clients, city authorities and the public.

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This is a fly-through showing how the finished Olympic Park will eventually look,

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created before much of the park was built.

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It is the work of a whole team at the company's visualisation department.

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Heading up the team is David Edge.

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We created a co-ordinated model, a visualisation model of the Olympic Park, back in 2007.

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And using this model it helped communicate to a number of different audiences.

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We published it into a real-time engine,

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so that helped people experience what the vistas of the Olympic Park were going to be.

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The team's latest project is the Garden Bridge,

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the new proposed river crossing for London's pedestrians.

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Look at this video and you'd think it was built already.

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This is before. We can click on year one

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and then we can actually bring in what the bridge is going to look like

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on the first year after it's been built.

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And then we can go to year 25, summer,

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and you can see start to see what the vision of Heatherwick Studio and Dan Pearson Studio is,

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with the treeline reflecting the piers in framing the views of London.

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David doesn't just want to create pretty videos,

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he wants to put you in or on the buildings or structures

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before they are built.

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No office is complete without a shed, but this is one with a difference.

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It is a visualisation shed.

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Step into it and I can transport myself to the River Thames.

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Inside the shed we have a fan to represent the wind, we have

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leaves to represent the foliage that will be on the bridge and the aroma

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that they will give, we even have the sound of birdsong and the distant hum of traffic.

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What we're missing are the pictures.

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Put on these glasses and I can really put myself on the bridge.

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Visualising future projects isn't just about informing the public, though.

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It is also about the public informing the design process.

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Arup's Alvise Simondetti builds virtual realities of unbuilt buildings,

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so they can be tested before the foundations are built.

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This is a planned station upgrade for Hong Kong.

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We want a 21st century station,

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which translates into the fact that we want to ensure that

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passengers can go from anywhere, any position, any place to any place in the station

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within a maximum amount of time.

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Which is around a minute and a half.

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So I am wandering around this simulation now and I must admit I am a bit lost.

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It is not surprising, given how big it is. There are four train lines, eight platforms,

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48 escalators, I'm tumbling down one now.

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And the whole point here is the signage.

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I'm trying to get from A to B within this station using the signs that are available to me.

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If I get lost or the signs don't work very well then that information

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will be fed back to the developers of this simulation

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and the engineers and architects can redesign the signage before the station's even built.

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The plan is to put this virtual reality online in the near future,

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so the general public can feed back data in their thousands.

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Down by the river, David Edge is using his latest visualisation tool

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for clients, using augmented reality.

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Technology probably won't ever be able to predict entirely how a building will function,

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a physical world has hidden depths after all.

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But there is no doubting it can dramatically improve our sense of how a building will appear,

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and sit in its landscape before it's built.

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It might even lead to better buildings.

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Neil Bowdler.

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Now, you can't go far in the UK without coming across a CCTV camera.

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They are intended as a security measure,

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but cameras do have a shortcoming.

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They only offer a limited view of the surrounding area.

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But now, one US company has developed a way of monitoring an entire neighbourhood

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using technology originally developed during the Iraq war.

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Sumi Das has visited the firm that is now looking to bring the surveillance system to urban areas.

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This summer, so called "ghost robbers" plagued Dayton, Ohio.

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No arrests were made,

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but a potent crime fighting tool may have made a difference.

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Cameras mounted on planes thousands of feet overhead.

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We get a fallen location where there was a camera,

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that did see their face,

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we could have identified them and solved this crime.

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From it's high vantage point, this rig of 12 high-res cameras

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captures things that escape lenses on the ground.

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The technology, made by Persistent Surveillance Systems,

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is called Hawkeye 2.

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Our camera systems are 192 million pixels but that doesn't mean that we have

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tremendous resolution down on the ground.

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Our objective is to cover as large an area as possible

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so we see as much crime as we possibly can.

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Persistent Surveillance System's own software stitches images from the 12 cameras together.

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The company engineered a 600 megabit per second downlink

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to transfer files from the plane to a command centre.

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It is fast enough that police could track crimes in progress.

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The most effective use of this technology?

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Steady crime statistics.

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Find out when and where most crimes occur.

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Then fly a plane over those hotspots

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during peak periods.

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Hawkeye 2 can cover up to 25 square miles,

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though people are reduced to grainy spots.

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At one pixel per person, I can't tell if someone is a man, woman or child.

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They are just a dot.

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The only reason I know they're not a bush is they tend to walk along the sidewalk.

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The only reason I know they're not a dog is they tend to get in a car and drive.

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If I had 9 pixels per person it wouldn't tell me any more information about it,

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but I'd only cover one ninth of the area

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and see one ninth the number of crimes.

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Persistent Surveillance Systems has witnessed 34 murders using its technology.

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They captured this one in Juarez, Mexico,

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near the US border,

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while surveilling for illegal crossings and contraband smuggling.

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This right here appears to be your victim coming out there,

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right there appears to be the shot,

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and then what we're going to do is, we're going to follow the shooter out.

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Analysts painstakingly examine each image and log

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the suspect's movements.

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Using Google Street View, they identify which house to investigate.

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Surveillance technology is bound to raise privacy concerns and questions.

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Who is watching me? These analysts can't look at any video they wish,

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they can only review footage directly related to a crime that's been reported

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or an ongoing police investigation.

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But privacy advocates remain wary.

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A particular concern is that the technology is used

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without public knowledge.

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This raises serious privacy and first amendment concerns.

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Because it allows for law enforcement to know whether, for instance,

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a person has left their house and gone to a psychiatrist,

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gone to a mosque or even gone to an abortion clinic.

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To date, Hawkeye 2 has been used to assess damage following the BP oil spill,

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gather data for traffic studies and help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy.

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But no police departments are using it.

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Public opposition and the nearly 2,000 per hour cost are among the reasons.

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But police still see the value.

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Technology is a force multiplier in the era of austerity.

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The only way most of those of those departments are able to maintain effectiveness

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is through the use of innovative technology,

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and this is just one example of such technology.

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And judging by the rapid development of sensor and imaging technologies,

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there will likely be many others.

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Sumi Das with the eyes in the skies above Ohio.

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Next up, a look at this week's tech news.

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Apple has been forced to apologise

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after an update to its mobile operating system

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left some owners of its new iPhones unable to make or receive calls.

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Users who had installed iOS 8.0.1 on their iPhone 6s also complained

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it caused problems for the handset's touch ID fingerprint facility.

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The update has now been pulled and Apple has advised affected users

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to reinstall iOS 8 through iTunes.

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India has successfully sent a spacecraft to Mars

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and is the first country to have done so at its first attempt.

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The Mangalyaan, which means Mars Craft in Hindi,

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safely arrived in orbit and will now take pictures of the Red Planet

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and study its atmosphere.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country had achieved

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the near impossible, and what's more,

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it completed the mission for just 74 million,

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substantially less than it cost to make the film Gravity.

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And, finally, the world's first 3D printed band

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has shown off its chops at Lund University in Sweden.

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All the instruments involved in this tri-dimensional performance,

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the drums, the keyboard and a couple of guitars, were 3D printed.

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Well, as much as they could be.

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Forget heavy metal, this is heavy plastic.

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Of course, the main news on social media this week is...

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#bendgate.

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Yep, those photos that surfaced of Apple's new iPhone

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which seemed to show the phone might be prone to bending in your pocket.

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Apple said it's received just 9 complaints in the first week,

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claiming the problem is "rare" during normal use.

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But, of course, we can't take Apple's word for it. We've asked Marc Cieslak to investigate.

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Now, the 6 Plus is the larger of the two new iPhones and its back

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is made of aluminium, which will bend if forced.

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But just how tough is Apple's latest?

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I'm now going to perform a completely unscientific test,

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which I like to call "sitting down",

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with the 6 Plus in my front and back pocket.

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For the record, the surface I'm sitting on is soft.

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And let's have a look at the result.

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Seems pretty flat to me.

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OK, time now to try it with a chair that has a hard surface.

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Pop it into my pocket.

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Let's have a look there.

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It's worth noting I wouldn't normally put my smartphone in my back pocket,

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for fear of damaging the screen in the first place.

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This is still looking reasonably flat.

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Time now to test if the iPhone will bend after leaving it in my pocket for an entire day.

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A day which involves extreme activities, such as getting a hair cut.

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eating lunch and working at my desk.

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I've had the iPhone 6 Plus in my pocket all day

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and the result of all the standing up and sitting down that I've done?

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Well, the phone itself remains...

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completely unbent.

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This massive thing is called the Sentiment Mapping Tool.

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it's looking out for tweets that contain keywords relating to public transport,

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train, bus, tube and so on.

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And then it is trying to work out the sentiment of those tweets.

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Basically whether the people tweeting are happy or not about their train journey and their bus ride.

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Working out the mood of tweets is a big thing right now, but it is not

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as easy as it sounds, it is not just a case of looking out for happy and sad keywords,

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because, in the UK at least, we have this thing called sarcasm,

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which is very easy for computers to work out(!)

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Anyway, right now I can see the buses are making people very happy,

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the tube seems to be on track and the trains have just recovered

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from a period of making people very, very miserable.

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Your next travel update in half an hour.

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Now, I'm not sure what smartphones these people are using

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but I think it's safe to say most of them aren't using Blackberries.

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As smartphones have moved towards bigger touchscreens and better cameras,

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the once mighty Blackberry has fallen out of favour.

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But the company is not out of the running just yet,

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and it is now pinning its hopes on something it has been known for since it entered the mobile market.

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Its keyboard.

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Dan Simmons has been looking at how Blackberry is reverting to type.

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It looks like an ordinary keyboard,

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until you swipe it.

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Embedded beneath the keys is a capacitive touch sensor

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that allows the whole surface of this new device to be used

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like a touchpad.

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For browsing,

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text editing,

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and revealing menus.

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There's a lot of people who find a huge amount of value in a physical keyboard,

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and so we are just taking what we have always been really good at

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and we're upgrading it. And you will see that in the devices coming out in the future.

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This is the Blackberry Passport,

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and it is not for teenagers.

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This is a phone for the business professional.

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Blackberry have got all serious on us.

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This screen isn't ideal for watching movies but it does make documents much more easy to browse through.

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The Blackberry 10 OS doesn't support as many apps as others,

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but we are now told this works seamlessly with your office software.

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And this new touch keyboard makes bashing out that e-mail super quick.

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One way the Passport focuses on work is how it stores all those

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sensitive documents on the handset while allowing them to be edited on the laptop.

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The key is, nothing leaves the Blackberry.

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You do the editing using the PC power

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but then it's sent through the Blackberry

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and it is from the Blackberry that all the security is enabled.

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So the security is on the Blackberry, nothing is left on the PC.

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The Passport takes its name from its dimensions,

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but it does feel chunky, and while its size may be its biggest plus for some,

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it may not be BB's breakthrough device.

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It's niche because it's got a large screen, 4.5 inches square,

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it's not the typical format.

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The one coming out after this, the Classic, which is a return to form,

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a return to the Blackberry Bold style keyboards,

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that I think will be the one. This will be rather niche.

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For now this is a square phone, aimed squarely at square people,

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but it might just help Blackberry boldly turn a curve.

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Dan Simmons with the device which may, or may not, wake Blackberry from its slumber.

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Talking of which, and you're going to love this link,

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until I became a dad, getting up in the morning was the worst thing in the world.

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If that is still you, have you ever wondered if it might be easier to get up

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if you are woken by a complete stranger?

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I'm saying nothing.

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Well, believe it or not, that is the idea behind a new app called Wakie,

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and Stephen Beckett has spent the last week bedding it in.

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ALARM BEEPS

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If you are already clawing for the snooze button

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maybe you need this.

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I've got a Wakie.

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'Good morning!'

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Hello?

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This is Wakie, the idea is to get strangers to wake you up,

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a bit like a hotel alarm call.

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Each stranger is randomly chosen from anywhere in the world,

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and has just one minute to get you out of bed.

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That was very weird, but I am, technically, awake.

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The app is the brainchild of Armenian entrepreneur, Hrachik Adjamian.

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This idea came to me seven years ago because it was my own problem.

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I just noticed that when someone is calling me I am

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waking up pretty fast.

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I cannot just snooze a live person.

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And once you are awake you can return the favour to other so-called "sleepies" around the world.

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We are currently looking for sleepies.

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I've got a sleepie!

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Wake up!

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What are you going to have for breakfast?

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-'Probably just a coffee and a bagel.'

-Cool.

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'Hello?'

0:19:160:19:17

# Wake up, it's time to get up, yeah! #

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What do you think?

0:19:220:19:23

'Good job waking!'

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They hung up!

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Sing, sing for them, they always thank you after that because

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even if your voice is horrible, they always think of it as

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a really nice way of waking up, instead of

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the random "good morning" wake up.

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The app claims to be anonymous, keeping your phone number private from the person you are calling.

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That is all well and good providing they actually answer the phone.

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'You have reached the voicemail of 7192..."

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Another voicemail.

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And now I've got their mobile number.

0:19:520:19:54

Wakie say they are working on a fix for the problem,

0:19:540:19:57

but until then you might want to think twice before inviting the world into your voicemail.

0:19:570:20:02

Bizarrely, the app also tries to match you with someone of the opposite gender.

0:20:020:20:07

It makes you become more nice than your gender, we just noticed that.

0:20:070:20:12

I see it as an entertainment tool.

0:20:120:20:15

Since I live alone I use Wakie often at night after work

0:20:150:20:19

instead of watching TV I'd rather use my Wakie and wake up random strangers all the time and just meet

0:20:190:20:24

random strangers for a second.

0:20:240:20:27

There is no denying Wakie is a pretty strange idea,

0:20:270:20:31

as evidenced by the reaction we got when we asked people what they thought on Twitter.

0:20:310:20:35

But, weird or not, Wakie already claims a strong following with Russians,

0:20:350:20:39

boasting 1.5 million subscribers.

0:20:390:20:42

And with apps available for Android and Windows smartphones,

0:20:420:20:45

and iOS in the pipeline,

0:20:450:20:46

it could soon be bedtime for the snooze button.

0:20:460:20:49

The Stephen Beckett alarm call.

0:20:510:20:54

Thank goodness he didn't get his trombone out.

0:20:540:20:56

Anyway, this week we have a photography themed Webscape for you.

0:20:560:21:01

Some people prefer the point and shoot simplicity of smartphone cameras,

0:21:010:21:05

but for others the art of photography is a serious business,

0:21:050:21:09

and Kate Russell has a little something for everyone next.

0:21:090:21:12

If you are serious about photography, it becomes a blend of art and science.

0:21:140:21:19

Understanding the best composition and knowing

0:21:190:21:22

how the light will fall on your subject at any time of day and night.

0:21:220:21:27

The photographer's ephemeris is the ideal companion for outdoor photography.

0:21:270:21:31

with a map-centric sun and moon calculator,

0:21:310:21:34

so you know what to expect from the light and shadows.

0:21:340:21:37

The app is quite pricey, £6 on iOS and £3 on Android,

0:21:420:21:46

but there is also a desktop version that is free to use.

0:21:460:21:50

Another great example in this genre is Photo Pills,

0:21:500:21:55

which is only in iOS right now

0:21:550:21:57

and again, quite pricey.

0:21:570:21:59

but the interface is beautiful and really easy to get to grips with.

0:21:590:22:04

The interface is very intuitive, letting you select a date and location

0:22:040:22:08

and then slide the dots on the bottom part of the screen

0:22:080:22:12

to see direction and times for the sun and moon.

0:22:120:22:15

# It's a kinda magic...#

0:22:200:22:23

As well as telling you how the world will affect your photos,

0:22:230:22:25

here is a raft of ingenious gizmos to help perfect that shot.

0:22:250:22:29

69p Anticrop on iOS uncrops your image, using cloning technology to fill in the gaps

0:22:290:22:36

if you want to reframe a little wider.

0:22:360:22:38

it works like magic on

0:22:380:22:41

scenery and vistas,

0:22:410:22:43

but as soon as you add people and fine details, the cloning goes a bit haywire.

0:22:430:22:48

Instaface Eyes Morph is free on Android and lets you

0:22:500:22:53

monkey around, morphing portraits into a combination of human and animal hybrids.

0:22:530:23:01

As you do.

0:23:010:23:02

One of the downsides of digital sharing is that you don't get to see

0:23:050:23:08

the reaction of the person you are showing the photograph to.

0:23:080:23:11

Sharing the sharing of the sharing of our captured memories

0:23:110:23:16

can bring a whole new level of fun and personal interaction.

0:23:160:23:20

Reactor for iOS and Android does exactly this,

0:23:220:23:25

using the recipient's camera to capture their reaction on opening a video or photo you send.

0:23:250:23:31

They will need the app installed too,

0:23:310:23:33

and then they can choose whether they want to send the reaction to you.

0:23:330:23:37

Kate Russell's Webscape, and if you have any Webscape suggestions

0:23:490:23:52

please do give us a shout.

0:23:520:23:53

And you may have heard that we finally have our own YouTube channel,

0:23:570:24:01

which, of course, we'd love you to subscribe to.

0:24:010:24:03

Blimey, we'll be getting our own MySpace

0:24:030:24:05

and Bebo page next if we're lucky.

0:24:050:24:07

Anyway, that is it for now. Thank you very much for watching.

0:24:070:24:10

We'll see you next time.

0:24:100:24:11

Click meets the architects using visualisation technology to build cities of the future.

And can Blackberry recover its share of the smartphone market?


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