Click explores one of 2016's biggest games, No Man's Sky. Plus the hackers on the right side of the law in Las Vegas.
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Now on BBC News, it's time for Click.
This week: 3-D printed legs.
Careless cash machines.
Lots and lots of aliens.
I've always wanted to go into space.
Hey, I'm a future boy, always have been.
And I'm lucky to be living in a time when the beauty of the universe
is being brought to life.
From earth you can now photograph amazing skies, if you know
what you are doing.
Which the entrants for this years Insight Astronomy Photographer
of the Year Awards clearly do.
Actually going into space though is still a pipe dream for me.
Unless you count shoddy TV effects like this.
Oh, and videogames of course.
If you count video games I have already been across the galaxy.
There are a number of games around now you see which let you go
The question is, would you want to?
Marc Cieslak has been to meet the makers of what is quite possibly
the most universal game yet.
I grew up reading sci-fi books, looking at the covers,
when I close my eyes and think of science-fiction I think of that.
I think of a lone astronaut stood on a desolate planet with a couple
of other huge planets hanging in the horizon and these kind
of wild and crazy worlds.
No Man's Sky is a space exploration game.
It encourages the player to discover strange new worlds and lifeforms.
There is trading and commerce.
As well as allowing people to blow stuff up.
All in a playable universe which is so big the games
own designers predict most players won't even experience one percent
of the worlds the game has to offer.
It might be a game with a gigantic exotic alien universe to explore
but it has been created in these tiny offices beneath a taxi
company in Guildford.
Indie games company Hello Games consists of just 11 people.
The team's previous credits include fun stunt riding game Joe Danger.
No Man's Sky is the brainchild of Sean Murray, who,
along with this tiny team, has found a clever way to fashion
this gigantic game and it's all thanks to maths.
We are trying to build an entire universe and we can't build that
by hand, normally when you make a game it's a series of levels
and some artist or designer has built every one of those
levels piece by piece, arranged all the furniture
and everything like that.
But we want to build something of a huge, huge scale.
We just can't do that on our own, we're this tiny indie team,
so what we do is we use the computer to build it.
We create a bunch of rules, a set of maths and the computer runs that,
we effectively teach the computer the rules that we think we need
to build a universe.
The computer goes off and generates it, builds it for you.
This process is called procedural generation and it is how everything
in the game is made.
From the planets to the aliens to the ships to the smallest
blade of grass.
It's not random, those rules are there for a reason.
What we are trying to do is create a set of rules and formula
that we feel creates a nice looking universe.
The size of the universe is incredibly big.
There are a lot of planets, if you were to visit them
all there would be 18 Quintilian which is this huge number,
it's like 2 to the power of 64.
It's a hard number to comprehend.
The way I normally say it is like if you were to discover
a planet or a planet was to be discovered in No Man's Sky every
second it would take about 500 billion years for them
all to be discovered.
With its first reveal back at E3 in 2014 this game generated
a considerable amount of anticipation as well as
hype amongst gamers.
I'm feeling a lot of emotions right now.
However some of this attention hasn't all been positive.
One gamer claims to have purchased a copy of the game ahead
of release for ?1200 via eBay.
After posting clips online he claimed it's possible to reach
the centre of the game's universe in just 30 hours.
This is a task developers have suggested would actually take
about 100 hours of playtime.
Sean Murray has implored fans to avoid these online spoilers.
There is a big update coming on the first day of the game's
release but I got a chance to play No Man's Sky for a couple of hours.
Okay, I have woken up on a planet with a damaged spacecraft,
I had to repair that ship by finding various minerals or mining minerals
and finding the parts and making the parts required to take
the ship off.
It's the introduction to a lot of the game's exploration mechanic.
So I have already met some unusual alien species.
And all of the aliens in the game are generated,
as everything else is, procedurally.
So this is where the game starts in earnest.
Explore an entire universe.
I do want to go?
Well, second star on the right and straight on till morning.
There is a risk that people might find it boring,
I think it will appeal to a certain type of gamer that likes the grind,
the repetitive actions of going around and mining
and getting resources in order to travel around.
But I think once you've got past that initial
maybe a couple of hours, you are going to find there
is a massive universe to explore.
When it is released next week fans will be able to decide
for themselves if the wait for No Man's Sky has been worth it.
It certainly looks really nice doesn't it?
Yeah it is really pretty, when I was chatting to the game's
lead designer, Sean Murray, he said there was a definite
aesthetic they wanted to give the game.
A lot of contemporary sci-fi games look really sort of gritty and dirty
and he wanted this to be quite optimistic and bright and sunny.
It does, to my mind it looks a bit like a 70s
prog rock album cover.
It does, is it any good?
That is a difficult thing to say because I have
played it for a few hours.
It's so big, there is so much in there that you cannot really make
that judgement unless you have committed lots, lots more hours.
That's the thing, it's so big because the computers are designing
everything, the planets and lifeforms, it's not
as if some human has had to go and design everything meticulously.
The beef I have with these procedural games,
like Elite Dangerous which you know I play, is that although you can go
anywhere and technically see anything the computers cannot
generate storylines which are compelling so you find
there is not actually much to do.
It's quite an unforgiving universe, an unforgiving galaxy in these
games, the player is just dumped into the game and told go ahead
and make your own fun.
It's a bit like going on holiday with your mum and dad
when you are nine, you go to the beach and they are like,
make your own fun.
This is very similar to that.
If people are expecting a single player game
where they are led by the hand this is not that kind of experience,
this is find stuff for yourself.
OK Marc, see you in the sky.
Medical treatment can be costly even in the rich parts of the world
but in the developing parts of the world it can be prohibitive
but there is a Silicon Valley start-up called D-Rev
that is trying to address this healthcare gap
by developing affordable technologies.
Its first product was designed to treat jaundice which affects more
than half of all newborns and its second effort
was designed to help amputees who have lost a leg.
Sumi Das has been finding out how these devices are helping
the world's poorest patients.
Their offices are modest but this team of engineers and designers
in San Francisco is working on a bold goal.
D-Rev exists to design and deliver quality healthcare products
for underserved populations.
Brilliance Pro is D-Rev's $400 phototherapy device.
First launched in India it is an alternative
to the $3000 units used to treat newborns with jaundice.
You would see babies being treated under devices
which have burned out bulbs, but also you would see
multiple babies in one device which is not ideal
to because you want to have the children
separated for sterilisation.
For affordability and durability D-Rev chose LEDs over
They also ran optical modelling simulations.
One of the things we have been able to use is use less LEDs,
tightly control the wavelength and there are new lenses out
so we can actually have a very even spread of light.
If you are a doctor or nurse you might need to move this panel
as you are caring for the infant.
Of course that changes the intensity of the light
but they accounted for that.
They added accelerometers which detect the position
of the LEDs so that each one automatically adjusts
and the distribution of light is even across the baby's body.
As with medicine it is crucial infants get the right dose of light
therapy so a light meter was added.
To date over 117,000 babies have been treated with Brilliance units.
99,000 of those would not have retrieved any treatment at all.
D-Rev's latest product is a knee joint.
The ReMotion knee is a polycentric knee for above knee amputees.
It's like a four bar mechanism which mimics your
natural human gait.
The previous option a single axis knee swings much like a door
hinge and is less stable.
The polycentric knee the centre of rotation moves so this man can
continue working as a contractor and supporting his family.
And this Indian teenager can keep up with his friends.
In the US polycentric knees start at around $400.
ReMotion sells for $80.
Philanthropic grants help keep prices low.
But D-Rev also credits it start-up tendency of working efficiently.
Bug fixes included sharp corners and edges which didn't look
natural underneath clothing and a distracting clicking sound.
Fabric can fall smoothly over it and it has a rubber bumpers so it
doesn't make as loud a noise.
ReMotion has limitations, it is best suited for younger
amputees since it's not as stable as other knees and the maximum
weight for users is about 80 kilos.
Still it's a good fit for many patients in Asia and Africa.
It has a wide range in motion, much wider than most of the knees
on the market especially in Western societies and the reason
is that we saw with our users that they were squatting more
or bending in prayer or kneeling.
Many people need to ride a bike to get to and from work.
Since the knee launched in December 2015 200 amputees have
been fitted with them, that is 200 people who can go
on working, learning, living - one step at a time.
Hello and welcome to The Week in Tech.
It was the week that the giant Chinese bus which drives
over traffic went from concept to prototype.
Moon Express became the first private company to get permission
to land on the moon from the US government, whilst virgin
Galactic SpaceShip Two received permission to take
tourists into space.
Instagram released its stories which look a lot like Snapchat
stories, and Samsung showed off its Galaxy Note 7 fablet
which includes an iris scanner so you can unlock it with your eyes.
It was also the week we saw a video from MIT that you can
reach out and touch.
Which scientists said could have applications
for games like Pokemon Go.
The concept is called interactive dynamic video and uses cameras
and algorithms to track almost invisible vibrations of objects
to let them be interacted with.
This augmented reality is getting pretty good.
Speaking of Pokemon Go the game hit 100 million downloads this week
and was also hit with the trespassing lawsuit
from a man in New Jersey.
He said at least five trainers had knocked on his door looking to catch
pocket monsters in his garden.
And finally if you ever wondered what a robot with a neural
network would sing like, I know I have.
Meet Alter, the latest humanoid robot from Japan has 42 pneumatic
actuators and a central pattern generator which replicates
neurons at Alter create its own patterns and react
to its environment and sing.
Now, every year in the middle of a desert thousands of hackers
and security experts meet to talk shop.
It is here in Las Vegas that the good hackers show the world
what they can do and then the rest of us are left to worry about it.
Dan Simmons has picked out a couple of highlights from the two
conferences which happen here, in a second DEF CON but first,
A hacked ATM just spewing out hundred dollar bills.
Security gurus Rapid7 have shown how they can skim details from a chip
and pin card from one cashpoint or pin pad machine and have this one
believe it is being accessed with the same card.
Behind that out of order sign is an android phone connected
to the Internet and a microcontroller all fitted
to the outside of this cash machine.
Rapid7 isn't showing people how to do it, but they have told the ATM
and card industries who we hope are working on a fix.
As far as like the know how it's pretty advanced but we don't believe
we are the only people looking at this, we absolutely believe
that the existing gangs are already looking at how to overcome the lack
of mag stripe in the US.
And it doesn't end there, what about hacking peoples credit
cards for example when they are out shopping?
Patrick is from NCR, they have adapted this,
this is a Raspberry Pi costing probably less than $50.
It has been adapted and placed between what would be the card
terminal where you put your credit card into and the payment management
system which would be sort of behind the scenes.
Pop the card in and the Raspberry Pi can be connected to maybe
a supermarket terminal or it could capture your information
when you are putting it into a pin pad which is connected to Wi-Fi
at a restaurant, maybe something like that.
I am being asked if I would like to accept the transaction
amount of $10.30 I say yes and look at what happens to the Raspberry Pi.
We already have the credit card number, it's a fake number
you cannot use at home, sorry about that.
I am going to put this pin number in, nothing unusual about that
but it has asked me to put in the pin number again.
I can do that again no problem.
I might think I have put it in wrong or something like that.
Now it has bypassed the encryption which was on this device and look
at what has happened here on the Raspberry Pi.
We have got the pin number for the card.
We can go back and ask for the CVV2 number,
the three digit number on the back of the card and once we have got
all of that information what can we do?
Now we can go shopping, go and get ourselves something nice.
It's a brand-new attack, it is scalable and cheap
and we expect the industry to respond to that.
As a consumer the only thing we can tell you is just if you get
requested to re-enter your pin number, don't do that.
Over at the Paris Hotel DEF CON is where the bedroom hackers meet.
Fred was 16 when he started and is now telling the world how
he has found a way to hack into hundreds of solar panel arrays
globally, through this small power management unit which came
with his own home system.
He could have even hacked into owners computers.
Because I had full control over those devices I could deploy
whatever software I wanted on them and because those devices
were connected to your home network I could have easily put spyware to,
for example, capture what websites you are visiting or see
if you are home or not.
The solar panel provider has since upgraded its security
but there are plenty more hacks out there for all sorts of things.
Some of which we will look at next week.
Now, we talked earlier about massively open videogames
on a humongous scale, the scale of a galaxy and how
to keep all of your players interested when not all of them can
play a significant part in the action.
One solution is to hide a puzzle in the game which can then be taken
out of the game for further discussion.
That is something that has been driving the player community
of space simulator Elite Dangerous absolutely batty recently.
There has been so much heated and intelligent discussion as people
try and decipher this puzzle.
It's an image which has been found hidden inside strange
space towns in the game.
But what does it mean?
And is it a message from aliens?
After mysterious objects started turning up and disabling player's
ships the community decided to examine more closely the strange
sounds which were emitted.
And this image turned up in the audio spectrogram.
It's a technique which is well-known amongst audiophiles,
take a picture and encode it as sound.
Images have famously been hidden in several music tracks
from the likes of the not at all creepy Aphex Twin.
So if you ever hear a strange sound in a recording,
you never know, it could be an image waiting to be discovered.
The meaning of this one is still the subject of heated
online debates and personally it's driving me nuts.
Elite is one computer game from the 80s which has been given
a new lease of life and next another one which has been techno shocked
into the 21st century.
Here comes LJ Rich.
Some of these old games are just as playable
as they were a few decades ago.
But why settle for just dusting off the cartridges when you can go
for a more immersive upgrade?
This is a scrolling platform game where as you can see you keep
playing and you keep going around.
The best thing about this is soon I will be able to have a go.
Bob Sumner, the creator of this project, is playing on a wireless
controller following the action by walking around the room.
360 degrees of gameplay certainly keeps the player on their toes,
a very physical upgrade to additionally sedentary activity.
After some persuasion Bob kindly hands me the controls.
Come on, thank you.
That is so fun, I had completely forgotten about anyone filming me,
I just want to play this.
I am on the door.
The idea here was to take something like the Nintendo console which had
this huge collective influence on an entire generation of people
but it was always this sort of singular event, you played
by yourself or maybe just a few people.
So despite the fact that it influenced so many people you always
experienced it sort of alone.
It is still an old console but the video signal coming out
is sent to a PC in the corner.
That is were custom-made software stitches the video stream live,
a bit like your phone in panorama mode.
That stitched together video goes into the projection system
which is then beamed onto the wall.
You know there is something called game mechanics, the kind of core
gameplay of the game is what makes it fun.
And some of these classic games, they not only have good gameplay
but they in fact really defined what good gameplay is.
This was a team effort, some of these people helped design
the wireless controllers, others the software,
so it's good there is now a multiplayer mode for single player
games otherwise I fear there would be a lot of sulking.
This bit is also rather clever, the old controllers are plugged
into specially designed hardware.
The Nintendo box thinks there is only one person playing
but actually there are eight of us taking turns.
I have taken for granted the fact I am playing around a wall,
I am immersed in the gameplay.
The fact is this is completely wireless makes it worse.
Every 10 second the hardware switches control to the next
controller - if you see your number on the wall you are the one playing.
Control goes round in a circle which changes the dynamic
of the original game mechanics, making it a much
more collaborative experience.
What it really added was the additional social element
to the game.
That was not present in the original concept.
It created this new dynamic where you have strangers who have
never spoken to one another immediately joined in camaraderie
as they participate with a common goal to make progress in the game.
That was LJ and Switzerland and that is it for this week.
Next week we have much more from DEF CON, the massive underground hacking
conference taking place at a secret location somewhere in the world.
And you can follow us on Twitter.
Thank you for watching, we will see you soon.
It should be a lovely weekend for most of us.
It will feel more like summer as well.
Earlier we have this area of cloud, making the sunshine hazy.