24/09/2016 Click


24/09/2016

A look at bots influencing social media in the US election, ways to take back control of your mobile, and the latest drone from GoPro.


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Transcript


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minister saying the programme was for self defence. That is it for me.

:00:00.:00:00.

We will be back at two o'clock. Now it is time for the Click.

:00:00.:00:09.

Donald Trump's ideas aren't just different, they are a series

:00:10.:00:47.

She's been taking plenty of money out for herself.

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It's most expensive playground fight in history.

:00:56.:00:59.

In Donald Trump's America, people are put back to work.

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Let's remember what happened on 9/11, these were not refugees.

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This Monday sees the first US presidential debates,

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and although voters will probably be reminded of what the nominees stand

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for, I can't help thinking that they'll be at least a little bit

:01:16.:01:20.

The last big presidential battle was all about YouTubeing

:01:21.:01:27.

the candidates into peoples homes, but now Facebook and Twitter

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are the main online battlegrounds, and that's not just in the US.

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There's no doubt about it, some of the big platforms

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You've got national parties who want to get their

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political messages out, and they have to pay for that -

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that's bought advertising, in the old sense.

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If they don't do that, they don't get their message

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to voters, and that's where Facebook have got us all on lockdown.

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The Tories were ahead of the game at the last general election,

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the other parties are going to catch up by the next general

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But social media is about more than paid for advertising.

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Politicians can engage with voters, their messages can go viral.

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Supporter groups can rally and massively big up

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We even judge how important that message is based on the number

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So it's probably quite important to know that not all of these

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They are fake followers, run by political campaigns

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to amplify certain topics, follows certain people,

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These are the political Twitter bots.

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The bots will take a message and repeat it an hour

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later, or maybe two hours and three hours later.

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They'll send it off to their own networks of followers, tens, 20,000

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times beyond what the politician can initially reach with

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Phil Howard is a professor of political science

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at the Oxford Internet Institute, whose research has revealed that

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political campaigns are now routinely using bots

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Including deflecting Donald Trump's comments about Mexican-Americans.

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They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime,

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He made a claim that Mexican-American voters

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would support him, would be voting for him in a big way.

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And shortly after making this big claim, there was a community

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of Latino Twitter bots, so folks with Mexican sounding names,

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who were US citizens and using Twitter to voice

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A little bit of research showed that these were all new users,

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they weren't actually users, they were bots, tweeting the same

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message, sometimes exactly the same message,

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And so he was able to say, Mexican-Americans will vote for me

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and point to a community that was actually just

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There are very strict rules governing what the media can report

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To your knowledge, are there rules to cover social media like Twitter?

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I think there should be more public policy oversight,

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over social networks, social media networks during elections.

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In a US context, the elections, the Federal Elections Commission

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there has decided that electronic communications are not part

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For example, they'll be following many more accounts

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They might have blank or irrelevant profile pictures and names,

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and they may be tweeting at an inhumanly fast rate.

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High-quality bots, however, will look a lot more human.

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In fact they may even be connected to a real human, who can give

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There's actually a market in these false accounts.

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So you buy 1,000 users who look good, they'll join five

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or ten at a time, over the course of a month or two.

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By the time you're into the campaign season, three weeks before,

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This is a great question, and it's part of the research

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The people designing political bots often work for the political

:05:30.:05:37.

campaign teams that a candidate will hire when they want Office.

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Hiring somebody to write bots, to amplify your message,

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is now a normal part of political campaigning in advanced democracies.

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But then there are the bots that, so far, haven't done anything...

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This bot is an example of a bot that has joined relatively recently.

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It's following 108 people, but nobody is following it.

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We think of this as a sleeper, a sleeper bot, it's

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My great fear is that large networks of these bots may be activated

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Someone will activate bot networks to either bring up the vote,

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There's enough bot networks out there, and we've seen them used

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in sensitive political moments, that I'm pretty sure they'll play

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an active part of political communication in the US election.

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For all the big budget deception that may be happening,

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social media does give each one of us a voice,

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and an immediate channel through which we can

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Those are tiny acts of the participation,

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which in an earlier era would have just been too small.

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Politics was much lumpier, you would have had to join

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a political party, you would have had to go to a very long meeting,

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That fact, that you can do very small bits of politics,

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I think is drawing people into politics that wouldn't have

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So maybe we're lucky to be living in an age where a tiny click

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on an online petition can bring about real change.

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That is assuming that we can find the right issues,

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and the right candidates to bring about that change.

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Kate Russell has been to the US to meet the start ups who are trying

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to connect voters to candidates, and candidates to money.

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I can think of nowhere that I would rather have this victory!

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There's declining faith in government, declining trust

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It's a very, very small number of people, with a lot of money,

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Locked into a two party system and playing out a presidential race

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costing hundreds of millions of dollars, some people think

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One of the biggest problems with politics here

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The way that rich people, big companies and also on the other

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side of the fence, the unions, use money to literally buy

:08:18.:08:20.

the outcomes they want from the political system.

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Former strategy adviser to UK Prime Minister David Cameron,

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Steve Hilton is now on a mission in San Francisco to unbind US

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politics from big-money donors, by letting candidates

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We want to take the power out of the hands of the insiders

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and the deal-makers and the people who for so long have controlled

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everything in politics, and put the power directly

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Just as technology has done in so many other parts of our lives.

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It has the potential to help independent candidates run

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for election without having to sign up to one of the major parties.

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That is really off-putting for a lot of people, because they think that

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to get the money that they need, they have to sign up to a bunch

:09:10.:09:13.

of policies or ideas that they don't really agree with.

:09:14.:09:16.

As well as helping politicians drum up support, Crowdpac wants to help

:09:17.:09:19.

voters find the right candidate in the many smaller elections held

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They've collected hundreds of millions of public records

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from US elections, going back to 1980.

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We've been able to take all the information and boil it down

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to a simple objective score, if you like, which is a very basic,

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ideological score, left-right system, that tells you who is more

:09:43.:09:45.

In July when the presidential candidates were chosen,

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US Facebook has generated more than 1 billion likes, comments

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Assuming they were real people not bots, 25-34 year-olds

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Facebook is the place in which people go and kind

:10:02.:10:08.

of interact and talk about their social life

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LinkedIn's kind of taken over owning your professional identity,

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and yet there isn't really a platform which allows you to act

:10:16.:10:22.

out in the persona of a voter and actually use technology

:10:23.:10:25.

to interact with the political system.

:10:26.:10:27.

Brigade is a new social network that wants to take those conversations

:10:28.:10:31.

out of the town square of America's Facebook feeds,

:10:32.:10:33.

What we're trying to do is figure out how to use existing technology

:10:34.:10:41.

that has already had a big impact on other spaces,

:10:42.:10:44.

from dating to social networking, and apply those new tools

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Conversations begin with a simple agree or disagree interaction,

:10:47.:10:56.

and then users can debate the issue with other voters in their district.

:10:57.:11:00.

Post-election, Brigade wants to become the go-to place

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for citizens to hold officials to task for their actions,

:11:03.:11:05.

On the flip side, it would be a great place for politicians

:11:06.:11:12.

to engage with influential groups and constituents,

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rather than just relying on campaign funds to win an election.

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I think that it's probably impractical that we're

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It's really important, on the other side,

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that the principle of one person, one vote is the overriding,

:11:28.:11:30.

dominant form of power in the political system,

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and that representatives are held to account for the views

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Both the Silicon Valley start-ups are driven by a desire to reconnect

:11:40.:11:44.

Americans with the political system from a grassroots perspective.

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Make them care, by giving them transparency and more control.

:11:49.:11:54.

The American electorate is getting younger, too.

:11:55.:11:56.

Yet history maps a declining youth turnout at the presidential ballot

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I think as our democracy has scaled, as our democracy has got bigger

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and more complex and people's lives have gotten busier, it's become

:12:08.:12:11.

really hard for people to stay plugged into the political process.

:12:12.:12:14.

So we need to figure out how to make that an easier thing for people

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to understand and participate in, if we're going to renew people's

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That's a big ask, but the long-term prize is a more engaged electorate,

:12:22.:12:28.

participating in a process that looks a lot more like the dictionary

:12:29.:12:36.

Hello and welcome to The Week In Tech.

:12:37.:12:49.

It was the week that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife

:12:50.:12:52.

Priscilla Chan pledged ?2.3 billion to fund medical research

:12:53.:12:55.

The ultimate aim of their Chan-Zuckerberg initiative?

:12:56.:13:03.

Curing, preventing and managing all diseases by the end

:13:04.:13:06.

On a rather smaller scale, it was also the week that Google

:13:07.:13:12.

joined the messaging game again, by launching its new chat app, Allo.

:13:13.:13:15.

Privacy campaigners have criticised the app, though,

:13:16.:13:18.

after it was revealed that rather than temporarily storing users'

:13:19.:13:20.

conversations and data, Google will now hold onto it

:13:21.:13:23.

And from cat videos to the catwalk, as London Fashion Week played host

:13:24.:13:37.

Instead of a runway, designer Martine Jarlgaard showed

:13:38.:13:44.

off her wares with the help of the Microsoft Hololens,

:13:45.:13:47.

which let visitors get up close to 3D models of the models.

:13:48.:13:51.

And finally, the head of a bull, the body of a robot -

:13:52.:13:54.

a terrifying beast that scares the likes of anyone

:13:55.:13:57.

The legs of the bot are hooked up to special motors that mean

:13:58.:14:03.

the Minitaur can effectively feel and respond to

:14:04.:14:06.

It also means it can do a number of tricks,

:14:07.:14:10.

like backflips, cartwheels, climbing the stairs and...

:14:11.:14:19.

Next up, we're going to take a look at some new tricks you can do

:14:20.:14:25.

Burner numbers for Tinder, no roaming charges, a stealth mode

:14:26.:14:30.

Dan Simmons looks at the revolution happening in mobile,

:14:31.:14:34.

and he's met one company boss who's taking no prisoners.

:14:35.:14:39.

I only rang you like a hundred times today.

:14:40.:14:56.

Just stop calling me, erase my contact.

:14:57.:15:01.

No! Hello?

:15:02.:15:07.

According to this man there is an easy and hard way

:15:08.:16:33.

to control who has your digits, and that was the hard way.

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Our phone numbers, our mobile numbers is the things that's

:16:38.:16:40.

When someone doesn't want to give his phone

:16:41.:16:44.

number, he's telling you, I give you my e-mail,

:16:45.:16:48.

add me on Facebook, etc, etc, but the phone number

:16:49.:16:51.

Taig used to be a stuntman, oh, and he's also a double

:16:52.:16:57.

But now he's reinventing himself as the boss of one of several

:16:58.:17:04.

new phone companies that is starting to shake

:17:05.:17:07.

up the mobile space, as you do.

:17:08.:17:11.

His onoff service is changing the rules in France, and now the UK,

:17:12.:17:14.

We are bringing like virtual operating system that provides

:17:15.:17:21.

multiple phone numbers, but not only that.

:17:22.:17:23.

For example, you can send SMS at a delayed time.

:17:24.:17:28.

You can put the call on voicemail, but leave the SMS on.

:17:29.:17:32.

You cannot do that with any phone in the world.

:17:33.:17:34.

It gives you so much flexibility in your hands,

:17:35.:17:37.

to give maybe a different phone number for your business,

:17:38.:17:40.

for your friends, for one night, or whatever.

:17:41.:17:46.

Users can go into stealth mode, to hide the numbers they're

:17:47.:17:49.

using for certain things from prying eyes, or adopt a number that's local

:17:50.:17:53.

Using apps to make Internet calls isn't new, but both caller

:17:54.:18:02.

and receiver often have to have the app installed,

:18:03.:18:06.

As well as data, it uses the GSM network to connect to the handset,

:18:07.:18:14.

so you can do SMS messages, get wider coverage,

:18:15.:18:17.

and just one person - even if that's the receiver -

:18:18.:18:23.

There's another benefit that we've all been seeing with these

:18:24.:18:27.

new messengers and that's cheap, or apparently free, calls.

:18:28.:18:30.

You may say, well that's all very well, but I still need to pay

:18:31.:18:33.

for a mobile contract to get a connection to use

:18:34.:18:36.

FreedomPop, for example, wants to give you a free SIM

:18:37.:19:03.

with free calls and free data, and this month, for the first

:19:04.:19:06.

time, unlimited use of the Whatsapp messenger.

:19:07.:19:08.

FreedomPop right now provides a basic free service.

:19:09.:19:10.

Where were trying to get to is a point where we can

:19:11.:19:14.

take that free service, double it up and double it up again.

:19:15.:19:17.

And ultimately we'd like to get to a point where your voice,

:19:18.:19:20.

In London, uSwitch hands out awards for utilities

:19:21.:19:24.

They help consumers switch providers to get the best deal,

:19:25.:19:28.

and they're warning that these services may not be for everyone.

:19:29.:19:31.

A lot of the services that you would normally expect

:19:32.:19:34.

on a traditional mobile network, whether it be voicemail,

:19:35.:19:36.

whether it be rolling over data that was unused into

:19:37.:19:39.

the following month, even alerts when you're coming close

:19:40.:19:41.

to your limits, aren't actually free on these services.

:19:42.:19:44.

They're all litte additional fees that you might pay

:19:45.:19:46.

In the case of apps like onoff, multiple numbers come

:19:47.:19:50.

The old telecoms networks are starting to respond to these

:19:51.:19:54.

Next month Deutsche Telekom launches its new Immmr

:19:55.:19:57.

app that merges SMS, calls and offers multiple numbers.

:19:58.:19:59.

While others can't wait to create their own,

:20:00.:20:02.

and will partner with onoff in around 40 countries

:20:03.:20:04.

In the race for cheap thrills, it seems nobody wants to be

:20:05.:20:09.

One of the big trends of the last few years has been strapping

:20:10.:20:23.

on a little video camera and filming yourself doing all kinds of crazy

:20:24.:20:33.

action stuff - climbing, skydiving and, yes,

:20:34.:20:35.

It's how GoPro made its name, but recently the company hasn't

:20:36.:20:43.

However, Richard Taylor has been to Lake Tahoe in the US,

:20:44.:20:47.

to witness an attempt to make GoPro soar once more.

:20:48.:20:50.

Better late than never, the long-awaited GoPro drone

:20:51.:20:53.

sees the light of day, and its first foray into the skies

:20:54.:20:56.

is certainly portable, with an impressive low-profile

:20:57.:21:00.

design and stabilisation through its Gimball,

:21:01.:21:03.

which can be detached and used to achieve silky smooth shots

:21:04.:21:06.

on the included grip, and, uniquely, on GoPro's vast

:21:07.:21:09.

So, time to give this ?720 quadcopter a whirl.

:21:10.:21:18.

It's semi-autonomous modes make it straightforward,

:21:19.:21:24.

even for a complete novice like me, to pilot it safely and get

:21:25.:21:31.

And, well, to be frank, GoPro needs it to be a hit.

:21:32.:21:35.

Two years ago when GoPro went public it was flying high with its suite

:21:36.:21:39.

of technologically advanced action-cams, but since then,

:21:40.:21:41.

Rivals have caught up technologically, and there's a lot

:21:42.:21:45.

more competition, not just in cameras, but also in drones.

:21:46.:21:47.

In particular the drone pioneered DJI has a new craft

:21:48.:21:50.

It too will also be ultraportable and support other features

:21:51.:21:56.

Not exactly auspicious for GoPro and its tumbling share price.

:21:57.:21:59.

You certainly look very excited this morning,

:22:00.:22:01.

but I'm just wondering, obviously with your stock price

:22:02.:22:03.

being as it has been, are you feeling the pressure, a bit?

:22:04.:22:07.

Yes, but not because of the stock price.

:22:08.:22:21.

Because we are transparent about what our vision is.

:22:22.:22:29.

It's to help the world share better stories,

:22:30.:22:32.

and we understand that's not just about building a great camera,

:22:33.:22:34.

it's about building great software that make it easy for people

:22:35.:22:37.

to edit fantastic stories and share them, and then,

:22:38.:22:40.

As if to prove the point, Woodman and Co have also

:22:41.:22:45.

The Hero5 Black - GoPro's first new flagship model in two years.

:22:46.:22:53.

Amongst its features, a better 4K sensor, it's

:22:54.:22:55.

waterproof out of the box, voice control, GPS, stereo sound,

:22:56.:22:58.

and electronic image stabilisation, which, as you can see when I ride

:22:59.:23:01.

this bike, actually works pretty well.

:23:02.:23:03.

There's a even Cloud sharing straight from the device.

:23:04.:23:05.

This is all starting to sound like a high end

:23:06.:23:08.

Smartphones capture fantastic quality content, but they're very

:23:09.:23:11.

difficult to use during activities where any motion is involved, or,

:23:12.:23:15.

frankly, where you want to focus on your activity and not

:23:16.:23:18.

Filming, me filming you, here as I have my broken phone,

:23:19.:23:22.

because I did just that, and dropped it and broke it!

:23:23.:23:27.

GoPro is really about you being able to self-capture an experience

:23:28.:23:33.

A smartphone really gets in between you and what you're

:23:34.:23:40.

trying to enjoy, and that's a pain point that exists, and it's

:23:41.:23:43.

an opportunity for GoPro to solve for people.

:23:44.:23:47.

But is that opportunity big enough to send GoPro soaring once again?

:23:48.:23:50.

Well, one thing's for sure, there's nothing like a super

:23:51.:23:52.

new hero and a dose of good karma to get the faithful believing

:23:53.:23:56.

We live @BBCClick on Twitter, if you'd like to peek

:23:57.:24:06.

behind the scenes, and we will see you next week.

:24:07.:24:10.

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