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Technological and digital news from around the world.

Episodes

Astro Pi Challenge  

More than 350 teams have been selected for the 2017 European Astro Pi Challenge to compete to send their computer codes to the International Space Station. Click talks to Monica Talevi from the European Space Agency. Automatic Speech Analysis In rural Uganda radio serves as a vital platform for public discussion, information sharing and news. John Quinn describes how the UN initiative Pulse Lab Kampala is developing a prototype that makes it possible to conduct analysis of public discussions on the radio across Ugandan English, Luganda and Acholi. Style Transfer on Facebook Style Transfer is one of the latest developments in machine learning and the practice and deployment of AI. Anand Jagatia reports on how this new and exciting technique that enables users of smart phones, for instance, to use their camera to produce an image in the style of a desired (possibly famous) painting. 3D Printed Corset for Scoliosis Scoliosis is a debilitating orthopaedic condition and corsets are often made to help with correcting the effects of the condition but getting the right shape is often problematic. Click talks to Lelio Leoncini, a surgeon who specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and who has been experimenting with 3D printing orthopaedic corsets. (Photo caption: The European Astro Pi Challenge by ESA: Run your code in space! © ESA) Producer: Colin Grant

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Pakistan Online Privacy  

A conference on online privacy in Pakistan looks at the impact of recent legislation. Nighat Dad of the Digital Rights Foundation discusses criticisms that the new laws threaten freedom of speech. Airway-on-a-Chip Researchers have developed an airway-on-a-microchip that supports living small-airway-lining cells from normal or diseased human lungs and a robotic instrument that "breathes" cigarette smoke in and out over these chips. Click talks to Professor Donald Ingber from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Fusing Robotics With Textiles Make:Shift is a conference by the UK’s Craft Council that has featured pioneering makers, scientists and technologists presenting how the distinctive characteristics of craft are enabling innovation in a number of industries. Click talks to Annie Warburton, Creative Director of Crafts Council and the artist Karina Thompson about fusing robotics and textiles. FarmCrowdy FarmCrowdy is Nigeria’s first online platform to unite investors with millions of small farmers in the country and to release the potential of millions of acres on unutilised arable land. Click talks to the CEO Onyeka Akumah. (Photo caption: Two Pakistani women walks past as an announcement of 'No Internet' pasted on a wall outside an internet café in Islamabad © Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images) Producer: Colin Grant

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The Mystery of the Beagle 2 Lander  

The mystery of the lost Beagle 2 lander on Mars appears to have been solved. Click talks to Professor Mark Sims, former Beagle 2 Mission Manager and Professor of Astrobiology and Space Instrumentation at the University of Leicester. Internet Saathi Bicycle riding internet advocates are getting women online in rural India. Click hears how from Mr Prabhat Pani from the Tata Trusts. Caterthuns The Caterthuns is an experimental film by Kieran Baxter exploring how aerial photography and creative visualisation technologies can be used to connect the archaeological interpretation of ancient monuments with the evocative landscapes of which they form part. Kieran Baxter talks about The Caterthuns which has just won an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research in Film Award in the UK. Indoor Navigation Professor Nico Van de Weghe has spent many years researching the problem of navigating indoors where GPS/satellites do not work. He demonstrates an app he has developed called SoleWay to address the problem. (Image caption: Beagle 2 model on a simulated Mars surface © Everett Gibson JSC/Beagle 2) Producer: Colin Grant

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Electronic Voting Machines in the US Election  

How safe are the electronic voting machines in the US election? A leading expert in the field, Professor Alex Halderman, discusses the potential vulnerabilities. MozFest Kate Arkless Gray reports from Modzilla’s annual festival which brings together digital technologists and thinkers to explore how to bring the values and opportunities of the internet to the next one billion users in the developing world. Kate reports on the launch of a $250,000 competition encouraging innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world to submit ideas to give everyone the same opportunities when it comes to the internet. Digital Life Digital Life is an ambitious project that aims to create 3D models of all the creatures on earth. Click talks to Professor Duncan Irschick and the photographer, Christine Shepard. Horus Horus is a new wearable device that helps blind people navigate – providing an audio commentary about people and objects; it recognises and remembers faces and reads texts and street signs. Click talks to Saverio Murgia. (Photo caption: A voter casts an electronic ballot © Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images) Producer: Colin Grant

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Nesta: ShareLab  

ShareLab is an event to better understand how public services, civil society and the private sector can develop and use collaborative platforms for digital technologies. Click talks to Helen Goulden from Nesta and Dr Mark Wilson from GoodSAM. NoShow Photo Project NoShow is a photographic research into fake Facebook postings. The photographer, Eric Pickersgill, has been documenting them and asking what they tell us about truth and reliability in our digital age. NextEV NextEV, a self-driving, electric car company, founded two years ago in China by William Li, an Internet entrepreneur, has opened its Silicon Valley facility. Alison van Diggelen went along to talk to William Li, the former cattle-herder turned electric car developer about his innovative supercar. Crossrail 360: The Musical London’s ambitious Crossrail project has been documented in an unusual collaboration between 360 degree filmmakers and an artist and musician, Matthew Robins. Click talks to Zillah Watson about the film, Crossrail 360: The Musical. (Photo caption: Leaf ants © Press Association) Producer: Colin Grant

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Fairphone at the Lovie Awards  

Fairphone is honoured at this year’s Lovie Awards in the Emerging Entrepreneurs category. Fairphone tries to source all its component minerals from ethical mines and its handsets are also modular, so you can take them apart and replace components if they break. BlindSquare Blindsquare is an innovative smart app that helps blind people to navigate indoors and outdoors. Click’s Simon Morton reports on its use in New Zealand. Smartphone to Detect Cancer Biomarkers The smartphone acting as a portable medical lab - researchers in the USA have developed a way of using a smartphone to detect cancer biomarkers. Click talks to the lead researcher, Professor Lei Li from Washington State University. Kenya Digital Art Festival A new and challenging exhibition in Nairobi has explores our interaction and reliance on modern technologies. Michael Kaloki reports from Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo caption: Fairphone assembly © Fairphone) Producer: Colin Grant

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Click at the Crick  

Click visits the recently opened Francis Crick Institute in London. It’s a biomedical research centre with gene sequencing machines and computer systems that crunch petabytes of data. As part of a special series of programmes from the Institute, Gareth Mitchell and Bill Thompson explore the hope that the data collected and analysed will lead to personalised medicines. They talk to researchers including the Institute’s Greg Elgar about the developments in reading the human genome. Producers: Colin Grant and Julian Siddle. (Photo caption: A general view inside the new Francis Crick Institute at King's Cross on August 25, 2016. © Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)

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Twitter for Social Good in India  

In a week which saw reports of Twitter being bought come and go, its Head of Public Policy in India, Mahima Kaul tells Click about efforts to use Twitter to promote social justice, such as empowering women, encouraging citizenship for youngsters and even helping in emergencies. Sovereign Internet Identity Who are you? How do I know you are you and not some other you? Is there someone I ask? Doc Searls has been thinking in the field of Internet Identity for many years. Ahead of this month’s Internet Identity Workshop in the US, he talks to Click about the current trends and dangers. WILD App for Conservation In Kenya a new app is available to help conservation agencies and scientists track real world animals and wildlife. The BBC’s Michael Kaloki spoke to Tirus Kamau, of @iLab, Strathmore University, about the hopes and dangers. A Naked Mole-Rat Eutopia At an exhibition in London’s Somerset House, a new piece by Julie Freeman uses data from a live naked mole-rat colony to ask questions about a possible future of human society to ask possible questions about human society. Julie joins Click to explain more. (Photo caption: Indian women check their mobile telephones © Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images) Producer: Alex Mansfield

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European Copyright Reform  

A ruling by the European Court has drawn some critics to suggest that free Wi-Fi might fall foul of copyright laws. Click talks to the MEP, Julia Reda. Online Map Charting Food Loss/Waste A non-profit organisation in Singapore has launched a plan for an online map to show innovation and curb loss in the food chain. Click hears from Gwyneth Fries from Forum for the Future. Zipline to the Rescue Zip is a small robot airplane designed for a high level of safety, using many of the same approaches as commercial airliners. Keller Rinaudo from Zipline explains how the Zip drone planes will be used to carry vaccines, medicine, or blood in Rwanda. Playable City The fourth international Playable City Award has just unveiled its shortlist. The producer, Hilary O'Shaughnessy discusses how to make cities smarter and more playful. (Photo caption: A festival goer walks past a plastic cow provided by a mobile telecoms company enabling free Wi-Fi for festival goers at Glastonbury © Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) Producer: Colin Grant

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Space, the Final Frontier for Cybersecurity?  

Dr Patricia Lewis discusses her new research on the threat of cyberattacks in space. Satellites and other space assets, just like other parts of the digitized critical infrastructure, are increasingly vulnerable to cyberattack. Cardboard VR App for Smartphones Enables Reality of Dementia Through EDIE’s Eyes Rajesh Vasa discusses a new virtual reality smartphone app, released by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, to enable people to see the world through the eyes of a person living with dementia. Lionfish Robot Zappers Tech entrepreneurs are developing a lionfish zapper robot with the aim of controlling the population of invasive lionfish. Lionfish, a species artificially introduced by humans into the Atlantic 25 years ago, are affecting the ecosystem and coral reefs. Silicon Forest Alison van Diggelen reports on Portland’s growing rivalry to Silicon Valley with a focus on automated cars and drones. (Photo caption: Soyuz TMA-19M in space © Tim Peake/ESA/NASA) Producer: Colin Grant

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De-blurring Obscured Online Images  

Researchers using the freely available Torch deep learning library can probably figure out who you are if there are other pictures of you online. Click hears from the researchers Vitaly Shmatikov and Richard McPherson. Games for Phones: Mobile Phones Distracting Africans Arun Babu from Deloitte discusses a recent survey that shows a surge in mobile phone use in Africa and that perhaps unsurprisingly Africans too are distracted by their phones – a third of African phone users check their phones every five minutes. Being There: Emotionally Sensitive Robots Hatice Gunes discusses whether robots will ever be truly sensitive to our emotions. Screen Machine: a Fascinating Telepresence Artwork at the Brighton Digital Festival Colin Grant reports on an exhibition in which audiences in different locations interact using a live system of chroma-key video mixers. (Photo caption: handout issued by the Polish police pixelated to conceal the identity of persons featured © Jacek Bednarczyk/AFP/Getty Images) Click was presented by Bill Thompson with comments from Ghislaine Boddington Producer: Colin Grant

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FutureFest Special  

FutureFest, hosted by the UK's innovation foundation Nesta, confronts how the world we know is changing. Technology is transforming the way we live and love; work is being automated; politics is being reset; and old certainties are disappearing. Through live performances, presentations and immersive experiences FutureFest explores the future in themes central to all our lives, including love, play, and work. As we look ahead to the first ever Bionic Games 'Cybathlon' on 8 October, Click looks at the future of sports. What can we really expect from the emerging era of human enhancement? As the physical and virtual worlds blend thanks to the commercialisation of immersive VR and AR technologies, will our future love-lives increasingly take place in 3D virtual real-time environments? With personalised avatars that allow us to be and find the lover (or lovers) of our choice, how will this affect our social abilities in the real world in the future? Gareth Mitchell and Bill Thompson are joined by a panel of experts including professor Andy Miah, chair in Science Communication and Future Media, at the University of Salford, Manchester, the body technologist, Ghislaine Boddington and Marie Horner, a broadcast and digital programme producer. (Photo: Meeting The Blind Robot © Louis-Philippe Demers)

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Raising a Bump on Flat Screens  

Computer scientist Matt Jones looks into the future of screen technology. He and his team have been exploring displays that mutate to create virtual 3D controls. Greek Law Spot The unprecedented and ongoing Greek economic crisis has left many ordinary Greek citizens deeply affected - without a job, livelihood or home. Laws and crucial pieces of regulations are changing almost on a weekly basis and are making people’s lives even more difficult and uncertain. A new start-up initiative Lawspot has established itself as Greece’s first open online platform to provide its citizens with free and direct access to the law and help them follow and understand what exactly is going on. Snezana Curcic reports from Athens. The Cyber Effect Mary Aiken is a pioneering cyberpsychologist who attempts to explain how human behaviour changes online. She discusses our online lives in her new book, The Cyber Effect. Brighton Digital Festival Bill Thompson reports from the opening of the Brighton Digital Festival. The highlights include an interview with a “cyborg” who is connected with hardware and software to help her manage her chronic pain. (Photo caption: A group of people sitting down using their smartphones © Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images) Producer: Colin Grant

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Moment Allows Navigation on Your Skin  

Moment is a wristband that traces your GPS direction on your skin. Instead of having to rely on your smartphone for navigation, it suggests the direction to take via a signal on your wrist. Click talks to the key researcher of the gadget, Shantanu Bala. African Smartphone Use Smartphone use in Africa has doubled. The big driver is the huge drop in the price for smartphones which are even cheaper of course when second-hand. Michael Kaloki reports from Nairobi. Plantsss: One of the Greenest Apps Around Plantsss was created by the Chilean garden designer Max Delporte with the aim of democratising gardening. Using your GPS location this app gives you information about the best kind of plants to use in your area. Click’s Jane Chambers went to Mahuida Park on the outskirts of Santiago to meet the two founders Max Delporte and Santiago Lyon for a demonstration of Plantsss. Eataly Carlo Ratti has a plan to reconnect you with the simple pleasure of growing your own organic food. But the catch is you will do so digitally. Click talks to Ratti about his plans for a new kind of farming that will be unveiled in Bologna, Italy. (Photo caption: Moment © Somatic Labs) Producer: Colin Grant

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What’s Behind #CensusFail in Australia?  

When Australia’s national census website crashed on its launch day, as millions of people tried to enter their details, it was labelled #CensusFail by many people Government officials described the events of 9th August as a “confluence of events” – but others have coined less polite names for Australia’s first attempt to conduct its census online. The site is now back up and running and there is an option to fill in the census on paper. A journalist on the website Crikey!, Josh Taylor, explains the complex reasons behind Australia’s negative reaction to the census. In a statement the company behind the online census, IBM, said they genuinely regretted any inconvenience and that “continuing to maintain the privacy and security of personal information is paramount.” Wire-Wire Cybercrime In the United States the FBI says that cybercrime where hackers divert money from legitimate business deals to their own bank accounts has cost businesses $1 billion since 2013. The so-called wire-wire cybercrime involves intercepting computers across the internet and changing the payment details. Tracking down these cybercriminals is the job of Joe Stewart, Director of Malware Research at information security firm SecureWorks in the United States. He explains how one of these criminals based in Nigeria, had so little understanding of cybersecurity, he actually infected his own computer leaving himself open to detection. Machine Learning Systems Can Help Match Jobseekers to Jobs Artificial intelligence computing is being used to help women find jobs in Afghanistan. Although there are jobs there, matching them with the “unstructured data” in the CVs of women seeking work is a laborious and time-consuming job. And those details may be in one of three different languages – Pashtu, Dari or English. John DeRiggi is Senior Geospatial Products Developer for DAI – a global development company which works with USAID, the US Agency for International Development. He says that machine learning systems can help match jobseekers to jobs. Purps the Penguin’s 3D-printed Boot 3D printing has been rebooted - to help create bespoke footwear for a penguin in the United States. Purps the Penguin lives in the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. She injured a tendon in her ankle, fighting with another bird. The plastic boot which has helped her to walk up until now was heavy and bulky. So some children from Mystic Middle School, who had recently acquired a 3D printer to help with their studies, designed and printed a new, better fitting, more comfortable boot for Purps – with the help and guidance of Nicholas Gondek, the Director of Additive Manufacturing at ACT group, a firm specialising in 3D printing services. (Photo caption: The web page of the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that it is unavailable, in Sydney, Wednesday, August 10, 2016 © AP Photo/Rick Rycroft) Producer: Paula McGrath

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How Technology is Transforming Healthcare  

Disabling hearing loss affects 360 million people around the world – impacting on their education, career prospects and social life. It can be caused by infections, exposure to loud noise or the use of particular drugs – as well as simply getting older. In some parts of the world it’s difficult for people to see a doctor about this “invisible” problem. The British company Cupris has developed a small attachment for a smartphone which means you can take pictures and videos of the ear canal. These can be shared with experts all over the world, to screen for common ear problems. The device has already been trialled in Nepal – and now a larger study is underway in the south of England. Air Pollution in New Delhi More than 80% of people who live in urban areas which monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels which beat WHO limits – and low low-income cities are worst hit. One such city is Delhi – where the lungs of half of all children are damaged by minute particles – created mainly by emissions from motor vehicles. A public health doctor who is based in the city, Nitish Dogra, decided to use WhatsApp to send out ultra-local readings from a pollution sensor to subscribers wanting to avoid the worst effects of the fumes. Soberlink A remote breathalyser could transform the lives of recovering alcoholics in the United States, where 88,000 people die every year from alcohol-related causes. The device – which has been given premarket clearance by the Food and Drug Administration for medical use – avoids the need for costly and time-consuming lab tests. The user blows into the device which then takes a photo to verify their identity and sends the result to their doctor via a secure server. Any positive results, which might occur because of the use of mouthwash containing alcohol, trigger an alert to re-test. “Smart” Surgical Stitches Surgical thread used in operations which can send a text message to medical staff that an infection is brewing could revolutionise healthcare. Researchers at Tufts University in Boston have coated threads with nano-scale sensors to detect temperature, pH changes and whether stitches are under strain inside a wound. They say that the technology could also be used for surgical implants, “smart” bandages and even hip replacements. So far the threads have been tested in animals, but the researchers are now looking for volunteers to trial the stitching at skin level. (Photo caption: The Cupris otoscope is used to capture and share images of a patient’s eardrum to get a remote diagnosis from a doctor © Cupris Ltd ) Producer: Paula McGrath

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Def Con: a Hacker’s Paradise  

Def Con Las Vegas security conference is currently under way. After Russian hackers were revealed to have breached the Democratic National Committee last month, many attendees are keen to reveal that they are benign “white hat” hackers. Click talks to Andrew Pannell about the highlights. Dementia Citizens Project The charity Nesta has a new initiative to connect those with dementia, and carers, with researchers. It is piloting two new apps - Book of You and Playlist for Life - as part of its Dementia Citizens project. Through the apps, people with dementia and their carers can enjoy shared activities such as listening to music or creating a digital photo story book while also completing well-being surveys. Specialist researchers can then use the everyday data produced to spot patterns and produce evidence-based recommendations. Click talks with Nesta’s John Loder. Little Cab A number of companies in Kenya have launched services to rival Uber. They include Little Cab, a taxi hailing app that claims it will be cheaper and more reliable than the global tech giant. Little Cabs will have free in-car Wi-Fi courtesy, and has the option of a female-only service. Another startup, Sendy, which has made its name as an e-courier service, also entered the ride-hailing market this month. Michael Kaloki reports from Nairobi. The Lost Palace A team of digital designers have been working with the Historic Royal Palaces on an interactive experience to find a way to bring back to life Whitehall Palace which burnt to the ground some 300 years ago. They have developed an innovative interactive, audio and tactile experience called The Lost Palace. Click tries out the experience and talks to the designers Matthew Rosier and Jonathan Chomko. (Photo caption: Someone attempting a hacking challenge © Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images) Producer: Colin Grant

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Accessing Extremism Online  

A new report highlights the ease of searching from extremist material online. Click talks to the co-author of the report, Mubaraz Ahmed from the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics about the informed analysis on the interaction of religion and conflict globally. SoilCares Regular testing of soil helps farmers know the condition of the soil in their farms and informs them about which type of crops to grow and how to improve their soil condition. The recent launch of a simple scanner kit in Kenya uses mobile technology to test soil. The kit of the Dutch company, SoilCares, aims to simplify matters for midscale to small scale farmers. Click’s Wairimu Gitahi reports from a farm on the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi. Electromagnetic Field 2016 This month, more than 1,500 curious people will gather in a field outside of Guildford, southern England to learn how to use amateur satellites, live-code music, and much more at Electromagnetic Field 2016. It features hundreds of talks and workshops from the worlds of science, technology and craft. Click talks to one of the organisers, Jonty Wareing. Immersive Storytelling Studio The UK National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio was established to examine how Virtual Reality and 360 films can widen and enhance the National’s remit to be a pioneer of dramatic storytelling and to ‘enable an audience to stand in the shoes of somebody else’. Theatre regularly uses technology to enhance theatrical experience, or to allow creative teams to do things that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Gareth Mitchell is given a demo of their latest experiments. (Photo credit: Jie Zhao/Corbis via Getty Images) Producer: Colin Grant

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3D Printing Fingertip to Unlock Smartphone  

Police in the USA are seeking to unlock a murder victim's phone using a 3D replica of fingertips. Click talks to the researcher behind the effort, Professor Anil Jain from Michigan State University. Mobile 360 - Africa Click’s Sammy Awami reports from the Mobile 360 Series Africa summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on the roadmap for Africa’s increased access and use of mobile technology. actigaze Do you still need your mouse to click or could you just use your eyes to select a command or chose a webpage? This could be the next big thing after touch screens? Click's Roland Pease has been testing out "actigaze" software that could make eyeballing web pages more natural. The Danger of Automated Vehicles San Francisco is hosting the world symposium on Automated Vehicles, featuring experts involved at the cutting edge of this technology around the world. It comes at a time following the controversy over the fatal crash of a Tesla car while the driver was using its autopilot feature. Tesla is currently being investigated by Federal authorities about this case and at least one other. Some commentators are speculating that this tragedy could stall the advancement of automated vehicles. Alison van Diggelen reports from San Francisco. (Image caption: Computer-enhanced image of a human fingerprint © Science Photo Library) Producer: Colin Grant

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Turkey's Attempted Coup and Social Media  

Social media was briefly blacked out during the failed coup in Turkey. In past years the president has denounced social media but in the last week he has gone on Twitter and FaceTime to encourage his supporters to come out onto the streets to back him. Click talks to Arzu Geybullayeva from Global Voices. Network Mapping in Istanbul In each human brain, there are about 86 billion neurons interacting with each other. Visualising such complex networks, with their incredibly high number of elements and the various different forms of interaction between them, seems like quite a challenge. Some artists, however, find it stimulating and inspiring. The New York and Istanbul based artist and technologist Burak Arikan is tackling this challenge with his platform graph commons. Julia Lorke visited Burak in Istanbul to hear more about the interactive mapping tool and how the tense political climate in Turkey inspired him to discover new applications for this tool. Will Apple's New Patent Push Delete on Ability to Record Police? Apple has patented a tool which may be able to use a laser to block smart phones from recording footage. Might this be used by police forces in the future to stop citizens from recording overzealous policemen carrying out arrests and using force beyond that which is reasonably required? Click hears from Nicole Ozer from the American Civil Liberties Union. GPS: Pinpoint Click looks at the history of GPS (the Global Positioning System). This space-based navigation system uses satellites to provide location information anywhere on Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to the relevant satellites. So how ubiquitous has the use of GPS become in everyday navigation? It has been almost impossible to get lost - since the first iPhone equipped with GPS tracking and mapping was released in 2008. Click talks to Greg Milner, the author of a new book called Pinpoint, to find out more. (Photo credit: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images) Producer: Colin Grant

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