Digital Planet on KTTZ-HD2

How digital technology affects our lives around the world.


  • Tuesday, July 19, 2016 5:00pm
    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
  • Tuesday, July 12, 2016 5:00pm
    On Friday 15 July Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launches its first mobile phone app, ‘MapSwipe’ in which people across the globe can locate communities in remote parts of the world affected by national disasters, disease outbreaks or conflicts. Users choose a crisis affected part of the world they want to help then swipe through satellite images of the region and tap the screen whenever they spot a feature they are looking for – such as houses or roads. This information is fed back to ‘mappers’ who turn the information into a map. Click talks to MSF’s Pete Masters. New Bitcoin Researchers have come up with a way of reducing the amount of energy used by blockchain technology upon which the virtual currency bitcoin is based. Click hears from an IT expert at Ruhr University, Bochum in Germany, that though revolutionary it is actually quite simple. Wimbledon’s Digital Data Obsession Digital technology has completely changed the way viewers appreciate tennis. On the credit side, huge amounts of data are now made available to enhance the fans enjoyment, and to aid players in their strategy for future games. Wimbledon, as Colin Grant reports, has been at the forefront of this development. World’s First Online Violin School Last month saw the launch of the world’s first online violin school. This innovative and unprecedented education initiative is the brainchild of the internationally renowned violin virtuoso Simon Hewitt Jones and a team including David Worswick, a first violinist in the London Symphony Orchestra. aims to build the world's most comprehensive digital hub for learning and playing the violin. Simon Hewitt Jones joins Click to give Gareth Mitchell a lesson. (Photo caption: MSF volunteers doing some mapping © Adam Scott Hinchliff/HOT) Producer: Colin Grant
  • Tuesday, July 5, 2016 5:00pm
    Blockchain is known as the basis for the virtual currency bitcoin. We have also reported on its use as an academic certification system, but now a new report by Middlesex University London shows it can also be used by the creative industry, it can even be used to create music. AI Abstract Thinking Is artificial intelligence capable of abstract thinking? Can it decide when something is different or the same? According to new research by Dr Peter Bentley from University College London, it can. He has “taught” an AI how to not only distinguish different static images but also differences in videos. CAMERA Motion capture is a staple of the movie industry, but now it is moving into the academic world. At the University of Bath, they have just launched a £4 million project called the Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications or CAMERA in short. It is a collaboration of academics backed by commercial sponsors. The idea is to push the limits of what the technology can do, and to move out of the arts and into any field of activity where motion capture could help - like sports performance. Our reporter Roland Pease went to try it out. African City Data As individuals we are bombarded with so much data we do not know how to use or interpret most of it, so imagine how a city planner might feel with so much data – can it be put to good use and improve the cities we live in? The Future Cities Africa project is a new initiative which aims to make sense of some of this data and help future proof cities and make them more resilient. (Photo caption: A mixing desk © Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Academy of Country Music) Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz
  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016 5:00pm
    Techfugees is a social enterprise co-ordinating the international tech industry’s response to the needs of refugees. It focusses on improving life for refugees by developing technologies in five areas: infrastructure, education, identity, health and inclusion. The Techfugees global network of volunteers creates non-profit conferences, hackathons, and meet ups across the world, working predominantly with the business and tech sectors, in partnership with NGOs and government institutions. It has just launched an online platform, Basefugees, which connects NGOs with tech solutions. Basefugees enables NGOs to find technical support for their projects, and for refugee related tech projects to be endorsed and deployed by NGOs. Games for Change While some may see video games as being male dominated and violent, an organisation in New York has been working for the past 12 years showcasing what else can be done with games. They held a festival last week called Games for Change and Click's Lauren Hutchinson was in New York to find out more. Do Robots Think? Do robots think? Do robots hear? Can robots fall in love? These are just some of the questions that school children and teenagers are debating at the University of Reading in the UK. As technology advances young people will have to deal with very different robots from the ones we have today and how they deal with some of the issues that arise will be key to their grown up world. Ceramic Archive Losing digital data is nothing new – from photos to files it is easy to either delete them or lose them because of technology failure. So how can we secure our archives for future civilisations? One idea, the Memory of Mankind, is to store some of our data on ceramic tiles in a salt mine in Austria. Marnie Chesterton has been investigating how viable this might be. (Photo: A migrant checks his mobile phone in a makeshift camp of refugees and migrants. Credit: Joel Saget/AFP) Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz