Tech Tent

By BBC World Service

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Category: Technology

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 Oct 29, 2019
Keeps you up to date and doesn't take long to listen to.

 Oct 1, 2019
My weekly tech update. BBC quality. Concise and I love it.


How the technology business is transforming the way we live and work.

Episode Date
US tells the UK to think again on Huawei 5G
America's top cyber-security official tells us that the US is still working to get Britain to change its mind and drop Huawei tech from its 5G networks. Plus Apple warns of iPhone shortages ahead because of the Coronavirus. And how AI can help hospitals recruit the right nurses. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter David Molloy, and special guest Marina Koytcheva, technology market analyst at CCS Insight.
Feb 24, 2020
Coronavirus stops MWC tech show
The mobile industry’s biggest annual event is called off over fears of attendees spreading the infection. But Samsung, which held its own launch event this week, revealed a new attempt at a phone with a folding screen. Plus, we visit Startup Grind Global to discover the latest ideas looking for Silicon Valley investors’ money. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Chris Fox, and special guest Rachael Myrow, senior tech editor at Californian broadcaster KQED. (Image: An Asian worker wearing a face-mask stands outside the venue for Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona after the fair was cancelled, Credit: David Zorrakino/ Europa Press via Getty Images)
Feb 14, 2020
Is Silicon Valley still top for tech?
Rory Cellan-Jones asks whether California is still the best home for tech startups. He speaks to a video games executive, a venture capitalist, a gig-economy driver, a social entrepreneur, and the Dean of Stanford University’s Medical School to get their view. And Rachael Myrow, senior tech editor from Californian radio station KQED gives her take on whether Silicon Valley is still on top.
Feb 07, 2020
UK gives Huawei the OK
The Chinese tech giant will be allowed a limited role in Britain's 5G telecoms network. Plus, how Estonia wants to lure British tech talent after "Brexit". And is it becoming easier to do e-commerce in Africa? Presented by Zoe Kleinman, with BBC tech reporter Jane Wakefield, and special guest Raquel de Condado Marques, telecoms research analyst at IDC. (Image: A 5G handset showing fast download speeds at a Huawei store in China, Credit: Getty Images).
Jan 31, 2020
Tech's battle for the classroom
Jane Wakefield checks out the latest educational tech at the Bett 2020 show in London and talks to Apple and Google about how they think technology can prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. Plus she finds out what role robots can play in teaching. And is always-connected technology making you stressed and burnt-out? If so, we hear some tips that might help. With BBC tech reporter Chris Fox. (Image: Jane Wakefield with the Ohbot robot head, Credit: BBC).
Jan 24, 2020
Microsoft vows to go 'carbon negative'
The tech giant behind Windows and Office promises to remove all the carbon it has emitted since it was founded in 1975. Plus, is tracking for digital ads out of control? And we hear about a new BBC podcast in which teenagers interview technology pioneers. Presented by Jane Wakefield, with BBC tech reporter Chris Fox, and special guest Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the non-profit Open Knowledge Foundation. (Image: Stock photo of a plant stem growing out of a circuit board, Credit: Getty Images).
Jan 17, 2020
CES 2020
Zoe Kleinman, Chris Fox, and Cody Godwin report from the giant annual CES event in Las Vegas on the latest tech that you might soon be buying. Zoe takes a ride in a Russian driverless car, and tastes a plant-based alternative to pork meat. Chris meets Samsung's new robot for the home, and Cody tries out a circular mobile phone. (Image: Char Siu Buns made from meat-alternative Impossible Pork are sampled during a press event for CES 2020, Credit: David Becker/ Getty Images).
Jan 10, 2020
Tech to watch in 2020
Rory Cellan-Jones and special guests look ahead to the technology trends they expect to see in 2020 and discuss ideas for a better internet in the coming year. Plus they’ll preview the gigantic annual CES tech event in Las Vegas. With BBC Online tech editor Leo Kelion, and guests Catherine Miller from Doteveryone and Tom Standage from The Economist. (Image: Stock photo of a service robot helping a man check-in at an airport, Credit: iStock/ Getty Images Plus).
Jan 03, 2020
Taking stock of tech
Rory Cellan-Jones and the BBC Online tech team give their assessment of the current state of tech in several important areas. They’ll be looking at technology ranging from smart cities to artificial intelligence, and from gaming to tech aimed specifically at women. With BBC reporters Chris Fox, Leo Kelion, Zoe Kleinman, and Jane Wakefield. (Image: Young woman using smart bus stop display in Barcelona, Credit: iStock/ Getty Images Plus).
Dec 27, 2019
Tech quiz of the year 2019
How well do you know your tech? We test Chris Fox, Zoe Kleinman, Dave Lee and Jane Wakefield’s knowledge of the top technology stories of 2019. And please do play along with them and test yourself against our teams. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones. (Image: Woman sitting in front of a Christmas tree, listening to headphones, Credit: iStock/ Getty Images Plus).
Dec 20, 2019
YouTube's plan to stop harassment
The video-sharing giant will block clips that "maliciously insult someone" based on race, gender identity or sexuality. Plus, what does the British general election tell us about the effectiveness of paid-for social media campaigning? Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Chris Fox, and special guest Chris Stokel-Walker, author of "YouTubers". (Image: Stock photo of a young man in a lonely corridor looking worried by something on his smartphone, Credit: iStock/ Getty Images).
Dec 13, 2019
China pushes facial recognition
Mobile phone buyers in China are made to provide facial recognition data when they get a new plan. But are Chinese citizens comfortable with the rapid rollout of such tech? Plus, how advances in machine learning could help patients with Parkinson's Disease manage their symptoms better. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Zoe Kleinman, and special guest Stephanie Hare, technology researcher. (Image: Customers buy food via facial recognition system In Hangzhou, China, Credit: Getty Images).
Dec 06, 2019
TikTok restores teen's viral video
The Chinese-owned platform is forced to back down after removing a US teenager's viral video highlighting China's treatment of Uighur Muslims. Plus, we chat to Kenyan startup Kwara, which is trying to stop people without access to bank lending falling into the hands of loan sharks. And the charity Scope reveals that many websites and apps remain inaccessible to people with disabilities. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC Online tech correspondent Mark Ward, and special guest Alison Griswold, tech reporter at Quartz. (Image: US teenager Feroza Aziz whose viral video was removed and then reinstated by TikTok, Credit: BBC).
Nov 29, 2019
Ford Mustang goes electric
Does an electric model of the iconic muscle-car signal the future for the motor industry? Plus, the founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales tells us why he thinks his new social network can lure people away from Facebook and Twitter. And the head of Google Cloud AI talks to us about solving the "black box" problem. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Chris Fox, and special guest Kate Bevan, the editor of Which? Computing. (Image: The unveiling of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Credit: EPA/ RINGO CHIU).
Nov 22, 2019
Facebook battles harmful posts
New figures suggest the tech giant is removing a growing amount of banned content. Is Facebook getting better at finding it or is it losing control of the problem? Plus, we chat to Eben Upton, creator of the Raspberry Pi, who has been given a Lovie lifetime achievement award for the affordable computer's success. And Damian Bradfield, author of "The Trust Manifesto", tells us why he thinks trust between tech firms and their users has broken down. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Zoe Kleinman and special guest Jeni Tennison from the Open Data Institute. (Image: Stock photo of a teenager looking disturbed at something on her smartphone, Credit: iStock/ Getty Images Plus).
Nov 15, 2019
Can Ireland reshape big tech?
How Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner could change the way big tech firms operate. Plus why Dublin is a favoured place for startups. And economists and comedians gather in the city of Kilkenny for the tenth annual Kilkenomics festival where cryptocurrency is one of the topics on the agenda. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Jane Wakefield and special guests Peter Antonioni from UCL and the journalist Jamie Bartlett, presenter of the hit podcast “The Missing Cryptoqueen”. (Image: Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon outside her office in Dublin, Credit: Rory Cellan-Jones/ BBC).
Nov 08, 2019
The power of online political ads
Why is Twitter banning political ads when Facebook insists it will keep on carrying them? Plus, some tech products aimed at women have been called "femtech". Does the label help or hinder inclusivity? DeepMind's AlphaStar artificial intelligence has reached the top league of one of the most popular esport video games Starcraft 2. We talk to a top player of the game who has competed against it. And why the co-founder of Netflix is not worried by Apple's new streaming TV service. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC North America tech reporter Dave Lee, and special guest Debbie Forster, co-founder of the Tech Talent Charter and member of the Institute of Coding's diversity board. (Image: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaving a meeting with Irish politicians to discuss social media and transparency in political advertising, Credit: Getty Images).
Nov 01, 2019
Indian call centre scam shut down
We follow Indian cyber police in the city of Kolkata as they raid a call centre suspected of scamming people in the US and UK. Plus, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg defends the Libra digital currency project. And how robots could help more patients in India's hospitals receive the surgery they need. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC reporter Szu Ping Chan, and special guest Izabella Kaminska from the Financial Times. (Image: Stock photo of a man entering banking details into his computer, Credit: iStock/ Getty Images Plus).
Oct 25, 2019
Google Pixel 4 boasts radar
The latest handset from Google introduces a new way to control a phone without touching it. Is it actually useful, or an interesting gimmick? And the company's hardware chief Rick Osterloh tells us why he would warn a house-guest about the presence of smart devices. Plus, Nir Eyal, author of the new book "Indistractable" shares his strategies to help us all be less distracted by our gadgets. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Jane Wakefield, and special guest Charlotte Gee from the MIT Technology Review. (Image: The new Google Pixel 4 smartphone displayed during a Google launch event in New York City, Credit: REUTERS/ Eduardo Munoz).
Oct 18, 2019
US and China battle over tech
In a week of rising tension between US and China over trade we hear how some of China's biggest tech firms are caught in the cross-fire. And Rory Cellan-Jones asks why Apple has decided to take down a Hong Kong mapping app? As Ada Lovelace Day spreads around the world to celebrate women in science and tech, the BBC's Zoe Kleinman asks its founder whether conditions have actually improved since the movement was first launched a decade ago? And Rory asks UNICEF why it is getting into the controversial world of cryptocurrency? Rory is joined by technology writer Jamillah Knowles and by Mark Ward from the BBC tech desk (Picture:A woman holds her mobile phone as a group of masked protesters run past in the Diamond Hill station in the Kowloon district of Hong Kong on October 7, 2019. CREDIT: PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)
Oct 11, 2019
The rise and rise of TikTok
Why the Chinese video-sharing app seems to have Facebook worried. Plus, a leading AI researcher in Ghana tells us why algorithms used in Africa but trained on data from elsewhere could make biased decisions. And how a common definition of online abuse could help to tackle it more effectively. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Jane Wakefield, and special guest Parmy Olson, tech reporter from the Wall Street Journal. (Image: Stock photo of a woman on a beach making a smartphone video with her dog, Credit: iStock/ Getty Images Plus).
Oct 04, 2019
Amazon reveals Alexa glasses
The tech giant takes its Alexa smart assistant out of the home. Plus, are neural interfaces the next big thing in how we control computers? And, the Facebook-backed Libra digital currency has met with opposition from governments. Can the project get back on track? Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Chris Fox, and special guest, Caroline Carruthers, business author and data consultant. (Image: Eyeglass frames with voice-activated digital assistant Alexa at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle, Credit: Glenn Chapman/ AFP/ Getty Images).
Sep 27, 2019
Has gig-working had its day?
California gave birth to the "gig economy" - working for app-driven services such as ride-hailing and food-delivery. But now the state has drafted a law to make “gig workers” employees and give them more rights. Is it the end for this way of working? Plus, will Apple's iPhone maintain its loyal following without 5G? And we visit Europe's largest data centre to consider our thirst for cloud storage. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Zoe Kleinman, and special guest Dominic Sunnebo, Director of Consumer Insights at market research firm Kantar. (Image: Ridesharing drivers protest for better rights outside the Uber HQ in San Francisco, California. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Sep 13, 2019
Who cares about facial recognition?
Two new surveys suggest cautious public attitudes in the US and UK towards the tech. Plus, the autumn mobile device launch season is upon us. We check out the news from the IFA electronics show in Berlin and look forward to the wave of new handsets set to be released in the coming weeks. And, would you report to your employer a colleague who you suspected was stealing company data? Presented by Zoe Kleinman, with BBC tech reporter Jane Wakefield, and special guests Stuart Miles from Pocket-lint and Marta Pinto from research firm IDC. (Image: Stock photo of a woman using facial recognition on a smartphone, Credit: iStock/ Getty Images Plus).
Sep 06, 2019
Tech's trade war
Is the trade dispute between the US and China hurting both nations' tech industry? Artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G telecoms are key sectors in which the superpowers are vying to be the leader. Special guests Calum Chace, author of "Surviving AI", and Emily Taylor, CEO of Oxford Information Labs, join Chris Fox to examine the effects of the trade dispute between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. (Image: Composite image of Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, Credit: Reuters).
Aug 30, 2019
What Facebook knows about you
The social giant will reveal what it knows about your internet activity off of its platform. Will its users appreciate the transparency or be horrified? Plus, Twitter and Google take down accounts indicating co-ordinated posting relating to the Hong Kong protests. How has that gone down in China? And, 3D printing was meant to democratise manufacturing. It hasn't quite worked out like that, but we see one example of a 3D printed consumer product - a new type of bike helmet. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Jane Wakefield, and special guest Isobel Asher Hamilton from Business Insider. (Image: Stock photo of a couple on a sofa making an online purchase on a tablet computer, Credit: Hispanolistic/ Getty Images).
Aug 23, 2019
Are you being watched?
How privately-operated facial recognition in public places threatens privacy, according to campaigners. Plus, why is the shared-office firm WeWork valued at $47bn when it lost $1.6bn last year and has no idea when or whether it will ever deliver a profit. And how the kids' comic The Beano developed its digital strategy. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Zoe Kleinman, and Madhumita Murgia, European technology correspondent at the Financial Times. (Image: Stock image of a security camera against a skyscraper background, Credit: Getty Images Plus).
Aug 16, 2019
8chan searches for new home
Key service providers kick the controversial message board, which has been used to celebrate mass shootings, off the mainstream internet. In what form might it resurface? Plus "warshipping" is one of the latest threats to corporate security presented at the annual Black Hat hackers' conference. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporters Chris Fox and Dave Lee, and special guests Kate Bevan, editor of Which? Computing, and Poppy Gustafsson, co-CEO of Darktrace. (Image: Stock photo of a bundle of unplugged network cables, Credit: Getty Images Plus).
Aug 09, 2019
New rules for robots
Should a robot be allowed to react if it is attacked by a person? A new blueprint for robot makers aims to set out how machines should behave. Plus the UK Parliament committee scrutinising Facebook demands an explanation after reports the company knew about the misuse of its data by a political consultancy earlier than it had claimed. Presented by Jane Wakefiled, with BBC Online tech editor Leo Kelion, and special guest Annabelle Timsit from the Quartz website. (Image: Stock photo of man shaking hands with a robot, Credit: iStock/ Getty Images Plus)
Aug 02, 2019
Facebook's five billion dollar bill
The social network reaches a record settlement with regulators over users' data privacy. Will it change how Facebook operates? Plus, is opposition to using facial recognition technology in public places growing? And, we get a rare glimpse into the online activities of Russia's intelligence agencies. Presented by Chris Fox, with BBC North America tech reporter Dave Lee, and special guest technology researcher Stephanie Hare. (Image: Person trying the Facebook Portal device during the F8 2019 developers conference, Credit:Justin Sullivan /Getty Images).
Jul 26, 2019
Celebrating games
How Dundee in Scotland gave birth to Grand Theft Auto and has remained a hub of games design ever since. We visit the V&A design museum’s exhibition on gaming, plus we get one young developer’s tips on getting into the games business. And we track down one of the original team that worked on GTA. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones.
Jul 19, 2019
Alexa dispenses medical advice
Are privacy fears over Alexa's new ability to offer medical advice from the UK's National Health Service justified? Plus, how super-car maker Aston Martin thinks it can persuade its customers to swap the roar of a V12 engine for the near-silence of electric propulsion. And we hear about the disturbing rise of "stalkerware" apps. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Chris Fox, and special guest Charlotte Jee from the MIT Tech Review. (Image: An Amazon Echo smart speaker on a coffee table alongside an ear thermometer and some pills, Credit: Andrew Matthews/ PA Wire).
Jul 12, 2019
Jony Ive quits Apple
The man behind the design of the iPhone and iMac, Sir Jony Ive, leaves Apple to set up his own business. We assess his impact on the design of tech products. Plus, we talk to telecoms equipment giant Nokia on why it thinks it can beat its Chinese rival Huawei in 5G. And we find out where robots are likely to have the most effect in the coming years. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with BBC tech reporter Zoe Kleinman, and special guest Kate Bevan, editor of Which? Computing. (Image: Sir Jony Ive (Left) with Apple CEO Tim Cook, inspecting new iPhones at a product launch, Credit: Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images).
Jun 28, 2019
Deepfake or art: who decides?
Rory Cellan-Jones talks to the artist who has created a "deepfake" Mark Zuckerberg to put Facebook on the spot over privacy. Also in the programme, Rory gets behind the hype over artificial intelligence and talks with the head of Moonshots at Google X, Astro Teller, about whether AI is finally becoming mainstream. And in a busy week for London's tech scene, Rory visits the Founders Forum to hear from the Europeans who want to impose tighter controls on the giant American technology companies. Special guest throughout the programme is Tabitha Goldstaub who runs the CogX festival of Artificial Intelligence. (Image: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the opening keynote introducing new Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram privacy features at the Facebook F8 Conference on April 30, 2019. Credit: AMY OSBORNE/AFP/Getty Images)
Jun 14, 2019