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tv   Click  BBC News  April 18, 2021 12:30pm-1:00pm BST

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bit more of a breeze into the far north and west. some poor visibility to high ground as well. it looks likely as we go through the week ahead we continue with that warmer start. it will be noticeably cooler from mid week onwards and that could bring a return to some overnight frost. hello this is bbc news with ben brown. the headlines — the two russian men suspected of carrying out the salisbury nerve agent attack three years ago are being sought by police in the czech republic. a senior conservative mp warns borisjohnson he'll lose the support of the so—called red wall voters in former labour seats, unless he resolves the row about lobbying. a day of refelection for members of the royal family, after the queen and the nation bid farewell to the duke of edinburgh china and the us commit to working together and with other countries on tackling climate change.
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once the world's largest iceberg but now its broken apart. satellite images show the "mega—berg" has virtually gone. now on bbc news, it's time for click. this week, vaccine passports. how will they work? and will they work? plus, teaching a gorilla to talk. making a fox fly. and walking a dog on the beach from the sofa. good boy! welcome to click. we're into the second year
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of the sofa shows now so it's time to mix it up a bit! can you see anything different? can you? can you, lara? i can't see anything. is it your hair again? no, it's not the hair — the hair is always changing. no, keep looking. keep looking. what can it be? i will, but what i do know is that you've been having all of the fun this week. i certainly have! i've been walking a dog! now, do you know, during lockdown, everyone seems to have bought a dog, right? i know. i actually signed up to the borrowmydoggie app, where you can look after someone else's, but no—one replied to my messages. seriously? what on earth did you write? well, i think the problem may have been that i was too focused on "this will be great fun for my eight—year—old" rather than "i am a person who you really want to look after your dog". both chuckle. no! you've really got to love a dog to borrow a dog, haven't you? no, well, this is a story about walking a dog, even if you don't really like dogs. the now famous frame of spot the dog, built by robot specialists boston dynamics. these youtube videos released
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by the company have been entertaining us for the past four or five years as the group have developed increasingly complex and animal—like movements. it's now possible, believe it or not, to take spot for a walk from your own home. all you need is one of these, and that's what i am going to do right now. so i can see spot's point of view and cody, who's filming us. i don't know why i'm waving to her — she can't see me. and if ijust waggle these sticks, i can actually... laughs. straight towards cody and immediately, she picks the camera up because she thinks i'm gonna walk into her. 0k. so in theory, this is as easy as controlling any kind of in—game character. just with more serious consequences if i put it in the sea or something. the lag is nowhere near as bad as i thought it was going to be. over there is the golden gate bridge!
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look at that! oh, come on! he gets through the gate 5,000 miles away! we have a person, so i can — i can move up and then i can kind of go into pose mode and play with him. i can wag my tail. giggles. i can do a downward dog and an upward dog. hello. and this thing does have collision detection on it so if i accidentally put it into a bench or a wall, the robot should stop beforehand. so up until now, spot has attracted the attention of the military and the police — they are controversially looking at using robotics in combat and in law enforcement — but now, boston dynamics has put spot up for sale to companies and developers. the idea is they buy one and they programme it to do whatever they want. the question is what do they want? let's talk to spot's
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real ownerjeff linnell. what are people's reactions to spot normally? i mean, they've all got their phones out — here, look at that. is this their normal reaction? you know, it is. it's actually — it's pretty binary. dogs love it or hate it and people are fascinated by it and bring their phones out, or they completely ignore it and go on about their lives. it's one or the other. this — this dog here has — has cocked its ears. i'm gonna — i'm gonna to try wagging my tail. spot's on sale for about $75,000 — or about £55,000 in the uk — so my first question is who's going to buy it and what for? a key one is for inspections — if you need to go look at a gauge in a remote area, maybe it is on an oil derrick or some piece of infrastructure that's hard to access. obviously security is an application but spot is a general purpose mobility platform. it's the one robot that can kind of get anywhere, so what you want to do with it
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and what you want to put on it is really up to the end user, and people are coming up with all sort of things. one company that is already taking the lead of spot is cteh, a rescue service using spot to go into areas that are too dangerous for humans. spot is first and foremost about safety by distance. you know, we have people on the shoreline taking samples of water to be sent off for analysis and while we're doing that, if there's — if there's the fear that we need to be water sampling in the first place, then it is possible that even being in the area could be dangerous for those people. now with spot, we can do those same kind of things but before we've ever had to have a human suit up. all right, stairs mode. oh, my word! look! no way! he made it! i think we're gonna see them in our work life. you'll see them in warehouses, you'll see them in the back
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of a grocery store doing inventory, so it's starting to happen. "do not enter. area closed to the public." do a little spin on the spot, why not? # do a little dance. # make a little move. one of the things we're interested in in putting this dog out there, right on the streets, is what do — what do people think of it? how do they react to it? here we go. i'm just going to do some tricks for him now because, you know, he wanted me to go and smell his hand, so i'm gonna wag my tail at him. wow! look at that! whoa! laughs. they're applauding me for doing tricks! spot's been tremendously successful for us. all sorts of folks are deploying spots and we have kind of a turnkey integration that lets a company get set up and have this capability right out of the box, so it is intuitive — i mean, you picked it up in 30 seconds and, you know, you've walked a couple of miles today with — with
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literally no training. jeff, thanks so much for letting me play with spot. i am happy to dog sit anytime. my pleasure! brilliant. i was excited about the fact i can now see people again but i'm not so sure i want to — it looks fun to stay at home and do that! absolutely! it totally is! anyone who does do that gets a video of their dog walk to post to their socials, so if you do do it, send us a clip. we'd love to see how you get on. anyway, i guess we've got the rest of the show to do now, so, er, let's crack on. well, governments around the world are looking at ways to ease people back into normal life, getting back up and running sporting fixtures, theatres and other public places. so digital vaccine passports are being touted as one potential solution. but they aren't without controversy. many have called them discriminatory and some have even suggested that they might pave the way for government—mandated id cards in the future, so dr stephanie hare has been finding out more for us.
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today is the first day in the united kingdom that we can all go to the pub. it's still outdoor seating only, but it's a major milestone on the way tojune 21, when the government hopes to lift all restrictions. but the path to freedom is full of risk. both: cheers! as we open up the country, we could see a rise in the number of covid cases. but borisjohnson thinks he may have a key to unlock the country — vaccine passports. this would come as an app on your smartphone, or a piece of paper. either one would show our covid status — whether we have had a vaccination or a negative test result or immunity from having recovered from the virus. across the world, countries such as israel, denmark and china have rolled out vaccine passports, with france, germany and spain also
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trialling different systems. but by linking our health data to our identity, vaccine passports would be effectively a national id card. for months, the government has been denying that it had any plans to build vaccine passports. but all along, it was funding eight pilot schemes to do just that. some of these take the idea of a national identity card to a whole new level — biometrics. biometric technologies turn our body into data. it could be our dna, fingerprint, face, voice, or even the unique structure of our veins inside our bodies. one of the vaccine passport pilots the government has funded uses facial verification technology. their viable credentials have been under development in — in biotechnology organisations for about the last five or six years, but there's never been a large—scale opportunity to use them.
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and now there is. and once it's started, its going to completely transform the way that digital identity happens worldwide. another option is to use the pattern of our veins, which is unique to each one of us. the finger vein template in itself is more unique than a fingerprint or face. there's — there's more — it's a more intricate pattern, and — and the chance of — of someone having the same finger vein is — is tiny. it — it's scanning the interior pattern using infrared light. yet biometrics technologies are highly controversial. some say they're a gateway to big brother—style mass surveillance. so given that this is so problematic, why is the government even considering this? especially since it hasn't answered the main questions. would vaccine passports help to stop the spread of the virus? i think the covid status certification system will be rolled
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out for international travel. where i think there are big questions is using it for everyday community life. if you extrapolate from how people are seeing the vaccination rollout itself to how people will be seeing the use of these passports, you can see that people are likely to probably be sat closer to each other, maybe not use face masks so much, maybe not pay so much attention to washing their hands, and the likelihood is that transmission will go up. still, can it do any harm to introduce vaccine passports, especially after everyone's had a vaccine? maybe we need to be thinking about flu vaccines and other health interventions. can we think bigger about harnessing the power of big data? but at what point does big data become big brother?
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hello and welcome to the week in tech. it was the week facebook�*s oversight board, which moderates the platform's content, expanded to let users appeal for approved posts to be removed. a livestreamer ludwig ahgren broke twitch�*s subscription record, amassing more than 280,000 paying fans through a 31—day stint online. there it is! and adidas unveiled trainers made with mushroom materials. these use mylo, a sustainable fabric developed from vertically farmed fungi. carnegie mellon university showed off a new swimming robot. the modular snake—shaped droid users turbines and thrusters to navigate underwater obstacles. it could be used to inspect military ships and subsea pipes. watch this french astronaut
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showcase his virtual cycling kit. thomas pesquet plans to use a vr headset to go bike about earth while onboard the international space station. he's due to lift off this week. and, finally, totally digital musicians. these 3d avatars performed original music created with artificial intelligence while reacting to an audience in real time. i bet that bunny can play by ear... cloud gaming has been called the future of gaming. where instead of running them on a high—end pc or console, games have been run from a data centre miles away then streamed through your phone or a tv, a bit like a movie would be. chris fox has been looking at the options for going pc and console free to see what the future may hold. for the last few weeks i've been
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putting four cloud gaming services to the test to see where we're at and whether cloud gaming could replace the pc or console. before i get into some comparisons, here's a look at the services i have been testing, because, as you'll see, they're all very different in scope. playstation now has been around the longest and is a netflix—style, you can eat, buffet of games. for 8.99 month you can stream more then 700 games to your ps4 or ps5 console or a windows pc, which sony says is the only way to access playstation exclusive games without a playstation. xbox cloud gaming is currently in beta. it's a new part of xbox game pass ultimate, another all—you—can—eat buffet with hundreds of games for 10.99 a month. at the moment if you play on an xbox or windows pc you have to download the games as usual. but now you can stream more than 100 of them to an android smartphone or tablet. nvidia geforce now is a very different proposition. there's no inclusive library of games. instead you can stream pc games
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you've already bought elsewhere on stores such as steam and epic games. it's aimed at pc gamers who might not have the latest graphics card or want to play their pc games somewhere else, like on a phone or macbook. and then there's stadia from google. out of all the services, this is the closest to mimicking a full console experience without the console. it has its own store where you can buy individual games for a one off fee and then stream them to your phone, tv, laptop, and more — forfree. for 8.99 a month pro subscribers can stream in ultra high definition 4k and claim some free games every month. so as you can see, already we've got a huge range of different business models and a variety of supported devices and places to play. first things first, does this actually work? when you're gaming any delay between pressing a button and seeing the action on screen is unacceptable. surely putting your computer miles away in the cloud adds some latency? well, yes, it does, but honestly not enough that i could perceive. nvidia was the only company willing
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to put a figure on it for me. it said that sending your commands to the data centre and a picture being sent back adds about 20ms of latency. that might be important for competitive pro gamers, but it's not really perceptible for casual play. everyone's experience will vary, but i never noticed any latency on any of the four services. you can see the action on the screen is reacting as soon as i move my finger on the touchpad. all of them have recommended minimum internet speeds to make sure everything runs smoothly and i was testing them on a 50 megabits connection at home that could comfortably accommodate them. so let's look at some of those promised benefits of cloud gaming. and first is top of the range graphics without expensive equipment. at the moment stadia is the only one offering 4k to pro subscribers and it looks really crisp on my 4k tv. you do sometimes notice compression artefacts in the picture, like this blockiness, that wouldn't be there if the game was being rendered locally. now, that's the kind of thing you see sometimes when you're streaming movies, and, to be honest, it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the game.
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geforce now offers up 1080p high definition, which looks great on my tv as well. while the two all—you—can—eat services max out at 720p. i actually think that's fine for xbox, which is focusing on android phones at the moment, and, honestly, ps now looked fine on my pc, even though i was sat closer to the monitor. the graphics looked really sharp. in the race for everything to go 4k we can forget that there's more to graphics than just resolution. and, honestly, i thought all four of these services looked great. geforce now subscribers also get ray—tracing on some games for more realistic lighting effects. here's another game. look at the reflections on the floor with ray—tracing off and now on. everything just shines a bit more. for comparison here's the same on stadia without ray—tracing so you can see the difference. but, honestly, i think both look great and deliver on the promise of high quality graphics without a top of the range pc. another promise of cloud gaming is that you can play anywhere, notjust at home. there are so many combinations
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of ways you can play on these services i can't put them into one video. but three of these services support mobile play so i tried it out on some phones. now, playing over ag is where i had most of the issues with picture breakup and stuttering on all three services. sometimes they wouldn't connect at all and it's because my ag connection speed was just too variable. sometimes the connection was fine and it all worked well. other times the connection speed dropped and the games wouldn't load. just like over wi—fi, when these services worked, they worked really well, but it really comes down to your connection. obviously the most important thing is the games. if you're already a playstation or xbox gamer, their cloud services can offer a lot of value. there's a lot to play. and there are blockbuster games on all four services. honestly, you would have to dig around and see what catches your eye and, as is always the way, you probably won't find all your favourite games onjust one service. so is this the future of gaming? well, if playstation and xbox lean into this a bit more i can see a future where people between different services on a month—to—month basis,
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playing the games they like and then may be cancelling the subscription, like some people do with movie streaming services, although i'm not sure of that will be in sony or microsoft's interests. what stadia has showed me is that putting a full console—style ecosystem into the cloud really can work as long as your internet connection is good enough. chris fox there. now, after a bit of a delay the oscars are finally here. the 93rd academy awards are due to take place on 25 april. but, unusually, this year most of the films could not be shown in cinemas. they've just been shown online. but, as usual, we're going to go behind the scenes with some of the nominees for best visual effects and this is what it took to make the one and only ivan. why do they want an angry gorilla anyway? you're a silverback. you terrify humans. fart. we did do facial capture. we had a camera on ben bishop, the guy that played ivan, throughout the virtual process.
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but we didn't use it. it was, as with motion capture and with any kind of capture like that there's a hell of a lot of data. depending on what it is it is sometimes quicker and easier and more creative and more — you get better results by hand doing it. in terms of bringing that to screen, that performance to screen, how we do it is a hell of a lot of reference gathering. lots of dogs, lots of gorillas to kind of tap into what makes an animal an animal and knowing its nuances, knowing its quirks and its ear flicks and its little idiosyncrasies that they do. this was a movie that the animals had to be completely photorealistic. yet at the same time, are we pushing it far enough, is there enough pathos, or humour, or sadness in those expressions, should we push it a little bit more or have we pushed it too far? and we're sort of slipping into uncanny valley where you start to go, "oh, no, that's not a real animal, they don't do that,
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they wouldn't do that." so that's a very difficult balance. and that was something that we fought with on every shot. it was a discussion that went from the heads of the studio all the way down, you know, through the movie. so we captured scene by scene. so we captured what we called a master scene from beginning to end. the animators back at npc would then take the chess pieces that we captured for bob and ruby and stella and all the other animals and animate them, animate them the whole master scene, you know, from beginning to end, without any kind of camera. we hadn't shot any camera at that stage. it was alljust as a scene would play out. and so by the end of that process we had every scene we were going to shoot virtually playing out as a master scene. that would then go on to our virtual stage. now we're into the virtual stage we could go into the scene. first of all we would do it in vr. so we would put the headsets on. you can go into the scene, look around while the master scene is playing out.
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we could go into it with the dp and the director and say, right, here is the scene, how are we going to film this? once we looked at it in vr we went on to the virtual stage and there we actually had a film crew and we were able to now literally film these virtual clips. and we could change lenses, they could pull focus, you know, there's nothing there, but everything is up on big screens. the reason that we did that as well was, you know, it put the filming a bit back into the film—makers' hands. i think thea said to us, nick, at one point, when we showed her the first kind of render of a scene with ivan rendered for the first time, it's like looking at a different character. all those things go into the mix and subtly change things as the movie evolves and goes through its different processes. probably a lot of people looking at the movie may not realise is how much of the backgrounds weren't real, but were actually completely
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generated virtually. any time that you were basically looking at bob and ivan in the backstage area, with stella and ruby, that entire environment was virtual. it was completely computer—generated. so we put a huge amount of work into all of the different textures and how light behaved on them. we had tiled surfaces, concrete surfaces, we had metal bars, we had glass. if you went in there and just said, right, well, we'lljust go and shoot empty plates of this environment, you know, we think bob will be there and shoot a shot there, you end up with a million plates, it will take you a long time to shoot. so therefore we needed it to be, you know, a virtual construct so that we would have complete freedom of cameras and complete freedom of choices later on. i'lljust cross the road, then. why would you cross the road? to get to the other side. laughter. i kinda feel like ivan, don't you? trapped in a cage?
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yeah, albeit on this sofa. now, as i say, we're going to be looking at some of the other films that are nominated for an academy award in vfx in the next couple of weeks. check our socials for more information. those socials are these. find us on youtube, instagram, facebook, twitter @bbcclick. all right, that's it from us. thanks for watching. and we will see you soon. bye— bye. hello. there's a lot of dry weather in the forecast not only for the rest of the day but also through the week ahead. we started off in england and wales on a chilly note, but with some beautiful spring sunshine and it's quite pleasant out there now. it does look as though the beginning
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of this week will be a bit warmer than last week because of the wind direction, but the wind changes once again. noticeably cooler from midweek, and that means we could see a return to more significant night—time frosts. there is some rain around, that said, as you can see across parts of western scotland, out of northern ireland into the isle of man. that is just bringing more cloud into western fringes of wales and south—west england as well. but for the remainder of the day, the further east you go, dry, settled and sunny with a light breeze and temperatures will respond. we could see into the middle of the afternoon highs of 15 or 16. a bit cooler into the far north under the cloud, a bit more of a breeze here and staying quite murky to higher ground. that weather front will retreat a little bit further north and west overnight, but it's still sitting out in the atlantic. it's still going to continue to bring quite a lot of cloud into the far north—west. here it will stay mild through the night. we can draw in more low cloud and fog through the vale of york
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down into lincolnshire perhaps, and into north norfolk as well. not as cold a start as previous mornings. we'll keep those temperatures perhaps up just above freezing. so, on monday, a largely dry story to begin with. that fog will burn back to the north sea, a good deal of sunshine coming through. cloudy with light patchy rain into the western isles and maybe to the west of northern ireland, here a bit of a nuisance, but in terms of the feel of things, maybe 17 an expected high. it looks likely, as we move out of monday into tuesday, that this area of high pressure is going to build in from the atlantic and drift steadily eastwards. that will push and weaken the weather front considerably, but more importantly it means a change of wind direction. more of a northerly flow, which will drag the slightly cooler air across the country, and that will mean a change to the feel of the weather. particularly on those exposed east coasts,
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cooler with the breeze coming in off the sea. take care.
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good afternoon. the environment secretary, george eustice, has told the bbc that the government will "look at" any recommendations made to change the rules around lobbying. inquiries have begun into former
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prime minister david cameron's


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