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Tech Tent

Rory Cellan-Jones on the latest stories in the tech world.

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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. Produced by Jat Gill.(Image: Young woman using smart bus stop display in Barcelona, Credit: iStock/ Getty Images Plus).


27 Dec 2019

Rank #1

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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).


20 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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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. Produced by Jat Gill.(Image: A 5G handset showing fast download speeds at a Huawei store in China, Credit: Getty Images).


31 Jan 2020

Rank #3

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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).


25 Oct 2019

Rank #4

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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).


15 Nov 2019

Rank #5

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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).


1 Nov 2019

Rank #6

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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).


22 Nov 2019

Rank #7

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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).


13 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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Hand over your virus data

How much data are we all prepared to share in the battle to beat the coronavirus? Rory Cellan-Jones speaks to Milo Ho-Hsuan Hsieh, a Taiwanese journalist who saw his phone tracked by the government after he was asked to self-isolate following a trip abroad. Jeni Tennison of the Open Data Institute says there are ways of sharing personal data more transparently and fairly, even in the midst of a pandemic. Lexi Sydow from App Annie, which monitors what apps get downloaded and where, tells us what millions of us stuck at home are doing on our phones. And one of the world’s leading AI experts Professor Stuart Russell tells us why artificial intelligence my not be about to ride to the rescue. The BBC's Jane Wakefield runs down the latest technology news.


27 Mar 2020

Rank #9

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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).


6 Sep 2019

Rank #10

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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).


18 Oct 2019

Rank #11

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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. Produced by Jat Gill.(Image: Char Siu Buns made from meat-alternative Impossible Pork are sampled during a press event for CES 2020, Credit: David Becker/ Getty Images).


10 Jan 2020

Rank #12

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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).


16 Aug 2019

Rank #13

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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).


23 Aug 2019

Rank #14

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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)


13 Sep 2019

Rank #15

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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)


11 Oct 2019

Rank #16

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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. Produced by Jat Gill.(Image: Stock photo of a plant stem growing out of a circuit board, Credit: Getty Images).


17 Jan 2020

Rank #17

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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)


2 Aug 2019

Rank #18

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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).


9 Aug 2019

Rank #19

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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).


26 Jul 2019

Rank #20