BBC News


Wanted: Inspiring name for Europe's 2020 Mars rover

BBC News

Here's your chance to name the European rover that will go to Mars in 2020. Currently called ExoMars, the six-wheeled robot needs something a bit more engaging and inspiring for when it lands on the Red Planet. Astronaut Tim Peake is leading the hunt for a great moniker. He wants everyone to go to a special website set up for the purpose and enter a suggestion. But don't think "Spacey McSpaceFace" is a goer because this is not an online poll.


News Daily: Trump invites Putin to US and HIV 'complacency' warning

BBC News

Donald Trump wants Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the US this autumn. The two men met at the beginning of this week in Finland, and despite some significant fall-out, planning is under way for a second get-together. Moscow hasn't reacted publicly yet to the invitation. "OK... that's going to be special," laughed US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats when told about it. Well, the US intelligence services were at the centre of the aforementioned fall-out, after the president seemed to reject their view on Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and side with Moscow instead.


The people with dragon legs and electric fingers

BBC News

Just because something is practical doesn't mean it has to be unfashionable. See how seven disabled people have "pimped up" the equipment they use every day. Viktorija Radvila's custom-made prosthetic leg cover is adorned with sculpted dragons and crystal beads. She describes it as a "Sunday best" item. "I put this on instead of a necklace or rings if I'm going out and I want to look smart," the 34-year-old Lithuanian, who now lives near London, says.


What to take to a festival: Friends, drink... and a giant bar chart

BBC News

Some would say it's the magic of a festival - stumbling upon a random stage and accidentally discovering your new favourite band. You could call it following your festival instinct. But what if you ditched all that and did the complete opposite? What if you took arguably the most nerdy thing in the world - statistics - and used it to try to have the best festival experience ever? I consulted a stats expert, packed up a giant bar chart, and headed to 2000 Trees in Gloucestershire to find out.


Unlikely partners? China and Israel deepening trade ties

BBC News

On paper Israel and China are unlikely close trading partners. China, the world's second-largest country, is the biggest exporter on the planet. While Israel, a tiny strip of land in the Middle East, is only in 45th place on the global exporting league table. And importantly - Israel has always been a steadfast ally of the US. So given the current trading spat between the US and China, you would expect Israel to be firmly on the American side.


The cameras that know if you're happy - or a threat

BBC News

Facial recognition tech is becoming more sophisticated, with some firms claiming it can even read our emotions and detect suspicious behaviour. But what implications does this have for privacy and civil liberties? Facial recognition tech has been around for decades, but it has been progressing in leaps and bounds in recent years due to advances in computing vision and artificial intelligence (AI), tech experts say. It is now being used to identify people at borders, unlock smart phones, spot criminals, and authenticate banking transactions. But some tech firms are claiming it can also assess our emotional state.


AI will create as many jobs as it displaces - report

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) will create as many jobs in the UK as it will displace over the next 20 years, a report has claimed. The analysis by accountancy giant PwC found AI would boost economic growth, creating new roles as others fell away. But it warned there would be "winners and losers" by industry sector, with many jobs likely to change. Opinion is split over AI's potential impact, with some warning it could leave many out of work in future. The pessimists argue AI is different to previous forms of technological change, because robots and algorithms will be able to do intellectual as well as routine physical tasks.


Amazon Alexa: is it friends with your kids?

BBC News

The tech giants are racing to get digital assistants into our homes - the Amazon Echo Dot currently has a 40% discount during Amazon Prime Day - but debate rages over whether they are suitable for children. There have certainly been teething problems. Toy giant Mattel abandoned its "AI babysitter", Aristotle, last year following privacy concerns. And music streaming service Spotify is currently testing a way of filtering out songs with explicit lyrics following complaints from parents that family-friendly versions of tracks did not play by default when requested on smart speakers. Amazon Echo meanwhile added a feature to encourage children to be more polite to it following concerns that the abrupt way in which people talk to it was teaching children to be rude.


Investigation reveals elaborate technology terror web

BBC News

A terror network established in south Wales is now suspected to have been a much more elaborate and sophisticated operation. BBC Wales Investigates reveals the complex web which began with the arrival in Pontypridd of a "vulnerable looking" computer engineering student. In late December 2015 a uniformed Pentagon spokesman, Colonel Steve Warren, made a video announcement about "Operation Inherent Resolve", the US military's campaign against so-called the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The spokesman gave details about 10 senior IS figures who had been targeted and killed, many in drone strikes, over the course of the month. "We are striking at the head of this snake by hunting down and killing ISIS leaders," declared the US army spokesman. Among those killed was Siful Sujan, a Bangladeshi national who was targeted near Raqqa in Syria on 10 December.


Brexit: What does the government White Paper reveal?

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The government has published its long-awaited Brexit White Paper. The document is 104 pages long and follows last week's Chequers agreement which set out the sort of relationship the UK wants with the EU after Brexit. The White Paper is split into four chapters: economic partnership, security, cooperation and institutional arrangements. So here are the key excerpts from the chapter on "economic partnership" and what they mean. This is a line that emerged in the Chequers statement last Friday, and it is one of the most important in this White Paper.