this is bbc news. the headlines: president trump has declared the united states to be the greatest and most virtuous nation in the history of the world in a speech marking independence day. his optimistic tone contrasted with muted july the fourth celebrations in much of the us, as cornavirus infections continue to soar. a fireworks display took place at the washington monument in the capital. protestors from the black lives matter campaign group and pro—trump make america great again demonstrators gathered close by. catalonia in northeastern spain has placed 200,000 people back into lockdown because of a local rise in coronavirus cases. the region has the highest number of current infections. people will not be able to enter or leave some areas without permission. a major easing of the coronavirus lockdown has taken place in england, with many bars, restaurants, and hotels able to re—open. now it's time for click.
this week: singing for votes... ..getting out of the office... ..and lift off! welcome to click. i hope you're doing 0k. and, i don't want anyone to panic, right, but lara has left the building. she's gone rogue... is that the outside? it's the outside world! i've been allowed out. and you may be next week! oh, no. no, too scary. too scary! what're you up to? well, i was actually inspired
by last week's food special to grow some of my own veg. but seeing as i can't even keep a cactus alive, i've gone for a spot of technology to help — of course. 0k. so what's that all about then? ok, so welcome to my smart garden. this is actually called click & grow. good name! seriously? brilliant. yep, absolutely. now, this is actually a spot of verticalfarming. although i've been setting it up outside it will live indoors, and the device provides exactly the right amount of light and water that the plants need. plus the plants all come like this in little sachets where you have the seed for whatever plants you want, but also what the company calls smart soil, which means thatjust the right amount of nutrients should be within each pod so there should be no problem in creating perfect crops. now, this device has been around for a little while, but what is new is that it now syncs your smart phone, plus this should be just the right amount of these products that one person needs to not have
to go to the supermarket. what are you planting then, at the moment? well, i've got some lettuce, i've got some basil and i've got some tomato growing. so when all this is over i can make you a salad. laughter. there's an offer. all right, well, you carry on sowing and i'll see you in a few minutes. the influence of facebook in elections has become a huge topic. the world is still debating to what extent it was responsible for president trump's victory back in 2016. as the 2020 us elections approach the discussion over the influence of social networks is once again on the agenda. joe biden, the nominee for the democrats, has been warning that not enough has been done to protect the integrity of elections. but while the world has been talking about facebook and twitter, another social network has been on the rise — tiktok. just a few years old, it's already been downloaded more
than two billion times. it's an alluring mix of funny videos and the latest dance moves have been a particular hit with younger users. but with great power comes great responsibility. tiktok‘s huge user base could mean that it has a huge influence. and as james clayton has been finding out, it is now being used as a political platform. and just like facebook and twitter before it, a dark side is emerging. tiktok is a platform where you have fun and be creative. it's whole philosophy is based around music, lip syncing and, of course, dancing. it's not supposed to be a political platform. it was not supposed to be any platform other than music. and that's how it started. tiktok banned political ads last year, but its content is increasingly political, blurring the lines between comedy, entertainment, and politics. tiktok uses laid claim to sabotaging
donald trump's tulsa rally, preserving seeds in droves they would never use. now people have started sitting up and taking notice of the platform's political power. the big question now isjust how influential can these videos be? and are they the future of political advertising? we will win our freedom... tiktok users are young. around two—thirds are under the age of 30. let me switch up for y'all real quick. topher is 29. by tiktok standards that is ancient. people are saying "0k, boomer" and, "like, i think you're using it wrong." topher is an unusual mix. yo, this is to all my trump supporters. he's a rapper and conservative commentators. this is what president trump meant by when the looting starts, the shooting starts. until about six months ago he didn't have much
of a social media following. now he's exploded. he's followed by nearly half a million users. his videos have generated millions of likes. # what you've got to lose... i tell people all the time, tiktok has allowed us to reimagine what we think about news. a lot of the time it allows us to — some of the features such as the green screen video and green screen photo, allows us to put up sources as we're talk about current events, and the minute videos are almost like popcorn to just an average day social media person. tiktok is easy to use and fun, giving uses creative tools to make imaginative content. and exactly the same tools have been applied to political videos. there's a green screen option so you can be your own presenter, pointing different facts and figures on the screen. the other thing you can do on tiktok is sing—along with your mates, by dueting with them by splitting the screen. but that's big on
political tiktok too. you can use it to react to other people's political comments — not always in a good way. sabrina haake ran to be northwest indiana's democratic candidate. she didn't have much a social media following anywhere until she posted this video on tiktok. pop music. # you know i'm your type, right... the video has had more than 300,000 likes. that's the kind of engagement you might expect of a presidential candidate. what worked for you in terms of getting likes? well, it was the music. # you know i'm your type...
tiktok‘s a perfect venue for people who want to get across their message and very simple terms. because there is not a, you know, it's sort of the two second sound bite platform which is kind of everything that i am running against but it also works because it gets people to look into your platform, and read it more closely. despite this tiktok popularity, sabrina haake didn't win, not even close. evidence perhaps that popularity on tiktok doesn't necessarily translate into votes at the ballot box. but tiktok wasn't designed to be political. its blend of short videos and young users makes it particularly vulnerable to fake news and extremist material. during the george floyd protests, a man linking himself to an extremist libertarian militia call the boogaloo boys, allegedly shot and killed a federal security officer, injuring his colleague who's been charged with first—degree murder. the movement that he belongs to aims to prepare for an armed struggle against the state. boogaloo boys often wear colourful hawaiian shirts and are almost always heavily armed,
preparing for a supposed uprising against the state. tiktok has tried to purge boogaloo videos by getting rid of the boogaloo hashtag. but were able to find many gun videos using a different boogaloo hashtag to get round the ban. the thing that is interesting about them is that it is like the wild west. the president of media matters are spotted arise in extremist material months ago. they were getting around it in two meaningful ways. one was that their identifier was not picking up the gun somehow. and none of tiktok‘s countermeasures was searching for the right terms for the boogaloos, so even though it was against their rules there was still the boogaloo stuff.
tiktok has received, it's easy to forget just how young tiktok actually is. just three years old. and we're still perhaps even tiktok is still getting to grips with the huge amount of power the platform now wields. hello and welcome to the week in tech. it was the week that india band tiktok and 58 other chinese apps amid an ongoing border dispute between the two countries. the us suspended sensitive tech exports to hong kong after china passed a new national security law. and live streaming platform twitch suspended president trump's account for hateful conduct. the move came after reddit banned its most popular trump—supporting sub reddit along with 2000 others it said had regularly broke the rules on hate speech. it was also the week that yoga wear company lululemon bought a fitness tech start—up mirror for $500 million. mirror offers wall mounted screens connected to the internet
as an alternative to gyms. lululemon ceo says the demand for home workouts is growing exponentially. mit's csail team deployed a new robot to disinfect the greater boston foodbank using uvc light. mit says the robot can work quickly and can help clean schools, shops, and warehouses. touchless technology developed by bristol—based ultraleap will be used for advertising in us cinemas. the company will develop adverts that customers can interact with, saying it's a safe and responsible way to operate in the pandemic. and finally, one of hiroshi ishiguro‘s humanlike robots will also be headed to the cinema. erica, who was created at 0sa ka university, has been given a role in an upcoming science—fiction film b. professor ishiguro and kohei 0gawa have been developing an a! database for erica to draw on for her method acting skills. i've missed going out with my friends during the lockdown. a night at the cinema, maybe catching a play or broadway—style musical. i'd even accept tickets
to the opera right now. but sadly, we are not out of the woods when it comes to covid—i9 yet. so instead i trawl internet looking for virtual events. why don't you join me? we deserve a night out. at broadwayhd. com you'll find all your favourite musical extravaganzas to stream on demand. it's $899 a month to subscribe, but you can try the service free for seven days. musical fans can also enjoy the best of andrew lloyd webber on the show must go on youtube channel. a new show goes live every friday at 7:30pm and is available to watch free for 48 hours. a night at the opera has never really appealed to me,
but i have to say, after dipping into the next couple of sites, i'm beginning to realise i may have missed out. metopera.org offers a different opera every night. you can watch free for 23 hours and then pay on demand to replay old broadcasts. the royal opera house is also making full—length operas and ballets available free on the youtube channel. the national theatre in london has always been one of my favourite venues for catching a great play. and they have also been putting up weekly new content to entertain through the lockdown. a new full—length production is published each thursday at 7:00pm and then available to watch for seven days. there are also fun extras to help you enjoy the shows together, like this guide to hosting a midsummer night's dream cocktail party, featuring some of the cast. then you add the prosecco! prosecco or, if you're a child, lemonade. or why not treat yourself to a night of stand—up comedy. nowherecomedyclub.com has been set up as a virtual comedy club with regular shows from some of the world's funniest people.
tickets cost from $10—$30 with the upper price including a virtual meet and great with the performer after the show. i do like the idea of posting a virtual dinner party. great food, great company and you only have to wash up for one. after dinner you can watch a movie together at netflixparty.com or you can use the bbc‘s own new communal iplayer service. details are available at bbc. co. uk/taster/pilots/bbc—togethe— i’. and for those nights where you really aren't feeling too social but still want a taste of getting out in the world... take a trip using the medium of local radio stations. you'll hear music, chat, and all the local news and weather forecasts from around the world. the safest way to travel during the lockdown. many more of us have been working from home during the pandemic
and if, like me, you're starting to feel a spot of zoom fatigue, then how about some new ways of doing meetings? well, chris fox has been taking a look at what can be done in virtual reality. at the start of this week, i really did think who's going to put on a virtual reality headset to do work or video calling? why wouldn't you just do it on your computer like everybody else? but, i have to say, some of the apps in development have really surprised me. this is spatial, a meeting space designed to bring together people with vr headsets and those without. those without a headset can drop in using their computer and webcam. so eye can see zoe up on a huge video wall.
and those of us with a headset are represented by these 3d avatars. all i had to do was upload a photo or take a picture using my webcam and it turned that into a 3d avatar. it applied my skin colour to the arms and look how accurately it modelled my fringe from a 2d webcam image. and, just forfun, i tried making an avatar using a picture of a dog and i had to see this so you have to see it too. laughter. now we're all in the meeting room together we can share files and photos, even 3d objects like this rendering of mars. this is in many waysjust like a video just like a video call, but i can't stress to you enough how different it feels. and spacial, unlike a video call, really feels like the people are there in the room with you. and if you go up to them too close it feels uncomfortable and weird, especially if you go really close because you can, at the moment, look through their head and see their teeth and eyeballs, which is a little bit spooky. and here's how the setup looks for zoe who isjoining usjust like a video call on her laptop. she gets an overview of the room and she can see our 3d avatars moving around in front of the video wall. it was certainly a more personal and sometimes too intimate experience.
another app taking a slightly different approaches immersed, and like spatial you can meet your colleagues in a virtual space and have some of them appear the video wall via webcam. but the key difference with immersed is it gives you a multiscreen workspace wherever you go. so instead of editing a video in my kitchen, i can do it in an alpine lodge with up to five visual displays. so i have my script here, i have my timeline, and then i can have a huge video wall previewing my footage. i've actually edited this video that you're watching right now in virtual reality, mainly as an experiment. these are my main takeaways from it. i thought the video footage may be stuttering, which can be very frustrating when you are trying to edit. there hasn't been any of that at all. video displays are crisp and sharp. the final point is it's very hard to control something like this when you can't see your hands with the headset on. so i'd find myself peeking out from under the vr headset to see where my hands are on the keyboard.
back in virtual space, i ask the founder of immersed, renji bijoy, to tell me what he thought needed to improve in the next generation of headsets. lightweight headsets are going to be essential. we're actually working on hand tracking technology that uses your laptop webcam to detect your hands in 3d space. and so users will not have to blindly type with a headset on their face, but instead actually see their virtual hands. as i said, when i first tried this i was sceptical. are people really going to sit in coffee shops doing multiscreen working? i don't know. but the technology is only going to get better and facebook is pouring billions into developing lightweight virtual reality glasses. there are some very interesting concepts here and that feeling of really being in the same room as someone when you're in vr makes it very compelling. that's brilliant. that was chris fox. now, over the last couple of years we've seen some real advances in spaceflight.
and just recently a commercial company, spacex, sent its first astronauts to the iss. but whether it's people or payloads, getting stuff into space requires massive rockets and an awful lot of fuel. it also needs a special launch site and loads of ground infrastructure. after all, you can't just blast off from anywhere. but the thing is, that first part of the journey uses so much fuel and such a huge rocket that it does beg the question — is there another way? and it turns out the answer is yes. marc cieslak has been talking to virgin 0rbit, who have taken a very different approach to rocket launchers. we will take a rocket, it's about 70 feet long, weighs about 60,000 lbs, we mounted under the wing of a 7a7 aeroplane, we take off, we climb up to 30,000—35,000 feet and go out to sea. the pilot then pulls up so that the rocket is in an appropriate direction, and drops it.
release. the rocket senses that an automatically ignites its engine a few seconds later when it's safely away from the airplane. and the first stage burns. the second stage will separate from the first stage. it will burn, take it to orbit, go around the world, and, typically, do a final burn and release a payload. spaceflight is becoming an increasingly commercial activity, with companies such as elon musk‘s spacex now launching rockets and crews to the international space station. the easy stuff were done before, like launching satellites or launching people to the international space station will be done that. we know we can do that.
but putting a space base on the moon or maybe going further on to mars, that's something that's a little bit harder and it leaves nasa to focus on those things. virgin 0rbit is a spin—off from the richard branson‘s space tourism company virgin galactic. while galactic is concerned with taking paying passengers to the edge of space for a zero g daytrip, 0rbit‘s myjob is air launch mini satellites into space. 0rbit has been around since 2017 and is now a separate operation from galactic. it's ramping up the testing of its aircraft, and old converted virgin atlantic 7a7 dubbed cosmic girl. and launcher one, the rocket that does the actual satellite delivery. the theory, using and aircraft to give a rocket a lift part the way to space is sound. so far 0rbit has extensively tested their aircraft and it tested dropping a rocket from the aircraft's wing. but they‘ re yet to successfully perform an air launch. on may 25 2020, virgin 0rbit
attempted that first full air launched test flight. cosmic girl took off from the mojave air and space port in california, with launcher 0ne fuelled up and loaded under her wing. she then headed out over the pacific ocean. everything was going very well. it was almost a boring flight. the pilot pulled up per plan and hit the drop target right on the nose. the plane dropped the rocket as planned, but a fault occurred. we had an issue happen that caused the main engine to basically shut off.
the team here have said that they knew there was perhaps a 50—50 chance that this test would work. but, as the world reels from covid—i9, the pandemic has had a devastating effect on a host of including airlines. sir richard branson had began talks requesting a commercial loan from the uk's government. have the virgin group's wider woes affected their ambitions for space? the emails, text, and phone calls i've had with richard over the last 2a hours have been primarily focused on when do we think we'll know? what data do we have, and when can we have the rocket sitting behind me ready forflight? so the team is preparing for another launch attempt in the not too distant future. that was marc going into space. and that's it from me on the sofa and lara with the tomatoes. i'm just syncing my plants to the app. very 2020. indeed. well, of course, you can keep up with the team throughout the week on social media on youtube, instagram, facebook, and twitter @bbcclick.
thanks for watching. and we will see you soon. bye— bye. hello, the first half of the weekend was grey and breezy for most of us. the second half of the weekend is looking thoroughly windy, unusually windy for the time of year. expecting gales and places through the day ahead. it should be a bit of sunshine but also some showers. low pressure firmly in charge of the scene. this looks more autumnal than summer. lots of white lines you can see
on the chart, isobars, with the wind is strong throughout the day. a frontal system bringing patchy cloud into the south—east first thing, which will clear quickly, and then a fair amount of sunshine. some showers as well, some of those will be really heavy. particularly across parts of northern england, northern england and scotland. there could be the odd flash of lightning, the rumble of thunder mixed in. these are the wind gusts you can expect. the windiest weather of all across parts of ireland, scotland. gusts of 50—60 miles per hour and maybe stronger winds to the east of the pennines. that could cause disruption to travel, particularly for high—sided vehicles. it will feel relatively cool. as we head through sunday night, you can see further showers in the forecast, particularly across the northern half of the uk. it stays fairly windy. i think the winds will ease a little as we head into the first part of monday. and also it's going to be a slightly cooler, fresher night. temperatures in a few spots getting down into single digits. so on monday, we'll see low pressure sliding away towards scandinavia. high pressure starting to build in from the south—west, between the two, still fairly brisk winds across the country. these winds coming down from the north—west. so that's never going
to be a particularly warm wind direction. but as you can see, not as many showers through the day on monday. a fair amount of dry weather and some spells of sunshine. but those temperatures, 16—20 degrees, just a touch below what we might expect at this point injuly. now, tuesday looks like a dry day for most. patchy rain in the far north of scotland, otherwise a fair amount of dry weather. but it looks like more rain will work in from the west as we head towards the afternoon and evening. as temperatures again on the low side, 14—21 degrees. and as we head through the middle part of the week, wednesday into thursday, some further outbreaks of rain at times. and those temperatures just a bit below par.
welcome to bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: independence day in the us is overshadowed by another big increase in coronavirus cases, and president trump defends the nation's past heroes. we will not throw away our heroes. we will honour them and we will prove worthy of their sacrifice. and at the washington monument in the capital — fireworks lit up the fourth ofjuly night sky as protestors gathered in large numbers. a major easing of the coronavirus lockdown in england with pubs, restaurants and hotels able to re—open. more than 200,000 people are back in lockdown in part