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tv   Click  BBC News  July 31, 2021 6:30am-7:00am BST

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this is bbc news, the headlines: the us justice department has ruled that the tax returns of former president donald trump must be handed over to a congressional committee. unlike other recent presidents, mr trump had resisted the demand that he surrender his tax records, and the justice department had backed him while he was in office. australia's third largest city, brisbane, is going into lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of the delta strain of coronavirus. the deputy premier of queensland said millions of residents in brisbane and several other areas would be ordered to stay at home for three days. us champion gymnast simone biles has withdrawn from two more competitions at the tokyo olympics. her team said she'd ruled herself out of the finals of the vault and uneven bars. biles has been sidelined by a mental block that affects her judgement
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when spinning in mid—air. now on bbc news, click. this week, we are in iceland to fly over a red—hot volcano. and then chill out with some beautiful scenery. also at a gas—powered bitcoin mine in the us. and how safe is your electric car charger from hackers?
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it is the land of fire and ice. where the earth is literally splitting apart. this is iceland, home to so much amazing scenery, created by the superheated rock that lurks just below the surface. as recently as march this year, a new volcano has been erupting and attracting tourists and scientists alike to watch and learn as it rewrites the geography once again. and later in the programme, we will be there to see how — as long as you're careful — volcanoes and drones can mix. now, iceland is putting all of this heat to good use. it drives the geothermal power stations which provide clean,
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cheap electricity, and that means that now, almost half of all of the cars here are electric. the country is second only to norway in its adoption. but while things are moving at a pretty fast pace here in iceland, the uk is still trying to increase the number of publicly available charging points to help with the switch to electric there, and that means that home charging points are a must—have for early adopters. but here's a question i bet you've never asked yourself: how secure is your charger? weird question i know, but dan simmons has been investigating how your charging point could be turned against you. ready to plug in. well, the porsche does get thirsty, and as many electric car owners will testify, having a charger at home is almost a necessity to make sure you can go places tomorrow.
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but all is not as it seems because this smart charger has mysteriously switched off. next day, our man is often an important meeting, no doubt, and to show off his flashy new motor. but he's going nowhere because his tican can't. its battery is still flat. his car's 0k. it's the wallbox charger that's been hacked and turned off. and it gets worse. because hackers can access the firmware of this second charger, the project ev, they can disable this permanently. both chargers have been approved for sale in the uk by the government's department of transport. so how can this happen? well, thankfully, the good guys have found the problems first.
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the number of so—called �*white hat�* hackers is growing fast. these are the people who test systems and products to find flaws before anyone else does. vangelis is the hacker who found the security failures. so on wallbox, you could take full control of the charger. it could gain full access and remove the usual owner's access on the charger. it could stop them from charging their own vehicles and provide free charging to an attacker vehicle. and for the project ev, it's way worse because you can sideload finware, you can make it — you can brick it, you can make it to be part a botnet and you could also make attack other servers. the problem in both cases is the lack of proper authentication between the mobile app on our
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smartphones often used to control these chargers and the computer servers that relay instructions to the boxes�*. do you think it's an easy hike to do? could anyone do it? yes. well, the word "anyone" is quite broad, but anyone who understands apis could easily do it, yes. ken munro heads up pen test partners. after a quick charge—up, we went back to his place where he showed me something else particularly worrying. if you've got one of these chargers at home, then you might be surprised to find this inside. ken and his team found a 2015 raspberry pi. more of an educational piece of hardware rather than something that you may want to rely on to store your details securely. get hold of one of these and because this is connected to your home by wi—fi, well then, you can get straight onto the home network.
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could let you do all sorts of things. shall we change the channel? click theme plays mum? hey, welcome to... it's more educational! if you have got the project ev charger, you can do it without even having access to the box. you can do it remotely. so once you're onto someone's home network, if you have not changed the router admin password, you can send all the traffic to the hacker. that means they can do things like set up sites that look like the real deal but steal your password and then your real bank account, for example, has been compromised. so there's all sorts of things you can do. anything you log into, you can potentially intercept the traffic or grab it and then reuse it, so everything you do online is potentially exposed. and with many of us now working
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from home, confidential commercial information might also incentivise an attacker. if you are a small business and you have got one of these charges and it's connected to your business network, you potentially have created a backdoor onto your network, access to potentially all of your data, and that's going to put you in a whole lot of pain. and new sharing schemes promise to make security even more important, as owners of charges are encouraged to let other ev users pull onto their driveways and charge up. thousands of these two chargers have been sold in the uk, so both pen test partners and click contacted the firms to first give them the chance to fix the problems. and we got two different responses. project ev imports chargers from a company based in china called atess. it told us:
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wallbox, based in spain, did not reply to us, but they did tell ken's team that they had fixed the online problems. time to see if the units are safe. retesting took place this week and suggests most of the problems in both chargers have been fixed, but ken says owners still need to take action. check for updates, solve the problem. the wallbox charger uses hardware that is not secure enough. there's really nothing you can do to make it completely secure. so unless wallbox have found a way of fixing that, which would be beyond me, i'd suggest perhaps supergluing the box cover in so hackers cannot take the top off. and what of the approval
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they had to be sold in the uk by the department for transport and the government grants handed out to help sell them? the department did not comment on the security issues we raised, but said: it's worth noting that all smart home chargers will still be usable if you just want to plug yourcar in. but when it comes to security when using them with a phone app or home wi—fi, it seems some are smarter than others. that was dan, and more great work there from the white hat hackers, catching a problem before it ever really becomes one. now, iceland may be hot under the surface but it can get quite chilly up top, which is also pretty useful. back in 2018, we visited a cryptocurrency mining data centre near keflavik.
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the computers there produce huge amounts of heat, but the arctic air can be sucked in as cooling, which eliminates the need to use more electricity on chilling systems. when crypto miners realised that it can get pretty cold here and electricity was pretty cheap, iceland's appeal became apparent, and now crypto mining in iceland uses more electricity than the country's homes. but a long way from this country, there is a decommissioned coal plant which has been converted into a gas—fired power plant all in the name of mining bitcoin. sounds unbelievable, doesn't it? here's james clayton. this is an energy plant with a big difference. a former new york coal plant, its owners greenidge generation have decided to bring it back to life, converting it into a gas—fired power station with a twist. what's happening here is part
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of a modern day gold rush. but they are not mining minerals here, they are mining bitcoin. these computers all have one singular goal: to create bitcoin. they do that by tackling wickedly hard equations that need a lot of computer power to solve. in many ways, these computers are printing money. one bitcoin is currently worth over £25,000, or $35,000, and all these computers need a lot of energy. the unique thing about this plant is it both creates energy and mines bitcoin, so these turbines actually create the energy and then literally right next to them, there are these massive bitcoining machines — that's kind of the unique selling point of company — that they do the whole thing in—house. mining bitcoin is hugely energy intensive. cambridge university estimates that the annual amount of energy used to mine bitcoin
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is equivalent to a country the size of colombia or bangladesh. there are nearly 10,000 bitcoin mining computers here and greenidge wants to build more. the company argues it's greener than bitcoin mines that use coal in the us and china, and that they offset their emissions. but they're still pumping out carbon dioxide to make a cryptocurrency. i spoke to greenidge's chief executive jeff kirt. some people would think it's absurd but at a time when a lot of people are trying to cut down on their carbon emissions,
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there's a plant that uses fossilfuels to mind bitcoin. well, i mean, first and foremost, we are 100% carbon neutral in our bitcoin mining operation. we're the first and the only bitcoin mining company that has made that announcement. but you are still putting fossil fuels into the air. you might be offsetting them, but you are still putting fossil fuels into the air. you wouldn't need to offset them if this didn't... we — right. this is a gas plant and, you know, approximately 50% of the grid in new york state is powered by natural gas. so like all local natural gas plants, whether it's in new york and the rest of the country, this plant does emit carbon. some local politicians, though, are concerned. do you want greenidge to close down? personally, it absolutely should. it should not be using fossil fuel to run these computer processors to benefit a few people on wall street and leaving this for what? for what? it's not worth it. politicians around the world are still trying to work out how to deal with bitcoin's
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greedy energy consumption. companies like greenidge think that they are the future but plenty of others think that reopening plants like this is a step in the wrong direction. hello and welcome to the week in tech. it was the week twitter started testing a new online shopping feature. the playdate hand—held gaming console from panic became available for preorder. and after his return to earth, amazon billionairejeff bezos offered nasa $2 billion to reconsider the awarding of a moon mission contract to rival company spacex. also this week us presidentjoe biden said a cyber attack on america could lead to a real shooting war. the president was speaking with members of the us intelligence community. president biden's remarks follow recent high—profile
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cyber attacks that affected parts of america's food and fuel supplies. a start—up has beaten elon musk�*s neuralink company to fda—approved clinical trials in the race to implant a computer interface in a human brain. synchron announced its brain—computer interface the strentrode would undergo human trials in new york later this year. google is saying its us—based employees returning to work this autumn will need to be vaccinated. facebook quickly followed the search engine's lead, saying their employees would also need to be vaccinated to return to the office. and finally this week we saw for the first time and untethered, bipedal robot complete a five kilometre run. the robot called cassie finished the journey in 53 minutes. cassie was designed by a team of researchers from oregon state university. it taught itself how to run on outdoor terrain using machine learning, and made it through on one battery charge.
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sadly i couldn't make it tojoin spencer in iceland — well, not in the traditional sense anyway. i am heading there in virtual reality though, for a spot of meditation. gentle piano music plays. it's a very serene theme, however much you look around, itjust looks so empty and calm. i can see how this one's quite soothing. the flowvr app features 18 icelandic landscapes. you can have the calm of secluded lakes, or visit a stunning snowcapped mountain without even leaving your armchair. so peaceful, not a person in sight. audio guides tell you how to focus, breathe and rest your body. voiceover: you will use your breath to help you ease tension. some 17,000 people have tried these exercises so far, but the process of creating relaxing imagery maybe isn't so relaxing itself. the flow team often trek
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through some tough terrain. we should be able to see the crater here any minute. it's gonna happen. meditation can also have a energetic release type of feeling, and this is release. this eruption is being filmed with six lenses so the content can then be stitched together for a 360 effect. we want to capture it in a way that actually feels like actually standing here. another less misty volcano seen is already on the app. there is definitely a volcano. a huge volcano! those people are standing too close. you can release any negative emotions you may be feeling by shaking them off. i'm letting go of all mu worries! screaming is a great way to shift your energy and mood. i should have warned my
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family i was doing this. screams. ok, i'm not sure that it worked for me personally. maybe i willjust stick to the peaceful scenes. and some steamy mud pools in seltun are next on the shoot list. what i like about the geothermal landscape is you feel like you are on another planet. i think it is nice for us to escape to other worlds when we are meditating, because it takes us out of the stress of the day and helps to calm the mind, where you can just breathe and focus. technology and meditation are a little bit, like, contradictory, but at the same time, we need to put more wholeness, more meditation, more health and wellness into the technology so the technology can serve our well—being and our best, you know, highest purpose. for total icelandic immersion, the app features local musicians like gusgus, olafur arnalds, of monsters and men sigur ros. i used to play computer games and i was a kid, i still do actually, and i kind of felt like this
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this was almost like a cheat code to meditation in a way. laughs. it brought me somewhere immediately rather than it taking time to get into. when we're writing the music it is kind of like, almost like a meditative state. obviously not all our music works like that because sometimes we are just rock �*n' roll and we're really loud, and i am not sure if that is good for meditation. i have never tried it, but who knows! this really is so immersive, but of course not everybody can get their hands on one of these headsets. but a new mobile version has just launched, and seeing the visuals on even a small screen may still work better than audio alone. oh, that was wonderful! i thinkjust disappearing into a vr experience is escapism anyway. iceland was a lovely place to go and meditate, and it would be nice to go there for real someday. maybe i will head back for a bit more of my trip now though. spencer, where are you? it's great that lara got to visit a bit of the serenity
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of iceland, this place is so dramatic. i mean look at that, how the mountains are just touching the sky, it's brilliant. ok, we're going from virtual volcanoes to a very real one now, with quite possibly the coolest story i have introduced in a long time. because scientists are using volcanoes to research how to deploy drones on mars. need i say more? my name is christopher hamilton, i am an associate professor at the university of arizona and a planetary vulcanologist. we are here in geldingadalir, which is a new volcanic eruption that has occurred in southern iceland in reykjanes. iceland provides an ideal testbed for being able to test different kinds of drones for mars because the wonderful characteristics of the environment are actually very similar to what we would expect on mars. so this has been a really exciting year for mars exploration. the drone ingenuity has demonstrated flight on mars for the very first time, being able to operate in a very thin atmosphere, about 1% of
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what the earth's atmosphere is. but it was relatively limited in terms of the instrument suite that it carries, basically cameras. just pouring down, that's a lava waterfall on that side. the next generation of mars drones will be able to have a range of other capabilities. small drones offer a lot of advantages, they are lightweight, they do very well in relatively high winds, and they can be used and carried to rather extreme environments. 100 metres up... if something catastrophic happens with them, the costs aren't prohibitive. it lets you test things in ways you wouldn't necessarily with a larger system. i think that's just about the fastest spot right there. some people have even taken
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small drones and flown into the volcano, acquiring phenomenal imagery — destroyed in the process but really beautiful to watch. is it still giving you that warning? no. the other drone we are using has a larger payload, has a number of different cameras and zoom functions, really beautiful, but also a lidar instrument. so lidar uses light to be able to range the distance between the sensor that is emitting a set of photons and a surface. it is a world first to be able to use a drone—based lidar to image the lava flow and develop a time series topography which we can use to inform the thickness of lava, the volume, and the amount of lava coming out of the volcano at a particular time. we have been working with students from the university of arizona and also the university of iceland and the reykjavik university, and they are doing a greatjob being able to develop some new experimental types of drones that are able to push the edge of what can be done. this large drone is a beast, it has two 6 horsepower motors and over 1.5 metres wing tip to wing tip and is able to lift potentially 35 kg.
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today we are mainly trying a thermal infrared camera which measures the temperature of the lava, which is a first for us to be able to do from the air with this system. even though we don't see it with our eyes we can actually map out regions that are hot and potentially having lava flowing underneath the crust. we are also testing a series of things like grippers, basically a claw that can be used to pick up loose examples, but also drills that can actually core a sample using the drill and bring it back to a lander or even a rover for further analysis. the different drones,
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the different instruments, the different mission concepts we are putting together will enable new exploration of the red planet and to see parts of the planet we have never seen before, and i hope we will have an opportunity, perhaps in the coming decade, to send a drone dedicated to exploring mars�* volcanoes and for the first time see if potentially they are harbouring evidence of life. past or present. are we alone in the universe, but also where did we begin, and potentially, what is the world like in the future that we will come to inhabit as well? absolutely spectacular. that was christopher hamilton and that is it from us for the moment. don't forget, you can follow our exploits on social media, we are on youtube, facebook, instagram and twitter at @bbcclick. thanks for watching and we will see you soon. well, friday brought quite a nasty spell of weather to some south—western and southern areas of the uk. gale force winds around coasts briefly. they were very, very strong indeed, brought by storm evert. you can see on the satellite picture here thunderstorms and heavy showers inland, generally a really changeable day, but the weather has now shifted into the southern north sea.
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it's approaching parts of germany and denmark. behind it, you can see from the motion of the arrows, it's a fairly cool north—northwesterly, so it's going to be a fairly cool day for most of us. really quite nippy, in fact, in the very far north of the country. sunny spells and showers expected. so let's have a look at the early morning hours. that northerly wind blowing across scotland and along the north sea coast. showers there right from the word go, but i think showers are possible almost anywhere early in the morning, apart from the extreme north—west of the country here. temperatures a little on the fresh side, around 12—13 degrees in some spots. and then tomorrow, a pretty cloudy day for many of us — in the morning at least, to start with. then the sunny spells develop but also the showers, and some of them will be heavy. you can see here in the east of the country and the north, some thunderstorms there, too. showers also breaking out across the south. the best of the weather, i suspect, in the north—west of the country, parts of northern ireland, south—western and western scotland and also cornwall, devon and southern wales shouldn't do too bad on saturday. here's a look at sunday's weather map. the weather still coming
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in from the north. we have a weather front crossing the country. that is expected to bring showers to more southern areas of the uk on sunday. they should be more confined towards the very far south towards the end of the day. that's how the day starts, so a little on the chilly side in some areas. those northerly winds, feels quite nippy along the north sea coast, could even be around 1a or 15 degrees during the daytime. best spots, i think, in southern wales, maybe northern ireland again, but i think in southern wales and cardiff up to around 21 degrees or so. so here's the weekend summary again and the outlook into next week, not an awful lot changes. there's no warm weather on the way. i think it's going to stay more or less the same — below average and a chance of some showers. that's it. bye— bye.
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this is bbc world news. i'm maryam moshiri. our top stories: notjust gold but a world record win for team gb in the mixed ax100m relay on "super saturday" at the tokyo games. plus there's a decisive victory for team gb in their first ever triathlon mixed relay, picking up gold in one hour 23 minutes and ahead of the usa and france. the tax returns of former president donald trump will be handed to congress after a ruling by the usjustice department. the lure of cheap drugs in zimbabwe, where hospitals are buckling under the strain of crystal meth addiction. # suddenly i see # this is what i wanna be...#

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