Tech Tent

BBC World Service


How the technology business is transforming the way we live and work.

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Thirty years of the World Wide Web

23:09 | Mar 15th

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the Web's creator, warns of a "dysfunctional future" online if action is not taken to prevent it. Plus, what impact the Web has had in Africa, and how some governments, such as those in China and Russia, don't share Sir Tim's vis...Show More

Facebook to focus on privacy

23:04 | Mar 8th

Boss Mark Zuckerberg vows to transform the platform to make it more private for users. Plus we try to fool a facial recognition system and ask whether the tech is being introduced too quickly. And do you have good manners online? Presented by Rory ...Show More

Mobile World Congress 2019

23:09 | Mar 1st

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei shows its confidence despite US lobbying over security by unveiling an eye-poppingly expensive folding phone. Plus, 5G technology has long been talked about. Now the next generation of networks are about to roll out. Wha...Show More

Samsung launches folding phone

23:09 | Feb 22nd

The handset's screen unfolds to create a tablet-like device. But it comes at an eye-watering price. Will anybody want it? Plus, how hackers are blackmailing people and coming up with novel ways to make money from stolen information. And new rules in ...Show More

Apple to investigate repressive Saudi app

23:07 | Feb 15th

The Absher government app lets men in Saudi Arabia block their female relatives from travelling abroad. Human rights activists want Apple and Google to remove it from their app stores. Plus, are electric vehicles reaching a tipping point to become an...Show More

Using Tech to Your Advantage

23:08 | Feb 8th

Computer scientist Cal Newport tells us how to practise "Digital Minimalism" - making technology work for you and not the other way around. Plus we chat to Michael Acton Smith, whose meditation app Calm has just become a "unicorn" - a company with a ...Show More

Facebook Defies Bad Publicity

23:08 | Feb 1st

The social media giant reveals increasing users and profits despite successive privacy scandals. But could government regulation be a cloud on Facebook's horizon? Plus, is leading Chinese telecoms firm Huawei facing being locked out of building many ...Show More

Social Influencers Face Scrutiny

23:08 | Jan 25th

They are the darlings of the marketing industry - YouTubers and Instagrammers paid by brands to promote their products online. But as these "social media influencers" come under pressure from British competition authorities over how honest they are w...Show More

Netflix and the Race for Eyeballs

23:08 | Jan 18th

Nearly 140 million people around the world are now signed up to Netflix and it's spending more money than ever on its own TV shows and films. But is the battle for consumers' eyeballs only just getting started? Tony Gunnarsson, senior analyst at Ovum...Show More

CES 2019

23:00 | Jan 14th

CES 2019: Rory Cellan-Jones and the BBC tech team spot the latest trends at the CES expo.

CES 2019

23:11 | Jan 11th

Cuddly robots and driverless cars at the world's biggest tech show in Las Vegas. Rory Cellan-Jones takes a look at some of the unusual exhibits at this year's show, with the help of the BBC's Dave Lee, Chris Fox and Cody Godwin, plus special guest Ca...Show More

Apple Struggles in China

23:07 | Jan 4th

Apple CEO Tim Cook blames China for the tech giant's first revenue warning since the iPhone launched. How much trouble is Apple really in? The BBC's Dave Lee in San Francisco and special guest Shona Ghosh, senior tech reporter at Business Insider, di...Show More

Tech To Watch In 2019

23:09 | Dec 28th, 2018

The top trends in phones, artificial intelligence, and tech finance over the past 12 months and in the coming year. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones with special guests Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital, Tabitha Goldstaub, founder at Cognitio...Show More

Tech Quiz Of The Year 2018

23:08 | Dec 21st, 2018

How well do you know your tech? Test your knowledge against the BBC Online team of reporters in our annual technology quiz of the year. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones. (Image: BBC Online technology team Zoe Kleinman, Dave Lee, Jen Copestake, Jane Wa...Show More

Games Workers Demand Rights

23:08 | Dec 14th, 2018

A union for developers plans to fight an industry culture of low pay and job insecurity. Plus, Augmented Reality was supposed to be the future of gaming. Is it over-hyped, or yet to reach to reach its potential? And how Google's boss was grilled by m...Show More

Millions Lose Mobile Data

23:08 | Dec 7th, 2018

A software glitch knocks out mobile data around the world for a day and reveals how vulnerable our lives are to mistakes or meddling in networks. Plus, DeepMind's AlphaZero system that can teach itself to play chess better than any grandmaster or che...Show More

Lawmakers Blast Facebook

22:57 | Nov 30th, 2018

A Canadian MP accuses 'Frat-boy billionaires from California' of upending democracy. Plus, we hear the story of Sophie Roberts, an Amazon software developer who came out as transgender to her colleagues. And Emma Lawton from the charity Parkinson's U...Show More

The Cryptocurrency Crunch

23:07 | Nov 23rd, 2018

Does the plunge in Bitcoin's value suggest it has failed as the future of money? We ask Merryn Somerset Webb from Moneyweek magazine and Iqbal Gandham from trading platform eToro. Plus, should tech giants be made to share their mapping data with othe...Show More

The Phone of the Future

23:10 | Nov 9th, 2018

Samsung shows off a prototype handset with a folding screen. In an industry struggling to innovate, is it the next big thing for phones? Plus, Bird launches a pilot electric scooter rental scheme in London despite the machines being illegal to ride o...Show More

Twitter Bots Running Rampant

23:09 | Nov 2nd, 2018

Despite promising a cleanup,Twitter appears to be failing to eliminate debunked falsehoods, hate speech, and automated "bot" accounts that seek to steer conversations on controversial topics. We talk to Kyle Rentschler from the project w...Show More

Apple Boss Backs Privacy Law

23:08 | Oct 26th, 2018

Tim Cook says people's personal data is being "weaponised" against them for commercial gain and calls for tougher data protection in the United States. Plus, Uber announces a plan it says will help its drivers in London to buy electric cars. And how ...Show More

Twitter Unmasks Troll Farms

23:09 | Oct 19th, 2018

Millions of Tweets allegedly from state-backed Russian and Iranian groups are released to help researchers examining how social media might have been used to influence the public. Ben Nimmo from the Atlantic Council, who had early access to the data,...Show More

Facebook's Portal Into Your Home

23:08 | Oct 12th, 2018

Will people trust Facebook's video-chat device given the company's privacy and data security troubles? Despite glowing reviews, Google's high-end Pixel phones have failed to make a mark in the past - will it be third time lucky for the new handsets? ...Show More

Making VR More Real

23:10 | Oct 5th, 2018

Virtual Reality has been slow to take off. Could a startup from Finland change that? Rory Cellan-Jones tries out Varjo's human-eye resolution headset that promises a more realistic experience. Plus, Ken Banks from digital identity firm Yoti discusses...Show More

Elon Musk Faces Fraud Charge

23:10 | Sep 28th, 2018

US financial regulator the SEC accuses the Tesla boss of misleading investors over a Tweet in which he said he had secured funds to buy out the company. Plus, are company founders naive in how much control they can retain when they sell their compani...Show More

Intelligent Algorithms

23:03 | Sep 21st, 2018

IBM thinks it has an answer to worries about bias in artificial intelligence. David Kenny from the company explains how it works. Plus, is biometric tech such as facial recognition racing ahead of measures to protect people's rights? Technology resea...Show More

Watching Apple

23:09 | Sep 14th, 2018

Apple adds new heart-monitoring features to its Watch, letting users take an electrocardiogram. But will people hound their doctors when there's nothing wrong with them as a result? And the European Parliament votes to make web providers responsible ...Show More

Senators Quiz Facebook and Twitter

23:10 | Sep 7th, 2018

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey answer questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee over US election interference by foreign powers. But Google is conspicuous by its absence. Plus we meet some of Berlin's most successful wome...Show More

IFA Berlin 2018

23:06 | Aug 31st, 2018

Televisions take a leap forward with 8K resolution at IFA, Europe's biggest consumer tech show. Plus Rory Cellan-Jones meets a robot designed to help you sleep, and hears why founders are convinced Berlin is the best place in Europe to set up and gro...Show More

Australia Hands Huawei 5G Ban

23:11 | Aug 24th, 2018

The Chinese telecoms giant says the Australian government has banned it and fellow communications firm ZTE from providing 5G technology for the country's wireless networks, reportedly over national security concerns. Plus, after the Facebook/ Cambrid...Show More

Will AI Ever Understand Us?

23:10 | Aug 17th, 2018

Are recent strides in artificial intelligence more about computers becoming better at matching patterns than about real human-like understanding of tasks? Plus, why a mysterious Russian satellite displaying "very abnormal behaviour" has raised alarm ...Show More

Silicon Valley Pulls Plug On InfoWars

23:06 | Aug 10th, 2018

Twitter refuses to follow Apple, Facebook, YouTube and Spotify in ditching the conspiracy theory channel run by Alex Jones, saying he has not broken its rules. Plus, we visit security conferences Def Con and Black Hat in Las Vegas, and we meet Vector...Show More

Trillion Dollar Apple

23:07 | Aug 3rd, 2018

Apple becomes the world's first US public company to be worth $1tn, while Huawei beats it to second place in the smartphone market. Our special guest Marta Pinto, senior research analyst for European mobile devices at IDC assesses their fortunes and ...Show More

Google 'Acted Illegally' Over Android

23:06 | Jul 20th, 2018

The European Commission says the firm used the mobile operating system to illegally "cement its dominant position" in search and has imposed a $5bn fine. Plus, is Twitter being used by foreigners to interfere in African elections? We talk to Rob Watk...Show More

Facebook Fined Over Data Scandal

23:07 | Jul 13th, 2018

The UK privacy watchdog levies the largest fine it can for the Cambridge Analytica affair. Frederike Kaltheuner from Privacy International tells us why she thinks the data misuse scandal is the tip of an iceberg. Plus, researchers at UCL warn of the ...Show More

Battle Over Copyright Uploads

23:03 | Jul 6th, 2018

Members of the European Parliament reject - for now - planned laws forcing platforms to block unlicensed music and other content uploaded by users. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales tells us why he thinks the proposals are bad for internet creativity. Ta...Show More

Facebook Ditches Internet Plane

23:07 | Jun 29th, 2018

The social giant abandons Aquila, a drone that was supposed to connect people in remote places. Ken Banks, expert on connectivity in Africa, gives his view on what will replace the project. Elaine Safier from HSBC tells us how banks are increasingly ...Show More

Fighting Over Eyeballs

23:07 | Jun 22nd, 2018

A special look at online video as Instagram launches IGTV, a feature encouraging its users to upload and view longer footage from their phones. Plus we talk to Emmett Shear, co-founder of the games streaming site Twitch on its enduring appeal and how...Show More

Fortnite Takes Over E3

23:07 | Jun 15th, 2018

Dave Lee reports from the E3 games conference in Los Angeles, where Fortnite made the biggest splash. Rory Cellan-Jones watches a Tesla crash on purpose to test its autonomous features, and talks to Frank Chen, partner at Andreessen Horowitz, a Silic...Show More

Cheltenham Science Festival 2018

23:07 | Jun 8th, 2018

What can chess tell us about artificial intelligence? Rory Cellan-Jones presents the show live from the UK's Cheltenham Science Festival, where he speaks to chess masters Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan. Matt Jones, professor of computer science at ...Show More

Facebook Removes Far-Right Group

23:06 | Mar 16th, 2018

Their videos were shared by Donald Trump, but now Facebook bans the group Britain First. Plus, Google says it will no longer carry ads promoting cryptocurrencies. How much of a blow is it to a buzzing sector? We ask Zeeshan Feroz, UK chief executive ...Show More

Equal Net Fight Continues

23:07 | Mar 9th, 2018

The "father of the Web" Sir Tim Berners-Lee says people should protest on the streets for the principle of net neutrality, in which all internet traffic is treated equally. Plus, after another embarrassing incident in which YouTube placed adverts nex...Show More

Mobile World Congress 2018

23:45 | Mar 2nd, 2018

Nokia reissues the 90s classic 8110 "banana phone" - Florian Seiche, the chief executive of HMD Global, the company behind the brand, tells us why he hopes the device will encourage some people to use phone apps for the first time. We also speak to t...Show More

Worries Over AI Misuse

23:07 | Feb 23rd, 2018

Researchers say the misuse of artificial intelligence is already happening. Haydn Belfield from Cambridge University's Centre for the Study of Existential Risk tells us how. AirBnB reveals plans to introduce a tier of more professional, upmarket prop...Show More

CryptoKitties Slow Down Blockchain

23:06 | Dec 8th, 2017

A game involving buying and breeding digital kittens gives blockchain technology a friendly face, but exposes weaknesses with the Ethereum cryptocurrency in meeting demand. We talk to Elsa Wilk from Axiom Zen, the company behind the game. Plus, we he...Show More

Apple's Root Problem

23:05 | Dec 1st, 2017

How a security bug let anyone take full control of Mac computers without entering a password. Professor Angela Sasse from the department of computer science at University College London tells us how Apple made an "elementary" mistake. Plus, are the e...Show More

China's Tencent Overtakes Facebook

23:24 | Nov 24th, 2017

The owner of the WeChat social network also has stakes in Lyft and Tesla and is a leader in gaming. Should its Western rivals be worried about its ambitions? We hear from Kitty Fok, Managing Director of IDC China, and we visit London's V&A museum to ...Show More

Tesla Keeps on Trucking

23:26 | Nov 17th, 2017

US electric car maker Tesla doubles down on its ambitions by unveiling a battery-powered Semi-truck and a new Roadster 2 sports car. Plus, James Chappell of security firm Digital Shadows shows us evidence of a dark web industry dedicated to creating ...Show More

Waymo Hails Driverless Taxi

23:26 | Nov 10th, 2017

Waymo, formerly Google's autonomous car project, will soon offer the public rides with nobody at the wheel. Is the era of driverless taxis here? We ask the transport journalist Christian Wolmar, and our special guest Professor Paul Newman who leads t...Show More

Kaspersky defends antivirus firm

22:58 | Sep 15th, 2017

The Russian antivirus provider Kaspersky sells its products worldwide - but now the Trump administration has ordered US government agencies to stop using the company's products. The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones speaks to Eugene Kaspersky. Later in the ...Show More

Nissan Unveils New Leaf

23:27 | Sep 8th, 2017

Is Nissan's new Leaf the car that will make electric vehicles commonplace? We ask Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield from the YouTube channel Transport Evolved, who attended the launch in Tokyo. Plus, what facial recognition tech can tell about you. And, we cha...Show More

Africa's Drone Delivery Rush

23:26 | Sep 1st, 2017

Keller Rinaudo of Zipline tells us how drones are helping African citizens to access healthcare and reveals plans to expand his drone delivery service to Tanzania. Plus, we speak to David Paja of automotive technology giant Delphi about why your car ...Show More

Dramatic Week For Samsung

23:25 | Aug 25th, 2017

South Korean tech giant Samsung launches its flagship Galaxy Note 8 phone and sees its vice-chairman Jay Y. Lee jailed for corruption. Carolina Milanesi of Creative Strategies weighs up Samsung's fortunes. Plus, we speak to Kaspar Korjus, the man beh...Show More

Tech Firms Drop Neo-Nazi Site

23:26 | Aug 18th, 2017

GoDaddy, Google and Cloudflare stop providing internet services to the Daily Stormer after it disparaged a woman killed during protests in Charlottesville. Plus, Mark Robinson of Kolos tells us why he thinks Norway might be the perfect place to build...Show More

Summer Camp For Hackers

23:35 | Jul 28th, 2017

What the world's hackers have been up to at their big annual meetings Black Hat and Def Con in Las Vegas. Plus the man behind Amazon's Alexa business Dave Limp talks to us about how the service might develop. And we witness a - thankfully fictional -...Show More

The New Gold Rush

23:25 | Jul 21st, 2017

Start-up firms are raising cash by issuing new cryptocurrencies in "Initial Coin Offerings". But are these ICOs an emerging investment bubble? Economics blogger Frances Coppola and Pavlo Tanasyuk, founder of Spacebit, a "cryptocurrency for space expl...Show More

Overwatch League Boosts E-sports

23:26 | Jul 14th, 2017

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard tells us why a new league for professional players of Overwatch could take e-sports into the mainstream, and rival the earnings of sports such as the NFL and the Premier League. Plus, we hear why Microsoft thi...Show More

Silicon Valley's Sexism Problem

23:26 | Jul 7th, 2017

Entrepreneur Cheryl Yeoh tells how she was sexually harassed by a prominent Silicon Valley investor. Plus Danae Ringelmann, the co-founder of crowdfunding site Indiegogo, shares her own experience of being assaulted by a fellow entrepreneur at an ind...Show More