Can tech solve the Brexit border puzzle?

Port of Dover from above Image copyright Getty Images

There are two competing visions of how goods will flow in and out of the UK after Brexit.

Either the M20 will become a lorry park as endless customs checks at Dover choke the motorway. Or technology will help create frictionless borders and exporters will hardly notice any change.

The truth, according to those who have studied the issue, is somewhere between the two. So, can technology solve the border puzzle?

Do we really need border checks?

Right now there are no customs checks at Dover or other borders with EU countries. After Brexit there will be - unless the idea floated by the UK of an invisible border gets a better reception in Europe than it has today.

Whatever the nature of the UK's trading relationship with the EU after we leave, it seems certain that there will be added bureaucracy for both companies and the government, but technology should lighten the load.

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Disruption is over - and Facebook won

Facebook Snapchat Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Snap's disappointing earnings report contrasted with strong figures from Facebook last month

On Friday, another one bit the dust. As Snap's shares plunged following disappointing results, it became clear that the myth that a feisty young challenger to Facebook could topple the social media giant from its perch was just that - a myth.

Of course, the company behind Snapchat is still a very impressive young business, building an audience of 173 million mostly young daily users in just five years and changing the way they communicate, in fun and inventive ways.

Read full article Disruption is over - and Facebook won

Tech Tent: Diversity and digital footprints

Rory Cellan-Jones

What makes a good software engineer and why have women struggled to make an impact in the profession?

What kind of digital footprint do we leave as we roam the internet and does that leave us open to dangers?

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Tech Tent: The crypto-currency craze

Rory Cellan-Jones

In the late 1990s, as investors woke up to the promise of the internet, shares in any company with dot.com after its name soared to giddy heights.

Then the bubble burst.

Read full article Tech Tent: The crypto-currency craze

TSB to roll out iris scanning tech

Iris scanning tech

Imagine logging onto your bank account just by glancing at your phone.

That's what some TSB customers will be able to do from September when the bank introduces iris recognition to its mobile banking app.

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Tech Tent: Can e-sports take on football?

Rory Cellan-Jones

Could video games one day rival professional football as a lucrative spectator sport? Which company is going to win the battle? Who will win the battle of the tech giants to dominate artificial intelligence? And is it time for sharing economy platforms to police their users more carefully? Just some of the questions we try to answer on this week's Tech Tent.

E-sports vie for the big league

Image copyright Activision Blizzard
Image caption Overwatch competitions have already drawn large crowds

Every year it seems that professional sports - and, in particular, football, of both the American and English variety - grow richer, with broadcast rights, merchandise and sponsorship earning billions of dollars for the owners of top clubs, who promptly spend it on players.

Read full article Tech Tent: Can e-sports take on football?

Microsoft's pitch to be an AI winner

Microsoft logo Image copyright Getty Images

Who is doing groundbreaking research into artificial intelligence right now?

Google and its London-based DeepMind division springs to mind. Facebook has hired some of the biggest thinkers in AI. Then there's IBM with its Watson project - and of course China is pouring vast sums into research, as it tries to replace factory workers with robots.

Read full article Microsoft's pitch to be an AI winner

Tech Tent: Sexism in Silicon Valley

Rory Cellan-Jones

Silicon Valley and the wider tech industry have a problem with women. At least, that is what you might conclude after a week that has seen a leading tech investor resign after admitting his involvement in sexual harassment.

On the Tech Tent podcast this week, we talk to two women who have been on the receiving end of that kind of behaviour and ask why the culture of Silicon Valley appears to be stuck in the last century.

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Nokia and Zeiss get together again

Image copyright Nokia
Image caption Nokia phones featured Carl Zeiss lenses for many years

What do you look for in a smartphone now that they all look just the same? Many may say the camera is key, and now the new version of Nokia hopes to stand out by putting Carl Zeiss lenses in its phones.

HMD Global, which has licensed the Nokia brand from the Finnish telecoms giant, has signed an exclusive deal with Zeiss, the high-end lens and optical systems maker.

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Tech Tent: Europe moves to fine big US tech firms

Rory Cellan-Jones

It's been a week which has seen another huge cyber-attack with worrying implications, a record fine imposed on Google by the European Commission - and a law passed in Germany to punish web firms who fail to remove extremist content.

On Tech Tent this week we reflect on the growing tensions between Europe and the United States over the regulation of tech giants - and mounting global anxiety over cyber-crime.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Petya cyber-attack made headlines around the world

Ransomware Returns….

Read full article Tech Tent: Europe moves to fine big US tech firms