Whether you've embraced technology willingly, or you’re slowly learning the delights of the digital world, this series will have something for you. Simon Cox finds out how modern technology touches our lives.
E-books A new generation of e-book readers are on the market and have overcome many of the usability issues which have hindered them in the past. So is this technology about to take off? Simon speaks to novelist Naomi Alderman and Sara Lloyd, Head of Digital Publishing at Pan Macmillan, about the impact e-books will have on the publishing industry - and what that means for booklovers.
Archaeology on the internet Unable to get to his fieldwork site in Afghanistan last year, archaeologist David Thomas at La Trobe University in Melbourne decided he needed to find alternative ways of doing survey work. He turned to Google Earth - and by analysing its satellite images of the Registan Desert, he has identified 450 sites he is confident are of archaeological interest. He explains to Simon how the internet resource has allowed him to continue his research, in spite of the setbacks.
Digital harpsichords When Kenny McAlpine found a piece of 17th century music in the National Library of Scotland, he realised how hard it would be to play on the instrument it was originally written for - many antique musical instruments don't hold their tuning as a piece is played or are too fragile to play at all. Kenny explains to Hermione Cockburn how he set about trying to digitally recreate an antique harpsichord, which he believes (unlike many digital instruments) fools the human ear into thinking it’s the real thing.
Mobile wallets Imagine that if when you reached the till in a shop, you got out not your wallet, but your phone, and waved it in front of the terminal to pay for your shopping. A trial has just taken place in London of a system which incorporates Oyster travelcard facilities and the ability to make small purchases into a mobile phone, using a technology known as "near field communication" (NFC). NFC enabled phones are already widely in use in Japan - and are attracting a lot of research interest here in the UK. Tom Standage from The Economist, and Jonathan Collins from ABI Research join Simon to discuss how this technology could change the way we use money.
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