Week in Review: Could Elbot fool you?

Try it out - Elbot wants to have a conversation. This program managed to fool a quarter of the humans who were talking to it after a five-minute talk. This fell just short of the 30 per cent mark required to pass Alan Turing's artificial intelligence test. Are we finally getting near a time when science fiction may become a reality? Probably not for a few years judging by playing around with Elbot it's not quite The Terminator' just yet.But maybe it is 1984' the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has to defend plans for the government to give the police and security services more power to snoop on emails and phone calls. The plans are expected to show up in a new Data Communications Bill in the Queen's Speech in December. Judging from the controversy that it has caused from its very mention, it may be difficult to get parliament to pass it through.

The billion-pound BT rollout has started as lucky people around London's Muswell Hill and South Glamorgan's Whitchurch areas will be the first to benefit from Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) services. If you have ever got frustrated with your YouTube video being very slow to load or the Match of the Day highlights freezing up all of a sudden - or is this just my problem? - then speeds up to 40 mbps rather than the current usual 8Mbps is very exciting. The networks will be able to properly cope with technology like video conferencing, which everybody talks about but only the bigger companies look to use.

We talked about the new MacBooks in last week's podcast, and as we predicted they are going for an aluminium shell using the same process as used for the MacBook Air. It looks to be far stronger than the old plastic MacBook casing and far harder wearing than the dent-prone MacBook Pro. They've also made it more affordable in these economically difficult times - it is now possible to buy an entry-level MacBook for 719. There are exclusive pictures of the new MacBook Pro here.

Enough with the established order back to the 80's as famous old British brand Apricot, which looked to have disappeared at the end of the 20th century, comes back with a new netbook type device called the PicoBook. Good to know that a UK brand name still has it in them to make an impact in the IT world although it is now owned by Japanese company Mitsubishi. Oh well.