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tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  March 12, 2015 8:30am-9:01am EDT

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r militarizing our police >> they killed evan dead >> faul lines, al jazeera america's hard hitting... >> today they will be arrested... >> ground breaking... >> they're firing canisters of gas at us... >> emmy award winning investigative series... deadly force: arming america's police only on al jazeera america about innovations that can change lives. we're going to explore the intersection of hardware and humanity and we're doing it in a unique way. this is a show about science by scientists. let's check out our team of hard core nerds. kyle hill is an engineer. tonight, sharks, long feared for their ferocity, how they can protect us. the secret in in their skin. rachelle oldmixon is a neuroscience.
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turning a weed into a cycling marvel. i'm phil torres, i'm an entomologist exploring spiders in the rain forests of peru. secrets of civilizations past, long hidden from view suddenly available from outer space. that's our team. now let's do some science. ♪ ♪ >> hi guys, i'm phil torres, welcome to a very are interest interesting show of "techknow." i'm here to meet sarah parcak, buried picture midst in egypt is
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to start 380 miles from earth. contracts about our-- secretes about our history . helping learn about it. let's dig in. to help unearth secrets of the ancient past, we look down into the space and into the future. dr. sarah parcak is is a pioneering archaeologist. using satellite imaging, she was the first to map egypt's city of tanis. she then used the same technology to discover over 300 settlements. there are many people out there that may see you guys out there digging around in the dirt and wonder why. >> i think if we look back there is so much we can learn from people in the past about who we are today. but the reality is, we haven't changed. we're the same people that built
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the picture midst. and -- pyramids, when i look at one story, there's an inscription in the western desert and a guy is writing on the face of a cliff, man, i can't believe how much i had to drink. my boss is going to be so angry. i don't understand how i'm going to make it to work tomorrow. this is three thousand years ago! nothing has changed. >> well, the world has become incredibly complex with technology as the change. dr. parcak is using technology. >> focused in terms of our excavations and our survey. today as in all scientific fields, archaeology is facing a number of challenges regarding funding as well as access to
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sites on the ground. we absolutely need new scientific approaches to allow us to know exactly where to go and what to deg. otherwise we're wasting money. we turned to the officials at dlilg dig. >> what is -- digital dig. our eyesight our ears we all do remote sensing. what we're talking about here is a camera in this case in space taking pictures of objects without touching them. >> based in boulder, colorado ball aerospace, is constructing the world view 3 for digital globe. the production core is an incredibly secure location to which we were given rare
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access. the world view 3 satellite scheduled for summer 2014 flying 380 miles above the earth, its enhanced image centers can see through dust fog, smoke and haze. and can even see below the earth's surface. helping archaeologists like dr. sarah parcak, locate buried ancient advertise. >> we have five satellites that can take pictures of the entire globe. what we have on these satellites are what we call red, green, blue, what we see with our naked eye, and also infrared. we have added more bands in what we call short band infrared. about forestry, agriculture, geology. there is a lot more we can do with new bands on world view 3
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we can't do with our constellation today. >> basically new bands of light you are able to detect? >> visible light, this short band infrared gives us powerful information. >> world view 3 is going to be a game changer. it will allow archaeologists to see into the middle red. currently invisible signatures from geological samples that are in the ground or buried in the ground. >> we have provided data and information. our theory is, there are so many brilliant people out there, let's leverage their knowledge. dr. parcak created something we would never have been thinking of. we would never look for space archaeology. we're talking about the current planet how it is changing. we are actually talking about what happened 4,000 years ago. a pleasant surprise.
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>> not surprising is the alarming looting at these sites which is now being detected at these space. >> following the arab spring many of the guards at these sites simply went away. and so a number of individuals have gone after archaeological sites and what we have been able to do with the satellite data is we have mapped thousands of these looting pits. we call the field cultural racket eering. they trade these things for guns. so this is helping to support international insurgency situations. >> working with dr. parcak oning egypt.
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>> in the right, on the left is taken at the end of 2012 beginning of 2013, and you can see all these hundreds of little black holes, those are looting pits. >> they will have told me in egypt that since the revolution, we found this kind of looting has increased. it's very huge, for our heritage. i felt so bad because some people are not knowing what they are doing. the just blowing our heritage away. that's not good. because once you destroy it, you will not get it again. and you will destroy your history. >> the ultimate goal is to set up training programs so that we can train the really bright enthusiastic young egyptian men and women to use this new technology because ultimately it is the egyptian people who are
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responsible for protecting their heritage. >> does dr. parcak ever get referred to as space indiana jones? >> she does but she says indiana jones has got nothing on me. she is enabling these folks the way indiana jones never did. >> there are plenty of other uses for it too. >> people are using them in agriculture, to monitor humane crises, you can see how many refugees are arriving at sites you can take they thermal images and monitor what's happening ought around the world. coming up next, kyle you're going to show us how nature can teach us some lessons. >> i'm taking a look at how mother nature is informing our technology. >> we want to hear what you think about these stories. join the conversation by
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>> ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> hey guys welcome back to "techknow." kyle, what do you have for us? >> now mother nature has had the benefit of trial and error engineering for 50 billion years. just the last 50 years we started to are follow her lead. here companies are mimicking her by biomimicry. let's take a look. in 1903 when orville and wilbur wright invetted the first flying machine to transport man, they
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looked to birds, pigeons, for example, velcro created by george de mastral was mimicked by the looks at the end of bird bakes. biomimicry or copying mother nature's solution he from everything to symptomming bacteria to mixing water, could be just the thing to lead us out of the industrial revolution and into another one. thanks to one of the most feared oceanic species on the planet, reduced up to 40%. they spend their lives underwater and yet sharks remain algae, bacteria and barnacle-free. on close examination, dr. tony brennan discovered that's due to the denticles,
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tiny, sharp, teeth-like shapes found all over the shark's skin, he was determined to duplicate them. >> when you try to draw a shark's skin it's very difficult to do on a flat piece of paper. so i modified them. when i modified it, i came up with the sharklet pattern. first i did on that algae all over the navy ship, it stopped it 80%. nothing had ever stopped that bug other than toxins. it is not a toxin. it is a physical structure. forms a film barrier, it was patented by sharklet technologies. it's invisible to the naked eye. but in sharklet's lab, they run numerous experiments. >> experiments with staph a where we exposed our surface with sharklet and without sharklet. what you can see on the surface is, the side that doesn't have sharklet on there.
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>> what does it have to be, 90% reduction in bacterial reduction on this one plate? >> 99% reduction and that's typical of what we see on surfaces that are treated with our sharklet technology. >> shacialghts science believe their film can be applied to just about any surface. they have partnered with a fortune 500 company. to manufacture chair arms covered with sharklet. but for two million patients who get hospital acquired infections each year by covering hospital tubing from tracheal tubes to catheters, even block the growth of the most antibiotic resistant material. -- bacteria. >> our technology doesn't really care whether it's the strongest ones or weakest ones. it doesn't give them the ability to attach. if they don't attach they don't grow and hopefully they don't make people thick.
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>> while sharks hold the key to making people healthy, bees are more efficient. >> they automatically help balance out the power of the building. the bee, with the brain, talk about a little computer, snifs out the trail, i know what happens to me, should be good for the hive. >> it's called a swarm theory, coming up with an algorithm. a device no bigger than a cell phone can be attached to large air conditioning units, tracking and adjusting usage. >> every other conditioner is effectively, cooling the building properly but smooth out how the building is using power. >> so far, they are cutting
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energy consumption by up to 25% during peak hours, the busiest times. that can account for up to 60% of a client's total energy cost. >> this building is a theater in new mexico. what we do is put each of our controllers inside the aish -- air conditioners. notice how much lower it is on baseline. >> they didn't even realize, and they were saving money on energy. >> bingo. >> in the form of a vortex or funnel. >> that whirlpool shape is the same shape of a hurricane and tornado. we see it everywhere. so every living thing on earth has incorporated the shape of these whirl pools. so every part of every living thing is built in accordance with this geometry. what we did is we analyzinged
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what that regime -- analyzed what that is. >> packs technologies outside of oakland, california manufactures a small six-inch device that can amix 10,000 gallons of water that is essential to keep bacteria from forming. >> and the reason is a ring vortex is visually frictionless. you get this enormous benefit. if we reduce the amount of energy that municipalities have to use to mix that water, we are able to reduce the chemical content by 85%. >> currently 800 municipalities is using the pax mixer. its shape is inspired by the sea shell. >> did it surprise you when you came up with this idea that
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nature could be so efficient that it could be more clever than anything that we've thought up in all of our brilliance? >> it's completely inevitable biomimicry. this is the time when the world changed from the industrial revolution approach to the biomimicry approach. >> it really seems like what they're topping is the end results of years of resolution. what about coching the process of evolution? >> there is a process that evolves over time. as the earth itself evolves. we are kind of coming the end product but if we wanted to make a skyscraper really like nature did, we wouldn't copy the end result. we would follow these trial and error processes over the a long period of time. you can look to mother nature to
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solve these problems and it's a great place to start. >> great kyle. rachelle, coming up next, you go for a ride. >> it may be that bamboo can be a >> weeknights on al jazeera america. >> join me as we bring you an in-depth look at the most important issues of the day. breaking it down. getting you the facts. it's the only place you'll find... the inside story. >> ray suarez hosts "inside story". weeknights, 11:30 eastern. on al jazeera america.
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>> ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> hey guys welcome back to "techknow." i'm phil torres here with kyle and rachelle. rachelle tell me what can i do with bamboo to get around town? >> turns out you can build a bike. we were using bamboo for well over a century. but down in greensboro, alabama, you can build a bike with an innovative new design. why don't we check it out? deep in the heart of rowe alabama, the once thriving town
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of greensboro is struggling. a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line. the catfish capital is struggling to keep its head above water. >> what happened when you came here? >> about 75% of the shops shut down. >> there was one thing they had plenty of. >> we have a lot of bamboo. you have to have something you're making out of it. >> pandor became somewhat of a one woman stimulus plan for governor'sboro, running the hero foundation, she tapped into the town's most unwanted resource to do it. bamboo bicycles aren't exactly a new idea. they have been around since the first one was introduced back in 1894. and now they are gaining
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popularity in small bike shops like this one. but none of them are like the bikes you finder here at hero bike shop. that's thanks to an industrial designer who took the time to get his hands dirty and develop a new innovative design. woods. >> it is. >> university of kansas professor lance rake knew he could set the local nuisance into a groundbreaking set of wheels. >> why do we choose this one? >> we want something that is big enough, big diameter, green, maybe three years old, seems like the strongest so this is perfect. but it cuts pretty easily. bamboo is just a grass. so -- ah! >> it's some grass. >> it's tough enough, tougher than my saw right now. >> can i try? >> you might have better luck than i am.
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there you go. >> it ate the saw! all right, timber! >> got it? >> yes. >> so where are we headed next with the bamboo? >> it's only about three blocks. >> and this is how the supply chain moves at hero bikes. >> all right, turning left. >> for three weeks professor rake and a group of students tinkered with prototype bamboo frames finally coming up with a match up hybrid called the semester. >> which part makes this completely innovative? >> i think the most innovative part is actually being able to make a composite with having carbon fiber with the bamboo. >> so walk me through what we have here. >> we take our bamboo and split it. and the outside, we plane flat. and angles on the sides, each one of these slats has a bevel
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on the side. now, to get the carbon fiber in it, we're using a carbon fiber sleeve. and this is just a piece of bicycle inner tube that's inside. we can put all this together with epoxy resin. the epoxy will hold all of this stuff together. if we insulate the inner tube, now, it's going to expand the carbon fiber to blow out the bamboo and make a very, very strong tube. it's a very you know low-tech way to get at a very high-tech solution. simplicity. >> thank you. the next thing we have to pay attention to the thicknesses. >> did you have to consider the skill level of the people you were working with? >> yes, in a couple of different ways. i realize i'm going to probably need people to build these bikes that are not bike-builders. and we are trying to make jobs that are not a factory so much as a studio.
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background? >> other than riding bikes and tinkering, no. >> if you hadn't found this job, what were your prospects like? >> it was kind of rough. this has given me a opportunity to make a good living. >> another hero employment project. >> i was on a project, i have a job now can pay my bills and take care of my kids. >> so it sounds like it really changed your life. >> it worked out for the best. >> you can't have a bike without a ride. >> thank you. >> yes, awesome! i can't believe how smooth this bike is! this is really cool! so with what did you think? >> well, if you are not carefully i'm going to-- careful i'm going to steal i.t. when you're not looking. the
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semester bike runs about $850. and every 50 orders means one more job for someone in greensboro. >> what we'd like to do is use what is here to create a better future. >> how does being involved in this make you feel? >> that part of being able to come back here and see this shop making these bikes, how rewarding is that? >> so i actually have to take on this old veneer. this is a little bit of the bamboo that they would turn into the bike. >> from that into this and from that into a bicycle. i really just love this story. because it's so well wrapped. they have this problem of invasive specious and this amazing solution that not only gets rid of the invasive specious but provides a solution and makes a nice ride around town. >> and it's right in the downtown.
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>> are they sticking to bikes or others as well? >> they are doing skateboards as well. i'm glad they started with bikes because i really skateboards. >> thank you for sharing, next week on "techknow." >> follow our expert contributors on twitter, facebook, google plus and more.
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>> hi, there welcome to another news hour from al jazeera in doha. coming up in the next 60 minutes: >> four years of blood misery and death in syria aid agencies accuse the united nations of failing to protect civilians. >> two police officers are shot during a protest in ferguson after the police chief resigns over allegations of racism. >> sri lanka's president pledges a war crimes


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