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tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  May 22, 2015 4:00pm-4:31pm EDT

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"the death of another" "rhino hits everyone hard. but it's a reminder why they're here. to make a difference in the war against poachers." caltech this is "techknow", a show about innovations that saves lives. we explore hardware and humanity in a unique way. this is a show about scientists by scientists. let's check out the team of so-called nerves. lindsay moran, an analyst - new technology can make guns safer. does it work. we put it to
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the "techknow" test. kyle hill is a science writer with a background in engineering. tonight - earthquakes. they are frightening, devastating and can strike without warning. you. >> this red circle is what we have to worry about. >> announcer: they can. dr shini somara is an engineer and i'm phil torres, i'm an entomologist. that's the team, let's do some science. [ ♪ music ♪ ] hey, guys. welcome to "techknow". i'm phil torres, with me kyle
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sil, cara santa maria, and lindsay moran. lindsay moran, the only c.i.a. operative - you are the in-house security specialist. you got me to look at a smart gun coming with controversy. >> that's right. we talk about the controversy later. first let's look at the technology. ironically after years of working for the c.i.a. in danger zones, i tried out gamutry worth -- gadgetry worthy of james bond in the sense of a high tech handgun. let's have a look. >> reporter: when i worked at the c.i.a. and had to sometimes carry a gun, i worried as a woman that i could be overpowered and have my gun taken and used against me. now, as a mum of two young boys, gun safety is a huge concern in my household. according to the latest statistics, each day approximately five children are
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killed or injured by guns. the newest smart gun, the ip1 is designed to alleviate both of these concerns by personalizing the weapons ability to fire. this works like a regular firearm, if we didn't tell civilians there's batteries, they wouldn't know. >> there's a watch. if you decide "i'm ready to personalise my firearm, i don't want the children to activate the gun", you can sync your watch. once you sync the watch to the firearm, it requires a pip code. >> arma tech c.e.o. demonstrates how the gun can only be fired for eight hours once the pin code is activated, and as long as the watch is within 10 inches of the gun. >> i want to try out the personalised version. >> great. >> i have the watch, i'm the only one that can use it
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right? >> correct. >> reporter: that's because the gun and watch communicate by radio frequency. an electronic chip in the watch signals to another chip in the gun, telling it to unlock. both are operated by regular household batteries. >> my only apprehension is in the heat of the moment when there's an intruder, can i get the watch on, activate it. i'll think about saving my life. how will i have the wherewithal to use the technology. >> the most important thing is comfortable. >> what if the unauthorised user gets the watch and the handgun. >> if they feel the watch and gun. >> what if someone tries to take the gun. we have a demonstration with an unloaded ip1.
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>> if someone was wroteling me trying to take the firearm. as long as i don't let go of the grip, it knows i'm the authorised user. look what happens as soon as i release the grip and try to fire it. it's red. that could have been you taking it from me, and it recognises that i'm that person that holds that handgun at the time. no longer the authorised use are. if i take it again, it knows i'm the authorised user. >> if i wrestle a gun from you. >> won't fire. >> okay. so you give it back to me. i'm the authorised user. >> from fingerprint id to mobile app, this is not the only technology available. in october smart tech announced a $1 million grand prize to the inventor of smart gun technology. the ip1 is getting the most attention. >>
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armatex is looking for a retailer. the range and shops it was operating out of received so much backlash from the n.r.a. and other activists that they are no longer working together or willing to sell its products. we asked the n.r.a. to speak to us about the opposition to the ip1 and other smart guns. they declined. david hikingin both am, a gun writer and reviewer tracks and cit ekes new firearms and understand why the gun lobby is against technology. >> you have to access the gun, the gun has to work instantaneously. this is an industry that measures success by hundreds of a second. talk to law enforcement. they talk about the response time, the split time between shots, how fast can you make one shot or follow up shots.
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how accurately can they be made. beyond that you trust your firearm to your watch. what if someone overpowers you. >> if this is taken from you and the person is larger. one thing you can do is we can manually deactivate the handgun. if i knew of you and i, and you take the gun. all i need to do is press the deactivate. >> that's like a panic button on the watch. >> yes. firearm. >> in my mind it's a dubious proposition. watches go bad. how many batteries do you have to change. how reliable is the technology. what days do you have between accessing the system? what happens if it fails? there's something else standing between you and pulling the trigger. >> reporter: despite the
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opposition from gunrights advocates. belinda says she is not giving up. the plans to have a 9mm model available later this year. >> i hear so many actions. we want solve all the problems. we'll solve little kids picking them up. the goal is not to prevent everything, but to make it harder to use the gun against you. seems like there me be some work to be done with the technology, but there's a lot of work to be done with societies rehabilitation to it. >> gun rights activists have a different reaction. what is interesting - it's ironic. they are lobbying hard against the technology, and against the product, when what they are really upset about is legislation. there's a law on the books in new jersey that say that's once the technology has become available the united states, within three years every gun
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sold in new jersey has to be a smart gun. >> it comes down to the law in new jersey, and the technology. about. >> absolutely. california is looking at similar legislation. gun rights activists are fearful of the technology, because they feel it's a slippery slope. once new jersey adopts that, will they mandate that everyone has smart gun technology. most gun rights enthusiasts don't want the guns or the added safety measures. >> i find it amazing that laws are written up on this technology alone. it doesn't seem very robust. >> no technology is foolproof. the way i see this is i know that there is a greater risk for me having a firearm in my house that one of my children is going to hurt themselves or each other or someone else with that firearm. this kind of technology, this kind of gun, i feel like would
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appeal to me more. >> let's say it advances and we have a gun that recognises your handprint and you can use it. is something like that really going to make everyone safer. i'd like to hear from someone from the u.k. where they don't have that many guns, if there technology. >> it's an interesting point. being british, guns are used differently. they are not used as defense items. so the concept of a device talking to another device is really alien, it adds a layer of it slows the process down of using a gun. that's why it seems to be opinion. >> it's an interesting story. the innovation seems simple. what comes is the conversation is complex. what do you have coming up from us next? >> i went to an institution in
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an earthquake hot spot to see if there's technology that gives us more lead time. >> we'll check it out after the break. we want to hear what you think about these sories. join the conversation: >> "inside story" takes you beyond the headlines, beyond the quick cuts, beyond the sound bites. we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is. >> ray suarez hosts "inside story". only on al jazeera america.
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[ ♪ music ♪ ] hey, guys, welcome back to techknow. kyle, you have the next story for us. >> we have seen wide scale destructions that earthquakes cap to to a country like japan,
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and they have an early warning system. researches at caltech are trying to give us seconds before a similar disaster hits the u.s. let's take a look. >> reporter: there are scenes of incredible power and force. this is what a magnitude 9 earthquake can do. this is what it looks like. fear captured in real-time, by home video cameras, rolling when the earth shook japan, and shared on youtube for the world to see. march 11th, 2011, 9.0, japan. april 18th, 2014, 7.2, mexico. august 23rd, 2011, 5.8 virginia and the
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district of columbia. october 17th, francisco. >> what happened? >> there's a hell of an earthquake. everything. >> earthquakes are still a big mystery. try and understand exactly what is happening on the phones while these things are sliding is one of the first physics mysteries out there. >> there is nothing in nature like a seismic ept, and no one knows that more than dr tom heaton. he has been studying quakes since the 1970s, and america's seismic center, caltech. >> one of the things people don't like about earthquakes is when it starts, you have no idea how big the shaking will get. if you are in the wrong place, it can be terrifying. if you know it's in a place that
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is hazardous, you don't know what is going to happen. >> reporter: what if you could slow down the inevitable, een just for a -- even just for a few seconds - long enough to get out a warning. [ siren ] >> reporter: what's going on? this is the simulation of a 7.2 on the san andrayous and the system is tracking where the earthquake is. showing up on my screen or your screen. >> yaik, yaik, strong shaking. >> telling you that the p wave is headed for us. >> reporter: so this red circle is what we have to worry about. >> it's the weight that has the heavy shaking, heading to us. the
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closer it gets. >> reporter: it senses the shake's p or primary waves, the yellow circle. they tell scientists that a quake is coming but don't cause a shaking. the red s follows. they are the damaging causing waves. the p waves hit los angeles 30 seconds before the s waves and the shaking starts. that's how it successfully predicted recent quakes to hit los angeles, including one that struck in march 2014. in scenes like this playing across tvs and the web, nerves were frayed. ironically the public never got an early warning because california is a prototype. >> we're having an earthquake. >> his reaction went viral. by comparison, in is awe mexican tv covered an earthquake in
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acapulco on april 14, 2014. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: the anchorman comes on 30 seconds before the quake strikes giving plenty of time to warn of the danger. you see him react when it hits. [ speaking foreign language ] [ siren ] >> reporter: mexico's early warning system has been around since the devastating 1985 quake, killing more than 9,000. japan was moved to action as well, creating their early warning system after the 1995 koby quake killing 5,000. when the massive 0..0 quake hit in 2011, the early morning system was working. watch as the show is interrupted and the warning appears on screen. the host shifts gears and informs the audience that a quake is on the way.
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this is japan's government in action. the alert has gone up on tv screens, but the japanese system is not designed to track large quicks. when the quake hits, parliament had little warning, as the raw footage shows. japan's system is one of the most extensive, with 1,000 movement. >> we are headed into the pasadena seismic station. in california there are 500 censors in the system. like this one. >> should we go there. >> yes, let's go down. i will follow. so this is some of the green domes that we are looking back in the lab. >> that's correct. they are the real back bone of the seismic network. and they are sensitive enough to
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tell you where the moon is over your head. the pull of the moon. >> they provide the data scene turning movements into the yellow p waves and red waves we see in the lab. >> these are the guts of the early warping system. they -- warning system. they detect the motion that an earthquake sends. that's the first part. these are what gets the information out to the rest of the system, and let's us know when an earthquake is coming ahead of time. >> from the moment the p wave reading comes across the system to the time the s or sheer waves strike, a lot can happen. strains could be stopped. rock -- trains could be stopped, planes waved off landings, elevators sent to the nearest floor and hospitals could go into emergency mode. timing is everything. >> so it is very much like watching the way a hurricane
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plays out, but everything happens quickly. in a hurricane this happens over a couple of days. in an yaik it happens in a couple of minutes. >> reporter: that means decisions about what needs to be shut down have to be made, but it can save lives. >> having 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds warning is lifetime. hospital. >> you may have a patient on the table. there's a chaps someone could be -- chance someone could be in the middle of a procedure. if we have 5, 10, 30 seconds advance warning, there's a lot of things we can do. >> reporter: coxalifornia has the only early warning system.
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>> when i was a kid the weather guys guys were not good. over time they got better ways of community that is similar to the weather business. earthquake. >> earthquake, very strong thicking expected in 2 seconds. [ buzzer ] so after seeing the piece, what stands out is a country like mexico, japan, they have these early warning systems, yet we don't. why not? >> they had major, major yaicks that killed thousand, and then put the systems in, we are fortunate not to have a major disaster, but we want to prevent a major disaster. that's why we need technology. get out ahead of a disaster, rather than have one happen to us and then react. >> from your segment it seems like the technology that needs to be installed as a result of
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the system is massive. >> yet to do the long-term cost benefit analysis, what is the cost of putting these things in, versus the benefit of having them be shut down and not having earthquake. >> is an earthquake something that cannot be predicted in advance? or is there anything going on enabling us to predict happen. >> there's ground lightening. when rocks are bent and crushed and compressed, they emit a certain kind of electrical charge. it's small. if you can detect that before an earthquake, that travels at the speed of light. the s&p waves travel at the speed of sound. great stuff, i am sure the people of los angeles will sleep sounder knowing that people are working on the technology. after the break car to car communication through wi-fi, it
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may prevent accidents and become the standards in the u.s. son. we check it out after the break.
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[ ♪ music ♪ ] hey, welcome back, i'm phil torres, and with us kyle hill, dr cara santa maria, and lindsay moran. when you think of car to car communication, you think of honking a horn at a driver, giving them a hand gesture like a thumbs up. it got a lot more technological, and wi-fi is being pushed into cars to prevent collisions. take a look. >> reporter: the national highway traffic safety administration worked with nine car manufacturers on vehicle to
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vehicle communication technology, a crash avoidance system. test cars fully loaded with a wi-fi mike system called dedicated short range communication shared g.p.s., speed, gear, acceleration, gear and braking status, steering wheel angle in the previous predicted path all in the evidence to put the brakes on driver impaired accidents. the system calculates the dangers and warning the driver about a car you can't see that is slamming on the brakes aring or when it's not safe to pass a slow car or a car in the blind spot during the lane change. first with an advisory and then with a warning. >> or when you have the right of way to make a turp, that the other driver is not paying attention. unlike the driverless cars, vehicles of v to v don't have control. so you are in the driver's seat.
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>> what do you guys think. >> when you hear of this advanced car technology, you think of buying an expensive car. with this they are thinking there's additions to put an pre-existing cars. it's cool. >> it's important to note this is a crash avoidance system. you are able to drive your car and getting warnings in various ways. it might be a vibrating seat or a flashing light. but you are in control of your car. it's important to make that distinction. there. >> i wonder if it will add to distractive driving with all this stuff coming in. >> i think it's probably the right sensory overload. we are focussing on "can i look at my cell phone without a police officer looking at me." if these signals come at us, that's what we should listen to. >> distracted driving will lead it a lot of these collisions.
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aside from drunk driving and extentuating services. if you had a sensor focussing you on driving, we forget as we get beyond the wheel that we are driving two tonnes of steel. that. >> it's like driving the two tonnes of steel in a bubble of safety. it gives you environmental awareness of what is on the road ahead. it sounds like a good thing. >> great story, i love talking this science and innovation on a weekly basis. on techknow. dive into the stories and go behind the scenes at >> monday. >> we're going to the bottom of the sea. >> deep submergence vehicles. >> three zero three six. >> ocean experts have made some miraculous discoveries. >> octopus everywhere.
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>> but are the most important discoveries yet to come. >> implications for energy and also for climate change. >> techknow's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is my selfie, what can you tell me about my future? >> can affect and surprise us. >> don't try this at home. >> "techknow", where technology meets humanity. monday, 6:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america. >> for 300 years, the most powerful nations on earth grew richer and stronger on the profits of the slave trade. over twelve million men, women and children were forcibly transported from africa on slave ships like this, to the colonies and plantations in north and south america. today slavery is illegal on every country on the planet.


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