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tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  May 19, 2015 3:30pm-4:01pm EDT

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trying to attend a romance and they confirmed a dress rule is being enforced. more news over on our website, the address to click on to is al jazeera.com. al jazeera.com. we're going to explore the intersection of hardware and humanity, and we're doing it in a unique way. >> oh, my god. >> this is a story of science by scientists. tonight the digital divide. the promise of the digital superhighway lightning -fast hookups, but not for most. what? >> to do my home washing.
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>> unless you are in the right spot. now "techknow" investigates the politics of technology. >> can you talk about the companies. >> it's the haves, versus the have nots. >> digital device right down the street. missing? >> exactly. >> this man has designed everything from bionic eyes to space devices. some science. ♪ >> hey guys, welcome to "techknow." when you hear chattanooga, tennessee, youing don't necessarily think of a digital hub, but they have the fastest
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hemisphere. >> in chattanooga every resident has a whole gigabit. >> how long would it take to download a movie? >> two minutes. >> the u.s. rates 26th on the global internet speed. >> if you go right outside chattanooga, they are still using satellite and dialup, there is nothing else. >> it represents the digital divide we see around the world. let's take a look. ♪ it's 5:00 pm on a thursday afternoon and high school senior paton is at his church just tennessee. >> the church, most people come here to pray, but you come here for what? >> i come here to do my homework.
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most of the time because our internet is so poor at home, i have to come here. we have satellite service at home, so after we go through a certain amount of data, our internet gets slowed down to about half the speed of connection. >> remember back in the '80s when dial-up was a must. >> what do you need to establish a connection? you'll need a computer and a modem. patience and a sense of humor will go a long way. >> but no one has patience for a 56-k dialup today. not when fiber optics are available. you can download a feature-length hd movie in about 30 seconds.
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♪ >> the technology of this, but few cities in america have it, and the first city in america to attain it wasn't new york or san francisco. it was a city better known for its southern charm and rural living. an american town more famous for chattanooga, tennessee. ♪ >> i'm going to go to youtube and i'm going to watch the trailer for "bird man," and it's already halfway loaded. that's incredible. you can just instantly -- instant movies at your disposal. >> why doesn't the rest of america have these speeds? why chattanooga? >> most cities haven't made the investment and spent the resource in order to be able to do it. this isn't
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fancy, anyone can do what they have done. >> tom hoover heads up information technology for the university of tennessee chattanooga chattanooga. chattanooga's so-called gig isn't fancy, but this is about the politics of big cable. chattanooga was like most u.s. cities until the municipal power company came to the rescue. comcast, and the state cable association sued not once, but twice to prevent epb from digging the gig to chattanooga. >> i haven't realize what i was going to be up against. >> tennessee state senator is a key player in the legislative battle to bring the gig to the rest of tennessee. >> can you talk about the lob being presence of these big companies in tennessee.
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>> the hill was swarming with new lobbyists representing at&t, comcast, and charter. my name was not used in nice context by a lot of people at that point. we need this in tennessee and across america. >> 2010. >> the latest upgrades were not coming to chat gu that. >> david wade is the operating officer of epb. they also brought ultrahigh-speed internet to the citizens. they raised bond money and federal stimulus funds to build the network, now in addition to providing electricity, they provide high-speed internet, phone, and television to more businesses.
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>> what would you do with that? >> so many things. i wouldn't have to come to the money. >> paton is one of the 19 million americans who do not have access to dsl or cable in their home. in major cities like miami, cleveland, new orleans, dallas, and philadelphia, over a third to nearly half of households lack any option for high-speed internet. but in chattanooga, the map tells a story of have and have nots that is difficult to understand. payton's family invited me into their home in bradley county, just outside of chattanooga. it may look like any other residential suburb, but this section of town is different. >> you can see the digital divide just down the street. >> yeah. >> just a few miles down from
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their home the internet moves at a speed of a gigabit. ♪ >> when you bought this house, did it occur to you that you wouldn't have internet access? >> when we came out and toured there are cable jacks in four of the rooms here in the house, so we had never thought that we wouldn't have access to any kind of cable service. >> so far there has been no cable company willing to provide service to their street, not at&t, not comcast, not charter. >> we had three different tech nicks come out, and the last guy came out and said, listen, i'm just going to be honest, even if you do pay for the wire to be laid, they are not going to provide service. >> epb wants to provide service, but state law won't let them. recently eva van hook traveled to
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washington to participate in hearings on the matter. >> she has to go 12 miles so her son can see the biology videos he needs to have for the next day's classes. >> folks outside of our territory are standing up and starting grass root efforts. >> in the meantime epb is reluctant to expand until the laws are changed. meanwhile the battle is being watched closely by other states. satellite. >> have you ever read a book internet. >> no, i haven't. >> that's what it is like. that's -- that's about the speed we're talking about. video? >> we'll try to watch the meeting. >> okay. you just clicked that. [ laughter ]
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>> it's not even going to like ♪ >> it -- it's right there, you can see it's kind of thinking about it really hard. >> oh, there we go! >> oh, it popped up. >> kind of. >> slow clap for the internet. >> coming up next, we see what the gig can do. and find out how fast the internet can really go. future. ♪ >> we want to hear what you think about these stories. join the conversation by following us on twitter and at
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♪ >> in the late 1800s, chattanooga, tennessee was a city of steel, a hub for the foundry business, but that steel eventually turned to rust. by the '90s, its downtown was a virtual ghost town, but today, this mid-sized city has reinvented it's a as a tech hub due in large part to what they call the gig. one gigabit per second. >> if you had the world's do. >> this is a non-profit which nurtures startups. >> we started some programs. gig tank that co-lab produces. >> one of the startups is a
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company that creates custom 3-d models of organs for medical scans like mri's. >> an mri comes in, you put it through your algore rhythms, it creates this shape in about 30 seconds, and it goes to a 3-d printer and out comes this. >> exactly. >> there's a tumor inside of here. >> where they can put the mri on steroids, if you will, having where they can hold it, take it apart, plan, actually practice the surgery, that's tremendous to them. >> and it's not just entrepreneurs that have come here. according to the fcc the big helped lure big companies to the area. president obama even highlighted chattanooga as one of the few places in america that can complete with places like seoul and hong kong when it comes to
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internet speed. >> citizens got together and made the investment to bring competition in and make sure internet speeds are just as fast there as anywhere else. >> the u.s. currently ranked number 26 in internet speed. >> that's sad. >> why is that sad? >> we should be world leaders. be. >> but it's not just economic advantages. there are also educational opportunities that chat gu that students can boast being the first to enjoy. across town, at a science magnet high school called the s.t.e.m. school, students are about to operate a 4-k microscope that is located at the university of southern california. >> have you ever been to chattanooga? >> i have never been to chattanooga.
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my first glimpse of the river will be with microscopic samples. samples. >> yes. the students move the stage around, and they are enclosing away. >> it's so beautiful. i think everyone's mind is blown that we're watching this real time across the country. this is known as a genie rack located at the university of tennessee, chattanooga. >> it's essentially the next generation of internet. you can do simulations, high-speed computing, and really test out things that, you know, traditionally you can't. >> the genie rack will usher in the internet of the future, and it has always been enabled by technology. >> you have unlimited capacity
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into the future, all you have to do is change the electronics on the end to get more capacities. >> coleman king is the director of fiber technology at epb. how through. >> up to 10 gigabits through every fiber. >> but while the city of chattanooga may be contemplating a 10-gig or even 100-gig future the gap between the internet haves and have nots have widens. ironically at the s.t.e.m. school, some of the students have trouble getting their home. >> is doing your homework hard? >> it can be. because like it's satellite internet, so it is based on like weather and stuff, so if it's really cloudy out, then i'm going to have trouble, like
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being able to go on to webpages and stuff. >> have you ever not been able to do your homework? >> yes. >> and you tell your teacher, sorry my internet died? >> i have told them, but they [ laughter ] >> currently 19 states pre represented municipal broadband to exist, why is that? >> we get poised that epb is picking on these little mom and pops like at&t and comcast that are significantly [ laughter ] >> i don't know any reason why that would be a good thing. i think competition raises the bar for everyone. >> the battle is indeed heating up. as of may 2015, google fibers service is available in kansas, provo, coming to atlanta, nashville,
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charlotte, and raleigh durham. comcast recently announced it would start offering two gigabit service in atlanta, fort lauderdale, and chattanooga. but for now payton and his family have to fight on. you can't visit your sites load. >> i can't visit them or administrate them. i have to do it all at school. >> we reached out to eva van hook who said she was surprised to see charter cable trucks parked outside of her family home. so we asked her to take pictures for us. so it seems that after 11 long years of asking, the van hooks may finally have better internet service. "techknow" asked charter whether their decision to wire the block
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was based on the van hook's activism and support? and a spokeswoman told us, quote: "techknow" awls -- also reached out to at&t, comcast, and others for comment on the digital divide. there was no comment. we'll be right back. >> it's not looking pretty. i gotta pay my bills. >> you gotta do somethin', you know? try to keep your head above water. >> sunday... $38. thursday... $36. for this kind of money i really don't give a s**t. >> a real look at the american dream.
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only on al jazeera america. >> part of our month long look at working in america. "hard earned".
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♪ welcome back to "techknow."
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phil has a really fascinating one. >> because i have never been jealous of a dog before, until i met these dogs. they travel around the world saving endangered species, and fight invasive species right here in the u.s. let's take a look. ♪ >>er in pullson, montana, this byologist is using one of the most effective tools available to prevent an invasive species invasion. her dog is trained to sniff out endangered species as well as invasive species. when did this ideas get started? >> field byologists have taken their pet dogs out with them all the time. and that dog -- the nature of dogs, you know, oh, are you looking for this?
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i can help you this. what they do differently is that they are trained to find something and maybe this month we're working on one thing, and then next month we'll be working on something else. >> no muscles there. >> no. >> on this deployment, the dogs will be working to detect muscles, zebra muscles will coat industrial pipes and cause harmful bacteria. the great lakes region of the u.s. is considered ground zero where mussels were first introduced. so far montana is the last state to remain free. scent. >> here. >> teeia, a german shepherd just
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returned from her work with blunt nose leopard mussels. she knows 11 scents. and lilly was abandoned by five different homes before coming a conservation dog. >> okay. we got the thumbs up. >> are these dogs traditional family dogs? >> these dogs don't make great pets. they are high energy, high focus, high energy, they are the kind of dogs where if they don't have a job they are digging up the backyard. they tend to be dogs that are at increased risk for euthanasia. because they are too much dog for most families. >> but on this assignment their intensity is just right. happened?
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>> we bring a dog out on leash, and start at one side of the hitch and work around the boat with the dog, and the dog will independently pick a lot of places to sniff, and our job is to identify other places we would like them to check. >> using a test example of crushed frozen mussels they demonstrate how a dog will alert if she does find a mussel. >> she is right. good girl. >> she found it. >> good girl. >> discite all of the technology used around the world, nothing is better than or less expensive than what mother nature has already provided in the form of a dog's nose. that's because a dog's nose has about
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300 million oh olfactory receptors. the oh factory portion of a dog's brain is also about 6 times bigger than ours is. the dogs have been deployed to 18 states and 13 countries around the world. protecting endangered species is another huge part of their work. >> good boy. >> at a bozeman school thousands of miles away from her next deployment in africa, megan is training scent. >> we're training dogs to sniff out ivory in africa. >> they will stop vehicles suspected of 134ug -- smuggling ivory. animal poaching has become a global problem. estimates are hundred elephants
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a day are dying, 30,000 elephants a year. if it continues at this rate, elephants could be extinct within a decade. >> this is the biggest chunk that we have. we'll put it here. >> this is just peppin's second day of training. so we were able to see how new dogs pick up new scents. >> he is so happy to work. >> i think in ten year's time, virtually every agency, every university, you know, non-profits will all have their own dog teams working. thank you. ♪ >> phil, i want to know what treats they are feeding these dogs. is there a technology that rivals what these dogs can do? >> they don't even need to give them treats. they just give them their favorite toy. these dogs just love this game
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of detecting stuff. >> we don't hear much about invasive species. how big is this problem? >> it doesn't seem like the most appealing thing to report on, but it's a $120 billion every year in this u.s. so it is huge. i think we had this amazing combination of tech and nature today. we had fiber optic cables and also a dog's nose, and that's what science is all about, join us next time here on "techknow." >> dive deep into these stories and go behind the scenes at aljazeera.com/techknow. and follow our contributors on >> 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. >> but are the most important discoveries yet to come.
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>> 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. >> previously on hard earned. >> happy birthday! and here's your whistle for when you've fallen and you can't get up. >> bitch. >> i was sad. >> we didn't get the loan. >> we even put it on our calendar a little picture of a house. >> today was another terrible day at walgreens. just happy to get home and get to my little ones. >> i always wanted to be a midwife. but i just can't be a full time student, worker and mom. go sit down.

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