Parents Use Technology to Protect Children; Model of Sustainable Power Generation Shut Down; Slow-Motion Camera Helps Create Movie Magic
Aired August 24, 2002 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Today on NEXT@CNN, worried parents turn to technology to help them protect their children from abduction.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the time they pick the product up, a flashlight comes on, sirens go off.
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ANNOUNCER: Gadgets that help bring peace of mind.
A model of sustainable power generation brings hope to researchers trying to ease climate change.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This plant and the technology here offers the route to much cleaner electricity generation worldwide.
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ANNOUNCER: So why has it been shut down?
And if you've ever seen amazing slow-motion film like this, chances are it was shot with this. And of course, our Bruce Burkhardt had to test it out.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It never gets old.
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ANNOUNCER: All that and more, on NEXT.
SHARON COLLINS, GUEST HOST: Hi and welcome to NEXT@CNN. I'm Sharon Collins. James Hattori is still on assignment.
High-profile child abduction cases have been dominating the headlines lately, and despite figures showing that the number of child kidnappings by strangers has declined in recent years, many parents are turning to technology to help them keep their children safe. David Mattingly has more. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A child abducted from a public park in California. Another child snatched from a Texas parking lot. Both with happy endings, but not until after days of panic for the parents. Timothy Neher knows that frightened, empty feeling from when he briefly lost his niece and nephew at a zoo.
TIMOTHY NEHER, WHERIFY WIRELESS: Basically, thought, what would I have done if I didn't find them? I wouldn't have had pictures of them. I wouldn't even have known what those children were wearing to tell the police.
MATTINGLY: So when he got them back, he also got an idea, a global positioning wristwatch and cell phone that tracks a child on the Internet. It's called Wherify, costs $400 and a monthly fee. It's not even on the market yet and already there are thousands of orders.
NEHER: I think it's the concern for abduction, but it's also a concern that, you know, it's peace of mind, basically, to know where their child is at the click of a button.
MATTINGLY: The information age has clearly weighed in on the search for missing children. Amber Alerts flash warnings to motorists in California. At the Major League ballpark in Miami, the faces of missing children have leaped from milk cartons to the giant screen. Digital fingerprinting is also booming. One company, SentryKids, reports sales way up as demands from law enforcement and entrepreneurs for the scanners and software has nearly doubled. And retailers report a surging demand from parents for cell phones, walkie talkies and new gadgets like this one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the time they pick the product up, a flashlight comes on, sirens go off.
MATTINGLY: The $49.95 Herbie hydrant was originally invented as a locator device for children in case of a fire. But according to marketers, the main motivation behind most purchases now is the fear of home intruders.
NICK SCARANE, EASTERN DISTRIBUTING: Now Herbie is a companion for the child to give them added safety in the home.
MATTINGLY (on camera): Even though the number of children abducted by strangers has been going down in recent years, that according to the FBI, missing children experts still say these high- tech devices can be a good idea, so long as you don't ignore the basics.
REUBEN RODRIGUEZ, CENTER FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN: The concern is obviously you might be dulled into complacency if they have a beeper or a tracking system on them. There's no substitute other than keeping your eye on your child and talking to them about safety issues. MATTINGLY (voice-over): And no substitute for peace of mind as parents look for new ways to keep track of their children.
COLLINS: In Britain, the government has moved to stop drivers from using hand-held cell phones while at the wheel. Helen Wright of the British news service ITN reports.
HELEN WRIGHT, ITN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With more and more people talking on the phone while drive, ministers believe it is time to send a clear message that they shouldn't. They are looking at new phone laws, including 30-pound fixed penalty fines for drivers who use their mobile at the wheel, or fines up to 1,000 pounds for those who are convicted.
Robert and Val Hammond's daughter died when their car was hit by a lorry whose driver was on the phone. They have campaigned for tougher laws and welcomed these proposals.
VAL HAMMOND: People don't need to have to talk while they are driving. They can pull up and have a conversation. Some do, which I'm very pleased to see. And I hope everyone will take note and do it now.
WRIGHT (on camera): The proposals would still allow the use of hands-free phone kits, something safety campaigners say is a nonsense. They claim it's the very act of holding a telephone conversation while driving that can make some motorists dangerous.
KEVIN CLINTON, SAFETY CAMPAIGNER: There's been immense amount of research in this country and in other countries which show that drivers who use a mobile phone are significantly distracted. They concentrate on the phone conversation, their reaction times are slower, they are less aware of what is going on around them, and their speed is less predictable for other drivers.
WRIGHT (voice-over): But driver groups say if there's to be a specific law for mobile phones, where will legislation stop? They say smoking or eating at the wheel can be just as distracting, as can passengers and even pedestrians.
COLLINS: A new era in American rocketry dawned this week,
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And lift off.
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COLLINS: As a brand new Lockheed Martin rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Atlas Five can carry up to eight conventional satellites, with a payload bay as big as two school buses, making it the largest rocket to leave Earth since the Apollo missions to the moon. This rocket carried a European communications satellite. More than $1.5 billion has been invested in the Atlas Five, which its backers hope will keep America on the competitive edge of launching satellites to space.
ANNOUNCER: Later on NEXT@CNN, overwhelmed with calls from telemarketers? We'll show you a gadget to zap them away.
But next, lions in Africa face some stiff competition.
COLLINS: When it comes to being king of the beasts, it seems that size, and color, do matter. Researchers from the University of Minnesota wanted to know what role a lion's mane plays in relations with other lions. They placed dummy male lions in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, and videotaped the real lions' reactions. Females showed a preference for the dummies with darker manes nine times out of 10, while males were intimidated by the dark-maned dummies, preferring to challenge those with lighter locks. Turns out that lions with high levels of testosterone have dark manes. Males also choose to challenge dummies with short manes. The researchers say short maned-lions are more likely to be recovering from injury. The study was published in the journal "Science."
City folks who move to the outer suburbs for fresh air and peace and quiet often lose something -- access to high-speed Internet service. But one community has found a way to solve that problem, and generate environmentally-friendly power at the same time. Keith Oppenheim has the story.
KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a sub- division with a mission. Prairie Crossing is about an hour outside Chicago, and as you can see, there's plenty of prairie surrounding handsome homes, plenty of tall grass and protected land.
MIKE SANDS, ENVIRONMENTAL TEAM LEADER, PRAIRIE CROSSING: There are lots of different pieces of the design of Prairie Crossing that enhance a sense of community and a sense of place.
OPPENHEIM: And here's a new piece. In June, Prairie Crossing completed a 120-foot-tall wind generator. It's environmentally friendly purpose, to churn out 30,000 kilowatts of power per year for the community's organic farm. The idea was not only cost-effective.
(on camera): It was also in tune with the philosophy of Prairie Crossing and appealing to residents here. But it was just one reason people wanted to see this wind generator built.
(voice-over): This was another, high-speed Internet service, something both desired and not always easy to get in more remote locations. As the tower was being built, community leaders realized it was tall enough to attach equipment that could transmit fast Internet service to home owners.
Todd Lemmon, a big Internet user, was thrilled.
TODD LEMMON, RESIDENT: This is the most elegant solution that I've ever seen for solving a really, really bad problem for people who don't live in the city or one suburb removed from the city lines.
OPPENHEIM: So in the end, the wind tower has generated two benefits: More juice to keep the farm in business and more cyber-speed to keep the computer users typing away.
COLLINS: In England, they've come up with another eco-friendly way of generating electricity. They've built a plant in Yorkshire that creates power without any net increase in carbon dioxide. But the plant has been closed down, and as Justin Rowlatt reports, advocates of sustainable development are frustrated.
JUSTIN ROWLATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the holy grail of sustainable development, a power station that doesn't add any carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. It's called Arbre, and it uses an innovative new design to minimize pollution. And because it is fueled by tree samplings (ph), what carbon emissions it does produce are taken off as they grow. And it's a technology that could be applied almost anywhere.
ALAN WEEKES, ARBRE ENGINEER: This plant and the technology here offers a route to much cleaner electricity generation worldwide. I mean, with this, you could take anything from rice husks to forest residues through to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) energy crops like the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we are using here and turn it into electricity much more cleanly than you can do with fossil fuels.
And this can really cut pollution, and it is applicable worldwide.
ROWLATT: But Arbre has faced a series of technical problems and delays, and last week, the backers pulled out. Arbre was technically bankrupt; it's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the plant put into liquidation. The 55 farmers who turned thousands of acres over to the willow samplings which were to fuel the plant were left in a lurch.
RUSSELL TOOTHILL, FARMER: We like to believe that by growing this crop, we were really doing something for the environment of the Britain. It was to be a real future, an embryo industry we were getting involved in.
RICHARD EMMOTT: We agreed to fund within operating costs up to an agreed budget, which was supposed to last nine months. Now, 50 percent of that budget was spent inside of only two months, and we had no confidence whatsoever that the plant was going to hit economic or indeed technical viability within that timeframe. So we had no choice at that point but to say enough is enough. ROWLATT: But every element of the plant works, and even the new owners say given one more year, it would be operational. A local MP believes Arbre hasn't been given a fair chance.
JOHN GROGAN, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: It's so annoying that Kelder (ph) pulled the plug when they did, because they've used this plant to promote their so-called green credentials for many years, and we just needed another five million pounds to see this plant into full production, which would have occurred in about a year's time. The European Union were offering 1.5 million, and so we were nearly getting there. And now the fact that they have pulled the plug when they did means that there's so much damage done to the country's renewable policy.
What chance have we got of getting 10 percent of our energy from renewable sources as the government wants by 2010 when we have this sort of fiasco?
ROWLATT: And say those who work at the plant, if no buyer can be found to see the project through, the unique expertise that has been built up here will be lost.
WEEKES: And this was the technology where, you know, the U.K. was actually stunned to get somewhere with it. We were one of the leaders in Europe. And you know, it's just a tragedy if it all gets thrown away now.
ROWLATT (on camera): Britain's delegation is preparing to jet off to the Earth Summit in Johannesburg to preach the credo of sustainable development to the world's less developed countries. It's ironic, then, that back at home, one of the world's most advanced renewable energy power stations is being closed down for a want of a few million pounds.
COLLINS: We'll have more on the upcoming Earth Summit later in the program, including the challenges delegates face in preserving the earth's biodiversity.
Speaking of biodiversity, people in this community in India say an unusual, and as-of-yet-unidentified creature is attacking them. That story is also ahead. Stay with us.
COLLINS: It never fails. You come home, sit down for dinner, and the telephone rings. A telemarketer is trying to sell you something. Now, you can ask to be placed on a no-call list and hope you won't be bothered again, or you can try something else. In this week's "Technofile," Natalie Pawelski speaks with consumer tech guru Marc Saltzman to find a new way to zap those pesky calls.
NATALIE PAWELSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is one of the scourges of modern life. I'm talking, of course, about those nasty telemarketing calls. Marc, I cannot stand them, they are a pet peeve of mine.
MARC SALTZMAN, CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY EXPERT: You're not alone. You're not alone. Everybody hates getting them. It's really annoying, but fortunately, it seems that we have a solution here.
PAWELSKI: Yeah, tell me about this, I love this -- I love the name of this thing: Telezapper. Do I really get to zap the telemarketers?
SALTZMAN: Right. You do indeed. You actually are zapping their computers, because most of these telemarketing companies use these predictive dialing machines, so what happens is with the Telezapper is that it emits a tone when you pick up the phone or if your answering machine picks up the phone, and it sends a signal to the computer that's calling you telling them that that number is disconnected. It fools the computer. It tricks them.
PAWELSKI: But wait a minute. What if it sends out one of these zaps to like my mother or something?
SALTZMAN: Well, it won't send out a zap to anyone who's calling you manually. It really only works with these computers that call you.
PAWELSKI: So, Marc, how do you actually hook this thing up to your phone?
SALTZMAN: It is actually pretty easy. When you buy it, it looks just like this, and there are three jacks in the back. One of them is to plug it into the wall, because it needs electricity. The middle one is to plug your phone in, and the third one here is to plug it into the wall.
PAWELSKI: What calls might the Telezapper zap that you don't want it to zap?
SALTZMAN: Well, first and foremost, you probably don't want calls from bill collectors, right? I mean, that's probably a lot of the reason why people buy this Telezapper. But, if you think about it, you may need to get that call if it was an oversight or something like that. And I know that a lot of bill collection companies do use these computer systems, so it may prevent those calls coming through. But it also can block calling cards.
PAWELSKI: So if somebody is using one of those calling cards to call me, it might zap them?
SALTZMAN: Right. Some people have complained that it won't process those calls either. So you have to turn off the Telezapper, and that's one of the foreseeable shortcomings. It doesn't happen to all calling card companies, though.
PAWELSKI: You know, Marc, I have a voice mail system on my home phone. Will the Telezapper work with that? SALTZMAN: It won't. It will work with an answering machine, anything that you can actually pick up the call, you know, so if the machine picks it up, a physical answering machine. But if you subscribe to a voice mail service, often, you know, provided by the phone company itself, it won't work.
PAWELSKI: Still, it sounds like not a whole lot to pay for a little bit of peace of mind at the dinner hour.
SALTZMAN: Yeah, that's a good point. There's no monthly fee; it's a one-time cost, and by the way, it will work on any phone in the house for that entire line. So if you have six or seven phones but on that line, you'll just have to plug it into one jack. If you have more than one line, then you will need a second or third Telezapper.
Another good advantage of the Telezapper is that it also works with junk faxes. I know I hate getting them because printer ink and paper cost a lot of money, and I hate getting junk faxes. Well, if you plug the Telezapper into that line in the house, then it will prevent those as well.
PAWELSKI: Now, can they come up with one of these things for e- mail?
SALTZMAN: Wouldn't that be great?
COLLINS: In Hong Kong, known for housing that's poorly planned and environmentally unfriendly, a group of architects, IT specialists and environmentalists has come up with an alternative. Lian Pek tours a cyber dream home.
LIAN PEK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): High-density living in Hong Kong will never be the same if this becomes the model home of the future. A joint initiative by the Hong Kong and British governments, this is a home where technology and the environment go hand in hand.
DONALD HUGHES, HONG KONG HOUSING SOCIETY: We have these louvers, which will come down automatically as the sun comes around into your building. And on a day like today, where we've got the #1 signal for typhoon, hey, it's great, because you don't have to worry if you're at the office and the signal's gone out. You've got a heavy duty shutter that automatically comes down and gives you more security and you don't have to worry about falling objects breaking your glass.
PEK: And not just the windows. The entire flat is wired up so everything is virtually at your fingertips.
HUGHES: You can control your temperature of the flat, you can control lighting. If you have a party, you want to control your music sound, you would basically be able to press these switches instead of walking around the whole flat. PEK: In this high tech home of the future, even the taps take commands, with different controls for different amounts of water, so water consumption is cut down by 40 percent. The Internet fridge stores recipes, and makes up a shopping list as you run out of food.
(on camera): And if you want more privacy in the kitchen when the guests come around, even the walls are intelligent.
(voice-over): They're also collapsible, so you can create an ideal living space. Anytime you need an extra room, you needn't get a new flat.
HUGHES: All the partitions in this flat are dismantable. They can come down within half a day, and they can be done by a simple handyman. You're not going to get a whole load of building material that has to be sent off to the landfill. That partition can be moved to make this living room smaller in this particular instance, thereby perhaps making a separate dining room or a separate study for the children as they're growing up.
PEK (on camera): So no drilling every weekend here in Hong Kong.
PEK: No pulling down and building up?
HUGHES: Maybe -- maybe for a couple of hours, but most people can tolerate that.
PEK (voice-over): And since intelligent flats like this can be constructed 15 percent faster than normal buildings, while generating 30 percent less waste, you can always go green without skipping on the gizmos.
COLLINS: Now, more turn-of-the-century gizmos -- well, turn-of- the-last century. Some predecessors of Pong and even Pinball have had a home at an antique arcade in San Francisco since the 1920s. Well, now, the arcade has to move. Rusty Dornin has more.
RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No high-tech bells and whistles to make this old clown do fancy footwork, and for Rosy Keehan, that's just fine.
ROSY KEEHAN, VISITOR: The video games are just a little bit boring. These are fun.
DORNIN: Games in the Musee Mecanique, an antique arcade opened in the 1920s near the Cliffhouse and Playland in San Francisco, bought by 80-year-old collector Edward Zelinsky in 1960.
(on camera): How many of these machines were part of the Cliffhouse, about, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)? EDWARD ZELINSKY, OWNER, MUSEE MECANIQUE: I would say about 50 percent.
DORNIN (voice-over): Simpler times, when what it took to run a carnival display like this were wooden pulleys, springs, and a lot of glue.
When sometimes winning the game wasn't even the point. Take Jolly Jack.
EDWARD ZELINSKY: He laughs and makes other people laugh. That's all he does is laugh.
DORNIN (on camera): (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and people love this.
EDWARD ZELINSKY: They love it. He doesn't do anything but laugh.
DORNIN (voice-over): As does Giant Laughing Sal, an icon from the Playland days.
There are mechanical fortune-tellers, player pianos, and even arm wrestling.
Most of the games cost a quarter, although there is still one left from the penny arcade days.
Now a national park renovation is squeezing the Musee Mecanique from its perch on a cliff near San Francisco's Steel Rock. A new home is promised nearby. Meantime, it must move to temporary quarters at Fishermans Wharf.
EDWARD ZELINSKY: It's very sad. This is the San Francisco experience at the Cliffhouse, where it's been for years, and I think it should stay.
DORNIN: Two hundred thousand people, Zelinsky says, drop quarters into the slots every year. But last year, he says, he lost money. Retired from a successful painting business, Zelinsky says he doesn't care about profit, and neither does his son, Danny, who's now in charge of tinkering with the toys.
DANNY ZELINSKY, MUSEE MECANIQUE: I will do whatever possible to keep it intact and running and open to the public.
EDWARD ZELINSKY: My son will do the best he can to keep this going forever.
DORNIN: A labor of love, the old-fashioned way.
COLLINS: The museum is scheduled to make the move in September.
Well, we have to move out now, but just for a few minutes to make way for a break and a look at the latest headlines from the CNN newsroom. But we'll be back, so don't go away.
ANNOUNCER: Still to come on NEXT@CNN, tiny bubbles and the acoustics of the ocean.
And the continuing cost of Hurricane Andrew. Stay with us.
COLLINS: Welcome back to NEXT@CNN. If you're like me, you love to hear the sound of the oceans breaking on the shore. Well, researchers at the Scripts Institute of Oceanography are discovering the science behind that sound. They took slow-motion pictures in a wave tank in their lab, and they found that the characteristic crash of surf is connected to the formation and bursting of hundreds of millions of tiny bubbles as waves crest and break. The scientists say their research could eventually help oceanographers better understand the role oceans play in global climate change. Their findings were published in the British journal "Nature."
It was 10 years ago this weekend that catastrophic waves hit Florida as Hurricane Andrew barreled ashore. This week, government scientists upgraded the storm to a category five, the highest on the scale. They now estimate Andrew's winds reached 165 miles per hour, 20 miles faster than earlier thought. That makes Andrew only the third category five storm on record to hit the continental United States. The damage Andrew caused is still costing property owners, as John Zarrella reports.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Block after block, mile after mile, on what was left of nearly every home, the owners spray painted the names of their insurance companies, and very quickly it became very clear Andrew had set a new benchmark for destruction.
JOHN PISULA, STATE FARM: You know, the big hurricanes were nothing compared to what Hurricane Andrew was. So how could we expect, you know, $16 billion worth of damage?
ZARRELLA: No one could. It was mind numbing. Six hundred thousand insurance claims were filed. A dozen companies went out of business. The industry realized a cold, chilling fact.
TOM GALLAGHER, FLORIDA INSURANCE COMMISSION: They undercollected the funds necessary to handle a storm such as Andrew.
ZARRELLA: To make sure there is enough in the coffers to pay for a worst-case scenario, the state was forced to create its own catastrophe fund to backstop insurance companies. Still, rates since Andrew have gone through the roof -- according to the Insurance Commissioner's Office, up an average of 110 percent.
GALLAGHER: Some people are now paying three times what they paid before, so what do you say to them, other than (UNINTELLIGIBLE). ZARRELLA: What no one can say is when rates will stop going up, let alone if they'll ever go down, despite tough new post-Andrew building codes that should reduce hurricane losses.
The head of Florida's building commission doesn't get it.
RAUL RODRIGUEZ, CHAIRMAN, FLORIDA BUILDING COMMISSION: We're building better. The insurance rates definitely should be lower. The commission has struggled with this.
ROBERT HARTWIG, INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE: Building codes may have changed since Hurricane Andrew; however, we still have the entire stock of housing that existed pre-Hurricane Andrew in existence today. In addition, development in Florida continues with abandon.
ZARRELLA: In Dade County, ground zero for Hurricane Andrew, the property value is 60 percent higher than 10 years ago. The bottom line, the insurance industry says, thanks to Andrew, if you want to live in paradise, you're going pay a lot more for it.
COLLINS: In India, there's panic over an unidentified creature that seems to be attacking people's faces. Suhasini Haidar reports.
SUHASINI HAIDAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It isn't a bird and it's not a plane, but it's confusing and terrifying these villagers in the northern Indian state of Utar-Predesh (ph). Hundreds of reports have come in over the past week from people here claiming a creature's been attacking them, scratching their faces.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Suddenly, there was a flash of blue light, and I felt like I had received an electric shock.
HAIDAR: The Munochwah (ph), quite literally the face scratcher, as it's been named here, has caused panic across several towns and villages. This is one of India's least developed districts, with low levels of literacy, and theories about the face scratcher are flying. Some say it's an animal, others say it's an insect, some even fear it's a genetically modified spy.
But it's no laughing matter. At least four people have been killed so far, two from shock when they were apparently attacked, one when police opened fire at a mob that was demanding more police protection from their elusive assailant.
Police officials say the face-scratching creature just doesn't exist.
SUPT. ANIL KUMAR, POLICE DEPT. (through translator): I want to say there's no Munochwah (ph). It is a result of fear, psychosis and some people trying to create mischief by making use of the public's fear. HAIDAR: Some officials say it may even be a weather phenomenon, balls of lightning caused by monsoon rains. And they hope when the rains recede next month, so will fears of the face scratcher.
ANNOUNCER: Next up, Johannesburg spruces up as the world gets ready for next week's Earth Summit.
COLLINS: Ten years ago, the world met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to figure out how to solve earth's environmental problems. It was the largest gathering ever of world leaders, and they set a lot of lofty goals. Well, today, 10 years later, the goals are largely unmet, and another Earth Summit begins Monday to rediscover Rio's momentum. Cynde Strand reports from Johannesburg, South Africa.
CYNDE STRAND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Johannesburg is cleaning up, going green, and putting on a pretty face to host what is being touted as the biggest U.N. conference ever, the World Summit on Sustainable Development. More than 60,000 people are converging here to tackle a gargantuan task -- save the planet and save the poor.
NITIN DESAI, SECRETARY-GENERAL, U.N. WORLD SUMMIT: We really don't have that much time, you know. Ten years ago we met in Rio, we made a lot of promises, set on a great mission. We haven't actually gotten things going.
STRAND (on camera): Delegates will be arguing, demonstrating and debating this -- government representatives will be penciling in and crossing out sections of it. The 71-page U.N. draft document, which will define how the earth's limited resources are going to be protected and how poverty can be eradicated.
STEVE SAWYER, GREENPEACE: Unfortunately, the plan of action itself is full of diplo-babble, which is nice-sounding words which don't actually mean much.
STRAND (voice-over): Most of the disagreement about the documents lies in agreeing on concrete targets and finding the cash to pay for the programs. And the political climate has changed since the first Earth Summit 10 years ago in Rio. In these days of globalization, there is more talk about world trade than clean air.
Many predict the summit will end up in a standoff between rich and poor, between the overconsumming industrialized nations and the ones still struggling to develop.
NKOSAZANA DLAMINI-ZUMA, SOUTH AFRICA: There is beginning to be an understanding that even the rich will end up being affected by the problems of the poor.
STRAND: Just 10 minutes from the conference center, in one of South Africa's richest suburbs, is Alexandera (ph), home to some of South Africa's poorest. Here are the faces behind the U.N. statistics. People who are hoping this summit will create more than just the litter of 71 pages of good intentions.
COLLINS: You can find more on the challenges facing the Earth Summit in a special issue of "TIME" magazine on newsstands now.
One of the goals set at Rio 10 years ago, devise a way to protect the world's plants and animals. A biodiversity treaty was signed. But species are still dying out at an alarming rate, as Gary Strieker reports.
GARY STRIEKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There's a complex web of life on earth, what scientists call biodiversity.
BROOKS YEAGER, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: The forests, the oceans, the coral reefs, the marine fish, the algae, the insects that make up the living world around us, and which we couldn't do without.
STRIEKER: Nearly two million species of plans and animals are known to science. But experts say there could be 50 times as many still to be discovered.
Yet most scientists agree, human activity is causing rapid destruction of biodiversity, a mass extinction of species not seen since the age of the dinosaurs. An emerging global crisis that could have disastrous effects on our future food supplies, our search for new medicines, and on the water we drink and the air we breathe.
At the first Earth Summit 10 years ago, world leaders signed a new treaty to confront this crisis. But what has it achieved?
YEAGER: It hasn't been a direct kind of impact that some of us have hoped for.
STRIEKER: One hundred and eighty-three nations are now parties to the convention on biological diversity. The United States is the only industrial country that has failed to ratify it. But there's wide agreement that the treaty has had virtually no impact on the continuing mass extinction.
(on camera): The treaty is more like a political statement than a plan of action, setting very broad goals instead of real targets, and leaving it to national governments to decide how to reach them.
(voice-over): Many developing countries, in tropical areas where most of the world's biodiversity is found, wanted nothing in the treaty that could limit their freedom to exploit their natural resources. So the treaty was a political compromise, balancing three principles -- conservation, using resources without harming the environment, and fair sharing of the benefits of biodiversity. And in the process, say critics, the operation of the treaty has lost its focus, distracted from science and conservation by other issues, such as who profits from genetic resources and how to control trade in genetically-modified organisms, like seeds with built-in pesticides.
DEBBIE BARKER, INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON GLOBALIZATION: You cannot really separate preservation and sustainability and conservation of biodiversity without addressing, for example, important new technologies, such as genetic engineering or genetic modification.
STRIEKER: That may be so, but critics say the result has been a lost opportunity to address the real crisis. Its members still stand by the treaty, but at a conference earlier this year they issued a statement, admitting humans are still destroying biodiversity at an unprecedented rate.
ANNOUNCER: Coming up -- a new venture from the man who brought you this popular Web site with the unmentionable name.
COLLINS: If you're the type who likes to peek into people's medicine cabinets, you're going to love this week's "Nothin' but Net." Our Daniel Sieberg has a Web site with the inside scoop on some of the country's most famous or infamous corporations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not a good time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Documents would be destroyed.
DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You have seen the media reports of the ongoing scandals. Now you can get inside information from the source, thanks to InternalMemos.com, the new site dedicated to leaked corporate communications. The site is run by Phil Kaplan, founder of sites like LuckedCompany.com, it's ever popular, if vulgar, antithesis F***edCompany.com, and YoHotties.com (ph).
PHIL KAPLAN, INTERNALMEMOS.COM: You don't get to see too much good news and you get to see a lot of ugly old men in the news these days. So the idea behind YoHotties (ph) was to find news, good news about attractive young women.
SIEBERG: Kaplan says he's made a lot of money with his Web sites, and he expects InternalMemos to continue that tradition.
KAPLAN: I'll say it here, F***edCompany.com has grossed over $1 million in 2001. And I have one employee. InternalMemos.com, so far there are over 800 internal memos, half of which are free and half of which require $45 a month subscription. I believe -- I haven't checked the latest subscriber stats, but they are probably around 100, which is great for just a couple of weeks. SIEBERG: Much in the same way F***edCompany used member postings to document the dot-com bomb, InternalMemos shows a willingness of employees to betray the very companies they work for.
(on camera): Internal communications like this one, intended for employees of CNN parent AOL Time Warner can be found all over InternalMemos.com. But is this really a problem?
(voice-over): In a statement released by our company, AOL suggests that "we regularly communicate with our over 90,000 employees to keep them informed of important developments that affect our company, and e-mailed memos are a fast, effective and easy way in which to do so."
Some companies, which have memos on the site directly attack corporate policy are not taking the leaks lightly. In a note to his chief executive at IT firm EDS, an employee writes: "Your memos are a laughing matter for 90 percent of the employees. The 10 percent are your yes-men you have surrounding you. Paydays are so stressful and tense, it is pathetic. The backstabbing of employees to climb over each other is cannibalistic in nature. Is this your new corporate culture?"
An EDS response reads in part: "A single individual's comments have been blown out of proportion by the distribution capability of the Web. The Web site in question gives voice to one person, one of 140,000, while not recognizing the voices of the thousands of EDS'ers who send the chairman positive messages."
Such comebacks don't seem to bother the site's founder one bit.
KAPLAN: Generally, the only people who are ever sort of dismayed or ticked off about any of my Web sites are generally the people who I'm writing about, who oftentimes are scandalous accountants and lying CEOs, and they generally deserve what they get.
COLLINS: You can find more on InternalMemos.com and other stories in our program on our Web site, CNN.com/next.
ANNOUNCER: Still ahead, the technology taking super slow moving pictures.
COLLINS: They say time flies. But in New York, there's a special camera that makes time crawl. Our Bruce Burkhardt gets the picture.
BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Look at this scene from the movie "Face/Off." In particular, look at the bullet flying from the gun. What's remarkable here is that it's not computer animation. It is a real bullet fired from a real gun, and a real camera was able to capture it in flight. This is the camera that took that shot, a camera capable of shooting 12,000 frames per second. The faster the film moves, the slower the action. It's five times as fast as any other system around, 30 times faster than any other camera capable of producing images of this quality.
NATHAN NEBEKER, CONNIPTION FILMS: The way this camera works is that you have a rotating drum, which spins around continuously. And there is a film track on the inside surface of that.
BURKHARDT: Nathan Nebeker developed this system drawing upon technology used in cameras for scientific research, cameras that produce lots of data, but not very good pictures.
NEBEKER: So a lot of it is just really a refinement of the system, so that it is a much more smooth and much more production- friendly.
BURKHARDT: Instead of pulling film from one reel to another past a shutter, this camera uses a single strip of film -- 120 frames -- and loops it around a drum that can spin up to 500 mph, or 12,000 frames a second. Our purpose here is not just to make me look like a raving idiot, but to show how this amazing camera works and how tricky it can be to capture that particular millisecond of action that you are looking for.
NEBEKER: The shockwave, when you balloon hits, it creates kind of like a soft-serve ice cream type looking thing on top of your head.
BURKHARDT: Don Cornett, who operates the camera, rigged up a video line to a computer that shows a single frame from the sequence, which, by the way, lasts 1/30th of a second.
NEBEKER: What we're trying to capture is the initial burst, the plastic falling away while the water still holding its shape before it too falls away. In this, the processed film, we see that we have not quite got it yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to move this drop guide about two inches toward me.
BURKHARDT: To capture just that instant, we had to try it again and again and again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hit never gets old.
BURKHARDT: Each time adjusting the "trigger," a beam of light just above my head. When the balloon falls through that beam, it signals the camera to open the shutter. This was our final result. Computer animation is all well and good, but this is real.
COLLINS: And we really are out of time. But before we go, here is a quick preview of next week's show. Asian rhinos are on the edge, according to a new report. We'll tell you what's bringing them to the brink. And no more lugging around expensive outdated textbooks for some college students. Their electronic books are up to the minute and full of dazzling graphics. But are they catching on? Ann Kellan will have a look, and we promise a page-turner.
That is coming up on NEXT. Until then, let us hear from you. You can e-mail us at email@example.com.
Thanks so much for joining us this week. For James Hattori and everyone here on the sci-tech beat, I'm Sharon Collins. See you next time.
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