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Read and translate the texts. Write out the verbs used in Passive. Complete the tasks.

Silicon Valley - America's High Tech Centre

http://www.english-online.at/technology/smart-tv/smart-tv.htm

Silicon Valley is located in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay area, California. It originally got its name from the large number of companies that produced silicon chips. Today it is a general name for the high-tech industry of Northern California.

The beginning of Silicon Valley goes back to the early 20th century when the United States military and other companies started experimenting in the fields of radio, communications and electronics. The area also grew because Stanford and other universities and colleges produced a number of students who were interested in technology.

One of the first companies that started in Silicon Valley was Hewlett Packard. It was founded by two graduates of Stanford University in 1939. Today HP is the world’s largest technology company and operates in almost all countries in the world.

After World War II an industrial park was built around Stanford University. Companies rented offices from the university and employed students as engineers and scientists.

In the 1950s the silicon transistor was developed and many companies started moving into the region. In the 1970s Silicon Valley became a well-known term in the United States because of the computer and software firms that were founded in the area. About a hundred new companies were established every year. Such growth was possible because people could found a company, get money and rent office space in only a few weeks.

Among the well known companies in the region are search engines Google and Yahoo!, chip producer Intel, computer and software manufacturers Apple and Adobe.

By 1992 Silicon Valley accounted for over 250,000 jobs and over 40% of California’s exports. Companies began calling in specialists from China and India because more and more high-tech scientists and engineers were needed.

When the Internet boom began in the 1990s a number of new so-called dot.com enterprises sprang up, including the online auction house eBay and others. When the boom collapsed at the beginning of the new millennium, thousands of high tech workers lost their jobs and couldn’t afford the high housing prices that the area produced.

But even after the global financial crisis of 2008 Silicon Valley remains one of the top research and high-tech centres in the world.

account for = насчитывать

afford = позволить себе

collapse = потерпеть крах, обрушиться

call in = пригласить

develop = развивать, разрабатывать

establish = found = основывать, учреждать

graduate = выпускник

growth = рост

locate = размещать

operate = функционировать

originally = изначально

remain = оставаться

rent = арендовать

research = исследовать

scientist = ученый

spring up = появляться, быстро расти

Match the words from the text with their definition.

boom

company

call in

an increase or very quick rise in the economy of a country

establish

someone who has finished a university

manufacturer 

computer chip

dot.com enterprise

to offer a job to

employ

producer

online auction house 

a small piece of metal in radios and TVs that controls electricity

transistor

the beginning of the next thousand years

field

a website in which you can sell things to the person who offers the highest price

firm

a company that works in the Internet business

graduate

area

millennium

to give work to

silicon chip 

set up, create

Answer the questions:

  1. Where is Silicon Valley situated?

  2. Why is it called “Silicon” Valley?

  3. When and how was it established?

  4. What did you learn about HP from the text?

  5. The silicon transistor was developed in the 1970s, wasn’t it?

  6. Why was the region growing quickly?

  7. Enumerate the well known companies located in Silicon Valley.

  8. When did dot.com enterprises spring up?

  9. Why did thousands of high tech workers lose their jobs at the beginning of the new millennium?

Cloud Computing - Using Software on the Internet

Cloud computing means using software that is installed on the Internet. You can also save your work on another computer instead of the hard drive of your own PC or laptop. Music, letters, presentations and other projects can be stored on clouds, data storage areas on giant servers on the Internet.

There are many so-called web applications that can do the same as normal desktop software. Google Documents, for example, gives you a text editor, a slide show application and a program for creating tables and diagrams. You can use these programs for free – from any computer all over the world.

Up to now web browsers were only used to search for information on the Internet and show it. But now they have become something like operating systems which can give you almost everything that you have on your own PC desktop.

Cloud computing can also be cheaper than buying expensive software. Many basic applications on the net are free, but you may have to pay to use some of the more complex programs. Companies do not have to buy expensive software licenses for all their workers and computers do not have to be better and more powerful all the time because all you need is a simple web browser, like the Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Cloud computing allows people from different parts of the world to work on a project together. Teachers and pupils, for example, might work on the same text together. Companies around the world can work together on a single computer and do not have to send data back and forth.

There are, however, some things that make computer users skeptical. One of the big problems is security. With cloud computing, you give your data to someone else. Users are also worried that they might lose their data on other computers. In any case, cloud computing is marching forward and in a few years we may only be having a web browser running on our PCs.

  • application = приложение

  • basic = основной

  • complex = сложный, составной

  • create = создавать

  • data = информация

  • desktop = рабочий стол

  • giant = гигантский

  • however = однако

  • in any case = в любом случае

  • instead of = вместо

  • license = лицензия

  • save = сохранять

  • search = искать

  • security = безопасность

  • single = один и тот же

  • store = хранить

Match the words from the text with their definition.

basic  

information

security 

permission to use computer software

license

hard disks on network computers on which you can store your data

create

very big

giant

a system in a computer that helps all the programs work together

data

from one computer to another one that is far away

complex

look for

operating system 

safety , protection of data

save

only one

search

with many different parts

back and forth

store

single 

main, important

storage area 

make

euronews.com

Read the article, answer the questions. Define the tense form of the underlined verbs.

Passwords test memory

Many of us have difficulty remembering the new password which we have to create. In this edition of Hi-Tech we look at those keywords which we keep to ourselves and which keep our secrets.

But how is it possible to look at people’s passwords if they are secret? One study comes from researchers in Ontario University, Canada, who analysed 32 million passwords, published by a hacker who cracked a database of an on-line gaming website. Here are some of the conclusions.

24 is the average number of passwords that each user has to remember and 43 percent of people use the same password for more than one account.

34 percent of us use simple passwords, based on elemental concepts while 66 percent use complex passwords, based on algorithms or created by a computer.

Many passwords are quite easy to discover for example 17 percent use birthdays, ten percent use their name or family name while nine percent use pet names.

Sometimes we get upset when we don’t remember a password. So we use different methods to remember them.

Seventy one percent learn passwords by heart, 12 percent write it on their computer or smartphone, 10 percent write it down on paper and seven percent save it using special programmes.

  1. What is the number of passwords you have to remember?

  2. Does the majority of people use simple passwords?

  3. Is it easy to discover somebody’s password?

  4. What methods do we use to remember passwords?

Put some questions to the article

Inter-facing up to the future

The Japanese company, Fujitsu, has developed a piece of next-generation user interfacetechnology which enables intuitive (примитивный, простой), at-your-fingertips (к вашим услугам; в вашем распоряжении) operations. Place a document beneath (под, внизу) the device, trace your finger along images or texts, and two inbuilt cameras will detect, scan and store your movements.

As Takahiro Matsuda, the Systems Laboratory Research Manager at Fujitsu, explains, in an age where physical documents are increasingly replaced by digital ones, they are attempting to bridge the divide: “I think paper still has its practicability and uses. Today, we need to choose whether to work only with paper documents or only with digital documents. We think it’s important to fuse (соединять, сливать) the advantages of both paper and digital.”

The device can also be combined with a smartphone, so that when a digital copy is read, relevant information about the scanned image appears on-screen. Within medicine, however, the same image-processing technology can be used to determine the varying brightness of a person’s face, thought to depend on blood circulation, and could also be used to check your pulse.

As Hidenori Sekiguchi, the Human Centric Computing Laboratories Manager at Fujitsu, explains, this could potentially provide us with live-saving information: “By checking if a person is stressed or relaxed, we can get an idea of the condition of working spaces. Alternatively, it can also be used for security purposes. A person with fast pulse may be a risk.” Fujitsu plans to evaluate (оценивать;  давать оценку) its software applications in real, working environments with the aim of commercializing their product by 2014.

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