The Technology Portal
Technology ("science of craft", from Greek τέχνη, techne, "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and -λογία, -logia) is the sum of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation. Technology can be the knowledge of techniques, processes, and the like, or it can be embedded in machines to allow for operation without detailed knowledge of their workings. Systems (e. g. machines) applying technology by taking an input, changing it according to the system's use, and then producing an outcome are referred to as technology systems or technological systems.
The simplest form of technology is the development and use of basic tools. The prehistoric discovery of how to control fire and the later Neolithic Revolution increased the available sources of food, and the invention of the wheel helped humans to travel in and control their environment. Developments in historic times, including the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale.
Technology has many effects. It has helped develop more advanced economies (including today's global economy) and has allowed the rise of a leisure class. Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products known as pollution and deplete natural resources to the detriment of Earth's environment. Innovations have always influenced the values of a society and raised new questions in the ethics of technology. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, and the challenges of bioethics.
Philosophical debates have arisen over the use of technology, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, and similar reactionary movements criticize the pervasiveness of technology, arguing that it harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism and techno-progressivism view continued technological progress as beneficial to society and the human condition.
The city of Minneapolis
is covered by a citywide broadband wireless internet network
, sometimes called Wireless Minneapolis
. The network was first proposed in 2003, at which point only a few other cities nationwide had such systems in place. Local firm US Internet
beat out EarthLink
to build and operate the network, with a guaranteed ten-year, multi-million-dollar contract from the city itself as the network's anchor tenant. Construction began on the project in 2006, but encountered several delays. Most of the city was covered by the network by 2010, and USI Wireless, the subsidiary of US Internet responsible for the system, set up numerous free internet access points at public locations around Minneapolis. The network, which offers speeds of one to six megabits per second
at a rate of about $20 per month, has about 20,000 residential subscribers and is on track to reach 30,000 subscribers by 2013. Municipally, the network is used by city inspectors and employees, with plans in place for the police and fire departments to use it in the future. In 2007, when the I-35W Mississippi River bridge
collapsed, the wireless system helped coordinate rescuers and emergency services. The city and USI Wireless have won praise for the network, which has been singled out for being one of the few successful municipal wireless ventures
nationwide among a number of stalled or failed projects.
In this month
Did you know...
was an English
emigrant to New Zealand
, where he became one of that country's most prominent 19th-century architects
. He was instrumental in shaping the city of Christchurch
. He was appointed the first official Provincial Architect of the developing province of Canterbury
. Heavily influenced by the Anglo-Catholic
philosophy behind early Victorian architecture he is credited with importing the Gothic revival
style to New Zealand. His Gothic designs constructed in both wood and stone in the province are considered to be unique to New Zealand. Today he is considered the founding architect of the province of Canterbury, and he ranks today with his contemporary R A Lawson
as one of New Zealand's greatest 19th century architects.
In the 1860s, New Zealand was a developing country, where materials and resources freely available in Europe were absent in New Zealand. When available they were often of inferior quality. His monumental Gothic stone civic buildings in Christchurch, which would not be out of place in Oxford or Cambridge, are an amazing achievement over adversity of materials.
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