Portal:Technology

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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.

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The optical Talbot effect for monochromatic light, shown as a "Talbot carpet". At the bottom of the figure the light can be seen diffracting through a grating, and this exact pattern is reproduced at the top of the picture (one Talbot length away from the grating). Halfway down you see the image shifted to the side, and at regular fractions of the Talbot length the sub-images are clearly seen.
The Talbot effect is a diffraction effect first observed in 1836 by Henry Fox Talbot. When a plane wave is incident upon a periodic diffraction grating, the image of the grating is repeated at regular distances away from the grating plane. The regular distance is called the Talbot length, and the repeated images are called self images or Talbot images. Furthermore, at half the Talbot length, a self-image also occurs, but phase-shifted by half a period (the physical meaning of this is that it is laterally shifted by half the width of the grating period). At smaller regular fractions of the Talbot length, sub-images can also be observed. At one quarter of the Talbot length, the self-image is halved in size, and appears with half the period of the grating (thus twice as many images are seen). At one eighth of the Talbot length, the period and size of the images is halved again, and so forth creating a fractal pattern of sub images with ever-decreasing size, often referred to as a Talbot carpet. Talbot cavities are used for coherent beam combination of laser sets. Read more...
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Trinity Detonation T&B.jpg
Trinity was the code name of the first detonation of a nuclear device. It was conducted by the United States Army at 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945, as part of the Manhattan Project. The test was conducted in the Jornada del Muerto desert about 35 miles (56 km) southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, on what was then the USAAF Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range, now part of White Sands Missile Range. The only structures originally in the vicinity were the McDonald Ranch House and its ancillary buildings, which scientists used as a laboratory for testing bomb components. A base camp was constructed, and there were 425 people present on the weekend of the test. Read more...

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ISS March 2009.jpg
Credit: NASA

The International Space Station (ISS) is a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. A joint effort by NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency, JAXA, ESA, and CSA, it is the ninth space station to be inhabited.


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September 19, 2020 – Internet censorship in the United States, China–United States trade war
Chinese technology company ByteDance announces a proposed joint deal with American corporations Oracle and Walmart to continue the operation of its video-sharing social networking service TikTok in the United States under the name Tiktok Global. U.S. President Donald Trump recognizes the proposal, having threatened to ban the service in suspicion of Chinese espionage should ByteDance have failed to reach a deal with an American firm. (AFP via The Hindu) (NPR)
September 1, 2020 –
American social media service Facebook announces it may block Australian users from sharing both local and international news stories on its platform, should the Australian government enact legislation that would require technology companies in the country to pay local news organisations. (The Japan Today)
August 28, 2020 –
American neurotechnology company Neuralink unveils a pig, named "Gertrude", that has been living with a brain-implanted chip for two months at an event in San Francisco. (Reuters)
August 24, 2020 – Austria–Russia relations
Austria expels a Russian diplomat following a report accusing the envoy of being involved in economic espionage after an Austrian who works in a technology company confessed that he carried out espionage for years on behalf of the Russian, who was his intelligence handler. (Al Jazeera)
August 17, 2020 – China–United States trade war, Chinese espionage in the United States, Concerns over Chinese involvement in 5G wireless networks
The United States Department of Commerce expands its sanctions on Chinese technological vendor Huawei by adding 38 of the company's affiliates to its "entity list", limiting Huawei's access into U.S. integrated circuits and other technology. The Trump administration has viewed Huawei as "an arm of the Chinese Communist Party's surveillance state." (AFP via The Independent)
August 6, 2020 – China–United States trade war
Invoking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, U.S. President Donald Trump issues several executive orders barring firms and American citizens from trading and doing financial transactions with Chinese technology companies ByteDance and Tencent, effectively banning their respective apps TikTok and WeChat within the United States. The orders are set to go into effect in 45 days. (Reuters)

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