Portal:Technology
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The Technology Portal


Technology ("science of craft", from Greek , techne, "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and -, -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.

Selected article

Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar
The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar was a VTOL aircraft developed by Avro Aircraft Ltd. (Canada) as part of a secret U.S. military project carried out in the early years of the Cold War. The Avrocar intended to exploit the Coand? effect to provide lift and thrust from a single "turborotor" blowing exhaust out the rim of the disk-shaped aircraft to provide anticipated VTOL-like performance. In the air, it would have resembled a flying saucer. Originally designed as a fighter-like aircraft capable of very high speeds and altitudes, the project was repeatedly scaled back over time and the U.S. Air Force eventually abandoned it. Development was then taken up by the U.S. Army for a tactical combat aircraft requirement, a sort of high-performance helicopter. In flight testing, the Avrocar proved to have unresolved thrust and stability problems that limited it to a degraded, low-performance flight envelope; subsequently, the project was cancelled in September 1961. Through the history of the program, the project was referred to by a number of different names. Avro referred to the efforts as Project Y, with individual vehicles known as Spade and Omega. Project Y-2 was later funded by the U.S. Air Force, who referred to it as WS-606A, Project 1794 and Project Silver Bug. When the U.S. Army joined the efforts it took on its final name "Avrocar", and the designation "VZ-9", part of the U.S. Army's VTOL projects in the VZ series.


In this month

A portion of the Granite Railway

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The camera on the Mars Global Surveyor


Featured biography

Gerard K. O'Neill
Gerard K. O'Neill (1927-1992) was an American physicist and space activist. As a faculty member of Princeton University, he invented a device called the particle storage ring for high energy physics experiments. Later, he invented a magnetic launcher called the mass driver. In the 1970's he developed a plan to build human settlements in outer space, including a space habitat design known as the O'Neill cylinder. He founded the Space Studies Institute, an organization devoted to funding research into space manufacturing and colonization. In 1965 at Stanford University, he performed the first colliding beam physics experiment. While teaching physics at Princeton, O'Neill became interested in the possibility that humans could live in outer space. He researched and proposed a futuristic idea for human settlement in space, the O'Neill cylinder in "The Colonization of Space", his first paper on the subject. He held a conference on space manufacturing at Princeton in 1975. Many who became post-Apollo-era space activists attended. O'Neill built his first mass driver prototype with professor Henry Kolm in 1976. He considered mass drivers critical for extracting the mineral resources of the Moon and asteroids.


Wikiprojects

Selected quote

Arthur C. Clarke sitting at his desk
-- Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future (1962)


Selected picture

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.


Categories

Technology categories

Main topics

Technology

Technological aspect of idea concepts and issues – Appropriate technology o Clean technology o Diffusion of innovations in science o Doomsday device o Ecotechnology o Environmental technology o High technology o History of science and technology o History of technology o Industry o Innovation o Knowledge economy o Persuasion technology o Pollution o Posthumanism o Precautionary principle o Research and development o Science, technology, and society o Strategy of technology o Superpowers o Sustainable technology o Technocapitalism o Technocriticism o Techno-progressivism o Technological convergence o Technological evolution o Technological determinism o Technological diffusion o Technological singularity o Technology acceptance model o Technology assessment o Technology lifecycle o Technology transfer o Technology Tree o Technorealism o Timeline of invention o Transhumanism

Technologies and applied sciences – Aerospace o Agriculture, Agricultural science & Agronomy o Architecture o Artificial intelligence o Automation o Automobile o Big Science o Biotechnology o Cartography o Chemical engineering o Communication o Computing (Computer science, List of open problems in computer science, Programming, Software engineering, Information technology, Computer engineering) o Construction o Design o Electronics o Energy development o Energy storage o Engineering o Ergonomics o Firefighting o Forensics o Forestry o Free software o Health sciences o Health Informatics o Industry o Information science o Internet o Library and information science o Machines o Management o Manufacturing o Mass communication o Mass production o Medicine (Unsolved problems in neuroscience) o Military science o Military technology and equipment o Mining o Nanotechnology o Nuclear technology o Packaging and labeling o Processes o Robotics o Space exploration o Technology forecasting o Telecommunications o Tools o Transport o Vehicles o Weapons

News

September 27, 2019 -
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is formally referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) amid allegations of corruption during his tenure as Mayor of London. Johnson is alleged to have awarded a close friend, American technology entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri, "thousands of pounds" in public business funding, according to the The Sunday Times. (The Guardian)
September 9, 2019 - Nuclear program of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia says it experiments with two nuclear reactors and wants to go ahead with the "full nuclear cycle", implying also uranium enrichment. The United States states they would like to pursue a Section 123 Agreement to accompany the transfer of U.S. technology. (Reuters)

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