英语 英语 日语 日语 韩语 韩语 法语 法语 德语 德语 西班牙语 西班牙语 意大利语 意大利语 阿拉伯语 阿拉伯语 葡萄牙语 葡萄牙语 越南语 越南语 俄语 俄语 芬兰语 芬兰语 泰语 泰语 泰语 丹麦语 泰语 对外汉语

新视野大学英语 读写教程第四册 unit4-b

时间:2005-12-13 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:1234567890   字体: [ ]

  The Information Superhighway
Are you too tired to go to the video store but you want to see the movie Beauty and the Beast at home? Want to listen to your favorite guitar player's latest jazz cassette? Need some new reading material, like a magazine or book? No problem. Just sit down in front of your home computer or TV and enter what you want, when you want it, from an electronic catalogue containing thousands of titles.
Your school has no professors of Japanese, a language you want to learn before visiting Japan during the coming summer holiday. Don't worry. Just sign up for the language course offered by a school in another district or city, have the latest edition of the course teaching materials sent to your computer, and attend by video. If you need extra help with a translation assignment or your pronunciation, a tutor can give you feedback via your computer.
Welcome to the information superhighway.
While nearly everyone has heard of the information superhighway, even experts differ on exactly what the term means and what the future it promises will look like. Broadly speaking, however, the superhighway refers to the union of today's broadcasting, cable, video, telephone, and computer and semiconductor1 industries into one large all-connected industry.
Directing the union are technological2 advances that have made it easier to store and rapidly transmit information into homes and offices. Fiber3-optic cable, for example — made up of hair-thin glass fibers4 — is a tremendously efficient carrier of information. Lasers shooting light through glass fiber can transmit 250,000 times as much data as a standard telephone wire, or tens of thousands of paragraphs such as this one every second.
The greatly increased volume and speed of data transmission that these technologies permit can be compared to the way in which a highway with many lanes allows more cars to move at faster speeds than a two-lane highway — hence, the information superhighway.
The closest thing to an information superhighway today is the Internet, the system of linked computer networks that allows up to 25 million people in 135 countries to exchange information.
But while the Internet primarily moves words, the information superhighway will soon make routine the electronic transmission of data in other formats5, such as audio files and images. That means, for example, that a doctor in Europe who is particularly learned will be able to treat patients in America after viewing their records via computer, deciding the correct dose of medicine to give the patient, or perhaps even remotely controlling a blade wielding6 robot during surgery.
"Sending a segment of video mail down the hall or across the country will be easier than typing out a message on a keyboard," predicts one correspondent who specializes in technology.
The world is on "the eve of a new era", says the former United States Vice7 President Al Gore8, the Clinton administration's leading high-technology advocate. Gore wants the federal government to play the leading role in shaping the superhighway. However, in an era of smaller budgets, the United States government is unlikely to come up with the money needed during the next 20 years to construct the superhighway.
That leaves private industry — computer, phone, and cable companies — to move into the vacuum left by the government's absence. And while these industries are pioneering the most exciting new technologies, some critics fear that profit-minded companies will only develop services for the wealthy. "If left in the hands of private enterprise, the data highway could become little more than a synthetic9 universe for the rich," worries Jeffrey Chester, president of the Center for Media Education in Washington, D.C.
Poor people must also have access to high technology, says another expert. "Such access will be crucial to obtaining a high-quality education and getting a good job. So many transactions and exchanges are going to be made through this medium — banking10, shopping, communication, and information — that those who have to rely on the postman to send their correspondence risk really falling behind," he says.
Some experts were alarmed earlier this year when diagrams showed that four regional phone companies who are building components11 of the superhighway were only connecting wealthy communities.
The companies denied they were avoiding the poor, but conceded that the wealthy would likely be the first to benefit. "We had to start building some place," says a spokesman for one of the companies, "and that was in areas where there are customers we believe will buy the service. This is a business."
Advocates for the poor want the companies building the data highway to devote a portion of their profits to insuring universal access. Advocates of universal access have already launched a number of projects of their own. In Berkeley, California, the city's Community Memory Project has placed computer terminals in public buildings and subway stations, where a message can be sent for 25 cents. In Santa Monica, California, computers have replaced typewriters in all public libraries, and anyone, not just librarians, can send correspondence via computer.
Many challenges face us as we move closer to the reality of the information superhighway. In order for it to be of value to most people, individuals need to become informed about what is possible and how being connected will be of benefit. The possibilities are endless but in order for the information superhighway to become a reality, some concrete steps need to be taken to get the process started.
Words: 905


1 semiconductor Uzuwq     
  • In the beginning,engineers hoped to use semiconductor lasers.在开始时,工程师们希望能够利用半导体激光器。
  • The main agent of the company brand semiconductor sales.本公司主要代理各品牌半导体销售。
2 technological gqiwY     
  • A successful company must keep up with the pace of technological change.一家成功的公司必须得跟上技术变革的步伐。
  • Today,the pace of life is increasing with technological advancements.当今, 随着科技进步,生活节奏不断增快。
3 fiber NzAye     
  • The basic structural unit of yarn is the fiber.纤维是纱的基本结构单元。
  • The material must be free of fiber clumps.这种材料必须无纤维块。
4 fibers 421d63991f1d1fc8826d6e71d5e15f53     
光纤( fiber的名词复数 ); (织物的)质地; 纤维,纤维物质
  • Thesolution of collagen-PVA was wet spined with the sodium sulfate as coagulant and collagen-PVA composite fibers were prepared. 在此基础上,以硫酸钠为凝固剂,对胶原-PVA共混溶液进行湿法纺丝,制备了胶原-PVA复合纤维。
  • Sympathetic fibers are distributed to all regions of the heart. 交感神经纤维分布于心脏的所有部分。
5 formats 57e77c4c0b351cea2abb4e8b0042b074     
n.(出版物的)版式( format的名词复数 );[电视]电视节目的总安排(或计划)
  • They are producing books in all kinds of different formats. 他们出版各种不同开本的书籍。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • A true GUI includes standard formats for representing text and graphics. 真正的图形用户界面包括表示文字和图形的标准格式。 来自互联网
6 wielding 53606bfcdd21f22ffbfd93b313b1f557     
手持着使用(武器、工具等)( wield的现在分词 ); 具有; 运用(权力); 施加(影响)
  • The rebels were wielding sticks of dynamite. 叛乱分子舞动着棒状炸药。
  • He is wielding a knife. 他在挥舞着一把刀。
7 vice NU0zQ     
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
8 gore gevzd     
  • The fox lay dying in a pool of gore.狐狸倒在血泊中奄奄一息。
  • Carruthers had been gored by a rhinoceros.卡拉瑟斯被犀牛顶伤了。
9 synthetic zHtzY     
  • We felt the salesman's synthetic friendliness.我们感觉到那位销售员的虚情假意。
  • It's a synthetic diamond.这是人造钻石。
10 banking aySz20     
  • John is launching his son on a career in banking.约翰打算让儿子在银行界谋一个新职位。
  • He possesses an extensive knowledge of banking.他具有广博的银行业务知识。
11 components 4725dcf446a342f1473a8228e42dfa48     
(机器、设备等的)构成要素,零件,成分; 成分( component的名词复数 ); [物理化学]组分; [数学]分量; (混合物的)组成部分
  • the components of a machine 机器部件
  • Our chemistry teacher often reduces a compound to its components in lab. 在实验室中化学老师常把化合物分解为各种成分。
最新评论 查看所有评论
发表评论 查看所有评论