Tag: technology

Smart Glasses: would you wear them?

The SmartEyeglass, the newest product from Sony, will go on sale next month. These glasses are worn like normal glasses and show you images and text in front of your eyes. It can also take photos and videos just like a mobile phone or tablet. The glasses come with a controller which you can attach to your clothes and a software developing kit so that people can create their own applications (apps) for the glasses. The glasses will cost $840 dollars. Last month Google, who is a big rival of Sony, said that it would not make its own Google glasses and that it has stopped researching this type of product. Google does not think that it would sell. Tim Cook, head of Apple has said that he dislikes the glasses, he thinks people would not really wear them. He says the glasses are “intrusive”. Stuart Miles, editor of Pocket Lint technology website says that the glasses won’t catch on. He said “people are keen on wearables like fitness bands and watches, but they care about their faces. Wearing something on your head is a lot stronger than wearing something on your arm. The industry keeps pushing it but consumers just don’t want it.” Story and photo from BBC: http://m.bbc.com/news/technology-31502579 Vocabulary: rival (n),  intrusive (adj), to catch on (phrasal verb), consumer (n). Discussion questions 1) Who do you think would...

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TV “listens to” and records personal information

Samsung have warned its customers about discussing personal information in front of the TV. If a person has a ‘smart’ TV, one that uses a voice command service, the TV ‘listens’ to what the people in the room are saying. When the ‘smart’ TV is active there is a small microphone icon on the TV screen. When you can see this icon, the TV is recording what you are saying. This information is given to Samsung and another company in order to decide if the words are a command for the TV (for example, “change the channel”) or are part of a normal conversation. This other company probably translates spoken words into written text, so that the TV can respond to commands. Some people are concerned that private conversations are being recorded and that this data might not be kept safely or that it could later be sold to another company. Samsung says it takes customer safety very seriously.   Vocabulary: voice command service (n), microphone (n), channel (n),  icon (n), to record...

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Argentine President insults the Chinese on Twitter

Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, the president of Argentina, has made fun of the Chinese on Twitter. In her tweet she laughs at how the Chinese struggle to pronounce the letter ‘r’. She said that the Chinese can’t pronounce words such as ‘rice’ and ‘petrolium’ correctly, instead saying ‘lice’ and ‘petlolium’. Ms Fernandez is visiting China in an attempt to try to make stronger relations and increase trade between the countries. Many people on Twitter have said that the tweet was offensive and that she should “know better”. There has been no official response from her Chinese hosts on the offensive tweet. Ms Fernandez has since apologised for the tweet.   Vocabulary: to make fun of (phrasal verb), petroleum (n), to know better (phrasal verb), trade (n), offensive...

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Drone plane carrying illegal drugs crashes

Vocabulary: drone (n), to crash (v), car park (n), border (n), GPS (n), gang (n), to hire (v). A drone plane carrying illegal drugs has crashed near the Mexican-US border. It was carrying 3kg of methamphetamine and was found in a supermarket car park. Photo: BBC Mexican police say that using drone planes to transfer drugs from Mexico into the United States is becoming more and more popular because there is a lot of security on the border between the two countries. Drone planes are used because you can give them GPS co-ordinates and the drone will fly to this location by itself. A pilot is not needed to direct the drone. Therefore, there is less chance of being caught by the police. The Mexican police believe that this drone plane crashed in the supermarket car park because the drugs that it was carrying were too heavy. They will investigate to see if they can find where the drone came from. The US Drug Enforcement Agency has said that many drug gangs in Mexico are hiring engineers to build drones to carry drugs into the USA. It estimates that drones carry drugs into the country 150 times a...

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Man arrested for hacking into Madonna’s computer

Vocabulary: to hack into (v), to arrest (v), to release (v), former (adj), contestant (n). A man from Israel has been arrested for hacking into the computers of famous singers, including Madonna. He stole songs from the computer that had been recorded by Madonna but had not yet been released, He then sold the songs on the internet. Both Madonna’s home computer and the computer in her studio were hacked. Many of these songs are from her new album. Because of the hack, Madonna had to release the songs in December, six months earlier than planned. The man’s identity is still not known. However local media in Israel believe that he was a former contestant on an Israeli TV talent show. Madonna says that she is very grateful to the people who helped find the...

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