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.

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A battleship firing her main battery
A battleship is a large, heavily armored warship with a main battery consisting of the largest calibre of guns. Battleships were larger, better armed, and better armored than cruisers and destroyers. Battleship design continually evolved to incorporate and adapt technological advances to maintain an edge. The word battleship was coined around 1794 and is a shortened form of line-of-battle ship, the dominant wooden warship during the Age of Sail. The term came into formal use in the late 1880s to describe a type of ironclad warship, now referred to as pre-dreadnought battleships. In 1906, the launch of HMS Dreadnought heralded a revolution in battleship design. Following battleship designs that were influenced by the HMS Dreadnought were referred to as "dreadnoughts". Battleships were a potent symbol of naval dominance and national might, and for decades the battleship was a major factor in both diplomacy and military strategy. The global arms race in battleship construction in the early 20th century was one of the causes of World War I, which saw a clash of huge battle fleets at the Battle of Jutland. The Naval Treaties of the 1920s and 1930s limited the number of battleships but did not end the evolution of design. Both the Allies and the Axis Powers deployed battleships of old construction and new during World War II.


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One of the two identical Voyager probes

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The camera on the Mars Global Surveyor


Featured biography

Robert Oppenheimer
J. Robert Oppenheimer was an American physicist and the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, the World War II effort to develop the first nuclear weapons, at the secret Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico. Known colloquially as "the father of the atomic bomb", Oppenheimer lamented the weapon's killing power after it was used to destroy the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the war, he was a chief advisor to the newly-created Atomic Energy Commission and used that position to lobby for international control of atomic energy and to avert the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union. After invoking the ire of many politicians and scientists with his outspoken political opinions during the Red Scare, he had his security clearance revoked in a much-publicized and politicized hearing in 1954. Though stripped of his political influence, Oppenheimer continued to lecture, write, and work in physics. A decade later, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded him the Enrico Fermi Award as a gesture of rehabilitation.


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Margaret Mead

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Commodore-64-Computer-FL.png
Credit: Evan-Amos

The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It is sometimes compared to the Ford Model T automobile for its role in bringing a new technology to middle-class households.


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News

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)
June 29, 2019 – 2019 G20 Osaka summit
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet at the G20 summit and reach a deal that will allow American companies to sell non-sensitive technology to Huawei while China will buy food and agricultural products from the United States. (The Washington Post)

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