The Technology Portal
Technology ("science of craft", from Greek τέχνη, techne, "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and -λογία, -logia) is the collection 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.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
) is the agency of the United States government
that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program
and for aeronautics
research. Since February 2006, NASA's mission statement has been to "pioneer the future in space exploration
, scientific discovery
and aeronautics research." President Eisenhower
established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act
was passed on July 29, 1958, replacing its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
(NACA). The agency became operational on October 1, 1958. Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo
moon-landing missions, the Skylab
space station, and later the Space Shuttle
. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station
and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle
and Commercial Crew
vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program
(LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System
that it said would take the agency's astronauts farther into space than ever before and provide the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S. NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System
, advancing heliophysics
through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate's Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System
with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons
, and researching astrophysics
topics, such as the Big Bang
, through the Great Observatories
and associated programs. NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite
In this month
- 17 June 1946 – The first telephone call using the Mobile Telephone Service, a precursor to the cellular phone, is made in St. Louis, Missouri
- 20 June 2003 – The Wikimedia Foundation (logo pictured), the non-profit that operates Wikipedia and its sister projects, is founded in St. Petersburg, Florida
- 28 June 1972 – Atari, a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles, and home computers, is founded as Atari, Inc.
- 28 June 2006 – The Series of tubes speech is delivered by then-United States Senator Ted Stevens to describe the Internet and defend the Senator's opposition to network neutrality
Did you know...
was a pioneering American
scientist and one of the world's most distinguished cytogeneticists
. McClintock received her PhD
from Cornell University
in 1927, where she was a leader in the development of maize
cytogenetics; the field remained the focus of her research for the rest of her career. Her work was groundbreaking: she developed the technique to visualize maize chromosomes and used microscopic analysis to demonstrate many fundamental genetic concepts, including genetic recombination
—a mechanism by which chromosomes exchange information. She produced the first genetic map for maize, linking regions of the chromosome with physical traits, and she demonstrated the role of the telomere
, regions of the chromosome that are important in the conservation of genetic information. During the 1940s and 1950s, McClintock discovered transposition and using this system showed how genes
are responsible for turning on or off physical characteristics. Awards and recognition of her contributions to the field followed, including the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
awarded to her in 1983 for the discovery of genetic transposition
; she was the first and only woman to receive an unshared Nobel Prize in that category.
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