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.
The Sholes and Glidden typewriter
was the first commercially successful typewriter
. Principally designed by Christopher L. Sholes
, it was developed with the assistance of Samuel W. Soule
and Carlos S. Glidden
. The machine was acquired by E. Remington and Sons
in early 1873. An arms manufacturer seeking to diversify, Remington further refined the typewriter before finally placing it on the market on July 1, 1874. During its development, the typewriter evolved from a crude curiosity into a practical device, the basic form of which became the industry standard, incorporating elements which became fundamental to typewriter design, such as a cylindrical platen
and a four-rowed QWERTY
keyboard. Several design deficiencies remained, however. The Sholes and Glidden could print only upper-case
letters and the typist could not see what was being written as it was entered. Initially, the typewriter received an unenthusiastic reception from the public. Lack of an established market, high cost, and the need for trained operators slowed its adoption. The new communication technologies and expanding businesses of the late 19th century had created a need for expedient, legible correspondence, and so the Sholes and Glidden and its contemporaries soon became ubiquitous office fixtures.
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Did you know...
was a French aeronaut
. The widow of ballooning
pioneer Jean-Pierre Blanchard
, she was the first woman to work as a professional balloonist. Though nervous on the ground, she was a fearless aeronaut and after her husband's death she continued ballooning, making more than 60 ascents. Known throughout Europe for her ballooning exploits, she entertained Napoleon Bonaparte
, who promoted her to the role of "Aeronaut of the Official Festivals", replacing André-Jacques Garnerin
. On the restoration
of the monarchy in 1814 she performed for Louis XVIII
, who named her "Official Aeronaut of the Restoration". Ballooning was a risky business for the pioneers. Blanchard lost consciousness on a couple of occasions, endured freezing temperatures and almost drowned when her balloon crashed in a marsh. In 1819 she became the first woman to be killed in an aviation accident
when, during an exhibition in the Tivoli Gardens in Paris, she launched fireworks that ignited the gas in her balloon. Her craft crashed on the roof of a house and she fell to her death.
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