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The Technology Portal

Technology is the practical use of science, including the making, modification or improvement, applied activity or behavior, use and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, methods of organization, or environmental modifications or arrangement in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, modifications, environmental arrangement and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species' ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. The word technology comes from Greek τεχνολογία (technología); from τέχνη (téchnē), meaning 'art, skill, craft', and -λογία (-logía), meaning 'study of-'. The term can be applied either generally or to many specific areas, examples of which include construction technology, medical technology and information technology.

The human species' use of technology began with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools. The prehistorical discovery of the ability to control fire increased the available sources of food and the invention of the wheel helped humans in travelling in and controlling their environment. Recent technological developments, 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. However, not all technology has been used for peaceful purposes; the development of weapons of ever-increasing destructive power has progressed throughout history, from clubs to nuclear weapons.

Technology has affected society and its surroundings in a number of ways. In many societies, technology 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 the Earth and its environment. Various implementations of technology influence the values of a society and new technology often raises new ethical questions. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, a term originally applied only to machines, and the challenge of traditional norms.

Philosophical debates have arisen over the present and future use of technology in society, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, and similar movements criticise the pervasiveness of technology in the modern world, opining 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. Indeed, until recently, it was believed that the development of technology was restricted only to human beings, but recent scientific studies indicate that other primates and certain dolphin communities have developed simple tools and learned to pass their knowledge to other generations.

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OS X (/ˌ ɛs ˈtɛn/), previously Mac OS X, is a series of Unix-based graphical interface operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. It is designed to run exclusively on Mac computers, having been pre-loaded on all Macs since 2002. It was the successor to Mac OS 9, released in 1999, the final release of the "classic" Mac OS, which had been Apple's primary operating system since 1984. The first version released was Mac OS X Server 1.0 in 1999, and a desktop version, Mac OS X v10.0 "Cheetah" followed on March 24, 2001. Releases of OS X are named after big cats: for example, OS X v10.8 is referred to as "Mountain Lion". OS X, whose X is the Roman numeral for 10 and is a prominent part of its brand identity, is built on technologies developed at NeXT between the second half of the 1980s and Apple's purchase of the company in late 1996. The 'X' is also used to emphasize the relatedness between OS X and UNIX. Versions 10.5 "Leopard" running on Intel processors, 10.6 "Snow Leopard", and 10.8 "Mountain Lion" have obtained UNIX 03 certification. iOS, which runs on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and the 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TV, shares the Darwin core and many frameworks with OS X. An unnamed variant of v10.4 powered the first generation Apple TV.

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Galileo spacecraft before launch

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A Rollei 35 in black

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Gerard K. O'Neill
Gerard K. O'Neill (1927–1992) was an American physicist and space activist. As a faculty member of Princeton University, he invented a device called the particle storage ring for high energy physics experiments. Later, he invented a magnetic launcher called the mass driver. In the 1970's he developed a plan to build human settlements in outer space, including a space habitat design known as the O'Neill cylinder. He founded the Space Studies Institute, an organization devoted to funding research into space manufacturing and colonization. In 1965 at Stanford University, he performed the first colliding beam physics experiment. While teaching physics at Princeton, O'Neill became interested in the possibility that humans could live in outer space. He researched and proposed a futuristic idea for human settlement in space, the O'Neill cylinder in "The Colonization of Space", his first paper on the subject. He held a conference on space manufacturing at Princeton in 1975. Many who became post-Apollo-era space activists attended. O'Neill built his first mass driver prototype with professor Henry Kolm in 1976. He considered mass drivers critical for extracting the mineral resources of the Moon and asteroids.


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Eric Schmidt
Eric Schmidt, comment to the media (2011)

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