Lessons in the "Technology" Category

Fidget spinners: The latest fad for kids, but banned in many schools

Today, let’s talk about fidget spinners. They are the huge new fad for kids at school. Their popularity is sweeping across countries and continents, not to mention school playgrounds.

Fidget spinners are this year’s must have toy. Many adults are confused by their sudden popularity. That’s probably why they’re so popular with kids.

What are fidget spinners? Well, they’re sort of triangular in shape, with three-pronged circles or bearings that spin around a central one. They are palm-sized. What’s more, they’re cheap, so kids can carry round a pocketful of them.

NHS in the UK held to ransom by ransomware

Last week, in the UK, the NHS (National Health Service) was held to ransom by malware stolen from the NSA (National Security Agency), in America. The Nissan car plant in Sunderland was also hit by the hackers.

The virus was unleashed across the world and spread at unprecedented speed. So far, more than 99 countries have been affected, with more than 57,000 victims. The virus, known as WannaCry, and variants of that name, has spread itself across the world, using email.

The ransomware software encrypts files. It then asks for a digital ransom of US$300, to be paid by Bitcoin, before control is safely returned.

WikiLeaks bombshell: Leaked documents claim spies bugged Samsung TVs

WikiLeaks recently released documents that allegedly say that the CIA can bug your Samsung TV, listen in on your mobile, and control your car.

WikiLeaks claims that people can be listened in and watched by ‘Weeping Angels’. This name derives from killer stone statue monsters that featured in the British TV science fiction children’s TV show Dr Who. The Weeping Angels creep up to their victims, then kill them.

The documents revealed how the spooks can convince people that their TV is off, when in fact, it is really recording every word they say, on the microphones on the TVs. The attack was developed by Britain’s MI5.

Robot Tax

Today let’s talk about a robot tax. By that, I mean a tax on robots. It is a subject that is currently being discussed, in earnest. Robots are taking over the jobs us humans have done before. If there are fewer workers, it means less tax for governments, right? So the governments have to raise taxes in another way and the introduction of a robot tax can’t be too far away.

These days, robots work in many places, for example, in car factories, on car assembly lines. They cook food and help package it. They are said to be the future workers on farms, picking fruit and vegetables. Who knows?

Fake news – Why is it happening?

Today, we will discuss fake news. Why is it happening? Why are people creating fake news? Have they got nothing better to do?

To clarify, fake news is the deliberate spread of misinformation. It is a type of hoax. It is phoney news. It can also be biased news, to derail a situation or real story. Fake news is not factual news. So when people read a story, they struggle to know whether it is fact or fiction.

Like it or lump it, fake news is everywhere. The internet is flooded with fake news. It helps amplify someone’s viewpoint and helps increase online readership and online sharing. This drives profits up, as payments are generated when ads are clicked. Fake news can go viral, thus increasing clicks and income, even more.

New cyber curriculum to be taught to British teens

Thousands of British teenagers are to be taught a new cyber curriculum. Training will be given in cyber security. The idea being, that it will help boost British defences against the rising threat of online hacking attacks.

The new cyber curriculum scheme is led by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It is aimed at teenagers between 14 and 18 years of age. An initial target of 5,700 students will be selected for the scheme. Older teenagers will be allowed to join the scheme, if they meet the right criteria. A pilot launch will begin in September.

Would you buy the iPhone 7 or the Samsung Note 7?

Today, let’s talk about the iPhone 7 and the Samsung Note 7. Both have hit the headlines recently, ironically, for different reasons.

Apple has unveiled the new iPhone 7. It’s a waterproof smartphone, with a longer battery life than its predecessor. It has a faster processor, and improved cameras.

The most talked about feature must be the new wireless headphones. These are an expensive optional extra. They are dubbed AirPods and come with a charging case. Apple has removed the 3.5mm headphone jack, by replacing it with an adaptor to their ‘lightening’ connector.

The Rise of the Drone

Today, we are going to talk about drones. What exactly is a drone? It is a small helicopter-like device that can fly by remote control. There are many sorts of drone including quadcopters, mini-quads, or multi-rotor helicopters that are all the rage at the moment. They vary in price from £10. Most video drones start around £100. It appears to be the new hobby to take up.

Drones are generally used to take aerial film or photographs. They have considerably reduced movie makers’ budgets, as they have replaced costly helicopters in many instances. However, whilst drones have become more popular some are becoming a security risk.

Tesla launches new electric car

Recently popular luxury electric carmaker Tesla Motors revealed to the world its much anticipated Tesla Model 3. The new prototype electric car was unveiled by Tesla CEO Elon Musk at Tesla’s Los Angeles design studio in California, USA.

The new Model 3 will have a starting price of US$35,000. However, it won’t be available till the end of 2017. It can be ordered in many countries around the world including the UK, India, China and New Zealand. It will be Tesla’s first mass produced electric car.

In the first two days alone pre-orders surpassed 276,000. Every car was secured by a deposit of US$1,000 or similar in other currencies. Unlike deposits for iPhones, the Tesla deposits are fully refundable.

How the internet is affecting how we learn and speak English

Today, let’s talk about how the internet is affecting the way we speak and learn English. Perhaps a good example is this British English lesson that stems from the internet.

The World Wide Web today offers people many ways to learn and speak English. Web pages include news, movie clips and social networking sites. All offer a fast instant learning process.

Category: Language / English / Internet