Научная электронная библиотека
Монографии, изданные в издательстве Российской Академии Естествознания

Unit 3. IT DEVELOPMENTS

READING ACTIVITIES

1. Read the text and find the answers to the following questions.

1. What frustrating problem does Bluetooth solve?

2. Who first developed Bluetooth?

3. In what ways is Bluetooth particularly suited to portable systems?

4. What do Bluetooth devices share with microwave ovens?

5. List some devices that are suitable for use with Bluetooth.

6. Why is Bluetooth suitable for use on aeroplanes?

7. What factors provide security for Bluetooth communications?

8. How is the output power level of the transmitter set?

9. Why is there no collision detection in the Bluetooth specification?

10. Why are all devices on a piconet synchronised and controlled by a master device?

2. Choose the best answer to the question: What are the consequences of Bluetooth having the following characteristics?

a. It is good at avoiding conflicting signals from other sources.

b. The transmitter output level is kept as low as possible.

c. It uses power-saving modes when devices aren’t transmitting.

BLUETOOTH

As portable computing devices get smarter and more capable, connectivity frustrations increase.

This is where Bluetooth comes in. The brainchild of Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia and Toshiba, Bluetooth is a microwave high-speed wireless link system that’s designed to work with portable equipment. To that end, it’s low power, very small and very low cost. It uses the same frequencies as existing radio LANs (and, incidentally, microwave ovens) to create a secure 1 Mbit/s link between devices within 10m of each other. These devices can be laptops, PDAs, cellphones, wired telephone access points, even wrist watch devices, headphones, digital cameras and so on. With them, your notebook PC will be able to access your cellular phone and thus the Internet – without your having to take the phone out of your pocket. Files can be exchanged and communications set up tor voice and data between just about any device capable of handling the information.

Bluetooth operates in the unlicensed SM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) band at 2.45 GHz, which is globally available for
products.

There’s 89 MHz of bandwidth allocated here, and since Bluetooth is very low power, it actually radiates less than most national and international standards allow non-transmitting devices to leak as part of their normal operation. This is key, as it allows the technology to operate without restriction on aircraft.

As befits their status as radio frequency experts, Ericsson and Nokia developed the RF side of Bluetooth. The link works in a similar way to the IFEE 802.11 wireless networking system, with a packet-switching protocol based on fast-frequency hopping direct sequence spread spectrum. In other words, it constantly switches channel to avoid interference. It changes frequency 1,600 times a second through 79 frequency bands. It’s expected that this will be so good at avoiding conflicting signals from other sources that the transmission power can be kept very low.

Security is taken care of through the frequency hopping and 40-bit encryption. As the system uses radio, it сan work through some barriers – briefcases, shirt pockets and desktops, for example – but it won’t carry through office buildings. The power level of the transmitter can be varied, with feedback from the remote side of the link used to set the output to the lowest level commensurate with error-free operation. This saves power and increases the usable density of devices. The device can operate at up to 1mW (an optional power amplifier can increase this to 100 mW) and the whole lot consumes between 8 mA and 30 mA at 2.7 V. Various power saving modes can be used when a device isn’t transmitting, trailing oil speed of response for battery life. These work with current levels between 300 рА and 60 pA.

Within the 10m radius of a unit, up to 10 independent full-speed piconets can operate, with bandwidth reduced proportionately if more than this is in use. Each can handle up to eight devices, and can be further subdivided into separate services: 432 Kbit/s full duplex data, 72l/56 Kbit/s asymmetric duplex, or 384 Kbit/s third generation GSM. Each channel can also support three 64 Kbit/s full-duplex voice channels. An optional variation in modulation technique would double the basic data rate to 2 Mbit/s.

Power consumption and cost were very significant factors in Bluetooth’s design, and it was decided not to make the system a fully-fledged LAN. As a result, there’s no collision detection. All devices on a piconet are synchronized to a master device and are controlled by it to prevent simultaneous so operation on the same frequency. Any device can be a master, and is elected dynamically when the link starts up.

The standard is open and royalty-free to members of the Bluetooth special interest group.

3. Match the terms 1-7 with the statements A-F.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

             

1. Bluetooth

A. Radio frequency

2. SM band

B. The number of devices that can be used in the same area

3. RF

C. A microwave high-speed wireless link system designed to work with portable equipment

4. IEEE 802.11

D. Very low power network links between Bluetooth devices

5. Frequency hopping

E. An unlicensed frequency range at 2.45GHz

6. Usable density

F. A standard for networking systems with a packet-switching protocol

7. Piconet

G. Constantly switching channels

4. Mark the following as True or False. Correct the false ones.

1. Bluetooth is an expensive system.

2. Bluetooth devices can communicate at a distance of up to 20 m.

3. The SM band is available throughout the world.

4. Bluetooth has a very low radiation level.

5. Each Bluetooth connection operates at one fixed frequency.

6. Bluetooth signals will pass through walls of buildings.

7. The master Bluetooth device is determined when a link is first established.

5. Fill in the blanks with the right word or word combination.

1. As portable ___________ _____________ get smarter and more capable, connectivity frustrations increase.

2. Bluetooth is a microwave ___________?__________ ______________ system that’s designed to work with portable equipment.

3. Bluetooth operates in the _______________ SM band at 2,45 GHz, which is globally available for products.

4. Bluetooth is very _______________________ power.

5. The power level of the ________________________________ can be varied.

6. ________ _______________ and cost were very significant factors in Bluetooth’s design.

7. The standard is open and _____________________?____________ to members of the Bluetooth special interest group.

6. Read the text FUTURES and find the answers to the following questions.

1. What is Professor Cochrane completely convinced of?

2. What is stored in the professor’s signet ring?

3. What will change dramatically when we start using rings like these?

4. What is the ВТ lab developing with artificial intelligence?

5. What effect are the professor’s AL experiments having on evolution?

6. What does the professor see as the negative side of the electronic revolution?

7. What was the result of combining the Internet with TV?

8. What developments does the professor suggest in the field of biotechnology?

9. According to the professor, what will happen by the year 2015?

FUTURES

Talking to Professor Cochrane is probably as close as you can get to time travelling without leaving the current dimension, as his vision stretches far into this century and beyond. His seemingly unshakeable conviction is that anything is possible if you really put your mind to it.

Designed for the 21st century, Peter Cochrane’s signet ring is built around a chip that holds all the details of his passport, bank account, medical records and driving licence. According to Cochrane, it’s set to revolutionise shopping.

The ring is already a fully operational prototype, but it will be some time before you’ll be trading your credit card in for the ultimate fashion accessory. It’s not just jewellery that’s set to get smarter.

One of the biggest projects down at the Lab is looking at artificial intelligence as a way of creating software programs, networks, telephones and machines with a degree of intelligence built in. By sensing their environment, they should be able to develop new capacities as demands change. ‘I have software that is breeding, which is interchanging genes and creating adaptable behavior. This means you’ll see the network come alive – it will watch what you do and it will adapt.’

It doesn’t stop here, though, as ВТ has taken artificial intelligence one step further and created machines that are solving their own problems. ‘We’ve created solutions that a human being could never have dreamed of. We have solutions, and although we don’t understand how they work, they do work. We’re effectively increasing the speed of evolution’, says Cochrane.

It’s already good to talk, but with artificially intelligent phones on the way it will be even better. Cochrane is at present working on smart phones that can translate English into German, Japanese and French in real-time. ‘Some of it’s rocket science, but a lot of it’s extremely simple. What we’ve built is a kernel of understanding inside a machine that extracts meaning from the sentence itself – at the moment we can do simple things such as phrase books’,
he says.

The system uses a non-linear approach that sends English to the understanding kernel in the machine and then fans it out to all the other languages simultaneously.

There’s no doubt that Cochrane is putting a lot of faith in intelligent machines, particularly when it comes to cutting through the deluge of information that he says is the downside of the electronic revolution. BT’s solution is the development of intelligent agents that watch, learn and start communicating.

It’s not all work down at the Lab, though. BT’s also involved in an on-going trial that it claims will revolutionise our leisure time, in particular the way we watch TV. ‘We put people on the Internet and broadcast TV at the same time, so that the people at home could actually influence what was happening on their TV sets. As a result, it became interactive and therefore more active.’

ВТ has its fingers in multiple pies and has made biotechnology another core focus of R&D. ‘Personally, I think hospitals are very dangerous places to be. There are lots of viable alternatives. For a start, we can stop bunging up hospital wards by putting people online.’ ВТ has already developed a pack for heart attack victims that monitors their progress and uploads information via a radio link back to the hospital.

So what will the future hold for us if Peter Cochrane and his futurologists have their way? Well, by the year 2015, it’s likely that we will be eclipsed by a supercomputer more powerful than the human brain. And if that’s got visions of Terminator dancing in your head, don’t
worry – Cochrane’s got it covered. ‘I’d really hate one morning to find myself considered an infestation of this planet. Our inclination is to nurture life and not to destroy it. Before we let loose a bunch of artificial intelligence, we ought to be thinking through the necessity of building in a number of rules that hold your life as a human being sacrosanct.’

(Adapted from ‘Futures, Celebrity Squares’, Professor Peter Cochrane, PC Pro Magazine, February 1998).

7. Match the terms 1-7 with the statements A-F.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

             

1.

BT

A.

A computer program that watches, learns and communicates with the user.

2.

Smart phone

B.

Most powerful type of computer.

3.

Intelligent agent

C.

Research and development.

4.

Rocket science

D.

Transfer data from a client device to a server computer

5.

R&D

E.

A telephone that can translate English into various languages
in real-time

6.

Upload

F.

British Telecom

7.

Supercomputer

G.

Very advanced study

8. Mark the following statements as True or False. Correct the false ones.

1. ВТ has a lot of new ideas that will astound people.

2. Jewelers that can store large amounts of personal data has started to replace credit cards.

3. BT’s smart phone can only translate English into one other language at a time.

4. Intelligent agents can help users deal with an overload of information.

5. Watching TV will be a more active pastime in the future.

6. The professor thinks that humanity will be destroyed by very powerful computers in the future.

WRITING ACTIVITIES

1. Summarize the key ideas of Professor Cochrane on the future of Information Technology. Give your own comments. Write about 250 words.

2. Search for the latest developments in one area of Information Technology. Make a summary of your findings and write a report. Your report should have the following sections:

1. Introduction (area of IT).

2. Body of the report (technology involved, spheres of applications).

3. Conclusion (possible future developments).

Use appropriate linking words or phrases in the LANGUAGE BOX to help you.

LANGUAGE BOX

LINKING WORDS

Also, although, as a result, consequently, therefore, moreover, thus, however, in addition,
for example, firstly, secondly, thirdly, in particular, in contrast, to sum it up, finally, it is clear that.


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