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 Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory
is a small observatory
located on the grounds of the University of Toronto
. The original building was constructed in 1840 as part of a worldwide research project run by Edward Sabine
to determine the cause of fluctuations in magnetic declination
. Measurements from the Toronto site demonstrated that sunspots
were responsible for this effect on Earth's magnetic field
. When this project ended in 1853, the observatory was taken over by the Canadian government, greatly expanded in 1855, and operated as the primary meteorological station and official Canadian timekeeper for over fifty years. The Observatory is the country's oldest surviving scientific institution, and is considered the birthplace of Canadian astronomy.
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Did you know...
Otto Julius Zobel
(1887–1970) was a design engineer who worked for the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T)
in the early part of the 20th century. Zobel's work on filter design was revolutionary and led, in conjunction with the work of John R. Carson
, to significant commercial advances for AT&T in the field of frequency division multiplex
(FDM) telephone transmissions. Although much of Zobel's work has been superseded by more modern filter designs, it remains the basis of filter theory and his papers are still referenced today. Zobel invented the m-derived filter
and the constant-resistance filter
, which remains in use. Zobel and Carson helped to establish the nature of noise in electric circuits, concluding that—contrary to mainstream belief—it is not even theoretically possible to filter out noise entirely and that noise will always be a limiting factor in what it is possible to transmit. Thus, they anticipated the later work of Claude Shannon
, who showed how the theoretical information rate of a channel is related to the noise of the channel.
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