Delivering Food by Drone
A Singapore restaurant plans to use drones (遥控飞机) to transport food and drinks from the kitchen to a wait station near customers’ tables.
Infinium Robotics, the Singapore company that’s developing the drones for restaurant chain Timbre, has spent the past two weeks testing the technology at the restaurant before it opens each night1 businessand hopes to have it in place by the end of the year.
But how does the drone knowwhere to hover (盘旋)? What if someone bumps into the drone or is standing inits way? “There’s no chance at all 2 it will hit anything,” says Infinium Roboticschief executive Junyang Woon.
The drones automatically chargewhile 3 (wait) in the kitchen. 4 the chef puts an order on the drone, hehits a button on a keypad and the drone automatically flies to one of two waitstations. Sense-and-avoid technology 5 (build) into the drone won’t allow it to landat the wait station if anything is in its way. The drones are equipped with sonar (声纳系统) and an infraredsensor (红外线传感器), too.
A waiter then removes the foodor drink from the drone and hits a button 6 sends it back to the kitchen. The drones,weighing a little over five pounds, 7 carry just over four pounds of food.Infinium Robotics is working on a model that will carry twice as 8(much) food.
“Its job is to help the waitersto reduce some of their boring tasks, ” Woon said. “If they let the robots 9 (do) the job, they can concentrate oninteracting with customers to bring about higher customer satisfaction anddining experience.”
Since it drew recent media attention,Woon 10 (hear) from resorts andrestaurants in 10 countries, including the United States.
FDA OKs Genetically Modified Salmon for Human Consumption
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday approved genetically modified salmon (转基因的三文鱼), the first such altered animal allowed for human consumption in the United States.
The government had tried to 11 approving the fast-growing salmon for more than five years due to consumer concerns about eating genetically modified foods. But the agency said Thursday the fish is safe to eat.
In announcing the approval, the FDA said that there are “no biologically 12 differences in the nutrition of AquAdvantage Salmon compared to that of other farm-raised Atlantic salmon.”
AquAdvantage Salmon was created by the Massachusetts-based company AquaBounty. Ron Stotish, the company’s CEO, said in a statement that the fish is a “game changer that brings healthy and nutritious food to consumers in an environmentally 13 manner without damaging the ocean and other marine habitats.”
The fish grows twice as fast as normal salmon, so it reaches 14 size more quickly. It has an added growth hormone (激素) from the Pacific Chinook salmon that allows the fish to produce growth hormone all year long. The engineers were able to 15 the hormone active by using another gene from an ocean pout (a kind of fish) that acts like an “on” 16 for the hormone. Typical Atlantic salmon produce the growth hormone for only part of the year.
There is no evidence that the foods would be unsafe, but for some people, it’s an ethical (伦理的)17 . Some people have promised not to sell the salmon, andit’s still unclear whether the public will 18 an appetite forthe fish if it is approved. Genetic engineering is already widely used forcrops, but the government until now has not considered allowing the consumptionof modified animals. Although the potential benefits and profits are huge, manypeople have doubts about controlling the genetic 19 of other living creatures.
Critics worry that it couldcause human allergies (过敏) and the eventual extinction of the 20 salmon population if it escapes and breeds in the wild.
School That Can Educate Us All
Christos Porios, 16, lives in a small Greek city. “My mother’s a teacher and my father’s a mechanic,” he explains, adding that neither is knowledgeable about computers — especially compared with him. 47
Porios was taking a free class in machine learning offered by Andrew Ng, a professor at Stanford University, over an online platform Ng developed with his colleagues. Drawing on what he learned, Porios was able to participate in the International Space Apps Challenge, a virtual hackathon (编程马拉松) using data from NASA and other government agencies.
If one teenager in one small city can become a genius hacker through an online course, does it mean the world has changed? We have been hearing about the potential of online education for decades.
48 A number of online education platforms have appeared, featuring professors from top universities offering free courses.
49 Ng was amazed. “It would take me 250 years to teach this many people at Stanford,” he says. And so, just one month into the course, Ng and his Stanford colleague, Daphne Koller, decided to leave their faculty posts (教职) and dive into online teaching full-time. In April, they launched their company, Coursera, with a $16 million round of venture funding. So far, it has managed to team up with 35 colleges in nine countries.
To Ng and Koller, Coursera’s mission is simple and yet grand. That is to teach millions of people around the world for free, while also transforming higher education.
According to Ng, the world’s top 20 universities enroll only about 200,000 students. There are million more who could participate in classwork at the higher level, but most of them are far from any of the leading universities. 50
Koller says Coursera’s total registration has hit 15 million. Porios, the young Greek, is only one of those registrants. His hope is to study in Germany or England someday. He is even toying with the idea of taking classes at MIT or Stanford — but this time in person.
More Parents Shifting Careers to Achieve Work-life Balance
As a television news host, Cynthia Demos’ schedule made her home life a challenge. Working nights and weekends meant she rarely put her 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter to bed, or spent Saturdays at the park. So, three years ago, Demos began testing the waters to see if operating her own business making marketing videos would create an option for more 21 time.
Last month, Demos took a leap. Instead of renegotiating her 22 , she left her job to take her venture to the next level — building her own video production/media training company. It’s a career shift on a path to work-life balance that more 23 are making.
New research shows the top reason why people leave their jobs is to 24 opportunities with a better work-life balance. Those who make the 25 say there almost always is a main cause, either work- or home-related. It could be a life-changing event like the birth of a child, or it could be a new demanding boss, change in job responsibilities, or too many missed milestone events. It might even be a more 26 job offer.
For Denie Harris, the main cause was the attraction of a better 27 situation for a mom with young daughters. Harris had been marketing director for two companies in South Florida when an opportunity came her way to hold a similar position at her daughters’ school. It was a decision that required 28 all factors. The upside included seeing her children during the workday and sharing the same 29 with them. The downside was leaving the corporate world and earning less. “Everything in life is a give-and-take,” Harris says. “For a mom, working at your children’s school is the best possible place to be.”
In the 30 to achieve work-life balance, working mothers having been “quitting” jobs for more than a decade, choosing to stay at home with their children when 31 possible. But today, both men and women are making job changes, choosing work options that better fit their 32 lifestyle. The shift often means serious consideration of 33 , including salary, advancement and fulfillment.
Doug Bartel, who left his job as a TV news producer more than a decade ago, says that what working fathers often look for is predictability and control over their schedules. They are starting their own law firms or becoming self-employed consultants to gain that 34 .
Big salaries aren’t necessarily the golden handcuffs (手铐) they used to be. With the traditional 40-hour workweek becoming out of date, a survey of nearly 9,700 full-time workers by the global firm of Ernst & Young found that most parents are willing to make 35 and financial concessions (让步) for work-life balance.
At first glance Esther Okade seems like a normal 10-year-old. She loves dressing up as Elsa from “Frozen”, playing with Barbie dolls and going to the park or shopping. But what makes the British-Nigerian youngster stand out is the fact that she’s also a university student.
Esther, from Walsall, an industrial town in the UK’s West Midlands region, is one of the country’s youngest college freshmen. The talented 10-year-old enrolled at the Open University in January and is already top of the class, having recently scored 100% in an exam.
“It’s so interesting and super easy,” she laughs. “My mum taught me in a nice way.” She adds: “I want to finish the course in two years. Then I’m going to do my PhD in financial maths when I’m 13. I want to have my own bank by the time I’m 15 because I like numbers and I like people and banking is a great way to help people.”
And in case people think her parents have pushed her into starting university early, Esther disagrees. “I actually wanted to start when I was seven. But my mum didn’t agree.” After three years of begging, Mother Efe finally agreed to explore the idea.
Esther has always jumped ahead of her peers. Her mother noticed her daughter’s gift for figures shortly after she began homeschooling her at the age of three. Initially, Esther’s parents had enrolled her in a private school but after a few short weeks, the usually-energetic youngster refused to go back to that school because the teachers didn’t let her talk in class. In the UK, education is not compulsory until five, so Efe started to do little things at home by teaching basic number skills but Esther was miles ahead. By four, her natural talent for maths had seen the eager student move on to algebra (代数学) and quadratic equations (二次方程式).
And Esther isn’t the only maths miracle in the family. Her younger brother Isaiah, 6, will soon be sitting his first A-level exam in June.
36. Which of the following makes Esther Okade different from her normal peers?( )
37. From the passage we can learn that _____.
38. What might be a main factor that has led to Esther’s being a maths genius?( )
39. Esther can be described as a girl who _____.
40. The above website is mainly designed for _____.
41. It can be inferred that the website is most probably initiated in( )
42.Which of the following is true according to the website?( )
Unless you are like Nasty Gal’s founder Sophia Amoruso, the passwords you use to access your email and the endless other accounts you need for work aren’t filled with intention. With increasing security requirements, it’s likely your word/number combinations are becoming even less memorable. But new research suggests it may not be long before you won’t need to memorize passwords.
“Brainprint”, published in Neurocomputing, reveals that the brain’s reaction to certain words could be a unique identifying code — like a fingerprint — that could eventually replace passwords.
In a small experiment, the researchers measured the brains’ signals of 45 volunteers as they read through a list of 75 acronyms such as FBI and DVD. The word-recognition response differed so much between each participant that a second experiment using a computer program could identify each one with 94% accuracy.
It’s not enough to feel totally secure, but promising enough to hint at the future of securing sensitive information.
The advantage of using such a biometric system (生物识别系统) is that it can be used for continuous verification (验证), New Scientist points out. Passwords or fingerprints only provide a tool for one-off identification. Continuous verification could in theory allow someone to interact with many computer systems at the same time or even with a variety of intelligent objects, without having to repeatedly enter passwords for each device.
As Hollywood has illustrated, it’s simply a matter of cutting off a finger to steal that person’s identity. “Brainprints, on the other hand, are potentially cancellable,” said Sarah Laszlo, assistant professor of psychology and linguistics at Binghamton University and co-author of the study, “So, in the unlikely event that attackers were actually able to steal a brainprint from an authorized user, the authorized user could then ‘reset’ their brainprint.”
Until now, brain signals have been a challenge to understand. This experiment leaped over the obstacle by focusing on the brainwaves from the specific area that reads and recognizes words. The signal is therefore clearer and easier to measure.
The problem, so far, is that the brain signal is still not as accurate as scanning someone’s fingerprint, and initially requires sticking diodes (二极管) on your head in order to get a read. That’s ok, according to Zhanpeng Jin, assistant professor at Binghamton University and coauthor of the study, because brainprint isn’t going to be mass-produced any time soon. He says the researchers foresee its use at places such as the Pentagon, where the number of authorized users is small, and they don’t need to be continuously verified the way you do to access your mobile device or email.
Better keep your memory sharp, at least a little while longer.
43. In paragraph 5, “one-off identification” refers to the identification that _____.
44.According to Sarah Laszlo, _____.
45.It can be inferred from the passage that _____.
46. Which of the following is the best title of the passage?( )
Fun Offices Make Workers Happier?
In order to make their employees happier, companies around the world have been busy installing play equipment in the workplace. Table football, computer games and action figures have become common in some workplaces.
Despite all this effort, unfortunately, work still makes people unhappy. According to a study by the London School of Economics, the place where people feel most miserable is work.
To proceed with an emphasis on being happy, however, other emotions are crowded out. Anger, sadness, anxiety and uncertainty all become a no-no. Such a ban on negative emotions can be emotionally bad for employees. A number of studies have shown that being able to express a range of positive and negative emotions is important, particularly when people are dealing with difficult experiences.
Besides, being constantly on the lookout for happiness may actually drive happiness away from us. Scientists have found that when we talk about how important happiness is, we become less likely to find it, even when we have experiences that usually make us happy.
Wanting to be happy at work is fair enough, but being forced to be happy at work can be troubling. If companies were genuinely interested in making their employees happy, they would perhaps look at some more “down-to-earth” interventions (务实的干预). A simple step would be to stop interrupting workers with all sorts of pointless demands such as long emails and unnecessary forms. A study by Harvard Business School found workers felt most satisfied on days when they were able to focus on a piece of work and make meaningful progress on it.
In short, if companies really want to make their employees happier, they should think long and hard before pointless restructuring.
51.study shows work still upsets people though companies are trying to make workplaces fun. Forcing employees to be happy is useless because being unable to express negative feelings is harmful and always looking for happiness deliberately will make people less happy. Rather, the effective way to make employees happy is not to interrupt employees with meaningless tasks. (58 words)