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Использование дронов для спасения животных - Using Drones to Save AnimalsPeople are finding new ways to use aerial vehicles, commonly called drones. An organization called DIY Drones says it has more than 40,000 members who build and fly such aircraft. Rescue teams, police and others are developing new uses and technology for drones. But, what seems like a good activity for one group may seem like a threat to another. Recently, the group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, made an announcement. The group said that it was negotiating with a drone manufacturer. PETA President Ingrid Newkirk says often drones are considered unmanned killing machines. But, she says her group believes they can also be used to save lives. The PETA website says the group would use drones to record cruelty to farm animals and illegal hunting methods. The website says this would help enforce animal protection laws. PETA's president says hunters sometimes put out food to get the attention of animals they want to shoot. However, Ingrid Newkirk says it is illegal to bait animals. She says drones could be used to identify lawbreakers. Hunting and gun rights groups oppose PETA's plan to watch and record images of hunters from the sky. They say the plan would violate the privacy of gun owners and their right to enjoy the outdoors. Local and federal lawmakers were already debating the issues raised by police use of drones. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union wanted laws to prevent law enforcement agencies from watching people. They warn that without legal restrictions, the technology could be used to spy on citizens. For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti.
Как работает Google Glass - How Google Glass WorksThe Internet company Google is testing its newest device, Google Glass. Most of the technologies for Google Glass are already available on smartphones. What is different is that Google has taken those technologies and added them to eyeglass frames. Chris Dale is the senior manager of communications for Google Glass. He says the device is a very small computer that sits in a lightweight frame and is positioned above the eye. He says it makes exploring and sharing the world around you easier. The glasses have a tiny video screen and camera that connect wirelessly to the Internet through Wi-Fi, a smartphone or a tablet computer. You can make and receive calls, send and receive texts, take pictures, record video or search the web. You control Google Glass using your voice and a touchpad on the right temple arm of the frame. Professor Marcia Dawkins is among a group of people who have tested Google Glass. She thinks she could use the device in her classroom. Her Google Glass looks like a pair of bright orange glasses, but without the lenses. There is a tiny rectangular glass at the top right corner. She has been recording videos while biking. She has also been able to talk to her sister in Thailand. But not everyone is excited about Google Glass. Some are concerned about risks to privacy. They say the device will make it easy to video people without their knowledge. There are also concerns about the use of facial recognition technology. Google says it will not approve the use of such applications. The company says it is still testing Google Glass and hopes to make it available by early next year. For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.
Поддержка безопасных для торнадо помещений в Оклахоме - Promoting Tornado Safe Rooms in OklahomaOn May 20th, a tornado brought death and destruction to the American community of Moore, Oklahoma. The tornado had wind speeds of up to 400 kilometers an hour. Twenty-four people died when the storm cut through the city. People had only 15 minutes to react to warnings. Some fled Moore or took refuge in the most secure area of their home. The lucky ones took cover in underground shelters or steel-and-concrete structures called safe rooms. Leslie Chapman Henderson is head of a nonprofit group called the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. She is a big supporter of tornado safe rooms. She says they can help reduce the number of tornado deaths. A safe room is built to resist high winds and flying wreckage. Skye Strouhal survived the tornado in Moore. He watched as it moved in her direction. He and a friend ran to a neighbor's underground shelter only minutes before the storm struck. Better methods for predicting storms give people like Skye Strouhal and her friend more time. But they need someplace safe to go. Structures can be built to resist strong winds. But not all structures may be able to resist a tornado as strong as the one that hit Moore. It was rated F-5, the highest possible rating. Moore lies in an area of the United States called Tornado Alley. Powerful storm systems are common. The tornado in May was the fourth to strike the city in 14 years. Moore's mayor is pushing for laws requiring safe rooms in all new buildings. Similar proposals followed other tornado strikes, but no laws were passed. For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman.
Критика ограничений средств массовой информации во Вьетнаме - Social Media Limits in Vietnam CriticizedInternet activists and human rights groups are criticizing an order that requires blogs and social media sites in Vietnam to share personal information only. The order aims to ban social media users and bloggers from posting other information such as news stories. Local media reports say the decree states that such sites are not permitted to quote, gather or summarize information from press organizations or government websites.Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved Decree 72 in July.Internet activists say this is an attempt by the communist government to restrict freedom of speech. Rights groups say the decree's requirements are too broad and will be used to act against government critics. Others criticized a statement by Le Nam Thang, the deputy minister of information and communications. State media reported him as saying that the law aims to help Web users find correct and clean information on the Internet. But one blogger says that is a matter of personal choice. She says people should be able to decide for themselves whether information is good or bad. And she says Vietnamese citizens do not need the government to teach them on how to think. The decree sets out very broad categories of speech that officials could consider as troublesome. It includes warnings about information that is "against Vietnam" or undermines certain principles. Shawn Crispin is the Southeast Asia representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ. He says the increased restrictions suggest that the government thinks it has lost control of the criticism that is so widespread on social media. For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.
Компьютер в Китае возглавил список самых мощных в мире - Computer in China Tops List of World's Most PowerfulChina's Tianhe-2 supercomputer has been rated number one on the Top500, a list of the world's most powerful computers. Experts measured the supercomputer's performance at 33.86 petaflops, or quadrillions of operations per second. China's National University of Defense Technology developed the supercomputer, which runs twice as fast as the number two rated Titan supercomputer. That machine belongs to the U.S. government's Oakridge National Laboratory in the outhern state of Tennessee. Tianhe-2 and Titan are part of the race to make supercomputers faster and more powerful. So what is a supercomputer? A basic personal computer has one microchip at the center of its operations. This Central Processing Unit, or CPU, carries out a set of commands as part of a predesigned program.The first supercomputers had a few more CPUs. The number grew as microprocessors became cheaper and faster. Andrew Grimshaw is a computer science professor at the University of Virginia. He says many supercomputers today are called parallel machines. Instead of one CPU, they have thousands. These parallel machines are made up of many individual computers called nodes. They are positioned in one block. They use a lot of power, create a lot of heat, and require huge cooling systems. They also use programs different from the ones used by ordinary computers. Professor Grimshaw says anyone with enough resources can build a supercomputer to solve problems that require millions of mathematical calculations. For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn
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