Will Quality Eat up the U. S. Lead in Software?
If U.S. software companies don't pay more attention to quality, they could kiss their business good-bye. Both India and Brazil are developing a world-class software industry. Their weapon is quality and one of their jobs is to attract the top U. S. quality specialists whose voices are not listened to in their country.
Already, of the world's 12 software houses that have earned the highest rating in the world, seven are in India. That's largely because they have used new methodologies rejected by American software specialists. For example, for decades, quality specialists, W. Edwards Deming and J. M. Juran had urged U. S. software companies to change their attitudes to quality. But their quality call mainly fell on deaf ears in the U.S—but not in Japan. By the 1970s and 1980s, Japan was grabbing market share with better, cheaper products. They used Deming's and Juran's ideas to bring down the cost of good quality to as little as 5% of total production costs. In U. S. factories, the cost of quality then was 10 times as high: 50%. In software, it still is.
Watts S. Humphrey spent 27 years at IBM heading up software production and then quality assurance. But his advice was seldom paid attention to. He retired from IBM in 1986. In 1987, he worked out a system for assessing and improving software quality. It has proved its value time and again. For example, in 1990 the cost of quality at Raytheon Electronics Systems was almost 60% of total software production costs. It fell to 15% in 1996 and has since further dropped to below 10%.
Like Deming and Juran, Humphrey seems to be winning more praises overseas than at home. The Indian government and several companies have just founded the Watts Humphrey Software Quality Institute at the Software Technology Park in Chennai, India. Let's hope that U. S. lead in software will not be eaten up by its quality problems.
1. What country has more highest-rating companies in the world than any other country has?
B. The US.
2. Which of the following statements about Humphrey is true?
A. He is now still an IBM employer.
B. He has worked for IBM for 37 years.
C. The US pays much attention to his quality advice.
D. India honors him highly.
3. By what means did Japan grab its large market share by the 1970s and the 1980s?
A. Its products were cheaper in price and better in quality.
B. Its advertising was most successful.
C. The US hardware industry was lagging behind.
D. Japan hired a lot of Indian software specialists.
4. What does the founding of the Watts Humphrey Software Quality Institute symbolize?
A. It symbolizes the US determination to move ahead with its software.
B. It symbolizes the Indian ambition to take the lead in software.
C. It symbolizes the Japanese efforts to solve the software quality problem.
D. It symbolizes the Chinese policy on importing software.
5. What is the writer worrying about?
A. Many US software specialists are working for Japan.
B. The quality problem has become a worldwide problem.
C. The US will no longer be the first software player in the world.
D. India and Japan are joining hands to compete with the US.
“Much of the sickness and death attributed to the major communicable diseases is in fact caused by malnutrition which makes the body less able to withstand infections when they strike”， said Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, Director-General of the World Health Organization（WHO）, in his statement on the first day of the World Food Summit organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy, from 13 to 17 November, 1996.
“At the same time,” he added, “in developing countries today, malnutrition is the cause of 174 million children under five years of age being underweight, and 230 million being stunted in their growth. Such figures represent deprivation, suffering and wasted human potential on a scale that is unacceptable from every point of view. Whether we think in terms of humanitarian concern, common justice or development needs, they demand a response, both from national governments and from international community.”
At the end of January 1996, 98 countries had national plans of action for nutrition and 41 countries had one under preparation, in keeping with their commitments made at the International Conference on Nutrition in Rome in December 1992. The global situation, however, remains grim. Over 800 million people around the world still cannot meet basic needs for energy and protein, more than two thousand million people lack essential micronutrients, and hundreds of millions suffer from diseases caused by unsafe food and unbalanced diets.
In sheer numbers, iron is the most prevalent micronutrient deficiency. Mainly women of reproduction age and children under five are affected by iron deficiency with prevalence hovering around 50% in developing countries. Among various regions in the world, it is South Asia which is hit hardest with prevalence reaching 80% in some countries. In infants and young children even mild anemia is associated with impaired intellectual as well as physical development. In older children and adults iron deficiency reduces work capacity and output. It also leads to increased accidents at work.
While there is no single remedy, a combination of several preventive approaches is believed to work best. Dietary improvement includes consumption of iron-and vitamin C-rich foods and foods of animal origin, and avoiding drinking tea or coffee with or soon after meals. Iron supplementation of foods, particularly of staple cereals, is practiced in a growing number of countries. Iron supplementation is the most common approach, particularly for pregnant women.
1. What is the cause of much of the sickness and death?
A. Certain diseases.
2. What is the writer's attitude toward the serious situation?
A. It is strange.
B. It is acceptable.
C. We should act.
D. We can only wait.
3. How many countries have made plans of action for nutrition?
4. Which of the following is NOT the harm of lacking iron?
B. Impaired intellectual development.
C. Traffic accidents.
D. Reduced work capacity.
5. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a remedy for iron deficiency?
A. Eating iron-rich foods.
B. Avoiding drinking tea with meals.
C. Drinking coffee soon after meals.
D. Eating foods of animal origin.
Phobia is intense and persistent fear of a specific object, situation, or activity. Because of this intense and persistent fear, the phobic person often leads a constricted life. The anxiety is typically out of proportion to the real situation, and the victim is fully aware that the fear is irrational.
Phobic anxiety is distinguishable from other forms of anxiety only in that it occurs specifically in relation to a certain object or situation. This anxiety is characterized by physiological symptoms such as a rapid, pounding heartbeat, stomach disorders, nausea, diarrhea, frequent urination, and choking feelings, flushing of the face, perspiration, tremulousness, and faintness. Some phobic people are able to confront their fears. More commonly, however, they avoid the situation or object that causes the fear—an avoidance that impairs the sufferer's freedom.
Psychiatrists recognize three major types of phobias. Simple phobias are fears of specific objects or situations such as animals, closed spaces, and heights. The second type, agoraphobia, is fear of open, public places and situations （such as public vehicles and crowded shopping centers） from which escape is difficult; agoraphobics tend increasingly to avoid more situations until eventually they become housebound. Social phobias, the third type, are fears of appearing stupid or shameful in social situations. The simple phobias, especially the fear of animals, may begin in childhood and persist into adulthood. Agoraphobia characteristically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood, and social phobia is also associated with adolescence.
Although agoraphobia is more often seen in treatment than the other types of phobia, it is not believed to be as common as simple phobia. Taken together, the phobias are believed to afflict 5 to 10 persons in 100. Agoraphobia and simple phobia are more commonly diagnosed in women than in men; the distribution for social phobia is not known. Agoraphobias, social phobias, and animal phobias tend to run in families.
Behavioral techniques have proved successful in treating phobias, especially simple and social phobias. One technique, systematic desensitization, involves gradually confronting the phobic person with situations or objects that are increasingly close to the feared ones. Exposure therapy, another behavioral method, has recently been shown more effective. In this technique, phobic are repeatedly exposed to the feared situation or object so that they can see that no harm befalls them; the fear gradually fades. Ant anxiety drugs have also been used as palliatives. Antidepressant drugs have also proved successful in treating some phobias.
1. According to the passage, a phobic person has fear
A. because he thinks life is terrible.
B. because the things before him are really fearful.
C. even if he knows that his fear is unnecessary.
D. for he is always threatened by others.
2. All the following symptoms may be experienced by a phobic EXCEPT
C. forgetting things.
D. feeling like vomiting.
3. When faced with the object or situation they are afraid of, most phobic
A. try to stay away from the object or situation.
B. try to pick up courage and fight the object or situation.
C. go to their doctors so as to gain freedom.
D. know that their fears are the same with other forms of anxiety.
4. People suffering from agoraphobia may be afraid of
A. staying with dogs and cats.
B. taking the bus in rush hours.
C. standing on top of a high building.
D. staying alone at home.
5. Systematic desensitization and exposure therapy are similar ways of treating phobias
A. because both involve gradual exposure of phobic to fear stimuli.
B. because both are behavioral methods.
C. because both use anti-anxiety drugs.
D. because both use antidepressant drugs.